Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Auld Lang Syne

I'm not sure where this is but, this is how I often picture the relationship between the rest of my house and my basement.

A fitting year end post, one of my recent "have a deadline projects" besides my upcoming Legends of the High Seas Event and Bolt Action Army is "cleaning out the basement", we are house shopping right now and out listing our current place in the next month. While I wouldn't call myself a "horder" I'm definitely a pack rat and every decade or so I have these massive purges, the last one was before we moved here and this one again is timed with the big move. While I certainly have a knack for holding on to stuff too long, the size my miniatures/ gaming/ Hobby material collection has grown since I moved here 10 years is exponential to say the least, I don't have the foggiest how many miniatures I have to but to just say "alot" feels like an understatement.

As a result I am getting rid of a ton of stuff, I have already downsized my number of gaming tables from the once ridiculous "more than the local game store" setup to a reasonable "2" we rarely have more than 4 guys over at once anymore anyway, I've also purged alot of hobby materials, mainly junk..I once had a fetish for picking up every damn goofy piece of junk I came across thinking this might be useful as terrain one day...which resulted in boxes of junk which went straight to the dumpster.

I'll also be selling a bunch of stuff on ebay, links to auctions will be co posted here in the next coming weeks I've let go of the personal attachment of much of my collection and decided ALL of my Warhammer stuff is going, including my epic Empire Army which is going to be sold off by unit, because I've done research and I just can't get enough for it as one army sale (from I see and am being told) I also have lots of Warmachine, Flames of War, 15mm Sci Fi, plenty of Historicals and terrain going up sale, there is alot of unbuilt opened WFB stuff going up at serious discount these would be Empire, Lizardmen and some other one off games, books, etc.

While since might sound like a "what are you getting out the hobby" type post, not even close. Again this about an overwhelming amount of stuff and one of the concessions of our upcoming move is we have to downsize.I'm still holding onto vintage fantasy, citadel, heritage and otherwise, newer fantasy (reaper , otherworld etc)all my Lord of the Rings, Empire of the Dead, 28mm generic Sci Fi, Bolt Action (GB and now GER)and of course tons of Historicals Saxons, Vikings, Spartans, as well as more Pirates than you can hit with a blunderbuss and even some Old West., in short the biggest purge is all my Games Workshop stuff I havent touched in years, plus games I invested in and only played a few times or never played.

On the positive side, I am working on finishing up the build for the gate house section of Fort San Lorenzo for my Pirate event and laying out the table..I hoping to demo the event very soon so look for that here also played another great game of bolt action again where my Red Devils continue to frustrate Aaron's Panzer Grenadiers..although my knack of rolling "6"'s and Ninja Mortar where definitely pure luck contributors in this win. Look for some Pirate and Bolt Action pics WIP and finished shots very soon.

On the blogging front, this is my lowest output in  single calendar year yet, a trend that seems to be continuing, I just dont have enough quality stuff to post and my time to gadfly comment on hobby goings on is slim to none..now that I work in a freelance capacity and am not sitting on my ass in front of computer all day, its clear that the blog has taken a hit, such is life. In short Plastic Legions is just  my personal chronicle, nothing more and will continue to be so. While with sales posts, Adepticon , the move, and another Lead Painters League I should have plenty to talk about this year.  SO to those of you who continue to stop by and see what I am up to want to say thanks , I appreciate it and Happy New Year to you and yours!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Hell Division and Wizard

I haven't had much time to blog of late but I finally got around to taking these quick shots last night. I have actually been painting quite bit and playing Empire of the Dead and Bolt Action.  Getting back into the nightly stride of painting can be challenging I'm a bit rusty but happy with these guys came out.

This wizard and imp from Otherworld miniatures, currently one my favorite wizards, from Otherworld my favorite fantasy miniature manufacturer to at the moment, I hope I get time to paint
their fantastic new Fantasy Adventurers line soon,

Here's my current faction I am playing for Empire of the Dead, Hell Division or the Super Natural      Division of the London Police. I currently have a crew of six, with the new Van Helsing model          filling  in for   my Police Chaplin. I dont have the Robo Dog in the list yet but hope to soon, I've   been getting  my  rear handed to me by my rival Nosferatu Faction hopefully the Chaplin will help.  I've got  3 more Bobbies and a Detective Constable ready to for paint as well                                                         

Hopefully I'll get a few more posts up before year, working on my table for the Pirates event at Adepticon and painting my Red Devils for the Bolt Action tournament.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Bolt Action - After Action Report GB vs GER

German Panzer Grenadiers (aaron)
1st Lt.    2 Troops, Veteran
Artillery Foward Artillery Observer    Veteran
Infantry Section (7) Panzergrenadier    1LMG, 3x SMG, Panzerfaust    Veteran
Infantry Section (7)7 Panzergrenadier    1LMG, Reg, 2x SMG
Infantry Section (7) 7 Panzergrenadier    1LMG, Reg, 1x Assault Rifle, 1x SMG
120mm Mortar   w/ Spotter   Veteran
MG42   Machine Gun Team Regular
SdFzk 222 Armored Car    Regular
Panzer IVh  Tank  Regular

1000 points -9 Orders

British Paratroopers , Red Devils ( John)   
all Veterans
1st Lt, +2 Troops
Paratroop Section (6) , LMG, SMG   
Paratroop Section (6) , LMG, SMG
Commando Section (6)  6x SMG ATG
Forward Observer
Vickers MMG
Medium Mortar w/ Spotter
Sniper Team
PIAT anti tank team
Humber Mark IV armored Car
6 pnd'r Anti Tank Gun
Transport Jeep with MMG

 1000 points -13 Orders

Scenario: Point Defense

So my Red Devils got another go at Aaron's Panzer Grens on Tuesday evening, we choose the Point Defense scenario which is one we have not played before. Aaron won the roll off, and choose to attack. leaving my Paratroops to defend. The board was set up as a small village on the hill with some surrounding buildings stretching across the table.

