Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Who let the devil dog out who who who who who

So it's been a bit too long since my last post.
But i found a bunch of gamers, that fit in with my available time and they play the games i like.
What...impossible you say. Well...it really happened.
They even play Infinity. Which is awesome because i got swept up in the Gencon release and ended up with a USAriadna army pack and gencon exclusive Roger Van Zant (think the cool and supremely bad ass American dude from Reign of Fire).

So i got painting since gencon at my usually slow speed. But have finished the Devil dog off. If your not up to speed with infinity. Think domesticated Werewolf. I also got some early progress on the rest of the force. End results are something like this thus far

And get this ...last night. I actually played a GAME!! With real living people and terrain and stuff. The shock was so bad, i only took one pic. But what follows is a small attempt at a noobs look battle report in my usual someone...personal style.

So the game went down. Not sure what the mission is called but we played an its mission where you had to sync and escort a model into the enemy deployment zone.
My opponent was using Yu Jing. Tallying in at 247pts. Seemed like a mostly elite force with only 7 or 8 orders. But im still too new to know what he was using.

My US ariadna was made up of

Roger Van Zant - executive order
2 grunt paramedics
Grunt Lt
Maverick with molotock
Devil dog team with heavy shotgun.
fox trot with rifle and mines.
Minute man with rifle + 2 light flamethrowers
Marauder Paramedic
Dozer with rifle and akrylat Kanone.

He deployed first as this was very much a learning game and i went first.
I set my devil dog team, minuteman, 112 down the edge of left side of the table escorting the objective (figuring the 112 could offer medic assistance)
I set the foxtrot up in camo covering a slightly off centre road way with the Marauder paramedic just to his right in cover.
On the opposite side of the road i set the maverick up with a supporting grunt medic in cover. Then the right corner of the board i had the engineer, grunt lt, and grunt paramedic on the roof of a building.

The first turn saw my devil dog team advancing down the table edge facing off against 2 yu jing. Shots were traded but the result was only a single would on the devil dog. My minuteman climbed to the top of a crate stack, took aim at a yu jing trooper on the opposite side of the board and shook him up enough that he went prone. He then climbed down off the crates and synced to the objective and scuttled forward. The rest of my force shifted to better cover positions and exchanged a few shots to no avail.
The yu jing mostly shifted positions and traded ineffective shots with the USAriadna forces.

Turn 2 saw me start to try and apply pressure. The devil dogs exhanged fire with a yu jing trooper with a shotgun, inflicting a would on the trooper. I then moved up shaking off the ARO's that came my way before systematically tearing the shotgun trooper apart. The minuteman scooted forward to just past the mid table point along with the 112. Whilst the foxtrot and marauder held position. My maverick popped smoke to aid the guys moving up the left of the board. The rooftop troops on the right  exchanged shots with some yu jing opposite them and the grunt lt hit the deck and went prone in fright. Van Zant parachuted into an open building, then snuck round on a yu jung trooper in the next room before levelling him in a hail of gunfire.
In response the yu jing poored shots into my rooftop guys to no avail, a ninja appeared just around the corner from my maverick. The yu jin trooper who was prone on the rooftop on my left moved up to the front edge of the roof and went into suppression fire. The another close combat specialist popped out of the ground floor of the same building, shot at the antipode and wounded it before charging in. Confident he could tackle the devil dog. A mistake he didnt live to regret as he promptly became dog chow.

Turn 3.
I tried to view the risks and rewards of order process. Skipping the mavericks imp order. With the devildog team i used their super jump to leap to the rooftop holding the trooper in suppression fire. Fortunately out of his LOF. The ARO's rained in to no avail. No sensing the danger he was in, the yu jing trooper ignored the screams of 'he's behind you' and waited for a shot. It never came as he was summarily torn apart by the devildog and antipode who scored their 3rd kill of the game. Unfortunately the swathe of ARO's they took from other troops on the way into combat finally found a chink and both the devil dog and antipode went down. But they ha cleared the way.
The maverick moved up and traded shots with the newly revealed ninja. Wounding it before succumbing in a second firefight with it. The rooftop grunt (former lt) and paramedic hunkered down and the engineer kept waving his pom poms.The foxtrot finally made himself known finishing off the wounded ninja who had taken the maverick out.
On the left flank the minuteman hauled the objective into the enemy deployment zone, but as he crossed the last stretch of open ground he was cut down. The 112 shuffled closer to the edge of the gap before launching his medkit at the minuteman. Would it be a cous de grais or a healing angel. The dice bounced and the minuteman stood up, nodding a thank you to the 112. With the game in the bag and 4 orders left there was only one thing for it.
Bursting from his cover he traded shots and Aro's with the now retreating Yu Jing. Cutting down the first in his path, before a prolonged gun fight with another in cover. The first exchange wounding RVZ. In his dogged state his aim wavered, but with the last order of the game he cut down his tormentor.

