A few weeks back I ordered more ducks int he mail. They have been sitting on my painting desk for a while. I primed them in Krylon silver, washed them in Citadel Agrax Earthshade, and then painted in the details. I am pretty happy with how they turned out.
My buddy Dave can’t get enough skeletons, but there is something about ducks that I think are fun and quirky in a game. I have space ducks and fantasy ducks. If I could find a couple of Pulp ones, I would add them to my collection as well.
I have accumulated a sizable collection of ducks from various manufacturers. It is becoming a sizable force.
I have been trying to talk Star Hat Miniatures, who make some really nice duck figures, into selling a sprue of assorted duck heads so that I can use them to convert other figures to ducks. Some assorted duck feet would be cool too!
As a result of Saturday’s developmental event, I updated the spreadsheets that we use to create units in LSNC: SciFi. It is a big Excel spreadsheet with a bunch of formulas and lookup tables. Players select some attributes about their units. The formulas then derive other attributes and determine the cost of the unit. Using these tables, average-ish tank battalions with some battalion-level support assets cost about 1500 points. I’ve asked Dave to re-work some of his battalions with these new sheets to see how his turn out.
Dave Wood, Greg Priebe, and I got together this Saturday for a session to work on the LSNC: SciFi rules. We focused on the cyber fight and spotting. It really needed to be a small event, because we were changing the rules on the fly, sometimes during the same turn. In the end, I think we worked through a number of challenges. There is only so far I can go in my head while running. At some point you have to put figures on the table and see how it works in practice.
I think the spotting rules feel pretty good. I was hoping to use the same spotting dice as the original WWII rules. We tried a bunch of different things but eventually came back to that. The trick was to reflect visible and thermal sensors at different ranges. In the end we are going to use the normal spotting dice, but go to long and short range instead of losing a die for every 10″, and add an additional (special thermal) die if the unit has thermal sensors.
The cyber fight worked very well, I think. At some point, I’ll probably ask Sally 4th to make some MDF “cribbage board” looking game aid to keep track of the status of the cyber fight. I also want to explore having special cyber dice created. Depending on how a side’s cyber forces are doing at penetrating the enemy’s networks, the side can hold some number of cyber effects cards that they can play during the turn. Both Dave and Greg used theirs effectively to slow down or disrupt the enemy.
Greg was having an unusually hot dice day, and he was spanking Dave’s forces left, right, and center even though Dave had the upper hand on the cyber fight for most of the game. Both sides started with identical forces in a meeting engagement. This was about testing the rules, not winning a game or testing a scenario.
At the end we started to test the radio frequency (RF) spotting and firing RF-guided munitions, but by that point in the game, Dave’s forces were shredded and we called it a day.
We are bringing the rules to a club game on 1 June, so stay tuned for further updated.
This week and weekend was my first full week at home since February. A little at a time, I worked on two more Photorealistic Sally 4th English buildings. One was the corner shops, and the other was the terraced houses. As with all the Sally 4th kits, they went together very easily, and the instructions were clear. In these photos, I am showing the three buildings I have from Sally 4th; I completed the pub some months ago.
As with all the Sally 4th buildings, the roofs and first floor (second floor for Americans) come off. I attached the doors with masking tape to act as a hinge.
Brian Ivers recently sent me another battle report of a WWII game he ran using Combat Patrol(TM). It is posted here with his permission. Thanks for an entertaining read, Brian, and thanks for the kind words about the rules. Enjoy!
The game is set on the outskirts of Arnhem on 17 September.
General Roy Urquhart, Brigadier Lathbury, and Capt Jim Cummings are holed up in a house in the town. Brig Lathbury was shot and being cared for by a family. Jim and Roy are in an attic avoiding capture by Germans searching house to house. An Elite British Para squad is tank hunting a couple of rows down from General Urquhart. This squad has no idea the general is there.
The scenario is 10 turns. The objective is to get General Urquhart out and back to his HQ “Before we have a bloody disaster on our hands!” The Germans have a regular infantry platoon in the town. There is 1 PZ IV with a squad of Elite Panzer grenadiers. Located at the crossroads to the West, is a Green training unit with a Pak 38 ATG. There are two teams supporting it with an MG 42.
The British have a scratch platoon of Regular Glider pilots, 3 teams; there is 1 team of Elite Paras and two jeeps carrying a 6 lb gun with Elite glider infantry.
The Germans move randomly with the bayonet symbol on their cards, until they hear firing. (On the Action Deck cards in Combat Patrol, there is a bayonet symbol that points in one of eight directions. This is used to scatter indirect fire, grenades, etc. In this case, Brian is a also using the bayonet to randomize German movement.) The General will activate on blue numbered cards, once a card is drawn a dice is thrown if it matches the blue card the general activates.
The Game Master card is shuffled into the Activation Deck. When the Game Master card is drawn, the game master will roll for reinforcements, doubles needed on 2d6. The Random Events card is also shuffled into the Activation Deck. When this card is drawn, random reinforcements are generated There are only two which synch with reinforcement card. Odd number dice roll = German, Even = British.
The training squad of Germans is just setting up their gun because there is some rumor of British paratroopers landing nearby. Sgt Hans Gruddelmann thinks it’s a drill of some kind.
Two teams of regular German infantry are searching house to house for British paratroopers. Lt Wolfgang Dinkle is at the town center, talking with the PZ IV leader, Sgt Fritz Bayer, directing him to get a move on to the road junction to support those green Hitler youth kids.
