Author Topic: What Wargames are you playing?  (Read 320 times)

CADmonkey

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What Wargames are you playing?
« on: October 22, 2017, 07:38:38 PM »
I was going to post something in HAY GUYS HAVE YOU SEEN THIS THING, but I thought that I was posting a bit much about wargames in that thread and since the RPPR crew are talking about wargames on thier podcasts, I'd start a new thread:
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Here's a podcast interview with Jon Tuffley, the proprietor (and sole operator) of Ground Zero Games: Meeples & Miniatures – Episode 230 – Ground Zero Games

The interview begins at about 36 minutes in.

GZG published a number of sci-fi tabletop wargames rules in the 90's: Full Thrust (starship fleet action); Dirtside (6mm ground combat);  and Stargrunt (25 mm ground combat), and sells miniatures for all of those game lines and others.  I own copies of all of Tuffley's rules and have played a lot of Full Thrust, and even after all these years FT is still my favourite sci-fi fleet action ruleset.  And pdfs of their rules can be downloaded for free from the GZG website, there's a link on the podcast blog post.

As discussed in the podcast, GZG is a rare long-time survivor in the wargaming industry who (unlike other companies that have come and gone over the years) haven't tried to become "the next GW" and burnt out as a result.
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One thing I'd like to hear about is people's introduction to wargames and their experiences in the hobby.

I began wargaming in '84, shortly after my friends and I discovered rpgs.  There was a hobby store in the local mall which sold rpgs, wargames, dice & miniatures in addition to models & model making supplies.  While browsing the rpg shelf, we noticed notice some little boxed games with names like OGRE, G.E.V. and Car Wars nearby.  I was immediately hooked on Ogre/GEV and one of my friends was smitten by Car Wars.  I've played plenty of other wargames since then, both hexmap and miniatures, but you never forget your first love, and I still get in a game of Ogre at least once a year at a local gaming convention.

Since first playing Ogre/GEV and figuring out that Car Wars was just too damned complex, I've played a fair number of wargames.  I haven't kept track of hours played, but all told I'm probably more of a wargamer than a roleplayer.

I've gotten into historical wargames, but mostly of the WWI/WWII variety, and mostly of the microarmour (6mm) and naval wargaming scales.  For a while in the 90's I played quite a lot of Spearhead, a WWII microarmour game, until the day the president of the club walked in wearing a "2nd Waffen SS: European Tour" t-shirt and a shit-eating grin, and that was the end of that gaming club. >:(  I haven't played much in the way of WWI/WWII skirmish games, though I did pick up a copy of Crossfire, a very interesting looking skirmish game with a unique initiative/action system form the author of Spearhead a while back, but I haven't actually had the chance to play it.

In sci-fi wargaming, I've played a fair number of games.  As I said above, I've been an Ogre/GEV fan for over thirty years, somewhere in storage I have a full set of Ogre Miniatures from the early aughts, and I'll probably be buying the new Ogre Minis when they come out too.  As mentioned above, I've played GZG's Full Thrust, a game which really has everything I want in a sci-fi fleet action experience.  There was a fellow who used to run FT at local conventions and the FLGS downtown regularly, and I got into his games quite regularly for years there.  I never got into 40k, but I have played a bit of Epic, the microarmour scale version of 40k.  The sci-fi wargame I've played the most would have to be Heavy Gear, a mecha game from a little gaming company out of Montreal called Dream Pod 9 (I've also played Battletech, but never really got into it).  The 1st & 2nd editions of Heavy Gear had gorgeous artwork & mechanical designs and a very well fleshed-out setting; I had a lot of fun playing it, particularly the skirmish/Gear duelling rules.  Unfortunately, the local HG scene fell apart after DP9 put out a new edition which most of the existing playerbase (myself included) hated, and which also failed to attract a new, sustainable playerbase.  These days, I'm not wargaming as much as I used to.  I get in some games every year at CanGames, the local & long-running gaming convention, and I've been demonstrating and organizing games of Mobile Frame Zero, a mecha skirmish game where you build your giant robots (and the terrain) out of lego.  MFZ is heavily influenced by the sort of "Real Robot" anime that I'm a fan of, and the creators are unrepentantly clear about their politics (tl;dr: no space nazis).

