21 September 2016

Recently Painted - Dystopian Wars Belgians

I got a few DW tanks completed this week - some Belgians I picked up on the cheap a week or two ago. In the Dystopian Wars fiction, Belgium is a protectorate of France and are simply just "part of the French OOB. I did paint these guys quite differently from my solid dark red French land forces, figuring the crews would have quite a bit of national pride, not wanting to simply ape "big brother." I did however keep that dark red on the big Liege landship - the mix of camo and solid color turned out well I think, although I debated it for quite a while in my noggin prior!

The Belgian N-3 Liege and French N-5 Bastille

17 September 2016

Mark IV Specials

I finished up three Plastic Soldier Company Panzer IVs this afternoon. They turned out nicely and will be a welcome addition to my 1/72 WW2 collection which is very infantry heavy but gradually is becoming more mechanized. As with other PSC models, They assemble very easily and are a good deal for gamers - in this case three tanks for less than $30. The best thing about them may be the very easy wheels and treads.

I wish I hadn't put the schurzen on the commander's tank, but it was attached very solidly by the time I tried to remove it. No matter - they'll perform just fine on the tabletop!

11 September 2016

Rate of Fire AAR - Eastern Front Action

Ziggy and I played a bit of the ol' Rate of Fire last evening. The 1/72s have been idle for too long, plus there's a deeply ingrained attraction in my psyche for this type of wargame, having cut my teeth on 40K many years ago.

So the set up was a Soviet attack on a German-held position. Ziggy somewhat surprisingly chose to play with the Red horde so I started looking at the village end of the table for defensible positions.

The Red horde begins working forward.

My starting troops were in hidden deployment. I had a PaK40 at position 1, infantry squad at 2 and 4, and a StuG IIIG at 5. 3 and 6 were dummy counters. The road intersection is the Soviet objective. The battle would continue for 12 turns or until one force broke.

Ah... there they are! Man that's a lot...

No need to waste any time. The StuG reveals itself and quickly knocks out one of the SU122s! That should help a bit.

A smoke screen went up in front of my StuG. The remaining SU122 relocates into the woods.

My squad at spot 4 make the sound decision to exit the woods and get to the other side of the hedge.

You can see that the mortar has created yet another smoke screen. Apparently there was next to no wind because the Soviet smoke just would not dissipate. I had moved my assault gun which is what prompted the second smoke template.

It appears that the SU122 has thermal imaging or some such nonsense as it puts a round on my StuG, smashing it easily.

Reinforcements arrive! Another squad of infantry (and a half-squad elsewhere you'll see in a moment).

I had revealed my ATG and had been firing HE towards infantry in the center. Not only had it may NO impression at all, but now it was being assaulted by submachinegunners. Three of the crew had been killed at this point.

But these guys in the woods at spot 2 open up on the Russians at the crossroad and take out three of them right away! Finally something positive.

The half-track infantry occupy the ruined building.

The big picture. My reserve fireteam that had also arrived is towards the lower left. I really could have used another tank or something at this point.

Another God-forsaken smoke screen drops. At least the Soviets have abandoned the objective for now.

My squad behind the hedge now has company. They've held up very well under a constant hail of fire. A squad of reds have occupied the ruined house in the center.

My Aufklarungs who were distracting the submachinegun squad are wiped out! They did manage to weaken the assault squad quite a bit before they departed.

I get the crazy idea to assault the Russians in the ruined house, using their own smoke screen as cover. The plan worked remarkably well, all things considered. I did lose the close combat, 4-3 and my squad was forced to retreat from whence they came. At least I wasn't completely mauled!

My squad behind the hedge is finally taken out by the Russian dogs on turn 10! The Firefight of Blood Hedge will live in our memories for quite a while.

As night-time closed in, the Russians swept over the road intersection. The depleted German force had no choice but to fall back, and quickly!

