Sunday, 24 April 2016

NetEpic Battle Report Guard-v-Space Wolves

As part of my ongoing effort to use my games table more I finally managed to pin down my friend Rich for a game of NetEpic - it's only taken about 4 years since our last one.

Back in the 90's, Epic was my favourite game of all the GW systems. At the time it was one of the main systems they supported with releases every couple of months. It was a good time. Of course, eventually they canned the line but Epic left me with a lingering love of mass battles and 6mm games. I always think it is a brilliant scale for large scale warfare, allowing hundereds of infantry and dozens of tanks on a normal table - all at a reasonable cost.

Back to Epic. NetEpic is a fan based spin off of my beloved 2nd Edition Epic. I've only played it once before and enjoyed it and always wanted to play more.

My army is Imperial Guard. In epic, you choose your troops using company cards as the main formation, each one of which allows you to take 5 support cards. So I chose a mechanised infantry company, a Leman Russ company and an artillery company. I added a detachment of heavy infantry to screen the artillery company, a thunderbolt squadron, a hellhound squadron, two sentinel squadrons and a shadowsword super heavy tank.

Rich ran a Landraider company, a grey hunter company, a thunderhawk, some attack bikes and a squadron of Thunderbolts as well. 

Here is a picture of the board layout:

I would be deploying to the right of this picture, Rich to the left. We each put down three objectives and off we went. Deployment was alternated unit by unit. This was my left flank, where I planned for the main punch to come. The idea was for the Russ company with air support to move forward and push through whilst the artillery company cleared the way.

 I deployed my mech company in the centre to push on the town and my two sentinel squadrons on the right as a delaying force.

In the first turn, things went slowly. As we gradually wrestled with the rules, it took a while to achieve anything. From a game perspective, my thunderbolts proved themselves by flying forward and strafing a few landraiders out of exisistence, something the artillery had failed to do.

In the centre we both sent mechanised forces forward and occupied buildings. The exchange of fire was fairly non commital, and the left flank was also fairly quiet.

In turn 2, things certainly heated up. The Russ company took loses from advancing Land Raiders, but more worrying Rich's Thunderhawk dropped a detachment of grey hunters in the middle of my artillery company:

In the centre there was more jostling for space and exchanges of fire, with both sides taking losses, though I had the worse of it. Over on the right there was more moving around, with the sentinels being engaged by the attack bikes, but holding their own.

The fight amongst the artillery company was short, brutual and one sided, with all three bombards falling. However, my screening platoon of heavy infantry did their intended job, about facing and destroying the attacking marines.

As a final note, I was realising how effective Thunderbolts could be so I managed to take out all three of Richs:

Turn 3 was all we managed to complete for this game, and we didn't quite finish this either. By the end of the turn, my Russ company was really suffering and not making ground, the situation in the middle was not much changed and the right my Sentinels were all but wiped out.

The left flank, where my Russ company is noticable by its absent. The ray of hope was was that Rich's infantry was running away from the hellhound squadron and its flamers:

The centre, I held two buildings and Rich only one, but his was the objective and in the top right you can see a landraider detachment advacing to cause issues:

Thr right flank. The only ray of hope here was my thunderbolts shooting accross the table and about to engage the Landraiders. Sadly, we had to pack up before they got to fine:

And that is how it was left. Rich held more objectives then me so was the nominal winner. Had the game continued, I suspect Rich had more heavy units than me and would have used them to push forward. However, he thought my superior numbers would overwhelm him, especially because he thought my Thunderbolts would wizz about taking out a detachment per turn, which they had done so far in the game to be fair.

Overall a great game. I need to get some anti air painted up to free my Thunderbolts up for ground attack - they were my stars. Also, my screening force for the artillery company worked well. Sure, they took losses but witout the them the marines would have rampaged through the artillery company with ease - wiping it out.

Both Rich and I are hoping to get a game a month in, and not just in Epic. We are both 6mm fans, and there is talk of Napoleonics, modern and WW2, so who knows! 

Thursday, 21 April 2016

Salute 2016 Swag

As I mentioned in my previous blog, I had saved some spending money for salute. Without further delay, here is my swag from the day.

Couple of Osprey books, hopefully going to provide some guidance and inspriation for my current early war focus:

 Bit of a spontaneous purchase, some of the new Late Romans from Gripping Beast. Looks like Late Romans will be my second Hail Ceaser army, not that I have started the first yet:

Halftrack mortar carrier for my Bolt Action Germans. I'll be honest, I bougth this more for the model than anything else. 

