Wargaming Week 10/06/2019

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

NEWS

First up in news, Empress has continued its modern day releases by bringing out a set of brand new elements for the Ultramodern Russian range. As well as the mortar team to bring them to parity with the other nations, there is also a tactical drone team (similar to the British one) and a two pack of EOD and signaller. The final pack is perfect for giving your forces an AT/AA capability, adding a MANPAD system as well as the RPG-29, an AT system designed for knocking out the more heavily armoured weapon systems on the battlefield. Much like the releases last week, this set are bringing the Empress ranges kicking and screaming into a situation where they can be used for a larger scale of battle.

Also released this week by Empress was a pair of head packs which was very much a case of “something old, something new”. The Germans have got their older pattern of helmet, the classic PASGAT style seen in use from the German plains to Afghanistan itself. The style of G36 would not technically be correct for earlier operations in Afghan but at 3ft away, you can easily use them for German forces in ISAF.

The “something new” is for the British! They are getting the new helmet which came as part of the Virtus program, letting you bring your guys up to 2019 standards. The common thing with both is just how much a slight change in equipment can change your troops look.

MDF wise, we are looking at another fantastic looking release. If you ever wanted to re-enact Blackhawk Down, this 28mm version of the Olympic Hotel looks like a great starting point. The building is packed full of rooms, staircases and other nasty places to get stuck into a firefight in. Someone on the Spectre Wargaming group has actually built it up and it looks like a battlefield all to itself.

Tiny Terrain has some more news on it’s T62. It seems like it’s almost time to start parting money with them. At the time of writing…

Checks newspaper

It’s OUT BUY BUY BUY.

Finally, Spectre is on a roll with their new releases. This week, we have the Contractor Operators that were previewed a few weeks back. Rolling with tiny chest rigs and some modern gucci weapons, this is a set is exactly the sort of thing I love – figures that could be used for all sorts of factions and settings. There are also some great details on them, making each operator look individual but also part of the same unit.

PURCHASES

Contractors. Looks like Argo are getting another strike team. Maybe even hired to hunt down a certain SAS team…

Also super late, literally as I was heading to bed, I grabbed a pair of T62s. Looks like we are going to have some armoured battles on the plains of Bazistan!

HOBBY

Painting front, finished off my two little MAARS drone from Spectre. “Remote Two” and “Frontline Unit” will soon be on the battlefield taking the strain and laying down the hate. With all the drones done, I now just have to finish the operators (which I got a big chunk done on) and then we shall have a new post covering the UAV/UGV range.

I also managed to assembled and glue together the first of my Black Site Studios buildings after dry fitting it last week. I have to say, very impressed with it and all the details (the rolling door is fantastic). The pre-painted is probably good enough for most people but I think I’m going to use it as a base and repaint as well as adding texture.


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

Wargaming Week 03/05/2019

Let’s start this Wargaming Week, covering… a long time.

BLOG STUFF

A new post went up last week! The battle report I played before I disappeared away to the US was a rather fantastic little game of Spectre Operations that did not immediately start off with a raging firefight. On the other hand, it shouldn’t have taken me three weeks to get it written up – however, on checking my stats it has already done really well.

In bigger news, I’m back! My three weeks in the States was incredibly exciting (I don’t travel very much so even just going there was a massive change) and between the sitting in air-conditioned offices for meetings, I did manage to get out and explore the local area. Something I was very keen to go and do (and fitting for this blog) was hit the gun range and try out a few weapons. I quite enjoyed shooting as an Air Cadet and going again confirmed that if I had the opportunity, I would have another hobby to make me incredibly poor.

NEWS

Oh boy, don’t go away for three weeks without doing news posts.

First up – previews. Spectre has been showing off the workbench and we have some teases for what’s coming next. Including these construction helmets. Looking at them, they seem to be the 3d prints Spectre uses for its hard items when sculpting figures. If I’m going to guess what they are for, I’d probably say some new criminals (ideal for every 1980’s action film). That said, they could at the same time be for some civilian models inspired by the White Helmets although I think this is less likely. Either way, I’m looking forward to them.

