Sunday, February 28, 2010

Bases and 10mm Terrain

With my Pendraken WW2 minis ordered I needed to source some bases for them.  My first thought was 3mm MDF but on average I'm looking at around $30 plus shipping to get enough bases for both armies (around 105 bases give or take).  To complicate matters even more I haven't actually settled on a size for the bases yet.  I'm currently leaning towards the "Warmaster standard" 20mm x 40mm but I really want to see the miniatures first.  You can always make infantry fit any base but tanks that overhang their bases just look bad.

After the required period of procrastination I ordered some 2mm styrene plasticard from eBay.  Two sheets of 200mm x 227mm should give me around 110 bases at 20mm x 40mm.  Best of all the plastic is black so I shouldn't need to paint edges.

The one aspect of playing Warmaster that annoyed me was that I had little to no terrain in that scale.  Sure we used the old school method of green felt = woods and brown felt = hills but it just didn't look good, not compared the great visual effect of ranks and ranks of 10mm minis all lined up for battle.

It was also difficult to justify the time and money to start creating/buying the terrain in this scale when Warmaster was more of a distraction or side game at the club.  Well with Blitzkrieg Commander on the way and with a few 15mm scale games on the horizon all that is about to change..

While browsing eBay I came across these:

100 N and Z scale trees for $10.76 delivered.  Apparently they're about 1.5" tall and I think they'll fit in well with either Warmaster or Blitzkrieg Commander.  I'll probably go with the same approach that I have for the 28mm stuff, I'll base 4-5 trees to a small base and then place these onto a larger "forest base".

The plasticard is shipped from here in Oz so that should be here within the week but the trees are from Hong Kong so possibly two weeks there.  I just hope that they pack them well, my last lot of trees ended up all squashed in together and it took quite a while to seperate them and straighten them out without damaging them.  Then again for only $10 I really can't expect too much now can I?

Also on the terrain front I've printed out a pile of cardstock buildings that I've scaled down to 10mm.  They're mostly european style with a few fantasy buildings that don't look too fantasy and could be used in other periods.  I'll have a look at putting a few of them together later tonight and post pictures.

Just had a thought: getting all of this stuff is all fine and all but where am I going to put it?  The arch nemesis of all gamers: storage.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Purchase - Even More Pendraken Miniatures

I figured the British will need someone to shoot at so I splashed out (again) and bought some more Pendraken minis before the first lot even shipped.  It's a feel good purchase of sorts, firstly it feels good to buy them but more importantly I now have two opposing armies in the same scale (read that as: a complete game).

I really want to shout out a huge thanks to Dave Pengilley at Pendraken for being so amazingly helpful and an all round wonderful chap.

Anyway onto the shopping list:

The extra, extra bits for the British
1 x BR26 - 75mm Pack Howitzer & Crew (2)
1 x BR55 - Riflemen Slouch Hat
1 x BR56 - Sten Slouch Hat
1 x BR57 - Bren Slouch Hat
1 x BR73 - Churchill crocodile
1 x BR83 - Combat engineers
1 x BR104 - Dorchester command vehicle
1 x BR107 - Commandos mixed weapons

The Germans
BKC11 - BKC Starter German Panzer Battalion (1,985 pts)
1 x GR168 - Command group
1 x GR100 - Sdkfz 253 command vehicle
2 x GR132 - SDKFZ 222 A/c
8 x GR32 - Pz IVG / GR33 - Pz IVH + Armoured Skirts
3 x GR68 - Panther / GR68A - Panther zimmerit (1)  / GR68B - Panther camouflaged (1)
3 x GR84 - Tiger I

BKC12 - BKC Starter German Infantry Battalion (475 pts)
1 x GR10 - Kubelwagon (2)
3 x GR1 - Riflemen / GR2 - MP40 / GR6 - Pz Faust / GR42 - Riflemen with STG44
2 x GR3 - MG34 (2) x3 / GR4 - MG42 (2) x3
2 x GR15 - 8cm GWR34 Motar & Crew x3
1 x GR88 - Sdkfz 251/9 short 75mm
1 x GR58 - Sdkfz 10/4 20mm AA Halftrack
3 x GR12 - Opel Blitz Truck / GR55- Opel Blitz Truck with Canvas Tilt
The German Extra Bits
1 x GR7 - Officers
1 x GR16 - Radio Operators (5)
2 x GR29 - Sdkfz 251/1 Ausf C
1 x GR29A - Camouflaged Sdkfz251/1 Ausf C
1 x GR38 - PAK 40 & Crew (2)
1 x GR70 - Jagdpanther
1 x GR73 - Combat Engineers
1 x GR167 - Sniper
1 x GR190 - Command Trailer
1 x GR191 - Tank Commanders
1 x GR75 - 75mm IG & Crew (2)
1 x GR76 - 120mm Mortar & Crew (2) 

