21 November 2017

Elfin Magic!

I've got some time off this week. I've been taking Thanksgiving week off for years and really do look forward to it. I haven't done much of note, but I did get a dozen 15mm dark elves painted up for Dragon Rampant.







I've got 12 others about to go on nails for painting - crossbow-armed nutters. I also have some skeletal chariots for the undead contingent. Maybe they'll join the ranks of the finished by the end of the week!

20 November 2017

Happy TANKSgiving - Two AARs

Over the weekend, Mike hosted his annual Tanks-giving gaming get-together and of course David and I had to make the 120 mile trek. On the menu this year were Dystopian Wars: Fleet Action and Blitzkrieg Commander.

DWFA was set up first. I'd brought two forces, French and Prussians, allies in the DW alternate history. Opposing them would be the British and Russians. Being a tank-themed event, it was a land battle with the minor exception of an Eclipse Company airship recruited by the Brits to pad their numbers.

So, managing the Brits and Russians were Mike, Alec, David and Lee. Ace and I split the French while James and Sarah led the Prussian contingent. I won't attempt a detailed battle report because most of what followed over the next three and a half hours was a series of insults and jeers as we all settled into our national stereotypes for a bit of roleplaying with our wargaming.

Our battlefield and two of our opponents.

Our patient host.

The French mobile airfield moves towards the hill in front of it, accompanied by many smaller tanks. It may be worth noting that one of my two artillery pieces, in the extreme foreground, had already been destroyed by the British arty.




At some point during turn 2...  Lee and Sarah showed up a bit late, but better late than never. After turn 1, the Anglo-Russian alliance were ahead 9-2. The Prussians had made a deep push on our right flank but appeared to be getting pulled into a Russian trap. The Brits in front of me and Ace were content to focus fire on my Danton landship.

Hey, it still has two hull points!

Sarah's small tanks get up the hill and begin flanking the Russian trap as the big Russian drill surfaces and disgorges its cargo of three more tanks.

Blimp's-eye view.

Big Stompy charges into the Russian line, destroying a couple of tanks. James knew the writing was on the wall for the big guy and wanted to get in a few extra kills before his big 'bot was destroyed.

I wanted to do the same with my Danton, except that Ace had parked a tank in front of it, restricting my movement.

 Mike's artillery then cut loose like a deuce on the ol' Bastille on wheels.

And it was no more...
Smiling faces of our opponents.

This was followed quickly by David putting paid to the Metzger. Two heavy hitters gone in the blink of an eye. To add insult to injury, when Ace rolled his airfield right up to the death zeppelin, he whiffed with every attack!

The final insult as Dave's drill smashes through a tiny stand of Prussian Walze tanks.

So, from that last picture you get a good sense of the class and graciousness of our opponents. I jest. It was a terrific game, marred by horrifying dice rolls on our side and good, if not great, dice rolling by our opponents. James was the only player on our side whose dice weren't completely miserable. Final score - 50 to 30 in favor of Mike, Alec, David and Lee. Congrats, and on to the next!

For BKC, we switched up teams a bit and a bit of a staffing change. Ace, Mark and Alec were on team Germany with me, while David, Mike, Matt and James for team Soviet Union. Though the game was technically set in 1944, we had a motley collection of equipment fielded and the battle amounted to a line-up and shoot. Given the feistiness of the players, it was just as well. Nothing too complex.

Most of the players... Matt has brain damage and can't control what his hands do.

My lovelies. I was to just hang onto the right flank as best I could with a mere seven Panzer IVs, two blobs of infantry and two PaK40s (in the wheatfield).

SU152s, T-34s and KVs across the map from me.

James' (behind the field) and David's (behind the buildings) tanks.

The battle began in earnest on our left flank with Ace and Alec pushing up the hill opposite David's 85s.

In the hour and eighteen minute-gap since the start of the game, I had passed exactly one command roll and my slackers had moved almost nowhere.

I was presented with some targets atop the central hill and began firing with my tanks. Finally, some fun!

Mark's Tiger IIs in our center, behind that pond, absolutely dominated the gumball alley in the middle - a good thing for us because I wasn't doing anything and about 2/3rds of our forces were on the left side cut off from us by the hilltop and woods.

Mike and Matt eventually got their tanks to the ridge in front of me and began hitting my position. My Mk IVs didn't stand up well to the challenge.

My two functional tanks hit the gas and re-deployed to the field to join with the anti tank guns that had actually been complete killing machines.

