Sunday, 21 June 2015

Not just about the minis

It's all well and good putting in the effort on some awesome minis but, as Tank's and Simon's posts have shown, having some awesome terrain is also pretty nifty! :)

Over the Waterloo re-fight weekend, Scott ran a little Warmachine event at the Hutt club, the upshot of which was I walked away with $20 of Mighty Ape Vouchers (and some other people won some stuff... ;) ) Seriously, If you've not checked out the Hobby section at Mighty Ape then you're missing out in NZ! they have minis for most games as well as paints tools etc..

Anyway I blew my loot on the District 5 Apartment building and the Holo Signs sets from Micro Art Studios:

still not sure why Blogger ignores the rotation I put in when I saved the pic but hey.. I didn't take a pic of the package of the Apartment building for some reason but you'll see the finished article later!

Most wargamers are familiar with laser cut HDF terrain by now so I'm just going to run through the builds of these with some hints and tips along the way that may or may not be useful :)

I'll crack on with the Holo Ads assembly.

First thing was to open the pack and check nothing had come out of the HDF sheet and gotten broken.

You can see the pretty clear and simple instructions and the clearly cut pieces as well as the really nicely printed ads - more on them later..

The instructions talk about cutting the pieces from the sheet as there are some small connectors still in place where the laser has only partially cut through the sheet. Flipping the sheet over shows these points up really clearly:

I did start trying to cut these out with a standard Xacto blade, you know, the really sharp pointy one that can dig REALLY deeply into your thumb when you slip :( After struggling for a little while with this I dug through my tool box looking for an easier way, and there was!

If you're going to do laser cut terrain, I seriously recommend trying to find a couple of blades like this! It's awesome, You can really get some force down on the joints without worrying about snapping the end of the blade or running your finger down the edge when you slip.... I picked it up as part of a pack of several different blade shapes so you may have to do some hunting..

Once all of the pieces were out and cleaned up (remove the fluffy bits where you've cut through the sheet joiners, it's on to assembly. TBH, I didn't see the point of a step by step on this, the instructions are very clear and you have to really try to get it wrong! (Famous last words).

I went through the same process with the District 5 Apartment Building, getting all of the parts out of the sheets first and sorting them out into piles of the same piece. Who said Wargaming is an OCD hobby!?!?

Again, the assembly instructions are pretty clear and simple to follow. One great thing I've found is the almost complete lack of gluing needed to keep these things together. The part fits are very tight so some care is needed to make sure that pressure is applied evenly to the pieces being fitted. The HDF can break pretty easily and delaminate which is a pig to sort out.

Painting: this I decided to approach as simply as possible - I didn't want to try to get detailed blends I really wanted to get them onto the table in a good, playable condition. The building and the holo ads were approached slightly differently, partly to see how they would work out and partly because I ran out of primer after priming the apartment building!


OK, so I kicked off with a reasonably even coat of Tamiya grey primer. This gave a good 'concrete' look and was a light enough base to get at with the air brush (see, quick to table!).  After that, I went around all of the raised panels and in each recessed joint with Vallejo Air Panzer grey. this was diluted 3:2 with Tamiya thinners to get a lighter coat that looks more like grime or shadow.

I picked a few of the details that might look like lights and airbrushed them white then over with Vallejo air Italian red to give it a bit of a glow effect. Similarly, a few panels and the door handles were airbrushed white then P3 Arcane Blue.

Another great tip - if you want some of the window shutters removed, do it before you assemble the building! trying to cut them out after you've assembled the building is a bit tricky!!

I brush painted the remaining window shutters to highlight the detail lasered in. A lot of the detail is really sharp, shallow lines which show through the paint really well. I also had a set of Micro Arts studios  graffiti transfers, one of which you can see on the end of the building. They take a little cutting to get in position but they really add character.

I've put one on the door to this garage unit I've had kicking around for a while :)

Holo ads:

As I mentions, I ran out of grey primer before I sprayed these so a different tack was needed. The surface of the HDF is very smooth and this makes it difficult for some primers to adhere. GW Skull white was one of these! luckily, i had a can of Dulux Matt Black enamel lying around. This went on first to cover the HDF, then I followed up with the skull white on top. This gave a little pre-shading for the airbrush to colour over.

I then followed up with a coat for Vallejo air Light Camo green and shaded with German Green. "Lights panels" were picked out with the airbrush as before.

All in all I'm really pleased with how these have turned out, with a total of two short evenings for assembly and 2 afternoons with the airbrush for painting they're on the table pretty quickly and looking in keeping with the hard sci-fi theme for Infinity.

Now I'm really looking forward to the Infinity games at the Hutt club this Saturday! :)


Tuesday, 16 June 2015

Giving away my super secret tech in advance....

