Friday, 27 November 2015

Practice makes perfect.

Or Tank Engine and McZermof laugh uproariously at the stupid. 

I don't practice for competitions as a general rule and when I do, it's usually so someone else can actually practice.


ValleyCon next year has offered up so many potential options I've actually had to try some of them out and today was the culmination of a lot of my ponderings about lists. I initially had planned to take Italians because Italian armour in Early War is very good but I couldn't settle on a list that I liked. The thing for me is that I have a list I love at 1500 and trying to pare it back for 1000 just didn't work and every build I started always led to the same place. Not quite enough points for the things I want and not quite the right options for something I'm happy with.

So I went back to the Panzerkompanie. And then I chucked that idea out too because while I love my Mark III Es, they're too expensive in a 1000 point army. Basically, I ran into the same problem as I did with the Italians. So I read through Blitzkrieg and ran across the Verlastete Panzerkompanie and I thought to myself that this list might have something to it. It's a bit gimmicky but Panzer Is are effective enough and most things I can deal to with the 20mm cannon on a Panzer II. If it needs a Panzer III or bigger, well, I probably wasn't going to be able to deal with it effectively anyway.

The Panzer II D/Es having half-tracked mobility to reflect their poor off road performance presents some challenges but after today, I think they can be managed well enough.

So we got to this list:

HQ - Panzerbefehlswagen, Panzer IID/E
Verlastete Platoon - 5 Panzer Is
Verlastete Platoon - 4 Panzer II D/E
Verlastete Platoon - 4 Panzer II D/E
Heavy Panzerspah Platoon - 2 SdKfz 231 8-rad (early)

Priority Air Support with Stutzpunkt

Camo stripes are underway.
That last line is a bit of a doozy. There's no mobile AT in the Verlastete list, no guns save 10.5 cm howitzers (which I don't own!) and while I can have pioneers, I think they'll be too slow. But, I hear you say, your tanks will be in the enemys base killing their dudes, your Stukas will have nothing to shoot at. True, I respond, except where there are things like 25 pdrs, PaK 38s and Matildas that I might have to contend with. In those cases, my little tanks will be far away!

So today I played a practice game with Tank Engine. He wanted to refresh himself on the rules for the Japanese (and my reaction to them which would make an excellent Doge meme....) and I wanted to see how the Panzers went in a game of Breakthrough.

Tank's list (if I remember it all!)

HQ - CO, 2iC, Regimental Banner
Full Hohei Chutai - 3 Nikuhaku teams, attached HMG
Reduced Hohei Chutai - 2 Nikuhaku teams, attached HMG
Reduced HMG Platoon - 2 HMGs
Regimental Gun Platoon - 2 Type 38 70mm guns

Result of topical application of Nikuhaku teams

So how did they go? Well as it turns out. Despite the photo above, which is what happens when three Nikuhaku teams blow themselves to bits in front of your little Panzer Is, the Panzers were able to beat the Japanese (although I had less than half my tanks left on the board at the end of the game.)

The end of the game-ish. Please ignore obvious missing objectives....
My superior mobility was hampered by Tank deciding to be Always Attacks (yep. He can do that. And not just in Defensive Battles) and doing a Dawn Attack (yep. He can do that too.) So I'm slower, lose my Verlastete move and have to rely on not rolling 1s to see how far I can shoot. It was an excellent tactical call by Tank and it meant he could move around the board in relative freedom (because Japanese can double in the dark and through terrain. Yep.)

In the end, I think the thing that saved me was all three of the Nikuhaku teams in the full platoon charging into my Panzer Is and while taking two of them out and bailing a third, they all blew themselves up in the Improvised Tank Assault. That let me bring my Panzer IIs on from reserve and wipe that platoon out with basically no fear of those Panzers being lost. They also cleaned up the HMG platoon while the other platoon of Panzer IIs cleaned up the smaller Hohei platoon and the regimental guns (despite the fearsome AT 3 on the Type 38s vapourising up my CO and a Panzer II!)

The well known and famous Japanese invasion of central Europe
It was a great game and there were a few moments where I thought I was really in trouble. If Tank had been a bit luckier with his Nikuhaku teams, I would have been in all sorts of trouble.