In Point Defense, the defender has three objective that need to be protected, I am also allowed to have several units in reserve. Aaron, as the Attacker must capture two objectives to win the game. I placed two of the objectives on my left, near the village and one objective on the right side near my farthest table edge.  I choose to keep my vehicles in reserve and my commandos ( who would use their "Behind enemy lines" ability later in the match), this was the first time I used a Commando section so I was curious to see how they would perform.

The rest of my army was deployed as follows:

I placed  2 Paratroop squads. my HQ section with  my1st Lt and 2 men  , 1 6pdr AT gun around objective 1.

The Mortar , PIAT team , Vickers HMG , Sniper Team, Mortar Spotter and Forward Observer were all around the large building on the hill close enough to cover both objectives.

Aaron deployed the majority his force across from the village leaving only a single 7 man squad and forward observer across from objective one..he had his heavy mortar with a MG 42 for cover in the center of his deployment zone, 

I had went first on Turn One and had my units on the right advance toward hard cover  and aarons single squad , the rest of my troops on the left were hidden or set into ambush mode,..lastly I had my FO call in some bombarments from afar...this was a particular pain the rear for Aaron as I rolled  "delay" an got to recenter my target point up to 12 inches from my intital target- I moved it right to where his troops would he advancing.

With  the threat of  heavy artillery bombardment right in his face...Aaron advance was bit shooken up -trying to advance but keep his troops apart from a potential disaster of a lucky artillery strike. He managed to maneuver and advance his scout car up toward my objective on my left flank. 

Turn Two- I make a reserve order roll and my Humber scout car comes on the board right where objective 3 is and proceeds to blow the turret right off Aarons 222 scout car...mortars , artillery and my sniper soon start hitting  put a whole bunch of pin markers all over Aarons units.

Turn Three- things get grim when my commandos and Jeep with MMG come on the board further putting causalities on the Germans. The artillery threat has forced he Panzer IV out of position and Aaron is shelling the building with my Sniper in it to little avail. On the Right side of the board my troops are advancing on Aaron's loan squad.and his forward observer. Fire is exchanges, the german take some pin markers, nothing major, my Sniper kills one German soldier.  Aaron then decides to have his FO call in artillery stike on his own position! in an epic bit of martyrdom , He  hopes to wipe a bunch of my men  but in the end takes as much as he gives..

Turn Four My farthest right squad over runs his FO and capture on building  but My whole HQ is wipoed out by aarons ambushing squad I has forgotten about, My two remaining squads, standfast both prepping for shoot -then assault- two squad attack..

Back in the village things get a litte better for the Germans  who have taken many casualties and pins, after my sniper kills his Lt..., Aaron decides he's had enough sniping he's be zeroing in with the 120mm Mortar for 3 turns now and finally scores. the heavy mortar basically levels the big building on the table, killing my sniper team and Mortar spotter. my FO survives the pile of rubble.
 My jeep and Humber are shooting at his Panzer IV and his squads and keep the pins and  kills coming

Aarons rallies a squad and rushes the clearing at the top of the hill to assault my PIAT team in preparation for his Tank to advance. The Panzer IV is pinning down my Commandos with co axial MMG fire , BUT The German assault team forgoets my Vickers MMG is close by AND in ambush and lets loose killing two of the squad. The assault advance happens but Aaron trolls terribly and loses to my PIAT team in assault and the remaining squad is wiped out.

Turn Five. My Commandos with the tough fighters rule all armed with SMGs and Anti Tank grenades- assault Aarons tank and blow it hell up . The successful vehicle assault being a nice ending to the entire left flank advance, the right flank s position is also looking grim being heavily outnumber and my AT gun can start shelling anything on the left or center of his board. Facing heavy losses the surviving Germans retreat, to fight another day.

This game played out with a great narrative- which is one of things I love about Bolt Action. Both our commanders KIA, artillery and mortars everywhere and  the troops carried on until victorious or forced to retreat. Aaron was knocked off his game by the turn 1 FO bombardment (we did not use preparatory bombardment in this scenario) which ended up screwing up his advance, my fast vehicles in reserve coming on strong further halted his advance where he needed a quick foothold to push on from and it wasnt there. My Commando squad with 12 dice for shooting and 18 in assault just added fuel to fire...The simultaneous push from the right really bound the Germans up. The secret to defense in this scenario was for the British to Attack!  This was definitely the most lopsided victory of our games so far, but I am sure the Germans will be back with a vengeance.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Crash and Burn

It turns out I wont be making it to Bilbo's Birthday Bash this year. The event, which starts tomorrow at 8am,  had fate working against me almost out of the gate post Adepticon and it never let up no matter how hard I fought back.  It's drag since I havent missed a local LotR event since 2009, and I was one of the last two guys who had the opportunity have said they played in all 5 of these tournaments. That honor will now fall to my Team Tourney partner, Chris. There can only be one, buddy.!

Overall it was combination of starting way too late on what I wanted to do with the FUBAD (freaking unbelievable big ass displays)  theme several of us were going for. Then life just got in way for the rest. I was on schedule even thou abit rushed until just last week when an ass kicking case of food poisoning knocked me out of the hobby game all last weekend making completion seem nigh impossible, still in my mind I calculated the sleepless hours needed to finish and there was a path!.  In the end , a last minute hiccup with child care issues for my daughters over the weekend had me saying "WTF am I doing here?" that sealed the deal for me and on Tuesday I delivered the news to our Tournament Organizer, Brent.

My mounted Witch King here is about 90% done...he was going to show up as is but since he's missing the big dance I'm putting hours more blending on him till all those color transitions are nice and smooth

Moving to dual Good and Evil armies at 750 points was quite a challenge for anyone, especially anyone with passing interest in the game since the release of the Hobbit material.  Despite my numerous fully painted armies 750 was big bump over past tourament standards and with new warband rules. I had new heroes that had to painted in both foot and mounted profiles and then the killer (FUBAD style) display which is where things went awry.

