Saturday, October 18, 2014

29LetsGo! Campaign Turn One









Setting the scenery:


The Blokenstein boys got me a fantastic terrain kit as a wedding present, and a pile of Dead Man's Hand stuff for the blushing bride. I set it up on a table to have a look, and thought "I need a game!"

The river is excellent, and look great close up and far away. My photography was not up to reducing the glare - trust me, it's awesome.

I was wondering what to play, and had a few on again, off again bookings. The man who finally came through was Nathan. Nathan is part of a little Facebook group of those in Canberra interested in 15mm Chain of Command games. We love the price of an army ($40 or less woohoo!) and we love the system. More games needed to be played. 

I had just downloaded the 29 Let's go! Campaign from Too Fat Lardies, and Nathan had a basic US Force, and I had a basic German Force, so that worked out well.

I purchased the campaign and read the whole book, so I essentially had to be the Germans as I know the surprises. Nathan was fine with that.

I printed a couple of copies, and cut one down in campaign notes for Nathan, with what he needed in a folder, and kept a folder for me.

The evening before, I decided to set the map, and realised that I needed a LOT of hedges. I've been looking at lots of terrain YouTube videos and guides, and I had really like the idea of tongue depressor bases with scenery on top, so I had already purchased a box of 100 of them. Below is a map where I try to set the table with all the tongue depressors where hedges will go.

You will also notice the change from using lots of craters for the ploughed fields, and instead using some yellow fabric. I didn't have brown fabric or felt available. I won them - I couldn't find them.




Scenery frenzy: 

About 26 full hedges, and eight half size ones. Clip 13 ice cream sticks in half, and glue them to a full one with one edge cut off. Glue to tongue depressor. Paint base with brown texture paint. Paint top with dark green paint/ pva glue mix, flock.


To the game:

Prelininary

Nathan rolled a six on the patrol phase, and with his quick advance, seized the Chateau, and used it's top floor as an excellent base of fire all game. Naturally, the 29th scrounged up extra BAR's. I deployed with German precision, and was able to pour all my fire all the time from phase two. Nathan cam out a bit more piecemeal, and was not as effective.

Turn One

The shot below was was the end of turn one. I deployed my anti tank gun and a rifle team in an entrenchment, a minefield on the road, and barbed wire across the front of the trenches.

Here I had bloodied a rifle team that tried to advance, punished the team out the front of the white house, and taught the chateau team to duck. My senior leader had been busy keeping the anti- tank gun motivated and in the game.



Turn Two

My leftmost section were in trouble. The cost of wiping Nathans rifle team was the loss of my rifle section and the MG team were retreating in disarray.  The centre section had their heads down, and my senior leader was just about to get across and gee them back up. The Team in the building were safe as a bug in a rug, and pouring it on. The pin markers on the team in the white building tell that tale. 

My disappointment of the game:  I invested a lot of support points into the anti tank guns. Nathan had three Shermans rolling at my boys. I trusted in this gun, the panzershreck team, the panzerfausts and the 'campaign surprise' to get a bit of the job done. My gun had 6 unimpeded shots at the Shermans, hit four times, and only dazed a gunner once. The tanks never came into range of the infantry based toys, and the 'campaign trick' never came into play.  


Turn Three

I could see the game was up. The anti tank gun had failed to do the job I had planned for it.. The 'campaign trick' was used, but failed to do anything. The white building team was whittled down to just it's junior leader, but the men in the chateau never looked like moving. My men were falling back in disarray, and the anti tank gun was going to be captured, as the crew had fled. It was time to leave the field to the invincible Shermans, and pull back to the next line.


