Thursday, December 22, 2011

Merry Christmas to All!

I wish everyone and our troops a very Merry Christmas!!

May your stocking be full of Red Bears and Grey Wolves.  May your T-34s not get bogged down, nor your AOPs fail to range in.  May you pass all of your Morale Checks and Gun Saves.  May your Shurtzen pass and your Brumbar not be angry.  May your Seargents Carry On and your Italians have the best bayonets.

But most of all, have a safe and joyous holiday!

Friday, December 16, 2011

V3 Pages!!

Quick Post - check out WWPD's forum!  Under the V3 Predictions thread, you can see a link to two pages from V3 that is being used in play testing.  Very interesting!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Not much of an update

I have been lax in getting updates posted.  I have also just been lax!

Last week was lost because I had knee surgery.  That meant I did not play on Wednesday, but I did hang out for about an hour watching Joe and Mike go at it.  Thursday was surgery (went fine), which also meant I missed Joe's Tanksgiving tournament at The Last Square.  I was really bummed that I was going to miss it after reading Joe's write up on the tournament.  Seemed like it would be fun.  After reading the AAR, it was!

And congrats to Joe / Keamma for the win!

I am trying to move forward with some painting.  I have a second Armored Rifle Platoon on the table, with the base coat, tunics, pants, faces and hands completed.  I need to get the helmets and webbing done, then comes the wash and highlights.

I also need to get some 25 pounders painted up before mid-December.  Mike is hosting a tournament for MW and I am bringing out the FV Paras.  I will tweak the list and drop one section of 25 pounders, but add some limited air.  This is due to one game I played in the last MW tourney where my opponent was able to hide behind terrain, move, shoot, then ST back.  Not sure the air will really do much, but the thought of it might be enough to keep my opponent from bunching up too much.  Of course, I need to actually GET the 25 pounders before I can paint (waiting on the shipment).

I have also been helping Gregg out at easyarmy.com.  I am the "rules" box dude right now.

I am also wasting time with Assassin's Creed Revelations.  Skyrim isn't going to be my thing, but this is absolutely my thing.  So my son picked up the game the day before my surgery and let me go at it.  3 days of recovery playing that game was fun, but the lying around part got old.  I am glad to be back and functioning - today was the first day without crutches.  Wohoo!  To further define my "geekness", I curl and will not get back on the ice until January - yes KAGE, Americans curl too!

No games this week with Wendesday being right before Thanksgiving.  We decided to not play and let Bev / Karl close early if they want.

I am also thinking about getting back to the topic which was one of my first posts - math / statistics.  There is a bit of dicussion on the FoW forum (General Discussion - the thread about the Master's) that is interesting - just ignore the BS going on about American arrogance.  There is some really good intelligence you can glean regarding lists and probabilities.  I encourage folks to read some of the posts.  What I might do is steal from KAGE (Rules Nazi - oh, btw totally disagree with the arty discussion, but that is for another day) and make a section on "Flames of Math" or "Flames of Statistics."  Sounds dull, boring and a lot of work.  But it is right up my alley.

And with that, Happy Thanksgiving to my American friends.  Yes, another thing the Canadians have right - celebrate Thanksgiving when the harvest ACTUALLY happened.  There, +2 for Canada!  For those of you travelling - safe travels!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Pictures from Igor and personal note at the bottom!

As promised!!

To recap - we played teams, LW 1,750 each in preparation for an upcoming tournament.  We ended up playing Breakthrough.  We modified the table size to make it a bit more appealing for the size of the teams.  We did decide that each player would be treated separately - each had their own reserve rolls, etc.  And Joe would not let our AOPs range in for each other!  Hey, I had to try.  In the end, Wisconsin and Poland defeated Wisconsin and Wisconsin (ok, we timed out, but it was a done deal).



End of USA Turn 1 -  Attackers (USA) deployed in the upper left corner.  Objectives are on lower right corner.  One objective is located in the wheat field just below the road.  The other objective is far lower right corner.  Igor's Hellcats made a move to get side shots on the Panthers (lower left).  In the middle of the board is the Stuart horde that just eliminated the Pak 40s in the trees to the right of the horde.  Hard to see, but there are 3 more Panthers lurking in the village.  Igor's 2nd TD platoon is on the road, just to the right of the village - also looking for side shots on Panthers.  Our strategy was to run the Stuarts right through the middle of the table and sit them on the wheat field objective.  If necessary (depending on reserves), we would peel off some Stuarts to get to the second objective.  Mike (in that hideous Packers shirt) is standing near his Nebs.



Closer look of the tank killing zone near the village.  76mm enter the village to play with the Panthers.  Here you can see the German Grens sitting between the trees on the right and the buildings.  Tactically, I needed to me more careful with the Grens.  They lit up 2 76mm Shermans with shrecks and Mike rolled a 5 and 6 on his Firepower tests.  Bye bye 2 76mm.  Special recognition to Joe / Keamma and Catherine (Mrs. Keamma) - they painted the village buildings.  You can see them in the terrain forum section at FoW.  Catherine did the house located at the top of the picture.  The ivy she put on the side is fantastic.  She has offered to paint some for me!!  Wohoo!!



Turn 3 now - The Stuarts have secured the wheat field objective.  Now they have to live for a few more turns.  Stuarts killed a Panther with a side shot.  Yes, I yelled STUART POWER in homage to the WWPD guys.  3 Hellcats (look a lot like M10s!!) brewed up nicely.  My 76mm are about to be wiped out (they ran).  But 4 Shermans are heading over to make sure the Panthers die.  Turns out Igor got his reserves, came on and machine gunned the FJ platoon in the open.  Nothing like rolling 17 MG dice at open ground infantry.

We ended after 4 turns - we really ran out of time with all the "getting to know you" stuff that went on.  Many thanks to Igor for snapping the pictures.

On a very personal note and I hope you all make it down this far on the blog.  This is the second time I have met someone through FoW while working / visiting another country.  This April I met Tim / Bosje in Arnhem and had a blast.  I wish I could have dropped dice with him - he even asked!! - but with my family and a tight schedule, I just couldn't make it happen.  But Tim and the others at the great shop in Arnhem were wonderful to me and my family!  I am very honored to be able to repay the favor and host Igor.  I am looking forward to the drive to Rockford with him and spending a great day with my son and guest from Poland.  I emplore everyone to take the opportunity if it arises and get to know visitors through FoW.  Igor has already asked us if we plan on playing in the European Team Tournament next year - which just happens to be in Poland.  Joe!?!?!?!?!?!?!?  I see it now - CHEESE RULES POLAND!!!  Wow, that sounds like another WWPD Dispatch!!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

International Visitor!!

Our normal Wednesday evening game was a little different this week with a special guest (no, not Charro on the Love Boat - wow, I am old for pulling out that reference) - Igor from Poland.

Igor had sent out an email to some folks in Wisconsin based on the player finder at WWPD.  Thanks guys, err Chris Miller!!!  Anyway, we welcomed him with open arms and even convinced him to play in a tournament this Saturday (1,750 LW).  He plays Task Force A, so immediately I bonded with him.  I have enough Americans to let him field the list (mostly, I only have 4 Hellcats so we had to sub some M10s).  I also had enough to still field my 3rd Armored Tank Co.

We played a practice game last night and Igor took pictures.  Once I get them, they will pop up here almost immediately.  In order to get Igor to meet as many people as possible, we played as pairs.  Igor and I vs. Mike (cornishkeebler) and Ben (we call him "medium" Ben because we have big Ben and little Ben).  Ben is a good younger player, but can make some tactical mistakes (see earlier posts).

Igor's Task Force A

HQ - 2 greyhounds
Platoon #1 - 1 armored recon patrol (greyhound, jeep and mortar jeep)
Platoon #2 - same as above
Platoon #3 - 5 stuarts
Platoon #4 - 3 shermans
Platoon #5 - tank destroyers - hellcats, 2 sections for 4 'cats
Platoon #6 - same as above
Platoon #7 - armored arty (3 priests)
Platoon #8 - armored rifles
AOP
(Damn!  That's a lot of "stuff"!!)

Allen's 3rd

HQ - 2 shermans
Platoon #1 - 5 76mm shermans
Platoon #2 - 4 75mm shermans
Platoon #3 - 5 stuarts
Platoon #4 - 4 stuarts
Platoon #5 - recon (halftrack, 2 jeeps)
Platoon #6 - armored pioneers (engineers)
Platoon #7 - armored arty (3 priests)
AOP

Ben's Germans

HQ - Stug
Platoon #1 - 3 Stugs
Platoon #2 - 2 SP AA
Platoon #3 - 3 Panthers
Platoon #4 - 2 Tigers
Platoon #5 - FJ
(I think that is it)

Mike's Panzer Lehr - Mech
HQ - 2 stands
Platoon #1 - Grens
Platoon #2 - 3 Panthers
Platoon #3 - Nebs
Platoon #4 - Pak 40s
Platoon #5 - Grens
Platoon #6 - Panzerjaegers
(I think that is it)


Breakthrough was rolled and it is one of the possible missions for this weekend.  Since I was 3rd, we attacked.  Of course, Task Force A gets a similar rule, but it was ME that got us to attack!  Mike and Ben both had german armored lists, so big disadvantage for them.  The game went slower because of the yacking that went on.  We got 4 turns in, but the game was over by then anyway.  The allies simply rolled the germans.  The panthers put up a fight, with Mike taking out my 76mm with panthers and damn panzerschreck / faust / what ever they were!!  Rolling a 5 and a 6 for firepower against 2 hits sucks for the owner of the glorious 76mm shermans!

