Thursday, 31 May 2018

The Few

“Never in the field of wargames blogging, has a post read by so many, owed so much, to so few minutes painting...”

Another of my ‘quick wins’ today, as I strive to clear my painting queue of traffic.

I’m not entirely sure why I hadn’t finished these before as both models needed very little work to complete.

Winston Churchill was a free miniature I got with the Operation Sea Lion campaign book, and there is actually a scenario that features him in there.

Even when games don’t feature ‘Winnie’, he’ll serve well in my VBCW royalists and LDV units in the Sea Lion games. The only issue is that smg’s, like his Thompson, aren’t easy to slip into LDV lists, as they tended to be issued to front line units.

This little contraption is something I threw together for my VBCW force several years back, using two unarmed schoolboys from Woodbine Designs.

The idea is that it’s an improvised mortar using some guttering nailed to a barrel. I probably still need to add the actual projectile, but that’s not a problem big enough to keep it on my table.

In game terms, the closest unit I can find for this is a Spigott Mortar or Blacker Bombard in the Home Guard list from Campaign Sea Lion, although it’s not got the ‘Dangerous’ rule, it is a mortar that is ‘Tricky to Aim’ and has an inexperienced crew, which seems appropriate. It does need a third crewman, but for that I’ll use the teacher model as the Science Master overseeing the boys’ experiment.

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Small Victories

I’m currently trying to get on top of a miniature backlog that has grown somewhat over the past six months, and so getting some small victories and easy wins seems the order of the day.

And victories don’t come much smaller than these guys...

They are Mousers, the robotic servitors of Baxter Stockman in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and they are a custom sculpt that I believe might have been a limited run. I was lucky enough to hear about them at the right time.

In terms of painting, they were incredibly simple and the bases actually took more work, which wasn’t much.

In terms of 7TV, the Mousers serve as a good fillets for my Foot Clan, instead of random scientists and bystanders, as they are economical with plot points (they get a free move if they don’t activate), and surprisingly fast (they can get to almost anywhere on the board as a special action), which makes them good as objective grabbers or an ambusing force.

Although these particular models are probably not still available, Greebo Miniatures do a not-Mouser in their not-Turtles range, and Heroclix have mousers in varying numbers which would be perfectly acceptable. However, neither of these are massively cheap options for large numbers of Mousers as Greebo have prices to match the quality of their range, and the Heroclix Mousers are rare, which adds to the cost. Nevertheless, if you only want a couple, then either will serve well.

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

When Hogs May Fly...

Dropzone Commander.


Dropzone Commander.

I bet you thought I’d never get back to this, it’s been ages. Reports and painting have been as rare as the proverbial flying pigs.

And to celebrate, I’ve painted a flying pig!

It’s actually a Hellhog, and finally adds some much needed air support for my beleaguered Resistance. Also, given that I was playing Pete, it would finally give me a chance to strike at his Kodiak command unit, Ferrum Drone Carrier and Longbow artillery, that for too long have rained death from afar upon my tanks, destroying them almost the instant they touched the table.

My forces were ready for action. This would be my first 1500 point game (hence the need to paint an extra unit) and saw my entire army in action. I was finally ready to turn the tables on Pete’s UCM.

And then he turned up with a PHR army he’s been painting in secret!

What’s more, the random scenario was Bunker Assault, which is about taking and holding focal points at the end of the game, a task the sturdy, but slow, PHR are well suited to. My Resistance are better at the objective finding and stealing missions due to their flexibility and speed.

However, as this was a new army for Pete, he was limited in what he could use, and only had one AA unit, which in theory meant that once I’d destroyed those two walkers, my aircraft heavy force, and especially the Hellhog, could strike with impunity at his vulnerable ground troops.

Four turns later, the damned AA walkers were still there, and when the Hellhog did arrive, I did my attack run straight at them, and unleashed the terrifyingly named Satan Chaingun at them, hitting all eight times! Thanks to the focus rules I was able to combine these hits into two energy 12 blasts that would destroy the unit once and for all.

Pete uttered the immortal words, “just don’t roll a double one.”

The curse of the new model struck again!

The AA walkers turned around and ignominiously blasted the Hellhog out of the sky.

However, this allowed my remaining Cyclone and three Lifthawks free reign and they swooped in to finally remove the AA threat.

Meanwhile, my infantry were doing a stirling job, with the Marine Force recon, whose Raven had been shot down on turn two, holding on to the central building in the face of waves of PHR infantry. This building was fully secured by my command Alexander managing to withstand two rounds of shooting from the Hades heavy walker.

