Friday, October 25, 2013

Friday Night at the club

A great turn out last night 10 playing MTG the card game, 11 playing miniatures, 3 looking on, and 4 turn ups that had to go due to sick kids at home or better offers from the girlfriend, you know,

 “Let’s go out for dinner?”

 “But its games night?”

“LET’S GO out for dinner!”

“Ok darling………….mutter mutter grumble…………..”
Any way on with the show

MTG game group 1

MTG game group 2

Getting ready for Malifaux sorting out the cards only to find that the little sister has stolen all of the hearts!!!!!! Now if that is not a good reason to get the actual deck from Wyrd Games. Ramos’ force, run by my son, did a usual trick of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, or maybe he was just outplayed by his opponent.

Big 3 way game of 40K with one onlooker that will take up gaming and as a student at my school he was a bit surprised to see me there. More foolishly he came across to see the Saga game I was in and promptly said “Oh, history and fantasy, yeh I really like games like this.” Ah another convert to the historical side…………..but didn’t he just say fantasy too?……………ah well yes but you know we can forgive him the minor indiscretion………….for now………..don’t want to scare him off.

Wings of Glory WWI Barry and Dallas hard at it with the Huns of Dallas gaining the upper hand in the nights dogfights.

My opponent for the evening, with his erm………….Normans………………well they are mounted knights with sharp pointy things and the foot troops have shooty things. Best part is he owns them and wants a few hints how to paint them now.

 From behind my lines, my dreaded berserkers in the foreground

My opponent facing my left flank.

Around turn 3 of a 6 turn game, the aforementioned left flank has crumbled and the berserkers even with 16 attacks kills only 3 knights but die to a man. From then on it was downhill for me. The scenario requires the defender to keep at least 1 figure in a building at the end of turn 6 and well by the end of turn 4 there was no way I could keep him out of the buildings so we declared it a night about 5 mins before his Dad turned up to pick him up. Victory to the …………..erm…………Normans!

A funny event in the 40K game was the use of a ring in dwarven grudge pony from Fantasy that was being used as part of a group of bikes. Sure enough after being shot at and charged by other bikes it was the only survivor from his side. I put it down to being the only one painted!

DBA was played using 20mm figures on 25mm basing. The first game I did not get a photo of but he second was Romans vs Numidians with the latter as the victors. We discussed the value of polythene plastics and 2 complete armies for DBA set Phil back about $30.00 all up. Not bad in anyone’s books really.

The confusion near the end of the Wings of Glory game, smoke shooting, clouds and planes that barely missed each other’s wing tips.
On a final note we are running a club painting competition on Friday the  13th to get the lads and lasses painting their miniatures. As, like most clubs, we are not for profit the small amount of cash we build up is ploughed back into the club in any way we deem appropriate. We have a reasonable amount of terrain and so prizes for the competition are now in order. So far we have a couple of hundred dollars to give back to members as direct prizes. We do also ask for sponsorship from Australian companies but appreciate the need to support them too. This we feel is a nice way to keep the industry and out hobby going. Once upon a time GW helped out in another club I set up to their great credit but alas this just seems unlikely in 2013, mind you they must get all and sundry asking for prizes. Hmm I bet most Australian game businesses do too!

Saturday at the games club

Saturday at the Club and quick thanks

We are rather blessed with the local Church giving permission for us to use the church hall and much of it has to do with keeping the kids off the street. Only a few of the kids are Church goers and most of the adults are not yet I guess that our local church and minister feel the need to be seen as part of the community and well in a way it can be an outreach.  A safe haven to play games that would only be played at home. Over the last few years we have seen two of the ministers come across and join in with some of the games. Our latest game to grab the attention is Wings of Glory the WWI and WWII air combat game. So it is with heartfelt thanks to the Moruya Presbyterian Church that the kids and the kids that never really grew up have a place to play with like-minded individuals.

The usual younger but motley crew turned up for an afternoon of pushing toys or playing cards.

8 or so lads turned up for the usual Magic game, sorry no image they spread themselves out too far for a good group shot.

One of our members tried to introduce Warhammer Fantasy to a female friend that normally plays the card games. Again no pic. You realise that this might give us 3 female miniature gamers if we are not careful I wonder if this is a record.

2 lads played Saga, one using a Brettonian force as ring-ins for the Normans, clever really.

Four of us had a bash at a four way 4pt Saga game, Normans, Vikings X 2, Anglo Danes. The images are dodgy as they are from the phone.


