Thursday, November 21, 2019

Actual Games Played; Veterans Day wekend.

Hurray for playing miniature war games!  Especially in Real Life and not just in my imagination while I drive to work..

A Wargaming Weekend

It's been awhile since I was able to play any games, just because life is like that sometimes.  So I decided that I would use a cunning plan to achieve my nefarious needs (my writing staff greatly approves of alliterations) and employed a seldom used tactic in marriage called (wait for it): COMMUNICATION. 

I said to my wife, "I would like to be able to play some games before we all get all crazy busy with the holidays and such.  Think we can find a weekend where you take the kids with you to the bay area (where she works on weekends) so your parents can watch them while I stay up here and goof off?  pretty please?" 

"Of course, let's get it on the calendar." 
Best Wife EVAR...

SO, through trickery and manipulation, I arranged it that on Veteran's Day weekend my wife and kids left Friday afternoon and would not return until sometime on Sunday, leaving me all of Friday night and Saturday as a bachelor and free to play with toy soldiers.  Also to eat a lot pizza and not shower.

Friday Night is Two-for-One Tank Night

Friday night arrived and I had 4 players plus myself scheduled for the evening.  I was thinking I wanted something fun and lite but good for an evening game, a ruleset that I knew but haven't played in a bit.  It also occurred to me that I haven't used my 15mm WWII stuff in ages.  I used to be an avid WWII gamer but it's fallen off the radar these last couple of years, but I still have all my stuff of course,  because wargamers never get rid of anything!  Especially if it's painted. 

Friday night game became What a Tanker (WaT) by Too Fat Lardies.  It's a great game for making tank sounds while moving the miniatures, and shooting your friends for fun and profit.

Table set up for WaT.  I like it when there is a lot of terrain that blocks the fire lines.
If the table is too open, nobody has to move.

The tanks are from my old Flames of War collection:  the Allies had choices of Shermans and M10s, while the Axis could choose from  Panzer IVs, Panthers, and Tigers.
I also aware myself 5 hobby points for knowing what kind of tanks I had in the WWII collection even though I haven't laid eyes on them in years. 

Panzer IV burning in the woods, it thought it was safe...

I like my bocage.  

The first game was a (re)learning game and just Panzer IVs versus Shermans, and just gave everyone a few turns to roll the command dice and see what the terrain did.  If someone blew up they just got another tank next turn.  After a few rounds of that we went onto the scenario proper for the evening (which I literally just made up a few minutes before we started playing it....don't tell anyone, not that it was anything super complicated).

In the Proper Scenario, the 2 Axis and 3 Allied players started in opposite corners.  Each Ally got 2 tanks and could choose M10s or Shermans (because that's all I have), while the Axis could choose 2 Panzer IVs or 1 Panther or 1 Tiger.  In the end it was 3 M10s and 3 Shermans versus 2 Panzer IVs and 1 tiger.  The Allies had to eliminate the Axis tanks to win, the Axis just had to stay alive (see, not very complicated at all). 

Saturday was a Ball, a Minnie Ball that is...

Saturday morning it was time for that ALL TIME best historical genre, the ACW. Rules being used: Regimental Fire and Fury.

side topic: I'm never as popular as I think I am

When I was planning out the weekend I was hoping to get around 6-8 players for the ACW game so I could do some large, spectacular scenario using ALL my troops and cannons on the table.  I sent an invite to both of the local miniature wargaming clubs that I belong to and really did not get much of a response.  Not that I can blame them, I only attend like 1 club meeting a year so it's doubtful many of the members know who I am.  But I like to fantasize that people would think "Stew's putting on an ACW game?!  I got to make that!"

I also had a few good gamer buddies not able to make it due to conflicting schedules.
Maybe more next time.

Back to the Point..
With 4 players committed to the battle (3 + me) I decided we would trot out the Port Republic ‘what if’ scenario that I ran at Pacificon last year since I think it’s a good 4 player game; with each player controlling one half of the battlefield.

