Friday, December 25, 2015

Hi all,

Bit of an odd Christmas this year.  For the first time in a while, the Cub's been away at his mom's on The Day.  We'll have him back tomorrow, but his absence is notable, especially now that we're living away out East and the four of us are pretty much it for family in the region.

Christmas morning had most of its usual animation, thanks to the Puddin', who had the grace to sleep in until 8am (evidently, she had tried to stay up to see Santa, and it backfired on her).  She's now 4, which is a pretty fun age for Christmas, and a grand time was had by all.  I've spent much of the day in a heroic effort to stem the tide of food and nibbles emerging from the kitchen, and studiously not checking my work email.

It seems to have been something of a GW Christmas this year, as I've picked up a slaughterpriest for AoS, some Deff Dreds for my orks, along with Boss Zagstruk from my Secret Santa.  The latter has the gears turning, as I've a few old school storm boyz tucked away, and which might need to be dug out.

Along with some stocking stuffers (I knew I married the right women when she proved she knew my preferences in super glue), I also picked up the new version of the X-Wing starter set from my in-laws, and a Poe Dameron card from the boys at the FLGS.  I suspect this'll get some use with the Cub upon his return, as the new film was a big hit with us.

Peace and joy of the day to all of you.  I hope you're with family, and those whom you love.  Best wishes, and Merry Christmas.


Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas!

A very Merry Christmas to you all.  I wish you and your families hope, health, and joy in the coming year.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Thanks, Santa!

Hi all,

I had planned on doing this along with a painting post, but life's intervened, and it'll be at least another day before I get that together.

Just wanted to give a head's up to whoever was my secret Santa for Ian and Cath's blogger exchange, your package has arrived safe and sound, and is in the care of my wife so I don't get tempted.  Many thanks!


Saturday, December 12, 2015

Bolt Tomahawks

Hi all,

So, been a busy week or two in Monkeyland.  We had houseguests for a few days, as my sister and brother in law, and my youngest nephew, came to visit.  It was great to see them, as it's been months since we've last seen them (on our trip to Ontario in the summer).  While here, Cub talked his cousin (a.k.a. Hammer) into trying a game of Bolt Action.  I think we may have another convert ;)

The larger red dice indicate objective buildings.

The game was objective based, with Cub's Americans looking to seize a couple of buildings from the Soviet defenders (piloted by Hammer, and consigliered by moi).

Cub wanted to break in some new tanks we'd picked up (thanks, Kyle!), and we ended up running some fairly unconventional forces, with each side fielding 200 points of infantry plus a couple tanks.  As defender, Hammer set up his units in the buildings where they could cover each other and a range of firing arcs, and waited for the American attack.

Soviet Sherman takes up an overwatch position, and searches for prey.

Early turns saw the initial American assault wave, and our reinforcements, come on the table, including the "Soviet" sherman, which took up a hull-down position behind one of the buildings.  Cub countered with his own tanks, and a first wave of infantry (plus his air observer).  The observer called in an air strike on it's earliest opportunity, but the call went unanswered for several turns.  He also jammed his tanks forward fairly aggressively (maybe a hold-over from his experiences with a Redeemer in 40k?), but in Bolt Action, that mostly gave Hammer some nice shots on their side armour.

American tanks charge in.

It took a couple of turns, but Cub's air strike eventually came in, and did its usual amount of insane damage.  By this point, however, the game was getting close to it's final turns, and the Americans still hadn't been able to mount a real attack on the objective buildings.

Air strikes thinned out the table a little.

In the end, even though the Yanks tore up the Soviets a fair bit, they couldn't take the buildings, and the game went to Hammer.  He seemed to have fun, as did the Cub, so who knows, maybe we've recruited another mini gamer?

PTRD, aka, the other Russian sniper unit.

In other news, I finally got around to finishing up the Mass. militia I've mentioned, on and off, for the last year or so.

Second half of the unit, plus officer.

This gives me a full unit of the militia, which is good, because they're one of the primary outfits operating on the British side in the Acadian campaign.

The drummer's a conceit, I admit, but still . . . 

They're not as crisp as some of the other work I've done in the scale, but honestly, I'm happy just to have them finished.  I have no idea why they were so difficult to muster motivation for, but now that they're finished, I'm actually quite jazzed to do something else on the project.

