Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Resolution, Smezolution.

Continuing the Escher theme, don't be like me, and let your resolutions be your stairway to nowhere.

There comes a certain point when you do the New Years Resolution thing, whatever they may be, that your continued failure will become comical, so comical that continuing to even do them is pointless outside of the potential comedy of your own failures. We have reached that point here at Plastic Legions my friends. Without further adieu here my recap of my 2010 resolutions and how I made out. I always list them from the supposed 'easiest" to accomplish to the most difficult so lets review in the same order.

2010 resolutions

#10 No more new games!!!...and I mean it Games Workshop..I'm not counting Board Games this year.

Not counting board games was a total cop out and I only bought one, but I failed none the less, I picked several skirmish type rule sets and bought a ton of 15mm sci fi well other generic fantasy figures for skirmish games and a entire metal WAB army. While I didnt buy much GW in 2010...I certainly bought more than I should when it came to the meeting the goal of the resolution- (cutting down the game budget.) I did coincidentally sell alot of stuff this year..but financially it wasn't close to a for the purpose of the actual point this was a FAILURE. Starting out with a bang, as you can see.

#9. Get my next WFB Army, painted to a level where it is competitive for Best Appearance and at least to 2250 with some options. Choices are WoC, Lizards and VC..I need to settle on one and do it. my goal here is ready by next fall, for all the fall events.

Oh boy, I am shocked how far I missed the mark here, well I did settle of Lizardmen and the ones I did are some of my best work however..I have ONE flipping model 100% finished, the rest of a unit of 15 Spearmen sitting about 60% complete and a Stegadon about done, other than the base, and crew. Of course, yes, my mixed feelings on 8th edition have put the brakes on this for various reasons. but once again Total abject FAILURE, 0-2 next.

#8 Finish my freaking Daemons, they are close..and I might run them at Adepticon in the WFB championship, given the way comp works this year...It's all about the paint..I could finish them in a couple weeks..if I just sit down and do it.

ROFLMAO!!!.....I did actually play one game with them this year, it was just this month. What comes after total abject Failure?, Epic total Failure?, I'm doing the backstroke in a pool of it here.

#7 Finish up a bunch of loose models for my Empire army...I want to bring a bunch of new models to Adepticon for the Warbands tourney this stuff is always good.

Shockingly this is one of the few things that did happen, I also added around dozen models to my empire infantry including the new Bear model as a place holder. I also made a bunch of really great wizards for the flexibility of using different Lores in 8th ed..even painted a couple of them.
Those models I did for Adepticon, ended up getting me Best Appearance in Warbands, so this one is an actual SUCCESS!,

#6 Get my act to together to get out of town for an overnight to one of the many great regional events here in my area. Midwest Rampage is the likely candidate.

Yeah this happened, and we had a great time that weekend, despite the bumps in the road at the actual event. The other event I had planned to attend was a total washout...1/2 aint bad when so far we are at 60% Failure rate so far.- Call this a Mild Success.

#5 Run another day long campaign event for Legend of the High Seas, play some Legends of the Old West..and play some more skirmish games, including LotR in general

Never got around to running another event, didn't play any Old West, did play as much Lord of the Rings as I could and some High Seas and tried to get some other Skirmish games going, and did play a few other games, but not as much as I would have liked. This ones a WASH, didn't really accomplish the point, but there was enough other going on, that I cant call it a failure.

# 4 Run a day long 6000 point Legendary WFB battle and my place with fully painted armys and with full bat reps and photos for the blog
Talked about it, cool idea, never happened. We did have an 8th Edition gaming tourney that was pretty cool, but its wasn't this...maybe one day FAILURE

#3 When the new WAB rules get some of the horde of models I have together and play some games..even promise to paint some!

Ummmm....NO, I didnt get some of that Horde of models together...I went I bought a whole new metal army from Gripping Beast (see #10)...which I did base and prime and even painted one test model. As for the purpose of the resolution, No I didnt do squat with the tons of models I have using the built ones as proxys and unbuilt sitting on shelves...I did play a half dozen games and really like for the intent of this resolution, I'd have to say to I FAILED.

#2 Finish my Osgilath table..too long in the making...the Hirst tiles are painfully slow due to my lack of making time to cast..the table itself is seeing alot of abuse and may need to be redone,This is my primary terrain project for 2010..and I am going to try very hard to limit myself to getting this done this year.

When I wrote this I must have drinking, and drinking heavily, probably Tequila- because I always do crazy shit when I drink Tequila. This entire project was scrapped- not finished to its imagined glory, it died on the operating table. The table itself with the beach got the resin water section damaged thru years putting this that weren't supposed to be on it, on it. the city tile idea wasn't working out, it also took some flood damage. Then GW goes and releases a bunch of specific awesome terrain, that doesn't really match that stuff I had finished. The table was broken down and its being re-purposed...alot of the terrain is in the "what to do with it" pile. I'd like to do a 2 x 2 battleboard of Osgilath like my Pirate Dungeon for some LotR skirmish..but when or "if" that happens who knows..I can say with a 100% certainty this project is KIA. so I'll stop talking about it. an unmitigated FAILURE, hey that's the word I was looking for earlier!.

# 1 OK, I have a Flames of War army sitting around in boxes (Brit Paratroopers) and all the rules books. Find the time to get this together and play a few games!

Lo and behold, the most difficult thing on the list, and the one I never really thought would not happen, happened., I did get a whole 1500 point army built, based and primed. I painted 3 tanks and am working on the 4th and painted another 4 stands to completion. I even played three games! and am starting to work on a small table...I did buy terrain and the new rulebooks (again see #10), have to say it is the biggest success on the list, that probably required the most work. a Total SUCCESS!

So how did I do?, a couple good successes, a kind of success and a wash...if I scored it like a tournament I be 3-6-1 where one of my wins was one those games where you won thru no fault of your own. On the actual Success meter however, I am at a whopping 20%!!!! an Epic Fail i'd say. The biggest lesson I've taken out of all this is that trying to guess, predict, or schedule what you're going to do in your hobby 12 months out just takes the fun out of it, or even can suck the life out of it, so don't even try. In fact the most fun I had and coolest thing i did last year came to me on a total whim one afternoon, It was also the most challenging terrain project for me to date.

