Sunday, April 26, 2015

Sunday Modelling: 1/72 WW2 French

My Memoir '40 projects continues to make progress, this week with a bunch of bases of French infantry. These are (I think) Pegasus models.

As per the British, the large bases form the core of the unit while singly based figures are used to track unit strength. So units will look like this:

Up next: Some WW2 Germans are almost done. I also have some 28mm LotR goblins underway. Hopefully these are ready for the MayDay auction!

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Gaming: DBA 3.0

We had a pretty good turn out on Tuesday at the club with four games going. First up were the seemingly head corpses of Wiley and Neal duking it our with CCA.

Scott and Terry ran several guys through their MayDay Martian game.

The highlight of the evening was the first appearance of Scott's giant ironclad. It is huge!

Dave and I played some DBA 3.0. Boy, starting position really matters!

Another shot of the Martian advance. This was still one turn one when I left!

Elliot and Kevin had a go at Star Wars Armada. Funny listening to two experience gamers play the game while reading the rules aloud. Overall, another very diverse evening of gaming.

Up next: I have some 1/72-scale WW2 French to get painted and then onto the Germans.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Sunday Modelling: 1/72-scale WW2 Brits

A long-dormant project is Memoir '40 in 1/72 scale. I have the campaign book and all of the terrain put together. It is just a matter of getting the troops bought and finished. I'd like each unit of infantry to be represented by a multi-figure base supplemented by individual figures that can be removed for casualty-tracking purposes. Kind of like this:

I spent a fair bit of time on PSR trying to get the "right" troops. Walking through a local model shop. I saw some 1/72 Zvezda troops and a box of old Airfix WW2 Brits and "right" gave way to "right now" and all of the equipment inaccuracies that entails.

I did three bases of British BEF from the Zvezda lines: one of infantry and two MG sections. I also have a mortar section I will put together one day! I supplemented these with three home-made bases using Airfix figures. Not quite a pretty but functional.

The rest of the Airfix figures I mounted individually. There are eight poses below including a Sten, two Brens and a bunch of rifles.

Airfix appears to continue its enthusiasm for paint-shed plastic so they guys got a spray primer, paint, magic dip and then paint-on matt sealer.

I also finished off the last of the armour with two more Char Bis. I used some 15mm decals and again painted on a matt sealer after hitting them with the magic dip.

Up next: I have a bunch of WW2 French infantry to finish and then onto the remainder of the German infantry. I picked up some more Zvezda as well as a box of African Korp Germans (only 1/72 Germans I could find). But I understand France is lovely in the spring and short pants are often in order. Time to break out some thick paint for these guys!

Friday, April 17, 2015

Gaming: Power Legion

My daughter has been after me to play some Power Legion since she saw me host a game for Bruce awhile back. I set up a quick game for her after school today, picking up after the seeming demise of Batman and Joker. Batgirl and Robin got a tip that Riddler and Harley Quinn had escaped Arkham and were headed to the rail yard to hop a train out of town.

I pulled out a smaller board and reduced the figure count (maybe 1500 points per side). Batgirl and Robin wheel up in the super-cool Batmobile and run into a beat cop. In the top right corner, Harley Quinn and Riddler enter the board. To win, they must exit the bottom left corner.

Batgirl immediately goes for high ground while Robin loops around the right of the old factory. Riddler turns over initiative (twice!) and gets batarang to the head. Undeterred, he gets up and plays ring around the rail car, trying to avoid Batgirl. Eventually, the cop shoots him. A very ignoble death.

At this point, I started played more aggressively, power jumping Harley Quinn up onto the factory and dropping bombs down on Robin while maneuvering two goons into to lock him up.

Annoyingly, the boy wonder knocks them both out of the game (what the hell?). Harley Quinn does some more jumping while dodging Batgirl's batarangs and manages to sneak off the board.

Jess seemed to have a good time. I wish I'd had time to come up with a better story line. Now I have some dice to execute with my hammer.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Gaming: New York 1776

I hauled Worthington Games New York 1776 out to Bruce's place last night for a second go. I was the British and he played Washington. I started out trying to push Bruce off Long Island (top of map) and also pushing him back up the Jersey coast.

Eventually he bailed out of Long Island and I could get my boats into action to try and limit him movement across the water.

