Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Look what I found

I saw this box last month at Half-Price Books, but I passed on it at the time since it's missing the rulebook. But when I was back in that store this week, it was still there, so I grabbed it.
"It" being the Empire of the Petal Throne boxed set from TSR. It contains three maps: one of the city of Jakalla, and two parts that cover the land of Tékumel itself. The material for the maps is high-quality, almost vinyl, substance. Like I said, the box was missing the rulebook and record sheets that came with it originally, but I'm enjoying the art.

Friday, January 9, 2015

We got a great big convoy

I never did manage to grab the Last War Set 1: Convoy back when Steve Jackson Games was  still producing miniatures for Ogre. But now, thanks to the great customer service at Dibble's Hobbies in San Antonio, I have some 6mm trucks to use with my three-dimensional Iron Mountain Map and other Ogre scenarios that require transport vehicles.
Dibble's, a local hobby legend, carries microarmor as well as other gaming minis, so I went there on the off-chance that the store would have some transport vehicles in 1/285 scale.  I thought about ordering online, but I want to support my local shops, and I'm also an instant gratification kind of guy.
I didn't find anything on the store's shelves, but when I told the owner what I was looking for, he went into the back and brought out a dusty old ammo box filled with a modern microarmor collection that someone had sold to the store some time ago.
Bingo! He and I picked through that container and found a number of transport vehicles, all painted, and for a very reasonable price. I ended up with two HEMTTs, six duce-and-a-halfs, and four larger trucks that I'm not sure what they are (in the center above).
These models came with a pretty nice paint job. All I need to do is paint the windshields and give them an ink wash, and they'll be ready to roll.
And they fit in well with the Ogre minis, which as you can see are pretty big compared to the trucks--which makes sense, because in-universe that Jaeger is a heavy tank compared to the MBTs of the early 21st century. And putting a duce-and-a-half next to a Mark V shows you how massive those cybertanks would be in real life.
So who wants to play out Iron Mountain and see if that convoy can make it across the map?  Big Ben, this here's the Rubber Duck, and I'm about to put the hammer down ....

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Dunes is here!

At long last, Slumbering Ursine Dunes, an old-school sandbox setting that Chris Kutalik, our creative DM, created as part of his Hill Cantons campaign and turned into a full-fledged adventure module via Kickstarter.  It has a distinct Eastern European/Slavic flavor to it, filtered through a sardonic Austin viewpoint that predates hipsters by a generation. And there's a whole lotta stuff in there that we tabletop players never saw during our games.  There are some great ideas in this adventure, so check it out.
Also in the package I received, Original Edition Delta: Book of War, from the author of Delta's D&D Blog--it's a medieval/fantasy miniatures wargame rules based directly on old-school D&D.  One figure represents 10 men, and combat is resolved by rolling d6s, allowing DMs to fight out those large battles without taking forever.  I like the simplicity of this ruleset, and I'm looking forward to trying it out.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Iron Mountain: Now in 3-D!

I haven't played HeroScape in a looooong time, but I've been thinking about how convenient that game's modular hex terrain system is for even longer.  The hexes that come with this now out-of-production skirmish game are about the same size as the map spaces in Battletech or Ogre--big enough to use miniatures.
So when the urge struck me yesterday, I put together a three-dimensional version of the map for the Ogre scenario Iron Mountain (found in The Ogre Book).  This battle involves an Ogre Mark III-B pursuing a convoy of trucks containing rocket fuel down a narrow mountain road.  The transports are guarded by a handful of conventional units; it's a race to see if the vehicles can get from one end of the road to the other.
This is the only Ogre/GEV scenario I know of that takes line-of-sight into account: the mountainsides block fire, and due to the narrow path, the Ogre can only shoot half of its weapons at any single target.
As you can see, the HeroScape hexes are roomy enough to fit this Ogre Mark III (I unfortunately don't own a III-B in metal) as it chases the slow-moving convoy.
I didn't actually play a game; time and space limitations forced me to break down this map after a short while.  But if I can spark local interest, I'll put this map together again and actually play out the Battle of Iron Mountain.  (By the way, anyone know where I can get some 1/285 trucks suitable for this setting?)

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Gaming plans for the new year

It's time to get back to what inspired me to start this blog: Spaceships. 

I own more starship minis than I will ever be able to get on the table at the same time, so I don't plan on buying anything else.  I do have a few Entomalian ships that I need to get painted.  But my main goal for the coming year is to put on a large (eight-player) scenario using as many of those models as I can, along with all my set dressing: planets, asteroids, space station.  I want to playtest it, run it for the local group, and take it to a game convention.  I want to call it Operation Bug Tussle.

I also want to expand, refine, and run Siege of Monopolis for Ogre again.  I also want to play some D&D, and maybe run a skirmish campaign.  I want to play in a Hordes of the Things campaign.  But most of all I want to just game on a regular basis.

What do you want to do, gaming-wise, in 2015?