15 November 2012


I'm concentrating more of my online activity on the ManBattlestations site, and Ruckdog just posted a blog post describing the series of games we just played of Dystopian Wars for a local X-Campaign here.

More details can be found on the forum side of the website: http://manbattlestations.com

28 October 2012

Dystopian Wars Virginia Team Tournament

We had several players cancel at the last minute to prepare for the oncoming storm, but we had 7 players show up--Zach played his first game during round 2 and I teamed up with Kyle in the final round so everyone could play.

This is my favorite situation captured during a game between FSA and French naval fleets; a French Battleship and Carrier loom above a lone surviving frigate--broken, 1 HP remaining, and it has already activated.

15 October 2012

Dystopian Wars Tournament


Sunday October 28th, 2012
Registration starts at 10am, Dice at 11am

The Game Vault
6328 Five Mile Centre Park, Suite 414
Fredericksburg, VA 22407
540-785-GAME (4263)

$5 per player; winning team earns total registration to split 50/50 in store credit.

We have linked scenarios to create a mini-campaign for the tournament.
Players will form teams of 2 players.  1st round will involve randomly matched players.  2nd round will provide choices for teams, according to score rankings from 1st round.  3rd round will feature the winning teams on big tables battling for key locations to win the campaign and the overall event.

750 points, Naval and Armored Core Forces.  Teams may have multiple force lists and choose which force to use at the start of each round.

No standard STAR cards will be used.  Special cards will be provided for teams to use during the event which provide special effects.

RULES:  DW 1.1 rules.  Scoring by Campaign Points as described in the Hurricane Season Campaign Book.

10am – 11am: Sign in and set up (Dice roll promptly at 11am)
11am - 12:30pm: Round 1
12:30pm – 1:15: Lunch and Secret Ballot Painting Contest
1:15pm – 2:45pm Round 2
3 pm -5:30pm Round 3
5:45pm – 6 pm Awards and Raffle

Models must feature at least 2 different colors.  Prime ships and then dry-brush or ink—it takes only an hour or two to make your fleet look good on the table.

Post your registration on the Game Vault forum or on ManBattlestations.com or send a PM to “maddrb”.

Check the “looking for teammates” thread on the ManBattlestations.com:


06 October 2012

DW Flag Decals for Registering Players

One more day left to register for the DWVA Autumn Event at the Game Vault on Sunday, October 28th and get one of these DW flag decals.

Players registering with me by Sunday, October 7th can pick up a free 5x8 inch flag decal the morning of the event.

Deadline for registration is October 21st or 16 players, whichever comes first.  Contact me on the Spartan Games forum or at ManBattleStations.com to register, or leave a comment below!

More Weekend Cat Blogging

Inspired by another gaming blog, I'm posting a picture of my first cat, a longtime companion for more than 10 years--this photo was taken shortly before he died a year ago now.

23 September 2012

Registering for Next DWVA Event

WHAT:  A special team-based event. Players must register as a 2-player team or individually registered players will be matched with other individually registered players. The rounds will be linked in a mini-campaign with victory declared for the leading team at the end of the event.
WHEN:  Sunday, October 28th, starting at 10:30 am.
WHERE:  The Game Vault, Fredericksburg, VA
FORCES:  750 point force compositions; at least 1 force per team is Naval Core and 1 force per team is Armored Core.  Players may bring multiple force compositions as long as the 2 basic requirements are met.
COST:  $5 per registered player.

(Format details follow)

31 August 2012

Firestorm Armada

Last week I took a 90-minute drive to a game store where I'm planning to run a DW tournament soon, mostly to see the store, make sure I could find it, etc.  I also met some of the local players and introduced myself to a guy running demo games of Firestorm Armada.  After asking him how it differed from the other Spartan Games, I decided, while driving home (and taking a route which went past my FLGS), that if the lone 1st edition FA rule book which had been sitting on the shelf for at least a year now was still in the store... (a likely possibility) then I would buy it and complete my Spartan Games collection.

I also picked up a deck of STAR cards!

I've been interested in the game and the fleets for some time now, and some of the newer models released have caught my attention, but I've been putting all of my attention into Uncharted Seas and Dystopian Wars.  Well, now I'm starting a Sorylian fleet, and I'm thinking about a second fleet so I can run demo games of this one; although this might be a Spartan Game I only play since there seems to be a good group already playing to the south of where I live.

