Archives for September 2008

BSG, WWII, 40k Tau and a tricked out Shadows over Camelot board!

My work bench is full. I have 4 projects on the line in various stages of completion. If I didn’t have several things going at once I’d have to wonder what happened to my creativity. Here is a break down of each project:

Battlestar Galactica Project

From My Wonderful World of Gaming

This project started at Historicon. I came across the BSG resin figures by Raven Studios and fell in love. I got a modern Galactica, Pegasus, two base stars and about 200 fighters. The only thing missing right now are the Cylon heavy raiders. I need about 10 of them to complete the deal. I’ve got most of it painted up now and I am working on a set of tactical rules. My original idea was to do something simply based on Memoir ’44. However I have a much more interesting movement system that takes into account innertia without requiring fancy math done by the player. There is a large game coming out by FFG that also covers Battlestar Galactica. Where that game is more based upon the whole series or a longer time line, my game is based upon the details of various battles. As always I’ll find some place to put the rules up for free.

105mm howitzer and radio half-track

From My Wonderful World of Gaming
From My Wonderful World of Gaming

I hate Forces of Valor. They make such great stuff! Recently they released a 1:72 set called “U.S. M3A1 Half Track and 105mm Howitzer set” and it is beautiful. The track has two whip antennas, rubber tracks, better detail than the Corgi model and has some nicely painted crew. It also comes with some scenery, some Germans, the howitzer’s barrel moves and it is in the One True Scale for WWII. ahem. 🙂

I have already taken knife and glue to the rubbery figures it comes with and have modified them into defensive stances about the vehicle. One got put into the driver’s position too. I already have FAA gun crews painted up. Overall I give this model a big thumbs up. I plan on making this set up the objective for a DHC7B game sometime soon.

40K Tau

From My Wonderful World of Gaming
From My Wonderful World of Gaming

I have collected a pretty good collection of figures for this game. Many thanks to Baxter Key of Wargames who helped me get pretty much everything I need. Many thanks also to the random flea market guy at Historicon that was unloading a bunch of stuff at “deal deal” prices. A “deal deal” is of course a deal on the deal price! I also picked up Army Builder and have been looking at 600 and 1000 point armies to build to get this stuff rolling.

What I like about Games Workshop figures are the wide variety of parts they come with (often refered to as “bitz”). You can create many configurations and poses right out of the box with their plastic figures. What I’ve done is picked up a bunch of rare earth magnets from Amazing Magnets (GREAT customer service by the way). My original intent was to put tiny magnets on the body and the guns so that I could swap out pulse rifles for pulse carbines, etc. Great idea and it works BUT two magnets, even the ultra thin ones, are too thick. So at some point I will be experimenting with “magnetic paint” that I picked up at Michaels, The arts and crafts store. The stuff is called Magic Wall and has ferrous properties that will allow magnets to stick. It is safe around kids in case that is a concern of yours. It seems to be a good idea. I think I could line a box with this stuff and not need to worry about steel paper. I can then put magnets in the bases of my figures for easy transport/storage! The Mind of a Mancini Never Stops! (I better trademark that!)

Shadows over Camelot

From My Wonderful World of Gaming

If you have not tried the Days of Wonder game Shadows over Camelot you are missing out. The game has simple mechanics but amazingly tough decisions for the player every turn! It attempts to tell the story of the waning days of King Arthur’s Court and his attempt to save the Kingdom. The players are in competition against the system. It is possible for one player to be up against the rest as a traitor! There are quests for Lancelot’s Armor, Excalibur and The Holy Grail itself! You can joust, fight a dragon or even fight invading armies! Mordred is leading the charge against the very walls of Camelot. Can you knights and King stave off evil and prove the Round Table is good and sound.

While the game itself is quite nice and playes well, I’ve seen what people have done with miniatures versions of the game. I totally want to do that! So what I’ve done is I’ve picked up a lot of painted plastic figures in the 60-100mm variety and I plan on making a recreation of the board using pink foam board, flock, Precision Products plastic veneer (textured plastic to make things look realistic – I used this on the Marco Polo Bridge boards to great effect!)

I have set a date on this project to be completed by next month. The gaming group that meets at Bob Duncan’s place in Columbia, TN is the perfect crowd for this game. It will be a nice, exciting piece. I am also hopeful that my friend and co-worker Capt. Beck will bring his son along. It is a great game to introduce new and young players to with adult supervision. Mainly the thing I like most about it is the morale dilemas people face. Every player turn begins with “The Progression of Evil” where you must pick a way in which Evil will advance. Further, you can benefit yourself if you keep part of the progression secret! It takes a shrewd player to know what to do. Of course you can always sacrifice towards the end of the game.

When I have pictures ready I’ll post them.

WH40k 5th edition first few games

Many thanks to Wargames for having a Warhammer 40K day. Plus, many more thanks to Mike Hicks for lending me painted figures to use. Without his very generous offer I would not have had the opportunity to try this new system out as my figures are not yet finished.

I like the new game a lot. I got in 3 games using a Thousand Sons army. I lost one, got the next on a draw and won my third game. I got a nice feel for the game. Some rules were not played right but for the most part we got them right. This is because the rules are very clear. Make no mistake, it is a game and not a simulation, but it is a very good game and very tactical. I grealy enjoyed the tactical problems I was presented. I could see that it wasn’t just a dice festival and tied up in luck. When I lost, I knew why I lost and which decisions were mistakes. When I drew, it was a nail biter of a game with Kirk Harris skillfully snatching victory from the jaws of defeat. My win… well that was just a dice festival. The Guard army I was up against was all infantry and they needed some heavy fire power to take out my units.

Army balance is clearly a key skill to learn with army building and you have to tweek it just right for times when your one list will face many others. The three gaming types mean that have can’t optimize for just one approch but must be good with 2 of 3. It just isn’t possible to make a list that is both fast, hard hitting and well protected. This is a natural trade-off and a good design decision by GW.

I’ll be writing more about this game in the months to come.