Technicals – Improvised Weapon Systems

While writing Friday’s post I realised, except for a brief mention, I haven’t actually talked about some of the wierder weapons available from Spectre and how I had assembled them ready for hot-swapping into the technicals. Seeing as they don’t fit into either of the themes of the next two posts, and as a midweek treat, here is a quick post covering how the insurgents now have a bit of long range firepower thanks to the rocket pod and the BMP turret systems.


We’ll start with the rocket pod. As seen in a few conflict zones around the world, irregular forces struggle  to maintain attack helicopters in a civil war situation due to lack of pilots and supply networks. Instead of sitting around doing nothing, many groups re-purpose the under wing rocket pods – flipped upside down, mounted to a frame and put into service as bootleg MRLS system.

The rocket pod from Spectre comes in two pieces – the rocket pod itself and a support frame. This frame is designed to clip into the rack behind the cab on the technicals, making for a simple and easy installation if you don’t mind it being a permanent fixture.

To make it hotswappable, I had to make sure it didn’t require a connection to the bar behind the cab to stand up right. The pod could still rest on it but the main support had to be on the hotswappable part. In Version 1, I clipped off the front of the Spectre supplied frame to make it easy to attach the rocket pod and (because I was lazy) I simply stuck a piece of plasticard to the frame to hold it upright. Although it worked, it really didn’t look very good. So I went back to the cutting board.

Version 2 of the mounting was to tear off the original single piece mount (you can still see the gluing point on the bottom of the base) and redo it with two pieces placed just underneath the pod to give it support. This looks a lot sturdier while still looking like something someone threw together in a garage. The paint job was then applied – really simple job of Russian Green uniform and grey followed up by a Agrax wash.

Honestly, this is a weird piece of kit. It does scream “irregular forces” like almost no other (except maybe the BMP turret). I’m also not sure about how often I’ll be using it in a direct fire role, instead I can see it being used mostly as an objective or scenery as we saw in the first game using it.


Speaking of the BMP turret, I think I need to look at it in a bit more detail. In the original impression article, I really only covered what it was like when it arrived including the basics on how it goes together. I haven’t shown off the rest of the work I have done on it to get it ready for the table.

First up, a problem I encountered. Using the frame as intended (resting on the rear wheel arches) meant that the turret did not fit on top of the gunner preventing it from working properly. Even removing the hotswap base portion didn’t give enough extra space. So in order to get this ready for wargaming, I was going to have to do some tweaks.

My solution? Build a frame work as part of the base to raise the metalwork up slightly, giving plenty of clearance between the top of the gunners head and the turret. Being in a rush, I threw this together with a bit of give so I could work out the correct height and then come back to fix it. As you might spot, I didn’t go back and fix it.

And here is in its full painted (and heavily washed) glory today. The turret is painted the same colour as my other Bazistan vehicles to make it look like it’s been stripped off a regime vehicle. I actually ended up painting the gunner in situ so he’s colour scheme is a little simplistic compared to some of the other technical crews.

There is a certain amount of love amongst the local club when this vehicle appears on the board and it’s been christened “Tiny Tank”. As you might guess, it inevitably end ups on fire or blown up by an actual tank. On the other hand, the recoiless rifle in the turret can be pretty handy to pump out explosive rounds, either against lightly armoured vehicles (like Humvees or other technicals) or infantry dug in to cover. I have in the past used it with some extra armour to represent the turret

I am tempted to go back and tweak the framework to reduce the height slightly and make it the gunner isn’t exposed from the front. I’m also looking at adding some side armour to metalwork in order to project the gunner from side shots, as well as adding somewhere to stick militia slogans onto.


Overall both these weapons are a neat addition to any insurgent force. You get add a bit more firepower, able to level the playing field against better trained forces. You also get some kit that is exclusively suitable for an insurgent force, really helping it to look like a group of fighters in desperate times. After reading the Osprey book on Technicals, I’m already looking at some other slightly odd weapon setups to extend the rag-tag look.

Come back on Friday to see some more Technical weapons.

