Tuesday, August 27, 2013

A weekend of hobby goodness :-)

Last weekend was great!

I stayed in Bratislava while my wife went back to her home area for a school reunion. In true temporary bachelor style I went nuts with geekery and had a thoroughly good time.


We begin the day after a morning of model painting with a few games of Magic Cards. Now I hadn't played this for some years but quickly picked up on the new mechanics and, if I might say so, put a pretty good beating on my opponent in a number of games. 

Then we wandered up the road to find some armoured vehicles on the street.

Jan posing in front of the T55 :-)

Next to us 'Playing like you've got a pair' was in full swing as the Legion of Everyblight (including this MASSIVE archangel) took on the new Convergence of Cyriss.

After we got the 40k/skull terrain cleared off we started our Bolt Action game. Here are the Americans ready to get into the fight.

The Germans split into three squads to bring down the Allies

The snipers took some fire early on but didn't falter for long.

The Germans in the trees quickly took a pounding from the advancing US forces.

The second squad faced more opposition...

....ending up quite heavily pinned for much of the game. 

The sniper did his best to help by taking out the NCO, machine gunner and two more soliders from the squad in the trees.

One German squad was quickly brought down.

The others fought hard though.

The high point for the allies, 

Before brutal return fire cut them down like wheat. This is the end game shot just after those two survivors from the middle squad got revenge on the sniper with a lucky long range rifle shot.

We then geared up for a 40k game pitting my two armies against each other. The Deathwing got a good start routing the jetbikes on turn 1 and, despite a mid-game scare that resulted in heavy casualties to the elite of the chapter, brought the fast but fragile eldar alliance down.

Interestingly, we both felt that 40k felt quite flat and simplistic in some ways compared to Bolt Action. The morale and suppression mechanics in the the latter game definitely make you think more on the best courses of action where in 40k the units are a lot more reliable at doing what you want. 


On Sunday I got to see my buddy Aaron's Knights of Blood army for the first time. This was his 1700pt offering. To be honest, though he assures me otherwise, I felt like this army was quite light for that points value. 

The speed alliance rockets into battle.

That sneaky Necron flyer is actually a sneaky Eldar Crimson Hunter Exarch. 

The Scourges have an "Oh Sh..." moment as the Storm Raven unloads at point blank range. Due to some crazy rolling the tempest launcher's frag missiles missed by 8 and 7 inches to the left and right respectively. Definitely Transformers missiles ;-)

Overall I had a great time gaming with friends and enjoying my hobbies. Bolt Action was the most fun for me, but our 40k on Sunday was a great time too. I had fun getting back into MTG and though I won't likely buy any cards I'd happily throw down for a few more games with my buddy Jan.

I'm excited to speed up my painting on all of my figures as it was so fun seeing the table look bright and populated. I've got plans to expand the Bolt Action forces with some variety (more troops, some support weapons, a halftrack or two, then the tanks) and I will give more thoughts on the game system itself in a future post.

All the best


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Fully painted Dreadfleet!!! (I lose again hehe)

Awesome wife alert. 

Relaxing on the weekend trying not to think about the upcoming work week and then Edina popped up to say "Why don't we play Dreadfleet? I want to play a game."

The gauntlet was thrown and so we got ready for battle. We were playing Dreadfleet-lite, where there was no wind gauge and we ignored the fate cards. Since we don't play that much and Edina isn't a gamer she prefers a simpler game to get back into the swing of it. Hey, who can blame her? She speaks three languages and has to decipher game and naval terminology in the middle of a game she's trying to do well at :-)

Here is my Dreadfleet all set out just to get a photo of the painted models. I'm still not 100% convinced by our new camera's macro or low-light photos. In the daylight, hell yes it's great. Otherwise....I'm still working on it.

Another shot of everything.

For this game we left out the two flagships and played a battle with the smaller ones. Mostly it was because I had to get up early to teach the next day :-)

Edina sent the Swordfish bravely into battle to face down the enemy while bringing the Flaming Scimitar (aka. The genie ship) around the flank.

The Elves rushed into battle with the ghostly shadewraith, battling their ephemeral enemies with blades and swashbuckling prowess.

Joined by the Swordfish, whose ramming spike could find no purchase on the half-real enemy, the ghost ship was sunk, but not before taking the proud Elf ship along with them. The tentacled monster of the Chaos Dwarf ship seemed poised to attack but a poorly chosen order meant that I couldn't turn my ship in time to make contact. I repaired earlier damage instead of making an extra turn. Curses!

Having missed its target, the Black Kraken ploughed around the island, heading straight for its dwarven nemesis.

The dwarfs and dragon were battling valiantly against the foul Skaven ship that had plunged forwards into a boarding action with them. Could they finish it off before the Black Kraken made contact?

Yes they could! Having killed the foul Skaven, the dwarfs were almost crushed by the tentacled foe. Luckily the captain rallied and they pushed off away from their attacker, blasting it with point blank shots before the dragon killed it.

The photos run out at this point but the Curse of Xandri (Tomb Kings) ship had spent the last few turns being battered by multiple foes. With its oars shot away it couldn't move and was open to be slowly sunk, the final blow being delivered by the dragon.

Damn. My W-L-D record with Dreadfleet is now something like 1-12-0. Still, I had a lot of fun playing and that's what it's all about in the end. Plus it looks a lot better when painted up.

All the best


Friday, August 16, 2013

When blog readers prompt you to work hard at your painting :-)

In my previous post I got comments from Tim at the Tau of War and AHunt from Dulce et Decorum Est and it got me inspired to get cracking with my Bolt Action painting.

