Wargaming Week 15/10/2018

Let’s start this Wargaming Week, covering the 8th through to the 14th of October.

BLOG STUFF

This week’s post was taking a look at Spectre’s S.W.A.T. team! These guys were fun to paint and I’m really happy with the final result. Now I just have to get them operating.

NEWS

First up, Radio DishDash (who for disclosure I should say I worked with on Plausible Deniability) have announced their next Kickstarter. Ultracombat is going to bring a new game (separate from Skirmish Sangin) to the market, as well as a range of vehicles and figures for it. Going off the description on the forum, this is going to basically be what Platoon+ was aiming for but with a different gameplay system closer to the upcoming WW2 game. I’m really excited for it – as someone who loves Skirmish Sangin, it’s going to great to see their take on a Platoon level game.

More news from Spectre Towers about their partnership with Black Powder Red Earth. As you can see, they are really making sure the gear is correct to the comics, including this heavily modified M4 with plenty of BCM kit. From the custom stock to the offset T1, this matches up to one of the guns that appears frequently in the comics. Based on this, I’m looking forward to seeing the actual figures even more.

PURCHASES

Nothing!

HOBBY

So as you may guess, this week was really about just pushing the SWAT guys over the finish line. I’m still super busy with work (and my free time currently being used on other things) so honestly, the whole hobby thing has slowed down. Next on my desk is either going to be the buildings I’ve worked on or possibly the Tier 1 Operators that are partially painted.


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

Wargaming Week 08/10/2018

Let’s start this Wargaming Week, covering the 1st through to the 7th of October.

BLOG STUFF

This week’s post was a Range Impression taking a look at the Deniable Operators from Spectre Miniatures. These are a cool set, and despite being painted a while ago I really like them.

I’m still really busy with work so this week’s post may be another Range Impression. My SWAT/CIA Operators may have to wait a bit until I have a bit more time to sit down and get to work on them.

NEWS

Tiny Terrain’s War in Chechnya Kickstarter is up and running! It started off on Monday and they are almost 200% funded, with several stretch goals already down and ready to add to your pledge.

In rather exciting news coming from New York Comic Con, Spectre Miniatures and Echelon Software, the makers of the Black Powder Red Earth comic series and several related project, are partnering up. This is pretty cool, especially after they announced two of the projects they are working on.

For people looking for more cool operators to have on their tabletop, Spectre is going to be releasing a set of figures styled after Ember team from the latest series of BPRE. I do love the style on the operators, laden with all the latest kit while still looking different from other operators currently available. This range has been tentatively slated for a Black Friday release and I will be picking up a set as soon as they come out.

The other part is that Echelon is working on a PvE board game, letting players take control of a small team of door kickers in non-permissive environments. In other words, it sounds a bit like a dungeon crawl in a modern day, something that sounds perfect for when you want to get your game time in without having to roll the full board out. Spectre is again helping, working on the miniatures and assisting to make the rules fast paced and flowing well.

In other words, it’s an exciting time!

Finally, 4Ground are previewing some 28mm ruined African terrain. There are only a few images for now but it sounds like they are working on two styles, the city ruins you see here  and ones closer to their existing African terrain. Although designed for North Africa in WW2, I can see plenty of use for them in the MENA area of the world, ideal for creating some real urban hell holes for your insurgents to dig in to.

PURCHASES

Nothing! I’ve been too busy to buy anything!

HOBBY

Honestly, not very much. This week has been incredibly busy at work so apart from throwing some textured spray onto the last of Sarissa North Africa buildings, I haven’t had a chance to sit at a desk and get the paints out. Fingers crossed I’ll have something ready for the next Wargaming Week.


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

Range Impressions: Spectre Deniable Operators

Although wargaming for most is focused more overt actions (complete with all the firepower you might want), for most of history covert action has played an important role. TV, films and games are filled with deeds of low profile agents fighting wars in other people’s countries where they are not supposed to go. The frequent refrain of “we’ll deny you even exist” is probably becoming a trope at this point. If you’re wanting to bring some low profile guys to your own tabletop, the Spectre Deniable Operators are perfect.

