Thursday, March 31, 2011


Last night was the last tune up prior to Adepticon.  Mike was there to give a final test of his Mid-War Nationals list and I was there to test out my Mid-Ware list for the "non" nationals folks.  Joe chipped in and gave me a game, while Mike was on another table playing Ben (who I played in the last tourney).

Mike is ready.  He has a good list, but he is still questioning decisions.  I don't envy his position.  He wants to make a good showing in the Natl. tournament and is second, third and forth guessing his list.  I like the list.  I think he does too, but he just needs the reassurance.  I think he will do well!

I am pleasantly surprised by my list.  I like it.  Joe put down a German Grenadier list, with a pioneer platoon, 81mm mortars (4) and a Tiger-E.  4 Platoons against my 4.  We played Encounter. I was attacker, but Joe rolled to go first.  He put on the board his Tiger and Pioneers (they could have been Grenadiers - but it was whichever platoon did NOT have the two flamethrowers).  I put down my Stewarts and Armored Rifles.  He moved his Pioneers forward, as well as his Tiger.  He got off a long range shot on my Stewart and bailed him (failed firepower).  On my turn, the Stewart stayed bailed (this single tank would spend half the game bailed, on two separate shots from the same darn Tiger!).  I was able to quickly close the gap with the remaining Stewarts on the Pioneers and quickly stopped their progress.  I also swung over my CiC in the halftrack to add to the firepower.  On the other side of the board, I used trees to block my ARP's advance and was able to threaten the other objective.  This forced Joe to move the Tiger back on his next turn and now he was in full defensive mode.  The next few turns were me advancing, shooting Pioneers and getting ARP in position.  Unfortunately, two things happened:

On Turn 4 (after no reserves for either of us in turn 3), Joe rolled a 5 and 6 for reserves.  Bad news for him - mortars had to come in right on top of my ARP (still in HT).  Bad news for me - so did the Grenadiers.  Combined with the Tiger, the slaughter started.  I actually survived the first round of the massacre and got stupid.  I did not dismount.  After the game, Joe pointed out that I should have dismounted one turn earlier.  In hindsight, I agree.  But in my blaze of glory (literally because Joe flamed me with flamethrowers), I took out a mortar team and the platoon commander.  Next turn - bye bye ARP.  Oh, no reserves for me.

Turn 5 saw all my reserves come in and that really helped.  Armored mortars moved forward and the Shermans moved towards the open position where the ARP was located.  On the other side, my Stewarts had contested the other objective, which forced Joe to move his Pioneers back.  That was fateful.  I rolled very, very well at this point and it turned the game around.  Pinning the Pioneers, Joe had to move the Tiger to contest the objective.  That gave room for my Shermans to move ahead and take out the Grenadiers.  Now we are both down a platoon.  I killed enough Pioneers to force a platoon morale check and they ran.  In the area was the CiC, who needed to hang around and let the Grenadiers run.  The next turn I took care of him.  The Shermans finished up the mortars, forcing a company morale check.  No CiC, autofail and the game is over in turn 7.  Score - 5-2 Victory.

After the game, Joe and I talked over some strategy and tactics.

1) American mobility - I did use this to my advantage.  I was able to move teams into position and my Stewarts were the stars again.

2) Avoid the Tiger - I did not get sucked into a battle with the "big kitty".  Now it helps that my Stewarts couldn't do squat against the Tiger.  But the Stewies did exactly what I needed them to do - keep the enemy infantry engaged an dtake advantage of the 16" movement.  Against the list I faced, the Stewarts become a MG platform.

3) I did not use my CiC to the fullest.  I should have swung him around to help the bailed Stewart from the 1st turn.  He stayed bailed until turn 3 or 4, then moved forward and got bailed again.  On the other hand, the 3 shots of .50cal from the CiC's halftrack did help out!

4) Stayed in the halftracks too long - I should have pulled at least half the troops out.  That would leave a passenger to fire the halftrack MGs and have ground troops to prevent the slaughter from the assaults.  I would rather learn that lesson on Wednesday, than on Saturday during the tournament.

So off we go to Chicago.

My son finished up his 40k list and his team is ready to go in the 40k Team Tournament.  I wish them well!!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Getting Ready for Adepticon

Well, not much done on the painting front.  I have been out of town and not able to get any painting done.  My airbrush is a little broken right now, so I have a replacement on the way.  I am tempted with upgrading my airbrush, but that will have to wait for a bit.  For the record, I have a Badger Crescendo 175.  It is good for the basics and I can get a fairly small line.  I would love to get an Iwata HP-BH, which looks like an amazing airbrush.  My biggest problem is that I cannot get a narrow enough line to do "pre-shading" on my armor panels at 15mm.  I can do the highlighting on the panels themselves, but not the panel lines.  The Iwata looks like (and sounds like from the forums) that it can do that very well.  But it is very, very pricy - so I will wait.

