Saturday, July 30, 2022

Battles of the English Civil War by Mike Lambo

        I just received a copy of Mike Lambos' newest solitaire wargame book; Battles of the English Civil War. With  a complete ruleset and 15 battle scenarios for under $20.00, it is a great value. With Mr. Lambo games there are aways some changes in the rules so you're not just playing same rules with some small change to justify charging full price for the same rules.In this game the Artificial Intelligence tends to be more aggressive than other games. Such rules I think would be great in an Ancients game. Also when a unit is hit, it becomes disorganized and starts fleeing the field. There is uncertainty as the unit can retreat different distances based in the roll; then there's the fact you must try to rally before it retreats off the board or is hit a second time, which destroys the unit. 

    I got my first game in last night, using Peter Laing figures for my units. The battle was Edgehill. The AI were Royalists. And instead of deploying in Edgehill, they mainly deployed at the base of the hill. After my first move, the Royalist cannon fire disorganized one of my pikemen units, which promptly fled the field! The battle was downhill for me from there.

Initial troop deployments. Royalists on top, my army on the bottom. One can see the Royalist artillery has a clear shot on one of my pikemen.

The Royalist cannon and hits my pikeman, who retreats off the board. An ill omen!

The end of battle. The accursed General AI gave my army a sound thumping. With no chance of victory, I concede defeat.

The cover of the book. A good value that even non hermits should consider buying.


Sunday, June 12, 2022

New War of 1812 Scenario Book

A new book with 59 scenarios for the War of 1812.

Sample page of a scenario.

Table of Contents.

Though I thought it a little pricy, for someone interested in wargaming the War of 1812, I think this book is well worth the price. And  59 scenarios! With a good description of the battle, along with units and unit strengths from skirmishes to large battles, this book could keep a wargamer busy for a long time.

Saturday, June 11, 2022

Kinder American Civil War General

 While looking for ACW figures, I came across a small lot of Kinder ACW figures, which included a general wearing a chapeau bras bicorne dress hat. The lot was bought, so now the Kinder troops have a well dressed general.

Thursday, May 12, 2022

The Race to Bastogne:A new Mike Lambo Solitaire Game

     No sooner than I received my new Mike Lambo books on solitaire wargames, than he came out with a new one, "The Race to Bastogne".  In this book you control armor units trying to break through to the encircled American forces in Bastogne. As with his other games, the AI forces are unknown. One feature that's new is "Recon", where a reconnaissance unit can expose enemy units without coming within firing range of that unit; if you get the right roll, of course. Also, in this book Mr. Lambo put unit markers in the back so one can make their own unit counters. For me, I chose to buy new "Axis &Allies" tokens from an online store, Historic Board Games

New units for "The Race to Bastogne". I accidentally ordered more Shermans than needed.

My plan of attack. My Sherman on the left, Greyhound recon armored car in center, and Priest SP gun on right. Each vehicle has different uses. The Greyhound can "Recon" without getting within range of the enemy.  The small dice represent where enemy units are. On this first move the Greyhound "reconned" the red dice in front of him. The Sherman then attacked and with support from the Priest, eliminated that unit (which happened to be a Panzer IV). A good start!
While I made several mistakes moving my units forward, in the end using the Greyhound's recon ability and the Priests' fire support, I managed to pull out a victory on the last turn.  (I was going to show more of the action, but my computer and Google don't want to cooperate.)  My standing with these games are 2 wins, 7 loss, and one game called due to a power outage.

Friday, May 6, 2022

Using Mike Lambo Wargame Scenarios with Other Rules

      While playing wargames using Mike Lambo solitaire games, I started to think if the scenarios could be used with other rules.  I am thinking along the lines of a hybrid game, where using certain rules in his game would be used, but once contact with the enemy was made, different combat rules would be used. Alternatively, perhaps one Mike Lambo game could be turned into a simple campaign, where contact with the enemy would be shifted to a board, to be played out using other rules. 

    With this, I did use some of Battlescale hexes to set up the first scenario in "The Fields of Normandy". Below is a couple of shots of the setup.  I also saw on a Facebook group I follow someone using Horoscape hexes to lay out a battlefield, using different color hexes to represent different terrain features.

    All in all, if nothing else, Mr Lambo series on solitaire wargames has me playing wargames again ( 8 since I received his games) and thinking of different uses for his games.

