14 November 2019

My Step Into Naps

I resisted for a long time. Then about 3 years ago (November 9, 2016) I stumbled upon a dirt cheap box of French infantry on GameKastle.com. Since then, I've been slowly painting and collecting French and Prussian forces to play some flavor of Napoleonic games. Muskets, cavalry, cannons... all that good stuff. My plan, once I finished my first batch of infantry was to hold off on basing anything until I had a lot more done so that the basing technique would be the same for the entire collection. Every few months I'd paint something... some horses... some infantry.... some cannons. Every so often I'd order a few odds and ends so that at the very least I'd have two similar armies to play with.

After cranking out a decent amount of work over the course of three years, I've finally gotten around to basing the majority of what I've done so far. I'm quite tickled with the results.

So far, that's 12 bases of French, 12 bases of Prussians and 6 bases of Prussian cavalry.

I know there are probably serious issues with uniform details. I'm not going to sweat it. The mass of pointy guns is the reward. I need to hit the lot of them with some Dullcote - most are pretty darn glossy right now. I've got 12 French cavalry in the painting queue. Once they're done I'll wrap up the French gun battery and be ready for a small game of whatever. I do need to add some banners as well.

It's been a fun slow-burn project that's finally produced real results. Oh, the minis are from "Napoleon at War" by Man at War (French and Cavlary) and Newline Designs. Although the N@W minis (now out of production) are nominally 18mm, they're big and match up better against 20mm minis, which is what the Newline Prussian infantry is.

10 November 2019

Eastern Front Fun - Rate of Fire AAR

Ziggy and I got in that game of Rate of Fire on Saturday evening. I had put the scenario together a week or two ago, to be used at our Tanksgiving game day at the end of November. I needed a balance play test and this was my opportunity.

The engagement is set in mid 1943 with the Germans pushing forward to capture a crossroad. The Soviet defenders are deployed hidden. The Germans have two recon elements, an 8-rad and an Aufklarungs fireteam that they can use to probe the defenses before committing the rest of the forces. The Soviet side has some reinforcements that will show up as the game progresses.

I played the Soviet side and Zig commanded the Germans.

The view from the German side of the table. The crossroad intersection is circled, but pretty obvious.

One of the advance recon elements, a 232, noses out around a rise. I take the opportunity and reveal a 76mm field gun which takes a pot-shot down range. The round connects and the armored car is taken out! One of the crew manages to bail out of the wreck.

The recce team on my right has gotten into place and start trying to reveal my hidden markers over there. Towards the center of the battlefield, a StuG, Panzer IV and halftracks have arrived.

Knowing I wasn't likely to get very many opportunities, I reveal my Zis-3 ATG and again get a fantastic result on the shot, taking out the StuG. Of course, now the three Panzers next to it are going to exact a heavy toll, but hey, what was I expecting?

And there you are, two of the gun crew are killed in short order. That gun's going to have a terrible time making anything happen now!

Over on the right, an infantry squad is picked up by the German recon and a short firefight breaks out. My Russians came out the better losing just one of their group to the two German losses.

I got a reinforcement! A T-34 and it arrives in a very useful position. It begins working on the rest of the recon team.

The Germans continue to slow-roll the center. I'm in deep trouble though with two guns that effectively cannot move and a single tank way off the the right working the flank.

Oh come on. The last snoop calls in 105 fire on my tank! The running gear is fouled and it's reduced to slow-speed only. That really sucks for a fast mover like a T-34 that's trying to get behind the Panzers!

My Zis-3 is taken out. Boooo!

Slow movement be damned! My tank does manage to get its sights set on a loaded halftrack, though the shot misses terribly.

The gunline sets up shop in front of the just-revealed infantry squad nearest the objective. That's a lot of machineguns!

More artillery on my tank! Another hit on the tracks immobilizes it. Feh. At least it's in an OK position.

With all the smoke, dust and cursing from my tank, it's no wonder the Panzer's shot missed. Whew, that was lucky!

