Saturday 30 January 2016

He Who Laughs Last, Laughs Biggest!

I've finished my Joker crew for the Batman Miniatures Game, and I've gone for a big finish.

This is the Titan Clown, a big bruiser pumped up on the Titan drug, as featured in the Arkham Asylum console game, ready to add some punch to my crew. He's big, fast and hits hard for a relatively low reputation cost. What's more, as a henchman, he can be given equipment, such as Neurotoxic Drugs to make him even faster, or even a Bat-Claw, to allow him to chase down those pesky rooftop loitering heroes. Next time I see Arrow, he's getting a clown to the face!

Titan Clown is big, but I wanted bigger...

 Titan Joker!

This massive beast of a model trades Joker's usual trickery and shenanigans for raw killing power. He encourages a more direct style of play, and is vulnerable to enemy shooting, but he should pretty much destroy anyone he gets into base to base contact with. I'm tempted to take him to my next tournament, rather than Arkham City Joker, simply to avoid the tuts that usually great shooting round corners, one shot kills and henchmen who can rearrange their counters. I also imagine that he'll be a blast to play if backed up with some other fast killers like the Titan Clown and Victor Zsasz.

Both of these models were surprisingly quick to paint, despite their size, and on the subject of which, here's a scale shot with a regular model.

So, I've met my goal for the month. Hurrah!

I've still got a second hand duplicate Ringmaster to work with, but I'm waiting to see if I can get my hands on one of the tournament exclusive character cards for Six, an upgraded Shield Clown, in order to do a conversion, so he can wait. I can now do several variations of a 350 rep crew for the Joker, so I'm happy that I don't need to be adding anything more.

Next month, I should have a bit more time to paint, so I'm going to set myself a slightly larger target, but you'll have to wait and see what that is.

2016 lead pile count:
Acquired - 0
Painted - 4

Sunday 17 January 2016

Stepping on the Gas

The last time I put paint on a model was just after Christmas. I've been struggling with motivation.

I've also been accutely aware that I said I'd continue to set targets. However I've not known what to work on.

This has now changed!

I've signed up for another Batman tournament in March and I want to take my fully fledged Joker crew out for a spin. I can already field 350 rep if I use free agents and Blackgates, but I've figured that this is a good way to get back into target driven painting.

So, my goal for what remains of January is to complete the Joker crew models I own that remain unpainted.

These include:
- 2 Joker Gas Cannister Objectives
- Titan Joker
- Titan Clown
- Ringmaster (being converted into something else)

First up, the Gas Objectives.

I've kept the work on these simple to ease myself in and score an easy win. I could have put something on the side of the canisters, and I may yet add that later, but they'll do go now.

In game these are great for weakening opponents early as models within 10cm need to test to avoid taking damage. They're not so good against enemy elites, and Joker's men can also take damage, but at the very least, they should force my opponents to spread out, making them easier to pick off.

So, first bit done. On to the big boys.

2016 lead pile count: 
Acquired - 0
Painted - 2

Saturday 16 January 2016

X-Wing: The Game Awakens

There is a disturbance in the Force...

With the arrival of the long awaited rebirth of the Star Wars franchise, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Pete and I are currently experiencing a new burst of enthusiasm for the X-Wing Miniatures game. So last week, we agreed to create two 100 point fleets each, me as Rebels and Pete as Imperials, and spend an evening making spaceship noises.

Game 1


  • Blue Squadron Pilot (B-Wing) with Heavy Laser Cannon
  • Blue Squadron Pilot (B-Wing) with Heavy Laser Cannon
  • Rookie Pilot (X-Wing)
  • Rookie Pilot (X-Wing)

My thoughts behind this list was mainly to get my two B-Wings on the table for the first time. However, I had a lot of fire-power but only low skill pilots.


  • Soontir Fel (TIE Interceptor) - Push the Limit, Stealth Device
  • Commander Kenkirk (VT-49 Decimator) - Engine Upgrade, Rebel Captive and other upgrades I can't remember

Although I had an advantage in fire-power and numbers, but Pete's list had greater durability, manoeuvrability and better fire arcs. Pete higher pilot skill would also have the ability to react to my moves and fire first.

The fleets advance. One of my X-Wings heads off on a flank attack.

The fleets open fire. The Decimator and an X-Wing take damage.

A dramatic K-turn sees Soontir Fel destroy the fleeing X-Wing.
The B-Wings pour fire on him, leaving the Interceptor on one damage.

The Imperials defend themselves by crashing into the B-Wings.
The X-Wing flank attack starts the long job of bringing down the Decimator.

The B-Wing's poor handling begins to show.
The Decimator takes more damage.

The Rebels pursue the Decimator, but Fel is ominously behind them.

