29 May 2012

Silly Saucers

Here are those spaceships I made and the walls of the gas station. I've also included the picture I'm basing the gas station on.


Update

Got in another game of Modern Spearhead over the weekend - this time the Germans were attacking the Polish Regiment. I didn't get much in the way of pictures - we are still in a learning mode with MSH - but had a good time anyway. The two forces got thrashed pretty badly but in the end, my last viable Battalion passed a morale test and his Panzergrenadier Battalion failed its test. We need to play a smaller game one weekend and focus on close combat and town sectors just to get those parts of the rules straight in our heads.
I'm going to start construction of an old Texaco station this week. It will be for Flying Lead. I'm going to put together an early 1960's Anytown, USA Sci-Fi setup. I've made some flying saucers and have some 50's/60's US Army types on order to be the National Guard. I've found some nice Greys to be my "Little Green Men" and am keeping an eye out for a walker / giant robot for the spacemen. Here are some in-progress shots of the spaceships. They are made from the plastic bubbles that hold the prizes in grocery-store vending machines.



The saucers have been completed and now are just waiting for a game. I painted the inside of the domes with glow-in-the-dark paint so the windows glow. I'll put some finished pics up when I get home.

20 May 2012

Flames of War

July 1942, somewhere west of Moscow...

Zig came over Saturday for a game of FoW - he hadn't played in a while and neither had I, since the Gnomecon tournament anyway. I lobbied for a Mid War game and we ended up doing a 1500 pointer. I put together a Soviet tank column - two platoons of five T-34s, a company of lend-lease Stuarts, some BA-64 armored cars, heavy mortars and 76mm ATGs. Ambushing this column would be a Kampfgruppe of Panzers - four MkIII specials, three more MkIII specials, three MkIV-Es and four MkII-Fs led by Oberst Zeigler in his MkIV special and his lieutenant in a III-N. We rolled a "Roadblock" mission out of Das Book and I was to be the "attacker" meaning I was to get victimized by the ambush. One of my favorite moments of the battle was when my wife walked by and saw my setup - we've been watching "Greatest Tank Battles" the last couple of days - and she remarked "Why are you lined up like that, isn't that a bad thing for tanks?" Yes honey, its a bad thing...

The tank column makes its way down the road. Whomever was performing security for this detail is in HUGE trouble. 
The ambush is revealed! Panzer IIIs nail the trailing platoon of T-34s but Papa's armor is strong and only two brew up! Glorious Soviet armor is strong! The crew bails out of another.

The next platoon in the column was the anti-tank platoon who quickly unlimbered their guns and fired off a quick volley at the attackers, bailing out one but causing no losses. 
The large group of Stuarts was at the other end of the column and quickly made their way back to help out. The lead group of T-34s also threw it in reverse and headed back to the problem.

The ambushing platoon was not amused by the antics of the anti-tank crews and unleashes a brutal volley upon them. 

The tanks on both sides form-up, the battle for the bridge is on!
 The German reserve units arrive and the Stuarts along with the column commander form a gun line to deal with them.
The battalion commander shows 'em how it's done and nails a Hun Mark III at extreme range.
Having just seen how it's done, a glorious hero of the Soviet Union nails a Mark IV!

But the Fascist dogs get a few of our tanks in the process. Keep your eye on the T-34 with the red flag hanging off his tank, a moment later he blasts the Mark III through the gap.
And the battalion commander bags a second wiping out that unit! 

The battle at the bridge is really starting to devolve - that Mark IV special HAS to go!

A few minutes later, the platoon of tanks that was so successful in the center, redeploys to the bridge and does just that! This picture was taken after the Huns had a chance to shoot back - you can see they performed some rather inspired shooting.

But a few more rounds from the Panzers and a failed morale check means that the Germans have secured the bridge and won the battle.  
The view from the other direction. 
Now that's my kinda game - only one smoke marker left in the box!

That game was a complete joy. Ten-plus turns of tooth and nail. Somewhere around turn eight, as we were talking Ziggy said that before the game started he thought I was just going to roll over him and I remarked that I thought he was going to roll over me! The long range on the T-34s main guns made a big impact, especially in the center where there were some long lines of sight, but in the end, classic German Panzer tactics of shoot-and-scoot made the difference where it mattered. Z was able to keep popping his Panzer IIIs up on the ridge, taking a few shots, the Stormtroopering back behind the ridge before I could hit him. I had my fingers crossed that he's dork up a Stormtrooper roll but it wasn't to be.

