He got games

Random thoughts on games and gaming. (And if you don't understand the title, go here here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/He_Got_Game)

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Guest gig with History on the Table

Judd Vance
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"Now it is mumbo jumbo like that!!! And skinny little lizards thinking they're the last dragon to give kung fu a bad name. Come on, LeRoy! I got something REAL for yo @ss in these hands!"
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That was fun

https://historyonthetable.com/2022/01/05/top-5-cc/
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Wed Jan 5, 2022 11:26 pm
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Annual Top 100 is out

Judd Vance
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Kansas
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"Now it is mumbo jumbo like that!!! And skinny little lizards thinking they're the last dragon to give kung fu a bad name. Come on, LeRoy! I got something REAL for yo @ss in these hands!"
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It's back. This year, I finally got that Casey Kasem groove going on, trying to balance how much I like the game and how recently it has hit the table with some mathematical jibba-jabba (cuz I'm a dork). But the good news was less predictable than past lists.

https://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/290183/airjuddens-top-100...
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Tue Dec 7, 2021 11:43 pm
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The 2021 Purge is over.

Judd Vance
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"Now it is mumbo jumbo like that!!! And skinny little lizards thinking they're the last dragon to give kung fu a bad name. Come on, LeRoy! I got something REAL for yo @ss in these hands!"
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I had one stubborn Eurogame left on my "For Trade" list that just wouldn't sell, but 2.5 months after my last sale/trade, it finally sold!

Final tally:

75 games removed
I netted a hair over $1,900 after shipping and fees.
I cleared up about 3/4 of a large bookshelf of games.

That felt good. I got a leaner collection of games more likely to hit the table.

Entire list is here: https://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/284236/great-purge-20...

If you need help getting started on how to pull one of these off, this is my tips/encouraging words I recently gave to a fellow wargamer:

***************************************************************

Toughest thing about culling is overcoming the inertia not to cull.
I assigned a number 1-3 for how badly I wanted it. 1 = keeping. 3 = getting rid of it. 2 = on the fence.

That made it really easy because 1 and 3 are really easy. You tend to get screwed up with the on the fence (2) ones and then you don't want to cull because it's too hard to decide. This is easier because you know there are games you'll never get rid of and others you definitely want to get rid of. Anything else? Category 2 and deal with it on another day.

Then, you go out to BGG Price History and Marketplace and determine the going rate. Want to sell it? Go lower than that. Want to squeeze every cent out of it, even if it means you hold on to it for a couple of years? UBU.

Then, you take photos (recommended) and inventory if in doubt. Write your descriptions in a Word document. Go create a Facebook account*, join the Consim Marketplace, and post your games.

Give it about 2 weeks. Then take down your post. Go to BGG and have an auction. Then knock your prices down and go back to Facebook. Then post whatever is left as individual listings on BGG.

Once you get started, the bug really hits and you cut deeply. Go back and look at those category 2's and you'll suddenly see that yeah, they are 3's, and you repeat the process.

One other thing: I highly recommend a discount shipper. I used Pirate Ship. On my Facebook post, I told people if interested, to send a private message and a ZIP Code. I would then package up the game, get the dimensions/weight (food scales are handy), type it into Pirate Ship and it would tell me the cost. I sent them the total and the PayPal account and once they received the money, I had the full address and I would create the label on Pirate Ship. And then go to the Post Office every couple of days and drop them off at the designated drop off desk (no standing in line!) By using Pirate Ship, I saved money over USPS (and got the same delivery service) and by keeping shipping costs down, I kept PayPal fees down. Right at the end of my purge, Pirate Ship added UPS as an option and that is cool because you can drop off USPS packages at UPS.

Also, you are under no obligation to sell to the first person who writes. I would check Facebook about once a day. If a dude was interested in a single game and a later dude wrote saying he was interested in it and two others, the dude buying more won.

If you need boxes, you can use USPS boxes. If the Priority Mail box says "Flat Rate" then you want to take paper (paper sack, inverted wrapping paper, whatever) and wrap it). If it is a Priority box without flat rate, they are really good. The cost difference between Priority and Flat Rate on Pirate Ship is minuscule and it's worth the peace of mind for the insurance. When I sold an expensive game (Victory Games Carrier or Space Hulk), I mentioned in the description that buyer pays shipping and $150 insurance.

