Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Whompers of the 1st Royal Regiment of Hoppers

Greetings friends!  My first entry to the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge were some Eureka frogs from their "Pond Wars" miniature line.  I dug these up from the lost realm known as the lead pile.  When I entered into this challenge I told myself I would not buy any new miniatures, but focus on making a dent in my lead pile.  [Yes, Ray, I'm still holding strong but the shakes are getting worse!] In the process, maybe I'd complete or at least revive a few stagnant projects.  When I found all these frog warriors in my lead pile I thinking, "Why have I never painted these?  They're hilarious!"

So, here's the first batch of frog warriors.  I went online to look at how to paint a frog and discovered frogs have all kinds of colorful patterns.  Now considering the AHPC's scoring is based on the number of miniatures painted, I'm a bit of my own worst enemy here.  I saw the red-eyed tree frogs and thought, "I want to do that!"  As you can guess it took a lot longer than just painting them green and white.  Oh well, I really like the results and hope you do as well.

On Eureka's site they are noted as carrying mallets, but I kept thinking "whompers" sounded more appropriate!



Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas friends!

Just a quick note to all of you that are celebrating Christmas, that I hope you and your families had a wonderful time.  Work has been killing me here lately, so I've had a bit of trouble getting in the spirit.  If you've ever had to work over 70+ hours in a week, I'm sure you know what I mean.  Luckily we got the weekend off and I had an enjoyable time with my wife and family.

I received a variety of gifts, but I thought I'd share the ones that are hobby related.  My wife really surprised me this year with what appears to be the theme of "he needs a village"!  So I received terrain for two particular gaming genres I'm currently working on.

First is a bunch of buildings that will work for my Napoleonic gaming. These buildings and the bridge all came from Magister Militum.  I didn't even know they made 28mm stuff... (should I even admit that?  Does it make me a bad miniature gamer?)

And for my 15mm Sci-Fi she got me these buildings from Brigade Models.  The detail on these buildings are top-notch!

She never ceases to amaze me with her Christmas shopping.  I feel that I'm a really lucky man!

My Mom also added to my hobby supplies with my usual Christmas request of Winsor & Newton Series 7 brushes.  Sizes 0, 00, and 000.  Being someone who hates to spend a lot of money on brushes, I tend to "baby" these things and get them to survive until next Christmas.  First time I tried a Winsor & Newton Series 7 brush, because of the price horded it "saving it for something special"  6 months later I realized I had never used the damn thing and decided I was just being silly.  I do like these brushes!  Also, in the picture is the airbrush cleaning supplies I requested.  I'm hoping these things will be easier to use than pipe cleaners!

Anyway, I'm excited about my Christmas loot and I hope all of you fared just as well.


Monday, December 12, 2016


Well, I had planned to finish up my 10mm Dwarves before the painting challenge started, but unfortunately work has decided they had better plans for my time.  Some Executive boss-type person set a deadline and suddenly we're all scrambling to meet this deadline.  My boss, being the generous person he is suggested me and some of my team work the weekend for extra work hours.  So kind...

So, the one positive of all this, is that by the time I get home I didn't feel like setting up my paint desk... so instead I just prep miniatures for the challenge.  One thing I wanted to accomplish with the challenge was to make  a noticeable dent in my lead pile.  So I started digging through the pile and found all kinds of wonderful stuff I wanted to paint!  I'm pretty excited to get started now.

From 10mm to 54mm, here's a sneak peak of what's to come...

American Revolution (yes, it's time I pick that project back up...)

All that above should get me the over the 500 point goal I set.  But I hope to get more prepped before then!

Not an exciting post this time.  Blame my work.  I know I will!!


Sunday, November 27, 2016

Dwarf Warriors and a New Challenge

I had originally meant to wait until all three stands of Dwarf Warriors were completed, but then other life stuff came up and I didn't want to let the blog go too long without a post.  So, here's two of the three Dwarf Warrior units I have for my Warband.

