Friday, August 25, 2017

Daimler Dingo Scout Car

This is the Warlord Games Daimler Dingo Scout car model.  It is a resin and white metal kit.  The exterior detail is excellent but it is sadly lacking interior details.

This model will represent the battalion commander for my Point 213 game.  He will really only function as a morale boost as in an all tank game he can't hurt anything.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Cromwell Troop Leader

As part of the Point 213 project I needed one extra Cromwell.  For the big game this tank will be part of the Squadron command.  For other game this tank will be the troop leader for my Cromwell troop.

Anyway, not much more to say.  Just another tank for this project.  This one is also a Warlord plastic model like the others.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Cromwell Company (Squadron) Command

These are a couple more British Cromwell tanks for the point 213 game.  These represent the CO and the 2iC of the squadron, or company.  These will be controlled, in the game, by one play who will also have an additional Cromwell to command.

These are Warlord plastic models just like all the other tanks for this project.  Not much more to add other than I am getting to be n expert in building and painting these (ok not an expert in painting them).

Friday, August 11, 2017

'Final' British Units for Point 213 Game

This never ending Point 213 project might actually be coming to an end.  I have finally completed the last of my British tanks for this project.  I cheated a little and decided to drop three additional tanks from the game but I might change my mind again...

I was planning to feature all the new additions to the collection in this post but Blogger is acting funny so I will leave you with just the group picture for now.  I will do separate posts to detail what has been done.  You can also check out these previous posts for this project.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Rach Army Update - CAV

I have now completed 4 CAV models for my Rach army.  I have really enjoyed working on these so far.  I have also been working through the rules and I may be doing a review at some point in the future.  I still have several more models to paint but I am working out how to organize them into units for game play.  Keep an eye out for more updates on this impromptu project.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Rach Emperor - CAV

Time for another installment to my CAV Rach project.  This time we have the Emperor.  This thing is huge!  It is mounted to a 40mm hex base, like all my CAVs, and it barely fits.  The 25mm base supplied with the model would just look stupid.  Like my other models this is in the Bones material and has similar limitations as a result.  The shear size of the model allows for a littler better detail.  I really like this model.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Rach Conqueror - CAV

Next up for the CAV Rach project is the Conqueror.  This is probably my least favorite of the Rach models so far.  It is blockier and more angular than the other Rach models and doesn't really fit the style.  This model also seems to suffer from some quality assurance issues.  Of the 4 I received 2 had incorrect parts and could not be used.  I am turning those into wreck markers.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Rach Kahn - CAV

The Rach Kahn is the next addition to my CAV: Strike Operations Rach army.  This is a light Recon CAV.  I am not sure how to properly use this in the game yet.  It is a quick unit that should provide some bonuses for shooting somehow.  Oh well, the model is cool and it was fun to paint.  I didn't spend a lot of time painting this as the detail of the model does not warrant the effort.  It actually looks much better on the table then these picture would lead you to believe.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Another British Tank Troop - 4CLY

Back in January I finished a troop of British tanks for my friend Tom.  These tanks are for our large Point 213 battle that I was hoping to have already played.  This troop is my version of the same unit I painted for Tom.  I don't have too much to add to this post.  These are Warlord plastic models.  The models are great.

I have only three more tanks to paint and one armored car to complete the models for this game.  The terrain is also nearing completion.  I am getting ver close to having this project ready for the table.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Rach Dictator - CAV

My friend, Tim, has taken a liking to the CAV Strike Operations game and has been working very hard to get me involved.  Part of his plan is the provide me with models and rules so I can't make excuses for not playing.  It just might be working.

This is my first CAV model - a Rach Dictator.  Rach is one of the factions and I really don't know anything about the faction or this CAV.  I painted it to enter into the painting competition on the CAV:SO Facebook group.  Needless to say I didn't win, but I didn't really expect too.

This model is made of the Reaper Bones material.  This means it is a soft plastic.  This is an interesting material for miniatures.  The softness makes this seem more like a game piece rather than a scale model.  The main advantage is these are very cheap.

The material is not too hard to work with.  The detail is not great and there were some mold lines.  A sharp knife is a must for removing the mold lines.  There is some talk about this material being finicky when painting.  Some people have reported issues with different types of spray paints or primers.  I avoided any of that by using brush on acrylic paint as a primer.

The bases provided with the models are 25mm hexes and are just too small to do the job.  I based this model on a 40mm hex also provided by Tim.

