Wargaming Week 19/08/2019

Let’s start this Wargaming Week, covering the 12th through to the 18th of August.

NEWS

First up, news from Spectre. Price rises hit all of us, and it looks like it’s now time for Spectre’s metal figures to go up in price. You’ve got until the 1st of September to enjoy the current prices.

Additionally, they are working to improve their resin production, mainly to keep their stuff at better stock levels for as long as possible.

Of course, as soon I mention them quietening down, Spectre drops off this little preview onto Instagram. Two new HVTs for your tabletop. The figure on the right is a reproduction of the African general from the original Kickstarter, so this re-release might explain why a few people found. some resin versions of him in the last set of Covert Packages. I’m more interested in the General on the left, a very Russian looking gentleman in a warm coat with a big hat. This will be perfect for any Russian separatist games where you might want to play the Russians as the good guys.

TTTS is coming out with another vehicle to add to their increasingly large US vehicle garage. This time it’s one of the Special Forces support vehicle motherships, nicknamed Warpig. It’s a fierce-looking vehicle and is coming to Kickstarter later this month. I like the TTTS stuff but buyer beware, it is 1:56 rather than the 1:50.

Finally, Blacksite has a brand new range coming ready for Stalingrad. If you’re looking for some bombed-out Soviet buildings for other modern warzones, these look pretty great. Pavlov’s house especially is just incredible – a game board all by itself.

PURCHASES

Infamous JT has slashed their prices as he clears out other product lines to focus on his own range. While still waiting for my Canadians to arrive along with the LAV-III (which is taking its sweet time through the postal system), I decided to pick up the rest of the Canadian teams to complete my collection. Fingers crossed the sudden arrival of a block of Canadians will summon the rest of them.

HOBBY

With a bit of free time, I finished off the last two Spectre civilians that had been sat on the painting desk. I do find solid colour stuff is perfect for a quick bit of evening painting, and these guys were a nice bit of relaxation. Also, I now have a decent crowd to fill the streets of Bazistan, ideal for annoying…everyone.

Finally, the big thing was assembling more MDF. I’ve finished the three buildings from Knights of Dice and as you can see it’s looking like a proper city now. I’m working on the article now and then it’s going to be a lot of work to tweak and prepare them.


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

Wargaming Week 12/08/2019

Let’s start this Wargaming Week, covering the 5th through to the 11th of August.

BLOG STUFF

No blog posts, but the first Forces List for the Bazistan Project is now up on the Patreon. Seeing as I already had them mostly planned out, I started with the Aden Defence Force. Being based on the British Infantry arrangement with a few tweaks, I’m looking forward to actually getting these squads on the table

For the moment, everything on the Patreon is going to be free – so if you want to take a look you’ll find it here. Donating will let you jump in and comment as well as showing your support.

NEWS

No news! Everything has gone a bit quiet.

PURCHASES

No purchases!

HOBBY

Not much in terms of painting and gaming (mostly too busy finishing the article for the Patreon) but my order from Knights of Dice did finally arrive! After sucking air through my teeth at the VAT bill, this collection of MDF landed on my desk with a crunch. The apartment buildings are going to be a big chunk of work but I’m really looking forward to sitting down with them.

As you can see, I managed to get all of the market stalls constructed. Building them was really nice, the kits are wonderfully designed as always. More details coming soon.


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

Wargaming Week 05/08/2019

Let’s start this Wargaming Week, covering the 29th of July through to the 4th of August.

BLOG STUFF

I published a new post on the Tabula Rasa villas from Knights of Dice! Overall I’m pretty happy with them, I just need to actually get them detailed up before painting. But once ready, it’s going to make fighting through some city streets pretty interesting.

Become a Patron!

Over on Patreon I posted an update on what I’ve been up to in regards to my ongoing project. I’m still working out the best method of presenting the information but I’ve also been getting some content finished off. The Aden Defence Force document is almost ready, I just need to finish writing some of the words around the actual useful information.

NEWS

It’s still summer! Apart from Spectre detailing a slight thermal issue with their resin production (it’s really warm), there is no news.

PURCHASES

Nothing! Still working through my current list of items such as eyeing up the pile of MDF all over my flat.

HOBBY

This week has been pretty hobby quiet – I’ve been focused on other things (mainly video games and preparing for an airsoft weekender in August) or writing up stuff for the Patreon. Come back next week and I might have done a little painting!


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

Wargaming Week 29/07/2019

Let’s start this Wargaming Week, covering the 22nd through to the 28th of July.

