Monday 31 December 2018

That end of year post - 2018 edition

   It's that time of year again, so love them or hate them* your feeds are going to be full of round-up posts.

*Personally, I love them

Last year's resolutions were:
So this year I want to focus on some key resolutions:
  1. Keep my 52 games a year target - as I now work from home making sure I get out of the house at least one day a week is extra important. So I stopped working from home within a few months of the new year, but the sentiment remained - 93/52 games played - Pass
  2. Paint more than I buy - I managed this, this year and would like to keep getting my lead pile down, either by painting it, or by selling it off. - This year saw both a fairly drastic reduction in the amount of models I bought but also a mass selling of old projects which meant my Pile of Potential is looking much better than before - Pass
  3. Finish some key projects; 15mm armies for Sword and Spear - Failed, Napoleonic British for Sharp Practice - Passed until I bought more, Sons of Horus 30k - Finished my initial plans and my 5th company of Space Marines - Didn't even touch this project - Half/Half.
  4. Start far far less new armies. Not sure how to quantify this as a pass or fail but if I don't own any models for an army already, I don't want to get carried away with it and keep disrupting my painting queue. - As I said going in, I don't know how to quantify this one, but I finished about 3 or 4 projects depending how you quantity 'finished' and only actually bought 3 new sets of rules (Pikeman's Lament, Kill Team and Adeptus Titanicus) and started 2 new projects (Ultramarines for 30k and a Legio for Titanicus), so I think this one counts as a Pass (if more in the spirit of the thing than actual practice).
   General Stats:
Most played game: Warhammer 30k
Most played army: Sons of Horus
   Neither of those are likely to be a shock, but I found it interesting that is 5 years of keeping my gaming stats this is the 4th year in a row with a different most played game and 5th year in a row with a different most played army.

   As I did last year, I thought I finish the post with some pictures of games from the past year, most of which won't have been on this blog before.

One of my big aims for the year was, not only to play 30k, but to play a game of 30k at Warhammer World. It wasn't the massive game I had planned but it was really good fun.

I've played a fair bit of Blood Bowl this year too, including trying out my Halfling team for the first time and while they are terrible as a team, watching them take out a ball carrier then almost score is absolutely brilliant.
Then below we have a game that has gone down in infamy, 11 players dead or seriously injuried in the photo and that was just after half time.

   I did notice, while putting this post together, that I have played less 'pretty' looking games this year, which is something I need to have a look into fixing. Is it because I have been trying more small demo games, rather than playing regularly with the same opponents or is it just because I have become lazier in my pre-game packing?

   After a fairly successful year, in terms of pure aims, I am pretty happy to keep a similar list of targets, so this year's resolutions are:
  1. 52 games target - classic and a good thing to keep to
  2. Paint more than I buy - damaged my backlog last year, so want to keep that up
  3. Not to buy into any small scale skirmish games this year - esp not fad looking ones
  4. Finish some key projects (again) - Sword and Spear, at least one of my Dark Age projects (I have 3 that need most of the army painted) and 2.5k of 30k Ultramarines
  5. Play some key rulesets - Sword and Spear (been meaning to try this since it came out), bigger games of Sharp Practice 2, more 30k (still loving playing this), Titanicus, Kill Team - this list could go on and on.

Thanks for reading and a happy new year

Tuesday 11 December 2018

Carried away with scenery

   As I mentioned on the last scenery post, I recently bought a pair of gaming mats* and this has given me the proper drive to get a collection of scenery build up to justify their cost. I am aiming to get a supply depot board done for one, but the other will be a city or urban centre of some kind, so I needed buildings.

*Which I need to get decent photos of before I can post about them properly

   I have a shopping list of GW buildings that I will buy as and when I have the spare cash and inclination but I also want a decent mix of styles in my buildings, so for my first building I dug through my bits box and found a half built kit, that I finished off and sprayed up.
   In the past I have always just painted these kits in various greys and called them done, but with the release of Kill Team and the new scenery kits, Warhammer TV released a how to video on painting the building you got with the starter set, and it looked really good.

