Friday, December 30, 2016

High rise for 28mm

As I started to throw away the packaging for a new TV soundbar, I looked over the pieces to see if anything was usable for terrain or buildings for my miniatures gaming. I didn't think so until I set one of the styrofoam pieces on its edge. That's when I realized that I had the makings of a modern or futuristic high rise building for 28 mm figures! Great. Because I'm so good about finishing gaming projects.
This will be a representational model, not a diorama, so I'm not worried about fitting in stairs or being too picky about measuring movement. Instead of determining movement based on a figure's speed, I'll adjudicate it based on location and how long it takes to get there--so maybe one activation to get from one side of a level to the other, but two actions to move between floors. And yes, I consider that shaft to be open to all the levels, so you can have line of sight (and therefore shooting!) between characters on different levels. Now let's see if I ever follow through on this.

Monday, December 26, 2016

More minis for Frostgrave

Other than for D&D, I don't really buy new figures for my games, but I've been doing that lately for Frostgrave. The game's light background allows (even encourages) players to customize their warbands and give them unique backstories, all without having to purchase very many miniatures.
That said, I invested in some troops to bolster my wizard's forces as they scour the frozen city for treasure. These Anhurian soldiers from Reaper will fill in nicely as archers, crossbowmen, and other martial types. And in addition to Frostgrave, they will serve well as guards or soldiers in D&D or Song of Blades and Heroes.
I like the Bones line of minis from Reaper because they're cheap, easy to paint, and easy to modify if you're so inclined. And while there's an official line of Frostgrave plastic figures, I'm gonna go with the Bones for my warband.
I also bought some barrels to help with another group of figures I'm working on. More about that later. Hope y'all had a great holiday!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Christmas in Frostgrave (or: Santa's Slay Ride)

I've started playing Frostgrave on a regular basis at Dragon's Lair in Austin, and last week John, the guy who introduced me to the game at MillenniumCon, ran a holiday scenario with four players taking part.
Our warband is sitting around the fire when in walks a tiny elf (not depicted), who tells us that Santa's sleigh has crashed and leads us to the area. The small creature notes that strange gobbling sounds have come from the area. Coincidentally, the other warbands show up, also led by tiny elves (not depicted with miniatures).
The area is scattered with snowmen, candy canes, decorated trees, and gloves and boots and hats and present--parts of Santa! If we can get these components back to the sleigh, we can revive Saint Nick. In a rare spirit of holiday cooperation, all the warbands decide to work together to help Kris Kringle.
There's treasure in the snowmen, but messing with it brings them to life, and we have a fight on our hands.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

About Rogue One ...

Go see it.

To analogize: If the original Star Wars movie* was The Dam Busters, then Rogue One is The Dirty Dozen. While the morality in original trilogy might have been black-and-white, in this joint it's very, very, gray.

I liked it better than The Force Awakens. Compared to that film, Rogue One doesn't feel like it's trying so hard to be a Star Wars movie. From a wargaming perspective, I'm sure you'll get plenty of scenario ideas from the many battles.

Like I said, go see it.

*A New Hope to all you kids who should get off my lawn!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Tis the season ...

... for deeply discounted holiday decorations that can be adopted for gaming. I purchased two 18" x 36" Lemax landscape accent mats (pictured above with Heroscape figures for scale) at Michael's craft store for 60 percent off.
The mats, intended for a Christmas village display, will work great as paving when laying out frozen ruins for Frostgrave or terrain for Song of Blades and Heroes. At $10 each after the discount, I picked up the last two on the store shelf. I also grabbed two of these brick and cobblestone road packs, from the same company, for less than $3 each. The cobblestones are sort of setting-agnostic, while the bricks will fit right in with modern scenery for All Things Zombie.
Christmas decor can be a great help to terrain makers. So what other holiday scenery have you found that is easily adaptable to miniatures gaming?

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Frostgrave at MillCon

I'd been hearing good things about Frostgrave, the fantasy skirmish game from Osprey, so when I saw a game for newbies on the schedule at MillenniumCon, I quickly signed up to play.
The GM was John, and he had warbands ready for all the players. The idea behind Frostgrave is that you play a wizard seeking magical treasure in the frozen ruins of a great city. 
You have an apprentice and hirelings--thugs, men-at-arms, treasure hunters, etc.--to help you find and carry off loot.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Hail Caesar at MillCon

One of the advantages of attending a wargames convention is that you get to try out rules you've never played before. And since MillenniumCon is put on by the Lone Star Historical Miniatures group, there were plenty of games that focused on past battles. One of these was Hail Caesar, by Warlord Games.
The GM was Pete, and he and his friends had set up a six-player game with Romans facing Carthaginians and other enemies of the Eternal City. No actual scenario was involved, just a big battle to teach us the rules.
I took a legion of Romans that included skirmishers and field artillery, while the soldiers of Carthage brought a war elephant.
The minis all looked fantastic, and my legionnaires and those of my two allies fearlessly marched into battle against the barbarians threatening Rome. The game played easily and quickly, with rules to differentiate different troop types as well as different nationalities.
The Romans held the field against the barbarians, so hooray for us. More importantly, Pete and his friends are locals, so I have some more folks to game with. I'm looking forward to playing this again.

