24 July 2015

The other half of those newly painted minis, plus some others

Here are the rest of the Relic Knights minis (minus two). OK, so they aren't done. I've also had some Epic minis lounging around on the painting table for a couple weeks, just needing to be based, so I cleared them out of the queue.

The lot

 Space Ork Warbuggies, in classic "Go Fasta Red"

Dark Angel and Space Wolf Land Speeders

Doctrine Wizard trainees

 How'd that guy get in there? A Warmachine something-or-other that I've had for about 10 years. I picked up the Frostgrave rules this week and he'll make a fine medium construct. I've got a handful of suitable 28mm minis that'll work for Frostgrave, so many have made their way onto the painting table for overhauls.

 More wizards

One last shot of ol' Copper-Crotch

23 July 2015

Newly Painted and a Milestone

I noticed this morning that's I'd passed 50,000 site hits. Thank you to all of my human readers, and to all of the Russian bots that keep those numbers rising! I really do enjoy maintaining this blog - especially the after action reports. Generally, they're my favorite thing to read on others' blogs so I do my best to keep plenty of reading material out there.

I have worked on some Relic Knights minis the past few days. I bought them back around November or December, assembled them and then they kind of sat for months and months. With a bit of renewed effort, I completed about half of them and the others (not pictured) are about 80% done. They're not going to win any awards - I'm just glad to see them get done.

The gray guys and little purple cat are from the Black Diamond faction while the big dog is from the Doctrine group. As I mentioned, more are on the way. The other models are less uniform and require more individual attention. I like the models a lot, they capture the Anime aesthetic very nicely.

Off to sunny and hot Florida this weekend and much of next week - you be well!

20 July 2015

Shipwreck AAR - North Atlantic 1963

James and I got together for a Cold War era battle on Sunday afternoon. He'd put together a cool scenario featuring a US carrier group being attacked by a huge group of Soviet bombers laden with cruise missiles. Not your typical Shipwreck game, that's for sure! I ended up with the Americans, commanding the Enterprise and it's escorts. I was in for a tense ride.

My initial deployment. Each inch was 5 miles, as opposed to the typical 1 mile. I had a VERY widely dispersed group, but appropriate for missile defense. My CAP was out wide, each token representing two fighters - F-4Bs and F-8s. 

James' very nice ships.

Early in, the Reds make their presence known. My group pushes hard to port to get as many SAM mounts to bear as possible. CAP moves out to engage.

Another very pretty model.

Gah! Two subs appear behind the group! They've surfaced which can only mean one thing... cruise missiles are on the way.

Phantoms get the jump on an EW plane and take it out with Sparrows.

My other fighters get into contact as EW Badgers begin to drop walls of chaff ahead of their bomber squadrons.

More fighters are scrambled from the Enterprise and two helos head out to the subs.

The guns on the Crusaders are very reliable and shred another EW Badger.

The great wall is up! Recon and EW planes are gone and now I await the arrival of the bombers.

And there they are! 18 bombers with EW escorts. That's potentially 36 inbound AS-5! The interceptors better get to work.

Very nice...

Crusaders gonna do what Crusaders gonna do. Splash two Badgers!

The bomber group further north releases its payload as the fighters engage. I really start to hate using missiles.

Not to be outdone, the Juliets launch eight "Fivers" at the carrier group. The helicopters were too late.

The bombers behind the chaff take a beating, losing three of their group and the EW plane.

The northern bomber group gets away with only one loss. Crusaders and Phantoms pursue the cruise missiles and knock a few down with Sidewinders!

Three missiles from the subs get into my group! Guns knock one down. Two others... BOOM BOOM! Misses! They both missed their targets!

The missiles from the bombers close but the SAM network is remarkably effective and accounts for all vampires! The battle war over - a stunning victory for the US air defenses! 

That was a cool game - quite different from the usual. It was neat to see the Badgers, Bisons and Crusaders out there, mixing it up.

My only issue with it, and we discussed it after the game, was that James' modified plane and missile movement rules created too many shot opportunities for me. I feel that I had too many shots at his missiles and that with the rules as played, it was too easy for the American player. If we sped up jets and cruise missiles to double their current rate, I'd have had half the shots and things would have gotten ugly. I know that the AS-5s are basically pretty dumb but it seems that out of 20 launched, more than one should have reached the ships. My fighters and SAMs accounted for 19, and 6 of the missiles from the subs! The three missiles that reached their targets all missed. The to-hit ratings for the Tatar, Terrier and Talos missiles I had available are abyssmal (3s and 4s), but terrific rolls at the right moments saved my bacon.

