Wargaming Week 30/03/2020

Well, everyone enjoying the isolation?

NEWS

Empress are still putting out new releases during this trying time. Including one I’ve been long awaiting, the Vickers MMG team for the Late War Brits! As someone whose Chain of Command games usually rely on taking the Vickers as a must-have support option, seeing a version now available for my specific style of troops is definitely reducing the barriers in the way of assembling a chain of command force. As you can see, it’s in the same great style as the rest of the range. I will definitely be picking a pair of these up to really be able to lay down the fire on the Boche.

Empress has also released the first few packs of the Vietnam ANZAC range. Although originally intended to be part of a complete release at Salute, due to change in circumstances the first two releases are out now. Additionally, the post above includes other photos of the rest of the range, such as command packs and even a casualty set. Overall, the full range should be a great addition to anyone playing the period, so use this time to buy the first two packs and work out your paint schemes!

UPDATES

Despite being at home, I have to admit my hobby time hasn’t been much greater than usual – between getting used to the new routine and the collection of games that have been stealing my attention (thanks to more friends staying at home in the evenings), I’ve been a little distracted. On the other hand, I’m just starting to get on track, and having a pile of models next to me means it’s easy to do a little bit during my downtime.

At the moment, my project is getting my pile of US Marines painted. I’m still working through the test fireteam so it’s slow going but it does feel nice painting more.

Of course, painting is only half the journey. Despite the fact I haven’t got anyone to play with, I have been taking full advantage of the fact I can actually put up layouts and leave them in place by assembling towns to fight over. Today’s edition is using the Sarissa Colonial buildings, most of which are still only basecoated and missing the detail paintwork. I’m also using a blue tint on my light, giving it a little bit of night time feel.

Any feedback will be gratefully taken and maybe at some point I’ll actually play over it.

Despite being in lockdown, I actually received my orders from Spectre last week. Alongside the Babe Yaga, Insurgent MMG and the Aftermath team, I also have a pair of stickers that Spectre included. Expect to see the figures painted up at some point – I think the Baba Yaga could be a quite fun project, perhaps in a different colour suit.


That’s it for this update, expect more updates next week. Keep safe everyone!

Wargaming Week 23/03/2020

Well things have gotten a little strange, haven’t they? Let’s start!

News

Well, the main news this week is that everything is cancelled due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic. Pretty much all the wargames shows for the spring (such as Salute and Adepticon) are definitely cancelled or postponed, while even those in Summer and Autumn seem to be considering carefully if they are planning to go ahead.

Empress are still keeping the releases going with their Vietnam vehicles range. As well the PT-76 shown above, they also announced an Otter amphib, both of which are perfect for crashing through the waterlogged battlefields of Vietnam. Additionally, the PT-76 could pop up in any number of battlefields around the world.

Similarly, Empress is plowing ahead adding another nation to the battlefield. Last week saw a pile of ANAZC previews, once again showing off the wonderful sculpting work on them. There are lots of great little touches to them.

Spectre also had a few extra updates. The first is a pretty simple one – the starter pack is changing from Task Force Operator vs Russians to DEVGRU vs Insurgent Kill Team. This is a little easier for Spectre to produce (as these items were already being sold together in packs) and still provide some pretty reasonable forces to assemble. The only downside is that the DEVGRU (despite having one operator replaced with a dog) might just have the edge in terms of raw firepower.

Their second release is might potentially help them out – planned as an Adepticon exclusive, this Insurgent with a bullpup PKM looks perfect to match the Insurgent Killteam, while the great big bushy beard is pretty impressive.

Updates

My Deep Cut Studios order arrived! The mat and road strip are both lovely, really nice weight to them. The mat colour is perfect colour if you intend to cover it in buildings and your own foliage (otherwise it might be a little too dry and dead). Additionally, I think the road will get a little bit of work done to it, such as some texture and dust.