This model turned out to be more fun to paint up than I was expecting.  The material was easy to work with and it took paint just fine.  Warpage can be corrected, theoretically, with boiling water but I didn't have much luck with that.  These are easy to assemble and did I mention they are cheap?  I think this model retails for less than $8.  Seem like a very cost effective way to play some stompy robot games.

I will continue to build and paint my Rach force and I will hopefully have enough stuff to get in  a game soon.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Space Marine Dreadnought #2

Progress continues on the dead lead projects.  Man 40K has really gotten under my skin lately.  This guy has been sitting in my Knights of Eden army box for years.  This is an old metal Dreadnought with a Forge World plasma cannon arm.  Back in the day this was a killer model that would have been the envy of many a Space Marine player.  Today it is a dated relic that does not stand up well to the new plastic kits.  I really like the rough texture of the model as I think it really makes you think of something that has been in use for hundreds, maybe thousands, of years and repeatedly rebuilt.

This one was really fun to get on the paint bench and get finished up.  I still have tons of models for this army awaiting completion and I am sure I will have more to come.

Friday, June 9, 2017

Nurgle Chaos Space Marine Kill Team

I painted these guys a few weeks back just after the Shadow War Armageddon game box was released.  This is the first Kill Team I have specifically painted for this game.  I chose Nurgle as it is a mark of chaos I have never modeled for 40K so I thought it would be an interesting change.  I made this choice before I even knew 8th edition was being released and well before I knew the new box would feature Death Guard.

Chaos Marine Aspiring Champion with plasma pistol.  This is the boss.

Chaos Space Marine gunner with an auto-cannon.  This guy is pretty cool but has yet to prove his worth in battle.

Chaos Space Marine with bolt pistol and chainsword.  Just your standard run of the mill close combat marine.

Another Chaos Space Marine with bolt pistol and chainsword.  For a campaign one of these guys would likely start as a gunner so that later on he can have a weapon upgrade.  Chaos Marines are too expensive to add during a campaign in my opinion.

Chaos Cultist.  This guy is armed only with a knife even though he has some impressive mutations.  Basic cannon fodder.  I am getting the feeling that cultists are a liability rather than a benefit.

Chaos Cultist 2.  Even though this guy looks totally different in game terms he is just like the other guy.  Both these models were built by rummaging through the bits box and sticking stuff together in interesting ways.

These models are just some random stuff I pulled out of the dead lead pile.  I actually have quite a bit of Chaos stuff.  I swear this stuff breeds in the dark.  I have enough additional models for weapon options as well as Specialists so I am sure there will be more items added to this collection.

In game terms this Kill Team is really not very good.  The cultists make the force fragile.  The lack of ranged weapons other than the auto-cannon means lots of movement.  I need to paint a few models and try some different options to get a feel for this force.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Space Marine Scout Additions

With the pending release of Warhammer 40,000 8th edition and the already released Shadow War Armageddon I have been inspired to paint more of my collection of Space Marine models.

I have tried the Space Marine Scouts in SW:A a couple of times and found my configuration to be lacking.  I have been using the 5 close combat scouts that I painted up over 8 years ago as the basis.  With the additional points I added a scout with a sniper rifle.

The sniper rifle has not really impressed me so I decided to paint up my scout heavy bolter to add some punch.

As well as the heavy bolter I also painted up a couple of scout with boltguns.  The bolt pistol option is nice but you have to allow enemies to get very close before you can shoot and as fast as some of these armies move you need some balance on the ranged weapons.  The boltguns will do that.

Now I have 9 painted scouts to mix and match for my SW:A force.  I really can't wait to try these new options out and see which ones work best.

These models have all been painted in the colors for my Knights of Eden Space Marine Chapter I have been working on for more than 10 years.  These are the first additions to this collection in about 5 years.  I still have lots of models waiting to be painted for this army and this latest work has inspired me to work on more of it.  This is another area of saving money by painting what I already have.  Novel concept for a gamer but so far it is really paying off.  Sometimes less is more.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

More M7 Priests for Flames of War

Even as the luster fades from Flames of War my work complete various long neglected projects continues.  Today we have three more M7 Priests for my MW US Army.  These will see action for various US actions in Tunisia, Sicily and Italy in the MW and LW periods.  They will also be handy for LW ETO games.  These are pretty much a must have unit for US forces.  I now have 6 or these for two batteries of guns.  I have never actually fielded that many in a game but with v4 (or v3.5) pushing the battle size up I might actually use them all in a game.