Quick summary with pictures to follow from Igor:

On turn 1, I used recon to lift GtG on the Pak 40s that were in woods and blocking our most direct route to the objectives.  I then ran 2 platoons of stuarts to assault range and unloaded main guns and mgs.  I also used 4 shermans to support the firing, keeping them still for full RoF and no stabilizer penalty.  18 AT7 shots, 8 AT10 shots, 26 MG shots basically wiped the Paks out.  I did use Shooting to Successful to get more movement out of the stewies.  Igor ran his TDs up to get side shots on the panthers.  His recon move got him 16", then anthother 16" in turn 1.  Panthers just laughed as shots missed.  But they didn't laugh when priests rained down and over two turns knocked out 2 panthers!!  That part of the board became tank hell!

Turn 2 saw more of the same.  The stewies pressed to get near / on the objective and setup a line for defense.  The grens couldn't get out of the foxholes for fear of certain death.  Mike then used part fo the grens to jump in a building anf light up my 76mms.  TDs kept up the pressure and did the "run and hide" a few times.  Priests continued to claim victims, including a 3rd panther!!

Rest of game:

Reserves started to come on, but by this time the board was littered with 76mm ruins, panther ruins and 3 hellcats.  Pak 40s were gone, FJ were reduced to taking platoon morale checks and ARP came on in delayed reserves to sit on the second objective and use 50cals and AA MGs to destroy FJ troops in the open.  Ugly.

So at the end of 4, german armor had come on, but there was no way to get to both objectives to contest.  Igor still had 3 shermans in reserve and I have my armored pios waiting to come on.  Plus a gazillion (ok, 14!) stewies were holding the other objective waiting for panthers and grens to head their way.

This was rough on the defender due to the mission.  The germans simply had too little on the board having to face 3,500 points of allies.  Priests were awesome and paid for themselves many times over.  76mm were good, but I played them poorly.  Igor's TDs were zipping like they should and got quality shots.  Too bad his dice (supplied by me) were cursed.  My stewies were stars as usual and the recon / lift GtG worked exactly as I hoped.  All in all, a good solid effort.

On the german's part, Ben made a mistake with the panthers and gave up side shots turn 1.  That didn't hurt him as much as sitting under two barrages from Priests each turn.  ToT (we got 3 ToT) claimed on panter outright.  Mike was tactically sound / superior with his grens and their help in taking out 76mm shermans.

Monday, October 31, 2011

PSC Shermans and Paint Storage Rack - Sentinel 15mm coming soon

All -

Update with pictures!

This past week, I received my paint storage rack from the UK and I purchased, assembled, primed and basecoated 5 Shermans from the Plastic Soldier Company.  I will review the buildings from Sentinel in a later post.  Here are my quick reviews:

Paint Storage Racks

Based on a suggestion on the WWPD forum, I ordered a paint rack that is specifically designed for Vallejo paints.  It would appear that the units are custom build on MDF using laser cutting.  They are also built to order because you could still smell the burn from the laser on the wood.

Here are a few pictures -


This is what you get when you receive the package.  The directions are simple and fairly easy to follow.  The nuts and bolts used to build the racks are rather clever.  You insert a bolt into the wood and the nut cannot spin, so it locks the bolt in place when you screw it in.  The picture is fuzzy, but hopefully you get the idea.



Half way through the build and it looks like this -


Final assembly and putting in the paints. 


I am very happy with the racks.  But I will say that they are a bit of a splurge.  With shipping and the exchange rate from pounds to dollars, they come it at over $50.  Nice, but not a requirement.  It does look good!


Plastic Soldier Company Shermans

I really have resisted plastic.  But listening to others talk about the benefits, I thought I would try out a box.  I grabbed the American Sherman box that lets you build the 76mm and the 75mm version.  To all the purists out there, yes it is the hull of the 76mm.  Anyway, you get 5 tanks for around 1/2 the price of BF.  But you get the turrets for both!  So you can switch as needed, effectively giving you two vehicles.  There is a caveat.  You only get enough hatches to build one turret.  What I did was go to the "bits" pile and grab some spare BF hatches.  I used white putty to fill in a hatch opening and put the BF hatch cover on top.  I will let you judge, but I am very pleased with the results.  I also added 2 pennies to each hull in a cheap attempt to add some weight.  It works, but I think you would get better results with the lead you can get for pine cars (think Boy Scouts).  The plastic is pink, which is a little strange.  The detail is fantastic.  Assembly was a little slow on the first tank because I was trying to figure it all out.  But after building one all the way through, I was able to knock the other 4 out in about the same time.

Let's talk abotu the pain - tracks.  I knew this going in and I will say that once I got the hang of it, I was very pleased with the tracks.  They are not as bad as what I have heard said about the T-34 models.

I really like these models and it does expand the use of my Shermans.  Plus I am guessing that we will see a full 76mm Tank Company in the upcoming Bulge books, so I can add vehicles quickly.  My only comment to BF would be to ask them to sell extra turrets.  I still like resin and if BF offered the turrets, it might make a difference.  But I am very happy with the results.

Here are the pictures:


One Sherman with both turrets.  You can see the BF hatch cover on the right turret.

I made this picture a little bigger, so you can see what I did.  I used White Stuff putty to fill the hole and put the BF hatch on top.  The scale is a little off (BF seems to be closer to 18mm than 15mm), but it works.  After priming, it blends in perfectly.

Here is the turret after priming.

For comparison, here are a few side by sides with a BF Sherman -
75mm turret above

76mm turret above

The tracks are pretty good.  Remember that I am looking at the model from 5 inches away.  After the prime and base coats, the seam blends in nicely.  Oh, the gloss from the glue disappears too!


I am very happy with the models.  I am thinking of starting Soviets (Red Bear!!) and PSC would be the way to go in creating that horde of T-34s.  Plus you get the turrets for 76 and 85 versions, so it allows for great flexibility.  I am a fan!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

WWPD Dispatches are MINE!!! BOTH of them!!!!

Evil laughter is errupting in Madison!!














While I have a few ideas, I am welcome to any others.  I am a big fan of sarcasm, humor and smack.

One thought I had, which I am going to take a pass on is this one, read by Steve:

[In a voice like the "Most Interesting Man in the World" ads in the States]

"I don't always impregnate women.  But when I do, I prefer my wife Lydia."

Then normal voice:

"Brought to you by your friends in Madison WI!!  Best of luck with the new born!"

Friday, October 21, 2011

Weekly Update, Workspace and Computer

Had a very quick game on Wednesday.  We continue to practice running the Blind Domination mission published by I-95 and available at http://www.wwpd.net/ in the download section.

We have an upcoming tournament that is running LW 1,350 with 2 Blind Domination missions and 1 Domination mission.  The idea is fast, furious and quick games as these will be played on a Friday afternoon and evening.

Since I played Joe last week, I played Ben - a young player in the area.  Unfortunately, Ben can be easily distracted and that was the issue for the game.

I brought US Armor, including 2 Sherman 75mm (CiC, 2iC), 4 76mm Shermans, 9 Stuarts, Armored Mortars, Armored Recon and ARP.

Ben brought 3 King Tigers and 1 Stug platoon (3 Stugs).

The game was won before it even started.  There was no way that Ben could be everywhere on the map to get the Domination points.  To do so, he would have to isolate his KT and the 76mm would clean them up.

The game went like this:  I deployed.  He killed a few Stuarts and an M8 armored car.  At Turn 6, Domination points went live and I won with 8 pts.  One hour tops.

But the game did provide some good play experience for me and some intelligence around the mission, especially when combined with 1,350 points.  Here are my current thoughts:

1) Big guns are useless in "large" numbers.  One Tiger - good.  3 Tigers - bad.  This mission dictates the need for mobility and good shooting on the move.  So the balance is very important.  Light Tank Company will not win - not enough high AT weapons.  Heavy Tank Company will not win - not enough mobility or enough things that shoot (as Joe learned last week).

2) Recon, while valuable to get on the board turn one, shred too many points.  Yes, zipping to get points on turn one is great!  But they simply cannot hold on to the points for 5 turns.  They go "boom" too easily.

3) Infantry is pointless - in this mission with this number of points.  You have to be able to move and the mission states you cannot move at the double until turn 6.  So the points for the ARP are better put to use on armor - and medium armor at that.