Wargaming Week 21/05/2018

Let’s start this Wargaming Week, covering the 14th through to the 21st of May.

BLOG STUFF

Last week’s post was kicking off a new project! B-Town is going to be packed full of me finally getting my MDF finished off and ready for the tabletop as well as lots of opportunities to try out new things. I talk about it a bit more in the hobby section but this is something I’m really looking forward to. Even better, it’s a project that I get to show off without any preset deadlines… for now.

Speaking of blog stuff, a post went up yesterday about GDPR changes as well as a whole bunch of tweaks to how the site (and my other web stuff) works. For most people, nothing will change, except maybe the page loads a little faster.

NEWS

First up, Sally 4th have been showing off their new boat!  Their tramp steamer, made of MDF and with plenty of access to the interior. If you’re looking for a small commercial vessel to sit in your 3rd world port and possibly be assaulted by frogmen, this one would be great! It’s available on their site for pre-order, will be shipping in early June.

Next, SASM have a new range of figures. This time, they are being CAD designed and the pack includes 10 US Special Operators. The link also includes some WIP photos of the physical figures being painted up. I’ll admit, I’m not rushing to buy these guys but it’s exciting to see everything SASM is trying out. They are currently available to pre-order, details in the link.

Finally, Alan from White Dragon Miniatures dropped this teaser on the Modern Miniature Warfare page. If you don’t recognise it, that is some brass etched bar armour (designed to beat RPGs) and, based on chatting to him at shows and the size/shape of it, it’s for a Mastiff. I’ve been looking forward to one of these for a while and the idea its coming complete with bar armour makes me pretty excited. I’ll be keeping an eye open for when the rest of vehicle arrives.

GAMING

No gaming – I’m beginning to forget the rattle of dice or how to use a tape measure.

PURCHASES

Bit of a strange one – I picked up the ebook version of Outremer: Fatith and Blood, the latest ruleset from Osprey. I really like these small scale skirmish/gang games and after reading some of the designer notes in the last issue of Wargames Illustrated, I just had to take a look. It’s a really interesting little system, with plenty of cool features including a great progression system that I could see being a lot of fun.

HOBBY

In case you hadn’t noticed from the purchases section over the last few months, I really like picking up rule sets to read and maybe play someday down the line once I finish painting up most of what I have. My day job is related to games design, so getting the chance to dissect rules is great fun. Of course, this also means that, like many wargamers cursed with the joy of tinkering, I like to write my own wargames stuff. I’ve started playing with some ideas for a squad vs squad wargames with a big focus on characters and some aspects not normally seen in wargames inspired by talking to some people. No idea what I plan to do with them (probably just subject my friends in Edinburgh and York to them) but it’s a fun side project that I can do when I don’t feel like picking up a paint brush.

Of course based on this week’s article the big thing was getting the first building painted up. It really was a trial piece and I think there are a few things I’ll change in the future. Of course, having painted up the first building there is now going to be a delay until building two while I grab all the supplies I need. As well as the various paints I’ll need, there is also wires, styrene and detailing bits I’ll pick up to add all the extra features needed to make them look like a modern urban area. I also need to source some more photos on top of the coca cola advert I already have.

The other bit of painting time was done on the subjects for this week’s post. I FINALLY finished off the SPG-9 and ZPU and so I’m ready to talk about them on Friday. It felt a bit strange going back to painting stuff for technicals after already having so much done, but it’s quite nice painting something that isn’t on a tan base!


That’s it for this update, expect more updates next week!

GDPR and ChargeBlog

Yep, it’s one of those posts.

Time for a bit of housekeeping. Part of my weekend has been spent doing some spring cleaning on the site, fixing up some of the crud left over from running the same wordpress install since 2009. The other part has been working on some tweaks needed to bring the site inline with the new GDPR regulations. I’ve stripped out some systems that were gathering excessive data for a hobby project (such as Google Analytics) and updated the site to force HTTPS across the site.

