26 June 2013

Swarming About!

The swarm has arrived and is being assembled! The alien bugs I ordered from Khurasan got here Monday and I wasted little time getting them prepped and glued. Here are some pics of the process.

The whole shootin' match. 24 bugs, 8 flying bugs and one big-ass bug.

Something I never do - I drilled and pinned the legs of John Lennon (the big Beetle). I find superglue tends to be fine by itself but not this time. A quick trip to the garage for some Dremel time and a cut up paper-clip later and we have...

At least he holds together well.

Here are some assembled fliers and regular space bugs.

I started looking at color patterns yesterday for their shells - one good thing about bugs is they can be any color I want and it won't look silly. I haven't made any decisions yet, but I'll certainly post updates as they occur.

24 June 2013

Junior Creates a Wargame!

A while back, my son half-way invented a wargame with his buddies. The idea and concepts came back to him yesterday afternoon so he put it to paper and after dinner we gave it a go. We used game pieces from Attack! by Eagle Games since they were handy and plentiful. I offered my two-cents worth on a handful of topics such as regulating movement and dice rolls but the game is his and I gotta say, is pretty good. Here are some action shots.

My red army and his grey hordes duke it out!

The evil red tide oozes forward.

Junior moves a tank into position.

And then takes a shot at my tank on the hill.

There are some very video-game inspired concepts that make the game quite different from any other game I've played - new units spawning in and, well, there are no to-hit rolls. We'll play a couple more game and I'll probably type up and post the full rules for anyone interested.

** sniff sniff ** Daddy's proud!

23 June 2013

Gone in 60 Seconds or The Battle of the River Plate

James and Ziggy came by Saturday and joined Junior and me for a game of Victory at Sea. Aside from James, none of us had any experience with WW2 naval games. The scenario was the Battle of the River Plate. James decided he would just referee so the rest of us did a random draw for ships. Junior and I got the Brits and Z got the Graf Spee. Junior Captained the heavy cruiser Exeter whilst I managed the two light cruisers Ajax and Achilles. Interesting note - this may be the first time ever, in any game, I have played using the British.

The Brits deployed in sort of a "cut 'em off at the pass" pattern, as the German was simply trying to run the blockade.

The light cruisers

HMS Exeter

Turn 1

Both sides moved towards eachother. The Graf Spee, having a serious range advantage on the Brits, took some pot-shots but failed to hit anything but water. My lead vessel, the Ajax also fired but the shots fell short.

Turn 2

The sides continued to close.

The Ajax was very close to the Nazi Pocket Battleship now. Planes had been launched on the previous turn. The planes are very slow and move after ships which is why they look so out-of-position.

The Achilles starts some evasive maneuvers, the Ajax wasn't so evasive.

We continued on to the firing phase. My lead ship, the Ajax was rocked by turret and secondary fire from the German but held up. My return fire was ineffective. Then the Exeter loosed a barrage from her fore turrets. They were expertly aimed and crashed down through the deck into the engine room, immobilizing the mighty Graf Spee!

The view from the light cruisers

And the view from the Exeter

The German crew was unable to repair the damage, so the Graf Spee was dead in the water for a turn.

Turn 3

The Ajax got very close in order to loose a torpedo attack. I was also in range of the German's torpedoes, but I had more ships and these torps only get one shot so even if I had to sacrifice the lead ship, the Achilles would get to repeat the attack the following turn without having to brave a second wall o' torps. The Exeter also closed range.

The ships raked eachother with gunfire and launched torpedoes.

But the British captain was up to the task and evaded all but one of the torpedoes and although heavily damaged, the Ajax was still in OK shape. The Graf Spee on the other hand was hit by four torpedoes and cracked in half, going straight to the sea floor. It was a major, major, MAJOR British victory!

So what happened? One very lucky dice streak by my son crippled the Graf Spee early into the game and I was in just the right position to capitalize on it. Ziggy's guns were much better than ours and if he could have taken better advantage of that he'd have stood more of a chance, but that wasn't to be the case. Either way, the game was fun and I want to play more. James doesn't have many WW2 ships - I suggested we simply proxy the heck out of things using Axis and Allies components. We'll see...

Since that game was ridiculously quick we played a couple games of Munchkin and a round of Zombies!!! to fill out the evening.

22 June 2013

Weed Elves

I finished up some 15mm Wood Elves today. The bag of "Dark Elves" I got from Splintered Light a few months back came with a handful of these, very obviously sylvan pointy-ears. I was actually thrilled with the contents of the bag since I gave me enough minis for two Song of Blades and Heroes warbands. Enough chatter, here are the pics:

The whole troupe

With the flash on
Some shield patterns with the flash

18 June 2013

Pics, or it didn't happen

It DID happen, I promise. Here are the Litumsian rebels I've been working on.

15mm Command Decision infantry and M26 Pattons. The refurb halftracks are Battlefront. I'm pretty sure the cars are also Command Decision re-paints.

