Thursday, July 13, 2017

Frostgrave: Initial Impressions of Ulterior Motives

My daughter and I went to our LGS for the reboot of the local Frostgrave campaign over the weekend and I was able to see Ulterior Motives in action.  I have to say that I really like the extra twist that it brings to the game though it was a little unclear how and if we were supposed to interact with some of the things that it added.
 
For example, my motive let me add a pit to the board that I would get a bonus from if no one interacted with it during the game plus two red herrings in the form of a gateway and a zombie.  The zombie was pretty straightforward (it wanders around and attacks things... go figure!) but the other two were less clear.  My gateway was one of two that were on the board while there were at least four pits scattered around.  During the game the only thing that people actually engaged were the two zombies roaming the board but we all just avoided the rest of the "items".


Here's a view of the board at the beginning of the game from my table edge. Whole lot of stuff going on out there!
Unfortunately I don't own a copy of Ulterior Motives (yet...) but this is something that I want to dig into to see if there are other actions that we could take with the various bits that were added and how it is handled.  I can see a lot of potential if these are things that we could all try to interact with.
 
It also really got me itching to make some terrain markers for all the various bits and bobs that you use to represent the objectives.  I've been in a bit of a hobby slump lately so its great to have something kick me back into gear again.  I haven't start working on these yet but I'll try to get up pictures as I work on them, plus my warband that I threw together is entirely made of painted minis!  Huzzah!  So there will be pics of them coming soon as well.  Until next time...

Monday, June 26, 2017

And Then It Got Really Quiet Around Here Again...

Ya know, things had been moving along at a pretty good clip between blogging and gaming for me again...  And then overtime happened.  Summer months = increased work load since its easier to build things in the northeast during the summer instead of the winter.  Go figure, right?  As a result my miniature gaming has been put on hold for a while though we are getting in some more board games as a family which is always nice.  In fact we recently stopped by a different game store that's a little closer than the one we usually go to and its really nice.  A growing selection of games, good amount of gaming space (mini, board, card, or rpg... take your pick!), and the craziest thing of all... they have natural light!  A game store with big, open windows along the front?  Now that's just pure madness!  As an added bonus they are talked about starting a board game day which would be a blast.  Its still in the works but hopefully soon they will be able to move forward with it.

As for my own hobby, things have gone onto hold.  Unfortunately the guy who was running Frostgrave and had gotten me into Konflikt 47 has dropped out of the hobby after a very bad experience at the game store.  I'd like to think that most gamers aren't bad but every now and then you find that power gamer who is just an ass.  Hopefully his hiatus is temporary but only time will tell whether he decides to continue.

This doesn't mean that I'm going to stop gaming though.  We are planning on moving within the next few months so I don't want to get stuck in the middle of anything but once we are situated I'm hoping to even be able to set up a small dedicated hobby space which would be amazing.  In the meantime, I want to run a number of short RPGs for my daughter over the summer break.  We had been playing an adventure based on the Secret of Bone Hill which unfortunately has fizzled for the moment so we are looking to do some quick solo adventures.  She's actually already started putting together her first character, a gnome bard armed with an ironwood lute.  That's right, she's a rock star that smashes peoples faces in with her guitar.  Can't wait to see what happens because it just sounds crazy!

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Terminator Genisys: Looking Closer At Judgement Day

So a couple weeks ago I received an email from Warlord Games and I decided to see what was new and exciting.  I'm quite happy with my US Army force for Konflikt 47 for now so it was more out of curiosity than anything.  One of the first things that pops up is the Terminator Genisys miniature game.  Now, I was aware that this was a thing but I've never really given it any serious thought.  I enjoyed the first two movies but I haven't followed anything since then and I wasn't really interested in investing in another miniature game... and then I saw the price.  Only $16 for the normally $75 basic starter.

Here's the cover for the basic set
 
This piqued my interest but rather than blindly order some I decided to look at some reviews first.  After all it doesn't matter how cheap something is if its a pile of crap is, it's still a pile of crap.  I haven't heard anything about the game so I was surprised that the reviews that I found were quite positive and the mechanics sounded interesting too.  That combined with the ridiculously low price... well, I decided that I had to buy a couple to try it out.

Of course now I have to wait for it to arrive from Warlord so it might be a little bit (I've only ordered once before from them so I don't have a lot of experience with how long their shipping time is).  In the mean time I went ahead and started perusing the local Wally World for things to put into the post apocalyptic wasteland and stumbled on something that I think will work quite well.

