23 November, 2013

Warmachine games on FnF

This past Friday saw our group get together for our FNF - Friday Night Fights. "RoyalFalcon" and myself brought our Warmachine and got 2 games in. The first was only 15pts, allowing Royal to try his Farrow out and get a feel for them before we moved up to 25pts. I ran Cygnar. Here is the report on the first game:

The second game was at 25pts and saw Royal's Farrow (Minions) against my Mercs - and I got to try Ashlynn out for the first time:

We called the game at the end due to time(it was approaching midnight) and it was going to be cat and mouse for a while. Overall we learned a lot about Command Checks and terror, and it was a fun, bloody game.



18 November, 2013

Worth a read....Flames of War- Seven Things That Went Wrong With Version 3 - My thoughts.

Interesting read - posted today on House of Paincakes :

Flames of War- Seven Things That Went Wrong With Version 3


I recommend any FoW player should read it through.

This article got me thinking. This may be why I only want to run scenarios or historical based games these days.......we were talking about getting something specific going over the winter at our Friday night games. I am enjoying Warmachine immensely right now, and I don't want to stop play FoW, but tournaments hold 0 appeal to me know. I kind of feel like its a "been there, done that" kind of thing. Not all tournaments in general, just FoW to be honest.

I have always been more interested in campaign/league play. I think some of the appeal to Warmachine for me now is the way Privateer Press runs leagues every quarter, along with regular "Journeyman Leagues" for new players, or people wanting to start a new faction. This is something Battlefront and Flames of War, arguably, is better suited to. Their infantry/tank aces ideas were awesome, if not fully fleshed out. But alas....

Our group, while still mainly a FoW group, has always seemed driven by the next event - a tournament. This is not a "bad" thing. We all know the motivation that comes with having to get models built and painted in time for an event. This coupled with wanting to "test" lists leads to many games getting arranged and played - these are all great things. The rut that this can lead to (speaking about myself here) is always pushing for the next event means one of two options: 1) Take the same lists/army - one that I know works, and I can expect to place well with or 2) Take the new "hotness" that is stronger than option 1, and may make option 1 obsolete. Talk about a choice....
I am not some power creep mad competitive type (at least I don't think I am) but I like to put a good fight, not get rolled over. Flames of War, since version 3, has some clear issues with power creep, specifically in Late War (the most popular time frame, where most events take place). Late War also has most of the gear and models people want to paint and play. Hence the issues mentioned in the article posted above. 

Do I have the answers? No, I have but a few ideas, and they all stem from the mindset of league/campaign player. I think Flames of War really shines when everyone is playing out of the same area - the same setting, locale, lists, and "Front". The game just works better. But it isn't that easy - there is no guarantee that everyone wants to play armies from the books for a specific theater of war.....so it makes it tricky to build a campaign all will want to play in. We were actually discussing this very thing this past Friday, so Dice Devils may be kicking off something soon....

I am also playing more Warmachine, and other games, on a regular basis. I see this as a positive, as it expands my gaming and I am meeting other gamers that are in the area. Infinity is also a solid game that deserves more of my time. All this to say, expect this site to start showing coverage of different games going forward.



05 November, 2013

MOAR Warmachine!

Man I miss this game....

So I am doing something about it. I just ordered in and received :

Alexia Ciannor and the Risen - Mercenary unit

A sweet addition to my fledgling Mercenary army. She can raise fallen warriors to join the ranks, and it adds some cool, creepy flavour to my Mercs. From BattleCollege: "Alexia is essentially a mini warcaster with the risen as her "focus". She can sacrifice a risen to pawn off damage as well as boost attacks and spells. She can also bring living models back as part of her army of undead. She is fearless and the risen are undead so there is no fear of abominations or terrors." How cool is that?!?!!

I am also looking to start Menoth. Having bought, painted, and played the Khador, Cygnar, Legion and now Merc sets, I have a hunch the "BURN THEM ALL!" mentality and synergistic play style of Menoth is something I will enjoy. I also really want to run "jack heavy" and Menoth is the faction to do that with. So I am taking the plunge on yet another faction!

I plan to to keep going with the Mercs as my second Warmachine army, and stick to Legion for when I want to play with Fury. I hope to track my progress on these pages.

Last night I hosted a "let's get back to play this game some more" night and a few of the lads showed up. Joyous Oblivion with his Cygnar, and "TheRoyalFalcon" with his Khador. Pripyat also swung by to check out the action (he has yet to get into the game) and I snapped a couple pics :

It was a close fought game, with both sides loosing all their infantry and leaving just Irusk and his Demolisher chasing Captain Kara Sloan around with only an immobile Hunter for support. Great game guys!