Last tip: if you do PayPal, when you ship the game, go into PayPal and add the tracking number (when you print the label on Pirate Ship, I printed it as PDF and then printed that off, so I always had an electronic copy -- the tracking number is there). I have heard stories about less than honorable Romulans who will claim they never got the package and PayPal stiffing you. By putting the tracking number in, PayPal will check it out and if it got to their house, you are off the hook.

Good luck and let me know if you have any questions.

*Yeah Facebook sucks and I nuked my account a couple of months ago, but it is the absolute best place to sell wargames. If I ever have another purge, I'll create another account, sell games, and nuke account again.
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Sat Nov 27, 2021 12:05 am
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Barteus Con 2021 is underway: 30 solo games in 30 days

Judd Vance
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Kansas
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"Now it is mumbo jumbo like that!!! And skinny little lizards thinking they're the last dragon to give kung fu a bad name. Come on, LeRoy! I got something REAL for yo @ss in these hands!"
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https://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/291019/barteus-con-20...
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Tue Nov 2, 2021 10:02 pm
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The shelf of shame

Judd Vance
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"Now it is mumbo jumbo like that!!! And skinny little lizards thinking they're the last dragon to give kung fu a bad name. Come on, LeRoy! I got something REAL for yo @ss in these hands!"
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Since 2012, I decided to try to drive my 45 unplayed games on the "Shelf of Shame" to zero. I didn't like having 45 games I had no idea how to play.

It did not help that I kept trading for more unplayed games and then Pay it Forwards started up, but I kept pecking away. I learned how to play some games. I traded others. But over the course of 46 months I did it. The pile grew back up some and I dropped back down.

I created a Geeklist that tracks my unplayed games by month: what I played, what I removed (trade/sale) and what I added. I also put a summary at the bottom of each month added down the road telling how the new games worked out, how I got them played and if they stayed in the collection (title in green) or was removed from my collection (title in red). I also graphed the progress of the net result by each month. Here is the current one (I projected the last few months based on my playing schedule):

From gallery of airjudden


The funny thing is that most of the unplayed games I got during the 46 months span were games I got rid of. Here is the graph of the results by year:

From gallery of airjudden


Explanations:
The blue line shows how many unplayed games I added each year. The orange line shows what percentage of those games I got rid of. So, for example, the Y-axis shows the results of the 2012 year. I acquired 37 games that year that I had never played. Over time, I got rid of of 25 of those games (68%), so the blue line is 37 and the orange is 68.

"Mission Accomplished" was when I drove the unplayed list to zero for a couple of weeks in October 2015, before it started blowing up again. Interestingly enough, my rate of acquiring unplayed games did not slow down and I still was picking out games that I was usually not holding on to.

In 2017, I was on a severely restricted gaming budget, which caused me to acquire 20 less unplayed games (and most of the ones I got was trades/pay it forwards -- almost nothing new). In January of the next year, I was back to spending what I wanted, but I had an epiphany about having too many games and not being able to play them all, which caused me to cull 20% of my collection that year. I was buying a lot less games, but I still was picking out ones I wasn't holding on to. Since then, I have been a lot more selective on what I get and what I get, I tend to hold on to. I guess I figured out what I like and I don't take as many chances on unknowns.

The slight bump in 2020 was because I discovered Richard Berg's Men of Iron games and sought out games that used similar mechanics on lesser gamed topics. It was a great way to learn history, and I caught up on 20 years of games in one year, causing the bump.


How I play them now

In 2019, I created the philosophy that drives my gaming. I keep a private geeklist of games & systems I call my "working collection." Since I mostly play solo, these are the games I put on the solo table. (Not social games or games with no solo capability.) From these games, I want to limit it to 200 games/systems (it hovers closer to 175-185). For example, games that have a common rulebook get grouped (Simple Great Battles of History, Band of Brothers Screaming Eagles/Ghost Panzer, Eastfront/Westfront), but not games like State of Siege, which are the same family, but all have different rulebooks. The goal is limit the number of rulebooks I have to remember.

These are the games I know well or can figure out quickly, because I create shortcuts to help jog my memory on these rules.

