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Monday, 24 February 2014


Last Thursday, I hosted a game of Sergeants The Miniatures Game This was a birthday present to myself from last year. I have had a couple of games previously and like the concept.
Here is the 30in x 20in mapboard for the first scenario : First contact. One of the two 'landmarks', the crossroads, can be seen. The scenario saw the first clashes between US paras and the German defenders. The forces were based on two named soldiers plus 12 victory points. The Germans had 5 troops plus a few extra grenades. The Paras had four figures and a liberal supply of grenades. The orders cards for each side were drawn at random. The Germans were to enter on turn two and capture or kill all Paras encountered. The Paras had to take the two 'landmarks': the crossroads and the area of scrub.
Here there are no figures on the board. The Germans are not due on til turn two and the Paras did not initially draw a move card to move on to the board. The game is driven by the Story Deck. Each turn is divided into three phases, with a card drawn for each phase. These cards show the two types of actions available for each phase (shoot, move, look & hide) . Players then must play cards of the appropriate type for each phase. If you do not have them, then you have to draw from your action deck till you find one. The action deck is made up of the cards that are unique to and come with the individual soldiers (7 per soldier). These cards allow actions and determine combat results.
These two photos show the Paras in the centre of the table. The Germans have just come on at the left. After the game, I realised that I had misread the order card. I thought I had to hold the landmarks at the end of the game. All I had to do was to spend one turn in the landmarks with no German presence to count the extra VPs. I'll remember next time!
This photo gives an idea of the layout of the cards. On the left, I have just turned over a move card for the first phase of the turn. This particular card allows up to 5 paras to move and the named soldier to act on one of the two options on the story card as a free action. The soldier cards can be seen on the right. They show the individual's capabilities and any special effects they have on aspects of the game. 
The Germans are attacking from the left and top now. This is just after one of the Paras bit the dust after attempting a rash run from cover to cover. The counters show which figures have been spotted and can be fired at.
The Germans manage to get round the back of the paras. A short sharp exchange of fire and a grenade or two and the one remaining para surrenders.
I enjoyed this game, even though I lost. The game has elements of Combat Commander and a miniatures game. Most of the measuring is done using the squares, apart from close range shooting. Although on the board, it looks like it would be easy to see the soldiers, they actually cannot be seen unless they are spotted by looking for them or they fire. It is also possible to take cover again, using the hide action.

Sunday, 23 February 2014


I have not posted for a week due to an unreliable broadband connection and some real life intrusions.

There was no Wednesday game this week. We are in a transitional phase between figure gaming projects and are playing boardgames to allow for painting and other finishing of our In Her Majesty's Name forces.

Following on from Carcassonne games, we have played Shadows Over Camelot . As there were only three of us, we played without the traitor, but still lost!

We also played Tobago . This is a lovely game of exploration and finding treasure by a process elimination and deduction. We played it twice. David wining both games.

This weeks game is undecided. There is a possibility of a couple of weeks of Monsterpocalypse!

Sunday, 16 February 2014


For this weeks Thursday game, Rick decided on a Sails Of Glory game.
The scenario was based on our last battle. HMS Defence had struck her colours and was sinking. Before she sank, the French found a chest containing gold and despatches to the Dutch government. The British had to stop the French from getting back to port and making use of the information..

The Terpischore, in the van, having rendezvoued with Vanguard, Spartiate and Concorde, tries to intercept Le Genereux (Le G), which has rendezvoued with Commerce de Bourdeax (CdB), Hermoine and Unite.
This shot is from early in the game, the British approaching in line ahead, loaded with double shot, looking to keep the new French arrivals away from Le G. This appears to have unnerved Unite. The frigate almost colliding with CdB. Hermione is advancing on her own.

Hermoine's lone attack continues. The two British frigates are drawn off. Terpishcore takes a broadside, but cannot reply as the range is too great for double shot.

