Welcome to Gull's own Battleground Blog!

This is my personal space about YMG's Battleground: Fantasy and Historical Warfare miniatureless miniatures game. If you love miniatures wargames, but are put off by the expense in time and money of collecting and painting all those figures, this is the game for you! If you are unfamiliar with Battleground simply click on the tutorial link below and watch a quick sample combat. Next, click on the forum link and meet some really great folks who will be responsive and answer all your questions. If you are already familiar with BG:FW&HW this site is an adjunct to the forums where I put up my own brand of replays and and stuff that just wouldn't fit in the forum (but I'll post links!).

Monday, December 29, 2014

Deck storage with "Cartonage."

Recently I have gotten into Bookbinding and part of that is something called "Cartonage" which is an artsy-fartsy way of saying box making. In the class I was taking we made a needle case for holding the heavy needles for binding books, and by playing with the dimensions I came up with a deck box that would hold a complete deck. This avoids the double boxes that are required for carting your decks around.

Step one: Create a template
I started by using graph paper to draw out the dimensions perfectly square. Beyond using the graph pattern to insure squareness I didn't use the squares because the actual dimensions you need to make the box are slightly larger than the 2.5"X3.5" cards since the box needs to go around that dimension. The narrower dimensions you see are the thickness of the deck. Different factions can be different thicknesses depending whether or not they were from the old printers or the new printers (or how many decks you have, as some own multiple decks). Make them a sixteenth to an eighth of an inch larger than the actual dimension

Step two: Cutting and pre-folding
You will need to cut out two of the smaller size pattern on the left and one of the larger size. You can use cardstock purchased from a stationery store, or save up some cereal boxes. What I did is place the paper over the cardstock and make pin holes at every junction. Before you cut the pieces out you will want to mark and score the interior lines. You can see in the picture below which are the fold lines. To score them without cutting them, lay a metal ruler down along the line and score it with the back of a butter knife. Then, holding the metal ruler against the scored mark, fold up the paper. take away the ruler and fold it the rest of the way and run the butter knife along the fold as if you were spreading butter. Now you have nice creases!
 No you aren't getting confused, I'm getting confusing. The two smaller pieces are now on the right (sorry!).
Step Three: Gluing
Take a cheap brush and one of those disposable covered tupperware style containers (small size is best) and add about 1/4" of glue to the container and cover when you're not using it. Start by laying out a piece of saran wrap on the table so the glue doesn't squeeze out and stick to everything, then brushing a thin layer of glue onto the center rectangle of the large piece. On top of this afix one of the smaller pieces as shown. press it down and let it dry for moment. Next repeat the step with the other piece.
Step four: weighing down for drying:
The glue will make the pieces want to curl so you will need another piece of saran wrap on top of the glued bits and then put some weights (books work well) on top of that. A good idea is to let it dry overnight and then there shouldn't be any curling.

Step four: Cutting the Tongue
To cut out the tongue measure down an inch along the sides and make a mark, and divide the width by three and draw two lines down 1/2 an inch. Then draw lines from the outside marks to the inside marks as shown and cut away the corners. Now place your deck inside the box and fold the sides over and then the bottom followed by the top (the piece with the tab). Note also that I cut a sort of rounded edge along the top of the groove so that it would insert easier into the groove.

 Step five: Cutting the groove
In this step you lay the last piece down flat and make two marks at the base of the tab. Now take out the deck and lay the box flat with the two marks you just made showing. Cut a line between those two grooves. Now flip it back over and put the deck in the center, fold it up and insert the tab. With some practice you should get it to fit like a cardstock tuxedo.
 You could just write the names of the factions on their respective boxes, but I prefer to use bits of the old boxes. If you are super handy with a computer you could find appropriate artwork and print your own designs and what-not, to glue on the box.
Go ahead, be a courageous person! Don't despair, it probably took me like five aborted attempts before I got a box that was acceptable. The thirteenth one I made was better than the twelfth. Before I came up with a procedure that worked for me I tried every wrong way I could imagine! It might be a good idea to make the first few attempts with simple notebook paper until you get more comfortable with the process. When you get good you can make one 'for real.'

