Samstag, 25. März 2023

my personal dice tower

There are the classics among games that do without random mechanisms, such as Go or chess, but also many board games such as the 18xx series, Diplomacy or the wonderful Civilization, to name just a few. In very many games, a more or less large random or luck mechanism is an inherent part of the game. This may be the distribution of cards or positions at the beginning of the game, the random drawing from a pile or a bag, or the spinning of a spinner, etc.

In my opinion the most popular random mechanism in (war)games is the throwing of dice. It is so widespread that there are numerous tools for it to help us ensure that

- our dice do not roll under the sofa

- the pawns and meeples stay in place and are not knocked over by the dice

- and last but not least ... they prevent intentional or unintentional manipulation of the die roll.

These tools are the dice cup, the dice tray and of course the dice tower. In this blog post, I want to tell you about a small but very practical dice tower that is cheap to buy, easy to assemble and - most importantly - can be personalised very nicely. It is the foldable dice tower by Too Fat Lardies:

This dice tower is suitable for up to about a dozen 16mm D6 dice. When not in use, it can be folded into a small box of 12x8x5cm. As you can see in the picture, there ist the Too Fat Lardies logo edged in on the front of the tower and of the dice tray. 

The TFL Dice Tower is a small and practical tool in its original state. In addition, however, it can also be personalised very easily. 

When assembling the dice tower, you can simply place the front plate of the tower and the front plate of the dice tray with the logo facing inwards. This way you get a neutral dice tower and a free area that you can design yourself. 

See how I designed my own dice tower: On the front I placed a variant of the coat of arms of my hometown by adding a medieval halberdier:

On the back I have painted a 16th century banner bearer of the Canton of Solothurn, based on a painting by M. Jacobson from the book "die Banner der Heimat",1942:

For a friend I painted the dice tower with a modified coat of arms of the canton of Bern:

Maybe with this post I can inspire you to create your own dice tower. I look forward to your comments.

Dienstag, 21. Februar 2023

Triumph! Mini-Tournament

Everything was ready for the continuation of our DBA campaign "The Rise of Rome". Due to illness and other absences, only three players were present on day X instead of the six needed. So we decided to play a mini-tournament according to the Triumph! rules by WGCWAR instead.

We played a round robin with three armies from the 7th and 8th century AD (army lists see here

- Western Slav (with the "fortified camp" battle card)

- Carolingian Frankish (no battle card)

- Italian Lombard (no battle card)

and 75 minutes playing time per game. Each player receives the victory points from the game for the tournament ranking. The winner of a game receives an extra 15 points.

Game 1: Carolingian Frankish vs. Western Slav

Terrain: Arable

Number of Terrain pieces: 5

Tactical Advantage: Carolingian Frankish 

Western Slavs advancing from the left. The Carolingians are blocking the passage between the small forest and the piece of rough terrain.

it's a thinking man's game

both battlelines are already battered but continue to fight bravely 

The game was extraordinarily exciting. Both sides suffered losses without gaining a decisive advantage. Finally, both armies even surpassed the threshold of 16 points in the same round! The Carolingian Frankish won the game by a very narrow margin of 18 points to 17 and they are awarded the 15 surplus points for their victory.

Tournament standing:

- Western Slav                17 pts
- Carolingian Frankish    33 pts
- Italian Lombard             0 pts

Game 2: Western Slav vs. Italian Lombard

Terrain: Arable

Number of Terrain pieces: 6

Tactical Advantage: Western Slav

Italian Lombards (bottom of the picture) lined up against Western Slavs on a battlefield with an awful lot of terrain pieces

My Lombards had two knights ready to crush the opposing slav heavy foot. Good plan, but poorly executed ..

.. both lombard knights elements plus the knight general set aside as casualties ..

With the Lombard battleline disintegrated, the Slav general attacks and sacks the Lombard's camp

The game ends with a glorious 23 (+15) to 9 victory for the Western Slavs!

Tournament standing:

- Western Slav                55 pts
- Carolingian Frankish    33 pts
- Italian Lombard             9 pts

Game 3: Carolingian Frankish vs. Italian Lombard

Terrain: Hilly

Number of Terrain pieces: 4

Tactical Advantage: Italian Lombard 

Italian Lombards (lower part of the picture) vs. a massed Carolingian Frankish army

The early phase of the game was marked by a remarkable lack of command points (PIPs) for the Carolingian general: with dice results of 1 - 1 - 1 - 2 in the first four moves, the Carolingian army could not develop as desired and remained stuck in its narrow formation.

Knights are impetuous and advance immediately when an opponent retreats. This causes the battle line to disperse. It is not uncommon to find an element of knights isolated in the midst of enemy troops.

The Carolinians can never really make up for their deficit from the first phase of the game. When light Lombard cavalry then conquers the Carolingian camp, the game is decided.

The Lombards win the game by 19 (+15) points against 6.

Final tournament score:

1. Western Slavs              55 pts
2. Italian Lombard             43 pts
3. Carolingian Frankish     39 pts

It was a great day with lots of fun and exciting games. Many thanks to our hosts for the hospitality and the catering! Also the miniatures were happy to be on the battlefield again 👍

Sonntag, 7. Februar 2021

Terrain Pieces for "rough" terrain

You want to play a minature game? Then you need minatures, that's obvious! Yet - almost as important as your gang of wild west gunfighters, your pack of orcs or your Spartan Hoplite army is a collection of terrain pieces to play the game. While you may start with pieces of coloured felt representing woods, hills and rivers, most of us miniature gamers are looking upon terrain pieces not only as a necessary part to play the game but also as a means to enhance the visual appearance of it. A nice looking battlefield populated by beautifully painted minatures sets the icing on the cake of an exciting game:

Dienstag, 29. Dezember 2020

Happy New Year !

The year 2020 is finally coming to its end. It has been a difficult time for miniature wargamers all over the world with personal meetings severely restricted. I have tried some online gaming instead, which is ok but nowhere like a live friendly game or tournament. But I don't want to whine! I think of all those who have lost their job or a dear person.

Better times are just around the bend - I wish you all a happy and prosperous new year!


Freitag, 11. September 2020

another Wargaming Moment

For all armies in Triumph! games there has to be a camp present on the battlefield. The camp serves for no purpose other than being a possible objective for your opponent. You have to protect your camp to prevent it from being sacked. Taking your opponent's camp gives you half the points needed for winning the game.

In my Triumph! games camps are seldom sacked, and when it happens, it is usually done by light cavalry swiftly moving around the enemie's flank and taking the camp before the owner can react to this action. To better protect your camp you may choose one of your fighting units as a garrison, but then it has to remain there and will not participate in the field battle (choices, choices ..).

Now the year is 235 AD and an arabo-aramean army from the city of Hatra is fighting arab nomads on a flat piece of land at the seashore. The Hatra player has deliberately placed his camp at the extreme left of his battleline (using a Battle Card), thus gaining space in the centre for the development of his formation:

arabo-aramaean Hatra at the top,
arab nomads at the bottom of the picture