DZ - Enforcers

Deadzone Strike Teams

Deadzone 2 shipped a little while back, and I’m finally getting around to wanting to play it.

I played the first edition a handful of times, and it was okay.  A little baroque in places, a little broke in other places.  Ultimately a game that wasn’t great, though, and probably deserved more work before publication. It saw a little action when it shipped and then nothing.

I’m hoping the second edition, which seems less messy, might be better. I won’t know until I actually give it a few spins, though, so I’m seeing if I can find enough interest at Huzzah for some exploratory game.

Sigmar only knows how much of this stuff I have, so it’d be nice if it were worth playing.

In anticipation of this, I hit the different Mantic Blog  posts with starting Strike Teams and packed each of the models needed for them (assembling a few where needed). Now, because the idea of painting more 1:72 is killing my soul, I’m painting up those models.   As you can imagine, it’s going fast: with a low model count and sculpts that are… serviceable, it’s easy to make speedy headway.

Below are some photos of what I knocked out last week.  (Apologies for them: I’m still trying to find a good replacement for the Picasa Desktop app.  I clearly over-relied on “I’m Feeling Lucky”.  Worse yet, I literally cannot figure out why this next photo insists on being rotated. )

DZ-Eddak-Pmera

Despite having painted all of the Rebs from the first wave, I still needed one more Yndij to use as a Leader. So: the Yndij Mercenary, Eddak P’mera.

DZ - Forgefathers (2)

These Steel Militia guys are the most obnoxious, fiddly, stupid goddamn models I’ve put together in a long, long time.  I’m all for flexibility, but these models should have had half as many pieces as they did.

That said: I’m pretty pleased with them. I like the way they look once they’re together, and I like the paint scheme I came up with for them.

DZ - Forgefathers (1)

The Hammerfall guys or whatever they’re called go together more easily than the Militia, but don’t look as good.  There are also some weird things to the sculpt. Not thrilled at the idea of painting more of them.

The Brokkr, on the other hand, I really like, but I as nice as the orange jumpsuits look in the studio scheme, I regret imitating them.  It’s a pain in the ass to work with those orange paints.

DZ - Enforcers

The Enforcer hard plastic kit is utter garbage. The Enforcer Pathfinder kit is… not perfect, but is light years better. They’re really coming a long way. Worth noting: there are clearly (once painted) torsos and arms that are female and torsos and arms that are male.  This is expressed by musculature and tone: there are no gigantic armored boobs where, and I applaud that.

You kind of need to be looking for it, though, because otherwise you end up with a female torso and swole as hell Arnold arms (like I did).

I’m very pleased with how the black came out here. It looks black, without being black. Going to have to make sure I hang onto my notes for these.

Next up, I’m wrapping up some Veer-myn (about which I have Thoughts), and then I’ll probably stop procrastinating and work on something useful. With the Veer-myn done, I’ll have all the starting strike teams painted save for the dumb-looking Enforcers, Marauders, and Asterians.

Pennyburn Mill (8)

Historicon 2016

Historicon happened, as you probably already knew.  I am still sore from it.

Thanks to the new job, I wasn’t able to get down Thursday to check in/check out the vendor hall (which I did last year and strongly recommend).  Instead, I went down early-early Friday, stuck around through Saturday, and headed back Saturday night. I’d say it was something like 24 hours of standing on concrete and leaning over tables. It’s possible I’m too old for this.

Painting Competition

In the interests of not further burying the lede, the painting competition was very, very kind to me.  Four entries, four awards plus Best of Show.

I’d entered Tercio Creativo’s Zurraigo.  I love this mini and how it came out.

Historicon 2016 Painting Contest (4)

I also entered my A7Vs into the Flames of War platoon category.  I’m extremely pleased with how these came out, and I’m looking forward to continuing to apply these techniques.

Historicon 2016 Painting Contest (3)

I entered a different set of Maquis than the set I entered into the Capital Palette last year. This batch (in fact, every Partisan model I painted after that batch) benefited from the seminars I took at NOVA.

Historicon 2016 Painting Contest (2)

I’d brought these in, not because I thought they’d all that well (there are more half-assed things about them than I can count), but because they were a breakthrough for me. I’d also planned to enter them into the Historical Unit category, not realizing that it was 1 entry/category (I got my wires crossed with the Capital Palette) , so I dumped them into the Open category.  I can only presume there was no fourth entry into the category.