So if Warmachine is something you have even a passing interest in, stay tuned for the upcoming coverage! And trust me, despite all the starter sets and small forces I have, I am still a n00b, and we will be learning all the hard lessons together.



22 October, 2013

Quick Painting Update: DAK

 Hey guys a quick quick update, Over the past 2 weeks, I've been painting like a madman on my EW- MW Germans.   I have quickly blasted through the infantry and got them to a playable state:   In this case, Feldgrau, skin tones, steel, buff coloured helmets.   This is my pre-wash and then hyper detail phase, as seen below.

 Also got this parking lot of armour spray coated in the darker brown scheme.   You see either the very light coloured german desert stuff or the darker brown.  Figurd as my Desert Rats are already teh bright colour, to tone these guys down some.
 For fun, I washed and hyper detailed th HMG platoon.  As usual, all the interesting bits to see are on the back of the models: straps, equipment, etc.

The list I'll be using for Early war practice games is 1550 points (Historicon next year Pt Value)
Schutzen Kompanie HQ
2 units of Schutzen, with AT RIfle, Lt Mortar
1 unit of MG-34s, to be combat attached out if need be.
5 Panzer II Cs
2 units of 8-Rads
2 7.5cm Inf Guns
4 10.5 cm Arty

This is by no means the list I'm going to take to Historicon, as I think it will be a Kradschutzen Kompanie, but I can play around with the stuff I have assembled and in the case of infantry, in a playable state.
Expect a few Batreps up later this week, from RObK's Jock Column and ThunderST's Panhorde!

07 October, 2013

Never to early to start a new Army: DAK

Achtung, Was is Los?

Yep, its been pretty quiet for me on the hobby front since July's excellent trip to Historicon.  However, with next year's Historicon already being announced that it will be Early War 1500 points (maybe 1550), why not start EARLY and get stuff done?  Enter, the Deutsche Afrika Korps, or the DAK for short.  I've actually had a lot of these models for years, for when I wanted to make a Mid-War opposing force for my Desert Rats, but just never got around to it.. things like my Free French project came up, as well as the 21 Pzr army for Late War amongst other things.   The DAK is a great army in that most of the models can be used for both EW and MW.

 Iconic pic of an observer kfz250 from a 10.5cm battery

I'm going to try and document the building and painting of this army as much as I can, some for selfish reasons:  I can never remember what I use down the road, so if I document the steps and colours used, I can add units as I need them.  

I've been pretty busy assembling, see below, my towed 10.5cm arty behind my 2 objectives..

Pre-based, base-coated, awaiting Wash.
Whilst in this pic, we can see I have opted to do the grunt-work of Infantry first.  I always find the infantry is the toughest hurdle for me.    Above are 2 units of Schutzen, with added AT Rifles, Panzerknacker, Light Mortar, and either a pBz41 AT gun or Puppchen.   Add in combat attached MG-34s, and we get some beefy veteran platoons which can form the nucleus of pretty much any list.  I have yet to nail down the colour scheme for my Infantry, though for Basing, I followed the desert basing guide from the FoW site.   I still have to do a wash then highlight with the proper colours.  But for now, they are playable!  And thats what matters.

Catch you guys later this week with an update.. it may or may not have anything to do with FbB getting my order of Pzr IIs in earlier this weekend!

Matt Varnish

22 September, 2013

X-Wing Picture Dump!!

Ok so a few of us have finally got on board the X-Wing bandwagon and are loving it. Relatively cheap to get into ($39.99 CDN) for the starter set makes it very attractive...and lets not be kidding ourselves, who doesn't like to collect cool little ships ;) The game plays smoothly and set up and take down is a breeze, much much faster than most boardgames and infinitely faster than any wargames. Not sure where it got labeled as a game with a long set up time... Anyways, here is some hot X-Wing Action, brought to you by Dice Devils!

15 September, 2013

West Germany + Canada vs Soviet Union, 1986

Of course the Lowenbrau Railcar is an objective!
So we had a Moderns game, with Mark playing West Germans allied with Rob playing (what else) Canadians vs my Soviet Guard Tanks.   The ruleset and army lists are derived from Flames of War version 3, and can be found here: http://stoppingtheredtide.blogspot.ca/   We were running about 2400 points.  You will note that all models aren't painted yet, but at least they are basecoated for the most part.  Rob of course, all his stuff was painted.  As usual, I'll let the videos do the talking (I've included our first Moderns test game video as well..)
Mark's Marders w/ MILAN launchers, and carrying a squad of Panzergrenadiers (somethigns just don't ever change!)
Mark's TOW equipped Jaguars
My 1 infantry platoon (3 BTRs) plus 2IC Command BTR, and Reserve Reluctant Conscript T-55s
Overview of Rob's awesome table.   Opposed corner deployments, 3 objectives.
HQ T-80 (behind tree) and platoon of T-80s hull down on the make sure the enemy armor does not advance untouched.

