Thursday, December 31, 2015

Memoir in Sicily

Bruce dropped by today for some holiday gaming so I pulled together two Memoir 44 scenarios in order to my 1/72-scale figures on the table. I found two Sicily scenarios on the web and started putting together the armies. To my amazement, I didn't have enough Canadian tanks!

I found four diecast Shermans that Tim had sent me and quickly primed and painted them. After I applied the matt sealer, I noticed all four started to get a crackled finish. I've never seen this before. About the only explanation I can come up with was that I didn't let the primer cure adequately. I'll need to do some more washing to try and dull that down some.

The first scenario we played was Regulato: The Canadians must take the town and the Germans need to get off the board to the west (left). Bruce's attack was devastating and things quickly got desperate for the Germans. I think Bruce won 6-0? It was bad.

We switched sides and Bruce played a lovely holding action. He sacrificed his tanks  to tie up the Canadians while shuttling his infantry off the exit point. The Canadians managed to eke out  a 6-5 win. Note the model railroad quality road net I put together...

The second game Leonforte and Assoro. The neat thing about the scenario was the key objectives for the Canadian were on the left and right flanks. The board was also bisected (left to right) by a river which funnelled the attacks onto the two bridges that lead into the towns.

Bruce had a heck of a time as the Canadians. First, an Italian tank rampaged on his west flank which pretty much forced him to play on the east side of the board. On the east side he got mauled badly trying to push an attack across the bridge. Not his fault--there wasn't much he could do but keep feeding troops in. Eventually the body count gave the game to the Germans.

We switched sides. On my west, the light tank took a pounding from Bruce's spoiling attack.  Not sure what the figure to the right of the tank is doing ("Barnetson's in charge? I'm out."). I was okay with the west flank bogging down as I intended to push the right.

I ran into the same issues Bruce did in terms of a killing zone, but I managed to get enough tactics cards put together (firefight, armoured attack, armoured attack, and one other) to get over the water and rampage with my tanks. It was a close game.

Up next: I have the club on Tuesday and I might bring out a Memoir game. Maybe an early war game? I also have some Battlelore figures that I am painting.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

2015 retrospective and 2016 plans

 So 2015 was a pretty good year for gaming. Looking at the stats I kept on Board Game Geek (and excluding playing card games), I played CCA (8) and CCN (4) the most. After that it was a mixed bag, including Bang! (8), Power Legion (7), DBA (7) and Long Street (6).

A notable trend is the number of wargame set in North America, including Long Street (6), 1812: The Invasion of Canada (3), A Few Acres of Snow (3). Amateurs of Arms (2), Wilderness Empires (2), Clash for a Continent (1), New York 1776 (1) and The Struggle for New France (1).

This next year my plans include painting out the figures I have and thinning out my collection of games (I have a lot of games we don’t play). First up painting-wise is my first edition game of Battlelore. I have about 200-odd figures that I’m priming.

After than I need to make some decisions about the remainder of the 1/72-scale WW2 figures I got from Tim. There are a few more to rebase, lots of unpainted plastic and a fairly large number of older model kits (anyone need 9 unbuilt Panzer 4 with skirts from ESCI?).

I’d also like to expand my collection of 54mm AWI guys in anticipation of Richard Borg eventually releasing a SYW variant for Commands and Colors.

Gaming-wise, I have a tonne of CCA and Memoir scenarios I’d like to work my way through.

-- Bob Barnetson

Monday, December 28, 2015

1/72-scale Soviet foot

Blessedly, I have reached the end of re-basing Tim's Soviet infantry! Whew. There were over 100 single figures to do in order to flesh out the Memoir units I was creating.

I picked out what I think are the most distinctive poses. These are a mixture of plastics and metals.

Some of the plastics are quite stocky and I wonder if they are Plastic Soldier Company?

Others looks like ESCI plastics. Who made the middle guy below with the coat and winter hat?

Overall, this is an impressive army of Russians!

Up next: A 2015 wrap-up, some 2016 plans and then on to some Battlelore figures.

Sunday, December 27, 2015

1/72-scale Soviet Naval Infantry

Continuing with the Soviet theme, today I have a bunch of naval infantry. Again, these guys were painted by Tim in Saskatoon and I just rebased them for Memoir.

There are some interesting poses. Below there is a guy with a rifle grenade (right) and a Molotov cocktail (back right).

Not sure what this giant gun (below) is (anti-tank rifle?) but I feel for the guy who is the human bipod.

I also based three cavalry that Tim painted. He black lines by hand (rather than relying on washes) and the effect is striking.

Up next: Tomorrow I will have the last of the Soviet foot finished. Then I'm onto some cleaning, a year-end wrap-up and then some plans for 2016 (including painting out my pile).

Saturday, December 26, 2015

1/72-scale Russian ATGs

I pushed a few more bases of Russians to completion yesterday. These are some anti-tank guns (45mm?) that I got from Tim in Saskatoon.

He did a very nice job with the figures.

I also based this AA gun.

And I painted up some 10mm wall sections I picked up from JR Miniatures. These will be used to indicate fortified positions in Memoir. The height is a bit low the length is right for my 4-inch hexes.

Up next: The rest of the Russians are almost dry. First up will be a bunch of naval troops. Then some regular Ivans. Then onto something different.