Also, something new in the works.  This year I have decided I have enough free time to participate in the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge.  I've watched this for several years, but never felt like I had the time to join the fun.  This year will be my first, and I've set myself the goal of 500 points.  I should be able to make that.  Now I'm in the process of sorting out and preparing some miniatures to be ready for paint when the first day starts.  Also, if you are participating and need someone to join in on the group tribute to send to Curt please let me know.

I do plan to have this last unit of Dwarf Warriors done before then!


Sunday, November 13, 2016

MilleniumCon 2016

This weekend I made my annual trip down to Austin to play some games at MilleniumCon.  This year was the 19th MilleniumCon.  It is a convention hosted by the Lone Star Historical Miniatures group which has chapters all over Texas.  I am a member of the Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) chapter.  I chose not to try to run any games this time, but instead just to enjoy my time as a player.  A couple of my games ended up being cancelled, but I still managed to get in 4 games and observed a few others.

Here's some pictures of some of the games I got to play in...

"The Hunt for Moby Dick" - this was a pretty fun little game using Legos.  Each player had a small boat with crew to hunt down the Great White Whale.  There were plenty of things to consider like not colliding into other ships or the whale when plotting movement, having crew fall over-board, and  sharks in the water.

I was in charge of the black boat.

Thar she blows lads!

Several boats have managed to harpoon the whale and are on a "Nantucket Sleigh Ride"...

I still have all my crew, but at this point haven't damaged Moby Dick enough to have enough points to be anywhere close to in the lead.

Finally the whale gives in this his wounds.

Next up I played in a Napoleonic ship game hosted by the crew of Portsmouth Miniatures and Games.  The game used their own miniatures and also their own rules called "Bloody Broadsides".  I commanded a British 74 gun ship called the Leviathan.  Having a crew with a high morale, my guns were ready to do some damage so I was put in 3rd in our line.  We were going up against an allied fleet of French and Spanish ships.
The battle lines approach.  French and Spanish on the left and the British on the right.

Broadsides begin to be traded down the line.
The French and Spanish fleet have the misfortune of having their lead ship the Bucentaure completely explode as it tries to snake their line behind the British line.  So the French and Spanish try to reform line while changing direction.  This is costly as the British hold a disciplined battle line and continue the pound the other fleet.  For my ship, HMS Leviathan this was a difficult time because all the changes in direction left me as the prime target for several turning French ships.  My crew, hull and rigging were taking a beating!!

The French and Spanish are trying to change direction and reform a line.

The British line stays disciplined... maybe too disciplined?
 Here is the bright moment in the Spanish & French fleet's battle action.  The British have been a little too cocky and tightened up their lines to try to focus their fire on the disorganized mass of Spanish and French ships.  So when the lead Spanish ship (San Justo) decides to collide with the lead British ship (Brittanica) it triggers a rough series of collisions fowling several ships at the front of the British line.

It takes several turns for the Spanish ship and 3 British ships to get unfowled, but it's not enough for the French and Spanish to gain any advantage.  The game resulted in a minor British victory (and a Major Morale victory).
The final picture has points were tallied to determine the victor.

My next game was a wargame currently in development over at GMT called "The Last Hundred Yards".  I've had a long time fondness for the old wargames with the cardboard chits.  It is how my Dad and I got into wargaming so there's always a sense of nostalgia for me playing these games.  The game was being run by the games designer, Mike Denson.  So while I was playing the game I got to hear about his approach to the design of the game and what he hoped to accomplish.  We didn't get to finish the game, because there was a lot of rules to cover, but I found it to be a pretty fun system.  I'll be signing up to help this get published on their P500 program.

Start of the first turn, so most of the unit are still concealed so a marker is covering the stats.

Thanks to my partner laying down a great smoke screen with his mortars, I was able to make a run at the German position with my infantry.  My assault did not go so well, so most of my troops are disordered (the red band on the chits on the right of the map.)

