Saturday, February 4, 2017

US Vehicles for TANKS

Last year I finally obtained a copy of the GF9 TANKS game.  My friend Mike demoed the game for me months earlier but the game was basically unavailable for many months after.  I have been gradually adding models to the three tanks that come in the core game.  Below are the Americans that I have painted and collected so far.  The models are all plastic Battlefront models that are the same sprues as their Flames of War models.


The starter set comes with two M4A3 Sherman tanks.  These kits can be built as either 75mm or 76mm gun turrets.  In fact, there are enough parts to build both turrets so you can switch back and fourth as needed for the game.




I purchased the M36 expansion and was pleasantly surprised to find that the kit will actually build either the M36 or the M10 and there are cards included for both vehicles.  Like the Sherman models there are enough parts to build both turrets allowing you to easily play either tank just by swapping the turrets.  I initially decided to just build the M36 turret as I already have several M10's in my collection but now that I am done I think I will go back ans build the M10 turret so I can keep all my TANKS models in one place to make getting in games easier.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

British Tank Troop - 4th County of London Yeomanry

These are the first completed model for 2017!  Not a very quick start to the year but nice to finally have something to talk about.  This is a troop from the 4th County of London Yeomanry, 7th Armored Division as they would have appeared about a week after the Normandy invasion.  I built and painted these for my friend Tom as part of a trade deal.  These will see the table in a couple of months for our big Point 213 Bolt Action Tank War game.  All the models are plastic kits from Warlord Games. They are VERY nice kits!







Wednesday, January 4, 2017

The Great Carnac - 2017 Game Edition


Time again for the nearly fruitless endeavor of attempting to predict the future of my gaming hobby.  Without further adieu I shall now hold the envelopes to my head and predict their contents.

Flames of War - WW2

For the last several years I have started off my predictions with Flames of War WW2 and this is because every year this is the game I hope to do the most with.  The last few years have seen this game slip in its number one spot but I expect this year will be different.

Starting things off in March of this year will be the new edition.  Fourth edition will start in North Africa and see a return to mid-war.  This is exciting to me as mid-war desert is where my FoW gaming began and it is a popular era with several of my friends.  The introduction of new plastic models in support of the new edition is also very exciting.  I can see this being an area of purchases this year.  Even though I have looking forward to this I am also a bit apprehensive as well.  You see, I really like the current edition of the game and I really feel in only needs a few tweaks but 4th edition will be an almost entire redesign based on the successful Team Yankee rules.  I have not played TY nor read the rules but I know enough to say this is not an evolution of the game as much as a revolution.  I willing to keep an open mind, however, and give this a shot.

My immediate plans for FoW will be to paint my 2500 points (3rd Ed) US Marine force.  I purchased this army last year and have completed all the assembly last year.  I have a couple of friends who will be working on Japanese forces for this theater and I hope to have this on the table this year.  It is possible that we may need to keep using 3rd edition rules as I am not sure how Battlefront will address the Pacific with 4th edition.

This year might also see the completion of one of several other army painting projects I have waiting in the wings - late war Panzer company, LW British Airborne, MW 11th Panzer Co, EW French Infantry.  All of these projects are complete model-wise and are just in need of painting.

Flames of War - Great War

I have really enjoyed playing this period over the last year+.  I want to keep this on the table for 2017 and expand my forces.  I have several units to add to my existing German and British armies.  I have also acquired the US army starter army and would like to paint this up and expand it as well.  Ideally I will at least acquire the models for a French army.  I am a bit concerned with how the new edition of the rules will impact this period.  As of yet BF has not commented on how this will be changed.  I hope this does not mark the end of support for the period from Battlefront.  Either way, I will keep using 3rd edition if I have too.

Flames of War - Fate of a Nation

This period has finally gotten rolling for me and this year I hope to keep the momentum.  My Israeli army will be in need of some serious upgrades this year.  So far my experience has be all bad but I think I just need to work on the army composition a bit.  I would also like to start work on an Egyptian T-55 tank battalion this year.  If I can just acquire the models I will be happy.  Maybe there will even be viable plastic options this year.  Rules-wise, this may be another period that stays at 3rd edition.  No word yet on how this will be addressed with 4th edition's release.  Some say that this may migrate to Team Yankee rules.  Since I am not sure what the differences are, or will be, I can't comment on if this will be a good thing.  Time will tell, I guess.

