Thursday, February 26, 2015

11th Annual Wargaming Birthday Bash

For the last decade and a bit I’ve been celebrating my birthday with friends, dice and little men made of lead. Sometimes it’s just one big game the evening or afternoon of my birthday – or other times it’s been an entire weekend affair on a weekend close to my birthday.

For this year I’d originally planned to run a Song of Shadows and Dust campaign over the Family Day long weekend two weeks ago… but that kind of fell through. I DID end up playing games all weekend - which was super fun – it wasn’t quite the minicon/campaign weekend it’s been in the past… and it was two weeks ago… it was more… well… a long weekend of playing games with the family (and a few friends) and didn’t seem at all connected with my birthday (except for the fact that "John brought me two Dr. Grogdbort graphic novels as a birthday present!

I briefly considered setting something up for my actually birthday (last night)… but never got around to organizing anything or inviting anyone… so my birthday this year was rather…. “low key”…

We started off the day with Amanda scurrying off to work while the kids and I dragged our butts out of bed. After breakfast and violin practice we did  a bit of reading – finishing off a book about Atalanta (the ancient Greek heroine). Then we had a bit of a climbing jam:

The Boy.

Not bad for an old feller... 

It makes me weep to think I was once that flexible... 

After lunch we played Olympus (I totally forgot to take a picture for this report… doh!) and I totally crushed the kids again… or maybe they let me win – because it WAS my birthday…

After that I had to haul The Girl out to her jazz dance class. When we got home and supper had been eaten and baths had been had and Amanda went out to teach her Wednesday evening yoga class, the kids and I had been planning to just play another board game or card game… but I got thinking it’s been and awfully long time since we’ve actually PLAYED a miniature game… and I’d been rereading Fear and Faith and the kids have their own zombie and survivor miniatures that they’ve never actually got to play with… so I talked them into letting me set up a little zombie scenario and we had a private little Wargaming Birthday Bash after all…

Fear and Faith


WE pretty much used the “Zombie Infestation” scenario right out of the book, with the exception that the survivors had only 200 points and the zombies had 300.

 Also I added that the survivors were looking for supplies and could alternately win if the could locate 3 batches of supplies and exit with them off their own table edge. To locate supplies they had to enter a building then spend an entire turn searching it (quality roll on three dice – 2+ successes = supplies found, 1 success = try again next turn, 3 failures = no supplies in this building). Supplies were heavy and required two hands to carry – one person could do it but move would be reduced to short, if two carried it they could move at medium. An action was required to pick it up. If engaged by zombies they automatically dropped the goods.

 Some of the zombies could also be hidden in buildings – I dug out my old Zombie Hot Spot Markers to mark the different buildings (1-6 – though I suppose The Boy could just have easily written the names of the businesses for the buildings which zombies were hidden in…).


The Survivors – played by The Girl

 (All of these were assembled and painted by The Girl – cut her some slack, she’s 8 years old…)

Amanda – Zombie Hunter with Chainsaw
Q 3+, C 2, 52 points, Chainsaw

Shelly – Zombie Hunter with Machete
Q 3+, C 3, 36 points, Heavy Weapon

Susan – Zombie Survivor with SMG
Q 4+, C 2, 24 Points, SMG (+1, Medium, Move & Shoot, Auto)

Sally – Zombie Survivor with SMG
Q 4+, C 2, 24 Points, SMG (+1, Medium, Move & Shoot, Auto)

Mackenzie - Zombie Survivor with Shotgun
Q 4+, C 2, 23 Points, Shotgun (+2/+1, Medium)

Jessica – Zombie Survivor with Pistol
Q 4+, C 2, 21 Points, Pistol (+1, Short)

Clarissa – Zombie Survivor with Golf Club
Q 4+, C 2, 20 Points, Heavy Weapon

The Zombies - played by The Boy

 (All of these were assembled and painted by the kids – The Boy painted the male zombies and, despite the fact that he had plenty zombies to field his own force, he borrowed a few of the female zombies from The Girl, just to have a little gender diversity among the undead. He’s thoughtful that way…)

15x Walking Dead
Q 5+, C2, 21 points, Zombie, Mindless, Short Move,

(I tired to convince him to take only 5 of the regular "Walking Dead" and 6 of "Grouped Walking Dead" with the "Mob" special rule, but he would have none of that...) 


(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)

The Kids all set up and ready to go.

Only four of The Boys zombies were out in the street. Four of them were hidden in buildings and the remaining seven were off the table waiting to come on as reinforcements. One of them only made two moves in the entire game.

I had a feeling things were going to go badly for the zombies – 5+ quality means at least two thirds of his guys are just not going to do stuff rolling two dice for activation is a pretty risky proposition… odds are it will result in the end of a turn…

Amanda the Zombie Hunter with a Chainsaw burst in the back door of Curt’s Comic Cave and found a zombie waiting in there for her.

(the buildings don't open, so anyone on the roof is actually "inside")

She quickly dissected it with her chainsaw and began to search for supplies… not sure what sort of supplies they were hoping to find in a comic store… perhaps back issues of The Walking Dead to learn more about what they’re up against?

