Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Western Front Game Convention

This past weekend Randy's House of Games in Sacramento California hosted the Western Front Game Convention.  The event had a wide variety of miniature and board games.    The following are several pictures of the Gaming area in the back of the store.



 
Next are some pictures of the various games on Saturday.
 

The Battle of Marathon using Scutarii.  Persians on left Greeks on right.
 The DBA tournament
 Saga
 Battle of Kursk using Blitzkrieg Commander.
 Treadheads, a tank skirmish game
 Cedar Mountain, a boardgame designed and published by a local Sacramento Gamer.
 Playtest of upcoming Jutland board game.
 Battle of Zama using Command and Colors.
 Another view of Kursk later in the day.
Battle of Callinicum using Scutarii.  Persian commanders discuss strategy.
 
 
I will provide more detailed accounts of Marathon and Calllinicum in later posts.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Waterloo

Manny Granillo hosted Waterloo at his new home on July 19th.  Scott was Napoleon, Kurt was Wellington, and I was Blucher.  There were 14 participants for the battle using Corps Command.   Napoleon was victorious this time.  The allies advanced their forward units off the hills and while they were able to slow the French advance, the casualties they suffered led to the allied army's defeat.  The first elements of the Prussian army arrived in time to see the Dutch Belgian cavalry flee from the field.   Photos were taken with my phone.
 view of the battlefield from the west
 French army.
 Allied army.  Prussian 2nd in command in background.
 The French advance

 
Dutch Belgian cavalry leaving the field.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Spaceships

One group of items needed for Human Space were spaceships.   At this point I have decided to use Brigade Models British ships for the Federation, the German ships for the Pantharii Imperium, the Indonesian ships for the Dominion, and the American ships for the aliens.  All were given a flat black primer coating.  The various factions are covered in a previous post at
 
Two views of an alien dreadnaught in the back, a Dominion battle cruiser to its front, a federation destroyer at the bottom left, and a Pantharii destroyer at the bottom right.

I had considered using one of two different rule sets.  These are 2300 AD Star Cruiser
http://www.wargamevault.com/product/421/2300-AD-Star-Cruiser?term=star+cruiser+&it=1

and Saganami Island Tactical Simulator
http://www.wargamevault.com/product/140093/Saganami-Island-Tactical-Simulator-Rule-Book?term=saganami

Saganami is based on David Weber's Honorverse series of books.  The space battles in his books are some of the batter hard science fiction instead of the Star Wars space opera battles.  Star Cruiser is actually quite similar when it comes to types of weapons and types of defensive systems.  The propulsion systems are entirely different though.  They both take into account stealth and detection of targets.  The movement and firing mechanisms in Saganami are also more complex.

At this point Star Cruiser will most likely be the rule system that I use.  While it is a two dimensional board game the movement and game systems are easily adaptable to 3 dimensions.  It also includes a manual for designing your own ships.   Saganami looses out due to a lack of rules for designing and building your own ships.   Saganami uses the same basic rules as Attack Vector and Squadron Strike from Ad Astra Games.  Ad Astra has a ship building tool for Squadron Strike.  However, it is only available if you purchase the $60US boxed game with a serial number.  There are also some other utilities available for creating box miniatures for the game, but these require a subscription service.

The items I was looking for in a rule set were:
three dimensional movement

defensive systems like modern day stealth capabilities, electronic counter measures, point defense, armor, decoys, shields.  Shields are a bit of a question though as a shield that would stop a beam weapon or object would also tend to leave a ship blind as it would have to block all types of electro-magnetic waves/light.

sensors for detecting other ships/objects, both passive and active.   Passive would detect heat, particle or electromagnetic emissions.  Active would be similar to radar where a beam/signal is sent that bounces off the object and is returned to the sender.  Of course, this would also make the emitter a highly detectable target (here I am, shoot me!)

