04 March 2018

To Infinity! ..... And Beyond!

Progress on my Haqqislam and Yu Jing miniatures from the 'Operation: Red Veil' starter set for the Infinity miniatures game. I've started on the 'line troops' (Gulam and Zhanshi) which appear in the first mission and will work through the rest of miniatures as they appear in the later missions. Once I managed that I'll break out the 'Beyond Red Veil' expansion and work through them.

I've got some busy evenings ahead if I want to get them all painted before the 17th.

23 February 2018

There's No School Like The Old School

A surprise turned up in the mail the other day, Jim Getz sent us a copy of "Duke Seifried and the Development of American Wargaming", something to give us a look at "the 'Analog Days' of wargaming" as Jim put it.

19 February 2018

Summer Daze

Summer has come and gone, we had the hay cut and we have a whole lot of goat filling our freezer. 

Beth has engaged in her 'summer' wargaming projects. First she painted up some Gamesworkshop 'Age of Sigmar' dwarves to use as a 'squat' gang in our Necromunda games.

Her second plan for the summer was to build a robot army. Beth has accumulated a whole stack of Infinity remotes and a box of Warhammer40K Tau pathfinders to act as their operators. 

All the remotes and Tau are assembled but the painting will have to wait until another time, Beth's back at work and already has one overseas trip to Japan under her belt.

All these Infinity remotes finally pushed me over the edge. Yes I'm a fan of Appleseed, Ghost In The Shell, etc and it's safe to say Infinity's aesthetic has been heavily influenced by anime and manga titles such as these. So now I've finally acquired some Infinity miniatures for myself. Actually I started by buying some of the scenery associated with Infinity and as you might guess it's a slippery slope. A couple of game mats and MDF terrain packs and it's "Hey why don't I get that starter set, and oh, those are nice rules books". Beth's happy because her 'squats' get to crawl all over the terrain once it's assembled.

I've started with the Operation: Red Veil pack, the card buildings are assembled and have already been put to use in games of Necromunda. The miniatures are assembled and undercoated and ready to paint. The local store is running a small tournament in March, so if I'm not busy ....... why not? I'm more than happy to provide a target for some young hyperactive youth.

12 January 2018

Reach For The Stars!

As promised in my last post here is a summary of the of the first twenty turns of the Federation Commander campaign Lachlan and I are playing.

Starting Empires:

Derek: The Unity (Federation)

Motto:Unus ex nobis! Unus ex nobis!”
  • 1 x Fleet Repair Dock (FRD) FRD1
  • 1 x Battalion
  • 1 x Colony (ready for deployment to the nearby unclaimed minor planet).
  • 2 x Large Freighters (FL) Nostromo, Valley Forge.

Lachlan: House of Doq ej’ wov (Klingon)

Motto: Chu’
  • 1 x FRD
  • 1 x Battalion
  • 2 x D6 Heavy Cruisers (D6) Shiv, Shank.


Derek:    Declare ‘capital’ province.
Lachlan: Declare ‘capital’ Province.

The Federation & Empire game map is very abstract and we're keeping that level of abstraction. Major and Minor systems and lots of five hex provinces. But since we're exploring and generating the map we get to declare provinces as we go. To declare a province you have to have five surveyed hexes and 'administration point' within the province., this can be a colony or a base. All EP generated by the province collects at 'administration point'.


Derek:    Begin construction of 1 x FL at capital (FRD1).
Lachlan: Begin construction of D7C Command Cruiser at capital.


Derek: FL Red Dwarf is launched.
Convoy of 3 x FL (Nostromo, Valley Forge, Red Dwarf) transport colony to minor planet.
Begin construction of Light Cruiser (CL) Amaterasu at capital (FRD1).


Derek: Establishment of Colony 'Mongo' on minor planet.


Derek: Convoy of 3 x FL (Nostromo, Valley Forge, Red Dwarf) returns to capital.


Derek: CL Amaterasu is launched.
CL Amaterasu moves to unexplored hex (F/E).
Begin construction of Galactic Survey Cruiser (GSC) at capital.
Lachlan: D7C Command Cruiser, Kukri is launched.
Begin construction of 1 x Heavy Freighter at FRD, and 1 x Battalion.
A Taskforce of D7C (Kukri), 2 x D6 (Shiv, Shank) move to attack ‘Romulan armed neutral’.

The Battle is fought with an inconclusive result. The ‘Romulan’ defender fields 3 x Battlehawks (BH) Sneak, Padfoot, and Crook and manage to heavily damage a D6 (Shank) at the cost of a similar level of damage to one of the battlehawks. Lachlan withdrew his taskforce back to his capital vowing to return.


