Thursday, April 28, 2011

On a roll

While I was in the Netherlands, I did celebrate my birthday.  Wohoo.  Yeah.  Whatever.

And while I did go a little nuts with my Arnhem purchases, I just couldn't stop there.  I have since ordered from my LGS 2 more M7 Priests (full 6 guns now) and a couple of bottles of primer from Vallejo. Vallejo just released a new line of primers that are precolored to match WW2 armor and are diluted to work in an airbrush.  Perfect for me!  So that order is in place.

I also went out and ordered some half-tracks from a different manufacturer than BF.  So 6 M3 and 3 M2 halftracks are on order.  As an added bonus, it looked like the vendor had a copy of Das Book on hand, so that went in the cart too.

And as they say in late night infomercials, THAT'S NOT ALL!!

And I blame WWPD for this - specifically Brian.

You see, I have been killing myself with why I can't get a nice, thin line with my airbrush.  And while I thought I knew the answer, it took me hearing it on the most recent WWPD podcast to confirm my feeling - air pressure.  You see, my compressor does not have a pressure regulator.  For most of the time, that is not a problem.  But when I want a panel highlight in a very small area, it is really tough to do at 30psi on my airbrush.  When I heard the interview with Brian (and Steve, can we get more Brian!!  As the immortal Christophe Walken said "I have a fever!  And the only prescription is more Brian!"), he said the exact same thing.  Plus it sounds like he has the same brush that I do.  So I need to get the psi down to 10-15.

So a new compressor is on the way.  It is not cheap, but it is not too expensive either.  And it has a moisture trap.  So away I go.

Then, just when I thought it was safe, I saw the new pdf on the site for the 11th Armored Division.  Humm.  Could be interesting.

Oh, back to FoW.  Had a great game with Mike last night.  1750 Midwar - Breakout.  I attacked with 1st Armored and he defended with German Grenadiers.  He is playing in a tourney this weekend and it was a toss up between two lists.  He played me with the questionable list.  And well, it was.  He will be taking his other list.  5-2, over in 3 turns.  Basically, I wiped all the armor off the board, while losing one platoon of Stewies.  Smoke and bull rush was my tactic and it worked well.  Stats were not with my dice in the first turn, had limited air and got nothing, could barely range in arty (when I did I rolled 3 "ones" on the "to hit"), but when I needed the kills, I got them in turns 2 and 3.  After the game, we spent a good 45 minutes reviewing the list he put down and his other one.  Plus we looked over the board and I identified some platoon placement "alternatives."  I will say this, if we played again on the same board, same list and same mission, he would win.  No doubt.  He would not make the same mistake twice.

The next week or so is going to be tough as I have to travel for work.  And I await my compressor!!

But I don't need the airbrush to start on my gazillion paras.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Back from Arnhem, err Amsterdam

Just got back from the Netherlands.  I will have a much longer update focused on Arnhem and the great guys I met up with there.  I think I will pass on providing an update on Tulips - this doesn't seem to be the crowd for that.  : - )

A BIG thanks to Tim and the guys at Spelkwartier in Arnhem.  They were fantastic.  Met Wouter and Mark, along with another friend of Tim's.  My daughter spent much of the time playing with Beuf (spelling??) the dog.  The name translates to rascal and he is a wonderful dog!

Tim brought his Arnhem modeled Paras.  They look great!  He was generous in offering me a few supplies that he had left over, since I am going to do the same.  He also walked me down to a store a few doors down that sells modelling supplies.  There I picked up the cobblestone roads and sidewalks that he used on his force.

Here is what I picked up:

British Parachute Company - This company will be modelled as an Arnhem force.  I have another Brit Para Company that will be modelled as a Pegasus Bridge Airlanding Company.

British Para HMG Platoon - Not sure, but I am leaning towards Arnhem for this platoon.

British Airborne Recon Platoon (Jeep) - Definitely Arnhem.  This would have been the forces used to get from the landing zones (8 miles west of Arnhem!!).

British Warrior Lt. Col. John Frost - He was the leader of the group that made it to the bridge.  They rebuilt the bridge recently to look like the original and renamed it the John Frost Bridge.

View from the deck of the bridge

British Para Tin (tokens and dice) - Just had to.

So now the painting must begin!!

Sunday, April 10, 2011


I decided to post a few pictures that I took this weekend before I take a break and head on vacation.  Today I built the British Armored Platoon, Typhoons (one with an Armorcast Effect), another Sherman, Horsa glider and a British Airlanding Heavy Anti-Tank Platoon.  I want to have them ready to paint when I get back.

I am trying out a new camera, which made me discover that my lighting stinks.  So you solve one problem, but identify another.  I borrowed a few lights from work, but I need a few more to really pull it off.  I also saw that some of the more subtle painting effects just don't make it onto the camera.

Anyway, here they are:

Artillery command team and staff team.  I tried the "create a map" and this was my first attempt.  Later teams have a better map.