Historicon 2016 Painting Contest (1)

In front of us in the mini pickup line was a young girl: probably in her early-mid teens.  They handed her her figure and a plaque for 1st Place, Youth Category (I think?) , and she literally  just started screaming “YES! YES! WOO! YES!” and literally ran off, holding her mini and award over her head.  I know how she felt: I might be a miserable, crabass, and this might not be The Crystal Brush, but it’s immensely encouraging and thrilling and an honor to win one of these, nevermind Best of Show.

Gaming

I really sucked about taking pictures.

I’d been really looking forward to The League of Augsburg‘s Battle of Pennyburn Mill game for quite some time.  I had no idea Clarence was not only in the US, but is (relatively) just down the road.

Pennyburn Mill (8)

Pennyburn Mill (7)

Pennyburn Mill (6)

Pennyburn Mill (1)

Pennyburn Mill (5)

Pennyburn Mill (10)

Pennyburn Mill (9)

 

It was a lot of fun; strongly recommended.  I hope they run another game next year; I’ll make sure it’s on my schedule.

I cruised by the Bolt Action tournament: I was disappointed that one wasn’t being run on Saturday… I’d have been all over it.  With my game scheduled for Friday, I couldn’t commit to playing in the Friday BA tournament.

I did grab a photo of this amazing Home Guard army:

Homeguard

I watched some of John E’s Strange Aeons game, which I really need to make time to play:

Strange Aeons

I’d signed up to run my Amien, 1918 game; the only TGS game in attendance. It went less than smoothly: only one person who’d signed up showed up, though I was able to dragoon someone who’d been chatting with me about it into playing as well.

The scenario… might not be a great one for a con game.  For the Germans, the first 1-2 turns are just about waiting.  The Brits show up, they shoot, they kill next to nobody; repeat.  The Germans… sit there. There’s not a lot of agency at the beginning.  I could tell it was frustrating the kid playing them.  Once the rolling barrage has moved on, that totally changes: the Germans have just as much control over what’s happening as the Brits, and are (potentially) in a stronger position (since they’re entrenched)… but that’s after.  Nobody wants to wait to play a game after, they want to start playing the game, you know?

Also: it’s worth noting that it was kind of a huge hassle. Not only did running a game prevent me from participating in the BA tournament, it imposed a lack of flexibility over my Friday evening. In terms of saving $25 on the GM Badge: I don’t think was worth it.  Heck, I took a day off from work, my first week, because I’d been committed to running a game on Friday. At that point, I’d assert that it definitely wasn’t worth it.  If I’d had participation in the game, I might feel differently, but I’m not sure I’m going to run a game again next year.

Saturday, most of my day was spent in the By Fire & Sword tournament. I came in last. This is entirely because 1) I don’t play the game enough and 2) need to build the rest of my models.

The game can kind of be a little incoherent: the layout doesn’t put rules where I expect them, and between the core rulebook, The Deluge, and the revised rulebook the inconsistencies can be maddening.  I’d love for a native English-speaker with time (so: not me) to literally just rewrite the rules in a more straightforward format.  There was noise about a revised rules-only book coming out: maybe that’ll be it.  Anyway: it’s not like BA or even 40K where you can not play for a year but just pick it up and go.

By limiting myself to the models I have assembled/painted, I’m pretty cramped in what I can run, and that doesn’t do me any favors.

I’m sure they’ll do one next year: if I’m going to play in it, I’ll have to better prep for it.

Shopping

I was pretty good this year.  I picked up a bunch of stuff for WWII Flames of War: got a lot of good deals at the swap meet.

Importantly, I’m still at the “I have painted more than I’ve bought this year” level, though I’d kind of expected it to be the other way.  What’s really encouraging is that last year, I was good up until Historicon and on contact with the vendor room everything went up in smoke.  This year, I’m still on point with tracking purchased/painted/sold data.

FoW-GW 2016 Tournament Game 1 (3)

Huzzah Hobbies Flames of War Great War Tournament

Two weekends ago, Chris at Huzzah Hobbies ran a Flames of War – Great War tournament.  (I’ve mentioned it before.)  In addition to being glad for the motivation to just paint the living hell out of my stuff, it motivated me to get out and play a bunch of games (to figure out how to play the dang game): five might not seem like much (objectively, it probably isn’t), but I think it’s more games than anyone else at the store played in the ramp up.

Of course, I started out not-very-good about taking pictures, and got progressively worse as the day went on.  So, I’ll pretty much just Photodump:

Game 1 was the Big Push, vs Scott.  I’d built my list to Defend, but I think my unbelievably bullshit good rolling had a bigger hand in the game than anything else. That one squad repulsed something like 5 or 6 Assaults.