What does that mean for you the reader? Honestly not much. There is now a basic privacy policy available showing what services I’ve been using for running all the cool tech stuff on the site. Reading stuff on the site hasn’t changed. In fact, you might even see a speed bump as there are less things being loaded when you hit a page.

The big thing is to do with people who subscribe to the site via the email functionality. This post is basically just a reminder to say that by continuing to use the site you’re fine with me having the data needed to keep sending you emails. If you no longer want to receive the emails, there is a link at the bottom of the latest email to unsubscribe. Otherwise, I’ll keep sending you the latest posts when they are released.

Apart from that, we’ll be back to the your usual wargaming content tomorrow.

Project: B-Town – Part 1: More Impressions and Project Begins

It’s time for a new project! With the completion of Operation Dragon’s Hoard, my scenery projects have run dry (and less full of downed planes and dust). However, that doesn’t mean my terrain collection is all good to go. Since I started wargaming, I’ve slowly been collecting more and more MDF, all ready for a day when I run a full size game set in a city (as planned for a future part of the CGS series).

As you can see by my picture of shame taken in March, there is a lot of MDF to paint. And what’s worse, it’s all assembled (due to me mainly wanting to write about it) so painting is going to be interesting. To help with that, I’m organising it into a new project. Nicknamed “B-Town” the aim here is to assemble, modify and paint all my MDF to make it suitable for a modern day urban area somewhere in Bazistan/Aden. The target is to use this process to learn modification techniques to turn simple MDF into more detailed structures, learn painting techniques to get the terrain painted quickly and effectively and work on assembling the required scatter terrain to really make the scene look more realistic and interesting to play over.

This project is going to take a while and I’m sure I’m going to find ways to keep adding to it but for now lets start by taking a look at a few new purchases.


In my initial look at the Sarissa’s North Africa/Colonial Range, I focused on the big boys – multi-storey and street filling structures that are specific to range. However, there were also a few smaller buildings that Sarissa offer that I hadn’t picked up in the initial order. After having built the others I realised that maybe I should pick some up to use as prototypes for painting – after all, I’d rather ruin at £10 building than one of the larger ones.

As before, both kits arrived in the usual Sarissa packaging. It was interesting to see that the small building was only on A5 MDF rather than the cut used for all the others. Quality was high as ever and assembly matched pretty closely to the kits covered in part 1.


Small House

The first building in this set is the smallest building in the range. It’s also super simple – two doors, five windows and a lift on/off roof.

The rear view shows more of the access points as well as some of the laser cut details

With the roof removed, you can see the interior. It’s a simple single room with two entrance ways. I had an issue where one of the greyboard panels where it seemed reversed but managed to fix it by trimming out the


House – Two Storey

Building 2 occupies a similar footprint but extends it with another floor, including a balcony.

As you can see from the rear there is an additional door onto the ground floor. It’s interesting to see that there are no side windows on the ground floor, making it easy to outflank but limiting entry.

Like other buildings in the range, the interior are empty cells. An interesting note is that due to the same plug system used for the room, the ground floor could be replaced with the one storey house or the two storey could be converted into a single – with two doorways, it’s perfect for a security office in a compound.


Picking up these two buildings, really started to let me see some of the possibilities you can get with this range. Although the large buildings are very impressive, multiple small ones will help to quickly make any neighbourhood large, especially as they could be used in a modular fashion to make a wide variety of different buildings. I’m not going to rush to pick up more but it’s something to think about for the future.


Of course, I can’t leave you with just a simple impressions piece. In between my time at work, I managed to get some paint onto buildings. As planned, I’m starting with the smallest Colonial building to work out my method.

Due to the fact I’m working with buildings that are already assembled in this project, I can’t start from a sensible place like base-coating on the sprue. Instead, I’m having to mask areas I’m not wanting to cover in textured spray, such as doors and windows.

So here is my process for the first building. It’s not 100% finished – I’m still debating adding window glass on the inside.