So my British armor and Typhoons sit awaiting a basecoat.

But I did get my army list ready for Adepticon.  It is a midwar tournament, 900 points.  With the 900 point limit, I only need one combat platoon.  I struggled with my list and asked several people for some input.  I wanted to go traditional American Armor, but at 900 points you really run into a problem with the actual number of platoons.  I then thought about a tank company with Stuarts leading the way, but the same problem existed.  So I went with what I think will be a popular build - American Armored Rifles.

900 points gets you:

CiC and 2iC comamnd carbine teams, with a M3 HT + .50 cal and a jeep

Armored Rifles: 5 squads, command rifle, bazooka, 2 LMG, 60mm mortar, with 2 M3 HT + .50 cal and 3 M3 HT with AAMG

Armored Mortars: Comamnd carbine, M2 HT and 3 81mm mortars on M3 HT with .50 cal

Tank Platoon: 3 Shermans + Reb Jackson

Tank Platoon: 4 Stuarts

4 Platoons.  I like the list as it gives me a little of everything.  I don't like the fact that it seems like I am trying to do too much.  But 900 is not 1,250.  I would feel a little more comfortable running straight armor if I could have squeezed in more platoons.

So if you are going to Adepticon in Chicago, you now know the details of one list!

I will be testing it against Joe tomorrow night.  It is too late to change now, but I would like to see how it plays.  We will see!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

The British Are Coming!

I finished off the Hellcats, M10s and the single M7 Priest.  Technically, the M10s and the Priest still need their crew, but hey - close enough!

On a unrelated note, my son came in 2nd in his warmup for Adepticon tournament.  He and his partner were the youngest team and pulled off a great showing!  Way to go!

Ok, back to FoW:

My wife and I picked out a digital camera to take on our upcoming trip to Arnhem, err The Netherlands.  I am excited about the camera because of the macro function.  I took several pictures with my SLR today and they look poor.  We will pick up the camera tomorrow, so in a few days I should know how well the pictures look.

SLR - Could be better

But now I have started the British Airlanding Company!  Well, I am starting with the Armored Platoon and the Typhoons first.

I have been chatting via email with a great guy in Arnhem.  There is a LGS that sells FoW that he highly recommends.  So I have decided to do TWO British Para Companies - the first is the Airlanding group that I will model after the forces at Pegasus Bridge.  The second will be a Parachute Company that I will model after the forces in Arnhem.  As I mentioned earlier, I really want to get the troops in Arnhem.  So now I will have two distinct basing themes!  And this from a guy who really does not like to paint infantry!  I am thinking that the support platoons can be shared, so no need to duplicate that work!

And that should last me for the next 6 months.


Monday, March 14, 2011


I was able to get an hour of wash application done last night on my M18 tank destroyers.  This is the first time I used the Dark Wash from MIG.  I have used the Light Wash on infantry with pleasing results.

I was not disappointed in the Dark Wash.

I am sure this is just me or my perception, but the MIG washes seem to work much better on the detail application (i.e. pin wash) than my magic wash formula.  The wash just flows along the lines perfectly.  The effect is not as stark as using technical pens to blackline.  But it gives a nice "pop" to the details of the model.  I was able to get one coat of wash on 3 Hellcats and one Priest.  I will see today how they look after 24 hours.

I have decided that the next model onto the table will be the British Armored Platoon.  While I am ready for the infantry, there is a reason:

Turns out I received an email / posting about a store in Arnhem that sells FoW and hosts games.  I think a game is not in the cards for me, since I love my wife and I would like to enjoy her company for years to come.  But a stop by will happen.  I would very much like to pick up some British Airborne troops (airlanding) at the store.  While no one else will know, I just think having those units from a store in Arnhem has a certain "karma" to it.  So if I get duplicates, I want to be sure to have the Arnhem team be the "permanent" models.  Make sense?

So I will start the vehicles before the infantry.  Plus with Adepticon coming up, I am not sure how much painting will even get finished!!

Friday, March 11, 2011


So while the mesage boards over at are completely lit up right now on rules, I thought I would try to get a little bit of work done on my vehicles.  The MIG wash that arrived Monday has been calling to me.