   The next thing I have done is another couple of batches of the Munitorum Containers - another 7 to be exact, each with it's own number. I still have a fair few to buy and a backlog of another 9 waiting to be built, so I guess, I had better get on with them.

Thanks for reading

Thursday 6 December 2018

More assaulting goodness

   I have said in the past that I love my squad of assault marines and the more I thought about it, the more it made sense that if 1 squad is good, 2 must be better. So here is the second one, or at least the start of it.
   Only 10 men at the moment and no special weapons outside the sgt himself, The current theory being that I have my big current squad that currently just kills vehicles that can now be replaced in that role by this squad, leaving the original to start taking on infantry like it is supposed to. Although, this squad may become a carbon copy of the other one in the near future.

Sons of horus assault squad mk4 armour

I really need to be getting on with my Ultramarines, though.

Thanks for reading

Monday 3 December 2018

Munitorum Depot

   I have achieved next to nothing in the last week or so, which when added to looking after an ill rabbit this weekend - hourly feeds all day and night* - have led to this state not changing. However, I had a test project nearly finished and it was late yesterday afternoon that I realised what needed to be done to get them finished.
   I have become really good mates with the guys that ran the Extinction of Thuros event at the start of the summer and now they have announced their next one will be early next year, I have promised to supply at least one table's worth of scenery to make for some **better photos of the event and some more themed looking games. So off I went, ordering a couple of mousemat mats from (well Incom gaming but the point stands) and as many Munitorum Crates as I could afford in one go.
   I'll go into more detail on my first planned board once it is finished, but in essence I wanted a board that would be easy to transport and whose components would be useful for other boards too - a table full of crates seemed like the easiest thing to box up and move about.

* Making a really good recovery
** hopefully
ultramarine munitorum armoured crate container 30k 40k scenery

   Having just finished reading a few heresy era Ultramarine novels (to get ready for that project) I was struck by the images of fighting amogst the loading docks on and above Calth and this felt the best theme to do.
   I've not weathered my test crates that heavily simply because I have this thing in my head that supplies were better in the crusade/early heresy, a crate simply wouldn't be let get to the point where it would embarass a legion, although I will have a couple that will be worse off.

   The key thing was to get a scheme I could replicate cheaply and easily as I have a good 24 of these to do minimum. . .

Thanks for reading

Thursday 22 November 2018

Infantry support

   My rabbits (or one in particular and I know exactly which one) ate the laptop lead, so I've not been able to update the blog while I waited for a new power cable to arrive. Now, however, I am ready to go again.
   Not a huge amount to report, but I did spend a good weekend evening painting a Sons of Horus tank - something I still think the top spas need to introduce into their relaxation programs. The tank in question is a legion vindicator but with the traditional demolisher cannon rather than the laser destroyers of it's sister tank. I've got a vague plan for this vehicle in the new year, so we will see how that works out.

sons of horus deimos vindicator 30k horus heresy

   Then, just to prove I am incapable of committing to a single army, game or period I played another game of Sharp Practice 2 this week (not photo worthy) and tried out a few quick games of Saga 2 just to see what changes have been made to the rules.
   There are going to be much better Saga 2 reviews out there and I am well behind the times, but suffice to say, if you enjoyed Saga, then the second edition is much better and does make you think harder in game. If you didn't like the way Saga worked (I know working out defence saves can be a serious headache), then the changes aren't going to sell this new edition to you.

Thanks for reading

Wednesday 14 November 2018

Codex approved

   The other unit I finished at the weekend, was a second squad of tactical marines for my Ultramarines. As with my Sons of Horus, I am trying to get the bulk of the basic troops done first, before I start looking at the more interesting stuff, simply because I have a strong belief that basic infantry is where motivation goes to die. If you can get through the basic ranks, the project is a good one, if you can't, walk away.
   Also, the other thing I want to try with my Ultramarines is smaller more flexible squads, maybe mounted in rhinos, rather than the big infantry squads I favour with my Sons of Horus just to try and make sure my armies play differently.