  1. Assemble
  2. Mask off windows and doors
  3. Textured spray with roof on
  4. Remove masking pieces and roof
  5. Spray Black Undercoat
  6. Spray Grey Undercoat
  7. Spray White
  8. Dusting of Tan spray on the lower edges
  9. Paint doors with a dilute blue to bring out the lasercut detail
  10. Nuln Oil wash for vertical surface, Agrax Earthshade for the flat surfaces
  11. Roughly paint/drybrush white
  12. Apply scrunched poster, hit with a Nuln oil wash

For a first attempt I’m reasonably happy. There are a couple of things I’m going to tweak. First of all, I don’t think I need to spray black AND grey. The grey is pretty dark and it covers the main role of the black (covering up the black and white of the textured spray/giving the same “dark up” feel that my figures have). The poster is something else – I think I over handled it causing it to tear and smudge. A layer of wash was needed to stop is standing out too much but I used a dirty brush. Next time, clean between uses.

The big thing is I’m going to take a bit more time on future spraying. I painted up these relatively quickly (probably 1.5 evenings) which meant I didn’t leave the spray paint long enough to settle. This lead to some odd textures and cracking you can see if you look closely. If anyone asks, it’s just the plaster cracking. Another tweak will be to change the final finish colour – looking at buildings in Yemen (the geographical area of Bazistan) and there is a nice mixture of colours from white to shades of brown. Due to the fact the buildings share many of the same features, a colour tweak will make the city look a bit more varied.


What’s next?

The next part of the project is going to work on the other colonial buildings so I can have a core set of buildings painted up. However, I need to look into some detailing parts to help them look more modern such as air conditioning units, metal bars around the windows, wiring and aerials. I already have a few but I want to expand my options and see what is out there. Having now started this project, I’m really looking forward to getting a board covered in painted up buildings.

Wargaming Week 14/05/2018

Let’s start this Wargaming Week, covering the 7th through to the 13th.

BLOG STUFF

This week’s post was taking a look at Spectre’s MENA Regulars. I always find this style of figure really useful when designing scenarios (especially when wanting a change from hordes of insurgents). I’m every excited to see what comes next in this range!

NEWS

Knights of Dice have been showing off some new buildings for the Tabula Rasa range. These apartment buildings have been talked about for a while so it’s great to hear they are getting close to release. I’m defiinitly interested in some more residential buildings that aren’t adobes so I will be getting some of these once I’ve painted up more of the stuff I already own.

In other new things, Full Battle Rattle Miniatures (maker of a rather nice range of modern Canadian figures) have another wave of figures coming. This next wave will add two more fireteams of figures in skirmishing poses, a pair of MMG teams, a Carl Gustav team, mine sweeper and a dog team. This is a great addition to the range, perfect for building a platoon of Canucks. I’ll be looking to pick up some of these guys at some point so watch this space!

GAMING

Been busy with work so sadly my Thursday night trip to the club was just a simple drop in to see what was going on. I have been planning more games though (partially to help me decide what to paint next)

PURCHASES

One small purchase this week. I decided to pick up the two small Colonial buildings from Sarissa I didn’t cover in my original post. The planning behind this was two fold – they will be some handy buildings to have and also I’m wanting something slightly smaller to work out the techniques and tweaks I’ll use on the big ones. Expect a post once I assemble them.

HOBBY

Big thing this week was finishing off the MENA Regulars for the post. These guys were mostly done, just needing the camo painting and a few items neatening up. I’m really happy with the final result – I think the drybrush of Medium Grey on the green elements really made it look more used.

The next step on my workbench is getting two more Technical weapons finished off (the ZPU1 and SPG9). I’m also starting the task of repainting my Empress SF figures (both SEALs and US Army Special Forces). However, I have been planning a few things for scenarios so my need to sneak other figures into the queue.

Also the two Strykers (normally spotted in the background of other pictures) are still say on my desk. I really need to just sit down and finish them as all they really need is a few details painting and then a heavy drybrush.


That’s it for this update, expect more updates next week!

