Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Painting - Rus Princes Small Update

So as discussed I got my 3 mounted Durzhina painted up so I can try out the Rus Princes battle board today. Nothing super fancy, and I couldn't find any transfers so I just painted the shields. But they fit in well with the rest of the stuff I have.

I didn't get the few archers done, I realized pretty quickly that wasn't going to happen so I didn't really try to hard. I am just going to fill in with some Pagan Rus thou so no big deal.

We are going to try a game tonight so you should be able to see them in action tomorrow.

Pledge Status 2015:
Bought: 238 
Painted: 150 (Painted 3 Rus)
Total: -88


Sunday, 27 September 2015

Painting - Old West Extras

So have done a bit more painting over the last bit, adding on more Old West support type stuff.

First up I have more townsfolk, these are all from the Battle Flag set, and I have the first half done.

Bartender on the right, and shopkeeper on the left.

Doctor on the left, and a Photographer on the right. I still have the undertaker, sheriff and 2 lawyers to go but they might have to wait a bit.

Then I got 2 of the pack animals done, the donkeys.

I think these will do ok as objectives /  baggage in a few periods if I am not to picky, which I ain't. I think it is getting to the point now where I have more Old West civilians then combatants, well not really if you count everything.

Paints Used:

GW: Black Spray, Chaos Black, Mordian Blue, Red Gore, Wazdaka Red

Vallejo: White, Wood Grain,  Chocolate Brown, Deck Tan, USA Tan Earth, Beige Brown, Smoke, Woodgrain, Flat Earth, Dark Sand, Japanese Uniform, Ivory, Dark Grey, Neutral grey, desert yellow, green ocre

Foundry: Flesh Triad

Army Painter: Flesh Shade, Tufts

Liquitex: Black Ink, Umber Ink

Baccus: Basing Kit

Then to top it all off I did a quick job of a few cacti, to give it a bit more of an Old West feel.

Nothing special there, just luftwaffe green, and then more and more iraqui sand mixed in for a few dry brushes. Used the usual baccus basing kit + tufts so they would fit in. Starting to get low on both of those so soon time to order in some more I guess.

Pledge Status 2015:
Bought: 238 (5 CActus, 6 Infinity Models)
Painted: 147 (Painted 4 Civilians, 2 donkey, 5 cactus)
Total: -91

I realized that the Rus Princes army has almost totally different army composition. So it turns out that I was a bit short on the models needed to try that out. So I will be taking a bit of a break from the Old West stuff to try and crank out enough to try that on Wednesday. Basically I need 3 mounted and 6 bows. So should be possible or at least close. Even if I can just get the mounted done I will fill in and give it a go.


Thursday, 24 September 2015

Battle Report - SAGA - Pagan Rus vs Teutonic Knights

Hello again, time for another Battle Report. This time Serge came over and we decided to do some SAGA to practice for the upcoming tournament, also it's a fun game. I wanted to try out the Pagan Rus since I had them painted for awhile but never tried it out in SAGA, and Serge took the Crusader Knights, is considering them or Vikings for the tournament. Just starting to get back into SAGA after not playing for a bit so decided to keep things on the simple side and just go for the Clash of Warlords scenario. So 6 turns and the you loose if your Warlord dies.

So I set up with my Warlord and most of the good units on my left, levy in the middle, and some warriors and Hearthguard on the far right. The idea was to get the Knights to split off a few units to go after the flanking ones. The levy and mostly meant to be an annoying distraction, maybe get a few easy knight kills with javelins.

The Knights had 3 units of Knights and grouped them into 2 sixes, and 3 units of warriors, one with crossbows, and grouped into a 12 and a 4. Their main mass set up to my left, with one unit of Knights off to the side. Turn 1 they just advanced and started to get some piety going to empower their abilities later on.

