Casualty cards for Combat Patrol

I have been getting ready for Christmas, but I wanted to get at least a few things done hobby-wise before 2018 rings in.  Last month, we had a rousing sci-fi game using Buck Surdu’s Combat Patrol™ card-based rules (you can read about that game here).

We were able to use the new Japanese South Pacific decks for robot morale checks, and incorporated many of the rules from Greg Priebe’s superb Star Wars supplement.  We also used some of my rule additions for Mark III Warbot casualties, special weapons, and a few other nuances.

One of the issues came in the way of finding an easier way of denoting casualties on the table and making play a little easier.  As you can see below, we just tipped over the figures, and that became crowded!  I do like to see the casualties on the table as it gives a nice account of what occurred in the game, but perhaps there is a better way?  Also, given that the Warbots take many wounds, I also am making some play aids specifically for them and their weapons (and I will cover this work in a future blog entry).

8 Ma'kcon
Casualties litter the field/table last month

As for the casualties, Buck suggested that I could create some cards for the casualties that would take the place of the “dead” miniature on the table.  This would allow for showing the results of the battle, and enable an easier playing experience.

For this project, I bought a Fiskars® paper cutter from Michael’s.  I had a 40% off coupon so I got it pretty cheaply.  I used white 65-lb. card stock from Staples for the cards.

8 Star ducks card
Fiskars paper cutter

6 Star ducks card

I started out last week with the Aphid platoon.  My goal was to make the card sizes as close to the actual miniature sizes as possible.  The Aphids are really small, so their cards were small.  I experimented with Microsoft PowerPoint, using the grid lines tool, and comparing what I printed with the actual miniatures.  I ended up making the Aphids cards about ¾” – 3/8″ high by  ¾” wide.  I had a lot of variability as I got used to using the paper cutter.  The pictures that I inserted into PowerPoint had different aspect ratios, and I remedied this when I moved on to the Star Ducks.

I do recommend using the aspect ratio tool when cropping pictures for this type of work.  Additionally, the grid line tool in PowerPoint allowed me to make exact front and back cards by making sure that the sizes were the same and aligned.   The easiest way to do this is to import your photos first, and then copy that slide.  Then, you replace the photos on the second slide with the written cards.  By printing these on both sides of the paper (use regular paper first, not card stock to check), they will line up perfectly.  The only caveat I need to add is that you need to pay attention to the cards as you will need to reverse the text in the blocks so as to match the pictures – see below.

Aphid Dead Cards 1
My PowerPoint page of 39 Aphid photos – note the reversing of texts below on the text portion 
Aphid Dead Cards 2
The text section – I numbered these text box blocks and put up to the light to see which text went where – each is an individual text box

I printed these on card stock with a “thick paper” setting on my printer, and used two-side printing.  I then cut them out using the Fiskars tool.  There is a learning curve to the tool, and it worked out fine.  The Aphids on Grav-Cycles were not sized to the miniatures, but I wanted all of the Aphids cards in their deck to be the same size, so I can live with that discrepancy.  I did however want to improve for the next group of cards – which was for the Star Ducks.

Here, I needed to make bigger cards, and went with 1½” by 1½”.  I made a few important changes in my processes.  First, I used the “aspect ratio” function when I cropped the photos – in this case using the “square” aspect.  I also added a 2-point thick line on the pictures and the text boxes, which really made cutting easier.  Lastly, I colored the cards text-printed side with light orange hue, to match their bills!  I plan on having future unit casualty cards with different colors on the printed sides.

1 Star ducks card 1
Page 1 of my cards (photo side).  These when printed on a standard sheet of paper approximated the true sizes of the miniatures.
2 Star ducks card 2
The text block side of the PowerPoint, with adjustments so that the two-sided printing would line up properly.  These were then colored orange as below.
5 Star ducks card
The photo sides of the cards after cutting – they are 1.5″ square

 

3 Star ducks card 2
The printed sides of the cards with the orange backgrounds
4 Star ducks card 2
Close up of the cards

These were much better – and I feel confident that I can finish off cards for the Frinx and Mark III Warbots soon.  My goal is that when I next run a game that these aids will make play even easier than Combat Patrol already is!  These are not perfect, but are close enough and stiff enough to avoid becoming paper canoes!

7 Star ducks card
Casualty cards, Death cards, whats the difference!

Please let me know what you think in the comments section – thanks for looking!

 

8/31/2017 Mass Pikemen Gaming Night

Last Thursday Night we had our monthly gaming night for the Mass Pikemen Gaming Club.  Turnout was light but we were able to have a couple of games.  We had a brief card game from 1983 – Flying Buffalo’s “Nuclear War” in honor of our nights game master Jared Burns.  Why?  Well the game has a B-70 Bomber card which was a semi-prototype of the B-1, which Jared served on in the US Air Force.

The second game was an X-Wing demo game run by Jared.

Our next gaming night is September 28th at the East Brookfield Senior Center hall.  We should have a sci-fi skirmish game (retro sci-fi) and more.  The pics below tell the tale of the night – overall my daughter Ellen Morin was the night’s big winner!

 

1 Nuclear War
While Jared set up X-Wing, we broke out this old cold war card game – and all were annihilated – no winners of course!

 

2 x wing me
The rebels side – me -with a 60 point team consisting of Ibtisam in a B-Wing and Blue Ace in a T-70 X-Wing

 

3 x wing me
My B-Wing and my X-Wing

 

4 x wing Ellen
The Imperial side – Ellen Morin – with Tomax Bren in a TIE Bomber and Countess Ryad in a TIE Defender

 

5 x wing Ellen
Ellen Morin’s ships

 

6 Ellen and Jared talk
Early maneuvering

 

7 Ellen plans the destruction of her Dad
Ellen prepares to destroy her Dad’s (my) X-Wing

 

8 Mark rolls BLANKS
My defensive rolls for my X-wing – yes – ALL BLANKS!  Blue Ace, we hardly knew ye…

 

9 Ellen rolls BLANKS
Later Ellen returns the favor by rolling 5 blanks – ensuring the destruction of her TIE defender.  I was still out gunned though…

 

10 Jared GMs with glee
Jared the able GM

 

10 Mark rolls HITS
The Empire gets on a roll, and I am getting hammered…

 

11 Close encounters
Too close!

 

12 I am undone
And my B-Wing dies…Ellen is the winner!

It was a fun night!