Tag Archives: Game Day

NOVAG’s Winter Game Day, 29 Jan 2017, Centreville VA

(Note: I have some reports that the inline pictures are not viewable on this post.  They are to me, that’s a little mystifying, but it might be a permissions issue– I’m using Google Photos instead of Flickr for this post.  Here is a link to every picture I took, which is public: https://goo.gl/photos/3GzUcNgKknah5hFQ9)

Today was NOVAG’s Quarterly Game Day (Winter 2017) held as usual at the Centreville Library. This is the big meeting room facility at the library and it can hold roughly 9 setups for miniatures games, roughly equivalent to a 5 x 8 table at a convention (somewhat smaller). This gameday was fairly well promoted on Facebook, Twitter and elsewhere and attendance was fantastic– every table had something on it and every game ran the length of the gameday (pretty much), from about 1 to 5.

Ron Prillman Routs some Russians. I think.

I’ve posted the PEL elsewhere, and every game but two (the Space Hulk and Russo-Polish game) was played.

Okay, maybe it was some Americans.

… and Dave Luff is astounded at the results!!

Jason Weiser runs his game with Mike Pierce in the background. Okay, yeah, it was Eastern Front. The green paint job fooled me.

This was Battlegroup World War II “The End of the Iron Dream”.. looks like everyone enjoyed themselves. I like the fire effect Jason was using with a flickering tea lamp under the smoke cloud.

Peter Schweighofer was there with his new rule system aimed at kids, Panzer Kids Deluxe. This looked like a blast from where I was sitting. Tons of kids at this game con, this is a great sign!

Brian Dewitt, kind of an iron man of running games at cons and gamedays, took a break from Chariot Racing and Ancient Galley Warfare, to make a game about Medieval Siege Warfare, the Siege of Skipton Castle.  I like Siege games, for some reason– and this looked like it was a hit with the younger set.

There was also a modern game of Force on Force going on in the corner, called The Battle of Yampil.  This was run by the Byrne brothers and seemed sparse in infantry and dense in armor vehicles.

Elsewhere, Roy Jones ran Sword and the Flame (Sand Dunes of Zwarfontein) NOVAG’s own Tim Tilson ran a War of the Austrian Succession game (15 June 1746. Piacenza), and Dennis Wang reran his cool variant of Air Force / Dauntless that used a tablet client to make moves. It’s a fun game, more on it here.

What was I doing?  Oh, I was busy.  I actually came to play in Dave Markley and John Koprowski’s Russo Polish War game, which is a favorite period for me.   They had cancelled but that was fine– as I came in I noticed Mark Fastoso, a GM I associate with running historical games, had set up a Napoleonic skirmish game using many Alternative Armies FLINTLOQUE game figures and DRAGON RAMPART (modified for Napoleonics) as the rules.  I asked if had space, he said “sure, wanna play?” and I said “I”m In!”.   This proved to be a good time– first time for me using both Flintloque miniatures (which are charming!) and the Dragon Rampart rules, which make total sense to me and are a blast.  Bear with, here on the many pictures of this game, this is where I was for most of the day and I only nicked off to snap a few of other games now and then.

See the rest of them here in this GOOGLE PHOTOS album!

I tried Facebooking live on here which I posted publicly to the Facebook Alternative Armies group in three parts: ONE TWO THREE (I made this public share specifically so it could be viewed by everyone).

and compiled it all here on a YT, but it’s kind of small:

In summary, a great time and it’s always fun catching up with people you don’t see that often, even locally. Kudos to the organizers, another fun event.


NOVAG/Potomac Wargamers Winter GAME Day 2017 Primary Events List

NOVAG Game Day will be on 29 January 17 at the Centreville Library, Centreville, VA

Administrative Details:

Winter Game Day will be held on Sunday January 29, 2017 starting at 1:00 p.m. at the Centreville Library.  The library is located at: 14200 St Germaine Rd, Centreville VA 20121-2299  (roughly I-66 and US 29).  The Library phone is 703-830-2233. This event is free.  The library opens at 1:00 for players. GMs may enter the side door starting at 12:00 noon.

GAME TITLE:  Siege of Skipton Castle
GAME MASTER:  Brian De Witt
PERIOD:  Medieval
SCALE:  25mm
RULES:  Home

GAME DESCRIPTION: Bring your ladders, catapults, rams burning oil and rocks to either storm or defend Skipton Castle. Rules will be taught.

GAME TITLE:  Piacenza
GAME MASTER:  Tim Tilson
PERIOD:  War of the Austrian Succession
SCALE:  15mm
RULES:  Black Powder

GAME DESCRIPTION: 15 June 1746. Piacenza Italy. After concluding peace with Frederick of Prussia in December 1745, Maria Theresa ordered Field Marshal Ulysses von Browne to Italy with a small force.  The Austrians marched over the Alps in late winter and upset the prevailing Allied dominance in Lombardy.  Browne quickly retook a number of outposts and Milan.  The Spanish evacuated Parma, retreated north to Piacenza and entrenched outside the city.   With the arrival of the main Austrian army under General Liechtenstein, the Spanish were outnumbered 56,000 to 26,000.  However, the entrenchments greatly favored the Spanish and so Liechtenstein settled down to a siege.  On June 14, a French relief force under Marshall Maillebois arrived on the Allied left wing, south of the city, shifting the balance of forces in favor of the Allies. Browne sensed an Allied attack, and refused his left wing, deploying it behind the Canale San Bonico. At first light, the Allied right wing advanced. 

