Sunday, November 26, 2017

Undocumented work: Jungles

I was swapping emails with a local gamer and tried to send him pictures of some of the terrain I'd made. Turns out I'd never put pictures on my blog. Even more surprisingly, I didn't have pictures. Ver strange because I could swear I took a photo when I finished the project. Strange stuff.

These are jungle terrain bases on CDs. I got the idea from Too Fat Lardies walkthrough for "charlie don't surf". It took me a coon's age to track down the dark green 'grassy' door mat stuff. Months and an international border before I spotted one in point roberts. Pain in the posterior to stuff in my backpack and motorbike with it. Even more annoying that now I see them regularly in many hardware stores. I must have been ahead of my time.

The original pictures appear to be casualties of the photobucket shakedown that has screwed a lot of blogs recently. Basically you use cake topper palm trees, various aquarium plants, doormat grass, hot glue gun, and (for me) pumice gel media.

I find the palm trees too cartoony and too short. I'd like to make some extra bases with taller palms to make a 'triple canopy' type thing. The cd shinyness also seems to peek through too much. I suspect hitting this stuff with primer before hand might help.....although it might just flake off and leave a worse bond. Though I've noted a bunch of damaged trees that need some fixing (off picture there's probably another 8ish bases) so I probably shouldn't store them at the bottom of a rubber maid container with all the extress build materials on top (dur).

Friday, September 29, 2017

Columns from the East.....More Perry Russian Napoleonics

Marching out of the painting pile, I have a host of Russians (plastic and metal Perry figs) reinforcements for my 'General du Corp' Russian Army. As mentioned before these rules are convention fast play set by Doug over at Dots of Paint blog.

Hoping to one day have enough figs of my own to host a game I long ago decided to aim for enough figs for '3 corp'....ish.  Looking at the OOB of the battles makes me realize it's very helpful to have friends contributing....I am often impressed by Doug's wisdom in his approach to gaming.

Above are the old style grenadier with the 'busch' style plume (pipe cleaners I think some call them). 

The remaining 5 bases are regular line infantry.
I FINALLY used the flags from the plastic box set. I can see with future expansions (if any) that I'll need to score some more flags to avoid duplicates (or use the plain white regimental flags a lot more.

These fellows are my 'lazy line', as the standard bearers have shouldered their kit. Even the drummer and officer are taking it pretty relaxed. The standard emblems have an unfortunate tendency to fall off and didn't make it into the picture prior to repair.
The final base with a single metal fellow wiping his brow. Painting is hard work!

Monday, September 18, 2017

All Units Engage - Basic Infantry Operations Review

Thomas of Peabody games has put out a free intro for all units engage (wargame vault link). At nine pages, including a roster, this is a nice tight package which isn't too demanding of your printer ink. It's very much an intro with a single basic mission and uses 5 models per side (AUE calls each independently activated/moved 'thing' a unit so in this case it's 5 single model units).

Having seen some of the beta versions of the full rules I have some extra insights, but I'll try and limit myself to review just this document.  It's important to recognize that AUE is positioning itself to be a generic set of rules that is very easy to adapt to your setting/figures/era of modern and forward (near future, sci fi, post apoc, etc). There should be additional books released that help flesh out various settings/eras and give example stats. I know that Thomas is very keen on getting the post apocalyptic setting ready to serve his own current gaming tastes.

TL;DR Summary:
I'm looking forward to seeing more of these rules. While superficially simple they end up yielding a surprising depth of tactical decision making. It wasn't uncommon for my opponent and myself to ponder on how we were going to setup for the next turn or even how to make our plan work the current turn. In turn 5 of our game my opponent noted that I had  pre-empted his own planned series of reactions to achieve his goals.

Considering this is free and will take up about 2-2.5 hours of your time including setup and reading the rules there's no reason not to try it out. Go ahead, the link is right here.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

15mm Carthaginian Army II - Spanish, Gauls, Numidians & Balearic

The second part of my Carthaginian army. These are all Old Glory figs bought as part of the Late Carthagian Army Pack. They are based for fields of glory. Basing is on mdf bases from minibase, with tea leaves and static grass. I may still varnish them in the future, but they are 'done'.

Balearic Slingers. Light foot. First unit painted.

Spanish Scutarii. Medium foot. Pardon the  washed out pic. I was fiddling with the camera (phone) settings.

