Above is a pic of Lt. Colonel James Galbraith, Regimental Colour in hand, alongside Bobbie the regimental dog and some of the other "Last Eleven" survivors of the 66th (Berkshire) Regiment, making their last stand in one of the walled gardens just South of Khig village, a few miles West of the Afghan town of Maiwand.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Pick a card, any card...

Well, I'm happy to report it looks like I will be taking my Charasiab game to the Colonial Barracks V convention in Metarie, Louisiana, just outside New Orleans, on the weekend of Friday November, 6th through Sunday, November 9th. 

My game is scheduled for the 2:00pm-6:00pm Afternoon and 7:00pm-11:00pm/12:00am Evening sessions.  If the game goes long we'll have enough time to play it through to the bitter end, and if it goes even a bit short and the players are up for it, we may be able to run it a second time.

If all goes well I hope to actually complete my second play-test tomorrow night, with the gracious and generous assistance of Daryl Haselton, a fellow Colonial gamer from just down the road in Pasadena, who I met online over at the always inspiring LEAD ADVENTURE FORUM (just click the site name to visit!).

I really wanted to run the game from start to finish several more times before taking it to the convention... but life and my various fellow gamers' own personal schedules got in the way, so right now I'll be very happy and relieved if Daryl and I can reach a definitive conclusion once before I hit the road!

By now you may understandably be asking, "So... where eactly do the cards come into this?"

Here's where: after Charasiab play-test 1.0 about a month and a half ago, I wanted to create a set of custom game charts for the scenario -- which I did -- and also a set of custom GAME CARDS.

This would not be a full set of 52 cards, but rather a scenario specific set, as called for in the "800 Fighting Englishmen" rules, with one card for each British and Afghan "Maneuver Element," Afghan and British "Bonus" cards (Black & Red Jokers serve this purpose in a regular deck), and Afghan and British "Command" cards (Black & Red Aces in a regular deck).

When I attended to the very first Colonial Barracks convention back in November 2011, I saw for the very first time ever an oversized deck of 5"x31/2" Jumbo playing cards.  I ordered a deck for myself soon after returning home, and have used them ever since for TSATF.  Their extra-large size makes them perfect for miniatures gaming, with card faces easy to delineate from even a 12' distance across the full length of the table.

Between this jumbo size advantage and the fact that I only needed a total of 13 cards for the Charasiab scenario deck -- 3 British Elements, 6 Afghan Elements, British Bonus & Command, Afghan Bonus & Command -- I decided to make my cards Jumbo size.  Even then I could still fit 4 cards onto a single sheet of 81/2" x 11" paper, though I did buy a package of thick card-stock to print them out on.

Like the custom Quick Reference Sheets I posted about a few weeks ago, creating these cards required more software know-how than I possess, so I once again called on my 15 year-old high school Sophomore daughter for assistance.  She is very busy with school and Varsity basketball and the social life of a teenage girl, but thankfully for me she managed to get everything I needed done, and IMHO did an excellent job, so now in addition to the custom game charts I also have a custom card deck, as seen below:

NEXT UP:  I hope to be back later this coming week with a report on the second play-test, which as I said above we should play tomorrow night -- and for which we will most definitely be using the cards shown above!


  1. Holy Cat Nip Batman, you don’t do anything half way, do you Mad Guru?!?!?!

    Those are very cool accessories! Your daughter did a great job on the cards. Leave it in the hands of a capable woman and you’ll get great accessories every time, it’s all about the details…LOL…

    You really know how to keep the anticipation growing. I’m sure we will be in for an awesome treat at CBV this Nov.


  2. I'm as impressed by the cards as I am to your sevice to Victorian Colonial gaming

    Superb stuff MG!!


  3. Nicely done, both of you! I look forward to your play test report.

  4. Thanks for the kind words, Michael, Jeff, Darrell, and AJ!

    The 92nd Gordon Highlanders have carried the first Conical Hill, a massive Ghazi charge came to nought, all three Ghazi units rolling terribly, failing to close into combat, turning and running off -- allowing some dangerously positioned British troops to escape completely unharmed. The Afghan Regular Infantry occupying the Red Ridge has been decimated by British rifle and artillery fire and is about to collapse... but the Tribal garrison of Khairabad is putting up a tenacious defense of their Village, and the Afghan Regular Artillery ensconced in and above the Sang-i-Nawishta Gorge is peppering the approaching Highlanders and Dejarat Mountain Gunners alike with some casualties...

    By the end of the night we will hopefully know who shall emerge victorious...