Friday, March 25, 2016

More Canadians..

Same photo as before, but with a purpose...

During the week and part of last weekend I was able to get a bit more painting done on this force. Nothing special, but just something that allowed me to get the troops up there and ready for the game last Tuesday.

As you can see, I did my best to get all the infantry portions finished at the very least.

As you can see, the only things that were not painted were the Scout Cars, the Armored Car, and the artillery piece ( which was liberated from my USMC forces actually ).

I am really starting to like how the infantry are coming together. Not the fastest to paint, nor the cleanest paint job overall. But it somehow works for the gritty nature that I am aiming for. In parts I am trying to work on the contrast, but then again it is not coming together as well as I would like.

The first of my 2 SAS units wielding SMGs. I cannot say how nasty these guys are overall.. and I love playing with them, and more so after reading a bit more of the rules for them. They having the fanatic rules, along with the Up and At 'Em rules makes them better shooting Japanese troops. But more expensive overall.

So I really had a ton of fun painting them up, and made the 2 units have a bit of a difference in shades as well. But I cannot say how I will paint up my third unit ( which is not full of SMGs, it is more Vickers based ).

Hopefully over the Easter break, aside from garage cleaning, I will have a chance to finish off the rest of the infantry, and maybe have a start in on the armor. Wish me luck!

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Another Battle Report vs DAK

So it seems that I am getting a bit lucky in having the time to play a few games these days. The house getting closer to being fully put away, so the time is available for more gaming.

Above was my army in the game on Tuesday night, where I faced off against the same DAK Germans in what we can only say was not North Afrika :)

I didn't switch up my army too much overall, but a few small changes..

- 2nd Lieutenant w/ trooper
- 2x 8 SAS w/ SMGs
- 2x M3 Scout Cars
- 2x 10 infantry w/SMG
- Medium Howitzer
- AEC Mk 3
- Forward Observer

Fairly small once more with only 10 order dice, but still decent enough to get the job done. Especially with the 2 units of SAS kicking around in M3s. Scary units once more!

This game was for Demolition. So with my artillery, infantry unit, observer and a M3 loaded with SAS I gave it a good shot to start with. Not much happened within the first turn though, except for a bit of positioning, and trying to understand how we would both tackle the objectives. My SAS were able to do a bit of damage to his veteran unit, but not much else occurred. Most were missing many of their shots, but my observer did lay down his fire order beside the DAK objective base.

I was hoping to see more damage from my SAS squad shooting their 8 SMGs, but with the long range, and hard cover not many were doing much. Plus the DAK being veterans also made doing damage difficult!

Second turn we saw much happen once more. Second M3 came online with the other SAS unit, and zoomed straight forward to try to gain some ground. SAS moved up, and was able to do more damage now that they were point blank range, and on the good side of the hard cover. Problem from myself was the delay of the artillery. I kept it where it was, but I really do wish that 3 was a 4....

I was also finding out at this point that his reinforcements were in outflank.. and with it being 5 units worth, this was going to spell trouble for me and my unguarded base.

Although my SAS here at 1 pin now, I was looking forward to seeing them pop over the hard cover and decimate those veterans.. or at least that was the plan for me.. and the Up and At 'Em would be very helpful for this...

Turn 3.. first off.. I have to say that the Forward Observer is going to die.. he might be free, but he is not going to be coming back to my army after these effects. He rolled a 1.. the Germans moved it to smack both the SAS and Infantry units, plus his own unit of Veterans. The infantry and Germans only took some Pins, but the SAS got smashed to oblivion..

Thankfully the other M3 carrying the other SAS unit was able to move up forward, and drop them into the cover. Where they were able to finish off the veterans that were in the open. 16 shots, at point blank, and against a unit in the open is very helpful..

I was having to recce my AEC though, and my infantry in reserve decided it was tea time more than time to join the fight once again.

Meanwhile my left flank was getting very busy with a 251 and a 222 popping up, along with more Veterans within striking distance of my objective. It was now a race to see who could reach the objective first..

At this point my SAS had assaulted his light mortar but were literally half an inch away from the objective. Meanwhile my infantry that ran away from his units now charged his tank, but failed to do anything. Artillery did nothing once more.. My reserves finally popped up and then sat in front of the objective on my side, while my AEC finally turned around to do nothing to the infantry other than place a pin on them. Which was enough to cause them to have problems.

My observer also began to put some pins onto the 251/1 causing it to sit still.. which had just placed some decent pins onto my M3 with Command within it.

