Monday, April 7, 2014

International Tabletop Day

Saturday 5 April 2014 was the 2nd annual International Tabletop Day. Doug Johnson and The Colby Street Irregulars hosted an event at Fort Meigs in Perrysburg Ohio.  There were about 15 different games played, several of which ran more than once. Approximately 50 gamers were in attendance which is not bad since this was the first tiome this event was held at this location. There were a few miniatures games but the focus was on board games that are fun for the whole family.
Doug Johnson (R) runs a game of Wings of War for a young gamer.

 I ran three three games of Twilight Games' Zombies!!!  throughout the day. One short demo game and a longer more intense game in the AM, then a cutthroat game that I joined in, for the afternoon session.
Things start out well enough in the Zombie apocalypse.
Then things start to get devious!

In the end it was the quiet, non-confrontational player who made it to the helicopter!
There were two historical miniature games also. A World War Two game using the Bolt Action rules run by Jim Wonnacot, and a Dark Ages game using the Johnson Brothers home rules Viking Battles.
Steve Johnson (L) ran a free for all Viking raid scenario while Doug took photos and played.

Jim Wonacott (R) ran an interesting Bolt Action Pacific Theater scenario.

Everyone had a great time playing games and enjoying each others company! This makes the third yearly event at the fort for the Colby Street Irregulars and HMGS-GL.

Monday, March 31, 2014

The Prin-Gles Mining Co. LLC

Here is part of the facility that will be a central part of my new 15mm bug hunting scenario. The structure was made as generically as possible. The towers could either be living quarters, storage, processing plant, or all three. Access to the mine can be through the towers or from another location. The small structure to the right, and the stacks of drainage pipe will be covered separately.
The main part of the Prin-Gles mining facility on T 372
Here is how the facility was made. Planning consisted of a rough concept sketch on a scrap of paper. Then I  gathered a bunch of different materials and, using my patented "seat of your pants" construction techniques, pieced things together until something vaguely resembling my sketch was achieved.

3 Pringle cans
A little Foamcore & cardboard
Hardwood base 6x16 inches
Plastic canvas of various sizes
Coffee stirrers (Dunkin donuts?)
Various items from the bits box

Knife & X-acto
Hot glue gun
Pencil and ruler

I started with some Pringles cans, one taller than the rest.  There are always plenty of them laying around since they are one of my favorite gaming snacks.  Then cut out a wood base, and a foamcore octagonal to be used for the landing pad.  The lids to the cans were used as tops to the towers. The plan was for 3 levels and 6 different interchangeable tower tops: landing pad, antenea structure, and 4 dome varieties. Lids were left unglued so the tops can be swapped.  I'm thinking of adding another lid with a crane structure and maybe some different tech looking stuff.  Looks like I need to eat more Pringles! 

Positioning the towers and playing with various tops
Sheets of plastic canvas.
Plastic canvas was used for the walkway and for the railings and ladders. This is a great material to have around, especially for 15mm projects. First I made decking out of the smallest sized sheets. I simply laid out the canvass on the base and traced around the cans to get my deck shape.  You can see in the next picture I had tried priming the white sheets with black, but after a false start, realized I had to clean the paint off so the glue would hold. The larger grid canvass, size 7, makes quick and easy railings.  Two squares for 15mm looks about right.

The basic deck shape.
Once I had my basic shapes, I cut coffee stirrers to make supports for under the decking, as well as for the uprights. You could use many different materials for the support system including model railroad girders. I had these coffee stirrers lying around and liked the shape so used them.
The coffee stirrers have an x-shape to them.

The supports were left long to fit holes made in the cans.

A finished deck section. Two of these were made.
The first upper deck takes shape.
Break time!!!
Once the decks were done the cans were glued to the base and the decks added.  The elevator was made from plastic canvass with a cardboard floor. It is attached to a round piece of plastic cut from something I found in my scrap box. It was a thin plastic tube that was apparently part of some sort of packaging. Just so happens it fit around the can nicely, so with a little tinkering I actually got the elevator to move up and down as well as spin around!  I made this a feature of the landing pad instead of making a third, more problematic, upper deck.
A close up of the railing, supports, and elevator. Khurasan Space demon Queen for size.
Construction is almost complete.
A foamcore support in the center became necessary when I ran out of coffee stirrers. I also added some safety netting around the flight deck with window screen and toothpicks. As you can see, the finished product is rather rough. The hot glue does not make the smoothest of joints, but it is extremely quick and reasonably strong once you learn the best application methods.  Hot glue is cheap, works on most materials and can come apart relatively easily if you make a mistake (just add heat).  I love it for making quick easy terrain pieces, especially those using mixed materials like this project.
Here is the entire Prin-Gles Mining Co. facility ready for action.
Marine Recon Team A arrives on the flight deck scouting for trouble.

