The FYOB Blog

The big Test Game 

Posted by Barry Miltenburg 16 January 2019 16:57:00

Its getting really close now to the start of the big Heroes All test game that should knock the corners off most if the rules and make sure that it all hangs together.  The scenario is a basic one - a small force of British landing in 1943 or so, up against a group of German defenders.  The outcome of the game is irrelevant because all I want to do is test the various rules.  I have included as many different types of weapon as I can, landing craft, off-shore firing, aircraft, loads and capacity etc.

Strangely, when I was pulling the game together, I realised that I had omitted some real basics.  I did not have a rule for artillery against minefields nor did I have the load spaces given to vehicles.  I had done figures, CSWs, equipment etc but did not know the load space occupied by a jeep or a tank.  When I started loading my landing craft, this error soon became apparent so an hour or so was spent correcting the mistake.  At the end of the day, this is exactly why this game is vital!!

The boards are laid out, the forces arranged and the British landing plan arranged.  I need to do the parachute drop for the PIR, allocate defensive positions for the Germans and begin!

Happy New Year 

Posted by Barry Miltenburg 04 January 2019 04:56:00

A Happy New Year to everybody everywhere.

The holiday season has allowed me to get into play testing for Heroes All and to start gathering my many notes for the FYOW re-write that were scribbled during my NZ trip.  Heroes All has the priority as I am keen to get the rules out there as soon as I can.

I have not forgotten my promise to produce a pdf on the changes from FYOBv4 to v5.  ITS COMING!  Its just a bit manic here at the moment.

There have been a few inevitable changes to HA as the play testing gets serious but thats OK - its what this phase is all about.  Each change does have an impact on other things though so I have been playing out scenarios three or four times a day to make sure that the changes work and that they do not unbalance other rules.  For example, changing movement distances could affect the weapon ranges.  The games also throw up situations where the rules are silent - I realised that I did not have a rule covering the effect of HE fire on open-topped AFVs - I thought I did until it happened in a test game.

Still much to do but stay tuned and I will post more updates and perhaps a YouTube video soon.

Post-holiday Heroes All gets its first outings 

Posted by Barry Miltenburg 29 December 2018 20:09:00

So there I was in October and all of a sudden I was in December!  A 6 week break in wonderful New Zealand caused the time-slip - and what a great place NZ is!!

The holiday gave the time to relax and think about aspects of Heroes All and FYOW that needed to be thought about.  I started with the best of several rulesets that I have used over the years and then changed, tweaked, threw out and modified again to come up with a set of rules that I was comfortable with.  The only issue was I had loads of ideas but I was 6000 miles from my wargames table.

A return home has allowed me to run a few basic test games to evaluate the ideas - they were not cast in stone by a long chalk and in fact, I had 2 or 3 sets of rules for moving, firing and observing that need to be tested.

Today, the book is down to one set of each rules and I have played a couple of test scenarios to see how they go.  In fact, they went quite well although inevitably, there are always little changes and tweaks.  Some of the firing outcomes were really brutal and it became clear that moving around the table with a large group of firing teams allowed me to just steamroller my way to whatever objective I wanted.  Its a bit like having a Japanese Infantry element on the charge - basically unstoppable!!  Needless to say I have now sorted that one and toned down the effects of some of the weaponary.

There are still a few mods to do but I am hapy with progress so far.  Over the next few days (up until the end of the year in fact) I will be running different scenarios with different forces to pressure test the rules and make sure that they are good enough to put out there.  I have already said that I will release them without charge but that does not give me the right to compromise on quality - I want them to be as good as they can be.

Have a great New year and keep watching this space and my new FightYourOwnBattles YouTube channel.

Lone Warrior 

Posted by Barry Miltenburg 28 November 2018 03:25:00

For reasons that should be obvious, I have just become a fully paid up member of the Solo Wargamers Association.  The delays in me doing so are not so obvious - I really don’t have any!!

This has got me thinking about my gaming.  Unlike a lot of players, I restrict myself to one historic period and do not have armies of ancients, Romans, Naps and Sci-fi.  My interests in wargaming stem from my interests in history and these have always been focussed on WW2 hence my position.

Is that a good thing?  Everybody else subscribes to a magazine or various blog sites and gets something out of the contents - a bit of Naps, a scenario for a Roman game, something for their ACW armies to do etc.  Me, I often look through the wargame mags in the newsagents and then don’t buy them because I am not prepared to pay £4 for what is one article on some aspect of a WW2 game.

On the otherhand, without spending most of the household treasury, I have acquired a decent sized army for British, German, American and Italien forces that include infantry, paratroops, specialist units, CSW’s, lighter armour, artillery, aircraft, boats etc.  I also have a great deal of scenery meaning that I can have a stab at virtually any scenario I come across without having to go out and spend more cash or start making modifications to the ORBATS or table details.

There are arguments for and against.  At present however, I am happy to stay where I am, notwithstanding a growing interest in the Spanish Civil War.  I guess some flexibility is not going to be a bad thing...

The right way to move forward 

Posted by Barry Miltenburg 27 November 2018 04:18:00

Hello from South Island NZ.  The country and the folk here remain stunning!!

I have been grafting for the last couple of days on both Heroes All and the FYOW re-vamp.  I’ve got the basics and just need to get them back onto the wargames table and test the pants off them.  Out of this I will get all the little tweaks and changes that create a proper set of rules.  I am sure that other writers don’t do it this way but it works for me.  When I used to write presentation material I used this method - get the basics down and then present it to myself over and over until I hammered out the finished article.  Its a well worn road for me.