Of course, one of the advantages of having this means I can actually start planning layouts and putting figures down and getting to leave them in place. Of course, it will be even better once

And to add to the setup, I managed to pick some IKEA smart bulbs to replace those that came with the house – of course, I saw the multi-colour ones and I couldn’t help but pick one up. These photos are done just with the light bulb in the room (no filters) and I quite like the effect. We’ll see how practical it actually is but it’s just a neat effect.

Work is continuing on my US Marines (slowly) – been a little distracted with work stuff that I just haven’t felt like sitting down at the same desk. I’m tempted to move my painting area away so I have a change of pace, but debating exactly where to put it.

Finally, as part of getting into the new house, my parents offered up a wonderful display case/sideboard to clean some space in their house. One side is filled with various memorabilia and gaming figures but the other side just had to be for some models. I still have another shelf (and plenty of space) but I am already loving the effect of having them on show rather than shoved into boxes.


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

Wargaming Week 16/03/2020

Let’s start this Wargaming Week, covering the…

Actually new plan – I’m going to scrap the previous layout. Frankly, it has started to feel a little formulaic, and it gets dull when I just write “no hobby lol”. Instead, I’m going to split the post in half – wargaming news at the top (which a lot of people seem to like) and personal updates at the bottom. Let’s see how this works…

News

So some of this news is going to be out of date, but it makes sense to include them anyway, especially as I get to talk about them!

Big thing from the last month or so has been Sarissa Precision’s Alamo kickstarter. Now, I originally saw this and went for a gentle nap (due to my interest in Mexican-American wars being minimal, even those in the Modern era). However, Sarissa has been very clever, and showed off the buildings in other locations. Thanks to the design, and the easily configured setups, these structures could stand in for adobes in the highlands of Afghanistan. And, combined with the wall elements, makes assembling compound super easy.

As someone who already has a lot of MDF, I shouldn’t need more. However, all my MDF is very urban-based and some of the most iconic battles have taken place in more rural areas of the world. The baking sun, the green fields and (more on topic) small compounds that have existed for years are vital parts of the war experience of anyone in certain areas of Afghanistan. In my opinion, I think these packs are perfect for assembling them on the tabletop.

Going back to the news, the project hit its goals and went up several. I look forward to it releasing later this year.

Next up, Tiny Terrain has released two new battle mats. One is high desert, the other slightly greener and both look fantastic. As detailed below, I’m starting to look into battle mats and these seem pretty great – described as fleece, they should sit flat on surfaces while still letting you shape them with items underneath. More details once they arrive.

More news from Empress, and this time we have some Aussies inbound. A few previews of the upcoming Anzac troops and oh boy do I like them. I’ve been trying very hard to avoid picking up a very different region to collect but these do look very tempting. The style of the Vietnam (and World War 2) ranges are wonderful and should be good fun to paint.

And speaking of wonderful things, White Dragon is about to make a lot of people very happy. They are about to release a Mastiff MRAP suitable for 28mm, complete with bar armour and packed full of details. These vehicles are massive, big enough to carry 8 troops protected from IED strikes. And frankly, it looks perfect. My only downside is that it’s 1/56 scale rather than the 1/50 used by many other companies (and what I have a reasonable number of), but I think the sheer size and uniqueness of this vehicle make it a must buy.

Finally, as I return, so does Spectre. Back from their break, we see two new releases.

The first is something old – Baba Yaga is back! As a follow on from Spectre’s 2019 Salute Exclusive, we have a new Baba Yaga into a center axis relock pose with his pistol (rather than armed with an AR). This is a cool looking guy, perfect to add to the undercover operators range, and is not a time limited release, which is a good sign.