25 August 2012

Historicon Afterthoughts

I attended Historicon the other week and it was the first gaming convention I had ever attended.  In fact, it was the first convention of anything I had ever attended since I accompanied my father to the Cow Palace in San Francisco Bay Area a few decades ago for a gun show.

I can't really put the experience into words.  Except that I distinctly remember many hours spent in my grandfather's basement when I was a young boy and paging through model railroading magazines, picturing in my mind what it might look like with scale equivalent model soldiers marching across the train tracks featured in all those magazine photos.  And at Historicon I saw those faded childhood fantasies brought to life on several score of tables.

17 August 2012

Dystopian Legions

Big news today about a new scale of Dystopian Wars.  I didn't even know anything about it until I was paging through some photos taken at Gencon and posted on FB.  At one picture I stopped and looked more closely... those looked like DW tanks!

I checked out the Spartan website, and it looks like they have indeed announced a new line of models and a new system for 28mm scale models (including infantry).

22 July 2012

Historicon 2012

I had never attended a gaming convention before this weekend's Historicon 2012.  I almost attended last year, but with the new venue only 30 miles from where I live this year I had no reason not to attend.  I decided to try to experience the full range of the event, from participating in games to hosting a demo event for Dystopian Wars.  With loaned models and help from local DW players we provided a basic run through of the game for 2 sets of 4 players, and plenty of others stopped by Saturday morning just to see what was going on and pick up some flyers.

Later that day I spotted some familiar models incorporated into a scratchbuilt model of an airship for a Victorian Martian scenario.  Great stuff all around.

15 June 2012

Perfect Camouflage

I was impressed by the match between the paint scheme on my Uusual Opponent's CoA ships and the Dreadfleet play sheet we like to use as the table surface for our Dystopian Wars naval games.  This was not intentional, but the perfect camouflage was evident when my Opponent, during turn 2, actually lost track of where he had positioned his frigates.

12 June 2012

Assault on Green Island Airfield

Assault on Green Island Airfield
Imperial vs. FSA vs. Covenant
1000 MFV each force, naval, air, and armored

The set-up for this scenario was a bit lopsided: I had 1000 points to set up on the island in the center of the board, including a bunker and airfield; my two opponents each had 1000 points on opposite sides of each other.  The objective was to assault and hold the airfield with AP.  Clearly my force was going to be the nut in the vise.

I put some land units on the island for defense, some medium flyers above the island, and some ships to either side, everything prepared to move in any direction.  My plan was to keep forces close to the island and respond to threats as they advanced, from either side.

04 June 2012

Glorious 3rd of June DW

Thirteen players arrived and registered to participate in the Glorious 3rd of June Dystopian Wars Virginia event at the Game Vault in Fredericksburg.  We also had two standby players still new to the game but willing to even the matches so all players could play a game in each of the three rounds.  We started at noon.  I brought sandwiches and fixings set up on a side table for those who had driven as far as 50 miles to be there; these served well since we didn't take a break until the event finished at 6:30 pm.

02 June 2012

DW Destroyers

"Ruckdog" has written another entry in his series comparing the ship classes and technologies of Dystopian Wars with the history of late 19th and early 20th century navies.  Read the full article on the Man Battlestations blog: DW vs. Real Life Pt. 3

The Glorious First of June!

Ever since I started calling the new Dystopian Wars event "The Glorious 3rd of June" I have been thinking I should actually post a blog entry commemorating the original (and, indeed, historical) naval battle known as the Glorious 1st of June.

31 May 2012

Cauldron of Silence

After a month of regular battle reports from the Cauldron of Silence campaign for Uncharted Seas, the final battle between two massive fleets was reported today on the Spartan Games BLOG.

29 May 2012

The NEW Uncharted Seas Templates

The hardcover rule book for Uncharted Seas is available for pre-order from the Spartan Games website, and these special orders will include a set of the limited edition clear acrylic templates.

24 May 2012

Now that's a Battle Report!

