17 September 2016

A farewell game of BA 1st Edition

This week I was very excited to catch up with Comrade James to play a last hurrah game of 1st edition Bolt Action before the 2nd edition is released shortly.

I took my Brit Para force (which I painted up during Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge IV - see here) out of the box for the first time in over two years.  Slightly ironic given that my first game of Bolt Action was against Dux and his paras (which is resulted in an incredibly rare win over that wily fox - see here)
Cpl "Tommy" Atkins' No 1 section take up defensive positions in the ruins, determined to make Jerry pay dearly
We played the "Hold Until Relived" scenario and after winning the die roll off I decided to defend - thematic after I'd just watched A Bridge Too Far a week ago.  I placed a 10 man Para squad (with Bren gun) and a Medic in the ruins of the cathedral.  My first wave reinforcements were another para squad, Light Howitzer, another Squad and my sniper.  Waiting further in the wings were my third para Squad, 2LT, Forward Observer, and PIAT Team.  James took his German force with 3 Regular Squads, a vet Squad, MMG team, Oberleutnant, a Pz IV, Mdm Howitzer and a sniper.

Jerry starts to move up - a strong advance on my left flank.  The Panzer and Grenadier veterans have not yet appeared

My sniper comes on and starts a duel with his German counterpart.  He failed to hit anything.  In fact,  this sniper is remarkable in that he has never actually killed killed anyone despite being a veteran!
Cpl "Spider" Webb's second squad moves up to reinforce the paras in the cathedral
My Pack Howitzer is brought into action.  Actually, it didn't fire any HE at all, but 3 different smoke missions to screen the ruins in the centre.  This proved to be very effective in keeping the fire (and pins) off the Paras holding it.
Jerry gets ready to push hard on my left flank
Callsign MEDUSA rumbles onto the table via the road, pivots and rakes the German infantry with its MMGs
...only to have a Pz IV appear on its flank (a clever move by Comrade James, I didn't see it coming).  Luckily the optics were a bit off and the German gunner rolled a 1 or a 2 for 3 runs running!
MEDUSA pushed up to put the ruins between it and the Panzer and continued to support the Paras.  The Churchill is not a great tank, but this is what it was designed for and it does it well.
The Germans eventually got in close enough for close combat.  It was a bit ugly in there for awhile
"Defend the Cathedral"!  The ruins hanged hands twice.  In the end 2 German and 1 Para squads were destroyed but the position was retained by the Brits.
The Panzer IV snuck around some obstacles and MEDUSA took a tough shot through the hard cover - a Penetrating Hit!  The Panzer was knocked out and MEDUSA's crew celebrated their first ever tank kill
Followed shortly by taking out the German Command Car and embarked Platoon HQ (who were all KIA)
Time to Mop Up boys! - MEDUSA leads the Platoon reserve, Cpl "Squizzy" Taylor's No 3 Section, into the German rear to claim Victory.

A really fun game.  Great to catch up with James and formally say goodbye to BA 1st Edition

Thanks to Jolt Games in Canberra - a great venue to throw down for a game, with a great selection of tables of terrain ready for use.

20 August 2016

A Weird Month

This month's release of Konflikt '47 has sparked a wave of Weird WW2 enthusiasm around the Hobby, no more so than in my Man Cave.  Naturally, my box of alternative, super science and straight up strange WW2 stuff needs expanding despite being rather weighted towards the unpainted/unassembled side of things...
New Weird WW2 Shiny
Thus far I have a German PanzerGrenadier styled force, a Russian Mech force (NIB) and I think could bring my British Airborne (here) into the post 45 environment by adding a few extra goodies too, like some automaton 'bots, Combat Chaplain, a Druid for some supernatural support, or even some Dalek "allies!"  Inspiration for the upcoming AHPC perhaps...

If you are a WWW2 guy, you may be interested in this new FB group here, which is Manufacturer/rules/scale agnostic and just a bunch of guys sharing their pics and other inspirational WWW2 goodness to get you in the mood.

