Thursday, 22 June 2017

Grenadiers showing them how it is done

   Carrying on from the last post and maintaining my Coherent and Focused new mindset are two units of French Grenadiers. I hadn't planned to use any of these in my first few games, planning instead to see what the basic troops were like and building up to some elites but as the British list had to include a unit of rifles (I think this is basically wargaming law) I needed a way to bulk up points without giving me too much more to paint.
   Keeping it simple, these are the plastic Warlord Games French infantry with the elite unit backpacks* and painted in Grenadier company colours to set them apart from my orange (3rd) company basic line.
* They have swords

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Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Engineering a solution

   As I mentioned on the last post and after a spate of painting space ships and Star Wars figures I have decided to return to something a bit more traditional. Again, in another of those quiet periods where you get a chance to do some proper thinking I decided that much as my normal opponent has been making some noises about painting up a British Peninsular war force to give Sharp Practice 2 a try, I doubt that it will ever actually come to fruition, so a couple of quick orders and I have a British army in the post, this however, means I need to get my French finished.
   An hour or so sitting in the sun clipping sprues, filing metal models and sticking the results together and I had the last things I needed for my planned first game's list, plus the normal extra bits that had annoyed me enough that they got included. The first results from this particular drive are below;

First are the last unit of basic line that I plan to do in the immediate future. I got this weird idea in my head a while back that I needed to make my basic infantry seem a bit more varied, so I picked up a single sprue of great coats from Warlord games, stuck my usual heads and backpacks to keep the uniforms as correct as possible, and painted as normal. I plan to mix this into my units rather than have a single block of them.

Two French infantry sgts from Front Rank Miniatures to remedy my lack of leader 1 status figures.

french peninsular war engineers sappers Napoleonic
While not in my list, I had to get a unit of engineers painted up while I was still motivated. When Sharp Practice 2 was first announced and the hype online started I got excited and ordered a few bits that I figured were 'dead-certs' to either be in the list, or look cool enough that I would just be able to use them, chief amoungst these was the engineer's wagon. I only found out while I was painting it that I needed a unit of engineers to go with it, so here they are, a mix of Warlord Games and Front Rank Miniatures to get the unit to the required size.

Now I need to get back to painting French.
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Monday, 19 June 2017

Rounding off the the corners

   This is going to be the last Imperial Navy Battlefleet Gothic post for quite some time as I have a hankering to get on with some other projects. I spent an evening last week sitting in front of the tv staring at my painting tray with a complete lack of inspiration while I decided what to paint next, until the obvious answer dawned on me, finish the one you are currently blogging about and be Mike's Focused Coherent Wargames Blog for at least a few posts. So I went through my lead mountain and pulled out all the remaining ships for my Imperial BFG fleets, no matter how much work they needed.

First up is my second Emperor class battleship. I picked this up really cheaply on eBay as she was in one hell of a state and I had been joking a lot, recently, about having a squadron of battleships. I doubt she will see the table all that much, but I like the threat just having her can give me when I play. I named her Universa in homage to Battlestar Galactica as she relies on her squadrons as much as her main guns.

As part of my plan to make my fleet as punchy as I could make it, I decided I had to bulk up my escorts to better sized squadrons. My cobras were all painted in one go, but finding a pair of Firestorms for a sensible price meant they were picked up after the rest of the squadron had already been painted, but better late than never.

Sword class escorts are pretty much the most over looked escorts in the Imperial fleet, and for good reason, but I knew I had to have a squadron for sheer flexibility if nothing else.

If my painting desk at the sec is anything to go by, Mike's Focused Coherent Wargames Blog should carry on for the foreseeable future, but with the welcome return of another project I just can't seem to finish.
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Thursday, 15 June 2017

Tactical flexibility

   Carrying on from the last painting post, there is a second part to the fleet which hasn't seen the table quite as much yet. These ships are either much newer or more recently painted, so with no further ado. While I got slightly distracted by new toys at Broadside I am carrying on trying to get projects finished and this fleet is an easy one to get to that point with.

Lunar Cruiser.
The all round cruiser of the fleet, give it a job and it will be able to do it.

