Monday, March 25, 2024

Onward Wooden Soldiers..

..marching as to war.


Got Time to see some pictures of Wooden War flats?  Of course you do. It's the best thing since sliced bread with PeanutButter and Jelly. It's a good time for everyone.  It's a PBJ post, the most-est favorite-est  time on blogs.   

More Wooden Wars

I've been coloring and staying in-between the lines like a big boy (mostly). Trying to get everything done before the deadline.  Doesn't help that I fell victim to Project Creep. After the fairly successful inaugural game of Wooden Wars (featured in the last post), naturally I decided there had to be MORE.  

Not long after, another box of wood from Thomas at Skull and Crown Miniatures arrived.  

What project creep looks like.
Looks like a box of fun times ahead.

The success of my quest
rests with inventiveness,
precious freshness is stressed
as this chart will suggest...

The idea now is to have an 8 player game that looks like:
This chart is super fancy

My thoughts being that each player (be they either a child or an adult with youthful joy in their hearts) would get 1 bog-standard-boring infantry unit of 14 figures, and one unit of something COOL; Could be a 3-cannon battery (two available), or a 7 figure cavalry unit, or a 14 figure elite infantry unit.  

What does an elite infantry unit look like? They have fancy hats.  

Sampling of the elite British.
See the fancy hats?

Sampling of Elite French with even fancier hats
They also have fancy boots.
The French just love to be fancy

Elite infantry are better at melee and get a save when knocked over by shooting balls.

Since I am such a loyal Wooden Wars customer, Mr. TF threw in some fun extras like some command sprues and flags. These don't get any special rules, just spice up the overall appearance of infantry.

Sampling of the Command; flags and drums.
French left, British right.
Cummin and Turmeric

Everybody knows that Napoleonic infantry were terrible, lazy soldiers.  to help them out with some necessary leadership I've added two Officers on foot for each side.

Officers also have fancy uniforms

Officers lead from the front and provide a rally and melee bonus.
That also rounds out all the infantry needed.

And now to sprinkle in some more Artillery to add some needed kick..

British 3-gun battery
3 cannons and 12 figures.

French battery of the same make up

Going back to my freshness chart above, all the infantry and artillery are done.  grand totals of 72 foot soldiers, 6 cannons, 24 cannon crew, and 1 mounted Army leader PER SIDE.  Not bad.
Put like that, it sounds like a lot of miniature flats.  Luckily, storage has never been easier...

The flats are quite robust, being all wood and glue,
so just tossed into a tub.

Final Effort

It's 3 weeks to the convention and it's the final push to get everything done.  A few more things for Wooden Wars and not to mention the 3 other games that I'm running that weekend.  
The crucial thing for Wooden Wars is the actual battlefield.  While we could play on whatever floor / carpet is there at the place, I'm gonna go the extra mile and make a 8 x 10 foot -ish sized battlefield by getting a big canvas drop cloth and painting it various browns and greens.  As long as it doesn't come out looking too much like bad camouflage it'll be acceptable.  Lay it out like a giant rug.

Also I'd like complete all the cavalry if possible:

Here's a big pile of cav sprues.
Cav is always a pain, no matter the game system.
And it looks like they also have fancy uniforms and saddles.
Nap cav must be Primadonnas.  

Wooden Wars uses a 12 inch stick for all it's measuring.
In some circles that's called a ruler.
But I got these fancy 'Batons' for extra class.
Not needed, but fun.

3 weeks out is a pretty good spot to be in, but one never has as much time as one thinks.  There's also in that timeframe Son #2's birthday and Easter coming up, which means I also need to make the Easter Egg Racing track for the traditional Easter Egg race down the stairs.  
Stupid family traditions that bring joy and laughter to family, why'd we ever start that one I'll never know.

Thanks for reading,
Double thanks for writing a comment, fancy or otherwise.
Till Next time.

Monday, March 4, 2024

Firsts of the New Year

First Games

Doesn't everyone remember their first time? Or times?  Especially if you don't get it right the first time and have try it again.  I'm not thinking of anyone in specific....