Fel destroys a B-Wing.
The Decimator uses its Engine Upgrade to avoid fire arcs.
With two ships down and Soontir Fel stalking the Rebels, it was just a matter of time as he stalked and destroyed the Rebel ships in short order. The game was closer that it looked at the end as Soontir Fel had onlt a single damage point remaining and the Decimator was down to four (from about a hundred...I may be exaggerating). In fact, if I'd managed to score one extra hit on Soontir Fel on turn three, the game would have gone completely the other way.

In retrospect, I made two mistakes in this game. Firstly, the flank attack just delayed the second X-Wing's arrival to the fight. I'll admit that this was due to the fact that I didn't know the Decimator has a 360 degree attack. If my X-Wings had attacked together, I would have had an extra couple of shots early on, perhaps bringing down Soontir Fel.

Which brings me to the second issue. There were times when I had shots on Fel when I chose to shoot at the Decimator, as it was easier to hit and had a lot of toughness to remove. However, has I focused fire to bring down the Interceptor, Pete would had lost his advantage in manoeuvrability, and the B-Wings would have had longer to attack the Decimator. Honestly, I didn't identify the real threat.

Game 2


  • Han Solo (YT-1300, Millennium Falcon) with Chewbacca, Gunner, Engine Upgrade and Veteran Instincts
  • Jake Farrell (A-Wing, Test Pilot) with Chardaan Refit, Adrenaline Rush and Veteran Instincts
  • Prototype Pilot (A-Wing) with Chardaan Refit

This is my version of what's known as a 'Fat Han' build. The idea being that the Millennium Falcon can evade and boost it's way out of trouble, weather what fire it does take and then use what feels like endless re-rolls to ensure it's handing out at least some damage every turn. The A-Wings were there to draw fire and take on enemy fighters, thinning any swarms.


  • Rexler Brath (TIE Defender)
  • Howlrunner (TIE Fighter)
  • Backstabber (TIE Fighter)
  • Academy Pilot (TIE Fighter)
  • Academy Pilot (TIE Fighter)

Pete had a couple of upgrades that I can't remember. In a complete reversal of the first game, Pete had the fire-power and numbers, I had the manoeuvrability and endurance.

The Imperials split their forces.Howlrunner and Academy Pilots face the Falcon and Jake Farrell.
The Prototype Pilot tries to bait and switch the Defender and Backstabber.

In a surprise move, the Imperials focus fire on the Prototype Pilot.
This allows the Falcon and Jake Farrell to destroy an Academy TIE.

Things get close and ugly.
Jake Farell takes significant damage.

Jake Farrell uses Adrenaline Rush to get out of trouble.
The Rebels focus fire on the TIE Defender.

The Defender is destroyed as Jake Farrell once again miraculously survives.

Jake Farrell finally succumbs to enemy fire.
Han Solo faces the TIEs alone.

The Academy Pilot is the first to fall to the Falcon's guns.

The TIE's struggle to cause damage.

Howlrunner is finished off, Backstabber looks outmatched.

With a single TIE left and the Falcon still in rude health, we called it a day. The game would only have ended one way.

If I'm honest, my fleet took little to no skill to fly effectively and a fully tooled up Millennium Falcon is a tough beast. I think Pete made a mistake by attacking the Prototype Pilot early one, when Howlrunner and the Academy Pilots could/should have turned towards the Falcon. I think the only way to beat the Falcon is to concentrate on it. By the time Pete had taken out both A-Wings, he'd taken too much damage to stand a chance against the Falcon.

I'm not sure that a 'Fat Han' build is that much fun to play against, so I'm not sure it's something I'll do often. However, it's nice to know that it's there if there's a losing streak that needs breaking. Also, I like the fact that the iconic ship in the films is one of the best ships in the game; it feels right. So often in licensed games, the iconic characters are over shadowed by the unforeseen utility of 'Security Guard 3'. The Falcon should be hard to stop.

We're playing X-Wing again this week, but this time it's my turn to be the Imperials...

Monday 4 January 2016

The Customary New Year Post

Happy New Year!

As is customary in the gaming blogosphere, it's time for the annual review of the previous year's productivity and look forward to what's to come. It's quite text heavy this one, and I haven't done any pictures, but hopefully it'll be worth a read.


This year I set myself the target of completing a previously unfinished project every month with the penalty of having to get rid of things I failed to paint. The goal was to become lead mountain free. This hasn't happened, for a couple of reasons, but mainly because I ran out of steam around September, and the project that remain are somewhat larger and more difficult to complete.

However, I have done pretty well, finishing off a number of old projects, completing a few new ones that arose and generally ploughing through my mountain of metal, plastic and mdf. Here's how I got on:

January - Bolt Action Soviets
HMG & 3 Crew
Medium Mortar & 3 Crew
4 Scouts
2 Mine Dogs with Handlers
6 Pin Markers

February - A Very British Civil War Royalists
7 Gentlemen Farmers
12 Armed Schoolboys
2 School Staff Members

March - Urban Terrain
A whole host of things including a chain fence, barrels, a chimney, pipes, a radio antenna, a rooftop planter, a roof entrance and 3 Park Benches.

