maandag 28 december 2009

The Battle for Hechtel

Slightly later than promised a week ago, but here are some pictures from this demo game played at the Fallen Angels meeting.

This was the weather on arrival, when we left there was up to 5-6 inches of snow on the cars.

Being there waaaaay before everyone else we had all the time and place to set up our table.

Looking at Hechtel from the south-east, the crossroads of dirt tracks to the front of the picture would become my battleground for the rest of the day.

As you can see on the picture above, even before all the houses and hedges were added, it was a big table (6 by 8 feet), covered with loads of scenery. The British enter along the western and southern edges. Being in charge of the southern command, I covered the main road from Hasselt to Eindhoven and the dirt roads with my small forces: an AT gun, a couple of squads and a MG unit and one SPAT vehicle for both of the approaches. All dug in of course and invisible to the enemy at the start of the game.

The Brits after their opening move

The Brits decided to throw everything in the south through the dirtroad crossing which was regarded as the weak spot (the main road had some wire obstacles and a small minefield as well). So it would be 4 Shermans, Eight squads in carriers, an AT gun and a recce unit vs my AT gun, MG, 2 squads and a JPzIV lurking to the back. My troops waited till they could see the whites of their eyes, so all I did was call in mortar fire through my HQ, knocking out two carriers. They would have a long way to walk...

The Brits moved their tanks into a firing line and parked the carriers in a nice row on the road. My AT gun opened fire, knocking out another carrier. Other than a little fire support from a Grille that pinned a squad, nothing much was happening yet.

After pouring a ridiculous amount of firepower over my AT gun (14 dice in a single activation and not a single hit) they at last kill it. Ah well, it did its job as speedbump admirably.However, opportunity fire from the MG in the farm had driven the suppressed squad back into his HQ, meaning that next turn he wouldn't be able to give any orders.

Two turns (and some shopping) later the Brits destroyed the farmhouse with loads of tank fire, killing the MG unit. So now I'm left with two infantry squads (that are still not known to the enemy) and a lone JPz. That one did kill its first Sherman after some long range duelling.

So the Brits hadn't gotten anywhere till now and the first reinforcements coming from neighbouring Eksel started arriving near the front line, taking positions along the road to Peer.

After a couple more turns, this is the situation in my sector at the end of the game. My two infantry squads had survived, the one in the front despite all the fire the British poured into it. Together with the support of the Grille, they killed a few enemy squads. My lone JPzIV had knocked out three of the four Shermans and was now reinforced by a Jagdpanther. This sector would become a sideshow as the real battle would be beginning in the north as well (if we hadn't run out of time). The reinforcements sent to cover the Hechtel-Peer Road would be able to turn their attention north, making it very difficult for the Brits to take the town quickly enough as not to interfere with the Market Garden timetable.

I had a blast and thoroughly enjoyed the battle. The small area and minimal forces at my disposition were not a drawback, after all this was a key point in the battle. Had the Brits broken through the line then my friend on the western side of town would have found enemy troops to his rear. I really look forward to being able to play the full battle one day, with the northern front opening up as well. We did manage only ten of nineteen turns planned to depict this six day battle.

zondag 27 december 2009

The counter goes up...

Shopping for presents for my nieces at the loacal toy store... never a good idea. The store might be getting out of GW, but there still is quite a bit of stock left.
I have way too much 40K stuff hoarded, so I plan to do some gaming with it in the coming year. And I didn't have the "Cities of death" book yet. Stage 1 of the ending sale discount earned. To get the full discount, I also bought an Ent from the LotR range. Nice model, and it will probably end up in a "Songs of Blades and Heroes" warband toghether with some of the Confrontation Daïkinee Elves (woodelves) I rediscovered in my recent reorganisation.
This brings the counter (top left on the page) to 12, thanks to the b*%£*%ds at GW who decided to put two dead orcs with the Ent. Later today it should go back to 9 as I should be varnishing my three Minabari ships later on. If I push myself a bit, the counter could reach zero before the new year. Let's try anyway...

dinsdag 22 december 2009

Taking stock...

In the last few weeks I bought some more cupboards for the gamesroom (aka pack rat paradise).
So now that I have plenty of time with the holidays I started reorganising the stockpile and decided it was the moment to draw up a detailed inventory. Better call the boss for a few more days off...

So far I have gone through my ancients collection: a few 15mm DBA packs and a enormous pile of 20mm, mainly plastic 1/72 scale soldiers.

The collection of 15mm figures can be considered reasonable:
Spanish army (punic wars era) - 43 figures
Carthaginian army - 61 figures
Bactrian army - 54 figures
This makes a total of 158 figures, sadly enough only four horses are somewhat painted by yours truly. The previous owner of the Bactrian army had painted the elephant and crew, but that's it. The first symptoms of unpainted lead syndrome...

But it will only get worse!!!

I own (hangs head in shame and mumbles) 1091 20mm figures with a grand total of 5 (five!) figures that have met with a paintbrush...
Sumerians - 113 figures
Nubians - 42 figures
Sea peoples - 42 figures
New Kingdom Egypt - 208 figures
Gauls - 134 figures
Mercenary hoplites - 96 figures
Carthaginians - 303 figures
Indians (metal) - 152 figures
Persians (metal) - 1 figure (free give away, in case you were wondering ;-)

And then there still is the 10mm warmaster ancients army and a small amount of 28mm left to count.

PS I have been doing a little bit of painting as well: Uma and Micheal (see previous post) are progressing nicely...

zondag 20 december 2009

Come Hell or High Water...

