Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Bolt Action Massacre Report...

Yeah.. this is not a normal battle report.. this is more of a recounting of when some Japanese forces headed to the mainline to wipe up some Russians. But I need to back up a bit first to give some context to the game...

So there is a Bolt Action tournament coming up in our county soon. I was to attend, but due to conflicting times with Hussar, I had to step down from it. Though there are a couple guys from the club here that are still going. One such person is trying to understand how well his new force of Russians would do in it. So with them all painted up, and ready, he wanted to take them out and field test them.

This is where I come in. After his pleas for some others to play against him, I finally spoke up saying that I could do one. He did ask for a tournament experience to play against his force. I therefore felt a bit more obliged to take a bit harder than normal list. We did have some restrictions to go along with it of course, and they were:

  • 1000 pts
  • no more than 15 order dice
  • generic reinforced platoon only
  • no flame tanks
And to try something different, we ran the Tank War scenario which is basically a capture and hold scenario. 

For his Russians, his list looked like this:
  • Senior Lieutenant w/trooper ( inexp )
  • 12 man LMG Squad ( inexp )
  • 12 man LMG Squad ( inexp )
  • Commissar w Trooper ( inexp )
  • 12 man LMG Squad ( inexp )
  • 8 man NKVD Squad ( reg )
  • 8 man NKVD Squad ( reg )
  • 12 man Free Rifle Unit ( inexp )
  • T-35 Tank ( reg )
  • 3x Truck ( reg )
Already I see problems as he was setting up and explaining to me the list. It has no range in it aside from the major tank there. Which we were not playing the scenario based, so it would not start with 1 pin marker.. so it would be a bit scary there. 

I think he assumed I would bring the Japanese horde with me, however due to the restrictions though I cannot do that. So my list looked more like this.. 

  • 2nd Lieutenant ( reg )
  • Kempetai Officer ( inexp )
  • 3x 13 man Militia Units ( inexp )
  • 2x 15 man Bamboo Units ( inexp )
  • Type 4 Heavy Howitzer ( reg )
  • Type 98 Primer Mover ( inexp )
  • 3x General Truck w/ MMG ( inexp )
  • Type 92 Tankette ( reg )
  • Type 97 Chi-ha ( reg )
As you can see.. a bit more armor and mobility here than I might normally have. With the Militia units inside the trucks, even though in the tournament rules empty transports can still fire mounted guns. 

So this was the table set up, and pre game set up. Everything was to come in as the first wave for us as well. And the objectives were the big white template there in the fields, and the other is in the 2 story house shown in the distance. Table sides were just picked with who unloaded their stuff on what side and thankfully the rolls corresponded with those sides :) 

Not many casualties on the first turn, but my longer reach with my guns were able to out-shoot him ( having so many MMGs and HMGs did help here ). His T-35 also stayed off the table, with everything else coming on. Most sitting up behind the house. 

My trucks were doing some nice damage to his trucks in at least pinning them down a bit, and the troops within. His unit to the far right was his only green unit, but instead of getting upgraded, took an additional 6 pins, and killed themselves via too many pins vs morale ( they took several shots from various MMGs :) ). T-35 still did not show up her, but I think it was probably needed much sooner than it was looking to be arriving. The tanks up on the hill did a good job at pounding out some serious hurt to everyone within sight as well. 

Although I was quite static, I could do because of the longer reach there. 

At this point there were not a lot of dead yet, but they were just the start. 

Turn three sees many of the Russian trucks getting popped. Troops being left stranded, and alone. And the Japanese noose slowly closing in. Still no T-35 though. 

Problem for the Russians here was not that I had only taken 1 casualty so far, or that they had lost 3 dice so far. It was more that everything was within 6 inch charge range thanks to trucks going boom, and troops being off-loaded into the open. 

Turn 4 sees the T-35 come in as an outflank manuveour. I honestly cannot say that I saw that coming, but I was really not too concerned. But then again, he should have seen the triple combo of charges to his units. In which I took no casualties, and were wiping out the full units on the charge! Supported by all the MMGs on the table this was just obscene. 

His T-35 did take out 3 of the bamboo warriors who were guarding the objective, but they then charged the tank. Did no damage, but they were still at 12 man strength. Next turn there would be potential. 

And my Heavy Howitzer was also now aimed at his tank as well :) 

No Photos after this turn though as I then got to pull the first 3 dice. Just barely failed to do anything with the bamboo boys in close combat, but the Heavy Howitzer made short work of the tank. At this point it was pretty useless to continue on as I had complete control of the board, and basically nothing was going to be happening from the Russians. 