Monday, November 10, 2014

Orcs v. Dwarves Pinch and Roll

This Battle was originally played with the intention of testing some Goblin Bomb Chucker variations, which I did, but really it shows the classic Battleground ideal of Pinch and Roll where one player starts pinching on one side of a line and rolls it up. The GBC variation was that the player could choose to roll 1-3 dice for the number of dice to roll to hit. On a nine or higher it caused one damage to the Chucker, but still shot. On a 15 or higher it caused two damage but still shot. This means that by only rolling one die the machine would not harm itself, whereas with 3 dice you would be limited on how many big attacks you could do before your machine fell apart from the stress of being overclocked!

I started with my most recent Orc build but swapped out the two AxeOrcs with two Goblin Bomb chuckers, and this was to face an army that had no large or colossal units that were overly susceptible to artillery fire. The army was the Dwarves of Runegard.

I was also trying out my new session report technique of using picmonkey to diagram the movement of the units rather than a series of fotos which can be difficult to follow and rarely include pics of every turn. Now Orcs v Dwarves is not my favorite matchup because it tends to be light on maneuver, but maybe this was better for a first go with the new technique. I'm planning on doing some 1000pt battles, which tend to be very maneuver focused, to try and really showcase the possibilities.

After printing out the map to diagram the turns, it occurred to me how ink thirsty a dark green mapboard printout is. In the future I will use picmonkey to lighten and even black and white the printout which will make it use less ink and easier to read and mark up. Of course, the posted pics will be in full color!

I can dispense with the usual Order of Battle for the report, as the setup foto is clearly labeled. The dwarves spent 1988 pts, to the Orcs 1999. Dwarves moved first.
                                                         Initial Deployment

Turn 1
On the first turn the dwarves begin their advance forward and the Dwarven Battle Axes on the left begin to roll out. The Orc infantry mirrors the Dwarves while the Goblin Wolfriders move laterally to see if they can draw out the lone Antonians on the Dwarven right. The Goblin Bomb Chuckers elect to roll 3 dice and roll a 9 and a 4, the nine causes one damage on the Bomb Chucker and neither shot does any damage to the Dwarves.

                                                                     Turn 2
 Turn 2 sees Lashing and Sprinting on the hills to keep the lines even. The flanking infantry on both sides struggle to keep up. The GBC's roll 2 dice for a  5 (2 damage on the Battle Axes) and a 4 (for 0 damage on the Spears).

                                                                    Turn 3
The Dwarves charge on their turn and the lines engage!  The Antonians woosh in for a pinch and the SwordOrcs go Boom! The Antonians(2) Pivot action right as the wolfriders scramble to threaten the Antonians. Turn 3 ends up being the best turn for the GBC's as they roll an 8 for maximum dice with no automatic damage (doing 1 hit) and rolling a 14 for the most dice without incurring 2 damage (doing 3 hits).
                                                                      Turn 4
A study in rolling up a line with pinches. Both Antonians turn to engage the Wolfriders while the Spears pinch and explode the SpearOrcs.The Longbeards force a courage check on the SpearOrcs facing them and those Orcs have had enough, first failing the check for going in the yellow and then failing the post rout combat check. The GBC's get hot and roll 13 and 9 doing 3 hits each, but one is now disrupted as is its target.

                                                                Final Map Array
At this point the Orcs throw in the towel. The following rear guard action would be interesting as the Wolf riders might just be able to drop the Antonians down to the red before they are wiped out and then the GBCs could finish them off. Could they do it before the dwarven infantry swarms them? Probably not, depends on how much the remaining SpearOrcs could slow them down.

I'm curious what people think of the Picmonkey battle report. I'm getting faster at doing it, so that's a plus. This battle didn't involve a lot of movement and maneuvers. In the future I might switch to more pictures, but each picture has to be relabeled and that gets very time consuming. Just adding arrows is the fastest way to go, but if the battle involved a lot of maneuver it would get too confusing to sort out. Probably somewhere in the middle with just a few pictures would be the best bet. What do you think?

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The Great Ooze!

Long ago a dragon battle resulted in one dragon plummeting to the ground dead. The impact created a huge divot filled with Dragon goop. Over the years this slowly became a swamp with reputed magical properties known as "The Great Ooze." 

This bit of terrain has been hotly contested ever since and recently the Orcs and the Umenzi gave it a go. The scenario was Key Objective, basically Total Warfare with the objective worth 500 points. I decided to give picmonkey a go, to add zest to the photos. The photos turned out so bad that I instead am using it primarily to identify units. Picmonkey is free and all the stuff you see was part of the free stuff. The way they make their money is by having really cool stuff available if you pay extra. My wife uses it quite extensively and has the premium stuff, but I wasn't signed in under her account, and for this first experiment I had my hands full with just the basics.

