About dave2718

An outlet for my wargaming observations so I don't drive my family more batty than absolutely required

Smash fascism (and the patriarchy)

The representation of women in wargaming is an ongoing discussion. That women of all ages, and children and older people (of all genders), have been victims of war is a fact that can only be disputed through a narrow interpretation of facts. However, gaming (overwhelmingly) focuses on the soldiers, the majority of who have been male.

Fantasy and science fiction have an easy fix available: create worlds where the patriarchy is consigned to the dustbin. Creations like this cannot be disputed for inaccuracy. That we do not is a reflection of our communities’ biases.

rohan-riders-2

Historical gaming has a genuine challenge here, since overwhelmingly combatants were (and are) male. There are companies that are seeking to shift this balance, and being companies I guess they are doing so in response to demand. Good on them. Bad Squiddo Games come to mind as doing a particularly good job of making women warriors available, consciously rejecting the pernicious sexualisation that mars so many female figures (Games Workshop is an easy source of examples, but are typical rather than especially poor in representing women).

Given there were only ever around 1500 tiger tanks produced and I suspect far more than this in service on wargame tables, I have no particular problem with female soldiers appearing more frequently than they did (or even stretching some of their roles). For WWII gaming, the Soviet Union and Partizan forces both provide historical basis for creating armies with female combatants.

female partisan

Black Tree Design

Konflikt 47 has a wonderful opportunity, being a fantasy (diesel-punk) extension to the second world war. The background story has nuclear weapons tearing strange holes in space though which the competing nations receive information about how to build new (and terrible) weapons. The new technology see the Germans hold the allies east and west, extending the war into 1947. Part of the story extends real world events and strains: the Soviet Union splits from the allies, making the war three-way in Europe and the Middle East.

A real world shift not emphasized in the story to date is the role of women in the war. In every country, women stepped into roles dominated by men: particularly in factories, on farms, transport and planning. The access to the new rift-tech still requires soldiers to wield the new weapons.

The trend in the Soviet Union was to include women, and with two potential new fronts (Japan and Iraq) and the ending of US Lend Lease, this trend will be accelerated.

The United Kingdom, except for possibly India, were under enormous pressure after six continuous years of war. Given the opportunities given to women in the quirky Operation Sealion expansion for Bolt Action, I think getting a few into khaki for K-47 makes sense.

The United States still had a lot of man-power, but the rising affluence (and influence) of women could plausibly see them not just building the tanks but operating them.

French women took up arms when they could to liberate their country. I think they would not shirk their duty given the chance in 1947.

The case for the axis is less clear. While Germany faced acute shortages of combat fit soldiers, the deeply dysfunctional and conservative regime seems to me to be unlikely to recruit women (outside of home defense units). Unlike the other nations, the role of women as mother and wife was central to the nazi regime’s view of itself. I think it is plausible that Osttruppen, Hitler Youth, and Volksturm could all include women. And armed BDM seem to be more likely than flying vampires.

The Italians have less opportunity given their lack of resources and constraints from allies, but I think for different reasons the rump of the fascists in the north (desperation), and the newly liberated nation of the south (revenge) would both allow women into their fighting units.

rocketeers

Rocketeers from Eureka Minatures

New possibilities for armies, miniatures and expanding representation on the table top. I can see no downside here. So how about it Warlord?

 

Advertisements

The Rule of Carnage

True story: The first date I had with my wife was at the Undera Park Speedway one hot summer evening in the mid-eighties. Petrol fumes and dust hold a special place for me and Osprey have just released Gaslands, a game of dystopian car racing that speaks to that long-ago rev head.

25552328_1994047637509698_1735515452072105949_n

There is more than nostalgia going on, Car Wars could easily scratch that old time itch. Gaslands is a fun little game that brings chaotic, destruction filled death racing to the tabletop using matchbox (or hotwheels) cars.

It is hard not to enjoy this game. I’m told that the mechanics are reminiscent of X-Wing, which I’ve never played, so I can’t comment there.

Movement is governed by templates, with the choice of template restricted somewhat by your current speed. In higher gears you get to move (and shoot) more often, but only at a reduction in your ability to turn and with increased risk. Each time you move you roll spin dice that allow cinematic maneuvers but may also cause you to loose control of the vehicle. Crashing is not always fatal, so it is not just worth pushing your luck, but pretty much mandatory if you expect to have a chance of winning. It captures the mayhem of car racing very well, without becoming bogged in detail (or sometimes, even physics).