Shelly didn’t fare so well across the street at the Supply Sergeants Surplus Store – there were two zombies waiting there for her. She put up a bit of a fight – and took out one of them – but was eventually overpowered by one and eaten…

One of the Zombies that had started in the middle of the table finally made its way to where Susan and Clarissa had been cowering since the first turn – unable to move. Amanda saw it shamble past and burst out the front door to saw it in half.

Unfortunately all this noise out in the street drew the attention of some of the zombie reinforcements.

Mackenzie tried to shoot one of the other zombies that had wandered up from mid table. Her first attempt she only had one action so could only push back or knock it down – she rolled high enough to triple it - which would have been a gruesome death for a normal person – but her shot just blew away part of its ribcage and it staggered away from her, but it shambled on. (zombies can only be taken out by AIMED short – i.e. to the head – I’d be willing to say that tripling it could cause enough trauma that it could be taken out of action in the future… we’ll see…)

The next turn she did get the two actions she needed to take an aimed shot and blew its head clean off!

Somewhere around this time the zombie that had eaten Shelly, shambled to the door and ate Sally – who had been standing there doing nothing for a few turns perhaps in shocked silence after witnessing the gory death of her comrade… or maybe she was just standing their screaming the whole time… not sure… but she got eaten too.

The reinforcement zombies tha arrived near the Comic Cave chased Susan and Clarissa out of their hiding spot. One of them gunked up Amanda’s chainsaw and caused it to stall… luckily she got it started again before anything dreadful happened.

All the ruckus – screaming and sawing and shotgun blasts – eventually drew the attention of the remaining zombie reinforcements.

Amanda steped in and sawed through two zombies that were trying to get at Susan.

Unfortunately Susan suffered a gruesome death that caused Amanda to recoil in horror and Clarissa to flee into the building. Eventually Clarrisa picked up the supplies in the building and made her way out the back door with them and back to their encampment… 

A zombie shambled forward and tried to take a bite out of Jessica, but she managed to knock it down long enough to make good her escape. At this point The Girl decided to cut her losses and try and escape with what she could.

Mackenzie knocked down a few more zombies wither shotgun, but they just wouldn’t STAY down because she couldn’t get her sh!t together enough to AIM FOR THE HEAD… Amanda finished off the zombies out front of The Comic Cave and came running to try and help Mackenzie, but she was too late. The zombies ate her and Amanda failed a fear test and ran off the table.

Of the seven that went looking for supplies only three came back.

Of the nine zombies that were killed – seven were taken out by Amanda and her chainsaw! Chainsaws are wicked awesome against zombies!

The kids had a great time – it has been WAY too long since we actually played a miniature skirmish. I think this may actually be the first one so far this year!? Hopefully this will inspire us to do some MORE!

I like Fear and Faith – there are some subtle differences between it and A Song of Blades and Heroes and – being the big dummy that I am – I sometimes had trouble keeping them straight and/or just forgot, but it made for a fun and interesting game and I’m looking forward to playing it some more! Though I’m tempted to have a go at Flying Lead… or perhaps Flashing Steel… too many games, not enough time!

Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

Not sure… more painting…? Another game report…? 


  1. Happy birthday...

    PS. Awesome climbing wall....

  2. Happy belated birthday Tim...great climbing wall...weep away, I certainly won't judge, lol. Great report.

  3. If that isn't the perfect day I don't know what is. Happy Birthday mate!

    1. Thanks Millsy! It certainly was a fabulous day. I can't think of anything I'd rather do on my birthday!

  4. Hope you had a great birthday.

    A younger, slimmer would have loved the climbing wall too.



    1. Thanks Pete!

      (I ain't all that young or slim anymore...)

  5. Happy birthday!

    You have a climbing wall in your house!? awesome

    No need to cut the girl some slack on her miniatures. She did a great job.

    1. Thanks!

      Yeah, I can't get over how good she's getting (when I compare where she's at and where I was at at the same age...). She loves painting. She says stuff like "I hope I'm as good of a painter as you when I grow up" and I think "girl, you're going to be as good of a painter as my by the time you're twelve..."

      Our Reaper Miniatures Bones II Kickstarter arrived today... That should keep her busy - for a few months!

  6. Happy Birthday, Tim!

    How did you anchor the climbing nobs to the wall? I would think that they would pull out of regular wallboard.

    1. Thanks Gordon!

      That isn't regular wallboard - it's 3/4" G1S plywood - with a grid of holes drilled in and T-nuts banged in and glued on the backside before they were hung up so the climbing holes can be bolted on in a variety of different places.

  7. Happy birthday!

    Wow! You have climbing in your house? I have never heard of such a thing. Good for you!
    Really enjoy reading about your gaming exploits with your family.

    You and your family are a model of togetherness.

    Well done!

    1. Thanks Jonathan!

      We hadn't really planned a climbing wall. We did some renovations a year or so ago and those new walls went up and originally I'd planned on covering them with bookshelves (I imagined with a rolling ladder, but in reality I'd probably just have bought a dedicated step stool...) and when they went up I made the mistake of saying that we've be able to make a wicked cool climbing wall there and Amanda said "We COULD?" and latched onto that idea like a pitbull and... well... we ended up with a climbing wall instead of a bookshelf...

      (it's okay, I built a bookshelf on the opposite wall and will build another downstairs at some point)