31 December 2012

Ski's Games is Going Green!

No, none of that "Earth-Friendly" nonsense. I'm just recycling some more junk from work!

These heatsinks and fans from an old server should make interesting LOS blockers:

And a pile of unused CPUs:

It should be fun to see what I can do with this stuff. Happy new year everyone!

28 December 2012

FRPGames Sale

I normally don't promote things like this, but...

I've been frequenting FRP Games for a while. They have a very good sale going on right now - an additional 50% of all clearance items and the list of clearance stuff is pretty good. I've just ordered a handful of goodies. Check it out!

27 December 2012

Ahhh... back to work

OK, so it isn't work, it's a hobby - but I haven't done any real miniatures work in what feels like forever so it has been very refreshing. I have assembled and based my Urban Wars dudes and assisted Junior with his. The Infinity miniatures are terrifically detailed but a bit more fiddly, so we'll save those until we're done with the UW guys.

The UW bases have a bit of a sunken area just begging for basing customization. I'm not feeling terribly custom right now, so we'll probably stick with the spackle (pictured) along with some kitty litter and sand. I made Junior spackle his own minis (the snake dudes). It builds character.

25 December 2012

Santa was good

My theory is that if you put together a good wish list, your secret Santa will have very little wiggle room. I'm very happy with this present from my brother-in-law:

My paint collection before today was heavily weighted towards the camouflage / military end of the spectrum. Now I've got a rather tasty palette to do up these

and these

OK, the minis were my present to myself. Junior also got some UW and Infinity guys - I'm really looking forward to painting time and game time with him. The Skis had a fabulous Christmas, topped off by my wife getting us tickets to Spamalot in January. Woohoo!

I hope ya'll had a Merry Christmas; until next time...

22 December 2012

Modern Spearhead

Zig and I got in a last big bash of the year this (Saturday) afternoon. We ended up playing a slightly modified "Encounter" scenario. Both of us used 850 point lists and neither of us used an A or B option. 

My force:
Full Morotized Rifle Regiment, minus the engineers
2 T-72 Battaltions
Airborne Assault Battalion w/ 3 Mi-8
4 2S3 Batteries + FO
1 Su-25 Sortie (ICM4)

The FRG:
Leopard 1A4 Battalion
Marder 1A2 Battaltion
M48G2 Battalion
1 Gepard AA Battery
4 M109 Batteries
2 F-4 Phantom Sorties (ICM3)

The map...
Orange splotches are objectives

I was entering the field from the bottom of that map, we'll call it the "east" edge and Z's West Germans arrived from the top edge. He had one battalion on the map to start with - his Leopard 1A4s, situated about the westernmost town.

The battlefield

Half of my stuff

Da other half

My plan involved an MR Battalion and Tank battalion moving down the southern road, capturing the objective in the town on the way and ending up at the three-road intersection halfway up the board.
Another MR Battalion would head almost straight up the center, capturing the objective on the hill near my edge, then set up camp in the woods overlooking the bridge near the center of the map. A group of T-72s would cover their right, heading to the objective on the overlook.
The Airborne Assault battalion was set to arrive deep in the back on turn 4 and capture the objective way back on his side of the map. My third MR battalion was set to flank march in from the right (north) edge on turn 3 and head to the bridge.

Turn 1 - the tide rolls on. 

Turn 2. More shuffling forwards. Z is moving his Leopards towards the bridge. Feh. 

Turn 4. The Doggone M48 battalion flank marches in right where I wanted to go. The German aircraft controller calls in the F-4s. 

My flankers also get into the game. Unfortunately the panzers have already set up camp on the far side of the river and start shooting right away. 3rd battalion didn't last very long.

The first Phantom sortie was aborted twice by my SA-9-packing BRDM but made it through the fire on turn 5 and plastered the 2nd Tank battalion, sending it into a full retreat. BOOOOOOOoooo.

The air assault goes off without a hitch. The infantry inch their way to the objective. 

At this point I've lost two battalions and caused very light casualties to the Germans - a few M48 stands. This isn't my first rodeo but jeez this sucks.

The fecking F-4 returns to harangue the Motorized Rifles. I think Z actually whiffed the attack run and caused no casualties.

The T-54s attached to the MRs take out two of the M48s! Choke on that, good guys! A regimental recon platoon manages to get the Su-25 to respond; Froggy unleashes a hail of cluster bomblets and take out another M48 platoon. The battalion flubs its morale roll and routs. It's back to being even!

