29 December 2018

Painted Christmas Shinies

Well that was quick! Zig picked up an OOP Infinity Loup-Garou box set for me for Christmas and I wasted precious little time getting them table-ready.

Two Viral Rifles, a shotgunner and everyone's favorite - the grenade launcher!

Behind them are some 3-d printed scenery bits that my wife gave me for Christmas. Suitably sci-fi "energy towers" or whatever you want to call them. They'll work fine for any scale and have a cool look to them.

I've still got some Christmas goodies in the queue... they'll show up here sooner or later. For now though, it's X-Wing for me today. Trying to squeeze in whatever I can before the end of the year. 😁

27 December 2018

2019 Gaming

Here's hoping that y'all have had a nice Christmas. Mine was pretty chilled and the downtime was quite welcome. Work has been a real summnabitch lately and it's taken a toll on me. The current project is very close to completion so maybe things will lighten up soon.

I'm not going to try to predict what I might be doing game-wise for the next twelve months, but there are a few things I'd like to scratch off the list!

 1. I'm going to keep working on 20mm Napoleonics. I've posted next to nothing about them on the blog mostly because the project stalled for a while. I did however finish off some Prussian cavalry and cannons recently and just received Prussian foot-sloggers in the mail yesterday. Maybe I'll have enough done to play a small game next year?

2. Play more Batman. I've collected a bunch and put together some good scenery pieces. It's a good game just screaming for scenario play, and I've got ideas for sure.

3. Get in some Blood and Plunder games. Now that I've got two armies, may as well get some use out of them. Like Batman, the game is oozing with character, just waiting to exploited.

4. Play a game of Malifaux. Hahahaha! I've got loads of painted gorgeous minis and still haven't given it a go. We'll see.

5. Play an X-Wing 2.0 tournament. I was gifted the XW2 starter for Christmas; I'd very purposefully been holding out, but I resolve to stop being a stubborn old fart and get with the program now. I need to throw down some cash on conversion kits so I can use my pile of 1.0 ships.

Ziggy and I have really gotten a kick out of Infinity recently so I imagine we'll continue with that in the months ahead. I'm looking forward to Rapier game con in Jacksonville in February. I'm very sad that there will be no Gnomecon in 2019. Excited about the Memorial Game Day Bash and the next Tanksgiving.

Be well and good gaming!

24 December 2018

Infinity - Christmas Eve Eve Eve AAR (and a couple of painted minis)

Ziggy and I put our Infinity toys back on the tabletop Saturday for a bit of the ol' shoot-em-up. We played the Nimbus Zone scenario out of the rule book.
The battlefield is laid out as shown above. The green and orange dots are objectives we both needed to have specialist troops interact with to score victory points. The map above translated to this on the tabletop:

That central area of the battlefield is the Nimbus Zone and essentially a fog bank that makes shooting attacks less effective. It can be disabled by shutting down all four of the beacons during the course of the game. Of course with only three turns, we'd be hard pressed to achieve that. 

The gang pose for their pre-battle picture. The battlefield was the edge of a town in the jungle.

The first kill of the game went to Montage. The Zouave bravely (foolishly?) stepped around the corner, sidestepped a rocket fired by the Pan Oceania bot-walker down range and loosed his own rocket into the bot! Scratch one flame-thrower droid.

Towards the end of the first turn, my Para Commandos arrived behind the PanO lines, causing a bit of havoc. Ziggy was displeased.

Equally distressing for me was the arrival of a Crusader Brethren behind my Briscards. His flamethrower made short work of the troops I sent to deal with him. Also in this shot you can see my Briscard sniper, Souffle. He'd been causing no end of trouble for the Pan O skunks. Between his excellent rifle and improved visibility, Zig's knights were truly on lockdown for the first turn.

The carnage in town continued.

Meanwhile, I'd scooted my Moblot medic up to one of the beacons and managed to shut it down (yellow circle). 

Souffle scores another kill. The flyboy with the damned flamethrower takes a dirtnap.

He's a real Frederick Zoller.

We were then treated to the ultra-close range shotgun fight through a window. Sadly, I got the short end of the stick, after umpteen attempts to hack into the computer failed! I'd have to be content with my single victory point - Ziggy still was on ZERO though!

