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Monday, March 31, 2014

Bolt Action - Movin' On Up!

As Brad is about to say in Episode Thirteen of LRDG:

Movin' on up!

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Bolt Action - Smoke Screen: Listen to No One!

Everyone, everywhere - or on the internet, at least - wants to tell you what units you should use in Bolt Action. If not, they want to tell you which units not to use.

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On the Pole -- Building a Polish Army, Part Three

TKS Tankette. No, there is NOT a bicycle in there. Source:
 By Tom "The Crotch" DeMayo

“Fathers, our only job is to keep our daughters off the pole.”  - Chris Rock

If you may remember, I had two early articles on starting an Early War Polish army here and here for Flames of War.  For various reasons, this project never came together, and my initial purchase of several Dismounted Cavalry platoons ended up un-assembled in my basement.

This Christmas, I decided it was time to revive things.  So I splurged on more platoons, and began assembling.  Back to Early War!

More Dismounted Cavalry

I purchased another blister of Dismounted Cavalry.  This enables me to assemble three full Companies of 15 stands each.  I usually do not put all five figures onto a base like Battlefront recommends -- so I bought the last blister largely to get the final AT rifle I would need.

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Review: Myth

One of last year's (and rolling over into this year's) most anticipated Kickstarter boardgames was Myth, by Megacon Games, the same folks who make Mercs.

Myth is a fully cooperative dungeon crawler. It has many unique gameplay features that set it apart from Descent, Super Dungeon Explore, and other popular games in the genre. There's no effective turns - just cycles of players taking actions with the AI interjecting every so often. Actions are driving by the cards in your deck, and most of them can play off of one another to create some pretty cool abilities.

My copy arrived a little over a week ago. For the purposes of this article, we're just going to look at what ships with the retail copy of the game, discounted all the Kickstarter extras.

All the loot in the box

You get several board tiles of very nice quality. They have a unique matt finish on them as well. The punchout tokens came out with very little trouble. There's tons of cards for both heroes, monsters, and items, a bunch of plastic figures, and some dice (standard D10s and specialized D6s).

There was a little board warping on one set of my tiles - the tiles used to track hero stats. They flattened out after a night under a heavy book.
You can see the warped boards on the right
The rulebook clocks in a 63 pages and is by far the weakest component in the box. The rules aren't really very thorough, and lead to lots of referencing the rulebook in attempts to answer questions. The book itself is on the lightweight and flimsy side of boardgame rulebooks, and combined with the frequent usage, it gets beaten up pretty quickly.

In Myth, the players assume the role of one of five heroes - a Fighter, a Cleric, an Archer, an Apprentice Mage, and a reformed rat Ninja. The monsters are completely AI controlled with guidelines based on their profile - some monsters are intelligent and will make way for their friends to maximize attacks, while others will simply charge at you as quickly as possible. Some attack the hero with the highest threat, while others just attack the closest target.

Each class plays drastically differently, to the extent that each class gets their own "mini-chapter" in the rulebook explaining how they play and how their cards interact.

The miniatures are fairly high quality for a board game. They're a harder plastic than Descent-style figures, but not quite a hard finely detailed plastic from a GW kit. They are all single piece figures. There are some minor mold lines on several, and a few of my orcs were missing arms or weapons. It's a nice addition that there is variety to the monster sculpts so every monster doesn't look the same.

The heroes are in a slightly lighter plastic to stand out.


One big peeve I have with the figures is that many of them utilize a "slotted base" system seen in many miniatures games. Since I intend to paint up these figures, I'll have to go back and fill these with greenstuff or tape over them and use some sort of basing grit to cover them up.

There's two methods of gameplay in Myth - Story Mode and Slaughterfield. Story mode is similar to a Descent style campaign, where heroes slowly evolve and progress through a story guided by quests. Unlike Descent, the tiles, monsters, and miniquests are pseudo randomized, so even playing the same campaign multiple times will be different.

In addition to monsters to fight, each tile has traps and miniquests. The traps can drastically alter how you play through each room, and some traps become extremely difficult on tiles of varying size.