Weapons such as beam or missiles.   Beam weapons would have an almost infinite range as there is almost nothing in space to stop or disperse them.  However, they cannot change direction and if the target moves out of the path of the beam before contact,  that would determine the maximum range based on the speed of light, the space, and time per turn scales.  Modern day missiles have programmed targeting such as cruise missiles or target guidance systems that an operator  can use to guide the missile to the target.  These allow the missiles to track a target over a much greater distance than a direct fire beam weapon would be capable of hitting.

Sensor drones.  Devices to aid in detecting enemy ships and guiding missiles to a target.  If using active sensors then it could also allow friendly ships to "hide" behind the emissions of the drone. 

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Converting Hellenistic Generals

While the four main 6mm miniatures manufacturers make Greek generals, none of the mounted generals are armed with the Xyston as used by Alexander the Great, his successors, or other Hellenistic generals.  The Greek general pack from Baccus includes nine mounted generals and eight foot figures.  The foot figures are fine for hoplite armies, but the mounted figures are either armed with swords or pointing.  Baccus has also released a pack of Prodomoi for their successor range which are dynamically posed.

In order to create generals armed with Xystons some conversion work was needed.  The first picture shows the Prodomoi strip at the top and the generals at the bottom.   The tool I used to swap heads from the middle general figure to the last prodomoi figure is a rail cutter from a model railroad supplier.  This tool is designed to create a flat cut on one side instead of an angled cut on both sides.  This allows the head to be joined to the body with a smooth flat surface for both the head and body making a stronger join using super glue.

Figures and cutting tool
Converted figure on the left.

I also had a Baccus companion cavalry figure that had broken at the legs.  I cut the xyston off and glued it to the pointing figure of the general strip.   Using some scrap pieces I added the rear part of the xyston to the figure and also to the middle figure keeping the sword as the front part of the xyston.  The position of the rear general's arm and sword prevents it from being converted without repositioning it.   Checking the Baccus catalog I also noticed that the Italian infantry and cavalry had feathered helmets that might be used for additional conversions and have ordered them.  It will be a few weeks before they arrive.  The Italians will also be useful for Pyrrhus Italian allies.

Now it is time to finish painting the generals.

The other conversions.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Society of Ancients Battle Day - the Battle of Hydaspes at the Fremont Game Kastle hobby shop

On Saturday March 28th we re-fought the Battle of Hydaspes.   Charles Lee was Alexander, Ken Mackie was Porus, and Dan (Regicide) Rygasewicz was his subordinate for the first two battles.  
Sedov Svjatoslav  replaced Dan for the third game and then took over for Ken when he had to return home. 
 
Rules used were Scutarii from Hoplite Research
http://www.lulu.com/shop/william-butler/broadswordscutarii/paperback/product-21971341.html
Available in the UK from Caliver books
http://www.caliverbooks.com/searchcat.php?words=scutarii&price=&period=
 
The Indian army was given a choice of three deployment options:

Arrian's 200 elephants on a frontage of 100 feet per elephant with the infantry five ranks deep.
120 elephants with the infantry ten ranks deep, but with a reduced morale rating of 8 instead of 9.
A 20 rank deep infantry formation with a morale of 9, but only 85 elephants.
The Macedonians were allowed free deployment after the Indian army was deployed.  There was also the option of arming the Hypaspists with either spears or pike.   Pike was chosen for all three games.
 
Ken chose to use the ten rank deep formation for the first two battles and the 20 deep formation for the third.  The first two games ended during the third turn when Dan slew Alexander.   The third game was a Macedonian victory as about half the Indian army fled from the field by the seventh turn.
Alexander did not lead the right wing Macedonian cavalry for the third battle, but instead stayed near the center of the army.   The first two battles saw the Macedonians attack the Indian left flank.   For the third battle Charles deployed the phalanx and most of his army on the left and some cavalry on the right.  A reverse of the historical battle.  Charles deployed the Macedonian heavy infantry in 8 ranks instead of 16.
 
