Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Trapdoor


I have unearthed my digital copy of this cracking little set of dungeon crawl rules and have been reading it through again. It really is a very simple beer and pretzels level system with all the classic features you'd expect in a set of basic dungeoneering RPG-light rules. I particularly like the fact that it's all squeezed into only 36 pages, some of which are illustrated examples of play, tables and charts. The rules themselves probably only occupy about half of that page count again, so very streamlined but not lacking in detail at all. They're not available any more as far as I can tell, having looked in all the usual places, but if you can locate a copy they are well worth grabbing.

Monday, 22 May 2017

Dungeon Crawl


My sprogs love dungeon crawl games, so I've been thinking of doing a little project based around the re-released Pendraken Miniatures 10mm dungeon set, complete with adventurers, monsters, treasure and traps. I toyed with the idea of this a few years ago, when I saw the dungeon terrain starter set on sale at Warfare, but decided to spend my pocket money on something else.

Now, I think it would be a very good way to encourage the sprogs into miniatures gaming and to have a set up that is compact enough to pack away for holidays. There's a set of Beer and Pretzels rules called Trapdoor! that I already have on the hard drive which would be ideal for just this sort of thing. All I need to do is save up my hard earned pocket money again (!) to buy enough corridors, rooms and figures for a decent dungeon adventure.

Friday, 5 May 2017

Ludus Gladiatorius


For various reasons my thoughts have been turning to gladiatorial combat games of late and, as a result, I've dug out a battered old copy of the EM-4 Ludus Gladiatorius 'beer and pretzels' style game, complete with pre-painted gladiator figures. I say figures but a couple are missing from my set, having been converted into dead gladiators for a long abandoned Warhammer Gladiator project that bit the dust a few years ago, after I realised too late that the rules were wonky.


I do have plenty of painted 28mm Foundry and Crusader Miniatures gladiator figures, as you can see, so it will be easy to set up a game or two of Ludus Gladiatorius with substitutes. The EM-4 figures are a bit two dimensional anyway and I'm not keen on the painting style, even if it's a great way to get a game on the table. I've played the game a few times before with my kids and it is easy to pick up, fast and pretty deadly. I'll see if I can get a game or two underway over the weekend.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

Tank on Tank: Westfront - Night Action







I played a scenario from the Tank on Tank: Westfront rules booklet yesterday, with my nine year old daughter once again taking command of the Wehrmacht and myself the Yanks. The scenario was a night action with limited range due to low visibility, so it was a bit of a challenge for both sides. In the end I managed to win by stopping the Germans from blocking the North-South roads which ran across the map. It was a good game and the night rules made it really interesting, especially as it neutralised some of the advantages of the Tigers and made it easier for the Shermans to get in some crucial flanking shots.

Sunday, 30 April 2017

Tank on Tank: Eastfront - The Hammer









This was another game against my nine year old daughter, who once again took on the role of the German Kampfgruppe commander against my Soviet armoured forces. The scenario involved a massed attack by the Soviets to capture three town hexes, with the dug-in German defenders trying to stop them by the end of turn nine. If either side knocked out all of the enemies forces they would also win but it was really all about taking the towns and having more units in occupation at the end to the game.

Needless to say, it was a close run thing but the girl beat her dad again (!) even though we both held a town each at the end of the game. One thing I did do was to use plastic counters to mark knocked out units, rather than just removing the counters from play, which meant that line of sight and movement was a bit more challenging. This worked well but could make the game less fluid, so I'll only use it as and when the scenario would benefit in the future or just count the destroyed units as not actually being an obstacle.

Atlantic Fleet Battle of the Atlantic Campaign


Over the last couple of months I've been chipping away at the Atlantic Fleet Battle of the Atlantic campaign, playing the Kriegsmarine rather than the Royal Navy. I had tried the latter but came to a sticky end after about twenty turns, so switched sides in an attempt to work out what I  had done wrong. At the moment, I'm about half way through 1941 and things are going well for the U Boats, with an impressive tonnage of merchant ships sunk and the allies reduced to a fleet of destroyers. I'm very wary of the occasional capital ship that pops up out of nowhere and of the odd setback due to allied air power, having lost a light cruiser only a couple of turns ago to a Liberator with depth charges.


It's a good campaign mode, although by it's very nature there are repetitive bits with U Boat attacks on convoys or destroyers being pretty frequent. I've found that organising the submarines into Wolf Packs really works well, especially when combined with surface battle groups of battleships, battlecruisers and light cruisers. My biggest headache is that I've run out of these and can't build any more, so have to rely on destroyers and submarines to replace any losses, even though the German destroyers are pretty powerful as they are. It's a great little game and has an element of historical accuracy that is missing from most other naval themed titles, so well worth playing and definitely good value for money. I just wish there was a WW1 version!