Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas and Happy Gaming

I've actually done quite a bit of gaming and modelling since the last post but because of the busy season this will be a relatively short entry.

I've started the Christmas gaming season with a bang. Ian and Julian came down from Yarmouth for the day while Shawn came in from the city and we played some Malifaux using the Christmas scenario's from the Wyrd web site. Julian, Tristan and I also played a game of Blood Bowl Team Manager by Fantasy Flight Games while Ian and Shawn played out their epic game.

I also finished painting a few figures for Ian so that he could take them home with him. I'll post those pictures on the commission page.

Ian and his stat card.

Ian thinking?

And Julian with a stat card!

Perdita's crew trying to spread Christmas cheer to Malifaux.

The Peacekeeper after singing a lovely coral.

The epic battle to collect presents continues...and continues...

Tristan and I have also started our Dust Tactics campaign which is even after the first two scenarios of the Blue Thunder scenario book.

In the midst of the second battle.

Earlier Chet and I got in a game of Flames of War, starting a small trial Infantry Aces campaign before we drag in more players for a full scale one.

The Germans held out in a building just out of view and could not be dislodged.

I have also started to run a D&D game for Tristan and a couple of his friends. They seemed to have enjoyed the first two sessions and we are planning another one over the break.

The PC's entering the night's climatic conclusion, it ended well.

I forgot to mention in my last post that my wife found a great find at Frenchies, a used "stuff" store. It was a old Avalon Hill game and the pieces were still unpunched!

Well that's it till the New Year. I plan on finishing the Dust Tactics campaign and hope to get in a few other games over the Holidays. So cheers to all and enjoy yourselves. See you in the new year.


Sunday, December 4, 2011

Games and Christmas Preparations

Christmas season is approaching and it is getting time to plan the annual Christmas game that Tristan and I usually wage. In the past we have always played a large Lord of the Rings miniature game but we might mix it up this year and play a series of connected scenarios of a different skirmish game possibly Malifaux or Dust Tactics. 

I have been able to get some hobby in, working on some terrain and figures. I have started to paint up some Malifaux figures for a friend of mine and plan on finishing those this week. I also started working on about 7' of river sections which I have made wide enough that it should be usable in all the scales I use from 15mm to 28mm. Of course I will have to build different bridges which I will make as I need them.

I also got in a number of games. At A Few Glued Men(Superstore group) I played a game of Warmachine using my Cygnar Battlebox set and a 600pt game of Flames of War. I pulled out a win with both these games. The Flames of War game was more of a refresher game as I haven't played in quite some time but it came back to me fairly quickly. We are planning on trying the Infantry Aces campaign once we gather enough interested parties and to this end one of the guys and I are going to run through a shortened version to try it out first.

At Shawn's place four of us got in a game of Ravenloft which was fun as this was the first time I have played the game with more than two players before and we were victorious defeating the Dracolich.

I also played a solo game of Force on Force to refresh the rules in my head and to play the intro scenario again before I get the game group together to give it another go. The first time we played we had interpreted a number of the rules wrong. The game played fast enough and this time instead of changing the measurements to match the 20mm scale (which we had done last time) I increased the number of turns and kept all measurements the same while playing on a slightly larger board than that given in the book. I liked this method better as there was no measurement conversion. I also used the Fog of War events deck removing any cards related to vehicles and air assets.

The beginning of the river sections. They are 6" wide and 2' long. I have marked 1" along each side for the river banks. I also primed them to reduce warping when I add the river banks and paint.

The river banks getting built up.

The end of turn 1. The US army has moved into the lower buildings before pushing into town. The burning HMMWV's are terrain pieces only.

Turn 2. The first US sections move up under cover of the other 2 sections. The US has already taken a KIA due to some lucky shots on one of the overwatch teams. (which were not very alert)

An Iraqi sniper wounds 2 Americans. This entire team became lightly wounded with one KIA.

The US are still pushing forward though the amount of fire is slowing the advance.

A look up the street to the objective building on the left.

The end of the battle. The US advance was held up short of the objective and some very lucky last turn fire takes down a US section(lower left) while concentrated fire also downed the US section in the upper triangular building with the 2nd section trying to get to them to apply some 1st Aid. Note: the Iraqi soldiers in the upper right are actually dead soldiers I removed from the building to reduce clutter.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Distractions and Halcon

The problem with this hobby, which many of us suffer from, are the many distractions that come along the way and direct our hobby energies from one focus to another. Then some event pops up and we realize all the projects that are just hanging around.

