Sunday, November 9, 2014

German Vehicles, New Terrain

 Post Operation Sting, I am still focused on Bolt Action. In fact right after the event some three weeks back back, Aaron and I got brain storming on our team army for Adepticon 2015.  The event is a side by side 1600 point per side event,(or so I am told pre-registration, so subject to change)  We are running  Late War Eastern Front, German Army made up of Waffen SS, and Panzergrenadier Units.

 My side of the force contains 3 Vehicles, 2- 9 man squads, an HQ and a Sniper team, I have couple different version of the army at 1000 points so everything I am  building for 800 points in the Team format will work great with next years run playing Germany. The first unit I built was the Sd.Kfz 7/1 Quad Flak in my Tank slot. Given American Air Power at Operation Sting, this thing has 4 autocannons can also totally shred infantry and softskin vehicles, while its got the "open top" liability and makes a juicy target its takes the focus off my other units which is fine.
 The kit itself is $45 and the gun comes with a full trailer and separate mount so its a pretty good deal as you see in the following pictures, I can set the up as a tow and use it as artillery piece if I want my tank slot for something else. For this list is one the half track but the options are a good bargain.
The kit itself is definitely not one of warlords best, clearly an older kit it took alot of work and I ended replacing all the gun barrels and some other cast bits that were just really poor, I also took the time to magnetize the gun base, both actually guns so they swivel from 45 -180 degrees and of course the gun spins 360 degrees on truck bed and trailer mount. I also laid out a bit of stowage on the deployed setup of the vehicle.
 The next vehicle is my transport Krupp Protze Kfz.69, this is a 1/48 Tamiya Kit with tons of detail it took quite of bit of time to build as its got about 10X the pieces of your standard Warlord resin vehicle. This kit also cams with Pak 36 gun in tow with Trailer as well , I havent built that yet but will when I get the full 1000+ plus fielded...Here I show the truck towing the Quad Flak.
 In Game its a transport for one of my Squads to get them where they need to be quick, I was kind of kicking myself for not getting Kfz.70 version which have the box back and holds the right amount of guys. with build the truck is 6 man vehicle my squad is 9...for abstract gaming purposes I dont think it matters.

Finally the vehicle is probably the most popular German vehicle in the Bolt Action game. The Sd.Ffz 234/2 Puma, a special purpose vehicle , the Germans actually only managed to make a hundred of them during the war, its frequency in Bolt Action gaming is akin to say a Panzer IV that they manage to crank out almost 9000 of through out the war.

Gamewise the Puma hits the sweet spot of good armor, great firepower and has the "reece" ability making it one of the better vehicles in game considering the point costs of things like Panthers and Tigers,  I be remiss not fielding one. Although I was tempted to run one of the variants , I already has this kit from late last year.
Speaking of the kit this one is very easy build my only grip is the cast metal gun is pretty poor as well, I may pick the new plastic version coming out this month after seeing the preview shots..also this version at 1/56 scale feels a bit whether this actual vehicle ends up in my army remains to be seen.  As you seen on my here I added about 1/2 dozen bits of stowage.

If you notice in my post title I mention "Terrain" I also put together two of Warlord recent terrain offering both repackaged Italeri kits , The Stone Walls box and the Wrecked House kit. You can see both in the earlier photos, If you go to the Italeri  site you can see both were made as 1/72 (20mm) kits while the walls work great, and Ill be picking up a second box, the building while a cool, easy build- feels way to small especially against the WG village kits or my scratch terrain. I was hoping to use this kit to kit bash some larger eastern european city buildings for our army display but it looks like we will need to go another route. As it stands the kit will make a nice command post solo terrain piece but its doent really fit into the village set up on my board like I was hoping. 

Overall I am well on my way, I've got 18 guys to clean and base then I can practicing and playing. 
Adepticon 2015 doesnt hold a ton of variety for me this year due to time I am putting in on this, Bolt Action events are it for me this year, unless I hit a demos or pick up games of something or using existing stuff I already have.  There was talk of doing some Empire of the Dead or Saga but I just wont have the time. I'll be talking more about Adepitcon at it new location and what I am up to when the cart goes live on Monday November 24th, until then that's what's up for me on the gaming front.