Preview Two is showing off some new support for the Insurgent Kill Team that was released last year. The Squad pack only included assault rifles and carbines which is okay for a light team but a little more firepower is needed. As futuristic as the bullpup PKM is, there are multiple images of them in use with various forces from Syria to Yemen. The backpack ammo feed is a nice touch.

Good news for everyone who missed Spectre at Salute – the objectives packs are now released! These packs of resin are perfect for making your missions about more than just taking the question mark token, giving your missions much more of an interesting feel to them. Additionally, I can see the weapon boxes being really handy for adding details to vehicles.

More exciting for me is the fact the minivan is now available! Ideal for adding civilian vehicles or infiltrating your operators into the AO, this vehicle adds so much to the tabletop.

Empress is also on the release train, this time adding some more support weapons to the French forces. Giving you a few extra items for engaging the enemy, the AT4 and Minimi should be handy. In addition, there are also some fancy berets now available for some variation.

Additionally, the Chinese PLA also got some more support weapons. Giving you everything from squad LMGs to automatic high explosive grenade launchers, these packs are perfect for giving your forces a little more punch. I’m a fan of the sniper especially – I can see him being pretty fun to paint.

On the terrain front, Knights of dice have been steadily adding to the modern apartment sets. They are now up to five models of them, ideal for adding some height and complex interiors to the modern battlefield. I’m very interested in picking them up for the inevitable “board full of buildings” and they will be perfect for creating strongpoints and focusing the action. Also, everyone loves some room clearing.

Speaking of Knights of Dice, Shiny Games now have the Tabula Rasa Villas in stock. These are going to be perfect bases for a modern MENA building, something a little different from the usual adobes. I can see using these in the middle of small compounds, something a little more challenging to assault than the stuff on the street.

Sarissa has also been cranking out some modern items, ideal for ultramodern games. Some of these come from a pack they released for Warlord’s zombie game Project Z, the secured compound. This is now available piecemeal, as well as a few additional items like security barriers. I haven’t pick any up yet but I’m keeping a close eye on it.

Additionally, Sarissa has shown off a new terrain system. Coming as MDF pieces with irregular cuts on the side, these can be arranged to build up play areas before being re-arranged. Some part of me sees this as just dumb, a way of locking yourself into a system of MDF buying. One the other hand, the idea of building up a load of pieces of terrains on bases, creating little dioramas and maybe having them on display is a neat idea.

Heading out of wargames for a moment, let’s talk about Call of Duty. I make no attempt to hide the fact that videogames and Call of Duty especially was a massive inspiration for my wargaming – one of the scenarios I wrote for Plausible Deniability was a reinterpretation of a certain boat related mission from Call of Duty 4.

The trailer above makes me INCREDIBLY excited. As much as I have enjoyed other Call of Duty settings, there is something about going back to the modern day that just makes me feel like I’m seeing the Call of Duty 4 trailer all over again. I can see a purchase of this in October and PLENTY of inspiration to pull from it.

PURCHASES

First up, upon getting back to the UK I picked up the Knights of Dice releases from Shiny Games. Those villias look like a perfect addition to my “board of buildings” project, as well some more unique buildings to use as target locations. I can forsee a lot of spray painting in my future.

I also hit up Spectre. With the release of the Minivan, I added a second one to my collection letting me add some more to the battlefield or to transport more sneaky chaps into action. I’m looking forward to the look on my opponents faces when two of them appear and drop off two teams of operators around a HVT. For more overt transport, I also picked up at a second LTV to let a full squad move in mine protected comfort. I also grabbed some replacement trash bags and cardboard boxes – just before finding the ones I thought I had lost. So extra scatter!

HOBBY

First of all, new arrivals! The Black Site Studios pre-order I had with Spectre finally arrived while I was away and so I eagerly got into it when I grabbed it from work. Initial impressions were – Holy **** that’s a lot of MDF.

I did manage to sit down and break out the dry fitting fun to put one of the smaller buildings together. So far I’m very impressed, and I can’t wait to assemble more. Now, where did I put that glue…


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

Wargaming Week 06/05/2019

Let’s start this Wargaming Week, covering the 29th of April through to the 5th of May.

