Cold Wars 2023 – from my view (& lots of photos!)

Last weekend the Cold Wars 2023 gaming convention was held in Valley Forge, PA at the Valley Forge Casino Resort. I participated as a game master and as a player. I ran three games of Feudal Patrol, played in two games of Wars of Ozz, and participated as a player in an American War of Independence (AWI) game. I really enjoyed the convention – and personally had some special moments as you will soon see in this post. I, a Massachusetts “carpetbagger”, am grateful once again for the welcome, hospitality, and friendship of the HAWKS club, especially Buck Surdu, Greg Priebe, Chris Palmer, Dave Wood, and Eric Schlegel – who all contributed to making my experience a memorable one. I also want to thank the players who chose to play in my games. I also must thank the HMGS staff and volunteers for making the convention work so well.

I thought the best way to share this with my readers was to focus on photographs – with a little bit of description. Some of these photos came from Chris Palmer and others on Facebook, and some are from myself.

AWI Playtest

This was on Thursday night in the HAWKS room and was a playtest of a set of rules being worked on by Buck Surdu, Chris Palmer, and Greg Priebe and other HAWKS. Basically it is taking the Wars of Ozz/Eagles and Empires engine and applying it to the AWI. I needed to set up my first game (The Battle of Centla) so that I could play on Friday morning in a Wars of Ozz game without any concerns. I played on the British side with 3 line regiments and two grenadier regiments. I had nothing but open field in front of me and a mission to take out an American gun battery that was surrounded by colonial infantry in soft cover commanded by Chris Palmer.

The set up for the AWI playtest. You can also see my Battle of Centla game all set up for Friday in the background.

I advanced my troops as quickly as possible but got shredded by canister as I git close – though I did do some – but not enough – damage to Chris.

I got trounced but it was not a situation that I think I could have attempted differently, but hey, it’s a game and a playtest at that.

…and a satisfied Chris surveys the battlefield!

Wars if Ozz – Winter of Discontent (Wars of Ozz)

This was a “bring your own brigade” game GM’d by Chris Palmer – and to help I brought both my Winkie and my Munchkin brigades in case they were needed. As it turned out, I commanded the Munchkins, and faced my own Winkies!

Several different factions are shown below.

And here are some more – click on the images for a better view:

The board was fairly open with some hills and woods in a wintery scene.

The game set up.

It was a fun game, though I felt like I was a bit torn fighting my own troops!

Moving my forces out.
Looking across to my fun opponents – here I have moved Colonel Tik-Tik’s regiment on the left into line to optimize missile fire – but the Winkie zilk-riders went into line and smashed into them.

That Winkie cavalry attacking player rolled 5 dice for hits – not a single miss (the roll was amazing) – and those hits would be doubled due to impetus. All 5 hit rolls yielded 10 hits – and that took out fully 50% of Tik-Tok’s regiment in one fell swoop. Tik-Tok routed, but I was able to rally it and keep it in the game.

While successful in their attack, the 20th Winkie Light Cavalry was now disordered – and my Munchkin battery and my own pony riding cavalry took the opportunity to hit the zilks from both the flank and the rear, and sent them into a retreat.

“Avenge our dead” – was the cry of the survivors of Colonel Tik-Tok’s infantry as their brethren close on the hated Winkie zilk riders of the 20th Winkie Light Cavalry.

The Winkies then attacked – buy mainly piecemeal – and the Munchkins were able to hold and repel both charges by the Winkie Sharpshooters and their ally the Lesser Apes. The artillerists did abandon their gun when the apes hit, but short range canister and a round of melee had already sent the Lesser Apes packing.

In the middle of the game was a big scrum between the brigade of Ice Trolls, Elves, Dark Elves, and that of the Teddy Bear Infantry, Teddy Bear Artillery, and the Toy Soldier Cavalry.

Scrum in the middle.

The game was a “good guys” victory!

The Battle of Centla (Feudal Patrol)

On Friday afternoon, I ran the Feudal Patrol game of the Battle of Centla – a battle between the Maya and the Conquistadores under Hernan Cortes.

