Paint All The Minis

I’m on another podcast!

Paint All The Minis┬áis the brain child of Dan Adams, who each week has a chat with someone about gaming. This episode Dan and I speak about K-47, but with more than 100 shows recorded, if that’s not your thing there is sure to be one that is.

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What other gaming related post casts are people listening to?

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Two houses, alike in dignity

I picked up two new games recently, both of which could be loosely described as skirmish games based on the dark ages. Lord of the Rings battle game from Games Workshop, and SAGA: The Viking Age, by Studio Tomahawk. Both are lovely games. The first editions of both were pretty simple, and I suspect (and hope) that the second editions will be even better, with those little wrinkles ironed out.

I haven’t played SAGA for a long time, but I remember it is the better game of the two. The challenge of managing your saga dice on the battle board is engaging and the opportunity (need) to use your abilities and dice every phase keeps you at the table.

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The King had not yet returned when I last played Lord of the Rings, whatever that year was. The new book looks pretty, but to be honest the length of the rules compared to SAGA means I haven’t really looked at that one yet. I bought this LotR on a whim, partly because I have some armies and partly because, being GW, it will be relatively easy to get a game in should I want.

So, not a review, as I’ve done no more than skim the books, and nor have I played any games yet. Consider this more a statement of intent.

Now, back to painting some shield maidens that arrived in the post …

US Motor Pool

I’ve been adding to my 28mm US, getting some additional vehicles done because nothing says US Army more than lots of materiel. I think I’ll add some more weathering, but they are coming along OK. They even had a spin around the table and I’m pretty happy with how they performed. On a side note, inexperienced Shermans are actually just a little bit rubbish. Although, leaving the top hatch open and using the pintle-mount was fun; throwing out 15 MMG shots, even at -1 to hit for being inexperienced, was a rare treat.

See you on the battlefield.
D.

Gaslands, it’s still cool

A few months ago I wrote about how much I liked Gaslands from Osprey Publishing, a game of vehicular mayhem set in a bleak far future. Since then it has been one of the games I have played most frequently, but always with just two players. Well that changed last week, with a chance to play my first multi-player game. Dial up the carnage to FUN.

Here are some photos from the night. There were some great cars on show. I’ve tried to credit where I can, but apologies if I’ve got any wrong.

The game did slow down a bit, but I think much of that was that for many of us it was their first game. Drew took honours on points, as we didn’t manage a complete lap before the store closed, but was clearly ahead with two cars left running. The rest of us were in flames, few hull points or pointing the wrong way from failed flip checks. Great stuff. We’re assembling again next week to do it again.

Time to hit the garage and make sure my cars are running sweet for Wednesday night.

Brrm, brrm.
D.

The Stix Brothers

I’ve managed a fair bit of painting recently, mostly working on WW2 US that I will be able to field for either Konflikt 47 (with a jump walker) or Bolt Action (with a Sherman). However, I haven’t managed to finish anything. With a goal of at least finishing something, I have done a quick job on three simple, but very nice miniatures from Warlord Games, The Stix Brothers.

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My faces are terrible, something to work on (it’s my painting, not the minis), but with the wide brim you can’t see that part while you’re playing ­čśë

They are from a new game, Strontium Dog, based on the 2000 AD characters. Warlord Games have acquired the license for the whole 2000 AD universe, so this is just the first of many titles to come that will use variations of a new game system. I have now listened to one whole podcast about Strontium Dog, so I’m in no position to comment, other than it sounds (and looks) pretty cool. While many fans will be looking forward to a new incarnation of everyone’s favourite fascist, Joseph Dredd, I’m holding out for Slain and Rouge Trooper.

The miniatures are not particularly cheap, but they are not outrageous either, especially from the world of licensed-figures. And my-oh-my Toto, the figures are very nice, a real pleasure to paint.

Now back to the paint station.

 

Berlin Express

I’m near completion on a half-track for my US, because you can’t expect the poor bloody infantry to walk all the way to Berlin. The near term goal is to have a 1200 point list ready for a Bolt Action tournament in August, and this is a useful step towards that. Ultimately, this will be part of Konflikt 47 list that includes a jump-walker and jump-troops.

 

The model is a plastic half track from Warlord Games. I think it has turned out OK. I have gone for a little less weathering and aimed to reflect a dusty summer over more muddy months.

This baby can count as my entry to Azazel‘s Jewel in July blog challenge.

See you on the battlefield.

D.

 

Little Mehmet

Mehmet├žik- Little Mehmet was an affectionate nickname Turkish people used to refer to their soldiers during the first world war. Analogous to Digger for the Australian or New Zealand soldiers at the time. When the Soviet forces massed on the Georgian border in 1947 (at least, according to Clockwork Goblin in the world of Konflikt 47), Turkish citizens once again looked to┬áMehmet├žik to defend their homeland.

Konflikt 47 and its close cousin Bolt Action is at heart a game of infantry combat. So representing Turkish soldiers will be key to making my home brew K-47 Turkish force a success.

My view is that elite units will have been trained and armed by German liaison units. Modelling wise, using Germans as the base will be the easiest way to reflect this, which is lucky because I have a K-47 starter box in the cupboard, so I think it is time to bust it out.

37500263_2114720725442388_4834906562701033472_nAn obvious thing to do would be to add fezzes. While this might be fun, I also think it could be quite anachronistic as fezzes became to be seen as a symbol of the Ottoman empire and in 1925 were even banned! However, the ban was for the iconic red hat, which the military never really wore. Fezzes were worn, but they tended to be khaki or black. They also came in a startling array of shapes, although this might be because of the ad hoc nature of the Republican army in the early 1920s.

