Crescent Root French Hotel

Front of assembled building
Front of assembled building

I ordered a 28mm Crescent Root (http://www.crescent-root.com) French hotel to see if they are as nice in person as they are on their Web page.  They are.  These are MDF buildings that come pre-painted.  Some sections are pre-assembled, and other sections can be easily assembled and disassembled.

As it came out of the box
As it came out of the box

First, the paint job is superb — significantly cleaner and more detailed than other pre-pained buildings, such as 4Ground or Miniature Building Authority.  The doors are all attached with a simple tap hinge that works well enough and allows players to open and closed doors during a game.

The first sides get connected
The first sides get connected

In this picture you can see the brackets in two of the walls.  Small pins fit within the holes to hold the walls together.  They slide in and out easily, and they hold the walls at right angles.

Interior showing the pin and bracket connection mechanism
Interior showing the pin and bracket connection mechanism

Here you can see the pins inserted into the brackets.

Top floor of the building
Top floor of the building

If I have a complaint with the building it is that the floors fit too snugly.  I think they will be difficult to removed during a game.  Shown is the attic.  The second floor will be difficult to reach during a game, I think.

Another side view
Another side view
Side of assembled building
Side of assembled building

This building, 28A3 is among the more expensive ones, at about $90.  It is one of the most elaborate ones.  Others are cheaper.  I think the enhanced quality is worth the premium price.    I see myself order one of these a month, until I complete the set.

 

 

 

Vader Raids a Rebel Outpost

Turn one, showing most forces near their initial starting locations
Turn one, showing most forces near their initial starting locations

Last night we played another Star Wars Miniatures game.  Each side had about 160 points.  The scenario was an Empire raid on a Hoth Rebel facility to blow up some McGuffin.  I was, once again, the Empire.  Darth Vader led the raiding party.  Defending the compound were Han, Luke, Leah, and a host of Rebels.

Luke vs. a Stormtrooper
Luke vs. a Stormtrooper

The compound only had two entrances.  The Rebels had a laser turret guarding one of them.  Although its Damage was weak, the fact that it could take 150 points of damage forced the Stormtroopers to fight a holding action on that flank while Vader and the main body tried to work their way into the other entrance.

Early in the game: The Stormtroopers maneuver around the Rebels
Early in the game: The Stormtroopers begin to maneuver around the Rebels

Vader waded into a bunch of Rebels, brandishing his light saber, taking down a bunch of them.  Leah and the Rebel machine-gun looking thing with its three shots per turn hammered Vader.  He failed almost every light saber parry Force roll.  By the time he and three remaining Stormtroopers forced their way into the compound, Vader had taken 130 of his available 140 hits.

Nearing the end game: A heavily wounded Vader and some storm troopers enter the compound
Nearing the end game: A heavily wounded Vader and some storm troopers enter the compound

An elite Stormtrooper fired on the device the Empire was trying to destroy but missed.  A hit would have ended the game with an Imperial victory.  In the next turn, the Rebels won the initiative roll (one of the few they won all night).  Instead of me getting a second shot on the device, the Rebels killed both Vader and the last Stormtrooper.

My erstwhile adversaries
My erstwhile adversaries

The game was a real nail biter.  I am consistently surprised with the balance of these games.  They often seem to come down to the last couple of figures.  In this case, when Vader was killed there were only three Rebel troopers (none of the officers or main characters) remaining on the table.

Corner Hotel from Multiverse Gaming

I went to the Multiverse Gaming site (www.multiversegamingterrain.com) to purchase some of their fire escape kits to add to man of my pulp buildings.  While at the site, I found this corner hotel and ordered it.

The kit is made of thick MDF, probably 3mm instead of the normal 2mm.  It assembled easily, despite the lack of instructions.  The light colored bricks, details on the doors, and window frames are made of thin card, much like a pub coaster.  The engraving on the surface of brick work was deep enough to make dry brushing quite easy.  If I have any quibbles, it is that the very thick MDF leaves a little “flash” where the parts connect to the boards.  This took a little Xacto work to clean off.  Also, the card bits seems a little fragile, and a very sharp knife is needed to get them loose from their board.

Of course all the floors come apart for gaming.  One thing I find interesting is the construction of the doors.  They all have a small base, which can be seen above, that makes it easy to open and close them without the fiddliness and fragility of paper hinges.

From opening the plastic to the form you see took less than four hours work.

A Mall Video Arcade and Pool Hall

A view of some of the video games
A view of some of the video games

A couple weeks ago, I posted some pictures of the gaming store I built for our club shopping mall game (https://bucksurdu.com/blog/?p=3858).  this past weekend, I spent all day Saturday at my son’s track championships and with the Venture Crew at an all-night relay for life for the American Cancer Society.  Despite that, I did have a little hobby time on Sunday to finish my second store for the mall.  This one is a combined video arcade and pool hall.  I want to build a rack with pool cues and find micro beads small enough to be billiard balls, but otherwise, it is “good enough” for a zombie game.

