Saturday, 8 June 2013

BROADSIDE 2013 Setup

 Arriving at 4pm there was only 4 of us (more slowly trickled in and we got to about 10 all together). The first task was to unload two vans packed full of tables. Which is the first picture. I won't bore you with all the details, but some people helped more than others.... at the end of the second van it was just Alex (in the pink shirt) and myself.

The hall still had some sports equipment and we ad to wait for the "life guards" to put that away safely. Typically there was one young pretty girl who worked hard but could not lift a table on her own. This is not in anyway a criticism of her, she was more than happy to help. It is perhaps a criticism of the other staff in particular the young lads who just wanted to lounge by the pool side ogling the ladies swimming!

 But we got the tables laid out and had to shuffle them about a bit. The dozy twonk who drew the floor plan put no dimensions on it. So we could not work systematically, we had to get it laid out roughly and then continually tweak them. I know the drawing was to scale, but the scale was not on the drawing. When you get on site it is almost impossible when working as a team to get the tables in the right place as everyone has a different idea of how far apart they should be.... Mark please put dimensions on all drawings for the layout next time. We are wargamers and we can use tape measures! Honest!

By the time I left 3 traders had already turned up. Wargames Emporium, Warlord Games and David Lanchester Books. As I had a pre order with Wargames Emporium, they very kindly game me a 15% pre order discount. I paid cash and they got some beer money for tonight.

You all should know I will do the traditional loot blog post early next week. That's it for today. The show's tomorrow and I think I have everything ready..... there was a time when I wrote the rules at 4am the morning of the show for the game we were going to play. They worked we played that particular game 3 times on that day and got 3 different results so I still count that as a success!

Next blog no doubt Monday. But this should tide you over until then. All the best Clint

Friday, 7 June 2013

Finishing Touches

As you can see I have made a more traditional wind marker. In addition I have cut out 2 turning markers and a wind/Sail-speed marker. All these markers are painted on both sides and while for practice games we have used photocopies these have been hand cut from 3mm thick grey board (a type of cardboard). These are very useful in play so let's hope I don't forget them on Sunday.

I have taken today off of work just in case I needed to get a few things finished off. Truth to be told I am on target so I'm going to have a lazy day.

This morning I have varnished the ships bases and the wake markers. As they need 16-24 hours to dry they will be ready 1 whole day ahead of schedule. And for about 20 minutes this afternoon I will be applying a second coat of watered down resin W (PVA to normal un Sheldon Cooper type people) to the foliage on the two coast boards. Just to deter the shrubs and trees from escaping on the journey to the show in the back of Grahams car. So about 15-30 mins work to do and I am all done.

The boards look ok and they will function well enough both at the show and at the club should we choose to. Which is the point. I try to build games we can play at the club as opposed to one off game boards that are totally specific for a one shot game. Thus I feel they are more practical than some one shot games which may on the day look better, but have no longevity or further use once the shows are over. I must admit I would like to do a show game that looks totally fantastic but for now that's a pipe dream.

Tomorrow afternoon I am to travel down to Sittingbourne and help set up the tables, only 20 mins on the train each way. So I shall try to take a few pics of the pre show setup as well as the WIP of setting up a show. While Saturday morning I will be putting the fudge into teenie-tiny little bags so no one will overdose on the day and each will get a fair amount..... well that's the plan anyway.

I am so far ahead of the game that I have even placed some pre-orders with some traders for pick up on the day. One of which has given me a nice big and healthy 15% discount.

So with luck a post tomorrow evening. If not the next one will be Monday.

All the best Clint.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

A Fistfull of Fudge.

 Yeehaw! Yesterday I managed to finish 4 more Foundry Apache Indians as part of my continuing Wild West Endeavours. I say "continuing" as it has been slowly growing for about 10 years but with some very long gaps in-between (up to 5 year gaps). Anyway a few extras to take from the unpainted pile and shuffle over to the very crowded Western Wargames Box.

Anyway these four are armed with a mix of traditional and contemporary weapons some, like the cavalry sabre, have obviously come from a different source than the normal gun dealers. Again the figures have a lack of knifes, only one has a sheathed knife visible. I would imagine a knife would be a very common but I could not be certain historically and anyway figures are representational and not literal.

While I have no immediate use for these figures I will continue to add to both them and the Wild West genre intermittently. I do enjoy this period for skirmish games and a few more Indian options is never a bad thing.

I have even pre-ordered some Western figures from some traders coming to Broadside.

 Talking of BROADSIDE, I have made some home made chocolate fudge for the show. As you can see to the right. With the intention of gifting it to a few traders and some bloggers. There is a blend of 3 different chocolates in the mix. Not including the chocolate drops and chocolate covered raisins I have used for topping/decoration. Any bloggers who manage to get some should be aware that "Free Food has no calories" but that excess use of this fudge will shrink your clothes!

That's todays blog post, next one will be Friday. Due to the Show on Sunday when I would be due to blog again there will be a hiccup in my schedule over the weekend. I am sure It will get back to normal quickly after that. SO until Friday, have fun, take care and see you again on Friday.

Cheers Clint

Monday, 3 June 2013

The Good the Lead and the Ugly

At the club yesterday I managed to play two games of "Dead mans Hand" by Great Escape Games. Before I go into any details though I should say that I did find the rules for horses in the rulebook. So that's one hole filled.

