Tuesday, January 7, 2014

THE DEATH AND RE-BIRTH of a gaming blog

Hello everyone... if anyone is even still reading this blog!?

It's been a long time since I have posted anything here, Sunday, October 30th, 2011 to be precise, aside from the concurrent Star Trek Attack Wing post.

Awhile back I had decided to try and reboot my game related blogging on a new blogger page solely dedicated to gaming, and although I created the page, I never actually posted anything on it.

It's now 2014, a little over 2 years later, and I'm going to give my butt a good kick, and try to blog again, both non-gaming, and gaming (the latter of course, dependent on actually gaming) related.

Although I just posted a game review here, I decided this was the perfect opportunity to start anew, and so, with that in mind, I've also re-posted the review on my new gaming blog linked here:

I think I'm going to attempt to continue blogging here on Rassilon's Matrix, but it won't be gaming related. What I am going to blog about, I don't know yet. If you have any suggestions, please let me know!

Thank you to those who continued to bother to follow this blog despite the lack of posts, and hopefully you will still continue to do so in the future!?


After a long hiatus, I am finally posting to my blog again...  after playing numerous battles of STAW today for the first time with a couple of gaming buddies, here's a brief review of STAR TREK ATTACK WING.

If you're a miniatures connoisseur, you'll be disappointed, but from what I've seen on the Youtube, they re-paint quite well (Just search Youtube for Star Trek Attack Wing re-paints).

It's based on the X-Wing system, but produced by Wiz Kids. The main difference is that because you're playing with capital ships, you're able to add more upgrade cards and additional crew.


Although the cloak mechanism doesn't hide your movement on the table, it seemed to do a good job representing the ability and gave it a decent feel with the additional evasion dice, displacement and loss of lock on after multiple turns of cloak activity.

Agreeing with my friend Chris Yoder, it feels the most like my favorite starship game: Star Trek Starship Tactical Combat Simulator (shout out to my old gaming buddy Silver!) since it stopped being produced. It certainly doesn't replace it, but it definitely emanates a similar vibe.

I especially like the idea that it's a system that seems to be aimed at running no more than a three ships (a squadron or wing) per player, I generally dislike the broad trend to make starship combat games aimed at clashing with massive fleets where you loose the nuance of starship to starship combat (the exception being Full Thrust, for when you DO want fleet battles, as it's a well designed classic game that seems to balance detail and numbers).

On the downside again, the miniatures are rather bland. The color choices are questionable, for example, the Federation ships are an odd shade of blue. However, the worst thing about them, isn't the miniatures themselves (save the Constitution class, see below), but the way in which they are releasing the waves. For example, they've released the Reliant (with Khan) this past fall, but the same era Enterprise isn't due out until July!? Huh!?

 Constitution class (OG Enterprise) vs. the Miranda class (OG movie era Reliant).

I'm pretty sure the Enterprise refit in the movies, was not much larger than the original Enterprise. The Wiz Kids ST:AW Constitution is ridiculously tiny. They MUST re-release this with better scaling.

I need to play it some more, but it I think I like it, maybe even more than X-Wing. It would definitely make for a perfect adaptation to capital ship combat in the Star Wars universe too (with the addition of some kind of fighter squadron rules). Another bonus, it appears to be easily adaptable to house rules (like STSTCS was).

3.5 to 4 out of 5 stars!

*** UPDATE ***

I've re-posted a slightly edited version of this review on my new blog: The One Inch General.

I'm going to attempt to reboot my attempt at gaming posts on this new blog, if you wish to continue follow just my gaming posts, please follow the new blog.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Fright Night 2011!!!

Image created by Ted Henkle.

This weekend, a small spooky affair took place at Historic Fort Steilacoom, WA. The grounds surrounding the fort's old location are supposedly haunted, you can read about it here in an excerpt HERE from Myths and Mysteries of Washington by Lynn E. Bragg.


A Frightastic night was had by all thanks to Lawrence B, Damond C and Bruce S for hosting and organizing this inaugural event! Also in attendance were myself, Dean M, Daryl N, Scott M and a new member of the wargaming community and his son who I unfortunately cannot remember the names of. Scott A also showed up briefly to give Dean and I some goodies from an Old Glory order, and a special guest!

