Monday, January 18, 2016

The Uwanda/Mugabia War: A Turn for the Worst

This weekend I spent some time thinking about the war between Uwanda and Mugabia, rolled some dice, and thought a bit about things some more.  I also caught all of the lists and records up to date and began preparing for the future.   So here is a window looking into the direction of the war between the nations of Uwanda and Mugabia. 

The Mugabian President stood in the conference room and frowned at his generals.

"What do you mean, Mugabia's greatest war hero is an a Uwandan hospital?  Uwanda's troops stand on Mugabian soil; our hero lies in their hospital, and you have nothing to say?  Tell me, do you enjoy breathing?"

As always, the President found just the right words to motivate his officers.  A plan was quickly offered to remove the Uwandan troops from Mugabia, and shortly afterward, a second plan put forth for the liberation of Mugabia's greatest hero.

Mugabia's President Upepo-mfuko reviews the elite Presidential Guard. 


Uwanda's chief of staff looked across the table, meeting the eyes of each of the generals seated there.  He began, "Well gentlemen, what do we do now?  I am open to suggestions."

The attack at B15 did not lead to the string of anticipated successes, largely due to the leadership of a man now recovering from his wounds in a Uwandan hospital.

The Uwandan chiefs considered a number of options, and in time a consensus was reached.  It was finally time to go to war.  To this point, even the action at B15 had been conducted with a minimum commitment.  Every effort had been made to avoid escalating the scope of the conflict. But a year had passed, as had the appeals by Uwanda to find a peaceful solution.  Mugabia's occupation of Uwanda's territory could no longer be tolerated, and the ULF's absurd demands simply could not be met. 

Uwanda would mobilize.  Requests to allies for help achieving a peaceful solution would be replaced by orders for war materials. Uwanda would aggressively protect its sovereignty. A large scale offensive would be launched with the aim of regaining lost territory, destroying Mugabia's ability to make war, and to capture or kill the Mugabian president.  Preparations were under way...

Vickers Mk.III main battle tanks of the Uwandan army on maneuvers.

Note: Vehicles and Mugabian Presidential Guard (Soviet naval infantry)  by QRF, the president and officer figures by Peter Pig.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

First Ork Truck Painted

Well, I finally got paint on the first ork truck and here are some pix:

One down, two to go.  Guess at some point, I should stop calling it an ork truck, since they won't really be orks in my post apocalypse game.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Behind the Scenes of the Mugabia/Uwanda War

I've been working on the next phase of the Mugabia/Uwanda War today, working out the details and contingencies for upcoming battles, which got me to thinking about some of the plans, expectations, surprises, and near misses that have occurred during this game.  After thinking a bit, I thought I'd share some of this with readers...

I've been fighting the Mugabia/Uwanda War for about six years now, but the game calendar has actually only progressed about a year (funny, I thought it would be the other way around).  In that year of game time, there have been 18 battles, involving two national armies and 4 other factions/organizations.

I actually have eleven armies and factions for use in the game, and have built or designed many additional game pieces that have not come into play.  This is because the direction of the game has actually been dictated by what I call the Fate Tables.  A collection of mostly hand written randomizing tables that decide future directions and events in the game.

After each battle, the Fate Tables are adjusted or weighted (or sometimes not)  by the results of the battle and consulted for the direction of each side.  For example, the offensive that resulted in AARs 8, 9, 10, and 11 was dictated by the die roll, with details of the attacks and forces being decided by other factors.  At one point, Mugabian battlefield failures almost resulted in a coup, the die roll was a couple percent off.  But after the results of battles 15 through 18, Mugabian political stability is somewhat higher.

After AAR11, the ULF rolled to establish a more independent identity by taking more initiative, simultaneously, the tables dictated that Mugabia would encourage the ULF to act more aggressively to force Uwanda to respond more violently.  This could have the effect of generating greater unity in the ULF cause, and possibly generate Russian, Cuban, or Chinese direct support per the Fate Tables.  Uwanda continuously lobbies for UN, US, UK and/or French help, but thus far, the die rolls just haven't gone that way.

