Wednesday, May 15, 2019

I'm running for the HMGS Board of Directors


If you are a current HMGS member, please consider voting for me, James Stanton, and these three other candidates for the HMGS Board of Directors:

Jared Fishman
John Spiess
Dave Waxtel

Jared Fishman and I are looking to expand the HMGS Teachers Program as well as other education endeavors that HMGS should be looking into. In my opinion the current Board has done a great job with this and the incumbents should keep their seats.

For years at HMGS conventions members have been talking about the “graying of the hobby” and how the younger generation is often distracted by screens before they get the chance to wander into the local hobby shop and discover miniature wargaming. There are many examples of teachers who run after school clubs that give kids who may be interested in gaming and games an opportunity to get together and play. Clubs are a great way to foster a “gaming community” in a school and can help with the painting of figures and building of terrain but can be limited in its reach.  One way to expose larger numbers of young people to the hobby is to help educators incorporate miniature wargaming into their classrooms and units. This method can cast a wider net as all students in a grade level would have hands on experience with historical miniature wargaming.

Mission Statement

The mission of the HMGS Cold Wars Teachers Program is to provide focused seminars and hands-on workshops for teachers, interested parents, and students in an effort to promote the use of historical miniature wargaming as a teaching tool in the classroom. That mission statement completely aligns with that of HMGS,Inc.: “HMGS, Inc. is a non-profit, charitable and educational 501(c)3 organization whose purpose is to promote the study of military history through the art of tabletop miniature wargaming.”

James Stanton

Monday, March 25, 2019

Gnome Wars - Cold Wars 2019

To All,

Here are a few images from the Gnome Wars game that I ran on Saturday night at Cold Wars. The Germans were trying to hold the castle from the allies.

The Undead rush through the breach in the wall...
The Leprechauns, British Marines, and the Cavemen/dinosaurs all rushed for the breach. It seemed the Germans holding the breach were going to get overrun, but the witch cast a spell and summoned the Undead army.  The skeletons rushed through the breach and entered the melee, causing chaos and plugging the breach for a bunch of turns.
Elias sorting out the melee. 
Everyone awaiting the outcome of the melee. Everyone who survived was lock in combat for the next turn.
Derrick "The Viking" attacking with the pirates. 
One unit of Swiss and the Sikhs press the center. They concentrated their mortar fire on the gate house and caused it to crumble. A mad and bloody dash ensued.
The Undead and Leprechauns still
fighting in front of the breach.
The Witch responded by sending the pumpkins (the pumpkins explode like mortar shots) and the zombies in that direction. The attacking pirates seize that opportunity and fling Lucky Lon over the wall.

The witch blowing up Swiss with the pumpkins...

A unit of Swiss get blown up on the bridge, which also destroys it, but that seems like a distraction as.....
Swiss come up through a tunnel and
Swiss Cheese a unit of Germans.
...two complete units of Swiss pop up through tunnels and "lay down the Swiss." As that is happening the dinosaurs rush through the breach causing general disarray.
The dreaded Cheese Suffocation rule comes int effect.
The allies took the left side of the castle but the two veteran players on the right side keep it from becoming an allied victory. We'll continue next convention.

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Cold Wars 2019 - The Mine on Lipton-9

To All,

I played in an awesome spectacle put on by 'award-winning GM' Mike Lung at Cold Wars; The Mine on Lipton-9.
Eric Goodlander getting ready
to screw someone over...
The scenario starts with the Galacteers, the Valkeeri, and the Moles setting up a mining colony on the yellow planet. The space orcs are moving in looking to scavenge anything useful. A ship lands next to the wreckage in the middle of the board - The Robot Legion has arrived. Haters of anything organic they are on the planet to find a deadly virus and secure a nuke!
Readers of this Blog will recognize Bill G (guy in yellow
 shirt) trying to get Scott Lung to do his bidding. 
In the middle of the blue forest a group of Radon Zombies from the Ionosphere, along with their queen, have crash landed. In the wreckage the zombies are hiding a container of the "zombie virus" and, lo and behold, a couple of nukes. The Space Mice have set up a fort and are looking to capture a few Frigonians to eat on their long journey back to their home-world.
Andrew Goodlander, commanding the Frigonians, looks
 for something living to sacrifice. 
The native beings, the Frigonians, man the walls and get ready to defend their village. Sensing that their planet was about to host an all out war, they send out raiding parties to try to capture a "sacrifice" to their Cheese God. Once a sacrifice is made, the god will walk the planet ridding it of the invaders. 

