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Friday, November 29, 2013

Bolt Action - Review: Blitzkrieg Miniatures Tiger I

While there may not be a place for Big Cats in most Bolt Action games, there will always be a place for Big Cats in our hearts.  Tigers, Panthers, and other large heavy tanks are not cost effective in most 1000 point pick up games, but do have their place in scenario or historical driven games.  If you find yourself needing a Tiger for a game, definitely check out the Tiger from Blitzkrieg Miniatures.  Blitzkrieg makes a variety of quality 1/56 and 1/48 scale resin tanks and vehicles for 28mm WW2 gaming. 

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Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  WWPD will be taking the next few days off to spend time with our families and friends.  We'll see you on Monday!

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Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Fall-In Doubles - AAR and Photos

By Maurice Kent


I made it up to Fall-In recently and took part in the Flames of War, Late War, doubles tournament Mr. John Desch so kindly organized for everyone.  It was a great way to spend a day, especially as I had the pleasure of playing alongside my brother.  Below you'll find a recounting our team's three games, along with some photos.  Enjoy!

The tournament announcement stated that the scenarios would emphasize maneuver over defense, so we decided to try to build lists to suit.  We ended up running 2nd Cavalry from Devil's Charge and Rangers (Brittany) from Overlord.  This offered a nice mix of speed, hitting power from Chaffees and M10s, tough (but still cheap) infantry who could surprise via a double-time through terrain, and even a smoke template.  The 2nd Cav also offered an extremely helpful re-roll every turn for reserves.  Our lists are below.  Shaun boldly chose the Rangers, leaving me with the tankers.

Heading in, I figured there would be just a few lists we'd really not want to see, two of which were a Tiger horde and a Russian tank horde.  Conveniently, we were paired up against the only Russian tank horde at the event in round one!

Scenario: No Retreat  Attacker: Soviets  Defender: Americans

The table was of the Hell's Highway variety, with a raised road, some forests and a farm.  We elected to defend the side with a nice protected area covered by a treeline patented Lauterbach Dong-Wood (LDW) and the road.  This forced them to attack at least one objective in a wide open field.

Their list was a nightmarish 10 T-34/75s and 6 SU-100s, and 10 (fearless) Emchas and Rota Razvedki.  We dug in a ranger company on the front objective, with the M10s and Stuarts guarding the LDW and the Chaffees in ambush.  Rangers, Recce and Chem Mortars went into reserve.
Game 1 - Starting Deployment

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Bolt Action - Review: Architects of War Bombed House

Recently I got my hands on a new product from Architects of War to help add to the terrain of any European table; their beautiful, although destroyed, Bombed House.

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Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Destroyed Apartment Building by 4Ground

By Throckmorton

When I first started doing war gaming I never wanted to buy terrain. I figured I could just go down to my Friendly Local Corporate Game Store and have a good time shooting heavy bolters at greenskins. Well, now that I've left all that behind and play mainly historicals I've found that I want my own table, my own terrain and well, more stuff in general. So, when the most excellent Mr. Scott Simoneau hosted the Flames of War Late and Early War tournaments at NOVA Open he was nice enough to decide that I deserved a reward. Thoughtful of him right?

In that bag of schwag was the 15mm Damaged Bank/Appartments by 4Ground Terrain. Now, if you've never heard of them before (and you should, we did another review of one of their products recently) 4Ground is an MDF terrain building company.  MDF is short for Medium Density Fiber-board and has gained popularity across a number of era's and scales as a way to make excellent looking laser cut terrain.

There is certainly some assembly required with these buildings but (unlike some other MDF terrain manufacturers) no painting is needed at all.

Won't you join me as we take a look at how we went from this:

To this:

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Monday, November 25, 2013

News from the Front Live from Fall In 2013 - Ep 67

Click here to download Fall In 2013!

Eric, Luke and Jon are joined by Judson from the Bolt Action Radio Podcast Live at the con.  The guys recap the Fall In convention antics and discuss their favorite things from Desperate Measures.  A Fall In sanitation report is included.  Yuk.

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Review: Mage Knight Resurrection

Mage Knight Resurrection is a relatively new release that I impulse bought. I have a mate that's really in to Heroclix, but personally, I could care less about superheros (I know, I'm a bad nerd), so I picked this up to have some more high-fantasyesque figures I could use to play with him.