The Pagan Rus are a more defensive faction then most, and are also different in that their style is more about letting the cold Russian wastes fatigue and freeze them. Since there was an isolated unit I was able to make use of a combination of abilities to do that. Fear the dark puts enough fatigue on a unit that is more then 6" from the other to exhaust it, which is 4 for Hearthguard. Then Endless Wastes removes a model from every unit (including yours) for every fatigue it has, so this cut the teeth out of a unit of Knights very early. Then finally I used Great Winter, which reduces all movement and shooting to 4" which greatly hampered the Knights ability to move up. But this used up almost all of my dice so there was not much left to maneuver, which could become a problem very easily.

This left the knights with not very many options, so they advanced slowly, and formed up. On my turn I had a good idea to toss some javelins. So I used Barren Lands, which reduces the armor of all mounted models by 1 in melee and shooting. This would bring the Knights down to armor 3, so I was hoping for easy pickings. However I miss placed the dice on my board, so the levy only got to move up and through once instead of the twice I had hopped for. This meant that only 1 knight died.

Now one of the things about the Knights board is that they hate levy, and have a very good ability for killing them, Repent Sinners. This removes levy from a combat equal to twice their piety, so the Knights charged and sued this, removing half of my levy, and then stabbed the rest! Not really what I was hoping for there.

On my turn I finished off the last pesky Knight who still had a fatigue with Endless Wastes, and then started to advance up my guys on the flank and pull back my Warlord. I was a bit worried about the remaining big unit of Knights who can do allot of damage if you let them, and the crossbows can be deadly with a good combat pool ability.

The Knights then took their turn to press in towards my Warlord. So they started to set up some attacks on my Hearthguard units. They got a couple with the Crossbows, and then charged in with the Knights. Here I sued some defensive stuff and got unreasonably lucky, so my two guys killed some knights with no losses! But the warlord then finished them off himself.

At the end of all this the Knight Commander was left isolated with striking range of one of my units of Hearthguard. So I figured that this would be a good chance to take a crack and killing him! I used Barren Lands again to drop the armor of mounted units, and then charged in with Standing like bears to trade 3 attack dice for an extra armor, and then For the Khagan! which gives 5 extra if you have the most armor. Again I was unreasonably lucky and got 7 out of 10 hits, so the warlord was not able to save off death even with a couple of extra defensive dice.

So a win for the Pagan Rus, teach the Teutonic Knights a lesson about invading Lithuania.

We will probably give SAGA another go next week depending, but if so I will try out the fancy Rus (Rus Princes), and Serge wants to give the Vikings a go.


Thursday, 17 September 2015

Battle Report - Dead Mans Hand

Hell Folks,

So we finally got around to some Old West gaming. Serge's brother Carlo was up for a visit and joined us, since I was the only one that had the rules I decided to just run things and take pictures. Serge had the Law and Carlo the Outlaws.

We went for the Fist Full of Models scene, at least I think that is what it was called. Anyway as usual it is composed of 3 short games called scenes. I will do my best with the report, but it's allot harder to keep 3 games straight in you head it turns out.

Scene 1: Ambush

Game one of our mini-campaign is ambush. There is a plan afoot and murder in the air in the town. One deputy walks around to check out a suspicious  stagecoach parked in the middle of the street with no horses, while 2 of his buddies are having dinner at the bar. Meanwhile a group of Outlaws are ready to Ambush him.

You can see the deputy by the stage coach, and some Outlaws behind the boxes and barrels. Both sides get 3 regular dudes and the objective is for the Outlaws to kill 2 lawmen without taking any losses or run out the clock. They need to make space for their plan.

Here we are at the end of the little game, turn 2 I think. Dead Mans Hand has you deal cards to all your models to determine who acts in what order. They also have some neat special abilities and you get some in your hand to play as well. The law men tried to fall back with the guy by the stage coach and bring up the guys from the bar. A few shots went of with no great effect on turn 1, and 2 of the Outlaws are up behind the stage coach. I think what happened is that the Outlaw with a shotgun moved out to put the hammer to the poor deputy, but the deputy decided to fire back and got lucky. At point blank this makes the shots simultaneous and the result was both getting shot! But this meant a loss for the Outlaws So Serge gets 2 extra cards in ha for game 2.

