Sunday, October 21, 2012

IABSM on a White Board

This is kind of a partial AAR, partial true confession on some confused play, and a confession of playing on a weird board.
I'll begin with the last one, the weird board. Since school began for the kids (I've said this already on a few posts, sorry to keep repeating.) life has gone loco, timewise. Very little of it to go round.  And I've had IABSM for ages and hadn't yet played a game. So i tried to think of a way to get a game in.
My hobby space is in the basement. Not unusual, most are.  A good thing about the space is that it is defined and allows me to focus. However, at this stage of life, this is difficult. There's little enough time to be with the kids and spouse w/o me holing up and doing my thing.  I kind of like these 3 people and especially with the kids, my time with them is short.
I've brought up my painting in the past, when I was painting ships and my Pathfinder characters.  This was nice, there's a different vibe when I'm present in the room/upstairs.  I can interact. They can see what dad's doing while they're studying/playing/working/whatever.  Make sense?
(Man, yet another aspect of my life I would like to improve: speed and clarity of writing skills. They say a blog should help because you're actually writing.)
What would be awesome, a Game Chic table like this one.
Gaming in the well of the table and then cover it up in between sessions. My friend has one that we play pathfinder on and it is great. It would be perfect even for 15mm gaming.  I've even perused their tables for a smaller one since most of my games would be in 6mm.  They are custom pieces built to last generations.  Anyway, nice goal.
All this to say, I used a whiteboard and markers to lay out my "table".  Here's the Too Fat Lardie drawing for the table: (I got the table layout, that is from the IABSM rulebook, from this post on the trouble at the mill blog.)

And here's my drawing. I used cm instead of inches.
If I play very much IABSM in 6mm, I will use a 2/3" ruler that was created for 6mm Command Decision, find the templates here.  CM is too small a measure even for 6mm in WWII games. I've tried CD in it and the templates are tiny etc. My stands are too big for CM. Whereas, using 2cm = 1' or 2/3" = 1", it works more betterer.
So I played Scenario One because I actually have enough pieces to play. I simply used a stand as a squad and kept track of casualties on the white board space that wasn't used for the map.
The British need to capture 4 of the 5 buildings from the Germans.  There is no time/turn limit because in 2-3 hours the players/umpire (all me in this case) will know which way it's going to go.
First lesson learned - using blank cards to mark time and setting a limit of how many times that card is chosen is a good idea.  10-15 in this case.
This post's gone long enough. Join me next time when I finally get this bad boy under way.


  1. You're kind of veering to the territory where playing a hex&counter game would be more convenient and aesthetically pleasing. You can put a hex&counter map in a poster frame, play the game on it and store it on the cupboard or under the bed between sessions. A lot of games finish in one sitting too, like the great american revolution series GMT produces.

  2. Todd, I played IABSM once, it went like this:

    First few turns we maneuvered to contact, then I attempted to outflank the enemy's position (in order to concentrate friendly force against a minority of the enemy's units):

    We began the actual flank maneuver....
    Next turn the enemy gets all the drawn cards, and then "Tea Break".
    Following turn, the enemy gets all the cards drawn again, then........Tea Break.
    Next turn, the enemy draws a few first cards, and then my depleted (shot to hell) flanking unit gets a draw, and I pull back a few of what remains of my once mobile flanking armor.....then Tea Break.

    For three complete turns the enemy drew something like 6 or 7 card activations, and all before my flanking unit could finally respond ONCE......and this IN THE THIRD TURN after my initial move to engage a minority portion of the enemy line.

    The "Narrative" that I experienced playing my first IABSM game, sure, someone can shoot the hell out of someone else's force IF THAT FORCE DOESN'T ACTUALLY GET TO PLAY THE GAME.

    I don't see that this random and uncontrolled turn sequencing mechanic ensures an interesting (nor competitive game), when such disproportionate results will occur. And so.......if I want to play some wargame, then that actually means I'm indicating a desire that I want to play a game, and not have the game tell me when and if I can play it!