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!

Wargaming Week 03/02/2020

Let’s start this Wargaming Week, covering the 27th of January through to the 3rd of February.

NEWS

New releases from Empress – they are extending their builders yard to now include a set of damaged apartment blocks, letting you easily build out a larger city using them. They do look like some big chunky resin, so I expect them to definitely have some heft.

I also had a quick chat with Empress at Vapnartak about their upcoming releases for Late War Brits. The long awaited Vickers team is almost here, as well as a 3inch mortar. Also on the cards are some troops for an engineering section, almost vital for a Chain of Command selection. FInally, Paul did mention that they will possibly be looking at making some troops without the camouflage jackets and scrim, instead focusing on the assault jerkins. Overall, these sound like some great additions and I am very excited

To extend my news, I’m going to start looking at a few other things that excite me. As you may have seen, I picked up the Aeronautica Imperialis set a few months back, in part because I love the look of these aircraft. However, my personal favourite (the Valkyrie) wasn’t released… until now. The next box will take us to the skies over Taros, pitting the Valks and Lightnings (sadly the newer design rather than the original pattern) against the Tau craft. I haven’t yet got a game in of the core sets, but I can see the Tau being long range, high power aircraft, lobbing missiles and railguns at incoming targets matching to the concept of them being more modern than the midrange/close range brawlers of the Imperial Navy/Orks.

PURCHASES

Despite going to Vapa, I managed to actually not spend anything on new figures. I’m actually very close to a major move so adding things to a lead pile doesn’t really make sense right now.

So instead, I picked up anther carry case and box from KR Cases. I decided to go for the wheeled one, both for the protective element but also the fact it takes cardboard cases (of which I have a few) letting me easily pack them away). I’m actually quite looking forward to being able to get everything packed up, complete with a little bit of extra space.

HOBBY

As I mentioned before, I went to Vapa in York on Sunday. I always enjoy starting my year off with the show, seeing friends and catching up with traders while admiring the game. This year seemed pretty busy and great, a good mix of sellers and demo games (such as the rather cool Entebbe game above). Overally, it’s a good start to the year, especially if you manage to escape without having spent a penny!

As for my own hobby time? Well it’s been a little quiet this week. I’m in the process of some life changes so I had very little time to sit and paint. What time I did spend was mostly on writing some rules I’m wanting to play around with (details soon). And the rest? Well I really like just assembling models, so with the aim of relaxing, I broke out some of the GW plastic kits I’ve had lying around. These Sylvaneth Tree-Revenants are a joy to build – although not super easy to vary poses the level of design on them, as well as various parts, lets you play around with them.


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

Wargaming Week 27/01/2020

Let’s start this Wargaming Week, covering the 20th through to the 26th of January.

NEWS

Surprisingly nothing – seems like everyone is busy getting ready for various shows or preparing for the delightful situation we’re going to be in at the end of the month.

PURCHASES

The one thing that arrived this week is Zona Alfa, the latest book from Osprey’s blue book series. As someone who has a super strong interest in STALKER, Metro, Escape from Tarkov and other similar stories, the idea of setting a game there has been at the forefront of my mind. From a quick read through, this game definitely sounds like my kind of thing. Of course, with my current collection, I might relocate it to the wastes of a semi-post-apocalyptic middle east when I play but it should be hitting a tabletop when I have a chance.

The other… Okay I bought some more stuff for fantasy. As I’ve started writing scenarios and lore, I’ve realised there are some characters I’ve been desperate to add. I had a little accident at Games Workshop, picking up a few packs from their fantasy range. The Darkoath Warqueen is a fun looking model and will be an exciting character to come up against. The Dark Elf Corsairs I’ve pictured above (including their captain) will be a vital part of the plot, seeing as the players will be working for the other side. Finally, I picked up another pack but I’m not quite ready to share. Both because I’m not sure I’ll be able to paint them properly but also I don’t want to give the game away too early for my players.

HOBBY

So this week has been a little bit of an odd one as (aside from assembling a few plastic kits) I’ve spent most of it focused on a single figure. This is because I’ve actually been focus on improving my skillset, as well as implementing an idea I’ve had for ages. I’m going to actually write a short post on the process of converting a Frostgrave wizard to look like Moira, a favourite character of mine from Overwatch, so I can pass on some of the stupidity that I came across as well as showing off a lot of WIP photos.

I also received my wet pallete. I’m already a fan of it, letting me keep paint going overnight. I think it will become very useful once I start painting my platoons up. More thoughts as I use it.


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

Wargaming Week 20/01/2020

Let’s start this Wargaming Week, covering the 13th through to the 19th of January.