Scene 2: Heist

The second game is the Heist where the Outlaws reveal their dastardly plan to rub the uh Hardware Store, lots of money in their. I guess the coach was meant to be a get away but something got messed up.

So this one is a full sized game with 21 points per side. The Outlaws start off with 3  guys in the Hardware Store robbing the joint, 2 standing guard outside, and one guy who had a rifle on the roof of the bar keeping an eye on things. The Law men also have 6 guys all spread out, and one of them has to be int he bar having breakfast. They are surprised by the robbery, so only get to place 3 initiative cards in the first round. The Outlaws are trying to run off down the main street with the loot, and the game ends when either side losses 3 people.

In turn one the Outlaws mostly ran out of the store umping out the windows and running for it. But the Lawmen played a card when the last one went to move that had the teller fire a shot at him. This missed but it forced the outlaw to spend his turn gunning down the teller so he got left behind. The rest moved south, but an annoying Chinese labor man was a bit in the way. The Law moved over a deputy with a shot gun to intercept, and the chap having his breakfast head the rifle shot, so he climbed up through the hatch to get him and save his buddies. Finally the Sheriff ran down by the stage coach to see what was up. Mostly moving here so no real lead flying.

Now everything kind of went pear shaped from there. The guy with the rifle tried to climb down the building to get away, but that deptuy shot him dead. The Outlaw with a shot gun moved up and tried to put an end to the deputy in the way, but all he did was murder the Chinese guy in the way, but the plucky red shirted varmit got lucky and killed the deputy anyway. The Sheriff got in a shot out with the Gunslinger with 2 guns, and was not so lucky so he went down in a blaze of glory. In revenge the Marshall ran out and put some fire on the gunslinger doing a pin or to. But the Outlaw boss decided killing Lawmen was more then the counting cash, so he came up and put some fire on the Marshal. Now seeing a could time for a bit of a scuffle the last Varmint decided it was time for a fist fight and ran in a clocked the Marshal putting him out. They way hand to hand works is you both roll a d10 and add a few modifiers and the looser takes the difference in pins. They can take 3-5 pins before being out of action, so it can be pretty deadly, kind of a John Wayne punch I guess.

So with 3 lawmen now down, the Outlaws could make off with their ill gotten gains.

Scene 3: Showdown

With things spiraling out of control in town, the final scene is a big showdown between the Law and the Outlaws to settle things for good. in this game both sides deploy their gangs one model at a time kind of as they see fit, but all withing 10cm of someone, and only one can be on high ground.

The Outlaws set up in a line running from the gallows down into the Hardware store, while the Sheriff and his men surrounded them mostly on the gallows end. The Outlaw with a rifle set up on the gallows, but somehow the Sheriff was right behind him!

So it would seem that the Law ended up setting off their own ambush this time, I guess as the bad guys went back for some more loot. This game just goes until one side is eliminated or fails a big Nerve test, which you have to take after loosing half your guys, both sides had 6.

I gave a shot of the initial set up with all the initiative cards in play. It is a bit more clutter then I would like, but they are a great way of showing who goes when and keeping track of who already went.

So we are heading for a giant shoot out, right from the very start, and to make matters worse the Outlaws cheated to play the black joker. The Outlaw gang has an ability that lets them swap a card in their hand for an initiative card once once per game. Or maybe the joker was in game 2 I forget.

So yeah turn one tons of fire fights bullets everywhere. In the end a deputy and a townsmen where down, along with one outlaw. The Outlaw boss shifted from the hard ware store to under the gallows, but all he did was shoot up the post that deputy was behind. No other really significant action, but 2 Law down so they are a bit worried. Carlo had some hot dice so his bullets made for allot of dead people.

Round two things continued much the same, it went a bit better for the Law this time. The Sherrif moved up and took care of the rifle guy, meanwhile everyone else traded bullets.When the dust settled both sides had lost half of their men so had to make a big Nerve test. But with both bosses still around this was easily passed by both sides. But the Outlaw boss was left with 3 pins, so a bit of a precarious position.

