Saturday, December 31, 2016

New Year Resolution Post 2016/2017

Another year comes to a close. The facebook collective seems to agree that 2016 has been a pretty poop year, with many people passing on, and lots of global events that just don't seem all that great. Perhaps fittingly, my 2016 gaming seems to be pretty lack luster as well.

I only managed 16 posts over the course of the year. Many of those posts were about games I played, which is great, but the painting productivity was a bit pants. To be fair, there is some stuff that I painted but didn't manage to get up on the blog....but not much. The spring/summer here was fully occupied with landscaping of the new home. I suspect the same will occur this coming summer/spring.

The plan for 2016

1/. Paint 50 'Bones' figs.  I have Bones 3 coming in at some point, so it makes sense to swim against the tide.
FAIL. I'm not sure that I painted *any* bones this year. Yikes.

2/. Finish 'trays of shame' of 15mm french napoleonics. These have been sitting too long. It's only about 100-150 figs and they are probably 1/3-1/2 done. Time to put them to bed. 
SUCCESS! I managed to finish both the old guard, as well as the great coats that have languished for far too long in my trays of shame.

3/. Paint up both sides of a game. The most challenging/ambitious one for me. Likely targets include: skirmish forces (mordheim/frostgrave/ambush alley), Cy6! (flight stands are the problem), Spacehulk, or some 15mm sci fi type thing.
FAIL. I'm not sure that I finished painting up one side of a game, let alone two. Boo. 

4/. Attend a convention. Now that I've moved out of a town that hosts one, this will be more of a stretch.
 SUCCESS! I attended enfilade in Olympia, WA. Doug (dots of paint blog) organized a huge Borodino game with his fast play rules. It was a lot of fun, and I suspect I'll attend next year. I've already signed up to paint up a chunk of french cavalry. Commitments to other people are a good motivation to get the painting done.

2017 Resolutions
1/. Get a FOG force table ready
A couple of the locals have armies and play. I'd like to be able to join in with my own troops. Might be able to encourage others as well. I own some carthaginians...just need to paint them.

2/. Attend Enfilade again with at least one command worth of troops 
It was fun last year, and helped get a batch of figures completed. 

3/. Resurrect a failed resolution
I was just looking at my old ones and thinking I should/could finish some of them. Possibilities include: painting both sides of a game, paint a 15mm french corp (I really just need commanders and cavalry at this point), paint a skirmish force/gang, paint 50 bones figs. Nice to leave it somewhat open to my whims.

4/. Host 2 games this year
I hosted a game of CY6 with all my own stuff. How novel. I'll try and double my achievement and host some sort of tabletop game with my own gear....twice!

Hope that you all haven't been laid too low by 2016, and this coming year portends better things. Happy holidays to you all, and a few pics of my 2016 accomplishments for your enjoyment. 

Sunday, October 2, 2016

French Line in Great Coats (15mm Old Glory)

 I've been slaving away outdoors doing landscaping, and indoors painting with '4 inch brush'. Doug from Dot of Paint gave me a poke by email to inquire if I'd done any hobby work lately.

Fortuitously, the recent bout of poor weather and losing light earlier has allowed me to get some painting in.

These fine fellows have been in my paint queue for, literally, years. I got stumped with helmet colors, and whether the poms/plumes were covered or not. Then there was an unfortunate accident while doing a car transport that knocked a ton off their sticks. Then I moved. It's been on the resolution list for a year or two, and at last they are complete.

15mm old glory. I suspect there are two bags here, one of command, and one of regular folks. It's fairly obvious I should bash out another 100+ figs to get enough troops to match up with all my command. There are much more important things to work on before that though. Like cavalry. And officers. Neither of which I have painted (in 15mm). This does mean I'm rapidly approaching the ability to field the great aggressors in smaller scenarios, and there happens to be a local gamer who has been working on some austrians in the sames scale...

Monday, July 4, 2016

CY6! Jet age - Falklands test play

After a shameful amount of time, I finally got my painted jet minis out for a game. At the local game store I was joined by Joel and Tommy for a dust up between 2 harriers and 2 mirage III's.

The barriers to play were my uncertainty about my basing scheme working, and unfamiliarity with the ruleset. Luckily the two suckers brave gentlemen agreed to try the game out.

The bases are indeed leg, and each block represents an altitude level. Jet age tends to use a lot more than the regular ww2 era CY6, as jets have a lot more power.

The mirages race along at high altitude from the sun towards the low flying harriers. The sun is important b/c being 'up sun' from your opponent makes it harder to hit with infrared guided missiles. 
Closing took about 3 turns which gave us a chance to get used to changing altitude, maneuvering and the turn flow.

The harriers struggled to gain altitude without losing too much speed as the mirages raced towards them.

More after the break....