Blog Stuff

I got back to my fantasy project! Really happy with the response to the first post -this has been a side project I’ve been working on during my downtime last year. I’m really excited about actually getting the figures on the table – both for the gameplay but also just because they are some lovely models!

I’m also really excited as I’m playing around with a setting I’ve worked on with a really good friend of mine. She’s been cranking out maps of the various countries alongside our world building and I can’t wait to show them off!

NEWS

Speaking of fantasy, here is a nice upcoming release from my local MDF wizard, Supreme Littleness Designs. He’s making some modular Frozen City ruins, perfect for any skirmish game where you want some verticality. I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on 4 Ground for when they are released.

Next up, Black Site Studios showing off a pile of scenery perfect of some fantasy skirmish gaming. I’m a big fan of their stuff, and this bundle seems perfect for making a board suitably dense for that style of game. Definitely something I’ll be thinking about soon.

And just to prove I haven’t been lost to swinging swords, Tabletop Tactical Simulations is back with another truck kickstarter! This time, they are bringing a range of Ural trucks to the tabletop, perfect for any number of theatres as long as you paint them right. I’m usually put off by the fact it’s 1/56 but I have to admit, I’m kind of tempted to give them a look and see how well it works.

PURCHASES

Nothing!

HOBBY

More painting, all thanks to my 15 minutes+ a day. It’s really good for just getting small stuff finished. For example, these two turrets – sat on my desk for literally months while getting the energy to paint the camo on the gunners. However, I managed to get them cleaned up and good to go. These are both for the Bazi forces, something to make their Humvee’s pop out among the legion of US vehicles. Additionally, I don’t fancy coming up against either of them in a dark alley!

Speaking of not fancy fighting them, the other two things finished this week was my second LTV and the monstrous Land Warfare RWS with its 30mm cannon, ATGM and coax medium machine gun. I really like this kit, and having two of them means I can deploy a full 8 man patrol under protective cover. Next stop, convoy.

Finally (inspired by my Christmas game of Chain of Command), I started playing around with a test figure for my own Empress British. I only managed to get the base colours on, but it looks the right tone. I’m looking forward to only having to do a single piece of camo gear, as opposed to a whole figure. Fingers crossed I’ll finish this guy off this week.


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

Wargaming Week 13/01/2020

Let’s start this Wargaming Week, covering the 6th through to the 12th of January.

NEWS

Spectre has awoken from it’s Christmas break with a pile of new updates and releases. First up, previews looking forward. We’ve already seen these heads before but now we finally get to see them all armed up. It’s an interesting set of gear – the foreground figure is armed with a Galil assault rifle while one of those in the background seems to be using a short machine gun. I’m going to be interested in seeing what range these guys are part of, but they should be an interesting addition to the collection.

Ah, time for the return of an old friend. Technical Charlie was the first vehicle Spectre worked on, as you might have seen back in the original Kickstarter as the PMC Technical. Up until this week, the only way to get your hands on this chassis was to go hunting on eBay and pay silly prices. However, Spectre have decided to bring this vehicle back, giving you another pick-up truck to add to your forces. They are currently on pre-order and should be arriving late February.

The only thing missing from this release is the PMC gunner with PKM sat on the back. Fingers crossed we’ll see this guy return to action.

Finally, Spectre has also added a new starter set to the website, giving you a simple and easy way to get in Spectre Operations. The pack, as well as the Version 2 rulebook, includes two 7 man squads of Elite Operators (Russians and Task Force Operators). Now, the weapons given to them are… interesting? They definitely give you a nice mix of equipment choices (and would be great fun to paint) although maybe not exactly the pieces I would have chosen for a beginners pack. The pack is available for a limited time but fingers crossed the idea of a starter kit will be maintained.

PURCHASES

My Mum and Dad were planning on buying me a Citadel Painting handle as a surprise Christmas present. However, it went missing in the Christmas Post and so didn’t arrive in time. However, they instead decided to purchase another hobby tool I’ve wanted for a while – an Army Painter Wet Palette. This is mainly to stop me from wasting paint, as well as to replace the horrible piece of plastic I’ve been using. In addition, to bring up the order to get free postage, I added one of the TargetLock Laser Line devices. More details once they arrive.

HOBBY

My “15 minutes of painting a day” continued (only missing Sunday) and I managed to get a few more figures done. One more fantasy figure, two Spectre operators that have been on my to-do pile for ages and the Spectre Adviser figure. Painting every day has been fun and it’s nice to get stuff actually finished.

Unrelated, that photo above is awful but it is much as I have. Hopefully some lights I have ordered should improve it


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

Wargaming Week – Christmas!

Let’s start this Wargaming Week, covering the Christmas Break!

Blog Stuff

In a shocking turn of events, I actually got two blog articles done! And posted! I guess most of you have read them.