With only a few models left things were not so deadly. But the Law played a card which prevented the Outlaw boss from using the recover action to remove his pins, and he had one of the first cards. This left him a bit stuck and not able to do to much. Then the Sheriff moved up to the edge of the gallows and gunned him down. He didn't get enough for an outright kill but got 1 pin and Nerve test or a second pin. He then played a card which made this an auto fail! So the Outlaw boss had 5 pins now which put him out of action and heading to the slammer. This left the Gunslinger in charge, but he decided the game was up and they took off, leaving the Law as the final victor.

Personally I really enjoyed these rules. They are quite simple and fast to pick up, but the cards give you a good bit of options to mess around with, plus the 2 special abilities for the gangs. I also am a fan of the 3 small scenes making up one game. This is a neat period so I am sure you will be seeing more of it!


Monday, 14 September 2015

Terrain - Old West Town

So been very busy over the weekend putting all of my old west terrain from 4 Ground together. It comes prepainted and is laser cyt mdf. There are allot of parts so it takes a bit of time, especially with all the details and when you have a bunch of them, but then it's painted so you are done! I was very happy with this lot, so I will most likely be looking to add a few more items by and by.

In order to take some good pictures I decided to set up a mock table and through down some models as well so you can see how it all works together.

First up we have a road sign, hah, and a few boxes and barrels I had around. I painted on a few names from the classic old west movies, Big Whisky is just to many letters for me so had to skip that one!

Then I have the gallows, with working drops, and a sign board with wanted posters. 5,000$ for Billy the Kid apparently.

Next up is the Hardware store and a few of those things you tie horses on to. May have to go back and base them as well. Removable roofs on this one with a painted playable interior and working doors. A few Lawmen are hanging out around there.

Then we have a stage coach, every good town needs one of those. You can see the salon off in the distance with the green sign, that is one I already had but tossed it in the mix never the less.

And Rogan's Bar, the biggest of the buildings, took a long time to put this guy together. Again painted inside and out, with acetate windows with writing, removable roof and painted interior, and working swing doors for some classic old west action. The signs are all paper so you just cut them out and glue them on. White glue used throughout. They also include a bunch poster and adds so I may have to go back and add them. There is also an optional second story add on kit so that is now tempting!

Finally I have a building that is still being built, so just timber frames. The roof pops off this one as well so you can hang out some guys instead. The Outlaws are attacking from that direction. Ben Foster is not so interested in a trip to Yuma is seems. I thought it was a neat kit, and gives me a bit of an excuse as to why there is not allot of buildings, they are still building them!

Finally I thoght I would put an overview of the full table I have so far. The mat is a Hotz Mats one I had from the last time we got into some Old West stuff. I have some more rock walls and fences around somewhere if I can find them, so I will liekly toss them down and a few trees around the edges as well. But still I think this is enough stuff to get going. I would really like to add in a few more buildings, and I want to get some more scatter type terrain to sprinkle around as well. A few bases with cactus or something. Bit of odds and ends like that. But really looking forward to giving Dead Man's Hand a try!

Let me know what you think, I have been trying to do allot better with the whole terrain aspect, so be sure to let me now what you think / any tips ect...


Saturday, 12 September 2015

Hobby Pie

So before I get into this topic I thought it would be good to have a bit of a disclaimer. This blog is mostly about 'hey check out this cool thing'. So usually I am focused on showing off the latest miniatures that I painted, or giving a battle report of the last game I played. But I have been thinking about writing out my thoughts on my personal hobby pie (will explain what that is below), which is totally different thing and is a bit philosophical I guess. So if you are here to check out the cool things probably best to give this one a skip, as there is a bunch of text coming this way.

I think this is worth discussing thou as everyone is interested in different aspects of this hobby, but it's small so we kind of need everyone to work together, and sometimes the most fun games are when different types come together. But also it can be harder for people with very different views to get along.

