29 November 2019

Recent Painting

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving (or Thursday of you're not in the US)! Mine was fantastic.

I picked up a couple of Hordes starter boxes recently primarily because they were dirt cheap and seemed like fun to paint. Plus side, they're starter boxes with rules, tokens, dice, etc. so technically I could play a game with them... perish the thought!

Anyway, here are the crew from the Skorne starter box that finished earlier in the week.

They turned out nicely and I'm very happy with the results. The sunlight pictures may not show it best, but there's a lot more dark shading than I normally do. A week off work gives you plenty of time for highlighting, shading and all that good stuff. I hope the opfor Trolls will be as nice.

26 November 2019

Y-Files Episode 2. Zombies!

It's Tuesday and gaming is in the house! There's little that can compare to a Tuesday morning 6x4 shoot 'em up. Mark can by today for a few hours of dice rolling entertainment. This installment of the Y-Files featured our FBI agents and Task Force Yankee  rolling in to deal with a horde of the wandering dead. This was primarily a play test of the zombie and werewolf units. The Zombies really just had to eliminate opponents and attempt to exit units off the opposite board edge. The living just needed to try to stop them.

The table setup. We've got a farm, gas station, house, cemetery and two creepy old houses in the woods. TF Yankee was in the Stryker vehicle entering on the road at the upper right in the picture. The FBI agents would arrive from the opposite end of the road. Many groups of zombies were at the ready.

Brains! You can also see one of the werewolves between mobs. The werewolves are much faster and tougher than the zombies. They give the creepers a bit of "oomf."

The FBI splits up, two left, two right of the house. The Hummers are new since the last game. I had a real problem finding suitable GMC Suburbans, but Walmart had a bunch of H2s on the shelf. Some gloss black paint, a few number decals to tell them apart, and job's done!
The hordes are immediately attracted to the armored vehicle and move towards it. They're greeted by (nearly ineffective) grenade and machinegun fire.

I decide that maybe the house and its hedges should be where I Alamo-up. The Hummers turn around. The Stryker continues to shoot into the hordes but still isn't very effective.

The two werewolves inside the perimeter are enough to make me reconsider setting up camp in there. The vehicles will serve as obstacles! Two trucks block the driveway entrance. The werewolves have very little trouble vaulting over and engaging the agents who just exited the vehicles. Gah!

The other vehicles are parked end-to-end and bam, instant fort! Task Force Yankee soldiers get atop the vehicles to fight the zombies. Meanwhile, agents and Lt. Dan duke it out with the werewolves.

It has officially gotten real.

Ballroom Blitz! A werewolf pops up behind our lines and make a beeline towards some agents. Scully and Mulder are firing at the hordes from the back of a pickup truck. On the left, a scantily-clad zombie has engaged TF Yankee in melee!

Agent Reyes, who'd gotten injured by the werewolf gets out of Dodge, presumably to get medical assistance. She notices more zombies incoming from around the house!

Four-player dogpile on the werewolf! Our heroes join the brawl.

Zombies are all over the trucks now! The army guys hold their own though.

Man, this is grim. The gunfire and other noise got the "flankers" attention so at least they aren't heading off the table, but they are heading for my troops!

A round of terrific gunfire wipes out a mob of attackers.

It's nearly over now! Just a few more zombies to go... the go-go dancer proves to be a formidable adversary; she's still fighting with the TFY trooper atop the Stryker.

And as quickly as it began, it ended. Three Task Force Yankee troopers will have to be taken into the custody of the Special Medical Advanced Research Team. Poor fellas. Scully and Reyes both have werewolf scars to compare. Four other agents were taken out along with a TFY soldier who turned zombie during the battle.

That was a heck of a game. Mark liked it, I liked it... what's not to like? Simple rules, simple scenario - just go for it and play. We came up with a few tweaks for the zombies and werewolves. The humans didn't need any adjusting after the previous game. We came up with some scenario-specific ideas that'll be interesting in future games but for now I'm content with it just as it was.

24 November 2019

Thanksgiving Week!

