Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Summer of GW?

Hi all,

You've got to love Halifax weather.  The Cub and I set up a game outside a few days back, and a fairly big one too.  Weather was perfect, forecast good.  Then the clouds rolled in ;)  We were doing fine, until a massive gust of wind blew in out of nowhere, and took out the terrain, and both our army boxes, scattering Khorne Daemons and Salamanders all over the yard.

*sigh*

After a few days to recover from the trauma ( ;) ), we relocated indoors, for our first official game of 9th edition 40k.  We played 75 Power Level, which probably translates to about 1500ish points, and it felt about right for an afternoon or evening game.  I got the Beloved to take some pictures, but they're all from the start of the game.  Enough to get the flavour, anyways.

IMG_4387
Most of the Daemons (some still lurking in the Warp).  I'm enjoying the Soul Grinder, he's due a paint job.


I took a pure Khorne Daemons list.  It's not going to be setting the competitive scene on fire, but it does fine for a casual game at home.  Cub took his Salamanders, and it was a good match up - he had the edge in shooting, I had it in close combat, but neither of us was completely skewed.

IMG_4388
Daemon prince lending his re-roll aura to the Soul Grinder and a Skull Cannon.  

In the new edition, scenarios are tied to game size.  We played "No Man's Land", which is one of several progressive objective-holding games (you get more points the more of an advantage you have in controlled objectives), and which has the option to take a secondary objective giving bonus points for holding the centre.

IMG_4389
Tried deepstriking Bloodcrushers for the first time.  It worked pretty well - there used to be a unit of Hellblasters there ;)


Secondary objectives are now a big part of the game.  I took ones that encouraged me to control the board and get into Cub's deployment zone, while he took the scenario one (control the table centre) and one which gave him points for taking out my Warlord (my Daemon prince).  It meant that in addition to the normal fencing over objectives, he spent a bunch of the game trying to zone me out and chasing units around his backfield, while I had to be very cagey with how I used my DP (which is one of the hardest hitting units in my force).  It made the game much more "thinky", but not in an oppressive way.

IMG_4390
A good chunk of Cub's backfield, and at the bottom, his Warlord, a Salamaders character, "Vulcan He'stan"

We started fairly late in the day, so had to call it at the end of turn 3 for time.  I was winning on points, but Cub was due to pull ahead the next turn, and the game was going to come down to a couple of clutch fights on Cub's side of the table.  Could have gone either way, but things were tipping in his direction.

IMG_4391
Gratuitous shot of bloodletters.  Slowly working through the latest batch I picked up.


It turned out to be a really fun game, and I wish we could have played it out.  There's been quite a few small, but cumulatively significant changes to game play, many of which seem to have been designed to counter "gamey" rules exploits.  I have no doubt new ones will be found, but for now, we're still working through what we don't know we don't know about the new rules, and exploring new missions etc.

Things have been a little slow on the historicals front.  My painting mojo has slumped in the last month or so, particularly for historicals (I've had a unit of 6mm Austrian dragoons staring at me accusingly from the desk for some time).  Although I've been picking away at GW stuff, that's slowed a bit as well.  Not sure if just busy with work, the weather, or one of those occasional slow patches, but I've long since learned not to try and force things.

On the plus side, things are looking up for the local historical scene in general.  I may be getting in some "virtual" gaming on Tabletop Simulator in the next little while, and I've been chatting with one of the local players about working towards a post-Covid project.  I could use a spur - the Victrix Carthaginians I picked up a while back are mostly still sitting in their box, mainly due to analysis paralysis over basing and rules.  With a clear objective / plan in mind, either they, or one of the half-finished 15mm projects, might get a spur.  Further info as things develop.

Hope everyone is doing okay out there.

FMB

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Catch up

Hi all,

Been a couple of weeks since my last post, not from lack of activity, but lack of accessible pictures.  Operation "get the Beloved to take pictures" has been a relative success, but Staff seemed to overlook the implication that all the pictures end up on her camera, and getting them on to my computer involves a few more steps.  Add in a fairly hectic couple of weeks, for a variety of reasons, and the blog fell off the "to do" list.

