Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year's Day Game

Operation Sea Lion
New Year’s Day Game, 2009

April 1941 – it took longer than expected (and this delay cost Reichsmarschall Goering another diamond-studded oak leaf cluster to his Grand Cross of the Iron Cross) but the Luftwaffe has finally crushed the resistance of the RAF over southern England.

With air superiority established, the long-planned seaborne invasion of Great Britain can at last commence.

We join the action in the morning of 1 April 1941. The scene is the sleepy coastal town of Warmington Quim-on-Minge. As the villagers awake, the country air is split by the drone of the air-raid sirens and clouded by the billowing silk of parachutes! German paratroopers drift gently to earth near the village as a mile or two away, the first wave of German troops and tanks hit the beach.

But not all the villagers are still laying abed. Captain Meriweather Augustus Dimbulb-Entwhistle has mobilized the village Home Guard in anticipation of just such an event. While the Captain is an enthusiastic soldier, his leadership skills are somewhat limited to the “Fix… BAGNETS! CHARGE!!!!!” variety. Fortunately, his senior NCO, Sergeant John Blobby, is a canny veteran of the Great War who has a great deal deeper appreciation of the tactical arts. If only Sergeant Blobby can make his own voice heard over the Captain’s…

Other villagers stir as well. Hidden radio sets crackle into life, transmitting code words in German. These secret fifth columnists hurriedly dress and head outside, moving toward a rendezvous with England’s enemies, eager to provide them the first-hand information they need to conquer the island realm.

Elsewhere, a Royal Tank Corps Instructional cadre is completing familiarization runs with the new Churchill tank. They’ve decided to head into the village for brekkie at the Queen Vic public house.

Unbeknownst to the tankies, a platoon from No.4 Commando has been stalking them for several hours, on an exercise practicing stealth and fieldcraft. Little had they anticipated that their skills would soon be put to use in a “live-fire exercise”!

But now the German paratroopers have landed. Their weapons in hand, obtained from airdropped containers, they move swiftly from their rallying points towards the predetermined objectives around the village. Securing these important objectives, they will await reinforcement of infantry and armour moving inland from the beachhead.


Find out starting at 12 noon. Pub lunch of pie and chips to be served. See you there and Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

First Unit of Perry French Completed

Tonight I finished my first unit of plastic French 28mm Napoleonic troops from the Perry Twins' range. They are based for Shako (or, I suppose multiple other systems but I intend to use them for Shako).

French Battalion - 1812

There is a sapper with them to keep em' company. The banner is courtesy of Brian (his are the best!). The photos are blurry as I have yet to get a proper lense to shoot the minis up close. It's on the to-purchase list.

So that's one down and 13 or so to go...for line infantry....then there will be artillery, cavalry, officers....oh well, at least one is done!

New Years Game

Just a reminder about the cool game Dallas has planned for New Years Day. I encourage you all to join in for what will surely be an excellent game!

Painting Daydreams for 2009 (sorry it's so long)

As the year draws 2008 to a close, it's time to look ahead to 2009. Since it will be the 200th anniversary of Napoleon's 1809 campaign, which featured many cool battles, I expect Napoleonic painting will loom large, especially now that my modern stuff is quite loaded up, and my anime-games are in good shape, with solid collections for Robotech and Gundam that can be enhanced with small one-off projects.

Of course, the last thing that anyone would ever think as they observe my varied collection of gaming figures is "this guy really sticks to a plan", but it's still fun to pretend.

So, a few "resolutions" for painting in 2009, listed in order of importance:

1 - 6mm Napoleonics - painting them for my friend Curt as part of a trade for his 15mm French Collection. Curt has the merciful patience of a Saint on this, which means I owe him a bunch of Grenzer and Austrian line. Watch the blog progress photos (aka: evidence of progress)

2 - 28mm Napoleonics - of couse, I have a collection of Austrians and French in 15mm, and Dallas has French and Russians, so it is perfectly logical that I would invest time and resources in a difference scale, right? Screw logic! Especially after getting some Perry plastic French for Christmas!

I have nearly completed my first unit, based in a conventional style of 3 40mm x 45mm bases with 6 men each, for a total of 18 figures per unit. The skirmishers are being done individually on 20mm square bases, where they can be collected together for Shako, or used indivdually for skirmishing.

