Sunday, June 30, 2013

"Digg" This...

If you're a google reader user I hope you know, by now, about the impending implosion of reader tomorrow.  Almost immediately I started window shopping for another reader platform to display my 400 blogs that I like to follow (mostly wargaming).

Well "Digg" has a great reader that will conveniently and quickly import your google reader blogs into its reader platform that is very similar in functionality to our cozy, nice, familiar google reader.

So if you haven't moved your reader anywhere yet - try Digg out.  I am using it now and am just dead tired from the 4 mouse clicks it took me to import everything!

I'm still pissed at google for scrapping reader but at least I'll still have all of my beloved wargaming blogs in one place and can continue to follow your respective wargaming activities!

In laws will be here today...  So not much painting done in my future but I was thinking about spraying up a modern Soviet tank Battalion.

I hope everyone has a good day, afternoon, or night depending on your time zone.  And get your google stuff moved over ASAP!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Upcoming Projects

These project posts always seem to make a liar out of me - so here is a smaller, more manageable list of projects coming up:

20mm Napoleonic Project Mass Production
15mm Moderns Project Sov Tank Battalion
15mm ACW Project Restart - ReBasing and Painting New Units
6mm Epic Arma-FutureWarCommander-geddon

That is all...

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Looky What I Just Bought....

Brace yourselves, folks. 

The Zvezda 1/100 "Hot War" Miniatures are available for pre-order here in the states, finally.  Not that I'm a huge fan of Michtoy - but if you pre-order from them you get a dollar discount!  Regular price is 9.99 and their selling for 8 bucks each.  A tidy sum but still cheaper than lead.

I purchased enough for a good sized Soviet Battalion at 1:4 or an advanced element at 1:1.  4 packs of T-72, 4 packs of BTR-80, 3 packs of M2/M3 Bradley, 2 packs of M1 tanks, 1 Hind-D gunship, 1 AH-64 Apache gunship.

Couple those with the 15mm pewter troopers I already have and the Coldwar Commander, Modern Spearhead, and Fistful of TOWS games are gonna be epic!  :)

I need to get cracking and paint up my 15mm T-80 battalion for everyone...That sounds like a good "start-up" project for the man cave.  Huzzah!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Rules Doldrums...

Gosh with the house and job and baby there hasn't been much time for prepping the hobby area but I've been managing a little bit every few days.  The wife, bless her, took all of the cardboard and extra trash out of the hobby area man cave / thousand legger ville for me the other night which was a nice surprise.

Of late I've been thinking about rules that I like and don't like.  There's always an obsession to  have a "definitive" rules set when you don't play regularly at a club.  For me, when I did have a gaming buddy or 3 to play with, there were our favorites and then ones we always wanted to explore.

When you play solo, you have only your own ideas and curiosities to satisfy.  That being said, it's quite hard for me now to decide on a "definitive" rules set (or if i even need one?).  I have my "tried and true" rules that have served me well in the past.  Like a well-worn tool they are always there in a pinch when I need them and I have a great familiarity with them.

Some would say then, why do you even need a "definitive" rule set?  I guess that the answer is probably "no, you don't" but then I wouldn't have a good blog post either...

Volley and Bayonet seems to be a good fall back rules set for me.  I always end up going back to it after however long a hiatus.  Same with Guns of Liberty (tactical AWI).  GHQ WWII MicroArmour makes a really great WWII miniatures combat rules set, as does Spearhead.

Blitzkrieg Commander is one of my favorite WWII rules sets to play with.  Granted, I don't really know the scale or level of command it represents, but it is alot of fun.

Shako for Napoleonics is also hard to beat for playability.

GHQ's modern system though?  Not as well liked by me.  Fire and Fury too - which used to be an absolute staple of mine, has also fallen by the wayside.

Seek Out, Close With, & Destroy makes a great game for toy soldier battles, but I don't care for the sequence of play and the lack of reactions.

Reactions you say?  Great segway into my next topic which are rules sets that seem to be hugely popular now.  Reaction tests are hard to beat for intensity and randomness in games and Force on Force makes a great game.  General De Brigade and British Grenadier are wildly popular (I own BG and have not played it yet).  Same with Grande Armee which I have not played yet.  Black Powder isn't a bad game, but it's missing something, that is somewhere in between Guns of Liberty and Volley and Bayonet.

So I guess the point of all this rambling is the fact that I started out in search of a definitive rules set but ended up with more questions than I initially began with.

The question still stands though - do you need a definitive rules set?  Or are you happy with a few or more than a few???  The roll makes the sandwich and obviously the rules make the game.