...or a snowstorm that practically shuts down the whole country, early this morning we got in the car to slide, I mean drive to Leuven to put up a demo game at the convention of the "Fallen Angels". Not exactly a big event on a normal day, let alone on a snow day like today. Several other clubs that weren't from the local area didn't show up. Quite understandable, not everyone is as mad as our group.

With one notable exception: the owner of the British forces decided to stay in bed and ride out the storm. And this caused a big problem: our demo game of the battle for Hechtel is a prelude to operation Market Garden and features Germans defending the town and crossroads against... You guessed it! We packed up some Russians and substituted Shermans with T34s, Carriers with trucks etc etc and just used the UK stats. Not the most elegant solution, but it was this or cancelling the game. More on the game with loads of pictures wil follow tomorrow...

I also picked up the last miniatures for this year. Nothing I really needed, but while browsing through the boxes with less commonly available (read: not Evil Empire) figures one blister in the Call of Chtulhu range caught my eye: a white collar survivalist. Or Michael Douglas in the movie "Falling Down". Further digging turned up a female assassin (Uma Thurman in "Kill Bill") and a hired gun (Lara Croft). Taking advantage of the "buy one, get another one free" offer I picked up two more figures that are suited as zombie games survivors and a pack of four hooded terrorists.

So even with the bad weather it was an enjoyable day out. We were able to play a great battle (though only halfway through) and I bought a few interesting figures at a discount. With two weeks of holidays ahead of me and way too much snow on the road to go out, I'm looking forward to do some painting, and maybe a solo game or two...

maandag 14 december 2009

TAP TAP TAP, is this still working?

It's been a long time since my last post, waaaaaay too long. So what's been going on? Well, hardly anything, and that was the real problem. Because of a medical problem I had to be given a new job but the people at Human Reources were not exactly in a rush to do so. And so I was left without any real work for a very long time... By the time the summer holiday season arrived this was really starting to get to me, so much that when I got home in the evenings after a day of doing absolutely nothing I just couldn't be bothered any more about any thing... Including gaming.

About a month or two ago, someone at HR at last looked at my situation and invited me for an interview. Now that I at least got some perspective again, I started waking from my hibernation and started to look at painting and gaming again. I still need to get back to the pace of operations that I achieved earlier this year, but I'm getting back there...

After clearing the painting table, this is what is currently being worked on:
-Some Minbari ships for "A Call to Arms" (I even played a couple of games with these rules in the last month or so)
-The Romulan squadron box for the "Federation Commander" game (picked that game up at Crisis 2009 in Antwerp), flanked by the good ship Enterprise (an oldie by FASA)
-A five man squad of EE Space Marines
-A couple of UK Airborne 6Lbs AT Guns for "World at War"
-A handful of "Blitzkrieg Commander" Russian infantry and mortar stands
-A couple of 15mm Russian farms and the Perry 28mm farm.

I'll be working on these first while I'm thinking about what will be the main project I'll work on in the coming months. There are two main contenders for that (aside from the BKC army): dig up my stash of Starfleet Battles miniatures and boldly go where many other gamer has gone before, or will Hannibal at last cross the Alps onto the painting table and start up an Impetus army?

Only time will tell...

maandag 3 augustus 2009

July Lookback

In one word: great! I met the "Less, More, More" program requirements with great ease last month.

Spend less: what can I say, I can never do better than July. I spent absolutely nothing on figures, supplies, magazines or rules... OK, I went into town last Saturday and broke the dry spell (magazines, paint and brushes only though).

Paint more: I'm keeping the production going slowly but steadily with a bit of a slowdown near the end of the month. But that I can blame on one of my buddies who is moving into a new place and needs a bit of help with transporting stuff etc... and who rewards the effort with a couple of beers. 'nough said, I guess? I finished a few zombies and streetfight scenery, my Bloodbowl team, some infantry stands for BKC and several squads of 15mm Russians for WW2. I'm starting to chip away at the unpainted pile...

Play more: Even though the club was closed for the last half of the month I played two games. The first was a tryout of Ganesha's new Fear and Faith rules. We'll have to look into that a bit more, the zombies just don't want to die... did we do something wrong? The second game was (shudders while remembering) WH40K. A new kid came along at the club and with the resident 40K crowd being absent I offered to show him the basics of the game. This forced me to read the last edition again and at that point I remembered why I put it aside after glancing through it when it came out. Afterwards I dug up the Rogue Trader era books again... resulting in me digging up my squats and going through the army list... They are now safely back in the closet, awaiting better days.

And August? I've got the Russian HMG and mortar teams left to finish and three tanks to do for my World at War force and then I'll keep doing Russians, dropping a few scales to add more infantry to my BKC force.

Stay tuned!

donderdag 23 juli 2009

Current Ops

So what have I been doing lately?

The "one hour rule" wasn't really needed to keep painting over the past week or so. I have been painting a lot more without having to force myself. I guess seeing the progress that I'm making works pretty inspiring. And I haven't felt any urge to buy new stuff.

The project I'm concentrating on for the moment is a 15mm WW2 Russian army for skirmish gaming. Basing myself on the army lists in Mongoose Publishing's World at War, they are the nucleus for other games likes TWAT and IABSM by the Lardies. A while back I had painted one squad just for fun but last week I prepared three more squads for painting. I'm now putting the finishing touches on the last one while prepping some command figures and a pair of HMG teams. All I need to do then is paint two mortar teams, a T34/85 and a couple of SU85s to finish a 1500 point force. I'm aiming for the first club meeting after the summer reces to field this army in a game. That gives me a good two weeks to complete this task.

