Monday, July 21, 2014

Summer Projects.... and the distractions

Summer Miniature Projects

This is the first summer in a while that I am not enrolled in any classes or massive rewrites of classes I teach (note the word massive, not none). So, while I continue working on the reaper models I originally started working on building some Bolt Action and Napoleonics.  Bolt action I could probably get a game in after in a little while. It and the Napoleonics will also work well for some Savage World ideas I have. The Bolt Action models are the standard Warlord Games, while the Napoleonics are Victrix British Peninsular War.
While Wellington used Germans, not WWII era.

The models overall went together well. The Victrix had some flash. but overall was fine. I normally have built heroic scale 25mm/28mm models. Building historical meant getting use to thin arms and weapons.

Slight Change of Plans

A number of people in one of my groups were interested in Muskets and Tomahawks. This combined with the new Assassins Creed Unity Trailer and reading the excellent book Saratoga, won me over to the era. I've had a number of rpgs ideas and always wanted to build the American Revolution to Waterloo. I made some orders and received a nod of fate. A Wargames, Soldiers and Strategy arrived focusing on the era.
One of the more interesting articles was the discussion of the Seven Year War being the first World War. I admit not knowing a lot about the era and enjoyed filling in the gap. Before that my main knowledge was it cost enough for England to raise taxes on the American Colonies to help pay for it. Speaking of paying, I had debated working on a 40k Ork army. I have some models and a new codex was coming. However, for the same price as a unit of 10 Flash Gitz I got this shipment of models....
135 Historicals vs 10 Flash Gitz, happy with my choice

So, what did I get? First sixty French Napoleonics to face my British and serve in rpgs. Muskets and Tomahawks seemed the easiest to get into quickly. So, for that I bought twenty Indians and nineteen Redcoats. Since it is a missions based, I also bought some villagers and a powder cart.
The cart serves double purpose. Without fail, my Pathfinder players always buy a cart.
Now they have one.

The Redcoats and Indians were Warlord Games models made by conquest. Overall they are good models. However, I will say I had a bit of flash on the models. Not, terrible but definitely needed some clean up. This seems to be random. I had one friend get a clean set, another far worse than mine.

Most models needed weapons to be attached. The flag poles given are brass rods. I kept them separate to glue in when the flags are ready. 

Villagers as always are important. Some will serve as objectives for wargames or rpgs. These models and the cart are Perry Brother Miniatures. As always these are great models. I also finished some Reaper Bones large models, some of the few that need glue.
Cardinal Richelieu sneaks in with the bones minis.

Soon they were all primed some with spray and gesso to test the difference.

Painting Distractions

Had to replace the water heater so sat with the dogs to keep them calm. So lots of base coating of large models (needed for Whispering Tyrant/Carrion Crown campaign).

So, trying to focus but the reaper minis come out a lot when I have excess paint in the tray. Which is great in never wasting paint, but tends to increase what I'm painting at any one time.

Next Time: Quick Board Games and New 40K!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Market Garden Ends... Managing Expectations

So our firestorm campaign came to an end with the German's winning in terms of victory points. However, a number of us got together for one big Final battle to drive the allies out. If the allies won they could tie. Each player brought 700 combat and weapons platoons. Ally players could bring 200 points of support each while Germans have 350 points each.

Each side had one player who took a list from a non-market garden list which was balanced. 
You remember the Pershing and King Tigers at Arnhem... right?

We also allowed air support. Allies had priority and Germans had sporadic. Having said that my only good rolls in the battle was air support. With sporadic support I managed to drive off three rounds of ally fighters and have the plane come in twice. Became a joke by the end.
The end of Kampfgruppe Hummel

During most of the campaign I played using Kampfgruppe Hummel. This was a unit put together quickly by the Germans to aid in Arnhem. It consisted of 14 run down tiger tanks. Which made a good excuse why my tanks failed so many rolls, they were old and run down. It also made a decent reason why my reserves never came in. In the end of this battle I had but one tiger left. Hummel was the only survivor. 

Hummel starting with Jagtiger allies

Either way the game was a lot of fun. My main part was to keep allied reinforcements from crossing the board. A double wide rocket template does help with that. Only a few allies got by so mission success?

As I've often seen in flames of war, tanks lost to infantry.  Unfortunately the lose of one players entire tank company the first turn meant that little amount of reinforcements was enough to give the allies the edge they needed at the objective regions. I actually thought it was nice since the campaign ended in a draw so everybody wins and everybody loses. 

Overall I enjoyed the campaign and hope we do another. I'd say even more than that I really enjoyed the big battle format. While the board was a little too small, it was fun having multiple commanders fighting over different parts of the board yet still all connected.

If we do another campaign I do think some limits to books are needed. 

Managing Expectations

So, Market Garden is one of the campaigns I am highly interested in. As I mentioned before, when first getting into Flames I decided to buy both a German and British army from this (in case the game didn't take off I could make a diorama). This meant the idea of doing this as Firestorm was great.

As I said I enjoyed the campaign but I wanted more in a way. Probably more building up things in my head. Missions weren't really specific to what you were doing. If you were attacking it didn't change things, same with a lot of locations not playing a part. Missing some of the map days didn't help. (One time the group started early and one I couldn't make).

The allowing of any book also had a bit of an issue. Most games I played were against Market Garden. One was against a Normandy list with the cruiser of doom. Which is bad enough in a normal game (battlefront is even changing its rules) but a battle  where no one should have air power, your AA options for defense is limited. Add in poor reserve rolls, random location, it definitely put down the campaign for me. I should point out my opponent didn't do anything wrong, we were just both playing the game in a different way.

The bigger issue is FOW is still a point based competitive game not a historical game. That isn't a bad thing but  when you think of it as the other it will be a disappointment. People told me modify your list to make it a front heavy list. Which is a great game advice but makes you wonder why bother with the rule to begin with? Is it to make an interesting mission or make list building the priority? A lot of people like it that way so not a problem, but I need to think on what I expect from the game.

Like I said overall I had a lot of fun, but have to think on what I expect from a game.

Next time, Summer Projects - French Indian War and Reaper