Sunday, 23 October 2016

Rat Rod Racing

Having added new rat rods to my collection, I decided that it would be fun to race them. I took the blue one with the gun, and let the game-system run the others. The race was two laps.

And they're off. As ever, I decided to sit at the rear and let the other cars wear themselves out first. The 'other cars' consisted of the red one (spikes, and resistant to bashing), the spiky one (spiky) and the green one (a bloody big engine).

The spiky chap spent a lot of the early part of the race trying to overtake the green car, but by inefficient wide passes. This just cost him lots of bonus dice, to little effect.

Meanwhile the red car was particularly aggressive. Early on it has suffered issues with its brakes, and dropped back behind me. From then on I was subjected to a series of passing attempts and bashes, all of which I held of, albeit with a small drain on those all-important bonus dice.

Towards the end of the first lap I decided to push into second place, by blowing the spiky car off the road. I got into position to shoot, then rolled really badly and completely missed.

Still in third place I suffered more abuse at the wheels of the red car.

Into the second lap, and the extra shot of bonus dice I got for completing the first gave me enough oomph to nip into second place, and consider challenging green - still the leader.

I couldn't quite pass him, and in a burst of aggression he tried to bash me off the road. It didn't work.

Another near-miss with red, as he swerved too close to me.

I settled in behind green, building up bonus dice, and hoping that red's aggression would transfer to the spiky car instead, and that maybe they'd bash each other out of the race.

I held off an attack by the spiky car ...

... but the, on the last stretch of track, swerved badly, narrowly avoided a collision ...

... and dropped back into third place.

The spiky car made a desperate run for the finish, but green easily cruised in for the win.

I came third. Red was held to fourth place after a series of random events at the end saw him virtually excluded from the pack for a couple of turns

The race played out well, with all cars desperate for bonus dice for most of it. Two of the cars were bashing specialists, but with all of them getting a negative modifier on such activity because of their size, it wasn't going to be as deadly as it could be.

 I did get into a rather strange situation at the end with how the bashing mechanism actually works if one car actually drops back directly into another. I think it's an area I need to streamline; I've been fiddling around a lot with that kind of thing with regard to tail-guns and some other actions, and suspect that the random events need to be brought into line with it as well. The truth is that I am now playing about 50% Machinas and 50% my rewrite of Machinas, most of which is on random bits of paper. Writing it all up properly is going to be quite an exercise.

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Rat Rods

I did three more cars for Machinas this week. Over the past few months I have acquired various rat rods and buggies, so I thought I'd better paint some of them.

I did very little in the way of modifications. Even a lot of the underlying colour is that of the original vehicles.

I did plenty of weathering. though.

Friday, 21 October 2016

Return To Kolin

We did a refight of Kolin a few weeks ago, using Maurice, and it proved very successful. Indeed some members of the group did it again a couple of weeks later. This evening we tried it again, but this time Gary adapted it for Back Powder, so we could see how the rules compared. We used 10mm figures from Gary, Peter and Caesar; mostly Pendraken, I think.

Both Austrians and Prussians had about five commands each, with the Prussians having a shooting edge (simulated by use of the Sharpshooters ability). Their objective was to take two out of three designated objectives; the two hills and the town of Kolin on the main hill. They had ten turns in which to do it.

Here's the Austrian setup. We opted to ignore the one hill, and concentrate on defending the main one and the town. This was a high-risk strategy, but we felt that trying to defend both hills was stretching our forces too thinly. However a strong force of cavalry and supporting infantry was placed on our right to turn the Prussian flank there and compromise their attack.

The Prussians. They put the bulk of their cavalry on their left, and went for an infantry attack in the centre. One command was far out to their right, tasked with seizing the nndefended hill, and then rolling up the Austrian left.

The Prussians advanced. Their artillery scored a few long-range hits.

On the Austrian right Peter and Dave isolated Ralph's cavalry, leaving him looking a bit concerned.

The game rattled along at a cracking pace. For all its faults, Black Powder can play quickly.