We have a few more weeks to tweak.  But as Joe and I were talking, I think we came upon a great list that one of us will try next week - 31 T-34s out of Fortress Europe.  Comes out to be 11 T-34/85, 10 T-34 and 10 Stuart Lend-Lease.  Yes, Hen and Chicks will hurt.  But 31 tanks or 62 AT 7+ shots is compelling.  Mike is not as favorable on the list and believes his German list would eat them up.  I am willing to see how this would play out - it could be a winner.

I am also working on my work space in the lower level.  My son paints too (40k) and we are looking to make a better environment.  I got a huge bit of support from my wife, so we ended up making a "temporary" space that is actually quite nice.  So nice that it may delay the full "dream" space concept.

Which gets me to the computer -

I was going to post pictures of the space, but I need to destroy my computer.  I went ahead and purchased a new system, which is what I will be soing this weekend.  Once I get the new system up and running, then the pictures will flow (like the spice - obscure reference??).

Yeah, all weekend installing crap.  Fun!!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Wednesday update / Last weekend's "issue"

I will start with last weekend.

For those of you who follow the FoW forums, you might have seen my rule question.  What happened was that during a game on Saturday, I played a long-time and successful player.  I knew the game was going to be a tough win for me or my opponent.  All good there.

As we were in the middle of the game, there was a situation that was similar to the one below:



What happened is that my opponent grabbed some dice and rolled them all at once, scoring two hits.  I started to put both hits on Sherman C and he said I could not do that because you have to maximize hits.  I knew this, but since he grabbed the dice I said "how do you know the hits came from Panzer A or B?  I think they came from C."  I agreed that I will need to spead the hits out, but we did not know where the hits came from.  And this is when the yelling at me started.  My opponent claimed that shooting is platoon to platoon.  His platoon scored 2 hits, so place the 2 hits on valid targets.  Since all my teams are a valid target to at least one of his teams, they can all get hits.  I disagreed.  His voice raised again.  I still disagreed.  By this time, we had called Joe over and Joe's first reaction was to calm the situation down.  Joe "ruled" that in the situation that we had (I have changed the example and the units due to my attempt to keep the exact situation and player a bit confidential), either way of looking at it would have resulted in hits going on two teams.  I agreed with that, but I did not and still do not agree on the belief that my opponent was "selling."  In the game, we were able to keep playing and even had another rules issue that was incredibly esoteric.  In that last example, we spoke and worked together.  Joe came over and all three of us were saying "I have never seen this before."  We worked out a ruling that we all could agree with and I think it was the correct way to go - even though it adversely affected my position.  So what had me scratching my head was why the bombastic attitude in the first example and then such a turn around on the second?  At the end of the game (1-3 draw to my opponent), we shook hands and my opponent apoplogized for the first interaction.  Turns out he was on the receiving end of the same situation some time ago and lost his "appeal."  Since then, he has been feverishly defending his new view.

Well, turns out I am right.  He should have rolled Panzer C separately since that unit has different valid tartget.That makes me feel better about the situation.  But I have to admit that if I played this person again (that is basically guaranteed), I will have this experience going in the back of my head.  Maybe in time I will "build a bridge and get over it."

On to Wednesday:

We played a 1,350 LW force, using Blind Domination from I-95 group.  We have another tourney coming up in Novemeber that will be split into 2 events.  The first is Blind Domination, Domination, Blind Domination again.  All mobile battles.  1,350 LW.  Fast and furious gaming!!

So Joe and I went at it.  My list (and I feel really good about it) is US 3rd Armored.  The tourney rule allows for only one combat platoon.  Here it is:

HQ - 2 Shermans
Combat Platoon # 1 - 4 76mm Shermans
Platoon #2 - 5 Stuarts
Platoon #3 - 4 Stuarts
Platoon #4 - Armored Rifles (full)
Platoon #5 - Armored Mortars (3, 2 with .50 cal MG upgrades)
Platoon #6 - Armored Recon (1 Section)

Based on my reading and confirmed with our game, mobility is key.  Plus anything you can get as recon is at a premium in Blind Domination.

Joe put up German pios:
Pio Platoon
Pio Platoon
Heavy Mortars (KG'd with 2iC)
3 Brumbars
3 Tigers

Summary:

I was able to grab 5 points and have a hold on them until the end.  I was able to run 1 Pio platoon and the mortars.  I was also able to kill 1 Tiger (at long range with a 76 Sherman!!).  But the pesky Brumbars kept him in the game by contesting the last 3 point objective (if I get the objective, I win).  We timed out after 7 turns, with me at a 3-1 draw.  Joe realized he needed mobility and will be re-working his list.  My issue is that I can get points and hold, but I cannot withstand sustained fire being Trained.  I need fast games.  Longer games will ruin me.  But I strongly recommend those missions - they are a blast!!

Next Wednesday is another go!!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Tournament AAR - Madison, WI - Oct 8th

Well, the big day arrived and we had a really long, but great day.  I will admit to there being a little damper on one of the games as a rules discussion got a bit heated.  And by heated, I mean my opponent was kind of yelling at me for basically daring to disagree with him.  That did not sit well with me.  When I am ready, I will share the details.  I believe in the end we were both correct.  It is just while I was willing to admit that he had a point, he was not willing to do the same.  Joe did intervene and by the end of the game, we shook hands.  After the game, my opponent did apologize, but the damage had been done.

Thank you for the couch, doctor.  Is our hour up now??

Back to the AAR -

I brought my Brit Para list.  To refresh, here it is:

HQ + 3 PIATS (spread among the platoons)
3 Para Platoons
1 Para HMG Platoon
1 Para AT Gun Platoon (6 pdr)
1 8 Gun Arty Battery (25 pdrs)
1,495 points

I felt good about the list, but I wish I had a few more games under my belt before I went into the tourney.

The tournament was 3 rounds, with missions being Encounter, No Retreat and a random draw between Fighting Withdrawl or Free For All.

Round 1 - Encounter:

I played a gentleman named Lysander.  He brought US Armored Rifles (ah, a man after my own heart).  I don't recall his full list, but I think he had 2 ARP, 3 M8 Scots, 105mm in halftracks, a SPAA (2) platoon and a Hero.  He might have had more, but they never hit the board.  We rolled and he was "attacker".

Here is the board, which was an "Italy" board:



Lysander put the Scots to my left and his arty in the back left.  One ARP was in the middle and another was placed far right (picture was taken during deployment).  I went with one para platoon left, one right and my 8 gun battery right.  I held HMG, one para platoon and AT guns in reserve.

In order to save the boring details, we swapped arty shots, the Scots moved up the left and killed a few stands.  My paras on the left (with my CiC) were able to assault following a smoke bombardment.  2 Scots killed, but the Scots didn't run.  Lysander pulled the last Scot back to the rear and the left became a stalemate.  On the right, he moved up the ARP (out of the half tracks) and was able to get reserves on turn 3.  They came on the right and he placed the SPAA.  The right became WW1.  I never got reserves and as you can see by the board, I really couldn't move up.  I did start moving the platoon on the left up the flank, but time ran out. 1-1.  Ouch.

This basically killed my tourney.  Due to the scoring of the tourney (extra 2 points for 6-1, 1.5 for 5-2 and 1 for 4-3), I found myself way behind the leaders.  The only good news is that there were a ton of us with 1-1.  Too bad 6 guys had 6-1.

My feelings on this match are tough.  There was nothing I could do to be aggressive.  I had 3 platoons on the table and only 2 could move.  He had 3 Scots, 2 ARPs, arty in halftracks and he got SPAA on the board.  Mech vs. infantry.  When mech isn't aggressive, not much to do.  I do not blame Lysander at all.  He asked me at the end why I didn't come to him.  I laughed and said "with what?"  He was so worried about Fearless Vets and worried about his Confident Trained guys gettign shot.  I mentioned that I thought it was a mistake to keep both ARP out of the tracks.  He could have swarmed one objective and held the other with the arty (they had machine guns on the tracks).  If I had reserves come on over on the left, I could have done something.  But 6" movement doesn't cover a lot of terrain (not like 12" or 16" halftracks).

Round 2: No Retreat.

I played Carley, who came down from Superior with her husband Patrick.  Both were very nice.  She brought 3 platoons of German Flaschirmjaeger (however you spell it!!) and even had some pios mixed in (they had flame throwers).  He had a Pak 40 platoon and a Tiger.

Here is the board after Turn 1:


All directional references will be based on the picture - I defended the top edge.

Carley put the platoon with flame throwers on the right (she marked them with the red), the Pak 40s on the right.  She had a HMG platoon in the middle and the 2 other FJ platoons on the left.  Kitty is middle right.  I put the 8 gun arty on the back right - just at the top of the picture.  The right objective (she placed) is on the road on the right side.  I placed a para platoon with 2 piats there.  I placed the AT guns in ambush.  My obbjective was back left in the trees.

