Friday, August 31, 2012

Armies in my Collection Part 2 Flames of War Part 1

I am not sure exactly when but some time in late 2009 or early 2010 I discovered Flames of War at 3 Trolls in Chelmsford. I had just been laid off (to this day 1/20/09 bumper stickers still tick me off not for their political message but because of the moment they speak to in my personal life) and suddenly have lots of time to paint. I decided to do a French Expeditionary corps army I did an infantry list the main companies were a mix of Old Glory early war French  and Battle Front US troops. All the supports are US, I based them on the 13th Demi-Brigade because what could possibly be cool than the French Foreign legion.
  These artillery pieces are from this period and are among my favorite pieces despite the fact that they are judged by most to be useless.

I also built my self a Fallschirmjager army since I figured it would be a good op force for the Free French. they have been that but mostly they seem to get kicked by Chis and his Poles and more recently by the 17th Armor.  
I built these armies a bit at a time, working on them as I also painted my seven years war figures. It was something of a return to the hobby for me as I had spent several years just painting miniatures for D&D.

In 2010 Early war came out and I got the French infantry set to my surprise I do not have any pictures of any part of this army I will have to correct this! I also built a French Recon Army.  These have not see the board often mostly because I seem to wind up playing Germans in the Early. The Recon company did get in a good battle against Aj and Gordon and was used in a demo game against my own Germans

As I said in early war I seem to play Germans this came about format he fact that our mid and early war north Africa games at Adler Hobby had a lot of Allied players. So I built what has become my favorite German army list. the image below is a good representation thought the Panzer IVs have been repainted.
 That new paint job is one of my favorites, and I recently added two more Panzer IVs of this type to my collection.

I also painted a Free French force as part of Adler Hobby's escalation league. The Trirallerures Senegalais are one of the extraordinary stories of World War II.  An flamboyant and aggressive exiled army (leClerk) commander,  a colonial regiment with colorful cast of officers, cast off equipment their allies don't want and an extraordinary trek across the dessert to capture an enemy fort. Had any Americans been involved Hollywood would have made a movie about them. As a flames of war army I have yest to see them win a battle the AT assets just are not good enough but I love the look.
 I consider the colonial infantry I painted a mix of FOW French and English figures to be one of my best World War II infantry pint jobs.

I had intended to do all my Flames of War Armies at once but the I am out of writing time for the day so look for more over the weekend or early next week.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Armies in My Collection Part 1 The 18th Century

My oldest army is my Continental Army Painted when I was in college at Marquette University.  The army had a reasonable record against Rob Burr's red coats back in the day. They have been re-based for Volley and Bayonet.

After college I slowly add a British army for the Revolutionary war period and added a number of militia units.   I focused on Burgoyne' army form the Saratoga Campaign.

Both now sit on a shelf in my office and fascinate many of my co-workers.  I consider them to be  below average in terms of painting and most of my co-workers give me really funny looks when I say that.
I next started looking at the wars of the 18th century painting French, Prussian, Austrian, the Reich Army, an Anglo-German army and a Scottish Army. These armies were originally based for full size V&B but with AJ's laser service I debased them to two thirds scale. I have used these guys for the campaign with Luke that got this blog started.

More recently this collection has appeared in Black Powder games, The basing works just as well since both V&B and BP have the same use the bases you have approach.

This set was a labor of love as I am fascinated by this period both for its history and the fact that armies have such a great look.  If I could only play one period this would be it.

 My most recent foray into this period has been to start work on my own imaginary nation the Grand Duchy D'Argent for the Maurice game.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

7th Armor slaps Fallschirmjagers silly!

It seemed like such a quiet and peaceful stretch French country side prefect place for Fallschirmjager Kampfgrupp 'Von' Carriere to rest and refit. Ted and the 7th Armor had very different ideas.

