Monday, 27 April 2015

Obligatory SALUTE 2015 post; Making the Most??

Hello people,

Yes it's that time of the year when the blog-o-sphere is awash with my SALUTE posts so here's my hopeully vaguely alternative version!

As previously mentioned I rocked up with Shaun and Craig (aka the McTagues and yes it is supposd to rhyme!) as a bit of a last minute thing approaching the day as a social event first and a wargames show second. As a social event it was a blinder as I caught up with various gaming buddies and former GW colleagues and regulars (there's actually quite a decent overlap :]). BIG WIN!!
As a wargames show it was SALUTE. There were plenty of traders and games with plenty of pretty about the place. It was noticeable that industry standards continue to rise as the modern / new school continues to make up ground on the old and to be honest the old is looking OLD. CAD designed plastics and plesin is most deinitely the way forward.

For mysel I picked up the Bolt Action Order Dice that in NEEDED along with a pack of Warlord "Tank Smoke" along with some brushes and lock to replenish supplies. Searching about I located a 4 for 3 Show Deal on Infinity to take advantage of. This was allowed under the Current Project loophole on the basis that at least four of us, now five are making the investment. As such it was Aleph for Dave, Tohaa for Rob and a couple of Combined Army Starter Sets or my goodself ;) As you may have noticed they've been added to the sidebar.

On balance I had a decent day out but in honesty I went because I had the day free and Shaun was going anyway. I went with a purpose and managed all but a game of To the Strongest which wasn't too big a deal in the end. Othewise I doubt I would have made the effort and that's kind of the point. Catching up with people there was a lot of "same time next year". Quite probably but I need to be getting a bit more from the day, it's no longer a given.

Anyway, on with the pretty;

Monday, 20 April 2015

Marked for Death?

Hello people,

As shocking as it might be I've actually completed a hobby project that doesn't involve X-Wing!
Behold 24 custom made pin markers for my Brit Commandos and yes I do indeed expect to get shot that much ;) As I'm sure you've noticed they're little piles of British helmets which were spare on the sprue as the vast majority of my "geezers" are instead wearing thier fabled green berets. 

The whole idea just fitted well. Six Painting Points for the lot and they should see some action tomorrow night against Damien's rank and file tommies. A "training exercise" apparently though I've never had a problem with that sort of thing. I'm sure I can be Brandenburgers if push comes to shove ;)

I've also picked up a ticket for Salute on Saturday. I wasn't going to go as there's nothing you can't order online these days and between entry, travel and refreshments it's far from a cheap day out these days. 

However, Shaun is going anyway to see several men about figures and ill catch up with a load of old gaming and GW cronies that I wouldn't see otherwise. Chuck in the chance to play a couple of games of To the Strongest with the author and I was persuaded.

Many moons ago shows were a standard monthly event but far rarer these days. Even buying my ticket has gone virtual with a VR bar-code sent direct to my phone.

I do NEED some replacement Order Dice and will definitely browse KR while I noticed the other day that Crooked Dice will be releasing some cleverly named classic cylons. Otherwise we'll see what happens though I fancy a decent squizz at the painting competition and continue to live in hope of winning the prize draw.

Now that I'm going boots on the ground I'm determined to get the best from the day. Possibly a lesson in there somewhere :p

Meanwhile some of the Pulp City has found an undercoat and the smoke markers need some consideration.

Let's see what Saturday brings!

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Yankee Zulus

Hello people,

Something of a phonetic reference as I've finished up my Scum Y-Wings and Z95s. Keeping with the crimson, bone and check scheme was easy enough and hopefully they don't look too busy for it.

My Scum roster currnetly stands at two Firesprays, two HWKs, two Y-Wings and 4 Z95s which is plenty to be flying with or a while at least up until the club's Scum & Villany Event Day.

Pretty happy with them and six Painting Point on the scoreboard, plus another two for the last couple of TIEs but it's all about what comes next!

I did start putting my Pulp City stuff together but found my files and pin drill in dire need of replacement. The fact that I hadn't noticed tells me a lot about where my hobby has been recently.
As such I've decided that I must complete two non X-Wing projects before releasing any more Scum for use. The Bolt Action pin and smoke markers are a definite while I also still need to replace the MIA order dice. They are first on the Salute shopping list :)

Pulp City is highly likely to be project #2 and at that all of it. There's a purpose to this and otherwise I'm just cheating myself.

Just because I've worked out a scheme for the IGs doesn't count......much......honestly ;)

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

To INFINITY and Beyond?

Hello people,

Last Wednesday night Jon came over and brought Operation Icestorm with him.

I have an admission to make. I've been immensely tempted by ININITY for a number of years but haven't done anything about it. Other than the time / money issues I've been most put off by getting enough games. I'd also heard that the mechanics were a bit fiddly and potentially rather gamey. A couple of years ago at Salute I almost cracked to the point of picking up the 2nd Edition rulebook and two starter sets at a startling good price. I eventually them down again!

