Monday, July 15, 2019

Owl's Head Transportation Museum

This past week my wife and I vacationed in Thomaston, Maine visiting family. While there we visited the Owl's Head Transportation Museum in nearby Owl's Head Maine. My primary interest in the Museum was the collection of flying replica WWI aircraft as well as several original WWI items, including Crosses from a German plane shot down by Maine WWI ace and former Maine Govenor, Sumner Sewall.  This is a well maintained and active museum. The collection includes a running gnome rotary engine that they run for demonstration purposes and flying WWI replicas in 1:1 scale. The collection also includes many WWI-era cars and trucks as well as other era vehicles. Well worth a visit for any fan of turn of the century transportation.

For many more photos, see this Google Gallery.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

Northern Conspiracy July 2019 Game Night

This past Friday was our Club's monthly game night. Being the 75th anniversary of D-day it was decided to do a D-Day theme night. It seems that it was an EXCELLENT idea as attendance was very good.

I played in Mark D's Cruel Seas game which re-created the German attack on the southern screen of the Allied armada. I was put on the Allied team and was assigned the task of piloting the target ships, mainly to eliminate the possibility of me running more ships aground (see my prior two X-wing posts). My command consisted of a landing craft gun boat, a control craft, an armored trawler and a tanker. The landing craft gun boat ended up being a VERY capable ship.

Mike and Art filled out the allies taking our PT boats and Fast 'D' boats. Ross and Chris took the Germans each with a larger craft and a fist full of German Fast 'E' boats.

Early on long-range torpedo shots FILLED the seas. While most of these were dodged, a few would bear fruit later in the game.

My Landing Craft Gunboat took some long-range pot shots with its 4.7" guns and scored some lucky critical hits on the German destroyer neutralizing it for a couple of turns. I kept pouring on the firepower and Mike eventually finished off the crippled boat with a torpedo from his D-boats.

In the center Ross' E-boats took out one of Mike's D-boats with gunnery, while Art exacted revenge doing similarly to one of Ross' E-boats with his American PT boats. In the end the sinking of the German destroyer sealed the engagement for the allies.

Dick and Greg teamed up to host a beautiful looking game of Chain of Command. The battle was the classic capturing of the outskirts of Carentan features in the HBO Series 'Band of Brothers' episode 3 of the same name.

According to Dick this one was in the balance right up to the end when the Germans pulled off some gutsy defense blunting the Airborne defense in the building complex.

Filling out the trio of land, sea and air, Phil ran a game of Bandits High in the air over the invasion. As this game was coming to a crescendo I was busy dodging torpedoes in my game and unfortunately didn't get any good photos of the furball  at the end.

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Another Shameless Plug

I've listed a bunch of lots of un-painted 15mm WWII figures on Ebay. Time to clear out some of my 'dead lead' that I don't think I'll ever get to now that my eyes are going and I'm mostly painting 28mm for WWII.

Please check out the auctions here. I've also included some teaser photos in this post.

Monday, June 3, 2019

More 'Deadeye Jedi' X-wing Games

Friday we played some more X-wing 2.0. First game pitted Rob and Bob against Ralph, with Charlie and I facing off. I played Darth Vader and a cluster of Tie Fighters against Charlie's four X-wing list that includes a couple of Red squadron aces. Charlie jousted my four Ties with two X-wings, which I foolishly accepted thinking I had the upper hand. The engagement lost me a tie instantly and another a turn later. The rest of the game was clean-up for Charlie. I never touched him! Well played, he even kept away from Vader mostly making him irrelevant.

Game two Charlie and Ralph teamed up with Charlie's four X-wing list, each taking a blue squadron pilot and one of the better pilots. I brought an Imperial Aces list with Vader, Soontir Fel and Whisper.

I was pretty sure this list required far more skill than I posses, but I managed to not mess too many things up. Ralph and Charlie out-played me early with a quick turn on Vader and Soontir which forced me into hard decisions barrel rolling out of some arcs, but insuring I'd be going spelunking over some asteroids the following turn. I got lucky with my evades and mostly got out unscathed.

Following my rock adventure, I was able to use the Aces' maneuverability to my advantage. K-turning over the rocks ahead I was able to eliminate one of Charlie's X-wings. I think Ralph and Charlie mostly expected me to turn out. The trip over the rock cost me a health on Soontir and Vader, but was worth it for the surprise factor. Following this, Ralph's Wedge made an aggressive move K-turning over a debris cloud (maybe it was a sloop? not sure), double stressing him. With Whisper on his six, that made him a primary target for Whisper who took him out in a couple turns before he cleared all the stress.

On the other table in the second game, Bob's four fang fighter squadron Took on Rob's YT-2400 Outrider and two X-wing list. Bob jousted the YT-2400 and chewed through it in a single turn pumping out 11 damage in total. Fangs do love to joust! Rob's remaining X-wings made it close in the end taking out a fang for revenge.

