Tuesday, 27 May 2014

"There'll be no escape for the Princess this time..."

Pete has recently bought the mahoosive Rebel Transport and even more mahoosiver Tantive IV for X-Wing, and as he wanted to play with them, I'd been moaning about not having played X-Wing for a while and we both had some free time, we decided to give the mini campaign that comes with the Tantive IV a go.

The first mission saw my squadron of TIE Fighters, led by 'Howlrunner', swarm the isolated blockade runner. Some very effective evasive flying from Black Squadron saw the Imperial ships weather the initial barrage from the bigger ship and then focus their fire to knock out the aft part of the Rebel ship.

Limping away from the battle, the Rebel ship put in for repairs, but was once again tracked down by Captain Jonus, Howlrunner and Black Squadron. This time however, the crippled ship was protected by three Rebel X-Wings from Red Squadron.

The Imperials lost some ships, including Howlrunner, to the Rebel fighters before Red Squadron turned to focus fire on Captain Jonus' TIE Bomber. Too few Imperial ships made it to their target and the blockade runner was able to escape.

The campaign continues...

I like the Tantive IV and, combined with the campaign scenarios, it adds a very different element to X-Wing. I'm not sure that I can justify the expense of buying one for myself, as I don't play lots of X-Wing and neither of the big ships are really suitable for standard pick up games. However, I am looking forward to completing the rest of the campaign.

Sunday, 25 May 2014

Resistance is NOT futile!

Just a short post to say that I've finally won a game of Attack Wing which didn't involve my opponents softening each other up first.

Admittedly, I wasn't using Dominion ships, I was fielding my new Borg Sphere for the first time against one of Pete's new Species 8472 Bioships. Also, Pete had over-stacked his ship with a couple of inappropriate upgrades to match my points value. But a win is a win and I'm taking it.

As for the Borg, I think they've been designed for bigger games as some of their abilities are really quite scary and I'm pretty sure that my fully loaded Borg Sphere could probably give a fleet including all six of my Dominion ships a run for their money. The lateral movement  of the Sphere is also very powerful.

Giddy with victory I then played a scenario game with my Dominion ships against Wes' Klingons in which I had to protect four orbital platforms against a fleet twice the size of mine. Four turns later, the game was over. Normal service had been resumed... :(

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Tanks For The Memories

I've just started to take part in a Flames of War Tank Aces campaign run at a club I've never been to before. Several of the chaps from both of my previous clubs attend, so it was a fairly famiar environment.

I'm using U.S. 4th Armored Tanks in the campaign and my initial 500 point force features six Shermans. I've named my Tank Ace after Sergeant Blast, the commander of the Army Surplus Special in the Wacky Races.

I played three games on my first night.

Game 1 saw me take on five SS Panzer IVs. I rushed forward and mobbed two isolated tanks before mopping up the rest. Some fortunate dice rolling saw me make this look smarter than it was.

In game 2, again it was against Panzer IVs, but this time it was Hungarians. I couldn't get through their armour an was soundly beaten.

In game 3 I was up against just two Fearless Veteran Panthers. My opponent castles up well, but another rush attack through terrain saw me manage to exploit their flanks, although I did lose half my tanks.

All in all, this was a fun beginning playing against new people. Most of the players are new to Flames of War, and this format will serve as a good introduction to the game. I'll be looking forward to going back to the South Yorkshire Dice Devils for some more games.

Wednesday, 21 May 2014

Cheap Knight Out

I've been doing a bit more painting and I've completed the last of the Batman Miniatures and Heroclix proxies I've had waiting around.

First up, Dark Knight Rises Bane. Not my favourite version of the character, but at the point that I bought him, the only alternatives were the tiny Clix model and the (in my opinion ridiculous) pumped up version from the Arkham Asylum game. Knight Models have since released an Arkham Origin version which I prefer, but you know what I'm like for spending money...

Anyway, he joins my burgeoning League of Shadows along with Talia and the Prisoners. I probably need to de-shine him with some matt varnish and I'd like to have another crack at the eyes, but here he is...

Next up, Deadshot. One of the better known of Batman's lesser villains. I have to say that this is probably my favourite of the heroclix models I'm using, and I actually prefer it to the Knight Models sculpt. A very simple, but effective, paint job.

