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Carnage 2011

I recently attended Carnage on the Lake in Eastern Vermont.  It’s the only real convention in my home state and the only one that under three hours of driving.  There seems to be some sort of family emergency or sickness (once ended up with a 2 year old in the hospital the day before) that always seems to foil my plans for this con.  This year I made it for a full day, quite an accomplishment.  I even managed to make ONE game I was interested in, even better.

My Three Games

Lobositz with Carnage and Glory rules

I was most excited by this game as I’m a huge SYW fan and I have created this game in 6mm, so what’s not to like.  It was in 28mm at the con.  Now, I never understood why folks would use 28mm for large battles, I always felt the smaller scale offered more of a big battle feeling and 28’s would leave me wanting.  Boy, was I wrong.  The 28mm figures were beautiful and I instantly fell in love with the figures and game setup.  I still like my 6mm armies for SYW, but now I’m going to be painting 28mm Austrians and Prussians for some Sharp Practice at the next opportunity.

This game offered my favorite opponents, Prussians vs. Austrians, in my favorite period.  The new thing for me was playing Carnage and Glory, a computer controlled diceless system.  It was OK at best, I didn’t mind it, but the lack of dice left me wanting.  I was destroyed on my side of the table (I controlled all the Pussian cavalry) and only won two of the many melees fought, not very Prussian.  If I could have seen my bad rolls all game, that would have let me feel a little more involved in my losses, perhaps I would have felt more responsible for the performance of my troops.

My second shock (the first time I learned of this) in the game was that all of the figures were purchased painted from China.  The guy who ran the game bought them all.  He was a top shelf bloke, but I was surprised.  To me, painting is a major part of the the whole.  This seemed to be somewhat of a norm as I found out.

Civil War with Volley and Bayonet

This was some sort of Civil War defend the hill scenario, I was on the hill with Union troops trying to keep the rebs at bay.  I only played in this game as it came the closest to my interests, ie, they were using muskets.  Otherwise I find the civil war TERRIBLY BORING in every way imaginable.  Just not my cupa.

Volley and Bayonet seemed OK, not much flavor but got the job done.  I’m not really a fan of one stand units, but they were pretty and it was a game at a con, so I imagine on a larger scale, you could get quite a good game going.  No command tension in this one, the troops do what they are told and it’s a game of maneuver.

Some other Civil War game with Fire and Fury

My AWI game was cancelled, but I found some of the guys I had been playing with throughout the day running another Civil War game.  Again, take the hill with your bland, faceless Civil War troops.  Nothing against the guys running it, they did a great job, I’m just not really sure how you spruce up a Civil War game.

Fire and Fury has some command tension, which was OK, but I found moving up to 16-20 tiny stands of troops when you move a unit to be VERY FIDDLY.  Enough to put me off the system.

There were lots of 10mm troops in this one and very nicely painted.  Again, all purchased painted by the owners.

Finishing Thoughts

  • I found out that I really don’t like gaming the Civil War.  I always knew it held little interest, but now I know I don’t even enjoy moving them around the table.
  • I was surprised that so many people buy their troops painted.  The looked great, but I can’t imagine much satisfaction in owning/using them.  But that’s just me.
  • I don’t like games with large numbers of stands in a base.  It seems that you can do it in a much better way and I think many modern rule sets are doing that.
  • Only one game had any type of introductions between the players.  I believe that if I hadn’t introduced myself to some of the players, we could have spent 4 hours at a table and not know each others names.
  • Gamer funk seems to be prevalent in the Sci-Fi area of the hall and less so in the Historical areas.

He are some pictures of varying quality of the wonderfully painted and presented SYW figures in my Lobositz game.  I commanded the Cavalry of the Prussian right flank and was trounced.  The computer allowed me to win about 2 of maybe 15 encounters.  After the first few losses, it was 2:1 against me for the rest of the battle, since my guys were constantly rallying and returning.


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Warpaint Your Own Indian!

by rgregory

For a while now, I’ve been suffering over how to make unique warpaint schemes on my Northeastern Woodland Indians. I came up with the idea of starting a collection of warpaint designs.

Scott from was kind enough to create a blank template for us to draw on. So if you feel like contributing to the collection, go to the Warpaint Schemes page to have a look, then the Submit Your Warpaint Scheme page to download, paint, and upload your design for inclusion in the collection.

Perhaps there will be some readers with some artistic talent that we could all benefit from?

[button link=”” color=”red”]Get Started![/button]

If there is enough interest I’ve got a Huron template to try out.

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French and Indian War Scenarios

There seems to be a dearth of FIW scenarios out there for gamers. So I thought I would start a resource for those looking to find them. If you know of any posted on the net, leave a comment with a link and I’ll add it the post.

TooFatLardies Scenarios

3 fantastic scenarios can be found on the Toofatlardies Yahoo Group. Unfortunately you have to join to read them, but you’ll find them here. The rules are, of course, for the TFL game of Sharp Practice, but are easily ported to any system with little effort.

Brilliant Blog Posts with Scenarios

Raid on Butler’s Landing
This is an amazing report and a feast for the eyes. A raid by Indians and French Marines on an English fort with Readcoats and Rangers. A look around the site will reveal a wealth of knowledge.

Brilliant Scenarios to be Found In Message Board Threads

Massacre at Deer Creek
A great game for Indians vs. Redcoats & Settlers. You really must see this one.