Post Battle:

29 Lets Go!
After Game One
US Post battle:
Bouyed by the victory, Colonel Goode sends the men forward. However, he was shaken by an attack on his men by American ground attack planes. He disposition has moved to Troubled. With manpower to burn, Colonel Goode throws a fresh platoon at the next problem.
German post battle:
Ernst Blatt is commanding the Platoon. Having been injured and promoted on the Eastern front, he is a veteran at age 21. Command are too busy with their own problems to worry about Ernst. The men had heard the guns and know the invasion is on. They did not like the losses, but understand, he was one of them. Ernest's faith has not moved. He is only concerned.
CO opinion of the leader: (-1) Men (-3) Personal - Concerned.
The composition of the forces will be 'special' in the next engagement to cover the casualties.
Everyone escaped, no captures.
Two replacement NCO's. 1 Command Point, 3 inch command radius.
7 lost, 4 will return next scenario, 3 return straight battle.


Sunday, October 12, 2014

State of Play October 2014


PC gaming:


Freemiums currently rule my gaming habits. I haven't been back on World of Tanks for a while, it's gotten a bit stale, and I'm also over the Tanks segment of War Thunder. The lure of ths sky had me back again, and I was 'maxing' all my l1 and l2 planes on every country. Each country has about eight planes in each of the levels , and there are five levels. Each plane starts basic, and gets lots of upgrades. I quickly maxed all my level one and two Brits and Russians. The Russian obsession with fighter bombers means their is always something to do, and the tactical flexibility of being 'bitzers' means you can bomb if needed, and dogfight if needed, which maximises your playing time. I found the Japanese the slowest, as each plane is highly specialised, meaning that if you need a bomber and you are in a fighter, there is very little to do, and if the enemy fighter screen is harsh, your bomber stands no chance. I drift off into counterstrike gun-games when I want a rush, and finally tried the Single player shooter "Rogue Trooper" by Bethesda. Silly fun, but from mid game on it crashes my PC. Annoying. When I want brainless, it's all about  Minecraft or Bloodbowl. I'm still wandering along with "Bhorne Khorne" my Beserker team. Freemium new hotness: Heroes and Generals. In a previous blog post, I wrote about my dream MMORPG, based on 40k. H&G have taken many of these concepts and written a good game, with great development potential. Start as a grunt, play a pretty reasonable FPS, and work your way up to Tanker, Pilot, Sniper, or Paratrooper, and then a General. Generals play a higher level game. Heroes win the maps, Generals win the wars. I have only seen the Hero side of things. You can pay or play to get to General - I'm currently happy to play. Take a look!


On the iPhone and iPad:


I have completely fallen away from iPhone gaming. A small amount of "Tiny Dice" and "Bookworm" by Popcap is all I manage. I received an iPad mini for my birthday. I wanted it as a wireless portable internet device, and a fully functional PDF storage point. It does really well at these jobs. I have not found a game that holds my interest. I tried Atari's arcade simulator, and a couple of others - they never got me in.


Consoles:


XBOX 360 - Tig and I were looking for a way to get movies. We rented for a while, we borrowed boxed sets for a while, and we settled on Uncle Rupies Foxtel Play app on the XBox 360. Some people hate canned movies running from 6-18 months old, but it suits us to a tee as there is plenty of interest we never caught at the cinema. We left Free to air TV and do not even have it available in the house because we are never in the same spot at the same time to watch episodic television. I quote it often: The last program I watched for a full season on free to air was Twin Peaks. Foxtel play offers a semi-available seasonal TV option, but we find it difficult to use as it gives a week to watch and episode - I would wvastly prefer the season binge option. As for actual gaming on the 360, there was some fable, and some bioshock, and a little Fallout 3. The big winner was Diablo 3, which was fantatic for both Tig and I playing at the same time. Tig ran through a Sorceress, and I took the Barbarian . Good fun, good romp. When it came back around to going again for nightmare, we found we had run out of care. We tried split screen Borderlands: Tig thought it was a headache in a box, and that killed split screen as an option.

Wii U- Setting up and setting down the toys seemed to kill it. Keeping the controllers in charge, keeping the Wiifit board easy to find, keeping the arm swing space clean and clear - these household things make the Wii-U hard to use. Nintendo have made a great system - I think we are just not rich enough to have enough space to keep it in play. I think it would be perfect in a true "Rumpus Room" dedicated to only entertainment, but our "Living room" sees food, guests, dogs, furniture and not enough space to swing a controller. The new Wii Fit is incredible, and I particularly loved Rock climbing and the games. Assassins Creed Black Flag seemed okay on Wii, however I can get a bit "I just do not care" about puzzle elements. Apparently i didn't even get through to the payoff of sailing my ship around. It didn't suit me - Its not Nintendo's fault.