The army list:
Command section (without AT rifle team): 3 figures
4 infantry squads: 4 x 9 = 36 figures
2 HMG teams: 2 x 3 = 6 figures
2 mortar teams: 2 x 4 = 8 figures
1 T34/85
2 SU85

total 53 infantry and 3 vehicles

woensdag 15 juli 2009

Insane Ramblings...

The human mind is something fascinating. I often wonder how I get from a normal thought to whatever I end up with. While going through my collection of unpainted lead looking for stuff to get rid of, I ended up picking out a few figures for a quick fix in between other paint jobs.

First was Mr T. But, hey, Foundry calls them the B-team for obvious copyright reasons, right? So I guess I have to call him Mr U? And how would the others be called? Over the coming weeks you'll see some guest appearances on this blog by Mr U at first, later followed by Scipio, Assman and Very normal Murdoch...

I also picked Britannia's Afghan insurgent leaders and started thinking about scenario's in some Farawayistan country. But then I was looking for a better name, be honest, Farawayistan isn't the catchiest name around. So I ended up with Ookerzistan. Didn't get it? Reed again slowly: Oo-kerz-istan... Then I realized something, the generic Middle Eastern government forces (by Combat Miniatures) that I also have tucked away, would be called in NATO-speak the Ookerzistan Armed Forces. OAFs for short.

Here you have a glimpse into the workings of my brain while cleaning up mould lines. Is this what they cal lead rot?

The Tibnin Twinkletoes

Here they are: the Tibnin Twinkletoes, my High Elf team for Bloodbowl. The paintjob is finished, all that I need to do now is blast them a couple of times with the matt varnish spray can and then flock the bases.

Being High Elves I went for a bright, gay (cheerful, I mean cheerful) colour scheme. They took quite a bit of time to finish, but in the end I'm really happy with how they turned out.

July half time report

This month is looking pretty good. I've been painting a lot and I didn't have any trouble with my new "one hour each day" rule. OK, so I missed one day, but thanks to the crappy summer programming on the TV, I've more than made up for that lost hour.

I'm literally hours away from finishing my Bloodbowl team, the BKC infantry bases I'm working on only need a little more work and should leave the table this week as well. So it's back to the zombies then (I still want to get through them by the end of the month) and more 15mm Russians. I'm in the process ofcleaning up three more 9 man squads and the first one ought to be on the painting table by the weekend.

Because of all kinds of unforeseen things happening it now looks that I'll be adding no new figures to my collection. Instead I'll be adding to my percentage of figures painted vs figures bought quite rapidly. Not to mention that I this year might end up with a decrease of my stockpile!

While I was checking my historical figures to look at what I might start on next, I came across a few boxes and bags that struck me as "this isn't going to happen". I'm working on those 15mm Russians for skirmish gaming, so what am I going to do with those 1/72 plastic figures? So out they go, waiting for the Crisis bring and buy stand. Same for the 10mm Carthaginian army for warmaster ancients. I still have a Corvus Belly 15mm DBA army and hundreds of 1/72 (Field of Glory?) stashed. If I keep my buying at current levels I will end up with a slight decrease of my collection.

Keep tuned for a Bloodbowl team picture, coming soon to a computer screen near you!

donderdag 9 juli 2009

Crunching Numbers

Over the past few days the Monica Geller inside me showed up again and I started making a list. Monica just likes making lists...

A few days later and a lot of checking of my lead pile ,previous blog posts and my paypal account I found that for the year to date I purchased 380 miniatures. This ranges from the Perry American farmhouse (which is counted as one figure) through the small pig in the Pegasus box of farm animals up to the single 6mm figure from GHQ.

Opposed to this are 78 figures that are now removed from the unpainted pile. Most of those (63) because I finished painting them (a record year, and it is not finished yet), others never really entered the pile as they were bought painted at a bring and buy and some (remember the druids from a few posts back) were thrown out.

In other words, I've dealt with only 20,53% of my purchases for the year. This number must go way up! By keeping to the buy less credo on the one hand, I have nothing planned to buy until Crisis in November other than the figures that come with the Wargames Illustrated subscription and the blister of GHQ infantry that is being ordered about now. On the other hand there is the paint more part...

With the Bloodbowl team nearing completion for this Saturday's game, I can go back to finishing the zombies and starting painting my 6mm infantry. Those last ones will rapidly drive up the percentage.

If only I could end up with more than 100% by the end of the year. That would be a real achievement...

maandag 6 juli 2009

New: the one hour rule

As of today I'll be implementing a new rule: I will spend at least one hour each day on painting miniatures. By forcing myself to get a minimum of painting done I want to speed up my production.

I've been keeping track of today's work and after clocking up 45 minutes I have to come one conclusion: I am one slow painter! But by the end of the week I hope to have at least a few of my Bloodbowl players with a coat of varnish on them for next Saturdays BB tournament.

woensdag 1 juli 2009

Heresy! and a quick update

Today was the first day of my summer Wednesdays off and I've been putting it to good use just relaxing.... and also painting a bit. I can now add another three zombies to the horde and I am now over half way through.

Between painting I also did something that can only be described as an act of utter heresy: I threw away some figures! Yes, I threw them away, I didn't sell them on ebay or a bring and buy... No, in the bin with them. The ultimate way to get rid of the unpainted pile...