GAME TITLE:  “Halle 1806”
GAME MASTER:   Tom Bierschenk
PERIOD:   Napoleonics
SCALE:     15mm
RULES:    Napoleons Battles 4th Edition

GAME DESCRIPTION:  17 October, 1806:  Bernadotte’s I corps rushes to cross the Saale river at Halle and destroy the Duke of Wurttemberg’s Reserve Prussian Corps, the only remaining intact large Prussian force between Napoleon and Berlin.  Bernadotte must restore his honor, after having shirked his duty at Jena/Auerstedt.

GAME TITLE: Sharke’s Bridge
GAME MASTER:  Mark Fastoso
PERIOD:  Napoleonic Fantasy
SCALE:    28mm
RULES:   Dragon Rampant

GAME DESCRIPTION: Lt. Sharke and his Chosen Orc Rifles have been ordered to destroy a bridge on the border.  Seems like an easy mission but he has been accompanied by Colonel Simm’Orcson, a rather buffoonish officer, and his men who are out for glory.  All seems quiet at the bridge and Simm’Orcson despairs at losing his chance for fame and fortune until he spies a cannon being moved into position across the river.  He immediately orders his men to cross the bridge and capture the gun!  Lt. Sharke stares in shock at Simm’Orcson and his men cross the bridge he is about to blow to kingdom come.  This is a Napoleonic Fantasy game using Flintloque figures and Dragon Rampant rules.

GAME TITLE:  Sand Dunes of Zwarfontein ( German South-West Africa)
GAME MASTER:   Roy Jones
PERIOD:   Colonial
SCALE:     25mm The Sword and the Flame (Modified)
RULES:  The Sword and the Flame (Modified)

GAME DESCRIPTION:  The Herero War is over – the Nama Wars have begun! The alliance between Nama leader Hendrik Witbooi and the Kaiser is shattered! A combined Nama force of Witbooi troops and those of Simon Kooper confront the Germans at Zwarfontein. The Germans have mobile mountain guns, but the Nama have some

GAME TITLE:  White Eagle, Red Star
GAME MASTER:   John Koprowski and Dave Markley
PERIOD:   1920 Post WWI Poland
SCALE:     20mm – 1/72
RULES:   Too Fat Lardies’ Triumph of the Will /If The Lord Spares Us

GAME DESCRIPTION:  It’s 1920 and Vlad, Lenin not Putin, is moving west to spread the Glorious Workers Revolution to Western Europe and …Amerika.  Can the out gunned and under manned Poles save Civilization from the Godless Bolshevik barbarians?  Man your machine gun; pilot your fighter plane; or drive your armored train into the Polish fight for freedom…or ride into glory with Seymon Budonny.

GAME TITLE: Panzer Kids Desert Skirmishes
GAME MASTER: Peter Schweighofer
PERIOD: World War II
SCALE: 15mm
RULES: Panzer Kids Deluxe

GAME DESCRIPTION: Command tank forces battling for control of the North African desert in World War II using these beginner-friendly rules. Maneuver British and German tanks around dunes, oases, and other obstacles to destroy enemy tanks and win the day. Drop in to learn the rules and fight a quick skirmish or stick around to try some of the optional rules to add depth to your game experience. Wargaming beginners welcome. Kid-friendly game; ideal for players 7-12 years old.

GAME TITLE:  WWII Air Battle – Wildcats vs Me-109s
GAME MASTER:  Dennis Wang
SCALE:  1/285
RULES:  Air Force/Dauntless

GAME DESCRIPTION: Air Force/Dauntless with computer assist. 4″ hexes and  1/200 airplanes (Wings of Glory scale) with telescoping flight stands equipped with climb/dive, bank, altitude indicators. Bring your tablet/smartphone/laptop equipped with a WWW browser. Windows, Mac, Android, Chromebook all OK. Paper and pencil not r equired/used. Novices welcome. Rules PDF free on the Web or at the meeting. On 26 March 1945,  FM-2’s from 882 Squadron Lieut Comdr. GAM Flood, RNVR) off HMS Searcher, escorting a flight of Avengers along the coast of Norway, was attacked near Christiansand by a flight of eight III Gruppe JG 5 Me-109Gs. The Wildcats (now called “Wildcat instead of “Martlet” as the Fleet Air Arm adopts the USN names for carrier aircraft in January 1945) shot down four of the Me-109Gs at a cost of one Wildcat damaged. A fifth 109 was claimed as damaged. These were the last British Wildcat victories at the end of WWII

GAME TITLE: End of an Iron Dream
GAME MASTER Jason Weiser
SCALE: 20mm
RULES: Battlegroup WWII

GAME DESCRIPTION: It’s the typical story, 1945, a German garrison in East Prussia is holding on by their fingernails to stave off the inevitable. Someone at OKW had the bright idea to send in some supplies to them, and thought, if we’re going to do that, why not launch a local counterattack to open a corridor to them? Suddenly, an entire company sized Kampfgruppe is now on the move at night against a Soviet force of unknown size, trying to blast open a corridor to a garrison that may not still be there.

Can you make a silk ear out of a sow’s purse and complete this fool’s errand.

