31 August 2015

Micro Armor Sunday Afternoon

David and I got together for a basic trial game of GHQ's Micro Armor WW2. I played a test game a few months ago to get familiar with the mechanics, so things clicked back into place fairly quickly for me. I set up a 24" X 48" battlefield and pulled out two tank forces - 10 Canadian M4 Shermans and 9 Panzer IVG. For simplicity, we both had a Cohesion of 15 and a command bonus of +2.

David chose the Canadians and we rock-scissor-papered for table edge. The game was a simple shoot-em-up. First player to lose over 50% of his force loses the battle.

No full AAR, but here are a few pics of the game.

Our battlefield. I'd be entering from the left edge, David from the right.

David shot a few platoons forward quickly up the road and got into a decent position in the village.

The Canadians have a large force in the woods. I'm working my attack towards the village in the center since it would be easier to concentrate fire at specific targets.

Score one for the bad guys.

Ze Germans worked around the flank and pushed into the BUAs.

Only to get flanked in return!

The battle continued for a turn or two of very short-ranged knife-fighting until I'd gotten six kills. David managed two kills of his own. As soon as we worked out that smacking a platoon in the side at 1" range was the best way to crush it, things changed a lot. The Shermans' weaker gun was having a terrible time against my front armor, while my long-barreled 75's were reliably producing results against the Shermans. As soon as we saw the -1 bonus on shots taken at under 1" range, it became a game of movement to get in those easy kills.

To me, this seemed weird and not terribly realistic. Certainly, a close-ranged flank shot is a good thing, but it was too easy to achieve. That'll need to be addressed one way or another in the next game.

Either way, we had a fun afternoon of toy tanks and I look forward to playing it again.

29 August 2015

It's a two-fer Saturday!

Thanks to a monsoon for much of the day so far, I've gotten some painting done.

First up, I did go back and doctor up the DE banner.

It's less like a big green "S" now.

Next up are command / wizard stands that were a blast to knock out.

 The group shot
The big nasty Pit Fiend demon general

The Master of the Forge

Dark Elf Sorceress and bodyguard

As I mentioned in a reply to the previous post, I'm working on some fantasy battle rules. I've put the basics in electronic form so far. Obviously more information will be posted as progress continues. I'd like to have it worked out to demo at Gnomecon 2016 in March.

Tiny amounts of good and evil

I finished my initial batches of 6mm Dark Elves and Dwarves yesterday and took some pics this morning. The sky and sunlight is doing that weird thing where it's kind of yellow outside.

Front and back views of some rank-and-file Dark Elf warriors. I'm not much of a free-hander so the snakey thing on the banner is a little funky. Maybe I'll add some wings to it when the caffeine has processed out of my system.

And some heavily armored Dwarves, ready for anything. Sorry the pics are a tad blurry. I must've been squinting when I took them.

I ordered 100 bases for this project yesterday from Litko, so I'll really be able to ramp up production soon!

26 August 2015

Recently Painted

I knocked out some Dystopian Wars French artillery a couple days ago. Oh, the fun of have three disparate painting projects going at once!

What'll be next - more 6mm fantasy, DW Frenchies or the remainder of the Frostgrave guys?

23 August 2015

AAR: Dystopian Wars Return to the South Pacific

Zig and I got together for another in the long-running series of engagements between his Kingdom of Britannia and my Empire of the Blazing Sun navies. We broke with our very long-running tradition of 1000 points and went to 1200 this time around. I also enlisted the support of the Honorable Eclipse Company mercenaries. I've had the HEC guys painted for months and they'd yet to make it into a game.

My List
1 Kiyohime Carrier  + Pulse Generator + Escort
3 Tanuki Gunships
3 Nakatsu Cruisers
4 Uwatsu Frigates
5 Zarigani Robot Subs
1 Fighter Ace

1 Tartarus Submarine Hangar
1 Gardeiros Attack Boat Hangar
8 Stingray Assault Submarines
4 Atlas Attack Boats

Ziggy's List
1 Monarch Heavy Battleship + Escort
1 Regent Battle Carrier + Escort
1 Lord Hood Battlecruiser
3 Tribal Cruisers
4 Attacker Frigates
3 Doncaster Bombers
3 Merlin Interceptors

Having crunched the numbers, I think Zig goofed because I'm only coming up with 1130 points for his list. I'll tack on a 70-point bonus to his victory points for having started under strength.

I was expecting the usual Hawk Flock, but Zig left the models at home. That's part of the reason I paid for the Pulse Generator. Zig was expecting my typical predilection for fliers, thus the Merlins. I had a whole lot more submersibles in my fleet than I've ever used before and way more than Z's ever had to deal with.