OK, so it's not as bad as it sounds. I was cutting the figures from the sprues from a couple of boxes of Hatt Gallic command to save on space in my cupboards when I was confronted with what are about the most useless figures ever in a box of plastic figures. Druids! Every sprue carries two druids meaning I ended up with twelve of those guys. I kept two to possibly add to a FoG camp, but the others got binned. Ten figures less to do...

On the other hand ther will be forty other here pretty soon. I put in my order for the Wargames Illustrated subscription this morning and my Nappy Brits should be on their way to me by now. Given the speed that my buddy got his (order on Sunday from the UK, in the mailbax in Belgium on Tuesday) that should be taken literally.

June in pictures

These are some Flames of War Russians based for skirmish gaming. Once I get through the zombies I'll get some more of them out of storage.

The first batch of finished zombies.

Some more zombies

The last figures I finished in June, a couple of zombies and a member of the "Chicas Latinas" gang. The young lady seems to be wondering what to do now...

Heh, heh, I have a surprise for you guys!

Some stands of MGs for Blitzkrieg Commander

dinsdag 30 juni 2009

Looking back on June, outlook for July

As some of the other blogs I follow do, I'll be doing a monthly report from now on. This might help me focus some more on whatever I want to do.

June was a good month for me when it comes to the "Less, More, More" idea. I didn't buy ANY figures at all, I only added four Perry Napoleonic British riflemen to the unpainted pile and these came free with Wargames Illustrated. Other than the standard magazines I bought one set of rules and the Toofatlardies Summer Special. Less spending: check!

Even though I didn't get round to painting all that much I still managed to finish quite a bit and the queue on my painting table is shortening rather nicely. The Wargames Factory zombies are advancing slowly but surely and my Blitzkrieg Commander Russians are finding ever more finished stands in their Order of Battle. This must the first month ever I painted more than I added to the unpainted pile! More painting: check!

And with the BKC campaign at the club I'v been playing almost every friday night. More playing: check!

So, looking back, June was good. Now what are my plans and ideas for the coming month?

Spending wise, it'll be more expensive but inthe end it will save me money. Now that Wargames Illustrated has been relaunched by Battlefront I'll be taking out a subscription. I was rather impressed with the new look and the content on FoW isn't too overpowering. And after buying it in the highstreet bookstore for more than eight Euro while it now has a cover price of only six Euro I am definitely feeling ripped off. If I can get a subscription at the cover price and get a box of free miniatures I'll be saving about 30%, not counting the cost of the figures.
This does mean the unpainted pile will grow next month with a box of Perry Nappy Brits and another blister of GHQ Russian infantry (should be ordered by a pal in one of the coming days).
Other than that I have no plans to buy anything (other than the standard magazines) so in all honesty, I am only buying the GHQ blister. Not too bad.

My painting will continue mostly with the zombies, I want to have all of them done by the end of the month, and my BKC army. I will also be picking up my Bloodbowl team again and try to finish them as well. They have been standing on my table half done for nine months or so, time to get the done. Plus I'll be doing the odd single figure to break up the monotony. And I'll be taking some days off this month, this ought to add to my painting time, when it's 30° outside it'll be nice to retire to my painting room as this is the coolest room in the house. If these temperatures hold for a bit, I'll be sleeping there on a bunk bed as well...

The BKC campaign will go on of course but the club is planning some other events on saturdays in July. We'll be playing a small Bloodbowl tournament and some guys from another club will be coming over with a Nappy battle, providing all the figures... Just show up and play, nice.

Come back in a month, then we'll see how everything turned out.

zaterdag 27 juni 2009

No more bitching about BKC

Yesterday evening we played two more games as part of the club Blitzkrieg Commander campaign. While the allies on the Western front fought the game to a draw, my Russian army beat the Germans to a bloody pulp. OK OK, so it were the German Nebelwerfers who did most of the pulping ;-)

I was defending in a Breakthrough attack scneario and as part of the field defenses I had bought a minefield that stretched all the way across the table. To my surprise the Germans left their engineers at home, those would have been my prime target. The Germans moved quickly in contact with the minefield and started crossing it. My opponent got a nasty shock at that time because he found out that he understood the rules incorrectly, infantry don't clear a path in a minefield, they all suffer from the effects of it.
After a few turns of moving into the minefield it was time to open fire and for the first time in weeks I managed to get in more than one command per HQ. The Germans lost something like a quarter of their infantry in a single turn of shooting, nasty. Of course, this meant that some of my troops were now visible and a volley of 15cm rockets was screaming towards the frontline. And then scattered right back on top of the German infantry in the minefield. Exit another quarter of the infantry. The whole German right flank was now destroyed.
Having nothing left to shoot at I tried to order my right flank to fire at a couple of units left in the open. Well, my command dice rolling was obscene this game. Even though I was ordering right acroos the table with a serious modifier, I ran out of targets to fire at before running out of commands.
Patrick had pretty much lost the game but he carried on, called on the nebelwerfers again only to see them mistaking a Hetzer for Russian troops and hitting that one. And the infantry right next to it. Exit the third quarter of his ground pounders.
At this time Patrick threw in the towel and we started rolling for the scenario for the next battle. At last we are moving into more mobile scenarios, so bye bye minefields etc...