The Spanish needed to reach the Maya city or kill 50% of the Spanish, or kill Tabscoob, the Maya leader. The Maya needed to prevent the Spanish from achieving their victory conditions, kill Cortes, or kill 50% of the Conquistadores. In the game, the Maya do get reinforcements, and the Spanish do not. Time is not on the Spanish players’ side.

I was happy to be able to use some of my new beach-adjacent jungle bases here.

The game set up – the Spanish are on the beach.
Maya moving onto the beach.
Buck Surdu joins the game replacing a departing player – and commands Cortes.

The Spanish were not initially as aggressive as I expected – though as the game progressed they did start to advance.

Buck and I confer on his troops’ data.

Unfortunately, the Spanish needed to take some risks – and Buck moved Cortes up and into the fight. This was very appropriate given the state of the game at that point. A Maya warrior got a lucky hit on him and cut off his leg – yielding a victory for the Maya. This game is very cool – I have run it several times and both sides have won in the past.

Surprise Aztec Raid on the Spanish Outpost (Feudal Patrol)

After the Friday afternoon game (Centla), I quickly got my next game ( this was held on Friday evening) set up with a lot of help from Buck, Dave Wood, and Greg for Friday night. This is a scenario as described below:

The game went back and forth and it was not clear at all which side would eventually win. There was a lot of action.

The game at the start – the Aztecs needed to cross muddy field to reach the Spanish and the Tlaxcalans. There were also food and gold objectives, and of course VP for inflicting casualties or taking captives.
Greg Priebe advances his Aztec commander, Asupacaci and his warrior priests.

The Spanish used their war dogs and arquebuses to good effect – but the Aztec Elite troops berserked and fought bravely.

Finally, both the Aztecs and the Tlaxcalans started taking prisoners for sacrifice – and gaining victory points in the process. Eric Schlegel successfully fired his falconet again with langridge at a swarm of Aztecs, taking out several of them in the last turn. This was to be pivotal.

I tallied the points – and it was a TIE! 46-46! I call that play-balanced!

I then set up my massive Battle of Lake Texcoco, which would be played on Saturday afternoon. This way I would have all the time I needed to enjoy my next game as a player on Saturday morning – which would be the Wars of Ozz game described next.

War to Save Yule: Battle for the Bauble of Time (Wars of Ozz)

After a short sleep, I played in another Ozz game on Saturday morning. This one was the second of three linked Wars of Ozz scenarios that Chris Palmer and Buck Surdu ran pitting the forces of the Ice Queen, Aurora, versus those of Babbo Natale (really Santa). Aurora wants to seize the Bauble of Time – a magic item that can bend time and lets Babbo deliver all his toys in one night. Of course, Aurora wants it for her own evil purposes. The Bauble was hidden in one of three buildings – and the neither the forces of Yule or Aurora knew which one. The goal of the attacking Ice Queen was to search each of the three areas – which meant that her forces needed to clear defenders from them first. I played on the Yule side in this game, on the Yule’s far left flank.

The game set up. Bruce, Buck, and Chris discuss the scenario.

The three possible search zones were as shown below.

Here is a photo of me by Chris surveying the battlefield:

A view towards my position. Aurora’s forces were attacking from the right here. I think I look tired!
Opposite view as Chris briefs the players earlier.

The forces defending the buildings/search zones on the Yule right and center were overwhelmed. Only the one on the Yule left held.

The odds were in favor of the Ice Queen at this point with 2/3 search zones in her control.

Bruce tries to fight off the Ice Trolls.

In the end we were lucky as the Bauble was in the last search zone and safe from the Ice Queen, so a victory for us. Chris would run a second follow on game later that I will share a few pictures of at the end of this post with others that I did not play in or GM. I did play in the 3rd linked game as well – more on that game in a bit.

The game ends.