Lately I've been distracted by the Dust Tactics models that for some reason I decided all needed to be painted. Originally my thought was to paint the flesh and then just put a wash over the whole figure because they come pre-primed anyways, all the Axis are grey and all the Allies are green. The detail is reasonably good so I thought the wash would be good enough to bring out the details but of course once I started my thought was, "well if I'm putting paint on them I might as well add some color".  So as it turned out I painted them up so each unit looked a little different than the others that way they would be easy to distinguish and though I didn't give them the full paint treatment I did more than I was planning. The sculpts look good and with a little effort they look pretty nice. I painted them all in about 2 weeks and am pleased with the way they look.

So then I wanted to do some prep to get a demo game of Malifaux ready for Halcon, a sci-fi/fan convention held in Halifax, Nova Scotia. And though I really like the ease of storage and transport of foam army cases the down side is, if I don't see the unpainted models I'm a lot less likely to paint them until I open the case and go "oh that's not painted yet". Anyways with all the Dust painting I've been doing I had no time to paint up any of the Malifaux figures that I probably should have been doing.

But Halcon went well. We ran two 4 hour demo sessions which seemed to go well with new players trying it out the whole time and the Saturday session probably could have gone for twice the time. The crews were kept small and simple but we did make some minor adjustments as we went to even the crew match ups a bit better for new players. We had two of us running the demos, me and Ian from the The Aether Vox, which worked out well as we always had someone available to explain game mechanics and also the abilities and possible tactics with the crews we were familiar with.

A couple of the guys from New Brunswick, Jordan and Tyler that had come down for my Malifaux weekend earlier this year were down for Halcon and even though I didn't get a game in with then it was good to see them and Tyler helped out a bit at the demo as well.

I also managed to get in a number of games in the last few weeks,  two games of Dust, the Strategy Game with my son, which is a fun and quick world conquest game.  I lost both of these games but in my defense the second game I gave Tristan some last turn advice which turned a potential tie to a win for him, but a well played game by him all around. I also played three games of Warmachine at the Superstore game night which was a lot of fun. I played two battle box games and one larger 25 pt game with 2 wins and 1 loss.  The next Superstore night I am getting in a game of Flames of War which I haven't played in some time so I am looking forward to that. There seems to be a number of players in the area so we might see if we can get an Infantry Aces campaign under way.

I guess that's it for now, see you in a few weeks. Oh ya, of course my Flames of War Germans aren't quite finished because they've been packed away!

Some of the costumes at Halcon.

The Stormtroopers looked great, better than the originals which I've seen at the Smithsonian.

The games room at Halcon.

The Malifaux demo table.

Demos in action, everyone seemed to enjoy it, Tyler's standing to the left.

Ian, offering sagely advice.

The Axis, Dust Tactics.

The Allies, Dust Tactics.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Battlefields of France

So I have come back from visiting France and Belgium on a Canadian War Memorial tour which proved to be a interesting and sobering 10 days. We were in Caen, Juno Beach area (including some of Gold and Pegasus Bridge), Ardennes abbey, Dieppe and then north to numerous WWI sites such as Beaumount-Hamel(the Somme), Vimy Ridge (I found our name on the Vimy Memorial which I knew was their but of course had never seen it) and Ypres. We also saw a V2 site near Calais then on to London seeing Churchill's war room before catching our flight home.

I did not take any pictures of my 28mm Canadian soldier on any of the sites we visited as it did not seem right to do so.

Gaming wise it has been fairly light for obvious reasons but I did get in a few board games with my son. We played War of the Ring by Fantasy Flight Games and we used the Battles of the Third Age expansion for the first time. I really enjoy this game and I think this was the funnest game of it I've yet played with many cinematic moments and it came down to a military victory for Sauron(commanded by my son) with Frodo climbing up of Mount Doom almost within reach of his goal. It could have gone either way right up to the last so even though I lost I really had fun. The other game I played was a couple of scenarios of Dust Tactics which I have played before and though I could see the potential in the game it hadn't really grabbed me with it's lack of depth out of the box but since then I have added a couple of units to the mix and the game was a blast to play, quick and deadly.

I have also managed to get some modelling in building a platoon of 15mm M4's by the Plastic Soldier Company which I will be using for Flames of War and also working on the Napoleonic French fleet which is coming along nicely. I will post some pictures shortly.

