Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Armoured rifle platoon infantry finally finished

More than a few months back I began working on my Flames of War American armoured rifle platoon. After a 6 month holiday in Europe, working on some Empire of the Dead bobbies and plenty of procrastination I have finished the infantry. Unfortunately I still have 3 half tracks to go but at least its a big step forward to completing my American Hell on Wheels company.

The different squads are separated out as you can see

Command with the M3 37mm gun which can be swapped for a bazooka team

Rifle squad number 1

Rifle squad number 2

Mortar team

Light machine gun team

I broke this guys base while painting,
now he is limping along side his partner

The backs are labelled by squad to match their half tracks

labelled halftrack 

I quite like this platoon, it is nice have such a large diversity of units in a squad, yet the riflemen with ROF 1 keeps the cost down. It felt like quite a mission painting these guys up as it is a large platoon especially when you include the half tracks, however the most important thing is they will look amazing on the table alongside the rest of the company. 

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Twilight Imperium Steal

Not but a moment ago I won an auction on trade me (kinda like New Zealand Ebay) for Twilight Imperium 3. The auction was for a 80NZD buy now, however I went for the reserve price of 25NZD to see the auction run. This morning some guy bid on TI3 pushing me up to the steep price of 28NZDv

So what is TI3 you may ask? Well it is a game in the same vein as Eclipse where you are in control of a galactic civilisation. The general aim is to get 10 victory points by resource management, controlling planets, blowing each other up and politics. Yes politics, apparently this game has a pretty decent political dimension to it which makes it a stand out game. As I haven't played it I can only go on what I have read of the game.

A game in progress

Another thing which makes this game stand out is a whopping 8+ hours/whole day play time. That is in a nut shell why I didn't want to spend $150 as it is to much for a game which only gets to see the sunlight 1-2 times a year.

All in all I am pretty chuffed as $28 feels like I am pretty much stealing it. I must admit I feel pretty bad for the guy who probably spend a lot to get it new, it sat on his/her shelf for many years unused and he only gets 1/5 of the retail price. Alas I guess thats what happens if you make the reserve in an auction so low. 

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

2014 Briefing

Getting ready for another Flames of War game this week Dan and I stepped into the games room and this is what we found...

The thoughts of finishing last weeks game were crushed as Dans daughter had attempted her own game. It puts a whole new meaning on the phrase 'panzer parking lot'. So we decided the only possible solution was a pint at the pub and plan out 2014.

We discussed three key different gaming activities to be on the cards. Number one of course gaming and more specifically Flames of War. We decided to stress the fact that this was not just gaming, but training as Dan and I want to give competitive FOW a shot.

Board-gaming is number two. There are lots of games out there we want to give a shot. I am hoping to get a copy of Twilight Imperium an epic space game at some point. There are also a few new games on the shelf like Galaxy Trucker and Firefly the group is keen to take for a spin.

A stegosaurs has taken over the galaxy in Firefly

Lastly we want to give RPGs another shot but break away from D&D and it's shoddy combat mechanic (see details of our last adventures here). We have had ideas over the last while of Call of Cthulhu which has more of an emphasis on role-playing and investigation rather that combat. Cut out the bad and in with the new I say.

Happy Gaming for 2014!

Just a small side note. After last weeks Flames of War game I have had inspiration and have got back into painting. I just have been bogged down by my large american armoured rifle platoon so it is taking a while to finish. Photos of at least the infantry by the end of the week... hopefully.  

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Hobbiton Tour

Over the christmas break I traveled up to Matamata or as my ex boss liked to call it Matamatamata (don't know why but calling it Matamatamata got stuck in my head). While Peter Jackson was traversing around NZ in a helicopter he spotted a lovely spot in the country side of the metropolis which is Matamata (population 6000). After many visits to Matamata we decided as the whole family was together (which is no small feat due to them living all over the world) to fork out 75NZD each to see Hobbiton. I can't say I know for sure but I believe Hobbiton is just a name they came up with instead of The Shire. 

Hobbiton is what remains of the movie set from Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit movies. After the first films most of the set was destroyed however when they reconstructed it for the Hobbit they made it permanent for tourism purposes. Which is quite nice as it was a very cool tour seeing all the different hobbit holes all different shapes and sizes. Yes they are different sizes as we learnt that they used forced perspective in the film to make people look either bigger or smaller such as Gandalf and Frodo. Anyhow enough talking and some photos of some pretty neat modelling! 

Just incase you are tempted, the bread is made out of car tires. 

My wife and I playing Hobbits

At the top is bagend, the tree is also fake with leaves imported from China

A view of the Red Dragon Inn across the lake

Hobbit security is pretty advanced

The Red Dragon Inn, or was it Green Dragon...

My wife and I enjoying a free pint in the Red Dragon at the end of the tour. 

We discovered that the stout has an alcohol percentage of 1%. Critics tell us that it tastes like water, so we went with the ale which was aright.

