29 July 2014

The Warband of James the Tall-Progress Report

Comrade James reporting: I've been progressing the painting of my Anglo-Dane war band for our upcoming Saga campaign, turning them from the Army of Darkness to a painted force.
First up, the smelly peasants:

12 Gripping Beast slingshot Peasants..Denis the Menace..in poo...

My Hearthguard I basecoated with the Army Painter spray ChainMail, as they are predominately chain mail with some cloth peeking out.  Pretty happy with the results after I washed them all with Citadel wash. I had Paul and Dux's voices in my head saying "Real men paint their own shields' constantly as I did my Hearthguard. Still a WIP for basing

My loyal Warlords Guard, with matching shields

SO that's the lads so far, I'll end with a WIP shot of one of my three 8 man warrior units...till next time!


28 July 2014

Mega Shark vs Mecha Shark

All well here in Rhode Island and continuing to settle in though we will be in the hotel for another month yet.  Good news is that we have cable in our room and the SyFy channel is having Shark Movie Week in the lead up to the release of Sharknado 2.  Strangely SWMBO didn't see this as good news...

So last night we saw Mega Shark vs Mecha Shark, released earlier this year as a latest instalment of the Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus and Mega Shark vs Crocosaurus trilogy. This Mega Shark clearly just won't quit.
Now I love me a cheesy shark movie and this had all the promise of the awesomeness of Godzilla vs Mecha Godzilla, but this one really was a stinker.  It wasn't the wooden acting (expected), or the horrendous plot (mandatory), or even the fact that it tried to be a serious movie (it was like they gave up half way); the clincher for me was the final Act in which Mega Shark goes to Sydney to find a mate.  The fake Aussie accents and backdrops just ruined it for me.  However, one highlight is that Mecha Shark has a tracked 'Amphibious mode'.  Kewl.

Of the three movies in this series, Mega Shark vs Giant Octopus is my favourite.  On the bright side though, I also got to watch the wonderfully cheesy Dinoshark and I think Sharknado 2 will be worth waiting for - deliberately fun and campy is hard to pass up!

19 July 2014

SAGA Campaign-The SAGA of James the Tall and his Anglo-Danes

Comrade James reporting: I'm currently in the process of setting up a 6 player, 5-game campaign of SAGA with Jason D, Bish and 3 of their gaming buddies. This campaign is loosely based on the one Paul and I had planned prior to him learning of his current US posting, and will see us taking 10pts of troops through 5 of the scenarios in the basic SAGA rulebook.

The theme is that our factions find themselves settling a fertile land that is wanted by all 6 factions, but not big enough for all.....we have all set up a village, with supply lines running back to the sea....

As the campaign progresses, we will all be faced with a different opponent as we roam the land, with the war band losing the most territory becoming easy targets for the others....Games 1 and 2 are the Clash of Warlords and Fight for the Fords as all war bands patrol their areas....once casualties are taken, the 3 weakest factions will be faced with their supply wagons being threatened by an opportunistic opponent in Game 3.....after fighting over the newly declared Sacred Grounds in Game 4, the final 3 weakest factions will have their only village attacked by their stronger neighbour. Success and failure of the whole campaign will be determined by the result of the last game. Either we will be known as Conquerors of the (loser) , or Defender of the People...
The others will be banished from history (or at least their dice will be....)

NOT my war band...pic courtesy of War and Peace Games and Gripping Beast minis

I will be blogging the progress of the campaign as it transpires, as well as a short painting blog as I paint up my Warband....
Till then.....

17 July 2014


This is the second and final part of my Wintercon 2014 coverage, and I'll focus on the two games I was lucky to play in.
The first day I tried to help defend Pegasus Bridge from the surprise attack of the Brit Paras in a Chain of Command re-enactment fought on a massive table.

Gaming buddy Jason D and his fellow gamers Andrew and Brad built an amazing table complete with the Warlord Games Pegasus Bridge model and hotel. Jason made three Horsa gliders for his paras , which landed in almost perfect positions for their assault.
Chain of Command uses an innovative activation mechanic whereby each player at the start of their turn rolls a number of dice, usually 5-6, to determine what types of units may activate. In true Fat Lardies style, the game focuses on the effect of leaders at all levels, and hence rolling a 3 or 4 allows a leader to activate a squad with themselves, whereas a 1 or a 2 activates a small team or a squad without a leader. Leaders can add extra bonuses to the squad they activate, so a 3 or 4 is always handy. A roll of two or more 6's enables that player to have the next turn, and hence you can get big runs for one side if the dice roll well.
And that is exactly what happened....the Brit paras stormed out of their gliders, killing the defenders of one flank and seizing the 50mm ATG almost immediately, and were able to close right in close to the MG bunker and 37mm AA gun on the opposite flank.
 Into em lads!
Ach! Ve are surrounded!!
The HMG in the bunker managed to get off one burst, but the panicked Ostruppen inside was only able to hit 2 paras. The 37mm AA gun fared a little better, taking down 3 paras with its HE rounds. The ATG crew gave a good account of themselves, killing 4 paras in close assault, but the remaining Red Devils finished off the crew, seizing the ATG for later use...

 The Brit paras used their PIAT teams to take out the HMG bunker and then the AA gun, before the Jerries could fire again.....with all the casualties, the German Force Morale level was reduced to below breaking, and the scenario was over. The lads played a second game that afternoon, which involved a German armoured counter attack, but the Paras managed to hold on and keep the Germans off the bridge by the end of the scenario.