And I still have a ton of Austrians from Foundry, where I am experimenting with some more exotic basing standards that may enhance the look of the unit and make them more fitting for skirmishing as well. On the downside, it means many, many soldiers per unit - I may collapse and just do some "standard" based Austrians as well.

Anyone who has experienced that slight and immature pleasure of realizing other people are sick too will understand that I am pleased that this plague has spread to Dallas, who is now in posession of Victrix plastic Brits. Maybe if we both go bonkers, we can prepare for a peninsular-type Shako game in 25mm - that would be awesome! Now to target Mike...

3 - 15mm 8th Army Brits - for about three years now, I have been in posession of some DAK in 15mm, ready for action. I have a force of Brits ready to take them on, but they are heavy on tanks and light on other things (like infantry, and MGs to back them), with two pathetically under-supported lorried infantry platoons. I recently ordered and received another infantry platoon, some mortars, Vickers MGs and 2- and 6-pounder anti-tank guns. Time to work on those so the poor 8th army lads have some help against Rommel's troops.

4 - 6mm US WW2 Americans - for many years, (back to the time Curt got me interested in Spearhead) I have sat on a few packs of American kit. Well, it's rolling out now, and just needs some more mechanized guys before they are ready to fight! Already complete: 1 infantry battalion, 1 57mm ATG company, and 1 Sherman tank battalion. Due up for completion - 1 (or maybe 2) infantry batallion(s) in M3 Halftracks, another Sherman battalion, and an M10 tank destroyer battalion.

5 - 6mm WW2 Russians and Germans - my collection here is strong, but geared to late war (44 and 45, which is great fun). I'm trying to expand it to earlier war periods (42 and 43). That means more BT-5s etc. for Russians, and more Russian infantry, as well as some new infantry and more early mark panzers for the Germans. My current 6mm German infantry is primarily GHQ (which make great tanks and dreadful infantry) and I'm working on adding more Adler figure units (which look awesome!).

6 - 25/28mm Modern - continued expansion here - I have some Brits from Mongrel (geared to 70s, early 80s) that I would like to provide some action, just need to add another couple of sections. I may also get some 1/56 scale T-72s to give some armour support to the other 1/56 scale elements of my collection. For more "ultra" modern, I have some Kitech T-90 kits to finish, and I am experiementing with a way to create a "Black Eagle" for this scale, which would be fun to roll out. Plus, I hope the Imprint guy comes out with some new Soviet armour kits, because his 1/50 stuff fits with either 1/56 or the (alleged) 1/43 from Kitech.

7 - 6mm Modern - once more, continued expansion. I am working on models to represent the current prototype for Russian vehicles, like the "Black Eagle" tank, the BMP-4 and other cool looking monster things that Putin can design but can't buy to chew up Mike's new 6mm Brits! Also, will add new units for Arab-Isreali conflicts, like Isrealy mech infantry in M3 halftracks, and a batallion of M-60 tanks. Plus, I need to do a couple of planes - an Su-25 for the Russians, an Su-27 for the Arabs, and an F-4 to support my Israelis.

Random Priority - New 40k stuff - I hear rumours that the GW dopes will be re-doing the Imperial Guard codex, and may issue some new plastics, and maybe new plastic storm troopers. It's probably too much to hope for a re-issue of the regular plastic troops (which I don't care for) but plastic storm troopers would give me a chance to round out my Cadian Grenadier force.

Total Long Shot - 6mm Seven Years' War - in my collection, for some reason, I have a package of gorgeous 6mm Adler figures labled "Leuthen Battlepack" (apologies to SYW folks for any typos in the spelling) that appears to have everything I might need for a little (literally) smack down. I know little of the SYW, nothing of the battle of Leuthen (sp?) or any rules for the period, or any uniforms, and besides Brian has a stunning collection already in 15mm making this effort pretty redundant, but I've been known to snap before and just try something new for the sake of it.
And, of course, last but not least, pressure Cam to ensure his figures are ready for that Con in the spring! Otherwise, the poor will suffer (see previous posts).

So anyway, that's all I can think of. what about your plans? Let's hear them, so we can pressure you to follow up, salute you when they are ready for action!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Official Cam Painting Challenge

Example of someone who might suffer if Cam does not finish his Tau in time

So Dave V has stepped up the pressure on Cam to get his Tau painted in time for Mekanicon (sp? why can't these events spell things properly?). If Cam can get 1500 points of Tau ready for the tournament, Dave V will make a donation to a charity of Cam's choice, such as the Salvation Army. That means that actual improvements to society are now on the line, as well as just general having-fun.