As the dust settled and the evac birds were called in, a lone yu jing trooper slipped away through the back streets. The 'package' was though it had cost the USAriadna forces a maverick, a devil dog and an antipode.

Overall i was fairly happy with the game. My grasp of the rules improved a lot along with my understanding of the special rules my USAriadna forces had at their disposal. As soon as i saw the table i had a plan in mind. Though i must confess that my opponent was taking it easy and not playing as 'aggressive' as he normally would. I also made a disgustingly high number of armour saves for the devil dog on turn 1 and in many games he would have been dead before he could whimper.

Of course no report or the likes is complete without at least 1 pic. So here it is....
In your best pantomime voices
On 3 are your ready.
He's behind you!!!!!!

Monday, 7 September 2015

Crimson Fist Stompy bot Go!

A few months back i picked up a dsecond hand contemptor dread from an online site.
As anyone who follows me on twitter will know, i have recently been flip flapping about all over the place with ideas for a new army.

Well over the last few days i finally decided to throw some paint at the contemptor and see what i could do with the Crimson Fists in mind.

Overall i am fairly happy with the model, though i am fair from the levels of many painters out there.
My only gripe is the base, which apart from not knowing where to get more, i also feel doesn't really fit with the model/colours.

thoughts anyone?

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

the past and the future

Welcome back again..you really do enjoy my suffering eh...you sadists. I like it!

Well regular readers will be all too aware of my recent battles with motivation and lack there of.
Stuttering starts and failing drives have really been at the forefront of my hobby of late.

I had hoped to use guildball to push forward but like so much it has stuttered to a halt. At the moment it just seems to be the way of things and not getting enough game or in some cases 'any' games hits the motivational flow like a steam train.

A gem of an email popped up recently though and reminded me that next week i should be receiving my copy of Halo Fleet battles from spartan games. I am hoping that once painted i will be able to demo the crap out of it and get some local players interested...that the idea anyway!

But in the meantime and with one eye on future gaming events I have been pondering the merits of what to do with my limited gaming budget and time.
A chat with a friend last night as we made out way home from yet another sound trashing at football, got me thinking.

Realistically my time is restricted to games that can be played in a couple of hours tops..that includes setting up and putting away. On top of that my budget dictates that small purchases on a monthly basis are the best way forward. Hobby wise i have also come to accept that not getting to play will be the death knell to any project.

So this morning i put out a feeler amongst the twitter community for skirmish games and took on board a few suggestions. Mixed it with my own inspirations and the backwash of last nights conversation and did some pondering and broke the ideas down into Time+budget+gaming/hobby=success.

A lot of suggestions were made and some were good and some not so. One though offered by Mike Marshall piqued a little nugget of memory in the depths of my somewhat chaotic mind. The one was Dead Mans Hand by Great Escape Games.
I had heard of the game and seen a few pics about. So off i went surfing the various blogs and pages and videos.
 A chat with a friend yielded a general consensus of give it a go, so i broke it down into the equation above.

Time. Well the game seems to be fairly quick and easy to learn, has itself broken down into mini games , that could easily be spread over an evening or two. This nicely fits into being both a suitable gaming night game, and something i could pick up and play with the better half.

Budget. This is a big consideration at the moment. On a good month i can muster maybe £50 for the hobby budget. Looking at the game the basic get started set up is £20 + models. A bit of a trawl has yielded some fairly cheap and decent options, along with some friends already having the models too.

