Welcome to my blog, the story of my continuing journey into the World of Zombie Wargames.

Monday 29 October 2018

Rules and Rulers

Despite my best efforts to finish off my cavemen this last week and sticking to my regime of painting at least an hour  a day, I still haven't finished my cavemen (and women) though they are very nearly complete, a little shading, highlighting , basing and varnishing will see them complete.
In addition to painting during the day light hours, I've also been making a Quick Reference Sheet as I wanted something I could hold in my hand and read. To this end, I put all four relevant pages onto an A3 sheet which, when checked,  will be laminated.
On the reverse of the sheet are all the relevant rules necessary to play the game, character options etc.
Here they are:
The Obverse of the QRS showing the four major animal reaction tables (plus the critters one)
The reverse of the QRS showing all the major rule bits needed
Scrap MDF (from my factory iirc)

Although I'm not a big fan of metric measuring in games (I'm old, leave me alone) and would have preferred the three measurement used - 75mm, 120mm and 180mm, to have been in inches (eg. 3", 5" and 7"  being the closest) or at the very least, comparative to a straight-forward conversion (approx 25mm to 1")  I have stuck to the original measurement and made some 'rulers' specifically for the game.
Bit of scrap card and a pair of £1 compasses
OK, they're not rulers, they're triangular templates, each edge being one of the three measurements used in the game and here's a photographic record of how they were made:

Template cut out and applied to the MDF
The finished article and yes, they could relevant info on them, but I'm an adult
Another piece of MDF scrap that I can get two more 'rulers' from
So although I've not much to show from all my efforts this week I feel that I've been very productive!

That's it then for another week, thanks for taking the time to visit and as always your comments are both welcomed and truly appreciated.

Monday 22 October 2018

The First Hunt

       The Hunters
So I'm still awaiting the order from Steve Barber models and although it's not been quite three weeks I did think it was time to put some effort into getting my head around the rules with what I have available.  Just in case you're thinking I haven't started on what I already have, I have managed to slap some paint on my cavemen figures, but it's been a very slow process (and not just because I hate painting) as I hadn't realised just how poor my eyesight has become. It's become an even greater problem, not just mentally but also now, physically ! Be that as it may, I have been putting back in place my  regime of an hour's painting each day!
The table, my four intrepid hunters will set up on the top edge.
As substitutes for the "real" I've used four Pygmies, two spear-armed and two club-armed as the Hunters and an elephant as the target, reflecting the first scenario in the Palaeo rules as it's meant to be a beginners scenario.
having thought I'd got a handle on the rules I set out the table, clearing away the remnants of my last Jimland expedition and using the same layout, more or less.

My mat is about 40" square, and as the game states a 36" square, it allows a 2" set round the central area.
Two spear-men on the left, the two club-men on the right
So how did it go ?