At the moment, Spectre has four packs available – two for the rifleman and two for each of the specialists. All of the operators are dressed in civilian outdoors clothing and are wearing rucksacks. If it wasn’t for the AKs in their hands, they could easily be hikers out for a day’s stroll. The chance to paint some civilian clothing means that you can add the odd touch of colour that you might not normally see when painting more regular troops

Riflemen

There are a total of four riflemen available, giving you a nice variety of poses. All four are armed with a rail-equipped, crane stocked 7.62mm AKs, complete with all the usual bits of kit that operators love to have when fighting in urban terrain.

The rucksacks are ideal for representing any number of kit, from grenades to medical equipment to laser guidance systems for bringing the rain.

Support

Of course, every squad needs special weapons. For the Deniable Operators, you don’t get quite the same heavy firepower as some other ranges. Instead, it’s a bit more of a scalpel (in relative terms). One operator has an M203 under his AK, ideal for taking out groups of hostiles or enemies in cover. The other is designed for reaching out and touching the bad guys at long range, the larger optic ideal for representing a DMR.

As much as you might want a machine gun, I think keeping the specialists with AK platforms make a lot of sense for operators working in small groups behind enemy lines.

Usage

The best thing about ranges like Deniable Operators is just flexible they are. These guys can represent anything, from heavily armed criminals up to special forces seeking to hide their origin. Mix them in with some irregulars and you have some advisers mentoring their more ill-equipped buddies.

Conclusions

The Deniable Operators are one of my favourite compact ranges. Small and sweet, these six operators are ideal for something new compared to the usual door kickers. If you’re looking for a small team with a fun playstyle, I recommend picking these guys up. You can find them on the Spectre store under Undercover Operators.

Wishlist

Like all of the compact ranges, the wishlist is just more. AK armed operators have a certain attraction, something different from the usual AR15s and FAST helmets. A few more figures, perhaps in some different poses, would be nice. Some guys pointing out enemy targets would be ideal when using them as advisors.

Wargaming Week 01/10/2018

Let’s start this Wargaming Week, covering the 24th through to the 30th of October.

BLOG STUFF

This week saw yet another part in Project Humvee, looking at the new weapon options. I’m really excited to see these come out, especially the weapon stations – I think I’ll be picking up a few more to upgrade some American armour I’m planning to pick up eventually. After all, can’t have a platoon of Marines without some heavy armour to back them up – going to need to get a War Pig on the table.

NEWS

Tiny Terrain’s next Kickstarter is rumbling closer (in fact it should be up later today). As part of this, the two main squads of new figures have been previewed. First up, we have the Russians. This is a nice set of guys, packed full of AKs but with an SVD, PKM and some disposable RPGs for support weapons.

The other preview is for the OPFOR, the Chechens. These guys are armed similarly to their Russian oppositions but clad in a very different style. For example, I think it would probably be frowned upon for the standard Russian trooper to bring a sword into battle.

Finally we have the preview video for the Kickstarter itself. All of the figures are from the same sculptor as the original range, giving you even more guys ready for the battlefield. From the descriptions on the images, there will be plenty of other support options to extend the squads. Keep an eye on the Tiny Terrain page for more details once the Kickstarter is up.

Spectre returned to the release stage with a new set of specialists for the Cartel range. We saw previews of these guys on the Colours table a few weeks ago, but it’s nice to see them now available.

The new release is seven figures. Each is on the store individually and, if you’re fighting other cartels or law enforcement south of the border, you are going to want these guys. Each figure is packed full of character (from the mad man with his dual MAC-10s to the soldato, bare chest exposed while holding his AUG one handed) and there is also a useful range of weapons. There are now two LMGs in the cartel range, as well as an AA12, a multiple grenade launcher and even one cartel member with a M82 – useful when your rival is rolling around in an armoured SUV

PURCHASES

Actually, nothing. I’ve still got a lot of things I want to tidy up and, although I really like the look of the new Cartel fighters, I want to work out the best way to include them in my MENA/African setting. I am also conscious of how many figures I have sat waiting to be painted.