Couple shots of the Quad Flak deployed...Cool.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Operation Sting AAR

Operation Sting went down last weekend at the Chicago Northbrook Hilton, and like its predecessor the now retired Bilbo's Birthday Bash, its immediately become my favorite fall event. We ended up with 17 players, I know small in comparison to Adepticon numbers but pretty standard turnout for this event over the years regardless of the game system moving from Lord of the Rings to Bolt Action. I did get to meet a bunch of great new people playing this game whom I hope to get game with again soon. While I came away empty handed in the awards categories, I manage to win games 1, 3 and 5 for a 3-2 record. After my terrible 0-3 performance at Adepticon winning some games and figuring out how to play my army felt pretty good.

The overall Army spread was :
3 Russian
1 Japanese
1 Italian
3 US
2 British
7 German

I was fortunate enough to face 4 German players and 1 Japanese player, normally my Red Devils face off against Germans so playing two Fallschimjager lists, a German Heer Infantry list and a Waffen SS list was nothing new to me. Game 2 which I lost to my boy Kyle was really neck and neck till turn 4 when he broke it open by nailing my Humber with a immobilizing lucky mortar hit as it was moving to take out his 105mm Howitzer team that was keeping me at bay. This game was particularly fun because I got to play Kyle on my board and after knowing each for years we finally got to play as we have never managed to get together outside of tournament, it was a great game in the end the British just came up short.

From my basement to the Hilton.
There isnt much to mention about my game against the Japanese, it was the worst game of Bolt Action I have played and it little to do with army being Japanese, all to do with my opponents win at all cost attitude at the expense of having a fun game, his selective interpretation of the rules at various times was also a bummer. I dont get into it with people about this kind of stuff, it so rarely happens to me that I just let people do what they are going to do and roll with it. I know some of my pals disagree with my laid back attitude on this, but I just dont care. We do this to have fun, and if I play someone who insists on winning at the expense of that because that is what they need to get thru the day, I'm ok with that every now and then.

Tyler's Russians looking fantastic!
One the flip side my other three games again German Armies, were against great guys, and were great games and alot of fun, Mark, Duane and Seamus, hats to these guys for rolling into a tournament they've never been to and having the right attitude and a good time.

 Ill share a couple quick anecdotes;

Game 1 against Duane who I just met 10 secs before we rolled dice was "Hold until Relieved". Having played this one a bunch being the defender is real ballbuster, so winning the opening die roll, I choose to attack. The table  setup was pretty advantageous to me I  had multiple flanking positions and clear lanes of fire on the objective. The mission also allows me to deploy deep into the table. I then got lucky with big artillery strike the put pins and kills on at least a half dozen units at the top of turn three. by turn 4 Duane had taken enough losses, I was assaulting from 3 directions with support from all sides, he knew it was a seriously uphill climb. Still he played out the last two turns having a good time and just rolling with it, Obviously Duane carried this attitude throughout the weekend as I was not surprised as his name was called as "Best Sportsman", during the awards.