Great idea Dave V!

Of course, as much fun as it is to pressure Cam, we can't have him feel the WHOLE world will suffer or something, so in addition to pressuring Cam, we will also provide updates on his progress, which will no doubt be impressive as he seeks to ensure young people, such as the one pictured above, do not go without.

And to help ensure Cam does not endure the pressure by himself, I will open the following proposal to Cam: Since I have (not quite literally) a ton of unpainted 40k Imperial Guard stuff, I will allow Cam to select for me any kind of Imperial Guard force, and I will paint it up for the tournament as well. I have unpainted Chimeras, unpainted Sentinels, many unpainted Steel Legion dudes, and unpainted regular plastic dudes, and I think even some unpainted Valhallans. So Cam, here it is - if you get 1500 points of fresh Tau, I will prepare 1500 points of fresh Imperial Guard at the same time.

So Cam, enjoy the holiday season, and starting in January, the process will begin...

Sunday, December 21, 2008

A Little Too Amibitious

Well, we tried AT-43 this week, and as Dallas pointed out in response to the post below, we were a little too amibitious. On the plus side, I have now figured out what the Universal Table of Resolution actually resolves, and we had a great turn out, which made for excellent visiting and compensating for the fact that we were trying a very complicated rules set for the first time using a very, very big game (couple of thousand points per side).

Cam, Dave V and I pushed the Therians around, while Dallas and Mike B. countered with an alliance of Red Blok and UNA troops. We battled to capture the majority of four objectives, and managed to end the game in a relative tie, even though our allegedly elite troops got basically lit up. I think I may have bought too much into the propaganda of how cool the Therien walkers are.

At least we understand some basics of the rules now, but there are many, many subleties and variations all cast in poorly written, poorly framed (yet beautifully illustrated) rule books. And then there is my well-established jihad against the cards. I'm leaning toward pitching the AT-43 rules, and just using a sci-fi version of Dallas' excellent Blitkrieg rules.

However, Dallas is fair to point out that a more organized, better planned execution of a much smaller, more basic game, would provide for a better feel (like using the leadership points, and "routines" for the Theriens, some of which are remarkably cheesy). And I would vote for not having the stupid medical station, which appears able to cure all wounds, even the doctor getting annihilated by a point-blank shot from a nucleus cannon, or, even better, Colonel Trask (or Bask or Mask or whatever) two turns AFTER getting obliterated by a point-blank shot from a nucleus cannon...

Until the next game - merry Xmas and Happy Holidays to everyone while I sit stranded at Pearson aiprort (although we may get out today - fingers crossed!).

Thursday, December 18, 2008

AT-43 Tonight

Well, it's always great to add to the huge collection of games we already played. Plus, you can't beat the knock-down prices we got all this stuff for (thanks to Fantasy Flight Games - I sincerely hope your massive 60%+ sale of Rackham stuff is in no way connected to the sub-prime mortgage crisis).

Initial impressions: on the plus side, the stuff looks really, really cool, and it's already painted and looks decent; the setting, aside from a bizarre reliance on crates that look like they come straight out of the intermodal shipping yard at Wilkes, looks neat; on the down side, it involves the "joy" of cards, which is a pointless complication, and you can't even ditch them because you need a deck, it's another thing to keep track of (sure, I have three steel trooper units - but do I have a card for each unit so I can activate it??); also, the translation shows in the "universal resolution" card resolves little...

Still, looking forward to some fun. We've figured out other rules systems before, this should be the same.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Sci-Fi assault gun conversion

Take one giant Russian die-cast tank...
Add an interest in near-future hard sci-fi...

Multiply by a GW tank bitz sprue...

Here's what you end up with...
(ps - Cam... I painted it in one night ;-)

Thursday Game

The time: 43 years after the Trauma...
The place: Planetary location designation Intermodal/C.N. 4433X

A cold grey sun shines weakly from a watery cold grey sky. Said sun in said sky illuminates a veritable forest of intermodal shipping containers. Of varying colours, they are all of uniform size, with different stencils proclaiming "Red Blok" and "UNA". This is Intermodal/C.N. 4433X, a small grey dwarf planet used as a shipping facility for interplanetary courier and logistics services. Hidden somewhere among the forest of shipping containers is what They seek.