Per its registration page and what I am hearing about drops this will be the smallest field since probably the tournaments first year. A full circle closure you could say, as this will be more than likely be the swan song for BBB. Despite a brief resurgence around the release of the Hobbit, the game has suffered a steady decline overall since, I attribute this to a bunch of things, mainly
Games Workshop and its insanity and bad choices., But the crazy amount of great new miniatures games in the last couple years has had a strong hand in the fading of its diehard fanbase.  That one , two punch , combined with games overall age has put the "The Hobbit" *cough* Strategy Battle Game on the bottom of the pile when it comes to popularity.  While I'll still paint my sizable collection, when it comes to tournaments, games like Bolt Action are doing a great job of seducing all us Lord of the Rings old timers.

Whether the game becomes a one a year get together as a novelty Team event at Adepticon or sails off on the last ship to Valinor is up in the air right now. I'll be playing in the Adepticon TT this year .(especially since I missed this and I'll be right there anyway to setup and run LotHS) . but still I wish I was there this weekend. Well, I will be, but as a spectator. I told some of the guys I stop by Sunday afternoon around lunch to say hello.

Check out my pal Jeremy's awesome work over at Chef of War, he was literally cooking with gas on this project all year and knocked it out of park with his well timed Dol Guldur setup, my money is on him for all the year 5 hobby awards!..

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Return of the Pirates

Now that its official, it might be time to announce the return of Legends of the High Seas at Adepticon 2014. Pirate gaming has been on the back burner for a couple years now but the interest and demand is still there, so after a bunch of back and forth I was eventually keelhauled back in to run it. I am quite confident already that with some help from Tim , the rule books author, and some other fine folk all ready secured it is going to be one hell of a game! I am running it as a big game this year rather than a traditional tournament, however its a 3 stage game so it will have that down home tournament feel. We are assembling a really great board of terrain old and new, and in honor of the most successful pirate on record and all those entertaining Rum commercials its themed on Captain Henry Morgan.

Direct from the Adepticon webcart here is the event description:

Legends of the High Seas - The Sacking of Panama, 1671

  In December 1670 and January 1671, Henry Morgan, one of the most notorious and successful pirates on the Spanish Main, destroyed Fort San Lorenzo and Burned and Sacked the City of Panama. The utter chaos that followed was a payday for Pirate and Pirate Hunters alike. Be one of 10 Privateer, Pirate or Royal Navy Crews that explore the ruins of Fort San Lorenzo and the City of Panama searching for plundered Spanish gold. Bring your Crew comprised of up to 15 men and face off on a 48 Square foot board to capture objectives, eliminate enemy crews and capture as much gold as possible in this 3 Stage, 4 hour event. In the end, only one players name will rival that of Henry Morgan, but they will damn sure know the names of the ones who almost stopped them! Awards for the top two scorers and Best Painted Crew!

10 spots , $10 dollars,  given the interest on our local forums and my inbox this should sell out right away.

I'll be posting the rules as soon they are submitted for the event, as I was working from the cancelled
2012 event most the work is done, slight changes to tailor to the event. excited to get back pirate gaming, you know we will run a demo of this event at the house before Adepticon...Arghhhh.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Empire of the Dead- Order of the Dragon

Didn't find much time to hobby this weekend, with Pumpkin Patches, a broken fridge, plenty of house work and Halloween coming up, I barely had time to base up and prime a second faction for Empire of the Dead. Fitting with the Halloween theme here is most of the new Order of the Dragon figures, which are the Nosferatu faction for the game.
Bases are made from Hirst floor pieces shaped with a dremel, I gave the Count a sword in a minor conversion
 The base Requiem set contains, The Count (Graf) the Count in bat form, 3 consorts (1 pictured here)
the Mad Man (Renfield) and a Thrall with a Gatling Gun (not pictured) The other figures are masked Order of the Dragon Thugs, a separate 4 figure set. No Guardian with the new figures (yet?) but there are plenty of other figures in the Kickstarter exclusives that can fill that role.
 A starting 150 point force for our Demo Tuesday is the Count, a Consort, 4 thralls and a bat swarm
Versus the Unwitting Policemen of the Supernatural Branch, A Detective and Sergeant, 2 Constables and the Firearms Constable, they might seem a bit outmatched at the basic level but the Police are packing a Shotgun and the Gatling Gun so we will see how that goes.
No much to look at now, but I hope to get some real paint on both factions asap, my work on the upcoming Bilbos Birthday Bash is really behind, I need a couple long painting session for some big models and my display still needs a ton of work..it might end up getting pushed back to Adepticon
but if so, I am SOL as my theme is really tied together via the display, not sure what I'll do if that doesn't come together, I know! paint some Empire of the Dead instead.....

Friday, October 18, 2013

Empire of the Dead- A Night's Work

 The first week of this month I received my Kickstarter package for the new launch of Empire of the Dead by Westwind Productions.  Titled "Empire of the Dead: Requiem" its complete overhaul of the game with a whole bunch of new factions , figures and vehicles. The original game had 5 starter boxed and worked in conjunction with Westwinds previous Vampire Wars line. With this big Kickstarter release the game is now fully developed with its own line. I'll talk about the game play at a later date, I am planning on playing some Demos on Tuesday evening. But needless to say if you are a fan of the GW skirmish rule sets, like Mordheim, Lord of the Rings and the "Legends" games you are going to enjoy this.

Just primed and basecoated, bases by Secret Weapon.
Because I am seriously in the weeds getting my Lord of the Rings stuff ready for Bilbo's Birthday Bash, I have barely had time to go thru the EotD stuff, but tonight I took a break and did. I modeled up, primed and basecoated my first faction, The London Police's "Supernatural Branch", in which I also included Sherlock Holmes, and Dr Watson. The 8 models outside of Holmes and Watson are set 2 of the available Police figures, and includes the Steampunk Infernium Hound.  I plan on working on my second faction, The Nosferatu., this weekend. I'll probably get into finishing the paint right after BBB concludes in early November.

I took a few minutes to figure out how I wanted the Blues to work.
 With GW games falling totally off my Radar, and Lord of the Rings, er,, excuse me ,"The Hobbit SBG" winding down for a host of reasons, I've been looking for good skirmish game to get into and I am hoping this is it, I love the setting as old school Gothic Horror fan with touches on so many other fantasy and Science Fiction elements from classic literature, its drippy with that classic nostalgia from my youth that made me such LotR fan.  Moving ahead, I pretty sure beside our Ancients gaming , EotD and Bolt Action are the games I will be playing.

