Saturday, April 30, 2016

Random Painting.

   I am aware that a lot of my blog work or gaming for that matter focuses on the WW2 theme. It is true that it is the core period my wife and I play. However, like all projects and especially, the one I am currently working on, it is always good to take a little break from it all. Call it a "Mini-Paintcation", if you will. For today, I decided to paint some terrain pieces that can be for WW2, but modern times as well. Nothing says modern like a bunch of dumpsters. Dumpster diving, anyone?
    I also took the time to paint some zombie survivors. Really, I think the whole zombie thing is a little over played in our culture right now, but there are a lot of cool figures for them. The ones below are by Hasselfree Miniatures. I have a bunch more of these, because I will eventually get around to finishing our Sharknado Project. After all, Sharknado 4 is coming out this summer. I can wait for all the cheese!


Friday, April 29, 2016

Historicon Layout 2016.

     It is almost that time of year, Christmas, I mean, Historicon 2016 will soon be fast approaching, which means that I have to complete my game in time. Though, Historicon is about a two months away, that is still fairly a short time for the project of my size. This is the problem with trying to raise the standard to convention games is the time to finish it. The projected plan was to finish everything about June. There is a good chance I can do it on that time table. At this point, the planning for our four part game at Historicon has been in the making since January. That seems like a long time, but here are the list of problems when planning out a project.
   One: the reality is that it is just my wife and I. Unlike a lot of games with lots of detailed scenery and figures, this is just our stuff. There are some awesome games played at conventions were here that they were sponsored by a wargaming group or club. Though, after watching a interview for the Vietnam table at Salute 2016, he handmade all of his terrain and painted his figures much like I am doing.
    Two: we are not made of money. That goes without saying for most of us. In our case, I had to budget out our game by month to pay for it. Of course, I made it a point that we can use most of our stuff while I am building and making it. There is no way I would dump that much money into a one time game. I already sort of have done that with our Market Garden board. We played a total of five games on that board. Since one of our local gaming halls has been put of out commission, we really have no way of playing on it. So it is sadly collecting dust at the moment. However, this game, I decided to have it cut in three sections, so we can use them individual for a game table.
     Three: the storage of all of this has been a recent issue. With my previous made hedgerows, which were dirt simple, we could jus stack them in a box on top of each other like bricks. No worries there! Now, that I created various art pieces for hedgerows, I cannot store them the same. I have been buying tubs for them. And they have to all fit in a Jeep Liberty on the way up. I am pretty good on room, but there is something to say when you took ten tables worth of earlier standard terrain to run a Bolt Action Tournament and now this will be a tight fit for only three tables worth.
     At this point of the project, I am down to painting seven squads of American infantry, Three Sherman tanks, two Panther tanks, one PaK40 gun, a Kubewagon, a few Fallschrimjaeger, making three feet of fences, fifteen more feet of hedgerows, and finishing off the mats. The mats will be finished this coming week with no issues. Below is the game layout just as the mats.

  Now, all I need to do is paint some highlights, finish the roads, and finish the middle sections stream. When I look at it, it always seems smaller to me without anything on it despite clearly occupying the parking space for a car. The end standard should look like the picture below minus the horrid red wall.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Imperial Assault and an Angry Wookie!