BLOG STUFF

Big news this week was that I ran a game! The second part of the adventures of Captain Amari, it was a bit of a monster, with that number of players (especially with most of them not knowing the rules). As always I ended up rushing the prep slightly but it was overall pretty damn fun. And now I just have to plan the next one!

NEWS

It’s summer so things are pretty quiet. However, Spectre Miniatures are running their usual summer sale, ready to take all your money while offering double points on everything.

More importantly, Spectre has finally released the errata and points for V2. Both pdfs are available on the website, ideal for keeping games of Spectre flowing. The Errata fixes are mostly common sense, but the extra profiles for the Attack Helicopter are a great expansion of the OTA option.

PURCHASES

Well, thinking ahead to the next game in the campaign, we’re going to need some more multiroom buildings to CQB through. After seeing Treadheadz work on facebook, I’ve put in an order with Knights of Dice and have already started planning some of the room tweaks. More details when they arrive!

I’ve also grabbed a few things from the Spectre sale – I realised the Luxury SUV would be perfect for the new Contractors and was an element missing from my collection. I also grabbed another turret for the HMVs – a full armoured turret bravo ready to add a spare .50cal I have to it to give me a few more options when kitting the Humvees up.

HOBBY

Probably the main thing from this week was doing a few interior elements for on Thursday. I didn’t finish as much as I had planned and the ones I did manage to get ready chipped a little bit . I also had a play with my airbush as part of this, leading to a situation of rushing to learn how to use a new toy. I’ll be doing some more work on this stuff before I really show it all off.

The main hobby activity this weekend was digging into the Knights of Dice buildings, specifically the villas. These were pretty fun to build and I have to admit I’m loving having more multi-room and level buildings which are ideal for the skirmish games I love to play.

Now I just need to get all these buildings painted up…


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

Wargaming Week 22/07/2019

Let’s start this Wargaming Week, covering the 15th through to the 21st of July.

BLOG STUFF

First up we took a look at the War Zone Arabia buildings from Black Site Studios. Building these things was really exciting – they are some nicely designed kits, with interiors perfect for playing through. They will be getting their first taste of combat this week, and I can’t wait!

Also hitting the table this week are the Contractor Ops team I finally painted up over my holiday. As I say in the article, these guys were great fun, ideal for a whole host of different roles and teams in modern settings.

The Patreon this week also got a new post covering the Whys of the setting I chose for this project. The next post is going to detail the Aden Defence Force platoon and squad arrangement, adding some information to one of the new forces in the region.

NEWS

One bit of news: TTTS has a new release for their US Army range, bringing a 60mm Mortar team ready to provide your guys with some close quarter integrated support. I quite like the mortar pit it comes with as well, might be something to look at when it is released.

Another preview from TTTS is that they are making a War Pig! One of the stranger SF vehicle conversions, this vehicle would be a perfect supply carrier for a mixed Special Forces convoy. More details in August, but it’s an exciting addition to see.

PURCHASES

Tired of having figures everywhere, I decided to pick up the supermassive KR Case. The reason for this is that I am a fan of the KR case system, using it for my game bag. Having a case that fits these tray easily while also being able to move it just made sense. The setup process for heading to a game is just pulling out the right trays from this larger box, before putting them in the travel case and heading out.

I also grabbed a few pieces from the TTCombat interior range this week as well. With the large spaces inside the Black Site buildings, some sofas, chairs and more were needed to fill the rooms and make them into obstacles, rather than just open shooting galleries. Fingers crossed they arrive in time!

HOBBY

Literally, just as the post last week went up for you all to see, a package arrived on my desk of T62s from Tiny Terrain. These were beautiful little things to build. Having run out of spray paint midway through undercoating, I had to pause in their assembly. However, post should be coming soon.

I finally finished off the 4th humvee that has been sat on my desk. This is another standard one, lacking any extra electrical elements or fancy kit. This simplicity means it could easily run under a national army or with the local militia. However, rather than run it entirely clean, I added some stowage on the back. More details when I get some more of Humvee turrets built up.

Speaking of cleaning up my desk, I finally assembled the LTV that was sat on there since just after I went to the states. This one needed a little cleanup to get the fit but I think it had turned out looking good. Similarly, I also assembled the Light RWS Spectre sell. This is a really cool piece and to improve my options with it I also assembled a Technical mount as you can see above.