It's Thanksgiving Week. Woohoo, the best week of the year. Hopefully, work will leave me alone since, as usual, I've taken this week off. I'm looking forward to lots of gaming and a feast on Thursday. I've gotten a little painting done in the last week and completed the assembly of a few models.

Here are those models...
1/72 Germans for the collection. The Panzer IIIJs are from Armourfast and came two to a kit. They went together super fast and with ZERO hassle. Would buy again. These are definitely designed for tabletop gamers. The Elefant is a very detailed kit from Trumpeter and took ten times as long to assemble as the other two combined. In the end, I'm quite happy with the additions and look forward to zapping them with my airbrush this week. Until then, they'll sit in the queue.

I also flipped an Infinity model around in under 24 hours. He's an Ariadna Chasseur . It was a model I didn't already have in the collection and more importantly, he's got a flamethrower. Bwahaha!

His "tiger-stripe" pants call back to the other Chasseur in the group. The jacket appears to have come from an army surplus store.

We had another D&D session last evening. With four kids at the table in addition to the grown-ups, it got a bit chaotic.We broke up what appeared to be a cult ceremony / sacrifice and save the old wizard Cameron we had journeyed with previously. After ending whatever it was they there trying to so, my character touched some religious artifacts that put me on a spirit journey for a few minutes and some draconic being set me on a not-very-clear mission. We exited the underground tunnels and caves and ended up in an enormous mansion. It appears that the old man living in the mansion is a ghost who doesn't realize he's dead. He's friendly but I don't think we're going to get fed.

I've got a game of X-Wing lined up for this afternoon with David then a Tuesday morning game with Mark J. Yes. Vacation. Tuesday morning gaming. We're going to play that X Files game of mine, this time with the FBI and Army vs. Zombies (and werewolves). Next weekend is TANKSgiving at Mike's. I think Ogre minis (using Dystopian Wars models) is on the menu along with the RoF WWII 1/72 I'm taking. Mark is probably going to set up AQMF and I'm not sure what the fourth game will be. Typically we've run two pairs of game.

14 November 2019

My Step Into Naps

I resisted for a long time. Then about 3 years ago (November 9, 2016) I stumbled upon a dirt cheap box of French infantry on GameKastle.com. Since then, I've been slowly painting and collecting French and Prussian forces to play some flavor of Napoleonic games. Muskets, cavalry, cannons... all that good stuff. My plan, once I finished my first batch of infantry was to hold off on basing anything until I had a lot more done so that the basing technique would be the same for the entire collection. Every few months I'd paint something... some horses... some infantry.... some cannons. Every so often I'd order a few odds and ends so that at the very least I'd have two similar armies to play with.

After cranking out a decent amount of work over the course of three years, I've finally gotten around to basing the majority of what I've done so far. I'm quite tickled with the results.

So far, that's 12 bases of French, 12 bases of Prussians and 6 bases of Prussian cavalry.

I know there are probably serious issues with uniform details. I'm not going to sweat it. The mass of pointy guns is the reward. I need to hit the lot of them with some Dullcote - most are pretty darn glossy right now. I've got 12 French cavalry in the painting queue. Once they're done I'll wrap up the French gun battery and be ready for a small game of whatever. I do need to add some banners as well.

It's been a fun slow-burn project that's finally produced real results. Oh, the minis are from "Napoleon at War" by Man at War (French and Cavlary) and Newline Designs. Although the N@W minis (now out of production) are nominally 18mm, they're big and match up better against 20mm minis, which is what the Newline Prussian infantry is.

10 November 2019

Eastern Front Fun - Rate of Fire AAR

Ziggy and I got in that game of Rate of Fire on Saturday evening. I had put the scenario together a week or two ago, to be used at our Tanksgiving game day at the end of November. I needed a balance play test and this was my opportunity.

The engagement is set in mid 1943 with the Germans pushing forward to capture a crossroad. The Soviet defenders are deployed hidden. The Germans have two recon elements, an 8-rad and an Aufklarungs fireteam that they can use to probe the defenses before committing the rest of the forces. The Soviet side has some reinforcements that will show up as the game progresses.

I played the Soviet side and Zig commanded the Germans.

