Showing posts with label boardgames. Show all posts
Showing posts with label boardgames. Show all posts

Monday, 30 October 2017


After I played my first game of GEV in about 30 years I ended up reading a bit more about it online, and realised that not only had I never owned a copy of Ogre, but that I'd never played it either. So that weekend I fished around on the 'net and managed to find a copy of the rules, an image of the original map and images to make a full counter sheet. And I made my own copy of the game.

This evening was my first chance to play it.

I ran the basic Mk III Ogre scenario. Here it is.

And the defence - 20 points of infantry, plus four GEVs, four heavy thanks and four missile tanks. I deployed the GEVs and most of the heavy tanks as a forward defence in the centre, with the infantry as a second line ready to move in any direction, and the missile tanks as fire support in the rear.

The Ogre advanced and the first wave moved to meet it. I reserved fire with the Ogre's missiles; in retrospect a mistake.

The first attack; the defenders knocked out the Ogre's main battery, and one of the secondary batteries.

The Ogre fired its missiles, aiming to take out a couple of heavy tanks, but only got one. It was now being dogged by the armour, including GEVs hovering just out of reach, and coming under attack from the infantry. One heavy tank was overrun.

The defenders' attacks quickly eliminated the remaining secondary batteries, leaving the Ogre with no option but to press forward towards the command post and try to use AP batteries of an overrun on it. The defenders started to aim for the tracks.

The end - four hexes from the command post the Ogre was immobilised.

My tactics as the Ogre were probably unsound, and maybe I should have launched some direct attacks on the defenders from the start to whittle them down. As it was I was able to mob the Ogre and keep up a steady fire to remove first its fangs and the its feet.

Better luck next time ...

Saturday, 21 October 2017


When I went away to Brisbane last week, I was travelling very light, so I threw a couple of paperbacks and some microgames in my bag. One of them was this copy of GEV, from way back in 1978 and unplayed for a good 30 years. I never got to play it whilst I was away, but it's been raining all day and I couldn't be bothered leaving the office at lunchtime and I remembered it was still in my bag. I downloaded a dice app onto my phone ...

... and away I went.

I set up Scenario 1 - Breakthrough. The Combine (Blue) have to get as many of their 12 GEVs off the opposite edge of the map as they can. The Paneuropeans (White) have to stop them. Aside from 20 points of infantry, I selected 2 howitzers and 4 light tanks for the Paneuropeans.

I had an hour in which to sort out the counters, brush up on the rules, set up the scenario and play. Limited time meant I opted for a simple approach of running straight at the enemy. The howitzers are quite dangerous and can't be ignored, since they can pretty much pick off a GEV each turn. I mobbed this one, destroying it.

The other one survived the attacks against it, but was disrupted, allowing me to slip past it.

Four GEVs escaped past it.

On the other flank with the howitzer gone the attackers could move with impunity, but the Paneuropean light tanks were able to block them.

The Combine GEVs were picked off one after the other as they tried to slip past the defences.

The game ended in a very marginal Paneuropean victory (48-46), with them having destroyed 8 GEVs for the loss of the howitzer and a point of infantry.

It was fun and quick to play, and I'm sure my tactics were terrible, but I was trying to relearn the game as I went along. It was a pleasant way to while away a lunchbreak.

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Love, Murder and Knights

Catherine has been designing another of her murder mysteries over the past couple of weeks, and tried it out on us yesterday. I don't have any pictures, and obviously won't reveal too many details, since she plans to market it at some stage, but basically we all played pet cats living in a suburban street investigating the death of one of their number. It was as bonkers as it sounds, but great fun and kept everyone engaged and entertained for a few hours. As well as grossed out by the special cat-themed nibbles she'd provided for us.

Anyway, we played a game of Love Letter: Premium Edition afterwards; this is the version which has extra cards to expand it to between five and eight players. The dynamics are different to the basic two- to four-player game (more rounds end in a comparison of cards rather than last man standing), but it's still very entertaining.

Despite all this entertainment I still found time at home to do the basing on my Arthurian HOTT army, which is now completed and ready for its first game. Here's a quick picture. I'm sure there will be more to follow.

Monday, 31 July 2017

Battle Cry - Antietam

Last month I played  couple of games of Battle Cry, took photos and then forgot to blog it. Unforgivable.

Anyway, here they are. To be honest I've forgotten the details of exactly what happened, so you can just enjoy the terrible pictures without too much text.

I used 6mm figure, two bases to a unit and small stones marking casualties.

Here's the initial setup, with the sparse Confederate defence line at the bottom of the picture.

Attack across Burnside's Bridge.

A doomed attack on the sunken road.

Foothold over the bridge.

The attack on the road is driven back.

A.P.Hill's division comes to the rescue.

Union troops filter through the northern woods.

Confederates defend the cornfield.

The Union driven back at the bridge. I think they lost quite badly.

A second game. In this oe the sunken road was quickly cleared.

Burnside's bridge was still a tough nut to crack. I think the Union won this one in the end.

Sorry about the terrible lighting on the photos; we get glorious bright sunshine even in the winter here.

