Wargaming Week 21/08/2017

Let’s start, covering the 14th of August through to the 20th of August.

BLOG STUFF

Last week was the first of the two post weeks! It ended up working quite well, with Wednesday’s post covered the MENA releases and Friday’s post covered the new SF Technicals. I was wanting to paint the vehicles up but honestly I wouldn’t have got it finished in time. Instead there is going to be a long post looking at the finished technicals and their cargo. Looking ahead, I have quite a few upcoming posts planned out as well as leaving some gaps for impressions and battle reports which is a cool situation.

Oh, also my facebook page broke 150 likes. Welcome to all the newcomers!

GAMING

Thursday saw me finally return to the SESWC after several weeks away. I ended up joining one of Angus’s Seven Years war battles and so the Coalition of the Three Michaels (coming in MDF, German and English varieties) began their battle to hold the crossroads. I took control of the centre of the army, consisting of Infantry and Artillery and then begun the clever defensive tactic of hit them with artillery until the enemy got close enough to musket to death. My left flank did a similar thing (although mainly doing this while defending the shrubbery on the board edge) while on the right the two cavalry units engaged each other. Eventually (like in all Seven Years War games I’ve played) the gunlines clashed. As the game ended, the result was inconclusive – the French were struggling but had two units at the crossroads (although both of those units were mid scuffle).

If you want to see a full battle report, they can be found at German Michael’s site, Angus the Gamesmaster’s site and the SESWC’s Facebook page.

The other thing that happened on Thursday was that I have ended up running a multiplayer game next week that had to be pretty playable and slightly tongue in cheek. Really looking forward to it, just need to get a few things painted up. The plan is to have some factions all scrapping over a pirate warlord’s stronghold so it could be a mess. Expect a battle report on Friday.

PURCHASES

Empress on Friday released some new products for their ultramodern range, many of which fitted into the new universal category. These are all quite exciting and interesting, especially the new third world army figures. My order has gone in so expect an impressions piece once they arrive.

HOBBY

Big thing was the MENA guys. Read a whole article om them here!

On top of that, my desk is currently filled with 401 different projects. At the moment I am at various stages on:

  • SF Technicals – basing the weapons, adding the stowage and painting
  • Rebasing and repairing the technical weapon teams
  • Plucking some of my case to fit the technicals rather than just letting the bits bounce around inside a box
  • Painting up some Somalis to be pirates
  • Painting up my Spectre agents to be used in a future game

That’s it for this update, expect more updates next week!

Wargaming Week 14/08/2017

Let’s start, covering the 7th of August through to the 13th of August.

BLOG STUFF

A scenario went up! It’s a little different from my usual posts but it’s something that I’ve been wanting to finish for a while. Also the release of Free Fire meant it was the perfect time to release it.

I’m also carrying on the blog post experiments. Looking at how many posts I want to write which are not impressions or battle reports and it seems I’m going to running out of weeks in my life if I also want to cover all things new. So new plan – every other wednesday there will be a post. This is for smaller stuff like new models in an existing range or minor hobby updates such looking at a completed painting projects. The weekend post will be for bigger things like new lines of figures, larger releases or new rules content for other things. I have so much I want to write and want to see if I can manage this tweak.

GAMING

Nothing this week, I was too busy seeing Aunty Donna on the usual gaming night. Planning more games though.

PURCHASES

Nothing, last week was more than enough. My orders have now arrived so expect some update posts coming soon

HOBBY

I’m in the process of painting the latest MENA militia up ready for their debut on Wednesday. More details in that post but they are great fun to paint. 

Boards are also progressing. Finally got the basic colours on, so now I can start getting the rest of the board sorted out and the terrain items painted. The forces are mostly ready so just need to push on with making the fighting area pretty.

A bonus of having these terrain boards is that I now have a playing surface in my flat, all ready to play some game on. The bigger bonus for you, the reader, is that having terrain boards means I can setup much more visually appealing photos for impressions and battle reports. So hopefully, less pictures of my desk.

Before anyone asks, the terrain in the photo above is from RedVectors. There will be an impression in the next few weeks but as a preview – they are really good.


That’s it for this update, expect more updates next week!

Wargaming Week 07/08/2017

Let’s start, covering the 31st of July through to the 6th of August.

