Saturday, April 14, 2012

2012 Update

This seems like a good time to review how my resolutions are holding up after 3.5 months. For painting, I've gotten as far as: "1) Continue practicing on 25mm figures.
2) Finish the 6mm stuff that's been on my painting table half-started for a stupidly long time (I think I have a friend who'll paint the rest of my 6mm WWII stuff on commission for me)."

The 6mm stuff includes both polishing off what I got commissioned, and the tanks that have been sitting on my table for ages, doing nothing more than serving as a backdrop for pictures of what I was actually painting.

The 25mm figures still lag, partly because of the desire to catch up on the 6mm, partly because it's a real pain doing character figures with different paint schemes all the time. This doesn't bode well for some of my 28mm projects like VSF and pulp skirmishing...

On the other (non-painting) tables, things are a bit better - a lot's been done - but I'm now conceding I'm a month behind. Here's what was planned through April:

"Jan. - Cardboard terrain
Feb. - WWII plane prepping
Mar. - Base texturing (for all the stuff I based in 2010)
Apr. - VN terrain, including hills"

I'm still working on basing, the Vietnam terrain hasn't come out of storage. Part of the reason for the delay was I was working on both modern and WWII plane prepping - I had a lot of moderns come in from Shapeways - and partly because I rushed through cleaning and prepping 6mm microarmour so I could get them off to be painted.

I've also been distracted trying to prep up my Star Trek and Star Wars ships, including priming with gesso. Plus (lots o' excuses today) March is a crazy month for work and play, and I was away for all or parts of five straight weekends, home for one (Mar 31/April 1) then away last weekend again.

So I'll spend April working on bases, then get onto the Vietnam terrain in May (also a crazy month for work).

Monday, April 2, 2012


Last weekend was the Hotlead convention in Stratford, Ontario, and I made my second pilgramage there and once again had a great time. I stayed at a brother's in Kitchener, about 40 minutes away, and travelled over daily (which problem helps keep me out of trouble). Several other members of my Toronto gaming group were there, particularly Saturday morning, when Glenn and Ron ran the Guilford Courthouse battle again in 6mm using a pending Polemos rule set. I seemed to be the only 3 day attendee from our group though.

Once again I played in all five time slots, and again one objective was to play either rules or periods I was interested in. I wasn't able to get into the Friday night game I had as a first choice (Skopje 1912, using Triumph of the Will rules), but I had a backup game in mind and was glad I did.

That game was Coastal Patrol, found in Too Fat Lardie's Summer 2011 Special, and is a set of rules for WWII coastal actions. This game was the Royal Navy vs. Kriegsmarine, and saw seven of us go at it. When the game started (a night action), we were all on blinds, and only a couple of players knew who their teammates were. I was one of the ones in the dark (figuratively and literally), having to escort a slow as molasses German tanker from one end of the table to the other, with a converted trawler and a well-armed R-Boat to do it.

The game got off to a fast and furious start at the other end of the table, at my end I played peekaboo with what turned out to be a comrade - a U-Boat unable to submerge. After various adventures that didn't involve me, I used my R-Boat to beat down a British Fairmile that had shot up the U-Boat, eventually driving it back off the table. However, as I was doing that a British MTB that I'd thought my comrades at the end of the table had dealt with scooted into the open and launched two torpedoes at the tanker. On my activation I blew him out of the water, but had to wait a turn for those torpedoes to intersect with the tanker...and miss! Each needed an 8 or less to hit on 2d6, and both times the player rolled 9s. That pretty much wrapped up the game as a German victory. The rules were fun and I'm going to have to round up my few 1/600 coastal ships soon.

Saturday morning I played a game of Cold War Commander in 6mm. I was the Poles in a mishmash Warsaw Pact assault on a mishmash of NATO forces. Basically Poles, Russian Naval Infantry and Airborne Assault units vs. US Marines, Danish Home Guard, and Canadians. As the least capable force, I was to be the anvil, but just getting into position left me open to a hammering (my ranges were such that I couldn't fight back with most of my battalion). I did divert the Marines to me, tying up both them and the bulk of the Danes. Unfortunately our other flank bogged down and was stopped by the Canadians, who'd beat us into town.

I struggled coming in relatively cold to the CWC rules, though I do have them and have plans for them in 3mm. Figuring out units/forces, etc. was tough, and my teammates were little Napoleons, which doesn't help.

Saturday afternoon I played in Mike M. and Nick's Poltava 1709 game, using Might of Arms rules. Yes, MoA is an ancients-medieval ruleset, but Mike has made a few tweeks and the rules work well for early gunpowder. I had an easier time with MoA this year, probably because the unit types were fewer, and the situation simpler (straight ahead charge for us Swedes). We were winning, but barely, when on the last turn one of my units fired on Peter the Great's bodyguard and killed him!

Saturday night was a game of I Ain't Been Shot, Mum, which of course is the set of rules I plan on using with my 6mm forces. I commanded a German platoon, with another player controlled a second platoon, and a third player being in overall command and controlling two small SPG/TD units. We were charged with defending the bridge and ford in a Russian village from a Soviet assault, which could come from any table edge. We were up against five Soviet players, who controlled what turned out to be a Soviet infantry company bulked up with a tank platoon.

We set up what we hoped was an all-round defence, only to have the Russians come out right on top of me! I had one squad hidden in the woods, intending to use them as an ambush in one direction, only to have a Soviet platoon charge straight into me. My surprise attack hurt them, but on the next turn they were able to launch a human wave attack on me with two platoons that essentially wiped out two of my squads. I fought back for a while, but took most of the Soviet heat for the first half of the game and eventually succumbed. When all was said and done, the Soviets won a marginal victory - they got the river crossings but didn't have much left.

Sunday morning saw me in a game of the preview version of Maurice, fighting a general SYW battle of Russians vs. Prussians. I was one of two Russian commanders. The rules were fun and convinced me to pre-order them. I'm happy with King of the Battlefield for SYW etc., but I'll be looking to these for WSS gaming; I haven't really found rules that satisfy me for that period. We lost the game, but like I said, it was fun.

I'm sure you're asking if I did any shopping, and while I'm going to try to hide the damage done - yes, some things were bought. RAFM had brought me an order of 15mm sci-fi (their Traveller line) and 28mm Space 1889. I also picked up some more pulp figures from Artizan - French Foreign Legionaires, British detectives, and cossacks. I also picked up an ECW Osprey, a painted 15mm government building that will work for Solomon Kane, pirates, and pretty much any other period.

I also picked up a 1/72 Sherman for my smaller scale WWII gaming, and a pack of wooden fortifications for colonial North America.

Here are some other blogs/photos from the convention:
Saturday 1
Saturday 2