Derek: CL Amaterasu surveys hex.


Derek: CL Amaterasu moves to new hex (D).


Derek: CL Amaterasu surveys hex.
Lachlan: Begin repair damaged D6 (Shank) at capital FRD.
Capital begins construction of a second FRD (complete in 15 turns).


Derek: CL Amaterasu moves to new hex (C).


Derek: CL Amaterasu surveys hex.


Derek: Declare ‘province’ around planet Mongo
Galactic Survey Cruiser (GSC) Discovery is launched.
Started construction of new FRD at Capital at 150% cost.
CL Amaterasu moves to new hex (C).
GSC Discovery moves to new hex (B/A).
Lachlan: Taskforce of D7C (Kukri), 2 x D6 (Shiv, Shank) once again move to attack ‘Romulan armed neutral’.

While Lachlan was able to repair his D6 (Shank) the romulan armed neutral’s heavily damaged BH remained unrepaired. This time Lachlan chose not to charge down the cloaking romulan ships, instead he concentrated attention on one of the two undamaged battlehawks and when the opportunity presented itself used his transporters to send boarding parties via transporter onto the battlehawk to capture it.

With one battlehawk in Lachlan’s hand. The eventual outcome of the battle was no longer in doubt and after some discussion to remaining two battlehawks agreed to strike their colours and surrender.


Derek: CL Amaterasu surveys hex.
GSC Discovery surveys hex and uses it scout channels to survey four adjacent hexes. Two new minor planets are located.
Lachlan: Moves Large Freighter ‘Shifty’ to ‘Romulan Armed Neutral’.
BH Sneak withdraws to capital combined taskforce assault ‘Romulan Armed Neutral’.


Derek:   CL moves to hex (B).
GSC ‘Discovery’ moves to hex (2F/E).
Lachlan: Shank and Padfoot repair and minor planet.
Kukri, Shiv, Burglar move into hexes around the minor planet.
Shifty starts freighting EP to the capital from minor planet.


Derek: CL Amaterasu surveys hex.
GSC Discovery surveys hex and uses it scout channels to survey four adjacent hexes.
3 x FL Convoy (Nostromo, Valley Forge, Red Dwarf) moves to planet Mongo (E).
FF Nemesis is launched at the capital and moves to unexplored hex (2A).
Development of new colony at capital (FRD1).
Lachlan: F5S ‘Far’ launched, heads south of the capital
D6 Shank and BH Padfoot Having finished repairs head south,
D7C Kukri, D6 Shiv, and BH Burglar survey hexes,
FL Shifty continues to freight EP
BH Sneak is put in for repairs at Capital.


Derek: FF Nemesis surveys hex.
GSC Discovery surveys two adjacent hexes.
CL Amaterasu moves to hex (B).
FL x 3 Convoy (Nostromo, Valley Forge, Red Dwarf) loads 12 EP, moves to capital (B).
Lachlan: Shifty continues to freight EP
D7C Kukri, D6 Shiv, BH Burglar move into new hexes
D6 Shank and BH Padfoot survey hexes
F5S Far survey hexes, finds a Kizinti armed neutral (fleet of 3 DW + FRD) and also finds Orion pirate force (Savalge ship, Light raider) in Kizinti Hex
Orion pirate force moves to attack BH Padfoot, Padfoot retreats to D6 Shank.

Turn 20:

Derek: CL Amaterasu surveys hex.
FL x 3 Convoy (Nostromo, Valley Forge, Red Dwarf) unloads 12 EP at capital.
FF Nemesis moves to hex (F).
GSC Discovery moves to hex (E/D).
Lachlan: D7C Kukri, D6 Shiv, BH Burglar head south meet up with D6 Shank and BH Padfoot this taskforce moves to engage Orions drawing out 2 of the Kzinti DWs from the armed neutral FL Shifty continues to freight EP.

The Taskforce (D7C, 2D6, 2BH) destroys both the Kzinti and Orion forces (2DW,SAL and LR) in a stern chase after the initial pass, with Kzinti and Orion scattering in separate directions with the Battlehawks following the Orion ships and the Klingon cruisers following the lone Kzinti vessel. The Taskforce sustaining no lasting damage.

04 January 2018

Pocket Empires?

Lachlan and I have been playing out turns of our Federation Commander campaign, It's loosely based on a Federation & Empire scenario out of Captain's Log #34. In our campaign we are generating the map as we go (exploring the final frontier). We each started with a single system with a fleet repair dock (FRD) to use as a shipyard, a single battalion of ground troops and budget of economic points with which to build a fleet. The adjacent hexes surrounding the home system are surveyed but as yet unclaimed. Lachlan choose to use Klingon ships, while I went with Federation.

