Monday, 31 December 2012

End of a year and time to start a new one

It's nearly time to say goodbye to 2012 ans I, for one, won't miss it.  Many more lows than highs and here's hoping that 2013 is better.  2012 was marred by illnesses, accidents and problems, so 2013 needs to improve on that, which shouldn't be difficult.  One high is the rapidly approaching birth of another granddaughter, due on January 8th, so that will be a good start.

Wargames wise, 2012 wasn't all bad.  I found 2 sets of rules that I really like in Maurice and Dux Britannarium.  I bought figures for both and my first purchase of 2013 will be an order for the rest of my AWI British from Peter Pig.  I also played more than a few fun games with lots of good people.  Periods played and rulesets used were too varied to list here, but I enjoyed most of them, which was nice.

Commie tanks on the hill with their infantry in the village
Tanks and APCs skirt a religious stronghold
 The last meet of the Monday night group was an almost all day game of AK-47.  Almost all day is because one member had to leave at 4.30 to get ready to go out at 7!  I take 15-30 minutes to get ready to go out, leaving the 1+ hour time frame to my wife/daughter, but each to his own.  The game itself was a laugh, as AK47 games usually are.  You cannot expect anything to go as hoped and levy troops are usually more durable than they have any right to be.  This game was no exception, with Zob's levy holding until the last turn and my professional tanks blowing up very quickly.  Andy's dictatorship and my colonial settlers lost a tight game to Colin's communists and Zob's religious loons. 
Oops, burning professional tanks is never a good plan
The attack on the village, which went on and on and on

High points were my first shot of the game (double 6), while after that my aim was off.  Andy's was even worse, with one of his units rolling double 1 every turn, which hindered his shooting for the whole game.  After the game finished Colin and Andy left and were replaced by Nathan, who brought along a new boardgame called Pandemic.  A quick game, it does make you work as a team and try to save the world.  We lost, twice, but were really close to winning the second time and the three of us enjoyed it, so that's a good thing.

I am now in the process of painting and roofing the Warbases buildings I got for Christmas from my wife.  After that I have to paint some WW2 figures for a customer, then some 15mm Napoleonics (part of a massive load I have to paint) and then I may, finally, get to paint some of my AWI figures.  That's the plan anyway.  

Well, its time to go and eat some tea so I can feel sick again later.  Last night was really bad, so bad that I ended up at the doctors again today.  Ah well, **** happens.  I hope you all have a good New Year and may the god of wargaming allow your dice to be favourable.  Take care and keep rolling those 6's.

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Dux Britannarium and presents

The Monday group have started a new Dux Britannarium campaign.  These rules by the Too Fat Lardies have caught on with all of us and there are plenty of figures being painted up.  With 6 members now, since Gus legged it to live in the sun, we have an even 3 on 3 split.  Colin, Nathan and Zob have picked the smelly, uncouth Saxons while myself, Panjo and Andy control the well mannered, polite and literate Romano-British.

The first battles saw Colin raiding Panjo's village, Zob attempting to steal Andy's wagons and Nathan trying to kidnap one of my leaders.  Colin slaughtered Panjo, winning by 9 points.  He got all his troops back and gained a unit of skirmishers.  Panjo will take 3 months to regain his men, leaving him with few defenders against any further attacks.  Andy scrapped a win by 1 point against Zob, but lost too many men doing it.  He gained a bit of money, but will take 3 months to refill his ranks, while Zob gained nothing but gets his men back in 2 months.  I managed a 1 point win against Nathan, mostly by rolling four 6's in one fight against his elite troops, who then routed.  I should have pursued him off table, but had lost 11 men, one more would have cost me victory!  As it is I gained a bit of cash and will get my men back in 2 months, as does Nathan.  Stupidly, I forgot to take any pictures, but will attempt to show what happened using Battle Chronicler later on.

For Christmas this year I will mostly be getting stuff I have ordered myself.  My family have finally accepted that I like playing with toy soldiers, so got me to order what I wanted and then wrapped it up so I couldn't have it already.  My Mum has got me a load of Peter Pig AWI figures.  I will now be able to finish off the rebellious Americans, plus have the initial units for the British force.  My darling wife has got me several Dark Ages buildings from Warbases.  I have a watch tower and 4 assorted huts waiting my attention so will soon have plenty of objectives for those damned Saxon raiders.  My daughter, who always used to get me a bottle of good scotch, is giving me money to get what I want as I can't drink anymore.  It's going to be a pretty good year in terms of presents for wargaming.  Better than socks anyway.  :)

Anyway, need to finish some bits off.  Catch you later.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Christmas is almost here, so we played our big game

Hello again.  Sorry its been so long since I have posted, but I have been sick and busy.  Anyway, here I am again.

What have I been doing?  Well, painting some more Napoleonic Dutch-Belgians, plus finishing off those pesky 88's with American crews.  They are all done and sent now, so its back to the Napoleonic grindstone again.  After my problems getting them, I have to give top marks to the customer service people who deal with replacement parts.  Two days after notifying them of the miscast gun I had a replacement in my hand.  Thank you kindly.

