31 August 2010

Last Day of Winter

Yep, Spring is here as of tomorrow (well for us Antipodeans anyway!)

It occurs to me that I've done a lot more brewing than painting or playing lately.
Hopefully that will all pay off soon as the days get longer and hotter now!!!

In the meantime....

25 August 2010

WW1 - the Pub Fight Version

With thanks to DC!

Germany, Austria and Italy are stood together in the middle of the pub, when Serbia bumps into Austria, and spills Austria's pint.

Austria demands Serbia buy it a complete new suit, because there are splashes on its trouser leg.

Germany expresses its support for Austria's point of view

Britain recommends that everyone calm down a bit.

Serbia points out that it can't afford a whole suit, but offers to pay for cleaning Austria's trousers.

Russia and Serbia look at Austria.

Austria asks Serbia who it's looking at.

Russia suggests that Austria should leave its little brother alone.

Austria inquires as to whose army will assist Russia in compelling it to do so.

Germany appeals to Britain that France has been looking at it, and that this is sufficiently out of order that Britain should not intervene.

Britain replies that France can look at who it wants to, that Britain is looking at Germany too, and what is Germany going to do about it?

Germany tells Russia to stop looking at Austria, or Germany will render Russia incapable of such action.

Britain and France ask Germany whether it's looking at Belgium.

Turkey and Germany go off into a corner and whisper. When they come back, Turkey makes a show of not looking at anyone.

Germany rolls up its sleeves, looks at France, and punches Belgium.

France and Britain punch Germany. Austria punches Russia. Germany punches Britain and France with one hand and Russia with the other.

Russia throws a punch at Germany, but misses and nearly falls over. Japan calls over from the other side of the room that it's on Britain's side, but stays there. Italy surprises everyone by punching Austria.

Australia punches Turkey, and gets punched back.
There are no hard feelings, because Britain made Australia do it.

France gets thrown through a plate glass window, but gets back up and carries on fighting. Russia gets thrown through another one, gets knocked out, suffers brain damage, and wakes up with a complete personality change.

Italy throws a punch at Austria and misses, but Austria falls over anyway. Italy raises both fists in the air and runs round the room chanting.

America waits till Germany is about to fall over from sustained punching from Britain and France, then walks over and smashes it with a barstool, then pretends it won the fight all by itself.

By now all the chairs are broken, and the big mirror over the bar is shattered. Britain, France and America agree that Germany threw the first punch, so the whole thing is Germany's fault . While Germany is
still unconscious, they go through its pockets, steal its wallet, and buy drinks for all their friends.

And when Germany wakes up, it goes out to its car, gets the gun out of the glovebox and heads back inside...

24 August 2010

Free Spearpoint 43 shipping

Collins Epic Wargames have made an offer of FREE worldwide shipping, so now you have no excuse!


FREE Worldwide Shipping - Spearpoint 1943
We're pleased to offer free worldwide shipping for direct Spearpoint 1943 orders placed between now and 9/3/2010.  Enter coupon code 43FREESHIP upon checkout through our online store with any shipping method selected.  The game will be shipped via Priority Mail or Priority Mail International.  Offer good until 9/3/2010.

23 August 2010

TWIW Ep13 Released

After a well deserved Summer break, Ken is back with Episode 13:

This Week in Wargaming, I announce a new contest, courtesy of Victory Colors Studios, and review Hammer’s Slammers: The Crucible by John Treadaway and John Lambshead.
But first, this week’s headlines, including:
GenCon attendance tops 30,000

War Rocket from Hydra Miniatures
Omnimech Parts
from Iron Wind Metals
Online Scenario Designer
for Arcane Legions
DakkaDakka announce Brick and Mortar Store Finder
Legends of Kalidasia: Rise of the Surakari

Hasslefree Miniatures release Yirnak and Kosok for Twilight
The Latest Strategy & Tactics and World at War Magazines
Target: Leningrad
by Victory Point Games

http://thisweekinwargaming.com/2010/08/20/episode-at-13-august-20-2010/

21 August 2010

19 August 2010

Review of Spearpoint 43

BGG has posted a review for Spearpoint 43 - thanks for the heads up Comrade James!


Frontline General: Spearpoint 1943
A game for 2 players designed by Byron Collins


Introduction

Frontline General: Spearpoint 1943 is a two player card game from Collins Epic Wargames. It is a simple deck building game that plays quickly and is a lot of fun.

Components

This game comes in a very compact package! The box is a mere 6.25" x 4.25" x 1.5", so it's easy to tuck into your game bag or inside another wargame box that you're taking to gaming night.


Photo by Andrew Tullsen

The game comes with 175 cards of excellent quality and thickness. They're nice and sturdy, and should stand up nicely to the repeated plays they'll be getting. The cards come in four decks: a 50-card American unit deck, a 50-card German unit deck, a 50-card command deck, and a 25 card damage deck. The latter two decks are shared.

The game also comes with four d10, two grey for the Germans, and two blue for the Americans. The dice are particularly nice looking and are an attractive addition to the package.

Rules & Game Play

The game is actually quite simple to set up and play. Each player decides which side they want to take. Then they select between 80-100 points worth of infantry, armor, aircraft, and crews to make up their battle deck. The rest of the cards are set aside and not used. Each deck has 284 points worth of units, ranging in value from 2 for a tank crew to 21 for a Tiger tank.

Iconography on the cards will tell you if the card you've picked needs a crew, and if so of what kind, and also has other icons on it to show how effective they are against other kinds of units.

Force selection

Photos by Byron Collins

Once you have constructed your deck, you pick 4 cards to keep as your starting hand, draw 3 command cards, and you're set to begin.