13 August 2016

A quick visit to Germany

Overlooking Bonn and the Rhein River - lovely vistas
Not many would travel 28 hrs for a week and then fly 28 hrs back again, but for the right people you don't think twice.  My wife and I did just that to link up with 9 other families for a War College mini-reunion.  A brilliant time was had by all and while the fantastic meats, cheeses and endless rivers of beer didn't do my waistline any good it made the world of difference to my morale.

While there we did a few interesting side trips:
Drachenfels Castle, overlooking the Rhein River outside Bonn

Franco Prussian War Monument at Drachenfels

Kaiser Wilhelm I, King of Prussia 1876.
German Artillery dated 1658 (at a different castle)
German Eagle detail on the barrel

The beautifully scenic Berg Eltz dates back from the 13th century

View down onto the outer defences which guard the river ford.  Note the pile of cannon balls stored in the courtyard


The magnificent Cologne Cathedral took 60 years to build and was one of the only structures to survive WW2
..and was the scene of a Sherman v Panther v Pershing tank duel on 6 March 1945 (read more here)
Me at the spot where the Panther was knocked out
Roman Gateway dating back to 50AD at the founding of the city as the colony of Aggripinensium.
The gate overshadowed by the Cathedral: fantastic history
"Well obviously the roads - they go without saying don't they!"
Sadly, there was no time to hook up with Stefan in (relatively) nearby Dusseldorf.  Sorry mate, but thanks for the tip on the Alt Bier!  Yes I enjoyed it - but was there any doubt? :-)
When in doubt - go native!

05 August 2016

Online Writing Assignment

My daughter has started a cooperative writing assignment at University - I was telling her about this old email and thought I would share it here in case others hadn't seen it.  Nor sure how 'real' this is, but its still good...

  • The professor told his class one day: "Today we will experiment with a new form called the tandem story. The process is simple. Each person will pair off with the person sitting to his or her immediate right. As homework tonight, one of you will write the first paragraph of a short story. You will e-mail your partner that paragraph and send another copy to me. The partner will read the first paragraph and then add another paragraph to the story and send it back, also sending another copy to me. The first person will then add a third paragraph, and so on back-and-forth.

    Remember to re-read what has been written each time in order to keep the story coherent. There is to be absolutely NO talking outside of the e-mails and anything you wish to say must be written in the e-mail. The story is over when both agree a conclusion has been reached."

    The following was actually turned in by two of his English students:
    Rebecca and Gary.


    (first paragraph by Rebecca)

    At first, Laurie couldn't decide which kind of tea she wanted. The chamomile, which used to be her favorite for lazy evenings at home, now reminded her too much of Carl, who once said, in happier times, that he liked chamomile.
    But she felt she must now, at all costs, keep her mind off Carl. His possessiveness was suffocating, and if she thought about him too much her asthma started acting up again. So chamomile was out of the question.

    (second paragraph by Gary)

    Meanwhile, Advance Sergeant Carl Harris, leader of the attack squadron now in orbit over Skylon 4, had more important things to think about than the neuroses of an air-headed asthmatic bimbo named Laurie with whom he had spent one sweaty night over a year ago. "A.S. Harris to Geostation 17," he said into his transgalactic communicator. " Polar orbit established. No sign of resistance so far..." But before he could sign off a bluish particle beam flashed out of nowhere and blasted a hole through his ship's cargo bay. The jolt from the direct hit sent him flying out of his seat and across the ####pit.


    He bumped his head and died almost immediately, but not before he felt one last pang of regret for psychically brutalizing the one woman who had ever had feelings for him. Soon afterwards, Earth stopped its pointless hostilities towards the peaceful farmers of Skylon 4. "Congress Passes Law Permanently Abolishing War and Space Travel," Laurie read in her newspaper one morning. The news simultaneously excited her and bored her. She stared out the window, dreaming of her youth, when the days had passed unhurriedly and carefree, with no newspaper to read, no television to distract her from her sense of innocent wonder at all the beautiful things around her. "Why must one lose one's innocence to become a woman?" she pondered wistfully.