But no.

Since this is a "no politics" zone, let me simply say that my city is the center of attention right now.  Yes, I live in Madison, WI.  No, I am not storming the Capitol.  Yes, there are issues in the state that are serious.  No, I am not moving.  Yes, I play with toy soldiers.  No, I am not good.

So last night was going to be my painting night.  Well, that didn't happen.  Talk of current events with my son took precedent.  He is a smart kid and trying to "figure his own way."  I am hoping to get a little in tonight, as my daughter has a State Volleyball Tournament in Milwaukee this weekend.  It is a little hard to detail paint, wash and weather armor while cheering at a game.

I also received a few more suggestions for the visit to Arnhem.  And Joe (keamma on the boards) was kind enough to let me use his "Hell's Highway" book for reference.  Plus I think the allied forces in that book are really, really strong.  Which means -

The British Airlanding company is really calling my name from the shelf!  And I think I have recovered from painting my Devil's Brigade, so let's go infantry!!

Open question to Soviet players: 15 stands in a platoon???  Wow.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

I just had to "go" there!

I couldn't help myself.  After listening to the WWPD podcast and then wading in on the discussion regarding rules, I just popped.

I am getting pretty frustrated with rules and interpretations.  I am THE FIRST to admit that I am by no means a rules expert.  Quite the opposite.  If you want proof, read my earlier posts!!

But I have an issue with the fact that MALFTF is longer than the rulebook.  I repectfully disagree with another poster that says that is not the case.  Yes, MALFTF has to repeat the questions.  But the rulebook has all those pretty pictures and boxes!!  And they are very good pictures!!

But here is my post (reprinted with my own permission):

Consider this an open letter to Battlefront.

I just posted on the topic regarding aircraft concealment and I used an analogy that is really troubling me.

The rules of golf are fairly short and are published as a pamphlet / book in the USA (USGA). The page size is smaller than the soft cover FoW rulebook and my copy is bound together by staples (granted it is a little old).

But the clarification to the rules look like the Encyclopedia Brittanica. The test to be a rules official is very difficult because of the rules exceptions and clarifications.

The FoW rulebook is a good size. But MALFTF is bigger!! You must remember that the rules have extra "content" at the end. So we have rules, then clarification to the rules that are even longer.

Now do not get me wrong - I think Phil has done a really, really good job with rules that make the game fun to play. And I am not looking to make more rules or complicated rules. I do need a reminder periodically that FoW is a game. However, I would like concise and clear rules.

But a game that has 103 pages of rules clarifications, followed by 42 pages of rules clarifications of the add-on books just seems to be a little "off." The last thing I want to do in a tournament is pull out the rulebook, then pull out MALFTF, then pull out emails from Phil to either prove or disprove a point. Imagine the lively discussion over concealment from aircraft during an actual tournament.

And what is puzzling even further is that great players and posters here are split on many of the rule interpretations. I trust my fellow players more than I trust my own interpretation of the rules. So when I see trusted players on two different sides, I start to scratch my head and think the issue is not the players, but rather the actual rules.

Just my (frustrated) opinion.


Ahhh.  I feel better now.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Big fan of MIG

I must say this:  I am now an even bigger fan of MIG.

I have been a fan of the washes for a bit of time.  But now I am an even bigger fan of the US site.  On Friday evening, I placed my order for Dark Wash and Light Rust Effect.  The time was around 9:30pm CST.  I received an email confirmation of the shipment on Saturday - it went priority mail with the USPS.

I received my order today at 2:30pm.  Monday.

To recap:

Ordered on Friday night.  Waiting for me Monday.  That is Portland, Oregon to Madison, WI.  Wow.

I have shown considerable restraint in that I did not pull the "kiss the wonderful wife and head to paint" when I got home.  I will have to save that for Thursday at the earliest - I curl Tuesdays and FoW on Wednesdays.  But I am very excited to get my M18s, additional M10s and M7 Priest completed.

I did get the M1 90mm guns based.  So those are off the table, ready for play!

Now that means my billion British Airlanding Platoons are inching closer.  I still have not recovered from the billion Devil's Bridage men.  Maybe I will have to start with the British Armored Platoon (available in D-1, but not in Turning Tide!!  What gives?!?!?!), my Horsa glider and Typhoons.  We will see.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Just My Luck

I guess timing is everything, so it should come as no surprise that I discover Maelstrom Games right when Battlefront ends their relationship.