Needless to say no formal resolutions for 2011 from me. believe me, its not lost on me that the majority of my failure has to do with the game I have the most time and money invested in. All I can say for 2011 is that I will strive to paint more of the stuff I already have, play more of the stuff I already have, and stop buying stuff I never end up playing, -lets see if I can even stick to that.


Monday, December 27, 2010

2010- Looking back

As 2010 comes to a close its time for my own annual "looking back" and resolution posts. As for looking back to 2010 it was again a good year for gaming. I had less "hobby time" than the past several years but gaming was in full swing with our weekly club going strong with 22 meetings 2010, with good attendance (4-5 regulars and another 2-3 semi regulars) close to our scheduled goal of 25 meetings. On top that there was Adepticon plus the handful of other events I played in, and a good amount of "one off" game days on Saturdays with a couple trips out to the Chicago Battle Bunker for scheduled pick up games with people I dont see too much. On the hobby front, (see my upcoming Resolutions post) things were not as optimistic...more and more time with my kids as they are getting older, plus work and a huge basement flood, some general hobbying malaise cut my overall hobby input down, I did pull off one rather big project (The Pirate Dungeon) but outside a couple dozen models and some minor terrain work, my painting output was very low compared to years past.

For whatever reasons, either the natural evolution as a wargamer or my ambivalence about WFB's 8th Edition, I found myself moving away from Games Workshops products into the world of smaller miniature manufactures, which are just great for the smaller skirmish games I found myself getting more and more interested in. I've also come to the realization that I just flat out prefer metal/pewter models over plastic. I grew up with lead models, and when I got back into the hobby I was of course impress with GW's plastics, but over time and hundreds and models later, unless its specific customization or a vehicle kit, etc. I dont have, or want to take time for all those fiddly plastics bits when its comes to large wargame armies. I realize its still specifically an important presentation feature of WFB but outside of that I resigned myself that I am done with plastics, with the variety and detail of all the new metals I see these days I just don't see the need.

The biggest change up for me was of course the release of GW's new 8th edition Warhammer Fantasy Ruleset. If you're bothering to read this at all you know I am a Fantasy guy and love Warhammer but the new edition hasn't really impressed me like I thought it would. Its great for a fun, casual game, but I feel its fallen short when its comes to tournament play, and tournament formats have just not adjusted to 8th Ed changes. GW's always stated they dont write rules for competitive gaming and true to their word, Competitively, its got alot to be desired. Those of us who love the social gathering of big tournament but loved the strong tactical focus I saw from the top players in 7th ed, are feeling a little short changed by the "horde philosophy" of the 8th ed. I say "Hordes" meaning, "Hordes of Dice", "Hordes of models being swept off the table" in addition to the new mandatory "Horde formations". Hordes aside, WFB 8th is still a plenty fun distraction and the social aspects of tournaments will still keep me playing in them thru 2011 no doubt, whether I actually double down and actually finish another WFB army to the quality of my Empire, who knows? Earlier in the year I wrote a piece called "The Chess analogy" where WFB 8th Ed was the antithesis of chess, but when its comes to Wargaming there is plenty out there to chew your teeth on in that middle ground between WFB and Chess, and that's where I find myself. Whether it be the new WAB rules very appealing to me, and just this month finally getting my feet wet with Flames of War. While both lack the pageantry of WFB I am finding both games very appealing on the tactical gaming level. Skirmish gaming be it Lord of the Rings, Legends of the High Seas or various smaller games out there be it my 15mm home brew or Ganesha games "Songs of" rules continued to keep my interested in 2010, with most of the new models I painted falling into that category.

While ones attention may wane, from this or that then on something else one thing that never falters is the fun and camaraderie of the hobby despite "where" or in "what" actual game your interests lie, so no regrets! here is to a great 2011 in gaming!!, I'll still be playing in championships for WFB at Adepticon as well as running the High Seas event on Friday and doing as much gaming on various systems as much as I can. Expect a few surprises out of me in the upcoming year, where I aim to shake things up in basement as much as possible. With hundreds of single miniatures, at least 4 unfinished armies and a bunch languishing incomplete terrain, I find each being its own roadway to parts unknown, and I'm just going to enjoy the ride.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Plastic Legions in Flames!!!

Game 1 vs Aaron Panzer Grenadiers, forgive the crude map, but its all I had time to whip up to illustrate how the Red Devils pulled this one off basically collapsing the defending flank and digging in so the tanks could capture the objective.

Flames of War, that is. So at the prodding of both my pals Aaron and Jason, and my new fascination with 15mm. I finally got my act together to put my FoW British Para Troopers together. Coinciding with the release of Battlefronts, new Late War D-Day books it was perfect timing. while I've got close to 1500 point assembled, I've played my 1st -two non-tutorial games, at 1000 points. Here is my current list at 1000 points right out the new Turning Tide Book.

1000 Pts - British Parachute Company
1 Company HQ
2 SMG team (command, 2iC)
2 PIAT team
1 Sniper

3 Parachute Platoons
1 HQ Section
1 Rifle/MG team
1 PIAT team
2 Rifle Squad
2 Rifle/MG team

1 Parachute Weapons Platoon
1 HQ Section
1 Rifle/MG team
1 Vickers HMG Squad
2 Vickers HMG
1 Parachute Mortar Platoon
1 HQ Section
1 Rifle team
1 Observer Rifle team
1 Mortar Section
2 ML 3" Mk II mortar (Smoke Bombardment)

1 DD Armoured Platoon
3 DD Sherman (Tow Hooks)
1 M3 75mm gun (Stabilizers; Smoke)
1 Co-ax MG
1 Hull MG (Hull Mounted)
1 Firefly VC (Tow Hooks)
1 OQF 17 pdr gun (No HE; Semi-indirect Fire)
1 Co-ax MG

Game 1 vs Panzer Grenadier company 1000 points
(not too well versed on the specifics of the German lists but its was something akin too)
4 Panzer IV's
2 Platoons of Grenadiers (3 Squad)
1 Weapons Platoon MG 42 (1 section)

Scenario was "Encounter."

