Thursday, November 28, 2013

1960: Election of a President

I swung out to Bruce's last night for a game of GMT's 1960: The Election of a President. This is a nice card driven game with extremely simple mechanics that make for tough choices. I played Kennedy (blue) while Bruce played Tricky Dick (red). I got so engrossed in the play that I only took on picture (during the second turn).

I was certain I was hooped at several points in the game but I managed to pull of a win for Kennedy. Locking up the states with the most electoral college votes was my (simplistic) strategy. Bruce had a couple of tough turns mid-game and I expect that decided matters. I'm keen to try Twilight Struggle soon.

Up next: I have some 15mm tanks underway and then I need to sticker Commands and Colors Napoleonics for Tuesday night.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Now back to regular programming

Apologies for the lack of updates last week. Work took me to Florida where I tacked a few days of vacation onto a conference. I ran across of couple of cool gaming-related things. Just down the river from my hotel in Tampa was a Liberty Ship. Note the lady taking water samples by the yellow tie downs for a sense of scale.

I also saw some cool terrain making at Universal Studios. Hogwarts is as impressive as the ride is vomit inducing. Weird that I have no issues with actual motion-based rides (coasters, flumes and what have you), but rides that mix IMAX with simulated motion make me so queasy. The day before I almost blew chunks in the kiddie-friendly Simpson's ride.

The coolest stop, though, was Legoland. Sure, the colours are cartoonish and the proportions make GW sculptors look like Michelangelo. But damn a five-foot Lego guard is cool!

The Lego displays were also amazing. This Pirate-era town includes moving ships. These are immense (not scaled to the current minifigs but much larger--maybe 1/40-scale?) and detailed.

As they come near the town, the fortress fires upon them (you can just see some of the "smoke" from a cannon).

There are also large Star Wars themed-exhibits. Here some Gungans die (hurray!).

While below Vader plots an ambush on Endor.

Back after a hellish flight, real gaming stuff is underway with a rare warm day meaning it is time to prime and base coat. Here das Auto Park awaits detailing.

Up next: I'll start on some 15mm WW2 tanks this week and then switch to some 1/72-scale Imperial Romans. Then back to some more 15mm WW2. And perhaps I'll get a game in!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Washington's Army at Freeman's Farm

Bruce and I tried out a newish set of AWI rules by Peter Pig this weekend. Washington's Army is pretty typical of Rules for the Common Man, with simple mechanics, although it is not area based like many PP rules. Bruce decided to try the Freeman's Farm scenario.

The game went reasonably quickly. The pre-game is quite interesting, with players allocating dice to different activities (e.g., scouting) and then dicing for success and the player with the most successes getting some sort of advantage. There is also a dice-off to see who the attacker is, which in this case meant the Americans were the defenders at Freeman's Farm. The terrain also saw some changes so the poor British had to funnel across a single bridge under fire.

At the end of the game (quasi-random end-point) the Americans seem to have contained the British advance. An interesting mechanic had to do with flanking forces, which battle it out via dice off board and then one side wins and their flankers show up. Our battle dragged out past the end of the game, but a nice mechanic for delayed entry. Overall, this was a fine game. The activation was die-driven and less elegant than Maurice. But it plays well and the rules are dead-simple.

Up next: Some 15mm WW2 tanks have been built and away spray-paint weather!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

1/72 ancient Indian foot

I finished the painting on a box of 1/72-scale HaT ancient Indian infantry this weekend. There are 48 figures in 8 poses, all of which are useful for gaming.

There are a fair number of bow-armed fellows, which is fine. I've painted these for Commands & Colors Ancients and the few scenarios with Indians have a lot of bow in them. These fellows will also fill out some Successor armies if I run short of figures.

Overall, these guys had lovely deep detail for 1/72-scale figures, meaning there was lots of recesses for a dip to adhere to. Pardon the soft focus in a couple of these shots--still working out the best distance with the new camera in my photo booth.

These guys finish (!!!) my Indian army and next up in 1/72-scale will likely be some more Imperial Romans by Strelets. They require a fair bit of building (spears and ring hands---arrgh) so will be a slower start.

Up next: I need to start building some 15mm WW2 German vehicles I have promised by the beginning of December. Panthers, Panzer 4s, a V-1 (!) and such. And I have a game scheduled with Bruce on Sunday afternoon.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Fast-Paint Day 3

Alright, in 8.5 hours of building and painting, I managed to complete this 15mm WW2 rush job. All are Battlefront models and will see action in this weekend's local FoW tourney.

There are 10 Chaffees, including the two command tanks above. They have some kit on the back deck and commanders in cupolas to distinguish them (more kit on the CO than the 2iC).

