Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Somethin' Else Sunday: Grular for Freeblades

As a followup to the look at the Trillians by DGS Games, here is the Freeband I bought to face them in combat: The Grular!  As with the Trillians, these were all painted by Jeff (AKA Sonbae).  Thanks Jeff!

Description text in italics below taken from

Multitudes of Grular roam the world in pursuit of adventure, plunder and battle. Young Grular are raised on stories of legendary freebands and their adventures. Joining a freeband is the primary path for Grular to rise above their birth earning a greater place amongst Grular society. To the Grular roaming the world is their chance at glory and glory is the reason for living. With the release of our new Grular starter box, you are one purchase away from marshaling your own Grular free band. Be among the first to experience the thrill of marauding across Faelon for the glory of your clan, Khan and all of Grular!

Read More

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Review: Winter Log Emplacements, Gun Pits & Dug-In Markers

Battlefront was kind enough to send us some Winter Log Emplacements Dug-in Markers and some Gun Pits Log Emplacements for review.  These are being provided for the Battle of the Bulge series of books and models that are in-process.  The array of scenery items available to support this time period is very impressive.

Read More

Friday, September 28, 2012

Scenario Review: Point Defense

Scenario 3: Point Defense
The enemy positions are strategically vital for the continuation of the campaign and must be seized at all costs.

Point. Totally. Defended.

The third scenario in the Bolt Action book will be very familiar to the FoW gamers out there - Point Defense. It involves one player defending three objectives while the other player attempts to take two of the three from him.

As in every Bolt Action scenario, you will have six or seven turns to take (or defend!) those points, and you start by dicing-off with your opponent to see who will defend and who will attack. The defender gets to pick which side of the table he'll defend, then has to deploy at least half of his stuff on the board.

We've probably talked a lot about Reserves in Bolt Action in the past, but it bears repeating: Reserves are a lot different than other games you might be used to. (I'm looking squarely at you, FoW guys!) You're able to start rolling for each Reserve unit that come from your table edge almost immediately, but more significant are the Outflanking Maneuvers you can have your Reserves performing. Remember, those Outflanking Maneuvers (henceforth "OM") essentially allow you to move your units across the table without being fired at. Cool!

How is this better than simply standing on the ground and firing? Oh, I know - triceps toning.

I don't think an OM is necessarily a no-brainer as the defender. He's going to deploy half his force, covering three objectives that are no closer than 6" to the table edge and no closer than 24" of each other. Yes, astute reader, if you're playing on the Citadel Battlemat we all use (or any other 4x6 area), this means they will generally be positioned similarly, game to game. The defender has to spread his forces out to cover these objectives, and the attacker needs to take two of the three to win. So putting many units into OM is risky, as you need those units near the threatened objective. Your well laid plan to OM the left flank might sound great before the game starts; before the attacker shows you he's pushing the right flank, and your OM is worthless, hanging out there on the left.

No sir, I would bet leaving the majority of those units that must be held in Reserve in good ol', boring, Reserve is what will happen generally. This will allow those units to rapidly react to the area the attacker is pushing. That being said, I could imagine a defender taking a chance and leaving one objective totally undefended, while focusing on defending two.

Lots of cover saves up in there; I would not want to attack into that.

Since the attacker needs to take two out of three to win, and the defender is at a deployment disadvantage because he deploys half his units before the attacker deploys his, focusing on two objectives could be a viable option. Three infantry units, in between two objectives (objs must be 24" apart!) are better able to focus their response. Three infantry units, each covering one objective, really offer no true defense to a focused attacker.

Speaking of the attacker, I've alluded to his deployment earlier, but to be perfectly clear, after the defender sets up his "half-on" force, the game starts with the attacker moving his units on to the board as they're given orders. The attacker is given the ability to leave up to half his entire force off the table in Reserve. Why would he do this, you ask? OM!

This is where OMs might come in handy! An attacker that leaves a small unit or two in OM on the left, for example, and pushes hard on the right, might draw all the defenders to the right, leaving the left open to the OMs advance.

