Friday 25 July 2014

This is Sparta

Well, I've officially made a start on my latest army. Not much to show so far but I do have some of the officers painted. A unit of armoured hoplites is next, they're on the painting table right now.

Sunday 20 July 2014

News Roundup

I know I say this a lot, but it's been way too long since I last posted. A lot has happened in the last few months so here's a few highlights.

Bolt Action Partisans
My last post was about these guys and since then I've managed to get everything finished.

The plan was always to take these to Rushden for their most recent tournament, Operation: Chastise, and that's what I did. As always at Rushden the results are split with separate prizes for axis and allied commanders and at the end of the event, with 3 wins and 1 loss to my name, I managed to take the prize for second place allied commander. More than that though, I also took the prize for best painted allied force. I'm still not convinced I deserved that one but I'll post some more photos sometime soon and you can judge for yourselves.

I've played more games with this army since and I'm intending to give them another run out at Derby later this year.

I've been playing a lot of this as well as running the DreadBall league at the club. Right now I'm leading the league but there's only 3 points in it and there's plenty of teams who could catch me. So far everybody's having fun and we've got new players joining even though we're halfway through the season. I haven't made it to many tournaments recently but hopefully I'll be able to soon.

Our attempt at staging a tournament at the club failed miserably due to a combination of incompetence on the part of our landlords and apathy on the part of our players. There's talk of giving things another try later this year, but unless there's a clear commitment from our players I won't be the one running it.

Mantic have finally delivered all the parts I was missing from the Kickstarter (almost six months late) and I've even managed to get a couple of games in. I've not made my mind up about the game yet, it seems to have promise but I've not got a handle on it yet. Playing again tomorrow night so we'll see how that goes.

Judge Dredd
The JDMG campaign at the club has been fought to a conclusion with Andy Miller coming out victorious and stamping Chief Judge Cal's authority acoss the throats of tge citizens of Mega City One. Andy managed to go throgh the whole campain undefeated (I was the only one to even fight him to a draw) so it was a thoroughly well-deserved victory.

I'm taking a bit of a break from Dredd for a while as I just have too much on my plate right now. I think 18 months of constant campaigning is sufficint for now.

New Job
After being seriously stressed out throughout my time at my last job, I seem to have finally landed on my feet. As of last week I am now the new web designer at Wargames Foundry!

I've always been a fan of Foundry's miniatures, my partisans include a handful and I have most of the Judge Dredd range, and having a chance to be part of the process feels incredible. Plus I'm working with the legend that is Bryan Ansell, one of the guys responsible for the games that got me into wargaming in the first place. I keep having to remind myself that this is actually happening.

All I will say is please don't judge me on the state of the current website. I'm purely concentrating on a replacement, we're not doing any development on the old one. It helps that, for once, I'm actually the target market for my work.

I am currently in need of some ancient Greeks for a new ruleset I've been asked to help playtest. I can't go into much detail about the game until it's much more developed but I will be trying to keep this blog up to speed with progress on the forces I'm putting together. Fortunately Foundry do an excellent range of Greeks so I may be a little biased in my choice of miniatures.

Right now I have one solitary Spartan painted and ideally I need at least two complete forces. This may take a while.

Next month Foundry will once again be hosting the Oldhammer weekend which promises to be packed with gamers of a similar vintage to me celebrating the kind of games I played back when I was just getting started in gaming. And as my new boss was encouraging me to attend it looks like I'm going to be spending the weekend at work. :-)

I don't have enough time to get anything substantial ready for the day, but I have signed up to play some Judge Dredd (using Necromunda rules), Gorkamorka and Heroquest. Otherwise I'll just be hanging out and ogling all the vintage lead. I'm going to enjoy this.

Looking Ahead
I see many Spartans in my future. But I'm also going to be trying to progress with my God of Battles/Kings of War force. I need to finish off my WWII Italians for the next event at Rushden, I have about half the models painted that I will need.

Kickstarter will be adding to the lead pile in a big way. I have another lot of Deadzone turning up next month that will need some attention. Plus the Baker Company winter war stuff (Russians and Finns). Plus Robotech. There may be more stuff I haven't thought of as well. I'll be keeping busy.

Wednesday 26 February 2014

Resistance is Far From Futile

This is a quick progress report on my French Partisan force that I've been working on for an upcoming Bolt Action tournament. The good news is that there's actually lots of progress to report, over the last couple of weeks I've managed to get a total of 30 infantry painted up. This is half of the infantry that I have planned for the initial 1000 point force so if I can keep up this rate of progress then I should be able to get the army painted up in plenty of time.

