Wednesday 25 July 2012

Bedecon 2012- Plans and Schemes

Bedecon 2012 is fast approaching, and I needed a force to game with! My recent lack of FOW has not stopped me from looking seriously at a whole lot of cool kit, and making a scheme or two.

My initial concept was to run Schwere Panzers, based around the Kingtiger. This was because every table would have snow on it, and they SHOULD suck, hence the challenge. The list I built and decided I was happy with turned out to be 5 points over the 1750 thresh hold. Now, in normal play, that is not an issue. But in tournament play, and especially given I won the thing last year, Bede (umpire) decided (correctly) that 5 points extra wasn't going to fly.

So after a few unsuccessful attempts at bribery and corruption, I decided to roll with Bede's decision. Clearly the Schwere panzers were not for me.

Which left me with a conundrum. I had to play Germans, and it was going to be snow. The first idea was to run a totally Panzer IV company, but another local has one of those already.

So I did what any good wargamer in my situation would do. Find the most ridiculous thing, and make a list out of it.

And what was it? Well... this....

The Prinz Eugen battlecruiser. Because nothing says firepower like multiple heavy guns!

So the list I am using is based on the Panzer Brigades on the Eastern Front, is all Confident Trained and should suck royally against the Soviets. Which is exactly what I am looking for!

It will be..

Panzer HQ- 2 Panther Tanks
Panther Platoon- 3 Panther Tanks
Panther Platoon- 3 Panther Tanks
Gepanzerte Panzergreandier Platoon- Full Strength
Gepanzerte Panzerpioneer Platoon- Full Strength, Extra Halftracks

Plus the Prinz Eugen as Naval Gunfire Support....

I picked up a model for it today from Acorn Models, pictures will be forthcoming!


Sunday 22 July 2012

Kiwis in Italy- FOW Game

You read the title right. I played a game of FOW! My hiatus on flames has ended, I was coaxed into a game last night with Andy, Keith and Steve. We were each running 1200 point lists, Keith and I were running Kiwis, and the other two were the Germans.

Keith had a Staghound company, mainly because he thought we were playing Mid War! A few fudged points later, and we made a semblance of a Late War list for him. I was running Kiwi infantry, using my Guards infantry as stand ins (never got around to getting some Italian british). I had...

3 Rifle Platoons
4 6pdrs
4 25pdrs
3 Stuart Jalopies (US allied turretless stuarts!)
2 Trained M10s

We were playing a modified dust up, so I opted to put the 25pdrs, 6pdrs and a platoon of infantry on table. Combined with Keith's shermans, platoon of Staghounds and a platoon of infantry, it felt like a formidable force!

The army on the attack!

An aerial photo of the 25pdrs in some conveniently dug gun pits!

Against us, were SS Panzer IV's, Stugs, fearless veteran infantry and a whole manner of nastiness.


More Nasty

The Kiwi's got first turn, and proceeded to advance with most of our forces. Being a mobile battle, no artillery or air could help us, so I dug my guns in and hid my infantry as best I could! The Germans did much the same, except for the trio of Panzer IV's who decided to try to snipe at a Sherman (unsuccessfully)

Turn two, the Shermans decided to open up on the enemy Panzers, destroying the one that they could see! This was followed by the 25pdrs firing a barrage at them also, destroying another Panzer. The third and final panzer failed it's motivation and ran away! The Germans response was measured, but a Stug killed a single staghound (aww).

This is the before shot. The after shot is just an empty road...

Turn three, the reserves didn't arrive, and with the Stugs racing to counter the Shermans, the advantage needed to be pressed home. The 25pdrs found a building to bombard, and proceeded to kill another couple of Infantry teams. The Kiwi infantry kept trying to go forward, only to be met by HMG fire from the SS.

Still, the Germans were on the back foot. The StuGs lost one of their number next turn to a Hurricane's bomb, the 25pdrs kept killing the building with FP5+ (yay!) and the reserves arrived and put themselves in a good position to assault.

And actually, this is the way the game stayed for about 4 turns. The SS infantry defending against our reserves didn't fail any saves. They were Concealed and Gone to Ground, but they passed all of the 3+ checks to not die. Because of that, the assault would have far too much defensive fire (them being MG teams) so they were pinned back. On the other objective, it took 4 turns really for the other Kiwi rifle platoon to get into position to assault the objective. All the while the 25pdrs were wreaking their merry havoc on the building, killing and pinning seemingly at will! The Stugs and Shermans had a merry duel, taking four turns to do nothing.

