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Thursday, January 31, 2013

Battlefront HQ Videos: Playtesting Process

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Dust Warfare: Unit Review - SSU IS-48 Super-Heavy Tank

Welcome again to a new Dust Warfare: Unit Review.  Today I will be sharing with you the SSU IS-48 super-heavy tank (one of 2 super-heavy tank chassis available to the SSU).  The SSU is the first army to have a tracked tank introduced, but it is likely others will be introduced for the other armies in the future (Tiger 2s were mentioned in the background in in the Operation Hades campaign book).  Like all walkers and vehicles in Dust Warfare, the SSU IS-48 has more then one armament setups you can chose from.

You can either take the "Karl Marx" (pictured above), which is a nightmare for enemy infantry with it's Heavy Tesla Gun and multiple machine guns...

Or the "Lavrentiy Beria" (pictured above), which sports a 152mm ML205 anti-tank gun for taking out enemy walkers, two machine guns, and a front mounted APO-45 flame thrower for dealing with enemy infantry that gets to close.

Composition: The IS-48 tanks can be taken as a support choice for a SSU Defensive Platoon, or as a third section choice by a SSU Red Platoon.  Each tank variant excels in one combat role.  The "Karl Marx" is the most expensive model currently available to the SSU army.  The reason for this is that it is armed with the most advanced and deadly anti-infantry weapon currently in the SSU arsenal, the Heavy Tesla cannon. The Heavy Tesla cannon is a long ranged weapon that allows you to attack two units within six inches of each other simultaneously. When attacking the Heavy Tesla cannon rolls 2 attack dice for each model in the target unit and only one of the two units targeted needs to be in range in order to make the attacks.  Add on it's two turret machine guns and additional front mounted machine gun, and you have a nasty anti infantry weapon.

The "Lavrentiy Beria" on the other hand is a slightly cheaper long range anti tank choice. It features one of longest ranged weapons in the game, the 152mm ML205 anti-tank gun, but really shines while it is with in 24 inches of it's target.  The ML205 has the Tank Killer special rule, which halves the number of armor save dice an enemy unit can roll against the number of successful hits made against them.  The "Lavrentiy Beria" also rolls more dice against tanks then any other SSU model; except for SSU KV-3 walker which has a pair of 152mm ML205 anti-tank guns.

To defend itself against enemy infantry, the "Lavrentiy Beria" has 2 turret mounted machine guns, and a front mounted APO-45 flame thrower.  Flame throwers in Dust are very powerful weapons because they always allow you to roll 1 attack die per model in the enemy unit and come with the Burst special rules.  When attacking an enemy unit, if at least one weapon has the Burst special rule, then the target unit may not use soft or heavy cover to reduce the number of successes rolled against them, during that attack.

Deployment & Tactics: The IS-48 has multiple tactical options at it's disposal.  My favorite tactic with the IS-48 is as a front line screening option for my units.  The IS -48 excels at this with it 7 armor save dice and 8 wounds. I especially like this tactic when using the  "Lavrentiy Beria", as it allows you to move up closer to take advantage of the Tank Killer special rule, while supported by infantry and other units in your army. The draw back to this tactic is that it is a Tracked vehicle, so requires you to roll 1 die when entering, moving through, or exiting any difficult terrain during each action.  If a success is rolled on the die, the movement immediately ends and the tank may not move again this turn. You also need to be careful when facing Allied armies that include Phaser weapons, as Phaser weapons ignore armor saves.

I have also used the "Lavrentiy Beria" to dominate major fire lanes and to cover the advance of my infantry and walkers. This keeps shorter range enemy walkers from attacking my infantry or else risk exposing themselves to the "Lavrentiy Beria main gun.  This also works very well with the "Karl Marx" but in a slightly different way.  Instead of acting as a deterrent for walkers, it acts as a deterrent again enemy infantry and allows you to suppress multiple enemy units.  This stops them from being able to react when you move your infantry up to engage them.

Both variants of the IS-48 super-heavy tank are some of the most resilient and deadly options available to SSU and well worth the AP.

Jay Powell is a long time Hobbiest, Gamer, and occasional Podcaster that has over 20+ years of experience in the hobby. Jay has worked for Games Workshop and Hobbytown USA in the past, and has run many leagues, campaigns, and tournaments over the years as a Privateer Pressganger, GW Outrider, and game clubs member. Jay was the original co-host of The Gamers Lounge Podcast and has appeared on many podcasts as a guest host from around the world.  You can current find Jay, when not writing new articles for the WWPD Network, playing games at Huzzah Hobbies in Ashburn, VA or on his personal blog 24 Hour Gamer Geek.