Love this Holmes and Watson pair, can't wait to paint them!

A couple things I want to point however if your interested in taking the plunge. # 1 these miniatures are true 25'smm the don't scale well with Reaper or GW miniatures they are roughly the size of the older GW LotR plastics.  The do work perfectly with alot of the Hasslefree miniatures stuff which was a pleasant surprise as I picked up some Hasslefree stuff a few years back for a project and couldnt use it due to the scale disparity of the other figs I was using, and now I have use for them!

#2, Kudos to Westwind Productions as this was hands down the best Kickstarter I have been involved in as far as backer communication, and product delivery all clearly spelled out and on time, Also delivery to backers first before any retail sales which I guess starts in November. That is super positive sign these guys have it together so if you want to invest in a new games from a small company. This  is a good barometer of their business practices.

I'll try to post some pics and demo reports of our games on Tuesday,....

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Reaper Bones II launches!

When I awoke this morning I was greeted by an email from Reaper announcing the launch of Bones II. when I checked in on the Kickstarter page, after grabbing my morning coffee, it had already hit well over 300K or 300% of its goal. Now I get home from work its at 750K and still "Cha-Chinging" away with no signs of slowing down- this is just day one people.

I have to ask, and maybe you can help me...but who, exactly is buying these things? while the first Bones was a great deal for its $100 Vampire pledge and the resulting bonus rewards . Its almost universally agreed upon by the miniature collecting blogosphere that Bones was an exercise in mediocrity. from the odd bendy material to the shallow detail, to difficulties people having getting paint to stick to it. In general I have observed that people who just want miniatures for RPG's like pre painted ones and I didnt see the feedback on Bones from the greater community that this was anything more than a very successful stunt with mixed results based on people's personal tastes. Nothing that would quite justify the very possible 1 million dollar 24 hour opening, or at the very least first 48 hours.

 Now dont get me wrong I like my stuff from Bones I , they have there uses, But do I already have way more then I will ever need, before Bones 2? Yes.  Would I much rather Reaper get back to it regular release schedule instead of it being stopped almost to a crawl in the wake of servicing Bones?. Yes. Would I and many others rather have the metal figures with a wider Bones selection for cheap rank and file troops, and not the entire Reaper catalog converted to Bones? Yes.

So I have to ask again who exactly is buying these at these amounts and level of interest?
I  must say I dont get it.  I'll gladly take select Reaper metals and some select Bones figs for various gaming purposes..but another 200 bendy plastic figs with hit or miss details, No thank you.

I guess if you are buying into Bones 2, thanks for expanding the line for the rest of us that want to cherry pick  Bones figures, but this must be disconcerting to other long time Reaper fans other than myself  when there hasnt been a Dark Heaven or Chronoscope new release in pewter since February.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Another one bites the dust...

So strolling thru Oak Park,IL today to catch a matinee of the new Riddick movie, I walked by the old stomping grounds of Games Workshop, Oak Park, and noticed the big sign in the window they are  closing on 9.22.13 . A textbook lesson  on how to "Kamikazee a great retail location with constant foot traffic and a huge public High School and Library within walking distance. "GWOP" as we used to call it went from gaming mecha and after hours club hangout with never less than a dozen people in the store and three employees at all times...to one man store run by super fan and awesome guy, who was really reaching out to the kids. to generic one man  red shirt, tumble weeds and crickets chirping. Maybe my pal Jeff who used to run it will muse how he made that place a kick ass gaming store from 2007 to 2009.  Anyway the writings been on wall for sometime well see what happens to GW overall, I read they want to sell it off . Games Workshop , Oak Park 2007-2013..I'd say I'd miss you but I think I have been in there 2 times in the last 3 years, maybe something useful will take over that location.

Monday, September 9, 2013

The Blackout has Lifted- FUBAD

GW's Minas Tirith with my "scaled up" recreation in background
 Having not updated the blog in 6 weeks, (a first for me in the blogs lifespan) I now know how alot of you feel when you go long periods without an update. In my case, I am sure for many of you. It hasnt been because there is nothing going on, but because I havent had the time to put together two coherent thoughts every couple days saying I'll update tomorrow, or this weekend...then distractions abound and boom nothing happens. Today I'd made sure I had the camera downstairs as I spent some time getting things moving for Bilbos Birthday Bash coming in November.

Original. my almost complete left wall and the right wall from in the background I used an MDF shim cut at a 5 degree pitch to mirror the wall angle of the original piece.
 For this years BBB several of other local players and I talked about the event at Adepticon loosing agreeing to be team FUBAD, which stands for "Freaking Unbelievable Big Ass Displays" If I recall correctly. Considering I am continuing my 2013 theme of "The Battle of Pelennor Fields" for all LotR projects. I thought rebuilding the walls of Minas Tirith in a much better scale then the rather average sized set GW came out with years ago would be in order.  According to Professor Tolkien- The walls of Minas Tirith are seven stacked levels each 100 feet higher the preceding level with the 7th level   being 300 feet high making the pinnacle ( that Denethor swan dives off ablaze in film version of Return of the King)  "1000 feet above the plain" that being said in 28mm the set GW released has walls about 25 feet high, I bumped it up to around 50 feet for my scaled up version, with the main gate having additional towers that will go up to 15 inches high..so while still not quite 100 feet its alot closer and the size more impressive when compared with the miniatures.

Gluing up the back side its still WIP .

 The biggest obstacle here is the casting of course. It's alot of plaster  a ton of individul casts of the castle wall slab and the 4 inch tower mold, I also hacked up my resin GW set because I'm getting a silicon mold made of the crenellations so my final product will feature those as well.  I still have considerable work to do on this and its display table which is well underway and I'll elaborate on in a future post.

