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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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Getting Ready for Lobositz

I have been painting 6mm Seven Years War figures for a number of years now and recently reached my goal of having enough troops painted to play the Might and Reason scenarios of Lobositz and Kolin. The next order of business was building the terrain so I could recreate those two battles. I think I’ve finally got the terrain ready for the games as well.

Here is my table ready to host a Lobositz game.

I have been slowly creating the hills, forests and towns over the past few months. The rivers and trees are recent acquisitions, but I really like them. They are a bit large for 6mm, but I wanted to be able to see them and fit a unit on it in column. The things we have to fudge to meld accuracy and gamability.

I have also included a few shots of the Austrian left to give some idea of what the battle holds.

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Adler 6mm Nappoleonics

I have painted a lot of Baccus figures in the past few years, I mean A LOT. I’m sure there are some who have painted more than me, but I know I’ve just about hit saturation with them for the moment. The figures mostly come in one pose, standing at attention. Some codes have a skirmishing version available, but they are few and far between. I have tried to use these to the best of my ability and have tried to be extremely creative when I could. But, in the end, I would like to try putting more variety on the table, and this led me to look at other ranges. The most obvious choice is Adler.

I have also wanted to get into Napoleonics for some time now, but I have ordered some of the Baccus figs and didn’t like them. Most were tired looking or a bit blobby. I think they were one of the earlier efforts. The line is being redone, but it will take years to complete it and the French are on the list last?! Why you would do the French last as everyone will need them to play is a mystery to me and I have posted it on his site before, so I won’t belabor it here. Once again, the most obvious alternative is Adler.

Now, Adler stands out in my mind for two reasons.

  1. Beautiful figures
  2. Horrible Website

I have seen them on many different blogs, and they look fantastic. I have been many times to their website and it’s a MESS, I mean I tried to order from them at least three times and gave up due to the confusing and round about way you have to order. I downloaded a spreadsheet to fill out? I couldn’t see what I was really ordering. Overall the process was terrible, but that’s what you have to do to get their product.

Once they arrived, I was instantly pleased with them. They have great faces!! The proportions are really great and they painted up SUPER easy. The euphoria lasted until I began to base them. Adler figs come four to a base like Baccus, but they are spread out enough that you can’t just plop the strip on a base and glue it down. They have to be cut up and then glued individually, not a deal breaker yet, but close. I tried to glue them down and the bases were at an angle that they wouldn’t stand up, so I had to buy a tackier glue and it still was a MAJOR headache. In fact it was the deal breaker for me. The whole process was entirely too fidly and that’s a shame.

After basing them up, I have since found them to be too easily bent and can’t imagine them standing up to play on the table. I might be entirely wrong, but these are my opinions. There are many Adler fans out there and to his credit the figures are fine, just not my cup of tea.

I think what I learned from this is that my next stop in gaming manufacturer will Magister Militum. I really love their 10mm style and dig the cartoony look of the figures. Once again, not everyone’s cup of tea, but I think it will be mine.