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Friday, February 28, 2014

My New Painting Technique- "Bang for the Buck" Pt I

A recent IS-2 I finished.
I wanted to call this post "Learn these weird tricks to make painting easier- professional painters HATE him" but decided against it.

Alright, so as a few of you may have noticed, my painting style has changed quite a bit since moving here, thanks to being surrounded by a ton of great painters.  Now, make no mistake- my techniques will never win awards.  What they'll do, however, is get your models on the table without embarrassing you!  See my previous technique here: DAK Panzer IVs.

I've found that most model painting tutorials err on the two extremes: painting tips to make your toys look amazing, and those that get them painted as quickly as possible.  With the technique I will illustrate below, you'll find that I aim for value.  I want my tanks to as good as I can in as little time as possible.  Queue Eric Riha, I'm sure there's some formula explaining this!

I have broken it down into every single tiny step, and while it may seem exhausting, most of the steps take mere minutes.  My normal rule of thumb is that I should be able to take a company of tanks (say 10 or so) from box to tabletop in one week.
Another quick example
To illustrate my technique I'll be using a boat load of Soviet Tank Hunters.  When I first arrived here, I hoarded a few boxes of the old metal and resin kits (which mercifully had the new T-34 plastic tracks!).  When I started this build, I also grabbed a plastic box giving me 10 Soviet SU-100s, and 6 SU-85Ms.  With the leftovers, I decided to do 3 German SU-85s, and 1 German SU-100 out of Desperate Measures.

Anyhow, without further ado:
Note: My technique does use an Airbrush, but there's no reason you couldn't do this without!
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Bolt Action - Ohhhhh Canadaaaaaa!

I've recently come into some British Paras, after a friend with a sizable force of them collecting dust, decided to sell them cheap.  This was to be my first foray into the Brits, and I wanted to do something slightly different.  With an affinity for the Great White North, after some misspent time in my youth there, I chose to make my Paras members of the 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion.

(My assimilation among the locals was flawless. See left.) 
(And people give me crap about being Canadian!!! Editor)

The 1st Canadian Parachute Battalion was formed in July 1942, quite late in the war in comparison to other nations, who after the early successes of the German Fallschirmjager in 1940, scrambled to form their own airborne formations.  Initial training was done in the US at Fort Benning while the Canadians constructed their own Parachute Training Center.  Then, in March 1943, it was announced that the Battalion was to be integrated into the 6th British Airborne Division that was forming in England.  By July 28, 1943, the Battalion was in England where it began training under British methods, in preparation for eventual invasion of Hitler's Festung Europa.

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Thursday, February 27, 2014

Quick Review: T-34/85M (AARBX03)

AARBX03 T-34/85M!
The venerable T-34's last major upgrade, the T-34/85M, was used by the Egyptians and many other Soviet Bloc nations.  The changes were not a new production run, but a refurbishing program to existing models prolonging  the life of the vehicle.  The T-34/85M had a new radio, road wheels the same as the T-54, night driving equipment added, plus improved fuel and drivetrain components.  Much like the Soviet improving their T-34 model, Battlefront has done so as well.  This latest and greatest box set (AARBX03) really shows some improvement over the old versions back from the day.
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Bolt Action - Cold Wars Army List: Cbax's Tank Platoon

by Craig Baxter

This year I will be traveling to Cold Wars to play in both of the Bolt Action tournaments.  I was able to get down to the States last year for Historicon 2013, and had a blast playing in the armored and regular tournaments. Playing in those tournaments was definitely a learning experience, and I like to think I have matured in the last several months, upping my game.  I have put together my lists for the events, and would like to share them, and the thought I put into each list - with the community's help.  My goal for Cold Wars is to improve upon my lists from H'con, and to incorporate the lessons I learned in the last few months.

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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Williamsburg Muster Report

This is NOT where we mustered 
Williamsburg Muster is a smaller, cheaper, but very fun convention that we try to make it to every year. Our standard plan is to go down to Williamsburg on Friday night to play some board games and record a short podcast episode. We then hit up the excellent Flames of War tournament on Saturday, which is usually hosted by I95.

Luke could not make it this year, so I teamed up with Eric Riha and Sean "Throckmorton" Sarah for festivities.  Eric and I got there fairly early in the afternoon and got right down to a one-on-one teaching game of Eclipse.

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Bolt Action - So, You Want to Play a Tank Battle? (You Should!)

By Judson

For those that haven't heard, WWPD is hosting a Tank Battles game at Cold Wars this year. If you're reading this, chances are you've played at least one standard game of Bolt Action, and this article explains exactly why you need to try Tank Battles before the book comes out this summer.