Gallic warriors.  Heavy foot. Shields include a number of 'little big man transfers'. They don't have an old glory set so I got another manufacturer set and the selection of decals didn't match the shield selection well and required a lot of trimming and bodging.

Numidian javelinmen. Light foot. 2nd unit painted. Little big man transfers. 

Numidian light cavalry (2 units). 3rd unit painted. Little big man transfers.  Camera caught the edge of the studio set....horrors!

Gallic Cavalry. Shields all hand painted. Fancy clothing is very slow to paint. 

Spanish Cavalry.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

15mm Carthaginian Army I - Core Troops

I've finally got my picture set up ready to go again. Here are the 15mm Carthaginians I recently completed. They are mostly Old Glory figures, from their late Carthaginian Field of glory army pack. One of my buddies was cleaning out his stash and gave me a bunch of corvus belli ancients, which I believe have moved over to Bueda.

Basing is on mdf from minibases, and with tea leaves and static flock. Varnishing may happen in the future.

Carthage cavalry. Bueda/Corvus Belli. Some of the last figs painted. Shield transfers from Little Big Man Studios.

Heavy foot. First of these veteran African spearmen I painted. The transfers don't like the very rounded shields to much. Later iterations I figured out how to make relaxation cuts to help with the problem.

 African Heavy foot. Colour scheme was copied off Joels 28mm carthage spearmen. It might be sacred band colours? Which I think by the late period don't really exist anymore.

African heavy foot. Last unit to be painted. These are Bueda/Corvus Belli. The spears are seperate and a hassle to glue. They also break off occasionally. Boo.

Poeni. Med foot. I needed to bump up the order size for better shipping and a bigger discount. Knowing nothing I chose these guys. They are basically militia. You can take them as poor troops, or terrible ones. Whoo. Helps fill holes in the line I suppose. All shields were hand painted (and look a bit tatty). I'm also dubious about the orange colour, but thought that there is a lot of neutral tones already and best to add splashes of colour.

Elephants! Of course I took the picture of the wonky eye on one. Also, the 'spears' were simply wire. I sculpted a bit head on them. Probably standard poles, but I didn't want to bother with flags at this point.

 Leaders. I aimed for a mix of colours from the various units I had painted. The green heavy spearmen arrived after I had painted these guys.

Friday, August 18, 2017

FoG - Carthagians hit the table

General Nate and myself got another game of Fields of Glory in recently. For the first time I tabled my own painted forces, which is always exciting. The Carthaginians I received early of 2016 so it's been a while, but then again a finished project is pretty amazing. I'll have to do a parade post soon.

My opponents were the Gauls, who it seemed often were either facing even odds in combat, or had slight edges. It was quite disconcerting, outnumbered, without any obvious advantage. I suspect this is the nature of the Carthaginian army....lots of options but not great at anything. What a choice....

To battle after the jump

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

All Units Engage (playtest) - The Raid

Thomas (Peabody here!) is a gamer with many irons in the fire. I was fortunate enough to hang out with him recently and get to play test his set of development rules "All Units Engage". Being a longterm active gamer with strong feelings, Thomas has cherry picked his favorite game mechanisms, rejected the ones he doesn't like, and worked like a dog to lean things down to a fast play easy to learn/remember game set. I think he is well on his way.

We played on a 3x3 table with 15mm figs, but the system is scale agnostic. Having never played I was able to quickly get a handle on the turn flow, and even the tactical implications of decisions within 2 turns. There are a whole raft of missions, but they largely divide into balanced (for the competitive minded), asymmetric (for those who aren't bothered by 'fair' fights), and home/away/neutral (which have a fun mechanic when you capture objectives that make you roll on a random tables to gain...or suffer...effects based on whether you are on friendly, neutral, or hostile battle fields. Great stuff for ladder campaigns.

The turn is alternating unit activation. Both players dice off at the top of the turn and suffer modifiers for lost or pinned units. Units have 2 actions (move, fire, aim, unpin, capture objective being the most common) with each action being fully concluded before the next. Reserve fire and movement allow for overwatch/reaction by the enemy. Unit profiles are quite light with move, will, armour and combat ability. Weapons have their own stat line (such as automatic rifle, heavy machine gun, autocannon). Up to 2 Special perks/abilites allow for more chrome/differentiation of unit, and this can be wrapped up in 'theatre special rules' (this allows you to state all your insurgent troops/Viet Cong have some special ability without filling those 2 slots).

