Monday, April 25, 2011

Happy Easter and all that!

The last two weeks were busy with fire and with home stuff. Gaming was a little off. Painting was a much better leading to the actual completion of some units and skirmish figures.

Fire: five units burned (in WLF speak) or for saner folks, that's five tracts of land of varying complexity and size. Some of the burns were for the tourists to experience a battlefield as it was; some were for fuels reduction in the event of a bad fire season; and, some were to beat the fire bugs at their game as Earth Day approaches--last year five fires were set. This year, we ruined someone's Earth Day by beating them to the fire setting. The burns varied from grasslands on Long Island to the Saratoga National Historical Park. I worked on a NPS crew and on a NY DEC crew...all good days of work. On the first, we completed some big units of burning in one day so I was spent...more tired than I have been at some of the major fires. The day was interesting, starting with a crazy burn involving extreme fire behavior culminating in two well run burns. My new Crew Boss is top notch. It was a pleasure to work for him. Check out the photos and take special note of the Fire Whorl, essentially a small fire tornado we had in the first instance. All in all, it was a good day. I am a little short in pictures as I was handling ignitions for much of the day. Ignitions is hard post in which to take pictures...too busy running up and down setting fires. The DEC burn was a small crew but all familiar so we burned it down in very good time and completed two units without a hitch. Enjoy the photos:
Widening the line:
Converging fingers:

Extreme fire behavior as the winds start to swirl and shift rapidly:
Extreme Fire Behavior (Fire Whorl):
Saratoga after the fire:
End of the Day at Saratoga:

Where's the fire?
Flare Up:
Fire making a run at the truck:
Holding a line:

Over the Easter break, my son found Survive, Escape from Atlantis which is a recent republication of the 1982 Survive game. This is a fun, four player family-type game. Each player takes the part of a tribe on Atlantis. You must get your people off Atlantis and to the nearby safe islands by boat (best way) or swimming. All the while, whirl polls, sharks, whales and sea serpents destroy boats and eat people. Favorable winds and dolphins can help. Essentially is is an oppositional race game where you race to get your people to safety while stopping the "other guy." I did not want to by another game, even though I remembered it fondly; but my son promised to play it. And play it they did. I think the kids played it twice a day every day. I managed to get in two games of it. In the past, I had played it many times but never won. I finally one one of them. Lest you think it was an adult smacking down the kids, it wasn't. I won with the lucky intervention of some winds and dolphins and by not engaging in the revenge fest that got going. If the other players had played like they played in the earlier games, I doubt it would have been a victory. The second game ended in a total thrashing for me. This is a fun game.
House-wise it's been busy. Warmer weather coming faster than planned has moved up various projects. Lots of visitors for Easter week. Vehicular issues cropped up. Then a freaky set of wind storms caused some wind damage to the roof. Good thing my homeowners is USAA. They are the best and responded quickly with a fast contractor response. Early blooms and lots of winter kill. Busy, here.
I stumbled across a good Rogue Trader AAR on Boardgame Geek ( Reading it reminded how much fun the system was. Too bad it died the death of competition gaming. Points won out over flavor and story.
Board-, Card and Role Playing Games Played:
I played three games of the Star Wars Electronic Battleship. Amazingly, I won once on the hardest setting with the advanced weaponry (Game four level three if you are wondering). The game requires some skillful use of the advanced weaponry to have a chance at winning. In six plays at that setting, I have only won once. The scanners are good but not idiot proof so they must be used carefully. If you count one of my kids playing makes it paid for in my book with a total of seven plays of four hours total or valuation of playtime was almost five dollars per hour. If we never play this one again, it is good value...and it will get played again as I found it hard to walk away from after the win. I played one more time to see if I had the game figured out...I did not. Good game.
John Henry and I played a game of Magnifico. It is a three plus player game; but , he wanted to play. We whipped through to the Victory point end game in about an hour. John Henry asked to keep playing and fight it to conclusion...I'll keep you for the mechanics, imagine Risk set in the 16th with bidding on Leonardo da Vinci's war machines. We enjoyed it. Someday it would be fun to try with the full complement of five players.
I snuck in an eighteen minute game of Memoir '44 in the Pacific. My defense of Wake Island was not inspired.
Two games of Survive, Escape from Atlantis were played. This is a great game. How can one resist a game with whirlpools, volcanoes, Jaws, Nessie and Moby Dick, not to mention Flipper?

Miniature Games:
Sadly, I missed out on this front. My Saratoga burns kept me working too late to make Mike's weekly game. My hopes for an Easter game also failed to materialize.
I managed to get a bunch of my resin SciFi terrain pieces back from a terrain maker who never finds the time to get them done. I finished one containment tube and find the pieces nice. Definitely not as fancy as or durable as the Antenociti Workshop pieces (HIGHLY recommended) but I remember they were about half the price...too bad I can't remember who I bought them from...

Fantasy/Dungeon Crawls: I started unpacking my Dwarven Forge pieces from their moving boxes into some Really Useful Boxes.
French & Indian War: I unpacked an Iroquios fort from a moving box. This piece was made by Jim Dirmaier. It's fantastic and has saw many battles.
French Revolution: Basing galore of the French infantry is underway. I have been corresponding with Magister Militum to find out when the caissons and limbers are actually going to be sent...might be time to source proxies.
Modern: The Sweeney vehicles arrived! As did the new 7TV rules for wargaming in the world of Cult TV. Time for a Geezers game...I probably should play the Geezers Rules and then the new 7TV to see which I prefer.
World War Two: I was looking over my son's copy of Tide of Iron trying to figure if it was worth trying on the table top.

Painting and Painters:
Matt Slade, a painter in the UK sourced a number of vehicles for me. Essentially, he has been picking up various 1960's and 1970's vehicles. The boxes arrived and I can see some The Sweeney games in the future.
The Bleus are finished and based for my French Revolutionary army: Eight Battlaions at 48 figures per battalion. Four battalions of Blancs are in progress. Artillery and Cavalry are in varying stages of I just need Magister Militum to get the lead out and send me the limbers...they say they are ready to go.
I also managed to finish a few of the 28mm figures clogging up my painting bench: Thrudd, Three plant men with ray guns, a cherubim with a blotter and an Ork Kommando modified to have a stick of dynamite. The remainder of the 80- or so on the bench received varying degrees of work running the gamut from priming to basing. And, being the glutton for punishment I am, I could not resist adding to the pile on the desk: two Nort MG teams, two Nort snipers, four Scarecrow-men and four Fembots.

Even though I have some Miniature Wargames and Wargames Illustrated waiting to be read, I was too tired. Several attempts at a late night read ended with me asleep on the couch in the library. One time I even woke up when I poured the now cold tea in my lap...I did succeed in finishing Wargames Recon, Issue Five had the usual host of reviews of books, miniatures and rules. There was an interesting article about a club's Victorian Sewer project and game. The pictures were great! It would be nice to build a sewer and add that extra dimension to my urban skirmishes...someday maybe I find the time.
Tarleton's Quarter ( has some nice pictures from Salute 2011. That is a convention I would like to see some day.

Meeples and Minaitures View from the Veranda had an excellent discussion or gaming, clubs, games and the like. ( I enjoyed listening in the truck on the way back from Saratoga.
The D6 Generation did a good review of the boardgame Mansions of Madness if you have any questions about that game.

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