The Battle of Lake Texcoco (Feudal Patrol)

I always look forward to running this game – yes it’s massive but more importantly a lot of fun. Basically there are 5 brigantines loaded with conquistadores and primitive cannon (lombards or falconets) that need to cross the tabletop and shell the other side of the table – where the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan is located. Opposing them are 21 war canoes filled with Aztecs hell-bent on boarding the invaders’ ships and stopping them. VP are awarded for shelling the city, boarding a brigantine, sinking canoes, and for casualties on both sides. The Spanish have to try to navigate the uncharted waters to do this too.

The set up for the game.

The players were excellent!

The start of the game.

The Spanish moved out and avoided collisions with each other or the islands. Only one got stuck on an underwater obstacle (El Gregorio) – resulting in the Aztecs getting a “Burst of Exuberance” which allowed it to be boarded first. Eventually, all of the brigantines would be boarded to greater or lesser extent.


The Spanish held on and were able to get three ships to shell the city.

Tenochtitlan takes its first hit of solid shot from El Marcos.
A photo from Chris Palmer showing me helping to adjudicate a fight.
The battle rages on the lake.

Of course, there was even more boarding!

El Marcos is boarded.

The game was pleasantly and briefly interrupted at this point by the HMGS staff. As it turned out, my game was selected to be honored with a “PELA” award for the time slot. PELA stands for “Pour Encourager Les Autres” which in English translates to “For Encouraging the Others”. These awards are defined by HMGS as going:

“to the games that best embody the positive traits of miniatures gaming, such as well-painted figures, great looking terrain, interesting scenarios, enjoyable rules, good sportsmanship, and an enjoyable time – events that do the most to “encourage others”.”

This was something as a GM that you can really appreciate! I was really honored – and it was nice to get applause from the room and my table too. I think that there were about 30+ games in my time slot – so this was tough to get. The award was a lovely knight figure on a plinth and a voucher for the vendor hall. Thanks HMGS, it has a place of honor at home! Thanks players!

I am awarded a PELA!
The PELA among Spanish casualties (hey, I was still running the game!).

In the end, the Spanish narrowly won the game by a score of 367-316. If the Conquistadores had made one less shot into Tenochtitlan, it would have been only a one shot victory.

As this was my last game to GM, I was able to get most of it picked up (thanks again to the HAWKS for all the help) – and get into playing my last game of the convention.

War to Save Yule – Ambush or Fighting Retreat (Wars of Ozz)

This was the third Ozz linked game run by Buck Surdu. In the second game, the forces of Yule held on to the Bauble of Time. Here, the Ice Queen’s forces are ambushing a convoy of Babbo Natale who is trying to get the Bauble to a safe place. I did not get as many pictures of this game – but I played on the side of the Ice Queen this time. We ended up taking the Bauble (Giant Evil Snowmen charged the convoy and stole it). It was a lot of fun.

My Ice Trolls take a beating from the Toy Soldier cavalry.

I was on the far left flank of the Ice Queen’s forces – and I after the Toy soldier cavalry and the Teddy Bear artillery beat up my Ice Trolls and Krampus, I was able to flank the Teddy Bear battery with Dark Elves. This attack sent them fleeing and the rear middle of the battlefield became congested with forces. Meanwhile, Chris Palmer valiantly pursued the Snowmen with the Toy Soldier cavalry. Luckily for our side, the Snowmen escaped into woods where the cavalry would not move as quickly – with the Bauble. Victory!

My Dark Elves move up the Yule flank.
Snowmen abscond with the captured Bauble!

Other Game Photos

There were of course many other games – and I tried to get some photos of them plus I have included many from Chris Palmer. This is not all of the games at Cold Wars by any means.

For the gamers, please enjoy these here! For the GM’s, kudos on the work you put in on some amazing games, and apologies in advance if I get any descriptions wrong here.

Battle of Hanau, 1813

Dave Wood’s Fate of Battle game in 10mm looked amazing.

The Natives Return to Schlegel’s Ferry

Eric Schlegel had a really cool board for his colonial Chesapeake game of Feudal Patrol.

Let’s Play Combat Patrol – France 1940

Greg Priebe ran a France 1940 scenario for Combat Patrol.

Greg and Buck survey Greg’s set up.