Dave from Pendraken said they usually ship orders within a week and that airmail to Australia (usually) takes 7 days... so with everything going well I should have these here in around a fortnight.

Now I'll really need a *lot* of bases.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Purchase - Pendraken Miniatures

I've just placed an order with Pendraken Miniatures for some of their 10mm WW2 British range and I'm pretty excited.  For a couple reasons really, firstly it's part of a birthday present that I've helped my family buy for me (oh wow how did you know I wanted these).  Secondly it means I can finally play Blitzkrieg Commander and I Ain't Been Shot Mum in a scale that actually works, IABSM works well with 28mm, BKC less so but 10mm is the sweet spot I think.  Initially I thought of 15mm as there's so many amazing minis out there but the price for 15mm vehicles is just too steep and honestly the whole point of playing big WW2 games is to have lots and lots of tanks.  I also considered 1/600 scale too, it's dirt cheap and some of the Osmy range have incredible detail for such small miniatures but the downside is that I couldn't see them working too well with games like IABSM.

So $150 or so later I ordered these.  The point values are for BKC and are from the Pendraken site so I can't vouch for their correctness.  All  I know for certain is that I shouldn't have any trouble fielding a 2,000pt BKC force.

Where multiple product codes are listed after a quantity it means that number of miniatures in total is picked out from across that range of codes, not that many minatures of each code.  Unless stated after the name each entry is one vehicle/gun or ten men.

Without any further delay here's the shopping list:

BKC7 - BKC Starter British armoured battalion (1,285pts)
1 x BR116 - Command group
1 x BR70 - White scout car (1)
1 x BR61 - Humber AC
9 x BR30 - Sherman V (M4A4) 75mm Gun / BR30A - Camouflaged Sherman V (M4A4) 75mm gun / BR34 - Sherman III (M4A2) 75mm Gun
3 x BR33 - Sherman Vc (M4A4) 'Firefly' 17pdr Gun

BKC8 - BKC Starter British armoured infantry battalion (930pts)
1 x BR70 - White scout car (1)
8 x BR7 - Bren Carrier & Crew / BR7A - Camouflaged Bren carrier & crew (2)
8 x BR46 - M3 Halftrack / BR47 - M3 Halftrack + Tilt
1 x BR24 - 6pdr A/T & Crew (2)
3 x BR1 - Riflemen / BR2 - Sten / BR3 - Bren / BR6 - Officers / BR23 - Riflemen Firing
2 x BR4 - Vickers HMG (2) x3
2 x BR9 - 3" Mortar & Crew x3
3 x BR49 - Morris Commercial 3/4 Ton Truck

Some Extra Stuff
2 x BR5 - Piat Team (2) x3
1 x BR18 - Radio Operators (5)
1 x BR28 - 17pdr A/T & Crew (1)
1 x BR51 - Bofors 40mm AA Gun & Crew (2)
1 x BR98 - 'Monty'

So now I need to get a whole mess of bases...

Dom's Decals: US, Japan and "Those" Tail Markings

The postman arrived this morning with my order of decals from Dom.  The Japanes and US decals are pretty much what I expected but it's the Luftwaffe tail markings that I'm most impressed with, even the tiniest ones of maybe 1mm in size have clear definition.  There are 7 different sizes in both solid and outlined types.  The bigger two sizes are probably too big for any of my aircraft, understandanble since they are 1/300 decals.  But the smaller 5 sizes will look right at home on the TD aircraft.

I'm thinking maybe I should have gotten some of the white ones as well but, if I'm really careful, I should be able to just paint a small square of white and then place the decal over that.