The defender's really in a tight spot in this scenario, but I like it a lot. Of course, I have a distaste for defending - others might think the defender's got it easy in Point Defense. I can imagine, however, that regardless of pre-game advantage, the player that will most often come out on top in Point Defense is the one that best focuses his attack (or defense) on one small area of the table. A defender completely spread out across the table is treated very differently from FoW. There are no dug-in rules in the sense that units are more survivable when defending. This scenario does offer Hidden Set-Up bonuses for the defender, but those are lost once the unit moves or fires. You need to get out of your trenches and get after that attacker! There's no such thing as "dug-in, gone to ground" in this game, baby!

Wait! I left my Lunchables in there!

Of special note, Point Defense does offer a Preparatory Bombardment for the attacker as well, so the defender will probably start the game with pin markers on his deployed units; but he was probably waiting to see the whites of the attackers' eyes before acting, regardless.

One final thing - these objectives don't "go hot" until the game ends. The defender starts off controlling all the objectives, regardless of deployment. Therefore, in a way, both players are attacking the objectives. (Whew, thought I was going to have to defend in this one!) There's nothing that says the defenders Reserves coming on from his table edge can't push an attacking unit off the recently lost objectives.

Man, I need to get some stuff on a table and roll dice angrily!

Last time I traveled to Dano's for a BA FTX, I walked behind a Sherman. It sucked. This weekend, I'm driving!

Read More

EW German Infantry vs French Infantry (Hasty Attack)

After the NOVA Open, Tom and I were feeling good about Early War again, and wanted to quickly follow up! We did, however, forget that we vowed to play infantry battles at lower points and settled on 1750. The board was set and the mission was Hasty Attack. The Frenchies naturally won to defend.
Read More

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Review: Battlefront's US Recon

We have all learned fairly quickly that recon is a must have in Flames of War Version 3.  Whether you are trying to thwart Black Juan Melia's Tank Destroyers, or No Good Dirty Jon's Marder III Ms, any good strategy needs to include the use of recon troops.  Each nationality has a variety of recon troops available for their commanders to use.  From ground pounding rifle scouts to armored cars, these sneaky World War Ninjas can pick out an ambush, reveal troops that are dug in deep, or sneak up a flank at lightning speed, giving you the advantage you need to beat your enemy.


Read More

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

NFTF Episode 45

Episode 45 and After Hours are now live!
News From the Front Episode 45 "Rick Priestley is the Man"

In this episode we are very lucky to be joined by Rick Priestley!  If you don't know who he is, google him now- you probably like something he's done!  We are joined with Judson to talk some Bolt Action before rounding out the episode by discussing some tactics around setting up assaults in Flames of War.
Read More

Afrika Korps Work in Progress

Greetings all you lovers of Bolt Action!

You might have heard that WWPD Steve is building an Afrika Korps force and an 8th Army force.  Well, I have the honor of painting those figures for him and thought I would share some work in progress pictures.

The miniatures are from Blacktree Designs.  Very clean metal figures with minimal flash.  Some of the figs did have "flash whiskers", hairlike pieces of flash, that is hard to detect if it is folded over, but easy to remove once you find it.  The detail on these figs is also very clean and crisp.

The pictures are of the first 6 of the 32 DAK figures I was able to snap while the troops were at the port of Bengazi gathering supplies.

Pistol drawn while gathering supplies at Bengazi? Officer Crankypants has spent too much time on the front, and needs a sedative. - Judson

Love the sinister, down-cast head. "I may have bermuda shorts on, but I'm a total badass." - Judson 

I still have to finish the base details on these, but will do that when I finish the entire force.

I used a 3 step painting method...Basecoat (1:1 Paint:Water), Shade (1:8 Paint:Water), and then a Hilight (1:5 Paint:Water) to build up the colors.  All colors are Vallejo.

Uniform --- 924 Russian Uniform
Helmet, Equipment--- 879 Green Brown (1941-2 colors)
Boot Uppers --- 821 German Camo Beige
Boots --- 875 Beige Brown
Webbing --- 884 Stone Grey
SMG Ammo/Breadbag --- 821 German Camo Beige
Water Bottle/E-Tool --- 875 Beige Brown

I will continue to post more as I complete major sections of Steve's Force.