Hobby. The models themselves offer a wide variety with the multitude of manufacturers out there. Anything from cowboys and indians through to the doc and sheriffs of tombstone.
Inspiration should hardly be a struggle with all the modern westerns and a memory full of my dad watching the old ones.
Another side of the hobby of course..is terrain. The game requires a 3x3 play area...which should be fairly easy to come by and transport. For buildings theres plenty of options and most fall within my current monthly budget. I will more than likely set my eyes on the 4ground stuff though as it negates my inability to paint scenery.

So a lot of thinking and breaking the idea down has yielded a pretty conclusive answer. The only reviews of the game seem fairly positive and hopefully once i have a bit more of a table, it will be a game to garner more interest from the club dwellers in the future.

So, yeah...thats my thoughts. Hopefully nailed to the wall.

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Balls..BIG round ..guild balls.

So yeah...
I'm kinda delirious with brain fry at the moment.

I had this fantastic plan...i mean it was fool proof. Models i would enjoy painting. A slow build plan and a scheme all worked out.

But i should know better shouldn't. I mean the blog name says it all.
What happened this time i hear you grumble.
Well it went like this 'fuzzy flashback fade out' effects.

I walked into Games Workshop full of intent and ideas. Sidled smoothly up to the Tau section, looked for that first model purchase and then my brain went. Nah.
Literally just straight up. Nah.
Ideas fled to the hills in terror, inspiration dived behind the sofa and trembled and enthusiasm dived into the River Ankh and was last seen clinging to a previous resident of the fine city (anyone get the reference?).

whooshy twanging and a snapping sensation as time reverts to normal.

So i then walked out of the store a little confused and downbeat.
Fortunately a quiet work day left much time for a pondering and thunking. I like a good thunk and sometimes i can really conce..coencent....constipate.

A bit of twittering, fbooking and random internet wanderings were the order of the day.
Now i don't really remember what it was that initially drew my eye..it could have been some distant memory swimming through the cosmos of my brain like the great a'tuin or it could even be DocBungles fault on twitter.

But something got me looking at guildball.
Now i have played bloodbowl and dreadball so i knew i liked sports games and i also knew the mrs liked them. So +1 there.

That little look turned into a data usage destroying search and a little itch (which for the record is not a wargaming STI and CANNOT be treated with creams, sprays or pills)
But the searching and digging opened up a game that outwardly looks very good. Nice characterful models much like my happy malifaux days.
A good chunk of youtubing has shown what appears to be a smooth playing game with a good amount of challenge but..and this is important...not a life sucking play length.

So it was starting to look promising. So a look towards a potential purchase began. Now this month the hobby budget is massively constrained (kids coming in the summer and now the death of the household boiler) have left me with a hobby budget the size of a nats left nut....if they even have nuts. But the budget would stretch to a whopping single starter box....but which one.

Pondering more pondering. A bike ride home that saw me arrive in a state that was less supreme athlete and more Whindle Poons after a very vigorous chase.

But back onto the interwebs...and then...well in simple terms. Inspiration struck.
But inspiration is not really the right word...as it's more of an idea....but this blog doesn't do things the easy way...you see there is a theory about ideas.

They all sit out in the darkness of space. Whizzing about and colliding with each other. Occasionally one gets knocked in the direction of this little ball of water and rock called 'The Earth'.
Most ideas never survive the entry through our atmosphere that has been likened to a really bad morning after a decisively violent Vindaloo.
But some do. Some slam into the mind of passing humans. Then in a flash of brilliance they forget.
But some....the really lucky ones....find a willing mind.
Davinci saw art and flying machine.
Einstein world changing theories.
Baach great orchestras of music.
Even in a caveman there was fire.

The one that was unfortunate enough saw.
It saw Brewers guild players in Tartan, possible even Tartan and tattoos.
It griped the empty vessel of my and squeezed for all it was worth. Then through no fault of it's own created an image or blue tattooed, fiery haired , Tartan wearing guild ball players. Think Braveheart with gingers...and be afraid.
Because i bloody well am.

I have no idea if i can even paint tartan, let alone paint it well. But i guess i will find out. There is a plan b, that involves a similar idea just without the tartan. But plan B is for the moment my brain joins my enthusiasm in the Ankh.

So yeah...umm someone once said...May you live in interesting times.
Most people thought it a blessing...little did they know.

