Sunday, December 6, 2015

Jumping back into the realms of fantasy

This entry marks my 100th posts thus far.  When I originally started this blog, I didn't think it would've last this long or have this many posts.  I figured I would've gotten bored with it by now, but it seems I'm still trucking along and judging by my numbers, people are still interested in seeing my stuff, which is awesome.  I'm still motivated to do this blog, maybe not as much as first, but I have a vested interest in continuing it.  We'll see where the next 100 posts brings us....

Now that that's out of the way, lets get down to business.  Frostgrave..... at first I didn't pay much attention to it, but after a friend pointed it out to me and expressed interest in playing, it gave me an excuse to jump on the bandwagon and check it out.  Now I haven't played a game yet, but I've been pouring over the rulebook and watching vids on youtube, so I think I have a pretty good grasp on the flow of it.

Starting off, I wanted to get the "official" miniatures, so I ordered a box of soldiers from North Star, put together nice mix of soldiers and started painting.  Here's where I'm at so far....

So I got 5 of them done so far.  One thief, one thug, one arms-man, one archer, and one crossbow-man.  It's pretty rounded for a starting warband and I mainly wanted to get my basic starting troops done.  I have until the beginning of January to get the rest of them painted up, and I'm about 50% completed with the wizard and apprentice.  All in all, they're fun to paint up.  I had to plan my paint schemes a little more than usual just because each miniature has about 3 layers of clothing.  I do like the way they turned out.

And what Frostgrave game is complete with nasty NPC's running around?

Just some quick skeletons to add a bit of chaos into the games.  These particular skeletons are from Wargames Factory and currently unavailable until Warlord Games starts distributing them.  I have a few more I'd like to get painted up before my first game.

Until next time!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

German Grenadiers

As the title above would suggest, I managed to take some pictures of my army I brought to Operation Sting this past weekend.  It's a small force, but with being done in under a month I'd say they look pretty good.  I apologize to any history buffs out there if my colors are off from how they really were.  I was following the box art as best I could.  Anyhew, here's what I managed to splatter paint on.

And now for individual pieces.  Up first is my armor I managed to get done... the Puma and StuH 42.  These two were actually the first time I really got to use my airbrush for the bulk of the work.

Up next is all my grunt infantry men, taken in two sets.  Some of you might have seen these guys in an earlier post, but  think with proper lighting you should be actually able to see the details.

Next is my medium mortar crew and my spotter for them.


My sniper team is up next.

And my Lieutenant and Medic....

And as a special bonus, here is my objective marker that was required for the tournament.  I'm really pleased with the way he turned out.  I thought Warlord's paintjob didn't do the model justice.  He looks so much better in browns than he does in a blue and yellow.

So that's the army.  It's a bit small for 1000 points, but with the time constraints I didn't have a whole lot of options for a whole lot of list building and customization.  I basically whatever I could grab and paint in the army starter kit, plus two metal blister packs.  I also think having a lack of understanding the gaming mechanics when I was building the army limited my selection.  I'll get more into the gaming side of this army in a paragraph or two.

The painting was a lot of fun.  A bit grueling with having to speed up my usual pace and cut corners I wouldn't normally, but I think they turned out as a high table-top quality army which is what I was aiming for.  Again, this was my first time utilizing my Patriot 105 airbrush to do the bulk work of priming and basecoating.  It really made doing large surfaces such as the Puma and StuH a whole lot easier.  Getting the right consistency with your paint seems to be the trick along with learning proper trigger control.  It seems easy when you watch a demo video of professionals using an airbrush on youtube, but when it's in your hand, it's difficult to get the feel for it.  Also, switching between colors and cleaning up is a bit of a chore.  I think if I want to start detailing models with highlights and whatnot, the patriot 105 isn't going to cut it.  Painting camo was also pretty new for me.  After a bit of research mixed with a bit of trial and error, it pretty easy to get an effective result.  All in all I'd say it's a solid looking army.

When it comes to gaming, I came into it thinking my elite infantry would never die, or they'd be able to hold they're ground against multiple units at the same time.  I loaded them up with assault rifles, and could knock off 20 rounds in a single.  What I miscalculated is with Bolt Action you could have the most elite forces on the field, but once they're getting targeted by multiple enemies, they're effectiveness  goes down considerably.  Also, a lucky heavy mortar hit can turn your unit of 10 elites into cannon fodder as simply as if they were cheap inexperienced troops.  This actually happened to me twice in a single game, and it sucked.  With tournament play, you want a more balanced force with lots of order dice.  When you get an objective mission, your small elite forces are utterly useless as it only takes a unit or two to start stacking PIN's on them while your enemy sends one of his bargain bin units to scoop up all the objectives.

