Saturday, March 29, 2014

X-wing with Jessica Antilles

I was out in St. Albert this week and dropped in on Mission. While I was browsing, I picked up some extra ships for X-wing--I hope there is enough here to get me to 100 points with various add-ons. Today Jess and I cracked the plastic and she grabbed the Y-wing while leaving me with Vader's ship.

I pointed it in her favour but the Tie Advanced X1 Prototype is a helluva ship, even with a lousy pilot and nothing but lasers. She kept me at bay with her bloody ion cannon and a driod kept reducing her damage, but it was hard for her to ever get me in her sights.

When she did, I was usually able to sneak away and loop around again. That said, the Y-wing is a real tank. Paired with an X-wing, it could be a nasty combination: get zapped by the ion cannon and the pummelled with torpedoes.

Up next: I made a bunch more movement sabots for an Epic game of CCA I'll be running on Tuesday. I have all of the painting done so it is just a matter of packing up the boxes and re-reading the Epic rules.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Normandy: World at War

I dropped in on Bruce last night for some WW2 action using World at War. I played the British (foreground) while the Germans are in the background. Both sides needed to fight for a hex on the German side of the hill. We also used prepared positions.

The open field on the left saw Bruce move forward, not wanting to get caught and pummelled by my artillery and typhoon. On the right, he moved into the bocage and started to crest the hill. I also moved forward on the left to some prepared positions (to prevent him to shifting too much weight against my troops on the hill.

Bruce had rough dice and his troops on the left took a pasting coming in, both from my infantry and the typhoon. I reserved the artillery for busting positions later in the game. The bocage settled into a stalemate but the tanks cresting the hill ran into my new favourite unit, the seventeen pounder.

In the end, the Germans fell back (which I think was historical--the hill went back and forth three times). This is a hard scenario for the Germans. Overall, another great game.

Monday, March 24, 2014

First 1/72-scale Persians

At last year's MayDay auction, I ended up buying an enormous box of 1/72-scale Persians for CCA. Then a bunch more came my way in a "my junk for your junk" deal with Dave. While I still have my eye on Rome, I wanted to give the Persians a start.

These are 12 light horse from HaT. I find non-uniform armies intimidating to paint. I'm pretty okay with Gauls and other hairys but the colour palette I see with Persians is way out of my comfort zone.

So, girding my loins, I just decided to start at the top of my painty rack and work my way down, grabbing colours I don't normally paint with (pink, purple, lime green, yellow). The results turned out better than I thought and I learned a few things that I will start to apply to the more serious Persian units.

I think the spearmen are supposed to have shields but I didn't see any when I sorted (although who knows--there are a lot of bags and boxes. But shields are easy enough to fabricate and add on later.

Up next: Gaming with Bruce, maybe a lecture on POWs and then some more Romans. Must look through my various boxes to find some Romans suitable for three command bases.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

X-wing with Jessica Skywalker

Awhile back, I traded some painting for a copy of X-wing. Tonight I hauled it out and Jess and I gave it a whirl. Jess elected to be the good guys, flying Luke's X-wing.

We both picked up the rules fairly quickly and manage three games in an hour. While I pointe dup the game to give her as much of an advantage as I could, she had a hard time against a patient, blood-thirsty father with good spacial skills and 30-odd years of experience on her. Below you can see her twisting her movement dial as we have an initial flypast.

The game has a couple of nice elements. One is that the maneuverable Tie fighters can barrel roll at the last minute to sneak out of the firing arc. Which is what I announced I was doing below. You can sort of see Jessica's disappointed expression in the reflection: she had me nailed except for the barrel roll.

I can't help but think it would be better with a couple of more ships. Coincidentally, Craig sent me this cartoon last week.

Up next: Some 1/72-scale Persian horsemen. Then maybe a game with Bruce.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

AWI Odds and Sods

For whatever reason, these six 1/72-sale AWI dragoons have been on the shelf atop my painting desk for a couple of years with the horses done and the riders crying out for colour. I finally finished them off to clear up the space.

Nice enough figures (Italeri?) and these will be the start of my summer rebasing project--all of the AWI to washers with (one hopes) minimal figure damage I need a big trip to Edmonton Tool and Fastener this week.

