Montag, 18. Juni 2018

Anker: Delling Church


Before ordering the next box, I decided to warm up with a few non-Richter builds for GK-NF 14. Here is one taken from the CVA booklet with building plans for GK-NF 10 to 14, the Delling church.

As expected from the pictures in the booklet, this is a wonderful bread-and-butter building, designed in a straightforward, nice and clean way. Simple subject, solid execution, and a very good use of the basic stones in the set (but no artificial use of the many small stones that are sometimes pressed into very optional, decoration-only roles to good or not-so-exciting results).

Starting the roof construction

A small set of stairs leads up to the entrance in the tower. A nice ledge in yellow structures the tower, another one in red holds the roof.
Note the absence of unnecessary decoration. Some of the tiny 79 and 80 stones are used for small windows in the roof - not very realistic but a nice way to increase the roof area with a limited amount of blue 45 degree stones.

The small arches play a realistic role for the windows / sound holes on the level of the bells.

Main entrance and facade, again with a simple form and structured with a few ledges in yellow and red.

Mittwoch, 13. Juni 2018

Anker plans


Inspired by a great Youtube channel for a more current brick building system (no names named :) I've started to make plans to pick up my Anker stones again.

Currently I have the GK NF boxes up to 12A, i.e. box 14. You can see the stones here and some buildings here.

So now the question is where to go next.

The easy thing would be to build more with 14. I already started experimenting with New-Series buildings (finding that I can improvise up to GK-NS 12 with the NF 14 stones).

I would also like to revisit the alternative / non-Richter plans for GK-NF 14, e.g. the ones here or here. The Delling church from the BiK (first link) looks really promising, some other models in that booklet look nice, too. From the other link, the Hotel could be interesting (simple but big), there is also a nice church and a row of old houses forming one whole (with a nod to the Lego modular buildings that retriggered my Anker itches...).

Looking through these plans, I also came across a GK-NF 8 tower which looks really funky and unusual. That might make a nice diversion.

I could also revisit buildings from box 10 and 12 and extend them, e.g. adding floors, width or detail. That's another idea I had when looking at the Lego Modular Buildings - they cry out to be customized with simple additions, that should also be possible for Anker buildings. One inspiration is this nice addition to the "Holy Grail" of Anker aficionados, the Große Burg.

The next obvious choice is to get box 14A and build the new models offered by that (and then to continue with 16A, 18A and enter the gothic era...). This will also open up the CVA buildings for 16.

I'll also think about a way to showcase Anker stones in our local Kindergarten. Not sure which box to start with, though - der Kleine Gernegroß uses half sized stones which are too easy to swallow, so maybe the Starter Set is a candidate (also listed in other sources in case of availability issues). This has no small stones (each stone has at least two edges of at least one base length).

Montag, 4. Juni 2018

Band Watch List

Similar to my podcast link list, here's a collection of Bands where I would like to track gig dates.

Metal

Local


Dienstag, 3. April 2018

Ansbach Dragoons


The second Reichsarmee cavalry unit for my Zinna project is done, the Ansbach Dragoons.

Set up in two ranks as normal tabletop gaming formation

In column

Dienstag, 6. März 2018

Folk Metal in Stuttgart


Am 3. März ging's mit Kilian ins LKA Longhorn nach Stuttgart zum Weihnachtsgeschenk, dem Folk Metal Konzert (fast schon ein kleines Festival) mit vier Bands plus Gästen.

1. The Privateer

Los ging's mit einer von zwei deutschen Gastbands, die bei den Wochenendterminen in Deutschland mit dabei waren, The Privateer aus Freiburg - für mich die Entdeckung des Abends.


Obwohl mit Karnevals-Piratenkostümen auf der Bühne, kam da kein Sauflieder-Humba-Täterää Pirate Metal, sondern richtig sauberer Death Metal mit epischem Einschlag, Geige, Klargesang und viel Power.

Kilian hat nach dem Auftritt am Merchandisestand mit der ganzen Band geplaudert, einiges gelernt und Autogramme von allen auf die neueste CD bekommen. Cool. Die muss ich im Auge behalten.

Und auf dem Selfie auf Facebook ist Kilian fast ganz rechts auch zu sehen ;)

2. Black Messiah

Grundsolider Metal aus Schalke. Klasse Musik, klasse Show, prima. Leider ist kein ordentliches Bild dabei gewesen, obwohl allein der hünenhafte Sänger, der beim Singen sogar noch Geige spielen kann, ein toller Anblick war.

