Sunday, May 22, 2022

To the Strongest: War of the Roses in 15mm

On Saturday afternoon April 23 at HMGS-South's Recon 2022, I sat down for a "Learn to play To the Strongest" game hosted by Daniel Moreno and Curt. (Sorry, Curt, but I can't your last name!) The scenario was a generic version of Bosworth Field during the War of the Roses, using the army lists in the Medieval Army List supplement and 15mm Peter Pig miniatures.

Before the Battle
Below are a couple photos taken before the game began. I took the first photo while checking out the tables for the 2pm games. I didn't expect to play To the Strongest that day. For a while now, I've owned the base rules and supplements. I looked over them but had never played them.

On the left is the Tudor army led by Henry Tudor. On the right is the York army led by Richard III. This is the pre-game setup.
It looked like I was the only player for the game, so Curt was going to play Henry Tudor. I played York. We used the card deck to decide who would go first. After that, we used the chits Simon sells for the game.

The Miniatures
All the miniatures are from Peter Pig's War of the Roses line. These were Curt's figures. I only have Peter Pig's WWII figures. For years, I have looked at the WoR range online but had never seen them in person. I love them. BTW this Recon had a wide variety of miniature sizes: 6mm, 10mm, 15mm, 1/72, 28mm, 40mm, and 54mm. Wow! The mat is from Simon's BigRedBat web store.


The York Army
Below are some photos and stats for the York army. I took close-up photos of the York army lists that Curt made, but forgot to take photos of the Tudor army lists. These armies played nicely against each other and were easy to command. Jeremy and I took shots of Richard's army, but I forgot to take close-up photos of Hastings and Norfolk.

A close-up of Richard III's battle on the right wing. (Taken by Jeremy.)
Here is the entire Richard III army. These PP figs look awesome!

Sorry these are out of order.  Lord Norfolk's army list in the Center.

King Richard III's army list on the Right.

Lord Hastings' army list on the Left.

The Tudor Army
Below are photos of the Tudor army. Another fellow joined the game. Since he had played TtS before, Curt came over to my side. Below are some close-up photos.

Henry's army, which sat directly across from my Richard III. It would be a close run thing between these two armies!

The Game Begins
After some basic rules teaching, we began the game. Daniel Moreno handled the rules, which he loves doing. Curt provided strategy tips to me and controlled Richard's army. Instead of cards, both sides used the Chits of War official chits from the BigRedBat store. At the request of the new player (sorry, can't recall his name!), we used alternating activation instead of I-go-you-go. Being my first game, I'm uncertain if this was good or bad. Curt and Dan felt it worked well.

We're getting stuck in now!

What a Slog!
All the armies got off to a decent start--kind of. All six armies (or whatever they are called) had no problem activating. Sadly, my Hastings army, which held the center, just sat in place for at least three turns, blowing its activation every time. Sigh. Eventually, the game got going. After two hours, we ended it. It was close. I lost by a squeak. Sorry, Richard!

My Thoughts
I like rolling dice and missed doing that. Dice feel dramatic to me. That being said, I liked To the Strongest overall. We did a game in two hours. That was nice. I did have a problem with the chit pulling (or card flipping). I found myself card counting. It drove me nuts. But I'm sure I can overcome that.

I think using alternating army/battle activation messed with the chit pulling odds as a turn progressed. I have to see what others think about this.

In the end, I didn't come away wanting to play To the Strongest again as soon as possible. I was just glad to end the game. It was a slog, with lots of sound and fury from the players but signifying not much happening due to constant bad chit pulls. I need to study the rules. We knew we accidentally played some important rules wrong. It always happens. I have to wrap my head around the grid system more. Would I turn down a game of TtS? No. Would I seek out a game of TtS? Not sure.

Oh yeah, and now I'm hooked on the War of the Roses, which has been a favorite of mine since middle school. Look out!

Saturday, May 7, 2022

Had a Blast at Recon 2022 in Orlando

Just when everyone thought the blog was dead, it rises again!