Nathan and Ian, before it all went wrong.
 Game wise, we played our big Christmas Wars of the Roses game.  The dastardly Yorkist won by having more troops, rolling more hits and generally defeating the Lancastrians all over the place.  High point was the Lancastrian Generals household troops being thrashed and routed by Yorkist militia types.  Well done Nathan. 

A view down the hall.  York is to the left.
 The Lancastrian right and center were hard pressed and eventually were defeated by weight of numbers.  The left flank was facing off against more troops, but both commanders had orders to hold their ground.  Guess which flank I was on!

 I think it went well, there were about 12 players I think and the other two tables seemed to have plenty of action.  The left flank did eventually get into action, just before two of its commanders  suddenly felt like having a Yorkie becoming a Yorkist and joined the winning side. 

Thanks to Nathan for organising it and to everybody for a fun day.  Next year I want to be in the center so I can get all my men killed!

The Lancastrian right flank combined age and ability.  JJ has the age........
Another post will be along shortly, with details of an ongoing Dux Britanniarum campaign I am involved in. 

Catch you later.

Friday, 7 December 2012

Wars of the Roses

Red Shirts, ready to fire blunt arrows and miss everything
Tomorrow is the monthly meeting of the Devon Wargames Group in Exeter.  Our December meeting is always a big, multi-player battle with all the attending players taking part.  This year its a big Wars of the Roses game, with many players providing units and much chaos ensuing.

Mercenary types, with those crossbow things
To be ready for this, I have painted the last 36 of my Perrys plastic figures.   I now have a modest force of four foot units.  Two are nine bases strong, each with a Captain(with the flag), a bodyguard, three Billmen and four archer bases.  The third is some mercenaries, with a Captain, three Billmen and four crossbowmen bases.  The final unit has a Captain, a bodyguard and eight archer bases.                 

The whole force, although I may well get some more.....eventually
The idea is to shoot anything that comes near, especially those donkey-walloper types with all the shiny armour and pointy sticks. 

I also made up some markers using the arrows in the ground from the plastics boxes.  These can be used for disorder, extra arrows etc.

In other news, JJ has now set himself up a blog to showcase all his stuff.  He is a painting machine, with way too much spare time and too much nicely painted stuff not too have sold his soul!  Nice bloke though so please pop over there and have a look.

Oh, and Battlefront have finally delivered the Pak 43s I have been waiting for.  It only took 7 weeks.  The only fly in the ointment is the miscast muzzlebrake on one of the barrels.  :(

Keep rolling those dice, they supposedly average out eventually. 

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Peter Pig do it again!

Its nice to receive things you order.  It's nicer to receive them quickly.  It's more than annoying when you have to wait for weeks on end, with no news from the people you order from.

Case 1.  Order to Battlefront.  Big company with offices in several countries.  Placed on 17th October.  Order for £10 worth of guns, but the size of the order shouldn't matter.  I have emailed them twice and both times received the same reply.  "Sorry, its out of stock.  They will be back in stock in 1-2 weeks".   Which is fine, except the 2 emails I sent were more than 2 weeks apart.  It has now been 46 days since I placed the order and I am, to say the least, unimpressed.  I am close to cancelling the order and buying something else.

Case 2.  Order to Peter Pig.  Small company, run primarily by a husband and wife team with a few employees.  Placed on evening of 28th November.  Order for over £120 worth of various packs from 4 ranges (AWI, WW2, AK47 and buildings).  Order arrived on 1st December, all correct and everything is lovely. 

So, big company fails where small company delivers.  Well done Peter Pig and thank you.  Another order will be placed in January/February to complete my British AWI force, after which there will be more ordered.  Battlefront.....meh!  I will stick to Peter Pig and Plastic Soldier Company I think.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

New computer!

I have got all the bits, put them together and even got them to work.  Upgraded from an old dual core 1.6ghz processor, 2gb ram(max motherboard would take), 250gb hard drive and old 512mb graphics card to quad core 3.6ghz, 8gb ram(32gb max!), 1tb hard drive and new 1gb graphics card.  Its significantly faster at everything and I even get into battles on world of tanks before they start.  Shiny.

I am also painting stuff.  Started some more of the Wars of the Roses figures as there is less than 2 weeks until we play the big game at the Devon Wargames meet.  I still have 36 figures to paint up for this, so have to get on with them.  I am still waiting for the Pak43s I ordered from Battlefront many weeks ago.  Its over 5 weeks since they took the money, but they are still out of stock.  Not impressed.  I have also just ordered some more AWI figures from Peter Pig, but they are a Christmas present from my Mum, so I can't have them when they arrive but have to wait until Christmas.

Monday night we played X-Wing again upstairs while Panjo and Colin finished off a Dux game downstairs.  The Rebels had Chewbacca flying the Falcon with Gaven Dreiss Dwarven Grease and a Red Squadron pilot in X-Wings.  The Imperials fielded Darth Vader in a TIE advanced and 4 TIEs piloted by Howlrunner, Mauler Mithel, Winged Gundark and an Academy pilot.  Asteroids littered the table and several moves were restricted by the risk of collisions.  End result was the Falcon had lost all but 2 hull hits, Red pilot was dead and Gaven Dreiss Dwarven Grease had 1 shield left.  The Imperials lost everybody except Howl Runner(1 hull left) and the academy pilot(2 hull left).  In terms of damage caused, the Rebels caused 14 hits against the Imperials hitting 17 times, but the durability of the Falcon and X-Wings won the day.  It was a fun game though, everybody seemed to enjoy it.