Fun night again with X-wing 2.0. Next game might be a larger group on my 'big table' that can handle up to four separate games simultaneously.

Not miniature related, but on Saturday I did a little woodworking for a charity auction that's at a conference my wife will be attending in a couple weeks. This bottle opener and wine stopper set are turned from an interesting wood - the root of a fruit apple tree. I recovered this root and some of the branch wood from a storm damaged apple tree that blew down on a friend's property.

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Deadeye Jedi X-wing night

Last Friday we got together for another 'Deadeye Jedi' X-wing night. A bunch of us bring lists and play some games. Five of us showed up so we played two games, one with 2 vs 1 with the two sharing a list. I played my 'Tractor Factory' list against Bob and Rob who flew Rob's four T-70 X-wing list.

I didn't give Bob and Rob much of a fight. They played well coming in from both flanks, and I mostly crashed all my ships into rocks and themselves until I was dead. At time I had two ships left, and had caused zero damage to the enemy. I think I have a lot of practice needed to play large base ships. Still Rob and Bob both played well and even had I been competent, they probably would have won easily. In X-wing, flanks are good.

For the second game of the night, Bob let me share half of his clone squadron. We flew against Steve who flew an effective Scum list with two aces: Guri and Talonbane Cobra filled with a second Star Viper and a Z-95. Steve flew great and the Star Vipers were the star of the show in my mind. I never got a shot on Guri while she danced behind my list with ease.

I flew more ships onto rocks, being far too heavy for Bob to carry me. At least I got one kill, finishing off the final hull on Talonbane Cobra after Bob did most of the damage on him. My love for the 'ugly' Arc-170 was softened a bit after playing with them. At 1 agility they're quite fragile despite all the hull and shields they carry.

I am very much enjoying that although there is a high amount of luck in X-wing games, like poker, the outcome of most games still goes in favor of the player who played best. In both games this night, no amount of 'hot dice' would have saved me from defeat. Poor play yields poor results. The answer - more solo practice at home!

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

The Last Nazis

These are the last figures I've painted to complete my 28mm late-war German army. The title is a bit of social engineering - a test to see what Google does with it.

Looking back through the blog, it appears that I started working on this army in February of 2014. A little over five years later I've finally painted the very last un-painted German 28mm lead from my stash. It's not often that I completely finish an army. Often I paint 'enough' figures then have a box full of dead lead to paint 'later'. This army has WAY more figures and vehicles painted than I ever could use in any single game, but the selection allows for many scenarios.

The only thing on my 'wish list' for the army would be an 88 and a prime mover half track to tow it. I'm waiting for the upcoming Rubicon boxed set for those.

The models are one Warlord and one Artisan motorcycle blister. The two will pair up with the one I painted earlier to make a Kradschützen patrol. 28mm motorcycles have their issues - mostly being fiddly to assemble and somewhat fragile. I've mounted these on round bases to help with both of these issues. Other than that they were straight forward to paint up.

Next up on the painting table some Crusades spear-armed foot for Saga. Long-term goals will be to clear out the un-painted Saga lead, finish up my British WWII army and then move on to French Napoleonics.

I'm counting this as six 28-mm figures painted for my annual painting totals.

Monday, May 20, 2019

Electronic Brigadier - Freeman's Farm Game at Huzzah! 2019

This past weekend I ran a Freeman's Farm game using my Electronic Brigadier computer-moderated rules. This scenario has been tweaked over the years and after tuning is now great as an attack and defend scenario.

The British in this game used their reserves well, punching a hole in the middle of the American lines driving Morgan's rifles and several other units off the table. On the flanks the British suffered due to allowing the American militia units too much respect which allowed the minute men the ability to pour volley after volley of fire into the British. Flank attacks in the dense woods on both flanks while successful, were too slow to impact the battle's outcome.

In the end the British won the battle decisively, but at a cost similar to the historic battle - opening the door for a later successful American attack from Bemis heights.

I had the luxury of having all great players, many with Electronic Brigadier experience from previous conventions. Game play was at a very high level for a convention game. Hats off to all who played!

End of game statistics (28 turns played):
British Forces

Army cohesion: 68.6%
Total Casualties: 479 / 4427 (10.8%)
4 units dispersed
2 shaken units

Honors to: 112 - 20th Foot

American Forces

Army cohesion: 68.3%
Total Casualties: 442 / 4205 (10.5%)
4 units dispersed
1 routed units
2 shaken units

Honors to: 211 - 1st New Hampshire

Videos of the Game

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Medieval Armed Peasants and Monks

These 13 figures are from Old Glory's Dark Ages line from two packs 'Armed Peasants and Angry Monks' and 'Peasants With Farm Implements'. I've painted them up to be used as a unit of 'Fanatical Pilgrims' for my Saga Crusades armies. I figured if pilgrims were going to be fanatical they'd probably have some religious figures accompanying them. The thirteenth figure on the left can serve dual purpose as a Christian priest for those Saga armies allowed to take one.