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Friday, November 30, 2012

New Zealand Trip Diary: Part 5

Playtesting Caveman vs Mammoth. 
I spent a large portion of Day 5 with Pete Simunovich, part owner and founder of Battlefront.  He had business at an Olive Estate, and so invited me to drive out with him.  We talked for a long time about the inception of Battlefront, how it's grown, and where it's going.  We recorded the conversation so I won't try to paraphrase much, but again his passion for gaming is evident.  One recurring theme coming from everyone at Battlefront and Pete especially is "We're gamers, and so we want to treat our customers the way we as gamers want to be treated".

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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Review: Battlefront Plastic Paras

The moment I heard my FLGS got in the new Open Fire box set, I ran down to the mall and picked up my box set.  I absolutely love every part of Open Fire, but by far my favorite unit in Open Fire are the US Paratroopers.  For most of us Yanks, the paratroopers of WW2 hold an almost mythical position in our minds.  Their heroics and bravery inspire and their courage ranks up their with that of the Spartans at the Battle of Thermopylae.  Its not surprising that when I interact with many gamers who are looking at starting their first Flames of War army they talk about getting US Paras.  Needless to say, their inclusion in Open Fire is exciting.  The following video also proves that US Paras are hardcore.

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New Zealand Trip Diary: Part 4

Some BF guys play Napoleon at War.
The majority of my 3rd day at the Battlefront office was spent learning about production and the business side of things.  I really had no idea just how much went into the planning, timing, and execution of releases.  I'll leave a lot of the specifics to later material (I recorded an excellent audio interview with Jeff from Malaysia, with input from Chris and JP), but there's a few items I'd like to touch on.
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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

A Quick Look at the Dunkirk House

This will be a very quick look, as most of you have already seen our review of the other houses here and here. One thing you will notice is that the house is very different than originally planned - see the article here.  To me, this is just fine and I actually think that the final house goes much better with the previous houses than the preview.

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New Zealand Trip Diary: Part 3

Second day at the office.  Not a whole lot new to report, but hopefully some enlightening pictures.  We  nearly completed the interviews today- but even after spending a few hours with Phil, there's lots of stones left to overturn!

The morning kicked off with another in depth discussion about Soviet tanks from the playtesting night before.  Almost all hands were on deck and numerous solutions were presented- most of which were thought through to their conclusion and shown to not be a viable solution.  It was enlightening to witness and I got a real sense of both the frustration faced by the team, but also the desire to solve the problem.  Without doubt, soviet tanks present a real conundrum to the design team and there's no magic bullet solution.

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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

KV-1s Platoon

Yet another story of "I got it CHEAP!"  At some point, I picked up the KV-1s Heavy Tank Company (SBX04) in the flea market - I think at Historicon 2012 - for $25.  The plan was to paint these and sell them at the next HMGS convention, but Steven snagged them first.  I did manage a few pictures before he took them home.
I primed these with hardware store camouflage paint, since I was out of Soviet armor.

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New Zealand Trip Diary: Part 2

My second day in NZ, and first day at Battlefront HQ was quite enlightening.  I was fortunate to be able to witness a lot of different processes at various stages.

Firstly, Mike got to see the fruits of his labors as the advance copies of the new Market Garden books had just arrived.  Apologies to Mike- I spotted a mistake in a platoon diagram that ate at him the rest of the day, even though it was interesting to see how that occurred.  Mike showed me a working copy that did not have the error, and a much older copy that did.  At some point, the older version of a platoon diagram was linked into the final document, and slipped by final proofing.  Unfortunately, these things happen.  And besides- the rest of the book is awesome!  People are going to be very surprised by a few new forces and stats tweaks.

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Monday, November 26, 2012

New Zealand Trip Diary: Part 1

After a very pleasant 12 hour flight on Air New Zealand (which, as an aside, is so Lord of the Rings themed it was a bit embarrassing), I touched down in Auckland.  Mike and James picked me up, and we went to a local cafe to chat.  Conversation ran the gamut, and I was happy that we all got on swimmingly.

