Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Post Christmas update

Hope every one had a good Holiday.
It was a pretty exciting one for us being Evelyn's first and our first in the new home.
We had an Ice storm on Saturday
and a snow storm Monday so I spent a lot of what should have been brush time "playing" with my snow blower.  No miniatures for me this year but I still got a bunch of stuff that will be helpful with the new house.
I did get a Trail camera and I'm very excited to set it up and see who is hanging around when we aren't looking.
I did get in some painting time on Tuesday with my little painting pal (Ariana was at work).  I'm making progress on the Dark age Irish and my first bonus entry but don't have a photo of the WIP... Next time more miniatures and less of the mini-me.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Rommel Operation Battle Axe Day 2

 John and I met for our second game using Rommel.  The scenario assumes a historical result on the first day.  This time I as playing the Brits while John had the Jerrys.
 Oh my 8.8s on Hafid ridge!  Lovely paint job John!
 I very historically lead with my chin,  I mean armor I roll badly so despite the flanking bonus
 the Jerrys send my tanks tumbling back on the right flank.
 On the left the advance is lead by guards and Indians moving to the cover the flanks of the men at 'Fort' Capuzzo.
 I manage to throw back Johns initial counter thrust and hit several of his "tipped" (disorganized) units on my turn.
 I do some damage but nothing too significant.
 Guards and the 4th Indian division approach Hellfire pass.
German reinforcements arrive and strike my weakened right flank.
 Heavy fighting in the center around 'fort' Capuzzo  the Germans are driven back.
 British troops take Hellfire pass crushing the Italian troops in the process.
 I launch an attack that at the time I said would either be a disaster or win me the battle (I was wrong on this point)
 My Matildas waltz in smashing damaged panzer battalion and take the German supply point.  Placing John under some fairly heavy restriction (though not as bad in reality as we played them due to a misunderstanding. )
 British troops begin an all out assault on the town fortified by the Italians.
 But the Germans (despite poor supply) drive back the British form an objective on the right...
 Indian troops continue to grind down the Italians I think I could have taken this objective if I had had one more turn but it was getting late the Germans have three other objectives (including one of mine) so my performance was better than the historical result but still a German victory.
 German/Italian losses were significantly higher than Commonwealth losses (perhaps John will report out in the comments).  I did suffer heavy losses among my Cruiser and Crusader tanks but only Two infantry battalions were lost... this should put me in a better shape when we revisit this and play day 3.  We played 7 of 8 turns and had to end as I had to get home and relieve my wife who had Evelyn by her self.  

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Honorbound: The Homelands

While a student at Marquette University  I took part in a D&D campaign that became the springboard for a long running series of adventures.  My roll was fairly short as I graduated and then moved home but I kept in touch and even helped a bit with writing things up. Christian the DM and world creator did a series of books.  I got a copy of the frist one as a thank you for my small (very small) contributions.
For some reason my copy survived and other peoples did not.  I recently found my copy when I was packing for the move.  This was timely as Christian committed suicide this past summer.   I hadn't been in contact with Christian for some time. I saw him on Facebook and we occasionally talked there and had many friends in common.  The homelands were an interesting setting a culture that was a mix of Scandinavian and Native American elements.  One aspects was the presence of spirits (minor supernatural powers) that interacted with human.  They even interbred with humans my character (a Wizard named Norrind Glimmersson) had a gold spirit as a grandmother.  It was a tremendously fun campaign that I would love to go back and play in again...

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Challenge 8 Preview

I'm actually planning ahead this year.  I have one specific army project I would like to do, a terrain project and the Bonus rounds.
The Army project is to build an Irish/Norse Gaels specific army I have 46 (if my count is right) Dark Age Irish from Footsore miniatures in hand or on their way.  They should work out to about 230 points not counting any extras I get for painting quality, basing and banners (I have an idea for Brian Boru that might score some extra points).   This great since this one project gets me almost half way to my goal.
I've even made up a few banners for my Irish forces I'll say more about these later.
Bonus rounds get you 50 points each plus the points of the figures I have plans for all for them (though in some cases I'm not sure which plan).  That should net me another 275 points(assuming at least one 25mm figure each) for 505.  I don' want to tip my had on these so no images at this time
The terrain project, the Bones Mausoleum, should score at least 40 points its my cushion in case I miss submission deadline for the bonus rounds.
I've launched the new parent side duel I'm racing two other "new" dads (kids under 3) to our respective point goals.  I hope this will help motivate me to work quickly but we will see. If I loose I'll glad pay up.  We'll have to see how much painting my little "helper" lets me get done