Marder's dismount troops to claim the gasthaus objective...
..as my own troops advance (top left of pic) as I realize TOW launchers have a TONNE of range!
Rob's Battlefront M113s with QRF TOWs.   Note the correct license plates for West Germany!!
These vehicles would get popped by: Reluctant Conscript T-55s who needed 3 sixes to hit out of 5 shots, and got all 3!
Game 2
Our game, brought to you by the word Mitigate.   We were playtesting a new variant of the Soviet Command structure.  In short, now, when your CO is killed, the 2IC tries to take command, but every unit on the board counts as being pinned (armor included) as the 2IC slowly takes command, units unpin.   If both command teams are dead, the entire force counts as being pinned, but can still try and leave the board, or shoot to get some platoon kills in.   The previous method was:  If the CO dies, and the 2IC does not pass a morale, its game over.  This way there is more confusion, and the Soviet player can still "play for something" rather than pack his models up.

Below is our first test game, ages ago now.


11 September, 2013

Dice Devils Tournament at FdB

Shortly after Historicon finished, I could not wait to play another event. After some talking with the other Devils, we thought partnering up with FdB would be a great thing to do in order to get some more exposure for Flames of War. After discussions with the owners and players in the area, we set a date for the 8th of September. I was super busy at work leading up to the event, but was able to organize most of what I needed to do via email and a few late nights thinking about how much terrain to bring and what the tables would look like. Playing only once in this venue, I didn't know what to expect from FdB. You can see more on the store here at www.boutiquefdb.com

The new(er) location is a brighter space, more room and the host store could not have been better. Sebastien, Francis and Thierry own the store as a hobby and more or less run it in their spare time. One of the key employees that helped with a lot of the small, yet important logisitics was Dave. So all in all, the support we received from FdB was awesome and well above expectations. More on that later! Let's get to some pictures and some of the games.


22 August, 2013

Dice Devils Double Desert FnF

For this past Friday Night Fights, we broke out the desert terrain and went at it under the sun! We had a full house and quite a few games were played, I managed to grab some pics of the games and get a game in against Duane's in progress 'Cromwell' list. 1500 points was the total we went with, this gave everyone over at the house a chance to play. It was an all out slug fest on the camo table with Chris and Marty fielding what must have been 25+ pieces of armor running around the table.

Marty and Chris prepare their forces on the camo desert table.

Duane points out to Tristan that Cromwell's are a 'viable' tank.

Tristan's forces prepare for battle, note the 'bailed out' figures.

The night was fairly quick as we got two games in on one table, while Marty and Chris slugged it out for the whole two and a half hours. I was busy catching up and being a good host, so that means I was a terrible correspondent.....not really sure what either mission was and Duane was testing his list, so he pretty much had German's representing his British Cromwell recon list. Have no fear, his tanks are in the mail! I was able to score him a great deal on the Cromwell recon box for $140! They should be here sometime this week, although likely not in time for this weeks FnF.

Deployments done, now time to fight it out! The game only lasted a few turns.

18 August, 2013

It's Table Time!!

A few weeks ago during Friday Night Fights, there was some discussion about my gaming table and a few of the guys thought it would be good to turn my modular table into a 'how-to' type post for the blog. I took some video and some pictures, so everything you are about to see is easy to do and best of all, CHEAP!! I think I ended up spending maybe $40 for all the wood and the legs for this project. Feel free to leave any questions you may have and I hope a few of you build your own table to use with your mates on your next gaming night!

Materials and Tools Required
  • Wood Glue
  • Wood Saw (Power Saw or Table Saw)
  • #2 Phillips Screwdriver
  • Measuring Tape
  • C-Clamps x3 (I used 3" Spring Loaded Clamps)
  • Wood Screws (At Least 1.5" or 2" Long)
  • (2x) 1"x3"x6' Table Rails
  • (2x) 1"x4"x6' Main Table Support
  • (4x) 1"x2"x4' Crossmember
  • (3x) 1/4"x2'x4' MDF Boards
  • (4x) Removable Legs
The Build
Lay everything out on the floor so you have all the edges lined up and the table ends are FLUSH. I left the center MDF board out so you can see how it should look before you start putting everything together.
Once you have that, take one of the 1"x3"x6' pieces and put glue all the way down the one side as shown in the picture above. Line up the edges of the 1"x4"x6' piece and ensure they are flush before you clamp them in place. Once you have them glued and clamped in place, let them dry for a few hours or as directed by the wood glue you used. I did mine late the night before I built the rest of the table. Go play some World of Tanks or muck about on EasyArmy to kill time!