Note about the terrain.  This was a "Finland" board.  All the white is snow.  If you had wide-tracks, you were good.  Otherwise they were suppossed to be bog checks.  Turns out not many people read the terrain sheet that Joe handed out, so this was scrapped because no one did it.  However, no double timing on the board.

On turn 1, I got reserves (yeah!) and brought a para platoon on the left side.  This was very fortunate as she had put two platoons on that side and I needed something to secure my objective.  She moved up slowly and was very conservative with the Kitty.  She knew she had to close the distances since concealed, GtG vets are mighty tough to hit.  I also started her death by arty in turn 1.  I ranged in on the Pak 40s and got one right away (Yeah British Special Rules!).

On turn 2, I got 2 more reserves and that made everything on the table for me.  In the end, this is what got her.  I was able to move HMGs up the left and another para platoon up the right.  On turn 2, her Pak 40s were destroyed (ran).  On turn 3, my arty got the Kitty.  That was luck and put the nail in the game.  Then it became her mission to kill a platoon.  She tried her best and almost pulled it off.  We entered into an assault.  With 5 Fearless Vet para stands, here was my role for hitting in the assault:


Yes friends, a two, another two, another another two, a one and another one.  We both took pictures of that roll!

I was able to break her company and that was the game.  6-1.  But with special scoring, I got 8 points total.  That put me to 9 and in the upper middle / lower top.

Round 3 - FFA

Joe had to roll FFA.  Then I got placed with an Armored opponent.  And I rolled to be "attacker".  And Dan rolled to go first.  But I am getting ahead of myself.  Here is the board:


This is just after deployment.  Objectives for him are far left / just peeking above my Diet Root Beer.  The other objective was on the right - just right of the little building behind the line of trees.  I had the 8 gun arty on the left, with a para platoon and the HMGs intermixed.  I had the AT guns and a second para platoon in the middle and a para platoon on the right.  My thinking was to have the para platoon in the middle to act as a reserve to move either way.  The AT guns created a bubble in the middle.

Dan had Panzer IIIs and IVs and a hero.  He also had 2 8-Rads.  He moved on platoon of PIII towards the right objective.  He doubled the IVs, the hero and the Rads behind the trees to get to the left side (in between the trees and the river in the upper left corner).  He then moved another platoon of PIIIs up the middle near the church.  Oh, my objectives were at the top.  Like I was going to atatck! Oh, yeah, I WAS the attacker.  RRRIIIGGHHHTTT.

The summary of this game was my slow death.  We got in 8 turns.  I survived a Company Morale check (thanks to the mulligan die we got for getting our lists in) and held on to my objectives.  1-3 Fair fight rules (I think).  I did assault him when he closed on the left objective.  If not for a darn Warrior save, I would have nailed his hero, who was also the CiC.  That would have been 2 points (special scoring rules).  Oh well.  We timed out after the 8th turn.  Had we gone one more, I am not sure I would have hung on.  But I did not "turtle up" and even assaulted him in turn 8.  He did appreciate that.

So, I ended with 10 points.  We don't have the final results, but I think that will put me in the middle.

The event was won by Sean and Myles.  Sean also won best painted with his museum quality painting.

Here are a few random pictures:

The winners!



Joe did another great job!!  Nice picture!


Carley and Patrick.  She tied for Best Sportsmanship!!  Most deserved by the way!!


Sean's Alpini.  I cannot tell you how good these are.  They are simply the best painted army I have ever seen.  He custom made the different plumes that go on the helmets.  He can paint, he can play and he is really nice.  The Triple Threat!!

Now we get ready for Rock-Con with 2 FoW tournaments.  One will be LW 1,350 with Domination missions.  The Saturday will be 1,750 LW traditional.  Do I go Paras or head back to USA, USA!!!???

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Arnhem Para Pictures

Here they are - ready for next Saturday!

First, a little background - I went to Arnhem this past Spring with my family.  While there, I picked up a Brit Para Company, a Brit HMG Platoon, a Brit Para Jeep Recon Platoon and, of course, Lt. Col. Frost.  I also picked up some dirt from the shadow of the bridge and within the defensive perimeter (I did the same thing at Pegasus Bridge and Omaha Beach in Normandy.

The bases below are from King & Kerr, as well as Battlefront.  Each base also has a little bit of dirt from Arnhem.  Yes, these boys are Arnhem Paras!!



Here are the three platoons.  I did not include all the PIATs and all the commanders.

These are the King & Kerr Urban Bases.

Close up.

Another from behind.

BTW - The red is more intense in the pictures than on the table.
I will be loading many more pictures in the coming week, since I took a picture of just about everything I own.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Final Prep

Had my last game before the tourney on the 8th of October.  Brought the newly based and painted Brit Paras for a spin as I think this is the list I will field.

I played a young player named Ben.

We rolled up Fighting Withdrawl.  Since I was infantry and Ben was infantry, we rolled to see who would be attacker.  I "lost" and was defender.

Rough idea of Ben's army (1,500 pts MW):

3 Platoons of infantry (grens probably)
1 Platoon of pak40 guns (2 guns)
1 Platoon of Armored Nebs
1 Platoon of "Baby Brumbars" (two tanks) - I think Stiigs or something??
Limited Air

Deployment:

Ok, realize this is the first time I have ever been defender in FW!  Suffice to say my deployment left quite a bit of room for improvement.  I covered each of the three objectives with one platoon of paras.  Yes, the objectives were pretty spread out.  My left objective also had the platoon of HMGs.  The AT guns were in ambush.  My 8 gun 25pdrs were spread from left to middle and were also helping out on the left objective.  Spotters were far left and far right.

In hindsight (and with great help from Mike who debriefed my for about 45 minutes after the game), I should have placed my objective in the far left and caused a "shift" to his objectives.  Remember that no two oblectives can be more than 48" apart.  Second mistake - I should not have placed all para platoons literally on the objectives.  I should have palced at least one in between two objectives.  Third, having the 25pdrs, the HMGs and a platoon on one side was a bit of overkill.  Again, after discussion, I think the strategy of leaving the center objective weak is sound because you can reinforce from either (or both) flanks.  Food for thought.

Anyway, my deployment stunk and Ben chose the far right objective to bull rush.  Great plan!!  I knew I was in for a world of hurt.

Short AAR:

Turn one - with less than a 1% chance to pull it off (.925% to be exact), Ben killed my observer right away.  Concealed, GtG, BPC target, rifle MG team firing and FP 6 - he rolled a 6, I failed my save, and he rolled another 6.  OUCH!!  But speaking bluntly, that was the highlight of the execution of his plan.  He learned later that assaulting two platoons of FV Paras is a quick way to die.  The reason he assaulted two para platoons was that he allowed me to shift my entire force to the right.  6 turns in and he had yet to fire a shot from the armored nebs or the pak40s.  In addition, he only fired the baby brumbars once.  He is young and will have to learn.  Unfortunately, I had to sacrifice my 6pdr AT guns to prevent an assault, so I ended up losing one platoon.  5-2 victory that would have been a 1-6 loss to an more experienced player.

Feelings going into the tourney:

Well, I am excited for the 8th.  There will be about 30 players in Madison.  3 will qualify for Nats.  I don't have a chance in hell.  I have only played my list 3 times and I have yet to learn the finer points.  But we will see if study can make up for a few games of experience!!  I do like my list and I think it will stand up well against others.  I am afraid of the hell known as cavalry.  All I know for sure is that I will have fun and I will learn a lot!!

Wish me luck!!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Done!!

I have completed my Brit Para Company!  Wohoo!!

They are painted and based.  I do need to dullcoat the stands and I will probably have to use some pigment / powders on the bases.  For one platoon, I used the King & Kerr Urban Bases.  On the other two, I used the Battlefront Rubble Bases.

I do like the bases.  My only problem is filling the cracks.  I am not talented enough to mold green stuff in there, so I used model railroad ballast to simulate rubble.  It looks ok, but I will need to do something to improve them.  Unfortunately, it really does cover up the work I did on the bases themselves.

When I put the whole company together, I admit I had the thougth of "that's all!??!?!  All that work and that is it!!!"  Each platoon is 7 stands, plus CiC and 2iC and three PIATS.  26 stands.  Lot's of work for 26 stands.

I did start the early work on the para HMGs.  I also bought (on sale) 6 pdr AT guns.  I am going to "steal" the crew from my 17 pdr and use those instead of painting more.  I need to 6 pdr for the tournament and I can always paint the other crew and use on the 17 pdrs.

So that means I will only have to borrow Joe's 25 pdr arty for the tournament.

I will try to get some pictures taken and loaded up.  But right now I owe my lovely wife whatever she wants because she really let me paint and base this weekend to get them done.  Love you honey!!  (she never reads this, but I will thank her anyway!!)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Be Kind - Pictures!!

