Tuesday, 30 March 2010

AAR - Clash of Patrols

X7-P23 a newly discovered habitable planet, that currently is contested between the Neu Swabian League (NSL) and Saeed Khalifate. The planet has one large continent that is largely covered in jungles and wastes around the equator. The north and south are covered with mountain and woodland regions. Both the NSL and Khalifates have landed forces in the northern parts of the continent. They are aware of each others forces and the situation is tense. Unknown to both sides, hostillities are about to break out when two small recon patrols clash close to some uncharted colonist hut.

So, it is time for the first after action report (AAR). Me and a friend have tried the Flying Lead rules. We also decided to just keep to the basic rules. Flying Lead has a turn system that makes the game flow between the opposing players miniatures randomly, depending on the number of action and Quality roll of the miniature. One turn ends when all minis on both sides have moved.The AAR was created using a really nice program called, Battle Chronicler.

Since it was our first game we kept it simple with 5 minis each, 4 regular troopers and 1 support assualt weapon gunner aside. All minis were equipt similarly with assualt rifles and body armor. The Jaegers were deployed in the upper right corner behind the wood and the Khalifates in the lower left corner behind the wood.

The game started out with the Jaegers approaching from the north-east and the Khalifates from the south-west. During the first turn the Jaegers made some pretty bad dice rolls, forcing them to advance slowly, while splitting there forces in two. The Khalifates on the other hand made some good rolls and advanced on both sides of the wood in the lower left corner. The Khalifate SAW gunner and a regular trooper took up a firing position behind a hedge close to the woods. From there position they could overlook both the open ground in the middle of the board, the far left side of the board and also the back of the colonist hut and woods to the north-east. Meanwhile the remaining 3 Khalifates moved towards the hedge and woods in the lower left corner of the board, with the object of taking up position along the hedge in the middle in front of the colonist hut.

The Jaegers moved 2 regular troopers on each side of the upper right hand woods and the SAW gunner through the woods. As the first Jaeger on the far right moved along the hedge he came into the line of fire from the Khalifates on the middle of the board. The shots hit home and the first Jaeger fell to the ground. First blood to the Khalifates. In the meantime the Khalifates on the left fired on the Jaegers emerging from the woods in the upper part of the board. Their shots also hit and the Jaeger was Shaken.

Now it was time for the Jaegers to strike back, as their SAW gunner moved out of the woods in the middle of the board and into a position to fire on the 2 Khalifates behind the hedge in the middle of the board. A good shot hit the first Khalifate trooper and scored a Groy death, taking him out of action and also forcing the trooper next to him to take a morale test. Seeing his squad mate go down was to much for the trooper as the failed morale test sent him running one short move towards the table edge.

As it again became the Khalifates turn to act, the trooper who was running away turned around and made a move back towards and fired against the Jaeger who previously hade fired on him. The shots hit but only forced the Jaeger SAW gunner to retreat into the woods, thereby hiding him from any more fire. So instead of being able to fire at the Jaeger SAW gunner, the Khalifates SAW gunner on the left fired against the second Jaeger trooper emerging from behind the woods close to the northern table edge. The fire hit and that Jaeger was also Shaken. On the far right the last Khalifate trooper fired on the advancing Jaeger and took him out of action. The Jaegers were now down to 3 troopers. One more casualty and the Jaegers would have to start taking morale tests.

In the next turn the Jaeger SAW gunner again moved out of the woods in the middle of the board and returned fire on the Khalifate trooper in front of him. The fire took him out of action and the Khalifates were also down to 3 troopers. For a short while the game seemed even, but now it was time for the Khalifates to act. The Khalifate trooper on the right moved in towards the centre and took a shot at the Jaeger SAW gunner but missed.

On the left the Khalifate SAW gunner turned towards the Jaeger SAW gunner and let loose with his weapon. The resulting fire was devestating and the Jaeger SAW gunner was out of the fight. The following morale test forced one of the Shaken Jaegers to stand and run off the northern table edge. The other Shaken Jaeger stood and made a single move towards the table edge. With only one trooper left, the Jaegers concided and the victory went to the Saeed Khalifates.