TANKS

I dabbled in this game a little last year and I think it has lots of potential.  This seems like a great use of my existing 15mm tank and terrain collection.  My friend Mike initially thought this would be a cool set of rules for 28mm tank battles but I kind of poo-poo'ed that idea, but now I think he might be on to something.  All it would take is a double sized movement stick.  Hmm, lots of potential here...

SAGA/Crescent and the Cross

SAGA has been a staple game for a couple of years now and that is not going to change this year.  Our group is looking at running an Age of the Wolf campaign sometime this year.  I have plans to paint a Rus army, an Anglo-Saxon army and to complete my Normans.  For Crescent and the Cross I have an Arab army I would like to get painted and on the table.  Last year I want to get some themed terrain built but that didn't pan out.  I will keep that goal on the list for this year.

Kings of War

This game has been slowly building momentum with my friends and I expect this year to he a big year.  I have been using my old WAB Norman and Saxon armies for KoW as Kingdoms of Men.  It has been working out great and helped motivate me to rebase and otherwise cleanup some old, well used miniatures.  For 2017 I would like to add a purpose built KoW army to my collection.  I have had my eye on Undead for a couple years and this year I would like to at least purchase the models.  I would also like to purchase the historical supplement and maybe try some historical forces.  Expect good things from this game this year.

Black Powder - American Civil War

This year should start strong for BP ACW as we have a large game planned for February.  This will be the second of our Chancellorsville battles.  If things go well I would like to get in another game later in the year.  That one will be Salem Church and will complete a nice Chancellorsville battle trilogy.  As for modeling and painting I have a couple small Union regiments on the paint table now that I need to finish.  I would also like to paint a couple regiments of Union cavalry and the dismounted cavalry.

Black Powder - Napoleonic

This period really have me excited.  Last year we finally got our models on the table for a small teaser game.  It was more an excuse to put the models on the table than a proper game but it was still very inspiring.  This year I would like to paint a couple of Swiss battalions to add to the French collection as well as an entire brigade of Italians.  I think I have enough figures for this and I also have some really sweet flags.  If I can do this I will rate the year a smashing success!  If I get replaced by a figure painting alien I might paint a unit or two of Middle Guard and maybe a unit of Hussars.  I have so much I can do with this.  I would like to get another game on the table for late spring.

Frostgrave

This game had so much local interest and promise when it came out a couple of years ago but it kind of went DOA.  I still hold out hopes that this will get on the table this year.  I have a painted war-band and I have collected all the supplements.  This year I would like to add more encounter models and scenario specific terrain.  One of the problems with this game is the requirement sot have some much extra models and very specific terrain to properly play the game.  This prep work I think has been a big roadblock to getting this going.  If I can play one game I will call this a win.

Infinity

This year my be the "shit or get off the pot" year for this game.  I spent a LOT of money on this last year but only managed one little demo game.  I now have the rules and enough figures for a viable force.  Time to get painting and get playing.  Fortunately there is a large local community and several of my friends are interested.  If this does not get a proper playing as well as a a completed painted force this year than I will rate it as a failure!

Bolt Action

This game has been a pretty steadily played game since its first release 4+ years ago.  With the release of the 2nd Edition rules I expect that interest in this game will pickup.  I have really been getting the itch to return to 28mm WW2 gaming and the new rules should help drive that in 2017.  We are planning a large Tank Battle game for March/April which I expect to really light the fire of interest.  This year I want to finish collecting and paint my 28mm US Marine collection and get in a few games set in the Pacific.  Our large tank game requires a lot of Normandie style terrain and I expect that once that game is over we will play more games set in that theater.  I picked up the Pegasus Bridge set last year and I would like to get that built and painted.  I have put off terrain purchases for 28mm WW2 for a long time and I think this lack of nice terrain has helped keep this game from taking off with the group.  I need to change that this year.

Victory at Sea

Several of my friends and I have been kicking around the idea of doing some WW2 naval gaming, using these rules, for some time.  I really want to do some battles set around Guadalcanal set in 1942.  I think this year I will try and collect some models to start a US fleet.  I think we will use the GHQ 1/2400 scale ships as these are likely the easiest to acquire and the most cost effective in the long run.  Stay tuned on this one.  It is pretty low on the list so I am not sure I will get to it.