Craig from the D6G has been writing some fun narrative battle reports on the blog over on the Spartan Games website, part of a tsunami of new material for Uncharted Seas, including some new options for Captains of Renown and featuring some awesome pictures of ships on the tabletop.  Here is a link for the most recent report:


I especially enjoy the conflict between my two favorite factions in the Uncharted Seas, something I have never witnessed because I'm always playing either one or the other but usually against Orcs or Dwarves.

22 May 2012

Game with Greg

FSA fleet stationed off the coast of Ecuador was dispatched to investige reports of an Imperial force operating in the region.  The Blazing Sun battle group centered around the Kiyohime carrier Noto with a Tsukuyomi War Gyro in support along with escorts & frigates.  (Naval Core Forces with approximately 820 points in each.)

07 May 2012

The Glorious 3rd of June!

Sunday, June 3rd, at The Game Vault in Fredericksburg, VA
1st Round: 600 Point Naval Core Force
2nd Round: 600 Point Armored Core Force
3rd Round: 900 Point Force--Land, Sea, & Air!

Players matched by random draw.
STAR cards in play for all rounds.
Force organization for Tournament Game according to pg. 42 DW rules.

05 May 2012

DW vs. Real Life

No, not my real life--I've been painting more DW ships than any of my sailing ships in the past few weeks.  Ruckdog wrote and posted a good introductory article comparing the world of Dystopian Wars to the realities of naval technology in the late 19th century.  Check it out on the Man Battlestations Blog

French Dreadnought (1870):  Making the battleship obsolete?

27 April 2012

War Gyro with Crabs

Last week I played a X-Cam mission against my Usual Opponent's Covenant force.  It was a Clash of Arms scenario, and we set up a river action with mixed naval and armored forces.  The picture above provides a good view of the setup (I had just bought the building packs and had only just started painting them) with bridges, but it's turn 2, after my war gyro had already destroyed the Covenant battleship in the middle of the river....

Don't teleport your Covenant battleship right in front of the enemy's main force, especially before that main force has activated for the turn!

My Usual Opponent only rolled a single natural 6 in the first 3 turns while I managed to score a series of critical hits on his battleship.  An Imperial victory was all but certain, so in the last turn we agreed to modify the rules of teleporting vehicles with the Time Orb, and my War Gyro ended up with a Crab on deck!

22 April 2012

Squid versus Battleship

A few local DW players met at the Game Vault one afternoon last week to play a few X-Cam games.  I didn't take as many pictures as usual, but I snapped this one at a key moment when a giant mechanical squid zig-zagged through the water to attack a British battleship.

And, when it was all over, the giant squid pulled the battleship beneath the sickly green waves.

More pictures and battle reports from X-Cam games I've played in the past two weeks are posted in our DWVA section on  MAN BATTLESTATIONS!

18 April 2012

The Glorious 3rd of June

Sunday, June 3rd, at The Game Vault in Fredericksburg, VA
1st Round: 600 Point Naval Core Force
2nd Round: 600 Point Armored Core Force
3rd Round: 900 Point Force--Land, Sea, & Air!

Players matched by random draw.
STAR cards in play for all rounds.

12 April 2012

Man Battlestations!

Finally, a new forum started by Andy "Ruckdog" which is devoted to ALL tabletop naval games!

A development from his recurring segment on The Black Ocean and inspired by our shared sense of loss when the Spartan Games forum was gone for more than a month, Andy has started a FORUM & BLOG which will both be devoted to news and discussion of any and all naval miniatures wargaming.

03 April 2012

DWVA Spring Event

Our DW event this past Sunday, the first of April, was attended by 10 registered players and, despite, my "last-minute" adjustment to the scoring system, was enjoyed by all (and I learned a few things for the next event in June).

Joe won with the most accumulated Objective Points over two rounds of play (the first round involved team-based scenarios), and the alliance between FSA, CoA, and KoB carried the day.  We had a 3-way tie for 2nd place, and Andy "Ruckdog" won the popular vote for "best-painted force" along with the trophy for most epic defeat and our Garbage Scow Captain title.

29 March 2012

New Spartan Forum!

The new Spartan Games forum is HERE!

New Spartan Forum?

