Thursday 31 January 2013

Meeting targets without mushroom to spare...

Told you I'd get them done:

Apologies for the rubbish picture. These are my re-roll, score and turn markers for my new Blood Bowl team, all ready for my first of the season on Sunday.

These were very kindly sculpted by Andy from air-drying clay and had a typical 'splosh' paint job from me. I may, if I can be bothered, go back and highlight up the red as I over-egged the pudding with the wash and so they look a bit grubby - however, they are fungus.

I sense that the re-roll counter will get more action than the score counter...

Wednesday 30 January 2013

The End of the End of the Beginning...U.S. Triumphant

The club Flames of War campaign spluttered to a appropriate finish with Matt leading his hard charging Americans to victory over Pete's combustible Germans.  This allowed the Americans (Matt and I) to capture Tunis before the British, and before the Russians had even got within the same timezone as their target of Kursk.

To be honest, the victory is a little hollow for me as I only actually used my Americans once, and got beaten. So the campaign was actually won by Matt on his own, however I did contribute a bit with two victories over the Russians and one over the British, helping keep our rivals in check.

Overall, there were a number of lessons learned by all:

  • Americans need to be used in a blood and thunder manner, charging hard and turning flanks
  • Genuine mid-war British tanks struggle against the wall of heavy tanks that non-desert lists throw at them
  • Pete's tank fixation can be exploited for an early finish
  • Panthers in mid-war are bent as hell
  • Matt actually knows what he's doing (in the context of our club)
 Thoughts now turn to the annual Blood Bowl tournament that kicks off this weekend. My money is on Aneurin's Orcs, da Nu Ork Jets; despite his Vampire induced collapse last year, he's actually a pretty handy player, is running a good team and is out for revenge.

Sunday 27 January 2013

January Targets Met (...well, sort of)

So my target for this month was to paint and base my Blood Bowl team - the  Mushington Redcaps. That's fifteen little guys and two big guys. Here they are with their bases finally done.

If I'm honest, I also said I'd get my re-roll, turn and score markers done as well, but I've had them made for me by Andy and so will be picking them up tonight. With luck, I'll succeed in getting them done by the actual end of the month.

I'm really pleased that I've got these chaps done as their first game is next Sunday against JP's Necromantic Team with the most convoluted name I've ever encountered, the 'Shhh....Arrggh! Noooo! Scares'. I'm hoping that I can hold them to a whitewash!

As for next month, I'm off to Vapnartak in York at the weekend, and I've got a few purchases in mind. Primarily I want to get some terrain for my superhero gaming, and possibly some models for my 1812 Americans. I've also got some miniatures on order, their for the new Batman: Arkham City game from Knight Models - Killer Croc and some Policemen to be precise.

These models are absolutely gorgeous, although I'm a little uncertain as to whether the scale (nominally 35mm) will match some of the larger Heroclix models I've got, so I've help back on ordering more for now. If they do match, I'll probably end up only buying the minis for characters I don't have decent Heroclix sculpts for (Catwoman and Nightwing spring to mind), as the range is somewhat pricey. If they don't match, I will have a bit of soul searching as to whether to pursue expensive quality or stick with what I've got.

Anyway, those decisions will come later - for now my target for February is:

  • Paint and base Killer Croc and the two Gotham Policemen to a higher standard than my usual
  • Rebase and repaint/touch up at lease three Heroclix characters
  • Construct and begin painting my first piece of urban terrain
That's quite a big target, but February does include a half term. However, I'll work on things one at a time and that last target is suitably vague as to allow me to prioritise effectively.

Monday 21 January 2013

Bloodbowl Champignons!

Presenting...the MUSHINGTON REDCAPS!

This is my new Blood Bowl team for the coming season. As a Halfling team, I don't have the highest hopes for victory (or even scoring), but I felt like that at the start of the season a couple of years ago when I eventually won the club league with my Ogre team, the Tiny 'n' Titans.

The models are from Rapier Miniatures, one of those old school eclectic miniatures manufacturers, which I stumbled upon amidst all the corporate stands at the Derby World Wargames show last year. I'd highly recommend having a browse around their site, especially the Witches and Beastmen sections, as there are some really original models in there - I did consider a Pumpkinman Undead teams...maybe next year.

The team was a doddle to paint in my usual 'hurl-paint-from-across-a-darkened-room' style, and as you can see, the only need the bases finishing. I'm waiting for the weather to improve a bit because I need dryer weather to get them varnished before I add the static grass.

I've gone for a thematic numbering system with the white spots, although it began to get tricky at the higher numbers due to limited space, so I invented the 'Fungal Numeral' system. A spot with a black outline is worth 10 so the numbers below are 8, 2 and 13 (not the best picture...).

My goal for the season is to win at least one game (probably Matt's Gobbos), finish above at least one team in the table (probably Matt's Gobbos) and to gloat over every touchdown I manage to score over 'proper' teams (everybody except Matt's Gobbos).

In other news I played another campaign game of Flames of War on Sunday, and it turned out to be the fastest game I've ever played. I rolled out the mid-war Pantherkompanie (8 CT Panthers...and that's it!) because I'd forgotten my Ostfront book and could remember everything's stats and ran them up against Pete's Red Arm Tankovy (15 T-34's, 2 SU-somethings and a unit of motorised infantry) in a No Retreat scenario.

