Sunday, August 30, 2015

We Return, But to a Frozen City-. Frostgrave.

After roughly 3 months away I hope I am back to gaming and blogging a little more  regularly.
The move was substantial and difficult. After a couple months of remodeling here, getting the old place ready for closing, and then moving  (without  movers mind you did it all myself with some family help from my brother in law and his businesses 16ft truck) was a bear.  Add to that, working and having two young kids in a beach town in the middle of summer  in my “spare” time , left me no room for anything else but sleep.  

While I say 3 months its more like 6. Other then  Adepticon and handful of Bolt Action and SAGA games this year has been a total wash for the hobby. While I have Operation Sting ( a now, Bolt Action tournament) which features nearly all my favorite Chicagoland gamer pals  coming up in about  6 weeks,  my Army for that is done minus a few weeknights of touch ups and display work.
Somewhere along the way during late night web surfing, I came along the game Frostgrave 
 Despite my years of big army gaming, I am a skirmish player at heart and a skirmish game this popular using any generic figures seemed right up my alley. A quick Amazon order later I was digging thru the rulebook and realizing this was very easy game to to play. I like the mechanics a lot better than  Songs of Blades and Heroes and with a Mordheim style campaign and interest  from my almost  9 year old daughter in full effect,  we set out to playing a game.

                First we needed a board, something small , as I am probably year away for unpacking and organizing all my Hobby stuff, things like my sprawling Hirst Dungeon seemed to cumbersome for this at the moment, so I saw my built but not painted pile of Osgilath GW  terrain sticking out of a box and said Osgilath?/ Frostgrave!. Perfect.  With some foam insulation, some Hirst left overs I had cast forever ago  and 12 or so free hours over the course of the week - we had our first section of  the Frostgrave city.  

It measures 30”x 27” so slightly large then the recommend 2 x2 for a small game

FROSTGRAVE  Report 1,  Elementalists  Versus Summoners

For our first game, my daughter went  with an Elementalist as that traditional archtype is really all shes knows, and we will call them quote , the good guys.  I wanted to try the Summoner, Specifically a I was of course the “bad guys”

Elementalist Team L-R  Knight, Apprentice, Wizard, Contruct
back row: Infantyman, Crossbowman, Man At Arms, Thief.
Elementalists spells:  Elemental Ball, Bolt and Shield Animate Construct, Fast Act, Heal, Write Scroll and Bind Demon.
Summoner Team L-R: Infantryman, Demonologist, Apprentice, Barbarian
back row: Archer, Infantryman, Infantryman
Summoner Spells : Bind/Summon Demon, Possess, Grenade,  Destructive Sphere, Steal Health and Brew Potion

Note on Spells: first time thru with a campaign in mind we went for a good balance of in/out game spells I had my daughter specifically take Bind Demon as I was a Demonologist and I also had her cast Animate Construct before game so she could add the construct to her  warband.

We place treasure tokens, pick table sides, set up  and Dice off,

Elementalist team in two groups of 4 on Northside of table. Summomer is 3 groups on Southside.
Optional games rules in play:  "wounded"."critical hits"  "creature spawning"


Initiative: Summoner

Wizard Phase:

Summoner: My Demonologist  moves  6  and tries to cast summon demon . I roll a “5”  fail  takes 1 damage from Spell failure
Elementalist:  My Daughters Elementalist uses group activation and moves her wizard, knight, Construct and Thief up to within sight and nearby reach of 2 Treasure tokens. The Thief with his 10.5 double move is just about on the nearest.

Apprentice Phase:

Summoner: I use a  group activation – Moving Demonologist Jr., my Barbarian and Archer  all move 9 inches. My Barbarian touches treasure  nearest token , but  I read the rules on carrying treasure and decide to leave it for now.

Elementalist: Elemental Apprentice   group act  MAA and Infantry move with here  double move. Crossbowman goes to toward ladder to other treasure token

Soldier Phase:
Summoner:  Remaining infantry moves x 2 . 9 inches.
Elementalist: All  previously moved via group activations.

Creature Phase: None.

Turn 2 begins and it gets hot and heavy right away..

Initiative: Elementalist

Wizard Phase:
Elementalist:  Activates by herself  as she wants to cast a spell first  so she cant group activate (Group activate requires movement action or sacrifice of , First.) She casts Elemental Bolt  at my Barbarian who I left totally in the open  Casting roll is a  19 to hit (oof) , it’s a crushing  +8 shooting attack.  She rolls an 16 +8 for 24! defense roll  is a weak 13, I am hit.   the successful 24 roll  versus  my Barbarians  horrible armor of 10 ..means I take  14 points of damage ! and my best fighter  Barbarian is immediately out of action at the start of  round 2.   The Elementalist  drops back under cover of bridge. My daughter says I like this game!

