Sunday, December 30, 2012

Final assembly

That's it.  I'm calling it a year.  No more hobby will happen before the 1st.  I accomplished most of what I was aiming for the last few days though.  The pile waiting for priming has grown.

Auxiliary Command from Warlord.  Very nice models.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Fanticide minis

I received my Fanticide Kickstarter rewards awhile back.  It was definitely good value for my money.  The book is beautiful.  The rules are interesting and fun.  The ability to build your own warbands is brilliant and the models are characterful and well made.

Flying monkeys from the Kingdom of Odd.  Awesome!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Hail Caesar Battle Report - EIR vs Carthage

A month ago (I know, I'm a slacker), Jonathan and I played our first game of Hail Caesar.  We've been working up to this for about seven months, so it was much anticipated and long over due.  We each brought three units, what we had assembled and ready to go.  We did not play with any mods, or terrain on the table, aiming simply to figure out the rules.  There was a lot of flipping through the book.

The Carthaginians form a line.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

End of year frenzy

I've been out of action for the last two months.  The blog's been quiet because I have not done anything hobby-wise.  My shoulder is starting to feel better, at the same time that I have a week off of work.  I'm trying to get a whole bunch assembled so that if the weather gets nice enough, I can get it primed.  I have a fair bit primed already, but most of it is not for any current project; rather they are artifacts of past attempts to paint armies.

Several of my kickstarters have come home to roost in the last two weeks.  First through the door was Fanticide.  This was the rules, cards and a Liberi war band, as well as a sample pack and the unicorn.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Happy Christmas!

Happy Christmas Everyone!  I hope that you are all with family, friends or associates of your choice and that you all get some gaming goodness as well as the recharge of the soul that a great Christmas can bring.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Five Worthy Blogs

I have been given the Liebster Award by Jonathan over at The Inevitable Spark.  So Thank You Jonathan.  This is a meme, started I know not where, that has been making the rounds the last few weeks.

This award is a way for our community to share, by picking five of your favorite blogs to pass the award to.  I find it a little ironic that I received it after not really managing any hobby for a month, but I'm grateful.

In the end this is nothing more than a chance for us to share some of the blogs we enjoy.  That's a worthwhile goal and well worth the effort.

The five blogs I'm going to showcase below are the ones that I look forward to reading the most.  Some that I might have chosen have already received this, very, prestigious award.  If you are not one of these five, know that every blog on my blog roll is there because I consider reading it worth my time and I gain something I value from it.

First up is Rear Guard Action.  J. de Jong is all about board games.  I have quite a collection of board games, but nothing like him.  This is a part of my hobby that was critical during my formative years, but that I don't get to spend much time on these days.  This blog has been helping me to get back in touch with the world of board gaming.
Tim K. Actually wrote this.  I've actually played games with him.  That's pretty awesome.
Next up is Cursed Treasures by Tim Kulinski.  I've met Tim a few times; played several games of Lord of the Rings against him, one of which is even covered on this blog, back in the mists of time.  Tim is the author of Legends of the High Seas.  His blog is an eclectic blend of genres, along with a fair amount of disenchantment with a certain company that used to give him joy.  I'm in touch with that emotion, so this blog resonates with me on several levels.

Roundwood's World is a blog by the very talented Sidney Roundwood.  While there are a lot of interesting posts on this gem of a blog I'll sum it all up in one word; TERRAIN.  Sidney's terrain boards have inspired me.  I'm just working up the courage to get started on some of my own, though the step into WWI gaming will have to wait.  Incidentally, I can't believe I'm the first one to put him up.

The next blog is Analogue Hobbies.  This one just blows me away.  The WWI in grey scale is one of the greatest things I've ever seen in my life.  The sheer insanity of it is an inspiration.  Curt also posts up a periodic series of scenarios, which we should all appreciate, as gamers.

The final blog is The British Army at Waterloo.  Following my theme, which seems to revolve around a certain level of insanity, even for we hobbyists, this blog is documenting the effort to collect and paint the British army at Waterloo at 1-1.  I find the concept beyond imagining.  I'm not certain I could even contemplate such a project, but it does make me feel a little bit saner.

