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I paint small metal and plastic figures and rarely get to play with them. But that is fine with me.

24 April 2018

Stalingrad Event

The Volga Crossing where I played

Pavlov's House in the center of the long table

The Tractor Factory. The lavender yarn was used to mark deployment zones. Those diagonal deployment zones made for an interesting setup.

My view up the table.

In my last post I described an event that I have been very much looking forward to, the first I've been able to attend this year. The area's main hub for Bolt Action, Ogre's Den in Orangevale graciously opened doors and allowed the group to set up a 4'x18' table to represent three of the most iconic parts of the Battle for Stalingrad in World War 2 - The Tractor Factory, Pavlov's House and the Volga Crossings. The table(s) looked simply breathtaking, easily rivaling anything I've seen posted online. Andrew Bergthold was the on-the-day organiser and was also celebrating his birthday (So we all got free BBQ'd burgers, kindly provided by his father.) and had designed the overall scenario and specific conditions that each section of the table had to abide by. Each table section had a pair of players for each side playing 5 turns over two connected games. The 1st game we could not affect what was happening on the tables next to us, but in the 2nd game (After we were provided reinforcements, we could, which made for some really fun matchups.). It all made for a very fun and thematic day of gaming, with the overall winner who had the most kills, taken objectives and also managed to get their troops into their enemy's deployment area.

My list for the day had a few restrictions in the players packet, seeing as Tony and I were "Crossing the Volga river". No vehicles (In the initial crossing, though any taken could come on as reserves, no
gun teams larger than a light AT/Howitzer and to reflect the constant peppering those poor sods had to endure on those wooden boats all units that arrive in the "1st Wave" (A turn 1 mechanism in Bolt Action) arrive already having a pin on them.

My force on the day.
1st Lt.
2x 12-man Regulars each with 2x LMG's - Fantatics
2x 7-man Regulars all with SMG's - Fanatics
1x (free) 12-man Inexperienced Squad - Fantatics
Regular Sniper team - Fantatics
Regular Flame Thrower team
Regular Anti-Tank Rifle team (Ended up just taking the one) - Fanatics
A Forward Artillery Observer
Medium Mortar Team - Fanatics
And here are some of the other armies present at the event - some really nicely painted forces I think!

The following are just the pictures I took of the day's gaming; that is, when I remembered to take them. Our main objective was to have more troops on the wooden square just past the beach then the Germans by the end of the 1st round. I will say, #1 highlight of the day was my mates Gregg and Frank from my rpg group turning up to check out the game and my old Flames of War pal Rich (Of Flames of Nerd blog fame likewise dropping by and feeling so inspired he went and picked up a whole new Japanese army later that day! Woo, a new opponent!) who stuck around for the early stages. 

That crashed aircraft terrain piece was lovely. Have since bought a 1/48 Spitfire to make something similar myself!

This StuG did a good job of scaring the Soviets on the beach to keep their heads down, but in the end would end up immobilised and thereafter, ignored. 

Forward you dogs!

When you aim to be killingest general of the day, this is how one should roll. (A rare day where my dice and I loved eachother.)

So close!

There had been a Kraut Flame Thrower team at the crest of that rise for a second there.... wonder where they went? 

Getting a bit packed on this beach.

Meanwhile, over behind Pavlov's House.

Action shot of Travis Hiett's Assault Engineers stomping through some rubble

Wait, there can't possibly be more troops coming from across the river???

That's right Nazi pigs!

Sudden breakthrough on the left flank! Soviets assault the German sniper who had set up in the left side ruins.

The Tractor Factory was incredibly hard fought. 
Well, somehow, that person was me. My first #1 placing at any sort of event. :)

Highlights of the game:

1.  One of my fine opponents, Aaron brought on his Flame Thrower team from reserve a mere 6" from a squad of my own poor troops who had just managed to crawl off the beach and take their first step on dry land. Aaron gleefully throws his to-hit dice to spread fiery death upon them and rolls.... a "one", thoroughly missing his shot! Next he rolls to see if his Flamethrower still had fuel left and rolls.... another "one"! Seems the silly buggers forgot to fuel up before leaving for the front lines! (Free kill point for me.)

2. My Soviet partner, Tony (Who's company made the day even more fun), brought along a T-34 tank, which seemed to cause our German playing opponents some concern (Even though, throughout the game, the tank shot and hit NOTHING). So both Aaron and Kat called in an Airstrike by the Luftwaffe Stukas to take it out. Both roll to see if/how the strike was coming in and.... both rolled a "one" at the same time! In Bolt Action, that means the incoming aircraft mistake their own forces as targets and the opposing player(s) (In this case Tony and I) got to pick their targets instead! Whilst the ensuing airstrikes didn't kill all that much (Mostly due to both German forces being Veteran skill level throughout for the most part), they caused enough pins on the German units to be really annoying.