The last game I played was the "Battle of Plevna" from the Russo-Turkish wars of 1877-1878.  This was fought in 10mm using the Big Bloody Battles rules.  I'd been wanting to try out this rule set for a while, so was glad to see it offered.  Unfortunately, I got a little to engrossed in the game and only realized much later that I only took one picture!  Heh... oops.

Me and another guy named Bob played the Russian & Romanian forces, while the 3rd guy played the Turks.  This was a tough siege because the Russians were very inept and not as well equipped as the Turks.  Luckily we only needed to capture and hold two forts to win.  Our strategy was to hit the flanks and use the forces in the middle to keep the Turks stretched out.  In the end it worked out and we managed to win, but I can't begin to describe how much of a massacre it ended up being for the Russians in the middle.  The plan worked but the costs were high!  It's times like this that I'm glad it's all pretend and my decisions don't affect real lives!

Anyway, that was my weekend.  I got away from it pretty cheap too.  There really wasn't anything in the vendor area that grabbed my interest, so I only picked up a few Dust figures in the flea market.  I had a lot of fun but was glad to get home today.


Monday, October 31, 2016

Night of the Dead

It was really early in the morning when the sirens woke him up.  Rubbing his eyes to clear up his vision Bill wandered up to his window to peek out into the street.  There was all kinds of activity!  Some were his neighbors out walking around, and then there was some that he didn't recognize.  Maybe it was from suddenly being woken up from a deep slumber, he wasn't sure, but there was something that just didn't seem right about those people wandering around in the street.

The half-man dragging himself down the sidewalk was his first clue that his mind was starting to  make sense of it all.  The streets were full of walking dead!!  Bill crept through the house without turning on any lights and made sure all the doors were locked.  He crawled into bed and settle back for a sleep.  Hopefully this was just some weird nightmare and he would wake up in the morning with everything back to normal.

Many moons ago I got into a little bit of zombie gaming.  Painted up a few zombies and survivors so I could host some games for several buddies.  It didn't last long and we all moved on to other interests.  As such, I never finished painting my zombie "horde".  I was actually considering selling all this off when the new season of The Walking Dead suddenly kicked everyone back into a zombie frenzy.  Enough so that some of my friends expressed interest in playing some zombie games.

So, as I mentioned in my last post there was a chance something might creep it's way from the lead pile and jump ahead of my last batch of 10mm Dwarves.  And here they are... some more zombies.  This batch of 9 brings my total horde to 36.  Looking at the old ones though I have a severe desire to repaint them.  It is surprising how much my painting skills have improved over the last 4-5 years.  Those old zombie paint jobs are painful to look at!!

* It's past midnight here and I'm a bit lazy on my picture taking because I'd like to crawl into bed now.  Please pardon the washed out pictures... but I really wanted to post this in time for Halloween.

Happy Halloween friends!


Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Tunguska Interventors (Infinity)

In my last post I mentioned that I got to try Infinity, by Corvus Belli for the first time.  It was just a small introductory game with 3 figures per side.  Just enough to get a taste for the game.  I enjoyed the game, but seeing the figures reminded me just how much I had always been impressed with this range of miniatures.

So I got home and went rummaging through my lead pile.  I remembered that I had purchased a box of their figures on a whim earlier this year.  I have a favorite game store here in town, but it's about a 45 minute drive for me.  So on the rare occasions I make the trip I always plan on purchasing something (just to rationalize that drive!).  Anyway, I was looking through stuff in the store and saw robot pandas!  I didn't have a lot of knowledge about the game of Infinity, which faction was which, or even what was needed to play.  I just wanted to paint some robot pandas because I thought they looked fun.

So there in my lead pile was the box of Tunguska Interventors of the Nomads faction.  They are computer hackers, as I understand it now, that specialize in electronic warfare.  But most importantly they have fast pandas.  No idea what they do, but I plan to find out.

Anyway, here they are... and what looks like my start into the world of Infinity.