"They" are Therians. Once they were human, long ago, but now they are more machine than man, twisted and e-vil. One of their number, Phil-753.2, was tasked with sending an important consignment of replicator modules to a Therian outpost. To be brief, he should've used FedEx. If he had, the replicator consignment might not have been lost in transit, with its tracking number indicating nothing more than "arrival scan: Intermodal/C.N.4433X".

Phil-753.2 leads a Therian task force to recover the replicator modules. In the meantime, the Tracking and Logistics Collective (Unclaimed Property Section) of the Red Blok has discovered the existence of the lost Therian replicator modules on Intermodal/C.N. 4433X as well. After filing forty-two different requisitions in quadruplicate, their request for a military task group to be dispatched to find the modules was granted. This task group is on route to Intermodal/C.N. 4433X and arrives just as the Therians get there...

Thursday's game will be the new (ish) pre-painted miniatures game from Rackham, AT-43. Looking forward to this try-out to see if further whoreage is justified ;-)

See y'all at my place, 7:30pm.



Monday, December 15, 2008

The Cam Challenge

This will be simple - can Cam paint 1500 points of 40k stuff to participate in this tournament? Of course he can! And we can all have fun pressuring him!
I haven't played in any 40K tournaments (or, any tournaments) since the WarCon days, and from what I can tell, this "Mechani-Kon" seems to be organized by a couple of sprogs who used to play in the WarCon events. So I think I will get off my duff and roll out for this one, even if only to remind myself why I stopped participating in 40k tournaments. Nothing like having your clock cleaned by some 10-year old with a Chaos Terminator army primed that morning with some kind of Testor's metallic paint. But the 5th edition rules are not too bad (still can't shoot people charging at you, but anyway) and I have some 40k figs that need to get whipped by someone else other than Dave's V deadly Swordwing contingent.
Also, I understand they will be allowing some demonstration games on both days, so it might be fun to roll a game of Red Storm on the sidelines of the Warmachine/Hordes events on the first day. Hopefully Dallas and Mike will be up for that....
In the meantime, Cam - mark your calendar, and start painting!! With the miracle of black primer, you will be there in no time.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Ringside Seat


The Eldar ranger sat in his foxhole on the top of a hill. He adjusted his camouflage cloak and absently checked the ammo counter on his sniper rifle – it still said “0.” He’d been in the field for 9 days. Dusk was falling. Distant sounds of fighting could be heard. He fervently hoped that relief would arrive shortly.
He observed the battlefield through his scope. A silent wraith construct sat, unmoving, in the middle of a darkened warp gate, west of the hill. A survivor from the battle had staggered and collapsed in a grove of trees to the northwest. The ranger couldn’t investigate either - a few automated sentry guns had been dropped by grav chute the previous evening, right in front of his vantage point, and he daren’t leave the safety of his foxhole.
He heard twin whistles as a pair of Imperial marker buoys impacted in the tree line to the south. “Here it comes,” he muttered.
Two heavy walkers clanked into sight from the north. West of the hill, multiple pops occurred as air was displaced by almost a dozen teleporting forms in heavy armour. The Marines broke into a trot towards the beacons as they secured the LZ . The ranger recognized the banner one held. Deathwing.
He hunkered down, muttering “Damned iron men.”
Suddenly, the whine of multiple engines sounded from the south as four heavy Eldar skimmers burst over a hill and through gaps in the trees.
Armoured infantry disembarked from the furthermost pair of Wave Serpents. Actinic fire cut down an entire squad of the Marines at the same time as a sentry gun exploded.
One of the Eldar skimmers blew up, showering Fire Dragons and Howling Banshees with bits of engine, plating, wraithbone and pilot. A couple of the Dragons fell, but the rest advanced on the banner bearing Marines.
More Marines materialized, almost over the bodies of their fallen comrades. The women of the Banshee shrine charged at them. They lost a couple to incoming fire, and then their forms became undistinguishable as they danced in and around the Terminator Marines.
Combined fire of the Dragons, a dismounted squad of Dire Avengers, and the surviving skimmer tanks cut down the Space Marine command squad; their banner was the last thing to hit the ground.
The ranger looked back at the melee. Over half the Banshees were now down, but all their opponents were down, too.
Another squad of Marines teleported in, near the fallen command squad. The two walkers reached the base of the warp gate, firing to the south.
The ranger let go his rifle and grabbed for the handgun on his hip. He fumbled and dropped it in the bottom of his hole just as it cleared the holster.
Half the Dragons were now gone, after an exchange of gunfire with the newly arrived Marine squad. The Dragons moved away towards the westernmost beacon, firing as they withdrew. The surviving Banshees launched themselves into another run, and another Avenger squad’s boots hit the ground behind their APC. Through the trees, the ranger could see the tall form of a Wraithlord and a smaller robed figure picking their way through the woods.
The Terminators advanced, leaning into a Bladestorm of shuriken as if into gale force wind. The last of the Marines fell just before the Banshees reached them.
The walkers, stripped of their infantry support, withdrew behind a smokescreen, dragging the sentry guns with them.
The clear area in front of the tree line was a perfect shambles of fallen Aspect Warriors and Terminator Marines. The Farseer floated half a meter above the ground as she wafted into clear view.
“Took her sweet time, didn’t she? Bloody witch.”
The ranger slowly stood up. The biofunctions of his armour had failed, and his legs were already caked in filth. He began to allow himself to hope. He just might live to see tomorrow…

