28 October 2014

More Lead and Resin

Off the pile! With a bit of a gaming lull, I have been getting painting knocked out. First up are the three Romulans that I showed a WIP of last week.

A War Eagle, Sparrow Hawk and Fire Hawk. I'm pretty happy with the way these ended up. They'll be rather striking on the game table.

Next is a piece of terrain I quickly slapped together. The ruined temple bits are aquarium decorations that were nicely sized for 15mm. I turned three pieces into a nice little ruin.

And last was a second hover tank for my 15mm Sci-Fi Red Guards. The one they had was lonely. Here's the new one in with the ruin.

I want to play test my ground combat rules again. I've made some changes that need testing. Maybe I'll get in a round or two this weekend.

26 October 2014

Cops 'N Robbers

Finished up a Federation Police Cutter (repaint) and that Orion pirate ship yesterday. Nothing too crazy, but at least the Police Cutter looks more like a cop now. Previously it'd just been a "random civilian ship."

23 October 2014

Painting Queue

I worked a few SFB ships through the lead pile this week. It's a handful of "bad guy" cruisers. I've enjoyed doing one-off peculiar paint schemes on them. Most SFB models end up being painted as they appear in the book. Nothing necessarily wrong with that, but they all end up looking the same. I had a good time with these...

 A Lyran CA, Klingon D7 and Andromedan Conquistador

 The Lyran. Most often this ends up with tiger stripes since it's a "Tiger-Class Heavy Cruiser."

The Snake. I have always liked the black and bright green scheme. Felt like a natural for the Andros.

The D7. A classic ship design. I stayed with the dark green that is typical for Klingons but added a very tribal white pattern to give it some "teeth."

I've still got some ships in the works... some Romulans here:
I'm very happy with how these are going.

I also have yet another Orion CR:
It'll probably end up blue and silver or something equally garish. It'll be from a different cartel than my other Orions. No point being subtle - it's space. Camo isn't necessary.

20 October 2014

Monthly Star Fleet (October)

We've gotten our act together officially and are playing Star Fleet Battles on a regular basis now. Last month after our last game, Bill and I decided that the third Sunday of the month was to be Star Fleet Sunday. Yesterday we got in a wonderful game of Cadet rules SFB. We had four players so we split to two teams. Bill and I took Klingons - he a cruiser and me with two frigates. I wanted to see how the baby F5s performed as escorts, since Mike has a strong preference to fly Kzinti Air and had promised fighters and drone swarms.Mike did take the Kzinti CVE with 4 AS fighters. Ray, who had never played, took the helm of a Fed CA.

I quickly concocted a scenario - two opposing convoys running into each other. Each side got two freighters and had to get them safely off the opposite map edge.

Our formation. Bill and I decided early on to only fire at the enemy freighters. Shots at warships would be a waste, given our objective.

Our opposition. Mike put a bucket of drones out early from his fighters. Curiously, they were targeted on one of my frigates. Ah well, works for me. They are escorts and meant to absorb enemy firepower.

The "good" guys made their turn first, to our right. We waited a few impulses and cut left. Our drones are being used for defense here, targeted on enemy drones. Playing against Mike has really helped me with my defensive skills. I'm getting rather efficient at dealing with drone swarms. Having properly-equipped ships helps.

The Fed and Kzinti warships turn into us. One of my frigates prepares to intercept the fleeing freighters, with our cruiser and the other frigate in pursuit. Since the Kzinti was cycling its fighters, we decided to make the enemy waste some phaser shots and pushed out three more drones - targeted on the Fed cruiser. The cruiser and frigate pair did manage to peel shields and put some good damage on the lead freighter. The Kzinti CVE did manage to punch through the D7's nose shield and did a trivial amount of damage.

Cap'n Ray finally empties the tubes - into a civilian transport no less. Damn Federation terrorists. Score one for the "good" guys.

Their grip on a win was to be short-lived though. The Klingon pursuit went swimmingly and the last phaser we had took out the last engine box of the lead freighter! It was too far away from the edge of the map to escape so score one for us. Heheh. Plus, we get to loot the cargo since we didn't blow the thing to smithereens.

We called the game there - a tie for all practical purposes. We all had a great time. Not being able to simply smash the enemy's warships made the exercise a lot different than we're used to. Looking forward to the next one for sure!

19 October 2014

Modern Spearhead : Saturday Game 1

Mike Baker came by yesterday for a couple small games of Modern Spearhead. "A couple games" you ask? Yes, they were much smaller affairs than is typical for MSH. I based the scenarios off the first two scenarios from this treasure...
I converted the squads to battalions (or companies in the case of very small units) and set the Soviets up as attackers in 1981 Europe, attacking some West German positions. In retrospect, the force balance was a bit off - the Soviets could have used at least one additional battalion in both scenarios, but that's neither here nor there. This was Mike's first time playing any flavor of Spearhead, although he's been a miniature game his whole life so he's no novice. On with the show!

Here's the basic set up of match 1. Oh, and yes, we're playing on a 3 foot by 4 foot area, per the published scenario. The big brown area is a depression. I have two BTR battalions (left and center) and a beat up small battalion of BMPs and T-72s (right). Their order paths are shown in red. My mission was to capture the town, and if possible, exit 10 stands off the far board edge. The Germans have a reduced battalion of mechanized infantry in the town and a company of Leopards in the woods off to my right.