This whole setup is on the scale of something you'd see at the 40K TT at Adepticon and not something I could manage if this tourney was at it former home of the Chicago Battle Bunker. Being BBB is a hotel this year free up some of the space limitations.
The Witch Kings ride with custom Minas Tirith style base...increasing his already impressive scale.
 As for my two Armies it my Rohan again that you've  seen last spring, I added  the super version of Eomer and Merry as an cheap aside with my the extra point allowance, giving me a whole bunch of powerful heros giving my Good army a whopping 14 Might.  On the evil side I'm not exactly sure whats showing up, the only model I am sure of is the Witch King...anything else is a time consideration..my original plan was to do a decked out Mumak but I dont think time is going to allow that. So we may end up with Gothmog and rabble of Orcs and Warg Riders supported by the Witch King...if thats the case I really only have to paint the mounted Witch King and Gothmog, I'd love to get the Mumak done especially for the Rohan tie in..but time is not my friend here..I've got about 8 weeks to the event, I'm going to have to start working every night if I want to crank out all the bells and whistles..

This is most likely my last big LotR build for sometime, the attrition of the game nationally has finally caught up with once robust community here..be it burn out, the game and rule changes, or GW killing itself with overpriced models that dont really merge well with the old game that has deeper fan support versus the current "The Hobbit". The sagging interest is pretty apparent, its looks like Adepticon is only going to feature one event  a Team Tournament in side by side format in 2014...which is really only appealing to handful of older veterans and you'll be seeing less than 10 teams for sure.We will probably see LotR drop to "Big Game" status in the future. That being a large scenario event that is not a traditional tournament, a fun get out for us old timers but also a sign that the game has boarded the last ship to Valinor.

Its not all lost though when it comes to good skirmish games...I've been spending some quality time with Warlord Games' "Bolt Action" and it looks like that and Gripping Beast's - "SAGA" have the most legs as far as tournament style skirmish games in the near future. I'm not sure when I'll get around to Saga but I surely already have the figures for it. I do have some cool stuff in works for my Fantasy Skirmish gaming and my Empire of Dead Kickstarter stuff is shipping soon. So I'll be a busy boy this fall down in the basement. First order of  business however is get back to bringing out the big guns for the 5th year of Bilbos Birthday Bash.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Them Reaper Bones a month in.

My Skirmish dungeon as it currently stands, there are several cavern pieces awaiting paint. I dont plan on making this larger than 4X4 so the end is in sight..although I'll painting little details for years to come, I am sure.

 Its been just about a month since my Reaper bones arrived. I've spend a good bit of time messing around with them. I'm sure if you're interested you have already read various reviews on other blogs so mine comes a bit late, but honestly and I am all over the place on my feelings for them.
Rich who also got the Vampire set brought some figures over tuesday and we decided finally play a Skirmish game using Songs and Blades and Heroes Rules by Ganesha Games.

 "Songs"(SoBH) is a popular rule set for Skirmish and its alot more random (and dare I say bloodier!) than what I'm used to with GW based skirmish rules. We played a basic retrieval type mission where each team started at an opposite end, had to get to center to retrieve the artifact and exit the opposing teams end. Of course the Dungeon was populated with various critters and creatures random appearing (or not) at the end of each turn. Turn sequence went Player A/ Monster turn/ Player B/ monster turn. whomever the opposing player was controlled the monsters after your turn.
The whole thing played out quite well, except my team got slaughtered.

If you've played SoBH , we used standard 300 point warbands without the personality restrictions as we wanted to try a bunch of different rules. I ran 6 classic fantasy "archtypes" Knight, Cleric, Wizard, Thief, Barbarian, and Witch Hunter who were all Q3/ C3 expect the Wizard and Thief being C1 and C2. Rich ran a Elven Team with Token Dwarf and an Earth Elemental, he less but more expensive figures points wise most of his units being Q2.

We got to try out a bunch of the rules, except "magic" because my wizard got killed immediately on the first monster turn we were engaged, and we never rolled to get the NPC enemy wizard on the board.  In the end I ended up with carving my way through too many monsters, slowly losing team members encounter by encounter.  Rich had better luck, although when our teams finally met  (and I was down to Two figures versus his Five)..I managed to kill two of his before I was wiped out. we scored by total point gathered in kills + your teams surviving points..so Rich won by an easy 3 to 1 margin.We both like the rules but has some nitpicks, this is easy game to teach your kids and as both our daughters (7 and 8) are interested and will be/ are playing.

Torture is Reaper too, but only the Rats are Bones.
Not sure if will play more of this on the club level or not, I am interested in trying out my adapted "Hobbit" rules for generic fantasy that tactically have the familiarity of the classic GW Lord of the Rings rule set with a few tweaks and see how it compares.

Spider Swarm, Scorpions are Bones.

As for Reaper Bones, I find the figures are all over place in detail and presentation while the new material great is for some features. I read, and hear people are having trouble with just slapping paint on them as advertised. ( In my opinion, basecoating with standard paint using an airbrush works great) I dont love having to hotwater bend this many figures and for many of the weapons the hot water method is still useless. The result is if you care about theses unsightly bent ones, many characters will need weapon swaps. Lastly the details on some figures are very muddy, in contrast however to the detail on some figures being clearly excellent. The result is a mix bag so depending on what figures your most interested in will be the deciding factor on this packages overall value.

 I've painted up a dozen rats, 4 swarms,  2 scorpions, the rust monster, several terrain pieces and am working on the Pathfinder Red Dragon. I certainly had no interest in paying $20 for metal bug swarms so I wouldn't have things like this or the ($100+) in Townsfolk if not for Bones, plus my kids who are learning how to paint have hordes of characters to pick from and paint themselves without me worrying about a $10 pewter figure having to be stripped of pink paint one day.

The current retail on the Bones package of $400 USD is clearly aimed people who need a ton of figures on the cheap. From my corner of the hobby that price would never appeal to me in the slightest, and is clearly aimed at Roleplaying Gamers that need masses of figures for gaming. At the Kickstarter price of  $100..this was an absolute steal and win/win for whatever your use of the figures. For me, Reaper Bones are simply not even close to a replacement for quality metal figures or centerpiece monsters but meet  cheap solution. alternative needs where they apply. Its highly  doubtful I will ever buy any more Bones figures, but I am happy I have the ones I do.

Skeletons are Otherworld, Critter in the back is  Bones figure.