The focus shifted to the right side for a bit. My remaining T-72s pulled off a change order and went WAY wide north, but not wide enough. The cursed Leopards behind their cowardly smoke screen of shame were in range and caused a handful of casualties, causing yet another rout. I did start throwing up a smoke screen in front of his Marders - I've seen what HOT missile can do and they are nasty.
** An aside ** A gamer checks the range very carefully in a situation like this and makes damn good an sure the T-72s can't be hit by the lame-ass Leopards. I'm not kind of guy. Maybe I rely too much on "Eyeball Mk. I" but positioning the tanks 18.1" away from the Leopards just to skirt a game mechanic is quite simply to gamey for my taste.

While that was going on, I'd managed a change order on the far left MR battalion and pushed them forward to flank the God-forsaken Leopards. I managed to get close enough to close-assault them, but was turned back for my efforts. 

Back on the other side, the Marders broke through the tree-line. I called in all available artillery and managed a suppression or two. The two T-54s at the front of the woods somehow evaded three incoming Leopard shots and killed one in return. An ATGW vehicle also managed a kill with one of its missiles! Hooray for dead Leopard tanks!

The Marders close assaulted the Motorized Rifle battalion. Turns out, I had a bunch of swarthy battle-hardened SOBs in those woods because I won all three assaults, to NO losses! 

Small victories. Take them where you can. You can see that the Leopards had their revenge on the missile vehicle and the T-54s.

A couple more shots at my MR battalion in the center caused them to rout, leaving me with two of six fighting battalions. The Poles quit the field, even though we had five of six objectives captured. Too aggressive I suppose.

The fight was enjoyable. It went 14 turns, which is long for us. I really do not like smoke screens. I need to start with counter-battery fire I guess to take out his M109s. Maybe next game we'll work on that. Since I really had dominated in terms of objective captures, I should have turtled and gone defensive, but I just wasn't thinking. 

We went to see The Hobbit later in the evening. It's good. Go watch it.

Merry Christmas Everyone! I hope Santa brings you all kinds of good toy soldiers!

19 December 2012

Mid Week Update

Zig and I are going to re-ignite the 99 Red Balloons fight Saturday with MSH. Yay! A "real" wargame for a change, Nothing against skirmishes but there's a lot to be said for moving battalions of tanks and infantry around, bombing the shit out of eachother, throwing up smokescreens, making "weeeeeeooooooo BOOM" and "dakka dakka dakka" sound effects and cursing bad leadership rolls. 

My Polish lists I've put together:
MR Regiment (W2R) 360
Air Assault (W1V) 101.2
MR Reg Arty (4 @ 2s1) 36
OP 10
BMP Bn (W2R) 78.4
MR Div Arty (2 @ BM21) 22.8
OP 10
10 Light Entrenchments 10
AA Battery (1 Off Table SA-6B) 21.6

MR Regiment (W2R) 360
Air Assault (W1V) 101.2
T-72 Bn (W2R) 140
T-72 Bn (W2R) 140
MR Reg Arty (4 @ 2s3) 40.8
OP 10
1 @ Su-25 Sorties (ICM4) 31.5
AGC 10

Any commentary on the lists is welcome; I still consider myself a novice with MSH.
I think we'll force either an Encounter scenario or something where I defend just to change things up a bit. We've been consistently playing scenarios where the Poles attack and the FRG defends and that's gotten a bit "old hat."

Z never reads my blog so I'm OK with mentioning that I got him some CinC goodies to start a mid-1980s USMC Regiment for Christmas. He'll need to pick up a shitload of infantry but as you know, 1/285 infantry is cheap as chips.

I also just ordered myself some boats for Shipwreck. We haven't fiddled with that in a while and the boats are fun to paint. Thank you Skytrex!

D180 Amazon 8 1975
D729 Moskva 2 1967
D740 Sovremenny 4+ 1981
D741 Udaloy 4+ 1980
D760 Krivac II 7 1976
D762a Kashin Mod 6 1974

The Amazon will be a proxy for my Libyans - it will become the Dat Assawari. The Soviets will be bits and pieces of the Black Sea Fleet. There was absolutely no research involved in selecting the Evil Empire ships, I just went a bit click crazy and let 'er rip. I suppose I need to order some Ka25s or Ka27s now.

I'm sure I'll post an AAR for the MSH game, but if not, Merry Christmas ya'll!


** Update **

Got 14 more of these beauties today. That makes 40 altogether.

The two interesting pieces of cardboard will become constructs of some sort. Still deciding...

14 December 2012

A Night at the Fort

OK, my usual readers know that although I live in the old South, I'm not a big Civil War buff / fan. I've been exposed to it my whole life and it doesn't hold a great deal of fascination for me.

That being said, we (me, the wife and kids, along with my mom and dad) did a short night-time tour of Fort Pulaski out near Tybee Island this evening. They had it decorated up for Christmas and were conducting small-group tours for those who had reservations. The tour itself was fantastic and I've got some pics to share. I know a lot of ya'll are into the War of Northern Aggression and I thought you'd be interested.