CdB and Unite close on Terpischore.
In this picture, Le G arrives to port of Terpischore. CdB is on the unfortunate frigate's starboard. Will it survive the fire of two ships of the line? The British ships at the bottom are Vanguard, Spartiate with Concorde bringing up the rear. Unite is the French frigate at the top of the picture.
Terpischore and Le G exchange partial broadsides. Terpischore takes proportionately more damage, despite firing double shot at Le G. With a mast destroyed, Terpischore limps away out of the fight..
CdB sails between Vanguard and Concorde, whilst Le G rakes Vanguard with a damaging full broadside. Vanguard also takes a broadside from CdB, the combined effect causing heavy damage. The effect of A full broadside of double ball from Vanguard and a partial broadsde from Concorde was devastating enough for CdB to strike it's colours.
However, with all the British ships now damaged, three seriously, they used a favourable wind to put distance between them and the French. With only Le G damaged, the two frigates would be able to fire from a safe distance and make their objective almost impossible to achieve.

More photos and more info can be foubd here

Rick had streamlined the rules to allow four ships a side. We only used one manouvre card, we had to change the way the counters were used on the ships templates as there are only enough for four ships in the starter set. We were not able to finish the game in an evening. We got far enough to decide an outcome: a marginal French victory, in the context of the scenario.

I have used the same tactics in the first two games playing the British: loading with double shot to get full effect with my broadsides. This leads to close actions and heavily damaged ships. I may experiment with different tactics in the next game.

I enjoyed both games that I have played. I don't feel that the changes to the rules had much effect on the game. The next game will, no doubt, continue the ongoing narrative.

Monday, 10 February 2014


I chose something nice and easy for our Thursday game this week: Invasion From Outer Space The Martian Game. This game uses the same basic rules as Last Night on Earth. The main differences being that the Martians can shoot and there is no fending off in combat, meaning that the martian is killed or the player takes a wound. 
The initial set up. Rick took the Circus performers and I took the Martians. The heroes were: Archibald the Human Cannonball; R.J. Flanaghan the Ringmaster; Hannah the Firebreather and Cassidy the Trickshooter. The scenario called for the Heroes to kill 20 Martians.
The Martians only had to kill two Heroes. In the early turns Hannah and Cassidy took a steady toll of the Martians. The Martians optimum tactcal ploy was the pack of exactly three. They got benefits when in combat and shooting. Sadly the Martians never managed to get that organised.
But they did manage to get a Zard Beast into play.The Zard beast has special powers that make it quite formidable.
The Zard Beast caused consternation in the Heroes. They reorganised in the big top.
Archibald took on the beast. Despite automatically losing a power token just for fighting, he managed to score three hits, which the beast failed to save (needing 4+) and it perished.
The Heroes started to get close to their target, regularly killing Martians in groups of two or three.
The Zard beast made another appearance, too late?
I had managed to build a couple of death rays with Martian tech. and tried to bring them to bear on the Heroes: I only needed to kill two!
Sadly, I only managed to a wound on each Hero.
In the end, the Heroes managed to get to twenty Martians quite comfortably. There was a time when they were stuck on eight and I was managing to play cards that made it difficult for the Heroes. Sadly, the accuracy of the Martian's shooting (my die rolling?) left a lot to be desired.
Very easy to pick up the game due to the similar rules to LNOE. I think there will be scope to use both games together. Future project, methinks!

Friday, 7 February 2014


In the afternoon, after some lunch, we arrived at Rick's for a try out of Sails of Glory. This game uses the same basic game engine as Wings of War/Glory, Attack Wing and X-Wing, but for sailing ships.
Here is a view of the British vessels: The 3rd Rate Defence and Frigate Terpischore. The French Ships, frigate Courageuse  and ship of the line Genereux.
The wind gauage with a wind direction device, which indicates which direction the wind is hitting a ships sails and what movement rates to use.
This picture shows the ship record cards, which take up space, but are neccessary. We used a 6 x 4 ft table for a 4ft x 4ft playing area. 
 The French are running with the wind from left to right. The British are taken aback whilst manoeuvering into the wind. 
In true British style, I had loaded the ships with double shot. This has a short range compared to normal ball, so I tried to cross the T of the French to rake them and reduce my exposure to long range broadsides. This was partially successful as Terpischore managed to get a broadside off at Le Generaux.