The new year is off and running, and I've occasionally managed to escape the dungeon of my responsibilities to get in some FIRST games of the new year.   The thing about dungeons is that it can be hard to get out, but easy to get back in.

Like a lot of miniature wargame bloggers I spend most of my time painting, writing witty blog posts and even wittier comments on other blogs.  But that's not all.  Gaming is the thing that I like most, and I have some games I've played that I'd like to share in shotgun blast picture style.  

This post is kinda wordy, kinda long, has bad jokes, and full of pics.
The way I like'em.  It's the most fun on the internet you can have with your pants on.
But seriously, put your pants back on.  There are children in this post.

First Boardgame:

I went over to my friends Mr. PC house to play the best Starwars game EVER; StarWars Rebellion. 
Not only is it the best StarWars game, but it's also the best game of asymmetrical warfare EVER.
You can Trust me on this. I'm a stranger on the internet.  

What's on the board.
What's in our minds.

I actually didn't take pics of our game, that one is stolen from the internet.  Pics of boardgames are boring, unless there is a lot of context and providing that context takes time and talent that I don't have.  We all can't be Norm.  And recently Keith.

Just wanted to tell you about it since it's the best game EVER.  Especially if you like the three original movies. As the Rebel Alliance I saved the galaxy from the evil space empire.  

Speaking of space;

First Miniatures

As the Intergalactic Conquest convention is coming up and I'm gonna run my Star Trek using Starmada Unity rules; I though a refresher game was in order.  I invited myself over to the house of my buddy Mr. DJ of the elusive Lasgunpacker Blog cuz he is my Sci-Fi buddy.  And because my house was full of children and In-laws and a man can only take so much family togetherness before he fakes a head injury so he could be left alone for a while.  Mr. DJs very much biased and self-aggrandizing ARR (LOL) can be seen HERE.  he does have some better pics.  

There's not much to show except for my pretty Star trek ships swooping around the table.

Mr DJ provided the venue and the fun, all I had to do was bring the game.  Another good thing (besides getting together with Mr. DJ), was that I had redesigned all the ships and got a chance to test out the builds.  Mr. DJ and I thought they worked very well.  
I'd go more in depth about this but not everyone is a super space Starmada nerd like me.  

ok, FINE.

Previous Galaxy Class Starship Display

Updated Galaxy Class Starship Display

BIG differences huh?  Needs no further explanation.  Say Less Already.

Playing as the Federation I lost -badly- to the evil Empire and now the Galaxy belongs to Klingons.

That's one galaxy saved and one galaxy lost so far this year.  Luckily, they're not the same universe.  That joke works on many different levels.

First Game of Wooden Wars

One Sunday afternoon, after several days of the kids and the wife being sick, and finally starting to feel better; we were all lounging in our pajamas. I thought it was the perfect time to spring the Wooden Wars game on them, because they had enough energy to do 'something' but not enough energy to really argue with me about it.  

Oh, I didn't get sick, because I was sneaking cigarettes the whole time.  Smoking kills germs as everyone knows, it's one of its health benefits..  (don't worry, no one in my family reads this stupid blog, the secret is safe).

Refresher: Wooden Wars is a game played on the floor using wooden soldier flats.  Players can move and charge like any other miniature game, but shooting is done by throwing a rubber ball at the enemy and knocking them over.  Like a throwback to HG Wells.  
Primarily aimed for children, I invested into it as a game to play with my children and also thought it would be cool for family events, cub scouts, conventions with children, afternoon stuck at home, etc...

Introductory Bristish Force.
3 units of infantry, 1 3-gun battery, 1 mounted leader.
The French was the same.

Having completed an introductory force for both sides, I was anxious to have them play it.  I was also anxious about how it would be received.  After already investing a fair amount of time and money into the project I was hopeful that they would LOVE it, and I would feel justified.   

Also would feel better about the sacrifice I'm making on spending MY hobby time doing this project for them instead of miniatures for myself.  Fatherhood is a constant sacrifice.  
(which is unfair, especially in this case, because it's not like they asked for this).

At the very least I wanted them to like it and say it was fun. 