Downstairs, Panjo's Romano-British were butchered by Colin's Saxons.  Colin won by 9, so got more men and Panjo will take 3 months to get his men back.  Ouch.

Well, keep smiling and roll those dice folks.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

X Wing

 I have finally finished my Revell Millenium Falcon model.  This has come about because FFG have delayed release of their official model until February, so steps had to be taken.  The model was £6.50, the base is some offcut mdf and the stand is some left over plastic rod. 

Revell Millenium Falcon, based and shaded
The base was covered with a home made attempt at a ship data sheet.  Not as nice as the official one, but it will do.  I have also made some cards up using templates I found on Boardgamegeek, so I can now use it on the table.  I think it scales up pretty well with the fighters and doesn't look to shabby.

Tie, Falcon and X-Wing together.
Top view of the 3 ships.


Well tonight has been interesting to say the least.  Half an hour before I was due to go to work, this was the view that meet me outside the back door.
One back step instead of three
We have three steps from the back door to the garden, but you can't see two of them now.
Gate to next doors garden.

Next door were worse off than us as their conservatory is lower than ours.  Unfortunately the shed is underwater, so I will be phoning the insurance people tomorrow I guess.  Bikes, gas barbeque, lawn mower etc. 

Shed, slightly damp methinks.

Good news is that I can't get to work as the road is closed.  Oh dear, how sad.  Never mind.  :)

Friday, 16 November 2012

Battlegroup Kursk

Yesterday I played our first game of Battlegroup Kursk with the less stinky Nathan hosting and putting on the game.  The scenario ended up being a flanking meeting engagement.  The nasty invaders from Germany had bought a reasonable force, with a HQ commanding two motorised Panzergrenadier platoons, two HMGs, one mortar, one Pak40, three Panzer IIILs, a sniper, two Hummels and, as anyone who knows Nathan can already guess, a Tiger.  The defenders of the Motherland had a HQ, three Motor Rifle platoons(with no motors), one 45mm AT gun, ten T-34s(hehehe), a Churchill, a FO for artillery support, two snipers and a BA-64 armoured car.  As there was a lack of T-34 models, T-70s were used as stand-ins.

The initial forces after turn one.  Germans at the top
The initial set-up saw the Tiger leading the advance from the top right of the picture, supported by a PG platoon HQ, rifle squad and HMG in trucks.  The sniper snuck into the farm on the top left. The Russians set up with the Churchill supported by a platoon commander and three rifle squads.  The Russian scout snipers advanced on the bottom right side, seizing an objective and starting the Germans on the road to defeat....hopefully.  The Churchill fired at and suppressed the German sniper.  Boo-Yah!

Germans advance as the Russians await reinforcements.

Turn 2 saw more German trucks appear, full of hardened Panzergrenadiers and towing a Pak40.  The Germans advanced towards the large building and seized it with their initial forces.  The Tiger hid in the rubble like a big jessie.  Nathan said it was covering the infantry, but I know the truth. The Russians advanced into the wood, supported by the T-34 company commander and the artillery observer. 

Germans advance as the Russians gather

The gathering horde!
Bullyboy Panzers pick on the sniper
Turn 3 arrived and with it came three Panzers.  They promptly advanced and pinned one of the Russian snipers!  Three tanks against one little sniper, oh yeah, your the master race alright!  More Germans moved into the large building, setting up machine guns all over the place.  The Pak 40 moved into the small farm, along with some infantry support and another HMG.  The Russians gained four T-34s, which gathered behind the wood.  They had to gather as the Russians rolled double 1 for their orders, so not much could move.

Panzers kill off the snipers
More T-34s arrive
Turn 4 finally saw the Germans kill something, as both snipers were Panzered to death.  The Ba-64 hid behind the kurgan, hoping help would arrive before he died.  Some more Panzergrenadiers arrived to support the Panzers, this time on foot.  Most of the Germans in the large building and farm went onto reserve fire, 'cos they were scared to come out and face the boys from the steppes!  The Russians gained some more T-34s, along with the HQ to improve their didn't work though.

StalStalStal!  T-34s advance
Ba-64 in a moment of madness
Turn 5 and the Germans consolidated their hold on the objective building.  The Panzers advanced to kill off the Ba-64 and failed dismally.  One couldn't see it and the other couldn't hit it.  They also brought on a Hummel to support the Panzers.  Their supporting infantry rushed forward to seize the farm.  The Russians now surged forward in a brave show of patriotism.  Nine T-34s charged bravely across the steppes towards the horde of Panzers and their area fire managed to pin some German infantry around the table, which was nice.  And yes, three Panzers is a horde, so there!  Cunningly, the small copse happened to be between the T-34s and the Tiger tank, who had fired and missed.  The Ba-64 moved out and fired feebly at the grenadiers in the field.