Me...well i am gonna spell check the ramble, goggle up 'Salute of the jugger' and grin like Tim Curry playing a wizard who thinks he is about to take over the world.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

the plan for the future

So the blog has been pretty darn quiet.

My new job, trying to get fit, playing airsoft and now being dragged out of football retirement to step back into goal....well it has all taken it's toll on my hobby time.

Anyone who knows me, reads this blog or my twitter, knows i am a bit of a hobby butterfly.
But that doesn't mean i don't crave the beautiful army or nice completed project like everyone else.

But recently it's been worse than ever. Fleeting visits to a new bolt action army, various games and a return to try marines. But none of them have really bitten in much. Even worse at times i have even questioned my place in wargaming and thought long and hard about just walking away.

But those reflections like any in life bring more questions than answers.
The biggest one though was.
Why don't i enjoy my hobby anymore?.

It's a hell of a question isn't it.

I spent the last couple of weeks dwelling on it. Looking for various answers from various angles.
I don't get nearly enough gaming time and that plays a fair part. But that's down to choice of games. I broke away from GW a while back and unless your blessed with fair sized multi game venues, you have already taken a step into the wilderness. Another aspect of this has been my work preventing me attending the best of the clubs in the area and being able to play what had been my main game 'Bolt Action'.

The other answer lies deeper within the hobbyist in me.
I just haven't been enjoying my painting....not for a really long time. I have rode along on the eddies and flows of whats cool and in turn lost the love of painting by painting things that just don't appeal deep down.

For the foreseeable future i don't see the gaming situation changing. But it will because in finding and answering the questions i have drawn myself  up a bit of a plan.

Gaming will come, it will come in the shape of 40k. Why? well it's the single most prevalent game locally, it still has a lot of appeal and lets face it, from the kid within to the adult without...its where a majority of us discovered wargaming.
I'm making an active decision to avoid most major forums and the inherent GW hatred they seem to spew into the web, in the past it has really eroded my hobby love and the future plan doesn't want ot need them 'negative vibes'.

So the hobbyist...how to address it. Well simple really.
I looked over my photobucket gallery, pondered over various pics, reflected on the models i enjoyed painting, the ones i liked the look of and what i didn't.

And in a rather shocking revelation to myself. I discovered that in about 3 years of painting (if not more) aside from my Bolt Action British paras, The only model i really recall enjoying painting.....AND being happy with at the end.

Was a Tau Empire XV104 Riptide.

I thought about the whys and what for on the project and realised i put more time and effort not only into the painting, but the pose, base and dynamic of the model, than any model in recent memory.

So i set to thunking on it some more.
Looked at the models, thought about the fluff and the options. Thought about a plan of taking a project forward and set myself a bit of a plan.
It's nothing exciting, it wont make GW a billion dollars and it won't break the bank. It's simple in it's elegance and purity.

Purchase 1 box a month. No mater how big or small. (no battleforce type boxes though).
The paint that box over the spare time i have that month. If it isn't finished, no purchase the next month.

It's simple because it eliminates one of my flaws. Looking at a massive army and getting daunted, then disgruntled and then bored by the large array of grey plastic.

So that's the plan folks. It's not earth shattering, it's not even something new to most hobbyists out there. But hopefully, given time. It will see me back in the fold and gaming once more.

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Small steps for Bolt Action and Malifaux

Welcome back long suffering maniacs.

Last few days has seen some slow but steady progress on my Bolt Action US Airborne force.
Some folks have pointed out the distinct lack of great coats on 'winter' Americans.
Before i set out on this project i decided the force would be part of the 506th PIR of the 101st Airborne. Any fans of Band of Brothers, either the book or tv series, or any one with some insight into the US Airborne in the Ardennes. Will know that the 101st were rushed to the front, many had very little winter clothing (in fact in 'BoB' it's only the officers with the Great Coats) and most had little to no ammo.
When researching and deciding on the models to use, i used this rational to explain the inclusion of models without greatcoats and the fact that some would be wearing items of the M1942 and M1943 uniform. Lets face it, old kit or not, when your skins forming ice crystals from the cold, it's not going to matter as long as it keeps you warm. Hence, the mix of Warlord games and Artizan models.