So the idea here is to talk about how different people enjoy the different aspects of their own personal hobby. The main idea here comes from an article written by Jervis Johnson in a white dwarf article, where broke the wargaming into 5 aspects and presented pie charts that showed how he and another individual enjoyed their hobby. This has been talked about on allot of blogs to be sure so ou have probably head of this before.

My first introduction to the idea of the hobby pie, although was never called that, came when I sued to play Warhammer back when I was in university in St John's. There was a great fellow named Scott that used to have allot of different people over to his place to play some games on day a week. He mentioned to me how he found it interesting that some people came over to play games and that was all they ever did. Other people seemed to come over mainly to hang out, and rarely if ever played games. Then there was a third group who used to hang around and do a bit of painting mainly. Now you are probably starting to see where this is going.

In his article Mr. Johnson breaks the wargaming hobby down into 5 aspects:

Gaming: Actually playing games, and trying to win.
Paint & Modelling: Which obviously is painting, modelling and converting models
Collecting: Which is the fun of collecting large or varied armies. No requirement that you be the painter.
Background: He meant reading and enjoying the fictional stories attached to warhammer models, but I consider that reading history books and such fits into this category as well.
Camaraderie: Hanging out with your buddies.

So the idea is that our hobby can be broken down into the 5 aspects, and everyone enjoys certain of them more then others, there are all types of hobbyists. I know or have known people that are mainly into it because they enjoy painting models, and it's an excuse for them to do that. Others see it as just a game, and as famously stated would be happy to play with grey cubes. Still for others it provides a reason to read lots of history books.

If two people sit down to play a game and one of them has a beautifully painted army as he is a painted, and the other has a black primed army, because he is a gamer. It can lead to frustration and a bad experience so it is good to see where the other guy is coming from and see their point of view.

It is also worth noting that enthusiasm is infectious. So if you start spending time with people that are more into one aspect then you, then it will tend to change your preferences in my opinion. Say if I game with a bunch of people that are really excited about history then I would naturally start enjoying that more and more.

So now that you have an idea of what I am talking about I guess it is time to post up my personal hobby pie.

I have tried to be as honest with myself as I can but that is not always easy. But here is a brief run down on how I have created this.

Gaming: I enjoy playing game, and attend tournaments fairly regularly, probably on average 4-6 per year. So based on this I gave an above average (20) value to gaming.

Painting: I spend a fair amount of time painting models, and enjoying trying out different techniques and try to paint each model the best that I can. Have gone to painting classes, and have enter painting contests in the past, and have done well in some where there wasn't to much competition. So I have rated this just as high.

Camaraderie: I do enjoy hanging out with my buddies and talking shop, but also I think it would be fair to say I may not be there as much if there was no game, and can at times become frustrated if the game is delayed to much. So I went for average here.

Background: Well they can't all be above so I rated background a bit lower. I do enjoy reading history books, or back ground information. But I am not a slave to them and the details or historical outcomes are not that important to me, so I gave below average here,

Collecting: You may be a bit surprised here since I have amassed so much stuff over the years, but on the other hand I have disposed of full armies once they were of no more use. Basically when I lost interest in this game. So I gave collecting below average as well. But this is the one I am the elast sure of.

So as you can see my main interests in this hobby are painting and gaming. This should be obvious to all reads of my blog here since all the posts are of something I just painted or a cool game I just played. But because of my preferences I can some times have trouble getting along with people that are much more interested in history and historical accuracy. It can seem a bit burdensome to at times, we are just trying to play a fun game with cool models so why do you keep bringing up real life right? But it is important to remember that this is just how they enjoy their personal hobby, so there is not really any cause to become frustrated or upset. I think also that everyone has their own periods or games that they are much more interested in, and so are more sensitive to perceived inaccuracies in that period. Napoleonic gamers are perhaps the most famous for that.

That then is my take on the whole hobby pie thing, it might be interesting if people comment with their own hobby pie values, or if they think mine are totally off! Also be sure to let me know if you enjoyed this different more wordy article or hated it. I will still just do whatever I want, but it is good to be informed none the less.