They're actually skirmishing Brit line, but the uniform is close enough.

The officer, I think, turned out reasonably well.

This guys gets all the fun secondary objectives.

With this lot done, I'll likely do either some Rangers (Gorham's were active throughout the region) or civilians, along with terrain - I want to dress up the 4Ground buildings, and a few weeks back, finally picked up some bigger resin buildings from Blue Moon (via last year's Blogger Secret Santa - thanks!), so I'd like to get them sorted for the table as well.


Saturday, December 5, 2015



The last couple of weeks has seen lots of prep work, a little bit of test painting, and a quick BA game with the Cub, all in the midst of end-of-term shenanigans and a visit from my in-laws (sister, brother, and their youngest) which has produced much joyful turmoil in Monkeyland.

I came home from work to find the Cub had set up a table.  I suggested we redo it with a drop cloth, but he insisted )

I managed to base and prime the "normal" Khorne figures from the AoS starter set (i.e., not the big base lord or khorgorath), and even got some work in on a test figure.  Lots of skin on the Bloodreavers, which will be an interesting change, as lately most of the skin I've been painting has been green ;)

Russians approach the village.  Goal was to get my units across and off the opposite table edge.

I also committed (via a painting challenge) to finish up a unit of Massachusetts militia that have been staring guiltily at me from the the Shelf of Despair since back in January.  Dear god, how time flies.  I didn't realize it's been that long since I've done any substantive work on the Acadian stuff.  That said, the challenge seems to be doing the trick, and visitors notwithstanding, I should have the figs finished in plenty of time.

T-34 spots a Churchill on the hill crest.

The combination of painting the militia, some reading, and the terrain I've either picked up (trees) or been working on (buildings) has my historical urges on the rise.  Once the militia are out of the way, I might turn my hand to some other Acadian figs (redcoats, civvies?  converted Mikmak?). or even further afield.

Not super rigorous history, but a fun read, and unusual in that it tries to tell the story from the perspective of the "grassroots" Acadians.  Grabbed it from the library, but going to try and pick up a copy.

My thoughts have been turning of late to the AB Russians I picked up a while back, but never painted.  While I think Lasalle is off the table now, some kind of flexible basing system that would allow me to play a range of games would be nice, and the figs are too lovely to have sit in the Drawers of Shame.  I had planned out a Russian OB for a Black Powder army (based, on a friend's suggestion, on the Battle of Priesten, a delaying action fought just prior to the battle of Kulm).  The plan's still good, and lets me work in plenty of flags and command  / fun figs, so I might work from that.  I can see the Russians emerging as a dark of winter project, but knowing my inclinations, we'll see.

Conscripts, I mean, heroic People's volunteers, experience pinning.

The more experienced infantry takes shelter in the buildings, while the T-34 provides covering fire.

The new 4Ground buildings in action.

The game against Cub was fun - we used tanks for the first time.  While his Churchill proved too tough a nut to crack (and once again, the Yanks made good use of their air support), the brave defenders of the People's Army were able to squeak out a win.

Air strike takes out the T-34, but not before clearing most of the infantry opposition, and pinning the Churchill into near ineffectiveness.

Monday, November 23, 2015

A medley


Got in some kitchen table action with the Cub (and even a little assistance from Puddin') this weekend.  For starters, we put together the first of some 4Ground 15mm buildings I picked up prior to leaving Toronto two summers ago, along with a small bridge.  I grabbed them as part of the planned Acadia project, but we started to put them together because he's showing interest in WWII and Bolt Action.

Kits go together quite well, and once you've done one, are basically intuitive.

Having finished the one, I was promptly possessed by the spirit of geek, and finished up most of the rest the same evening, to go with the house and bridge.

I would like to figure out how to add railings.

 I figure in the grand scheme of things, a wood cabin is a wood cabin, so they're standing in as Mittleuropan village dwellings for our Bolt Action games, the first of which took place this afternoon.

Russian conscripts force the river.  The more seasoned troops are happy to let the new boys go first.

The Cub is using Americans, a mix of plastic Wargames Factory figs he scored at Hold the Line a while ago, plus some U.S. paratroops I picked up back in the day after binge-watching Band of Brothers once too often.  We played 200 points, to keep it simple for learning rules, but the Cub did splurge on a forward air observer, to what proved to be gruesome effect.