Fritz pushes down the road at a slow speed; his SS Panzer Grenadiers stay behind in the town.
Capt “Ginger Megs” Porter is in the lead jeep pushing towards the outskirts of the town. He was ordered to get in contact with the lead unit moving towards the bridge and see if they have seen General Urquhart.
Cpl “Tubby “Dawson has a flame thrower and PIAT team with him, and he is looking for trouble.
The Jerries are rounding the corner and are about to discover the Paras. Pvt. Dolcie Blankfetty readies his flame thrower as his mate “Jacko” turns on the regulator.
Dolcie lets fly and sends a jet of flame towards the German patrol, “Jacko you knocked my arm, you stupid bastard.” (Note: The yellow die indicates the number of charges left in the flame thrower.) (Also note the clear plastic flame thrower template available from Sally 4th.)
Two advancing Germans erupt in flame as their screams warn their comrades behind the hedge.
Meanwhile back at the cross roads, Ginger has his hands full with a MK IV heading his way.
“Out of bloody ammo!” Lt Harry Liles swears. The green bands indicate an out-of-ammunition result, as he attempts to kill the crew trying to man their anti tank gun.
Tubby assaults through the hedge and runs into another team of Jerries — half of the first team he had just fried with the flamethrower. The black dice indicates the German team to his left is pinned because it lost its leader.
At the cross road, the Para team flanks to the left of the tank crossing the road. They all throw grenades and get lucky as fritz and his crew bails out losing three crew members.
Liles team captures Fritz. Two green team of Germans catch him in a crossfire: one holding a farm house and the other a pig sty.
The team loses one Para dead and another wounded. A Glider pilot team pushes to the MG 42 Pig Sty position and hocks Mills bombs into it. They miss, and the MG eats up the Paras in front of them.
Meanwhile Liles draws cards to get rid of morale pipes, indicated by the green die, and ends up having to charge the MG42. He loses a man immediately, and another is wounded. The next wave of grenades kills the MG.
Tubby sent the PIAT team to the end row house, and they engaged another team of regular Germans pushing towards the sound of the guns.
General Urquhart and Capt Cummings draw the right card and decide to make a move.
He runs into Tubbies team. “Well done laddy!” says the general to Tubby. “We thought you were dead, Sir,” he replies. “I can assure you it was an error… Corporal, I need a Jeep,” The general responds. (Six turns have passed, and the general needs to exit the western map edge.)
Lt. Dinkle has a team of regular German infantry, which a Game Master card gifted him the turn before. He commits it to where the sound of fighting is coming. There is a German MG42 team in a house where the “?” is located. There Germans open fire on the British as they head to cross the road with the general.
A brief fire fight ensues, with the Germans getting the worst of it.
A jeep arrived from Ginger’s team and picks the general up. “We’ve only got two bloody turns to get off the map. For heaven sake, put your foot down Ginger!”
What’s left of the Paras and mixed glider troops keep the Germans busy near the cross roads, mopping up the trainees.
The Jeep carrying the general makes it off the map with a turn to spare.
Post script. This scenario was based on the scenes in the movie. We had a great time with this and a lot of fun things happened. The assault by Tubbies’ team on the closing Germans was spectacular; the flame thrower was very entertaining. The British player was super aggressive. This was the difference in the game. The Germans had bad luck with morale cards, but it seemed like the British were always pulling the out-of-ammo result when they fired. The fighting in the city was ferocious, and multiple melees made it a close run thing. Being able to pin and suppress the German forces was a key factor in getting the Jeep in and out to save the general.
The close assault on the tank was one of the coolest things we have seen since playing the game, as was Liles assault on the MG42, which was successful. Combat Patrol(TM) by Buck Surdu is an amazingly adaptable rule system, where individual actions are easily transferred into game play by the use of the cards. I highly recommend this rules system.
Work has been very hectic lately. I haven’t been home a full week since February. On top of that we decided to renovate our basement by adding bead board, painting, etc. As a result, my hobby time has been limited. This Sunday was the first time I had to spend in a while, and I completed some figures that had been partially painted and sitting on my painting table for a while.
The first batch were from the Sally 4th Classic Movie Miniatures kickstarter. Most were from Casablanca and The Maltese Falcon, but the ones (above) were from the television show, Tales of the Golden Monkey. It was a pretty good show that didn’t last long that tried to capture the Indiana Jones flavor. I think they succeeded, and I recently found this series on DVD and am enjoying it again.
These next few photos are a mix of the various other sets. The figures come with clear bases and these nicely etched wooden ones.
All of these figures will go well with Sally 4th’s classic movie terra blocks terrain. I will, of course, use them with GASLIGHT (specifically To Be Continues… by GASLIGHT), but they will work with whatever rules you use for your pulp games.
In addition to these Sally 4th figures, I had a few figures from other manufacturers on the desk.
If you search for Hinterland on this blog you will see pictures of many of the female hussars that this company produces. They also produce some sailors, trench raiders, and colonial infantry. This set is one figure from each of those lines who are celebrating something.
I recently painted the Women’s Land Army and women with various weapons to defend England against the Germans in hypothetical Sea Lion games. At the same time I ordered this vignette of medics treating a casualty. These are from Bad Squiddo’s Heroines in Sensible Shoes line.
While none of the Lost World movie adaptations have been particularly good, the book remains a classic. I think these figures have captured the feel of the characters really well.
If you haven’t seen the classic British television show, The Prisoner, you are missing out of fun — and brain warping — experience.