Thursday, January 17, 2019

WWII German Cavalry

Many years ago, probably about 11 years ago, I ordered a bunch of stuff for various projects. This was actually a bout of retail therapy. During that time my family and I were going through some tough times and I was not thinking too clearly for a while.  As a result I ended up with a whole bunch of stuff that I never got to or just plain for got.

Enter my Crusader Miniatures German Cavalry collection. These are actually from the now defunct Crusader USA.  I did manage to assemble these back in the day but for about 10 years they have been in a box in my garage.  They did not do too well in the box.

The Crusader USA figures were manufactured my Old Glory and for some reason they used a much softer alloy then their other figure lines.  As a result these soft figures bent very easily especially the thin horse legs as you can see.  II was able to straighten them out but several figures required green stuff reinforcements on the ankles.

After a few days of work I now have a nice cavalry squad for my Bolt Action Germans.  I am really happy with how these turned out.  I wouldn't mind adding a few more and I really wish they would do a mounted MG34 team.

Monday, January 14, 2019

Rubicon Panzer IIIM

Another Christmas gift is complete.  This time we have the Rubicon Models Panzer III.  This is another first generation kit from Rubicon and I 'think' it has been updated with more detailed and accurate kit.  This kit claims to build the J through N models but it will not build the J.  I went with the M version.  The kit has a more traditional design than the Panzer IV I just built.  Assembly was quick and easy and the instruction were accurate.  I went with a quick three color paint job for game set in '43 and later though this tank would be rare after 1943.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Rubicon Panzer IVH

For Christmas I received a couple Rubicon kits for my Bolt Action Germans.  The first one I built was the Panzer IV kit.  This is the first generation kit and it is a little odd in some of its design characteristics.  It was easy to build and can be built in three (four?) different versions.  It is not the most accurate model of the Panzer IV out there but for wargaming it is more than adequate. I went with the IVH version so I can use the model for '43-'45 themed games.  I wouldn't mind having a couple more kits to build the other versions but I think this one is no longer available.  Rubicon has completely redesigned this models and released a new version.  I have not seen that one in person but I expect it is excellent.

This was a very quick build and paint job and, as often happens, the photos for the blog post reveal lots of flaws that I was not aware of.  Oh well, nothing a little touch-up won't fix.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Speed Freeks Completed Set

At the beginning of November my friend, Tim, gifted me a most generous and unexpected birthday present - Speed Freeks.  We had both been excited for this release but for slightly different reason.  We both fell in love with the previews of the models.  Tim was more interested in the actually game as he is not an Ork player and has no plan to start an army.  He is, however, a fan of games like Gaslands so this seemed like an game that would be easier to get on the table...and the models are cool.  I was actually more interested in the models than the game as they make excellent additions to my ever growing and expansive Ork hoard.  I kind of figured the game would be somewhat of a throwaway game.  It turns out it is a pretty fun game all on its own.

For the last couple months I have been working diligently to complete the entire set.  If you have been following along you have seen the posts for each individual Speedmob and a brief blurb about the game itself.  I am proud and excited to reveal the completed Speed Freeks box set!  This is the first time I have ever completely painted all the models in a GW boxed game or starter set.

All the models included in the game assembled and painted.

These are the terrain pieces included in the game.

I purchased an old set of Ork barricades that were painted but just needed some weathering.  These are the old resin models from many years back.  I actually forgot to get one of them in the picture.

Next up for this will be to assemble and paint the new Mekboy Workshop kit and the junk piles included with that set.  I also have a second set of the old resin Ork walls to finish.  This will give me tons of terrain for 40K, Kill Team and Speed Freeks.

Once again, these items were painted at the end of last year so no painting credit for this.

Friday, January 4, 2019

Speedmob #2

I finished up the second Speedmob for my Speed Freeks game at the end of last year but I ran out of time to get the pictures and make a post.  This mod features the Kustome Boosta-blasta and three Ork bikers.  The Kustome Boosta-blasta is in the running for coolest model ever!  These new Ork buggies have so much detail it is crazy.  My only complaint is that much of this detail cannot be seen once the models is assembled but for some reason it does not seem right to leave these details unpainted.  The take forever to paint and build.

I was really hoping to get these on the table for some New Year's Eve gaming but ti was not to be.  I am not sure when I will get to use these but I am looking forward to it.

So no paint credit for these for this year.  Now on to Ork basing updates!

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

2019 Hobby Goals and Ideas

Welcome to 2019!  Today marks the first day of a new year and the beginning of my thirteenth year of this blog.  That kind of blows my mind.  I have been blogging for 13 years but my miniature gaming goes back more than 20 years and if you include role-playing I have been doing the gamer thing for approaching 40 years.  Anyway back on point.  This is my annual attempt to set the theme for the hobby year ahead.

