Tuesday, June 30, 2009
No really big changes here, I've spent the last two nights cleaning up the bases and trying to get all the minis to the same level of completeness. So I'll start to work on minis a squad at a time now.
Monday, June 29, 2009
I forgot to take photos of the setup and the first two turns but you can see below is the game as of turn three. A German squad with 2 MG-42 have moved into the woods in the top left of the photo and a team in the woods to the top right. Another team is about to come over the hill to the middle right.
Half of the first British squad on the left has already fallen to the MG42's in the treeline. The rectangles in the middle of the table are fields and the remaining British are making an attempt to come around them and get the LMG's within SMG range.
It didn't turn out too well.
No sooner than we would hit the gunner than another would take his place. There's no official rule in Nuts (at least that I could find in the rulebook) for someone to take over as the gunner of a LMG/MMG but we later found some in the Pieper At The Gates supplement.
This team spent most of the game getting knocked down, standing up, knocked down, standi... you get the idea.
- LMG's have just as much potential in controlling the enemies movement than they do as outright killing machines.
- Terrain... you need lot's of it in a Nuts! game. Open areas like you see in the photos above are difficult if not impossible to cross without casualties.
- Anyone in cover is dang hard to take down by a Rep 3 with a rifle (read that as not possible), I'll believe the guys on the Yahoo group have addressed this so I'll have to look that up.
- You need a good scenario to keep things moving. In our battle it would have made no sense for the Germans to leave the saftey of the woods unless there was a strong motivation to do so. Eg take the town by tun 5. Simple scenarios like I'm defending and you're attacking isn't really enough. A quick flip through Peiper At The Gates just shows how a game can be enriched with a little background fluff and some key objectives.
I don't know if we'll play Peiper as is but we're going to use it as the watermark by which we play all our future games. Although it probably won't be too hard to just substitute US troops for British and play as is.
I'm very curious to see if the "Focus" test from Chain Reaction 3 makes it's way into the new Nuts! rulebook. Not being able to just pick the most tactically advantageous target every turn will make the games way more interesting and unpredictable. And let's face it: that's why we play Nuts! right? Otherwise we'd just play some *cough*hammer based system.
Saturday, June 27, 2009
I'll get some photos up of the freshly painted forces before I leave tonight and this time I'll remember to take some shots of the game in progress... maybe if I'm really organised (not likely) then I'll take notes for an AAR.
Going to borrow a few ideas from other games tonight, such as blinds in IABSM and TW&T. I think we'll also make sure there's at least one guy on each side with Rep6 to stop the whole army standstill, that cost the British dearly last game... that and the MP40's.
Friday, June 26, 2009
I've been toying with the idea of using Pendraken 10mm but I'm just not sold on the idea... yet. At that scale I'd have to go 4-5 per base and I'd really like to keep it 1:1 if possible. S0 when I saw these in the local games shop I just had to grab a box. $8 for a box of 48 miniatures isn't too shabby and the mix of poses is pretty good and the inclusion of specialist such as flame throwers and a MMG means that you can get a good platoon out of a box. The only complain I have with these is that the plastic is just a little too soft, but then again I was expecting that.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Yes that's a German MG-42 MMG off to the left in the photo. I might accidentially forget to paint it up for Saturday, let's face it Mick will only end up using it against me.
That just leaves the platoon of US paratroopers to start next...
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
If you look very carefully at the photo below you might be able to make out where I stopped meticulously sorting the minis and took a less organised approach.
I think I've got enough now to get some nice sized games going. A few more Battle Droids wouldn't hurt, and eventually an AT-AT or two, but for now I've got pleanty to keep me going.
Here's a breakdown of all the minis, I've left out a few of the singles unless they're of note (ie they look cool).