Here's the photograph record, mostly with dice left on the table as a reminder to me about what happened as I wasn't taking notes! (I really should have).
The plan was to get as close to the elephant (the target) by flanking it on two sides and attacking all at once.
I decided to only use a single die until the "moment of truth" when I would increase to 2 dice.
Selecting figures from left to right, the first two hunters moved  fast whilst the first club man 'failed his activation die with a one, luckily the Elephant stayed 'grazing, resting or whatever.
It wasn't until after the game and I had re-read the rules that I realised that I probably got this bit very wrong and it was a mistake that continued throughout the game!
The target being bored, awaiting the inevitable attack
Several turns later the hunters were flanking the immobile beast.!
 My mistake in allowing the club-man that had failed his die roll to continue with his movement!
Rolling two dice with a chance of nearly a third in failing one of them seemed to be huge odds against the hunter, hence my use of only a single die until they'd closed the range somewhat.!
A hunter closes to attack the Elephant with two dice!
The elephant takes umbrage to the hunter's intrusion into it's personal space!
And wounds the hunter !
With his second activation die the hunter wounds the beast in return \
The elephant moves off a short distance. (take one)
The elephant moves off a medium distance. (take two)
I think now, that I got the elephant's reaction to the hunter's hit wrong, but nevertheless had another problem to figure out.  I normally measure from front of base to front of base moving figures about, but when the elephant had to get (iirc) a medium distance of 120mm from the hunter that attacked it, measuring as I said above, meant the beast was still in close range of the hunter! I determined that I had to get it the correct distance away and therefore measured from distance first, then placed the beast.
I imagined the beast to have turned on the spot then measured!
Better view (possibly, maybe, ish) , showing the beast now at some distance from all the hunters!
The club-men tried to close and ...
...the elephant remains oblivious to them
All the hunters are now in position,  ready to strike next turn...
..but the elephant is having none of this and retreats...
The retreat continues off the table, ending the hunt!
So no food for the hunters today.
The whole thing took well less than an hour to play out, it took more time finding dice, tape measures, figures and setting up the game!
I'd obviously made a lot of mistakes interpreting the rules - a failed action die means no action (duh!), forgetting dice modifiers (+1 to the animal's reaction for being wounded) and probably a lot more.
The experience was nevertheless enjoyable but I must re-read the rules again and have another go, so it hasn't dampened my enthusiasm for the game. I'll be repeating this scenario and try to get the rules right!

Apologies for any typos, but currently everything looks OK to me whether it is or not!

That's it then for this week, thanks for taking the time to visit and as always your comments are both welcomed and appreciated!

Monday 15 October 2018

Prehistoric Progress

I have manged some progress with my prehistoric loot, but only just after another week of nearly complete lethargy, during which I also started a building, then abandoned it as I thought that more thought  was necessary to give the building a little more life from it's dull 'flatness'.
I'm petty sure most, if not all reading this will be aware of the  'Copplestone' cavemen series of four packs,  Yes, they're a bit Hollywood, but I like them for that.
Heres' a few pics of the packs and a few comments .
The first pack (above) contains five minis, the younger chap has a flint kife and the boy has a stone (flint hand axe ?). It may look like the latter has a sling, butt it's flash as they've just come straight form the packet. Five figures, five weapons !
Next pack, four women, five weapons.
Why one of the women id bare-breasted is beyond me (not that I'm a prude or anything), but it does seem unnecessary, even though I reckon they'd all be completely naked in a warm climate!
  Next pack four figures, seven weapons, including a spear with some form of bone-type 'point' (any clues would be appreciated).
Not a spectacular pack, but the arm positions do mean that both axe and pears look OK in their hands. 
The last pack, the 'characters', give the range the only bow armed figure, an antler figure without facility for holding a weapon, another figure wielding an axe (not much choice there about what he;s using) and finally 'Two-Feathers', holding a stick!
I've converted "Antler man" and "Stick man" to something I thought more usable.
Antler man with spear added

Two feathers, now with speary goodness

My purchase form "Arcane Scenery" (best delivery time ever) was their Mammoth deal, but I wasn't aware they were kits, needing assembly of tusks and tails!
Neither was I aware that they were resin and even though it doesn't bother me that much, there were some mold lines that needed removing.
The tusks are long sausages of lead that needed bending and the mammoths'  sockets for their tusks also needed drilling out., needing a trip to the local Hobby-craft store for a new set of miniature drills!
Other than unpacking my recent purchases, converting a couple of figures, adding weapons and assembling mammoths what else have I done ?
Well, the answer is not much, but I have based them all and undercoated them, with what I thought was white but turned out to be grey! (Age, poor eyesight and Hobson's choice)
IKEA mammoth, trunk, tail and tusks !
The Mammoths - those tusks are huge!
Still huge tusks in this picture too!
The assembled tribe, all based up and ready to paint (aargghhh)
I'm still awaiting my order from "Steve Barber" and it will have been two weeks tomorrow since I ordered them, but in the meantime I'm working out my next order to "Arcane Scenery" and even though I have more than enough humans, I do like their Cro-magnons.