Contemplating the battleboard

Vikings 1 with Nasty berserkers

Normans with lots of Knights

Vikings 2


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

new game = a new life for old toys

Well I needed some 15mm Germans based singly for Chain of Command and found some old Battlefront and some newer PSC plastics and the inspiration just flowed. The only issue I have with 15mm for skirmish games is the problem of quick identification in the heat of the moment. So pinching the idea from others I used different coloured tufts or flock per squad or section, if you see the British Platoon below you should see the same sort of thing happening.  I hope you like them.

Command with Pzfaust instead of Pzschreck until I get some.


Squad 1 with Autumn flock

Squad 2 with Lavender tuft

Squad 3 with red flowers

The whole army.
 Note the fausts can be swapped in and out so the units are actually only 10 not 11 strong and I like to put 2 MMg figures on the one base, again just for ease of identification. It may mean that I will have to use some sort of wound counter when I lose one in combat.
Rather than use an army painter styled brown dip on the Grey Uniforms I tried something else. 1st spray with the PSC Field Grey Uniform Colour, base coat flesh, helmet covers, rifles etc. Then mix matt varnish with a spot of black paint. It makes a nifty grey goo that you paint all over. First you scream, "oh my goodness what have I done?" as the goo seems to coat everything and take out all the detail then as it dries it moves into all the creases and gives a nice shading to grey uniforms. Scary but it works. Note these are for use by me and the kids at the club so Pro Painter Style they are not but they are good enough.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Early October at the club

Nice turn out at the club for the Friday night. 20 + again 8 or so with Magic the Gathering 10 playing miniature games and a couple that were just looking in this time. For a small town we do well with numbers at the club.

First off a game of elder vs chaos marines and renegades, elder lost badly this time
Marine vs Imperial Guard Rowan using his trusty Star Wars minis as stand-ins again, we try to be as accommodating as possible so if you turn up with minis and they look like they can match in for something else then no problem. (even if they are not painted……………….)
Barry’s pacific Wings of War, the allies won but it was a lot closer this time.

I helped introduce Saga to one of my son’s friends and he seemed to really enjoy it. The friend ran my Normans my son an Anglo-Saxon army.

 Norman Knights
The Normans were doing some damage when they suddenly found themselves losing a lot of hearth guard knights in one turn. The Saxons forged ahead and it looked like victory was in the bag when the Norman Warlord launched his final gambit at the Saxon warlord and killed him off! Victory to the Norman invaders.. herm, newcomer!
So another night passes and more of us are playing Saga, soon I’ll get it up and running again at school.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

The Motivation Starts with New Toys

Well actually the motivation was a set of rules that seems to work for me. As you may have noted from my previous entry the Chain of Command demo has swayed me to give WWII at a skirmish level a run. This may also work well for my students and club comrades.

So around $35.00 Australia later on some Skytreks and Peter Pig 15mm Brits, part of my small booty from the MOAB show, purchased from Micks Metal Models rather than the bring and buy, and off I went.

I try to paint armies rather than artistic works and so finding the Plastic Soldier Company had a spray for British uniforms it was time to give the new 15mm a go. It works for me and nice and fast too. I then base paint all the other colours, rifles, webbing, flesh etc then on with an army painter style dip, a matt varnish and glue to 5cent pieces as bases, sand, paint and tufts and done! In a little over a week, late at night after work, 47 15mm skirmish minis for Chain of Command. I hope you like them, still got to get depth of field sorted on the photos.

Bren Team

HQ + PIAT and 2 inch mortar

Platoon 1

Platoon 2

Platoon 3


Wednesday, October 9, 2013

MOAB Chain of Command Reflections on a Participation Game.

If you are not aware of it yet Two Fat Lardies have written a set of WWII platoon level rules that seem to scale well for 15-28mm miniatures. They have some good “how to play the game” Videos on You tube and well I was in the market for another set of WWII rules. I have played way to many sets and though I rate Flames of War as one of the best games I have played, the emphasis has always been on game and the beauty of all those 15mm miniatures on a 6 X 4 table. A recent foray into Battlegroup Overlord and Kursk has whetted my appetite for company sized games with a more historical feel but I really wanted something to start up at school. If I rekindle the games club with more historical games (rather than fantasy and Sci Fi) I needed something that the students could get into and out of in an hour and a half and potentially could be cheap enough for them (welcome 15mm plastics).

