Thursday, 24 May 2018

A (brief) Partizan Snapshot!

Went to Partizan on Sunday to help on the Hysterical Games stand so I didn't really get a chance to have a proper look around and take photos but a few things caught my eye...

Martian Practice (VSF Sharp Practice):

World War One:

Suez 1956:

Friday, 11 May 2018

(What A Tanker!) Panzer Marsch!

After my Saga debacle I managed to get involved in a six player game of What A Tanker! at BIG on Wednesday evening, taking command of a Panzer IVH!

The game was reasonably balanced points wise with the Germans having three PzIVH's and the British a Sherman Firefly, regular Sherman and an M10. Jim dispensed with the initiative rolling and we drew cards playing cards to see which crew's turn it was. This was a good idea and I'd suggest it as a house rules as it made the game a lot quicker.

It was a good game and much better balanced than my exertions against the evil StuG's on Saturday. I managed to sneak around the side of the blue building in the photo above and brew up the Sherman Firefly who had kindly exposed his flank to me. Unfortunately the M10 lived up to its tank destroyer reputation by destroying my tank a couple of moves later as I tried to get into a position to hit him. Good fun.

Thursday, 10 May 2018

(Saga) The Gods of Dice Fail Me!

Had a game of Saga against Matt last night at BIG. He'd been kind enough to lend me his Viking army for my first couple of games so it was a bit strange facing the very troops who had done so well in my initial forays with the system...

Unfortunately my army (and my dice) let me down big time!

This picture around turn three shows about as good as it got for me, my four beserks having just killed four of Matt's Hearthguard. Unfortunately my badly positioned warriors in the woods to the left were unable to follow up the beserker bloodbath and bad positioning of my Levy archers meant they didn't do a great deal much of the game, though with my Hearthguard they did take out a unit of Matt's Warriors. Unfortunately he managed to wipe out my Hearthguard and almost all my other Warriors.

Apart from some lousy positioning during the set up (I did have a plan, Matt just did something else!), my use of the battle board was poor this week and my dice rolling absolutely abysmal. Obviously the Gods of the Saga dice have deserted me for playing with tanks! :D

Saturday, 5 May 2018

(What A Tanker!) StuG Bait!

The Lardies came to BIG today and ran a three game What A Tanker! tournament. As I had only given the rules a cursory glance and had a Sherman I didn't imagine I would do much in the three games I played. And I was not disappointed! :-)

My Sherman was downgraded to a basic M4A3 to start and with three others attempted to thwart an attack by three PzIV's and a StuG. Under the tutelage of Lardy Rich my tank was swiftly destroyed by the StuG, though my crew survived!

Steve goes BOOM!
In game two against two StuG's and two PzIV's  the Sherman team decided to play more conservatively - initially, making use of every piece of cover going.

A cautious advance - spot the hidden StuGs!

However even this didn't work as we soon lost the only tank who had been successful in the last game, so I decided to try and draw the enemy out by advancing as my two comrades picked off the German armour. That didn't work as one was swiftly blown up but my Sherman led a charmed life, despite its exposed and surrounded position, surviving the game with just one Command Dice left.

A Sherman called Starstruck survives!
For the final game my M4A3 was upgraded to an M4A3 (76) with the other Shermans being replaced with a Firefly and two M18 Hellcats. Against two StuG's, a Hetzer and a PzIV. I lasted two turns before being brewed up by a StuG! 

Steve goes BOOM! - again
My crew though survived and returned a couple of turns later in a M4A2 Jumbo. However pinned in the corner of the table with the Firefly and with a series of crap Command Dice rolls by both crews we saw the M18's obliterated and the Germans roll over the board.

The Jumbo does not a lot - the Cromwell's are proxies for  the previously destroyed Shermans!
A lot of fun, not sure how balanced the games were, the StuG's are powerful and hard to hit, could have done with a Hawker Typhoon! Overall the game is huge fun, not to be taken seriously, but does need a number of tanks on the table for optimum enjoyment.

