Thursday, April 24, 2014

Dry Climate/Arid Battle Cloth and thoughts on gaming


I've been meaning to do a a more arid battle cloth for quite some time as my current battle cloth has limited me to Europe and North America in full summer bloom with rich greens and plenty of healthy vegetation and grass. So, yesterday I set to work in toxic fumes to see what I could do. This new battle cloth opens up the Mediterranean, parts of Africa, Asian coastal or near water source areas, North America and Europe in late summer or hotter drier periods. Overall I'm pleased, but it still needs more work I'm sure, but I'll need to have some games on it with troops and terrain to better see where I'm coming up short.

On the gaming front I and others from the group have been thinking of ways to consolidate our rules so as to spend more time gaming and less time reading. We game once or twice a month and so it can be quite sometime in between games and so we often forget the rules and have to re-read things.

Black Powder I think is a great choice as a default rule set as it's easy to learn and collect for and is pretty fun. Sure, you will probably find period specific rule sets that are better, but that comes with a cost of having to re-learn them over and over again unless you virtually only play one period. Since we like a variety of periods using black powder weapons it seems wise to use a more all purpose rule set where you need not worry about reading the rules before and during games.

Ancients is bit more difficult as we have Armatti and Impetus camps(I love Impetus, but others are put off by all the errata). We have yet to try Hail Caesar so I'm hopeful everyone will like it so we can move to a consensus on something.

Skirmish is difficult to have one default rule set, but we are looking at trying to focus one to each period which will help.

Perhaps it's our age? where we are looking less for the newest and coolest rules, but the easiest way we can get our toys on the table and play.

39 comments :

  1. I have to agree, playing too many rule sets can becoming confusing and I often end up mixing them up

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    1. Yes indeed mixing things up is a problem or having so long between each system that you forget most the rules.

      Christopher

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  2. That is a good looking table top. The mottled coloring is quite aesthetic to my eye.

    Regarding Impetus, what are the errata that are causing such anxiety in your group?

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    1. Thanks a lot Jonathan I'm getting there.:-)

      I love Impetus, but to play Impetus properly you need the amendments which change often and the rulebook itself needs to better written and organized which is a problem when trying to convert players from one system to another and has been a barrier in our group. It's why I and others have pestered Lorenzo(Impetus author) to publish a new "cleaned up" version of Impetus.....Impetus2 basically. It's in the pipes for next year I believe which I hope comes true.

      Christopher

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    2. Good one Christopher, I'll gladly buy Impetus v2! Now if I could just convert a local player to the cause.

      That is a great table top. Is it canvas?

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    3. Keep your fingers crossed Monty. It's a cloth/felt material that I simply sprayed until I was happy.:-)

      Christopher

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  3. Nice work on coloring the cloth - add some terrain details and you'll be at Zama or Cannae in no time. If you've been happy with Black Powder you should be equally happy with Hail Caesar at the club. I really like the tool box of extra rules you can add to units. Good luck with the gaming!

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    1. Thanks and yes that's part of what I had in mind BP for the cloth, plus a chance to fully realize my Spanish Reconquista ambitions.

      I really hope that's the case with Hail Caesar and I too really enjoy the toolbox!

      Christopher

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  4. The battle cloth looks great. Would you/could put up a how-to post? Please. :)

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    1. Thank you kindly Mike.

      Not sure about a how to, but the process is much easier and kinder to models then terrain boards. Find yourself about 8 to 12 ft long x 6 ft wide cut of cloth in a tan Ochre colour and some spray cans of paint in shades of medium green, light tan,light brown and start spraying to taste.

      Christopher

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  5. As I already told you the mat looks great to me. Hope to have a closer look soon. About the rule sets you know I'm totally with you. Play (and talk) more read less.

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    1. Thanks a lot Nick and hopefully the others will agree equally.

      Christopher

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  6. I have to say that the mat is looking rather splendid Christopher.

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  7. The mat looks great from here Christopher! As for rules, totally understand! Our group is the same, months and in some cases years between using the same rule set! There is always lots of rule confusion going on!

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    1. Thank you kindly Rodger!

      Just wish I could convince everyone in our group to get on board,

      Christopher

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  8. That is a nice looking mat, very real looking. The desire to find a way to get your figures on the table without having to purchase and learn multitudes of rules doesn't mean you're getting older. It means you're getting smarter.

