09 May 2021

Barbarossa Game - Scenario Test

 Howdy howdy! Check it out, a real tabletop wargame AAR on my blog! It feels like it's been a long time. Zig and I got together Saturday evening for a test of the Rate of Fire scenario I'm going to host at my 2021 Memorial Day Game Bash. Last year's edition was a Covid casualty, like so many other gaming get-togethers.

The scenario is a simple breakthrough / transit situation for the Germans and and ambush / kill for the Soviets, set in the summer of '41. The Soviets deploy hidden, represented by markers, including a few dummy counters.

The battlefield. The Germans are transiting from top to bottom. They have an 8-rad and a recon fireteam in a Schwimmwagen starting the game on the tabletop. Everything else arrives later when the recon elements have done their thing.

Hey look, there they are!

A Soviet AT-Rifleman takes a shot at the armored car. The crew take note and loose a burst of 20mm rounds into the treeline. A lucky shot takes out the Soviet.

I moved a T-26 over to the road looking to shut down the 231. My shot is way off the mark, while the armored car's return fire manages to kill the tank's driver! At least the tank is stuck in a useful location.

As German forces continue to flow in, I reveal a 12.7mm machine gun and loose a hail of fire at a nearby 38t. The tank crews grit their teeth and pray that the thin armor holds. It does, but barely.

Another angle of that action on the road. A Panzer III cruises up behind the 38s.

The recon element take note of the machine gun's position and radio the mortar guys further back. A wicked accurate first-round takes out the team.

On the far side, the Soviet anti-tank crew finally have a target and take a shot at a Panzer II. The shot is a bit short and kicks up a geyser smoke and dirt in front of the tank. Return fire is ineffective.
A second shot finds the mark and the wee tank's thin armor is no match for the high-powered 45mm round. Moments later a mortar round lands on the Soviet gun crew, killing two. Curses!
I pulled my second T-26 out of hiding and took a long shot at the big 8-rad which had gotten itself into an unfortunate position. The tank commander's shot is perfect as the armored car quickly belches smoke and flame!
Things are looking grim for the Soviet defenders. The only positive news is that time is running out for the attackers. They were given 10 turns to exit as many units as possible from the far end of the battlefield and time is rapidly running out!
There was an infantry engagement at the edge of the field. The Soviet defenders held but the Germans were absolutely fanatical! Although nine of his brothers fell, Private Meine felt like he could take on all of Russia himself. He continued fighting as the rattled Soviets recoiled in horror!

Panzers rumble forward past the wrecked T-26.

The commander of the Panzer III underestimates the gun on the remaining T-26. A well-aimed round punches through the German tank and it is destroyed.

At the end of the day, Ziggy managed to get two tanks and a halftrack loaded with an infantry squad off my side of the table. I was able to kill two tanks, an armored car and rendered an infantry squad ineffective. It was an enjoyable battle. The Soviets probably came out on the better end of things, since the Germans still had an infantry squad and recon team left against two full Soviet squads and a T-26. The remaining Germans would be hard-pressed to achieve their objective.

Terrain setup was solid, troop choice fine. Ziggy suggested that all German infantry be motorized or mechanized, which I think will be fine, but we'll add a tank to the Russian side and maybe one more AT Rifle. Ten turns is fine. e were able to set victory points for specific activities. I'm confident that the game on Memorial Day will be a good one.

Be well and good gaming!

30 April 2021

Tanks for the Memories

I put together some new tanks for the 1/72 and 1/76 collection this week. I'm planning to use them in our planned Memorial Day game at the end of May. A bit of Barbarossa in the works.

That's two Pegasus BT-7s and a Revell Panzer IIF. They went together easily and the paint is just a quick splash and go. Nothing fancy, they're toys for the tabletop. I was hoping to playtest the scenario tomorrow but that got goofed up by some garbled plans with my wife's family. Burgers, beer and board games will be a lot more likely. Y'all be well!

24 April 2021

Batman and Robin and The Rest

 Last Saturday the Dynamic Duo got a bit of table time in a four-player game of Batman Miniatures. I arranged a game with Mark, Wayne and Ziggy featuring the Riddler's gang and the Falcone crime family fighting it out with a bevy of caped crusaders.

I ran the Riddler crew and Mark was my accomplice using the Falcone gang. Wayne took Bats and The Boy Wonder while Ziggy used Batwoman, Katana and Green Arrow.

Two of our heroes plan their moves.

Riddler and his boys unload a special shipment and deliver it to the Falcones.

From the darkness an arrow strikes Quelle! She's knocked down. The busy criminals quickly look for cover from whatever's out there.

A well-aimed Batarang puts young Alberto Falcone on his back as the Dark Knight makes his way to safety. Some smoke won't hurt either!

Katana rushes in and begins fighting with Carmine's bodyguard, Sam.

The Falcone boys and a Riddler bot keep moving crates as the rest of the crew try to figure out what to do.

The heroic man of action has been on the sidelines too long! 

But the Boy Wonder beats him to the finish line! Robin takes down one of Riddler's goons. Down, but not out.

"Knuckles" gets back on his feet to teach this former circus act a lesson.

Kate Kane, who's been propping up the far side by herself, drops down and points a finger at Riddler. Riddler's no dummy! He and Quelle aren't going to give that psychopath the satisfaction! "Alexander! Show her who's boss!" yells Edward to his lieutenant atop the truck.