As I said above, I enjoy and value each blog in my blog roll, but each of these is something different and unique, for either personal reasons or just the content of the blog.

I hope you all check them out and enjoy them as much as I do.

Friday, November 09, 2012

Bring the Pain

I finally had my follow up appointment this week.  I won't bore you with details, but it turned out they had to rebuild the entire front of my shoulder.  The good news is that it should be good as new, in about three months.  The bad news is that It's going to take awhile to get better; about three months.  I'm hoping to be able to hold a paintbrush long before then, but right now I guess I'll be reading rules and surfing blogs.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

When the hobby hurts

I haven't posted much this month.  It's really come down to health issues.  My shoulder has been bothering me for years but has gotten really bad in the last few months.  I finally had surgery last week.  What does all of this have to do with anything?

Sometimes the hobby hurts.  Physically hurts.  For the last month, and especially, the last week, almost all hobby activity has been painful to perform.  I can game, which may be part of why I'm so excited about X-Wing right now.  I can't hold a brush, or a file.  I can't hold two little pieces of plastic together while the glue sets.  Most of the hobby is outside my reach, both figuratively and literally.

I spent a couple of days staring forlornly at the models on my desk.  There's so much to do and I'm not accomplishing any of it.  Then I started to consider how I would adjust if my temporary disability were permanent.  What could I do to allow me to paint and assemble models?  How would my collecting change if everything became harder?  This was purely an exercise in "what if" since I am expecting to recover fully.  It was really something to keep my mind occupied while I sat here and drooled on myself.

One result of all of this thought is a new found appreciation for all that I take for granted.  It's good to have things taken away from us sometimes; it helps us realize what we have and what we value.  The prospect of re-gaining full use of my right arm is something that fills me with great pleasure, above and beyond the hope of living without pain.  I definitely find that I am a person who wants what they can't have.  I'm surprised at the sense of loss I feel right now.

I am obsessive about miniatures and gaming.  I think about them way more than I should.  They have helped to keep me sane through many military deployments.  I need to keep my brain actively engaged.  I haven't watched TV in years and have a hard time sitting through a movie.  Miniatures are the balm that soothes the savage beast, so to speak.

I'm going to wrap it up here, both because I'm sure this is rambling (stupid pain killers) and because typing hurts too.  But I do have a question.  What disabilities do you guys suffer from and how do you compensate? It could be as simple as failing eyesight or as difficult as a certain sculptor's missing hand.  I'd be fascinated to hear all about it.  Or are we all insufferably healthy?

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Battle Report - Isengard vs Gray Company

I am planning on running a campaign for the club come January. In preparation I've come up with 21 new scenarios.  A couple are based on some from the book but most are new, and therefore in need of testing.  A couple of weeks ago Tony and Jonathan kindly agreed to help me test one out.

The flanking force arrives

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Mumak on the loose

With the Lord of the Rings campaign coming up, in January, I need to expand my army a bit, to give myself some more options.  This is nice because it is giving me motivation to complete models that I've had sitting around but that don't have a place in my normal armies.

I'll prime and paint him like this and do the howdah separately.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Painted Romans

For Valentine's day my wife bought me five boxes of Warlord Games' Early Imperial Romans.  Great woman.  I finished off one of the boxes here.  The second box are not much different, to be honest.  I now have two Cohorts of Rome's finest.  One more unit and I'll be ready to try out Hail Caesar with Jonathan in November.


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Battle Report - Lego Wars

Last weekend Rhys and I tried out Lego Wars.  This is a much simplified version of wargaming, based on rules found here.  The beauty of the system is that we can play with any toys that Rhys wants to.  We, of course, played with Legos.

My fierce army, lined up and ready to go.  Shooters on the right, fighters on the left.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Sci-Fi Monday - Battle Report - X-Wing

The other night I arrived for our Thursday night game and Tony was running Jonathan through an introductory game of X-Wing.  They both had bought starter sets, and I had brought mine with me.  After the intro game we decided to play a big game of X-Wing instead of the scheduled LotR.  100 points each side, and nine ships on the table later, we were ready to go.

