Friday, December 21, 2012

2012 Gaming Year in Review

Another year has passed (nearly) and it is time for me to look back and see how my game plans stack up against my game reality.  Back in January I posted my thoughts and plans for 2012 (you can see that post if you like).  I do this every year mostly just to show myself that I really have very little idea where my hobby will take me over the course of a year.  So, without further delay...


I really planned on this being a major focus for the year.  I had thoughts of all sorts of projects from scratch built terrain to GW terrain kits.  Lord know I have lots of kits to build.  Things started slow but by April I finally got around to working on terrain.  The first project was the Normandy roads.  I am really pleased with how this project turned out and these roads have seen lots of table time this year.

The next project came in September with the fields.  This was super easy project.  In fact, it was so easy I have trouble calling it a project.  This was a long overdue effort that has also seen lots of table time this year.

For the most part this is all I have really done for terrain this year.  I did sign up for the Battlefront house subscription but I have been very disappointed with this.  So far I have received 4 houses, which are very nice, but I should have received 6 by now.  Poor planning and mismanagement on the part of Battlefront have seen delays and production schedule changes.  I have fears that there will be more issues before the final 8 houses in this deal are delivered.  Oh well, I guess my issues are rather petty.

I did recently acquire some cool 15mm terrain items for the East front and for Italy.  I think I will have some cool stuff to post next year on this.

My ideas of creating some hex based terrain never made it off of the drawing board.  In the end it just seems like too much trouble.

Lord of the Rings SBG

This has been the 'game' for me and my friends for several years and back in January I had no real reason to believe this would change.  It is true that even as early as January I was starting to cool on the game but that was mostly due to some mild burnout from painting my Dwarves last year as well as maybe playing it too much.  Leave it to GW to drive a stake through the heart of this game for me.

Just before Gathering in the Desert in February GW pulled the Legions of Middle-Earth book, which was the source book for point matched games.  This book was awesome and the only complaint I had was there were some models listed in some of the lists that had no stats and no models.  GW decided to release 5 new books to replace the one LOME book.  Each of the new books was focused on a grouping of factions and contained stats and army construction rules.  They also contained new scenarios.  These books were thin and expensive and nearly half the contents of the books were the same across all 5 books.  To me this was just a huge money grab by GW before retiring the game later in the year for the new Hobbit game.

Needless to say I hated the new books.  To be fair I did give the new concept a try and even played in a local store tun tournament using the new armies.  The kinds of armies that were played and the stuff you could no longer do legally with the new ary construction just reinforced my dislike.

At around the same time GW  snuck in a doubling of the miniature price by halving the number of plastics in a box and by the Finecast price increases.  All of these changes come so quickly and all being o negative really put me off from the game.  I have not played it or even looked at it since March.  I have no interest at all in the Hobbit game because of all this and the fact that that game is even more expensive.

Flames of War

This was the real bright spot in the hobby this year.  I knew that I would be a big focus for the year but I really had no idea.  We got a new version of the rules early in the year and Battlefront's free rulebook offer really helped keep me interested.  Tim and I got in dozens of games with the new rules and we even played in our first Flames of War tournament.

On the painting and modeling side I painted more of my Fallschirmjagers as well as a few more Germans tanks for North Africa and Italy.  I never really got started on a mid war Soviet tank army but I did build a new Soviet models from Plastic Soldier Company and Zvezda.  I started a series of posts on planning a new Flames of War army.  This planning got off to a good start and I even collected the first of the models but a new distraction derailed that a bit (more on that later).

I had lots of great times with this game this year and I really hope this stays in the game rotation for a long time to come.

28mm World War II (Bolt Action)

Back in January I had big hope for some 28mm World War II action this year.  I have been trying to find the 'perfect' rules for this period/scale for a loooong time.  It seems that every time a new set of rules comes out there are big hopes and then things fail to pan out.  At the beginning of the year I had some high hopes for the Kampfgruppe: Normandy rules and Tim and I got in a game (check out the batrep).  We both actually enjoyed the game a lot but it seemed to be lacking something to get use really fired up.

I really wanted to get Rules of Engagement back on the table.  Tim and I had played a some games a couple of years ago and it was an OK set of rules.  I really wanted to give them another look.  After rereading the rules I came to the conclusion that I really hate them.  I also looked over Rate of Fire again and felt about the same.  Things were not looking hopeful.