Turn 5.. and the SAS claimed the objective when they charged the MMG team sitting in cover. They would not be moved from that spot, and my own objective was too well guarded with the infantry sitting in the way.

In the end it was a close game, and I think if the advancing DAK Veterans didn't fail a morale test, I think he could have captured it easily. Also if the Germans were a bit more aggressive against the Canadians, then we would have seen a different game as well. Something that we discussed at the end, and how he could have changed the flow of the game many times.

Poor mistakes on my end also cause some unneeded casualties, but I think overall my plan was solid, and kept me moving.

I have another game against Germans next week, though I am unsure of what theatre of war they are from. Though I am starting to get my groove on with this army.. and the points have been increased to 1250 pts ( an extra 250 pts compared to this game ). So it should be interesting to see how much I can increase the army with.. though I suspect I will just be adding upon the above list. Adding maybe another unit, and a tank perhaps? Cause I suspect that the list is quite formidable as it is, and the addition of another unit and tank might just give me some extra umph here to deal with new threats. Though with only 12 units in 1250 pts I am suspect if that will be enough to do much. Will see soon enough then..

Enjoy the extended weekend here if you get it.. am going to be working on the gaming table and cleaning up the garage. To have the chance to play more games at home now will be a nice addition and maybe a morale boost for myself! Time will tell I guess :)

Monday, March 21, 2016

Canadians Force eh?

So it has been a while since I have been working on some actual painting projects, but here is the latest one. Before moving house I had been stockpiling many models for this project for a while now.. and now that the move of house and studio are more or less complete I can begin to work on it.

Some of the main components can be seen above there.. many of them coming from the Desert in the Sun battle packs that were available a while back. I picked up 2 of them to get me started. Along with some other vehicles to add to the mix, including many transports.

Many of the first batch can be seen here and assembled. Ready for the mega paint push! Heck you can even see the first test paint models in the back there that are the first HQ units to be made for them.

I assembled them wrongly it seems as the headset guy on the left should be carrying the radio, but whatever...

The color scheme came out quite light and bleached for my tastes. Not terrible mind you, but not fully what I was looking for either. Though the details on the Perry Miniatures there is quite crisp which is pretty cool.

Now since this is my 3rd Bolt Action army ( I have an addiction I know ) I want to paint them to a bit higher ability for the table top. And I also want to have a few more extras thrown in them throughout the force.

So for example, the above little scene was to show off the observer and his fellow comrade out on patrol. I really like to have some bikes in the army, but they do not exist really. So this was a way of me getting one into it without having to use any real rules for it.

I think he came out well in the end.. and the base was quite something to see when on the table in the last game. Ok, he also is very easy to spot, and thus a target for the enemy to shoot at, but potato, potatoe..

Also my first 5 troopers are done and ready for the table as well. I really tried to make the contrast on them more, and can be seen from a good distance.. I think I have achieved this partially or at least enough to call them done there.

I also have spent a few nights getting a few more models painted up for the force. Mostly HQ or individuals that will sit within different aspects of the army.

The more I am painting though, the more that I am looking to not have a fully uniform look and feel. I think it will give more character to the overall army, so long as I can keep some sort of consistency with regards to the basing now. Even if there is a small variation from place to place.

I also finally received this book in the mail. Gives a nice collection of images and descriptions of the different camouflage and squad markings that were used by the Canadians in different selectors. I plan not to use decals ( as I am terrible with them, and also can't remember where I packed them ) so freehand some of this will be very interesting. But also very cool to make them very personalized.

Need to have a proper sit down with it though to really grasp it and understand exactly how the markings worked, and where they would sit on a tank. Then I can work out the painting of them better once I get to that part of them.

I will do another post to show some different camo styles that were used in North Africa/Sicily campaigns ( both by Canadians and the British commonwealth ) that I am thinking about. I do not want to just go pure sand, so hence why there are some options popping up.. until then.. enjoy!

Friday, March 18, 2016

Basingstoke Train Convention

So last weekend Junior and I took off to yet another convention. This time one that is quite local to us and very close to his current after school location.

We had appeared at it last year with the same warning as we had this year.. which was seeing the signs stating that there was something about trains happening on Saturday and Sunday :) Seems I am too oblivious on how to keep an eye out for such things at the moment to be more better at planning for them.

Same location as it was at last year. And the layout for it is quite good as it takes over the many halls available within the school that they sat at here in Basingstoke. Split over 3 fairly large gym rooms along with the cafeteria on top of it all. The above shot showing the main hall that you walk into from the entrance section.

