So Arc happened

So how much do you love gaming? I love it enough it enough to get out of bed early on the weekend to cross town to attend the biggest 40K event (in Melbourne, anyway).

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Before this weekend I have had exactly one game of 8th edition 40K. Not a great apprenticeship I know, but I figured at 12 or pages of rules, well, how hard can it be?

Pretty hard, it turns out. I took a 5th ed war band to an 8th ed gun fight. While I had six fun games, I had my arse handed to me every which way but winning. My opponents were all great. There were some very cool armies on show too. There are a fair few pictures on Instagram using #arc40K if you want to check some out.

Here is day one. Imagine ugly detail of poor chaos deployment, ineffective shooting, failing to reach close combat and forgetting to use special rules and upgrades, and you get the general idea.

Day two – rinse and repeat:

I did have fun, but one thing really bugged me about the current rules. Basic tactics just don’t seem to matter. Flanking is pointless, terrain doesn’t matter. And the command bubble type powers seemed to combine with big units to see every game end up as two, then one, big blob. Even so (and even while getting thrashed), I still laughed and shouted along with the rest of the participants. It was 40K after all, and it is nothing if not boisterous.

I’ve had my fill of the grim-dark for now.  I’m content to leave those that enjoy 40K to roll their buckets of dice. There is a game for everyone out there. Maybe we’ll play one together sometime soon.

cheers.
D.

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Gaslands, it’s still cool

A few months ago I wrote about how much I liked Gaslands from Osprey Publishing, a game of vehicular mayhem set in a bleak far future. Since then it has been one of the games I have played most frequently, but always with just two players. Well that changed last week, with a chance to play my first multi-player game. Dial up the carnage to FUN.

Here are some photos from the night. There were some great cars on show. I’ve tried to credit where I can, but apologies if I’ve got any wrong.

The game did slow down a bit, but I think much of that was that for many of us it was their first game. Drew took honours on points, as we didn’t manage a complete lap before the store closed, but was clearly ahead with two cars left running. The rest of us were in flames, few hull points or pointing the wrong way from failed flip checks. Great stuff. We’re assembling again next week to do it again.

Time to hit the garage and make sure my cars are running sweet for Wednesday night.

Brrm, brrm.
D.

Inspiration

It can come from anywhere. Movies, blogs, magazines. I get a lot of inspiration from books, both novels and non-fiction.12439552_1671682923079506_7297011083206998433_n
This is a shot of my recent reading pile. Well, mostly. I have excised the novels that I read from my daughters’ VCE reading lists (in solidarity) and some library books since returned. What is left has a bunch of ideas.

The Antony Beevor books on Berlin and the extract from his Stalingrad work (I have read the full one) make me dream of mid-war Russians and Germans, likely in 15mm to get in plenty of tanks. The Berlin book inspires a late war German list for Bolt Action: hitlerjugend with panzerfaust, volkssturm with bewildered looks and cynical vets with plenty of machine guns.

Isaac’s Army is the story of Jewish resistance (in the camps and out) in Poland. A grim tale that coincided with (yet another) Black Tree Design sale and has led to a platoon of undercoated partisans waiting for some paint. Not standard battles, although I know they have a list, but I think has a lot of possibility for smaller, dedicated scenarios.

I have been working on a Commonwealth Tobruk army in 15mm for a long time. The Kings African Rifle memoir has left me with a vision that if I ever do a desert army in 28mm it will be pith helmets, fezzes, white officers, black troops and the Ethiopian campaign in the early war. The book itself is an entertaining read, replete with the racism one might expect from the time.

The last book I want to mention here is Keep Off the Skyline. I expect there are better books on the Korean conflict, but this one made me wonder why this war doesn’t turn up more often on the table. Late WWII Russian tanks against up-gunned Shermans and Pershings, campaigning up and down the peninsula (including trench warfare) and early uses of helicopters. Even some Sherman on Sherman action via lend lease passed on. All without the asymmetric challenges of Vietnam as the Chinese, DPKR and UN/ROK forces were largely conventional, albeit with a large range in training, morale and equipment. Something else to look into.

Too many ideas. And I’ve barely started on my Carthaginians.

What has inspired you recently?