Tuesday, 26 May 2020

Playing solo ...

Despite the lockdown and the working-from-home regime, I didn't find much time to play some solo games, although I tried a few things.

First was a game using Victory - The Blocks of War, an older Columbia Blockgame. The picture below shows the starting position. I played a few turns, but somehow, it feels rather empty.

Then I tried a few turns of Ludus Gladiatorius, but the rock-papers-scissors aspect of that game made me quit after a few turns.

But I still have the plastic model of an old Colosseum set lying around (I had this since I was a kid, and always kept it). Perhaps I should give that a paintjob and try the game again?

Sunday, 24 May 2020

Some new acquisitions

I've been working from home for the past 2 months. To break the monotony of endless Skype sessions, video-recordings of lectures, hammering out corona-policies for our Faculty, and constantly feeling like I'm between 3 anvils and 5 hammers, I need some escapist reading material.

So this arrived in the mailbox a few days ago.

Sunday, 3 May 2020

Two new units

I finally managed to finish 2 units which have been sitting on my painting desk for quite some time.

The first is a unit of 4 flats, to be used in the 42mm imaginations setting.

The second is a unit of plastic beastmen from the old GW/MB Battlemasters game. I modified them by a few simple weapon swaps and adding a spear+banner using a decal that is from the same time as the figures, almost 30 years old by now ;-)

Monday, 13 April 2020

So, how to run an Hyboria-styled campaign?

My recent entries on Tony Bath's Hyboria have started me thinking about running something similar. Mind you, this does not mean there will be an Hyboria-style campaign. Especially with my current workload at the university, it's not something for the immediate future, but it's always nice to think about future projects.

Back in 2000 I participated in a campaign called Hyperborea, run by long-time wargaming friend Alan Huyton. The whole thing was run in the philosophy of matrix-gaming, with players submitting orders on anything each campaign turn. I was living in the USA at the time, so I never participated in any of the miniatures battles that resulted, but maybe other participants did, I'm not sure.
Our internet records in 2000 were not as good as they were today, so I don't have lots of archives left, but I still have the map Alan made, along with some maps I made myself (I played Laconica). I still remember that near the end of the campaign, I struck at Bartaventumnium, the capital of Latini, run by co-author of this blog Bart Vetters. That event might have well ended the campaign, I don;t remember exactly. It has been 20 years ;-)

The campaign map
My own rendering of LAconica
A fun map, outlining the voyages of Thales, but it was really a spying mission.

In 2006, Alan tried to set up a similar campaign, again called Hyperborea (with a handful of posts on this blog). But this time we never got far. The campaign sizzled out after 1 or 2 turns ... I played Kemet in this one.

So suppose I would run such a campaign. What map would I use?

There are of course many possibilities .. there are plenty of imaginary continents from (fantasy) games or literature one can use. One of the maps that I always found attractive is the old map from Wizard's Quest:

It has a nice subdivision in regions, but perhaps the whole affair would become more a RISK-like game rather than a proper wargaming campaign. The lack of cities, roads and other points of interest make it less suitable.

A better idea might be to use the map of the imaginary fantasy world Dor, designed for the roleplaying game Schimmmen & Schaduwen, which I co-authored back in the early nineties.

The continent has many different countires, each with their own geography and culture. See also these blogposts (written in Dutch) on my Schimmen & Schaduwen blog:  Kaarten Van Dor en De Grote Atlas van Dor. Perhaps I should consider using this setting?

Sunday, 12 April 2020

Hyboria (11)

Another article about Hyboria, penned by Tony Bath, but this time from White Dwarf #4, December1977/January1978. In publication date, it precedes the series of articles in Battle For Wargamers by one month or so. It is well known that Tony Bath kept extensive chronicles of his campaign, so these articles were probably summaries or compilations of what he had written already.

Mighty Empires (2)

I played 2 campaign seasons with the Mighty Empires setup I described a few posts ago, using the original 1990 rules.

So what did I learn?
  • There's a lot of dice rolling. A lot! 
  • There's more dice rolling!
  • And even more!
To summarize, a lot of dice rolling on all sorts of tables: to determine the content of a tile when scouted; to determine whether you can move over mountains and how much troops that will cost you; to determine the strength of independent settlements; to see what happens when an army banner doesn't have enough subsistence; and so on...

So is Mighty Empires  a good game? Hmmm, no, not so good. But then, it was never meant as a standalone game. You should really see it as a campaign world generator, with a lot of unexpected events happening, and for that, it does the job.

Here are pictures after campaign season 1. You see each of three empires has spent most of the time exploring.

Here's the situation after campaign season 2.  There has been quite some fighting near the borders, and as a winter event, a Dragon Rage happened, razing some tiles in the middle of the board.

Saturday, 11 April 2020

Hyboria (10)

The last article in the Hyboria series as pubished in Battle For Wargamers in 1978. The articles about Hyboria continued in Military Modelling magazine, but sadly, I do not have those issues. I tried a web search for scanned content, but no luck so far. If someone can help me out, I would greatly appreciate it!

What's still to come? The article written by Tony Bath about Hyboria, published in White Dwarf #4.

See also the page I made about Hyboria.

Friday, 10 April 2020

Hyboria (9)

Part 9 of the history of Hyboria. See also the Hyboria page for other resources regarding Hyboria.

Wednesday, 8 April 2020

Hyboria (7)

Now with the venerable Charles Grant on the cover ...
I also started a Hyboria page to collect all sorts of information Hyboria.