As usual this is just a stream of consciousness sort of post and is in no way an actual guide to how my year will go.  In fact, I will likely not read this again until I am just about ready for the year-end summary.  So lets jump in!

Age of Sigmar

I have really been enjoying this game for the last 6 months and I really hope to keep this one going in 2019.  My Nighthaunt army is painted to about 1600 points and I only have a few models left to paint.  I will be buying a few more things for this army this year.  I would like to get this up to a point where I can do 2000 point games with some options.

I plan to paint the Stormcast half of the Soul Wars set this year. I also have a few Stormcast models to finish up.  I don't really have plans to buy anything for the army this year but if I start playing it that might change.  If I paint everything I have I should be right around 2000 points which is right where I want to be.

I have several models for Blade of Khorne collected and I would like to make progress of getting this painted this year.  If I can get the battle tome and the war scrolls for the army that would make playing it that much easier.  I think I have about 1000 points of models so there is some room for purchases for this.  I am planning for this to be my Chaos faction for AoS but I must admit I might be tempted to dump it for a Beast of Chaos army if the right opportunity came along.

I would like to add a destruction faction to my collection this year.  The new Night Goblins look really good but it is not really my style.  I really hope one or more of my friends goes with them as they look like they would be fun to play against.  I am really leaning in the direction of the Beastclaw Raiders for this project.  They are just amazing models and the army would be really different from my other AoS armies.

Warhammer 40,000

This game did not see much table time last year and I need to change that for 2019.  I did purchase the new Ork Codex last year and I ordered some base adapters to bring my Orks up to date.  This will likely be my first and main effort for the year.  My Space Marines and IG will likely stay on the shelf this year.  Any new purchases this year will likely be for my Orks but I must admit that the new Genestealer Cult models coming out are going to be tempting.

Kill Team

I bought the starter box set late last year but I have yet to play.  I would like to give this a try this year but I am a little worried that the support for the game will dry up.  GW has already said there will be new stuff for Kill Team this year so this might have some legs.  This will mainly depend of if my friends have any interest in trying it as well.  I do plan to get the Rogue Trader expansion this year.

Necromunda Underhive

This game had a great year in 2018 with my group and I would like to keep the momentum going.  I am little unsure what GW plans for this game going forward and there seems to be almost nothing in the way of rumors.  I hope they continue with the new model releases in 2019 but it might be more like how Blood Bowl is handled.  If we see 2 new factions this year I would be happy and maybe even a little surprised.  My gut is telling be we might only see a few more Forge World characters and beast models and that's about it.  No matter what happens I want to keep playing this game.  I want to build a second gang this year and if I get really motivated maybe a third.  I would like to finish painting my walls and doors for Zone Mortalis games and build a cool Sector Mechanicus table.  There is lots of potential with this game this year.

20th Century Games

There is a lot of stuff I want to do in 2019 for games set in 20thC conflicts.  First up will be the new Great War version from Battlefront/Osprey.  This will be the v4 update for the period and will include a new army, Belgians, as well as son new troop types like cavalry.  I have greatly enjoyed our WWI games and Osprey seems to be handling their contribution to the v4 transition very well.  I am optimistic about this.  At the least I will get the rules.

2019 will be a very interesting year for WWII games.  I think Bolt Action will be a big resurgence this year with me and my friends.  I would like to get some games going for the Pacific and for Market Garden.  For Market Garden I will need to update my German collection and I might even consider an SS force (I have NEVER had a desire for SS but the MG campaign book is very good and I would like to play through it). 

For 15mm gaming I think that Flames of War will be back on the table.  I still don't see it being anywhere near as popular as it once was but we all have large collections and we would like to use them.  I did acquire a lot of the Battlegroup books and I would like to find a way to incorporate this excellent game into line up.  I have been toying with the idea of using Battlefront's firestorm Market Garden campaign game but play the actual battles with any one of three sets of rules - Bolt Action, Flames of War or Battle group.  I actually have Market Garden books for all three systems.  This might be overly ambitious but we will see.

Fate of a Nation must get played this year!  It has been about 2 years since I last had my Israelis on the table and that is too long.  A major goal will be to update this army into a Centurion/Sh'ot centered force.  Once that is done I want to build a Jordanian M48 force. 

TANKS and TANKS The Modern Age would be cool to get on the table this year.  I didn't do much with this last year.  I feel like TMA is very likely to get me into Team Yankee this year.  The new World War III: Team Yankee coming out this year will be tempting.