It was just one of those games for Aaron, you can on the starting positions on the map I had more infantry and mortars on the board while just had a large platoon dug in around his command post, and the HMG platoon bunker up in the ruins. I slowly advanced my first platoon up to top of the forested hill. while 2nd Platoon brave MG42 fire to assault the ruins. I got lucky with Mortars and was inflicting serious pain, plus I put my Sniper out..I got lucky and killed one of the MG 42 squads early so I had face way less dice. my first reserve in was my HMG platoon, they came in the middle, and didnt do much but advance. The german first reserve was a smaller platoon, but Aaron forgot about my observer and they got mortared bad and pinned down. my second reserve was another platoon, that came on where I wanted them and double timed it toward the ruins as well. The German second Reserve were the 4 Panzer IV's who went straight for my mortars who were just pounding the German infantry. Aaron has some bad dice and came up empty, The infantry units continued to slug it out the entire MG 42 platoon getting wiped, the pinned down platoon getting shot up and breaking. Last reserves where my Firefly and Shermans..who came in right where the Panzers where..I was able to easily move my Firefly and one the Sherman to flanking positions plus I had 3 PIAT teams right there.. PIAT's bailed out one P-IV, and my Tanks destroyed the other 3, the last crew running off. Aaron brought on his last reserve platoon to surround my Objective and started moving the 1st platoon over..but it was too late. My next turn I rolled my tanks up on my Objective..and his third platoon, and shot him up bad,while hitting the moving platoon with HMG fire, Mortars, etc. Not a good day for the Germans, I must say thou -Aaron dice were hating him.

Game 2 Vs Panzer Company 1000 points
8 Panzer IV (HQ , 2iC)
1 Support Platoon with Flamethrower.

Scenario was "Breakthough

Next up I played another Panzer Company this time, 8 Panzer IV's and 1 Platoon with a Flame thrower unit. ".a similar map with two hills in the same location as the first game with the ruins in the opposite quarter and tree's where the ruins where first game. I had all my troop on the board in two opposite quarters...while Jason had 5 Tanks and his infantry platoon on the table..with 3 Panzer IV's in reserve. The 5 Panzer's IV rolled up on two of my Platoons surrounding the one of the hills.and I had one wiped to the last stand right there, my other fell back into the ruins, with my weapon teams falling back to the hill. My Mortars where totally ineffective this game. but my Third Platoon moved and dug into the forest in the German table quarter where the objective was and waited for his reserves to come in. The flamer thrower team, missed the mark (I got real lucky there) and I had my guys assault the Germans which went pretty well, it was back and forth type thing, where even HMG fire and my Sniper I just couldn't out the last two stands out of the ruins...but I kept that platoon alive in there as well. The 5 Panzer IV's came around behind the hill with the Weapons teams were killing a command and PIAT team. but I got lucky and popped one Panzer with my Firefly from max range soon after and brought my other tanks out of cover. German Reserve Panzers then came in and Assaulted my guys in the forest..he killed two teams but I had two PIAT teams in there and with Tank assault 3, my Counter assault attack destroyed all three Panzers. Then it was a straight out long range tank battle...4 vs 4..I got lucky and Jason missed his shot or or I saved them...Jason not so lucky I popped two more Panzers on my turn, and Jason failed his motivation test to stick around and the last tanks left the field. it beginners luck and I am sure these guys were taking it easy on me the FoW noob but I really am digging this game and will continue to keep playing it, I am already working on my own Terrain look for more Flames of War here at Plastic Legions.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Adepticon High Seas Rules Posted

The Tavern show here is one of the many great boards where you can vicariously get your "Pirate on" at Adepticon this coming spring.

The rules for the Adepticon 2011, Legend of the High Seas event have been posted over at The Spanish Main campaign blog. While not on the Adepticon site yet, they've been submitted and should be up in short order. If you are registered for the event and wish to comment please comment there or email me directly. These Rules are subject to change barring some unforeseen event. One notable change from the event description, and due to time constraints Friday event, the event is now four rounds instead of five. We've still got 3 tickets left so if you are interested
go on and register today!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

WFB -Daemons vs Empire Battle Recap

An older photo from my DoC in 2009, they haven't changed all that much remaining somewhat in a state of being unfinished.

Not a full bat rep and no real photos, but just interesting recap of a game I played last night. As previously mentioned I've been a bit of a WFB hiatus since October, but definitely had the itch to dive back in lately. My friend Jeff was over with his Empire horde style army, and I didnt feel like another Empire vs Empire match up, and I saw my dusty Daemons over on the shelf. I had not tried of game of 8th with DoC and it was all the motivation I needed to give it go. Oh how the mighty DoC have fallen! Out of Habit..I went with a 7th ed style list based on what models I have around..certainly wasnt optimal, but I thought could get the job done. heres how it went

Daemons of Chaos

Herald of Nurgle, Level 1 Wizard, BSB w/ Sunderin Banner, Staff of Nurgle

15 Bloodletters, FC , Skull Totem
15 Bloodletters, FC , Endless War
15 Daemonettes, FC Siren Standard
19 Plaguebearers FC Seeping Decay

4 Nurgling Bases
5 Fleshhounds
2 Bloodcrushers
2 Beasts of Nurgle

The Empire

General of Empire
Wizard Lord - L4 Lore of Life
Warrior Priest
Captain - BSB
Battle Wizard- L1 -Lore of Beasts
Master Engineer

60 Spearman
Detachment 30 Swordsman
Detachment 30 Swordsman
30 Flagellants
5 Pistoliers, Champ w/ Repeater Pistol

Great Cannon
Helbaster Volley Gun

Jeff didnt start playing Empire until 8th ed, so while his list seems unconventional from my perspective, it works for him. We played the Meeting Engagement. which has the diagonal deployment and only a 12' neutral zone, I had my Nurgle herald, with the Plague Bearers right across from the big block of Spearman, with Skull taker and 15 Letters off one Detachment, the other unit of Bloodletters was off the left of the other detachment with Nurglings in the woods directly across. My Daemonettes where there to soften up the Flaggies, and my Fleshounds and Bloodcrushers on one flank heading straight for his artillery and my 2 Beasts on the other, going after loose wizards...small units etc..

