Wednesday 26 December 2012

Christmas Game progress

Recovering from a great Christmas day with some painting and then writing up Friday's Christmas game casts and plots.

The sleigh pilot is painted and varnished. I just need to matte varnish him and finish the base which will get done tomorrow. 

I've also finished the crash site. I decided not use modelling clay of liquid green stuff because I was concerned with drying times so I attempted to hide the joins but gave it a go using paint. 

Finished crash site with hole formed by the protective force field which melted the stone  which is still bubbling.

As we speak I'm writing up the casts and plots.

So what's still left to do:

  • Layout board 
  • Episode(s) titles to be decided - being done now
  • Decide which episodes to play - now more confidently looking at 3 played in different sections of the board - being done now
  • Create cast lists for: UNIT, North Pole Rescue Rangers and Moon Nazi's. Most of this is currently in my head, such as names the true work is to marry these up with stats - being done now
  • Decide on which event cards and gadgets to use. These are a must as they will be fun.
  • Inform chums what figures they need to bring and provide Episode write ups pre-game.

Monday 24 December 2012

Merry Christmas

Tis the night before Christmas and all is quiet. Merry Christmas and let Santa bring you lots of toys!

Sunday 23 December 2012

Christmas game progress

In between all the Christmas festivities I've managed to finish the trees, although I may need more but I think time will decide that one. I have created the crash site and given it a coat of paint, after waving it over a heater for a bit as the PVA glue still hadn't dried properly. All I need to do now is work out of I can hide the join without spoiling the paint job. Ideally I should have hidden the join before painting but I didn't notice it so much until I painted it. I've also had a go at laying out the table and discovered that the white sheet is a little see through. This isn't a problem and could actually be an advantage. I will now layout normal terrain underneath which darkens the sheet colour and may all details such as a stream to show through. I will be experimenting more with the terrain before I decide final layout.

The crash site. As you can see I solved the possible issue of 5 year old modeling clay by not using it.  Having checked the clay it is actually still OK. However while making the trees I noticed that the off cuts of insulation  looked like a crater which gave me the idea to have the impact in to a hill.

It hit here ..

.. and made a big hole
.... that scattered rock everywhere.

The trees. The pines had their bases sealed with PVA the others didn't. You can just about see that the sealed tree bases are whiter. I was going to respray the none sealed bases but now that I know the sheet will not be such a brilliant white the contrast will not be as great. In fact if I get the bases whiter then I'll actually make them stand out more rather than blend in.

Impact crater with paint job. I sprayed the exposed rock black then  rock outside of the crater grey then  the areas I wanted as snow white. All paint so far has been from aerosol cans from various manufacturers.

Cliff face at the rear on the impact.

Inside the crater you can just make out the beads I placed in side  that I'll use to attempt to make it look like the rock melted and is still bubbling.
 So what's still left to do:

  • Layout board 
  • Episode(s) titles to be decided
  • Decide which episodes to play - now more confidently looking at 3 played in different sections of the board.
  • Create cast lists for: UNIT, North Pole Rescue Rangers and Moon Nazi's. Most of this is currently in my head, such as names the true work is to marry these up with stats. 
  • Decide on which event cards and gadgets to use. These are a must as they will be fun.
  • Paint the sleigh pilot
  • Finish painting the crash site.
  • Inform chums what figures they need to bring and provide Episode write ups pre-game.
  • Remember for health reasons not to forget any of the none wargaming tasks because you're having too much fun with the wargaming tasks.

Saturday 22 December 2012

Christmas game

I am currently in  the middle of planning the Christmas game to be played between Christmas and the New Year. I follow the tradition that this should be a fun game and something to get excited about. In my youth I've played big games such as 15mm Gettysburg using Fire and Fury rules or 20mm Arnhem or Stalingrad using Rapid Fire. Last year it was a 15mm WW2 game using Kampgruppe Normandy rules.This year I wanted a lighter tone.

I've enjoyed playing 7TV games this year, which are TV and film inspired games using the rules of the same name. I've actually mainly played the 7ombieTV variant and had great fun. So I started thinking along these lines. My other choice was a Secret of the Third Reich game, which I haven't played in a while and I've some newly painted figures for it. My chums equally have some newly painted figures and Chris has a unit of US flamethrowers, who although have been in action haven't fired a shot yet. We've also never played Secrets of the Third Reich on a large board with loads of terrain.

Discussing the fun we could have it was suggested that a 7TV game where you needed to steal Santa's secret toy plans could be an idea. So a game of corporate espionage, creeping down corridors etc. I suspect this was a hint that I should get all my card terrain built for such daring do. However I judged that with all  the other Christmas activities going on that I wouldn't be able to get the terrain ready in time.

The Santa idea really stuck, plus the idea to use some Secret of the Third Reich (SOTR) figures especially at least one US flamethrower chappie. I've always wanted to do snow terrain, but time is against me this year until I thought why not use a white sheet.

My initial thought of a setting was the wilderness of Siberia, but if I use the US SOTR figures then Alaska makes more sense. I can use some of my Pulp figures for scientists. The idea of a United Nations Intelligence Task Force (UNIT) was born. Dr Who association intended.