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Saga: Invasion of the Half-Painted Vikings

Saga night again this evening down BIG playing against a new, more experienced opponent in the form of Jason with his Anglo-Danes, using my half-painted army...

We played two games and I learnt a few new rules. The Gods of Dice once again smiled favourably on me at critical times and I am learning to use my Battle Board better now, unleashing Ragnarok at the end of the last game wiping out Jason's remaining warriors and taking down his Warlord.

Even using my own figures, my Thrall archers punched above their weight in both games, twice bouncing back melee attacks from the Anglo-Dane warriors, thanks to some good dice and choice Ability benefits.

A lot of fun, one win and one draw. Hopefully I can the army properly painted before their next battle.

I didn't have time to get in a game of What a Tanker! but watched Matt and Jim playing and it look at lot of fun so I signed up to the forthcoming Tanker Day at BIG at the beginning of May.

Friday, 13 April 2018

Spitfyre: Things to Bomb!

Spitfyre includes air-to-ground attacks (and AA fire) and initially Rob and I thought it would be cool to get one of the artists to paint some targets for people to print off for games. For one reason or another that didn't go ahead but as I wanted to show ground targets in the rulebook I needed to come up with something else.

In the end I bought some of Pendraken's 10mm WW2 British infantry, a Bofors gun and emplacement and a command bunker.

The infantry and Bofors crew I painted up historically. Albeit with green orc faces. When Hysterical get around to producing their 10mm Panzerfäuste game I can repaint the flesh and use them as historical BEF troops for something or the other....

In the end the bunker did not end up in the rulebook, but it was fund and quick to paint.

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Spitfyre: Vulture Squadron takes flight!

I got so engrossed with getting the Spitfyre rules reading for printing, the PDF issued to Kickstarter backers, real work and a nagging toothache that I almost forgot the blog today! But here are the Dwarf air force Stukas, sorry Vulture Dive Bombers! :-)

I had lots of "fun" researching colour schemes for the vultures, who knew there were so many breeds! Word of warning though, Googling vulture images whilst eating your breakfast is not recommended!

I think Darko has done an amazing job on these models, capturing the vibe of the Stuka in a bird! I want one in 28mm now... :-)

If you are interested in checking out the game, Hysterical Games will have a demo of it at Salute on Saturday and have said they will have some stock of the game and first models of the range...

Monday, 9 April 2018

Spitfyre: A Kondor Moment...

The great thing about the success of the Spitfyre Kickstarter was the funding of miniatures that I thought would only ever exist in my head, such as the Dwarf air force Kondor 111 bomber!

This is a very impressive model and I guess if it wasn't produced in a light resin I'd have had problems basing it.

As you can see comparing it to the HurriKane fighter wyvern , it is quite big!

Sunday, 8 April 2018

Spitfyre: The Eagle Takes Flight...

More Spitfyre models today, this time the KriegAdler 109's of the Dwarf Luftbestienkorp...

I love the helmets sculpted on the eagles (to protect against lucky enemy shots) which I have painted yellow like historical Bf109's...

Saturday, 7 April 2018

Spitfyre: Achtung SpitFyre!

Managed to finish a flight of Orc Air Force SpitFyre wyverns this lunchtime...

Rather than copy the same paint scheme as the HurriKanes, I decided to paint the wing membranes grey as a nod to the mid to late war RAF grey/green camo...

Like the HurriKanes hough I painted the 'Eye of Balor' on the wings! :-)

Lovely models, I'm sure my painting doesn't do them justice.

Onto the Dwarves next, the KriegAdler and KampfKondor are part way done now and I've just got the KampfGeier dive bombers to start.

Friday, 6 April 2018

Spitfyre: Rock Me Like A HurriKane!

Full speed ahead on the Spitfyre painting today. The Orc Air Force SpitFyre wyverns are almost done and I have completed a flight of HuriKane wyvern fighters...

I based the painting scheme on that which Will did for the Spitfyre Kickstarter concept art...

I think the contrast between the green dragon body and the buff wing membranes works nicely.