In Terminator: Salvation they introduced moto-terminators.  I haven't seen the movie but I did find some images online.  This is something that has not been created for the miniature game but I found some Bat Pods from Hot Wheels and I'm going to use these as a stand in for them.  There are no official rules for them in the game but the system seems very straight forward so it should be easy to whip up some stats for them.

My moto-terminator proxies
Along the same vein I grabbed a few Hot Wheels Bats (apparently another of Bat-Man's many crazy vehicles) and I'm thinking of using these as proxies for Buzzer flying drones.  I've never seen the actual miniature but I'm thinking that these might be a bit on the large side.  Then again they only cost me a buck a piece so I'm okay with them not being quite to scale with the official miniature. (Since I ordered I've also heard that the game has been discontinued so I'm very happy to have my proxies to field).

Once I have the game I'm going to see if I can get my daughter to try it out with me.  She has been enjoying Frostgrave and she recently did an art project on a post-apocalyptic future where robots have "evolved" to the point that they have become a part of nature.  An interesting spin on the concept and who knows?  Maybe she'll enjoy playing this game as well.  Whether she's willing to be a guinea pig or not, I'll definitely share my thoughts on the game once I have given it a try.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Shadow War Armageddon: Send In The Clowns

Just like almost everyone my age that plays miniature games, one of the first games I played was Warhammer 40k.  Over the years its grown and changed but I've never really kept up with it, especially when they moved into the Apocalypse sized games.  I just don't have the time or money to invest in painting that many minis or playing a game that takes that long.  Smaller skirmish games like Frostgrave and Song of Blades and Heroes are much more my thing nowadays.  And then along comes Shadow War Armageddon.
 
A skirmish game set in the 40k universe?  Interesting.  And I already own minis for a few of the factions so it only makes sense to give it a try, right?  Sure... I'll keep telling myself that...
 
I have bits and pieces of a few different factions in my collection but the one that I decided to start with was the one that I fell in love with when it was released way back in White Dwarf 105... the Harlequins.  I bought the boxed set and its been laying around mostly untouched for all this time, so this was the perfect excuse to finally get some paint on these minis.


A Solitare plus a couple of troupe members
For their color scheme I even actually did a bit of planning.  Looking at my paints, I really love an old shade of purple that I've had for... well, longer than I'd like to admit.  Amazingly its one of a dozen of so of the original Citadel paints that I own that somehow are still usable.  Having this as my primary color, I decided to do something really extreme (at least for me anyway) and take a look at some color theory to see what combinations look the most striking.  Usually I just go with the contrasting color but I wanted more than one detail color on these so I went with a bright green and orange for the accents.  Really bright and gaudy which fits for them.  I'm also doing their face masks with a light blue and then picking out the accents with white to give them more of a porcelain look.  So far I'm liking with how they are turning out though I want to look for a purple shade to hit the base with to see if it gives them a little more depth.  Now to see what other minis I can scrounge up to make another kill team.  After all, it is good to have options.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Konflikt 47: Rounding Out My US Army Platoon

The block of troops I got painted up in March gave my US platoon a solid foundation to build on and adding in the Sherman-T and a Coyote boosted it to a respectable sized force.  Since the average size game locally is 1000 points I went through my list to see what holes they might have on the battlefield and did my best to find solutions to what they were missing.  Surprisingly enough I was able to finish my force out by just adding six minis and all I had to do was pick up a couple of weapon sprues to finish them off.

One of the things that I noticed in my first game was the lack of any antitank weapons in my force.  Our game was very small (only 500 points each). Even so my opponent had a scout car and the only thing that I had that could even attempt to get through its armor at range was my Coyote.  Compared to the four panzerfausts he had running around the board I really didn't like my chances.  To try to offset this I decided that I had to add a couple of bazooka teams.  While these are dedicated tank hunters, their range isn't bad and it forces my opponent to deal with these two serious threats to any armor he might be fielding.  Combined with the Sherman T this means there are three units on the board that have solid armor piercing capabilities which should give me some good tactical options as well.

For my final choice I decided to take an artillery forward observer.  My first game I had also faced a German air force forward observer and while I can see how it could have gone very, very badly for me, the dice were thankfully on my side for that game.  One of the things that struck me as a possible weakness was just the potential for enemy flak to stop the attack.  I have no idea at this point if that is really a concern (heck, maybe no one around here plays with enough flak to be an issue...) but I decided at least for now to work around the problem by trying the artillery instead.  Only time will tell if it is a good choice but I'm eager to give it a try.