Both sides started off the table, but had our forces in play by the end of the second turn.  Cub set up a firing line, and made good use of the American infantry's mobility.

Pins start to stack up on the Yanks.

Cub wanted to use the bridge we'd done, so he scammed some blue paper from the Big Bin of Random Craft Junk, and tore it into strips.  Instant river.  Adaptable, that boy.

Reinforcements come across to help.  In the foreground, a PTRD team takes aim.

Pivotal moment in the game came when Cub called in his two (damn 'Murcans!) air strikes, which gutted one, and completely destroyed another, unit.  That plus his uncanny ability to draw red dice in an uninterrupted streak let to an upset win by the rookie side.

The 5 pins are a consquence of the air strike that ripped the conscripts a new one.  You'll also note I'm down to one unit of regular troops.  Thanks, American special rules!

The real clincher was when a squad of my infantry assaulted his officer, out in front of his troops, and not only whiffed, but took a casualty in return, and were wiped out.

The assault that couldn't go wrong, but did.

Could I roll a 4?  No, no I could not ;)

He was so chuffed with his win, he promptly sat down to paint up some of his boys.  He's decided to go with "desert camo", and for a first attempt at 15mm, is doing pretty well.  I'm thinking about picking up some kind of kid's history of the North Africa campaign for him - and would be delighted with any suggestions.

Desert 'Murcans.  Going to suggest Cub hit them with a wash.

Although Puddin' had been helping with drawing order dice, she was feeling a bit left out, so we followed up BA with a few games of Animal upon Animal, which I'd recommend to you with little ones (Puddin' is a precocious 4), and even squeaked in a round of Star Realms.  We picked up both games at Halcon a few weeks back, and they're proving to be quite popular.


Sunday, November 15, 2015

Orks never lose . . .


I had to laugh the other day, when I was looking over some posts from this time last year.  There's a post covering a tournament I went to at the local GW, as a consequence of the Beloved kicking me out of the house on general principal (mostly for being over-stressed and grouchy).  As it turns out, this must be a seasonal thing, as I was once again booted yesterday to go and play with my toys, and got in a 3 round, 1700 point 40k Foodhammer tournament at the GW, with Da Boyz.

Now, bearing in mind the old adage that orks never lose, I ended up being thoroughly spanked; I was tabled in 2 games, and might as well have been in the third.  A lot of it was just lack of practise, some of it was the result of shock and awe (the local meta seems to be dominated by Knights, FW-style Lords of War, and various other flavours of degeneracy, which I've not played against before). That said, I did have fun - it was great to get the Boyz on the table, and get in some games (which have been sadly lacking since the summer), and it seems to have fired up the creative juices, as I've been scouring the intertubes for ideas on kitbashed / scratchbuilt counter-degeneracy since getting home last night.

Game 1 was against Jamie, who ran a list comprised of 3 Knights and 3 drop-pod marine squads.

He'd done a nice job on the knight - they were purty.

Deployment was fairly entertaining, with my mobs spread more or less across the table, vs three giant robot (his drop-pods were in reserve).

Ork deployment.

Post scout move.  I'd planned to clog up lanes on the Knights with deffcoptas.  Yeah, that was a mistake.

The game started to go wrong pretty much from the get-go.  In all 3 games, we were playing non-Malstrom objective missions, i.e., whoever held the objectives at the end of turn 5 scored the points for them.  This give a clear advantage to whichever player goes last.  I won the roll to choose whether to deploy, and move, first.  What I should have done is gone second, seen where he deployed, and then deployed concentrating fire on one knight.  Instead I went first, and flubbed it ;)

Fun pic, though.

Drop pods do their thing.

The game degenerated quickly, with me feeding units into the knights in a desperate bid to slow them down,  while staring in horror at the carnage they caused.

One round of shooting from one knight guts the Tankbustas.  Mad Doc's FnP didn't help against multiple S9 ordinance templates.  Ouch.

But, hey, the left flank's still holding.

Battle wagon delivery system delivers.

I took some small satisfaction in shellacking any marines I was able to catch ;)

As it turns out, however, numbers, klaws, and rokkits weren't enough, and my army slowly melted under the pressure of multiple ordinance templates and D-weapon shenanigans.

