Sunday, December 31, 2023

2023 a year in Review and looking ahead

 The past year has had a number of shifts take place.

It started off great with a whole weekend of games, the peak being a defend the bridgehead battle:

Defend the bridgehead!

My ACW efforts reached a first battlefield ready condition, Bull Run 1861

the whole 15mm force for both sides in the starting battle
of the American Civil War


These troops were then put into action on the tabletop in the Bull Run 1861 battle:


 Bull Run 1861


Some digital image work was done, in progress towards a potential little game ...

The Alpian Wars moves into a new 'realm'?


Still more use of the ACW troops and expanding into the "Operational Level" of battle management.

Operational Level of command


The full battle can be tracked here:

Then more ACW potential came to light as the Gettysburg Campaign was put into operation for the first time here, and culminated in a number of battles:

some quick troops were assembled to support the others that already existed, so that we could do some really big battles.

bare metal was brought to full paint quickly
to support the needs for more Union troops on the tabletop

Then the campaign took action and an amazing set of a-historical battles resulted:


Push on the Potomac:

Cavalry action at Bruceville:

Then Autumn arrived, there were many other things I needed to do and focus on, so games took a back seat, though the itch did get scratched a few more times before the end of the year, most importantly in the Bull Run 1861 game and expo at the local community center.

Victory Without Quarter


Bull Run 1861, at the Kelcey Center

I now also have a little painting commission, that will need addressing in the new year, so expect some progress photos of that project in the coming months.

The ACW set has Shiloh on deck, with only the Confederates needing to be painted at the moment, they are all up on the painting shelf, ready to roll after the commissions.

At least three other games days at the local community center are slated, in January, February and March.  So there will be some more tabletop images to come ...

Added on all of this are the continuing home operations, a work prospect that keeps me near my phone and computer most days along with Firefighter duties weekly (& whenever the 'tones' drop) and plans for better marketing of the rescue society needs.

Happy New Year everyone!

Tuesday, December 26, 2023

Community Center event Bull Run 1861 and more from December 2023

 Greetings dear readers!

I wish you all a Happy New Year.

I have been suddenly rather busy from the end of November to just now Boxing Day 2023.

I have finished the video for the community center game and have a little report about it all for you.

We only had a few players for the start, then from about half-way thru the time period onward I was full on with a pair of young men to run armies in the Bull Run 1861 game.

setting up the space for games

I had a number of other systems and
games on hand to speak about what else
we could do for games.

one of the early games involved growing
a forest 'competitively' ...

Then began a part of Bull Run 1861

We were unable to get much past noon for the tabletop action(s) of the 1861 battle, yet the young players are keen to have another go ... this time starting EARLY so that there's time to get more action in.

At least there were players somewhat active the whole day.

I had guests travel and stay overnight that night, then had some family news come in later the following week, that I needed to follow up with immediately during the first two weeks of December.  I'll have more to do with that over the next year or so.  This kept me away from my computer long enough to not be able to make the video and report about the tabletop action at the end of November.

Happy New Year everyone.

Friday, November 03, 2023

Tabletop Game Day coming November 25th

 My son is part of the community center team, planning events to see what will work out.

poster for the event

I'm planning to have a little time-lapse and likely some photos from the event, appearing here sometime afterwards.

Sunday, October 29, 2023

Solo Throwdown : Napoleonic SHAKO 2

 Opportunity to get the Napoleonic miniatures on the table came a week ago, it has taken time to process the video and photos into this new game time-lapse.

my tabletop deployment zone marker
for French forces

I had a mind to try out more from the book series by Grant and Asquith "Scenarios For All Ages", so I decided to let by d12 have a go at where to start ... obviously I rolled a "1" - must start at the beginning!

Neat part about this scenario is that it also had basic instructions for running the game solo!

Once again I am doing this mostly as a video posting, as there are no other players to make detailed reporting to or about this event.


It was good to get the Napoleonic troops out on the new game mat, with their own new fur bases and get the whole set documented in a game this new way.

a panoramic photo from the end of turn 3

These panoramic photos are the type I used to do with other software and stitching them together by manual processing, now my iPhone does it all quickly.  I think I may do more of them in future games.

The scenario has the Bavarians holding a hill line, they must not permit 2 or more combat effective units from passing beyond the hill-line.  The time limit is based on the number of turns for the Russian line infantry to march from one side of the board to the other, then add 1/2; this worked out to nine (9) turns.

Fast, bold action was called for the Russians (fast is not something they are known for), and some luck from a few failed Bavarian defense rolls could make it possible to get more than 1 unit across in time.

The die rolls for the Bavarians were amazing, they killed the leading Russian skirmishers in the first encounter.

From there things bogged down, though the Russians came within one turn of making it happen all the same.  Good scenario design - showcasing asymmetrical forces and doing a job with what is at hand.

another panorama showing the end of game positions

I also got a photo of one of my 'wrecked batteries', that was not used in the video.

the wrecked battery marker


Computer work station has moved upstairs as the temperatures have definitely gone lower overnight and I do not wish to freeze my paints.

More study coming this month and likely a start on the special fantasy commission, expect photos.