In any event, it was a blast and it was good to play Shipwreck again after a bit of a lay off.

19 July 2015

Firestorm Armada AAR - The Civil War Continues

Zig and I got in our second game of FSA yesterday afternoon. The Kurak Civil War is still simmering apparently, as my Tarakian / Terquai / Xelocian force faced his group of Terran and Hawker ships. Our forces were evenly matched at 880 points, though not perfectly "by the book" as we both only fielded one of the two T3 squadrons required "by the book." Screw the book.

We played the Escalating Engagement scenario which requires 1/3 of the opposing forces, including all big ships to be in reserve to start with. My battleship, the ShadeMaker, and Xelocian Frigates started in reserve, whereas the Terran battleship Ajax and the Hawker carrier Joshua Schultz were Z's only two reserve elements.

 The table layout and terrain
Our deployment zones

 My Kurak fleet - cruisers a-go-go and Tarls.
The filthy Terran oppressors.

Early on, the Terran destroyers smack one of my cruisers. The opposing fleets generally begin a clockwise rotation.

I turned my Sulans toward the Terrans. Apparently they were content to play the long-ranged game so I thought it wise to rush them as quickly as a squadron of Tarakian cruisers can rush anything. You can see that the destroyers' nukes have caused some real grief for me early on.

A frigate succumbs to a massive torpedo volley as a cruiser takes a pounding from the gravity weapons of Bullock Squadron. 

The Tarkian fleet seizes the initiative, closing again with the Terrans and accounting for one of the Hermes cruisers. Their torpedoes overwhelm another frigate. The asteroids will hopefully help the Sulans keep their noses clean.

That worked well! The Terrans target the nearest Sulan but don't make an impression. I think the frigates' torpedoes managed to knock the last hull point off my most damaged cruiser about this time too, because it isn't in any further photos.

The Terquai cruisers smash a Hermes from a long way off. Corrosive torpedoes cause a decompression!

Again, my Sulans close and cause havoc. A double-crit on an undamaged cruiser eliminate it. Their torpedo volley against the damaged cruiser is ineffective. You can also see that the Terran battleship has finally arrived! Uh Oh! The Tarakian cruisers may have over-played their hand.

The Terquai cruisers approach the destroyers, damaging one with their fore energy beams.

The end of turn four sees the last Terran cruiser succumb to the corrosive effects of the Terquai torpedoes.

The Terrans take the initiative but the Ajax has a poor performance, only killing one of Bullock Squadron's ships. My Tarakians fail their command roll and become disordered, but still manage to destroy the last two frigates! You can see the Joshua Schultz has just arrived as well.

I lose a Tarl as the squadron tries to shortcut its way through an asteroid field, desperately trying to get into the battle before it ends. They still manage to thump one of the destroyers.

Staring down two awfully big cannons, the Sulans wreak havoc before the lights go out. They smash the Schultz with their gravity weapons.

Another blasted asteroid takes out a Tarakian frigate. Are you kidding me? 50% of my casualties to this point are from poor driving. At least the rest of the squadron finishes off one of the destroyers. Finally.

Z's man of the match.

The carrier breaks it off in one of the cruisers. Cyberweapons knock out the PD so the bombers can pounce unopposed. Boom goes the dynamite.

Not to be outdone, the battleship targets the last of the cruisers, wrecking it. The Sulans are finally gone.

The game ended after turn 6. Here is the final positioning. My Alliance fleet had won, 4-2. You can see my poor, slow battleship inching its way forward. I was pushing it to get a grav slingshot off the planetoid...

That was a mighty fun battle, and much different from the last outing. My cruisers were impressive, handling a quarter of the tabletop by themselves. They were in big trouble once the big guys arrived, but by then it was too late to matter much. I was concerned that I'd gotten too aggressive early, and maybe I did, but I still had a large reserve component left to contend with the remains of the Terran fleet, so it worked out well.

 We're having fun with FSA and are both looking forward to another game. Good Gaming!