Thursday, July 22, 2021

A quick naval bloodbath; Intro War at Sea AAR

 After six months of silence I managed to get a post done....and a game AAR at that. Local gamer Garret has been quietly collecting the (mostly?) defunct game War at Sea. I imagine you can pick up a good set of minis for reasonable prices. While not my favorite style of game (each ship has it's own card with different values/rules) it does keep the bespoke rule craziness to a modest level. 





One of the big drivers was the ability to hammer out a game VERY quickly (important when we both have 2 children under 4!). I think this one took about 90 minutes with learning for me. Garret has a useful little computer program that has a database of his available gear and will wizard up lists. He made two reasonably balanced ones....An american fleet with a cruiser, aircraft carrier, and 2 destroyers (plus planes), and a japanese one with 2 destroyers, a heavy cruiser, a sub, and a heap of air. 

Objective is to seize the 3 white objectives on the midline, and/or destroy your enemy. Victory is sorta sudden death as when you hit a certain VP total you win (I suspect at the end of the turn). I was VERY concerned about the japanese sub to the Northwest so swarmed it with planes dropping depth charges. Unfortunately the amount of fighters I had to bombers was....unbalanced, so the japanese were able to sink my carrier in the first turn. Yikes!

Land bases were the only thing keeping the aircraft up, which now means they come ever second turn in the absence of special rules (some bombers with larger fuel and bomb loads can 'loiter' and stay on station without needing to reload each turn). 

The second turn we both kept as much aircraft in play as possible and continued to hammer the ships. I decided to focus reducing the number of targets so ignored his cruiser in favor of killing destroyers (which carry torpedoes which are pretty swingy in this game but do heaps of damage). 

We were rapidly reaching a point where all we had were one or two crippled ships and far too many bombers for any sailors health.

The one turn of naval gunner and torpedos saw my cruiser and one (of two) destroyers go down, but cleared the table. The final turn the japanese continued to struggle for the draw to kill my final destroyer before it could claim a VP point. It narrowly avoided the angry wrath of the japanese bomber force to pull out a win.

A fun beer and pretzel type game that you can hammer out a couple of games in a session. I feel that it's obvious you need more fighters but Garret makes it sound as though there is a tricky element of balancing various needs without leaving yourself catastrophically open to certain attacks.

Friday, January 1, 2021

2020 in Review: Clean sweep....of failure!

It's no revelation that 2020 was a dumpster fire for most of us. Locally we started heading off the tracks in February/March. Working in the hospital we battened down for a tsunami of infection and death that didn't arrive. It was still quite stressful, no one knew anything, it was a mix of being scared to be working in the operating rooms, and being bored outside them looking for more to do. 







Back at home, the wife was expecting in the summer. So much was done to switch the home around including evicting me into the furnace room a.k.a the Dave Cave. Some outdoor work included installing an arbour and some fencing around the bee hives. 


Once it became clear that  enfilade was cancelled my painting dropped to zero. There really wasn't much motivation left at the end of the day to get my hobby on, when other projects with a much more definite 'due date' where approaching. 

Its mine. Not a random internet pic.

End of summer arrived, with a new baby, and (no surprise to those with children) two kids is a lot more work than one. Like....more than twice. Quarantine/Purgatory fatigue set in as numbers ballooned and restrictions came back. I've felt a mental fog for a lot of this year.

Having said all that, it's still a bit startling that I got NONE of my resolutions done. Maybe I went in a bit cocky but I'm fairly certain if enfilade had happened I would have hit a few of them. As it The collection grew, outlays didn't decrease, I think that I played no table top games, and painting was a joke.


1/. Host cowboy game - play unpainted//partially painted//fully painted
2/. Paint Austrians for enfilade// paint hussar rampant for enfilade //paint 2 sides for hussar rampant
3/. Frostgrave OR hardwired OR Pulp Alley OR some osprey skirmish ruleset - play unpainted//paint one side//paint both sides
4/. Decreased Kickstarter & nerdery expenditures by 20%//Only 3 kickstarters in the year//no kickstarters
5/. # of blog posts/regular hobby updates: 26 in a year// at least 2 per month// 1 every 2 weeks
6/. Minimum figs: 1 per week (easy...)//stretch 1 per week not enfilade related
7/. paint and/or give away more than I buy (negative growth)//paint more

The only slightly silver lining on this dog of a year is that the little work I did do was partial painting on lots of different things. It may mean some actual production in 2021. As the most excellent darkest dungeon game shares with us:

Do not ruminate on this fleeting failure - the campaign is long, and victory will come




Monday, May 4, 2020

April update - Austrian Cannon

April was another very lacklustre month. I managed to pull my thumb out and finish banging out some cannon at the end of the month.