Black Powder/Horse and Musket

I have no major plan for this kind of gaming for 2019.  My ACW collection for Black Powder is very large and not missing much.  I might get some cavalry painted this year.  It would be cool to revisit the idea we had last year of smaller point matched games set in Jackson's Valley campaign.  Last year I purchased "Brave Hearts Trembled Regimental Wargame Scenarios for the Battle of Antietam" by Brad Butkovich.  This is a really nice book that could inspire me to plan another large Black Powder game.  I have no plans yet but time will tell.  Joe and I will continue to slowly paint forces for Napoleonics.  I think if I get another couple battalions of French and another commander we will be able to play a small battle.  That would be amazing.

 I need to dig through my ACW leftovers and find about 20 skirmishing Unions soldiers and paint them up for Fistful of Lead - Horse and Musket.  Some ACW skirmish games would be a lot of fun and something different from an Old West shootout.

Board Games

Now that I have both sides of the Speed Freeks game painted I want to play it.  I might have to recruit the family for this.  A few games of this would be a win.  My Warhammer Quest Silver Tower set needs to get painted and played this year.  Our one attempt to play it few a little flat.  We can do better.  I would like to get the Blackstone Fortress game this year and give it a try.  Warhammer Underworlds will get played but I don't see myself spending any more money on it.  I have both starter sets and one expansion so I have 5 factions.  This will keep me busy for a while.   I need to get Tim to run more old school Quest games this year and also some Space Hulk games.

Other Thoughts

As it stands if I do all the things I have listed above I will have another year of huge game diversity.  I will need to draw the line on some stuff just to give myself a chance.  It looks like Kings of War is over for me.  It was fun but the main player driving the game moved on  so it died.  SAGA is also likely done for me.  I did not play it at all last year and I have not purchased the new version and I have no plans to.  Some of the guys are excited about the fantasy expansion but not me.  Frostgrave is over.  I will keep buying the books and maybe even paint the occasional figure but I no longer plan nor expect to play it.

Blogging will continue and I hope to keep up the level of production.  Tweeting will continue but I need to find the widget to add the tweet stream onto my blog.  I seen other with it but I don't see the option to add. 

This year I need to really work on the social aspect of the hobby.  Wargaming is not just about buying stuff and painting stuff it is also about playing games.  Actually playing games is the social aspect of the hobby and it requires you to interact with others.  In the last few years I have found my circle of game friends (just friends really) slowly dwindling.  I need to put solid effort this year into reconnecting with old friends and being more welcoming of potential new friends.  It really is the friendships that is the major draw for me of this hobby and for too long I have neglected this part.

Here's to a fun and exciting year of gaming!

Thursday, December 27, 2018

2018 Year in Review

Time once again for my annual year end gaming summary and evaluation.  As usual this is a rather silly exercise that I take a unusual amount of pleasure in.  As always I started the year with several ideas about what I would like to do or accomplish over the course of the year.  It is also a bit of a prediction about what I will be interested in.  Not surprisingly I am often wrong in my predictions.  Lets jump in!

Sci-Fi Gaming

At the beginning of the year I had expected that GW's Shadow-war Armageddon would a be a well played game for the year.  It turns out I was way off base on that idea.  This game did not get played at all and is, unsurprisingly, dead.  The main thing that killed it was GW's release of the new Kill Team edition this year.  While I did not get into Kill Team it was made clear that SWA was just a flash in the pan to sell you old models.  I did, eventually, purchase Kill Team but it has not been played.

I had very low expectations at the beginning of the year for Necromunda Underhive.  I knew I would be spending lots of cash on the game and I did, but I did not think it would see much table time. That is where I was wrong.  This turned into the second most played game of the year for me and we even managed a short campaign.  For purchases I bought the Deathray Designs wall set and manage to build it all and paint a lot of it.  These wall really make the Zone Mortalis games so much better.  I bought all the gangs, cards and books released this year and I even managed to acquire some of the Forge World stuff.  It was a very exciting year for this game.

I had some hopes that 40K would see a lot of action this year as I do like the 8th edition rules a lot.  Sadly I was only able to get in two games.  I blame this relative inaction on GW waiting so long to release the new Ork codex.  Had this been out earlier in the year I would have been more motivated to get games going.  My friend Tim got me the Speed Freeks game for my birthday and we did get in one game of that.  I also managed to paint a few more models for my Ork collection and I got sucked into the Space Marine Heroes blind buy thing.  All in all not a bad year but more games would have been better.

