Thursday, December 25, 2014

2014 in Review and Looking Ahead

The wargamer and friends fend off  attacks from minions of Real Life as they try to get a few games in.
(Frostgrave art from Osorey)

Despite a terrible first quarter of the year for me, we actually managed to play a total of 25 games in 20 sessions this year, which isn't too shabby.

As with the previous year the actual games we played differ from what I expected: OGAM turned out to be less fun than what I expected, we never did continue our RPG campaign, and our Dystopian Wars project still hasn't taken off.

Most of my painting and buying this year was for Warhammer Fantasy: I painted or refurbished close to 300 figures for three separate armies, and have another couple dozen (count as) (The) Empire figures to paint and over a hundred Night Goblin figures to refurbish. We had a couple of practice games this year, and should be in a good position to play some big games next school holidays.

And once again, a highlight of the gaming schedule was unexpected: WW2 Chain of Command. Despite me having to start from scratch and delays due to a mix-up by the seller and what I suspect to be a dishonest postman, Martin and I really enjoyed our short campaign.

Looking ahead I am hoping to play another couple of Chain of Command campaigns: an Arnhem campaign against Martin's British Paras, and the "29, Let's Go!" campaign with fg's US once they are painted. So far I have found a couple of sites with campaign outlines and scenarios for Arnhem, so once I have finished reading "A Bridge Too Far" I should be ready to scale them down for our purposes.

fg and I still have an ongoing Blood Bowl league; Blood Bowl is always a load of fun and an easy option when fg and I are the only players available for a session.

I have also ordered the Black Powder rules and their first Peninsular War supplement, and if Martin and I like them we might be doing some 15mm Napoleonic gaming next year. For this period we have enough French and allies and British and allies painted, but Age of Eagles, our current set, demands too much prep time in the cutting and pasting of the unit labels, and we haven't got as much mileage out of the figures and rules as we have hoped for - perhaps the more "fun" nature of BP is what we need.

One other period I might buy some figures for is our Macedonian War project - the new War & Empire figures may be released for general sale early next year, so I might just get a couple of packs of figures to supplement my Pergamene army.

One thing I am really looking forward to is the release of Frostgrave. Unlike with OGAM, fg and I were playtesters for the rules and so we *know* we like the rules. I hope Frostgrave will fill the niche of the "small warband" fantasy skirmish game which we hoped OGAM would have done - it certainly will be easy for everyone in the group to get into since we already have many fantasy and medieval armies in 28mm to use. The only hard parts for me for this project will be waiting for the rules to be released (hopefully Osprey's acquisition by Bloomsbury will not change the released schedule) and deciding which figures to use for my warband.

A couple of other side projects which may also happen are gladiators and Bronze Age heroic warfare. While we haven't actually found a set of gladiator rules we like, fg is interested in the period and we already have several figures painted, so when we do find one it will be easy to start.

Bronze Age heroic warfare is something I have been meaning to get into, and to that end I have bought several Redoubt Trojan War figures. Perhaps they can be the focus of my painting in the new year.

Well, that's the plan. Let's revisit this post at the end of the next year and see how far off the mark we are!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Chain of Command: Normandy Game 4

Martin and I played the last game of our campaign on Sunday.

For the final game, we depicted a German counter-attack on a British-held village.

The set-up was simple: Martin held a village at one end of the table, and I entered from the other end. I managed to get two Jump-Off Points into the woods near the village, but I needed a bit of heavy support to get across the open ground.

For once I am the attacker and I managed to get some decent support in the shape of a StuG. I planned to suppress the Brits with HE fire, and then gain a foothold when they evacuate a building, then proceed to reduce another one. Martin on his end chose a second 2" mortar as his support, and proceeded to lay a sea of smoke in front of my StuG. With only 4 Command Dice and a starting Force Morale of only 5, I could not remove the smoke. At the same time, Martin's PIATs took potshots at my StuG.

The StuG makes its entrance.

A flurry of activity in the village.

After several rounds of waiting for the smoke to lift and then trading ineffective shots, I changed my plan and had the StuG drive round the woods on the left so it would be exposed to only one of the PIATs. This soon paid off as I managed to eliminate the squad in the building on the left. My infantry crested the hill, ready to charge into the building on the right once the StuG has supprssed the squad inside... and then the StuG got hit by a PIAT round and became immobilised and the crew panicked and failed to support the infantry.

Caught in the open, my infantry squad was cut down by fire, and the attack failed.

The PIAT finds its target!

I enjoyed the campaign very much, and we plan to do an Arnhem campaign the next year. This will of course require more buildings than we currently own, but I have the feeling we can use the VSF terrain boards fg and I have made but never used for the city streets.

I have just purchased some OO scale pdf buildings from Scalescenes to see if they can be a cost- and time-effective way to have a decent urban terrain done up. The kit doesn't look easy to assemble, but hopefully the result is worth the attempt.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Plague monks done

The three metal figures I ordered arrived and I managed to complete the unit.

The next figure to be painted is a giant, and following that will probably be the new crossbowmen figures from Claymore Castings which I just ordered last night (along with 4 more pikemen to bring my unit of pikes to a horde).

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Goblins of the night...

What a din they make!

Here are two of the hordes of Night Goblins I have refurbished.

As with the skavens, I have bought them mostly painted off ebay and will be organising them into units. Night Goblins are probably one of the most uniformly painted Warhammer armies since they are always dressed in black and have, well, green skins (although I have seen pictures of them painted to look like Smurfs...), so it is rather easy to integrate figures painted by different painters into a single army; I am also lucky that the previous owners have used a similar scheme for their basing, so hopefully with uniform movement trays they will look like a cohesive force.

I have bought enough Night Goblin figures that, together with the ones Adrian owns, will allow me to field a 2000-point all-Night Goblin army, which I think looks pretty cool. I have more than a hundred of these little guys to go, which will probably keep me busy for the next few months.

fg came over for a game of Blood Bowl this afternoon. We played to a draw again - it seems our two teams are rather evenly matched.

After the game we finished watching the John Woo movie. It has a really hilarious ending, which I won't spoil for you - but if you are looking for a silly movie to watch over the year-end holiday season that is "so bad it is good", I once again recommend it.

You can find it on YouTube:

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Photo Dump

Uploading some photos of my figures for some planned project...