April - Flames of War Germans
3 Opel Blitz Trucks
Marder IIIM Tank Hunter
An Objective Marker

May - Dropzone Commander Resistance
2 Lifthawk Dropships
2 Hannibal Battle Tanks
Kraken Hovercraft
3 Jackson APC's
6 Infantry Stands

June - Guildball
6 Morticians Players
6 Union Players
A Ball

July - Muskets & Tomahawks
27 Woodland Indians

August - Batman Miniatures Game Tournament
This month I focused on preparing for the BMG World Tournament, the models I painted are listed in the Batman section below.

September - Dropzone Commander Resistance...again!
M3 Alexander Command Tank
8 Cardboard Buildings

October - Zombtober...sort of...
5 Zombies
Amy Pond
Elsa and Anna from Frozen

November - Marvel
Black Widow
4 Hydra Goons
(I also re-based the other models I'd done previously)

December - Bolt Action Soviets...again!
2 MDF Industrial Buildings

Overall, Operation Unthinkable has been a success. I may still have models left to paint, but I have really cleared the decks of those awkward little bits and pieces that hang around unfinished. I'm not sure the same format will work with the projects that are left, but setting clear targets has definitely had an impact.


Throughout the year, I've also been keeping on top of my Batman backlog and during 2015 I managed to complete the following models:

Batman Crew
Batman (Arkham Origins)
Batman (Frank Miller)
Robin (Tim Drake)
Red Hood,
Alfred Pennyworth
Black Canary
Spoiler (Clix)

Joker Crew
Joker (Arkham City)
Knife Clown
Pipe Clown

League of Assassins
Ra's Al Ghul (DKR)
3 Ninjas
Lady Siva (Clix)

Poison Ivy Crew
Poison Ivy
3 Plants

Free Agents
Victor Zsasz
3 Arkham Lunatics
4 Blackgate Prisoners
Ventriloquist (Clix)

Tokens & Terrain
4 Lamp Posts
4 Sewers
2 Riddle Markers
2 Arkham Warning Signs

On top of this I've managed to attend 3 tournaments and one campaign day, recording my biggest successes with the Batman crew, but overall, winning more than I lost. Stats for the the year in competitive games are: Played 13, Won 7, Drew 2, Lost 4. I definitely want to get to more tournaments and events this year as they're great days out. I also haven't given up on convincing our little gaming group to play BMG a little more often, but I've been laying off for a bit.


This year has been a great year for blogging and I've written my highest number of posts in a year since I began the blog. However, I am aware that back in 2011, I wrote 55 posts in only 7 months. This was severely helped by being part of a 'Tale of..' project with several other bloggers which kept me motivate and enthused. This year, Operation Unthinkable and the 6MMRPC project have helped get that motivation back, but both were severely affected by my return to work in Spetember.

I'm always really appreciative of the comments I receive on the blog and I'm trying to ensure that I reply to as many as I can.


This year has seen some of our previously common games like Attack Wing and Flames of War take a bit of a back seat to new kids on the block like Imperial Assault and Dropzone Commander, both of which I really enjoy and would highly recommend. I've also tried a few other new games like Frostgrave (which I've not made my mind up about yet, and need to play outside of multi-player), Guildball (which I really want more games of to give me a reason to buy official miniatures) and the different variations of 7TV (there's just too much potential in this ruleset, so much to choose from). Bolt Action and BMG are still there, although Bolt Action had a bit of a hiatus during Dropzone fever, and BMG is almost exclusively something I play at tournaments.

In terms of looking forwards, Dropfleet Commander is due to hit us in the summer and we all backed the Kickstarter and have a stupid bucketload of miniatures arriving, hopefully in June. We also all bought the Kings of War Rules and are getting round to re-basing armies for it. We're going to give a Frostgrave campaign a go, and with the release of The Force Awakens, X-Wing fleets are being dusted off for the first time in a good long while. I want to do about ninety different things with 7TV, but mainly continue my solo 7ombieTV campaign. Games like Black Powder and Dreadfleet will likely continue to be one-offs, but good for multi-player fun.


And here's the important bit. Theses are the gaming goals I'm going to commit to in the coming year:

1. Continue to set targets each month to maintain my motivation to work through my lead pile - format to be decided.

2. Complete at least three of the following projects:

    • US War of 1812 for Muskets & Tomahawks
    • Mid-War US Tank Company for Flames of War
    • German Last Levy Army for Bolt Action
    • 6mm ACW Union Army for Black Powder
    • Rebase Wood Elf Army for Kings of War
    • More heroes and villains for Marvel (oh and write some rules)
    • Get DZC Resistance to 1500 points
    • Penguin Crew and Two Face Crew for BMG

3. Respond to all comments on the blog and get back to commenting on other people's blogs.

4. Play in at least three BMG events.

5. Get a playable fleet painted for Dropfleet Commander at the same time as the others so that I'm not playing catch up like I am with DZC.

I'll be back to pictures and stuff next time. TTFN.