I knew combat would arrive quickly so I wanted my Daemons to punch thru one detachment early and get around to rear change the big block..Everything else I had was on the Flanks. The battle really boiled down to dice and not rolls, (while Jeff did have quite the hot streak) but the sheer number of dice that jeff massive units allowed.

Game Highlights

My flankers with Leadership 7, kept failing there leadership and were getting marched blocked, I was a turn or 3 late getting to the backfield, the Helblaster inflicted serious pain., wasted most of unit of Letters, and killed one of the bloodcrushers.

The Level 4 Wizard died in turn 2 or three due to miscast. the level 1 and priest still keep me on my toes with magic due to Daemons are insulated against offensive magic to an extent, but for buff magic I was reliant just on what ever dice I got with just a level 1

Skulltaker and crew ..ripped up one detachment, but overran off the board costing me a key turn to help out the engaged plaguebearers

Plaguebearers with just a regen only (no addtional ward in 8th remember) didn't save them from instability with big combat res's. My shit dice didnt help for kills, not a single poison. also I miscast my second attempt with Staff of Nurgle and it crumbled..only one Racid Visitation

Jeff's General has the Speculm, which is big pain in the butt...not to mention he managed to make a couple parry saves against killing blows.

Empire failed no Fear checks..with BSB redunancy.

Daemonettes did a great job of handling the Flaggies, while I died, I easily ate over 20..making the remaining ones manageable.

Locked in a challenge once with the Empire General with the Speculum, Skulltaker could not close the deal with Jeff making his parry save against killing blow on more than on Occasion..I made plenty of Saves as well considering the general with my strength was Strength 7.

The Spearmen horde simply put of too many dice against the single attack Bloodletters with a +5 static res, the Daemons didnt last long again instability checks, I was making plenty of checks at negative (below 0) combat resolutions.

Daemons were Massacred.

I'm not used to the Empire massacring 7th I won very few games against DoC and ones I did simply weren't massacres..while I had some bad luck, somethings are clear about DoC in 8th

-You need Tzeentch, more magic and magic defense against buffs is key.
-Nurgle isnt so durable any more
-Hordes of 30 are almost a must.
-Fleshhounds still rule but you need more than 5.
-Daemon Prince Caster definitely an option (in lieu Greater Daemon still not being allowed
in alot of events in these parts..) There is alot more but that all I have time for.

I'm finding the now handicapped Daemons alot more interesting now that they arent so over the top- something to think about. hats off to Jeff on a great, and fun game with lots of ups and downs.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Abandoned Base

After an surprise aerial bombardment of nerve toxin, Agents from Void Corp explore an abandoned Federal Base on the Red Planet looking to download the data from its Comm Sat. A dozen surviving Federal Soldiers lie in hiding waiting for the chance to pay them back.
This battle will be hashed out very shortly as soon as I can one the guys to sit in.

WIP for this scenario...The Void Corp Dropship.(GZG) The Federals (Khurasan) and a Grav Sledwith a mounted cannon. (GZG) Building 1, the command post and 2, the Comm Sat have just been sprayed Green.

The Buildings (as well as the models) are from Ground Zero Games..despite the simple appearance the building are metal casts and bring the headaches that metal casts bring..I spent way too much time on them. Especially with the freehand numbers...Thanks to the Tuesday Night crew for suggesting the weathering powder, it makes it all come together.

Are the rate this 15mm stuff is coming together I should have a nice selection of playable stuff all popping out this month...It also motivated me to finally get around to trying Flames of War...and I putting together the rest of a 700 point force just for some demo games this month.

I haven't played any WFB since Core Comp...oh noes!...has 8th ed soiled me from my Favorite Game? worries there I needed some time off and I seriously have the WFB itch...what I end up settling in on for my dig-in project over Xmas break is still up for grabs.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Arghhhhh!, Pirates

Pirate time once again lads. last I night we threw down 4 games of Legends of the High Seas in order to demo my potential scenarios for my Legends of the High Seas event, Friday evening at Adepticon 2011 next April.

I played two matches on the Pirate Dungeon which seem fitting for the "Prison Break" scenario. I've added a few surprise elements to the scenario mainly use of blind tokens representing you crew broken into , up to 5 move the tokens until you and your opponents token have line of sight, then you place your models. This adds a great deal of mystery when navigating the tight hallways and dark rooms of the place. If my explanation above isn't clear think the Genestealer "blip system" in Space Hulk as close example.

I ran my Spanish Privateers against a Pirate crew and got thumped readily with my Captain
backed into a corner surrounded by 3 Pirates...met a swift end.

My Second game, I faced off against a Royal Navy Crew who was defending the prisoner
in game two and battle them back, defeating them in the Jail Room to win the scenario.

The other two games where both a revamped "X marks the spot" which always seems to play out the same way in that the cheat always seems to be in the worst spot and gets dug up giving one player an easy victory. Rich, who was running that game came up with novel solution for the marker placement which worked well and seemed to give both players a fair shot regardless of where the chest turns up.

Night wrapped up as win/win as far as getting scenarios nailed down..I'll be writing up the rules for event over the next few if your playing in the event expect to see them on website in the next few weeks. At last check I had still had three tickets left for the event so if playing Pirates on the terrain you seen on my site interests you sign on up!, we'd love to see you at Adepticon in the spring.

