Monthly Archives: January 2015

Viking Raid

Don
Last week I was able to play a game of SAGA at Critical Hit Games.  Jim wanted to get better acquainted with the rules and test some of his Cold Wars scenario.  So we recruited two new players and started rolling dice.

We had a force of Viking raiders with Danish allies attacking a Saxon village.  The Saxon lord was on a trip around his lands collecting tribute.  With a threat of Vikings afoot, he brought some hired Irish mercenaries with him.

Viking raiders approach the village
 
Danes charge out of the trees ready to pillage
 
The Saxon contingent arrives
The Viking force had to attack the buildings in the village, defeat the defenders, and collect bags of loot.  The Saxon side had to protect the village and prevent the raiders from running off with the loot.  The Vikings managed to sack two buildings and grab two bags of loot. 
The Viking have broken into one building looking for loot

They  started to withdraw, sacrificing a couple units to slow up the Saxon pursuit.  It was enough to allow them to exit with 50% of the available loot.

The Danes have grabbed some loot and leave a rear guard to slow pursuit

Overall, a great game.  The two new players picked up the rules and using the battle board dice fairly quickly.

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Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffe, USAAF, and RAF

Buck

Despite recent knee surgery that had me flat on my back for a couple of days this week, I have managed to finish up some projects that have been in progress for a couple of months.  I finished the last 80 of my 10mm fantasy figures!  But this post is about my upcoming Cold Wars 2015 Secret Weapons of the Luftwaffe, USAAF, and RAF game.

Brits on Griffons

Brits on Griffons

In previous posts I showed pictures of the Eureaka German “Stukasauruses” and the Americans riding on giant eagles.  To go along with those forces, I wanted to put together a squad of British infantry riding on griffons.  Once again, Major Objective games came through with custom assembled and painted Brits.  The griffons were from Reaper Bones.  I used those griffons, because the plastic material from which they are molded makes it very easy to cut off the bases to make them look like they were flying.

Close up of some Brits on Griffons

Close up of some Brits on Griffons

GW style flight stands are pretty expensive.  I bought a bunch of 1/8″ clear plastic rod from an on-line hobby site and cut it into two-inch lengths.  I bought two-inch diameter MDF disks from the guy at the HMGS East conventions who sells self-serve Chinese takeout boxes full of bases.  A little work with a drill put correctly-sized holes in the bases and griffons.

The fur ball around the "bomber"

The fur ball around the “bomber”

In this picture you can see the American on giant eagles (left) chasing the giant pterodactyl “bomber,” Brits on griffons (right) attacking the bomber from the front, and the German Stukasaurus (center)  ”fighter escort.”

A close up of the "bomber"

A close up of the “bomber”

You can see the control levers and the turret I made to fit on the “bomber.”  The turret can rotate.

Aaaaaaah!

Aaaaaaah!

When I run this game at Cold Wars, I plan to use a slightly modified version of X-Wing.  I think the pterodactyl will have the stats of the Princess Leah shuttle, including the range-five weapon.

The "bridge" of the "bomber"

The “bridge” of the “bomber”

Brits on Griffons

Last view of Brits on griffons

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More 10mm Fantasy Figures and a Tank

Buck

A Victorian Science Fiction Style Tank

A Victorian Science Fiction Style Tank

Last weekend I spent most of Saturday helping the software folks on a First Robotics Team.  I still managed to get a little painting done on Sunday.  I am still banging away at trying to clear all the 10mm fantasy figures out of my unpainted lead pile.  Along the way, however, I also finally decided to paint this tank gray.  It has been sitting on my painting table for months waiting for me to decide.

Pendraken Dwarfs with Crossbows

Pendraken Dwarfs with Crossbows

I worked to knock out the few remaining Pendraken figures I had left from a batch Chris acquired from Ebay.  The figures seem a little large for 10mm, but they are good enough looking dwarfs for my tastes in fantasy figures.  (After all, how realistic to fantasy figures need to be?!)

Pendraken Dwarf Knights

Pendraken Dwarf Knights

Heavily armored and armed dwarf knights?  How slow do you think these guys are going to be on the table.  Find a place you want defended and concentrate on other units.

Pendraken Dwarfs with Spears

Pendraken Dwarfs with Spears

Some of these spears are a bit flimsy.  I lost one just popping them off the popsicle sticks I use for painting.  After a couple of games, they might become angry geriatric dwarfs with canes.

Pendraken Orc Berserkers

Pendraken Orc Berserkers

I don’t know what these figures are really supposed to be, but I decided to paint them in garish colors and call them orc berserkers.

A GW Giant

A GW Giant

I still want to add a little landscaping to this base, but I like the way he turned out.