Now that's out of the way.

Here's the progress so far
Overall infantry shot

Closer shot of a couple of models to hopefully show the work that's gone into the basic uniform.
Mortar spotter, 2nd Lt and Medic team.

Hopefully over the next couple of days i can get the webbing painted and start to break up the plain green feel. Also apologies for the poor pics, they were taken late at night on a camera phone :(

Last but not least.
I made the decision to try and get back into Malifaux by Wyrd Miniatures.
I still need to get my hands on the wave 1 and 2 arsenal decks to be able to play.
But as of today, this will be my crew of choice to learn with.

Ressurectionists Kirai

So that's the general hobby all up to date. Hope your all doing well.

Sunday, 1 February 2015

Adventuring back through the breach

As i eluded to hahaha...ok spaffed and waxed lyrical about in my last post.
I have taken the plunge and decided to venture back through the breach and back into Malifaux.

You already know the crew i am taking from my previous post 'Kirai'.
So most of my current time is spent reading articles on her, trying to find paint scheme ideas and above all, trying to figure out how to do some really characterful bases.
But a break from the google bashing was needed.
So here i am.
With nothing new to show.
Miniature Monday on the horizon and a need to show off something.

So i thought i would dig up my previous malifaux works and show them off.
A kind of...here i am, here's what i hope to achieve on a painting level once again.

So without further delay...here they are.

The Ortega family

Perdita Ortega

Santiago Ortega

Nino Ortega

Francisco Ortega

Papa Loco

Abuela Ortega

 Next up
The Red Chapel Crew...or Seamus and his ladies of negotiable hospitality


Copycat Killer

Madam Sybelle

Rotten Belles

No close ups on my next crew sadly.
But the Viktorias along with Misaki

Finally, like any wargamer, i like to try and have something nice to play over. But my 40k/wfb boards just weren't going to cut it for the Victorian steampunk world of Malifaux.
So i spent a good few weeks and a stupid amount of money on card, foamcard,printer cartridges and prittstick.
To produce a board from WorldWorks Games.

But my god was it worth the time and effort.

It started off looking like this

With a good amount of swearing and time it became more like this

Before finally becoming this. Worth the effort i hope you will agree.

So that's where i am at and where i hope to head to once again.

As usual thoughts, comments, suggestions are always welcome, especially in relation to where i might source some interesting Oriental bases/decorations for base.
Any thoughts just hit me up on twitter @ghostwalker0299

Friday, 30 January 2015

Once more into the breach brothers.

Been a little while since my last post.
Mostly down to work, depression and an insane dog.
Today was successful though. By that i mean, the 3 hour dog walk over icy paths, frozen fields and muddy tracks. Didn't end in broken bones or death...if that sounds like a weird statement...you have never owned a prey driven German Shepherd dog.

But anyways.

What about the Bolt Action stuff.
Well right now it's sat on the desk awaiting its base colour, having been primed black. A decision on that colour needs to be made and much pondering is going on in regards to this subject.

But whilst that happens...i well..slipped through a gap in space and time and found myself back in 2010.

*swirly cheap ass 70's flashback effects*

Back in early 2010 i saw a model on the net, initially i thought it looked absolutely amazing. But not really seeing the game it was linked to, i passed on by.
6 months later i met my fiancee....odd fact but bear with me.
We went gaming mad...amongst other things..oooo errrr missus.
Then in early 2011 i remembered the model as we were discussing trying some new games. Wargames you pervs.

I couldn't recall the name or the company so a few minutes googlefoo went off as i searched for a 'mad hatter' model. Those in the know, know where this is going and can now see the link in with the title.
Evidently though (for those not in the know) the model was Seamus, one of the 3 masters for the Ressurectionist faction of a relatively new game called Malifaux.
Back then it was relatively new to this part of the world and i went digging.
Discovered the card mechanic and had my interest springs plucked.

We downloaded the rules, grabbed some playing cards and proxied the game with some marines and nids....not very Victorian horror steampunk i know...but it worked.
We loved the game...and went a bit mad.

