Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Bolt from the Blue

Hello people.

Not a lot to post about recently due various reasons but I have managed to roll a decent number of dice with Rich's Pacific Bolt Action setup.

Not one if played before, but heard and noticed a fair bit about, so brace yourself for another, soon to be trademark, impressionistic review. From what I had read and heard I got the impression of a typically Warlord / Rick P open ended system for more open minded "gentleman" wargamers. 

So, games at the club Tuesday and down at TTN Sunday were setup. Rich is our chief system junkie and we'd heard that BA was getting a lot of table-time locally. The other piece of scuttlebutt was that 15mm with the same 6x4 ground scale was the way to go.

In short Tuesday night was a four way affair with two virgins and plenty of flicking back and forth through the rulebook. Initially I liked the feel and the look of the scale but found nothing ground breaking. Squad activation by blind drawing of order dice is cool but hardly unheard of. Solid but hardly inspirational?

By the end of the game the importance of the pinning mechanic became clear as the defining element of the game. Once appreciated this gives the game something of a "realistic" gritty attrition. Suddenly command squads are properly important with proper platoon tactics required. 

Not headline grabbing neon but that's to miss the point, that's not what BA is about!

Sunday's game was, as might be expected, a fair slicker affair as Rich's USMC assaulted my Jap held hill.

The game also revealed a lot of BAs nuances. Lt Nakamakamora was shredded in the pre-game preparatory bombardment with my command squad taking half the game to properly preserve his remains! This wasn't as crippling as you might have fought but with USMC Lt Slaughter leading the assault it provided an effective demonstration of the mechanic.

Along with the usual "what we did wrong last time" FAQ the game really began to shine as the pearl that it is. Not beer and pretzels, far more tea and crumpet!

As for Sunday's game Rich went for something of a pincer, pushing hard on his left while a single platoon was urged up the hill by Lt Slaughter. In hindsight I got a bit suckered into the main battle on my right, successfully blunting the USMC assault but failed to support my left quickly enough as my artillery support continuously failed to come in on either time or target.

In short Rich took the ridge and raised the Stars and Stripes but paid with the destruction of the remainder of the the platoon for an overall Draw. My lack of command did limit me and lead me into being a bit over cautious. The Pinning and Command really came to the fore and defined the game.
I'm really looking to the next outing!

15mm really suits the game and once again raises the idea that if I wasn't so invested across the board in 28mm I'd definitely be trading in! Time to dig out my Jap Naval Marines :)
That's quite a hill...could do with a Flag!
First wave of USMC crest the ridge.
The armour engagement is swift and brutal. Jap win!

The line advances

Japs pinned, USMC assault!
Flag of your Father?
Final USMC wave breaks cover.....
.........only to be decimated byt the counter-assault!

Monday, 17 February 2014


As I was a bit lazy last night welcome to "What I Painted Last Week" Monday featuring A Few Uruks More.

But I digress.....

First up any Warband needs a Shaman to look after it's spiritual well being and dig around in a variety of entrails to guide his Warlord's sword arm. I particularly enjoyed the paint-job going for quartered woad and white as nods to both sides of the historical / fantasy house. I also rather like his flayed loin-cloth complete with hand. I imagine that the pouch holds runes of multiple uses.

As a fairly standard rousing sword waver this chap has Trusty Lieutenant written all over him. Solid but not overly dynamic he probably quite happily leads a group of Heartguard and is quite happy with his lot in life. Reave, pillage, eat, sleep, repeat. Probably prime logistic manger material!

Fairly sure this is Ugluk, a natural born second in command either loyal to the hilt or constantly plotting a coup that doesn't involve him having to go toe to toe with Bolg. The figure lends itself to painting very well, even manged a few lowlight reds in the lining of his great-coat. Sure that must be an elf he's waving around, or just a peasant!
For some reason Grishnak was something of a diva in front of the camera but we got there eventually. He's come up as even more of a cantankerous old git than he does in the film. He'll definitely be employed herding the Gobbo Levy into battle.
And finally the first few Fatigue marker. Got a few more of these on the way and a bunch of kite shields from Rich to pile up.

So, 8 Painting Points for the lot sits just about right, just need to get the Gobbos done and then some games!

Saturday, 15 February 2014

All Stirred Up

Hello people,

Not a lot of hobby-love to share thiss week until myself and Rich headed up to Milton Keynes for the Guardians of Tyr's Dreadball Tournament Season.
opening Round of

As previously I had two teams in mind in the Terratons, as a more challenging but rewarding team to play, or the Nameless as the stronger tourney team. Either way I was going to spend my extra 20MC on a Coach and a pair of Coaching Dice so, as I have before, I flipped a coin on it......... and came up Terraton.

Long story short I brought this home but still managed four good games out of five and a fun day.

As I've waxed before I really enjoy playing Dreadball, even when I'm not winning. I'm happy that I played pretty well, made a few mistakes and had my share of crap dice but no hosings. I also learnt a little bit more and once again came away re-enthused for a game that has to make it onto my all time top 3!

Chatting on the way home we both agreed that, like many systems, DB league and tourney rules can be abused, which doesn't put me off in the same way as with other games, BUT can be really awesome when played by good mates.

There was also a cherry to the cake when Robert, my Forge Father opponent with whom I shared and excellent game, offered me his prize for the day, the Azure Forest MVP chap, simply because he already had one. Nice touch that, one geek to another, even at a tourney.

Godd stuff :)

Monday, 10 February 2014

Monday Maul

Evening people,

Not much brush-time recently but I have managed to humanise the Uruks and all with a more diverse set of skintones. I've also managed to pick a couple of Uruk Captains, an Uruk Shaman and an Orc Captain I forget the name of along with a bunch of resin skulls to make up Fatigue markers.

