Friday, August 29, 2014

My first thrift store find...

So i had heard about people finding games at antique stores, thrift stores and the like but always thought it too good to be true until...I walk into a thrift store in New Orleans and see No Retreat sitting by its lonesome like an abandoned, lost puppy and so what could i do?  10 bucks was all it took to give this game a good home.  2011 edition, mounted maps, everything inside still in shrink.  So now i feel compelled to organize a rescue mission for abandoned wargames, together we can find good homes for these things and bring new life to an otherwise dead end fate.  Who's with me?!  So lets get out there and rescue those games!!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Hexes And Soldiers Wargame Podcast Episode 35.0 is up!

Not too much to report.  This episode consisted of some brief news, and a top 10 (bottom 10) worst wargames list according to BGG and the rankings.
Additionally, I had seriously debated on whether or not to use valuable podcast time to go into my upcoming game, Rendezvous With Destiny, but in the end thought what could it hurt.  I look forward to any feedback as well as any interest in this project. 

What's the next episode?  I plan to tackle Kursk so wish me luck!

Meanwhile, keep gaming! (That's an order!)

Sunday, August 24, 2014

What's new...

Ok so why the scary Nazi zombie guys?  I'll get to that in a minute but first let me give you a brief update on what's been going on.

New job.  That's right, i've yet again managed to hop the career tracks and this time i've landed a gig on campus which is within walking distance from where I live.  Why do i even mention this, because it's kept me busy.

Obviously i'm overdue for a show and all I can say is, that will happen when it happens.  I have no exact time frame for when that will be and i've also decided that i'd rather wait and do a halfway decent show than do one just to do one.  The next one will be episode 35.0 and let me tell ya, its a long way from episode 1.0 but i'm glad i took that first step, or should i say, we took that first step.

So what's new otherwise?  The Napoleonic rules set is nearly complete.  All that is left is the charts for firing and melee.  So i decided to give myself a break but all i ended up doing was coming up with the rules to a game that I am quite pleased with.  In fact, i have considered dedicating the next show to it.  The game in question i have dubbed Rendezvous With Destiny.  It is a WWII platoon level game that needs no charts, cards or combat results tables and the development has gone so well it should be available by the end of next month at the latest.  Let me back up.  I had tinkered around with the idea of a squad level WWII game for sometime, but for some reason it all came together recently.  The action takes place in Normandy as a couple platoons of the 101st Airborne clash with Germans.  It has a distinct solitaire element to it and focuses heavily on suppression and reaction.  Leaders are in there and i've skimmed the cream off the top of a number of other games to come up with my own concoction.  I'd love to go more in depth but i'll save that for a possible show topic.  Otherwise, i'll "crack the seal' in an upcoming blog.  The exciting thing is, this puppy barks, that is to say it really works!  And i can't wait to share it.  I have a few minor things left and then i will be presenting it to the printers here on campus after which i will have copies available through this site as well as ebay.

So why the zombies?  Not that im the biggest zombie fan, but as a bonus, i included a rules section in the game for a zombie variant.

Otherwise, i have a birthday coming up this Wednesday and am sure to have something by way of a new game/s for show n' tell. 

So that's it for now.  Thanks for reading, and keep gaming!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

I Nearly Forgot...

I guess this proves that there are just too many Napoleonics rules sets out there for our own good, but one in particular that i own and have played (and forgot to mention) is the Napoleon's Battles system.

These are traditional rules for 15mm Napoleonic Miniatures. The basic game covers weather, routing, command & control, movement & maneuver, defensive reaction, fire, combat, and pursuit. The basic rules are more complex than most miniature games. Advanced and optional rules add depth in the areas of fatigue, morale, evasion, special cavalry rules, supply chains, hidden movement, and generals.
Like most Napoleonic minature games, the basic turn segments are:
  • Rally
  • Command & Control
  • Move
  • Fire
  • Close combat(called All-out attack in this game)
  • Casualties (including routs)
  • Morale
Each player in turn determines which units are in control, moves, is subjected to fire, engages in close combats, the results of combat are resolved, and then the second player goes through the same sequence.
The winner can be determined by control of scenario objectives, a loss of army morale, and/or casualty counts.
Combats are resolved via the rolling of a d10 and a combat table that is modified for a large number of factors, ranging from troop quality to current formation.
Data for a large variety of nationalities and troop types are included.
Includes an introduction to miniature wargaming bookle and cardboard counters that can be used in place of miniature stands.

An updated version of this game (3rd edtion) was released in 2009 by Lost Battalion Games.  This edition has been upgraded to a 100 page rules book, 56 page reference book, 12 scenarios and over 180 status cubes and markers.

Companion Guide To Hexes And Soldiers Wargame Podcast Episode 34.0

When it comes to miniatures wargaming, there is way too much ground to cover but i took what i consider a few key objectives.

For WW2 fans you can't do much better then Flames Of War.  Love it or hate it, you have to respect it as it has demonstrated its staying power and effective mix of playability and detail.  What is more, i can hardly think of any game system that is better supported by its creators.

 From the back of the box Open Fire which is a fantastic starter kit.  There are also a number of great introductory learning videos on youtube. 


A wonderful starter kit for Bolt Action.

For Napoleonics it gets a bit trickier.  It really all depends on the scale of battle with which you wish to immerse yourself in.
Start with:
The company Man at War of which this is a product, also produces there own box sets of minis for this game.  Also check out the wonderful Rules review of this at the Meeples and Miniatures Podcast episode 79    

Otherwise give this a shot:
So these are but a few suggestions but honestly, there is so much to choose from, there is truly something out there for everyone.  If you've never tried your hand at minis, it can be a rewarding experience as it is an all encompassing hobby when you consider painting and terrain set up.  For some this may be too overwhelming, but as i myself have been a minis gamer for a number of years, i can sincerely add that it has all been worth it!