We started at noon and finished at 7 PM.
 
Army values
MACEDONIAN
UNIT
ATTACK
DEFENSE
MISSILE
MOVE
MORALE
POINTS
UNITS
TOTAL
ALEXANDER
ADD 2
X
X
14
+/-2,1, OR 0
free
1
0
 
GENERALS
ADD 1
X
X
14
+/- 1 OR 0
free
3
0
 
COMPANIONS
5
5
X
12
11
10
7
70
 
HYPASPISTS 1
5
6
X
6
11
10
x
0
 
HYPASPISTS 2
4
6
X
6
11
10
6
60
 
PHALANX
3
6
X
6
11
9
4
36
 
AGRIANIANS
3
5
2"
6 OR 8
11
8
2
16
 
ARCHERS
2
4
6"
6 OR 8
11
8
4
32
 
HORSE ARCHERS
2
4
4"
12 OR 14
11
9
2
18
 
LIGHT HORSE
3
4
2"
12 OR 14
11
8
2
18
250
INDIAN
UNIT
ATTACK
DEFENSE
MISSILE
MOVE
MORALE
POINTS
UNITS
TOTAL 1.2
TOTAL 3
ELEPHANT
4
6
4"
8
10
13
30 or 21
390
273
HORSE
3
5
X
12
10
8
8
64
64
CHARIOT
4
5
4"
10
10
8
6
48
48
INFANTRY 3
2
4
6"
6
9
5
46
0
230
INFANTRY 1,2
1
4
6"
6
8
3
45
135
0
GENERALS
ADD 1
X
X
14
+/- 1 OR 0
free
4
0
0
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
637
615
 
 
 Game 1  Initial Indian deployment.  There was a one foot space from the edge of the table to the left end of the Indian army.   This placed some of the infantry and all the right wing cavalry and chariots off table
 Initial Macedonian deployment.

 Ken and Dan moving their army.
 The Indian right wing cavalry and chariots start moving towards the left.
 The right half of the Indian battle line drifted left to create a space for the right wing chariots and cavalry to move through
 Macedonian right wing cavalry being charged by Dan's chariots and cavalry
 Ken reacts to the news that the Macedonian left wing cavalry has followed his right wing cavalry and is arriving at the table edge.
 The death of Alexander.
 Game 2  Initial deployment.  This time the Indian line was shifted to the left in order to place all the infantry on the table
 The right wing Macedonian cavalry moves around the left flank of the Indian army.
 The armies advance.  The Indian army held back its left wing infantry.
 Dan's cavalry and chariots charge Alexander and the companions
 Macedonian skirmishers trade shots with the Indian elephants.
 Alexander is slain again by Dan's chariots.
 Game 3  Ken chose to use the deep infantry formation with 85 elephants
 Charles Lee positions his army

 The Indian infantry advances in a wedge formation
 Macedonian light infantry archers inflict casualties on the Indian right wing cavalry
 The Indian left wing reacts to the Macedonian cavalry.  Indian elephants drift to the left as they advance.
 Part of the Indian right wing cavalry failed its morale check and took some of the infantry behind them when they routed.
 skirmishing in the center
 Indian elephants and chariots chase off the skirmishers.
 Sedov takes over from Ken as Porus
 Indian infantry reacts to Macedonian light horse in their rear by about facing the rear units.

The moment before the right half of the Indian army routs.  Every unit from the point where the rear lines are separated and the front line angles would flee from the battlefield.

The Indian army had 96 cavalry figures, 6 chariots 50+ elephants, and 1104 infantry figures.  The Indian army was mostly Heroics and Ros and Baccus with some Irregular elephants.

The Macedonian army had 560 phalangites and hypaspists, 96 light infantry archers and javelin men, 32 light cavalry, and 84 companions.   Companions were Baccus, light cavalry a mix of Rapier and H &R,  light infantry H&R,  phalangites and hypaspists Rapier.