Saturday, 16 July 2022

Rebased infantry and some building blocks.

After a month of inactivity I managed to get something done. I rebased these infantry figures, making them smaller and definitely magnetic. Here they are taking up defensive positions to stop looting.

 I have a box of wooden building blocks that have been sat around for a few years. Today I finally had a stroke of inspiration that I could use them as modular buildings. I figure if I paint windows on all four sides, put a door on two of them, and leave the tops blank, then I can have some seriously modular buildings. The round ones can be mostly glass. The long, thin ones can also make for useful buildings. If I lay them flat and stack them, then I have a high rise. If I stand them up on edge, they can be used to create the illusion of a closed in area. Sort of creating the edge of a computer game level if you see.


Monday, 6 June 2022

UK Games Expo 2022

 This weekend, just for the Saturday, I hustled my way up to the UK Games Expo to see what all the fuss is about. My brother visits every year, wife and kids in tow and they stay for a few days. Every year they try to convince me, a fellow, but somewhat more casual, boardgamer, to attend. Every year I respectfully decline. This year, my other brother of The Player's Aid fame was in the country for a family wedding. We all made plans to go up and attend. I didn't want to be left out so went for it. 

I now regret never going. The freedom I had this year to wander around and play whatever I felt was brilliant. I will give a breakdown of what I tried and saw in a bit. Next year I intend to take my eldest two children. I will have less freedom, but will be able to share the love of games with them a little more. The children and family section was large, and had lots of little games to try out. The cosplayers were many and friendly enough for photo ops. It was all around a good time.


Having sunk an inexcusable amount of hours into Skyrim, seeing this location as a miniature game was glorious. I remember my first fight here. I won't be sinking any cash into another miniatures game though.


Temptation to buy Skyrim miniatures rising...

Mr brother and I played a few rounds of this. It says the game takes 20 mins, but as it stood, each dogfight was taking about 3-4 minutes. Once you get caught in the opponent's gun sights it was really hard to get out of them. There were only two small plane miniatures, but they may not be the final miniatures. I would hope for actual plastic minis of the planes. 

We attempted to try another  game called Air Flix, where you have planes on disks and attempt to flick them into firing positions while avoiding flak, but the guy had sold all the copies and wasn't there on the Saturday to demo it any more.

There were other games I tried, which were fun, bought one for the family, bought a set of dice as that is customary at events like this. 

I will take my eldest two next year, I hope. It should be fun. 

Monday, 16 May 2022

Destroyed houses for WW2. Not sure manufacturer.

I painted up some more ruined houses. Unfortunately I have had these knocking around a while and don't really know who they are made by. The second story is removable. They could maybe be dusted up a little, but for now they will do nicely. 

These ones are surrounded entirely by rubble. Not sure how much I like that. I might need to pop them on a base and make it so the rubble has a non-rectangular edge to it. But as for now, they are useable. 


Tuesday, 10 May 2022

A Poor Man's A Billion Suns - Fleet progress

 I have made progress with the fighters, bombers, recon craft and smaller capital ships. Pleased with this.

As it stands, these are the smallest of the capital ships. Frigates? Corvettes?

These are bigger. 

Front row are recon scouts. Behind are some fighters. They are made from tile separators. 

Three squadrons of bombers. I like these the best.

Because I mount them on little magnets, storage is pretty straight forward.

Monday, 9 May 2022

Battlegroup Fall of the Reich Soviets attacking a hasty German defensive line.

Last night I played a "defensive line" game where an ad-hoc Wehrmacht vanguard is attempting to stall the inexorable Soviet advance. I don't think I have played Fall of the Reich yet. It was the one that got away all those years ago, and when they did the reprint I jumped on the chance. Playing it felt a little different, but mainly that it felt like I couldn't afford as much German stuff, with point costs being higher. But that may be imagined. I was also surprised that my two armies ended up with the same Battle Rating. Usually my US armies have a far higher point to reach before breaking. I assumed the Soviets would be the same. But both ended up with BR 23. The Soviets, however had many more infantry to throw at the fascist invaders.

FHQ is a Panzer IV.
1 infantry platoon.
1 Panzerfaust team
1 80mm mortar team
1 Pak 40 with loader team
1 StuG III
1 sniper + spotter

1 infantry platoon
1 T-34/85 platoon
1 Maxim MG team
1 ZiS 76mm gun
1 BA amoured car
1 sniper + spotter
4 trucks and a jeep for the platoon command

A handful of German units held the wooded areas along the road. A sniper team were overlooking the northern fields, a Pak 40 also. An MG team were over looking the southern fields along with the Battlegroup Commander in his Panzer IV. A knocked out Tiger has been left on the road to create an obstacle to an easy advance.

The Soviets advanced across the field with a T-34 out in the open. It took fire from the Pak 40.

It brewed up easily, rounds cooking off inside.

The Soviet armoured car attempted to engage the LMG team, but the fire was ineffective.

In response to movement the LMG team opened fire on an advancing truck.

It blew up, but luckily the squad inside managed to escape. To be honest, advancing a truck was a bad idea, but I wanted to see how it worked shooting against soft skin vehicles.

Due to having to escape under fire, the Russian squad end up pinned.

The Panzer IV attempted to fire on the armoured car but missed. You can see a Soviet sniper team and the platoon commander advancing up the field.

Due to the left flank being unopposed, the platoon commander decided to relocate to the central wooded area, in order to best respond to the attackers. The forward infantry squad would soon follow suit, leaving the sniper on the flank to harrass any enemy towards them.

Soviet infantry managed to clear the MG 34 team from the woods, opening up the right flank.

