27 June 2010

As promised and delivered!

25ly Spinward of Friesland
October, TW 339

Senior Lieutenant Chang was weary. Another day facing the rebel siege of Firebase Autumn Wind. It had been ten long hellish days for the defenders, holding off hordes of Association guerrillas, they'd been outgunned from the start, a short company of kids just out of depot training managing somehow to hold off a guerrilla regiment backed up by combat engineers and ancestor knew how many mortars.

To make matters worse, all manner of consumables were running low. Division had promised that the new mercenaries were coming to help. But Chang didn't believe such things anymore. He'd already made his peace two days ago, having written letters home, assuming the guerrillas didn't destroy them. His father's disapproving countenance danced in his mind's eye. A noble son of the House of Jade, dying in some dirt poor outpost at the hands of the lesser scum that made up the Association? The shame of the family would be too great.

He heard a low, throaty cough reverberate through the hills surrounding the firebase, Mortars, his mind reported. The firebase's last Calliope had run out of ammunition holding off the last human wave assault on the eastern end of the perimeter. Chang had tried to bluff it out, but the Rebels hadn't fallen for it. They shelled the firebase seemingly at will now. Chang shrugged as the sound continued to travel. What was the point of taking cover? They were all dead anyhow.

It was with a measure of surprise that a cyan bolt snatched several of the shells out of the sky like the hands of an angry god. More blinding bolts began to land amongst the rebel positions to the hills...the fire coming from the western pass. But how? The mercenaries had only been hired some eighteen hours before according to press reports...when Chang could receive them.

Chang turned his viewfinder to the west and focused them on the grey specks throwing up roostertails of dust and gravel feet into the air..spitting out cyan fingers of death with staccato timing. Each burst triggered the anti-blinding measures on his autonoculars.

His headset crackled to life...it was clear, clear as a bell without any of the squealing and popping from Association jamming. "Blossom Six, this is Golf One-Six, sorry we're a touch late, but we're here. The Colonel sends his regards, now, sit back and watch how we Slammers fight. You might learn something. One-Six out!" Chang shook his head in disgust...he hoped they were as competent as they were arrogant.











Blogging the day away!

Small announcement this time. We're going to shoot for the next Victory Comics game to be on the 24th of July. I am thinking probably more of a historicals game this time. I want to recruit some folks as well and I think TW's far enough along in playtesting that we can take a short break from it!

Comments, ideas and questions care of the site!

26 June 2010


The first was a Renaissance Pike and Shot game with the French (nominally, they had troops from half of Europe) and the Spanish (who had troops from the other half!) hacked each other to a thin marginal victory for the French. Both sides were exhausted by the end, and one thing I found I liked with Pig Wars rules? Units die quick..it takes good planning and luck not so much to keep units from folding, but to make sure his units fold faster than yours. I also found out, Spanish Sword and Bucklers don't like two handed swords and halberds AT ALL! (Both of my units on the flank were hacked to pieces!) They exacted a price, mauling both French units, and I brought up my pikes to make the Halberds go away...but by the end...there weren't many Spanish units that weren't hacked up...then again, the French were in much the same boat.

Here are some pics of the setup (My phone died soon after!)




Today's game was another playtest of Tomorrow's War. It was another close run thing that came down to the FoW Cards, and some lucky pulls for the defender. This led to a lot of artillery showing up for him and stopping the attacker cold. Heavy Mortars are murder on armor. 120mm shells versus deck armor....OUCH!

The scenario will probably be published in the final rules, and we got some very good playtest data today. I can't say too much more, give away the game...no sir!

Here are some pics of that. This first set it taken by Krieger of Kriger's Wargaming Records, he runs a good blog, and well, the Droid's got a good camera on that phone! They're used here with permission!











The next set is mine and isn't as nice...hey, my camera isn't as good!