Afterwards, Mike and I hung out for a bit before heading over to check out a game club in Western Auckland.  There I met Damien, Chris Townley, and Dan Linder.  The guys had rented a community center and set up 5 gaming tables.  Warmahordes and Malifaux were the main events, but I was also privy to one of the most exciting games of X-Wing I've witnessed!

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Spartacus Review

Spartacus A Game of Blood and Treachery, by Luke Melia
We recently had the opportunity to play the new Spartacus game by Gale Force Nine.  The game is based on the Starz television series.  To quote the rulebook, “In the game, each player takes on the role of Dominus, the head of a house in Capua, a city in the era of Ancient Rome.  Each house is competing for influence.  Fight for dominance through a combination of political schemes and glorious battles on the sands of the arena.”

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Thursday, November 22, 2012

We'll be taking a short break to celebrate Thanksgiving!

The WWPD podcast crew with our buddy Dan from HMGS
Here in the states it's time to be thankful and then eat ourselves silly.  With my pending trip to New Zealand, and all of us running around in preparation for the Holiday, we decided to take a short break from posting articles.  We've been generating content at a furious pace, and we already have the funnel filled back up to the top, but we're all ready to give our brains and typin' fingers a few days R&R.  Rest assured, come Monday, we'll be back on schedule and delivering daily content!

If you haven't checked out The Tapestry and Bolt Action.net you're missing out!  On most Mondays our little network publishes 3 articles (one on each site), and on Wednesday and Friday at least 2.

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Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Knock, Knock, Knocking on Hitler's Door

Knock, Knock, Knocking on Hitler's Door: Reconsidering the PaK 36
"Who's there?"
Going into the war, many armies fielded 37mm anti-tank guns, although these were already over-matched by the armor of many existing tanks. As such, troops were quickly recognized them as inadequate.  German soldiers even nicknamed their PaK 36 "Hitler's Doorknocker," as it could rarely do better than knock on the outside of tanks.

Back when Blitzkrieg first arrived, I too quickly dismissed these guns, but after a few games with them, my opinion has been changing.  Although still inadequate against many targets, they can go a long way towards protecting an intermixed infantry platoon, which as light guns they can now in v3 accompany at full pace.

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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Know the Mission II: Defensive Battles

We're back with episode 2 of Know the Mission!  This one was compiled in large part by our friend Eric Riha, the Mathemagician.  

After our second attempt, the guys are finally able to get this episode "in the can".

In the second episode of Know the Mission, the dudes put "Defensive Battles" under the microscope.  We primarily talk about "No Retreat", but include "Hold the Line" and "Pincer" in there as well, thanks to their similarities.

Editor's note: I (Steven) mention Pincer having 2 ambushes.  It only has one!  Sorry!

Don't forget to listen using our new App!  Search the Apple App store or the Amazon App store for android.
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Monday, November 19, 2012

FOW 1918 - Arabs vs Turks

You are about to witness the earliest of Early War, where cheap tanks are not abundantly available, and machine guns were few and far between. A time when trenches were your lifeblood, and cavalry still roamed semi-effectively. This is FoW 1918. FoW1918 is a fan-made supplement with it's own series of army briefings and a few modifications on the FoW rules. The biggest change present in this Batrep is the AT of rifles and machine guns is only a one. This is to reflect the earlier style of ammo, being a softer, round shot. Chris, the owner of Huzzah and a major contributor to the WWI rules, is attacking with the Arabs in Fighting Withdrawal, against Alex, defending with the Turks. The Arabs have a chart to roll on for their motivation and skill ratings, but luckily Chris was able to get CT all the way around.

For more information on FoW1918, visit http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/FOW1918/

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Sunday, November 18, 2012

Something Else Sunday - BoltAction.Net

For this early November issue of Something Else Sunday, Steve asked that I show the community around BoltAction.Net - the back of the WWPD classroom, where all the cool kids hang out. I'm more than happy to oblige.
German infantry charges a Churchill Crocodile in a recent Bolt Action game.
In the words of Dano, "Welcome to The BAR!" (Only it's spelled "BAH" when he says it.)