Set up for the scenario.
Basically the CSA comes from the left in ever increasing numbers turn after turn.
The USA gets some reinforcements late in the game to try and hold on.

It’s always hard to take a enough pics to capture the whole battle  when one is playing and hosting, and we’ve all had the experience of not taking pictures when the battle grows especially hot and engaging, so below is the random assortment of pics that I remembered to take, and this is clearly not a run on sentence that a better editor would correct; I must speak with my writing staff.

Set up pic

another set up pic

The Brave Union line

I really like this scenario.  I love how the CSA attack builds and gains momentum, and how the USA reinforcements arrive just as all seems lost.  It’s got a variety of unit sizes, unit skill levels, and varied terrain that make meaningful tactical decisions.

Early Game

CSA advancing through the woods

The only draw back is that it takes for-ever to play all the way through. Of the 3 times I’ve ran it we’ve only made it to the end once, and that was at the convention with a bunch of die hard gamers with no where else to go.  This time we started at 10 am and quit a little before 3, with the game still hanging in the balance. 

CSA begins to crush the flank

The CSA attack becomes earnest.

After the battle Saturday night I had a birthday party to go to.   Sunday I cleaned the house while muttering to myself that I'm too old to be this tired and hungover. 

Jackson gathers a 3 batteries into a powerful large gun line.
He's able to do this in the rules because he was an artillery teacher at West Point.
However, I think people male too much of this; by all accounts he was a terrible teacher
and just recited the text book from memory.

End game: the CSA have taken one flank,
could the USA reinforcements stem the grey tide?
(those USA batteries are fleeing in the pic by the way)

I had a great weekend and it kinda was like a miniature-miniature wargaming convention at my place (see what I did there? The writing staff found that amusing).  All my guests; Mr. C.G., Mr S., Mr. M.S, Mr. A.S., and my good friend who came ALL the way from the bay area Mr. P.C; all expressed that they had fun playing.  And since we all had fun, I'm gonna call it a very successful weekend. 

It’s also probably the last hurrah for me gaming-wise for the year, so it felt good to go out with a bang.

Monday was a Parade

Monday morning was spent with the family at the Veterans Day parade.

The kids got a kick out of this float

Thank you to all veterans for your service; military and law enforcement.

We also made a little over a hundred patriotic cookies...and by "WE," I mostly mean the wife as she is the cookie master, but I did help.  Someone had to eat the mess ups.

On the morning of Veteran's Day, we delivered the cookies to my father’s old assisted living facility in honor of his memory.  He served in the navy for 20 years and saw combat during Vietnam.

See you next time.


  1. Two really nice tables and time spent in good company .... winner!

    1. Thanks Norm. It was a great weekend all in all. Made me happy to be in this hobby. πŸ˜€

  2. Good planning and two good looking gaming sessions πŸ‘

    1. Thanks Matt, it was fun to have the sessions in a row like that. I’m glad everyone had a good time. πŸ˜€

  3. Looks like a very enjoyable gaming weekend for you. Well deserved,I say. I really like your Port Republc layout. I have gamed this battle several times as well as visited the site.

    1. Thanks Jon, I thought I deserved it too. Lol
      I also think the PR layout is rather nice. I must think on some ways to speed up the scenario some so it plays to conclusion more often. Or just spend more time gaming. I’m jealous you’ve visited the site. I’d like to read one of your play throughs, would it be in the annals of your blog? I’ll check it out..πŸ˜€

    2. PR is in my annals! Say, I have a 27 figure unit of 15mm Federal Zouaves if you want them. I painted them up years ago as a test but never went into 15mm ACW. Based for RFF, they are yours if you want them. Send me your mailing address and they will be on the way.

    3. (Pauses for a little bit as to not appear to eager)
      Why yes, I’ll take them gladly my good sir. To my shame I don’t have any zouaves in my collection.
      You are a kind man and I thank you.
      I used your message me’ widget on your blog to send you my address.

