Given my crazy weekend (tons of errands, snow shoveling, massive cleaning in the house and band rehearsal), I didn’t get a chance to organize before heading over to Games Plus on Sunday afternoon to run a Tomorrow’s War demo. Looking through the figures I brought and that Zach had on hand, we decided on an assault by a Neo-Soviet force against a US Army defensive position comprised of a small settlement surrounding an industrial area.

The Neo-Soviet attackers were a large force consisting of a company of 9 Pegasus III tanks, moderately armored and gunned; a platoon of mechanized infantry in hover APCs; another platoon of VDV troops in tracked APCs and wearing TL2 Power Armor; and a tracked tank hunter attached to the VDV forces. All troops were TQ:D8/Morale:D8, except for the VDV, who were TQ:D10/Morale:D10. The Neo-Soviets set up second and had initiative for the first turn.

The US defenders comprised 3 Patton Heavy Tanks (also known as the Khurasan Siler tanks), 3 Ramirez IFVs, two squads of infantry and a weapons squad with 2 AT teams. All troops were TQ:D8/Morale:D10. We also gave the US tech level 3 and plasma weapons (negate one die of armor) to give them a better chance at holding off the Neo-Soviets. The US players had to set up first.

The village provided 1 extra die of cover in each building, 2 extra dice in the industrial buildings. The scenario objective was simple. Add up the number of buildings controlled by each side when time expires and the highest total = the winner.

The settlement...the US players set up to the left of the road, the Neo-Soviets came in from the right.

I should have known things would not go as I thought from the first turn. The Neo’s pushed one flank hard right from the start, using one platoon of hover tanks to fire smoke (pretty ineffectually, I might add) and then pushed forward a second platoon who drew reaction fire from two of the Pattons. That’s when things went…weird.

The Neo-Soviet advance at the end of Turn One

The first thing that happened was a Patton fired a round into a Pegasus for a quick kill. During the subsequent turn, another Patton rolled into view, and lost the draw with the surviving two Pegasi. One missed, but the second one rolled two hits with 2D8s. The frontal armor for the Patton is normally 5D12, but it was up to 6D12 because of the lower tech level of the Pegasus. Guess what? A hit, and one that proved critical: main gun knocked out. My son Steve (commanding the Pegasus in question) let out a whoop of glee! A second Patton rolled out to engage the platoon firing smoke. Moments later, the unthinkable happened again. The Patton lost the draw, but this time the return fire from a Pegasus knocked out the vehicle entirely. Harlow (commanding this Pegasus) had trumped my son’s achievement!

One burning, one main gun knocked out...one weird day!

Paying the price for the Pattons

After this, the US players hunkered down and kept in cover. The wounded Patton decided to fire at APCs and infantry targets, while the sole remaining intact Patton stayed in cover for the most part, waiting for the Neo-Soviets to close. The Neo-Soviets did just that, but at incredible cost. The AT teams, along with the Ramirez APCs, played hell with the Neo-Soviet APCs, brewing up many and causing casualties among the dismounting infantry. On the Neo-Soviet extreme right flank, the VDV dismounted and advanced rapidly to take the first row of buildings, taking fire and light casualties, but putting it to the US defenders.

APCs burning bright from expert US gunnery

The VDV advance next to the burning hulks of many of the Neo-Soviet APCs

It was at this point that time ran out with the issue very much in balance. From a “buildings occupied” perspective, the US players were in the lead, but the VDV were chewing up the US infantry and not taking much in return.

A Ramirez IFV waits for the final push

All in all, it was a fun game with plenty of momentum shifts and thrilling moments. It just goes to show you that what looks like a balanced scenario can go to hell in one turn. But unlike other games, Tomorrow’s War doesn’t necessarily stay that way, as the US forces did a very effective job of turning the situation around and making it a very close game, despite the early losses.

Late breaking announcement: I’ll be running a game of Tomorrow’s War at Games Plus in Mt. Prospect, IL this Sunday afternoon. I plan on being there at 12 PM with game time somewhere around 1 PM. I haven’t decided what exactly it is that I’m running yet, but most likely it will be the Bugs in the Reactor scenario from the main rulebook. Rett will also be running a game, so we should be able to accommodate plenty of players. Hope to see you there!

First official post of 2012 (the WordPress generated summary of 2011 doesn’t count) is about my painting backlog of projects. I’ve decided that my one New Year’s resolution for 2012 that is hobby related will be to reduce the number of unpainted figures that I own. This will be a tough job as I don’t intend to stop buying new stuff, but it does mean that I will need to start selling off or otherwise getting rid of my considerable collection of unpainted figures that languish in my workshop.

I didn’t do too badly on my last five projects list for 2011. I got about 1/2 the Vietnam 15mm figures that I had primered done. I finished off the Space Worms. I got a good chunk of Picoarmor stuff done. I totally blew it on the Martian Racing skiffs, however. Not a one of them even prepped for priming. Sigh.