Pinned T-34 after Tiger and Pak40 fire at it
Burning Panzer and T-34 horde
Turn 6 and the Germans pushed more troops onto the table, but they would be too late.  The Panzers fired at the T-34s, bouncing off the sloped armour.  They did kill the Ba-64 though, which isn't particularly difficult to do.  The Tiger reversed out and fired, missing the T-34, while the Pak-40 managed to hit one, but only pinned it.  The Germans rushed an LMG team into the farm, but their infantry were still pinned.   The Russians then advanced again with the T-34s, killing a Panzer with area fire and pinning the LMG team.  Meanwhile infantry reinforcements were being pushed forward to support the tanks, but they were a long way behind.  Some fire from the woods managed to pin two German squads though.

Russian infantry advance
Smoke plumes everywhere.
Turn 7 and both Hummels had fired and missed.  With only 2 ammo each they now needed to resupply, so an ammo truck was brought on.  The combined fire of the remaining Panzers, the Tiger and the Pak40 saw four T-34s explode and two managed to lose a track, but the Russian commander said "There's plenty more where they came from".  German MGs chattered away from the big building and decimated two squads of Russian infantry.  Return fire by the Russian infantry pinned more Germans, while the T-34s killed off both the remaining Panzers and the LMG squad in the farm.  The German left flank was collapsing.  Meanwhile Russian infantry had crossed the stream and were advancing on the third objective, the small wood.

View from an overflying PO-2 spotter
 Unfortunately we ran out of time to finish it completely.  The Germans only had the Tiger and Pak left that could kill Russian tanks, but the Russians only had four mobile tanks left, three T-43s and a Churchill.

Things we learnt from the game were many and varied.  At least some of the infantry need anti-tank grenades.  Ammo does run out in tanks.  Stal Stal Stal is an awesome order, unless you roll a 1.

We had fun and will play it again, many times.  I just need to get some T-34s now.

Dux Britanniarum

Not too bad a week, except for my computer having a minor death and needing new components.  I have it running again but only just.  Ah well, these things are sent to try us, as they say.  By this time next week I will have a new motherboard, new processor, new RAM and a new graphics card, so a nearly new computer.

Anyway, back to the important stuff.....wargames!  Monday saw the Monday night group play Dux Britannarium for the first time since the official rules came out.  We helped playtest the rules, but have been too busy with other things to play it since they were released.  So figures were dusted off, terrain was set up and battle was commenced.  As we were learning the rules again, we played with 3 people per side, one for each big-man.  Zob, Colin and Stinky Nathan were the evil, nasty and generally unliked Saxon raiders, while myself, Panjo and Andy had the gallant, brave but, finally, hopeless Romano-British. 

Turn 2 and the Britons arrive

The Saxons were on a mission to raid a farm, which was about as far away from them as it could get.  They managed one move, then the initial defenders arrived.  The Saxon lord, Stinky Nathan led his entire force up the right hand side of the table, managing to keep them together in a most un-Saxonlike manner.  He had two units of Gedridht(Elite), three units of Duguth(Warriors) and a unit of archers.  Panjo was the lord of the Romano-Brits and managed to bring 5 of his 7 units on in turn 2.  His force had the Comanipulares(Elite), a unit of Milites(Warriors) and two units of Numeri(Levy), supported by a group of archers. 

Saxons split up as the Britons advance
The Saxons decided to split their force, with Stinky Nathan taking the elites forward alone to raid the village, while Zob and Colin took the Duguth and archers to block the approaching Britons.  Panjo led his troops forward in two formations, one of the Comanipulares and Milites, led by Andy, the other of the two Numeri units, led by himself. The remaining units of the British arrived behind the farm, ineptly commanding by me.  One unit of Numeri and one of Milites, the foolishly bravely advanced to defend the farm from the approaching elite Saxon warriors.  Levy against elite, not a good match up!

The Saxon archers were on form, killing two of the Britons best troops.  Colin decided to have his formation of two units of Warriors charge the best troops of the Romano-British.  It went fairly well for the Britons, with the Saxons bouncing and falling back.  The Britons were forced to take a step back as the Comanipulares had 6 shock, but only 4 men.  Luckily they managed to maintain their shieldwall formation.  The Saxons had lost 3 men, splitting their formation and pushing them back several inches.
Zob then charged his fresh unit of Saxons into the shaken shieldwall, killing two more elite British warriors and scattering them.  The remaining British warriors were shaken by this and fell back.  Colins men rallied and charged the Levy, who were all fired up after seeing off the Saxon archers.  Twelve men, led by Dux Panjo and his champion should hold off 9 shaken Saxons, shouldn't they?  No, not at all!  Meanwhile, in the village, it had all gone to bats**t!  The elite Saxons charged into the British shieldwall, throwing axes and spears as they came (sneaky Strong Arm fate card).  12 dice, causing shock on a 5+ and Stinky Nathan managed to get 8 hits!  The Saxons smashed the shieldwall and scattered the warriors to the winds, pushing them back 6 inches.  The levy were also shaken, falling back 3 inches.  This shattered the shieldwall and things were looking bad for the farmers.

