07 December 2016

Recently Painted - Spaaace Ships

I've had these half-way done for a very long time, in fact I'm tempted to dig through my email to find when I ordered them. Either way, I got the urge to finish them off Sunday afternoon and they made it out of the queue last evening.

The models are Mongoose "A Call to Arms: Noble Armada" minis which are sadly out of production now. They'll form the core of a fleet for my spaceship game, StarDust.

The fleet's ships are loosely based on Chess pieces. Perhaps they'll get a trial run in the next week or two.

03 December 2016

Tanksgiving Games (an AAR twofer!)

Last Saturday, November 26, a few of us made the two-hour drive to Mikey's house in Waycross for some Tanksgiving toy soldiers. First up was Dystopian Wars. We had four players so it was easy to give each 750 points worth of stuff and commence smashing. I brought my Blazing Suns armored forces and was paired with newbie Bill who borrowed Mike's Prussians. Mike used his British and was paired up with David's first-battle Russians.

The British and Prussian armies don't have your typical composition - no larges is the most obvious peculiarity. Mike but the lists together as "teaching" armies and simply used them for this outing - it resulted in a 1500-point game with only two big machines per side - a bit weird for sure!

The deployment of the Japanese and Prussian troops. I kept the squid and big walker essentially centered. All of the Prussian artillery was on our left, covering a large open area. We were sure to give it plenty of open LOS so finding targets wouldn't be a problem.

The British and Russian deployment. Mike's artillery were "hedged in" and in my opinion, the Russian landship was a deployed a bit conservatively. The drill was underground, abreast of the Belgorod.

This was the story early in the battle. The Coalition won initiative and would move a unit forward. The Bond would then move up, getting into range of the previously moved unit and smacking them. A beautiful "generator offline" on a filthy, nasty Steward. Huzzah!

Our players

A view off to the right of the battle. The big central hill did a marvelous job of splitting the opponents' force in two.

My Myobu snap a few shots at a British artillery gun. These little guys were wonderful for harassing the artillery.

An overhead shot towards the end of turn 2. By the end of turn 2, the Bond was way ahead on points, 315 to 65.

The drill appears! Its cargo of small tanks is disgorged. All Prussian and Japanese guns have a new priority target.

And within minutes, the drill is a smoking wreck as it is hammered mercilessly.

The driver of the Belgorod makes the assumption that two giant Russian vehicles cannot possibly die in the same spot and drives to where the drill got killed.

And turn four turns into a shooting gallery of KILL THE BELGOROD! The Prussians knock it down to just one hull point.

Then a squadron of Chi Ris quickly trundle over and finish it off. Woo Hoo!

Squiddy floats towards the village to unbalance the situation over there on the right which has been quite a melee of Terriers, Mk 2s, and Reckes, with some A6s in reserve.

After turn 4, we'd achieved our objective of destroying 50% of the enemy force including all large/massive units. The tally was a whopping 1040 to 430.

Yeah, it was a lop-sided affair but I think fun was had all-around. Aside from Bill, everyone's dice were crap. Sure, we'd have a good roll here and there, but Bill's were consistently amazing and that had a lot to do with our victory. The Bond team made a few mistakes, primarily in deployment, that put them on the back foot early but hot dice beat tactics as we all know.

Amazingly, the Blazing Suns lost NO units at all - all Bond casualties were Prussian. The fact that both Russian large units died on literally the same spot of ground was also quite amusing.

After we cleaned up, it was on to a big game of Ogre/GEV. Well, GEV since we decided to do away with the Ogres. David and I were on the NA Combine team, armed with a shitload of GEVs and infantry. The Pan Euro team of Mike and Bill was armed only with much slower tanks (and infantry). The Combine were able to select their mission secretly and only had to deploy half of their force initially. The PE then would deploy their whole (larger) force to defend an unknown objective.

David and I chose the objective of scouting 5 city hexes on the PE side of the map.