Mike Lung winning a PELA Award for his game,
The Mine on Lipton-9.
 A break in the action as Mike Lung wins a Pour Encourager Les Autres, or PELA, Award. A Well deserved award for a guy who excels at all aspects of the hobby - Mike can sculpt, paint, and run a terrific game. Of course, from now on we will have to refer to him as "award winning GM," Mike Lung.

In the bottom right hand corner you can see
 the humans out of the fort.
The Moles, already planning an insurrection against the humans and their oppression, see the chaos as the time to rise up. They forced the humans out of their fort with an all out assault. The Galacteers and the Valkeeri see the unguarded Robot Legion ship and make a break for it. 

Above the virus is canister is opened....
But Bill G and the Radon Zombies open the zombie virus in the ship, turning the humans into zombies. (poor Robert!)

The Grymm moving up behind the mice.
Meanwhile, everything - zombies, moles, Grymm, worms - open up on the robot legion. The last functional robots abandon their ship and try to get to the minibot's ship.

The mice are making their move.
Meanwhile the mice, after ridding themselves of the minibots, start to head towards the Frigonian village for a snack.

Mike Lung and Bret Hunt focused on the action.
But soon realize that the Frigonians have sacrificed one of the orcs to their god, thus making him come to life. The destruction was on! All invaders made their way off planet.
My daughter Elizabeth, sister Karen, and Andrew Goodlander
Great scenario, awesome GM, terrific looking table, and a well run game put on by award winning GM, Mike Lung!

Robert, Eric and "Crazylegs" in the background.
I put these two pictures in to show Eric "Crazy Legs" Jacobson is always in Jazz Hands mode when a picture is imminent. 

Full Jazz hands in this shot. (I don't think Robert was into it)

Friday, August 3, 2018

Historicon 2018 - Isandlwana - AAR

To All,

I had the chance to play in the best game at Historicon 2018, Isandlwana, GM'ed by David Burton.
David Burton getting ready to start Isandlwana at Historicon 2018
Anyone who knows me or follows this blog knows that when I go to a HMGS conventions I am really there to run Gnome Wars games, give the occasional painting class, and have a few 'soda pops.' So it is rare that I actually sit down and play in  a game. I did not run any games on Thursday (although I did give a painting class at noon) because my sister and my nephew were coming to their first gaming convention. We walked by this beautiful set-up, I saw that Mr. Burton was the GM, and I thought, "this will be their first Historical game."  

My nephew Ryan getting ready for the Zulu onslaught.
Here is the game description: 
Isandlwana – Theme Thursday, 6:00 PM, 4 hrs, Players: 14, Location: Distelfink: D11 GM: David Burton Sponsor: None, Period: Colonial, Scale: 20mm, Rules: Bayonets and Spearpoints Description: Battle of Isandlwana - Lt. Raw's troopers have found the Zulu Impi. The camp is alerted and the 24th regiment is stood to. British regulars, colonials, and the NNC will battle the Zulu regiments. Ammo rules will be in play for the British with ammo bearers doing their best to keep up with the demand. As for the Zulus...well there's thousands of them... Children under 13 welcome with playing adult

That empty chair is where I'll be sitting.
We were British and, as you can see in the picture above, there are a lot of Zulus and a few of us. The two gentlemen sitting next to my nephew wanted to take the British (with rockets) that were detached from the camp to the right. We had a brief "do you want to come back toward the camp" discussion and they kinda said, "hell no, we'll slow them down out here." My kind of guys!