This has to be the most unbalance result I have ever seen in a game in a long time. And it was one where I had brought a kind of normal list that one might see in a tournament ( though am happy to be corrected on that if I am wrong! ). 

We talked about the game afterwards, and discussed where he could have improved his chances here. One big one was to bring the tank on sooner. Considering that it was 270 pts, and only came on in turn 4, that is a complete waste of points. Two, was to combine and support his units better. Especially since they are inexperienced troops, and are not mad killing machines that he would like them to be. Three, be more aggressive with his inexperienced troops as well. With 3 trucks full of them, he should have been looking to get them closer to me and in a single blob. Supporting each other as they jump out of the trucks. He could have taken the objective closer to me with them, and the tank supporting, while the foot sloggers went after the building. 

Many lessons learned for him, and I fear that he will not do well at the tournament. On the other hand, I think I have figured out a better way of using my Japanese within smaller point values, and just became that more deadly :) Looking forward to seeing how my campaign game goes on the 27th now. Got a nice idea on how to tackle the envelope scenario, but from a defender and attacker point of view!

Ah well.. now to try to put words to my experience of Spiel and SMC now!

Thursday, October 8, 2015

The long road to SMC...

Am off to yet another convention.. and driving there as well!

Where to this time... why... Eindhoven, Netherlands! Home of the Scale Model Challenge show! Same as I went to last year, but this time not with a plane!

And driving? Why.. yes I am! But not straight cut to the show, no, that would be too easy. We will head to Frankfurt first to pick up good buddy Denny Crane first, before circling back to Eindhoven. But again, the path is not straight, as we think of doing a detour to Spiel at Essen on the Friday first!

Am I crazy? Will this be an epic-ally long drive, fraught with danger and tears? Possibly.. but then again how often do you get the chance to drive across Europe? Not many I tell you! So let's do this thing, and get it over with! And see what kind of adventures we can get into along the way!

So don't expect too much from me here for now.. but if you follow my facebook page you might get to see my ramblings as I stop off at random places for food, drink and fuel. Or just be seeing photos of me sitting on the side of the road crying as I try to explain to someone how lost I am in their country but don't speak their language! Either way.. should be good :)

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Review Tuesday: La Licorne

Welcome back to another Tuesday review.. the shows have been kind with many offers on, and this was just such an offer that I picked up at Euro Militaire.

First off I have to say that I am not a huge fan of French. Not to be confused with France.. just French in general. I mostly blame this to my French teacher back in Elementary all those years ago that made us repeat ad nausium the phrases until we could say them even if we did not understand them.

To this day I still can only say the basics like hello, good bye, and my name is... but with a heavy Quebecois accent.. so that doesn't help if I ever was to go to France ( which I do plan at some point as my wife is in love with French and all things associated to it.. go figure... )

Anyways... this is not a deep down work on why I like or dislike French, but more about the model, that just so happens to be from an apparently famous french comic!

Right away I have to say that the packaging is wonderful. Seriously.. what is with these companies coming up with amazing ways to package their products, and not sharing the secrets! Seriously this one even had the lid magnetically close! I will need to do an article on packaging at some point and post that up here!

Anyways.. onwards to the model and contents!

As you can see.. the figure is of medieval backing.. very Shakespearean origin.. including a spinal cord/skull mace like weapon! :D Pretty awesome!

Cast on it is pretty smooth, and the big slab of resin at the bottom should be easy enough to remove from the feet. The rest looks decent with the vent pours done in easy to hide or fix locations as well.

Quite the face on this character as well!

Oh and another art card ( am starting to begin a collection just of those! ) and a sticker ( gotta love stickers! ) which has already been placed on the almighty  miniatures transport box!

I was contemplating to try to find the comic that it relates to but that would probably require me to understand French, and well that can be referred back to the monologue at the beginning of the article. BUT I can see this guy going toe to toe with hell's greatest heroes in a bid to save his soul or that of a twisted loved one.. Maybe even a bit bright to reflect the period of his clothing?

In any case.. I have a few ideas for it. So it could be a fun little project to tackle!

Monday, October 5, 2015

U.K.G.K. Show review!

Another weekend.. another show! And another week to recover from the show before I post up about it!

Have to say that this driving up and down the island is starting to wear thin on me, and it just the start really! I have a mega drive ahead of me soon, but more on that later!