Summoner : Moves 6 casts the spell  Grenade at Knight and Construct who haven’t activated yet.
I rolls a 13! I need a 14 since it’s a spell from a Neutral School ,  I burn 1 health to empower the spell and succeed. "Grenade"  is  +3 shooting attack on both I roll Roll 18 +3 = 21 to hit   Knight rolls 15 +5 (Fight 4 +1 modifier as I moved for 20! He almost escapes but doesn’t.. I wound for 21-13 armor = 8 damage .Construct rolls 18 to defend but F+1 and +1 modifier as I moved for  20 vs 21 again 21-12= 9 damage.. Both almost escape but luck was on ourside Grenade becomes the go to spell of the game for the Summoners.

Apprentice Phase.

Elemental  Apprentice :  Group activation  runs across bridge toward other Treasure Token and hard cover.
Summoner Apprentice:  Group activation himself and Archer. No movement for either considering his nice vantage point with cover. He also casts Grenade at the now wounded  Knight and Construct and rolls a 15!  He needs a 16 due Apprentices being an additional -2 to cast , as they are Apprentices.  He also burns 1 health to empower the spell  to succeed.

Unfortunately as a shooting attack I rolls a "6" +3 for 9 and he  misses both  with higher defense rolls

The Archer then shoots at thief, whose going to get the first treasure toked of the game if not stopped
 I roll the first natural 20- a critical hit  vs Thief  15 defense total . He does stand a chance and goes down hard with 24 damage. 20+2 -10armor = 12 x 2..
We both now have 1 figure Out of action
Soldier Phase:

Elementalist: Knight and construct  retreat back under bridge. Crossbowwomen climbs ladder and reaches a treasure token

Summoner:  My 3 Infantrymen see the advantage and move on the double.. toward the Elemental Apprentice and another Treasure Token.

Creature Phase: None

6 of the Elementalists figures are under cover in this picture. the Elemental Apprentices postion is extremely important considering the epicness happening in the upcoming Turn 3.


Initiative : Elementalist

Wizard Phase:

Elementalist:   Activates by herself  again solo to cast Heal on the Knight rolls 11  Needs a 12 as ita an aligned school . So  burns 1 health to  and Heals the Knight for 5 points. Moves to another covered position under bridge withing range of Treasure Token where Thief fell.

Summoner:    Casts  Summon Demon again with a second attempt  rolls a 15! and then a 12 for a minor demon.. whose is planted 1 inch from him.

Apprentice Phase:

Elemental apprentice: activates.moves up thru cover of doorway and and casts "Elemental ball" at approaching infantry she rolls a lucky 15 on the casting roll and then a super lucky 19 to hit!! (oof again I am getting creamed here ) Elemental Ball is a +5 Shooting attack that hits all three.
My counter rolls defense rolls  are 10,11 and 5.. not even a chance with a 24 attack versus my infantry’s 11 armor all three go down!  Ugh  Brutal

My daughter:  I really like this game!!!!!

Summoner Apprentice:  I call a group activation  again for himself and Archer.  Again with the Grenade Spell  attacking The Elemental Summoner who just blasted my remaining troops to dust. The casting  roll is 19!.. the Shooting  Roll 18 +3  Vs  15+2 for cover as She  has cover versus my shooting 21vs 17  I still hit …21-10= 11 damage The..Elemental Apprentice is down and out of action
Take that I say!.. my daughter frowns.

I am aware we have some hot dice here and the worm is going to turn soon…I am just waiting,

My Archer moves and picks up Treasure token near fallen barbarian..
Creature check I roll a "6"….pass

Soldier Phase:

Elementalist Soldiers:
Crossbowman uses move to pick up treasure token . My daughter rolls a  creature check  of  17!- fail 
creatures spawn. She rolls a couple of Ice Spiders that come in near where her Apprentice fell she's not happy. 
Her  crossbowman takes a shot  at the demon..but misses with a 4..
Knight stays to guard wizard….but the damaged Construct moves  in range to but does not engage demon buying some time ( the construct isnt human some altough its has 3 hits left we dont use the wounded rule on it.
Infantry and MaA move and secure another Treasure token.

Summoner Soldiers…
Minor Demon moves and attacks Construct but the wounded construct wins the fight and does 3 points of damage to the Demon pushing it back

Creature Phase:  Ice spiders move double and engage Elementalist Man at Arms. forcing combat.
There are not activiations left so the turn ends.

My Infantry thinking they where going to get to go this turn before they all got blown to hell courtesy of Elemental Ball.

Demon Summoning is fun, for the moment.

Construct moving up to feed itself  to the Demon, but it won the first buying valuable time for the Elementalist.

Ice Spiders Attack.

Initiative: Elementalist.

Wizard Phase:
Elementalist:  She knows what she needs to do, First act with a clear line of sight is too try to cast  BIND DEMON needs a 14 as its an aligned school and  Rolls a 20!!!. (oh jeez I say)
.Demons Rolls a 15 to resist +4 will to a 19, nope Demon switches sides…Shes much better looking Ok the party is over for  Summoners I think.

