Sunday, March 27, 2011

Finished Roman Marines and a Return to Napoleonics

 A bit of an eclectic set of output here are the Ubergeek's lair.  First off, I've managed to finish and base a 24 figure unit of Roman Marine Auxiliaries. These are the new Warlord Roman Marine metals and they are very nice figures.  They have a flowing cape which makes painting very easy.  This unit is the eighth in my growing 28mm Early Imperial Army.

 I've been building the army in anticipation of the new Hail Caesar rule set, which I have been test playing solitaire for about a month now.  I like the rules and their play style a lot.  I'm planning on building out the army to have 5 cohorts of Legionaries, 2 Aux Infantry, 2 Aux Cavalry and an artillery unit.  I just have 2 more 24 figure legionnaire cohorts to go!  I had wanted to host some play tests with my gaming group but just haven't had the time given work and coaching commitments.  There haven't been any pictures of the play tests as my opposing army consists of cardboard shapes to represent the units - it works for testing but doesn't support the "Hail Caesar" brand image

As the title indicates, I've returned to Naps in anticipation of a game "Architects of War Ernie" will be hosting on April 2nd.  I'll be contributing most of my French Army in the form of 7, 36 figure battalions of Line Infantry, a light cavalry unit and 3 guns.  Ernie indicated that I should leave the heavy cavalry and guard units at home as they don't fit in the scenario.  In order to get to 7 battalions, I need to base and scenic 2 painted units, the first of which is shown to the left.  One more to go and I'll be ready.

It's been a long time since my Frenchies have seen a tabletop and rolled dice in anger so I'm looking forward to the game.  Hopefully there will be a detailed battle report to follow.  We're expecting up to ten players so it should be a real show.  With the exception of my Guards, all of the infantry in my army are Perry plastics, which I find to be great models to paint and a lot more cost efficient when building large formations.  I think I saved close to $500 going with the plastics for the "bulk" units.

Friday, March 25, 2011

WI # 282

Just a quick shout out to the publishers of Wargames Illustrated for putting out a great issue with number 282 (April, 2011) and getting it delivered to my home in the states in a very reasonable timeframe.  In the past it would take 2-3 months for an issue to show up but it seems that the BF team has their North American magazine distribution sorted out.

As for the contents, it's a great issue and it comes with a separate free set of rules for another Vietnam extension of Flames of War.  The issue also has a lot of content related to either Black Powder (to scenarios / battle articles) or Hail Caesar - a very detailed battle report.  Hat's off to Warlord Games for organizing a nice series of articles to support their products.

After reading the article and a few solitaire test plays of hail Caesar, I am really looking forward to picking up a set of the rules.

I just have to resist the urge to game Vietnam in 15mm, as I really don't need yet another project to complete.

Now it's back to painting 28mm Romans

Friday, March 18, 2011

Dreadnaught Action in the Pacific

 Last night I had the chance to play with a new group of gamers and it was a blast.  The game for the evening was a fictional Dreadnaught era naval fight pitting a combined Japanese and British Fleet against a American, German and Russian force.  We used 1/1000 scale Houston ship models and the  "Victory at Sea" rule set.  I was given command of two Russian Battleships.  This game was the first time for me with the Victory at Sea rules and they were both easy to pick up and fun.  We did use a rule were player's had to guess the range of their targets (no pre-measuring!).  That rule added a lot of fun - you can see my poor ranging abilities in the first picture as I bracket the lead Japanese battleship.

The second picture was taken a few turns later when our respective lines got to point blank range. You can still see that even when close, there were still some misses from bad range guesses.  The game was called a few turns later as a victory for the Japanese and British.  No ships where sunk in the engagement but the US battleship Iowa was in bad shape and my lead battleship was just about to go under.  The game was a lot of fun and I really enjoyed both the era and meeting a great new group of gamers.

It was a grand evening and many thanks to Dick and his wife for being such gracious hosts.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Cold Wars 2011

I decided to make a quick run up to Cold Wars on Friday afternoon as I had some free time and I really wanted to see Barb and Ernie's new booth layout for Architects of War.  The new booth was very impressive.  The space consisted of 15 tables chock full of all there stuff, including the new Desert Building line and the "Hanging Tree" pictured to the left.  The booth was doing a brisk business and I got pressed into helping put labels on products - if any of you purchase some of the Rendera 80x20mm plastic bases from AofW, just remember the ID label was skillfully placed on by yours truly.  I couldn't resist the Hanging Tree, so I picked one up.  According to Ernie, it as well as his new stuff was proving to be moving very briskly.

I thought the con was very heavily attended for a Friday afternoon, which is a good sign for the hobby.  I'm not a fan of the venue (the Host Resort), but it seems to work and I hope HGMS has a very successful event.

 Since I was in the vendor hall, and had a little time to spare I decided to wander through the other vendor booths with predictable results.  My purchases were a bit muted this year as I'm still working to finish up my Early Imperial Roman (EIR) army.  After reading about "Check Your Six" on the What Would Patton Do? blog, I decided to pick up a copy and some 1/300 plane miniatures.  The game looks fun and the mini's appear to be a snap to paint.  I'll use this game with my son and his robotic's team to see if I can recruit some new gamers - I wonder if HGMS pays a bounty for creating new gamers??  I purchased the game and mini's from a vendor called the Last Square who has a nice selection and the booth staff was very helpful in describing how the game plays.  I highly recommend you stop by their booth while your at the con.

Lastly, I also picked up a copy of Command and Colors: Napoleonics.  Ernie and I don't get to play as much Napoleonic as we want given time constraints so I'm hoping this will serve as a nice bridge in between the "big games".  Of course, over the next few days you may here some cursing coming from my direction as I put unit stickers on what appear to be 1.5 million wooden blocks - yup it's either 1.5MM of 320 blocks but either way that's a lot of blocks!

Monday, March 7, 2011

PA Championship Results

My son's team competed in the PA Robotics' Championship tournament this past weekend in Weatherly, PA.  The team did very well.  We were a bit disappointed to get knocked out of the competitive aspect in the semi final round but that's how it goes.  We did learn that our autonomous program needs to be a bit more fault tolerant and that's an important lesson.  Our next competition is the big one - the World Championship in St Louis (April 27-30).  The competition will be both a real challenge and a lot of fun.  The picture shows the boys during the judges review.

We did win the Rockwell Collins "Innovate" award, which is given to the robot that the judges feel has the best overall design to complete the challenge.  It's a nice vote of confidence for our design.  Now hopefully I can get some painting in!