Sunday, March 31, 2013

WIP, 31MAR13, High Elf Infantry

Here are photos of WIP, 28mm High Elf Infantry:

28mm Figures from Heartbeaker, GW, and old Grenadier miniatures for WHFB/Warlord.

More 28mm High Elf Archers.  Manufacturers are GW, Heartbeaker, and Grenadier.  Rather old school minis.

Same unit of 28mm High Elf Archers taken above.  The figures are only halfway completed.

Book Reviews: The Eyes of the Eagle & Fear to Tread

I spent today waiting on things to bake.  There was little on TV.  I watched some English Premier League soccer (football for the rest of the world).  I also went back to reading a book by Gary A. Linderer called "The Eyes of the Eagle:  F Company LRPs in Vietnam, 1968" by Presidio Press. The book was his experience on a Long Range Recce Patrol for the 101st Airborne during the Vietnam War.  The book covers the first six months he was in country.

The author is from Crystal City, MO.  I worked in Jefferson County, MO for a while as a lab technician at a lead smelter there.  Crystal City wasn't far away from Herculaneum, MO.  The book was broken up by date.  It made for easy reading.  If I finished a particular section, I could always come back to it and pick up reading without any problems.  Most operations were squad level.  The LRPs worked in six man teams behind enemy lines.  Each mission was different.  But they were usually the same variants.  Much of the extractions and entries were done by Hueys.  The LRPs were a very loyal group themselves.  There's one description of the fragging of an unpopular company commander by one of the senior NCO's.  I gather the LRPs were a law unto themselves. 

Linderer got reassigned several times to different squads.  By the end of the book, his squad is ambushed and take heavy casualties.  He is sent to recover in country and then rejoin his unit at the end of the book.  However, the author points out he was lucky not to see many of his friends become KIA or WIA until that time. 

Most of the tactics described are either squad or platoon based at most.  The jungle fighting didn't allow for anything larger than that to be seen by just one man.  But "Eyes of the Eagle" is the first book in a cycle of three books by Linderer.  Steve Hood (Combat Colours) recommended me the other books to read in order to get a better feel of the LRPs contribution in the Vietnam War.  After this book, I feel like I've been to 'Nam.    

The second book I read/skimmed over was James Swallow's Fear to Tread about the Blood Angels in the Horus Heresy in the 31st millennium.  One must be a fan of Games Workshop's Space Marines and Warhammer 40K to fully enjoy this books.  There is a whole series of these novels both the Horus Heresy and those sent in the 41st millennial. 

The Horus Heresy is about the beginning of the Terran Imperium and how a God-like emperor begins conquering alien worlds in the hopes of reuniting a war-torn humanity.  Horus is the Emperor's right hand man.  Thing go to hell when he becomes a convert to Chaos.  The Horus Heresy is the tale of how that happens.  The Blood Angels are one of 20 original Legions of Space Marines who fought for the Emperor.  Fear to Tread is how the Blood Angels almost succumb to Chaos.  But their Primarch Sanguinius leads them to redemption on Signus Prime. 

Once the loyalist defeat Horus and the renegades, the Space Marine legions are broken up into 1000 man Chapter with the Second Founding after the Emperor is crippled in combat.  But that happens later in the Horus Heresy.  Fear to Tread is just about Sanguinius temptation in the face of his Legion's genetic impurities that bring on a foaming madness for blood in some of its members.  Horus offers a way for the Blood Angels to be cured so long as they come over to Chaos.  They refuse.  And all hell breaks lose on Signus Prime...

It was a good read.  Even if you aren't a fan of Space Marines.  James Swallow is a gifted author.  Being an epic, I felt there were too many characters even for me.  And I've been accused of having too many characters in my stories.  But my luck at buying interesting WH40K/Horus Heresy books has not been good.  I bought Legion of the Damned.  I gave up on that book about a third of the way into it.  I also have the Blood Angels Omnibus and new Ravenwing book by Gav Thorpe.  I'll try reading another sci-fi/WH40K novel in the near future and see how it goes.