The brave and scrappy Rebel line prepares for battle.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

15mm Wind Energy

Sci-Fi games need scenery.  Some needs to be playable, some needs to block line of sight (LoS) and some is just there to make the table look great.  I started the year with not a single piece of 15mm terrain.  This made perfect sense as I didn't have a single 15mm model or any intention to collect any.

Finished Wind Chargers.  Mechs and infantry sold separately.

Friday, October 05, 2012

X-Wing Follow up

I've had X-Wing for a week now.  It has been a huge success.  Not only has Rhys been asking to play but Owyn has played a couple of games.  They both love the models and understand the mechanics.  They are a little hazy on the maneuvering part but they love rolling dice and moving their ships.  They smoked me in one game and much rejoicing, and dancing, ensued.

Rhys still wants to learn Lord of the Rings, but he is in love with X-Wing.

This one is definitely going in the Win column.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Star Wars X-Wing

This is not a game that I had any interest in playing.  I have not been looking forward to the release.  It has not been on my radar at all.  Lots of the guys were excited about it.  Not me.

A box of pure gaming fun.
Boy was I wrong ...

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Halo Terrain

Walking through Target the other day I ran across the latest toy in the Halo franchise.  I've never played Halo.  I'm not a console gamer.  It has some awesome vehicles in it though.  This caught my eye because it is scaled at 15mm.  Brilliant!  Says I.  Pre-painted 15mm sci-fi terrain for $25.  I'm in.

The doors open and close.  There's a tower that fits on the left side (picture side that is).

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Mini gaming with the Wee

I was recently directed to this post about gaming with small children.  I have had three posts on my search for games to play with Rhys.  In the first one I talked about a home grown dungeon crawl game.  It quickly lost its appeal.  Owyn got bored after the first session, Rhys stuck with it for a few more but was, obviously, not really interested.

My second go around was Lego Castle Fortrann.  This never got played.  Rhys has discovered the online version on the lego web site and he plays that from time to time.  When last reported, we were planning on playing the following weekend.  The boys decided to take all of the pieces and mix them in with the rest of their legos.  That didn't work out so well, then.

The third go around saw me buying one of the Dungeons and Dragons board games.  While this game doesn't scale very well with two players, a couple of modifications have us playing it successfully.  This game was a hit and Rhys loves his "Dungeon Game".  Every couple of weeks we pull it out and have a go at it.

Incidentally, in the post above, I mentioned that we were going to see a 3/4 scale X-Wing.  That did happen and it seems churlish of me not to include a picture.

This thing lives at the local airplane museum, Wings over the Rockies.
So.... to make a short story long and interminable, while Rhys is enjoying his Dungeon Game, it is not the ultimate answer because it is not playing Lord of the Rings, which is what he really wants to do.  In addition to the complexity of the rules I am reluctant because of the way he plays with the models.  They tend to end up getting banged together in combat.  This is fine with squinkies or lego guys, but not with my painfully painted minis.

The post that started this whole story off has a good answer.  A miniature game using any and all miniatures, with simple rules and very little math.  Army size is determined by number of dice.  "We're playing a twenty dice game tonight".  Each troop/dinosaur/robot/whatever is one dice.  Each General is two.  Vehicles or large monsters are more, up to four.

Movement is in inches and every unit gets a free reform; this gets rid of fiddly maneuvers that little boys would not dig at all.  Shooters move 2", fighters 4" and cavalry/vehicles 8".  Fighters hit on 3+ and wound on 4+.  Shooters and vehicles/monsters hit on 4+ and wound on 5+.

Once you've bought your troops you divide them into units, though we may play it as a skirmish game with single models.  Models are either fighters or shooters.  Fighters hit and wound better, shooters can shoot from a distance but have a harder time hitting and wounding.  Vehicles can't fight.  Terrain is simple.  Roll dice and move around until one army is destroyed.  "Ferb, I know what we're going to do today".

