Monday, May 31, 2010

Supplies from eM4

An order of dice and bits from eM4 arrived this afternoon and was promptly put on the desk while I was busy with other things.

Everything came packaged in a padded bag with the contents all sorted in little ziplock bags which always helps with checking the goods vs the invoice vs the actual order.  Everything was present and accounted for in this case.

I ordered three lots of 20 x 10mm D6 in "Assorted Colours" and I'm pretty happy with the breakdown.  I got at least six of each colour (I know there is only five white dice pictured but one is being used for the photo below this one), the order even included some ivory and purple dice which aren't an option on their website.  The thought behind purchasing these dice is to use them as markers/counters for specific effects or statuses on the battlefield: suppressed, routing or horrified units.  The coloured die can be used simply as a coloured token but can also double as a hits/wound counter and so on.

Bag the Hun will probably get the most use of these dice.  The colour of the die on the base represents the ability of the pilot:
  • Yellow: Sprog
  • White: Regular
  • Blue: Veteran
  • Red: Jnr Ace
  • Black: Top Ace
I'll probably need to buy some more yellow and blue dice for the bigger games but I should have enough for a few games to see if the system works on the table as well as it looks on paper.

A comparison shot of the dice to give you and idea of size.  Left to right we have: Bloodbowl block die, a 12mm(?) die from the Warhammer/40K box sets, an eM4 10mm die followed lastly by an eM4 7mm die.

My dice box after adding in this lot.  I think we're going to need a bigger boat.

The 50mm round bases are a nice fit the 28mm prone Black Tree miniatures.  The MG-42 is a little snug but I don't want the base to be too big either so I think it's a good compromise.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Echo Base, this is Rogue Two. I've found them. Repeat, I've found them.

The Star Wars minis arrived from Hong Kong, which is suprising since they were the last of about three orders I placed and they're the only ones that have arrived so far.  I'm so bad at waiting for international orders.

The minisatures themselves are basically what I expected: great sculpts and posing with very average paintjobs.  I had to touch up a couple minis, Wedge had a huge black spot on his nose which just had to go.  I almost started touching up other parts of the minis but resisted... for now.

I'm a little annoyed that the Tauntaun riders have different sized bases.  They'ye both Rebels riding the same beast and yet a everyman Rebel trooper has a bigger base than Luke Skywalker?  I may even rebase them one day but for now they'll do as they are.

With a bit of luck I'll get some more bases done this weekend and maybe even start playtesting Star Wars Commander.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Artoo Says That The Chances of Survival are 725 to 1

But he has been known to be wrong... from time to time...

Hoth terrain it is... sort of, well more like Hoth inspired terrain.  Going for snow and glaciers would look nice on the table (easy to make too) but I'd just end up with a lot of terrain that I probably won't use for anything else.  Snowy, icy, muddy, rocky terrain still fits in with the theme of a Snowtrooper and would be very welcome on any game that had a Western European theater of conflict.

I managed to nab quite a few items on e-bay last night, mainly troopers and a few semi-famous characters.  Who knew that some chick called Arica was actually Mara Jade in disguise?  I sure didn't. 

The prizes of my haul:
  • Ewok Shaman Logray
  • Luke on Tauntaun
  • Rebel trooper on Tauntan
  • Leia Organa
  • Han and Chewie in their Hoth gear
My eldest son looked over the list and nodded, "Oh cool, but you still haven't got a Threepio though".

My work is never done.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Many Bothans Died To Bring Us This Information...

I've almost settled on a basing scheme I'm happy with... almost.  I'll give it a few games and make my mind up after I get some feedback.  Besides the materials have cost almost nothing so far ($1.15 by my rough calculations).
The bigger and more immediate problem at hand is, as it is for all wargamers, is storage.  My SW minis are currently in boxes scattered between the study, the shed and Gork know where.  As luck would have it there were some boxes being thrown out at work, boxes of boxes actually, that would fit a couple platoons of miniatures each, I'll have those thankyou very much.  So I've started to the long process of finding, sorting and storing.

The bases got their coat of sand tonight and once the glue dries a little I'll give them a wash of brown ink and they should be ready for drybrushing and flocking tomorrow night.

It's too cold to make more bases tonight so I'll start tidying up the bases of the Clone Troopers.  I'm making a huge effort not to start touching up the paintwork on these minis.  I will do it, eventually, but right now I have better things to spend my time on than what shade of white looks best on a Snowtrooper helmet.

Huge dilemma: which era and location to game in first?  Clone Wars era troopers vs droids or go classic era and somehow decide between Endor and Hoth?


Too many choices, too many cool minis.  Ain't it grand being a gamer :)

Monday, May 10, 2010

I Have A Good Feeling About This...