As the game came to a close we had a chat about the rules. It took about 40 minutes to explain the rules before the game, and about 30 minutes into the game to understand them. In my opinion they are a good set of rules. For my opponent this was his second time ever to play a miniature game, and he very quickly got a hang of the rules. Even though the rules are pretty simple, there is an elegant degree of complexity that probalby will make the game hard to master. Thereby I hope the games will keep on being challanging and fun as we introduce more rules and special abillites. It was fun to play a game of Flying Lead modified for the Tuffleyverse. I also have to recommend Battle Chronicler, as it is a very good tool to make AAR's with.

Battle Chronicler - The best way to make war game battle reports

Sunday, 21 March 2010

New Paintstation

Bought a GW paintstation last weekend. I most say that it is a very useful piece of kit for painting. The upper shelf is specially made for brushes, 2 water pots and there is a lot room for painting pots. The best part is that all miniatures currently being painted can be placed there together with all relevant colors and washes. Before I had to pack and unpack both miniatures, paints and brushes when I was going to paint. Now I save a lot of time by just having everything placed on the paintstation. I only have to put away my paintstation and can easily take it out when I am going to paint. The paintstation has made painting possible even if I have less than an hours hobby time.

Ps. Check out the minis in the right lower corner and the greenish creatures on the shelf, more about them both later on.

NSL Jagers

Started painting these Neu Swabian League (NSL) Jagers this morning, while watching Stargate SG-1. Took all day to finish them, but I am pretty pleased with them. Gave them a Gretchin green basecoat, Thraka green wash followed by Orkhide shade camoflauge pattern. I then gave the uniform a light drybrush of Gretchin green. The Jagers have been given a black hat, which is the traditional hat of the NSL Jagers. I like their hats, which gives them a unique and very germanic look. All in all they are some nice miniatures, I like the design.

The 5 Jagers are to be used in my first game of Flying Lead. I'll pit them against a small squad of Saeed Khalifate mercenaries. I painted the mercenaries a while back, but havn't got any pictures of them yet. I'll post a few pictures during the week. I have used GZG Islamic Federation (IF) infantry as the Saeed Khalifate mercenaries supported by Eurasian Solar Union (ESU) produced power armor. Hade to use IF and ESU as Saeed Khalifate, since GZG doesn't do Khalifates in 15mm.

If all goes according to plan the battle will be fought next weekend. I am looking forward to trying out Flying Lead. Although the game is designed for a modern setting, it's also applicable to near future gaming. The Weapons bulider and Squad builder on the Ganesha website, www.ganeshagames.net, is simple to use, and makes it possible to design weapons of the future.

Since all Ganesha games use the same core mechanic most of the special rules from other settings will be usefull in a Sci-fi setting. But for my first game, I'll just stick to the basic rules and similar forces, to learn the game. For later games I'll paint up an entire platoon as a recon unit for the the 487th Raums Stosstruppen. I just have to make some decision on whether or not the Jagers will have vehicles.

Monday, 15 March 2010

Mercenaries and Scientists in Arctic Gear

I painted these miniatures a while back. They are to be used both in the Tuffleyverse as a Scandinavian Federation (ScanFed) mercenary unit and as artic gear troops in most other game settings. I like what GZG has done in making the miniatures. I do however think, that the line of ScanFed minis has to be expanded if they are to become a seperate faction. Furthermore, the ScanFed minis has to be given non-artic gear otherwise they risk being confined to only one type of gameboard. Saying that I do want to stress that I really like them in artic gear.

It is acually their artic gear that gave me an idea for a campaign, out of which the Survey Expedition Arctos was born. The survey team is now also complete, although I had some problems with creating their bases. Now I ony have to complete their vehicle.

The ScanFed is known for their high quality mercenaries in the Tuffleyverse. This particular squad are apart of the mercenary company Heimdall's Spear. Currently they aren't hired by any employer. They have just finished a contract for Krupp, Skoda & Siemens (KSS) providing security for their corporate colony. As a part of their former contract with KSS they have been given the opportunity to conduct arctic training on Neu Habsburg for a maximum of 3 months. It is a win-win situation, KSS gets to have troops on the ground almost for free. Heimdall's Spear gets to conduct training in an arctic environment, enjoy R&R and has a 3 month free accomodation (stipulated by their former contract). It is only the Neu Swabian League representatives that are sceptical, since the agreement tilts the internal political balance towards KSS.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Basing - Need a tutorial

A lot of minis have been finished lately. As the painting has finished and the varnish has dried the time to base the miniatures has slowly been approaching. Basing has never been my favourite step in the process of finishing a miniature, although a neccessary one. Unfortuneatly, I find it difficult.