30k horus heresy ultramarine tactical squad

Thanks for reading

Monday 12 November 2018

Mixing my groups

   After, what ended up being, a whole weekend at home I managed to not only achieve some adulting but also got some models finished. I'm splitting them into genre relevant posts, so the first half is more Dark Ages figures.
   I painted two batches of figures, with a mix of Saxons slingers, a Saxon fyrdsman, a Norse-Gael javelin thrower and a Norse-Gael hurscarl. Getting more Saga figures going across my desk is giving me a real urge to give the new edition of Saga rules a try in the near future*.
* Although I feel like I should up my batch size a bit to keep this moving

Thanks for reading

Friday 9 November 2018

Addressing the Ranks

   I promised this unit would be finished a couple of weeks ago, but my dread fear of painting Napoleonic’s ham strung me again, however, here we are, a lot quicker than I expected once I started to push them back down the queue.
   As I think I mentioned in the last couple of Napoleonic posts, I had a sprue and a bit of Warlord Napoleonic British left over as one of the sprues had an infantryman who either hadn’t survived the casting process or the loving attention of Royal Mail’s employees. So part of my last Front Rank order was the second unit of 95th Rifles, another officer for both sides (I’ve seen how vital they are) and a couple of men to fill the gap in my ranks (ordered two by accident).

   This now means I have a 5th infantry unit for my British and a spare officer., which means I can expand my games slightly, although I fear I’ll end up buying more French in the very near future. Or Black Powder 2 looks good . . .

Thanks for reading

Monday 5 November 2018

Return to the Dark Ages

   The drive home from the Jungles of Akkar event was both absolutely tiring and a confusion of hobby thoughts going through my head. I spent the drive thinking about how badly my Sons of Horus army played; so how to improve it or to just put it aside and get something else right, my next 30k project with Ultramarines, but also my various Dark Ages projects.
   Why Dark Ages after a 30k event? Well, one of the players at the event was an author called Justin Hill, who wrote a couple of novels (Shieldwall and Viking Fire) based on the life of Earl Godwin, father of Harold Godwinson, that I read years ago and I managed to corner him in the pub for an hour or so to just chat Dark Ages.

   Over the summer North Star had a flash sale and one of the items they were selling off was a blister pack of Gripping Beast Anglo-Saxon slingers, for the price they were selling them, it seemed daft not to grab the last pack and while the plan was simply to put them into the Pile of Potential and come back to them, the fact they didn't seem to have any slings with them really did make them an another day project.
   So, the day after the weekend event, I put together a Gripping Beast order to fill in some gaps across my Dark Ages projects (mostly to convert Saga sized units into Lion Rampant sized units, including some slings, and as soon as they arrived I got to work.

   The slingers are being painted in the same method I used last time, painting a batch at a time in a single dominate colour, so when the unit comes together it doesn't look like it has been painted in a uniform. I plan to mix models from other projects into the next few batches to really get everything moving again.

   While the models below are from my Norse-Gael army and were really just me trying out ideas for the sheer hell of enjoying painting some models. I bought a single unit of the Gripping Beast Norse-Gaels to boost the model variety of my Viking army, before I got carried away and made a full army of each. The model on the right was my attempt to create a single striped tartan looking cloth (it looks much better in person), while the guy on the left was my attempt to copy a model that Michael painted in this post, but his is much better.

Thanks for reading

Thursday 1 November 2018

Ultramarine test squad

   Of my hobby targets for this year, playing Warhammer 30k was the big one and it looks like it will be my big game of the year* by quite a margin and, while I have made sure that the other games I love haven't fallen by the wayside**, it is still my biggest focus.

*Probably next year too
**A lot more Dark ages and Napoleonic stuff to come

    So, with that in mind, I have spent the last few months trying to pick a loyalist legion to allow me to play both sides of the conflict depending what event organisers need or a particular game needs. The things I was keeping in mind while picking were the following; It had be to be a true loyalist legion - not a traitor legion splinter group, it had to do something different to my Sons of Horus - not just the same army in a different colour scheme, and it had to be interesting enough for me to want to build, paint and play them. With those, it *** ended up being the Ultramarines.