I didn't do a great job of photo-documenting everything that was going on, but I think the AAR captures most of the import action. Z and I had a good time with the toy soldiers for a couple hours. I think the scenario was fairly well-balanced. When setting up the scenario I completely forgot to limit the amount of smoke ammo the mortar had. Giving it just 5-6 smoke rounds would have been a game changer for sure. It didn't help that once the smoke landed, it steadfastly refused to dissipate. I made a couple mistakes - my positioning of the ATG was lackluster. I should have put it atop the hill on my right. I also should have tried to park the halftrack in a spot that would have been able to leverage its machineguns. Truth is, I was very afraid of the SU122 after it powdered my StuG and the halftrack would have been wrecked just as easily.

Either way... we both had a good time and I'm looking forward to another game of Rate of Fire!

10 September 2016

Ten Tin Men

I completed the second batch of ten Dystopian Legions automatons during the week. They're remarkably fiddly to assemble and for such small figures, they take much longer to put together than to paint.

Nothing earth-shaking but they do look nice all in a row! I've only got six minis left (and the two objective markers) out of that box set. I can't believe I'm this close to being done with it!

04 September 2016

Rubber and Lead Playest 1

Hi all. I've gotten around to mostly finalizing the rules and mechanics of my Hot Wheels car racing and battling game, Rubber and Lead. I've taken inspiration from a handful of game systems and I think I've come up with an absolute gem. Playtesting revealed a few things that need to be "ruled away" but generally speaking its very playable.

Race 1
The cars have just left the start / finish line. Two laps and it's over! Weapons fire is prohibited during the first 6 turns or half a lap, whichever comes first.

Crappy driving is never prohibited though, as Jack O Lantern gets Tee'd up by Watch Your Head.

The pick-up has managed to get away from the pack followed by the convertible. The van and Camaro both had wall-related issues, slowing them down considerably.

The pick-up tries to slow down the convertible but just can't shake him!

Behind the lead pair, the van gives the Camaro a burst from the ol' .50 cal.

The convertible sneaks across the finish line ahead of the pickup to take the checkered flag!

Race 2
Randomly selected cars for the second run. The Pickup draws the Pole.

The pack works its way 'round the first corner.

As soon as it's allowed, mines and oil are dropped on the track!

The flatbed gives Yellow the high hard one.

Big blue puts the pain on the flatbed with a cannon shot!

The flatbed spins out in the oil, letting the pickup get away!

Moments later, the flatbed finished off the blue delivery van with a flamethrower burst only to in turn be taken out by the yellow sports car who'd been trailing the whole race.

So yeah, that was wicked fun. I need to define a few situations I wasn't expecting such as wall collisions and I had to re-create my starting grid because wrecks were virtually guaranteed on move 2 or 3. I am very happy with how this is turning out - there will definitely be more!

02 September 2016

Rain Rain Go Away

That's one metric crap-ton of rain we're getting this morning. Surprising amount of thunder and lightning too.

Everyone have a great weekend!

28 August 2016

PaK-ed Full of Gingerbread

I finished up an Airfix 1/72 PaK40 yesterday, purchased alongside the SU-122s in the prior post. I still have the prime mover on the paint table - its assembly was considerably more involved that the gun.

We hung out with our friends Dennis and Shelley last evening and played a couple of games. Shootin' Ladders proved quite entertaining.

It's a shoot-em-up involving homicidal gingerbread men "crumbling" eachother on the classis kid game Chutes and Ladders' layout. We played a simple free-for-all and I fared pretty well, collecting two body parts. My wife won, being the first to collect three body parts. As you may be able to tell from the sheets shown to the left, when a body part takes 6 points of damage it is torn from the sheet. My sheet was given some embellishments...

I've been working on these Dystopian Legions Automatons for the last week or so. They are the worst models ever, assembly-wise. Two arms, two legs, a body, a head sometimes a gun... Christ Almighty! I can't believe I finished the other ten months ago! I don't remember them being such a pain.