South Bay Gaming Club newsletter #03

July 17, 2020

The South Bay Gaming Club is a loose association of friends, acquaintances and guests playing miniature wargames in the southern San Francisco Bay area. Members are military history buffs and generally play historical miniatures with figures, although all genres of games, including science fiction, fantasy, and board games are played. Land, sea and air war games are played.

In this issue:

  • Wargaming the 501st’s Assault at Brecourt Manor in 54mm
  • Skies the Limit!
  • Operation Brevity for Panzer Korps
  • The Battle Quiz
  • DIY – Building a Dark Ages Home
  • Bringing the Silver Screen to Your Table – A Walk in the Sun
  • This Month in History
  • Germany’s Panzer Brigades

I hope you enjoy — and if you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, we meet once a month in Saratoga, CA. Come visit us at:

club@sbgc.groups.io

https://www.facebook.com/groups/855293127949256/

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Download here: SBGC newsletter Issue 3 July 2020

Fistful of Lead mod – The Hand

June 27, 2020

Greetings! My local gaming club finally met under social distancing rules for the first time in 3-4 months, and Fistful of Lead was one of the rules sets being played (a WW2 mod, a skirmish at Brecourt Manor, Normandy, Band of Brothers). I’d forgotten what a fast and fun set of rules the are! When I played a lot of Old West using FoL my group developed an enhancement we called “The Hand.”

What’s The Hand? Well,  FoL is an IGOUGO game that uses a card-draw figure activation mechanism, and certain cards provide special benefits – like a One-Eyed Jack provides a +1 to hit when Shooting. Since the cards mirror a Poker hand — why not go all the way?? So we did!

The Hand

When you are dealt your cards, they are organized into your Hand. And certain Hands also provide benefits (or consequences). A player carries out or designates the special actions before all movement occurs. Players should announce their special Hands after the cards are dealt, but need not reveal their cards until each card is activated – eventually their whole deal will be exposed to see if they were dealing with ya straight!

  • One Pair –Recover one figure’s Pinned markers
  • Two pairs – 1x extra bonus action for one figure, or recover two Pinned markers
  • Straight – Recover one group’s Pinned markers
  • Flush – Immediate Reloads for all the player’s figures
  • 3-of-a-Kind – 1x extra bonus action for all figures in one group
  • 4-of-a-kind – “Thought I was a gonner!” Immediately recover all wounds from one figure (even if he was d-e-a-d, daid!) and remove Pinned marker, the figure gets one immediate action.
  • Royal Flush – “Yee haw, git ‘em boys! We’re all FIRED UP!” Recover all Pinned markers from all the player’s figures, each of the player’s figures in one Group get an extra bonus action and do not suffer from Pinned results this turn.
  • “Dead Man’s Hand” special negative effect [ace of spades, the ace of clubs, two black eights (clubs and spades) ] – “Somebody done stepped on ma grave!!” All that player’s figures hunker down and are Pinned in closest cover.

Example: Joe looks at the cards he was dealt and realizes he’s been dealt three fives – three of a kind! He announces to the group that he has Three-of-a-Kind and designates one of his groups as receiving a bonus action for all the figures in that group. Yee Hah!

ffol

Board Game review: This War of Mine

June 18, 2020

Board game review: This War of Mine

The solo and co-op play board game “This War of Mine” is a brutal reminder of what happens to a society that lets ethnic, religious and ideological passions divide people to the point of violence and collapse. The authors at Galakta Games and 11Bit Studios derived the board game from the award-winning computer game of the same name, based on their experiences surviving the civil wars that raged across the Balkans in the 1990s as the nation of Yugoslavia shattered into warring ethnic factions.

The game design incorporates aspects of both Resource Allocation and Action. In the game the Players assume the role of civilians trying to survive the war until a cease fire ends the fighting. Each Player controls one or more characters that are defined by traits – Empathy (morale tests), Prowess (physical tests), Inventory (how many items they can carry), Traits (Sneaky, etc. which can help or hurt during an Encounter or Test) and Spirit which includes both good and bad Habits that can effect survival. There is only one Victory condition – survival. And nobody can survive alone for long, so the Players must work together to manage their Characters and their group in order to win.

These Characters are based out of the shattered ruins of their apartment building in a major city and must forage for food, water, medicine, parts and equipment in order to survive the civil war. The game forces the Players to balance multiple “States” that track the well-being of each Character, or they will be penalized by different conditions. These States include:

  • Fatigue
  • Wounds
  • Misery
  • Hunger
  • Illness

Each Character can accrue up to 4 levels on each State, but each level has a game impact on a Character’s ability to pass different tests. These States can only be removed or remedied by allocating game Resources each turn or by taking Actions. For example, a “Ill” character with needs Medicine to recover, a character with multiple levels of “Hunger” needs food or will collapse, a Character accruing Misery needs to be soothed with a Habit (smoking) or Entertainment or they will have a mental/emotional breakdown, etc.