The next deal clincher to go ahead and create a scenario or scenarios with a Christmas theme was the realisation which figures I could use for a North Pole/Santa cast. This thought led to finally finding a use for the Golden Compass toy carriage, handily in red which would look great as a Steampunk sleigh. I also had a figure I could use as a pilot, which I need to finish painting.

So in the 7TV world I now have 2 casts.  The sleigh and pilot gave me the idea of a search and rescue episode, with that in mind the Santa cast has been named The North Pole Rescue Rangers ( they will not be little mice!).

I need to decide how many episodes I'm going to be able to run in a day, and which ones. So far I have:
1. Search for the crash site - working title 'You better watch out, you better not cry'
2. Search the crash site - working title 'He's making a list, and checking it twice'
3. Rescue/recover the crash - working title 'Gonna find out who's naughty and nice'
4. Santa Claus is coming to town

I actually had more ideas but they all boil down to the 4 above. I've decided that all 4 will take place on the same board, perhaps in different sections. I've discounted the Rescue episode being at a science lab because it would take too much effort on the day to swap terrain over using buildings, and as already mentioned the card layout will not be ready in time.

Are these ideas enough to plan the final details. No!

I haven't found a use for my SOTR newly painted Germans. My thoughts wandered to the film Ironsky and so was born:


The working title has been released to the chums and has been met with approval.

So what's next:

  • Plan board layout - either draw it or play about setting it up till it feels right.
  • Create trees for snow terrain - one set sprayed today, 5 polystyrene bases created sealed with PVA and trees planted currently drying ready for painting. Further trees gathered to under go transformation if required.
  • Episode(s) titles to be decided
  • Decide which episodes to play
  • Create cast lists for: UNIT, North Pole Rescue Rangers and Moon Nazi's. Most of this is currently in my head, such as names the true work is to marry these up with stats. 
  • Decide on which event cards and gadgets to use. These are a must as they will be fun.
  • Paint the sleigh pilot
  • Create a crash site. I'm hoping 5 year old modelling clay is still usable.
  • Inform chums what figures they need to bring and provide Episode write ups pre-game.
  • Stop having more ideas that side track from finishing the above.
More discarded ideas:

The Wilderness Club a cast of a group of men who like hiking in the wilderness during the full moon. I was thinking of helpers for Santa.
Assault on Santa' Fortress
Moon Nazi flying saucer made from an old frisbee, cat food box and 4 toilet rolls
Finally painting up my dog sleds

I confess I am having a lot of fum with this. More details to follow.

Thursday 20 December 2012

Battlegroup Kursk - West of Oktiabriski Farm

Finished playing this scenario from the rule book with the chums this week, report to follow. Great game, lots of tactical options to think through. Best of all I won!

One all in the campaign so far.

Star moments in the game were a squad of Panzer Grenadiers single handed lay destroying 3 tanks in 3 turns, plus a T34 gun squashing fail where it over ran but didn't destroy.

2009-04-18 Full Thrust

Full Thrust game using the Swabian and New Anglian Confederation starter fleet packs with a few extra ships with the stats from the fleet lists. All the ships are by Ground Zero Games. The Neu Swabian League fleet commanded and owned by Guy sported a bright red colour, with yellow stripes to denote unit. The New Anglian commanded by myself sported menacing black all the better to camouflage yourself in space (plus quick to paint!).

The scenario was a straight forward space battle where whoever destroys or neutralizes the most ships wins. Both forces entered the board from opposite corners. This was our first try out with our enlarged fleets which comprised the following:

New Anglian Confederation (NAC)
Heavy Division
2 x Midway class Light Carriers (24 light fighters, 24 Heavy fighters)
1 x Thunderer class Battleship
1 x Renown class Battle cruiser
2 x Heavy Cruiser
2 x Suffolk class Escort Cruiser
2 x Lancaster class Light Cruiser

Medium Division
4 x Tulsa class Heavy Destroyers

Light Division
4 x Tallahachie class Destroyers
4 x Troutbridge class Frigates
3 x Corvettes

Neu Swabian League (NSL)
2 x Wien class Light Carrier ((24 light fighters, 24 Heavy fighters)
2 x Frankfurt class Escort Cruisers

1 x Graf Spee class Battleship
1 x Von Der Tann class Battle cruiser
4 x Lutzow class Destroyers
4 x Heavy Destroyers

2 x Helgoland Heavy Cruisers
2 x Kiel class Light Cruisers

The NSL division names are the results of a Google translation to give them a Germanic feel. Hopefully they make sense in German if not then I claim a drift in the language as the diaspora spread out in to the stars.  Helleträgergruppe should be Carrier GroupKriegschiffegruppe Battleship Group and Kreuzergruppe is Cruiser Group.

Fleets set up at opposite corners of a 6x4 board

Swabians splitting up to confuse the New Anglians and give themselves more tactical choices, plus with luck maybe a cross fire.

The view from my side

Yep, they haven't run away yet.

