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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Bolt Action - Review: Warlord Games IS-3

The IS-3 is arguably the most advanced tank of WW2 and is one of the last tanks developed during the war to see the battlefield. Though it might have seen action as part of Soviet forces in Manchuria after the German capitulation, it is not even clear if this beast of a tank ever saw actual combat during World War Two. Warlord Games makes a resin model for this tank, and as a lover of big tanks, I was excited to get my grubby paws on one!
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Monday, February 27, 2017

Flames of War: Version 4 for Early/Late War, Rules Preview

Now that we have taken care of all of the Mid-War releases for Version 4, it is now time to turn our attention to something I am excited for, which is the EW/LW update to V4. For those who have been following my coverage may be thinking, what a hypocrite, he blasted MW V4, let likes it for EW/LW. First of all I do think we have two related but vastly different games here, and I feel after you have taken time to compare the two, and perhaps play them you will see the difference as well. Despite my praise I do feel gamers will have some issues with some of the concepts that have changed from Version 3. This article is the first of a series that will cover the V4 EW/LW rules, the next article will cover the Special and National Rules from this book and from the Special Rules book.
The new rules come in two books; the first are the core rules which comes out to 109 pages and is a standalone set of rules not a translation of the V3 rules for V4, so you do not have to keep referring back to V3. The other book, which covers Special Rules and Warriors is not a standalone book, and serves to translate, amend, and update the info from all of the previous EW/LW intelligence briefs to V4, so you will need to refer back to the original book.

Both books will be given to you free if you present a copy of the V3 book, and even that simple statement has led to many questions of the forums. So why have two books for the V4 rules? It goes back to what I stated above, they are different games now. All of the rules that dealt with things like warrior teams, pioneers, flame throwers, etc. are not out of the MW version of the game, so why have it the rules since they are no longer applicable. Also, the deep and interesting lists, with their unique special rules are unchanged and are no long comparable to the mid war game. Another big difference between the two is that MW will have a different point scale and use cards for players to keep track of their forces vice using lists.

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Friday, February 24, 2017

Bolt Action - Cancon 2017 Photo Dump

Not too long ago, we had a Bolt Action packed weekend at Cancon, Australia's biggest wargaming convention.  There was a Friday K47 event and then the main BA event over Saturday and Sunday with 56 players, the latest event in Australia to date. Headed by master TO, Peter West, who was backed up by deputy TO, Patch of the BAA, everyone managed to enjoy an amazing event that ran like clockwork. 
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The Portal's World at War Tournament - December 10th 2016

So I begin by apologizing to Chris Kadish and My friend Karl, as well as the folks over at CT Valley Gamers for not getting this typed up sooner.  My laptop died a horrible death right after this tournament and then I waited for its replacement to arrive well into the new year.  After that, I had to chaperone 20 kids into NYC for a 4 day field trip....bottom line, this AAR dropped down on my list of priorities.  Moving forward however, I expect I will be a lot faster with these reports.  Since my new computer doesn't randomly shut down and erase all I was working on.

Without Further ado....

The Portal in Manchester CT, has played host to a few FOW tournaments over the course of the past year.  and I've been lucky enough to attend two of them.  Chris Kadish, TO organizer and man about town, helped put this one together.  A doubles tournament with 2000 pts per team, and some restrictions on combinations. (no fortified companies for example) drew in quite a few teams.  Due to some friction over criteria for lists, a few teams from up North had to drop (when their ride decided against going.)  But we still wound up with 6 teams, and 12 players, which was more than enough to have fun moving our toys around the table.

Below, Chris, wondering why I am taking this picture.

Below: Some photos of the tournament area and some of the folks setting up.

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Thursday, February 23, 2017

Behind Enemy Lines Episode 33

Download the episode here
Dan, Damian and Greg are back for 2017! And you know what, why change a winning formula right?! If it ain't broke....

So, in part 1 we're looking at all the latest news and products from the gaming world for you to get excited about.

Part 2 is all about our local club and all the goings on there. We also look at the first tournament of the year for us, DanCon IV!

And finally, Part 3 sees (hears?) Greg asking the other two a few questions about what they're excited for in 2017.

We're back and its good to be a gamer!

Want to join the conversation? Please sound off in the comments below, or let us know on our forum!
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Flames of War, V4 Rules, Reviewed and Spoiled

This is the third and final preview for Battlefront’s Version 4 Mid-War book releases. In the Why We Fight Podcast, we devoted 3 long episodes on the changes found in the Early and Late war rules for V4. After reading through the advanced copy of the MW rules, they are somewhat different than what we have previously covered for the EW/LW rules. The core mechanics seem to be the same as the EW/LW versions, however I noticed a few things that are not in the MW rules. Warriors seem to have been taken out of the game, the card system plays a bigger role than I expected in MW, and the new rules seem to have simplified the game in a way it didn’t in EW and LW. What we have here is a set of rules that really only address the forces from Desert Rats and Afrika Korps and is not a rule book that covers the other forces that are planned to come out later for Mid-War; such as the US, Soviets, Italians, and East Front Germans. So before you flip out, let me detail what this book has and some of the differences I found with the EW/LW draft we reviewed. I will also high light what is now missing from the game.

