The Martians have invaded for a second time and the world is at war!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Fjodin's Victorian House

Fjodins small blog about real and alternative late 19-th century.
Here I will post all things which may be interesting by Victorian
Science Fiction, Horse and Musket era and Great War fans.

Savage Barsoom

Much of the material and art on Savage Barsoom has been
gathered from the Edgar Rice Burroughs community...A
very nice fan site with news on the forth coming film.

Tea And Tiffin

A blog about Victorian miniatures, some historical and some definitely not!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Gunboat Diplomacy At Uncle Bob’s Backwater ~~

By David aaaaaaarrrrgggggh Raybin

Now boys THIS was a game. Chinese pirates attacked by British gunboats in 28mm. A dozen players. A cast of thousands. The Brits were to capture or sink the pirates. Now we know why the Chinese boats were called Junks. They were shot to fish bait. But still a hell of a game. Duncan’s naval games are first-rate mate.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Ghosts Of Games Past! Maj Gen Tremorden Rederring's Page.

Really miss these stout fellows work and the hours of inspiration
they've provided countless other gaming enthusiasts. I'm happy
that their page is still up and running but would be thrilled to see
their adventures continue!

Philosophy and Gaming Style
of the Ouargistan Group

Here are some posts to the REC.GAMES.MINIATURES.HISTORICAL newsgroup and other writings that explain a bit about the group's philosophy and gaming style.

Colonial Gaming with the Ouargistan Group
Original Newsgroup Topic was

'Re: The Sword and the Flame? (longish)'

Our grouplet has played The Sword and the Flame since about 1981, and still enjoys it. Since we play with more figures than the game was designed for, we use a simplified faster version that eliminates some of the individual-soldier features of the game (though one figure still is one man).

We got more grandiose as we went along. First just buildings, then a fort. Then vehicles: Kiel-Kraft 1/76 steam lorries, horsedrawn and early gasoline vehicles (Lledo and Matchbox diecasts), as the period expanded. Native-bashing began to pall, so we started playing Brits vs German vs. American colonial troops, with their native allies. Then came small steam launches and native dhows. Then early aircraft to fling hand-bombs at them with appalling inaccuracy. The period stretched from about 1859 to the eve of WWI, all occuring at once -- Gatling guns bringing down DH-1 biplanes. River steamers next; a big amphibious landing to rescue the Colonel Bunthorne's daughter from being sacrificed to appease the volcano god (Paper-mache volcano spewing dry-ice vapor). Then a detour into HG Wells' War of the Worlds -- Martian tripods battling it out with field batteries and ironclads in darkest Whosistan. Then steam-powered Landships ramming and firing high-wheeled bicycle torpedoes at one another. Though the group games rather seldom nowadays, the German player still occasionally threatens to build a zeppelin from 1-liter drink bottles.

Obviously all this baroque stuff is not in the S&F rules; we just kept adding our own house rules. I know nothing of the new ten-men-per-figure edition of S&F, but the original and second edition game has provided the framework for a lot of fun over the years, and has outlasted any other miniatures ruleset for us (though what we now play bears little resemblance to the original).

Memorable moments:

Alf, a kneeling Stadden rifleman, firing a single thundering round from his Martini-Henry and keeping a complete unit of Fuzzies pinned down prone with bad morale rolls for 3 turns "And if any of you bounding beggars so much as moves a muscle, why, I'll fire again, I will."

Steve's new unit of Highlanders, exterminated to a man on their first outing by the single Arab horseman to survive volley fire and make it into contact.

Two Martian tripods, holding the ends of the ironclad (which had foolishly ventured up the river) in their tentacles, and shaking the crew loose while they played heat-rays across the decks.

Charles' native elephants, reworked from some Ancients army and sporting paper drink-parasols, engaging the Queen's troops at the riverbank, the combat being accompanied by flatulent squashing sounds whenever an elephant won a melee roll.

The Mad Mullah, guiding his dhow through the shellfire to the ironclad, surviving 8 dice from the Nordenfeldt, and levitating himself (through mystical Eastern arts) onto the bridge to challenge the Captain in melee.

I apologize to the sticklers for waxing frivolous in a historical gaming newsgroup. We started out historical, honest. Someone earlier in this thread remarked that the game owed more to Hollywood than to historical realism. Well ... yeah. Turn a card.

Subject: Re: Computers and Gaming

Show me a computer

-- that will say, "Really beautiful paint job on those Pathans."

-- that will pull its hair and make gargling sounds when its crack unit fires a volley and gets zero hits.

-- that will stop at a Middle Eastern food store to get snacks for the Colonials game

-- that will supply everybody with funky hats appropriate to the game's period

-- that will stay up all night painting weird figures and making props for some scenario inspired by a Monty Python skit

-- that will say, "remember that game where Lord Gordon charged the baggage train and got pulled off his horse and strangled with a bowstring by some nameless archer in pajamas?"

-- that will shoot your hotshot gunfighter off the roof of the saloon, and insist that you replay the fall in slow motion, Sam Peckinpaugh-style.