This is going to be a winner.  We'll pull out the lego guys and build some armies and start fighting.  I can hardly wait.  The inventor of the game calls it Tourna.  While that is a grand name and all, I'm going to Rhysicize it right now and call it Lego-War.

By the way, there are at least two other Lego wargames out there that I am aware of, though neither is appropriate to my target audience.

The first is BrikWars, which has been around for a long time.  The key thing with this game is that anything goes and if you are thinking about it too hard then you are missing the point.  I highly recommend a read through the rules.  This is how Legos should be played with.

The second is Mobile Frame Zero.  This is a lego mech game.  The rules will run you about $20.  They sell kits for the mechs, though anyone with a Lego collection should be able to build their own.  Rhys and I will be checking this one out a bit down the line.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Sci-Fi Monday - Firestorm Invasion

Studio Sparta is preparing to release three games set in the Firestorm Armada universe.  Spartan has spent the last few years developing the background for this system, and there is plenty of scope for them to add to it.  There has been speculation about what scale their long promised ground game would be in.  The two most common scales discussed were 28mm and 15mm with 10mm and 6mm thrown out as ideas from time to time.  The surprising thing is not the choice they made but, rather, that they didn't choose...

Dindrenzi and Terrans face off in a tank knife fight.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Studio Sparta

Spartan Games has started a new design studio within their larger organization.  This production house is called Studio Sparta.  The plan is for Studio Sparta to be the means to release some boutique lines or one off models that don't really fit the mass production model.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Commission work - Saurus

In addition to the demons I also put together a unit of sixteen Warhammer Saurus Warriors.  These are old models and they are showing their age.  They are good looking but the difference between them and the new demons is huge.

Good looking, but simple.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Battle Report - Harad vs Easterlings and Nazgul

The last club night was another three way game.  This one was between Jonathan and his brother Chris vs me.  They each came up with a 300 pt list and I fielded 600 pts.  Chris had his Easterlings, led by Amdur the  Unkilling.  (I call him that because he has yet to kill another model in a game.  Not one.  Not ever).  Jonathan had been playing around with low model count armies so he brought the Witch King on Fell Beast and a cave troll.  I was fielding my Harad with the Betrayer switched out for Bob (the budget Nazgul) and a banner.
The battle line is formed.  Lots of heroes hanging out together, heroically, in the back ranks.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Mantic Zombies

Several months back I bought twenty random Mantic sprues for 20 quid.  A couple of months later I supported the Mantic Kickstarter campaign, and walked away with an undead starter army, which arrived last week.  Four of the sprues, out of my 20, were for undead.  The first one I assembled was the six zombies, for no more reason than, hello, they're zombies!

Commission Work

My hobby output is going to be dropping off here for the next couple of weeks.  I'm assembling a Warhammer Demons army for a guy at the local shop.  He makes his living painting armies for people.  In fact, he had so much work he raised prices to lower demand, and just ended up making more money.  Assembly takes a lot of time, but not much skill, so is not a great use of his time.

I enjoy assembly and get either money or models out of it.  My Harad army was paid for by a commission to assemble a giant empire army.  What this means is that for the next couple of weeks I'll be spending my hobby time putting together other people's models instead of working on my own stuff.

I just completed 60 Pink Horrors.  In case anyone wants to know what a nightmare looks like, this is it.
60 Pink Horrors. 
This is a whole lot of waving arms.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Sci/Fi Monday - Gruntz card building

Gruntz is my current ruleset for 15mm sci/fi.  Having said that, I haven't played a real game of it yet, but that's beside the point.

Gruntz uses cards to depict the units.  The cards have all of the stats and can have a picture as well.  You can play without the cards, of course, it is a mini game not a card game, but the cards make it a lot easier.  There has not been a good way to make unit cards.  Some people create them in PhotoShop.  Some use Xcel, some use PDF forms, word templates, etc.  All fiddly and not very user friendly.