GAME TITLE: The Battle of Yampil, 19 June 2014
GAME MASTER: Mike and Patrick Byrne
PERIOD: Modern
SCALE: 28mm
RULES: Force on Force

GAME DESCRIPTION: Before a cease fire takes place pro-Russian rebels launch an offensive to take more towns.  The Ukrainian Army launches a counter attack to encircle the rebels.  Can the rebels stop the Ukrainian counter attack?

GAME TITLE: Space Hulk
GAME MASTER Stefan B. Tahmassebi
PERIOD: 40,000 AD
SCALE: 28mm
RULES: Space Hulk 2012

GAME DESCRIPTION: Terminator Space Marines versus hungry Tyranids.

NOVAG’s Winter Game Day 2016

SLIDESHOW of Game Day pictures.. tons of them are Artemisium which I played in

On January 31, 2016, NOVAG threw it’s usual quarterly Game Day, Winter version. The location was the Centreville Library in the multi-purpose room. There were about ten tables in play. I think we had a pretty good turnout considering the recent weather.

Here are a few pictures!

GAME MASTER: Dennis Wang
SCALE: 1/285
RULES: Air Force/Dauntless (Note: same system as mentioned in this blog post from 2014)
GAME DESCRIPTION: Air Force/Dauntless with computer assist. 3″ hexes and 1/200airplanes (Wings of Glory scale) with telescoping flight stands equipped with climb/dive,bank, altitude indicators. Bring your tablet/smartphone/laptop equipped with a WWWbrowser. Windows, Mac, Android, Chromebook all OK. Paper and pencil notrequired/used. Novices welcome. Rules PDF free on the Web or at the meeting.

GAME TITLE: Fontenoy
PERIOD: War of the Austrian Succession
RULES: Black Powder
GAME DESCRIPTION: In the spring of 1745, Marshal de Saxe prepared to invade theAustrian Lowlands, and take Tournai. Facing him was an Allied army under the 23 yearold Duke of Cumberland. DeSaxe wanted to defeat the Allied army before starting thesiege. Thus he planned to goad them into attacking him. First he dispatched a columntowards Mons. Cumberland accepted the bait and moved his army there, while deSaxeproceeded to Tournai. Realizing he had been hoodwinked, Cumberland then marchedtowards Tournai where deSaxe awaited him on terrain of his choosing. The French werein an extremely strong +L shaped position, with the village of Fontenoy forming thehinge. The flanks were protected by woods and the river Schedlt. Finally deSaxe hadmade the position stronger with the use of redoubts. At 2:00 a.m. the Allied army wasunder arms and ready to advance.

GAME TITLE: Assault on Hoth
GAME MASTER: Phil Pournelle
PERIOD: A Long Time Ago in a Galaxy Far, Far Away
SCALE: Galoob Micro Machines (1/188)
RULES: West End Game’s Assault on Hoth
GAME DESCRIPTION: Imperial Forces have arrived to destroy the Rebel hideaway on the ice planet Hoth. The only hope for maintaining the rebellion is to use the Ion Cannons to enable transport ships to evade Imperial StarDestroyers. General Veers and his ATAT forces have been dispatched to destroy the Ion Cannon and the defenders of the base. Luke Skywalker leads Rogue squadron in a desperate attempt to delay the Imperial Forces long enough to for Princess Leia to complete the evacuation and escapein the Millennium Falcon. Will the Rebel Alliance survive? Or will the Imperial Forces prevail? Will Luke be captured and turned to the Dark Side? Take

command of either Imperial or Rebel forces and decide the fate of the galaxy

GAME MASTER: Michael Byrne
PERIOD: Modern
SCALE: 28mm
RULES: Force on Force
DESCRIPTION: With all SEAL teams on missions, elements of the elite Ranger RECCEunit and 3/75th Ranger Battalion were tasked to secure a high value target. Aerialinsertion had not worked in the past, so the Rangers would make their attack overlandfrom a staging point. The terrain was more difficult than expected and the attack startedat day break. Can the Rangers capture the high value target or will he escape again?

(I played Artemisum (bel0w) and took lots of pictures of the game in progress.. see them HERE)

GAME TITLE: The Battle of Artemisium – 480 BC

PERIOD: Ancients
SCALE: 15mm
RULES: Greeks at Sea
TIME: 2 Hours
GAME DESCRIPTION: The Battle of Artemisium was a series of naval engagements over three days during the second Persian invasion of Greece. The battle took place simultaneously with the more famous land battle at Thermopylae, in August or September 480 BC, off the coast of Euboea and was fought between an alliance of Greek city-states, including Sparta, Athens, Corinth and others, and the Persian Empireof Xerxes I. The Greek fleet was protecting the flank of the army at Thermopylae, whilst attempting to not being cut off themselves. The Persians needed to force their way through either at of Thermopylae or Artemisium to outflank either position. The Persians were at a significant tactical advantage, outnumbering the Allies and having “better sailing” ships. The “better sailing” that Herodotus mentions was probably due to thesuperior seamanship of the crews; most of the Athenian ships (and therefore the majorityof the fleet) were newly built, and had inexperienced crews. This scenario represents part of the first day of the battle when the Persians saw the Allied fleet rowing towardsthem and decided to seize the opportunity to attack, even though it was late in the day,as they thought they would win an easy victory.