Most of the place is covered with fairly large train displays as that is the primary aspect of the show. There are of course a few sellers sprinkled throughout the show, but nothing really struck my interest or needs.

Junior was having a good time checking out all the trains. He, nor I, was particularly hooked to any train type in particular, but the scenes and how they built them all was of more interest to both of us. Junior kept on trying to understand where the trains would go when they went into a tunnel and left the board.

I hope that this curiosity of him continues later on in life as it was great to see him jump around and run to the back to see where the trains went. And ask questions on what is happening, and why they do this or that...

And displays like the Carlsberg one above was great. So many moving points throughout the display. Not just the train, but the grain being pulled up to the storehouse, the barrels being loaded onto the trucks, the horses moving about, the lights flickering... I think we spent 10 minutes just watching everything and checking out all the details throughout this set up here trying to see what else was moving or happening on it.

We only spent 2 hrs in this convention mostly due to the lack of interaction that most of the train owners had with regards to talking to the convention goers.. that and it was Sunday.

I do like the fact that although many are trying to make the scenes utterly realistic, you could see some that were not so much. Like the peat moss display above that was built on a toilet seat but fully worked.

The biggest display was the above set there which could easily be used for a game of Bolt Action since it was in 1/56 or there about scale. If not a bit larger, but still would be fitting well enough to play a game on!

We did see a board that was going to be quite major, though was still in the beginning stages. And it prompted me to try to find the club members of Basingstoke Hampshire Train Society to ask more details about their club and if it was truly local. Seems that they are, and meeting up to 4 times a week based on projects that are being worked on.

Having a decent conversation with Dave from the club that is part of the team working on a 1/72 scaled set up that is quite easy to move ( from the look of things ) and understanding how they split up the groups. Everyone has a specialization to put towards the project. Something that I need to think about and see if I can find time to maybe make it down to their club to see how it goes, and what happens. Especially with my desire to build something bigger that could be taken to shows as well. So let's see if that happens.

For now, I will leave you with what I thought was my favourite display due to the levels placed within it, and the sheer tiny size of the overall set up. Hopefully you can see why I think that ( and how well it would play for maybe FOW? )..

In the meantime, enjoy the weekend!

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Canadians vs Germans in Afrika.. Battle Report Bolt Action

So I have begun yet another Bolt Action army.. this time though I want something a bit different.. or at least painted differently and with actual squad markings throughout the army. For this I have chosen the mighty might Canadians! A commonwealth county that fought alongside the British in many encounters throughout Europe and such.

After being told repeatily that the Canadians have not fought within Afrika, I decided to do just that.. take them to Afrika and see how they would do up against the DAK stationed there by a club mate.

My List was pretty simple..

- 2nd Lieutenant w/Trooper
- 8x SAS w 8 SMGs
- 8x SAS w 8 SMGs
- 10 Regular w 1 SMG
- 9 Regular w 1 SMG
- 10 Ghurkas w 2 SMG
- AEC Mk1
- Crusader Mk 1
- Artillery Observer w Trooper
- National Characteristic - Up an At 'Em

A simple 9 order dice list. With the SAS to go outflank ( 1 per side ) and the rest to see how they would do in the middle. I can say that one of the major issues with this list is the lack of mobility, and considering how our board was set up ( for Afrika ) we didn't have a ton of cover to hide in as we would advance towards the enemy. And the DAK were set up for a longer reach than I was.

Mission was Anniliation, so it came down to kill them all.

This is how the end of Turn 1 looked like. My Ghurkas and the full Infantry unit going up the left. My HQ, Observer, and other infantry in the middle. Supported by the AEC. And my Crusader hoping to use the mountain in the middle as a way to hide and pop round later.

There was not much in the way of shooting as most were behind cover, and out of short range. So most shooting was done on 7s here.

The DAK had placed a unit to my left, MMG a bit off center. The Halftrack there was carrying a mortar and medic. The armored car sitting nearby, while his AT booys were making a bee-line up my right flank. With some support from some infantry. All of his units were Veteran though, with just the tanks being regular. Whereas I only have the SAS and Ghurkas as vets.

I was lucky on dice pulls to get my Observer out last, so that he could set up for a shot on their side. I did attempt to make it to push the enemy either to the right of that furthest mountain, or to come closer to me for a charge. Seems it worked, though there is always the fear that it will go awry on me and come back on my side. Especially if sent too close to my troops.