So far we have played twenty campaign turns, Lachlan with antagonistic neighbours close by has waged a war of conquest (like a good Klingon) successfully subjugating a system adjacent to his home world and now is in the process of conquering a second while dealing with some Orion pirates who where passing through his area of space.

I on the other hand have had a relatively quiet time, discovering unoccupied planets ripe for colonisation and exploitation.

But before recounting the campaign as it stands so far I thought I might use this post to mention how we are handling the campaign map or in this case for the moment maps.

Instead of having both of us on the same map, we are in fact on seperate as yet unconnected maps. Each the first time we 'explore' a hex on a our map there is a 1 in 20 chance that we will discover the hex being explored is in fact a hex on the edge of the other player's map. What hex exactly is to be randomly determined and the two 'local' maps are now connected at that hex. I expect some judgement (and rotation) will be required to match the two maps up.

Shown here are the two maps of our respective empires at turn 20, my empire is marked in orange on my map and Lachlan's Empire is coloured blue. Planets, provinces and ships, friendly or hostile are displayed on the map.

Using this system stops a player anticipating another's actions on the map before they meet. Also you can't develop or 'fort up' along a safe map edge, there are none. Additional players can also be added to the campaign as they start in an unknown area of space on a unconnected local map until they meet another player.

Next time, a write up of the campaigns first twenty turns.

28 December 2017

To Boldly Go ... To Where I've Gone Before ....

Long, long ago .... as a teenager I happily played ABDs 'Starfleet Battles' with my friends. 

It was one of those games that started it's life off in a single ziplock bag and was a lot of fun to play, eventually there was an expansion also in a ziplock bag and then a 'Commander's Edition' that left the ziplock behind and came in a nice box. After that it really took off, new editions, tons of errata and copious expansions. It's still there, in production, with a loyal customer base.

As I understand it, the ADB got their license agreement before franchises were a thing, and as long as they stay with the bounds of their 'Starfleet Universe' loosely based on the original and animated series they can continue to produce and publish games.

In about 2005 ABD published 'Federation Commander' and while this wasn't attempt to reinvent the wheel, it certainly refined it. There was a lot of rationalisation, dropping concepts or rules  and streamlining the game. For instance a SFB turn was made of up 32 sub-turns or impulses. Federation Commander uses a turn of eight impulses, ok, the movement step is divided into four sub-impluses but that actually works. Plasma torpedoes still zip along at speed 32 and ships are able to accelerate or decelerate their base speed (by spending energy) to manuoeuvre for position against their enemy before you fire weapons, activate tractors or launch a shuttle.

I brought one of the 'core sets', Klingon Border' and a few of the expansions a few years ago and occasionally have brought it out to play. It hits that nostalgic sweet spot, for me was where I first started with the commander's edition, before the expansion bloat set in (an expansion devoted to 'national guard' and coast guard fleets. Seriously?!).

Anyhow Lachlan and I have dug it out once more for a few games. We were looking for something that we could play that didn't require either of us having to acquire and paint up a new batch of miniatures. Mind you Lachlan soon pulled out my small collection of Star Fleet Battles miniatures and started dropping hints, which I have politely ignored.

We had a few games and started a small campaign, already Lachlan has fought a couple battles subjugating a disagreeable neighbour. We're keeping a campaign dairy once we progressed enough in the campaign I'll post sections to the blog.

20 November 2017

Broadening My Horizon

I'm always ready to check out a set of wargame rules and a recent game of Bolt action has spurred me to purchase a copy of a platoon level set of world war two rules 'Chain Of Command' published by 'Two Fat Lardies'. This has been something I've been meaning to do for quite a while, I already purchased a pdf copy of first edition 'Sharp Practice' and the accompanying supplement 'The Compleat Fondler' some time a go and liked what I saw.

Everything I seen and read about Chain of Command promised it could be a interesting set of rules and now I had the chance to read through them I'm looking forward to getting to playing a game. The pre-game patrol phase and the 'jump off' points actually allow for hidden deployment 

I've also purchased the campaign supplement and a few of their 'pint sized' campaign supplements as well, it's looks like I'm falling down the rabbit hole with this one.

As well 'Chain Of Command' a copy of the new KonFlikt'47 supplement 'Resurgence' and the core rule book for 'Battlegroup' published by Plastic Soldier have also appeared on my doorstep. Lachlan has given 'Resurgence' an read and is pleased by what he's seen in the book.

I'm hoping Battlegroup will provide a replacement for 'Flames Of War' after encountering the marketing exercise that is the new edition.