Wednesday, December 21, 2011

2011 Gaming Year in Review

With Christmas and New Years just around the corner my gaming year is basically done. Oh, I might sneak in another game or two and I might even paint a few more figures but nothing that will alter my impressions of 2011. So, it is time to look back, as I do each year, and evaluate what I did for the year.

To start off I will go through my plans and ideas for the year that I published back in January. It is always fun to see just how far off of my plans I get by the end of the year.

Lord of the Rings: SBG - Funny, this one turned out pretty much as I thought. I played in The Gathering in the Desert in February as I planned. I had to finish up a few Rohan items for the event. In the summer some friends and I decided on a painting challenge to get a new army ready for GiTD 2012. I was already planning on a new Dwarf army so this became the focus of the painting challenge for me. I painted up a 700 point force in just about 4 months. As a matter of fact all four of us managed to stick it out and finish our armies. We didn't get in as many games as we had planned but the point was to paint and paint we did. All in all this was a good year for this game and was probably the second most played game of the year.

Legends of the Old West - I had some big plans for this game this year. Tim and I were planning on doing a Mexican Revolution/Poncho Villa project using these rules. I did manage to order some figures from Old Glory and I got about 13 of them painted. But, it was not to be. Turns out Tim totally forgot about this and didn't do anything for the project. Oh well, no great loss I guess. If I had been really serious about this I would have made more progress.

Legends of the High Seas - I had some fancy ideas about using these rules for some French and Indian War skirmish but this never got past the idea stage.

Black Powder - This game is still a huge motivation for me but I did not get to play it this year. I still have plans for this and I am still working on the figures collection to be able to play it. I painted more ACW (not as much as I had planned) and I also painted my first Napoleonic French unit.

Flames of War - As fate would have it this game turned out to be the major focus for the year. I was planning to play in a tournament this year but that did not pan out. I did paint three armies (two were mine) and played several games. It have really turned a corner with this game and really enjoy it. I have cooled a bit on the rules. As it turns out they are not as well written as I thought but I still think it is an excellent game. This may have been the most played game of the year. Oh, I still detest 15mm but the game is good enough to get me past that.

Warhammer 40K - I played a few combat patrol games and a couple of 1500 point games but that is about it. I had planned to finish painting the Orks and I failed to paint any. I did paint nearly 100 Catachans and I am close to having a new IG army. I still love this game, the models and the universe they have created, but I can't afford the GW hobby. I did acquire lots of models this year but they were all second had/used stuff. I just cannot see myself purchasing anything new for this game.

Other Games - I finally gave up on my dreams of Warhammer Fantasy Battles. I sold off the Beastmen and all the books. It seems that the game is universally despised and all the people I was likely to play against either never jumped in or bailed out quickly. Selling the army might have been as mistake as I really liked how it was turning out and the models were cool. But it was just a distraction that was likely to soak me for lots more money for no gaming return. Did I mention that I can no longer afford the GW hobby?

I picked up the Clash of Empires rules and read through them. The game looks excellent and there are a couple of guys locally that are already playing. I see good things in the future for this game. It just might get me back into ancients gaming.

Over the summer I picked up a copy of Rate of Fire for 28mm WW2 games. The game is pretty simple and straight forward. I did manage to get in one test game and it was OK. I was hoping for more than OK but it was just OK. I do need to play it a couple more times to give it a fair chance. A few of the guys and I pulled out the Legends adaptation for WW2 and played a game. I like that much more than RoF. All of this thinking about rules did inspire me to paint some more 28mm WW2 figures so that is a good thing.

On the blog front I did manage to meet a personal goal of averaging one post per week. I have also attracted a lot of followers and return viewers. I just want to thank everyone you stops by to see what I am doing and to comment on my projects. I am not very good at replying to comments but I do read and appreciate them all.

So, there you have it. Not a bad year of gaming, painting and collecting. Now I have a couple of weeks to think about what I want to do for next year.

Friday, December 16, 2011

More 28mm British Paras

Last weekend me and the guys got together to play some 28mm WW2. We were trying out our Legends of the Old West adaptation that Tim and I experimented with last year. Just the thought of playing some 28mm WW2 was enough to inspire me to do some painting. My British Paras had not gotten any love for nearly four years even though I had made several purchases. So I decided it was time to expand this force a bit.

This installment has 16 figures that are mostly Crusader with a few Foundry leftovers. My previous batch of paras used a painting guide I found online. This time I used the painting guide from the Flames of War D Minus 1 book. I like hoe these turned out but they are different from the other figures.

Here you can see the three different painting styles side by side. The figure to the left was painted by a friend years ago and is the starting point for my collection. The figure to the right I painted about 4 years ago. The one in the middle is the new one.

