Friday, November 30, 2012

Gaming and Workshop Space plus Robots

 A post over on Big Lee's blog on his bookshelves has sparked an interest of mine - I'm always fascinated by the work spaces modelers create for themselves and I usually pick up a trick or two by looking at them.  I'm hoping to spark a series of post from fellow gaming bloggers to show their respective workshops - it might not gain the momentum of a "Stylish Blogger" or "Leibster Award" but one never knows! 
The first picture is of my workbench.  It's normally not this organized but does show my current fad of skirmish gaming with both Saga and Bolt Action.

 Obligatory close up of my Saga Vikings.  9 points, 5 of which I won through the Fall In Toys for Tots silent auction.  You can tell which ones are the "mercanaries" as they are well painted.  My stuff is hanging out in the back, hoping not to be noticed.  I did paint 2 of the 3 warlord figures in the front (the middle and right).

 On the other side are 7 points of Normans, sadly all painted by me.  Normans are my favorite faction to play and those lowly levy archers account for most of the damage wrought on a table top.

 There is some under the workbench storage, which has my bin for storing bases (lower left) and some bins on the right for storing bits and bobs.  You can see some wooden trays which were originally purchased to store various projects but I never really stuck with that plan.  Now they store odds and ends and serve as troop trays when I host the odd game.

 I am fortunate that the executive management of the household has allocated me some storage space next to my workbench.  I've got about 32 square ft of space which I need to re-organize and add more shelves.  From left to right, the plastic boxes hold my collections of 1/1200 Napoleonic naval, 28mm romans and dacians,  28mm colonial (in the pizza boxes) and 28mm war of 1812 in the blue boxes.  I used to have the 1/1200 Langton sailing ships out on display but our cat was intrigued by their rigging and would proceed to play with them on his own....

 A bit of a turn to the right shows more storage and the rolling tool cart that holds the rest of my hobby supplies.  Nestled between the blue boxes of War of 1812 stuff and the Viking hall are 6 points of Saga Welsh awaiting their turn in the painting que.

 Unfortunately, the painting que is moving slowly as we're in Robotics season and the first match is two weeks away!  The picture to the left is a scale model of this years playing feild which we use to plot strategy with our teammate (the game is played 2 vs 2.  This years game involved playing tick-tack-toe with plastic rings.  At the end of the game there are bonus points if one robot can lift the other off the ground.

 A picture of my gaming table, which is now a robot assembly area.  I coach two teams through my son's scout troop.  The bot in the picture is the younger scouts build (they're all middle schoolers).

 Here's my son's team robot.  The robots have to start the match fitting within a 18inch cube but can unfold to a larger size during the match.  The objective of the game is to grab the rings from a dispenser on the side of the field (right side of picture) and place them on the central scoring apparatus - you get points for each level and extra points for three in a row.  Of course the other side can try and block you.
The highest rungs are over 48 inches off the floor.  Sean's robot has a fairly sophistcated arm which can reach the high rung and has four points of articulation - we refer to them as the shoulder, elbow, wrist and finger joints.  The bot uses a 4 wheel drive chain-based drive system.

Lastly, the post from Big Lee that started it all was his bookcase.  Here's mine, it's not that impressive as most of my source books are electronic but it does hold my rules collection and some WI and Battlegames magazines

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Aliens Invade Potterville, PA!

 Ernie put on a fantastic 28mm Alien Invasion game tonight that had the real feel of XCOM in miniature.  The table was amazing and the game pitted local cops, the DEA, the US army, a mysterious government agency and local criminals against Aliens who had crash landed and were awaiting rescue.  Oh yeah, the Aliens had all sorts of crazy weapons including a virus gun that would turn humans into Zombies.  In other words the game was a blast.  I just post a few pictures as Ernie will be doing one of his "Table Fable" posts about the game.

 Here's a picture of the Alien mothership coming in the pick up the stranded crew.

 Another shot showing the table - I loved the trailer park.  Why do strange things always seem to happen near trailer parks?

 I had command of the local police and county SWAT.  Here's a pick of one brave officer returning to the fray after escorting some civilians to safety.  It's a pretty cool picture.

Oh yes, the mother ship had a full interior.  The humans managed to win the game as the guys in the yellow suits cut a hole in the top of the mothership and allowed my county SWAT team to get in and wipe out the Aliens after a few rounds of fighting.  Ernie has amazing game creation talents.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving and Another Japanese Squad

 Happy Thanksgiving for those of you in the US! I was able to sneak down to the man cave in-between trips to the grocery store and paint 2 more units for my Bolt Action Japanese army - a 10 man infantry squad and 2 figure sniper section.