Well I guess that's about it for now though as I was looking through my unpainted lead and plastic I realize I've got alot of catching up to do but don't we all!

Plastic Soldier Company M4 Shermans.

The platoon of 5.

A Battlefront miniature in the background.

My first squad for Dust Tactics.

Friday, September 23, 2011

I'm Away

I'm off Monday for 10 days. Dad and I are going on a Canadian war memorial tour through France and ending in the UK. I'm looking forward to it and I will post some pics when I get back. My wife suggested that I take one of my minis with me and take pictures of him and various sites and seeing as I am painting up some WWII Canadians I thought I might take the Sgt along with me.

I am almost on schedule for the painting I wanted to get done so that's good for a change. I finished off the modern urban fighters for Force On Force and started on the Napoleonic ships. I also started building some 15mm Shermans by the Plastic Soldier Co. I am planning on using them for Flames of War and they should be fine though they are slightly smaller than the Battlefront miniatures. I also started to put together my Battlefront German half tracks. I had finished the infantry some time ago but had not done anything with their transports as I was just intending to use them as grenadiers but if the transports are built it will give me more options on what sort of unit I can field. With minor adjustments I can easily field a regular grenadier company or an armoured grenadier company or even a straight up armour company. 

I also managed to get in a game of Malifaux at the game night against my regular opponent though at the next gathering we will probably switch up opponents. The game was my Guild with Perdita vs. Levitecus. The first half of the game I had under pretty good control but it slipped away towards the end. My selection of schemes was not the best which made it to hard for me to close the VP gap. I will have to study the schemes a little better before I play next.

And one last thing, I found a store not too far away which has a very good selection of Flames of War stuff. So if you are in Nova Scotia and can get to Gametronics in New Minas check them out.

Urban Resisters by Caesar Miniature.

Sgt "Smith" about to embark for France.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Games, Books and Film(ing)

Once again, little has been accomplished. I have yet to get the second game of Force on Force in because of scheduling issues with players(including me), in the summer that is always a problem but of course in the winter there is usually a storm to mess up a game weekend! Oh well what can you do.

I did get in a game of Warmachine using my 25 pts of Cygnar vs. a Menoth force and this was a lot more fun than I was expecting. Jumping up from a battle box to a small force added a lot of depth to the game and I didn't feel completely overwhelmed despite having not played in quite awhile. I was kept in the game by Shawn's bad dice rolls when I had left Stryker vulnerable for a few turns before I could get him back to safety but overall I felt that I had a good handle on the game and could have won but the hour was late and I attempted a do or die move and ended up dieing. But the game was fun non the less. I took some good photos but still I am not sure how to get them off my phone, some time I will actually have to see how that is done.

I have been painting up the rest of my insurgents for FoF but this is mainly for extra's we may need or if I want a game without Eric around who has all the non US forces. After they are finished, probably this week, I will move on to my USMC and the 1/1200 Napoleonic ships I have left including some for Eric.

On a slightly different note a good friend of mine  had sent me a copy of some old AD&D books that I had previously sold, no doubt to pay rent when I was much younger,  which was a nice trip down memory lane thinking of gaming all night with chips and 2L bottles of pop.

I also played a short session of WHFRP, Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay with my oldest son and someone I can't mention which went pretty well and was fun to do, we will probably continue the story at some point.

My F1 2010 career is going well. I recently picked up the Logitech steering wheel and peddles and though I don't know if my lap times are any better it certainly is fun. I finished season 1 of a 3 season career placing better than the team's expectations(but less than mine) but got beat out by my chosen rival. Now I am starting season 2 with a win but I always seem to do well on the first track, it may be down hill from here!

And just as a side "cool" note, they were filming a mini-series right in front of my house. I came home and Pierce Brosnan was standing on my front yard. They filmed for 2 and a bit days and it was very cool to watch the process. So when "Bag of Bones" by Stephen King comes on TV there will be one scene in which I can say "that's my house". Unfortunately I had to take down our Canadian flag for the filming as it was supposed to be Maine.

The original covers for AD&D. Pat sent me the Player's book and Deities & Demigods.

My steering wheel arrangement for F1 2010 for PS3.

My house lit up for filming with a fake full moon.