Then, the reserve Panthers arrived, shooting a Sherman in the rear (2 shots, hitting on a 6, passing a 3+ firepower). The StuGs realised what to do, and with their four shots, rolled 4 6's to hit! Keith responded with 2 saves, but unfortunatly the other Sherman died. With the CiC, the single sherman stayed on table.

The Kiwis made a charge into the first objective, killing all the German defenders and establishing a picket around the outside, meaning the Stugs would have to assault them off the objective to prevent them from winning the game!

My building...

The Stugs, dutifully did. One bogged in the assault, the other caused a casualty. The Kiwis came back, sticky bombs in hand and proceeded to roll 4 attacks, with one hit, and one "own goal". The lone Stug passed it's save, but failed it's motivation to stay on table. My Kiwis now needed a 4+ on 2 dice to win the game... and rolled a 2. Followed by a 2. Sigh.

The German reserves had arrived and were trying to sneak up on my 4 6pdr guns, they rolled forward, and the 6pdrs opened up, killing an armoured car and a single infantry team. Then the infantry fired back, rolling 5 hits. I failed 3 saves, and Andy passed 3 6+ firepowers (sigh). So the assault then went in, and my 6pdrs died. Luckily for the British, the Jalopies were not far away, racing their full move to contest the objective, machinegun one platoon and kill it in assault!

This is them a turn before, giving some support fire to one of Keith's platoons

On the other objective, the Germans finally failed a save. And once they failed one, they failed a whole lot more! Suddenly the 9 stand platoon in front of the reserves was down to 5 stands, then assaulted down to 2 stands. They came back at the Kiwis in the assault, killing a stand. So 2 dice to continue the assault and win the game? A 2, followed by a 2. Sigh.

It was at this point that the game was called, it had run pretty late by this stage!

Overall, I think the Kiwis played it better. A few things going a bit more our way, like Keith not failing bomb firepower on Stugs! Or passing either of those rerolled motivation tests for me would have easily won us the game. As it was, because we failed those tests, we very nearly lost the game to their reserves!

The game had all the good and bad points of any multiplayer game. I like how you can chat and talk smack, but having 4 players on a table just makes the games take so much longer. It was enjoyable. Was it enough to get me back into playing FOW? Mmmm not really. Next game for me will be a crack at SAGA Lord of the Rings, the boys from Minas Tirith are getting ready for a scrap!


Sunday 15 July 2012

Neo-Noir Zombie Hunting

At present, along with the other painting I am doing for Historicals and Lord of the Rings, I have been slowly working away at a few more Zombie Hunters and the Zombies themselves. My plan is to have ten or so survivors to give the players a choice of who to run around as. I am going to have a few of the standard Zombie Hunter stereotypes, a few movie homages (like Sgt Angel) and then a few things which I think will be cool.

This latest one is Marv from the Sin City series of comic books. I remember getting the whole series of Sin City out from the Library, reading it, rereading it and then getting fined for not taking it back. The most iconic character from those comics had to be Marv. Not known for his intelligence, he is more brutal in his belligerance. With an unquestioning sense of nobility on one hand, and on the other hand he is quick to use the most cruel and horrifying form of torture without a second thought! He is just such a lovely, flawed hero, which makes him so appealing.

See, appealing!


Inspired somewhat by Curt's foray into Grey-scale painting, I simply had to buy this miniature when I saw it for sale at Hasslefree, and have a crack at painting him up like he would be in the comics. I chose a limited colour palette, choosing that the only colour on the piece would be the belt buckle (gold) and the blood on the ground.

So using various shades of grey, and my usual black washes, I came up with this.

I am pretty happy with how he turned out, my matt varnish has left him still a touch shiny, but overall he is pretty cool I think!

This brings my total of Zombie Hunters up to four, but they don't have any Zombies yet to fight. Perhaps I should finish them....

Right now am working on some Minas Tirith Lotr troops to use for SAGA, I have challenged Jamie to a game once he writes their battleboard!