 Tiles can also have smaller quests associated with them, drawn randomly from a deck.

The other game mode you can use is called Slaughterfield. Here, there is no story and no quests. It's a standalone game where the heroes fight off 10 waves of monsters, with a new wave spawning every four cycles. I think this mode is best for one-off games, but it's extremely difficult. In fact, after playing about five times, the farthest we've gotten is wave 6.


  • Enough randomization of tiles, quests, and monsters to keep replayability high
  • Pretty good quality components - both the board and figures
  • Challenging - nothing is worse than a dungeon crawler that's too easy
  • Different enough from Descent, SDE, and other similar games


  • The rules and the rulebook are lacking. Expect frequent trips to YouTube, BGG, and other sites to answer questions
  • The game kinda forces you to take a healer. While some classes are self-sufficient, others are not and require the support class to succeed. I don't like being forced to always have a certain class in my party
Overall, I'm enjoying Myth, and currently have some of the figures on my painting table. Expect to see some batreps of it soon!

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Friday, March 28, 2014

Bolt Action - AAR: Attack on Christmas Hill

By Craig Baxter

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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Review: Battlefront T-55 or T-54 Platoon (AARBX02)

Battlefront box AARBX02 T-55 or T-54 Platoon!
The good old T-55/54 series, the most produced tank in history.  I was glad to get a chance to look over Battlefronts version of the T-55.  A big question I have always had is what is the difference between the two tanks and visually its almost nil.  Most of the changes between the models occur inside the vehicle with the only difference being that early T-54s have a slight bump on the turret.

Plus, the Soviets upgraded all their tanks after 7000 km of use, so old T-54s would be brought up to date with newer T-55 performance. So really call them which ever you want but T-55 is probably easier and more accurate.  The T-55 is a descendant of the T-34 with its robust design and easy maintenance, its no wonder the Egyptians loved this tank.

So lets get into this box!

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Bolt Action - Inexperienced Troops

(Trying a little something new here, BARbarians - Patch speaks in bold and Lachlan in normal text, as the two discuss the strengths and weaknesses of an inexperienced force in Bolt Action. - Judson)

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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Review: PaK'ing Your Puma. The new Sd Kfz 234/4 Pakwagen

Turning a Puma into a BOOMa.
By Throckmorton

You love heavy German recce right? And, you love PaK 40's too, I'm sure! And what's the best piece of German recce (at least in this humble authors opinion)? The Puma. Deadly little beastie if there ever was one, and for 50 points a pop why wouldn't you take it?

So, what would you say to taking that excellent Puma chassis and plopping a PaK 40 right on top of it? If your answer is anything other "thank you sir, may I have another" I might have to question your sanity.

The Sd Kfz 234/4 Pakwagen was the final in a series of iterations of the 234 Schwere Panzerspah (or Heavy Reconnaissance... panzer... thingie) a venerable line of reconnaissance vehicles which included the Puma, a 75mm open topped variant and KwK 38 20mm armed version as well. Overall, less than 500 of the entire line were produced with some 89 of the 234/4 being built between December of '44 and May of '45.

In Flames of War terms, the vehicle made it's debut in the recent Desperate Measures supplement for Late War play as a part of the Heavy Panzerspah platoon along with it's smaller gunned brother  234/1 with the 20mm KwK 38. And together they make a pretty great combo. Here's the stat's from our fine friends at Easy Army.

Like similar models, these are purchase-able in units of 2 (one of each) costing 95 points per platoon. And honestly, at that price, they're a steal. Take 2 units, I honestly think they're that good. Mixing the lighter gun with its 5+ firepower and the PaK help you dig out infantry or you can just send the PaK out as a tank killing missile while the 20mm sits back and removes gone to ground. Pretty sweet.

But, I'm sure you also want to know about the models themselves!
PaK's in the PAKaging 

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Bolt Action - Lightly-Armored Vehicles and High Explosives

Recently, in the US mid-Atlantic scene, there has been a noticeable shift towards favoring lighter vehicles on the table tops.