A number of near misses have occurred though.  The Mugabian coup was two percent away from happening, and would have resulted in Mugabian irregular and/or Army troops attacking the Presidential Palace and Presidential guard.  Would have been some interesting battles.  Irregular forces, other revolutionaries and ULF forces would have picked sides based on Fate Table results.  Soviet, Cuban, or  UN forces could have been called in also.

The massive losses of aircraft in the battles described in AAR10 resulted in possible Uwandan aircav /air-mobile raids on Mugabian airbases, and a possible raid on the presidential palace to be postponed. 

A wide number of small air intercepts have almost happened, including visiting Soviet Mig 23s almost intercepting patrolling Uwandan aircraft.  That incident could have likely brought about further Soviet involvement, or western response, but the dice missed the mark.

The Cuban advisers that have been helping to train the Mugabians, and to a lesser degree ULF leadership,  just missed the tabletop in AAR15, and at the objective in AAR17.  But the Uwandan loss in AAR15 allowed the Cubans to withdraw prior to the repeat attack at the objective.  And the failure in AAR17 resulted in the Cubans not being needed.

A lot of possibilities have been considered with various forces being created and figs painted, but the battles on the tabletop have so often resulted in surprises that keep the swing of the Fate Tables in check. 

Another recurring event, is that characters with bright futures keep getting killed.  I learned my lesson with Abdi, a ULF leader in the first couple of battles.  He was to be a significant leader for the ULF, with a great storyline developed for him.  And then he got killed right away.  So now I don't plan too far in advance.

The Mugabian officer that was killed by the ULF forces (that he was leading in AAR9) was another surprise.  The morale failure that brought that about was very unlikely, the worst possible result, so I quickly created a table with the most likely result being retreat, but also with surrender a possibility, and a one percent chance of mutiny against the Mugabian officer.  Now he's a forgotten casualty of war.

Col. Chuma is the latest, and maybe the most significant opposite of Abdi.  He wasn't expected to play a significant role in the game, other than being part of the tabletop command, and offering a vantage point for the story.  Then he confounded Uwanda's expected victory in AAR15.  His survival in the next battle, and unexpected (at least by me) victory in AA17 made him potentially legendary.  And then he gets wounded and captured. (Even more legendary?!) I have several ideas, out-growths ranging from prisoner exchanges to rescue attempts, but still everything is still dependent on upcoming events and resulting rolls on the Fate Tables.

Anyway, there is a lot of silliness that goes on behind the blog, a kind of role playing thing that drives the game.  All of it being a combination of my imagination, suggestions by friends, family, and other gamers, and input from the dice.

Anyway, just thought I'd share some of what doesn't show up in the AARs.

Monday, January 4, 2016

2015 in Review/ Plans for 2016


About four years ago, my gaming activity took a real downturn, mostly due to work demands with a couple of medical issues mixed in.  During this time, I've better focused my primary interests, and began selling off figures for chronically stalled periods; 15mm ACW, 15mm Boxer Rebellion, ancients, etc.  Rather than feel a sense of loss as these figs vacated my shelves, I felt a sense of relief, reinforcing that I had made the right decision.

Particularly  as 2015 arrived, with this sense of relief, came inspiration to complete projects that have long lingered.  The first half of the year moved along at much the pace of the last few years, but around mid-year, a (relative) lull at work, and a conscious plan to put more free time into my hobby resulted in (well, for me) a renaissance of the hobby.  I managed to work on many old projects, and touch on them below (note original start dates of each project in parenthesis).

The greatest beneficiary has been my post apocalypse game (started in 1987).  In 2015, I nearly completed the rules, cleaned up plans for the factions, and completed "Doggies Men" (1988), my old GW Imperial Guard re-purposed as Territorial Guard for my struggling PA world.  I also completed the "Feds' (1989), a corporate army, endorsed by a part of the old government, and having survived in a largely underground military research and development facility.  Further work included progress on vehicles for both armies (temporarily stalled by the search for appropriate tires for some of the vehicles),  later in the year the PA blockhouse (conceived 2001?), and most recently, the old unfinished ork trucks (2008) getting back on the work bench.  The orks will play an important roll in my PA world, in the form of "The Greenies", a badly mutated military experiment to create super soldiers.
The "Feds", mostly GW space marines of various types.

