Sunday, May 4, 2008

Status Report

There’s going to be a few changes around here in Tim’s Miniature Wargaming world….

Where to start…

First I’ve cancelled my regular, weekly Thursday historical miniatures gaming night – so there won’t be so many AARs for a while. As the days get longer (and warmer!) Gary will off to the cabin, Christian will be off to play war and/or teach or take various courses, and John will be insanely busy building his new house. Britton… well I haven’t actually SEEN him since last September anyway…. Maybe I’ll try and get this going again in October – after ‘cross season…

As for me I’ve got other tings to do as well. Any who know me, or read this blog regularly will know that I’m a pretty dedicated and productive hobbyist! I don’t watch TV or play computer games so I manage to get a LOT of stuff accomplished, especially over the last couple of years. This, however, has come at a bit of a cost. I’m turning into a fat, fat bastard.

Now at just under 100kg (215lbs) many of you will probably won’t think I’m all that damn fat. As my sole modes of transportation are walking of biking I probably am a bit more fit than most gamer-types I know. I am feeling big enough around the mid-section to be uncomfortable on the drops (the lower part of drop handlebars) so something has to be done.

While my family was away last week I planned on doing a series of EPIC rides to kind of get “back in the saddle again” and going on rides just to go on rides – not just to get from Point A to Point B around town. I was going to work my way up to 100km rides by the weekend. Then it snowed… and rained… and froze… and then snowed some more… I did manage to set up the much-neglected trainer by the computer and watched a few DVDs while spinning up a storm! I’ve also been trying to lay off on the Root Beer and licorice. Anyway I am going to try and spend a considerably larger chunk of my spare time riding and getting fit again…. Maybe even “race fit” to do some Cyclocross in the fall…

I’m not saying I’m going to be quitting the wargaming altogether. Not by any stretch of the imagination! I’m just not going to be enjoying the same high level of productivity and regular gaming that I have over the past two years or so…

Savage Saturdays

I have a very regular group of guys that come over on Saturday evenings and play Savage Worlds. Right now we’ve got a pretty good Savage Worlds: Pirates of the Spanish Main campaign going on. That will continue!

Out of Town Gaming

I’ve bailed on Mayday this weekend… got some work on the house to finish up that I didn’t get done while the family was away.

A friend in Regina was planning a gaming weekend in June (I think) and I’m still hoping to make it to that…if it happens. I am also still planning on heading out to Calgary for an extended weekend to hook up with the John (et al) for some serious dice-tossing…

Of course if the price of gas (and bus tickets) triples…. I may have to rethink these…

The blog

I’m not going to be posting quite as regularly. I’d like to set aside some specific time each week that I can write draft a post about what I’ve been doing over the last week. I’m thinking either Sunday morning or evening… Hopefully I’ll get posting a little more regularly on the Other Blog.

Wargames Weekend(s) ‘09

There will likely be some changes to the previously announced Wargames Weekend ‘09. Originally this was to be a Wargames Weekend in February and it was going to have a “Quebec 1759” theme to it. Due to the anticipated downshift in productivity this is not likely to be possible. Instead I am thinking I might do a Quebec 1759 weekend later in the year. Perhaps it could be in September, which would be closer to the anniversary anyway…

I would, however, still kind of like to have a Wargames Weekend in February. To gurantee it’s success I’d like to plan something that I already HAVE most of the stuff I’d need already complete. I’d also like to have the weekend be a mini campaign of sorts. Right now I’m considering a couple basic formats with a multitude of possible themes/specific settings for each.

One option would be an “All Quiet” Campaign. The inspiration for this comes from an article in Wargames Illustrated (#101, Feb 1996) by Richard Crawley. Though originally written as a mini-campaign for modern skirmishes in Chechnya it could easily work for any modern (or not so modern…) campaign where there are lines that have been stabilized and the main fighting is going on somewhere else – indeed I have run this campaign with different rules set on the Eastern front in World War Two.

The campaign will involve two opposing platoon sized units doing a turn in the lines for three days. Each day will consist of two campaign turns; one day, one night, for a total of six sessions/scenarios. During each turn the commander of the respective platoons will be given missions to carry out. Successful completion of the missions will gain the platoon victory points – loss of their own men will lose them victory points (and the ability to successfully carry out further missions!) – thus for the platoon commander it will be an exercise in management of resources. Also using personnel for more than one turn in a row will cause the unit to be fatigued, reducing it’s combat effectiveness.

This option would work well if I had two players committed to the entire weekend (they could take on the role of platoon commanders) and just a few others that might show up for one or two sessions – the campaign could not handle more than one or two players on a side for any given session as – by the very nature of the campaign missions will generally be carried out by the minimum number of troops necessary – to keep the others “fresh” and reduce the potential for massive casualties. Indeed there were sessions where neither side made contact!