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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

European Town Terrain Base by Crescent Root

Following up on the success of the Church Base, Crescent Root strikes another home run with this European town base giving you an aesthetically pleasing, and cohesive look to your table top!

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UCM Condor Dropships- Now With Decals!

Just a quick post today.  I decided my UCM Dropships looked a little bare, so I went to Fighting Pirannha Graphics and ordered some red numbers and heraldry.  I think it really brings the models to life!

 The decals were affordable, and applied easily.  They took a bit to get to me, but were worth the wait.  Not a lot else to say!  Enjoy the pics!

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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Review: Battlefront's 7.5cm PaK40 Platoon (Winter) (GBX73)

What can be said about the PaK40? It is an iconic German Anti-tank Gun. Battlefront has created another great box set for Flames of War with their 7.5cm PaK40 Platoon (Winter) (GBX73).  This box set is unique in that not only do you get a gun crew in winter uniforms, but you get the new plastic PaK40s and "recessed" bases from the Open Fire boxed set.

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A Brief Leviathans AAR

My buddy Sean and I got in a game of Leviathans, and being Sean's first game we used the recommended starter battle setup.  He ran the French and I the British- through several games my father and I played we found the French to be far more forgiving, and so I was curious how that would play out.  The British ships were the HML Hertfordshire and HML Raven.  The French were the Pontbriand and the Montcalm.
The British Ships deliver broadsides to the bows of both French ships.

Commandant Pierre Deperdeaux of the French Destroyer Pontbriand

Captain Wilks of the HML Hertfordshire
We found a number of things to be true of Leviathans: #1- the mechanics work really well.  We really like the colored dice system, the firing arcs, etc.  #2- Initiative is HUGE.  Winning the initiative, especially in such a small game, is the single most important roll you can make.

The French win initiative several times in a row, putting their high speed to good use.
#3- The British ships really suffer from caliber schizophrenia.  With so many different sized guns on the ships (meaning they can't bracket fire), and a lack of crew in the HML Raven's Port and Starboard arcs (which adds an extra die to the gunnery rolls), we found British fire to be much less effective than the French.  While the British are more heavily armored, we found that having double the movement (in the case of the Destroyers), and far more weaponry of like calibers, the French could get where they needed to be and deliver the fire they needed to every single time. Unless the British won the initiative, the French were going to press their advantage every turn.

The HML Hertfordshire takes heavy damage to its Starboard side.
So I am excited to learn what makes the Brits tick in this game.  My knee jerk reaction is that the French are just better, but I'm hoping there's something I'm just not seeing yet.  The British guns have better range than the French, but not by much.  And with the French movement abilities, it's an advantage they don't get to employ more than once.  Combine that with firing at long range without bracket fire, and the British don't sling much lead at long range, allowing the French to close fairly easily.
The HML Hertfordshire goes down.
All in all, I am really enjoying the game mechanics and hopefully larger games will see some of the British advantages come into their own!

Edit: After seeing the Leviathans point calculator beta, the French ships are both pointed higher than the British.  In the case of the Destroyers, the Pontbriand is considerably more than the Hertfordshire, so hopefully the French superiority wasn't my imagination!

Editor's Note #2- We've since played many more times, and have found the French to not be quite as powerful as we first thought- true they can deliver a beating when they get up close and personal, but we've discovered the British can try to stay at range and have a better chance of survival when they do!

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Monday, January 28, 2013

M24 Chaffees from the Cavalry Group Army Box

When we received the new Cavalry Group army box for review, we of course had to split it up among various reviewers- knocking out an army on your own is a hell of a process!  Most of the Cav Group stuff got scattered to the wind all around the US, but I committed to doing 7 of the chaffees myself.  I'll keep this review short since I've already done a chaffee review.
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Sunday, January 27, 2013

Darqueling's Weekly Recap Jan. 20 - 26


Let's Play: 

War Thunder:

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Friday, January 25, 2013

King Tiger From KG Peiper Army Box Review

Article by Tom Burgess
I’ve never been an “Uber-Tank” guy, but when offered a chance to do review of some Battlefront provided miniatures for WWPD I thought “Hey, one tank will be easy!” So I volunteered to build, paint, and review the new GBX69 Konigstiger model. With its included Fallschirmj√§ger riders, a couple of these are just the ticket for an upcoming KG Peiper game I have in mind. Needing two for that KG Peiper mini-campaign, I decided to get a 2nd Konigstiger and to paint them together.

