Saturday 31 December 2016

Bloodbowl: The First Game

   The festive period saw my first foray into Bloodbowl for a good ten years or so, the last time I played Bloodbowl it was in a GW store with a team I had picked up at Games Day a few months earlier. This time, I picked up a copy of the game with my brother, split the teams and got started with the painting as we decided a strict no unpainted models rule.

   First up then, is my team: I picked the human team from the box, my brother wanted the orcs and the humans fitted me just fine. Once I knew I was getting the human team I then had to think about my team name and colour scheme and that stumped me for quite some time. I wanted a scheme that would stand out, wasn't blue* and that I would be happy seeing every time I played. The answer was so obvious once I realised what it had to be, it had to be the same Empire state I collected when I aimed to start playing Warhammer Fantasy - Ostermark with it's purple and white colours. The Ostermark Yetis were born.
* I always seem to do blue

   The first game was played on Christmas Eve at my in-laws house with my brother. My 'Ostermark Yetis' versus my brother's 'Skullers Friday' orc team. As you can see from my initial setup I wasn't destined to win the opening engagements of the game, but I got my act together, thought through a plan and went for it. The first touchdown went to the orcs on the second from last turn of the first half, he had spent 7 turns battering my guys before he finally managed to pierce a hole in my line to let his catcher through to score.

   The second half started with the Ostermark Yetis receiving the kick, the ball was aimed for the very middle of the field but bounced a couple of squares away from a catcher who was ready to being a run with a blitzer in tow. With the added benefit of free move before the game thanks to a Blitz roll on the random events chart, my closest thrower was able to move to and pick up the ball, the catcher and blitzer were able to get into contact with the only orc in their way, so when the half started proper the blitzer was able to take the orc out, clearing the path, the thrower did a perfect pass to the catcher who had a free run nearly all the way down the pitch, scoring on the next turn after a nerve-racking dodge roll. One all.
    With the kick going back to the orcs two turns into the second half, all that happened was a slightly quicker repeat of the first half orc point leaving the game 2-1 to the Skullers Friday orc team.

   The game has reminded me why I used to enjoy Bloodbowl all those years ago, it has barely changed at all. I need to learn how to do more than just slow down a determined orc push, my team works best when they are actually playing football but I need to get the ball to actually do that, but that's all down to experience.

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Tuesday 20 December 2016

Christmas comes to war-torn Blighty

   What was going to be a really light-hearted post about a toy car I bought on holiday a couple of weekends ago for my wargaming is instead going to be twinged with a bit of sadness. Last night the very Christmas market I bought this car in was hit by a terrorist attack and it is hard not to see the images when I now look at the model.

   This post was going to be about sympathetic elements in Germany sending gifts across the channel to war-torn Blighty at her time of need. A couple of years into the civil war and the fighting is bitter, things like toys for children at Christmas time would have pretty low on the agenda, so the lift in moral that even a small gift could bring would be immense. Instead, it is them that need our sympathy at this time.

My thoughts go to the people of Berlin

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Friday 16 December 2016

Dalin Worlds Liberation pt.2

   It has been a few months since we last played this campaign (other shiny projects and real life distracting us) but we decided to carry on where we left off.
   At the point we left off, my space marines - The Aurora Knights - had taken a pasting, losing 2 of the chapter's 4 strike cruisers and seeing the chapter's only battlebarge take enough damage to cripple it. The next 3 games went just as badly, with the remnants of my fleet being hounded around the system slowly losing escorts in every engagement without being able to do much more than scratch Dalin's defence fleet. It was not going well for humanity's finest.
   At this point there only seemed to be one thing to do - retreat for a tactical regroup - and it just so happens there is a scenario in the rulebook to do just that.

   All my ships had to do was break through the blockade Dalin's fleet had set up - easy, I thought. (See my ships deployment). At this point in the campaign, the only ships I had left were my last surviving Strike Cruiser from the first game, the Battlebarge (which was too damaged to play in this scenario) and a squadron of Firestorms.
   Knowing that if I lost this game the campaign would be over, I set up as far to the opposite side of the board from my opponent - the scenario had a random deployment generator for the blockading fleet which I used to full advantage - and decided to use the noble tactic of just flying as fast as I could in a straight line without stopping for anything. It didn't work out quite the way I planned (and I forgot to take anymore photos) as my small fleet were intercepted far quicker than I had envisioned.
   Although the game was technically a victory to me, my escorts having got off the table, the strike cruiser proved to be too much of a juicy target for my opponent to ignore and she didn't make it off the board. A handful of games in and my chapter had lost 3 whole battle companies, 3 strike cruisers and only had a disgraceful retreat to show for it. At least it couldn't get any worse, could it?

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Friday 9 December 2016

French supplies inbound

   I should probably begin this post with a confession; I can completely understand why even accomplished wargames painters are happy to ship their piles of unpainted Napoleonics off to a professional to paint, they seriously sap your painting motivation. Hence, why it has been almost 6 months since my last post on it, but that has been for 2 reasons: 1, It took a while to build up the motivation to do the next block of troops. 2, By that point I had forgotten my colour recipe. . .
   Up steps the Warbasses Engineer's wagon and a Perry Miniatures figure for me to practice on. I bought the wagon and bits at Salute and had it built and sprayed within a few days, but that was as far as it got. The Perry figure was a recent purchase when I got the brain wave of how I was going to get my recipe without ruining a unit or wasting time getting it wrong. I could use it as a test miniature and make something useful out of it afterward, hopefully, helping to get a few more units across my desk in the new year?