Summoner:  looking thru my spells, I see Teleport which seems key right now.   I  need a 14 rolls..and I roll a 14…unlike just about everyother games Wizards in this game can fight well in Melee (Gandalf style) I zap across the board and move into combat with crossbowman whose holding a treasure token.

Apprentice Phase:

Elemental Apprentice: Out of Action
Summoner Apprentice:  moves 6, into across the second story of the near building.  Again we try another Grenade Spell again I need a hail mary 16…I .rolls 14!.. and burn 2 points of burns of health  to succeed.  The Demon and Construct are in Range..   to hits are 14 vs 7 +3 + 1 (11) for the Demon  18 vs  1 +2  (3) on construct
Demon takes 3 damage, The Construct is destroyed..

Soldier Phase:
Elementalist Soldiers:
The Demon moves double to intercept summoner apprentice…move x2
The Crossbowman  is holding a Treasure Token when engaged by summoner wizard in melee so -1 fight  She rolls a 3 versus My Wizards  11  I win but only do 2 damage. 
 13 vs armor 11 = 2 damage… I can push her over ledge but the fall is only 4 inches not enough to kill her and she still has the Treasure Token so I choose remain in combat . Hoping for 1 more round.

Man at Arms vs two Ice Spiders, Infantry man drops Treasure Tokens a and engages one spider making the fight making 2 1 vs 1.combats.
Man at Arms rolls a 19 vs 7 for spider…killing it..
Infantryman rolls a 5 vs spiders 15 takes 4 damage and is wounded by spider venom..
The Knight uses move to climb up the bridge to try to stop the my Wizard from killing the Crossbowman  from stealing the Treasure Token.

Summoner Soldiers:
Archer  Fires Arrow at The Demon ,  misses  and moves half speed toward board edge,,

The Demon decided it like the other Wizard better and switched sides on me..oof/
Turn 5

Initiative: Summoner (really needed that)

Wizard Phase:

Summoner:  My Wizard continues the melee against the Crossbowman rolls a 19 vs 13 or 21 vs 14 wins and 10 points of damage Crossbowman  is Out of Action I .pick up the Treasure Token as my movement..

Elementalist: Calls a group activation with the  Knight,  She moves into base with other Treasure Token (creature check 11..pass) and picks it up…
Knight moves double, 7.5 inches toward my wizard to intercept..

Apprentice Phase:

Summoner apprentice:  When you're hot your hot, I keep pushing my like with "Grenade" and thrown another hail mary at the demon..I roll another 14 and burn 2 more health to make it work.
I'm at 5 hits anymore and I am wounded and only have 1 activation and other penalties.

Shooting Roll is 15 +3 = 18 vs the Demons 17! (17 +0) …He wins barely . 18 versus 11 armor= 7 damage…kills demon!!. He moves toward chest..6 inches..

Soldier Phase:

Summoner Soldiers: Archers…fires shot at Elementalist     hits for 2 damage then
leaves board securing the Treasure Token.
Elemental Soldiers:
Knight moves to engage wizard..not close enough. Both other soldiers kill the remaining spider and pick up the Treasure Token

The multiple Teleport spells to the platform where the chest is and back toward the statue proved key to victory.

Turn 6

Initiative:: Elementalist

Wizard phase:

Elementalist: Casts Elemental Bolt at Summoner Apprentice…fails rolling a 2,… taking 2 damage.. from Spell Failure. as if that a cue moves with Treasure Token toward board edge..

Summoner:  Casts Teleport again rolls a 15…!  Moves to far board edge..see you later Mr. Knight.

Apprentice Phase:

Summoner Apprentice:. picks up Treasure Token  rolls a  Creature check! 17!!  fails and an Armored skeleton appears at the same point the Ice Spiders did…not relevant this late in the game.

Soldier Phase:

Elementalist Soldiers:
All leave the Treasure Token secured..

Summoner Soldiers: All out of play or off board.

Creature Phase: Armored Skeleton moves random direction.

Turn 7

Initiative:  Summoner

Wizard Phase:

Summoner: My Wizard 
Elementalist:  Leaves the board with a Treasure Token secured. 

Game over

Summoner Apprentice only figure on board and has a Treasure Token secured. 
3 to 2 Treasure Tokens in favor of the Summoner
Remaining Treasure Tokens on board go to Victor so treasure is split  4-2 

Campaign Phase:

Summoner.  Two infantry Casualties, One full recovery, Barbarian misses next games, plenty of treasure to buy more soldiers

Elementalist: One Casualty , The Thief, who took an Arrow in the face for 24 damage.
good treasure for just two rolls.

Remaining Campaign actions, Bases, exp upgrades etc to be determined before next game.