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Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Fortress Italy: Axis on the Boot in Late War Review

In our last installment, we gave our general impressions of the Italy compilation and did a thorough review of the British, Polish, French and American forces contained in the Flames of War late war Italy briefing book Road to Rome. Today, we're turning to the bad guys; the Germans and their Fascist remnant Italian friends in Fortress Italy: The Axis Defense of Italy January 1944 - May 1945. 

Below you will find an exhaustive look at the forces represented on the axis side of the line during the slog up the Italian boot, or "One tough gut." as General Mark Clark commander of the 5th Army called it"  Along with our look at the German and Italian forces we'll all give our final thoughts on the compilation and how we think it stacks up for late war play.

The German army in Italy had the daunting task of holding back all the might of the Commonwealth and US forces.  Given good ground to defend  but very little resources they often created some ingenious methods for holding the Allies. Under the excellent command of Albert "Smiling Albert" Kesselring,  the defense of Italy was made both nimble and viscous. In fact, it was not uncommon for the Germans to pull a Battalion or Company out from their parent division to help other units in trouble.  The book represents this very well with all kinds of unit choices from other divisions.  Another amazing thing about the German army in Italy is the abundant number of the tank choices, especially for a land with bad terrain for tanks and you can get some pretty good Armor Companies out of this book.

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Monday, March 24, 2014

Bolt Action - Warlord Tobu Paints a BIG Cat!

Some of you might recognise this from the ol' LRDG site.  We thought it was too good a tutorial to not bring back now that we have moved over to BA.Net.  What do you think?  Let us know on the forums! - Brad


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Road to Rome, the Allies in Italy 1944-45 Review

By, The WWPD Crew

Today, the WWPD team is happy to bring you our review of the first of two compilation books for Flames of War late war play in Italy, Road to Rome: The Allied Assault on Italy January 1944 - May 1945, along with our first impressions of the two book set.

Road to Rome and Fortress Italy, Overall Impressions

"Stubborn defense characterized the German Italian Campaign.  They made full use of the difficult Italian terrain, criss-crossed with river valleys, hills and mountains.  Each Allied push was met with equally determined defense." Excerpt from Fortress Italy

Road to Rome and Fortress Italy are a two book compilation from the original Dogs and Devils and Cassino books.  Wayne Turner is credited with compiling, editing and adding new material along with a host of other contributors.  Fortress Italy is a hardbound, 181 page, full color book covering both the Italian and German forces, in the Italy campaign, from January 1944 through May 1945.  Road to Rome is also hardbound and full color, but is 245 pages and covers the British, American, Polish and French armies that participated in the Italian campaign during the same time period.

The lay out of both books is visually superb. They present not only the basic army lists for building your force, but also contain detailed campaign maps with force movements for the many battles fought during this time period. The multiple Axis lines of defense as well as the Allied operations by land, sea and air to complete the conquest of Europe's soft underbelly are well illustrated in detail. Complete overviews of these engagements provide great reading and can establish a solid basis for the Flames of War player to create fantastic scenarios.

The overall graphic design and layouts of the books is visually appealing and, despite some surprising editing flaws, the extraordinary number of well designed pictures of miniatures speak volumes to the quality and thought that was put into these projects.  Both books have a solid table of contents that allow you to quickly reference which force, special rule or warrior you wish to review.

There are several new forces, new warriors and myriad revisions to some favorite lists from Dogs and Devils and Cassino that are sure to appeal to everyone. So without further ado, please enjoy part one of WWPD's review of Road to Rome and Fortress Italy.

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Deep Wars: Scaly Horde

In December, we looked at the Deep Wars rulebook. Today we're going to take a look at the Scaly Horde Box Set.

I left the models glossy so that they'd have somewhat of an underwater look to them. For a quick job, I think they came out alright.

Up first we have the Abyssal Gark Warrior. A basic humanoid grunt with mediocre stats, but he uses Echolocation rather than eyesight, making him adapt at fighting in the deep pitch black waters.

