31 January 2013

Man Cave turns 4!

Today this Man Cave blog is 4 years old!

Thanks to everyone for their support and comments along the way.  I wouldn't have believed back at the start that we would have over 400 followers and almost a quarter of a million hits - thanks so much!

30 January 2013

Australian BB Championships - Part 1

Right Stuff is writing up his match reports for the tournament, but in the meantime I'll bore you briefly with mine. Actually, I didn't enter per se but helped out the Commish with the seemingly endless array of things to do.  However, there was an odd number of coaches so I stood in for two matches so there wouldn't be a 'bye' round.

I was there for a giggle and a bit of fun, so what did I play? Ogres.  Not just any Ogres though, here was my 'death or glory' 1 million gp team build for my Capital Crushers team
6 Ogres
5 Snotlings
No Rereolls!

Game 1 vs Cody's Vamps
This whole game was played in a Blizzard - the first time I've had to deal with that!  The Vamps elected to receive and came scooting down the pitch with the ball, when  Blood Lust kicked in and an Ogre punished the ball carrier badly.  A Snotling scooped it up and was tossed down the pitch to  scramble into the end zone- 1 up to the Ogres!

The second half saw a bunch of Thralls entered the KO and Cas box and the vamps got isolated, but impressively did not fail a single blood lust roll all half.   Surrounded by big bodyguards, a snotling ball carrier made it over the line again to put the Ogres 2 up with just 2 turns to go.  The vamps lined out for a push down the left side, pulled off a good passing play and squeeked over the line as the siren blew.
A 2:1 Victory to the Ogres!

Game 2 vs Conan's Slann
Just as things went well for me in game 1, this was where Nuffle took his revenge and my crafty opponent took every advantage of it.  After a promising start Badly Hurting the only Slann Blitzer with a well timed snotling foul, I was totally shut down by the leaping frogs who made every advantage of Boneheaded Ogres and their lack of TZs.  After they scored first, I managed to fling a snotling during play to equalise, but the Slann scored again ebfore half time.  In my turn 8 I pulled off a dazzling array of rolls (no rerolls remember?) for the 1 turn score, only to have Nuffle spit in my face when he tripped over the line!

The second half went worse, with no casualties coming despite my best efforts and the Frogs scored twice more.  In the dying stages of the game I took 3 Slann off Badly Hurt (one was done by a Snotling who took down the Slann Linefrog who blitzed him and ended up with a Both Down result - Awesome!)  but it was all too late and Conan took a well played 4-1 Victory.

At that point I wasn't needed anymore as a sub coach and I scuttled gratefully away with my 1-1 record proclaiming that  "Real men don't need re-rolls!!!"

29 January 2013

Cancon 2013

Its late January and time again for Australia's largest Wargaming show, CanCon, held just a few kilometres down the road.  Three days of fun, camaraderie and trying to justify spending too much money, but spending it regardless!!!

Right Stuff played in the Australian Blood Bowl National Tournament, and I helped out where I could and played a few substitution games.  More detail on the Blood Bowl highlights later, this is an overview of the show in general.

The show appeared very well attended, but the venue was big enough not to be too packed.  Apart from the usual tournaments, which included SAGA and Bolt Action by the way, there were some great demo games including this spectacular Isandhlwana game in 28mm with over 600 Zulus!  I looked at this with interest as I passed and it had broadly historical results, but the gallant British held out on at least one occasion!
Lots more pics of this game at the owner's blog here: http://landofthelead.blogspot.com.au/2013/01/cancon-2013.html

Also capturing my attention was this lovely 28mm War of the Roses participation game with massive handfuls of Perry figures:

This wonderful setup was a miniatures version of the Cold War Commander, and saw a US led NATO force try and stop a Soviet Tide from shattering the front

I quite liked this 1/600 game in Stalingrad, which used a city block grid style for area movement.
However, I have decided that 2mm is just generally too small for an infantry based game - for me anyway

Most of the usual vendors were there and it was great as always to see our old friends Nic from Eureka Miniatures - who promised me a line of 28mm Sacaren figures by October for Crusade Games!  (I'm going to hold him to it as well!), Mike from Battlefield Accessories who supplied me with another few tubs of his great basing mixture, and Glynn from Fernvale Speciality Scenics who is doing up a set of desert rubberised hills for me fr our new Crusades project.  It was also great to put a face to a name by meeting Ian from War and Peace Games, who allowed me to give me lost of my money for even more great stuff including the lovely FireForge Crusader figures (curse you and your persuasive ways Alan!).  I can't recommend all of these guys strongly enough for their excellent service.

