Sergeants on the Table

During a brief fit of insanity a few weeks back, I decided that beyond a doubt I needed to take yet another miniatures game for a test drive. I don’t know what it is about “figure gaming” that appeals to me, but sometimes I see a game or read about it and I realize that I’m not going to get it out of my head until I give it a whirl.

So I sucked up my retail courage and bought “Day of Days”, the starter box set for the Sergeants Miniatures Game published by Lost Battalion.

When I ordered it, I understood that it wasn’t your normal miniatures game. It’s part of a gaming sub-genre that’s a cross between a miniatures game and a board wargame. Some of the elements of the game are familiar to every miniatures gamer: 20mm figures, pre-fabricated bases and a ruler for measuring distance. In place of a large tabletop strewn with model terrain, however, the game is played on a highly stylized board and uses cards — no dice — to drive the action and resolve combat. Continue reading

Guns Along the Narva

In between assorted adventures in reality, lately I’ve been on a small binge of experimenting with off-brand wargames. By “off brand” I mean games produced by companies other than the usual alphabetical suspects like GMT, MMP, LNL, ATO or DG. It’s taken a while to get these new games onto the table, but I’m finally starting to make some progress.

And I haven’t even needed therapy.

The first of the batch to get seriously de-boxed and deployed beneath the plexiglass is a short-run production from Three Crowns Games in Sweden called “Army Group Narwa” — or “Narva” as I learned it in my distant and misspent youth.

Army Group Narva setup

AG Narwa - setup around the city.

It’s not one of the better known campaigns on the East Front, but it’s pretty interesting. What’s a Narva? It’s a city — located on the Narva River — on the border between Estonia and (nowadays) Russia. After the Leningrad-Novgorod offensive of January 1944, Stalin wanted the Red Army to overrun Estonia as quickly as possible. Unfortunately for the Soviet Leningrad Front, the Germans were pretty good at defending marshy, mucky rivers and “as quickly as possible” turned out to be more on the order of seven months. Continue reading

Warhammer 40k 6th Edition: Dark Vengeance

OK. Well…

Two months later, 40k stuff is still on the front burner — such as it is around here in slackerland. No real reason for the hiatus. Just one thing led to another and there was a nice, long break in the blog.

It’s true: Warhammer 40k 6th Edition has me moderately inspired to fiddle with the plastic crack again. I’ve been working on a batch of fresh figures and some vehicles that will finish off a hefty Space Marine roster I started in the wayback. Once I’ve gotten them all painted up, it will be just about time to move along to building some Chaos Space Marines.

I started collecting CSM quite a few years ago, right about the time the 4th Edition rules came out, I think. I’ve never built a single one of them. Oh, there are all kinds of excuses between the collecting and the table top. Different job, marriage, new house, smaller game space, bigger yard, kid, kid’s school, another different job, then back to the original different job. My goodness a lot has changed in the last 8 years or so… Continue reading

Looking at More Changes in Warhammer 40k 6th Edition

I first got stuck in to Warhammer 40k right after the publication of the 3rd Edition rules, way back in 1998. I was familiar with the 40k 2nd edition rules, but hadn’t been captured by them. Something about 40kv3 clicked for me, though. My eight-foot table (this was before the onset of my domestic marrieditis) hosted plenty of knock-down, drag-out fights.

The new 6th edition rules feature the most extensive set of changes to the game system since that long-ago leap from 2nd to 3rd edition. Fourth and 5th editions featured changes of their own, of course, but many of them were minor, or updates that could be classified as either streamlining or clarifications. The 4th edition update, I remember, lavished quite a bit of attention on changes in the Assault Phase. They generated a lot of discussion at the time, but those changes were nothing like the new Assault Phase we’ve gotten with 40kv6. Continue reading

Warhammer 40k 6th Edition. Already?

As you might surmise from my long-ago recent posts on Dust Tactics, I am something of a plastic crack addict. I don’t know what it is about gaming with miniatures that grabs my attention so much — maybe it’s a throwback to all those days spent in backyard dirt piles with toy soldiers when I was 5 — but there it is.

I enjoy Dust Tactics, even though it’s not truly a “tabletop” battle game. And I was just starting to get a feel for Dust Warfare, the tabletop system for the same minis range, when along came Games Workshop’s release of the 6th Edition rulebook for Warhammer 40,000. While 40k wasn’t the first minis game I took up, it is the game that I’ve spent the most time and money on. So there wasn’t any question what was going to happen when the new edition rules came out. Yep, tabletop wargaming’s big dog is back on my blog. Continue reading

Missing Inaction

Contrary to what it may appear, I ain’t dead — and neither is this blog.

Anybody see a pattern? It never fails. Things are rolling along, I’ve got a bunch of blogging irons in the fire and then poof! Real life interference blows the whole thing to hell and gone and it’s two months before I manage to remember that I have a blog.

In this instance, the real life interference is entirely my own doing. All of the blog damage is completely self-inflicted.

Some of you may have been thinking that one of the graphic artists or designers I panned in my ‘geometry’ post back in April showed up at my door with an old Macbook and clubbed me to death. Nope. I just decided to wander off and fiddle with something else for a while. It’s how I roll. Continue reading