As for when that's going to happen, I'm thinking that I'll going to try to get in a game in the next week using some proxy minis for my new additions.  The online store that I have been trying out unfortunately told me eight days after I placed the order that they couldn't fill it.  I looked at the Warlord store and surprisingly enough I was able to find the sprues for about the same price and with free shipping.  It will potentially take a few weeks to get here but then again the online store that I was trying out isn't much better as far as how fast they fulfill their orders.  It'll be proxies until they arrive but I'm okay with that.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Frostgrave: Homemade Treasure Tokens

My daughter and I have been taking part in a Frostgrave campaign for a while now though I haven't said too much about it.  We both have really been having fun with it and we've slowly been working on expanding our warbands.  When I first started playing I was using glass beads to represent treasure but I decided I needed to make some actual tokens instead.  Here's the result of my first attempt.

Your typical assortment of fantasy treasure items... plus a keg of ale.
The stack of coins and the treasure chest are Hirst Arts pieces I grabbed from eBay and painted up while the other three are scratch built. Nothing too fancy but I really like how they pop on the table.  These were done when I had first gotten into the game but since my daughter started playing as well I decided to make another set that were themed for my second warband which is led by a goblin witch.

My gobbo assortment of treasure items; 'shrooms and yummy spider bits!
This set were a lot of fun to make and I really like seeing them on the table.  The two groups of mushrooms are made from epoxy while the dead spider is a Halloween party favor, all hot glued onto some bases.  Of course once I'd done these I was itching to make some more, especially for my daughter's werewolf warband. After all, everybody loves bacon, right?

The other white meat.
These were some HO scale pigs I'd picked up for a Battlefield Evolution scenario I was going to run years ago.  I'd based some on washers but never actually done anything with them until now.  Some epoxy on the base, a quick coat of paint plus a wash and voila!  Instant pigs!  I'm particularly happy with how the snow came out.  I don't have any snow for basing so I just painted the base with brown and then dabbled on the white paint to create a patchy effect.  I'm also going to make her another one that is just a pile of bacon for a special treasure token but I haven't had a chance to put it together yet.  We have Frostgrave this weekend so I'll have to see what I can do to remedy that this week.  And maybe I'll even try to get some pictures of the game.  It's been a while since I've done a battle report but we'll just have to see how many players so up on Saturday.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Konflikt 47: Finished... And Based Even!

I didn't manage to finish my army by the end of the month... instead I finished it on the 3rd of this month..  Still pretty happy with that progress as I really didn't think that I was going to get them all done so quickly.  They are only painted to table top quality but it works for now.  I'll probably go back and add more details as time goes on but my primary goal for now was to have a painted army to field.
 
My US Army platoon in all its glory.
Something that I did pick up that I was really impressed with was one of the shades from Games Workshop, something camoshade?  Don't have the bottle in front of me but basically its their green shade and it works amazing!  It really gave some nice depth to their uniforms without muddying things up and I love how the Tesla Sherman came out.  Very subtle difference but enough to really make it pop.
 
Sherman with a zap gun!
I also grabbed a pot of the Reikland flesh shade but I'm less impressed with this one.  If anything it seemed like it was just too thin for what I was using it for (flesh tones... go figure) but I'm sure I'll give it another go in the future.
 
The question now is where do I go from here?  Currently I'm at just under 650 points painted and ready to go so I'm looking at expanding to a full 1000 point list since that seems to be the standard locally.  My first addition is going to be the Coyote light walker.  I had tried fielding one in my first game and it while it wasn't great (stupid panzerfausts...) but I can definitely see the potential.  Equipped with both an HMG and an MMG, it can function as an armored version of either of those weapon teams.  It doesn't get the re-rolls that they have, but it is able to move and fire plus even just its advance is faster than walking troops.  Adding the armor into the equation and it just makes sense to me since it is only an extra 19 points above the veteran HMG team... plus the model is so cool!  That's always good reason, right?  It will take up an armored car slot but I still think that it will be a strong addition.
 
Beyond that I really think that I need to focus on getting some antitank weapons onto the field.  Currently the only thing that I have that can really threaten armored units is the Tesla Sherman which is potentially putting all of my eggs in one basket.  I could go for an antitank gun but I'd rather have something a little more mobile so I really think that a couple of bazooka teams will be my best option.  I was sorely tempted by the heavy bazooka team with their heavy armor but they are very expensive.  I know that I'll get some eventually (especially since I want to assemble a heavy armor platoon next) but for this list in think that a couple of regular bazooka teams will fit nicely.  This gives me three tools to use against enemy armor which not only gives me more options but also gives my opponent more targets to focus on which should increase their overall survivability.  Sounds good in theory, now I'll just have to see how it plays out in practice.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Konflikt 47: That Escalated Quickly If Briefly

My last post I had only managed to get three of my first squad finished.  Then that night I sat down and completed five more so things had started moving along at a pretty good clip.  Here's a shot of everything that I have painted so far for my troops (minus the Tesla Sherman).