These are Warlord figures I purchased in 2 blisters and to be honest I wouldn't recommend them - there was a lot of flash and repairs required.  In the future I'll be sticking with the Brigade Games Pacific War range.

 A close up of the Infantry squad.

 Here are the snipers - complete with Jungle camo!  You can also see a rough camo job on the tank which I'm not happy with and will redo another time.

Not a bad mornings work as I started at 5:00am and finished these figs in about 2 hours.  I'll go back and clean up some highlights and these chaps are good to go for the tabletop.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

More Progress on a Japanese Platoon for Bolt Action

 The first four elements of my planned reinforced Japanese platoon for use with the Bolt Action ruleset are nearing completions.  From left to right, a Type 97 Chi-Ha tank, a 10 man infantry squad, a medium machine gun w/ 3 man crew, and an officer.  The officer's 2 man escort are hiding in the back waiting to be painted.  Not shown in this picture is a US Stuart tank, which will be modeled as a captured vehicle.

 Here's a close up of the infantry squad, 10 riflemen plus a Light Machine gunner.  The figures are basically done with the exception of some facial highlights.

 The medium machine gun and officer.  I'm not that happy with the machine gun and will likely redo some aspects of it.

Here's a picture of the stuart along with a long forgotten Warlord Games 28mm Hetzer model.  I'm finishing that up as part of a contest over on the WWPD forum.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Some Progress on the Japanese Platoon for Bolt Action

 A bit of progress on my Japanese platoon for Bolt Action.  Two "test" figures are done and the basic painting for the tanks is complete.  I need to add a camp pattern for the Type 97 tank and decals are on order.

 The is some finishing work still to be done on the infantry test figs, but overall I'm happy with the outcome.

Argghhh - I can see some white spots on the Type 97 that need to be touched up!

Here's the other side of the figures.  These should be fairly easy figures to paint up and the force will be ready for the tabletop in 2 to three weeks.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Bolt Action: Japanese Force

 With my Fall-In game now done, it's time to start on a new "Smaller" projects before embarking on another big convention game event.  I got to play an introductory game of Bolt Action at Fall-In and really liked the game.  I've had a small batch of 28mm Japanese sitting around for over 4 years so it was high time to get something started.  There are 17 assorted infantry men, a medium machine gun, and officer and a tank.  I'll augment that force as time permits.  Just for fun I also built a 28mm Stuart tank and the Baggage set for Saga.

Here's a close up of the of the 2 tanks.  The Japanese tank is a Type-97 Chi-Ha and both kits are from Company B.  Since there isn't a Japanese force list our for Bolt Action, I'm using the British list as a start and just kind of winging it from there.  There is a post on the WWPD forum about special rules for the Japanese which is a good start for now.

I picked the Japanese just to get a break from the standard Germans and it creates the opportunity to build some Jungle Terrain which will be both challenging and fun.  I'll probably add a few more infantry squads, a mortar and perhaps some light artillery.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Fall-In 2012 Report 2 of 2: Fanticide, Saga, Bolt Action & WWPD

 In addition to running my one game, which took up most of Friday, I was able to do a lot of fun things at Fall-In including participating in some of the demo games of Fanticide with Ernie and his crew at Alien Dungeon.  Fanticide is a fantasy skirmish game that was designed by Rick Preistly and Alessio Cavatore, Skye Chaney and Ernie.   It's best described as "whimsically grim" and it's a hoot to play.  More importantly, it has Flying Monkees - 'nuff said.  I played the Liberi (Centaurs with a Native American theme) against the Fae.  I lost a very close game but it was a lot of fun.

 Here's a picture of Ernie running another demo of Fanticide - I've never been able to get a clear photo of Mr Baker in the wild as he is in constant motion.  I think it's a good sign for the game that everyone who participated in the demo's came by the booth later to buy a the book and some minis.  As Mikey is implored on the old Life cereal commercial "Try it, you'll like it".

 I managed to get into the vendor hall early on Friday to say hi and was promptly put to work by Ernie building one of the new 4-Ground laser cut building kits.  I had no tools except glue application sticks from the cast-off wood from the frames.  I managed to complete the kit in 30 minutes which demonstrates how great these little kits are.

 Saturday morning was occupied by the SAGA tournament.  The tournament was very well run and had a simple scenario for all games - first player to loose 2 saga dice due to causalities looses the game.  Warbands were 5 points and I brought my Normans who consisted on 4 mounted Hearthguard and one levy archer.  My first game was against Mike who had Anglo-Danes and was very adept at using there "Intimidate" feature which allows them to build up Fatigue on opposing units.

