Sunday, July 9, 2023

Arma 3: Spearhead 1944

Back in the day I played a lot of Iron Front, an Arma 2 derived game covering the later years of WW II. It was kind of janky at times, and received mixed reviews, but honestly, I loved it.  I made custom missions and generally had a lot of fun with it.

Then I fell out of love with WW II and modern wars and spent a few years focused on other eras. I upgraded gaming computers several times and Iron Front wasn't available where I originally bought it anymore. I stopped playing anything the even remotely looked like an FPS game.

Then this year, I visited Normandy. For me, all the old WW II love came back.  I installed the many, many WW II games I have. I started playing WW II board games I've had on the shelves for years now but not played. I am into it. And of course, I remembered Iron Front.  Which turns out to be available on Steam.  I haven't bought it yet, but it is in my Wishlist.

Now I may never buy it. Because soon this will be out: Arma 3: Spearhead 1944.  

The Arma 3 engine, set during Operation Cobra in Normandy? Yes, please. 

Sorry Iron Front. 

Friday, July 7, 2023

General Staff: Black Powder - AI Test & Gameplay

Proving that good things come to those who wait - Ezra Sidran has posted a very satisfying video showing off the AI and gameplay of the long-awaited General Staff: Black Powder. GS:BP looks to finally achieve my wish for a true kriegspiel computer game. Ezra's new video makes it plain just how true that is.

Ezra is now working on the Steam installer scripts for the editors. We should all soon be able to start creating our own scenarios soon!

Thursday, July 6, 2023

Pub Battles Orders Beta

 It's been a while since I've looked at Pub Battles from Command Post Games. I have many of the games in the series but haven't played them for, well, years. That's less a comment on their quality than a comment on the number of games I have to play and my attention span. I have to admit that I was finding the game play a little shallow at times unless I could get a group together to play kriegspiel style, and then I was always having to act as umpire rather than player.

Command post has just released a beta of their new Orders rules that will prompt me to play these again. These rules add some necessary complexity, depth, and restrictions to play. The new orders system, especially when combined with the Fog of War rules (allowing players to keep actual unit positions on the map hidden until spotted by the enemy) will no doubt make for much more interesting games. The flanking movement at Brandywine becomes an actual surprise but also much more difficult for the American player to respond to quickly. I'm looking forward to giving these a try.

Sunday, January 1, 2023

2023 - Never Mind the Billhooks Deluxe Project

With the turn of the year I've decided to get started on a project I've wanted to tackle for a couple of years now. I'm very interested in the Never Mind the Billhooks rules from Andy Callan. I've had the original version since they were released, but have never played them. The release of the deluxe edition makes these rules even more interesting to me. since they cover other wars that I'm interested in, namely the Burgundian Wars and the Italian Wars. The Italian Wars in particular seem ripe for the sort of small battles these rules are designed for.

I have the complete Renaissance army set from Wofun Games already, originally bought to play with these rules (among others). I can get started playing with those immediately (I know what we're playing next week, David!). 

I've also ordered a box of War of the Roses plastic figures from Perry Miniatures to paint specifically for War of the Roses/Burgundian Wars games. My family gave me a set of the new Army Painter Speed Paints for Christmas; it's time to see how those work for quickly getting an army to the table.

I'm hopeful that this project will provide the inspiration for more frequent posting. I'm determined this year to get away from social media and return to the tools of a decade ago, like blogs.

Saturday, May 28, 2022

FoG2 Medieval: Florence versus the Papal States

 I can't believe it's been two years since I posted here. There are a number of reasons for my absence, including some health issues and a general lack of interest in posting (though not gaming) during the past two years. It may be that this marks a return to semi-regular posting. Certainly, I have an interest in talking to the void about history and gaming that I haven't had in some time. No promises, but it's probably worth checking back occasionally.

One thing that has happened in the past couple of years is that my interest in gaming has shifted towards miniatures gaming over board games. I still play board games, but my ability to create any sort of scenario I want to explore using minis has a lot of appeal. I'm less interested in the painting and collecting aspects of the hobby. Hence, I've ended up with several armies of plexiglass minis from Wofun Games, all 18mm. When I want to play solo, I've found the Field of Glory games to be a great substitute. They look like minis games, the rules are pretty decent for the period covered, and one can throw together a custom battle with about half-a-dozen mouse clicks. The custom battles cover 75%-80% of what I want to play, and the editor allows me to quickly build more specific scenarios when I want to.

I'm particularly interested in the armies of the late Renaissance right now. Today's FoG 2 Medieval battle was a custom battle pitting the forces of Florence versus the Papal States sometime in the last 20 or so years of the 15th century. Having recently played a number of games set in the Wars of the Roses or the Hundred Years War as the English, I leaned toward a heavy selection of missile troops during army setup.

Florence versus the Papal States

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Wargaming this week

I mentioned in my last post that I'm fortunate to have a group I can regularly game with. Most of these players are distant from me. Gaming online is something we're all familiar with. Dealing with the pandemic lock down hasn't been any impediment to playing.

Sunday, May 10, 2020

Life is too short, my hair is too long

Yesterday was the first time since this pandemic began that I've felt like looking at anything to do with military history or wargaming. On the one hand I could blame work, which has been busy and not without worry. Piloting a small business through this time isn't easy. Certainly that's been part of the issue.

I think I've just needed a break from it all. Over the past few years I've been involved in gaming activities that are public, and involve a lot of people. There's been an inclination on the part of what I've been involved in toward teaching, and  - dare I say it - evangelizing the hobby, various groups, and people's various agendas.

The first hint that I was tired of this came during last year's Origins. By the end of the week Origins had become an absolute misery for me. It was clear to me that wargaming didn't fit the convention, aside from the small group of people I was there with. No one cared about wargaming, and as a group, we'd made zero progress toward our stated goal of "bringing wargaming back to Origins." Not only were the wargamers not coming, but neither were the wargaming vendors.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

Flailing About with Fletcher Pratt

Time for some WWI naval action last night. Great fun was had, despite my poor Germans being hopelessly outmatched!

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Horse & Musket: A Foolhardy Royalist Advance?

The Royalists have accounted for two dragoons and a militia battalion, but two of their own units are close to breaking.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Horse & Musket - Sedgemoor

Turn 1: Royalist infantry attempt to force their way across the Bussex Rhine to come to grips with Monmouth's rebels

I spent a good part of the day today working on Horse & Matchlock, "Volume 0" for the Horse & Musket series from Hollandspiele.

Monday, July 15, 2019

LVDA - 0930 19 April 1809

0930 19 April 1809.

Yes, we jumped two hours. We have a lot of movement, but no one in contact as of yet. Keep in mind that I may do two, three, or even four hour turns in the interest of moving the game to action. You'll want to write your orders from this perspective. Figure you're providing direction for the day, not hour-by-hour. When something happens, that then may trigger order updates. Otherwise, formations are moving to carry out their existing orders.

In that spirit, we'll have another turn Wednesday evening.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

More Aspern-Essling - Blucher

Jim and I continue with Day 2 of the Battle of Aspern-Essling, using Sam Mustafa's Bl├╝cher.

Sunday, July 7, 2019

The Battle of Teugn-Hausen

A great time last night playing Black Powder via Table Top Simulator. We expect to finish this game in a couple of weeks.