Friday, November 15, 2019

Hitting things. For Khorne.

Hi all,

Fear not, those of you who pay attention for the historical content, all is not lost.  I've still been puttering with the 6mm Russians, and have some updates in the queue.  If late, however, most of the gaming has been of the GW variety, including a couple of games of 40k with my mixed Khorne, one against the Cub and his Salamanders, and one against a local gaming buddy, Dustin, who ran a rather nice Genestealer cults army.

Cub and I played a fairly straightforward game: three objectives, whoever controlled the most at end of game won, if anyone controlled all three at end of the turn, they won.  Story of the game was the bloodletter "bomb" I set off fairly early in the game.  There's a stratagem in the Daemons codex that lets you "deepstrike" a unit onto the table.  I use it to drop a max unit of bloodletters (which are good in close combat) and a Khorne Daemon character (which lets them re-roll charges, and makes them better) on the table, with an item that lets them charge further than normal.  Basically, it lets me guarantee eliminating 1-2 units, and tie up several other for a turn or two, depending on how an opponent deploys.







In our game, it meant tearing a whole through the middle of his army, seizing the objective on Cub's side of the table, and putting him on his back foot in a big way.  Although he pushed back pretty hard (taking out my unit of berzerkers, which are arguably even better in combat than Bloodletters), the impact of "the bomb" meant I could get the rest of my army up the table and into the fight, and in close combat, Khorne has the advantage.  We called it after about turn 3 when it was clear the Marines weren't going to pull it out.

I also got in a larger game (about 1750 points, nearly double the usual with the Cub) down at the GW.  We played "The Scouring" scenario, with 6 objectives.  This one was interesting for me, in that Genestealer Cults essentially deploy their entire army either in ambush (you know something is there, but not what) or deepstrike, which meant that I was more or less reacting for the first couple turns - something I'm not used to doing given how my army works.





By the end of turn one, I was more or less surrounded, with my more isolated units facing an uphill battle, and the core of my army taking fire from multiple units, while a LARGE unit of genestealers (super-killy close combat unit) and a GS patriarch (even more killy, and a buffing unit) up in my grill.


Thankfully, Khorne is mighty; while he pretty much gutted my berzerkers  (seeing a pattern here?  they tend to be priority targets), Dustin managed to flub just enough rolls to keep my Daemon Prince in the game.  This was good, because my Daemon Prince kills things rather reliably, as do the other Khorne characters, all of which were in range to give each other synergistic buffs.  One dead patriarch, and several dead Genestealers later, and the initiative shifted over to me.



I then brought in my own reserve units, including the bloodletter bomb and some obliterators to tie up his backfield fire support.  The bloodletters proceeded to carve through the centre of the table, while out on the flank, a unit of chaos marines supported by a Lord of Khorne shot up, then chopped up his remaining threats, assisted by the Daemon Prince (who was hanging on by a thread).



This one we called top of turn 4, but it could have easily gone the other way.  If I hadn't have caught a couple of lucky breaks, or he had better rolls when he needed them, he probably would have taken it.  Even losing my Prince a turn earlier might have done it.  As it was, many skulls were reaped for the Brass Throne, and I suspect a grudge match is in order.

I'd forgotten how much fun "kitchen table" 40k is.  In both these games, we were looking to win, but none of the players brought armies designed to break the game.  Under those circumstances, 40k is still pretty fun ;)


Sunday, October 27, 2019

Mixed bag

Hi all,

Bit of a hectic weekend in Monkeyland, but all good stuff.  The Cub's school had their big, annual Hallowe'en fundraiser, which took up a good chunk of Saturday, and the Fall geek convention, Halcon (which was super fun - got to meet, and have a book signed, by Guy Gavriel Kay), took care of Sunday.  Despite all the hustle and bustle, Cub and I managed to get in the inaugural 40k game at our new digs.


We played a 50 PL game, his Salamanders vs. my mixed Khorne (World Eaters + Daemons).  We both went infantry heavy, with the Sallies fielding 2 full tac squads and some Primaris, along with Vulcan, a librarian, and a Contemptor dreadnaught.  I brought a maxed unit of bloodletters, 2x10 cultists, some berzerkers, and a mix of characters (DP, Lord, Dark Apostle, Champ, and Bloodmaster).  The Champ was pretty much filler - probably would have done better to add another 10 cultists as meatshields.  I was pretty stoked to try out a new artifact, Skullreaver, which amps up the Demon Prince to pretty ridiculous levels.


We used the Open War cards, which I still think are the best accessory GW has put out in ages.  Scenario had a "long" deployment (we were on the short table edges for deployment), with a random, game winning objective to be determined part way through the game.  It put a premium on board control (interesting given the small size of the game).  I used some of my CP to put the Bloodletters and Bloodmaster into reserve (via the warp), and gave the former the banner that makes charging the turn they arrive much more reliable.



