Print and Play board game Tutorial.

I recently bought YAAH! magazine number 9 as I was interested in the game based around the battle of Donetsk Airport in 2014-15, rather than pay a lot to have the printed version shipped across the Atlantic I bought a PDF from Wargames Vault:

http://www.wargamevault.com/product/214499/Yaah-Magazine-and-Complete-Wargame-9?src=hottest

I thought I’d share a quick tutorial on how I made the game.

First things first is to print the relevant game components and counters, I think that YAAH! uses American rather than British paper sizes which makes things a little more complicated.. I don’t have an A3 printer so I tiled the game board across three sheets, likewise the counters were spread across two pages. I printed them out using the highest print settings on to matte photo paper.

Next I assembled what I needed:

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Scissors, metal ruler, cutting mat, glue- I used Fast Tack glue, I find it better than PVA for gluing paper as it is less runny, Craft knife- use a new blade; the usual caveats about sharp things apply, clear sticky backed plastic- very Blue Peter I know, and a seam roller – meant to press the seams of wall paper flat it is great for getting things properly stuck down, I used mount board from the local arts and crafts shop as a base for both the game board and the counters.

Firstly I tackled the game board:

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When I tiled the board for printing I allowed for an overlap, I then trimmed each page down for gluing onto the mount board. I decided to work from right to left overlapping as I went, so cut the print outs down accordingly.

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Squirt some glue on to the back of the first piece.

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Then spread it out into a thin layer to get a nice even coat of glue using an off-cut of cardboard.

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Then using the roller ensure that the whole piece is firmly stuck down.

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Repeat the procedure for the next, middle piece…

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… and also the final piece, get the pages lined up whilst the glue still allows you before pressing the page into place using the roller.

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The three pieces stuck down together.

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Carefully trim the excess off to leave the game board.

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Layout a section of the clear sticky backed plastic, sticky side up and the carefully place the trimmed game board face down on to it. Once again use the roller to ensure good adhesion.

Next I moved on to making the counters.

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One page was roughly trimmed, then glued and rolled as before on to the mount board.

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Then both sides of the counter sheets were carefully trimmed to the exact, same size before they were stuck together. Makes sure that the glue is spread everywhere on the counter sheets as they will be cut up into small sections, and blank un- glued patches will cause problems later on.

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Now you should be left with the two faces glued to either side of the mount board properly lined up.

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The final job is to cut out the counters, an sharp bladde is essential here to ensure a clean cut.

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The finished result, not bad for an hours work, with the thickness of the card and the sticky backed plastic the components are surprisingly durable.

Cheers,

 

Pete.

 

 

 

Back to Africa with 5core Skirmish.

Last week I hadn’t had the time to prepare a game like I usually do so Evan had an idea for a skirmish based, I think, on the ‘Tears of the Sun’ film he is a fan of… I’m not sure I’ve not seen the film.

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(Apologies for the picture quality as I was using the camera on my phone.)

 

He had a group of 6 SOF (2 M203s, 2 M4 Assault Rifles, 1 Light Machine Gun, 1 Sniper) types whilst I had a group of African militia (Mostly AKs with a RPD, a RPK and a few PPSh SMGs). After entering the village Evan’s figures had to search the buildings until the Doctor was located, I wrote down where I had hidden him.

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This was the table. I set up in a rough circle protecting the centre of the village whilst Evan’s forces could enter from any side.

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Evan moved his men in carefully clearing as the went covered by a sniper he put up a tree.

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I tried to slow their advance with my RPK wielding figure but he was taken out by the sniper.

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At times the fighting degenerated into a violent melee as I tried to force the SOF back. With 12 figures to his 6 I tried to win by a bloody process of attrition.

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At the games end Evan had searched all the buildings which have had their roofs taken off in the above picture. Unfortunately he didn’t find the doctor; I had hidden him in the toilets which is where Evan said he’d have put him too.

My attritional tactics worked in the end just. Evan failed a squad morale roll before I did and withdrew from the field.

In retrospect it was a good fun game but would need tweaking a bit if we were to play it again. Both the SOF types and the African militia had the same chance of shooting each other which seemed wrong given the vast difference in marksmanship skills so I think that more use of the skills and benefits that are in the rules will give a better feel for the game.

The plan is to try a stealth type game next.

Cheers,

 

Pete.

 

This War of Mine- the board game.

A few years ago a small indie computer game came out that became a bit of a cult hit and broke the stereotypes as to what a ‘war’ game was all about. Based on the experiences of civilians trapped in Sarajevo amongst over places, This War of Mine is a survival SIM where you direct a group of survivors trying to scrounge for food, barter for goods and fend off bandits. Whilst the game was not graphic in the gory sense it pulled no punches as to the mental breakdown and hardships suffered by the civilians under your control. Having a character commit suicide whilst under your control is an emotive experience that is simply not present in most other games. It should go with out saying that this is a pretty powerful game rather than a bit of whimsy.

A years or so ago a board game version was launched via kickstarter and I backed the campaign. Yesterday my pledge for the base game and a few expansions arrived. I’ve not had the chance to play or even read the rules yet but I thought I’d share some pictures.

 

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The basic game and the kickstarter extras in the brown card box.

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The components seem high quality. A nice touch is the pad of mini maps to record your progress in the game allowing you to ‘save’ your progress so you can spread your game over several sessions.

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The game board; the art style has been directly lifted from the computer game.

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The plastic figures that come with the game are pretty decent.

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A bit of an empty box but it made sense for shipping purposes. Other backers may of had more in their box as didn’t get all the extras that were on offer.

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Some of the stretch goal extra figures and a rather nice statue piece of terrain.