Instead of relaxing in the break between my morning and afternoon lessons, I grabbed my models, spray paint and rummaged through the recycling boxes to find something to spray in. 

This is the result that I had to work hard to scrub away before I went off to teach in the evening ;-)

Once I got the black spray done, I spent some time painting the bases brown, then drybrushed grey on the Germans and put a simple two tone colour on the GIs.

Here is a closer view.

I'm concerned that the Germans are wearing too bright of a grey colour, but my intention is to get some new Black Wash (Nuln oil?) and use that to throw some shading on them. It should bring down some of the brightness as well, plus having them stand out a bit on the tabletop is not a terrible thing.

The US troops will get a brighter drybrush/highlighting on the green and then the whole model will have some Devlan or Sepia wash to dirty them up a bit and make them look like soldiers in the field.

All the best and thanks Tim & AHunt for the impetus :-)


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Bolt Action bases done - painting next.

Hi everyone,

While much of the blog world is talking about Games Workshop's up and coming space marine models, I've been working away at my Bolt Action models, looking forward to putting them on the tabletop. 

One of the big items on my to-do list was to make the simple flat bases more interesting. I plan to add grass and so on to give them a simple European feel, but thought it would be good to give a little texture and height variation to them with greenstuff. 

My apologies for the camera pictures. I was messing around with the lighting, settings, flash, no flash etc and just couldn't get the consistent pictures I wanted. I'm still getting used to this new camera :-)

Here is one US squad, Sarge calling a halt for a second. 

The senior officer on the field and his attendant move up to check the lay of the land. There is a lot of flexibility in arming these troops as they are a simple base cost and can have any guns the model carries (for no extra points). I didn't add anything crazy and made the officer more focused on command than shooting. No super unit toting a bunch of BARs here :-)

My two snipers got a bit more work on their bases. I will probably look to add some shrubbery or the like to make them a bit more in character.

The second US squad. Sorry for the focus slip but you can see Sarge laying down fire with his Thompson while the BAR gunner scans for the next target.

My German officer and orderly, both wielding Stg 44 assault rifles. I decided to up-gun these two because the weapons are just really neat looking.

Two of my Panzerfaust troopers and one with an MG42 light machine gun. I decided to glue on the 'fausts and then added a little greenstuff strap so they looked a bit more realistic. The LMG gunner needed a little help to reach the barrel of his gun. I found that while most of the arms fitted together neatly, a few of them had small gaps. The machine guns were the only ones bad enough to need some filling.It'll be fine once painted up to look like a metal gun part.

The snipers in slightly better light.

That's all from me for now. I just need a bit of time at home in good weather to spray these (and my other 10 kabalite warriors) then I can start laying down some paint and demo some Bolt Action.

All the best folks.


Friday, August 2, 2013

Ogres and Bretonnians make the US and Germans keep their heads down.

Today was supposed to be the day that I dropped my first battle report using the Bolt Action rules. I had a Friday afternoon with no lessons, my gaming buddy was free and the game store was empty. Perfect! We decided to play some fantasy (because my buddy doesn't get enough games of it) and then move on to a Bolt Action game afterwards. 

He's an excellent painter as I've mentioned before so I was stoked to use his models in the game. He made a big monster mash army for me to play with. Low model count but lots of pain.

Stompy Stonehorn beasty. I love the painting on this one and he's magnetised it so you can swap to the Thundertusk too. Shame about what happened in the game.... ;-)

Some ogre maneaters in all their strange glory. Yar, me hearties....can I eat them there landlubbers.

More maneaters hungry for battle.

The chivalric pride of Brettonia stands ready to do battle with the hungry beasts.

My deathstar unit of Ironguts with a slaughtermaster (mage) on the left, a tyrant/werewolf in the middle and a firebelly on the right. That's over 1600 points of pain!

I love the lighting effects on the firebelly. 

My first turn wasn't very eventful but my opponent got the long distance charge on the stonehorn and then proceeded to insta-kill it with his lord's heroic killing blow. A pretty model down in the first ten minutes of play...damn

The Grail Knights came in to hammer at my deathstar unit.

Casualties are mounting and the leadbelchers, knights errant and pegasus hero have joined in. We got really lucky after this and passed two Leadership 5 tests to stay in the fight. 

We beat off the foes and while the leadbelchers ran down the last grail knights the depleted ogre unit battered the knights of the realm into the ground. A very bloody victory for the Ogres.

I'm a bit mixed about playing fantasy. I've had two games in 8th edition and perhaps it's coming from 40k but I can't help but notice how resilient units can be with their armour save THEN a ward save THEN a regeneration save sometimes. It takes a lot of time for things to kill each other compared to what I'm used to. The movement mechanics are quite solid overall and I like the tactical positioning that is important. The charge blocking is a tricky thing to get used to but can add some fun and flavour to the game.

I like the magic phase where you have to figure out how many power dice to use and bait your opponent a bit to make them use up their dispel dice. The Ogre spells were simple and helped buff the deathstar when it was needed.

I had fun and while I won't be buying into Fantasy at all (GW prices are too much for me to start a full army) I'll probably throw down and play some more games of it when I get time.

Sadly we ran short of time to play Bolt Action but I noticed the Germans and Americans coming out of the trees once the battlefield was silent.

Keep that MG-42 ready Johann! We'll see how many bullets these beasts can take :-)

Hold up boys. Looks like we may have found Bigfoot and all his buddies...