Board games:


Recently I have mainly been showing a rotating cast of new people old classics, with quite a bit of Catan and Carcassone. I have shown Tig the joy of an obscure one, Age of Mythology, and we have had a few good sessions.


Miniatures:


It's all about the CoC! Chain of Command is the new hotness. I LOVE my tabletop gaming, I like the painting, I like the tactics on the table, I like the strategy of setting up lists. I was much less of a fan of spending $400 a year to keep up with the rule set, and $75 a unit the GW way. With CoC 15mm $75 an army and $25 for the rule set with free updates. I have spent about$20 a quarter since then for campaign books, chocked full of goodness.


40k and Bolt Action are still okay, but I was really, really over IgoUgo. It just didn't seem to reflect anything, and I was looking for more. I had a sniff at other systems, and just failed to care. Then CoC hit, and activation by command dice really hit what i was looking for. Viva Lardy! I'm such a convert I'm running it at Cancon in 2015. Rules conversion: I had a rules conversion writing FRENZY and wrote a whole lot of 40k to CoC rules. They are not yet ready to release, and with the release of the COCulator need a complete re-jig, however I am excited and look forward to playing with them again.

Medieval:


My injuries have kept me plugging along trying to get to one armoured session a week. I was getting to the gym quite often and losing weight and gaining strength which helped my armour endurance. I have backslid with a pretty terrible flu, and will get back this week. I enjoyed "Knight's School" where I did the old "Just make sure you are one lesson ahead of the class" trick and taught an hour introduction to Lichtenauer. To 'walk the talk' I only fought Glaive and tried to stay Lichtenauer style. I was happy with how it went. This sort of class is slow burn - I might see a cool glaivesman or seven emerge over the next few years, or I may see nothing. I missed St Ives fair in Sydney - partly on illness, and partly on not having anything to wear. I hoped to 'fake it' after the return from the wedding and honeymoon: It just didn't happen. Too much to be done in too little time, and a house to be cleared and sold. Good catchups with the lads on the way through.

 

 

 

 

BUILDING BETTER WORLDS: or what I want in the next MMORPG.