When I heard that Warlord games was finally working on rules to go along with their Bolt Actions line of figures I was a little ho-hum about it.  When I heard that Rick Priestley and Alessio Cavatore were the authors I took notice.  I generally like their work and I had a feeling they could put out a really good game.  Over the summer my local shop got a play-test copy of the rules and a few of the regulars started playing.  It seemed like every time I heard the guys at the shop talking I really hated what I heard.  Then I would read an article by Rick explaining the game and I would think it sounded cool.  All this kept me from getting too excited about the game.

I did pick-up the rules when they came out and read through them.  The game seemed a little simple and the army lists were kind of generic.  The first couple of games that I played were fun but I still had trouble getting excited.  I really wanted to see what they would do with the army lists.  When the Armies of Germany book came out my friend Jerry had an extra copy and he gave it to me (thanks Jerry!).  I think it was this book that really helped me accept the game and start to get into it.  I really like where they are going with this game.

I have managed to get in 4 games of Bolt Action and each one has been better than the last which is amazing because they have all been really good games.  I really think I have found the game I have been looking for for 28mm World War II.

Warhammer 40,000

I started the year with a bad attitude about this game.  I knew a new version was on the way and I knew they were going to charge mint for it.  I also knew I would buy it.  I think my feelings of anger about a new version had to do with feeling like I have not gotten my money's worth out of 5th edition.  Even though 5th had been out for 4+ years I really hadn't played very many games and the ones I did play I really enjoyed.  I thought 5th was a great version and did not need to be changed (and I still feel that way).

The first thing that GW did to draw me into the idea of the new rules was the flyer release.  The new Ork Bomber is freakin' cool!  Once I saw it knew I must have it and if the new rules made these things work I would have to step up to 6th.  GW are evil geniuses when it come to getting money from me.

So I bought the new rules and the new Bomber kit.  I painted a bunch of Ork models to expand the army and I got in some games against my friend Lonnie.  As a whole it has been a nice year for the game but I am a long way from being excited about it.  I have a generally negative view of the GW hobby right now and like a junky I am trying to break the habit.

28mm Ancients

I thought I might get something do for this in 2012.  Aside from starting a re-base project for my Saxons I really did nothing.

Black Powder

This is a game I have dreamed of getting on the table for a couple of years.  I hoped that this year would be the year.  Finally, a couple of weeks ago , we got in an ACW game.  It was a real blast t finally play and everyone had a great time.  I really think this game has a bright future and for the last several days we have all been chatting about what project we should do.  This was probably the best single game of the year for me.

All the Other Games

I had mentioned a whole bunch other other games that I might jump into or start collecting.  Turns out that I spent so much time and money on the stuff above I didn't get to anything else.  Which is fine because I had lots of good times this year.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Orks vs. Eldar Pictures

Here are few pictures of a 40K game I played against my friend Lonnie back in October.  It was our fourth game of 6th edition.  It was the fourth time I brought Orks and the fourth different army for Lonnie.  It was the fourth time I felt good about the game going into turn 2 and the fourth time Lonnie crushed me.  It was a very fun game, as all of my 6th edition games have been.  I just wish I figure out how to get in a win.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Black Powder ACW

On Sunday I finally got to play a full and proper game of Black Powder.  This is something that I have talked about on the blog for the better part of two years. I got together with my friends Tim, Tom and Joe at the FLGS for our big game.  Joe has a large ACW collection in 28mm and Tom just finished the basing for his freshly painted Confederates (you can see pictures of Tom's troops on his blog).  My ACW collection has been steadily growing over the last couple of years but with Tom and Joe's collections I only needed to use a few of my miniatures.

Since I was the guy pulling this together it was up to me to come up with a scenario and determine the forces needed.   I thought quite a bit about this but I really did not put a huge amount of effort into it.  Since I really wanted to just get through the rules I did not want an elaborate and complicated scenario.  I settled on a simple rear-guard action at a creek crossing.  Basically the Confederates are holding a bridge and the Union must force a crossing of the creek.