Monday, June 13, 2016

Fields of Glory: Gauls vs Pyrrhic

I want to call this one a Pyrrhic victory, but I didn't lose all my troops so I'm stumped how to describe it. Nate brought out his FOG armies for another Sunday throwdown at the local games store (dropzone games). We choose to use the least fielded armies he has, and ended up with an incredibly historical matchup between Gauls and Pyrrhic pike blocks. No gamer blood was drawn by the pikes this game.

Field of glory is definitely one of those rulesets that has enough fiddly bits it can be a bit slow if you are unfamiliar with it. Once we got into the flow, and started to remember what the actual matchups were between each unit (you calculate 'points of advantage' which tell you what you and your opponent hit on) it moved at a pretty decent rate. Certainly a ruleset I'm willing to try again.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Enfilade 2016: Random Picture Roundup

This is just a collection of random pics I took during the event. Nice looking tables of games I didn't have a chance to play.

 Star wars armada. Looked like a tremendous hairball of small fighters later in the game.
 Some fun racing boat game. I think this makes a regular appearance at conventions.
 A very cool table top, C and C routered out of a single piece of 8x4 plywood. The apartments fit into recessed grooves. This game was based on "Gangs of New York" and was a straight up fight. I think the rules may have been published in a wargaming magazine at one point.

Lion rampant. I failed to get into this game as I had a brain fart about signing up for the 1st period of gaming on Friday. Looked like a fun game was done in a very timely fashion. I look forward to a chance to try these rules out. 
 An epic "Sails of Glory" set up for trafalgar. This was played over 2 blocks (~8 hours of gaming). The french eventually managed to capture the Victory and slip some ships off the appropriate side of the table.
 One of numerous English civil war games. The game mat looked great for this one.
 Mustangs air game. Nice flak bursts and very large ship models.
 Another fine piece of eye candy. Based on a roman vs Gaul siege. This was early in setup and there were a ton of gauls.....and fast casualties. By the end the board was looking sparse with troops again.

Did a walkby of this one. Gloire maybe? A enviable inn to have a fight in. 

Pulp alley with Space 1889. These are fantastic cloud ships. I was committed to the Borodino game (to be recounted in a future post), otherwise I would have been all over this. 

Super spies I believe. I'd guess 7TV, but I suspect it was some other rule set. Lean amount of terrain but it looks really good. 

Some sort of cowboys vs aliens (that's a crashed ufo in the smoke). 

A hudson and allen castle. I've been looking covetously at one of these for a long time. Seeing it in the flesh doesn't really change my mind. Marvelous stuff. The hoardings are an optional piece (actual wood) which I believe (?) can be lifted off.

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Russian to the front....

Pardon the terrible pun, but I managed to finish my cossacks literally seconds before stepping out the door to catch a ferry to the enfilade convention.

 Doug (Dots of Paint) convinced 6 of us to all paint contigents of troops to help populate his Borodino battle field. After promptly finishing off my first allotment of troops, I went for a stretch goal and added a number of troops including these cossacks. Many have fallen by the wayside, but not these fine fellows.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Hail Caesar: Romans vs Carthiginians

One of the local gamers, Joel, has finished painting up his ancients for Hail Caesar. He invited Nate and myself to play, while he GM'd and familiarized himself with the ruleset. It's quite similar to warmaster and blackpowder with the activations. Units are selected and diced against the commanders leadership. Very good rolls result in multiple moves.

You need to pre-declare your intent, so it's an interesting friction where some troops may fail to activate at all, while others lurch across the table at dizzying speed.

 Joel threw down all his painted stuff, in rough parity, Nate grabbed the Romans, and I took the Carthiginians. In the end it turned out I had about a 20% point advantage (up an elephant and a skirmisher) but it was a fun game none the less. Lots of good natured heckling from all three of us.

While the Romans were loaded up with legions (including some convicts), 2 skirmishers and 2 medium cavalry, My own forces had a mix of gaellic (med) cavalry, horse archers, skirmishers, 3 elephants, and a number of blocks of spearmen.
The special rules aren't too common, or overpowering, but do add a certain character to some national units. In particular, the roman pilum rule seemed pretty kickass.

Monday, May 9, 2016

SAGA Crescent & Cross - last stand AAR

I had a chance to make it over to Vancouver and play with some friends at the monthly Trumpeter gaming night. Cameron (LINK) has been converting a bunch of locals to SAGA over the last two years or so. It started with regular (viking) SAGA, and for a small group of us, we all ordered up 15mm figs for crusader war gaming (Crescent and Cross).

At long last enough of us have painted figs and the opportunity to throw down some lead on the table. I had never played, Grace has played a few times, and Cameron knows the rules. We did a two vs 1+1 battle. I suspect we had the advantage due to the number of saga (activation essentially) dice we got to throw as two individuals rather than one.

The mission was a last stand, after bidding to see how long we thought it'd take us to table our enemy using endless reinforcements we had chosen the same number. Cameron won the dice off, and it was a typical crusader murder fest against the indigenous peoples of the levant.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

15mm Napoleonic French: Old Guard

After running quietly for some time, I've finally managed to clear an old project off the painting queue. In fact, these guys were part of a failed resolution for 2015!