He happily obliges of course!

Oliver Queen has slowly made his way to the center and steadily grinds through the Falcone gang one at a time. Not a good time to get caught at the docks!

And then I stopped taking pictures for whatever reason.

But at the end of the night, the Falcone's managed to pull one crate off the map and the Riddler Bot still had control of another. A victory for the crooks, but not resounding by any means.

I think Wayne could have been more aggressive with Batman. He's a really tough cookie and the bums he was facing were schlubs. Granted, Mark and I would probably have run off like scared rats, but the heroes might have been able to control the narrative. As it was, they gave us the opportunity to hole up, get a plan set and take advantage of the situation late.

Nevertheless, BMG again proves to be an excellent skirmish game that's tactically deep and remarkably entertaining. For any of you curious, we're still using the second edition rules. The third edition rules, although free, are a substantial departure from the prior versions and Wayne and I aren't keen to change for change's sake.

11 April 2021

April Gaming

Good morning readers! A short update on goings-on from the past fortnight. Last weekend Mark and I played a game of Stardust: Ground, my company-level sci-fi game. This battle featured blatant GW-lifted Space Marines fighting against the Robot Army who are a far cry from their GW corollary. 

Pre-game. The Marines were deployed in the center of the battlefield, the robots entering from all four corners. The 'Bots launched their attack at night, giving them a real shooting range advantage.

The only bright spot for the Marines during the early going was one of the Dreadnoughts who was rather effective smashing up Robots in close combat.

The mechanical menace just dumped an amazing amount of firepower on the superhumans; Marine armor proved to be up to the task, reducing casualties to an acceptable level, though the 'Bots were still firmly in control.

Once the sun came out though, things turned into a real blood and silicon-bath. Initially, the Marines took an massive beating and things were looking very grim, but then I was able to get a couple units into close-combat with the Robot troops.

The close combat didn't go quite as well as I'd hoped but it was rather disruptive and broke up the 'Bots attack quite nicely as they were forced to move, hide and otherwise get themselves into a worse position.

The last shot of the game... a Marine Dreadnought's cannon rips into a RepairBot's back armor.

It was a bloody, closely-fought affair that we both really enjoyed.

In other news, I ordered this beauty last week:

It showed up in short order and I got in a first game last evening with Ziggy.

 Now I don't have exhaustive  C&C experience like some of you, but I have to say, Samurai Battles didn't disappoint. It's of course a familiar experience but with plenty of tweaks and additions to give it a much different feel from Ancients and Medieval. Very happy with this addition to the collection.

27 March 2021

Recent Painting & Projects

 Happy weekend everyone! Just a quick post about some recent minis painting and other projects I've been working on recently.

First up is this Kraken for Armada. It's from Monsterpocalypse collection but was the right size, price and look so... INTO THE BANDSAW YOU GO!

 Yeah, he was chopped in twain at the waist and has the Viginia-class in his tentacle gently removed.

The resulting model...

He's on an 80mm square base and ready to wallop some boats. Speaking of which, Ziggy's Dwarves are mostly table-ready and we played a small learning game of Armada last weekend. Good fun. Go Goblins!

I also assembled and painted some TT Combat MDF buildings for Infinity. Pretty happy with the result there.

And in the category of non-gaming projects, I've been mucking around with guitars. It started with this kit last summer that I added a handful of "Kustom Gadjits" to and really enjoyed the process.

Surprisingly, it turned out really well, plays very nicely and spawned an urge. So in January I purchased another kit, this time a Jazz bass clone. I've never had a bass and because I know what I like guitar-wise, wasn't really after another six-string.

The process was equally enjoyable and this is how she turned out.

You can tell I had a bit of fun with that paint job. I'm no bassist, but it's a fine learner's instrument.

So then I went right off the deep end. My main guitar for 20+ years, my Tele, got some attention. My first Tele that I bought in 1991 was stolen in the late nineties. It had been modded a bit with a pickup replacement. This is a standard Telecaster:

My son's parakeet had caused a little damage to the bridge pickup, pecking at the winding. So then I'm torn - if I'm going to go through the effort replacing one pickup, why not go bananas and replace both? A couple weeks of shopping later, I ended up on replacing both pickups.

I bought a Wilkinson Hot Rail humbucker for the neck and a Wilkinson Vintage Alnico dual-coil for the bridge. This would involve chopping up the pickguard, replacing the bridge itself and routing out the bridge pickup cavity in the body. The of course there would be soldering - a skill I am very familiar with but never expert at. A tall order for a greenhorn like myself, especially considering the going rate to replace an American Standard is about $1100. 

I went at it patiently, and over a handful of weeks brought it to life.

DEEP KIMCHI. Routing the body cavity out was scary as hell and the biggest opportunity for complete disaster.

Slow and steady wins the race though, and in the end, this beauty was re-born.

In keeping with recent politics, I've made it "less white." It's a burner too, holy shit does it growl.


1) Neck pickup swap. Also involved cutting the pickguard hole larger.

2) New bridge that would accommodate a full-size humbucker.

3) New bridge humbucker pickup.

4) More pickguard cuts to fit the new bridge.

5) New control plate to make it blacker.

Damn that was fun. I'm ready to chop up another guitar.