Okay, well almost nothing. I finally picked up the last volume of Black Powder Red Earth Yemen. I really like the series, although it has some flaws, and the Yemen run is the best so far. It has much more of a story to it rather than just operators thwacking people so it’s going to be exciting to see how the story wraps up.

HOBBY

The main hobby time this week was assembling the turrets all ready for Friday’s post. In fact, there were too many turrets (and not enough hobby time) so the turret gunners were put to one side to be saved for another post. You’ll be seeing those guys in a few weeks.

The building of B-Town continues as I keep working my way through my collection. This weekend saw it progress a bit more, with more MDF covered in textured paint and a few more air conditioning units on walls.

I also decided to get some figures that have been sat on my workbench finished off. Gazing around at the options, and thinking of my next game, I decided to grab the Spectre SWAT team and broke out the paints. I’ll talk more about them in the post but the plan is to paint them up using the PMC painting scheme. More details in Friday’s post


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

Wargaming Week 24/09/18

Let’s start this Wargaming Week, covering the 17th through to the 23rd of September.

BLOG STUFF

This week’s post was finishing off the Foxhounds. I’m really happy that I have finally got these vehicles done – they have been sat on my desk for over a year at this point but now they get to go into the completed project box. Hopefully, they should be out on the board the next time I run a game featuring the ADF but I’ll have to work something out to really show them off.

Also, I updated last week’s battle report with some post-game analysis. Seeing as people really liked it, I’m going to try and expand what I do with battle reports, as well as getting more games in. Go and take a look at the updated write-up!

NEWS

First up with have a double bill of news from Tiny Terrain Models. Last weekend at Colours, they were there with a brand new terrain board for their set of rules focused on the First Chechen War. As you can see in the picture above, and in the gallery on Facebook, it’s rather beautiful. Tinned Fruit helped to assemble it and you can see his skill in just how nice the buildings are. Overall, this is another occasion where I’m annoyed that I’m up in Edinburgh and so can’t really make it down to Newbury to attend Colours. Luckily, Tiny Terrain should be at Fiasco in Leeds in October so fingers crossed I should be able to lay my eyes on it there.

But that’s not all for fans of Russians and Chechens clashing. Tiny Terrain also announced the date for the upcoming Kickstarter. This is the second part to the very successful original Kickstarter, adding even more figures (including a few more Chechens with AKs to balance out the vast number of RPGS) all from the sculpting hand of Igor. Ignoring my distaste of prone figures (i’ll get over it) I think some of these sculpts are fantastic. If I was more interested in this conflict, I’d be putting money aside for this one.

The Kickstarter will begin on the 1st of October, keep a close eye on the Tiny Terrain Facebook page for more details

One of the MDF Wizards I have contact with, REDVectors, has just announced the completion of a recent commission. It’s a 28mm scale cargo ship suitable to play over. Stretching around 6ft long, the ship has interiors letting your team of operators clear it deck by deck. It can also be broken down into smaller parts for storage and transport. There are plenty of cool details so I recommend taking a look at the gallery I linked.

As I mentioned when the news came out, this style of ship was what we had in mind when writing Cargo Inspection for Plausible Deniability. So if you want to play that scenario and don’t mind dropping the cost, this is perfect for setting up the board.

White Dragon Miniatures are back and showing off more of their Afghan Insurgent range. These guys are some really cool new poses, including some you don’t see very often (when was the last time an insurgent pulled a sidearm in your game?). It’s going to be really cool when all the various poses are available – one thing that was apparent when talking to them at shows is that White Dragon is using all the benefits of 3D sculpted figures to allow for a huge amount of variety in the range. Keep your eyes peeled to see what’s coming up next

(Also I really need to get my British Infantry rebased and painted :|)

PURCHASES

Nothing!