Looking sharp, but very fiddly to build.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Battle Report - Gondor vs Corsairs

Two weeks ago Tony and I played another game of LotR.  He brought his Corsair army, which includes the Shadow Lord.  His special rule is that all shooting at targets within six inches needs sixes to hit.  This pretty much makes my Harad army an overpriced light infantry force.  With that in mind I pulled out my Gondor, which I haven't played with in the new rules.  This game was a straight up brawl, first one to 25% loses.

Faramir's scouts had reported a raid, by Corsairs, moving up the Anduin.  When he finally made contact he found that they were accompanied by the Shadow Lord and his guard of Black Numenorians.  He was still sanguine about the results.  He had brought a strong force of his veterans from Osgiliath as well as a company of his rangers.

The Battlelines meet.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Fanticide by Alien Dungeon

There is yet another miniature skirmish game coming our way.  This seems to be the flavor de jeur, probably due to the recession, but who knows.  Games like Infinity and Malifaux show the popularity of skirmish games.  They don't require very many miniatures, though usually lots of terrain.  The minis are, generally, expensive but beautiful.
The cover doesn't do a lot for me, but look at those names on the front there.
Truthfully, the market is saturated.  So why am I even bothering to bring up another one?  This is why:

 The rules have been developed and written by Rick Priestly, Alessio Cavatore, Andy Chambers and Ernest Baker.

So, yeah.  Sign me up as interested.  Those are some high powered names right there.  I'll definitely be following the development of Fanticide with interest.

They also have a Facebook page and a blog.

Since I typed this up they have also added a Kickstarter campaign.  I'm not sure if I'll support this one or not.  It will be a great way to get the rules/cards for less than retail.  You can also get good deals on armies if you are interested.  If nothing else, they have most of the information on the game in one place, on this page, so it is a convenient place to find everything in one long scroll.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Terrain Manufacturer Links

This post covers Terrain manufacturers.  These are products that interest me.  Where I have used them, it will be noted.

Monday, August 20, 2012

15mm Sci/Fi Manufacturer Links

My links have gotten a little bit out of control.  In order to remedy that I'm creating link posts that will go under a page tab at the top of the blog.  Click on the page tab for links, click on the genre you are interested in and there they will be.  Boom!  Bob's your uncle.  Nice, clean and organized.

This week will be the 15mm Sci/Fi Manufacturers.  I've actually been keeping these on another page, but this will be a lot easier.

(edit)  Barks gave me a list of several others I hadn't heard of.  I was not able to find Armies Army but the rest are below.  I have Oddzial Osmy under fighting 15's.  There is also a US distributor and if I can find them again I'll add that link.  Thanks Barks.

(edit 2)  I added Black Cat Bases with their new releases (28 August 2012)

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Bones Kickstarter

There is yet another Kickstarter campaign going on that I was unable to resist.  I should really block the URL so that I can't even get to it.  As the title suggests, this is the Bones Kickstarter from Reaper Miniatures.  The value of this campaign makes it, pretty much, a no brainer.

Federation Marine AIFVs

I recently placed an order with CMG for three of their mercenary Bastion AFV's.  The Traveller also ordered a platoon of Protolene scouts, his first miniatures purchase.  As soon as we can get those based we'll be in a position to throw down some Gruntz.

The three Bastions will support my Federation Marine Corps infantry, serving as one platoon of a Light Armored Recon company.  More details on that later.

Bastion Grav AIFV with canon and heavy machine gun.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Dux Brit Player's Notes

TooFatLardies have released some player's notes for Dux Brit.  They serve as a quick start explanation of the rules.  They are useful enough that I would recommend having them available as you read through the rules.  You can just glance over, "did I read that right?".  "Yup."

The cover art, because pictures make blogs better.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Hawk Wargames Newsletter

Hawk Wargames, makers of Dropzone Commander, put out a weekly (or so) newsletter.  There have been some complications with their initial production and this has caused some angst among eager customers.

This week's Newsletter lays out the reasons for the delays in product and the small number (two) of distributors.