The forum over at the Spartan Games official website has been out of action for a month now and I realize my posts and reading of gaming blogs has proportionally increased.  Unfortunately the forum went missing almost right after the release of the new rulebook with the free PDF update, and in my small regional group of Dystopian Wars players we're working through the new rules with only one player owning the new book.  There is some agreement that we like the new tiny flyer rules better than the old rules, and we still have one player reluctant to play until Spartan adjusts the point values to make the KoB faction equal to the others (I haven't been able to convince him to try another faction, like the Empire of the Blazing Sun, but I'm trying to bring him to see the light).  All together, we seem to be playing more games, and I'm looking forward to the tournament on Sunday, although I fear there will be some dispute between some minor rule changes.

26 March 2012

DW Carry Case

I've been cutting foam and some cardboard to fit the ten dollar pistol case I bought from a discount retailer to carry my Imperial fleet and armored force to the Game Vault.

22 March 2012

Tournament in Ten Days

I'm making the final edits in the scenarios, putting together some more buildings and bridges, getting the word out, and thinking about what I want for the next Dystopian Wars event.  For the DWVA Spring Event, only ten days out now, I mostly wanted to set up a day of some fun games for both experienced and new players.  At least two players planning to attend only own a naval starter box while several others have more than a thousand points in naval and armored models each, so I wanted a format which would welcome the new players while still providing some variety for the more experienced players. 

21 March 2012

DW Terrain

I've been working on some city terrain for the event coming up next month, mostly downloading paper model templates and putting together tiny skyscrapers with cardstock, scissors, and a smidge of white glue.  But while searching for ideas and patterns for street layouts in something equivalent to 1:1200, I came across some extraordinary terrain tables out there.  This Prussian naval and air base is probably the favorite of my local DWVA group.  Found posted on theminiaturespage.com and this specific shot on this German website.

Absolutely amazing layout and incredible detail. I'm not going to come close to this sort of table with my novice level of experience anytime soon.
But I really appreciate this modest air base, probably because it features the design of my favored faction and the main materials involve cardboard and other common household material.

Explanation of the construction found here.

20 March 2012

Dystopian Wars VA Event

Sabine the Cat supervises a test layout for Scenario #2 with a Imperial fleet entering Canal City Harbor for some fresh paint.

DWVA Spring Event at the Game Vault, April 1st
The Event is comprised of 2 main rounds and a 3rd bonus round. During the first 2 rounds players will compete to earn Objective Points. Players will be ranked according to the total number of Objective Points earned in both rounds. The bonus round will be an opportunity to play a large land battle with several players on a big space and will be used to settle any ties, if necessary.

12 March 2012

Finally, Uncharted Seas!

I haven't played a game of Uncharted Seas for some time now, and I have been trying not to post anything not directly related to Uncharted Seas (Dystopian Wars is a stretch, but after posting about a game of Warmachine, I realized I was steering away from my original intention for this blog).  Anyway, I finally received my first box of the new Imperial Human ships, and I'm very pleased with the product.

The picture is just a quick snapshot of the model on a kitchen table with the sails set in place; no cleaning or actual assembly has been done.  I was just looking for something to post for Uncharted Seas!

Meanwhile, I'm preparing to host another DW tournament at the Game Vault, and I'm playtesting a card-based naval game, so I may end up changing my mission statement for this blog.

05 March 2012

Street Fighting

I've been thinking about combining land & sea operations for Dystopian Wars in an urban environment, and I started tinkering with a scenario which features a city with several large canals and bridges.  I set up the scenario this past Sunday for two local players along with some infantry rules to playtest.

Unfortunately, I forgot the box of land templates I had cut out at home, so I pieced together the equivalent using sheets of paper and some pieces of green felt.  The objective was the single bridge in the center of the table, flanked by a clock towers which could be captured by infantry or rocket marines.  The Imperial force managed to steam up into the channel and capture both clock towers after destroying lead aerial elements of the opposing British force.

16 February 2012

Another Demo Game

This past weekend I packed the DW models for my Japanese fleet into a carrying case and prepared to set out to the Game Vault to run a demo game.  While I was printing out the latest rule updates from Spartan, I returned to find Sabine tha cat had found a new place to nap on a foam tray.

05 February 2012

Demo Games Day

My friend Shades organized a demo games day at a local game store and I ran Uncharted Seas while Ruckdog ran Dystopian Wars, representing Spartan Games among a half dozen "alternative" tabletop games (read: no GW, PP, or Flames of War).  We saw a good turnout and intend to do another event along the same lines again in the near future.