My Lieutenant, Haricot Verts takes control of the situation and hoses down.... nope. He's also sent to an early grave by the blue dick with the shotgun. Criminy! That blue knight is absolutely killing me!

Meanwhile, Zig's hacker has put on her big-girl undies and run out to one of the beacons. Channeling Trinity, she dodges a few bullets and shuts it down. ARRRRRGH! We're tied. Zig has one action left.

Trinity II of course makes a mockery of my gunfire, cartwheels over to the nearest console, steals a few credit card numbers and it's game over. Although I had a few actions left, I didn't have any specialists which are required to score the objective points. Game over, Ziggy and the PanO knights win right at the end. 

Terrific game with some wild swings of fortune and plenty going on. We each had our heroes and losers - Zig's commander was gunned down in short order by the Sniper from hell and of course mine took a shotgun blast to the chest the first time he appeared. My Zouave with the one-shot rocket launcher continued his lucky streak and I think Zig's now infatuated with his flamethrower-flyboy.

It was a great Christmas weekend game and I'm very happy we picked the game back up and gave it another chance, it's been a lot of fun.

I did a bit of painting over the weekend too!

A mercenary hacker (left) for Infinity and Ravage for Batman. Ravage's face sculpt is a bit mannish, but otherwise, two very nice models which were fun to paint.

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope Santa is excellent to you and that you have a relaxing, uneventful day.

12 December 2018

Blooding and Plundering

Like a bridge over troubled water...

 The Blood and Plunder minis finally made it onto the game table last Sunday! Mark brought his pirates over and I fielded my Frenchies. We played a Breakthrough scenario and it was decided that I would be the attacker.

Our battlefield. I was pleasantly surprised by how much Caribbean decor I could put out! I wish I had a few more of those buildings.

The deployment. I went heavy on the left with two eight-man units and two four-man groups on the right. The vile pirate commander had four 6-man units of suspiciously good quality. My goal was to move units into the enemy deployment area which in this case was 18" deep from his board edge.

Early on I start pushing units up the right side to encourage Mark to react. My Boucaniers quickly move into the trees behind the building.

Meanwhile the Filbustiers and Militia grind up the left side, slowly through the jungle they go....

And the Marins run forward and take cover amongst the barrels and crates. They're close-quarters fighters without muskets and need to get close to be a threat.

My unfortunate Bucs start getting pelted by the ghostly Freebooters.

The Marins take cover in the house.

And in short order, my right flank is a sad memory! Poor Bucs...

The Militia continue to push forward - I've got to make some progress toward my objective! The Filis have taken up a position to their right on the rise and prepare to fire at the pirates in the distance.

As the Militia continue to run forward, shielded by the trees, the Filis let loose a volley at the pirates dead ahead (marked by the white die) and take out three! What a tremendous example of long-ranged shooting!

I've got that flanking feeling as a group of pirates gets up behind the wall to the left and begins firing at my Filis. You can see that I ran my Marins forward, taking cover behind the well.... well, three of them got taken out but they were a fantastic distraction that kept my objective-scoring Militia in good health!

Another view of things after six turns.

The scenario is just six turns long, so we added things up. We were tied on strike points - 2 and 2. Mark had killed more of my troops so he earned the victory on kills. We both rather enjoyed the game and got a good feel for the mechanics and flow. I was a bit disappointed that we never got into a melee, but that gives us something to hope for next time! We did not use our leaders for anything besides decoration, so next time around we'll be sure to leverage their skills and abilities.

26 November 2018

Tanksgiving 2018 - A Pair of AARs

It's that time of year again (funny how that happens), time for Mike to host a TANKSgiving get together at his place. Zig and I made the trek to Waycross yesterday to eat, drink, throw dice and push models for a few hours. I had put together a Cold War Commander scenario a week or so ago at Mike's request, so I took my 6mm West Germans and WarPac along for the ride.

When we arrived, Mark J was setting up All Quite on the Martian Front and Mike was setting up an entirely too huge Ogre layout. When it became apparent that Mike would only have four for Ogre, we cut the board's dimensions in half and ended up with a much more manageable game. The scenario was this:

There were seven reactors scattered about the battlefield. Each team had to recover as many as possible and exit them off their table corner. Reactors could only be picked up by unarmed and poorly protected transport trucks.

Mike had four small slightly different forces set out so each of us simply took one and we were off!
My red horde struggles to cross the stream but the GEVs and trucks make haste towards the nearest reactor facility.

