Friday, December 28, 2012

December SNS games

FOW Action, 15mm. Gary R. (red shirt) gives instructions.

Back to describing the last games of the year. The Saturday Night Skirmishers (SNS) usually game on the first and second Saturdays of the month, but to satisfy the demands of our members who want more tank action, we also set apart the third Fridays as FOW night. Our indefatigable Gary Rhay had set up a Russian Front campaign to help create battles for that night, and December saw a mighty German attack in progress as the Soviets tried to escape the closing pincers of panzers.

StuG G assault guns head towards dug in Russian infantry.

I was unable to play, but stopped by for some photos. I believe I heard that the Germans are winning the campaign so far, but someone please tell me if I have that wrong.

Crusaders (foreground) vs. Saracens. 28mm Deus Vult game.

Several of our group were very impatient to play the new game Deus Vult. Thankfully, Kai has 28mm armies of Crusaders and Saracens available, so as soon as Dennis had the rules in hand a game time was set up. The game includes a fairly hefty section on activities leading up to the battle which include scouting, deployment, and terrain selection, but for this battle that part was skipped and the armies deployed for immediate action. 

Crusader Knights and Saracen cavalry clash on the Crusader left wing.

Each army was divided into three "battles' or divisions, each of which comprised three or more units. Kai's forces are based singly so that he can adapt to any rules set by placing their magnetized bases on unit bases. On the Crusader right wing, the heavy infantry and crossbows took their sweet time trying to move forward while the center and left knight units charged out to meet the foe. The Saracen bow units had trouble advancing, but did try to pepper the Crusaders with arrows. In the center and right, the cavalry clash kept us all very busy as we tried to figure out how the close combat system worked. It took a lot of discussion to try to figure out the author's intent on close combat sequence and morale results. 

The slaughtered Knights retire to their lines.

Unfortunately, one of Gary S' knight units had trouble forming up to charge, and so the combatting knights were outnumbered and outfought by the Saracens. PLUS the Crusader players rolled really bad. The knights were nearly wiped out and the remnants retreated. With nothing to stop the Saracen center, the crusader infantry had to retreat from the field.  Now that we have a better sense of the game, I'm pretty sure we'll be trying it again.

The other battles played down at GAJO were store-sponsored events, and you can see pictures of those games on the GAJO website, including one of the most fun games so far of Bolt Action WW2.

I did take pictures of the X-Wing mini-tournament.

Rebel Alliance fighters vs. Imperial T.I.E. fighters. New A-Wing fighter in the center.

In this small tournament, named "Kessel Run" or something, four new ships were introduced and were actually given out to participating players! Then players set up their 100-point forces to play against each other in multiple rounds. In each scenario, the players had to fight around 8 asteroid counters and I can tell you that it isn't as easy as you think, I took several hits from glancing blows that crippled my ships.

Slave-1 and escorts battle Rebel fighters. It's dropping a seismic charge which will destroy that A-Wing.

My brother Dave won the A-Wing fighter and I won the Slave-1 ship. The new models are awesome! Take a look at the new Millenium Falcon below:

It's big but not agile, and carries a lot of firepower.

There's something to be said about the quality of quantity. The Empire player can take lots of lower-quality pilots in T.I.E. fighters, but it gives them lots of shots which can be the deciding factor. However, the droid technology of the Alliance can be a game-decider as well. Lots of fun!

The last big game for December is tomorrow, a War of the Ring game down at GAJO, and I'll try to get there for some photos of the battle for Pelenor field.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

December 2012 Catch-up

Grand Fleet action, 1/2400 Figurehead ships. A wind change catches the British fleet on the leeward side of an island.

Don't say anything, I know, I know... WAY TOO LONG  between posts. Well, sometimes It's hard for me to want to do computer things when I've been on the computer already all day long for work. All I can say is I'll try to do better. Today I'm posting a representation of the events for the second half of the year, both SNS and my other gaming club friends, WFHGS. I'll try to come back to some of these and post more pics as well. SNS games are held at GAJO Games in Sandy, Utah. WFHGS games are held at various homes of the members.