Monday, 17 April 2017

Railway Rivals - Isle of Wight

I enjoyed our game of Railway Rivals so much the other day that I hunted the 'net for some new maps to add to my collection. On this page I found a whole pile of them, all done up in a very nice style, some of them from original game maps and others seemingly originals.

I was quite attracted to the map for the Isle of Wight, since it has no map-specific special rules and actually prints out in a playable for onto a sheet of A4. Apparently it was originally published in an issue of Railway Modeller magazine. Anyway, we have a soft-spot for the Isle of Wight, having spent a few holidays and long weekends there prior to our emigration.

Its size means that it gives a quick game; the build phase is short, and so are most of the races, owing to the short distances between town. So we were able to give it a quick play this evening.

We had three players (which is fine; it's a 3-4 player map): myself, Maya and Catherine. Catherine took an early lead, but for a brief period in the middle I pulled in front. Catherine came back at the end, winning a couple of races pretty much unopposed. Maya was never really in the running; she dominated one part of the board, but by the time the towns on that section came into play, Catherine and I had also extended our networks into it as well.

Here's the map at the end of the game - my track is in orange, Catherine's in green and Maya's in purple/blue.

(If you download this map for your own games you'll notice that town 21 is nameless. I checked the original magazine version of the map, and it's actually 'Haven Street'.)

Saturday, 15 April 2017

Murder And The Orient Express

We had another get-together with our friends the Perrys on Friday. We'd tried a couple of murder mystery evening with them over the past year and, having enjoyed them, Catherine wanted to have a go at writing and running one of her own.

The mystery went well; it's not an easy thing to design something like that and Catherine rose to the occasion providing an entertaining couple of hours for all involved, even if most of us guessed the identity of the killer. It was the journey to the solution which was fun, not necessarily the destination.

And, talking of journeys and destinations, we finished the evening with a game of Railway Rivals. This game has been released in a boxed form at some stage, but my version is one of the early cardboard tube editions purchased directly from the designer at a games con in the mid-eighties. I have four maps in my set, and we ran with France, since it's one of the two I have that suits six players.

Railway Rivals is, as the name suggests, a game of building railway systems and then (in an abstract form) operating them. This is, of course, a whole genre of games now, but Railway Rivals was one of, if not the, first.

Half of the fun of the game is that you get to draw on the laminated map. Here's the game in its early stages, as each player expands their network from one of the starting towns around the map.

Once the map has a mostly complete network the game shifts into an operations phase, which is run as  series of  races between randomly determined towns on the map. Players win more points with which to expand their network, and the races are punctuated by chances to expand your system.

We had one player team race ahead in the operations phase, and pretty much hold their position, but there was a lot of shifting around for the other five places. My network was the green one, which started in the south of France. I managed to create lines which at least pushed to the edges of some other areas, and had some lucky races come up which  made use of track I'd just built, but only managed to get a fourth place at the end. The most exciting races were a short one which ran from Rouen to England, and consisted of three ferries racing across the Channel, and another race which saw three players steaming across the whole country from Bayonne on the Spanish border to Belgium.

This was the map at the end, with additional player doodles.

This was the first time I've had this game out in possibly twenty years, and everyone seemed to enjoy it. sadly I don't think you can buy new maps for it anymore.

Monday, 13 March 2017

Tales of the Arabian Nights

We had another family boardgames session on Saturday, getting together with our friends to play the 1985 edition of 'Tales of the Arabian Nights'

As you might expect, this is a boardgame based on the 1001 Nights, where each player plays an adventurer travelling the world in search of fame, fortune, adventure and to seek their destiny. It is driven by The Book of Tales, and is essentially a massive Choose Your Own Adventure book with tons of added chrome. There's not a massive amount of skill required, and player interaction is limited as well, but the colour and attention to the theme make it enormously entertaining.

We had nine people, and it's only a six-player game, so some of us played in teams. We took Abu Hasan, and made him a cerebral chap, wise and knowledgeable and always willing to converse with others who had wisdom. You choose skills at the start of the game, and these will tend to drive your decisions, but you can also build a character by consistently choosing 'in character' responses to encounters; where we conversed, honoured and aided our encounters, a rogue might rob, attack or trick them, each getting different stories.

We wandered Asia for a while, before our destiny took us into Africa. There we picked up a clue to the whereabouts of the fabled City of Brass, but were curse to wander at the whim of another and ended up back in Asia. A strange encounter with some snakes, combined with our knowledge of their behaviour, led us to the incredible Valley of Diamonds, where, after some adventures, we acquired fabulous wealth.

Things were looking good for us, but Eric had also been having great adventures as well. A famous seafarer, he had wandered the Indian Ocean where he fell in with a beggar and a wizard who were both on dangerous personal quests. They put him on the path to his true destiny, and he entered the famous Dusky Land, wherein dwell the djinnis and ifrits, eventually rising to become their Sultan. With his new-found mighty status, her returned to Baghdad as the winner.

With six player the game took a while to play - I am the only one familiar with it, so had to teach it as we went along. But everyone enjoyed reading out the result paragraphs to other players, and there was much building on the stories created. We had fun and laughter.