This battle was also the third win I needed to conquer the Polish province we were fighting over, next battle I'll be moving one province deeper into Poland. This is the first area the Germans have lost in the campaign, giving me some serious bragging rights...

dinsdag 16 juni 2009

Painting Table Cleanup

My painting table looked more like the guys from Al Qaida had just paid a not so friendly visit, so it was time to clean and reorganize. This time I hardly moved anything into storage (only a few blisters of Perry ACW) so I'm left pretty much with what was there before. All in all not too bad or overwhelming. So what's on there? From bottom left you can see:

2 Perry British riflemen (from the June issue ofWargames Illustrated)
The Wargames factory zombies (all cleaned up and based and in different stages of completion)
Some street fight figures and scenery items (zombie fodder?)
A High Elf Bloodbowl team
A squad of Hydra Miniatures Galacteers
A handfull of plastic Perry ACW
A pair of Foundry old west gunfighters
Two Infinity Haq'islam troopers
A lone Wolfen
Some pristine street fight scenery
A Zvezda dragon (from their Ring of Rule game)
And in the boxes in the back my GHQ WW2 Russians

My main priority for the moment is off course the zombie horde that you can see coming out of the darkness in the picture below. Run, riflemen, run...

maandag 15 juni 2009

Blitzkrieg Commander Blues

Can anybody tell me why I keep saying that I prefer games that don't have the IGO-UGO style of play? Is it the unpredictability? The need for more tactical gameplay? Or do I have a masochistic side to my psyche?

After the last couple of games I tend to go for the last answer. With my talent for dice rolling I should better return to games that don't depend on rolling low to be able to do anything. My command rolls in the last two weeks were consistently poor. Getting even one command for every CO/HQ was a rare event, two actions for one command unit a rarity, do I have to mention three actions?

Two battles ago, we continued the club campaign 1875 Russians vs 750 Germans. No, wait, make that about 1300-1400 points as one of my commands passed its first roll on turn 5, yes five! This wouldn't have been so bad if my other commands managed to pull of two actions in a row. You know, firts action fire and suppress the enemy, second one charge and engage in combat. You can guess where that plan went south...
Meanwhile my enemy was able to pour massive amounts of fire into my troops, command after command after command... "Now for my fifth command roll, heck, that's been a very long time since I was able to say that..." After uttering these words, he then rolls a double one...
Needless to say I lost that battle, keeping it to a minor victory for the Germans by retreating out of range before the end of the battle to avoid reaching breaking point and giving the enemy a major victory.

Last Friday I played a small encounter battle vs one of the kids in the club (a few of them seem to be drawn away from the Evil Empire games by the sight of us old farts playing with these braille sized miniatures). In the center of the table was a village, this would be kind of the objective, the game being just a training exercise for Symen to get the hang of command rolls, firing, etc etc.
And yes, crappy command rolls were here again; Symen went first and his troops reached the outskirts of the village while I passed one! command roll. Half my force was sitting around doing nothing while the rest strolled leisurely forwards. By turn two the village was solidly in enemy hands and that was pretty much it. Any attempt to breach the defenses was met by, you guessed it, turns of three and four consecutive actions of firing...

Time to get those zombies finished, download Fear and Faith and get a few games killing hordes of shambling zombies...

donderdag 11 juni 2009

Focus for June

Now that I have returned to the painting and gaming tables, I am also focusing a lot more than I did before. Right now that means I'm working on two projects: 1/300 WW2 and zombies. The first of those two has to do with the club's Blitzkrieg Commander campaign that I have mentioned in a few previous posts. Ever so slowly the first units are getting to the "completely finished" stage. Those GHQ minis have way too much detail... Means I end up doing webbing on 6mm figs... And touching up on the rims of tank rollers...

The batteries of my camera died so I had to take the picture without my flash. I do wonder how a sheet of white paper turns out pink in low lighting though ;-)

The second project is all about zombies. I'm working on those at a (for me at least) astounding pace. A first batch is completed, a second one nearly is while I'm busy putting the last miniatures together. Together with my gaming buddy we should have more than enough zombies between the two of us to run some games of All Things Zombie. Or "Fear and Faith", the newest game by Ganesha Games, based on the Songs of Blades and Heroes series and covering all kinds zombies, werewolves and what not. We'll probably end up playing FandF first.

A third project that is lingering out there is 15mm WW2 skirmish gaming. I had a squad of Russians mounted on 1 cent pieces standing around on my painting table for ooh, a year or so. Intended as a first squad for Battlefield Evolution: World at War, yet another one of those many started and abandoned projects of mine. For some reason or other I picked them up a week or two ago and got them done. I liked painting them so much that I nearly got some more of them out of storage to buid a viable force. But I am sticking to my two pet projects for now. Once my zombies are finished I'll pick them up again.

Stay tuned for more...

vrijdag 5 juni 2009

Blitzkrieg Commander Night

I'm off to the club again this evening, hoping that my Russian forces will kick German "arsch" once again. That would give me the third win needed to liberate the Polish province we've been fighting over for the last few weeks. This would also make me the first Allied player in the campaign to wrestle an area from the enemy...

For the fourth battle in a row we'll be playing the "deliberate attack" scenario. To deal with a dug in and invisible enemy, I've gone for a "swarm army". Mainly infantry, lots of infantry to completely overwhelm the enemy, MGs as a firebase, a platoon of T34s to tear down any houses the Germans might be sheltering in and the guys in the picture above.

Never go on a deliberate attack without your engineers. Possibly they can be used to overcome field defences, but I started using them as assault troops. In our player group, close combat is pretty much never used. Last week I changed that though. And in this kind of battle, you need to get up close and very personal if you want to achieve a major victory. As I did last week.

So it's "Urrah" and let the human wave attack go...

zondag 24 mei 2009

Victory (and some zombies)

I've been enjoying a four day weekend and even though I've been wasting a lot of time on my PSP I have been getting in some gaming and painting as well.

