Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Look Sarge, No Charts Napoleonic Rules

Bruce hosted a game of Look Sarge, No Charts: Napoleonic Wars last night. This was our first go at these rules and they shade towards a lighter approach to Naps. likely aimed at convention games.

We played a meeting engagement (French in foreground; Austrians in the background). The game has card-driven activation and random turn end points (deck of cards with a joker to end play). You can activate each unit up to twice a turn, depending on the cards.

Combat is pretty swift with random (special dice) results if you fail a test or have to fall back. Movement is generous and not picky--about the same level of abstraction as DBA (although there are formation options) but without the geometrical games.

Our game saw an advance and combat upon a hill. Then a short pursuit on the left while the right side was refused. Units can take 3 hits and their combat power degrades in interesting ways. First hit means you only hit if successful and your roll is even. Second hit means the same rolling restrictions and you can only fire if the card that activated your unit is black--sounds complicated but very slick.

Skirmishers are also slick. Only matter if you are close. Both sides roll and the winner has skirmishers that turn (which make it slightly harder for the other side to close). The effect is nicely proportional to the rules.

Up next: I have been building 15mm WW2 tanks but my back is sore so painting is slow.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Square bashing

I fled my wife's book club and visited Bruce for some Square Bashing. This was a late WW1 Canadian attack against a German position. My plan was to try and move up the centre and right of the board to grab the three objectives (poker chips) while feinting over on the (unpictured) left where there was an objective on top of a hill.

Things went reasonably well in the centre, largely thanks to Bruce's awful dice rolling. Virtually no reinforcements or divisional assets appeared while I used bombardment to isolate his troops. I think if we played more often, we'd both be much better at this and I would have to come up with a more elaborate plan!

My attack on the left ran into trouble and pulled back, conceding the objective. But I managed to bag two of the three objectives in the middle and was poised for the fourth when Bruce conceded. It was a close game when we tallied victory points.

Bruce then hauled out some new paper-and-foam core terrain he had constructed, bringing a 28mm tavern for Swashbuckler into three dimensions. It is amazing (pardon the bad light and shaky picture)!

Up next: Back to 15mm WW2 for me!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Another full club night

We had another full house at the club last night, with 20 guys out. There were three games of Warmachine, some CCN and some Tide of Iron.

It has been awhile since we've run short of games!

Bruce hosted some AK-47 in darkest Africa. Terry and Justin had pretty good luck with the few units they could bring onto the table. here you can see Andy's militia (backed by "Leader in a Caddy") pushing some technicals back.

Andy and I had bad luck with dice on the table but managed to run the clock quickly and get all of our troops on. I managed to lose our tanks at the end of the game and then discovered that I had reversed the value of the objectives in my head, giving the game to Justin and Terry. Arrrgh.

Up next: Some more 15mm WW2 are underway and I'm off to game with Bruce on Thursday night.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Last of the 15mm late war French

A few last minute reinforcements turned up for this French WW2 force and I managed to complete them this weekend. First up were three jeeps (I presume these are FOO or command stands for the guns?).

Nice models--lots of options so they can all look different. The other bunch were some HMGs. These were an early-war US force using the Vickers HMG--who will work as late-war French. The owner gave me some brick walls to work into the bases.

One issue was that there are supposed to be four HMG bases but the pack came with only three gunners. This is pretty much the worst kind of packing error--how can you have an HMG with no gunner (especially since the tripod for the gun is integral to his base)?

There was an extra guy in the pack (advancing with a rifle) so, after some fretting, I nipped off his rifle barrel and glued on the barrel of the Vickers. I then swapped around poses with the (unpictured) command base) to create a section that was advancing. This is an imperfect fix (I expect the HMG is hard to carry this way!) but what can you do?

Up next: Club night tomorrow then maybe a game with Bruce on Thursday before back to another set of 15mm WW2 guys.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

15mm WW2 French Infantry

This afternoon I finished 110 15mm WW2 French infantry. This represents the bulk of a commission I took on--there are just a few pieces left to base.