   Comparing this model to my other units it is a pretty close, so I dutifully written my recipe down this time and am ready to get on with another unit in the new year. Oh wait, this means I need some Engineers now as well now . . .

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Thursday 1 December 2016

Zomtober 2016 - Week 6?

   At the end of this year's Zomtober festivities (?) I had a couple of half painted figures still on my desk that just hadn't quite made it to the finish line, but I was loath to put them away to do for next year*, so the only logical thing to do was to actually finish them. A month later and here we are**.

* Zombies and Survivors are
for life not just Zomtober.
** Yeah, a month - I can explain?.

   The hench guy from Heresy Miniatures sci-fi range, but if you ignore the gun style I think he works as a modern guy, while the blond figure is from Hasslefree Miniatures and takes a lot less explaining. In keeping with my theory on how a survivor gang should work I have kept automatic weapons to a minimum, with these two only having pistols and bravery to rely on.

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Tuesday 22 November 2016

The war on terror continues

   As my November painting has been almost non-existent (definitely nothing to write a post about) and it doesn't look like there will be anything post worthy for at least another week I thought I might dedicate a post to a couple of the cool looking games of Sangin Skirmish I have played over the last two Monday evenings.

   The first was a two-part mission for the British regulars. Seek and destroy the weapons cache and clear a path through the town for a safe withdrawal. I didn't get an overhead shot of the board but I took a few close-up photos as the game went on and I have included a few of the better ones below.

The two British fire teams advance into the town to sweep for the weapons cache aware that any building or group of civilians might be hiding a Taliban fighter.

I had spent the first few turns moving the civilians around to either look slightly suspicious or as though they were interested / scared of the British troops coming into their town depending on how I felt the people would act. The guy in the red hoodie was the only civilian that was stop checked and turned out to be a complete red herring.

The first shot of the game - my concealed sniper had lined up a perfect shot and killed his target outright.

   The game ended with two dead British troops compared to a lot of dead Taliban, but the weapon cache had not been found and the road through the town had definitely not been cleared.

   The next game carried on from the last one but we used a mission out of Dispatches 2 - Hold the Ford. The British's mission was to get their wounded, starting off the board on the town edge, to safety on the river edge of the board (the line of sandbags*), while the Taliban do everything they can to stop this from happening. To make it possible, the British get access to a few toys - the wounded are transported in the husky from the last game, which is supported by a warrior tank and the ford is being held by 2 fire teams of British Commandos.

* We couldn't find any river sections!

To stop it being a quick game the convey only gets to come on from turn 2 (in Sangin Skirmish each turn is made up of 10 phases with models activating for 4 phases per turn - determined at the start of the game) and Taliban can place a road block and a medium IED anywhere on the board*.

* The sofa represented the IED in this
game. Something the British 
player came to regret.

The Taliban machine gunner sets up in heavy cover on the Mosque and opens fire at the advancing Commandos, wounding his target and killing the man next to him.

As the warrior appears on the board the Taliban scramble for cover.

The warrior managed to get a single shot off, killing the Taliban hiding behind the well before two hidden RPG armed men came out of hiding to take it out*. New toy syndrome strikes again.

* Playing the Taliban takes
a lot of self-control!

   While the husky made it home carrying the wounded men from the last game, the cost to the British was massive. One dead Commando, one destroyed warrior tank and two men who were so wounded they won't make it home without their comrades coming back for them, while I had lost 11 Taliban. This game while technically a victory to the British was pyrrhic at best.

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Sunday 30 October 2016

Zomtober 2016 - Week 5

Zomtober zombie count: 18

   Not a huge amount to report this week. I played a quick game of Lord of the Rings on Monday to get my mojo back into that game - more to come in the future - and did a little bit of zomtober painting just to keep up with he challenge.

    First up are 3 survivors from Hasslefree miniatures. The girl on the left was a freebie as the order took a while to turn up, the one in the middle was just a fantastic sculpt and how could I not pick up the goth on the right?

    Secondly, I have my last unpainted Nazi zombie, the officer. Again a great sculpt and really had to be done, just a pity I didn't finish him last year when I did that theme!

   Lastly we have, well I don't know what it is, but it felt really Halloween to me. It is from Black Tree Designs and was just too cheap not to add to the rest of what was a sensible order.

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Sunday 23 October 2016

Zomtober 2016 - Week 4

Zomtober zombie count: 17

   I don't really know what to call this but I suspect I have been watching too much of The Walking Dead, while building plastic Rubicon Opel Blitz's. This lorry, however, is a cheap resin Opel Blitz off ebay (it looked easier to build the cage on the back) and I bought a few more German zombies just to fill it up and complete the look.
   The guy in front is made from a Warlord German sprue with zombie extras that was built as a backup plan in case I couldn't finish this or it looked terrible, as it is, he can now just join the rest of the horde.

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Sunday 16 October 2016

Zomtober 2016 - Week 3

Zomtober zombie count: 8

    This week I dug through my lead mountain, properly this time, and resurrected a few half painted or just sprayed models from last year. So this week's contribution to the challenge is another 5 zombies and 2 survivors, plus a bit of scenery I plan to use for both zombie games and Afghanistan.

     Zombies are a mix of Wargames Factory's Zombie Vixens (I still have another sprue to go) and a Studio Miniatures zombies, all bought for Zomtober 2014 . . .

     The first of 5 planned survivors, both are from Studio Miniatures. As you will see with the next 3 as well, I am trying to put together a group who feel like they might be fairly normal people. No swat teams for me just yet.

      Lastly, a quick bit of scatter scenery I thought would work for both zombie games and games set in Afghanistan.

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