Thursday, 19 January 2017

W/WW2 German reinforcements

One of my personal goals for this year's painting challenge was to try and build up my WW2/Weird War collection a bit and bulk out the Commandos and Heer that I've done over the last 2 years.

I picked up one of those pick and mix German army deals from Warlord a while back with some discount vouchers, grabbing some grenadiers and pioneers to mix and match parts for a more ragtag looking late war feel where uniforms wold have been all over the shop.

The pioneer set is a pretty good deal, with lots of plastics as well as a few metal figures and conversion bits. Some of the metal components really don't seem to fit the plastics though, so I'm not entirely sure how they are supposed to work. One of my favourite models in the set is the Goliath. At least the German's remote controlled bomb was better than the Russian bomb-dogs, even if it was significantly slower. There is also an engineer laying down showing off his nice new hedge clippers

The box set also has an anti-tank rifle team for some of those heavy infantry squads that will no doubt appear if I ever get a game in.

We have an MG42 team that can either be put into one of the infantry squads, or take one of the riflemen and turn it into an MMG team for some more static support.

Supporting this is one 10 man squad of basic, rifle toting infantry, with one Panzerfaust for a bit of anti-armour if required. these are a combination of bits from the Grenadier and Pioneer kits. I know this gives a bit of a mish-mash of uniform styles that may cause some people to have sleepless nights, but I'm aiming for weird war here, rather than historical accuracy... so it doesn't really bother me much.

And a super assault-y elite infantry squad with an officer, 1 smg/panzerfaust and 6 assault rifles. By Konflikt rules, this is fine and dandy. I can even add the MG42 team to this to make it even more obscene. For normal BA games, these could be split across multiple squads or used as a very well (if not historically accurate) Volksgrenadier squad. In Achtung! Cthulhu these would either count as Black Sun Elite and remain as-is, or be split into pairs and spread across the Wehrmacht squads for a bit of additional kick.

Last night I got to play my first ever game of Bolt Action against another new player. We'd borrowed two forces from some of the regular players, so Matt ended up with a German force and I ended up with 1000 points of US troops to play with. I lost (as always), but there were some spectacular activations on both sides. My highlights were a tank hunter assault against a Panzer taking it out in very easily and an understrength infantry unit armed with rifles assaulting a building containing a maximum strength Volksgrenadier unit, armed to the teeth with as many assault rifles as is legally allowed in the squad.

This has given me a lot of inspiration to try and flesh out two full BA forces to play with. Unfortunately, it has also made me want to go back and improve them all as I can see a lot of problems with this lot and all the past squads. I also want to rebase everything that was on clear bases to match the ones above, otherwise mixing units is going to look off.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

New Year Resolution 1 - Tick!

Coming into this year I had a few resolutions in terms of gaming.

1) Try and complete some of the batches of figures already in the house. The Challenge is helping with this one and yesterday's batch of German infantry and finishing these two taks that have been in the backlog for years has helped kick start this and provide some inspiration to keep on going.

2) Actually try to get some games in this year. Preferably learning some of the systems that I've picked up over the last few years. For years I've been meaning to go and join the Wargames Association of Reading as they meet about 5 minute drive form where I live. These are the guys that put on Warfare each year, so it seems rude not to go and say hello and start having somewhere to go and try new things. So last night I went along to have a chat and ended up sitting with two guys called Steve as they muddled their way through some experiments with the beta of Flames of War v4.

It looks interesting, but some of the new rules are apparently slowing things down. A game that should have taken them an hour or so ended up being over 3 due to wound allocations and an equivalent to 40k's Look Out Sir. From the people that have tried the beta so far, most of them seem to be wanting a half-way house between 3 and 4 that just simplifies some rules without overcomplicating others. Not having tried either before I'm not entirely sure I can comment... but they have offered to loan me an army for some demo games soon.

Next week I have a demo game set up for Bolt Action against another club newb. Neither of us have tried BA before and neither of us are using our own armies either

Tuesday, 27 December 2016

Oh you are kidding me

Couldn't the grim reaper take Christmas off? This year has been ridiculous for important cultural figures being taken too early. Early in the year we had Bowie, Alan Rickman, Victoria Wood and Prince (amongst far far too many others). To round out Christmas we've now lost Carrie Fisher... I just hope we're done for the next year or so. RIP Princess Leia

Sunday, 25 December 2016

Happy Christmas!