That knight is getting a little close.

Desperation sets in, as I begin to feed units to the knights in an effort to bog them down.

Not looking good.

Really not looking good.

Even the battlewagons succumbed, one rather spectacularly, when a knight picked it up and threw it at a nearby unit.

Discretion is the better part of getting killed anyway.

Marines vs. grots.  This'll work out.


Game 2 was against Stephen, who ran a Nurgle-based list with allied Knight, that rapidly turned into summon-spam

Once again, I goofed, opting to go first, and not gaining the advantage of reactive deployment ans the final turn.  What I should have done was stack the deck to shut down as much of his summoning capacity as possible, or at least, thinned out his herd of high T / Arm goofiness.  Instead . . .

The Fortress of Orky-tude.

The view across the table.

Another angle - that would be the second heavy walker.

Most of his starting line-up - not counting a few units of infiltrating Nurglings and some plaguebearers.

He quickly began summoning more demons, initially another Herald, and some pin horrors, I believe, but then it got nasty - he had a Bloodthirster and a Lord of Change on the table by about turn 3/4.

The "Chaos" knight, dubbed "Peek-a-boo".

The Fortress of Demontude.  Now with more demons.

Dueling template chuckers.   At this point, I'm controlling 3 of 5 objectives.

Each of us had a strong point, and I threw the Tankbustas, Binky, and the painboy out on a flank, in cover.

Most of my Deffcoptas came in fairly early, and I managed to line up four of them against his wall of toughness, but to limited effect.  Nurgle evidently gives cover save bonuses, which meant that even when I hit, his stuff was able to shrug off the fire.  I also poured a ton of fire into the nurglings, but again, with crazy cover saves, to little effect.

Part of the Deffcopta wave moves on behind Nurgle lines.

Sluggas duke it out with nurglings.  The latter survive with 1 W left.  I imagined it as a greased pig contest, just with more cholera.

Binky considers his options.

His summoned Bloodthirster made a beeline for Binky and the Tankbustas, who unloaded on it, but only manged a few dents - even with overwatch.

Better consider fast . . . 

The boyz in the tower are about to have a bad time.

Rokkit buggy fails to attract the attention of units several times it's points value.

I managed to stack up the "big boys" in the table centre, which prompted them to focus on the tower objective Da Boyz had taken from the nurglings.

Great Unclean one vs. the last of the boyz.

Two Soul Grinders and a Great Unclean One tore through the slugga boyz with predictable efficiency (although the boyz did me proud, and held them up for a turn), and the Bloodthirster turned it's D-weapon on Binky and the crew.  Binky came within a hair of glory, pulling the 'thirster down to one wound, but when all was said and done, the orks were gone, chaos had another objective, and the bloodthirster moved on.

Crunch time.

Bloodthirster pauses to consider the wisdom of charging grots.  Highlight of the day for me.

Penultimate, and most amusing moment of the game, came when a Soul Grinder, a Knight, and a Bloodthirster moved in on 10 grots and a slava, and paused to think about it.  The grots, being grots, had just survived a turn of firepower that had been ripping the guts out of ork units, and it tickled me to no end see three seriously bad ass models pause at the thought of losing combat to the most ridiculously combat-ineffective unit in the game ;)

Game 3 was against Jack (who I've played before here) who was running Khorne Demonkin built around a Lord of Skulls.  That particular abomination proved to be a little more than I could handle - though I did take off about half of it's Hull Points, it was just throwing out way too much stuff for me to manage (a couple of apocalypse templates each turn, plus some ordinance ones, and some kind of crazy D-weapon as well).  I was getting pretty tired at this point, and forgot to take pics (three games in one day is getting to be a little past my threshold for concentration), but there was one satisfying moment when I blew his Helldrake out of the sky with Deffcoptas ;)

That's evidently about 1100 points facing down my little battlewagon.

Behold, the power of the D.

What the day brought home for me was just how out of practise I am.  Maybe I'll need to get in more games with the Cub for training purposes.  Next semester looks a little less crazy, as well, so I may have a little more time to game.  It was, however, great fun, and seems to have revved me up a little - I got some stuff done for the tournament, and started a few other things as well, so fingers crossed I keep it up.