Finally, I both Right Stuff and I got a Demo game in of Dreadball which was fantastic - a "first impressions report" will follow shortly.

Highlight for me was catching up with friends, some old and some new, and meeting some fellow bloggers including the Lead Farmer (of The Thin Lead Line blog) and Barks (of "Wargaming with Barks").  Barks took lots of pics at CanCon too and you can see them at his Blog here: http://wargamingwithbarks.blogspot.com.au/2013/01/cancon-2013.html

Overall a great couple of days and as always I shall look forward to next year's event.
Blood Bowl and DreadBall reports to follow!

15 January 2013

Achtung Schweinehund!

I bought this book 5 or so years ago while visiting London and laughed my whole flight home reading it before giving it to Comrade James.  After recommending it to Alan aka Dux H late last year, I decided it was time for a re-read.  Its a hoot.

As an example, in describing his Games club the author says: 'We would do something that was intellectually undemanding, trivial, pointless and involved limited commitment and minimum communication skills.  In short, something truly masculine.  Instead of making spectacular food like the women did we would buy snacks from the local garage; we would not discuss anything meaningful; we would not address the big themes; we would sit around drinking beer, eating bright orange cheese-flavoured corn based snacks, rolling dice, moving hundreds of bits of plastic around big map boards and yelling "And now all of Turkey falls to the mighty forces of the Yellow Emperor.  Look on and despair you puny weaklings!" (Although not every utterance would be quite an intellectual as that.)'  Now that sounds pretty much describes every good gaming session I've ever enjoyed!

The author goes on to make other wonderfully self mocking commentaries which apply to all of us gamers really.  For example, after recording the time it took to paint 28 20mm soldiers (43hrs, 27mins - a full working week with a bit of overtime) he observes 'I thought of all the figures I had painted in my life.How many years it had taken to paint them.  If I had put it into some sensible activity I might now be a lawyer, architect or neurosurgeon and you'd be reading a book by somebody sensible like John Grisham, Bernard Cornwell or Alain de Botton.'  Certainly a perspective most gamer wives would agree with, even if only from a financial perspective.  Nonetheless you can feel the love and enjoyment of modelling and gaming all the way through the book.

Another of my favourite quotes from the book is 'There was nothing more guaranteed to put you off wargaming than to go to a wargames show.  Yet I was drawn  back to them like a salmon to its spawning ground.  Or a dog to its own vomit.'

'This book is about Toy Soldiers  and the men who collect and fight battles with them' the Acknowledgement says, but its really is so much more.  Achtung! also includes wonderful anecdotes about growing up making endless Airfix models, reading Commando Comics and the adventures of their cliche spinning colourful characters, and the pitfalls of engaging in discussion with military re-enators (including a U-Boat crew who, without a submarine, simply get together and re-enact shore leave!).  It also speaks from the heart of being a closet geek, having a circle of hobby friends who are quite different and distant to all other acquaintances and fighting to ensure that never the twain shall meet.

Younger, GW focused, gamers who have never known life without a Playstation or XBox probably wont identify much with this book, but if you are older then this will hit a chord with you in many ways.  
I found something to chuckle at on pretty much every page. Highly Recommended.

12 January 2013

The Hunters

Like you all I have played many games over the years, and one of my old favourites was a solitaire game called B-17 Queen of the Skies. An Avalon Hill classic from the pre Computer game era, it was a bit of a dice rolling fest at times but a great game it was.  Indeed, if I can recall the tense excitement of trying to land a crippled veteran bird with a wounded crew some 25 years later it has to rate pretty well. So I was excited this week to find that GMT Games is about to publish a U-Boat game (*by Consim Press) in the same style: The Hunters.  Yes, I've pre-ordered!


