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Play Miniature Games without Minis?! Part 3 - 5150: Hammer & Anvil...Uh oh!

Two Hour Wargames - Mon, 12/18/2017 - 21:49
Part Two

Activation dice are rolled for turn 2 and the PEF can move first. The 6 on my score means I won't be moving this turn, but I can react so no worries.

The PEF rolls for movement and comes over the hill and into LOS onto my flank. But this high tech stuff allows for a 360 degree In Sight so we will roll off if the PEF is resolved as enemy. I roll 3d6 to resolve it and it's resolved as two Hishen HE 6 Heavy Tanks. 

The Hishen win the In Sight and open fire on my Thunder 1B on the left. With an APR of 13 and my side armor of 2 it's no contest if they score a hit. 

 Both do and my tank blows up. I take a Friend Brewed Up Test and continue on.

 I whip my  two tanks around to face the enemy and we roll In Sights. I win and we open fire...and the error of my ways becomes obvious.
My Armor Piercing Rating is 10. The Hishen frontal armor is 11. I can't penetrate their armor and must try Hands of Fate shots. When your APR can't penetrate you can still fire, but you have to roll "snake eyes" to hit and penetrate. Fat F&*^#ing Chance.  Clank and clank.

I still have movement left and slam the tanks into reverse, but can't get out of sight. The Hishen activate and active fire as I am already in sight. Two hits and both tanks are disabled. Luckily the crews can now bail and we run off the field.

KNOW YOUR ENEMY! I wrote the damn rules, but didn't take the time to learn them. Yes, if you get approached from the flank or rear you still get an In Sight, but you're also presenting your weakest armor! 
My tanks had no chance in a fair fight with the Hishen Heavies. As soon as I activated I should have run for it instead of whipping around and firing. 
Next time I'll know better. 

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Making Counters the Easy Way

Two Hour Wargames - Mon, 12/18/2017 - 21:06
Here's how I make the counters for my own use as seen in Hammer & Anvil. I use card stock/poster board. Here's more info on putting them together after they are finished. 

Junior General is a great place to get artwork for your own personal use.

The ones found in our books are professionally put together. 

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Play Miniature Games without Minis?! Part 2 - 5150: Hammer & Anvil

Two Hour Wargames - Mon, 12/18/2017 - 04:51
Part One
Here's a sample of the counters and how they have all applicable stats.  I will be using a platoon of 3 Thunder 1B light tanks on a Patrol Mission. It is the first of the 10 Missions Hammer & Anvil; a Campaign versus the Hishen.DEPLOYMENT:
Before the activation dice are rolled for the first turn I enter the table. It's been divided into 9 equal sections. I choose to enter through section 8 and move full speed into section 5. I then roll to deploy the three Possible Enemy Forces (PEFs) and score a 3, 4 and 6. 
The white  PEF, the closest, one is in Line of Sight (LOS), and must be resolved...  "Something's out there". I remove it and resolve future PEFs with 3d6 instead of 2d6
The next closest PEF is in section 4 and behind a hill. Out of LOS means it isn't resolved yet.

The third PEF, the orange one in section 3, is within LOS so is resolved. I pass 2d6 and there's contact.It is revealed as 1 HE 5 Hishen Armor Personnel Carrier (APC).

In Sight is taken and I win. We open fire on the under gunned and under armored APC.  With my APR of 10 and their frontal armor of 2, any hit will be rolled on the Penetration Table at a Target Number of 8. I score two hits and roll 2d6 for each hit versus the Target Number of 8, looking to score a result equal or less than 8. The only hope the APC has is that I score 5, 5 or 6, 6 meaning that the lasers would cut straight through the APC and only kill a crew member while the vehicle would still be able to function. Otherwise...

The APC is destroyed, I mark it with a counter, and that ends the Deployment Phase. I roll activation and win (the Blue d6 is higher). On a Patrol my objective is to spend one turn within 6" of the table edge in sections 1, 2 and 3.  Activating first, my platoon moves into section 2. 

The enemy PEF rolls for movement and moves towards my flank. I'm not too worried as one major difference in Hammer & Anvil to Hell Hath No Fury, our WW2 vehicles rules set, is the In Sight Test. In HHNF the In Sight is only taken if you can see the target to your front 180 degrees. Due to then higher tech of the sci-fi rules, radar and similar allows for a 360 degree In Sight. So even if the PEF comes over the hill onto my flank, I will still get an In Sight.

Except there's another problem I wasn't aware of...

Watch for Part 3.

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Play Miniatures Games without Minis?! Yep!

Two Hour Wargames - Sat, 12/16/2017 - 02:54

THW games are playable with minis, but what if you don’t have any or want to try a new period without spending a lot of time or money buying and painting new ones?
Many of our  5150 titles include card stock color counters. You can play with them as they are or if you want, as I do, use this simple and easy way to enhance these counters.