BLOG STUFF

My post(s) about my weekend in Cardiff playing Spectre went up. I wrote a total of 5 posts last week as part of it so around 5000+ words, had to install about 4 plugins to hide the battle reports and not send them out via the email subscription and just as it went up I realised that all the links were broken due to the shift in release date. But overall, it was a pretty great way to wrap up the weekend and I’m really happy with all the people giving me positive feedback on it. Going to be a while before I do anything of similar size though.

I’m also going to do some more playing around with release times after seeing comments and tracking stats of when people actually look at my stuff. The big thing is, people seem to enjoy reading my stuff during lunch breaks (it’s when I catch up on various blogs). So I’m shifting everything to release at 1200 GMT. Wargaming Week is still coming out on Monday but the main article each week is moving to Friday, so I can catch the last lunch of the week and it be available for everyone to read on Saturday morning. Like everything on the blog, this is subject to change pretty quickly depending on what happens.

As for a sneak peek of this week’s post, check out today’s UK BluRay releases…

GAMING

You know, I think I gamed quite a lot last weekend. Having a little break to start planning out future games and get back to work. Hopefully will be back at the club in the next week or two, hopefully running something by the end of the month.

PURCHASES

Big week for hobby purchases:

First things I grabbed this week appeared on Monday, just as I was driving home. Spectre brought out a few more MENA militia. These guys look a little more hardcore than the rest of the militia, with their giant beards and jacket/robe apparel. I’m a big fan of the poses as well – the chap with baseball cap and jacket will be great as both for the insurgents and as a local fixer (obviously in a New York Yankees hat). The release also includes four RPG variations (including the terrifying thermobaric round) and a sniper with an Anti-Material rifle. You may have noticed that this guy is lying prone. Now, I hate prone models – for a skirmish game that is focused on true LOS they can be a pain. Also basing them can be annoying (most of my ones from Empress are on cavalry bases). Spectre have gone an interesting route by having the figure lying perpendicular to the rifle, letting them fit onto a round base more easily.

At the same time, I also decided to pick up a few more Spectre models that I’ve been missing. Many of these I had disliked when they were first released but actually getting to see them in person during the Cardiff weekend changed my opinion on them. The main culprit for this is the insurgent commander but the Russian SMG 1 guys are the ones I’m now the most excited about from this pack.

Saturday saw me going to Claymore, the local show run by my wargames club. I haven’t been involved at all due to not being at the club for a few weeks due to holiday/book writing. However, it is always fun to see what people have been up to. As always the show was fantastic and I walked away with something. Supreme Littleness is run by a guy at the club (also a Mike) and is a genius for anything MDF. I had noticed a month or so ago he was starting a range of buildings ready for the Middle East.

I finally got to see them in the flesh at Claymore and I’m really impressed. There are loads of little details to them which are fantastic. I bought one and have mostly built it so expect impressions soon. However, as he was handing it to me at the show, Mike noticed it was missing the cardboard portion pieces. So I’ll be picking that up on Thursday. He also gave me the rather nice Arabic gate you can see in the picture. I really like it, it’s a nice alternative part when you’re wanting to make more urban compounds rather than the adobe and wood combinations of Afghanistan. I’m going to pick up two more gates to be used when they are in other states (such as destroyed or unlocked).

(Unrelated to purchases, hopefully next year I’ll actually be able to run a demo game as I had originally been planned. However, I’m also very glad I didn’t run it this year – it wouldn’t have been anywhere near ready).

Photo from Spectre Miniatures

The big thing this week was the release of the new SF Technicals, also from Spectre. To say I’m excited is an understatement – ever since the original kickstarter with its mention of the “Tactical Technical” and Minigun, I’ve been wanting some more upgraded pickup trucks for the special forces and mercs to patrol around in. As such, when the new kits got released I went in deep on them. When they arrive I’ll be doing my usual impressions, covering all the bits and building one of them completely but I want to spend a bit longer on the others, adding plenty of details and tweaks. I’m also planning out an additional weapon for the SF using my bits box.

Unrelated, I also picked up a few more tools for the demo board. At some point this week, someone at work is about to wonder why someone ordered 6 cans of spray paint. The plasticard and filler also arrived so I can start basing up all the bits of plane which can then have the final parts assembled such as the missing engine portions. Just under 50 days to go before the first version of the game is going to be run.