The Hunters is a solitaire tactical level game placing you in command of a German U-boat during WWII. Your mission is to destroy as much Allied Shipping and as many Capital ships as possible while advancing your crew quality and increasing your commander rank culminating in special decoration ‒ all while remembering you have to make it home.
The Hunters is purposely designed to deliver a brisk yet intensive gaming experience that forces many decisions upon you as you will take command among the major German U-boat models in service during WWII, and try to complete an entire tour.
Those familiar with the classic Avalon Hill game title, B-17: Queen of the Skies, will come to enjoy the same type of gaming experience of the German U-boat War. All major U-boat models are accounted for with every level of detail including period of service, armaments, crew make-up, damage capacity, and more.
The Hunters is currently available for preorder through GMT Games (official distributor for Consim Press).
Game contents will comprise:
  • One 1/2 inch full-color counter sheet (140 counters)
  • Rules Booklet with Designer Notes
  • Player Aid Cards
  • U-Boat Patrol Logsheet
  • Four U-Boat Display Mats
  • U-Boat Combat Mat
  • Two 6-sided and two 10-sided dice
  • Boxed
Anticipated release date: January 2013

To read more about real U-Boats and the Atlantic War have a quick look here:
http://www.u-boot-zentrale.de/  (Site in German)

09 January 2013

Can't see the Forest...

I'm as guilty as most in usually spending lots of time on models but not the accompanying terrain.  I found these trees in a Man Cave clean up this week which I got from Glynn at Fernvale Speciality Scenics (see them here). I realised I had gotten them at Cancon almost a year ago and hadn't done anything with them - time for action!
I cut the bases from mdf with a hole saw and used my typical basing technique.  They came out pretty good I think.  The tall light green ones are very nice indeed, and this large number is a beauty.  They are probably best suited for 28mm gaming, but wont look too out of place in 15mm.

07 January 2013

Warbots ahoy!

A year or two back the Lad and I did some playtesting for Hydra Miniatures's War Rocket game and had a real blast doing so.

Well this week I got a belated thank-you package from Hydra with a copy of the rulebook (with both our names in it) and a bunch of very cool Robot Legion figures from their "Retro Raygun" series which we have been eyeing off for awhile.

The generous guys sent us pretty much one of each, including Queen Mechanica, two Warbots and two Centurians in different poses, and a Robot Legionnaire Command Unit.

Many thanks indeed for the Awesome goodies guys!  Scaled for 30mm they are a bit larger even than 'heroic 28' figures, but as robots who really cares?

No doubt these will find their way into the service of a suitably Mad Scientist (in the pay of Cultists of course) soon...Bwahahahaha!


04 January 2013

Living Idol

and what doth lie 'neath the cursed pyramid? Within its slimy bowls the Cultists completed their quest, unearthing an ancient Horror...

Beware- viewing the following non Euclidean geometry may jeopardise your sanity.
I took d6+1 insanity points just by painting this...

This 'beautiful' resin piece is again by Fenris Games and I have coveted it for a long time, its just perfect for the 'Living Idol' quest.  I went for a 'just waking up' look, with parts of the idol dormant in statue form, other bits alive, and a sort of transitional feel to it.  I was dreading doing the eyes and spent quite awhile looking a pics of eyes, but I'm really happy with how they came out.
We need a bigger paddy wagon Guv'ner!

The base was a spur of the moment thing, carved out of an mdf coaster.
I left it detached so I can use it as a summoning circle or the like.

03 January 2013

Cthonic Pyramid Finished

Thanks for the advice to push on gents, I quite like it now although it ended up different to my original intent (isnt that always the way!)

I've gone for the overgrown look but been careful not to overdo the vines and foliage - less is (usually) more right? This has given the face a worn/almost forgotten look which the purple works for, rather than trying to make it pop.
I also added a gloss effect to look like water where there is slime/ooze coming out of the pyramid.
Cultists added so you can see the scale of this piece.

02 January 2013

Cthonic Pyramid WIP

OK, time to start the 2013 with something to show for a few days off!

This is a Cthonic Pyramid made by Fenris Games.  Its a beautiful resin piece, quite large, and with a nice heft to it. I made it up with a colour scheme in mind that wasnt my typical grey stonework and more of a jungle/Myan look with a slightly decayed look.

I was also after an effect on the front carving that wasnt the usual green/yellow eldritch glow.

Here it is, and while I have yet to finish the basing effects,  I must say that I am rather luke warm about it overall so far (my paint job that is).

So at the moment I'm 50/50 about pushing on or stripping it and starting again, but probably the former and see what happens. Here is the lovely front panel detail