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    1. Thank you very much Anne on both counts, but suspect on the latter it has more to do with getting lazier then smarter!:-)

      Christopher

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  9. Nice work on the mat. I'm a Black Powder fan for many of the same reason you've listed above. Eager to try out Hail Caesar! for some Viking battles sometime down the road.

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    1. Thank you very much and still trying to convince some doubters. I really would like to try Hail Caesar too.

      Christopher

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  10. Hi Christopher,
    I'm sure that your Moors will look perfect on this battleground.

    Cheers
    Mike

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    1. Thank you Mike and a great game on Saturday. I would like to hear your thoughts on a standardized game system.

      Christopher

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  11. That mat looks excellent. For skirmish games if you are looking for core rules with period specific flavour the Song of...series published by Ganesha games have given me some enjoyable games.

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    1. Thank you kindly Legatus on both remarks and I may try them.

      Christopher

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  12. Very nice mat indeed. Our small group had a similar issue with rules even though we gamed regularly we like to play many periods and we would forget the rules from one game to the next. We have found that despite it not being completely period specific at times it allows for a great fun game and because regardless of the period the rules remain the same we have found we remember most of them now. In fact this has been so good that we ar using Hail Caesar for ancients and its doing the same for that, throw in the supplements and they provide enough fine tuning for the period to get on with the game. Just my two pence worth :)

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    1. Doh obviously I meant to say Black powder in the preamble to the Hail Caesar bit, but I have dead head on this morning ;)

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    2. Thank you Andrew. No problem I knew what you meant. Sadly, not all of our group is on board so it will take some convincing. I'll keep trying and maybe I'll get through to the dissenters.

      Christopher

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  13. It's nice to a play some new systems every now and then, although the best games tend to be with ruels we are confortable and familiar with. New mat looks great

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    1. Thanks Zombie and that's one of the points I've been trying to get across to the nay sayers in our group.

      Christopher

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  14. Replies
    1. Thank you and I think the angle makes it look extra big. The table itself is 5ft x 8ft. which is a big table, but not a huge gaming table. The cloth itself is about 6ft x 10ft. for bigger games.

      Christopher

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  15. "Perhaps it's our age? where we are looking less for the newest and coolest rules, but the easiest way we can get our toys on the table and play"........Amen brother!

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    1. Thanks Fran and wish our group would come to a consensus onto rule sets as I'm sick and tired of learning new rule sets. I hate reading rules especially if I have to read the same one over and over again!!!!

      Christopher

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  16. Interesting looking table cover though perhaps a bit dark but you see once you get some models on it but a winner in any event. I'm completely with you on the rules thing too, the more you have to check the rule book, the more you get away from the 'story'.

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    1. Thanks on the mat Hendrid and exactly on the rules.Sometimes you just have to pick a set of rules and go with it.

      Christopher

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  17. Nice work on the mat; I was lazy and went to the local fabric store and picked up a nice fleece one. As far as rules, I'm a Black Powder and Hail Caesar loyalist - for all the reasons you've stated. Additionally, I can adjust/mod the core rules to fit not only scenarios, but players (experience level). I've dropped Disorder and Shaken rules for a recent Hail Caesar game (well it was Hail Caesar when I started out), and it worked out great. As far as skirmish, I'm sticking with Bolt Action for more modern games. I still am also willing to play WAB as that was the first rules I ever played and it's kind of like riding a bicycle ;)

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    1. Thank you Dean and it's actually cloth that I spray painted up so call me lazy too.:-) Your correct you can change BP to suit whatever period, styles and persons playing to taste. I personally do not now of a system quite so flexible, but still be grounded in a stable structure. Impetus will take pride of place in my gaming for Ancients, but I will for sure try HC and see where that takes me based simply on how much I already enjoy BP. I've re-based most my Ancients away from WAB towards Impetus, but if somebody shows up with WAB armies I'll play the game if they provide the figures as it's like you said in that "It's like riding a bike". Bolt Action is also my rules of choice for "modern" skirmish btw.

      Christopher

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  18. Great work on the mat Christopher. I lack these skills and I just bought two amazing mats (on the blog this week) from a Spanish company. Agree on the consolidation of the rules. As we discussed at Tactica we tried BP now as our default set. Still not 100% convinced as we only did the standard rules for an ACW game and it seemed to lack a bit of depth. But than again, we wanted simpler rules :-)

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    1. Thank you very Michael! Don't forget BP will accept house rules very easily and it's easy to add more depth until it plays how you want.

      Christopher

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