Saturday, 31 October 2020

A miscellany of weekend stuff

 Grey Knights

I finished the Strike Squad! YAY ME! I loved doing these guys - they're one of the most fun kits to assemble and paint - there's so much variation. Is it the best? No, not at all. It has a dude with a Warding Stave in it. But it looks cool and that makes me happy. 

I'm not super happy with some of the right-hand shoulderpads - the white isn't as smooth as I would like and the lines between the red and white are a bit wobbly. My freehand hasn't ever been amazing so they might need another go. But for the moment, I've finished up a cool little GK detachment which will run onto the park with my Guard at some point in 2021.


I did get started on some 15mm after last week's FoW with some very old artillery:

I started with these Nebelwerfers since there are only 3 of them although still loads of crew. I tidied up the Nebs themselves first and dropped a bit of whitewash over the top. The basecoats on the crew are done but quite a lot more to do yet! 

Dracula's America

Played a great scenario with Pooch and Tank yesterday which reminded me what a neat little game it is. Got to take my new Congregation crew for a run using my old Malifaux figures and it was a hoot. Flying a Congregation vessel onto a third floor balcony, only to have her absolutely smashed by a couple of defending army dudes was a real moment. Stay tuned for some photos and narrative from Pooch. 11/10, would play again! 

Next Time

I'll be aiming to finish up the Nebelwerfers this week and probably get started on the 4 PaK40s that are next in the Grenadier queue. I've got some RSOs mit PaK40 that need some greatcoats added to their crewmen and then they'll be able to join the beginnings of the Grenadiers. 

Saturday, 24 October 2020

Big Flames of War is the Best Flames of War

Test Games?

So we planned on playing some test games with our respective Flames of War 60 point lists after a random 100 point LW game on an 8x6. Let's just say that StuGs vs Churchills is still a really tough match ESPECIALLY when your Hornisse can't hit the side of a barn.  

Given that we had the 8x6s out, the crew had the great idea to play a 2 v 2 120 point MW game as we had two British lists, one Italian and one German. So Scotty's DAK and my Genio took on Pel's Brit Rifles and Tank's Grants. 

Scotty and I decided to defend, just for the lolz, and forced the Allies to attack in a No Retreat. We craftily walled off our right flank with a double-deep minefield (great idea from Scotty to make it worse!) before he occupied the buildings next to it and I deployed engineers between the front line and both objectives: 

The Axis defence

There was a small rise in the middle of the board and so it was that I put my most ridiculous control asset on that hill, confident that it'd attract a round or two of artillery before it went down in a screaming heap. Boy oh boy was it worse than that.

Lancia da 90!

The Allies decided to force the Axis right and focused most of their attacking troops on their right with some Grants and the seriously impressive Grant commander in the centre:

Attacking Allied armour

The armour pushed rapidly forward, with the infantry stubbornly refusing to follow their officers into combat. One platoon of Grants pushed towards the Axis centre with their carrier support while the rest attacked up the open Axis flank. In their haste, they tripped an Axis ambush and DAK guns fired into the lead Crusader tanks bailing one and destroying the other two:

The Allied armour scattered after the appearance of some DAK 76.2mm guns
The Stuarts peeled off from the main advance to knock the Lancia da 90 off to allow the Grants in the centre to attack more vigorously through to the objective behind the minefields. Oh, yeah, after first two turns the Lancia hadn't fired a shot but was still very much alive. The Allied artillery dropped smoke to protect their advance from the 76.2s. The Lancia took an unpleasant revenge on the Stuarts as a platoon of M14/41s arrived in the backfield:

A crafty smoke bombardment shields the British armour

The Stuarts fled, having been perforated by 90mm Italian tank busters, but the Grants and Carriers started giving the German platoon defending the front objective a lot of grief. The British infantry decided to cut across the front of the Axis defence and push on to the objective on the Axis right:

The Italian Counterattack!
Finally, the Grants ruined a bunch of the  M14s and 25 pdrs blew up some rapidly onrushing L6/40s. In a final ignominy, the Lancia da 90 managed to stay alive for FIVE turns, bombarded and / or MGed almost every turn before a British Infantry platoon took advantage of the Grants' success at destroying M14s and overran the Lancia and it's crew:
The final savaging of the Lancia da 90

At this point, we realised there was no way for the Allies to get close enough to an objective to continue the game and so the Axis won a successful defence. We talked through it afterward and realised that playing down table on an 8x6 meant the back objective was basically out of reach because it was another foot further back than where it would have been on a lengthwise 6x4. We played a second game measuring all the distances from the centre and it was definitely better. I suspect we should work out proportional maps for the slightly different size of table as we looked at another mission that looked like it'd be great fun but on an 8x6 the defenders basically couldn't win because of the way the table layout would fall.

Thoughts on the Italians? 

I think for the 60 point list, I'll probably drop the 90mm, since it's hilarious and attracts an entirely unwarranted amount of attention, but it isn't much use. That saves me six points that I can reasonably replace with....Semovente 47s. BF have released "community cards" for the other Semoventes that aren't in the book and Remember December seems like an opportunity to use these. And it means that some time next year I'll be able to roll out the Sicily Fucilieri with their 90mms. Epic. 

The other three lists were also awesome! I was very pleased to see that Tank has managed to build a list with Grants and the sheer volume of dudes that both Pelarel and Scotty put on the park was brilliant. Looking forward to seeing them in action solo! I hear rumours that blogger McBeth has managed to work out a 60 point Panzer III list that I'm really curious to see. It seems like it might be a real sweet spot for North African MW lists.

 Next Time

After this weekend, I think I'll paint some 15mm Grenadiers. I've got a Nebelwerfer battery and PaK40 battery sitting with the guns finished but unpainted crews and that seems like a fun thing to do in advance of the release of the Flames of War Bagration book for Late War. And I should probably finish this bleeding Strike Squad. 

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.