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.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Jumble in the Jungle: A Red Shift adventure.

This past Saturday, 10/15/11, our role playing group was able to gather to play in my buddy Ted's Star Wars Saga edition RPG campaign, "Redshift", which you can find numerous blog posts on here: Stern Rake Studio. Ted should be following up with a proper AAR as he is an avid blogger and using his campaign to create a larger over-all story. In the meantime, here are some photos and comments from our last adventure.

Image taken from Stern Rake Studio.

Image taken from Stern Rake Studio.

Image taken from Stern Rake Studio.

The group following being caught in the midst of a coup backed by the Empire, on the planet of Bongolesia, and the investigation of a probably related 'terrorist' attack on TAg offices on a neighboring world, ended up on the trail of a cargo ship registered to the Tarsen Agricultural market (TAg) and a missing individual named Damethon Cohain. Information obtained on a wrecked freighter eventually lead them to the planet Zenya, and a protected zone for a group of islands inhabited by native Tau Tau's (Mesa thinks they related to Gunguns!).

After being harassed by Tie fighters, Cad So'Billes landed the team's shuttle at Pierson station...

"When the team made planetfall, they were met at the landing pad by Penelope Pelletin and Adoko, the administrators to TAg Market facilities and Pierson Station's starport, respectively.  Due to jamming activities originating from the Zenyan Restricted Zone, the early warning systems on Pierson Station did not receive any distress signal from the Ivory Bantha, nor detect the escape pod landing within the Tau Tau Archipelago.  After the team briefed the administrators on the situation, a search was quickly organized. Two days later, with search and rescue (SAR) assets fully committed, Ms. Pelletin asked the team to conduct a search of Gadnek Island.  Since the island is considered sacred to the Tau Taus and is home to dangerous wildlife, a member of King Gethen's bodyguard was assigned to the team as a guide" (Ted Henkle, 2011).

The team chose to take a sea skimmer to the island, but was intercepted by a Zenyan patrol. Suffering a catastrophic hit on the skimmer, Cad safely crash landed the vessel on the nearest beach. From there the team and accompanying Tau Tau embarked into the jungle where the real fun began!

Cad So'Billes, Duros Scout.

After hours of tracking through the jungle, and a few close calls, Cad, the team's scout, discovered Damethon, the prisoner of imperial officer and a droid cadre beleaguered by Sith Tau Tau Mutants.

On the run!

The team quickly dispatched the Sith Mutants and the droids, rescued Damethon and 'convinced' the remaining officer to join them. Unfortunately, the ensuing combat attracted dozens of nearby mutants.


After hours of pursuit the team finally arrived at an abandoned landing post they had previously gained from a 'discussion' with the captured officer.

From here on, I unfortunately didn't take any pictures, but Ted took quite a few that should show up on his blog. Suffice to say, the team fortified the outpost and after a bloody siege, escaped by the hair of their chinny chin chins after calling in a Tau Tau evac shuttle.

To be continued...

 For more a detailed narration of the campaign check out our GM's blog:

Not to mention his numerous other interesting articles.


Two weekend's ago I was invited to my gaming buddy Dean's homestead for a learning game of Black Powder. I had my reservations about the rules, particularly the often mentioned need for large amounts of figures, abstract movement and vaguely written rules. Fortunately I decided to attend, even if just for the camaraderie, and ended up pleasantly surprised by the rules and the game.

For the game, Dean decided to use a smaller version of the "El Perez" scenario from the rulebook.

Maréchal de France Dean Pierre
The British were tasked with retiring across a bridge defended by a nearby French garrison of Voltigeurs, while holding off advancing French columns. Figures are mounted in groups on stands, the size of which isn't set in stone, but if I remember, 40mmx40mm was recommended. There were three unit sizes, small, regular and large, and this determined firing dice.

From the start, the majority of British units accompanied by Spanish guerrillas began there march toward the bridge, while two stout units of Highlanders aggressively advanced on the approaching French supported by a British rocket battery.

42nd Highlanders

British rocket battery

Movement was fast and simple, a command could either move freely on an initiative with limited movement, or roll a command check for up to three lengths of movement. Orders were also part of movement and had to include reasonably defined parameters, as with the British first movement command of "advance across the bridge and engage any opposing units".

Retreating British

The French entered from the far edge of the battlefield, taking a risk, I rolled for separate command orders, the cavalry to speed toward the rocket battery, the artillery to set up at the edge of the town and the infantry to follow the cavalry until it met an enemy unit. Unfortunately only my artillery unit made it on the table. I really liked this 'fog of war' system of command, even if it really bit me in the rear later.


Dean's French successfully advanced his cavalry, followed by his infantry through the town while also setting up his artillery at the edge of the town...

Unfortunately Dean's cavalry were later beaten back by the Highlanders, and because they wouldn't fit in the town in their current formation as they retreated, they had to continue back and off the table!

A needed brewskie for the Frenchies

Eventually the rest of my forces entered as my artillery exchanged fire with the advancing Highlanders. British rocket artillery sporadically reigned down followed by devastating musket fire from the Highlanders. The firing phase used a small number of modifiers and a set number of dice were used based on the size of the unit, this made fire combat quick and easy. Casualties were recorded by markers, for our game Dean painted up and mounted dead figures on poker chips colored to correspond with each side, red for British, Blue for the French. As casualties were taken, additional poker chips were placed underneath. Units could also be disabled which prevented commands, but could still fire, or worse, they could become shaken.