Ziggy and Mike start scrapping on their side of the table. Ziggy's blue GEVs next to the reactor turn in a great round of shooting, causing Mike's attack to seize up.

Ziggy points something out to Mike while my first reactor grab has gone swimmingly. The truck the the fireball marker on it (lower left) is the getaway vehicle.

Mark, my opponent to the right wasn't being ignored. I had sent my squadron of four GEVs over as a distraction and it worked out very nicely. The intention was for them to cut roads slowing down the transports' escape. Mark ended up diverting a good chunk of his forces to deal with them.

A good overview of the action. Zig's blue forces have snagged one reactor and are on the way to their second on the far left. Mike grabbed one (upper left) and are on their way to taking the second in the center. My reds are on their second reactor while some of Mark's APCs and infantry skulk nearby.

Mark's swine ambushed my contractors removing the toxic reactor, preventing me from grabbing a second objective. Meanwhile, Mike had manged to grab his second from the center facility.

Waaaay over to the left, Ziggy has nabbed a second reactor core but Mike has sent a lone GEV to hunt it down (the green one). I've formed an agreement with Mark that north of the river we will not fight each other and instead focus on preventing Mike from scoring two objectives. You can see my one remaining GEV hiding from Mike's view behind the building.

Ziggy's second reactor is destroyed by Mike's GEV which is in turn taken out by infantry and one of Z's GEVs.

Pew pew! My GEV zips out and takes a few quick shots at Mike's truck carrying the loot, wrecking it. A glorious four-way tie! We had each nabbed one objective and the other three were all destroyed in transit.

That was a fun scenario - small manageable forces, interesting and challenging victory conditions and enough elbow room to allow for proper maneuvering. We all really enjoyed the game.

After the first session games were cleaned up, Mike and I began setting up for round 2. He was setting up an Eastern Front Blitzkrieg Commander game while I got my CWC stuff ready. The scenario I'd selected was "Assault" with the West Germans defending a town. They had to hold on for eight turns against a much larger Soviet force. Max took command of the FRG forces and Ziggy (a newbie to CWC) helmed the Reds.

Max's setup. Nothing too crazy really. I'd have put the Marders in the middle with tanks on both flanks.

The armor arrives in force! That's 12 T-55s on the lower left and 6 T-64s + 6 BMP-2s just up from them. Max is nervous. Ziggy has held a group of T-72s for Flank deployment.

And they waste no time! Twelve T-72s roll in immediately on turn 1, deep on the German right flank. If Max was nervous before, now he had very good reason!

A Leopard and Jaguar are taken out in short order. The Leopards quickly redeploy to the other side of the wall.

The German left flank is in serious trouble as the T-64 and BMP group bursts out of the woods.

A bit of relief for the NATO forces as some air support streaks in and smashes the front of the T-72 formation. The Jaguars in the town would have felt the sting as well, had they not already been taken out. That was a little close there, Fritz!

After some terrific command / activation rolls another visit from Mr. Phantom...

Max had completely wiped out the T-72 threat on his right flank! In a blink, the whole complexion of the battle changed.

The other side of the town was still in deep trouble though. The BMPs pushed around to engage the Marders, with a large group of T-55s close behind.

I didn't take much convincing for the Marder teams to redeploy into the town. The Leopards also redeployed to help out on this side - the potato field had already been captured!

The T-55s arrive and take up positions in a gunline to winkle out the defenders. Just then, a jet streaks overhead!

The Su-17 pilot was a little edgy after having made it past the NATO air cover and dropped his bombs a bit early, giving his countrymen below reason to fear.

Not longer after, the casualties sustained by the FRG defenders became untenable and they retreated south, past the still burning hulks of the T-72s. The battle was over.

A tough win for Ziggy and the Polish/Russian horde. It was set up to be a cakewalk early as the flankers arrived and Max couldn't pass a command roll to save his life. Once Max's dice problems resolved themselves, it became a much different affair. Zig doesn't often push the commie hordes and I think he rather enjoyed having a massive manpower advantage for a change. I enjoyed GMing and just keeping the game on track.

We packed up for the two hour ride back home while the WWII battle was still raging in the other room - I have no idea how that one turned out. Another enjoyable Tanksgiving get together; Thanks Mike!