Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Cold Wars - 2017 - Part 2

Well time for the second part of the Cold Wars coverage, which is actually mainly the Friday stuff. As per normal policy I take one day to play in a tournament, and one day to pick up a couple of random games and do some shopping / hang out.

Brazen Chariots - Early War

As we have done for the past few years, we decided to get into one of Adam's games, a guy who did his own WW2 Tank game. Always some really nice terrain and models, so some good fun. This year the scenario was a What If type I guess with some Italian Tanks (Tankettes?) attacking into Tunisia I think it was and running into the French. We were on the Italian side, and had a mix of tanks, 2 platoons had been field modified with 20mm cannons, the rest had machine gunes, or heavy machine guns. I had the heavy machine gun type, also we had no radios, except on 2 motorcycle guys, so they would be needed to relay orders. The French had Panhards I think it was, they all had proper guns, but took a card to reload, and their command tanks had radios, but Morse code only!

Here are our tanks lined up ready to go.

Our attack was at the border, so there is a rather large fort, and to lines of barbed wire, with likely mines between them, along with a big wooded area. The remains of an Infantry attack on the fort from the day before are scattered around. On this side they are still active, on the other side they are all dead. Our Orders were to get in the Fort.

Doesn't look easy.

For the first bit we mainly raced forward, with these kind of guns you don't have much of a chance to kill at short range, never mind long range. On our flank we started to slow down to suppress the fort, and have a good look around to make sure there were no nasty surprises. I fired a round of bullets into the fort and got one guy, they mostly went to ground after that.

Moving to the wire, to start engaging the French. We have our not so useful MG tanks in the lead, with the cannons in the rear, so our important stuff isn't taking fire. I switched over to just suppressing the fort, and started creeping forwards.

A stray cannon shot explodes a mine, guys in the fort having a rough time I guess!

Chris plotting his advance into the courtyard, but there are now 2 units of French vehicles in there.

The big battle for the town. We didn't have much luck penetrating with the machine guns, the odds are pretty low. But it wasn't real easy for the French either with their low rates of fire, and not awesome odds either really. We lost the battle for the courtyard, but were mostly winning the long range gunnery duel across the minefield. I think both side kind of had 2 platoons gutted, but pretty low casualty rates for this game, early war third power guns and all that. The French were in the town, so they were the winners, but our suppression of the fort allowed our infantry to cross over and flank and start dismantling the mine field, so could be problematic for them in the following scenario which continue on. We could only play in one thou so not sure how it turned out after.

Sangin Platoon +:

After supper we played in a play test game for a new version of Skirmish Sangin, this one is being basically simplified so you can have platoon level and higher games. We had a bunch of Taliban, with some RPGs and MG, vs a bunch of British Soldiers, way over in the other corner. So a bit like a Force on Force game, but with much simpler rules. I thought I took more pictures, but turned out to be just 2.

We advanced, basically into the nearest cover, and started shooting. Our guys on the right here got a lucky with with an RPG that killed a few guys early and caused the Brits to fail a morale roll.

The British cept trying to advance, I am not sure why as you could comfortably shoot across the table, but this combined with their early morale failure really put them on the back foot. We were able to get secure and shooting, and they weren't able to bring effective fire back. This let us start putting units on Overwatch. It got to the point that the Brits had a pile of casualties, and we only lost 1 guy and had everyone bunkered down on Overwatch. So the game was called as a victory, and we spent some time chatting about rules and concepts. Which I was not super excited about as I game to play but it was ok.

Seemed like it could be a fun game to me, as it is allot easier, and the resolution of fire fights and reaction shots can get complicated in Force on Force, but it looses the chaos provided by the cards. So I am not sure it will take over locally. But I thought they had a pretty nice table and some cool models, and it was in a quieter part of the con so worked for me!

As before here are some shots of random games I thought were cool or interesting, but didn't get to play:

Nice Buildings, but bad poker chips

Very cool model doing a rocket attack!

Prepare to Repel Boarders!

Samurai Game, nice models, but not winning my terrain award!

Little Big Horn, much better on terrain!

Very nice Eastern European Table, this is the kind of Forest I want

Fighting Across a road, these Computer guys always have nice stuff

Not sure what this is, but I like it!

Well that's all I have for the Cold Wars 2017 coverage. Next big con is in May for us, so lots to prepare.