The first platoon of Chaffees have machine guns tipped slight down and larger stars on the turrets. I ran into some decal shortages so I slightly modified the ones on the box art.

The second platoon of Chaffees have slightly smaller stars and MGs set level. Below there are a pair of M-8s.

There are also four Jackson TDs for some extra punch.

And finally some recce with two M-20 armoured cars and a jeep.

In addition to the box set, I did up four paratroop howitzers plus a FOO and a couple of other bases. Pardon the still-wet glue.

One of the nice parts of the FoW boxed sets are the objective markers, which are resin tanks that are KO'ed. Here is the Chaffee.

And here is an Easy Eight Sherman. Nice little vignettes for this weekend's FoW tourney.

Up next: Some 1/72-scale Indians needs detailing and then there are 20-od15mm Germans vehicles to build and assembly.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

EWG Club Night November 5

We had nine guys out at the club last night and three games ran. Dennis joined me in a game of 1775 Rebellion, wherein the British won (first time for a British win!). Below you can see the end game. The British drove down from the north and eventually conquered New England and then landed in Delaware (which they had been kicked out of). No southern campaign to speak of.

Neal and Dan Battlelored it. No idea how this went but they were on their second game when I left.

Bruce hosted Dave, Scott, Kevin and Terry in a naval game, the name of which completely slips my mind at the moment. Lovely ships.

Things were getting heated when I left with ships losing masts and the lines starting to get messy. Shortly after the picture was taken, the left line started to cross over in front of the right line. Flying Colors might have been the name.

Up next: Day three of the WW2 fast build is under way. Decal and detailing bases is nearly complete--just need some time with the glue and flock.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Fast Paint Day 2

Alright, at the end of day two of the fast-paint challenge, I have all of the tanks and figures built, primed, painted, washed and (where necessary) based (whew!). Here are some samples.

This is an objective marker (disabled Chaffee). It has an integral base. There is second objective with a disabled Easy 8 Sherman. I have sanded the base and need to seal, drybrush, and flock it. Like all of the tanks, this one looks a bit plain without the decals.

Decals are the last task on most of the tanks, like this Chaffee and Jackson. Below are an M-20 armoured car and an M-8 gun carriage (I think). I always loved these conversions of Stuarts when I was a kid: totally unavailable in kit form then so always something is coveted.

So far, this totals about 6 hours of work. I'd expect there is another 2 or more hours to go.

Up next: The club tonight and a couple of days of decaling and basing. After that I have some 1/72-scale Indians to finish the detailing and basing on and then back to some more 15mm WW2 (Germans, this time).

Monday, November 4, 2013

Fast-paint challenge: I need these by Friday...

I don't really paint for hire much any more, but there is one fellow locally who drops some stuff by once or twice a year (usually 15mm WW2). Last week he called me and asked me if I was up for some German stuff. 

After we went back and forth a bit, it turned out he needed it for this coming weekend! As I was away for work, this meant the soonest I could get to it was Sunday afternoon and he needed it for Friday night!! Eventually we settled on the US cavalry box set for the Ardennes. Plus some howitzers and extras.

This came out to 20 AFVs, 2 armoured cars, 2 jeeps, 8 guns and 30-or-so troops. By Friday! Now, I like a challenge--it is a fun way to shake things up. But this is a fair bit of painting and decaling, although not nearly as much as the German army he also dropped off (that project has longer timelines due to the camo!). So I decided to see if I could pull this off using the speed painting techniques I use and maybe learn something in the process.

Day one was building, and I managed to get everything cleaned and built in about two-and-half-hours. Some of the stuff was very slick and some of it was fiddly (pintle-mounted MGs, for example). But all told, a reasonably fast build aided by the repetition (e.g., 4 Jacksons, 12 Chaffees).

Day two is priming, block painting and detailing. This is presently under way. Above, you can see some M-8s and some M-24 primed and base coated. I decided to spray these to save time. The owner wanted a solid base colour (in lieu of the washes over white I usually do). The base is OD green--the lighting is a bit funny above and they have shifted lighter and yellowed a bit because of the wall colour. Man, spraying is fast--everything done in about 2 hours, including intervals for drying and a couple of touch-ups for tricky undercuts.

Up next: I have block painting underway and will do more tonight. Day three will be washing to pop the details and starting the decaling and basing of the infantry. I hope to have the decaling done Thursday as well as the basing, which gives me a day of slippage in case something bad happens. I also have the club on Tuesday night!

Friday, November 1, 2013

Six elephants

I pushed six 1/72-scale Indian elephants through the painting queue this week. These are HaT models. I seem to have received some of the earlier boxes (where they put three elephants in a box, instead of two). Again apologies for the nasty photo--will be buying a new camera next week.

Up next: Club night on Tuesday (with some AWI action) and some 15mm Panthers.