Notes on Artemesium.  This was the same game I played at Fall-IN! 2015, run by the same GM (Brian DeWitt) using the same rules (Greeks at Sea).  I chose Persia this time.  We started out trying to have a plan, forming a line moving down the table, but that didnt’ last long as the Greeks burst into our formation.  It was an embarrassing start for the Persians as my left wing took some casualties from boarding and capturing.  I lost two ships to capture — the Greeks get elite marines, and my opponent always seemed to have a “Fierce Marines” chit and a 1 or 0 initiative chit to use handy.  Shrug.  It is what it is.  Even with only 1 damaged ship left, I did do my duty to Ahura-Mazda and rammed one of the Greek hulls, sinking it.  I then was trying to maneuver around to ram his other damaged hull, and the game was called.  Result was a Pyrrhic victory for our side.  We killed 1 more ship than they killed or captured from us, but they sank the flagship.  I think the rules are great, but tend to favor the Greeks too much.  You just don’t want those Greeks aboard your ship.  Gar played as a Persian as well, and was up against  a kid who was hand picking his initiative chits (perhaps he was confused about blind drawing?) so he always had the jump on Gar with an initiative of 0 many turns in a row.  Still, Gar did some damage on his ships as well, he was no cake walk.  He really enjoyed the game.  More importantly his buds were texting him during the game and he was sending them pictures.  Now THEY want to come to the next game day.  Our job here is done!

Oh, I did make a little movie of Artemesium.. have fun.

Chariots and Such: NOVAG Game Day Winter 2014

Thanks to the tireless efforts of the NOVAG leadership, the NOVAG Game Day was held at the Centreville Library on Saturday 15 February 2014. I like this venue a lot, it’s relatively easy to get to by everyone, adequate parking, close to a lot of food choices, and as far as I know, free for us to use. The down side is its on the Western side of Fairfax County and we could probably have one on the Eastern half, or at Victory Comics, or something, just to spread it out a bit. For the time being, though, I like Centreville just fine.

It was also cool to see Dennis Largesse, pioneering game shop owner of the LITTLE SOLDIER in Alexandria (mentioned here), drop by for a visit.

Dennis Largesse

NOVAG Game masters had ten events on the schedule. For the most part it appears that they came off as advertised.

10:30 am – Battle of Chickamauga, By Mike Pierce

Chickamauga, Regimental Fire and Fury rules

10:30 am – Command & Colors Napoleonics , By Eric Freiwald

Command & Colors Napoleonics, rules: GMT

10:30 am – Jousting Tournament, By Brian DeWitt

No Pictures

11 am – Stop the Goeben, By Bill Cira

Stop the Goeben GHQ rules

11 am – The Trenches of Onganjira (German South-West Africa, 1904), By Roy Jones

No Pictures

11 am – Kloster Kamp, By Tim Tilson

Kloster Kamp, rules Black Powder

12 pm – The First, By Roxanne Patton

No Pictures

12 pm – Fireball Forward, By Mark Fastoso

1 pm – Air Force/Dauntless, By Dennis Wang (see previous blog post for a dissection of this event)

3 pm – Roman Chariot Race, By Brian DeWitt

I attended with my son, Garrett (15). As I’ve said in the previous post, we arrived at noon thirty more or less. We played AIR FORCE/DAUNTLESS almost immediately and my reactions to that game are captured in the previous blog post.

There was a nice assortment of games out and I liked them all. I wanted to play in the Goeben game but it didn’t end until we were well into the Air Force game, which is what I came to play. We brought a few board games and were going to put out one to play amongst ourselves when Brian DeWitt asked us if we’d like to play his Roman Chariot game. We were game for that!

And off we went!

Both Gar and I have long experience in Chariot racing games. Gar has played my Fast Shuffle Chariot Combat Racing game in the past and other chariot games, I am an old hand at Circus Maximus, Circus Minimus and various chariot games. So both of us are of the mindset that when it comes to chariots, spare no effort to get out and get ahead of the pack if you can. ANY which way you can. I have played Brian’s rules before, or something close to them in 54mm scale, by another GM at a HMGS convention. They are relatively simple at four pages. The big problem with games of this kind is that once the field thins out a bit it becomes clear who will be the winner, and people tend to glaze over until the end. I didn’t think that happened here.

The Race is 2.5 laps. Going into the first lap, we are still bunched up. And the attacking has already started, top left.

Garrett’s chariot met its grisly end fairly early. That suited him, he shrugged and went back to scrolling up and down Redditt. Of course, his stiffening corpse and wreckage added some challenges to the course.

So long, little buddy!

No time to remain sentimental, I had a race to try to not lose. Brian’s rules have elaborate drafting mechanics so I got to the rear of the conga line to avoid having to deplete an endurance chip (black or green poker chips).

For some reason I ended up (in the Orange chariot) the target of a lot of the other racers, as I did here when they tried a squeeze play:

YIKES! Get me out of this

Too bad for the guy on the left, his homicidal efforts got him in hot water. In Brian’s rules when one chariot rams another, there is a dice differential roll which can run into the negative numbers. When he rolled a two and I rolled an eleven, he knew he was in trouble.

-5 or more on the attack table ended up flipping the ATTACKING chariot. See ya later, Doofius!

The joy of being attacked continued unabated during the next turn.

Ramming someone into the wall (in this case, me in the Orange Team) is an age-old tactic in chariot race games.

I was actually expecting to die going around the last curve (for me), as I had to go over a wreck somewhere, I didn’t have that many options. Actually driving over Garrett’s corpse only jostled me a little bit and I got back to the inside lane quickly, tearing down the track ALL OUT that turn

I knew it couldn’t last! Fred Haub’s chariot rammed me, I guess he was a little miffed I tried to do for him in the preceding pass. I skidded into the wall and disintegrated.