Officers in the front, sniper team on the left, medic on the right, and three squads of six behind them.

As I've been working on them my overall force structure has been slowly evolving.  Originally I had planned on two squads of eight but after digging around on the interwebs I found some interesting information about how US Army squads in WW2 would typically split into two six man teams equally dividing the support elements.  I like the flexibility that this offers so I decided to emulate that with my own troops.  Of course this did make my individual squads more expensive (coming in at 100 points each for six regular soldiers) but I thought I might as well give it a try.

I was also thinking about mixing up my uniforms a little to represent the inconsistent supply lines that they would be experiencing being entrenched in Europe in the spring of '47.  I was hoping I might be able to bum some bits from a friend of mine that is playing German to add some variety to my own troops but unfortunately he doesn't have much left so I had to press ahead with the stock bits for the US.  I think this would have been pretty cool and I'd love to do it in the future so I'm going  to have to keep it in mind.  I have decided that I want to do this with my vehicles though since I haven't picked up many of those.  Specifically I'm planning on getting a couple of SdKfz 251 half tracks for transports for my troops.  This was something that was done during the war though there were issues that had to be dealt with such as repairs and being shot at by your own side.  Still, I love the idea and can't wait to make some headway with it.

On the gaming front I finally managed to get in a game of Konflikt at my LGS!  It was only a small 500 point game and we were focused on trying to get our heads around the rules so not much by way of pictures to share but I did have a lot of fun.


The one and only picture I took of our game.
After playing the game I did decide to change my unit structure a bit more.  For the game I fielded two regular six man infantry units both with SMG, BAR, and rifle grenades, a regular 2nd Lt with an accompanying soldier, a medic, a regular sniper team, and a regular Coyote walker (for anyone checking the points, this is less than 500 points because I forget the walker, sniper, and officer were supposed to be Veterans).  At the end of the game the medic really hadn't done anything other than give me an extra order die and the rifle grenades were never even fired.  In light of this I'm going to drop the rifle grenades and medic while adding in another regular six man unit with the same overall composition.  This will give me a little more firepower in my 500 point block which should help (and its also what's pictured above).

Another thing that I noticed was the lack of any really anti-armor weapons for the US.  My opponent had three panzerfausts which was more than enough to obliterate my Coyote while I couldn't even scratch his armor car.  I definitely need to look at some heavy weapon options as I expand my list with a bazooka team being first and foremost...  Or maybe a heavy bazooka team.  Love the look of the heavy infantry and I really want to field some of them.

As for the rules, they seemed fairly straight forward though there was quite a bit of hunting to try to find information in the rulebook.  I'm planning on tabbing it to make things a little easier plus I'm working on making some unit cards for me to use so that I can have their stats available at a glance.  Not that there's a ton to remember but when you are still trying to get your head around the rules anything that makes it easier is good in my book.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Konflikt 47: Slowly Trudging Along...

Well, we are a good ways into the month and while I had been making good progress, things have definitely slowed down quite a bit.  So far I've managed to complete a whopping three minis from the first squad!

 
Even with so little done I'm far from giving up hope.  I've got some solid progress on the rest of the first squad so I should be able to wrap them up fairly quickly and I've really been able to push forward with my painting.  After all, making more time for hobby is always a good thing in my books.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Konflikt 47: Damn You Snow!!!

Another week into my painting challenge and unfortunately things haven't progress as far as I had wanted.  I have some basic work done on the first squad but they aren't done yet.  Between the snow storm that hit the northeast and not even knowing if we were going to be going out of town as we had planned, hobby had to take a back seat.  Now we are leaving for a shorter trip (A whole 48 hours in Vegas for me!!! Woo-hoo!!!) so its going to be next week that I'll be playing catch-up to get things back up to speed.  Still feel confident that I can get it done though and then I'll start planning for the future...  Walkers!  Bwah-ha-ha-ha-ha!!!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Konflikt 47: And We're Off!

Well it's been a week and I've made pretty good progress so far.  A First and Second Lieutenant, a couple of soldiers to accompany them, a sniper team, and a medic (need to make some stretcher bearers for him still...)  Here's a shot of the group.
 

This batch rounds out my command options for now so its time to get to the troops.  So far I have eighteen of them assembled and ready to paint so this will give me a solid start, plus I want to finish up my Sherman-T and start work on the jeep so this should keep me going for the rest of the month.  If not, I'll just have to start gluing some more of the other troops I have lying around which would work too.
 
