Thursday, November 21, 2013

Bolt Action my first game and Annlogue Hobbies Painting Challenge

Nick came over a couple weeks ago to play some Bolt Action. He brought his lovely painted late war Volksgrenedier/Luftwaffe Germans vs my US Airborne at my house. Again, most of my pictures of the figures in action didn't come out the way I wanted so I only have a few to give a sense of the field we played on so I highly recommend going to Nick's blog here for more pictures of troops actually fighting.

It was my first game of Bolt Action and in one short phrase I can sum up my feelings......I'm hooked! I find the game very intuitive and easy to learn. It plays in a nice flowing style with a lot of twists and turns due to the activation system which is just great. The army building process is also straightforward with lots of options, but still easy to do even for a new comer.  Some realism in ranges is sacrificed for playability, but virtually all miniatures games must do this or you would need warehouses to play games in so that's really no big deal to me and not worth getting hung up on. While Operation Squad gives a more theatre like experience it costs more time to play it and honestly does not play as fluid as Bolt Action does, but since both play at different levels with one at a squad level and another platoon there is easily room for both systems. Another great point of Bolt Action is the books are very nice like all Osprey publications which really appeals to me as I'm a very visual player and I like books that motivate you to become involved which these really do. Since the books are so nice and I'm a collector I'll get them all even if I don't use all the armies.

As to the game itself it was of course great fun! We had contrasting armies where Nick's army were regulars and Volksgrenadier(home guard) vs Elite paratroops which gave him a substantial superiority in numbers, but a short coming in quality. I should say Nick rolled rather poorly and so his army was virtually destroyed and in the end decisively defeated, but even with his bad rolls he did inflict enough casualties on my Airborne that were he to have rolled better I might have been in serious trouble. My impression is that elites are tough for sure, but like most systems they cannot afford bad rolls or decisions and a decent rolling opposition. I think the lists are pretty balanced and truthfully I suspect standard troops are probably the best in the game as they offer decent amount of troops, with a good morale and leave you room for a few casualties. So, beware elite players as you cannot afford bad rolls and those that like fielding low grade troops to overwhelm the other gent you may find it difficult getting them to both do anything and stay in the game not to mention dying like flies.

It looks like I'll need to expand my Fallschirmjäger collection which is fine for Operation Squad, but too few for Bolt Action(luckily Nick and Franz have substantial German and Russian collections to make up for this shortfall) and while my Airborne is adequate enough I still would like to add a few more options. Oh....and there is these Japanese that I've started.... so, expect to see more WWII figures popping up on my blog in the future.:-)

It also getting time for Curt's winter painting competition here!

This has become kind of a tradition now which I'm proud to announce I've been involved in since the second one and will join this one too!:-) It kicks off on the 15th of December and runs until the 20th of March. It's a fun competition where painters are scored points for painting figures and whoever accumulates the most is the winner and is given a small prize with a second and third place as well. Other accolades are given for Peoples, Competitors, Sarah and Judges choice.It a great way to help slim down our lead mountains and be a part of something we all enjoy as that's the main reason I do this, because I paint far too slow to win.

This year my friend Nick here joined the challenge were we plan on having our own little mini competition within the challenge itself as we are doing a joint Impetus project focused on Pyrrhuss's assault on the Roman Republic with Nick doing the Romans and me the Pyrrhic forces. I'll do my best to stay focused on that which won't be easy as I'm a notorious butterfly. I already hear ACW, F&IW, WWII screaming and kicking demanding my attention and I haven't even started the competition yet!

However, before all that I have a lot of mini's to clean and prep before the kick off as that's allowed, but no figures painted before the 15th can be entered in the competition. Also, I'll need to work on some more terrain before the 15th as terrain pieces are not allowed in the competition either.