BUILDING BETTER WORLDS:
or what I want in the next MMORPG.
One of my favourite fictional universes, that of Warhammer 40k, is about to be made into a MMORPG. I really want this to work, and I would love them to get close to getting it right. First comes a story about a fictionalised account of what I would love to see, and then after that comes an explanation of some of the concepts.
AWAKE
I wake in the body of Michael Krorkin, Imperial Guard Conscript.  I am in a cattle train going to the battlefield. My handcuffs are taken off, and a lasrifle is pressed in my hand. I am packed in with 29 of my fellows, and there is a Sargent behind us. He carries a banner, and I know that if I leave that banner my collar will detonate, and I will die. The basic chip implanted in my brain hazes an arrow floating above my vision, telling me where I must go. We see the area we must attack, and prepare ourselves. The artillery howls and... Boom. Silence.
I look at my karma score, and I have 0 battle karma, but now I have some Organisational Karma, as I stuck with my banner and kept to my objective. So I get some choice - combat or patrol - I take a patrol. I come too, and leave my rudimentary tent. Sarge leads off and we keep up, eyes peeled. We run into several orc scouts, and kill some as the others run off. Sarge calls it in, and  get the order to pursue. We chase after the quarry, one eye on the banner that keeps our head connected to our shoulders, another on the greenskins running away. I shoot one, and then we hit the greenskin lines. There is a desperate countercharge, and there is a muddle and mayhem and... darkness.
Alrighty, now I have some battle karma, some Organisational karma. Also, my Sargent liked my shooting, and he gave me a point of People Karma. While dead, I pursue the news, and look at the available missions. My current score allows me t upgrade to a drop guardsman, and one of the missions is the defence of a starport. I pick that one, and get ready.
I zap into the body of one of the guardsmen, and look around. I see a marker on the shoulders of some of the others, and note that they are actual players. We get chatting. TACNET shows that Orc push is on, and One of the warbosses is raiding from one direction, and Dark Eldar raiders are attacking from the other side. Our job is to flank the Dark Eldar. If not, we are to re-enforce the airport. We land, follow our compasses, and hit the Dark Eldar from behind, surprise allowing us to wipe them out. Now we join the defenders, just as the starport battle reverts to hand to hand desperation.
Now that I have a reasonable amount of Karma, I can get training with a rocket launcher. Or maybe become a sargent, and lead a squad of my own. Sentinel drivers required? Running around and scouting the enemy? Sounds interesting. The possibilities are opening up now. Or I could simply grab my trusty lasgun and join the big push to drive the Orks back to their god forsaken crashed space ship and clean this planet up once and for all...
A FEW THOUGHTS...
HOW BEAT WOW.?-
WOW is big, real big. Why? They did what Blizzard do. They take a working concept of a game (Korean MMORPG's) and they got rid of the clunky and the dodgey. Clunky interface? Smooth it out. Clunky servers? Throw money until fixed. Dodgey support? Get that worked on. Dodgey distribution channels? Get it in every store. Blizzard did it to all the dungeon bashers and made Diablo. They did it to Dune2 and made Starcraft. It's amazing how well you can do if the product you release actually works. You put in the disk, you install it, you mess around for a while and it doesn't mess up, 99% of the time all the way through to the end. If something is messed, you release a patch quick smart. And then you support it all the way through it's product cycle. Revolutionary! Sales leader!  Whoda thunk it?
The way to beat WOW - God damn playtest the thing, and get an interface granny can figure out. "Lowest Common Denominator" is good in an interface - it means it works and anyone can play.
KARMA BEATS CASH-
So what is next? Karma. The full on Buddhist thang. Everyone who rolls into the 40k universe starts at the basest level nobody, and works their way up. Orc players start as gretchin/grots. Humies start in conscript squads. Eldar start as Exodites with a sharp stick. Chaos start as cultists. There are MP squad equivalents coming to get you. you get thrown on battlefields, and if you do well, you might get some experience, skills, stuff. If not, well, you die. After you die is the interesting bit. Instead of coming back to the same body, you can use your Karma to go to another, better one. You  go from the scabby conscript up to a conscript with a heavy weapon, or maybe an actual guardsman! Karma can be earnt in multiple ways - by performing good duties or battlefield performance, by following orders. There will be arguments that you must have cash. Soldiers don't need cash. They are issued equipment by their superiors, they get fed by the people in the back, and a lot their choices are made by people up the chain, not by their pocketbooks. The way to climb the chain and have it mean something is too earn karma.
When I see someone at level 60 in WOW, I don't think "Wow, what an achievement", I think "That dude/ dudette has way too much time on their hands to grind that out."
TYPES OF KARMA-
ORG Karma:
Generated through AI Quests:
Get through basic training. Report to the train. Link up with unit X and officer Y. Take sector Z.
BATTLE Karma
Generated through successfull missions and kills.
PEOPLE Karma
People Karma is given by the players. With each monthly supscription a player gets (for example) 10 Good Karma points to give away - and they give them away to the leaders who make their time worthwhile, to the companion they have fun with. It is a limited and known number - limited to the amount of people on the server. they can also get 10 Bad Karma points for the people who ruin their experience.
MAKE BATTLES MEAN IT- I want news, I don't want to be safe, I want action, and I want it to count.
WAKE, PREP, FIGHT: When I hop into my  body, I might be in a staging area, and I might be posted to the back zones of the war. I think Dark Ages of Camelot began to get this right. However the random backplay against random bunnies in order to develop skills is getting a bit old. Enemy at the gates gets it right. You wake up in the train with everyone else, and hopefully no-one goes nuts and runs and gets shot by the train guards. You get on the boat inside shell range, and have a chance of being blown to smithereens before your reach the battlefront.
KARMA EXAMPLES : Counterstrike cash is karma. Counterstrike is great for it's immediacy, it's flexibilty between team/ single player interactions, the fact that dying means something, and the continuation. In CS, cash works like karma - initially you have none and everyone starts off as basic troopers, and it is by team wins or personal achievements that cash, and thus improvements are earned. Karma is burnt each time you regenerate, but it can be saved for a big splash eventually. So you can grind it out to get the big gun, and spend no money and stay a grunt. But grinding is the slow, inefficient way rather than main way.
RISK IS EVERYWHERE: The majority of the players will not be the players. They will be AI's, following their orders and trying to kill the enemy and take their objective. You should feel the fear at every engagement. Players will give the teams they are in an edge by being able to perform manouvere and outsmarting tactics, but there should be no grinding holes. A group of PC's should be able to significantly outperform AI's - but they are still vulnerable. Making people unable to be harmed makes them unable to be respected. And when you eliminate enemy soldiers, you will have saved an objective or taken one.
IT MEANS SOMETHING: If I happen to be in one of the biggest battles, I want it to mean something. I want my potshot at the enemy commander to ring out and affect the battle if I get lucky. If I don't take the starport, I want it to mean that we are cut off and doomed. If I grind the level one areas in WOW, the bunnies
HATE DESERTERS: I want people to get really angry at deserters and cowards. There will always be those who don't want to be forced to go a standard path, who want to explore and so forth. I want these people to get to become battlefield scouts who still have missions. They can be the scrounge squads who kill the local wildlife to add some protein to the kitchen. I want deserters to actively hunted by MP squads. If there is an area that is full of wanderes, give others the 'hunt deserters' missions.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Chain of Command Germans Cancon 2015