Normandy Firefight in 20mm. Great skirmish game.

Dystopian Wars. My British steampunk ironclads attempting to round an island and intercept the Prussian fleet.

Fire and Fury 15mm, WFHGS action. 

My Irish Guards AT 6pdrs try to hold off my brother Dave's Wiking SS in Flames of War, 15mm. Marginal victory for me (YAY).

WW1 Tank action in 28mm. Rules are a modification of the new Bolt Action WW1 rules. It plays extremely well, and you'll see more of this in the future. Tanks by Craig, owner of GAJO.

Trench action in the same game. My 28mm 1918 stormtroopers are about to take a trench line from the few Tommies remaining. GAJO has a big post about this battle on their website.

Back with WFHGS. Matt's Early war Germans blitz past a Russian farm (I tell you it's RUSSIAN) but are hit from a KV-1 off to the right. Our first try at the revised I Ain't Been Shot Mum rules in 28mm. Vehicles are some diecast, some 1/48 Tamiya or Hobby Boss.

Napoleonic French infantry advancing in columns. Gary Scott put on a BIG game of General de Brigade in 28mm.

SNS holds FOW night on the third Friday each month at GAJO. Here, Gary Rhay's panzer recon company sends their Panzerjaeger support platoon across a bridge on my flank. Only lucky hit for me that night was on the one tank that didn't make it across. Most disastrous FOW defeat I've suffered so far. Must get revenge.

More Fire & Fury 15mm with WFHGS. We really like this game, and we're painting more forces.

Another game we love at WFHGS is Warmaster Ancients in 10mm. Here, Matt tries to get his Seleucid Pike blocks into an attack before the Indian army overruns him. We'll be playing our annual WA mini-tournament soon after Christmas.

Bart Woods of NUTS wargame group has modified FOW for modern armor games. This was part of a huge 1973 Arab-Israeli bash at GAJO in 15mm.

Tanksgiving at GAJO. Battle of Arracourt, FOW 15mm. Using the lists from the Blood and Guts book. 

Finally, we come back to Sci-Fi. My brother and I try out the new X-Wing game. Great little Star Wars models, easy to learn, fun to play. More on this soon.

More pictures of SNS games and other giant games at GAJO at
Matt keeps a Friday Night Update at the WFHGS website:

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Catching Up

Uh, oh, I let my blog writing slip again. Sorry about that. I'll try to make up for it with extra postings in weeks ahead. Fortunately, some of the games I've been playing can also be found at the WFHGS Friday night reports at and at the GAJO big games blog at

Here's some tidbits of the recent past:

Age of Eagles Napoleonic game. Peninsula, 1810.

Games continue on alternating Friday nights with the Wasatch Front Historical Gaming Society (WFHGS). In the photo above Gary (Sapp) and Matt prepare French troops under Massena as the British and Portuguese under Wellington try to extend their thin red lines along a ridge. No doubts left about Gary's college football loyalties.

General de Brigade action, 28mm, at GAJO.

Of course the Saturday Night Skirmishers (SNS) continue to game on multiple nights down at GAJO games in Sandy. In the picture above, Lynn and Gary (Scott) play a grand game of General de Brigade using many of their Napoleonic French and Austrian 28mm collections. They were going through the new deluxe rules before putting on a game for the group.

28mm Austrian artillery prepare to fend off a French attack.

It's not just Napoleonics with SNS, there have been a lot of Flames of War games being played as Gary R has set up a Russian Front campaign. Sorry, no pics of these!

The Afghan Fortress. Rather impregnable looking. Thanks to Dave B for providing the objective of the game. And thanks to Jim for building it!

March saw the long-awaited return of The Sword and the Flame games to our group. Our Saturday game lasted into the evening until we had to call the game on time, so the fortress remained in the hands of the wily Pathans while the British Empire withdrew to lick its wounds. Plenty of casualties due to Martini-Henries and vicious hand-to-hand melees.

Newly-painted Bengal Lancers are driven off the table by ferocious Pathan tribesmen.

One band of Pathans eats lead while another warband breaks through and heads for the baggage!