Hectic back and forth, hot dice and pure luck pulled it off for the Summoning team. the way the game shook out just didnt give us a deep look at Melee combat or alot of different spells as we kept relying on the same ones. I can see alot of tactical play being required here, especially with the use of cheap troops that we will make sure to take more advantage of moving ahead. Frostgrave is definitely another easy to learn , hard to master type of game, especially against skilled opponents. The D20 add another layer of randomness which I like better than D6 at this point, We look forward to playing again and my other daughter wants to play so we will see As for now Osprey Games -Frostgrave gets two thumbs up!.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

New Horizons

The post Adepticon period is always a period of regrouping, Figuring out what you want to do next, where your hobbytime is going to be focused and some general time off. As the last year has dictated, I dont quite have the time I used to put into the hobby and hence the blog. That's mainly because the last 5 months or so has been focused on one thing- moving. Yes, I'm moving and not just to another section of Chicagoland, I am up and relocating to the great state of Michigan at the end of this month.

While I am not going that far, just a quite town on the other side of the Lake, still close enough to visit but far enough away from the urban sprawl of Chicago, that it feels like Alaska.

I spent alot of time looking for as close to the right place we could find to accommodate the whole families needs, Obviously my hobby space was one of my priorities, as well as wife's new gardening space and my kids own personal spaces. Luckily we found a good fit, and while I dont have the square footage for gaming I do now, what I do have is better organized logistically, I now have a clean painting space, a separate gaming space and a workshop space (wood and metal shop), so it's  not all jammed into one space  which will cut down on the clutter and grime.

Right now, my current old basement is series of boxes, and while we did get a good doubles game of Bolt Action in about 3 weeks ago not much else is not packed up for the move. I accumulated a ridiculous amount of stuff in the last 8 much so that when it came to packing it up, I had a lot I just had to get rid of, enough stuff that trying to sell it on ebay would be a full time job in the short term, and that was time I did not have, so I decided I was  just going to give it away!.The last time the guys were over, everyone took home a couple boxes that hopefully will be put to good use in their own collections,

Once I am set up in my digs, which will probably be close to July, I'm working on 3 projects into the next year.

The Battle of Kursk- A group of Adepticon vets are recreating the Battle of Kursk in 28mm next year, This going to be private event spearheaded by the Guns of April group. we've got 6 players a side each one running a Bolt Action Armored platoon, of either Germans or Russians..the whole game taking place on 16 x 6 table. I'm running a German platoon in the event...fortunately most of my stuff is already done for this
I just need to paint 4 tanks, but I am also going playing in Bolt Action Nationals next I'll be devoting enough hobbytime to BA, that my stuff is looking top notch.

Pirates- by Popular, err well, residents of Minnesota demand that my Pirate game be back next will be similar to my event from 2014...I'm finishing my Pirate Castle as my next Hirst build  and fleshing out the town with some new buildings from Cresent Root Studios , I am speculating building a round table or unique shape of some type versus the traditional long rectangle, as I want better section of space for the players as well space for some naval action. Time will tell here once I get some time in the woodshop. Whether this will be Legends of the High Seas or some other ruleset is yet to be determined. Tim K author of the High Seas book has a new generic D10 ruleset coming out that is going to be malleable to any genre. We've spoken about using this event to test some Pirate flavored rules, so if that does be the case well be providing rules in advance to players and you can bet its going to incorporate the best parts of High Seas while expanding the use of going to a D10, (where all the good games these days are going anyway). I'm really looking forward to this, it's going to be a unique event and I hope to have 12 open slots for it.

28mm Sci Fi-  somewhere early this year, I got myself attracted to Mantic's Deadzone, after picking a box of figures with a coupon I had, I like the vibe and figures and they coincidentally scaled up perfectly with my Reaper Sci Fi figures, I started playing around with DZ rules on my Hirst Space Station which got expanded in the last year.(How a post on that never happened can attest to my lack of time of late)

While DZ rules are in a state of flux right now, I'm messing around with home brew based on the rules and will probably give the game a go when the V.2 rules come out early next year, until them I hope to get play some games on some terrain that I think is probably some of my best work and now over 4 years in the making and I have never played a game on it. This is a totally casual project While I am committed to playing on my Sci Fi Terrain whether I actually get around to playing DZ remains to be seen.

And thats it, that's all I am committing to for the foreseeable future..If I get a chance for some SAGA, Ill gladly jump at it but I wont commit to much more.

Looking forward to one more gaming night with the guys before I head out, then I'll be welcoming visitors or planning some Chicago visits around when some gaming is taking place.

New Digs, New Games, New Horizons.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Adepticon 2015 - Bolt Action Recap

 Pegasus Bridge

Adepticon 2015 has come and gone, it was a great time as usual. this year I dont have much to report on other than Bolt Action, I do have some overall comments on Adepticon 2015 and its new venue which I'll share at the end. I was there all 4 days, but at this point its become as much as a social gathering with people I see once year as it does about playing games so I only played Friday and Saturday during the day and spend Thurs /Fri/Sat evenings socializing, Sunday I brought my kids and finally got around to checking out everything in the vendor hall.

