Monday, December 31, 2018

2018 Year In Review

2018 was a better year for gaming for me than 2017. I was able to return to my normal allotment of hobby time and enjoyed the hobby immensely this year. The title picture for this post is my massive terrain project, the Salerno Tobacco Factory - part of our club's Operation Avalanche game day this year. the complex includes seven scratch-built factory buildings, five ruined buildings, customized Pegasus Hobbies craters, and a scratch-built road. Other terrain items created this year were another scratch-built WWII bunker and another European Town House for WWII.

Painting totals were also up over last year's effort and back closer to my usual annual averages. 28mm Figures were mostly Saga Crusades figures for my Eastern Princes force, but also included a significant amount of Luftwaffe Field Division troops (43) and various support teams for my British and German WWII armies (62). Finally I also painted up some Napoleonic figures for my Austrian army, four more artillery pieces and some Grenzer command stands.  28mm armor completed this year consisted of three British and six German armor pieces. The latter all but finishes up my German WWII army.

Purchased painted figures and vehicles both totaled much less than I painted. Figures were primarily Napoleonics and vehicles were a mix of German and British armor.

Totals for this year are as follows:

  • Painted 28mm figures: 183
  • Painted 28mm vehicles: 9
  • Terrain/Misc created: 59
  • Purchased painted 28mm figures: 60
  • Purchased painted 28mm vehicles: 3
  • Games Hosted: 6
  • Games Played: 15

Goals for 2019 are to paint the remaining single motorcycle to complete my German WWII army, finish up my Eastern Princes Saga army and start a Militates Christie force. I would also very much like to start working on expanding my French Napoleonic infantry so I can host some Napoleonic Electronic Brigadier games this year.

Here's hoping that each of you have a happy 2019. May your dice always roll well....

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Northern Conspiracy December 2018 Game Night

Last night our club had it's December game night. This is a fairly rare treat as it requires that a Friday fall between Christmas and New Years not on one of the holidays. About two out of every seven years works out.

I played in Greg's Chain of Command early war game which pitted French against the invading German blitzkrieg forces. I was on the German side with Kevin and visiting guest Adam. Opposite us were Michael, Byron and Phil playing the French. I took a small flanking infantry command. Kevin commanded our Panzer IIIs and Adam took the center infantry which bore the brunt of the French attack. Opposite Adam were Phil and Michael sharing the French foot with Byron commanding the French Hotchkiss H-35 tanks.

Early in the battle Byron pressured one of Kevin's tanks which retreated off the table. Byron kept the pressure on causing repeated critical hits on Kevin's remaining two tanks but never could finish them off. In the duel Kevin with help from Adam's anti-tank rifle was eventually able to even the score knocking out Byron's command tank, but as dusk set, the four tanks were still slugging it out.

On the opposite flank, the bulk of the infantry fighting occurred. Adam was outnumbered 3:2 here, and although my infantry poured fire into the French all game, they didn't receive any incoming fire, which meant Adam's flank most unit took it all, eventually being destroyed. Michael followed that up with a charge into the gap in our line eliminating a commanding officer and ADC, but then fleeing from the empty hill due to casualties received in the melee.

As the battle drew to a close, the French got the best of the day, but at a stiff price. Casualties were fairly equal with the French being more successful in focusing all casualties on a single enemy unit while the German's spread theirs out a bit more evenly.

The other game for the evening with Peter running another of his plains wars games. Peter brought some new hills and his table and figures looked excellent!

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Last of the 28mm German Armor

These are the last three pieces of German armor for my 28mm WWII collection. I may add more in the future, but these were the last un-painted vehicles I have. I had thought these would be the last figures in the army, but when going through my unpainted lead I found a single German motorcycle still left. I had thought I could use it in my Finnish army, but after doing some research, I couldn't find any evidence that any German motorcycles made it up to the Lapland. I guess that means it will be the last to be painted.

These are two Warlord Hetzer assault guns and a Trenchworx Models Grille Ausf K. The Hetzers are painted in field-applied three-color cammo. I wasn't up to painting the factory hard-edge cammo, and considering the rest of my army is in three-color late war cammo, I went with that instead. The Grille self-propelled artillery is in two color squiggle cammo. I've applied a liberal amount of dust and grime using Mig pigments. Some of which will rub off over time to more closely match those I painted earlier (shown below).

I'm a big fan of the Czech Panzer 38t tank. Unfortunately, they are inappropriate for my late war German force. That said, the Germans used this excellent chassis for many conversions. Here is a family photo of all of the variants that I own models for left to right: Flakpanzer 38t (Warlord conversion), Marder III, Hetzer, Hetzer (all three Warlord) and Grille Ausf K (Trenchworx).