I've included a couple of photos below. I've kept to a limited palette of colours to try to bring the models together while still making them look like a ragtag civilian-based force. Overall I'm quite pleased with the effect, They're not going to win any prizes but they should look OK on the tabletop.

The bases, as I've mentioned before, are made of green-stuff using moulds from Wargames Bakery. I can't recommend these highly enough, easy to use and the results look great. One of my better impulse-buy Kickstarters.

On the other hand, I haven't tackled any of the character models yet or the German armoured car that the resistance have appropriated. So there's still plenty to do. Plus I need to take some time next month to paint more zombies, we need them for the game that the club will be putting on at Salute this year. So this may end up being a closer run thing than I'm currently hoping.

Maybe I shouldn't have spent the last 2 evenings painting up my custom DreadBall pitch. But then I won the pitch in the tournament at last year's Hammerhead and I was determined to get it painted before this year's event (which is on this Saturday).

On the subject of Hammerhead, for anyone who hasn't been to this particular event before I thoroughly recommend it. It's pretty much your standard good-sized wargames show, but every game that's put on there is a participation event. No display games, which means that you should be able to find something to sink your teeth into between shopping.

On that note, anybody who is going to Hammerhead please make sure to drop by the game that Peterborough Wargames Club will be putting on. It's going to be our usual blend of inspired lunacy and promises to be a lot of fun.

Thursday 13 February 2014

Vapnartak, DreadBall, God of Battles and Painting Progress

First off, apologies (again) for the gap between posts. This time I've been a little distracted by recent events. Contrary to certain scurrilous rumours to the contrary, I'm a lifelong Seahawks fan, and I'm not sure I've finished celebrating the yet...

The day of the Super Bowl was also Vapnartak up in York. This was my first time there and I have to say, I didn't leave with a great impression of the show. At first glance it looked good, but once you got off the ground floor the upper levels were cramped, with too many stalls in too small a space (and too many idiots blocking the walkways in order to have a conversation, what is it with some people). When you add in the fact that some parts of the venue were basically empty, and it all smacked of a lack of organisation.

What really bugged me though were the games that were on offer. They looked amazing, and it was obvious that a lot of time and effort had gone into setting them up but every time I went past there was nothing going on. What you had were a lot of impressive looking display tables, but nobody actually playing the games. With Hammerhead coming up in a couple of weeks, where every game there will be a participation game, I found it all a bit underwhelming.

That said, I was only really there for the DreadBall tournament. This was another official Mantic event and I've long since given up on actually winning one of these, as the tournament rules really work against my preferred style of game (i.e. they reward people who win games that aren't any fun). I'll probably rant on about that in more detail in future, but suffice it to say that I was going in looking to have some fun and maybe win the "Most Violent Coach" award (again) using my Teratons.

My first game I was up against Forge Fathers. A tough game but a lot of fun and I managed to pull out a win and get a couple of fatalities along the way. My second game was anything but, up against Orx and Goblins and nothing seemed to go my way. Meanwhile the goblins ran rings around me and scored an early landslide victory. My opponent even apologised to me for the way the game went, but at least it meant I got a longer break for lunch.

Next game was against Z'Zor, and for the first time ever I had a game that went to time and ended in a draw. Two very evenly matched teams, with an equal lack of luck when it came to scoring or causing injuries. When time was called I had one final shot to win the game, but threw a double-1. A draw seemed like a fair result given the way we'd played, and I had a lot of fun.

Going into the final game, I had one win and a draw and only 2 fatalities to my name. Things weren't looking good, but then I got drawn against a human team for the final game, My opponent, a guy by the unlikely name of Sock, had much the same attitude to the game as I did. This was a great laugh, and it didn't stop even as I took his team out of action one after the other. He got an early 3-point score against me, but I answered with a 4-pointer of my own and sat on that lead until the end of the game (I missed another couple of chances to score). At the end of the game I had a win, and six fatalities to go with it while Sock had no players left on the pitch.

Six fatalities in one game turned out to be more than anyone else had accomplished in the whole event, so mission accomplished and (mostly) a lot of fun had into the process.

