Sunday, November 24, 2019

2019 NHMGS Game Day at the Museum of Flight

On Saturday, November 23, the Northwest Historical Miniature Gaming Society (NHMGS) joined the Northwest Scale Modelers and Lake Sawyer Hawks Radio Control Club at the Museum of Flight for the annual Hobby Day.
A view from the NHMGS gaming tables at the museum
The event was well attended and many museum goers stopped off to look at the displays and ask questions. We even had several that joined in some of our games during the day.

The Northwest Scale Modelers had tables under the SR-71.
One of the Northwest Scale Modeler tables
The Radio Control Club was in the side gallery, mainly due to the size of their planes.
A radio-controlled P-40 and Spitfire
Our information tables were set up in front of the gaming tables, with figures, rules, and reference materials.
One of the NHMGS information tables
We four gaming tables and two gaming sessions. The morning session had a 6mm Vietnam War game with the Vietnamese trying to take out an American helicopter LZ, a Star Wars X-Wing Fighter game, World War I naval - prelude to Jutland game, and a British attack on an Italian convoy.
The American LZ in the center of the table
X-Wing fighters on the attack
Cruisers getting into action before Jutland
Since Kevin and I were running the convoy attack game, I have more photos and a better description of the action. We used David Manley's unpublished Air War 1940 rules for the game. We had 4 British players (flying Blenheims IVs, Beauforts, and Swordfish out of Malta) up against 4 Italians (flying CANT 1007 patrol bombers, CR.42s, and MC200s). The Italians had a lot of ships and area to cover, but the British didn't have a lot of weapons (bombs and torpedoes) to take out the ships.
View before the British entered the map
Beauforts on the starboard side of the convoy taking on the CANT bombers and heading for the ships
Blenheim IVs attacking the front of the convoy
Beauforts on the port side of the convoy make it to the ship before the CR.42s can attack, but their bombs missed
The Blenheims from the front both hit the lead merchant and sink it
The Beaufort coming from the starboard side gets lucky with a bomb hit that takes out another merchant
The Swordfish were able to drop their torpedoes just before the MC.200s reached them, sinking another merchant
The British sank three merchants with only one plane lost and several damaged. Overall a victory for the British.

The afternoon session had a Black Seas game, a Wings of Glory WWI game, and repeats of the Jutland and Convoy games.
Black Seas game in progress
Wings of Glory fighters make a pass
The afternoon convoy game was joined by a few museum visitors (2 British and 1 Italian). None of them had every played this type of game before. But after a couple turns, they were flying and fighting on their own without any troubles (at least from the rules). Which is a good testament to how easy David Manley's rules are to pick up.
Second Convoy game in action (the Sopwith Camel wasn't part of the game, but a kit that museum goers could purchase and put together with some modeler assistance)
Blenheims only do minor damage as the CANT blasts away at them
The Swordfish get a tanker, but the MC.200s tailing them knock down both torpedo bombers
The British didn't do as well in the afternoon game, losing 3 aircraft while sinking a tanker and damaging two other merchants.

Overall, everyone seemed to have an enjoyable time and we were able to get some information about gaming out to the general public. The annual event is (almost) always a good time and it is fun to share the hobby with people that have never seen miniatures.
The museum had a space-animal themed Christmas tree at the entrance

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Preparing for DANG 2019

We finished up voting for my yearly naval game: DANG (Dave's Annual Naval Game) and for this year's game the voters selected The King’s Ships were at Sea (the game title is based on James Goldrick's book title). The mini campaign will cover naval operations in the North Sea from November 1914 through January 1915. This basically covers the timeframe of German raids on the British coast through the Battle of Dogger Bank.
German battlecruisers at the Battle Dogger Bank by Willie Stoewer (from
Each side will have missions to complete each month and some options for arranging their forces. I will make up my own operational rules covering the different missions, random events, and set up for tactical battles (which I often do for DANG games). I haven’t decided which rules to use for the tactical battles yet. I’m thinking about GQ3 Fleet Action Imminent, which would be more interested if there are fewer battles, and David Manley’s Si Vis Pacem, which would provide for quicker resolution of battles. I’ll talk it over with a few people to see what they think.

For the ships, I looked around at several options, include Navwar (1/3000), Panzerschiffe (1/2400), and War Times Journal (1/3000 or 1/2400). War Times Journal ships are 3D printed and while there is a decent selection of ships, they did not have all the ships I wanted for the game. Navwar seemed like a good option, having all the ships needed, but I didn’t want to take the time to mail in my order (or deal with setting up a fax), so I decided to pass. That left me with Panzerschiffe and the order was made through their website. The ships arrived in a timely manner and I've started painting them up.
ship painting in progress
I'll post more ship photos when I finish them.

I think it will be a pretty interesting game with two or three good battles. But the players often have their own ideas about things should play out. I’m sure we will get at least one good battle.

DANG started in 2002 and this is DANG XVIII (eighteen). Here are links to recaps of DANG from before 2010, the 2010 Lepanto game, the 2011 American Civil War river game, the 2012 War of 1812 Lake Ontario game, the 2013 Operation Landcrab game, the 2014 Cogs of War game, 2015 The Shores of Tripoli game, 2016 The Big Stick game, 2017 Seastrike game, and last year's Siege of Charleston game. 

Monday, November 11, 2019

New Naval Gaming Mat

I haven't been doing a lot of hobby stuff for a little while, which meant I didn't have much to blog about. Things started picking up again near the end of October and now I find myself with a back-log of blog items.

Some of the things for upcoming posts include the upcoming NHMGS Game Day at the Museum of Flight, preparations for Dave's Annual Naval Game (DANG) 2019, and some rule reviews.

But this post is about the new naval gaming mats I recently purchased. I've always used fabric for my gaming tables (cloth or felt) and have generally been satisfied with the results. Felt can be a little hard to keep clean and the miniature sometimes catch on the fabric. You can also run into gaming table "mini-mountains" where tables of different heights meet. But these issues are really just inconveniences. This year I decided to splurge a little and get some mouse pad material mats.

I looked around at various online stores and decided to go with the ocean mat from TABLEWAR. I ordered two 6 ft x 4 ft mats. While one would be good for most games, I got two so that I can put them together to cover a 6 ft x 8 ft table.

The link above will give you a good idea of the overall mat appearance, but here are a few photos with some of my ships in various scales.
1/700 scale escort and merchants
The same convoy from a different angle
A Cruel Seas 1/300 S-boote
1/6000 Japanese carriers
1/6000 U.S. Navy ships
The printed waves look really good with the larger scale ships. They seem a little large for 1/6000, but not too bad (just some stormy weather).

The mats are thin (but sturdy feeling) and easy to roll, they should smooth out any game table "mini-mountains" and the mouse pad backing should prevent (or minimize) any slippage on the table
Semi-folded mat with the small TABLEWAR logo.
The mats also come with carrying cases, making carrying the mats around somewhat easier.
Rolled up mats and cases
Overall, I'm pretty happy with the mats. They will get their first game use later this year at DANG.
It even looks good in black and white