As for non-GW sci-fi I had thoughts that CAV: Strike Operation would see some table and paint time this year but that did not happen.  I am kind of over this.  The models are cool and cheap but the game is really incomprehensible and I am just too old to decode complicated rules.  I thought that the Fallout game and the Star Wars legions games would be a major distraction as well but I managed to resist them both.  The Fallout game really had some release issues that kind of turned me off.


This is a very broad category that covers lots of periods and games.  In the past this would have been dominated by Flames of War but times have changed.

We played a very large Flames of War Great War game for the 100th anniversary of the end of the war.  The game was about 3000 points to a side and was great fun.  It is the first WWI game we have played in more than a year, maybe two years.

I had expected that Battlegroup would be a big game this year.  We did play one game early in the year and as usual it went well and was fun.  But it just did not catch on.  My friend Tom decided to drop the game and I did pick-up his collection of books.  I really hate to see this game go away but I have to figure out how it fits with our game group.  I think this game needs to be run as as scenario game similar to Black Powder and not as a points match game like Flames of War.  Not a good year for this game.

Tom and I played one game of Flames of War v4 this year.  This was the first time I had played with the true 4th edition rules.  I purchased the Afrika Korps book and cards and even the command cards.  The game went well and was fun but it played very different and will take some adjustment.  We both discovered that purchasing the books it a waste of money as just about everything you need to build an army is in the unit card decks.  I really want to enjoy this and maybe even love it but it is still leaving a bad taste in my mouth.

TANKS and TANKS; The Modern Age did not go much of anywhere this year for me.  I managed one game of TANKS.  I purchased the modern age set and built the tanks but I didn't get in any games.  This was a little bit of a let down.

I purchased the new edition of the Fate of a Nation rules and read them.  This game looks really good and it inspired me to plan updating my army to the new edition.  There is a lot a buzz with my friends about this game but we did not get it to the table this year.  I really wish Osprey was doing all the rules for the Flames of War game systems.  They have such a good handle on how this should be done.

Bolt Action was also on the radar and on the game table this year.  I did not get in a lot of games but there were some important milestones with this game this year.  The big one was the completion of my long suffering Point 213 game.  Time and I have been working, off and on, on this game idea for the better part of 10 years.  A couple years ago we got this project back on track and kicked out a large terrain collection as well as completing all the models for the game.  We played the game in June and it was good fun but things just did not turn out as expected.  The Germans got slaughtered in a very one-sided action.  This is a result our test games did not exactly predict.  Another major milestone for BA was the completion of my US Marines to a playable level.  This project was to be our starting point for converting over to the 2nd edition rules.  Things took longer than expected for the guys but Tim and I managed to play a 500 point Marines vs Japanese v2 game last week so check that off the list.  It was a really good year for this game.

Horse and Musket/Old West

This is a game setting that has been dominated by dreams of huge games of Black Powder.  This year marked a slight change from the usual pattern.  Tim and I played a couple of games using the points system and played smaller games on a 4x8 table.  These games were actually a lot of fun.  We also played probably the largest BP game we have ever hosted - The Battle of Salem Church.  This was the third and final battle in a three year Chancellorsville campaign.  American Civil War figures turned out to be the most painted items for this year as well.  I added several new units and guns to the collection as well as some cool vignettes.  I also purchased a large collection of figures from a friend so I now have a massive 28mm ACW collection.

I managed to paint one more unit for my very sad attempt to get into the Napoleonic era using Black Powder.  I purchased the Clash of Eagles supplement and I would really love to do some games but I have really run out of support for this kind of project so no real progress was made.

Tim and I played one game of Fistfull of Lead for old west and had a blast.  Afterwards we discussed playing the Hores and Musket version of the game set in the ACW.  Tim promptly put together a Confederate force but I did not get to putting together a Union force.  This could have been better but I think there is a future in this idea.

Fantasy Games

When it comes to fantasy games I always seem to struggle.  Ever since the demise of LOTR years back I have been trying to find something to fill that hole (and LOTR ain't it incase you were wondering).  This year I really thought this would be covered by Frostgrave and perhaps Kings of War.  Well I didn't play either game this year.  I did manage to buy some Frostgrave items but no gaming.

I have been talking about Age of Sigmar as being something I am interested in learning more about and I thought this year might be the year I jumped in.  The new Soul Wars starter set with the absolutely amazing Nighthaunt models finally got me.  I actually ended up buying the 1st edition set as well as the Soul Wars set.  In a matter of a few months I went from never playing the game to have three armies for the game.  I have about 1500+ points of Nighthaunts painted as well as about 1000 points of Stormcast eternals.  I have about 1000 points of Khornate Slaughterhorde.  This was my most played game of the year and the second highest in the painting total.  I am pretty sure it wins the most money spent award as well.  I really jumped all in with this game this year and have really enjoyed every minute of it.