Sorry about the more than usual blurred pictures, but when you pay peanuts you get monkeys and of course,  the photographer has been sacked !

That's it then for another week, thanks for taking the time to visit and as always, your comments are both welcomed and appreciated.

Monday 8 October 2018

Palaeo Diet - EobE Rules Review

As I only briefly touched on the rules for Palaeo Diet - Eat or be Eaten (henceforth PD) last week, but thought a more in-depth look at the rules was in order.

I'm fairly stuck in my ways and like my rules to have a straightforward layout.:
An Introduction to the game, including base-sizes, figure scale, dice used etc.
A Movement section - what are the movement rates for the figures, who can I move and when ?
A Shooting section- Missile weapon ranges, how to use them and their effects.
A Melee section- Hand to hand (or teeth, claws or talons), how it's conducted and how do you win fights?
A Morale section- Do your figures, fight, flee or freeze ?  This is probably the most difficult to get right when writing one's own rules imo.
A Miscellaneous section  - the catch-all section wherein everything else is put, maybe rarely-used rules, 'advanced' rules, optional rules and the like.
It seems to be the case now though that more and more rules would include scenarios , points systems, army lists etc.
This is a skirmish game, using single figures on a small playing area, generally hunting prehistoric beasts.
Movement in PD is straight forward, you can have up to three actions per turn, with the choice of using one two or three dice for his activation(s).
Two of your dice are white and a roll of '1' means you have failed to activate with that die and will cause reactions by beasts.
The third die is red and a roll of '1,2 or 3' will cause a failed activation.
Each successful activation allows the figure to move in one of three ways- Lope, amble or skulk (though I'd have preferred Run, Walk and Sneak).
Their are also a seven other actions that can be done with a successful activation, such as Howling, throwing spears and so on.

Each figure has three abilities relevant to their attacking prowess (Savagery), the ease in which they are wounded (Resilience) and how many wounds it takes to kill them( Bulk). Your hunters are given all three stats too, but as their Savagery and resilience is never used it confused me for a good while.
Shooting a bow or using a slingshot are both grouped as 'Pelting' (I'd much have [referred to stick with shooting) and generally follow the same lines as melee/close combat. The Hunters use a beast resilience to inflict a wound, using a D6 to equal or better the beast's Resilience, whilst a beast attacking a hunter uses its Savagery. Any success inflicts a single wound on the victim.

The shooting and melee rules are simplistic, but it's the animal's reactions and actions to being hunted that makes this game.
Animals are split into Predators (large and pack types) and grazers, large and other.
Each of these types will differ in their reactions and subsequent reactions to the hunters.
There are six things that make animals react, and a D6 determines which of eight possible animal actions the animals take, each of the four groups mentioned having their own distinctive ways of dealing with the hunters.
Predatory animals generally see the hunters as prey and grazers tend to see them as threats, which may either be attacked or fled from etc.

There are many other rules in the general sections, none of which will come as a surprise, using dogs and fire on the hunt and smaller animals 'Critters' all of which add to the game.
The beasts' sense of smell, alerting them to the hunters is dealt with in the extension "Fireside tales" and a slight change to the critters rules are also in the latter volume.
The obvious campaign possibilities of feeding and expanding your tribe, using individual traits for characters are also all there.
Many gamers will find the large number of very simple scenarios a great boon in getting started.
Overall I found the rules well set-out and simple enough that one could learn to play in very little time.bThere's element of luck and skill which I like in all games and I'll be looking forward to playing these - even solo!

In other news, I ordered the four sets of Copplestone Cavemen/women figures for this project from North Star, they arrived last week, exactly a week since I ordered them ! My order from "Arcane Scenery" that I ordered last Tuesday also arrived  with the North Star order - an amazing two days after I ordered them. I'm still awaiting further models, from "Steve Barber", but it is less than a week since I ordered them. 
I'll probably show what I've done with the figures next week.
Plans for further adventures in Jimland, whilst having slowed down, haven't yet come to a stop as real life once more rears it's ugly head.

