31 December 2014

Friday Night Fights Boxer Sculpt WIP

I purchased the boxing game Friday Night Fights from Two Hour Wargames a few days ago and I am already hooked.  The game truly plays brilliantly solo, which is a rarity.  I'll be doing an actual review in the near future, as soon as I get a few more matches under my belt.

In the meantime I decided to sculpt a few boxers for my bouts.  Friday Night Fights can be played simply on a piece of paper with no counters whatsoever.  I wanted to teach myself to sculpt however, so I figured making some boxers is as good an excuse as any.

Pec implants, a samurai stance and giant left glove…

The figure scale is 40mm to the eye, standing straight up.  The medium is SuperSculpey Firm.  The figure's a bit rough but since it's my first, I'm happy with it.  The head is attached with glue right now; I still need to build up the neck region.  The last steps before painting will be to dress the figure with shorts and shoes, as well as give him some hair.

The base is intentionally large as I plan on providing areas there to write in the boxer's statistics to minimize referencing data sheets.

22 December 2014

Solo 1/600 Jet Combat: France vs USSR

The holidays are finally here!  In the short time I have off I've already experienced a burst of creating and gaming, including further play test of my home-brew solo 1/600 jet combat rules.

Continuing my Cold War gone hot scenario based around the Congo Crisis of 1960-63, the Soviets threaten to take direct action versus the tiny (one fighter) Katangan Air Force that has been harassing the army of the leftist Congolese government.  Not wanting to be seen as a weak tool of the US government, Secretary-General Hammerskjold (who survives his plane crash in my alternate history) begs the French Air Force to provide two Mystere IVs to keep the peace.

The French rondel was difficult

Wonderful Tumbling Dice jets take inks so well

The French pilots however are well aware that Belgian mercenaries fly the Katangan Fouga Magisters, and are loathe to fire on their fellow western europeans.  As such, they've "missed" the Magister taking off to strafe Congo trucks a few times, to the anger of the USSR.  The Soviets have had enough and launch a pair of Yak 25s, based out of Angola (another change to real history), to destroy the Magister on the ground.

I started the Yaks at the bottom corner of the hex mat, with the target airbase near the other edge.  I rolled 3d6 and dropped the lowest die, summing the remaining two scores.  If the dice sum was equal or less than the turn number, then the French fighters appeared on the edge near the base.  Weighting the dice rolls like that ensured randomness but also gave the Yaks enough time to make a strafing run.

The Mysteres did not appear until turn 9, one turn too late!  On turn 8, chalk two of the Yaks made brilliant strafing run and destroyed the Katangan Magister.  Mission complete, the Soviet fighters turned for Angola; but the faster French fighters were closing…

The pictures show the intercept turn and man was it fun.  The lead Mystere, high above his prey, turns to split the formation of Yaks.  Knowing there's no escape the Yak trail bird pulls hard into a climbing left turn, forcing the lead Mystere's hand.

Classic wingman support

The French lead banked hard right to keep the trail Yak in sight, just barely avoiding a hail of 37mm shells.  Cursing he increased the aggressiveness of the turn, seamlessly transitioning to a barrel roll.  As he returned to right-side up, boom! the speed brakes were deployed.  Straining against his harness he felt his stomach in his throat as he pushed the nose over hard, holding the nose right on the closing Yak.  Just one breath to let the Soviet close then he held the trigger, exulting as smoke erupted from the Yak's starboard nacelle and fuselage.

Speed and altitude differential saves the Mystere…barely!

The trail Yak was reduced two condition levels and just couldn't keep it in the air, crashing a number of turns later.  The French, pushing the limits of fuel, turned back toward their base, allowing the other Soviet to flee.

The Yak gambled…and ended up in the Mystere's sights

That was the "official" story, but in order to play test other concepts I actually frozen everyone's fuel and had two SU-9 Fishpots enter on the Soviet edge.  They fired two semi-active homing missiles at the lead Mystere.  The French lead, so worried about trying to break missile lock, then failed to take the lead Yak into account.  The Yak-25 avenged his wingman, crippling the lead Mystere right before the first missile slammed into it.

Overall another great home-brew experience.  I tested out a ton of changed rules, including new fuel, gunnery, missile and aerobatics rules.  Lots of good lessons learned, such as my missile rules are a little too powerful for this era.