Sunday, 24 February 2013

I keep forgetting my camera!

First up is an apology.  I keep forgetting to either take pictures with my phone or take my camera to take pictures.  Because I keep forgetting there are no pictures of the games I have played this week. 

Monday night was Zombie night again as we played Zombicide.  A quick set up saw the 6 survivors trying to kill as many zombies as possible.  We won if any survivor got into the "Red" section of their experience.  We had a plan, which was scuppered by finding the abomination in the first building we entered.  As none of us could kill it, we then ran around trying to find the parts for a molotov, which is the only weapon that can kill the big beastie.  Despite a slight problem with "team-work" for some people, we managed to keep the abomination away from us.  We then discovered how deadly cars are, so Nathan spent the rest of the game mowing down zombies while avoiding the abomination.  With the car hitting any zombies (except the abomination) on a 4+ when it enters the square or leaves the square, he quickly racked up the necessary kills and we all survived.  Hurrah for us!

After Monday I spent the week feeling pretty crap and painting Napoleonics.  Belgian Carabiniers and Old Guard foot artillery this week, along with a few more of my 15mm AWI.  The good news is that I have now painted 500 15mm figures this year, as well as a few 25s, some buildings and made some trees.  All in all not a bad start to the year.

Yesterday Gus and I went over to play a game of Maurice in Nathans new wargames room.  A quick throw together game saw the British attack the French in game 1.  Nathan had the French and gave Gus' British a damn good thrashing.  Gus' attack never really got moving and he has definitely upset the Maurice dice gods.  Game 2 saw Nathans French attacking the British, now under my command.  This time the French lost, but only because we ran out of cards.  Things were made easy for the British as I had 2 towns beside each other and I sat elite troops in both and sat back awaiting the attack.  The battle ended up a lot closer than the previous game.  Both sides lost 4 units, but Nathan had less points left at the end and ran out of cards first, which gave the game to the British.

Today I am painting again, hopefully.  It all depends as the outlaws in-laws are here and I may have to do family things instead.  There are way too many women in this house today as my wife has 5 sisters and they all seem to produce girls at an alarming rate.  Boys are a minority in her family tree!

Right, off I go so wish me luck.

Thursday, 14 February 2013

Monday Wargames and more Painting

Monday night saw the lads don their flying hats and get engaged in a WW2 dogfight.  The game was played using the Wings of Glory cards, but with 1/144 models supplied by Colin.  The scenario saw 3 Ju-87 Stukas with a single Me109 escort trying to attack a munitions factory and an airfield.  The Brits had 4 Hurricanes to try and mess things up.  The game went well.  Andy and I flew the Stukas, Colin attempted to escort us with the Me109 and Panjo, Zob, Gus and Nathan had the Hurricanes.

Panjo turned the wrong way after one turn and spent the rest of the game trying to get back into the fight.  Colin meandered all over the sky, failing to stop any of the Hurricanes from getting to the Stukas and eventually bailing out after somebody fired at him.  Nathan and Zob got in amongst the Stukas, shooting down 2 of them. Gus flew into the middle of the Stukas and was shot down by the combined fire from them.  Andy managed to bomb an AA gun before being shot down.  My first stuka managed to hit the factory and then broke up, while the second hit the airfield and managed to escape.  The end result was damage to the factory and airfield plus1 Hurricane shot down, but the pilot bailed out, for 2 Stukas and 1 Me109.  It was a laugh though.

Trees, lovely trees.
American AWI forces so far
 As I mentioned last week, I have made some trees up.  Using the Woodlands Scenic armatures, bushes and glue, I have made 27 trees between 3" and 5" in size.  They look pretty good, although I do need to drybrush the trunks before the are finished.  I have ordered some tree bases from 4ground to put them onto, so expect more pictures some time next week.

I have also been plodding on through my AWI project.  I now have 5 British line infantry units done, along with 8 line infantry,  4 irregulars, 1 cavalry and 3 guns for the Americans.  There are still several more units to do, 3 infantry and 1 cavalry for the Americans and 3 infantry, 1 cavalry and 3 guns for the British.

Still, its coming on and I am happy with the way they are looking.  The American units were selected so that each unit has a different uniform, just because I could.  The British either have different facings or different hats.
British AWI so far

The plan is to us them at the Legionary show in May, but Gus has not had a reply from them yet.  Still going to finish them ready for it, just in case they decide to let us in.

Plastic Para Platoon
The other painting I have been doing this week has been some 15mm US paratroopers for Flames of War.  These are not mine, but for a nice chap called Andy.  He sent me the new plastic paras and the really nice Easy Company pack.  I am impressed with both lots and will be getting the Easy figures to add to my PBI force.  I love the "Bull" figure, with the cigar in his mouth.  Anyway, here they are on their snowy bases ready for battle.