FoW-GW 2016 Tournament Game 1 (2)

FoW-GW 2016 Tournament Game 1 (3)

FoW-GW 2016 Tournament Game 1 (4)

FoW-GW 2016 Tournament Game 1 (5)

FoW-GW 2016 Tournament Game 1 (6)

FoW-GW 2016 Tournament Game 1 (1)

Game 2 was Dust Up, against Chris.  I feel like I screwed up in a couple of major places during this game, but the combination of my totally BS good luck and Chris’ notoriously bad luck kept things swinging my way.  In the end, though, it was a draw.

FoW-GW 2016 Tournament Game 2 (2)

FoW-GW 2016 Tournament Game 2 (3)

FoW-GW 2016 Tournament Game 2 (4)

Game 3 was Encounter, against Josh (?).  This was the most interesting of the three games, I think.  We both ended up only fighting along one half of the board, but there was a lot of maneuver, which made for a really fun game.

FoW-GW 2016 Tournament Game 3 (1)

FoW-GW 2016 Tournament Game 3 (6)

In the end, I came in second, which is pretty good. I came very close to winning all three games, but I don’t feel bad about that being ‘very close’ and not ‘actually’ because so much of that was due to an unreasonably strong hot streak with the dice.

I really like the Great War version of the game (a good thing, since I now have so much of it, and painted), and I definitely feel good about the decision to start picking up stuff to play FoW in WWII (which I know is going to be Different).

2016-06-20 21.44.43

1/72 Red Devil Test Model

I’ve got ~100 1:72 scaled British paratroopers to paint up for our Arnhem game.  Now that FoW WWI is in the can, it’s time to start spinning up on them.

What I’ll be working with is probably 1/3 Eureka AB and the rest Plastic Soldier Company: the AB stuff is vastly nicer than the PSC stuff, but when one’s $1.50 a model and the other $.30… I’ll have the AB for photographs and leaven them out with PSC for gameplay.

Also, it means I can experiment with paint schemes pretty much guilt-free.

Hadn’t realized until it was pointed out that the British infantry helmet != British paratrooper helmet, but at this scale clipping and scraping the brim off works out just fine.

This is pretty much what I’ve settled on:

2016-06-20 21.44.43

We’ve had some debate about how light or dark the Denison smock should be: I think this hits the right spot between the extremes, and I think will be even better once I get the correct pattern down.  I’m happier with the pants than with earlier experiments, which universally just came out brown.

I’m shooting for something very easy, specifically the traditional (this’ll be my first time with it) base color + highlight then hit everything with AP Soft Tone.  For the LOE, I’m more than satisfied.  Pleased, even.  I’ve done better looking minis, for sure, but this is no effort at all.

Inserting_mortar_sight

Bolt Action – Alternate Indirect Fire Rules

Inserting_mortar_sight

(again)

At one point last year, I rattled off a stupidly overly complicated set of alternate rules to “fix” Indirect Fire in Bolt Action.  The confirmation that templates are going into BA 2E has prompted me to reevaluate that problem.

Templates work OK.  In a lot of ways, they’re kind of elegant in how they handle hits against a unit and missed fire scattering into other things.  But they’re also not great: they force you to think too much about how you position your models from a mechanical perspective and not a scenario perspective. The way they work in 40K, for example, they push out models to the edge of coherency… if you’ve got a bunch of Ork Boys, you’re penalized for not carefully spreading out and positioning them.  And, frankly, that’s a waste of time.

One of the things about Bolt Action I immediately cottoned to in Bolt Action was the lack of templates.  It took the weird concern about how many models are within in a 3″ bubble out of the game.  That said: existing Indirect Fire rules suck, for reasons I enumerate in the above link.

Here’s another, better (simpler) cut at addressing them:

Revised Indirect Fire

  • The roll to hit remains unchanged (6+ the first time, then 5+, etc).
  • If this roll is failed, it may be rerolled a number of times based on the experience level of the shooter: Inexperienced-0, Regular-1, Veteran-2.
  • For each reroll, reduce the HE level by one for the initial hit.
  • Once a shooter is zeroed in, rolls may not be rerolled and further shots are not reduced.

Examples:

A Veteran Unit firing a Medium Mortar on the first round gets three chances to hit on a 6+. If they roll that 6 on the second roll, it hits as a D3, on the third it’d hit as a D2. If they don’t hit at all, the next round they’d have three chances at a 5+ and so on.  Once they’re zeroed in, the unit would get a single chance to roll a 2+ and those mortar shells would hit as D6.