Other Stuff

Since I lack a laser focus there is always the possibility that something new and unexpected may pop up over the course of the year.  This might be some thing like Rogue Stars or maybe Sword Point.  It might be something that hasn't been released yet.  There might even be an old game or two that might come back into vogue, like Lord of the Rings, 40K or Necromunda.  Oh, oh! What about Muskets & Tomahawks..?

On the blogging front I really want to get back to regular posts and improving the quality of the posts.  For the last year+ I have done lots of work in progress posts have moved to Twitter.  I need to stop doing that and just post that stuff to the blog.

This year I need to keep making progress on the terrain particularly for 28mm games.  My 15mm WW2 collection is pretty good but most of my 28mm stuff is old and generic.  I need to look at projects for Pacific and projects that can be used for Infinity.  I don't have any specific ideas yet.

Parting Thoughts

This year I need to be more sensitive to just how fortunate I am to be able to spend so much of my time and resources on playing with toy soldiers.  I also need to make sure I show my gratitude to my friends and readers that share the same interests.  I really am a lucky man to be able to pursue my hobby.  I hope everyone has a fun and happy New Year!


Tuesday, January 3, 2017

10th Anniversary!

Today marks the 10th anniversary of my little painting and hobby blog.  Amazing how time flies!  My first post was 1/3/2007 and if you are interested you take a look at it.  When I started I didn't really have a plan or a goal for the blog other that to document my hobby and share cool stuff with fellow gamers.  That is pretty much what I have done and I guess I will stick with that winning strategy.

According to my stat counter I have had 259,461 visitors and more than 400,000 page views in the last 10 years.  Not too bad for an amateur hobby blog.  Interestingly, Google put my all time page views at 551,184 which is quite a bit different from the Statcounter numbers.  Not sure why.  As for posts this will be the 491st post on the blog.  Had I been paying attention over the last few months I could have made this the 500th post at the same time!  If I plan now maybe I can make the 20th anniversary and the 1000th post line up.  Google says I have 293 followers.  I know at one time this was over 300.  I am not sure this function is very popular with people reading blogs any more.  I know I don't really use it.

Over the years I have had varying levels of feedback and comments from my readers.  Back when my content was mostly Games Workshop related (40K and LOTR) I got several comments on most posts.  Since shifting to mostly historical content a few years back the comments and the traffic have slowed a bit.  It would be easy to say this is due to the relative popularity of the games, and this may he something to do with it, but I think it is mostly the quality of the content.  Back in my 40K days I spent more time documenting not just the end results but also the processes.  Now more of the WIP posts are on Twitter and are seen by far fewer people.  This also helps explain the slow down in posts in general.  I think Twitter is something I need to get away from and I need to get back to doing more value oriented content her on the blog.

Anyway, I just wanted to mark this milestone and to thank all the visitors and readers who have stopped by over the years.  Time to get to work on the next 10 years!

Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016 Game Year in Review

Time again to look back at the year that was and decide how it was...or something like that.  Back in January I had some ideas on what I wanted to do with this year as it relates to my hobby.  You can read about my predictions for the future if you like.  Taken as a whole this years was not as productive as I would have liked or even as I expected it to be.  The blog posts were way down from usual too.  The main reason for that is some health and personal issues that just made it really tough to concentrate.  I still managed to get in regular gaming and I also managed to complete some projects but I was not very good at sharing my experiences this year.  So much for the pro log, time to get to the details.

Flames of War - WW2

I had high hopes for this game this year and things started off well.  I managed to get in about 16 games and about half of these came in January and February for the Shifting Sands event.  I played my early war French tank company and I really had a blast.   Later in the year I manages to get in a few more games with other friends on a one off basis.  It was good times but I would have loved to play even more.

On the painting and collecting front, I purchased and assembled a large US Marine force.  No paint as of yet.  I also started on a late war German Panzer company composed of models I have had for some time and some new additions.  I made no progress on my 11th Panzer Division for 1942 or on my Normandy Panther company.  All in all WW2 was a bust on the painting front this year.