I also painted up a couple of jeeps.  One is the FO jeep for the artillery and the other is part of the security section for a TD platoon.  The neat thing about jeeps is you can use them in lots of different army builds so it is good to have extras.

This will likely be the last Flames of War post for a while as I switch gears to other long ignored projects.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

My Future with Flames of War

Just over 7 years ago I played my first game of Flames of War after literally years of wanting to try it.  This was towards the end of 2nd edition.  I had tried to get the game going back in the 1st edition days, and I even bought most of an army, but no one locally was very interested so it never got off the ground.  After that first proper game I was hooked and Flames of War soon became my main game pushing out others such as Lord of the Rings and Warhammer 40,000.  Most of my time with Flames of War has been with the 3rd edition rules and for the most part I thought the rules were fine.  There were a few things I would have changed but I felt, and still feel, the core of the system works great.

Along comes Team Yankee and things start to get weird.  I was not really interested in this game, and I still am not very interested, but a few of my friend are and jumped right in.  They all seemed to really enjoy the game and most seems to like the card based unit creation system.  My friend Tom, after getting into TY, was convinced that this would be the model for Flames of War v4.  I wasn't convinced this would be the case and I wasn't even convinced that there would be a v4 any time soon.  Well, I was wrong on both counts and, as we all know, version 4 was released a couple of months ago and it is 99% Team Yankee (I am actually referring to Mid-war version 4). 

Battlefront really made a mess of the new release process and through some bad communication to the customer base really got off on the wrong foot with version 4.  As an example, it was not really clear until just prior to release that this actually entails the release of what is effectively two games that share much of the same rules but have completely different army construction philosophies.  These two games are Mid-war version 4 and EW/LW version 4 (which our group calls v3.5).  A big part of the confusion I have about the release of the new version, for me, centered around what exactly they were giving away for free to existing players.  Battlefront has been really good about version changes in the past and once again they had plans to give free rules to all existing players.  The problem was the rules the game away for free (EW/LW) turned out to NOT be the rules they spent so much time talking about on the web and in publications (MW).

Another area of trouble and the one that I find the most concerning is in the area of army construction with MW v4.  The TY card based model seems to work great for an entirely new game set in a new era where most all of the players will be starting with no existing collections nor preconceived ideas on how things should work.  This worked great for TY and Battlefront was dazzled by its success.  Unfortunately this model is a complete disaster for a new version of a well established game like Flames of War.  When combined with another goal for v4 stated by Battlefront, the reduction of product codes, and you have the making of a dull, flavorless mess of a game setting.  It is now clear that BF intends to severely reduce the number of models they produce and have no intention of including units in the game for models they do not produce.  From a purely business perspective there is a certain amount of sense to this approach but from a customer relation perspective this is a disaster.  You see, there huge well established customer base already has many of these soon to be eliminated models in their collections and they would really like to use them in the game but Battlefront cannot see any value to keeping these people happy as they think these people are already unlikely to spend money anyway so no great loss.

This is EXACTLY the same attitude that Games Workshop had towards their long time customers for many years.  GW steadily convinced themselves that young kids and new hobbyists were where the real money was to be found and that long time gamers already had lots of models and therefore had no desire to by more.  This contempt for their loyal customers eventually brought the company to the verge of irrelevancy.  Huge numbers of middle aged gamers with lots of money to spend were so put off by this attitude they moved on to games that treated them better, like Flames of War.  But now the GW rot seems to have set in with Battlefront and they seem determined to destroy their game in the name of increasing sales.  We are seeing the tip of an epic iceberg that it set to rip the bottom out of Battlefront.

This brings me, finally, to the point of this article - my future with Flames of War.  Needless to say I am not very happy with the new direction of the game as it relates to the army construction in particular.  I really like the EW/LW version of the rules.  These allow you to continue to use the extensive variety of the version 3 army list books and while some of the points are now off due to changes in effectiveness of certain units in the game it all still works fine.  I really believe this should have just been the true version 4 rules.  I have yet to play any of the MW armies and I actually have no plans to buy the books.  The price of the books has actually gone back up with MW v4 as now you have to spend $40 to get a tiny variety of armies for only British and Germans.  The version 3 North Africa book was $30 for dozens of armies for four different countries.  Oh, and now you can buy card decks that give you additional army options that should have just been included in the pathetic army books for even more $$.  It is a disgusting money grab and I just can't bring myself to buy into it. 