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Tuesday, February 25, 2014

AAR: MW Italians Vs Soviets - Hold The Line

Hello everyone,

Ben and James from Breakthrough Assault here with a little Batrep for you all. James is just getting into FOW and wanted to get a few games in before he attended his first two tournaments. As he was going to a Red Vs Blue Eastern Front themed event it seemed like a good idea to let him face Soviet Armour so he knows what he's in for.

We played a 1650pts game with Ben's Tankovy vs one of the Italian Alpini lists that James was adjusting and finishing ready for Brighton: Blood in the Snow in a few months time.We rolled up Hold The Line so Ben's Tankovy would be attacking. With that I will leave it up to James to describe the action.

Italian Alpini Infantry
  • HQ with Passaglia Bombs
  • 10 Infantry with Passaglia Bombs, 1 AT Rifle, 3 HMG & 3 45mm Mortars
  • 10 Infantry with Passaglia Bombs, 1 AT Rifle & 3 45mm Mortars
  • 3 Mortars
  • 4 47/32 AT guns
  • 4 75/27 Cannons
  • 4 L6/40 Light Tanks
  • 9 Pioneers, 2 Flamethrower
  • 4 100/17 Howitzers
  • 2 20/65 AA guns
  • Sporadic German Air Support: Stuka
  • HQ T34 (1942)
  • 10 T34 (1942, 3 upgraded to T34/57)
  • 10 T34 (1942, 3 upgraded to T34/57)
  • 8 T70 (1942)
  • 3 BA64

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Bolt Action - Cbax's German Army Collection

By Cbax

Last week I showed off my Russian army collection.  This week we are on to the Germans.  I began collecting my Germans around the same time as my Russians.  I am of the philosophy that you should always collect two sides for any miniatures game you plan on playing, so you can easily run demo games and get your friends hooked.  Like my Russians, my German army as become quite large, but there are still some goodies I need to pick up.

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Monday, February 24, 2014

Outpost 309 Episode 7

Episode 7 of Outpost 309 is The Roleplaying Games Episode!  Jared brings his longtime friend and game master Alex on board, and the guys delve into the various types of RPGs.  After this fascinating look at RPG basics, the guys talk about the social acceptability of said games, and conclude that there truly is something for everyone here.  The guys review Fruitirelli for the kids, and have many video game shenanigans to share (especially interesting if you've heard of a thing called Titanfall).
Much thanks to listener and squadmate Sam for writing the intro!

RPG links:  Numenera

Download Here!

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Beyond the Foxholes Episode 9

WWPD presents Episode 9 of Beyond the Foxholes!

We join Ben, Winner Dave and Adam in Adam's car on the road to Corrivalry.
In Act 1 the guys talk about their lists, goals for the weekend and how little sleep they have gotten....
In Act 2 we have an interview with Steve Chalton who talks about his up and coming event The Art Of War. We also have Doctor Alex talk about his weekend.

In Act 3 the guys talk about their weekend, while Adam tries not to be too smug (*Spoiler Alert* he fails).

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Bolt Action - Offensive Miniatures Fallschirmjager Paint and Review

(This article is brought to you courtesy of Patch. Enjoy! - Judson) I was  recently asked by the boys at Team LRDG to paint up an Offensive miniature, not offensive in that it screamed a torrent of verbal abuse at me, or was dressed inappropriately, but was from the company Offensive Miniatures. Offensive Miniatures are a UK based company emerging on the market with a collection of WW2 miniatures, currently stocking British 8th Army, German Afrika Corp, German Fallschirmjager (FJ), Italians and US Paratroopers.

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Friday, February 21, 2014

Review: Battlefront's Local Force Battalion HQs (VPABX11)

by Jeff Flint

Finally! Now we have the final pieces to be able to run a Local Forces Battalion in Flames of War.  The recent PDF at Battlefront's website gave us the organization and now we have the actual figures to complete the force with the addition of the Local Forces Battalion HQs (VPABX11).  The box set I am reviewing I bought from my FLGS, The Foundry in Huntsville, Alabama.

The figures are very close to the rest of the figures in the Local Force line and the review I did on the Dia Phuong Quan (Local Force) Company (VPABX10) holds true for these figures as well.  Bottomline, these guys are great. I used the same paint scheme on these guys as I did for my previous force (as listed in the review above)

There are several new sculps...mainly the HMG, Recoilless Gun and Mortar crews as well as a few leaders. Using the 9.25/10 overall score for company box set as a base, this Battalion HQs set raises the score to 9.5/10.  The detail on the Leaders and NCOs brings the score up another 0.25.  We'll talk about the new additions as we go over the pictures.


