13 December 2017

Recent Painting

Nothing huge in the hobby department recently. It's been a typical busy December so far. I did however crack open the box of Napoleonic French Infantry that has graced by lead pile for about a year. Truth is, the price at the time couldn't be passed up - over 100 minis for $20! Twenty-four were put on nails for painting and churned out in about a week. Its a whole new genre for me; yes, the grand-daddy of all miniature wargame periods has finally found a spot in my collection.

I've yet to get bases, so for now, they're just hanging out loose in storage. I'm excited about Star Wars this weekend! Not only that, but it's also a Star Fleet Battles weekend too! I tell ya, the work week can't be done soon enough.

07 December 2017

Ohio 1, Mars 0 : An AQMF Battle

I suppose the title of the post give it away a bit, but over the weekend Mark J brought his All Quiet on the Martian Front toys over for some early 20th-century shoot-em-up. I opted for the Earthlings, in a reprise of my last game a couple years ago, repping the Ohio National Guard. Mark's collection has improved considerably in the last two years and this time around, the humans had a much nastier selection of kit to field against the filthy invaders.

Mark gets his tripods ready to deploy. His mission was to rescue two downed 'pod pilots - one on the train station platform and the other in the middle of the woods over to the left by the open book. After picking them up, he had to transport them off a randomly determined board edge/corner that was secret from me. He marked the spot with a scrap of paper hidden under the battle mat. I had to prevent the rescue, and ideally capture the pilots myself,

The Martians appear! We went off-script and did an alternating activation, one unit at a time. All units marched in from the board edges.

The brave green hordes of the Ohio National Guard! I had waaay too much stuff and traffic management became a serious issue.

Second Lieutenant Morgo of the Mars Expeditionary Force.

And Major Oong!

Early into the proceedings, a light scout walker gets taken out by lucky long-ranged shots!

And before long, a second tripod is smoked!

But it wasn't long before the Martians got close enough to start boiling and vaporizing my things.

And like Donkey Kong, it was on. The 'pods which had advanced up the left flank burst out in front of my central platoon. My boys were saved from certain doom by the Martians' terrible aim!

But the terrible metal monsters glided ever closer and began crushing tanks and troops, all the while sweeping arcs of death over the brave defenders with their heat rays! My big "Patton" tank had also been severely damaged, though it remained in the fight. It's resilience would prove pivotal.

My remaining tanks redeploy and begin inflicting significant losses on the Martian horde.

Adding insult to injury, one of the Martian pilots ejects into a group of Ohioans. The unfortunate space traveler is immediately subjected to horrific experiments involving rifle butts and pointy sticks.

Guardsmen assault the pod which had just attacked the central position and bring it down! The pilot survives the destruction of his vehicle. ** insert doom-laden riff here **

And that's the last anyone ever heard from Martian Lieutenant Grob.

It wasn't all fun and games for the earthlings. A heavy assault 'pod has a good time with a tank squadron at close range.

And then the Patton is hulled out! Woe is me! It's all-around guns were terribly useful propping up that side of the battlefield.

A sneaky lone steamer gets some kind of lucky and takes out one of the three tripods making a break for it!

The heavy walkers dance on the graves and flaming wrecks of my soldiers and tanks.

One of the rescued pilots loses his ride, mere meters from safety! An artillery prime mover grinds over to assist. Its machine gun fires...

Dakka dakka, space squid!

With that, we called it. I had finished off the two initial downed pilots and won a minor victory. I wasn't able to capture them, but hey, better dead than red!

In the end, I'd suffered massive casualties - 24 infantry and guns and at least 8 tanks, but was able to keep up a steady stream of losses on the Martian side to even out the back and forth firepower. We both had a hell of a good time. We fudged a handful of rules, but the game was better for it and it became a terrific beer and pretzels game - simple mechanics, a fun scenario and a fine opponent. Thanks for bringing the toys out Mark!

01 December 2017

A Wee Boatload

I had the urge to paint some teeny tiny ships recently so I picked up some WWI-vintage Austro-Hungarian ships for the 1/6000 collection. I already have some Turks and Russians, but the Turks don't lend themselves well to larger engagements with their preponderance of destroyers. The k.u.k. Kriegsmarine on the other hand has some fine battleships that'll match up nicely, if ahistorically. I may pick up some Italians at some point to give the A-H a more historical enemy to fight, but for now the itch has been scratched.

Twenty-two little boats for the collection. The models are of course Figurehead. Looking forward to the next game of Victory at Sea!

26 November 2017

A Few More Off The Pile

The Thanksgiving visitors have all left and I was able to do a bit of painting Saturday. I've got another group of Dark Elves - these with hand crossbows and swords.

I'm please with the result, and I'm also pleased with the scheme-matching involved. Three of these were painted at least a year ago, probably much longer than that. The green paint on their base rim is a different shade, made quite obvious in the sunlight. The Dragon Rampant Dark Elves might have enough for a skirmish now - I'll have to add up points to see.

My other project done alongside these elves was a group of skeleton chariots.