As far as I'm concerned this is a class act.  They are upfront about the issues and what they are doing to fix them.  This company has been one man and his girlfriend.  That he has accomplished all that he has is amazing.  I'm looking forward to picking up a copy of the rule book this year, and models next year.

We wargamers tend to think of games company's as giant GW size corporations, or at least as medium sized businesses with a couple of dozen employees.  The truth is that most companies, especially in the smaller scales, are just one or two people.  Folks can rant and rave but it is what it is.  If you want a company to get bigger, push their game, buy their products and get them the money to expand.

Additionally, there is a new review of the game, in some detail, located here.  If you've been thinking about it, read the review.

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Sci-Fi Monday - Caliphate drop ship

The Caliphate of Martel, much like the Federation, uses mostly imperial designs.  Their standard small drop ship, carrying a squad, is the Sabre design, called the Scimitar in Caliphate service.  The Scimitar is the most common assault dropship model for Caliphate light infantry formations.

The Scimitar.  This is about the size of a current Blackhawk.

First Mini Ever - Part 2

In this post here I narrated the story of Rhys' first mini.  He has finally finished painting it.  I dull coated it today so it is as ready as it is going to get.

"The Master" in all his glory.

Sand Vipers

I have completed the two Sand Vipers for my Caliphate Infiltration Battalion (Rebel minis Sahadeen and Vipers).  As stated before, these are great little models that go together quickly, paint easily and look great.

Sand Viper of the Caliphate of Martel

Sunday, August 05, 2012

Sci/Fi Monday - Terrain

My foray into 15mm is very recent, this year in fact.  As such I had no terrain for this scale.  Everything was scaled for 28mm.  When it comes to hills and trees, this is not a huge problem.  Man made structures, on the other hand, have to be the right scale.

I have been, slowly, adding to my 15mm terrain.  On the fourth of July GameCraft Miniatures had a 20% off sale and I jumped on the chance to add some 15mm buildings to my table.

On August 1st my order arrived and the fun began.

The possibilities are endless.

Dux Brit arrives

Dux Britanniarum from TooFatLardies was released this last week.  I'm still waiting for my hard copy and cards (and free miniature) but I was able to download the PDF and have a read through.  Here's my initial thoughts.

Friday, August 03, 2012

Battle Report - Harad and Isengard vs Wood Elves

Last night was the Thursday night club night.  As so often recently, we only had three players.  Since we had two good and one evil we decided to have Tony and I split our armies in half, each fielding 300 pts vs Jake's 600.  We rolled up a meeting engagement.  This scenario is a kill 'em all battle.  It was bloody and unpredictable with some awesomely funny moments.

This is near the end of the game.  The Elves have done surprisingly little in combat up to now.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Product Reveiw - GF9 Blood Crystals

I've bought a fair amount of GaleForce nine Battlefield in a Box terrain.  There were the two hills earlier in the year and now a box of Blood Crystals.  In all three cases I've been very happy with the product.  The hills are works of art.  I had to move them out of my office because I'd just sit there and stare at them.  My wife even liked them.

The blood crystals box.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Sci/Fi Monday - Federation Marine Corps

The Federation Marine Corps is one of the elite forces of the Federation of Neu Normandie.  Formed out of elements of the Imperial Marine Corps, immediately following the declaration of the Federation, there are two main missions for the FMC.

The first mission is that of ships guards.  There are Marine detachments on all vessels of cruiser size and above.  These ships guards serve in two roles.  They guard against mutiny by the sailors; rare now but not uncommon in the days immediately following the withdrawal of the imperial forces.  In this role the Marines are billeted between the crew and officers with two Marines in power armor always manning the one hatch that separates officer's country from the crew.

The second role of the ship's guards is to serve in boarding actions.  The Marine detachment will both defend against enemy boarding attempts and, much more to their tastes, board enemy ships, capturing them for the Federation.

The second major mission area for the FMC is to secure a planet head on an enemy planet.  The transition from space to terra firma is, by far, the most difficult of all military missions.  The FMC specializes in dropping to a planet and securing a planet hold which can support the landing of larger Army forces.