....actually didn't really matter in the end. That may have had something to do with it not being particularly secret or super.

We played Pincer, as it seemed like a mission that would work well with the forces and with the larger board. Instead of measuring deployment from the centre line, we just worked out the difference and measured from the base edge instead.

The Americans attacked across the valley and the Italian gunners (and the German air force) didn't do much to stop them. On one flank the Armoured Rifles were pushed back by some terrible dice rolling and on the other, Semovente 90s popped out of ambush and promptly just shot marshmallows at Shermans. But it was okay, because the Shermans shot them back. At least to begin with...

Eventually the Italian mobile reserves arrived and the R35s distinguished themselves bullying vehicles with less armour than them but they were taught a solid lesson by the American CO who gave them what for in fairly short order. The remnant of the Armoured Rifles gave the Fucilieri a good thumping before going down in a heap and that platoon was looking decidedly grim by the end of it. It was about here that I learned that the output of a half-platoon of American AA halftracks is impressive.

Over these few turns the last of the Semovente 90s were tidied up by Shermans and Richard's super sweet P38 Lightning. The very brittle Fucilieri got alarmingly close to breaking but a couple of lucky shots from 100/17 artillery and Semovente 47s gave me tests on both Richard's Sherman platoons.

The first Sherman platoon ran, immediately followed by the second. Richard promptly failed his company morale check, leaving the Italians in possession of the field and a 4 - 3 win, despite having lost almost all their mobile assets and a good chunk of the infantry.

I think it was closer than it might have looked in the end. The giant Italian horde is unlikely to lose by company morale but realistically, there's only the artillery and the  Semovente 90s that can do serious work and once those start to give, there's not a lot in the army to do the legwork.

Richard was very close to breaking through the front Fucilieri platoon and there was only some direct firing 100mm guns defending the objective (although I was desperately trying to manhandle some Elefantinos into place to help!) and at that point I think I would have been unable to stop him. 47mm guns are no match for Shermans and no mistake.

MVPs? Not the Semovente 90s. Not even close. Their best efforts were bailing a Sherman (twice!) and destroying 2 mortar-halftracks. A good effort for 350 points worth of investment! I think, despite being shot off the board by the American CO, the best platoon for me was the R35s. They destroyed two T30s, two M1A1 Scout Cars and a jeep to break two platoons. They're not bad bits of kit in the end.

What's next? Well, aside from me doing something about that vibrantly green base cloth, we might try a rerun with similar forces in Tunisia or, given that Richard is working on some Gebirgsjager in Italy, it might be time to break out the Late War Paracadutisti and their Polish Allies and swap sides!

Waterloo 200!

Last weekend Lintman, Prinny and I were lucky enough to be involved in a massive multi-player refight of the battle of Waterloo. Lintman took the role of  the Duke of Wellington, Prinny played as the 1st British Division (Guards) commander, Sir George Cooke and I was the French 2iC and battlefield commander, Marshal Ney.

We had a pretty good time over the two days and a lot of dice rolling, troop moving, shouting, pita eating and shite talking went on. In the end the French just lost (again). We were two broken British brigades away from carrying the day.

My highlight was commanding Kellermans Cavalry Division in a series of actions against the Household Brigade and the Netherlands Cavalry Division. The Household Brigade broke and fled the field leaving both their brigade commander, Somerset, and their divisional commander, Uxbridge, dead on the field of battle.

Below is a series of pics, mainly from day one of the tables, figures and players. The camera was playing up on day two unfortunately.

The Black Powder rules worked ok, but there were a lot of people playing that had never played the rules before so the game broke down a little bit. That not withstanding, the size of the game has sparked something in the three of us and we may or may not be looking at doing something similar (but on a smaller scale) in about six months time.

Thursday, 11 June 2015

Say Hello to My Little Fri.....

I had a new model to build and paint arrive last week. So in amongst the hacking and coughing of a nasty wee cold, I have almost polished him off. Ruin is a new character Warjack for the Khador faction of Warmachine. As a painting project he is an exciting challenge with the pelt of the warp wolf and the other worldly glow of the Orgoth tech. I have chosen a green and red colour scheme to match the rest of my Khadorans and I am reasonably happy with the result. Ruin is one of a new breed of 'Jack for Warmachine and he has some interesting and powerful rules which I am hoping will translate into some awesome, smashingly bone crushing times on the battlefield.

Monday, 8 June 2015

Super secret tech preview....

So my last few posts (all of them?) have revolved around painting but I thought, for a change, I might actually blog something game related in advance of a game of Flames of War at the club this Saturday.

