Sunday, January 19, 2014

Playing CROM solo

I recently bought CROM by Paul Ward from Matakishi's Tea House. It is a fast-play skirmish game inspired by the stories by Robert E. Howard. From the preview, I read that it is "... designed primarily as a multiplayer game but can be played with two players or even solo if desired" and this drew my attention.


CROM is presented as a 64-page book laid out in single column with colored illustrated backgrounds, as well as some stunning shots of gaming tables and miniatures. It is very readable on the screen, and a quick read too. Around 24 pages are dedicated to the rules, followed by a multi-part scenario and play aids. There is also a free supplement, called CROM Companion, which I recommend even to those who do not own the game. Besides an introductory scenario, it contains a set of recommendations for scenario design. Those seem very useful for skirmish games in general, and also for solo gaming.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Sidalis IV: The battle for Sector 115

After a long time, here is a new battle in Sidalis IV, this time played with Strike Legion. I am using 1cm x 1.5cm markers for light and medium vehicles and infantry teams and measuring distances in centimeters instead of inches.

The battle of Sector 115 marked the escalation of the conflict in Sidalis IV, with the first confrontations between armor platoons. Terraforce command, still waiting for reinforcements, decided to set up an HQ on the planet to overview ground operations. While it was still under construction, NovaCorp sent a strike force to take control of the area.


Terraforce (blue) must defend its headquarters, represented by the rectangular template with the building marker, on the left. If the NovaCorp forces have any elements within 8cm of that building by the end of the fourth turn, they win. The green areas represent brush (difficult terrain that provides cover for infantry) and the hills within them count as one elevation level.

Terraforce (blue) has two platoons of four Wolverine medium tanks and one platoon of infantry, equipped with rifles. One squad has a SAW and the other has an anti-tank missile launcher. NovaCorp has three platoons of three Omega tanks and one platoon of infantry with two squads equipped with SAWs. Both forces are considered Trained.

Battle Report

I played the Terraforce units, against the Nova Corp using the solo rules presented in the Skunk Works supplement. The overall plan for Terraforce was to place one tank platoon on the hills to the south, the infantry on the area of brush to the north and the other tank platoon as a barrier to the enemy advance. I decided that NovaCorp would go offensive, pushing with all their tanks through the middle, while their infantry would contest the northern brush.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Mel Ebbles' Awesome Model Archive

Christopher Roe, a.k.a. Mel Ebbles has released several of his models for free. Look for them in the Models Archive and Fun Stuff sections of his Genet Models website. You can also read more about this in this link.

There are wonderful pieces, including vehicles, mecha, structures and props. Some are intricate but all are worth the effort, and they build perfectly. Here is a build of the TA160 Shrike, in a custom color scheme courtesy of my malfunctioning printer.

This is the small version (1:100 scale), printed at 100% scale.  It takes a single page of paper. The built model model is 9.5cm long and 7cm wide. Here is a shot with some 15mm scale minis.

If you are new to papercraft and want to try your hand with some of these models, I would recommend starting with the Runabout Floater or the Itoyo 950 robot. Each of them requires printing a single page and the pieces are mostly boxes (the Itoyo package also includes some crates that are literally boxes, as expected.)