The games would be played out using Savage Worlds. Though it could take place in any number of settings it would most likely take place during World War Two simply because I have platoons of opposing forces. … Germans vs. Paras in Normandy, Germans Vs. Russians on the Eastfront (maybe even in Stalingrad – if I got a bit more ruined city terrain finished!) Germans vs. French Foreign Legionnaires in North Africa (Gazala?). Other possibilities could include Marines vs. NVA at Khe Sahn, 1968. French vs. English in some siege during the Seven Years War in North America (maybe even Quebec…?).

Another similar option would be a series of programmed scenarios – or a matrix of programmed scenarios (victory in one scenario would determine which scenario is played next) – always involving one particular unit on at least one of the sides so that there is some continuity to the campaign and decisions have to be made whether discretion is the better part of valour and saving the unit is more important that accomplishing certain missions, etc.….

This could be with ANYTHING I can currently field either skirmish games using Savage Worlds and 28mm figures or a larger scale (of action) and some appropriate rules (BKG, CWC, WM, etc…).

The other option would be a warband/every-man-for-himself weekend – the most obvious example of this would be Mordhiem. Everyone has a band of his own and plays against other participants in one on one or multiplayer scenarios – casualties are kept track of – some may recover, others are removed from the roster. Between games surviving members gain experience of some sort and potentially improve, new members can be recruited, new equipment purchased, etc.

In some cases some participants may be able to bring their own units – which would greatly expand the possibilities… Some of the setting options could include:

Mordheim: Bands of fantasy adventurers scour the ruined city of Mordheim for wyrdstone. The plus with this one is a number of people I know own their own warbands.

Legends of the Old West: Grab an outlaw gang or sheriff’s posse and shoot up some old west towns… I have a few old west figures of my own. not so much western buildings… but I might be able to throw together something.

Legends of the High Seas: Grab a ship and a crew and ply the high seas for adventure and gold! Ya-HARRRRR! My collection of pirates seems to be rapidly expanding I’m sure I could put together a couple of my own crews by then.

Of course any of these above could be converted to Savage Worlds…. Other Savage Skirmishing possibilities could include:

Pulp Adventure! Grab a group of intrepid adventurers: Archaeologists, Foreign Legionnaires, Nazis, Bolsheviks, Treasure Hunters, Bizarre Cultists, etc and set a course for a globe-trotting, two-fisted high adventure!

Rippers: the Horror Wars: Monsters versus Monster Hunters in the Victorian age!

Near-Future Post-Apocalypse/Zombie Plague Survivors/Scavengers…?

Any of these I could easily run at anytime, so there’s no need to decide right now – just thought I’d throw some options out there in case anyone did want to get together for a weekend in February next year. I guess the earlier we decided the more time anyone wanting to paint their own unit would have to do so (should we go with the bring your own warband option…). I’d also have more time to work on some setting specific terrain.

The other issue with a February Wargames Weekend is when to have it? I had originally said the last weekend in February to keep with the tradition of Tim’s Wargaming Birthday Bash – but two weeks earlier is a long weekend (in Saskatchewan and Alberta, at least) and a couple of people (who live in Alberta) have suggested that I move it make it easier for those who are traveling (mostly from Alberta). Now when thinking about Wargames Weekends in the past I avoided long weekends as usually people have things planned with friends and family…. So, I don’t know… If there’s anyone out there that’s thinking they might come to a gaming weekend in February (whether in town or not) would having it a week or two earlier on the long weekend (Family Day!) make it more or less likely that you would be able to show up…?

Your thoughts…? Post a comment!


  1. Good luck with the biking and getting back into shape. I should do the same, but have the opposite problem here weather-wise - days of 100 degress F plus (sometimes with a bit too much smog).

  2. Keep posting! Your stuff is really inspiring.

  3. Thanks guys!

    Fear naught! I shall keep it going!

  4. Tim,

    By all means keep posting . . . and I'm pushing 150 Kg (so you aren't the stoutest gaming blogger by a long shot).

    For old west buildings, you might want to consider getting some of the "Whitewash City" .pdfs.

    If you aren't familiar with it, here's the link:

    -- Jeff

  5. Post when the feeling overcomes you.

    A blog, after all is not more than scratches on the 'digital' wall...

  6. I am certainly down for whatever you decide for your Timfest in Feb. I have already begun knuckling CVT to make the time avail so we could carpool.

    Sorry don't have an account, but I too have a crapload of pirates/ships in 25mm we could use if I ever get around to painting

  7. Hey Tim, sorry we didn't get to see you venture forth to our fair city...yes it was SUNNY & Warm. I think you would have loved the game of Battle of Hoth I played in. We got to play the heroes & were even lucky enough to have a wee lass to play Leia. Yes we managed to withdraw our troops, though Chewie, got chewed.

  8. Alright... I'm guessing by the references to coming with CVT and pirate ships "Mr. Anonymous" is Terry... but who the heck is "Moonglum"....?

  9. Actually Moonglum is Terry, I created an account so I could post.

  10. Ah. It all makes sense to me now... sort of...