06 August, 2013

Battlefront Vietnam M113s for mid 80's Cold War Canadians

Bought myself two boxes of the Battlefront Vietnam M113s at Historicon for my mid 80's Cold War Canadian (what else) army that I'm putting together.  The models are fantastic and come with lots of extra bits and pieces.  I was quite keen to get them together and painted before hockey starts, so I devoted the past long weekend to them.  Here is a shot of them before weathering, stowage and a few more guys sticking out of the "family hatch" checking out the frauleins.  I used my airbrush, but as its not a very good one (for 15mm) I used the blue tac method of camouflage painting.  I should have taken a photo of that.  After the last colour is done all you see is a model with a ton of blue tac on it with lots of green paint.  You don't know if it worked out until you peel it all away.  Fortunately, they came out pretty good.  For infantry I'm again using the Battlefront US infantry in Vietnam. In 15mm they look fine as long as I paint on the Canadian flags on the shoulders. I'll update this post when I get a few stands of infantry done. I also want to add "skis" to my QRF Leopards as they are a bit small compared to the BF M113s and skis might make them a bit taller.  There was no way I was going to use QRF M113s as they are such a poor model.  I did use the QRF TOW missile launchers however.  The excellent decals, which really make the Canadian look are from TL Modelbau in Germany.  http://www.tl-modellbau.de/

04 August, 2013

Weekend 'Sitzkrieg'!!

(The poster I designed for the WWPD Forums)
While I can not take credit for the term, 'Sitzkrieg' is a new word that defines a not so new tactic, being employed by mostly infantry based lists in order to win games. These missions are usually the ones where the defender literally has to sit tight for 6 or less than 6 turns while playing out the clock in order to secure an easy victory. While I see the two sides of this dilemma, I can not help but think that sometimes it is on the attacker to simply do what he or she is supposed to do when facing dug in infantry....and that is simply ATTACK!

It's too easy to look across the table a lot of the time and think that all is lost. You have to find a way to dig out Veteran infantry when you are in a tournament. It's a fact that you have to deal with and comes down to aggression and tactics. I am, by no means an expert at Flames of War, but over the course of Historicon and countless games afterwards, I am slowly gaining confidence of simply giving it all that I have to secure a win. Granted, my 82nd Airborne list falls into the 'Sitzkrieg' stereotype, but I have also been on the other end and have had to attack more than defend with this list. Most of those games I did lose, not because I was unlucky. I lost most of those games because I failed to use the rest of my army's assets to their strengths. If you saw my game against Steve Wagner's Panzergrenadiers, I now know that in some cases, shooting some smoke at targets in order to advance my troops would have likely won me that game. In the very least, would have given me a better shot against losing it.
New Desert Table Top

New Table Top Covering
 What do you think of the new tops? I trimmed the desert one a little too much, but it doesn't really show on the table I built. The other camo pattern looks a little 'busy' without terrain on it, but once you add some buildings and roads, it comes off being pretty nice and a lot more interesting than the green game mat I have. While the desert material is a little tougher, the one below is a little stretchy, I might stretch it over the 2'x4' 1/4" MDF boards that I use. Then they are permanently setup and can be placed on my modular gaming table, or the spare six foot table I use for when we have two games. I don't host very often, but lately people have been willing to come out and play in my workshop. It's slowly becoming a hideaway to get out of the house and roll some dice. I have a small TV setup in there on my workbench for movies, and my beer fridge is only a short walk to the side door of my basement. The way my house is built, this setup offers a little more room for two tables believe it or not.
Weekday game vs. Scotty. My Germans against his 11th Armored.

Panzer IV's pressing the center of the table!

Panzer IV Commander rolls by two of his victims to secure the objective!

It was pretty nice to play two games this week. The first I played against Scotty's 11th armored, and he gave me a run for my money. All in all, it was a fun game that went down to 10 minutes left on the clock and I came out on top to win. He was a little irritated to find I had Tiger's in my list and Panzer IV's to back them up. He used arty, Firefly's and a clever M-10 ambush to dispose of my Tiger Commander on the first turn!! So, for the rest of the game he had to cruise around in a Panzer IV. The more I look at my Panzer IV's the more I dislike how they are painted. I got some PSC Panzer IV's a LONG while back so I could make a decent Panzergrenadiers list with them. It was also a time where I was not painting that much. Look for them to get a touch up!
Tigers roll into the 82nd's defenses.