These fine fellows, and some of their companions sang and played a few tunes, including "Bonnie Blue Flag"

Santa was hanging out in the gift shop. That's Junior with him.

And Cameron, the four-year old.

A sentry

The group heading through the front gate

The decorations were really very nice

There's the band. I really like the use of local flora in the Christmas decorations - the Palmettos, etc.

Carolers. They made us sing along.

Numbers 1 and 2. Note the oyster shells mixed in with the garlands around the lamp.

The Yankees apparently had the keys to the larder.

Across the moat on the way out.

And here's a very dark video of muskets being fired and then the 30# Parrott Rifle. The muskets fire pretty early in the video, around :37. The cannon goes off at the 3:20 mark.

We had a great time and the weather was wonderful. If you're ever nearby, Ft. Pulaski is a great place to spend some time.

11 December 2012

And they're out!

My Flames of War Soviets sold today. I just spent about 45 minutes packing them in enough bubble-wrap to survive atmospheric re-entry.

I did free up nine storage boxes. Hooray!

Now to find something new to put in those cases...

More "Gamer" Q&A

From Phil at http://philbancients.blogspot.com/

Have you ever...
* Sliced the end of your finger while prepping figures
Yes – lots of times. The bloodiest cut was one I didn’t even feel. I was working on an Epic Warlord Titan back around 1992 and opened my finger. 20-30 seconds later I looked down at the page I was referencing to select the weapon loadout it was covered with blood.

* Shaking a bottle of paint you used earlier but did not put the lid back on properly
Yes. Shit goes straight to clothing, painted minis and walls, not paint rags and messy painting area.

* Knocked over a pot of paint while painting
Yes. Always and only ever black paint. Oh, also dumped a bottle of liquid plastic cement over too. That was probably the worst thing ever.

* Dropped a part while gluing it to never find it again

* Dropped a figure / model while painting it - and breaking it.

* Dropped a figure when painting and lost it
Not that I remember. I have lost a couple down the sink drain while stripping old paint.

* Spilled paint on the floor and blamed the kids / dog / ghost / Santa
No. I man up and take the blame.

* Claimed a 'cocky dice' when it shows a '1' and happens to be touching a model or piece of scenery.

* Claimed your opponents dice to be cocky when it shows a '6' - as it touched a crease of the cloth, rolled onto a piece of paper etc.
I always ask my opponent if they care to re-roll it.

* Bought a dice tower - then gave up using it.
Hell no. Dice towers are the devil’s work.

* Made your own dice tower.
See my previous answer.

* Gone to move some figures and found some Macedonian Pike / British Napoleonics etc. stuck in the sleeve of your jumper
No. I don’t play a lot of “speary” games though.

* Put some polystyrene cement on insulation foam - just to see what it does
Oh yes.

* Glued your fingers together with Superglue
Yes, glued myself to a few miniatures as well.

* Left a paint lid open overnight
Yes. Sadness.

* Filed or cut a bit of 'flash' off a figure only to find that it was supposed to be there
Yes. That’s how you can tell my miniatures from all others.

* Painted Gauls or other 'colourful' troops in football / sporting colours
Space Marines. Plenty of others.

* Used noxious chemicals to strip paint off figures - without adhering to ANY of the safety guidelines.
Yes. Back when I lived in my old apartment.

* Dreamed of converting your lounge / dining room / garage / bedroom into a games room.
Yes. Still a pipe dream.

* Converted your lounge / dining room / garage / bedroom into a games room.

* Bought paint at a show - and found you already had a full pot of the same paint when you got home.
No. hahahaha.

* Bought a tool especially for modeling - and never used it.
Yeah. I have a pin vice that is pretty much a decoration.

09 December 2012

Mutants and Death Ray Guns!

Dennis and I kicked the tires on MDRG Saturday evening. I had a blast; Dennis, almost. He's got two gangs he picked up in the last week - Mutant Plant Men and Wretched (Zombies with some semblance of intelligence that can use guns n stuff). I used my Gray Aliens. We put together 300-point groups without know what the other guy had. Here's my group:

4 @ Alien Warrior Q4C3 Laser Gun  36 points each
1@ Alien Rifleman Q4C4 Force Field, Laser Gun, Sharpshooter  54 points
1@ Alien Leader Q3C4 Force Field, Hero, Needler 98 points
...For a total of 296 points.
I went with a smaller, but better quality group than I normally play with. I do like playing with a horde of rabble but since I've been losing my ass in these games lately it feels, I decided to mix things up a bit.

