The weeks seem to have passed and my diary has prevented me from playing any competitive wargames etc. I thought I would write a short post on what I have been doing recently. The painting table has been fairly busy as I plough my way through my Han Chinese army. I am not reporting on this as I progress and will just present the finished article in a future post. My gaming has been solo, and I have focused on rules from Too Fat Lardies. I find solo gaming a useful exercise to refresh my memory of rules and mechanisms. Firstly I played a couple of games of ‘Chain of Command’; a rules system I enjoy and gives a good (?) representation of platoon-level combat. I played using my British Para forces for the first time and they pack quite a punch, the German opponents need to work hard to get a result from such a match up. Next I moved on to the Lardies ‘Sharp Practice’ rule set, playing Napoleonic Peninsular skirmishes. I really like these rules and think they give an even better game than Chain of Command. The games always seem to tell a story and yield memorable moments. The last game (shown below) revolved around 2 lines firing volleys at each other until one side gave way, but the flanks were more fluid; British Light Dragoons bouncing a charge from the heavier French, whilst on the other flank some Voltigeurs ejected the 95th Rifles from a village.
On the boardgame front, Elaine and I have played some 2-player games. We enjoyed ‘7 Wonders – Duel’ (borrowed from Val and Chris). The designers have nicely kept the original theme and most of the mechanisms from the basic ‘7 Wonders’ game, but added a real ‘take-that’ element to the city building. I like the balance achieved with the Military and Science aspects, so that neither dominate the game, and the linkages between cards works and is not too fussy.
We have also managed to get ‘Western Legends’ to the table as a 2-player game. I was worried when I bought the game that Elaine would not be keen to play. The game is clearly a theme-driven, Wild West Ameritrash game involving player conflict and multiple paths to victory; not Elaine’s normal ‘cup of tea’! To my great surprise (and relief) she likes the game, and we have now played 3 times in a week. Game play is quick and the rules simple. Actions are varied, but not overly complex, and fit well with the thematic story. The conflict aspect is again thematic and fast to resolve, and there is no player elimination. The objectives are clear and, in our games, the results were tight. The board and components are attractive and easy to understand. The 2-player version includes a good dummy player, ‘The Man in Black’, which works well but seems to have a tendency to hunt down Elaine’s character in most turns! I look forward to trying the game in a 4-player mode, where more player interaction is bound to occur. I also think the model figures would benefit from a paint job.