Ralph was missing his 28mm figures, so created his own cavalry in an attempt to hold back the advancing Austrians.

:Lots of out-of-focus cavalry, in a big fight.

Meanwhile, on the main hill, the Austrians organised a line to hold the wave of Prussians advancing towards them. There was one unit of Austrian cavalry on this flank - the elite cuirassiers. They botched their order to advance, ambled towards some Prussian infantry, failed to charge and then broke when the first shots were fired at them

The cavalry action was intense, and thinned out units on both sides, but the Prussians got the worst of it. The Austrian cavalry pursued the scattered remnants, whilst their infantry reformed to move onto the left flank of the Prussian attack.

The Prussians advanced onto the unoccupied hill.

The Austrian line. As their commander was said to have put it, as he groped his mistress (or maybe it was just a random passing peasant-girl) "We're going to build a line. It's going to be a great line. A beautiful line. I build the best lines. Tremendous lines. And do you know what? We're going to make the Prussians pay for it. I'm going to make Austria great again."

Bits of the line then fell apart.

The Prussians now had a lot of troops plodding up or towards the ridge.

The small-handed Austrian commander tried to rally his troops.

It wasn't all one-sided. Whilst not as good as the Prussian shooting, Austrian musketry did accont for a few attacking Prussian units. But they always had more to feed into their line, whilst Austrian reserved were few nd far between. Over on the Austrian right the infantry counter-attack was stalling in the face of some rubbish command rolls.

The Prussians began to envelop the Austrian left.

Reinforcements arrived from teh Austrian right, but at that stage we decided that they were too little, too late, and conceded to the Prussians.

Black Powder once again delivered a brisk, enjoyable game and the period modifications went some way to making feel less generic. However in the discussions afterwards we felt that it still didn't have the period feel that Maurice does, with units collapsing quite quickly once the fighting starts, instead of the long drawn-out firefights of Maurice.

Still, we had a good time, and thanks are due to Gary for once again putting together a great evening's gaming.

Sunday, 16 October 2016

Frocktober 2016

It's October again, and that can only mean one thing; the annual post promoting Frocktober.

Frocktober is a month-long event organised by the Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation here in Australia in order to raise awareness of, and funds to help fight, (you've guessed it) ovarian cancer. Here's what they say:

Ovarian cancer is an insidious disease, often known as a “silent-killer” as symptoms are vague and often strike without warning. Unlike many other cancers there is no early detection test. Consequently ovarian cancer is often diagnosed in its late stages and only 20%-30% of women will survive beyond five years of diagnosis. In comparison, survival rates increase to 80-100% when ovarian cancer is detected and treated early.

The Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation is Australia’s pre-eminent ovarian cancer research body. Our goal is to raise ovarian cancer awareness and vital funds for the development of an early detection test that will save women’s lives.

We receive no government funding and rely on the support of our community and business supporters to assist in driving our research forward.

The classic way to raise funds is to wear a dress every day in October. Obviously that's fine for some, but despite my tendencies in that direction I'm not sure it would go down too well at work. My choice is to frock up at least once during the month, get some nice pictures and then use them to convince you and others to donate to the cause. This year I have been organised enough to manage two outings, and in one I was joined by the lovely Mrs Kobold.

First off, here's the link so that you can donate: Frocktober 2016

And, pride of place in the display of photos, is Mrs Kobold, in a replica Regency gown that she made herself, because she's really clever like that. It's actually the first time she'd ever made a dress, so all in all a good effort I reckon.

I went for shop-bought; boho/hippy goodness from Tree of Life. One of the staff recommended this particular one to me, and I reckon she made a good call.

Here we are together. 

The pictures were taken in the Wollongong Rhododendron Gardens, which wed earmarked as an excellent place for flouncing around in suitable rock earlier this year. Frocktober just offered a good opportunity.

 Earlier this month I had a day up in Sydney to shop for camera bits for our upcoming holiday, and decided that it would be as much fun to d it in a frock as not. So here's Froctober 2016 - Part 2 (which took place before Part 1).

Maybe next year I'll go for Frocktober at MOAB.

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

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