God of Battles
Last week I set myself a mission; cobble together an army for God of Battles based on the spare Romans I had kicking about and a few other bits and pieces and head along to one of Foundry's regular gaming days to give it another try. As it turned out, I was the only one to turn up so I got to play a couple of games against Jake Thornton (the game's designer). To say I got schooled would be putting it mildly, Jake actually used our games as an object lesson in how to kill big powerful units like Ogres on his own blog. He's done a great job of writing up the games themselves so I won't duplicate that, all I'll say is that I had a lot of fun (despite the result) and I've really gained a new appreciation for this game. Anybody who's around Nottingham when Foundry are running one of these days, or who has a chance to play it any other time I thoroughly recommend that you check it out.

Painting Progress and New Armies
Like I said, I put together a new army for God of Battles last week. This consisted of a few units of Roman infantry from Warlord, plus some Mantic ogres and Foundry orcs and halflings that all together made up what I hoped would be an effective mercenary army. While I was building the army, I always had in mind the idea that if I built it correctly I could use it for Kings of War as well.

One thing I did when putting the army together was to base everything up using the Basius system from Wargames Bakery. I backed these on Kickstarter last year, but this was my first chance to actually try them out and I have to say I'm incredibly impressed. Easy to use, and the results look great. I got a number of compliments on the bases while I was at Foundry, and I've since gone on to re-base all of the WWII partisans I'm working on as well. The only downside is that it uses up a lot of green stuff, all told I've built almost 150 bases in the last 2 weeks and I'm all out.

With all that work, I haven't got a lot of actual painting done. I have managed to get a Nameless team done for DreadBall (plus a couple of spare players) and I'm working my way through a bunch of MVPs as well. All told, a total of 16 models painted.

On the other hand, I picked up a few figures at Hammerhead and a few more while I was at Foundry (some more partisans and a baggage train for the mercenaries) so that total's going up a bit as well.

Totals for this year so far: 42 painted, 27 bought.

Friday 24 January 2014

Choices, Choices...

Sometimes having a choice really sucks.

A couple of posts ago I mentioned that I was working on some Italian Paratroopers for a Bolt Action tournament that was coming up in Stockport in March, specifically the weekend of March 8th/9th. This week Mantic have finally announced the date for the long delayed DreadBall national championships, March 9th.

Sometimes having a choice really sucks.

Tuesday 21 January 2014

Getting Stuff Painted

This is an idea I've seen over on the Mantic forums that I quite like the look of, so I'm going to give it a try. The basic idea is that you keep track of the number of models you acquire over the course of a year and the number of models that you manage to get painted. If the painted models outnumber the new stuff, you win.

Anyway, I'll make sure to keep track of things here on the blog as the numbers change. Right now I'm doing quite well, the only issue I can see is all the stuff I bought on Kickstarter last year that's due to turn up soon and will only hurt my numbers (it all counts as being acquired this year). Oh well, serves me right I guess and there are worse problems to have.

So far, I have aquired Chopper and some electro-cordons for Judge Dredd (via Kickstarter) and have painted 25 Italian paratroopers and one DreadBall Teraton Keeper. So far, I'm winning. :-)

Totals so far:
ModelsNo AquiredNo Painted
Standard Infantry326
Large Infantry00

According to the formula used for this challenge, that gives me a total of 26 painted and 5 acquired (cavalry count double) or 26/5 for short. We'll just have to see how long I can stay ahead of myself.

Sunday 19 January 2014

Dreadball and the Future

Another DreadBall tournament today, this time out at Athena Games in Norwich. Headed over there early this morning with Dale from PWC, he's fairly new to DreadBall and has more or less the same tastes in the game as me. As a result we both took Teraton teams and were both looking to play as aggro as possible, we both had our eye on the Hitman prize for Most Violent Coach.

I'm not going to write up a full report for this event, as I didn't take enough notes. All I can really say is I played 5 games that I thoroughly enjoyed, despite losing my first 3 in a row, and that the guys at Athena were really welcoming to the out-of-towners. At the end of the day though, I can report that I did indeed manage to take home the prize for most violent coach (again), apparently by a small landslide. Dale didn't go unrewarded though, he got himself a prize for the worst performing team (partly my fault, as we played each other in the final game which I managed to win).

Once again, I cannot recommend DreadBall highly enough. It really is an excellent game, and I look to be playing much more of it in the near future (tomorrow night at the club, then on to Mantic's Super League at Vapnartak).

Plans for 2014
As this is my first post this year, I guess I should try and lay down some idea of what I'm looking to achieve. I expect I'll be looking back on this list this time next year and making jokes about how little I actually got done but here goes...