Friday, March 29, 2013

WH40K Game, 29MAR13, AAR

I played a 2000 point game of WH40K with my friend Scott McCoy this afternoon.  I ran Blood Angels and he had a Chaos Space Marine Army with Typhus and some Nurgle Plague Marines.  After I set up, Scott opened fire on my devastator Space Marine heavy weapons squad.  I moved up my assault marines.  Scott was again able to use his Vindicator heavy tank gun against my squad of Death Company.  I lost the squad after 2 rounds of shooting.  I got one assault squad into combat with generic chaos marines.  Commander Dante lost his Sanguinary Guard before closing with a squad of Nurgle Plague Marines.  The fourth close assault squad got shot up trying to close a heavy weapons squad of Chaos Marines.  I lost the other close assault squad of marines to shooting.  My remaining Sanguinary priest lasted a couple of rounds of combat before he and Commander Dante fell to power weapons.  I lost all my Blood Angels by turn 5.

Here are some photos from the game this afternoon:

                                          Scott McCoy deploys his armored units.

                                          I bring out one of my assault marine squads and  sanguinary guard.

                                          Central view of the battlefield midway through the game.

                                          Dante and close assault marines making their last stand.

                                          Scott's Chaos army victorious.

Getting ready for the SYW Convention

I'll get my last minute prep work for the Seven Years War Convention in South Bend, IN April 5-6, 2013 this year ready.  This year, I'm just along for the ride.  I'll be bring 15mm SYW armies with me for a game at the con on Friday, April 5th in the afternoon/evening.  I'll also see about gaming at some point.  It'll probably be a 18th century naval game. 

My friends from Ames, IA won't be there.  However, an acquaintance from Dyersburg, IA is supposed to be there.  I'll say hi to him and Rob Walters from that weekend.  Unfortunately, I've already bought stuff for the month, so I won't be making any purchases while I'm at the convention...

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Another day of bad dice rolls

I games 28mm Samurai vs. Koreans Friday afternoon with my friend Don Cox.  I lost due to bad dice rolls.  Though my army morale rolls held.  I only had one unit left on the board while Don had half of his army.  I called it game at that point.  There was no point in continuing to play.  Alas, I don't have any photos from the game. 

I did get a little bit of painting accomplished this week.  It snowed today.  We have about 10" of snow on the ground right now.  Most of it will melt away in the coming days.  I want winter to end.  I have figures that need to sealed.  I've been waiting for the weather to get better before doing that. 

The only other thing on my radar is the upcoming SYW Convention in South Bend, IN in less than two weeks.  This is the only convention I get to go out of town this year.  All the other events I'm doing are local.  I pray we encounter no pot holes in Indy.  Once was enough.  That is why I'm not driving this year.  Having to pay for new rims was an experience enough.  I don't want to do that a second time. 

There are other things I'd like to accomplish this year.  Getting the 28mm FPW armies is my chief goal.  Working on other stuff following that is in my sights.  Sapper Joe, Combat Colors, and Hostile Contact are headed to Spring Recruits while Don and I are at the SYW Convention April 5-6, 2013.  Though it'll be interesting to see who shows up to the convention.... 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

WIP, 21MAR13, 28mm 1870 Prussian Infantry Regiment

Here are photos of a 28mm 1870 Prussian infantry regiment:

                                          72 figure 28mm 1870 Prussian Infantry Regiment.

                                          Another photo of the unit.  The figures are in need of flocking

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Thoughts on the hobby

I'm taking time to reflect on the state of the hobby.  My little patch of it.  I spent too much time on a computer this week.  I'm spending my down time painting 28mm 1870 Prussian infantry tonight.  I should have a regiment of 28mm 1870 Prussian infantry done this morning.  I'll take pictures and put them on the blog once I get done with them. 

