13 November 2017

A Little Weekend Painting

Mike wants to play Blitzkrieg Commander next weekend at our TANKSgiving gathering in Waycross. It's a bold choice since he's very noobish on the game and the rest of the players are equally unfamiliar. I picked up the rules on Wargames Vault to get familiar with it, but there's a big difference between reading and playing.

That said, he was recruiting for additional forces so I volunteered by 6mm Germans. Because I had a few in the lead pile, I told him I'd finish up the rest of the tanks and ATGs for his game. So... Saturday morning I had hulls on nails and guns on bases.

Step 1 - clean the models and get 'em ready for paint!

And before you know it, job's done! By Saturday evening I had eight Panzer IVs and  two PaK40s ready for prime time.

I threw together a few extra command stands Sunday. Having looked at some BKC force lists online, it seems the number required may be a bit higher than I anticipated. I'm looking forward to playing on Saturday, I just hope it's not too much of a confused mess with Mike's decision to run a game he's not super familiar with.

05 November 2017

Big Tank

It took seemingly forever, but finally my big steampunk tank is done. I picked it up many months ago - maybe as much as a year or more. I remember the purchase because it was heavily discounted - $18. It's a Dystopian Legions model, RIP Spartan Game. It's a nice heavy chunk of resin with a few metal bits and pieces. I put the two 32mm VASA Suppressors in there to give it some sense of scale.

One of these days I'll put a game together and put this sucker on the table, but until then, it's a just good buy that's finally out of the painting queue!

AAR - Check Your 6 Jet Age - Hornets and Fulcrums!

CY6 made it back on the table Saturday afternoon. Inspired by a scenario I found on the Yahoo groups, I trimmed down Shaska Flight a bit and made it more suitable for two players. It's a fairly straightforward engagement of Soviet MiG-29s and RCAF CF-18 Hornets. The planes are very evenly matched. David chose the MiGs and I was quite happy with the Hornets.

Jean Claude and Jean Pierre - my pair for the day.

Big Red and Shocka - our reps from the Evil Empire.

We started a long way off from each other. I fired off two Sparrows down range but couldn't connect. One AA-10 was sent back but also failed to find its target. 

Jean Pierre finally gets a lock and launches a Sparrow at Shocka. It connects in a gout of flame! The Mig was still in the air, and undamaged at that! 

He needed an 11 or 12... Blast!

A few seconds of twisty-turny later, Big Red and Jean Claude take head-on gunshots at one another. Although both planes are hit by a couple stray rounds, neither plane is damaged.

But just then, Jean Pierre gets tone on Big Red who has drifted into the danger zone!

One Sidewinder later, Big Red is done.

Shocka gets around and behind JC. An AA-8 is launched. The Hornet's evasive maneuvers pay off and the missile goes wide.

Jean Pierre's quick Immelman gets him behind the MiG. A burst of gunfire again connects with the Russian but again fails to damage! 

The MiG flew off the nearest table edge, conceding the dogfight. A tightly fought affair and a nice way to spend an afternoon. Perhaps our next game will feature more than just dogfighting. I'd like to put a recon plane with some objective locations to get more of a scenario feel, but the dogfights are just fine too!

29 October 2017

This Week's Painting

I got the Rebel counterparts to the recently finished T-55s finished up yesterday. Along with those T-55s, I picked up some Battlefront M113s for the MCC forces.

The kits themselves were a bit fiddly. More model than wargame miniature to be sure, but the went together easily enough and had a wonderful selection of extra bits. I used a couple of trim vanes, a cupola, a recoilless rifle and some side track covers to give the group a bit of a mix and match look. The top hatches can be modeled either open or closed. They really are solid kits. Here's a look at the accessory sprue, of which four come in the box.

There are bits for mortars, flamethrowers, miniguns, grenade launchers, etc. I'm excited about getting together a game of Sabre Squadron to give the new bits a try.

22 October 2017

October Star Fleet Battles AAR

The Space Cadets + 2 got together for an enjoyable, if loooong, game of SFB Saturday afternoon at our preferred locale of Pizza Hut in Brunswick.

I put the scenario together in bursts over the last couple of months. Concept. Ships. Balance. Mike is a fan of both Kzinti drones and fighters, so I included those specifically for him. Loads of fighters and drones does tend to slow down a game which is why I don't go to that well very often. Opposing them were Jindarians, a tough direct-fire only race. I really wanted to see how their bombers performed in a game situation so they were essentially auto-includes.