So when Ben from  offered to run a Chain of Command participation game I jumped at the chance. He ran a great game that introduced most of the major rules and techniques of the game to anyone prepared to give it a go. Many thanks must go to Ben for beautiful terrain and 20mm miniatures and a great introduction. I will keenly follow his blog with interest. I hope he puts a few more images up from the day as unfortunately I took only two in my enthusiasm for playing the game.

2 Chaps played a game for an hour or so before I got the chance and they used similar forces, the same terrain and scenario but had a totally different game this is a good sign.




The board as seen above had heavy bocage on the left along with a ruined house that served as a jump off point (more later) for my bren team. The wrecked Horsa acted as line of sight blocking terrain and the right hand side held a Chateau controlled by German jump off points with my troops coming in from the bottom of the image up the road and through bocage and forest.

I ran the British with a full platoon of 3 sections including a bren in each, command with Piat and 2 inch mortar and a staghound armoured car as an extra support choice because well I wanted to see some sort of armour in action.

Doug my opponent from Cincinnati USA (a long way from home) ran German Grenadiers 3 squads MG 34 in each a sniper and extra panzer schreck + command as support.

The pregame patrol markers and jump off point aspect was a nice change something I am not used to, the game in game feel is there and it works.

Command is very important and the use of your leaders to get the troops moving was good. Dice are used to get your troops to do actions, move fire etc but Command initiatives of junior and senior leaders is a real asset. A bit like SAGA you do not get all the dice you need to get the troops doing what you want. eg I did not get my PIAT on the board at all throughout the whole game and the mortar came in real late. So by using your junior and senior leaders and their inbuilt command initiatives you can get some squads into the think of it when the dice may have failed you.

Weapon ranges for most stuff is the whole table so MG 34s in the top floor of buildings have a huge fire corridor!!! and you need to be aware of this. I did get shot up a little, I came close to losing a full section of riflemen but men in cover (heavy woods ruins etc) can survive if your dice are good.

Over watch works well but we messed up a rule a little on reflection in that my overwatch bren team should have come off overwatch when they shot and I should have used more command dice or command initiatives to get them back onto overwatch.

Mid-way through the game a section of my force moved into melee. Close combat is bloody, my whole squad was wiped out as I closed and fought with a German squad and I lost a junior leader too. Sadly Doug lost a senior leader, a junior leader and most of a squad in the melee and this really shattered his command structure.



This image is of my section moving up the road behind the staghound. Within 4 phases they had been killed to a man but had caused enormous damage to the enemy.

As you lose units and leaders your ability to throw dice to control/move your troops drops. So nearing the end of the game I was still on 5 dice to command my force but Doug went down to 2, even though we still had a similar amount of troops on the table.

The use of Chain of Command dice to interrupt a turn and alter things was also good. I did not get one (I did not throw enough 5s on the dice to accumulate a Chain of Command dice) but Doug did and used a sniper to good effect. He shot at my Staghound forcing it to reverse and stopping it doing much for a turn. Now you might think small arms should do naught to an armoured vehicle and you are right but the idea is that the damage caused to a tank commander or the driver will force the vehicle to take some shock (shock is individual unit morale that ebbs and flows throughout a battle) and potentially move back to a more covered spot and reassess the next move.

Troops in heavy cover tend to survive but are not untouchable, troops in the open are shot to bits. In the open to help you, you can move TACTICALLY, that is use as much cover as is available and therefore survive that little better when shot at. In fact I like the tactical move idea as it makes cover that much better and movement in no cover possible. Should I race my troops forward and get into close combat or should I move them tactically and slowly to sound out the enemy? Jumping bocage is hard work through 2 dice and lose the highest one, well sure enough I rolled a 6 and 1 but this left me in a little cover when the enemy opened fire.


Smoke seems to work well and is not overpowered at least from a 2 inch mortar. It does block line of sight but not to the MG 34 in the upper floor!!!!

By the end of the game the Tommies had pushed towards the German jump off points near the Chateau and though I had not captured any objectives like the jump off points themselves I had pretty much knocked out enough troops and leaders to cause Doug’s Force Morale to drop to zero and force his troops to withdraw. When your command dice drop and you run out of leaders there is not much you can do to survive.