Many Orc Air Force pilots paint the "Eye of Balor" on the wings of their steads to give the evil eye to any enemies approaching from behind...

Thursday, 5 April 2018

Spitfyre: NightFyre!

I need to get the Spitfyre rulebook to Rob by Monday for it to be printed in time for Salute. It's all laid out and just needs the photos done, so I need to pull my finger out with a paintbrush! 

I've started the Orc Air Force SpitFyre and HurriKane wyverns which are all in base painted or wash stage drying on the windowsill at the moment.

However as I has a spare SpitFyre I decided to paint one up as a night fighter dragon, some kind of rarer black skinned breed used to thwart any nefarious Dwarven attacks at night!

There are no night fighting rules in the game as yet, but as the Kickstarter requires a supplement to be produced this might be something to look into...

As he was largely a drybrush up from the black undercoat it didn't take too long to finish him. I have to say I am impressed with the detail on the model, Darko did a great job sculpting them, you can even make out the teeth on the Orc and his thumbs on the twin Vickers guns (remember the models are 10mm scale!)

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Saga: The Wrath of the Jomsvikings

Had my second game of Saga this afternoon against Rich at BIG with Matt on hand to help with some of the rules. Rich had played Jomsvikings with some success with the first edition and from what I'd read I knew they could be a tough warband to counter.

I went with the same Viking army I used in my first game but as we went up to 5 points I add a unit of Beserkers for some fun (and a Viking force should have some Beserks IMHO). We also used the terrain rules this time and I think we got a little carried away here!

Rich advanced his warband forward across the board in a narrow fronted block, I spread my force (probably a little too wide) and focused my efforts on taking out one unit of his warriors with a my Levy peppering them as they advanced before hitting them with a full unit of warriors. This worked well despite Rich inflicting punishment on me a couple of times. This ability removed my activation, the alternative being I could let him build up Wrath and I whilst I wasn't 100% sure what that would do but I knew that allowing the Jomsviking to do that early in the game would be a disaster!

My Beserks wiped out his other unit of Warriors, and themsleves in the process. I had positioned them badly so just wanted to see how effective they were. Combined with some specific abilities they look like they could be a powerful one shot weapon - I just need to point it at the right target!

Having aided in the destruction of one unit of Warriors, the Levy pretty much took out a large unit of Heartguard with some impressive archery rolls and with my Hearthguard took out Rich's other unit of Hearthguard, though many a warrior ended the day in Valhalla!

This just left his Warlord and despite some good Saga die rolls I was canny enough not to take any Punishment or allow Rich remove fatigure, letting him now build up his Wrath. He did managed to get this to work to his advantage once but the Levy kept firing arrows at his Warlord and eventually brought him down.

A pretty resounding victory but I was lucky with some dice rolls. I can't imagine the Levy bow are going to be this lucky week in, week in, but I am coming to grips with the Viking battleboard and some of the abilities that allow you to gain a few advantages at key time.

Good fun!

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Spitfyre: Orc Air Force

I stuck together the dragons of the Orc Air Force today for Spitfyre...

Orc Air Force SpitFyre wyverns

Orc Air Force HurriKane wyverns
Hopefully get a chance to slap some undercoat on tomorrow and maybe some paint...

Sunday, 25 March 2018

Saga: Viking Warband II

After finding my plastics glue had dried up after a couple of years non-use yesterday, today I managed to stick my warband together...

Apologies for the rubbish photos taken prior to undercoating, I'll take proper ones when they are painted.

After some internet browsing I came across the Shieldwall line of miniatures that Gripping Beast now produce so have ordered four Úlfhéðnar and a Warlord for the warband...

Friday, 23 March 2018

Saga: Viking Warband I

So having found my box of Gripping Beast Viking Hirdmen I thought I'd crack on making up my warband with a view to seeing if I could get it finished in time for my next game against Rich a week Wednesday.

Although we only played with 4 points first time around I've decided to make a 6 point army so we can move on to some normal size games asap.