This King Tiger is available in the KG Peiper Box.
Click here to see another review of the GBX69 Box done earlier by Dirty Jon
334 of 3rd Platoon, 3rd Company, Schwere SS-PanzerAbteilung 501
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Thursday, January 24, 2013

Battlefront HQ Videos: Design Process

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PHR Neptune Medium Dropships

A flight of PHR Neptune Dropships speed to their target!

The Neptune is the workhorse dropship of the PHR.
 [The following flavor text comes from the Hawk Wargames Website] The Neptune class is the primary tactical orbital insertion dropship of the PHR. With the ability to carry most PHR armoured units and to fulfil a wide range of needs, its flexibility is unmatched by its larger cousin, the Poseidon.
 Typical mission profiles include orbital insertion to hostile dropzones, rapid extraction and urban operations. With a smaller footprint, greater manoeuvrability and higher combat speed, it can operate in environments unsuitable for larger craft.
 It is often employed to deliver mechanised infantry platoons, artillery detachments and surgical strike teams.
 It is also well armed enough to clear DZ's and provide close air support to ground units with advanced Shadowkiller stealth missiles. 

 A trio of Neptunes are often preferred over a single Poseidon for missions requiring effective air support, since combined they can deliver three times the firepower.
 It is more heavily built than its UCM counterpart, and can withstand greater enemy fire, in line with PHR military doctrine.
These were a ton of fun to paint!  I'm looking forward to finishing the rest of the starter box.
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Cavalry Group Army Box (USAB04) Objectives

Here's some objectives from USAB04 painted up. The Chaffee objective was a single piece sculpt, and the Easy 8 required gluing in a barrel. Not too much to discuss, so on with the pics!

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Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Dust Warfare: Unit Review - SSU Close Combat Squad

Welcome to another Dust Warfare blog post here on Outpost Zero on the WWPD Network.  Today I want to kick off a new Dust Warfare segment called Unit Review.  Dust Warfare (and Tactics) currently has three armies available to be played, the Allies, the Axis, and the SSU.  Each has it's own unique play styles, weapons, and option.  Unit Review will introduce you to one unit at a time and will include pictures of what the models look like out of the box (when available), my version of what they look like painted up, and a brief description of the unit's armament and tactical uses.  Expect lots of SSU units to start with as that is the army I am currently working on.

Today I will be talking about the SSU Close Combat Squad, as seen below.  One of the nice things about Dust is that the models come assembled and primed for you and the primer takes paint very well.  At times I have found this a bit annoying, especially on Vehicles and Walkers, as I have wanted to do some small conversions here or there.  Thankfully with a little work you can usually disassemble the parts that you want to modify fairly easily.

Please excuse the green mini at the back of the group.  In testing how I wanted to approach painting my SSU I tried washing minis with various of the GW Shade colors to act as a starting point, but forgot to snap the photo for this unit before applying the shade wash to this mini. My bad.

Composition: I have found the SSU Close Combat squad to be very versatile in the few games of Dust Warfare I have played so far with SSU.  The unit is armed with 4 shotguns, a sulfur thrower (a SSU version of a flamethrower), and all models also have a knife and Molotov cocktails. Shotguns are a good short range anti infantry weapon that is effect against both Tier 2 and Tier 3 Infantry.  The sulfur thrower works well against both infantry and vehicles.  Add on the Molotov cocktails and you have a unit that is very effective vs both infantry and vehicles which is a dangerous combination.

Deployment & Tactics: SSU Close Combat Squads are available as a primary unit options in both Defense and Political platoons, and as a support choice in Red platoons (more on army building, platoons, and how they are organized in a future post).  There are a number of ways to use SSU Close Combat Squads in your army. SSU Close Combat Squads have a special rules called Assault. The Assault special rules prevents enemy unit from being able to react to the unit's movement when it is spending both of its actions in a turn to double move.  While you can not shoot, because you have use both actions to move, it does allow you to get close up and personal with an enemy unit and react to what they do during their activation. Using Assault to get several squads in close range with the enemy can be a good way to force your opponents hand if you went first, because in order to shoot one target they with have to take reactions from several enemy units in return.