 On the second day I took part in an 8 player, 4 per side game of Bolt Action, using 1250pts of Late War Germans.

As the attackers, our job as the Axis was to break through past the halfway line into the enemy deployment zone, and the closer we got to the baseline, the more points per unit we would get. Of course, killing the enemy was a good idea too (and scored us points) so I set about doing exactly that.
I faced off against a French army, commanded by John, of War and Peace Games who is a wonderful gentleman and great opponent. Highlights of the game were my sole airstrike lining up my own command squad instead of the Char B tank I had assigned it (stop laughing Paul!) , my PzIVH getting its second kill ring from the French R35, and my Veteran Infantry squad that deployed from the halftrack at point blank range into a French squad, wiping them out with shooting, assaulting the French Sudanese veteran squad before they could assault me and wiping them out, and then withstanding an assault by French regulars before finally being wiped out by another assault.
I was a little too involved in the game to take many pics, so the ones above are of the last two turns showing my PzIV pushing up the centre, and my two squads holding off the Char B on the other flank. I should add my sniper scored three kills from 4 shots before being killed by a direct hit from the Char B's 75mm gun, and I was able to fire my Panzerschreck and both Panzerfausts in my infantry squads , to no effect, except a big morale boost :-)

That ended day 2 of Wintercon 2014. I'll cover the loot in my next post.....;-)

You know you are settling in when...

You get your first Amazon parcel with new reading materials to keep you amused!

16 July 2014

Safe and Sound, plus flickering explosion markers

2 days at Universal Studios was just what the Dr ordered...well a certain Lad did anyway!
Ahoy from the USA Man Cave denizens! The clan is now in New England safe and sound after a few days in LA en route and is now busy arranging the various related domestics.  More on that shortly but thanks to everyone for their well wishes.  Looks like we will be in a hotel for more than a few weeks while our new house is made ready so I'll be living vicariously through others' blogs for awhile yet!

And to that end may I point you toward Eric of the wonderfully named Shed Wars blog, who has made some lovely flickering destruction markers just perfect for either 15 or 28mm tanks.  I've wanted to make some of these for ages but never got to it - I even have 2 packets of the electric lights in the Man Cave.  Well I did, they are in storage now waiting for some love when I get home, but at least I'll know what to do now! Check out Eric's work here:


Eric's stirling work- pic from his blog

14 July 2014

WINTERCON 2014-Part 1

It's that time of year again here in wintry Canberra, when the Canberra Gaming Society hosts a mini-version of the 3-day CanCon event, called Wintercon. Held over 2 days, Wintercon gives the fanatical gamers of Canberra another chance to play some tournament games, and spend lots of cash at the trading stalls 6 months out from CanCon.

This year, I went to peruse and catch up with many mates I met at CanCon, and Wintercon 2013. I also went to collect a few hundred dollars worth of pre-ordered discount merchandise for my new Roman and Dacian 28mm armies...but more on them in later posts.....

The main games being played were Warhammer 40K, Dead Mans Hand, DBMM, Impetus, Bolt Action, Warmachine and the biggest, Flames of War. A number of one day participation games were also run including Chain of Command, Ronin and Wings of Glory.
Two major distributors set up stalls both days and a number of minor traders added variety to entice the gamer dollars....

Chain of Command Pegasus Bridge Participation Game
The Gentlemen Gamers of Canberra put on two enormous participation re-enactments, one covering the British Airborne taking of Pegasus Bridge in 1944, conducted in two parts, and the other a reenactment of the German Para assault on Crete against the New Zealanders... 

 Chain of Command Crete 1941 Participation Game


 Dead Man's Hand
The legendary Qman (of CanCon Bolt Action fame) ran the inaugural Dead Man's Hand tournament which centred around a motley crew of cavalry men, crooks, swindlers and desperadoes looking for fame...and that was just the players...Dead Man's Hand is a very small scale skirmish game (4-6 figures) with strong cinematics and strongly supported by a great range of Western scenery. The tournament culminated in an all-in brawl through the town.  

 Bolt Action
The Bolt Action tournament this year was low key due to many players taking a break to try other systems (such as Dead Man's Hand and Chain of Command), and also culminated in a massive all in multiplayer game at the end. (more on that next post)

 Wings of Glory

 Flames of War D-Day Campaign
 The Flames of War Campaign was based on Firestorm Normandy, but included a campaign map made specially by Battlefront for the tournament. Allied and German Generals made strategic moves on the campaign map, and the resulting battles were fought out on the tables by the other players. The Germans achieved a ahistorical win after crushing the British forces on the beach. Guess Adolf was the best asset the Allies had in June 1944....

That's it for the general overview, I'll post more detail on the two games I played in , the Pegasus bridge re-fight and the multiplayer Bolt Action game next post.....

09 July 2014

The Great Wargaming Survey

Whilst Paul is transitioning to the USA, I've included a link to the Great Wargaming Survey being conducted by Wargames Soldiers and Strategy Magazine...apparently has 10,000 surveys so far...get onboard!

08 July 2014

Adieu Australia!

Currently sitting at the airport waiting for our flights to LA, where we will have a 2 day lay over before pushing on to the East Coast.  Took the opportunity to say farewell to some Aussie icons yesterday at the National Zoo- here is the Lad chatting with Edward the Emu.
I'm sure QANTAS has some good movies available, but many thanks to Comrade James for the superior in flight entertainment gift!