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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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.