Wars of Orcs and Dwarves (WOOD) Playtest

Dave Wood ran a few WOOD games with amazing set ups.

War to Save Yule – River of Ice (Wars of Ozz)

This was the first of the linked Ozz games. This is the one that I did not play in as I was running my Aztec raid game.

Counterattack Near Dubno (Battleground WW2)

Don Hogge’s always popular WW2 games are so cool. This was a 28mm game set on the Eastern Front on June 28th, 1941.

Forest Encounter (Mobile Suit Gundam: The Gravity Front)

Here’s a look at Kevin Fischer’s game set up.

Got Skogskatter (SAGA)

James McWilliams ran a couple of SAGA games.

Pierce’s Hill, Philippines 22 December 1941 (Combat Patrol)

Buck Surdu ran a very cool looking game set during the Japanese invasion of the Philippines in 1941. He worked hard to get the 1941 look right – and he nailed it.

Let’s Play Feudal Patrol! – Viking Raid

Greg ran his introductory Feudal Patrol Viking Raid game and had a full table!

Can the Ratlings save their homeland again from the army of the Necromancer? (Wars of Orcs and Dwarves)

Dave Wood ran yet another visually stunning game – and for fun he used my Winkie Cavalry and Infantry in the game, plus my Lesser Apes. The feedback I got was that they acquitted themselves very well while I was off in Mesoamerica!

Game view.
Dave running his huge WOOD game.

Al Capone Comes to Schlegel’s Ferry (Blood & Swash)

Another great use of Eric’s terrain for a 1920’s game.

A truly engaged table deals with smuggling and gangsters in the 1920’s.

Concord to Lexington – Theme

Geoff Graff ran this game of 15mm figures set in my home state in the beginning of the AWI.

Test of Honour – The Last Yamashiro (Test of Honour – Quick Play)

I saw this in the adjoining room to the HAWKS – WOW what a set up! GM was David Hill.

This is a HUGE game!

At the other end of this beauty was a harbor and ships too.

Beautiful set up – nice to see young gamers too.

WWI – Battle of Gnila Lipa (Fall of Eagles WWI)

This set up caught my eye as well – GM David Rollins had a huge table for this battle between the Austrians and the Russians in WWI.

Mars Attacks – Beach Head! (Wings of Glory Tripods and Triplanes)

What a concept – Martians in Tripods taking on Spads and Nieuports in the aftermath of a post-WWI meteor shower! GM was Mike Jacobs.

As I said, this is a big post but I hope that it was enjoyable to look at. Sorry if a game you were or that you ran in was not included – but I’m sure somewhere else there are photos for the world (at least I hope so)!

That’s it for now! Feel free to comment!

Wars of Orcs and Dwarves!

The Wars of Orcs and Dwarves (WOOD) mass fantasy battle game system is similar to the Wars of Ozz – except that now you can now dust off those fantasy minis you have from ANY manufacturer and have a great tabletop game.

The rules were written by my good friend Buck Surdu with a good amount of help from another great friend and West Point roommate Dave Wood. I have played in a few of the playtests as well as at RECON in Florida in April (described, among other things, here).

I had a blast – and I think most of you would as well.

The gaming possibilities are endless!

Here are a few pics from that game in Florida – it was a halfling raid on an Orc village – but any scenario is conceivable.

There is a Kickstarter from the publisher, Sally 4th that you can access here.

Here is a description of the game:

Written by John T ‘Buck’ Surdu and the team who brought you ‘Wars of Ozz’

Manufacturer / Range / Scale Neutral – Use what ever fantasy miniatures you have collected to fight epic massed battles.

Wars of Orcs and Dwarves will work with any scale of miniatures from 6mm – 32mm and beyond, from any manufacturer and from any genre. If you have an existing Warhammer or Lord of the Rings Army or maybe some historical Ancients, Dark Age or Medieval figures, you can use those to play Wars of Orcs and Dwarves.