As part of my desk clean up, I also pulled out the Spectre objective markers and started looking at getting them ready for the tabletop. Mostly this is just getting them on thin pieces of plasticard, with some basing together. Fingers crossed, you’ll be seeing them in Thursday’s game, making it look like an AESA safe house.

Most of my hobby time, however, has been spent moving figures around bits of foam, getting my new hardcase set up with a storage setup. Massively reducing the number of figures sharing slots in the foam, binning some super-thin foam pieces that were at risk of falling apart and final clearing my coffee table of all the loose figures.

And of course, as with any week before a game, I’m getting the game planned out.


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

Impressions: Black Site Studios – War Zone Arabia

As a man with a sizeable collection of unpainted MDF, making it tabletop ready requires a big chunk of time and special techniques to get it ready for the tabletop. Between getting the right texture on and making sure the Agrax is deployed enough without bankrupting you, it does all build up. So the idea of purchasing pre-painted MDF can be pretty attractive.

There are a few companies doing it but the selection for gaming in the Middle East or North Africa is pretty limited. Luckily, Black Site Studios in the US have kicked off their War Zone Arabia range, bringing a load of buildings to fit the Middle Eastern zone. Spectre Miniatures were offering a pre-order on their products in the UK for a limited time and I just had to pick up a trio to try out.

First of all, let’s talk the basics. All the buildings arrive in a mixture of MDF and greyboard, laser-cut into pieces and ready to be popped from the sprue. Most of the building Sprue removed was relatively easy, although I did find a good few cases where some clean-up had to be done after removing from the sprue. Overall the kits all feel very nicely designed and well manufactured.

Instructions are available from the Black Site Studios website and are simple and easy to assemble. As with all MDF buildings, I really recommend dry-fitting everything, making sure they fit properly before applying the glue. There were some really snug fits, especially with the interior and exterior walls being separate pieces and needing to fit together. In a few cases, a little bit of percussive construction assistance was used just to make it all fit. However, aside from one piece seeming to need to be reversed, everything fitted together well, with tools only needed for a little bit of clean up. On the other hand, I need to stress that you should definitely read the instructions – I ended up skipping the outer decorative pieces when assembling the largest building and ended up unable to assemble them as intended (as you can see in the picture at the top).

For all the positives I do have to give a warning about the staircases. They are a monster to assemble, requiring the lining up of several steps and their locator pins between two outer pieces. I assembled three sets in the course of these buildings and each one was incredibly annoying. Additionally, the steps seem to be designed for figures mounted to penny bases, with incredibly small gaps between them. For everyone else, you either let the figures slip and slide or else just make sure people stand at the top and bottom of the staircases.


The first building I constructed is the Abboud Trading Company. The smallest of the buildings available, the building is a perfect store for your MENA street. With a roll-up door over a wide entrance, it’s easy to picture it being rolled up as the day starts, various goods waiting inside to be bought and sold. Alternatively, this may be where the HVT goes to ground, operators moving up to breach through the door and drag them out.

Around the back, you can see an additional entry, making the building perfect to fight through and presenting a challenge when defending. Additionally, the low walls on the partially assembled roof leads to some interesting fighting positions.

As you can see inside, there is a serving counter between the main door and the roll-up access. There is enough space to roll in a vehicle, letting you use this as a handy garage to hide key objectives in. Additionally, there is plenty of space inside for players to move around and actually fight, even on standard-sized 25mm bases. This is a common theme across all the buildings I noticed.


The next set is Turhan Imports. A single large room with staircase access to the roof, this building actually works really great when sat next to the trading company or assembled into a small compound. A big feature of this building is the cracked plaster on the other walls, the cream coloured greyboard placed over pale MDF brickwork. I think it works really well, especially from tabletop height.

At the rear, you can see one of those dammed staircases I mentioned further up. As you can see in the breakdown below, this piece is separate, letting you replace it with a ladder if you want to adjust the look. One thing I will mention is the piece of plaster you can see on the staircase. These pieces were not on the instructions, perfect for making each building look different. I think this is especially important if you were running multiple buildings on the same board.

Broken apart, you can see the building is a single large room. One trend through all of these is that the buildings ask for plenty of interior elements, a scattering of tables, sofas and chairs ready to be flipped for cover when people breach and clear.


Finally, lets take a look at the Temara Safehouse. And Oh Boy.

This building is huge. Like, seriously huge. With a footprint of over 1′ x 1′, you could very easily use this building as a game board all by itself. With multiple entry points, access to both floors and interior rooms, this is an assaulter’s nightmare.