Goodie were brought by attendees... of course a huge thank you to my wonderful wife for baking a bunch of nummy cupcakes for everyone!

Altar of Goodie Doom!

There were two games set-up when I arrived, but because the original invite was limited because of it being a trial run, there weren't enough of us to play both, therefore we voted to play in Bruce's Sword and the Flame variant "Sword and the Vein" Buahahahah!!! set in mid 19th century Austro-Hungary.

My Vampire Hunters nervously sweeping the woods.

The 'good guys' were attempting to rid the area of evils emanating from Dracula's castle. The forces included Papal Zouaves on loan from the Pope, Monks with holy water, Hungarian Chassuers with a light artillery piece, Polizei Werewolf hunters with silver bullets, Vampire Hunters and a couple brave villagers as guides. In opposition were Werewolves, NachtSpiele, Pumpkin Demons, Zombies and of course Vampires oh my!

The Vampire Hunters had bonuses in killing Vampires, the Polizei had two silver bullets each giving bonuses, the Monks had holy water giving bonuses and also had the ability to prevent Zombification of the good guys. Instead of the 3, 4 on a d6 to wound, the if attacked by Zombies, a 3 and 4 would also turn them into Zombies.

The game was actually played by candlelight.

While the Chassuers and Papal Zouaves advanced directly toward the distant howling in the woods, the Polizei advanced through the graveyard, where they happened upon a casket (which were victory points) and the Vampire Hunters slipped around the flank attempting to reach the castle avoiding Dracula's minions.

The Hungarian Chassuers were ambushed by Werewolves, at first chasing them away, but later, after  perhaps over confidently advancing, they were pinned by the returning Werewolves while NachtSpiele ripped into them. The remaining Hungarians tried to re-group with the Zouaves who were too late in rescuing them.



The Polizei didn't make it to the scene of the carnage until after the Werewolves had run off again and were eventually killed off. Later the remaining Zouaves were whittled away after trying to intercept Dracula's carriage, they eventually attempted an escape. The Hungarians, not learning their lesson, pressed on, perhaps they didn't truly accept the horrors that were going on around them, but they eventually met their doom to a herd of Zombies.

Mysterious carriage!

Zombie herd!

 The Vampire Hunters discovered the Werewolves and finished them off, only to later also succomb to the Zombie menace! In the meantime, Dracula and his evil mistress had raided and burned down the village. A frightful night indeed!

Afterward, myself, Dean and Lawrence visited one of the quarters in which people (Lawrence himself) have experienced strange happenings…

Quarters # 3 at night.

Photo borrowed from Dean.

 Later, when I examined one of the photos I took, I noticed this dark something over the desk Lawrence had talked about earlier.

What is this?

All in all, I had a great time! The game was a hoot and the visit to quarters #3 gave me goosebumps and left me with chills...

A more extensive collection of pictures from the event can be found here:
Fright Night photobucket album

Oh by the way, I mentioned our special guest earlier...

Slashicus Motimus!

Victrix Napoleonic British infantry W.I.P. part 1.5

Just a quick update on my project...

A (first?) coat of red added to the 48 line infantry. The paint red craft I used was rather thin, so I may have to go back over where I painted with another coat, and most likely another shade of red.

I had a devil of a time figuring out where straps began and ended, so I'll probably do this after I attempt to paint the white lace and straps.

My portion of our group Old Glory also came in!

Also, I was able to make a deal with my buddy Dean to assemble the Victrix artillery crew and limbers in exchange for another box of Warlord Romans, definitely a worthwhile exchange given my extreme distaste for assembling fiddly bits.

Speak of the devil... or Deanvil? (see comment below) JUST after finishing this update, Dean sent a photo of the assembled Victrix artillerymen and limbers!

All finished! Thanks Dean!!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Victrix Napoleonic Infantry W.I.P.

Little did I know I would be working on Napoleonic miniatures again, let alone 28mm plastic ones!