Sadly, keeping an “all or nothing” pace has its risks, and my ticket got punched going into the last lap. I shrugged off driving over wreckage, a whip attack, and rammed another chariot (Fred Haub’s, ineffectually) on the way down to the end, but got rammed back for my pains, damaging the chariot even more. It was actually the corner strain test that did for me; I lost control during the turn and skidded sideways into the wall; the chariot turned to flinders. And that did for me!

I like chariot games.

So that was NOVAG’s Winter Game day for 2014. Lots of fun, easy to execute, and relatively cost-free. Thanks to the NOVAG leadership for putting this on, and the Fairfax County Public Library system for hosting us.

Slideshow of the entire game day

Slideshow of just the Chariot hijinx

NOVAG Spring Game Day, 01 June 2013

NOVAG will host is Spring Game Day on Saturday 1 June 2013 at the Knights of Columbus Hall on the campus of St Leo’s Catholic Church. The church is at 3700 Old Lee Highway in Fairfax. The hall is at the back of the campus by the baseball fields. Doors will open at 11:30 a.m. for GMs to set up games. Gaming will start at 1:00 pm. We have the hall unit 6:00 pm. Admission is $3 per adult and children free. All the money raised by the admission fees will be donated to the Knights of Columbus.

Flea Market. A Flea Market will be held from 1:00-2:00 pm. Sellers need only pay the $3 admission fee.

Internet Donation. Being organized on line now, NOVAG has only one expense. Our web site is hosted by Peregrine Computer Consulting Corporation for free. However we do receive a yearly bill for $17 for our name registration. Currently the treasury has enough to pay next year’s fees. So we will have a donation basket to help defray the registration fee. When we host Game Days at libraries etc we are prohibited from charging admission. So this is an opportunity for the club to replenish its coffers.

The Primary Events List follows:

Primary Events List

Title: Lutterburg
GM: Tim Tilson
Period: Seven Years War
Rules: Black Powder
Scale: 25mm
Length: 3 hours
Players: 5

Description: 10 October 1758 1500 hours. Early in Ocotber, the Comte de Soubise was reinforced by Chevert and St. James and promptly advanced. Facing him was LTG Oberg with only 17 Allied battalions to oppose the 78 French/Saxon battalions. Consequently, he retreated northwest across the Fulda river through Lutterburg, with a goal of crossing the Werra river. However the French were on his heels. Ober’s only crossing was at Munden. Fearing he would be caught by the French en marche, he stopped at the heights of Lutterburg and deployed his army. His right flank rested on the Fulda with his left on a hill known as the Klein Stuafenberg. Soubise followed him and planned to use his superior numbers to outflank the Allied army and push it onto the Fulda or force it to surrender.

Title: The Struggle for Omaruru (German South-West Africa 1904)
GM: Roy Jones
Period: Colonial
Rules: The Sword and the Flame (modified)
Scale: 25mm

Description: The Hereros hold the German garrison town of Omaruru;the Kaiser wants it back! But Herero riflemen are defending in depth from stone field works and strong points, with their usual courage and skill. A tough job awaits Haupmtann Frank’s elite 2nd Feldkompagnie. From the scenario book The Herero War. More at http://www.hererowars. com

Title: Second Battle of Heligoland, Novebner 18, 1917
GM: Bill Cira
Period: WWI
Rules: Fleet Action Imminent
Scale: 1/3000
Length: 4 hours
Players: 8

Description: The Royal Navy has learned of a German Navy plan to conduct a mine sweeping opersation west of Heligoland in the North Sea. The Germans want to ensure safe passage of their U-Boats while the British plan to spoil the plan. A strong force of RN light cruisers and battle cruisers have scattered the German mineswepers and are in hot pursuit of a squadron of German light cruisers. But there could be an unpleasant surprise for them at the end of the ride. Rules taught and beginners welcome.

Title: The Battle of Denmark Strait.
GM: Walt O’Hara
Rules: Victory at Sea
Scale: 1:600
Length: 3 hours
Players: 4

Description: In May of 1941, the Bismarck and the escorting Prinz Eugen finally broke out into the Atlantic and were free to begin their commerce raiding cruise. Just two ships of the Royal Navy stood in their way, the HMS Hood and HMS Prince of Wales. The resulting battle proved to be disastrous for the Royal Navy and lead to one of the greatest confrontations at sea during WW2. Perhaps it could have gone differently, who knows? The RN players will have the Hood and Prince of Wales, the Germans the Bismarck and Prinz Eugen.

OPTIONAL (Depends on remaining time)

Title: The Battle of the River Platte
GM: Walt O’Hara
Rules: Victory at Sea
Scale: 1:600
Length: 3 hours
Players: 4

Description: The first major naval engagement of WW2, the Admiral Graf Spee had been successfully raising merchant ships in the South Atlantic, but the Royal Navy’s Sought American Division was closing in. On December 13th, 1939, three British Cruisers engaged the German pocket battleship. On paper, they were outgunned. Historically, the German captain balked due to his certainty that there was another RN squadron nearby (there wasn’t)- – so he cut and run to a neutral harbor where he ended up scuttling his ship. This scenario allows the half-completed historical battle to be played out. In a stand up fight the British player will be at a gunnery and armor disadvantage, but will have the advantage of attacking from different directions.