Of note for this scenario is the two Goblin Bomb Chucker Battery. I wanted to see how well they did with this basic orc army. I chose an Umenzi army with a Great War Elephant to give the GBC's something to shoot at AND to see how over committing points to the GBC's would work.

Below you see the setup with the troops all labeled. behind the GWE, off camera, is another Umenzi Warriors unit that is attempting to place itself between the GWE and the board edge. This it does, but not fast enough to prevent a pinch.

On turn 1 the plan was for the SpearOrcs to occupy the swamp whilst the SwordOrcs seized the shrubbery. In order to protect the mid board orc flank, the Wolfriders were set to circumnavigate the board and pounce in if the Umenzi ignored them. The Umenzi were planning on driving strongly into the Great Ooze and clearing the shrubbery whilst the right flank units demonstrated against the Wolfriders and closed in on the GBC Battery.

                                                          Turn 3
By turn 3 the opposing armies have joined and the battle plans are unfolding as planned. Lots of card love has kept the SpearOrcs facing the GWE in the green. The Action Cards you see laying on the gameboard are what the players (me) have in their hands. Since it is pointless to hide them, I just lay them out in front of me.

                                        Turn 6
On turn 5 the GWE was pinched and the GBC Battery finally got the aiming thing down and did 5 wounds in addition to the pinch hth damage which dropped the GWE. All fotos are at the beginning of the Orcs turn. The Umenzi Shamans have been very busy hexing/blessing and even healed a point on the Umenzi Warriors facing the SwordOrcs. The Worthy in the center are wearing down the SpearOrcs facing them, but with the GWE gone the Battery begins dropping all kinds of hateful shit on them. They are much harder to hit than the GWE, so the damage is reduced, but not enough. Still, thats 864 points committed to their elimination, so they do alright considering.

What isn't caught in the previous pic is the ground action around the GBC Battery. Not shown here is one unit of Wolfriders that continues to circumnavigate the board. Meanwhile, these Wolfriders are attempting to buy a few turns more for the Battery. If the worthy don't engage them, and final rush the GBC, then the Wolfriders will rear attack pinch them, so they plan on engaging the wolfriders, pinching them with the Warriors. This of course buys time for the GBC to do a little more damage at the real site of the battle. Note that by this time the Battery has chipped off all the green boxes from the Worthy.

                                                  Turn 9
This could get a little confusing, but the blue arrows show the path followed throughout the game by the Wolfriders in the upper right corner. The other Wolfriders get Direct Controlled and thread the needle between the two Umenzi units.

                                                               Turn 11
Now you can see that the Wolfriders have given up drawing off the assailants from the GBC Battery and are rejoining the effort in the center. Of note at this point, The worthy are in the red the Shamans are in the green while the remaining SpearOrcs are in the yellow. The Warriors are undamaged as are the Wolfriders.

                                              Turn 12
At this point the clock is worn down and the game ends with an Orc victory.
Orc Heroes - Both units of Wolfriders did just what Wolfriders should do, they rode around threatening and never got dirty.
Goats - SpearOrcs that took three turns to eliminate Umenzi Warriors in the red!
Umenzi Heroes - Those Warriors that absolutely would not die!
Goats - Worthy that were most unworthy chasing Wolfriders.

End notes.
I'm sure if anyone bothers to look closely they will see spots where this unit or that unit should have been direct controlled or had its orders changed (especially the Worthy), but what may not be so apparent from the pictures is the epic battle in the Great Ooze that was just sucking down Action Cards and special abilities into the muck. If either side had let up for even a turn to spread the love to the outside areas, the swamp would have been lost and with the die ticking down towards one it was imperative that the swamp be held. Not saying that some points weren't spent elsewhere, but it was a great sacrifice to do so.

At the end of the game the Orcs had 3 cards in hand and 3 cards undrawn, and the Umenzi had 6 carda undrawn and 2 in hand. 12 turns times 4 Action points means 48 Action points. 48 - 27 cards drawn +2 points spent playing green cards leaves 17 Points on DC's and Lashing for Orcs. 48 - 24 cards drawn leaves 24 points spent on DC and special abilities. Also for Changing SO's.