3. Trollfest

Die Guggenmusik der Metalszene, lustig und gar nicht so schlecht gemacht, jedenfalls professioneller Karneval.


Ein durchsichtiges Plastiksaxophon mit Beleuchtung, Lichterketten an Gitarre und Akkordeon, Luftballons an den Hüten und über dem Publikum, Polka / Humppa und die Jugend in der Mitte hat fröhlich vor sich hingemosht. Was will man mehr...

4. Heidevolk

... war mir schon beim vorbereitenden Einhören aufgefallen durch die ungewöhnlichen, mittelaltermäßigen Quintenharmonien der Sänger. Das kam auch live super rüber, fast authentischer und weniger aufgesetzt als auf der Platte. Da lohnt sich der Personalaufwand mit zwei guten Sängern (oder mehr, es war auch ein reines a capella Stück dabei...).


5. Arkona

Beim Durchhören einiger Platten auf Spotify vor dem Konzert hatte mir Arkona schon am besten gefallen, ich hab mir auch als Souvenir ein Arkona T-Shirt gehört.

Mein Vor-Urteil wurde gleichzeitig bestätigt, weil dieser Auftritt für mich klar das Highlight des Abends war, aber auch überrascht, weil die erste halbe Stunde oder so ohne Verschnaufpause, Moderation oder sonstiges ein durchgehendes Geräuschgewitter der besonderen Art war. Sehr dicht, voll in der Bühnenshow, Musik und Lärm zum Reinlegen. Viel immersiver und faszinierender als die durchaus professionelle, aber eben "Bühnen-" Show der anderen Bands des Abends.

Unscharf, aber wuchtig, in klaren Farben und zum Eintauchen in die Bühnenillusion - das Bild wie die Musik
Zum Schluß gab's auch noch ein paar Polkas zum Moshen, aber in Erinnerung bleibt mir eine Frontfrau mit enormer Präsenz, eine Band, die gemeinsam im Headbangen und Krachmachen aufgeht, und... das erste Mal dass ich überhaupt außerhalb von klassischer alter Musik eine Blockflöte gehört habe.

Der Flötist von Arkona
Absolut faszinierend, will ich unbedingt wieder mal erleben.

6. Korpiklaani

Zum Abschluß dann der Headliner, Korpiklaani. Selbst das deutsche Publikum konnte einige finnische Texte mitsingen.


Musikalisch ordentlich, klasse Bühnenshow, absolute Superstimmung im Publikum, da gibt's nix zu meckern, das ist einfach gute Unterhaltung.

Und dann sind die Jungs mit ihren Bühnencharakteren vom rauschebärtigen, barfüßigen Bassisten über den Karl-May-Hünen als Sänger und den Akkordeonisten mit langem, dünnen Hunnenzöpfchen am Nacken bis zum Geiger im weißen Anzug und Zylinder total surrealistisch, irgendwie wie aus einem Pippi-Langstrumpf-Zirkus oder sowas entlaufen.

Dienstag, 13. Februar 2018

Slow-Mo Piquet: turns 6-7

Turn 6

Sequence decks unchanged except impact of fully routed Prussian Dragoons (random card replaced by Dress Lines)

Phase 1

Roll 1: 7:19, 4:8 pips
Prussians turn Maneuver, then Infantry Move. Burgsdorf attack 4/Kurmainz, leaving Willemey out of command. Fusiliers advance, Salmuth to contact with 2/Kurmainz. Kurmainz fire an opportunity volley at short distance, D10 d1 for 1 stand loss, 1:4 for no effect. Then turn useless card until a Heroic Moment shows up last, let's see what it will turn out to be.
Empire turn DL, Elite Reload (used for the Kurpfalz Guard) and cav move for nect time.

