Monday, 30 January 2012

Valleycon 2012 with Valentines- A Report

Last weekend Valleycon was run by the Hutt Club, the tournament was 1500 points early war, with 18 players.

I was running the Valentine list (here) with big tanks and lots of squishy soft stuff! It was a very enjoyable tournament, there was only one game which I found frustrating, it was against a good guy to play against, so I still enjoyed it, but the key for me was a fun weekend spent catching up with people I don't see anywhere near enough, talking plenty of smack about whatever comes to mind, and having some enjoyable games. The Valentines performed well, I only lost them all twice, a testament to how much of an armored blob they are!

Day one!

First Game was a Free for All against Mark Stanton, who was running Italians. 5-2 Win.

Mark was running one of the sillier things to come out of Battlefront, the Desert Fort. So he gets to put down a massive fort, which he then occupies. And shoots from. With a lot of heavy machine guns. Which is problematic!
So.. that's your deployment then?
Things started poorly for me, a carrier patrol was annihilated by some Sahariana recon jeeps, who raced around a corner, rolled 3 hits, I failed 3 saves and he passed 3 firepowers. Bugger. I responded with a brutal barrage of 25pdrs, ranged in, and rolled this...
That would be no hits then.....
So, that didn't work. While this was going on, my platoon of Maoris were hiding in a forest from the heavy MGs of the fort, while I raced my Valentine CO over to help them not get run down by the Saharianas!
These Saharianas have been problematic!
On the other flank, I sent the 4 Valentines completely unsupported in a truly historical fashion! 4 Valentines against the entire Italian left flank! Oh, and the Italians also had air support....
Gorgeous Planes. Gorgeous planes with bombs....
Luckily! Luckily the Valentines armour was proof to the bombs, meaning they could press home their attack.

First into the Infantry...
Advance, line formation, engage targets!
Then into the Italian Artillery....
Except for the one that bailed out, that went quite well sir!
And with a failed Tank Terror test to assault my Tanks off the objective, the game was mine! A 5-2 win to the Valentines, pity about the poor sodding carriers on turn 1!

Game 2 was against Pete Curry, with DeGaulle and French Armour in a No Retreat. 6-1 Win.

This was a silly, silly game. Pete was running French Armour, with Char B tanks. Which have front armour 6, side armour 5 and top armour 2. Valentines' 2pdr gun has AT 7. The AT of the 75mm on the Char B is 6. So in effect, our tanks actually couldn't hurt each other. Huh. Add to that, it was a No Retreat, so by me "losing" the dice roll, I got to defend, basically deciding the game.
The vaunted "triangle around the objective" defensive formation
Where as Pete opted for "Le Hammer" tactic.
Le Hammer in action!
Pete had to call an all out advance, so I used my Valentines to kill his one platoon of Infantry, which meant our game turned into this..
The Valentines are using the Square formation now!
To Pete's credit, after a few turns of this, he decided to go for the jugular, and make a daring attack through the escarpment into my lines, where the squishy stuff of my army was hiding!
Uh oh! Sticky bomb time!
Three armoured platoons made a break through the three gaps in the escarpment, but my squishy stuff was defended by my artillery and my infantry (sticky bombs!) 
Defend the camels!
The heavy shells of the 25pdrs tore apart one platoon of Char tanks, and gutted the second, leaving only one tank and the platoon of Hotchkiss light tanks to capture the objective. The 25pdrs lost multiple guns to the enemy MGs (argh 6's on firepowers!) but remained on table, leaving the Infantry with their sticky bombs to do the real damage to the enemy, destroying the platoon of Hotchkiss tanks, leaving one Char standing alone...
Qua? Ou est le tanks?
 Full credit to my opponent, he got a bad match up, in a bad mission. But he really, really made a game of it, which was great.

Game 3 was vs Russell Briant using Matilda Infantry tanks, in Witches Cauldron. 1-6 loss.

If the last game was a bad match up for my opponent, this one was even worse for me. Witches Cauldron, and shock horror, I am attacking. Against Matildas. Which are front armour 7, side armour 6, top armour 2. So at best, he has to roll a 1 for ANYTHING to happen. Which it didn't. Ever.