Friday, December 25, 2015

1/72-scale Russians

With the more stressful portion of Christmas finished, a young boy's thoughts return to re-basing some 1/72-scale Soviets I got from Tim Brown this summer. As one might expect, there are a lot of these guys. I put 120-odd of them on four-man bases like these.

Some are infantry and some are heavier weapons. These form the core of the Memoir 44 units I'm building. The rest of the figures (about 100?) are on washers and basing is underway.

Tim did a really nice job of painting these. He has a very steady hand and a good sense of the right colour. My Soviet's are never quiet khaki enough. 

Up next: A bunch more Soviets (including some naval infantry). And perhaps some games of SmallWorld with the family. Then maybe some terrain.

Thursday, December 24, 2015

1/72-scale Italians and Russian tanks

With work having come to a stand-still, I decided I would make another blog post pre-Christmas. I finally finished a bunch of ESCI Italians for the ETO.

There are 100 of these guys. Some are based as a group. The figures were kind of meh (older poses) and the Italian ETO uniform was boring. So I spend some time shading. You can see it most clearly on the pants and putties of the rifleman below.

The majority of the troops I based singly as casualty removal markers for Memoir 44. Are there any scenarios with Italian troops--either in Italy or Russia? Might be a good game for January at the club.

I also built and painted four Russian tanks. I picked up a pair of heavy KV tanks from Pegasus. These were quick build kits. Kind of fiddly suspension systems (just lots to line up) but they cam with 4 turrets (allowing them to built as KV 1s or 2). I built both turrets for both tanks.

The KV-1 option included additional armour plating for later war (left below) which I added to one KV-1 turret and not the other. What they really need are some decals and, to my surprise, I have none. Perhaps a fellow gamer has some red stars or patriotic slogans in 15mm or 20mm they want to bring to the club on January 5?

I also bought a pair of armour fast T-34s. Terrible, terrible instructions (even given that they were quick builds). Nice enough tanks. There is more surface detailing that you see in the picture.  They came out a bit more minty green than intended so I will dirty them up I think.

Up next: A bunch of Russian foot troops. Then I'm not sure. I keep thinking I should paint my Battlelore figures.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Some games for sale!

My plan this year is to get rid of a bunch of stuff I have not been using. First up are a bunch of board games. 

Lord of the Rings cooperative game, base set. New is $60; I'd take $30.

Betrayal at House on the Hill cooperative game with tile building and differently themed story lines. New is $60; I'd take $30. SOLD!

Shadows Over Camelot cooperative game. New is $70, I'd take $30.

Wilderness Empires, new two player FIW game. New was $70; I'd take $30.

Washington's War: A reprint of We The People, the first card driven wargame. New is $60; I'd take $30. SOLD!B

Sea Kings, a viking game with quick mechanics and lots of interaction. New is $60; I'd take $30.

Mississippi Queen: Race steam boats down the Mississippi with a new race course each time you play. German edition (makes no difference) with English rules included. A good game with kids. I'd like $30.

Babylon: A tiny game (the box is 4 inches square) which has two rules and plays quickly. Free to the first person to buy a game.

Pick up is free; shipping is at cost. Will trade for first generation Battlelore figures. Offers to

Saturday, December 19, 2015

WW2 Russian Cavalry

I have come to hate painting cavalry so I put off these Russian cavalry that Tim in Saskatoon sent me this summer. To make this more fun, I tried to paint them like Tim would--with black lines and a steady hand. I don't think I have his skills (or hands), but I got reasonably close (trying to match some Russian foot he painted).

There were 18 of these guys, all metal. The horses were a mix of manufacturers (including some nice plastics ones). Only two of the skeevy old grenadier horses that I eventually tossed.

Riders and gear got a matt finish while I left the horses a touch shiny. All told, they turned out okay. They might also stand in as Polish cavalry in a pinch. Very dynamic rider poses.

Up next: A buttload of WW2 Italian plastics are underway.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Epic CCA at the club

We had a pretty good turn out at the club on Tuesday for the last games night of the year. Karl and Brad played some 28mm Napoleonics. Not sure what rules they used.

Kevin, Dave, Scott, Chen and I played a game of CCA epic (Alexander at Gaugamela). Below is a moodily lit set up from the Persia side.

Kevin and Dave won the first game using Alexander's strategy of refusing their left and breaking the Persians using the companions on the right.  The highlight for the Persians was stomping a ridiculous number of Macedonian pike with rampaging elephants. Man, we got lucky with the elephants.

Bruce and Terry played some chain reaction gangsters with Bruce's new buildings.

There was also some Warhammer 30k.

And a 28mm game of LaSalle,

The second game of CCA featured Chen jumping in to replace an ailing Kevin. This was a much closer game despite the Persian elephants having little effect.

Below was the beginning of the end. Dave and Chen are strategizing about how to win the split over the two games (we tied over two games).

Up next: Some 1/72-scale WW2 Russian cavalry and then maybe some more gaming?

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

WW2 Italians

I moved a few more 1/72-scale WW2 guys to completion. Theses are some metal Italians for the ETO that Tim in Saskatoon sent me (unpainted) this summer.

I knocked off all 24 to form the core of units for Memoir. I have about 100-odd plastics currently underway to add a few more core units plus the casualty tracking singletons.

Italian uniforms are pretty basic: grey with black and some brown trim. So they went quickly!

Up next: Some CCA Epic at the club tonight then some 1/72-scale metal Russian cavalry (???) and then back to the WW2 Italians over the Xmas break.