The game scales to multiple plays well. With players taking turns activating cars you’re never left spectating for long, which can be a problem with some multiplayer wargames.

Three hotwheels cars is all you need to start. With as little or as much pimping your ride as you like, you can be quickly at the gaming table and not stuck at the painting table.

For less than $50 and a visit to your bitz-box you can get into this game – rules, cars, dice, templates – which is a real plus around a stretched hobby budget. As a little bonus, there is an active FaceBook group, where even Gaslands’ creator Mike Hutchinson participates.

And the Rule of Carnage? In what may well be the best rule ever included in a wargame, the Rule of Carnage says whenever there is doubt, apply the interpretation that causes the most carnage. This sets the tone nicely. Gaslands is not a game of millimeters, it is a game that encourages mayhem and fun in equal measure.

If you have fond memories of Mad Max, Car Wars, or even Mario Cart, I reckon Gaslands is worth a go, who knows, maybe I’ll see you on the highways.

 

Tanks!

Andy and I continue to fight The Great War from Plastic Soldier Company. Now with added tanks.

Defending against these behemoths is tough. Even with a tendency to get bogged, their guns can remain damaging. It is possible to win as the defender, but it takes a bit of luck and a real focus.

37568284345_572672b050_z

Leaving the trenches behind as the assault at Cambrai begins

37568281905_9197c7706b_z

The gunners stand and fight over open sights

There is a Kickstarter live at the moment that adds French models and new rules (that the British and Germans can also use). Andy and I enjoy the base set and the tanks add new challenges. However, The Great War is already one of the more complex Command & Colours games, and we both a little underwhelmed by the latest offer that takes the game back to trenches by adding additional rules to remember.

There is a lot of the first world war yet to explore – the Gallipoli campaign, where the limited artillery and machine guns could be so devastating within the narrow gullies; into the desert (camels, anyone?); the vast armies on the eastern front. Any of which might present challenges beyond the trenches.

I have no doubt that the Kickstarter will go well (it has already achieved its funding goal, and PSC will deliver) and adding the French may help bring this challenging game to a new (European) audience. The minis look ace, and focusing on Verdun seems entirely appropriate for a set that launches the French.

The Kickstarter may be a nice way to get into the game- there are options to get the base game, or the expansions, with or without the French extension.

Do you have a World War One game that you like?

D.

 

Konflikt 47 Resurgence

No posts for a while, largely because there has been very little hobby to write about. But over these last couple of weeks I have managed to get my gaming-pony saddled up once again.

Even though I haven’t got my hands on the new Konflikt 47 book Resurgence yet, I have managed to play a couple of games using the new rules with my more organised friend Brad.

First up we played a game using our existing lists to give some of the rule changes a spin.

23316766_1687779191253105_7732888594448230062_n

Despite their complete lack of suitable weapons, their complete lack of moral checks meant the totencorp gave this grizzly a huge shock, and a couple of pins before being squashed

23131666_1766828943623273_7014191100534201160_n

SS Shocktroopers in a truck, with their close fire support

The verdict is a big rift-tech powered thumbs up.

I’m not going to go into the changes here, because Brad and I went into it in a lot of detail on his new post cast Cast Dice:


For our second game we tried out the new Japanese list. Because I only have Germans painted, Brad supplied both armies. I played the British (Sikhs with a Grizzly walker), and Brad his great coated Japanese.

23472101_1769355063370661_699967253798481024_n

Grizzly hiding in forest

23517574_1769355123370655_2001127147942622792_n

Japanese abandon their truck

23519267_1769355116703989_817590815242742838_n

Sikh defend a remote farm

Brad won on both occasions, but they were close run things. We’ll be back for more.

All the photos are by Brad. The beautiful Sikh and Japanese armies are also his.

See you on the battlefields

D.

Red on Blue

With rage and excitement (sometimes in the same person), the 40K community is looking forward to the launch of 8th edition next weekend. I see a few battle reports for 8th are already popping up , but my friends jumped the other way, as we assembled to farewell 7th in proper WATT style: with a chaos on chaos apocalypse game. We threw down two twenty thousand point armies: so 40k of 40k.  Nurgle and Tzeentch joined together to battle a coven of Word Bearers and Khorne for bragging rights at the next Eye of Terror Pie Night.
201706 Apoc 12
We kept it simple: basically lined up our toys and charged forward. Apoc is such a random mess of events going on it is difficult to build a narrative out the game. Titans threw down huge templates. Successive waves of terminators, then daemons, then more terminators deep struck and the armies lost all cohesion into a one seething mosh pit. We expected this might happen, which is one reason why we sorted by colour at the start.