Thursday, 10 September 2015

Battle Report - Battlegroup Kursk / Overlord

Ok so wargames Wednesday is starting back up again, so we decided to give the battlegroup rules another shot. This time we decided to play a much smaller game, at the platoon level, and to use the army lists rather then trying one of the provided historical scenarios. We wanted to give the game a good shake down by changing up everything. Also the idea was to make this an infantry battle and not a tank battle, although there was debate about exactly what this meant hah.

In the end I had a US Paratrooper army with 2 platoons of veteran infantry, a forward HQ, mortars off table in support, a recon jeep, and an engineer support squad and a 57mm gun. Serge had 3 Panzer 4s, a forward HQ, 1 Panzer Grenadier Platoon, a mortar on table, and 105mm artillery in support off table. May be some items forgotten but that is the jist of it.

We settled on a bridge defense scenario which seems appropriate, so now we have a D-Day battle where the 82nd Para have parachuted in a captured a bridge over night. Now elements of I dunno the 21st Panzer division and attacking to get it back and the Para are still bringing in their troops which have been scattered all over France.

I was a bit lazy and didn't set up the terrain before hand, I blame the humidity, so we put something together quickly. I have a set of Boccage that doesn't get used often so I insisted on that, and put down the ruined church which is one of my favs. So we have some woods, encolsed fields a road and a bridge.

There are 3 objectives in this game, the bridge, supplies in the church, and a hut between the house on the right and the forest north of the church. The Para troopers set up within 20" of the bridge, I got to do 5 units so I took the gun, engineers, senior commander, and the jeep. The gun is in the forest on the right to guard the road, engineres int he church, and the rest in the houses by the bridge. The Germans got 4 units and took mortars a commander and some machine guns all along their start point 15" in from the north edge. The Germans had to tkae a morale chit imediatly due to my jeep scouting advantage. Boths sides get to bring in 1d6 units from reserve every turn after the first.

The Americans got the second turn and called down some mortars on the German commander in the boccage, the Germans had spent theirs just moving up. This game has started off very small but heats up as it goes along which is interesting.

Here we are after turn 2, the Germans have started to bring in some Panzer 4s, and called in some artillery fire which drifted behind the south western forest and damaged my gun and pinned the jeep. Most deployed guns are very brittle in this game due to just having 3 crew so they tend to get destroyed it seems. The Americans pushed the engineers forward into the forest and bombed the German command element again. Then brought in a few reserves down the bridge. This was soon to cause allot of troubles.

Here we are another turn or so in, both sides continue to try and push in reserves to get them into the fight, but both sides are also hampered by being pinned, mostly the Americans. Really my goal is to get my units into the 2 forests and the church and lock down the bridge, while the engineers cause a nuisance of themselves. Stan joined in with the American forces around now. Sadly our 57mm gun has been destroyed before the Tanks came into range.

So here we are another turn in, as you can see the savvy Germans have caught on to the bridge problem and have moved both of their artillery targeting points to this locations, so our reserves are coming in and getting pinned and chewed down. Meanwhile they continue to press forward. We had the clever plan to un pin the engineers using tactical co-ordination and then assault the command element in the boccage, but they were not interested so we took a chit for nothing, and lost the ability to move our mortar point to a more lucrative location. I believe that here Serge is pointing out that the engineers are also getting bombed by our mortars so we better be rolling for that.

Next turn we are having a bit better time, the engineers finally get their act together and take out that German command element in a a beautiful assault. But the tanks are still closing the noose and we have more and more units in the artillery zone forcing us to take chits to un-pin and for some losses.

And here is the last picture I took, not sure what turn it is but must be 5 or 6. Everyone has all of their reserves in now. The tank and half tracks have finally got rid of our checky jeep on the right and are putting lead into the Americans trying to hang on in the woods. Our heroic engineers took out another unit in a close assault, but were then dealt with by the Germans in the same manner. We finally got a clue and moved our mortars over to bombard the tanks and infantry coming down the road, and this was pretty effective.But we still have allot of units getting hammered by the German artillery.

