Saturday 28 March 2020

Added Firepower

A few more additions to my Fallschirmjager for Bolt Action: a flamethrower, two panzerfausts, and a HQ team.

I was hoping to get through things a little faster with being at home, however, I've been having a bit of struggle with my motivation which I don't know whether to put down to a lack of urgency that lockdown has brought with it; my frustration with ploughing through painting camouflage; or my general antipathy towards painting plastic miniatures.

The flamethrower is the last of the metal teams I got from Warlord Games, and the first flamethrower I've done for Bolt Action.

I'm well aware of the dread these things instill in me when they are on the other side of he table, and I'm hoping they will have a similar effect on my opponents.

Given the lack of anti-tank options Fallschirmjager have, panzerfausts are a must for providing defence against enemy armour because the panzerschrek I painted last week can't be everywhere.

Although I'm not overly keen on painting lots of camouflage, it is unsurprisingly good at hiding things, like some not brilliant assembly of multi-part plastic models. It covers up a multitude of sins.

One of the sins it covers up are some questionable decisions when it comes to posing miniatures. I put these together some months ago and I'm not sure what I was thinking.

However, they look okay but have reminded me how much more I prefer painting metal miniatures to plastics due to the more defined detail.

I still have one more sprue of Warlord Fallschirmjager to go to finish off my army, so I'll have to get my teeth and get through them.

That's six more painted but I recieved an order from Mantic Ganes that I placed to take advantage of free delivery, reduced prices and a stash of Mantic Points.

Acquired: 112
Painted: 79

Sunday 22 March 2020

The Right Tool For The Job

Continuing with my drive to finish off ongoing Bolt Action projects, I've returned to the Fallschirmjager to add some support options to address specific battlefield concerns. To this end I've completed a sniper team, a Panzerschrek team and a recoilless light howitzer.

Too many infantry heading your way? What you need is some artillery!

The only artillery, beyond a few mortars, available in Fallschirmjager specific theatre selectors is the 75mm LG40 recoilless light gun.

Amusingly, this model has a gun shield but the gun doesn't have one in the game rules. This is in sharp contrast to my Soviet MMG which has the gun shield rule but the has a gun shield that would struggle to protect an anemic squirrel.

Enemy armour bearing down on your position? Why not try to hit them in the flank with a Panzerschrek?

Without armoured support of their own and the artillery slot being occupied by the LG40, the Fallschirmjager will have to rely on man-packed anti-tank options to repel enemy tanks. I discovered in a game against Matt that the anti-tank rifle really isn't up to the job.

For some reason, I've only recently found my Soviets on the receiving end of Panzerschreks, and given that experience, I'm looking forward to see what carnage this pair can cause.

Is there a weapons team you absolutely have to silence? Or an enemy officer being just that bit too motivational? Why not introduce them to a sniper?

Although you can arguably use any rifleman as a sniper and get away with it, it's nice to have a dedicated and identifiable unit to prevent confusion.

Snipers vary in their effectiveness, and a veteran sniper could turn out to be that bit too expensive, however, it's nice to have options.

All of these models are from Warlord Games and, too be honest, I have mixed feelings about them. Although detailed and well sculpted, there was lots of flash to clean up, sometimes in places where it was difficult to do so without damaging the model. I much prefer the clean simplicity of the Artizan or Crusader models, however, they don't do the same range of weapons teams.

I've got another dozen models to go, most of them plastic, before I'm calling this army done, so expect to see more in the coming weeks.

I'm counting that as eight painted (the gun is a separate model) and I bought a couple of pieces for an Operation Sealion project that you might see in the coming weeks too, depending if I can get a few things for it via the post.

Acquired: 108
Painted: 73

As a separate note, these are uncertain times we're living through, and so I hope you are all well and stay that way. I'm now working from home, which should mean that I'll have some more time (n case my employer is reading, this is because I'm not commuting, obvs) to get more painting done, which might provide a bit of distraction for you in the weeks ahead.

Take care.

Friday 6 March 2020

Dropzone: First Contact

Our 'Battle For Earth' campaign continues...

After a failed attempt to seize the orbital defence network as a precursor for invasion, Pete's UCM land a small insertion force in what was once Nairobi with the aim of accessing key Intel about the Scourge defences.