So each turn the Players must decide how to allocate resources, what actions to take to help a Character recover, and where and how many Characters to send out to forage, trade, or fight for resources keeping in mind the various States afflicting each Character. And sending Characters out to forage is hazardous in two ways. The Characters assigned to Forage are placed into different Zones on the City Map. Each Zone has its own danger and resource level, and some Zones are more likely than others to yield medicine or food. The Characters foraging must pass different challenge tests to survive encounters and find useful resources.

At the same time, the Characters left behind at the Apartment may face Intruders who will try to force their way into the Apartment and steal resources, and in the process injure or kill the Characters in the Apartment. So the Players have to also balance where they allocate their Characters.

Other events may also occur during any given turn, providing the opportunity to trade with neighbors or strangers, or present the Players with moral dilemmas, like having to decide to assume care for orphaned children or an ill stranger — which could impact the group’s survival. And all these events are given life by a comprehensive story book which provides a narration for each event or encounter, supported by a free game management app for your smartphone or tablet.

The game is uncompromising and you will lose Characters as you struggle towards the day of the Cease Fire (which is determined by a progressive card pull during the turn) — and you may lose entirely as your Characters get sick or injured, die, or lose heart and abandon the group. In no other game will you be confronted with a Character’s death like these:

“The soldiers are entering houses and dragging out anyone they happen to grab. Those who are taken are made to kneel with their hands in the air…the soldiers rack the bolts on their weapons…now is the time of vengeance for real or imagined offenses…assign a number from 1 to 10 for al Characters present. Then roll a die for each Character present and if their assigned number is rolled they are shot and removed from the game.”

This is a well crafted game that brings home the reality that no matter how it starts, who started it or how noble their intentions — once civil war collapses a society each person is left to survive in their own personal This War of Mine.

This War of Mine: The Board Game

South Bay Gaming Club newsletter #02

June 14, 2020

The South Bay Gaming Club is a loose association of friends, acquaintances and guests playing miniature wargames in the southern San Francisco Bay area. Members are military history buffs and generally play historical miniatures with figures, although all genres of games, including science fiction, fantasy, and board games are played. Land, sea and air war games are played.

In this issue:

  • Wargaming D-Day With NUTS! WW2
  • Artillery Colors in the Franco-Prussian War
  • The Akmar Herald
  • The Cu Chi Tunnels as a Vietnam War Game Terrain Project
  • My Career as a Victorian War Artist
  • Adding Wood Grain to Scale Railroad Ties
  • Games for Little Gamers – How to Protect Santa Rosa (with Apologies to H.G. Wells)

I hope you enjoy — and if you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, we meet once a month in Saratoga, CA. Come visit us at:

club@sbgc.groups.io

https://www.facebook.com/groups/855293127949256/

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SBGC newsletter Issue 2 June 2020

South Bay Gaming Club newsletter #01

May 25, 2020

The South Bay Gaming Club is a loose association of friends, acquaintances and guests playing miniature wargames in the southern San Francisco Bay area. Members are military history buffs and generally play historical miniatures with figures, although all genres of games, including science fiction, fantasy, and board games are played. Land, naval and sea war games are played.

We’ve just experimented with creating a newsletter with articles from the Members — many of whom are experienced gamers and published game authors. This is a non-commercial publication under “fair use” principles. I hope you enjoy — and if you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, we meet once a month in Saratoga, CA. Come visit us at:

club@sbgc.groups.io

https://www.facebook.com/groups/855293127949256/

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SBGC newsletter Issue 1 May 2020

Building a Dark Ages village (the experimental house)

May 15, 2020

After many years away from this period I’ve finally finished my two main factions for gaming the Dark Ages with Dux Britanniarum and other rules (Romano-British and Saxons), they need someplace to live and fight over. It takes a Village to spark a proper battle! Sorry…bad Dad joke.

So I have a nice set of MDF Dark Ages buildings from Warbases,  along with farm animals and such.

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Now, it’s been a while since I put together terrain, so it was fun to get back into it. The first building I wanted to try is the “Grub Hut,” which is basically a small one-room structure. I know the archeology on buildings is still evolving. Originally people thought these were a short “A-frame” building with no walls used for storage — but my current understanding is that it is felt that these were buildings where the foundations had subsided, but were otherwise used for many things including as dwellings.

Anyways — let’s get to work!

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Step 1. I assembled the MDF building using Wood Glue, giving it a stronger bond than white glue. Then I used wooden coffee stirrers, the very thin ones, to add the framing and posts to the exterior — front back and sides.

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Steps 2-3. Ok, moved along fast to this stage.

The building: I based the building on 3mm MDF board cut using a hand-held jigsaw and beveled with a crafting knife. Then I added the brief walkway in front of the door (keep that mud out of the house, Aelfred!), woodpile (twigs from the backyard), stump (a bit of cut cork), and then flocked the base with a mixture of fine sand, crushed walnut shell (bird cage liner), and some very small pebbles picked from here and there. Some spackle added texture to what will be an earth floor inside.