Might and Reason, SYW in 15mm at GAJO.

Chris keeps expanding his Seven Years War armies for use with the Grand Campaign of Might and Reason rules. Having just finished most of his English, Hannoverian and German allies, it was time to refresh our minds with the rules before the Rossbach game put on by the store. Chris organized a scenario for Greg, Lynn, Gary (Scott) and me playing the allies versus the French. The picture above shows the general dispositions near the start of the game. It was a close-run affair, with great cavalry assaults and heavy musketry until the battle was called off due to the end of daylight (in game terms, of course).
Egads, I rolled a blunder! The British cavalry exceed their orders and charge headlong into heavy French fire. It was tricky getting them out alive.

AOE, 15mm Battle of Vimeiro 1808. At GAJO.

During one of those rare nights when WFHGS needed to use the tables at GAJO, I put on a scenario for AOE in 15mm, the Battle of Vimeiro. This was Wellesley's first victory in Portugal against French General Junot. It's a rather small scenario for AOE, but just right for when you need a shorter game. This was also possibly one of the worst die-rolling nights I've had. I couldn't possibly roll the hits I needed to make. Unfortunately, my co-general also had bad die rolling so it was a most decisive French victory that night! It was a fun scenario though, so I'll be wanting to tweak this game a bit and shoot for a rematch.

This next Saturday promises a large battle of Black Powder in the American Civil War, so hold on for more photos!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

January SNS: FOW 15mm, 1945

Three 6 x 4 tables. Chris laid out the great terrain per Gary R's instructions.

Our January SNS group game started at 2pm on the 14th. Gary Rhay set up a "what if" 1945 scenario for FOW, where the US and Soviet troops come together to cut German rail lines and grab vital European art on the tracks. In the layout pictured above, Germans on the left, allies on the right.

German infantry defend the rail line on their right flank as a convoy moves along the rails.

I could only be there for the beginning of the game, so I still haven't heard the outcome. Kevin brought some visitors to the game, I hope they had a fun time being introduced to historical gaming with our group.

Panzer IVH tanks protect the FO on the hill.

No doubt about it, FOW remains the favorite game in our group for WW2 combat. However, it's not the only WW2 game we play. I'm a sucker for WW2 games. Recently Jeff G and I have been learning to play "I Ain't Been Shot, Mum" by the TooFatLardies group, in 28mm. Several of us, and Chris at GAJO, play "Rapid Fire" in 15mm, and several in the group and I love playing "BlitzKreig Commander" in micro-armor.

US armor on the allied left flank deploying.

More US armor in the allied center.

Soviet armor on the allied right.

The German left is dug in. German armor reserve in the back, at their center.

Soviet T-34/85s roll forward. Models are from Quality Castings.

German 105's knock out an SU-122. Russians move forward.

Kevin directs his US armor to advance in the center.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Starting 2012 Right- with game pics

15mm ACW, "Firebell in the Night"

The new year means New Years' Resolutions, and I'll have to make a good beginning this year to make up for the lack of posts in 2011. To start this year off right, I thought I'd post some pictures from games from the last 4 months. Most of these pics will deal with some of the smaller games our SNS club has played, with some from the WFHGS group thrown in as well. Some of our BIG games are posted in the Big Game section of GAJO's website.

Starting with the picture above, the WFHGS group had the privilege of being a test group for Tod Kershcner and Dale Wood's new ACW rules set, "A Firebell in the Night." We tested several games using these rules, and Matt sent in battle reports, rules questions, and change recommendations. The game is brigade-based, requires unit rosters, and has some unique rules added for supply and command.

Confederate attacks have driven a Union brigade to the river. The Yanks rallied at the last moment and successfully countercharged the Rebs.

Overall, our group felt the the new rules, as they stood in testing, did not pass the need to be better than Fire and Fury, a popular and successful ACW rules set. We weren't sure why the authors felt the market could take another brigade-based ACW set without some sort of significant difference that made it more fun than what was already out there. The command and supply rules had significant deficiencies, but those could be corrected. We also did not enjoy the paperwork required by unit rosters. Certainly there is only a small faction of wargamers who accept paperwork for ACW.