Y170 Kzinti-Lyran Border
The Kzinti have located a rogue planetoid in an asteroid field near the border. It has been identified as a fine location for a base station so construction was started. It didn't take long before the Jindarian occupants of the asteroid field noticed the continuous activity and decided to take action to send the cats packing.

The Jindarian have sent out two Destroyers, the Rock Lobster and the Dwayne Johnson as well a cluster of four Meteorite heavy bombers to deal with the Kzinti.

Kziniti forces included the Frigate Constable's Daughter, Auxiliary Light Carrier Heroes' Home and an Auxiliary Cruiser Unwieldy. There were also two non-combatant construction freighters in the area.

Mike, and new players Max and Edward took command of the Kzinti, while David and I split the Jindarian.

Deployment. David and I feared the wall o' drones that would be forthcoming so thought it prudent to dart over to the next asteroid cluster, manipulating said drones into smashing themselves on the asteroids.
The plan seemed to be working pretty well. We sent the bombers out to take some cheap shots at the cats.
The squadrons of fighters are fully deployed from the carrier. There are six older AS fighters and six SAS streak fighters.
The Jindarian bombers knock down half the front shield of the Unwieldy with some long ranged railgun fire.
So, at the end of turn 1, the Jindarians had successfully make the trip to the target cluster of asteroids and drawn a decent number of drones off Kzinti launchers. The Cats, however, had many many launch platforms ready and moving in on them would be difficult.
David and I planned to follow the yellow path for turn two, drawing out more drones. We ended up following the orange when...
The Unwieldy got close and presented its thin front shield. David and I unloaded four Phaser-1s and two railguns each into it. The freighter took 12 internals. The Jindarian destoyers then HET-ed and fired their remaining railguns into the unshielded face. Nothing like pouring gasoline on the fire!
Ze bombers do an admirable job of also drawing out some drones. The asteroids continue to be our best friends!
To start turn 3, David and I agree that speed 24 is the way to go. We can outrun the speed-20 drones and continue to fence. These Kzinti are a real hassle. It's like trying to wrestle a porcupine and getting in close is just impossible!
It took little time for the AS squadron to send a collection of drones our way.
These were followed by masses of additional drones. The destroyers were in good shape with their speed up, but the bombers who'd drawn the attention of the frigate and some SAS shuttles were in deep kimchi.
Between the rear-firing phasers and chaff, only one bomber was crippled! The other three prepared to do battle with the pursuers!
Before we called it quits, the Jindarian destroyers put a big dent in the frigate's front shield. That would discourage any pursuit!
It had been three full turns and about five hours of play. The Kzinti were running low of drones in the racks and the Jindarian destroyers were still in great condition. We awarded a minor win to the Jindarians, only because they'd done more real damage. The bomber/fighter fight that was about to develop would have been interesting.
A see no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil shot of the Kzinti captains. That's Mike, Max and Edward.

A thoroughly enjoyable afternoon and a difficult scenario for both sides for sure! I was quite happy with how it turned out. The new guys did well. SFB is overwhelming and we had a LOT going on with all those fighters and drones on the table. I hope they join us in the future.

19 October 2017

Please and Tanks

I added a few T-55s to the collection last evening, courtesy of Battlefront. I picked up them and some M113s a few weeks ago as AK47 / Sabre Squadron reinforcements. The T-55s are for President Johnson's army which is typically the one I use.

By the by, I've been shifting the brightness of my painting table pictures up a bit which results in better color translation. So I'm happy with the models except when I put them next to the QRF T-55 and Type 69s I've already got.

The Type 69 on the right looks positively anemic! Granted, it is 20cm shorter, but that shouldn't make it look like Steve Rogers before the super soldier serum compared to Captain America over there on the left! The QRF T-55 isn't quite as bad, but it is noticeable. I'm not sure who's accurate, but I am quite aware of BF's tendency to have slightly bigger models than everyone else.

First world problems for my third world Imagi-nation.

16 October 2017

Seriously Small Spaceships

David picked up some "MicroFleets' ships on Shapeways to use for Star Fleet Battles last week. Because he has very little painting time, I offered my brush. I figured they'd be quick to finish given their size. I was right.

Kzintis in progress. Compare to the 15mm tank and 1" grid squares. They are tiny!

The Kzinti ships were done in the grainy "white strong and flexible" material. The Cardassians are of the Frosted Ultra Detail and are much tighter. Witness the class-lettering on the bases.

This accounts for Sunday's work. The civilian ships and base are essential for good SFB storytelling. Looking forward to putting some of these on the table next weekend.