Friday, July 24, 2015

A Brief Report

Well things have gone incredibly quiet here for a while. I have been dealing with some family issues as my Mother's health has been poor as of late. As a result, time for hobby related activities has disappeared.

Thus far, I have not had a chance to paint much this year. Gaming has been extremely rare. Here is hoping for a better second half of the year.

I have had some time to write. I am about halfway to completing the sequel to the CSS Appomattox. I have now crossed the 1000 copies sold on Kindle.

Till the next time...

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

A Great and Creative Giveaway Idea

The idea man behind the Depressive Diplomatist blog has just offered up an interesting giveaway. I like this because he is asking for more than just a simple comment. He is looking for a bit of art for his "Terrain Tuesday" and "Dr Who Wednesday" columns of his blog.

I am no artist. Then again, when you have seen my previous terrain efforts that I have posted here, that should be no surprise to you. But I think I have put together a winning idea. (Maybe an "At least you tried" prize) Drop on by. I would love to see others efforts.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Chain of Command Campaign and Check Your 6

I had some free time this week and tried an experiment. How many games of a Chain of Command campaign could I get in if I kept using the same table but rotated the starting positions of each side. It was a very successful attempt.

The games were set on the Eastern Front with Germans pushing the Russians in the Ukraine circa 1941. The patrol scenario did not go well for the Germans. They took a beating and did a withdrawl. In the second scenario, things were reversed. The Germans managed to give the Russians a significant beating while only loosing 2 men.

At that point, I put the game on hold. It was getting late and I had to work the next morning. Now had I had the opportunity to start earlier, I could have finished 4 or more games in a day had I wished. Not changing the terrain definitely sped up getting the second game going.

But what did the game look like? Well I only took one picture.

This gives you a good idea of the open farmland that was being fought over. Not a great picture but it was something.

For the first time this year (I think) I made it out for a game of CY6 at Gigabytes. Good scenario and better company. I flew a Russian recon flight that was trying to escape the Germans. Six Russian fighters joined in the fun to cover for me. I managed to get 2 of 3 aircraft off the board before scenario end. Thanks Mark for hosting a great game.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

US Mechanized Infantry Platoon - Completed

I finally finished off the second and third squads as well as the platoon HQ. I was trying to do this by the "book" and took pictures of the elements with the relevant pages from the FM 7-7. I have them set up for the H Series Platoon.

Platoon HQ:
The platoon HQ consists of the Platoon Leader, the Platoon Sergeant, the Platoon RTO, a Forward Observer, the FO's RTO, a Medic and a Driver. I have all modeled but the Medic and the driver. In terms of using them for Chain of Command, the FO & his RTO will probably be support elements rather than part of the platoon. The medic probably should be modeled but I did not have a suitable figure for it.

Squad 2:
The dismount elements of the squad include the squad leader, a team leader, a Dragon ATGM operator, an M60 gunner and four riflemen.

Squad 3:
And this is nearly identical to Squad 2 except I used some prone figures.

Support Elements
There was a figure included in the pack that had a man-portable AA missile. I decided to go ahead and paint it up. Its not much.

What's Left?
Well, nothing. I have all I need for a game. But I want some armor. I have a T-55 but it is painted as a Syrian tank. I would like a T-72. I would also like to get a M60A3 as well. But that is for the future. I still have some Soviet supports. Mainly a Heavy MG, an automatic grenade launcher and infantry with an underbarrel grenade launcher.

Still, this gives me 25 more painted figures for the year. Good to see progress.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Travel and Games

Periodically, I have to travel for work. In this instance, I am travelling for family. But when I am on the road I am always trying to figure out a way to get a game in that is easy to pack and simple to play.

My son is (as I am too) fascinated by all things Star Wars. I showed him the miniatures for the Star Wars X-Wing game and he was hooked. I bought a copy of the basic set and he picked out a second X-Wing and a Tie Interceptor. I played one game at home to familiarize myself with the rules. I also considered using the rules from an old TooFatLardies supplement called Bag the Jedi. But for now, I am sticking with the base set.

While on the current road trip, I picked up a second base set as it is the cheapest way to get reinforcements (3 ships in the box) as the box was on sale. I managed to get in my second game today. It played very quickly even with me fumbling my way through the rules.

The Positives
1) I like how simple the mechanics are.
2) The painted models are very nice.
3) This is easy to transport.

The Negatives
1) The larger ships are no where near scale for the fighters. This is not really a bad negative but it just does not look right to my eyes. I want to get the Star Wars Armada fighters and use them with the X-Wing capital ships and I think that would look better. Not sure if it would break the game though.
2) There is an unfortunate emphasis on having elite squadron building. This seems to be typical for many points based systems which X-Wing definitely is. There are options for the ordinary but how many opponents will actually use them.
3) Lack of a campaign system.
4) Lots of markers on the table.

Honestly, my negatives are really small nit picks that I can live with. I really like the game as is. I can create my own campaign system (use something like Squadron forward). And I probably won't ever deal with capital ships. So really, I have a nearly optimal game to travel with.