The battlefield is an 8'x6' area with the creek crossing the table diagonally.  The bridge is roughly in the middle but a little closer to the Union side. The forces for the battle would be evenly matched using the basic troop and commander stats from the book.  We did not use any special rules for these units.  We did not allow the use of the 'attack column' formation as this was not used in the American Civil War.

Each side had two brigades of infantry, each brigade was comprised of four regiments of infantry (about 24-28 models per regiment) and one gun per regiment.  The initial game-plan was for the Confederates to have one brigade deployed on the board at the start of the game.  The Union forces as well as the second Confederate brigade would march on the board during their side's turn.

 The idea for the Confederate deployment was to deploy on one half of the table but behind the river.  I guess this didn't make that last bit clear and two Confederate regiments found their way across the river before the battle.  I didn't worry too much about this at the time since I was really just happy to be playing the game finally.  I would come to regret that attitude.

 Tom and Joe commanded the Confederate forces with Joe commanding the initially deployed brigade.  Tim and I commanded the Union forces.  Tim commanded the brigade on the Union right and I commanded the left.  The Union took the first turn as the attackers and had some simple deployment rules.  We had to enter the West end of the table in march column on the first turn.  We still had to make our command rolls and I promptly failed my first roll.  Luckily, being in march column and with limbered guns I was still able to enter the table but way behind my target line and still in march column.  Tim passed his first command roll but only got one move and so had the same problem.

Tim and I were both able to get our guns in action but without any real effect.   It was at this point that the two Confederate regiments on the Union side of the river became an issue.

The rebels moved aggressively towards the road taking a position to enfilade anything moving towards the bridge.  The second regiment was able to advance but was unable to deploy into line.  Tom's brigade made a good command check and entered the East end of the battlefield and deployed into line.  We was in a position to fill the huge gap on the Confederate left directly in front of Tim's brigade.  At this point I felt that Tim would have plenty of time to cross the creek and establish a good defensive line.

On the Union left I saw an opportunity to catch the rebels flat-footed and deal them a heavy blow.  All I needed to do was advance along the ridge line to the South and  deploy into line.  From there I would be able to fire into the rear of Joe's Texas regiment along the field.  But a poor command roll meant the Union troops would make it onto the ridge but be stuck in march the face of the enemy.  I was able to deploy a second regiment into line ready to hit the Texans hard.  The combined fire from this regiment as well as the brigade battery disordered and hut the Texans badly.

On the Union right things were not going as planned.  Another round of mediocre command rolls meant that Tim's brigade was wading through the creek rather than setting up a defensive line on the far bank.  Tom's brigade showed a great deal of aggressiveness and elan as it raced forward to close the gap in the Confederate line.  Once in position his troops poured a merciless fire into Tim's regiments stuck in march column.

In the midst of the hail of fire Tim was able to deploy the brigade into line and deliver a return volley, however, the effect was minimal.  Back on the Union left the rebels fired on the marching regiment on the ridge doing many casualties and disordering the unit.  This would prevent the unit from deploying into line and forced the brigade commander to attempt to rally the troops.  In front of the Texans I now had a regiment with one in support and both batteries.  The Texans broke and fled.

 With the Texans fleeing Joe charged the ridge and moved the rest of the brigade across the creek.  The fight on the ridge was not going to be good for the Union.  With a 6 to 1 disadvantage there did not seem to be any chance of a win and loss would have meant the loss of the brigade commander, who was attached to rally the troops.  But in a turn of good luck for the Union the fight was a draw and the Union regiment was able to form up into line (though disordered).

Back on the Union right Tim was still taking a pounding.  Casualties were mounting and nearly all the units were disordered.  Return fire continued to be ineffective.

Tom kept up a relentless pressure and Tim;s brigade began to crack.  At this point the brigade attempted to retire to the creek and dress the line.

On the Union left things were going much better.  A second Union regiment joined the fight on the ridge and the rebels were driven back.  The fresh Confederate regiments crossing the creek suffered heavily for their boldness.  I still had both brigade guns in support on this flank which, in retrospect, may have been one of the reasons things were going so poorly for Tim.

The fight on the South ridge settled into close range exchange of volleys with the Confederated come out on the loosing side.  Another regiment of Joe's brigade was routed and a large gap appeared in the Confederate line.  But on the Union right Tim's Brigade had finally had enough and began to withdraw.