I never got into fantasy wargames.  That's purely a matter of taste, the look of fantasy just doesn't appeal to me as much as sci-fi.
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So what's your wargaming story?
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Adam_Autist

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Re: What Wargames are you playing?
« Reply #1 on: October 23, 2017, 02:26:00 PM »
I'm a brit so Warhammer was just there. The way D&D is in the US. My friends got into it and the older kids talked about it I got into it around the time of Warhammer Siege and when Space Orks went full Mad Max (Bad Moons!!)

After that I heard about other games (Confrontation!!) from a magazine called Harbinger. I don't think Ive ever really learned to play properly.

I had a demo of Warmachine and it was really fun and easy to learn (I went for Khador because I play the soviets in C&C Red Alert a lot).

Nowadays I really like the look of:

Infinity
Dropzone/ Dropfleet Commander
Wrath of Kings (by some of the people who did Confrontation).
Heavy Gear
Konflict '47 and Beyond the Gates of Antares (they gave me a free starter kit of Gates because I manage a comic shop!).
Mercs has pretty minis.

CADmonkey

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Re: What Wargames are you playing?
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2017, 07:42:15 PM »
I'm a brit so Warhammer was just there. The way D&D is in the US. My friends got into it and the older kids talked about it I got into it around the time of Warhammer Siege and when Space Orks went full Mad Max (Bad Moons!!)

I was tangentially aware of Warhammer & 40k in the 80's.  I don't remember seeing them in the hobby shop in the mall, but there was a W. H. Smith (a British bookstore chain) in the same mall that carried Fighting Fantasy gamebooks and some other GW books, including Heroes for Wargames, an early GW book about fantasy & sci-fi miniatures for wargames & rpgs.  Heroes for Wargames talked about Warhammer and had a lot of photos of minis, including the first published photos of the original space marine minis, a year before Rogue Trader was published*.  In the mid-90's, I found a dedicated game shop downtown (that hobby shop in the mall had closed years before) and they carried a variety of minis and games, but Warhammer & 40k took up the most space on their shelves.

This reminds me, here's the transcript of an interview with John Stallard & Rick Priestley, a couple of early GW staff and founders of Warlord Games, one of the more successful of the game companies created by ex-GW people: https://web.archive.org/web/20110812101508/http://www.battlegames.co.uk/documents/BG_HH-RP-JS-interview_unabridged.pdf

Stallard & Priestley talk about their own introduction to wargames, the early days of GW and the creation of Warhammer & Rogue Trader.  I found it amusing that Rick Priestley said that he considered Warhammer to be a rather old-fashioned game when he designed it, considering how often I hear GW fans these days insisting that it was the cutting edge of wargaming in the 80's.

*those photos were labelled "Deep Space Mercenaries" in that book, and I like to joke about how I'll never forgive GW for that name change
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constructacon

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Re: What Wargames are you playing?
« Reply #3 on: October 30, 2017, 12:32:19 AM »
while i was tangentially aware of miniatures war gaming ever since i can remember, i never really got into it. that is until the ____Clicks line of minis came out. i enjoyed the strategy of miniature war gaming but i never had the patience or the dexterity for panting and putting together of minis. so when Heroclicks's came out i was thrilled. i played both heroclicks and mechwarrior clicks right up until the death of the original wizkids games company. it wasn't until x wing came out that i even got back into it, even then it was extremely casual gaming.
i figured out early that i loved the underdog niche teams. i would take the worst miniatures in the game and figure out a decent strategy with them. even still i usually only one 25% of the time, but when it did win the results were glorious. gaming with these teams were never boring, you just never knew if things would line up just right and the juggernaut of power would roll over your opponent. the most fun i ever had in a minatures game was sitting down in the worlds championship of mechwarrior with an army of construction mechs and watching the face the players around me had when i set, 8 mechs that were the literal worst in the game across from a single assault mech. or the pleasure of watching it hit them when my trash army force there army into retreat from a mistake or lucky roll of the dice.

to add a twist to this thread i add 2 questions. what is your favorite style of play? and what is your most memorable moment from playing minatures?

clockworkjoe

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Re: What Wargames are you playing?
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2017, 04:47:43 PM »
BTW i actually recorded a konflikt 47 game - the intro and then each player commented between turns about what was happening. I took some photos as well. I'll try to post it next month after Patrecon.