Rise of the Empire
10 Super Battle Droids
22 Battle Droids
1 Hailfire Droid
2 ARC Troopers
3 Utapau Troopers
1 Raxus Prime Trooper
5 Saleucami Troopers
17 Clone Troopers
3 Elite Clone Troopers
1 Kashyyyk Trooper
4 Imperial Officers
2 Imperial Pilots
4 Death Star Troopers
5 Scout Troopers
4 Dark Troopers (Phases I-III)
7 Rebel Pilots
8 Rebel Commandos
20 Rebel Troopers
25 Hoth Troopers
1 Snow Speeder
6 New Republic Troopers
Look... Droids Sir!
3 R5 Astromech Droids
2 Gonk Power Droids
Gonk droids, you just gotta love 'em.
A shot of the Dark Troopers, these guys are big!
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Here's some Tusken Raiders and Jawa's I've given a base coat to. Once this dries I'll hit it with a dry brush and they'll be done.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
Well at the time I mentioned that Two Hour Wargames have 5150 and their free rules Chain Reaction either of which could do the job if he was willing to put in a little time converting stats and attributes.
More recently however I'm thinking that something like Troops, Weapons and Tactics could work just as equally well. The stats don't even really have to be changed that much, a rifle becomes a blaster an e-web blaster is an MG42 and so on. Jedi and Sith become "Big Men" and it shouldn't be too hard to make up some rules for Jedi powers.
Not that I need another project on the go right now but I think this could be a quick one to get on the table. The minis are for the most part painted to a table ready level, a bit of work on the bases and they're done. throw down some 28mm terrain and we're away.
This could be the start of something quite fun.
Saturday, June 20, 2009
For the really big games I have I Ain't Been Shot Mum (IABSM) which is a company level game but can be used for smaller engagements with no changes to the rules. The effect of this is roughly the same as the streamlined Nuts! system. Combat is over quickly and the action feels very stop-start, IABSM really needs a few figures on the table to flow well.
The answer, I'm hopeful, comes in the form of Too Fat Lardie's Troops, Weapons and Tactics (TW&T).
TW&T originated from the IABSM ruleset and even refers to itself as "Son of IABSM". The rules are similar and anyone who has played IABSM will feel right at home with TW&T. The structure of the game is pretty much the same:
- Card based activation system.
- Initiative dice are used to perform actions such as spotting or shooting.
- Command and control is implemented by the use of "big men".
Where the two systems differ actually can make a big difference to how you play the game. The biggest change I can see is that in TW&T a unit can only move if ordered to do so by a big man. Units using their unit initiative dice can only spot, take cover or fire. That is fantastic, I can see this causing players to really think their tactics through. Yeah sure you can just put the Lieutenant with a couple fire teams and send them off down the table but you had better look after him or you could find your troops hunkered down waiting for orders.
The rest of the rules look similar to what I've seen in the IABSM rulebook but I'm sure Rich and the guys at Lard Island have a few surprise nuances thrown in there that I haven't seen yet. At £10 it's one of the more expensive rulesets from the Lardies but it's worth every penny... I mean cent.
Like most (all?) of the Too Fat Lardies games TW&T uses a card based activation system. I've mentioned before in discussions about Bag the Hun that I hated the idea but loved the implementation. What can make or break the game though is the cards themselves. To keep the game going nice and smoothly you either need to memorise the rulebook or put the rules on the cards (or at least have page references on the cards).
I had a lot of fun making the cards for Bag the Hun so I'm taking my time with these ones and I'm trying to make something that is functional yet has that wow factor. So far I'm very happy with the results. I'll post the complete set here once I've got them all finished.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
This time however I'm getting my miniatures from Artizan Designs. Before I get into why I've decided to buy elsewhere let's compare the products.
On average the price per mini when buying a platoon is 0.92p for Black Tree vs 1.13p for Artizan, not an overly huge difference but it can add up when you're buying a couple platoons at a time. So not suprisingly Black Tree wins here.
Range of Figures
Black Tree really wins here too, they have a larger range troop types and the number of poses for each type is quite impressive (16-24 different poses in most cases). That's not to say that Artizan has missed out on any minis they simply have one British Vickers MMG whereas Black Tree has two, and so on. Black Tree wins here.
