Thursday, 4 September 2014

Miniatures gaming agenda for winter 2014/15

Winter is coming, as they say, and hence it is time to harvest the crops, bring in the livestock, and salt the food supplies. Oh, and pack the kids off to school, start a new RPG campaign - as we seem to traditionally do in September - and lay plans for gaming and modelling.

For this post I wanted to include some information on miniature games I'd like to play over the next six months or so, if such can be achieved. Much of these will be play test efforts, some of these may require painting a few extra figures, but hopefully nothing massive.

I am listing them below in order of readiness, with the scenarios nearer the bottom (like Space Hulk) requiring more work on my part, and hence unlikely to see the light of day before Christmas. Heck, where does the time go?

Force on Force: one or two replays of this game. Regular readers will know I've already played this before, including in its earlier guise as Ambush Alley. This is a great skirmish system for modern / near future warfare and is my go to set of rules for the period. I'd probably be looking to play a couple of scenarios from the Road to Baghdad supplement, just to refresh my knowledge. Or I may just lay a couple of the original scenarios, including the classic Contracting Trouble.

Bolt Action: I'm looking for a new set of platoon level rules for WW2 (not happy with Disposable Heroes), and hence am planning to give Bolt Action by Warlord Games a trial. I've never played this before. I'm going to put together Soviet and German platoons and probably publish these on this blog. These are pretty much ready to go as is.

X-Wing Commander: I was kindly given the X-Wing Commander starter set by my RPG buddies last October (thanks again guys!), and with one thing and another, I've not had much of a chance to play this since then, although I have played it before. I am determined, however, that this situation will change! The great thing about X-Wing is that you can play it straight out of the box, no models to build or paint. So expect to see this getting an airing soon.

Lord of the Rings: Long time followers will recall that Kelvin and I did begin playing the Fellowship of the Ring journey book from Games Workshop, but did not get beyond the first two scenarios, with the Nazgul stealing into the Shire. Well, it's time now for Sam and Frodo to set off on their travels. My Pippin miniature for this campaign is currently being used as my monk character in our new Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition campaign, but I'll be replacing him soon.

Rampant Colonialism: The Zulu War remains be big period of interest to me, but I want to see if we can keep things down to a sensible skirmish scale - i.e. avoid turning it into a big battle game. Up until now, I've been playing either The Sword and The Flame, or an adaptation of Legends of the Old West. I am, however, keen to test drive some other colonial rule sets over the next year or so, to see how they measure up against TSATF, although I suspect TSATF will remain the default.

Charlie Don't Surf: These are actually company-level rules for the Vietnam War from Too Fat Lardies, rather than platoon level, but after reading so many positive reviews about them, I was keen to give them a try. I've been determined to play some Vietnam War battles since I picked up a copy of RAFM's Charlie Company, but have failed miserably. CDS is a derivative of TFL's original WW2 company level set, I Ain't Been Shot Mum, but updated to cover the conflict in Vietnam. I currently don't have enough troops for a 1:1 company level engagement, and am a little worried that the table will look too cluttered in 25mm scale, so will play test these with a 1 figure = 2 soldiers scale and see where that gets us.

Saga Middle Earth: Saga is a Dark Ages skirmish level game which has been garnering plenty of positive reviews in the wargames press and blogosphere. Its first iteration is very much late Dark Ages, although a Crusades era supplement is about to appear. I'd like to play test these to see what all the fuss is about, but I've yet to accumulate Viking and Irish warbands. Hence, I'm pondering whether to give them a shot with Lord of the Rings figures instead.

In Her Majesty's Name: IHMN is a set of steampunk / Victorian science fiction rules that recently saw the light of day from Osprey Publishing. IHMN is focused on gang-style battles,similar in scale to Necromunda or Mordheim, but using a hypothetical late 19th century time line. There are a wide range of possible factions to choose from in this game, so hopefully I'll be getting my werewolves and vampires back onto the table soon, not to mention Tarzan! The Lord of Greystoke versus Dracula, anyone? Awesome.

Space Hulk: I still have a copy of the original gathering dust on my shelves, and recently downloaded the game on the iPad as well. This one is NOT ready to go yet, as Genestealers and Deathwing marines still need to be finished, but all is not lost. This should see the light of day eventually, and I may even take the corridors 3D eventually.

That's it in a nutshell folks. If I get all this done by Easter, I'll be damned lucky.

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