Saturday, 17 October 2020

Flames and Flamethrowers

 It's a bit of a workbench blog this week as there's always a certain drop in motivation in the days after an event. That is to say, I don't want to paint anything, but I'll make lists till I get bored!
Remember December
Every year on our club’s closing day before Christmas we run an event dedicated to the memory of our friend and fellow nerd, Nick. This year, blogger Pooch has proposed we play 60 point Mid-war Flames of War which, in the aftermath of Flamescon, has indeed led to a flurry of list making.

I have decided that, for a change, I’d take Italian infantry and set about making lists and, honestly, not loving a lot of what I was coming up with. I really like the Bersaglieri Weapons Company but couldn't find something I was happy with. And then I was sifting through my bits box and hit upon some models which I didn’t know I had: 

Burninating the countryside!

Genius! I had enough spare flamethrower models (and enough old command teams!) to be able to run a second platoon of Assault Engineers and so Compagnia Genio! I saw A LOT of Churchill Crocodiles at FlamesCon and it would seem that flamethrowers are where it's at! So I’ve got a couple of ideas for list variants and I’m not sure which one will make the cut. I might have to *gasp* practice!

The core: 
Assault Engineer platoon with two Brixia mortars and two flamethrowers
Assault Engineer platoon with two Brixia mortars and two flamethrowers
81mm Mortar Platoon
The support:
5 L6/40s
1 90mm Lancia da 90mm
Then either:
5 M14/41s or 3 Semovente 75s
The Lancia is pretty dumb but it's a cool model and I hardly ever get to use them. I'm really stuck on the M14s vs Semoventes choice - the Semovente is an objectively better tank hunter but 5 M14/41s is a powerful attacking force and while the gun isn't great, there aren't too many things in MW where trying to get AT 6 side shots vs AT 8 front shots is too much different. 
So I dunno at this point. 

Warhammer 40K

I have started working on the Strike Squad...
I've base coated the other five too...

...but have also been distracted by the new options available to the Deathwatch in 9e and have been plotting some re-equipping there:
Attack bike with Heavy Bolter....NAH!
There's some serious arm replacing to do with my original Deathwatch Veterans but I'll wait till the Codex drops in November / December before I work out which models in the box need to be heavily amended! 
Next Time
We've been talking about some test games of 60 point lists at the club next weekend so I'll give the lads a run there and see how that Italian list works out. I'll be working through the Strike Squad to get those finished and getting onto the Attack Bike once I find a base big enough. 

Sunday, 11 October 2020

When nerdery goes north


Probably the best photo I took all weekend.

In the words of Organiser Gav - now that Auckland has done it's detention and written out it's lines, us Wellington nerds could all go north to play FlamesCon 2020. Five rounds, 80 points, LW. It was nice to be able to get away with the lads for the weekend, hang out, talk a lot of bullhonky and just catch up.


I'm not going to do a full run through of all the games, partly due my appalling camera work - most of my photos were blurry. Vexing. I'm taking a proper camera with one of those derpy bendy tripod things next time but here's the quick rundown.

Al - British Rifles in Dust Up. This wound up being a really quick game in which I learned Flames of War is an easy game if you roll 5s. 

Pumas. Suprisingly good at taking out large calibre guns. Sometimes.

I wound up throwing all my StuGs through the centre into the British Rifle platoon on the near objective and tried for several turns at absurdly close range to destroy the one PIAT so I could assault. When the Churchill Crocs arrived and threatened my reserves, I threw in the insane assault. Four StuGs then proceeded to roll over an entire British Rifle Platoon, bouncing ALL the PIAT hits off the Schurzen and passing all the 5+ counterattack rolls to remove the whole platoon. It was insane and both of us were a bit stunned by the result.

Rob - Brit Paras in No Retreat. I haven't played Rob in forever. Maybe FoW v2 at a Panzerschreck many many moons ago. He's great fun to play and a really good player (reflected in his final victory of the whole event!)

The Paras have taken over the French wine industry...

Honestly, I played this one wrong I think and Rob played it right. :) He defended and minefielded off the forward objective. I decided to push hard on the rear one having entirely forgotten that ANYONE can remove minefields. It meant that I tried to preserve my armour for a push down the right flank and while I managed to remove most of Rob's AT, I couldn't get close enough to the objective on the turn I needed to to keep the game moving.