Anyway, all of this gives me a lot of room for artistic license for my fictional  Turkish army, which is good because I friend gave me bag full of Handschar heads (from the Warlord SS plastic set) that I will be able to use. I think officers and maybe NCO can have the more formal fezzes.

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I also have some metal world war one Turks about somewhere. I think these older uniforms will be able to be put to use as second line, garrison troops.

Turkey was involved in the lend lease program. I see no reason in K-47 to overlook this, as both sides courted Turkey,. No British or US tanks were purchased under the scheme (there will be more on Turkish armour in a future post), but they did receive among other items British style helmets. A mix of tommy-dishes might be another way to distinguish the regular and in-experienced troops.

My last thought is that cavalry should be included somehow, and I reckon this box of Perry American civil war cavalry might be just the thing (along with some Warlord second world war bits yet to be determined).

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So, just a lot of ideas today. But I wanted to share some of my thinking.

D.

The cruel weird war in Anatolia

While I have been working on a small US force for Konflikt 47 (and Bolt Action), I have simultaneously thinking about how to represent Turkey within the game. In the 1947 history created by Clockwork Goblin, Turkey joins the Axis powers and is subsequently invaded by the Soviet Union. German troops are deployed to eastern Turkey, but there is not much information about this front and nothing has been published on how to field a Turkish force.

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Here is the beginning of my home-brew list:

Turkey was not a willing entrant into the Second World War. When the threat from the Soviet Union and parsimony of the western Allies finally pushed the government of Inonu into declaring for the Axis, the Turkish military was far from prepared.

While the cadre of the army was built around a professional officer class, including some with experience from the first world war and war of liberation, much of their equipment was hopelessly out of date and inadequate. Training was also often outdated, a situation that is being rectified by the presence of German observers and training units. Consequently, the quality of Turkish forces varies widely, from unmotivated garrison troops to elite Republican Guard battalions.

Germany is only selectively willing to provide rift technology to their new ally. However, the threat posed by the Soviet Union from Georgia has seen Germany send an expeditionary force, Operation Red Hat (Unternehmen roter Hut), into eastern Anatolia to bolster the Turkish land forces. This force is currently small and so far, has been used as a mobile reserve, leaving Turkish units to defend the front line.

There are several useful pieces to build a plausible Turkish Army. The Bulgarian and Romanian army lists in Armies of Italy and Axis have lists are a good inspiration, with local troops and older hardware supplemented by German weapons and vehicles. Both nations also have cavalry. All of this feels like a Turkish army would be similar.

From the Konflikt 47 supplements, Resurgence and the new Defiance, there are Finland, and two Italian lists. More inspiration. Each shows different ways to create interesting armies from belligerent nations without direct access to rift-tech.

I have also done a little reading about the Turkish military, particularly the post-Ottoman Turkish army after the first world war. There is not much about in English, so it didn’t take very long. The achievements of the new Turkish Republic in 1919-1922 are impressive. This conflict is of particular interest as it took place in Turkey (similar to the Konflikt 47 invasion story), and covers the period of the demise of the Ottoman empire and the beginnings of the modern Turkish Republic.

There is a lot to come on Turkey in K47: list creation, list building, and perhaps the most fun of all, modelling. I figure my blog is a good as place as any to record some this.

I’d better get to work.

 

If you go into the woods today

This last Sunday saw Operation Bear, the largest Bolt Action tournament held in Melbourne so far. Thirty players assembled at Good Games┬áfor a cracking day of gaming. The hook of the day was 1,111 points using a single reinforced platoon (and no theater selectors) extended to allow one additional 0-1 choice provided nothing was repeated. So, you couldn’t take two Panzer III, but you could, for example, take a Tiger I and a Wirblewind. A silly example, of course, because that is almost 600 points, more than half of your budget.

So, of course, that’s what I did.

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There is a theme to the list. After the fall of Monte Cassino and the breakout from ANZIO, the 508 Heavy Panzer Battalion was used in penny-packets in support of 10th Army as they retreated to new defensive positions north of Rome. My force contained Heer Grenadiers, a unit of Fallschirmjager and a Tiger I accompanied by its anti-air asset, a Wirblewind.
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This is somewhat of fudge, since while Tigers were often defended by flak units, I don’t think Wirblewinds were deployed in Italy, or even available in June/July 1944. But I’ve got the model and I had never deployed it before.

It was a fun day. There were three games, two with objectives and one for kill points.
I feel this mix is pretty much optimal for three-game tournaments and encourages a more balanced approach to list building (or at least discouraging single-trick lists).
By the luck of the draw I faced two other German Players (who I beat), and a Polish Airborne list (who carried the day). Three fun opponents, three good games, a generally good buzz and lots of beautiful armies to look at on the day. It is hard to ask for much more.

If you want to hear more about Operation Bear and things Bolt Action, I’m one of the guests on the Cast Dice Podcast discussing the day in more detail.

Maybe I’ll see you at tournament sometime.

D.

Eighth edition is a thing

For those who came in late, like me, just on a year ago Games Workshop released a shiny new and significantly revised edition of Warhammer 40K, the eighth incarnation of this now venerable franchise. Well two days ago I read the rules for the second time, which didn’t take long as they’re only 6 or 7 pages, and opened my copy of Codex Chaos Space Marines for the first time. And, today, I threw some models down with my friend Oli, as he took me through my first game of the current version of 40K.

I like it.43018330461_3697ccca69_k

It reminds me a lot of the house rules that our gaming group finessed over many years of playing Apocalypse. Lots of toys, large explosions, not too much book-keeping and plenty of general dark-millennium mayhem. No doubt weird stuff will emerge, but for the moment Abaddon gives this edition 5 skull encrusted spikes.

The Mechanicus won the field today, but Chaos took it right up to them before being purged with flame.

Congratulations Oli, and thanks for coming over to show me how 8th ed works.

D.