30 November 2020

Next Batch of Painting

It still feels a bit gauche to be posting hobby stuff after yesterday's rough posting but I was about to post these pictures when I got the terrible news. They're the next batch of 1/72 Italian Wars minis, courtesy of Red Box.

Many crossbowmen, arquebusiers and halberdiers as well as a command stand. 

The chunky plastic flag was done up as an impressionist sort of Venetian flag. For me, it's impressive. For artwork in general, it's down at the "Monkey Jesus" area of the scale.

Spearmen and swordsmen in the queue now. This project is progressing nicely! I'll need to pick up some knights for each side next. I think though, with Christmas rapidly approaching, I may need to pump the brakes on personal purchases for a few weeks. We'll see.

29 November 2020

The Weird Post

  Well, this is weird as hell and I'm having trouble processing right now. I've had a good week off and this weekend has been fine. Until a couple hours ago. My good gaming buddy Mike and his wife were in a nasty car crash in Jacksonville last night and his wife Trish died. Mike's in the ICU at a hospital in Jacksonville. I'm not sure what happened - details are scant, though apparently Trish was ejected from the car. We're not sure if Mike's awake and aware of what happened.

  What a damn tragedy. Mike and Trish were a great couple and the rare pair of two gamers. My heart breaks for Mike who has lost his wife and his best gaming buddy all at once. I can't imagine and don't want to. I hadn't seen them in ages (thanks pandemic) and was glad to visit with them a couple weeks ago. Trish was the lead of the board gaming group in Waycross so that gaming community will be devastated by this loss as well. 


RIP Trish. Mike, I'm truly sorry for your loss.

23 November 2020


 Cleared the painting table once again last evening. An entirely new project and subject matter this time around... some 1/72 Italian Wars minis! The minis are soft plastics from Red Box out of the Ukraine. I picked up Gripping Beast's Swordpoint recently and of course needed some minis to slug it out. Early Renaissance is pretty foreign to me so this will also be a bit of a learning experience for me.

So here we are, the first lot of Pikemen and Stradioti.

I also did up 8 Halberdiers but they won't get based until I've gotten additional minis painted up for their unit so the model mix per base will be a bit more varied. I had 80 additional minis arrive today - all manner of infantry - arquebusiers, crossbowmen, swordsmen, spearmen and halberdiers. They've been removed from their sprues and cleaned up. Hopefully I'll make good progress on them this week while I'm off work.

I also found these beauties in my pile a couple of weeks ago. Wayne will be excited, they'll go well with that other Epic Squat stuff I painted him a few months ago.

Yup. The Land Train. They were still in the blisters. $6.99 each from 1992. How awesome. I hope he likes them!

18 November 2020

Tanksgiving 2020

Last Saturday I made the trek down to Waycross for our annual tradition of Tanksgiving at Mike's place. Covid be damned, right?

I took Cold War Commander this year, seeing as though tanks were on the menu. It's a simple enough system for inexperienced players to wrap their heads around. I set up a scrum in Northern Germany in the mid-1980's. A bit of the ol' 99 Red Balloons. We had three Polish battalions attack a town held by West German army and USMC forces. As the GM, I let the others choose their forces. the Marines were left over so I got to command them. I'm not going to do a detailed play-by-play, but will touch on some of the highlights (and lowlights).

Here's the layout. My Marines are off to the left of the town, dug in, ready to greet the visitors from the east. Wayne's Germans (mechanized infantry and armor) are in the town. Across the table, left to right are Ziggy's T-72 battalion, Mike's OT-64 motorized infantry battalion and finally Naval Assault infantry in OT-62s commanded by Trevor. Trevor hadn't played a whole lot of micro armor in his 15 years, so this would be a fine intro game for him.

Here's a shot of my mighty Marines, deployed dug-in. Primarily infantry with some M60s and a TOW launcher. I also had a FAC who could call in a Harrier.

And my German allies! Similar, with mechanized infantry and Leopard 1s. They had a Phantom available for attack runs.

Here's that Harrier making its first appearance. Not terribly effective, but fun nonetheless.

The T-72s crest the hill and begin unloading on my position. After a couple of successful activations, Zig rolled double ones and got a double activation. He fired again, crushing my battalion then moving back out of line of sight. At that point, I was pretty well out of the game. 