I am not going to be playing the full blown v4.  In fact, I expect this game to fail.  I think that Battlefront is about to have their version of Warhammer 40K 6th edition.  I hope they can see the writing on the wall soon enough to turn things around before any lasting damage is done to their brand and their business.  I will continue to play the game using the EW/LW rules along with the old army books.  I have way too many armies collected for this game to just stop playing.  I will also make new model purchases to expand my collections.  I really want to get the new desert British tanks as well as Panzer Grenadiers and 88's.  The new models they are producing for v4 are great!

All of this drama (of which I have barely even talked about) is really souring the game for me right now.  It has been slowly falling in table time and the new version was supposed to spark renewed interested but it seems to have just caused a major split in the player base and created a lot of ill will. Ironically, all this is happen right at a time where GW seems to have righted the ship and is now moving in a very positive direction.  I am already starting to get pulled back into the GW hobby and my Battlefront lifeline seems to no longer be tied to anything.

Don't worry, I still have models to paint and stuff to post...

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Another StuG IIIG Platoon for Flames of War

Continuing my exploration of the new Flames of War rules I have been playing some games with my late war German StuG IIIG Battery.  I needed an additional platoon so that I could take all StuG IIIG if I needed rather than always running a mix of the IIIG and the StuG42.  Fortunately I have three models in my dead lead pile so it was a simple task to pull them out and get them ready for action.  Just another excuse to build stuff I have rather than dreaming of models if have no $$ for.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

US M2A1 105mm Battery

Once again we have a long ignored project that I have finally completed.  This four gun battery of US 105mm howitzers has been sitting half painted in my army for many years.  I bought these several years ago and told myself that with some touch ups and finishing the basing these would be ready for the table and that was true.  The problem is I had no actual need for a towed battery as I am playing a Tank company and have self-propelled guns.  Oh well, one day I will need these.  They were just looking so sad in their incomplete state that I finally decided to finish these.  It helps that with my limited hobby budget at the moment painting stuff I already own is really the only option I have. 

Friday, May 12, 2017

US M4A1 Sherman in Camo

After many years of delays on procrastination I have finally completed the third platoon for my Mid-war US armored company for Flames of War.  I bought these several years ago from a local gamer.  They were already assembled and had a basic paint job but I really wanted to repaint them in a camo scheme.  The problem was I really didn't need these tanks.  I already have 10 painted M4A1 tanks for this army and I don't think I have ever used all of them in a game so these just sat in the army box unloved and unfinished.  Every time I pulled the army out for a game I would tell myself that needed to finished these up but I never did - until now.

These tanks are painted to represent tanks from the 1st Armored division in Tunisia in 1943.  They will also easily work in Sicily or Italy all the way to the end of the war.  I really like how these turned out and I can see these might be the center piece of the army from now on.  With the new army construction with v4 I might actually need 15 Shermans.  Time will tell.  These are Plastic Soldier Company models and they are my favorite version of this tank in 15mm.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Shadow War Armageddon

The Easter Bunny brought me a new game over the weekend - Shadow War Armageddon.  I feel VERY lucky to have obtained a copy as this thing flew off the shelves.  As soon as I heard this game was to be released and was going to be heavily based on the Necromunda game, my all-time favorite games, I knew I would have to have it and play it.

With barely any reading of the rules Tim and I decided we had to get this on the table.  I created an Ork kill team and Tim took Chaos Space Marines proxying his old Chaos Cult Necromunda gang.  I dug out all my old Necromunda and 40K card terrain and we went to fighting.

This 'new' game is really about 90% Necromunda and probably 95% Necromunda Underhive.  It is so close, in fact, we actually picked up the rules very quickly and then ended up playing Necromunda as we missed most of the very subtitle changes.  Most of the changes are around the teams you can take and how the campaign system works.

The game was a blast and honestly it could not have been anything else.  They started with one of the best designed games of all time and really resisted making major changes.  In our first game I pulled out the win.  I have noticed much commentary about how allowing power armor and such is unbalancing to the system but In out game the Ork firepower, such as it is, was more than up to the task of taking out power armored troops so I think these fears are over stated.

I have a feeling this game is going to get lots of play this summer.  I am trying to get a group together for a campaign so we will get a much better idea on the biggest changes to the system.  I currently have all the Necromunda gangs, which seem to be pointed exactly the same as the new kill teams, as well as Orks, Space Marine Scouts and Catachans.  I pulled out some Chaos Space Marines to paint up and I will be expanding my collection with other factions.

Game's Workshop finally released a game that is guaranteed to suck me back into the GW hobby.