30k horus heresy ultramarines tactical

   With enthusiam carrying me on, I've got the first squad of tactical marines finished, and really enjoyed the process. I've tried to make them look as different to my Sons of Horus as I can, no crested helmet for my sgt and a power sword instead of a bolter for him.

   I've got other stuff on my painting desk that I need to try and focus on before I get too carried away with this project, but we'll see how that goes over the next few days - I've already got ideas of making this a 500 worlds project and not a soley Ultramarine one . . .

Thanks for reading

Tuesday 30 October 2018

Jungles of Akkar

   This weekend, just gone, I went to my first weekend gaming event, the Jungles of Akkar. As this event still has at least one more outing (30k frontier does the same event 3-4 times each to cope with the demand as it is a 20 player event each time) I won't give any details on games or scenarios, but I can do a mix of photos and my general feelings.

   The weekend was 5 narrative games all linked in a single storyline - following on from past events set in the Rakallian Wars. Between each scenario we were kicked out of the room so they could reset the tables (every board was put away and replaced by a different one for every game) and there was a video before each game showing what we had done and where the story was going.
   There was even an app that updated all day as a way of checking the scenario objectives, mission statements and a score submitter.

 I think it is fairly obvious that neither of these combats went my way.

   Before you start getting any ideas that I might actually have done alright in this event, I am assure you that I won exactly 0 of my 5 games and that all bar, possibly, 1 were major losses, but I had one hell of a time. Between the gaming and drinking, I will definitely go to another weekender, I will, however, make sure I always book the Monday after off work.

Thanks for reading

Tuesday 16 October 2018

Building a Conroi

   A couple of posts ago, I said I was going to focus and this is going to look like a massive detour already, but I very much see knights as part of my Sons of Horus collection, that can be used by themselves, rather than a separate collection.

   This knight is Sir Fion, also of House Steinschild, a knight Errant. Like my first knight * each panel has heraldry that means something;
*of many
  • The right shin plate and shoulder pad show the house's allegiance - half Imperial and half to Horus (I have left the armour showing their crusade allegiance)
  • The shield shows the house symbol - the boar on a yellow and white background.
  • The left shoulder pad shows the knight's personal device - (spread over both halves this time) of 3 Dragons and a split shield with Suns on.
  • The left shin is heresy era repaired armour.

   The left shin and kneepad is the big change on this knight and shows something I have been thinking about for quite some time. Yes, a knight house would have access to better enginseers and resources, however, if the marine legions are having to do hasty repairs to their armour, the knights would probably be in the same position.

   I want to talk more about the house when I have enough to form an army, but this is a good start.

Thanks for reading

Sunday 14 October 2018

Hitting the mark

   One of the things I learnt from the game of Sharp Practise I played at the A Writtle Bit Of Lard was how powerful a unit of British Rifles could be, their points value (3x more than a unit of 8 French line) should have been the give away, but it wasn't. So much as it puts my British army at a much higher points value than my French, I knew I needed a second unit so I could try out bigger games.
   The figures I ordered were, again, from Front Rank Miniatures who are my go to shop for metal Napoleonics, and I used the excuse to pick up a few other models that I have realised I was short of - level 2 and higher leaders mostly. I am still keen to get a few more games of this ruleset in the next couple of months and having more options available should help that stay achievable.

Thanks for reading

Thursday 11 October 2018

Dilution Theory

   Anyone that listens to the Meeples and Miniatures podcast will know the phrase 'Dilution Theory' well, but for those that don't, the idea is that the more rulesets you play over the course of a year, the less games of a specific ruleset you get and the less uses a particular collection gets. While my blog title professes a love of the opposite, I am becoming a convert to the theory.
   The moment of realisation was while reviewing my gaming stats* for this year. Of my top 10 most played games, only 4 have been played more than 3 times (and 2 of these are boardgames). Then it gets worse when you take into account that the 12 games of 30K I have played so far this year, means that the game has broken into my top 10 most played games of the whole last 5 years at number 8 of all places. Looking at my individual collections, my Baratheon army, that I spent months painting, has seen the table 8 times and that is one of my most played armies.

*I find them interesting, so don't judge me too harshly.