After my terrible game 4, Game 5 turned out to be single handedly the best game of Bolt Action I have played to date,  Against another new player whom I just met -Mark, he was playing next to me during my game 4 debacle. Mark had a well rounded Waffen SS force, and this game was neck and neck all the way till turn 6. The scenario was "Maximum Attrition", having played that one the most I always go after small teams first to try to knock order dice out of the bag, so even though I was up by two dice in turn was another fluke artillery strike, that really only damaged one squad Ill rolled stupid good and it took the squad off the board right at the top of turn two.
Jeremy's Italians
Turn 6, we are both setup with squad just barely hanging on when the dice start breaking my way, I hit his 3 man HQ team with mortar on the first try as they tried to support a heavily pinned squad the needed a desperate order check. I end up taking the whole HQ squad out, which caused the pinned squad which get shot again and knocked below half, to fail it morale check...putting me up by 4 dice we do roll the 7th turn and I am still in danger of losing at least three dice if Mark can catch a break. He doesnt, we each add a order die with one kill each on. turn 7 and I still win by 4 dice..but it was alot closer than it sounded really until the very end of turn 6,  I know how frustrating that can be to see victory so close but you just can roll higher than a "2"  Mark laughed it off as "shit happens"
like you are supposed to.
Overall a great weekend, final scores are not posted yet but I feel I did the British Army right and they placed well as one of the two Armies there that weekend. There is ton of Bolt Action going on at Adepticon this year and Aaron and I are going to play in the team tourney so we are already talking about that. Not much else to add other than a great weekend with some great folks. Congrats to the winners, especially Jeremy for pulling of the appearance award the guy is really working his tail off with two totally converted and wonderfully painted new armies in the past year, his Japanese and Italians. It's well deserved.

In non gaming news I played hooky this afternoon and went to see FURY. Its not for the squeamish, but if you are WW2 history fan or war movie far, its an awesome character study of the bleakness at  the end of that war. We often forget when we play these games that they are based on realities that had incredible human cost. See it for its intense action sequences, and grim reality of war but be reverent to the message, Brad Pitts character sums the film up well with a six word statement early in its running time,  "Ideals are peaceful. History is violent."

Airstrikes are super powerful in Bolt Action..thankfully I only saw one plane in 5 games but they were certainly there.

Tyler D's Russian were quite slick, I really like these.

My Stuart bogged down against advancing infantry, there is 105mm Howitzer out of frame bombing me and eventually the panzerfausts his there mark

Friday, October 17, 2014

The New Table

 Finally completed and played a game on the new table, a generic crossroads with a dirt road, I designed it for Bolt Action, but changing the terrain easily makes it usable for lots of other games.
Aaron Germans roasted me last night in the Demolition scenario, I should have guessed thing were not off to a good start when both my phone and camera batteries died within 5 minutes of each other.
There were of course no pictures from my end and snap these this afternoon just before I took the whole thing down a boxed it up to take to the Tournament in  wee hours of the morning.
I'll spare you details other then on of my vehicles failed it reserve entry roll of a "9" four turns in a row to finally show up turn 6, I'll botched my artillery strike calling in on myself and my Flamer Crew defending my Command Post ran out of fuel on the first shot, Yeah ,one of those games

As for the table here, I feel like I have working on it forever, the bridge section was constructed back in January and the original plan was to have it in this shape for Adepticon which didnt happen , so here it finally is -in October! I still have the liquid resin to do on the resin and I am going to get some more appropriate buildings- but this about it, I wasnt to move on to some other projects.
 I tell myself if I build three more sections I will have options for a ton of different layouts we will see how that goes, right now I am contest with it as is..we will see how people like playing on it this weekend.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Operation Sting , a Yank brings his Brits

In effort to keep on posting, given my long absence, I set up my Army Display for the weekend and took a few shots. Not much different than my Adepticon list with exception that I dropped my QF 6-PDR and replaced with a Stuart M5A1. some adjustment to my veterancy levels allowed me to squeeze in a Flame Thrower team. Considering how much abuse I took from Flame Throwers last event I figured I return the favor. This list plays well against a like minded opponent who want to cover all the bases at 1000 points with a little of everything in one platoon. Planes or Heavy Tanks
I dont really have an answer for. Even against a medium tank, I have my work cut out for me but at least now all my Anti Tank stuff is mobile. Aaron and I are playing tomorrow night so I'll have some pics of all our stuff on the new completed table and you can see where my hobby time has gone.
really looking forward to the weekend, we will see if can win a game at tournament for Bolt Action which has so far eluded me. Excuse the photos my lighting wasnt the best some are a bit washed out.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Crescent and Cross