Among these games, the ones that get played a lot are small solo-only games that I play every November during Barteus Con (30 solo games in 30 days challenge) or games with a set of rules and lots of scenarios: Simple Great Battles of History games (one rulebook to rule them all!), Commands & Colors games, Lock n Load Tactical games and such.

For the rest of the games, I'm always analyzing them. Some are underplayed. Some just haven't seen the table for awhile. I work on keeping these cycled through the collection. A few are "on the fence" and may get removed. I'll probably play it again and decide.

I have a separate list from this one. This has sports sims, Euros, and games that will not solo because they use hidden information and bluffing, (ex: Bulge 20). When the family wants to play a Euro, I pull it out. I work out the 2-player games when I can, which isn't often. I probably have to review the rules on those. These non-soloable games are special because I usually get rid of those type of games and play other people's copy.

Driving down the list:

From 2009 (when I got back into gaming) through 2011, I was collecting just to collect. This is how I got that unplayed list up to 45 games. I drove that down by playing the easy games that I could solo. Nothing breeds success like success. I also played a lot of pocket games with Aaron. Some games were ones I lost interest in and just removed without playing (easy way to get an unplayed game off of the shelf of shame). I knocked out a decent chunk of them at BGG Cons.

Often, I would learn the game and push the counters around for a turn or two and then decide: am I "feeling it?" If not, I boxed it up and put it on the trade list. If I really got into it, I played it to completion and then I usually bugged Rob to play it with me on Vassal. On others, still, I saw potential, and created a Vassal module and sought out a 2-player game and got way over my head in games to the point I could not keep up. Over time, those games either went on the trade pile because I didn't see it getting played down the road, or I worked them back in to the rotation (the 200 I mention above) and gave them the designation "Underplayed" games. One of my yearly gaming goals is to knock off so many of the underplayed games.

The last few years, I get lots of unplayed and underplayed games on the table through "Wargame Mondays." I have worked at my company so long that I get a lot of vacation. After the basic Thanksgiving week end of year stuff and family vacation, I put all the rest as a series of Mondays at the end of the year and then turn those 3 day weekends into "Wargame Monday" where I have up to a week to learn the rules and then on the Monday, with the place to myself, I work through a game. I should have the mechanics down solid after that day and I have up to the end of the week to finish it off if it takes that long.

Keeping the list down

I don't buy a lot of new games. My attitude is "Do I really want to take the time to learn this?" Another driving principle is "Am I satisfied with my (Market Garden / Strategic American Revolution / Gettysburg / etc) games?" If I'm satisfied, why do I need to learn another one? If the grass is greener across the street, water your own lawn. Also, I do research to find out how well they solo. Not a bot, but just the overall capability.

When I made my most recent Games on my radar list, I tried to take it out to the distant future, and the entire list required learning very few new rules to learn.
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Sun Aug 15, 2021 6:51 am
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Selling a few games

Judd Vance
United States
Wichita
Kansas
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"Now it is mumbo jumbo like that!!! And skinny little lizards thinking they're the last dragon to give kung fu a bad name. Come on, LeRoy! I got something REAL for yo @ss in these hands!"
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My friend Rob and I are selling a few games.

If you're in the market, check it out.

https://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/285300/auction-euros-...
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Mon May 17, 2021 7:20 pm
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Sorting my Memoir '44 collection for faster set-up & take down.

Judd Vance
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Kansas
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"Now it is mumbo jumbo like that!!! And skinny little lizards thinking they're the last dragon to give kung fu a bad name. Come on, LeRoy! I got something REAL for yo @ss in these hands!"
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I am an organizational freak obsessed with set-up and take-down ease as well as storage.

The plastic "things" (for want of a better word) that come with the base game are horrible for storing components. Its purpose is to get them from the factory to your house without damaging any. Beyond that, they are not useful.

This game has so many expansions that its a mess carrying them all around and needing to find tile pieces or markers in multiple boxes. The setup is so intensive that it sucks joy out of the game. Because the scenarios are short, it amplifies the difficulties that come with picking the game up.