Dauntless Light Cruiser.
This was more of an experiment for me. With the way you build fleets relying on having a set amount of basic cruisers before you can buy the next ship, a light cruiser was a cheap way to fill one of these slots in points sensitive space. So far my opponent has used his twice and had more success by squadroning it with some escorts for extra punch.

Cobra Destroyers.
Like the Firestorms, these are the same ones from my Space Marine fleet repainted and bulked up with extra numbers.

 Transports and a system ship.
Just about making it on this post are a batch of transports that I picked up so we can, theoretically, play any mission from the core rules. I added in a single system defence ship in the hope that my opponent doesn't spot it early enough and I can get a cheeky surprise attack.

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Tuesday, 13 June 2017

Broadside and weekend gaming

   What was supposed to be a weekend with a single game in it, turned into one hell of a hobby weekend. Let's start at the beginning, Saturday was supposed to be a game of 40k Apocalypse, a chance for 4 players to get all their big toys onto a table to see the 7th edition out in style, but as the only person that didn't end up bailing, this didn't happen.
   So, instead, on Sunday one of my mates and me took a trip to the Broadside show in Sittingbourne, aiming to try out a couple of things, see some familiar faces and buy some more models, then maybe carry on our Imperial Assault campaign in the afternoon. This went, broadly, to plan;

The first game we go involved in was 4th edition Flames of War. Honestly, (and I am bound to offend someone with this statement) I have have never heard anything good about Flames of War, but the 4th edition seems completely different and we really enjoyed ourselves. So much in fact that my mate bought himself two copies of the starter set so we could replay this game in the future.

The second game we tried was a game that is still in development called Valhalla. It is a good little game, but I don't know if it is bringing anything new to the genre, being somewhere between Open Combat and Saga in complexity and game size, and not being better than either. 

The last game we played at the show was an escape from Jurassic Park game. Described to us as 'like Yahtzee', it was brutally simple but a great show game. And, yes, I got away - just.

   With the limit of 4 hours in the car park, we made our move fairly soon after this, aiming to play some more games at home. Carrying on the weekend's tradition of not sticking to plans, we decided to play Thunderbirds (probably still my favourite board game at the moment) instead of Imperial Assault and, like normal, lost more games than we won.

   The other great thing about the Broadside show was that it had a proper bring and buy stand, so, obviously, this is where my money went. I went with all the best intentions, knowing that with the 8th edition of 40k coming out this weekend and my normal gaming mate really pushing to start playing 40k in a real way again, that I needed to save some money to at least buy the rulebook and a codex but that went out the window as soon as I saw there was some Battlefleet gothic on the stall. A quick trip to eBay and I now have a 1000 point fleet ready to paint. Suffice to say, mistakes were made and 40k looks like it can wait another month. . .

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Thursday, 8 June 2017

Assemble the fleet, Admiral!

   I was organising my normal Monday night game last week and it dawned on me that I had done quite a lot of work on my Space Marine Battlefleet Gothic fleet and had painted up a Navy fleet too but hadn't blogged about any of it*.
   First up is my Imperial Navy fleet as it is the one I am using the most at the moment. Again, like my Space Marine fleet, I have been buying whatever was cheap on eBay, rather than planning a fleet and paying full whack to get them, this has led to my fleet being a bit of a mix of things.

* I assume this is due to the models being painted and packed
 into foam straight after varnishing ready for an immediate game.

Emperor Battleship.
This is the one big ship that was not planned at all. I had something a lot more 'shooty' on my shopping list, maybe a Retribution or an Apocalypse, but this was the ship that was cheap. While unplanned, it has turned out to be one hell of a ship, she has just about dealt with whatever situation I have put her in and (mostly) come out fighting.

Overlord Battlecruiser
The 3 cruisers were a sorry looking job lot that were so badly looked after that I couldn't tell what ships they actually were from the photos, but a bit of time spent tidying them and a new paint job can do wonders.

Dictator Cruiser

Gothic Cruiser

Firestorm Escorts
These Firestorms should be pretty familiar as they are the ones I used for my Space Marine fleet, stripped and repainted, they look much happier in the grey of my Imperial Navy. I am currently in the process of bulking up all my escort squadrons to 5-6.

