09 August 2020

Updated "Blogger" Controls

 I'm curious... for those of you out there who use Google's Blogger platform for hosting your own blogs, what are your thoughts about the new interface and controls? There are enough small changes to just really irritate me. I won't be changing to a different platform; that would be too severe of a shift. Having been in the IT industry since 1991, I've seen many cases of "change for change's sake," and I'm having a hard time picking up in the value created by these changes.

If I didn't mention it in an earlier post, my usual gaming buddy Ziggy is currently deployed in the Middle East. He's a loadmaster on a C-130. Expected home in mid-October. Here's to him and all of you service-members out there. Stay safe! No more nasty ISIS jackasses shooting at your plane!

08 August 2020

Teen Titans and the Kobra Kult

 Mark and Wayne came over for a game of Batman Miniatures lase weekend. It was the first outing for both the Teen Titans and the Kobra Kali Yaga. I used the Titans, a small group of Hawk, Dove, Beast Boy and Robin. Wayne and Mark split the 8-member Kobra team between them. It was an ambush scenario with my heroes in the center of the layout, surrounded. 

The layout. Hawk and Dove are in the center. BB and Robin are on the roof of a building towards the back. They're both very mobile and can get anywhere very quickly.

Hawk and Dove move over to engage Eve and three of her henchmen.

Meanwhile, Robin and Beast Boy, in hawk form, descend upon the Void Priest, intent on a quick knock-out.

The original Hawk tangles with Eve. He may have underestimated his opponent.

Eve's goons lend a hand. Hawk's in big trouble now.

Robin leaves the Void Priest to Beat Boy and dashes over to assist Hawk and Dove. He intercepts Nagas who is closing in.

Beast Boy has shifted form into a Tiger and takes out the priest.

But things just are not going well for our heroes. Dove is taken out by a Kobra soldier and a Hybrid snake-man. 

Poor Dove.

Robin and Beast Boy run for it. They've lost both Hawk and Dove and time's nearly up! 

But then, Robin doubles-back, impetuously trying to get the last laugh. But it's the Kobra Kali-Yaga who prove to be a tough nut to crack. They're ready for Robin and leave him thoroughly embarrassed in the street. 

For an epic butt-kicking, it was rather entertaining game. I made the classic mistake of splitting my force even though I was outnumbered. I should have kept the crew as a four-man wrecking crew. BB, Robin and Hawk could have smashed any single opponent in one round but instead I ended up with split-up, scattered attacks that didn't really do much. Fate conspired to deal poor dice rolls against the Void Priest who lasted way longer than he should have. By the time he was dealt with, Hawk and Dove were on the ropes. 

That said, the Kobra gang are very solid and Mark and Wayne played a solid game. Not a bad way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

02 August 2020

More Ghouls, Sir!

One of the more significant painting projects I've had in the hopper over the last couple weeks was a batch of Age of Sigmar Ghouls. Ironically, now that I've got a "proper-sized force," the fellow at work who was encouraging me to go down the AoS path is about to have his first child and his gaming opportunities will be drying up very soon! The previous batch of ghouls was completed well over a year ago and can be seen here.

What I painted up this time was a box of 20 "Flesh Eater Courts Ghouls" and a box of Warhammer Underworlds "Grymwatch" which can be used as a stand-alone group in AoS. I also located a Ghoul King model on the "start collecting" sprues from last year and put him together as a leader for this rabble.

The whole shebang. Grymwatch models are on the right and include the pair o' bats.

That's the big boss-man in the back there.

And here are a few shots of the Grymwatch models:

They do a fine job of "mixing up the assortment." Same theme, different poses. The big axe and bats are nice. I need to try to get a hold of Landon for a game while he can!

27 July 2020

A Little Painting

I've been working on some other things recently but I managed to complete a few models over the weekend.

Here's some GW Epic Squat artillery. Weird old models from the early 1990s. Great opportunity to paint some old toys.

And a few GHQ micro armor additions. Mainly because I felt like painting something that I hadn't done in a while and also because they'll make fine targets for wild weasel-types.

An SA-6 / 2K12 battery! Obviously it would be unusual to have these on the board during a game of MSH or CWC but as I alluded to earlier, they'll make fine dangerous targets that need to be dealt with before other air assets are free to roam.

19 July 2020

Painting and a Game

I managed to get in a game yesterday - my first in almost a month. Ziggy and I played X-Wing. He's flying out today for the Middle East for 3 months or so. We needed to get in one more fight before he left. AS it turns out we both put together Rebel lists. The resulting intra-faction engagement was tense and closely-fought.

 During setup.

 A couple turns in.

It was one of best games of X-Wing I've ever played in. Our lists were well-matched and it was difficult for either of us to get a real advantage over the other. Midway through, I was down, 4 ships to 2, and managed to crawl back to 2-2 before I lost a third ship at which point I conceded. I really liked the U-Wing. It was my first game with it and it has some very nasty tricks in its collection - very impressed with that ship. The A-Wings are still a favorite of both me and Ziggy. It got a massive improvement with the switch to second edition and is now a top-tier fighter that doesn't just look cool but is well worth taking.