Game 1 - A Thorny Situation

We fought the "Smoke on the Water" Scenario from the rule book first. Dennis used the Twig Clan and defended the waterhole against my Moon Men.
Board setup. Dennis got to set up about a third of the board deep from the opposite edge. I would be entering the board from the near edge in the picture.

My four basic warriors make it onto the battlefield.

While the two elites hang out "in reserve."

The Salad Bar of DOOM prepares an amBUSH.

The devious and well-equipped spacemen draw first sap and snipe the two trees on the hill by the pond. Good thing too, apparently they were armed with Pineapple Grenades! They went "TIM-BERRR" in the spots marked by the stars.

The giant broccoli things that had been hanging out under the catwalk moved forward but one was taken out right away by my marksman who is just out of frame to the lower right. 

The remaining broccoli-thing makes like a mangrove and hauls trunk toward the center of my "line."

But the alien leader and one of the warriors jump out from behind the rock and turn the monster into a side-dish. FWIW, the alien warrior on the far left with the yellow marker ran out of ammo and cannot shoot any more this game - that's what the yellow marker indicates.

The veggies on the other side of the pond shoot back and hit my leader whose Force Field burns out immediately. (Rolled a "1") Cheap Chinese crap.

The aliens form up in a raygun-line. The guy who has been nominated as the squad melee expert moves forward while the sharpshooter must reload before he can resume trimming the hedges.

"Pew-Pew" Two of the walking sticks are converted to tinder and the thirsty alien menace moves up to tidy up the rest.

At this point I was absolutely ROLLING on Dennis, I'd killed five of his models and lost NOTHING except a laser pistol in return. 

The plant leader invokes his "Powers of Telepathy" and confuses two of my guys, making them a bit less useable (Q5 now - those are the red markers). The Brown Avenger throws a pinecone or something at my hero and knocks him down.
My next activation produces the above die roll. Shozbot.

So the damn Brown Avenger runs over to my hero and kicks his head in while the leader tree unleashes a mighty psychic blast which fails to produce any results. 

A quick couple of shots later and it's off to the greenhouse for the plantmen. Hooray Moon Men!

Game 2 - A Bit of CTF, Then?

So then we reset the board and put together a Capture the Flag scenario. Dennis whipped out his wretched horde of The Wretched to do battle and steal the flag of my Moon Men who were now feeling pretty damn saucy. 

The initial setup. The yellow marker in the lower left is my flag. The blue marker in the upper right is Dennis'.

A view from the other side. Dennis moved onto his third set of dice for the evening. Hahaha.

I sent the hero and a shlub right, two shlubs more "up" and left a shlub and the marksmoonman by the flag. The only way to my flag was up the "stepped" one-story buildings so I thought I could funnel him pretty good. Turns out a giant friggin' horde of zombies is its own funnel. 

Artsy shot. Mmm. Scotch.

The rabble does its best to consolidate in the center. You can see my leader and his wingman taking up positions to snipe the wretches.

I've knocked one of his group out of the game. He's shot at and forced one of mine to the ground. To Dennis' chagrin I left him like that, prone, making him harder to shoot.

Now, what happened next was pretty dramatic and for some reason I chose not to photograph it. Some badass hand-to-hand expert zombie paid a visit to my hero. I think the first terrible thing to happen was my leader's Force Field immediately burning out again. Then he was infected my the wretched disease making his Q and C scores one point worse for the rest of the game. The alien leader managed to kill the monster and blasted another for good measure with his needler. Three kills for him this match! Yeah! My joy was short-lived as a slug from one of the Wretched knocked the alien leader down and out. His buddy was also taken down. I had lost two of my six guys very quickly.

The rest of my group gets its shit together and exterminates enough zombies to cause a panic test. The Wretched back up towards their corner.

Dennis bags another one of my Aliens also causing dissension in the ranks, but no matter. All it has really done is given my guys a chance to re-group and create some distance between we and they. A few more well-place shots (and one mistake by Dennis moving a guy into the open when he didn't notice one of my guys had a clear LOS to him) ended the game. 

The Aliens won again! Woohoo! The second game was a hell of a lot closer than the first, if for no other reason his Wretched were better and more intelligently equipped. He picked his armies off the shopping list in the back of the book whereas I built my force straight off the Ganesha website army builder. His plant guys had a lot of "fluff" stuff that was kind of a waste of points. Plus he kept his Wretched in a tight mob most of the time, around his leader. The Leader skill improves nearby teammates Q score by 1, which meant that damn near everything in his force was Q3 (needing 3 or more on the activation dice to get successful actions). Most of my guys (except my hero) are Q4. We both really enjoyed the games are are looking forward to more.

Good Gaming Ya'll!