My ultimate goal is to be able to field three squads of 12 troops plus the command elements and a few support units.  Once these are painted it will be easy enough to piece them out during force creation to give me access to more units as well.  This will limit my weapon choices in some cases but I like the idea of drawing from the reinforced platoon to make my army.  Call me crazy.

Of course I already have ideas for how I want to expand my forces in the future (no shocker there...).  I'd love to be able to field a couple of units of heavy infantry plus the heavy bazooka team but before that I really want to get a couple of walkers.  Like the way the US ones look so I'm excited to get some on the table though I'm not sure which ones yet.  I'm leaning towards a Coyote and a Grizzly but I want to test drive them first before I decide.  I have some suitable minis thanks to my Warmachine days so I can use some proxies before I commit to one which is always nice.  Now to get on with more painting!

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Konflikt 47: An Army In A Month

I've been slowly working on assembling my US Army force for Konflikt 47 and since I think I've finally decided on a paint scheme I decided its time to get serious about getting them painted.  To that end I've decided to paint one of my soldiers a day for the whole month of March.  I'm travelling out of state for about five days but I should be able to pick up the slack from that break easily enough.

And to make it even more of a challenge (since going from barely painting to doing most of an army isn't enough) I'm also going to do updates on my progress on the blog each week.  Kind of a crazy idea but I've been enjoying picking my brushes up again not to mention the blogging so why not, right?  Now to see how this actually works out.  Wish me luck!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Konflikt 47: Well That Makes Things Easier...

After my last post I decided to do a quick search to see if maybe there already is a campaign system out there for Bolt Action/Konflikt 47 and what do you know?  The folks over at WWPD.net came out with their own version of this the end of last year call the Road To Victory.

This system starts each commander out with a 2nd Lieutenant, two squads worth no more than 110 points each, and two more random units.  The campaign is designed to be played with two players over five or six games with each player receiving two more random reinforcing units after each game.  Overall its not a bad little system and even has substitution rules for switching out your random roll for an inexperienced infantry unit or an armored transport.  There is also an experience system of sorts so which is nice plus in my opinion.

Even so I'm tempted to modify it slightly to use cards instead of tables for the random units.  This way you can tailor it to the units that you actually own plus it would be possible to add in some kind of special events.  Maybe bonus reinforcements of some kind or the troops are spread thin so you have to press on with your current resources.  Good to see that most of the work is done for me already though as its much easier to modify an existing set of rules instead of creating your own from scratch.

Of course I should probably try to get in a game first...  Need to get myself over to the LGS to remedy that soon.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Fresh Troops For The Western Front

The end of last year I was able to get a great deal on some 28mm WWII US infantry (from Dreamforge Games) and a Sherman-T (from Warlord Games) so I could start building a force for Konflikt 47.  I must admit that I've always been interested in trying out WWII minis but dealing with the "rivet counters" is just too annoying.  "You can't actually field that unit because we are playing in the fall of 1944 and the Germans stopped using those in the spring of '43."  Thankfully that's something that just doesn't come into play for Konflikt.  Gotta love alternate history!
 
Since then I had started assembling a force but I've been stuck trying to figure out the best mix of troops to field.  Yeah, I know.  I'm gripping about rivet counters but being a power gamer... not something I'm proud of but I had inspiration strike and come up with a great solution to my problem.  Why not just make a full platoon according and pull from that?  After all, its easy enough to just break up the by the book full units into smaller units plus it lets me add some kind of story element to the whole thing which my brain likes to latch on to for some reason.  To that end I started work on the second platoon of (insert random company name here...) company, freshly sent to the frontlines on the western front in the spring of 1947 which is when the "official history" in the core rulebook ends.

For my overall force, I'm thinking a squad of veteran troops, two squads of regular troops, and a squad of inexperienced troops.  Some fairly basic unit selections for now but as time goes by I'll gradually expand their numbers.

Ideally I'd love to get in a campaign using this kind of idea; form one unit platoon of infantry at the beginning of the campaign and you use them as your pool of troops moving forward, expanding or replenishing them as the campaign continues.  After each game both the winner and loser receive a number of points that can be used to rebuild the existing units or purchase new ones.  There could also be a random chance of something unique happening.  Maybe the platoon requisition officer is able to get ahold of more supplies or they are chosen to test some new technology for the high command.  Of course things wouldn't be all good.  It would only make sense for there to be some negative effects as well; the supply lines being disrupted, sickness effecting a number of the troops.  I really like the idea of the story growing as the campaign continues so I'll have to look more into this... though I should probably work on assembling some more troops first.