15mm skellys are easy to paint and these Splintered Light chariots we no exception. They give the undead warband a probably unnecessary additional hard-hitting unit. They really could benefit from a couple squads of ground-pounders, but where's the fun in that?

21 November 2017

Elfin Magic!

I've got some time off this week. I've been taking Thanksgiving week off for years and really do look forward to it. I haven't done much of note, but I did get a dozen 15mm dark elves painted up for Dragon Rampant.

I've got 12 others about to go on nails for painting - crossbow-armed nutters. I also have some skeletal chariots for the undead contingent. Maybe they'll join the ranks of the finished by the end of the week!

20 November 2017

Happy TANKSgiving - Two AARs

Over the weekend, Mike hosted his annual Tanks-giving gaming get-together and of course David and I had to make the 120 mile trek. On the menu this year were Dystopian Wars: Fleet Action and Blitzkrieg Commander.

DWFA was set up first. I'd brought two forces, French and Prussians, allies in the DW alternate history. Opposing them would be the British and Russians. Being a tank-themed event, it was a land battle with the minor exception of an Eclipse Company airship recruited by the Brits to pad their numbers.

So, managing the Brits and Russians were Mike, Alec, David and Lee. Ace and I split the French while James and Sarah led the Prussian contingent. I won't attempt a detailed battle report because most of what followed over the next three and a half hours was a series of insults and jeers as we all settled into our national stereotypes for a bit of roleplaying with our wargaming.

Our battlefield and two of our opponents.

Our patient host.

The French mobile airfield moves towards the hill in front of it, accompanied by many smaller tanks. It may be worth noting that one of my two artillery pieces, in the extreme foreground, had already been destroyed by the British arty.

At some point during turn 2...  Lee and Sarah showed up a bit late, but better late than never. After turn 1, the Anglo-Russian alliance were ahead 9-2. The Prussians had made a deep push on our right flank but appeared to be getting pulled into a Russian trap. The Brits in front of me and Ace were content to focus fire on my Danton landship.

Hey, it still has two hull points!

Sarah's small tanks get up the hill and begin flanking the Russian trap as the big Russian drill surfaces and disgorges its cargo of three more tanks.

Blimp's-eye view.

Big Stompy charges into the Russian line, destroying a couple of tanks. James knew the writing was on the wall for the big guy and wanted to get in a few extra kills before his big 'bot was destroyed.

I wanted to do the same with my Danton, except that Ace had parked a tank in front of it, restricting my movement.

 Mike's artillery then cut loose like a deuce on the ol' Bastille on wheels.

And it was no more...
Smiling faces of our opponents.

This was followed quickly by David putting paid to the Metzger. Two heavy hitters gone in the blink of an eye. To add insult to injury, when Ace rolled his airfield right up to the death zeppelin, he whiffed with every attack!

The final insult as Dave's drill smashes through a tiny stand of Prussian Walze tanks.

So, from that last picture you get a good sense of the class and graciousness of our opponents. I jest. It was a terrific game, marred by horrifying dice rolls on our side and good, if not great, dice rolling by our opponents. James was the only player on our side whose dice weren't completely miserable. Final score - 50 to 30 in favor of Mike, Alec, David and Lee. Congrats, and on to the next!

For BKC, we switched up teams a bit and a bit of a staffing change. Ace, Mark and Alec were on team Germany with me, while David, Mike, Matt and James for team Soviet Union. Though the game was technically set in 1944, we had a motley collection of equipment fielded and the battle amounted to a line-up and shoot. Given the feistiness of the players, it was just as well. Nothing too complex.

Most of the players... Matt has brain damage and can't control what his hands do.

My lovelies. I was to just hang onto the right flank as best I could with a mere seven Panzer IVs, two blobs of infantry and two PaK40s (in the wheatfield).

SU152s, T-34s and KVs across the map from me.

James' (behind the field) and David's (behind the buildings) tanks.

The battle began in earnest on our left flank with Ace and Alec pushing up the hill opposite David's 85s.

In the hour and eighteen minute-gap since the start of the game, I had passed exactly one command roll and my slackers had moved almost nowhere.

I was presented with some targets atop the central hill and began firing with my tanks. Finally, some fun!

Mark's Tiger IIs in our center, behind that pond, absolutely dominated the gumball alley in the middle - a good thing for us because I wasn't doing anything and about 2/3rds of our forces were on the left side cut off from us by the hilltop and woods.

Mike and Matt eventually got their tanks to the ridge in front of me and began hitting my position. My Mk IVs didn't stand up well to the challenge.

My two functional tanks hit the gas and re-deployed to the field to join with the anti tank guns that had actually been complete killing machines.

The far side of the table. Alec and Ace had made a significant push forward and made quite a mess.

By 10:00, with a two-hour ride home looking at us, we wrapped up the game. We tallied up kills and the Germans had won by a roughly 2:1 margin - quite shocking but I needed a win after the beating that was Dystopian Wars! I rather enjoyed BKC and am sure I'll be playing more of it in the future. David liked it as well. We've both purchased the 2nd edition rules PDF.

Another great Tanksgiving come and gone. James has a post on his blog too, here.  I'm psyched for Memorial Day now!