The film crew, my lawn is on the left side of the road, Pierce is in there somewhere.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Force on Force Trial Game

Well I actually got the first game of FoF in. We had four players altogether including me.  And how did it go you ask...well it took a few turns to get the flow of the game and we made numerous mistakes along the way so although we did get the feel for the game I think we are going to do a replay fairly soon now that we have a better understanding of the rules. When we do that game I will do a proper after action report. Suffice it to say on this run through the US Army dealt a crippling blow to the Insurgents in Fallujah  though they did not reach their final objective by games end. I think the replay will be a lot harder on the US Forces when we do the reactions correctly.

I found the rules reasonably ok to read and they are fairly well indexed but sometimes the rules wording seems a little unclear though all questions are quickly answered on the forums either by the game designers themselves or any number of helpful members. They have recently put up a detailed turn example which was really useful too. I think these rules will be a lot of fun and quick to play once we get the hang of them which I don't think will take too long. Eric and I both went out and bought more d8 so we'll be ready.

I also managed to pick up a copy of the next scenario book for FoF with scenarios from Afghanistan called Enduring Freedom.

As long as we like the rules we are going to start the USMC scenarios from Road to Baghdad so there will be yet more figure painting in my near future!

I haven't played any other games and I missed the Superstore games night last month but I should be able to make the next one and I should be getting a  game with Shawn this week.

So hopefully I will get in a few games before the next blog. Oh, I almost forgot I have been making up some characters for Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, WHFRP, for a super secret game group.(let's just say I don't have to leave the house to play but I have been sworn to secrecy so...shhhh).

The start positions, US Army still to enter.

The US Army enters the board.

The players, plus 1. Shawn(my Malifaux opponent) kept on trying to cast spells!

The hand of doom.

The US has advanced near the objectives and most of the Insurgents are down.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Game Prioritizing

So I've come back from a week of camping with the family and for obvious reasons have not gotten a lot of gaming in but probably more than I should have.

Before I headed out I managed to get together with Shawn and played a couple of board games. We played a game of Monsterpocalypse which was fun but it took me about half the game to get the swing of it and I think it would take some time to get all the unit interactions worked out and I am not sure I liked it enough to invest the time. The same night we played a game of Dust Tactics which is a very quick game to play but suffers from a lack of depth in game play, at least with the units that come in the starter box. I suspect it will be better with a mix of more units. Fantasy Flight is coming out with a miniature set of rules for Dust called Dust Warfare written by Andy Chambers which should be worth checking out.

My son Tristan and I played a game of Space Hulk which was a lot of fun with my last Terminator being dragged to his death just before completing the mission.

While camping my son and I played Ascension which was another fun game(and easy to transport).

Eric and I had a discussion about which miniature games we would like to keep in a regular game play rotation. To meet this criteria we wanted a game we can play in about 4 hours and the rules should provide a good feel of the period but not require to much time to master the rules while the tactics we don't mind spending the time to work out.

So this is the list we came up with

Trafalgar- 1/1200 Napoleonic Naval
Lasalle- 15mm Napoleonic
Flames of War- 15mm WWII
Disposable Heroes- 28mm WWII skirmish
Force on Force- 20mm Modern skirmish

Infinity- SF skirmish
Malifaux- Fantasy skirmish
Warmachine- Fantasy skirmish

Of course being a war gamer there are others that will be played but maybe not as frequently.

Next game up should be Force on Force and I will probably do up a full fledged battle report as this will be are first game of this system. Hopefully we will be playing this within a couple of weeks so that should be in the next entry.

Friday, July 15, 2011

A Quick One

This is just a quick post as I have sort of taken it a little easy after the Malifaux event to let the gaming aura dissipate from the house.

I did get in another game of Malifaux against my son at the Superstore game night which had a great turn out with 16 or so people there. The game went well, Tristan is getting a good handle on the rules and starting to get his crew figured out.

I want to try to get a historical game played at the Superstore next meeting in August.

On the modelling front I finished off the first US modern infantry squad and have started the second one, so Force on Force will be ready to go soon. I also received the Fog of War deck from Ambush Alley games this week so that will be in place for the FoF game.

And last but not least my F1 career on the PS3 has been continuing along with ups and downs. I much prefer the challenge presented by raising the difficulty level up.

My first finished squad for Force On Force, US army.

A Few Glued Men, at the Superstore. Malifaux being played here.

Hordes and Warmachine with A Few Glued Men.