Sunday, October 08, 2023

Solo throwdown ... English Civil War game of Victory Without Quarter

 Found the time to get the ECW collection out onto the tabletop.

Also the new red and blue command tags and commander ID sabot were used, along with some all new teddy bear fur bases.

Combine that with a time-lapse camera and some clip-2-comic images and I had a great little game and show on the go.

I put together two asymmetrical forces: Royalist had 6 gallopers and 5 pike & shot with two cannon, while the Parliament had 4 trotters and 7 pike & shot with two cannon and two field pieces.

I then used my random terrain cards to set up the tabletop battlefield and then started the time-lapse camera.

I decided to go with mostly video for this posting as everything came together so nicely.

Here are a few stills that I did not use in the video

from deployment, the KING

early in the action, the right wing of Parliament

showing off most of the Royalist foot in the village
along with the two 'pieces' firing

wider view of the Royalist right wing at deployment

Parliament center firing in early action on the day

Royalist horse push on the flank, yet cannot muster
up the courage to charge
(read three failed charge morale rolls)

a closer view of those horse
note the 3 of spades tag
I put my 'deck of cards' system to use this game

with these very cards
here is the end of game as the KING for the Royalists
must decide to move or not
(read the fight does not go well, losing 4-1 at that point)

lights are all repaired in my display case

including a close-up of some of the Napoleonic
large models and my own 28mm Bonaparte

Next up will be some new 'frosthaven' models that I have a commission to paint.

Along with the Shiloh Confederates, likely a move upstairs to painting spaces that are warmer as the weather shifts here on the wet coast of British Columbia.

Sunday, September 24, 2023

Terraforming Mars

 My eldest son has always had a keen interest in a number of board games, this one he's had for a while and got some expansions of - including a set of 3d markers.

game at setup

It has a set of general rules, then there are the 'contracts' that are the cards that drive the action and form some of the 'victory' conditions.

Mostly non-competitive, other than a few cards that 'attack' and you will pay with loss of victory points.

game end

there was a 'nuke' dropped on Mars
- to increase the temperature -

there were four players, I was tied for 4th

Friday, September 15, 2023

re-New-ed table top covering

 I have taken some time to take advantage of the past few sunny days to get a new layering on my old table cloth covering.

the last of the grass tufts were still setting

the darker 'chocolate' cloth that I will use with allied
(Austrians, Russians or British) forces

freshly done for my French bases

Now they get on the table

while I was re-sorting the magnets and minis
I lost track of a couple of the bases when I set them
aside on the tablecloth

the rough-and-tumble look is what I was after

they do not look anything like the old green grass paper ones

from behind it is still easy to ID the units

Summer is looking to end quietly here, only some little showers so far.

Saturday, September 09, 2023

Cavalry match at Bruceville 1863 (fictional)

 A cavalry match was established at Bruceville by the fictional 1863 Campaign game that we set up over the summer.

No one had enough cavalry to game this out - even at 1/3 scale with all of our cavalry combined.

So I decided to put my Fast Play Grande Armee tools to work, as this was an all horse match-up with some artillery supports.  All the sorts of things that existed in the Napoleonic era ... though the Union horse would have carbines - so I gave them a heavy cavalry unit to represent the extra firepower this might represent on the field.

This meant that the French would be representing Union troops and I chose Russians (because they were ready) to fill in as the Confederates.


Union job:  keep the Confederates off the two roads going south across the Monocacy River.

Confederates:  get any unbroken (more than 1 strength) brigades down either the road to Liberty (east) or Frederick City (west) so as to disrupt Union ability to  interfere with Confederate movements towards the east, either Baltimore or Washington.

the horse were fighting over Bruceville
just as the foot were tangling at Utica Mills

Custer was granted command of the 'heavies' and had the job to flank far right.

battlefield overview
(the tray holding Confederates were arriving from
the road to the north - left of image)

Union held in readiness to see what the Rebs were bringing

there were more Union cavalry coming from Liberty
to the south east, they would not arrive before noon though

Custer is in command of the Cuirassier, seen here in the distance
to the left

tale of the Confederate battle ... they could not get
the bigger numbers needed in combat die rolls

this caused many more losses to the Confederates

as usual an all cavalry battle was going to be a swirling mass of horsemen with the decision coming fast

Custer, top center, failed to attack - TWICE!

this allowed Confederate horsemen a clear shot
at a Union battery group

Pleasanton was just too far away to effect anything
much of a personal nature on the field

so the Union Division commanders were needed
to keep the action 'in-the-face' of the Confederates

1/3 of the Union guns were run over by Confederate horse

a lull came over the field just before 11 am

both sides had pulled back after an hour of furious action

in the midst of recovering some casualties - both sides failed their
break point rolls, though the Confederates failed their roll by more

remaining Union forces about 2/3rds strength that they
started with

Confederate survivors, they had been mauled
though all artillery survived, the horse were
at less than half strength they started with


Bruceville 1863 game timelapse


Now we know what all the situation of the 3rd of July will be ...

There is a small opening to the east, certainly north is open, west of course will achieve little.

South may be only an option if Longstreet can hold it open for two more days ...

Wither will General Lee and the remains of the Army of Northern Virginia go?