The nature of the mission demands that the FMC be equipped with grav vehicles.  While grav technology is mindbogglingly expensive, it is the only way to reliably accomplish the mission of seizing a planet head.  The FMC uses dropships for follow on forces, primarily logistics and mechs, but the main force will be dropped from low orbit in grav vehicles.

The FMC is task organized into mixed air/space/ground task forces of battalion strength.  There are Marine Divisions but they are administrative rather than operational organizations.  The divisions are force providers for the fleet and the strike elements.

The basic building block of the combat force is the Marine Planetary Assault Unit (MPAU).  The MPAU, (pronounced M-POW), is built around a rifle battalion.  To this is attached a command element, an aerospace element and a logistics element.  The MPAU is capable of capturing a heavily defended spaceport and holding it long enough for the Army's forces to arrive by drop ship.

The MPAUs serve aboard ship, located close to the action.  As such they are often the first force available when a crisis erupts.  This fact has resulted in an additional, unofficial, mission being added to the mission set of the FMC's MPAUs.  They are often called upon to land on a planet under attack and add some firepower and elite skill to the local defense forces.  While this is not an official mission the pragmatic nature of the Corps means that all MPAUs are trained to conduct training of indigenous forces.

The FMC is the go-to force in the most trying of circumstances.  When the Federation needs forces on a planet immediately they turn to the FMC and it's aggressive infantry to accomplish the mission, whatever it is.

Painted Federation Marine Corps Vipers

I've completed two more Vipers for my Federation Marine Corps.  These are the fire support variant.  They use the same color scheme as the first two.  This gives me a full platoon of four mechs.  Two are the infantry support version and two are the fire support version.

FMC fire support Viper (Rebel Minis)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Dropzone Commander

I've been looking at this game for awhile now.  I mentioned it in this post, in fact, as one of the games I'm hoping to check out in the next four months.  As launch gets closer I'm getting more and more excited about both the models and the rules.

The cover looks like it really captures the flavor of the game.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Dux Britanniarum Pre-orders up

The latest game from TooFatLardies is finally up for pre-order.  Dux Brit is a game covering the period following Rome's retreat from Britain and the invasion of the Saxons.  It fits nicely in the period between Hail Caesar and Saga, for me.  It also comes with a really slick sounding campaign system, which I'm hoping can be modified for other game systems.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Sci-Fi Monday - Star Drives

The Kang-Smith Jump Drive.

Extra solar system human space travel became feasible when the Kang-Smith jump drive was developed at the University of Colorado at Boulder, USA in 2237.  The KS drive allowed ships to disappear in one location and reappear up to three light years distant, instantaneously.  Later improvements to the KS drive allowed jumps of up to seven light years.

The jump drive, as it is called, is powered by a battery system, the Twitch Battery, which discharges all of its energy in one giant release.  The battery is then recharged via the ship's fusion engines.  Initial battery/engine combinations took up to three days to recharge, limiting the speed of a ship to approximately six light years a week.  Later developments allowed two battery sets to be carried, and recharged in only two days, enabling  a jump per day, or two in rapid succession.  When combined with the longer jump distances, of seven light years, this improved the speed of a jump ship from six light years per week to 49 light years per week.

Sunday, July 15, 2012


I haven't been posting much lately because I haven't finished a thing.  My normal posts seem to be either painted minis or battle reports.  That doesn't mean that I haven't been doing anything, just that none of it has fit into either of those categories.  So here's what has been going on.

A 15mm dropship, in the making.

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Sci-Fi Monday - The Fury Reach

This is the first of Sci/Fi Monday articles.

This post is going to be a long one.  No pictures, just a wall of text.  If you don't want to read it, no worries.  It's the history of the Fury Reach, the background for my sci/fi campaign area.  Once I have this out of the way I can start working on the fun stuff.  Fun for you that is, I like this sort of thing.

The Fury Reach was colonized during the Fifth Wave of human expansion.

More after the jump.

