Paintless Game Prep


Since reaching my milestone of painting all of the Walking Dead Minis I had, and the resulting game thereafter, I proceeded to vanish. Ok, not really vanish, but as far as any productive hobbying, it was nil. I had a list - things to prep, spaces to prep to make room for prepping those things, and my favorite: getting things needed to prep with. I managed to put off most of it. Fine, all of it. I might do a little prep-prep (prepping for the prep work?) here and there, but nothing ever really got done. Last weekend was going to be my big push forward and finally make some progress on my list! Instead, I was hopped up on Sudafed and hoping I wouldn't have a full fledged sinus cold - I didn't have such, but I did spend a Saturday in bed/on the couch with 3 naps before 10 hrs of sleep.

So this was the weekend I would make progress! And, I did!

I don't have a lot to show for it, but that's the nature of prep-prep. The garage is now cleaned to the point I can once again use it. I have all the supplies for my home-made (looks like a) water tower project. As shown in the pic above, I've printed and cut out the templates for the 1/87 version of Gaslands.

That sounds pitiful now that I've read it back. I need to make more progress-progress.

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Walking Dead Scenario #3


After 11(ish) months of painting, making scenery, and actually playing through 2 scenarios, I finally wrapped up the Prelude to Woodbury solo missions by playing Scenario THREE. Yes, THREE. Roughly 1 game every 4 months. I freely admit the game play is an afterthought and excuse for me to make scenery and paint minis. To celebrate painting all (125) of my Walking Dead minis, I played a game. A game that needed 5 of those minis. Did I set up the basic game play area as described in the basic, rudimentary, solo play rule book?

Hell no I didn't just do that!

While I would only need 4 of my little map tiles for the required 15" x 15" play area, I wanted, nay, needed, the proper background with which to play against. Thus, another section of rural Potham, but less rural than previous games and setups, game to be.

With this fringe of Potham set, it was time to see if the Governor To Be could complete his prescribed scenario feat of capturing 4 walkers. The rules, as I read them, stated that 4 walkers had to be captured and loaded into the vehicle (see Police Truck at the bottom of the setup pics). To capture a walker, said walker had to be defeated in combat (score damage, not necessarily a headshot) which would make the walker go prone. Once prone, it could be dragged to the truck at a Sneak pace. While having a walker in tow, I could only defend and not attack any other walkers that came by. The rules also stated that walkers being dragged would make Noise. This is one of those rules I may have read wrong, especially since it was the first time I used the Noise rule, but Noise affects other walkers during the Action (first) phase of the turn. A player normally has 2 actions. As I wasn't the one actively making the noise, I decided that the Noise affect would happen at the end of the 2nd action. This would end up playing very heavily to my advantage. Also, the Solo rules have a special rule I ignore that raises the threat 1 at the end of every turn. I really don't like that rule, as it defeats my desire to sneak around and seems to just make the game (end on turns) faster.

Fluff: Brian, out to win the favor of those fools in Woodbury, has gone out to bring back more walkers to appease the folk during their arena games. 4 fresh walkers would be perfect to bring back. Brian grabbed a truck for his little adventure. Dragging walkers back by the nape of their rotting necks wouldn't be a good way to come back to the town gates. Plus, it'd be stupid. At best he could safely bring back 2. 4 is the way to go! And as luck would have it, he spotted 4 here on the outskirts of this little burb. Brian parked and got ready to bring some walkers home.

Turn: 1
Threat: 1
Fluff: Brian, armed with his pistol, decides to take a shot at the closest walker although there's a barricade in the way. He fires off a shot which hits his target but flies harmlessly through the dead flesh. The sound of the shot catches the attention of 3 walkers, with one of them advancing on top of Brian. With his guard up, Brian pistol whips the walker and knocks him down!
Game Details:

Turn: 2
Threat: 2
Fluff: After loading his first captured walker into the truck, Brian starts toward the next walker. He doesn't have to go far as one shambles toward him to attack. But Brian is on his guard and fights down this walker as easily as the previous one.
Game Details:

Turn: 3
Threat: 4
Fluff: With a grunt Brian loads his latest defeated walker into the back of the truck before capturing the attention of any other lurking walkers. Out of the corner of his eye he sees another walker getting closer.
Game Details:

Turn: 4
Threat: 5
Fluff: Taking a breath, Brian sneaks toward the walker. Trying to stay silent, he swings his pistol butt toward the zombie' head but misses. Out of instinct he brings up the knife that's in his other hand and fells the walker.
Game Details:

Turn: 5
Threat: 6
Fluff: Brian tosses walker #3 in the back of the truck - a nice little gaggle of walkers is growing back there. One more to go. Brian takes another deep breath as he readies for his final goal.
Game Details:

Turn: 6
Threat: 5
Fluff: One more walker appears and is on Brian before he knows it. Startled and out of instinct Brian fires off a shot from his pistol and hits the walker in the chest, knocking him down. Brian picks him up, the last of the group he set out to capture.
Game Details:

Turn: 7
Threat: 6
Fluff: Brian loads up the final walker. In the distance he sees a herd shamble by. It's time to crank up the truck and get back home before drawing any undo attention.
Game Details:

This was actually my second play through, as there were a couple of rules I was unclear on. The first time I won in 12 turns. There were a couple of things I did wrong as well as some die rolls going against me. This time I was successful the first time in each combat, which helped a lot. Looking back, I need to double check if picking up the prone walker to drag is an action since I ended up making it an automatic event. It also helped that Brian never had to waste movement dragging a walker back to the truck - he was always adjacent during combat. The helped both in saving an action per turn, and the walker was loaded before any Noise effects factored in.

Overall, still a fun little game.

Since I set up so much extra scenery for background, I went ahead and took some beauty shots. I had planned on more walkers coming into play via event cards, so instead of keeping them in the box to pull as needed I just set up a herd outside of play stocked up with zombies to pull. It turned out I didn't need any of them, but that's not the point.

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Time to change gears?


No minis update here. You'll have to wait a couple of days to see where the state of painting has gotten.

Thanks to an Amazon book coupon around last Black Friday, I picked up a copy of Gaslands. I like the general concept of the Osprey rulebooks - they supply the rules, it's up to you to get whatever is needed to play. It hearkens back to the days when I would read rules just to learn how a game came together with no real intention of ever playing (I don't know if this started with Star Frontiers or Gangbusters, both read through and through but never played). When I got the Gaslands book, along with the some other stuff, I did my usual thing of flipping through to see what it looked like before putting it on a shelf and mostly forgetting it was in the same house as I.

This morning during my breakfast & internet surfing I saw mention of Gaslands on one of the Board Game Geek forums. Huh, I have the rules for something with that name. I wonder if it's the same game? Other people have heard of it? Why yes, I am not the only person in the world to order a book! Before long I was perusing the Gaslands website to see that instead of downloading and printing all of the doo-dads for the game I could buy higher quality doo-dads for the game. I do love my doo-dads.

As of now, I've not yet ordered any doo-dads.

My reason for originally getting the Gaslands rulebook was to see how it fared against my all time favorite automotive combat game, Steve Jackson's Car Wars. While the excuse Jerry and I had for dropping Car Wars was that it had become bloated with a decade of additions and errata, we never really played the basic game correctly. Game rules have become a lot more streamlined since 1985. Maybe you can have the feel of cars zooming around without 3 pages of graph paper to keep track of what you need to know about your car and driver.

Now to see how inspired I am to actually try out a little mini-scenario with these rules and see how they feel. Imagine. Me. Playing a game.

So weird....

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Thunderbolt Apache Leader Boot Camp


After a long break, I finally played a game. A solo game. A game I've never played before. With all the minis painting I've been doing, it's even a game with no minis! Thunderbolt Apache Leader is a solo wargame that's been around for a while, and all the solo wargamers love it. It's a little complicated (so the reviews go) but not impossible to pick up. It's been a while since I learned a new game, but thanks to a well written manual and a handful of YouTube videos I had a decent grasp of what I needed to do.

The game has a campaigns and missions within those campaigns. Each game-day you pick enemy battalions to attack, with the makeup of that battalion defined by a card. Attack those units and units attack back. Destroy a certain percentage before you run out of fuel. Sounds simple, doesn't it?

Phase 1 is picking the campaign - I selected the introductory Iraq campaign, hoping it would be easier. Next the situation (mission) is picked, which will give the number of points available for both sides to pick forces.

Phase 2 is picking which enemy battalion to attack, which leads to setting up the map, deploying forces, and getting ready for havoc.

This leads to phase 3 - havoc.

There are plenty of rules, and I'm not going over the rules. There's rulebooks and YouTube videos for that. I picked a mission to go after an Assault Battalion. I was supposed to defeat 2 battalions in 1 (game) day for the scenario win conditions, but this is a learning session so I threw everything at the enemy. I had 1 Warthog, 4 Apaches, and a Cobra all loaded out with ordinance. I went out on the attack and things started out pretty good.

Unfortunately I didn't pay attention to enemy ranged attacks and line of sight.