Ok.  I have all my paras ready for the final camo.  I ran about 9 through the camo phase to see how they turned out.  I took some pictures.  Some are fuzzy, but hopefully you can see how they look.  Comments welcome as I have another 110+ ready to repeat the same step.

I need to go back and paint the wood part of the gun.

Another pose.

Other side.


So I hope this gives a little flavor to the guys.  I also hate the look of the super zoomed in dudes.  Of course, unless you are CdC!!

So let me know if they are good, passable or nasty!

Decision Time!

Ok.  Played last night and I went with the "Plan B" list.  While I like the list and I like the way it plays, I am going full bore on "Plan A."  Brit Paras - MW.

I have found that the Brit Para list lets me play infantry, but also be aggressive.  I am concerned with the relatively small size of the platoons (I am used to American Armored Rifles), but FV allows you to absorb a large number of shots without taking a ton of damage.  I had a discussion with Rob (new player), who loves his American Paras.  The issue with American Paras in MW is Tank Assault of 2.  They don't get 3 until LW.  Brit Paras however get Gammon Bombs, so TA 3 in MW!

I am fairly certain that at least one player will bring cavalry.  This could be trouble for my guys - especially getting "run down" if they fail assaults.  I hope two gun sections of 25pdrs (8 guns) plus all the special rules for Brit Arty will make Trigger and Flicka take an early trip to the glue factory!!

I am not worried about armor lists, as my playtest last week went really well and against a good opponent.

So now I need to get my units painting one way or another!!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Brit Paras - coming along, but a bit slowly

Due to weather, I was able to get some good painting done this weekend.  Too bad a quick trip (2.5 hours) to the vet emergency room was needed and caused a bit of a diruption.

But here is where I now stand:

My Brit Para Company is coming along.  I did pull out the light mortar stands (2) and the flame thrower stand (1) as both of those are not needed for the MW tourney.  I have 30 ready for camo, but also in need of boots being painted.  I have the rest of the box in a similar position.  They just need boots, weapons (except PIATs - those are painted) and camo.  I am hoping to be ready to base the guys this upcoming weekend.

My bases will be a combination of King & Kerr and the FoW urban rubble bases.  I have decided to model 4 units on a base.  Technically, NA book has 4 and 5 making a squad, but aBtF has them with two stands of 4.  I will go with the aBtF list, since that is really what the guys are suppossed to be.  Of course, it cuts down on the painting, so it is a win-win!

I will still get the Stewies based and painted as well.  I may actually run that list again this Wednesday to see how it plays.  I really like the para list and in a Defensive Battle, it will be a seriously strong list.  TA 3 is a blessing in MW, plus the PIATs make for another strong anti-armor defensive option.  But Mobile Battle could be a prolem.  The tourney will either have 2 DB or 2 MB, which will be decided at the time of the round.

Now that some ideas for the LW tourney are being released by Joe, I am thinking about the next list too.  LW - 1,750 and a quick LW 1,150 tourney are being done the first weekend in November.  The quickie are all Domination based rounds (3), with two being Blind Domination.  Due to the 2 being BD, I am thinking about a recon list.  But we shall see.

I know I need to get some pictures put up here and hopefully I will get that done shortly.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

MW Brit Para Lite AAR and Update

Regular gaming last night at The Last Square.  My dad was in town and came along for the ride.  He has joined us in the past and does like to watch the games.  My father and I played Squad Leader when I was younger, so we have dropped a number of dice against each other.  Unfortunately, he really doesn't want to play a game since he doesn't know the rules and doesn't really want to learn the rules.  Anyway, he came along and watched the proceedings.

I ran a MW Brit Para list that I am thinking about using in our upcoming tourney.  I think the benefit of playing the list before vastly outweighs anything learned about the list from others.  It is all good, clean fun!

We rolled off to determine matchups and I "earned" Mike (Mr. Best German General at LW Nats).  He wanted to play a "fun" list, so he brought SS Panzers, with a platoon of captured T-34 (42).  Here is what I recall of his list, but I may have him with an extra tank or two:

1 Platoon Panzer IV (4 tanks)
1 Platoon Panzer III (4 tanks)
1 Platoon Captured T-34 (3 Tanks)
HQ - Panzer III (2 tanks)
All Fearless Vets - Midwar

I think that is about right.

I placed the following Brit Paras (Italy) list:

HQ + 3 Piats
Full Para Platoon
Full Para Platoon
Full Para Platoon
Mortar / HMG Platoon (chose HMGs)
Para AT Gun (4 6pdrs)
8th Army Arty (8 25pdr - 2 gun troops)

We decided to run No Retreat since it will be a mission in the tourney and I had actually never run the mission before - go figure.

So Brit paras defended.  Since this is a "lite" AAR and this was my first try at this list, I will just jump to the "findings" (btw - 6-1 win for the Brit Paras due to Company Morale):

1) Fearless Vets are AWESOME!!!  I am so used to Confident Trained US Armor, that I never really got to experience Vets.  Concealed, Gone to Ground and in Bulletproof cover is a new experience for me.  And I like it very much!  It absolutely makes the attacker have to get within 16" for armor even to stand a chance.  And even that needs a 6 to hit plus firepower to kill failed saves.

2) Brit Paras rock in assault against tanks.  I was told they did, but when you actually expereince it, well it was a sight to see.  Reminded me of stories when I was 16 years old about [CENSORED - THIS IS A FAMILY BLOG].  It was so much better than the stories!  Ok, back to the game.  At TA 3 and TA 4 (piats) and top armor of 1, I just need 3 hits to kill one tank (armor save of 1 kills and 2 bails, which in assaults can basically be a kill).  Yes, I need to pass motivation to assault, but Fearless helps that!  For the game, I killed (either outright or captured due to bailed) 6 tanks in assaults - 2 T-34s, 3 Panzer IIIs and 1 Panzer IV.

3) Taking learnings from EW, I tried out one of the 25pdr gun troops as AT guns and not arty.  Tactic was sound, the dice were not.  But 8 shots of AT 9 coming at FA 6 are decent odds.

4) Smoke works for the Brits just as well as for the Americans.  Smoke and assault.  Just like Salt and Pepper (the spice, not the female rap group, errr - not the spice girls either, but you know what I mean).  My last assault into the Panzer IVs and the CiC was in smoke.

5) Don't be afraid to move at the double.  I had to do it twice.  Took shots once, but I survived just fine.

6) Don't leave you platoon commander picking his butt in a field when he should be back inside that building 4" away.  Dumb a#@ move of the game for me.

7) TAKE PICTURES!!!  We have great terrain and everyone does a good job painting.  We should be showing off our boards and battles!!

The midwar Brit Paras are a good list.  It now puts a lot more pressure on me to finish the painting!!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

List Creation

Not much painting happening due to family visiting. Plus the weather is perfect right now. But what I have been doing is focusing on list creation. I am still working on my upcoming MidWar list. I am pretty set with my two options. But I did start to work on a LateWar list and that is where the fun is happening. I have a list for Medium Armor (US 3rd), Light Armor (US 3rd), Brit Rifles (50th / T&T), Devil's Brigade and Brit Paras. And I just created a list for American Rifles with all templates. This one is just for fun and not for anything else. I just want to try having 5 or 6 platoons that have templates. Of course Easy Army makes this a lot easier to do that the old paper and calculator. And I am really waiting for Easy Army to get the US and Brit lists up for North Africa!!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Not much of an update

The holiday weekend travels, plus family visits are really going to put a stop to my progress.  Unfortunately, October 8th still moves forward and I have a lot of painting to do.

I have 30 guys ready for the camo and another 30 are started with good progress.  I have also decided to model them on stands like the new LW lists - one stand of 5 one stand of 4.  So the BF rubble bases will handle the 5 and my King & Kerr Urban Bases will handle the 4.

Even if I don't finish, Joe has the stands I will need so I can field the list.  But I am also still interested in the Plan B list too.

We will see!

So count so far:  17pdrs are ready for basing.  30 guys are ready for camo and basing.  30 more have denison base completed and another 80 have just been started.  I also need to paint HMG platoons and 5 Stewarts (Plan B).

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Lite AAR and Painting Update

Got a game in last night (as usual for Wednesdays).

Since the LW Nats are done, we are switching gears to MW.  Our tournament is on October 8th at The Last Square.  ALL ARE INVITED!!!

Game AAR:

MW - 1,500 pts.

I decided to test a list I am calling "Plan B".  It is a US Armor Light Tank Company List from North Africa.  The list is basically:

HQ - 2 Stewarts
Platoon #1 - 4 Stuarts
Platoon #2 - 4 Stuarts
Platoon #3 - 4 Shermans (75mm)
Platoon #4 - Armored Rifles, with one rifle squad
Platoon #5 - Armored Mortars (3 tubes)
Platoon #6 - One battery of Priests
1,495 pts.