 Defence and Courageuse accidentally become entangled. Defence takes fire from both French ships without being able to respond effectively. Terpischore is too far away to assist.
Defence breaks free and pours a broadside of double shot into Courageuse. This casuses so many casualties that the frigate strikes its colours. The second line down, with the blue, yellow and red counters, shows that all available crew are casualties.
 Le Genereaux and Terpischore exchanged broadsides at long range.
Le Genereaux and Defence become entangled. Despite taking a broadside from Terpischore, the crew of the French ship manage to make the Defence strike her colours with a combination of musketry and a sharp boarding action. Terpischore made her way from the scene, her captain not fancying the odds against a ship of the line.

We decided it was a French marginal victory. The game is quite involved but, I think, after a few games it will become second nature. Movement can be quite complex. The system uses manoevere decks, like the original Wings of War, with cards showing different rates of movement depending on attitude to the wind and damage taken. Getting your manoeuvre right, to do what you wanted to do, was bad enough, let alone trying to guess what your opponent was up to!

It was quite a tense game with the result in the balance till near the end.

 After a takeaway haddock supper, from the Ashvale, to finish the evening, we had a game of Combat Commander. The scenario was set during the Battle of the Bulge, and focussed on a clash between the 101st at Bastogne and a German mixed force over some supply gliders that had been dropped.
Five objective chits, representing the gliders, replaced the numbered objectives on the map. With a bit of random placement, three of the gliders were closer to the Germans albeit in the open and two easily accessible and near cover, closer to the US forces.

The game took longer than we expected and lasted past the scheduled 7 turns before the Germans won. It looked close at the end, but the fact that the Germans held three of the objectives, with much higher VP value than the two held by the 101st.

A whole 14 hours of wargaming. That is the equivalent of 4 weekday games nights! Good job they are so infrequent?!?

Thursday, 6 February 2014


The final scene, 'We Will Be Waitin' saw the Outlaws confronting the Sheriff and the Marshal with the other Lawmen diverted elsewhere..
 The two Lawmen were automatically activated as if they had drawn Aces ( high in the game).
 The Sheriff made good use of his activation to move behind the jail. The Marshal moved behind the building at the end of the street. The Outlaws followed, concentrating on the Marshal.
 The Sheriff evened the odds by putting a dude out of action.
 The deputies and upstanding citizens react to the gunfire and come to their comrades' aid.
 The Gunslinger takes out a deputy.
 Meanwhile, the Sheriff takes down a varmint. Just visible in the window of the building beside the jail is one of the Lawmen who stayed behind. He will play a big part later in the game!
 A deputy strikes lucky, putting the Gunslinger out of action.
 Two views of the battle. The lower picture showing the gunbattle between two upstanding citizens and the Boss and two dudes. The Outlaws also came under fire from the two buildings on the right where the Lawmen had taken position.

The Lawmen now had the upper hand and closed in on the remaining Outlaws. One citizen paid the price, but two more Outlaws went down. At this point, the Outlaws failed a big nerve test and 'got out of Dodge'.

The three games were completed in a little under four hours. It may be possible to play one or two scenes in a normal games night, but not all three. The rules are fairly straight forward, with the cards driving most things. After the first game, the modifiers for firing had been memorised and play speeded up.

The need to declare all actions when activating a figure was a good touch. Several times threatening situations were avoided by the timely playing of a card interupting and stopping the intended action.

The one downside is that the board can get cluttered with cards when there are more than a few figures per side. One potential solution is to use tiles from the Play 5 game, which are Scrabble sized tiles with card suits and numbers on them.

All in all a good start to the gaming day. Fast and furious with clear results in quite short order. I think we will play this game again.