Flames of War - Great War

I got in 4 games of Great War this year and really had a good time with it.  My friend Tom and I started a little ladder campaign and are almost done with it.  I also painted some additional units for my Germans.  I managed to acquire a US Army Brett's Brawlers box set.  A very good year for this game and period.

Flames of War - Fate of a Nation

I painted my Israeli tank company and managed to get in 4 games this year.  I did not manage to win any but they were all a blast.  Another success for the year.

Bolt Action and 28mm WWII

This has been an interesting year for BA.  The year started off with finishing up projects in preparation for the Gathering in the Desert event.  This year was a North Africa themed event and I played my Perry 8th Army.  I had a great time.  I then moved on to painting the rest of my British Para collection.  I now have about a company of 28mm paras.  In the later part of the year my friends Tim and Tom decided to plan a large Tank War game based on the Point 213 battle in Normandy.  We have been collecting and painting a large number of tanks for this game.  Tim and I played a test game a few weeks ago to test the concept.  I also purchased a US Marine army box and have been adding more models.  Nothing is built or painted yet but the plan is starting to come together.

Bolt Action 2nd edition was released this year and I have purchased it but not yet played the new rules.  I also added several more Bolt Action supplements to my game library.  Even though I only got in about 12 games this year I count this game as a success for the year.

Black Powder

At the beginning of the year I thought that we might get in one large ACW game this year and I would have been happy with that.  As it turned out we did not get that going after-all.  We did manage to get a relatively small game of Napoleonics on the table.  I painted a whole bunch of French Line troops this year along with a couple of guns.  I also purchased a large number of Russian Napoleonic troops.  We did start a plan for a big ACW game for early next year and I have been working on terrain and other items for that event.  I also purchased the Glory!  Hallelujah book ad read through it. All things considered this was a pretty good year for this game but not really what I thought it would be.

28mm Fantasy Gaming

Kings of War was a big hit this year.  I only managed to get in 4 games but I had a blast with each one.  I made lots of progress in reconfiguring my old WAB Saxons and Normans for use with KoW.  A few of my friends and I even started the KoW campaign using the rules that were released.  Good times.

Frostgrave was a bust really.  No games played and other than purchasing a couple of supplements I didn't add anything to the collection.  I am not ready to give up on this however.

SAGA

What can I say about SAGA?  Games were played and fun was had.  I recently acquired the Rus supplement but I will not have time to add that army to the collection this year.  I wanted to get my Normans ready for SAGA and I did make some progress on the rebasing and whatnot but it did not make it to the table so I cannot claim that one yet.  I purchased some Saxon Miniatures Saxon figures with the plan of adding an Anglo-Saxon army to the collection but this it still in the planning stages.  A good year but it probably could have been better.

28mm Sci-fi

I gave Corvus Belli, and their local agents, a large quantity of cash this year for Infinity models and books.  This game has me all messed up to be truthful.  I really love the models and the back story is very interesting.  The rules, however, are pretty complicated.  The complicated nature of the rules has really kept me back from the game so far.  Part of this is due to my inability this year to focus on stuff like this.  The miniatures are also very intimidating to me.  They are such amazing sculpts I just don't believe my painting can due them justice.  I did start some painting but failed to finish as single figure.  I also manage to get in a very small test game and really enjoyed it.  I am sure we barely scratch the surface and probably even screwed some things up but it was still fun.  This was a real bright spot of the year that deserved much more effort than I was able to put into it.

TANKS

I was really interested in this game when it was released over the summer.  My friend Mike gave me a demo and I thought it had lots of potential.  The problem was the stater sets were impossible to find.  It took months to get.  I did get one more game in this year and I am really looking forward to exploring this game more.  The mechanism is reminiscent of the X-Wing system but without the complicated dial movement system.  I like that I can use mu Flame of War tank and terrain collection to have really nice looking games.

Parting Thoughts

All things considered it was a pretty good year for the hobby.  Almost every aspect, from blogging to gaming, could have been more what I managed to get in was still good.  Stay tuned for my, otherwise, worthless plans for 2017!


Tuesday, December 13, 2016

28mm Field Works

I recently completed, well almost completed, a large terrain project for a big Black Powder ACW game my friends and I have planned for February.  We are planning the second day of the Battle of Chancellorsville which requires some field works.  I have built 12 feet of straight along with some angled connectors and 5 gun positions.  My friend Tim did a nice post on how these are actually constructed.