It is a "standard" build and I just need to finish painting 5 Stuarts to get this completed.  No problem.  I am still leaning towards Brit Paras and I am painting like a man possessed, but I need a Plan B.  Hence the name!  : - )

Played Ben, who is a good young player.  He did really well (won) our most recent tournament, but he can still make some mistakes.  He put down 2 German FJ / Pio platoons (full), 2 AA guns, a Tiger and a Pzr III and Priority Stukas.

We rolled Breakthrough and he was defender.

He decided to place all units on the board and had nothing in ambush.  While he started in prepared positions, he had to move to get to the objectives.  I decided to place 1 platoon of Stewies in delayed reserves.

Summary:

I was able to smoke the Tiger on the first turn.  I then pressed forward with my Stewies and Shermans.  My AAR did a loop on the board to get around a flank.  My Priests bascially could not range in to save their life for the enitire game.  I literally got one round of firing in over the 6 rounds of the game and finally gave up and moved them forward as a machine gun platoon.

Ben became obsessed with the Stukas and targeting my Shermans.  He knew the Sherms were the only unit that could touch his Tiger and he wanted them gone.  Unfortunately, I closed the gap on the infantry to within wave-off distance.  In a brain fart / poor decision, he decided to double the Pios to get out of range of the planes.  He did get out of range and the Stukas took out 1 Sherman.  But I decimated the platoon on the next turn and by turn 3, the platoon was gone from the table, along with the 1iC.  I will admit that Ben had bad rolling at bad times - like failing Fearless tests.  By turn 6, all he had was the Tiger (Pzr III was long gone) and a reduced platoon of FJ Pios.  Once the objectives went live, he could not be in both places at once and he called the game.  6-1 win.  I ended up losing 2 Shermans and a Stewie.

So I like the list and it plays well, but again it is fairly standard.  While I like the Priests, I miss the AOP.  I will need to think long and hard about the Priests and whether or not I can drop them completely or sub them for standard 105mm.  That will be a play test coming up.

BTW - Stukas are just mean.  If they hit and you fail the armor save (likely outcome), they kill.  Period.  But as with all aircraft, they are fickle.  You simply cannot count on the planes killing stuff.  But it does dictate movement!

Painting Update:

I am painting like my hair is on fire (which it is if I want to get them finished in time).  My Heavy AT Platoon is done.  I "just" need to base them up.  I will be modelling 2 for Arnhem and 2 for Pegasus Bridge.  I have dirt from both locations, so those will go on the bases.  For the tourney, I will use them as a proxy for the smaller AT guns.  I have 30 paras painted and ready for the camo part.  I have emailed with "Bengo" on the FoW forum.  He is the one who came up with the process I am using to paint my paras.  Good stuff and he really got me going.  He did the same thing - painted a gazillion in a relatively short period of time, so he can sympathize.  I hope to finish the 30 tonight and start the next 30.  I have just over 5 weeks to get everything completed.  If I don't, and that is a big possibility, I will either field the "Plan B" list or borrow paras from Joe.  If I borrow, I will take my units out of the painting competition since I did not paint them.  But I am hoping to get mine done in time!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Ongoing saga

So I have a post on the modeling forum talking about some different ways to get the paras painted.  I am thinking about just substituting the Flat Brown for English Uniform.  This was the base can be the brown, then come over with the Green Ochre and Reflective Green.

I decided to wait on any real painting last night and focused on helmets and berets.  It is out of order, but I don't think it really matters all that much.

But that got me thinking about the math involved.  Even at 45 seconds a helment, I am looking at 1:45 to get all helmets and berets.  I am guessing if each guy took total paint time of 5 minutes, I would need to spend almost 11 hours of actual painting.  This would not include wait time, dry time, setup and cleaning time and I get to repeat for the Airlanding Company.

While I am still a proponent of batches, I think the time crunch will force me to just plow through the company.

I am not even going to start to think about basing!!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Way to go Mike!

Before I get to my painting update, a quick offer of congratulations to Mike Jacobs from our part of the world.  Mike qualified for Nats earlier this year.  He was focused on MW at Adepticon and as an after thought, figured he would head down to Austin for LW.

Good thing he did!

Mike finished with Best General - Germans for the tourney!!  I am sure it was due to all the games that Joe and I did with Mike.  Well, maybe not MY games with Mike.

Way to go!!

I guess it says a lot about the level of play in Madison, WI.  I-95, you got NOTHING on us!  Richmond?!?!  Nahh!!

BTW - That was sarcasm.  I-95 guys are great and the Richmond "network" is pretty good too.  I guess we need a cool name for our group.  Ideas??

Now for the update:

I was able to get some painting done on Sunday evening.  My 17pdr Airlanding Heavy Antitank Platoon is basically completed.  I do still need to base the guys and guns (the guns have been completed for months).  So I got the Denison smock finished, a wash, the details (webbing, guns, boots, etc.).  But I must admit I only painted half of the chin straps.  As I was painting I could not help but think that no one would pull out the microscope and check them out.  So half have straps and half do not.  I will seal tonight and move on to the next batch.  I will bring them to Wednesday night gaming and get some feedback from the experts, but I think they are pretty good.

I am preparing my Plan-B for the October tourney.  Plan-A is Brit Paras.  Plan-B is US Armor, but with Stewies.  I will need to get a few Stewies painted up, but that will not be a problem at all.  I will also throw in one platoon of Shermans to address the bigger tanks I might face.

I am a big fan of the Stewies.  For Americans, I really can't think of a better unit to address the Soviet Horde.  5 MG dice per tank against Conscripts Trained.  Yes, I need 10 hits to pin, but rolling 25 dice per platoon certainly helps address those odds.

I will test both lists fo rthe next few weeks.  I am not that well versed in playing infantry - especially paras.  But I want to expand my skills and try a different play style.  We will see!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Progress!

Nice progress tonight. My paras got faces, finished helmets,hands, webbing, highlights and another wash. Next step will be the camo on the Denison smock. I also made progress on the American crew for the Priests.

I am hoping to get them finished tomorrow night. I will not be able to work on them over the weekend, so the pressure is on.

Now the depressing part - if I finish 20 a week, it will take me about 8 weeks to get my company painted. Then I need to base! October 8th is the tourney, which is shorter than 8 weeks. This could get tricky. So I will have to increase the batch sizes to 40. Wow.

I will probably have to reduce the steps a bit too. I am thinking right now that one less wash is the way to go.

I choose to go with armor, I am not worried because I can churn out good looking tanks very quickly. So my list may be more about the stuff I can put on the table than about what would make a good list.

Oh $%#@!

Ok.  So Joe (Keamma) is going to be putting on a tourney at our FLGS.  I believe the date is in early October (October 8th).  Midwar - 1,500 points.  But being the great guy that he is, he is limiting it to the current books covering Midwar.  And, of course, I only own the old Afrika book.  Ooops.  So I have to grab a used copy of North Africa.  Fine.  Got it yesterday.  Wow.  Great book.

But that is not the reason for the post.

We just finished up a Latewar "fest" to help Mike get ready for Nats in Texas.  I am tired of LW.  Perfect - we can now focus on MW to get ready for October.

So I am looking through the book and loving the units.  I have fielded a MW US Armor Company twice in a tourney and was even able to eeke out a 3rd place in one.  So I am thinking I will just do the same thing again.

And then I went and looked at Brits.  Sidebar - seriously, the Brits are like HALF THE BOOK!!  Really?!?!  Anyway, I am looking at the Honey Stuarts.  I can use the models that I will be getting for EW in MW.  Sounds good.

And then I saw paras.  Fell in love right away.  I was up 'till midnight looking this over.  I am not saying I will go this route, but it does look really good.  Just like the Ferrari in Ferris Beuller.

Which means I have a $%#@ load of paras to get painted by October 8th!!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Confession

Ok.  I am using the blog as motivation to get my butt in gear.

When I decided to go into EW "whole hog", I realized I had to get moving on the painting front.  So if I update the blog with each incremental improvement on the painting front, I am tricking myself into feeling peer pressure to get it done.  So there will be "micro blog postings" that basically detail what was done.

I did make some progress last night.  I am really trying to keep the painting to about 60 minutes or less an evening.  The 19 paras is an almost perfect number to be able to make steady progress towards completion.  The problem last night was that I needed to apply a wash.  2 minutes later I was done.  I have to let the wash dry out, so no more painting.  But I did get about 8 or 9 helmets painted with their base coat.

But then I remembered I had 6 American crew for my last two Priests.  They had already been primed grey, so I got the pants and tunics painted with a base coat.  I actually did these before the helmets on the paras.

Total paint time: 19 minutes.

Had to stop to go pick up my son from a movie.  He turns 16 in December.  Bad news - insurance.  Good news - he can drive himself.

Nothing will be done tonight as it is our regular Wedensday game at The Last Square!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Brit Paras

While I wait for my large EW order, I thought I would get going on some Brit paras that I picked up in Arnhem.  You see, I was thinking about how long ago it was that I was in the Netherlands and I nearly fell out of my chair.  Over 4 months have passed.  I should have been DONE with these things by now and they are basically base coated.  Geesh!