Chain of Command German Osttruppen Heer Cancon 2015


Osttrupen - Mainly Elderly Germans and Ukrainians.
642nd East Battalion (reserve) defended behind the coast while the main force resisted at Sword.

battalion

1000men?

They were part of 736th regiment.


regiment

3,000 men

It was part of the 716th Infantry Division.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/716th_Static_Infantry_Division_(Wehrmacht)

division

8,000 men
(One Division, Two regiments, 6 battalions?)

Artillery support was provided by the 1716th Artillery Division.

What does static mean?
Static (bodenständige)
Deficient in transport, even enough to move its own artillery. Many of these were divisions that had been mauled on the Russian Front and were sent west to serve as coastal defense garrisons until sufficient resources were available to rehabilitate them.

Likely numbers of Osttruppen:

http://www.canadiansoldiers.com/enemies/formations.htm
A new divisional organization was introduced in October 1943; referred to as the M1944 Division, it called for 11,317 German personnel and 1,455 auxiliaries (the Hilfwilliger, or volunteers from captured Russian personnel). The division was 28% leaner in terms of personnel, but again had a slight increase in firepower.

Painting Guides


http://www.artizandesigns.com/guides/GermanArmyColours.pdf

http://tanktaco.blogspot.com.au/2013/07/basic-german-wehrmacht-uniform-wwii-era.html

Monday, July 21, 2014

Josh Celts

Basic Article
http://www.the-orb.net/encyclop/early/origins/rom_celt/celticfringe.html

Gallowglass
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gallowglass

CELT
Celt covers a LOT of time and area. To get an impression, you need to narrow it down.
You could be anything from a near naked man with blue paint and a spear to A fully plate armoured knight in imported Millanese full plate.

Choices
Time period - wealth - localised/ influenced - travelled  - location

Time Period
Pre-Roman - Roman - Iron Age - Transition/ Viking - Post Norman - Post Plauge - Renaissance

Wealth
Are you portraying a wealthy man or a basic soldier

Localised
Are you portraying a localised persona or a heavily influenced person - Romanised/ Vikingised/ Adpoted imported plate etc

Travelled
Are you a stay at home local man or have you travelled to pick up external influences and ways

Location:
Good Map
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Celts

Insular Celt, Continental Celt