The 'Raid' is one of the asymmetric scenarios where some crack troops are racing in and capturing an objective held by second stringers. They are heavily outnumbered and need to grab and go. The victory points definitely favour the defender in any sustained engagement (who need to secure a random objective as well). The scenario probably needs some slight tweaking to unit profiles and/or vp as it's still pretty challenging for the attacker. It's a great scenario for learning the ropes of vehicular combat and air operations (the attackers get some sort of flyer (helicopter/vtol) while the defenders get some sort of light combat car (armoured car/technical/jeep)).

Thomas is very excited about the wide scope that the rules can be used for and I can quite easily see it myself. Combat is pretty bloody but the escalating morale penalties for lost men causes a lot of pins and lost actions instead of single man units charging to their doom. The VP's in this scenario certainly encouraged hunting and killing of units.
My troops die in close combat to veterans

I'm looking forward to following the development of the rules (there's a facebook group), and hopefully get some of my small number of painted figs on the table for short fast games.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

GdC: Battle of Mateitna

Once more back into the fray! Doug (of Dots of Paint) hosted his annual wargaming bash. Once again we were treated to a Guard du Corp mass battle (fast play convention rules set which sounds as though it's getting *very* close to being finalized). We were teased with 'it's a historical battle, but not a napoleonic one'. At least one of our American comrades puzzled it out and Doug briefed us. The battle is Anteitam (spelled backwards as the map is reorientated on the compass).....the french are the confederate defending a town just over the river, which includes a set of fortifications/sunken road, against a much superior force. The russian/prussian force is the union who historically was led by McLellan.....not the most aggressive or daring commander. The troops are activated progressively during the day. I'm not sure if this was due to space limitations to advance, or an intentional 'echelon' type attack, or foolishness (my history on ACW being pretty weak).

 French in the lower right. Defending the corn/wheat fields to the left, and two river crossings on the top.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Guns of Liberty: The battle of Emesar

While the real fight rages inland the cunning Americans send a force to seize the supply lines of the British. A scratch force of red coats moves to secure their lines of communication and a battle quickly brews up between Generals Brewster (Patriots) and Stevenson (British) near the farm of Emesar.

Thursday, May 18, 2017

LONGSTREET: 1st game - 1861 General Stevens grand push

Nate, always a fan of the ACW, was convinced to try out longstreet, a ruleset I've owned for some time but hasn't had an airing yet. We grabbed the stock 1861 forces, flipped for who was the union and confederates, and got to gaming.

General Stevens, a confederate mexican war veteran, has been tasked with driving off the union blocking force of General Brewer (a well connected officer). With complete parity of men and equipment, Stevens has managed to draw off one of the union regiments which will arrive late to the defense of nowheresville.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Perry French Heavy Cavalry

I've had a large number of figs on my painting tray, so progress has been painfully slow. As enfilade (the convention in Olympia in May) approaches, I realized I needed to focus on the most time critical stuff. I managed to finish banging out these guys (which still leaves me with some projects to finish with some celerity).

The Perry's are lovely to assemble and paint. Inconveniently there are 14 in the box, and Doug's convention rules set, General du Corp, uses cavalry in 3's. I therefore have a 2/3's finished base, waiting for another horseman to be pillaged from my next purchase of Perry figs.

Not the best photos, but it's been busy lately. I do have the lovely pink, yellow, and red trim on the Cuirassier , as well as a representative stand of the Carabinier.

I suppose this last shot a decent WIP of how the basing goes.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Murdock's 100 day campaign: Battle for Yvoire

I managed to meet up with David (Murdock's Mauraders) to resolve one of the battles generated in his 100 days campaign. It's day three of the french offensive, and they are seeking to drive across the Boeq river at the crossing by Yvoire. A division of Prussians are defending the town.

The evening before the french had arrived South of the crossing, so both sides are well aware that the other is there. Piquets and out riders report there are french cavalry approaching from the East, already on the North side of the river.  As dawn cracks, the french begin their assault. 