So I pulled the guys that came with the 17pdr air landing pack and started on those.  Due to the FSSF list I did in the winter, I realized it is easier to do full batches of 20 guys than paint 155 pants, then 155 tunics, etc.  So the 19 men are my first batch.

I also decided to deviate from the "official" guides and go off one I found on the forum.  It basically has you paint the denison smock green as a base.  Then you add on the light and dark brown color swatches.  We will see how this works out.  Right now, I have primed and base coated the guys with Brit Uniform.  I also painted the Reflective Green on the denison smock.  Up next is a wash, then more on the denison smock.  I am hoping to get the 19 guys done by this weekend.  If they look good, then I will start with the full company.  And when the company is done, I get the reward of having to do another one (Arnhem is one, Pegasus Bridge is the other).

Oh, plus a zillion EW Brit Armor models.  Wohoo!!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

I'm in!!

Well, I did it.  Placed the order with my FLGS (The Last Square) for a bunch of stuff:

15 Mk VI B Light Tanks
16 A10 Tanks
13 Honey Stuarts
2 US LW Stuart Platoon Boxes (10 tanks)
1 Cromwell Platoon Box (5 tanks)
2 8th Army Rifle Platoons

And now I need to learn how to paint the Caunter Camo scheme.  If anyone has a tutorial, pass it along.  I am planning on airbrusing the colors (light to dark) and also applying panel shading at each step (light blue, then lighter blue panel shading; repeat for darker tones).  I just need to get the shading similar across the different colors where the panels share two colors.  I saw a great tutorial on how to do it with a 2 color scheme camo pattern, so hopefully it will work here too.  But I won't get the order until next week and life is in the way right now of getting quality painting done.

Such is life.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Here we go!

It is time to make the official plunge into EW.  And the result will be to totally change my painting table order of business.  So I will either get a ton of stuff painted or I will become another one of "those guys" with a ton of unpainted lead.  I am not giving odds.

I am about to place an order for a bunch of EW British armor.  Can't help it.  But for some strange reason, I just can't make myself by the BAR box for Blitzkrieg.  It makes me feel a little "dirty" to even consider it.  For those of you who do not know, go check out the forum at FoW on anything related to BAR.

But I picked up Hellfire and Back yesterday and I am getting hooked.

So this is what I am thinking:

1) Field the BAR from HaB.  It is a little different, but the cool color scheme for the EW Brit Desert is very neat.  Not sure I can get it painted, but what the heck.

2) Field the Honey Stuart list.  Ok, I am a Stewie fan.  I mean how can you not be when they name a tank after the cartoon character!!  ;-)

3) Finish my LW Cromwell list.  I am liking the PDF of the 11th Armor from Market Garden.  In a pinch, I can just run the Croms from Hell's Highway.

4) Field the LW American Light Tank Company.  Stewies again!!

That will still leave me with needing to finish 2 full Brit Para / Airlanding companies, para arty, para recon jeeps, para AT guns, US ARP #2, 15 half tracks, urban bases (King & Kerr as well as BF plastic bases), Arnhem Bridge, Arnhem Brit HQ, 3 other buildings, dust clouds (HaB) plus one more Croc, 2 more Shermans, 2 more Stewies (in addition to the ones above), 2 more Croms and 3 Dingos.

Are you $%#@ me!!!!

I have decided that the quality of my paras and infantry will suffer, but the armor will still get the same treatment.  I just cannot get this list of stuff painted any time soon unless I come up with another way.  And I am not sending it out to do.  In reality, I do like painting.  So the infantry and guns will suffer a bit.

Wish me luck!!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Long overdue!

Almost a full month since my last post?!?!?!  WHHOOOAAATT???

So the weather has been warm, work needs to be done, kids need to be fed, dog needs some attention, blah, blah, blah.

I forget that painting is seriously curtailed in the summer.

What I have also been doing is dealing with this discussion called "the BAR."  Like many of you, I have grown to get a headache on the topic.  I believe there is something seriously wrong with the list.  And I am not about to get into an argument about the list.  As I have said on the forums, my belief does not require you to believe.

So, Joe and I have played several EW games.  I like the period, but winning 6-1 gets old - especially winning with the BAR.

I have gotten in a number of games, all with a wide range of results.  Last night was fun, in a "what are the odds" kind of way.  I played off the brand new official pdf listing for British 11th armor.  I brought Croms and Challengers.  Joe brought FT Fallschirmjager.  I didn't deploy as best as I could have and in the end it cost me.  But I was tactically sound (I think).  Anyway, let's just say the dice were not in my favor.  How so you ask?  Example 1: Range in (smoke) on concealed, trained infantry, with a re-roll of the first range in attempt.  4 dice total.  Just one needs to be above 4.  The odds of success are 94%.  No fours show up, target is not smoked (Pak40 guns) and the results were ugly.  Three turns later, same roll, and yes, same result.  Odds of both results happening?  0.39%  Yes, four times in a thousand.  And it really didn't stop there.  I just seemed to roll a lot of 1,2 and 3s.  12 dice at a 4 to hit?  1 hit.  That happened too.

Moral of the story?  I think the Battlefront dice are possessed.  Man, I need to get back to painting!!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Time for an update

So, what I have I been up to recently?

Let's call it a form of "Mickey Mouse Camo"


After 11 days in California, visiting with family and friends, I came back home to a pile of units needing attention.  I will say that I am becoming afflicted with the "ton of unpainted lead" (or resin!) disease that cripples so many of us.  So I need to knock that pile down.

I know reading about painting without pictures stinks.  But until I get better lighting, I can't really do anything about it.

Brit Paras - I have one of my companies (the Arnhem force) base coated.  I also have the crews from the 17pdr AT guns base coated.  The guns themselves are completed and waiting for the men!  I am using a little bit different approach to the paras.  I found a thread on FoW that seems to be more to my liking, so I am following it.  If they turn out as expected, I will post pictures and tutorial.  And to think I complained about American Infantry!  To go along with the paras, I have bases from King & Kerr, as well as the new Cassino bases that I will use to model the Arnhem paras.

Typhoons - I am so happy!  I have them completed and glossed, awaiting decals.  I am happy with the results so far.

Brit armor - This one just snuck onto the table and expanded in every way.  I know have 2 full platoons of Cromwells, with Challengers / Fireflies.  They are awaiting decals and weathering.  Again, they look pretty good.  I also have my HQ and a platoon of Shermans.

American - I have two priests waiting decals, weathering and crews.  I have a single Sherman ready for weathering only.

Terrain - Several buildings are in process.  I hope to get them done - if only from a "something different" view.

Upcoming - How do I explain?  I am from the Midwest USA and every winter we see a blizzard coming on the radar several days out.  You know it will hit, so you prepare.  You know it is inevitable.  That is how I feel about Early War.  I know it is inevitable.  So I am preparing.  Brit Armor is my choice!  Silly reason for it and not the one that everyone would think.  I am not going this route because the list is really strong in EW.  I just like painting green.  Funny I know.  But it is the truth!

Hope everyone is having a great summer so far!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Paintfest Round 2

This past weekend saw a bit of progress on painting!

Me and a couple of friends decided to get together this weekend at our LGS (The Last Square, Madison, WI) and paint together.  We did it for several reasons, but really one of our friends (Michael) just received a new air brush and compressor.  He was all "geeked" out about getting to use the tool.  In addition, his lovely wife is battling cancer, so this was a way for Michael to get a sense of normalcy.  We were all really glad to get the group together.  Michael has not played FoW in over a year.  He was tired of the game and it really showed.  Heck, if you are not having fun then do something else!  That was Michael's motto and I really understand.

Is it a bad sign that you pack your car the night before?  Or that you believe you need a list to make sure you brougth everything?

Air brush - Check
Compressor - Check
Brit Paras - Check
33 brushes - Check
110 bottles of paint - Check
Cup for the air brush to actually work - ahhh.  yeah.  forgot that.

So I was not able to air brush with Michael, but he took to it like a trooper.  He is building a Tiger I model and did a great job with the base coat and practicing his dots and thin lines.  I was finishing up my son's Leman Russ and doing detail work on Brit Armour.  Joe was going to town on his new buildings.  Be sure to check out his pictures in the terrain section of the flames of war forum at flamesofwar.com where he talks about his Total Battle Mitiatures buildings.  They do look fantastic!

Then it happened.

I had just finished a pin wash on the Leman Russ using MIG Brown Wash.  I was about to start a wash on the Brit Armour with MIG Dark Wash.  I see the pigments in the bottle were stuck at the bottom.  So I violently shake the bottle.  In 2.3 seconds I realize that the bottle was not fully sealed.  That was 2.3 seconds too late.  I splattered EVREYTHING.  My stuff, my hands, the table, the surrounding 23 feet.  The good news - I did not get Joe, nor his buildings.  The bad news - Michael got it worse that anyone or anything.  I splattered the poor guy.  Hands, face, arm - EVERYTHING.  The new, nicely painted Tiger I - nailed it.