The view from the German side of the table. The crossroad intersection is circled, but pretty obvious.

One of the advance recon elements, a 232, noses out around a rise. I take the opportunity and reveal a 76mm field gun which takes a pot-shot down range. The round connects and the armored car is taken out! One of the crew manages to bail out of the wreck.

The recce team on my right has gotten into place and start trying to reveal my hidden markers over there. Towards the center of the battlefield, a StuG, Panzer IV and halftracks have arrived.

Knowing I wasn't likely to get very many opportunities, I reveal my Zis-3 ATG and again get a fantastic result on the shot, taking out the StuG. Of course, now the three Panzers next to it are going to exact a heavy toll, but hey, what was I expecting?

And there you are, two of the gun crew are killed in short order. That gun's going to have a terrible time making anything happen now!

Over on the right, an infantry squad is picked up by the German recon and a short firefight breaks out. My Russians came out the better losing just one of their group to the two German losses.

I got a reinforcement! A T-34 and it arrives in a very useful position. It begins working on the rest of the recon team.

The Germans continue to slow-roll the center. I'm in deep trouble though with two guns that effectively cannot move and a single tank way off the the right working the flank.

Oh come on. The last snoop calls in 105 fire on my tank! The running gear is fouled and it's reduced to slow-speed only. That really sucks for a fast mover like a T-34 that's trying to get behind the Panzers!

My Zis-3 is taken out. Boooo!

Slow movement be damned! My tank does manage to get its sights set on a loaded halftrack, though the shot misses terribly.

The gunline sets up shop in front of the just-revealed infantry squad nearest the objective. That's a lot of machineguns!

More artillery on my tank! Another hit on the tracks immobilizes it. Feh. At least it's in an OK position.

With all the smoke, dust and cursing from my tank, it's no wonder the Panzer's shot missed. Whew, that was lucky!

Meanwhile in the center, I'd gotten another couple of tanks on the table. This one lasted about 45 seconds as a well-aimed 75mm shell hulled it out. The machineguns from the tanks and halftracks continued to batter the infantry just forward and left.

And they've had enough... they flee off the table. The other T-34 does manage to destroy a halftrack though while keeping a close eye on the objective.

By that point we'd gotten through ten turns. The Germans we successful in dealing out casualties but still short of taking the objective. A Russian victory! Ziggy had a couple of opportunities to push hard in the center when I had nothing on the table that could challenge him. Acting slowly instead of taking advantage of my lack of anti-tank gear ended up costing the Germans this time around. Ah well, next time, right?

It was a damn entertaining game and I think it's pretty well balanced. I'm tempted to replace one of the reserve infantry squads with a solo AT rifle guy. He'd  be useful against halftracks, the 8-rad and the truck. I'm initerested to play this out again at Mike's in a few weeks to see how it goes next time.

09 November 2019

An Update Since It's Been a While

Hi all. Not a whole lot to report on from Ski-land. My only recent gaming of note has been a couple sessions of D&D with the family. My brother-in-law thought we owed it to our kids to introduce them to traditional role-playing and we did. Unsurprisingly, the kids washed out early, but the grown-ups had a terrific time. It's been 3 or 4 weeks since the last session but we'll probably pick it up again next weekend. When we left off, the party had just walked into a cult ceremony of some description. Good thing we were all wearing cult robes and are disguised enough to get by!

I did finish another batch of 24 20mm Prussians for my Napoleonic project. I know, I know... pics or it didn't happen. I've got a drawer with about 100 unbased Naps in it. They'll soon start getting based . It was an effort to keep the basing consistent across all the elements. I've also got a dozen French chevaux in the queue with their riders close behind.

See, not just fake news!

Ziggy and I are actually going to play a real, proper 6 x 4, d-handful wargame this afternoon. It's been a while for both of us - about 2 months! We're going to play Rate of Fire WW2 using my 20mm / 1/72nd minis. A bit of the old Eastern Front. Technically speaking, it's a scenario playtest for the game I'm taking to Mike's in a few weeks for Tanksgiving. Either way, it's toy soldiers shooting each other and I'm very excited.