The final turn of the game was no better for the Britons and they were forced to quit the field, leaving the Saxons to stampede the women and rape the livestock. 
Oh dear, its all gone a bit Pete Tong.

A fun game was had by all I think, disturbed only by the constant fragrant rumblings from the lower regions of Stinky Nathan.  Next week sees the first battle in a new campaign, with Saxon Colin attacking Romano-British Panjo.  The rest of us are playing X-Wing upstairs.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Devon Wargames and eBay

So Saturday is nearly over.  Amazingly, I failed to win the lottery last night so still have to go to work tonight.  Boo Hiss.

I went to the Devon club and ended up playing Flames of War.  Barbarossa period, with hordes of Russians being decimated by very few Germans.  35 Russian tanks took on 6 Panzer IIIs and 3 Stug IIIs.  In short order the 10 T-26s were destroyed, the 10 BT-2s were destroyed, reborn and destroyed again, the 5 T-35s were destroyed and the 10 T-28s lost 2 and had 3 bailed out.  The Germans lost 3 armoured cars!  Shots rained in on the Panzers and all bounced off.  I didn't realise Panzer IIIs were that well armoured.  The German infantry dug in and went to ground, so suddenly the artillery couldn't see them.  Oh well.  Thanks to Andy, Vince and Chas for the game, but it sadly reinforced my view that I don't like the Flames of War rules.  At least I tried it.  Hopefully we will be playing Battlegroup Kursk soon, which looks promising.  The other game on was Jon's computer moderated WW2 naval game.  The Graf Spee, under Kapitan von Goodyear, sank........quite quickly.........oh dear.  Stop laughing, he tried his best but always wanted to be a U-boat commander really. 

I have listed my Bolt Action Germans on ebay now, so hopefully somebody likes them enough to bid.  Its all to fund my 15mm AWI and WW2 forces, which I will play with more than I ever played with the 28mm WW2.  The British Paras will go on soon as well, probably tomorrow.  

So, work beckons, then I shall sleep before getting up to play Combat Arms or World of Tanks tomorrow night.  Still looking forward to Dux Britanniarum  on Monday night though. 

Onward and upwards, the less said about the shambolic Welsh rugby team the better.

Friday, 9 November 2012

World War Z and the next few days.

I found World War Z by Max Brooks to be an entertaining read.  I liked how it was done as interviews showing how the "War" progressed.  As much as I am looking forward to this film.....
I somehow don't think it is following the book.  I'll still go and see it though.  Zombies, you can't beat them...............unless you have a big stick!  Or a shotgun. 

The next few days are a mix of high and low for me.  Today I am photographing my 25mm WW2 figures to go on ebay, which is sad.  Then its back to painting before playing World of Tanks tonight, which is nice.  Tomorrow I am playing wargames at the Devon Wargames Group while watching Wales play Argentina on the big TV, which will be nice.  Then I have to go to work at 11pm, which is sad.

Sunday I shall mostly be asleep, until later on when I play online with some mates, which is nice.  Then I have to go to work at 11pm, which is sad.  Monday morning will be spent asleep, before getting up at about 1pm and doing some painting, which is nice.  Then Monday night is Dux Brittanarium night at Zobs, which will be great. 

Obviously this will all change if I win the lottery tonight, but whats the chance of that.  Off now to undercoat some more Dutch-Belgian Napoleonics and some Wars of the Roses archers. I am home alone, so Iron Maiden are currently blasting through the house.  :)

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Bah humbug and all that.

Time for another update on the life that I lead.  Still working nights at Tesco to pay the bills.  Still failing to win the lottery.  Still painting for other people more than for me.  Thanking god that the US election is finally over and the news can be about something else.  Do the Americans care about who gets in over here when we have an election?  I doubt it somehow, but we are subjected to endless debates about the US election.  Maybe its just me though, maybe the rest of the British people do care.

Maelstrom games seem to have gone completely, taking my money with them.  From the stories on various chat groups it appears that the nice man in charge knew it was going, but still took peoples money!  I would say what I think of him, but kids may read this.  Suffice to say my thoughts on this man are not pleasant.  I have reordered the guns I need direct from Battlefront, but that has now been 3 weeks with no sign of any delivery yet.  I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that this gun order has been cursed by the gods of wargaming.

I have managed to do some painting around working nights and feeling ill.  Two lots of 32 15mm Napoleonic Dutch-Belgians (one line and one militia unit) and 24 Perrys Wars of the Roses figures for the Christmas game at the Devon Wargames Group.  Still have more Napoleonics to do, as everytime I paint any he sends me more than I have painted.  Newest arrivals are Dutch-Belgian cavalry and more infantry.  Two 40 figure units of line infantry and 6 units of cavalry, plus 2 batteries of artillery.  Better to have too much than not enough.

I do have another unit of Wars of the Roses to do as well, but they are for me so may have to wait a bit.  Four units should be enough for my little lot in the game.  Plenty of levy with little of no ability to hurt anyone, led by a complete fool.  That's the way forward.