The 2nd turn was horrible. My 1st 4 units that attacked, which consisted of 7 individual attacks, ALL MISSED. When flying a Warthog through hexes of 4 enemy units and you're counting on dropping bombs that will destroy everything in a hex, you should really HIT AT LEAST SOMETHING. This started a barrage of being attacked not just by units in the same hex, but usually by 1 of not 2 more hexes (since they didn't get destroyed in the last turn like they should have).

Units got damaged to the point where penalties made it impossible for them to hit enemy units. I forgot that I needed to leave the map by the end of turn 5, which meant units needed to be facing a certain way to leave the map instead of on an attack run in the wrong direction. I kind of laughed at that one, though.

While the details in the pics aren't any use below, they give a decent idea of how things move along.

The end of mission results added an extra stress on the return to base phase. When rolling the Bingo dice for the final batch of stress, poor Hammer did not fare well again, and ended up with a total of 13 stress (he's unfit to fly at 5).

The enemy force was reduced to half strength (20 or fewer points remaining on the map, there were 15) which was a moral victory as I got nothing else from it game-wise. In the campaign this would affect another mission setup though.

Under the mission scenario I was supposed to defeat 2 battalions on the first day. I deployed all of my troops after 1 battalion, leaving nothing for a 2nd attack on the first day. While I didn't lose the mission outright, I didn't win either. Granted, it was my first time to play and I really shouldn't have won, but I thought deploying everything I had would give me a better chance. Better than I ended up having, at least.

Now that I've played the game I can understand why it's gotten such good review. It's a fun game, especially for a solo game. Multiple times I said "aww, come on!" when things didn't go my way (did I mention the turn where NOTHING HIT?). There's a lot to keep up with but the game board does a good job of helping keep track what happens and in what order. After the 1st turn I was going through the motions like I'd been playing for a while.

Setup takes a while. There's lots of little chits to keep up with, sort, and assign. I've got to find a good way to store all of this so it doesn't take me an hour to go through everything and find what I need to start the next game.


January Update Time


The past few weeks have been scarce of any type of update, which may be the norm for a while. I've been staying just busy enough to forget anything interesting enough to post here on a regular basis. Give me time and I can save up, though!

One of my Christmas projects was to stick my house number on the front door so that maybe the @%@#$% FedEx guy can find my house. I wanted something a little classier than the stick-n-peel numbers you usually see on the mailbox, so I got metal stick-n-peel numbers from Amazon. The front door is metal so I couldn't screw anything into the door. I stuck them on when it was in the 20's outside, and so far they've remained stuck!

Speaking of 20's, it was cold one morning when I arrived at work. I tend to just get up and go to work when I wake up in the morning if the alarm hasn't gone off yet (which is set for 6:00). This particular morning I woke way too early and pulled into the parking lot at 6:00. I thought 6° at 6:00 had a nice sound to it. Almost as good as the time I heard a weatherman say it was "2 below in Tupelo".

Speaking of work, I'm loving working at the Dealnews thus far. I managed to finish Phase 1 of my office setup this week. Besides my work-centered Mac, I've got my old Vista powered laptop from home set up as my DVD ripper. All of those TV shows I've got and never get around to watching... well now I can have them sitting around on hard drives not being watched.

My main need for having a work office is game storage. I'm trying to keep games that have a higher probability of being played by the DN crew close at hand in the office. X-Wing is a pretty easy game to bring out. It's pretty and moves fairly fast once you get your forces picked and configured.

Formula D, from the top shelf, made it to the table for play last Friday. We had a 4-player, 1 lap race. It's the first time I've ever seen anyone start in last place yet end up winning. Even better, I was the person that started in last place. After the race, I looked up the rules we played wrong (set up cars with 30 points instead of 20, braking damage wasn't distributed amongst as many components as it should have been), but we were all playing by the same rules so it shouldn't have made too much of a difference. It was a fun game nonetheless. Hopefully we'll get to playing with some season rules so that finishing in something other than first place makes a difference.

My walking has slacked off thanks to working and the weather. It's harder to factor in a good walking time when working 8 hours and the sun going down around 5:00. This past week I've started to get back on a 3-day walking schedule. Now I have to keep it up - at least for another week!!!

For Jerry & Keith's gaming Christmas presents this year, I went the cheap(er) & hobby route. For our Frag game I decided to get some non-Frag figures, in this instance some Infinity figures. I painted them and mounted on some 3rd party bases, giving each a different color around the base edge in case it would make a difference. Jerry got the orange & green alien (possibly a chick) on the upper left, with Keith getting the goateed swordsman in the middle. I got myself the last one, which reminds me of Beachhead from the GI Joe comics.

Those are your 2015 Russellmania highlights thus far.

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