Monday, June 30, 2014

Historicon All Quiet on the Martian Front Games

I stopped by Ernie's to pick up some stuff and saw just part of the US forces being prep'd for the upcoming demo games of All Quiet on the Martian Front at Historicon.

The scenario is titled "The Battle of Memphis" and will involve 20 players (10 human / 10 Martian).  The game will be run 5 times over the course of Friday and Saturday - stop by and take a look if you're at the 'con!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

All Quiet on the Martian Front - Now They've Gone a Stepped in It!

 Another Assault Tripod to add to my growing Martian arsenal.  I wanted the basing to show the true fiendish nature of our Martian advisories.  It's true - the respect nothing, not even a man's private sanctuary!

 The outhouse is scratch built using some old model rail road supplies I had.  A scaled down recruiting poster was also added to give the right theme for the image.  It took me a few tries to cut out the quarter moon shape of the front

The fleeing figure is one of the "Human Prey" figures that came with the kickstarter and  I think it works rather well to give that "mad-dash" kind of feel.  I added the trailing toilette paper as an after thought
My out house has interior detail.  I'm working on a scaled down version of the AQMF Rule book to add on the floor of the "rural library".

Monday, June 23, 2014

Fire & Fury Regimental Playtest

 Yesterday, I had the opportunity to participate in another round of play testing over at Rich H's house.  Rich is the author of the ACW ruleset Fire and Fury Regimental and always puts on a great event.  I played a small scenario on a 4 by 5 foot board depicting the final action in the Wheat-field during the Battle of Antietam.  The action depicted an assault by 4 Union Brigades against 2 Confederate.  I commanded the Confederate Brigade on the right flank.  The miniatures and terrain are 15mm scale and are from Rich's extenuative collection.

The first picture show this initial contact of the blue wave - the Union had 7 turns to get to the upper left of the picture.

On turn three, the Confederate side saw the chance to launch a spoiling attack which, if successful would cost the Union some precious time and likely win us the game.  The odds were in our favor and the attack launched....

While the odds amy have, indeed, been in our favor the dice were not and the Union was able to both repulse the assault and maintain the momentum of their attack.
Towards the end of the game - one last desperate assault by the confederates to regain a VP area.  Both sides were worn down by this part of the game (turn 6).  The assault failed and then my brigade quit the field due to failing a command check and we conceded the game.

The game was a blast and I really enjoyed it.  Fire & Fury Regimental is my favorite set of rules for the ACW, but they do require some investment of time to fully understand them but that investment is paid off in a great gaming experience and a real feel for the era.  I highly recommend the rules, which can be purchased directly from the author here.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

More All Quiet on the Martian Front Painting: Infantry

 Some infantry units for AQMF - these figures were a lot of fun to paint up and were done as tests.
 First up a single platoon of US Infantry.  These lads are member of the "famed" Louisianna Militia unit the :"Les Bon Ton Muertriers Martiennes".  I'm depicting this formation as a collection of various US units but all painted in confederate grey.  I've got two more infantry units to finish up.

 A US regular army heavy machine gun unit.  These units can be very effective if supported properly.

Lastly, two units of Martian infantry - they're called Lobotons in the game and are actually captured humans converted into slave infantry.  They come in two types "Slicers" and "Blasters" and are one of the tools the Martians have developed to try and dig humans out of fortifications and buildings.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

My Son's Latest Project: Quad Copter Autonomous Flight

My son's latest tech project involves programming a Quad Copter to take-off, climb to 20 meters, fly to multiple GPS points and then land - all on it's own without any human control.  We spent most of Fathers Day working on the project (OK I did very little but offer encouragement).  The video is after his 4th test and a few replacement props later (thank goodness they're cheap).  The test was very successful and it was a very fun Father's Day.

This Quad Copter can carry a payload of a little over a pound and will eventually mount a sony go-pro camera on a gimbal mount.  His project is to build a prototype of a security bot that can be triggered to launch via a cell phone call and fly a preset route (around our house), transmit video of the house and then return to it's landing pad - all on it's own.