Our brill plan was deploy our initial forces centrally, in the hopes of getting the PE to follow suit. It sort of worked. The road on the left side of the map was to be our yellow brick road to glory!

Right out of the gates, I shut down the damned laser on the far left. Central forces moved up. A PE Super Heavy rolls up into the city hex on MY road. 

The dreaded chore of dealing with Supers using only GEVs combined with shit dice rolls.

The fight in the center does not go super great for the Nord-americains. We chose to blame dice since there's no way that well-dug-in troops could simply shrug off our light raiders the way the shore ignores the waves. At least with our GEV movement, we were able to escape very harsh retribution.

Finally some headway on the YBR.

Don't have any pics of the moment it happened but David and I made the "oh F it" decision and bailed on the center, making a massive jailbreak left. The PanEuros had to march with us, albeit much more slowly. Hehehe. David left a couple of stragglers in the middle and right that tied up a nice collection of PE Ponces for the duration. 

Like wet Gremlins, the combine swarm the bejezus out of the left side of the map. PE fire couldn't effectively slow that many spread-out units.

Bwahahaha! We settle in and hunker down. The rear guard blocks the PE from ruining our party.

VICTORY! Successfully scouted hexes are marked with yellow Xes. The PE only had a single Super left in that corner to harass our troops and we'd occupied more hexes than it could hit.

That was a terrific game. Around 10:00PM David and I were ready to give up and start driving home. We were getting wrecked and there was no hope at all. We only stayed out of respect to our host. By 10:15, the jailbreak was in full effect and Mike and Bill were in full "Oh Shit" mode. It was a race at that point and we managed to pry out a victory.

Thanks Mike for hosting us and feeding us and putting up with our complaints of rigged dice and horribly unbalanced scenarios. I had a great time and am looking forward to hosting the third Memorial Day Bash in six months!

28 November 2016


Not a full update, more of a teaser. I did get in two games on Saturday. More details later.

Dystopian Wars


19 November 2016


My dad passed away in his sleep Friday morning. We're still kind of in shock, particularly my mom, but are doing well. He had not been sick and suspect that he'd over-exerted himself earlier in the day doing yardwork.

My dad and I were very different people but I've always striven to match his core values of honor and truthfulness. You always knew where he stood and where you stood with him - there was very little gray area. I'm really going to miss his stories and making him laugh. There were so many little things that happened yesterday between the police, funeral home, bank, etc that he'd have gotten such a kick out of. I can see that whole 18-hour whirlwind very clearly as one of his after-dinner stories. I suppose in a few years it'll be one of mine.

With the approval of my sisters, I wrote his obituary which I share here:

LTC (Ret) James Anthony “Rik” Rekowski – Savannah – Rik Rekowski of Savannah, Georgia passed away suddenly in the early morning hours of November 18, 2016 at the age of 79. Rik was a native of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Rik was the son of Josephine and Anthony Rekowski, who preceded him in death. He is survived his wife Catherine, his brother, Norman “Rik” Rekowski of Mesa, Arizona, his daughters Angela and Diana and son Christian, as well as many grandchildren, nieces and nephews. Rik was a Vietnam veteran of the US Army and after 23 years of military service became an accountant and small business consultant. He was an active member of St. James Catholic Church and always enjoyed learning new things, sharing his experiences and stories and spending time with family and friends. He has also left his entry to the annual Christmas art contest well-hidden and risks disqualification if we can’t find it.

You'll be very sorely missed, Pop. I love you.

15 November 2016

AAR: Rank And File - First Try

Ziggy and I broke out the "Age of Reason" minis Saturday for our first game of Rank and File. I had picked up the rules a week prior on WargameVault on Steven's recommendation. Being a relatively uncomplicated set of rules, I quickly whipped up two lists and we wrapped our heads around them without a whole lot of trouble.

I herded the Turks while Zig commanded the Generic European Power. We randomly determined our commanders' talent levels and mine was disappointing - no bonus, no re-rolls. Count de Monet on the other hand was a +1 with one re-roll. There were two objectives on the table marked by the green and red spots at the bridge and farm.

