29 December 2013

Dystopian War - Burma Burns!

Ziggy and I got our DW land forces out on Saturday afternoon for some shoot-'em-up. Since Z is just starting his land force collection, he bummed some Prussians as proxies. We put together 1000-point forces and decided to play until one side had reached its 50% break point. We also ignore the weird rule about indirect fire and that it is only allowed when firing at Capital models.

The Blazing Suns
1 Taka Ashi big-honkin' walker
3+3 Chi-Ri medium tanks
3+2 Myobu light tanks
3 Ho-I bombards
5 Ke-Ho light tanks
2 Inari gyros
2 X dive bombers

The Britannians
1 Sovereign big-honkin' tank
3+3 Mk II medium tanks
3+3 Cromwell bombards
3+3 Terrier small tanks
2 Hawk rotors
1 X dive bombers
1 X fighters

So, what we had was Kingdom forces trying to encircle a small town in Burma and stumbling into an Empire task force that was just preparing to move north in search of British army units operating in the area.

My set up. I've gone heavy on my right. I've played this game too much to want to watch another monster fight. My Taka-Ashi is better used as a killer of smaller things. I'd just have to concede the left flank and two units over there.

The stuff not in the big picture. Ziggy also went heavy right. The tiny fliers on this side are fighters. His DBs are on the other side of the board.

My gyro tanks speed forward to engage the enemy fliers. Their aim is true and one of the warbirds is damaged heavily.

The British artillery strikes back and explodes one of the swift tanks.

Revenge is swift as Crab squadron creeps forward and blasts the flying machine from the sky.

Back on the other side of the battlefield, two Myobu streak across the river and take some shots at the Terriers, damaging one.

The propaganda minister didn't get a picture at the time, but the Gyros and Ho-I bombards destroyed one of the British bombards in the back and damaged a medium tank crossing the ford.

Turn 2

The British artillery takes some anger out on another of the scout tanks.

The Inaris finish off the damaged Mk. II and Terrier.

The Japanese forces on the left push through the ford and fire all available weapons the the Mk. IIs, but manage only a crit on one of them. The return fire wasn't too terrible but those troops are badly outnumbered and the writing is on  the wall for them.

A group of the Terriers pushed forward and destroyed one of the Ke-Hos. The Chi-Ris destroy one stand and damage another in reply. The Ke-Ho squadron advanced and shot one of the dive bombers from the sky.

The dive bombers, sensing that it was now or never, pounce on the Chi-Ris and make a mess of them.

Turn 3

Most of the battlefield.

Shit gets "real" for Crab squadron. They were wiped out in short order.

Revenge came in the form of my Gyros blasting one of the Cromwells and capturing the other.

Zigs two Mk. IIs on my right went back into the ford and my Ke-Hos blasted away. And blast they did. a critical hit and an explosion. You can see that my small tanks are withing the 4" BOOM ZONE. I lost one of my small tanks in the explosion. The remaining Ke-Hos attempted to board the other Mk II but failed miserably.

Stampi-san made his presence felt, wading forward and finishing off the last Mk II and a stand of Terriers. Yeah baby.

Turn 4

Things were very close now so it was just a matter of kill all you can. The Hawk descended upon the Ho-Is damaging one and capturing another. The Cromwells finished off my bombards by killing the damaged one.

My Gyros killed one more stand of Terriers and captured the other. We ended the battle there. Both sides retreated to lick their wounds.

Final score was 650 to 637 in favor of the EoBS, so a tie for all practical purposes since we both went way over our break points on turn 4. The game was a hell of a lot of fun for both of us. My dice were hot to start and cooled off after turn 2. Ziggy's dice warmed up on turn 3 once our armies really got stuck in. I really do like the DW land game and I think Zig is sold on it too. He's going to pick up some bombards and the Brunell + Lysander box. Already looking forward to the re-match. My HoverSquid should be done my then.

Early Happy New Year!

28 December 2013

2013 Yearly Review

I'm looking back at where I was last year and what's been done. Last year's end-of-year wrap featured some Urban War and Infinity stuff. While both were enjoyable to paint up, both games were found lacking. Infinity may have the worst basic game mechanics ever. Gorgeous models, shabby game.

I did not jump into Arab-Israeli War stuff for MSH, although I did put together two UMSC battalions. This decision had a lot to do with $ > game time. I'd love to put together armies and play MSH, but it doesn't come up often.

I did manage to sell off one of my remaining FoW armies. That leaves me with the Rangers, which are certainly on the trading block but in no rush to leave.