This year, I decided to re-join HMGS and attend Recon 2022 here in Orlando, which happened two weeks ago. I also got my son to come along. He's 31 now, has his own life, but had the time free. Over the years, he's really gotten into board wargaming along with his regular board gaming hobby.

I really didn't know what to expect at the con. It had been 7 years since we last went to an HMGS South con. It just wasn't my scene. (I've also been away from miniature gaming for a long time--curse you Magic the Gathering!) Seems like a lot has changed in 7 years! We had a blast. So many different games to play. Everyone was great. This post will be a quick glance. More to come later.

Friday 1pm We Arrive

We arrived at the con on Friday at 1pm, so it was just getting ready to start ramping up. Jeremy snapped a quick photo of the floor. Jerry Boles is off to the right, playing a large Luftwaffe 1946 game. Seems like he has dropped Black Cross/Blue Skies, which I still own. I decided not to play one of those games this con. I wanted to play different things.

AWI With Pete Panzeri

Jeremy and I both got into a 25mm AWI game run by Pete Panzeri using his own rules. It had been many years since we last played a game together! Pete is a laid back guy and just fun to game with. The set up was huge, using Old Glory figures. I loved playing with those figures. So much character and a trip down memory lane.

Jeremy snapped this photo of me jawboning with two other players. I'm in the center. My gaming partner is to my left, seriously thinking about our strategy. We played British heading toward Yorktown on what was to be a suicide mission in real life. Sam on my right was playing the Rebels trying to delay us bringing up the artillery. I'm going on about "The Rock of Gibraltar" on the table and how did that Rebel artillery get up it? Sam and I kept cracking up. Pete claimed it was just a low hill in the game. Sure it was. :-)

Cruel Seas is My New Thing

On Saturday, Jeremy got into a large Cruel Seas game and loved it. He snapped this quick photo of it. I got into a 15mm War of the Roses game using To The Strongest, run by Daniel Moreno. I'll hit my thoughts on the rules in a future post. Anyway, Jeremy liked CS so much I picked up an Amazon Warehouse deal on the starter box for $40 after tax. I've begun researching coastal actions and painting, so look for those shortly.


Random Dude With Awesome Shirt

Jeremy loved taking photos of people with awesome shirts. This was one he snapped Saturday.



I hope you liked this quick peek at Recon 2022. Much more to come...


Wednesday, December 22, 2021

All PDFs now hosted on Google Drive

Yesterday evening, I uploaded to Google Drive all the Warmaster and Black Cross PDFs from the blog. Everyone should be able to download them from Googele Drive. I also fixed any broken links in the old blog posts announcing each new army. If you have issues downloading the files, please let me know.

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Moving PDFs to new host

Since the beginning of the blog, I've been storing all the blog's PDFs on the same server that hosts my Conrail Cyclopedia website, which since 1998 has been devoted to railroading in the Northeast. Unfortunatly, the server hasn't switched to https yet, so most browsers are giving fits downloading the PDFs from it. This has been preventing folks from downloading my Warmaster armies. I'm in the process of moving the files to Google Drive and updating all the blog pages that reference the files. The plan is to work backward in time, starting with most recent posts to the oldest posts. Hopefully, it won't take long, but with the holidays time gets scarce.

Sunday, July 4, 2021

New Early Imperial Roman Paper Army

Over the last few months, I've been working slowly on revising my Early Imperial Roman army set, which I posted six years ago. There wasn't anything horribly wrong with the set. I've used it in my own gaming. I just wanted to make it better and fit easily on the comic backing boards like other sets with eight rows of counters.

I also wanted to use the many new figures that have been released over the past several years, while standardizing the height of the infantry and cavalry. I also wanted to use troops that the EIR would have used depending on the battle. For example, Balearic Slingers, Numidians, Spanish, Praetorians, and Sarmations. I've listed some of these later in the post, so you know what they are. I've also posted some new army lists to try out. I imported everything else from the old EIR post, deleting it and its files from my server.

Other than the artillery units and the original General stands, I have remade every counter in this set.

Generic Set: The generic set will go up soon. I will include heavy cavalry based along the long counter edge and two army camps, which some other games use. I'll post it on the Warmaster Paper Armies page with the other generic sets.