CADmonkey

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Re: What Wargames are you playing?
« Reply #5 on: November 05, 2017, 05:24:57 PM »
to add a twist to this thread i add 2 questions. what is your favorite style of play? and what is your most memorable moment from playing minatures?
I prefer a more 'casual' style of play.  I've never gotten into tournaments or cared for the overcompetitive attitude many wargamers develop from being immersed in the "all wargaming is tournaments" culture that many gaming companies encourage these days.  I also quite like games with interesting scenarios, ones that incorporate uneven/asymmetrical forces, or an interesting narrative element.  I often see games like those still being run at one of the local gaming conventions.

I have trouble picking out a most memorable wargaming moment.  It's games I ran (which I haven't done for years, other than demos) which I remember best:

There was a scenario a friend & I ran at a local convention after the Colonial Expeditionary Force Sourcebook came out for Heavy Gear.  The CEF forces were so horribly unbalanced, we gave them victory conditions that had nothing to do with destroying the enemy.  We explained this to the CEF players before the game, but they got so excited wiping out the Terra Novan forces, they forgot about their actual mission and lost the game!

Then their was a Heavy Gear capture-the-flag game another friend and I ran using the Duelist's Handbook and Tactical Dueling supplements.  We created a 'maze arena' that was "in-scale" with the miniatures, which meant that weapons ranges and movement allowances were scaled up on the tabletop.  Some players were so excited by the "in-scale" movement rates that they ignored our warnings and tried to race through the maze at 72-84kph!  90 degree turns are rather difficult at such speeds, and a number of spectacular crashes were the result.

One of the last big convention games that I ran was Monster Island, Using action figures and paper buildings.  I let the players crush the paper buildings whenever their monster destroyed one, that was a big hit.  I should run that again some time...

BTW i actually recorded a konflikt 47 game - the intro and then each player commented between turns about what was happening. I took some photos as well. I'll try to post it next month after Patrecon.
I've seen youtube battle reports done that way.  Civilian Gamer, a youtube channel run by a gamer who used to live around here, has quite a few video battle reports like that.
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Adam_Autist

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Re: What Wargames are you playing?
« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2017, 05:34:06 PM »
Reminds me of how SUSD did their report for Twilight Imperium.

1) Definitely a more casual player myself. But then I never found a game to sink my teeth into yet.

2) The first time I killed an Avatar of Khaine for the first time (40k 3rd ed.)

CADmonkey

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Re: What Wargames are you playing?
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2017, 11:58:40 PM »
So while waiting for Gaslands to come out later this month, some friends and I got together to try another "post-apocalyptic vehicular combat" game: Axles and Alloys II - Dork Future, a game with rules loosely based on GZG's Full Thrust.  I brought a bunch of (unpainted, unconverted) hotwheels & matchbox cars and we used minimal terrain from the supply at the FLGS, and I took a few photos:


Axles and Alloys II - Dork Future by Bryan Rombough, on Flickr

Rules, dice, terrain & a bunch of hotwheels & matchbox cars (also some dropped weapons templates that we never used).

I saw the skull terrain piece on a shelf and said "this has to be the centrepiece of the table".


First Turn by Bryan Rombough, on Flickr

Dindo (Van), Lucas (Sedan) and I (VW Buggy) accelerate from our respective corners.  Some shooting, no damage.


Second Turn by Bryan Rombough, on Flickr

I skid, almost going "off table" & fail to line up a shot on Dindo.  Lucas & Dindo exchange fire and Dindo rams Lucas.
photo from mid-turn, before the ram


Third Turn by Bryan Rombough, on Flickr

I don’t skid this turn, but overshoot my targets (should have decelerated).  Lucas & Dindo exchange fire and ram each other, Lucas’ sedan is almost destroyed.

The game was called at the end of the third turn on account of time (the FLGS was closing). We all agreed that Dindo was clearly the victor.

Fun, simple rules: three turns in under an hour.  Almost all the damage came from ramming, and we agreed the skidding rules didn’t make sense, but I’ll be happy to play A&A again.
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clockworkjoe

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Re: What Wargames are you playing?
« Reply #8 on: November 11, 2017, 04:07:18 PM »
Nice! I want to try that but I think we will delve into Dracula's America as our second skirmish game.