You know the drill, ones were rolled, sixes were rolled. Miniatures were removed by the kilo, and lone daemons managed to survive to contest objectives. High point for me was Abaddon surviving not one but two D-weapon blasts – a dude doesn’t get to run the black crusade for nothing.
201706 Apoc 2
So long 7th, see you on the other side.
D.

I’m in a pod cast!

Not a lot of painting and just a bit of gaming in recent weeks.

However, I have now appeared in a podcast for the first time. Long-time friend Brad hosts LRDG II, a show about gaming in general and often Bolt Action in particular.

First half is a discussion about Games Workshop new one: Armageddon; I’m in the second half speaking with Leigh and Brad about a recent trial run for a Bolt Action tournament with a slight twist.

cheers,
D.

Assisting with enquiries

I found some old, old minis the other day. Most of which I don’t know what they are.

I think this one is from Citadel, an Aly Morrison cave troll from the 80s (complete with 80s paint job!):31195856080_13e080d727_k (1)

But I don’t know who this bad boy is?31567884495_d735b74727_k

Plus some skeletons, also from the 1980s, by I think Ral Partha, along what looks like Fiend Folio era githyanki and some goblin-looking thing:

31530225646_a314359959_kAny insight into this hazy trip down memory lane would be much appreciated.

Cheers,
D.

 

Eureka Rocketeers

I always enjoy visiting Eureka Miniatures, there is always something new to have a look at, often just before it appears on the web. Nic has a lovely way of getting you to walk away with more than you meant to when you walked in.  The team create some lovely, quirky and characterful miniatures. A nice example is the Pulpitations range by the crazy talent of Kosta Heristandis. I picked up a unit of the Rocketeers back in August last year:

33520904425_bc5d0c1ddd_k

Some of the rocketeers prior to clean-up; there isn’t a lot to do, some minimal flash and mould lines

Other projects were in the queue, so they joined the rest of my US army in the cupboard:

32706151723_312fa02a4e_z

Eventually these guys will get to invade Italy

So, with a vague idea that I won’t buy anything new until I paint the stuff I have – hah, like we all know how well that works! – I did make a start on the Rocketeers:

In part I used it as an opportunity to test some green colours for the US. (Or is that green color, when you do the USA?)  I bought a selection of women with caps and helmets. All of the figures come with either.

They are nearly done, the bases mostly, but I think the US need to come forward in the queue so I can have an excuse to get these girls on the table. K-47 has jump troops, so I think they will work nicely to add a touch of weird science to what I intend to be mostly a Bolt Action force:

33520902755_899e3a1d26_k

33363840642_b9be0ad1e9_k

Just noticed googles and some other bits and pieces still to do. So, nearly there, but not quite

Catch you around the battle fields of 1947 one day.

D.

PAKing heat

Anti-tank guns were deployed far more frequently on the battlefields of the second world war than you sometimes see on the battlefields of Bolt Action. I’ve got no data to back this claim up, but I suspect that the changes to HE in version 2 may the mix move back to a more historic mix. Again, no data. Anyway, I’ve decided to do my bit by finally assembling and painting a PAK-40 I picked up many months ago from Black Tree Design in one of their frequent sales.

I didn’t enjoy putting this model together – usually the lack of assembly instructions for BTD models is not a major hurdle, but I suspect that I’m not alone in muttering as I build some arty.Anyway, Google was an ally and I ended up without too many pieces left over and the model undercoated.32717942200_9ebb1562c0_k

I got as far as a base coat (with a can of german looking yellow I found in the shed), and lost interest again for a while. I considered leaving it at this stage.
32944026252_d6e3bbfbd6_kNor were the crew in a good state:33058483646_fd3102adf4_k

They even had a Dwarf along for advice. My hobby mojo was missing. I was saved by my nephew. He showed me some of the Germans he was painting. And they were good. I got inspired, and picked up a brush again.

Not my best work, but table ready. Phew.

Now, back to the lead mountain.

D.