All in all it was a fun trip although a little on the expensive side of things. I would recommend it if you are in the area and have a bit of cash to burn. Supposedly one of the tour guides is around 75 and does it for the love of the LOTR mythos. 

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Motivation test - FOW battle report

The last month has been on the busy side, family celebrations, moving houses and still working all but the statutory days. Is that an excuse for not doing much painting? Not really. Part of this was because when I did get drive to do some painting I couldn’t find my black spray-paint to undercoat some of my FOW troops. When I did find it I lost inspiration. I needed something to motivate me so Dan and I arranged to play a game of FOW last night. Unfortunately due to time constraints we didn’t get to play a full game but it was nice to get back into the swing of it again. And yes it worked, I have itchy fingers and am keen to get back to painting my Hell on Wheels’ army.

The table after set up. Unfortunately all the photos are a tad blurry

We set up for a game of no retreat, Dan defending with his fallschirmjager and I was attacking with his British guards. The table was something out of Lord of the Rings, rocky cliff faces, plenty of trees and a railroad track, they had railroads in LOTRs right? Not large amounts of terrain to hide as the defender yet not so great for advancing troops either. Dan hid one of the objectives behind the train station and I placed my objective out in the open. I set my troops up in two separate groups, one coming down from the side cliffs and another from the middle, Dan dispersed his infantry across the centre woodlands.

Half my troops ready for action! 
Turn 1

So turn one began, I advanced and rattled off some machine gun rounds, luckily I killed 1 of Dans, dug in gone to ground fallschirmjager troops. What are the odds, 6 to hit, 3+ infantry save then 6+ firepower test and there was no way I was getting a 7.

Dans turn arrived without reinforcements. Unfortunately I couldn’t get my cars, trucks and tanks into adequate cover as Dans PaK 40s were on the cliffs opposite the area terrain at ground level only provided concealment. Dan hitting on a 6 managed to blow up one of my tanks. He then rattled my armoured cars with machine gun fire from his machine-gun platoon in the nearby forest and unfortunately I failed a armour save (failing on a one) causing one to bail out although I think I destroyed it because I didn’t like it anyway… oops. Dan also moved his troops in the forest to the other side of the terrain.

Turn 2

Tanks moving in
Big mistake, I moved my tanks and cars up to the fringe of the area terrain within 15cm range of Dans troops and pummelled them with machine gun fire, only killing one team yet pinning them down. Then I charged in my armoured cars for an assault, the daimer dingo got bogged down but I under cover with Dans troops pined he was hitting on a 6+ as his anti-tank guns only had ROF 1, no hits. I successfully destroyed two teams and Dan failed both his motivation tests causing the team to fall back towards the objective at the train station.

After the assault

Moving towards the objective

Dan was crestfallen however he managed to unpin his troops but failed to dig them in. His StuGs arrived in reserved and moved up his left flank to destroy my 3ton trucks which I had not offloaded yet. Without being in machine-gun range he had to fire his main guns at long range and half ROF, all misses and his StuGs out in the open for next turn! The rest of his troops did some moving and shooting as I recall yet no hits unfortunately.

Dan's StuGs 

And then we called it.

Only two rounds in but it was a hoot. I think both Dan and I agree things were looking more in my favour yet I think there was still hope for Dan. The terrain probably wasn’t in his advantage either and setting his PaKs away from the action might not have been the best. However what we both agree is that FOW is a great game. As Dan describes it a true war game! The rules are admittedly rather complex but they do make for a highly strategic and thematic game. Achieving both is truly noteworthy of a great game. Now to get on with some painting!

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Stephen Fry miniature - a short interlude.

It has been a small while since I last wrote a post and I had planned to upload a post about a FOW game Dan and I had yesterday however somethings must come first, and the FOW post tomorrow.... It should come as no surprise really that Stephen Fry who plays the Master in The Hobbit Desolation of Smaug gets his own miniature. Admittedly an overpriced miniature being a games workshop product (note I am not responsible for my own words... Oh god please don't sue us GW for writing that).

Stephen Fry's Master of Lake-town
(Credit: Games Workshop)

A pretty neat figure really. Being a fan of Stephen Fry as a comedian and actor I thought this was noteworthy of a post. Oh and its our 101 post so doubly noteworthy.

To celebrate I will now share something else for your interest. My wife and I over the last few days have discovered an new TV show, its also French so if you don't like subtitles or the French don't read on. It is called The Returned and is about a small town where people who have died a number of years ago return from the dead seemingly just like they were before they died, There is also plenty of strange going ons in this town. It seems to fall into a drama / mystery / horror category and is reminiscent of shows such as the fabulous Twin Peaks. The Guardian rated it as the top show of 2013 and I think it is a 9/10. Don't take our word for it though, give it a shot!

Back to the regular programme tomorrow, perhaps. 
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