I'm pretty happy with the CnC base. As I mentioned in a previous post, late-war French kit looks like a total hodge-podge of US stuff mixed in with early-way stuff. I decided to go with a brown theme (assuming stuff could be painted or dyed) rathe than trying to paint each figure individually. As there were a mix of US and French kit in the figures, I thought the different helmets and gear would add enough visual diversity without switching colours.

There were a small number of support units (two mortars above). The "white" you are seeing on the base is actually a bit of glare. These guys are shiny--the owner can spray on a dull sealer if he wants.

There were a bunch of smaller bases. Some forward observers, command stands and anti-tank stands. I see someone has camouflaged the end of his rifle. Amazing what you see in a picture that is totally invisible when you hold the base in your hand--I will clean the stray grass from his gun!

I painted the bazookas in US green just to add some visual interest. I would imagine these were used right out of the crate so no repainting would happen.

The bulk of the painting was 18 bases of infantry, like the ones below. Apologies for the blurry photo--no manual depth of field adjustment on my camera so the guys in the back row are sharp and the guys in the front are blurry.

Up next: I have three jeeps and four HMG units that I'm just finishing. I ran into a little problem with the HMGs (missing a gunner--which was a major bitch to fix) but all is well in the end. Tuesday is also club night. Afterwards, it is likely onto more 15mm WW2--some Germans for a change.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

15mm late WW2 French Artillery

I'm diligently plugging away at a painting commission that news to on the table at the beginning of November. These are some late WW2 French in 15mm for Flames of War.

Today I finished the artillery. A few spotters and command figures are with the infantry in the basing process but the main components of these units are here. There is a four-gun battery of 105mm howitzers. There are US models--from what I can tell, the French forces at this point were a real hodgepodge of equipment and uniforms.

These were fairly good models. I normally despise artillery, ATGS and AA guns as they are fiddle, with poorly engineered and ambiguous joins, The 105s were okay. The 57mm ATGs below were slightly less okay--you have the guess a bit at the angle of the gun shield. One of the advantages of plastic is that the join can be designed in such a way that the angle is forced.

Nice enough figures. I like the guy (left above) with his arm raised and a hard bitten expression on his face. I struggled a bit to find a colour that seemed to match the French uniforms (which were anything but). After awhile I decided to simply go with a brown.

A model I have never built before is the 50 cal. AA trailer above, I've built a lot of the 50 cal turrets, but usually these are mounted in a half-track. This was a fairly straight forward model. Alas, the Bofors gun below was not.

The website described it as a precision model, which I take it is the Battlefront equivalent of airplane models described as "Master kit" (i.e., we didn't make a good kit so you'll have to fix a lot of stuff on the fly--hope you have a dremel and the nimble fingers of a five-year-old).

Eventually I got it together but not before resorting to finding instructions online. If your kit isn't intuitive for an experienced modeller, how is a 14-year-old kid you are trying to attract to the hobby gonna make it? In the end, a nice little gun, though. No gun shield but everything else looks great.

Up next: I have a buttload of French infantry that I am about to base. I also have a few last minute additions to the army (some HMGs and jeeps) to built and paint but this should all be done by the end of next week. We also have the club on Tuesday. After that, there are a pair of late-war German armies in 15mm that I need to build and paint.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Hot dice and lucky cards... how you win at CCN. Or it helps anyhow. Bruce hosted me Tuesday night for a French v Russians match up. The French have some traffic issues and the Russians are in reasonable defensive positions. A fairly quick Russian win in game one so we switched sides.

I was worried about playing the French. But I needn't have. I moved into position and then jumped forward at double time on the right.

Yes Bruce, that is the hill I'm going to take with no losses on a single roll. It pretty much went downhill after that for the Russians as the French mopped up the right flank and managed to grind away on the left.

Continued unbelievable dice rolling made up for a card hand that started to crap up. Cavalry charge? But I've got no horses left?!? Bruce was a pretty good sport about a pretty awful and unfair evening.