The force dispatched was led by a Wolf command vehicle and was supported by 3 Katana assault tanks. Three units of Legionnaires were dispatched in Raven light dropships to seize the objectives quickly, and a sizeable contingent of air cover was provided in the form of 3 Rapiers and 4 Wolverines. 2 Condors provided fast transport for the slow moving tanks.

As soon as the incursion was detected, the Scourge diverted a rapid reaction force led by an experienced Despot command walker, carried by an Intruder light dropships. Three Marauders carried the standard compliment of 3 Hunter assault skimmers, 3 Reaper AA skimmers and 2 Invader transports each carrying a squad of Scourge Warriors.

Early maneuvers saw both forces deploying their infantry to grab objectives quickly. The UCM grabbed the two closest to them, whilst the Scourge infantry, limited to a single dropship, secured two objectives on the right flank, whilst deploying their skimmers to defend the unclaimed objectives on the left with the aim of switching across later before the UCM could strike that far.

First blood went to the Scourge when deepstriking Hunters displayed incredibly precise and powerful plasma to incinerate the entire Kantana squad. This was followed up when a squad of Warriors obliterated the UCM commander with focused plasma rifle fire.

The UCM infantry moved quickly and secured a third objective, however a wall of Scourge stood between them and their final target. The Marauders and Intruder poured plasma fire into the building in an attempt to repel them to no avail.

The Hunter squad continued to rampage forwards, pushing back the Reapers away from the Scourge transports. The Despot scuttled out to ambush the Wolverines, but failed to harm them in spectacular fashion.

This ineptitude didn't last, though, and the Wolverines and the Reapers were all destroyed shortly afterwards. Squads of Legionnaires tried to retaliate from nearby buildings with limited success, taking out a single Hunter.

Meanwhile, a single squad of Warriors had vacated a building, which had almost been brought down by Reaper fire, boarded their Invader and embarked on a Marauder. Their mission: to get across to the remaining objective before the UCM could get to the target.

With the Reapers pushed back, the only things that could stop them were a single Falcon gunship and the possibility of Pete rolling a 6 for initiative on the following turn (by this time I had a massive Command advantage).

Needless to say, a 6 wasn't rolled, and the slim chance of the Falcon's AA reaction fire failed to bring down the Marauder, and so the Warriors seized the final objective.

To add injury to insult, the final objective turned out to be a critical location.

With the Scourge handily already grouped around the area, the UCM not having a real chance of damaging Scourge vehicles and any attempt to strike at the objective likely to result in light dropships succumbing to AA fire, Pete decided to withdraw, leaving the final score at 4-3 to me.

A successful first outing for my Scourge was characterised by a little bit of tactical thinking backed up with a healthy dose of good fortune:
  • Pete losing his two hardest hitting units to frankly offensively good dice at the start of the game put him on the back foot straight away. To be fair, neither of us knew that Scourge units hit that hard.
  • My strategy of defending an objective to be collected later offset the disadvantage my infantry had in mobility, but was massively aided by the fact that the final objective turned out to be the only critical location (we rolled each time an objective was taken).
  • I had a CV4 commander due to not painting enough models, and this gave me a tactical advantage in the end game when rolling for initiative became crucial.
After two surprising victories, I now take a 4-0 lead into the next game, which will be a Dropfleet battle with both fleets arriving piecemeal.

Apparently we will need to bombard ground targets, and I don't have any ships that do that. Fortunately I have a single sprue of Frigates left unassembled that are making their way to the shipyard as I type.

Sunday 1 March 2020

Something For The Weekend

I've built a shed.

The shed is from Sarissa Precision and I got it free for participating in last year's great wargaming survey. There was a choice of this, some Rubicon tank commanders or some plastic holdings. I chose the shed as it could serve as terrain for VBCW, Operation Sealion or even 7TV Pulp.

It actually goes well with the cottage I've had for years and I decided to base it with an allotment and a couple of pumpkins I had lying around (as you do) to add a little colour.

I still feel there's something missing and it feels a bit bare, so I'll probably have a bit of a rummage in the bits box fir tools or boxes that could add to it.

This week I took delivery of another 12 Crooked Dice miniatures I bought with my voucher from Board in Brum, along with another custom sculpt for Masters of the Universe, so this week is very much in the red.

Acquired: 106 
Painted: 65

Btw - Bonus internet points for the first to identify the link between the post and the title.