You can look at the tables of contents for both books, but that really does not get to the differences in the two sets of rules.
You will notice that Aircraft has its own section the EW/LW, while in MW the rules for airplanes is woven into the rules which is something many players will like. Special units like Snipers, Flame teams/tanks, Pioneers/Engineers and Armored Trains (did they have any in MW?) are not in the core rules. I started to wonder if these rules only pertained to the first two books, Afrika Korps and Desert Rats since the book only has the national special rules for those nations. However I do not think this is case. Maybe the special units will appear in the upcoming books when they add new forces, we will have to wait and see.

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Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Bolt Action - My British Expeditionary Force, A Run Through the Ranks

Howdy folks, I have been gathering and painting my British Expeditionary Force for Bolt Action for some time now, and it is finally in a game ready position to write about. I will cover off on why I chose to play a BEF force, what units I intend to take to the table and where I sourced the miniatures from.

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Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Desert Rats for V4 Previewed and Spoliled

The British 7th Armored Division, known as the Desert Rats must be a favorite of someone at Battlefront because these guys pop up in so many books. And now, the first Mid-War Version 4 Allied army book follows this trend. It really shouldn’t be too much of a surprise, like the Monty Beret, few things make us think of the war in western desert more than the Desert Rats. So, in the aptly named book of the same name, players are given the opportunity to build a formation that features the tanks used by the 7th during the war in the North African desert.

What is in store for us in Desert Rats? Players have the option of fielding 4 formations in this book; a heavy tank formation featuring the Grant tank, two cruiser tank units that feature either the Honey or Crusader tank, and of course an infantry formation that represents the 7th AD’s motor rifle brigade. The formations available in DR represent a huge reduction from the variety of units that were previously available in the V2/3 North Africa books. However, this book only covers the 7AD and perhaps follow on books will cover the other units involved the desert war. One omission that I noticed is that the Sherman tank is missing from the lists - a fact  some “rat lovers” may gripe at. Rumor has it that Battlefront is going to include them in a later release. So until then your fights vs. the Afrika Korps will have to be without the iconic M4.

OK, let’s take a look at the formations.

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Monday, February 20, 2017

Afrika Korps for V4 Previewed and Spoiled

Welcome to V4! With the first two mid-war books now upon us (or nearly so) it’s time for some good ole’ spoilers and thoughts from your WWPD team.

First up, we’re taking a look at Afrika Corps, the German V4 book covering the fight in North Africa.

This book, and it’s counter part Desert Rats, are supposed to show us how the implementation for V4 will work. Unlike Early and Late-War Battlefront is waving a magic version wand and changing everything all at once.

The books also give us great insight into what future books built entirely for V4 may look like. We already know that US and Italian forces are coming by the early summer with the Eastern front due to arrive before the fall. We also heard rumors that the Pacific and the Far East will be added in late 2017 or early next year.

Let me make one thing clear, I am not writing this article on the core V4 rules, which I really like, but on the one of the two books that are supposed to replace the old North Africa book. Afrika Korps covers the German forces from the 1942-1943 campaign against the British 8th Army. When I first glanced at Afrika Korps I was struck by how light it was on lists, and those lists were even lighter as far as options.

To get some perspective, let’s look at the Africa Company infantry list from the older V3 North Africa book; it has a lot of neat options at the company level:

Drilling down to the platoon level, once again you have so many options, which fits in with the Kampfgruppe style organization this unit found itself having to cobble together during the Western Desert campaign.

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Friday, February 17, 2017

Watch on the Rhine - Blackmoon Games, Lebanon, NH 1700LW

Hosted by Joey Laderoute and Jeff Mayo and taking place in Lebanon NH at  Black Moon Games, this would wind up being one of my last V3 tournaments before V4 comes out in March.

I brought up some of my terrain (I can proudly say I have two tables worth.) that's not Eric "Tarzan"  Lauterbach levels of terrain...but everyone needs to start somewhere.  Some shots of the setup before things get going.

This 1700 pt tournament was so well attended we wound up with an impressive wait list.  20 players from all over attended.  I decided to come up the night before, and stay in a hotel, then left from the store and headed back down to my Home in Danbury that night.  The whole thing was well run, the store was a fun place and the owner was a very generous and friendly guy.  If there are people looking for some gaming space and product, I highly recommend it.

