19 July 2017


Sometimes you end up with a model that's just a bear to assemble. I haven't had one of those in some time, but the Aquan assault helix I received as a birthday prezzie came with two real patience-testers.

The "three-legged walking things," as my son would have described them years ago, required me to use putty at the ankles and enlist my wife as a second set of hands. The very loose ball-and-socket joints were just impossible to work with by myself.

I did finish up the other contents of that box set - some missile tanks:

Zig and I are supposed to get in our first game of Firestorm Planetfall this weekend. I'm really looking forward to it (and looking forward to putting my red lovelies out on the tabletop).

On a much cuter note, my son busted out some of my scenery and minis last evening and had a bit of a dust up.

These sheep are in deep kimchi.

Space men and the army duke it out

16 July 2017

Quick Update

Very little painting this week - I can't explain why, I've just been doing other things. I did get in a fun little game of Wings of War on Friday evening with my bride.

Rather than just your usual shoot 'em up, we tried something a tad different. I drove a Dauntless dive bomber with a Mustang escort - my mission was to bomb the yakatori stand represented by the card about a third of the way in from the left side in the picture above. My bride piloted two Ki-84 Franks as interceptors.

She makes a rookie mistake and charges in head-first. I get past her after weathering one light round of gunfire.

The Dauntless drops its bomb neatly on the yakatori stand, ruining lunch plans for the IJA. I'd gotten my Mustang spun around to distract the Jap fighters. Now, to extricate the dive bomber...

The silver plane gets in behind me and begins tailing. To make things worse, she gets a lucky hit that knocks out my tail gunner!

My two planes zip past each other. The Dauntless eats another close-range fusillade from the Frank and begins careening towards the ground! My Mustang hits the Jap plane hard too, but not quite enough to knock it out.

I didn't get a picture, but a few turns later I caught back up with her and shot it down. We didn't continue the "duel to the death" and called it a day there.

The action on kitchen table picked back up Saturday evening as Junior and I got in a game of X-Wing. I tried out a TIE swarm (or as much of one as I can muster) while Junior used a group of three much more elite TIE variants.

The dead sexy starting lineup. Managing five ships is something I am not used to! Traffic management is a big deal with a group like this.

The melee in earnest.

I knocked out the Interceptor easily enough - they're just too lightly built. The Defender and Phantom were much tougher customers. The Defender burned up two of my low-end TIEs by itself. You can see in this shot that the Phantom got in a prime position to kill my Advanced but sadly was cloaked and couldn't fire. I had a miserable time trying to hit that sneaky thing.

Eventually, the death of a thousand cuts go to the Defender. Junior conceded with just one ship left whose primary schtick of sneak attack would be very difficult to employ against a group of three ships. The "Semi Swarm" was a fun group to play with. All ships are ridiculously nimble and although firepower was lacking, I had little trouble with Agility 3 opponents.

09 July 2017

Sunday X-Wing

Another boring old X-Wing post, though my wife and I did get in a few board/card games yesterday afternoon and evening with another couple. We played Pandemic, Skull King and Betrayal at House on the Hill. All were quite enjoyable.

Today's X-Wing games were with David. We're both trying to get tuned for the tournament we'll be playing in next month.

I know it doesn't look like much... I tried out this S&V group and it was a LOT better than I anticipated.

The HWK had an unfortunate early visit with the Decimator. It died early after irritating David for a couple of turns.

But then I got the Decimator in positon to get thumped and gave it a good whipping.

After it had been dealt with, the G-1 and Starfighter's big guns worked well against the lightly-built TIEs and I wiped out the lot with no further losses. A shocking victory for my rabble.

The next game, David tweaked things a bit, dumping a cheap TIE and upgrading the Decimator to "damn scary." I used the same Rebel group from last weekend that had worked well. I made mistakes early and often.

Some time later, my last ship, the E-Wing, had run for the corner knowing the Deci wouldn't dare follow. The part you didn't see was David finally getting frustrated wasting time with my E-Wing and focusing on the T-70 X-Wing and YT-2400 which were easier targets. Morningstar was busy today - a Magic pre-release tournament, 40K, Runewars and Warmachine were also in play.

Vader finally finished me off. Oh well.

The second game was a lot more constructive than the first. I got a great lesson in where that squadron is weak. David's second list was a major improvement over his first. My dilemma now is, do I try to correct my weaknesses or simply try to play to my strengths? I will definitely dump the tractor beam on the YT-2400 - in two games it hasn't been used at all. Since the squad was only 99 points, that gives me a couple points to play with. The Scum list was a lot of fun but it'd need to test it a couple more times to become a believer.