Basing with watered down PVA glue and just green basing grass is pretty simple. But, it is getting the base to look good that cases all the difficulty. As you can see in the picture, the bases are alright for just the casual everyday playing piece miniature, but it isn't very inspiring. I cant even seem to get a highlight to look good on an all grass base. I am even getting afraid of trying to make a scenic base.

When making the Survey Expedition Arctos team I tried making bases covered in snow. The snow was created by basing it with normal green grass, which was painted all white . They are not perfect, but will do. With these bases I use gloss varnish on top of the white painted grass followed by matt varnish. This, however, made the painted grass look yellow, so I had to paint it white again all over the varnish. Do I varnish the base? or do I ruin the basing material? How do I apply static grass if I want to? Ahhh...all these questions on basing...

Have tried to find some good tutorials on basing but have found non. The painting miniatures books I have (both Citadel and Dallimores) only touch upon the subject. Dallimores book offered the best advice, saying that if your not pleased with how the base looks after the first dip of green grass, then paint some more watered down PVA and dip it twice. This might seem like a really basic tip, but sometimes the most obvious is the hardest thing to think of or do.

I'd like a step-by-step tutorial supplemented with a scenic base tutorial covering diffrent types of bases. This could be specified by climates and vegetation, but also covering combinations of basing materials. Preferably the tutorials should include pictures and tips. I feel that this is a neglected part of the hobby, or I am just lousy at finding the right tutorial.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Belgian Black Devils

On August 4 1914 German forces entered Belgium, executing the wide left hook of the 'Schlieffen Plan' in an attempt to out-flank the French fortresses along the Franco-German border. The Belgians also relied on forts to keep them safe, but after they would eventually fall as the Imperial German army brought up heavy artillery. But the germans would also face another formidable enemy in during their short campaing through Belgium. The country had one regiment of sharpshooters, the Carabiniers who's Black greatcoat earned them the nickname 'Black Devils'.
The Belgian army in 1914 has always seemed interesting to collect and play with. I particularly like their Carabinier and also their Minerva armoured cars. With the release of Flying Lead I feel that I have to give WW1 a try in 15mm. Since Flying Lead only uses few miniatures and have vehicle rules it offered me a perfect oppertunity (or excuse) to paint up some 15mm Belgians and Germans.

I have started painting the Black Devils. The uniforms turned out to be easy to paint, since they are mostly black. I gave the minis a black undercoat and mostly a Chaos black basecoat, except the trouses, which i painted Adeptus Battlegrey. Washed the entire model in Badab black. Finished the entire mini off with a light highlight of Adeptus Battlegrey.

Now I only have to get som Bouche painted and then I am ready to try out the Flying Lead rules... oh I might need to varnish the miniatures and get there bases done to. I might unfortuneatly take some time. Hopefully I'll have an After Action Report up on the blog...not sure whether it'll be Sci-fi or WW1.

Surveyor II for Survey Expedition Arctos

Started painting the Surveyor II for the scientists of Survey Expedition Arctos. Have given it a Macharius Solar orange basecoat. Tried to blend Blazing orange on the surface of the vehicle. After that I gave it a heavy drybrush with a 50/50 mix of Blazing orange and Skull white. The windows have been given a basecoat with Mordian blue. It is going to be interesting to see if I can blend the windows to look good, specially the cupola on the roof. Hopefully the scientists are going to get a good looking ride.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Kra'vak Strike Force

Finished painting the first Kra'vak fist yesterday. I tried out a red colour scheme, that turned out to be very good. Started off with Mechrite red coat, followed by a heavy drybrush of Ruby red and a light drybrush of Skull white. After that I gave them a Baal red wash. All in all a very simple and effective way of painting the Kra'vak. I think I'll go for this colour scheme, as it will enable me to paint up several Kra'vaks quickly.