Adam_Autist

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Re: What Wargames are you playing?
« Reply #9 on: November 11, 2017, 05:19:11 PM »
I think if I have any money left over from Dragonmeet I'm going to buy the Infinity: Operation Icestorm starter set.

CADmonkey

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Re: What Wargames are you playing?
« Reply #10 on: November 26, 2017, 12:08:01 AM »

Demo Setup by Bryan Rombough, on Flickr

I was at Fandom II, the FLGS in centretown Ottawa, to run MFZ:RA demos today.  My friend Jon showed up, and since he's played a demo before I wanted to run something a little more like a full game for him.  I hadn't actually brought two full companies, and Jon hasn't built his own company, so we had a game that was basically just a larger demo: three frames each and one demo-style station to fight over in the centre of the battlefield.

The station was a cottage in the woods in which two genetic engineers who had developed a new strain of peach* were hiding out, waiting to defect to the free colonies or be captured by UMFL forces.

Jon, upon hearing my explanation, supplied the title for my battle report:

Bigger. Juicier. Plumper.

You can click that link for the full battle report I posted to the Mobile Frame Hangar forum, but here's a few highlight photos:


The Bright Seraphim by Bryan Rombough, on Flickr


The Dragons by Bryan Rombough, on Flickr


First Blood by Bryan Rombough, on Flickr


4th Round by Bryan Rombough, on Flickr


Awaiting Evacuation by Bryan Rombough, on Flickr

*Fighting over peaches is a running gag from the first edition of the game, so I try to work peaches into the objective of all my demo games.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2017, 12:47:51 PM by CADmonkey »
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CADmonkey

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Re: What Wargames are you playing?
« Reply #11 on: November 26, 2017, 04:39:15 PM »
And while I was at Fandom yesterday, I also picked up the December issue of Wargames Illustrated.  There was an article by the author of Gaslands that I wanted to read, but I think Ross might find some of the other articles interesting.  The theme for this issue is "Machine Gun" and there's an article about WWI machine guns which even has a sidebar about Zeppelin gunners!  And there's also an article about using WI's Django miniature in Dracula’s America!
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CADmonkey

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Re: What Wargames are you playing?
« Reply #12 on: December 02, 2017, 04:46:40 PM »
Here's an interview with Mike Hutchinson, the author of Gaslands: Meeples & Miniatures – Episode 235 – Gaslands.  The interview begins at about 45 minutes.

Good interview by the sounds of things.  I didn't quite follow the description of the movement rules but they sound like they could be interesting.  The shooting rules sound like another variant on the Full Thrust beam cannon rules (though a little different from Axles and Alloys).  And I heartily agree with Hutchinson's comments about campaign rules and especially the Necromunda-style injury rules that people always say they want, even though no-one actually likes them in play.  I've tried running a few wargaming campaigns & leagues, and they all* fell apart when players found themselves falling behind with no possibility of catching up.

I have a copy of the Gaslands pdf now, and I'll be reading through the rules soon.


*with one notable exception: there was a Heavy Gear Duelling league which I repeatedly rebooted with new houserules as one of the players kept abusing the team creation rules and bringing utterly broken teams that ruined everyone else's fun to the games.  Years later, that munchkin player revealed to me that he had been a playtester on the HG Duelling supplement we were using, and had warned the publishers about all the loopholes he had found prior to publication.  But apparently he didn't see fit to discuss this with me as I was trying --and failing-- to get that duelling league started.  >:( ::)
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clockworkjoe

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Re: What Wargames are you playing?
« Reply #13 on: December 04, 2017, 01:12:52 AM »


*with one notable exception: there was a Heavy Gear Duelling league which I repeatedly rebooted with new houserules as one of the players kept abusing the team creation rules and bringing utterly broken teams that ruined everyone else's fun to the games.  Years later, that munchkin player revealed to me that he had been a playtester on the HG Duelling supplement we were using, and had warned the publishers about all the loopholes he had found prior to publication.  But apparently he didn't see fit to discuss this with me as I was trying --and failing-- to get that duelling league started.  >:( ::)

what a lame-o

Jason is going to start a Konflikt 47 campaign this month. Should be fun!