Thursday, November 11, 2021


 Well, I finally got around to writing this blog post about the 2021 Pacificon Game Expo convention.   Due to the Covid virus Pacificon 2020 had been cancelled.  Sadly, attendance was down from 2019.  Several of the local gamers had gone to Enfilade instead this year.  Normally, Enfilade is held on a different weekend from Pacificon, but this year it was held on the same weekend.

The miniature and board games were in the same room again, but the room was smaller than 2019.   The number of games offered was also less than 2019.   I ran two games, one on Saturday morning and the other on Sunday morning.   In all there were about 24 people participating in the miniature games  on Saturday.   My Saturday game was Breitenfeld 1631 using Repent or Die from Hoplite Research.   Sorry no pictures and an inconclusive result.  I left early from the convention after my game to take care of some things at home.

My Sunday game was Blenheim 1704  using slightly modified Rank and File rules.   The result was a French victory.   Afterword I participated in the Panzer Korps WW2 game.   I commanded the Germans with the aid of Keith against the two British players.   Our units started out hidden and visibility was limited due to the Bocage terrain.   

The British right flank force arrived first and was immediately thrown back.  After regrouping they again attempted to advance.   Meanwhile my ersatz tank destroyer unit had been sniping at them.

The British left flank force arrived on the second day segment (each day segment is two hours and can have 1-4 turns depending on die rolls).  Their advance was also halted by infantry and our other ersatz tank destroyer unit.   This unit also continued to cause problems for the British left flank for the remainder of the game.   The British never saw it due to attempting to spot the wrong location.   It was further away than where they were looking.

The British also had some offshore naval guns bombarding the area, but this fell on areas where our troops were not deployed..   We had deployed in depth with four infantry (panzergrenadier) battalions up front the two ersatz units behind them, and tank battalion and a nebelwerfer battalion further back.

We also had some anti-aircraft companies that were attached to various units.   The one attached to my ersatz unit caused the British air strike to break off its attack.  Time ran out with the British attack stalled and the Germans still holding all the game area that they had started with.

Below are photos of the Blenheim and Panzer Korps games.

Anglo-allied army on left and Franco-Bavarians on the right.

The following are from the Panzer Korps game
Initial British advance thrown back.   One panzergrenadier battalion on left edge of game area.
My ersatz battalion in its initial starting position, having been spotted by the British after causing them problems
The British regroup and advance again
My ersatz battalion had redeployed to avoid British artillery barrages on its original position.
End of game .   British are no further forward than their initial turn.    I forgot to take pictures of the other flank.

Friday, August 20, 2021

Sacramento Miniature Wargaming Society August meeting

 There were two games at the August SMWS meeting.   DBA and a modern armor game I ran using Lightning War - Red Storm.

LWRS is a free set of rules covering WW2 to present day and is available by joining

Each element in LWRS represents about 15 vehicles or 150 men.  About a company or a battalion of artillery.  Units are multi-company battalions.  Battalion units are grouped into brigade/regiment formations under a commander.   With several brigades forming a division under a higher level commander.   A player can handle a division.   

Units are rated for five levels of quality, and four to five levels of equipment technology.   Rated from a low of 1 to a high of 5.   Formation and division commanders are also rated from 1 to 5 and can have a different rating from the units they command.  With this rating system an early war PZIV would count as a class 4 heavy tank, but by the end of the war it might be only a class 2.

Instead of IGOYGO the game has an interactive activation sequence.   Players roll a die for each formation.  Priority is assigned from the highest score to the lowest.   Starting with the highest score each player can choose to move immediately or pass and wait until later in the turn with the ability to interrupt the sequence at any point.   If all the higher scores pass the lowest scoring formation is forced to move and the sequence is repeated until all formations have moved.   Combat is then resolved with air strikes, followed by artillery, then direct fire and finally close assaults.  Each phase is simultaneous and units can become disordered due to damage in any and all phases.   Morale checks are made for losses or situations and units can become fatigued and whole formations become exhausted ending their offensive capabilities.

For this game the opposing sides were two fictional Latin American countries.   The Peoples' Democratic Republic of La Cucaracha led by El Supremo Jefe Patronis and The Federal Union of Buena Vista ruled by President for Life, Elvis Narcisco.   The PDRC uses Russian equipment and the FUBV uses German equipment.