Much of the game activity took place on the two flanks.  I put my berzerkers and most of the characters on the right, behind some cultists, and stuck the other cultist unit fairly far back on the left.  With the bloodletters bursting on the scene end of my turn one (after the Cub blasted one of the cultist units off the table), the pressure was on.  Despite managing to do some serious damage on my right (massed bolters knocked out my Berzerkers before they could engage), the bloodletter bomb tore apart two of Cub's units before bogging down most of his remaining stuff in combat.  Turn three, the objective came down on my side of the table, and there was no way the Cub could extricate what he had left to get over and challenge for control in time.


The axe was super-fun, and the bloodletters did what they usually do if you get them into combat relatively safely.  I think what the army really needs is a) more berzerkers) and b) some transports, probably rhinos, to get them to combat faster.  Against any kind of competitive army, I'm likely to struggle (in that I'm pretty much literally bringing a knife to a gunfight), but any game where my guys contact the enemy is a fun one.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

Mixed bag

Hi all,

Another Russian base for Blucher finished up this week, along with a bit of an experiment.



This lot has flags from the Tchernigov and Selenguinsk regiments.  Getting into the swing of these guys, with another set on deck.  I'll ride the 6mm train until the Magpie strikes, and then shift gears, but in the meantime, seem to be getting things done.

I've also been playing around with some 6mm WWII stuff  As I think I mentioned in my last post, I was able to print out some Panzer IVs on a 3d printer last week.  I gave them a quick paint up, and based them as an experiment.




I don't know if these are great, but at a nickel a pop I can't complain.  Colours were a little dark - I tried something with the new GW contrast paints that worked, but ended up abou two shades darker than I'd anticipated.  Grist for the mill. 

I've got another order in with some attempts at different positions on the turret, and we'll see how they turn out. The idea would be to use this for Rommel, and I think for the next base, I'll try to scatter in some infantry as well.  This is definitely a slow-grow project, but it's something to muck about with, and an excuse to become familiar with some of the basic 3D modelling software out there.


Sunday, October 13, 2019

More Austrians

Hi all,

A bunch of things on the go this Thanksgiving weekend, including a visit from my Dad and sister to our new digs for Thanksgiving dinner.  First up are some more Austrians:

Battheyanai L, Forgach R

Forgach L, Batthayani R.

These are Hungarians, and are, I think, a later sculpt than the regular Austrian foot.  Don't know if I'm getting back into the swing of 6mm, or it's the sculpt, but I found these guys an easier paint.

Grosbruck L, Kolonrat R

And vice versa

I've done all of these battalions as the first of their regiment.  If I expand down the road, I can turn each of the two-regiment units into separate units of their own by painting up a second battalion base.

I've also been plugging away at the Russians for Blucher, and have also been experimenting with some 6mm armour for Rommel.  I had some test models for the latter done up on a 3d printer, and will set about painting them when I get the time and settle on basing.  Big issue there is space; Rommel scales its playing area nicely, but larger bases let me do some dioramic stuff I'd like to try.  Means gaming is a little more involved (as I'd have to rearrange the office to play a game), but what the heck.

In the mean time, Happy Thanksgiving to all my fellow Canadians out there.  I have to go baste a turkey ;)


Saturday, October 5, 2019


Hi all,

I seem to be riding a burst of inspiration over the last week or so, as I've been busily pumping out units for the Blucher / Napoleonic / Russian project.  First up was a second base of infantry.



I'm playing around with different formations, this time a mixed line and column base.  Turned out okay, I think.  Formations and flags aren't to a specific oob, but I'm picking out formations that did actually appear in battles in 1812-13, and using them as a basis.

I'm starting to think, however, that my poor old Canon camera is on her last legs.  I've had the thing for more than a decade, and it's done yeoman service, but it seems to be struggling with both focus and light these days.


The cavalry (dragoon brigade) base was a little challenging.  I'm not sure it sells the idea of a brigade strength formation, but now that it's based, I'm a little happier with it.


The artillery base, however, was kind of fun, I definitely got to tell a bit of a story with it.



Not sure if I'll have room to use all the limbers and caissons I have, but I'll figure something out.

I've got another unit of infantry primed and ready to go, and the first of the cards for Blucher have arrived, so if I can steal some time I might get in a test game.  Fingers crossed.


Wednesday, September 25, 2019

The start of something new (only not)

Hi all,

Waaaaaaay back in the day, before the Cub came along, I lived and worked in St. John's, Newfoundland.  A gaming buddy, who it turned out was the Canadian distributor for Baccus at the time, introduced me to some teeny-tiny fellows who've gone on to be my favoured scale for historicals (more or less, anyways).  Our main thing at the time was napoleonics, in the peninsula to be precise, and I amassed a reasonable collection of French (some of which appear in the first edition of the Napoleonic Polemos rules).