The first scenario in. "The fields of Normandy", with the Battlescape battlefield laid out. 

In this scenario, two British infantry squads must locate and destroy an unknown German unit.  The two upper figures are where the unknown German unit is. In the game, it could be either a light or heavy machine-gun.

Friday, April 29, 2022

Battles of Medieval Britain: Gnome Wars

     This week I have been helping the wife do some gardening. Spread throughout her gardens are garden gnomes. I like teasing her about them, as no one else in the surrounding neighborhoods have gnomes.  I jokingly call her "the neighborhood crazy gnome lady".  While working under the gaze of the gnomes, I was daydreaming of using different time periods or figures for Mike Lambos' different solitaire games. While trying to ignore the gnomes staring at me, I thought it might be fun to play a game using the Peter Pig gnomes.

The Garden Gnomes prepare to defend their garden against invading Wood Gnomes.

After some initial success, the Garden Gnomes was flanked on both sides and were wiped out.  Somehow I can't see gnomes actually killing each other; instead when they take a hit they run home to their gardens.

The inspiration for this wargame.

Saturday, April 23, 2022

Ghosts of the Jungle: A Solitaire Wargame

     This last week I have played four games using Battles of Medieval Britain (1 win- 3 losses). I have played the first two scenarios twice. While my continued lack of success (I blame poor dice rolls)was frustrating, it's been good getting some kind of wargames in. I also took the time to rebase some Peter Laing figures to use on the board.  I am even thinking of rebasing more of my Peter Laing Medievals to use with later period games.

    I also bought Mike Lambos' Ghosts of the Jungle and wanted to try a game. As I don't have any 15mm Vietnam War figures, I rebased some Peter Pig modern African War figures.  I did finally get a game in. I do believe that I made several mistakes in the game. Somehow I was continually interrupted reading the rules.  I figured the rules are simple enough that I could just play through. However, I found myself trying to find how certain rules work. Still, it was an enjoyable game. This particular game doesn't have a limited number of moves; after all you are on a stealth mission where you are trying to accomplish your mission without being detected. 

The SAS team is lined up on the right. Their mission is to get to the left hand side of the board. To lose one man and the mission is a failure. There are three randomly placed enemy. In the picture there is impassable marsh in front of the closest SAS man. Then there is an impassable rock. Between them is a village, which a randomly placed enemy occupies. The team decides to slide to their right and work their way around those obstacles.
The team has managed to work their way around the occupied village. However, unfortunately they had been sighted several times and suffered injuries ( each team member can take three hits. The Team leader can tend wounds and take away injuries, but you have to get doubles and both figures have to be in a building square). The upper left figure is Trooper Baker, who in the next move made it to the objective.  However, the enemy has managed to form a blocking force across the road. Unlike BoMB, the AI forces can move randomly. By some unlucky rolls (based on what side your on!!) The random dice rolls worked out for the enemy. I didn't see that happening. 

The end of the game. My dice rolls continued to work against the team. The random dice rolls continued to work in the enemy's favor, and they continued to close in on the team. In this game every time the team shoots, it activates more enemy reinforcements. Also, you must roll a 4 to "hide" a team member. My team rolled very few 4s. At this point Trooper Baker decided to backtrack to aid his comrades.  Baker had already taken one hit on this mission. Baker killed one of the blocking force. The rest of the team was getting ready to attack. Only Sgt. Allen hadn't been wounded. However, Trooper Baker was in the open. Two enemy soldiers on the road spot him and open fire. Trooper Baker is killed; the mission is a failure. 

  At the end of the turn, each AI soldier gets to roll. They can move, fire or Hunt if they roll doubles. Both the managed to roll hits, that killed Baker. 

Monday, April 18, 2022

Battles of Medieval Britain: A Solitaire Wargame Dice Roll

      In my last post about these rules, I mentioned that each unit gets to roll a certain number of dice and can use as many of the dice rolls to activate that unit.  I have never used this in a game before. I really liked this system, although it can prove frustrating in a game. 

    In my first game there was a particular roll that showed how this system can be used. For dice rolls in this scenario if you roll a 1 the unit can form a Shieldwall. Roll a 2,3, or 4 and the unit can move. Roll a 5 or 6 and you can attack.  I will show one units' move below just to show how clever this system can be.