Saturday 14 July 2012

6mm Moderns- Recon in Force

Last night was game two of our Epic Moderns rules. The Syrians and Soviets commanded by John and Adam were pushing further into Israeli territory following their last victory. As they pushed further forward, they encountered a defensive line manned by Jason's Israelis and my Americans.

I was running

Armoured Cav Company- 4 M1A1 Abrams, 6 M2 Bradley, 1 M6 Linebacker, 6 infantry, 1 stinger
Light Scout Company- 10 HMMWV, 4 HMMWV TOW
US Naval Aviation- 1 F-14A Tomcat

Which sure doesn't look like much....

The plan was simple. Armoured Cav would anchor the right objective, the HMMWVs would be up on the left hand objective on overwatch, ready to launch large amounts of TOW missiles at any enemy movement. Maverick in his F-14 would orbit looking for any enemy aircraft to shoot down. Cunning right?

The Humvee swarm capture the objective!

So, turn one, and the Soviets have the initiative. Clearly the element of suprise is with them and their 30 T-72 tanks. The first company of T-72 come roaring forward to engage the Armoured Cavalry. As they activate, the HMMWV company fires off it's four TOW launchers, causing no less than 4 T-72's to explode! The Israeli paratroopers fire their Dragon missiles also, but to no effect.

However the T-72s fire at the Armoured Cavalry platoon, causing two Abrams to make a 4+ save... which they fail. Uh oh.

The Syrians seize the initiative, rolling the next company of T-72s in behind the first, free from overwatching TOW missiles, they fire again at the Armoured Cavalry, scoring 5 hits (9 shots, hitting on a 5+) The 5 hits mean two Abrams have to roll a save of a 4+.... which they fail. The remaining 3 hits get allocated to Bradleys, all of which explode.

So... that would be no passed saves then?

With that, most of my force is now destroyed. And it didn't even get to do anything. Sigh. One day I will get to do something with a MBT....

The Merkava company which was occupying the nearby hill opened up with it's cannons, 9 shots hitting on a 2+ (for sustaining) and only managed 5 kills (that is four 1's). Desperate for kills, the Israelis bring in their F-16 geared for a ground attack roll, only for two MiG-29's to drop out of the sky to intercept!

The two MiGs loosed off a couple of missiles, only for them to be defeated by a combination of skilled flying and chaff from the F-16. Unfortunatly, all the ducking and weaving on the part of the F-16 caused it' bombing run to be unsuccessful.

With the two MiG's intercepting, it was time for the F-14 to enter the engagement!

Heading right into the danger zone...

The F-14 caught both MiG's on the hop, quickly dispatching them both with Sparrow missiles!

It was at this time that the HMMWVs were under heavy attack from the enemy troop carriers, their heavy MG's inflicting a heavy toll. With all of the NATO air support otherwise occupied, it was time for the Crocodile to spring it's attack...

Do you guys hear that ominous thump of rotors?

Casualties suffice to say, were extreme. The Humvees were now broken, and getting the hell out of there!

The Israeli Cobras were engaging the third company of T-72's, causing casualties not only with missiles, but one with a 20mm cannon!

By the time turn 2 rolled around, the west were back on initiative. The Merkavas immediately engaged the lead T-72 company, causing further casualties and breaking the company. Utilizing the air superiority gained last turn, the Cobras retained the initiative and roared in, engaging the second company of T-72, causing further casualties and putting the formation one casualty above break point.

The Syrians saw the need to press the advantage against the Israeli infantry, sending the T-72 in against them, engaging them in a close range firefight. The combination of cover and armour on either side meant casualties were light, until the Israelis forced the T-72 back, which caused no less than 3 casualties on combat resolution; which broke the formation!

The Armoured Cavalry seized their advantage (as much as 4 Bradleys can seize anything), firing TOW and Bushmaster cannons into the broken formation of T-72, destroying the remainder of the formation, as well as seizing the objective.

The Israeli infantry regained their lost ground, capturing the enemy blitz objective. This action would not go unpunished, as the all too familiar thump of five heavy rotor blades began to be heard in the distance.

Luckily for the infantry, the F-14 was on station, searching for more Anti-Aircraft kills. As soon as the Crocodile appeared, a Sparrow missile sought it out exploding nearby. However a Hind is a tough bird, and the F-14 drew in close, switched to guns and destroyed the Crocodile.