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The the paper extras were safely packed in a stiff envelop.

 

I’m really looking forward to giving the game a go, it came with a ‘ read this first book’ (something that I think is always a good idea so it should be an easy game to pick up. I’ll blog again when I’ve had a chance to play it.

 

Cheers,

 

Pete.

 

A first try at 5core Skirmish (3rd Edition).

I, like most wargamers I think, am never 100% fully satisfied with any given rule set and so I go through stages of tweaking bits, rewriting others or adding bits in. Also I’m always keen to try a new set of rules to see if the grass is greener on the other side. The obvious answer would be to write my own set but that is always easier said than done.

Given how much I and the others have enjoyed playing Nordic Weasel’s 5core Brigade Commander rules in 6mm I decided to pick up one of their skirmish sets from Wargames Vault and give it a go.

I grabbed what was handy fromthe shed and Brian and I had a quick run through of the rules. I set up a 4 by 4 table (I’ll say here that we played with all measurements doubled) to look a bit like Rhodesia (Zimbabwe). The light green patches were  bits of scrub, mid green defined the edge of woods.

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Brian got 2 four man teams of RLI each with 3 FN FALs and 1 FN MAG:

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Whereas I got 10 assorted ZANLA (5 AK, 2 SKS, 2 PPSh, 1 RPD), all of the figures were from Under Fire Miniatures.

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My ZANLA move up the left flank.

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Whilst others advance into the kraal.

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The RLI move into position at the edge of the woods, this was just before we found out how powerfully an FN MAG is.

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We used a lot of counters (Green= hidden, Orange= fired, White= Panic, Red= Knocked Down, blood splat= out of action) I know that is not to all gamer’s tastes but for me function follows form if it for the sake of game play.

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RLI advancing through the scrub on the ZANLA right flank.

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In my last two turns I managed to combine a scurry followed by a fire fight; I got my men into position weathered the return fire then was in a good place to shoot. I took a few casualties (4 out of the fight) but I gave the RLI a bloody nose (2 out of the fight) which historically they would have found hard to countenance.

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First impression on the game were overwhelmingly positive from both of us- clear rules and it played nice and quickly too, ideal for a mid- week evening. The mechanisms are very similar to the brigade level game but feel right for a smaller level of play. Having three reserve activation dice to use throughout the game is a nice feature, standing in for the asset cards in Brigade Commander. The RLI didn’t do as well as they should have, even with the tactical advantage, but if we re run the scenario I’ll add in some skills to boost their performance. I wanted to keep things simple for a first run through.

The only two minor quibbles would be how to have assault and bolt action rifles on the table at the same time. We decided to just treat the AKs and FN FALs as infantry rifles and the SKS as a single shot rifle to provide some differentiation.

Also I’d have like to see some rules for medics too – but that can be easily house ruled (and that takes us back to the top of the post).

I’m very taken with the set and am already planning future games as well as tie ins with our 6mm Cold Wars games in a mini campaign.

Cheers,

 

Pete.

 

Where we are going we need roads….

As you will have seen from past posts I’ve been getting into 6mm ‘Cold War goes hot’ gaming recently. However I’ve been unhappy with roads I’ve used for my games: I just used the thinnest dirt roads from my 20mm collection. Whilst they did the job I’ve been on the look out for a more suitable replacement and after considering a few options I’ve made my own (kind of).

 

Firstly I purchased this rather nice  PDF from Wargames Vault:

http://www.wargamevault.com/product/196057/Roads-1-285

Being multilayered you can selected the different types of road marking and road surfaces before printing them out. I went for European markings and dirty asphalt dry before getting them printed out (Cheers Brian). I then used the technique I had previously utilized to make megagame counters and stuck them on to self adhesive floor tiles (4 for £1). You can get thicker more durable tiles from places other than pound shops but they need to be cut with a blade and ruler rather than scissors that slows down production.

I went from this:

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To this:

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I tidied up the edges and added a bit of weathering with marker pens and pencil crayons to give a bit of variety:

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I did plenty to give enough variety to the road layouts. The vinyl tiles give them a bit of flexibility but I don’t know how well they’ll drape over hills… Gentle slopes should be OK.

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I made up a quick layout so I could see how they look:

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You get a decent selection of parts although I’d have liked to see a single into dual carriage way connector. I grabbed some 6mm toys to see how they scaled (Heroics and Ros based on 50mm and 30mm squares for 5core Brigade Commander):

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Overall I’m really pleased with how they look. I’ll get a game in with them as soon as possible to try them out.

 

Cheers,

 

Pete.

 

Some 6mm terrain.

MDF laser cut terrain has really taken off in the wargames world in recent years, I’ve been buying the odd bit for my 20mm collection for a few years now but have only just got round to getting some for my 6mm games.

 

I bought three buildings from Blotz to try. The bigger buildings come in sections and it is a nice touch that you are able to buy ruined levels to have the same building with different levels of destruction.

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Construction was simple enough using PVA glue and following the online instructions. I took my time and let sub assemblies dry before moving on to the next stage. MDF can soak up paint due to its porus natures so the buildings got two coats of spray paint (from pound shop cans) before I went at them with hobby acrylics.

 

Overall I’m impressed with them and will order some more further down the line.

http://blotz.co.uk/

 

I recently pick up some small pieces of 6mm scatter terrain from Leven Miniatures to use as markers and objectives. I went for the fuel dumps, supply dumps and the sandbags.

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The above strips of sandbags are intended to be put just infront of a company base (50mm square for 5core: Brigade Commander) to show that it is dug in. I’ll be after a few more bits from Leven next time I see them at a wargames show.

http://www.levenminiatures.co.uk/

Cheers,

 

Pete.