GBC stats: The main reason for the game was to check out the GBC battery effectiveness.
Over the course of 13 turns 124 to hit dice were rolled converting to 19 wounds (10 on GWE, 6 on one Worthy and 3 on the other). Doubles were rolled 4 times, 11 was rolled twice all other rolls were under 10 (one doubles was a 12). Most dice rolled in one turn was 16, which caused 5 wounds on the GWE (this was the turn it was pinched and dispatched).

The unit cards in this game were simply resting on felted bases. Simpler, better bases.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Orc's Penultimate Stand

This battle came about as a result of a discussion on the YMG forum about the effectiveness of Orc Crossbowmen, whom I call XBowOrcs. The concern is that they are not worth the price and always stay in the box. The reply is that they are "situational" and under certain circumstances they are worth the expense. I said they would work sitting in a swamp shooting out, because it would take some pretty major doings to invade the swamp with adequate force to neutralize them. My good pal (and superior Orc tactician) Marcus maintains that sitting them atop a hill was the way to go.

As a scientific kind of guy, I decided there was no better way to check out the competing theories than "On the game grid, Sark!" (Tron) To achieve this I placed a swamp on one side and a hill on t'uther and selected the Kingdoms Scenario "Last Stand." It is significant to note that this scenario gives the defender (the Orcs in this case) only 1700 points, to the Attacker's (HE) 2000. All the defender is trying to do is eliminate as many of the enemy forces as possible before the rest run off the defender's mapboard edge. This means it doesn't matter if the defender is totally wiped out, in fact, it sort of assumes that as a given. It's a matter of how much damage can be done to the steamroller.

The Orcs chose 3 SpearOrcs, 2 XBowOrcs, and 2 Wolfriders for 1696 points. In the picture below the XBowOrcs are flanking the 3 SpearOrcs in the center. The Wolfriders are behind the XBowOrcs by the hill, just out of the picture.

The High Elves fielded 1 HE Knights, 1 HE Bowriders, 2 HE archers and 4 HE Elder Battle Squads (EBS) for 2000 points. In the above foto you see the Bowriders on the far left, then the Knights with the four EBS's next making up the HE line. The archers are behind the EBS's. The HE plan was to seize the hill and roll up the Orcs from that flank, at which point they would simply roll out to the left and exit the opposite board edge.

                                                                Opening Moves
 On turn one the EBS's begin their inexorable march forward while the mounted troops race for the hilltop. The XBowOrcs move toward the hill as the Wolfriders protect their flanks. The SpearOrcs are on Hold as the remaining XBowOrcs move into the swamp.
 Through judicious use of The Lash the Orcs reach the hilltop first (okay, the HE cav let them as they didn't want to race ahead and get flanked by the Wolfriders). The Bowriders do 4 damage to the leftmost Wolfriders, if they had used their precision box they might have one-shotted them, but they were saving it for a time they needed an extra hit, and they weren't expecting such a blowout from one volley of arrows (4 dice needing 5s and 3s). This emboldens the Knights to charge the other Wolfriders and the EBS to make it a pinch.
So the Wolfriders get one-shotted. The wound you see on the Wolfriders above was caused by the archers previously. Of significance is the Wolfrider's sacrifice. They did 4 damage to the Knights (6+2charge+1lash+2frenzy=11dice). This allowed the XBowOrcs to to flank charge the Knights (charge, lash, ferocity) and one-shot them.
 Not to be outdone, the Wolfriders on the far left of the hill charge the Bowriders and do four damage as well, before they two are one-shotted. The SpearOrcs had begun advancing and they flank charged the EBS. All the command card love and lashes had been given to the troops on the hill, so this charge was largely ineffective.
On the extreme left of this picture you can see the the very edge of the Bowriders who have been left in the red by the now eliminated Wolfriders ("We killed them, but we paid a heavy price" Theoden). They will spend some time 2dice plinking from a distance.

                                              The Orcs begin closing the noose.

Sorry about the neck craning this may cause. All this to show that the XBowOrcs and their friends on the right flank pinched and one-shotted an EBS.

All the dice show Courage checks to be taken. Starting from the left at the bottom of the pic we see the XBowOrcs fail their test v. Bowfire. The pinched SpearOrcs above that pass theirs, but their EBS opponents do not and are eliminated by free hacks. The SpearOrcs in the upper center follow the previous example by routing and being eliminated. The last SpearOrc pass their test.