I was attacking so Pete had to leave two units off the table as reserves (the T-34's) and could put one unit in ambush (the SU's). I took the opportunity to put my objective as far as possible from the one Pete placed, thus forcing him to dig his infantry in around one of them and use his ambush to protect the other.

To cut a long story short, I rushed forwards with the Panthers to put pressure on the 'unprotected' objective. Pete sprang his ambush and across two turns, managed to bail two Panthers. In return I managed to destroy both heavy tanks and land on the objective by the end of my turn 3. Pete had been unlucky with his reserves, none arrived until turn 3, he had been (understandably) reluctant to run his conscript infantry across open ground towards the threatened objective, and he'd also placed his objective too far forward for his T-34's to even contest it when they did arrive.

Unable to do more than scratch my front armour, Pete was forced to concede defeat. It was possibly my most convincing win ever. Admittedly, there were a number of factors in my favour - the scenario, Pete's list choice, his objective placement (unfamiliarity with the scenario caused this), his reserve rolls - but ultimately, it was one of those rare reminders that a Pantherkompanie has it's cheesy moments despite being hideously one-dimensional.

This week holds hopefully varnishing and basing the Mushrooms, and perhaps a start on a project which I hope will see me trying to demonstrate a significant improvement in my painting. I'll also try to get a final campaign game in with my Americans as Matt and I try to win the whole damn shooting match.

Sunday 13 January 2013

"Where does he get those wonderful toys?"

In the spirit of keeping to my New Years blog resolutions I thought I'd show you my latest purchase: the Batmobile!

It's been a good long while since I did anything regarding my ongoing superhero project, but this beauty was too much of a bargain to pass up. It's the first in a series of collectors models that come with the monthly magazine 'Batman Automobilia' from Eaglemoss Publishing.  Each month, for the princely sum of £9.99 you get a leaflet that passes for a magazine about the technical specifications of a specific Batmobile from the comics or the films.

"£9.99 doesn't sound too much of a bargain," I hear you mutter. That may be, however, this little beauty, being the first issue is a loss leader and a half at only £2.99. Cheaphammer and then some. As it's only available this month, I suggest that if you have any interest in supers gaming, you should get a wriggle on and buy it. When this was originally released a couple of years ago I missed the boat and picking up on ebay for less than £20 is near enough impossible.

As a side note, next month's issue has the 'Tumbler' from the more recent Batman films, although I believe the scale isn't as good as this one; as can bee seen with the Batman I painted some time ago stood next to it. In terms of work, all I've done is give the silver parts a black wash to take the edge off.

The model also came as a diorama with a couple of oil drums and another (more 'filmy') Matman model which seems to be about the right scale, so this could even be a starter set for supers gaming.

 Anyway, enough of advertising. I've got to get back to my mushrooms. See you next week. Same bat-time, same bat-channel.

Sunday 6 January 2013

New Year, New Approach

Happy New Year!

Yes, I know that this isn't my first post of the year, but that one was actually a holdover from December.

So a new year and new resolutions are upon us and so, in keeping with the season, I'm going to make a few resolutions about this here blog.

  1. I shall post at least once a week. I used to manage this, however in recent times I've been struggling. Reasons are many and varied, and not a little dull so I won't bore you. Suffice to say, I need to make some time for this.
  2. I shall spruce up the site. You may have noticed that this has begun already. I need to probably add a decent picture to the header and endeavour to make things more visually appealing and relevant.
  3. I shall improve my photography. This means locating my camera and using that instead of my phone, or simply taking more time over the composition and lighting of the shots I take.
  4. I shall cut back on the battle reports. I do like writing these, but I feel that they became a chore and are one of the reasons for me not posting as often as I used to. I'll still do reports for VBCW and other games beyond the regular pick up games at the club and I'll happily keep my legions of fans updated with results, but I'm no longer going into detail about every single game I have.
  5. I'm bringing back the progress targets. Although the Tale of Gamers seemed to fizzle out, I'm going to reinstate my setting of targets as means of motivating myself to get some painting done. If I can persuade previous ToG's to get back to this I will as both Matt and Aneurin have recently returned to their bligs and so perhaps we can kick things off again.
So on that note here are my targets for January:
  • Paint and base my new Bloodbowl team - the Mushington Redcaps. That's 15 Mini-Mushroom Men (Halflings) and 2 Big Mushroom Men (Treemen) and three counters for score, re-rolls and turn number.
Given that the club's league begins in February, if I fail to get this done, I'll start incurring penalties and losing half of my league points, which as a Halfling team could actually put me into minus figures!

Friday 4 January 2013

FOW Campaign - State of Play

With a bit of a hiatus over Christmas the campaign ground to a little bit of a halt, and I also forgot to post the most recent game results. So a quick update...

The Americans continued their speedy advance but were caught on the hop and forced to hold their gains in a swirling cauldron of fire.  Although they took losses, General Matton's men held on for victory (4-3).

Meanwhile, the 8th Army and the Afrikakorps engaged in a fierce 'dust up' in the desert. The Germans struggled to hold against the waves of British tanks whilst sending a small strike force to cut the British lines of communication, forcing the British to retreat. (4-3)

So, with the campaign extended to the end of January (due to the lack of games in December) the Americans need only a single victory to secure their objective. The British and Soviets have struggled to make gains and the Germans have done well to hold as long as they have.