Title: Police Action
GM: Dwin Craig
Rules: Fireball Forward!!
Scale: 15mm
Length: 3 hours
Players: 4

Description: 22 August 1941, 0500hrs The SS Police Division was located several kilometers south and southwest of Luga. SS Brigadefuehrer Muelverstedt advanced up to Luga and assaulted several bunkers and ran into problems. The Soviets had to literally be shot outof their bunkers and defensive positions.

Title: Mannecourt Hill
GM: Roxanne Patton
Rules: Battlefront WWII
Scale: 20mm
Length: 3 hours
Players: 4

Description: 20 September 1944. Turning back from the advance to the north, Col. Abrams leads a reinforced task force on a sweep east to the town of Ley to clear the village of German armor. C/37th on Abram’s left crests Mannecourt Hill into a deadly German fusillade.

Title: The Scouring of the Westfold
GM: Lance O’Donnell
Period: Fantasy
Rules: War of the Ring
Scale: 25mm
Length: 4 hours
Players: 4

Description: A dark cloud has fallen over Rohan, Saruman has betrayed the White Council and seeks the One Ring for himself. He has allied Isengard with Barad-Dur as the two towers unite. First Rohan must be destroyed. Saruman has unleashed the forces of Isengard to wreck havoc upon the Westfold. With King Theoden under Saruman’ s spell, his nephew Eomer has gathered loyal riders to try and stop Saruman’ s vanguard. This game uses Games Workshop’ s Lord of the Rings: War of the RIng mass battle system. The forces of evil are a mix of Uruk-hai and Warg Riders and the forces of good are Rohan Oathsworn Militia and Riders of Rohan. Rules will be taught, not recommended for children under 14.

Title: Mini Mech: City Under Siege!
GM: Sean Conlon
Period: Future
Rules: Mini Mech
Scale: 6mm
Length: 2 hours
Players: up to 6 (possibly 8)
Description: A fun, streamlined set of rules for combat between companies of tiny mechs and combat walkers, in an urban environment.

Civil Service Game Day

Gar and I joined some friends over at the Game Parlor for their so-called “Civil Service Game Day” today.  Gar wanted to play the ROAD KILL RALLY game from Z-Man, which I had no objection to.  Since we had a small table we cut the tile set in half.  This made for a very quick game that went for only an hour or so– maybe too fast, I thought.

Out the gate


Granny is about to face my Napalm Cannon, and give me 50 points!

Final Approach around a rocky bend..

Garrett pulled off the first place by gunning it in the last stretch– he had just enough kills to edge me out by 20 points. The game went quickly and was a great time.

The whole race course

We inaugurated GUARDS, GUARDS! the OTHER game of Ankh Morkhpork, the one not done by Martin Wallace. It’s an interesting game.. you’re playing guardsmen trying to reclaim spells missing from the college of Wizards in the center of the board. This process is complicated by secret societies trying to summon dragons, fate cards causing all sorts of chaos, The Pox, Guilds, and a giant 800 piece of luggage that marches inexorably around the board, trying to flatten people…

The Dragon is summoned when a FATE card is played and the requisite number of members of “The Brotherhood” have been recruited on the board. Dragons are bad news; essentially the city is in four quadrants and the presence of a dragon can effectively shut down one quadrant until it is killed.

I did enjoy the game but I found it is a long slog, and actually would play much better with four players than the two who tried it. The mechanics favor interactivity and two players can be far enough apart that they don’t interact at all during the game. Returning the spells to the Wizard college is almost grueling.. you have to recruit, build up, buy spells, to try to get this hit team together that can get you through every level of challenge until the final roll to get in with the spell. We’ll play faster the next time but the first time went a lot longer than the two hours they advertised.

Final game was CHAOS MARAUDERS, which is an old favorite. We know this game pretty well and nailed it in about 45 minutes.

1000 to 850 points

I won that one handily but it did seesaw back and forth a little. Chaos Marauders is fast and fun and not to be taken seriously.

And lastly: click here

NOVAG Game Day at Centreville Library, Centreville, VA.. and ROAD KILL RALLY!

NOVAG, the Northern Virginia Gaming club that’s been around for decades, throws a “game day” at various locations– usually the Game Parlor but sometimes at public use rooms at libraries. We often put one on at the Centreville Library.

Game Day

Gar knows the power of the Fez.

We were there from about noon to four, which was about all we could fit in. There was some Carnage and Glory evident, and some 15mm or possibly 10mm American Revolutionary War game, and a 25mm game set in German East Africa, Anime Tactics, and later, a 50s era Jets game of Check Your Six. Gar and I got there too late to really participate in one of the longer miniatures games, so we pulled out Z-Man Games ROAD KILL RALLY, a recent purchase, and started playing. We had a grand time of it. The game plays quickly and very smoothly. The core mechanic of the game is Rally Cards. Players maintain a hand of them, and replace them 3 at a time, if they have less than 5 of them. Everything in Roadkill Rally cost rally cards– crash resolution, combat, recovery from wiping out, ammo expenditure. Rally cards can be thought of “freedom of action” or “options that a player can take”. So the more cards you sacrifice to avoid crashing, or deal with a combat result, or defend yourself, or pay for ammunition for a weapon, the less you options you have left in your turn. I liked it. It’s elegant, but limited to the cards and tiles that come with the game. I wish there were expansions. Unfortunately, since I just saw it show up on Tanga, it would appear that Z-Man doesn’t plan on expanding this one past the basic game. Or maybe not. Who knows.