In time honoured tradition, the quote of the day goes to Tank Engine for the excellent and appropriate call "I CAST SWORD!"

Sunday, 22 November 2015

Wargames, News and Terrain -Give Away

My favourite Wargames news feed, Wargames, News and Terrain has a give away running at the moment to celebrate 500 followers (man, I only wish we had that many :) I like to think of our followers as small, but well proportioned ).

The site is very good and covers a wide range of topics and genres. I have the RSS feed set up at work (cough) so I can keep up to date on things happening in the industry, especially from companies on the other side of the world that we would not normally hear about here in New Zealand.

All you need to do to enter the give away is head over to the WNT website and join as a public follower and then email them using their contact widget to tell them your username. You can get some more tickets if you use twatter (I don't, and no, that's not an accidental misspelling), or if you have a blog, comme nous, you can add a post referring to the giveaway, comme ├ža,

Wargames, News and Terrain. It is very good.

Monday, 16 November 2015

week 2 - not so incapacitated

After frigging around trying to get the pics off my phone I can finally update my painting log for the second week of my enforced painting seclusion.. err.. sick leave! :)

first up I managed to finish off Prinny's AWI regiment for the BrandyWine game

I am pleased with how these have turned out. The blue coats are virtually a wash over the white undercoat. this gives them a slightly faded look which I think suits the "on campaign" look. Taking the breeches up to white also worked out well in the end . Well, that's the 4th New Jersey sorted, now onto the 7th Virginia...

I also managed to get another ninja off the blocks for Infinity, this time with a sniper rifle.

damn picture rotation! Still, it doesn't look too bad. I think I'm going to try something different for the green glow on the last Ninja. The inks give it a bit too much of a shine so I'll give it a go with straight paint...

And finally, just in the background you can see my Pathfinder RPG character. It's one of the Reaper bones minis, technically a halfling bard but I'm using him to represent my gnome bard Wiki

I'm not a big fan of the resin material used for these minis, you lose a lot of the crispness that you get with white metal but hey, it's cheap :) He's a little rushed and untidy but more than adequate for the game.

Prinny's Finished Painting Project

Well I finally finished one of my many painting projects that I seem to have on the go at the moment...

I now have some space on the painting desk to put the AWI that I should of been working on.

Also I played a game of Bolt Action, which I enjoyed but suffered from some new game no idea moments. But it was fun so I see lots more BA in my future.

So here are some pictures of my finished Kiwi Bolt Action Forces, though I still might need to paint up a couple of figures to make it competitive. All of the figures are from Warlord Games apart from the Staghound which is a Blitzkreig Miniature (and very nice).

HQ with PIAT and Forward Observer
Squad One 
Squad Two

Squad Three

6 Pdr AT gun with Bren Gun Carrier

MMG and Mortar

My pride and Staghound

M10 Wolverine now with Stowage

Also I have been painting some AWI for the Brandywine game we have planed for next year, most likely this will be with Blackpowder, but since it is months away this is subject to change :)

The Riflemen and 3pdr are from Foundry Miniatures.

Because you have to have rifles

Blinky the wonder cannon

And finally for something just a bit silly here is my pathfinder character.... From Super Dungeon Explorer.
Pew Pew "Magic Missile"

Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Splashing' the Paint Around!

It's been a couple of busy weeks but I have managed to get some painting completed. My first project is completing my Hordes Trollbloods second list. I started this whole new faction because I wanted to run big hitty models. Khador (my first faction) have lots of great warjacks with big smashy axes and loads of armour, but none of the casters can really run more than one 'Jack efficiently (and certainly struggle to run them competitively). So off to Trollbloods I went with my first 50 point list boasting 11 war beasts (the infamous Calandra EE list), and man it is fun. Madrak is my second caster - and I have decided to use as many beasts as I can. In fact I am determined to keep the troll infantry to a minimum for all my lists.
The trolls in the background are my Impaler, Axer and Bouncer. I decided to put the facepaint on them to make them look more savage. I have also finished the Earthborn and a Swamp Troll, and my last Slag Troll.
To finish the collection - a solo, Janissa Stonetide. I am really looking forward to getting these out on the table now.
Infinity is another game popular amongst the magpies. I have a Combined Army (a mix of Alien races ruled and controlled by an EI). I have enjoyed painting the next few in the collection, particularly the Sniper.
And this TAG (big battle roboty thing.
And here is the whole group - ready for action.
The Regiment are also preparing for the Brandywine big fight - and here is my contribution so far (Colonial Militia).
Well - back to the painting table I go :)

Friday, 6 November 2015

smelling the roses

I went in for a bit of minor surgery at the beginning of the week (a day admittance that ended up being a moderately unpleasant overnight stay but all on the mend now) the upshot of which has me signed off work for a couple of weeks - oh the humanity!!