You see, there have been some supply issues at The Last Square - specifically on the MIG Dark Wash.  So that had me looking for other stores - with the approval of Bev and Karl (owners and wonderful people).  It did feel weird.  Anyway, I ordered the washes direct from MIG USA, so I am still in a holding pattern at the wash step while I await delivery.

But in checking out the blog ring, I saw the story on Maelstrom.  When I discovered free shipping anywhere in the work AND 25% Flames of War, well in I went.  Plus it seems that the exchange rate causes the models to be a little cheaper than the American Dollar price, so that even added to the discount.

So guess what showed up in the mail yesterday?!?!  My order from Maelstrom.  Unfortunately, I was a good boy and did not go crazy on the order.  I think I should have just gone out to the website, found the Flames of War American page and simply stated "Yes Please!!!".  But I just ordered 2 M10s to finish off the Tank Destroyer Artillery option in Dogs and Devils, 1 M18 Hellcat to finish off the two sections and I grabbed two colors from Coat d'Arms - Olive Drab and Faded Olive.

After bringing the package into the house, I changed into comfortable clothes, kissed my wife and headed into the painting area.  I resurfaced for dinner, hung out for about 11 minutes, then went back.  The net result is this:
  • M1 90mm Anti-Air Arty is based and awaiting flocking.  In a pinch, I could put it on the table today.
  • M18 Hellcats - Three are basically finished - simply awaiting wash and "detail" decals.  Stars are on the models, but not the numbers and other decals that I place on the model.  The newest model is ready for decals, details and washes.  Like above, I could put them on the table if I had too.
  • M10 - The two new models are also ready for decals, details and washes.
  • DUKW - poor guy.  He is just sitting there in his base coat wondering why everyone else is getting the attention.
So that is where we stand today.  I think I might get some details painted, but that will be it.  I spent my time yesterday, so today will be all the other things that I neglected.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Making Progress!

Since my son is gearing up for Adepticon (he is in the 40k Team Tournament), I have some company to paint with!  I always seem to paint more and better when he is at the table.  Seriously - I enjoy the bonding time!  Plus we can talk about a wide variety of topics.

I am finished with the "base" work on the Hellcats.  It has been a while since I painted an AFV and I must admit I like painting vehicles a lot more than infantry.  I remember a posting at, were someone started a topic with "I hate painting infantry!" - Right there with you man!

Back to the Hellcats -

I primed, basecoated and applied the lighter "highlight color" in the raised areas, followed by another basecoat (very thin).  I like how they have turned out.  Now I am finishing up the detail work on the tanks and I will glosscoat prior to decals and washes.  I am really simply delaying the wash step because I am waiting for delivery on the MIG Dark Wash.  I love the Brown wash and use it on infantry.  Now I want to test the dark.  While I get ok results from my "magic wash" concoction, I really want to test the MIG.

My DUKW is primed and basecoated.  I am trying something new for the DUKW, as I will use it as an objective marker.

My 90mm guns (2) are primed, based and highlighted.  The infantry have been primed, based and fully painted.  They are awaiting the boots getting a paint job, followed by a wash and basing.

So I should get these off the table soon. (Very famous last words)

I also signed up for the 900 point Mid War Intro Tournament at Adepticon.  I have some friends that are playing and I will be there anyway with my son.  Should be fun.  So now I am trying to figure a 900 point army list for Americans.  I am going armor again (duh!), but 900 is tough.  So we will see how my list turns out.  I hope to test my list with Mike tonight, who in turn is testing his MW Nationals army list.

I also purchased some items from Maelstrom Games in the UK.  Saw the "drama" going on there with them and Battlefront.  To be honest, I cannot believe free shipping anywhere in the world.  Crazy.  So I placed a small order (had to be more than 10 pounds).  I am going to test the Coat d'Arms paints.  I got their Olive Drab and Faded Olive for a highlight.  We will see!  Also picked up 1 more Hellcat and 2 M10s to round out my Tank Destroyers (25% off).  Now I can field both the M10 and the M18, as well as use 6 M10s on the Dogs and Devils list as artillery.  But then I listened to Battlefront's podcast on Task Force A.  A fast moving, armored column?!?!?!  Sounds like me!!!

I also have a small order with The Last Square.  Love them!!  We are really lucky to have a great store in the area.  That is where the MIG wash is coming from, as well as some large bases and Das Book (if we can get it).  Nice in that it is not too much $!

Finally, thank you to everyone that has posted about my upcoming trip to the Netherlands.  Keep the suggestions coming!!

Good luck!!