In contrast to Deadshot, Catwoman isy least favourite Clix sculpt. I've wrestled with getting official model for some time now, as I didn't really want to use this one. However, ultimately, I'm not overly keen on the Knight Models version either, and eventually the price difference for a single model won me over. If I can get a less expensive and better alternative, I'll probably replace her.

Finally, Penguin and his gang. Initially I wasn't keen on this model either, but the painting him revealed a fairly comical little figure. I really like the expression on his face.

The thugs are fairly bog standard but combined with a couple of models I've already done, provide a solid foundation for Penguin's gang.

I'm getting close to the end of my stock of useable Heroclix figures. I've got a Two Face that I like, but without a gang, he's a bit difficult to use. I've also got minis for Spoiler, Trickster, Lady Shiva and a League Assassin that I want to use, but they're not something I'm going to rush to do.

On the shopping list are Clayface and Solomon Grundy, who are both somewhat chunky, and my favourite Batman villainess, Poison Ivy.

In the meantime, I went to Sheffield Triples and stocked up on miniatures for my Marvel project, so expect to see some of the soon.

Saturday, 10 May 2014

It was a day unlike any other...

...when I began posting again!

I'm not dead! News which should be a relief to my legions of adoring fans. No, I've just been a bit wrapped up in work for the past couple of months with it being coursework deadline season. It's now exam season which is when I've done my bit cajoling, motivating and marking and it's over to my students to deliver.

This means a bit more spare time for me and I can get back to the time consuming business of blogging.

And what have I been busy with?


Gotham City is born!

As you can see, I'm perhaps in need of another couple of buildings and other features (I've got some chain link fences in process as I type) short of a real cityscape but I'm really happy the board is taking shape.

As you can see, there are people on the streets. I decided to take some pictures of my Batman miniatures. Not much new here, but you can see how my different gangs are getting on.

Btw - apologies for the quality of the pictures. I'm stuck with my phone and poor lighting.

First up, the Bat-Family on a day trip to the park.

Next, Joker's Crew piling out the van at Axis Chemicals (unfortunately the white faces don't play well with the flash). Observant readers will spot that I've done two new clowns so this crew with the addition of a free agent or two is probably ready to rumble.

And now, my motley League of Shadows featuring Talia Al Ghul, Killer Croc (who may not stay with this gang) and Scarecrow (who will). Bane (the Dark Knight Returns version) is currently on the painting table, which is why Croc may not be staying. But don't worry about him, I'm sure his talent will be of use to others.

Gotham's Finest (again with glare issues). This is a complete crew although I do need to address a couple of problems. I need to sort some decals for the cruiser, I need to convert one of the SWAT assault rifles into a shotgun and the police station needs a door!

And here's a motley collection of others. The Riddler, Mr Freeze and Firefly backed  by a couple of thugs who are destined to be part of my all-Heroclix-we've-got-nothing-to-do-with-movies-or-console-games Penguin Crew, the rest of whom are on the way.

Now, after all that, the more comic-booky amongst you may be wondering why I opened with a reference to Marvel's Avengers and the proceeded to discuss DC's Batman.

The reason is that I've begun another project...

Avengers Assemble! Iron Man! Hawkeye! (in purple Dame Edna glasses...that'll be a shock to those who've only seen the movie). Speed!




Never mind.

I bought the Iron Man and Hawkeye models from Crossover a week before Knight Models released their own Iron Man and Wolverine miniatures at the start of a Marvel line in the same scale as their Batman stuff. This small purchase has served to defend me against. Buying another range of extremely expensive miniatures (although I have bought a mahoosive Hulk).

All this means that my own Marvel project will be conducted in 28mm and so won't be compatible with the Batman miniatures. So I've decided to base them differently as well and enable me to use the cops and civilians from my Zombie project with them. I've also decided to not use any Heroclix models as part if the project (Speed is the only one) as I don't already own them and I'm enjoying hunting through different manufacturers for models to use.

An example of this approach can be found in my HYDRA agents.

The HYDRA goons are from Crossover Miniatures. The Wrecker (yes, I know he's not with HYDRA) is a lightly converted Crossover mini. Viper is actually one of the plastic female survivors from Wargames Factory. And yes, this is the worst photo of the lot.

Well, that's what I've been painting, apart from a Bolt action Soviet force which I'll post pictures of when I've finished. In terms of gaming, my losing streak in Attack Wing continues unabated, and we've been playing lots of boardgames.

That's all for now. Triples beckons at the weekend and I sense that I may get a bit spendy this year...