31 July 2017

15mm Space Marines - Progress!

The work on my Khurasan "Space Marines" is done. I had a rather productive Sunday evening of painting.

Next up is of course basing them. I'm going to try out Liquitex Modeling Paste to texture the bases instead of the usual wall-patch spackle on the advice of one of the Spearhead guys. There are also five "terminator armor" guys still queued up, but they'll be easy to churn through while basing the others.

30 July 2017

AAR - Rate of Fire with Soviets and Ze Germans

Mark and I got together for some Rate of Fire Saturday evening. It was kind of a last minute affair, so Rate of Fire was a natural, as was setting up Prelude from the Gross Deutschland at Kursk Skirmish Campaigns book. It's a small scenario that fits comfortably on a 3' x 4' space. We used the random game length option - the game would run for 8 + d4 turns but we wouldn't roll for the extra time until the end of turn 8.

Mark went for the Russians, leaving me to attack with the Germans. Our objective is to capture or destroy the building towards the upper right. The tan bit that I have so many troops in is a ravine, a few feet deep that works like a trench. Fairly safe to run around in unless some Untermenschen are at the edge with their submachineguns.

My plan was to run one squad, plus the platoon HQ up the ravine, take up firing positions across from the killing zone in front of the building. The other squad and flamethrower section would zip up the left flank, hidden by the woods, and get to work on the guys in the trees in the middle.

The Russian infantry squad in the woods. There was also a Maxim in the building and forward observer team by the house - running to the central wooded area in this picture. There is also an AT rifle team in the building.
March march march! Turn 2 and the ravine group begins its advance. They killed an unlucky slob at the far end of the ravine on turn 1 with some brilliant long-ranged machinegun fire.
My UAV flyover of the building.
Turn 3 - my boys get into firing positions. Although they'll be receiving a good bit of fire, the woods and creekbed should provide decent cover.
The machinegun in the building open fire at my assault team!
And four Fritzes are killed just that quickly! Nooooooo!
A turn later, the machineguns in the ravine are set up and dump a hail of bullets into the building.
And an equally deadly dice result finishes off the heavy machinegun team! It's already turn five and I'm still trying to figure out how to cross the gap "safely."
I catch a break as the FO team hits the retro thrusters and heads back to the building to help defend it now that the MG is gone. My machineguns take some opportunity shots at them as they bolt across, taking out two of the four.
My squad in the woods continues to take a beating - now down to just five guys. Their morale has held steady though.
Turn 7 - I prepared to assault my way into the woods but Mark, seeing my guys leave the comfort of the creekbed (and the machineguns going off-line) made a run-for-it with his infantry squad back to the building. The "assault" produced the desired effect anyway!
Turn 8. Two machineguns are set up for action in the ravine while the command team and other infantry squad do their best to advance and pour shots into the building.
I rolled to see how many more turns I'd get - 2. I had to hurry now.
I pushed the guys forward, knowing the Soviets couldn't produce enough firepower to kill them all.
By turn 10, the machineguns I had held back had really done a number on the Ruskies in the outpost. Only one remained; my command squad assaulted their way into the building and after a short fight, captured the charnel house.

A nicely fought battle with a few surprises along the way. Because the game was pretty quick, we set it up for a second go, swapping sides this time!
Mark's setup. Command squad in the ravine, infantry squad on the hill and the other squad and the flamethrowers running up behind the trees.
I didn't take a picture of my deployment, but the Maxim was at the end of the ravine, the AT rifle team was in the central wooded area, the FO team in the building and the infantry squad in the woods behind the building, towards the center.
A lucky early shot. Incredibly, the Maxim had no luck against the sitting ducks down the creek.
It took very little time for the godforsaken flamethrowers to get to me. The machinegun op-fired at them but of course whiffed.
Predicable results. The AT rifle group exchanged fire with other German troops nearby.
The Germans lined up for the assault which they won handily, although my brave boys took out a couple in the process!
While that was going on, I had pulled most of my infantry squad into the building, seeing as though it is the objective location and all. The clock was running out on the German plan. The flamethrower group is at the front while the accompanying command squad disastrously broke off and retreated after taking considerable gunfire from my troops.
This left the flamethrower team in the unenviable position as the only troops close enough to attempt the wipe out / capture. They charged in.
Two were gunned down. The lone flamethrower, rolling five attacks, hitting and killing on 4+, completely whiffed and produced NO kills. The game ended after turn 9. A tense affair at the end for me.

That second game was an avalanche of misfortune in the final couple of turns for Mark. Only getting one extra turn, a miserable failed morale causing the command team to retreat just when they were needed most, terrible attack rolls with the flamethrower... I got lucky for sure.

That was two quite entertaining games and it was very cool to play both sides of the same scenario back-to-back. I don't know if I've ever done that. RoF was a solid cheap investment for WW2 skirmish rules and I'm very happy with it. It always makes for a good game.

28 July 2017

Goings On

I got some sweet 15mm "Space Marines" last week from Khurasan. A few months ago I put together StarDust Ground stats for GW Space Marines for Mr. Whitesell and with the urge to put together another force for my own SDG collection, they were a natural.

That's 30 Marines, 4 special / heavy weapon guys, 2 leader poses and 5 "Terminators."

Orange may not be what you think of right away with Space Marines, but they'll be fine, I promise. I'm big on bold bright colors and let's be honest, so have the Space Marines.

After a dark brown wash and a drybrush job. They're starting to shape up. Now for all of the little bits that make them look like toy soldiers and not orange blobs! More progress pics as they occur.

