Sunday, November 13, 2016

Risk Figures, Wood Squares, Cigar Boxes, and a Bottle of Wine.

      It's been over a month since my last wargame.  I have also been working overtime so haven't  had time for working on games.  However, it did give me time to think of some new ideas for my solo games.

     In the most recent issue of LONE WARRIOR, one article talks of using meeples to activate units. Meeples are man shaped tokens used for board games. Basically there would be a meeple for each unit.  Instead of the usual ugo-igo,  whatever color meeple was drawn gets to move. There is also an odd colored meeple, which, when drawn, ends the turn. I have used a similar idea with playing cards, but never being good at shuffling cards, this tended to be a disappointment. I couldn't find meeples, but I did find wood square to use instead.  I marked them as infantry, light infantry, cavalry, and artillery. For this wargame, I flipped the squares over and randomly picked 7 units for each army.  After picking each army, once again I mixed the squares up and randomly placed them on the back line of the battlefield. For this game I used the board with no terrain. This also gave me a chance to use my Risk Europe figures.   After turning over the squares and placing the figures on the board, the squares were placed in a deep cigar box with an odd colored square added to indicate the end of the turn.

     Before I go on, a side note. My wife unfortunately smokes. We have been going to a cigar shop to buy her cigarettes. The shop we go to leaves the old cigar boxes in the corner  for customers to take. If you buy something he lets you take them for free. If you just come in for the boxes, he charges $2.00 per box. The money he collects on the boxes he donates to a retired police K9 charity, so I will usually still give him $2.00 a box. I started collecting these with the hope of getting foam rubber and boxing up my semi flat figures.

   Quite simply, I start drawing squares out of the box; whatever color & unit symbol moves. Once the odd color is drawn, the turn ends and the squares go back in the box. Now, it's been a long month for me and the wife worked late last night so I decided to have a couple of glasses of wine. Once the game started, the wine started to flow.  So instead of trying to give a blow by blow, as the game got quite confusing, I will let the photos show the action.

The red army at the top. They had no cavalry, but did have a catapult. The blue army at the bottom.

Another shot looking down the blue line.

After a few squares had been drawn. The squares marked "LT" were archers.

The red army draws an artillery square. The catapult causes one cavalry unit to retreat.

This is at the end of the first move. The yellow square ends the turn.

At this point I started marking moved units with arrows, so I would remember who had moved already.

Blue archers move forward and fire at a red archer unit, forcing them to retreat two hexes. Yellow arrows show retreats.

This is an overview shot at the end of turn 2. The red army didn't get to move many units, and suffered 4 killed.

Another shot of the photo above.

Turn 3. Only one unit moved.

A red unit forces a blue unit to retreat and goes in pursuit. The blue army takes the opportunity to cut this unit off.

End of turn 4. 

Blue army tries to eliminate the trapped red unit, who lose 50%.  The red unit uses its' turn to retreat. I am using BATTLELORE rules. Being a "blue unit" by BATTLELORE rules, it can either move two spaces or move one space and battle. It chooses to use its' complete movement.

An above view of the battlefield. At this point it becomes obvious that the battle is getting quite confusing, especially if you are drinking and gaming!

The blue army becomes obsessed with the trapped infantry unit.

The red army counterattacks.

The red army wipes out a unit of blue archers; the blue cavalry overruns a red archer unit. What's more, it closes in on the red army headquarters. 

Next turn the blue army draws a cavalry square right away. If the red army can drive them out of the camp, the battle will go on.

At this point the blue army has eliminated 4 red units; the red army has suffered over 50% causalities, and so have lost the battle.

I was happy with this system of movement, although a couple of times I forgot to remove a square after the unit was eliminated.  I am thinking of using squares to randomly place terrain on the field, although I haven't quite worked that out. Of course, I could always get more squares, enough for each hex.

Some of the cigar boxes, which I hope will be put to good use protecting more fragile war-game figures.


  1. Good to see the figures get a run out John. Using the wooden squares for activation seems to have worked well, looks much better and less intrusive visually than playing cards. The cigar boxes will be very useful as well as being lovely things in their own right, I have one and love the slightly grainy texture that they have. Hope that you enjoyed the game ! Thanks.

  2. It was great finally getting a game in. I will continue to experiment with the wooden squares, I was happy with the way the game turned out. As the Risk figures aren't historically accurate foamy particular army, I can see them being used for a Hyborian campaign. I used one of the cigar boxes for my rather large collection of 30mm semi flat Wollner Austrians. I used paper towels to protect them for now, until I can get some foam rubber. The box has been given a coat of white paint; it will need a second coat.