Meanwhile in the center, I'd gotten another couple of tanks on the table. This one lasted about 45 seconds as a well-aimed 75mm shell hulled it out. The machineguns from the tanks and halftracks continued to batter the infantry just forward and left.

And they've had enough... they flee off the table. The other T-34 does manage to destroy a halftrack though while keeping a close eye on the objective.

By that point we'd gotten through ten turns. The Germans we successful in dealing out casualties but still short of taking the objective. A Russian victory! Ziggy had a couple of opportunities to push hard in the center when I had nothing on the table that could challenge him. Acting slowly instead of taking advantage of my lack of anti-tank gear ended up costing the Germans this time around. Ah well, next time, right?

It was a damn entertaining game and I think it's pretty well balanced. I'm tempted to replace one of the reserve infantry squads with a solo AT rifle guy. He'd  be useful against halftracks, the 8-rad and the truck. I'm initerested to play this out again at Mike's in a few weeks to see how it goes next time.

09 November 2019

An Update Since It's Been a While

Hi all. Not a whole lot to report on from Ski-land. My only recent gaming of note has been a couple sessions of D&D with the family. My brother-in-law thought we owed it to our kids to introduce them to traditional role-playing and we did. Unsurprisingly, the kids washed out early, but the grown-ups had a terrific time. It's been 3 or 4 weeks since the last session but we'll probably pick it up again next weekend. When we left off, the party had just walked into a cult ceremony of some description. Good thing we were all wearing cult robes and are disguised enough to get by!

I did finish another batch of 24 20mm Prussians for my Napoleonic project. I know, I know... pics or it didn't happen. I've got a drawer with about 100 unbased Naps in it. They'll soon start getting based . It was an effort to keep the basing consistent across all the elements. I've also got a dozen French chevaux in the queue with their riders close behind.

See, not just fake news!

Ziggy and I are actually going to play a real, proper 6 x 4, d-handful wargame this afternoon. It's been a while for both of us - about 2 months! We're going to play Rate of Fire WW2 using my 20mm / 1/72nd minis. A bit of the old Eastern Front. Technically speaking, it's a scenario playtest for the game I'm taking to Mike's in a few weeks for Tanksgiving. Either way, it's toy soldiers shooting each other and I'm very excited.

13 October 2019

More Painting - Heigh Ho!

Good morning! The Fall weather finally made its way to Savannah this week. It's been wonderful. I turned around some painting in the last week or so, most notably 28mm Dwarves. I picked 'em up on a whim, for Frostgrave or whatever else.

These five were finished up perhaps a month or so ago. I didn't want to take pics until they were all finished.

And these five were finished up yesterday. They're awaiting their bases. I only have three in the stash - more are in the mail.

The detail on these Essex miniatures is without a doubt, top 2% for solid-cast metal minis. The shields, chain mail, and cloak folds are just amazing. They sat primed for a long time as I tried to work out how I could do them justice. I hope I have - I'm very happy with the results. I tried out a black oil paint wash technique on these models that I saw over here: Nord's Painting Saga.

29 September 2019

Recently Painted

I finished up a couple more of the Teen Titans set this weekend. Starfire and Wonder Girl.

Starfire was a bit daunting at first blush... heck even assembly was a challenge! The hair / fire blend was a lot of fun really. I played around with three of four different "magic washes" on the flames just to give it good depth so the fancy bits would really pop. I tried a bit of orange glaze on the base; it wasn't quite the result I was after but you've got to start somewhere.

Wonder Girl was a lot simpler. She really should be bedazzled with white stars but I know my limits and without some decals or appropriately-sized dry transfers, it was a hard pass.

28 September 2019

Jailbreak - Batman AAR

Riddler timed it well. Nothing ever happens at 5:00am on a Tuesday morning.

The guards would be anything but ready. Since nabbing the security badges, he'd been able to keep tabs on their activity and now he was ready to spring Digger and Rose from the cells before they are moved to Arkham or worse.

Three guards.

That was fun. The crooks broke in and got away with nary a scratch. Ravager and Boomerang owe Riddler and Croc a huge debt now. The law is going to have to call in the big guns. The situation is getting out of hand.