Footsore Miniatures Late Romans. I bought these just to paint as they look like lovely models, but I guess they'll go with the Gripping Beast stuff:

I've been eyeing up Baccus stuff for years and finally took the plunge. 6mm has a special place in my heart, and here we have 288 British Napoleonic Infantry and around 150 WW2 Germans. All very small and hopefully very quick to paint. 

A 20mm trench system from Ironclad Minatures. Another spontaneous purchse, but lovely terrain and all three feet of very detailed trenchline in solid resin for less than £30. Bargain.

 An armoured car for my 20mm Poles from First to Fight:

Another cheap, random purchase, some 15mm goblins. Bought because I though they looked cool and no other reason. 

A purchse from the excellent Empress Miniatures. Some more Taliban and Insurgents for modern gaming. 

Trees! A little purchase from S&A Scenics to jazz up the gaming table. Hopefully the start of some terrain for the table. 

A far haul over all and will keep me busy for a while. My unpainted mini count has taken a massive hammering, with this pushing me up to +588 unpainted mini's. I best get busy!

Monday, 18 April 2016

Salute 2016

For a change this year, the biggest wargames show of the year fell on a rest day for me. A rare occurence, I took full advantage and after recruting a friend for some company, we set of for a day's shopping, browsing and driving (366 miles in one day in the end).

I've been to Salute once before, about 3 or 4 years ago, and based on that I was excited and looking forward to this. I had saved up a decent shopping budget and just stealed myself for a tiring but fun day.

And how did I find it? Well, to be fair, I realised how much my gaming habits had changed. The last time I went I was a sci-fi/fantasy gamer and found myself spending time at all these types of traders. This time, I found myself walking past them. It really re-affirmed that I am now a pretty much a fully fledged historical gamer with at best a side line in sci-fi. I suspect this is in the most part due to my falling out of love with 40k and it's arms race style approach.

Aside from that, I noticed a few other trends. 28mm and 15mm dominated, with the other scales not really that strongly represented. I found this disappointing as I was hoping to get a lot of 20mm stuff but there was not that much choice in the end, though there were a few smaller companies offering nice stuff. I certainly found the smaller stores interesting as they offered something different. I lost count of how many stores were selling historical that was just Warlord/Rubicon and a few others. There was also a strong trend for licencsed games - I saw Marvel, Aliens-v-Predator, Terminator and Halo.

Overall, I did enjoy it. It didn't feel as cramped as last time I went and I didn't feel rushed to get around. There were queues at some stores, for example the scrum at Prodos games was the only thing that stopped me buying some Colonial Marines. Ok, I know they are sci-fi but they were stunning sculpts and I was going to get some just for painting. A few of the bargain bin stores were also swamped.

In the end, it took us until late afternoon to wonder around and do our shopping so I never really looked at all the games properly, though I was surprised at the lack of effort of some (I saw one demo game of Zombicide for example using unpainted mini's - a poor effort for a big show I thought). I suspect Salute is so big you either shop or game and which ever one you choose means the other will suffer.

Would I go again? Yes, I think I might, but it would depend a lot on how many other shows I could get to. The two Partisans and Hammerhead are a short drive for me so if one year I could get to them, I think Salute would not get a look in. This year, I would need to use leave to get to them, so Salute got a look in.

I will get a blog post up with my swag in a few days, but here are the few pics I snappen on the day. Strangely mostly sci-fi! I think mainly because they are more eye-catching and out there.

Battlestar Galactica. No idea where they got the minis but they were awesome, each Battlestar was about a foot long. 

Tasy looking game of Team Yankee. 

Some spaceships for Shattered Void, a game I believe is being play tested locally. I wasn't that fussed about the game but these figures were very pretty.

The giant drop zone commander ship. Huge, and just worth a picture, even though, again, the game doesn't interest me. 

Some of the upcoming Clockwork Goblin stuff for Konflict '47, a Bolt Action add on. Bolt Action remains a game I like when I want a Hollywood blockbuster style game - brainless but fun! So these I think could find there way into my collection. 

The most impressive game I thought. 40mm napoleonics with hundreds of figures. I really should have taken more photos of this - I believe it won best in show. 

A 6mm modern game. Looked better than it photographed, but I have a soft spot for 6mm I just can't shake. 