Now this does mean that I've got no excuses to not paint those squadrons of Zeroes and Wildcats.  I'll get the tail markings on some of the German aircraft and try to get the Zeroes done with photos posted tonight.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Never in the Field of Human Conflict...

Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few...
Winston Churchill, August 20, 1940.

I'm sure that if Winston were around today he'd be making that exact same speech to the guys at Lard Island.  Yep that day has finally rolled around, Bag the Hun 2 is now on the shelves, in mail boxes and inboxes all over the globe.

Nick and Rich have done a fantastic job (as always) on the rules, the production and just as importantly the customer support.

So if you haven't got Bag the Hun 2 yet (and you should) then, in the words of Ian "Molly" Meldrum "do yourself a favour".  Then get yourself some planes and decals and give me a call, there's always a need for more pilots at the game table.

I'm playing the British though.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Rock 'n Roll Aint Noise Pollution

Guess where I am tonight?

Calling All Cars have just finished and now were waiting for Wolf Mother to come out and then... AC/DC!!!!

Calling All Cars = Meh
Wolfmother = Shite, I really wanted to like these guys but what a horrible performance.
Just waiting for AC/DC now...

Update 2:
AC/DC were fan-bloody-tastic!!! I've put up the setlist from the Thursday concert as the setlist for the Saturday one isn't available yet and the two concerts had the same running order.

Never really noticed it before but it was funny to see Malcolm and Cliff stand beside the drum riser until they needed to sing whereupon they would walk up to their microphones, sing and then return back to their spots beside the drums. For most songs this would happen four or five times.

I've been a fan since I was a wee lad and the concert only cemented my faith in them. It's great to see the guys still at the top of their game.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Monday, February 8, 2010

Bag the Hun 2 - First Impressions

With release of Bag the Hun 2 from Too Fat Lardies only a few weeks away a lot of gamers are probably wondering about what's changed between editions and is it worth getting?  The Lardie's 2009 Christmas Special gave us a teaser of the new rules in the form of a game report.  This showed us the change from using the Lardie staple, the blind, to using bogeys to represent unspotted aircraft.  Whereas the the blind would represent large groups of aircraft the bogey now represents individual aircraft and dummies.  This looks fantastic on the table, what was previsouly 4-5 large pieces of card is now replaced with 10, 20 or 30 tokens, all depending on the number of aircraft, the pilot skills and the territory you're fighting over.

As the title of the post suggests this is merley going to be some ramblings about my impressions of the rules after a few readthroughs.  I'd like to follow this up with a few more posts that go into a lot more depth, get some feedback from other gamers and where possible show some "on the table" shots.

The Book Itself
So first up the book itself.  And by book I mean PDF, I prefer printing the book myself for a few reasons:
  1. I can put the book into those presentation folders with the plastic sleeves.  This makes a book a lot more resilient to 'chip fingers' and the rough handling it gets on game night.
  2. I usually print two copies, one full book for me and another with just the "how to play" sections for the other side of the table.  This copy usually gets the highlighter treatment to mark specific rules and so on.  This makes it so much easier to introduce new players to the game.
  3. An extension of point 1 really but I like to keep the rules, any updates and scenarios I come across all together in the one folder.  It's so much easier to grab one folder when packing my game bag.

Ok with that aside let's get back to the new rulebook.  It's big.  BTH1 came in at something like 30 pages including the covers, BTH2 is a whopping 82 pages including the covers.  The quality of the layout and artwork is superb, book after book the Lardies have been nailing that fine line between eye candy versus printer ink.  More importantly is that the layout helps the readability of the book.  And this is important as there is a lot in the book.

Tables, Tables Everywhere and Not A...

Ok bad Coleridge reference there but one thing you notic with the new layout is that there are tables every where.  Don't worry though, this is not a bad thing at all.  The new look tables have guiding arrows that make it a lot easier to read tables that would normally be hard to decipher.  This makes looking things up a lot quicker during game play.  Excellent work Lardies.