Turn 2 sees my troops moving up. Mostly to see if I can some things off.. My Observer used up my first dice to lay down his artillery shot where I had planned, and the rest of the troops moved up the hill to begin to take up position here.

I was still not getting any real hits off.. my AEC was able to hit, but failed to do any damage due to a low PEN roll. His return fire missed as well.

The Crusader was moving ever slowly forward, and failing to do anything to anyone throughout. With the infantry behind trying, and failing, to shoot at the now carfefully postitioned mortar unit on the top of the middle hill. Though I am liking the painted up troops in this photo above, and it is working for me on how the colors came out! Success for me on that end at least!

No overhead shot for Turn 2 it seems.. weird.. but not surprising I guess..

Turn 3 sees us beginning to bring in the outflanks. My Right flank SAS came in first, and did a good number on the infantry squad there. Being that they were all in Point Blank Range to the SMG squad, I was able to to take them to half strength. Though the return fire from both the squad and the boys AT rifle would see me put to half strength.

On the left flank, I made a critical error. I brought in the SAS too early.. and in front of a unit in Ambush! Need to see what I am doing prior to doing the actions it seems! Lost half the unit to their shooting, and to the Tank that popped up behind me as well!

Not a view that one would like to be in, unless you are the DAK player! Didn't help none that I was also out of range to retaliate after the ambush attack!

My Crusader had finally sneaked up and around the middle mountain, only to fail his shooting on such a good location! Arghhh.. and the MMG failed to do anything to the MMG team in the ruins to his left as well!

As we can see at this point the power of the painted army was doing much better than that of the grey primer and unprimed alike...

Turn 4 saw some casualties finally mounting up. First blood going to the DAK for taking out my Observer and biker unit. Then also the SAS on the left being punched a new one.

On my right flank however the SAS were able to charge and kill the infantry, while the AT boys looked on.

A major clash would begin to mount on top of the central mountain. A full unit of 10 vs the mortar unit in shooting, along with the HQ unit to back them up. Mounting up some pins, but noting major.

The other troops and AEC would pin out the Scout car. A point made by the DAK player in that he should not have taken an open topped vehicle here with so much shooting available. While the transport would attempt to shoot the Ghurkas that have been making their way towards the MMG team, and placing a pin on them. With another from the MMGs, but no casualties as yet ( go vets! ).

I had hoped that the Ghurkas would have done better, but I was failing to see their charm.. though at the same point they were not in close combat yet...

Turn 5 we see the mortar get taken out, the AT boys get taken out, and the Half track and Medic taken out. Though not from the crusader there, but from the AEC ( which is fast becoming my favourite scout car ).

On my left flank the DAK moved up and began to position himself to secure and deny me from getting too much on that side.. but this was when I had to remind my opponent of the Up and At 'Em rule that was in effect here. Although my Ghurkas were pinned ( 3 or 4? ) due to this rule they could still assault! And his lieutenant had gotten to within 12 to be able to shoot his SMG at them! Poor move, that cost him the HQ unit, and soon the infantry behind them.

Turn 6 just saw mopping up actions taking place.. his tank shelling the Ghurkas, but them holding steadfast. But they also took out the infantry unit before they even had a chance to hit back. Though their shooting prior to the charge was not as effective as they would have hoped.

My infantry units were mostly milling about, and trying to hide from his guns to reduce casualties overall. And my Crusader would attempt a 90 degree pivot to no avail.

We did roll and got a 7th turn, but not much happened within it. Hit tank survived, his MMG team survived, and my units all held.

In the end, the Canadians had secured a Victory of 8 pts to 2. A heavy loss for the Germans against the Canadians first outings, but they realized what they needed to turn that tide. More howitzers. Less open topped vehicles. And to sit back with more guns waiting for the Canadians to get lured into the traps set by the Germans.

For me, I really need to get those M3s assembled ( further ) and the RAM. The transport to get some of the troops up faster is very much required here. Far too slow to do what is needed here. That and some artillery is also required.

I am happy to announce that my Canadian Maple Leaf marked dice are finally warming up to me, and in the second half of the game they began to perform! This may sound superstitious, but having seen how poorly they performed with my USMC game the other day, I have to say that they hold some truth. They will now become a central part of my army ( as was the plan ) and should hopefully treat the army well moving forward!

Now to get back to painting these guys up, and seeing how I will do the tanks especially. More research required, as I do not want a simple sand colored scheme if I can avoid it. So maybe something with some green tossed in to break up the monotomy within it.
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