A lot of folks have ways of storing their game. This is mine:

The plastic pieces

For me, the obvious storage solution was a big Plano-like box. After a lot of searching and experimenting, I settled on this one and it has been perfect:

From gallery of JVFamilyGames


Each nation receives two slots: one for infantry and one for armor. I put the artillery in a small ziploc baggie (a.k.a. "jewelry bag" you can get at Walmart or Hobby Lobby) and store the bag with the infantry. I do this because they take up so little space as to not merit an individual slot and also because some of the pieces are fragile and I did not want them banging around in transit.

This box also holds the various decks: regular, Overlord, Breakthrough, combat cards (that came with Winter Wars) and the special terrain and nation cards that came with the original Air Pack. The folded paper towels in those slots are there to protect the cards in transit.

The box also houses the card holders, and dice (The air markers from the Flight Plan expansion, should have been stored in another box, and I'll address it soon).

I have one slot with some tiles: this is an assortment of forest, town, and hill hexes: mainly ones that are double-sided with these terrain on them. Most scenarios involve this terrain, so its nice to have some handy.

Besides one stop shopping for most of the parts, the great thing about this box is that when I am playing and units are taking hits, I put them in their slot and I am basically "picking up the game" while I am playing it. I got this idea from Battle Cry: 150th Civil War Anniversary Edition and its molded slots in the insert.

If you are interested in this box, it is ArtBin model 9007AB. It is available from Amazon. I got mine at JoAnn Crafts store.

From gallery of JVFamilyGames



The terrain tiles

I cannot say this one enough: this storage box was a godsend!

From gallery of JVFamilyGames


For years, I have looked and this is the only storage box that I have found that holds tile pieces flat. The others required you to turn them sideways like the large box. I have my tiles sorted by base game left) and then expansion in the top two rows (Soviet, Pacific, Mediterranean, and then Terrain Pack in the last 2 columns. The white hexes in the 3rd row are from Winter Wars and Air Pack. I put the special unit counters in a ziploc and tossed it in the bottom right corner.

This box is Akro-Mils 05905. It is available at Amazon. I don't know where to get it retrail: I got mine at Hobby Lobby 10 years ago, but they haven't carried that model for about the last 9.

From gallery of JVFamilyGames



Small pieces

I keep the small pieces in small storage box that conveniently fits inside of one of the Memoir 44 base game boxes:

From gallery of JVFamilyGames


I wrote the "key" on a sheet of paper, cut it out, and taped it to the inside. The empty slot of sortie tokens was addressed earlier. I had them in a Ziploc and in the wrong box (yeah, yeah...fail). I put the Air Pack airplane stands in a Ziploc and put it in the main large box. I just had them sitting outside of the box when I took the picture. (To tell the truth, I stopped using Air Pack once Flight Plan came out).

The box shown here is ArtBin 3003AB. It is available from Amazon. I can't remember exactly where I got it: Hobby Lobby or JoAnn's. It is the same brand as the large box, making me think I got them both at JoAnn's.

From gallery of JVFamilyGames



The rules and boards:

I store the rulebooks and game boards and the small storage box in the two Memoir 44 base game boxes (I traded for a 2nd copy for Overlord scenarios. If you look at the plastics storage box, you'll see the American and Germans have a lot more units -- that is why.

From gallery of JVFamilyGames


From gallery of JVFamilyGames


The 1st box houses the two regular maps (one for standard scenarios, two for Overlord scenarios). The 2nd box has one map in it: the one I rarely use: the winter/desert map, and the rules from the various games and the storage box.


The rest:

The Flight Plan has pieces too large for the storage boxes, so I leave them in the original box along with their stands.

The campaign books could fit in the Memoir boxes, but I don't want them getting scuffed up by the storage box because of their value.

From gallery of JVFamilyGames



Taking it on the road:

If I was taking this to a buddy's house to play, I would determine which boards we were using and I would remove the rest and toss the small storage box in it. Then I only have to take only one base game box. If a Campaign Book was used, I would put it in the base game box on the bottom and then set a map on it, so it doesn't scuff.

I would then take the large storage box and the terrain tile box. That will cover just about everything.

If the Flight Plan is being used, I take it.

So two storage boxes and 1-2 game boxes.

Easy set up and easy take down, which is the the goal.