Some shots of the store...

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Bolt Action - Ghost Army Podcast Episode 22

Ghost Army Podcast: Episode 22

In this episode of the Ghost Army Podcast, Patch, Bryan and Anf talk about their action-packed weekend at Cancon, how their lists went and what they saw at the event, the first major Australian event for Bolt Action V2.  In the second half of the episode, they have on Mark, the author of the new Battle of the Bulge campaign book being released by Warlord and delve into the making of the book itself.

Find this episode in your friendly neighbourhood iTunes store or HERE.

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Thursday, February 16, 2017

Bolt Action - Cancon Charity Raffle - The Results

Over the Cancon gaming convention weekend held on the 28th and 29th of January 2017, the Bolt Action Alliance held a charity raffle to raise money to support Soldier On. The raffle consisted of two prizes. A rather large LRDG force, and a Fallschirmjäger force based on the invasion of Crete. I had painted up both of these forces and donated them to the raffle as my way of giving support to a worthy cause.

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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

My Impressions of Version 4: An Editorial

Let me start off with a few disclaimers; if you have not listened to Episodes 10, 11 & 12 of the Why We Fight Podcast you may be confused by some of the things I plan to bring up in this article. Even a cursory listen will help you, or if you read any of the detailed breakdown of the WWF in places like the WWPD forums you will have a better understanding of some of the changes and my impressions of Version 4 of Flames of War. Now a second disclaimer, this article offers my opinion which is based on my reading of the rules and play testing them over the last few months. This opinion is not influenced by any relationship we here at WWPD have with Battlefront. In the past I feel I have called out things I do not agree with enough to call myself impartial. The final disclaimer is that my opinion is based on the draft we received from Battlefront which converts the Early and Late War into Version 4. Things often change from the draft to the final version and often we are not privy to this. I can point out to the issue I had with the T-55AM2 stats in Volks-Armee just last month.

I was not very vocal about the fact that I felt that Flames of War was getting stale.  I was not as active in the tournament scene in 2015-2016 as I was in years past and did not look to play the game outside of tournaments.  It’s not that the game was bad, it was that very little was changing.  A lot of this is self-induced, I played the game a lot when I first got into it, and collected army after army in all three of the time periods the game covers.  So call it burnout or staleness I just wasn’t getting the same enjoyment as before.  I was not alone, I have noticed a shift in the FoW “old guard’ in my area, even this web page, once totally devoted to FoW now covers all aspects of the gaming community.

When Team Yankee was announced I was not 100% thrilled, which I was vocal about.  Having seen so many modern miniature war games fail to capture a large ground swell I doubted that this new game would be anything special.  I also used some confirmation bias to protect myself when I made claims that modern war should be fought in 6mm and that the 15mm scale was unrealistic.  Then I played it and realized how it just worked at 15mm, and the rules were tight.  So I was not a fan until I tried it, and once I did I became hooked.
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Thursday, February 9, 2017

Bolt Action - Trenchworx M4A1 76mm Sherman Review

Hello, everyone! Seamus here with a review for your perusal. I recently picked up a resin kit from Trenchworx, grabbing a M4A1 76mm Sherman to add to my nascent U.S. armored platoon. This is my second Trenchworx kit, but one that I really paid attention to as I built it after tearing through the Jagdpanther kit with reckless glee without taking pictures.

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Wednesday, February 8, 2017

LRDG II Podcast Episode 11

LRDG II Podcast Episode 11

Welcome back to another huge episode of the LRDG II. Old Man Morin is initially joined by Jeremy Spurlock of the San Diego Bolt Action Raiders and the guys talk about the scene and upcoming events on the left coast of the US. They also talk about an important cause to help both veterans and dogs in need. 

To find out more about Jeremy's awesome fundraising campaign, I highly recommend that you check out this website and/or go to play at Kingdom Con. The proceeds go to the same place and you might win a tank painted by Old Man Morin!

At that point, old friend of the cast, Luke Emerton hops on mic and he and Brad discuss the successful Cancon Bolt Action event and go over the new Battle Of The Bulge Campaign book unit by unit, with a microscope and a fine tooth comb. 

Please check out the episode and let us know what you think on the LRDG Podcast Facebook page. We love and appreciate any and all feedback.

You can also find this fine episode in the iTunes store or download directly HERE.

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B1MP My Ride: Getting the Most Out of the BMP Kit for Team Yankee

"Cross check over wrecks?  Nyet!"

With Volks-Armee now out, and with Red Thunder coming, I thought I would showcase some ways to make your BMP kits go a little further, ie be able to make both variants.   In Volks-Armee in particular, you can only have one Motor Rifle Co. in BMP-2s, so you will need some BMP-1s

The humble sprues.   If you are just starting to assemble your force, so long as you don't glue the upper deck to the main hull, you can easily swap BMP-1s and BMP-2s, you just have to paint both upper hulls, turrets, etc.