In other news we also did some demoing of my 15mm Sci Fi skirmish/board game..which was cool as well but I'll leave that for another post.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Red Planet

I spent sometime this weekend moving my 15mm Sci-Fi off the 2D boards, over to some full 3-D. I repurposed this crater table top I did back in the spring of 2008, it never got much use and I stumbled on the perfect hobby sand (Quickcrete all purpose) awhile back and wanted to give it go. So I re-textured the whole thing and re-sprayed it with Rustoleum Cinnamon, then dusted it with Rustoleum, Nutmeg..then drybrushed it with a variety of cheap hobby paints (something akin to Tau Ochre), and my Red Planet was born.

I am currently working on 18 miniatures for the figures for the 2-D skirmish game, I've got maybe a 1/2 dozen complete. Not sure what to do about the basing yet. Right now they are glued to 1/2''s squares I got from Litko for extra balance plus the 2-D boards are a 1/2 inch grid so it works great..the Action point system I am using uses Front, Flank and Rear sides in various degrees so Square bases are a must. Popping these little guys off there cast bases seems a bit more challenging than the 28mm stuff...I was stumped on trying to come up with some kind of appropriate basing for the 18 shipboard models so painting these black is about all I can think of, unless I might move to a grey to match the deck plate. and when I do some other military figures..they'll get the "red planet" sand bases

I am digging the sense of scale with the smaller models here alot, it makes for much more realistic weapon ranges. With the current ruleset I am using in the above the shot the fellow in the rocks with a scoped rife is 15 inches 0r 30 squares away on a 1/2' grid (or 150 feet in game reality although from this perspective it looks even longer) needless to say he has the serious advantage against pistols at this distance which are at max range and he's in hard cover.

The guy on the left is recast on an old traveller miniature from RAFM the girls in the middle and the building are Ground Zero Games, the guy with rifle is from Splintered Light, the Truck is from Khurasan, I've picked up stuff from 4 or 5 manufactures now, I am definitely liking the GZG stuff best, I have a whole set of the buildings so I actually have some 15mm terrain now.

Sooner than later, I'll be demoing the the 2D game and this 3D game my homebrew ruleset. I have a few days off coming up with the holiday, so fingers crossed for some hobby time.

Thursday, November 18, 2010


(my latest project..2D meets 3D in 15mm)

If you're like me, and I've got assume if you are ready this, while you might be more self disciplined, you can definitely relate. Over the years..I accumulated a ton of gaming stuff enough to take over the majority of an almost 2000 square foot basement, my gaming area is bigger than my local GW shop and bigger than some of my friends entire apartments. While its existence is rooted in one of the benefits of home ownership, know that if that sounds over the top, I agree it is and every 5 years or so I get the urge to downsize. Compile that urge..with the cold math of what you spent on all that stuff and you'll fall into a period of self analysis that could be frightening. In my case I have collections of things going back all the way to the late 70's.

The last month I have been thinning the herd so to speak via ebay (which still sucks by the way, but the only game in town.) old RPG books I've had for years, miniatures from games I never touched, whole games I never touched. Things like Space Hulk, which I liked but played twice in a year and had a great secondary market..gone. In fact all my 40K stuff is gone with exception of a few painted characters I've held on too, I even managed to get a few bucks for 4th ed army and rulebooks. along the way in sorting the boxes of terrain, miniatures, books, games, and modeling supplies, I came across my box of old RPG books for the game Traveller. while I am sure most you are familiar with Traveller for those that aren't. simplistically it was bascially D&D in Space, penned before Star Wars and completely unlike D&D in most respects (other than being an RPG) any included in my box of stuff was the box for one off game Game Designers Workshop produced call Snapshot. close combat aboard starships in the far future, was the subtitle. Now I haven't played Traveller since probably 1983...after Blade Runner came out we had an awesome Traveller campaign, that's one of my fondest RPG memories as a boy. It took me a couple minutes to remember Snapshot..but then it dawned on is a 15mm Skirmish Game from 1979!!!

(box covers from the two versions on the GDW original Snapshot game, I have the one on the left)

After digging in and doing a little research, I quickly found how the game was improved over the years and how with Snapshot as a base I could quickly develop something cool, its no secret that 15mm Sci Fi is has a great growing fan base and I found whole slew a great miniatures online dirt cheap..Snapshot also uses deck plans like board game rather than physical terrain, although you could easily incorporate it. It was not tough to find some kick ass state of the art high res deck plans. By the bedtime that evening I had whole game system put together literally for the resale price of a handful of items I hadn't looked at in years. Part skrimish game, part board game, my version of Snapshot is fast paced skirmish game with lots of eye candy once I paint the minis. I've also repurposed a unused tabletop of mine for 15mm so expect some standard full 3-D scenarios as well. Anyway this is pretty great find low cost "find" I can't wait to get one of the guys to come try it out with me. Needless to say my "Classic Traveller"stuff went back in the keep pile.

Now the point is/was to downsize spof course buying new stuff while you are downsizing is typical of us "attention deficit disorder" gamers. I reconcile this by saying "but I did get rid of alot of stuff", of course buying more 15mm stuff when I've got Flames of War stuff sitting in boxes or half built.(no -I have not written of FoW off yet) is another dilema, I also have my "Songs of Blades and Heros" skirmish stuff waiting to be demo'd too..I'm finding myself more and more driven to smaller skirmish games of various genres. low cost, short build times, easier rules..etc..while my large format wargames WFB, WAB, are languishing in various states be it tourney burnout with WFB, or my inability to get WAB army(ies) built and painted to place where I just love playing those great new rules. Anyway looks like a couple months of Skirmish distraction is just what I need.

More on the 15mm Sci Fi craze soon, in the meantime...I've been spending alot of my time here
Dropship Horizon
Ground Zero Games

Numerous manufacturers do the "firefly" crew knock off thing
these figures are from Splintered Light Miniatures

lots more of this and 28mm pirates coming soon

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Bilbo's Birthday Bash!, Day 2

11/7 @ Chicago Battle Bunker

This shot is pretty representative how the whole day went.