I did do a little work on those FoW Paratroopers, but not much and they are still in much the same shape they were a year ago. Wow, has it really been a year?

I did pick up a little more Shipwreck stuff - Frenchies and aircraft. I enjoy the heck of of painting those tiny ships and planes but having a gigantic collection doesn't make tremendous sense for me.

So, what has changed in the last year? I've been playing with different people more and have been playing a different selection of games - that's the biggest change in the last 12 months. 2013 has been a very good year and I hope 2014 is even better!

27 December 2013

Balancing Act!

As model builders, we've all been there. Assembling some cockamamie-action-pose heroic model that looks awesome on the packaging and manufacturer's website. Then, with three fingers super-glued together, you are contemplating either:
1) Pitching the damn thing across the room
2) Using the bits as base decorations for other models

The other thing going through your mind, or perhaps out of your mouth is "why is superglue so damn good at bonding fingers instantly but utterly refuses to stick this %&!#@ wing to the shoulder of the pegasus?"

After a few score of these situations, you begin looking for new solutions.

I treated myself to some more Anima Tactics minis, this time Black Sun baddies. One of the models is a winged undead thing which eventually should look like this:

It comes in four pieces. A base, a tail, a torso / legs and a chest / head / wings. Here, look at the next picture

The red lines indicate where the bits are joined. I started from the bottom and went up which left me sticking the chest / head / wings to the rest of it this morning. All I have to say is hooray for Duplo and Gorilla Glue+Loctite.

Those are arcade game tokens under it on the base to add weight to the bottom of the model. I think I'm going to let it sit like this for at least another hour or two.

The rest of the gang was much simpler to assemble

Onward to spackling the bases!

26 December 2013

Post-Christmas Post

Ah. Working on December 26. No doctors working today until after lunch, and then there is only one coming in so it should be pretty quiet at the old salt mines. I hope everyone had a nice Christmas. I certainly did - a Christmas Eve get together at my brother-in-law's house with my wife side of the family. It was a cacophonic orgy of greed and booze, but it was a lot of fun. Christmas Day was much quieter and we just hung out with my mom and dad in the morning and evening.

I got some toy soldiers, among other things. My sister hooked me up with some 15mm ancient Romans and my kids set me up with some Dystopian Wars beasties! Oh, and my bro-in-law Chris picked up Cthulhu Fluxx for me.

I've been wanting to paint up "something different" and lil' sis came through. Now I have a nice starting point for a HOTT army and a collection of gladiators to try out Kaptain Kobold's Munera Sine Missione game.
We'll give that a go soon. Some of the guys were going to play up at the store Sunday - maybe we'll join them. 
Be well and have a great rest of the week.

22 December 2013

Chain of Command

Ziggy and I got to play a game of Chain of Command on Saturday. It's been a while since we played but since CoC is a great and simple rule system, it was easy enough to pick right up where we left off. We played scenario 6 - Attack on an Objective. I ended up as the attacker. I used a Regular Soviet Infantry platoon and Z used a Regular German Grenadier Platoon.

For support I took a 50mm mortar, a Matilda tank (used Valentine stats) and a Scout Squad. Zig took a minefield and a Panzerschreck team.

Here's the board from my edge.
The white markers are my jump-off points.

Another view. The small building in the back with the howitzer in it is my objective.

The early going. I've managed to get a squad deployed in the woods, the mortar team set up in the field and a Recon team making its way around the right side. Green yarn indicates that a squad is "going tactical" - being careful and using all available cover. Ziggy is deploying a Grenadier squad in the large ruined building - an MG42 covering the doorway opposite my squad.

The two squads begin trading fire. This would be a recurring theme for the game.

A second German squad is revealed within the tree line! Red squad is taking a beating from the MG42.

The mortar kicks up a lot of noise and branches around the newly revealed squad, but they suffer only a shock point.

The Matilda appears on my left flank. Red squad takes cover to try to reduce the effect of the blasted machinegun.

The Germans continue to pile on, getting within Assault range and adding another point of shock to my squad.

But then, the Soviets finally get their act together and throw another squad into the fray, firming up the center.

I then emptied the Chain of Command pool and used an "Interrupt" while the Germans in the woods were preparing to fire, resulting in a kill and four shock. The Germans went tactical. The Matilda lent the weight of its machinegun to the fray.