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Monday, 5 June 2017

The most unnecessary guard in fiction?

   On Friday night, I found myself staying up later than planned, fixed to the tv watching the modern A-Team film, the only reason I mention this is that it was extra painting time that I hadn't expected, the unit below are the result.
    The Royal Guard are another unit from the base box set that haven't been used yet but I wanted to make sure were painted before they came up in the campaign. Naturally, I added the Royal Champion as it made sense to make sure their red's all matched properly. These guys were a pleasure to paint, I forgot how much fun robes can be to do.

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Saturday, 3 June 2017

Keeping the cause alive

++ Many Bothans died to bring you this post ++

   More Imperial Assault and another vague theme to justify why I have picked the models that I have painted at the same time, in this case rebel infiltrators. I decided to ignore the established colour schemes for both the two rebel saboteurs and the Bothan hero, instead tying them into my rebel rangers from a few months back. I am aiming to create a coherent looking generic task force that looks like it might be capable of doing the everyday missions that keep the cause alive, rather than what films are about, which follow rag-tag bands of heroes doing the big missions.
   So the saboteurs are in full ranger gear of camo and brown packs, while I gave the Bothan hero the camo trousers and brown details but a black body glove top to suggest a slightly more stealthy nature but also so he still stands out as a character.

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Thursday, 1 June 2017


   The last time we played Imperial Assault we played a mission that used the Assassin droid, and I was gutted that a model that was one of the main stars of that game was in his basic grey colour when every other model we used in that game was painted, so something had to be done about it.
   Keeping to a theme I painted the two more famous droids up at the same time, even though their colours didn't match at all, just as having a single model actively being painted at one time seems to be a bit of a waste unless you can paint to a higher level than I do. The biggest issue I found painting the 3 droids was that R2-D2's colour scheme seems to be different in every reiteration, he is different in 1-3, 4-6 and in all the bits in between, so I picked one picture online and went with it, hence the odd orange bits (which I think makes this an early version of him?).

imperial assault assassin droid

imperial assault r2-d2 c3po droids

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Tuesday, 30 May 2017

Trandoshan hunters

   In Imperial Assault, the role of main generic mercenary falls to the race of Trandoshans, who by their very nature as a species of big game hunters, fulfil this role with glee. The core set comes with 4 basic ones split into 2 groups and one of the later waves includes the named Trandoshan, Bossk, who I picked up figuring I could make sure I got the skin tones to all match if I painted him at the same time.
   As before, I am mostly trying to paint up those models that are appearing more frequently, or having a starring role, in our campaign games. The heroes have fought these guys a couple of times now, so it made sense to get some paint on them.

imperial assault trandoshans bossk mercenarys mercs

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Monday, 29 May 2017

Dead Man's Hand - Down Under!

   On Friday night I managed to get a game of Dead Man's Hand - Down Under in, using my Kelly gang and my wild west lawmen standing in as state police. We played the No Rest For The Wicked set of games just to see how the Kelly gang coped and we learned they are nothing like any other gang.

The Kangeroo proved, when questioned, that we were playing in Australia and not the US. Figure from Eureka Miniatures.

We used the same set-up for all 3 scenes just to keep it quick and flowing, making sure we left off the American looking cacti. My newly finished Bank is in the background.

From playing 3 scenes with my mate using the Kelly gang we learned a few key things; The Kelly gang are hard, ignoring instant kills is a big deal. The Kelly gang losing an action each time is also a massive deal, my state police were able to run rings around them, or as both sides were just using pistols, if I had a couple of guys holed up in a building I could afford to wait and let him move a Kelly member in, knowing that he would only have 1 shot left, while I could respond with 3 per guy that survived. 
Every scene became a bit of a slog for the state police, when you can be instantly killed by a good shot, but he can't, you have to be a bit more careful, plus if Ned is on the board, you know they won't be running away either.