 In other news, I have decided to get rid of my 25mm WW2 figures and vehicles.  I have used them once in about 3 years now, so will sell them on and reinvest the money in finishing of my AWI forces and getting some more 15mm WW2.  15mm is becoming my favoured scale for most games now, although some 25mm will still be kept (War of the Roses, Ancients, Dark Ages and Cold War).  My British Paras and German Panzergrenadiers will soon be on ebay though.  Here are a couple of pictures just to tease you.

There are more Paras than shown here, but I never got around to taking pictures of them all.  There is also some armoured support in the shape of Tetrach tanks.  Ooohhhh, scarey.

I enjoyed painting them, but can't justify keeping them anymore.

If anybody is interested in them then drop me an email and I can send you some bigger pictures and a full list of what I have.

Well, back to the grindstone again now. Have fun.

Saturday, 20 October 2012

US Flak 88s and P-47 pictures

Here are the nearly finished Flak 88's.  Painted in US green with American crews, which seems a bit odd but it's what the customer wanted.  Battlefront guns, Peter Pig crew and Kerr & King bases.  Biggest pain was getting the crew glued on after removing their bases, but they seem to be holding ok now. 

I am also doing a pair of Pak 43's in the same scheme.  The bases and crew are all done, but I am still waiting for the guns.  The last part of the order is a P-47 Thunderbolt fighter.  It's almost finished, as you can see.  Just some weathering and decals to do.

I finished watching Prometheus and found it to be entertaining enough.  Its a reasonable way to waste a couple of hours anyway.  Deep joy of work at Tesco tonight, but needs must and all that.

Catch you all later.

PS.  For some reason I can post on my blog, but I can't reply to any comments.  So cheers Gaz, at least somebody is reading this drivel.

If you do get onto World of Tanks, I play on Friday evenings from 7.30 until about 9.  Hopefully see you there.

Friday, 19 October 2012

Fed up with tablets, but at least I am painting again.

So the stomach is still playing me up, despite being on so many tablets I rattle.  I am taking between 9 and 14 tablets a day, depending on how good or bad I feel, but don't seem to be getting any better.  My wife has decided that enough is enough and I will be going back to the doctors next week.  Deep joy.

On a brighter note, at least I am getting some painting done again.  I have finished the Flak 88's with American crews and the P-47 is nearly done too.  Pictures tomorrow or Monday, depending how I feel and what I have to do tomorrow.  I have also started another unit of Napoleonic Dutch.  More blue coats with blacks shakos, but needs must.  I do need to get my 25mm Wars of the Roses project finished as we are playing it at the December meet of the Devon club.  So far I have two units finished, with another 75% done.  The fourth unit is still on the sprues though, so I need to get cracking.

One thing I have rarely mentioned on here is my online gaming.  I dabble with several free online games, my preference being World of Tanks.  I also play Combat Arms occasionally and am on the beta test group of World of Warplanes, which is nice.  World of Tanks is fun though, there are 3 or 4 of us who get online together on Friday evenings for about an hour and a half.  we primarily play the lower level tanks as they are the most fun.  MS-1, BT-2 and the like, with little or no artillery and no surprise when your green-painted lawnmower gets blown up.  I have played with tanks up to level 6, but am sticking with level 4 or less now, as the "paying customers" don't bother buying special stuff for level 1 or 2 tanks.  If you have never tried it then give it a go.  It's free, unless you want to spend money on it.  I am Gra55hopper, so watch out for me if you do play.  World of Warplanes is also fun, but I tend to get shot down a lot.  My PC struggles a bit too, so new motherboard and processor is the plan for the new year.
Got to finish watching Prometheus, which seems ok.  Definitely a prequel to aliens, but nice effects and all that.  Not as much fun as Carter of Mars though.  I liked the books many years ago and don't think the film is too bad, especially considering its a Disney creation.
Off now for some tea before playing Tanks with Panjo and Nathan later.  Catch you next time.

Saturday, 13 October 2012

Sick again, Maelstrom Games, Parcel Farce and X-Wing

Well, here I am at home on the 2nd Saturday of the month instead of being at the Devon Wargames meeting.  My stomach is playing up again and I need to go to work tonight, so I am taking it easy today.  Stupid pancreas.

It seems my last post rather pre-empted the situation at Maelstrom Games.  My order for guns is still outstanding and they are no longer using paypal, so it looks like I am out of pocket there.  Not impressed to be honest, seems like the head honcho at Maelstrom has a bit of a reputation for this sort of thing as well.  So I am off to order some Pak 43s from another source now, probably direct from Battlefront to save any future problems.

My next company to avoid is Parcel Force.  I sold some woodworking tools on ebay for a friend last Tuesday.  Had been paid by everybody by Thursday so booked them all to go via a courier service via  Five items were sold, ranging from 4kg to 20kg. Three of the five were shipped by my Hermes, one by Yodel(ex-DHL) and one by Parcel Force as they were cheapest for shipping to Norway.  Yodel picked up yesterday at about midday, my Hermes were here by 3pm and Parcel Farce were here..............never.  Yes, that's right, I still have a parcel here.  Despite paying over £33 for 48 hour shipping to Norway, the parcel is still here in my dining room.  Not a good advertisement for a shipping company to be honest.  So now I have to stay up on Monday after working Sunday night in the faint hope that Parcel Farce might arrive to pick up the parcel. 