The Tomcat then proceeded to return to base and buzz the tower.

The Israeli F-16 continued the crippling fire on the remaining T-72 formation, causing further losses.

For the final turn, the game had swung drastically. From a very poor start, the West kept the initiative, and used it to send a full formation of Merkava against the enemy Motorised Rifles. Between the 120mm cannon and the multiple machine guns, casualties were immense amongst the Russian Guards, forcing them back from the objective. The F-16 rolled in once again, destroying two enemy recon vehicles which were lurking near the objective at the back of the table. The F-14 rolled in onto the formation of T-72, strafing it with guns, causing another destroyed tank. The Armoured Cav lost the last of their vehicles to enemy Recon fire (Saggers and 30mm cannon will do that), but left the infantry on the objective.

So, with that, the game ended. Victory was had! The count was 1-1 between Red and Blue team.

The Tomcat was just awesome, but it did roll very well. Still, 3 Anti-Air and one Anti-Armour kill is pretty darn cool!

One day I will pass an armour save, and get to use a MBT. One day.....

Next game will have a bit more stuff, I am waiting on a big GHQ order to finish off the British and Americans, so once I get them done, I will do a big whole army shot etc.

Back to painting,


Friday 13 July 2012

6mm US Naval Aviation

While starting aimlessly at the shelves of Lord of the Rings product at one of my local stores yesterday, my eye was tempted over to the plastic model kits. They were where I first started, my first two kits were a F-4 Phantom and a Bristol Bulldog biplane.

But that wasn't the reason for the post. The reason is that Tamiya had a 1/350th scale box of US Navy aircraft! So I quickly snapped it up, and after giving them some paint last night, here are three fixed wing aircraft to cover my US Armoured Cavalry Regiment.

First up, an EA-6 Prowler. An electronics warfare airframe, the Prowler is tasked with jamming enemy radar, gathering intelligence on enemy AA defenses and also destroying enemy SAM sites with HARM missiles (anti-radiation missiles, which home in on radar signals). Will I use it in our games or Epic Moderns? Maybe. I wouldn't mind making rules for 'Wild Weasel' strikes (anti-SAM), but they will be in the future.

The next two aircraft are both F-14 Tomcats. The US Navy's multi-role fighter, equipped with a variety of Anti-Aircraft missiles and can also be equipped with ground attack weapons. I was young the first time I saw Top Gun, but the F-14 has stayed with me as one of my favorites! These two aircraft have been painted in the scheme of VFA-103, the Jolly Rogers, who acted as interceptors for strike packages in Desert Storm. One aircraft was lost, to a SA-2 missile. They also claimed the Tomcat's last kill, an Mi-8 Helicopter.

And a close up of the Skull and Crossbones on the tail...

The actual Jolly Rogers scheme

So, not bad looking at all for a few bucks! Apologies for the bad photos, the skies are dark down here in NZ. The pack had a few more aircraft in it, I will pass a couple on to one of the locals, and might turn one or two of the others into objectives.

Epic Moderns game tonight, I am thinking that the Tomcats might have to make an appearance...


Wednesday 11 July 2012

The tipping point...

That is a single Saladin armoured car. Why is this so important? Well, it is the last of my 6mm miniatures to be painted. I have painted every 6mm figure that I own!

I bought most of the 6mm off of trademe, so I ended up with a bit of a motley selection. To complete what I want for our Epic Moderns (Kool-Aid special edition), I needed to order more stuff. And if you are doing an order, paying postage, you might as well order a lot. So, I did that last night too! Hopefully heaps more 6mm goodness will be winging it's way to me as you read this, to complete both my British and my American armies. Once I have them all completed, I will put the pictures up on here.

If you can't wait that long, our next game of Moderns is on Friday, so I will post up what I plan to bring tomorrow.

So with more 6mm in the post, I have probably a fortnight before it all arrives. So to keep up my productivity, I have jumped on Jamie's SAGA Lord of the Rings bandwagon. Needing to choose something different to everyone else, I have opted to make a Minas Tirith force.

I picked up most of what I needed for them yesterday, and will hopefully finish all the assembling and get them undercoated tonight.

So that's what is on my painting table at the moment, must get cracking!