Quality of Figures
I'm not going to give a judgement on this point yet as I don't have the Artizan minis here to do a proper comparison. But what I can say is that the photos of the painted minis on the Artizan website really look good, fantastic even. The Black Tree site has photos of unpainted miniatures that look good but they aren't really inspiring.
So two votes to nill for Black Tree, but why am I'm buying Artizan I hear you ask. It's simple: customer service. Both times I've placed orders with Black Tree my order has been listed with a status of "queued". Weeks passed on both orders and the status stayed listed as queued. In both cases part of my order was on back order or the stock was lost on a warehouse somewhere.. or something but my order stayed listed as 'queued'. It took numerous emails to the company to get any response whatsoever from them. Once I had their attention things happened quickly and good started to arrive but it was a lot of work on my behalf.
Artizan on the other hand responded to my email in about 10 minutes and were more than acommodating with answering my questions and even sorting out a custom order for me. It was refreshing and reassuring. I'm still struggling with getting everything I want in the order with my 'allocated funds' but I feel confident that this purchase will be a lot smoother that the previous two.
So the bottom line here is be careful when you buy based on price alone.
Sunday, June 14, 2009
I've decided to go with Field Grey (XF-65) for both the pants and tunic to keep the process nice and quick. The helmets are German Grey (XF-63)
Step 1: Base coat the entire figure in Flat Black (XF-1). I've thinned this with a 5:1 mix of paint and thinners and then painted it on with a nice flat size 4 brush.
Step 2: Paint the base coats on the mini making sure get an even coat, again I thin it down to about 5:1. Paint the flesh areas with XF-15, if there's any areas that needs a bright colour is best to just base coat it white for now.
Step 3: I cover the entire mini in Smoke (X-19) mix, usually this is about 4:1 mixed with thinners in the pot and I add any extra on the palette on a mini by mini basis. I paint this on from the helmet down to the feet, making sure not to let too much settle on the flesh areas if possible. It's very important to let the mini dry completley before going to the next step, I usually leave the minis alone until the next evening.
Step 4: This is almost the same as step 2. Once again you take your base colours and do what I call a wet drybrush. This is the same as drybrushing except you leave a little more paint on the brush than you would for a dry brush. Sorry I can't explain it better, it's really a trial and error thing. Keep brushing the base colour back on until most of the shine from the Smoke is gone. You should end up with a nice blended look. Any shiny bits left will be cleaned up once we spray the mini with a matt varnish.
Step 5: I'm not too sure what to do here so I'm going to throw it back to you guys. I like the green look to the minis at the minute so do I just do a highlight one some of the raised surfaces with a lighter shade of Field Grey or do I go for the grey-green look and use a subtle shade of light grey.
Saturday, June 13, 2009
I did have plans of taking photos and having a nice detailed AAR but I've head a heck of a head cold for the last few days and it tool everything I could muster just to sit at the table and remember the rules.
Two squads of British infantry squared off against two squads of Huns and in the end the British didn't fare very well. I did to a lot of silly things just to show the mechanics of the game... honestly now would I do something as silly as walking... hmm maybe, but I would never jump out of cover into the line of fire of a... ok ok Mick had me out gunned and out tac-tic-ified...
Bottom line is that he enjoyed the game immensely and we're looking forward to playing again soon. With more cover this time, and I'll have snipers... and mortars, not to mention a MMG or two.
We're actually thinking of "borrowing" a few ideas from some other games in an attempt to make a game "with all the cool things we like". The use of blinds from the Too Fat Lardies range of games is just a simple and elegant way to add to the fog of war. And also the use of a target dice, I can't recall the name of the game Mick said it was from, but basically it's rolled with your dice for determining your target: and odd result you get to pick the target as normal and an even result means the other player chooses the target. An interesting mechanic that adds to the chaos of the battlefield.