I'm hoping to use it to get some tracking shots of a big game - with the quad copter flying over a table shooing my mini's in action

Saturday, June 14, 2014

FOW Mid War, North Africa Themed Tournament

I'm about to head out the door for my second FOW tournament.   It's a 1485 point Mid War, North Africa themed event which will be run at Huzzah Hobbies in Ashburn, VA.  Google tells me its about a 2.5 hour drive from hear in St Michaels so I need to hit the road soon.

I'm taking a German Fallschirmjager list, which will have 2 of the three fellows pictured to the left.  The list consists of an

- HQ w/ Anti-tank rifle
- 2 full FJ platoons
- MG section
- Full mortar platoon
- Recoilless gun section
- a single Tiger
- Recon platoon (2 8 Rads)
- Nebs

The list gives me 8 platoons or 7 if I combine the MG's and recoilless guns into a point defense platoon.

I'm not sure about the wisdom of taking a single tiger over 3 make III's or 4 Marders.  The real reason is that Tigers just look cool on the table so this may be one of those situations where fashion wins over function!

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

All Quiet on the Martian Front: Repaired US Tanks Finished

 A new 3 tank platoon of Mark II's is joining the ranks of my US army for All Quiet on the Martian Front.  All three tanks are repaired wrecks and have welded steel plate to cover the armor damage made by Martian weaponry.

The wily platoon leader who has two tripod kills to his credit.  His tank has some sandbags across its frontage in an attempt to reduce the effectiveness of the Martian heat ray.  I don't think there is a rule that provides an advantage for sandbags - it just looks cool.  The sandbags are made from greenstuff.

Another shot of the platoon.  While the customization is very simple, I like how it came out and I think the details add to the "desperate struggle" feel of the game.  I should point out that given the height advantage of most Tripods the damage might occur more on the top than the sides but lets just say these tanks were killed at long range - which is why they were able to be recovered!

The real reason is I was too lazy to figure out how to add damage to the top and still leave all the hatches "operational"....

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

All Quiet on the Martian Front: Les Bon Ton Meurtriers Martiennes

 One of the US units that I'm painting up for All Quiet on the Martian Front (AQMF) will be a Louisiana Militia unit - the "famed" Les Bon Ton Meurtriers Martiennes (the good time Martian Murders).  I grew up near New Orleans and always liked the culture so I wanted to have a Mardi Gras "themed" force.  This will be a mixed force unit and will have infantry armor and some artillery.
 Each armored unit will have some form of a Mardi Gras flag to designate it.  Here these Mark II's have a diagonal striped flag in the traditional purple, yellow and green.  These tanks appeared in a previous post with had painted flags but they were't very good so I've repainted and used some down loaded flags from the google image library.

 Next up some Mark III's with a more traditional "fluer de lis" flag, which is also very prevalent during the lead to Mardi Gras.
Another shot of the Mark III's.  I've started painting some infantry and will add in some rough riders and artillery to complete the unit.  One of the fun things of AQMF is the freedom one has to create units to match a theme.  It's been a lot of fun to paint up

Monday, June 9, 2014

All Quiet on the Martian Front: Repaired US Tanks

 The US Steam Tank models are very easy to customize, even for someone of my limited skills.  Up first is a US mark II tank platoon that's equipped with Tanks that have been recovered and repaired.  The blast holes from the Martian heat rays have been covered up with armor plate thats welded into place and then it's back to the battlefield.

The "armor plate" is thin styrene plastic and the welds are a thin roll of green stuff thats then scored with a hobby knife.  It's a bit crude but gets the job done.  I'll add some scorch marks from some hear hits and the weather the vehicles.

The grey Mark III's in the background will get a similar treatment once I see how the Mark II's go.