The fictional African imagi-nations of Uwanda and Mugabia (2007) worsened their war a little with a brief flurry or air combat, and Uwanda launching a rapidly stalled offensive into Mugabia.  I also managed to add a few more vehicles and terrain pieces to the game.

Two Romulan Sparrowhawk light cruisers.

Star Fleet Battles (1982) hit my table again, and after decades of near hibernation, began the journey to manifesting on my table top  in miniature form (again).  SFB is my one venture into "tax law"-like tedious, multi-book rules systems. I love the game, and have reverted to the most enjoyable incarnation of it for me, the old boxed version with the three expansion packs.

Lyran DD, DW, CL, and another DD for SFB.

I made very little progress on my 15mm Cold War (started 1990) stuff, mostly in the form of a smattering of vehicles painted and few infantry.  But made greater progress prepping my somewhat forgotten 6mm Cold War Armies (dating from 1982).

Two of the wonderful Armies Army 15mm ASU-85s.

The year ended with the completion of my first squad of 15mm Germans for East front service in WWII.
15mm Germans, mostly Old Glory and a couple Peter Pig.

And, I also played a half dozen or so games in the last half of the year, which for me is an amazing frequency.



Plans for 2016 overwhelmingly involve continued progress with older projects.

Post Apocalypse Campaign, 28mm
I expect to launch my post-apoc campaign in the next few months, adding vehicles for the current factions, ruins for the wastes, a recovering town, and maybe the fortified abbey.

Star Fleet Battles
I've completed 12 new ships, and am in the process of stripping and repainting over 40 others.  In addition, I intend to add 2-4 new ships per month, as well as fighter and pseudo-fighters.

WWII East Front 6mm and/or 15mm
This will be a big project this year, but I'm not sure exactly how it will develop yet.  I have a lot of vehicles for 6mm, not much terrain and infantry.  I'm in the process of researching both Kursk and Smolensk, and am loosely expecting to do early stuff around Smolensk in 6mm, and Kursk in 15mm, which is opposite of my original expectation.  Who knows, I may flip back on this, or change battles completely.

Cold War 6mm and 15mm
In 6mm I plan to repaint a significant portion of my old Nato forces aside the from the US, and need to add a lot more infantry.  Progress in 15mm will be more modest.  The hope is to add the rest of the M113 family and field a  mech. company with support circa 1977-1982, and complete the M60A1.  If nothing else, it will expand models that I have for sale.

Modern African Imagi-Nations 15mm
The only real plan is to continue the campaign.  I expect that I will add more buildings, possibly the presidential palace, or an airport.  I may complete more vehicles including new masters, but it will depend on time and die rolls.  At any time, other forces could be added, including Cuban, Soviet, French, British, or US (which are all on standby).  It all just depends on the die rolls.

WWII France 1940
I have a ton of 6mm for 1940, but have rarely used it, gaming France mostly in 15mm in the past.  I'd like to do some battles of greater scope, but will depend on whether I can finally decide on which battlefield(s) to build.

Vietnam 20mm
I'm hoping that I can finally get around to adding more terrain pieces and get some games played later in the year.  This one is very "iffy" and may end up being the big project for 2017.

Near Future 28mm
A low intensity project that will involve finishing some small terrain items and painting current figures for contemporary/near future silliness generally inspired by "B" movies.  This will be things like rednecks and teenagers vs. aliens and whatnot.

I figure that I have 18 months worth of work to do in 2016, given no illness and only 40 hour work weeks.  I know that it probably won't all happen, but do expect to make sizeable progress on most of the above periods/projects.  I don't intend to really jump into anything completely new, though am giving consideration to Beyond the Gates of Antares.  If I do that, It will end up being a low intensity project that probably bump out work on Vietnam and/or WWII. We'll see what happens.