I will be painting up alot more of these and when I paint ones, that I have already painted in metal, like the Nova Marines, I'll be sure to post comparison shots.

In other news, Bilbos Birthday Bash is coming up, and while I am working on my armies and display for that I have NOT yet officially signed up for it yet, more on that later., News on Adepticon 2014,  Bolt Action gaming reports, and hordes of Fantasy figures coming this way soon.
Bugs are all Bones figures.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Reaper Bones Kickstarter Arrives!!!

 SO..almost 9 months to the day of the Kickstarter closing my Reaper Bones miniatures arrive, I have briefly looked through the box, and opened a handful of bags, a detailed review is coming later but initial impressions are:

The material used at this point seems great!  its flexible but in a good way, I've seen tons and tons of plastic miniatures in my life, The detail on these looks excellent, there is no visible flash or mold line glaring at me. Compare this to GW finecast, which is at various better detail but at 10X the price and you'll be laughing. My biggest concern here was the material and its detail...this looks at this point- to be a major win for Reaper, this material different that previous bones figures I saw a couple years ago.

(edit: Dug through one Vampire Bag, found plenty of instances of flash and figures bent to hell, all these instances seem to be on the small figures.  took 15 mins to clean up a bent one with a good amount of flash, easily cut away the base and I'll try the hot water trick and see how the straightening looks, right now bigger seems better)

 Scale on some of the Figures seems odd, I'm not familiar with first hand looks at some of the metal versions of these sculpts but the Julie Guthrie Pathfinder Red Dragon is way smaller than I thought it would be. Its young Dragon at best, its ok, I have a couple huge dragons.
Figure case is very bare bones, no embossed lettering which is cool, foam slots are smaller than I like
since I rebase all my Reaper Figures its a pretty tight fit, but they are the perfect size for true 25mm type figs which I have alot of so the case is right where the price point indicated.
A crazy amount of figures to go thru, a more detailed review is pending post some assembly , re-basing and painting, stay tuned. So far I am NOT disappointed.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

LPL7- Concludes!

 Lead Painters League Season 7 has concluded for 2013.

Above is my last entry "Rex Eleven Escapes" which won by my largest majority to date  against a very good painter. Most likely that's a combination of  all the pieces fitting together for the last "Sci-Fi" entry bonus round, as my opponents detailing and faces were particularly excellent.

I wish I could have this level of composition for all my entries, as that is actually what it takes to win.
I finished in 6th place this year which is big step up from my 14th place last year..The field was smaller but the consistent quality was better. So my overall standing going from the top 30% to the top 20%  is big step up for me. (especially with my terrible 1-3 start)  Finishing up 7-3 was a good come back. I probably should not have ran rounds 2 and 4 , but my time management on this was terrible this year..which cost me 10 bonus points in round 5.  Anyway I'll be back next year, alot more prepared for this thing., I am not giving up until I crack the top three.

In other news I was asked to paint judge at the superbly well run WFB event Blood in the Sun this weekend, it was a great time and it is as about a well run Warhammer event as I have seen. As much as I may even look for an excuse, my opinions on 8th edition have not changed. but I got to catch up with alot of my old WFB buddies..lots of great gaming and real life talk...good times. If you read this blog and still play WFB and are looking for a WFB summer tourney this is the one.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

LPL7- Round 10- Rex Eleven Escapes

The 10th and final round has begun over at the LAF for Lead Painters League Season 7

Above is my last entry "Corsairs of Umbar' which won by a 70/30 margin, I wish I had gotten all 10 of them on the boat and plan to soon, I am certainly planning on working more Mithril figures into my Lord of the Rings collection moving forward with the complete eradication of metal figures by Games Workshop, I am pretty sure the case is finally closed on me as Games Workshop customer with the exception of what are now OOP/Vintage purchases from when it was a better company.
They have managed to release a couple new things in plastic I like so while the Hobbit trilogy is in full effect they may manage squeak out a few more winners in the current line. I'm somewhat bummed I have overlooked Mithril for so long, fantastic sculpts based on the books not the films
and although as pricey as GW's finecast they're infinite higher quality being , metal, and come clean and primed. These were painted right out of the blister. It's high end LotR, collectors stuff but if you're of my likemind do yourself a favor and check out Mithril Miniatures

My current and final entry for the The LPL "Rex Eleven Escapes" is the follow up to last years "The Hunt for Rex Eleven". This Sci Fi Bonus is what got me excited about the LPL again this year. I had already picked up that cool APC from Antenocitis and I had a slew of mainly Reaper Chronoscope figures I wanted to paint for the Space Station.  You can heck out and vote for Rex and his gang to get the hell out of dodge HERE. I'll be back with some final thoughts and the LPL and LAF when this wraps up next weekend.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

LPL7- Round 9- Corsairs of Umbar

Round 9 has begun over at the LAF for Lead Painters League Season 7

Above is my last entry "Monster Hunters' which won by a decent margin, next up are my Mithril Miniatures Corsairs, which I purchased to crew my Corsair Ship I built earlier this year. I had hoped to get all 10 painted for the entry but that just wasn't realistic, I am running week to week now and about 5 figures is about the most I can manage, the painting, figuring out the backdrop and the photography are taking up all my hobby time.  I am going to finish these guys straight away after my final entry so they actually get done and not have five figures laying around unpainted until the next time I come back to them which will who knows when.  You can check out my entry for round 9 HERE It's started out strong against some great Blood Bowl minis but if you can vote either way please do!
The LPL is winding down and we are on the last week. Round 10 is the Sci Fi Bonus Round, how I wish I had more time as I have been itching to get back to my Sci Fi Station that I got the majority of in 2011, I have two new pieces (rooms) I am going to add...they wont make the contest, but 10 figures (5 brand new) and a new Vehicle will..it be interesting to see how the whole thing closes out.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

LPL7- Round 8 - Monster Hunters

Round 8 has begun over at the LAF for Lead Painters League Season 7

I won't bother reposting my Rohirrim which manager to win the Round which is a nice vindication considering it lost round 1. This weeks entry I call "Monster Hunters" features a mix of Fantasy figures from Reaper, Avatars of War, and three really cool figures from the below the radar Fantization Miniatures and its Rusted Heroes line.  Above is the "Monster" of said "Monster Hunters"
Reaper Troll 60021. I really liked this model and painted it sometime last year since its not one of the primary figures in the entry, but just a prop, I dont think its a big deal I post it while the contest is going on. If you like to check out the official entry and vote please do so HERE. So far the Hunters are doing ok this week.  Two weeks to go, I am slowly climbing the leader board after my abysmal start. I need to win all my upcoming entries to hope to be my score last year, to do so means I need to make the top 9. its going to be tough. Next week it back to Middle Earth with some brand new stuff
and then the my Sci Fi Station is going to make reappearance for the final bonus round 10.