Wars of Orcs and Dwarves is:

  • Mass fantasy tabletop gaming
  • Designed for solo, 2 player & team play
  • Features a balanced Magic System
  • Rulebook contains, army lists, scenarios and campaigns
  • Fun to play, streamlined, intuitive & based around reactive game play that keeps both sides continually involved
  • Game length 2-3 hours

Just to be clear, I have no financial interest in this – and I have backed the Kickstarter so that I can get the rules book and a PDF. I plan on working this into my gaming collection as I have a lot of fantasy stuff that needs a good game.

Again, there is a Kickstarter from the publisher, Sally 4th that you can access here.

Thanks for looking and checking out the Kickstarter!

Escape (albeit temporary) from Massachusetts 2022 – Orlando, Golf School, and Wargaming at RECON

With the unhappy demise of our beloved Caesar on New Years Day (discussed here), and Lynn having subsequently joined me in retirement, we found ourselves for the first time in many years being able to travel. We decided to drive down to the Orlando Florida area in April to visit with friends, for some recreation, to attend a Marriott golf school, and to attend the RECON HMGS South Gaming convention. It was a needed break. The garage+ project would continue while we were gone – so no need to hang around in Massachusetts – off to Florida!

We drove because frankly we prefer it. We were in no mood to deal with airlines, masking requirements, and the rest. Besides, we could more easily bring all the stuff we wanted to take that way.

The morning we left was a chilly start.

It took us three days to get down to Florida (really two and a half). It’s a roughly 1200-mile drive. We left on 4/13, and stopped south of Richmond, VA and in Savannah, GA on the way.

X5 is packed, let’s hit the road!

The ride down was mostly done on I95 (avoiding NYC metro as that’s a nightmare). However, the most surprising aspect of the drive down was the number of dangerous/reckless drivers we saw – and really seeing no traffic enforcement to speak of on the way. Even while we were in Florida (where along with the metro DC area) we saw many drivers who were totally oblivious to safe driving practices. The only times we saw any cops on the highways happened twice in Florida when they shut down I4 – both for fatal crashes. Maybe this chaos was so because it was spring break week – but for the ride back we took a longer path inland towards I81-I84 and it was far less like a post-apocalyptic Road Warrior movie or a game of GASLANDS.

Arriving at our first hotel on Friday the 15th (the Wyndham in Kissimmee), we checked in and hit the pool deck for some needed drinks and relaxation. This hotel was also the site for the HMGS South RECON Gaming convention, but that was not to happen until the following weekend. That night, we got together with the Surdu’s (Buck and Candy) for dinner with them which was great fun.

Arrival and hanging out at the pool

As for Easter weekend, we decided that Disney and Universal costs were way too expensive – and we had visited both previously. Nearby SeaWorld owns both itself in Orlando, and Busch Gardens in Tampa. They had a decently-priced deal for visiting both parks in 5 days (well better than the ridiculous fortune that the other parks were asking for). We had not been to either before, so the plan became Busch Gardens for the 16th, and SeaWorld for Monday the 18th, with Easter Sunday being a hangout day at Casa Surdu.

On Saturday the 16th, we drove to Tampa to visit Busch Gardens theme park. It has a LOT of roller coasters and is a pretty good zoo. Neither of us like roller coasters, but the experience was good. The animal exhibits were quite good. Below I have put up a few photos:

Busch Gardens map
The kangaroo pavilion – made me think of you Aussies…
The kangaroos and wallabies were cooling out – I sent this to IRO and he said it reminded him of his buddies after a good amount of beer consumption!
“Petting” a sleeping hyena
My favorite image – a Nile crocodile (not an alligator) and a very oblivious Florida egret that flew in to hang out. Apparently the croc wasn’t hungry.

We had an enjoyable day. The next day, Easter Sunday, was excellent as we got to hang out with Buck and Candy – whose hospitality was superb and thanks again you two.

On Monday the 18th we went to SeaWorld. Of course, it is known for its orcas. I have to say it was a very nice sea-themed park with fauna from all ends of the globe. Certainly they have changed practices with all of their animals since the unfortunate trainer death a decade+ ago.

