Saturday, 29 April 2017

Ikko Ikki for Test of Honour

When Warlord announced Test of Honour, many of us magpies said "but I've got some Japanese" after our short lived expedition into the world of Osprey's Ronin series. I know Pooch is working on some and Tank has plenty at home (the Perry models shown here are formerly his!) and Scotty and Pelarel have a bunch waiting to be done. Magpieism's a killer.

So here are mine:
Masahiro, the Warrior Monk, and his companions - the wise and dedicated Samurai.
The Sergeant and Ikko Ikki Flag bearer
The Loyal Spearmen
The Loyal Teppo

One Ronin Thug in sweet, sweet hat
The characters and the Ronin come from the Zenit Miniatures Kensei range and they are really cool. If I decide I need to expand this army, I'll be picking up some of their Sohei with yari and Sohei with yumi - possibly even mounted!

And now to actually play it. I have no idea if Masahiro, the Warrior Monk (who appears to be some sort of special character) is any good but I also don't care because that model is sweet! I have a Geisha model from Zenit that's  currently doing duty as an HVT in Infinity but she might come back to the future for Test of Honour. Who knows?

And now all I have to do is hope we don't get overhauled with enthusiasm for the retro-excitement that is Shadow War Armageddon....

Saturday, 15 April 2017

I have a confession to make......

My Magpieism has gone beyond it's usual crazy. I was lucky enough to sell a whole lot of FoW German Tanks to Richard at ValleyCon, which left me with a dilemma. Just what could I spend my money on? Mmmmmmm..... there has been a game I have longed for for quite a while - The Chicago Way by Great Escape Games. I absolutely love the prohibition era of US history - especially the gangster movies, with Tommy guns and Concrete shoes. So I took the plunge. Now I haven't discussed this with any of the other members of the Regiment (hence the confession) and a few years ago when The Chicago Way first hit the scene, it was greeted with a luke warm reception from a couple of the people around the club. But I have forged ahead anyway.
The game itself is quite similar to another Great Escape Game that I dearly love - Dead Man's Hand. I am yet to have a game against another opponent but the few dry runs I have done include that same wonderful randomness of Dead Man, with Vehicles added into the mix - so you can do drive by's of course. The first box set I got was the Moonshiners - what a great feel the gang has. The sculpts are terrific and the models painted up really well.
Then I couldn't resist the Law. Firstly I added the Police - and again I am really pleased with the figures. Soon after Dat Ape vouchers from ValleyCon got spent on the Detective Squad - enter Elliot Ness :)
The Regiment RPGers have started a Cthulhu Campaign set in the 1920's and I couldn't resist getting a character for that from Copplestone - it makes a good Gangster crew too.
I have long been collecting a city scape set of terrain for various games - so that has allowed me to create a really cool board to play on too.
The cars are a collection of toys and other vehicles I have purchased over the years. So there it is - my confession. Now to see if I can convince any of the other magpies to play a game with me :)

A little bit FlamesofWarrery

It's been a long time between posts. I've been busy about the place though. If you haven't had a look at McBeth's post or Pooch's post about the excellent work being done by Ollie at Battlekiwi ( then you should. I've also been doing some work on an Infinity table with Ollie's amazing terrain. I'll pop some piccies up of the board when I'm done with it. Here's a teaser tho:

Note sweet sweet matching base!

This post is a bit of a painting update. Something else I haven't done in fricking ages. With the release of V4 for Flames of War I think a bit of interest has been rekindled amongst the magpies and I have booked in my second serious game of V4 with Richard (and his musings) later in the month.

Some StuGs. Not all of them though. 
Big gun.
Bigger gun. 
Motorcycle scouts. Note absent motorcycles.
As a break from painting, I thought I might make up some cards for this game as well. These are a bit experimental and there's a bit of work to be done. I'm quite enjoying learning to use GIMP for the photo editing and making up some cool things to help my gaming:

I've promised Richard a set for the game too so I'll take some pics when we play it next weekend and you'll get to see what happens when I try not working solely in greyscale.

Next up from me? My Ikko Ikki (ish) for Test of Honour. I've painted all the cool stuff (that is, the warrior monk and the Samuari) so I just have to sort myself out and paint the peasants!

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

15mm Team Yankee- Skirmish in the desert

Team Yankee.

I like the game, and so when Richard (I blame him entirely) said "I'm thinking about 15mm", there was no way I was going to get away without getting M1A1s.

I picked up the Bannon's Boys boxed set a while back, and had organised a game with Richard, mainly to motivate myself to get them painted!

F-16 on my custom built base, held on by a magnet

You can read his write up of the weekend's game here, but in short, it was not a glorious few games for the Americans. Dice can be absolutely heartless!