I must admit, I do wonder how those who have less all-consuming hobbies manage to stay sane when faced with two weeks forced inactivity. Luckily, by Wednesday I was able to concentrate for more than 15 minutes at a time so broke out the paints. Yay!

one of the benefits of being a magpie is there is never a shortage of models on the painting queue, it's just a question of where to start....

First off was some AWI minis that Prinny had pushed my way a couple of months ago - A battalion of Colonial infantry - 4th New Jersey to be precise. I had been passed a partial box of the Perry plastic AWI figs so some assembly required. These weren't too hard but the lack of variety in the poses was pretty dull. I'm really coming to the conclusion that massed rank infantry style games are probably not my thing - I really can't face painting a load of identically posed models :(.

anyway, a primer coat later I was away. The breeches and waistcoats of the New Jersey are white according to the handy painting guide that the Perrys include so I thought I'd go with the time honoured basecoat, magic wash and highlight. the photo below is the point at which I stopped as I wasn't sure it was working too well. The facings on the jackets will be a cream/buff colour so I really have to bring the white up to 'white' of they'll lose the contrast.

You can see on a couple where I've taken the colour up to white and it actually seems to be going in the right direction. Next week will hopefully see these guys finished and stuck on the bases then I can get onto the second battalion that Che sent my way....

When I took a rest from the AWI I moved on to the ever growing line of Infinity models I have primed but unpainted. A couple of days work has seen 6 new additions to my Japanese Sectorial army:

From right to left: the neon lass with the sword adds a ninja hacker to my army, the Domaru Butai has been partially painted for quite a while so now he can bring his fully homicidal berserk rage to the table in glorious technicolour and, to add a bit of extra punch to my grunts, a keisotsu with a missile launcher. For the eagle eyed among you, he is posed pointing his index finger in a gun like fashion, not any other single fingered gesture..

 The front rank here is a unit of Karakuri Special Project - a linked team of robot infantry.

A quiet couple of days away from the painting table now but back to it next week with hopefully at least one finished battalion of AWI infantry and maybe a painted Ninja Sniper sneaking in there somewhere too.....


Sunday, 1 November 2015

and not the rugby

Though AWESOME it was that my adopted country thrashed their noisy neighbours in spectacular fashion, life did move on afterwards. In this case it meant Myself, Scotty and Mcbeth getting together to continue making terrain for next year's Brandywine game.

Thankfully I'd tidied and sorted all of the part finished things from our last gathering so getting everything sorted wasn't too big a deal.

The younger Scotty and McBeths ensconced themselves in the garage to play warmachine..

So we decided to decamp to the driveway and enjoy the peace.. and sun :)

With a "brief" break for beer and saussies we were able to crack through a fair whack of the terrain we'd left;

we managed to get a layer of sand and PVA on the bases of the fences in the morning and, with the sun celebrating the Kiwi victory as well, they'd dried enough by the afternoon for a first coat of burnt umber. Ready for the drybrush on the fence rails and sand then flocking next time.

 The three 4Ground laser cut buildings were finished whilst the sand and PVA dried. these are seriously sweet buildings, so much detail.. even if the doors seems to hang the wrong way round....

the stands of trees that Tank had managed to get sorted out last time also got a coat of burnt umber on the bases.

Next terrain day looks like it will be a day of dry brushing and flocking.

We're also going to be taking a looong roll of paper to the Hutt Club meeting at the end of November and see about drawing out the battle field in 1:1 and just check that the table size we're planning will allow enough units to be placed without crowding... I sense a lot of paper cutting between now and then to represent battalions...