Cameron - Shermans in Counterattack. I think this was my favourite game of the weekend. Cameron's a really nice bloke to play and a good player to boot. He basically walled off one of the avenues across the table with his Armoured Rifle Platoon so I had to go the other way, right into an ambush from these dudes:

His 76mm Sherman ambush wasn't as successful as he would have liked but we basically bogged down in a slap fight which I eventually lost getting savaged by a hunting pack of 5 bazooka teams from the ARP. Pumas did work getting 76mm Shermans on the flank but otherwise, the highlight of the game was this: 

 Check out that detailing! Supremely nice work. Really impressed. It was a really nice game to finish day one and a good opportunity afterwards to have a really good yarn.

Wayne - Panzer IVs in Counterattack. Wayne's always a pleasure to play. This was an interesting game too - Heer Mark IVs vs F J StuGs. There's more of him than me, but my tanks are mostly better. It was a quick game as my attacking StuGs bogged down in a slap flight with Wayne's attacking Mark IVs and his reserves got shot in the rear by my reserves. His 88s got done over by my Pumas (!) but in the end the FA 7 on the StuGs beat back the extra Panzer IVs to take the win. 

Pumas vs Mark IVs. Not ideal. But there were 88s there....

Brent - Panzergrenadiers in Contact. This was one of those games where the result really belied that I had to really work for it. Brent's army was really cool with some awesome choices and it's a list I think I'd really enjoy playing too. I basically had to win this game before Brent's Panthers came on from Reserve and when I hadn't, I really had to rely on them arriving in the wrong corner, which they duly did. Brent's dice really let him down, especially his PaK40 ambush. Mine did not, especially in the final assault to push armoured mortars and a Panzergrenadier platoon off the objective.

All in all, five great games with five great dudes. Thoroughly enjoyable. Also, mad props to John and Gav for putting on a great event and especially to John in making sure that none of the Wellington nerds played each other in any games. That sort of effort from your TO is really appreciated. Entirely unexpected but really really awesome. Also the coconut slice. That too was awesome. 

Other highlights?

It's always nice to catch up with the Auckland lads, especially given that Panzerschreck didn't happen this year. We also got taken to Saltwater Burger Bar in Onehunga by one of our old nerd friends now resident in Auckland. Yowzers. One of the best burgers I have ever had. 11/10, would go again. 

Also Ibises. 

Next Time

Back to the brushes I think. I've got a few bits and bobs primed at the moment to work on so will be cracking on with them.  

Wednesday, 7 October 2020

Pooch's September Update

Apparently September is now done too?

I am starting to be at risk of not completing a few of these goals!

1. Paint a Kings of War Army- DONE

2. Create a table of terrain to support a game- In progress!
Errrr... still no more progress....

3. Complete the 6mm Apocalypse Challenge- In progress!
You know how last month I bought a Knight Porphyrion, and how they come in boxes of two?

No surprises for this month's painting then!

Alongside the Acastus we have another Heavy Weapon team with it's Chimera, and an Officer of the Fleet.

No clue what'll be next month however!

4. Run a narrative campaign for the group- not started

Ok, this one is probably the one which is most at risk of me failing!

5. Add a new detachment to one of my 40k armies- DONE
Now I am calling this one done. This month I finished up the Scout squad, now with 5 Scouts, 4 with Shotguns and one with a Heavy Bolter. All ready to do drive by shotgunning from the Landspeeder Storm.

Is it good? No. Does that matter? Also no! I think that's the Storm Lords done for now, not sure what I would add, even if I was going to....

6. Buy a starter box and paint all of it- Some progress

Hopefully in October I will finish this one!

7. Paint a Space Marine Heroes Series- DONE

8. Update a 15mm Napoleonic army for Blackpowder- not even started!

Ummm.... Maybe I'll do some in October?

9. Paint a stand alone force- DONE

0. Update and improve a table of terrain- DONE

11. Paint a Flames of War Army (In progress)

No further progress, but I'm taking it to a tournament in October....

12. Finish what I should have finished last year- DONE

Ok... so some done, some not. Three months to go!