Play resumed today for the final two games. My recounts of my day 1 and lack of bad fortune unfortunately became a self fulfilling prophecy and caught up with me today.

The horde, pre game.

Game 4 vs Tim (Barad Dur/ Dwellers Below)

Durzhag the Beast Caller
Goblin Shaman
24 or so Orcs
16-20 Warg Riders
Models 56/ Break 28
(not 100% on numbers, as I didnt get a list on this one..figure 2 to 1, his favor , easy)

Scenario, Reconnoitre. When I saw the army with I think 56 models with all that Cavalry, I knew I had lost, the question is by how much. Chatting before the game I had mentioned that I somehow went three games without my army breaking and without Gandalf taking a wound, and Tim kind of snickered. I was totally unfamiliar with Durzhag and his rules (supplemented in White Dwarf) and it totally killed me. Tim was a friendly enough guy, but it was very clear he wanted a major victory here and was going to wipe the snot out of me. On turn 3, I had the chance to Fly Gwaihir off the table and force Tim's best possible result to be a minor victory, but I thought it was a cheap move so I didnt do it, Instead engaging some Warg riders which Tim then beefed up with "bestial fury" and "enrage beasts". Tim also insisted the Cavalry charges treat Gwaihir the eagle as "infantry" and thus he got the cavalry charge bonuses. Even thou I explained to him that Brent, the TO, had ruled in a previous game of mine, that they did not. He insisted he was correct, Brent was wrong and thats the way it was so I just that let it go and Gwaihir died. I figured he was dead anyway, even without all the extra attacks Tim just wanted to make damn sure he had 20 something dice to get the 4 wounds (3 +1 fate point) to make sure it was dead. Gandalf soon suffered the same fate, dead after I wiffed on a big Sorcerous blast that got 4 models and no kills and got surrounded. Sooner than later once melee began, my force was broken. I still managed to kill a good amount of models his break point was 28, I think I got up to 21 or 22..but it's "Reconnoitre" and he got bunch of Warg cav off my side of board early. I made a late rush with couple remaining Rangers, going for the minor loss, but losing priority every turn near the end made it too easy for Tim to just keep engaging me and get me closer and closer to my "7" 25% mark and the games end. On the last turn I am at 9 models, Army broken and I fail 2 courage tests with my guys running for the edge. Game Over.
I am lamenting my decision not to play it cheap and fly Gwaihir off the board early because Tim ends up winning Best General and had I of done that- he would not of because he would have lost 5 Battle Points with only a Minor Victory. As I said Tim was a friendly guy, and I would have no problem playing him again. But the Army, combined with the scenario and his lust to pile it on..left a bad taste in my mouth..kind of reminded me why I quit playing 4th Edition 40k.

Major Loss- 3 points.

as chaotic as this shot looks, the game was...

Gandalf wasn't too sure what he supposed to do here.

Game 5 vs Keith (Erebor)

Dain, King of Erebor
Siege Captain
6 Iron Guard
6 Khazad Guard
5 Rangers with long bows
2 Rangers with Bows and throwing axes
12 Warriors with Shields
Siege Crew
35 models/ Break point 17

The Eagle got out of this mess leaving several dead dwarves behind

The final scenario "meeting engagement" usually a good one for me as I had no problems getting all my opponents on day 1 to the 25% mark..even those Dwarven Rangers game 1, my only hope was that it wasnt Dwarves, and of course I got Dwarves. If I thought Gimli was the uberlord of the Dwarves, I obviously never met Dain, whose got the same defense as the Balrog and almost as many attacks. My opponent keith was great guy and pleasure to play. We had pretty casual game and it was neck and neck until probably the last three turns were I was broken. I had him 3 or 4 models close to breaking from about 3 turns previous to that..and my while dice were shite this whole game..I had this crazy bad streak..where I seriously had 15 wounds I couldn't get a 6 on and some of them I could of got by on a "5" (might), I was so rattled by shit luck and inability to break him when I at one point I was ahead of him in kills by 6 or 7 models..I forgot to have Gandalf use his free will point to try to throw some blasts or immobilize..I could have stalled for time. played for draw, whatever, In the end I just folded...and he got me to 7 models and the game ended. The Ballista which I had heard was giving other players fits..was a non-issue. I think it killed one Ranger. I flew the Eagle into it early....tied it up, killed a crew member, we had 3 or 4 rounds of back and forth but even with Strength 6, I couldn't wound his Dwarves and eventually his Siege Captain took the Eagle down. Gandalf was also a non- factor..burned through all his Might and Will long before the game end...think he got 1 or maybe 2 kills..just not my day. Ok, I hate playing Dwarves.

Major Loss- 3 points

Eventually this fellow had nothing to do, but hang out and drink.

On to the awards..when it came to the know the one I was waiting for, Best Appearance, which I had won at this event the previous year. In my eyes It was pretty clear it was between myself and my round 2, opponent Jamie W. There were definitely a few other very well painted armies but not that had the depth of detail of mine or Jamies. During award announcement Brent starts talking about how two armies had tied exactly in paint scoring so he got a second judge and that fellow with no input from him tied it it came down to Favorite opponent votes ( sports ) when I heard that- I knew I had lost. Jamie is very well known in the national LotR community and an awesome guy. I barely know any of these guys, except for Jamie, Brent and a few others. I had voted for Jamie for Favorite opponent and Favorite army, even thou I knew it was voting against myself..because he deserved it...I knew he voted for me for players choice as fair is fair. Jamie deservingly won Best Appearance and Player's Choice..Talking afterward he then turns around and gives me basically half his winning swag, which while we both don't do this for the swag we do it for the trophy, I graciously accepted. I don't know too many people who would do that, and it goes to show what kind of guy he is. I appreciate that to the fact that if he ever needs a favor in the future- I got his back.