Monday, 20 March 2017

Cold Wars - 2017 - Part 1

Hello All,

This past weekend I attended Cold Wars, a wargaming convention in the US. As is my usual policy I played in one tournament and then had a day for playing random fun games and hanging out ect.. This time around I played in the Epic Armageddon tournament again, because it is fun, and it is not that popular anymore, so this is a good chance to get to play!

This time around I took a Space Marine (Ultramarines) army, using the Vanguard Miniatures line as I didn't have any of the now out of production GW models, and aren't to keen on hunting through E Bay.

My army list was something like this:

6 Tacticals, Rhinos, Captain

6 Tacticals, Rhinos

4 Terminators, Captain

4 Terminators

4 Assault Units

4 Devastators, 4 Razorback

4 Annihilator, Hunter

4 Whirlwinds

But I forgot to use the hunter AA tank.

Game 1: vs Eldar

Here is an early shot of the first game. I got a bit impatient and moved up my Predator tanks to take some shots at the Eldar tanks. But didn't accomplish to much as they had to double. This left them badly exposed so they lost half their number to return fire. Some Eldar bombers put a real hurt on one of my Tactical squads, while the other advanced into cover near the objective on the far right.

End of turn 1 you can see that both sides are mainly just advancing forward, but I am taking a bit of casualties.

On the second turn I launched the teleport attack with my Terminators, one unit on the Blitz objective, and one unit here assaulting a formation of Guardians, and support weapon platforms. I won this assault without loss and the Eldar were pushed back with heavy casualties. However most other things went poorly. Some Eldar warriors on Jet Bikes were able to cut through my back lines, and I ended up loosing allot of units in general.

Here is a shot towards the end of the game. I am in a bit of a bad position, the Eldar still have a number of strong formations, and most of mine are pretty damaged. In the end the Aspect Warriors around the clock tower would assault my Terminators with the help of the Jet Bikes and break them. I was able to hold on to the Eldar back objective, but didn't achieve anything else. The Eldar destroyed my most expensive unit and controlled the objectives on my side which gave them the Blitz, Take and hold, and Break Their Spirit Objectives.

Game 2: vs Tau

This game was played in a big swampy area, with rough ground and some forests, with a few scattered defenses. The first turn saw us mostly moving forward, the Tau being very conservative. A little bit of damage was done but nothing serious. But the Tau had a big advantage in activations due to having more units and were able to capitalize on this doing some good damage towards the end. An Orca assault ship landed allot of Tau Fire Warriors on the right flank and just crushed one of my Tactical formations.

On the second turn I brought down my Terminators again. I put on unit in the back near the Tau Blitz objective to assault their tanks, and a second unit to assault the huge formation of fire warriors. Sadly I lost initiative despite the big advantage the Marines have in strategy rating. The result of this was the my Terminators took a major beating and were broken by fire. But I was able to assault the tanks and destroy them, threatening the objective. One the left I was able to assault with my remaining tactical formation, and destroyed a Tau formation of Scout Battle suits, but lost most of my transports later to direct fire. My tanks moved forward and broke one of three recon skimmer formations, but a plane came in and finished off the last of my broken terminators giving the Tau the Break Their Spirit objective. But my Whirlwind artillery was able to kill off allot of the fire warriros with a bombardment weakening them a little bit.

On turn three I lost initiative again! So instead of my Terminators making a great assault they were surrounded and broken with fire, causing them to all die. Such is the risks of teleporting into the back field. I spent the rest of the turn trying to get some objectives, but all my stuff on the right flank was gone, so it was hard going. I got in some good hits, but wasn't able to secure any objectives. I had a change to contest with my devastators to draw out another turn, but they failed to activate. So the Tau were left in control of my blitz objective, giving them that and Break Their Spirit for the victory.

Game 3: vs Titan Legions

My final game was against a Titan Legion. There was only 4 players, so everyone was going to end up playing everyone. Here an early shot of turn one. Titans spread out everywhere, very scary. I put a tactical formation, and  my assault marines on the far right, and devistators, tanks, and more tacticals on the left. I was trying hard to be cautious with my Predators as the titans have mostly armored units and I thought I would need their Lascannon to have a change, so didn't want to loose them early. My hope was that by splitting up it would  be harder for the Titans to focus and destroy my formations one by one as happened allot with the Tau. The titans mainly moved up to the middle, and some shots were fired back and forth, but no huge amounts of damage.

The big unit of 5 knight titans was the Legions Break Their Spirit, so I was hoping to be able to kill them early on. So I double with my tanks to put a bit of fire on them. And of course some planes destroyed half of my Whirldwinds, wish I hadn't forgotten about that hunter!

