Sunday, February 19, 2017

Check Your 6 - Great War edition...

Saturday afternoon at Day Con provided an opportunity to play in a game of Colorful SKies - which is a Great War flavor of the Check Your 6 game engine.  The afternoon's game saw a complex clash as each side attempted to lure the opponent into attacking weak planes with their fighters. Set during the Fokker Scourge, the game features Roland IIC, FE2B, DH.2 and Fokker Eindeckers.

This was an absolutely fun game. It captures the feel and spirit of the Great War while still delivering a game that is definitely a Check Your 6 experience. We had seven players - all CY6 veterans - and the game ran very quickly. Though offered as 'bait' and with no skill pilots, my Roland IIC were clearly superior to the FE2B in almost every respect that mattered - speed, crew capability and robustness. They quickly earned the nickname "Sturmovik of the Western Front" as they were so much more robust than every other plane on the table. 

I'm really enjoying that you can use the same planes from Wings of War / Wings of Glory on hex bases and your ready to game. This is what I think of as 'old school gaming' at it's finest. 

If you like World War One aerial gaming, you just definitely look for these rules.  I think it's marketed as the Colourful Skies product, but verify that with I-94 before ordering.


My trusty steeds - the Roland IIC 


The first pass - the FE2B engage the Fokkers and Rolands. One of my Rolands's shot up his own tail! (I rolled snake eyes back to back!)  I sent several turns attempting to unjam the rudder.


Having passed the FE2B, I passed under the DH.2 coming in from above. Still trying to unjam that rudder! 

C'mon dude!  We're heading into Allied territory soon.


A shot from the other side of the table. The Rolands  continue to lure the British deeper into the trap. 

Meanwhile the DH.2 and Fokkers are mixing it up.




The Rolands turn the table on their pursuer...

Fokkers engage the DH.2

Great War - Air Action, North Sea

2/18/2017 was the date of Day Con, the first issue of what we hope will become an annual staple of the Dayton, Ohio gaming calendar. As part of the days events, I provided a Wings of Glory game titled "Clash over the North Sea". The game features two opposing combat patrols - one from the British Royal Air Force (formerly the Royal Naval Air Service) and the other from the German Imperial Navy's Marine-Fliegerabteilung.  The two forces - while on different missions - encounter each other over the North Sea and engage in combat. 

RAF naval Anti-Zeppelin patrol

  • Felixstowe F.2A - "BN"
  • 4 x DH-4


    • Cotton/Betts
    • Atkey
    • RNAS "BI" x 2

Marine-Fliegerabteilung coastal approach patrol

  •  Hansa-Brandenburg W.29 two seater float plane
  •  Hansa-Brandenburg W.12  two seater float plane
  •  Hansa-Brandenburg W.12 two seater float plane
  •  Hansa-Brandenburg KDW float plane fighter
  •  Hansa-Brandenburg KDW float plane fighter
  • Friedrichshafen FF.49t wo seater float plane

Our Intrepid British players


The German players

Many of the models are products from Shapeways - for example, the entire German force in this game is represented with 1/144 models from Shapeways. You can see details on my experience getting the Felixstowe ready for action here  and on other posts throughout the blog. Bases for these planes came from The Aerodrome.  

The DH.4 are all stock Wings of War / Wings of Glory kits.

DH.4 engage the W.12 and KDW...




Scott's DH.4 take the left while Sean pilots the Felixstowe up the center.


Scott and Keith engage head to head.

The Felixstowe reaches the center of the battle



All the planes occupying a nice small space. The DH.4 in lower right have been mauled taking heavy fire and collision damage. 


Collisions! The KDW collides with the Felixstowe. The W.12 collide with each other! 

Keith did a good job keeping his planes together and fighting them effectively.
Even more collisions! That poor Felixstowe was a plane magnet in this game.

The Felixstowe is on fire! Remarkably, no planes have yet been destroyed...but it would not last.

Down goes the W>29, the FF.49, a W.12 and a DH.4...



...AND the Felixstowe.  The game falls apart. The F2A has burned up. A pair of DH.4 was destroyed. The FF.49, W.12 and W.29 fell into the sea.

