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'A gaping silken dragon,/Puffed by the wind, suffices us for God./We, not the City, are the Empire's soul:/A rotten tree lives only in its rind.'

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Portabling...

...Part the Second.

I was able to spend a little time in the bunker today, with the stove burning away, seeing off the Blighty damp. I've played Bob Cordery's Portable Wargaming in the past, but this current game is using his new book, and it seemed like a good chance to adopt some of the suggestions he makes there regarding solo gaming.  So, on with the action.

Bob devotes some space to the question of representing unit strengths. He covers single figure, and unit bases, with declining strength being indicated by reduced figures in the first case, and markers in the second.  Rather than re-basing my Russian Civil War figures, I opted for individual figures, but with two figures representing one strength point. So, below, we see a 'Poor' unit of rascally, part-time Bolshies, consumptive clerks, ticket collectors, and the like. The strength of this unit is 3, represented by six individual figures, who will be removed in pairs as the unit takes casualties.


The part-time Bolshie unit contrasts with the White unit below. In this case, as you can see, we are looking at an 'Average' unit, strength 4, represented by eight figures. Actually, looking at the mean hombre second from the camera in the front rank, I wonder now if the unit should actually have been 'Hard Core'.



I decided to use Bob's suggestion, for the lonely wargamer, of card-driven turn taking.  The Reds, naturally, took the red cards, and the Whites, the black.  A deck is created from two packs of cards (for details, see pp.38/9 of Bob's book), and drives turn taking, and number of units to be activated.  It works well.



The Whites kicked off, and the infantry units on the right made a bee-line for the railway station.  Which reminds me, I've been reading Dorothy L. Sayers' 'Lord Peter Wimsey' books recently, and haven't picked up so much antique slang since I read The History of Mr Polly when I was 12/13.  A bit of Lord Peter slang: 'I'll make like a bee and buzz off'.



The White Whippet also went haring after the Godless, and crunched up a few rail tracks before coming under fire from the Bolshie artillery.  Here, a near miss.  The rather marvellous resin explosions will be used to mark hits, with a tank being able to take three before its end.




The Whites quickly seized the environs of the station, and, below, it's clear that some French 'advisers' have decided to sort out a few Bolshies before breakfast, providing the Chauchat doesn't get a bunged up magazine.


The Reds began to take casualties as they, tardily, approached the now occupied station. The unit below has lost a point, and two figures have been removed.


And, at that stage, the eerie, soundless call of my forlorn allotment plot reached me, and I emerged, badger-like from my bunker, armed with pruning equipment.

Speaking of Lord Peter, and the 1920s, another good read for those of a yarn-loving, and antiquarian mindset is Nevil Shute's So Disdained - quite a period piece.

10 comments:

  1. Advancing on many fronts I see. Went out to clean up,prune and dismantle cane bean structures from last summer some days ago.The unending damp weather does not encourage one to venture forth. I will have a look out for the book...
    Alan

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    1. Yes, that's on my list of 'to do's' too. It is very easy to find something else to do, rather than clumping about on wet, heavy soil. But the guilt!!

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  2. But, but.....the game isn't over! My garden dreams of such devotion even while it sleeps under 2 feet of snow. There is a good side to our winters.

    Anyway, nice looking set up. And nice cards! Did your wife give you those?

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    1. It will be - I just disappeared on a brief holiday. Two feet of snow?! Just wet, wet, and more wet here.
      Actually, a good friend of my wife gave the cards to me. That might sound 'odd', but I can assure you, they are artistic in the proper sense of the word...!

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  3. A great looking battle ... and I hope that you will finish your battle report in a future blog entry.

    I'm please to read that you have used my card-driven solo activation mechanism, and that you found it easy to use.

    All the best,

    Bob

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    1. Cheers, Bob! Yes, it will be finished. I like the card driven mechanism, it adds just the element of uncertainty needed for a solo game, and it is easy to use.

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  4. There are some Lord Peter Wimsey serial adventures on the BBC Radio 4 Extra Iplayer you may enjoy, full of vintage slang. Not to mention Paul Temple ...
    Enjoy! Mark Man of TIN blog

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    1. That's good to know, cheers! I usually listen to Radio 3 in the Hobbit Bunker, but a Wimsey would be good too.

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  5. Great stuff and great to see you writing again. Are you going to finish off the game?

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    1. Thanks,old man. Yes, I've emerged from the depths of the bunker. The game will conclude. (Odds on the damn'd atheists lose!)

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