A long shot of the combined arcade and pool hall
A long shot of the combined arcade and pool hall

The video arcade is in the front of the “store,” with the pool hall in the rear.

A view of both the arcade room and the pool room in the back
A view of both the arcade room and the pool room in the back
A close shot of the pool hall
A close shot of the pool hall
The front of the arcade with faux stone
The front of the arcade with faux stone
A close shot of someone playing a video game
A close shot of someone playing a video game

When I was constructing the video games, they seemed too large for my 28mm figures.  But in the arcade with figures near them, they don’t look too bad.  I think they will make nice cover during the game.  I can also imagine players wanting to push them in front of the door.

A Mention in Dispatches

Cory Ring sent me this yesterday.  Apparently some folks are using my Santa Anna Rules for the American Civil War.  Santa Anna Rules was written for the Mexican American War.  It’s always neat to hear about folks having fun with rules I wrote.  Too often the only feedback an author gets are the slings and arrows of outrageous reviewers on places like TMP, blogs, and glossy gaming magazines.  At the end of the day, the reward for developing rules is not cash (there’s little of that), but knowing that folks are having fun with rules I wrote.

G.A.M.E.R. Science Fiction

The initial setup.
The initial setup.

Several of the HAWKs assembled this Saturday to paint figures for our Armies for Kids project.  After about three hours of painting, we set up an impromptu science fiction game using G.A.M.E.R.  I am still wrapping up development of G.A.M.E.R. for WWII, so it wasn’t quite ready for a science fiction game.  Chris had recently finished his Bones science fiction figures, and we wanted to get them and my science fiction figures on the table.

Chris' forces in their initial deployment area.
Chris' forces in their initial deployment area.

The biggest things that I need to address for science fiction are how to account for body armor and stats for science fiction weapons.

Eric's purple squad advances.
Eric's purple squad advances.
My platoon leader and "machine-gun" team
My platoon leader and "machine-gun" team
Eric hammers one of my teams with HE fire from his tank.
Eric hammers one of my teams with HE fire from his tank.
Ouch!
Ouch!
My Colonial Marines advance toward a rocky outcropping to seek cover.
My Colonial Marines advance toward a rocky outcropping to seek cover.
My Colonial Marines take up a good firing position.
My Colonial Marines take up a good firing position.

My anti-tank rifleman took out Eric's tank after several unsuccessful shot.

Chris consults a subject matter expert for tactical advice.
Chris consults a subject matter expert for tactical advice.

The game was a near-run affair.  At first it looked bad for our side when Eric took out half my infantry in the first turn.  Then it looked better for us when I took out Eric’s tank and Dave started to engage Chris’ infantry who had entered the compound we were trying to capture.  It looked even better for us as Dave and I chopped up Eric’s infantry.  Chris sent one of his corporals to try hand-to-hand combat against one of Dave’s infantryman, but the corporal lost the melee and fell into a file of poisonous ooze.  But then Duncan arrived with some additional infantry.  Chris and Eric cut up one of Dave’s teams.  Then Chris moved around Dave’s flank.  I was in a strong defensive position, doing damage to Eric and Duncan, but I was not going to be able advance into the compound, so we called the game a victory for Chris, Eric, and Duncan — the “bad guys.”

Recent Terrain Efforts

With limited painting time last week, I didn’t get to paint any figures, but I did work on a few bits of terrain.  Greg pointed me at Underground Lasers (https://undergroundlasers.com/index.php?id_category=13&controller=category), which makes MDF terrain accessories.  For my ongoing effort to construct a shopping mall for a zombie game, I decided to purchase the Food Court set and the Arcade set.

Tables from the Underground Lasers Foodcourt set
Tables from the Underground Lasers Foodcourt set
Air Conditioner or some other piece of machinery from the Underground Lasers Foodcourt set
Air Conditioner or some other piece of machinery from the Underground Lasers Foodcourt set

The sets came with no instructions, but it was very easy to figure out how to assemble the pieces.

Pool tables from the Underground Lasers Arcade set
Pool tables from the Underground Lasers Arcade set
Pool tables from the Underground Lasers Arcade set
Pool tables from the Underground Lasers Arcade set

I think it would have been nice if one of the pool tables in the Arcade set was an air hockey table instead, but these are fun pieces.  I decided to leave most of the table bare wood and just paint the felt.  I think they came out fine.

Playground equipment from the Ertl Farmhouse set
Playground equipment from the Ertl Farmhouse set

I have posted previously some pictures of the Ertl farmhouses that I assembled and painted to add to the town of Granville or other games.  Those farmhouse kits came with swing sets, a mailbox, and a mail box.  I ran across them in a bag the other day and decided to paint them up to add to Granville’s school yard.

More playground equipment from the Ertl Farmhouse set
More playground equipment from the Ertl Farmhouse set
Sand boxes and school / dinner bell from the Ertl Farmhouse set
Sand boxes and school / dinner bell from the Ertl Farmhouse set
Mailboxes from Ertl Farmhouse set
Mailboxes from Ertl Farmhouse set