BLOG STUFF

First up big news – I’m going quiet on the blog for the next three weeks. In fact, by the time you read this, I’m probably just taking off from Edinburgh Airport and heading out to the west coast of the USA for meetings. Sadly, I’m not planning on doing any hobby stuff while I’m there so this site would be pretty silent. I will be keeping an eye on the news coming out and putting it up on my Facebook page but you won’t get a Wargaming Week until I’m back in the UK.

NEWS


4Ground have released a brand new kit that I’m actually quite interested in. Ideal for filling the roads of the Bazistan Oil Fields with prizes for the insurgents, I’m impressed with how this kit looks. Perhaps something to pick up when I get back.

PURCHASES

Nothing!

HOBBY

In preparation for this week’s game, I finished off the minivan from Spectre Miniatures. This model is really cool and an addition I’ve been waiting on for AGES. Painting it was the same as most of my vehicles by actually ended up being done mostly via hand. After washing, I ended up lightly painting white back over it, giving it a brighter look compared to the previous white vehicles. I think I’ll be going back and repainting them to make them look a little cleaner.

On Thursday, desperate to get a game in before I go stateside, I ran a brand new game of Spectre Operations. In contrast to other games, we decided to make it a little more stealthy. And oh boy, it was incredibly tense. There is a full battle report coming soon (I took tons of pictures) and it was such a good time.


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

Wargaming Week 29/04/2019

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

NEWS

First up, we have some new greens from Spectre. These guys look like some high tech operators, armed with a mix of modern weapons like the X95 Tavor, CZ Scorpion Evo and the Vector, all equipped with a mixture of attachments. Their kit also looks very modern. I honestly can’t wait for these guys – they really remind me of some of the contractors from the original Kickstarter which is a very useful style as they can be used for a whole host of different roles.

Tiny Terrain are almost at the finish line with their T62, as the casting process has begun. They are looking for a May release date and I have to tell you, I am versy excited about these. Getting some less modern armour is going to be fantastic!

PURCHASES

Still no purchases as I’m slowly working my pile of figures

HOBBY

Not a huge amount due to travelling and seeing Avengers (and crying) but I did manage to get these two civilians painted up and get started on the minivan. Quite excited to get these on the board, especially for missions with some ROE stuff.

Also, I managed to get a game of Chain of Command in at my usual wargaming buddies. It was an enjoyable game, the 8th Army following up their last defence with one against the main assault. There were some really good moves, but eventually, the Germans managed to get a foothold in the village.


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

Wargaming Week 22/04/2019

Let’s start this Wargaming Week, covering the 15th through to the 22nd of April.

NEWS

It’s the post Salute lull so news is basically nothing as everyone rebuilds stock and recovers from standing in the Excel centre.

The only exception is Empress who keep drip feeding previews for their ongoing Vietnam range. As always, it’s some fantastic work from Paul Hicks.

PURCHASES

Nothing! I’m working through the pile I have while getting ready for some time away. That said, having somehow lost some of my scatter, I might be rebuying the rubbish bags from Spectre.

HOBBY

First up, I finally managed to get the pile of UAVs from Spectre finished off and mounted on the flight stands. I’m going to do a writeup on them along with the MAARS robot and the Operators once I get them all finished. As for these guys, they were super simple – paint white, black ink wash to pick out the details. I was a little slapdash when spraying so some of the flight stand was coloured but honestly, I’m not that fussed – I’d rather get them ready for the table than making them 100% perfect.

With it being the Easter weekend (and staying in Edinburgh for a change) I managed to get a load of stuff done. Most of it was preparation work (bases and undercoating) but now everything but the White Dragon guys.


And shockingly, I actually painted my first two figures for the year! Yes. In April. Jeez, that’s a painting funk and a half. Wanting something simple (aka no camo) I decided to get the Spectre Sheriff and my favourite Undercover Operator painted up. It was really great to get back in and get them painted, especially using the Army Painter brushes. I’m sure they are not the best figures I’ve painted by hey, first time back after a long time away!


