Thursday, June 30, 2016

Update with photos!

Yes, I actually managed to create some terrain today for Too Fat Lardies' Sharp Practice Deployment Point Contest (whew)!

Here is my accompanying letter with the photos:

Most esteemed gentlemen (and Rich),
I realize that I may technically be too late as I am submitting from across the pond where there is 1 hour and 15 minutes until July 1.  But no matter -- it was worthwhile getting these done.  And I would have had it done sooner if not for those weedy coves at
You see, my plan for this vignette was to use only items which I had built myself -- including, if needed, building models in a 3d program and having them 3d printed.  The ammunition boxes and barrels were done by this method and they arrived at my home today -- in fact only 6 hours ago -- rather than on June 27 as the aforementioned weedy coves had promised.  Alas, the Martini-Henry rifles which I created seemed a bit anemic when placed in the vignette and I fell back to using some spare Wargames Factory bits.  (I will have another go at the rifles -- it's not uncommon to have to print a couple times to get the dimensions exactly right, especially for miniature items)

I plan on using these for my own Imagi-Nations colonial gaming and Victorian Science Fiction gaming.  Without further ado, let me present the deployment points of Victoria's Own Barsoomian Rifles, featuring ammunition boxes based on images from Ian Knight's website, the ubiquitous Martini-Henry rifle and a water barrel for those dry nights on Mars or wherever on Earth they are called to serve.
Just for interest I am also including a picture  of the 3d printed ammo box fresh out of the box at 4pm this afternoon.
Enjoy and thank you so  much for running this contest and for producing Sharp Practice!

Small update - I found my original sketch.  So now this post has the full path from concept to design to print to finished product!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Combat mission and Sharpe's Practice

A change of plans

Best-laid plans and so forth -- haven't done much on the miniatures side.  That's because I received Sharpe's Practice 2 and have been working on the chips for the game.  Chips which I promptly cocked up and turned what I thought would be a 1 hour task into going-on-8 hours.  Ridiculous, but they are nearly done.

Combat Mission

My poor old computer won't play modern games, so I've been playing a classic: Combat Mission.  It's now available on Good Old Games and I highly recommend it.  Do the graphics suck by today's standard? Sure.  But it's still the game that comes closest for me of the feel of playing a miniatures game on the computer.  That it still holds my interest nearly 10 years on is testament to that.

I've decided to try and play-through as many scenarios from each side as I can and keep notes as I go.   I'm trying for a Major Victory from each side.   In the past I often couldn't remember which scenarios I'd played and so I suspect I've skipped some while playing others over and over.  For fun, I've kept some notes.  Here's the first two scenarios I've "beaten" -- played enough that I've moved on.  Needless to say there are some spoilers here:

Aachen - Small - Oct 1944

Allies - I put both armored vehicles in the middle.  Then split a squad on each street to act as scouts.  Even knowing I was walking into an ambush situation, I still managed to lose both vehicles before the end -- the Sherman died without firing a shot.  The second playthrough I played so conservatively that I had to rush a bit at the end, but I kept both armored vehicles alive for the Major Victory.  I even managed to get the Flamethrower team into action -- that was fun since they are so fragile they usually die quickly.

Axis - Stepping through the entire 14 turns without giving a single order gave me a Draw.  Shouldn't be too tough to convert this to a win.  Notable event though - the tanks actually maneuvered with some intelligence.  And even though my AT gun put a round through the Sherman, it kept coming (it actually destroyed the AT gun in the same second as it had its hull penetrated).

Playing to win, I maneuvered aggressively and kept the Americans from penetrating past city center.  It was fun setting up trap after trap and the shot of the match went to the Panzerschreck team who had a 10% chance to hit the SP gun and evidently rolled a 10 to score the brew up!

Chambois - Medium

Excellent played as the Allies.  Will teach you to use terrain - fast!  I lost twice before figuring out the lay of the land.  Then it was pretty easy but even one German tank can ruin your day.

As the Axis, play that you can only exit the map from the road in the middle of the map.   (The one in front of the wooded area).  This forces you to use overwatch and protect the fragile trucks.  Even with that it was a cakewalk as the AI can't put up much of an offense, but at least I felt like it was worth my time playing.