At game end the Imperial Navy had scored a solid victory, still having three - relatively intact - planes on the table. The damage cards were unkind to the British. The Felixstowe drew three fire cards in succession sealing it's fate. A DH.4 drew the combination of a Fire card, followed by no left turn, no right turn and engine damage. Fortunately, it took enough damage we didn't have to worry about how to resolve the fire/illegal maneuvers that would have resulted from that mess.

A fun game - with the number of planes, I used double damage decks for both the A, B and C decks.



Thursday, February 16, 2017

Capital Navies correction...

For those that had purchased Capital Navies -  I was notified this morning that download file was the Publisher file was uploaded in error instead of the PDF file. If you purchased and downloaded Anaconda: Capital Navies before today, you downloaded a Microsoft Publisher file and not the PDF.

That has been corrected. If I read the system correctly, a notification was sent to all purchasers of the product that the new copy is available. Apologies for any inconvenience this error may have caused.


Wednesday, February 15, 2017

North Sea air action this Saturday at DAYCON - Dayton, Ohio

On Saturday 25 Feb 17, at the Dayton Gaming Convention I'm hosting a Wings of Glory game featuring a bevy of seaplanes for a North Sea game. Come see the Felixstowe and it's escorting DH.4 take on the mixed flight of German float planes including the W.29, W.12, W.4 and FF.49. It'll be a bloody clash of planes you almost never seen on the game table. All the German planes and several of the British planes are 3-D prints from Shapeways.

FF. 49

W.4

Another W.4

W.12

KDW


Short 184



Saturday, February 4, 2017

Anaconda: River of Blood - the Red River campaign expansion for Anaconda

New to Wargame Vault is Anaconda: River of Blood, a supplement to the original Anaconda rules.

Designed to generate tabletop miniature games simulating naval naval battles during the ill-fated Red River campaign.  This supplement includes an order of battle for both sides, a strategic map of the Red River that replaces the original strategic map of the Red River, tactical maps defining sections of the Red River and special rules modifications to the core Anaconda game designed to replicate the  events of the original campaign.  




What's new here?

- The strategic map of the Red River is expanded. The original game didn't really focus on operations on the Red River, mostly as the campaign was pretty much over by that point in the war. 

-  Tactical maps are included for each of the strategic Area boxes. None of these tactical maps were included in the original rules. 

- Starting order of battle for the Red River campaign listing the ships and fortifications present at the start of operations. This gives you a historcal starting point for the game and an good plan for what ships you should field.

- Special rules for giving the Red River the historical character that made it unique.  

So break out those late-war Union ironclads, raise steam and ascend the River of Blood...if you dare! 





Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Space: The final battleground...

...maybe.

Some random thoughts on game design.

I've spent some time over the last few weeks tinkering with a tabletop card game. The initial test was rewarding, but revealed some areas that needed tweaking.

Beyond the basics of game design, it's been educational in terms of exploring exactly how a cards for games gets produced and the technical limitations of general layout applications such as MS Publisher. Mid to high end design programs seem to be the order of the day.

It's also pointed out my limitations as an artist. I can produce very basic graphics - on the level of what we saw in games back in the 70's - 80's. But technology allows much more - multi-color, photo-quality layered graphics and custom fonts. Full color, glossy rule books and flashy cards seem to be the norm these days. Rule book pages with background imagery that sometimes interferes with the text of the rules. Is that really necessary? When I pick up a copy of the USGA 'rules of golf ', the rules are presented in a clear manner that focuses on the text and supporting diagram. Yes, there are a handful of 'pretty pictures' and corporate sponsor logos, but the rules are focused on game play.  

Which brings me to the question, how much of the enjoyment of playing a card game comes from dropping a card with a stunning graphic versus, the effect of that card on the course of the game? Is is a 'little of column A, little of column B' sort of thing? If the game is solid, does the look and feel of the card matter? Can a gorgeous, well designed  card mask poor rules and effects, but it's so darn pretty?


Monday, January 9, 2017

Anaconda: Capital Navies released on Wargame Vault


It's been a long time coming, but Anaconda: Capital Navies is available for sale via Wargame Vault.

A Campaign game for American Civil War Naval battles
The cover of Anaconda: Capital Navies


The focus of Capital Navies are the "Virginia naval campaigns" - the Chesapeake, Potomac and James Rivers.

Capital Navies includes two short campaigns, a long campaign covering the whole war and maps designed to aid in setting up the tabletop battlefields for your games.