This picture was taken by my wife.  I think she did a damn good job.  I'd hire her to take all my pictures, but I apparently can't afford it.  Oh well...

After this back to the little Dwarves... although... there may be something else creeping into the lead pile.  This remains to be seen... muahahaha.


Sunday, October 16, 2016

Dwarves from a Distance

I have completed two more units of Dwarves for my Warband army.  These are both ranged units.

First up is a unit of archers (which also includes crossbow and handgunners).

And then some heavy artillery, with both direct fire cannons and a couple of mortars.

This leaves me with 3 units of warriors to finish up my starter army.  Each has 18 figures a stand so I think they'll look pretty impressive in this scale!  It's fun to see this project coming along.

On the gaming front, I did get to play an introductory game of Infinity by Corvus Belli.  One of my new gaming buddies is playing it, and wanted to introduce me and another friend to it.  It was fun and had some neat mechanics.  I may end up picking up some figures just to get some regular gaming in again.

Hope you are all doing well!

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Pony Riders of Bofflard

The stout little ponies that come from the Bofflard region are easily recognized by their smaller size and shaggy coats, but are mostly known throughout the region for their rugged nature and sure-footed gait.  They may not have the speed of the larger horse breeds, but can travel greater distances and especially cover ground on more difficult terrain.  The Pony Riders of Bofflard provide the Dwarven army both scouts while marching and a unit of reliable troops in battle.

Another unit of 10mm Dwarves from Pendraken Miniatures are done.  This leaves me with a 5 more units to paint from my initial purchase.

1 unit of ranged (archers, crossbows, and some blunderbusses)
1 unit of artillery (cannons and mortars)
3 units of infantry

These little guys are pretty fast to paint, but my schedule right now doesn't give me a lot of time to paint.  At least with the 10mm I fill like I'm accomplishing something with my reduced painting time!


Sunday, September 11, 2016

Heart of the Mountain

Hey friends, sorry for a bit of delay.  Turns out I needed a bit of a break from painting and everything else.  Now, I think I'll be back on track... so here we go.  First off, I'll give my Dwarves I showed you a few posts back, but this time with a proper introduction!

King Braggust Coalfist VI

King Coalfist listened attentively to the latest report from General Thorgeld Bromlow while the anger he felt slowly began to creep into his expression.  When the report had finished, he spat upon the floor and looked first at General Thorgeld, and then the rest of the assembly.  He measured his voice and said, "That foul Lich Shilvain and his minions have tainted our borders with their stench for too long.  It is time we showed them that the Dwarves of Halvoskaar are no mere fleas to be picked at and smashed."  He rose from his thrown and all the assembled Dwarves bowed before him.  He exclaimed, "Rise my warriors!  Call forth the clans!  Assemble the armies for we march to meet Shilvain and his accursed horde!"

Heart of the Mountain

Whenever the Dwarves of Halvoskaar march to war the King will command his Grand Mage to retrieve the Heart of the Mountain.  The Grand Mage will take his entourage into the Mine of Basvick  to search for a large piece of rock that has magical properties.  The Geomancers will shape runes upon the stone that aid the mages in battle.  Although the Heart of the Mountain is merely symbolic, and not some ancient relic, many enemy armies have wasted valuable troops and resources to seek it's destruction in battle.

Here you can see the Heart of the Mountain with two rock Guardians (who also carry it around the battlefield).  In addition there are several mages and geomancers.

Next up on the list will be the Riders of Bofflard on their stout ponies.
(the OCD side of me is screaming right now that they don't all line up on the sticks!!)

See you soon!

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Rod's Big Adventure!

Hello friends!

I'm very excited to say that Rod's Big Adventure begins tomorrow.  

I'm headed to Beijing, China to study Kung Fu for two weeks.  10 full days of training basically from dawn til dusk.  My wife and I are headed there a few days early to get in some shopping and see some of the sites.  I'm very excited to get to see The Great Wall in person!