Printing the Counters
Print the counter sheets at actual (100%) size. Do not print to "fit margins." You can cut the counters and then use them how you like. If printing on card stock, for example, 110lb has worked well for me. You could also glue the counters onto wooden stands from Litko, giving them a miniatures feel. I sized this set so each page of counters will fit on a cheap 'Silver Age' comic backing board. Spray glue the sheet onto the backing board, and then cut out the counters using a sharp Xacto knife with a steel ruler. The counters will last a long time this way. However you do it, I hope you enjoy using this set of counters. Let me know what you think in the comments below.


Click on the counter set images below to download the the complete army counter set in PDF.

 

Warmaster Sample Armies

1000 Points
1x General w/Portents
1x Legate
1x Veteran Legion
4x Legions
2x Auxiliaries
2x Archers
1x Heavy Cavalry
2x Light Cavalry
Total Points: 995

1000 Points
1x General
2x Legates
4x Legions
4x Auxiliaries
1x Archers
2x Skirmishers
1x Light Cavalry
1x Scorpion
Total Points: 995

1000 Points
1x General
1x Legate
1x Veteran Legion
4x Legions
3x Auxiliaries
1x Archers
2x Skirmishers
1x Heavy Cavalry
1x Scorpion
Total Points: 990

1000 Points
1x General
1x Legate
5x Legions
3x Auxiliaries
1x Archers
2x Skirmishers
1x Heavy Cavalry
1x Scorpion
Total Points: 980

1000 Points
1x General
2x Legate
4x Legions
4x Auxiliaries
1x Archers
2x Skirmishers
1x Light Cavalry
1x Scorpion
Total Points: 995

2000 Points
1x General w/Portents
3x Legates
2x Veteran Legions
8x Legions
6x Auxiliaries
3x Archers
3x Skirmishers
1x Heavy Cavalry
2x Light Cavalry
2x Scorpions
Total Points: 1975

2000 Points by Nick Harwood
2x Veteran Legion
8x Legion
6x Auxiliaries
3x Archers
5x Skirmishers
1x Heavy Cavalry
1x Light Cavalry
2x Scorpion
1x General w/ Portents
3x Legates
Total Points: 1975 (23/12)

2000 Points by Robert Waller
2x Veteran Legion
8x Legion
6x Auxiliaries
2x Archers
2x Skirmishers
2x Heavy Cavalry
2x Light Cavalry
2x Scorpion
1x General w/ Portents
3x Legate
Total Points: 1985 (24/12)

Light Cavalry

Light Germanic Cavalry

Light Moorish Cavalry

Light Numidian Cavalry

Light Roman Cavalry

Light Roman Cavalry

Skirmishers

Balearic Slings

Roman skirmishers

Germanic slings

Numidian javelins

Spanish Caetrati

Heavy Cavalry 

Note the images are aligned with the bottom of the counter, unlike before.

Praetorian

Sarmation

Command Units

The Legate and General images are from the excellent First Legion "toy soldiers," which cost only $60 upward! The Legate holding his helmet is from King & Country toy soldiers. Yes, this Legate is the same height as the others. The helmet gives the illusion of greater height! I wish I had the money for these "toy soldiers"! I love the new General with his tent. The other two generals are an homage to the old set. Plus, the variety of generals and legates allows this set to be used in Roman Civil War battles.

Legate
Legate

General
Emperor Marcus Aurelius

Saturday, May 15, 2021

New "Basic" Ancient Counters Sets

These have long been asked for and a long time in coming. You can find these new "basic" ancient counter sets on the Warmaster Paper Armies page. They use the same counters from their Warmaster Ancients counterparts, except these counters do not contain unit labels and are not grouped into pre-made units. These sets can provide greater flexibility for those who play other DBA-based games or for those not wanting labels on their counters. As I post a new WMA set, I will post its corresponding basic set. As time permits, I will create basic sets for older WMA and Fantasy sets. (I have to rework some counters from older sets, so those will take longer to post. Plus, I am trying to return to actual figure painting.) Let me know what you think in the comments below.