HOBBY

I decided to have a bit of a break from painting so instead I built up a load of MDF buildings. These are ones from RedVectors that arrived before I went on holiday and so apart from dry fitting I didn’t get to build them. That has been fixed. I’ll be doing some impressions in the next few weeks but these buildings are exactly what I was wanting. I’m especially happy with the multi-storey buildings.

The plan for next week is to get back on the painting queue, but also to start looking at the terrain that needs building for my demo game. Speaking of MDF, I finally got my collection out as you can see below. That table is 2’x4′ so it should fill a 4′ x 4′ which is the size I’m building. I have my eyes on a few more MDF constructions but there will be a game coming up fighting through some dense urban areas.


That’s it for this update, expect more updates next week!

Wargaming Week 31/07/2017

Let’s start, covering the 24th of July through to the 30th.

BLOG STUFF + GAMING

The report on my holiday game of Spectre is now up! Even though we mis-read a rule or two and there were lots of tribesmen running around, it was still a really fun game. Once again, Spectre is brutal once the rounds start hitting and I’m looking forward to playing a weekend of it.

As this is going up I’ll be winding my way back home after a weekend of Spectre in Cardiff. There will be a post covering the weekend this Saturday which will include details of the event as a whole and hopefully some nice pictures. I’m actually writing this on Thursday 27th as I frantically get stuff together so I have no idea how the weekend will have gone.

PURCHASES

My Empress purchases I mentioned last week turned up. I haven’t yet had a chance to assemble them due to the mad rush for Cardiff but I took a quick look.

The list is

  • British Army O Group (two men with radio)
  • British Army Drone Team (two men prone controlling a small UAV)
  • British Army Fireteam and Para berets (four more guys to make a section ready for patrolling)
  • USMC Counter-IED team (two guys with counter-IED gear and a female dog handler and a new model of dog)
  • SAS/SBS Dog Handler with another new model of dog

Overall opinion, all the figures look cool. It’s a shame the O Group have built-in head so any tweaks would need a bit of saw work but everyone else is spot on. As always, the detail on Empress figures are especially cool. I particularly like the SAS/SBS dog handler, both for the pose and for the fact you can now field an 8 man team where no one is prone; A vital fact for a skirmish game!

An interesting observation is that the style of base has changed. The new releases don’t have the usual thick square/rectangular bases. Instead, the bases are more irregularly shaped, similar to the style used by other figure ranges. This is great news for me as it means there is less need to trim the bases down and send chunks of white metal pinging round the room.

HOBBY

This is really a hobby week as I tried to get more figures ready for Cardiff. I didn’t get as much done as I would have in an ideal world but it was a fun time.

First up, Spectre’s US Army Rangers in multicam. These guys have been sat in my pile for a while and are the perfect group for painting in multicam. They are also covered in gucci gear, from the fast helmet and plate carriers to the tactical rifles. I think I went a little overboard on the Agrax so they are darker than intended but still look super cool. There is another Ranger waiting to be painted but he has a missing barrel that needs repair so joined the pile of figures needing triage (occupied by a breacher needing an AA12 barrel replaced).

The second set finished was the group I was working on during my holiday, the SAS Patrol. As I mentioned last week these guys had just been stripped and were repainted in a scheme more appropriate for Bazistan. Multicam was once again a common theme amongst all of them but I also mixed up the colours. Three figures have DDPM (or an attempt at it) and the rest have solid colours. Again, happy with this lot.

IMG_20170728_105242

Deciding that sleep was for the weak, I then made up the silly plan of getting operators ready for Cardiff the night before I set off. It took me most of the evening but the picture above shows my finished group. Not as many carbines as I would like but a nice selection ready to go. I was very happy I managed to get them painted in full camo without rushing too much so that I don’t feel the need to strip them just after the last wash goes on. I also finished off the last .50cal for my technicals and a better equipped leader from my militia forces. Overall, a fun set to paint and glad to get them ready in time.


That’s it for this time, expect more updates next week!

Wargaming Week 24/07/2017

Let’s start, covering 17th of July to the 23rd of July.