SonBae (AKA Jeff Flint) is a long time gamer and painter and runs a blog at Journey Back To The Table where he posts photos of his work, reviews, BatReps and the “Painting Miniatures Declassified” modeling and painting tutorials. He is also a regular contributor at WWPD.

Read More

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Crescent Root Buildings & Church Base

For those of you who have followed WWPD for a while, this should come as no surprise: I really love Crescent Root's Buildings.  There was a time when I had one of everything they've produced!  Then came the dark days.  Crescent Root shut down for around 2 years... but recently they've come back with a vengeance!  In addition to offering an expanding line of buildings, they've reintroduced their line of "building area bases".  Today I have the opportunity to show off the redesigned terrain base designed for their excellent church (and see our review here).  Stick around after the break to see me pulling out all of my 15mm Normandy stuff.  Also be sure and check out my 28mm desert buildings and 15mm desert buildings!  
Read More

Monday, September 24, 2012

Mage Wars: A Quick Review

Mage Wars released last week. I picked up a copy out of curiosity as I hadn't heard a lot about it. It's a pretty fun game. Plays a lot like Summoner Wars or Warhammer Invasion without card drawing. It reminds me a lot of MTG from the 90's. It also includes lists for sample starter decks that I currently have built for demo purposes, but I think the game really unlocks once people can customize their stuff.

The basic premise of the game is that it's a card game, and plays a lot like MTG. However, cards take positions on a simple 4x3 layout battlefield, and have ranges and line of sight like a tactical miniatures game.

This is the board used. As you can see, it's quite large.

Unlike most other games in this genre, you don't shuffle up and draw cards. You have access to your entire deck, and you pick which spells you want each turn. Each turn, you secretly select two spells to have access to that turn. You can cast one or both of them. If unused, they go back into you're spellbook. If you cast them, they are spent for the rest of the game.

Spellbook in action. Note that the card pockets fit sleeved cards!

 There's six different types of cards. You have creatures that you summon to the battlefield to fight for you. Conjurations are like structures that you build/summon. Anything from magical power sources to stone walls. Equipment lets your mage get into the fight himself. Enhancements either buff your allies or debuff your opponent. You pay half their cost upfront, placing them facedown on the target, and pay the rest when you reveal the spell. Incantations are general utility spells...from heals to teleports. And direct damage is pretty self explanatory...

From top left to bottom right, you have creatures,conjurations, equipment, enchantments, incantations, and direct damage spells. 
Combat uses a dice system. Attacks generally roll from 2-6 red combat dice, which can either miss, do damage, or do critical damage. Critical damage cannot be avoided with armor. Some attacks also roll the yellow D12 to see if they proc a secondary effect - a fireball causing long-term burning for example. 

The dice rolled. The damage dice is a d6 with two blanks, 1 damage, 2 damage, 1 critical damage, and two critical damage (not pictured)
Like all good Euro games, you get a nice like board with cubes to keep track of the vitals.

Board used to keep track of your current mana (resource to cast spells), channeling (how much mana you get a turn), and your max health/damage taken.

Hugely important to me, everything fits back in the box, included sleeved cards!

Read More

WWPD Now Available for your Apple or Android Device!

At long last, you can listen to "News From the Front", "After Hours", "On the Road", "Know the Mission" and our brand new "Bolt Action Radio" podcast in one easy to use place!  Available for both Android and iOS!

  • Streaming access to play episodes from anywhere
  • Always updated with the latest episodes and an archived back catalog
  • Playback resume (when interrupted by a call or other distraction)
  • Access to exclusive extras like show notes, wallpapers, interviews and bonus content
  • Quick access to all the contact methods for the show like call, email, web, Facebook, and Twitter

Read More

Can't Wait To Get My Commonwealth On The Table

I'm unnecessary-sunglasses-in-the-bathtub-excited about getting Brits on the table, everybody, and I just can't hide it!

It's all thanks to this behemoth:

Engineer One: "Hey everyone, I've got this tank that shoots fire a hundred yards. I was thinking we could call it the Crocodile, since crocodiles are pretty rad."
Engineer Two: "Brilliant!"