I've also got a bid in on a Moria Troll and a few more goblins......... :)

Saturday, 8 February 2014

I've watched R2-D2 knock one out!

Was just one of the several apparent Freudian slips featuring in this Wednesday's fortnightly instalment of Star Wars EotE.

NOTE: I've decided to try and make there write ups easier by using character names only, there's a a hopefull handy key on the right.

Back with the same group of four as last time out the chaps toddled off to Ronson Heavy Chemicals on the trail of Kanto the Toydarian terror.

Initiating Vague Plan A the lads did the once around the plant and the local area. With Ronsons they were particularly keen to locate the security cameras. Very sensible, Perception rolls please.
So...all four of you manage to fail, though Sindori starts a trend for the evening by failing with FIVE advantage! Erm...WTF!
Relying on good old GM making stuff up on the spot Sin didn't notice a single camera but did manage to notice;
- The relative layout of the admin, production and loading blocks
- The make up of the workforce and distinctly separate security
- The freshly repaired industrial shredder that looked like it had recently had a fight with a speeder 
- The tech called in to try and repair the recently malfunctioning company protocol droid

Cool, didn't expect that one by dealt with after a bit of thought which is the real beauty of the EotE dice.

Coming up with Vague Plan B Agenai decided to go knocking for work with 7-UP-0 in tow. Breezing in against all expectation the interview didn't go too well, mainly due to a lack of cover story. Apparently just being Transdoshan or being fluent in 6 million forms of, including binary, doesn't really cut it when operating heavy machinery.

Throwing a bone Agenai "negotiated" 7-UP-0 a one day trial in the office. On the way out he realised that such things as day rate, terms and conditions etc had passed him by, "I've been mugged of there!". Yes, mainly by yourself though 7-UP-0 has a nice shiny restraining bolt and a full system check sans charge!
Meanwhile Sindori and Perit were keeping a watchful eye on the street and noticed a second set of watchers one of whom clocked Sindori, Sucess with Threat, and slid off round the corner of a nearby cantina. Sin followed to find him chatting to a similarly garbed Barabel both of whom gave him the stink eye.

Not being one for subtlety Sin went route 1 in a first contact sort of way, refusing to take no for an answer, and something of a barney ensued. Cue further random EotE dice as the Barabel brawled with a Triumph and net Advantage but with a Failure actually failed to hit!

This isn't a complaint, quite the opposite, it just gives more scope which for decent players prepared to put in a bit of effort is a big plus.

Long story short Bad Lad 1 legged it, with suspicious messenger bag, as the Barabel fought a delaying action before staggering after him after a proper ding-dong with Sin. Meanwhile, Bad Lad 3 got permanently dropped by Agenai while Bad Lad 4 demonstrated just how effective Perit's Tranq- Rifle can be!

All of this did set off a few alarms in the Ronson security station but 7-UP-0 was obviously enjoy his servicing far too much and failed to notice on a repeated basis.

Cue a rapid exit stage right to a symphony of jack boots and barked commands.

So, that's Ronsons successfully infiltrated  by the group's medic, plus restraining bolt, a rival group identified, the announcement of their presence and a heavily bruised Sindori.

Success, Failure, Advantage or Threat? You tell me!

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Aces High?

This Tuesday night down at Enfield Gamers was distinctly aerial with a run out of Wings of War and then a quick blast of ST:AW.

Wings was a four-way continuation of the Battle of Britain campaign a the Germans moved on to launching raids against the the South coast radar stations. Jumping in I started with my two rookie pilots in Hurricanes along with Shado's more experienced chaps. Rich and Damien meanwhile came from newly occupied Frances with a couple of Heinkels and a fighter escort.

The pluck Brits lined up as far from the ME-109s as possible and picked on one bomber at a time. Those Heinkels pack a lot of guns, with a lucky first burst that downed young Chalky Perkins. Thankfully the yellow nosed buggers seemed to have had a heavy night on the Chablis and had a few issues co-ordinating their efforts. 

In short without much air cover not a single bomb was released on good ol' blighty, though a couple of pilots landed without their planes! Good game, simple mechanics, that don't get in the way of the game itself, but plenty of variation and double guessing within it. Home for medals, tea and crumpet!

Skipping on Ian then "lessoned" me with STAW with his flagship Romulan fleet. I've played against Mr C's enough time but Ian tried out a few new things including Romulan Pilot, which had a major effect! I was trying out a 4 ship Klingon build with two Brels and two K'Tingas for plenty of firepower but a touch a fragility. I quite simply never managed to bring it to bear, made a couple of mistakes, forgot a few bits and then rolled some shocking dice!

All in all something of a perfect storm for Ian and a lesson in the power of manouvre for me.......and Flagships!

Sunday, 2 February 2014

You got a real pretty mouth!

Evening all,

Standard Sunday night "look at what I've painted" post as I've finished off my SAGA Mordor Orcs. Following Bolg, literally and figuratively, I've gone for a "human" fleshtone with some green washes in there for a bit of a tint.

In fact I've deliberately gone out of my way to paint them up as a dirty, scumbag rabble of inbred scum with a high incidence of shuffling gait and exaggerated overbite. Lots of pre-higlight and wash work which I'm very happy with. So happy in fact that I'm 90% going back to the Uruks to replicator the skin tone as mountain wild men gone even wronger. Will likely have a go at a mix of darker skintones as a nod to their "heritage".

So another 32 PPs and just the Goblin levy to go for the generic 6 point force of proper scum. I'm thinking lots of leathers for these chaps as the models have a lot of armour that is simply not representative of their station in life!

So far I haven't sorted any banners or musicians.....duelling banjos anyone :)