One decision I have made, and its a big one, is that Heroes All and FYOW will probably be made available free of charge.  Yes - that’s free of charge.  FYOB will still be sold and may one day be revised into a freebie but not yet.  

The fact that HA and FYOW may be free does not make any difference as far as quality is concerned.  I am not going to bash something together and just stick it on the site with the idea that its a free download so any old crappy system will do.  No sir - it will be as godd as I can get it, just free.

Why?  I have just finished reading Tony Bath’s book on the Society of Ancients and Slingshot and his Hyboria campaign.  All that stuff was made available free of charge for the benefit of the wargaming community at large - and that community have lapped it up.  Now I am not in any way suggesting that my humble offerings are in the same league as Tony Baths.  I am feeling though that if his efforts were free, my stuff does not deserve to attract a charge.  After all, I do not need to be paid for it, I am just making a few $ on the side for my efforts.

It will be a couple of weeks before I am back and get full access to the website shop but stay tuned.

Stunning NZ 

Posted by Barry Miltenburg 23 November 2018 20:09:00

Crikey!  I have been here over 3 weeks and have been enjoying it so much that I am very light on completed work.  I have been wrestling with maps for FYOW and have been rather side-tracked with various design types.  Having had something of an epipheny recently, I am at last moving forward but regret that I have not done the pdf about changes FYOB old vs new.  The next 10 days are packed with itinery so I think it will have to wait until the flight back to the UK.

In the meantime, I have found the most wondeful model shop in Hamilton NZ - its not the sort of town thats on the tourist trail but if you are over here, do get into the heart of the city and find it - Games Centre I think it was called - well worth a visit for no other reason that one of the owners is a young lady with a passion for wargaming/sci-fi fantasy who really knows her stuff!!

Prices out here are really high - in Christchurch today where a model shop selling wargame and railway bits is charging about 1.5x the UK rates.  I guess everyone here shops online but the wifi is pretty dismal and slow so the shops should really be pushing hard.

Stay tuned

Kia Ora from New Zealand 

Posted by Barry Miltenburg 10 November 2018 18:57:00

New Zealand made a huge contribution to the Allied victories in both WW1 and WW2 and I am privileged to be able to be touring around the country for several weeks taking in their breathtaking scenery and wonderful hospitality.

It also means sitting on some very long flights to get here (via Hong Kong where the British were defeated in 1942) but at least this has given me the opportunity to spend some time working on the revised version of FYOW and the finer points of Heroes All.

I will share the fruits of my labours when I get back and hopefully post a few pictures of interesting things along the way.


You Tube is up and running 

Posted by Barry Miltenburg 23 October 2018 16:11:00

Great day today!

I have completed the editing and publication of the first 3 videos for the FYOB channel and tonight uploaded them.  They cover a brief introduction of the mechanism, the mechanism in a bit more detail and the equipment needed to play the game.

I am already thinking about the next few and will plan/script these out while I am away.  I think I will do something on Heroes All and for FYOB, maybe another video showing a very small game with the mechanism in action.

More work but exciting times!!

Busy busy busy 

Posted by Barry Miltenburg 22 October 2018 17:20:00

What a busy day after a busy weekend!

I have finished taking photos and video footage for a couple of short videos that I am looking to post on the new FYOB YouTube channel in the next day or two.  Unfortunately, I have a bit of a cold so the narration is a bit nasal but its OK and I wanted to get the content out there - I am sure people will forgive me.

The two new videos - to go with the FYOB Introduction - feature the equipment needed to play the mechanism and a look at some of the FYOB features like the Order Die and the Officer Reaction Tests.

Time is not my friend at the moment but I have a bit of time just before Xmas so in the next few weeks (when I am out of the country btw) I will start to plan and script a FYOB game to show the mechanism in action.

That also gives me a natural lead into Heroes All which is now at the stage of game testing.  I have just reversed a major re-write of the infantry small arms firing rules.  They sounded great on paper but they were really clunky at the table.  Sometimes, good ideas are just not good ideas!!

I am planning a series of games to test and pressure test the rules over the Xmas break.  If they survive, I will start the publishing process which involves photographs and artwork, layouts, examples and information panels.  I will also need to put a Codex together covering the major weapons of the war and then another Codex for all the weapons.  When you consider that this latter list has to cover all small arms, AT guns, artillery, CSW's, aircraft, boats and AVRE types, you will appreciate that this is a bit of job!

Luckily I have a lot of it already so its just (!!) a case of pulling it into shape (he says....)

How high is an aeroplane? 

Posted by Barry Miltenburg 17 October 2018 16:28:00

I have been toying with the idea of aircraft in games for yonks.  Until now I have added 1/72 aircraft over my table of 20mm figures on shortish plastic sticks mounted on a suitable base.  However, I have always felt that they looked too low/the aircraft looked too big.

I discovered Heroics and Ros 1/300 whitemetal aircraft models covering all of the popular machines and recently invested £30 in a dozen or so models.

The service from H&R was brilliant and in a few days, my two airforces arrived.

I haven't done anything with them yet as I am still toying with the idea of longer poles (on which to mount them) and weighted bases to keep them in place.  Whether I get to do anythng with them before I go away is open to some debate.  In any event, as soon as I have something to show, I will post some pictures.

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