La Rochelle Sub Pen
Friday - Bolt Action Doubles

Jeremy and Chris run a great tournament..the local guys that ran all the LotR tourneys for  close to 10 years have this tournament thing down to a science, amazing tables, great prize support, good scenarios, no wasted time etc. The Axis outnumbered the Allies 2 to 1, so we had no problems getting all our games in against Allies, in fact all of our games where against Americans. Aaron and I ended up winning the Axis Side as Best Axis Generals, which was a surprise for us. The Best Allied Generals where the great guys we played in Game 2, Mike and Mark, from Michigan, a close game where we barely bested them . Oddly enough in the end, it was the round 2 game that was the game were the finalist ended up facing off. I've got nothing to say negative about the TT, 5 stars on all levels, that second game was certainly one the best games of Bolt Action I have played to date.

 Utah Beach

Saturday- Bolt Action Singles

I was back early Saturday morning for the Singles, that were run by Warlord Games themselves  you'd think that company making the game trying to promote sales at the biggest miniatures convention in the US would run an ace tourney right? Hell, they have there own tourney pack and everything ready to go, what could go wrong??....

I brought out my British Red Devils for the day , the same army  I have run with since I started playing the game.. It appears I must have learned something in that time as I went 3-0 with the Brits for the afternoon!

The only other time I went 3-0 in a tournament  (LotR singles 2012) I won the thing by about 25 points over the next closest player, because my soft scores are always pretty close to maxed out. Well if you have been into the competitive gaming scene for any length of time, you know "soft scores" have been getting marginalized over straight competitive play for a long time now. So there where no soft scores in this tournament, only simple pass /fail on your sportsmanship. and a player voted "Best Army"  that being the case I had no allusions about winning the tournament even with a 3-0 record because of the insane scenario scoring. I'll elborate.

 There was a 12 order die cap for the event, Most armies had somewhere around 10  as the average order dice. In a kill point type scenario scoring ( which all three of these scenarios had.).you got 1 point for each unit killed in the if we each had 10 order dice and one of us had 2 units left on the board and the other player had zero ( all his units were destroyed) the score would be 10-8 in scenario 1, there was an objective in the center of the board you had to capture and for some silly reason it was worth 13 points!!!!??? ( I was told this was because it was the 13th Adepticon, -seriously folks) The objective was very hard to get off the table especially with Night Fighting rules in effect for turns 1 and 2,  in fact only 2 people in whole tourney managed too and it was no surprise one of them won the tournament! because if you got it off the board it was as if you scored as if got to play a 4th game.



Scenario 2 had a crazy point spread based on how many units you could get off the table 1 point for a kill, 2 points for reaching the enemy deployment zone, and 3 points for getting a unit off the board thru the enemy lines Now this was a fun game, I had knock down drag out nail biter with Michael from MI , (from the doubles on Friday) that probably the best game of Bolt Action I played to date where I won on the last turn with a score of 14-12.   The problem in Game 2 was just there were to just too many potential points possible considering that Scenario 3  was then just straight vanilla points , nothing extra so the maximum  points you could get where the number of order dice your opponent had. In my case the 3rd game I played  was versus a super nice guy from Cleveland who just had worst luck with the dice..(literally hit my Humber Scout 3 times with big Anti Tank rounds and failed to destroy it with terrible dice rolls) he called the game after I was up 6 to 1, and I sure as hell wasnt going to be like "Hey man, I hope you dont mind, I know you're having a crappy day but I have to keep beating up on you to score your last 4 points"..I would never do that but, that is was what these scenarios asked you to do. I had already heard at that point that people were scoring 30+ points in game 2, so I could have cared less.

To recap the event


The obvious lack of tournament running experience, basic things like  No dead zone between tables for models, or books. 
The match ups were totally random every round no winners playing winners, clearly not swiss match ups as detailed in the rules as pairings were determined before results were turned in each round.
 The scenario scoring: no variance for Win/ Loss or Draw, even thou it said on your results sheet you needed to win by 2 points to claim a "Victory" there was no variance between W/L/D in scoring  in the end it was straight point count, in fact my pal Jeff won  Best Axis player going 1-2 because he had a monster blow out in game 2. I'm not usually one to gripe about this stuff, but when I go 3-0 I should not be losing to the other 3-0 guy by 30 points!!!.

The scenario rules: were confusing and overly wordy. The TO did his best to explain these  in pre round "mission rundown" group huddle  but he didnt have things like the Night Fight rules printed out on the scenario sheet which had people scrambling for book with the rules...that very few people had with them, (we had take a picture of the rules from an opponents table with one of our phones)

The Prize support - (more on that later)

           All my games where good games against fun people whom I never  played before 
           Free "Futy Brad Pitt" look alike Miniature
          TO and WG staff were super nice guys
          Things proceeded mainly on time 
          The Players -  who kindly awarded me Best Army on straight player vote for the second year in a  row!, for that I am very appreciative.

As it turns out  WG was very impressed by our local folks ability to run an event, in fact it was clear they were a bit embarrassed by their own shortcomings.. Especially when it came to prize support. Where in the doubles event  every person walked away with something. there were not only gift certificates from WG but all kinds of other models from other manufactures and the proper Adepticon trophys.