In the end another great event, I ended up 11th out of 21 as final scores are already posted (thats a new one, props Brent!) Thanks again to Brent and the Chicago Battle Bunker (who poured on the prize support so thick, that everyone in the event got a free LotR blister, new stuff too!) I'm hoping to attend Gathering in the Desert in Feb...since it looks like I can't play at Adepticon because of the event scheduling...I need to get some more locals into this game.

(edit, turns out the tie breaker for best appearance was Favorite Army votes not Favorite Opponent, I either misunderstood Brent or he misspoke, so fair is fair more people voted for his arm, including me!..congrats to JW)

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Bilbo's Birthday Bash!, Day 1

11/6 @ Chicago Battle Bunker

whole lot of dwarves

So I have been home for a few hours, had some dinner and decompressed from 3 games of LotR today at the Chicago Battle Bunker. I figured I would write it up while its fresh. 21 player showed up with one drop so today was 11 tables with one ringer army. Had my work cut out for me with 27 Models and a 14 break..but I had magic and fly 12" eagle. on my side.

Game 1 vs Chris - Dwarves (Erebor)

6 Iron Guard w/ throwing axe
16 Dwarf Rangers/ bows
16 Dwarf Rangers/ throwing axe
14 Dwarf Ranger/ two handed weapons
53 models/ 27 break

Once Gimli had the artifact getting back was going to be a tall order

My third time playing in Chris in a LotR event, awesome guy, great player. He's had a different army everytime I've faced his this times it was the kings of the LotR hierarchy..The Dwarves with their brutal defense. The Scenario was called "The Artifact" basically a dig up the football and move thru your opponents D-zone and off the board for a win. I knew I couldn't just run up and grab the thing without seriously thinning out the Dwarves. or I'd just be cut to pieces. I have faced Gimli many times before..there isn't much my Army can do to him. The tables were terrain heavy, what you want for a game like this...I spread out wide into 5 small groups, Gandalf with one and sent the Eagle full on down my right flank, right toward his archers, which I knew where the biggest threat to my army until late game. The eagle got out of a couple dicey situations but did his job tying up the archers and I keep the pressure on his archers with mine shooting for hill with some good cover. Gandalf did his thing moved around, let the magic fly a couple big "sorcerous blasts" got me some kills. The hand to hand started when Gimli dug up the "Artifact" and had to clear the way to get thru my lines..I did better that expected against the T5 dwarves in fact I broke Chris's army probably 3 turns before Gimli got off the board. The unwounded Eagle...tried to get into Gimli and tie him up for awhile but had to get thru two Iron Guard on the way, he lost the combat and his defense of "8" didnt help him when Chris rolled 3-6's to wound and I had burned my 1 point of fate on an earlier wound. The bird was dead. Gandalf was head his way as I saved a couple points to try to immoblize Gimli but he still had all his will, laughed as shot him with arrows and walked away with the Artifact. Chris got the Minor victory, as his force was a fact all but around 8 dwarves were dead...I was 12 down..2 short of break.
Minor Loss- 7 points

Gandalf, went all three games without taking a single wound

Bunkered up on this hill I was hard to dislodge

Game 2 versus Jamie (Tower of Ecthelion)

Faramir, Captain of Ithilien/ Warhorse
5 Knights of Minas Tirith
8 Warriors w/ Shields
7 Warriors w/ Spears and Shields
10 Warriors w/ Bows
5 Citadel Guard
Angbor the Fearless
5 Clansmen of Lamedon
43 Models/ 22 Break

This scrap was all Gandalf, there 8 plus the Banner to start

Jamie's one the usual organizers of LotR events in this area, aside from being an great guy he's awesome painter, bringing my hands down favorite army of the event to table. Brent the T.O. called the game a "White Dwarf Battle Report" in action, and I agree it sure looked awesome..too bad we both don't get to play much other than to hope for the occasional game. Scenario was
"contest of champions" where your main hero (Gandalf/Faramir) had to tally up the most kills.
I basically had the same strategy as last game break out into groups spread him out and send the eagle after his archers. A loss of Priority at key point led to the Eagle getting surrounded way too early by the Citadel Guard, which hurt because Jamie was rolling pretty hot with Volley fire. He brought out some warriors with the guy with the banner to engage Gandalf who got off a big "Sorcerous Blast" the follow up melee brought Gandalf up to 5 kills. The distraction with the Eagle in his back field had Jamie totally redirect his cavalry with Faramir to the opposite side of the eagle again died and he start gaining ground kill some of my guys on the right flank. However I had cleaned up the whole other side of table, whittled down his archers and shot down all the Clansmen by Angbor. At this point Jamie was broken and started losing more guys..I had few remaining guys one his flank tie him up on the side, while the majority of my force shot at the stragglers from a good distance away..another big blast from Gandalf had him up 8 kills to Faramirs 3, Jamie fell below the 25% mark and I got the victory, still 4 models
short of breaking, I took 10 casualties total, including Gwaihir.
Major Victory 20 points

I gambled on priority here, and lost..getting surrounded led to Eagles death every time, but not this particular one, I survived and flew away.

Faramir, got into the mix far too late to catch up to Gandalf kill count

Faramir and his Knights to the rescue of those archers

The Dragon isnt the Balrog, but damn close

Game 3 vs Raymond (Moria)

12 Goblins w/ Bow
13 Goblins w/Shields
13 Goblins w/Spears
Dragon, breath fire , tough hide
40 Models/ 20 Break

After practicing against the Balrog the other night, the Dragon didn't really phase me..At Defense 9 and nasty, auto kill breath weapon..I knew I had one tactic.."immobilize" the Dragon, long enough, I could break the goblins. Scenario was "Domination" which is probably my favorite scenario for this army. Same strategy again, except this time I brought the Eagle up giving the Dragon the opportunity to engage it and be tied up, it passed for the chance to use it breath weapon and killed 2 Rangers...after that I just engaged it with one model and had Gandalf "immobilize" it every round. Ray didn't want to burn up his will to defend it so kept letting the spell go to try to get the extra breath weapon shots..a critical error..he put way too many eggs in one basket with the Dragons breath weapon..he should burned up his will to stop me the 1st time, then used his free one..and just smashed the thing into me for close would have been way more effective. by tying up the Dragon for 4 turns or so...I shot the pants off the Goblins and flew the Eagle over to the far objective (where he beat 5 goblins readily even while surrounded and taking double strikes at least once). Once Ray was broken, it was all over.. Durburz hung in there and on the lucky break Raymond rolled a "2" on the 1st try to end the game..and it ended before I could kill Durburz and get control of the 4th objective. Ray was a great opponent and sport..I could tell he just hadn't dealt with problems I was giving him before.
Minor Victory 15 points

A lone model holds the immobilized Dragon at bay

At a certain point I realized it was easier to kill Goblins in hand to hand than shoot them.