The Dagathonan Salvager is adapt at taking down opposing submersibles, fortifications, and other heavily armored targets. He carries a satchel full of explosive charges on his back.

The At-Atck-Clal-Chk Scientist is armored with a variety of ranged weapons, and also has the Scientist skill, allowing him to use advanced Ether Tech weapons and repair them on the battlefield.

The Draconid Sea-Demon Shaman can summon other minions to the battlefield.

And last, but not least, we have the Steel-Jaw Flacoderm Fish. Slow, dumb, and brutish, it swims towards things and bites them. Simple enough.

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Bolt Action - Alternative Mission #0: Domination

During Cold Wars, both Judson and Captain TO came up with new missions for us to play.  Many of us were glad to see the new missions, and many more have been wondering what these new missions were all about.  Over the next few weeks we will be publishing these missions on and eventually will be making them available in the downloads section.

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Friday, March 21, 2014

There and Back Again: Steven's Announcement

Hi guys! I wanted to take a quick opportunity to let all of you fine WWPDers know that I will be returning to the WWPD network in a few short days. As many of you know, I came to work here at Battlefront down here in New Zealand last summer, and though we’ve very much enjoyed our time here, for personal reasons we will be returning to the East Coast!

Our visit to Hobbiton

Isabelle really enjoyed the ocean.
I’ve enjoyed my time at Battlefront, and leave with nothing but good will for the team, and the company itself. I’ve forged many strong friendships in our short time here, and have enjoyed seeing how the hobby I love is developed from “behind the curtain.” My enthusiasm for Flames Of War is stronger than ever, and thus you can expect loads more content from me on the WWPD blog in the coming weeks.

To that end, while I will be returning to the News From the Front podcast, for at least the next few months I will be recusing myself from any speculation, analysis, or crystal ball rubbing concerning Battlefront and Flames Of War. I have naturally signed an NDA that I take very seriously, so please don’t even ask!

I wish to sincerely thank Jon, who has acted as the Steward of WWPD. He’s done a fantastic job of
We'll always have Auckland!
keeping all of the spinning plates in the air, and upholding the vision for the network. Thanks goes also to all of the many contributors, podcasters, writers, editors, and cheeto-eaters that keep the engine turning over.

There will be more news to come in the coming weeks. I hope to see all of the old familiar faces around the East Coast again soon.

Finally, I’d like to again thank Battlefront Miniatures for the time I’ve spent here, and certainly wish the company all the best! There are some very cool things in the pipeline, and I can’t wait to enjoy them all soon.

Keep Calm, and Carry On!

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Bolt Action - A Closer Look At The Eureka Gas Mask Germans

Old Friend of the LRDG, Marky Mark, takes a proper closer look at the Eureka German gas mask troops as part of his preparation for the Conquest tournament over Easter weekend.

"Don't leave me hangin' bro!"
I was recently asked by “Old Man" Morin from Team LRDG to do a bit of a write about painting some Germans from Eureka Miniatures as seen in his article a few weeks back.  I jumped at the chance as I plan to complete an army's worth for the LRDG’s Bolt Action tourney at Conquest in Melbourne.
As this range of miniatures is set in an alternate “Pulpitations” WW2, I thought I would paint my miniatures in a darker “comic book” style.  Overall the range of poses is great, as well as the casting being very crisp with few mould lines and flash.

Some of the poses in the range are strange and seem to be casts of other miniatures like the unit leader with SMG shown throwing the fist bump out to the troops.

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Thursday, March 20, 2014

Cold Wars Pic Dump

Welcome to beautiful Lancaster Pennsylvania! It's a Dutch
By the WWPD Team

Twice a year the WWPD crew heads on up to the Amish Paradise that is Lancaster, Pennsylvania. This time around we're there for Cold Wars, the Historical Miniatures Gaming Society annual winter convention.

We spend a long weekend playing all sorts of games and hawking our wares to unsuspecting buyers in the bucolic backdrop of rural southwestern PA.