Up next: I have some more 15mm WW2 French finished and more on the way. And then it is the club on Tuesday.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

15mm late war French armour

A commission came in on Thursday--three WW2 armies in 15mm. I started on the late-war French at the owner's request. There is a mix of tanks and infantry and guns. Since the tanks arrived built--I painted them immediately.

There were three Shermans with 75mm guns. The owner had tricked them out with stowage and two had air recognition panels to paint.  There were also a pair of the Easy Eight Shermans with 76mm guns.

Although I find it hard to believe, I actually ran across a tank I have not painted before. These are four M18 Hellcats. These were nice models with crew in the open turrets.

There were also a pair of armoured cars. I think these are M-20 utility cars (I always get these mixed up with the Greyhounds).

Up next: Some gaming on Tuesday and onto some 15mm late-war French infantry.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Some scifi troops and fantasy ships

I've just received a fairly large painting commission for some 15mm WW2 troops so I have pushed a few things out the past few nights to clear off the table.

First up are the last of the 10mm Dropship Commander troops for Craig. These guys are the Scourge infantry in brass and green. I even painted the goggle lenses green, although these may be hard to see in the photo.

I also painted up a long-standing fleet from Spartan Games Uncharted Seas range. I'm not sure exactly where these came from (trade for painting?) but they are iron dwarves.

There are two big ships. I believe this is a chain mail class battleship. I adapted the existing paint scheme and aimed for a blue French look.

The one below is an unnamed battleships. I also have the rule book and will post the lot for sale shortly.

There are three cruisers. I decided to add some decals (numbers, bow names, a fleet insignia) to all of them.

There is also a pair of frigates and a heavy cruiser. I think the heavy cruiser is supposed to have a ram but it was not in the box when I opened it (looked broken off maybe) so I would treat it as having a pair of torpedo launchers on the bow.

Up next: Some 15mm WW2 late-war French, by the looks of things! Then onto some Germans.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Record attendance!

We had 21 (and at on point 22) guys out at the club last night, shattering the old attendance record of 18. It was quite show.

There were a number of board games, including Twilight Struggle and C&C Napoleonics. Dave ran something with Swords and Spears in 1/72 and there was also Warmachine.

A new game was Clay-o-rama which looked bizarre but the guys seemed to have a great time. It was from an old Dragon magazine, of all places.

Up next: Some 10mm scifi then onto some 1/1200-scae fantasy ships and I am expecting a large commission of 15mm WW2. Should be a busy autumn!

Monday, October 6, 2014

More 54mm AWI

Over the weekend, I finished painting up the lot of 54mm All the King's Men figures I picked up on TMP. These included a Washington general figure. It was hard to find a base big enough for his pose!

I also painted a cannon and four crew. The crew turned out nicely, I think. I quite like the subtle differences you get painting the American troops. No standard dye lots with homespun!

The cannon was a pre-assembled six pounder. I left the barrel brass colours (as I liked it) and painted the rest to match. I see many of the other pictures of this piece has it painted as iron. Oh well!

I also painted four command figures. These are identical figures but you can get a bit of mileage out of slight colour changes as well as slight variations in their orientation on the base. I need to find some 54mm flags for these guys. Had to fashion the poles from skewers.

Up next: I ma finishing basing Craig's scifi infantry and it is games night tomorrow!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

More 10mm sci-fi

I've almost finished a 10mm Dropship Commander commission for Craig. These units are for the Scourge faction. Craig asked me to mirror a "brass" paint scheme in the rule book. That is a tall order as the craft paints I use do a crap job at metals.

After some dithering, I found a nice primer+spray copper. After a quick coat, I started detailing with a dry brush of gold. Then some sliver detailing with green eyes. Then the dip. Of course, the reflective properties of the metallic paint make it a bitch to get a good picture!

Anyhow, these look nicer in the end than the pictures suggest. There is some nice shading and highlighting.

The drop ships have flight stands but I have not put these one--the clear plastic will doubtlessly break in transit so Craig can roll the dice with that sprue when these get to him!

Up next: I am still working on six bases of infantry to complete the source force.I also have a bunch of 54mm artillery that is almost done. And the club is Tuesday.