Our Deployments. I drew "Thin Their Ranks" and had to destroy 50% of the British Fleet  including all smalls - fortunate me! Zig drew "Free to Engage" and had to destroy 70% of my force. My Zariganis were deployed in as Advance forces and the Doncs were kept in Reserve so Z could position them where needed. They'd arrive on turn 1, lucky bastich.

I should have paid attention in deployment school - I forgot the fortifications can deploy in the Advance zone, deeper into the battlefield.

Early on, the Regent thumps one of my Gunships with its fore guns.

And a Nakatsu eats a bucket-load of torpedoes from the Doncasters.

I didn't get many action shots of my own attacks during turn 1, but I did hit the Hood with rockets, bonked a Tribal with the turret on the carrier and damaged a frigate with long-ranged shot from the bombard on the Tartarus U-Base.

To start turn 2, I played the Radio Intercept card to boost my initiative roll and did win the initiative. I sent the Zariganis forward to hose down the Brits with corrosive flame. One Frigate was destroyed, the cruisers remained unharmed. Break Neck Maneuvers ensured that all of the robot submarines re-submerged after their attack.

I took out a group of Dive Bombers out on the left flank with Interceptor Squadron 1.

And then jumped on the damaged Tribal with the flotilla of Atlas attack boats, causing a Hard Pounding critical hit!

The Merlins, upset at their lack of aerial targets, start hunting surface targets and whack the already damaged Tanuki.

The Regent carrier eats a massive broadside from my Uwatsu squadron. I rolled 19 hits - one shy of the classic double-crit. Feh. The carrier took a reactor leak.

The Doncs laced into the damaged Nakatsu again, sinking it.

The big battleship and cruisers got to work on my carrier, disabling its defenses along with the substantial damage.

End of 2 / Start of 3. My Stingrays assaulted and destroyed the last of the frigates in the previous turn but lost three APs in the process. I also failed to photograph my Tanukis blasting the Regent for another crit (19 hits yet again!) and the Hood for a a Hard Pounding as well. Zig used a Medic and a Battle Repair on the carrier to keep it battleworthy.

Again, I led with the Zariganis, assaulting the cruisers. They weren't terribly effective, but boy was it fun!

The Hood, with its redoubtable guns, could still throw a lot of power around and finished off my damaged Tanuki. The five damage and 1 AP loss markers trailing behind it are its.

Feeling the need to make a statement, the Tanukis boarded and Prized the Regent!

The Gadeiros' bombard reaches out and finishes off the Hood.

Meanwhile, outside... raining cats and dogs.

Some stupid piercing weapons from the Monarch disable my Disruption generator on the Kiyohime.

Then it and its little buddy assault and destroy one of the Zariganis that were left surfaced after assaulting the cruisers.

Shot of the game. A compass gun on the Tartarus double-crits a Doncaster causing a magazine explosion which destroys the damaged Donc to its right. The nearest Nakatsu also lost a Hull Point.

The Stingrays attempted a boarding assault against the Monarch but the boarders were wiped out by CC before they could make an impact. Feh.

The Atlases and two squadrons of fighters finished off the Merlins, completing my objective of destroying all enemy small models. We completed the turn but the game was over.

The Blazing Sun and Eclipse Company had won the game solidly, 1065 to 380. Prizing the Regent was a big 340 points.

I rather enjoyed the game. The HEC stuff was fun to use and a lot different than the stuff I normally use. I'm very happy with them as a pickup. I was very concerned that Z would get the "Go for their Leader" orders, since my Kiyohime has traditionally been an "Easy A" for Zig. He was giving it a pretty nasty beating as it was, even though it was inside the Tartarus' Guardian bubble much of the game. The British Tribal cruisers are easily the best unit in their fleet these days - 70 points for those things is so worth it. I think Z is going to just use Tribals and Hawk rotors in the future - they always give great results. I wasn't disappointed by any of my units - my dice rolls were very spotty but I was able to get torpedo shots off my cruisers for a change, FC weapons got targets in arc and things just worked out - it was one of those times where things just click when they need to.

Thanks for the game Z!

21 August 2015

Some Recent Critters

Showing off a few newly painted critters today... these are 6mm demons from Microworld Games. I've had my eye on their minis for a while and bought a handful a couple of months ago. They've sat idle while other things were on the painting table but got some attention starting last week.

The first batch - Flame Demons. I'm a big fan of brights and since the demon army is going to be colorful and weird,, I figured "why not?" I also have some Dwarves and Dark Elves too since having just one army is ridiculous! More pics in the future, I'm sure, but this is all I have for now.

17 August 2015

Weekend Painting

While I wasn't playing toy soldiers this weekend, I did manage to complete some more minis for Frostgrave.

Three Bones skeletons, a Bones adventurer-type with a big axe (I think he may actually be a dwarf) and two old GW minis that have been revitalized. 