As attacker, I brought 4 25pdrs and my Valentines on table, with the Maoris and the carriers as reserve. The goal was to keep the Matildas occupied with the Valentines, maybe kill a couple of the Matilda 1's (the lighter ones) so when the Maoris assaulted, they stood a better chance of not dying! 

Now this is just flaunting your armour.....
Unfortunatly, when it came time for my grand assault, the Maoris got ruthlessly gunned down- Russell had a turn where he simply did not miss. With 23 dice. Which meant I died. A lot. But, full credit to Russell, he didn't give me a single sniff at getting the win, I tried to do a sneak attack with carriers, which he was able to counter, and he rolled the motivation test he needed to do for his 18 pdrs to stay on table after my carriers tried to kill them! (3 carriers try to cross a hedge. 1 bogs. 2 carriers machinegun and pin. 1 18pdr shot hits and bails. Last carrier assaults and misses. 18pdrs have to break off, which means I kill the gun!).

So, a well played game for Russell, but a bit of a frustrating one for me. Any slim (very slim) chance of winning required very, very good dice which I didn't get.

In hindsight, I could have spent a lot of my time trying to kill two platoon's of Russell's, deploying my troops to engage his reserves directly rather than going for the objectives, but heck, a chance of winning the game is worth doing! 2 wins, 1 loss from the day so far.

Day 2!

Game 4 was against Simon McBeth (Mr Early War) with his Kiwi Div Cav in a Dust Up. 5-2 Win.

The first thing I will say about this game is that I rolled very well for turn 1-3. As in, every save was for those first 3 turns, a 6. Which is exactly NOT what Simon needed. It was very much ridiculous. Sticky Bombs, artillery, direct fire from 25pdrs; all a 6 to save.

But, it was Dust Up, I deployed my Valentines and 25pdrs,
And I deployed them all on one hill.....
The game was very fluid, I sent my 2iC valentine out to harass Simon's Infantry, and he ended up killing them! With them gone, Simon needed me to roll some seriously bad dice to start losing Valentines, but it wasn't happening.
Shhhh the artillery can't see us!
Simon's reserves came on and sought to flank my 25pdr battery, only to be thwarted by a lack of 6+ firepowers and the artillery's ability to unpin! The Stuarts, followed by some Universal Carriers and then some Vickers light tanks all fell victim to direct fire. The only respite came when 3 Carriers came out, machinegunned, and the return fire from 6 dice hit nothing. At all. And they were hitting on a 3+!

But by this time, the ship had sailed, the Valentines had driven off to run over the 2pdr guns (and killed 2 through their gunshields with MG- my dice were so very on!). Simon had claimed one of my carrier patrols with a unit of Vickers light tanks, but the second one ran off and hid in a wood!
They have big machine guns, hide!

All up, my dice being so very good in the first few turns meant that Simon had a really hard time of the game. Had my dice been average, I think my small army might have crumbled. Or certainly had a much harder time of it.

5-2 Win, but very very easily could have been a 4-3 (I passed 3 motivation tests for my artillery...)

Game 5 was against Alex McEwan, with his Italian Steel, in a Fighting Withdrawl. 4-3 Win.

To call this game a win is actually wrong. Everything died. Everything. What did I have left at the end of the game? My 25pdr battery, and 2 Universal Carriers, 1 of which was bailed out. What did Alex have left? 1 100mm gun, and 3/4s of a Demolisher platoon.

Everything else had died....

I was attacking the Fighting Withdrawl, so I chose one flank to put the Valentino hammer down on, hoping to crush through the enemy tanks and escape into the squishy infantry beyond. That was the plan... But what eventuated was the enemy tanks not dying (Italian Steel!), my Valentines getting schwacked by 100mm guns and stalling! Eventually the 25pdrs were able to smash through the armour, leaving the Maoris to finish the enemy tanks off in assault. By this stage the Valentines had broken through, assaulting 3 platoons at once! 47mm guns bailed one in defensive fire (yep, a 1. Crap), then I proceeded to drive merrily about some infantry, then roll two ones for armour saves (oh look, 2 more 1's. Craaaaaaap), then fail my motivation, with a reroll (more craaaaaaaap), making me lose the tanks. To conscript infantry.