In other news I got a new camera to replace my broken Canon G9, it was going to cost $250 to repair
so I invested that dough in a new Canon G15, wow impress this is first couple photos I snapped, I notice and a improvement right away as off the cuff shots like this usually took more work.  my pal Aaron almost convinced me to go DSLR but I stuck with what I know, the G9 was great Camera I had for long time, moving to the G15 was breeze no learning curve, which I like. anyway back with Round 9 on Sunday.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

LPL7- Round 7. Re-Run.

Round 7 has begun over at the LAF for Lead Painters League Season 7

Above is my 6 round entry, "Red Devils".  Which is my very first painted Bolt Action figures. The rest of my 1000 point BA army is based, primed, basecoated and ready to go..but no additional paint on these guys is happening until I finish my tight schedule for the LPL.

This week due to again time crisis/holiday weekend plans, I ended up re running my round 1 entry
my recently painted Rohirim who lost in Round 1 against one the current fellows at the top of the Leaderboard. This week they got matched up against another great painter with a great entry, but I am glad to say they are winning so far, but please go ahead and check them out and go vote if you are participating in this!

Having to paint 5 figures (and photograph them in a good scene) week to week is a tough, tough challenge especially if you've got way too much going to begin with, the thing to do is really have everything done when the thing begins ,except rounds 5 and 10 (the big bonus rounds) and spend your time working on those.  Right now I have a month to paint 3 more entries...and 10 is the big one.
pretty sure I have it covered but its going to be tight...hindsight is all well and good but let what I get done this week!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

LPL 7- Round 6 -Getting back on track.

Round 6 has begun over at the LAF for Lead Painters League Season 7

Above is my 5 round entry, "Warwick_WotR.  Which was supposed to be "Warwick", a.k.a "The Kingmaker" or Richard Neville, the 16th Earl of Warwick staring down both York and Lancastrian troops in a scene from Englands War of the Roses. If you remember anything about the man, he switches sides about half way through the war. So I had planned about 7-10 troops on each side starring each other down with him in the middle, it being not obvious to which side. This was also the big bonus point round. In the comedy of errors that went on that week, not only was I totally slammed for time, only completing a small portion of the planned entry, but my regular camera broke, I had to rush the photos with my unfamiliar back up camera I hadn't touched in years, then I go a typo the guys name as "Warrick" instead of "Warwick", and don't notice all week, then to further the comedy of the whole episode, I win by a 3 to 1 margin, with what was to me, my worst entry of the contest. all the way from my paint to photograph.

Sucking up this embarrassment, I had just come off a great time learning, playing and building my British Airborne "Red Devils" for Warlords Games Bolt Action game. I was jacked up to paint these guys and had a week to paint 5 models which was doable, with some crisis management on my real life work project well in hand, I got my entry submitted no problem on friday morning with a re-submit later in the day when my wife pointed out that while she really liked the photo and minatures there was big ol' screwdriver on the table in the background that I didnt ever notice..(Ooofff)

Anyway I am happy with the way these guys came out and am really digging painting some WW2 in 28mm, I am going to bang out the whole army this summer which is only about 40 models with 3 vehicles and some heavy weapons.  So check out my Red Devils this week and go vote, I am holding a comfortable lead as I type this so I am hoping I can still salvage this thing with strong entries the next four rounds.

Next week, back to some generic fantasy stuff...should be fun to paint!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

LPL 7- Round 5, I barely make it!

Round 5 has begun over at the LAF for Lead Painters League Season 7

Above is my 4 round entry, "Red Devils 15mm"  Which again, lost. I briefly talked about 15mm having a tough time in this thing in my last LPL post, and a combo of that and I guess the photo not being good enough did it in. .

This round was a disaster for me..first of all my good camera broke (older Canon G9, apparently suffers for an internal short circuit) No idea when I'll get that fixed but pictures with my back up are definitely tougher to do. Then this project I am working on for work spiraled out of control
and I went from planning 15 figure for the Historical Civil War bonus round, to 10, to 7
finally settling on one team of 5, and they're pretty mediocre to boot, I just didn't have the time to do them justice and then had to rush photos to meet the deadline I couldn't get the right lighting with my old camera.

The kicker is, so I hastily enter my mediocre entry and I am kicking myself how this just isnt my year for this thing and then I go to vote and see I am winning by over 100 votes?? my biggest margin yet! Sometimes I can't figure out peoples tastes in this thing, for instance my Red Devils above should have been a way tighter margin in  round 4, than margin I currently have in round 5, your guess is as good as mine.

I still managed to get half the bonus points..I am going to really need to knock it out the last 5 rounds if I want to even stand a chance and beating my score last year.  So check out my Historical Entry
Warwick_WotR  and check out this weeks entries some really cool stuff in there.

Next up Bolt Action , Red Devils 28mm WIP, and Painted for round 6...

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

A Bridge too close

That was the moniker my pal Aaron put on our first game of Warlord Games "Bolt Action", last evening at our 80th Club meeting since we moved our semi monthly club night to my basement back in 2009.  While I have tons of miniatures my mother in fit of early senility sold all my old 70's Airfix plastic models I had that were my first miniatures. (although back them they were just my expensive "Army Men"). in a garage sale while I was away at college. Thankfully she never got around to selling my fantasy miniatures or I probably wouldn't be writing this.  Anyway I think I've seen the film "a Bridge to far" probably 25 times over the years..its my favorite WW2 film and why I started playing Flames of Wa,r I went with British Airborne and when I want to get some 28mm ones a few years ago, I went with Warlord's Red Devils box.