My first experience miniature wargaming the Napoleonic era was back in the early 90's playing Napoleon's Battle's with the Frankfurt Wargamers. I later attempted collecting 15mm Napoleonic armies of my own, but realizing the task at hand, I ended up selling them off. I then had the bright idea of using 6mm miniatures and made a large purchase of Russians from Adler that are still sitting unpainted in a cabinet. I was later seduced by idea of Napoleonic Skirmishing in the peninsula based on the Richard Sharpe series of stories, the Sharp Practice rules set by Too Fat Lardies, and the lure of Victrix's extremely well sculpted and relatively cheap plastic 28mm box sets. After discovering that Sharps Practice was not the skirmish rules set I thought it was, and realizing the work needed to assemble the plastic figures, the Victrix boxes also sat in a cabinet collecting dust as I focused on other projects. However, my buddy Dean continued to host game after game of Sharp Practice and watching him slowly build his armies, and even trying out our own simply designed single page set of fast play Napoleonic rules, my interest slowly rekindled, and with a recent game of Black Powder, it finally sparked again! So here I am, actually working on 28mm plastic Napoleonic British for Black Powder,  possibly with the idea of our group hosting a game of Black Powder at this next year's Enfilade 2012 historical miniature gaming convention.

Victrix Napoleonic British.

First, I must admit that I did not assemble the miniatures. One more, and probably a very important element in contributing to my Napoleonic rekindling, was a deal I brokered with my friend Dean to assemble my Victrix in exchange for a couple boxes of Warlord Praetorian Guard I had recently obtained as part of a Foundry Roman army deal.

The plan is to place four miniatures each on 50mm by 50mm bases for use in 24 figure 'regular' sized units for Black Powder or Sharps Practice. The 48 converted light infantry in the left of the picture below will form the 43rd & 52nd Light Infantry Regiments, I am unsure which line infantry units the other 48 will represent yet.

A photo Dean snapped of the assembled Victrix.

You can read more about how Dean went about assembling the Victrix here: Plastic Project and Plastic Project +1 at the WAB Corner.

My plan is to use the MinWax 'dip method', which in fact Dean used on the Praetorian Guard I traded him, which can be seen HERE. The MinWax of choice is supposed to be the Tudor Satin, pictured below left. Because the 'dip method' leaves figures quite shiny, Testors dullcote was the recommended solution, pictured below right.

Testors Dullcote

The first step was of course to prime the figures. As the Brits would have grey, and, or white slacks, I considered priming the figures in one of those two colors, and dry brushing/highlighting those areas as necessary. After a test of each I decided to stick with what I know and went with black. My favorite black primer has become one suggested by another local gamer buddy, 'Ace Hardware's Premium Enamel Black Flat' spray paint pictured below left.

Ace Premium Enamel Black Flat.
Dreamcoat Cadet Grey

After priming black, I went ahead and started block painting the grey slacks and bedrolls. For light infantry that will have white slacks, I will go back over a number of them dry brushing white over the grey before using the 'dip'. Because I inherited quite a collection of craft paints from my mother-in-law and wife, and because they've generally worked well for me,  I've continued to use and re-stock them as necessary. For my grey I chose Dreamcoat Cadet Grey by Delta pictured above right.

British 'Centre Company'.

British 'Flank Company' with optional Light inf heads/pieces.

Close up of Light infantry.

Next update: the flesh, white lacing and straps.

In my exuberance I've also put in on a friend's bulk Old Glory order for a pack of 6 pound guns, British Generals and a Rocket Battery pack, which was ordered a week ago, and amazingly has already arrived, which I hope to pick up this weekend. My final, and last addition to the British will probably be Perry's new plastic Hussars.

For the 6 pound guns, although I horribly dislike the idea of assembling Victrix, I was able to obtain a couple extra plastic limbers and artillery crew from another gaming buddy. Thanks James!
Perhaps I can wrangle Dean into assembling these too? ;)

Victrix limbers and artillery crew.

If I survive this Napoleonic project, I plan to move on to Russians next, basing the bulk of the army around either the new Warlord Plastic Russians (less assembly), or Old Glory's 2nd edition miniatures.


Gamemaster's focus on Jumble in the Jungle: A RedShift Adventure.

Not really a full blog update here, but I thought I should share our GM's account of 'Jumble in the Jungle' for those who might be interested in a little more detailed follow-up of our last game.

Image taken from Stern Rake Studio.