Some regular-army defectors

The rabble. Mixing and matching their colors was good fun

A mortar, jeeps, a couple of machine-gunners and the commander (bottom right)

The Tanks

The troops on their Swatters CDs

 Back view. Many of the guys are wearing sports jerseys.

Another reverse angle shot

Under-Secretary of Remissness

OK, so I still haven't taken any pictures of my African irregulars or their vehicles. I have finished off about 45 of them, individually-mounted on pennies. They aren't going to win any painting awards but they are good enough for tabletop play. The small CDs arrived yesterday and I've done up a dozen as Swatters movement trays. Still waiting on Khurasan to ship my antagonists. It is interesting how different companies operate - Splintered Light and Rebel Minis are small shops with very quick turn around. Khurasan, WarWeb and CinC seems to be just the opposite. Ah well, whatcha gonna do?

I'm organizing a game night for my son and his buddies in a couple weeks. They are card-carrying members of the video-game generation. Maybe this will instill some fondness for real games and turn him and his buddies into gamer geeks. We've gone over potential games and the short list includes Zombies!!!, Munchkin, some variant of Risk, SmallWorld and FRAG. I'd love to run them through Dungeons and Dragons, but that may have to wait. I'll  be sure to post a re-cap.

I'm going to try to get a game in with Zig this weekend, I'd like to play MSH since that hasn't gotten any press lately, but I'm fine with anything really.

Take it easy!

12 June 2013

This Week's Update

I'm going to give Swatters a more serious look. I bought it a couple months ago and never did anything with it. I started reading again yesterday and it piqued my interest. I have an army's worth of humans and ordered an army's worth of aliens yesterday from Khurasan for not a lot of money. I also ordered a stack of blank mini-CDs - Swatters employs movement trays for all squads - and although I could hand-craft some 8cm discs, the CDs are just too easy to say no to. Junior seems to be interested, so maybe this will be something we can play together. I am looking forward to painting up the aliens!
I have actually finished painting a lot of stuff recently and just haven't posted any pictures - some 15mm tanks and other vehicles as well as the African Irregulars featured in my last battle report. Maybe I'll get around to posting pics eventually.

This weekend is Father's Day so I probably won't be doing much serious gaming, not that any gaming is serious when I'm involved with it. Be well!

09 June 2013

Flying Lead, and other things

The local model railroad shop in Savannah moved a few months ago. It was/is the only local place to get flock so I made my way to their new location Saturday to get some ground cover for the 2x2 terrain board I'd finished up at least a month ago. It's been a while since I had to but a new bag of flock. Here's how it turned out...

It's made of 3/4 inch styrofoam sheets mounted to a sheet of 1/4 inch MDF. I held the styrofoam together with loads of glue to begin with, then once the sheets were stacked, I speared them through with toothpicks to keep everything aligned properly. After everything had dried, I took a serrated knife to it and gouged the contours. I smoothed out the jaggies with spackle and painted the whole thing dark green. The roads were painted on with glue sprinkled with extra fine sand. Pet stores usually have very fine sand in their reptile department if you're interested. It's a lot more consistent than beach sand and a much finer grain. A liberal coat of watered-down glue and a heavy sprinkle of flock and the job's done. I'm going to hit it with some spray clear-coat today to help the flock stay in place.

I also overhauled my other terrain board that I made originally for SBH but has been used for others since. I removed the graveyard and hedges and flocked over the spots for the buildings. This is what it looks like now:

I need to spackle over the holes left behind by the graveyard renovations - they glue and flock didn't cover them up nearly as well as I'd hoping for. I need to even out the ground cover colors a bit more too - minor stuff really. The board is more generic now and a bit more suitable for a variety of genres.

Dennis and I played a round of Flying Lead in the afternoon. I was leading a squad of the American peace-keeping force across town to a "safe" area while Dennis' rebels tried to cut me off and take some hostages. Here's the layout:

Initially, I sent a group of five up the railroad tracks and a group of four took up positions in the wooded area. The bazooka-man kept overwatch while the others moved into position.

Dennis' insurgents at the top of the map prepared themselves for me to come around the corner, but I had other plans. My flankers hopped up on the landing platform and went right through the train station. My other group was having their way with the group of insurgents closest to them.
Three insurgents knocked out, one down in front of the gas station, one still in good shape behind the hedge. I've put a smoke screen out in the road and my flanking force has made great progress through the train station.

Another view
At this point, I had a customer call who needed some computer help. Who am I to simply refuse $100 cash for very little effort? Dennis was about to pack it in anyway - his dice were absolutely miserable and I was very close to getting my troops into the safe house. I think Dennis went three or four turns in a row with either zero or one successful activation. Good on him for sticking it out as long as he did. Next time we'll try out the new terrain board!

02 June 2013

That Thing Will Never Fly!

I finished that Blazing Sun War Gyro yesterday. Here are some pictures of it. I'm not a fan of painting really big models with lots of detail - for whatever reason they just drive me nuts, but I powered through it and I'm happy with the results.