As a side note, on YouTube there are several videos of Chiles annual military parade.   Chile uses modern German equipment and has kept the Prussian military traditions.   Units in historical Prussian uniforms take part in the parade and Prussian military music is played by the bands.

The game matched the first divisions of both nations in a meeting engagement and lasted a full day of six turns.   Each turn is two hours long.   The FUBV was starting to gain an advantage by the end of the day.   The table was six feet by six feet or 18km by 18km at the game scale of 1cm - 100m.

Below are some photos of the game.  Most are from the north side of the table with the PDRC on the left and the FUBV on the right.   Mike O'Brien took the first two pictures.

South Bay Game Club August Meeting

 Once again I commanded a reconnaissance company from Rommel's Panzer division in 1940 playing Fireball Forward.  This time it was an armored car company with a motorcycle infantry platoon.   My objective was to either capture the bridge intact, dispute control of the bridge, or prevent the French from escaping across the river.

I was able to enter from any and all of the roads on my side of the river.   The river was only crossable at the bridge.   The French started in a village on the right end of the table on my side of the river.   Upon assessing the situation, I realized that capturing or disputing control of the bridge would be suicidal so I determined to keep the French from escaping.

On my first move I sent my motorcycle platoon down the center road with the objective of capturing the building closest to the road junction on the other side of the railroad track.  I had an extra initiative chit that I was going to use to accomplish this.   My first two squads came under fire from the Belgian anti-tank guns and had to dismount and fall back, the LMG and the third squad were not affected,   I then used my extra initiative chit and immediately moved the platoon again, getting everyone in the platoon into the building with the lmg and on squad on the second floor and the other two squads on the second floor.  

The French had two armored car platoons, a truck borne infantry platoon, and a motorcycle infantry platoon.  The truck infantry ran into the nearest building and the motorcycle infantry moved to the far side of that building.   I then brought my light armored cars in from the two roads on the right losing one from Belgian anti-tank fire.   The others caught the light armored cars from their rear and shot them up.   During the game both sides could score a chance to earn an extra one use initiative chit if they eliminated an armored car or infantry squad.   I was able to get two of them.   The allies did not score any.

I brought my heavy armored cars, mortar and platoon commander on the same road as the motorcycles had arrived on, keeping them out of line of fire from the Belgian AT guns.  Fighting for the town was intense.  I lost two of the light armored cars and a squad of infantry while eliminating the five French armored cars and one of the infantry platoons.   The mortar was very effective causing about 1/3 of the French casualties.  The French were trapped in the town and were not able to escape.

The Belgians had placed explosives on the bridge, but could not detonate it until at least one French unit made it across the bridge.

Other games at the club that day were the Second Punic War battle of Illipa and a a Napoleonics game.

View of the river with the bridge and a bunker on the left.

The town the French started in

The arrival of my motorcycle infantry.

South Bay Game Club July Meeting

 I participated in a WW2 game at the July SGBC meeting.   It was set in 1940 with a recon company from Rommel's Panzer division running into some opposition from Belgian troops.   The German objective was to capture the town on the other side of a stream.   Intervening terrain was very dense  with hills, woods, a stream, and a couple of buildings.  

The Belgians blocked the road with some anti-tank obstacles and I had to dismount the motorcyclists and advance on foot.   I had four infantry platoons and an LMG team.   Rules were Fireball Forward.

While I managed to make good progress during the early part of the game, I made a couple of mistakes as I got too involved in the fighting on the right flank.   I should have set the LMF up on the hill in the middle of the table so I could fire on the town and kept two of my four infantry platoons on the left half of the table instead of concentrating three of them on the right.

I managed to clear all the opposition on the right, but ran out of turns before I could assault the town.   The Belgians had two infantry platoons, two MG teams, and two mortar teams.  By the end of the game they only had one infantry platoon left and the two MG;s   I had lost a couple of infantry squads out of the twelve I started with.  The result was a marginal victory for the Belgians.

The view from my end of the table

There were several other games that day.  Pictures of them are below

Planes on sticks game

Monday, July 19, 2021


One of the more recent releases from Wiley Games is their "Starfighter" rule book. This is mainly designed for space fighters, but also includes rules for large ship actions. There are some YouTube videos for the game. 