If one looks at the dice, reading from the top the unit can move, attack, then form Shieldwall. You can arrange the dice in any order you like. The swordsman to the left of the 2 is the unit moving. He has already used his movement dice to move next to the spearman in front of him ( I realized at this point that this would make a good example of how the dice system works).

At this point the unit used its' "attack" dice (the 6 dice), in which the attack failed.  As the enemy unit could attack at the end of the turn, the unit uses its' last dice (the 1dice) to form "Shieldwall". 

      In this particular game all units are "Warrior" units. To kill a unit, the base roll on two dice  is 8+ without any modifiers. However, by forming a shieldwall,  the unit adds +2 to its' defense.  The enemy  now must roll 10+ to eliminate my unit. The roll failed so he survived to continue the battle. It's a simple system that adds additional challenges to fighting solo wargames. I am looking forward to trying more of these games.

Sunday, April 17, 2022

Battles of Medieval Britain: A Solitaire Wargame

        While on Youtube, a video popped up of a solitaire wargame by Mike Lambo. It was a set of wargame rules and scenarios for Beaches for the Brave. It turned out Mike Lambo has written 5 books of solitaire wargame rules and scenarios. I watched three of his videos. I ended up ordering two of the books; "Battles of Medieval Britain" and "Ghosts of the Jungle". The first one is self explanatory, the second follows an Australian SAS team though a series of missions in Vietnam.  
         The first part of the book explains the basic rules for using the scenarios. The second part has the scenarios. One page gives the charts for the scenario and the goals of the game. The second is the map for the scenario. The opposition is randomly set up. The player get to deploy his forces as he chooses. To move each unit gets to roll several dice, then based on a chart, can use the options from the chart to move his units. He can use as many dice as he chooses. Although in Battles of Medieval Britain the defensive forces can't move, they can engage any opponents in contact with them. Also, as the game goes on, the defenders get reinforcements, you don't. I have only played one game so far. One reason I chose these books is that I can set up a game without figuring out the battlefield layout and units involved. The game I played was set up and played in a little over half an hour. While on the videos Mr. Lambo used blocks to represent the different units, I broke out some Peter Laing figures to use as markers. The one game I played proved to be engaging and fun. In the end I lost; I hope to give it another go tonight and see if I have better luck.
The game after the second move.  Right after this move the defenders got their first reinforcements. Its random dice roll dropped it right in front of my victorious unit, thereby stopping the split of the enemy army.  There are several interesting options; one was that my unit could form a shield wall, that add modifiers to its defense. In fact that's what it did in the next turn, which succeeded in warding off an attack.  In the end I was down to one unit, which in no way could eliminate 8 units in two turns, so had to concede defeat.

I strongly encourage anyone interested in these games to look up Mike Lambo on Youtube to see how the different games are played out.  I paid $14.99 for each book on Amazon and received them in two days.
Hopefully in the coming weeks I can try both rules and decide if I will buy more of his books. I do hope that maybe Mr. Lambo will come up with other periods. 

Saturday, April 9, 2022

New Homecasting

    A little over a month ago I purchased an old metal toy soldier mold. It was a three figure mold of Prussian SYW fusiliers. I have never seen this mold, but the figures were quite handsome. I placed a bid, which was successful. Unfortunately, the day it was delivered I had come down with a bad cold, which in turn became bronchitis. What's more, I became so dehydrated that my gout flared up in both my legs, leaving me barely able to walk for 3 weeks. However, the miracle of modern medicine got me back on my feet and back to work.

   My poor wife, after being my personal nurse for four weeks, was invited to a birthday party, with the added bonus that she got to get away from her problem patient. I decided to try the mold out.

    I was surprised that I got some useful figures, as the metal in the pot was low and tends to be contaminated at the end.  The figures themself seem to be about 45mm tall. If they could be molded properly they would be great figures. For me, the mold was bought a a whim and how much use it will get is anyone's guess.

The mold

The completed casting. I had a 50% success rate; although  the  the bayonets didn't come out and the pigtails broke off (due to my clumsy handling).

One of the casting compared to a Prince August 40mm grenadier. I measured the fusilier using a ruler, and it came out to roughly 45mm to where the top of his head would be.