Back in the camp we had three regular British units on the left of the line near hill. A veteran wargamer took those three units. On the right of the line curving in were three regular British units and an artillery unit. My nephew took the three regular units and a cavalry Unit. That left me in the middle with the Natal Native Contingent (NNC), the Natal Native Horse (NNH), the Rear Detail, the Civilian Contractors, the Pioneers (Pioneers!!), and the artillery led by Stuart-Smith.  Basically all the troops no one else wanted.
To the right, Zulus.......
........ in the center, Zulus. Here you see what I had. I figured the the NNC and the NNH that were already in the line were there for the duration, and I left one unit of NNC  just behind them as a backup/reserve.
Nice placement of this Ammo wagon. Don't fear, The Pioneers are on the way!
Everyone else started running towards the left and rear to try to protect this ammunition wagon and plug the gap to the rear of the hill and the end of the board. I sent the Civilian Contractors to the right.
This dude was a great opponent!

Side note: A convention game can look great, have fantastic rules, and have an awesome GM, but can become derailed by crappy opponents. This did not happen during this game and, as a matter of fact, the three guys in the above picture were awesome opponents. Everyone in our section picked up the rules quickly (great job Mr. Burton) and were fun to play with. "Maverick" was terrific!

As the Battle of Isandlwana began there was a lot of fighting and die rolling to the right. The rocket battery was gone but the troops out there were doing what they needed to do - slow the Zulus down.

The Zulus start the assault on the main line and regular British line do what regular British line do (as long as they have ammo) which is make Zulus disappear with volley fire. The Zulus start to head towards the NNC and NNH in the line....

...and the race is on to the supply wagon and our left flank.

The Pioneers take their first shot and it causes the Zulu unit to go prone. PIONEERS!! 
On the Left the British win the race to the Wagon and start to form up in a donga. The NNH are the first to get there, unhorse, and take cover. The Pioneers get to the base of the hill and fire their two rifles. Two hits and the Zulu unit has to go prone (green chip) - PIONEERS!!
A close up of the Pioneers. 

After a few turns here is what the left looks like....

On the left of the main line it has been brutal. The Zulus are thinned out by withering fire but, as predicted, there are holes in the line. The first line of NNC are gone which exposes the British line flanks and it turns into chaos. I will say that the gentleman that was in command of these units was rolling unbelievably. 16 d6's, 14 hits was his normal. Unfortunately once the NCC folded there was nothing he could do but make various last stands. 
Stuart-Smith standing tall!
In the middle of the British regulars was the artillery unit lead by Officer Stuart-Smith. I took this unit figuring, artillery. It was only after I assumed "command" that I was told that the artillery was basically useless. But Stuart-Smith stood tall letting the British line troops fire volley into any approaching Zulus.
Civilian Contractors rushing in. (they are the thin line behind the line)
To the right it was going as well as it could be. The units outside of the camp took their pound of flesh from the Zulus and started to come back to reinforce the line. Ryan,commanding the British regulars, pours fire into the Zulu hoard. There are just too many of them and they make contact...

...and the line holds, somewhat.

Four hours in and the right is still there!

On the left, we are still there. We slowed them up enough to score enough points for a British "victory!"

Rear detail saying, "Why am I in a donga?


Stuart-Smith says, "Let them come."

Above and below are shots of the final turn. You see the bottom (our left) the scrubs have formed up, are in cover, and would have lasted a few turns until we were overrun. But I thing I accomplished what I needed to for that flank. On the right they did well. The line is still in tact and they were battling away. The middle I didn't do so well as the NCC and NNH under my command were overrun and were the cause of the hole there. I assume Zulus will pour in there and engulf  the British.

I can't tell you how much I enjoyed playing in this game. Great figures and terrain, smooth rule set that works great for the period, and an awesome GM. My advice to play in a game GM'ed by David Burton.

Mr. Burton won a well deserved award for the game.

Above and below are some shots of the game as it was set up.

Mr. Burton's rule set.