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Saturday, November 17, 2012

WWPD Partner Picks Nov 17 2012

Hi guys!  I've been away for a few days so I am just now catching up on reading your wonderful blogs.  I realized it'd been a while since a partner pick so decided I'd throw one of those posts together right quick!

Kampfgruppe Peiper vs JagdPanthers and Grenadiers in Encounter by Covering Fire.  Even though it's a "red" on "red" (which I usually don't care for) the pictures in this one are quite good!  The painted ME262 is awesome!  Kudos to our friends at Covering Fire.  I also always like seeing Batrepper in use in the wild!  The painting is great, as is the terrain.  

Dropzone Commander- Factions Overview by IttyBitty Soldiers.  Our buddy Scott S has been posting a ton of DZC on our forum lately.  To be quite honest, he's just about fully convinced me to dive into Dropzone Commander!  If you've been even the least bit curious, check out his recent faction overview that goes into the fluff and explains the different factions in a nice summary.

I really like the PHR and the UCM, and you just may see me painting some up in the near future!

Winterizing Soviet T-34s by dice Devils.  Jon posted a tutorial a few days back about winterizing some T34s- it seems like winterizing is all the rage lately!  I like the look of it, but have no real desire to winterize anything myself. Anyhow, there's a cool video there about winterizing a test model that I think a lot of people will find useful!

As a bonus, check out the pics of the IS-2s posted up before the video!

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Friday, November 16, 2012

Battlefront's Desert Hazards (BB125)

All this is included in the box, in addition to 2 bags of flock/grass
 For some reason, after I picked up slews of Battlefront's Battlefield in a Box desert terrain, I never got around to grabbing these desert hazards.  But while at Fall In, I snagged a copy off Minis of Chesapeake, and was quite impressed when I tore the box open!
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Thursday, November 15, 2012

British M3 Grants

I recently picked up a collection of Mid War British desert stuff for Flames of War and started sorting though it. I gave some of it away, spruced some up and sold it at Fall In!, and kept two platoons of Battlefront M3 Grants to try my hand at British desert camo. The Grants were painted, but I stripped them down using Simple Green to do some camo and got to work!

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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Soviet Self Propelled AA (ZSU M17)

I picked these guys up a while ago and finally decided to knock em out.  I love a good quad .50 cal!  I doubt they'll see much use against aircraft, but they'll sure shoot up some infantry.  I really love the look of lend lease stuff in use by the soviets.  Red stars on the Olive Drab of US vehicles just looks cool!  At just under 60 points a pop (for fearless trained) these guys are a good buy for Soviets in Flames of War.

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Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Review: Windsor and Newton Series 7

Okay its time for me to admit something to myself and to the world, I abuse brushes. There I said it, its out in the open for the whole world to see.

Its true however, the amount of care I take with my brushes when I use them would probably make a pro painter cry. I chew the ends, I bend and break the bristles, I leave them in the water and I use the same brush I paint fine detail with to dry brush. I think this has a lot to do with my attitude towards brushes - I see them as disposable. I buy a cheap brush, use it until it loses its tip (which for a cheap brush can be as little as one session) then it gets relegated to the ranks of dry brush or non detail work. It's been this way for years.

I decided it was time for a change of brush and a change of attitude.  So, after reading around, talking to Steven and probing the Internet, I realized there was one name that just kept popping up: Windsor and Newton Series 7.

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Monday, November 12, 2012

List Dissection: Rota Razvedki (mostly) Lend Lease!

I think it's about time for another List Dissection!  This time, I'm revisiting my Soviets, but putting a fun "twist" on them.  I've decided to go all (well, almost all...) non-soviet vehicles!  My initial requirement was that every platoon would contain lend lease vehicles.  I got 4/6 lend leased, and another of all captured vehicles.  Close enough.  I've decided to build to 1780 for Flames of War . So let's get started shall we?

We'll start with the HQ, which we're keeping in M3A1 Armored Cars.  They're probably the best transports under Version 3.  With Jeep Mobility and a .50 cal, they're hard to beat!  (Click here to read my thoughts on mechanized forces in V3).  I've added a Komissar.  At 15 points, he's just damn hard to pass up considering that buys us a warm body to throw at the enemy and another M3A1.  