Morty is disappointed that only three months remain, with many objectives still to go....

Saturday, 3 October 2020

So. Much. Gunmetal.

 The deck clearing process begins again! There are a few things piled up that have been waiting to be done for a while - Grey Knights, 15mm Sentinels, some miscellaneous Imperial Guard characters and a whole bunch of random things from the drawer of shame. 

I decided to start with the Grey Knights, beginning with this wonderfully generic Grey Knight character. I really needed an HQ choice that wasn't a special character so I picked up the Librarian / Captain / Grand Master. It arrived as Finecast and, for once, it wasn't a massive pile of drama cleaning up the resin.

All the possible generic Grey Knights characters!

I added the back banner out of the Paladin box and a few generic bits and bobs from my bits box, so he fits in with the rest of my Grey Knight Terminators, but otherwise as built. It's quite a nice model and I rather enjoyed  painting it.

On the flip side of that, I also painted up the Rhino that my Strike Squad are going to ride around it. So much flat gunmetal.

Gunmetal tank

Looking at the photo, I think I want to paint the top deck doors to match the feature panels on the sides - I'll just need to find a suitable transfer or two to decorate it a little more.

Have I painted the Strike Squad? No. Don't be silly. I need to book in a game or two of 9e to a) learn the rules properly and b) try out my Guard with their Grey Knight backbone. That'll get me to paint the Strike Squad. He says. Optimistically.

Next Time

I'll be at an event with Bloggers Pel, McBeth, Pooch and Scotty! *Gasp!* I'll do a bit of a write up on Monday for the collective nerdery and a rough cut of how my FallschirmStuGs go. I'm not expecting it to go well but hey, just looking forward to playing some games. 

Monday, 28 September 2020

Roaming through the old world - ep3(ish)

 After an exhausting night at the Hooded Man inn, the party glad to be able to make their way onward in the comfort of a Coach. Aaron helps Heinrich manage the horses through the thick muck of the road whilst Cressida watches the road cradling her newly acquired blunderbuss.

Marie and Saskia opt to ride in the "fresh" air on the roof of the coach - much to the other occupants' relief as does Eivor. That left Nynn and Rudiger to accompany the Kurtzmann sisters inside the Coach.

The day's journey was uneventful, the sisters provide some distracting conversation within the coach whilst the occupants of the roof entertained themselves. The coach turned onto the Middenheim/Altdorf road sometime in the mid morning and the coach pushed on to the Coach and Horses Inn, arriving before dusk.

The signs of bustle and activity reassure suspicious minds as the coach enters the gates of the inn and pauses under the archway.

the party de-buss into the bar whilst the coach is led around to the back of the Inn to allow the horses to be stabled. 

The warmth and noise of the Inn bar wash over the group, the inn keep is talking loudly to a rather drunk pair of men sat in chairs near the fire.  

A very well dressed gentleman casts an appraising eye over the group as they enter. He loses interest in them as they notice him and returns to nursing a large glass of wine whilst propping himself up against the bar.

A trio of women sit at a table: an obvious noblewoman picking disdainfully at her food, piercing green eyes briefly raising to the noise of the opening door before returning to the contents of her plate. A small, mousey girl in plain clothes sits sullenly to her right, her clothes shouting her station as servant next to the finery of her mistress. To the lady's left sits a broad shouldered muscular mountain of a woman, blue eyes staring icily at the party as they enter.

At the far end of the bar appears to be a large book propped up on a table, from behind which a hand occasionally reaches round to reach for a tankard. 

A tall, lanky barman frowns whilst cleaning glasses behind the bar, muttering to himself under his breath. His focus seems so absorbed in his task he pays no attention to the group of travellers at the threshold.

"wet beds! warm roads! Caaww!!" screeches across the laughter of the coach men as a crow hops along a shelf above the bar, bobbing its head and flapping its wings as it does so,

"Oo, shut yer 'ole Blackie! Don't you mind her sirs and madams, welcome to the Coach and 'Orses" The inn keep, having extricated himself from the coachman bustles over and greets the group. "the name's Gustav Fondleburger, I take it you ladies and gents will be wanting to stay the night?" Baggage is collected by young porters who appear from nowhere and the group are shown to a table with the promise of hot food and good drinks.