In the back view the difference in the Dennison smocks is more noticeable. Even though these are fairly different paint styles and colors there is enough in common that they look good all mixed together in the same army.

I have a few weapons team left to paint for this army. I am also planning one last Crusader USA order to flesh out a couple more squads.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Flames of War Schwere Panzerkompanie

There is something about Tigers. If you love tanks it is hard not to hold the Tiger as one of the greatest tanks ever to roam the battlefield. When I picked up three Tigers at the recent gamer's garage sale a few weeks ago I just had to paint them. These are very nice models and they were fun to build and paint. These Battlefront miniatures are the resin and white metal type and they have more parts than the Plastic Soldier Company PzIV kits.

Naturally, having three Tigers it is very tempting to think about playing them in a game. These three tanks are nearly 1200 points of a 1500 point Flames of War mid-war army. That leaves very little points for suppot and I am still not sure what I should take. I have never played Tigers in FoW and I have also never played against them. The look to be a tough nut to crack and seem like they would be fun to play. I am not so sure they are as much fun to play against, especially in mid-war. There are very few allied units that can deal with these tanks.

First we have the Company Commander. This single tank is 395 points, ouch!

Next is the first Tiger platoon. Again we have a very expensive single tank - 385 points.

Finally we have the second platoon. Another 385 points.

There you have it 1165 points for three tanks. I just wonder how long three tanks will last in a game...

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Flames of War Panzerkompanie

I have, more or less, finished up my Tunisia/Italy Panzerkompanie for Flames of War. This project started off as a few tanks to support my Fallschirmjagers. The Plastic Soldier Company Panzer IV kits are so I nice I have to keep buying them and building them.

First up is the Company Commander in PzIV G (the long barrel) and the 2ic in a PzIV F1.

Next we have the PzIV G platoon. This is a full platoon of five tanks. These guys are the long range anti-tank punch of the company.

The second platoon can be seen in a previous post. The second platoon are PzIV F1 with the short gun. These tanks are shorter range and lower AT than the G's but they have the ability to fire direct fire smoke as well as bombardments.

Finally we have the entire 1500 point company of 12 tanks. I have a few more tanks to build and paint so I will have a few other options. Once the PSC PzIII kit is out I will add a few of them for even more options. There are many more tanks to come.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

More Union for Black Powder

I just finished another Union regiment for Black Powder. These are Sash and Saber figures. I have not decided what unit this will be and I don''t have any more flags. This puts the Union collection over 200 figures and 2 complete brigades. I think I am done painting Union for a while.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Gamers Garage Sale

Today was Imperial Outpost's Gamers Garage Sale. This is a fun event where you can rent a table and sell off your old game stuff. Last year I made a few hundred dollars and I hoped to do as well this year. It was not to be. I sold a few things but spent more than I made. Here are a few pictures of the setup.

Here are the items I acquired. First we have some trees that I painted for a friend many years ago.

Here we have a few Germans tanks for Flames of War. I understand that you cannot play Germans without playing Tigers.

This is a nice little Basilisk. It will make a nice addition to the Catachan army.

Everyone needs a Baneblade that is why I bought another one!

Last we have a selection of Osprey books on the Napoleonic Wars. One is an out of print book I have been trying to find on eBay.

It was a great day of buying and selling. I can't wait for the next one!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Catachan Heavy Bolters and Autocannons

Just a quick update on the Catachan project.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Zvezda Opelblitz Truck Painted

As promised, here are some pictures of the Zvezda Opalblitz painted. It is a very mice model. The basing is a requirement as it is a very delicate model and the base should help prevent damage.

It is certainly worth $5.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Plastic Soldier Pz IV F1 Platoon

This is a platoon of Panzer IV F1 tanks built from the excellent Plastic Soldier Company's Panzer IV kit. The kit allows you to build PZ IV variants starting with the F1 and going through the H. These tanks will be providing much needed armor support for my Fallschirmjagers in Tunisia. This platoon will eventually be the foundation of a DAK Panzer Company.

I am really impressed with the quality of these kits and will be buying MANY more boxes for all sorts of FoW projects. I just cannot wait for the STuG and Pz III kits to be released.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Zvezda Opelblitz Truck

I have recently purchased a few Zveda model kits. They have a nice line of 1/100 scale (15mm) models for their own WW2 game. The models cost about $5.50 and are made of a medium grade plastic. This is the first kit I have built; an Opelblitz truck.

These are pretty nice kits and they match well with 15mm figures. Assembly was easy but some the the parts are delicate. I will make sure I post some pictures of the painted model.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Warhammer Historical Games

Warhammer Historical Wargames is having a 50% off sale on all their rulebooks. Since WHW was rolled into Forge World I have had little interest in ordering expensive books from the UK. I had resigned myself to never having the latest, greatest stuff. The WAB 2.0 fiasco also soured me on WHW. But then they had to go and have a great sale. I took a chance and ordered some stuff. I ordered Over the Top, Waterloo and Kampfgruppe: Normandy. I am impressed with the fact that I ordered on Oct. 6 and received the package today, Oct 17. Not bad from the UK to Arizona in eleven days.