Not only will these be used for ACW they can also be used for many other periods and conflicts.

















Sunday, October 16, 2016

British Para Army for Bolt Action

My hobby funk issue last month inspired me to just grab some stuff and start painting with no real concern as to why.  I pulled own a large assortment of British paras from the shelf above my paint bench and got to work.  A month later I have added 47 miniatures to this collection.  I realized that this collection has been documented in bits an pieces going back to the star of this blog 10 years ago.  It now seems like a good time to do a full documentation of the collection considering I have now painted all the miniatures I have for this force.


As I mentioned in a previous post, I have never really build a 28mm army for Bolt Action specifically and this collection is no exception to that.  The first figures in this collection were acquired from my friend Tom more than 15 years ago.  These first figures were painted by another friend, Kevin.  Even though I was not a huge fan of the paint jobs on these original figures I never went back to repaint them,  As you will see below, I think they still match OK with my painting style.  A style that has evolved over the years.

Since this collection was not built with Bolt Action in mind it is WAY too big.  This is really a company of paratroopers and more than I would ever use in one game.

Company HQ and Support


First up we have Major Howard, a limited edition figure from Warlord Games.  He is accompanied by a Crusader Miniatures para with a captured MP40.  These are both recent paints by me.

This is my para sniper team.  The sniper is a Foundry model painted years ago by Kevin.  The spotter is also a Foundry model painted by me this week.  

The flamethrower is a Foundry model painted by Kevin and the assistant is a Crusader figure I painted about 10 years ago.  You can see the differences in the colors and style that make the figure painted by Kevin stand out.

The forward air controller/forward artillery observer team are Foundry miniatures.  The radio operator was painted by Kevin years ago and the observer was painted by me 10 years ago.

The medic is a limited edition miniature from Warlord Games and is a recent paint job by me.  I am really excited to have this one in the collection!

The 6pdr anti-tank gun team are Crusader models and recently painted by me.  This is a nice set but the gun is a little flimsy for a game piece.  I orginally had the gun and the team on a single base but I did not like the look.  With BA2 now specifying individual bases I will attempt to stick with that whenever possible.

First Platoon


The first platoon commander is from Foundry and was painted by Kevin.  Back in the early 2000's it was still fashionable with my friends to paint eyes.  I got over that years ago.

The medium mortar is from Crusader Miniatures and is a recent paint job by me.  I like Crusader a lot but their lack of variation in weapons team figures makes me sad.  I think I have 5 of the dude pointing.

The Foundry Piat team was painted by Kevin.  Again, the eyes.  Thankfully my eyes are getting to the point that I can't see this except in a picture or if I really study the figure.

This is a Vickers medium machine gun team from Crusader Miniatures recently painted by me.

Squad 1 is a mix of Foundry figures and Crusader.  About half these models are painted by Kevin and the other half are mine from 10 or so years ago.

Squad 2 is almost entirely Foundry with, I think, only one Crusader.  I think all but one of these were painted by me over the years.  

Squad 3 and again we have a mix of Foundry and Crusader.  Paint is also a mix of mine and Kevin's work.  This picture shows the difference in basing from one paint batch to the next.  They don't really match but they still look good together.


Second Platoon


Platoon 2 commander is a Crusader model recently painted by me.

Here we have another MMG team just like first platoon.  Painted by me.

This medium mortar team is from Warlord Games and was recently painted by me.  

Warlord PIAT team is a recent edition to the collection painted by me.

Squad 1 is back to a mix of Foundry and Crusader.  Most of these are older paint jobs by me with  one or two by Kevin.

Squad 2 is another recent edition to the collection painted by me.  These are Warlord Games figures that came in my Pegasus Bridge set. I was a little sad to see one duplicate figure but otherwise a nice set.

Squad 3 is mostly Crusader miniatures with the exception of the Bren team that are Foundry figures.  These are all recent paint jobs by me.  


Even though this represents all the figures I currently own for a British Para force I don't think I can say I am done.  There are still a couple of different gun teams I would like to add as well as Jeeps.  It will likely be a while before I tackle and more projects for this army.