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

Wargaming Week 15/04/2019

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

BLOG STUFF

My Salute report went up! People always seem to like them (maybe because it means they get to see Salute without risking their wallet) and honestly, showing stuff off is one of the bits I find fun going to

A few people said they were quite impressed with the photos which I’m shocked at seeing as I was (in many cases) running and gunning with the Pixel 2XL. It does an incredible job no matter what you throw at it and I’m really hoping the Pixel 4 this year will keep the incredible camera.

NEWS

First up, Tiny Terrain last week showed off the DSHK coming to their Chechen war. Both sides will be receiving support weapons in the next wave. Also mentioned is the T62 coming soon with a tentative date set for May.

After receiving them at Salute, Empress has been drip feeding out new sculpts for the US Marines in Hue. There are plenty more on Empress’s Facebook page, showing off a few really nice variations. Keep your eyes open for the full release soon I guess.

As you saw in last week’s pile of shame, White Dragon Miniatures released a literal pile of new models at Salute. From the entire Taliban range (including bikes) to Foxhound and Quads, Courage In Contact is slowly expanding out into a full range. It’s a really good looking set of figures and I’m right in the middle of getting both my Brits and Taliban all together.

Spectre has started their recovery from Salute. As well as cranking their way through the last few pre-orders, and getting stock back into action, they have been starting work on the next set of releases.

The mask in the photo above is a Russian made respirator. Based on that, we’re probably looking at some more CBRN guys. The question is, whose getting them? Russians are the obvious choice but this style is pretty old. Possibly the Militia might be needing some protection if they are handling the nuclear devices from the objectives packs.

Finally, not wargaming related but definitely part of the inspiration. The writer of Terminal Lance and the White Donkey is writing a new book I can’t wait for. Set in Afghanistan rather than Iraq this time, the artwork alone (including this very Metal Gear Solid inspired front cover). I’m really excited about it, especially as you don’t see media of troops in the upland portions of Afghanistan very much – after all, it’s normally deserts that everyone thinks about.

PURCHASES

I point back to last week’s post and the haul from Salute, while explaining why I’m not buying more figures for a while. That said, I am looking at a second LTV but it may wait a little bit.

HOBBY

Main thing this week is assembling all my purchases from Salute. In other words, lots of basing, lots of resin, and lots of undercoating.

I’ve also been taking a look at my pile of unassembled models which meant I built a lot of drones this weekend. I’m going to try and get them done sooner rather than later.

The main thing from this week in the hobby has been finally getting all these Brits ready for painting up. For the first time, I’m using Stirland Mud which means I’m doing all my base texturing after the undercoat. However, the WW2 project is slowly rumbling on.


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

Wargaming Week 08/04/2019

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

Ladies and gents, this is going to be a short one. And mostly about Salute.

BLOG STUFF

My Impressions of Spectre Operations Version 2 are up! As I say in it, this new book is a real evolution of the game, rebuilding what was needed to make the game even better while still maintaining the core that made version 1 such an interesting game. You’ll be seeing me playing this a fair amount – as much as I love Skirmish Sangin, writing scenarios and handouts for it can be a bit of a slog. I’m working on making a way of speeding this up but for when I just want to grab a rulebook and go, Spectre has returned to being my go to product.

NEWS

SALUTE HAPPENED – EVERYONE GOT READY FOR SALUTE AND THEN WENT

PURCHASES

So I may have been a little busy at Salute – lots of wobbly shelves throwing items into my bag. Let’s run through the damage.