Invigorated by last weeks CCA game, I found an CCA Epic scenario that pits Romans against Gauls. My figures will be out of period but I'm keen to use this orbit to push a few more figure through the painting process. I will have room for up to eight players but need four (well, three plus mer, I suppose).

Up next: Some 1/72-scale Persian light cavalry by HaT. Then some more 1/72 foot and some Roman cavalry.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

EWG Club Night... and I actually won a game!

We had ten guys out at the club last night, including new(isn)comer Brendan. Scott and I played some CCA, using a Boudica scenario from the second expansion. This was a huge number of units (maybe 35) and it posed some major traffic issues for the British player (far side of table).

Gane one saw a lucky British win (8-6) on the strength of a couple of cavalry charges and some bloody lucky dice rolling.

Traffic management was a major challenge. I'm not sure Boudica and her daughters ever got off the baseline.

We switched sides and the Romans won the second game 8-5 (a more historical outcome). There was a bit of cheese at the end where Boudica led a chariot charge and then the chariot died during the retreat. Again, a traffic issue--which was one of the factors in the actual battle.

I can't recall the last time I won a single game of CCA against either Chen or Scott, let alone a pair. I was starting to think the game was broken... :). Kevin hosted Elliot and Chen in a game of Ogre, which was a pretty cool reproduction of the original components.

And Dave hosted Dennis, Terry, and Bruce in a Bolt Action crossing of the Meuse. This was still underway when I left with the French taking a fair pounding by the Luftwaffe and some panzers. Where are the Char Bis?

Up next: Various sets of 1/72-scale horsemen are underway. It looks like winter will return for a few days so perhaps I will get some of them painted up.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Federates States of America fleet

Today I finished up a Dystopian Wars fleet. Base don the a planes, I'd guess these are about 1/1200-scale based on the size of the planes. This fleet is from the Federates States of America and their signature is side-wheel propulsion systems.

The carrier is a double decker (the top level comes off) with four paddle wheels and a slew of anti-air weaponry. The planes looks like a steam-punk version of a Corsair.

The fleet came with a battleship. There were a number of weapons options, but I chose the missiles. Escorting the battleship are three Guilford-class destroyers, each with a brace of missiles.

There are three medium cruisers, again modeled with missiles. And (below) nine frigates.

Finally, there are 30 or more bases of tiny fliers. Apologies these are slightly out of focus. Overall, a treat to paint and very cool looking.

Up next: The club is Tuesday and I have to get my game ready. I am also sorting a very generous donation to our convention silent auction (hint: lots of 15mm troops in many periods).

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

More World at War

Bruce hauled out half of a Normandy scenario last night. After enduring ribbing about his self-propelled smoke generators (Shermans), we got under way with the Germans holding the village on the right (below) and the British advancing all across his baseline.

Alas, it appears that it was the Volksgrenadiers' day to drive the Panthers and I threw attack dice that consistently came up 1-2-3-1 (high is good in World at War). Then Bruce got a series of double impulses. Then the Typhoons showed up and kept sticking around (for the entire game--must be the new perpetual motion engines Churchill was on about!).

It was a slaughter. I think I killed one of his units (a Stuart, with an infantry assault in the woods). My reinforcements arrived and drove up the left side to grab the bridge and swing back around behind the British advance to grab a town but the Typhoons got them too!

Not that it would have matters, given how well entrenched the British were. And all of the Shermans survived! That will teach me to be cocky! Overall, a good game marred by terrible luck. But that happens!

Up next: Some dystopian wars ships then the club on Tuesday then back to 1/72-scale ancients. More Germanic horse, I think. Or maybe some Roman command stands. We'll see.

Monday, March 10, 2014

1/72-scale Germanic cavalry

As I work my way through the pile of plastic, I happened across a box of Strelet's 1/72-scale Germanic cavalry. These 12 riders might serve as light cavalry for the Romans or scouts for their Germanic opponents.

The sculpting of typical of Strelets: lots of deep detail, a bit cartoonish in places and a few dogs.

The fellow below, in particular, makes little sense. Maybe he is warding off a blow. But he is also looking right into the back of his shield. Looks worse in person than it does in the picture. There is also a fellow with a big metal belt who was, in a past life, a WWF champion?