The far side of the table. Alec and Ace had made a significant push forward and made quite a mess.

By 10:00, with a two-hour ride home looking at us, we wrapped up the game. We tallied up kills and the Germans had won by a roughly 2:1 margin - quite shocking but I needed a win after the beating that was Dystopian Wars! I rather enjoyed BKC and am sure I'll be playing more of it in the future. David liked it as well. We've both purchased the 2nd edition rules PDF.

Another great Tanksgiving come and gone. James has a post on his blog too, here.  I'm psyched for Memorial Day now!

13 November 2017

A Little Weekend Painting

Mike wants to play Blitzkrieg Commander next weekend at our TANKSgiving gathering in Waycross. It's a bold choice since he's very noobish on the game and the rest of the players are equally unfamiliar. I picked up the rules on Wargames Vault to get familiar with it, but there's a big difference between reading and playing.

That said, he was recruiting for additional forces so I volunteered by 6mm Germans. Because I had a few in the lead pile, I told him I'd finish up the rest of the tanks and ATGs for his game. So... Saturday morning I had hulls on nails and guns on bases.

Step 1 - clean the models and get 'em ready for paint!

And before you know it, job's done! By Saturday evening I had eight Panzer IVs and  two PaK40s ready for prime time.

I threw together a few extra command stands Sunday. Having looked at some BKC force lists online, it seems the number required may be a bit higher than I anticipated. I'm looking forward to playing on Saturday, I just hope it's not too much of a confused mess with Mike's decision to run a game he's not super familiar with.

05 November 2017

Big Tank

It took seemingly forever, but finally my big steampunk tank is done. I picked it up many months ago - maybe as much as a year or more. I remember the purchase because it was heavily discounted - $18. It's a Dystopian Legions model, RIP Spartan Game. It's a nice heavy chunk of resin with a few metal bits and pieces. I put the two 32mm VASA Suppressors in there to give it some sense of scale.





One of these days I'll put a game together and put this sucker on the table, but until then, it's a just good buy that's finally out of the painting queue!

AAR - Check Your 6 Jet Age - Hornets and Fulcrums!

CY6 made it back on the table Saturday afternoon. Inspired by a scenario I found on the Yahoo groups, I trimmed down Shaska Flight a bit and made it more suitable for two players. It's a fairly straightforward engagement of Soviet MiG-29s and RCAF CF-18 Hornets. The planes are very evenly matched. David chose the MiGs and I was quite happy with the Hornets.

Jean Claude and Jean Pierre - my pair for the day.

Big Red and Shocka - our reps from the Evil Empire.

We started a long way off from each other. I fired off two Sparrows down range but couldn't connect. One AA-10 was sent back but also failed to find its target. 


Jean Pierre finally gets a lock and launches a Sparrow at Shocka. It connects in a gout of flame! The Mig was still in the air, and undamaged at that! 

He needed an 11 or 12... Blast!

A few seconds of twisty-turny later, Big Red and Jean Claude take head-on gunshots at one another. Although both planes are hit by a couple stray rounds, neither plane is damaged.

But just then, Jean Pierre gets tone on Big Red who has drifted into the danger zone!

One Sidewinder later, Big Red is done.

Shocka gets around and behind JC. An AA-8 is launched. The Hornet's evasive maneuvers pay off and the missile goes wide.

Jean Pierre's quick Immelman gets him behind the MiG. A burst of gunfire again connects with the Russian but again fails to damage! 

The MiG flew off the nearest table edge, conceding the dogfight. A tightly fought affair and a nice way to spend an afternoon. Perhaps our next game will feature more than just dogfighting. I'd like to put a recon plane with some objective locations to get more of a scenario feel, but the dogfights are just fine too!

29 October 2017

This Week's Painting

I got the Rebel counterparts to the recently finished T-55s finished up yesterday. Along with those T-55s, I picked up some Battlefront M113s for the MCC forces.




The kits themselves were a bit fiddly. More model than wargame miniature to be sure, but the went together easily enough and had a wonderful selection of extra bits. I used a couple of trim vanes, a cupola, a recoilless rifle and some side track covers to give the group a bit of a mix and match look. The top hatches can be modeled either open or closed. They really are solid kits. Here's a look at the accessory sprue, of which four come in the box.

There are bits for mortars, flamethrowers, miniguns, grenade launchers, etc. I'm excited about getting together a game of Sabre Squadron to give the new bits a try.