Friday, March 10, 2017

Napoleon's Battles: First game Ru/Au vs It/Sax

Nate has gotten a fire in his belly to play some Napoleon's Battles. He has been steadily working on Austrians and Russians and, at last, we had enough troops to have a go at it (borrowing some italians and saxons as opposing forces). The scenario is that the allied Saxons and Italians are covering the retreat of the French army over a river after fierce fighting at leipzeig. The Russians and Austrians are trying to cut off this route of retreat. 

More after the cut.....

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Star Wars Armada: Game 2

Once again I dropped in on my friend for a game of armada. Since I'm pretty clueless on the game, he has been making balanced forces. This time we played with some of the smaller support ships, and more fighters.

Our mission was to pick up 'intelligence' tokens, with a single nominated ship on each side. We both 'cleverly' hid the tokens in the asteroid fields, and set up for a head to head pass. Garret used a fast blockade runner, while I was hoping to explode him with my Gladiator. Unfortunately I've found the gladiator is a knife fighter that is incredibly tricky to actually get into firing range. Boo.

The rebels had admiral ackbar who adds a sick amount of firepower to all the broadsides, which ended up being pretty punishing over the game.

More after the jump....

Friday, February 17, 2017

Star Wars Armada: first play

Crush the sci fi terrorist!
 I've managed to locate another war gamer locally. A great find of high caliber: he has both sides of numerous games....painted! We met up for a first game of Star Wars armada. I randomly drew the imperials (secretly I was hoping to play the star destroyers).

There's an interesting mission selection mechanic where each player builds three options into their list. The dice off for initiative determines which players choices get used. Having no idea what we were doing we random selected a mission which ended up with the imperials getting to hyperspace jump in one smaller ship and 3 groups of fighters into the middle of the board later in the game.

 This game seems to theme, and reward, the player who can predict what till be happening/needed in the future. 

There are 4 types of commands you order up (roughly damage control, shoot more/better, change speed/turn harder, get more fightyness from your fighters). The big/slow ships have to queue up their orders up to 3 turns in advance.

Firing happens before movement, so you remove a crutch most players don't realize they have where they can move into better range before letting loose with their guns.

 The movement ruler is articulated and ships are allowed certain numbers of 'clicks' of turning each space interval. It's pretty clever and easy to learn to use, but quite restrictive maneuvering wise for the big ships. Very thematic. We both ran into space hazards, and my opponent managed to bumper car his own ships a couple of times.

The ships end up with quite a different flavour. I particularly notice my smaller star destroyer was a pig to move and turn. There's a variety of defensive tokens that each ship gets, which also conveys a difference in how each ship functions in battle (ex nebulon b frigates have 2 evade tokens, whereas the big star destroyer has none). 

I was soundly thrashed by my opponent. I think poor setup (I didn't get my big ship where it was much use, and my small ships ended up directly facing his bruisers), and a failure to capitalize on my hyperspace ambush (I popped in right as everything was flying out of range of my guns) weighed pretty heavily. It also takes a bit of time to grok a new game. 

I'm totally looking forward to getting in some more games, as it has a very cool look, and seems to play reasonably fast.

We figure a bit under 3 hours with 'tournament point value' including rules explanations, occasional rules look ups, & general unfamiliarity (i.e. thinking hard about what to do for each phase, rather than it being fairly obvious what the better options are).  I could easily see this dropping to 2 with a second or third game.

Monday, February 13, 2017

SAGA Crecent and Cross - God will recognize his own

I managed a trip over to Vancouver just in time for the snowpocalypse of 2016. After a day of slushing about with a substandard miniatures carrying solution, I finally arrived in the evening for a game of SAGA with friends.

We played 4 pt warbands, with two of us on each team (8 pts total). The mission was "God will recognize his own" - you only score points for killing in melee, most killing-est team wins, and troops are recycled back onto the board.

Cameron and Jenn led the fanatically hospitaller and crusader forces (including a large group of pilgrim levy). Grace and myself commanded the saracens and mutatawi (including camelry!).

 There was much hilarity as each side some some consistent 'hot' rolling while their opponents couldn't manage to roll dice to save themselves. This, of course, reversed later in the game.

Recycling of troops always gets wacky as suicide squads charge in off the edge of the table to poach off the reduced squads that had killed those same figures the turn before.

The spot lighting was pretty rough for camera work, but I like to think that  the long shadows represent dusk, or a dust storm or something.

While great fun playing, I did have a number of spear and shield injuries. My travel case obviously needs some work to better protect my men from the hostile public transit environment.