-- that will take a pottery course with his wife and come back with a kiln-fired ceramic Foreign Legion outpost

-- that refers to your Dixon samurai as "the Elmer Fudd ronin"

-- that will pass out broomhandle-Mauser water pistols to the German players

-- that will humor your fetishes by building a cardboard steam-tank for the great landships game because he knows you will humor his with a cardboard native sailboat for the giant Nile battle.

-- that will notice that inverted Yoplait containers would make perfect towers for that native hill-fort

-- that will cry out in despair, "They're all dead, and I only painted them last night!"

Small is Beautiful
Contrary to what your significant other might tell you, size matters -- especially in tabletop gaming. Specifically: small is beautiful. Because table space is always so limited, everything used in a game must be as small as it can be and still do its job.

The Ouargistan group uses a 5/8"/15mm (David's preference) or 3/4"/19mm (everybody else's) base size for 25mm military figures where possible, with the occasional base cut larger to accomodate the odd figure that needs it. Even a 1" base means that a unit of men will take up over 30% more linear space on the table and 90% more area than those on a 3/4" base. A 2-rank unit of 20 men will be 10" wide, rather than than 7.5". Ten inches is a lot on a table which is only 48" across. When the gaming includes buildings, boats, or vehicles, base size is even more important. Even though we allow bases to overlap when figures are in a boat or structure, a base which is even slightly larger will substantially reduce the number of men which can fit in the same space. A rooftop which is 2.25" square will take nine men with 3/4" bases, but only four men with 1" bases.

Buildings and vehicles themselves should be as small as they can be without looking completely ridiculous. In Ouargistan, a small, flat-roofed native building will be as small as 2.25" square with a roof 1.5" off the ground. The difference between a 2.5" and a 3.5" building doesn't sound like much, but it will allow you to put a 5-building town in about the same space as a 3 building town with the larger size.

When building structures and vehicles it is very easy to let size get out of hand. You must exercise ruthless care to keep things to a minimum, or else you wind up with forts or villages that take up half the table, and boats which require so much river to maneuver that there is no room for land. Generally our native buildings run from about 2.25" square to about 3"x 5", forts are about 12" square, and the largest boats/ships are no more than 9" long.


Warlords Of Mars

Thursday, September 16, 2010

WW1 Described In Terms As A Bar Fight

Sent to MAC by Mal Wright and as he said quite a good laugh.

Germany, Austria and Italy are standing together in the middle of
the bar-room, when Serbia bumps into Austria, and spills Austria's
Austria demands Serbia buy it a complete new suit, because
there are
splashes on its trouser leg. Germany expresses its
support for Austria's point of view.Britain recommends that
everyone calm down a bit.Serbia points out that it can't afford a
whole suit, but offers to pay for cleaning Austria's trousers.Russia
and Serbia look at Austria. Austria asks Serbia who it's looking at.
Russia suggests that Austria should leave its little brother alone.
Austria inquires as to whose army will assist Russia in compelling
it to do so.Germany appeals to Britain that France has been
looking at it, and that this is sufficiently out of order that Britain
should not intervene.Britain replies that France can look at who it
wants to, that Britain is looking at Germany too, and what is
Germany going to do about it? Germany tells Russia to stop
looking at Austria, or Germany will render Russia incapable of
such action.Britain and France ask Germany whether it's looking
at Belgium. Turkey and Germany go off into a corner and whisper.
When they come back,Turkey makes a show of not looking at
anyone.Germany rolls up its sleeves, looks at France, and
punches Belgium.France and Britain punch Germany. Austria
punches Russia.Germany punches Britain and France with one
hand and Russia with the other. Russia throws a punch at
Germany, but misses and nearly falls over. Japan calls over from
the other side of the room that it's on Britain's side, but stays there.
Italy surprises everyone by punching Austria.Australia punches
Turkey,and gets punched back. There are no hard feelings,
because Britain made Australia do it.France gets thrown through
a plate glass window,but gets back up and carries on fighting.
Russia gets thrown through another one, gets knocked out, suffers
brain damage, and wakes up with a complete personality change.
Italy throws a punch at Austria and misses, but Austria falls over
anyway.Italy raises both fists in the air and runs round the room
chanting.America waits till Germany is about to fall over, then walks
over,waves a fist at Germany while Britain knocks it out, then
pretends it won the fight all by itself. By now all the chairs are
broken, and the big mirror over the bar is shattered.Britain, France
and America agree that Germany threw the first punch,so the
whole thing is Germany's fault.While Germany is still unconscious,
they go through its pockets,steal its wallet, and buy drinks for all
their friends.

Nobody comes out of it looking particularly good.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Shastapsh Chronicles Back Up!

A Game to Get Excited About

Yes it's been a while since my last post. No I'm not dead, nor is this blog. It's been a while since our last game, and a couple of those were one sided horror shows. On Saturday the 21st however, we had a gathering at Bruce Meyer's house in which the Martians got to hand out a little payback for some of the indignities they've suffered at the hands of the colonials.