HOBBY

As you might have guessed, most of the work for this week was getting the Foxhounds finished off. For full details, check the post.

My weekend tasks has been assembling more Humvee Weapons from the latest order. I’ll be taking a look at these in Friday’s post so stay tuned for more details on them.

I’ve also started looking at how much work it would be to convert the turret ring of the Empress M-ATV to fit the Spectre weapons properly. It would be ideal if all my US vehicles shared the same turrets, letting me swap in the various versions as they were needed.


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

Wargaming Week 17/09/18

Let’s start this Wargaming Week, covering the 10th through to the 16th of September.

BLOG STUFF

This week’s post saw a triumphant return to battle reports with a Humvee ambush in Bazistan. Turns out, people really like battle reports.

There is always a little bit of stress when writing and then running games at the club, always a concern that I’ve written something no one Hobby, wants to play. Luckily, this game was an absolute banger – being able to have two players on each side and run it as a DM meant it was much easier to introduce new players to the game and get the tension up between the different elements. Using a double sized board also really helped to improve the spectacle as well. 

Having managed to get a game in, I’m really looking forward to running something else in a few weeks.

NEWS

First up we have some more MDF buildings. Now, I’m stuck firmly in the Middle East/East Africa until I’ve painted up all the buildings I have but I couldn’t help but take a look at these South East Asian buildings from Dragonfrog Games. Never used the company but they look really good, perfect for anyone wanting to do Vietnam or anything else in that region.

One thing I love about following wargaming sculptors is how differently they handle some problems I have when collecting. Flytrap Factory decided he needed some more operators for his team from Spectre (which he’d been converting along the way) and so simply banged out a really nice pair of low profile/deniable operators covered in all the kit they might need. Having had some of his figures before, it’s really cool to see these guys designed to fit in with the Spectre style of figure. I’m also a massive fan of this style of operator (kitted up but not rolling in Crye Precision) so I can’t wait to see them all painted up and on the table.

Okay. Spectre, in their continuing quest to make me talk about their range every week, came out this Friday with a literal pile of new releases. First up they have a new site which should make it a little easier to navigate their ranges. My favourite change is the fact vehicles are now split out into several sections rather than just a massive list.

Now let’s talk about the new items. First up the big stuff and something I can see a lot of people buying even for non-Spectre vehicles. We finally have someone producing remote weapon stations to add to your vehicles, giving them a nice upgrade to bring them kicking and screaming into the 21st Century. As well as the full-size systems (that also includes a smoke grenade launcher) for the M2, MK 47 and M240, there is also a smaller version designed for mounting on lighter vehicles.

The big thing for me is the arrival of the GAU-19. I think this gun is mad – a three-barrelled Gatling gun firing .50BMG, this really is the gun you need to kill everyone in the target zone and whoever is directly past them. I’m really looking forward to getting this in a scenario and on the table.

This image also shows another upgrade, the rack of fuel cans on the side of the vehicle. The pack also includes a seat for the rear gunner, ideal for making the SF vehicle a bit more comfortable. The main surprise from this release is another HMV addon, the spare wheel frame. It’s a simple addition, but I can’t wait to put it on my vehicles.

Finally, there are three new turret gunners. These are designed for the HMV turrets, cut off at the knees. Each gunner is a different variation, letting you them your vehicles for either SOF troops, MENA Regulars (in a similar style to the existing squad) or a more generic style.

But that wasn’t all from Spectre this week. The long awaited Jungle supplement is finally out! It’s a really nice release, adding new rules for fighting under the triple canopy, additional support options more suited for the jungle and a complete campaign with a nice selection of missions. It’s going to be exciting to see what other supplements the Spectre team are working on.

But wait, there is more. At Colours this weekend, the crew behind A Few Brits and the Hobby , who also interviewed Spectre in a previous episode, were running a Spectre Operations demo game set on the island of Val Verde (yes, the Val Verde where every action hero of the 1980s earned their stripes). With the CIA and Navy SEALs taking on the Cartel, it looks incredible. You can find lots of pictures on their facebook group.