We lined up in columns to quickly take up positions...

The Turks prepare to move out.

The hand of fate positions a unit of Guards infantry at the farm. I've got two infantry battalions and a cavalry unit in the area.

My central cavalry unit charges the Guards while the hand of fate moves a second unit of veteran infantry off to my right. The Empress' cavalry charges my horsemen. It's bad news for me!

I turn the tables and send the other infantry battalion in the middle off to the right and the bridge. I figure I should be able to outnumber them somewhere.

Perhaps foolhardily, I sent cavalry across the bridge in an attempt to rattle the musketeers on the far side.

And the cavalry? Tsk tsk tsk... to shreds you say?

The left side of the battlefield. We've got a cavalry duel on the far left. My cavalry in the middle was run off while the ground-pounders set up shop around the farm.

The Hapsburg (?) cavalry on the left are seen off by their Turkish counterparts while the squadron in the center smash into a battalion of my musketeers causing them to fall back. A strong volley on my right causes the Imperial infantry to fall back. The bridge is within my grasp!

A turn later and the situation changes again. Ziggy's veterans in the middle charge my infantry. I return the favor with my cavalry. His artillery does enough damage to my horsemen to cause them to fail their charge!

The veteran infantry utterly fails its melee rolls, while I managed a single hit. I had won the combat! In the interest of honor, I reminded Z of his commander re-roll, he re-rolled and got a 6. We'd drawn the combat and fought another round. During the second round, the Guards handily beat my line infantry and my troops fled. What a tragic reversal of fortune!
And there they go! Boooooo.....

But in the center, the cavalry I'd sent around the left flank had finally gotten to take a run at the enemy infantry and sent them packing!

A turn or two later, I'd gotten my infantry in the middle ready to rock and they charged the reduced-strength veteran infantry defending the farm. The cavalry couldn't join in since they were still suffering from morale issues. Of course the defending infantry caused a casualty with defensive fire forcing one unit to fail its charge and a cannon shot (out of frame) caused the other unit to waver. Blast!

After that failure, my army really just crumbled. Every unit panicked for one reason or another and I couldn't get them together. All of Z's units rallied, reloaded and reorganized. It was over for the Turks that day.

Now that was a darn entertaining game! One of the more amusing aspects of this game was the truly terrible dice rolls we both had. I'll be the first to admit - my dice rolls tend to be somewhere between "above average" and "holy shit." Zig's tend to skew towards "crap." Saturday night it was bad all around. One of the most memorable moments was when his Guards charged my shlub infantry and screwed it all up. Having his commander handy for that one, single, solitaire re-roll was so influential to the outcome of the game. I'll never forgive myself for reminding him to use it. Ah well, it was the honorable thing to do.

We certainly messed up a few things, but they were "even" mistakes that affected us both equally. I've gone back to the RAW and found clarifications for our in game questions. R&F may be the best $10 I've spent on gaming stuff this year. I'm really looking forward to some scenario play. Ziggy rather enjoyed it and Mike seemed very interested as I was sending out in-game pics.

12 November 2016

New Thing Saturday!

On our bi-weekly visit to Wal Mart this morning, I hit up the Christmas section. Seems like Halloween was just a couple of weeks ago... That's beside the point though. I did come across these lovelies for a mere $1.82 each!

That's a 15mm and 1/72 figure in front. The buildings will work acceptably for either scale I think. For buildings, footprint is a major consideration and these will do nicely for blocking LOS. I plan to re-paint them, they are a bit gaudy, but for that price I couldn't pass on them.

Afterwards, my wife and I hit up a thrift store and this Christmas ornament caught my eye, since it's essentially 6mm scale (with some nasty Turks for comparison).
I'm not sure if I'll leave it as a gingerbread house or repaint it as more of an eastern European farm house. A fun little pickup for less than a buck!