As you can see on the other side, there are plenty of access and firing points to utilise. You can also see some of the incredibly nice detail work that is a stand out element of these kits. From the windows to the guard rail around the roof, these buildings definitely feel the part while also definitely being different from the rough adobes that are the go-to for the Middle East.

Now, this really is the money shot. By taking the building apart you can see just how much space for activities there are inside. Three rooms on the ground floor with two more above gives you plenty of spaces to sweep and clear. In addition, you can see the first floor has two staircases to allow access. Overall, this is one hell of an addition to any terrain range.


Overall, I am very impressed with the Black Site Studios buildings. Ignoring the fact the design of these constructions filled my brain with thoughts of Insurgency Sandstorm’s urban conflict zones, there are plenty of really nicely designed bits to them. Each building feels evocative, both fitting the range but also feeling something unique. I’m also a fan of them being very playable – opening doors, sensible access to all the rooms and space to move through, rather than just cramming figures in. The variety through the three buildings is also pretty spectacular – I’d love to see where else this range could go.

Am I going to throw all my unpainted buildings aware and swear only to buy prepainted? Honestly, no. I think these do an excellent job of letting you get past the painting stage and ready for the table, but I think I’ll be going back and painting these. It really comes down to two things – texture and me being a cack-handed fool. Spray-on texture just makes the MDF pop while a good paint job helps to cover up places where I made a mistake during assembly or let the glue on fingertips attach themselves to the greyboard. However, if this doesn’t interest you (or you can assemble them without being a moron) then I think these buildings are a fantastic purchase.

Now someone stop me before I buy all the compound walls I can cover myself in…

Wargaming Week 15/07/2019

Let’s start this Wargaming Week, covering the 8th through to the 13th of July.

BLOG STUFF

Last week was my holiday so there are lots of things in progress but not much actually finished. I took some time to myself to plan and write for both this site and the Patreon.

I’m currently writing up some details on the Aden Defence Force, in particular their squad composition. If you want more details when they are ready, they will be on the Patreon first (before being mentioned here).

NEWS

I wasn’t on the news beat this week but this piece grabbed my attention. A brand new rulset, Contact Front, coming soon and focusing on the conflict in Afghanistan. From reading the intro piece, it reminds me a lot of Fighting Season, with a focus on blending the platoon level action with greater consequences. You can grab more details at https://godseyegames.com/2019/07/08/gods-eye-games-to-publish-contact-front/

PURCHASES

No purchases, still looking at the pile of stuff in front of me.

That said, I am eyeing up some more KR Multicases for carrying all my models around, letting me put them away rather than sitting on every flat surface in my house.

HOBBY

I only got to finish one set of painting but it felt really satisfying to get them done. The six Contractor Operator folks and the Baba Yaga are now ready for the tabletop and (more importantly) to getting them all written up and posted here!


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

Wargaming Week 08/07/2019

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

BLOG STUFF

I launched my Patreon project! More details in the post I published on Thursday but basically, I’m turning my scenarios and world building into something more suitable for release to the general public. I’m really excited about this, especially with the back and forth I’d love to happen with the Patron model.

If you’re interested in joining the patreon, click the button below!

Become a Patron!

There is also a post coming looking at the Black Site Studios terrain. Photos are all taken, I just need to get the written side finished with my thoughts.

NEWS

Other than I started a Patreon for my Sourcebook project? Well, there are a few things.

Empress are releasing a 1/50 M113 all ready for their Vietnam range. Coming with both the .50cal turret and the ACAV weapon mounts, the vehicle is perfect for rolling around Indochina. I’m very interested in picking some up for more modern shenanigans, as M113s are still in use everywhere.

Delta One Zero are showing off some more figures from their upcoming game. These guys are some really cool looking models, perfect for what appears to be some team on team games. I’m a big fan of the look of the SAS guys, being very reminiscent of one of my favourite games. More news on this coming soon.

PURCHASES

Nothing new hobby wise, not finishing things mean

HOBBY

Not a huge amount done as I was getting ready for my holiday (which I am currently on) but did get a start on my Spectre Contractor Ops team. A few common basic colours on, I’ll be doing the rest this week while I’m on my break. Definitely going with the Dad Contractor look – tan trousers, coloured shirts, black webbing. Should be a nice contrast from the Tier 1 guys.

Holiday times means a break and I have brought a few toys down with me. Time to break out the WW2 English Uniform and the mud effect…


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