Saturday 7 July 2012

Dystopian Wars: The British are back!

On Thursday night, I gave one of the locals at the club a game of Dystopian Wars. It was his first game, so I thought I would keep it simple and run the British (the French special rules are exceptions, and he might get confused). We were using the expected forthcoming TAGcon rules- 850 points, no Dreadnoughts. I ran...

Ruler Class Battleship Iron Duke
Agincourt Gunships Exeter, Valiant, London
Vanguard Submarines X-23, X-15
Swift Corvettes CV-21,22,23,24
Swift Corvettes CV-11,12,13,14,15
Orion Class Destroyers DD-27,28,29,30

The Iron Duke

My opponent was running Prussians, with a Battleship, 3 Cruisers, 2 squadrons of 4 Frigates, 3 Destroyers and 2 Bombers.

The game started unconvincingly, Turn One amounted to both fleets dashing forward, firing wildly, with my fleet causing an impressive ONE frigate kill, compared to his ZERO kills.

Corvettes just be vettin'

Turn two however, the game got a bit more exciting. Prussians had first initiative, so sent their destroyers headlong against the Blue Corvette Squadron. But, the combination of hitting on a 5+ and the dice didn't work out for my opponent, which left no casualties! The Corvettes however, were not so kind. By zipping rings around the destroyers, they were able to unleash crippling fire to the rear of the destroyers (not that it has any benefit in game terms, it is just a cooler picture)

What is missing is the floatsam from the other two Destroyers

In the centre of the battlefield, the bombers dropped out of obscured and unleashed some firepower onto the Iron Duke, only to have it bounced by shields. The enemy battleship unleashed a torrent of fire onto the Iron Duke, only to have it bounced by shields. Notice a theme?

So that is 25 hits, with no damage points then? Yes. Good.

All the while, the Iron Duke was firing relentlessly at whatever targets presented themselves, be they cruisers, bombers or frigates to great result.

A flight of bombers came screaming in onto the Iron Duke only to have them butchered by Ack-Ack, then for their bombs to fall ineffectually against the shields!

Weren't there five of us? Why do our bombs keep bouncing?

The lone destroyer had this point been set upon by a full squadron of British Swallow class dive bombers, and was dutifully sunk (with 22 plus hits, I couldn't be bothered rerolling all the 6's)

The enemy cruiser sitting in front of the Iron Duke was engaged with main gunnery from two turrets. The firepower was so great that it caused the forward magazine on the cruiser to explode! Which, sounds good for me right? Not so much. There were four corvettes nearby, three of which were swamped by either the explosion or the massive tide of water stemming from it! It did also cause some damage to another cruiser, so there is that I suppose.

By now, the two X craft were ready to make their attack runs, the first got a perfect rear attack onto the enemy battleship (who is on TWO damage points I might add)

This is what they are built for!

So, it revs the chainsaw, makes the attack and......... fluffs it. Not only does it do NO damage, it takes two points in return!

So surely the other X craft can do better.

With prey not quite so large...

So, X-15 revs the chainsaw, makes the attack and...... fluffs it. It doesn't damage itself this time, but it also doesn't sink a frigate! It does however sink it in the frigates activation, as the two collide into each other once again!

But it is a case of too little, too late. The Prussian Battleship makes a last ditch boarding attack against the Iron Duke, losing 3 of their boarders to Ack-Ack, then losing another 5 in the close assault. The Prussians were able to kill all but one of the Royal Marines, but one was enough to save the ship!

Because of all the lost Prussian luftjagers, the Battleship was ripe pickings for the Agincourts, who sent over a fresh boarding party of Royal Marines, capturing the enemy vessel.

Mainly so they could retrieve the stuck submarine

And with that, was the end of the game, and a crushing victory to the British.

The poor, poor Prussians. No matter what they did, they just couldn't do damage to the Iron Duke. The shields were performing exceptionally, the Ack-Ack was ruthless and it's gunnery was sublime.

So really, I made the critical error when introducing people to the game, I didn't let them kill enough stuff! Hopefully he enjoyed it, but for the game, I could do no wrong. Dice kept bailing me out when I stuffed things up, allowed me to do things which I shouldn't be able to get away with and were so atrociously good, I felt bad. If he is reading this, I apologise, and would love another game, and I promise to roll worse.