We finished the session with a game of Love Letter: Premium Edition, which adds sufficient new cards (with new abilities) to allow up to eight players. This was entertaining as well, although the fact that none of us had ever used the new cards before made some of the strategy a little unclear. Eric won that as well.

Sunday, 25 December 2016

And A Happy Christmas To You!

Christmas Day is drawing to a close here in Australia. It's been a fun day; windy but hot and sunny and spent in the company of family. My son has changed jobs, and starts work with a radio station here in Wollongong next week, so he drove up from the Snowy Mountains on Christmas Eve and will be staying with us until he sorts out somewhere to live locally. It meant that he's staying with us on what would otherwise have been our first Christmas without him; an unexpected bonus.

Of course the main points of these posts on a wargames blog are these:

(i) What gaming-related goodies did I get as presents and

(ii) What games did I play

Well, I got a Lego Avengers game for our Playstation, and some more cars for Machinas. And that was about it in terms of games-related stuff. But see below.

In terms of actually playing things, we had a go at Maya's 'Betrayal at House on the Hill', which she got for her birthday last month but which we hadn't had chance to try out. It's a kind of co-operative game in which investigators explore a creepy old house. But at some point things suddenly change and one of them betrays the group in one of fifty or so random ways, shifting the game into a fight between the traitor and the other players. In our game I was the 'traitor', being bitten by a werewolf and becoming one myself, hunting the rest of the group through the house as they desperately tried to cast silver bullets and find a revolver to use them with. They failed as, one by one, I turned them into werewolves or ripped them limb from limb.

It's a nice-looking game, with pre-painted figures and geomorphic tiles for the house.

As I said above, I didn't get much in the way of games stuff, but I did get some slippers, which Catherine had knitted for me.


Weep with envy! Are they not fine?

But I wasn't the only one who contrived to look amazing this Christmas. Christmas Eve is Catherine's birthday, and we always go out and try to do something nice on the day, instead of having the whole thing buried under Christmas activities. Often we fail, because places that say they are open on Christmas Eve decide not to be on the day. This year we weren't disappointed though. This year we went to the gorgeous Chinese Garden of Friendship in Sydney. The garden itself is a treat worth visiting, and we had lunch there and enjoyed the ambience. But in one of the pavilions which dot the garden is a costume hire service where you can rent traditional Chinese costumes (for a mere $10!), and walk the gardens in them, taking photos and bemusing people who weren't aware it was an option.

So my wife got to spend the afternoon of her birthday flouncing around as a princess. So did my daughter:

And I know what you're asking. The answer is, yes. I did. But, for once, I will spare you the evidence.

I hope you all had, or are having, a great Christmas. Let me know how it all went, eh?

Saturday, 19 November 2016

Games At The Library

Today is International Games Day @ Your Library.

This is an international games day. And it's held at libraries.

Our local library, which is always good for an event, ran some games, sponsored by one of the local games shops. There was Minecraft and computer gaming on the go in one room, whilst tables were spread around between the shelves for board- or card-games. There had been a promise of D&D as well, but the people who could have run it weren't able to make it at the last minute, so it had to be canned.

Catherine Maya and I turned up for a little bit, to chat to other players and some of the people organising things, and then to play something.

We left Maya upstairs playing Pandemic, and got ourselves a game of Dixit with a lady named Melita and her two young sons, Jeremy and Hugo. We'd not played Dixit before. None of us had. But that wasn't a problem since it was a simple. Each player has a hand of cards with gorgeous, and sightly surreal, illustrations on them. In each round, one player secretely picks a card from their hand, and makes up a sentence, phrase or even a sound about it. The other players each choose a card from their hands which they think best fits that 'story', and pass it, face-down, to the first player. The first player shuffles the cards and arranges them in a line, face-up, for the other players to see. The players then secretly vote for the card that they think is the one chosen by the first player to inspire their statement/story.

The aim is for the storyteller (the first payer) to get some people to select their card, but not all (by making their statement too obvious) or none (by making it too vague). The scoring reflects this. Other players score points by either guessing the right card, or by other players choosing the one they selected.

Here's the scoring track which, for some reason, consists of cute wooden bunnies hopping through a garden

And here's some of the cards in play. I can't remember which one was the 'real' one in this set.

And here's Melita, Jeremy, Hugo and Catherine with some of the cards. Melita holds the record for being the first person ever to specifically ask to have her photo on this blog. Hugo's card (bottom right) was one of my favourites; a disturbing cthuloid dice thingy.

Hugo was our winner, pipping me to the victory by one point on the very last round. Catherine came a very distant last.

Back upstairs we found that Maya was just finishing up with Pandemic, the players having lost their bid to save the world.

I took a picture of the board, but they'd cleared most of the pieces away.

Numbers did seem a little disappointing, which we think was down to poor advertising locally. However this is an excellent idea for an event, which I hope we will get a chance to support again next year. It would be nice if we can take along some miniature wargaming for people too see or try. If not, then there's still board and card-games.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...