I decided to convert the ships from the Game Designers Workshop board game "Star Cruiser". While out of print the game is available from WargameVault or DriveThruRPG as a PDF file. Star Cruiser is a very hard science space combat rule system. There are quite a few similarities to the ship combats and weapon systems in David Weber's Honor Harrington series. Although, the FTL drives are different as are the story backgrounds. In addition to the background history the game includes a good variety of ships for the different protagonists in the setting. There is also a ship design manual if you want to design your own ships. The process of designing a ship is very extensive with items like the power plant, life support, crew accommodations, weapons, sensors, etc. Fortunately, someone made an excel spread sheet where all you have to do is plug in the various items and just add as many hull sections as are needed to hold all the internal components and have space on the outer hull for the sensors, weapons, and other surface mounts. I used it to design a ship similar to the later designs of the HonorVerse. Most ships in the game could only launch one or two missiles per turn. The one I designed could launch 36 at once. 

I have designed my own background setting, "human space", for the space and ground combat games I have played. There are several posts on this blog with photos of the various ships, etc. These can be viewed by clicking on the labels for this post. The main human factions are the Panthari Imperium, The Domain, and the Federated Worlds or Federation. There are also a few dozen independent human worlds and some alien races. One of the alien races is aggressive xenophobes known as the "Blue Meenees" for their skin color and their high pitched screeching communications. Little is known about them other than the general direction their ships seem to be coming from. 

In order to convert the Star Cruiser ships I needed to divide most of the weapons and some other items by six to determine how many of each to place on a ship for StarFighters. Shields and armor ratings were only divided by three. Others systems like scanners, life support, crew accomadations, powerplant volume, etc. were ignored. Movement rates were adjusted to match the Star Cruiser values. This meant that ships moved a bit slower than the StarFighter rule book. I also made a slight modification to the ion cannon statistics and the lasers. This involved a bit of mathematical calculations. In the rules Ion cannons take of two spaces, cause two units of damage, can only be fired every other turn, and have a range of 2/3 the lasers. Since the caused equal damage as a medium laser the calculation was half the availability multiplied by two-thirds of the range resulting in a value of one-third the number of spaces that a medium laser would occupy. Since a medium laser occupies two spaces this would be two-thirds of a space on the ship. By increasing the damage from two to three an Ion cannon would occupy a full hull space, have two thirds the range, and only be available every other turn. This makes them more effective for the game, though ships equipped with them have to get closer than those with lasers. The rules for lasers were also modified to have them function as both an offensive weapon to attack other ships with and as point defense systems to destroy attacking enemy fighters and missiles. In theory ion cannons could also be used as a point defense system. However, if they have been used offensively previusly then they cannot do so and if they are used as a point defense then they would not be able to fire offensively. If a ship is being attacked by enemy fighters or missiles each point defense weapon that can fire into the arc that the attackers are in may engage one target defensively during the enemy attack. Firing arcs were also changed to a full 180 degrees from the 45 degrees in the rules. Firing arcs being determined from the cener post of the ship's mounting stand. 

The following are the statistics for the ships of the various factions. IC is ion cannon, L is light laser, ML is medium laser, M is missile, FB is a fighter bay, S is shield, A is armor, ATC is Advanced Tactical Computer (aids in targeting), RB is repair bot. Laser and Ion cannon firing arcs are denoted by F for forward, P for port, and S for starboard. Damage is the number of damage hits the ship can sustain (40% of hull spaces). If there is an F next to the movement rate then it is a fast ship. (X) indicates a hull space used for the fast movement ability or the second space for a medium laser. 

Pantharii Imperium (and yes, they are the pink Panthari.  Painted for my daughter)


Damage 1 2 3 4 5 6 


Damage 1 2 3 4 5 6 

CA1 move 6  LF LS LP M M SH A A ATC RB RB 

Damage 1 2 3 4 5 

FF1 move 6  LS LP M SH A ATC RB 

Damage 1 2 3 

 The Panthari Imperium focuses more on lasers than missiles.  




Damage 1 2 3 4 5 6 


Damage 1 2 3 4 5 6 

CG1 move 6F  LS LP M M M M SH ATC RB (X) 

Damage 1 2 3 4 

FF1 move 6F  LS LP M SH ATC RB (X) 

Damage 1 2 3 

The Federated Worlds prefer fast, lightly armored ships with more missiles than lasers. Fighters are only carried in dedicated fighter carriers. 