Devon Wargames February Gathering

Saturday was the monthly meet of simple like-minded folks at the Devon Wargames Group.  Two games were played, a 15mm ACW using Peter Pigs Civil War Battles and a 1/1200(I think) Napoleonic Naval Game using Kiss Me Hardy/Eight Bells.  Much laughter was heard on both tables and everybody seemed to be having a good day.  Well, almost everybody anyway.

The Union Commanders watch the Rebs advance
 The ACW game went wrong for the Union before they had even got onto the table. The Union commander allocated 18 dice to be the attacker while the Rebs only put 10 into it.  The Union roll gave them 2 hits (2 rolls of 5+ out of 18)!  The Rebs then rolled 8 hits, completely screwing up both sides plans.  The Union commander then left the field, taking lots of his batteries with him.

The game was played with the Union forces on the back foot and they never really got a chance to gather themselves.  The Reb generals advanced and pushed the boys in blue back and back and back.  As you can see in the 2nd picture, the Union were almost surrounded.  Still, they all seemed to enjoy it.  At least those who stayed to play did. 
Union troops having a bad day

Peter Pig rules have a certain element of chaos included, which some people dislike.  I personally prefer it as too many wargames give you absolute control, which generals never have.

The naval game was set up by JJ, using his ships, dice and iPad.  It was based on the Battle of Sadras, which happened long ago between the French and British.  As you may have guessed, Napoleonics are not my favoured period.  I don't mind playing them, but I prefer either earlier (Seven Years War, AWI etc) or later (WW2 etc).
French sail towards the British line

Anyway, the battle involved an able French admiral with a larger but less skilled fleet against a less-able British admiral with a smaller but better fleet.

 As you can see from the pictures, things rapidly went to pot and the nice neat lines of battle devolved into a free-for-all scrap.  The British were slightly ahead, but they went against British doctrine by firing at the rigging instead of the hull.  Thats just not the way its done!
Boom boom boom and all that

Jack and Ian had the British while Gus, Ollie and myself had the French.  The 8 Bells app worked well, saving any form of log keeping and, because of this, the commanders had little idea of how well they hit or how badly they were hit.  The only obvious things were results such as masts falling or fires starting.

The only criticism I have for the system was that it was much too easy to get a raking shot.  The angles that were used seemed to me to be too wide, but that may have just been the rules and did not detract from the game at all.

Thanks go out to JJ and Steve for putting on the games and to all the others for playing.

Thursday, 7 February 2013

Zombies and Peter Pig

Monday night was Zombicide night and much fun was had.  We played 2 games and managed, just , to win both.  Zombicide is a cooperative game, where you definitely have too work together to have any chance of completing the mission.  Each survivor has special abilities and it is vital to use these to succeed.  Game one was won by the simple method of gathering as many zombies as possible into one zone, then chucking in a molotov to fry the lot.  We just managed it and then the 5 remaining survivors rushed in and cleared the building.  Game 2 was much harder and we ended up losing 3 of the 6 survivors, with my cop sacrificing himself to allow the 2 women survivors to rush in and claim the last objective.  Its a cracking game and I would consider getting it if I had £60 spare.  Sadly I don't, because I have spent it all on lead and plastic.

Last Friday I placed an order with Peter Pig for just over £80 worth of assorted ACW and AWI figures.  As I placed it late on Friday night, and I knew that they were going to Vapnartak in York on Sunday, I didn't expect any delivery any time soon.  Then the postie knocked on the door yesterday with a parcel from Mr and Mrs Piggy.  Cracking service as per usual and, again as usual, the figures are lovely.  I now have all the figures I need for my 2 AWI forces for Maurice.  I have painted up another 2 units of foot and 1 of horse this week, but am now back to painting for others again.  I have 53 US Paras on the pegs right now, to be followed by another unit of Napoleonic cavalry.

Loo-Brush trees.  I just don't like them much.
Saturday is another meeting of Devon Wargames Group, so I am out on Saturday, but have nothing on for Sunday.  My plan is to make some trees, using Woodlands Scenic armatures and foliage/flock.  Having seen some videos and tutorials on Big Lees and the Model Dads blogs,  I have decided to make my own as pre-made trees either look like green loo brushes or are damn expensive.  As I have matured got older my thoughts on what looks good on a table have changed.  When I started wargaming I used an old sheet with books underneath to make hills.  I am not knocking this as I had a great time using this simple method, but now I look at the table and think "It could look better".  So I have started spending money on terrain pieces as opposed to just buying more figures.  Hence things like the 4ground fences and walls or the Warbases buildings.  I still prefer to make it myself, even if just from a kit, but I am usually happy that I have done so.  Wish me luck with the trees though, I can see glue going everywhere.