Here's a picture at the end of our game.  It was a very close game but I managed to win but it could have gone either way.  Mike was very fun opponent.

At this point, for some reason, I forgot I had a camera on my I-Phone and stopped taking pictures for the rest of the con.  I'm afraid the rest of this report will just be rambling prose...

My second game of the Saga tournament was against Tom K and his Welsh Warband.  The Welsh can be very challenging opponents given their javelins and ability to fly through terrain.  I played Tom before in the Historicon Saga Tournament (I lost!) and he is a real pleasure to game with.  This game went well for me as my archers managed to wipe out a hearthguard unit on the first turn and take another done to one figure on the second.  I won the game very quickly but think the scenario design tipped the balance in favor of fast / "shooty" warbands like the Normans.

I decided to skip the third round of the tournament in favor of participating in one of the Bolt Action demo games put on by the WWPD Bolt Action crew (Dano and Judson).  I had a great time and really liked the ruleset.  The rules as best described as "Saga for WWII".  The armies are relatively small (30-40 figures plus the odd tank) and the rule mechanics simple.  There is a good feel for the benefits of combined arms and it's just a lot of fun.  Dano and Judson did a great job as GM's/Emcee's and I pretty sure they have honed their joke delivery skills in the finest dives along the catskill mountains - I could swear I was hearing rim-shots after each punchline!  It was a very fun event.

After the Bolt Action demo I grabbed a quick dinner and sat in on the WWPD podcast - and won a free T-Shirt in the drawing!  Next up was a game of X-Wing where I was piloting a target drone oops I mean Y-Wing.  It was a great game but lets just say I let the rebellion down that evening!  It was fun getting some time to chat with Steve M and the WWPD crew during the con.  By the way, Luke really gets into playing the board game "Spartacus" - it was really neat to see someone having that much fun with a game.  The WWPD crew did a great job with their podcast/game night and I had a blast.

As for "loot", I really didn't buy much from the 'con.  A few odds and ends for Saga from Architects of War, some Byzantine figs from Age of Glory and a few rulesets to read.  The big purchase from the con was a 5 point Viking Saga warband that I won in the "Toys for Tots" silent auction.  I'll post a picture of those figs in a future post.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Fall-In: Report one of two, Lundy's Lane AAR

 I just got back from Fall-In and I had a great time.  Fall-In is the smallest of the three HMGS cons and it's a fun show to attend.  I'll also say that the Host hotel actually did a great job this time (I have been a big critic of the Host in the past but they have really improved themselves over my past experiences).

My first con report deals with the Lundy's Lane game I ran on Friday.  All-in-all I would say it really well and the players seem to have fun.  The first picture shows the initial set up with the British on the left and US on the right.

 The battle started with the US surprising the British on the hill and you can see the middle US Brigade opening it's attack on the Hill.  As in the real battle the hill changed hands a few times during the game.  The artillery unit also changed has 4 times before finally being destroyed by getting pushed of the cliff by the retreating British.

 The American attack strikes home and destroys the defending British battalion - don't worry more are on the way.

 A view of the battle about midway through the game.  Heavy fighting for the hill and lots of maneuvering on the flanks.

 The Indian allies of the British finally show up to support their left flank, unfortunately the US Dragoons saw them off with a well timed charge.

 The British have organized their third counter attack for the hill and begin to grind down the remnants of the 1st US brigade.

 More maneuvering on the left flank - the US kept falling back rather than engage with the British.  It was a sound strategy but a little frustrating for the gentlemen commanding the British left flank as he didn't get to do a lot of fighting.

The status of the Hill at the end of the game - The US are holding on by their finger tips.  Had the game gone on for one more turn, the Brits would have taken the hill and won despite their heavy losses.  Overall, the game ended in a minor US victory but it was very, very close.

Last shot of the game - the British right flank saw a good bit of fighting but neither side could gain an advantage.

This was my third convention game as a "GM" and it was a lot of fun.  One of the positives of doing these games is it sets a very firm and immovable dues date to get projects done!  I really do enjoy hosting these games but I will take a break and not do one for cold wars - I think I'll just be a "civilian" for that one.

Running the game was pretty much all I did on Friday.  I did get to go to dinner with Ernie and his merry men from AofW and we returned to run some demos of fanticide - but more on the the next post..

I do want to thank Mike M. for helping me co-GM the game and Ernie over at Architects of War for both loaning my some terrain and his great house Napoleonic rules.  Hopefully I didn't screw up the rules too much!