The Kurtzen sisters excuse themselves to "clear the dust from the day's travels" and make their way upstairs. 

Aaron takes a keen interest in the noble woman whilst the others nurse their drinks and discuss the events of the last couple of days. All agree that something strange is going on and that sticking together for the remainder of their journey to Altdorf would probably be a good idea.

the night is passed in general conversation and drinking. Aaron recognises the lady's family colours as belonging to the Von Strudeldorf family. the young woman is surprised enough at being recognised by such a common ruffian that she briefly lets her guard down and engages in conversation with him. much to the annoyance of her bodyguard.

the well dressed fop at the bar wanders of and introduces himself as Phillipe Descartes, a thick Brettonian accent colouring his otherwise excellent Reikspiel, to which Marie replies in fluent Bretonnian! A friendly game of Scarlet Empress ensues which leaves the purses of some of the party somewhat lighter!

Saskia is persuaded that the horse trough is not the place for a young lady to refresh herself and a copper of hot water is prepared in a bathing shed off the back of the kitchen. Saskia spends some time marvelling at the feeling of hot water before washing herself and all of her clothes - much to the relief of the group when they see her later.

Rudiger and Cressida strike up conversation with the two coachmen by the fire. Gunnar and Hultz are already several sheets to the breeze but are happy to accept more drinks for the chance to gossip and brag. Stories of with hunter burning villages, coaches going missing, increased bandit activity and the Emperor annexing Ubersreik paint a worrying picture of the Empire for both of them.

 the evening draws to a close and the bold adventurers retire for the first restful night of sleep in several days.

the following morning the Kurtzman sisters bid farewell over breakfast: Heinrich is taking them on to Middenheim after picking up a second coachman. Of Gunnar and Hultz there is no sign....

Aaron and cressida take it on themselves to ensure that the Altdorf coach is tacked up whilst Rudiger and Eivor chivvy the Coachmen to Breakfast and onto the coach.

It's very soon apparent that if they're going to get anywhere, Gunnar and Hultz will have to sleep it off whilst Aaron and Cressida take the reins.

The pattern is repeated for the next two days  until the morning of the third day sees the coach cresting a hill revealing the splendour of the heart of the Empire before it: Altdorf at last!

Saturday, 26 September 2020

I fought the claw...


...and the Claw won!  

Proud dad joke moment or not. Not sure. Anyway, Bloggers Tank, Pel and I played a game of the new second edition of Frostgrave just to see how it went. It went well for me (apparently rolling high on d20s is my special skill. Great for DnD & Frostgrave, trash for Infinity) and less well for Tank whose dice were really just not on fire. 

We played the scenario in which there are five treasures, one of which is a Genie. Each time a treasure is grabbed, we check if it's the genie and if so, it comes out and wreaks merry hell. 

The Chronomancer's minions head into battle!

All three wizgangs advanced rapidly to the centre of the board - Tank's Summoner leapt one of his warriors onto a treasure and Pel's Chronomancer teleported onto one himself.

The Undead stare down the teleporting Chronomancer

The Necromancer's apprentice attempted to stop the leaping soldier but utterly failed. His master, on the other hand, summoned claws of bone to grab the Chronomancer. And then we went into a period of failing to cast a darn thing!

The Chronomancer's wizgang meet the Summoner's wizgang

The Chronomancer spent a couple of turns trying unsuccessfully to teleport out of the grip of the claws while his troops and the Summoner's troops got into a massive scrap in the middle of the board. You can see in the photo above a Thug trying to free the Chronomancer by fighting the claws. Let's just say it did not go well for the Thug.

The Summoner summoned an Imp to the battlefield to defend himself and his apprentice but it, and one of his warhounds, were savaged by a couple of Thugs from the Chronomancer's wizgang. Tank's dice at this point were just abominable. There were odd highlights (and at least one natural 20) but they never really came good. 

 The Undead arrived in the middle of the board and over a couple of turns most of the soldiers fell in battle. The Undead cut down both the Chronomancer and his apprentice (since the Chronomancer never managed to escape from the claw!) but his soldiers felled most of the troops from the Summoner's wizgang.