The image below was shot after the Kelly gang member calmly walked into the building using both his moves. The state policeman (sheriff in this case), got 2 hits, 1 of which was a kill shot, as that was downgraded to a hit, the next round the Kelly member shot him twice and took him out of the game.

We still have 1 day left of this bank holiday, so there should be a painting post or two fairly soon.

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Thursday, 25 May 2017

The continued spread of Fascism

   Carrying on from my last post, it is fair to say I have the hobby bug in a big way, 3 weeks off will do that to a guy, so I have some great things on my desk at the sec including another project that I think outdates even my VBCW one.
   Before I got too carried away I wanted to make sure my B.U.F got finished, so I could get that fabled game in over the summer. I have now finished the second squad, the Lt and banner, a MMG team and an AT rifle team, which only leaves the tank as my purpose bought B.U.F backlog.

   The second squad in all it's glory. Again, the nco is a Russian WW1 officer and the squad has a LMG, but I have also included a SMG. My only real frustration with Footsore Miniatures is how they put their packs together, ideally every time I buy enough rifles to make another squad (and I do need a 3rd B.U.F squad) I would like to be able to buy a LMG and or SMG, but both weapons come in the character pack which includes both the Lt and the banner (neither of which I really want more than a single spare of). This squad for example was supposed to only have a SMG, but as I broke the barrel of one of the rifles I decided to try and convert it into a LMG using a vehicle mounted donor.

   As explained in my last post, this unit are from the Kent based Alfred the Great legion of the B.U.F, so I replaced the banner I made on my first ever post with it. I would like to have a second standard bearer with that banner in the future.

   The MMG and AT rifle teams are fairly self explanatory, my Albertines have been receiving some serious firepower over the last year or so, so to make the game even close to being balanced I needed to give the B.U.F some toys too.

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Friday, 19 May 2017

It finally happened . . .

   As I mentioned a couple of posts ago, the lack of actual hobby while away, tends to lead to me getting my notebook out and planning what will go onto my painting desk in what order when I get back. While most of this falls to the wayside the moment I start painting, this holiday's notebook had one entry, not just underlined but, fully circled; VBCW B.U.F.
   VBCW was the first thing I blogged about and yet it is still one of my big unfinished projects, even though I bought nearly all the models I would need to get started a good 2-3 years ago. I finally made some serious progress on the Albertines last year but I still had to sort out their opponents, so, I decided that 2017 had to be the year I finished my B.U.F ready for a game before the summer.

   I had planned my B.U.F to be a generic bad guy unit from somewhere similar to my Albertines (who were, in my head, originally based somewhere between East London and the West of Essex), but as time has gone on and my understanding of the setting has improved, I have tried to fit them into an 'actual' unit. From my understanding*, the London based B.U.F legion was destroyed fairly early on in the conflict and has been replaced with the Kent based Alfred the Great legion, so that is the unit I decided to go for.

*Anyone that knows better
feel free to message in!

   My first 10 man unit with attached medic. While I will almost definitely use the Bolt Action rules to actually play the game, I am carrying on my plan of building all my squads to both of the 'official' VBCW rulesets standards in case I end up being able to use them for a game of that too.
   The bulk of the models are from Footsore Miniatures, but the medic is from Ainsty Castings and the sgt is a Russian WW1 officer from Great War Miniatures and seemed to fit my theme.

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Monday, 15 May 2017

Thunderbolt - a childhood dream

   I joined the hobby at possibly the best time for a 40k player. I was able to get a good couple of years of playing the basic armies before Forgeworld really became mainstream and the power creep became a massive thing. Super-heavy tanks existed but no-one my age could afford one, titans in 28mm 40k weren't a reality until the first Games Day I went to and vehicle design rules in White Dwarf let you convert standard tanks to your hearts desire. As a kid learning how to paint, play and get your head around the hobby, this was great, but there were always a couple of kits that the baby Forgeworld did that you just looked at and drooled, swearing that one day you would own that.
   In recent years, Forgeworld have been dropping their back catalogue faster than you can keep up with it, two of my favourite tanks (Salamander scout tank and IG Destroyer) have both been dropped before I could get my hands on them, so when the Christmas bonus came around I made some mumbled apologies to my very understanding wife and skipped along to the Forgeworld site to grab a few kits that I was worried they might end up dropping.