My call of being "back from the void" seemed to be a bit premature as here I am 6 weeks later just getting to talking about some gaming. I have actually been playing some games of late, Saga and just last week some Empire of the Dead.  Its the former I am going to talk about here. Crescent and Cross is the newest release under the "SAGA" moniker from Gripping Beast. Having like the original Saga quite alot, I was sure I was I going to like C&C so when Rich asked to give me the demo I was like, of course!!. We used all his excellent figures as he is well on his way to having  gigantic Saracen and Crusader fully painted armies at 3000+ Hail Caesar level, what this means at smaller figure counts of  Saga, is you have a ton of figures to choose from. There is something to be said about picking a genre and sticking with it as a hobbyist as Rich has done. His historical only focus the last 5 years or so, shows its wisdom in having fully completed armies of early Romans, figures that work as almost a 1000 year span of Arabic forces,  and 300 years of Crusaders give him alot of gaming power across several different systems, that opposed to my gamer ADD where I have countless unfinished miniatures for various systems and havent been able to field an finished army for a non skirmish level games since I basically finished my Empire Army for Warhammer in 2009 or so.

On the actual game itself, if you have played SAGA you can play Crescent and Cross but there are new rules including a unique system where in order to get some of abilities, the "Virtue" that enables that power must be rolled for in game. Meaning your army has to work its way up to gaining all those killer special abilities. Arabs and Crusaders play completely different and since I was getting spanked playing the Crusaders, I can't tell you much about the Saracen mechanics other than they are very devious and deadly.

SAGA the game is quite popular in these parts and Adepticon 2015 is hosting the official SAGA grand melee here in the US as well as numerous other SAGA events. the game has some legs, not to mention for house rules as if you can make a battle board you use these rules for about any genre of gaming, flexible rule systems like that usually stand the test of time.  I've got my own Viking army I am working on since I has alot of figures from my Saxon/Viking Hail Caesar Army. total crap shoot I have anything done by Adepticon, as I for the first time ever its the middle of October and I dont have plan on what I am actually doing yet.

It is a big week around here however as our local Bolt Action tournament  Operation Sting takes place this weekend and I am in with my British Airborne. ( Bolt Action being the other game that seems to have alot of interest this season)  I should have a couple posts coming up this week on my retooled army, a practice game on Thursday with full painted armies on a full completed table ( finally!!)  and then event itself. After this weekend I can start thinking about what unfinished stuff I want to try to get on the table for Adepticon, unless I slip back in the void, who knows!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Back From the Void

My Stuart M5 (Stuart VI)  for my 1000 point Bolt Action British Force.

 Well no excuses really, I fell of the cliff this summer, work, vacations, the kids, two basement floods (nothing major) and some painful dental work had resulted in extremely little hobby time. I have recently got back to getting my hands on couple things. One being finishing a couple units for my Bolt Action Army for the Operation Sting tournament taking place the weekend of Oct 18th. The Stuart here was one of my two additions after the Adepticon Tournament last spring. Finally I buckled down and finished this guy, and am quite happy with the way he came out.
 The other thing being my actual table for Bolt Action which I am helping out bringing to the tournament. If you look at the photo from my last post in late June you can see the table in it raw state. This pics should give you an idea of the finished look. It 9 pieces that fit together in a couple of configurations with the tons of other stuff we have should make for couple decent setups. I wanted a table that would work for all of the rulebook scenarios with slightly different setups and  I think will accomplished when its all said and done...
 Work on the table will progress all the way up to the tournament, there are a zillion little details but even its being rebuilt state it will playable in probably a week or so.  The Stuart here was good "first tank" project for me...I took an the Humber AC first., next I move onto Warlords new plastic Sherman M4 which I picked up awhile ago, while not using in the upcoming tournament, Aaron and I have talking some 1500 point games, so with the Sherman, and a few other loose teams (Flamer team) and another squad...My British are done for this game, next I'll moving on to my Germans..
 I'll leave this post here with and almost pornographic spam of  pics of my new tank. I've got Saga and some generic Sci Fi and Fantasy gaming to talk about coming up thru the fall so hopefully, now that I am back posting I can do so  alot more frequently, its not like I dont have enough miniatures
or games to talk about.

Scratch building by Aaron Schmidt


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