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Rommel Opteraiton Brevity

Last Thursday (11/30) John introduced me to Rommel a game by Sam Mustafa.  I'm always interested in Sam's games(I've enjoyed Maurice, and Longstreet is an all time favorite of mine) and Rommel might well prove to be another winner.  Rommel is an operational level game where units represent companies or battalions an you the play are in the roll of the Brigade or Division (or perhaps higher) commander.  We played Operation Brevity which is available on Sam's website (link above)
Same usually has some innovative command and control arrangement and here its something similar to a Saga Battle board (though John tells me the Honor Forums looks with distaste on this name). You spend dice to move and to get special modifiers for an attack.  the Modifiers are lost once used until you reset your board by rolling smaller pool of dice (3 instead of 6)
John and I had quite a back and forth dessert battle going.  I focused on holding two of the three objective while smacking any British unit I thought was exposed.
One of the aspects of this game that I liked is that even out classed units like Italian Infantry are had to destroy in an Alpha Strike.  They usually do some damage and take a few turns to destroy via attrition this seems very real. They may not hold the ground but they don't just vanish.
John's attack stalled in the center but he was able to mass troops on the right and after a few attempts smashed his way through to the objective.
I used several of my tactical abilities to hit his tanks when they were in a vulnerable position on the rough ground.  I hit them hard but John's armor was just strong enough to hang on. He was able to move up infantry the following turn giving him the win.   I enjoyed the game quite a bit, it reminded me of the old PC game "Panzer General"  if your looking for a game where you get to be a general instead of a Sargent, Captain or Major (like Bolt action, Chain of command or Flames of war, all good games mind you) this might be the game you are looking for.

Friday, December 1, 2017

Amhers (NH) Maker Space Game Day

My friend Dave organized this event and it was a smashing success. We are already looking at a date in January.
 I started the day playing some Victorian Science fiction games helping the Venusian natives repel British Imperialists.
This game attracted many players so after a few turns I bowed out to play in Dave's Frostgrave: Salem.
 I played a which hunter and successfully killed Frank's witch.
I also helped Dave's Magistrate liberate insure the captured witch was delivered for "enhanced interrogation."
 In the afternoon I ran my Gunfight on the Arctic Circle and Frank made a gallant effort to battle his way past Dave Soucy and the USS Washington.
 Both sides suffered heavily during the closing phase of the action it was a bad day to be in a US or Geman Destroyer.
 Yes as a last effort the Tirpitz actually did try to launch torpedoes at the Washington, but sank beneath the waves before the action could be completed.

Sorry for the delay on this report its been a busy time.  You can see additional pictures on my facebook page  Another event is planned for January.

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Challenge 8 (Ate) planning

So this year: "Challenge VIII (or 'Challenge Ate') is dedicated to our most cherished, or feared, monstrous things."  A great theme though it makes me wish I hadn't done this fellow over the summer
Because He would have been perfect! Oh Well, my Bones III set has plenty of monster types to use.
I've put in my application email and have been accepted.

So there are new wrinkles to the program this year. First of all in the past we have been asked to send Curt a miniature in tribute and he would donate to the local animal shelter.  This Year Curt is letting us pick a charity to donate to.  So my plan is to pick something probably a 25/28mm figure (probably bones) auction it off on eBay and donate what ever I get to ExtraLife a charity I am already raising money for.
The second wrinkle is the addition of terrain to the mix this year.  That's rather exciting as I have some terrain project that need work and this might just be the push I need.  These include the mausoleum I got from the Bones III kickstarter.

The Bonus rounds this year look interesting:

'Flight' (January 6th submission / displayed January 7th / voting results January 14th)
--- Lots of options here air craft, space ships, winged monsters, birds, super heroes.  Should be fun to see what people come up with.  I am undecided.

'BFG: Big Freakin' Gun' (January 20st submission / displayed January 21st / voting results January 28th)
--- Another one that has lots of possible option that I can't wait to see.  I may have to get creative... as I don't have any cool artillery projects (and since I'm trying not to buy any thing new).  Still creatively interpreting the themes is a challenge tradition so I am sure I can come up with something.

'Music/Musician' (February 3rd submission / displayed February 4th / voting results February 11th)
---This time I know exactly what I am doing here and its the perfect excuse to pint these miniatures only concern I have is lots of people probably have the same set sitting in their lead mountain.  

'Childhood' (February 17th submission / displayed February 18th / voting results February 25th)
--- Bones has provided me with an excellent set of miniatures to use for this project!

'Monstrous' (March 3rd submission / displayed March 4th / voting results March 11th)
--- I have some ideas for this one all coming from my Bones III set.  I can't wait to see what the really good painters of the challenge do for this one.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Hobby Storage Unit

My wife Ariana found this on a Facebook yard sale site for $15.00.  I picked it up the other day. 
Its home made with lots of draws about 3 or so feet tall. 
The draws are subdivided into small trays that can be removed and reordered.  This will be a great combination bitz box, supply storage and a good place to stash figures I am painting but have to put aside for some reason.  

Friday, November 10, 2017

Painting Challenge #8

Its November Which means we are weeks away from the start of winter here in New England and the start of the 8th Analogue hobbies painting challenge around the world.  I'm being a little presumptuous because Curt the Great Snow Lord has not yet officially announced the challenge for this year but it seems likely to happen.  
Pike and shot troops form last year's Challenge
I'm planning to take part again this year my 4th challenge(?!) so I guess that makes me a regular or maybe just crazy. With Evelyn and a new house to look after I'm lowering my point totals. I'm thinking 500 is a reasonable target.  I have the miniatures but I might not have the time to clime higher than that.
So what am I planing paint you ask?  I've got a number of miniatures that I hope will provide some more specific character to my Norse-Gale and Irish Armies for Saga.
I also have a TON of Bones miniatures that should prove useful for bonus rounds and general painting.   I've also got a bunch of US Great War miniatures and 2018 would be the perfect year to paint them only problem is I have no projects to use them for.
My Friends in Maine will have another project relating to the Huzzah! convention that I am sure I will volunteer to paint for (and hopefully not regret doing so).