Sunday, 30 June 2013

Flames of War Open Fire - Germans

We had our first games club excursion yesterday to our FLGS, The Hobby Stop. Chris and I decided to  get some of our own FOW troops so acquired a copy of Open Fire a large box set containing a lot of stuff for just $95NZD.

Box art
The box has British tanks and American paratroopers which Chris claimed and I took the Germans which we will have a look into soon. It also came with the rule book, easy rules, some cardboard landscape. We haven't quite worked out how to split that yet.


The German infantary company comes with three platoons of infantry  If you are using the suggested company there is; one Grendierkompanie HQ which has two command panzerfaust SMG teams and a panzershreck team; Two Grenadier plattons with six rifle/MG teams (or three squads) and a command panzerfaust SMG team each. I am a bit disappointed as I lost one of the command SMG teams officer models.

Here they are on my 'tidy' painting desk

It also came with two PaK40 guns with a HQ section and 3 StuGs making up a Panzer Platoon.

The PaK40 guns were hard to assemble due to
very small parts so took a minor beating during assembling
The Command StuG G tank, I hope I got the right guy. 

The set is pretty cool and a good way to start off a Flames of War collection... I hope. My only complaint would be the American and German infantry were on the same trays without any order at times so it took a little time to work out who was who when cutting them out.

It also came with a random V1 flying bomb which looks like it will be a neat objective. Although I could swear there was a photo on the FOW website which had a (mad) scientist model standing next to it in a lab coat. There were no mad scientists to be found in the box.

The V1 flying bomb.

I am looking forward to painting these guys up and taking them for a spin on the table. I will keep the blog updated.

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Flames of War Begins...

Flames of War has come to 50mm Game Room!  Monday night saw four of us (me, Steve Chris and Don) gather for an epic 410 point vs 420 point FOW match up.  Two platoons of British Infantry (with Company Command) and two platoons of Fallshirmjager with CC as well.

We decided to keep it small in order to gain familiarity with the rules, before bringing in tanks, anti tank guns and the like.  Here is the set up:

Before set up. The grass is very green. 
It was a fair fight scenario, with two objectives placed by each side and no reserves.  Naturally each side pushed up to the village:

The Brits move up

Don and I played the Germans and I suggested that Don assault into the houses, so we could play through the assault rules.
As the Germans prepare themselves for their assault, a strange giant sheep silently watches...
Said assault did not go too well.  I think we got the rules right, but Don got spanked.  Need to remember that pinning a platoon before assaulting halves the defensive fire...

The Brits took out the remaining teams in the Train Station
The Germans were left with three teams and fell back ultimately to the trees
A little cocky now, Steve started to push forward to kill off Don's platoon entirely and take the objective.

On the right flank, Chris' platoon exited cover for reasons best explained by him and failed to hit the FJ's in the trees and in the building.  In their turn they pinned Chris' platoon and then ripped him apart in the assault.  He failed motivation and his remaining teams fled the battle.
Just before the assault
Steve, who just minutes before thought he was about to win, now raced back to stop me taking the objective:
On the move back
He got in behind cover and tried to hold on:

However the last of Donald's platoon moved in for the kill destroying the British's hope for victory, and taking the objective:

Saturday, 22 June 2013

The Kingdom of Rohan Army

I have now completed* my Rohan army.  Much of the hard work was done over a year ago, but true to form I had not quite finished it off.  The last few weeks have seen me get out the heroes and paint them up, complete the Royal Banner and finish a few troops needed to fill out the ranks.
*subject to one more banner bearer

The assembled army

There is still one more piece I need though, and that is a banner bearer to accompany Erkenbrand.  I had originally made this formation with Gandalf beside Erkenbrand, with an eye on a Helms Deep scenario.  But that only goes so far, and also magic in WOTR is a bit of a pain in my view.  Thus a space beside Erkenbrand for a banner bearer.  In the photos Erkenbrand has Eomer's banner bearer and Eomer has Gamling with Royal Banner (even though he is also in the Royal Guard formation).  

When I get around to a new painted banner bearer it will go to Erkenbrand's riders and Eomer will get his back.

The army is made up of:
  1. Two companies of Royal Guard on foot, with banner, Hama, Gamling and Theoden.  See link and here.
  2. Six companies of Erkenbrand's riders with banner.  See link here.
  3. Four copanies of Grimbold's Helmingas
  4. Two companies of archers.
  5. Four companies of Riders led by Eomer.
  6. Treebeard.
  7. On the subs bench: Theoden mounted, Erkenbrand and Eomer on foot.
Grimbold's Helmingas I often put in the center with the Royal Guard to hold the middle:

Grimbold's Helmingas
Close up of Grimbold (center) Banner and Hornblower
 The archers pick somewhere with a vantage point and some cover:

The Captain of the Archers, who forgot his bow but brough his pet orc
Eomer on the right flank with his riders:

Eomer and his Rohirrim

Treebeard roams around making a mess:

Treebeard in mid battle contemplation pose

A couple more army shots:

Theres 80 foot and 20 mounted models + Treebeard there

Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Erkenbrand's Riders

Ever since he charged in with Gandalf beside him to lift the siege of Helms Deep in the nick of time, I have had a soft spot for old Erkies.  Sadly missing from the movies, he has been recreated by GW with his famous red shield, but otherwise looking pretty much like a Rohan Royal Guardsman.