The flow of play is in three phases:
- the commitment phase
- the combat phase
- the draw phase

In the commitment phase, both players secretly select which units (if any!) to deploy. Then both simultaneously reveal what they've deployed, along with any command cards that can only be played in this phase. Units requiring a crew can only be deployed with a crew, and vice versa!

Deployment occurs in two lines - the line closest to you is your rear line, the line closest to your opponent is the front line. Front line units can only fire at other front line units and aircraft, while rear line units (usually but not always artillery) can target opposing front and rear line units, as well as aircraft.

Once the units are revealed, the combat phase begins. Again, players simultaneously decide which units will be attacking which opposing units by slightly turning the cards to "face the enemy". There is some element of "Oh yeah? Well then take that!" to this phase, which makes it quite fun and entertaining. Once both players are satisfied they've got the best options down for their cards, command cards usable in this phase are played and combat begins. Initiative is determined by a die roll, and then players alternate firing their units at their opponents. Command cards usable in this phase are also played at this time.

Photos by Byron Collins

Combat is, again, simple. Your unit card will have a number next to the weapon of choice (the main gun on your Sherman tank, say) which shows what you need to roll on 2d10 to hit the unit you're firing at (infantry, say). If you roll that number or higher, you hit! The amount of damage you do is the intensity of the weapon you used, minus the target's defense, plus the roll of a d10. If you did at least half damage to the unit, you draw a damage card for it. If you inflict more than its total hit value in damage, the unit is destroyed. Important to note, damage is cumulative in the same round, so you need to keep track of multiple units are firing at a single target, but once a turn is over, all intensity points are lost and the unit is either damaged (with a damage card under it and considered to be at their damage threshold) or full up again. There are also rules for critical hits and critical misses.

A Sherman tank's damage card results in its capture!

The captured Sherman is redeployed by the enemy!

An interesting note about the damage cards is that they're carefully structured to be usable against any kind of unit. Some of the damage results are nasty, such as the vehicle capture above, so you never quite know what you'll get out of the deck.

Once all combat is resolved, both players draw one command card, and then draw two additional cards from either or both the command card deck or their unit deck.

Victory in the base game is simple: you either capture/destroy 51 points of enemy units (captured units count double!) or be unopposed (i.e. no land units facing you) for three turns.

Conclusions

This is a light card game that you can easily play over your lunch hour, and it's fully meant to be fun and quick. This is not to say there isn't a lot of detail and research here - there clearly is, and that's reflected both in the information on the cards and in the point values of various units.

I had two minor complaints with the game. First, the game can be unbalanced if players build antithetical decks. If you build a deck with lots of infantry and your opponent goes with all tanks and a few aircraft, then it can quickly become a one sided romp. Second, the basic game with the deck building and "first to 51 points wins" criteria can quickly begin to feel, well, like a generic card game.

However, fear not! The website for Frontline General: Spearpoint 1943 has an answer for exactly those two items. There are currently eight scenarios (called situations) for the game plus one in development; I expect more will come in time. Then there are suggested starting decks with commentary about the advantages and disadvantages of each. If you're not sure about how to pick your deck, any of these mixes will get you pointed in the right direction and you can always make your own tweaks to the base suggestions.

If you like card games, and in particular if you like both card games and deck building games, then Frontline General: Spearpoint 1943 will give you a lot of play value for the money

16 August 2010

Weird WW1

Now this looks interesting for diversionary reading - a Weird WW1 novel...


Read more here;
http://nomansworldblog.blogspot.com/

15 August 2010

Brewery Branches out

Yep, another crazy busy weekend but this time with no gaming sadly.

However, I did get some time in the brewery and Man Cave Brewery is branching out from just fermented grain products.  I  have started a new line of limoncello! 4 Litres of this mighty brew are currenly steeping.  On track for a tasting in about a month.


I'm using a varientof this recipe:
http://www.italylogue.com/food-drink/limoncello-recipe-in-pictures.html

Some infused Gins are likely to follow in the future.  And yes, I'm still brewing beer in the meantime (a Lager is currently bubbling)!

08 August 2010

What a weekend!

Phew - barely got time to catch my breath!
Here is a quick summary for those who might be vaguely interested.

Gaming - attended NWA open day with my mates Pete and Ken (sadly Owen had to sook off for some paltry domestic excuse like an anniversary...).  Had a good look about, bought about $150 worth of various bits (mostly terrain).  Good day out.

also on the gaming front, I got a package from Jim Dice with my new Infinity Rulebook and a couple of lovely minis.  Yes, yet another gaming system....I'm only human after all!

and last but definately not least, a whole family game of Life (Which I lost badly at, ironically!)

Beer- bottled my Primate Pilsner and Cascade Pale Ale. Got another Lager on - a low carb, full alcohol experiment!

Others: A slightly delayed "Christmas in July" dinner party, the Lad's last football game for the season, and tree planting at the local reserve with Scouts.

04 August 2010

AE-WWII Basra: 1946 - The Desert War

A Campaign Supplement for AE-WWII

8.5″ x 11″
108 pages
SRP $34.99 USD
Basra: 1946 is a campaign supplement for AE-WWII. This book expands the unit choices available to all factions in the game. Detailed rules for using and combating tanks in the game are also included. The story behind the campaign lets players expand their games in new directions along the alternate timeline.
AE-WWII: Basra 1946 Campaign Supplement contains:
  • New historical units and background for British and German forces
  • New weird war units for the game
  • Rules for fighting in desert environments
  • Rules for customizing tanks and other vehicles in the game
  • Background on the desert war and the alternate time-line for the Iraqi conflict in 1946
  • Three different campaigns representing the different sides of the story in Basra: 1946
  • New hero choices, new special orders, and more
http://darksondesigns.com/?p=117

03 August 2010