Dwarfs with Chain Type Maces (aka Morning Stars)

Pendraken Dwarfs with Chain Type Maces (aka Morning Stars)

I’m not sure when these forces will see action — or if they’ll see action — before our large Bear Yourselves Valiantly game at Cold Wars 2015 in March

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Anirion, Wood Elf Wizard: Figure 132 of 265

Chris Palmer

First off, let me say “Happy New Year!” to all my readers.  Secondly, let me apologize for the two week delay in getting anything posted.  As I said on the 29th, I had a very busy holiday schedule, and then a stomach bug came along last weekend to squash any attempts to get something posted last Monday.  Anyhow, I’ve been back at the painting table now, and this week I finished up Anirion, the Wood Elf Wizard, from the Elves set.
     The completion of this figure puts me on the doorstep of the halfway mark, so be sure to tune in next week for my halfway mark celebration figure. 🙂
      I prepped this figure in the usual way; soaking in water with a bit of dish soap added, giving a gentle scrub with an old soft toothbrush, then rinsing and drying.  I then glued it to 1” fender washer with Aleene’s Tacky glue, and then glued the washer to a tongue depressor with a couple small dabs of Elmer’s white glue, for ease of handling during painting.

     I was still in the mind to do winter themed figures since the completion of my Snow Goblins in December, and I thought this Elf’s cloak and robes would make him well suited for a winter paint scheme. So, I began by painting his outfit with Aleene’s “Dark Grey”. I then drybrushed over this with Duncan “Slate Grey”

I envisioned having his robes/cloak look like a snow storm in motion, so I took a very stiff brush dipped it in white paint, and then ran my thumb across is it to create a spatter pattern of white on the grey outfit.  The resulting spatter turned out a little rope-ier than I imagined, and some of the spatter dots came out a little more raised/thick than I had thought they would, but overall I was pleased with the outcome.

Next, I painted the edges of the cloak and sleeves with white.  I painted the staff with Folk Art “Barn Wood”, and then the face and hands with GW “Elf Flesh”.  Lastly, I painted the hair with Americana “Moon Yellow.”

Next, I painted the fittings on the staff with Ceramcoat “Metallic Pewter”, and the stone on top I painted with Americana “True Blue”.  After the figure had some time to dry, I then gave a wash to the staff, hands, face and hair with slightly thinned Winsor-Newton “Peat Brown” Ink.

After this wash was dry, I went back and added highlights to the face and hands with the base “Elf Flesh”.  I highlighted the hair with the base “Moon Yellow”, and then did further highlights with Apple Barrel “Lemon Chiffon”.  I added highlights to the stone on top the staff with white, and some white mixed with a little of the “True Blue.”  Lastly, I added highlights to the metal bits with Folk Art “Silver Sterling”.   My final step was to paint the base and washer with white.
      I let the figure sit overnight, and the next morning I gave it a coat of Ceramcoat “Matte Varnish”.  Later that afternoon I flocked the base, using Woodland Scenics snow flocking, and added some dry grasses with a bit of unraveled twine.  The next day I gave him a coat of Testor’s “Dullcote” spray varnish.

Over all, I’m very pleased with how the figure came out.  I think the cloak his the appropriate “swirling snow storm” look about it that I was hoping for.

Figure 132 of 265: Complete

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Solo Games for the New Year

Rob Dean

I was a little short on games played last year, and hope to do better in 2015. I particularly hope to bring out and play with some of the projects that have been languishing in storage for an extended period of time. Therefore, I am
determined to play a few more solo games.

My first solo game of the year turned out to be on the 4th of January. William and I played a quick fantasy skirmish using Song of Blades and Heroes on the 3rd, and had intended to play it again. We ran out of time, though, before we needed to go out for the evening, and I needed to take him back to school the next day. I’m an early riser, so I decided I would do a quick reprise of the previous day’s game to see if the entourage of the evil wizard could have done any better. As it turned out the second time, the defenders of Willstown managed to lose their leader, and that was enough to allow the entourage the victory. Let that serve as a reminder to use the leader to lead and not to fight…

I cleared the table, flipped over the ground cloth to the tan side, and dug out several boxes of scenery from my Darkest Africa project. This had most recently been out for Cold Wars in 2011, and I thought that it was high time that I put it on the table. I usually use these The Sword and the Flame, or, to be more accurate, the Sword in Africa variant from the 20th anniversary edition of the rules. I haven’t played TSATF in a few years either, so I’m getting a bit rusty.

I wasn’t sure if a 3×3 table would give a long enough game. The scenario involved a trading post (at the left) under attack by some Zanzibari Arabs and their native allies. I gave the Zanzibaris 5 bands of 8-9 men each, with one band with rifles posted in the jungle area in the top of the picture, one with muskets in the lower right jungle area, and three bands of natives, each with a mix of spears and muskets facing the path. The British had two bands of 8 plus a few noncombatants in the compund, and a rescue column of one band of askari constabulary and two bands of mixed askaris and bearers.