Crews, books, fate decks were purchased games were had and i took the leap to become the first henchman in the Norfolk area (demo gamer for the wyrd miniatures company).
Madness took on a new meaning from then, masses of games, trying to hook people in.
Then we booked into the first wargames show in Norwich in many years. Weeks of frantic printing,gluing, swearing and cutting followed as i went gaga for Faux and made a 'World Works Games' board out of card stock.
The show went amazingly well with lots of games taking place...at one point THREE demo games on the same board as i was ably assisted by my better half and another Henchman named Clousseau (wonder what happened to him) who travelled in from another area to help.
Months of games followed but work,life and a touch of burnout struck.
As it the way with gamers, interest wavered and new shiny stuff caught my eye.
Malifaux moved towards Avatars and M2E and i drifted away.

Cue swirly 70's effects again.
Back into 2015...

A week or 2 ago a few of the twitter #warmongers community were waxing lyrical about Malifaux and recent tournaments.
My interest piqued a little, an itch formed in the recesses of my mind.
That itch spent a few days gnawing on my mind and i looked, noticed more posts.
Memories of fantastic games surfaced and the Itch became a rash (doctor says it will go away given time and adequate medication).
This all came to a head yesterday.
Morning time came and saw me order the Guild Arsenal decks for wave 1 and 2 to allow me to field my trusty Ortega family.
Then i saw a post from another player selling his Kirai crew.
Ah bugger....pm comes, some messages are exchanged and i contemplate how to get the money.

Sometimes wonder if fate or twists of fate (malifaux pun) kicked in.
Cheeky spam email from a 'gambling site' gives me a £5 free bet if i return (old footy bet habit). I figure ah what the heck, check a could of tipsters i know and put the free bet on a couple of 3 legged horses with blind jockeys.
Result. No expense paid, returns £59.
Kirai paid for!!!
Deal in place a plea for help went out. Now at this point i would like to salute the general #warmonger community and the Malifaux community.
A plea for someone localish to me, to meet the seller at the weekends tourney and pick the models up was submitted.
A member of the community at this point offered to help and even went as far as to offer to pay for the minis when collected and then collect the money from me when he dropped them off.
A trusting gesture that i doubt many would make.

So whats the point of the overly long and rambly blog post.
Well aside from my Bolt Action fix, it looks like i shall be heading back through the breach and into the wilds of malifaux once again, armed with noobish moves, too many questions and a thirst for souls....no doubt ably assisted by my better half Carol and her filthy gang of murderers and undead hookers.

Friday, 16 January 2015

The poor bstards of bastogne

So a few days older and no wiser.
My stuff arrived from Artizan and has been added to the warlord stuff.
Much filing, gluing, swearing (if you have ever assembled a mortar you will understand) followed.
Then there was pondering, humming and harring as i looked over the various models, poses, weapons etc.
Finally the eureka moment was reached.
Models were arranged, squads set out. Models shuffled and swapped about.
And finally.

Working left to right.

Left side.
2 Paratrooper squads. Both with 4 rifles, 2 sub machine guns and a NCO with sub machine gun.
Front left my medic team with a wounded Para.
front right  2 man bazooka team.

M18 Hellcat tank destroyer. Upgraded with recce ability and pintle mounted heavy machine gun.
Airborne Jeep for transport purposes, so unarmed.
Command team. Richard winters historicon model along with an extra man who is looking down at a map.

Right side
8 man Paratrooper section with 5 rifles, 2 sub machine guns and NCO with sub machine gun.
Middle - medium mortar team with spotter
front left 2 man sniper team
front right  3 man medium machine gun team.

994pts of men and machines from the 506th parachute infantry and 705th Tank destroyer battalion.

Now just 5 months and 3 days to get it all painted.

Sunday, 11 January 2015


Welcome back, the emergency exits have been sealed to prevent your escape.

So following on from my previous post about the decisions to be made...and the astute amongst you having seen the title. You can guess how the process went.

Or possibly not.