So for that game I'll make sure I get photos and an AAR up on the blog.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
The variety of buildings in the set is nice and has everything from farm houses, barns to churches and street cafes. Pretty much everything that a Normandy wargame table would need. I was hoping to get a couple of these built tonight but I got sidetracked with an idea I had (you never saw that coming did you)...
I have a cunning plan M'Lord... yes yes dangerous I know, and after the "Hex Incident" I too didn't expect too much from this. The idea was to laminate the building pieces and then score the edges that needed to bend just like you would a piece of cardstock. And the results weren't that bad at all.
I've only glued the two opposite corners of the building below so the shape is a little out at the moment. Once I glue it to an MDF base the building should square up.
As I mentioned earlier the doors are a little small but I'll experiment with the scale on the next one too see what works best.
Sunday, June 7, 2009
So far all I've heard is that the new edition is a refinement of the current system. The scope of the game has been officially expanded to cover the entire war, there are plenty of articles in the Lardy Annuals that do this aready but it will be nice to have it all in the official rulebook. Cannon and MG fire are going to be differentiated in some way and it seems that ground targets and or ships are going to be covered in some way but details are thin at the moment.
The only question I have is: can we pre-order it now?
Planes? oh yeah the planes... I managed to get done:
11 x BF 109's (the rest of the second squadron)
12 x BF110's (a squadron? Were bombers organised in this way? I must look that one up)
6 x Do17E's
4 x Gloster Gladiators (still need to do the second wing and the under carriage on those ones).
There's not a great deal left from the order, at this rate I'll have to place another order soon, *looks over his shoulder to make sure his wife isn't in the room* maybe some British Bombers oh and an FW200 Condor or three... then I can start on the Pacific theatre and then back to the Western Front... *looks over his should again*
All That's Left
6 x Do17P's 4 x Ju87's
4 x Ju88's
12 x Wildcats
12 x A6M Zero's
Saturday, June 6, 2009
Remember to click on the pictures for bigger versions.
Some close up shots of the army.
I've done most of the major clean up work: removing flash, smoothing mould lines and drilling out the barrels of the bigger cannons. I think I'll start with something small to get my eye and brush hand in and then I'll try to break the back of the 60 or so stands if IG troops. Once that's done I'll get into the fun stuff: tanks, tanks and more tanks.
I decided on a different approach this time and marked out each horizontal row and used a stright edge to mark the points on the pre marked lines. I worked through the night and eventually called it quits around 4am.
I woke up all enthused to finish off the mat when it dawned on me that I was only close to finishing the first half. My heart sank even more when I noticed that some of the hexes looked visibly squished and even more so at the fact that the hex grid was too dominant and made the photo difficult to see clearly.
I'll still use the other mat for games like Action Stations and Scramble!, but for Bag the Hun it's hexes all the way.
Thursday, June 4, 2009
I need a way that is easy enough to do but accurate enough so that I don't get the bottom half of the mat getting out of sync with the top.
I figured using a template of sorts would be way better than measuring each hex individually.
Step 1: I printed out my template using Publisher to make sure each of the hexes was the right size and so on. I then laminated the paper so that the template wouldn't get soggy and tear. Also not the guide lines to help line the holes up with the existing marks.
Step 2: Then I took it into the shed and drilled holes into each of the corners.
It's going to take a while to get them all done. Definatley going to be a job that requires headphones and some good music. A long album too, maybe The Clash's Sandinista! or better yet Helloween's Keeper of The Seven Keys Parts I through III. Better be on the safe side and queue them all up.
Tuesday, June 2, 2009
A Spitfire Mk1 squadron, they came out a little too dark for my liking but I'm trying really hard not to be too picky about things like that.
Remember to click on the images for a bigger version.
Boulton Paul Defiants, painted in a similar manner to the Spitfires.
Some Junker JU87's, just found another pack of these, I have no idea why I built and painted one and not the other.