This is a command team from my First Special Services Force (aka Devil's Brigade).  I still need to hit it with one last dullcote layer, but I also need to make sure that left over flock is not on the teams!

One of the FSSF platoons.  I have painted a full company with 3 platoons and an HQ.

Ok.  This is a Sherman Objective marker.  I drilled a hole to make it look like the tank was shot after bogging down in mud.  I need to create some smoke to come out of the hatch.  I used MIG Wet Effects to make the road look muddy.  I also used Matte Medium and chalks to build up the mud.

Top view of my Fire Direction Center.  Maps look a little better.  Sorry for the over exposure.

One of the first tanks I painted.  I used colored pencil to highlight the turret.  From 3', it doesn't look bad, but I have stopped using that technique.

This is one of the Priests that I did and I thought I went way too far with the dried mud / dirt.

My last M10 that I painted.  I still need to finish the crew.  Unfortunately, the panle shading really doesn't show up on the pictures.

So there you go!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Or not!

So I went to Adepticon with some decent hope of doing well.  As they say, cold reality slapped me in the face!

First, the tournament was great.  The folks at Game Korps and Battlefront did a great job.  Special recognition needs to go to Dean Rapp.  He spent a lot of effort, patience and time with all of us.  It is a thankless job being a Tournament Organizer (just ask Joe!) and he does a GREAT job.  So thanks Dean!

That being said, I really performed poorly.  He is a quick rundown of my poor play:

Game 1: Encounter

Greg was my opponent and he was a really nice player.  I could play him many, many times and enjoy myself.  He played Italians and had to roll for their motivation and skill.  Interesting.  I have not come up against Italians.

The mission was Encounter.  To sum up the game, we ran out of time.  I killed 1 platoon of his and lost none.  But the real turning point of the game was when I engaged his artillery with my Stewies.  I decided to use my machine guns (poor choice) and rake over the artillery pieces.  What I should have done was use main guns, then machine guns.  Well, I got enough hits to wipe the platoon and he did not pass gun saves.  Greg started to remove the arty pieces from the board.  Now remember the posts on game play in a tournament vs. a friendly game.  I remembered my last tourney where Paul poitned out the assault from cover rule.  Well, I immediately reminded Greg that I needed a firepower to kill because of the gun shield.  I went on to fail every single one.  His platoon lived and in the next turn, proceeded to destroy 3 of my 4 Stewies.  I did pass the platoon morale check and had to pull back.  My point on this one is that if I let Greg take the platoon off, I win.  No question about it.  But I did the right thing and ended up with a draw and using Fair Fight mission rules, I scored 2 and Greg scored 1.

Game 2: Fighting Withdrawal

I played Dave, who brought German Grenadiers.  He defended.  The map had a river running through, which we rolled to determine it could not be forded.  There was a single bridge.  The only armor he had was 2 Stug Gs.  I bull rushed up one side and isolated the Stugs.  I contested one objective on Turn 2 and a second on turn 3.  Looking good.  By this time, the Stugs made it over and the Shermans got into a fight.  A couple of turns later and the Stugs are gone, but so is a Sherman.  In Turn 5, I make a beeline to the 3rd objective which was uncovered.  I came up 1 inch short.  Turn 6, Dave removes one objective I am on.  Next turn, he removes the now owned by me objective.  The last objective that I am contesting has to deal with dug in, gone to ground, in terrain (woods).  I just couldn't get him out.

Game 3: Cauldron

I played Raif from D6 Generation fame.  Nice guy.  He was American infantry.  I just couldn't kill him quick enough.  Time ran out on the game.  In the last turn, I needed to kill one more stand to force a platoon morale check.  If he failed that test, I win the game because CiC was long gone by then.  I did not.  So I lost 5-2, when I was one roll away from winning 6-1.

So that is the abbreviated report.

Here is what I learned:

1) I am too darn slow.  Greg and Raif are also fairly new to the game, so they also were a little slow.  This would haunt me all tourney.  In game 3, one more turn and I win.  In game 1, one more turn and I at least kill another platoon to score 3.  Those points were due to my slow play.

2) I needed to be aggressive and smarter.  In game 2, if I move at the double to the open objective, I win.  Not because I can contest at the double, but rather it forces the issue on him pulling the objective before I get there.  In game 1, if I were more aggressive, I think I can win, if not kill a few more platoons.

3) Think faster.  Because one way of playing the armored rifles has worked, I did the same thing each game.  In game 1, I should have fielded Shermans and Stewies and left the rifles in reserve.  There was no way Greg was coming to me in Encounter.  Rifles could have come on and rushed forward after dealing with the SP AT guns he had (he had one bog for 3 turns).  Different forces and the game changes.

So faster play, more aggressive play and quicker thinking produces a different result.  Oh well.

Later that evening, I had a great game with Joe on the Luttendorf Bridge table that Game Korps has.  Joe was wonderful and stayed late to play with me as I was the only person to sign up.  Again, Dean Rapp was a sport too!  So I owe Joe something nice for sticking around.

All in all, it was a good time.  I learned a lot about me and the game!