Muromsk and Reval Infantry

At the time, we had many a discussion about that eternal issue, basing.  My buddy advocated using larger bases, inspired by some of the fantastic stuff people were producing for Grand Armee, but in the end, we opted for 60x30 Polemos "standard" basing, as a method that would give us maximised flexibility (in that the rules allowed for 2 gaming scales, and 60x30 let us play both).  The idea of larger bases, however, had always stuck with me.  Then came Blucher.

As I'm sure I've said before, I'm a unreformed fanboy of Sam Mustafa's games, and have yet to find one I don't actively enjoy playing.  When Sam announced he was releasing a grand tactical napoleonics game, it's fair to say I was intrigued.  I picked up the .pdf, printed the sample cards, and even talked the Cub into a game (which only lasted about three turns, it wasn't his thing).  After that though, it kind of petered out.  No one local with which to play, a host of other gaming priorities, and a huge painting queue, meant that grand tactical napoleonics kind of fell by the wayside.

Might eventually see about working in some actual jaeger figures.

The thing is, though, I have a fair whack of assorted 6mm napoleonics, mostly Russian, from the same Big Buy that's been driving the expansion of my SYW collection (which I got through the same aformentioned buddy in Newfoundland who was getting out of the business).  I also have the time and space now to putter about with a large collection, in multiple periods, and damn the torpedoes.  I also had some of those Russians primed up, and glaring accusingly at me from the shelf, where they were unpacked into the light of day last week.  So, this happened.

Next time, I might try to get in the cords on the Kiwer as well

Behold, the first base of Russians for Blucher (among others).  Bases are 80x60, roughly the same size as the cards used in the game (Blucher can be played with cards, and uses them as a partial blind deployment mechanic).  They're the old Russian figs from Baccus, the ones that are a bit smaller, and with the fiddly bayonettes, but once I adjusted to them (and the fact that my eyes are around 15 years older than the last time I painted Napoleonic 6mm), it went fairly smoothly.

Units in Blucher, as with most SM games, are loosely scaled, but one base corresponds roughly to one multi-battalion brigade, so that's what I've tried to represent here, more or less.  What flags to use was a bit of an issue, but I'm loosely assuming each base is a couple battalions from two different regiments, and including a royal and regimental colour for each. Flags are monstrously oversized; I tried to match the size of flag I've been using from SYW, but as they came from a different source, they ended up bigger.  Might try with smaller, or just leave it, haven't yet decided.  No doubt I've made errors with the pom-poms, but life is short ;)

Still playing around with basing.

One of things I'm looking forward to with this project will be playing around with different formations on the bases, and ideally trying out some dioramic stuff.  I'll work with what I have for now in the way of figures (which might mean some historical anachronisms), in the hopes of getting in some solo games.  If I get enough painted, I might even be able to tempt some of the local historical gamers (with whom I'm finally making contact) to play?

On an unrelated note, I've recently been catching up on the "God's Own Scale" podcast.  It's relatively new, but is doing a bang up job of generating content.  If you're into 6mm, or just wargaming in general, I'd recommend listening (can be found here). 


Monday, September 23, 2019

For Nick

Hi all,

As some of you might recall, back when we were in Toronto, one of my regular opponents was Nick the Lemming.  Now, Nick is a fine fellow, with many excellent qualities.  He's a gentleman, a scholar, and a Yorkshireman, all of which make for an excellent gaming companion, and occasional foil  Despite the many fine games we've shared, however, Nick always struggled with a couple of fundamental flaws.  The first was a stubborn insistence that it was possible to make gravy out of fungus rather than meat juice, and the other was a predilection for Austrians.

The regiments Waldeck and Baden-Baden

Despite my many and various efforts, Nick adamantly refused to acknowledge that there was very little point in playing "French Germans", when one could simply play the French, who are far superior in every way.  Much as actual gravy is superior to mushroom sauce.  While I'm sure both 18th century Austrians and mushroom sauce have many fine qualities, they are neither gravy, nor French, and suffer from comparison to the original.

Likely the first of many Austrian / Reichsarmee units, as I have a buttload.

I make this post, then, with some degree of hesitation, in that I recognize the potential to harm a dear friend, by affirming  what would be considered, in any sane society, a crippling delusion.  Yet, I cannot help but hope that in some small way, a recognition of the value of the lesser option might be of benefit to him. 

No idea what happened to the light in this one, and flickr is being difficult.

This post's for you, Nick.  I hope it finds you well.