Don't let the Mage Knight name fool you - this is 95% a Heroclix expansion with some Mage Knight figures. All the tokens, counters, and cards included are designed for Heroclix, although it does come with extra bases you can use for the Mage Knight 2.0 rules still available on WizKids website.

The set comes in at $25, which hits my disposable "Maybe I'll play this once" level. So, what do you get in the box?

Six pre-painted, pre-determined figures

A bunch of terrain and effect tokens

Stat cards for the figures (using Heroclix rules)

A bunch of "horde tokens". These are basically really cheap models that don't even deserve a 3D figure, and fight in swarms.

Dials you can swap the figures to for use with the Mage Knight 2.0 rules.

The Heroclix cheat-sheet. It's actually a pretty durable, nice quality reference material.
Two double sided, fold out maps 

You also get, but not pictured, a black and white Heroclix instruction manual.

So, what's the concept of the game? Both players build an army - figures have point values as in most miniatures games. They fight on these grid-style maps. Each figure has a movememnt value, an attack value, a defensive value, and a damage stat. Each time the figure takes damage, you rotate the dial the figure is on, and their stats usually change - most often getting lower as the figure takes more damage, but somethings they increase as well.

Each stat can also have a varying special ability associated with it, and these frequently change as the figure's dial rotates.

Each turn you get a set amount of actions to activate figures. On the basic end, they move, shoot, or fight in close combat. As you start getting some advanced abilities, they might be able to charge into combat, or pick up a rock and throw it.

In this example, the grey box around the figures movement stat shows that is has the "Running Shot" ability, allowing it to move and shoot in the same activation.

As the figure takes damage, it loses running shot, but gains Leap/Climb, allowing it to move through terrain better.
Heroclix is a collectible miniatures game. Much like Magic: The Gathering, you can buy booster packs, but you have no idea what you get in the box. This starter box comes with the same six pre-determined figures, and is probably all I'll end up buying, as it's pretty easy to get carried away with collectible games.

Some folks get really into this ruleset - I was shocked at GenCon to see the Heroclix "arena" rivaling the Magic area, and definitely putting other miniatures games to shame in terms of attendance. However, it can just as easily be played as a casual almost-board-game. Two players could even share this starter box and play with three figures per side.

Clocking in at only $25, I think this set is worth it if the idea interests you. However, do be cautioned against the Mage Knight name - this is a Heroclix expansion set - not really intended to be played as Mage Knight.

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Bolt Action - How to Sass-Up Your 4Ground Ruined House

(Miles "jmilesr" Reidy sent me a follow-up article on his recent 4Ground purchase. When I noticed it was "just" a follow-up, I was a bit skeptical, thinking there wasn't much more to say about the piece. Boy, was I wrong. After playing on tables with tons of 4Ground tables, I feel like his dressing-up is a must for anyone with these buildings in their collections. - Judson)

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Friday, November 22, 2013

PSC Churchill Review

by Dirty Jon

The British Churchill Tank kit from The Plastic Soldier Company has been very highly anticipated by the Flames of War community for quite some time.  I could not wait to get my hands on some and jumped at the chance to do a review.  I have always been a fan of the British Infantry Tanks - they are just so huge and ugly - exactly what a tank should be!  Let's dig in!

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Bolt Action - Judson's Fall-In Tournament Report

Fall-In is behind us, BARbarians, and I've got something to say about it! (Obviously.)

John Brader. Lightning hands.

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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Review: M-51 Isherman by Battlefront

By Throckmorton

Unless you've been living under a rock somewhere in the Sinai (see what I did there?) you've already heard that Flames of War is expanding into more modern conflicts. First up was V3 of Vietnam and now, for something especially close to my academic heart, they've headed into the desert to produce models for the Arab/Israeli Wars, starting with the 6 Day War in The Fate of A Nation supplement out now in Wargames Illustrated Number 312. 

The 6 Day War was one of a number of major conflicts that flared up between Israel and its neighbors since its founding in 1948 through the 80's. Unlike the modern limited actions that make the news today these fights were full on field armies fighting field armies. And, much like Vietnam to the east, served as a testing ground for both WARSAW and NATO war-fighting equipment. 

