Sunday, 31 January 2010

Badlands Ambush


(A scenario that will probably get added to the draft rulebook and pretty much a rewrite of a setup that we use a lot for aerial wargames.)

For two sides. One side jumps the other. Dice for attacker/defender, high dice is attacker.

Attacker secretly nominates one or two entry points, corners or midway points of table edges.

Defender starts in centre of table having nominated a direction of travel. Defenders vehicles are travelling at 10". If a road is available, it can be laid out to match the direction of the defenders travel with other terrain features re-arranged to accommodate it but this is purely visual and has no game effect.

Attacker vehicles then enter within 6" of either of their entry points, but if two entry points were selected then each entry point must be used by at least one vehicle. Attacker vehicles start travelling at 15".

Any vehicle that exits the table edge (more than half of it's base off-table) counts as lost. Each vehicle immobilised or destroyed scores 1 point for the opposition, regards of cause of that loss. In the result of a draw, the Defender side wins as the Attackers had the burden of attack and the speed advantage in the first game turn.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

Tarmac Basing

Two shots from Boardgamegeek of cars I based up for the 5th edition of Car Wars. To distinguish these from the post-apoc style I was making for A&A v1 I went for the fictional Hot Wheels models (assuming that a time 50 years into the future would see cars that don't exist today) and, for a corporate-sponsored arena, kept them clean so essentially they only got a little bit of paint detailing in order to mark out brake lights and the like.

The reason I'm posting them is because they illustrate the wet-and-dry basing technique described in the A&A II draft rulebook. Artboard rectangles 3" x 1.5" were cut and painted grey then a piece of grey wet-and-dry paper was glued to one side. This was cut slightly oversize so that the edges were not flush with the base sides or overhanging which would have seen them start lifting and fraying very quickly.

These were then drybrushed with the same grey as was used on the artboard. It's worth using an old brush for this - it's possibly the most destructive form of drybrushing you can do.

The white lines you see on some bases were done by laying down two strips of masking tape and dampbrushing an off-white along them, leaving the paint "bitty" and not completely filling the exposed areas. I then removed the tape and the resulting incomplete line looks just like a white line that has been exposed to weather and is starting to get worn away. Can be done with yellow as well. Very quick and easy and very effective. You can probably see this best on the first pic on the red car with the exposed wheels as the shape of the car exposes more of the base. Click for a full-size.

(Obviously the die-cast car is glued onto the base after all this has been done not before!)

The flame-effect car with the red trim on the wheels has some embossed card brickwork on it to represent a cobbled square or the line of bricks on the track at Indianapolis. Just a piece of the embossed card cut undersized and glued to the base, but I didn't really like the effect so only did a couple like this.

White Dwarf 102 Cover

I'm sure that when Les Edwards painted this piece of Dark Future artwork back in about 1988 the intentions were all good and the worried-looking bald Renegade driver was supposed to look like a shaven-headed outlaw gang member...

...but every time I see it now I can't help but wonder what ex-Coronation Street actor John Savident is doing being chased by the Interceptor.

(I had to go the Daily Hatemail website to get that pic - suffice to say the keyboard and mouse were thoroughly disinfected with Dettol afterwards.)

Which then, of course, makes me wonder if Savident is trying to get away sharpish before somebody stabs him in the neck again. That's kind of the way my mind works.

Russian Post-Apoc Camaro

Found here with plenty more pics -

Monday, 25 January 2010

Axles and Alloys II - Playtest

The first public beta playtest release is up! Get it here or click the pic. The file is a PDF and is only 322Kb long.

All feedback gratefully received!

Welcome to Axles and Alloys II!

Hot Wheels Ms-T Suzuka with EM-4 Miniatures gun. Modelling by Coop.

Once upon a time (I think it was about 2001) I wrote a little wargame in the post-apocalyptic-cars-with-guns genre. It started life as a variant on Full Thrust designed to give me an excuse to convert Matchbox cars in the fashion that we'd all done back in the Dark Future days (before we realised that our games of DF were all quite disappointing) and to provide the Stourbridge and District Wargames club with another participation game to take around the Midlands cons.

It seemed to go down quite well with most of the people who played it and the Stourbridge crew played in a fair few over-sized games with a dozen or more people crammed around an 8' x 8' table. Almost as an afterthought I emailed Bill Armintrout at TMP about it and then it all went a bit mad with a lot of people playing it, saying nice things about it and converting cars. It was written in about 5 minutes after the idea struck me and turned out to have a life of it's own and be the most successful contribution to gaming geekdom I've ever managed. It even enjoyed an A&A scene over in Brazil and, before the online translation engines managed to cover Danish, I used to periodically look at a Danish-language gaming site and wonder what the bloody hell they were saying about me and my stupid little game. :) (Machine-translated English here BTW).

A few years after it all I lost interest in gaming and dropped out of the scene for two or three years with the result that my website hosting elapsed, the blog and newer versions of the game vanished into the ether and in the end only the kind offering to host a PDF of the rules by Wolfegames saw A&A survive.

Matchbox 1971 Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser with Games Workshop gun. Modelling by Coop.

It's been nearly a decade now and people still refer to this style of modelling as "Axles and Alloys" - a pun title suggested by Stourbridge club chairman, and accomplice in running A&A around the show circuit, Dave Orton. Even a suggestion for "Car Warriors" accessories on the Wargames Factory "Liberty and Union" request list uses the magic word "Axles" and "Alloys".

Anyway, a new version is up on the ramps and being playtested, incorporating a bunch of ideas to make things feel a little bit more like driving and a bunch of stuff that isn't written down anywhere but was generally how we played "back in the old days" before it dropped out of view. Why now? I'm enjoying modelling the cars and a little part of me thinks that anybody who downloads the old PDF is missing out a bit and short-changed by what is missing and never got written back into the old rules and just got offered about on blogs and on hand-written notes.

Matchbox 1971 Oldsmobile Vista Cruiser with Games Workshop gun. Modelling by Coop.