As you can see, artillery can be decisive in the new rules. I am looking forward, however, to their release. I think honestly, you're all in for a Science Fiction gaming experience that isn't just "20th Century with ray-guns!". It has technology seamlessly integrated into the mechanics, and anyone familiar with AA/FoF should be able to pick this up fast. We did 4 turns in 3.5 hours. Not many games that can manage that these days.

That's it for now folks! See you across the table!

25 June 2010

The Death of Paddy Griffith, and the end of legends.

I found out this morning, from TMP, like many, that Wargaming fixture, luminary and published author Dr. Paddy Griffith had died. I didn't know Paddy, except through his work on the ACW and WWI which I read as part of my ROTC courses (My Asst. Professor of Military Science was a big military history nerd, like me). I didn't agree with everything Paddy wrote. Got an "A" for my paper on how I thought he was wrong, but I appreciated the tone and the thoroughness of his work just the same. He made me think. I like to think I am half the amateur historian today because of the fact he did.

It's sad to see the luminaries who made this hobby what it is today leave us. The only three I've ever met were Don Featherstone, Wally Simon, and Larry Bond (Think I drove Larry nuts, but I was 12 and in the presence of someone I admired, a lot). Paddy was one of those men. Like Charles S. Roberts, Jack Scruby, Charles Grant, and Wally Simon (another legend I knew well, I took it hard when he left us). I know death comes for us all in it's time, but with men such as these, it's difficult to say anything other than "too soon, too damn soon".

RIP Paddy, save us a chair at the bar at the never-ending convention in the sky.

24 June 2010

My upcoming weekend!

I am going to be busier than well, a lot of folks this weekend. I have the following on my plate:

1. A 28mm Renaissance Pike and Shot game with the folks from NoVA Gamer's Pavilion. This was a last minute thing I will be attending and it's by the same folks from last month's Irish Rebellion game, which was a hoot, so I am expecting more of the same here.

2. The 5th Meeting of DC Gamers at Victory Comics. I know we've got two attendees for sure excluding myself. This will probably be the last playtest of TW we do for a bit, assuming things go as well as they have thus far. I think the game's well on target for the release that Shawn intends to make, even with his recent move.

3. I want to get some work done on finishing up my Slammers before Saturday. They are basically being flocked and sprayed as we speak. Might be pics up of the lot by tomorrow. I think they came out better than I had reason to hope IMO.

4. I'm starting to get things together for 6mm moderns in Iran. Now if somebody could show me a place on what Iranian vehicles looked like, was it just a desert tan paintjob with a roundel? If so, makes my job easier, don't it?

5. Awaiting the release of FFT 3. Ty please get this out soon! My copy of 2 is looking like it went 15 rounds with Apollo Creed. Even if it's a PDF only release, something's better than nothing!

That's all for now fellow readers!

23 June 2010

New Hammers Slammers Book review.

The Crucible arrived. And from first glance, it was gorgeous. Nice full color photos, glossy pages, hard cover sewn in binding...my only complaint is that some of my pages near the spine stuck together and there was some tearing getting them apart, but no real damage.

So, as for bang for your buck? It depends. If you're:

a) a rabid Hammer's Slammers Fan
b) need dozens of painting ideas.
c) liked the rules from the first two books
d) would like everything in one place.

Then it's worth it if three or more reasons applied. As a art book with rules, I think it admirably serves it's purpose. I was happy to see some mention of 15mm, even if the book is mainly geared to 25mm...and I really am hoping we get 15mm Molts before too long (Down in front GZG!!). But it's a decent product for the price if your interests lie that way. All of the vehicles one sees in 25mm are available for the most part in 15mm, with the exception of a few vehicles, and figures can be substituted when required. All in all I was pretty impressed.

Other than the minor quibbles I mentioned, and the fact I wish they had put the play cards separate. (PDF's better than nothing however), I was pretty happily surprised with the level of production and the new items in the book (Most of it being an amalgam of previous WI articles and stuff from the two old books), which in of itself, is very welcome. Is it pricy, yes. But for the production value, it's better than some of the stuff I see coming out of RPG companies of late.