Counter Assault!! 82nd knock out two Tigers!!

My second game and the one I had the most fun playing was against Duane. We rolled up Dust Up I think, and it played to time and Duane came away with the win. We were back and forth for a while and in the end, I ran out of armor and he was able to take the center objective to secure the victory. We each took heavy losses. He lost his 'King' Tiger on the North Eastern objective, I made a push with Fireflys and Shermans, but could not dig out his infantry without taking on a few of his Panther tanks as well. I had to choose, I chose to try and kill the armor first. I did that with four shots on his second last Panther, Duane had one on the center objective and if he got to his turn, then he wins. I had a last ditch effort to break his Company morale. His IC was dead, so I hit one of the two Panthers with long range Firefly shots. I missed with the first two shots, but re-rolled because I was outside 16" for Indirect Fire. I hit both shots, he saved one and the other one I had a chance to 'pop' him. No dice, only bailed him out. All was not lost, in the Assault Step I decided to leave the safety of my foxholes and took out his bailed Panther. He needed to pass a test, he did. Duane's turn, he wins. At least it was close! The game ended, was a 3-4 loss.
Three bombs fall, narrowly missing their targets!!

The Germans push for the center!

82nd Airborne reserves arrive, making a push in the face of MG fire!

Stalled British armor, move in slowly as to expose themselves to Panther fire!

The lone Panzerkampfwagen V sits on the objective for the win!

01 August, 2013

Operation Overlord

Trying to get in as many games as possible has been difficult as of late. With all the Historicon prep time, I missed out on the bulk of the campaign. I tried to get some more bat reps in with my doubles partner, but had issues with the reports being submitted twice. So here are two solo reports on games that I played at Historicon against the only two Axis opponents I had during the event. The club will likely get together this Friday and get some more games in so we can do some more write ups if required.

Hold the Line vs Steve Wagner (German Panzergrenadiers)

The mission was simple, the layout did not leave me many options to attack without getting hammered each turn by arty or air attack.
The only option in the early going, was to leave the woods and move towards the objective I placed on the bottom part of the deployment area. I drove my armor alongside to support the infantry, yet lost one to artillery fire in the process.
 To the north, the 82nd attempted to swing around the side and give the Germans something else to shoot at. They did better than expected and inflicted more wounds to the incoming Americans! Here you see the second platoon of tanks laying in waste as their commander continues to drive forward!!
 Consistent air attack was key if the Germans were to hold and secure the win.
In the late stages, the Americans finally inflicted a casualty. Some long range shots from my Firefly's were able to knock out this Hummel. Steve sprang his Pak-40 ambush and destroyed the remaining armor platoon that was supposed to be supporting my push to the objective. By this time, we were down to only a turn or two until TIME was called.
The end result on turn 5, was being only inches from the objective, but Steve was able to close to 4" as well with his infantry protruding from the relative safety of the woods. I really could have done better in this game had I simply smoked his AT guns and take the risk of simply over running the objective a little earlier, before he could re-act to my movements. I was simply overwhelmed by 10 German platoons of opposition and not playing the 82nd Airborne as they deserve to be played. Speed and violence of action would have given me a different result. In this case, it was a 1-6 loss.

Game 2
Counterattack vs Russ (Panzerspah!!)

Expecting a massive counter attack, the 82nd Airborne dig in one objective, they lie in wait as their reserves try and take the German objective to their North-West.

Early in this game, the P-47 air support was able to track and target an advancing column of Panzer IV tanks. All but one of the Huns' tanks were destroyed in the bombing attack.
The armored Guards platoon looks down the road and ready themselves to lay waste to any enemy tanks that attempt to drive towards the left flank.
At this moment in time, I was only a turn or tow away from reserves, where I would make the Germans force themselves into making a choice to defend an objective with a small Recce platoon and attempt to over run the 82nd's position on the other side of the hill. The Germans came over the hill in mass and attempted to rout the Americans!
Looking at this while I took pictures, I definitely felt a little overwhelmed and for sure thought all had been lost, the 82nd would have to give ground back to the Germans. I was able to bring my armor from the left flank and my 57mm Anti-Tank platoon acted as a great deterrent to make the enemy think twice before charging in their with all his armor. The Marders and Luchs of the 'Spah company certainly came over the hills in numbers, but quickly their numbers fell to Anti-Tank, bazooka and long range shots from my armored platoon.
The end result of this game, if you caught the video in a previous post was 4-3 for the Americans.

A "small" diversion...

 BATTLTECH! This was my first miniature game. As I mentioned in my last post, Battletech holds a dear place in my hobby heart. I remember do...