Note:

Some people have more Memoir stuff than I do. This set up may require additional work for something like the Equipment Pack, so for perspective, this is what I have:

Board Game: Memoir '44
Board Game: Memoir '44
Board Game: Memoir '44: Eastern Front
Board Game: Memoir '44: Pacific Theater
Board Game: Memoir '44: Operation Overlord
Board Game: Memoir '44: Terrain Pack
Board Game: Memoir '44: Mediterranean Theater
Board Game: Memoir '44: Winter Wars
Board Game: Memoir '44: Breakthrough
Board Game: Memoir '44: Campaign Book Volume 1
Board Game: Memoir '44: Campaign Book Volume 2
Board Game: Memoir '44: Air Pack
Board Game: Memoir '44: New Flight Plan
Board Game: Memoir '44: Winter/Desert Board Map
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Sun Feb 14, 2021 8:18 pm
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Sorting my Commands & Colors: Napoleonics collection for faster set-up & take down.

Judd Vance
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Kansas
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"Now it is mumbo jumbo like that!!! And skinny little lizards thinking they're the last dragon to give kung fu a bad name. Come on, LeRoy! I got something REAL for yo @ss in these hands!"
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I am an organizational freak obsessed with set-up and take-down ease as well as storage.

Sorting my C&C:N components:

Base Game:
All French Blocks from base game and all expansions.
One small Ziploc bag holds French victory banner markers, Square Markers, Garrison markers, and Conscription Markers).
Mounted board and base game rules. Terrain effects chart.


Expansion 1: (Spanish)
All British, Portuguese, and Spanish Blocks from base game and all expansions. (Basically, any coalition nation that fought on the Iberian Peninsula.)
Two small Ziploc bags, one for British and one for Spanish, each holding nation-specific Victory banner markers, Square Markers, garrisons, and in the case of the Spanish, the guerilla markers.
Expansion 1 rules.


Expansion 2: (Russians)
All Russian blocks from all expansions.
One small Ziploc bag containing Russian Victory Banner markers, Square Markers, Garrison markers, and Paper Strength markers.
Expansion 2 rules.


Expansion 3: (Austrians)
All Austrian blocks from all expansions.
One Ziploc bag containing Austrian Victory Banner markers, Square Markers, Battalion Mass markers, and Garrison markers.
Expansion 3 rules.

Expansion 4: (Prussians)
All Prussian blocks from all expansions.
One Ziploc bag containing Prussian Victory Banner markers, Square Markers, and Iron Will markers.
Expansion 4 rules.

Expansion 5: (Generals, Marshalls, and Tacticians).
I call this box "junk storage" and rather than store this on the shelf, I keep this back in a closet.
Spare sticker sheets from all other expansions. Command Deck from the base game. Player aids from the base game and expansion (I use homemade ones that are better).

Expansion 6: (Epic Napoleonics)
Expansion 6 rules, Both Epic Mounted boards, Both La Grande Battles Boards, Courier stand , Command Deck and Tacticians Deck from Expansion 5, also the player aid from Expansion 5 that shows you how many tactician cards to deal out in every scenario from every game. Dice from all games. My two player aids (one for Terrain and one for all combat units).

I use the expanded Command deck and Tacticians Deck in every scenario. It would be more convenient to store them and the Expansion 5 player aid in the base game, but there are too many French units, filling that entire box.


Storage box:
Terrain tile from all games. Trust me, this makes set up so much easier. Imagine having to go through each scenario box, looking for the tile pieces for that big Epics battle. In the picture below, the three left columns are Napoleonics tiles.

From gallery of JVFamilyGames


When I put up the tiles, I sort them easily:
- 3 spots are taken up with Tiles with Field Works on them.
- 3 spots are taken up with Tiles with rivers (or lakes).
- 1 spot has a handful of town hexes
- 1 spot contains orchards, walled farm, church, and such.
- 1 spot has a handful of other tiles (rugged hill, sand quarry, etc).

Basically, hills and forest are very common and used in every scenario. They are easy to find by looking on the reverse sides.

I store my games on bookshelves. I place boxes like this on top because they are sturdy and you can stack quite a few or put heavy boxes on top of them.

*************

For each nation, I dedicate one baggie each to all units that have these symbols (4 in all). These are very easy, because the symbol is on the picture: easy to sort.

