Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Lunch Cart--WIP

Here some quick pictures of a 1/300 of a Japanese style food cart or yatai. I am in the process of making an outdoor market, typical of a lot of towns and cities world over. Even if there isn't an outdoor market, you see food carts and stand, particularly in cities. I'll probably make some variations. They weren't easy to make, but at 1/300 scale, I can forgive myself the first time out.

The GHQ US WW2 artilleryman is for scale. As you can see, the cart is a little small. Of course, the figure is on a thick base. I made it out of styrene plastic, construction paper, and some wire. The wheels I punched out using a very small hole puncher. You can buy various-sized hole punches at craft stores in their scrap book sections.

I've been working on some long tables to use as tables for market vendors. I will have those up soon.

BTW, I've noticed that the most posts I've made per month is five. With this one, I broke my record with six!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Battle of Yogurt Town

"Daddy, I'm bored...."
"OK, then let's have a war game."

Unlike her father, my 6-year-old daughter is not so good at keeping herself occupied unless she is drawing or doing some sort of craft. We've been having a lot of rain the last two days, so my daughter and I were stuck inside. She is out of school and her after school program is closed for the week before they reopen after Memorial Day. Today, we played store and colored pictures, but after awhile, there was nothing else to do, and I refused to play Barbies! Why not introduce my daughter to wonderful world of wargaming? This was actually our second game. We had a test game last week that pitted my Khurasan Miniatures non-Alien aliens against Khurasan's new Ursid Bearmen. I will have pictures of them up sometime soon. For this game, she wanted to be people (i.e. humans). I had some various yogurt contains and packing inserts that looked good as buildings; those made up Yogurt Town. I made up some super-simple rules. Everything is based on D6.

Turn Sequence:
Roll for initiative. High rolls wins.
Order is: move first, shoot second, melee third.

Humans: 2"
Aliens: 4"
+1D6 if figure is declared to be running, but figure cannot shoot.

Range for rifles and pistols: 6"
Range for RPG: 10"
Range for hand grenades: 3"
To hit
All hits are automatic kills
Pistols: 6 kills
Rifles: 5 or 6 kills
RPG and grenades: blast radius of 2"; 5 or 6 kills.

Figures must be in contact to melee.
Each player rolls one die, higher wins.
In Bears vs. Aliens, it was a straight roll. In this game, the Aliens got a +1 to the die roll.

None. You keep fighting until the last organism is standing.

The Battle
The sides:
The Mayor of Yogurt Town. Armed with a pistol
Lady Goo-Goo. Armed with a pistol and a lot of moxie.
Yogurt Town Militia
9 troopers. 8 with rifles, 1 RPG. None are armed with grenades.
Note: RPG gets three shots. After that the RPG-gunner has a rifle.

10, no weapons, just nasty dispositions.

Yogurt Town. The human forces set up.

The Yogurt Town armory

The aliens emerge from the ruins at the edge of the city.

The alien hoard rushes down the street...and to their doom!

An alien tries to sneak around behind a building, only to be stopped by a militia member.

Leading by example: the mayor, along with a trooper moves up to fight the aliens.

Lady Goo-Goo takes down some aliens.

"NOBODY MESSES WITH MY TOWN!" Yells the Mayor as he dispatches the last alien.

It was more of slaughter than a battle. The poor aliens didn't have a chance to close on the humans. My daughter managed a lot of good rolls on her shooting AND was cleaver enough to move her troops back several times to avoid hand-to-hand combat. Despite the loss, it was a good time and hopefully got my daughter more interested in gaming.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

AirWar: C21 Second Test Run

I finally managed to squeeze a game with another human being! It was very much a last-minute thing. Late Friday night, my friend called said he had some time Sunday afternoon. I thought, OK, lets have a fantasy battle, but I was swamped with various activities Saturday, so I had no time to come up with any army lists. So today, I whipped out AirWar: C21 and some jets and we had two games. I don't have very large tables at home, so we used centimeters rather than inches for movement and weapon ranges. Sorry, no pictures, but I don't think it would have been all that exciting. They were practice games; not part of the Gambusian campaign.

For the first game, I took an Israeli C-7 Kfir, and he took a Saab Gripen. Once again, it sort of felt like I was playing for the first time. It was pretty fast. His first shot was an AIM-120 radar-guided missile at me. It missed. I tried to get around him, buy using a barrel roll and turn but failed and was turned in a very comprising position. He didn't have to do much maneuvering to get in a second second shot. He failed to lock on to me, but he rolled a natural 10 to hit me. BOOM! He rolled a 12 damage and I was blown to bits.

In the second game, we took two of each of the same jets. This time, one of my Kfirs managed to hit one of his Gripens with a Python 4 IR missile, but I only scored a 1 on damage! The my other plane and his were nose-to-nose and in gun range, but he had the initiative. Rather than using his guns, he fired another AIM-120....poof! My plane took 12 hits. So, I had one left. One the next turn, he managed to get back around me at least enough to let loose another of those radar guided missiles, whereas I couldn't launch one of my missiles at him. Once again, he couldn't lock onto me, but his missile still scored a hit! I took more than half damage. From then on, I did my best to try to avoid him and fly home. I managed to avoid him for three turns, but on the fourth, he had a clear shot lined up on my tail. Just for fun he used a Sidewinder missile. It finished me off no problem.