This is the state of things. One lost truck and a T-34 gone. But otherwise, advancing. The ZiS 76mm has been deployed as a Panzer IV has been spotted firing. More troops will advance up. The forward most squad and armoured car will secure the woods ahead.

The Panzer IV and T-34 fired on each other.

With the T-34 coming out on top. The German battlegroup had now lost its overall commander. The platoon commander would attempt to keep the defensive line going. I searched and there didn't seem to be too much of a morale penalty for losing a FHQ unit, or a unit with the rule "senior officer". Maybe I didn't search hard enough. I feel like this should be a bad thing.

The Germans in the central wood managed to manhaldle the Pak 40 and move themselves around to face the enemy. This did, however, leave their new left flank exposed, but the infantry squad kept watch.

The T-34 and Pak 40 exchanged fire across the road. 

The Soviet shots went wild, whereas the Pak 40 scored a direct hit, destroying the attacking tank. The Russian sniper team advanced up through the woods, while the command tank remained just out of vision from that nasty German Pak.

Two Soviet squads and a Maxim team began to advance over the open ground on the newly exposed German flank. The German sniper did his job by providing harrassing fire to them, in an attempt to slow the advance.

The German platoon commander managed to spot the sniper team and fired with no effect.

Not wanting to get pinned down by sniper fire, the infantry squad bravely charged, killing the team and taking no casualties.

The Soviet squad advanced into the southern woods, claiming that objective. They could now provide covering fire while the others advanced up the flank. Inaccurate German mortar fire hit around the T-34 but achieve nothing, except for getting the attention of the Soviet armoured car, who circled the woods and plunged into the German rear to hunt down the mortar team.

Here we can see the Soviet flanking advance. The T-34 platoon commander still hugging the woods, and a truck load of infantry advancing up. Unseen, the ZiS has limbered back up to reposition in case and German armour reserves arrive, the BA armoured car has rushed into the German rear to cause havock, and the infantry squad has advanced to the edge of the woods to provide covering and harrassing fire.

More German sniper fire and he managed to take out the squad LMG gunner.

The central German infantry squad managed to pin a Soviet squad to help stall the advance.

Finally some German reserves arrived! The StuG III engaged and blew up the armoured car, which had been attempting to machine gun the mortar team into submission for a while.

With the armoured car gone, the mortar team was ordered to open up again on the advancing Russian trucks, pinning them. Unfortunately for the Germans the truck had already unloaded it's squad which was advancing towards the Germans in the woods.

The Soviets charged into the woods and destroyed the German squad, killing them to a man. The Russians took casualties themselves, and became pinned after faltering in morale. So they won the Close Assault, but lost three men and became pinned. Not sure it was a good idea. 

At this point it was 23:00 and I was getting tired. The Soviets had pulled 22/23 BR and so were not pulling more chits, leaving quite a lot of units pinned. Meanwhile the Germans, were only on about 12/23 and had finally gotten their reserves to arrive. We were on turn 6 or 7 I think. The Soviet victory conditions were to win by turn 9 by destroying/pinning everything or holding objectives. It looked like I was about to have a second battle within the battle by having most of a German platoon arriving to defend for two turns and time the Soviets out. So it was a pretty good German win. However, I played the Soviets poorly in two areas: 1. I wants to see how squishy T-34s were, so I sent one vs a Pak 40 to die. 2. I wanted to see how easily trucks died, soe let it die vs. an LMG. I would probably not advance trucks so close to the battle again. 

This game I switched inches to centimetres and I must admit my experience was far, far more fun than previously. The table felt the right sort of size for the game. The ranges, looked better when compared to the table. It was pretty cool. My brother is coming over in a few weeks and I imagine we will play. He bought me the Russians after all.

Monday, 25 April 2022

A Poor Man's A Billion Suns - Clothes Peg fleet complete.

 I have completed my first group of ships. My favourite are the small corvette type ships. I need to have a think about getting any ships in the size area between the big ships and the small ships. 

It is amazing to me, the difference a lick of paint makes. The blue and red dots just give them so much more life. 

These are my favourite and I have a few more on the way. Simple, small, cheap in game terms.

I need to work out how to make sure the card doesn't curl, but otherwise it is all fine. I like how these turned out. I imagine these will be unique ships, or I will have to come up with some in-universe handwavium about how large spacecraft are all built as single units and are all different.

The missile racks are from Brigade Models or GZG. They were meant to be on something, but I can't remember. 

I have already begun working on some more mid-sized ships, and am always on the hunt for medium/different pegs. 




Thursday, 21 April 2022

A Poor Man's A Billion Suns - Clothes Peg Fleets.

Over on the Book of Faces I have curated my feed to consist almost entirely of hobby related groups, and a few friends who come out with regularly amusing things. I am a member of the Super Cheap Wargaming group, and over the past month or so there has been an explosion of people making space ships out of clothes pegs. They started out simple and became increasingly intricate and complex as the month has gone on. The entire time I bemoaned not having clothes pegs. I think I have some at work, but am on Easter break. So I went looking for them in shops. Tesco had this set, The Range had nothing normal, but did have a set of 200 mini pegs, useful for corvettes, Amazon has loads, but I wanted to hold off. 

The Tesco pegs are the most boring, vanilla shape you can get, but will be fine to experiment with. 

 Here are my first four attempts. The double purple on top is the size of two other experiments unpictured. I am not sure I like the double purple together. I will paint these over the weekend and see what happens. The flight stands are of course my nails, with magnets on top, but the ships are quite top heavy - I might need to rethink my bases and have longer ones.