We were about 13 turns into the 20-turn game when I finally came to grips with him north of Harlem Heights in a huge battle. Short version was I used my Hessians to rout his militia and also killed Washington while I was at it (so game over). For his part, he also broke might right flank.

We both agreed there were some interesting decisions but that the game maybe needs some sort of narrative  in order to be something more than a complicated fox-and-hounds game. I'll give that some thought. plus maybe a solo run through to see if that is better.

Offhand, I wonder if the British objective should be to hold New York and White Plains and kill Washington while the American victory is to prevent those three outcomes with the winner being the side which achieves at least two of its conditions. I dunno.

Then we played a quick Zulu-themed game of GURPS (I've never played GURPS) where I lead the red coats to pyrrhic victory. Cough, cough.

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Miscellaneous modelling projects

I've moved a bunch of small modelling projects to completion this past week. I bought two Batmobiles on ebay, hoping they were the size of the old Matchbox dinky cars. These are a bit bigger, but do fine with Heroclix figures I own. I love the 1950s bubble-car version on the right.

That said and while I am hardly a scale purist, they dwarf the HO-scale cars I bought. So I guess I will just keep one size of vehicle off the board while the other is on it. I know there is a Matchbox Batmobile (1960s variant) in a more compatible scale so I will watch for that.

The HO cars came as kits. But man they were lousy kits. Lots of flash in hard to reach places, the glass was already glued in place and the top doesn't fit the bottom well (note the gap at the back fender). I had expected more from a model train kit.

That said, the bus from the same company was pretty good. I have tried to paint it up so it could work as a Gotham transit bus (motto: We don't stop for freaks) or as an Arkham Asylum transport.

I'd like to put a decal on it but I'm not sure what would look good but still keep the bus multifunctional ("bus"?). Maybe just some numbers on the roof?

And I have been moving my Memoir '40 project forward. I finished two more of these French light tanks (an old Matchbox 1/76 kit).

Up next: I've got two more Char Bs underway along with an German AA gun. What I need to focus on, though, are some infantry. Gotham also needs some fences.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Star Wars: Armada

We had 13 or 14 guys out to the club last night with five games going, including some sort of sand-in-your-loincloth dealie Scott was running, some medievals, some DBA and some Warmachine.

Wiley and played a game of Star Wars: Armada against the rebel scum... errr... Neal and Dan. This was my our first time out with the game so we kept the Imperial ships together but likely over-extended our fighter cover.

Eventually the two Star Destroyers contacted the two Nebulon B frigates. My ship (on the right) took a pounding (including some damage from ramming) but we managed to pop one of the frigates.

And then the second frigate ended up in a spot we might charitable call "a good place to shoot from" and got double-teamed with predictable results. We also managed to get a handle on our fighters and kept the X-wings off the capital ships.

Unfortunately for the Empire, my ship was so damaged that an attack run by a corvette destroyed it! We called the game at that point with an expectation that Grand Moff Wiley could clean up the remainder of the rebels.

Overall a fun game. Not sure I want to drop this kind of coin, though. But damned happy that Dan did!

Sunday, April 5, 2015

The mean streets of Gotham

Finishing out this week's flurry of superhero posts is some follow-up on the terrain. The buildings are all HO scale railway buildings from Woodland Scenics. I've added a mix of other scenics. The road signs and streetlights are railway items. The fire hydrants, wall and post boxes are 28mm wargaming pieces. I think I've struck a reasonable balance between detail and playability.

The board still needs some fences (especially behind the stores). And I hope to pick up some more buildings at the next model railroad swap meet on May 2. The board is a repurposed wooden base my dad built in the early 1980s. It is about 36x44" and breaks down in two pieces. The roads and sidewalks are painted on. Needs some manholes for subterranean movement.

I designed the roads to give some flexibility for different scenarios (by placing buildings differently) and to minimize across the board sight lines. I broadly based the look on downtown Saskatoon from about 1989 (around the bus station--a mix of retail, light industrial and empty lots). I have some pieces not yet seen (including a stock yard, rail cars and train tracks).

I have some detailing left to do (decaling, mostly) on the buildings. I have a few HO-scale cars and trucks to build and paint. And everything could use a coat of dullcoat. But I think this has been a reasonably successful modelling project so far. Brice and I were chatting last week about using it for a Star Trek landing party game.