Damage 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 


Damage 1 2 3 4 5 6 


Damage 1 2 3 4 

FF1 move 6  LS LP M M SH A ATC RB 

Damage 1 2 3 

The Domain's technology level is slightly below that of the Imperium and Federation. Other than the new carriers and battle cruisers, ships use fission reactors instead of fusion reactors like the other two major human powers. They also favor missiles, but have included ion cannons in their designs. 


 Blue Meenee 

Alpha move 6  ICF LS LP M M M M M FB SH SH A A A ATC RB RB 

Damage 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 

Beta move 6  ICF LS LP M M M SH SH A A ATC RB 

Damage 1 2 3 4 5 

Delta move 6  ICF MLS (X) MLP (X) M M M M M M SH SH SH A A A ATC RB RB 

Damage 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 

Epsilon move 6  LS LP M M M M M M M M SH A ATC RB 

Damage 1 2 3 4 5 6 

The Blue Meenees use large, heavily armored and shielded ships. They do not have fighter carriers. There also tend to be fewer missiles and beam weapons than most comparable human sized ships. Examination of a destroyed Alpha found a mix of technologies that were both more advanced than and inferior than human technology. What appeared to be living quarters were very Spartan compared to those for human crews. Ship designations are based on the Greek alphabet. Alphas and Betas were the first two ship types encountered along with the fighters being designated Gammas. The massive Deltas and the differently designed (compared to the other ship types) Epsilons were encountered later. The third S and A values are redundant values for the StarFighter rules. They do not add any additional saving and eliminating one of each will not reduce their save. That is, a second shield space would have to be eliminated to reduce heavy shields to light shields.

Friday, July 2, 2021


With the lifting of Covid restrictions the local game clubs are having face to face meetings. The South Bay Gaming Club is holding meetings at the church again and The Miniature Wargaming Society of Sacramento had a meeting at The Game Castle hobby shop in Sacramento. The community room at the Charmical library where they used to meet is still not available for public use. The Game Castle had a 40K tournament last Sunday so the club was limited to three games. Two were in the private rooms and one was at a table in the main gaming area. There were a lot of well painted 40K miniatures being used in the tournament with at least two dozen players. The three games were Command and Colors Napoleonics hosted by Roger, DBA hosted by John, and Blitzkrieg Commander 2nd edition hosted by Keith. I participated in the BKC game commanding the Russians in the river crossing scenario vs Mike as the German player. The setting was late war about early 1945. The river had four crossing points two fords and two bridges. There was minimal terrain with no high ground, several woods, and several fields. The bridges were in the middle with a ford near each flank. I decided to have one force threaten the left ford and bridge, a second force threaten the two bridges, and the third force at the right ford. Mike was not as experienced with the rules and didn't realize that vehicles could not fire and move. His overall deployment was good otherwise with a strong force hidden in the wood protecting the ford on my right, another in the woods guarding the ford on the left, a third force in the woods between the two bridges, and some Tiger IIs and a Jagdtiger guarding the bridges. I was able to get mutiple activations on the first couple of turns, moving and then firing. Though I took some loses from opportunity fire and for a while Mike had the advantage in losses caused, I was eventually able to turn his flank on my right as I came across the ford. My left and center forces concentrated on taking out enemy units on my left and right as my right flank force came across the ford and the bridge in the center right. Eventually Mike's loses caused him to take a check for exceeding his brak point. Though he passed is position was now untenable and he conceded the game. I didn't take any pictures of the game, but Roger posted one picture of his Napoleonic game on the club's forum

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Projects for 2021 and completed projects from 2020

Back in January of last year I posted the following projects for 2020. Projects for 2020 are as follows: All are 6mm unless noted otherwise. 
Complete Late Roman/Byzantine army completed 
 Complete Sassanid army completed 
 Add cavalry to Achaemenid army completed 
 Finish Warbands not started 
 Make additional built up areas in progress 
 Make pine Forest not started 
 I have a dozen two foot square interlocking mats that have been painted a light brown to finish in progress 
 I have a bunch of 28mm Fantasy figures in various stages of painting to finish. Finished some armies, working on others 
 Add a few more 28mm science fiction building paper buildings. completed 

 In addition to the above I also completed a 28mm sci-fi alien battle group, sci-fi IFV's and tanks. I could have done quite a bit more, but spent the later part of the year doing things other than wargaming. 

This year I will be working on the items that were not completed. The 6mm warbands and the pine forest are the lowest priority at the moment. The 6mm built up areas, two foot square interlocking terrain mats, and the remaining 28mm fantasy have the higher priority.