We split up into teams, the wife and daughter#1 (10 years old) on one team and Son #2 (5 years) and myself on another.  

Game took some time to set up
as Son#3 (3 years old) kept demonstrating his technique of how to deal with infantry;
Hit them with a Truck.
It was his nap time so luckily for us he fell asleep on the couch.

Son#2 wanted to play the 'the Blue guys."
because he thought the officer was cooler.
French force deployed at his feet.

You will excuse the mess the house is in.
We were in the middle of a sort through of old stuff when everyone got sick
and the project halted, and there it sat.
My wife will be mortified if she knew I posted pictures of it.
Luckily, she doesn't read the blog.  like ever.

Son throwing a ball at troops under his mother's command.

Action shots!
Blue ball starts in my wife's hand, and then streaks forward!
like a cannon ball. Like a wrecking ball.
But ill aimed as it bounced over.
Balls have to bounce at least once to be valid shots

Consensus: Lots of fun.  My wife, myself, and my son really liked it. Both children liked to fire the cannon battery as you get to throw 3 balls (one for each cannon) instead of 1.  
My daughter however, got more and more frustrated because she couldn't hit very much, and started to complain that "this isn't fun because I'm losing." as the boy kept making shots.  And I launched into a well thought out (some might say 'heated and annoyed') discussion (some might say lecture) on sportsmanship and how one can't complain just because they are losing and the trick to games is to have fun even while losing; and if if she's gonna be a bad sport then no one is gonna want to play with her.   FURTHERMORE; no one is going to be her friend if she whines and complains when something doesn't go her way.  This went over really well (some would say poorly) and was well received (some would say ignored) and ended with her quitting the game on an extended time out. 
And the long experiment of Nature versus Nurture continues.  So. Very. Long.**

First Game of Bolt Action

The even more elusive Dia of The Lost and the Damned and the Stunted blog came over to give me my fist ever game of Bolt Action.  Does every gamer have a blog these days?  Sometimes it feels less like a miniature game and more of a internet collaboration. 
This time I played host and provided the venue and food, while Dai brought everything for the game.
I took over the kids playroom.  Beat it children!  It's serious grown-up play time.

looks like we both wore the standard white guy uniform:
black t-shirt and blue jeans.
How to tell us apart?
One of us is a handsome charming man with a shaved head,
and the other one is ME.

Dai has been threatening me for a very long time to demo me a game of Bolt Action, and brought along his winter themed Russians versus Germans setup.  

Dai really nailed the Winter theme

It's very cold in Mother Russia.

I elected to be the Russians, the attacking force against a German position.  Since it was my first time playing the game, I figured Russians were a good choice because if I did something stupid and lost a unit that I'd probably have a spare.  

Soviets advance...

zoom out, a HT coming in behind them with another platoon

Soviets (on the right) about to take an objective.

Soviets (on the right) trying to take another one,
and dying to a man, like Soviets do.

There's no real AAR.  There were 3 objectives spread across the Germans table edge that Dai had to defend, I had to take two to win, 1 to draw.  I got one objective and had a reasonable chance to take another one at the end of the game if the rolls went right and then.....

This HT full of troops needed a 9 or less to advance and maybe win me the game.
It rolled a 11, so instead retreated ALL the way to it starting position.
Might as well call it a Backtrack instead of Halftrack.

It was great to see Dai after way too long and his stuff is always top production.  I also really liked the Bolt Action rules and can see why they're popular.  And as always the sign of a good game and an even better time, the next day I was looking 28mm WWII stuff online....

and lastly...

**First Dance

I realize that some of you might think I was a little harsh on the little girl.  And I was.
Rest assured that we made up and had a more civilized and meaningful conversation later.
Fatherhood is also constant repair work. 
And the next weekend we went to the Father-Daughter dance (Hawaiian Luau style) and had a grand ol' time.  I know all the Taylor Swift songs.  Afterwards we went out to dinner for super big hamburgers with her friend.

Daughter and I making funny faces,
in MATCHING clothes no less.

So I can't be a complete ogre.

Thanks for reading,
Double Thanks for writing a comment.
Till next time.