This was what I was hoping for. Many wrecked soviet tanks. It was not what I got.
Our first game was a Dust Up. 

Lead elements from the 2nd Armoured Cavalry Regiment had taken up positions in and around Compound 44.

XO and CP, with Compound 44 in the background

First tank troop moved forward to engage the enemy tanks, scoring two kills!

Return fire however was crushing- 4 shots, 3 hits (on a 5+) and 2 killed outright.....

2nd Platoon arrives from reserve and engages the Soviets in a knife fight. 4 shots, needing a 4.

4 1's rolled on the dice. Sigh.

In case you are wondering, they died to return fire too,.

But the Cobras turned up, and Compound 44 became my Alamo.

Soviet aviation arrived, trying to snipe the rear of the M1s. More T-72s have arrived in the background also.

One of the Cobras has split off to engage the Hind with it's 20mm

As to the effectiveness of the Cobra's 20mm? You will note that there is still two Hinds flying around....
So how did that all end? Well, not a win to the Cav. Losing both Abrams platoons quickly and cheaply wasn't the plan at all! I did at least destroy more than a few T-72s on the way in....

On to game two! No retreat

With the blocking elements destroyed, the remainder of the 2nd Cav tank troop retired back to a defensive position around compound 49, and called for more air support (F-16s).

Defensive position!

The soviets massed as ever, the horde of T-72s massing on one flank with Hinds in support

The T-72s crested the hill, only to be met by 120mm rounds from the M1A1s

What was seeming to be a typical helicopter furball happened- damn Cobras still couldn't penetrate the Hind's armour!

This was the end run of the game, the wrecks of two Soviet tank companies, all done by M1s, Cobras and F-16s.

Tank 22 stands triumphant!

All in all, I really enjoyed the games. The miniatures look fantastic, I am really proud of how my Abrams came out (especially the aerials- first time I have done them!). It is a pity I can't roll dice very well!

Some notes on the games itself
  • Air has a big impact on the game when there is no AA. I think that once Richard adds Zeus and I add Vulcans, the air assets won't be anywhere near as scary. F-16s firing Mavericks (because AT27 is silly) made an absolute mess of one of his tank companies on successive turns, but with SAMs on table, they won't have a chance to get in.
  • NATO are an interesting force to play, and one I don't think I have right yet. Relying on their armour isn't going to work, you are basically always one turn away from it all going HORRIBLY wrong, and that is an interesting way to play. Two tank platoons are far too fragile, so I will be definitely ordering more M1s.
  • Choosing casualties is fun too- I always picked platoon commander, not just because it is funny (because it is), but also because it starts splitting up the larger Soviet tank formations, and makes you more able to break them by (effectively) moving the commander away from his unit! Which sounds awesome as an idea, but I wasn't able to kill enough to make it happen properly...
  • We are going to go 75 points, on a table twice as big (more or less). That will give plenty of room for maneuver and present some pretty cool tactical challenges too- not everything will be in range, all of the time!
Ah well, off to the Battlefront website to order Vulcans. And ITOWs. And more Abrams.... it is possible I might be hooked.



Sunday, 2 April 2017

Review: BattleKiwi Part 2: La Belle Alliance

So as McB said in his post, we are all basically hooked on BattleKiwi products. Being the magpie that I am, I am no different.

When BattleKiwi posted up about creating a 28mm MDF version of La Belle Alliance, my first response was naturally "can I have it in 15mm?"

And, sure enough, this pile of MDF arrived with my latest base order....

Many, many pieces of cut MDF
So after having the last few weeks' modelling time only spent on writing, it was a nice change for the weekend to sit down and build some things, and La Belle Alliance was first on the list!

How did it shape up? Well, this is the real one...

And this is BattleKiwi's offering:

Old Guard added for effect

And the roof comes off!
How do I rate it then?
  • BattleKiwi uses coloured MDF which is masked for cutting. This means that you can have a whole white wall (the coloured) with the bricks and windowsills in brown (the masking tape). This gives a really good effect, for not having to pick up a paint brush!
  • Assembly was easy, my approach is to always dryfit stuff, then glue using Super Glue. This kit was no different, and it went together in only a few minutes (once I had figured out where all the pieces went!)
  • Detail. Being a scaled down 28mm kit, there are some very detailed pieces here- especially the window shutters. These are seperate pieces, and can be modelled open or closed (I did a mix as you can see). While fiddly, they look awesome! If you aren't so keen on the fiddly detailing, you could easily leave them off.
The 15mm kit hasn't reached the BattleKiwi site yet, but I have high hopes for some more kits like it!