Finally something good.  After my purchase of the X-Wing game, with its two TIE fighters and single X-wing fighters, I have just received my first wave of reinforcements.  Another X-wing and TIE fighter, supported by a Y-wing and TIE advanced.  Very nice they are too, although I still see a need for some more.  Another X-wing would allow the trench run for the attack on the Death Star to be replayed.  Luke Skywalker, Wedge Antilles and Biggs Darklighter  each with an R2 unit and proton torpedoes adds up to 102 pts.  They are a trio to fear in X-wing fighters, espescially Wedge. I will also need 2 more Y-wings, to do the same mission.  Then some more TIE fighters to match them up.  I think another box set, which will give another X-wing and two more TIEs would be a good buy, followed by two more Y-wings.  Then some TIE Interceptors when they come out.  I'm not to bothered about the A-wings, I just don't like them much.  I will need a Millenium Falcon though.  I mean, who doesn't want one.

Anyway, keep playing and keep smiling.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Painting, Gaming and slow delivery

Its been a while since I last posted here, so its time for a quick rundown on what I have been up to.

Painting - I have had a few orders to do.  A bunch of US infantry on snow bases (which I stupidly forgot to photograph before sending them), some US Para gun crews and, lately, some German guns in US service.  I'm guessing these are from the latest FoW book as they are a new idea, but the order was for two Flak 88s and two Pak 88s with US crew.  More on that later.

Games - I have been playing several games lately.  Maurice is still one of my favourite games, but the last few games have been of other systems.  One new (to me) set that I have played is Medieval Warfare from Foundry.  Much as I hate to say it, I liked it.  The combat is a bit of a fiddle to work out, but the command, movement and firing is all good.  Plus the basing that I already have for my 25mm Wars of the Roses works fine for it.  Maurice has me still buying more, but finances are limited due to being off work for several weeks.  I am back at now and things are getting back on track, but its not been good for the last few months.

Purchases - Some Peter Pig AWI Continentals marching, making a new unit.  I have also been led to the dark side and ordered the new Fighting Fantasy Games "Star Wars: X-Wing" game.  Just the basic box set for now, but I can feel the pull towards more ships.  Still waiting for it to arrive, but it looks like its going to be a good filler game for Monday night games.  The box comes with two TIE fighters and one X-Wing, but more TIE's, and X-Wings as well as TIE Advanced and Y-Wings can be ordered.  The next release has the TIE Interceptor, A-Wing, Slave One and Millennium Falcon. :)

Slow Delivery - I am a fairly patient customer.  I feel that we are a bit spoilt nowadays as we see it online, order it there and then and then sit, waiting for it to arrive within a few days.  I don't mind if it takes a week or two to be posted as I don't expect people to have everything in stock all the time.  I do mind if an order sits "processing" for 4 weeks, with no notification about why its taking so long.  My first slow delivery was an order earlier this year for the Maurice rules and card set.  They were ordered from a supplier that I had used many times previously.  Order placed on June 12th, then I waited, and waited, and waited.  On July 9th I rang them to be told that they had come in that morning (amazing coincidence) and would be posted out to me the next day, which they were.

I thought about not ordering from them again, but gave them the benefit of doubt and placed another order on September 4th for two each of Battlefronts Pak 43s and Flak 88s, guns only with no crew.  I also ordered a P-47 with them.  At the same time I ordered some US gun crew from Peter Pig and scenic bases from Kerr & King.  The gun/aircraft order was the largest in terms of cost, but that didn't make any difference to delivery.  Three days later I had the Peter Pig gun crew, with the Kerr & king bases arriving the next day.  Great, awesome and thank you to both of those companies.  And yet, here I sit on October 4th still waiting for anything of the guns order.  I rang them yesterday and they have deigned to split the order and post out the Flak guns and aircraft, but the Paks are still not in stock.  So I guess my customer will just have to wait a bit longer.  Seems that Maelstrom Games are losing a customer though, which is a shame as they have been good for 4 years, but the service has definitely dropped off in the last few months.

Well, thats it for now.  I am off to try and get back into painting again, but the mojo is missing at the moment as I am feeling pretty ill.  Stupid stomach.

Friday, 24 August 2012

AWI for Maurice and Washington's Army

AWI Americans
 Having played Maurice a few times now I was inspired to start painting my Peter Pig AWI Americans.  These had been bought as a starter force for the Piggy rules "Washingtons Army", but will now also be used for Maurice.

My planned Maurice force consists of 9 Regular infantry units (4 to a base), 7 Irregular infantry (3 to a base), 2 cavalry and 3 artillery.  The figures I had already bought allowed me to make up 5 regular infantry, 3 irregular infantry, the artillery and the general, so that is what I have done so far.
7th Pennsylvania

3rd New Jersey
12th Continentals
 1st Connecticut
Lexington Militia
 The regulars are all in different uniforms, just because I can.  So far I have the 7th Pennsylvanians (Blue with red facings), the 3rd New Jersey (Buff/Blue), the 1st Connecticut (Red/Blue),  the 12th Continentals (Brown/Red) and the Lexington Militia (civilian clothing).  The irregulars are all civilian dressed too.