Almost every area of the game has been expanded, whereas the first BTH was targetted at the Battle of Britain the new edition has been expanded to cover all theaters of WW2 and would also work quite easily with earlier periods such as the Spanish Civil War.    To accomplish this the core of the game has been fleshed out accordingly:
  • New formations
  • New manoeuvers
  • Greatly expanded aircraft data (8 pages of them).
  • Expanded damage tables (dealing with single and multi-engine aircraft)
  • More detailed pilot generation
  • Expanded flak rules
  • Expanded bombing rules

So What's New?
There's new rules cover all those house rules we've keep bolting onto the system:
  • Air to air rockets
  • Ground and naval targets
  • Strafing
  • Torpedo attacks
  • Doodlebugs
Also presented are some optional rules for:
  • Pilot characteristics
  • More granular altitude bands (0-12)
  • Clouds
  • Take off and Landing
  • Jets! (oh yeah)
What's also great to see is a nine page "Intelligence Briefing" about the formations used by the aircraft of both sides.  This really helps the keen WW2 gamers who aren't historians (ie me) to "play the period, not the rules".

My Favourite Bit So Far?
Ammunition, or more precisley they way it's now handled.  Previously you knew how much ammo you had and you could decide how much to use.  There were restrictions of course on how much you could use but now... oh man this is cool, you get a deciding factor in how many dice you roll to attack (usually around 10-15 dice) and you burn 1 second of ammo for every die that comes up a 1.  Other factors like the pilot skill, the number of successful hits vs saves and so on also affect the final value.  Additionally any attack that runs out of ammo is counted an automatic miss, regardless of the number of hits.  I love this rule, it just brings out the tension that a pilot must have felt when they knew they were low, but just how low?

I think BTH2 is a worthy successor to a game that was already fantastic.  The expanded rules still feel like the 'old rules' so there's nothing shocking and new rules just fill out the game nicley.  It has enough detail now that you can play small games of 2-3 aircraft aside yet it handles big games of 30-40 aircraft with ease.

I simply cannot wait to get this onto the table at the club, I've already converted a few guys there to the Lardie school of gaming but this is really going to get people buying miniatures.

I think this is the better of the two versions to start with if you haven't played BTH before, and if you have played BTH before then chances are you're going to buy this version anyway.  But trust me you'll like what you read.

More to Come
I'll try to get some aircraft on the table over the next week or two and put up some posts with a little more detail on specific aspects of the game.

So now that BTH2 is done, roll on Algy 2!
(Just kidding Nick and Rich, you can finish CDS first, I'll need a few months to paint all the new aircraft [and ships] you've made me go and buy... see Vicki it's all their fault)

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Army Painter - The Results Are In

And the results are good, very good in fact. I tried the strong tone on a couple of my cowboys and they look fantastic. I went with the brush on approach and it was just as easy as advertised. Simply brush the stuff on starting from the top of the miniature and work your way down to the feet, making sure to check for any runs or build ups in areas you don't want. The great thing about using the brush method is can add more in the areas that need it while giving everything else a light coat. There's also a lot less wastage with all of the material ending up on your miniatures and not on the floor or splattered on the walls of a box. At $50 per can the less wastage the better.

I'll get some before and after shots up tomorrow after they've dried. So far I've also done the unit of Heru archers, my halflings BB team and started on my Orc team.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, February 4, 2010

28mm Platoon in a Day - The Theory

I have this theory, and it goes like this: if one had 30 odd miniatures already prepped, cleaned and based.  And one also had the paint scheme sorted, with sufficient paints and brushes handy.  Then one could, in theory, with the use of the Army Painter product could paint 30 odd miniatures to completion in a single day.

They'd be no Golden Daemon award winners for sure but they'd have to look a whole lot better than this:

I have a day home next week and I'm planning to put this theory to the test.  So I need to decide, do the US Paras or Fallschirmjagers?

Monday, February 1, 2010

TW&T - Cards

Someone requested that I post the cards I started for TW&T so here they are.  Please be aware that these cards are not finished yet, there are a few cards with incorrect images or just plain missing (such as the Axis character cards).

So I've got a PDF version and also the Publisher 2007 versions available for download, both are around 3mb in size.

So far I've only started on the British and German cards, and when (if) I finish these I'll likely start on some US cards, maybe Russians too if I ever get around to buying some miniatures.

Well download and have fun, and as usual if you like them then leave a comment telling me so.


PS: My "I Ain't Been Shot Mum" cards are based off this template are for the most part are virtually unchanged, so if you want cards for that game then these will work too.