Saturday, 26 January 2019




That is all. It's not a great picture. Just proving I've done it. :) He looks great though and I'm really happy with how he came out. Feels like a bit of a monkey off my back and will mean I can get stuck into some other things that need doing.

ValleyCon. It was a great weekend - I went 2 (+ a bye) - 2 and came 5th overall, which would be one of the better finishes I've had in a FoW comp ever. I was even top of the table at the end of day 1 with Tank (which says more to me about the state of V4 than anything else). And he promptly kicked me in the proverbials in round 4 (although it was a helluva game and close in the end!) and I had to play McBeth in the last round. ;) That was a great game too and while both our dice were up and down like yoyos it was closer than the 6-3 would say. Much like my game with Tank, there was a point where I *could* have won it but the dice didn't go my way. It happens and it was a great game to finish on. My game with Scotty was the one in the weekend where someone has a rough time in the game when all my die rolls stick (and if you ask him about the turn where he got penetrating hits on 12 vehicles, killed 2 and I remounted the other 10 he'll probably cry a bit) and Pel and I had a damned good bust up which was largely dominated by the two of us being a bit slow on the uptake and missing some really obvious plays!

I'm not going to go into any more details because I was so busy playing I didn't even bother to stop and take notes or photos! But suffice to say that I had four great games and learned a lot about running my Italian armour. I enjoyed using the More Missions and found that picking Manoeuver as my battle plan all weekend largely met the goal of getting asymetric games and open flanks where I hoped the otherwise weak Italian AT would be effective. I think next time I get the Italians out it'll be as an infantry force, as I'm keen to try that out but first I'm going to borrow the Desert Rats book from one of the lads and check out an Australian Rifle Company as I'd like to see if I can use them for a change. This might mean acquiring some more Sentinels from Eureka to proxy out as Sherman Vs which would be super cool.

There were a couple of interesting thoughts for the weekend from a gameplay perspective. Some of the balancing still seems a little off in V4. I've mentioned some of the iffy Italian command cards before but it was the mobile AT that made me wonder this weekend.  4 M10s cost 32 but 4 Marder III 7.62s cost half that, the same as 4 Semoventes. The cost of M10s seems excessively high (perhaps overvaluing the marginal utility of very high AT) and the equivalence of Marders and Semoventes doesn't feel right at all. The Semoventes are paying for a bombardment ability, which is largely a distraction from their primary role, and they're not so much better armoured (and more poorly armed) than a Marder III. Secondly, I'm still quite convinced that Italians are over-statted but that's a rant for another day.

Next Time
Some TY I think. I have some M60s that have been screaming out for a final coat of paint and I've finally got my Cobras finished so they should get some paint. I've found a completely non-standard colour scheme for the camo (because it feels like I should, given the MASSTER) and I'm quite excited about it.

Tuesday, 22 January 2019

C Squadron, Royal Scots Greys, Gazala 1942

This weekend the club is hosting the 21st annual ValleyCon event. I've organised the Flames of War competition for this and decided to set the theme to North Africa and Italy. This is mainly because I wanted to keep the lists simple* and Russians break everything! While I organised and will be TO for the event, I'm also playing in it as well. Before people get upitty about it, there are two things; 1) I told all the players this and how the scoring etc would run and b) there is a lack in our local community of people who are willing to run events.**

For this competition I was a bit bored with my previous force, a US Tank company with Lees, Shermans and Stuarts. I used it at VC last year (I just spent a couple of minutes looking for the post I would have made about it to link, but man we were slack MF's the last 12-16 months and did not post much!) and it was quite fun, but not a competition winner. After playing at the 2018 Masters I saw how good the light armoured forces can be (I used McZermof's Italians and came third - again, no post!), so I looked for one that I could do that was different. I've always loved the M3 Stuart 'Honey' in British service and have wanted to do a Desert Rats force for ages, so jumped in and bought 15 Stuarts. These will represent C Squadron of the Royal Scots Greys (the other two squadrons were equipped with M3 Grants).

The 15 models consist of one pack of Battlefronts excellent and expensive M3 Stuart models (plastic) and two boxes of Plastic Soldier Company's average Stuarts. Putting them to getter was 1) easy for the BF ones, and b) a pain for the PSC ones. The PSC tracks arrangement did not match the hull so there was some swearing, cutting, trimming and bleeding fingertips. Painting wise, Pelaral has stored his airbrush in my basement while he renovates his house. Given that opportunity, and with his tutelage, I used the airbrush for the first time to paint these. It was great and much easier than I imagined. I'll definitely be using it again and will be looking at getting my own.

Anyway, here be pictures.

The whole squadron

HQ Troop

1 Troop

2 Troop

3 Troop

4 Troop

Shot of the BF tanks that I'm using as the troop command vehicles

Thats the core of the force. The rest is a small Motor rifle company, and some support from 25 pounders and tank-busting Hurricanes. The Motor Company and 25 pounders will be represented by my MW French infantry using 75mm's to replace the 6 pounders and 25 pounders.