The only late-war variant that I don't have is the SdKfz 140/1 Aufklärungspanzer which was made by putting the SdKfz 222's turret on a Panzer 38t chassis for use in a reconnaissance role.  Seventy of those were built, so it's possible that I may do a kit bash of one just for completeness.

Below are some photos and a panorama video of my German WWII collection so far. My hopes is anything else I add will still allow the collection to fit on the one shelf in my display cabinet. I guess that means I should be very prudent with future purchases. Hopefully my British collection will catch up with the Germans soon.

Monday, December 17, 2018

28mm Eastern Princes Warriors for Saga

I'm a big fan of warrior units in Saga. I like the balance of durability, offensive power and number of figures. My Eastern Princes box set only came with one unit of eight warriors. This is a second unit that I made up by converting some Gripping Beast Pagan Rus warrior figures. Some only required a shield swap. Some required carving off the rectangular shields more characteristic of the Pagan Rus and some were used as-is. Decals are more LBMS from the same batch as my other figures.

Next up on the painting table, some German WWII armor. They've been on the table since before I started the Saga figures, but were stalled due to me needing to order some air brush parts. Now that the parts have arrived, the armor should be next to finish.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Saga Civilians

 These are the civilian figures from Gripping Beasts pack "SSC01 - Baggage for the Escort Scenario". I've painted them up in mostly brown and homespun clothing with leather capes. All but one is carrying the farm implements from the pack. The last I replaced with a spear because I broke the lead cast pitchfork it came with by accident. I'll use these as a unit of four (4) civilians where required by Saga's Book of Battles. Next up on the painting table is a unit of eight Rus warriors.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

NROW Game at Charlie's

Last night my friend Charlie invited a group of us to his gaming loft to play a game of Napoleon's Rules of War. Charlie is working on version two of the rules and had some changes he wanted to test. The general consensus was overwhelmingly positive. Charlie has made improvements in the combat resolution matrix and to national doctrine differences.

For the game I was placed in the French center. I've mostly played Austrians lately, so playing French gave me a fresh perspective. Ralph and Rob made a big push towards my left flank, right of Earl's battery. I reinforced this area with one reserve battalion and a field battery. With Earl's help we held up to Rob's initial attacks, but as our artillery ammunition ran low, Ralph's second wave of the white menace was much more successful, mostly eliminating my forces in that area. To my right I had slightly more success helping Byron eliminate two of Charlie's units. At the end it appeared that the Austrians had the better of the battle with a good solid center.

Byron's cavalry was mostly in tact, so if it were a real battle. disengaging safely would probably have been an option for the French. As far as casualties went Rob on the Austrian side and I on the French side suffered the highest losses. Fun game, great evening with friends. Thanks Charlie!

Friday, December 14, 2018

Saga Objectives

While waiting for my Saga Book of Battles to arrive, I decided to start to work on what I thought I might need to play some of the new scenarios. My starting point was the Gripping Beast pack "SSC01 - Baggage for the Escort Scenario". The two carts shown here are from that pack as is the scattered baggage around the smaller cart. The civilians from the pack will be based individually as the civilian unit of four figures called for in the new Book of Battles. Those will be the subject of a future post.

The cows will fulfill the 'livestock' requirement for some of the scenarios. For those scenarios each player is expected to provide three bases of animals. With many new players in our group, it made sense for me to base up six bases worth of animals. The figures are O-gauge pre-painted model railroad figurines, given a quick magic wash, matte overcoat and based. I'm counting the wagons and basing as six figures in the painting totals for the year.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Lithuanian Hearthguards for Saga

These are two points of Lithuanian hearthguard for my Eastern Princes Saga army. The figures are Old Glory's ME-37 Lithuanian Light Cavalry from their Mongols in Europe line. Side to side with Gripping Beast these are quite compatible. Gripping Beast figures are a bit more stout, but size is similar for height. Shield transfers are more Little Big Man transfers.

Although these are sold as 'light cavalry', the Lithuanians used hides and leather armor almost exclusively during the early part of this period, so I'm comfortable with calling these hearthguards. They'll also be appropriate for mounted warriors should I choose to field the Lithuanians using a Mongol list representing the Lithuanian forces that fought the Mongols primarily on horseback. I'm counting these as 16 figures in the painting totals. Next up on the painting table are some scenario objectives for the Saga escort scenario.