Ziggy gloats while Mike moves Polish APCs forward.

Over on the right flank, an Mi-24 swoops in and unleashes a volley of rocket, gun and missile fire. Luckily for Wayne, there was enough cover to keep his troops safe.

The Marine AGC finally managed to recover from suppression and found a target. Unfortunately for the Harrier driver, Polish AAA was plentiful and accurate. Curses! One more claw gone. 

My Marines consolidated into the town. I left my remaining M60 platoon out in the field, dug-in figuring they'd be tough to kill and, well, they could still kick out some worthwhile firepower. Things were pretty desperate on the left - I'd only killed a single T-72 stand, maybe two.

German tank crews locate and destroy Polish T-55s in the distance!

And then the skies opened up! The Luftwaffe F-4 streaked in and the side of hill 331 erupted in gouts of flame! In the blink of an eye things really changed for the Polish.

A turn later though, when the Phantom returned, the AAA was ready, and Fritz had to hit the silk after two ZSUs and an SA-9 launcher found their mark. 

My last remaining fighting stand, a platoon of America's finest, charges up hill 331. Somehow, they managed to survive the defensive fire and got to duke it out with the boys from Krakow. The stands wiped each other out, but at least I killed one more!

The following turn, Wayne botched his morale test to remain on the table. We'd been past our breakpoint most of the game so it was really just a matter of time. Here's the NATO command fleeing before the wall of T-72s.

We fared better than expected. Two more kills and the Poles would have been at their breakpoint (18!). The F-4 getting shot down was huge. One more good run by it would have gutted the Polish mechanized troops. My Marines hung in there, battered as they were. The Germans fared much better but had less dangerous opponents arrayed against them. We all rather enjoyed the battle and it was a great first micro armor game for Trevor!

Next up was Wayne's Battletech Alpha Strike game.

We left the scenery pretty much as-is, since it's a 6mm scale game too. Wayne set up a game for six players, two mechs each. 

I drove these two.

Our mission was to stomp across the table and kick it at the communications station in the far corner. In all honesty, it was a tall order since we were pitted against an equally powerful force who simply had to chill out and wait for us. Like good soldiers, we bitched and moaned the entire time. Considerable blame was placed upon the dropship pilot who landed a damn country mile away from the objective. 

In no time, my light mech was one-shotted. This was shaping up like the last game. :/

Enemy commander Lee watches on as my Wulfen burns.

Teammate Max watched on as my Wulfen burns. Note the miserable dropship position (our starting position).

A blurry selfie of the action. Left to right that's Lee, Trevor and Sara, then yours truly at the bottom working the camera.

My Warwolf skulks back, next to the farmhouse. I was in fighting-retreat mode as we were getting worked. The Warwolf did however destroy two enemy mechs. Wayne mocked me for fleeing but seeing as though I was the death-dealing destroyer from the stars and Wayne was just the GM, I chose to ignore him. My pilot lives to fight another day.

An entertaining game, made more fun with the addition of loud music and wine. Battletech was a raucous affair to be sure. I'll always cherish the memory of Queen's Don't Stop Me Now blaring as Ziggy and I smashed two mechs back to back. That was without a doubt the military highlight of the battle since we did get pretty well mangled aside from that.

It was a great day of gaming. I came out on the short end of the stick in both games but enjoyed every minute of it. Already looking forward to the next one! Be well and good gaming everyone.

01 November 2020

Ye Olde Scatter Terrain

 Finished up some urban furniture scatter terrain today. The lead pile is getting rather small - I've burned through quite a lot lately and haven't done much to replace it. I've got my eye on a couple of options, but for now I'm still deciding.

Fist up, some 28mm (ish) modern stuff! Four video game machines, two soda vending machines and an ice freezer. The video games are MDF kits from TT Combat that sat half-done for months. Today I got the urge to knock em out. The coke machines and ice box are from Gamecraft Minis - solid resin pieces. I had to free-hand the logos, etc. I think they came out nicely! These will look good in a Batman game for sure.

 I also picked up this 15mm camper and ice box from Gamecraft. They'll be neat little accents to that collection.

I need to check to see if they have 15mm coke machines. I also need to make some cinder blocks to prop up the front side of the trailer!