Some fine paint jobs...

I start to hit the wire. Mike placed it after we'd written up our orders, but before minis were on the table. He placed it in such a way that all of my battalions were affected. I did wiggle some platoons around the edges - just seemed to make sense. I had trouble getting a change order to stick.

Ambush fire from the Leopards causes some early casualties to my already weak BMP/T-72 battalion. Yup their BC was too far ahead and was the "only eligible target."

Turn 3. My old nemesis, The Terror of  the Fulda Gap, a PAH-1 arrives. I miraculously run it off for a turn with some ad-hoc AA fire from a couple of BTR stands struggling with the barbed wire. Huzzah!

I did manage to succeed at an order-change for turn 3 and re-routed 2nd battalion around the wire an up the right flank, right into the Leopards. Surely I could drive those Krauts off.

I'm back on the move again. The T72s and BMPs have departed. My battalions are starting to thin out, but some clever change-orders could salvage this!

While Mike amuses himself with pictures of dead Heroes of the Motherland, I get another change order to stick. The plan is to come in on the flanks, eliminating all defensive fire!

Unbelievably, the Leopards were also issued a change of orders and headed out to intercept the battalion I'd just re-routed! Obviously there's a traitor in the Soviet ranks. On the other hand, 2nd battalion licks its chops seeing the vulnerable flank armor of the tanks!

OK, so BTRs aren't exactly BMPs, but I did manage a suppression and some well-placed smoke kept my casualties to a minimum. 1st battalion on my left lost a couple more stands but their morale held.

I managed to engage the Germans (finally!) although things didn't go so well. The BC was suppressed on the way in and my other stand lost its combat. The battalion routed. Oh well. On the other side, I did manage to bag the Leopard but it was too little, too late. The Germans got a solid win.

Afterthoughts... yup an extra battalion of Soviets would have made things very tense for Mike, but I don't think it would have been un-manageable. It is worth noting that we had random additional units and Mike got the best thing he could have hoped for - the Leopards. He also could have gotten some artillery or a second helo. Maybe in the updated OOB, the Soviets will get a T-62 Battalion to ride with the BTRs. It was an entertaining scenario and I'd certainly like to revisit it.

The AAR for our second  game will be posted soon!

17 October 2014

Quick Pics

I finished that ZIS-2 up earlier in the week - it turned out nicely. The infantry and AA MG are still in process, although the scratch-built tripod legs for the DShK turned out a lot better than I expected. They came from a safety pin I had lying around.

I've got Modern Spearhead lined up for tomorrow - much smaller engagements than is typical for MSH, but I think they'll work well. The scenarios are re-writes of some that came from a Skirmish Campaigns Kursk book. They've been redone for the WW3 1980's Europe battlefield that we all know and love.

12 October 2014

HOTT Sunday Afternoon

James and I got together for a couple games of HOTT this afternoon. We've been talking about playing for about a year now and finally got around to putting miniatures on the table. For the first match, I used my freshly minted Romans to the tune of:
4 Spears
4 Blades
2 Riders
1 Hero (general)

James fielded his gigantic horde of dinosaurs composed of
2 Beasts
3 Knights
3 Riders
1 Behemoth (general)
1 Cleric
1 Lurker

I defended the first game. This is shortly after the start of the game. I foolishly put my general waaaay out to my right, screwing the rest of my force on PIPs. Chalk it up to rust.

My cavalry wing closes on the Cleric and Behemoth, a T-Rex named GorGor.

The lurkers pop up and begin harassing some of my swordsmen.

A buffet of horsemen line up for GorGor, while general Smackimus works on the cleric.

My riders are now riding down GorGor's GI tract. The dinosaur knights (the horned ones in the middle) and the riders (off to the left) are pushing down the field.

 The knights smash into my spears. We both cackle since they are perfect foils for one another. The riders hit my blades out to the left.

Our forces in the center trade casualties.

Smackimus gets away from the Behemoth, taking on one of the knights. Once it is dispatched, the game is over on casualties. Romans win!

For the next game, I pulled out the Halloweenies. The list was
1 Magician (general)
1 God "Grave Digger"
3 Knights
2 Shooters
1 Blade
2 Hordes
2 Lurkers

James kept his list intact and defended this time.

Our starting dispositions.

My "backup."

My ghostly lurkers greet the beasts early on, and form a fine speedbump. For about eight seconds.

GorGor tears down my right side and turns the Scarecrow Knights into pumpkin pie. Gah!

One more unit of knights is still kicking and pursuing James' riders. My Witches and the blade escorts are in the middle.

And then.... the skies darken and lightning crashes... DOOOOOOOOOOM!

Grave Digger bursts from the ground to smite some fools!

To be immediately followed up by a "Where is your god now?" Stupid gods.

My rat hordes were beset by knights and GorGor. My little rats did a fine job killing one unit of knights and running the other and the T-Rex ragged for a number of bounds.

But in the end it was not to be. I lost a horde, then my unit of blades which put me at 13 APs of casualties. Game over man, game over!

Two entertaining games and hopefully, the start of more regular HOTT around here. I really like the dinosaur army - its got wonderful expansion potential - a few pterosaurs for flyers / airboat, long-necked things for spears and aquatics for water lurkers.