I ended up with a magical activation roll - 1,2,4,6,6 which allowed me to deploy all of my remaining troops and take a second phase immediately afterwards. I deployed the other half of the Recon squad, Yellow squad (on my right) and the Senior Leader. During my follow-up phase, the Recon squad and Blue squad decimated the Germans in the center, leaving just four of the Huns.

Moments later a rocket flashed out from the woods edging the road and stuck the tank square, brewing it up almost instantly.

The first turn ended. The fight for the woods was over.

The Germans continued to pound on Red squad until I backed them out of sight. I also shifted Blue squad out of sight.

A few moments later, the Germans burst from the building and deployed in a firing line which seemed suicidal. I went to fire my Recon team but was Interrupted! The German marksmanship was completely off the mark and failed to achieve anything. The return fire by the two Soviet squads was on the other hand, devastating, resulting in four KIAs and nine shock points.

We called the game there - Ziggy only had one functional squad to my three (Yellow, Blue and Recon) plus my mortar.

The fight in the woods was very tense and really could have gone either way. Only the fortunate appearance of additional squads and my Senior at just the right time kept me in the game. I learned that Panzerschrecks are just nasty - especially against out-of-date pine boxes. We enjoyed playing with additional toys and trying out the new goodies. Maybe next time Z will be able to put the StuG on the table. If you haven't tried it, Chain of Command is a fantastic game and it is well worth the price of admission.

This is probably my last post until Christmas, so Merry Christmas! I hope you and your families have a wonderful day. I'm getting a new lead and resin pile so I'll be busy for quite some time.

09 December 2013

Dystopian Wars - Blockade Running 101

A group of us got together Sunday afternoon for a game of Dystopian Wars at Morningstar Games in Savannah. Mike put a scenario together with the Prussians and the EoBS allies trying to land some reinforcements in Southern England with a British fleet intercepting. I used a Prussian all airship force of a Carrier, 2 Pflichts and 3 Speerwurfs. My teammate David took 3 EoBS Gunships and 6 Frigates. We were to escort 6 small and 2 large landing craft. We allowed the Frigates to operate as Escorts for this scenario, staying within 4 inches of their charge and able to provide AA and CC defense.

The British opposition (Mike and Anson)  was a surface Carrier, 2 Cruisers, 2 Hawks, 9 Frigates and 3 Destroyers.

Here are some blurry photos of our setups. 
The tiny fliers from my Carrier were two groups of 3 fighters. David's ten were two groups of 5 Torpedo Bombers.

The Brits. They had sixteen fighter tokens up as a greeting party for my arimada.

Turn 1 was just movement for all parties involved. The rough seas (-1d4 movement for all surface ships) slowed the Brits down but nothing tremendous happened. The squall templates were considered opaque for LOS purposes and moved 1d10 inches in a random direction every turn. The squalls also would drag flying models with them when they moved, if they hit or contained fliers.

See! Stuff moved!

Turn 2
Dave lines up some shots on the British Cruisers with his Gunships. They did nothing.

The return fire was effective. A Gunship gets critted.

A few moments later, the lead Cruiser is zapped by the Prussian Carrier and the Speerwurfs.

Turn 3
The British Destroyers break from the pack and take shots at the escorting Frigates and also get a lucky hit on one of the Pflichts.

The damage was quickly avenged. Scratch two Orions. They attempted to board the third ship but failed terribly.

The Japanese Gunships finished off the wounded Cruiser and damaged the other. The Speerwurfs swooped in and their boarding parties captured the ship.

Frigates claim one of the Speerwurfs.

Back on the other side, Mike and Anson threw everything they could muster at the Scout Airships - two flights of fighters, AA from three Frigates and shots from one of the Hawks. The Pflicht was severely damaged but remained aloft! Fine German quality on display.

Turn 4.
We played though a couple of actions of turn 4, mainly to see if the Brits could sink a transport, but the shots missed wildly. The Brits hit their breakpoint after the Gunships blasted some Frigates and we called the game there.

The Prussian / EoBS side only lost a Speerwurf and two Frigates, whereas the KoB lost two Cruisers (one Prized), two Destroyers and countless Frigates.

We all had a good time and I enjoyed playing with a different faction for a change. The Prussians are a lot different than my usual EoBS guys. I've never used a carrier before - that was kind of neat. There were some rather memorable moments - at one point I had a flight of Fighters get wiped out by British Fighters, only to have two resurrect back to the table with "Acrobatic Pilots." Mike was incredulous!

Thanks to Mike, David and Anson for the entertaining game!