So this was the United Kingdom Garage Kit show.. a show that shows off pieces that sit in the realm of large. I am talking about 1/6, 1/4, 1/2, 1/1, 3/1 scale! Amazingly huge pieces throughout the show, but a good show all the same.

Apparently it is also a tiny show though, as there were not too many attendees, but it seemed that everyone knew everyone at the show! Quite a family like atmosphere here, and it was nice to be able to have decent chats with all the sculptors and painters I have chatted with for the past years over Facebook in person finally!

Some people like Stuart Good came with massive displays! Far too many for what I could see myself to display at home, but he came with his car filled to the brim with all the pieces to display.

Which is considerable compared to my itty bitty table full of pieces that I have worked on or half finished so far leading up tot he show..

I also realize that I need to bring my own cloth and stands to make my displace a bit better. :) That and I should maybe bring some more of my tiny busts to show off. As there were a lot of comments with regards to how they looked, and how cool it was to paint such a scale compared to what most were working on.

Some very interesting pieces throughout the show though, and some great ideas to work on for displays for future. Something to change up myself and how I go about to present my pieces at said shows. Maybe I can improve my set going forward.. let's see.

As far as individual pieces go.. there were quite a few great pieces throughout the show.. below are just a sample..

I did like looking at all the pieces, and having a chat with many of the artists as well. Many great ideas and seeing the Wolverine piece made me weak enough to pick up a copy of my own from Fantasy Realms :) Looking forward to painting up the old school Wolverine now to add to my larger collection :)

My only gripe from the show was the traffic to get both to and from the show as it was quite a distance from me already. Combined with a rocky bed with lumps.. made for a short sleep the Saturday night. Thankfully the people at the show were there to keep the spirits up, and thus I was in good spirits for the majority of the show ( had some downtime in the middle to eat lunch and recharge my internal batteries )..

To top it all off.. we also got to see a master of Monsters do his thing on a Frankenstein mask. Painting up lightning quick with his mad airbrush skills, Daniel Martines Munoz. Was very cool to see how quickly he could get the base of the mask painted up with basic colors, and some tiny effects as well. 

I worked on taking some video of his steps.. but it overheated my camera from how awesome it was. So I had to stop using it fully, and just watch the magic. But watching how he worked it all, I need to look into doing something like this myself. Just for fun and see if I can so such a technique. 

Overall it was a good show, met lots of great people, and looking forward to diving into the new pile of resin that I picked up while there! Until the next one :) 

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Review.. Thursday? - Tiny Leads Japanese Sniper

Another Japanese bust, but this one brought forward in time a bit to be a little more modern. Moving from 1865 in the previous one, to the 1940s.

I had a chance to see it at the Euro show, and have a quick chat with Antonio Piqui about it as well. It is a lovely bust, and quite nicely painted up by Alex Varela.

For my copy, I was not as lucky as others to get a personalized message, but I did have a nice chat with Antonio about it, his line, and also about some of the future Wasteland Warrior pieces to make them more fun.

Having a discussion with Antonio about the boxes was fantastic. It was nice to understand what was going through his head on why he went so upscale in the design and package.

It was pretty simple. He wanted a high quality product that he himself would like to buy. And that the models he is selling, he is not doing it so much for profit, but out of pure joy. That is a great thing to behold, and honestly it is quite easy to see from the finished product.

Also the black box was to again show off a good quality piece instead of a flashy cover showing the painted piece.

Which he does via a business card within the piece instead! Which I think is a really nice touch and something that I should think about in the future as well perhaps.. if I could draw or design something as nice of course!

Was cool to get another pin ( and score another another pin from the stand as well ). Both have been added to the growing collection on my painting smock at home now, while the sticker joins the others on the miniature transport box.

Oh and it being a limited run of 130 ( or is that 180? ) I also got the 3rd copy! Again.. very cool!

When taking all the other pieces out, we can see the same level of details and casting quality as we did on the other Tiny Leads piece, the Samuari. Very clean, minimal mold lines, and the pieces fit together with minimal fuss. Cutting the vent off of the rifle will be interesting, but I think that is the hardest thing for the entire prep of this piece here!

This will be a nice piece to do up, and to have sit beside me while playing with my Imperial Japanese Forces for Bolt Action at tournaments next year. Just have to do it justice and see how painting a 28mm Japanese differs from a larger bust of one! :D

Hope you enjoyed it, and check out Tiny Leads shop for more of these and other products!
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