The Zanzibari musketeers can be seen here, from the direction of the compound.


Seen from this angle, the group to the right of the angle faced the Zanzibari riflemen, and those beyond the building at the left faced the muskets.

The first couple of turns consisted of the rescue force attempting to move up the track toward the compound, led by the native constabulary. Unfortunately, they fared poorly in an attack by one of the native bands, and Lieutenant Harland-White was slain by a native spearman (despite having a character’s +2 on the die roll). The remants of the constabulary fled, although they did account for 6 of the 8 natives in the band that attacked them.

That left two bands of askaris and bearers to attempt to force their way up the path against two bands of natives. Outnumbered in fighters by two to one, this was clearly a hopeless task, and the last bearers fled after dropping their loads on turn 6 or 7.

Since I was playing both sides and needed to clean the game up today, I decided that the natives, lent confidence by their easy victory over the rescue force, would attempt to attack the compound. As expected, the die roll modifiers for attacking defended barricades made that quite difficult, and they were repulsed with heavy losses. Their Zanzibari masters were more prudent, and continued to snipe, with limited effect, from covered positions.

Inside the compound, a few casualties had been sustained as a result of the rifle fire, and one askari was slain by a spearman during the assault, but their situation was by no means desperate. So, as evening fell in the Valley of Shadows, the siege continued…

Overall, I’d count this as a marginal Zanzibari victory; defeating the rescue force was an accomplishment, but sniping at the compound was generally to the advantage of the defenders (as expected from the combat charts), and whether it could be overrun on another day was by no means certain.

I now need to go back and read some of the online commentary about the rules; there are a few fine points about the Sword in Africa variant that I’m not sure I played correctly. However, one of the advantages of the solo format is that the opponent seldom disagrees about rules interpretations.

All in all, it was an interesting little game, running about an hour and a half and ten turns. Next time, I’ll set the small table up in my den, where it can be left indefinitely.

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Rangers Lead the Way

Don
I finished painting up two units of Rangers for Muskets and Tomahawks.  They are from the British Wilderness Force set (North Star Figures) and had been “aging” in my lead pile since NashCon 2013 (I shall paint no lead before its time!).  They turned out to be easier to paint then I had expected – nice casting.  Their Indian allies are next.


A force of Rangers
The other part of the Ranger force

The Ranger Captain

I also put together a New France Settler’s Lofted Log Cabin 4 from 4Ground.  It went together as easily as the other four 4Ground buildings I have – no problems.

An exterior view

An interior view of the first floor

An interior view of the second floor

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A Work in Progress

Buck

A work in progress

A work in progress

I have been working for over a year on a Weird World War II project involving the Eureka “Stukasauruses.”  In an earlier post, I showed the American infantry riding on giant eagles.  I am also mounting Brits on flying griffons.  The scenario I will run at Cold Wars 2015 will involve this giant pterodactyl carrying secret mega bombs to some key Allied facility.  The pterodactyl will be escorted by Stukasauruses.  The Allies will attempt to shoot it down.  I plan to use somewhat modified XWing for this game.

The underside with the bomb racks

The underside with the bomb racks

It is not done yet — end the title of the post, “work in progress.”  I plan to add some straps as details and also add a dual machine-gun ball turret on the platform on its back.

The top, showing the mounting point for the weapons platform

The top, showing the mounting point for the weapons platform

For ease of transport, I glued a piece of magnet to its back.  The weapon / driver platform is on a piece of metal which will be affixed to the magnet during game play.

Another view of the top

Another view of the top

You can just barely see the details on the controller

t barely see the details on the controller

I’ll post more pictures when I get it finished.

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HAWK’s Annual New Year’s Eve Extravaganza…or …Duke Morrison Saves Christmas!

Chris Palmer     Last Wednesday, December 31st, the HAWKs (Harford Area Weekly Kriegspielers) gathered for their annual New year’s Eve gaming extravaganza.  This event, where the club members meet new Year’s Eve afternoon and play games until the New Year strikes, has been hosted for the past several years by HAWK’s member Buck Surdu and his wife Candy.  We gathered at 3:00 PM this year, and began the festivities with a Pulp themed GASLIGHT game called “Duke Morrison Saves Christmas!”     Duke Morrison is Buck’s perennial Pulp hero, and appears in most all his games set in that era.  He is usually given such heroic stats, that the mention of his name is often followed by the villainous catchphrase, “I hate that guy!” from anyone who has played on the “Bad Guy” side opposite him .
   