Joe's brigade would continue to take a pounding until it to broke and withdrew.  Tom was able to redeploy his nearly fresh brigade into strong positions along the creek.

At this point both armies were broken and would have retired.  Based on the scenario the Confederated succeeded in preventing a Union crossing of the creek and the Union was unable to cross and destroy the defenders so the win goes to the Confederates.

So there you have it, a great game!  It looked great on the table and the rules are easy and fast.  It took about three hours to play through which I think I amazing.  We a definite result which is important to me.  I like a game that 'ends.'  I know we did a few this wrong which is expected since it was the first time any of us have played a full game.  The scenario idea worked and could use some tweaks but I think it could be played again.

I WILL be playing more of this game.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Shoota Boyz

Nineteen more boyz, this time with shootas.  Maybe these guys will work better.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Sixth Edition 40K Orks - Random Thoughts #1

I have now played 4 games of sixth edition with my Orks and I am starting to learn a few things (I am not real quick sometimes).  I just want to share a few of my thoughts and maybe get some feedback.

The Warboss is a total bad-ass but the challenge mechanism can be a real bitch sometimes.  The first key to success with the challenge rules are NEVER have an independant character in a unit that does not also include another, weaker, character.  For Orks this means the Warboss should never be in a unit of Nobz (as of the most recent FAQ, units of Ork Nobz are no longer considered characters, therefore they cannot issue or accept challenges).  The reason for this is you always want to have options when a challenge is issued as to who will answer the challenge.  With only one character in the unit you either refuse the challenge, and take the ding, or answer with the only character in the unit.

The loss of character status for Nobz in there own unit is not all a bad thing.  Nobz in their own unit can still be upgraded just as if they were characters which means that special equipment, such as Power Klaws,  cannot be sniped out by a challenge. This allows a large unit of Nobz, unburdened by characters, to actually hunt down loan ICs or Monsterous Creatures, as well as take on very tough units.  From now on my Nobz run character free.

Since a unit of Nobz is no longer a safe place for the Warboss where should he go?  Obviously, running around alone is not safe.  I think the Warboss would work well attached to a large unit of Boyz lead by a Nob.  The Nob leading a unit of Boyz is a character and can issue/accept challenges.  In a unit like this the Boss will be safer and still have aditional options with challenges.  The best place for him might be in the middle of a huge mob of Gretchin with three Runtherds.  The Gretchin will soak up huge amounts of shooting and each Runtherd is a character that can help with challenges.  Just for the record I do not like challenges but they are here to stay (for the next 4 years anyway).

That is all for now.  Maybe next time I will talk about infantry on foot vs. infantry in tranports...

Friday, October 19, 2012


 I finally finished my first batch of Deffkoptas.  I have had these guys for a while and used them a couple of times but I could never get into painting them.  They are kind of a pain.  I have several more and I plan to do some different weapon options.  These are all stock twin-link rokkit launchas.  These just might see some table time this weekend.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Bolt Action

A couple of weeks ago I got my copy of the Bolt Action rules.  I have really been looking forward to the release of these rules for a long time.  I have been playing 28mm WW2 games for many years and none of the rules have really been what I have been looking for.  I have even tried my hand at writing my own rules.  Once I heard that Warlord would be writing rules for their Bolt Action model line and that these rules would be written by Rick Priestly and Alessio Cavatore I knew it would be a must have.
I was starting to get a bit worried about the game.  My local shop got a play-test copy of the rules and several people started trying them out.  Every time I would see a game or listen their explanations I was sure I was not going to like the rules.  Then Rick would publish an article and I would think 'what are the guys at the shop playing?'  They just did not seem like the same game.
Once I read the rules myself (the actual published rules) I knew I was going to like the game.  The rules are very straight forward and are written clearly.  Morale plays a huge role in the game and when combined with the order system provides a tense and dramatic game.

