Posts Tagged ‘Force on Force’

I’m very pleased to share the early reviews of Cold War Gone Hot, for which I was the lead author:

Overall, I am quite pleased by the early feedback. Most of the criticism is for a few typos and the desire for more content (always a challenge in this industry), but everyone seems to like the three-part format and the “Hollywood-style” scenarios. I am very honored to have worked with such a great team — Shawn, Rich, Jim and Piers, as well as the many other contributors. Dixie did a great job with the maps and my thanks to Osprey Publishing as well. I only hope the next book I’m working on turns out as well.



Well, it’s official. I now join the ranks of people with two jobs, but this newest addition to my responsibilities is a fun and welcome one! I have joined Ambush Alley Games as a member of their board of directors. Here is the press release:

Shawn, Peggy and Robby Carpenter are a great group of people with whom to be in business. They are talented, fun and very collaborative by nature. I am looking forward to a long, long relationship with Ambush Alley Games.

It’s been a few weeks since Historicon, so I think I’m ready to run a game of Force on Force/Tomorrow’s War again without physically twitching. In honor of the new “Crustie” force I just acquired on eBay (15mm aliens based on the Prawns from District 9) and the upcoming release of the hardbound Tomorrow’s War, we will be playing a Tomorrow’s War scenario of my own devising, pitting some USMC troops against assaulting Crustie forces. I really want to go for a Battlefield: LA type game, so this should be fun.

Game time as always is 1 PM on Sunday at Unique Gifts and Games in Grayslake, IL. Also, I need to put a few restrictions on participation moving forward. To be fair to the regular players and participants, we will no longer be accepting players under 12 years of age. Why? First of all, the game and its mechanics are not simple, and while we are happy to teach newcomers how to play, we tend to spend a lot of time going over the same ground with folks that are too young. Second, the miniatures and scenery we use are not toys, but detailed models. We’ve recently had some damage from inexperienced fingers and we’d rather spend our time painting new stuff than fixing old things. Third, and most importantly, we are here to enjoy ourselves and play the game with people who share our love of the game. We are not babysitters. We had an instance recently where a parent dropped their kid off at the game and then left to run errands.

The other restrictions on game participation are: 1) regulars and people who contact me in advance have precedence; and 2) I have the final say on who is playing. We are generally very accommodating in terms of getting people into the game, but when we are playtesting specific scenarios or the game we’ve set up has a fixed number of players, I need people to respect those facts. Remember, Unique Gifts and Games runs both ‘open’ and ‘closed’ events. Just because it’s being run at UGG doesn’t mean you get an automatic berth. We are currently an ‘open’ event (with the above restrictions). I’d prefer to keep it that way.

I didn’t get much of a chance when I got back from Historicon to show how our tables fared the trip to Valley Forge, but here they are. First is the Golan Heights/Valley of Tears board:

Syrian T-62s mass for a charge up hill.

Looking up hill at the Israeli Sho'ts

Now a few shots from the Bala Baluk board from Afghanistan. This is Scenario 13 in the new Operation Enduring Freedom book for Force on Force.

Some Elheim Taliban in the trenches waiting to ambush

We had to mount the trees on washers for transport. Our original plan was to insert them directly into the boards, but this proved impossible given the space limitations of the family mini-van.

Some of Shawn Carpenter's scratch-built 20mm buildings

The USMC vehicles start the scenario immobilized

Another view, along with some USMC rescuers...

Overall, we ran both games Thursday-Saturday in the Dealer Hall and ran 50+ through the scenarios. We had lots of interest and went back to our hotel exhausted, but happy, each night. Our return drive of 13 hours went uneventfully and the boards returned home intact. In fact, we only suffered one minor ding in transport that was quickly fixed with flock. On the miniatures side, two vehicle machine guns were casualties and both were easily repaired in minutes, so I judge Historicon to be a bloodless victory for our demo team!

My friend Skip Peterson of Legends in Time has been busy working on the terrain boards for the Ambush Alley Games demos at Historicon. I thought I’d share a couple of photos of the work in progress. We still need to do a bit of drybrushing and add trees/buildings, but here is the 4′ x 8′ board for the Afghanistan Bala Baluk scenario:

A view of the irrigation ditch and trenches.

You can see some of the fields in place at the edge of the table. The scenario is set in November.

A few USMC figs (Elheim 20mm) in place on the board for scale.

Skip has outdone himself this time! I hope everyone enjoys the terrain at Historicon.

We have been busy with the two games for Historicon for Ambush Alley Games, and Shawn Carpenter gave me the green light to post a few photos “in advance” to whet the appetite. First up are a few shots of the 17 Syrian T-62s for the “Encounter on the Yehudia Road” scenario from the 1973 Arab-Israeli conflict. These figures were graciously donated by Geoff at QRF.

QRF T-62s in 15mm painted as Syrians

Closer shot of T-62s

These tanks are nearly finished. All I need to add are some of the machine guns and give them a final seal. For those interested, I primered them Army Painter “Army Green”, then airbrushed them with a pale sand and dark gray overspray. Weathering was a red-brown wash for the bogey wheels, with progressive drybrushes of khaki and pale sand. Since I couldn’t find any suitable decals in 15mm, I went all out and hand painted all the arabic numerals on the turrets. Information on insignia and numbering for Syrian vehicles is somewhat sketchy, but most sources show a 3-digit turret number. Sometimes the numbers were shown in a dotted box, but I elected to go the easier route. I’m very happy with how these have turned out. As for the camouflage colors, again, there is little to go on. I elected to follow the scheme in the Concord publication for 1948-1873 Wars of the Middle East. I have seen other pictures where the yellow was more bright, the green another color and the gray omitted, to name but a few options.

As for their opponents, Geoff again supplied us with Centurion 5/2s, which I have painted as Israeli Sho’ts for the game. Yes, there are a few differences between the Centurion 5/2 and the Sho’t, but most are minor at 15mm scale.

QRF 15mm Centurion Sho'ts

Closer view of Sho'ts

Again, there was a lack of 15mm decals readily available, so I hand painted the company chevrons and Hebrew platoon/tank designations on the fenders. The tanks were primered in Army Painter “Skeletal Bone” and airbrushed with Testor’s Israeli Armor Sand. I then painted the treads and bogey wheels in dark gray, followed by successive drybrushes of khaki and pale sand for weathering. The eight tanks in the scenario represent three platoons (with battle losses) and a company command vehicle. All that remains is the addition of the turret MGs and we are ready to go for Historicon.

The Yehudia Road action will feature 25 vehicles total and is designed to showcase the new armor rules in Force on Force. The action represents part of the last stand of an Israeli tank platoon against a full brigade of Syrian armor in the opening days of the conflict. The platoon held until reinforcements arrived, thanks in part to the superior gunnery of the Israeli tankers and in part because of the elevation involved. The Soviet-made tanks could not elevate their barrels high enough to hit the Israelis until they had closed the range. We’ve played the scenario a number of times and it still remains a tense action until the end. We’re looking forward to running it for everyone.

Well, our turn out on Sunday was not great, so we did not get a chance to do Cold War Gone Hot playtesting. Instead, I worked up a small Tomorrow’s War scenario that Shawn Carpenter has agreed to post up as a freebie on the new Ambush Alley Games website.

And speaking of the new website, here it is: Several members of my staff at work; Devin Barth, Zach Landua and Adam McCrimmon took on the challenge of a side job with me as a client and delivered what I think is one of the best wargaming manufacturer’s sites in the industry. Hats off to my boys! Woo hoo! I know Shawn and Peggy are thrilled with it, and I hope you like it, too.