On friday we continued with day two of the Eastern Front Blitzkrieg Commander campaign. On turn one I didn't get to through the Germans fast enough to take the objective and so the tables got turned. This time I had to defend the objective. Some well placed anti tank ditches and lots of wire forced the Germans to rely on a flanking attack to take the objective within the time limits, but I was able to destroy enough enemy units to make sure he couldn't claim the objective. A minor victory for the glorious Russian army!
Next battle: the same scenario, again! With 1875 points vesrus 750 points Germans. This may seem like a walkover, but this is not unlike the last couple of games. A dug in defender, that is invisible at the start of the game, is a very tough nut to crack.

Last Tuesday I found my order of Wargames Factory zombies in the mailbox and I started putting one of the sprues together. And I started painting them immediately. The fact that these are all individuals seems to get me painting more quickly than when I have units to paint. The monotony, I guess. From left to right they go from finished (just varnish to apply) to just flesh. Meet bald skater dude, fat survivalist dude, soccer fan, doctor, biker punk and stressed out cubicle guy...

Not a bad weekend, and it still isn't over. And now you'll have to excuse me, my PSP is calling me...

dinsdag 19 mei 2009

All Things Zombie is go!

A while ago I ordered "All Things Zombie" from Two Hour Wargames with the "play more" idea in the back of my mind. Quick games with a limited number of figures... When it comes to humans, I have enough cops, gangers, armed civies stuffed away in my cupboards (yes, the plural is no typo) to cover that part of the game. Zombies, on the other hand...

With the new Wargames Factory 28mm zombies coming out at about the same moment that was not a real problem. One set of those should be more than enough so when the Red Barons show in Gent was nearing I preordered some from one of the traders that would be attending. The day came, but not the traders. Thier car broke down on the wrong side of the English Channel. So what, someone else is bound to have them? No zombies in Gent. Same thing in Rheindahlen, no zombies to be seen anywhere... Wtih all the zombie rules being published lately, I was surprised. Time do some online shopping.

So it was back to the guys at Wargames Emporium, the guys with the crappy car, to order two sets of zombies (only one for me, the other for my partner in crime) and a blister of GHQ Russian assault guns and one of CinC Russian artillery to augment my Blitzkrieg Commander forces. I ordered them last Friday and when I got home from work there was a Jiffy bag sticking out of my mailbox. I was hoping for a card from the mailman telling me to pick up a package at the PO, this was one better. Like a kid on boxing day!

After ripping open the envelope I wasn't too happy. The zombies aren't packed in a box but in a plastic bag, so I was a bit nervous about their state after being handled by the mail system. I would have liked some better packaging by Wargames factory. But the survived without problems. When I looked at them for the first time, they seemed rather small, but in the end it turned out to be a case of being used to GW steroid 28mm figures. Compared to a Perry miniatures ACW they look normal. Now all I need to find is a good skin tone for zombies in my Foundry paints.

So pretty soon they'll be facing of with these guys I picked up at the bring and buy in Gent, a painted blister of Foundry SWAT troopers that I got for 10 euros. The same price my friend paid at one of the traders after delving in the discount bin for exactly the same figures. Sometimes life smiles at you. Most of the time it just mocks you though ;-)

maandag 11 mei 2009

Action 2009 product review...

OK, so where did the money go to at the Rheindahlen show this year?

First, third, fifth and last stop at any show is the bring and buy stand. Here I picked up an Ogre tyrant and a Helldorado Saracen fighter. While I no longer fancy the idea of building an Ogre kingdom army, the tyrant will make a nice personality for an ogre Songs of Blades and Heroes warband. The Helldorado figures I own will end up that way too.
I also bought a box of Pegasus Miniatures "Large gothic building" from one of the traders. Excellent value for money, the box is packed solid with walls and assorted nicknacks to decorate them with.

One of the other traders had some Starship Troopers boxes stashed under his table and after some Mediterranean style bargaining I got a nice deal and walk away with some hopper bugs and a pair of MI suits.

Some more scenery in the form of Pegasus "Farm animals set" and the 1/72nd scale "Area 51 UFO". That last kit is intended for pulp SF gaming, looks pretty nice but (compared to the gothic building set) rather expensive for what you get. And I also bought Ceasar's "Modern US elite forces" for Ambush Alley. These figures wear the latest model of body armour and weapons and like all Ceasar figures look absolutely great!

Here you can see the UFO standing next to a pair of Hydra miniatures troopers. The kit is basically an upper and lower disc, four legs with hatches (not shown) and a green transparent dome and windows (also not shown in the picture)

Not pictured at all are some GHQ Russian WWII tanks and aircraft, these are being worked on (and played with) and some magazines.

All in all a pretty diverse batch of new stuff but everything was bought with a purpose, I managed to avoid the "ooh shiny" impulse buys...

zondag 10 mei 2009

Return of the Blogger...

After a rather eventful and at times uncertain period I got sidetracked and as a result I haven't spent a lot of time gaming or painting over the last few months, not to mention blogging of course. Pretty much all I did was visit the two springtime wargaming shows that I attend every year: the Red Barons show in Gent and Action in Rheindahlen.
I am glad to say that spending during these shows was well within reason and I kept away from getting into new periods/scales... More on this in a later post.

Last Friday saw the return to the gaming table as we kicked of the club's Blitzkrieg Commander campaign. My Russians failed to take the objective in a deliberate attack scenario after a sometimes frustrating game. Plenty of dug in German troops that remained quiet and as a result invisible, protected by a host of minefields. Next battle will be the same scenario, but this time I'll be defending. Those anti tank ditches seem rather inviting...

