Friday, October 6, 2023

Thunder at Dawn - The Battle of Wilson's Creek by Revolution Games

Here is the setup for the revolution Games Thunder at Dawn, the Battle of South Mountain, near Springfield, Missouri, in April 1861.  This series designed by Hermann Luttmann is fantastically simple, with only 16 pages of game rules, some brief game-specific rules, beautiful components, fog of war, and lots of challenges and decisions to make.  The system is called the Blind Swords system, and there are now several ACW games in this series.  Starting this campaign very soon!  

SPI also did Wilson's Creek in one of the S&T magazines back in 1980.  Here is a comparison, with the SPI Wilson's Creek map.  

And here is a quick comparison between the counters.  

The SPI game was one of the first in the Great Battles of the American Civil War series, and it also contained a very short rulebook and brief game-specific rules.  I am hoping to play both to compare and contrast the two.  

More to come!

Thursday, September 28, 2023

Battle of Monmouth - GMT's Battles of the American Revolution

 GMT's Battles of the American Revolution is an operational/grand tactical game series of... you guessed it... various battles of the American Revolutionary War. The graphics and maps are nice, and the rule book is 16 pages.  Specific battle rulebooks are also short, with minimal additional rules.  each battle has a lot of decision-making for both sides, and some mechanics that allow for great replayability.  Below is my playthrough of the Battle of Monmouth, a 14 turn campaign game.  I have Brandywine set up and ready to go now.  

Sorry, the last slide should be game turn 14.  Game end.  

June 16th on Saipan

 Below are descriptions of the 0500, 0700, and the 0900 turns of June 16th.  As you can see, the Marines have widened their beachhead, have captured Aslito Airfield, and are in the process of clearing the southern part of the island.  By the end of the day, the southern third of the island should be cleared and the Marin es positioned to push up the island into the mountainous areas.  This will be a tough fight for the Marines as the Japanese are in rocky and rough terrain, dug in, and in caves.  

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Company Scale System - the Battle for Saipan

 So I have been playing Compass Games' CSS System Saipan: The Bloody Rock.  Adam Starkweather designed this one as well as he MMP Grand Tactical Series, and both are very similar.  Both are awesome designs.  The chit pull system is the heart the game, but how to get the chits in the cup is the blood that flows.  Each division (or brigade sometimes) has a certain amount of dispatch points that are accumulated by a combination of die rolling and dispatch rating.  This rating is the measure of the ability of the division's command and control.  Sometimes you have enough points to do what you want; many times you don't. It's an interesting game system.  And the Marianas Campaign Battles, Guam, Saipan, and Tinian, are very fun to play.  Yes, the Marines will probably win.  But the Japanese have a lot to play with, and can deal some hurt on the Americans.  Here are photos of the progress of Day 1 on Saipan.  Each day has 9 turns, every two hours, from 0700 - 1700 with 2 night turns.  

Now on to day 2!  My plan for the Marines is to take the Aslito Airfield and clean up as much of the south as possible.  The Japanese must continue to fortify their fall back positions in the hills there in front of the 2 MARDIV positions.  This area will see some tough fighting over the next few campaign days.  

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

More Raaco ASL Storage

This is my second installment on my new and improved ASL counter storage using Raaco inserts and Duratool (Raaco clone) storage cases.  Once I decided to use the Raaco storage system, I had to organize it.  This is my engineer side talking here.  I created a diagram of where all of the counters would go, using the Raaco insert layouts.  Here is an example of the Japanese organization:

I created an org chart like this for each of my nationalities.  Some nationalities, like the Japanese, Chinese, Italians, and Allied Minors, consisted of one page, or one layer in the Raaco box.  Other nationalities, like the Americans, Germans, British and Russians filled the whole box, both layers.  Here is the link to the PDF of the entire org chart for all nationalities.

I use a Brother label maker to create labels for all of the inserts.  I like white text on a black label.  here is my American box as an example.  With my Brother label maker, you can connect to a PC and create custom labels with any font and even use graphics.  Note my American box with the Marine insignia.

Below is my entire ASL army in two Duratool Handy Box clones, with 8 storage boxes.  I have one extra on top, which I may use for informational counters or the Finns when they come out!

Monday, October 20, 2014

I Broke Down... Raaco!

Well, I finally broke down and organized my ASL counters with Raaco.  Sort of...  I was able to find Raaco clone boxes by Duratool at MCM Electronics here in the U.S., and purchased Raaco A75 and A78 inserts from CPC Farnell in the UK.  The Duratool clone set of 4 boxes with carrying case (similar to the Raaco Handy Box with 4 cases) was only $30.  Each separate PSC4-01 clone box was only about $6.  The Raaco inserts were fairly inexpensive even when buying them from the UK and shipping them to the U.S.

Here's the Duratool Raaco PSC4-01 clone box.  It looks exactly like the Raaco box, except that it is Black and Yellow.

The Duratool box comes with several Raaco clone inserts that are as deep as the box itself.  They are cheaply made and most of them are warped slightly.  I basically tossed them in a box and am keeping them for my wife for crafts or something.

Another view of the Duratool box.

Below are a few pictures of two of my boxes, one British and one the Japanese/Chinese box.  I'll show some photos now and in another post or two, probably tomorrow and later this week, I'll explain my organization, my labeling technique and post PDF diagrams of my organization.

Here are two pictures of my Japanese/Chinese box.  The Japanese are on top, while the Chinese are in the layer below.

More tomorrow!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

StL Club Historical Magazine on Burma Coming Next Year

Just wanted to let everyone know about the St. Louis ASL Club's first historical magazine coming out next July at our tourney. The first issue is on Burma, 1942, when the Japanese invade. See the flyer below. We are currently playtesting several scenarios on an historical map, and are planning to have 8-10 more scenarios on various map boards (several are also in playtesting). The full color magazine will contain at least 48 pages of articles on various subjects, ranging from an intro to the CBI theater of 1942, Japanese tanks and tank tactics, rice paddies, AAR's/designer notes on the scenarios, and much more stuff. More details to follow!