Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Operation Sting AAR

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

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

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

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

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

 Ill share a couple quick anecdotes;

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, October 17, 2014

The New Table

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

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

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Operation Sting , a Yank brings his Brits

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

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Crescent and Cross

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

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

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

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


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