Sunday, February 16, 2020

A Little Surprise For The Shieldmaidens...

You can't make this stuff up.

One of the games brewing here at the Workbench is a version of "Sturmgeschutz and Sorcery"; I've been asked by the Shieldmaidens to run a teaching game where they can get some familiarization with WWII Red Army tank-infantry tactics so that they can fight the expected sorcerers, warriors, and other Dire Perils with a degree of success. (Me, I think they'll do just fine.) This led me to getting a couple of copies of Wargames Illustrated to get the sprues of spare weapons for the Red Army Women and in the process get some Panzer Grenadiers for the Shieldmaidens to shoot at.

The basic scenario for the teaching game is that one of the Night Witches's crews spotted what looks like an enemy supply dump in a village; however, they took hits from something that puts really big holes in really small biplanes and didn't hang around to take notes. So, they asked the local Red Army command to send somebody into the village to see what might be going on; the colonel is sending out his scout platoon, which is made up of some of those hyper-active hyper-achievers - Anne Norton's Red Army Women" - along with a little back-up in the way of a tank and a tank-destroyer, both also crewed by Red Army Women. (Anne makes crew figures, too!)

Meanwhile, those people over on the other side of the hill have stationed a reinforced squad of infantry in the rural village with orders to hold on as long as possible, and cause as much mayhem in the Red Army's force as they can. They've had some time to get ready, too.

And so have I; I've used my Christmas money to buy the two WizKids 'farm sets', the 'Medieval Farmer' and 'Homestead' sets. These will also be useful for the projected Dark Ages campaign, as beside the farm buildings and accessories that I need for this and the actual game they also have all the usual loot so dear to the Shieldmaidens' hearts: chickens, cows, pigs, and all that other edible stuff that adventurers crave after weeks of hardtack and bully beef.

Besides, with the hidden movement rules, it's so much funnier when somebody spends half the game sneaking up on the hidden enemy, only to find that you've gotten the drop on Elsie the Borden's Cow.

Mayhem always ensues. :)

Baby's First Wargame!

Seventh and Sixth Daughters

While I was out at the game convention helping the Shieldmaidens run their Tekumel game, two of my daughters were playing in their very first real wargame; an old friend who loves naval gaming runs a scenario called "Twilight of the Battleships" at Gary Con, and he was kind enough to invite my girls to come and play in an introductory game based on his scenario. They did, along with some other of our mutual friends, and had a great time learning and playing "General Quarters" - a vintage game, but still a very solid and reliable one.

The daughters played the Japanese to our friends' Americans, and the game was fought out at what was knife-fighting range for WWII warships. They gave as good as they got - if not better - and while I think when dinner was announced they'd lost a couple of ships (A heavy cruiser and a destroyer, I think) whilst the Americans had lost something like three cruisers. Sheer weight of metal was telling; Yamato was stopped dead in the water with hits to her engine rooms, but was still dangerous and in the fight with her massive 18" guns.

However, the Americans' squadron of the older Standard battleships was coming on at full steam, guns primed and ready. The game was paused for dinner, and the table photographed for a future resumption of the game.

Fish and chips were served, and a very good time was had by all.

For me personally, it was a very bittersweet day; I had been asked to help out friends with their game, and so had to miss my daughters' very first ever real wargame.

Time to clean up the miniatures room, and set the table for some mayhem!

The Shieldmaidens Run Tekumel At Con Of The North

GM Chandra Reyer, with Bill Hoyt looking on...

The first party of humans gets hit, and hit hard...

The second party of humans gets trapped and then hit

The figures I did for us, back in 1976;
the torchbearers are new, only a decade old...

We got through the weekend; it's the beginning of the campaign season, up here in the Northwoods, and the local game convention Con of the North sees Brett Slocum's programming track of Tekumel games in full swing. This year, one of the Shieldmaidens Sundays group ran her own take on the genre, with a session using Mark Pettigrew's "Tomb Complex of Nereshanbo" - she had the players playing the tomb guardians, not the usual human adventurers.

We supplied the basics, including a table-sized map of the complex, and we also brought the figures I'd done almost 45 years ago when we started our group out at Phil's. Chandra was using Uni Games' "Bethorm" for the rules, and also used the excellent 'paper model' figures from the same source. It all went very well, and the game play was very fast; Chandra had done 'pre-gen' characters for all the various creatures, and the players picked out what they wanted to play. There was a Nshe, for example, who spent a lot of time in the tomb complex's canal to great effect.

The games went so nicely that they had two parties of intruders, and both were disposed of in very short order. The players thought their way through the situations, and when they did spring their ambushes and got into combat it was quick and messy - they all played to their strengths of their characters, and all of them had a very good time in the process.

I did wind up explaining who all these little painted people were, and we all had a great time post-game talking about Phil and his creation.

All in all, an excellent day! :)