From gallery of airjudden


For the remaining unmarked units, I dedicate a baggie to each of these types:
- Line infantry
- Militia infantry
- Reserve infantry
- Foot artillery/Guard Foot Artillery
- Leaders
- All heavy cavalry

I have baggies of various sizes. Obviously some are bigger than others. Because the Expansion #1 box isn't thick and houses 3 nations, I have to put the blocks in the bag so they are only one block thick. Throwing them pell mell takes up too much volume.


Setting up a game:

When I set up a game, I need these:

1) Base game (the French are in every game, as well as the dice, my two personal player aids -- terrain on one and combat units on another)

2) Expansion 6: Grab the two decks of cards and dice. If playing an Epics or La Grande Battle scenario, grab the boards. If playing from base game or expansion 1-4, you need to look up the Expansion 5 player aid to see how many tactician cards each side receives.

3) The Terrain box where I quickly set up the terrain tiles.

Pro Tip, if you got to https://www.commandsandcolors.net/napoleonics/
you can look up the scenario and it tells you how many of each tile and how many of each combat unit (the way Memoir '44 does). It also tells you how many command cards and tactician cards to deal to each side and who goes first.


4) The Expansion (1-4) that contains the Coalition forces.


It may sound like much ado about nothing, but if you use each block as it came in each expansion, you may have, for instance, a scenario where you pull French units from 5 boxes, because you learn you don't have enough units in the base game. Also a mess trying to find terrain tiles.


"What if I want to sell off one or more of them and I've just mixed them all together?"

Just go to the rulebook of each expansion and it tells you how many of each block are in each expansion, so you can take those French Line units, for example, and break them up into each game easily.

Go to BGG images for each expansion and you can see the terrain tiles and markers that came with each.

Hope that helps with set up and take down.

My player aid:

To save space, save these images, print them off. Trim them down as much as you can, but make sure they are the same front and back, and then laminate it. If you don't have a laminator, you can do it at the Fed Ex store:


From gallery of airjudden

From gallery of airjudden


This lowers the number of player aids needed in a game and in storage and I find they are a lot easier to use than the large, folded ones that come in the game.

For the first one listed above, here is how it works (note, if you are color-blind, this is not going to work):

For "Blocks per unit" column as well as text in any column:
Blue = French
Red = British
White = Austrians
Green = Russians
Gray = Prussians
Yellow = Spanish
Brown = Portuguese
Black = everybody else

So for instance, go to Line infantry (first line):
Russians get 3-4 blocks per unit (Mother Russia rule), Austria has 5 blocks per unit. Everybody else (black) has 4 blocks per unit.
Everybody moves 1
Russians ignore 1 flag, nobody else can ignore flags.
Everybody retreats 1 hex per flag, except the Spanish (2), Austrians (2), and Prussians 1-2* (* means see "Notes" on the right)
For standing range fire, everybody rolls 1 die per block and if you are British, you get a bonus die.

Etc, etc.
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Thu Feb 4, 2021 5:17 am
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Barteus Con is back

Judd Vance
United States
Wichita
Kansas
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Who's the master?
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"Now it is mumbo jumbo like that!!! And skinny little lizards thinking they're the last dragon to give kung fu a bad name. Come on, LeRoy! I got something REAL for yo @ss in these hands!"
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I thought I was going to pull the plug on it this year, but it's back:

Barteus Con 2020: 20 solo games in 20 days:

https://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/279231/barteus-con-20-gam...

From gallery of JVFamilyGames
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Sun Nov 22, 2020 9:43 pm
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Top 100: 2020

Judd Vance
United States
Wichita
Kansas
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Who's the master?
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"Now it is mumbo jumbo like that!!! And skinny little lizards thinking they're the last dragon to give kung fu a bad name. Come on, LeRoy! I got something REAL for yo @ss in these hands!"
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Microbadge: Washington's War fan Microbadge: Hands in the Sea fanMicrobadge: Rick Barber fanMicrobadge: Mark Herman fanMicrobadge: Michael Rinella Fan
The new edition is out.

https://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/272701/airjuddens-top...
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Mon Nov 16, 2020 2:48 am
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