Roll 2: 10:16, 2:4 pips.
Prussians turn DL (I'll carry the heroic moment through that) but then a difficult move, so the heroics are not needed. Then turn DL and Maneuver.
Empire move their Cuirassiers to their left flank, turn DL

Roll 3 for 2 pips: 13:12, Empire turns another DL

Roll 4 for 1 pip: 19:9, Empire turns another DL

Phase 2

Roll 1: 10:16, 3:6 pips
Prussians turn and use reload for 3 pips, turn Officer Check but have nothing useful to do with that, turn melee. The Grenadiers use the last pip for their melee against 4/Kurmainz, with D8 u1 charging vs D8, 7:2 for 5 hits and one stand lost, and defender tripled: Kurmainz rout and are inralliable. As a result, Prussians get two more pips, Empire lose 3 morale chips (melee lost, unit routed and stand loss).
Salmuth fusiliers use the opportunity to melee 2/Kurmainz, at D8 up 1 charging vs D8 down1 for 1 stand lost, losing 1:6 in a reverse of the first melee's result: 3 morale chips lost and the Fusiliers rout unralliably. Empire get two pips.
The last Prussian pip turns a Cav Move.
Empire now has 5 pips, turns a reload and reloads 2/Kurmainz, fires Kurpfalz at Willemey Grenadiers D10, 10:3 for another two stands loss. Empire spends one morale chip for a challenge on Willemey, which is D8 down lots for lost stands to D4 against casualty D8 for 7 hits, 3:4, disordering the Grenadiers and pushing them back 1", for another Prussian morale chip loss. Next pip reloads them, last one refills one opportunity pip.
(I only noticed later that the Grenadiers were actually off the table after losing the fourth stand, as Piquet assumes units to have four stands each while my basing gives them six).

Note 1: I took the bonus pips for won melees from the 20 pips per phase, but am not sure whether that is correct (I guess when no pips re left in the phase's pool I wouls generate extra ones?
Note 2: I marked unralliable routers by removing the stand with their flag, maybe this could even be seen as a flag captured by the enemy?

Roll 2: 12:12, turn ends

The tide has turned - after a brief melee on the Prussian left and intense firefights in the center, half of the Prussian division is broken and they need to try and extricate the remaining troops before they are crushed completely.

Turn 7 (towards noon, assuming the troops started marching around 8:30)

The Prussians have lost 3 out of six units, so they will have to try and withdraw without being completely wiped out.

Phase 1

Roll 1: 10:12, 2 pips Prussians: turn a useless Elites Reload because the only target for the remaining Grenadiers is the routing Kurmainz batallion, and another Cav move which comes a bit too early.

Roll 2: 10:12, 2 pips Prussian: two Dress Lines.

Roll 3: 3:11, 2:6 pips
Prussians turn Dl, Musket Reload, Brilliant commander for a first inf move (starting with the routing Fusiliers)
Empire turn Native Move and Cav Move.

Roll 4: 9:1, 6:2 pips
Empire move the Cuirassiers, but lose time getting on the hill on their left flank. Then turn useless cards, ensing with a Heroic Moment for their next card.
Prussians turn Officer Check and move their staff out of the way of the retreating infantry.

Phase 2

Roll 1: 4:10, 2:4 pips
Prussians turn Cav Melee and Cav move, and do bring  back the Hussars to the foot of the hill. Next card is Musket reload.
Empire turn Musket reload, allowing the Ferntheil infantry up to three shots at the withdrawing Grenadiers. The first one is at D10 d1 med range, u1 for fist fire, 1:3 for no effect.

Roll 2: 10:18, 2:6 pips
Prussian Grenadieres return the fire at D12 d1 med range, 3:3, reload and fire again 10:2, for a two stand loss on Ferntheil. Then turn deploy, Officer check and Inf Move.
Empire don't bother to reload and fire Ferntheil (at down 3, it would only give them a 1:24 chance to remove a stand), but instead turn Cav move and difficult move (allowing the Kurpfalz Guard to leave the village on their next move). 

Roll 3: 18:10, 6:0 pips, as only 6 pips were in the phase (and Prussia is down to their last card...).
The Kurpfalz Guard move out of the village to pursue, and take opportunity fire from Hoffmann Fusiliers at D10 d1 med range, 6:3 for one stand loss. They return fire at D10 d1 med range, d1 for stand loss, 3:1 for no effect.
Then turn Officer Check, and Command Indecision to end the phase.

Phase 3

Roll 1: 17:18, Prussians turn DL and end the turn.