It's good to be back...

zondag 8 februari 2009

Quick update...

Not a lot going on this week as I just couldn't keep my mind on painting with all the stuff that is hanging over my head. I made a few attempts to start, but after only a few minutes I gave up.

Club night last Friday was better, I got a game of Songs of Blades and Heroes done. At least the "play more" part is still holding on. It was quite a long game, but that was because of all the distractions. One of the other members was dealing stuff, I mean selling someof his old 1/300 Heroic and Ross collection. I resisted temptation, but Stef needed a fix and broke down. He is now the proud owner of a WWIII (no typo) Russian Army.

All this got the three of us talking about big battalion old school gaming and then some other stuff as well. Looks like we'll be checking out FoG next week to see if we can start something new in the club. And because we're thinking of going the 1/72 route, this will cost me almost nothing. I have an extensive collection of plastic and some metal in 20mm stashed away. Carthaginians, New Kingdom Egypt, Assyrians, Indian (Alexandrian era) and then some... Being a pack rat does have its rewards, you just have to wait long enough.

maandag 2 februari 2009

Good news, bad news, other news...

The flu bugs that have been doing the rounds overhere turned out to be pretty resilient and it takes most people a lot longer to completely get over it. Because of this I haven't been doing any painting or gaming (or blogging) but now I'm going to pick up the brushes again.

The good news is that in the near future I will have lots of time to tackle my Himalaya range of unpainted miniatures... The bad news is that this will be forced on me due to early retirement on medical grounds, at the ripe old age of 39! And for a pretty trivial problem at that. At this time the decision hasn't been taken yet, but there are several management reasons why this is the most likely outcome.

This off course means that frugal gaming will no longer be a choice, but a necessity. The pension I will get for 23 years of working is rather on the low side. And the limits imposed by the law on any other income through labor without losing the pension are also pretty low. All those years of unbridled buying will turn out to be my rescue, I can last years without buying anything new... And one of the avenues I'm exploring to get extra income is games related as well. Producing terrain pieces and selling them at the different cons I normally go to.

In other news, my club ran its annual Warhammer tournament yesterday. It is one of the, if not the, biggest one in Belgium. I didn't play myself but ran the secondhand corner, the first time we did this during a tournament. Not a lot of the players showed up with items to sell, but what was there changed hands rather easily. With the 10 percent commission on the sales price we made a rather nice "profit" for the club coffers. Now that people know there is the opportunity to sell their unpainted lead or plastic, I expect that next year there will be a lot more for sale.

Keep tuning in!

dinsdag 20 januari 2009

Bugs, Millions of them..., I haven't been playing Starship Troopers or any other SciFi game. I've been overrun with the flu, not bad enough to be completely knocked out, but not light enough to continue painting. Everything has ground to a halt.

I did finish a few GHQ trucks for my Russian WW2 army and started painting my Hydra Miniatures pulp SF troopers early last week, but then real life intruded. First I lost a few evenings to social events and together with the weekend, the bugs arrived... At this time I still have some headaches, keep coughing up parts of my lungs and my nose is either blocked up completely or running wild. It will be a few days more before I start painting again.

One thing I was still capable of doing: buying more lead... At long last one of the "local" gamestores decided to discount some items. Including the Starship Troopers range. A year ago I would gave walked away with half the boxes in the shop, now I left with just one! How frugal! They had a box of LAMIs left, the troopers as seen in the movies, at half price. Even at full price they were a steal at 25 euro for 20 figures so who can resist the at half price...

maandag 12 januari 2009

They're Heeeheeere!

The long awaited Perry 40mm have landed! Try to imagine Homer Simpson dancing around excitedly (same amount of hair, lot less belly though)...

Pics to follow...

zondag 11 januari 2009

Less, More, More Painting Update

Not a bad harvest for the week, given that going back to work has slowed me down a bit. I continue working ever so slowly on my ACW Union Army as my long term painting project. I also finished a couple of Uruk Hai for my SBH game (more about that in another post). And my scenery collection expanded as well.

These are the new additions to my painting table: three came out of storage and one from the shop. The Uruk Hai were also involved in last Fridays skirmish and don't need that much to get them completed. The woman is from the "Chicas Latinas" gang, produced by a German company, I'll have to check which one exactly. And then there is the massive (in volume, not weight) Zvezda Troll. I hope I'll finish those in the next few days, but as I feel my throat closing up I fear that I'll be coming down with a bout of the flu in the next few days... bug(ger)!

vrijdag 9 januari 2009

Spend less? Play more!

The first new figures are inbound! Yesterday Stef picked up the Zveda Ring of Rule troll, I should get my grubby hands on that one at the club this evening. I'm guessing that it will not be an overly complicated model when it comes to construction and painting, so I might just try to finish it by the end of the weekend. I have noticed over the last week that when I paint single models (or small batches of two or three figures) I get them completed a lot quicker.

The other figures are the Perry Miniatures 40mm peninsular British. At last I saw that my credit card was charged for these, so they should be on their way now. It makes opening the mailbox every evening that little bit more exciting. It took rather a long time compared to other orders I placed with the brothers, this one will have taken three weeks to arrive...

It might seem that the spending less idea has gone out the window after only a week, but in my defense the Perry figs were ordered last year. And the troll was not an impulse buy but meant for a project that I am acually playing for once!

This evening will see my first face to face game of SBH, my Uruk Hai with a few Moria goblins to max out the points will be facing Stefs Mordor orcs. Pics and a report will follow!