This walrus was in the arctic section of the park – along with beluga whales and others from that area. This walrus really hammed it up for us at the window, blowing bubbles and cavorting.
The killer whales (orcas) were amazing to see.
Great to see these but we stayed out of the “splash zone”!

Both Busch Gardens and SeaWorld have partnered with Sesame Street to have a kids section of their respective parks. I thought it was tastefully done.

Juvenile dolphin pool.

We also had purchased the “all-day dining” package – which was really not all it sounded like. It did not cover beer, and any food purchased under the plan started a 90-minute clock that prevented any other freebies until that 90 minutes was up. Also, most of the special kiosk foods were not covered (like the pretzel one below). Otherwise, we enjoyed the park – which also is loaded with roller coasters that we didn’t ride. The exhibits were really cool, as were the special show-type ones such as for the seals and the orcas.

Time for a beer (not free under the dining plan), a pretzel (also not free), and a selfie with Lynn.
Met a new friend – but he only cared for cookies…would not share as they were not under the plan either…

Now both at Busch Gardens and at SeaWorld there were some promotional displays. This one also made me think of our favorite Aussie gardener/landscaper IRO. And no I did not spend my entire vacation thinking of him – just being reminded of him was enough!

Does IRO mow with Bad Boys?

That night we left the Wyndham for the Marriott Golf Resort/School for two days of relative luxury and golf school for us both. Lynn picked up a lot, and I used the opportunity to rework my swing (which is now coming around as I write this in early June as expected two months later). Lynn and I have been playing golf more and it’s nice to have the chance to play together. She’ll never be a die-hard like me, but we’re having fun. The Marriott resort there is really nice too.

At the Marriott Golf School.

After two days (the evening of the 18th-20th) at the Marriott, it was back to staying at the previous Wyndham where HMGS South was having their RECON gaming convention. Lynn was indeed missing the Marriott…so I plied her with a blue drink…

I think she misses the Marriott…

Still we managed to have fun on the 18th – the Wyndham had an interactive game of dodgeball with zombies on a projection screen. Apparently the blue drink does not help accuracy with dodgeball against the undead.

Yes, zombie dodgeball!

Still we were having a good time.

Hey that’s my hat!

The next day (April 21st), I had the privilege of gaming with with Buck back at his amazing gaming room (which you can see below). As a bonus, my old West Point roommate Dave Wood and Buck’s buddy JJ were there. We were also joined via Zoom for this gaming session with Greg Priebe and Chris Palmer of the Maryland-based HAWKS gaming club. While Candy took our spouses out, we wargamers playtested a massive Napoleonic game using a derivative of Buck’s Wars of Ozz rules. It is in development and will be called Wars of Eagles and Empires.

Wars of Eagles and Empires game
This game was a lot of fun, and despite its size, it only took about three and a half hours – not bad for a playtest.

Then we moved on to run a final test of Dave’s RECON WOOD (Wars of Orcs and Dwarves) game. This also uses Buck’s Wars of Ozz-type mechanics, but with changes for fantasy gaming. It is close to publication. Here are some images – we would also play this game at RECON after any modifications.

The pig-faced orcs defend a bridge and river against the halfling onslaught.
Halfling cavalry on goats and giant roosters attack.

The next day (22nd) was our day 1 of RECON. We reran the Hobbits raid on the Orc village scenario at the convention and it was a hoot.

Hobbits on purple pachyderms force a bridge crossing!
The mighty GM (Buck) surveys the carnage.

I want to give EXTRA credit to Lynn as she agreed to game the whole day with me. During a lull in the game, I asked her with iPhone in hand if she was enjoying herself…

Having fun dear?

Seriously, she was a good sport but one day of gaming a year is the best I can expect!

We then played in a Combat Patrol™ game involving Star Wars figures that was fun.

Dave and Buck GM’ing the Star Wars game.
Buck had a nice tabletop here.
All had fun – though I think my side (clones) lost against the droids.

The last game Friday was a 7ITV game that Lyn and I played. There were three side-by-side games – and Lynn and I played the Scooby-Doo scenario.