One of my club-mates and I have both been talking about playing more Flames - we both have plenty of armies lying around - and we've decided to play 2000 points on an 8x6. For both of us, the game is more fun and looks cooler like this - it's also novel to have artillery that doesn't cover the table and where transport can rock around the place without getting shot off the board. 

So this (brief diversion into painting here) has got me to complete a few jobs that have been sitting on the painting table for way, way too long. Our last game got me to finish up my ground mounted 90mm AA guns to support my Compagnia Carri and, at the time of writing, I'm most of the way through the last 10 stands of Fucilieri and the pride of my company, my Semovente 90s - one of the less successful Italian automotive inventions - to take on an American Armoured Company. 

The Army List Part
So the list I'm going to break out this weekend is a Compagnia Fucilieri (Sicily):

2 Companies of Fucilieri with 17 Rifle Teams and 3 Brixia 45mm Mortars
Full Fucilieri HMGs
Full Fucileri Mortars
Full 65/17 Regimental Gun Platoon
Full 47/32 Anti-tank Gun Platoon
4 Semovente 47/32s
5 Renault R35s
4 Semovente 90/53s with Ammo Carriers
2 20/65 Breda Portee AA Guns
Full 75/27 Artillery Battery
Full 100/17 Artillery Battery
Sporadic Luftwaffe JU-87 Support 

The Super Secret Tech Part
This army is enormous (at 12 platoons) and is forced to defend in a Defensive Battle scenario so it's going to rely on it's guns to get some initial work done before it comes charging out of it's trenches to finish the job. Points for optimism right? 

With it's mostly Regular rating it's got good odds of mostly rolling up Reluctant for it's motivation and Trained for it's training on the 8 Million Bayonets table so I should be okay with the sitting still part. The charging out of the trenches bit, less so. The Fusilier platoons should be pretty hard to move once they're intermingled with the dug in 47mm Anti-tank Guns and the 65mm Regimental Guns and I'll be relying on getting some good 8 Million Bayonets rolls for the Artillery as they're probably going to be the workhorses here. 

The Semovente 47/32s and the Renault R35s are my mobile element and they should be able to give any of the lighter American vehicles a bit of worrying. If I get stuck in a gun battle with anything better armoured than an M3 halftrack then I'm going to be looking at all sorts of bad times. The Semovente 90/53s are the ace in the hole if, and it's a sizeable if, we roll up a defensive battle. If not, well, let's just say I'll be firing on the move and as they're Regular too, they're not going to stick around if they start getting shot back at.  

I'll make sure I get some photos on Saturday and let you all know how it goes.

Monday, 1 June 2015

Nay! It's Ney on a neigh-neigh.

2015 is not only the 100th anniversary of the ANZAC campaign in World War One, it is also the 200th anniversary of the great battle of Waterloo. I and my fellow Regimentals are all based in Wellington, New Zealand and as such, we have a special connection to the battle and Lord Wellington, Sir Arthur Wellesley. Some of the local Wellington based Napoleonic wargamers have organised a massive 28m refight of the battle and Lintman, Prinny and I are lucky enough to be involved in the game.

The game is going to be huge. They are planning on using the Blackpowder rules and have based the units at battalion level (4-6 bases with 20-36 figures each). This game wont be as big as the previous large refight of Liepzig that we did back in 2013 (Youtube has the evidence here with part one and part two) but will still look awesome. The place we are holding the game is significant as well - its the '1815 Room' in the Wellesley Club, just off Waterloo Quay, here in Wellington. Nice!

At the Liepzig game I had the fortune to play France's greatest general of the time (well, the Bravest anyway!), Marshal Michel Ney. I enjoyed being the commander of the Northern Flank so much that when asked if I would play in the upcoming Waterloo game, I accepted with two caveats, 1) I would be Ney again and 2) I would not need to paint any figures.

Caveat one was successfully negotiated. Caveat two, well, rules are made to be broken. Organiser Paul Goldstone contacted me a while back to say that there was no Ney figure for my command available and was I ok with using a generic general base. Nay! I said. Not with the lovely Ney command pack from Perry Miniatures available. A quick order later and a week of painting and left me with this excellent model:

   The three riders are beautiful models and so are their mounts. More piccies below.

Nay, Ney, Neigh, hey Jude!

Damn I wish my photography was better!

Along with Ney and his ADC's, I have also been painting a character figure for our Regimental RPG night. We are playing IKRPG, the RPG version of Warmachine. This campaign, run by Prinny, I shall be a Khadoran Paladin/Investigator. Think Indiana Jones meets a Space Marine Librarian.

Tonight Michael, I shall be.... Alexandros Tempesky. Paladin and Tome Keeper of the Order of the Wall. 
Next up, even MORE 15mm Napoleonic Austrians are on the bench. White uniforms = the Devil's arse.