The last Valentine got obliterated by a 100mm shot straight down the roof armour, leaving me 2 platoons down, with only the Maoris left to win me the game. The plan? Assault. The Maori's followed up where the Valentine's left off, destroying first the Infantry, then the 47mm guns, then almost destroying all of the 100mm battery (I couldn't reach the last one!). But by this stage, I had worn the entire platoon down to only having the platoon commander left, where upon he failed his morale test.

Thankfully, Alex had the next turn, so he broke from Company Morale before I had the chance to! 4-3 Win.
So many burning tanks....
So with 4 wins and 1 loss, it gave me enough points to tie for 3rd place, but with more wins than the other guy (4 vs 3, poor Tim!) I was declared 3rd! First place went to Bede, who managed to stall out Russell's matildas in a Fighting Withdrawl, Russell and Bede were equal First place, but again it came down to the number of wins.

All up, a fun as weekend! Was great to talk to all the guys, was good to play people I hadn't played before (Pete), but was also good to get some vengeance on people who had smashed me in the past (Simon!). For more photos, head here to see the photos from Nick the T.O. Last thing to say is a big thanks to Bede for the bed and the beers, to Nick for running a fun competition and to my opponents for being great guys to game against.

Very much looking forward to the next competition now, Day of Days will be brilliant!

Back to the painting table...


Thursday, 19 January 2012

2 Projects, SAGA Myrmidons and FOW Valentines

Well, I completed a big-ish project last weekend and a smaller side project (pics of both soon!), so I need something new to get my painting total up for Analogue!

First up is my army for Valleycon- and after spending such a long time thinking I would be playing a German Kradschutzen company, a lack of motorbikes means that that plan went out the window! So, I was too short of panzers to run a proper company, and I have no inspiration to play a German Infantry company (they are boring, and I have played them before!). So, I am going with British instead!

I am using the Early War powerhouse that is the Valentine Tank!

So to support them, I am going to bring some NZ Infantry. The list looks like this...

HQ-2 Valentine II
Tank Platoon- 3 Valentine II
Infantry Platoon- Full Strength, Sticky Bombs
Carrier Platoon- 2 Patrols
Field Artillery Battery- 4 25pdr guns

And the army looks like this....

Boy does this look like a tournament ready army....

So.. there is plenty of painting that needs to be done! The valentines have a base coat of dark sand on them, but that needs a few more coats before it looks anywhere near right! The artillery need to be put onto new bases (I don't like the ones they are on now)- the carriers need a repaint..... And so on.

So that is project 1, this is project 2.
Achilles v Hector
Jamie had the cunning plan to adapt SAGA for the Trojan War. This is far more interesting to me than the Dark Ages (I will still make a Saxon army still...). I have chosen the Achaeans as my army, specifically those killers who answered only to Achilles- the Myrmidons.

Now there isn't a battleboard for them yet, Jamie is still writing it! But the overall plan for the Myrmidon list is that they will have no Levy. None. So the warband then is going to be Hoplites and better Hoplites! Which is pretty damn cool I think!

The great Hoplite race of 2012- This was a real olympic event by the way....
So, this is the army as it stands, fully assembled! I have...
Achilles and an extra Warlord (plus another in the works)
8 Elite Hoplites
24 Hoplites

And that's it! A 5 point army! We are currently working out what to have Achilles as- probably a "named hero", meaning he is an extra point.
Generic Achaean Warlord (name to be determined) and Achilles himself!
My hope is that SAGA Trojan War becomes a playground of heroes, the armies changing depending on which Hero is leading them, Odysseus, Ajax, Achilles, Agamemnon or even Menelaus for the Greeks.

But more on all of this on the future, I am thinking this will be pretty cool!