02 July 2017

A Bit of X-Wing

Zig and I played a couple of rounds of X-Wing yesterday. I suppose technically it's a tune-up type game for a tournament I'm hoping to play in August 12th. I tried out two squads I think might be OK to run with.

First up was a Rebel list with a YT-2400, T-70 X-Wing and an E-Wing. They're all strong ships - no "gimmes" in the bunch.

They matched very well against Zig's TIE Defender list. I took a while to finally nail the last one, but I won the fight, hands down, taking no loses.

For game 2, I used what I considered an entertaining list, certainly not heavy hitters. Two TIE Advanced and a Firespray. They fought against the same TIE Defender group from the first game.

Oooh. They fly in pretty formations!

After a while, Zig was down to the blasted red TIE and I was one ship down.

And the my other TIE got splatted. Kath Scarlet and Duchess dueled for a while until I took a nasty crit putting my pilot skill down to "0," losing a distinct advantage I'd had. The silly red TIE and I ended up facing each other at range 2 and she got to shoot first. Boom, dead Firespray. The two-Advanced list was a lot better than I anticipated, though I'm still unsure it would hold water in a tournament setting.

A fun evening of X-Wing. It's always a great game.

30 June 2017

Planetfall - A Group Shot

I've been positively zipping through the Firestorm Planetfall minis lately. Ziggy hooked me up with some a Terquai Recon Helix and an Aquan Assault Helix for my birthday. The Terquai got handled right away.

I took some group shots of all of the forces together - vehicles, infantry, etc.

 The whole shebang so far...

Aquan infantry

The big silver flier is a Terquai ground attack unit.

Terquai infantry. I gave all of the infantry a paint scheme more in tune with their wintry surroundings. I think it looks pretty swell - kind of an Imperial Stormtrooper vibe. I don't think I've ever painted "white" infantry before and I'm real happy with the result.

The walkers I've got now are the models shown above. I'm strongly tempted to do the legs in a white scheme, similar to the infantry while leaving the body red.
It'd make the legs (presumably the weakest point of a walker) more difficult to visually discern, much like the gun barrel of this Firefly. Let me know if you think it's a stupid idea or brilliant.

Not ready for the prior pictures, I completed these portals last evening. The Terquai infantry can walk through one and appear from the other portal. Should be nifty!

28 June 2017

Star Fleet Sunday

The Space Cadets, plus Jason ( who gamed with us back on Memorial Day ), met at the Pizza Hut in Brunswick on Sunday afternoon for our "monthly" game of Star Fleet Battles.

The scenario / set up I'd come up with was this:

The Hydrans had captured an intact Lyran Heavy Frigate and are towing it back to Hydran space. The Lyrans quickly dispatch a special forces team (Puddytat 6) to steal it back.

Here we are a few turns into the proceedings. David's PFs are coming in fast, to board the HFF as soon as possible.

The PFs unloaded eight disruptors and eight phaser-2s into poor Mike's Gendarme just after this picture was taken. Mike's ship was left in tatters.

A few moments later, Mike made a terrible mistake by zigging when he should have zagged. The PFs emptied their Ph-3s into the Hydran ship. The Hydrans fired all they could bring to bear on the lead PF, all but destroying it.

Mike's ship is vaporized. Four of our boarding parties die in the process. Damn.

Seven Lyran boarding parties are transported to the frigate.

Stars begin to align for my pair of Stingers (hex 2820). Mike's pair had fired earlier at range 2. Mine were in rage mode.

The PFs turn, they slip, they're left without options. My Stingers (and Mike's for some reason) enter the PFs' hex and unload their weapons.

Two PFs are killed outright by fusion and phaser fire. The subsequent explosions kill the remaining PFs and all the Stingers in the hex. At least that tidied things up a bit.

Jason an I had gotten three boarding parties on the frigate to duke it out with the Lyrans. Our combat roll was good (two kills) but David rolled a lousy "1." We were able to contest the ship and things dragged out another turn. Three more BPs onto the frigate and we outnumbered the Lyrans.

Game set and match, Hydran win. It was fast and brutal like any good special forces engagement should be. Mike was pretty hosed about his tragic mistake that allowed eight Ph-3s to fire through a down shield, killing his ship instead rather than simply removing the front shield and knocking out a few internals. My fighters performed admirably, scoring two outright kills and inflicting a shedload of collateral damage.