That's it then for this week, as always thanks for taking the time to visit and of course your comments are always welcomed and appreciated.

Monday 1 October 2018

Prehistoric Rules Review

OK, so I've been taken by Prehistoric games, from well before I started this blog, looking at the few available set of rules and figures which were then available. What put me off was not the rules, as many. back then, were available and still are!
The first set I recollect coming across were the rather good looking "Prehistoric Settlement Rules" from Steve Barber, along with its two supplements, though why ten or so years on they haven't been incorporated into a single rulebook and in PDF form eludes me.
It's a four player set-up, requires a host of figures, 'buildings', terrain and at least a dozen or so animals. Matakishi Tea House showed his set-up  with everything for a game, alas these post seemed to have disappeared from his new site !
The game is a base building exercise and looks very playable with all the elements you'd expect from a decent Prehistoric game. The only gripe I have  with the game is that the food units (food is collected to build anything) are in multiple units of 25 and hundreds of food units are not uncommon. I would immediately convert 25 units to a single one and everything else accordingly. The number (and cost) of the components made this a non-starter for me (at the time) and though the 20mm figures looked fit for purpose they were soon to be replaced by 28mm figures,
I recently bought the "Battles Before Time" PDF for £0.76 from "Wargames Vault", as at the price, I thought it worth a punt. It's from a member of the Yahoo Cavewars group, but wasn't at all what I was expecting - must remember to do a little more research before plunging in.
The Cover was the first thing that made me realise I'd made some sort of awful mistake as it shows an apparent  prehistoric chariot pulled by two beasts of undetermined origin. Quickly moving on to the contents - the first thing I noticed was points! Yes, you make your force up using points and I'm no great fan of any point-based games! I stopped reading after the mechanic used for just about everything was drawing counters (stones) from a sack - I'd get pretty bored after the first half dozen times especially when a D10 could do just the same thing.
I didn't mention movement  - which is done by finger lengths, hand widths, spans etc.
OK, so it's a fantasy set of rules, there's magic, Orcs (of course), dinosaur men and lot more that leaves me cold.

Moving on to one of the latest games on the market "Palaeo Diet - Eat or be Eaten" ( not the greatest of titles imho). I was drawn to this set of rules by many of my fellow bloggers inspiring reports of their own games.  Much of its content is reminiscent of similar games and the rules are very simplistic, using D6's, but is none the worse for it. The key mechanic to the game is probably movement, where one throws up to three dice (players choice), for the number of actions one has to use and the animals react to your successes or failures.
Other games, of course, have animal reactions (they shouldn't really just stand there and have spears thrown at them!) but the variation of the actions of both the hunters and the hunted are varied and apt for many different situations, such as the presence of fire or shouting etc.
So, being taken with the game, I've ordered the four Caveman sets from "Copplestone" (via North Star of course) and I'm now looking at further orders from, Arcane Scenery and Steve Barber for the animals, but there's no reason why I can't try a practice game using what I already have for 'Jimland'.  
There are several other sets of rules out there, "Tusk" is now available in PDF (and now much more attractive), sounds very similar to others, but the Lost World type of game with guns etc. put me off when I first looked at these rules (and it wasn't the all-singing-all dancing glossy version).
 "Saurian Safari", I also looked at, but again Dinosaur hunting by men with guns doesn't really get my juices flowing.
There are several other rulebooks out there, that all have their pluses:
Looks fun, but I didn't want to fight "battles"
Another set, now in it's second edition
I'll obviously be posting more about this genre as I put together this project, but I haven't got a target date in mind and I'll write a more comprehensive review of Paeleo Die tin a future post.

In other news, I've had a renewed interest 'Adventuring in Jimland' after interest from a fellow blogger and his interest in participating in my game. I have a lot of ideas, stimulated by his input, but nothing concrete yet, though the old brain is working overtime thinking all my ideas through.

So that's it for another week, thanks for taking the time to visit and as always your comments are welcomed and appreciated.