However, a friend of mine who plays 40K told me about GW's new trade agreements that are going in effect June 15, 2013.  Though I vowed not to buy any GW product, I might just get a Chaos Land Raider and Stormraven Gunship before the new Trade Agreement/Price Increases take affect.  I'll wait until May 2013 to make my mind up.  At this point, there isn't much new WH40K stuff I want to buy.  I made it a point not to buy any new 40K stuff this year.  I'm not really wanting to say too much because I don't know what the backlash will be to people not being able buy GW product online from independent retailers. 

For the record, the new GW website is awful.  As a publicly traded company, they could have designed a much better website than what they have.  And they want people to buy directly from them using it?  If you don't believe me, then go to the GW website and try buying something from it.  I'd rather deal with the new Wargames Foundry website.  It's easier to navigate the GW's American website.  So the sinking of the Gobbo Loveboat continues as people leave WH40K or WHFB for Warmachine/Hordes.  For all its faults, Privateer Press knows how to take care of its customers. 

And I'll admit, I've played a couple of WH40K games with friends.  But I've really pared back my gaming of it.  I'm tired of listening to friends complain about how GW the company sucks and they're ruining 40K in the name of profit, the new codexes aren't play tested, and the lack of release info is driving them crazy.  Again, for the record, I'm on vacation from Games Workshop for a year.  I assume the company will still be around when I get back to assembling and painting my 40K armies in 2014.  I look at my needs.  My biggest expense is figure cases and foam.  I could spent about $800.00 on Battlefoam and Sable bags.  I'm also looking at the following purchases:

$215.00 in 28mm Wargames Foundry Vikings.
$210.00 in 28mm Darkest Africa Masai.
$110.00 in 28mm Eureka Viet Cong infantry.
$120.00 in prepainted 28mm Jungle hooches.
$100.00 in plastic 28mm palm trees.
$40.00 in Wargames Accessories metal bases.
$45.00 in Litko wooden infantry bases.
$160.00 for GW WH40K vehicles.

This is what I have on my figure purchase list for this year.  The 28mm 1870 Prussians are coming along.  The length of this project is killing any desire I have to paint 20mm 1914 armies for the Western Front.  I just don't want to spend my evenings through November 2018 painting 20mm WWI figures.  I'd run out of room in the basement for storage before hand.  I'm seriously looking down the line for making these my final gaming projects:

1)  Completion of 28mm Darkest Africa with the painting of a Masai army.
2)  Fantasy/Semi-Historical Viking army for Warlord to go against my 28mm GW High Elves.  And completion of 28mm High Elve units.
3)  Working on 28mm Vietnam for Force on Force and Ambush Valley platoon level scenarios.
4)  28mm Trojan War Greek and Trojan armies for Warhammer Ancient Battles 1.5.
5)  Completion of WH40K Blood Angel army and purchase of storage materials for the minis.
6)  Painting of of WH40K DA Ravenwing army and purchase of storage cases for the models.
7)  Addition purchases of storage materials for WH40K Chaos Space Marine vehicles, assembling, and painting of said additional vehicles.
8)  Completion of FoW armies for an Operation Market Garden scenario between British paras and Waffen SS infantry companies.

That is where I'm at with my planning.  There's been talk of 28mm Sudan for British Colonials.  I'm resisting that right now.  I've too many other things to complete.  If I attempt to do more, I'll wind up accomplishing nothing...  

Saturday, March 16, 2013

28mm Darkest Africa AAR, 16MAR13

Some days, I just can't win.  I played Don Cox in a 28mm Darkest Africa game featuring Belgian Force Publique vs. German colonial troops.  When we started the game, I fired three different squads and missed three different times with all my troops.  Don's Germans proceeded to inflict 3-5 casualties every time he fired one of his Mauser armed infantry units.  Both Don and I lost our mountain artillery.  But I proceeded to have three different Belgian askari units reach 50% losses and rout away from the battle line.  I was able to rally one of the units.  The others ran away.  By turn 5, I called game because I only had one full unit left on the table.  The others were in the process of routing or running off the table. 

