Saturday, January 23, 2021

Fury of Dracula

I've been trying to work through my pile of existing projects and today I finally got round to painting the figures from The Fury of Dracula boardgame. I got this game in a trade maybe two years ago? I keep meaning to run it at the club at Hallowe'en. Maybe early October 2021?

These are 25mm soft plastic figures that come in an uninspiring grey. I primed them and then applied some washes. The result is hardly a master class in painting, but they are good enough for boardgaming.

These are 25mm figures. Below I have put Dracula between a 32mm Heroclix and a 28mm Pulp Figures.

The appalling colour on the bases was my effort to match the game board made worse by (1) harsh lighting and (2) a white primer. Put on the board (below), they look much better and have the watercolour effect I was going for.

I also found a few terrain items that I finished up. An extra model railway tree, some stacks of books from a Wizkids library set, and some rats and a skull from Pulp Figures.

Up next: Some more 6mm Romans. Then maybe some tin cans and a few Christmas gifts that have worked their way forward to the front of the paint table.

Saturday, January 16, 2021

6mm Sarmatian cavalry

I'm working my way through the box of 6mm Baccus ancients I bought before Xmas. Today I finished out what I think are 54 Sarmatian unarmored cavalry.

These had been glued to paint sticks and the horse flesh was blocked in. There was some damage to the lances from being banged about over the years and I straightened what I could.

Overall, they turned out nice enough on one-inch bases. They'll do as either heavy cavalry for the hairy or as local cavalry allied with the Romans.

Up next: Very hard to say. Maybe more 6mm?

Saturday, January 9, 2021

Random painting

Another hodge-lodge this week. I started off finishing the basing on an old WEG Star Wars figure (Hammerhead?) and a Clix Talosian (who vigorously popped off the clicky-base earlier this year and then disappeared into the mess of my painting table).

While retrieving the Talosian, I also found an old base of War of 1812 Canadian militia that must have fallen off the table two years ago when I was rebasing. So I popped them off the multi-figure base and put them on washers to match the rest. I see one of them also needs his trousers touched up.

Up next: No idea. Maybe more 6mm?

Saturday, January 2, 2021

6mm Roman auxilliaries

Back before Xmas, I picked up a bunch of Baccus 6mm figures that a local guy was looking to get rid of. As these things often go, turns out he's a friend of an old acquaintance in BC and bought them from another acquaintance in NF.

I mostly bought these on a lark because I was running low on stuff to paint and hadn't done any 6mm painting in close to 10 years (and I thought another lockdown was looming). Turns out, my eyes are way crappier than they were back in the day! The result, though is good enough for me.

I based these on one-inch squares. Most rule sets can be played in base-widths these days. And, looking at Bruce's recents efforts, two small bases means you can represent (left to right below), line, column or square/entrenched.

I'd forgotten how fast 6mm can go. There are 192 figures in these 16 bases and they only took a few hours to paint. I have a fair number of Romans and then some hairys to get to over the next few months.

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Battle of Yuk Foo

Bruce and I continued our email Cold War gone hot gaming using modified Scharnhorst for the map game and modified Rommel for the table top. This game was a Soviet (blue, moving first) v Chinese (red) conflict somewhere in Mongolia.

Bruce made two changes to Scharnhorst for this game to see how they played. First, there were three kinds of objectives for which each side secretly diced: infrastructure (1-3), resources (4-5), and population centres (6). The Chinese got infrastructure (airbases on the map) and the Soviets got population centres (cities son the map). This idea was to generate some uncertainty in the map game (rather than just a rush to bag common objectives).

Second, the side with the recon advantage got to choose its side (Russians chose west). But the other player could choose any of the three remaining sides (Chinese chose south). The idea was to reduce the power for the recon advantage (where you choose your own side and, de facto, the other guy's side) as well as to (if adjacent sits were chosen) open the possibility of a static front and more open, cavalry-style play on the rest of the map.

I would say the multiple types of objectives was a success. Choosing a side was maybe less so? Hard to know after one play. Anyhow, the open phases saw a concentration of units in the SW corner of the map.

At the beginning of Day 2, I declared a battle and structure the field to advantage myself (basically all of my units were in columns D and C and I bet that Bruce had made a more balanced allocation). Given the numerical superiority of the Chinese, I wanted to fight only half his force at a time with all of mine if I could manage it.

There was some last minute map moves (I tried to deny him an airfield, having guessed his objectives) but he needed to swing his troops in as reinforcements.

At the end of the map phase, the Soviets has 11 points and the Chinese had 5. There were enough points on play on the map (plus 1d6 of points for a tactical win) that victory hung in the balance. 

We then deployed. The Soviet plant as to sweep south and clean out the Chinese foot troops and then move east to and destroy the rest of the Chinese before reinforcements arrived. The Chinese plan was to sit tight except on the far eastern edge of the board were they would, if possible, try to grab some victory points.

Turn 1 saw an aggressive Soviet advance supported by helos and artillery. The helos came and went over the course of the game (which was a bit of work to track) and, in the end, the Soviet artillery probably made the differences. (A couple of units are missing on the board as I lost their chips--I just wrote them on the map itself).


The Soviet attack was damaging but but short lived as bad dice meant Chinese units survived causing the Soviets to tip. The Chinese foot in the middle of the board were badly damaged but irritatingly still there. The Chinese regrouped in turn 2 but their one attack in Hex E11 was a bust.

Turn 3 saw the Soviet continue to attack, grinding down the Chinese foot and swinging an armoured and help force well south to bottle up the Chinese and threaten their supply base. A lucky strike saw the Soviets successfully grab the supply base (Hex H11 in bottom right) and eliminate the Chinese artillery. 