Impressions: Spectre MENA Regulars

It’s safe to say that most ultramodern games will probably end up with high tech Western forces up against irregulars. However, sometimes you’ll need some more uniform looking MENA forces to either act as the OPFOR or to act the role of the locals being advised or assisted. At Salute, Spectre released their first wave of MENA Regulars and I just had to pick them up.

The release goes for the classic look of these forces, with the combination of PASGAT helmet, body armour and Russian weaponry. There are three packs available, with a six figure squad set armed with assault rifles and two support packs. There is a nice variety of poses for a squad in combat (with a combination of shooting and moving under fire). As you’d expect from Spectre, there is a really nice level of detail to the squad; things like different types of body armour and a variety of AK patterns (including some with folding stocks) help to make the squad look a little better equipped than their militia opponents while not quite being up to the same level as their Western advisers/opponents.

For painting, I went for the classic 3 colour desert camo along with green body armour and helmets. I used a few slightly different shades of green for the armour and helmets (although its hard to see on the final models) which was then dusted with Medium Grey to make it look a bit dustier. The desert camo is a little different from other models as I made the Camo Beige splodges slightly bigger than I have previously. I quite like painting this camo as it’s relatively easy with only three steps and simple shapes.

As well as the main squad, the first release includes two support weapons – an RPG gunner and PKM machine-gunner to help deal threats that the normal squad can’t.

As a little bit of extra firepower, and after seeing the pose on the gunner, I realised that this squad could do with some mobile backup. For this reason, I built up a technical weapon using some bits box elements and the base template I’ve used on previous weapon systems. I’ll go into more details in a future post (as well as looking at other weapons designed for Technical Bravo) but I’m happy with how it came out. It will also be a nice backup for other Bazistan Army vehicles.

Of course, you may already have some troops for your MENA Army. Eureka and Empress also produce figures in similar kit. As you can see above the sizing is pretty close. Although the Eureka figure is a little on the small size, the helmet and gun are still to scale. Overall, I wouldn’t have any problems using them together (for example when you need the whole Bazistan Army).


Bazistan Army troops (accompanied by Bazistan SF elements) engage an opposing militia on the streets of Bazi City

So what do I think of these guys? I really like them! They have Spectre’s usual high quality with great poses and detail and are perfect for any less well equipped nations – I’d even be tempted to use them for nations outside of the MENA region such as African Forces. Apart from one guy with a slightly elongated neck, my only other comment is this group could be a little too uniform if you were wanting some really crap Indigenous Forces. However, this won’t be a problem for long – from talking to the Spectre guys, we’ll be seeing more MENA regulars coming soon with different weapons and kit. I’m really looking forward to getting these guys on the table.

Wargaming Week 07/05/2018

Let’s start this Wargaming Week, covering the 30th of April through to the 6th of May.

BLOG STUFF

Last week was a two post week – Wednesday was taking pictures of Hammerhead 2018 while Friday was the last post for Operation Dragon’s Hoard. As I say in the post, it’s been real fun to run the game at all the shows but sadly, I don’t have time to run it for the rest of the year. On the other hand, I’m already thinking of what to run next.

A bit of forwarning – I’m looking at some site downtime in the next few weeks while I do some maintenance on my WordPress install. I actually run three sites off the some hosting and at the moment they are installed across three databases (two of which are not technically owned by me). It’s going to be an interesting process to fix so might end up taking the site offline for a bit

NEWS

Well looks like this week was a news week!

First up, Tiny Terrain has some good news about their War In Chechnya Kickstarter. All of the pledges from Kickstarter One has been sent out which means we should be seeing the figures released in the next few weeks (alongside a brand new site for them). Also exciting is that Tiny Terrain will be doing a second kickstarter to add to this range with 40 new figures split into Russians and Chechens. These look like even more great sculpts from Igor so it will definitly be something to keep an eye on

Speaking of Igor’s sculpts, SASM is also working with him on a range of figures for the Ukrainian Conflict. Covering the 2014 – 2015 period, there are 10 seperatists and 10 Ukrainians with a good mix of gear. From the other previews shown, these guys look nice and rugged (although there are prone figures) so I could see them being useful for post-apocalyptic games. SASM is running a Kickstarter esque process but I’m going to wait until they are actually released before possibly taking a look.