Monday, November 28, 2016

The Siege of Monopolis at MillCon

OK, now that Thanksgiving is over, I have a chance to tell you how my Siege of Monopolis scenario for Ogre went at MillenniumCon on Veterans Day weekend. Turnout was great--seven players had preregistered, including my brother, and we ran into an old gaming acquaintance from our hometown and convinced him to fill the eighth and final slot. Other players were a mix of those I knew, those who had played Monopolis the last time, and those new to the game. In addition, another wargamer buddy who is one of the convention organizers was able to play some reinforcements toward the end of the game, giving me nine players!  
The scenario used the Ogre Designer's Edition hex-and-counter rules, but with miniatures, 3-D terrain, and a few tweaks and custom units. The map was my four-inch hex mat from Corsec Engineering. The terrain came from cardboard beer coasters, model railroad landscaping supplies, and Monopoly game pieces. The railroad track and train (which ended up not playing a part in the game) came from Micro Machines.
Three players operated the green forces defending the city of Monopolis. The other five played the gray attackers. Each side had a mix of cybertanks, conventional armor and infantry, custom units, and cruise missile crawlers. Oh, the cruise missiles. Each side also had objectives to seize or to hold, which each player drew from a deck of cards with photos of the targets. One of the participants on each side was designated the commander, and drew an extra objective. The players were free to assign objectives as they saw fit. I didn't expect the players to achieve all their goals; the idea was to force both sides to make tough choices. I knew I got it right when one of the attackers remarked that he didn't have enough infantry to take his assigned objective. When I told him, "Don't blame me, blame your generals," he replied, "I spent 24 years doing that."

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Loot from MillenniumCon

As always, part of the fun of going to a game convention is getting stuff: Buying new products, receiving prizes for playing in games, and scoring bargains at the flea market. MillenniumCon was no different:

For playing an introductory game of Frostgrave, I received these playing aids, a couple of figures, and some terrain. More importantly, I met some local players who have a weekly game at Dragon's Lair:

From a vendor with tables stacked high with old Citadel Minis, I tracked down some additions to my Oldhammer skellies and some Halfling mercenaries to join my Bretonnians:

At Ed the THW Guy's table, I bought a couple of rules to try out, and for inspiration in my own designs:

At the flea market on Sunday, I couldn't resist this Star Wars diecast spaceship for one buck:

Also at the flea market, I found some more Bretonnians for my Oldhammer project, as well as Kings of War (and other games):
The same guy also had some movement trays, templates, and tokens:

Finally, another flea market vendor had some Warhammer 5th edition sourcebooks, which will provide inspiration:

Lots to keep me busy over the next few months.

Friday, November 18, 2016

All Things Zombie at MillCon

I had the chance to play in a massive game of All Things Zombie at MillenniumCon last weekend. My brother and I were part of a 12-player scenario called "A Walk in the Neighborhood." Jeff was the GM, and he had a massive cardstock city set up on two tables in an 'L' shape. He also had Ed the THW Guy, whose vendor table was right next to us, help out with running the game.
The scenery looked great, and so did the figures, which recalled various characters from popular culture, including the mini that I selected.
My brother picked another figure carrying a firearm to join my wasteland warrior, and we entered the neighborhood. Our goal was to get as much loot as possible, and then get out.

Saturday, November 12, 2016


This is what happens when your cruise missile gets shot down one hex after launch and then detonates. Details to follow.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

MillenniumCon starts Friday

Millennium Con 19 is this weekend. I'm registered for some games (fantasy, sci-fi, and historical) as well as running my own game of Ogre. My gear is (almost) all packed up and ready to go. My brother will be there, and I'll get to see gaming buddies I haven't thrown dice and moved figures with in a long time. See y'all at MillCon!

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Don't forget to register for MillenniumCon

MillenniumCon is less than two weeks away, and you can still register and sign up for games until Monday at midnight. As of Saturday afternoon, there was only one player opening left for my Siege of Monopolis game. However, for those attending the convention who wanted to play some Ogre and didn't sign up, stop by the table in case we have some no-shows, and we can try to get you a seat at the game--or maybe you can play some reinforcements.

We have room for eight players, and it would be great to have even more show up. Or if you're not interested in playing, there are all sorts of great historical, fantasy, and sci-fi games at this convention. Either way, feel free to come by and check out the setup. Hope to see you at MillCon, whatever games you're interested in.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

More Monopolis points of interest

Not everything in Monopolis is photogenic, but it's all vital to the functioning of this 22nd century urban center.
This power generator complex is part of the Electric Company that keeps the lights on throughout the city.
The Water Works treats waste runoff and purifies river water to meet the city's H2O needs.
Monopolis Stadium hosts all sorts of sporting events, including Dreadball, Slaughterball, and Battleball.
Izzinanutter Castle is still home to a minor Ruritanian noble house, but most of this palace is now used as a museum.
The Túpharr Bridge one of two main crossings over the Monopolis River.
The Reading Railroad is another span that crosses the waterway.
Ghódurek Lítu Jail is a necessary facility, even in the eary 2100s.
Riveside dock facilities receive cargo and freight from all over the region.
The goods have a brief stay in warehouses until they are shipped to their final destination.
Chemicals are also stored and stockpiled at the Tank Farm.
These raw materials come together in the many manufacturing facilities around the city contributing to the economy of the entire region.

Monopolis. Advance to GO!