* by simple I mean I am ignoring the hoohaa over the flexible lists that BF have produced. There is a lot of pissing and moaning about 'ugh I can take Panther with my 1942 Afrika Korps force? that sucks, BF suck, ugh, ugh, moan piss'. Jog on.

** by local, I mean that we have quite a few people in the club that can do it, and do do it regularly - but its the same people each time. Not always for Flames, but there is a core of people who do the organising and TO'ing each time.

Saturday, 19 January 2019

Oddities and soddities

BMG Objectives
We've never really played a full blown serious game of Batman yet - we don't play enough to have really got a handle on the game rules, let alone all the necessary mission bits. So picking up some objectives for the game seemed like a good purchase to get this bit into our games. 
Stuff and Things!
Each of the objectives does stuff and some of it is quite cool. Drugs, weapons or VPs are all in the offing and there does seem to be an art to picking the correct objectives for your crew.

And something unexpected...
GW released Adeptus Titanicus last year and, well, the excitement of the whole things was tempered by the fact that it wasn't classic Epic scale, it was Horus Heresy, it was not going to expanded into proper Epic and the price point, at least in NZ,

So given that GW have released the rules separately, this has meant that we have dug out some classic Epic stuff to play AT with because it's all a consistent scale and we have it already. We're going to play it out of period so I've done up some classic Slaaneshi knights and Scout titans to start with:
Hell Striders
These will just play as normal Imperial Knights (as far as the AT rules are concerned) with a Gatling Blaster, Meltagun and close combat weapon. And then the Scout Titans (who are so wee compared to the Imperial Warhound:
Scout Titans - Quaestor (L) and Subjugator (R)
They'll both proxy as Warhounds and I have another two that I could roll out as well.

It was fun to paint in blue and pink again. It's nice working in unexpected colours. Pooch and I have planned a game in February so I'll report that one here because it does seem like it'll be fun.

Next time? 
I'll probably talk a bit about how my Italian armour does at our local club comp in a week's time but since I don't have to paint anything for that, I should do something else from the task tray. I do need to paint Eisenhorn for an upcoming game of 40K. Probably time to get that done eh?

Saturday, 12 January 2019

Boxes and booms!

And in one of the most boring painting posts I think I've ever done, this one!

Terrain is important for games and all the games of 40K I've had suggest that more terrain is better. As I'm working to extend a collection of classic GF9 ruins into a more 40K-ish table, I picked up the Scions Kill Team starter box for some of the terrain included.

Stuff and things...
The kit came with two Munitorum containers (which I *had* to put storm bolters on) and a whole bunch of crates and barrels. I'm just pondering if I should base up the crates to make them easier to deal with on tables. They'd maybe be less useful in games of Kill Team. Not sure.

Anyway, the containers were a sweet little addition and they went together like a dream. Honestly, the longer GW make multi-part kits I swear the better they get. I remember the days of single pose models in boxes and then the amazing box that was the GW skeleton kit, way back in the mid-90s. It was SO COOL.

and now...the booms! 

Our annual club event is coming up in a couple of weeks and Scotty and I decided to have a test / learning game as Scotty is pretty new to his 90th Light Division from the DAK and his army is a really interesting challenge for my light Italian armour. Scotty has done an amazing job on this army - it looks fantastic and I hope he'll put some close up pics for you, dear reader, I think you'll really enjoy them.

The lists, if you're interested:
Ariete Armoured Division DAK 90th Light Division
HQ M14/41 - Tenente Pascucci
5x M14/41
5x M14/41
5x M14/41
4x Semovente 75/18
Bersaglieri Rifle Platoon
5x L6/40
4x 100/17 artillery (captured 25pdrs)
AB41 OP (L6 proxying)
Panzergrenadier HQ
Panzergrenadier Platoon w/ HMG, 2.8cm
Panzergrenadier Platoon w/ HMG, 2.8cm
SdKfz 222 Platoon w/ 2x 2.8cm
SdKfz 222 Platoon w/ 1x 2.8cm
2x SdKfz 231 Platoon
4x Marder III 7.62
3x PaK36R
4x leFH 10.5cm artillery
3x SdKfz 10/4

We pulled out More Missions - Scotty elected to defend and I elected to maneuver. We rolled up Bridgehead. Scotty elected to defend the Alamein Railway Station with his two Panzergrenadier platoons, his SdKfz 222s and the 10.5 cm artillery, with the Marder III 7.62s in ambush. He placed some mightily crafty minefields too!

I hid my 25 pdrs, knowing there weren't any tanks I was going to have to use them on, lightly stacked my left flank and attacked up my right.

I attacked the right hand side of Alamein station as well as sending my L6s hard down my right flank. I had a crafty idea (stolen from Pel's and my last game of FoW) to force Scotty's Marders back. A fired off a few loose shots at the defenders and, with my best weapons, bailed out a 222. Disappointing.
Pew pew! 
Scotty sent out his armoured cars to give my tanks a bit of what for, which was quite possible given my reasonably average armour and the effective high ROF of 222s as well as the punch of 2.8cm ATRs. His 231s also arrived on my left and accosted the rear of my tanks! A couple of M14s went down or bailed out. Some direct firing 10.5s didn't give me much hope but snake eyes firepower rolls saved my bacon. 