My Resistance Fighters also expelled the PHR from another building and my Free Riders weathered fire from Pete’s Valkyries to ensure I had more points in and around four of the five buildings, securing me a 12-6 victory.

The game was good fun (as always, I seem to forget how much I like this game) and there were swings of luck on both sides. I’ve still got a few more units to paint, and so I hope to play a bit more in the near future.

In other ‘rare as flying pigs news,’ I have finally, after thirty years, managed to arrange for a 6’x4’ table in my own house.

This should mean I might be able to get some more big battles played, and see the the more frequent return of some old favourites such as: Flames of War, Kings of War and WAB (although I’d probably use KoW Historical now), along with some newer games I’ve been building up to like Sharpe Practice.

Good times ahead!

Saturday, 26 May 2018

He-Month 2: Masters of the Juniverse

Summer’s on its way and in the time since the last He-Month, I’ve managed to build up a small backlog of Masters of the Universe related miniatures, enough that it’s time for another He-Month (see the benefit of the name now, it’s a moveable feast).

Therefore the plan is that Leon (Pulp Citizen, Eclectic Gentleman Gamer) and I will engage in another month long push to add to our collections. This time, however, we’re looking for others to join in.

We know it’s a bit of a niche interest, but if you are interested in joining in, the rules are as follows:
  • You need to paint or build a single miniature or terrain piece with a link to Masters of the Universe each week if He-Month.
  • Your finished work needs to be posted either on your blog, the MotU Gaming Facebook group it similar social media platform by the end of each Sunday of the month.
  • Encourage and support others partaking in He-Month.
And that’s it. And don’t worry if you can’t do every week, just join in anyway.

I’ll aim to do a summary blog post showing off everyone’s work each week.

If you’re interested, please comment below with the address of where you’ll be posting your progress, and I’ll put a list together.

I’m fully aware that this could end up just being me and Leon again, and frankly, that’s not going to stop us.

Sunday, 20 May 2018

The Odd Couple

Two more Descent characters completed. This time it’s Tomble Burrowell the Halfling (possibly Gnome) Thief, and Syndrael the Elven Knight.

Tomble was a fun little model to paint. Most of the colours I used on him are sort of the same browny/red palette, which meant that all I needed to do was basecoat, wash and pick out details. Fortunately, he’s also well defined enough that his face has plenty of character too.

However, Syndrael is probably my least favourite Descent model so far. The gold armour has turned out okay (all gold never works out that well), but there are sculpting issues that let the model down. The sword is a bit of a stubby mess, the cloak is flat and ugly, and the facial features are too shallow for me to be able to pick out details. Also, there are several ugly mould lines that, despite my attempts to tidy them, still look a bit of a mess.

However, she’s okay and hasn’t turned out as a mess. I’m sorry of regretting using blue for her robes too, as the card art is bluey-green and this colour is probably too similar to two of the other characters.

Still, lessons learned...

Thursday, 17 May 2018

The Quick and the Dead

Why ‘the quick and the dead’ you ask?

Quick because I’ve been doing these Descent models with alarmingly slapdash haste. 

Dead because, well, y’know...zombies!

Another batch of Descent models completed in time for our first outing into the world of Terrinoth, and they include my first two heroes.

First up, the zombies...

Nothing really to write home about here. My standard approach to zombie flesh, pale brown rotting garments, a quick wash, done.

I didn’t want to spend too long on these models as they’re frankly not very exciting. Single pose models always bore me somewhat, and so speed was the order of the day.

I did take the time to splatter the master zombie in gore to mark him out clearly though.

The first hero is Widow Tahra, a Half-Orc Necromancer/Witch. Yes, I agree, that does sound more like a villain.

The hero models in Descent are small, somewhere between 20mm and 25mm, and true scale. This, along with moulded bases, swirling cloaks and fairly shallow details does make painting a bit tricky for somebody who is overly reliant on washes and dry-brushes.

However, I’m quite pleased with how the Widow has turned out. I’ve tried to keep things simple, and it seems to have worked.

Widow Tahra will definitely be hitting the table in our inaugural campaign, as Matt requested to use her, and so being a lovely chap, I painted her first.

The second hero completed is Jain Fairwood, a Human Archer (much more heroic). No, I’m not going for a purple theme for my heroes, it just so happens that. The card art for these two, which I’m using as a guide, has them both in purple robes.

I’m quite pleased with Jain’s face. Not because it’s brilliant, but because it’s okay despite the model having very shallow features.

It’s not clear whether Jain will be joining the adventuring party, as Pete, to help speed things up, has painted his own character (he’s also bought the game to run with another group), and Wes hasn’t decided who he want to be. He’ll essentially get to choose from the models Pete and I have managed to paint before Sunday. Hopefully, I’ll be able to add a couple more options before the game...stay tuned...

