Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Games Day at the Library

Saturday, November 3rd was a sort of national celebration of games of all types at Canadian libraries. (It may have been more international, but my intelligence sources are somewhat faulty on that.) The games club set up a number of interactive games for the public to join in. Kevin ran a game set in the Star Trek universe with some pretty sharp-looking 3d blocks for the starships. A Warhammer game was hotly contested in the back of the room. The historical wing of the club set up a "Tiger Hunt." This is a free-for-all armoured combat using the armoured rules from Iron Ivan games - Disposable Heroes/Coffin for Seven Brothers. We try to keep it simple: each player starts with a Tiger tank (Panzer markVI) and tries to stay alive. It began as a simple and fun way to get used to Iron Ivan's rules for tank-ing. It's become a sort of convention-drop-in game. If your Tiger "brews up", you respawn as a Panther (Mark V version G, or something like that.) When your Panther buys the farm, you're out.
This time, we started differently. The game began with Tiger I's, Russian KV-7's, and other German never-deployed "PanzerDisney" vehicles, like the "Lowe" (Mark VII "Lion"). We started play with some of those "funnies" but switched to Tigers all around (almost) when some young guys joined in. They played for a few turns but wandered off when we told them there'd be no video games today. One young guy stayed - more on him later.
I can't give you a play by play since it was a wild and wooly time. I ran through a Tiger I, a Sherman Firefly, a Churchill with a 75mm gun, an Achilles tank-destroyer, and finally, a Maus. (Heh-heh, that's right... the Maus!) I was knocked out in each of those worthy vehicles. Once you were knocked out, you "respawned" at one of 6 entry points determined by the roll of a d6. The Achilles came in on a bridge just behind a Russian JS-III and followed directly by a Jagdtiger. I never got a shot off.

To the photos!

The table - lots of forest and structures, The six 'spawnpoints' were the road in front of you, the two bridges on the left, the road at the far end of the table, the stone bridge on the far right, and the swamp on the near right. The bunkers were just for looks - no guns were emplaced.
PanzerDisney! Martin's Maus with a Flames of War Kubelwagen next to it for comparison.
Another of Martin's KriegTraum AFV's - a tank destroyer with a huge gun and a designation I can't recall.
My daughter, Katie pushed this beastie for a large chunk of the game. Another of Martin's models of "stuff that was never deployed" - the really nasty KV-7. We kept asking if the billiards room was taking on smoke and if the casino had power.

A line of Tigers - Andy's work with a King Tiger closest to the camera.
Martin's up-gunned Tiger III never quite made it out of the swamp.
An ambitious Tiger attempts to push the KO'd Lowe out of the way. Lots of things got bottled up at the entry points and had to push stuff out of the way. When the Jagdtiger came on it had to push the KO'd Achilles, a KO'd Panther and a JS-III. There was so much smoke... er, painted cotton!
The Bergepanther ARV (Armoured Recovery Vehicle) on it's mission of mercy. It was run by the gamesmaster, Martin ,and ran full speed toward any vehicle that had been immobilised by losing a track. It would fix it and head back to the town square. Some folks blew it up to keep an opponent from getting fixed. It would then "respawn" in the town square next round of moving/shooting.

My daughter, the incredibly blood-thirsty Katie, originally came up to play board or card games with my wife, Beth. (her mom) My son, Rob, convinced her to "push a tank for a few moves." She stayed to the bitter end and clobbered my Maus with the Jagdtiger with a lucky shot (natural 10 on a d10) to the back of the turret. She pushed the KV-7, a JS III and finally the Jagdtiger, part of her total of 14 or 15 kills.
Tyler helps our youngest tank commander... or is he measuring to shot him? I don't remember. The most memorable thing of the game was the young guy's remark when his friends left to find video games: "I don't want to do video games. This is 'way more fun!"  There IS hope for the universe! I'm sure Katie and Rob were offering helpful hints here.

The conga line on the bridge begins. Bear's Brummbar took out the Panther that followed the JS II. My Achilles came in soon after, and Katie's Jagdtiger, which blew my vehicle to smithereens and then pushed THREE  wrecks down the bridge's slope.

My first Tiger faces down Katie's KV-7 earlier in the game. I lost. The blue chips indicate "penetrating hits" on the tank, damage that accumulates and causes following shot to possibly have even more damage. I ended up with 5 penetrating hits before I was knocked out.
The swamp really slowed things down when they entered there.
Some vehicles made it in and weren't targeted until they made it to the battlefield.
The death of Katie's KV-7, my one Tiger, and Rob's Tiger in forested junkyard.
"I don't get no respect!" You see what I deal with?
Random entry points led to interesting situations I wasn't interested in.
Playing cards were used to randomise turns. DH/C7B has an initiative role each turn to see who gets the first move.
Our random system allowed for many surprises. We do use Iron Ivan's initiative system when we play a "straight" game.

Ah, the Maus! When Katie's brewed it up, Tyler was very helpful and heaped a whole two-hands-ful of smoke counters no the flaming hulk. The constant cry when anyone's turn came up was "Squeeky-squeeky" on a high or low note depending on the size of the AFV. The Maus was basso-profundo.

Katie helpfully, gleefully, and sadistically points out my burning Maus.

Meanwhile, on another planet, Brian sets up for a 40K game.
The field with roughly 42 wrecks to be seen.

Again meanwhile, in interstellar space. Federation heavy cruisers meet
their Klingon counterparts in Kevin's Star Trek game.

In the blackness of space, no one can hear you roll crappy dice.
Meanwhile, in the parking lot, a local artist was working on a chainsaw sculpture for the library.
It's  a reading fantasy bear!

Now the bear has a chainsaw himself!

 Upcoming events - a play test of SYW rules called Maurice next week and an 1812 adventure patrol event at the end of the month when a bunch of reenactors from the area converge and try their skill on the table. (Lots of reenactors play wargames; I often refer to reenacting as 1:1 scale wargaming.)


  1. A few notes John,

    The large Soviet monstrosity is a KV-5 (five, cinq, fünf, pět, quinque, пять, tano)

    And the PanzerDisney tank-destroyer is an E-50 Jagdpanther II.


    1. Thanks, Martin. I'm happy you could fill in the proper information. I have enough trouble remembering real tanks, let alone stuff that barely or didn't make it off the drawing board. (I didn't know you spoke so many languages!)

  2. Some great looking games, I bet your daughter won't let you forget the game for a looooong time!

    1. Count on it, Ray. I see this triumphal procession going on for ages.