For those interested in the Finnish War Trilogy that was mentioned at the beginning of  the show, take a look for yourselves:

Monday, August 11, 2014

The Wargaming Tribe Does Not Eat Its Young...(part 2)

A massive Civil War miniatures game.

Rules for the Civil War minis game.

Old School!
GMT's A World At War.  Melds Advanced Third Reich and Empire of the Rising Sun.

Ginormous WW2 miniatures set up.

D-Day at Omaha Beach!

Life size mg34 ASL game piece.  Yea? Well you should see the mapboard!.  I think portage points for this are way too generous. 

So overall,  I would say my first CON was a success.  Was it comparable to World Board Gaming Championships or Consimworld Expo or any other major con?  No.  But it was better than I expected and i see its size and scope growing in the coming years.  I would have liked to see a bit more cardboard (no ASL or OCS) but there was plenty to see and do.  Would I go again?  In a heart beat!  I met a great gang of wargamers and to my relief, they do not eat their young. 

Stay tuned for Hexes And Soldiers Episode 34.0 for a more detailed account.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

The Wargaming Tribe Does Not Eat Its Young...(Part 1)

Here is my third attempt to share the pics that were taken from my first wargame convention, Heat Of Battle.

 My second time visiting this place.  I only live about 7 miles away.

My schwag bag!  Each person attending got a free random bag of shtuff.

Please tell me these guys got in for free. 
A familiar scene throughout the event, stashes and piles of games.  Hurricane Katrina wiped out a ton of games from closets, basements and attics.  Many are still trying to flesh out their former collections.
Hung out with a wonderful gentleman who had the physical components for Battle Of The Bulge printed out.  This game was a major success for Shenandoah Studios, a trailblazing company that designs wargames for IOS. 
Tons of miniatures games being played from Bolt Action to Flames of War. In fact, a seperate Flames of War tournament was being held simultaneously in another area.


Friday, August 8, 2014

Clip Converter Alternative


Look, i'm well aware that Youtube can be a drag and as time goes by I still get asked, "Is your show available in mp3?"  Well the answer is still, "Not yet".


A) Because when i started this thing i barely knew what i was doing (and i still barely know what i'm doing :)  I had tossed around the idea of a podcast but had always thought it was an overly involved process.  Once i saw my nephew posting hockey video blogs on Youtube, i figured, hey i can do that. (Thanks Kyle)

B) Youtube is Free.  I've said it before, and i'll say it again, as long as the show is free to produce and post, it will be free to listen to.  In order to make these shows readily available in an mp3 format, i would have to find a site to host them and hosting an mp3 through Podbean, Libsyn or Podomatic costs money. It's about $10 a month or $100 a year, which might not sound like a lot, but it definitely adds up.

However,  there is a website you can use to download each episode. It will convert the audio of the video file to mp3 and then allow you download it. The website is called Clip Converter.

1. Go to
2. Paste the URL for the Youtube video into the Media URL to Download text field. Example:
3. Click Continue. The website will analyzing the video and display the first frame like it does on Youtube.
4. Click mp3.
5. Click Start. The website will convert the video and has three progress bars.
6. Once the conversion is finished, click Download.

It takes a few minutes but the processing is all done by their server and not your PC.

Finally, as i'm granting you permission to download my shows, you may be violating a copyright if you do this with anything else.   And of course, as with any site, program etc., please use at your own risk.  Note also that neither i nor any friends or family of mine are in any way affiliated with clip converter. 

Keep Gaming!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Companion Guide to Hexes and Soldiers Wargame Podcast Episode 33.0

Episode 33 nearly didn't happen, and maybe it shouldn't have.  Maybe it had something to do with a program crash.  Or maybe not.  I had already scrapped one nearly completed attempt on Friday and nearly scrapped the second attempt on Saturday.  I guess the working word in this situation would be perfectionist.  I try hard, sometimes a bit too hard to make these things informative while enjoyable but sometimes it just doesn't seem good enoughAfter 32 episodes you would think i would have this thing down to a science and for the most part that's true. But for me to say it gets easier the further down the road i get, would be a lie.

Perhaps its the nature of the content involved.  There was just so much going on around June 6th its hard to encapsulate it all.  I tried to focus on some key aspects while maintaining a kind of continuous narrative thread but for some reason i had a hell of a time.  So just as i was about ready to give up, i thought, if i'm ever going to reach my goal of 50 episodes or roughly 1 year, its not going to be easy and more, there may be a bad apple or two in the bunch (not to say this is a bad apple, that is for you to decide) so i soldiered forth to bring #33 to you guys but honestly, this was the most difficult episode yet to produce.  (I shudder to use the term burn out but perhaps this is a factor as well.  After all, 32 (now 33) episodes is nothing to sneeze at.  It's also easier for me to see just how many podcasts started off strong and simply fell off.  On the flip side of the coin, it's amazing to think that other shows have managed to carry on as long as they have (then again, perhaps some of these should have fallen off as well).  Yet if there is one thing i've learned, it's that this endeavor takes work and dedication.

Perhaps i may return to this show's topic and tackle it again, give it its proper due, but until then, i will keep looking forward and rest assured in the thought that at the end of the day there are a couple good apples in the bunch and not every show can be a masterpiece.  

So enough whining already, here's the rest of the guide...  

Watch the book and read the movie!  A ton of stuff available but for starters:

What to play:

For miniatures fans:

For cardboard fans:

Also mentioned on the show:

Quite possibly my all time favorite movie ever. Klaus Kinski is Lope De Aguirre.  Directed by Werner Herzog.  

Friday, August 1, 2014