I'm really looking forward to this! Curt puts a lot of work into it and every event has been great and this looks to be no exception! So, please show your support for Curt by following his blog and leaving some comments when you have the time. I gave a link on the picture above for those who haven't had the pleasure of visiting his superb blog yet.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Saxon Duguth Warriors #2

Back to my Early Saxons for Dux Britanniarum and my 2nd unit of Duguth warriors. The unit is 8 strong instead of 6 as Hamarolf attracted new followers which is nice!:-) I'm happy to be working back on this project as I really dislike using my Vikings as substitutions for Saxons in previous games even though they don't look too far off the mark. I'm going to try very hard to stay with the Saxons and finish them, before moving on to other things.

The figures are all Musketeer and I like them very much indeed and are a real joy to paint! Some of the figures are doubles, but I don't mind as I just paint them a bit different. The shields are a mix of LBM transfers, repainted  Foundry transfers and my own designs with some MIG pigments added. The bases are from Warbases and are arranged more in a shieldwall style as I personally prefer that over the loose skirmish. The figures can be removed from the bases.

Thanks for viewing!:-)
Miniature Company-Musketeer Miniatures

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Strathbogie Regiment 1645

Marching under the banner of "For God The King Against All traitors" over and "God Save The King" under comes Lord Huntley's Strathbogie Scots Royalist regiment supporting Montrose fight for the king's cause in Scotland during the ECW.

The regiment was very well equipped if not the best equipped in Montrose's army and for the most part fought very well for him. Most wear a typical Hodden grey and blue caps, but as always I took some liberties and mixed up their look a bit to fit the overall theme of my Montrose army which which is to say it's more of an all rounder in that I intend to use the army as both a Scots Montrose army and a northern English army like those that fought at Marston Moor. With this in mind I kept the tartan to just a few figures to give the proper impression and the patterns basic to give the Scottish feel, but not so much so that I couldn't use them as English in a pinch in other games.

The figures are a mix of Bicorne and Renegade which I prefer for this period. The lovely flag is from Flags of War. Painting was done using AP and some highlights added. It seems Renegade has temporarily closed their Web Site which I hope does not become permanent as I really like their figures.

Thanks for viewing!:-)

Sunday, November 3, 2013

More Operation Squad

A few days ago Nick, Mike, Franz and I played another game of Operation Squad which is a WWII based skirmish game at the squad level. The terrain is a mix of mine and Nick's and the lovely figures used for this game were Nick's who has been working really hard on his 28mm WWII collection and we felt he should be rewarded by using all his figures(it didn't hurt that they looked superb either!).

Nick and I took the role of a German Luftwaffe squad supported by a Puma, Pak 40, mortar and a Tiger I vs Mike and Franz running a Soviet rifle squad led by a commissar supported by a sniper, mortar, T34/85 and an ISU2. We decided to go way overboard on the support points to try out the heavies, plus I really wanted to play the Tiger!:-)

Things started well for the Russians destroying the Puma with the ISU2 and wiping out a couple Volksgrenadier support sections with the rock hard sniper in both shooting and close combat! However, things changed when the Tiger got his groove on and blew up both the T34 and ISU2 in a gunslinger type showdown. I could almost hear Clint Eastwood or should I say Hans Ostwald saying "Go ahead make my day!".:-)  Then the German mortar found his mark and wiped out a quarter of the Soviets and the commissar in one fell shot. On top of this the supporting members of the German mortar section gunned down the their opposite Russian mortar section through small arms fire and being caught in the blast from the exploding T34.  At this point the Russians were 1 man away from having to take a route test and had no real answer to the Tiger so we ended the game there.

As usual Operation Squad provided an excellent movie like experience and was great fun, but it has it's problems with the sniper, mortar and grenades being way to effective and the lack of tanks have differing levels of front, sides and rear armour values plus the high powered main guns pretty much slice through everything. We will add a few a house rules and that should alleviate these issues.

My camara didn't take very many good pictures this time so I only have a few decent ones, but I implore you to check out Nick's blog that gives a fuller account of the game here.

Thanks for viewing!