The fellow with the spear was a "Dogs of War" mercenary. I had to  make him a new spear, which turned out way better than I anticipated. The adventurer in the middle has a week's worth of gear! The awesome dude on the right is a very old Blood Bowl Chaos Warrior with a nice new crossbow! 

I have seven more to complete - I just got some Bones archers of various descriptions and Warlord minis guys with claymores that should round out the ranks. I do want to find some animals - dogs, wolves, etc. and maybe some more undead, but they'll wait for a while - I've got another painting project I need to attend to.

Saturday Vietnam Gaming

Saturday afternoon, gaming buddy Mark put on a Vietnam game day at Galactic Comics and Games in Statesboro, Georgia. He pulled out his tremendous collection of Viet Cong and PAVN, along with another massive pile of US regular army and Green Berets and we had three tables of rumble in the jungle! We used Flames of War Vietnam rules which everyone attending is at least vaguely familiar with. Mark threw in some additional rules to make the Green Berets truly special forces.

I decorated and played on the "Brown Water Navy" table. The other two tables were Pleiku City and a firebase in the jungle.

The fire base

Pleiku City

So, this is the Navy's boat dock and refueling station, prior to deployment. The Vietnamese would have to set up roughly 24" back from the perimeter. That parked boat was decoration and inoperable for this scenario, though there would be a working patrol boat arriving later.

My co-captain, Brad, commanded the VC to begin with, and I commanded the NVA regulars. The VC troops are the guys in classic black pajamas.You can see our brilliant plan in the two pictures at the left. Without any sort of heavy support units, it was going to have to be human wave tactics and a good amount of luck! The game would begin pre-dawn so we'd have a turn or two of darkness to shield our advance.

Mike and Dominic deployed their company. They'd get two units of Green Berets and a PBR as reserves and could request an air support visit.

My first move of any importance was to push my recoilless rifles forward to blast the base from a pretty safe distance across the lake.

The first American reinforcements arrive. John Kerry and friends would become a thorn in our side for quite a while.

VC wave number one across the fording point goes poorly. Towards the upper right, the VC assault was also repelled. This does not bode well.

I managed to get my mortars ranged in on the defenders protecting the river. This turned out to be huge later in the game.

Wave 2 against the wall was much more successful. Sappers managed to blow a gap in the wall and we assaulted with the remnants of the first VC platoon and a platoon of PAVN regulars. The defenders made a critical error by concentrating their defensive fire on the VC, wiping them out. This left the NVA platoon wide open and they swept through the defenders.

The aftermath of assault 2. Brutal.

After the failure of the first assault across the river, I got two platoons in position to advance together. A third platoon begins advancing up the road.

Mike calls Broken Arrow! Their ais comes in the form of a pair of Little Birds with miniguns. A lot of NVA regulars get shot to pieces and Mike is able to consolidate his defenders back to a tenable position.

Napoleon's most important piece of advice, "Never interrupt your enemy while he is making a mistake." Mike drops his first Green Beret unit near my mortars to shut them up. In hindsight, they'd have been much more useful:
a) dropped behind our advancing troops
b) defending the town
c) not here

Mike wanted the artillery gone. Nothing terribly wrong with that rationale except that the Americans were starting to lose troops and needed to either take the air out of our advance or put as many bodies in our target area as possible. To this point, the mortars has only caused pins and killed one infantry stand who'd left his foxhole.

By this time, Brad and I'd simply taken command of different fronts. I handled the river crossing while he managed the road side. I sent my two flamethrower teams ahead and finally made a dent in the defenders' position! You can see that the second Green Beret group has just landed inside the perimeter - feh!

Tragedy for the Americans as a lucky RPG shot connects with the Huey! Three of the six teams are killed in the wreck. 

The boat pulls up and thrashes my remaining platoon in the river and blasts three stands from the bridge! You can see that although I cleaned out the defenders pretty solidly, I lost a platoon and a half in the process.

A bit of revenge a turn later. 

Green Berets sneaking up on my recoilless rifles. Balls. They were having so much fun blasting away at the base,

The base is well and truly overrun now!

The Green Berets across the river watch the base get overrun. We assume they called in napalm on us before they slink back into the jungle.

We played for a good six hours and I think everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves.The Americans were much more successful on the other two tables - the firebase held and Pleiku City was successfully defended. Mike and Dominic chewed through seven of our platoons, plus the mortars and recoilless rifles during the engagement, to four of theirs. It was a classic meat-grinder and went pretty much as you'd expect. Mike would have like some artillery support at some point and probably could have used it, though I imagine the Vietnamese wouldn't have stood much chance of achieving their goal if there'd been more tools at the defender's disposal.

Quite a fun afternoon and thanks a bunch, Mark for organizing it!