Here are a few of mine:

AWI: Guns of Liberty
SYW Volley and Bayonet
Napoleonics: Shako
ACW: Volley and Bayonet
WWII: BKC, Spearhead, GHQ WWII Microarmor
Modern: SOCW&D, Modern Spearhead, Cold War Commander, Fistful of TOWS, Force on Force.

Basing becomes the biggest question of the post.  Commiting to a rules set, in many cases, commits you to a basing scheme.  So finding the best rules is important if you want to get a project done!  In my case, having found a "general" basing scheme, I can move forward with a scheme that's applicable to most rules that I like.  But finding that golden rules set is crucial to basing my troops and finishing a project.

take the AWI for example.  I like the Guns Liberty Rules set, which has troops based in files, with many stands for a Battalion.  Volley and Bayonet is another favorite - where each stand is a Regiment!  There's no way to substitute for those 2 rules sets because the Regiments in V&B are 3 inches long!!!  Food for thought...

Monday, June 10, 2013

Pics of the "Man Cave"

This is for you, Paul.  As promised, here are some pics of the man-cave that I share with the thousand-leggers and spiders.
The hobby and gaming area with some of the troops starting to get organized.
The hobby area is my desk against the wall with the storage area next to it for now.  To the right, I'll build some cinder-block and pine board walls to hold my tote boxes and trays of troops.
A small assortment of 20mm models and troops yet to be assembled or painted.

All my 15mm armies!  Painted and unpainted.

First priority?  "Get this rabble into something like an Army" (Field Marshall Von Rundstedt).

Again, please forgive the faux wood paneling and linoleum floor.  For now it's all I've got!  The gaming table will be in the middle, in front of the shelves.  It's going to be a tight fight, but one that will house a 6 foot by roughly 4 foot gaming surface.

Terrain, 6mm stuff, and EPIC Armageddon Stuff.

Close up of the Hobby Desk!  

Surprise!  S-Models' new BRDM-2 Fast Build.  Next up will be the BMP-1s...

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Ringing Endorsement and other news...

Found a nice gem of a website tonight - 1-72 Miniatures Dot Com.  A great site with news, eye candy, and project information for the discriminating 1-72 scale modeler and gamer.  My personal favorite was the tutorial section but the eye candy is pretty good too.  I heartily recommend this site if 1-72 forces make up part of your collection.

On another note, I have been moving things around in the basement all day and have finally got the hobby area started in earnest.  Going to make a sign that says "THOUSAND-LEGGER-VILLE" apparently these ghastly and horrific creatures really enjoy my basement as I've already killed 10 or 11 of them in the last week or so...

If you live in Europe or Oz you may not know what I'm talking about...Prepare to scream like a little girl:

LINK if you dare...

Okay so those 2 pictures weren't that hideous but these things look like monsters and are some of the fastest bugs I've ever seen.  They also grow quite large too...The older, bigger ones are especially fearsome looking especially against a stark, white wall or surface that makes their dark bodies and long legs even more menacing.

Anyways they like the basement so I've been battling it out with them this past week whilst organizing hobby stuff and preparing to sink my teeth into some painting projects once again.

I promise to take some pictures of the hobby area as it's taking shape!  Oh and I am thinking about ordering some stuff from Shapeways (3D printing).  I have a ton of 6mm Rhino APCs for Epic and could use a squadron or 2 of Predator light tanks!  For 8 bucks for spare turrets?  My wallet can definitely handle that!

Monday, June 3, 2013

20mm WWII Spearhead Action: Counterattack!

PLayed a very quick and dirty WWII Spearhead game today in 20mm with my Disposable Heroes troops and 4 Armourfast quick-build AFVs, 2 M4 Shermans and 2 Stug-IIIs.  Also played with 2 battalions on a side.

Scenario was simple - both task forces are on attack orders to seize a road junction and town.  The Americans have broken through the front and are racing towards the Rhine.  The Germans send a kampfgruppe to stop them.  Roughly equal forces on both sides but the Ami's have a few more platoons than the krauts.

I diced for when the units entered the board.  THe Americans got 5 turns to get in place.  THe Germans entered on turn 6.
2 x American Combat Teams - one on left was to seize the town sectors and tree-line to the left of the road junction.  The one on the right was to seize the "big house" town sector.   

German KG enters on turn 6.  Mission to seize the "big house" and the town sector on the right.
Americans jump off point.  This is the battalion on the left with armor support.  M4 sherman long-barrels.

