Saturday, August 15, 2015

Corline's Calamity (Part 1)

The System

This is the AAR for a test run of the lowest level game of my main campaign. It's a dungeon dive using Two Hour Wargames Two Hour Dungeon Crawl. I'll be using this to start the characters who
will eventually, it is hoped, be the commanders and officers of the armies in the later larger games.

So first, a few words on THW's system. The player has a character defined by a reputation, higher is better. That character, a star, leads a band of adventurers called grunts. The star has abilities specific to him. All characters have weapons, armor, a profession and may have several attributes. 

The system provides a way to generate random dungeon paths and rooms. The rooms may also be populated with minions of the Big Bad who will be the hardest things in the dungeon. It also allows for wandering monsters that close in on the character's band. Once those PEFs (possible enemy Force) come into contact with the band, they are resolves and maybe anything from the Big Bad to nothing but a case of nerves in the band, Searching the dungeon can be done on graph paper, or with tiles that are place on the table. Combat is done on separate arrays for rooms or corridors. 

The Set Up

The photo shows my gear to play THW's Two Hour Dungeon Crawl. It includes assorted pencils, graph paper, index cards, dice, home-made tokens, and a home-made battle board. The index cards are a place for me to record the basis of the dungeon and the makeup of any PEFs. After the game they will be saved and over time will build up a deck of possibilities. That will allow a faster arrangement for later games by using the decks rather than rolling up the needed information.

The Crew Gathers

As Randolph walked into the Meadow Rose, he spotted the rest of his crew waiting at a table. Bardley, the healer, and the three brothers Graybreath; Percy, Lucious, and Archibald were dependable soldiers. Reliable in a fight if not as random as Randolph himself.

After a few drinks, the talk got around to business. The daughter of a local merchant, Corline, had somehow gotten herself captured by a group of beastmen who live in some caves a valley away. She needed to be rescued and returned to daddy, All in one piece of course, or no payment. As he told his crew, easy peasy, what could go wrong?.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Cheap modular terrain

Looking on line for cheap modular terrain systems, I came across this collection of Youtube videos. The DMG. He has adapted the work of The DMs Craft, by DM Scotty, into a method of making D&D terrain that is cheap, modular, and attractive.

So I think I have found my next project. (Remember me explaining that I can switch projects at a moments notice?) I'm going to try to use their combined techniques to build 5" square tiles for my Two Hour Dungeon Crawl campaign. The technique uses cardboard, hot glue, and two paint colors to create very nice corridors, rooms and the like.

My starting goal will be to create about 40 tiles. 10 rooms, 15 straights, 5 turns, 5 "T" intersections, and 5 "4 way" intersections. I'm hoping that will be a decent start and cover most dungeons.

I also plan to experiment while building those. I'm thinking it can be used to create modular city terrain also. One foot square tiles, with walkways and streets that will also allow for drop ins of buildings  I'm thinking trying to build 3 or 4 test pieces will be sufficient to see if the template is workable.

Wish me luck, and feel free to add suggestions.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Now what shall we play?

Rather than over think or overload myself, I intend to let a campaign grow organically as I play. Practically all of my gaming is solo. I can then indulge my whims for what style to play. It will also allow me to follow a small group of individuals as they strive to become great leaders.

I enjoy medieval fantasy slightly more other styles. Along with science fiction,  a close second in preference,  I feel they allow more freedom of opposing forces and scales from skirmish through large battles. 

I'm going to go with the 2HW rules to allow me to grow the size of the games as table space and figures grow. I'll start with "Two Hour Dungeon Crawl" to use with minimal figures and space. Once I've had some characters succeed there, I'll "promote" them through the other fantasy titles up to "Rally Round the King" Assuming it is fun,which is my test of success in wargaming, I"ll try it also with 2HW's 5150 science fiction series of games.

I'll be writing AARs as I play and will be posting them here to share with others. I'll be playing other games and writing AARs for those intermixed with the campaign games. 

Please feel free to check back to see how it goes and to toss out any ideas or critiques you may have.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Further musings on the ideal wargaming table.

The now defunct "Drunken Dwarves" website, hence no link, had the plans for a great gaming table. I unfortunately didn't save the plans, but I certainly remember the overall design.  I intend to recreate that table as well as I can, with a couple of added features I want.

The top is the main part of the design I want to replicate. It is basically a 4 sided box, the inner measurements matching the final desired play area.  An inner lip and bracing provides support for drop in terrain  boards. Those boards can range from fully detailed pieces to flat bases for additional pieces. I plan to use a number of different sized boards, painted several colors, green, brown, black, and blue as basic ground cover for more traditional wargame terrain. I'm toying with the idea of a couple of chalkboard tops, green and black, for variety.