10mm. Assyrian chariots crush Egyptian foot.

One of the favorite rules sets for the WFHGS group is Warmaster Ancients in 10mm. Several games were played in 2012. Matt has a growing collection of ancient Indians and Saracens in 10mm. I think he's up to 2000 points now for the Indians, so we should soon enjoy a massive Seleucid-Indian confrontation. The Crusades also grows, as Gary increases his Norman options to include the Crusades, and Matt paints more and more Saracens. The club goal is to have enough Crusade figures to do a campaign including sieges.

You can read about recent WFHGS activities at Matt's website, Don't forget to download the PDF issues of "Warning Order" the on-line magazine that Matt publishes.

15mm. Arab armies assault Israeli positions in 1973.

SNS gamers enjoy modern armor action when we can plan it. This time the scenario and most of the figures were provided by Bart Woods and the guys in the NUTS game group, with additional reinforcements from Russ and Dennis who have quite a collection themselves. This armor fest was unusual in that we used a modified set of Flames of War to portray modern combat. I have to admit, it went very well, and everyone enjoyed the game. I think we'll be doing more of this in 2012. In fact I can guarantee it.

Our SNS gamers have been enthralled with large battles of DBR (De Bellis Renationis) and scenarios from the 30 Years War. I don't have pictures of these slugfests, but Craig does on the GAJO store website

28mm. One of Lynn's Vikings for playing SAGA.

Some of the SNS gamers have recently been infected with Dark Ages skirmishing. Gripping Beast has published their long-awaited SAGA skirmish rules for Vikings, Saxons, Normans, and Welsh. Several games have been played, and the rules seem to be fun but you have to carefully plan each move or you WILL be stomped. I haven't played it myself yet. One of the features of a skirmish game like this is that your army is about 25 figures or less, so you don't have a huge investment in miniatures to make.

Another Viking figure.

And, ANOTHER viking figure. Thanks, Lynn!

Dystopian Wars. Alternative Steampunk naval action.

Naval action was not lacking. In a remarkable moment, We managed to get Dennis to play some sci-fi action with Dystopian Wars, a set of naval rules dealing with a steam-punk alternative history of the late 1800's. Dennis, Aaron, Greg, Terry, my brother Dave and I managed a large game of SW during the Fall. Fun game. I need to finish the paint schemes for the Covenant and English fleets, and then will play again. Looks like Jeff also has a fleet to play.

1/3000 Japanese pre-dreadnoughts.

Terry put on an excellent game of DBN, a naval variant of the DBX rules system. He has fleets painted for the Russo-Japanese war. The rules were a lot of fun. t turns out that my Litko sets of naval markers were very useful in this set of rules, for keeping track of shots fired, minor and major damage, and catastrophic critical hits.

The Japanese fleet tries to cross the "T" of the Russian columns.

Destroyers and cruisers engage. White splashes are targeted ships. Small orange explosions are damage. Fires and smoke indicate significant damage and critical hits.

Cruiser Hashidate is in a world of hurt, and would soon sink.

Bismark faces the RN late in 1941.

We also played some more Victory At Sea WW2 action. In a "What if?" contest, the RN battle ships Rodney and KGV, reinforced by Repulse and Renown, took on Bismark in fall of 1941, supposing that she had escaped her May fate. In this case, Bismark had sortied with Tirpitz! Lots of fun, but we didn't get to finish the game.

During the Christmas break, I got in a couple of games. Jeff and I tried out a 28mm WW2 game of "I Ain't Been Shot, Mum" and Lynn, Jeff and I tried the infantry rules for Rapid Fire. Of course, the year ended for me with the WFHGS mini-tournament of Warmaster Ancients. Last year, I met my goal of winning one game with my Hittite army. This year was a bit different, as I pulled of a major victory of 3 wins! I won the tournament, plus the Master of Mayhem award for most destruction caused by an army. I think I've finally mastered how to use Hittite light chariots in an attack. More on this tournament later this week.