There were many more HAWKs games than I managed to photograph, but these are a couple of interesting ones. I thought, for instance, that I had taken more pictures of Todd’s kids’ games, but I guess I didn’t.
A young HAWK who grew up playing games with us now runs her own games at the conventions using Blood and Swash.
Again using GASLIGHT, this scenario involved an American patrol moving to destroy the Nazi flying saucer. Because it was made of a special new alloy, the Americans had to get next to it and destroy it with satchel charges.
After nearly running over the German guard walking the road with his guard raptors, the first squad of Americans dismounted from their truck. They were immediately attacked by a squad of Nazi’s on raptors. Mike Miller, the raptor player, rolled really, really poorly. After a few rounds of melee, the raptors had destroyed the American squad, but were nearly wiped out themselves.
In typical GASLIGHT fashion, the game ended dramatically. The Americans had been roughly handled by the Germans in their advance. With just one squad remaining and Germans climbing over it, the Stuart crashed through the fence into the compound housing the Germans flying saucer. Several of the Germans on top of the vehicle were thrown off by the crash, but two remained on top. They pried open a hatch and tossed in a grenade, which caused the ammunition inside to explode. This killed all the crew as well as all but one of the Germans on top. The remaining American squad realized it could not push through the two remaining Germans squads, so it withdrew in good order.
When I run these GASLIGHT WWII games, I usually get a panic attack before the game. I worry that the modern weapons, most rolling several dice per shot, are going to end the game in two or three turns. The games have always turned out okay, but that doesn’t stop me worrying.
This game used GASLIGHT, but without any of the Victorian science fiction elements. It was called “Bridge Over Twisted Moose-Nose Run Near the Peach Orchard by the Wheat Field at the end of Devil’s Sunken Bloody Angled Lane.” I wanted to include all those features that seem to exist in every ACW battle. This scenario had it all: a stone bridge, peach orchard, wheat field, stone wall, sunken road, railroad cut, rocky hill, bloody run, river of death, slaughter pen, round forest, corn field, Dunker church, West wood, bald knob, hornet’s nest, and even an ironclad that had run aground.
All of the infantry in the game was mine. I borrowed the cavalry and artillery from Eric Schlegel. The infantry was a mix of the new Old Glory second edition ACW figures (which are VERY nice), old Hinchcliffe I had painted in high school, old Heritage likewise painted in high school, a few Foundry, and even some South African Engineering figures from the early 1970’s.
My Devil’s Den rocky outcropping began as the hill sections from two Battle of Five Armies GW sets. I supplemented them with some plaster rocks I made myself and then applied liberal flocking to hide the seams. I think the end result was pretty good.
This shot shows the entire table. The buildings are from Grand Manner, painted by me. The ironclad in the foreground was scratch built. The deck is just foam core board scored and then hand painted. The turret is made from a pressed cardboard box from the craft store. These come in a variety of shapes for craft projects. I thought the round turret looked better than a heart-shaped one would have looked. The round hill at the back left of the table proved to be the crucial point the second time I ran the game.
I ran this twice during the convention. The first time, the Yankees won nine points to eight. The second time the Confederates won by a wider margin.
To commemorate the release of The GASLIGHT Compendium we wanted to run a really large GASLIGHT game. We ran a Northwest Frontier by GASLIGHT game which featured British attacking to seize a Pathan hill fort, rescue Wee Willie Winkie, and recapture the Colossus left behind after the previous punitive expedition. Robert Seitz scratch built the Colossus from the cover of the book.
All players had two units and one or two special things, typically a vehicle. The British approached from both ends of an “L” with the hill fort at the bend. The British on their left flank fell into the classic gamer trap. They tried to pry the Pathans out of a village which had nothing to do with their victory conditions. As a result, they never made it to the Colossus to get it started again.
The British helicopters pictured above were treated as unarmored conveyances. As such, the vehicles get no Save rolls. The pilot, a Main Character, got a Save roll, but both of them failed and went down from a hail of gunfire from Pathans ensconced in the rocky hills.
On the British left, they had more success. They advanced steadily toward the hill fort, despite heavy casualties and the early loss of one of the British steam spiders. (Note the Pathan timberclad war machine toward the right of the image above.) They would have reached the hill fort to kill Pasha Chrismajadeen and rescue Winkie, but the Russians pushed two squads of infantry into the fort, effectively blocking the British advance.
The players seem to have had a good time. The game flowed well. I was happy with the result.