An Inexperienced Unit firing the same Medium Mortar would get the one chance at a 6+. then the one chance at a 5+ and so on.

I’m feeling pretty confident about the rule.  It removes the swinginess of the existing rule and replaces it with something that rewards the experience level of the unit by putting it on a bit more of a curve. The reduction in HE is key, though, because otherwise veterans are hitting with mortars 42% of the time, which is insanely too good.  This steps it down the hypothetical Veteran Medium Mortar to 17% @ D6, 13% @ D3, and 12% @D2.

(Worth noting that this is pretty much just cribbed from Flames of War.)

On that note, one comment I got in the TGS group was a desire to share fire control.  I’m less confident about this, but I might as well share it here:

An Officer given a Fire order to order any and all Indirect Fire units within command range to fire together that have not already received an order. Pull an order die from the bag for each unit and give them a Fire order.

Make a single To Hit roll (as above) using the highest HE value and experience level in the salve.  For each additional HE weapon, increase the HE by a single step.

Like I said: less confident of that one, but might as well pass it along.

Thoughts?

FoW-GW-GE - A7V - All

Flames of War – Great War – German Empire

FoW-GW-GE - A7V - All

Got this stuff into the lightbox yesterday.  I’d been putting off photographing the team bases, because, as we know, 15mm figures are not attractive on their own… only en masse.

Anyway, should be the last you hear about it for a bit, I promise.

Here’s the CiC, 2iC, and various weapons:

FoW-GW-GE - Weapons

 

The 7.7cm FK96 n.A. battery & limbers:

FoW-GW-GE - Artillery Battery

The Maxim HMG platoons, as well as the bunkers and gun nests they can deploy into.

FoW-GW-GE - Machine Guns

Some objective markers:

FoW-GW-GE - Objectives

One of the three Stoss platoons. The exercise of setting all of these up in the lightbox began to feel like a Soviet military parade, so I decided to just photograph one platoon each of the Stoss and Infanterie.

FoW-GW-GE - Stoss PlatoonFoW-GW-GE - Stoss Team

The Infanterie Platoon:

FoW-GW-GE - Infanterie PlatoonFoW-GW-GE - Infanterie team

And, finally, a photodump of the final, weathered, A7Vs.

FoW-GW-GE - A7V - 63 RightFoW-GW-GE - A7V - 63 LeftFoW-GW-GE - A7V - 63 FrontFoW-GW-GE - A7V - 63 Rear

FoW-GW-GE - A7V - 61 RightFoW-GW-GE - A7V - 61 Left FoW-GW-GE - A7V - 61 FrontFoW-GW-GE - A7V - 61 Rear

FoW-GW-GE - A7V - 06 RightFoW-GW-GE - A7V - 06 LeftFoW-GW-GE - A7V - 06 FrontFoW-GW-GE - A7V - 06 Rear

FoW-GW-GE - A7V - 03 RightFoW-GW-GE - A7V - 03 LeftFoW-GW-GE - A7V - 03 FrontFoW-GW-GE - A7V - 03 Rear

561-563 After

A7Vs Just About Finished

Got to spend some time over the weekend wrapping up some A7Vs: more than could ever practically be run at once.  They’re not quite done – after taking and assembling these photos, I decided to take some weathering powders to them, loved the result, varnished them, and therefore need to weather them again. But they’re close.

This is my first spin with oil washes.  I think they worked quite well; I’ll have to play around with them some more at a larger scale, but this is definitely going in the toolbox.

Also, these weren’t taken in the lightbox; just in front of some paper under the arch. When I take their final photos, I probably should throw in a penny or something for reference for my family members who don’t know what (“Flames of War” or “1:100” actually means in terms of scale).

503 “Faust”(?) and 506 “Mephisto”

503-506 Before

503-506 Before

503-506 After

503-506 After

563 “Wotan” and 561 “Nixe”

563-561 Before

563-561 Before

563-561 After

563-561 After

The rough freehand on 503 is a big part of why I decided to go ahead and do transfers wherever possible. There are also some shoddy Vs on the front of 561 – the decals provided were too large and would have run afoul of rivets (certainly more afoul than my brush did).

Not perfect, not by a long shot, but pretty good for a small scale tank.  I’ll have to grab one of the 28mm ones from Trenchworx at Historicon.