Monday, 17 April 2017

Warhammer Fantasy Army - Bretonnia

It has been awhile since I have posted anything.  To be honest the hobby itself has really burned me up.  Painting figures just for the sake of it and putting them into storage seems like a pointless exercise.  I plan to spend no coin on miniatures in 2017.  That will be a first in almost 17 years. 

The splendid forces of Bretonnia!
Down to business.  There are many figures which sit on display in my home which have never appeared on this blog.  I therefore present my Bretonnians, for Warhammer Fantasy.  The army consists of:

2 Heroes mounted on Pegasus.
1 Army Standard Bearer
3 Heroes, mounted on Warhorses
2 Heroes on foot
1 Green Knight
1 Damsel, mounted
2 Damsel, on foot
1 Damsel, mounted on Unicorn
20 Grail Knights
58 Knights of the Realm
8 Questing Knights
10 Mounted Yoemen
8 Pegasus Knights
1 Grail Relique
18 Battle Pilgrims
2 Trebuchet
63 Men At Arms
20 Peasants (from the Old 3rd edition Warhammer, could be used as filler for peasant units)
68 Bowmen (stakes included but not in photos)
10 Scout Bowmen (old Warhammer Robin Hood edition models)

Hero on a Pegasus

Hero on a Pegasus


old Citadel Peasants

Grail Relique

Men At Arms



Mounted Yoemen

Knights of the Realm

Grail Knights

Knights Errant and Knights of the Realm

Questing Knights

Knights of the Realm

Pegasus Knights

Pegasus Knights

Knights Errant
These chaps have not seen battle in years.  Perhaps some day a worthy opponent will attempt to batter down my drawbridge?

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Tomorrow's War Battle Report: Putting it All Together

Tonight I played the introductory scenario of Tomorrows War with my son: Putting it All Together.  US Marines vs the DPRG on the planet Glory.  From past experience I knew that the odds were against the DPRG.  So, saying that I gave them an extra GPMG team to their forces hoping this would even things out a bit.  US forces had a Troop Quality of D8 while DPRG forces were a meager D6.  I changed the tech level of the scenario as well, dropping the DPRG to tech level 1 instead of 2.

Colony World: Glory
Area: Foix Gap, near the DPRG border
Year: 2295

US Mission: An American aerospace fighter has suffered engine failure and crashed in disputed territory near the DPRG border.  The pilot has managed to eject and is currently held up in a nearby ruin awaiting rescue.  Nearby US marines are ordered to advance swiftly and extract the pilot before he is captured by Communist forces.  The pilot must exit the board by turn 8. 

Victory points:
+3 for making contact with the pilot
+10 for exiting the pilot before turn 5
+7 for exiting the pilot before turn 8

US Force, 13 men, TQ D8
Tech level: 3
1 Squad Leader
3 Fireteams (2 rifle men, 1 SAW gunner AP1, 1 SLAM gunner AP2)

DPRG Mission: An Imperialist Air Pirate has been shot down over the People's Paradise.  The pirate managed to eject from his aircraft and is attempting to escape from the People's justice.  Prevent his rescue at all costs.  Destroy or capture any Imperialist forces which attempt to intervene.

Victory points:
+2 per US marine KIA
+1 per US marine seriously wounded
+3 per US marine POW
Pilot still on the table at the end of turn 8: VICTORY

Communist Forces, 25 men, TQ D6
Tech Level: 1
Tech Officer
GPMG Team, 2 men (AP 2)
4 Fire teams (3 riflemen, 1 SAW gunner AP1, RPG Gunner AP2)

Battlefield, 3'x3' table.


Communists await the Imperialist forces

Ford in the river.

Turn 1
The US marines advanced into the nearby woods and fields.  Unfortunately, the DRPG was waiting for them.  Enemy units waited until after all US marine fireteams were on the board before they activated.  Three of them and the GPMG team poured fire into the left most US marine unit, while a forth moved behind the building in the center.  When it was all said and done the US marine unit was pinned down and wiped out, with no DPRG casualties to speak of.  Needless to say I was surprised. 