Since we had plenty of time left, Mike pulled out Star Fleet Marines and set up a simple game of that.

My brave and well-trained bits of cardboard.

We pick up a few turns into the game. Mike was my teammate, using the green Hydrans. Jason commanded the Black Klingon troops while David led his yellow Lyran company. Each team had to defend a single-hex town near their board edge while capturing the opponent's. Mike and David pushed out hard while Jason and I hung back to play some defense. 

I was very bad about taking pictures during the early going. Mike got shot up a lot, as did David. Here we see David's lead force take cover in the caldera of a volcano.

Here you can get a better appreciation for my day of "herding cats" as it were.

The glare on the map covers up much of the slaughter of Mike's stunties.

My heroic troopers head into the volcano after their quarry.

We called the game at 6:00pm - a minor Coalition victory; congrats to Jason and David. Mike had been decimated, although I had lost no troops at all.

It was a good, mindless beer and pretzels wargame. Nothing complex, no rules to contend with. Just pushing the counters around and making "pew pew" sounds. Perfect for a Sunday afternoon.

18 June 2017

Firestorm Armada AAR: Ambush!

Ziggy and I dug out our Firestorm Armada ships Saturday afternoon for a return to the Storm Zone. I used my Relthoza, while Zig commanded his Terrans (with Hawker allies). We set the points at 1000, but both came in around 950 or so. I really need to pick up some reinforcements for the Relthoza.

We played the sixth scenario in the MRB - Ambush! I won the roll and chose to be the attacker - ambushing the Terran fleet as they transited across the map.

Our deployments. This is what happens when you don't play often and aren't super-familiar with your army list. Those Light Frigates should have swapped positions with the other Drone frigates in the upper right behind the asteroids, given their weapons. The Lights are long-range snipers, whereas the Drones are close-range brawlers... oh well..

Some newly-painted Gilas, to be used as Heavy Cruisers.

Things started pretty well, snapping up a couple of Terran frigates from a long way off with torpedoes.

The debt starts to be repaid with one of the Hive's escorts being destroyed and another damaged.

Turn two - my Nidus frigates reveal themselves and unleash a barrage at the unlucky squadron, but miss terribly. I should have also attacked with that fighter squadron they deployed. I was saving it for a bigger target though.

Some filthy Terran ship saw fit to fire nuclear weapons at the Nidus squadron. Ziggy rolls a natural Yahtzee on the shot.


Hidden squadrons have to clump up a lot when they reveal, making them juicy nuke targets. 

Starting turn 3, things were looking pretty blah for the spiders. I was holding the Gunships tight, hoping to shunt behind the battleship can catch it from behind.

The carrier's fighters finish off the last frigate of unpainted epoxy squadron.

On the far edge, the other Terran frigate group located my light frigates.

That's evil back there behind the glass.

I had to move my gunship squadron before the Apollo. They performed very poorly. The battleship punished them. The first of many "PD Disabled" crit effect markers is placed on one of my ships.

I didn't take any pics, but I got vengeance for all sorts of past wrongs with the new Heavy Cruisers. The slid forward, following the red lines, then pasted two Herpes, I mean Hermes-class cruisers. Double crit one. Double crit two. TWO DOUBLE CRITS! Two dead cruisers. The Heavies just made Ziggy's list.

My Gunships however continue to suffer shame and humiliation as the Apollo blasts one and a fighter group kills another. Interesting how this other one ALSO has a "PD Disabled" crit marker. I swear, Z rolled a "5" on the crit chart at least six times.

Bombers gonna bomb.The carrier and it's little buddies combine to finish off the cruiser squadron.

The big ships start to converge.

Fighters and firepower kill off one of my Heavies. Note the "PD Disabled" marker.

The Hive puts a world-class broadside into the Hawker carrier. The remaining Heavy also pastes it. Four damage and it's rocking two corrosion markers! Hehehe.

After five turns, we called it a day. We were tired and ready for dinner. The final battle log was at 8-6, in favor of the Terrans. They did get a frigate into my deployment zone at the very end.

My second game with the Relthoza was very enjoyable. We need to play more often because there are a lot of little things we both forget about simply because it's like 4 months between games of FSA. These two fleets fought to a similar draw the last time we played and appear to be very well-matched against each other. One of these days I'll get another Tier 1 unit for the spiders - right now it's a toss up - Battlecruisers, Base Station or Assault Carrier (group). Those Heavy Cruisers are ridiculous. They'll certainly be a regular.