The second turn I brought in all of my terminators to assault the big Titan unit. They had rallied off the blast marker but I thought it was worth a shot anyway. With the Space Marines Captain I was able to assault with both formations at once! In the end I lost but just barely and only lost a couple of terminator stands, but killed a titan or 2. I was then able to sustain fire with my tanks, killing more of them and breaking the formation.

Elsewhere shots were fired, but no major effects really. The Titans on the right were making a good attempt to fight of my Tactical and Assault marines backed up with some attack planes, but my guys held firm. I doubled forward with the Devastators to try and finish off that unit of Titans, but failed to get the last hit on the commander. The other Titans struck back and killed allot of them in return!

On the final turn, the Titan unit on the right assaulted my Tactical Formation, but with some very poor rolling, were somehow able to loose, and were all cut down in retreat! My Assault marines were then free to more forward and capture the Titans back field Blitz objective, while the tactical consolidated the forward. My tanks advanced and tried to finally bring down the Titan's command unit, but that last guy just wouldn't die. The Titans in the middle advanced and captured the objective in the middle by the clock tower, but just barely failed to take the other away from the tactical formation and the remaining terminators. This left me with Blitz and Take and Hold objectives, so I finally got a win!

Finally results put the Tau in first place, and everyone else tied for third! My prize was a 6mm ruined scenery piece which is pretty cool, so I will have to get that painted up for Cangames.

To round things off here are a few random shots of games I thought were cool or interesting as I walked around, but didn't get to play in. Can't do everything!

Lord of the Rings

Dunno what this is but nice buildings

Big Star Wars X-Wing game, with lots of big ships

1200 Zombies! The Dukes of Hazard were a playable faction hah

6mm Tank Battle, I think allot of the closer ones are M1 Abhrams but not sure

Crazy Cool Frostgrave table / Game

Magic Wizard Lighthouse, just they Harbour section would be a cool game!

That's all for now, more Cold Wars coverage in a day or 2.


Wednesday, 15 March 2017

Painting - Terrain

Hello Folks,

Been busy putting the last few touches on my Space Marines army for the Cold Wars tournament, I decided to base all the tanks due to magnetization mainly. But also been slowing down a bit. So I didn't get as much stuff done this week. Just a couple of terrain pieces.

6mm Shanty Town - for Epic:

Hmm looks like the second picture got messed up somehow. Anyway these are a bunch of resin buildings painted and glues on to a board, then flocked and what not. Nothing to fancy, but it took a bit of time to paint all the buildings, and they have some cool details for such small buildings, old tires and garbage cans and all that. Not sure how well this fits in, but I thought it was pretty cool. I have some ruins to do as well, and defences ect.. Lots of stuff left to do for cangames.

Spider Nest - 28mm Frostgrave

I also finally got around to painting a spider nest piece that was started at a terrain day we had a few months back. This has a few metal pieces on a base with some deeper sand. Turned out pretty cool I think with some spider eggs and treasure and uneven ground. If I had my time back I would add a dead tree or 2, but I think it is kind of cool. Even has a crow picking the meat off a skull!

Fits into the table pretty well, but being a perfect rectangle is a bit of a problem maybe.


Thursday, 9 March 2017

Heavy Gear - Shattered Peace - Downing Front - Game 4

Hello All,

Time for the forth and final battle report for the series of games on the Downing Front. As mentioned previously playing through some of the Shattered Peace scenarios for the second Earth invasion of Terra Nova.

In our previous games we have seen one of the major thrusts of the CEF  landing in the North bog down and Maglev Alpha. Now  the lead element of a supply column is ambush and attacked in a narrow mountain pass.

In this battle the Northern Objective is to Wipe Out a Combat Group, and Assassinate the CEF Army Commander, and the Earth Forces must Survive with one Combat Group, and Protect their Army commander. We rolled randomly for Wipe Out and Survive and the end of the first round. But the board is pretty small, only 2'x3' with allot of large rocks.

Here you can see the inital set up, some Frames with assault packs in the woods, backed by a second group further back with no special equipment. And a few stands of infantry here and there. The North have a pair of Klemm tanks, and a group of Jaguars behind rocks, each with a Cheetah to provide EW support.

Turn 1:

Here we are at the end of turn 1. The Jaguars moved behind a large rock and went on ECM defense, making them very hard to hit. I moved up a couple of units from the dark colored frame squad to take some shots at the tanks, but was not effective, they took some good damage in return, from both snap fire and indirect missile attacks. I then moved up my Jet Bike guys to take a pot shot at the vulnerable cheetah, and got a good hit, I think maybe crippling him. My other frames just moved up to get ready for the second turn strike. My commander just hiding out in the back. After we rolled it was the dark squad for wipe them out, and the lighter red shoulders frame squad for survive.