On Turn 4, the Chinese attempted to regain the supply base but their air strike did not come through and a barrage further disrupt their attack. 

Chinese reinforcements did arrive (a horde of T-62s/Type 70s). But they were bottled up by all of the traffic on the eastern edge of the map. On Turn 5, the Russians used a wave attack to clean up the foot and pulse across the board to the east. While the Soviet attacks were not fantastically effective, they were enough to blunt the reinforcements' combat strength.

The Chinese used their reinforcements to attack the Soviets but could not inflict enough casualties to turn the tide on Turn 6.

Turn 7 saw a swarm of helos and a rain of shells contain the attempted breakout.

Turn 8 saw a last push to recapture the Chinese Supply base but the Chinese units were just too attritted to make much of an attack. The second wave of Chinese reinforcements did not arrive.

Turn 9 saw the Soviets redeploy to bottle up the eastern edge against any further Chinese reinforcements and clean up the remainder of the Chinese units on the SE corner. 

I called the game at this point because the Chinese could not win (even if the reinforcements showed up). After the tabletop battle, victory points were 15 to 2 for the Soviets for a convincing win. 

Saturday, December 26, 2020

Heroclix hodge-podge

The last post of this year is a job lot of Heroclix re-paints that I finally moved off of the paint table. 

First up are some Trek rogues. I think the pig men are Tellarites.

Then an Andorian.

And finally a Talosian. I had two of them painted but one flew off the original base when I was popping them off and disappeared somewhere. She may turn up later.

I also have a couple of figures from who knows where. Some kind of mechanical wraith and a goon of some kind.

Overall, this has been a good year for painting. Less so for gaming! Hopefully, 2021 will be better!

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Rommel WW3: West Germany v Czech SSR

Bruce and I finished off another modern map plus table top battle this weekend. The map game is adapted from Scharnhorst while the table top game is adapted from Rommel. This scenario was a West German rapid reaction force (helo troops mostly, blue units) taking on a Czech second line uni (red).

The Czechs won initiative and decided to move on from the south. The goal was the population centres. The map above is the first moves of the second day.

Two potential battles developed (west and east). The victory points under Red Column 4 made Bruce decide to push here and evade on the west.

In the end, we each had to units in the battle zone and reinforcements ready to come on. At this point, the Czechs are way ahead on map-game points but the West Germans can bag three points plus 1d6 of they win the battle.

We deployed our troops and I gave the Czech orders to Bruce. He then gamed things out. I felt pretty good going in but under-estimated the quality differences between the Germans and the Czechs.

Bruce picks up the narrative here.

As per instructions the Czech tanks made spoiling attacks against the W. German Helicopter Infantry mustering for the battle. The attacks did not go well. The Czechs were repulsed with minimum German losses.

Initial set up

On the western front things went better for the Communists. The W. German Armoured Infantry attempted to assault over the bridge, repeatedly. Each time they were repulsed the T-60s would attack them in the flank while they were still disorganized (Tipped).

Meanwhile the W. German Helicopter troops swung north and west of the city. Using the hills as a staging area they followed launched assaults, after the Armoured Infantry and caused significant damage. The Czech commander tried switching in fresh troops, but after seven Helicopter assaults the city fell.

With the city taken, and the communist strength tapped (all units down to 1 or 2 strength) it was left to the reinforcements to take back the urban hex. On Turn 8 the Reds, in the north west sector arrived. Unfortunately, on Turn 9 the NATO reinforcements arrived on the opposite baseline. 

The Czechs used their wave assaults to close the ground, quickly. They cross the stream and a swirling, furious tank battle ensued. the superior armour of the M-60s and the Cobra Attack Helicopters caused extra Hits and rendered the Czech tanks impotent after a couple of turns.

As the battle of the north wore down the last of the Czech reinforcements arrived on the central-east edge of the battlefield. With time running out, Czech Armoured Infantry attempted an assault over the bridge. The NATO troops had used the time to construct defenses, so although the Czechs caused some damage it was absorbed by the entrenchments.

The infantry withdrew seriously damaged. At the same time, the T-62s had crossed the river and become disorganized. They reorganized, on Turn 17, and launched the final assault, on two flanks. However, the W. Germans had taken the opportunity to clear their OPs file, so they had a full range of tactical options open to them. 

The combination of tanks in cover, entrenchments, offensive shifts down and defensive shifts up were too much for the T-62s. The were solidly defeated and sent packing with a stand lost and the remaining stands down to strengths of "1".

The clear win for the Germans meant they also had the points to win the overall game. All in all a very interesting campaign, which led to a very flowing battle. The Attack Helicopter "Bingo" rules worked really well. Both W. German Attack Helo units were on and off the table several times. They aren't on for long - 3 or 4 attacks but then they return is short order - three or four reinforcement phases, or 1 1/2 to 2 turns.

We're presently playing out a USSR v China game and Bruce has fiddled the Scharnhorst rules a bit to see how they work. There are two main changes we're trying out. First, there are three types of objectives (population centres, infrastructure, and mineral resources). Each side security dices for their type of objective for the game. This add some strategic uncertainty.

Second, the winner of the recon phase gets to choose his entry side first. But the other player can then choose any of the three remaining sides to enter from. This slightly reduces the value of winning the recon phase and also means ones flanks are more vulnerable. I had hoped it might also means a more open and fluid game when adjacent sides were chosen--there could be a rush to bag points away from the main fight. We'll see how that plays out over the weekend.