13 May 2012

Dystopian Wars

Dennis, Rick and Zig came over Saturday for some Dystopian Wars and we ended up playing a bombing run mission of Rick's invention. The basic setup is that the attacker (composed solely of air units) is performing a fly-over bombing run, while the defender, with land, sea and air units tries to defend said objectives. The objectives can only be damaged by bombs, so rockets and big guns are right out. If you know me, you'll know that I have a distaste for high-point-value games but in the interest of science and playtesting, we put two, roughly 1500-point forces together. Rick used his FSA boys, while I used the combined forces of the Blazing Suns and the Pussian Empire. Ziggy and Dennis defended - Ziggy with his KoB fleet and some AA towers and Dennis using Antarctican land units (plus two Icarus). Apparently the rest of the world was trying to break up the Iced-Tea monopoly that the Brits and Ants had going.

Forgot to get a pic before we started, but all I have moved to this point was my Gyros. There is a squadron of  FSA Dive Bombers next to a red token (objective) which they had just blown up.

The Gyros line up shots against an Icarus in the distance. Their AA guns were very effective against my rockets.

Three Brit frigates (just barely in frame on the left) and the AA tower blast one of my Gyros into the waves. Sadness.

Geiers and Ami bombers make an entrance. The Geiers sink all three escorts protecting the Battleship. No matter, the thing can protect itself just fine.

The FSA bombers unload a swarm of torpedoes at the HMS Hood but fail to harm the monster.

My rocket bombers arrive and fire off a bunch of fireworks at the walkers on the beach, causing exactly no damage.


The Prussian Zeppelin arrives along with the John Henrys. The mighty airship unleashes a mighty bolt of lightning at the AA tower, as does the robot causing massive damage. The other robot at the far end of the table causes severe damage to the AA tower down that end.

Finally the American airships arrive and completely dominate the far end of the battlefield.

Turn two got going and the attacking force was on a roll...

The American airship unloads on the Agincourts and finishes off the flak tower on the right-side island.

The Geiers line up shots against the Atticus walkers at the beach. Two lightning bolts, two crits. Four ones. Yes, I critted twice and rolled snake-eyes twice for the crits. 

British fighters swarm the already damaged Graf Spee. It had taken a pounding from the Atticuses and Socrates and was now putting along at 3" speed. 

The center teems with bombers and other airships!

We played out two full turns. It was a slow lengthy affair, one of the reasons I don't like big games. That said, I had a blast and the scenario itself was quite enjoyable. Thank you Rick for bringing it over!


What I learned...
A squadron of fighters close by a laden carrier completely dominates the carrier. Rick and I made the mistake of taking all of our tiny fliers as DBs, to be useful against objectives. The defenders took only fighters which had their pick of easy targets, hitting on 3+. Once Ziggy got a squadron of fighters nagging the Prussian airship, it was locked down. If I'd launched planes, they'd have been pounced quickly. If I'd taken AA shots at them, they'd have gotten free shots back at me. It was really the rock / hard place situation.

Rick and I will work on the scenario a bit - there are a handful of things that need adjusting. It was a playtest and a darn good one at that.

12 May 2012

Update

It has been a very busy last few weeks and gaming hasn't been much of a priority. My Empire of the Blazing Sun battlegroup will make its way out of the storage box and onto the table this evening so at least I'll be getting back in very soon!

I had a flash of inspiration the other evening thanks to this:

The problem: clearly marking attached units in Modern Spearhead without making permanent changes to the miniatures. The answer:

Step 1 - use steel bases for your SH / MSH miniatures

Step 2 - carve up a thin, flexible refrigerator magnet into .25 inch X 1.25 inch strips

Step 3 - Hose those critters down with the same color you've done the base ID strips in

Step 4 - Oh yeah.

I need to paint Battalion ID numbers on the magnetic strips, but that's peanuts. I'm also toying with the notion of using the small round magnets I use to hold resin 15mm turrets on tanks as unit changers as well since they are ridiculously strong and I doubt I'll be buying very many more resin 15mm tanks. (I'm looking at YOU Battlefront!). Anyway, feel free to use my idea if you haven't thought of it yourself already.

I'll post a DW AAR soon. Good gaming!