    So, what does this all mean? While, I know there are going to be more than a few people reading this saying, 'so what? Just enjoy your hobby', and I do agree with that statement, I do also need to focus on what I own and what I enjoy. Ignoring boardgames** and games that I join in that someone else is running, I want to test a 6 rulesets and 10 armies gaming rule. In my head, I want to run this for the whole of 2019, but I suspect that setting 6 games and 10 armies at the start of a year, won't be flexible enough to deal with a year's worth of gaming, so I might review the numbers and/or the time period as I go, but I will try to 'demo' my theory for the last few months of 2018.

**Board games don't count

So my 6 games will be:
  1. Bloodbowl
  2. 30K
  3. Sharp Practise
  4. Lion Rampant
  5. Lord of the Rings (going to include Battle Companies in this)
  6. Going to cheat here and leave the 6th open
My 10 armies will be:
  1. Bloodbowl Humans
  2. Bloodbowl Halflings
  3. Sons of Horus
  4. Napoleonic British
  5. Napoleonic French
  6. Anglo-Saxons
  7. Vikings
  8. Uruk Hai
  9. Mordor
  10. Cheating again, I am afraid.
Let's see how I do. . .

   In other news last night, bouyed up by how simple some else running a game seemed, I organised a game of Sharp Practise with my un-used Napoleonic collection, and it actually went ok. I was much rustier on the rules than I had realised and there were some cheat sheets that the Writtle Warriors used that I really need to get my hands on, but it was really good fun.
   Because of that, I have a handful of extra models in the post to even out my sides a bit but this is a game I look forward to playing more reguarly.

sharp practise 2 south essex game board scenery wayland games centre hockley

Thanks for reading

Tuesday 2 October 2018

A Writtle Bit Of Lard

   On Sunday, I went to the Writtle Warrior's Lardie Open Day - A Writtle Bit Of Lard - in the guise of a SEEMs member, so that I could get a game of Sharp Practise 2 and What A Tanker. I have two armies for Sharp Practise and had heard good things about What A Tanker, but wanted to try out both games with someone that knew the rules so that I could decide for myself whether they were any good or not*.

*SPOILERS - I loved them

   The first game I made sure I tried was Sharp Practise 2. I always play the French in Napoleonic games, and this was no exception. Our mission was to chase the British and stop them making it across the table. The forces we controlled were split with the guy I was playing the French alongside quickly taking control of the 4 units of dismounted Dragoons, leaving me to play with the Voltiguers** on the other flank.

**A wise move

   While I did, in the end, lose my units to some determined fire from the 95th Rifles, the highlight of my game was my ambush that made them flee in the first couple of turns and making such a nuiscance of myself for a fair few turns that I stalled the British advance by a very long time.

   The other game I played was an Eastern Front set What A Tanker. I have always loved the little tanks in WW2 and was really pleased when I drew the chit for the Panzer 38t (a brilliant little tank).

   The objective was to take the village, however, displaying a level of tactics that I have never been a part of before, we charged straight for the hill with the intention that you can't claim to hold a village if you have no tanks left. This initially went badly as a plucky Soviet tank drove straight down the unguarded road, flanking us and killed one of our bigger tanks in a single shot. I killed him in a single shot in return but it dented our advance, somewhat.
   With this the Soviets seemed to have cottoned onto our plan and advanced on the hill themselves. Determined to deny us our planned advantage. This was the point that my 38T found himself barrelling towards the lead tank, and crashing into it, instead of shooting as ordered ***.

***I misunderstood a rule


   After being rescued and having the KV-1 finally be able to get a line of sight on my tank, I figured the best thing to do was hide next to it **** before cuing the Benny Hill music and vanishing into the village, leaving a cloud of dust in my wake.

**** which actually worked! 

   I have to say, as a big group game, What A Tanker was a serious laugh. It's not a serious, realistic WW2 simulation but that isn't what it was sold as. It is a set of rules I will definitely be picking up.

Lard-meister himself

   Lastly, while not a game I actually played in, the following pictures are of a Chain of Command game that just had the most spectatular scenery. With civilians and refugees it looked amazing.

Thanks for reading