BLOG STUFF

I took the week off so there isn’t much blog wise to talk about. I did take a look into some longer posts more focused on adding new rules and tools for play

I’m also starting to think about the next part of the rules comparison article that brought a ton of people to the site. I hit most of the big ones the first time around so now I’m back to look at stuff I may have missed out on.

GAMING

I managed to get a game of Spectre in on the first day of my holiday against my usual York based opponent. Really fun game with the operators sneaking around until they raised the alarm and the rest of the village turned up. There were a few rules misremembered but now I’m really excited for this weekend in Cardiff.

The battle report should be up this weekend once I get it finished off.

PURCHASES

Empress has a pile of new releases. More news next week once they arrive but I hope you like Brits.

HOBBY

Figure painting wise, less than expected. Mainly because I was too busy building my boards! They are not 100% finished by when I left them they were textured and had sand applied. Its been a great project so far, so very close to the point when I can start playing on them.

In what little time I’ve actually been painting figures, I’ve been working on a repaint of my SAS squad. Seeing as I’m basing most of my games in desert regions, I realised the jungle camo didn’t make much sense. Instead, I’m going for a mix of multicam, DDPM and plain camo using the same idea of limited palette to tie them all together. I’m also working on my first attempt at painting non-caucaisan skin. I’m really looking forward to getting these models ready for Cardiff.


That’s it for this update, expect more updates next week!

Wargaming Week 17/07/2017

Let’s start, covering the 10th of July through to the 16th of July.

Hey, so this is my holiday week so not going to spend much of it on blog stuff. For that reason, I’m not posting anything this Saturday – going to be spending it enjoying a little time away.

That said, I’m still doing

So updates from last week?

  • Big news regarding the writing project – it’s reached a very exciting point and how much I can actually work on has dropped giving me more free time!
  • Big thing last week was Razor week – it was a cool idea and people seem to have enjoyed it
  • I managed to play some Spectre Operations – full report coming soon. Was a good game – the operators managed to almost get to the objective before the hordes of locals turned up. After that practise session, I’m ready for Cardiff.
  • Not much hobby stuff – I spent most of the week getting ready for holiday. All I’ve managed to finish is Deniable Operators. Really happy I managed to get them finished, especially as they actually use colours other than brown and green.

And that’s it for this week, full update and posts coming week commencing 24/07/2017

Wargaming Week 10/07/2017

Let’s start, covering the 3rd of July through to the 9th of July.

BLOG STUFF

Razor week has begun! It was a rush to the finish and to get the two posts out (Part 2 of the Razor impressions and impressions on the new stowage). However, I’m getting some good responses on it. I was trying to get the vehicles painted up before release but it hit 5pm and decided to go with what I had. Good news, I finished off the vehicles and you can see them below.

There are two more articles coming out this week on the Razor so stick around for more details on the adorable little things.

GAMING

So there was going to be something in this slot but unfortunately my buddy had to drop out and get ready for his holiday. However, this chance to run a demo game did lead me to write up a new scenario designed to get into the action quickly and show off what can happen. It’s also going to be a second part to the INTEL series, so we can finally see what happened to all those trackers.

PURCHASES

Okay, so that isn’t an ultramodern figure above. I’m a keen fan of Warhammer 40k and although I don’t have an army, there are a few characters that I love. One of which is Cypher, the leader of the Fallen who is on a mysterious quest and keep evading capture. I particularly like the new version and seeing a friend was seeing him I just had to pick it up. This is the most recent GW model I’ve pick up and it’s interesting to see the changes to both the sculpting and assembly method. It’s packed full of detail, such as the fine detail on the gauntlets and especially on the sword. Additionally, the mechanic of assembling is very different to the old Space Marines; the largest piece is comprised of elements from the leg, body and arm. It’s simple to assemble and almost guaranteed to give you the same pose every time with little chance of slippage after assembly.

HOBBY

So the Razors are now finished. I really like them as model – there is a great weight to them and they were a fun project to build. I’m still not a fan of assembling crew off the model, getting them painted and then re-attached. Now they are ready, I look forward to them zooming around the tabletop.

I also finally got all my models stripped. Took me an evening of scrubbing with a toothbrush but a big chunk of my completed figures are now ready to be repainted in an improved scheme. I also managed to tweak a few of the British models, fixing a duff pose or three that had happened the first time I built them.