Turn 2:

On the second turn the ! got the initiative, and used it to pounce with my Assault armed frames, hoping the the bust on the Rotary Laser cannons would get me some good damage. I charged into contact with my Morgana FLAIL, but was ineffective. The rest hovered forward and fire into the Jaguars. Killing one and doing a bit of damage.

But they were then able to get behind my lines and do some good damage in return. Killing the 1 frames by the big rock. I fired back with, the other fell back for some shots which didn't get me much. The tanks then machine gunned down my jet bike guys and destroyed another frame with missiles.

Turn 3:

Turn 3 the battle really got hot. Most of the rest of the frames were destroyed, but most of the Jaguars were as well, including the Northern Army commander. I moved my remaining FLAIL with his anti-vehicle missile to take a shot at a Klemm but just got the 1 hit from AP. Things are looking pretty bleak for Earth, but allot Northern gears have been destroyed as well, and one Cheetah is dead and the other crippled.

Turn 4:

On Turn 4 my last Assault Pack frame was destroyed in the woods, but got a bit of damage back with a snap fire. My 2 remaining frames from the dark quad fired their lasers at one of the remaining Jaguar, but to no effect. The Klemms got rid of the pesky FLAIL infantry and started to advance.

Turn 5:

Turn 5 saw the last 2 Frame fall back into a defensive position behind a big boulder, Custer style, while the Northern forces circled in. They got a few good chances, but were unable to finish off my army commander.

This left us with a draw on objectives. The North were able to achieve their Wipe Out, but not assassination. And the CEF were able to protect their army commander, but not survive with the other group. I think in the new rules there is a tie braker on army points, which the North must have with both of the tanks still alive, but we didn't worry about that to much.

So that is the end of our series of games, not exactly a climatic final battle, but a fun close in fight in the mountains. Seems clear that the CEF attacks are faltering in this sector, but they are still able to maintain some presence.


Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Painting Update - Science Fiction

Hello All,

Time for some new painted stuff. Continuing the science fiction theme that has been going on lately. I have a few new things for Heavy Gear, to play in the last scenario which is upcoming today, and some more Epic 40k stuff as part of getting ready for my big game at Cangames. Making good progress. I new to order some new bases thou so that could cause a small slow down, we will see.

I was to lazy to set up the lights and what not, as I also needed to set up some terrain, so the lighting is a bit crap.

Heavy Gear - F6-16 and BF2-21 Assault Packs:

First up a unit of Frames for my CEF forces. This a CF6-16, a F6-16, and a pair of FLAIL piloted BF2-21, using the plastics from the kickstarter. These models have some problems and they are not perfect, but they are really easy to paint so I ended up liking them.

I thought it would be a good idea to make a unit that had the current version of the rules in mind. My metal unit has the equipment that was best back then but I don't think the jet packs are worth it anymore, they were the cheapest option before. These guys all have Rotary Laser Cannons to give some burst mods, and shields for defense, so hopefully will work better.

Ultramarines Drop Pods:

A couple of drop pods for my Marines so I can land them from Orbit exactly where they are needed. One is on the ground with doors open, and one about to land.

Xiphon Fighters:

A pair of fighters to give some air support, these models actually look allot like the new Xiphon Fighter that Forge World did which I think is pretty cool. 4 Lascannons a piece!

Ultramarines Supreme Commander:

Finally to finish things off a supreme commander stand, with big banner, and a tech marine. This is the end of the Marines stuff that I have / plan to get. Well I may get some assault terminators if I am weak maybe...

Chaos Warband:

Also got started on some bad guys, someone has to invade Cadia afterall, it's not going to invade itself. These are actually legit Epic models that I got off Ebay, they are plastic 6mms beleive it or not. A bunch of Chaos Space marines and a dreaded Chaos Lord. I painted them in the World Bearers colors. Which doesn't much if you aren't a 40k fan but there you go. Some demons are coming up next!

Chaos Stormblade:

Finally for today is a giant Chaos tank, the Stormblade, with it's Titan Scale Plasma Blastgun. Ready to bring some big pain.

Pledge Status, 2017:

Bought: 40 (Some Epic stuff (fighters and drop pods) and Epic Terrain (trenches and a few buildings)) 
Painted: 77
Total: +37