I took my revenge in my second turn, although only on some 222s. I ignored the 231s in my rear and went after the 10.5s and got one with the spewing MG dice that come from an M14 platoon. It wasn't the most effective turn as my right flank slowed down navigating a tank wide gap between minefields and I attempted to move my Semoventes to direct fire and promptly failed all four cross checks. Derp!

The Marder IIIs appeared and vigorously fired marshmallows at me and the PaK36Rs appeared in my rear. Much regret until we remembered that they have no Tactical speed so can't move and shoot. The 231s and the 10.5s killed and bailed one each of the M14s on my left. In a turn where I forgot to take any sensible photos, I responded by MGing and charging (and killing) the PaK36Rs with three M14s and charging the Marders with my L6s and prompty missing completely. My M14s on my right closed on the railway station and threw a lot of MG dice for no real effect. The Semoventes failed to move. Again. Lolz!


What? Me? Worry?

Scotty had an exceedingly clever turn as he slipped his Marders around my L6s, surrounded them with a Panzergrenadier platoon and rolled some 10/4s behind my Semoventes. On his right, he shelled, MGed and mortared my attacking Bersaglieri, which utterly shredded them, leaving my with 4 stands. Scotty assaulted the L6s and I promptly failed to shoot them off (although I did remove a couple of stands). His assault was ineffective and I promptly ran away, back behind the Marders. Oh, and I lost a Semovente to the 10/4s. Vexing.
The end of Scotty's third turn

Overrunning the guns

Getting the Marders....?

I made my first push toward the train station compound. I pushed tanks into all three flanks of the compound, attempted to deal to the Marders, unsuccessfully, and ditto the 10/4s that were hooning around blowing up my Semoventes! I assaulted and destroyed the 10.5s with the last of my infantry and finally dealt to the 231s on my left flank. Mostly thanks to a lucky 2cm shot from the L6 OP. 

From here, Scotty's Marders popped the last of the tanks in the centre, including my CO and I was left with one working Semovente thanks to AA guns. The remaining 2.8cm guns popped away at my M14s but my Italian steel held out but the MGs of the defending Panzergrenadiers wiped the Bersaglieri out. In my turn I finally got the Marders and the 10/4s (when I worked out MGs were more betterer than 7.5cm guns!) and I pushed my one working platoon into Scotty's defences.

This is where we ended up - the two badly mauled Panzergrenadier platoons, without their heavy weapons, retreated back to the station compound and the last operating platoon of my M14s in possession of the objective. It was a 5 - 4 result for the Italians but I had one Semovente left on the table and six M14s left operating on the table. A couple of better results with firepower and a few less shenanigan saves against his 10.5s and I think this would have been a completely different result. 

Next time:
Objectives for Batman have been added to the queue and I need to do a massive stack of repair work on my Infinity table as being in a hot car yesterday has weakened a lot of the glue holding the buildings together! So hopefully that won't be too horrific!

Saturday, 5 January 2019

Happy New Year

I mostly spent the holiday break doing assembly and priming. I've got my first Guard squad together, prepped some other new bits for the Guard company and got a bunch of random stuff assembled (including a couple of Battlefront's Cobra kits and man oh man did they cause some bad language.)

I haven't picked up a brush in more than a month so thought I'd ease myself back into the painting with a couple of simple little scatter terrain projects for my 15mm Russian table. I dug up some old draught horses and generic horses as well as some old Opel Blitz trucks, which I figure were probably loitering around in Russia during and after the war.

Hello Wilburrrrrrr....
The horses are just decorative, just something to add a bit of fun to the table. One of these days I'll manage to find some 1:100 scale farm equipment too. One of these days.

Meep meep, I'm a jeep! 
The trucks? Also decorative, but they'll add a bit of concealment in places too. Somewhere to start the farm equipment I guess. They're nothing pretty or all that well painted, but robust enough for terraining I hope!

After a swathe of brown and green, I decided to paint something a bit more fun since I was in the mood.
Black Canary
This is a variation on the box scheme, but I haven't quite managed all the fine details. I'm competent with a brush but sometimes I think not patient enough for some of the detail on Knight's models. But she's been added to the crew so that I can run the Birds of Prey crew for Batman as well - the idea of having Canary, Hawkgirl and Huntress on the park should be a bit of a chuckle.

Finally, ANOTHER Inquisitor:
Cacaw! Birdy!
I've always loved the model for Torquemada (!) Coteaz. And I had to Bald Eagle the psyber-eagle because why not? So he's the first (okay, that's not entirely true) towards the Ordo Malleus list I want to put on the table later this year.

Next time

Some more terrain I think. I'll get the containers and crates from the KT Scions box done because they're taking up HEAPS of room in the progress pile and I've already started on them and once those are done, I think a couple more Inquisitorial acolytes will hit the painting table. Our first club meeting of 2019 is coming up too so there might be some good piccies from there too.