My firend Tim and I decided to give the game a try today.  We did 1000 points per side as this is what Rick recommends and the standard size game.  I went with Soviets and you can see my army in the picture above.  This is actually only 995 points.  My list comprised the following units.
  1. Vet Senior Lieutenant with 2 Vet soldiers all with SMG
  2. 10 reg soldiers with LMG, 2 SMG and AT grenades
  3. 10 reg soldiers with LMG, 3 SMG and AT grenades
  4. 10 reg soldiers with LMG, 3 SMG and AT grenades
  5. 10 vet soldiers with LMG, 5 SMG and AT grenades
  6. 11 inexperieced soldiers with LMG, 7 SMG and AT grenades
  7. 3 reg soldiers with Maxim MMG with gun shield
  8. T-34/76 with reg crew
Tim took his Germans.  To the best of my memory his army was something like the following:
  1. Vet Major with 2 vet soldiers all with SMG
  2. 10 reg soldiers with LMG and 2 SMG
  3. 10 reg soldiers with LMG and 2 SMG
  4. 10 reg soldiers with LMG and 2 SMG
  5. 3 reg soldiers with MG42 MMG
  6. 3 reg soldiers with 80mm mortar
  7. 4 reg soldiers with PaK 40 AT gun
  8. PZ IV with reg crew
For out first game we decided to play scenario #1 - Enveloment.  Tim won the dice off and chose to defend.  In this scenario the defender must deploy at least half his army on the table more than 12" from the centerline.  The rest of the army can be help in reserve and used as outflankers.  The units deployed on the table can use the hidden setup rules.  Tim chose to deploy his entire army and not use hidden setup.

As the attacker I do not deploy anything on the table at the beginning of the game.  I still have some options with what units are included in my first wave and the units in reserve.  I decided to keep my vet squad, one squad of regulars and the T34 in reserve for an outflanking action to my right.  That left my HQ, the MMG team, 2 squads of regulars and my inexperienced squad as my first wave.

The attacker gets a preliminary bombardment.  This was pretty effective as I killed three Germans and put pin markers on all the enemy units.  This ability just makes sure that on the first turn the defender is busy rallying troops rather than pushing onto the table.  It basically buys some time for the attacker and it work nicely.

I focused my first wave attack on my left using my inexperienced squad to anchor my right flank on the road that ran roughly across the table.  Tim quickly exploited this by sending his tank down the road and in 2 turns destroyed the green troops.  This is where I missed a chance to use one of the Soviet special rules - The Great Patriotic War.  This would have allowed me to re-roll the failed morale test that destroyed the unit.

Once Tim committed his tank in the center he also advanced with one of his squads on his left.  The other squad on his left would spend the entire game pinned until it was finally destroyed.  This advance my the Germans towards my open right was actually part of my plan (except for the wiping out of one of my squads) as this would draw the Germans away from their deployment zone and expose them to my flank attack.  At this point in the game, about turn three, Tim remembered that he was the defender and he probably should not be attacking.

After a couple of tries I was able to get the T34 into action and a long gun dual began between the T34 and the Pz IV.  I was also able to get my other flankers on and methodically destroyed two German squads.  By turn 4 things were looking grim on the German left.

With collapse of the German left flank two Soviet squads were able to exit the board.  The tank dual continued to the end of the game with poor shooting and failed orders becoming normal.  The battle on the Soviet left had been planned as holding action and it worked very well.  At the end of the game (turn 7) three German units had been destroyed with the loss of a single Soviet unit.  Two Soviet units had exited the German side of the table.  Final score was 9-2 Soviets.

I really enjoyed this game.  It is a very quick and easy game but like other Warlord rules, provides a dynamic tactical feel.  I am not a huge fan of the army list and army construction as listed in the rule book.  I am hoping the stand alone army books will improve this aspect of the game.  The armor seems alomost pointless and I can see that in future games the tanks are likely to drop from the lists in favor of more infantry support.

I think I may have found my go to rules for 28mm WW2.  Fun, fast and easy to learn with a nice models and future support plans, what;s not to like?  I think I will be selling off a few rule book that I will not longer need.  Anyone need a copy of Rules of Engagement or Rate of Fire?

Saturday, September 29, 2012


I finally finished another painting project.  Painting has been a little slow lately.  I think I have had these on the paint table for a couple of months.  Here we have 15 Ork Kommandos which includes a Nob and two Burnas.

To differentiate from normal Boyz these guys are dressed in navy blue from head to toe.  These will see their first action tomorrow and in the future they will be joined by Boss Snikrot.