Looks like trouble found them.
This is not a highly detailed structure. Some will find it crudely made, but I don't need or want my gaming structures to be highly detailed models or take a lot of time to make. I am not a diorama artist, I am a wargamer! For me, terrain pieces need to be usable, versatile, tough, and look OK from a few feet away.  Overall this project took only a few hours to assemble once I figured out how to make the concept sketch come to life with the materials available.  All that is left to do now is some final detail work, and finish the base.

The Marines are here!

 Here are the intrepid  Marines that will hold off the Space Demons and save the civilians!

Alpha section.
Bravo section.
Hostile Eviron Team
Marines, move out!
These fine lads are Federal Defense Force "Exterminators" from Khurasan Miniatures.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

More Xenomorphs!!

Some more pics of the alien army!  This is truly a golden age for 15mm Sci-Fi.  Back when I first started collecting Traveller miniatures I would have given anything for the selection we have today!
Warriors advance on the base after taking out a vehicle.

A Titan Scout by Rebel Miniatures Vs Hammerhead Space Demons!
The Great Queen and her minions.

A lone Marine stands up to the alien Colossus.
A Space demon Drone leads a wave of warriors.
The building in the second photo is from Blue Moon, and the crashed buggy is from Rebel Minis.  Between those two and Kurasan Miniatures that is where most of my hobby $$ have been going lately.

Thursday, March 27, 2014


Here is my latest acquisition: Khurasan Miniatures Space Demons.  I have had the Khurasan
Federal Defense Force "Exterminators" (not Colonial Marines) for some time now, but received a whole army of these guys, including the new Space Demon Trolls, Colossus, and the King and Queen for Christmas.  I received the Great Queen and some more Exterminators for my Birthday so now I am all set!  

Here is the whole lot, plus some older figures (upper right) from Outpost Games I believe.

The Great Queen!
Space Demon Trolls with ordinary warrior for scale.

Space Demon Colosuss (rear), King (L) and Queen (R) with ordinary warrior in between.

These are great figures and they paint up very nicely with a minimum of effort.  That is good for me since I am interested in all aspects of Wargaming (especially playing) and have never devoted a lot of time or effort to painting.

Next I need some terrain for these beasties to inhabit!

Thursday, March 7, 2013

The World at War Game Day at Ft. Meigs

The World at War Game Day is a fun little event that is held the first weekend in November at Fort Meigs in Perrysburg, Ohio. It is a one day mini-con with a strong family focus.  Rusty, Ted, and I from the Black River Area Wargames Society  ran "Looking for Bigfoot".   The Toledo Blade was there and took some photos of the event.  Here are a few shots we took of our game.

Players chased Bigfoot with a civilian figure of their choice.
We tried to make the terrain as diverse as possible
"Looking for Bigfoot" is the brain child of Ted who is a really big Bigfoot fan.  No, I mean he's really big and looks kinda "Squatchy" (sorry Teddi couldn't resist)! The rules were a collaborative process between those two, their children, and myself.  Initial game development took place on the car ride to and from Historicon.  I was taking notes and could barely keep up with all the flying ideas!   When we got back I worked the notes into the semblance of a game and we started play testing.

At one point we had 3 Bigfoots running around!
 The action was fast and furious as the players searched for, then chased Bigfoot all over the place!  According to the feedback we got, from kids and parents alike, I think we succeeded in our goal of making it a kid friendly, challenging, fun game.  Everyone had a great time including us!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Martians invade NOWSCON

I ran my Victorian Science Fiction game at NOWSCON back in September.  Northern Ohio Wargaming Society runs a small convention every year.  They are a diverse group of gamers who enjoy playing all sorts of games.  The scenario I ran, Aristotle Down, is the same one I have run before at other events.  It is a large battle based on John Carter of Mars. I use Black Hat's wonderful 18mm Martian Empires range along with some trusty Old Glory Brits! My friend and constant opponent, Rusty was there helping me run things and taking pictures.  It seems we are only ever on the same side if we are the ones running the game! It was an intense battle full of surprises, and everyone had a good time!

Carl Scheu, president of NOWS (far right), plots a devious move while I go over things with other players.

Things get deadly around the downed HMSS Aristotle!

The British end of the board empties out.

Carl's Green Martians overwhelm some Imperial Martin cavalry. In the meantime, his Calots had gone ahead and overrun the British supply column giving his faction a victory!