In the singles you got a gift voucher for the Online Warlord Store and color copy of award sheet in a .50 cent frame (what they usually give the people in events where the TO forgets to order the trophy's) This would be one thing if this was some side event but Bolt Action was promoted as one of this years  main events, one in which they sold a 4 day ticket too. While I have no idea what went down with Tank War today, even if it was flawless...I would be pissed if I bought a 4 day event pass for Bolt Action on top of the Adepticon ticket, forget about the organizational snafus between the various TO's, I say this just solely on the prize support.  Especially considering SAGA was in the same room and had they most epic loadout of prize support I have ever seen in my 10 years of coming to this convention. Everything from Beer glasses and laser cut themed templates as freebies just for showing up to Huge Trophies, and custom viking drinking horns that are easily in $200 range,,on top of blisters ,models, etc...

If you were a casual passer by, and saw the awards announcement of both be looking over at us Bolt Action guys and thinking "why the hell is anyone playing this game?" look at whats going on over here (SAGA)

Now this isnt just  a Warlord Games problem (  They seem to get it  they were immediately talking about correcting it) but also an Adepticon problem.  They have to figure out the prize support in regards to consistency . These up and downs with has been going on for years and years now and it almost inexcusable given Adepticon size and tenure as a major convention. The disparity in prize support for anything that is not a 5 dollar event is just atrocious, You have to get the proper trophys and proper prizes for events consistently its just looks terrible when your giving away xerox online only vouchers, models from the Adepticon promo pile and not models from the game you playing to pay and paper awards on one table for $20 event and while on the $20 event right next to you. they have everything they are supposed to from special trophys for all awards with custom extras prizes and then tons of freebies for everyone just for showing up. This is especially off putting  when you are selling a One price  four event tickets for single games for both events going on in the same room. That, at the minimum needs to be consistent. This just looked terrible this year. (the disparity between BA and SAGA prize support for a similar ticket)

Overall the move to new venue is pretty cool, way more space overall, I thought the hotel bar was pretty reasonable pricewise but I heard the restaurant was not. The lighting in ballrooms we were in is pretty bad, I really didnt see alot of stuff I would have liked because I didnt know where everything was, its just big enough you wont stumble into stuff just walking about.

The Vendor Hall was bigger than the last couple years filled with all the usual players for some reason It didnt seem to me that people, like Mantic, and most certainly Warlord Games did not bring alot of product -which doesnt make alot of sense to me.. There seem to be no more 4 hour lines for Forge World product either I am missing them on day 1, or sales are just down....At any point that I popped in Fri-Sun...there was no line..not sure what thats about . I also wondered what Cool Mini is even doing there anymore,  (they run they're own convention now) They were in the vendor hall but as I far I heard where not or barely running any events? Maybe some Demos? it just seemed odd. Reaper was there for the first time they were loaded up with Bones figures, looked pretty busy too from what I could tell, my kids went over and bought some stuff.

I really didnt get much time in the vendor hall because it closes at 6pm everyday which is kind of a hassle it would be great if one night they kept the vendor hall open till 9pm. I am sure I would have actually bought more stuff, If I had couple hours post tournament I could have went over there and actually browsed and talked to people, Instead, it was run over and buy some dice, or go grab the Tank War book so I didnt forget..there really wasnt time for shopping because as soon as I was "free" it was closed. except for Sunday but then I had my kids running around and most the popular stuff is sold out. I really wanted to pick up some bases from Secret Weapon, but never found the time.

Despite my griping ,overall its just a few bumps in the road on an all in all  great weekend, I had 6 really good games  won 2 awards and drank a whole lot of Guinness with a bunch of great people. I really shouldn't complain, I guess really just so I can look back next year and remind myself what I am getting myself into.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Off to Adepticon 2015

The Vintage filter in my photo program gives miniature shots great effects especially for WW2  scenes

So I wont bother with excuses on why I havent posted in 6 weeks, life is hectic.  we're  moving in a couple of months and that's kept me hopping along with everything else in life. I did manage to complete my team for the Bolt Action team event this Friday, Aaron and I even got a handful of practice games in with our German forces.  

I spent a ton of time on these guys, and I look forward to finishing them off to 1500-600 points or so
where I can run an armored platoon and as well as two other regular platoons. I had hoped to finish off my Panther Ausf A, for the singles but time wouldnt allow it so its my Brits in the singles and the Germans in the doubles. I'll surely keep working on these guys thru the fall so I run some version of them at this years Operation Sting.