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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Outpost 309: Episode 3

Rich and Jared return in Episode 3, wherein they plumb the depths of the human psyche with a focus on some of the mental pitfalls of gaming, also known as Cognitive Bias.  Additionally, the guys take a little time to play and review Jared’s latest favorite game: Android: Netrunner. As usual the guys wrap-up with some talk of video gaming, including a soapbox on commercialization trends in recent games, as well as a look at Batman: Arkham Origins, and a few tips and tricks for War Thunder.  
Batman Arkham Origins:

Download Here!

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Mathpocalypse Now: Cat Killers and You!

by Eric Riha

With the re-printing of Red Bear and the coming of the new Desperate Measures book, most of us are happy to know the Soviets got the boost they (desperately) needed. One of the happy-faced changes that came along with the re-print was the addition of the Cat Killers rule to Tank Killer Companies (SU-85, SU-85M, SU-100, M10). Another boost to The Peoples' cause comes in the form of the Medium Self-Propelled Artillery Regiment (heretofore known as the MSPAR), which allows you to wield these babies in Battalion formation.

Image courtesy of Battlefront Miniatures.

Today, we're going to take a deep dive into the Tank Killer Company, and specifically look at how well the SU-85M and SU-100 match up against today's meta-based opponents. Just so you're aware, we're using Expected Values in all of our calculations to show the "expected" result from each engagement. For more information on Expected Values, see some of my previous Mathemagician articles here, here, or here.

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Bolt Action - Review: 4Ground 28mm Ruined House 2

(Miles "jmilesr" Reidy , long-time BARbarian, is here to contribute an article reviewing some of his recently purchased 4Ground buildings. - Judson) 

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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

AAR: USTDs vs. Panzer Lehr in Surrounded

by Luke Melia 

So Jon and I got a chance to get a little Flames of War Late War game in.  We mentioned in Episode 66 of News From the Front, that we have a bad habit of avoiding certain missions that we do not have a preference for.  This has negatively impacted our knowledge of how to play those particular missions.  So this time, we rolled Surrounded as our mission and because Jon's list is an always attack list he got to be the attacker.

Luke's Tank Destroyer List
2x M-20 CiC 2iC
4x CV M-10
4x CV M-10
1x CV TD Recon Section
4x CT 105mm Howitzers
1x AOP
4x CT Towed TD w/4 Halftracks and 3 Bazookas
1x SP AA Section

Jon's List:

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Monday, November 18, 2013

AAR: Warstore Weekend Mid War Tournament!

By Throckmorton

In early November a group of us had a chance to head up to New Jersey for Warstore Weekend. The big ole table top gaming convention hosted by (you guessed it) The Warstore.

Battlefront was there hosting a meaty five round, two day mid-war tournament for Flames of War that added a little extra spice by allowing mid-war monsters. Our fine historical gamers were joined there by events for Fantasy, 40K, Infinity, Malifaux and Warmachine.

Needless to say, we were the coolest cats in the room *cough cough*
Right... well...

As I mentioned in a previous post, I haven't had the opportunity to play a ton of mid-war, with my only real experience being a sound shellacking at NOVA Open this year - so I was excited to see what the tournament might bring.

Four of us from my local group got the opportunity to go up and we each brought wildly different lists. I brought a (fated for doom) Schnell Schwadron from Eastern Front, forumite CrazedLoon brought OSS from Burning Empires and our other two buddies threw down with an Armored Rifle company from North Africa and a Grenadier company from Eastern Front.

Wait... which front did this guy fight on?
Read on to check out a ton of pics, a mild rant on Red V. Blue paring and more!

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Infinity Terrain: Rust Forge Shipping Crates

Rust Forge had a sale on their Cargo Containers last week, so I picked up five to add to the Infinity terrain collection.

The kit arrives with three plastic sprues per crate. The plastic isn't super high quality, and they don't work well with "plastic glue", so be ready to get your fingers stuck together gluing them together.

They can be assembled with the doors open or closed (or a mix of the two), but I elected to build all of mine closed. 

It's always fun getting grey plastic terrain that I intend to leave grey, because I will prime it black, and then repaint it grey. Oh well. Hit with a very brief white drybrush and they're good to go. I attempted to put some graffiti decals on them, but they didn't stick well to the ribbed surface, sadly.

 And last but not least, some action shots from an Infinity game played this weekend with the crates in action.

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