Keep on gaming!

woensdag 7 januari 2009

Less, More, More Meets Real Life

With the holiday season over it is back to work. And the painting is slowing down rather a lot. I'm still doing a lot more than I used to over the last years, so it's not all doom and gloom. I'm just concentrating on a few figures now instead of spreading the effort over a lot of them. This way I still see things happening and that keeps me motivated.

When I'm finished typing this post I'll slap on a coat of varnish on a pile of crates, another piece of scenery completed. And the two Uruk Hai I've started for this Friday's game are steadily advancing too and should be completely done tomorrow night.

And by now, I should also have bought my first figure for the year. My gaming buddy was dropping by a plastic model kit store that has the Zvezda Ring of Rule figures in stock, at a discount. I asked him to look out for a troll, at the monstrous price of four Euro. I had been thinking about a LotR Mordor troll to bolster my Uruk Hai SBH warband, but when Stef called yesterday to point me to the Zvezda sale, I just had to stick to my "less spending" mantra. Pictures of the sprues (and the model after construction) will be posted during the weekend.

Back to the painting desk, stay tuned!

maandag 5 januari 2009

LMM - update

Painting continues at a good pace. After yesterday's SBH playtest I was able to finish five more items, three Perry ACW infantry and two pieces of scenery from one of GW's Lords of the Rings boxed games. And today I finally ot the last licks of paint on the Wargames Foundry cop that has been on my desk, nearly completely painted, for several years. Years! I kid you not. Now I'll have to dig up his collegues for a game of Chain Reaction or All things Zombie. One of them is a fat cop eating a slice of pizza, I'll have to do some research on colour schemes for the different toppings ;-)

Still way too cold for spraypainting though and that won't change for at least a week. Shiny finishes untill then of course.

Under my two finished, one out of storage policy I've dived into my closets (yes, plural) and took out two Uruk Hai and a piece of scenery. The Uruk Hai will be joining next Friday's game, but I'm not stuck on finishing them by that day. I'm happy with a mostly painted figure for the moment. I haven't arrived at the point where I'm able to field a completely painted force, even for a small skirmish game. Not yet. But by the game after this Friday's, that should be reality though.

Stay tuned!

zondag 4 januari 2009

Solo SBH playtest

In preparation for the first face to face game of Songs of Blades and Heroes next Friday I reread the rules, dug up a few LotR figs and terrain and proceeded with a quick playtest.

I'm using terrain tiles that I made myself a year or two ago, but as so often I didn't carry the project through. The only thing they need is a quick paintjob of the roads and cliff-face though. An ideal project for the LMM programme! Same thing for the chapel I made using HirstArts molds...

A view of the LotR Uruk-Hai I used. The three in the center of the group are actually completely finished! Yes, I do have some figures that are completely finished, few as they are though ;-)

Turn 1: The men of Harad got to move first, two archers on the flank moving quickly forward to get behind cover and engage any Uruk-Hai that comes onto the board. Most of the spearmen failed one of their quality rolls and made only one move. Two of the Uruks made it to the bottom of the hill and started moving towards the chapel.

Turn 2: The spearmen move slowly forwards, making sure that the archer on the right gets to shoot. I roll for three actions and pass two. The first shot hits the front Uruk on the hill, knocking him down. A second shot manages to kill him... One Uruk moves towards the chapel, but the rest screw it up and do absolutely nothing...

Turn 3: The archer on the left lets fly and knocks down the Uruk lurking near the chapel. His spearman buddy comes running around the corner and finishes him off. The archer on the right seems a little too excited from the kill and can't hit a barndoor... The spearmen move forwards to engage the Uruks.
The Uruks seem to be taken aback by this bold move and as a result just stand around doing nothing. (The first Uruk fails both his quality rolls, ouch!)

Turn 4: The spearmen on the left advance on the last Uruk near the chapel and prepare to slay him next turn. Once again the archer on the right screws up. The Uruks decide to charge down from the hill and one of them actually does it! He tears right into the Haradrim and kills him with a single blow.

Turn 5: The spearmen at the chapel gang up on the unlucky Uruk and kill him. This forces the remaining Uruks to make a morale check, chasing the one on the hill off the board while the berserker decides to fall back to the hilltop.

While intended as a quick test of the game mechanics I can see that this a simple, little game that I will most likely enjoy quite a lot. No big rulebooks with exception on exception, masses of canon figures... Ideal both on the "spend less" (the PDF costs 5 dollars and you can use any figs in your collection) and "play more" department of Less, More, More!

This game gets "Two Sixes"

zaterdag 3 januari 2009

Less, More, More - First Steps

Well, I just finished slapping a coat of varnish on the first few finished figs for this year. For the moment they'll have to make do with Vallejo satin gloss varnish until temperatures climb back to spray painting levels and I'll be able to give them a coat of mat varnish as well.

The figures are a pair of Perry plastics ACW and the scenery items are from Black Cat Bases.

That leaves plenty of stuff on the table though (about 200 28mm figs seems right) but in my finish two, take one out of storage doctrine I took two more simple pieces of scenery to the table.

Also planned for the weekend: a quick solo game of Songs of Blades and Heroes to get a feel for the rules. Next Friday at the club I'll be doing another one, the first real game of the year...
Operation LMM is now well under way...

Ctrl-Alt-Del: the Day after Crisis

What better time to restart this blog than what is to me the watershed moment of the gaming year: the Crisis show by the Tin Soldiers of Ant...