As for Adepticon, it is bigger than ever this year, at new location with alot more events. I ma really looking forward to new digs and see what it all about, I certainly will make an strong effort to do some write ups on the goings on there this weekend as personally I love the fact the Adepticon has expanded to full on gaming convention not just the Games Workshop fan convention it once was, huge showing by Warlord, Mantic, Privateer Press..etc as well as games like Infinity and Saga with multiple sold out tournaments. I am sure I will find time to comment on the various goings on this year as there is alot new going on that is interest to me

My Sniper team needed perch for haivng such a big base, so I had to make a whole building to match for the display

Vintage shot, they're undoubtedly looking for Aaron's Soviets...
Adepticon for me has become just as much about catching up with people I now see once a year for almost the last decade as it is about gaming, With my relocation about 2 hours away from the new venue site this is my last year being a local, I'll be fighting for hotel rooms with the rest of the folks
after this year, I expect no less of the late nights in the bar, and the prerequisite gaming, but this year I do aim to get in some demos of games I want to try as well as checking out two big games on the schedule, Fistfull of Seamens, epic Pirate game, and Rich's Battle of Arsuf. The latter featuring some of my terrain and models, but both games with gigantic amount of figures, terrains and of course amazing Pirate ships. This also the first year, my kids are old enough to come out for a day and check things out they are dabbling in gaming a home already..I hope to get them in a demo of something kid friendly and get the bug in them.

I'll leave it here for now with shot of my Waffen SS, heading out to meet their fate on the battlefield, Im thinking they'll be meeting their well deserved historical fate, based on what I am hearing, and reading about army lists. As the game becomes more popular the tournament meta becomes much harder. So where Aaron and I initially thought our list was perhaps too tough, its pretty clear we are going to just be hanging in there, I really have no idea how we are going to do, other than he and I have spent the majority of our gaming time the last year playing this game, we will see how that pays off.

As far as gameplay,  SdKfz 7/2 the Quad Flak is a must have in German lists as it actually does shoot down enemy planes as well as shred light vehicles and infantry, its not worth the Tank slot in 1000 point singles, but in bigger point lists or even as a static artillery piece alone or with a Tow, for sure!

Monday, February 2, 2015

The Run up to Adepticon- Waffen SS Squad One

 Pictured L-R: NCO w/ Mp40, Rifleman X 2, Lieutenant, his Driver, (NCO with Russian PPSH41) MG34 Team, STG44 , 2 more Rifles all models by Warlord games., scratch buildings by Aaron Schmidt.

Better late than never, here my first Waffen SS Squad and HQ, for my Adepticon Team Army for Bolt Action. Aaron and I are running Waffen SS along with Panzer Pioneers, truth be told, I think our list is very tournament specific- as in Hard, Were running a Panzer IV, the brutal Flakveirling 38 AA gun, which forget about its AA prowess is an absolute infantry shredder,  consider things like Panzer Pioneers can pack multiple flamer throwers, and standby's like the Puma which is one of the best vehicles in the game...our list just kind of came out this way with any forethought about being hard. In a 800 point test game, my half of the list faced a Soviet List lead by a T-34 which outnumbered me almost 4 to 1 in bodies and the SS won it handily as Veteran Infantry with multiple Assault members is super tough on top of the big German guns.  I hope we can do it justice on the table as Aaron and myselfs tournament record is admittedly very sketchy, but at least we will look pretty.

I spent way too much time researching German Uniforms and seeing other peoples designs, and test painting guys.  in end I went a simple design, that while not 100% historically accurate I think it echoes the historical look, while making the miniatures look good. Some of my test pea dot, and other camo designs ended up just way to busy looking.

On the Hobby front, besides Aarons usual crazy awesome approach of "I am custom sculpting parts on basically every model in my army" (which certainly plays well against my limited to no conversion approach which has only hurt me in appearance scoring last few years) We got a great display in mind, with new terrain, with usual bells and whistles. I'm on track for finishing end of February with my army painting, Vehicles are all ready in the base coated stage, special teams and second squad are well underway. I recently ordered a Panther AUSF A from Warlord...and if I have time I am also going to try get that done so I can run my Germans in the Singles might be a rough go with only 7 Order dice..but its a lot less to manage and bring out, especially since I am bringing my Table out as well for the events., if time fails my Red Devils will be in the Singles...nice to have a back up plan.

As for my table, go a few new pieces already done to jazz it up a bit...and if I hope to get the resin water poured as well, all in all, I feel less exasperated than usual getting ready, I've had no nights where I had to force myself to paint when I didnt feel like it, (we all know how that goes)
I'm really looking forward to my 9th return to Adepticon!

Tuesday, January 13, 2015


In miniature/ board game related news, I have been watching for sometime the development of Monlith's new Conan miniatures/board game. Anyone that knows me more than casually, knows I am a lifelong fan of two things- Lord of the Rings and Conan, while the latter has been seriously neglected in the Miniatures department.  I have far more literature in my collection from Robert E Howard and his disciples than I do from Professor Tolkien by about ten fold.  The sculpts are what sold me on this, and unlike others on the fence over at the LAF, I'm not worried about the scale ( 32mm) here as I like then as a self contained set, Ideally I'll paint them but it really depends on the quality of the plastic, heres to hoping Monolith gets it right on the material they use., Another Reaper Bones/ Sedition Wars type polymer will be seriously disappointing and waste these epic sculpts.

We will see as I am in on the $135 Pledge, check it out here!.