End of Turn 1.  US Marine Platoon is wiped out, with no DPRG casualties.

Turn 2 began with some hesitation on the US side.  However, confident in their technological prowess (TL 3 vs TL 1) another US fireteam advanced to the river ford with the team going on overwatch to cover their advance.  A furious firefight ensued between both sides, leaving two DPRG fireteams wiped out.  However, lady luck was not with the marines: their command squad fell off overwatch and the remaining DPRG fireteam and GPMG team caused 4 casualties on the marines in the river, wiping them out!  This was very bad since the DPRG fireteam was still beside the house and within rapid movement distance of them.  They activated and with no one to oppose them, moved into cohesion distance with that unit and captured them.

End of Turn 2.  Another US Marine fireteam is wiped out.  DPRG takes several casualties as well.

DPRG fireteam wiped out.
DRPG casualties: one wiped out fireteam and one casualty in another.

Oh no!
US Marines captured!

End of turn 2.
 Turn 3 began with the DPRG winning initiative!  Another furious gunbattle ensued with more casualties being inflicted on the communist forces.  However, the DPRG unit with the American POWs won it's reaction test and escaped behind the building with their prisoners.  This was the final nail in the coffin for the marines.

End of Turn 4.

Final DPRG situation

Final US situation
 At this point we called the game.  There was no point in continuing since even if the marine fireteam could make contact with the pilot the DRPG already had enough victory points for the win.  The DPRG victory stunned me quite a bit.  Their dice were hot, there was nothing else more to say.  The US had a clear tech advantage but the dice were simply not in their favor. 

Communist casualties amounted to 3 dead, 5 seriously and 4 lightly wounded.  American losses were 2 dead, 1 seriously and 1 lightly wounded men and 4 prisoners of war. 

Victory points were:
US: 0
DPRG: 17 plus an automatic win due to the pilot being left on the board.


Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Lets Talk Area Terrain

Terrain. To me, an evocative table-top is more important than the miniatures who represent the beings who will fight and die for our amusement.  With the right pieces the mind can be swept away to alien vistas and ancient lands where only the mind may travel.

Sadly, the trend in todays miniature gaming is to use True Line of Sight and what I call "Terrain Micromanagement".  In this environment each piece of terrain is placed on the table and becomes an immovable object; a force that even the gods cannot move.  We then spend much of the game arguing what one can and cannot see from the vantage point of a 25mm tall plastic/metal figure.  Absurd. 

In days gone by, wargames used another system.  The designers knew that the tabletop battlefield was only a vague representation of the actual location.  We need not be concerned with the placement of each tree, rock and bush.  We only need to know what might be in a general area of the battlefield, as indicated by a specific area.  Perhaps a piece of felt, cardboard or MDF would represent this area.  The point is that the zone represented contained a certain type of terrain: rocks, jungle, water or even buildings (yes buildings). Even GW's 40K used such a system in the days of old.  Designers knew that today perhaps your forest area represented but a light wood, whereas next week it may be an impenetrable jungle.  All we need concern ourselves with is how big the area is.

Woods and Rocky Areas

Below are two examples of area terrain and how they can be used on the tabletop: a wooded area and a rocky area.  The area of each is indicated by a piece of flocked MDF.  The pieces of terrain inside this area can be moved around at will, or even removed.  We need not be concerned with their placement.  If a miniature or unit does not fit inside the area we simply remove terrain pieces until they do.  This method allows us to create dioramas and terrain features which are modular and are user friendly.