Also interesting were a few new Cartel figures spotted on the table. These guys are definitely on the gangbanger side of the Cartel range but have come to the table with some serious firepower. As well as some SMGs and assault rifles, there looks like one figure with an M249. But more importantly, the guy on the left has something with slab sides and a drum mag – it can only be my room clearer of choice, the AA-12 automatic shotgun. Not sure when these guys are coming out but knowing my luck it’s going to be next weekend.

PURCHASES

Coming out of the next month’s hobby budget, I’m picking up a few new items to form the next stage of Project Humvee

  • Remote Weapon systems – first round is the M2 and M240 in full-size mounts.
  • The GAU-19 – I don’t think I need to say why I need this
  • A SOF turret gunner – I’ve already said I’m cautious about adding gunners to my Humvees as it limits which factions they can be used with but the SF M2 is only going to be used by guys in fast helmets.
  • A MENA regular turret – It’s time to give the locals some firepower. Turret Alfa, a MENA turret gunner and DsHK will be a good start.

The other thing is it’s time to re-up my spray paint for building work. I need more grey and texture paint seeing as I have 5 more buildings to paint.

HOBBY

For the first time in a while, I actually managed to write a scenario that only needed one new figure painting. Although the SPG-9 was not 100% successful in game, it was a fun set to paint. The spotter was just sat there waiting to be painted as well and so I just rolled on and got them both done.

The main thing for this week was obviously preparation for Thursday’s game. As much as I love Skirmish Sangin, writing your own scenarios can end up being a lot of busy work,

On the weekend, I finally grew tired of the MDF sat on my sofa and broke out the spray cans to continue work on Project B-Town. Having seen how much I have left to do, I’m modifying my style slightly to make things quicker. More details coming soon.

After Thursday’s losses, I think its time for the Aden Defence Force to get it’s act together and invest in some protected patrol vehicles. In other words, I need to get off my ass and finish painting the pair of Foxhounds I picked up from Evil Bear Wargames. I’m also going to take this opportunity to add some stowage to them. Come back on Friday to see what I’m doing with them.


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

Wargaming Week 10/09/2018

Let’s start this Wargaming Week, covering the 3rd through to the 9th of September.

BLOG STUFF

Last week saw two posts! Wednesday’s post on the new stowage available from Spectre was completely unplanned – I wasn’t expecting the new kit to arrive on time. However, seeing as I was about to stick some of it onto my new vehicle, I thought I might as well quickly get something written about it.

The main post though was a short one looking at the latest Humvee to be added to the project. Despite the minor problems I mentioned, I’m really happy with getting this vehicle ready and on the table.

NEWS

This week has been a little quieter than the last couple. First up, the painter currently working on the White Dragon Miniatures Quad Bikes has been teasing some more and shown off one of the vehicles WIP. They are looking really good and I’m now feeling incredibly bad about not painting my guys up.

Spectre continues to tease. This week, they have shown off another weapon system to mount on your Humvee. This is a GAU-19, a .50 BMG firing rotary cannon which is going to be a nightmare to go up against. It combines the high rate of fire of a rotary cannon with the hitting power of a HMG. Looks like I’ve found the next part of Project Humvee

PURCHASES

Nothing! The last few weeks has taken a big chunk out of the budget so a week off was a nice change.

HOBBY

As you might expect, I was working on the latest Humvee this week! This was basically the same painting task as my last few vehicles so it only took an evening of work to get it painted.

The main hobby task though was writing. I’m creating the scenario for next week’s game to get these vehicles on the board. In addition, we’re going to try out a new injury system to save having to keep track of HP values. The next game is going to be really exciting.


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

Wargaming Week 03/09/2018

Let’s start this Wargaming Week, covering the 27th of August through to the 2nd of September.

BLOG STUFF

First up saw a trip to South Africa with a Boer War battle report. It was a fun game to play and a neat diversion to write up. When I get some more, you may see a rise in these battle reports as I join in with more of the games at the club.