Ok, back to painting my Germans!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Year End Dungeon Delving

I'll save my usual excuse making for my lack of updates and get right to it. While I have not played any actual games in a good 6 weeks, I have been working on couple a long term projects, and long term projects need results to show off.  So here is my only consistent "living project". My Skirmish Dungeon. I completed the original version in June of 2010. As you can see its come along way.     

A time consuming beast, between this and its Sci Fi cousin I could spend all my free hobby alone on these projects and never run out of things to do. Unfortunately I dont really get to play many games on either of them as most of the games I play with my regular group dont revolve around the settings. one of my goals for next year is to change, while I'm still like to say I am playing some historicals I have not worked on anything but Bolt Action stuff in a good six months. I've been working on my own rulesets for games on both boards, that offer a good mix of things I like from various games and lots of my own you imagine these things are a slow grind.                                                  

    The current size of the piece in now 3 feet by 2 feet, the last 3 foot by 1 foot section is all water cavern and its "in progress", I started the casting for it last week but ran out of plaster once thats remedy I'll get back to it. I doubt it will see this 3 by 3 box it lives in filled out before late spring however, I need to get on painting  my Germans for the Bolt Action team tourney at Adepticon and that starts next week. In the meantime I am messing around with painting various figures for this and
experimenting with liquid resin. for water effects. I like the final results but I really dont like working with it.
The green devils head is nostalgic homage to classic dungeon delving.
   I always get asked for construction details on projects like this so here goes. Base material is hydrostone plaster, I use the cheaper stuff not Merlins Magic because I think Merlins shrinks too much in the mold versus this stuff so I get more consistent casts. Since I dont bang my stuff around I'm not worried about the extra durability of MM. Molds of course are all by Hirst Arts..this particular project uses Fieldstone molds 70,71,75,260 and 701 for the Dungeon section and you can get away without 701 which is just a time saver for extra pieces. The water cavern section is mainly 281 and 282..and I use molds 81 and 82 for all the filler rock stalagmite type pieces.  sections are based on 1/8" mdf, which I do not recommend because mdf warps, the biggest challenge with this project is the shitty basing material I choose..over all the weight on the bigger pieces keeps that in check but the floor only section have been challenging. I recommend 1/4" foam core for Hirst basing (which is what used on the Sci Fi build) I'll probably use that on the last water cavern section as the slight height difference should be negligible as I dont need to line up things like walls and doors.
Painting is pretty straight forward...priming black and using craft acrylics from American and Folklore (of which I like Folklore better when you can find it) textures are Woodland Scenics Pigments, Raw Umber for my dirty effect and Green Undercoat for the mold effect. Liquid resin
is two part mix from Envirotex. Other than that is all sweat and planning.

You actually see in these photos despite my griping about them, I have used a bunch of  Reaper Bones stuff this fountain which paints up very nice.

I dont really play any RPG's , and havent since I was a kid, If I did (and I'm not planing on it) I would certainly be part of the OSR movement and hence the theme and style of this leans towards that type of gaming,. I am interested good old rock paper scissor type skirmish games so hopefully I can either come up with some rules I like or find some. While I like Songs of Blades and Heroes..its not focused like say something like Mordheim or Legends of the High Seas. Two set of rules have drifted on to my radar of late (courtesy of the LAF) Trapdoor  for Fantasy type Skirmish and Rogue Planet for Sci Fi type gaming. Have tried either yet but what I read and the style both are present in are promising I'll of course report back when and If I try them out...please do the same.

I have probably a 1000+ fantasy figures (not counting Warhammer armies) of various vintages going back to the late 1970's most them are not painted. Most of the current stuff I do paint is either Otherworld or Reaper, there a couple miniatures from a cool company called Fantization Miniatures that released some cool fantasy stuff a few years back.

A this is year end post, I'll end with a brief recap. 2014 was slow year for my gaming wise, not a whole lot of gaming was had or hobbying for said gaming as illustrated as this is my lowest post count for the year since I started the blog in 2007 . I surely played Bolt Action the most followed by SAGA, Empire of the Dead and Lord of the Rings, but not more than a few games of last two all year. I'm sure I played Hail Ceasar at some point early in the year but its been so long since I played that, I cant recall.  In 2015 I'm looking forward to two Bolt Action events at Adepticon but dont think I'll get to much else. I would like play more SAGA in 2015 with both Vikings and using my Lord of the Rings collection with fan created Battleboards.  Other than that, I'll be messing around with this stuff hopefully figuring out how to get a game happening with it.

Reaper Bones.."Oxidation Beast"

Otherworld figs mainly here, the Lich is Reaper

Otherworld, Reaper and the guy holding is helmet is a rare Crusader Figure

The Reaper Bones Flesh Golem, skulking around with My Otherworld Evil Wizard.. This bones fig lacked a bit a detail but painted up well.
I recall from my childhood days of RPG gaming how much I hated these things, when Otherworld put one out years  I had to pick one up.


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