These are from frontrank and there is a heap of crew to paint up as well (primed only). 4 foot cannon, and 2 horse (with the funny benches).

I possibly ended up using an overly dark ochre colour, but I'm sure campaigning is a grubby business.

I also got around to cutting up a bunch of dowel as measuring sticks for General du Corp. The long sticks are for artillery (how fitting), medium command, small movement. I ended up with a single stick from Doug which is astonishingly smooth compared to my own. I do wonder if thats the wonders of people using/holding/fiddling with them till they smooth, or if I just ended up with crappy wood and paint.

 The last addition to the painted pile is some old GW oil drums. I *didn't* actually paint these myself. I someone managed to convince my buddy Garret to do so. I suppose that's ALMOST like painting it myself (he said lying to himself). Garret did a great job weathering these and used some colours I wouldn't have selected myself. I quite like that aspect and can appreciate why some hobbyists swap painting squads with their buddies.

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Micro Armour Infantry Ambush

I barely missed a Cold War game March 16th. At that point social distancing was being promoted, I work in healthcare, and I was probably a bit ahead of the curve in reading about the horrors in Italy. I decided to bottle out as a good example. Great sadness.

Doug sent another package (AMBUSH!) back in mid February. I had intended up doing up another highlight post on what is a(nother!) princely gift. The original plan was to do the big reveal along with the cold war game planned during the march break.....alas.

I'm not positive what army these folks are from.....I suspect they are warsaw pact east germans (I have seen some pics of the brown outfit, and the helmet looks a bit similar). As Doug notes: 'at this scale it doesn't matter!'.

 We have a hq section, engineering, mortar and AT support.

The three rifle....battalions? are all the same, hq unit, 2 heavy machine guns, and 9 rifle stands.  I feel like I may have enough troops for human wave attacks at this point.

A huge thanks and shout out to Doug!

Monday, March 30, 2020

March update - random 'progress'

March has been a bit of a bust. The COVID disaster has complicated our lives but both my wife and I work at the hospital so aren't working any less. My mother in law is now living with us as we expected our childcare situation to complicate if not disappear (though not, thankfully, yet). Mentally I'm a bit zapped so have found it pretty hard to pull myself away from easily accessible entertainment on the computer to actually start painting. Boo.

Let's look at what has been done. The Austrian infantry made some progress with all the black work finally done. Although, what's that in the bottom right? It's some standard  bearers that just arrived with the artillery.....

We have a critical shortage of guns for our game. I ordered a lot from frontrank when funds freed up to match the infantry I'd slowly stockpiled.

I'm a bit (or more than a bit) dubious the convention will go ahead. I need to plan to not screwing up the crew though, so I'm going to still try and get the painting done. Worst case is I do the minimal cannons and a few infantry. I can even imagine a situation where I don't go and hand off the figs to our mastermind (Doug) to haul down there.

The guns are inked on the left but not on the right. I tried using 'payne's grey' ink which was a bit dark, and some of Les' magic ink 'SOFT' that I made up from a recipe on dakka dakka...looks better. 

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Feb update - Batch painting blues

I've hit the phase of painting where not much seems to happen for a long period of time/effort. Suddenly they will be day.

I managed to get the grey primer I was waiting for, sprayed my figs during a break in the weather and felt like my hand was going to get frostbite. I've gotten blue pants, hair, and skin done. Today I banged out the first colour on the horses for the officers within units.

 BEHOLD! It appears like I've done almost nothing!

I decided to break up the monotony a bit by jumping in on "Fembruary Challenge" by leadballoony. The idea is to paint up a/some female models with a look towards how they are represented in the hobby. I shall post in the future, but *spoiler alert* it's pretty pneumatic/trashy/non physiological. You can see (barely) a preview in the lower right corner.

Friday, February 7, 2020

No one expects micro armour in the mail!

Much to my delight this morning I received a parcel. Idly contemplating what nerd item it might be based on size and weight I was pulling a blank and then I noticed the return address was in the nearby city. My wargaming friend Doug (dots of paint blog) struck again!

No doubt inspired by my Cold War AAR in early January he pulled out some micro armour from his collection that hasn't been getting enough training and sent them to me. SURPRISE THE EAST GERMANS AND CANADIANS ARE CLASHING IN MY HOUSE! A princely gift as I hastened to send him a message.

His note informs me that these are circa '83 forces which happen to be deployed to their bases about that same time (!!). A couple of barrels got repositioned, a few units needed to be reglued to their base, and a missing tank turret, but these veterans have stood the cold war test very well.

More pictures after the break......