All in all, I give it 3.5 out of four stars, solid product and worth the money.

14 June 2010

Other wargaming ramblings from the weekend.

Well, I sent along some of my 6mm Sci-fi to Jage. He wanted stuff to paint, and it's sitting around waiting to be painted. I figure I give him a slow drip of stuff. Keeps him busy and us playing (and easier on the wallet). My limited amount of GZG stuff is next, then it's going to be the Stan Johansen and mix of old GHQ. Then, the rest of the Ogre and Classic Battletech stuff. Once all that's done? We organize it into some units. Probably will supplement it with my moderns and 'Mechs so we can get some games of FWC in.

The Slammers are all painted, I need to get them flocked, 4 figures are already done, and I figure at the rate of four a night...I can have the lot done in 8 days or so. I'll probably do it sooner I suspect. As for what's next? I think getting started on my Caliph's army for Djazlah, which are going to double as French Militia for Aurore. After that, probably the Terminator Humans, then the Colonial Marines. I kinda need the militia done soon as it would be useful for the TW playtest that's coming on the 26th. Shame Jage won't be there, but I hope others will make it. Heck, I even got some work done on Blood Upon the Risers.

I am going to pick up The Crucible book that's come out for the Slammers. It looks like a fine work from the PDF previews I've seen and paradoxically, it's cheaper to get from the publisher than from OMM? Um, huh? I want to get some more done on the 15mm side before I go and work on any of my other stuff, mostly getting my 6mm moderns closer to done and get my Germans out there and played with! I also want to look at what I'm going to need to do US Light and Medium weight forces for FFT (Think USMC, 82nd and 101st, and the sadly lamented 9th Light Division). I already have a regimental sized formation for my Soviet Paras, wouldn't take much to build that into a full division, and frankly, I may at some point do it. As for the Iranians? Probably a brigade is all I intend to build, with another brigade of Pasdaran. (Three-four bags from Hallmark should do the trick).

All in all, I think things are going swimmingly. I've made a real dent in the painting pile, and by end of summer, Djazlah might be well on it's way. I am rather happy about that, and there might be some 15mm vehicles from Old Crow I want to grab, along with some more IF types. I think that might wait a bit, but hey, I've got some time.

13 June 2010

Micro Armor Game this weekend

Hey all,
I didn't expect to get a game in this weekend, but Jage and I ran a FFT micro armor game at Eagle and Empire. It was again, Brits and Soviets. Jage played the Brits and I played the Soviets. The Brits had a slightly understrength brigade group (1 understrength squadron of Chieftains, another of Challys and a Warrior Company, backed up by a small recon squadron of Scimitars, 3 batteries of 155 and a pair of Javelin Stands). The Soviets were two regiments, one BMP-1 and 1 Tank Regiment of T-80 (the tank regiment didn't have their RAG, but I put some off-table 180mm at the disposal of the Soviets, along with a pair of Hinds and a couple of MiG-27 airstrikes). Victory conditions were to get a regiment off the table.

The game started slow, with me dropping smoke and the AT battery of the MRR scaring off a Chieftain along the open flank (most of the river was unfordable), Jage quickly took out both launchers but the smoke landed and helped screen my movements a bit (they've got thermals, so there was a limit to that), but the T-64 battalion soon died in exchanges with the Brits in the woods, with little to show for it. The Chieftains were really taking their toll, and the Challys were backing them up as well. I was holding my Tank Regiment back as the town right in front of the bridge had the other Chally squadron and the other Chieftain unit there, with the Warrior company in the woods overwatching the bridge, and an FO also in attendance. All in all, straight in wasn't the way to go, I brought the Hinds in, and though there was some Blowpipe fire, it was rather desultory, and as such, I lucked out and got them into position with the BMP Regiment trying to turn the flank...needless to say, other than firing their rockets and missiles, they did little more than scare off a single Chally. My artillery even got wacked Turn 2 as I rolled horribly for counter battery, with the MRR RAG losing four of it's six batteries and the other two fleeing. The 180mm lost two batteries as well.

