Monday, 27 July 2020

Virtual Lard 2

I spent Saturday 'at' (virtually) VL2: in the morning I ran an IABSM Lite game, with a couple of twists that were only possible on Zoom, and I played SP2 in the afternoon. For a much better report than I can provide for the latter,. do check out Richard Crawley's blog on the subject - great fun and outrageous French accents abound.  Many thanks to Richard for umpiring - excellent game.

I ran a small IABSM scenario set in my favourite corner of WW2 - northern Italy. I nicked an idea from Bloody Omaha in that the Germans were a very small, well dug in force (a section., two '34s, a Stug, a PAK40 and a sniper) run by me as the umpire, and the four  (reduced to three, sadly) players took a cut down British company - 2 sections, a carrier section. 4 Sherman IIIs.

The other twist was that they got a briefing and some recce photos, and from then on (as they were all connected via Zoom) they were restricted to a units-eye view (using an iPhone on a custom stand).
The British reccee photos: an overhead pass and, to quote, "One of the PRU Spitfires made a low pass over the valley this morning. Took MG fire from the church doing it, so the pilot really hopes you appreciate the effort."

They are attacking from the left (south). 

8 Platoon make it across the river, and flush out some Germans in front of the church, as well as an MG34 in the nearer farm,

7 Platoon meanwhile are being very wary of the main farmhouse, in which they keep spotting movement but aren't sure what. CSM Moxon is kept busy yelling for more smoke from the 2".

"Gunner - Jerry tank, right of the pine tree... traverse... no, further right of the wall... fire... GOT HIM!"
We didn't finish, in part because I had three relatively new to IABSM players and was wrestling a bit with the tech. I'd love to run it again: definitely a fascinating game,. and the players seemed to think the viewpoint idea worked.

Mat by TinyWargames, buildings by Empires at War, Battlefront and I think SHQ, figures by Battlefront, Shermans by PSC.

Tuesday, 30 June 2020

Dux Brit updates

While you're all waiting for me to stop being busy, and a) finish the Compendium and b) start the Linnius Campaign again, please allow me to refer you to Leading Lead's "The Rhegn Campaign" which is just starting up and being chronicled on their blog.

As those of you who made it to Virtual Lard will be aware, I managed to run two games of Dux over Zoom, which went pretty well - Rich Clarke (despite being 7 years rusty with the rules) in particular had a great time in the morning game, and we had players as far afield as Australia and Colorado USA.

The Compendium is progressing - I think my playtest group has pretty much laid the gremlins to rest in the various scenarios (thank you very much, folks!), so as soon as I get the last few bits edited I'll be looking for proof-readers. Sadly... actually, no. For once I am not Over-Commitment Boy... There are a limited list of people at church with my skill set, and pretty much 2/3 of my free time goes on that at present.  Fortunately, I am learning to delegate and train, so hopefully that will ease. And I am taking a week off in July, of which part is to record a long overdue album, but voice and fingers won't let me do that all day everyday, so the rest of the time is going on Dux.

Saturday, 27 June 2020

Weighing in on the current debate

Assuming you've being paying attention, you are probably aware of the somewhat acrimonious goings on involving TMP and TFL of late.

I've dipped my toe in enough to know on which side of the fence I come down, but this isn't about that. Yes, our hobby needs to be inclusive and free from bullying, and I personally want no part of a site which appears to actively promote, condone and practice the latter.

But.

We both have to be better than that, and be seen to be better than that. Both because it hands people ammunition, and because, frankly, we should be better than that. By all means call out bad behaviour when it occurs, but we don't need to resort to personal attacks, directly or indirectly, on members of TMP staff for who they are, nor do we need to make bullying/threatening noises to manufacturers who advertise with them.
"He who fights with monsters should be careful lest he thereby become a monster. And if thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will also gaze into thee."
 
 

Wednesday, 22 April 2020

Dux Brit Compendium playtest update

Lots of great feedback and testing happening - huge thank you to the playtest team. Still dying to see how one group are managing on Tabletop Simulator! (I did just find some figure assets originally designed for Saga that might be interesting to use....)

In between answering questions (including a couple of 'well, yes. It says so in the rules... actually, that's weird. It doesn't. But that's how everyone plays it, isn't it...' moments) I'm finishing off the last few sections, and should be up for proof-reading Real Soon.

Thursday, 16 April 2020

State of the Mike

Knackered...




Oh, wait, you want more. :D

Ok, so. Last week, for those who pay attention to the Western ecclesiastical calendar, was Holy Week, from Palm Sunday through to Easter Sunday, and I have been editing videos every day (literally every day) for church (and for a fair chunk of the weeks before, while we were debating whether we were still going to be allowed to stream from an otherwise empty church). This has actually been pretty useful, since it's amounted to a free basic training course in Apple's Final Cut Pro, which is always a handy thing to go on the CV.

I'm also now officially Mill House Studios Ltd (site update IS on the todo list) as I also have a new job from the end of April as a contract developer - for now, I'd prefer not to say who for, if that's ok. Either way, there's a certain amount of organisation involved in getting that up and running, and it does mean I have a handy vehicle for putting the money I make from other projects through.

And then my wife has gone and done her knee in. Again. Because, as usual, she's too stubborn to remember she's already done it in once, and there are other people in the house who can do stuff for her. *sigh* I love her dearly, really I do. :D

I've also been writing a few blogs (per various people's requests) on assorted topics in gaming and setting up Discord etc. And trying to keep the Dux Compendium moving amid all this - the difficulty is that while I was hoping the time off after the previous job would allow me to focus on it, the stuff I have left really requires what programmers call 'flow', the ability to shut off outside distractions, get your head down and do stuff without breaks. And that has been in short supply.

Normal service is being resumed, slowly, honest. I have dumped my todo list into OmniFocus, in the hope that I don't drop anything on the floor.

The hobby streak, sadly, is toast - you'd have kind of thought not, given the circumstances, and if I was really trying I could have probably found something hobby related I've done every day to maintain it, but there are some days that it would have been a real stretch ("I read gaming Twitter!").

So anywhere, that's where I am. Well, actually, here's where I am....


Stay safe, folks!


Playtesters needed

(Boy, sure wish we’d got this far before lockdown!)

Ok. Looking for play testers for the new Raid and Battle scenarios in the Dux Britanniarum Compendium.

If you are reasonably experienced with Dux, and have the time and patience to run through a few scenarios, solo or (in some suitably socially distanced way) with a friend, over the next week or two and send me feedback, please drop me a mail at mike@altrion.org and let me know. 

Edit: OK - that’s enough for now! 

Huge thanks to the folks who replied: playtest packs will be out today.

I will be looking for a few proofreaders and sanity checkers of the full document when it’s finally done - watch this space. 

Monday, 23 March 2020

Creating a Discord server

As various communities I'm in are looking at ways of doing Virtual Un-distancing, I've started a series of posts on my personal blog on various technologies you can use. First up, Discord.


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