    Little did she know, but she had less than 10 seconds to live. Thousands of miles above the city, the Anu'udrian mothership launched the first of its lithium fusion missiles. The dimwitted wimpy peaceniks who pushed the Unilateral Aerospace disarmament Treaty through the congress had left Earth a defenseless target for the hostile alien empires who were determined to destroy the human race. Within two hours after the passage of the treaty the Anu'udrian ships were on course for Earth, carrying enough firepower to pulverize the entire planet.
    With no one to stop them, they swiftly initiated their diabolical plan. The lithium fusion missile entered the atmosphere unimpeded. The President, in his top-secret mobile submarine headquarters on the ocean floor off the coast of Guam, felt the inconceivably massive explosion, which vaporized poor, stupid Laurie.


    This is absurd. I refuse to continue this mockery of literature. My writing partner is a violent, chauvinistic semi-literate adolescent.


    Yeah? Well, my writing partner is a self-centered tedious neurotic whose attempts at writing are the literary equivalent of Valium. " Oh, shall I have

    chamomile tea? Or shall I have some other sort of F--KING TEA??? Oh no, what am I to do? I'm such an air headed bimbo who reads too many Danielle Steele novels!"




    In your dreams, Ho. Go drink some tea.

    (TEACHER )
    A+ - I really liked this one.

30 July 2016

July Update

What a crazy month it has been.  Amongst a range of work and work related travel, I managed to sneak in a week of holidays, travelling down to Melbourne with the Lad.  While there we caught up with long time gaming buddies Pete and Ken.  While at Ken's awesome Man Pad we sat down with the big box game Fortune and Glory.

Fortune and Glory is quite a fun game of classic pulp action: Indiana Jones, The Mummy, The Phantom etc.  We played a competitive version of the game (think Indiana Jones vs the French archeologist Belloch in Raiders of the Lost Arc) though there are rules for playing cooperatively to find the Secret Nazi base and other cool stuff like that

Naturally, cheesy quotes were a must on every turn (and every time sometime discovered a Nazi enemy, there were naturally obligated to say "Nazis. I hate these guys")

A fun game- not complex and with lots of great components in the massive box.  Because of its different modes and the way that different cards get put together to form the quests, it has a lot of deployability.

Highly recommended if you like Pulp action and this is the sort of game you can play for a few hours while chatting and enjoying a few adult beverages.  I understand there are a few expansions too, but I haven't seen those.

More detail here:

21 July 2016

New Gladiators

While a match of Jugula requires precisely four Gladiators on each team, in the campaign setting a Ludus may have up to six Gladiators, allowing for recuperation from wounds between matches and some armature/type diversity in the stables.  My Ludus Caeruleus (Blue School) already boasts a Thraex, Retiarius, Murmillo and Provocatur (see here) but I wanted additional redundancy.  So behold the latest additions to my retinue, fresh from the painting table.
First up is Nemo the Secutor, a heavy class sometimes known as the Contra-Retiarius (Foundry figure).  I cursed Alan constantly as I expended an inordinate amount of time hand painting the shield, but such is the standard of our gaming group - use decals to your eternal shame!

Second is the Dimarchearius Rufus Fortis (Foundry figure) who hails from northern Gaul and wields two blades for maximum offence. And with that red flowing beard he is clearly a favourite of the Patrician ladies...

And for a bit of a change here is a casualty figure.  I decided not to tempt fate by painting him in the colours of Ludus Caeruleus and instead left him generic.  Jugula doesn't use casualty figures, but we want to try adding them as additional obstacles as Gladiators fall (and no attacking them, this is an honourable and glorious contest you know!)

While the campaign with Alan is continuing, thats probably going to do me for this Ludus.
I'm keen to go with a different mix of types in a new Ludus, and with a new colour scheme too!
The familia of Ludus Caeruleus pause from training to pose for a publicity lithograph

10 July 2016


I've been trying to limit my posts this year to reflect my own games and modelling, but this forthcoming Warlord release has me excited to get back to my WWW2 gaming.  Sounds like its more science based vice occult elements, but you can get your trusty Nazi Zombies into the fray!

Being based on the popular Bolt Action rules, it might also be a good catalyst to get some new blood into the Weird WW2 genre.  It available for pre-order now for an August release- see here

EDIT: Warlord have now also posted a Designer's Commentary here