Monday, 24 November 2014

Weekend Warmaster

Dave and I played some more Warmaster over the weekend, and a couple more games a few days ago.

We were initially planning on switching to Hail Caesar, but decided to stick to Warmaster a little longer, and I think we're at the point where we're nailing all the niggly things, such as multiple combats, and the moving, pursuit, and fallback moves.

The other day we played a couple of games, first starting with a 1000 point game, and then trying to get in a 2000 point game later in the evening. We were getting tired late into the 2000pt game, and that ended when Dave killed my general.

Yesterday's game--back to 1000pt Undead vs Undead while we come to grips with it again--went very well, and was a very narrow victory for Dave. We decided to cut down the width of the table as well, to about 4'. I think 4'x4' is an excellent size for a 1000pt game.

One of the other great things we did was plonk a city right in the middle of the table with some lines of trees blocking visibility across the battlefield. Later in the game, I managed to lure his chariots into the city where he was surrounded by trees. Then I sent my archers in, and made him fall back into the trees, destroying the remains of that unit.

Very enjoyable, and now I think I'm remembering why I loved the game so much in the first place. I really should have taken pictures, but I guess I thought the games were just going to be run-of-the-mill trial and error games. As it turns out, they were so much more than that. So next time, I'll make a point of taking photos regardless.

At some point in the near future we're planning on taking other armies so that we can learn the Confusion rules. ;)

Monday, 3 November 2014

I think I try to play too many games

So here's my conundrum. I like wargaming, but I have 30,000* other hobbies which I try to devote some attention to every now and then (*may not be exact number).

I also try to play most wargames, but I'm finding that more and more lately, I can't find the time to read a complete set of rules. Most of them are just so unnecessarily long-winded that I just find myself nodding off or going to do something else.

The new Osprey books are great. They are nice concise books, that manage to pack all the rules and fluff into small packages with a low page count. And the couple I've browsed through are also well written. That's a big thing that's missing in a lot of rulebooks.

As much as I dislike the price-gouging of Games Workshop, I still find myself loving and playing their Specialist game line. Although, I'm starting to realise that the nostalgic warm fuzzy feeling I used to get doesn't match up with the current reality of trying to play them. While they had a lot going for them, many of them also had pretty horrendous flaws. Whether that's tables that have to be looked up for determining combat results, or whether it's a full page damage flow chart with uber descriptive text as per Adaptus Titanicus, in some way, I find something about them I don't love.

Games change, and with that, as gamers, we're exposed to a shifting landscape of mechanics. Often times, old mechanics are superceded by updated, streamlined, or more logical ways of playing.

Warmaster, for example, has been inspirational toward games such as the Commander series of games (ie; Blitzkrieg/Cold War/Future War Commander), and Black Powder and Hail Caesar.  Every one of those games shows a natural evolution to the Warmaster mechanic, and each one of them is better than the original game that they took inspiration from.

But I also play a lot of other games.

Saga, for example, is an excellent Dark Ages skirmish game. It uses a battle board, in which players roll special dice and allocate the results to their special abilities, or their movement actions on the board. It's a lot of fun, although I hear that you have to play each period specifically because mixing forces from the different books results in very unbalanced games.

Airwar C21, which is a modern air combat game. I've played it once and really want to play it again, but I ordered a physical copy in January 2014 and the author has not delivered it to me. Long story short, after waiting a over a month, I tried getting in touch with him, but he didn't answer his emails. I posted a comment in one of his blogs and he finally got in contact, and said he never got the payment notification. So he allegedly sent me a copy then. Another couple of months went by, and it hadn't arrived. He said sometimes things get lost in the post (it's happened to me once in 20 years of international ordering, so guess it's feasible), and allegedly sent me another copy. Another couple months went by, and nothing. At which point he emailed me a PDF, so I have something at least, but it's going to cost me to print it and bind it, and I've already spent more than the value of the PDF edition cost, so not keen on pursuing that game. I wouldn't feel good if any of my friends were to throw their money into a black hole.

Dust Tactics was recently re-released, and thanks to a new member of our club, I got into that. It's a pretty fun game, but like Saga, only played rarely.

I've tried getting into ancients gaming recently too, and I've dabbled with DBA, Impetus, Hail Caesar, DBMM, and FoG. Hail Caesar is the one I'm most happy with, but I've yet to finish reading the rules because they're so verbose. Not that they're badly written, just long, and I haven't had the time to get through it all.

Now, DBMM, that's a horrifically written set of rules. Wow, my brain melts trying to decipher that outstanding body of verbiage. The guys at my club insist I shouldn't read the rules for DBMM, that I should learn by playing. And I'm pretty sure that they simplify the movement rules. But if I can't grok the rules as written, then I feel like I'm doing nothing more than turning up and rolling the dice for someone else.

DBA and Impetus are "skirmish" games, and I want something I can fill the table with miniatures. FoG felt like Warhammer Fantasy Battle or WAB to me, and I didn't enjoy that.

So I guess that leads me to Hail Caesar, which can be adapted to be used for fantasy with minimal effort--because as my friend Grant says, "all ancients wargaming is fantasy." :) We've got a few more people in the club now that either play it, or are open to playing it, so that's a plus. It's not as much fun playing with myself, and certainly in public, nobody wants to see that.

Then for sci-fi wargaming, I will stick to Future War Commander. I loooooooove 6mm sci-fi. Love it. Almost as much as cheese and bacon toasted sandwiches.

The back of FWC has skirmish rules that I've always meant to try out, and certainly that would give me reason to use all those 15mm minis I bought a couple of years back. Plus those beautiful space frontier town MDF buildings from Krazy Ivan, of which I have a healthy buttock-load.

People at my club have been talking about resurrecting Mordheim and Blood Bowl. Plus there's a big push for The Hobbit, and a few guys have been playing Judge Dredd which looks interesting. I stopped playing Flames of War and wanted to find a simpler WWII ruleset, so might switch to Blitzkrieg Commander as I'm already familiar with the system, but again it's just another system to play, more miniatures to finish painting, and how often will I play it realistically?

Our club only runs once a fortnight, so I feel I'm playing a different game each time. I really think I need to sit down and focus on one or two games, and actually play them. As opposed to not playing 20 games.

And those games will most likely be Future War Commander and Hail Caesar.

But those Osprey books are reeeally nice looking.

I'm doing it again aren't I?

Do you have these troubles? How do you cope? What game or games have you settled on? I really need some advice, or at least to know that I'm not alone and that there's a support group for Obsessive Compulsive Wargaming Disorder.

Sunday, 2 November 2014

6MMRPC Project - Part 2

Apologies for the delay in getting an update out. It's been a bit of a rollercoaster here for the last little while.

But I've done some painting. And I even played a game this past weekend--Warmaster of course. :) Although we found that we were getting bogged down by the close combat, so we'll be trying out using the Hail Caesar rules to play with our Warmaster toys some time in the near future.

I thought to take some photos of the early stages of the Warmaster Undead, but didn't take the middle stage with the unlacquered bases. So here are some initial shots... these are the strips all painted and about to be based.