Since I have only just received these tonight I cannot do a proper review. I will do reviews at some point in the future but I can give you my first impressions. First, I am surprised at the size of the Waterloo book. I did not know that this was a nearly 300 page book and hardback. The production quality is extremely high and the full color book is filled with amazing eye-candy. Kampfgruppe Normandy is even bigger checking in at nearly 350 pages. It is also a lavish full-color book. My only criticism is that the hardback is a little thin.

With nearly 900 pages of new rules to digest it will take some time. All three of these books are very inspirational and even if I never play the games I am sure I will get my money's worth out of them. I do plan, however, to play them at least once. Stay tuned for more.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

The Never Ending Catachan Pile

Time for a break from painting Flames of War. I jumped back into my Catachan IG project with some much needed command elements. First are a couple of Commissars. In the old days Catachans used to shoot these guys but I guess now they are OK with them.

Here we have Col. 'Iron Hand' Straken. This is a pretty cool old model and I actually have two of these. I painted one a long time ago to use as a Necromunda character.

These are a bunch of Catachan officer types. These can be army commanders, platoon commanders or even vet sergeants.

Last we have an assortment of old metal Catachans. I am not sure but I think I now have all the original metal models. I need to check one of the collector sites and see what I might be missing.

As if I did not already have enough of these collected, this week I acquired more stuff from a local gamer. With all the painting I have been doing on this army I still have more unpainted than painted. The pile is growing...

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Even More Fallschirmjagers

I have a few more Fallschirmjagers for my Flames of War army. First are three Stummelwefer teams that are part of the company HQ. I had painted a couple of mortar team from Old Glory to use as Stummelwefers but these Battlefront minis are much better.

Next we have an FJ light gun platoon. These are the LG40 75mm recoilless guns. These will be very useful for anti-tank and against dug in infantry.

This just about finishes the first 1500 points for this army. I have a tank platoon to finish that will go with these guys. They are nearly done and I think I may get these on the table tomorrow.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Fallschirmjager Additions

Time for a couple more units for my mid-war Fallschirmjager company. For this installment we have an FJ mortar platoon equipped with GW34. These are the full size mortars and not the Stummelwerfer. These guys are only usable for mid-war and maybe early war if we ever get a FJ list for early war.

Next we have the second combat platoon. This unit allows me to finally field a legal army. I have enough figures to build a third combat platoon and when it is done I will us my original combat platoon, which is Old Glory and Peter Pig figures, as a Pioneer platoon.

So all I have left to have my first 1500 point force ready is the LG40 platoon, which is only two guns, and my Pz IV F1 platoon of three tanks. I might be able to finish this army this weekend...

Thursday, September 22, 2011

More Sash and Saber Union

I added a couple more pieces to my ACW Union collection. First up is my second brigade commander. This figure is from Sash and Saber, as are the artillery crews.

This gun was neat to do as the the crew is loading the gun. This takes a bit more space on the base.

As I was prepping the pictures I realized that I forgot to weather the gun. Oh well, it looks OK.

Both of these models are a little shiny. I ran out of Testors Dulcoat and just have a coat of Krylon Matte which is not flat. One I get a new can I will dull these down.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Catachan Missile Launcher Teams

I played a few 400 point combat patrol games a couple weeks ago and I discovered my lack of heavy weapon options was a major issue. Since I am planning on lots of patrol level games I decided to go with missile launchers. Missile launchers are the best option for low point games as they can be either anti-tank or anti-personnel.

I have dozens more heavy weapons teams so stay tuned.

Monday, September 12, 2011

French Battalion Complete

Tonight I finished my first French Battalion for Black Powder. I must say I really enjoyed assembling and paint these figures. All of the time I spent working on them really made me want to play Black Powder but I am a long way from doing a Napoleonic battle. So that means I need to get back to my ACW project. I am very close to having the Union up to two full brigades.

Anyway, here are some pictures of the completed unit. Thanks to the comments on my test paints for keeping me in perspective on how to paint these. I went for a nice looking unit rather than nice looking individual figures. In the end I may have accomplished both.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

French Test Paints

Here are the first three painted examples of my Victrix French. The painting itself I am pleased with. I used the GW Badab Black wash rather than my usual Minwax Polyshades dip. I am not very happy with that decision. As usual, these look much better in person. I still can't seem to get good photographic examples of my work.

The first is a line Fusilier.

Next is a line Voltigeur.

Last is a line Grenadier.

The good news is these will be much easier to paint than I thought. I should be able to make good time on the rest of the battalion.