At this point we decided to call the game, as we were at 33/37 on our battle rating, so our force is on the verge of breaking. This meant we couldn't really afford tot ake chits to unpin and the Germans would shortly pin our full force or kill a few units to break us. Turned out that the Germans were at about 15/30 or something despite only taking 4 chits so not to bad really. A fun game thou and really different from the normal fare.

Personally I felt that this game worked allot better at this much smaller scale, and also as a more infantry oriented game. I gave the Germans allot of flak for having  a few tanks, but I kind of knew they would and this is why we had an anti-tank gun! In the end it didn't really matter much.

I think thou that the biggest lesson we need to learn is that this is a completely different game them flames of war and you have to approach it in a completely different manner. And some habits die hard. In flames of war infantry have to be either sitting in their holes or pressing an assault, shooting is completely ineffective. In this game, fire fights really can happen. Artillery is also super effective in this game, you don't get tons of kills with it really (in my opinion), but it can pin down allot of elements and really make moving up hard.

My assessment would be that this game is more detailed and tries to be more accurate, so it is better for this smaller games which would be a bit boring in flames of war. But the rules are a bit cumbersome for bigger battles. So my vote would be small infantry heavy games - battle group, big tank heavy games - flames of war. But everyone will likely have a different opinion.

It's worth keeping these rules around as they are good to change things up from time to time as the decision you have to make and how things play are totally different. I actually enjoy the pressure of only being able to order so many units and how the morale chits and battle rating work together. But artillery can be a bit to harsh at times, thou I am sure we don't have everything 100% correct.


Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Battle Report - Battlegroup Kursk

So this past Friday we had our bi-monthly club meeting, and Serge wanted to try out a game of the Battlegroup rules for WW2. So we have organized up the first scenario in the book, a piece of the Battle of Prokhorovka, which is itself a part of the Battle of Kursk.

Basically we have a a bunch of T-34s attacking with infantry and other support into a defended position in a farm and around a hill with a mix of Germans including a few Tigers, Panzer 4s, and a few infantry platoons.

Technically this game has you tracking the ammo of every tank, and indeed you should even track what type of ammo the are loaded with (AT of HE), but I find this to be very tedious as we have 30 tanks a side on the table mostly un-numbered. So I talked us into omitting this detail. That being said most of the tanks carry 9 rounds, so they would ahve to shoot twice every turn to run out on turn 5 and we only played 5 turns, and not every tank shot every round.

So here we have the German forces deployed, they started with almost everything, and the Russians come on in 3 waves I think it was basically 1 company of 10 T-34s a turn and infantry all at the end. I set up one platoon in the farm compound, spread everything else out. The Russians started with a timed Katusha rocket attack aimed at the corner of the fields and the cross roads, which did a moderate amount of damage. I believe they destroyed 1 anti-tank gun, 1 tank, and a number of pins.

The Russians then started the long drive, some moving shots were exchanged, but not effective at this point. My Pak 40 in the farm fired off a long rage shot from ambush fire at the very start of the came thou and killed the first tank. The start of the Russian troubles.

In the subsequent turns the Russians continued their advance, bringing more tanks on as they became available. I sat in my spots generally with the aim to return fire as it presented itself. The Russians have allot more tanks to move the they have orders really, in this game each unit has to get an order and you only get so many. To compensate for this they have a Sthal Sthal! order which moves d6 tanks for a double  move and ineffective shot. 

Unfortunately I forgot to take pictures for a couple of turns, I think this is 3 or 4. The Russians have moved mainly to the crest of the hill, where they were destroyed piecemeal by my stationary tanks. In addition I was able to get a few with artillery and an air strike which was timed for turn 3. At these ranges I would say tank lethality is about even with Flames of War, so the T-34s have a very hard time getting a kill on a tiger, especially if they are moving, and the Tigers can kill them fairly easily. But they did a reasonable job of killing Panzer 4s, and took out my Tiger senior commander with a lucky break down effect.