Continental Artillery
1st Minutemen
The planned regular units are Haslets Delaware Regt (blue/red with light infantry caps), the Green Mountain Boys (Green/Red), 3rd New York (Grey/Dark Green) and 1st New Hampshire (Green/Red with LI caps).  The irregulars will be 2 units of Indians and 2 more civilian units. 

2nd Minutemen
3rd Minutemen
 I also need to base up some Noteables, which will be general figures on a base on their own.

After all that its on to the British, who will need to be started from scratch as Gus was getting them originally.


Tuesday, 31 July 2012

How not to win a game of Maurice.

Last night I ran of game of Maurice for 4 of the lads.  To make a change I used the 15mm English Civil War figures that Colin painted many years ago.  Gus and Andy took the Parliamentarian side, with Nathan and Panjo getting the Royalists.  Gus and Nathan have played the game before, but Andy and Panjo were new to it.

The Royalists had 5 units of cavalry (2 elite and 3 trained) and 9 units of infantry (1 elite, 2 trained, 4 conscript, 2 irregular).  Their cavalry had the "Cavalier" bonus (reroll melee dice if charging enemy cavalry) while they all benefitted from "Rally to the Colours"(regulars reroll failed rally dice).  The Parliament force had gone for the quantity over quality theory.  They had 9 infantry (2 elite, 3 trained, 5 conscript), 7 cavalry (3 trained, 4 conscript) and 1 gun.  Their benefits were "Steady Lads" (regular infantry reroll combat dice when defending) and "Clerics", of which they had 5 to assign when they felt the need.

The Royalists were defending and deployed all their cavalry on the right flank, infantry in the center and secured the left flank by putting their irregular infantry in the woods.  The fatal flaw in their set up didn't come to light until near the end of the battle, but the infantry were deployed with 2 lines of 2 units, then the final 3 units in column behind them.  Now which units would you expect in the front line?  Trained and/or elite I hear you cry.  Not so says Nathan, conscripts will hold the line adequately.  So the elite and trained were in the 2nd line I hear you say?  Not so my friends, conscripts again shall hold that position.  This decision would cost the Royalists the game, along with a failure to do anything with the cavalry until it was too late.

Gus and Andy deployed 2 units of trained cavalry on their right flank, facing the woods!   The center was held by 3 lines of infantry, the difference being the front line was made up of 2 elite and 1 trained unit.  The left flank had the remaining 5 units of cavalry supported by 2 units of conscript infantry. 

The initial turns saw the Roundheads advance and engage the Royalist infantry in a firefight, before charging home.  After the initial melee the Royalists were down 1 unit (elite vs conscript) with the other on 3 disruptions.  The next turn passed and the Royalists lost another unit as the Roundheads charged again.  Then another went to sustained volleys as both sides tried to rally troops and regain cards.  It was turn 5 before the Royalist cavalry did anything, by which time the army morales were at 18 for the Roundheads and 5 (from 14) for the Royalists.  Three 6's for routed units had cost Nathan and Panjo 9 morale points.  The Royalist cavalry charged, but only 1 unit could reach.  That fought well despite being outnumbered, but still bounced back.  Then the Roundhead infantry charged again, smashing 2 more units of Royalist infantry in 2 turns and Nathan managed to roll a 5 and 6 for morale, meaning the army broke and ran. 

The use of clerics in the fights had given the Roundheads a definite edge, but if they had been up against trained or elite infantry then they wouldn't have broken either of the first two units when they did.  The failure to use their cavalry finally cost Nathan and Panjo the game.  If they had got them involved then the Roundhead infantry would have had to turn some units to cover their flank.

So all in all, a bad day for the King.  Panjo had been saying from turn 2 "Move the cavalry", but Nathan had blinkers on and could only see the infantry battle.  Gus won his first victory, having suffered 2 defeats in our previous games, but is was more down to Nathan's odd set up than anything else.  Everybody seemed to enjoy the game, I just wish I had remembered to take some pictures.

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Maurice and more painting.

Despite still being ill and having to take loads of tablets, I have managed to do some painting!  

Having played Maurice at the Devon Wargames meeting, I promptly paid out and bought the rules and cards.  This has caused a dilemma though.  I now need to reorganise my 6mm Seven Years War plans, as 1 base per unit won't work for Maurice.  Ah well, more figures to paint.  I am considering rebasing from the 50x40 bases onto something a bit smaller, say 30x30, as well.  Hmm, decisions decisions. 

Painting wise, the Empress Dragoons are done but, stupidly, I packed them away without taking any photos.  I have also painted up a US beach assault force for Andy.  It was a change from my normal basing as he wanted them to look like they were on a beach, so Vallejo pumice has been used for the first time.  I was impressed with how it went on, although it tends to stick to everything!

There were a lot of figures in the box, with 26medium bases and 15 small bases.  The medic figure is nice, but there seemed to be a lot of hit figures (back left on the single base).  They are done and posted now.  The photos were taken before the matt varnish was sprayed, so they are a bit shiny.

Well, onwards and upwards.  Off to start some 15mm Prussian Landwehr now.  Oh how I love Napoleonics.