Notice the scarf on the team's leader on the right?
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Bolt Action - AAR: Soviet Frontal Assault

A bunch of us government workers and lazy bums (is there a difference?) got together on President's Day to play a Bolt Action group game.  I came up with a scenario where the Russians were attacking a German position somewhere in Poland during the spring of 1945.

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Thursday, February 20, 2014

Bolt Action - Australians: Getting Boots On The Table

Greetings BARbarians, Bryan here, and welcome to a small tactical guide to fielding Australians in Bolt Action. You may have seen my army showcase last week, but how did the army play in it’s (and my) first 
Bolt Action tournament? Quite well, as it turned out…

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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Desperate Measures AAR - German Tanks vs. Soviet Infantry in Breakthrough

By Dirty Jon

Tom "The Crotch" DeMayo and I got together for a pre-Muster throwdown. I wanted to test out my new tournament list, so Tom made up a list to match up well against me.

Ut oh.  KV-85s come in from Reserves.  This might get ugly.

Jon's List:

Tom's List:

We rolled randomly and got Breakthrough. This was pretty tricky, and Tom decided to start with his SU-85Ms and both infantry units on the board. I put out the Jagdpanthers, Nebs, Luchs and the Ostwinds; the Hetzers and StuGs in Delayed Reserves.
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Bolt Action - Dr. Strange Jud or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Spank

In hindsight, it was a logical progression: I began playing Bolt Action with just a toe dipped into the spank units. By my second tournament, I'd completely submerged my list in spank; and by my third event, I'd banished even the slightest hint of it in my force.

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Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Battlecry 2014 AAR

Over the weekend, I played in an open late war 1575 tournament at Battlecry.  The convention itself was great!  Awesome amenities and well attended.  I'm terrible at estimating crowds, but they had to have somewhere around 300 people in attendance.  Warhammer Fantasy, 40k, and Warmahordes tournaments in addition to the 2 day FOW tourney.  I think there were 16 players in attendance.  The missions were completely random (rolling a d12).

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Bolt Action - Bolt Action for Beginners

(DavidOfOz from The Demo Gamers generously provides this article on the art of the demonstration game. - Judson)

Back in January 2013 my sons and I discovered Bolt Action at the Cancon games convention held in Canberra, Australia. As we began to play I was reminded of the first time I played a wargame back when I was 12 years old. It was at a games day held by a local club and I was able to not only look, but actually play a game. I still remember telling my Mum and Dad that I had killed a tank and asked if I could go again. Bolt Action is the kind of game that can achieve the same after action reports that can interest non gamers.

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Monday, February 17, 2014

News from the Front - Episode 71

Click here to download Episode 71!

Eric and Jon are joined by Sean "Throckmorton" Sarah in another live broadcast from Williamsburg Muster.  The guys talk about what they have been up to lately and try to predict the tournament.  There is also talk of the latest housing problems from Battlefront.  Desperate Measures continues to be a big topic and the guys are joined by Tom "The Crotch" de Mayo for additional hijinks.  

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Sails of Glory AAR: Sail Ho!

by Rich

Ship just got real.

Jared and Rich at the demo game.  Lieutenant Boo makes his presence felt.

Jared and I got together for some Sails of Glory the other night, to open the box and learn the rules.  After a short demo game, we strapped on our cutlasses, mounted the poop deck, and took command of our own fleets for our first real battle.

The forces:
Captain Horatio A. H. Cheeseblower, VC, DFC, etc., Commanding
HMS Goliath (74-gun Ship of the Line)
HMS Meleager (36-gun frigate)

Monsieur le capitaine Pepe le Piu
Aquilon (74-gun Ship of the Line)
Courageuse (36-gun frigate)
The board.  Brits on the left/North, Frenchies are right/South.  The wind is blowing from East to West, so neither side has a disadvantage.
"Sail Ho!  We shall beat to quarters!"
One of the interesting, and probably historically accurate, parts of the Standard rules for the game, involves movement.  When you plan your movement (which is done simultaneously with your opponent), you have to plan two turns in advance.  I suppose the point is to reflect the cumbersome nature of the ships.  What it means in terms of gameplay is that crazy encounters are bound to happen!

Since we're both new to the game, and apparently students of Admiral Horatio Nelson, we decide to damn the maneuvers and go straight at 'em.  The fleets spend one turn closing the distance, basically sailing straight at each other.  In retrospect, one of us should have thought to position our fleet with the wind at our backs, but oh well.  Charge!


The fleets blast away in turn 2.  The Goliath is off on her own to the left, whilst the Meleager is caught between the French ships.