A very merry seasonal greeting to everyone. I hope you were all good and got lots of nice presents this year! I got a couple of fantastic presents from the Santa Clause and Secret Santa groups this year; thank you so much to everyone involved in those!

Through the Santa Clause I got sent some awesome heavy armoured Germans from Konflikt '47. I've had my eye on these for quite some time, so thank you very much! I'd love to know what colours were used so I can add to the group

Also a big thank you to my Secret Santa for the big selection of figures from CP. Some great Federation troopers and some sci-fi civilians. They will do really nicely for 7TV, thank you! 

I've spent the last few weeks busily painting up presents for my Santa Clause victi... targets as well as presents for some friends. The Santa Clause figures were interesting as I got to paint up some things I wouldn't normally do; I just hope they go down well. I may reveal them in the new year, if I'm feeling brave. Assuming they are well received ;)

Outside of the Santa Clause, I tend to paint up a few figures for close friends as it is slightly more personal. Aidan has recently taken up Blood Bowl, so I picked up the two Forge World refs last week and squeezed them into the first entry for this year's Analogue Hobbies challenge, netting my opening 10 points. These two were very characterful figures, which made them entertaining to paint as there are lots of hidden details that you only really spot when working on them up close

Matt, on the other hand, doesn't get much time to play any more, but does have a nice little shelf of things friends have made for him. So each year I expand it a bit further. Last year was the Prisoner and Number 2. This year is Tim the Enchanter; one of the bonus figures from the Black Plague kickstarter

Friday, 23 December 2016

Laptop death

Just in time for Christmas, my laptop has decided to give up the ghost... so my apologies for the radio silence recently. I can't believe how expensive a new Mac would be... an Alienware top end gaming laptop is about half the price of the base level Macbook Pro! Time to go back to Windows me thinks.

Anyhoo. Time has mostly been spent painting up presents for Santa Clause, but today I finally managed to put the finishing touches to three figures for the Analogue Hobbies challenge.

It was a bit of a relief to be able to start on the challenge again as I've been preparing and stockpiling figures for ages. Typically now I've finished the bits I needed to do urgently, I don't really fancy anything in the painting pile :/

I guess I should move onto a tank or two for the first bonus round before I get too distracted by that pile of Weird War stuff that is staring at me.

Saturday, 19 November 2016

It is all-out Warfare today

Like a few other people on my blogroll, I went to Reading's annual gaming show, Salute, this morning. Given that it is about a mile from home, it would be daft not to. I nearly ended up helping out on the Modiphius stand, but one of their team ended up making it. Still, I spent a fair chunk of time with them chatting away about one thing and another and ended up signing up for the Star Trek RPG playtest. This netted me the first acquisition of the day, in the shape of  the preview Captains, Kirk and Picard. If the rest of the miniature range are as good... damn this is going to be hard to resist. The models are absolutely perfect representations of the two actors. They are very truescale figures... no giant hands and accessories, or overstated creases in clothing, but the casting is so well done that it hasn't turned into a blobby nothing.

I also had a run through the Achtung! Cthulhu skirmish demo and managed to massacre Chris' Marines with my Black Sun troops supported by some Servitors. We only got to do some basics like move and combat, but it looks promising.  I'm looking forward to trying this with the strategy card decks and magic mixed in as well.

After that, I went shopping and picked up some essentials like undercoat and grass tufts before turning to some more bits and pieces for the upcoming Western project. These will appear throughout the painting challenge this year hopefully.... so no sneak peeks.

There were some stunning tables in the gaming area. My favourite two were the snowy Chain of command game going on in the middle of the room

And the Minions racing game at the back

There are plenty of other photos on Jim's blog

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Overdue payments

It is coming to that point in the year when the Analogue Challenge starts up again (hopefully!), so some unfinished bits in the backlog are being finished to make way for new projects to be started. The most recent one of these is a German officer for Konflikt '47. This probably gives you a hint what is coming this year, other than all those space marines.

The Germans are not getting the clear bases as I've got some metal ones that I really can't be bothered to debase. This weekend is Reading's yearly gaming event, Warfare, so I get to stock up on flowers for basing.

With the run-up to AHPC, it was about time I actually sorted out a figure for Curt from last year's challenge. I'm really sorry that it has taken so long Curt, he will be going in the post shortly! He is one of the Kickstarter exclusive characters from Zombicide Black Plague that has a passing resemblance to some historical risk taker from Scotland who was played by someone very definitely not Scottish.