After 20 minutes of clean up and me feeling as big as a tick, Michael was presentable.  With Joe's help, we got as much as we could cleaned up around his work area.  But the Tiger I was staring at me.  I knew I ruined the model.  I can't clean enamel off acrylic that has not yet been sealed.  If I put the thinner on the model, the basecoat is ruined.

The first think Michael says when he gets back "Hey, that looks like rust!"  I think it is utter "bs", but that is his view.  I wanted to crawl away.  I figure my penance should be painting three battalions of Soviet Strelk.  But Michael continued to insist and tried his best to make me feel better.  I don't.  And I won't for a while.

We did keep painting, but my heart just wasn't in it.  So Michael, if you are reading, I am still very sorry and feel like a total loser!  Thanks for the comments to make me feel better.  But I still feel like a dork.  Oh, replace a couple of letters in Dork and you get a better picture.

After a few drinks at home and a day to put it behind me, I did finish up some stuff last night with my son.  He is painting his Grey Knights 40K guys.  He used the air brush and put a basecoat of Vallejo Model Air Gun (Metallic) on the guys.  Promising start!  I used the airbrush to fix my Typhoons (a victim of "splattergate") and to put a light grey on the underside of the fuselage.  I also now have all my Brit Armour tracks finished and just a little detail work needed before decals and weathering.  But it will be a few weeks before I can finish since I have some time off coming up and a trip planned.

So a gentle reminder to all - Check and double check that your MIG bottle is fully closed before violently shaking the bottle!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Paintfest Results

Well, cold hard reality hit me in the face.  I had great aspirations for Paintfest, but it didn't quite work out that way.  But I did get some good painting done!

All my British armor has been primed, base coated and panel highlighted.  I even had a spare minute or two to get the wooden handles all painted and stowage boxes painted.  All my American halftracks and Priests got the exact same treatment.  So in a pinch, they could hit the table right now.  The crews of the 17pdrs got primed and a base coat of British Uniform.  Tank crews got the same.  The British paras are a different story.  Due to some "technical" issues, about 60% were basecoated (all were primed).  I was applying the basecoat with my airbrush, but I was constantly getting the mix wrong.  I finally gave up and resorted to a brush.  Wrong!  After four guys, I decided to stop and return later with the brush.  I did get a primer coat on my Ruined British HQ from JR Miniatures and a cottage I picked up a year ago.

My real accomplishment was getting my son's Leman Russ 40k model painted up.  Did the primer, basecoat and higlighting.  I went with a version of American desert armor color.  I still need to paint the details and get a wash put on it.  But I like the way it looks.  I am a little afraid that I went a bit overboard on the highlighting, but my son tells me he likes it as is.

So next on the "to do" list will be getting the basecoat on the Brit paras and then get the vehicles completed.  But with work and great weather, well it might take a bit of time.  Plus our family vacation is coming up!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Preparing for Paintfest!

The last several weeks have been fairly brutal from a travel perspective.  Work just keeps getting in the way of quality gaming and painting!

I was able to get a game in last week, which is detailed in an earlier post.  But this week is a no-go due to travel (again).  However, the weekend is a different story with respect to painting.

My wife and daughter are headed on a 7+ hour (each way) road trip to a volleyball tournament.  Unfortunately, I will still be out of town when the team is heading out.  Darn.  That means my son and I will be here over the weekend.  By ourselves.  With none of the wonderful women in my life at home.  Hmmmm.  Makes me think we will have Paintfest!! (Just say it in your "Monster Truck Annoucer Man Voice!!)

Paintfest, Paintfest, Paintfest!!!

Here is what is actually on the table, ready for painting:

109 British Paratroopers from Arnhem.  They are all attached to plastic bottle tops (think soda - I use golf tees for golf!) and ready for the primer coat and a base coat.

2 full platoons of British Armoured Recce (Cromwells and Challengers)

1 Cromwell for the Company Command Team

1 Sherman Firefly (leftover)

2 M7 Priests

2 M7 Priest Crew Sets

4 17pdr British Anti-Tank Crew Sets

3 Typhoons (already primed)

1 Horsa Glider (already primed)

6 M3 Halftracks

3 M2 Halftracks

1 Imperial Guard Leman Russ Tank.  Ok, I thought I would try something new and my son donated a Leman Russ to the cause.  I will paint it like a modern Abrams with desert colors.  Should be interesting.

Maybe, maybe my son's new Grey Knights 40k guys.  He has something like 4 platoons and some "Dreadknight" thing.  The models look really good, but I am not sure if he will let me paint them.  He is a great painter and may just want me to prime and base.  I understand.

I also have some other units ready for decals and weathering, but this upcoming weekend will be all about the painting.

Wish us luck!!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

AAR and Rules Questions

Had a great game last night at The Last Square with Joe (Keamma).  I tried the 11th Armoured PDF list from Battlefront and Joe played SS Fallschirmjaeger from either HH or ABtF.  So it was a good historical matchup.  The interesting part of the 11th PDF is that you get CT and not RV.

1750 LW

My list of Armoured Recce

Command HQ - 2 Cromwells
HQ Support - Cromwell CS

Combat Platoons:
2 Armoured Recce Platoons - 3 Cromwells and 1 Challenger

Support Platoons:
1 Full Platoon of US Paras
2 Guns Sections (8 guns) of Priests, one with base AA MG guns, the other section with .50cal.

4 platoons.  Pretty small, but I am attacker.  Unless we roll Encounter, I am on the table.

Mission:

Encounter.  Of course it is.

I don't know everything Joe had as it all did not make the table.  But this is what I think he had:

3 platoons FJ
1 platoon Jagpanzer (4)
Some "hero" that allows people to rise from the dead.  Say what?!?!?!  Are they Necrons?!?!?
2 platoon of mortars
1 platoon of recoiless rifle or something
One more platoon that I don't remember, but he had 8 platoons total.

Table had good terrain.  He rolled as "attacker" and chose the table side that was most beneficial to him to "defend".

He placed 3 FJ platoons and the Jagpanzers.

I placed the Paras and one Recce Cromwell platoon.

Game recap:

I rolled to go first.  I tried to digin my paras to defend both objectives.  Failed.  I was timid with the croms, moving around some woods and put a crom to take a long shot at the Jagpanzer.  Miss.

On his trun, Joe tried to digin one FJ platoon on the objective.  Fail.  He moved the other 2 platoons forward towards my defensive zone in the cover to trees.  Jagpnazers shuffled a little, took a shot with no results on the croms.

My next turn, I moved my HQ with the "leaderless platoon of the CS" in double time to quickly bypass the FJ and get to the rear.  Rules questions - see my post on the flames of war forum in the rules section.  While Joe and I agreed that I could do what I did, I am looking for verification.  Took a few shots from the croms and I brewed one.

The next few turns bleed together in my mind.  The net result is that I kill 2 of the Jagpanzers and he kills 2 croms.  My HQ makes it to the objective and Joe has to move the Jagpanzers over to defend.  His FJ moves towards my now dugin and gone to ground paras.

Turn 4:

With his FJ ready to pounce, I roll for reserves and get one platoon.  I then roll for scattered and I get the table edge.  8 Priests, plus 2 observer tanks arrive just in time to machine gun the snot out of the FJs.  I gut one of the platoons.  The other loses just one stand.  The warrior guy gets another stand back from the dead.  Whatever.

On his turn he unpins everyone and assaults.  The gutted platoon actually pulls back to woods, leaving the other FJ platoon to do the dirty work.  They asault the paras.  After about 4 rounds of assaults, my paras are wiped and he has (I think) 4 stands left.  Joe has not received reserves yet.

Turn 5:

Crom HQ and CS contesting and focus fire on one of the two remaining jagpanzers in the woods.  Nothing.  I get my last reserves on the table.  I machine gun the remaining FJ platoons and end up destroying one platoon and the CiC.  I force a morale check on the other and Joe fails the platoon morale - rolled a 2.  His warrior gets to reroll and all he needs is a 2+.  He rolls a 1.  Both FJ platoons are gone.  The third leaves the objective and assaults one of the crom platoons.  He passes tank terror, saves all his infantry saves from defensive fire and proceeds to do nothing on the assault.  I break off.  His 2 Jagpanzers don't do anything against the Croms.

Game ends on time.

Result:

Draw 3-2 me.  He wiped my paras and I killed and ran off 2 FJs.

Thoughts:

I like the CT option for the company.  Protected ammo and Confident are really nice on unbailing tanks.  I am becoming a fan of the 11th Armoured PDF.

I still need to pick up the pace of play.

I still need to be a bit more agressive on the whole.  I was really aggressive with the HQ, but I should have rushed the Jagpanzers with the other armoured recce platoon.

I never fired the arty, but rather they became MG platforms.  It worked really, really nice.

I love semi indirect fire.  That is how I killed 2 of the Jagpazers.