Our first round of shooting sees the poor HMS Meleager pummeled between the Aquilon's forward batteries and the full broadside of the Courageuse.  Meleager is reduced to two remaining hull damage points, meaning that one more round of shooting from the French frigate should be able to finish her off.

Captain Cheeseblower can only look away in horror as his frigate takes a beating.
This is what one awesome round of shooting from a capital ship and a frigate will do to a lowly frigate.  If I fill up that last box with damage counters, he sinks.


Her Majesty's Ship ain't done yet!  Meleager closes in and puts one damage counter on the Aquilon, which is reloading her right broadside this turn.  Meanwhile, Aquilon wings the Goliath with her left forward batteries. The crews furiously reload their guns as they pass by.

Brit frigate goes toe-to-toe with the French ship of the line!

As the ships separate and prepare to come about for more close-in action, HMS Goliath just barely finds the range and unleashes a devastating volley into the side of the Aquilon!

"Three Cheers for Lucky Jack!"

"Steady, boys!  England expects that every man shall do his duty!"
The fleets turn for better positions. No shooting this turn.  Jared is about to be facing the wind and be rendered relatively immobile, but Rich is too far away to capitalize.


While the agile frigates continue to position themselves, the capital ships trade broadsides.  Goliath lives up to her fearsome name and just hammers Aquilon all game long.  Aquilon's gunners are not so well-trained.

"Pour it into 'em, boys!"
Aquilon is halfway done. 

The two capital ships are bearing down at extremely close range.  
Remember what I said about movement in the beginning?  Well it started to matter right now, because Jared and I were setting our courses, not knowing if we were going to collide or what.  Nothing much else happened this turn except setting up the epic game of chicken by the cap ships.  Meleager, once again showing her resilience, wings Courageuse.


Wrong turn.
So, movement.  I had anticipated Jared's capital ship turning with the wind and avoiding that little island thingy, so I was going for positioning for a nice broadside.  Jared, being the clever guy that he is, planned no crazy maneuvers, choosing instead to sneak right alongside the island.  Not only did he deny me the wind advantage this way, but he placed himself perfectly to take advantage of my blunder.  Aquilon is now pointing right into a withering close-range broadside, with no opportunity to get a shot of her own off.  And I will pay for this by losing Aquilon in one round of shooting.

"Le crap."
Kaboom.  Aquilon's hull is two hits away from surrendering, and her firepower is about as much as a frigate, but Jared has done enough crew damage to force her surrender.
Also on this turn, Courageuse lets go with both sides, doing nothing.

The end is nigh for the French fleet.
The Captain of Courageuse reloads her guns, hoping to take out Meleager at least, before running for her life.

TURN 11 
Turn 10 saw more circling, and Courageuse tried in vain to sink Meleager.  Courageuse's fate is sealed at this point, having not managed to score the kill.  

Death blow.
This is what happened to the Courageuse in Turn 11.  Gratuitous!  Unsportsmanlike!
Meanwhile, the British frigate survives the match with one remaining gun and leaks aplenty.  Well done, sir!
Total game time: 1.5 hours

Rich's thoughts:  I really messed up sending Aquilon on a hard turn like that, leading to her death.  I should have just run her straight ahead, like Jared did with Goliath.  It was pretty cool seeing her take a helluva broadside from Goliath though.  And that damn Meleager!  Curse that leaky old ship!  The British live a charmed life at sea for sure.  This would be fun with a couple more people playing, too.

Jared's thoughts:   I can't say there was a lot of tactical or overall strategic prowess on my part. A few things did play out as I predicted them, but I probably had the upper leg as I've had a limited amount of experience playing Wings of Glory, and to a lesser extent, X-Wing. Overall I found the game to be a nice touch of challenging. I felt as though two ships was taxing me mentally enough that without some additional experience and just "knowing" what move I needed each time the game could possibly go on forever. The 1.5 hours seemed to (mentally) take almost longer despite the fact I was enjoying myself. More often than not I was just as busy making sure I wasn't embarrassing myself by ramming my ship into bits of terrain. The game was fun, and I definitely wouldn't hesitate to play it again. Lucky for us, as the game has hit the public most of the podcasts and blogs I've read have a similar opinion. 

Ever since watching "Top Gun" as a 10 year-old, Rich (sylvansealy on the forums) has dreamt of flying the not-so-friendly skies.  Poor eyesight may have kept him from being Maverick's wingman, but it did not keep him off the highway to the digital danger zone.  Rich's fondest early video game memories revolve around the classic "X-Wing vs. TIE Fighter", flight sims, and real-time-strategy games. When he's not gaming or juggling his 4 kids, Rich can be found co-hosting the Outpost 309 podcast with Jared every few weeks.
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