I then figured, the direct approach was best as I had laid smoke to cover the bridge, knowing I wanted to set up for the one-two punch. Well, it soon became my only option, as the BMP regiment had lost a third of it's numbers, and the Tank battalion was dead. I tried calling in air..nada, so a battalion of T-80s, already depleted from 155mm fire, charged across the bridge, pushing a wrecked BRM out of the way, another battalion turned off the road to cover the flank, the British having shot their bolt this turn. Lo and behold, I got some flank shots on those hated Challys, and fireballed two of them, the last one fleeing. The Hinds finally scored as well, forcing both surviving Chieftains off as well. At that point, British 155mm fire landed on the road junction short of the bridge, and forced two T-80 battalions to test, those two ran for it. My remaining battalions wouldn't have been enough to decide the issue in the town beyond, but my BMPs would have taken the flank woods, and Jage was moving a Chieftain company to reinforce the woods position. We agreed it was probably a British Marginal Victory. The Brits stopped the Russian advance, but at a pretty high cost, over half their armor either failed QCs or was outright left burning. I taught Jage, the real arm of decision for the Soviets in FFT is artillery. Your tanks aren't good enough to beat NATO one-on-one, and BMP/BTR are bullet magnets. Artillery forces NATO off your objectives, smoke buys you that extra -1 against thermal and no Soviet Commander should leave home without it. All in all, much better than last time.

Here some pictures! (All taken by Jage and used with his permission)

11 June 2010

DC Gamers are Rescheduling, Part Deux!

Ok folks,
Due to the fact EVERYBODY but Jage and I had to cancel, we're rescheduling for the 26th of June. Sorry it can't be sooner, but Free RPG day is the 19th and Victory told me they aren't giving ANYONE table space. Is what it is I am afraid, so we're going to shoot for the 26th.

In an a related note. Guys, we need input on scheduling. I'm not casting blame, but this is the second month in a row we've had to reschedule, and honestly, it's getting a bit done. So folks, if certain weekends don't work for you, lemme know so we don't pick those weekends. As a rule, we going to try for the 2nd or 3rd Saturday of the month from now on, and I wanna be somewhat more organized about all this, organization will help us grow as an club to a stable membership!

So guys, input is good. I wanna hear from you.

07 June 2010

The latest from the painting front, and the family-gaming intersect!

The third squad of Slammers is done. Gotta get the platoon HQ done, but that's a small thing, along with the dismounted vehicle crew and the recon section in skimmers. Then it's onward and upward, I'm either tempted to do the Terminator humans and/or the USCMC for my Aliens stuff. It's a conundrum..not to mention my 20mm really does deserve some attention.

Also, wanted to mention our 5th meeting of DC Gamers is June 12th at Victory Comics. I hope by now interested parties know where this is. If not, I'll simply direct you to read the appropriate blog entry here.

In other news, DC Gamers has a potential new member. My stepfather. He's retiring from the Army and as newly retired folks are wont to do...he's driving mom a bit nuts (Mom, I know you and Lou are reading this...I'm not saying it's a bad thing, but it's true). So, I figured, get him gaming and around people. Mom, I'm going to say this now, he gets back into the hobby? I am not responsible for the following:

Packages from England or elsewhere being more secret than what he used to work on, the garage being turned into a workspace and enough lead and resin to be investigated by the EPA, not to mention the ever present "Hey, I can make terrain/scratchbuild/something clever out of this!"

It'll be good for him, honest. I think...All else fails, you and my wife can commiserate. If she doesn't get you reading TMP first...and really being horrified. Just kidding.

But really, it'll be good all around, I think. And look at it this way..if he's out late...you'll know without a doubt where he is! Which considering I am not as young as I used to be...and that whole real life thing, is NOWHERE near as often as it used to be. And to be honest Battletech is probably the only game I play where things go on for that long. And how often, dear reader, do I write about that anymore?