Lazy Forger continues to keep sculpting new stuff. His latest preview is simple but great, looking at some big chunky walls for building up your compounds.

Spectre continues the great Humvee preview this week with TWO previews of designs in the resin. The first up shows the core of the Humvee system Spectre has been working on. This is the common part all Humvee variants use before you add on the upgrade parts you want on top. It also includes the unarmoured doors, perfect for a second line or ill prepared vehicle.

Preview 2 is showing off two of those upgrade parts. Piece 1 is the open armoured rear section of the GMV version for SOF use. I’m actually quite excited about this piece – it might be able to be used on the M-ATV SF I’m building rather than having to start from scratch. On the Humvee, it will be great to act as the support vehicle for your teams, especially as many of these mount a second machine gun in the back. Piece 2 should be more familiar to everyone as it’s the standard sloped back used on the weapons carriers and other variants. Expect to buy a lot of these.

GAMING

No Gaming. I’m starting to get dice rolling withdrawal. I am starting to plan the next game, which might have a little bit of inspiration from the Medal of Honor released back in 2010.

PURCHASES

No Purchases – I’m just getting ready for the Humvees. Although I have been eyeing up the smaller Sarissa Colonial buildings for “test pieces” before I get to work on the large ones. That’s the excuse I’ll go with.

HOBBY

Unfortunately, not much. Thanks to work and then spending the weekend horizontal due to an illness, the only painting I managed to do was just a few more details on the MENA regulars.


That’s it for this update, expect more updates next week!

Operation Dragon’s Hoard: The Final Run and Post Mortem

This post should have been appearing back in March. However, General Winter came a calling and the final run of Operation Dragon’s Hoard was delayed due to the show being cancelled after an unexpected amount of snow.

In my last post on Operation Dragon’s Hoard, I covered some major tweaks I’d made to the plane to make it look more crashed. I also covered some other tweaks I’d thought of making to add some extra detail. However, I ran out of time to make these alterations. They might be something I come back to in the future but honestly I think the game looked pretty great anyway.

The only other tweak I haven’t previously mentioned was to add some low cover for the insurgents. This was the Spectre Jersey Barriers I covered last week. This low cover was designed to give the militia a bit more staying power, especially after the great explosives massacre that was game 3 at Vapnartak.


After a night spent in York and a 1:30 drive down to Newark, Peeb and I managed to get to the Gamer’s Lounge to set up one hour before opening. Everything was really well organised, with easy access to the venue and plenty of parking. The switch over to using bubble wrap rather than the foam blocks continued to be a better choice. Unfortunately, just after setting up we spotted some large chunks of plaster surface that had cracked in transit and would need repairing. Luckily there were some big chunky terrain that could cover it up.

As you can see, we did a few little tweaks to the game layout. The biggest addition is the construction buildings from Supreme Littleness Designs, adding some much-needed vertical elevation to the board. Combined with the jersey barriers, it now looks like the plane has come down close to an abandoned building turned militia stronghold. I also assembled the two adobes to be a little less square. Is this practical town planning? Not really. Does it look better? Yes.

During the first game of the day (traditionally run between myself and Peeb while everyone attending was in “look around the show” mode) we had a good few pieces of action. This was the shot just after one of the operators loosed an AT4 round down range to knock out the MMG team on the first floor. Adding in the multiple levels really helped to make the game more interesting, especially as it gave the insurgents a slight advantage in a few cases.

And here it is again from the Operator eye view. Picking up the teddy bear stuffing and painting it for smoke clouds really adds something to the game.

Later in the game, four of the operators stack up on the edge of the plane.

Partway through the game, one of the RPG gunners spotted a possible shot by threading his explosive payload under the wings. Instead, thanks to a scatter roll, he managed to catch himself in the blast radius.