Some ships for the upcoming Dropzone Commander fleet action game. Again, not sure I will ever play this game but these mini's were probably the best spaceship mini's I have ever seen. 

So there are my thoughts on the day at large. Good day out, and plenty of stuff bought to be getting on with. Keep an eye out for my next post, where you get to see what I bought.

Wednesday, 13 April 2016

Ride of the Uhlans!

As those of you who follow my face book page will know, I have not painted cavalry in any scale before. So I have to admit part of my attraction to doing a 1939 Polish force was to push myself and include cavalry, as I like the look of them, just not the idea of painting them.

Since this force is intended for Battlegroup, you can take whole platoons of cavalry for the Poles, including support weapons. I started with a pack of 6, mixed evenly between lancers and sabres, again from Early War miniatures. Support options will come much later, along with dismounted troops.

I found them to be lovely little models, and they painted up simply enough. The riders especially where done in no time at all, whilst I did invest a little more time in the horses (but still only maybe 20 minutes per horse in total).

So here are the picture. I think you'll agree these have come out really well.

And now for the whole squad of 6:

I am very chuffed with these! They have pushed my out of my comfort zone and the results are well worth it. Although there are no more cavalry in the queue currently, I will sooner or later add two more squads at least. I will most probably do a squad of brown horse, then one of black and mix them up from there.

All feedback is appreciated, I hope you like them as much as I do! 

In othre news, got quite a busy work hobby wise. Games of NetEpic and Bolt Action on my gaming table, meaning I am fulfilling one of my key aims this year, as well as a trip to the mighty Salute. That is likely to be a tiring and expensive day out. I will be taking my camera so look out for blog entries on what I see and what I buy, as well as more Poles in the pipe line. 

Friday, 8 April 2016

Gaming in our Pyjamas

For the whole of her little life, my daughter has had a daddy who plays with toy soldiers. She has known no different, but for most of her life not paid too much attention (she was taught at an early age not to touch my models without asking). However, the last year or so she has been paying more and more attention. She has joined me for some painting (which is just her slapping pink all over some one piece Skaven I got her), and she lost interest in that quite quickly. 

But recently, since her fifth birthday, she has been paying more and more attention to what I do. She is, by her very nauture, an inquisitive little soul, and this applies to toy soldiers just as much as anything else. I've been promising her a little game for a while. And since we were having a lazy pyjama day, it turned out today was the day. 

I decided not to do anything too drastic. I used what fantasy forces I had painted, and gave us each two units of ten troops and one unit of ten archers. The rules were simple:

4+ to move a unit
4+ to hit
5+ saving throw
Biggest unit strikes first (or, in the case of equal size, my daughters unit went first!)
Everyone moves 6", archers can fire 24"

I think it went quite well. She stuck with the game all the way through, and got the hang of the dice rolling quite early on. 

It was a straight forward way to introduce her to the very basic concepts of wargaming. She got the hang of moving stuff, rolling dice, and it's only going to help her counting. We already have another game arranged for next week and it gives me an excuse to buy and paint some more stuff, because what I really need is an excuse to do that! Who knows, she may become that rare thing - a female wargamer! Plus, she will provide a good test bed in how to get the boy into the hobby when he gets a lot older. 

Here are some photos of the highlights. As an aside, this is the first game EVER on my gaming table. Result!

The opposing forces. All my daughters stuff was on movement trays. 

My daughters archer unit takes first blood on the High Elves in the distance. 

Aerial shot of the closing armies. 

My daugher's forces closing on mine.

The first close combat. Victory to Evie's Skaven!

My High Elves take out the last of the opposing archers.

Evie shows no mercy to my last close combat unit.

And the end, victory to Evie!

Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Polish HMG Team

Just a quick blog post this one. My expanding 20mm Polish have received a little bit of fire support.

This comes in the from of an HMG with crew from Early War miniatures. Good little model this one, painted up quickly and easily. Here's the complete result:

The pack originally came with four crew, but battlegroup only requires three so I have repurposed the outstanding dude into a rifleman. Each platoon can take two of these, so I suspect I will get another in the not too distant future.

I also made a little more effort with the base, adding some tufts and fallen logs. A theme I shall probably carry on with the large bases of my force. Here are some more shots from different angles.

It think you will agree it's turned out quite well. There are plenty more poles coming soon so stay tuned.