Board games and other stuff

By board games I really mean the special type of board game that bridges the gap between miniatures and more traditional games.  This area has been pretty interesting this year.  We got in a fair amount of time with the original Warhammer Quest and it was great fun as usual.  I purchased a second-hand copy of Warhammer Quest Silver Tower and we played the introductory scenario.  I liked it but everyone else was not impressed.  I painted one of the figures to use in my Stormcast army so not a total loss.

With the popularity of AoS in my group it was almost inevitable that Warhammer Underworlds (aka Shadespire) would get some attention.  I got the Shadespire set for my birthday in November and it has really caught me friends attention.  I have two painted factions done and I received Nightvault and the Sepulchral Guard expansion for Christmas.  This game is good fun and marks a big win for the year.

As previously mentioned the Speed Freeks game made its appearance in November and while only one game was played I think it has real promise.  The game works well as a stand alone game that is much more than a throw-away game.  We plan to play some more on New Years eve so this is just getting started.

I also played a couple of games of Bloodbowl this year.  These were only my second and third games ever but it was a alot of fun.  I don't own the game and I have no plans to but I did paint a team last year so it was fun to use my own team.

I was very tempted by the Blackstone Fortress game but its late appearance in the year ensured I would not get to it.  It looks amazing and I am sure it will be in my future.

Closing Thoughts

All things considered this was a really good year for the hobby for me.  As usual things turned out much different than I expected and maybe that indicates a problem with how I set my expectations.  Maybe for the new year predictions I should try and keep things a little less specific.  Move main theme for the year was to keep things simple and try and leverage things I already had and to try and limit myself to fewer game systems.  This was a total failure.  I actually spent more money and acquired more stuff than ever before.  As for the number of game systems, I played 16 different game systems. That is likely the most diversity I have ever achieved which is not what I was shooting for.

In the modeling and painting area of the hobby this was also a good year.  I assembled almost 400 models this year and that is very close to the number of models I painted. Sadly the models built and models painted weren't always the same.  anyway I feel that was pretty good productivity so counts a major win.  I did paint several complete army projects this year which really excites me.

The blog saw a resurgence this year as well.  I loaded the Blogger app on the phone and I used it for a few work in progress posts and it did help keep the blog going.  The app kind of sucks but it is better than nothing.  Overall post count is the highest since 2011 with this post making 48.  It really helps me keep my focus by sharing this but sadly the audience for hobby bogging has all but disappeared.  I really never get any comments of feedback and traffic levels are low.  Meanwhile, people are asking the same question over and over on Facebook groups...smh.

It was a great year with lots and lots of fun!  I really can't wait for the new year and all the new hobby adventures on the horizon.  I hope your year went just as well!

Models Assembled year to date (includes cleaning and prepping metal figures):

28mm ACW - 81 (3 Guns, 3 Limbers, 1 Wagon, 4 Tents)
Warhammer 40K - 27 (1 Battlewagon, 2 Buggies, 3 Killa Kans, 5 Deff Koptas, 6 Bikes)
Warhammer AoS - 152 (2 big beasties, 6 objectives, 4 Endless Spell)
Warhammer Underworlds - 8
Necromunda - 5
28mm Napoleonic - 24
28mm WWII - 27 (1 Tank, 3 Jeeps, 1 Truck, 1 gun)
15mm Cold War - 3 (3 Tanks)
Terrain - 69 (69 Necromunda wall sections)

Total - 396

Figures painted year to date:
28mm ACW - 159 (3 guns, 3 limbers, 1 Wagon, 4 Tents)
28mm Napoleonic - 24
28mm WWII - 48 (3 Tanks, 1 Half-track)
Necromunda - 12
Warhammer 40K - 12 (1 Battlewagon, 2 Buggies, 6 Bikes, 3 Killa Kans)
Warhammer AoS - 116 (1 big beastie, 1 Endless Spell)
Warhammer Underworlds - 8
Terrain - 12

Total - 391

Game Record to date:
Battlegroup 1-0-0
Black Powder 0-3-0
Bloodbowl 0-1-1
Bolt Action 3-2-0
Necromunda Underhive 7-4-0
Warhammer Quest 1-0-0
Warhammer Quest Silver Tower 0-0-1
Warhammer 40K 0-2-0
Warhammer AoS 7-4-1
Mein Panzer 0-1-0
TANKS 1-0-0
Fistful of Lead 1-0-0
Flames of War Great War 1-0-0
Flames of War v4 0-1-0
Warhammer Underworlds 1-1-0
Speed Freaks 0-1-0