You see, simple as it sounds...life is anything but.
Shortly after posting, my long suffering fiancee offered a deal. Now anyone in my situation would know deals involve IF's or BUT's. Anyone with a gamerchick for a fiancee also knows there is no pulling the wool over their eyes regarding purchases.
But i digress and must go back to the point.
Carol pipes up and says 'I will make you a deal. I will buy your entire US Airborne army as a very early birthday present (5 months early)'.
This was then followed by the dreaded 'BUT'.
Now i don't know whether Panic had kicked in here, or self preservation or some primordial instinct. But like a fly in the spiders web i waited with baited breath for the clause.
Then it came.
'you can't buy anymore models or games until after the tournament' (6 months away).
Now anyone who follows this blog knows that i have incurable ADOSS (Attention Deficit Oh Shiny Syndrome).
Sweat beaded on my brow, the nervous twitch of the eternally slow painter battled with the magpie gamer in a war of time. Turn the offer down and face less time to paint the models, but have more shinnies or take the offer and start longingly as the new toys i will not have.
Well the painter won. Concessions were made to things like paint, scenery/materials for the army display board.

So what followed was a frantic working of a list, some fluff chasing and then a trawl of several games companies for the right miniatures.
In the end the £120 cost of the army was split between Northstar Games (Artizan) and Warlord Games.
Order placed i waited with glee....well actually it was more like the death throes of a 100 a day smoker as a virus has the better of me. But again i digress.

Now at this point i am going to wax lyrical about the games company Warlord Games. I have done it in the past and I'm going to do it again. Not because i have any endorsement or affiliation with them. It's purely because i believe good customer service deserves a mention in this day and age.
So why you may ask.
Well the army was ordered at 11pm Thursday night. At the same time i was chatting on facebook about the lack of a Airborne 81mm mortar, a fact that meant i had ordered a standard US army one and intended on mocking up a crew.
Well about 2pm friday an email notification pops up with 'order despatched'. Now anyone can agree that's pretty darn quick, what makes it faster is that the order had a warning 'some models are cast to order and this may cause a short delay'. So to see such a quick dispatch was a surprise.
Not content with this small achievement though. A certain David Mathews who works at Warlord, (i should mention has great community interaction) pops up in my facebook chat. We had spoke about the 81mm mortar situation on the boltaction page on fb and he had pointed out the US Army one to me.
David then proceeds to inform me that 'he has picked out a scratch crew of US airborne models from other airborne weapons to make up an 81mm mortar crew and put it in with my order for free'.
I can't really say how much gestures like this make me feel appreciated by a games company.
It's above and beyond the call of customer service in my book.
Of course many thanks were warmly extended to David, i would have offered him my Mrs for the night, but i could sense the impending slap lol.

So Saturday comes.
The door rings and look whats in the posties hand

(barring the Historicon 'Day of Days' Dick Winters model) which was already owned. See i do have a 'Dick'.

So that's one very happy gamer, with the next 6 months of my life sorted out (albeit without the madness of new model purchases...but that may be a good thing).

So whats the plan you ask.
Well with the Dick Winters model.
It can only be the men of Easy Company 506th Parachute Infantry, supported by a Hellcat from the 705th Tank Destroyer Battalion.
The force is solidly based and themed around the Battle of Bastogne/Ardennes. So much research of winter basing and scenery techniques will be needed (especially for the board).
I have even gone as far as including a Medic in the force to represent Eugene Roe who has probably his finest moments in the show during the battle for Bastogne.

So that's the plan. Now for some frantic filing, cutting, filling and eventually...painting. But that's another blog post for another day.

Thursday, 8 January 2015

Bolt on, Bolt off, Bolt Action.

Sometimes i do wonder what on earth this life thing is doing.
Was happy painting up infinity models and a few rivetwars models. When up pops one of the head honchos from the club i attend.
Chitter chatter and many messages later and it appears i am going to defend my 'Best painted' title at the clubs Afterbolt3 Bolt Action tournament on June 20th this year.
Now that shouldn't be a problem i hear you say. You got your painted British Paras. Well it would be jolly poor form to show up with the same force eh.

So i find myself in the midst of a conundrum.
I have an almost a full 1000pts of German infantry still on the sprue. Only need the odd mortar to fill it out. But the Germans don't really do it for me.
The other option is the Yanks.
Back in the midst of last year Warlord in association with Historicon released a Richard Winters model....for those of you confused...Band of brothers Lt Winters. Apart from all the jokes about grown men playing with their 'Dicks'....I'm sure you can all work that one out. There was a general pull towards an American list for me.
I was blessed and on the Qt Carol ordered a second Winters model so that i could have one to paint and one to treasure...yeah baby i got 2 'dicks'!.