Beaver War Scenario
A great little scenario that could easily be converted to the FIW. French vs. Indians.

Sorry it’s a short list at the moment, but this stuff is really hard to find. Leave a comment if you know of any scenarios.

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28mm French and Indian War Manufacturers

I thought I’d write this post as I’m constantly amazed at what’s out there for the FIW period. Here’s a list for those that find it through google, but mostly for myself. I tend to forget things after a while and lists help.

This list in no way constitutes anything other than MY OPINION. It is not a condemnation of any range of figures. I realize that people work really hard to create such things and respect that, but a little guidance when starting out can be invaluable. I will only comment on the quality of the figures that I have had contact with.

The Galloping Major Wargames

By far my favorite maker of little men. This range just seems to fit my perception of the period to a tee. I ordered one of everything this winter and am working my way though them with a smile on my face.


While no specific FIW models are on the site, there are some beautiful Native Americans in the AWI range that will work a treat.


Front Rank

While they do have some specific FIW models, they also have some good looking Brit and French regulars that I might use. You can find some Indians in the AWI section that might help as well.

Redoubt Enterprises

Eureka Miniatures

Blue Moon Manufacturing

These guys sell large packs of figures. 10-20 unique casts in each pack.

Dixon Miniatures

Seem to be some old school figs.

Old Glory Miniatures

Seem to be some old school figs, but cheap as chips.

Cavalcade Wargames

The only option for troops in snow shoes.

Brigade Games

Not strictly a FIW range, but he King Philips War Range has some cool looking indians in it that would be fine in the FIW.

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A Bit of Artwork…

I bought my daughter a “Step+by+Step How to Draw” book the other day as she is very talented for a five year old.  She doesn’t like trying to draw for the book, but she does great water colors of the drawings I make from the book.  I have really enjoyed the drawing as it’s something I lost from childhood and never really have tried as an adult.  It’s fun!

With this new discovery, I’ve been doing some cartoon drawing for a new project coming up, and this was one of my test drawings.  Inspired by Iron Mitten, I thought I would post it up here.  Any comments or criticism are welcome.

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More Pictures From The Visit

Just a few more pictures from the visit.

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Visit to Saratoga National Historic Park

This weekend I was going to the Lake George area with my family for a family get away. I made sure to add a precondition that if we went that close to Saratoga we had to drop by the battlefield.  So the kids turned out to be to skinny to play at the waterpark for long and that meant that it was time to head to Saratoga National Historic Park on Sunday.  It only opened April 1st and we visited on April fifth, so I was quite lucky it was even open, Ticonderoga doesn’t open for another 2 months.

p4050123We showed up and found this charming soda machine at the entrance to the visitor’s center.  Any long time readers will know that my wife is English, and while she has lived in the states for 7 years now, she will always be English.   Now, she can tell you all about Roman roads and a little about the Beatles, but she’s fairly un-knowledgeable about the rest of her countries history, especially the colonialism/repression parts.  I asked her to stand in front of the soda machine and this is the picture that I got for my troubles.

Once inside the visitor’s center, I was promptly informed that the driving road in the park is closed due to downed trees from a recent ice storm.  Aaaarrgghhh!  What are the chances?  The “good” news is that it will be open by April 11th.  I’m not sure when I will make it down here again.  A trip to the store involves hours of planning and split second timing for us to accomplish with the three young ones.  Oh well, must make the most of it.

They did have a few nice things inside here.  The first is an electronic map of the battlefield and an audio presentation that goes with it. I really enjoyed it.  Here’s a couple of pictures showing the lights.  They move to different p0ints on the field.  Quite nice.

Over View Photo
Over View Photo
Assualt on the Balcares Redoubt
Assault on the Balcares Redoubt

They had a room with things that might be interesting for children drug along to the museum.  One of them was a small display of a fortification and some playmobile-esk type guys to position around a cannon.

The younger me would have loved it just as much as the older me.

I will post more pictures from the visitor’s center in another post as they all don’t require explanation.

So the driving track is out of commission, “You can still walk the area”, you say?  Well, I would have loved to, but it was past nap time and the walking trail isn’t conducive to strollers (we did try!).  Here is the reason I wasn’t able to walk to the Balcaras Redoubt.

They are worth it, you just have to take a back seat some times.
They are worth it, you just have to take a back seat some times.

The only thing I could see from the Visitor’s Center.  It was in the distance tempting me.

Balcares Redoubt From Afar
Balcares Redoubt From Afar

I will return someday to take better pictures.  But even with my limited access I enjoyed myself, it would take a lot for me not to.  What are the odds that the driving path would be blocked when I was there.  I’d be more upset if I lived more than 4 hours away.

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Some Great Saratoga Resources

I thought I would take this opportunity to pop up some of the online resources that I have found that are great for Saratoga Campaign

  • Perry Miniatures – You have to select AWI Articles in the drop box at the top and you will find “simply the best ever” wargamer’s reference for the British troops and German Troops in the Saratoga Campaign.
  • Saratoga – Battle of Freeman’s Farm – A true feast for the eyes, a battle report with British Grenadier rules that really should be checked out.
  • Saratoga Order of Battle – From the magweb, a great reference to start with.  Lot’s of painting and numbers info for you.

These few things should get you pretty far with the campaign really.  Of all of them, the Perry site is really unrivalled as a resource for gamers.  I look forward to when they cover the US forces (if they plan to).