Although Erkenbrand's riders are perhaps not the best use of points in WOTR, I didn't feel my army was quite right without him.  Here he is painted up and with his Rohirrim:

Would like to upgrade the banner bearer, but it is down the list of priorities right now.

Sunday, 16 June 2013

Theoden and the Royal Guard

Next on the painting conveyor belt is Theoden foot and mounted.  I got both models (like a lot of my LOTR fellas) from ebay where they are nice and cheap.  Both are from the Two Towers Theoden models that were released.  The Theoden on foot is a superb model, except it seems strangely small alongside the other 28mm Rohan models.

Here is the mounted version:

Snowmane was a challenge with it being all white - I have now worked out a system for painting black, but still to get to grips with getting sufficient shadow into pure white.  Close up:

It is a little known fact that Theoden was actually cross-eyed

And Theoden on foot:

The hair blowing across the face gives this model a great heroic look, in my view:

I have two companies of Royal Guard on foot now.  With Gamling holding the Royal Banner, and Theoden and Hama beside him, I now have the full contingent for War of the Ring (not that I am likely to play it anytime soon!).  Here are the companies:

Next up will be Erkenbrand's riders.

Saturday, 15 June 2013

Gamling and the Rohan Royal Banner

Yes, it is true - this is actually a wargaming post!  After weeks of sickness and prevarication, I have actually got into some meaningful hobby activity.  The lack of wargaming posts has been largely my fault with our gaming group going through a board game phase and my hobby output stopping with other things.

Without too much on the hobby table to paint I have decided to finally finish my Lord of the Rings Armies.

Gamling and the Rohan Royal Banner has sat on the shelf for perhaps a year, with the freehand work on the banner itself putting me off ever completing it.  Well complete it I finally did and I am reasonably happy with the banner:

I am now trying to complete the remainder of my Rohan heroes so stay posted for more pictures.

Monday, 10 June 2013

Xia: Legends of a Drift System - Kickstarter Campaign.

Sorry for the lack of posts over the last week. I was sick with hand foot and mouth disease, so the blisters over my hands made it hard to write up any posts. Although it was good for one thing, I managed to re-watch all of Firefly (it didn't take that long as Fox canceled it after 14 episodes), which happens to be one of the best shows in the 'verse. I was prompted to do this after finding out that Xia: Legends of a Drift System's Kickstarter page was live. Despite what it may sound, this is not a racing game, this is a sci-fi which board game designer Cody Miller has been working on for nine years!

Xia: Legends of a Drift System 

The game board after set up

Xia: is described as a 3-4 player sandbox game. It was inspired by the idea of being a small time captain of a small starship (aka: Serenity) and making your way in the universe. Here is the blurb from Board Game Geek:

Xia: Legends of a Drift System is a 3-5 player sandbox style competitive space adventure. Each player starts as a lowly but hopeful captain of a small starship. 
Players fly their ships about the system, completing a variety of missions, exploring new sectors and battling other ships. Navigating hazardous environments, players choose to mine, salvage, or trade valuable cargo. Captains vie with each other for Titles, riches, and most importantly Fame.  
The most adaptive, risk taking, and creative players will excel. One captain will rise above the others, surpassing mortality by becoming Legend!
The aim of the game is to get the most fame points (FP) thus becoming the most famous ship captain. The sandbox style means there is multiple ways of doing this. You can be a trader  become a pirate  an explorer, a minor, a bounty hunter, or a combination.

Drift Systems

The game is set in a 'drift system' which is some kind of outer rim world which has skewed gravity fields making planetary orbits random. The drift system is the only one habitable by man and is called Xia.

The spaceships

A spaceship trading with a planet in Xia

The game comes with 15 spaceship miniatures 3 which are NPC's and 12 which you can buy and use in Xia. There are 3 tiers of ships and all the players start with a tier one ship. These all have names such as the Puddle Jumper. The ship has a certain number of spaces which you can outfit with technology such as engines, guns, missiles and shields. The spaces remaining are used for transporting cargo. All in all this looks like a fun component of the game, designing and upgrading your spaceship.

Here are the components of the game

The Rules and Final thoughts

I have flicked through the PDF rules which you can get from the Kickstarter website. Well to be honest I am not 100% convinced, maybe about 70%. Why so? I guess flying round space, simply mining astroids or trading resources seems a little unexciting to me, although combat seems neat but not a major part. The setting is kind of fun however and the art pretty good but not amazing. I love the idea of piloting my own starship like Captain Malcolm Reynolds from Firefly. However in this game it seems that trading, mining etc. are just game mechanics and the theme may not quite overcome that. 

Well I am sceptical, so I won't invest in the Kickstarter. Maybe I will be better off Getting Firefly: the game when it is released. However I am keen to give the game a shot sometime and hopefully be convinced otherwise! 

One of the ships loaded up,
the orange objects are damage markers

Check out the Kickstarter website here. Photos taken from the Kickstarter site. 
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