I've always really liked the aesthetic of the game, the figures, the races, the setting....everything. It feels very Blade-Runner to me and I've always loved that. I very nearly pre-ordered Op Icestorm but was put off by the paper play-mat and then I spent the money elsewhere.

So back at Wednesday night we ran through the five beginner missions in the box that run along the narrative of a raid by a Nomad strike-force on a PanOceania facility. Starting with three grunts vs three grunts a figure / unit is added each mission along with thier additional abilites / rules / actions. Pretty straight forward but well thought out none the less.
 As or mechanics it's a skirmish game. You get one activation token per figure on the table at the beginning of the turn. You spend one activation token to give a figure two ativations from Move, Shoot, Close Combat Attack, Dodge and Special which you can take in any order. I you have a Leutenant you get a bonus activation token, only usable by them. You can spend multiple tokens on the same figure OTHER than if your Leutenant has just bought it. The turn after individual figures can only spend the activation tokens that they generate.

The big difference with Ininity is Automatic  Reaction Orders, AROs. Once a figure has performed an action all enemy figures that can draw line of sight get an ARO and can Shoot (single shot), Move, Dodge as a "Face Off" reaction. It's basically a built in Overwatch, similar to the NUTS WWII ruleset. As such tactical movement and activation is key, if you go charging in you'll get shot and combat in this game is BRUTAL.
Five quick games in it feels like grown up Necromunda, which is a good thing, a VERY good thing. The game is also very well supported by a very slick Website from which you can download a free set of the core rules, browse the fluff and make use of the Army Builder.

The figures are just as grown up as the game itself. Being true 30mm scale and multi-part pewter they're not novice friendly but they look awesome. In someways pretty cheap to get into with starter sets at about £35 you will need PLENTY of scenery and then a bit more!

As I'm sure you've realised I'm VERY keen to invest. I really fancy the Combined Army, especially the Morat and Shasvastii. Something about the alien jackboot seems to call to me :)

I have to admit that it's bonus to me that this ISN'T yet another Kick-Starter, but that's another story!!

Monday, 13 April 2015

Angel Interceptor

Hello people,

Another weekend, another X-Wing event. This time it was five rounds of relatively casual play organised by Scott Wilson up in Dunstable. Other than a minor issue over byes it was a good day out.
As is my recent habit I took a new list and placed mid table, one place ahead of Mr C, with two wins, a match win (draw) and two losses.

As much as I'd threatened to run 8 Academy TIEs I'd tried it out a bit in the week and realised that I'd really struggle with arc dodgers and possibly have some for of mental short circuit.

As such I borrowed a variation on one of Nigel's lists that he'd had good success with;
TIE Interceptor - Soontir Fel - Push the Limit - Autothrusters
TIE Fighter - Howlrunner
TIE Fighter - Academy x 4

Coming in at 98 points I was making a 2 point bid for intiative over any other swarm but when faced with other Pilot Skill 9s happily gave it away to move last to maximise manoeuvre, which surprised a couple of people. As I flew against two Fels and a Tycho this was well worth it.

In short when I flew Soontir well I did well and when I didn't I didn't. The third game, just after lunch which seems to be an issue for me, I flew like a chimp and got roundly spanked. Otherwise I competed well and had some excellent games.

I can see this being a go to list for a while as it's flexible but still challenging to fly. I'm decent with the mini swarm with enough brain space left for Soontir. Get better with him and the rest should follow.

For now with the Enfield Gamers Scum event on the horizon that's where my efforts will be focused for the foreseeable. 

Mmmmm Firesprays ; )

Saturday, 4 April 2015

Permission to Land

Hello people,

Just back from a day of casual flying up at Lost Ark. Five of us in the car made a good day out and half the field. I'd decided to give Project Lambda a proper run out and flew the ollowing;

Omicron Group Pilot - Heavy Laser Cannon - Fire Control System - Anti Pursuit Lasers
Omicron Group Pilot - Heavy Laser Cannon - Fire Control System - Anti Pursuit Lasers
Soonir Fel - Push the Limit - Royal Gaurd TIE - Stealth Device - Autothrusters

In short I won two of four games, most of which were pretty tight affairs........except the first one against Mr C's triple TIE Interceptor list. I honestly thought it would be the worst list I could face but he engaged me head on, lost Carnor Jax, and then ran off. After a while I hunted him down and his Soontir flew of the table.

Second game Dave T gave me another good game, and thrashing, though the score on the doors didn't really relect how the game went. Running a Decimator / Doomshuttle / Interceptor I dithered and then got clobbered by our regular dice bias. The final two games of the day were both hard fought, tense affairs, one of which edged my way, one the other.

Overall another good day out and I feel that running a pair of shuttles can be a decent, valid list. No-one expects it and the shock value goes a long way. Manouvre is crucial, get a bogey on your tail and it's all over. Soonitr works as well to tie ships up as much as shoot them down and is a huge amount of fun to fly well. Autothrusters used right are FECKING AWESOME.

Next week I'll be running the spectrum in the other direction and running an 8 TIE swarm.....