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...

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