Lynn and I play the Scooby-Doo scenario. Hey, she’s smiling! Next to her is JJ playing against Buck in a Jonny Quest scenario.
Here you can see the three scenarios – some other sci-fi scenario is on the end. Buck is looking distracted. I think the GM had a wonderful set of terrain but the games dragged as we took a while to grasp the mechanics. Also, I found it tough to get his attention with three games running simultaneously – so not as fun as I expected. But Lynn had served her gaming sentence and was free to hang out with Candy at a blueberry fest on Saturday while the con went on.

Saturday morning Buck ran a Philippines 1941 Combat Patrol™ scenario that I helped him as an assistant GM. I truly enjoyed this!

Buck surveys the tabletop in his happy shirt.
The Japanese players move up their Ha-Go tanks towards the bridge. Neither the tanks nor the the bridge would survive long as the Americans reacted.

The next game was my favorite – a massive Wars of Ozz game where I commanded a brigade of Winkie zilk-riding cavalry (think giant birds of prey). I maneuvered the brigade to assault the Quadlings and Munchkins opposing me.

My Winkie cavalry forms up.
The tabletop – my cavalry is in the foreground.
My Winkie cavalry moving into action!

The game was an overwhelming Winkie and Gillikin (my allies) victory.

Lastly, Buck, JJ, and I (Dave left Friday) played a neat Spanish-American scenario for Blood & Steel. The GM did an excellent job – and the game came down to a final roll of the dice, which went for Buck and JJ, but it was a lot of fun to play them. The scenario was a very fun skirmish game. (no pics sorry).

After this, we said goodbye and I headed back to my room where Lynn and I packed up for the return trip to Massachusetts.

I have to say it was a great trip – and one I will always remember. Big thanks to Buck and Candy!!!! Dave and JJ too!!

Next up – how I built a Conquistador fleet for the Battle of Lake Texcoco for HUZZAH 2022 (in between taking this trip and HAVOC 2022)!

Wars of Orcs and Dwarves playtest across the Atlantic

Last Saturday, we ran a playtest of the Wars of Orcs and Dwarves (WOOD) using Zoom. Chris Abbey from Sally 4th in the UK ran the game at his home – and his blog post on the game link is below. WOOD is an in-progress adaptation of the Wars of Ozz rules for fantasy battles.

It was a fun game and I (in Massachusetts) played on the Orcs and Goblins side with Greg Priebe in Maryland and Jim in North Carolina. We were fighting Dwarves led by Buck Surdu (in Florida) and Chris Palmer in Maryland. We purchased our troops unbeknownst to each other, and chose our deployment area first as we bought fewer points worth of troops. This also gave us a recon advantage. I was on the open end of the battlefield and Greg/Jim were on the wooded area. I threw my forces headlong (and somewhat piecemeal and unsupported) at Buck’s forces with the goal of tying him down – and allowing my allies to close to the road. While I took heavy casualties, the strategy worked well enough to gain a minor victory and for our orcs, great orcs, ogres, and goblins to feast on dwarves! As my wolves had routed, there was more for them anyways!

I think the rules system (Wars of Ozz) is quite good, and the new WOOD adaptation will allow me to use many of my old fantasy figures on the tabletop again. Plus I am really looking forward to playing Wars of Ozz! Below are a couple of Chris’ photos – his blog has more.

My wolves attack Buck’s dwarven arches on turn 1.
My Goblins face a Giant at the end of the game.

Here is Chris Abbey’s blog post link worth a look – check it out and let me know what you think!

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Buck's Blog

Life, Golf, Miniatures, & Other Distractions

IRO aka Imperial Rebel Ork

- I model - therefore I am -

Azazel's Bitz Box.

Painting, Modelling, Miniatures, 1:6, Games... Whatever else I find interesting.


Smallholding and Wargaming.......not always at the same time!


Nørdblog numero uno

Harry Heckel

Writer/Game Designer

The Lost and the Damned

Fantasy, sci-fi and historical miniature gaming


Toy soldier wargaming stuff.


L"histoire militaire à lire, à voir, à jouer et à réinventer