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Monday, December 18

OSR Wilderness Fundraiser Delivers, again (cont.)

Continued from this initial announcement, that is. 
Mission OSR II can be reported a success. This "ascent" is happening much later in the hiking season than should be attempted for the seriousness of the mission so I do not feel bad about just getting to the Highlands Center at the Zealand Trailhead. This time of the year the actual trailhead is gated. This has the effect of turning a 5-1/2 mile hike into an 11 mile hike. In icy snow with higher than usual river crossings. The weather on Wednesday was for shit too. Whiteout conditions closed in on I93 just as I hit my old hometown and punched through Franconia Notch. My brother took the right onto Route 302 towards Bretton Woods and pointed the way to the AMC Center's dusted lot. The wind was fierce and icy blasts bit hard into my face as I hustled across the snow-drifted entry into the massive conference center. My triple layer of base layer, fleece, and down sweater were pathetically inadequate for any real hiking on a day like today.

Luck was with the Irish though. The caretakers for Zealand Hut Croo were scheduled to attend high-level meetings the very next day. The front desk receptionist was sure to make sure the game kit got into their hands and into the cabin. I was too tired to take any photos on site, but here are the photos of the finished product which was delivered. 

Wednesday, December 6

Gaming & Garbage

 I'm hitting the road in a few days and it will involve some gaming projects. It is time off for me so I will get a chance to isolate and write. I will also be visiting friends and family. So chance to game face-to-face with old acquaintances. Who have also been active in the game industry. One has been an artist for some of the coolest independent creators out there, come to find out. Had him do the new maps in Shrine of the Keepers! The other friend published a board game with Ultra Pro which went on to a second printing. Which is good in the board game business. 

What I cherish most about these two friendships is I got the two of them back into TTRPG's. I wrote about getting a face to face game going like 11 years ago when I started this blog. It was this 7 hour long session which got my illustrating friend to active in engaging the industry to sell his illustrations. And he has been doing well. The other friend dragged me to Gencon 2017 to help him with his board game. He couldn't believe I was still playing rpg's. I hadn't been. Just rediscovered them. I got him into my online Basic DnD game which renewed his interest. He went on to run a Gamma World 1E campaign which, while short lived at 20 or so sessions, it was epic Gamma World. A setting guide has come of it and I will be working on getting it closer to publication with him this coming week. 

Oh yes, I will be able to deliver another slip case to an AMC Hut with Basic Fantasy Roleplaying Game and adventures inside. A gift for the Croo of volunteers which run the huts each summer. This will be the second one (the first being delivered to Madison Springs Hut) and I will be delivering it to the Zealand Falls Hut. This hut is open year round so will be accessible this time of the year instead of being closed up. Hopefully I won't have to do much post-holing along the trail. Not sure what the snow conditions are like in New Hampshire right now. 

And I am going to finish the week off with getting my parents in a game of DnD. It is about time I got my parents involved in a game which I vexed them to no end with as a child. I would not get my nose out from game books when I found rpg's for the first time. My singleness of focus at times would freak them out. Time to stop being so selfish with my passions. I will get Mom, Dad, my brother and his wife and they will have fun damn it! I probably should live stream it....

Saturday, November 25

SPI's Kharkov Wargame Live Play

 I just finished playing (solo) the first 5 turns of Kharkov The Soviet Spring Offensive from SPI. It is a game out of the magazine Strategy & Tactics May-June 1978 issue. After playing out the first two turn I fired up the YouTube channel and started a live stream. Played turns 3, 4, and 5 online. 

The Russian 28th army broke out easily in the north, and 6th army began enveloping the German units south-southeast of Kharkov. The high mark of the Spring Offensive includes taking (but not keeping) one of the Kharkov city hexes, scoring 2 victory points each turn for breaking the German front line, cutting supply to those German units in the pocket formed by the surrounding 6th, and running several units far out west threatening to take Poltava!

As the look of turn 6 shapes up it is apparent it is a race against time to take Poltava before these Russian units are cut off and out of supply. Operation Fredricus was unleashed on turn 5 and the Russian southern front line evaporated and Panzer spearheads cut straight to the Donets River. The German's historical result of bagging the whole Russian offensive and annihilating it is clearly evident on the game board!

You can see the video here. The live stream scheduled for tomorrow morning where I finish the rest of the game (turns 6-10) is found here.

Tuesday, November 7

Wellington's Victory House Rules

 I love almost everything about the TSR monster wargame Wellington's Victory. Except the ability to stack 9 skirmish units together and bulldoze through formed infantry. I, for some time, did not believe this issue actually existed and were just so much grognard grumblings. But then I found it, the rule in the book which allows this. I had missed this rule all these years. Probably because it isn't how I envision skirmish units being used in a Napoleon-era battle. 

The discussions and variants are legion on solving this niggling stone in the shoe of an otherwise great game. Last I had the game on the table was this time last year. Well, Vassal actually (it is a 'monster' game) because it is the only reasonable way for me to keep a game set up over a long period of time. And I couldn't move very far into the game with this issue weighing on my mind. 

Another year, as I have pointed out, has passed by as fast as summer in the Rockies, and I have a set of "house" rules I am going to try out and see how it modifies the game. The rules are as such:

Still playing the game right now RAW. I have some morale check questions for skirmish units I need to parse out answers for. Until then I cannot try variants because there as yet not be a "problem" needing fixing.