The other exciting thing at the club was that there was another game of Dystopian going on!

And they got there first, so they got the blue sheet, which is why we were on grey...

That's it from me. The 6mm counter keeps ticking on up, I am afraid if I stop painting tiny tanks that I would never start again, so I am pushing on through. Must get some sort of pictures of them sorted at some point too.


Sunday 1 July 2012

6mm Moderns- First Battle in Lebanon....

Well, finally everyone has caught up with me and my 6mm moderns, so much so that we are in the midst of writing and adapting Games Workshops' Epic rules to suit modern armies!

With much list frothing going on over the past two weeks, some speed painting and some general smack talk going on, it was time to have our first test of the rules.

The game was British and Israelis against Soviets and Syrians, 1000 points per force.

I was running...

Mechanised Company (42nd Black Watch), with 3 attached Milan Sections
Tank Troop- 3 Challenger 1 (Royal Scots Dragoon Guard)
1 AV8b Harrier from the Royal Navy

So... 3 activations, 13 Warriors, 3 Challengers, a load of Infantry and the solitary Harrier.

Add that to Jason's force of Israelis being a Merkava Company, an Infantry Company in M113s and an F-16, and it looked like alot of stuff.

However, the War Pac brought

3 Companies of T-72, 1 Company of Mechanised Infantry, 3 Zeus AA tanks, Sagger armed scout vehicles, Recon tanks, a Hind Gunship and a DESTROYER. So... we were horrendously outnumbered and outgunned.

Uh Oh.

The Russian flank ready to advance

With our superior initiative, we planned to hit hard and fast, hoping to deal big damage to the enemy forces.

The Israelis claim forward objectives, only to come under fire from T-72s

The Black Watch advance, engaging enemy Recon and T-72 tanks with their Raden and Milan

Raden Cannons wreak havoc on BMP-2

It was at this point that the Destroyer began to make it's presence known, unleashing a vicious barrage of SAM missiles at our incoming Aircraft...

So many targets, pity you are dodging missiles...

The Israeli Mechanised Infantry on the Left Flank suffered heavily under T-72 bombardment

Boom go the aluminium bath tubs!

But soon enough, the Merkava Company arrived and showed off what they could do...


The Royal Scots Dragoons had been observing the battlefield from afar, taking in all the sights. Unfortunatly, they themselves were spotted by a marauding Crocodile...

It's got HOW many Rockets?

And, for the first time (ever) a Challenger was lost to enemy fire!

The Harrier came streaking in, seeking vengance and loosed a sidewinder at the Hind....

Only to have the missile have no effect!

The Challengers upon losing a single tank, became instantly broken and never did anything further in the game. Sigh. Which is something we are going to tweak in the rules!

The Black Watch were engaging not only T-72 tanks, but also a full Soviet mechanized infantry company by this time, Radens and Milan pumping out fire at full force...

And being shot back, a lot

The Israeli Merkava Company suffered tremendous casualties from the enemy T-72 tanks (Jas and I didn't actually pass an armour save with our tanks. 6 of them. On a 4+. Sigh) which left the Black Watch even more unsupported!

Proving that when the going gets tough, the Scots get angry, they proceeded to engage the enemy tanks with all their firepower, getting good results! Destroying multiple T-72 with Milan ATGMs, and even destroying one with a Raden!

Ok, so we destroyed five, that still leaves... more tanks than we started with. Oh.

The Syrians on the left flank captured all the objectives, the Israelis suffered too many casualties to counter their advances, leaving the Warsaw Pact in charge of the battlefield!

The battlefield with a whole lot of burning stuff

Casualties on all sides were immense, the Harrier was shot down (eventually) by SAM missiles, the Black Watch lost almost half of their Warriors, as well as most of their Milan ATGM teams, as well as the Challenger 1.

So for the much vaunted Air Superiority and Tank Superiority, neither did the west any good! Bit hard to claim superiority when they die just as quick as the T-72....

All up, a super fun game. And actually not many big things to tinker with rules wise. I need to give some more thought to army composition, but I like having problems to solve. And I sure as anything have my work cut out for myself when I am outnumbered 3 to 1 by guns which can vapourize my tanks!

Finishing the last of my 6mm British tonight, then will crack into the Americans...