The first game (I was referee as I had read the rules and Tim played "the Stranger" and Patrick and Peter played the town toughs.) all the figures and terrain was supplied by Tim so I can't take any credit for anything on the table, it's all thanks to Tim). If you have seen the film "A Fist full of Dollars" this scenario (in the rulebook) is where the name with no name enters the town and the three drunken toughs decide to have some "sport" with him. In the film Clint Eastwood did not have dice to contend with and kills the town toughs in about 2 seconds flat. Tim is not Clint Eastwood however and this is what happened in our introductory scenario.

Tim AKA "Snake-eyes" due to his uncanny ability to roll low, managed to wing one of the three but only very slightly. The bad guys had there turn and Pats 2 figures moved one to the left and one right. While Peter managed to play a card and grabbed a nearby hostage to hide behind. Tim took cover behind the cart and took a couple of pot shots at the Again it had some effect but was not exactly as impressive as Clint would have been. Peter and Pat kept firing at Tims figure and Patrick was out of ammo on the first shot. It's funny how often it happens in skirmish games on the first firing opportunity. Despite the skill level of Tim's character he was not able to make any killing shots and eventually the three toughs snuck a lucky shot past the cart (a natural 20) and The game ended.

The game took a while despite there only being 4 figures as we were all learning the rules. Quite a few cards were played by the baddies but overall it went as planned and we had four players who realised they understood the rules. One of the reasons for the length of time was that every card had to be read as it was a very new system and questions needed to be asked and rules explained. But overall it went well. SO I joined in the next game.

For the next game we played a straight points match (21 points between 2 players). "1 Points is what the rules suggest and usually makes about 7-9 figures a side. As it happened we both had 8 figures. Tim and Pat played the lawmen while Peter and myself played the outlaws. We started too far apart. All the outlaws were pistol armed so had a maximum range of 12". Patrick had a couple of guys with shotguns (very nasty) but with only an 8" range. So we had a few turns of manoeuvring and getting into position. This highlighted a flaw in the initiative system. In a deck of cards and including the Jokers there are only 14 different card values. (1-10, J, Q, K, and Joker) and with 8 figures quite often the two sides numbers equated. The system was just not as elegant as it read in the rules when played on the table top. It still worked it was just a case of dice rolling occasionally to get the turn sequence correct. My tactics were to close the ground as quickly as possible so I sent all my figures straight up the main street. Peter skirted to the right which resulted in my left flank being empty. Tim decide to take advantage of this open flank, which was my plan as it would mean him splitting his force and allowing me to bring all my guns to bear on a smaller number of lawmen.
The centre of the street got quite crowded quite quickly. As there is a closest target rule I deliberately had one of my weaker figures in front. We ignored the closest target rule as the game went on but it worked for a while as he did become a bullet magnet for the outlaws. Still he lasted a couple of turns up front, until Patrick started shotgun charge tactics. these tactics involved running up to within 4" and firing both barrels. At 0-4" a shot gun get +6 to hit if using both barrels and the rules say you can't aim a shotgun. Given that your first move action does not give you a to hit penalty and your second only a -1. Pat quickly realised that this tactic gave the best chance of putting someone out of the game. Ok It left them unloaded but as it only takes 1 of your 3 actions in a turn it really was not such a disaster.

Peter on the right was also faced with shotguns and seeing how deadly they could be decided to put his leader into HTH. Now just like "Snake-eyes" Peter can roll low when the occasion suits. As Peter charged into combat he received a +1 on d10 to determine the result. Both players rolled their dice Patrick rolled a 2 and Peter rolled the inevitable 1. It was a tie so no combat result. In the next turn they both rolled the same dice and again on the turn after that. On the final turn of the game Peter managed to roll 1 higher than Pat so inflicted a single underfire marker. If the dice rolls had been different the results really could have changed the game. But they just kept rolling the same number on a d10 as each other. Peter was using his other troops well though and between us we were keeping up with the casualty count the shotguns were inflicting.

The game ended with my leader out of the fight and 3 of my other figures, Peter lost 1. Tim lost his leader as he came out of an alley and tried to bushwhack one of my guys but then found himself being shot at from 3 directions. So eventually he died. Along with 3 other lawmen. Both gangs were on 1/2 strength or less (we were less) so we both had to take nerve tests. We were at +1 due to our extra casualty, but the lawman had lost there two best figures. So the Outlaws were actually in a better position. "Tim "Snake-eyes" rolled the dice and the rest of the lawmen fled the battle. While Peter rolled well and our guys stayed to have fun in the town.

Findings and conclusion: The rules are very simple and work very well. There are loads of holes in the rules and I would imagine Great Escape Games is already planning a few supplements to flesh them out. new weapons and gang types so they can make more figures and sell more set. I am perhaps being unfair in speculating this. I will say having played the rules that they do work well for a one off "fun" game between 2 people. They will work well as participation games at shows or for quick games when no one has anything else planned. They will need work if you want a mass club game with more than a couple of people. They will also need work if you want to have the same gang in several games IF you want to show any variation in weapons or experience. All these things can be done of course but I believe they should have been done already and to save you both the time effort and game balancing.

But for one off games they work well and give an uncomplicated game with little fuss or paperwork. No complicated rules and after 2 or three gun fights you will know all the rules. It will then depend on you to decide if it needs any more than was included in these rules.

That's it for today. Thanks for reading and more on Wednesday. All the best Clint.