After discussions with my son Will, we’ve decided to pare down the 28mm zombie stuff that we own. Why? Well, it takes up way too much space in our workshop/crawlspace storage. The buildings we have are mostly ‘O’ scale railroad buildings and they are huge in terms of footprint. We’ll keep the basics for smaller layouts, but the big city layout has to go. Also on the chopping block is my vast collection of unpainted Clan Wars figures. I bought heavily when it first came out, but I have yet to play a single game, and the number of painted figures still numbers less than 100. I am far more interested in 28mm historical Samurai anyway, so this stuff will be up for sale soon. Finally, I will be getting rid of the Wild West miniatures I started collecting, including the Old Glory buildings that I purchased.

In terms of painting priorities, I intend to focus on the following five areas for the 1st quarter:

1) 15mm Vietnam: I want to finish off the rest of the primered miniatures, get a few more buildings done, and add some helicopters and other vehicles.

2) 15mm Tomorrow’s War: As AAG will continue to support this game, it would be remiss of me not to support something in which I’m involved. Next up are some CMG heavy grav tanks, some GZG OUDF that my son Will painted (I need to finish the basing), and some GZG New Israeli troops. I also want to throw an alien race or two into the mix, including expanding my Felid forces from Khurasan.

3) 15mm World War 2: I want to continue building my Battlefront: WW2 units, especially for the Eastern front. I also intend to start painting and basing individual figures in 15mm for Force on Force games.

4) 3mm Picoarmor: I am continuing to write my homegrown mass combat rules and intend to use them with Picoarmor stuff for playtesting. I am focusing on two areas. First, Cold War stuff for 1980s. Second, WW2 Western Desert.

5) 28mm Miscellaneous: I am currently working on more 28mm Vikings, Saxons and Normans for Dark Age skirmish games (including my own home grown rules). I also promised Will that I would paint up some Warmachine stuff to fight his growing Khador/Menoth armies. I have pretty sizable Cygnar and Menoth forces myself, but I have started to collect and paint an Orboros army with an autumn theme to it.

If I stick to my guns, I should be able to increase the size of my painted collection, decrease the total number of miniatures I own, and clear up some space in the basement workshop. If. We’ll see how I do in 2012 🙂

2011 in review

Posted: January 1, 2012 in Uncategorized

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Syndey Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 33,000 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 12 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Personally, it’s been a year of ups and downs that all-in-all has ended well. Two surgeries, work craziness, coupled with my son heading off to Indiana University, my partnership in Ambush Alley Games and joining a band as a keyboard player/vocalist and it’s been a year that even Mr. Toad would say is a wild ride.

I plan to get some painting and gaming time in during the holidays, and will probably post some photos of both. But just in case, I wanted to wish all my friends, followers and acquaintances a very merry Christmas and happy New Year!

 

 

I picked up a few packs of the O8 Space Worms from Pico Armor at Legends two weeks ago and promised John that I would paint them up before Christmas, so he could post a few photos on his website. The O8 Space Worms are a fun group of sculpts, more pulp in flavor than most of the 15mm releases these days, with a lot of character.

Oddzial's Space Worms (crawling soon from a hole near you)

The castings were pretty clean, with the exception of a few minor mold lines that had to be filed. The alloy used is a little harder than most, so make sure your files are up to it. That being said, I cleaned up all 18 in about 20 minutes. The detail is very crisp and lends itself well to stain painting or drybrushing.

A closer view of the Space Worms

I wanted a fairly clean look for the painted models, so I basecoated them with a thinned down coat of Vallejo Beige, then washed them with Vallejo Fleshtone Wash. I coated the red and metal areas with a layer of Vallejo Maroon, followed by Vallejo Flat Red, Bronze and Gunmetal Gray. Basing was done with Vallejo Dark Brown basing medium (my newest love), static grass and a few clumps of vegetation and rocks. As for the variety of poses, here are a few pictures.

From left to right, Leader, Grunt 1, Grunt 2, Grunt 3, Heavy 1 and Heavy 2 poses (my names, not O8's)

The Leader (or as I say, the Khan of Worms)

The Grunts (who give a whole new meaning to Bore Sighting)

Heavy 1 (bait and sinker?)

Heavy 2 ("try carrying this around with no arms")

As you can see, Space Worms paint up quite well and can add a fun element to any science fiction battlefield. My own thoughts on a background are as follows. I see them as biological weapons of another race, controlled through the helmet and used in a subterranean envelopment role (“Death from Below”), so definitely tunnelers. I organized my Space Worms in “Segments” of nine figures: 2 Worm Teams of four figures each (3 Grunts and 1 Heavy) and a Segment Leader (Khan of Worms).

A Worm Segment, including the Khan of Worms

I heartily recommend these figures to anyone looking for something quirky to put on the science fiction table.

I mentioned that I’m working on a mass combat game. Over the Thanksgiving weekend, I started to paint up some of the packs of Pico Armor/O8 miniatures that I purchased at Legends. Showing signs of my growing insanity, you can see how I overdid it on these SdKfz 222 German scout cars for the Western Desert:

German SdKfz 222's in 3mm

Yes, that is a aircraft recognition flag on the back of the one scout car. The dust plumes are simply from cotton fiber soaked in watered down Vallejo beige paint, allowed to dry and then glued to the base. The sand is Vallejo desert basing paste.

My index finger as a size comparison 🙂

Another view

This stand was the result of about 30 minutes of experimentation. I then started mass production and have about 25 more stands nearly finished. More to come!