Saturday, September 03, 2005

Gaming community rallies to help Hurricane Katrina victims

The task is staggering. The flood waters have crested. Homes and businesses lie under feet of water. The city of New Orleans lies in ruin.

Our modern Pompeii is being evacuated while aide and relief moves into the city in significant amounts. In response, the gaming community is rallying to support the non-governmental organizations in their attempt to assist in bringing relief to the chaos.

Age Of Glory, a wargame accessories and miniatures retailer is currently holding a raffle for hurricane relief. From their website:
"Age of Glory will be raffling off a free Foundry horde in support of hurricane relief. To enter, send us a receipt by email for a donation of $10.00 or more to the Red Cross or another relief organization dated between September 1, 2005 and September 12th, 2005."

I had decided to donate to the Salvation Army yesterday. The raffle offer was just an added bonus.

Skulduggery Trading Co., publisher of the sci-fi skirmish game "Space Bastards From Outer Space," is donating the proceeds from the sale of their games to relief efforts:
"I visited New Orleans in November 2000. It was the coolest place I've ever visited. Today it is a disaster area. Tons of people have lost their homes in this tragedy and we here at the Skullduggery Trading Co. want to help in what little way we can. Any proceeds from buying the game we will donate to the disaster relief fund. So buy now and buy often. We all need to do our part."
Do your part. Donate to the charitable organization of your choice. I support the Salvation Army in their efforts.

More to come.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

DBA: First Game Impressions

It was warm Friday afternoon. I recruited Daniel and Ray to come over and play a miniatures wargame. They had never played a mini game before. Rich came up form Wentzville to tutor us on how to play DBA.

I cranked on the AC in the back room and made ice and soda available. Daniel and Ray brought pizza which we enjoyed while watching the first part of "Gladiator." Rich was stuck in traffic, something about a horrible wreck in Louisiana, MO. He arrived about 15 minutes later than he had planned. Introductions went around, we made sure everyone had had at least two slices and we went to work.

Earlier in the week, I based up the equivalent of two Early Imperial Roman armies using my Foundry Romans. I had no true auxiliaries, so used my legionaries as auxiliaries (Ax4) and praetorians as legionaries (Bd4). I still need to put in an order with Litko, but made do with bases I cut out of 3/16th" foam core. The armies (such as they were consisted of:
1x Gen Cv3
1x Cv3
4x Bd4
4x Ax4
1x Bw4
1x Ps2
1x Art1

Rich brought some game mats for us to use, terrain and a nicely painted Viking army. We set in. I gave Daniel and Ray the option of going first. They opted to watch Rich and I hash things out and go later. I do not have anything like a detailed battle report available, as I saw it as a learning experience first and foremost.

My impressions are thus:

  1. The DBA rules, although somewhat dense in their writing (dare I say Ciceronian?), they are based on simple precepts. The adage of it being easier to be taught DBA than learn for yourself is very, very true.
  2. Although the rules are simple, the game is not simple. There are a number of tactical and organizational decisions that must be made on an ongoing basis. Maneuver and placement of troops matters much more in this game than in other games I've played.
  3. The outcome of individual combats is never certain. My cavalry had a hard time dispatching Rich's psiloi on more than one occasion.
  4. The low figure count makes it dead simple to create an army. I had originally received my Romans (as a gift, thanks, Mom!) with the intent of using them in Warhammer Ancient Battles. I think the troops I had would have come to about 750 points in that game. I have almost everything for two DBA armies already.
  5. After watching Daniel and Ray play, it is obvious that this game is suited (when taught and explained properly) to both beginners and old hands alike. The rule are simple enough for noobs to pick up quickly yet there is enough depth to keep old hands entertained.
  6. It may not be an accurate simulation of ancient warfare, but it's a damn fun game.

I'm sure I'll have more opinions as I play more. For now, I have figures to paint. I have until October 7th to paint up my first six stands. Right now, I've got about 54 scuta ready to be primed and painted, assembly line style.

A better deal

Old Glory Miniatures is having a 40% off sale through the end of October. There's never been a better time to muster your troops. I plan on stocking up to get my DBA/DBM army up to snuff for the Army Building Tourney.