3. Kat's lone remaining Veteran Grenadier that had been withstanding a withering hail of small arms fire and yet surviving all of it, was eventually charged by Tony's 6-man Naval squad and forced to defend himself in close combat! Of course, Tony rolled not one dice enough to take the bugger out and Kat in turn did just enough to win the combat, wiping out all 6 sailors with a cheeky grin on her face. (She now has a reputation for this sort of shenanigan after doing similarly against me in my previous matchup against her)

4. My Medium Mortar team refused to come in from reserves 3 turns in a row.... Then when it finally set up for a shot, ranged in first time and annihilated the remainder of a 5-man Veteran Grenadiers squad. (The Commissar had just brought out his pistol to execute traitors to the Motherland as well...)

5. The last two turns of the day saw a KV-1 tank (Borrowed from Jason, a very nice chap) brought on from my post-game reserves come on over on the Factory table to tackle some nasty stubborn German StuG (that had a heavy howitzer!?), but it couldn't penetrate the makeshift tankhunter's extra-thick armour; and Tony's Ampulet team come on on the same board, paddling an inflatable raft up a sewerage canal and try to lob globes of firey death at the StuG (Also to no effect.). This in turn caused Craig (The StuG's owner) to angrily pick up his tank and claim "It wouldn't stick around". Needless to say, he didn't enjoy the game. LOL.

In the end the day was an emphatic overall Soviet victory and called off early, with the Commies holding all three main objectives and really piling the hurt on the poor Germans. Also, it seems the Luftwaffe were on drugs or something that day because as well as the two fouled-up airstrikes on our table, a 3rd was called in and also fouled up (Destroying it's own German gun team I think) on the Tractor Factory table too, along with a general strafing of the whole board after the 1st round that hit absolutely nothing. (!?)

The winner of the event was... me, with 11 kills for the day, 3 of my own units in my opponent's deployment zone and our main objective taken (And had the game gone on one more turn I would have grabbed one of the German secondary objectives too.).  My first time winning a gaming event too. With my in-store credit that I received as reward, I quickly spent it prior to heading home, leaving with a new Warlord plastic KV-1/2 tank kit, a Soviet Anti-tank Dogs team, Soviet Heavy Mortar team, a 2nd red orders dice set (So I can play armies larger than 12 units total.) and the below Rubicon Models Soviet Studebaker truck (That I glued together last night.). A fine haul!

If you got down to this part, then congrats, didn't realise this was going to end up so wordy!

The paint table is a little cluttered right now with many project on the go at the same time. I think a little non-WW2 is in order to clean off my hobby palette?

20 April 2018

Comrade! (Part 26 - We're not gonna make it!)

My painting opportunities this week ended up being far fewer than anticipated, so this is where these four fellows have gotten to. Still skin/eyes/hair and some tidy-ups here and there to get done and then of course snow effects added to their bases to go.

But, with my regular rpg session taking up this evening, that leaves me with about 30 mins after I get home from work tonight to get all that done!



I take it back, the two on the right already have their skin/hair/eyes done. So perhaps not so insurmountable a task? Maybe some 2am painting post-rpg'ing will be enough!?

16 April 2018

Comrade! (Part 25 - 2 more members for my veterans squad)

At the Ogre's Den LGS in Orangevale this Saturday, there's going to be a Stalingrad theme'd Bolt Action game event. Of course I'll be taking my Winter Soviets along and have been drawn to play the Volga Crossing table, attempting to get my reinforcements across the river and head in to back up the beleaguered brave defenders in the city proper.After choosing a list on EasyArmy, I realised I was two soldiers short for one of my squads, so after a wee search, found these minis that fit in perfectly with my Winter Onesie squad of Veterans. They are produced by Annie Norman's Bad Squiddo Games and turned out to be very straight forward to paint up.

They'll provide a 2nd LMG for my Fanatic (Stalingrad selector allows almost all your troop choices to add "Fanatic" to your units.) regs, making the squad rather nasty on the table at range AND in close combats.

Trooper on the right looks a bit surprised/googly, but I figured I'd leave her that way seeing as her helmet is down so low that on the table, no-one will see her features anyway.

Bad Squiddo is a minis company that specialises in ranges solely of female figures, but in more realistic/practical attire/armour. These WW2 ladies were originally part of a kickstarter prior to regular release and are sold as "Soviet Scouts", though they blend in perfectly with Warlord's Winter range and so will just be regular troops for my purposes

Next up the only other oustanding units from my army list, two Anti-tank Rifle teams. No Panzerfausts in Stalingrad, so my poor boys are going to have to try to tackle and German armour with these things. They'll also double up as psuedo-snipers too, which will be extra annoying, I'm betting. :)

Am pretty sure the bipods are incorrectly placed, but they'll do. I have yet to use Anti-tank guns in-game and always pass them up when choosing units for some reason.

23 March 2018

Clever Hans (Part 7 - Panzerschreck Team and Heer Sergeant - Done!)

For my Winter Germans, I slapped on some colour to these three frigid fellows.