The HAWKs sponsored two iterations of the Plastic Army for Kids project (see previous posts) at Historicon 2011. All participants were supposed to be 10 or younger, and all of them received a Continental Army, a British Army, a ground cloth, a copy of Big Battles for Little Hands (donated by Phil Viverito of LMW Works and Classical Hack fame), dice, a deck of cards, two tape measurers (donated by Robert Seitz), some road sections, and two hills. This picture shows the participants from the second iteration. I think they look pretty happy — even the kids who cried a couple of times when his units ran away or were wiped out. (He really empathized with those plastic widows!) All of the kids seemed surprised that they were getting armies when the game was over.
I was the GM for the first iteration. Duncan was the GM for the second. The first time around, the parents sat away from the table and observed. The second time, the parents sat up near the table and helped. I thought the former methods was better. While the parents were trying to help keep the game moving, sometimes they didn’t know Milk and Cookies Rules well and misguided the kids. More importantly, it was easy for parents to slide from rules help to directing tactics and troop movements.
We consider this a very successful club effort. We plan to do this again for the next couple of Historicons. Most of the HAWKs provided time and/or resources to bring this to fruition. During Historicon, at least two big boxes of figures were donated for future efforts. Some people donated cash on the spot. Others offered to paint armies next year. Many came by the HAWKs room and were effusive in their praise of the HAWKs’ efforts to make wargaming approachable by youngsters. This included not just the plastic army project but a constant offering of kids’ games all weekend.
Once again my North American frogs took on Chris’ South American frogs — this time for control of the Suarian idol in the center of the table. For this game, we used the new character sheets from The GASLIGHT Compendium. I had also gotten an advance issue of a new figure in this line: frogs riding on crocodiles. This picture shows the North American heavy cavalry in melee with South American pikemen. It was a bloody struggle, with only the local, small, flying insects coming out ahead.
The catapult in this picture was home cast with an extra turtle shell used to hold the rocks. Chris modified some of the Eureka cannon crewmen to be catapult crewmen.
The objective for this game an idol in the center of this rocky outcropping. The North American frogs got there first and occupied the outcropping with three or more units. At one point, I was sure this was a runaway victory for the North.
Then the South threw everything they had at recapturing the idol. This included units, cannon and catapult crewmen, and even the king. The king in his sedan chair charged a unit of North American frogs and nearly recaptured the idol, but he died in the attempt. Later, one of the South American frogs did recapture the idol. Though the North had an additional unit or two to send into the fur ball on the outcropping, the South had four fresh units of lizard auxillaries and frog spearmen to reinforce their position, so I called it a South victory.
The melees were so fast and furious on the rocky outcropping as the battle swayed back and forth that I used the new, optional streamlined melee system from The GASLIGHT Compendium. This kept the game moving so that other players didn’t get bored.
I think this was a very successful game. There were some young players in the game, assisted by adults, who stayed with the game and remained focused.
Previously I’ve posted about the plastic army man project for Historicon 2011. Briefly, the HAWKs received a large batch of plastic AWI figures from the estate of Wally Simon. Through a series of painting days, we block painted eight Continental armies and eight British Armies. We are running two events at Historicon 11 for four kids each. Each kid who plays in the event walks away with what you see in the picture above.
Of course, they get both a Continental and British army. In addition they get a copy of Big Battles for Little Hands, in which Milk and Cookies rules are included. They also get a green ground cloth, some green moss for wooded aries, a set of suede roads, and two hills. They get a pack of cards a set of six-sided dice. They get two paper buildings to assemble. Finally, they will receive a bag of some extra figures that they can take home and paint themselves to supplement their armies.
Sammy ran her first wargame on 2 July 11. She used my Eureka toy soldiers and teddy bears. She made all the terrain herself. The windmill came unpainted from the craft store. The roads and rivers were made from white foam painted with acrylics. Note the defensive walls made from miniature blocks. See the ones arranged to spell “I love GASLIGHT.”
She used GASLIGHT to run the game. Since the toy soldiers were originally mounted and organized for Milk and Cookies Rules (units of four) to groups made an eight-figure GASLIGHT unit. We used 8-sided dice, instead of 10-sided dice, for morale checks.
Note the trees made to look like lollypops. The log cabin was made from miniature Lincoln Logs that Sammy glued together.
I have more toy soldier units than bear units, so the bears had slightly better stats. The game was extremely balanced. When we had to quit, the toys had three full-sized units, a cannon crew, and a handful of beaten-up units. The bears had two full-sized units, a cannon crew, the fort, and a couple of chewed-up units. It was a very good game.
Sammy did a nice job running the game. A couple of times she had to make decisions about ambiguous events, and she made good calls. Now she wants to run the game at a HAWKs night.