Bolt Action
I intend to play a lot more of this in the coming year. While the game has its issues in places, it really is great fun to play and I have a couple of new armies on the go. First off, my Italian Paratroopers that I've been meaning to paint for several months. The good news is that I now have 25 infantry fully painted up, 3 sections and a couple of command models. I have an Autoblinda armoured car to start on, plus a Semovente assault gun on the way, with those plus a handful more infantry I should have a viable 1000 point army painted up.

Once that's done, it's onto La Resistance. At the tournament at Derby last year I somewhat jokingly announced that I was going to do an army based on the resistance from the classic sitcom Allo Allo, the plan really materialised when I found out that Artizan Miniatures do models for Michelle, Rene and a few more characters from the series. So I now have most of the models I need for the army, a list worked out, and I'm just in need of the time to get it painted.

Both these armies are being done with specific tournaments in mind. The Italians are destined for an event up in Stockport in early March, the resistance for the next event in Rushden in May. The good thing about this, is that it gives me the incentive I need to get things done. So here's hoping.

As I said, I intend to be playing a lot more of this. I have a Nameless team on the painting table right now, aiming for the league that we're going to be starting up at the club next month. We also have (largely speculative) plans to run a tournament at some point next year. On the subject of tournaments, I'm heading for Vapnartak in a couple of weeks, then Milton Keynes a couple of weeks after that. I'll keep you posted.

Dead Zone
From the people that brought you DreadBall, I haven't had a chance to play this yet. Largely because Mantic still haven't sent me the scenery that I was meant to get as part of the Kickstarter, so I've been holding off on assembling the bits I do have until I have the full variety available. Looking forward to playing it though.

Kings of War
Another Mantic game, this is another one I've been meaning to play for a long time but never quite got around to. I plan to rectify that ASAP, after all I have 3 armies for the game that need exercise (and that I will get around to painting some day, honest). Although I'm actually planning on a  fourth, Kingdoms of Men based around the Roman infantry I have left over from an abortive WAB army.

God of Battles
Another great game from Jake Thornton, this time published by Foundry, that I haven't had time to play nearly enough of. The only real problem with the game is the fact that Foundry took most of the accompanying miniatures range off sale pretty much as soon as the game hit the shelves (genius, sheer genius). But the armies I want to use can be filled from my existing collection, so it's not going to stop me from getting more games in.

Hi, my name is Rob and I am a Kickstarter addict.

I have backed way too many projects on Kickstarter, most of which have delivered games (and other stuff) that I'm really glad I have. That said, I need to cut down the amount of money I'm throwing at this, to the extent that I'm now only logging on there to keep track of various projects that still have to deliver. My aim for 2014 is to avoid backing ANYTHING on Kickstarter, although I freely admit to a healthy dose of scepticism as to whether or not I can manage this.

One things for certain, Mantic will not be getting any more money from me through Kickstarter. I've backed them on Kings of War, DreadBall and Dead Zone and they've managed to screw up delivery on all three. On top of this, their customer service when trying to sort out the problems has been absolutely appalling. I really do think that they're incapable of supporting projects as successful as the ones they've been running to date, so unless I see something to give me some faith in them I won't be throwing any money their way except to buy stuff off the shelves.

Judge Dredd
Last week we restarted the Judge Dredd campaign at the club. The gap between the top level forces and the smaller ones was just getting insurmountable, plus we had a number of new players sign up so we took the decision to go with a fresh start.

So I tried out a Justice Department force, that got absolutely hammered by Mike's Sov Judges. Obviously their first patrol after leaving the academy, but 3 sucking chest wounds later (one fatal, 2 crippling) I've decided to go back to where I've done best and restarted my Vigilante force. One win already, I'll keep you posted.

Other Stuff

  • I have more scenery I want to build, for various games. We'll see if I can find the time.
  • I really want to play more Ogre.
  • I still have plans for some kind of ancients army. Maybe if I do get the Romans painted up I can find the time to use them for the kind of game they were originally intended for.
  • There was talk last year of a Pirates vs Cowboys game, combining the rules from Legends of the Old West and Legends of the High Seas (from Warhammer Historical). I still want to make this happen.
  • We're starting to play some games of Warhammer using older editions of the game at the club. Namely 5th edition, which I maintain is probably the best version GW did. I still have all my old books so I'll try to find time for a game or two.

Anyway, that should do for starters. I'll let you know how I get on.