As for the Trojans, you are going to have to wait for Jas to update his blog......


Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Melchett's Revenge- Dystopian Wars Game

Lord Commander Melchett stood atop the bridge of the HMS Thunderchild, taking in the bitterly cold sea air of the Southern Ocean. He had been sailing with his two escort vessels steadily south for a week now, chasing that damn engineer. It had been a week ago that one of Her Majesty's agents had told him of Sturginum's whereabouts, he immediately had set sail with the Thunderchild with all due haste.

A runner-boy interrupted his musings, exasperated and gasping at the frozen air. "My Lord, it's... it's... the fleet, they attacked the Eyrie, Admiral Cromwell took control of the Southern Fleet, stating you as a madman tilting at windmills and chasing ghosts, and immediately set to sea to attack". The runner by now had begun to catch his breath in the cold air, giving the statistics with time worn efficiency "the Achilles sunk, along with the vessels from S-Class. Frigate squadrons 1 through 4 all destroyed". Melchett's only reply was "Who controls the Eye now?". The runner needed only to say one word, "Sheridan".

With that word, Melchett's course of action was clear. The Thunderchild immediately turned around, and set sail at full steam back to the home port of Christ's Church. There he knew was the valuable ship yards and the better part of the Southern Fleet. It was a full 4 day's steam away, he just prayed that Sheridan stayed distracted enough by the Eye that he would not press home his advantage....

It was when Melchett reached the harbor at Christ's Church that news of the FSA fleet. Hawk Scouts had been trailing the ships as they left the Eye, Sheridan's flag flying high above the lead Battleship. It was clear they were headed away from the Eye, seeking the safer port of the Phoenix Islands. Clearly they had also received news of the intense storms which were expected for the area of the Eye, and sought safe port for their ill equipped paddle steamers.

Gathering his fleet, Melchett set off at full steam for the Phoenix Islands, with the intent of arriving as the storm closed, to make advantage of the Brittanian vessel's superior oceangoing capabilities.
The HMS Thunderchild with her supporting vessel, the HMS King George
Cruisers HMS Colossus, Vanuard and Excelsior with supporting frigate class vessels.

Melchett caught the FSA fleet leaving the Phoenix Islands, with bitter squalls effecting air support capabilities, the supporting reconnaissance and Hawk Scouts were unable to fly, and quickly quit the battle. Melchett caught the enemy vessel's abeam, ordering all of the forward turrets on the Thunderchild to target the enemy battleship off in the distance. The four turrets forward of the bridge spat forth round after round, targetting the core of the enemy battleship. Few were caught in a haze surrounding the ship, but one shell struck through, crashing into the enemy vessel causing an eruption of green fire, known among sailors as the "green dragon"- signalling an eruption of the fusion generators which powered the ship. Torpedoes rippled forth from the front of the Thunderchild, striking the enemy battleship. The enemy vessel was crippled, suffering extreme damage from both gunnery and torpedoes, and soon sank below the waves once the Thunderchild's  supporting vessel, the HMS King George joined fire.

The second enemy battleship, bearing Sheridan's color's skulked off around a nearby island, leaving the other ship to it's fate. It was only the first battleship's supporting Cruiser squadrons that sought to engage the British fleet, only to suffer the same fate as the Battleship, as the combined fire from the Dreadnought, Battleship and Cruisers were far too much for the small vessels to handle.

The only loss was sustained when a group of enemy torpedo bombers struck the cruiser HMS Colossus below decks, causing a fire below decks, causing the crew to abandon ship. Fortunately the ship was able to be saved, the vessel is currently under tow back to the safe harbor of Christ's Church.

In the confusion caused by the damage to the Colossus, the enemy battleship had escaped out of operational range. Despite the high seas, the enemy battleship was able to run at full steam out of the Phoenix Islands, the FSA quitting the area completly.

Melchett stood impassivly, watching the bow of the enemy Battleship finally succumb to the waves, as frigates moved in to collect those sailors who abandoned ship. The Thunderchild had defeated Sheridan again, but it was without a doubt that the FSA would return.