Rocks found in my backyard, repainted and based on 60mm bases.
These terrain pieces were quite simple and cheap to produce.  Rocks can be found anywhere.  However, they should to be painted if at all possible.  Unpainted rocks on a tabletop simply look like small pebbles or rocks.  Once painted though they become miniature boulders and colossal granite formations.  The best part about rocks is they are free.  Perhaps this rocky area blocks line of sight within 2" of the base?  Perhaps only 1".  The choice is yours.
a rock

a tree
 These are trees from various manufacturers.  I simply glued them onto 40mm bases.  A little flock and they are done.  Maybe these areas are jungles, permitting but 1" of visibility in or out?  Perhaps they are light woods, permitting a 4" line of sight.  The choice is yours.
look, more trees
Area terrain simplifies line of sight, cover and just about everything else associated with vision.  Arguments vanish under it's lawful gaze.  We spend less time arguing and more time playing and hopefully enjoying ourselves together.

Sunday, 8 January 2017

GZG Kra'Vak Vehicles Redoux

For most of my sci-fi vehicles and figures I use Minwax Polyshades Tudor for most of my washes and shading.  However, for many months now I have not used that product (for a number of reasons). Yesterday I decided to play with it again, this time with my Kra-Vak vehicles.

When I initially did the GZG Kra'Vak vehicles I simply airbrushed them with various Tamiya greys to achieve a color modulation effect.   While nice they lacked enough depth and shadows for my taste.
So, on went the minwax.  It provided (at least in my mind) enough shading where no existed before and did not radically change the base color (unlike a regular paint or ink was would). The effect is subtle and hard to really see since it is basically 50 Shades of Grey.






 Now, they just need some humans to hunt.

15mm Halo Diorama - a Fathers Christmas Present

This Christmas, my 14 year old (Logan) presented me with a rather peculiar problem: he didn't want anything for Christmas.  Now, some background on him: he has ADHD and Asbergers, so his outlook on things is a bit different from the norm.  Additionally, when he says he does not want anything he really means it.

My wife really looked to me to fill the gift void this  year for him.  The only real hobby he has is Halo: games, books, lego, ect.  Sadly we have collected almost all items which could fall into this category.  So, I thought, is there something I could "do" for him.  Something that he could keep as a memory of Daddy (yes he still calls me this; he is very sentimental as well). 

What could I do.  I don't have many useful skills around the house, so building him something was out.  All I can do with any small skill is paint very small inert things.  Ah-ha!  I can do a diorama I thought.....a Halo one, with Spartans and Elites battling skirmish style, on some alien world.  So, off began this journey (around Dec 10 no less).

Step 1: The Case
The first thing was how to display it.  That was the easiest thing to find: a baseball collectors case off Amazon.  $50 with shipping.  Ouch.  It was just the right size: not too big and not too small. 

Step 2: Background
What kind of background to use.  Well Halo of course.  So, during my lunch hours at work I scoured the internet for Halo landscape pictures.  Eventually I narrowed it down and printed it out on a laser printer.  Trees and rocks were taken from my terrain collection (yay!).  It is handy having lots of stuff in the garage sometimes.  I used a piece of plasti-card as the base, flocking it with Woodland Scenics flock.

Step 3: Models
The models were an easy choice.  The GZG produces a line of 15mm figures which are a spitting image of Spartans: The NI Infantry line.  Two sets of 8 figures were only 5 GBP.  They arrived with one week to spare before Christmas.  Painting crunch time!  I washed the bare models in GW Athonian Camoshade (the green one) and picked out the other details individually.

Now, Covenant figures were a bit harder.  However, Daddy had a plan for this.  About a year ago I purchased a set of Tavshar aliens from 15mm uk.  They are very similar to Covenant elites.  I had not painted them up since they were only a test pack.  However, four models was all I needed.  Through random conversation my son provided me the color scheme to use for the elite: blue for regulars and red for a leader.  Weapons were done in the traditional Covenant Purple.

 The end result is this:

15mm Halo Diorama
 I left everyone unattached to the flocked base since, allowing Logan to reposition the models at will.

Spartans advance!


Covenant Elite

Covenant Elite Leader

Covenant Elites

Spartan with Spartan Laser

Logan told me it was the best gift he received.  Looks like I hit the mark on this one.  Not too bad if I do say so myself.

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