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STAR WARS Armada Video Battle Report

More Star Wars Armada! This time Garm Bel Iblis' fleet comprised mainly of three Assault Frigate Mk IIs squares off against Darth Vader's rapid response force. The game winds up being incredibly close- we weren't sure who won until the points were added up!

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Tuesday, February 7, 2017

"Never Tell Me the Odds:" How to Use Math to Make Better Gaming Decisions

While we all know whether something or not is a good idea in game by feel, sometimes choice A and choice B seem to be fairly even.

In Flames of War for example, by and large everyone knows that shooting twice at -1 to-hit with Stabilizers is always better than shooting once without, since if you get lucky you get TWO hits maximum and only 1 hit maximum without.. but what about something not as cut and dry?

Admittedly not a math guy like Eric Riha, I came across one or two cases where I really was stumped, and turned to some math for help.

I play Black Powder ruleset for my Napoleonics, and in that game, while every army has access to infantry, cavalry and artillery, there are a variety of formations that you can use, and my quandary was, should I bother moving my infantry up in Mixed Order (which means having skirmishers out front) and if so, it means I have to build and paint the skirmishing models!  They assault better in this formation, but I lose shooting power to do so.. which is actually better, and do I need to build more models, so I needed to be sure!

Here is my actual problem, and I'll go through math for my answer: Infantry can move up in a Line formation, where it can shoot 3 times w/ 18 inch range, hitting on 4+, enemy saving on a 4+, and a normal command bonus.   However, I can choose to set them up in an attack column because they are French, where they only shoot 1 time, shooting to-hit on a 3+, get a command bonus, but have -1 save.  Which is better vs similar stat'ed british line infantry?
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Monday, February 6, 2017

Bolt Action - Review: Warlord Games British Airborne Polsten Gun

I've had a Canadian Para army for a few years now, but outside of a running at the infamous Field of Dreams/Face-off tournament, it has sadly gotten very little game time. I can't really pinpoint why the desire to pull them back out always seems to fade in the face of playing Hungarians or Germans instead, but I am attempting to play a 'regular' Canadian force at Cancon next year and when this model came out from Warlord Games, I couldn't resist including one to my Paras. While it has taken me a long time to build it and get it painted (due to a hobby lull), it's finally done and I can't wait to get it on the table soon.

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Friday, February 3, 2017

Star Wars Armada: Corellian Campaign in a Weekend

With the release of the excellent new Corellian Conflict campaign for Star Wars Armada, my buddy Craig and I tried to play the entire thing through in a weekend. While we didn't quite finish, we got 9 awesome games of Armada in under the awesome campaign system! Fortunately, we recorded all 9 games and all of the campaign strategy phases between them. Check out the playlist here:

Make sure to subscribe to our Twitch channel if you'd like to catch these games live!

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Thursday, February 2, 2017

Armor of the Arab-Israeli Wars - or - Mike's Visit to Yad La-Shiryon Part 1

While the Flames of War rules for the Six Day War are a couple of years old at this point (and honestly I still have a bunch of Israelis to paint), I recently traveled to Israel on business and thanks to a generous co-worker, got a chance to visit Yad La-Shiryon (you'll likely need to get Google to translate the link), or The Armored Corps Memorial Site and Museum at Latrun (as it is more officially known). The museum houses a fairly amazing collection of armored vehicles - including many you wouldn't expect to see in Israel. As someone deeply interested in the history of the multiple conflicts since the founding of the modern Israeli state, the museum was a treasure trove of unusual vehicles and really gave me a sense of perspective around the conflicts and the vehicles used. In this first part of the article, we'll look at some of the early vehicles used by the IDF from the 1940's through the 1970's.

The museum is built around a Mandate-era fortress
The first thing one realizes when visiting Israel is that it is not a large country in terms of land mass. Driving from Tel Aviv (on the Mediterranean coast) to Jerusalem (on Israel's eastern border) takes you about an hour (it's ~70km/44mi from the shore to the Old City). From North to South Israel is about the same size as Oregon (see image courtesy of MapFight below), though at least the southern third of Israel is comprised of a sparsely populated desert, the Negev.

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Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Bolt Action - German 'Aufklärungs' Army Project (Part 3)

Well it's been a busy month on this army project with the Panzer scouts very close to having the initial 1000pt army all painted up, just in time for Australia's largest ever Bolt Action event. In this installment I add the platoons HQ, the last Panzergrenadier squad, some support elements and even get started on the vehicles. For those who don't know this is part 3 in a series on my late war German platoon for Bolt Action. You can read Part 2 here.

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