Overall, I like it, I like it a lot. It did help that Ben ran a great game and Doug was a great opponent but we both seemed to pick up the rules fast enough and the size of forces is just great for a club nights or for school. You could even play in 28mm without spending a fortune!! Time wise it played out in an hour and a half or so with me having one read of the rules prior to the event (most of the credit to Ben here for keeping us moving). I will still keep Battlegroup rules on the back burner for larger games with more tanks as I really like these too but for a skirmish game this one rings my bell. I could even see it working well for modern conflicts if someone keener than me was prepared to do the new weapon characteristics.

 Two Fat Lardies have my vote for Chain of Command.

Can I get the kids at school into it? Well 2 forces coming up, maybe a mix of FOW based until I can get a few individuals painted up. Hmmm those plastics from PSC in 20mm and 15mm look tempting!!!!!!!!



Monday, October 7, 2013

MOAB After Convention Report ACR

Well I went up to MOAB in Sydney for the convention to see Ben from Little Tin Men blog run the Chain of Command Participation game on the Sunday.

MOAB has always been one of my favourite conventions as the atmosphere is friendly, the competitions well supported, the venue all over the place but with hidden gems to be found in unlikely rooms and of course the traders with the booty that I don't need but still purchase. Of course one can't forget the bring and buy.
This is the main hall with participation games in the centre, traders around the outside and competitions upstairs, at the back, at the back and upstairs, and down stairs X2. As you can see it seems a little quite.

This year the Sunday seemed very quite and a run through the whole place made me realsie that there were not as many competitors (no Warhammer Fantasy tourney??? A sign of what GW is doing to its loyal customer base?) nor customers for the traders. There were some rather good participation and demo games though and if anything this seemed bigger than last year but many had no one playing on the table????

 Command and Colours demo in 28mm looked great
The Macedonians

The Indians

I did ask about the Saturday and it was ment to be much bigger so glad about that.

Number 2 son came and spent bigger than I did which was nice. Well nice that I did not spend that much.

The bring and buy is always really well run but this time around I missed all the buyers and sold a mere single minaiture. So my WWII brits from the last post remain in my control and this has given me the desire to get a German platoon finished. This is a good thing I think but it also means that I may end up buying some support platoons for the two forces. Hmm how can I buy if I don't sell?

I was rather lucky to sit in on a painting demo by last years Golden Demon Slayer Sword winner giving hints and tips on how to paint. Mark was giving advice to those prepared to listen and as you can see his miniatures are incredible. Sadly I tend to paint armies and thus the quality is not in the same league as these. That being said it was still a great chance to see and hear an artist in action. Thanks Mark your hints may help with my Infinity Miniatures.

Overall I had a ball at MOAB picked up a few essentials, bought a few non essentials and chatted with the odd fellow gamer. Slowly I have moved away from competitions at conventions through no ones fault just my desire for something smaller that I can do in one day or to try something new. I used to do competitions to learn how to play a set of rules and this is a great way to do it. I may go back to the competitions but at the moment I am happy playing someone else's game!

I am seriously trying to get a group back up and running at school. There are a lot of my students at my club but we have had a good run with games at the school and with games like SAGA and Chain of Command I can see me getting more of the lads to look at history in a new light. Even DBA might reappear at school.

Any way on to the reason for the trip to Sydney, the Chain of Command participation game. Which will occur in the next post.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Chain of Command, Bolt Action or Battlegroup Overlord?????

I have just completed a platoon of late war British Infantry. I will try and sell them but only to fund further WWII purchases. Mind you if they don’t sell I have a nice Platoon for any one of a number of games doing the rounds on the blogosphere at the present time. Should I do Chain of Command, Bolt Action or Battlegroup Overlord? I have a lot of money invested in 15mmWWII but still love the look of 28mm.

Chain of Command gets my vote for the moment and I hope to play or sit in on a participation game at the upcoming MOAB convention in Sydney in a few days to see how the rules really run. What are you all using and why? Should I keep the Brits and finish the Germans, buy a few more support units HMGs, Tanks and Transport or just stick with 15mm? Hmmmm.

Based around Chain of Command, Late War HQ with 2 inch mortar and PIAT.

Medium Mortar, not really used in Chain of Command but I can use it in the other game systems.

Platoon1  NCO with Sten and  Bren gunner + 8 rifle Crusader Minis in 28mm

Platoon2  NCO with Sten and  Bren gunner + 8 rifle Crusader Minis in 28mm

Platoon3  NCO with Sten and  Bren gunner + 8 rifle Mainly Warlords Bolt action + the odd Crusader Mini in 28mm

My Medic with leather body armour, just need to do the red cross.