It is now ten minutes to midnight and I am going to bed.  Catch you all later and keep rolling those dice.

Saturday, 2 February 2013

PAW gives a good day out

Plymouth Association of Wargamers put on a show every year and, being a local show, I do my best to attend.  Sadly I missed last years due to other commitments, but I went back this year.  It is always a friendly show, helped by the fact that I bump into a lot of people I have not seen for a while.  This year was no exception, I caught up with a few old friends from way back when I first got back into wargaming when I was in my mid 20's.  Graham and Robin were playing a 1930's British vs Bolshies game with, as usual, very nice figures and scenery.  Dave and Neal were also there, selling assorted wargaming goodies and books.  Guy was taking pictures for WSS, Tony was on the Black Scorpion stand while Andy was playing a naval game.  It was nice to catch up with them all again and it only happens because people organise local shows.  The traders were good, not with the full range as you see at Reading or Salute, but still a nice mix.  There were some excellent looking games too, especially the ACW naval game, pictures being on JJ's blog as I forgot my camera....again.

My purchases were all that I had planned, plus some extras.  I got some more 4ground 15mm fences and some of their walls.  I also got another cart and cart loads, plus the impulse purchase of a 15mm Hotel, also from 4ground. These were all courtesy of Colonel Bill, who is always friendly and has many wonderful suggestions to relieve you of your money.  Bargain of the day was a mint copy of War & Conquest for £5, plus a box of Gripping Beast plastic Saxons for the same price.  Thanks Dave.

I came home to watch the rugby, then wished I hadn't bothered after Wales first half attempts at playing rugby.  They were much improved in the 2nd half, but had already lost the match by then.  :(

So, I then went up to my man-cave and started gluing mdf together.  Now the walls are made, the cart is made and the hotel is made.  I am very impressed with the building and will definitely consider getting some more.  I already have a lot of 15mm buildings, having bought all the Landmark buildings from Ade at Battlehonours up in Evesham, when they first came out. They are great for 15mm wargames, but I do like the fact that you can put figures in the buildings of the 4ground models.

Anyway, I am off to read the scenario notes before going to JJ's to play tomorrow.  Its a good job my other half loves me, I was out last Saturday at Crusade, today at PAW, tomorrow at JJ's and next Saturday at the Devon Wargames meeting.  There's not many people get that much time for playing with toy soldiers. 

Friday, 1 February 2013

Painting, PAW and Zombicide.

Hello again.  It's time for another rambling post. 

The last 12 months have been up and down for me.  The ongoing stomach problem is getting a bit old now, started last March and still no sign of the medics finding out what it is.  Ah well, life goes on.  I'll keep taking the tablets matron.  This was countered by good things, culminating in the birth of a granddaughter a few weeks ago.  So it's not all bad, there are bright points. 

Painting wise, I slumped a bit last year, mainly due to feeling ill and being in and out of hospital.  I have pushed myself a bit more this month, I find keeping a painting log of the figures I have painted is working to make me do more.  So far this year I have painted 263 15mm figures, 21 25mm figures and 4 buildings.  The 15's have been mixed between figures for me (92) and figures for customers (181), while the 25's are all mine!!!  I have an ongoing order with a very dodgy nice chap in Cornwall for thousands (literally) of 15mm Napoleonic figures.  The only problem is I find painting them a struggle, so I mix them up with other things in between.  So I painted up 40 Prussians, then I did 16 AWI British.  This system has helped to push me on, as I get my own stuff painted up a bit quicker now as it is like a reward for painting the commissions.  I am about to start some 15mm US Paras for another customer, the new plastic figures and the Easy Company pack from Battlefront, which look very nice.  They will also make a change from uniforms with white crossbelts.

Tomorrow I shall mostly be in Plymouth, attending the annual PAW show.  I missed it last year due to rugby on Saturday, then working Saturday night prevented me from going on the Sunday too.  Sunday is out again as I have been invited to JJ's to play a Napoleonic game, but I will be shopping tomorrow.  Not much planned for as I went to Penarth last week, but I will get some more 4ground fences if they are there, plus maybe some of their 15mm walls too.  I don't expect to be back late, besides the rugby 6 Nations starts tomorrow. 

While Nathan and I were playing Dux on Monday, the other 5 were upstairs playing Zombicide.  It looked like a lot of fun and the cooperative side of the game brought out lots of bickering and arguing.  The game itself looks awesome though, with over 70 figures and some nice elements to how the "survivors" work together.  I say "survivors" because they didn't manage to survive last Monday.  Despite Panjo having twin SMGs and mowing down lots of zombies, the weight of numbers told and they were all zombie food in both games they played.  We are all playing it next week, so look out for a report on Tuesday or Wednesday.

Off now to start February's painting.  Keep rolling those dice.