As for the training, I'll be studying 4 different styles: Baguazhang, Tong Bei Quan, Six Harmonies Praying Mantis, and a Shaolin long staff style called "mad demon staff".  Two weeks really isn't a long enough time to master anything obviously, but it is a great opportunity to learn from different Chinese Masters.  Just seeing them go through the movements should be educational in itself. It will be some grueling training, but a very exciting opportunity.

Anyway, I'm not sure what all is blocked in China (Facebook, Google+, etc...) so I'll probably not see any of your posts for about 3 weeks.  In that time, stay well friends!  I look forward to catching up on all your hobby accomplishments when I return.


Sunday, July 17, 2016

Patrol Angis - An AAR and Thoughts on the Game

I have gotten several games of Patrol Angis played through now.  4 solo games and 1 with my buddy Darby using the miniatures from the starter set I bought a while back.  First I'll let you have a look at the game I played this evening.

Scenario:  The Prydian Forces (Red/White) are planning to break through a defensive position setup by the League of Yordan (Green/Yellow).

League of Yordan starting positions...

The Prydian Assault.

For the first turn of the scenario, I gave the Prydian forces the initiative.  They did a normal die roll to determine the number of activation tokens to be issued out to the two sides.  The Prydian forces move up one of their assault rifle teams and hit the enemy team on the hill.  The fire is devastating, killing over half the enemy team.  They fail morale and lost their activation token.  A good start for the Prydians!

The League of Yordan troops send in the Duxis battlesuits and hit the assault rifle team pretty hard.  This takes up their one activation for the turn.  The Prydians had put 2 activations on their support weapon team, so they moved up and on the second activation hit the Duxis battlesuits managing to put down the suit with the howitzer.  Things are looking even better!

During the 2nd turn, using a their jump jets the Prydian close assault team gets in a close as they can to hit the support weapon team on the hill.  Sadly their fire is pretty ineffective (only 1 casualty) due to having to snap-shot on the run.

The 3rd turn is a hard swing in favor of the League.  They have too much fire power.  Especially with the Espaten team on the far hill.  The large mounted lasers rip the assault team to shreds leaving only 1 survivor.

The remaining Duxis have also been doing some cleanup work on their end.  Finishing off the Prydian support weapons team and the assault rifle team.

The Prydian leader calls for the retreat.

Meanwhile, the poor soldier left on the hill offers the enemy a chance of surrender...

Patrol Angis Thoughts...

I have to say I really like this game.  It definitely holds to it's claim of being a One-Hour Wargame.  The action is fast and brutal.  Cover is very important for survival, but it basically comes down to the fact that if you can shoot someone, they can shoot you back.  So if you don't like taking heavy casualties, this game will be tough  for you!

Another thing that's pretty important in this game is winning initiative.  Not only do you get an extra activation.  But you get to pick all the casualties that a both sides take during that turn.  As in the case of the first round when the Prydian support unit managed a total of 5 wounds on the 3 Duxis battlesuits.  Each Duxis has a total of 5 damage points it can take before being destroyed.  If the Yordan player had the initiative, they could have distributed the 5 wounds between the 3 Duxis figures and kept them all in action.  Instead the Prydian player had initiative and was able to put them all on one Duxis, and also picked the one with the indirect fire weapon (that ignores cover bonuses)!

There's quite a bit of flexibility in how you can create your forces.  It certainly lends itself to a space opera feel.  One thing I have noticed with the starter though, is that it's pretty easy for this game to get imbalanced.  5 games so far and the Prydians have lost every game.  I think I can even it up pretty soon with a few tweaks once I get some new troops painted up.  But the warning here is if you don't have friends that like a gentlemanly game, it could be very frustrating.

I'm looking forward to tweaking my armies and getting some more games in.  I also picked up the new vehicle rules so I'm sure there will be some more heavy hitters appearing on the battlefield as well.

Have a good week friends!