Thematically the game is very evocative of a mix of Car Wars and Death Race 2000 (the 70s version). It deals with the somewhat violent subject matter (scoring points by running over innocent pedestrians) in a lighthearted manner, not unlike the source movie Death Race. I didn’t find it horrifically offensive or anything.. just funny.

Road Kill Rally Slideshow link
, for Facebook Viewers.

Here’s a brief glimpse of us counting final victory points for the game. Garrett came in first which gives a 100 point bonus– but it’s still possible to win even if you don’t come in first. That’s just the equivalent of scoring two older people, after all. I like asymmetrical scoring systems like that.

I briefly, and I mean BRIEFLY played a short bout of ANIME TACTICS. This is a game I would recommend more enthusiastically if they had done a better job on the cards. The game is a miniature skirmish game set in an Anime universe, and cards are a huge part of it. The cards printed by Fantasy Flight Games are so tiny as to be unreadable. I had to stare at them or a while to figure them out. The game system itself I rather liked. All the cards have all the information you need to play. Each character card has stats and information about the actions it can perform and the points it cost to make it happen. Here’s a slide show of our quick game.

As usual, it was a great time and I look forward to the next one. Word has it NOVAG will throw another this Summer.

NOVAG Game Day Winter 2006

Garrett and I had to drive Annie down to Richmond to enjoy the Inauguration Festivities (not for me, thanks!), so on the way back we dropped in on the NOVAG GAME DAY, located at the Woodbridge Game Parlor game store. We were going to attend in any case– Garrett enjoys games, although his attention span is what you would expect from a 7 year old.

We got there after the event started, but not that late. There were four tables going, with events on each one– George Callinan’s new Greek Independence Rules game, Hayley running FLAMES OF WAR, Steve Robinson running a terrific Trench Wars system game, and Roxanne Patton running The Battle of Inyezane. Tim Tilson saw me and wagged me over, handing off his small command of cavalry (Boer volunteers, I think) and Natal militia, as he had to be busy doing NOVAG stuff.

I set up Garrett with some amusement and took command.

The scenario is described thusly:

NOTE: January 22, 1879. The right wing of the British advance into Zululand is Col. Pearson’s column. An impi 6,000 Zulus lie in ambush at the Inyezane River. Remarkable leadership by Col. Pearson and exemplary conduct by a young Navy Midshipman rally the Queen’s colonial forces in the face of overwhelming odds. This is just one of 10 scenarios from the Zulu war that will be published later this year by Colonial Campaigns.

The battlefield was a river crossing at the bottom of the field (the Inyenaze River), with only one practicable fording point.

The three-pronged hill was the dominating feature of the field- See Figure 1.

Figure 1: Basic Terrain of battlefield

Terrain: The road (brown dashes) crosses the ford, cuts right and heads up the right-most hill. The green shrubs markers indicate “rough” terrain at a lower level of elevation. You can shoot over it but not into it with any degree of accuracy. If a zulu stand moves into “rough” it essentially disappears from view unless contacted in melee. The Kraal was our objective point, and the major source of victory points. The Inyenaze was uncrossable except at one point (which caused the inevitable traffic jam) and the smaller stream pointing north was crossable. Going up hill (on one of the three “forks”) greatly reduces movement.

Recap Notes: For the most part, much of this recounting is compressed, as I wasn’t there at start and had to leave about half an hour early, as well as constantly trying to keep Garrett amused. I don’t have the OOB handy so instead of specifying I’ll just say “Infantry” “Engineers” “big pack of Zulus” “Sailors” etc. Standard NATO symbols prevail in the following illustrations, as well as “M” for milita, a boxed arrow for Zulus, and G for Gatling guns. The Brits are uniformly red except for Naval Infantry (blue) and the naval Gatling (also blue). The wagons have their own symbol, as they are a victory condition for the zulus. (Yes, normally I take pictures, but I left my camera home for once)

As I recall, the Brit side gets VPs for kiling zulus and getting to the kraal. The zulu side gets points for killing English and capturing wagons.

The rules are modified BROTHER AGAINST BROTHER, a system that I like, in general.

Figure 2 is a very generalized representation of how the scenario looked as I joined the game. I’m in charge of our only cavalry unit (which was a Boer volunteer horse thing, trained and well armed, but not exactly the Heavy Brigade, either). I also am in charge of the NNC (Natal Native Contingent, the Militia unit (red box with M). We can see movement in the rough up ahead on the right hand side, but can’t really “see” it as the Zulus are advancing in cover. Being scout types, we spurred on ahead.

Figure 2: SITREP at start (roughly.. there may have been some British Inf across the river at this point, but they hadn’t gotten very far).

Figure 3 depicts the nasty suprise waiting for my two “speed bump” units as we manfully advanced upon the right and center hills. Up jumps some “ndoklos” of zulus (small tactical unit designation),, it wasn’t a HUGE suprise, as I knew they were coming with my God-like view of the battle, but in real life terms the bush would have erupted with asegi-wielding fiends at this point.. enough to give the stoutest soul some pause.

Figure 3: “Zulus, sah! The hills are crawling wif ’em!”>

I believe the NNC actually engaged the oppossing Zulu force in the rough area in the middle, but that’s really not important. Suffice to say that in the time-honored fashion of native militia, they balked at going in (half of ’em, anyhow) and those that DID engage took hideous casualties. On the right hill, the Volunteer cavalry did not fare very well, being charged by a full ndoklo of zulus, taking bad (but not hideous) casaulties, and being forced to make a retreat (a strategic regrouping, of course!)

