Saturday, November 14, 2020

Naval Game Setup: Battle of Gogland

I've finished painting up the ships for the Age of Sail Battle of Gogland.  This was a battle fought July 17, 1788 between Russia and Sweden during the Russo-Swedish War (1788-90).  Ship range from frigates to 1rst Rate.  The Russians have the largest ship at 108 guns.

I am using the Flying Colors rules.  The rules are available in the Blue Cross, White Ensign boardgame or Flying Colors boardgame.  The frigates I've painted up take up two hexes, whereas in the boardgame rules they only take up a single hex.  I don't think this impacts the battle, but it does spread out the initial setup a bit.

The game mat is a 1" hex mat from Cigar Box Battle over a 6' x 5' table.

The ships are 1:2400 Tumbling Dice miniatures.  Flags on the back are on narrow brass wire and glued into a drilled hole on the stern of every ship (white glue).  These can be easily removed and replaced if needed for a different country.  I've gone with numeric labels on the back of each stand.  The number corresponds to an OOB instead of trying to put names on the bases.   These labels are color coded to each navy.

Here are pictures of the miniatures and the layout before the battle begins.

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Web Gaming Platforms for Miniature Gaming

Today we are experiencing less in person miniature wargaming, if any.  I have watched gamers (YouTube videos) do remote gaming and have wondered what options exist today.  I wanted to give it a try and see what I could do with a camera or webcamer setup at home inviting friends to join.  Based on my research of free options here is what I have found:

  1. Discord
  2. Jitsi Meet
  3. Streamyard
  4. Google Hangouts
  5. Ring Central/Glip
  6. Skype
  7. Zoom
I have chosen to use Jitsi Meet.  I also recommend Streamyard.  

Why did I reject the others?  See the list below.
  • Discord
    • Have to create a Discord account if you don't already have one.
    • Quality issues with sound and video.
  • Google Hangouts
    • My screen image mirrored.
    • Can not record.
    • Email not working.  Have to do email manually.
  • Ring Central/Grip
    • My screen image mirrored.
    • Unable to make my screen the main on my computer.
  • Skype
    • My screen image mirrored.
    • OBS view resolution is bad.
    • All Users have to have Skype installed and have a User account.
  • Zoom
    • Only free for one hour.
Why did I choose Jitsi over Streamyard?
  1. Jitsi watermark less obtrusive than Streamyard watermark during the session.
  2. Streamyard is limited to six people.  This was not an issue for my last game, but wanted to keep my options open for additional gamers.
I originally tried streaming using two webcams going through the OBS software and then to Jitsi.  I discovered that there was bad lag (blurry hand movement while my hand was moving miniatures)  between OBS and Jitsi, so I dropped OBS and just kept switching webcams while streaming in Jitsi.

I'm sure there are other free web conference platforms out there.  I'd be interested to hear what others have been tried.  My list should give you an overview of the more common ones and what did not work for me.

Monday, September 28, 2020

My Changing Scales History

When I first started in the historical miniature wargaming hobby, I started with plastic 1:72 Zulu War figures and plastic 1:72mm WWII desert soldiers and model kits.  That is what I had access to at my local hobby stores.  I vaguely knew there was metal miniatures, but coming from a model maker background (planes, tanks, ships) I enjoyed assembling and painting them up and gaming on the table.  

Why am I still not gaming with that?  I lost interest in Zulu wargaming and left my 1:72 WWII desert at my parents when I moved out.  I instead discovered 10/12mm WWII which I felt looked better on a 6'x4'  table for the scenarios I wanted to do.  Maybe in the future I will buy into 20mm or 28mm for WWII skirmish.

1:2400 GHQ

I then started getting interest in WWI and WWII naval gaming and I bought 1:2400 GHQ and Panzerschiffe models.  I also bought 1:3000 WWI.  I found 1:2400 too crowded on the table, so I have been more focused on 1:3000.  GHQ ship miniatures look great, but it looks like the 1:3000 catalog of ships works better for me.

1:600 Tumbling Dice

The planes I use for naval battles keep getting bigger over time.  I started with multiple 1:2400 planes on a stand, then 1:1200 and now I'm going with a single 1:600 plane on a stand.  The single plane represents a squadron.  Lots of good choices in 1:600.

When it comes to scale, I think I have one regret.  I think it was 15mm War of 1812 miniatures.  At the time I think I was afraid of painting 28mm so went with 15mm.  I discovered that skirmishing 28mm War of 1812 worked better and I don't mind painting 28mm.  Nothing fancy with my 28mm painting.

I can see myself getting into 6mm scale.  Not sure with what period.  Maybe Crusades.

I'm sure we are all like this, changing scales all the time.  Maybe you have more impressive stories than I have.