These are for  the upcoming 5150: Hammer & Anvil. A standalone compatible game for vehicle combat in the 5150 universe. These are a bit different than our previous counters as all the stats for all the vehicles are printed on the counters. We'll be doing this going forward with our new games. Now let’s get started.
 Here's the card stock sheet of forty 1" counters for Hammer & Anvil. Each counter includes the type, name, movement rates, Armor Piercing Rating of its main gun, any machine guns it may have, and frontal, side and rear Armor Value. This stops you from having to refer to the book for vehicle stats.

 First you cut the counters out. I use a paper cutter for the rows, but scissors works great.

 Next I will be mounting them on 1", thick, mounting tape. I got mine at Amazon for less than $5, but you can find it at office stores and other places. This gives them more weight and durability.

 Here are all the counters mounted and ready to go.

Here they are on an All Things Zombie board game map. You can use board games if you have them, but I use mine on a table with terrain. 
Watch for Part 2 to see a detailed Bat Rep of5150: Hammer & Anvil

Here's another way we'll be offering our games to be played without minis.Weird War Zed
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All Things Zombie Review

Two Hour Wargames - Tue, 12/05/2017 - 23:12
ATZ Review Lays things out in an easy to understand way. Take a look!

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Weird War Zed - Where are the minis?

Two Hour Wargames - Sat, 12/02/2017 - 07:07

Weird War Zed is a quick to play and easy to learn, yet challenging, game. It's about a Special Air Service (SAS) section on a Mission to find and capture/kill the brilliant, but twisted, German Scientist - Herr Doktor. Along the way you'll run into German Soldiers, Zombies, and Werewolves. But what you won't run into are miniatures and terrain pieces.
Instead of miniatures we use color Poker size playing cards. This gets you into the game quickly, doesn't cost as much as using minis, and can be played on a small space. Want to use minis? You sure can and there are lots of manufacturers out there, starting with Rebel Minis, makers of fine 15mm figures.
Watch for our Bat Reps coming up next week,
Here's a sample fight on a 12" x 12" space using the cards found in Weird War Zed. The way the game is set up you'll never have more than 8 cards/minis on the table fighting at the same time.
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5150 Hammer & Anvil Coming Soon

Two Hour Wargames - Fri, 12/01/2017 - 06:05
  5150 Hammer & Anvil, the companion book to 5150 Star Army 2nd Tour will be released in a couple of weeks. Hammer & Anvil covers vehicle warfare in the 5150 universe and has four Factions Lists - Gaea Prime, Free Companies, Hishen and Zhuh-Zhuh. 
Included is a complete Campaign System as well as 10  Missions for you to play. Hammer & Anvil is a stand alone game compatible with Star Army 2nd Tour.
Hammer & Anvil includes 40 full color paper vehicle and status counters that can be used to play the game.

Watch for step by step Bat Reps in the coming days.

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We're Baaaack!

Two Hour Wargames - Tue, 11/28/2017 - 06:42

In time for Christmas...
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My AthensCon Activities

Lake Geneva Original Campaign - Sun, 11/12/2017 - 20:19
Here are snaps from the AthensCon site detailing my activities for the convention December 2 & 3.

There might be another panel; and if there is I will update this post.

Happy Gaming All!

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Attending AthensCon Dec. 2 &3

Lake Geneva Original Campaign - Thu, 11/02/2017 - 11:02
I am a special guest for AthensCon, December 2 & 3, a convention which last year had 15,000 attendees.  My duties/events include (besides having fun and eating gyros):

Running a two-hour RPG workshop:  The Genius of Original Dungeons & Dragons:  Leaping Outside the Box of Design History.
Participating in a large panel discussion on board game design.
DMing two sessions of my redesigned Lake Level from Castle El Raja Key, a level Gary Gygax cut his teeth on during the play-tests of D&D in 1973 and which was later incorporated into Castle Greyhawk as the "Black Reservoir." I have greatly expanded it to two maps with the commensurate encounters and added a back history and living depth to it.  Should be a riot! 

Here's the link to my appearance:

See you there?  C'mon, everyone likes gyros with gaming!  :)
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Dave Arneson's True Genius Published

Lake Geneva Original Campaign - Sun, 04/16/2017 - 03:46
Hot off the press and already steamrolling ahead!

What is Dave Arneson’s True Genius??
Well...  It kinda starts below...

...and then by leaps and bounds...
Breaks the sound barrier of game design history by 2,000 years...
Join us in a giant step into the past that re-opens a future doorway David L. Arneson created and gifted to us!
From the award-winning game designer and author Robert J. Kuntz
Available From:

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Breaking News!

Lake Geneva Original Campaign - Mon, 12/19/2016 - 00:01

Breaking News From Archeology Today!
NYC, in the year 2376...