The thatched roof – Hand towel strips: I don’t have any teddy bear fur, nor did I feel up to sculpting with DAZ clay…but I did see a method of using strips sliced from a thin hand towel that looked pretty good. The recommendation is for a dark brown or black towel, but I only had a white one — so it is what it is. This was super easy and I liked the result. Basically cut your towel into 1″ strips (or so), and then glue those onto the roof in overlapping rows with the fibers all aligned to go “down hill” from the peak of the roof.  didn’t quite do it that way…well, it’ll go better next time! Then once the strips are glued down, give the fabric a coating of white glue thinned in water — again, trying to “comb” the fibers down in the same direction. This will let you base coat and paint it in the next steps.

Here are some great detailed instructions on how to do this: http://ryan.skow.org/city/greentree/ThatchedRoof.html

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Step 4. Base coat with grey primer. For a building I would probably go with black since it lets you drybrush more easily, but again — it’s what was on hand.

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Step 5.  Painting stage.  I used Deco Art “Golden Straw” craft paint for the thatched roof, using a large brush to give it a good coat of paint. Then went back over with highlights in grey and beige. Used a pot of brown Tempera paint for the base, an off-white for the walls and various browns and mochas for the rest. Light grey drybrush on the wood and beige highlights on the base. Once dry I gave it a couple of layers of Matte finish.

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Step 6. Detailing stage. The base has been flocked with patches of static grass, flower and grass tufts and a few other foliage bits. I found a loose 28mm handaxe someplace and glued it into the stump.

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Step 7. Move in day! The proud owners examine their new Grub Hut!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dark Ages Saxons for Dux Britanniarum

May 10, 2020

Just off the workbench, finished my 28mm Dark Ages Saxon warband for Dux Britanniarum and other rules. In a pinch they could do for a local Fyrd from Eriador or the Wilderlands in Middle Earth. The figures are primarily Gripping Beast and Crusader Miniatures, with flags and shield decals from Little Big Man Studios.

 

 

 

 

Now I need to get to work on some terrain! Piled on the workbench are the MDF blanks for Dark Ages houses from Warbases,  along with farm animals and such.

5150 – The Militia of New Hope City

May 2, 2020

Working on expanding my cast of characters for the “5150 Bugs Breakout” , one of three in the 5150 Bug Wars series, focuses on the Bug Apocalypse in New Hope City.  Off the workbench are the Militia of New Hope City which will also be used with other 5150 game as local defense forces. These hard plastic figures  are from the now OOP 28mm Defiant Miniatures “Delta Vector” Marines. There’s the rest of a platoon staring at me, some of which I’ve kit-bashed into medics, heavy weapons and so on. I also discovered my off-the-shelf wash had gone sludgy in the bottle…so the figures look like they rolled around in the mud! Oh well – time to make my own wash!

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5150 – Gangs of New Hope City

April 29, 2020

Working on expanding my cast of characters for the “5150 Bugs Breakout” , one of three in the 5150 Bug Wars series, focuses on the Bug Apocalypse in New Hope City. These figures will also be used with other 5150 games. Off the workbench are the Gangers – lowlifes and thugs of New Hope City.

  • The street thugs are from a now OOP box of plastic 28mm “Street Gangs of Megacity One” figures from the Judge Dredd miniatures game.
  • The two biker are OOP 28mm Infinity figures, the older version of the Haqqislam: Kum Motorized Troops (Mono-Wheel Motorcycles).
  • The Big Boss is a lightly touched-up plastic Heroclix King Pin figure.

wp-1588181241551.jpgThe Gangs of New Hope City – looking for trouble!

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5150 – Xeog mercenary crew

April 26, 2020

Working on expanding my cast of characters for the “5150 Bugs Breakout” , one of three in the 5150 Bug Wars series, focuses on the Bug Apocalypse in New Hope City. These figures will also be used with other 5150 games. Off the workbench is a small team of Xeog Mercenaries, using figures from the 28mm Urban War “Syntha” faction, with more figures available at Scotia-Grendel miniatures.

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5150 – Who Are the Xeog?

Xeog lineage can be traced back thousands of years to the ancient Shikar Empire. Most Xeog are part of a devout religious order whose sole purpose is the return of the Shikar Empire. Those are not the ones you’re likely to run into. Those have made a science of moving stealthily through the universe. No, the ones that you will mostly encounter are the divas. The one’s that like the attention.

With enhanced bio systems and strength, female Xeogs strike a stunning pose. Tall and slender these divas are not afraid to use whatever wiles are at their disposal to further their aims. Unfortunately, one would be hard pressed to understand these aims as they appear to have an appetite for everything and are insatiable in many ways.

Xeogs come in two shades the basic green and a bright shade of blue. It has been speculated that the blue version is a natural progression from the green stage and that some unknown stimulus occurs that causes this transformation. The blues, as they are often referred as, almost always “go rogue” and those are the ones you’ll encounter most of the time. The greens appear to be younger and less experienced. FYI, don’t ask a Xeog their age, you don’t want to know. Xeogs are often found working in the intelligence field on many worlds. Due to this they have earned the reputation of being involved in the darkest of plots and subversion. ASI speculates it’s a desire to be or be near the power.