23 July 2017

Firestorm Planetfall AARs - Two Very Short Ones

Zig and I broke out the Firestorm Planetfall stuff for our first game of that on Saturday afternoon. We fumbled through the a couple scenarios in the Battle for Proteus Prime campaign book that came with the box set.

This also is the debut of my wintry battle mat and trees. I may give it a bit more white, but I'm happy with the result. Here I've got a big honkin' heavy tank and a support tank. The support tank's job is to feed drop coordinates to the boys upstairs. The red markers in the middle of the battlefield are the drop sites. I also had three medium tanks bobbing along off-field in reserve.

In retrospect, I should have left this guy idling on my base line, sniping. But for game 1, he zipped forward and game the infantry carrier both barrels and was one hit away from killing it!

And then this happened. Ugh. Stupid infantry.

Big 'un hit the retros and tried his luck elsewhere. Just for grins, I killed the infantry carrier. It was a spite kill more than anything.

The big Directorate tank then took aim at my Sedna and with one mighty blast sent it careening.

My cavalry showed up and sniped one of the Directorate recon vehicles capturing the objective in the center. Too little, too late.

Those medium tanks were soon overrun by the roaming pack of infantry. Game over man, game over!

OK, lesson - infantry is the queen of the battle in a phone booth. AP guys are more suited to the long game. On to the next one!

The play area was expanded to 36" x 36" and we deployed our forces. I failed to realize that the support tank was supposed to be attached to the medium tank squadron. You can see my recon skimmers which have zipped forward early to occupy the objective.

Not pictured is evidence of my decision to float them over to the EW vehicles on the right to shoot them up. Well, I got too close and those EW vehicles decided to initiate a CQB firefight. Turns out EW tanks are the bee's knees in close quarter battle and wiped my squadron. Oh well, game 2, rookie mistake. In the picture above you can see that the tank squadrons have traded shots and the Cyber Warfare tanks have obscured the advanced targeting systems of my tank squadron with pop-up ads. The Directorate infantry has occupied the objective building.

The gray hordes continued their push forwards. I had dropped two missile launchers onto the board, but I just didn't have the firepower to deal with anything. After another turn, all that was left were my missile launchers. 

Lesson - the "intercept" aspect of CQB is not to be underestimated. Especially when it comes to big silly EW vehicles which apparently are crawling with the guys from The Expendables.

We did play the shield rules wrong - we were adding up total shields for the squadrons, not just those of the vehicles that would be damaged by an attack. Noob mistake. It seemed very broken during the game 😅

I'm certainly looking forward to more of Planetfall. Its combat mechanics are a big improvement over DW's slow arithmetic-laden dice counting system. A bit more experience will sort our my stupid mistakes of Saturday's games. I have not been perusing the forums looking for tactical advice and how-to guides, so really was going in blind. It did not take long at all to determine that the Aquan Prime guys prefer a battlefield that looks like this:
Long ranges, fast movement. The pool table is where it's at...

19 July 2017


Sometimes you end up with a model that's just a bear to assemble. I haven't had one of those in some time, but the Aquan assault helix I received as a birthday prezzie came with two real patience-testers.

The "three-legged walking things," as my son would have described them years ago, required me to use putty at the ankles and enlist my wife as a second set of hands. The very loose ball-and-socket joints were just impossible to work with by myself.

I did finish up the other contents of that box set - some missile tanks:

Zig and I are supposed to get in our first game of Firestorm Planetfall this weekend. I'm really looking forward to it (and looking forward to putting my red lovelies out on the tabletop).

On a much cuter note, my son busted out some of my scenery and minis last evening and had a bit of a dust up.

These sheep are in deep kimchi.

Space men and the army duke it out

16 July 2017

Quick Update

Very little painting this week - I can't explain why, I've just been doing other things. I did get in a fun little game of Wings of War on Friday evening with my bride.

Rather than just your usual shoot 'em up, we tried something a tad different. I drove a Dauntless dive bomber with a Mustang escort - my mission was to bomb the yakatori stand represented by the card about a third of the way in from the left side in the picture above. My bride piloted two Ki-84 Franks as interceptors.

She makes a rookie mistake and charges in head-first. I get past her after weathering one light round of gunfire.

The Dauntless drops its bomb neatly on the yakatori stand, ruining lunch plans for the IJA. I'd gotten my Mustang spun around to distract the Jap fighters. Now, to extricate the dive bomber...

The silver plane gets in behind me and begins tailing. To make things worse, she gets a lucky hit that knocks out my tail gunner!

My two planes zip past each other. The Dauntless eats another close-range fusillade from the Frank and begins careening towards the ground! My Mustang hits the Jap plane hard too, but not quite enough to knock it out.

I didn't get a picture, but a few turns later I caught back up with her and shot it down. We didn't continue the "duel to the death" and called it a day there.

The action on kitchen table picked back up Saturday evening as Junior and I got in a game of X-Wing. I tried out a TIE swarm (or as much of one as I can muster) while Junior used a group of three much more elite TIE variants.

The dead sexy starting lineup. Managing five ships is something I am not used to! Traffic management is a big deal with a group like this.

The melee in earnest.

I knocked out the Interceptor easily enough - they're just too lightly built. The Defender and Phantom were much tougher customers. The Defender burned up two of my low-end TIEs by itself. You can see in this shot that the Phantom got in a prime position to kill my Advanced but sadly was cloaked and couldn't fire. I had a miserable time trying to hit that sneaky thing.

Eventually, the death of a thousand cuts go to the Defender. Junior conceded with just one ship left whose primary schtick of sneak attack would be very difficult to employ against a group of three ships. The "Semi Swarm" was a fun group to play with. All ships are ridiculously nimble and although firepower was lacking, I had little trouble with Agility 3 opponents.