                                And so the end of the last High Elven turn looks like this

The XBowOrcs charge the archers and heavily damage them while taking a surprising amount of damage themselves do to hot elf dice. At this point the HE have lost enough to give the Orcs a 5/1 victory.
Final XBowOrc analysis: Meh. The xbows on the caused 1 damage and the xbows in the swamp did 0 damage. Notably, as heavy swords they kicked HEass!

Heroes for the Orcs: The Wolfriders who essentially sealed the fate of the HE Cav (370 points vs. 680 points).

Heroes for the Elves: The archers who did a combined 6 damage vs HeavySwordsOrcs in hth combat!

Now, I intend to re-fight this battle after hearing from the High Elven council. My first thought is that attacking on such a broad front was a mistake. I think I should have flanked the Knights with a couple EBS's to capture the hill, and left the Bow riders to cover the right flank while the remaining 2 EBS's demonstrated in the center.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Simpler, yet better bases

The better basing solution. I have taken 1/4" hardboard (the same stuff that they make clipboards with) cut bases to 2.5" X 3.5" and attached an adhesive backed piece of felt. I have a friendly neighbor cut the hardboard with his tablesaw and I took a 10"x12" sheet of adhesive backed felt and cut it into 2" X 3" pieces. I centered the piece on one side and turned it over and sat a card on it. Done!

Now the cards are easily sat upon the bases, sleeved or unsleeved. Their backs can be looked at easily. The bases don't slide and can be left in place while the card is moved about so you can be certain of the original position.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Battleground Kickstarter!

The Your Move Games Kickstarter project for the new Alexander V. Persia Deck is fully funded and that means this dream will become a reality! If you haven't checked it out and contributed, there is still time and each contribution gets us closer to more and cooler stretch goals. Check it out here:
Alexander v. Persia Decks Kickstarter

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

An Elvish Tete D' Tete

 The purpose of this post is to showcase my new battleboard. It is a 3'X4' magnetic dri-erase board that I bought off Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0016T9TQU/ref=oh_details_o03_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 Here I have set up a sample battle with lots of terrain. This is the situation: The Dark Elves are besieged by the High Elves in a fortress. The High Elves need to bring up a Scorpion quickly to reduce the fort before Dark Elf reinforcements can battle their way through and lift the siege. Dark Elf Dragon Riders have spotted the Scorpion column making its way along a road beside a river at the base of a cliff and are sending a small force to try and destroy the hated Scorpion. The High Elves have a 2000 point escort composed of Bowriders, Knights, Swordsmen, the Scorpion, Battlemages, Bowmen, and the rear is held up by Elder blade wielding Rangers. The Dark Elves have sent the best force they could assemble on short notice, though it is only a 1500 point force composed of a Dusk Lord at the very top of the map and hiding behind the hill are Lashmistresses, dragon Riders, and a unit of Coven. Manning the barricade in the road is a unit of lowblood spears.
On turn one the column approaches the roadblock cautiously as the Elven general Akbar yells, "It's a trap!" On the Dark Elf turn they come over the ridge and open up ineffectively on the High Elven column as the Lash Mistresses fail to do even one point of damage on the scorpions and the Dusk Lord does only one point. To make matters worse, the Bowriders disrupt the Spearmen manning the barricade.
The next turn the High Elven column swings into action! The Bowriders charge the barricade in an attempt to open a path for the Scorpions but the spearmen hold, the Knights and Swordsmen also leave the road and begin moving to charge the threats from the hill. Behind the Scorpions the Battlemages turn on the Dusklord whilst the bowmen open up on the Lashmistresses. The Rangers begin sneaking around for a flank surprise.

The Dark Elf turn finds the Lashmistresses focusing on their objective. the Lashmistresses attack the Scorpions again....This time they do five wounds with five dice and the scorpions are no more! The Dark Elves have saved the day and win!
Although this game was over quickly, it was only because of the excellent attack by the Lashmistresses, had the attack failed miserably, like on the previous turn, the Dark Elves would have been swarmed by the High Elves and the turn out might have been quite different.

The magnetic board
You will note in the first picture that I have the board at a 45 degree angle. I find that this is the most comfortable angle to play at. The magnetic "pins" work very well. They certainly are strong enough, if anything they are almost too strong, but once I have units on top of felt backed terrain they are perfect. All in all I am very happy with the magnetic board! It works extremely well for solitaire play and I hope to try it out soon in a two player game.