As the Thunderchild set sail once again for Christ's Church, Melchett could only think, Brittania's interests are preserved once again.

Melchett's map of the Pacific
 Melchett's spies intercepted Sheridan's log to his superiors, it can only be a matter of time before they return to trouble Brittanian waters once again....

So another super fun Dystopian Wars game, the Thunderchild proved it's worth exceptionally, taking just 2 turns to sink a FSA Battleship- crippling Jamie's ability to do damage to the Dreadnought, which would only mean it could keep doing more and more damage to the FSA with no fears of reprisals. It is sad that to make KoB work well, you have to take the Dreadnought, because of it's brutal effectiveness it is hard to pass up, but I don't want to use it all the time either! 

Melchett will be back....


Sunday, 15 January 2012

Clearing the Cupboard- a FOW Challenge for 2012

Well, with the world ending this year in December, I thought that I should at least get something finished!

Like all wargamers, I have collected cupboards filled with wargaming miniatures, armies I planned to complete but never did, additions I never saw the need to finish or just never got around to doing! Most of it is additions to armies, I tend to build an army specific for a tournament (Kiwi Sherman's case and point), but end up with a smattering of other units which I plan to add, but never seem to do.

So, in speaking with Jason, we agreed that we should work on our horrendous backlog of miniatures! He is starting with Germans, here is the list of what I am looking at.

1) US Beach Assault Company- I have had these for ages, and I will use them for the Infantry Aces Campaign coming up.
2) More Kiwis- Infantry, Artillery, Tank Hunters
3) US Infantry- M18 Hellcats, Another Infantry Platoon, P-38 Lightnings, M3 Halftracks
4) Germans- 15cm SiGs, 7 251/7D's, Panzer IVs (I would like a company of them), an Early War army (Kradschutzen!)
5) British- More additions for my Guards Rifle Company- Carriers, Typhoons, Pioneers, 25pdrs...
6) US Paratroopers- I want these on rubble bases, with snow, and there needs to be more of them done.

That is enough of a starting point to keep me out of trouble I reckon! The world is meant to end on the 21st of December- I reckon I can have my backlog cleared by then!

First up, the Beach Assault Company- Look on Analogue Hobbies for the first bit of them, the second update will be up on here tomorrow afternoon....

Back to the painting table,


Friday, 13 January 2012

New Zealand 4th Armoured Division

Well, here is my 1200 point force for Day of Days this year, the New Zealand Armoured!

Now, in keeping with the "Ironman Challenge"- I had to choose a force that was either mechanised or tank based. This all stemmed from Jamie pointing out the proliferation of "tough" infantry forces- and the players running them not taking any risks with the lists!
1200 points, in all it's glory!

So, for 1200 points, what do I get?

Company HQ- 2 Sherman M4A2, 1 AA 50 cal HMG
Tank Platoon- 3 M4A2 Sherman
Tank Platoon- 3 M4A2 Sherman
Company HQ- Tank numbers 15 and 16

First Platoon- Tank Numbers 3, 4 and 5

Second Platoon- Tanks 6,7 and 8
So that is 1200 points. To bring it up to the 1750 needed for Warclouds (if i go) I needed to add yet more stuff!
Sherman OP Tank (left) and an extra Company HQ Sherman- number 17
An M32 Tank Recovery Vehicle
'The story goes that the 4th armoured had only wheeled recovery vehicles on their Order of Battle, but the terrain in Italy demanded the need for something more capable! The 20th Armoured Regiment came upon a suspicious looking haystack in their advance in Italy, lo and behold an armoured recovery vehicle was inside, bogged down! So once the kiwis had pulled it out under sporadic mortar fire, they painted over the allied star and then it was theirs! Eventually the Americans wanted it back, but the 20th managed to keep it. Once the 20th had gotten theirs, the other armoured regiments got one through far more legitimate means!'
Three Stuart V Jalopies- Tank Numbers 4,5 and 6
The Stuart Light tank had been in service since the desert war, acting as a light tank, but by late war was relegated totally to a recon role. The 37mm turret was removed, to produce the Jalopy. This gave it better cross country performance (due to the reduced weight). Defense was kept with a 50 cal HMG, which the Kiwis put with a gun shield (borrowed in this case from a BF ACAV kit). 