IMG_4153
First of the outdoor games, vs. Tomb Kings.  Lost this one fairly hard - scenario didn't give me much room to manouvre.


That said, I've had a fair bit of activity.  With the good weather finally here (or, at least, as good as it gets in Nova Scotia - it's hammering rain as I write this), I've been able to set up a table outside, and have a couple of friends over to game (one at a time, outside, with good ventilation, and social distancing).  Both were games of Age of Sigmar, in both I ran my Beasts, and so far the goats are running even at 1:1.  The Cub and I also got in some 40k, and are starting up a summer campaign for the launch of the new 9th edition ruleset.  I'm taking advantage of it to get some models painted.

Historicals seem to have taken a back seat for a few weeks.  After the first surge of Flames of War painting, I'm now waiting for the current whimsy of the postal system to deliver a few needed odds and end to flesh out my collection.  There's some 6mm primed and ready, but I haven't felt the must of late, and have learned long since not to push it.  In the meantime, I've been working through some of my GW backlog.  The little ones will return in time.

IMG_1637
40k against the Cub.  Big game, we had to call it for time part way through.


The next couple of weeks see the release of both the new edition 40k, and the annual "update" books for both AoS and 40k.  I'll likely need to spread these out a bit, but will likely pick them up.  Both have rules for narrative campaigns and character design / development, and while the interwebs aren't short of either, I'm a sucker for this kind of thing, so will likely succumb.

IMG_1640
The Venomcrawler (the spider thing), blew up, taking a good chunk of my army (and wounding my Chaos Lord).  Can't decide if he's earned a paint job - Khorne cares not after all.


As I think I mentioned, 40k is now up to its 9th edition.  This blows my mind, as the Rogue Trader book and the "beakie box" were, as far as I can remember, the first hobby-related things I bought with my own money (from a summer job).  There was a little hobby shop in the "big mall" where I grew up.  I wandered in one day, saw the cover, and was hooked.  While I didn't really start playing until 3rd, I collected, painted, and "blue skied" endlessly.  It's almost disconcerting that the game has been around so long, but then I remember that the Cub now spends a fair chunk of his free time holed up in the (used to be my!) office, puttering and painting.  I guess it has been thirty odd years after all.


Saturday, June 27, 2020

Reinforcing Russians

Hi all,

Finished up a cavalry base for my Blucher Russians.  This is Lanskoi's brigade at Lutzen, composed of the Alexandria, White Russia, and Soum Hussars.

IMG_4110
Uniforms were grey, black, and blue.  A somber lot, this.


Tried something a little different with this base, going for a larger number of "unit clumps" composed of a smaller number of figures.  Not sure if it sells the effect as well as the last base I did, but it's growing on me.

IMG_4111
Turns out, 6mm pelisses (pelissae?) are kind of cute.


In Blucher, there's only two categories of Russian cavalry (three, if you include cossacks), heavy (guards and cuirrassiers) and "not-heavy", which seems to include dragoons, hussars, uhlans, etc.  I figure by sticking to an all Hussar brigade, I can run these as "lights" in any game with more granular distinctions between units.  I'll admit, I am tempted to do up a mixed cavalry brigade at some point, although the Russians seem to have mostly brigaded their cavalry by weight.

Some AoS/40k stuff is likely next, and then more historicals.  Until then, stay well.

FMB

Wednesday, June 24, 2020

More Heroes. Also, lists.

Hi all,

Some more Heroes of the Soviet Union join the ranks today.  Traditionally, Soviets in Flames of War have been the "horde" army.  Most FoW forces are basically reinforced companies in scale; the Soviets, in contrast, run reinforced battalions.  For purposes of game balance, the inflated number of troops is compensated by generally lower quality; Soviets are much easier to target, lower skilled, and lack critical defensive options like smoke.