With 43/60 points on day one, I am pretty happy and it was a good day. Although don't expect much from me tomorrow as know that I am in the top third scoring wise, I am going, inevitably to play some very high model count armies I am going to have really tough time with..there are few 50-60 model armies I saw that are pretty scary. Hats off to Brent S. for running such a great event. I'll wrap it up tomorrow.

Gwaihir, had no troubles handling this, especially once broke and the remaining
goblins start testing on a "2".

Friday, November 5, 2010

Grey Company vs Moria 600 points

@plasticlegions HQ 11/4

Army titles are little deceiving here, "You shall not pass" is more accurate. As I mentioned in the sidebar earlier in the week I had a game set up with my pal joe tonight to get some LotR in before the tourney this weekend. Joe has a massive Harad army that maxes out in like the 4-5K range in War of the Ring, so he said no problem to 600 points of Harad for a match with SBG rules, I even told his to bring a Mumak as I never faced on and at 275 points it reasonable one might show up this weekend. Problem was I met up with Joe, he had forgotten his Harad at home and showed up with what he had in his other case, which turned out to be Moria and a Balrog. Well I doubt at 400 points we'll be seeing a Balrog this weekend, but I have never played one of the either and since I am running Gandalf the Grey...playing against the Balrog just had to happen. We grabbed a cup of coffee, cracked open the Legions book and rolled "to Kill the King" as the scenario and let it roll.

Joes List

Goblin Captain

11 Goblin Warriors

6 Goblin Archers

Cave Troll

The Balrog

Not a very competitive army at 600 points because with a break point of "10", playing leadership "2" Goblins its all going to be about the Balrog. I dont expect to see anyone with break point less than mine at "14" this was the only game I'll be playing anytime soon I am feeling confident about numbers.

Joes choose he Goblin Captain as his "King", thinking he's be easier to defend..and the let the Balrog go nuts..I choose Gandalf and just did what I always do.

My list.

Gandalf the Grey
5 Rangers of North
20 Rangers of Arnor
Gwaihir the Great Eagle.

I won priority and the first couple turns were spent advancing, I had Gandalf Cast , "Blinding Light" and "Terrifying Aura" along the way. Being in opposite corners of a hill with all those trees took 3 turns to get into range of each other once we did it was fast and bloodly. Joe brought the Balrog right up the middle..My army breaks out very nicely in 5 groups of 4 rangers each being led by a Ranger of the North..Gandalf was off to right with two groups of rangers, two other headed toward the ruin and the Balrog and one flanked left. Gwaihir, flanked right with flying move of 12 I hope to get to the rear and go after the Goblin Captain.

The Cave Troll got a lucky break and ties up Gwaihir early but the eagle puts a wound on the troll, next turn I lose Priority so use the eagles might to make a Heroic Move and get away to rear. The Balrog moves up to bust out his whip on some of my Rangers but Gandalf casts "immobilize"..Joe throws 6 of his 10 dice to stop it but has no luck..and cant beat my 6 casting value. Balrog is held tight...I put a ton of arrows into the Balrog..needing 6's then 4's or 5's to wound at Defense 9..its nigh impossible to put a wound on him with S2 bows...I turn my fire on the Troll and put two wounds on guys on the far right flank put down some goblin archers.

I win Priority this time, and Gandalf takes the troll down with Sorcerous Blast..I figure my 10 guys in the ruin will get charged by the Demon, but Joe does a 180 just manages to get the Balrog into contact with Gandalf..a big mistake on my part as I had lots of move and other men to protect him. I can't shoot the Balrog this turn to turn my attention to Goblins. Gwaihir engages a few goblins guarding the captain and most of the goblin warriors turn around, pile in and surround the great eagle. In shooting I take a few more goblin archers and lose my first ranger as a shooting casualty. Combat is a nasty affair, one on one vs the Balrog isnt like the movies its Fight 10, Str 9, Def 9 4 attacks, Vs Gandalf's 5/5/5 and 1 attack...Gandalf loses
and takes 4 wounds..but he's got three fate points which are re-rollable thanks to his ring I end up taking 1 wound but burn all my fate, I cannot take another round of that. Meanwhile Gwaihir surrounded, loses combat takes double strikes and takes two wounds.

Thankfully I won Priority again, it would be the last time of the game but the one that mattered Gandalf "Immoblized" the Balrog again, Joe tried to stop it, with four dice , tied my roll but used my first might point of the game to beat him. I then surrounded the Immoblized Balrog with 10 Rangers and Gandalf. we went thru the next 4 turns either re surrounding the Balrog or it charging Gandalf..I managed to "Immoblize" it a few more times, finally putting 6 wounds on the thing with double strikes from surrounding it and winning combat.

Meanwhile the rest of my Rangers cleaned the Goblins nicely and broke them, The Eagle was killed by a lucky goblin...but the rest of the men took down Goblins who were killed or ran off and surrounded the Goblin Captain who fended off seven of them for a few turns before going down. thankfully Gandalf managed to survive the combat with only 1 wound...and while we didnt kill it, but "you shall not pass!!"..LOL!

Not so much a practice game for the weekend other than getting my sea legs back with the ruleset but we had a great old time..we'll see how it goes this weekend.


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