That’s it for this update, expect more updates next week!

Wargaming Week 03/07/2017

Let’s start, covering the 26th of June through to the 2nd of July.

BLOG STUFF

We took a trip to Bazistan, my fake imagi-nation this week. It was really great to get all of the information I’ve had lying around and collate it into one place. I’m going to use it as a place to jump off from for paint schemes and model projects; I’m looking at repainting some of my Empress USSF figures to stand in as special troops for the Republic of Aden, ready to fight the insurgents crossing the border.

This weekend also saw the start of a new month and a few milestones. Looking at the stats, the blog is down from last month’s massive view count but it’s better than April’s views so I’m pretty happy with that. I’m also super happy that I managed to stick to a release schedule. Another milestone was reaching over 100 likes on the facebook page. This blog is just a hobby but it’s cool to see people actually reading my stuff.

GAMING

No gaming but its getting close. I’ll be running a tutorial session for someone this week and giving Skirmish Sangin a go. Also rules writing is reaching that exciting point where it comes down to little tweaks – the end of the road is in sight and then people will get to see what I’ve been working on.

PURCHASES

Photo from Spectre Miniatures

Something that has been on my to buy list for a while is another Razor from Spectre. After having built the original before the crew were available, I’ve been desperate to pick up another to add the crew to and have rolling round the battlefield. Well, over the weekend that finally released a load of stuff alongside the buggies. I’ve picked up a second one, the crew figures, two sets of razor stowage (so I can make the two vehicles match) and one of the larger packs (for making the technicals I have look even cooler)

However, I did notice a problem. When I assembled the Razor, I stowed the MG tight against the passenger side of the back vehicle. This is where one of the stowage racks hangs which I now can’t place. However, I have a plan. Using the stowage pack, I’ll put one of the rucksacks on the crewed version – when the team dismounted, one of them obviously grabbed his pack to use in the fight.

Also using the photo from Spectre reminds me just how much I want to improve my photo taking. Once I get the boards built and the scenery painted, I want to go through my figures, use a nice camera and get a load of good photos rather than the “here is picture of my desk”.

HOBBY

Phew, lots of hobby stuff this week so this will be a quick fire round.

The C130 for my demo board is almost ready to be chopped up. This week saw me get the wings and tail attached to the fuselage. I also scored out the rough cut lines

The last few Empress SAS figures turned up and I got them painted. I really like these guys and will be using them for CGS on the battlefields of Bazistan. The HQ pack is pretty standard but the sniper team caused a problem. For skirmish games, I usually like to base individually. However, my sniper team for the US was based on a single heavy weapons team that looks a little better. However, seeing as I’ll be using these guys as individuals a lot, I just go inventive with my building. The sniper was simple (careful positioning got both parts on the base) but the spotter need a little tweak. I ended up cutting the spotting scope off its mount and just attaching it to his hand. Hopefully, you’ll see these guys in action soon.

The second Foxhound from Evil Bear turned up, finally giving me two vehicles ready for deploying a British fireteam into action. I love these vehicles and with a few tweaks they can be used for non-military applications. To fit this more, I ended up removing the GPMGs. To let me re-add them when the situation demanded, I fit some rare earth magnets into the slots where the guns usualy sit – this required only minor work and I’m happy with the results. Now to finish painting them.

So the stripping part continues. Last week I experimented with Acetone and honestly, not that impressed with the results. It pulled the paint off with ease (as well as the green stuff and super glue) but seemed to be unusable after only a few figures. Instead, I’ve moved over to Isopropyl Alcohol. Instead of just leaving them, I have to scrub with a tooth brush but the end result is much better and doesn’t required as much stinky liquid hanging around my flat. I’m already a chunk of the way though – my British Army platoon entered the stripping material on Sunday so I’m expecting I can start back on the repainting next week. And god, do some of the paint schemes need replacing.

In addition to the actual stripping, I’ve been pulling figures off their bases so I can rebase them up to my recent standard. Part of this is tweaking the bases on Empress figures from giant rectangles that are readily obvious down to smaller less regular shapes that are easier to hide.

 


That’s it for this update, expect more updates next week!