In the latest version of FoW, Soviets have the option to go with a scale of force a little more in keeping with the other nations; the "heroic" formation option.  In terms of background, the conceit is that these are formations after several days of fighting, where the survivors have learned a few tricks.  Generally speaking, they're higher quality, if a little more cautious on the field.  I suspect the option was included to make starting Soviets a little less daunting for new players, but it works just as well for someone like me, who's gettting back into the game.

IMG_4112
I'm still getting over the clarity in these pics compared to before.


I'm likely going to base my force around a "Heroic" rifle battalion, primarily because it lets me use as much of the stuff I already have as possible.  As the group I'll be playing with seems to have opted for Late War (FoW divides the war by period, and to some degree theatre), I'll base the list for now on the "Fortress Europe" book.  The core list will likely look something like this:

Battalion HQ 2 points
2x Rifle Company (10 stands) 18 points
Attached MHG, Flamethrower, Mortar/PTRD 8 Points

IMG_4113
My usual in-game view.  Hopefully not the opponent's.


For a total of 28.  I'll almost certainly attach a full unit of 45mm AT guns (I have one, and can pick up some PSC ones cheap to fill out the unit) for another 6 points, leaving me with 16 points to add some artillery or tanks.  I also have enough infantry for another company, if I'm feeling masochistic.

By the time I get all that done, and we've played a few games, the first "dedicated" LW soviet book should be available, and I'll likely have a wider selection of toys to expand the force.  In the mean time, I'll just have to keep watching Russian movies on YouTube (White Tiger, Panfilov's 28, and Schtrafbat are all recommended).

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Blast from the past

Hi all,

Bit of a flashback today.   Got the Beloved to break out her good camera, and tried some pics of a few things in different scales, including this bad boy, who's not yet had his day in the sun, despite having been painted quite a while back.

IMG_4123

This is a Bretonnian Lord on Hippogrif I converted out of a Green Knight model, and one of the Elf Lord on Griffon from the old Isle of Blood sets.  He's seen the field a few times, but sadly, as Brets have more or less gone the way of the Squats in Age of Sigmar, he doesn't see much table time these days.

IMG_4107

Some interesting focal depth issues in these pics (the Beloved says she has the wrong lens for macro, which may be a hint . . . . ), but they are so much clearer than the ones I was managing I'm quite chuffed.

Next up will either be Russians or Soviets, as we also got pics of them.  Until then, stay safe.

FMB

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

More Austrians

Hi all,

First of the Austrian cavalry, a regiment of cuirassiers.

IMG_1633

These are the O'Donnel cuirassiers.  I couldn't resist doing up a unit of Austrian cavalry with an Irish colonel.  I've always associated the Wild Geese with the French, but it makes sense that Irishmen would also find their way to Austria, as it was another catholic power in Europe.

IMG_1631

These were fairly simple to paint.  I'm in dire need of new brushes though.  The ones I have still have enough tip for most purposes, but really fine work, like defining faces in 6mm, seems now beyond them.

IMG_1634

I've also informed the Beloved that she's on camera duty from now on.  I've been saying it for a while, now, but my trusty old digital automatic is on it's last legs.  She's also the camera aficionado in the family, and it'll be good practice for her with macro stuff.

Next in the queue are some more FoW Soviets, and some Russian Hussars.  Also been assembling some of my 28mm Carthaginians, although I'm waiting on bases for them, so might be a while.  Until then, stay safe.

FMB

Saturday, June 13, 2020

Russians. Yes, those Russians.

Hi all,

Finished up another unit of Russian line for Blucher.

IMG_1615

This brigade is made up of battalions from the Volhynia and Tobolsk regiments.  Per my usual approach, the growing list is based on an oob from an actual period battle (Lutzen, in this case), but I'm not setting out to specifically recreate that battle.

IMG_1616

I used some of the "skirmishing" figures I picked up in my last Baccus order on these.  Actually not sure whether I prefer these guys in their "action pose", or just more fellows marching.  We'll see if they grow on me.  Next up for the Russians will be some Hussars.  Going to try a slightly different approach with them than I did with my dragoons;  we'll see how it turns out.

FMB