Sure, it's about throwing down awesome games of Flames of War, Bolt Action, Saga and other such goodness but it's also about hanging with friends, gallivanting about a decrepit old convention space with more stairs than people and spending more money than we really should. Tough gig right?

This time around we were able to participate in numerous events including a Flames of War doubles tournament on Friday with an interesting final round where you broke your 1000 point army down into 600 points and played on a 3x3 table. A two round Bolt Action tank company tournament and a 3 round 1000 bolt action tournament. Not to mention tons of board games, card games, drinking, and of course, a pod cast.

Below is our pic dump of all the fun, hope you enjoy perusing them at least half as much as we enjoyed taking them!

Flames of War, 2000 point doubles tournament. 

Throck's Hungarians. Partnered with Bruce Nemet to bring the Zrinyi pain. 

Jesse and Miles from Showcase Comics try to find an answer to the question, "Is there such a thing as too many T-34's?"

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Bolt Action - Speak Easy Episodes 21 & 21.5

In episode 21 & 1/2 of Speakeasy, CBax and Judson begin the long, post-convention, re-humanization process, while Dano grills them for information. The recent elevation of the Japanese Army to major Bolt Action player status is discussed, as well as game play revelations that occurred during Cold Wars. List discussions! Powerful units! New armies sweeping the scene! This is a big ep, BARbarians!

(For those that don't know, subscriptions provide access to all WWPD premium content, and Speakeasy represents just a fraction of the whole. - Judson)

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Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Beyond the Foxholes Episode 10

WWPD presents Episode 10 of Beyond the Foxholes!

Welcome to Beyond The Foxholes Episode 10.
We join Ben, Winner Dave, Adam and special guest Andy as they talk all things Flames of War.

 In Act 1 the guys talk about what they have been up to, look at the latest news from Battlefront and cover our own tournament Breakthrough Assault 2.

In Act 2 we look at the current tournament meta, bring in our new section the Mail Bag, cover some over looked rules and talk about "when do you point out a mistake your opponent has made?" (in Adam's case never!).

In Act 3 we help Andy out with his list for The Art of War (this does turn into a petty competition between the 3 of us!) and round out the episodes by looking at some new lists ideas for Ben and Adam.

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Bolt Action - Armies of Ethiopia

by Cbax

One thing that makes Bolt Action so accessible is the universality of its core rules.  While Bolt Action, in its current form, is a World War Two miniature war game, it can easily be adapted to other periods and genres.  We have already seen people play Bolt Action Vietnam games, and my own group has ever dabbled in some Bolt Action sci-fi games.  While it's not a stretch to lump The Abyssinia Campaign into the conflict we now call World War Two,  it was just one of the many small conflicts where new tactics and machines of war were tested before the War began. (And if you check out the article, you can play it yourself! - Judson)

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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Announcement: The WWPD Rankings System

With the demise of Rankings HQ on 2/28 as our sole source of Flames of War Rankings for the USA, the WWPD crew decided to look into creating a system to provide that same service to the Flames of War player community.

During our discussions with that player base, several ideas, critiques, and options were thrown around, and we discovered that the idea of Rankings in general could be quite contentious. However, from these discussion, we believe that we can create a system - or rather set of systems - that can provide a wide array of services to the community, while mitigating some of the negative effects of the previous RHQ system.

Our vision for these systems is as follows:

Phase 1 - The WWPD Rankings System

Pure and simple, this system will follow the general course set and followed by the RHQ system over the past several years. We will streamline the event submission process, and hopefully make it less time intensive for Tournament Organizers to submit their results for each of their events. Our formula for scoring events will also change slightly - mainly to improve the relative scores generated by smaller events.

One of the critiques of RHQ was that it drove players away from local events to large, 40-player plus events so that players may maximize their scores in the system. Also, players that didn't have large events nearby were often left out of the top rankings because they could not travel to the large events.

While player count will still factor into the overall score, we have made the relative gap smaller between the maximum points earned at a large event versus a small event. We have also decided to give the BF Nationals events a higher weight, as these events tend to draw a large percentage of skilled players and bring 6 rounds of play to provide as competitive of an event as possible.

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