Here are some photos I took today. Enjoy!
While LST 325 was docked in Nashville, I took photos, then juxtaposed them with images taken during of the ship during World War II and posted the lot on HistoryNet, if you’d like to check them out. http://www.historynet.com/photos-of-lst-325-floating-tribute-to-the-wwii-generation.htm. Sure hope they can get it off that Kentucky sandbar without too much damage. That’s close to where a ship took out a bridge a year or so ago, isn’t it? Strange happenings on the Cumberland.
Hi, guys. I posted a report on Historicon to the Armchair General site, with numerous pictures, including one of our own Rick Valentine at the game table and Scott and Jessica in the Dealer’s Room. Overall, I have to say I was pretty happy with the new location. The 100-degree temperatures outside put a strain on its AC, but it kept on blowin’.
I also posted a preview of the World of Tanks MMO. You may want to check it out to see if you want to get into the closed beta, which is still accepting players, and try the game for free.
A critical component to any game is the layout. A chess board is elegant and serves a multitude of tasks such as regulating movement. A miniature wargame layout has the added requirement of being visually appealing so as to add to the enjoyment of the game. Still, the board acts as a limiting factor requiring us to literally think outside the box for actions going on “around the board.” This can be such things as “off board” artillery or reinforcements that can come on in unknown places.
Click on any of the images in this post to Enlarge.
Several years ago I ran a pirate game at a convention. The board was fairly long but ships at one end could never really get to other end in time to fight each other. The was plenty of shooting but darn little strategy. I was always plagued by the fact that no matter how long the board, we were limited by the six foot width.
Thinking “outside the board” is hard to do when the ships are constrained by wind direction and a limited amount of time to play any game. Moreover, I have a hard and fast rule in my convention games, that almost every player is moving on the first turn and shooting and killing stuff by the third turn at the latest. Who wants the be a reinforcement that doesn’t show up for an hour? The only way to comply with this requirement was to bunch both sides close to one another and have at it. Playtesting produced a jumble of ships and darn little movement and zero fun. Back to the drawing board.
Much thought produced the theoretical donut board. A giant round board with the ships able to get at each other by circling round the lagoon. Naturally such a board would be gigantic. So I flattened out the world like a Mercator projection and came up with the idea that a ship sailing off one end of the world would appear at the other end. Distortions of distance at the north and south were ignored. There isn’t much new about this; old video games let ships re-enter the world from the opposite side.
The game board ended up 6 foot wide and 24 feet in length. The two feet at either end were “transit zones.” When you got to one end you were effectively at the other end as well. You pick up the ship and move to the other side and away you go. We didn’t allow ships to fight or shoot in the transit zone.
If a ship sailed off the long sides, I would allow the ship to return from the exact spot of exit, albeit facing in the inward direction three turns later.
By using these conventions there was no longer an “edge of world” and folks could sail about worrying only about the occasional sea monster.
By having an ‘endless world’ I could have the ships fight over islands. Whoever held three islands at the end of the time limit won the game. The Pirates of the Caribbean card game uses a variation of this.
And so I was set. The game board design let my boats sail about shooting and boarding each other which is the point of the game.
Having amassed hundreds of pirates and more than a dozen fully rigged ships set the stage for the pirate extravaganza at Nashcon. The problem was that so many folks wanted to play I needed more ships. The Sea Lord provided. Scott “Wingnut” Christian emailed me asking if he could bring four ships to the game. One look at his fleet was enough. He and his crew were in.
I posted the rules online and advised that whomever appeared appropriately dressed got first choice of ships. There was no shortage of folks to play. What was in shortage was transportation. My son, Ben, and I took two cars to load up all the stuff for the game.
The home island concept did not work as I intended. People were afraid to attack each other’s home island although each was only held by but 10 guns. In future games there will be no “home” islands which should move things along. On this score I must confess I was ruthless in making folks move and shoot as fast as possible. Somebody who worried about some stupid angle of fire or blocking terrain was attacked by a sea monster and some of their crew was eaten alive. That ended tardy play.
There is no one photo of the entire board. It is just too long. The first photo is taken from one end; the second form the other end. The rest of the photos are eye candy. The Rules are HERE. The Ships are Out of production Old Glory, some new Old Glory, some custom ships and several display models I waterlined. Many of the pirates and several of the ships are painted by Rhea Baskette who came in full pirate attire and whose photo is on the right
General George Meade attempted a turning move against Robert E. Lee’s flank in November 1863. Heavy rains and disagreement among the Union commanders slowed the advance, and as the blue-coated troopers emerged from the thick woods into a clear area near Raccoon Run, they found Confederates blocking their path. Though they outnumbered the Rebels, terrain prevented them from bringing their greatly superior numbers to bear and by day’s end, the Confederates had held them off long enough for Lee to draw up in a defensive position behind Mine Run.
Meade, who hadn’t wanted to undertake this campaign in the first place, didn’t press the issue, and the Mine Run Campaign is rarely discussed, let alone gamed.
But on April 18 at the Columbia Man Cave, Meade, in the person of Mike Peccolo tried again. With the same results. Thick woods, a few buildings and a marshy area around Raccoon Run denied the Union the advantage their greater than 2:1 odds should have given them. However, one valiant blue charge on the Federal left chased off a Confederate brigade and overran four sections of guns, so the day wasn’t a total loss. On the Union right, they nearly seized the bridge over Raccoon Run as Bryant Williams’ defenders ran low on ammo, but daylight ran out too quickly.
In retrospect, the terrain was too great a disadvantage – movement on much of the board was slowed to 2 inches – and the Confederate reinforcements should have been held off the board another turn or two. But with modifications, the Miine Run Campaign is worth revisiting. The game used Gerald Swick’s Hell & Glory rules.
The members of Northwest Arkansas HOGS (Historically Oriented Gaming Society) are again bringing their 14 x 6–foot tabletop recreation of the old Avalon Hill Stalingrad game to Nashville. If you didn’t see this the last time they were here, you missed a visual treat. Check out the photos below, and read the full description of this 15mm extravaganza on the Nashcon 2010 PEL.
Reported by David Raybin
Lord Al (who played in the Game) and Baxter Key hosted Turkey WARS at the Shop. There were lots of games. I was allowed to escape from the house of relatives and put on my Pirates game. This is a mini version of the Premier Nashcon 2010 game which will run on a 20 foot board. Here we had an eight by six albeit with fewer ships. The object was to capture and hold Skull Island. The pirates who were first ashore were attacked by cannibals but eventually made their way inland and held the island till the end. Skull Island was placed smack in the center of the board which resulted in a wild circular melee. That ended when the wind shifted. The boats paired off and had at it. Major Bill captured another ship when all the crew were killed off. Pete held the island till the end although his crew were being killed in droves. This was a lot of fun. The rules stood up and I will fine tune a bit and then run them up. And Oh yes, here are some photos. The boats are various sources. Several are full hulled ships that I waterlined. The pirates are all 28mm from various brands. AAAAARRRRRGGGGHHHHH.