These guys are largely old glory figs, although there's maybe a 1/3 of 'other'. I suspect they are various iterations of minifig, but I'm not that great at these identifications.

They are based for napoleons battles/fire and fury, although many of the newer rule sets are base agnostic, as long as you are consistent.

Part of the massive delay was trying to get enough guys to finish these units such that I'd never, ever, ever, have to come back and do more. Tracking down the numbers I needed was tricky as was trying to understand the guard formations (old, mid, young, constant confusing).

I ended up with 12 bases of both the chassuer (2nd regiment w green and red plumes) as well as the grenadier (1st regiment with the pure reg plume).

Having been painting in 28mm for a while, they don't look quite as splendid as I hoped. I'm pretty stoked to be done with them. The flags could probably be trimmed or painted a bit to get rid of the white. ALL of my 15mm naps need to be based, which I'll probably do as a single marathon endevour. They also need varnishing, which is terrifying with the risk of frosting, so will have to wait to a hot dry day in the summer. 

Monday, February 15, 2016

Basic Fire & Fury: Gettysburg day 1 (pt 2)

We ended the first part with the Right Flank at a turning point. The rebel cavalry had flanked the union defending line, which was anchored by a cannon. The cannon chose to grapeshot the cavalry marching column......and failed to see them off. Bad things are afoot for the union....

While the cavalry is stunned into doing nothing, a small unit of rebels crashes into the artillery, handily routing it. This leads to a breakthrough assault on the flank of the large union unit. Flush with success and hooting their crazed rebel yell, the union is dispatched with such ferocity the entire unit disappears as a viable entity.

This flank is largely a mop up operation for the confederates now, and the cavalry rushes back towards Gettysburg to support the advance.

On the left, which was expected to be an easy go for the confederates, everything is as expected. There's a massive, but slow, breakthrough in the woods.
The union speedbumps on the road are recoiling fast and losing men. 

The rebel left and centre have just about connected, to pressure Gettysberg from multiple directions.

At the town itself, the union reinforcements have fully engaged with the rebel push in the centre. Desperate to change the tempo of the battle, the men in the cornfield advance agressively to try and put a rebel unit out of the battle.

Unfortunately, the cavalry from the right flank chooses this time to reappear and charge into battle.

 History does not repeat itself and the union manages to chase off both the cavalry and the rapidly diminishing rebel brigade facing them.

Despite local successes, the day is lost for the union, as the confederates have handily taken Gettysberg and are still have day light to march on the important hill to the North.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Basic Fire & Fury: Gettysburg day 1 (pt 1)

Nate managed to host another game at the friendly local game store. We played some basic Fire and Fury (as opposed to the newer Regimental F&F), with a minor rule change for faster play/resolution.
The game was set up as the 1st day of Gettysberg, with the Confederates holding a manpower advantage and needing to strike hard towards the town, and displace the blocking union forces. Joel and myself took the Confederates while Nate and a fellow and is son whose names I forgot took the union.

I have never played F&F but was familiar with the rules, having read them. Nate tells me that it's very common for fire fights to bog down to both sides getting disorder and not much happening. As a result, a rule mod was used where disordered units that take another disorder will lose a base instead. It seemed to work very well, and I can really see how it would drag on without this mod.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Front Rank Russian Jaegers (28mm Napoleonics)

The last of the group of front rank Russians I recently completed. I've previously painted up the Perry version of skirmishing jaegers, and I didn't want to duplicate what I had. I also was intrigued by the musician with the french horn/cornet. Apparently these instruments were not very popular with light troops and often 'lost' quickly.

The posture of these guys are pretty fun. Again, you get a lot of choice from the front rank website. The faces look a bit muddy in these pictures, and the pants might be a tad muddy, but generally I'm pleased with how this base turned out.

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Front Rank Russian Pavlov Grenadier (28mm Napoleonics)

Another 28mm offering set up for Doug's General du Corp fast play convention game. This project was a temporary casualty from the move but I've managed to finish it off. I'm quite pleased the with quality of the front rank miniatures. They cleaned up nicely and were very easy to order (and choose the exact poses!). My old mistake was a typo that got me some more infantry instead of riders for the horses I bought. Ooops.

Like most napoleonics the details of what colours to use are quite confusing as it covers a period of 10 (or more) years, with numerous organizational changes. In this case the flag was most confusing (yellow or orange seemed to be the real question). I ended up printing off a flag from the interwebz, and then going over it with some paint to enrichen the colour and cover up some of the pixellation. This was mostly driven by the ink jet starting to get clogged and running slow on certain shades. I'm pleased with how it turned out. 

My one complaint/criticism is that the standard bearer only came with a metal rod, so there was no device on the top. I tried sculpting one in green stuff, but it's a bit large/bodgy which will be much more noticeable when with other standard bearers.