When I got my 28mm Red Devils there wasnt really a game to support them, there were some other WW2 skirmish games out there but I never got around to it. Now that WG has me hooked with their quality rules sets, and great lines of figures. The jump to BA was inevitable.

Aaron and I have recently accumulated our 1000 point armies, my British and his Panzer Grenadiers. so we were chomping at the bit to play. A bunch of other guys I know are into the game and we are trying to get some the other boys at club night to get on-board. We had great fun last night  and I'll leave you with Aarons write up on our forum about last nights game

"John's Paratroopers faced off against my Panzergrenadiers as I tried to wrestle an derelict but strategically important bridge away from the allies in our first Bolt Action game!

The objective of the game was a bridge in the very center of the table, nestled in the in the middle of a village. The Brit platoon's first squad had captured the bridge and was desperately waiting for the rest of the platoon to link up with them before the German armored infantry could launch their assault and force them off of the bridge.

We did a small game (550 points) to familiarize ourselves with BA's rules.

John's first squad held the bridge while a sniper team hung out in a small building nearby. His second squad, Vickers MMG team, some HQ support (Medic and Forward Artillery Observer), and his 1st Lt. were coming in to reinforce the pathfinder unit. A recon jeep also supported the British attack on the far right flank.

The Germans approached the bridge through the village, darting in and out of cover. The platoon's 2nd Lt lead 2 Panzergrenadier squads with LMG teams through the center of the village in an attempt to boot the small British unit off of the bridge!

The German plan ran into a major snag when a jumpy machine gunner mistook the Lieutenant and his escorts as an ambushing paratrooper unit! After seeing his NCOs cut down before him, the Lt. decided to flee the field to fight another day! If you have played Hail Caesar you are probably familiar with 'fumbled' orders. BA has a similar mechanic that can, rarely, result in friendly fire incidents. "Das ist nicht zer gut!"

British Paratrooper reinforcements began to show up in force, advancing through the village while the squad holding the bridge exchanged fire with one of the Panzergren squads across the river. Some light casualties were suffered by the limeys, but that didn't mar the Englanders fighting spirit! The sniper in the building was able to claim some kills against the Germans approaching the bridge as well.

Eventually all of the forces of the belligerent forces made their way to the battlefield. The Paratrooper recon jeep splashed across a shallow spot in the river and attacked the flank of the Germans positioned in the village with twin vickers MMGs! A SdKfz 251 Halftrack rumbled up the road while spitting fire at the Brits hiding in cover on the opposite side of the bridge. The 2nd platoon of Paras made their way around the opposite flank of the village attempting a pincer move with the Jeep, laying down suppressive fire all the way. The Germans deployed a Granatwerfer 42 heavy mortar which quickly eliminated the British squad holding the bridge!

The halftrack's attack on the bridge foundered initially while the flank attacks began to take their toll on the Germans hidden amongst the buildings south of the river. Panzergrens opposite of the British left flank stormed out of their cover to face the paras advancing up the bank of the river. The British Platoon leader valiantly rallied his nearby comrades, and assaulted the Halftrack which was forcing it's way across the bridge, only to be scattered by it's occupant's counter attack (we did this part wrong - John should have won the combat - "Oppzee Doopzee, Herr Humphrey. Mein bad!").

Assaults aimed at kicking the enemy off of the bridge by each force were running out of steam! Short range firefights began to whittle down each opposing platoon, and at the end of the game the bridge was not clearly controlled by either side. The game was a draw!

There was some interesting ebb and flow in this game, especially in terms of which side was able to gain the initiative over the other. In the end each side dug in and waited for reinforcements to arrive to renew their assault! We played about half of another game with the exact same forces, and scenario, only with the attacker/defender roles reversed. It was initially more bloody and we each seemed to lead our troops with a bit more direction. The only thing stopping us from finishing game #2 was the fact that cars were going to start to get towed at midnight!

So there you go we are retooling for an actual 1000 point game next week, I really like the game flow, love the orders system and well as the individual mechanics...I felt the rule balance "just right" in the  not too light, not to heavy rules department (where HC can get a little overwhelming)

While I work on my Brits, think about some Germans to oppose them. I have soft spot of course for my own countries troops. In a bit of personal history, My mother's father, was CPL Lawrie Montgomery who served under Mark Clark in the US 5th Army in WW2 , He was in both the North African Campaigns and Operation Avalanche from Salerno to Rome, wounded by a landmine post Rome and that was the end of the war for him, but he lived until the ripe old age of 86 passing away in 1999. He was awarded a Silver Star, Two Bronze Stars and at the one Purple Heart that I know of, why or what for I don't know because he would never talk about the war much, saying things like "War is hell"," It's best forgotten" , Clearly we don't forget -for good reason Pop.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

LPL 7- Round 4 is on!

Round 4 has begun over at the LAF for Lead Painters League Season 7

Above is my 3 round entry, "Heroes of Helm's Deep"  Which scored me my first win by 50 votes, So if you voted for me thanks, and if you bothered to vote at all thanks again.  As it seems to be a  developing pattern my round 4 entry Red Devils 15mm is losing to some cultists flashing some skin, the exact same thing that happened last year with my 15mm Red Planet entry. 15mm is tough nut to crack with people for sure in the LPL .If you've painted 15mm before, you know how tough it is to paint cleanly for close up photographs in the scale.  Checking entries going back a few years across the board it seems if a tough scale to win with period, so in retrospect I should have went with my Saxons, although I didnt think they looked as good. Anway this one is lost cause at the current vote totals but if your so inclined please vote as you still get leaderboard points for the votes.
I am currently working on my round 5 entry which the theme round for Historical civil war..this prompted me to finally get painting on my Perry Brothers War of the Roses figures. I am doing a small diorama and already I took some WIP photos so I'll shoot for getting this entry its own "development" post for something different later on in the month after round 5 is complete. Unless something else comes up, until next Sunday!.


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