I picked up a box of the Dark Age Archers and have decided to initially go with the following:

1 x Warlord
2 x 4 Hirdmen (Hearthguard)
1 x 4 Úlfhéðnar or Berserkir (Beserkers)
2 x 8 Bóndi (Warriors)
1 x 12 Thrall bow (Levies)

I will paint up some of the Dark Age Warrior box as javelins for some interchangeable variety and use in other warbands (as the archers will also do).

Progress so far is, as you can see, limited to snipping the bodies off the sprues and gluing them to 2p bases (decided on after the usual wargamer basing anguish of whether I should go 20mm square so they could be used for other games!)

I've also got to source a decent Warlord (I might use a plastic one to start) and some models for the Beserkers, I do fancy the wolf skin clad Úlfhéðnar if I can find some that fit in with the Gripping Beast plastics...

Thursday, 22 March 2018

What A Tanker!

The announcement from the Lardies that What A Tanker! was available for pre-order caused a flurry of excitement today on the BIGHW Facebook page with a lot of gamers expressing an interest and a consensus that 28mm was the way to go (Steve looks forlornly at his beloved 20mm...).

However on the hunt for the Gripping Beast Vikings and Saxons I bought a few years back (I knew I'd find some use for them!) I came across some 1/50th diecast tanks I'd bought over the years including a Corgi Comet, Corgi Churchill and Solido Grant!

As the game can be played with one tank per player I availed myself of the excellent bundle pre-order offer that gives you the rules and tool and token set for £24.08 (compared to the RRP £44.00). Looking forward to this and surprising some of them pesky squarehead tankers with the innocuous looking Comet's 77mm HV gun! :-)

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Embarking On a New Saga...

On Saturday I "discovered" a new wargaming show in Bristol - Bristol Independent Gaming. As SWMBO wanted to visit the nearby (wonderfully named) Get Knitted for some wool I thought I'd pop in this new shop (I say new, it has been here three years and is door to door just ten minutes from Bleaseworld in quiet traffic!). I had a nice chat with Jim Harding who runs the place and found out that the shop also has two floors of gaming tables and in addition to the regular 40k gaming, the shop has a historical gaming night on Wednesdays.

The current "in" games are Chain of Command, Sharp Practice and Saga, all of which are periods I have some miniatures for but no experience of the rules and how they play, so tonight I went along to have a go at the new edition of Saga.

The Bóndi Matt leant me about to outflank the Anglo-Danes!
I have to confess I had been put off Saga due to all the additional non-miniature bits and bobs seemingly needed to play the game beyond the rulebook and some miniatures, so not really given it much of a look at, but Rich Coombs offered to give me a game and Matt (Evil Bear) Houghton lent me his Vikings and helped with the rules.

We played a simple "kill the warlord" game but I found it an enjoyable experience, the rules (as probably most of you know) are simple to play but hard to master. The Gods of dice rolling favoured me hugely tonight with my Thrall bow unit exceeding expectations and causing heavy casualties for Rich's Anglo-Danes, who subsequently disintergrated as my Bóndi and Hirdmen smashed into the remnants of his army from both flanks!

The kickass Thralls having lost three men, but inflicted eight losses on the Anglo-Dane warriors...
Unfortunately I am away working in Paris next Wednesday but Rich has promised me another game in a fortnight, though this time he is bringing along his beloved Jomsvikings. He has leant me the rules and Age of Vikings to see if I can come up with some cunning tactics to defeat them!

All I need to do now is find those boxes of Gripping Beast plastic Vikings I've had sat around for ages to make my own army...

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Spitfyre: Dwarf Lustbestienkorp

I managed to grab an hour this morning to start sticking together the Dwarf air force models for Spitfyre (a 1/200th scale air wargame set in the Panzerfäuste universe) and cutting my thumb with the scalpel in the process! :-(

KriegAdler 109 (War-eagle fighters)
KampfGeier 87 (Vulture dive bombers)
KampfKondor 111 (Condor bomber)
Some need a little filling but hopefully I'll get the chance to slap some paint on them this week...