Game 1 ended with the BLUFOR having wiped most of the enemy off the board, popped smoke and then began to retreat with black box in tow. All at the cost of one killed operator and some injuries.

Board reset for game 2 – a few different operators ready for the players to use.

As always, blowing the cockpit is among the first objective everyone does.

For game 2, I decided to tweak the setup and have a technical waiting on the board. Thanks to a very low body value, this turned up once the players had started moving and so required a bit of careful planning. In the end, the technical managed to cause some injuries before being shredded by close range assault rifle fire.

What couldn’t be planned for was a lucky RPG shot flying straight across the board to hit a Good Samaritan trying to heal up an injured colleague. The RPG was a perfect shot and 6D10 damage has a habit of overwhelming even body armour.

I spent the final game talking to a few people so didn’t see much of the action. However, it sounded like the insurgents caused a fair amount of damage to the oncoming operators.

With the last game done, it was pretty quick to get the game packed up and begin the drive back to York. Overall, running a game at Hammerhead was great fun. Although I kind of wish we had been in the main hall rather than the Gamer’s Lounge so as to get the most eyes on it, it was still quite busy. The team behind Hammerhead was great, with plenty of emails and help on the day to making running the game super smooth. I also got some really nice feedback and advice from the Mantic rep at Hammerhead which made me start planning ahead.

Also The Terrain Tutor covered my board in his video – click here


With this being the last run, and no more game days planned due to real life work, I think it’s time to look back at the project.

First up,

What Went Well:

  • It Got Done – This was a project that went from initial concept to execution in just over a year. I managed to get four runs out of the game, going to multiple different shows and getting a lot of people to have eyes on the game. Everyone who played it seemed to enjoy it so it’s safe to say mission accomplished
  • Crashed Plane – The crashed plane, the very expensive cornerstone of the map, was a risk. But in the end if fulfilled the role I intended it to have – it caught the eye, with plenty of people rubbernecking as they walked around the various shows.
  • Scenario – Simple idea (recover crashed plane), multiple fun objectives (especially with multiple BLUFOR players) and a great show of the Plausible Deniability’s rules with stealth and new weapon systems.
  • Gradual Evolution – Although not the traditional way, varying and improving on the game between shows meant that even people who had seen the game before still stopped at the table to check in and look at the tweaks. It also meant that the work was spread throughout the project rather than being front-loaded before the game even hit the board.
  • Skirmish Sangin – I finally got to show Skirmish Sangin (and my book) to people. A common phrase said while near the board was “I’ve heard of Skirmish Sangin/own a copy but I’ve never played it”. As it’s a ruleset I very much enjoy (enough that I wanted to write a book for it), getting to show it off was really great.

That said,

What Didn’t Go Quite So Well:

  • Game Length – Due to the game lasting 2 hours, we only managed to get 3 games run through at each show. With game one normally being between me and peeb, this massively reduced how many people actually got a chance to play. When I next run a game, I’m going to aim for something closer to 1 hour. As for what I would change I’m not sure. Possibly reducing the number of figures or switching to a slightly faster playing ruleset.
  • The Boards – I used my Ford Fiesta for transportation which meant I had limited space. As much as they looked fantastic, I’m in half a mind if I would use moulded boards again. They were very heavy and had to be repeatedly repaired after breaking chunks of the surface up.
  • Pick Your Team – This was an idea I had to take advantage of the cards I had printed for the teams but as cool as the idea was, it didn’t quite work – it was very hard to balance and I’m not sure it was as exciting as my brain thought it was.
  • Multiple Missed Targets – As you may have noticed, a few of these posts included comments about “not managing to do tweaks I’d want to”. This meant there were ways I could have improved the game but missed out on due to time. Next time I think needs a bit more planning.

Overall though, the Operation Dragon’s Hoard game has been a pretty great experience. I got to go to various wargames show, get people playing moderns and show off something I’ve made. I’m already thinking a game we might do next, possibly inspired by the recent trip to London for Salute. So maybe you’ll be seeing another set of project posts coming soon. But not for a while – I have to work out where I’m storing all this stuff.