      I also just spent the last 45 mins reading your backlog of ACW posts (found the PR). Time. Well. Spent. πŸ˜€

    4. Hi Stew. Never received anything from you via the comment widget. Maybe give it another try? I made an attempt to contact you via your contact me widget. Package is ready. Awaiting an address!

    5. Huh, I didn’t get a message either. Silly malfunctions...
      I did try again this morning but if nothing shows just hit my gmail account.

      The dot is an actual . If that makes sense.
      And I’ll reply with the address. πŸ˜€

  4. Nice report and good on ya--a Friday and a Saturday game on a weekend are about as good as can be expected among "adults": short of some sort of offsite experience. The cookies and gesture at the conclusion of this post elevate all that went before: well done.

    1. Thanks Ed. You’re right that short a convention it’s hard to get a whole weekend of gaming in for us busy adults. πŸ˜€
      I wanted to do something for my father this Veterans Day and the cookies seemed like a nice idea.

  5. Lovely terrains and minis, great looking games!

  6. Sharp pangs of envy!

    Is that a self made terrain mat? Very good looking, and versatile.

    And those cookies are lovely! If they taste half as good as they look, I am sure they were appreciated.

    1. Thanks Laz, hopefully next time you can make it over here.

      Yes, it’s a self made mat. The how-to is an early blog post of mine, hit the terrain label and scroll towards the beginning if you want to read it.

      My wife does indeed make very good cookies. The staff told us later that they were a hit. And since almost everyone there knew my father it was kinda sweet. πŸ˜€

    2. Ah, I should have known you would have a blog post about it. I am part way through a similar mat, but got stalled by "life" and now it is in the garage uncompleted.

  7. Man, I missed what looked like yet another corker! :(

    Great looking games my friend and many respects to the old man. Mine also served in the Navy during Vietnam!

    (I still need to give you those 15mm buildings!)

    1. Thanks Dai, hopefully next time our schedules will be more in sync.

      Funny you mention buildings, I just started up some. My ACW battlefields are a little light on homesteads. πŸ˜€

  8. Good looking pair of games and sounds like fun was had by all! Who won the what a tanker game btw?
    Best Iain

    1. Thanks Iain. When we called it a night on Friday the Allies had lost two tanks out of 6 but the axis lost the 2 panzer IVs and the Tiger had taken 2 permanent damage. In hindsight it might of been more fair to give the axis 2 panthers instead of the panzer IVs. πŸ˜€

  9. SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO much fun at the ACW game you hosted. KEEP'M coming!!!
    General Alan

    1. Thanks so much Alan, glad you enjoyed it. I hope to game with you more often next year. πŸ˜€

  10. Definitely agree, best wife ever! Great looking games and tables, sounds like exactly what you needed πŸ˜€

    1. Thanks Ivor, she definitely has her moments... lol πŸ˜‚
      It was a good weekend of some gaming that did my outlook good. πŸ˜€

  11. These games look great, Stew! I really like the hedges in particular. If you don't mind me asking, what is the mat you used? It looks quite natural and realistic.

    Really glad you got some gaming time in as well. I find myself very much looking forward to having enough painted to play something new. It was really thoughtful to pass out cookies as well. I'm sure your father would be proud :)

    1. Thanks Kuribo, appreciate it!
      Both the hedges and the game mat are things that I made myself, so now I feel extra cool.
      The process for the mat is the subject of a much earlier blog post. If you hit the terrain label and go through the posts you should find it. πŸ˜€

  12. Nice looking tables, and it is great to see that people continue to honor those who served.

    1. Thanks Anton. It is something that was important to me. πŸ˜€

  13. Wow Stew! I envy you the time, space, and gamer friends to play these great scenarios. And an understanding significant other. You are a fortunate man!

    1. Thanks Vol,
      It took some moving of mountains in order to get the games in, but I’m lucky enough to have some gamers with the time to join me.
      When we were looking for a house I made sure there was at least one room with enough space to have gaming tables set up. πŸ˜€

  14. Glad you managed to get some more gaming in Stew. It's handy having understanding wives isn't it.