Friday, July 06, 2012

Sci/FI Monday

Now that I'm back at work I've been having a much harder time finding both time and desire for hobby.  Working two jobs just kicks my butt.  By the time I've gotten the boys to bed it's all I can do to read everyone else's blogs.

In an effort to kick things up a notch I'm going to devote Mondays to science fiction.  Every Monday I'll have a post about Sci/Fi.  I was going to start this last week but I had food poisoning and just wasn't up to it.  I was so sick that I was throwing up things I haven't even eaten yet.

The first few posts will lay out the background for my Sci/Fi setting.  I don't know about the rest of you but I need to have a context to put my games in.  Even if I'm not playing an actual campaign I can still place the battles into a campaign like context.

I've written the first post, and it's a doozy.  I won't blame you if you can't wade through the whole thing.  I'll be posting it up on Monday morning, if I can remember before I head off to work.  That will get it up in prime time for my UK followers and it will be waiting for the lunch crowd here in the States.

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Battle Report - Harad/Dwarfs vs Easterlings/Gray Company

This game doesn't lend itself to my usual narrative battle report style; so it's a good thing I've already decided to just do it as a pictorial report.

This game was a four person, team game.  Nick and I had just finished our game of Force on Force and were going to start a game of LotR when Jonathan and his brother arrived.  This was perfect as it let us play four on four.  We played the same scenario as the last two reports.

Since the brothers wanted to be on the same team we ended up with odd match ups, good/evil on each side.

I'm on the left with the Easterlings, and some rangers, opposite me.  I parked in the ruins for most of the game.

Battle Report - Harad vs Gondor

I played a couple of games of LotR last week.  It's too much effort to write them both up, so I'll tell the story through pictures.

The first battle was against the Traveller.  We were brewing up a batch of beer, and smoking some meat, so we were running in and out all day.  He chose Gondor and I had my Haradrim.  We played the same scenario as in the shop the week before.  There were three objectives (yellow dice, I really need to make some).  Warband deployment but within six inches of the table edge.  Extra points for wounding and killing the enemy general.

Rangers in one set of ruins.  Most of my army is bottom right.  One warband top right, opposite Faramir.

Sunday, July 01, 2012

Battle Report - Force on Force

I finally got in my first game of Force on Force.  Verdict?  I loved it.  The game was fast and furious, very tactical and had plenty of room for cinematics.  It seemed to capture a realistic, but fun, simulation of combat, not getting bogged down in details.  It has a quick mechanism for including variables that makes attachments and weapons count, but doesn't slow the game down.  I ordered Tomorrow's War last night based on how this game played.

The setup.  Two infantry patrols meet in a destroyed village.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Battle Report - Harad and Corsairs vs Wood Elves

Last League night we had four players for the club night.  We were prepared for a three person game, with each of us bringing a 300 pt list and a 600 pt list.  Happily that was not necessary as Jake joined Jonathan, Tony and I for the game; and a real corker it was too.

This pretty much sums up this game for me.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Battle Report - Harad vs Elves

Sunday was Father's Day, here in the states.  For me it meant a new grill, with a smoker, gaming, family time and no responsibilities.  It was a great day.  The Traveller and I smoked some ribs and brisket and got a game of LotR in during the intermissions.  Sadly, my shade monkey was not out helping me.

The, self described, shade monkey.  It wasn't even Father's Day yet. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

On the workbench

I haven't had a lot of hobby time lately.  I had almost two months of leave when I got back from Afghanistan, which meant that I got a lot of time to work on my minis.  Now I'm back to my real job, which is not leaving me much time, while I get locked back in.  Stuff has been piling up, but I have this weekend to start nailing some of it down.

I'm actually working on all of that right now.  It totally makes sense in my mind.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Four month plan +

There's a lot I want to do this year, since I'm trying everything that catches my fancy for twelve months.  I've called it the year of rules but I'm also dabbling in scales, mediums and genres.  The only real rule I have is that all of my gaming activities have to be games.

This year I'm deliberately being a gaming magpie.

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