 Initial deployment above with 8.8s held in ambush (Maybe I should have used the Tigers instead)

 Out of a clear blue sky we are attacked by our own Luftwaffe! (Ted was using a proxy for his air support

 Ted let loses a torrent of MG and cannon fire from 10+ tanks using his Recon to remove gone to ground. I lost three infantry teams. My Rockets got one bail and my 8.8 bailed another two tanks (this give you an idea how bad my luck was)
 Ted sent a platoon seeking around the flank my rockets failed to get a single penetration.
 Another furious fusillade of MG and cannon fire reduces my lead FJ platoon to three stands, I failed the Moral check then failed the re-roll with my company command! I really need to switch to confident troops my "fearless" troops always seem to run away.
 My 8.8s got some of there own back with five hits causing two kill and three bails. On the bright side this platoon failed it platoon motivation and its re-roll so both company commanders were off the board!
 Teds Flank move killed my 8.8 most of the cannon shots missed but several MG shots hit and made there Fire power killing this platoon. Ted also killed half my Kamph Grouppe platoon on the 2ic and one of my rockets.  It was only turn 3 and I failed my delayed reserve roll looking over the board and counting the number of MGs and Cannons Ted could bring to bear I knew he would wipe out my short infantry platoon and 2ic forcing a company moral check I could not pass. I offered Ted my hand and congratulation on well executed attack.

Some more pictures to help evaluate the new camera are below, close up this camera is awesome but for taking pictures of the table as a whole... some are great some are less than great.  The camera just does not seem to know were to focus, some times.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Reflections on building a "convention" scenario using Blackpower

I recently developed and ran a scenario for the hobby bunker game day. this was my first effort at running a "convention" game and while I am pleased with how things worked out I made some mistakes and learned a few lessons I would like to share.

1) Do not assume anyone will know the rules.

I think this was my biggest mistake I assumed that since several members of Boston Trained band had played Black Powder that at least one or two would be at my table.  As it was Kermit had some familiarity with the game and helped a lot but there were no experienced players guide the others it was all on me.

2) Less is more.  My play tests did not show the game as being too big but on the game day it was. I think point #1 has something to do with this but noise and harder time constraints contributed as well. If I were doing this again I would make 2 stands = 1 unit rather than 1 stand = 1 unit.  The total number of figures would have been the same (keeping the spectacle of mass that I love for this period) but units would have been halved reducing the dice rolls need to get the same thing done.

 3) Special abilities are great but new players will not know to use them so don't bother with more than one or two per unit.  A lot of the abilities can be simulated by just raising or lowering the commander's rating by 1 up or down, and that is easier for every one to understand. Alternatively other unit stats can be played with to weaken militia or strengthen superior units. This lessens flavor but makes the game more intuitive.

Of the special rules I used Platoon firing I would keep, Tough Fighters I would keep and Elite I would keep but all the others I would drop.

4) Make a turn chart and have it posted so people remember what to do and when. Mark roll for elite recovery(and similar attributes) on that chart or the skill is useless.

 I would be interested in other peoples obervations and thoughts on running games at conventions.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Photos from the new Camera

OK folks let me know if you think these are better, worse or about the same as the old camera produced. I have 14 days to play with this and decided if I want to keep it.  The camera was not my 1st choice but had the virtue of being available. Its 16 MP 10x zoom, it did great with shots of moving wolves (see yesterday's post) so I tried it on some figures when I got home, results are below.

 The Capo Farro Regiment guarding of of D'Argent's many hill top villages.
 This one seems a bit fuzzy but I think you get most of the details.
 Sane shot different angle and less fuzzy
 Close up on the command stand you can really see the lace on the officer and Musician.
 Close up of a 25mm Spanish broad sword buckler man.
 The unit as a whole forming a loose shield wall.
Work in progress Sherman E8 tank.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Wolf Hollow and historic houses

I have a new camera and used it this weekend on a visit to Wolf Hollow in Ipswich MA.  Along the way I also got picuters of some great histric houses in Ipswich and Salem. Here are some historic house for modling/painting insperation.

Above a very cool early American house under construction and below are some private and public early 19th century buildings. 
Below are the wolves.

Wolf Hollow this is Gray wolf sanctuary in Ipswitch MA.  They do a great program providing information on wolf life style and habitat and their role in the enviorment.  I decided to include these pictures because they might help people who are painting wolfs or wolf pelts on thier minatures. Wolf Hollow is well worth the $7.50 admition fee for adults.