I’d like to say that my selfless sacrifice did something important, like slow up the zulus long enough for my British comrades to get in line or something. But we didn’t, not really. We did fall back in time to reform (what was left).

Figure 4 shows the Zulus swarming over the speed bumps and running down the hills to engage the British infantry. On a more ominous note, that grey line in the back is the MAIN ZULU FORCE (well, really just the start of it). They had finally rolled their entry roll, after sitting around for 3 turns doing nothing. And boy did they come on quick!!!

Figure 4: Lead zulus start to engage English Inf. as the main zulu force arrives on the map

At this stage, most of our wagons (if not all) were across the river. The lead wagon was being threatened by some elite zulus on the right(blue or green, it’s a Brother Versus Brother thing). We were not going to give up a wagon without a fight (and give away VPs) so we rushed troops to our right to engage the uber-zulus.

Figure 5 shows the threat on the left clearly. The “right horn” of the zulu attack was coming on hot and heavy and the artillery boys had just set up on the lefthand hill to try to enfilade the zulu advance. Hmmmm. Not a good spot to be without Infantry!!!

And more zulus shift from the our right to our left, hidden in the rough…

Figure 5: threat on the left, moving the Gatlings over to engage the elite zulus

By this time, we had shot up some of the zulu units and caused them to break(see the yellow units), and they fled to the valley beyond the rightmost hill. Most of this was caused by ranged gunfire– melee with zulus is a losing proposition.

Figure 6 shows our frantic efforts to adjust to the forces piling up on the left hand hill. The artillery gets off some nice enfilade fire on the center hill, causing great, grisly holes to show up in some of the ndoklos, but the REAL threat is coming on very quickly to the left, and can we shift the cannons in time? The player running the arty realizes the problem and rushes some armed engineers up the hill to help defend the guns. On the right, ndoklos from the center and right hill stream down to engage the wagon train and the infantry defending it. Here is where the British did wonderful execution of volley fire, gradually decimating those zulus.

Figure 6: Redcoats fight back!

Unfortunately, where the zulus meleed, they were killing machines, and the center of the British line did get cut up severely. At this point, my little command is reforming, and generally trying to find something useful to do.

Figure 7 shows the situation just a wee bit later. At this stage the artillery and engineers on the left hand hill are meleeing with the ONE ndoklo that can fit, and doing better than anybody else has in a stand up brawl with zulus. The naval infantry is advancing on the double quick to support the artillery. The Engineers and Infantry in the center are still fighting with the last of the Ndoklos from the earlier attack, and the Engineers (if I’m remembering right) got chopped up badly. However, the other two infantry in the center did a tremendous job of volley firing the zulus into zulu paradise.

Figure 7: Go you Redcoats! But we lose a wagon!

Note, also, that the Zulus did manage to strike a blow, and destroy one of our wagons, getting points for the effort.

Finallly, I do manage something useful. Figure 8 shows the battle at pretty close to finish– we had a half hour to go and I had to bail soon as I had a very bored 7 year old to take care of. While the ndoklo was chopping up the Engineers, I had reformed my volunteer cavalry, wheeled it around and charged the flank of the attacking zulu unit, chopping THEM up into chutney for a change. And right after that, my overall leader card was called, so I did it again! This did a number on the attack in the center. On the right, the Gatling had come up but there hardly were any zulus to attack with it at that moment.

Figure 8: Where the battle ended for me!

A HUGE wave of zulus was advancing at this point, and so the game might have gone very differently if it had gone on for a few more hours. As it was it looked as if the Brits had the right and center flanks pretty much in hand, and were threatened on the left.

Alas, I had to leave before Garrett got snotty. My general impression was that the game would be a hard-fought victory, at best. We had caused horrendous casualties and flight in the advance of the Zulu attack (on the right) but were severely threatened on the left. Our best weapon, the Gatling, was not in the right place and would have to move to the left flank PDQ.

With only half an hour to go before the event was over, it was anyone’s guess as to victory, but I would have given it to the Brits by a thin margin. MOST of the Zulus did not engage (through no fault of their own, just bad activation rolls). Where Brits and Zulus meleed, the brits were often the loser– they had fewer figures per stand and that gives the zulus quite an advantage. However, volley fire (and presumably, the Gatling) might have made up for it.

FOLLOW UP: Apparently a lot happened in that half hour. Dave Markley reports that the artillery on the left was quickly overrun. The British didn’t do nearly as good as I thought they did. With points given for capture of the kraal and for every zulu unit destroyed (and mind you, zulu units were freakin’ huge…), the Brits only had 8 points and they needed 12. The Zulus did terrible damage to the Brits but didn’t really wipe out more than one unit (though there were lots of reduced stands running around). Add to that the zulus were figuring out that their best advantage came from advancing through the dongas (those little shallow rough areas).

Technically, it was a draw. Neither side killed enough to rate “victory” but the Zulus had the advantage of terrain that the Brits did not. So, change the slim advantage to the Zulus…

Still, a fun game. Dave thought there were too many figures for the battlespace and he might have a point. It was very crowded and the zulus didn’t really attack like the classic horns and and head motion because of the terrain.. the dongas broke up the MASS of the attack so they could only bring a certain amount of force to bear in selected areas. Still, that “hiding in the donga” super power was a nice compensation prize.