(All Army construction images courtesy of Easy Army)  

The Core (1730 remaining)
Nothing to do but buy our 2 combat platoons.  I'm going full strength, and sticking with the M3A1s.  The Universal Carriers make for an interesting option.  Pros: Double MG shots, 1 stand per vehicle (less casualties when you lose a transport).  Cons: Half tracked vs jeep mobility, Front armor 0 vs 1, lose the light AT capabilities of the .50 cal as well as the 5+ firepower.  Overall I am more sold on the M3A1s so we'll roll with em.

I decide to keep one platoon with Rifle/MGs and swap one with SMGs.  I also give both units a flame thrower- soviet flame throwers are hard to beat - especially when free!

Armor (1320 remaining)
This is going to be our major points sink.  The Razvedki have lots of great armor support available to them.  In the end, the debate over T-34/85s and Sherman 76s is what it comes down to for me.  In this case, I've gone with the Shermans to stick with the theme, but in general I do think they're a great buy.  It's that .50 cal!  30 .50 cal shots on the move (assuming you buy all 10 tanks and upgrade all of em) is something glorious to behold.  Protected ammo is a pretty good buy, even when fearless.  Still, you save 100 points if you go with 10 T-34/85s vs 10 Shermans, which is definitely worth thinking about.

Finally I just can't pass up captured Decoy Panthers.  How could I?  Not only do they look awesome, they can infiltrate and pack some punch.  Being Confident Trained and ROF 1 makes them dirt cheap!  Plus, they can infiltrate just about anything in our company depending on the situation.  We've sure burned some money on these tanks though!

Other Support (295 Remaining)
At this point we're fairly low on points, but only have a few glaring weaknesses remaining.  We can deal with enemy armor fairly reliably with 10 Sherman 76s and 2 Panthers.  We can deal with enemy infantry with our own infantry and myriad .50 cals (at this point we have 23 .50 cals in the army!).  But I see 2 glaring drawbacks: Anti Air and Recon.
Anti-air is a fairly simple solution: ZSU M17s!  We increase the # of .50 cals and add to the general theme of the army.  Score!
But unfortunately, with Recon we're going to have to break paradigm a bit.  The Spetz' might fit the bill but they share a support slot with the decoy Panthers.  So we're gonna have to go with the next best thing: BA-64s.  They aren't lend lease, but they're so cute we gotta give them a pass.  We can get 6 of them and have 15 points to spare.
With those last 15 points or so you could add extra MGs to your M3A1s.

The Final List

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Sunday, November 11, 2012

Episode 47- Live From Fall In 2012!

The boys are live at Fall In 2012!  We talk The Flames of War I-95 Doubles tournament, Bolt Action, Saga, X-Wing, Battlestar Galactica and a lot more!  Stick around for the 2nd part of the show as we decompress on our drive home!
  • 0:00- ACT I: Live from Fall In 2012!
  • 0:48- ACT II: The drive home
Links Discussed in this Episode:

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Saturday, November 10, 2012

Forged in Battle French EW HMG Review

This is a guest post by Anatoli- make sure to check him out at Anatoli's Game Room!

Now you may wonder why I'm bothering to review the French HMG teams when all I play is the Poles in Early War. Well, the French look very close to Polish cavalry units save for the leg wrappings. Polish cavalry wore boots and cavalry pants, however the Adrian helmet, greatcoat and other details are almost spot on. So I bought two blisters of French Early War HMG's to use as Polish
HMG's for a cavalry list since Forged in Battle has not announced any cavalry HMG teams for the Poles yet.

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Friday, November 9, 2012

US Self Propelled AA (M15 and M16)

At the same time that I painted some Soviet Lend Lease SPAA vehicles, I decided to knock out some late war US AAA.  To date, I only had the mid war flavors.  Not much to say about these models so I'll let the pictures do the talking!  They're pretty inexpensive, and give you a nice small platoon option to help get to even numbers (which is to say nothing of its highly efficient anti aircraft capabilities!).  Definitely a good buy for your US forces in Flames of War!