Up next: Back to my Memoir '40 project which is languishing for lack of good early war Germans and some reluctance on my part to finish building some French tanks. 

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Power Legion: Rescue Bats

When we last left our heroes, Batman and Batgirl had rescued Robin from the clutches of the Joker. But the Joker managed to knock out and spirit away Batman. With Bruce coming over, I thought I would pick things up where I left off with the play tests. 

Joker has placed Batman on a giant pile of TNT and is going to blow him to kingdom come as the news choopers circle. Robin and Batgirl (with a couple of beat cops) must free Bats to win. Joker wins by blowing Batman up. Unfortunately, karma lives up to its reputation and he forgot the detonator in the car so he has to retrieve it before Bats goes boom.

Robin and Batgirl enter on the east edge of the table as I walked Bruce through the rules. Joker dispatches a goon to go get the car while Batgirl Batarangs the baddies and Robin charges forward into melee.

Batgirl (with the help of a cop) drives off a bad guy. When I modify her character, she needs some better melee stats to give her a chance in a fight. maybe a fierce kick on he first round of melee?

Meanwhile, Joker unleashes his secret weapon: the tank on the war memorial has been roboticized and charges forward, spraying hot death! Unfortunately, Joker's goon can't seem to get the car door open to get the detonator so Joker has to head over to help. Meanwhile, Robin jumps on the tank and pulls a Batlimpet mine from his belt (hmmm...) and tries to blow up the tank.

Batgirl gets KOed by the Joker's hand-buzzer and Joker managed to get the car going. Robin runs over and wakes her with some Batsmelling salt, just in time to dive out of the way of the Joker's car. Robin disables it with a dart but the Joker uses a banked action to bail out of the car and run towards Batman.

Dodging a hail of batarangs, Joker manages to affix the detonator and pull the trigger. Bats disappears in a huge explosion... as does the Joker, since he's idiotically standing right beside bomb. Have Gotham's fiercest enemies gone to meet their maker together? Or will they meet once again on the streets?

Overall, an okay first time out with another player. Bruce is a quick study and I think we had fun. A few more figures might have created a more fluid game, but I didn't want too much complexity. Batgirl and Robin were at a severe disadvantage in hand-to-hand and Batgirl got drawn off to chase Joker instead of rushing to free Batman.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Power Legion: Rescue Robin!

With Bruce coming over for a game, I needed to get one more playtest of Power Legion under my belt. In this scenario, Robin finds himself in the clutches of the Joker. Batman and Batgirl are on their way to rescue him but someone tipped off the Joker, who must get Robin off the south end of the board to win. Team Bat must rescue Robin and capture Joker, Riddler and Harley Quinn.

In the early stages, Batgirl and Batman enter on the south edge and rush north, towards the bad guys. Harley Quinn power jumps westward to the car, pops the door and hotwires it (all in one turn!).

Batgirl has some activation problems so chooses to ineffectually throw a Batarang while Batman charges north to duke it out.

Harley Quinn wheels up in the car and three goons stuff Robin in the backseat and pile in after him. Batgirl continues to try to get the lead out.

Harley Quinn narrowly missed Batman with the car, only to have Batgirl use her Bat-blowgun to pop the tires. Harley Quinn fails an agility contest and rolls the car. Predictably, she is KOed but the goons pile out with Robin while Batman dukes it out with Joker, Riddler and two goons.

Two goons tie up Batgirl while a third spirits Robin towards the south edge of the board and victory!

Batgirl makes an amazing activation roll, evades melee, knocks down the goon carrying Robin and rushes over to free him. The dynamite duo then turns to face the onslaught.

In the meantime, Batman has been KOed! Joker, seeing things start to go sideways, picks up Batman and slowly carries him towards the south edge of the Board. Various baddies knock down Batgirl and Robin, who jump back up and KO the Riddler with Batarangs.

Meanwhile, the Joker sneaks Batman off the south edge of the board, dodging Batarangs. Really, the perfect set up for tomorrow's game with Bruce, as Batgirl, Robin and a bunch of coppers have to rescue Batman before the Joker blows him to smithereens in the middle of the town square..

I had the mechanics fairly well down in this game. It was a bit unbalanced towards the bad guys. I thought Joker grabbing the unconscious Batman was a nice dramatic moment. I do have a couple of melee questions I needed sorted out. And I need to put together part two of this scenario for Bruce.