Monday, October 9, 2017

SAGA Rus Princes & October Update

Wow, it's October already.  Where has this year gone?  I certainly haven't updated this blog as often as I intended too, and I certainly haven't finished off as many projects as I had hoped to so far this year.  I have a couple of months left to try to correct that and build momentum going into 2018, so here's hoping I can do that.

On the positive side, I just finished basing a new force for SAGA.  It is a Rus Princes army made up entirely of 28mm metal Gripping Beast models.  The figures were painted to a very high level by Andy K, an associate that I met via the internet.  He does great work and my pictures really don't do the figures justice.  The good news is that they fought to a bloody draw in their first game and got the win in their second game, so their tabletop career is off to a great start!  Shield transfers and banner by Little Big Men Studios.  Spears are brass wire that I made.  The army consists of a mounted Warlord, 4 units of mounted 4 Druzhina hearthguard, a unit of 8 City spearmen warriors, and 12 militia levy archers.
 More Druzhina
 The Last of the Druzhina
 Another angle on the Druzhina
 Levy Archers
 Warrior Spearmen
I have also had quite a bit of time taken up by acquiring a bunch of stuff for 40k...I started with Space Marines which I reconfigured after I had already acquired everything I thought I wanted, and have since acquired a sizable Eldar force and a tank centered Imperial Guard force. I really like the game and am glad I have gotten back into it. 
I almost purged the Kings of War Ogres that I had been working on...they are great models but I have grown sick of painting all of the straps and buckles on them, so much so that I just can't face painting anymore of them.  While taking pictures of them to sell I realized I actually had a valid army with what I had painted, so instead I am just getting rid of the partially painted figures.  I'm going to base up the army and look forward to getting it done.
I have several other irons in the fire when it comes to projects and hope to make some decisions on 2018 soon..until then, happy gaming!

Sunday, June 11, 2017

June 2017 Update

Wow...June 11th already...where has the first half of 2017 gone?  Part of me feels like I haven't accomplished much this year, but then I look at the number of games I have gotten in along with the time I have invested and the progress I have made on various projects and I may not be doing so bad after all.

One big thing I have been struggling with this year is Version 4 of Flames of War.  When this was first announced I was concerned that the change in the rules would put me off, but once I read through the rules and the freebie EW/LW conversion books and played a few games, the rules are actually good.  I like a lot of the changes (Recon got hosed a bit IMO, but I guess I can live with that) and the game flows well.  The issue I have with V4 is their army list model.  Battlefront has embraced the product model they first deployed with Team Yankee which is fine for new players (like I was with Team Yankee), but for players with large existing collections it stinks IMO.  The Afrika Korps and Desert Rats books contain only a portion of what the German and British lists in V3's North Africa book had, then they release cards with additional content that could have been in each for your $50 you get part of what was in North Africa for 2 of the 4 nationalities.  This is a step backward in army list options AND existing players are being nickle and dimed.  That said, the answer for me is to play the V4 rules for all periods using the V3 army list books; the games are fine and though some points may not be properly aligned to the V4 changes, it is all relative in friendly games.  Unfortunately I think Flames of War will be seeing a bit less table time in the near future as the local players figure out what is going to happen.

All is not doom and gloom though.  As Battlefront turns off some players, it appears that GW is pulling others like me back in.  I haven't played 40k since 5th edition and the failure that was 6th edition at which time I got rid of my armies.  I also haven't played Necromunda in years.  That is all changing.  GW has done a better job of marketing their product and showing the changes in the upcoming 8th edition IMO; so much so that I picked up the Shadow War rules, have some 8th edition stuff on pre-order, and started collecting Space Marine and Genestealer Cult forces.   I really like the 30k models from the Prospero and Calth sets, and got the Overkill box as a start on the core GSC force.  Now I just have to assemble and get painting (along with acquiring more stuff of course...).  I also got in a game of CAV: Strike Operations which I really liked.  Unfortunately I traded off my stuff from the first Kickstarter because I thought the game was never going to get off the ground locally, so I will have to reacquire some figures to play that game.

I have also been laboring on painting an Ogre army for Kings of War. I like how the army plays on the table, and I like how it is turning out painting-wise, but painting them has turned into a chore.  THERE ARE JUST WAY TOO MANY STRAPS AND BELTS ON THESE THINGS!!!!!!!  I have come to loathe painting all of the belts and straps and am forcing myself to paint them and not just blow through with a quick paint job.  I also got my stuff from the Shield Maiden Kickstarter that Shieldwolf Miniatures ( and these are amazing.  They will be the next fantasy army that I work on and I hope I enjoy painting them more than the Ogres.  Shieldwolf is going to run another Kickstarter later this summer which will include more heavily armored maidens along with Sci-fi options (think plastic Sisters!).

The rest of the year I will be focused on finishing the Ogres and getting a viable Space Marine force assembled and painted.  If I can do that and finish up a couple of other odds and ends, I will be happy.  Now, here are some pictures of what I have been focused on:
The start of my Space Marines
 Closer shot of the Beserker Braves and some Boomers
 Some characters, Boomers and Siege Breakers
 A couple of GW Mournfangs and some Fleabag riders used as Chariots
 Boom Wagon!
 Mirliton Mammoth with Shooters; Mahout and crew are not permanently attached - this will allow me to use the Mammoth with other riders for other armies
 Resin markers for Shadow War that a friend made and I painted up.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

15mm Cemetaries

Here are a couple of 15mm Cemetaries I just finished up.  They are from Monday Night Productions.  The price was good and they shipped quickly.  The only assembly required was on the arch on the ruined piece which had to be glued on.  The ruined piece will go with my rubbled 15mm city, and the intact piece will make it's debut today at Shifting Sands.  I will post a recap of Sands later this week when I have a chance.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Team Yankee - 15mm West Germans Completed

I recently completed the last of my 15mm West Germans for Team Yankee.  This included 2 more Gepards and 1 Leopard 1 that were painted to match the ones I previously posted.  It also included two platoons of infantry, so I won't have to proxy using my WWII models any longer.  These are Battlefront figures and painted up nicely.  Here they are with the company commander:
 I also painted up 6 stands of Fliegerfausts.  These are a nice, cheap anti-air addition for the force:
Next up are 4 Tornado strike aircraft.  These are actually 1/144 scale models from Dragon that came 2 in a box that is marketed as "Tornado ECR Lechfeld Tigers".  These come with all of the kit to do an electronic combat/recon version of the Tornado, but luckily for me they also come with the ground-attack munitions dispensers.  I simply built them to be gaming pieces, and left off all of the buzzers & whistles...the wings are glued in place for example, and I simply painted the glass for the cockpit instead of modeling with the pilot.  I purchased Litko flight stands and with those, these 4 aircraft cost me about 40% of what it would have cost me to get 4 of the Battlefront ones.
 Next up is one of my objectives.  This is a Battlefront M577 from the Viet Nam range that I painted as West German and put a West German crewman and a couple of infantry figures with.  The West Germans did use these as command vehicles.
And my second objective is a crashed Huey, also from the Battlefront Viet Nam range.  Painted up nicely IMO.
My West German force makes it's prime time debut next weekend at "Shifting Sands 2017".  It looks like there will be 20 to 24 players split between NATO and Warsaw Pact.  I will try to remember to take, and post pictures of the event...