My first army in Bolt Action was the Germans, and I'm lovin' both their appearance and their play style on the tabletop; but I recently found myself jumping into the Brits. Everyone needs at least one Axis and one Allied force for Bolt Action, right? Dano had claimed the Americans (bastard!) and his choice left me with either the Soviets or the Commonwealth forces if I was to have both an Axis and Allied force. Of course, I could have purchased Americans as well, but what's the fun in that? Gotta' mix it up!

While I think the Soviet national abilities are amazing on the tabletop - a free Inexperienced squad and morale test rerolls - I felt compelled to go with a Commonwealth force. I could try to convince you of any number of reasons why you should pick the Brits over the Soviets, but what sealed the deal for me was the dread involved in painting and modelling an extra squad. Shameful, I know.

This image shamelessly stolen from Scary Biscuits - Soviet doctrine demands one hundred anti-tank rifles for every Panzer on the field. Yep, I made that up. Soviet doctrine in Bolt Action, however, calls for at least thirty-five infantrymen, at least.

For as powerful as a completely free squad of infantry is, I had no desire to put the extra time and bucks into purchasing and painting that free squad.

I know, it sounds crazy, but I'm just not a huge fan of modelling. I love the look of two well-painted forces clashing on a tabletop, but I don't love the work required to get to that point. After modelling and painting a FoW, 1750-point Early War German army, including kradschutzen platoon, in three weeks, I feel like I've crossed every bridge I need to on this path to mini-wargaming enlightenment. Don't need to climb any more modelling/painting mountains - all set, I'm good.

On that note, my pal and teammate, Joe, is doing some commission work for me! Just another reason to be stoked to get these Commonwealthers on the tabletop! Thanks, man!

I don't know about you, but I can't even look at this work-in-progress picture without making imaginary machine gun sounds.

Alas, I didn't come here to talk about Joe's sweet work-in-progress, nor my distaste for starting a Soviet army with thirty-five infantrymen. NAY! I want to talk about the Crocodile!

German 1: "They've got a cave troll - I mean Crocodile."

Once I knew I was diving into the Brits, the first non-infantry unit I decided I'd buy for them was the ol' Croc'. While I never played a British force in Flames of War, I did log a ton of hours on Company of Heroes as them. Man, the Churchills, and eventually their Crocodile variants were fun. Big, hulking behemoths that demanded attention on the field. They're no different in Bolt Action.

To be fair, I haven't rolled Crocodile dice in anger yet, and history has proven that I'm a poor judge of unit effectiveness without first seeing what it can do on the table; but as the rules currently stand, the Croc' is the only supported option for a vehicle-mounted flame thrower. Boy, oh boy, are they worthy of consideration.

Vehicle-Mounted Flamethrower:

  • 18" range!
  • No roll to hit - the number of hits on the unit is determined by a 2D6 roll!
  • +3 PEN! (So infantry figures die on a 2+!)
  • Infantry and gun teams take D3+1 pin markers when hit by a flamethrower!
  • After resolving the hits, the target has to pass a morale test or flee the field - destroyed!
  • When damaged, the aggressor adds 1 to his die roll on the vehicle damage chart. So it's risky carting around a giant tank of flammable gel. Who knew?
  • In the Croc's case, it's slow, so you're advancing at 6".
Also Pro
  • It. Shoots. Fire. Far. SPRAY!
The Croc's expensive - weighing-in at 305 compared to the 195 a standard Cromwell will set you back - but I think it's one of the rare instances in Bolt Action where you might get your point's worth out of a heavy tank. Of course, comparing a heavy tank to a medium like the Cromwell is foolish. In comparison, a Firefly will also set you back 305. While that super-heavy AT gun it sports is nice, I feel much more comfortable driving a heavy tank with its greater armor than a medium.

See, the name of this game, when you're on the attack, at least, is to get to the opponent's side of the table. With my Germans, I find that I'm constantly tempted to sit far from their side, firing shots with my "superior" AT guns. The Croc' is going to force me to get right in there, and supported by a couple squads of infantry, it's hopefully going to be a real headache for my opponents.