As I mentioned earlier, the 'fog of war' aspect came back to bite me hard later in the game. When rolling for command, double sixes caused my two infantry units to 'blunder', removing them from the game permanently. Only my battered cavalry, which eventually broke off the table too, and my pounded artillery piece remained by game end.

By the end of the game the French advance was severely crippled and the majority of the British units needed to exit and win were well on their way off the table. Despite a valiant defense by the French Voltigeurs, they were most likely soon to be crushed and so the British were declared the victors.

Although many Nappy enthusiasts would probably quip at historical looseness with which the game sometimes played, it felt right and was easy and quick to play, not to mention fun with the application of fog of war related outcomes. I plan to soon order my own set of rules, and I am starting on my own British units to contribute which I hope to blog on later, and a large Black Powder event is possibly in the works for this upcoming Enfilade 2012!

For an additional AAR on the battle, check out Dean's infamous  

Sunday, September 25, 2011


First, it has been a long time since I updated this blog and I am hoping this will be the beginning of more regular updates. My next addition will be a quick recap of my painting activities over the past year, so please stay tuned!

( FYI, all pictures are expandable upon clicking. )

This past weekend I attended the second annual NHMGS game day at the historic Fort Steilacoom in Washington state and thoroughly enjoyed myself! Thanks to hosts Damond Krump and Lawrence Bateman, not to mention Bruce Smith's assistance and all the GM's!

The event started at 9am, and I am not one to wake up early on weekends, but from my previous year's experience, I couldn't wait to attend! After rolling out of bed, I hit the road! But to my surprise, soon after hitting I-5, the traffic came to a complete halt over the Puyallup River bridge, apparently the state patrol had blocked off I-5 for a time to allow a a massive convoy of trucks onto highway! After we were allowed to continue, I ended up passing trucks of all shapes and sizes bumper to bumper in the slow lane from the Hwy 16 interchange to the 512 exit!

I later found out it was organized to raise money for the Special Olympics!

See article: LIGHTS AND SIRENS!!

I eventually rolled into the Fort thinking I was late, however the majority of attendees had yet to arrive, so I was able to spend some time kibitzing and poking around the tables. The self serve bring and buy was last minute, and the items reflected it, but it was still a good idea, I'm sure there will be more goodies there next year if they decide to keep it.

There were four games hosted during first period.

ACW naval using Bay Area Yards rules, hosted by Kevin Smyth.

Tactica 28mm hosted by Mitch Berdinka.
WWII Skirmish hosted by Damond Crump.
Command & Colors 28mm Ancients hosted by Mike Garcia.

This last game, dubbed "I am Spartacus" hosted by Mike, was adapted to the table top from the GMT board game, Command & Colors, and is the first period game which I participated in with my buddy Dean, and Scott Murphy. As usual, Mike puts on a fun game, and always provides beautifully painted miniatures.

Mike gleefully shared that many of his figures were modified.
May the gods bring us victory!
The game ended with a rebel/slave victory, but only by the narrowest of margins after the rebel left flank collapsed. Using the superior fire power of the slingers, as the rest of the rebel warriors were held back, they were able to pepper the enemy until the unit pictured above and right (after being reduced to one stand), brought the final blows to the Romans after fending off three attacking units!

Mike's game was over quickly, a testament to the simplicity of the rules. This was his first play test for the game's probable inclusion in Enfilade 2012. Dean and I decided to get lunch, and unpack his car for second period.


However, after lunch, and before the second period, Dean and I were fortunate enough to receive a personal tour of the fort's museum by Lawrence Bateman, fellow NHMGS gamer, reenactor and Historic Fort Steilacoom Association President.

Lawrence explaining the 12lb Howitzer.

The fort's last, and only remaining original flag, monies from last year's Fix Bayonets paid for its display and framing.
Second period, another four games were hosted.

ACW Regimental Fire & Fury hosted by Lawrence Bateman.

Sharp Practice hosted by Dean Motoyama.

Although I did not play in Dean's Sharp Practice game, I was honored to have helped him play test the scenario, and I am able to play Sharps with him outside of club events, so I thought I should let some other lucky gamers get in on his extremely fun game!

Sword and the Flame Colonials.

Zulus! Imperialism, hosted by Bill Vanderpool.

This last game in which I participated, was a version of Islandwah, hosted by the stalwart Bill Vanderpool. Bill GM'd and played the doomed British as my partner in crime, James Ruth and I, hoarded across the table. The British were eventually wiped from the battlefield and the Zulus rejoiced and cleaned their spears in celebration! ZULU! ZULU! ZULU!

By the end of the day, although I was sweating like a pig because the old building had no air conditioning, and the day's weather had surprisingly peaked at about 80 degrees, I ended up having a grand time gaming with a great bunch of fellows and visiting the fort's museum. I definitely look forward to next year's Fix Bayonets!

For another report on Fix Bayonets! Please visit Dean Motoyama's blog: WAB Corner.

Next, the Museum of Flight game day at Boeing field on November 14th!