The Tanks are a lot of fun to build and customize!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

15mm Mid-War German DAK Armor

With a 1485 point Mid-War North Africa themed tournament coming up at Huzzah Hobbies on June 14th, I "needed" to flesh out my germans so I've added some armor and a recon patrol.  I'll be running my now standard FJ list but will reinforce them with some Armor in the form of a 4 tank Panzer III platoon.  I'm thinking about upgrading one of the Panzer III's to a IV so that tank was painted up also.  All of the models are from Battlefront.

 The recon patrol comes in the form of a light Panzerspah Patrol of 2 Sdkfz 222's and 1 Sdkfz 223.  I'll likely use this as a mobile reserve to respond to the other players recon / light tank probes.  A second recon option of a heavy Panzerspah patrol (2 Sdkfz 231 8 Rads) is currently on the workbench and should be completed by tomorrow.

As for the armor, I'm still deciding whether to run a 3 or 4 tank Panzer III/IV platoon or just throw in a single Tiger I.  The multiple tank platoon is probably more effective game-wise, but it's not as "cool" as a Tiger!  Plus it's mid-war and a Tiger is a pretty fearsome tank for that stage of the war.

Ahhh, decisions, decisions

Once these guys are done it's back to painting up AQMF!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Some Painting on the Martian Front

 I managed to get a good bit a assembling and painting done on my new "All Quiet on the Martian Front" toys.  First off there are 6 Martian  Tripods in that have been either assembled and/or have an initial coat of paint.  These are plastic models which go together really well and offer a lot of pose combinations.  Please ignore the ACW stuff in the background as I'm also play testing a scenario for an upcoming Historicon game I'm hosting in July (F-101).

The basic color of the Martians is Vallejo Gunmetal Grey for the body and Oily Steel for the "spike feet".  It's a bit plain so I've started to experiment with some trim coloring - The Tripod with the "Black Dust Launcher" has a brass trim added to both the Tripod head and launcher.

 Another shot of the trim.  I like it but will try a few more colors before settling in on a scheme.  I found these Tripods to be very, very easy to paint and they look great on the table.

My US armored forces.  I've completed 11 Tanks out of about 30 I've got in my Kickstarter order so theres a bit more to do....

3 Mark III Steam tanks.  These guys can deal out a lot of damage.
 3 Mark II's - while not as effective as the Mark III's, there are a lot of these in a US force.
 A command tank and my favorite vehicle of the US arsenal - the "Clamp Tank" whose main mission on the battle field is to immobilize a Tripod!

 3 More Mark II's, but these are painted grey and will be part of a Louisiana Militia unit called "Les Bon Ton Meurtriers Martiennes".  I'm not happy with how these came out and will likely repaint them.  My free handed Mardi Gras designations are a bit wobbly.

Overall, I'm very pleased with how the models came out and am really looking forward to playing a few games.  Some of these units may even show up at Historicon as part of the forces being deployed in the big 20 player demo games that Ernie is planing to put on during the course of the con.

Lastly an action shot showing all the units on a table - I really like the look of this game.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Historicon 2014 Games T-186 & F-101: The Fleets are Complete!

 A 28mm Scale Monitor has been added to my "small" ACW fleet and will serve as the opponent of the CSS Tennessee.  I'll need to figure out some easy rules for the duel, but having 2 full scale ironclads being part of the game at least adds to the visual factor.  Last year's game only had the Tennessee so, to borrow from another game forum, this years game will be 100% better.

 A close up of the Monitor, there a 28mm scale Union Artilleryman figure to provide some scale.  This is a pretty big model and well built by Mike M.

 Both ships feature fully detailed interior fighting compartments and artillery pieces.
 The turret is a large piece of PVC pipe, which proved hard to cur precisely and required a lot of sanding.  Some monitors had mismatched guns and so does ours.
 When in transit Monitors would deploy a sun screen using a tarp, which was taken down when going into combat as it could block the view ports if it was damaged.  It looks to cool not to be on so this ship will fight in the shade.

Last year's games were a lot of fun - sign up while theres still space left

See you at Historicon!