The Puma was either extremely effective, or got targeted and blown up the first or second turn.  Maybe it's because I tried to be overly aggressive with it?  Probably.  I spent most of my games during Operation Sting on defense which allowed my opponents to dictate the flow of the game.  This was mainly due to the low amount of order dice.

The only game I did managed to win was mainly due to table side and terrain.  It was one of those games where you have to defend your base in the corner of your side of the table while blowing up your opponents base by getting an infantry unit in touching range.  My opponent had to slog thru almost a foot and half of rough terrain while I was able to focus a good portion of my force behind cover and in front of the objective and just slow down his advance.  He defended his base with inexperienced troops, machine guns, and other specialty troops designed to set up a shield wall around his base.  Like I said, I managed to put the bulk of my force on defense, and used one of my elite infantry squads to skim over to his side, using the terrain on the way to block most of his shots.  I managed to take minimal damage getting within a striking range, assaulting his weak troops in hand to hand combat which utterly decimated them, followed by consolidating right next to the object.  It was a really fun game.

I think when Adepticon comes around, I'll be adding more bulk riflemen, a flame thrower, and switching my HE up a little to something that's more my suitable to my army.  I really do think quantity over quality would suit my play style.  Maybe something like 11-13 order dice would allow me to have some control over the flow of game.  It's something I'm going to ponder on in the up and coming weeks.

Anyway, I hope you all enjoy the pictures..

Monday, October 12, 2015

Operation Sting 2015

This past weekend was Operation Sting 2015 (if the picture directly above didn't give it away).  Basically, this is the tournament that used to be Bilbo's Birthday Bash that's now the fantastic Warlord Game's WWII small squad base skirmish game, Bolt Action.  While I'm sad that Lord of the Rings SBG scene is pretty much dead in my local area, I'm happy to see another game taking it's place that's equally fun.  Don't get me wrong, I love the universe of The Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit and I still think it's a very fun game, but with GW hammering the final nails in the coffin for every system other than 40k, I'm happy to see other game company's filling the voids.  I think Warlord Game's has really hit a home run with this system.  Lots of choices, easy rule system to grasp, and lots of fun to play in both a home and tournament setting.

So Operation Sting 2015.  I pretty much spent the bulk of all my free time in September and October (thus far) prepping for this tournament.  I managed to finish up everything around 4am the day of, managing a few hours of sleep then off to the hotel for registration by 9am.  I wasn't sure what to expect from this event going into it.  I had a demo game under my belt, so I was a bit shakey on the rules, not really understanding how the H.E. and armor mechanics worked.  I had read over the rule book a few times but as with most games, you have to see it in action to fully grasp the concepts (at least for me anyways).

As I walked in, I recognized a lot of faces and after my first game, I basically had all the rules down.  It took my tank and puma getting blown up a few times to understand how they work.  All the opponents I played against were great guys and it was the first tournament where I had no issues with someone arguing rules or anything like that.  Maybe it was because I was naive to the rules going into it, but all my opponents helped me when I didn't understand something and happily asked any questions I had.  Granted, I walked away with a score of 1-4-0, but hey.... at least I won 1 game.

I do have to thank my friend Brent for running an awesome tournament (as always).  He always runs an awesome event and this one didn't disappoint.

So enough blabbering.... you probably want to see some pictures right?  Well, I took a few pictures.  First up are some of the awesome tables we got to play on.

There were 12 tables total, but I only managed (remembered) to take pictures of these table.  I have to say the sub table was just amazing.  I really like the feel of the entire table.  Reminds me of something out of Wolfenstein.  It's a shame I didn't get to play on it but it was amazing to just look at.

Up next are the armies I managed to get some pictures of.  I apologize for some of the blurry pictures.  I didn't have my HD setting set on my phone when I took them.

I wish I would've gotten a better picture of Chris's army.  The custom built H.E. was amazing

All of these above armies looked great.  I wish the pictures I took did them justice.  The next two armies are by my two favorite painters in our local scene.

The above army is by John over at . His armies are always a visual treat to look at.  The display looks amazingly professional and you could really tell he spent a lot of time on this.  You never disappoint John, awesome job!

The above army took top honors and rightfully so.  Jeremy over at painted this army and display.  What can be said about the above?  It's an amazing piece and like I stated right off the bat, took top honors rightfully so.  I love the mix of British and Arabian soldiers and the camo on the vehicles looked awesome.  The background mural on the display was definitely a nice a touch as well.  I have a few ideas rolling around in my head on how to de-throne you next year.  Awesome job man.

So that's it for now.  You might be asking "Where the hell is your army Dave?".  Well, I plan on doing another blog post on that in the next few days along with a deeper analysis on how to improve the army composition as a whole, so stay tuned for this.  Take it easy and keep painting!