Montag, 5. Februar 2018

Slow Mo Piquet: Initiative statistics Turn 1-5

One of the striking aspects of Piquet is the random initiative pip assignment. This seems to raise eyebrows for first-time players, and I didn't dare go for the rules as written, either, going for a house rule to split the initiative between winner and loser roughly 2:1.
I understand that much more statistics are needed to check how fair the written rules approach is vs the various house rules, but I can't resist writing up some quick stats based on the first five turns of my detailed play-by-play.

Overall, very hard ini swings are only weakly balanced by the house rule and late-in-the-phase rolls often use up all remaining pips for one side. 
Turn two phase 1-2 added up balance out perfectly, but phase and 4 which went completely to Empire by the die rolls and the house rule only compensated for that very little.
Turn 3 overall was won by the Empire in house rules, by as much as the Prussians would have won in standard rules.
Turn 4: overall, 1 pip difference between house rules and standard.
Turn 5: all phases but the second favor the Prussians, the house rules mean the swing in favor of the Empire in phase 2 is reduced, which nearly counteracts all of the other splits in favor of the Empire.

So, as expected, the house rules smooth out the swings a little bit, but actually increased the overall inequality from 2% as per standard to 10% as per house rules. So much for fiddling with rules you don't quite understand yet...

Turn
Roll E
Roll P
House Pips E
House Pips P
Rule Pips E
Rule Pips P
Turn 1 16 15 1 0 1 0
Phase 1 16 15 1 0 1 0
Roll 1 7 6 1 0 1 0
Roll 2 9 9 0 0 0 0
Turn 2 115 97 34 26 38 22
Phase 1 26 37 9 11 4 16
Roll 1 8 6 2 0 2 0
Roll 2 2 11 3 6 0 9
Roll 3 5 12 2 5 0 7
Roll 4 11 8 2 0 2 0
Phase 2 59 57 10 10 14 6
Roll 1 20 15 4 1 5 0
Roll 2 18 19 0 1 0 1
Roll 3 14 5 6 3 9 0
Roll 4 7 18 0 5 0 5
Phase 3 30 3 15 5 20 0
Roll 1 18 2 11 5 16 0
Roll 2 12 1 4 0 4 0
Phase 4 39 15 16 4 20 0
Roll 1 5 3 2 0 2 0
Roll 2 20 7 9 4 13 0
Roll 3 14 5 5 0 5 0
Turn 3 73 76 21 17 16 22
Phase 1 35 31 12 8 10 10
Roll 1 12 7 4 1 5 0
Roll 2 10 20 3 7 0 10
Roll 3 13 4 5 0 5 0
Phase 2 38 45 9 9 6 12
Roll 1 6 16 3 6 0 9
Roll 2 8 4 3 1 4 0
Roll 3 4 2 2 0 2 0
Roll 4 2 5 1 2 0 3
Roll 5 18 18 0 0 0 0
Turn 4 70 53 21 12 22 11
Phase 1 37 33 12 8 9 11
Roll 1 7 10 1 2 0 3
Roll 2 5 8 1 2 0 3
Roll 3 6 11 1 4 0 5
Roll 4 19 4 9 0 9 0
Phase 2 33 20 9 4 13 0
Roll 1 17 4 9 4 13 0
Roll 2 16 16 0 0 0 0
Turn 5 198 223 44 54 39 59
Phase 1 44 51 9 11 8 12
Roll 1 8 2 4 2 6 0
Roll 2 8 17 3 6 0 9
Roll 3 8 6 2 0 2 0
Roll 4 13 14 0 1 0 1
Roll 5 7 12 0 2 0 2
Phase 2 52 44 11 9 14 6
Roll 1 15 12 2 1 3 0
Roll 2 7 9 0 2 0 2
Roll 3 12 16 1 3 0 4
Roll 4 18 7 8 3 11 0
Phase 3 48 54 8 12 7 13
Roll 1 16 17 0 1 0 1
Roll 2 4 14 3 7 0 10
Roll 3 10 3 5 2 7 0
Roll 4 18 20 0 2 0 2
Phase 4 28 38 8 12 5 15
Roll 1 11 6 4 1 5 0
Roll 2 10 17 2 5 0 7
Roll 3 7 15 2 6 0 8
Phase 5 26 36 8 10 5 13
Roll 1 8 3 4 1 5 0
Roll 2 8 19 3 6 0 9
Roll 3 10 14 1 3 0 4
Totals 472 464 121 109 116 114