In the farm compound I was attacked by a company of tanks and a tun of infantry. They assaulted with the infantry in a bit of haste and we were almost trading units really, until I pulled back and gave up the farm. I decided that I was losing more morale to dead units then I was saving by not loosing the objective. Also they don't really have the orders to advance this huge mass of infantry if I try to avoid it.

In the end roughly half of the T-34s were knocked out, a similar amount of Panzer 4s, a tiger and a few guns and infantry. The Russians were not successful in achieving all of their objectives and neither force broke when we ran out of time so the game went to who ever has the most battle raiting remaining. Partly because I started with a smaller force, and partly because I took more chits from being pinned and loosing objectives I had less left, so it was a tactical victory for the Russians.

I am not sure what would have happened given more time, could have went either way really, it was allot of losses for both sides if we are honest.

This game is similar to Flames of War in scale and scope, but is completely different in allot of ways. The platoons can spread out as much as they want, you need orders to give out, you have to spot units before you can fire directly, artillery is mostly off board, ect.. It's a good game just going in a different direction with things, it would be fair to say it is more detailed / tries to be more accurate, but is slower and a bit more cumbersome.

We are going to try a much smaller infantry game tomorrow.


Sunday, 6 September 2015

Painting - Old West - Townsfolk

Hello People,

So this weekend I continued on with my Old West excursion, I don't have much left in the way of gun fighter types and I still had a feeling to paint some Old West stuff so I moved on to painting some of the townsfolk that I have had kicking around for years. Originally we were playing Legends of the Old West so I wanted the option to include a fist fighter and a cook which is the reason I got this pack or two way back when but nothing made it past the priming phase. But now I am in full Old West painting mode so the whole works are done.

First up I have the trail cook, town drunk, and Chinese laborer. Just in time for labor day hah. I tried to make the drunks bottle and amber color so it looks like whisky. Original I was hoping the Chinese guy could be Mr. Wu from dead wood but they are totally different. Still maybe I can revist that idea someday with a different model.

Next up I have 2 guys having a good olde fashioned fist fight. I decided to do one as an African American, mainly to try out that skin tone set. Which I feel worked out pretty good. The dots on the other guy were meant to be freckles but it never worked out. I watched a quick tip on mini-wargaming with a much better freckle painting method so will have to try that on another guy. Basically they splatter a brown ink from a tooth bursh to make small dots.

Again keeping things very politically correct I have a couple of town whores. Personally I felt the one on the left came out much better. I resisted the temptation to give one a big Unforgiven esqu cut.

And last and least we have the farmer and his wife/child.

So there we have it a bunch of civilians to make the forthcoming Old West town games look a bit more alive. I actually ordered another pack of more professional types with the first shot of terrain, so some lawyers, photographer, undertaker ect.. I had allot more fun painting this lot then I would have thought so I am quite looking forward to that.

I was actually conflicted on how to base this lot, since most of them won't be spending any time on the open prairie! But I decided to keep them all the same, just easier, but I was briefly tempted by clear acrylic. Next up a set of donkeys and ponies believe it or not.

Paints Used:

GW: Black Spray, Leadbelcher, Chaos Black, Mordian Blue, Red Gore, Wazdaka Red, Xerus Purple, Genestealer Purple

Vallejo: White, Wood Grain,  Chocolate Brown, Deck Tan, USA Tan Earth, Beige Brown, Smoke, Woodgrain, Flat Earth, Dark Sand, Japanese Uniform, Ivory, Dark Grey, Neutral grey

Foundry: Flesh Triad, African Flesh Triad

Army Painter: Flesh Shade, Cloak Grey, Electric Blue, Tufts

Liquitex: Black Ink, Umber Ink

Baccus: Basing Kit

Pledge Status 2015:
Bought: 227 
Painted: 136 (Painted 9 Civilians)
Total: -91