I've been wanting to do a Star Wars mass combat game for a while now (see here) and last night I had an epiphany while painting some Warmaster minis.  I was thinking about Tim over at Tim's Miniature Wargaming Blog and how he plays Hordes of the Things (HoTT) in 28mm when it suddenly struck me that I could use Blitzkrieg Commander to play Star Wars in 28mm.

My current theory is to use the late war army lists as a reference point to start working out the stats.  Jedi/Sith and other major characters will be CO/HQ/Recce units and will have the ability to use force powers in the command phase.  I've started to make some notes and once I've roughed them out a little more I'll post them here.

One thing I'll need though is stands for the miniatures.  I've decided on 100x60mm bases for the infantry and special HQ/CO bases will have 2-3 slots for the characters.  Idea is to cut two pieces of 3mm MDF to size and then drill five 25mm holes into one piece (the top) and glue it to the other (the bottom) creating a base with recesses for the miniatures to be slotted into.  This is a *lot* of fiddy work but it means that I can make 20-25 bases and then use them with whatever figure I have.  Unused figures can simply be stored in ice cream containers rather than needing valuable shelf space.

3mm MDF, toos and the plans.

I did that the width of the cutting blade into consideration when measuring the cuts but I did everything freehand as it was faster and as long as the bases are roughly the same size the affect on the game is minimal.

End of part one, the bases cut.  Now onto the holes.

All ready to go.

The bases cut and base holes done.

A couple shots of the bases all glued and minis slotted into place.  30 or so minutes from first cut to gluing isn't too bad, another hour or two this weekend should give me all I need.

Next step is to add sand and flock to the bases and do likewise the minis.  I'm pretty excited about this as I'm sure it's going to look fantastic on the table.  May even get these on the table this weekend for a few test games.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Blitzkrieg Commander 2 Arrives

Well after what felt like forever (no thanks to you Eyjafjallajökull) the postman finally delivered Blitzkrieg Commander II.  I haven't had a chance yet to read the rules thoroughly so I can only give some first impressions here.

The first thing that is very apparent is that the production quality here is fantastic.  The cover is nice shiny cardstock that almost resembles plastic.  The pages of the books themselves have a nice sheen and there are full colour photos on almost every page of the rules.  The book weighs in at 140 pages (compared to 120 in the first edition) with the rules taking up 40 or so pages before the book launches into the army lists.  One of the greatest strengths of these rules has been that the rulebook has all the army lists you could need, no supplements required.  Well the second edition has only improved on this, extra army lists have been added and most have been added to.  The German North West Europe list for example have been increased from a page and a half of stats to two and a quarter.

Here's a shot showing the breakdown of book between rules and army lists.

As well as being added to and expanded the army lists themselves have gone though some changes:
  • The singular Attack Value has now been replaced with three values: anti tank (AT), anti personnel (AP) and close assault (CA).
  • The standard infantry unit has been replaced with the various unit types found in the conflict.  The German north west Europe list has: Heer, Constscripts, Waffen-SS, Hinterjugend, Luftwaffe, Fortress Troops and Volkstrurm.  In addition you now have infantry upgrades such as Panzerfaust and Panzerschreck.
  • Artillery now plays a bigger part of the game with a lot more on table units.
  • Sadly the sample battlegroup lists have gone, to make room in the book I guess.  But to aid in creating your battleforce, each army list has it's own specific battlegroup selection rules, often citing specific units (eg Max nine Pzklfw III panzer units per 1000 points).
I'll post more once I've had a better read through the rules and preferably had a chance to get them into action on the table.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Warmaster - Empire vs Undead

Mick came over tonight and we managed to almost finish a game of Warmaster.  We're still discovering how to use each of the units effectively but this time I think we got the mechanics right for the most part.  There were a few occasions where we got ahead of ourselves and missed a phase but I'm pretty sure that with a good quick reference sheet we'll get those issues sorted.

We swapped forces this time with Mick playing the Undead and I the Empire.  Things started badly for the Empire with the Undead charging their cavalry into the flanks of my forces and scattering some knights, crossbowmen and flagellants.  Quite reminiscent of last time when Mick rode two units of knights through the heart of my army.  By turn three we had out massed lines of infantry and archers lined up in the middle of the table when we realised that all the skirmishes on the flanks had met the 7 unit break point of my army.

Three things became apparent from the game:
  1. It is a heck of a lot of fun and flows really well know that we're starting to get the system worked out.
  2. I need to finish painting the minis, especially the Empire commander who managed to successfully order a hellblaster, two cannons and a unit of pistoleers to wheel about and lay waste to an oncoming horde of undead.
  3. I really need a green table mat.
I'm so impressed with how the 10mm stuff looks on the table.  My kitchen table isn't that big and by game table standards it's probably too small for Warhammer but in 10mm it was just right.  With a green mat, some fantasy period buildings and fully painted armies the table will just look fantastic.

Anyway I'm off to the Pendraken website, I need to order some Halflings to base up as Empire skirmishers.