In other news I added a couple of great toy cars to the Batman street scenery collection.
A Beetle and a Ford Bronco. So happy... so many of the toy cars in this scale are Lamborghinis and Porsches. It's nice to add some more "middle class" cars to the collection.

A lastly, I've knocked out the rest of the Marvel Crisis Protocol terrain pack for Wayne.

With and without the flash. I'm not daring enough to attempt the pedestrian displays on the street lights. I don't want to do an ugly job. Just a few Squat artillery pieces, some aircraft and bunkers to go!

12 July 2020

Painting for Money

I never take on commission jobs because, well, I prefer to paint at my own pace and for my own satisfaction. Last month during the Batman game, Wayne left a bunch of stuff with me that I agreed to paint. It was a mix of Marvel Crisis Protocol superheroes stuff and awesome, amazing EPIC SPACE MARINE stuff from GW's heyday in the early and mid-90's. I never thought that I'd be painting the same models in 2020 that I did over 25 years ago!

It's certainly not done yet, but here's the progress so far.

The lot so far...

Imperial Guard Superheavy Tanks

Imperial Guard ground attack aircraft.

The IG colors were inspired by IDF / DAK colors.

Space Wolves tanks, artillery and dropships.

There's also a Squat flier in there. Sadly, there wasn't much more Squat stuff in the lot.

Two Crisis Protocol buildings. Absolute murder for me. I despise painting shit like this. Stab stab.

And the two cars that were part of the CP scenery pack. Also murderously hateful to paint. There's a reason I buy toy cars for my Batman games. At least he flame job was fun. What's a shitty Prius without a flame job?

We well, stay cool and more later!

21 June 2020

Gettin' Away : Batman Minis AAR

Riddler, Killer Croc, Ravager and Captain Boomerang bolted through the front door of the 6th precinct jail. The break-in was easy enough but they were not yet in the clear. The sirens and flashing blues were waiting for them. Quelle would be by shortly with the helo... they just had to make it to the landing spot.

Wayne and Ziggy joined me for the next chapter in the ongoing Batman Miniatures Game story campaign I've been playing over a couple of years. Some of the boys in blue and a couple of Gotham's finest heroines had converged on the jail to prevent the getaway of the quartet of crooks. Ziggy commanded three SWAT team guys along with Rick Flagg, Wayne took control of Batwoman and Carrie Kelly while I ran the four bads.

My group started at the green circled area. The girls were at the top while the SWAT guys were at the bottom in the yellow circled area. The Helicopter LZ is the white square.

The crooks

The cops

The heroines

Killer Croc and Riddler couldn't resist the urge to go brawl with the caped crusader. Digger and Rose kept their options open.

Carrie looses a few bullets from her slingshot forcing Boomerang to duck and weave. Batwoman had managed to extract herself from the attention of Nigma and the Croc.

Of course, Ravager couldn't help herself and decided to have a go at Batwoman herself. Croc and Riddler head for the back alley.

Faced by a SWAT officer who was a bit slow on the draw with his shotgun, Digger rushed forward, quickly flicking two razor-sharp boomerangs. Both connected and the officer was knocked down!

Admiring his work, he forgot all about Robin behind him. He remembered right away though when a heavy lugnut hit him in the back of the head, sending him the the concrete.

Riddler and Croc continued through the vacant lot. Croc had shaken off the "funny little birdies" that Batwoman had treated him to. Rick Flagg was waiting for them. You can see him back there, posting up.

Carrie leapt back to give Bats a hand with Ravager who was proving to be a very tough opponent. Boomerang and the officer had regained the feet and were no going toe-to-toe on the sidewalk.

As a second cop descends on Digger, Croc hears his buddy's request for assistance. KC charges as the shotgun officer but does nothing more than surprise the underpaid public servant.

Riddler wasn't so loyal or sentimental. Quelle had just dropped in with the chopper and was going to get out. Of course, Mr. Flagg had other ideas and unleashed a violent storm of bullets, puncturing Ed's shoulder. He was in bad shape now!

Luck was with him though, Rick fumbled for a new magazine and Riddler dashed past, grinning as best he could. The helo lifted off quickly and was out of sight in no time.

Rose of course had seen that and muttered to herself about the quality of her associates. She was grateful for the jailbreak though and darted down an alley to get gone. One of the cops saw her and gave chase.

The SWAT guys and Carrie finally managed to take down Boomerang who had put up one hell of a fight. 

Having seen his pal Digger get taken out, KC loped back to the manhole to make his escape. Rick and Kate move in to prevent his escape. 

He struggles with the manhole as a shot from Flagg hits his lower leg. Croc falls to the pavement.

Batwoman dashes over and gives the big a tranquilizer. He's done.

So, a damn fine game. Two of the baddies got away while two are going to need some real medical attention and physical therapy. Riddler's attempt to get a couple of shady figures in is debt hadn't panned out so well. Ravager will be grateful for sure, but Croc and Digger will have a different opinion of things. Maybe those two will get adjoining rooms in the hospital while they're on the mend.

Wayne and Ziggy enjoyed it. Wayne had never played and Zig's only game was maybe 3 years ago. Sure ready for the next chapter, that for sure!

Happy Father's Day all you dads out there. Be well!