There still there

New Swabian League commander realises he couldn't see the ship types of the New Anglians as some swine had painted them black so comes over for a closer look.

Still looking.

NAC split in to Heavy Division closer the the camera and Light and Medium to the right.

NAC from rear. I spent some time on the engines to make the glow stand out.

NSL Helleträgergruppe carriers and 2 escorts

The carriers and escorts. You can clearly see the launch bays.

Kriegschiffegruppe Battleship and fighters on CAP

Close up of the NSL CAP

Another view 

They're ready for anything

My fleet moves 

NSL split in to 3 battle groups

My 2 groups move forward. The Heavy Division is on the left and the Light and Medium Division are together, with the Medium in front of the Light.

The NAC split in to 3. The Light Division accelerates towards the NSL carrier group, and the Medium Division move  across the front on the NAC Heavies. The NSL Gruppe are all just edging forward wary of my faster speed.

NSL carriers to the left, heavies in the middle supported by lights and mediums to the  right

The NSL Kriegschiffegruppe

NAC Heavy Division

NAC Mediums in the centre moving away from the camera.

NAC Medium Divison takes the centre while the Heavy Division launches all fighters. The Light Division on the right on moves on the NSL carriers.

All fighters away! The fighters with green markings on the engines belong to the carrier with the green  command bridge, and the purple ones to the carrier with the purple command bridge.

NAC Light Division keeps accelerating. Close up they are not all black, the colours are just a wash.

Stay on target

The Helleträgergruppe

Kriegschiffegruppe heads straight for the centre

Kreuzergruppe turn to bring there guns to bear. Under Full Thrust rules they will keep moving to the right unless they decelerate.

NAC Light Division looking lonely in the distance. The Kreuzergruppe targets are not in sight 

Overview of the 3 NSL gruppe. The Kreuzergruppe is top right. 

NSL  Kriegschiffegruppe Battleship Graf Spee takes aim

The white ring is a template showing front, side and rear arcs which then determines which batteries can fire.

The fleets get closer. The NAC Medium division is now on the  left wing of the NAC deployment e.g. top right, heading  for the NSL cruisers.

NSL Kriegschiffegruppe engage the NAC Light Division

NSL carriers in foreground and Kriegschiffegruppe in the middle.


The NAC Lights keep powering forward 

NAC Lights relying on speed to get them in close to use their weapons  to greatest effect and counter act the longer range of the NSL Battleship and Battle Cruiser

NAC Heavy Division keeps moving towards the NSL Kriegschiffegruppe

No flash on this picture

The NAC fighters all head for the Kreuzergruppe. You can see the rear of an NAC carrier, the yellow rectangle is the fighter landing bay.

The Kreuzergruppe

The Kreuzergruppe still moving to the right but facing the NAC threat allowing them to use their best batteries.

The NAC Light Division get plastered by blaster fire on it's way  in to the  NSL carriers. I'm not sure my plan is working.

The NSL carriers move forward engaging a very depleted Light Division.

The NAC fighter squadrons swoop on the Kreuzergruppe do great damage. The last 2 Medium Division support.

The Kreuzergruppe accelerate from the Medium Division but cannot shake off all the fighters. Behind them the NSL CAP draw off 2 NAC squadrons from the fight. 

The battle continues. I love the fact the NAC fighter bomber looks like a Y Wing and the fighter an X Wing.

An overview of the main combats. The heavies of both sides are now engaged. Both sides have reversed direction as the are both deceleration to maintain contact.

The  Helleträgergruppe move to support their heavies. The NAC  Light Division has suffered a Crimean War Light Brigade moment and is no more but floating space junk.

The capital ships slug it out. The NSL fighters concentrate on the  NAC lighter heavies.

A wider shot of the epic contest

Head on  or rear view take your pic

Final moments before the fleets pass each other. They keep moving until they can decelerate to a stop and  that can take a few turns depending on how fast they had been moving. The NAC ships have been moving faster than the NSL.

The heavies break apart but are still in range of each other to keep slugging it out. 

The NSL cruisers enjoy a respite due to the law of physics and good shooting.

The NSL forces move on the NAC Heavy Divison

Add your own dramatic music

The slugfest takes it's toll and the 2 NSL capital ships explode, while the NAC  lose their own  battle wagons and  all bar 1 cruiser.

Both heavies are decimated the battle is now down to a carrier face off.

The NAC fighters attempt to destroy the remains of the Kreuzergruppe

NAC fighter disengage. They've had enough and are low on fuel. Since the carriers are not in range to recover their  battle is over for this fight.

NAC casualties

NSL casualties. Not as many but more larger ships.
We didn't fight to the bitter end. We decided it was a draw due to the amount of damage suffered by the NSL forces even-though they were more numerous at the end and if my carriers hadn't jumped to safety would probably have destroyed them, however the NSL would definitely have lost more ships.

A great game which led us to buy a Mega Fleet each. Guys are painted and mine, well mine are part of the led mountain. Writing this game up makes me want to get them painted up, that and playing X Wing has sparked my interest in space combat. Having said that I say every Christmas I'll finish the Mega fleet off, may be this one I will.