Another viable option (and what I tend to do) is buy the unit a Transport Helicopter and give the platoon they are part of the Air Cavalry platoon upgrade.  Air Cavalry allows the unit to disembark after they helicopter has moved and if the helicopter is destroyed while they are inside, they immediately disembark and receive a reaction marker instead of being killed along with the transport.  The Transport Helicopter allows you to drop your squad behind enemy lines 36 inches from your deployment zone on turn one or anywhere on the table on turn two.  Or, you can head for whatever you think is your biggest threat and hit it hard on turn 1 or 2.  The down side is that the SSU Close Combat Squad has to spend their first action disembarking from the Transport Helicopter (enemies cannot react to disembark actions), but this allows you to get your unit nice and close to the enemy before unloading with their weapons into the threat of your choice.

No matter how you chose to use it, the SSU Close Combat Squad is a a very versatile squad for it's AP cost and a great addition to any platoon.

Jay Powell is a long time Hobbiest, Gamer, and occasional Podcaster that has over 20+ years of experience in the hobby. Jay has worked for Games Workshop and Hobbytown USA in the past, and has run many leagues, campaigns, and tournaments over the years as a Privateer Pressganger, GW Outrider, and game clubs member. Jay was the original co-host of The Gamers Lounge Podcast and has appeared on many podcasts as a guest host from around the world.  You can current find Jay, when not writing new articles for the WWPD Network, playing games at Huzzah Hobbies in Ashburn, VA or on his personal blog 24 Hour Gamer Geek.

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Against the Grain - Midwar German Grenadiers

It has been a while since my last contribution however you will be pleased to know that I have been busy painting during this period. My last post detailed the methods that I use to paint faces in 15mm. Although time consuming and frustrating at times, painting face details will provide you with some rewarding results. 
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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Panzer IV F2 Tournament Prize Support

Just a quick update to show some Plastic Soldier Company Panzer IV F2s I painted up for some prize support.  These could be yours!

There will be a 1500 point Mid-War Flames of War tournament at the Foundry in Huntsville Alabama on February 16th, 2013.  See here for more information.

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Unboxing and Brief Review: Sedition Wars

Sedition Wars. The latest in Kickstarter purchases that I had long forgotten about only to be surprised when it showed up on my doorstep (It's kinda like Christmas in that retrospect!)

Sedition Wars is a lot like Space Hulk meets Warmachine meets Descent. It's combat mechanics are similar to WM/H, the theme and missions are like Space Hulk, and it has the dungeon crawler feel of Descent.

It's designed for two players. One player takes the Vanguard, the human race with all sorts of fun space tech. The other player controls the Strain, a form of space zombie.

The pieces right out of the box
It does require you to assemble the figures. They're better than most "board game" figs, but I wouldn't put them a "miniatures game" quality figs.

All the minis assembled

The Strain, or "bad guys"
The Strain play as a close combat swarmy race, who can feed off of destroyed units and evolve into larger life forms.
The Vanguard, or "good guys"
The Vanguard are fewer in numbers, focus on long range shooting attacks, and are generally more elite on a model per model basis.
A sample stat card
Game play feels a lot like Descent. Each figure gets two actions...move and shoot, move and use some special ability, etc. A neat difference is that during the other players turn, each figure can make "reflex" actions, which are like AROs in Infinity. Each figure has it's own reflex action, for example, the rifleman above can interrupt enemy movement to fire a shot.

The dice rolling is WM/H style. You have a base stat (in the Samaritan above, the rifle's is 5) and you roll 3d6. You then have to beat the targets defense (If he were to be shooting at another Samaritan, it'd be a 17). Any six rolled let's you roll another die, and adds special effects and extra damage in certain situations.

The Strain create nano clouds that move around the board from various actions, such as killing things, or launching certain attacks. They can then use these nano clouds to evolve into bigger forms, heal, or a number of other crazy things.

As far as parts, I recieved everything I should have - base game and lots of Kickstarter extras. The quality was so-so. Flimsy box, warped boards, figures that went together OK. Similar quality issues to Super Dungeon Explore. The figures were nothing that a miniatures player couldn't fix, but a pure board gamer might not be willing to put forth that effort.

 The rest of the post is just a closeup of each type of figure in the box assembled. I'm not sure if this will make it in to my usual board game repertoire or not...if it does, I'll probably end up having them painted!

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