Sunday, 6 May 2018

When the evil Shredder attacks...

An opportunity arose for me to play Matt at 7TV as he’s recently bought the boxed set and fancied a game. He gave me the choice of what setting to use, and as my Foot Clan has never hit the table in anger, it was time for them to face down the Turtles.

We played 40 ratings (they’re was a little bit of padding in the Foot cast) using the Race scenario, and the casts were as follows:

Splinter, sensei 
Leonardo, leads
Donatello, does machines 
Raphael, cool but crude
Michelangelo, party dude
Casey Jones, vigilante 
April O’Neil, reporter
Bystander, standing by

Shredder, evil
Baxter Stockman, fly guy
Rocksteady, horny
Bebop, bit of a pig
Foot Clan Leader, leads the Foot Clan
5 Foot Clan Ninjas, turtle food
3 Scientists, making up the numbers

The Foot Clan enter the scene en masse.

Baxter Stockman buzzes around on his own.

The Foot Clan R&D team are up to something.

The Turtles have brought all their allies to this fight, even Steve, their accountant.

Leonardo plan to infiltrate earlier in the night means he’s already searching for the container of mutagen dropped by a Krang stealth ship.

Raph and Donnie are also out and about searching too.

Casey Jones is sneaking about ready to bring justice to any evildoers who turn up.

The R&D department strikes! They use a prototype teleporter to search for the mutagen on the rooftops.

Sensing the Turtles in the vicinity, the Foot Clan surge down the road, intent on using numbers to their advantage.

Baxter Stockman flies off to search for the mutagen alone.

However, he’s beaten to his goal by Leonardo’s use of one of Donatello’s inventions...a jet pack. Buzz buzz!

After Raph finally finds the mutagen, the Turtles rush towards the massed ninjas to confront them.

Suddenly, the R&D team use their teleporter to switch Professor von Trickpony with Casey Jones and unleash a sleep spray on Splinter, rendering him unconscious and vulnerable to the Foot Clan’s attacks.

The ninjas swarm the Turtles, but Donatello does a stirling job of weathering their attacks.

A frustrated Casey can only watch on from the rooftops.

Shredder seizes the initiative and the Foot Clan presses its advantage.

Shredder joins the assault on Donatello, who eventually succumbs to the evil ninjutsu master.

Raphael manages to fight back and take down Rocksteady and a ninja.

Things look bad for the Turtles. Splinter and Donnie are down, and Bebop is threatening to break through to April and Steve the accountant.

Raphael interposed himself between Bebop and April, who is probably recording all this.

Cowabunga! Mikey strikes, unleashing a knock out gas of his own (anchovy, egg and peanut butter pizza breath), weakening the Foot.

Casey drops from the rooftop. It’s payback time, as the Turtles seize the initiative right back.

A vicious slap shot renders the professor unconscious. Goal!

Mikey skates clear of danger to finish his pizza, whilst Leonardo arrives on the scene to lend his katanas to the fight.

Leo’s katanas clear two of the ninjas and seriously injure the Shredder. That was for Splinter!

Whilst Leo faces down the Shredder, Raph takes out Bebop.

Casey leaps in to attack Shredder from behind and Raph chews through the ninja hordes. The Foot Clan are thin on the ground and look ready to break.

Shredder’s threats keep his men in the fight, and he leads by example, taking out both Casey and Leo.

Only Raph and Mikey still stand against the Foot, but Shredder is injured, the ninjas are almost all gone, the Professor is unconscious, and Baxter Stockman is a coward.

Shredder orders the retreat.

The game actually ended in a 12-12 draw due to Matt getting an unlucky roll of a 1 for the maguffin. It was a brutal fight, and I briefly thought I’d win when I managed to ambush Splinter with the sleep spray and seized the initiative to put Donatello out of action.

However, the Turtles are tough, and Raphael’s fight back ability was pretty much taking down everybody who attacked him, and so the numbers evened out pretty quickly. The Shredder is a beast in combat, but his weak point is his rather squishy underlings, and insane confidence means he’s more likely to run when his cast is axed.

As ever, I got a bucketload of rules wrong in the first couple of turns, I really need to play this game more regularly.

As a side note, if 7TV catches your interest from my blog reports, Crooked Dice is currently running a Kickstarter campaign for their new folk horror range and programme guide, Children of the Fields (think The Wicker Man meets The Devil Rides Out meet The League of Gentlemen). It’s a fantastic way to get into this excellent rule set.

Go and back it!