Now i don't know if or how many of you have seen Band of Brothers. But talk about a source of inspiration. Carantan, Day of Days, Ardennes. So many visual moments in episodes that can inspire.

But ofcourse there is a BUT (its the opposite side of ...ok enough with the abbreviated Richard jokes).

Unlike the German force i own.... The Winters model would be the only current US Airborne model in my possession.

Hmmmm decisions decisions.

Monday, 5 January 2015

Rivet Wars a humble gamers review

Welcome back long suffering bloggy type folks.
Been a long winter with very little update material.
Some projects got put on hold, some worked on. But amongst the chaos of unemployment a gem was found.

My long suffering fiancee sighed as i spied another new shiny on the shelves of a local wargame store. That shiny was Rivet Wars from Coolminiornot and Edge Entertainment.
First impressions of the box are that the art work is very cutesy but also a bit bizarre!!!! Monowheel bikes, biplanes, chicken walkers and trench warfare. If you want a real life sum up of the artwork...google rivet wars at gencon. The diorama says it all.

Intrigued by something that looked so different from the usual grimdark, manga or full on historical, i thought  would give it a chance.
Bam Heavy box....Something i have begun to accept when coolmini put their name on something-see zombicide.

On getting home i did what all us gamers do. I turned into a shrink wrap rending version of Freddy Krueger.
The fresh wargame smell as the box opens is always a flashback to gentler times of childhood and trainsets.
But what waited within.
High quality cardstock templates - check.
Rulebook - check.
various cards and plastic tokens - check.
Chunky mud coloured dice...different - check.
Models...lots of models and something called plugs. Say what? Now i am not talking your UK 3 pin or weird foreign plug. I'm not even talking about the more discrete, rubber moulded apparatus used by more nefarious folk and a good chunk of the #warmongers community.
No these plugs were like...little character widgets for the vehicles. Hmmmm different. (Note i have it on good reference that the fit of these plugs is similar to that of the more rubberised variety).
Ok interest piqued. Carol roped in for a playtest...of the game...you filthy minded cretins.
The rules seemed easy enough and we sallied forth into war.
A couple of games later and we realised a mistake. The rules for terrain/objective bunkers etc. We played like it was fairly normal terrain as we couldn't find any reference to it in the book. Packing up we discovered the rules...on the back page DOH!!!!!. A minor oversight on our part but also a questionable decision not to list them simply within the main rules section.

Due to real life about this point, gaming kinda ground to a halt.
Fast forward to today.

I managed to arrange a couple of games with a fellow riveter.
Now with a clearer understanding of the rules, the game made more sense and went much faster.
2 games in 2 hours. Mayhem, mortals dying, heroic grunts and pathetic pilots all featured to the staccato crash and thump of Pounders and monowheels.
Yes fun was had, blood was shed and laughter rang out.
But more of a feel for the game was gained.

Yes its got a cutesy chibby look to the figures.But it also has secret missions and a nice touch that you can never get tabled combined with the fact that the player who goes second always gets his last turn even when player 1 has achieved his victory point total.
An example of that would have been todays second game. I was player 1. The target number of vp's (completing secret missions/capturing strategic points) was 10.
Happily i hit the target and looked over at my opponent with a 10-5 lead. Thought to myself. That's not gonna be easy to overturn (even if you get to the 10 as player 1. Player 2 can try to tie the game up for an extra turn or even steal victory by beating the tally himself).
My opponent scratched his head, deployed his rivets and pondered his special action and secret mission cards. Smiled and murmured 'this might just be doable'. Dice clattered across the board, men died and infantry charged forward. Alas 1 dice betrayed him and from the jaws of the tie up, victory was mine (trust me i was sweating a tad, but laughing my butt off).

All in all though, what struck me most was that the game really could appeal to all. Kids will love the look of the game, It's got enough 'Board game' feel to make a simple beer and pretzels night in and it offers enough tactical challenge (especially the latter missions and adding in more variant characters etc) that the most seasoned gamer will have a few head scratch moments.

So if you can. Give the game a look. The core box is expensive at nigh on £80. But you won't regret it.