      Last Saturday while playing at our local Hobbytown U.S.A., we noticed that a man was there to demo Fantasy Games' Star Wars: Imperial Assault. I was intrigued enough to ask the man named Andrew, if he was able to demo the next day, since my wife and I had other plans for the evening. Andrew agreed to met us the next day. This is one of the great things about wargaming is that you get to meet new people all of the time.
    Now, as I have said in the past, that I am not normally into playing many fantasy/sci-fi games. However, I have always been interested in a Star Wars Miniatures game. It is surprising this one did not already exist, but I know that this is based of the whole license issue with dealing with the evil world of Disney. Yes, they are evil for being so greedy to need to by Lucas Films! As far as I am concerned, they rank up there with my hatred of Walmart. Will I still buy stuff from both companies? Yes, until someone else takes over. But despite my sidetrack, Imperial Assault is more of a board game to avoid license issues and to make this product. There are plenty of expansion packs for this game, and they do use some miniatures made of plastic. Normally, this would bother me, but the way they are made is with one mold. Yes, you loose the customization, but the quality is pretty good essentially for a board game. They do not come painted, but I like to paint my own stuff anyway. What surprised my wife was the fact that the artwork for sharing this game showed none of the figures painted for the game. We are used to seeing the flare of the games involving over-the-top painting schemes for these type of games. Again, not a big deal.
   How did the game play?  For one of the few games my wife and I played together, Kalissa and I were both on the Rebels side. Andrew, our teacher, was running the demo as the Imperial Forces. He mentioned that the scenario we were playing was from another expansion that you can get. He also mentioned that you can choose to run this game as a campaign piece for those who like to build characters or you can run it as a skirmish type game. In our game, it was our mission to get some codes and release a ship's docking locks, so we could take the ship. Each of our characters would go once per turn with two actions with special abilities and what not.  This was a you go/ I go system between characters. The imperials have two to three people in a group instead of a characters.
   So, having a mission, the scenarios stack against the Rebels. Though, you might kill a few, they can get constant re-enforcements. However, my wife decided to go a little off the grid with her Wookie character. She was in bloodfest mode. I won't lie that we forgot about the time limit of six turns to do this, so we did not win this game. For my wife, she had her own personal victory. Her Wookie killed fourteen people, while everyone else, killed two. We lost Han Solo who was more of an Ally than a character that made a major difference. The campaign's do this to enhance your character instead of focusing on main movie characters. We also lost the Wookie on turn six by making Andrew work for it. If we had one more turn, we could have pulled off our goal and won the day. But this was a demo game!
   Overall review is that this game is good and fun two hours of playtime. If you like Star Wars and not as much into X-Wing and Armada, this might be a good game for you. We will probably get it later this year.

AAR: Fourth Convention Game Test: Bocage Firefight.

     This was another game for testing out and tweaking rules for our Historicon game. For the most part, we were ironing certain things out for how this game should run. In this case, my wife, Kalissa and our friend, Bill decided to play lengthwise to see how it would work out. Since the convention game is going to be broken up into four parts, it was important to answer some questions. For one, we modified the game to use extra command dice per turn as well and multiple unit orders. This seems a little on the dangerous side, but after play testing this, it actually solved two issues. One was that some units never saw action due to an overzealous amount of shooting with one or two units that were determined to kill. This gave more of a chance that other units would be involved in combat. The second, it gave a larger movement possibly. The max movement per turn for a unit, such as infantry, is 24" in our game. These games are going to combat over a 15 foot table, so having this flexibility in combat makes it easier to maneuver.
   So how did it play? The Germans took the battle to the enemy! With multiple dice, several German units were able to engage in hedgerow fighting after crossing five feet of the table by turn two. Kalissa's Allied troops did not really try to make the distance. After all, she had a tactical defensive positions with hard cover, and she knew this. However, the multi-die system with Bolt Action worked really well when it came to mortar fire and the modified Rally we decided on. The mortars had multiple shots to zero-in and kill. The changed Rally order worked that units can withdraw from the enemy, thus removing the ranged in counter. This also saved some units for further combat, instead of staying and dying from multiple hits, though they would be out of action for that turn and could not doing anything else.
    Tank fire was back to the usual. It is a pain to hit anything, but patience does pay off! Bill did get a Panzer IV H to kill a Sherman tank, but not soon enough to stop the massacre of one poor unit on the road. The American mortar effectively took out a PaK40 gun, forcing a squad to re-man it. The American mortar was silenced by counter fire! The game ended with a minor German victory by one unit kill more, but it was a close game. These are the photos. Enjoy!
The field of battle.

Note: as you can see, the mat falls over the side. Ever since I have been making these matts of mine, the tables we have previously used were two 6' x 21/2' in size fit a 5' x 6' mat. At the moment, the Hobbytown U.S.A. is the only place to play nearby, and only have 4'x 8' tables. It happens!

The roads were not even done for this one, but I wanted to see how it looked so far.

Allied forces on Ambush.

An armored car scouts down a dirt path.

A medium mortar shell hit and killed the PaK40 crew.

Slow motion crossing of hedgerows.

"Bloody Lane"!

An Airborne squads withdrew after taking heavy casualties.

The German 222 armored car fires into a hedgerow!

A German unit withdrew below a crest of the hill.

A Sherman tank bites the dust!

The Panzer IV H is disabled.