Hilariously, the last treasure to be grabbed, the bottle, contained the genie! The Necromancer's apprentice opened the bottle, the genie appeared, looked around and promptly disintegrated the foolish apprentice to end the game!

The end state...

Post-game thoughts

So one game in to the new edition and the changes we ran across seemed really good:

  • The new treasure token setup and table setup rules work really well.
  • List building for a starter wizgang (see here for definition!) was HARD. I forgot the change to standard and specialist soldiers but it didn't matter as all three wizgangs still bulked out on Thieves and Thugs.
  • A lot of the spell changes seem really solid - we ran through Leap yesterday and didn't find it too heinous - and the change to a minimum resist number was super relevant. 
  • I cast six of the eight spells I chose and failed on the seventh. Super pleased with that. Casting a debuff was worth doing rather than just an attack spell. Great! 
  • The maximum range for shoots and spells didn't really come up but I like that it's there, especially for Elemental Bolt. 

We didn't get to being able to do the post game as it was late but my initial read through of the dial-back on monetary rewards seems really nice and, combined with the changes to wizgang structure, seem like it'll be a lot less likely to have one player scream out ahead with more money and advantage.

 Some Painting!

I finished up the second base of Grimghast Reapers for Kings of War:

More Reapers
This one was a tougher painting effort as the selection of models for this base were a lot slimmer and getting paint onto the interiors wasn't as easy as I would have liked. But I'm happy enough with the outcome and all together they look pretty neat: 

Boo 2 - Electric Boogaloo

Necromunda Highlight Photo

Blogger Tank and I also played a game of Necromunda with Blogger Pel at the club - his first outing with his Orlocks. We played the Gang Moot scenario in which our leaders arrived to parlay and then it all kicks off. I didn't take a heap of photos but I loved the posing of these two models.

Tank's Delaque ganger charged into Pel's Ganger and backed him up to the edge of the platform. After a couple of rounds of handbags, Pel's ganger happily gunned down the poor Delaque. He did the same thing to my ganger with the big hammer too!

 Next Time

Honestly? No idea. There's loads of half done stuff sitting on my bench at the mo and I'm not really sure what I want to do. It'll be something from the rapidly decreasing pile by my painting desk. I've kind of lined up a Christmas break project but other than that it's all very bitsy. 


Saturday, 19 September 2020

Catching up on the arms race...


And BOO!


This is the second base of ghosties for my Kings of War Nightstalkers army. These are GW Spirit Hosts and they'll be Spectres in KoW. I really enjoyed painting these - it's a slowish job but the finish is really nice. I decided that I would deviate from the recommended paint scheme and use a bit of Nighthaunt Gloom around the heads and shoulders to tie them closer to Reapers. Most pleased!

 Mistakes were made

I put the blame squarely on blogger Pooch for this one. He got a Warhound for The Stupid and when the opportunity came up for me to pick one up, I totally did. And so, I give you a Warhound titan of the Legio Vulpa:

Ululatus Os - The Howling Maw

Surprising no one, these models are as good as the knights. The little details, the trim and some lovely poseability. I really enjoyed painting it too. I'm not sure it comes up in the photo, but I did some research into other people's titans and there was a great model with a really textured surface. I derped around with some old kitchen sponge and created a really cool pattern on the big flat plates. The trim drove me to distraction more than a little but I love the finished product.  

And with wrecked Hawkshroud Armiger

Thanks to friend Canny, an amazing painter (check out his Insta!) and whiz with the 3d printing, whose excellent work you can see here and here, for the claw. I went for a hunt through Thingiverse for an Ursus Power Claw and came up with that beastie. I sent it to him for a print and he came back to tell me it was a touch large for the print bed. Seemingly it's for a 28mm Knight or maybe even a Titan! Anyway, some clever rescaling later, including the socket for the joint, and lo! I have a claw (pronounced clerw, of course!)

Next Time

Good question. I''m hoping to power through the second set of Reapers for my Kings of War Night Stalkers (so that I can have a legal army and maybe throw it on the board for the lols) and then I can reward myself with the amazing Knight of Shrouds. Otherwise, it's club day next week so I'm sure I'll book in a game of something, fail to take enough photos and generally blather my way through a batrep of some sort!