Today archeologists from the Smithownisan Institute of Japan unearthed what is thought to be the last vestiges of a long defunct U.S. political party once called the Democrats.
Dr. Kumwatmae expounded upon the find:  "It's an exciting artifact that we are studying around the clock.  We believe these Democrats, in their dying days, resorted to baby worship by sacrificing millions of them upon the altar of a mysterious pseudo-religion that we can only now identify as something having to do with 'Planning'.  We strongly believe that this symbol may very well be a link to that religion, although my colleague at the dig, Dr. Cumwatmyte, still insists that the representative image is more likely an expression of some hidden angst that was on the rise among their kind and that lead to their untimely demise about 250 years ago."
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A Project I'm Writing and Laying Out at the Same Time

Lake Geneva Original Campaign - Sun, 12/18/2016 - 20:18
The material dates from 1974 and, oh boy, has it been updated! Cool adventure in the future folks!

More to come!

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Dave Arneson's True Genius Cover FINISHED!

Lake Geneva Original Campaign - Thu, 12/08/2016 - 16:37

This is a highly reduced resolution JPEG of the cover for Dave Arneson's True Genius that my wife, Nathalie (with some specific help from myself on the graphics end, i.e., the concept lettering for the blackboard), finished today.  Nathalie is very excellent at layout (and many other things, she always surprises)!

Nat has proceeded to laying out the text.  Meanwhile I am plugging away on 2 maps for 2 separate adventures as well as laying out TLS's first PDF product!

We are getting excited here!  I hope you are too!


Rob & Nat

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BoardGameGeek Composite Rating for El Raja Key Archive: So Far So Good!

Lake Geneva Original Campaign - Tue, 12/06/2016 - 17:22

Initial reactions from buyers at BGG of El Raja Key Archive is at a composite 9.5 out of 10.


Not blowing our horn too much here, but we expected very high ratings for this product.

Almost 3 years steady production time went into finishing the project and it also launched a new adventure book line with it.  Its nearly 1,100 hi-res scanned files date back to 1971 and are a roadmap to pre-D&D, early D&D, ancient Greyhawk material, World of Kalibruhn, early TSR and so much more, spanning 48 years of my design history through the original artifacts that were auctioned 2005-2015 but, with foresight, were preserved for the gamers, collectors and historians through hundreds of hours of scanning work over that time.

There has never been an item of this sort produced and made available for the public in the history of RPGs.

TLB Games is currently running a Holiday Sale for ERKA (see link at the right side bar).  Get yours before Santa heads back to the North Pole!

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My Interview at the Multiverse Blog

Lake Geneva Original Campaign - Sat, 12/03/2016 - 17:22
"Chillin' after the interview"

Timothy Connolly and I had a week-long give-and-take resulting in an interview that should be of special interest to TSR/D&D historians and serious designers.

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TLB Games Holiday Specials

Lake Geneva Original Campaign - Mon, 11/28/2016 - 21:15

Holiday Sale Special!!!
Check out our specials for El Raja Key Archive and Sunken City Adventure!
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The Days Have Come Down in the West: November 8 in America

Lake Geneva Original Campaign - Mon, 11/07/2016 - 11:41

Where now the horse and the rider? Where is the horn that was blowing?
Where is the helm and the hauberk, and the bright hair flowing?
Where is the hand on the harpstring, and the red fire glowing?
Where is the spring and the harvest and the tall corn growing?
They have passed like rain on the mountain, like a wind in the meadow;
The days have gone down in the West behind the hills into shadow.
Who shall gather the smoke of the dead wood burning,
Or behold the flowing years from the Sea returning?

--JRR Tolkien

There is only one choice in this election and it is not the Wicked Witch of the West...
Categories: Tabletop Gaming Blogs

Robert J. Kuntz's Memoirs Underway

Lake Geneva Original Campaign - Fri, 10/28/2016 - 10:04

James Sprattley, producer of The Great Kingdom documentary, and Rob Kuntz

Three Line Studio has started the process of organizing Rob Kuntz's memoirs, a project he started many years ago.  His wife, Nathalie Hachet-Kuntz, will be the lead editor and interface person for her husband while updating and compiling his hand written notes and commentaries and additional material that Rob generates for an overall pool of life stories spanning his days in Lake Geneva, his fortuitous meeting with Gary Gygax and the Gygax family in 1968, and his many and varied personal and professional observations from his career path as a free-lance designer and author.  This major work will include details on his friendships with Gary & Mary Gygax, Donald Kaye (co-founder of TSR), Dave Arneson, and his time as an employee and stockholder of TSR Hobbies, as GENCON's chairman, and his observations and insights from other unique perspectives.

As the project's "overseer" Nathalie will be updating its progress here and at the Three Line Studio website when milestones are achieved.  We expect to have a general release date in about two months, around the time Mr. Kuntz's finished book, "Dave Arneson's True Genius," is made available to the public.

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