Hope you like them! Need more stuff for Warclouds, need to paint more for Valleycon and then I did this last night....
This will be my infantry aces army! More on this over the weekend...

Having 3 flames of war armies on the go at once is a good idea right?


Wednesday, 11 January 2012

More of ze Germans

Well, the painting has been continuing!

Here are some Panzer III's- Pretty standard Panzer Grey. Definitly not as shiny in person- thats just the sun in effect!

These Panzers are part of my Early War army for Valleycon- they get one more to their number (who is on the painting table right now...). Armed with the massive 37mm gun, and lots of MGs these guys are a big part of my Tank defenses for the army.

Another big part are these...
Two PaK 36 guns, for more 37mm goodness! These guys round out the platoon (one was done before) and are my ground pouding AT weapons, ready to hunt those dastardly Limeys and Frogs!

Lastly for Ze Germans this update, and the big guns....
Well not guns per say, rather bombs! Two 1/100th scale Stukas to act as my air support. These are two die cast models, sourced from a random Aircraft magazine (I bought 3, one is an objective marker). Pretty standard German Stuka camo for the invasion of France (that is, none) with the crosses done freehand. Not the neatest thing ever, but they give a good impression of some air support!

Next up? Kiwis for DoD!

Saturday, 7 January 2012

But what of Ze Germans?

For those who don't get the title reference, you really should see the movie A Bridge Too Far, and marvel at Gene Hackman's polish accent.

But What of Ze Germans? Here are some I painted a couple of days ago...

First up are some Late War German tank hunters. We have 2 PaK 40 guns (the only ones I own...), as well as one man with a Panzerfaust who will be used as the Warrior team from Stalin's Onslaught.

The last base is a new Company Command team, because this happened to the old one...
Apparently my puppy, Jose, found quite a liking to the taste of Kraut!

So, with Valleycon being Early War, I need to paint a few things for that too (by few, I mean a whole lot)
Some 253 8-rads, cruising the road; mainly because if the road was not there, they would be totally invisible! Perfect German Grey camo!
Here is a much, much smaller AT weapon than the ones earlier, a little PaK 36- not too bad early war, absolutely horrible at any other time. Known to the Germans as the "door-knocker" due to having about as much effect as knocking on a door to an enemy tank! Along side the PaK is two Anti-Tank Rifle teams for my infantry platoons.
Last up, is 3 new command stands. I needed new ones, because most of my other ones have guys with Panzerfausts on their bases! Not at all appropriate for early war....

Oh, I was meant to do a Dystopian Wars update... Sometime? Promise!

Back to the painting table...


Friday, 6 January 2012

Hello 2012

Happy New Year!

So, with the beginning of 2012, I have returned from my sojurn up north, and have powered back into wargaming.
Centurion Tank at the Waiouru Army Museum, with some doofus in front of it....
So, in terms of the painting challenge. At this exact point, I am a bare 800 points away from the leader Kent (go NZ!). He has been likened to a painting version of the Terminator; but Kent has never seemed Austrian enough to pull that off. I like to think of him as akin to Robocop, his painting life tragically cut down by gangsters, he was rebuilt to become a mesh of human and robot components optimised to produce great work, incredibly fast.

So, my excuse for not winning the painting challenge? The winner is a cyborg.

But I have managed to get some painting in at any rate, here are the completed 69th South Lincolnshire Regiment.
The regiment itself
The poor skirmisher out by himself!
So with them completed, I only have ONE small infantry unit to get finished before my Guards British army is completed! Well, until I want to run some different support. Which I probably will. But I will at least have enough to have a game!

Right, so on the painting table now is some 15mm Germans, some 15mm Kiwis, some Stukas...

Oh and this arrived....

Looks like I am going to be a busy boy!

Some info on Dystopian Wars tomorrow, and some more painted stuff....