But I just can't leave well enough alone

What I would like to do is create a campaign system where squadrons from a particular vessels vie for the control of a given star system. What would that look like? Well, here are my thoughts.

This would be an Imperial garrison being supported by a single Star Destroyer that is holding a given system. The rebels dispatch a small fleet to disrupt, harass and destroy any imperial activity in the system to eventually liberate the system.

Easy enough,but a quick flip through the Wookiepedia (I was almost surprised such a thing existed) revealed a bunch of stats I could use for the capital ships. Neat! It seems that there are bunches of Star Destroyer types. I wanted something moderate, so I chose a Victory Class Star Destroyer.

The Victory Class apparently carry two squadrons of Tie-Fighters of 12 fighters each. This matched up extremely well with a Nebulon B Frigate for the rebels that carries two 12 fighter squadrons as well.

For the sake of the game, one squadron on each side I have declared to be a mixed Squadron so as to allow more than one ship type into play. Sure I could have chosen a bigger or more than one capital ship but I am working on a budget here. :)

So for the Imperials, Squadron 1 has 12x Tie Fighters. Squadron 2 has 6x Tie Bombers and 6x Tie Interceptors. The two Rebel squadrons have one squadron of 12 X-Wings and squadron two has 6 A-Wings and 6 Y-Wings.

These are my personal favorites as they were in the original movies. (Did not like the B-Wing for some reason.) I may at some point get a Tie Advanced to add some fun but this is the starting point.

The initial scenarios within the campaign will be smaller skirmishes or probes as the two sides get a feel for one another. Then culminating in a larger battle featuring the capital ships.

For that larger battle, I will need to get the Armada fighter packs which can be found for around $15 per pack and that gets you a nice size fighter force even though they would need to be rebased. Anyway, that is all still very speculative at this point. I will continue to kick this around in my noggin for a while and see if anything better falls out.

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

More Cold War Miniatures... Almost

Well, I have all of my US Cold War troops painted up. I still have to base them and varnish though. Also I have two M113s that need painting. What I lack is support elements for my US troops. I just don't know what I should do. I am guessing a Jeep with a Recoilless Rifle or an MG mounted on the back. Also a tank or two because those are the supports that are available. But, I can't find any other supports. Any suggestions for 15mm support elements for a Cold War US Chain of Command force?

Hopefully they will be all done by the end of next week. Until then, I am on the road again.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Cold War US Troops

Yes indeed, I finished painting something this year. I managed 1st Squad of my Cold War US troops. I am not wild about the camo. But hopefully it is not too hideous. I like how the M113s turned out. I have 1st Squad's track and the command track finished.

But that is not all. I just finished with the platoon command dismounts. I have the platoon leader, the platoon sergeant, a forward Observer team, the platoon RATELO and a Stinger missile operator. I am short a medic but I did not have any suitable figures for it.

I also began work on the other two squads and their M113s. Hopefully, by the end of next month, I will have enough miniatures done to be able to get in a game with them. Still tempting me from my lead pile is some supports for my Soviets. I have some Eureka Soviets with an underslung grenade launcher, a Soviet Automatic Grenade launcher team and a heavy machinegun team. Things are starting to come together for this project.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Welcomes

I think I have been remiss in not noting the recent increase in followers lately.

Darcy Perry is the most recent of the followers here. He is a busy man with no less than 4 blogs of his own.

DARCY PERRY BAND
Harmonica Masters Of New Zealand
Hits To Kill
Music Lessons

Also please welcome Dai Dead. I can't find a link to his blog. Dai, if you send it to me, I will happily post a link.

Bill has also joined. I also can't find a link to your blog. Please send me a link if you have one.

The Vikings Have Landed

A lovely brown box arrived at my desk this afternoon. Opening it up revealed the Essex Viking Crew and the Viking ship that I had ordered.

The ship is tiny. It comes in at under 4 inches long. It is very wide as well. It makes it much more useful as a merchant ship than a warship. It is well built. The detail is very nicely done. It is ready to build with the sail lowered. The ship does not come with the tiller. The tiller comes with the separate crew pack. It has the oars. The rowers in the crew pack are made to place the hands of the rowers on top of the oars where the pierce the side of the hull. The ship does come with a set of shields to mount on the side of the ship. I think I may not use them though.

This could make for an interesting piece to have on a table. I could use it as objective for a Romano-British raid.

Finally Picked up a Paint Brush

I had a few minutes of free time and sat down with brush in hand and got some work done.

I managed to put down the base uniform color on an entire platoon of Cold War US troops. I also started on the camo on eight of those. Thus far I am uncertain how this will turn out. I also finished the camo on my second M113! I still have to use some ink and varnish on these but I really like how they are turning out.

Next, I started to fiddle with my new Romano-British that I just received. I have four horses and riders, four archers and 12 loot carrying Saxons (ok, they are really Vikings but they will be standing in) and a screaming bishop. I probably could have undercoated them but I was happy to get anything done.

The Cold War stuff is starting to come together. If I can get some more painting done next week, I might (yes its possible) get the platoon complete.