Sir Winston Churchill once famously said, "An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last." I'm betting that this will prove true in Bolt Action, as well. You cannot ignore an approaching Crocodile. Your force won't last long if you allow your opponent to fire that vehicle-mounted flamethrower at multiple units. Yes, it is quite an investment, but even at 305, it possesses an incredible amount of firepower; all mounted on a heavy tank.

Those that ignore the Crocodile will regret it, but those that focus their fire on the Crocodile will leave the rest of the steadily advancing British soldiers unpinned and ready to assault. These situations, where you're not sure what the "right" answer is, are situations I strive to put my opponent in every game.

I can't wait.

Guy On Radio: "How much fuel's left? It's lunch, bro."

Read More

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Adventures of Action Jackson - Games and Stuff Sept 22

On Saturday, Alex and I traveled up to Games and Stuff for a 300pt ITS tournament for Infinity. I was actually pretty hesitant to go up, as I've been pretty focused on Flames of War and Torchlight 2 the past few days, but I was talked into it.

I took Aleph with me. My intended list was:

Achilles (LT)
Asura (Hacking plus)
Myrmidon Officer (Chain of Command, Combi Rifle)
Samekh (Guided missile launcher)
Dakini Tactbot (HMG)
3x Netrods

Upon arriving, it seemed there was some confusion upon proxies. Now, if you're not familiar with Infinity, you must realize it is very difficult to play the game with WYSIWYG. The Asura hacker is one of those models, not to mention the current model leaves a lot to be desired. So I was planning on using the new Chandra SpecOps figure in her place.

Quoting the Corbus Belli website:

Infinity Spec-Ops have no troop profile in the Army Lists, however they are the perfect proxies to be used in Infinity official tournaments of the ITS.

Apparently this wasn't good or clear enough, and myself, and several other players, were called out for using these models in our lists. So, I made a quick, on the fly adjustment and ended up playing a half-cheesy, half-horrible list instead:

Maruts (LT)
Achilles (Spitfire)
Myrmidon (Chain Rifle)
Myrmidon (Chain Rifle)
Dakini Tactbox (Combi Rifle)
3x Netrod

While is appears to be a simple 2 model swap, it changed the list drastically. I now have over 2/3 of my army points in two models - one super badass from the past, and a big stompy mecha robot. And I proceeded to pump almost every single order into them for the rest of the day...

Which now brings us to the meat and potatoes of the event. Four rounds of an ITS event using the YAMS system.

This is Action Jackson. The YAMS system requires you to bring a civilian model to be used in the games for various purposes and objectives.
Round One I played against Henry, who was playing a generic PanO list. Henry killed poor Action Jackson on turn one, but I took the game with a 5-2 in VP.

Action Jackson lost in a crystal field

Round Two I played against John, who ended up winning the event at the end of the day. Again, Action Jackson died on turn 1. My game with John ended up as a TAG vs TAG battle. Sadly, his came out on top, no thanks to me failing my repair rolls (needing a 1-15 on a d20...) A devastating 1-7 loss.

Action Jackson hiding behind a lush forest rock.
A Pan-O cutter. One of very few painted models I got to fight against.

Round Three I played against Chris, a newer player and Huzzah regular. He was playing Ariadna with 2748279789 camo markers. I "accidentally" killed Action Jackson on turn 2 with the splash damage from a heavy flamerthrower. I pulled out a 5-4 win.

Action Jackson visits a shany town.
 My last round was against Brian playing HaqqiIslam. Brian was gracious enough to give me my first fully painted opponent of the day. Sadly, he was also gracious enough to give me a 2-5 loss. In bright news, Action Jackson survived this game!

Action Jackson getting some soda.
My last opponent was the only one that greeted me with a fully painted army. Sadly, I was super tired going into the fourth round and didn't get a lot of pics.
Four great opponents for putting up with my semi-knowledge of the Infinity rules
Some great terrain, considering a lot of it was built the night before!

The proxy drama
Opponents with unpainted armies. Seriously guys? Who still takes unpainted figures to TOURNAMENTS?
I495 for being standstill at 9am on a Saturday'

Last, but not least, I leave you with a picture from the place we ate lunch. Apparently, their idea of artwork on the walls was ripping a page from a calendar and taping it to a picture frame with black electrical tape.