The base of the "Drunken Dwarves" design is of no interest to me. I'll be building the top, with the intent of finding or building a storage system to act as the base.That project is for a later date, however.

The main add-on is to the outer frame. I plan to incorporate a French cleat. That will allow small add-on pieces to hook on. Dice towers or trays, cup holders, small clipboards, all off table yet still conveniently at hand. All of those and more can be designed and built later.

My intent is to build it as a 4x4 skirmish game table, mainly as a proof of concept. Then I'll follow it up with a 4x8 full gaming table.

Now it's time to do the design work for the tabletop. That and photos of the build as it progresses should clarify the design.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The next big project

That title is a small lie. There are actually several ongoing projects a couple of which are large. But none of those lend themselves to much of a blog post. Inventorying and organizing the rules, games, and figures I have are both really ongoing and enjoyable, but tend to be less exciting to read about.

This project is a gaming table. Having lost several of the children to their own apartments, I can finally build a table of my own. First up is the planning stage. I thought I would document my inspirations and ideas here so I can refer back to them as I continue on with the project. And yes, that means the project is in exactly this stage as I write. I'm going to take my time, and create the table I want, so I'll have plenty of time to document each stage ass it comes together.

Having a number of solid folding tables of my own, I'm in no rush to build the base.  So the first item to build will be the tabletop itself.

I came across the table designed at the website "Drunken Dwarves" some years ago. I was lacking the space to copy it, and simply used it to start my own thoughts. Please note, the lack of a link is intentional. That website is gone now, and I've been unable to relocate it. The table was sturdy, well made and had a very modular top. That was the part I wanted to emulate.

I want a 4X8 play surface, that will provide plenty of space to play on. I want a lip around the edge of the play surface to allow me to place modular terrain pieces on the table with no fear of knocking them off. That will require a frame that on it's lower end closely surrounds the table top of the table I'll be using and on the top will crate a frame a 4X8 piece of plywood can fit inside to form the bottom of the play surface section. I envision this ending up as an open top box with sides of an inch or two at most, .

Inside the box, I want to place modular pieces, certainly a few large ones to serve as the base for the terrain to go on top of it, with a solid 4X8 base, modules of 4x4, 4x2, 2x2, even 1x1 will be much easier to manufacture to fit into and fill the space. The base painted green or blue will allow it to be used as it's own base for games not needing extensive terrain. Notice the picture is lacking sizes and scale. That is the next step in the project.

Now, on to measuring, figuring out the geometry, and planning the materials purchasing. Once that is done, I'll write up what decisions are made and updates on the project.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Once more into the breach

Real life can certainly ruin the best laid plans. That said, I'll be trying again to make a go of this blog. I think the housekeeping has been covered already and we can move forward from here.

I spent last weekend at NJCon7 in Edison NJ. An enjoyable time where I played two games of Stargrunt. An excellent review of the convention, with a couple of photos I took has already been written By Keith F. and is readable at NJ Con - This IS Your Daddy's Miniature Convention. He also ran the two games I played in, and his and my comments on those are readable at StarGrunt II at NJ Con. Keith writes quite well and is a very enjoyable and gracious opponent.

The fun I had inspired me to return to this blog and to start making plans for my own gaming in the near future. I have amassed quite a collection of metal and plastic in need of paint and basing. First step is an inventory, complete with a culling out of possible "bring and buy" fodder for the next convention. Then I'll need to organize the basement to include a gaming work area and play area.

I expect to be posting photos and reports on progress as the work advances.

Falling back on an old standby, I'll be playing solo with paper miniatures as I work on the metal and plastic to help see what rules I am most in favor of playing.

Good tactics and good rolls till next time,

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Who am I?

I'm an old school wargamer, as it says above. I learned to play wargames in High School back in 1970. I played D&D when it only had 3 books and they came in a little box. I've played board games, miniatures, RPGs, and for a few years in the late 70's and early 80's I got to play wargames in Uncle Sam's Yacht Club. I enjoyed all of them.

I'm easy enough to please. If the game is fun, I don't care what color the buttons on the Guards figures or counters are. I'll play most any period, from Stone Age men through Napoleon and on into Star Wars.

On a personal note, I'm a grandfather of a 3 year old baby girl. I have a son and a daughter. Been married about to hit 30 years.

I DO NOT discuss politics or religion in polite company and won't have them discussed here, save in how they relate to a particular game. Play nice, don't cheat, don't break the rule about politics and religion, and we can have a great time here.