These figures fit in nicely, in terms of size and sculpt with the MiniArt figures I'm currently using as medium and heavy cavalry. Strelets is left and MiniArt is right in the picture below. They are quite a bit beefier than the HaT fellows I painted last week.

Up next: Some WW2 gaming with Bruce tomorrow. Then onto some Dystopian Wars ships. I also have discovered six half-painted AWI dragoons that I will finish. This may inspire me to begin rebasing my AWI guys on washers. That will be a large, albeit mindless, last.

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Springtime in the new forest

I decided it was time for a periodic refreshing of my terrain so I passed my old trees onto Bruce and spend some cash I earned on painting commissions on some new HO-scale Woodland Scenics trees.

I based them on washers and textured the bases but otherwise didn't fuss with them. They fit in well enough with 1/72-scale figures and one-per hex should work in CCA-style games.

I now have 24 trees which is enough to do this tree-heavy scenario at the club in 10 days. Between these trees and recent figure production, I think I'm good. Only question is how to denote the wagon lagers. I downloaded a paper wagon but it looks way to fiddly to do five. I wonder if there is a "top-down" crowd or camp shot I could just print out to denote the hexes are off limits. Even a top-down campfire would likely work.

Up next: Some 1/72-scale Germanic horse are coming along nicely. Since the weather is cooperating, I will also go out today and spray prime a steampunk fleet for painting.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

EWG Club Night March 4

We had about 18 out at the club last night (wow!) with three or four games of Warmachine going at one point.

Scott hosted Chen, myself and newcomer Shawn (Sean?) at a game of War Rocket. Red on blue with some scenario notes that no one fully digested.

Things seemed good for blue until a lucky shot vaporized the large blue ship in the picture below. Love the simply mechanics in this game. Could be adapted for Star Trek or Star Wars.

Similar results on the other side of the board led to follow the leader as the smaller ships swarmed into the blind spot of the second big blue ship. Blue gave as good as they got, however and red held the board but only barely.

Dave hosted Wiley, Bruce and Terry in a game of Bolt Action WW2. This one will blow up next declares Dennis' finger.

 Alas, it was a Russian armoured group that burned instead.

Up next: 18 new trees are underway. Also some 1/72 Germanic horse. If it warms up this weekend I will spray some more steampunk ships.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

More 1/72-scale revolting Britons

And the last of the Britons needed for the Boudica scenario are done. Alas, the trees are not. Oh well, good to have something in the can for the mid-March club night. Here are some samples of the Brits.

Again, it is a real mix of figures, including a bunch I got from Dave in a "my junk for your junk" box trade. His junk was really handy! The fellows below are Strelets except for the guy on the right. I'd like to know who makes him as he and several of his cronies were wonderfully easy to paint.

In more exciting news, a big order of HO-scale railway trees have arrived. These just need some weighted bases (perhaps this weekend). I will be passing my older trees to Bruce for his miniaturization of World at War on 2" hexes.

I also did nine mounted figures for the three cavalry units i needed. I think these guys are Italeria.

Up next: Club night this evening then onto some terrain. Then maybe some more steampunk ships.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

Some revolting Britons

The next CCA game I want to run at the club is Boudica's revolt, but I found myself a few Celts short of an insurrection so some painting was in order. A puking child, a sore back and a small flood (across the hardwood, down through the floor and out the ceiling lights and door casings in the basement...) stalled painting but I'm making some progress (on all fronts). That it is -39 but feels like -50 in the wind has helped keep me indoors.

While I think there is only one general in this scenario, most CCA games require three command bases so I decided to knock them all off. I pulled a bunch of stuff out of some bags and boxes so the figures are a real mix. First up, we have Thor and his buddy who seems to be somewhat embarrassed by the boar standard. No idea on the manufacturers.

Then we have Boudica and her two daughters. These are HaT figures from a chariot kit (I think).

Then a generic Briton (Airfix?) with an anachronistic fellow (maybe Irish or Pict?) who will one-day get a banner on his spear.

I also needed a couple of units of slingers and managed to find eight figures. These are a real mix and I quite like the different poses.

Up next: I have a bunch of foot (light and auxilia) that are drying. And then 9 mounted Celts. Man, I hate painting mounted troops! Such messy poses with lots of fiddly bits to paint.