The main post this week was looking at the next stage in Project Humvee, actually painting up the first two. I had a really good time just getting them sorted and now they are finished, I can’t wait to get them on the board. Unfortunately, I seemed to have forgotten to order the key component for the third Humvee (the FLIR setup) so it looks like I won’t have to time to get it ready before Friday – you’ll just have to wait for the battle report on the 14th.

Buy Me a Coffee at ko-fi.com

Also, it’s the start of a new month so time for a Ko-fi reminder! If you like the stuff I’m working on, I run a Ko-Fi where you choose to donate small amounts for me to spend on Pepsi Max (I’m not a coffee drinker) or other things to keep the site going. If you want to contribute, you can either click the button above or use the following link: https://ko-fi.com/A7374ATG

NEWS

Sarissa Precision has released another kit as part of the North Africa range. Obviously inspired partially by the wave of Western Desert fever (thanks to the recent Bolt Action releases), the new building is inspired by the actual El Alamein train station. As well as standing in for that, I could see using it for modern day MENA situations. With a few tweaks, it could be used as a gatehouse for a larger compound. This is definitely one on my list once I’ve finished the buildings I have.

Big news from Knights of Dice! My favourite range from them, Tabula Rasa Desert Buildings has extended with four new buildings. These are a new style, giving you a set of more urban villas with multiple floors, rooms and balconies to fight over. Much like the rest of the range, all these buildings are basic shells, ready for you to add all the air con units and other details you will need.

Of course, the even bigger news is the first of the apartment blocks. We’ve seen the basic design being prototyped but this is the first release. A small two storey setup, this building contains multiple floors and access points which should make it perfect for games trying to model fighting room to room.

Both these sets are currently released and up on the Knights of Dice store. I’m going to wait until Shiny Games get them in stock and I actually get some more buildings painted and on the table.

As well as releasing a merchandise range, Spectre brought out the updated Russian Operators previewed over the last few weeks. With the updated equipment, these figures are ideal for showing Russian SOF on operations abroad. The squad pack is an ideal starting point for any modern collection, giving you six operators, with a variety of equipment to augment the classic assault rifle and body armour, including thermal optics, secondary weapons like a grenade launcher or suppressed SMG and the medium machine gun. On top of the squad, you also can add more long range firepower to fit your team for the required situation – this can either be by adding more suppression (with an LMG or MMG with backpack ammo) or more precision (via the marksman or sniper rifles).

PURCHASES

I really did try to resist but the new range of Spetsnaz guys are ideal for an alternative SOF force to match up against the Task Force Operators (especially as I was in the process of writing a SF vs SF scenario). So I’ve picked up the squad pack as well as the additional support operators, which should be perfect for some missions I have planned. Now to pick a paint scheme.

I also added the missing items I needed for Humvee 3.

HOBBY

Painting Humvees was the main hobby action this week, although it took much less time than expected. After having hit them with the undercoat, it was just one evening of work (assisted by watching Black Hawk Down) to get them both ready for action. I am tempted to possibly go back and do some highlighting work but I shall have to see.

Next step was finally finishing off assembling my Space Marines. There will be a longer post coming soon where I’ll talk more about this process but it’s been a nice change of pace assembling multi-part plastic kits. On the other hand, I think actually building some Primaris marines has broken me on the older figures – putting the two next to each other just makes the original tactical marines look like children rather than superhuman warriors.

And then I got to play some games! While delivering a box full of Orks to my gaming buddy in York, we managed to get in a game of Killteam. My five recently assembled Deathwatch marines (clad in finest undercoat) took on a horde of Orks while trying to rescue the downed pilot. Both of us failed to use any tactics but with multiple specialists on the field (as well as the Deathwatch’s special ammo rules), there was plenty of bloodletting. The small board size makes combat pretty brutal. Overall, it’s a neat game, perfect for playing with a beer or two and I can’t wait to get some more games in.


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