Infantry battalion on the American right.  3 companies abreast with 1 in reserve.

gratuitous shot of my amourfast sherman.

German jumping off point.  German battalion HQs platoon next to the Stug III.

German infantry Kompanies had 4 platoons each

eager German Landsers await the signal to start the attack.

the mighty Sherman!  

battalion on the left on the attack

a company of on the right battalion advancing up to a French farm field.  The Armor surges forward


US Armor reaches the village cluster in this quaint Rhineland setting.

infantry scurries in to seize defensive positions.  

US infantry moves into the orchard at the Big House

German Stug III advancing on the town.

Germans advancing on the treeline and the big house.

Stug sees the Sherman in its sights!  and misses...

German advance on the town cluster

Krauts in the woods!

Stug knocked out by the Sherman!

Germans engage in a firefight with the US Company.

Once the two sides got cl ose, the action heated up quickly.  The Germans assaulted the American positions at the Big House town sector and were repulsed with 100% losses.  However the town objective on the German right things went differently.  Their Stug III was KO'd however their infantry flushed the US Company out of the town sector.  The Battalion with the armor support quickly failed its morale and withdrew off the line.

On the American right, the Germans assaulted the American Company in the treeline with their Stug over-running the GIs.  They were wiped out however the US Battalion was able to hold on for 1 more turn.  After that, and after failing to commit their reserves, the US Battalion on the American left bugged out of the Big House and withrdrew as well.  The German front was stabilized - for now...

Fun Game.  I don't play too many "big battles" in 20mm but this was a good one.  Wished I had some more armor and some halftracks but that will come later when I get my desk and hobby area set up.  not even any artillery support here either.  Now comes the "lessons learned"!


BUA Combat: Combat in urban, built-up areas is never fun in real life and in games like Spearhead it's a nail biter.  Units are chewed up quickly so you need to have numerical advantage if you're the attacker to guarantee success.  I had 1 rampaging German platoon, that, went into combat suppressed, but was still able to wipe out 3 US platoons due to the luck of the draw in intense urban combat.

Reserves:  This is a subject i don't touch upon often.  Build into orders that the Reserves need to be close to the operational front line.  in this case, the American reserve company was much too far away to make a difference, even if they were allowed to be committed.''

Aggression:  Aggression pays off in Spearhead.  The Germans with their veteran morale were able to reap the rewards of an aggressive plan even though they were outnumbered in the attack.  Veteran rated units don't have to take a morale check until they take about 66% casualties so take advantage of it and press attacks.  The Germans were able to flush out the "Ami's" easily from the town and treeline.

Armor Support: This battle was undoubtedly an infantry fight so it's okay to assign an armor platoon to a company for extra punch.  In this case, only one American battalion had any tanks and that proved fatal for the unit in the US treeline.  Once again, your task-organization of your units proves that just because you have all the winning "stuff" on the battlefield, you only win if you use it correctly.  That's why officers get paid the big bucks.

Next up?  AWI Black Powder, Future War Commander, and a 54mm "All the King's Men" surprise!  Huzzah!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

A New (Old) Scale...

After a recent trip to Gettysburg I was regaling my wife with stories of epic battles with toy soldiers in my backyard with my old 54mm toy soldiers.  Family members and landscapers continue to dig up casualties and relics of those past wars to include my old US Army timmee toy Vietnam styled GIs, airfix Brit paras (whom I always used as OPFOR), late 19th century British howitzers used by the OPFOR, and of COURSE the "dollar store" M-48 patton tanks that usually came 2 to a pack (also used as OPFOR tanks).

While in Gettysburg, I spied the tourist-trap 10 dollar bags of BMC Civil War Infantry troopers.  That got me REALLY thinking back.  When I was 14 years old, I gamed some of Jackson's Valley Campaign in my backyard, using landscaping river rocks as Brigade units.  When the units clashed, I fought a battle with my BMC cheap toy soldiers.

That catapults me into the present with this humble post.  On the drive home I was feeling quite nostalgic for those days and I went online and bought some IMEX and BMC 1/32 scale troopers.

I also found some cool 54mm wargaming rules to go with them and am going to paint up some Regiments once the hobby area is completed.  This should be alot easier on the eyes too.  If it works out, I'll try my hand at AWI as well.

That all being said, I'm sure everyone is eagerly looking forward to some gaming posts as well!  I'm thinking Monday or Tuesday next week I'll post some World War II Spearhead Action in 20mm since it's been awhile.  Would be a great opportunity to show off my completed Armourfast WWII Armor.  how about a local German counter-attack?