The look on the 'Shreck wielder's face does not inspire all that much confidence that he knows what he's doing...

First up, the Sergeant sculpt for my Winter Heer squad, pointing out where the direction that the dastardly Ivans are reportedly coming from. Lots of fun detail to this bloke, my fav’s being that his helmet has been stashed at his belt and his winter-goggles are still strapped about it. He’s also looking down the length of his nose, like some superiority-complex’d twat – perfect for an unpleasant bully of an NCO.

The model is by Warlord Games and is actually supposed to be the Officer's adjutant, but I liked him better as my Grenadier Squad's sergeant. 

You can't see it in this pic, but I managed to paint in his black/white/red roundel cap badge. First time too. (Even if you zoom in, it doesn't show. All that hard work that, really, only I get to see.)

This Panzershreck team (Also by Warlord Games) was mostly simple to paint as a majority of both figs were made up of their bulky Winter greatcoats which were rather swift to paint up. Nice sculpts, though getting that 'Schreck face protector thingie to glue on straight was a bit of a pain.

Can't tell if the fellow on the right is trying to tell his pal to fire, or to NOT fire? 

With these three done, I've moved on to another tiny part of my Winter German army, their medic. Warlord Games' sculpt for a Winter theater medic is a lovely fig, propping up some poor fellow who's been injured somehow. On top of that, I've also plonked down on a 50/60mm (Can't rightly remember) round mdf base the free fig (Also of one German trooper seeing to his comrade) that was free with purchases of the physical 2nd Edition. But seeing as I picked up the Kindle version of the book I never got to have this cool mini - that is until, the estimable Admiral Drax was kind enough to post me one and I saw immediately upon receipt that it would make for a perfect centerpiece in my game-table objectives collection!

And lastly, I also started slapping the beginning layers onto the Sd.Kfz. 251/1 Ausf D half-track that will be the transport option for my previously previewed SS Grenadiers squad.

Couldn't find any colour pics of a half-track's interior in my brief googling, so just went with a "Dunklegelb" type colour. At the very least, it'll provide a nice contrast to the Winter Whitewash that I am planning to apply to the outside armoured areas. The above pic is after preliminary wash. 
These are the passenger figs for the half-track, but I'm not so sure I'll be utilising them. They are TINY (!) and whilst I would love to have passengers in my hanomag, I'm not so sure these plastics are the men for the job... 

05 March 2018

Bit and bobs (WIP)

Painting did not happen this past week, again. But that’s okay as I did get some construction, basing and priming finished on some upcoming projects namely:

1.       Beast of Nurgle
This fun looking critter is Games Workshop’s latest version of the daemon and the first as a plastic kit with a few options for personalization. Neither simple nor difficult to build, the instructions were the only reason I found this taking a bit longer to construct  than I’d anticipated. But the finished product, wow. Just a well-designed model kit and with the left over bits, I think I will try my hand at some sculpting with air-dry clay to see if I can’t make him a pal to give me two for any future WH40K Daemons list that I might try out using the current 8th Edition rules (That I recently got a hold of.).

He's since been primed grey and is awaiting me to decide on a suitable colour scheme. 

2.       Volksgrenadier
I realized that I can’t stand the Warlord plastic Grenadier sculpts and that their metal sculpts are so much more fun to paint and full of character in contrast (Think I’ve mentioned as much somewhere before?). So I gave my left over plastics to Densmol so he can build even more Krauts for me to mow down. Instead, I bought Warlord Games’ Volksgrenadier Squad and spent time prepping them for primer (They are now drying post-prime). Bit dressed down for the depths of Winter I guess, but they’ll do for some inexperienced level fun.

Poor buggers, thrown into the gaping jaws of the Soviet war machine. Doesn't matter how up-to-date and shiny their kit is, they're still inexperienced recruits and will probably die horribly in every game I use them in! ^_^

3.       Objective Markers
I ordered some VERY affordable 40mm round mdf bases from a Spanish-based Ebay seller that arrived quite quickly and used some of them as bases for some old resin Chain of Command objective markers that were a kind gift some time ago from Stew. Still debating whether I should Winterise the things or leave them as generic as possible so I can use them in multiple theaters? Opinions on this are welcome. Notice the 5th one with the German duo – another kind gift from the good Admiral Drax. Excited to paint this one and it will end up being done in a Winter theme.

Objective markers that can be used in multiple games, or as extra scatter terrain in a pinch.

4.       Lights, Camera, Action!
After seeing some of my fellow bloggers’ super well done pics using ultra-affordable portable lightboxes, I decided to get one for m’self. And low and behold, it makes my own figs look better in pics too, AND, it’s easy to set up and store and takes up little space even when left set up, so I will be using the thing from here on in to show off my painted goodies for you all to peruse.

My recently previewed SS-Grenadiers. Think the black background makes them pop way more than before. 
Hoping to get some stuff painted up this week for sure, so next post should hopefully be a bit more interesting for you!