Post event edit: Apparently the folks and Games and Stuff determined mid-event that proxies and conversion were in fact legit, provided they fit within certain criteria, and enhanced the army rather than taking away from it.

Read More

Star Wars X-Wing Overview and Batrep

A little while ago, in a game room not too far away...  Joe Messerle and I sat down to play a game of Fantasy Flight Games' new darling Star Wars: X-Wing.  I must admit I was rather skeptical of this game.  I was luke-warm on Wings of War (although I later revised my stance once realizing that WofW works really well in large groups), and had heard this was a similar system.  So I was a bit skeptical at first, but the pre-painted miniatures looked really good, and I figured it was at least worth checking out.
Then I watched the excellent video produced by Fantasy Flight detailing the game mechanics, which I've included here, and was sold.

If you'd rather read your rules overview, head on over to All Miniatures Great and Small for a great look at the box contents and overview of the rules!

I won't re-tread the game mechanics because both the video and "All Miniatures Great and Small" do such a good job of explaining them, but suffice it to say- the rules seemed "just right" to me.  Crunchy enough to be satisfying, simple enough to learn quickly.  I immediately headed out to One Eyed Jacques in Richmond and bought the core set, an extra X-Wing and TIE fighter, a Y-Wing, and a TIE advanced.  In all, that set me back $100- which may sound a bit steep for just 7 ships.  Indeed, the price is just at the edge of "too expensive", but once I opened everything up I felt like it was all worth it.

The core set comes with a ton of beautiful counters, and each ship is very well painted with several pilot and upgrade cards, flight stand, etc.  For my next purchase, I plan to get another core set adding more TIE fighters, an X-Wing, more dice and movement templates etc.  Check them out on The Warstore.

And now, a brief battle report.

*ZZZZZZTTTTT* "This is Red 3- power fluctuations have -" *ZZZZZZZTTTT*
In this mission, the Rebels have one ship disabled in the middle of an asteroid field.  They must wait 5 turns until the ship comes online, and then must get the ship off the board.  The Imperials have to destroy that ship.  In true Imperial fashion, once an imperial fighter is destroyed, a fresh reinforcement gets to take its place!
The disabled ship

We marked the disabled ship with some fire so we wouldn't lose track of it.  The ship can still move and perform actions, but it is severely limited in its maneuver.

A pilot from Storm squadron and his wingman.

Red 4 and Gold 2 move to protect their comrade.

A patrol from Black Squadron.

"Watch out for those asteroids!"

Red 4 narrowly avoids an asteroid with a sharp turn to port.

The disabled ship turns right into the TIE Advanced's firing arc who immediately gets a target lock on the Rebel fighter.

Red 4 moves in on the TIE fighter from Obsidian squadron, and scores a target lock.

Red 4 tears into the TIE fighter, but doesn't quite bring it down.  Red 4's deflector shields hold.

The TIE advanced screams past Red 3, and zeroes in on Gold 2.

The patrol from Black Squadron plots an intercept course.

Obsidian 1 tears into the Y-wing, who's robust deflectors barely hang on.

Red 3 and 4 form up, and hunt down Obsidian 2.

Black squadron move to surround Gold 2.

Obsidian 2 falls to a proton torpedo blast from Red 4!

I'm hit!  Gold 2's deflectors fail

An Academy pilot arrives to replace Obsidian 2.

Red 3 and 4 split up just as Red 3 comes fully online.  Red 4 tears into Black 1.

The Y-wing makes a hard turn, putting stress on the aging frame.

But Obsidian 1 does a quick barrel roll to line up his sights, and destroys the Y-Wing.

Red 4 flips around, scarcely clipping an asteroid.

When an insanely lucky blast from the Academy Pilot knocks out Red 3- earning the Imperials a victory!
Rough fight for the rebels!  But it was an insanely fun game.  Joe and I were both geeking out, especially once we put on the "A New Hope" soundtrack in the background.  The game just "feels right".  A+!

Read More

Popular Posts In the last 30 Days

Copyright 2009-2012 WWPD LLC. Graphics and webdesign by Arran Slee-Smith. Original Template Designed by Magpress.