   The Thunderbolt heavy fighter is just a stunning model and the Dan Abnett novel "Double Eagle' cemented the idea that I had to own one. The Thunderbolt became one of those painting projects where you end up wanting to put every plane based idea onto a single model, so I had to really limit myself to what I actually did, managing to get this down to just (my version of) invasion stripes and a pin-up girl on the nose. This is, very much, one of those models I would love to say I will get my money's worth out of, but if it sees more than a couple of uses in the next few years I will be shocked, although, we are planning some games where it might actually get to fly!

   The figures are a different story; the pilot is a Forgeworld event model from a few years back and really is a Thunderbolt pilot (the closest I got to a Thunderbolt at the time), while the ground crew are a few figures I grabbed from Colony 87 Kickstarter. While I didn't actually back the Kickstarter itself I understand the guy who ran it just wanted a way to fund some figures he was going to get made anyway and is selling off the back stock to anyone who contacts him, once it is gone, it is gone. Again, all three are painted in a variation of my Hervictus Imperial Guard colour scheme even though they are Imperial Navy, just to keep some coherency in my armies.

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Thursday, 11 May 2017

The Kelly Gang

"I wish to acquaint you with some of the occurrences of the present past and future".
- Ned Kelly in the Jerilderie Letter (1879)

  I recently got back from a three week trip around Australia with my wife, to visit the various members of her far flung family that have made the continent their home. Now, I don't normally mention holidays on this blog as they don't tend to effect my hobby too much, although a few of my more interesting project ideas have been thought up on long plane rides or on coaches, but on this occasion I came home with two things I was inspired to do; One is for my model railway so has no effect on this little blog, the other, however, was that I wanted to do something based on the Kelly gang.

Excuse the poor photo - it was a quick shot taken to send to my Dad back home.
    I went out to Oz with a vague knowledge of who the gang were but no real understanding of what they meant to the culture of the country. Whether you see them as heroes or villains, the iconic armour has the same effect on most Australians that the green cap and bow of Robin hood does over here. As we went around the gaol where Ned was hung or the library that stores his armour the story became far more real, while Ned kelly has become a legend, he was a real man first.

   So obviously, the first thing I did once I had got home and settled down again was order the Kelly gang and Down Under supplement for Dead Man's Hand and start painting them in my jet lagged fug. The members of the gang, above, are: Ned Kelly (two guns in the middle), Dan Kelly, Joseph Byrne and Steve Hart, plus a random extra that Great Escape Games includes to make the gang work on the tabletop.
   I am really looking forward to getting these guys into a game to see what they are made of, reading the game reviews on other blogs they look like they should be really interesting. Now I am sure I have a 28mm kangaroo somewhere . . .

"Such is life".
          - Ned Kelly

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Psychic Auxiliaries

   Carrying on my plan of getting stuff finished, I am going back to where I started the year, my 40k Imperial Guard. It has taken a bit of a break, partly because I think you need to once you have painted too many of one single uniform and partly because I got distracted by other things. However, I wanted to paint something just so the project didn't slide into being a dead project but that wouldn't open the can of worms of 'now for the rest of the platoon' and a single auxiliary squad seemed perfect, especially as these fulfilled my current painting requirements; they were built and sprayed already.
   These guys seem to suffer terribly in unit reviews online, but as my mate and my, normal Imperial Guard playing styles are just so similar I needed something that would set us apart. Just for reference, we both favour lots of troops with no heavy weapons in infantry squads, lots of Leman Russ battle tanks etc with the only real difference being that he has batteries of big guns that I just can't match.

imperial guard wyrdvane psykers astra militarum

   I painted the models in colours that I felt would compliment the bulk of my troops, the same colour jackets and trousers, with the dark blue to match the Mechanicus element of my force*. This unit would be unlikely to be native to my guard's home planet so I decided not to go the whole hog and convert the gas masks (in my fluff the gas masks are due to them not tolerating other world's air as their own is so weird, rather than needing them because of hazardous conditions).

*Something for
another day

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