Santa, his Elf Bodyguard, and his crashed sleigh on the edge of town

 The set up for this scenario, which took place in the sleepy town of Granville, Illinois (a town from Buck’s childhood that he also often uses as the setting for his Pulp games), was that evil Venusians had shot down Santa’s sleigh as it flew over the town.   The sleigh had crashed on the edge of town spilling it’s load of gifts across the town as it went down.  Hearing Santa’s “Mayday!” as his sled went down, our hero Duke Morrison (“‘We hate that guy!”),  has flown his trusty plane, “Anything But a 20!”, to a park outside of town to give Santa and his gifts a ride and saving Christmas for millions of Boys and Girls across the globe. He has brought along his pals “Wrench” Webb and “Boats” Morgan,  and some of their Army and Navy buddies to help out,

Duke’s plane landed in  a park on the other end of town.

Meanwhile, the evil Venusians have also landed their spacecraft in the park, and are setting out to steal Santa’s sleigh and its magic flight technology (their evil plan all along). Coincidentally, Nazi agents and Fifth Columnists had also arrived in the town to kidnap Santa as he made his rounds to learn his magical mass-production secrets. They are quick to take advantage of Santa’s current misfortune.  And lastly, local opportunistic scum and villainy see all the loot being scattered across town from Santa’s crashing sleigh, and set about to gather as many of the fallen presents as possible.

The Venusian craft have also landed.  

  So as the game begins, Santa and his helpers from the North Pole are tasked with gathering as many of the lost gifts as possible, and getting Santa and his damaged sleigh to Duke’s waiting plane, while Duke and his friends attempt to clear a path to Santa and help him get everything to the plane

A view of the town.

As one can imagine, wonderful chaos ensued!  See the photos for some of the highlights

The Penguins, Skipper, Rico, Kowowski and Private take on a unit of Evil Snowmen. 

Santa, with the Reindeer hooked back to the sleigh, begins to move through town, as the Elf Bodyguard are tasked with gathering up fallen presents. A large mechanical nutcracker, and two robot Santas soon join in the effort and help push the sleigh.

Chaos in the streets! In the foreground, Moonracer’s Marauders take on a truck full of gangsters, as Santa’s Elf Chefs set up a Hot Chocolate Catapult on a nearby rooftop.

After a few turns, Yukon Cornelius and the Bumble arrive and liberate a local truck, take aboard a squad of Teddy Bear soldiers, and hitch it to the front of Santa’s sleigh to help move it along faster.  This frees up the reindeer to start recovering gits from the rooftops. Meanwhile the forces of evil are converging on the street Santa is heading down and a wild rolling melee develops.

Several players try ramming the sleigh with commandeered trucks, as others climb aboard to melee, but somehow Santa manages to make all his saving rolls.
     
As the game wound down, and dinner time arrived, the game was called  as Santa reached a point where few obstacles stood in his way of reaching the outskirts of town and Duke’s plane.  The game was declared a  ”Good Guy”  victory.

After the GASLIGHT game was over at around 7:30, we took a dinner break and then set up a large Star War’s X-Wing game.  HAWK’s member, Bill Acheson, brought along his Deep Space 9 space station model from the Star Trek Attack Wing game, and that was used as an Imperial communications satellite which the Rebels were tasked with destroying.  The game was a lot of fun and finished with a Rebel Victory with the destruction of the satellite, but at a heavy cost.

Big X-Wing game

  The X-wing game finished up at around 11:20, and some of the more hardy members set up a game of Red Dragon Inn to finish the night with.  After a short break at midnight to toast the New Year with some champagne, the game went on until 2:00 AM until a winner was declared.

Red Dragon Inn

  As always this is a great way to usher in the New Year with a bunch of friends.  And many thanks are due to the Surdus for once again hosting a great evening of games.

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Bob’s Burger Wagon

Buck

Two days ago I posted pictures of Betty’s pie stand for my pulp village.  Last night I finished Bob’s Burger Wagon, the second Ainsty kit available through Recreational Conflict.  As with the pie stand, this kit assembled easily.  The notches in the roof are a little small for tabs on the sides of the wagon for was removal during game play.  I had to widen them a little.

Most of the decorations were made in PowerPoint, printed on card stock, and glued to the sides of the wagon.  This wagon and Betty’s Pies will make a nice addition to the Frosty Bar in the park near the center of Granville.  The cub scouts are from Reaper Chronoscope, and “Bob” is from Pulp Figures.

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Betty’s Pies

Buck

At Fall In 2014, Recreational Conflict sold this MDF building.  It is for their line of figures for British football hooligan games.  I guess the game has been deemed as offensive in the UK for portraying football violence as a game.  So gassing thousands of folks on the Western Front is okay, but beating up a few people at a soccer game is not.  Anyway, Recreational Conflict has two buildings.  This is one that I finished today.

This kit went together easily — even without instructions — and painted easily.  I don’t know the manufacturer, but it wasn’t pre-painted like the 4Ground ones.  That’s just as well, because I could paint the exposed tabs in the same color as the rest of the building to avoid that look of the 4Ground buildings.

The roof comes off.  I plan to add this to the park in my town (Granville) I use for pulp games.

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