Such was a day for the Belgian Force Publique.  Not that a nicer group of European led askaris deserved it.  Historical, the Force Publique was one of the most notorious colonial armies in Africa.  I only have a company of British, Belgian, and German colonial troops for each army.  But that is all you really need for playing Darkest Africa.  Anything else is a little too large for the scale of combat The Sword in Africa/The Sword and The Flame is designed to do.

Here are some photos from the game I played with Don Cox this afternoon:

                                          Initial deployment at the beginning of the battle.

                                          Opening salvos.

                                          My left flanking is running away while the center holds.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

More progress on 28mm 1870 Prussian infantry

I salvaged what part of the weekend I could and got some painting done.  I finished another 28mm 1870 Prussian infantry battalion tonight.  I now have 2 whole 24 figure battalions painted and 4 more 24 figure Prussian infantry battalions to finish.  I also messed around with 25mm Hovel European terrain this weekend, too.  I kind of don't like the way the black inking I did on some of the stone work of the buildings turned out.  I don't know whether to leave it or come back and repaint it.  I should have used a brown wash or ink.  But I'm out of brown ink right now.  That's it for now on my painting projects...

Friday, March 8, 2013

Warlord by Max Carr

I played Warlord by Max Carr with a friend of mine yesterday evening.  It's an out of print system that uses D6's for combat and missile fire resolution.  It can be used for ancients, medievals, and fantasy games.  You stat up your army using a point system and then start hammering your opponent.  It's very beer and pretzels. 

With my Games Workshop sabbatical, I stopped playing WHFB for 2013.  I still have two fantasy armies.  I enjoy playing Warlord with my friend, Don Cox.  I pushed High Elves against Don's fantasy men-at-arms.  We both lost our heavy units.  It came down to an archery duel.  I won because I had more archers on the board.  I am wanting to play another Warlord game.  Don and I only played one game last spring.  The nice thing about Warlord is I can field any time of medieval or fantasy army I'd like in order to play the game.  The drawback is Warlord is now out of print.

One thing that is drawing me back to Warlord is the whole GW codex redesigning of WHFB.  I put together fantasy armies when 8th edition WHFB came out.  I don't like the magic aspect.  And I don't like the new codexes.  I can field my GW High Elves as a Warlord army and not worry about the problems I associate with WHFB.  I'm also motivated to put together a 28mm Viking army for Warlord, too.  That is the beauty of the game.  You can design whatever miniature army you want to field.  If you want army of all heroes and monsters, you can do that.  You want lots of light troops, you can have those, too.  You're not locked into a particular codex or army list.  I've modified Warlord with some black powder rules, so you can have muskets, hand gunners, and cannons. 

But the drawback is that few people have the rules to Warlord.  Hence, I can rather limited who I can game with.

Some photos:

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Painting 25mm European Buildings

I've been painting 25mm European buildings by Hovel Models, Ltd. this weekend.  I broke down and bought a bunch of earth toned paint for my buildings.  I just got started painting yesterday.  I'm in various stages of completion of different buildings.  I guessing I should be done painting a 25mm stone building today.  The other buildings will take longer.  Now that my painting time is reserved to weekends, I'm getting less done painting wise.  But I do need the 4 buildings and a bridge done in time for my 28mm Franco-Prussian War game I want to run in June 2013.  They form the basis of a small village.  I couldn't afford a lot of 25mm buildings.  I would have preferred prepainted 25mm European buildings.  That's OK.  I can paint buildings.  Terrain is easier to paint than figures many times. 

Building wise, there is a stone church, an inn, a store, and another shop.  They are meant for 17th to 20th century France.  I could use these figures for 25mm WWI if I wanted to.  I do have a 15mm European village, too.  That is for my 15mm SYW armies.  I'll also use that for my 15mm WWII when I eventually get around to collecting and painting FoW armies.