Some things that we questioned. First, its not clear when you launch a missile and when it hits. There is an implication that in the first phase you lock on the target and the second it hits the target. We were playing that both happens on the same phase. Does it matter? I would think it would matter particularly for any sort of radar-guided missiles. I am not sure. It could be that I overlooked this rule one way or another in the rule book. The second issue is about movement. Do we use full movement each phase or only half the movement each phase? I argued that you use full movement each phase because each phase has a prep segment. My friend felt that only half movement should be used because any loss of speed would be more effective in the second phase. He thought that speed penalties imposed by a doing special maneuvers really didn't have much of an effect on things when you could pretty regain them in the following phase. For the previous issue, the fiddly turning template, my friend thought of a novel solution. He suggested gluing a small circle at the bottom of the bases with the different turn radii on them (see previous link on bases for 1/600 planes). Since the planes are on magnets, you can turn the plane in the direction you want to go. I'll give it a try. It may not be perfect, but it might be better than the turning template I now use. Meanwhile, I still plan to order a hex mat to play on. Even if I don't use the mat for C21, there are other air combat rules that I want to test out and can use it for those.

I still think AirWar: C21 2nd ed. is a very good set of rules. However, I would make a few modifications. First, I would reorganize it some. It seems like I have to do a lot of hunting to find the rules. Second, I'd give more examples. There are some, but they are sort of brief, and only cover certain things. I would have a section where the authors run through a sample game, illustrating the various aspects, even those that might seem rather simple. I'm sure that would add more to the cost of the rule set, but it might be worth it.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Protect the Queen!

Being overly protective, the Blue Power Warriors of Benedryl Prime, mistakenly took the Unfinished Vampire Queen's opera practice as a cry for help and rushed to her side to protect her. The Blue Power Warriors are Critical Mass Games' Kaamados Agaamid Infantry w/Twin Slug Throwers (I think). The Vampire Queen is a Ral Partha figure I bought long ago for a friend of mine and never quite completed.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

New Project: Modern River Monitors

The General's strategy (Operation: Ike & Tina) is based on moving down and attacking from rivers. I already built the small patrol boat, but I figure that there needs to be more firepower. I have no idea if any of these 1/300 scale ships will be used in any games, but they are fun and challenging to make.

The Plans
The former Soviet Union/Russia seems to have employed a number of river monitors within its borders. I thought I would design one based on theirs. The book by A. S, Pavlov, Warships of the USSR and Russia 1945-1995 (1997, Naval Institute Press) helped me find what I was looking for. There are two that I am considering.

The Slepen' is the larger of the two. It is armed with two T-55 tank turrets, plus 2 AK-630M 30mm turrets. The Shmel' is armed with a PT-76 tank turret plus a variety of smaller weapons depending on the ship. While most ships depicted in Warships of the USSR and Russia 1945-1995 have both a deck plan and a top view, entries for these two ships only had the deck plan. So, what I need to do first, is to make up top views based on what I can tell about deck plans. Easier said than done!

The Project
Once I get my top views drawn, I will come up with my own monitor design, based on a combination of these two existing ships. Once I've got my plans down, I will scale it down to size and build it much the same way as I did the patrol boat. The members of the Shmel' class seem to carry an number of different weapons including multiple rocket launchers, anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles, as well as anti-aircraft gun turrets. Therefore, I'm thinking of making a number of different weapons systems that can be swapped in and out. They will be held onto the ship by a rare earth magnet. Stay tuned for more updates!

Monday, May 2, 2011

A New Light Will Shine Forth

Last week, my light died out on me. I don't think that it was the bulb, but the light itself. It seems like it has a short in it because it kept going off and then coming back on. At first, it was once in awhile, but finally it got to the point where it was doing it constantly. This was not my first light. My original light was an old workhorse, probably from the 1950s, that was my uncle's when he was a professional graphic artist. It still works well, but it has one of those c-clamp bases, and I can't attach it firmly to my new table. This one that died on me is something that my wife bought at a garage sale. It didn't give as much light as old workhorse, but it did the job.

I've always wanted one of those OttLights. They are supposed to be superior to a regular desk lamp. They seemed to have come down a little in price since the last time I inquired, so I thought that it was upgrade time. I wanted the Better Vision Crane desklamp, but Office Depot only sold the Spin and Store lamp. Its probably just as good, but the crane lamp seems a little more maneuverable. I'm not sure how much they charge at other stores, but the Spin and Store was about $10 less than what the OttLight company is charging online. There was also one at Office Depot called the Vero Table lamp, whose bulb is twice as long as both the crane lamp and the one I got, but is arm just pivots up and down. I don't think would have delivered the light that I needed. We shall see how well the one I bought works.

On the subject of lighting, what kind of light do you use to work on minis? I was going to post this question on TMP, but I'm too lazy. Well, back to grading final exams!