The second is perhaps perfectly timed for its release. As it’s been previewed for the last few months, we finally see the team of troops in Hazmat gear. And it’s revealed… they are slightly dodgy guys. From the off the shelf CBRN suits and masks to the selection of weapons, these guys seem perfect for playing the faceless bad guys. I quite like the range of kit they are armed with, such as the Galil rifles, the combination of AKSU and RPG for the grenadier and then the belt fed, bullpup PKM with rucksack ammo system. All in all, I am already thinking of several ideas on how to use them, but now I just need a few suspicious canisters…

Updates

As you can see, I’m back! There are still a few pieces of furniture to move into this place but the house warming has happened, the IKEA trips have been done and now I’m ready to start writing posts and painting minis again.

We’ll see how much my new location helps/hinders my wargaming, but being further south should mean you’ll see my Regular Opponent more often, as well getting to go to more shows. Also having more space means you will see some different setups for photos, including a table big enough to setup games on – also ideal for impressions photos!

Additionally, the website has a new home! After my previous web host decided to be genuinely unhelpful with dealing with an issue (such as responding to support emails in French despite my account being with their UK arm) and added to the rest of the dumb things I’ve had to deal with them, I decided to make a change. We’re now on a newer (and hopefully better) host who helped bring it over in less than a day with almost zero input.


So a big thing about having my own place with space is now I need to pick up a few extra things before I can run games. The first stage – something to play on. In the past, I made 5 textured boards for my wargame but they are a giant pain to use – heavy, fragile. So, seeing as I have two tables big enough to play on (once I sort a dining table out) I decided to invest in some battle mats. I’ve ordered a couple to try out, with the plan to sell the ones I’m not fond of. As well as the tiny terrain mats, I also ordered a Deep Cut Studios one (wasteland) along with a set of rollout roads to add to my terrain building. Expect some thoughts soon.

The second part – flora. A hole in my collection is just bits of green, that ground cover that helps to turn a board from “okay” to super fun. As I’m setting my games in a fictional version of Yemen, I’ve been taking a look at the types of flora you find there, before matching it up to what you can buy.

The final part? Getting all those buildings finished. As I’m wanting to make them really stand out, this includes detailing, texturing and then finally painting. I can see it all taking a while but I can’t wait to see the end result.


This weekend was Hammerhead and, being back in the area, I decided to take a trip. Turning up late in the day (with the shadow of coronavirus hanging over everyone) it definitely felt quiet. After speaking to a few people, I finally managed to meet up with Westbury Wargamers, a rather fine chap and reader of this blog (and someone who I have probably pushed down many a purchasing hole). That said, the game that he was running with a few others was a rather fun looking Mexican Cartel game, using the fistful of lead rules (fitting onto a single piece of A4) and looked like a whale of a time was being had by those playing.

As for my loot, I came away with a few things:

  • British CMP Truck – destined for my Chain of Command army, this truck will probably end up either as a JOP or being ripped to shreds when I try to use it as transport.
  • Last Valley bushes – as part of my flora, I picked up 5 bushes for £15 and got an extra one thrown in for free. Really nicely made, can’t wait for them on the table
  • Empress Cadillac Gage Commando – Released for their Vietnam range, I can really see it in the service of the Bazistan Police force. Not quite as nasty as a tank, but nothing to sneeze at
  • Two Giants in Miniature – Tiny Brienne of Tarth for fantasy and Tiny Agent Carter for my WW2 Brits. Both are fun looking figures and should be a challenge to paint.
  • A Games Workshop spray stick – Seeing as I now have space to spray properly, I need something to actually hold the models with, other than my cardboard box. It’s definitely something that could be done with blue tack and wood, but you pay for someone to make the design work so it’s easier for you.

Finally, in terms of my own painting, I’ve broken out some old toys and grabbed the US Marines from Empress to slowly get me back into it. I’ve wanted to get them finished for ages and, with a relatively simple scheme and fantastic models, they should be quick to finish off and get me back into the groove. I did take them into work to paint for a few days this week (before working from home was enforced) and that seems like it’s doable on my lunch break (to get my 15 minutes in everyday). Now I’m at home more, there may be more painting done once I peel myself away from the twin vices of Modern Warfare and Overwatch.


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