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Thursday, November 8, 2012

Jmezz the Noob's Roving Report Fall In

Greetings troops,

     Noob Commander and Roving Reporter Joe Mezz reporting in.  As you all are aware by now, the WWPD crew made the trek north for the HMGS convention Fall In.  Luke, Jon, Steve and I debarked from the secret bunker Thursday afternoon and made some great time towards PA.  On the way we were treated to numerous sites of Amish buggies and back roads thanks to Luke's Astromech Droid (iPhone).  It made for an enjoyable ride indeed!

     We got in Thursday evening and settled in for the weekend.  WWPDers Chris Hecht and Chris Miller met up with us as well.  The evening's event was Fantasy Flight's X-Wing board game.  The first sortie was a trial run for the new pilots to grasp and learn the game.

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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Collapsible Terrain

As it comesAlways wanted a city block or two but nowhere to store it? I may have found a solution for you with http://www.commission-figurines.co.uk

These buildings are laser cut from 3mm mdf in the main and are of a modular design. Currently there are five base buildings available  varying from £12 to £14 plus individual walls. Also available are road sections in various sizes. This review is for the “Berlin Strasse”. I will try and review all the buildings and roads together when my collection is complete.

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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Fall In 2012 Picture Dump #1!

This one doesn't quite compare with Joe's upcoming post, but I figured I'd dump my pics as well!  Lots of great gaming to be had.  Thanks to the crew of WWPD, HMGS, I-95, and everyone who came to have a good time with us!  The live show went well and will be posted shortly.

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Monday, November 5, 2012

US M5 3" Towed Tank Destroyers

Hey everybody!  Just a quick spotlight post today.  I've had this box of M5 3" towed TDs sitting around for ages, and as I've been in an American kick lately, I decided to get them off my to do list!  It seems that the box for these guys has been removed from the Online store, but this was formerly UBX22 (you can still find them around some places).  The box comes with the 4 guns and command.  I then added a Jeep blister and 4 bazookas.  I'll eventually add some halftracks to have the complete unit.

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Sunday, November 4, 2012

Dirty Jon Goes Early War: Part III - 8 Rads!

Welcome to Part III of my adventures in Early War!  I have had a lot going on lately, so I have not had a chance to really dig in to the pile of Early War stuff I have to paint.  You can see the rest of the series here:

Early War Part 1
Early War Part 2

I am going to try to catch up fairly quickly this fall so that Steven and I can get in some games!

Yes, I am a Recce addict.  I admit it.  This stuff wasn't even in the pile from Early War Part 1!  Oh well.  Luke and I needed some additional Recon units for our upcoming Fall-In Flames of War team tournament.  I already had two 8-rads painted up in Late War pattern -- I figured that while I was at it, time to add some Early War grey ones!

So, why do I really like this unit?

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Saturday, November 3, 2012

Forged in Battle Polish Cavalry Review

This is a guest post by Anatoli- make sure to check him out at Anatoli's Game Room!

There are a couple of options for those interested in fielding Polish Early War cavalry in Flames of War (and 15mm WW2 in general). Up until now the ones' I've been familiar with were Battlefront and Old Glory/True North. Not that long ago, Forged in Battle released their cavalry adding another alternative to the list.

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Friday, November 2, 2012

British Airborne Recce Platoon Review

I know this is an "old" unit and has been out for awhile, but with the Market Garden compliation coming out soon and me just finishing up the jeeps for my Flames of War British Para Recce Platoon now seems as good a time as any to talk about these guys.  I finished the jeeps proper during a break in Steve’s commission work (work on Luke’s stuff kept on rolling…no rest in the Mines of Melia)…but I had to recently stop production on both of Steve and Luke’s stuff for about 2 days so I could finish the crews for a local tourney.  Don’t tell anybody alright  ;-)

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Thursday, November 1, 2012

Fortress Budapest Campaign

Battlefront's "Aces" series of mini-campaigns have had us leading infantry forces in Cassino; raiding forces in North Africa; and tanks through Eastern France.  Our FLGS (The Foundry in Huntsville, Alabama) has hosted 2 campaigns out of this list already (Raiding Aces and Tank Aces)...and the demand was there for more.

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