  • Spectre Miniatures – Carefully pre-ordered on Wednesday as I knew they would be sold out by the time I got there otherwise.
    • Baba Yaga – This year’s special edition will be a great addition to the undercover or bodyguard range. A nice dynamic pose really helps to see the character it’s supposed to be portraying.
    • Minivan – FInally! Steve from Spectre will stop having to listen to me begging for this! I’ve been desperately wanting a Minivan for operators to pour out of after watching S.E.A.L. Team do it in the very first episode. Civilian vehicles really expand the possibility space so get more on the table is always good
    • Objectives – I’m always looking for things to spark new scenario ideas and oh boy do the new objectives cover that in spades. I’m already looking at a few ideas, especially with that warhead.
  • Hasslefree
    • Modern Archaeologists – Okay, I love the games that inspired these two figures. More importantly, for all the things the remake of The Mummy with Tom Cruise did badly, it did interest me in the concept of some scenarios featuring archaeologists or treasure hunters working in an ongoing warzone. Keep your eyes open for these two popping up in a future game.
  • Militia Miniatures
    • Republican Guard – I’ll admit, I had taken a glance at the kickstarter for these guys and not been entirely sold on them. However, Westbury Wargamers (available on twitter and at their blog) showed them off in the metal and they looked pretty interesting. To add to my ongoing focus on the Middle East, I pick up all three packs for the Republican Guard. This should give me a team of regime loyalists/Bazi Royal Guard, complete with a nice commander figure ideal for a Special Forces team to attempt to snatch and grab
  • White Dragon Miniatues
    • Taliban – So this is a big one. I have been keeping a very close eye on these as they went through development and were previewed earlier year. Having now seen them in person, I just had to pick up the entire range, in a varety of heads, and get them on the board. There are some very clever design decisions, including some weapon combinations you just haven’t seen in use in other ranges. I think the double barrel will be a nasty surprise for an operator trying to breach and clear a location.

HOBBY

Between work (including some good news that might be slowing my hobby WAY down in May) and going to Salute, I’ve had a really slow hobby week again. I did manage to get a few odds and sods done, getting stuff mounted on bases and continuing some paint jobs.


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

Wargaming Week 01/04/2019

Let’s start this Wargaming Week, covering the 25th through to the 31st of March.

BLOG STUFF

I put up a new battle report last week! I know how much people love the games, especially when I get new kit out on the tabletop and this being the first go with Spectre V2 was especially special. Even if the scenario didn’t work, people still had a pretty good time. I also enjoyed taking a little longer to do the write-up, letting me really think back and analyse the game, as well as thinking about what I can change in future games. Also it means I actually get some sleep after running the game!

As I’m writing this, I’m also a good chunk of a way through writing up some thoughts on Spectre Operations Version 2, talking about the new book as well as quickly going over the rules tweaks and changes. I’m expecting to get it finished before Salute but there is a lot of stuff to cover in it. Overall though, I’m really enjoying the changes.

NEWS

This week was Adepticon and Spectre was there, sharing a stand with Black Site Studios and their wonderful terrain. As well as a great demo board, it’s also acting as a little preview for what’s going to be coming out at Salute next week. The scenario markers from last week’s instagram preview were available as well as a mini-van in resin (something I’ve been asking for since watching them use one on SEAL Team) but the biggest news has to be the exclusive figure. Your own hitman, back out of retirement and taking down the mob. I really like

If you weren’t there, Spectre have said that the exlcusive figure will be available at Salute and online for a limited time. I am already throwing Spectre an email with a list of things on and I can’t wait to see it all in the flesh on Saturday!

Speaking of Salute, Eureka has also shown off some new things they are beinging with them. For anyone interested in Cold War Russian forces or using them for other things, the brand new heavy weapons should be an ideal addition to your teams. The figures are all brand new sculpts from Kostas and presented in Eureka’s style. The weapons are also a good set of additions – the mortar, AGS and SPG 9 have been released with Afghan users in the past but the new NSV gives you a much more modern machine gun than the DSHK. If you use the rest of the range, these guys are heartily reccomended.

PURCHASES

Nothing – it’s almost like there is a giant monster waiting around the corner to take all of my money as well as pulling me into London for the weekend.

Although speaking of Salute I have a few plans of things I want to pick up. As well as the latest modern releases, I’m really looking for some stuff to add to the scenery collection. Adding the walls helped to bring the table in the last battle to life, so my next step is to add more scatter style terrain. More importantly, greenery – I need to really bring the board to life and not just make it a sea of brown and tan.

HOBBY

This week’s hobby time has been pretty limited by a whole host of real world things (both good and bad). So honestly, just had a little bit of a week off from it. Probably the most involved thing I’ve done is sit down and have a proper read through the Spectre V2 rulebook!


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