Before Christmas, I managed to get my impressions on the Sarissa Walled Compound finished. These kits have some great potential, and I can’t wait to get them onto the board.

I also managed to get up my battle report from Christmas’s game of Chain of Command. As always, I love playing it and this quick game has lit the fire under my backside to get around to painting up my own platoon.

and maybe a few tanks.

NEWS

Not much news as everyone was on their Christmas break, but Empress popped up out of nowhere with a release just around New Years. Their USMC Recon Pack is one I’ve been looking forward to since it was previewed – I love this style of figure, laden down with kit. This pack is full of wonderful details and weapon choices. I’m not currently playing Vietnam BUT this is definitely a pack that could be a great start for some long-range recce games in the light green.

PURCHASES/Presents

With it being Christmas, I got a few things hobby related things as presents. I usually end up buying myself models and paints when I need them (and but mostly when I want them) but reference books I go mad for them. This year, I was lucky to get two art books from games – Modern Warfare and Breakpoint. Although I think Breakpoint is a not particularly good game, the design work on it is packed full of possible inspiration. Modern Warfare, on the other hand, is a game I love and being able to see more about it – both artistic inspiration but also the development process. The final book, Leigh Neville’s Infantry Small Arms is just to keep me up to date with goings-on, as well as all the details.

In terms of purchases, I picked up a few things from Empress – the Middle Eastern Civilians and the new USMC Recce team. Both of these are sets of figures I’ve been excited about for a little bit, so I’ll be dropping some of my birthday money on them. I also grabbed some of the old Dark Elf Shades for my fantasy games. There will be more lore on how I’ll be using them soon, but they should be a fun set to paint up before springing them on unsuspecting players.

HOBBY

At the start of my break, I did nip back into work to pick up a few parcels, including some new arrivals from Spectre! As well as the new guys I picked up, I also got a lucky box! And first piece out was the cartel LAW figure that is as of yet unreleased. I also got a few other Kickstarter exclusives and some mainline figures (including the crouching Ranger).

But of course, the big thing over the holidays was beginning my 15 minutes of painting a day. This is my plan to keep on being productive with my painting pile this year but its also a great bit of relaxation. To begin with, I started taking a look at my fantasy project. Since December 23rd, I managed to get 12 figures finished. And frankly, I enjoyed getting everyone painted. When I have a few more ready, I’ll collate all my lore notes on them together and write up something for them.


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

Wargaming Week 16/12/2019

Let’s start this Wargaming Week, covering the 9th through to the 15th of December.

Blog Stuff

I am partway through writing up my initial impressions of the Ambassador’s Compound I showed off last week, mostly trying to get into details so everyone reading can know how best to pick it up and expand it. It’s a really cool set and I really want to get into detail on just what you can do with it. Also, I was busy packing up for Christmas Break that started this week. But it will be done soon!

NEWS

First up, Empress dropped 4 separate releases on us this week in their Ultramodern Civilian range. Now, being an idiot who read the news while on his morning off, I didn’t notice that these new packs have a new ID code on them “MIDCIV”. On closer inspection, these four packs are actually designed for use in the Middle East, as opposed to Afghanistan. There are some key designs to them that make them stand out but I think it’s safe to say they could possibly be mixed in with the Afghan civilians (especially if you’re setting your games somewhere more urbanised).

Once again, I’m very interested in these sets – it’s a sad fact of modern war that you can never have too many civilians to get in the way.

Squeaking in before the end of the year, Spectre has also put a few new figures out. Adding to their classic range of the African Militia, three new leaders are now available. As well as the big boss warlord with his M16 and M203, there are two squad leaders – one looking rather more like the rest of his squad, the other ready for the mean streets totting a revolver and acting as a common thug. There is also now an African crewman figure for your technicals, finally free from his prison on a page of the Spectre Operations rulebook. The figures look cool and independent, showing off the unique look these militias can have.

Additionally, we have got a little taster for a new set of figures joining the African Militia in the form of a pair of robed Nomad militia fighters, coming in a support pack (PKM and RPG). I’ll freely admit, I think I would have preferred to see these figures all released as one big event or even as a new collection. However, they have been released as a little bit of a tease of an upcoming range. They look like they will be a fun range, and with the right paint job, can be deployed to several locations around the world.

PURCHASES

I picked up the new Spectre releases! I know, shocking. The African Militia will join their buddies for when I finally get round to Zaiweibo but the robed chaps will be painted up as desert nomads.

HOBBY

This week was all about wrapping up at work and getting ready for some time off so my hobby time was less than zero. However, with this Christmas break starting, I should have plenty of time to get a little more done.


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

Actually, after looking at the dates, you’ll see more updates next year! Fingers crossed it will start off with post full of newly painted models.