Friday, December 12, 2008

So much for that plan....

Artist rendition of Greg B's Deathwing Assault last night

Well - so much for the "let's get the Eldar" plan. The Deathwing rolled in boldly against Dave V's Eldar Swordwind force (apologies for lack of pictures) and looked great, but that's about it. The TSN turning point came on turn two, when one of my sentry batteries obliterated a Wave Serpent (that ALWAYS feels good) and exploded, giving me the chance to wipe out a whole squad of Fire Dragons and Howling Banshees - talk about a bank shot! Sadly, 90% made their saving throws. A Deathwing BBQ ensued, which I helped along by flubbing reserve rolls so my terminators would arrive in dribs and drabs, allowing Dave to adjust his alignment and wipe them out as they showed up.

Well, this is what I get for all that smack talk after knocking out Typhus so easily in the game against Dallas' Plague Marines...

Meanwhile, the Dark Angels have appointed a Royal Commission To Avoid Completely Sh!tting The Bed Again Because There Are Only So Many Terminators Around. The comprehesinve review is under way.

PS - the Farseer we hoped to "get"? He didn't even need to arrive...spent most of the game in reserve, and rolled in to mop up in the last turn!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Tonight's Target

Tonight I will be playing a game of 40k against Dave V. I will be using my newly-painted Deathwing Terminator force, which has enjoyed some limited success against Dallas' unlucky Plague Marines, but are otherwise untested. Fortune seldom favours the newly painted figures, but if nothing else, I hope we take out the Farseer (pictured above - a fabulous paint job by Dave V.)

Photo for this morning

Since I had to miss out on the majority of the awesome-looking Lord of the Rings game last night (hopefully Dallas will send me a report later today so I can enjoy it vicariously) I thought I would post a photo at random from the assortment I have saved on my computer. As a testament to the wide variety of gaming settings and scales we enjoy (see below), here we can see Captain America dealing with some important covert matters that arose in Berlin in 1945...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

What Games Do We Focus On?

Some gaming groups seem to exist to play a particular game (like 40k, for example) or are devoted to a particular period (like WW2). Looking through my Dallas invites for the past year, I have been able to evaluate the games we have played, and can inform you that the Fawcett Conscripts are focused solely on the following eras and scales which we have played...

- WW 1 in 28mm
- WW2 in 28mm
- WW2 in 15mm
- WW2 in 6mm
- WW3 (Soviets vs. NATO) in 28mm
- WW3 (Soviets vs. NATO) in 6mm
- WW 3 (Soviets vs. NATO) in 2mm
- Afghanistan (Soviets vs. Mujahideen) in 28mm
- Former Yugoslavia in 28mm
- Mobile Suit Gundam in 1/400 scale
- World War "Z" in 28mm
- Napeloenics in 15mm
- Seven Years' War in 15mm
- Robotech in 1/200 scale
- "Check your Six" in 1/144 scale
- Korean Air War in 1/300 scale
- Old West in 28mm
- Sudan in 28mm
- Marvel super heroes (I guess the scale would be 25mm)
- Star Wars Miniatures (ditto with the scale)
- Star Wars Miniatures space combat (be sure to ask about the "Special Needs Squadron")
- Roman Gladiatorial Combat in 28mm
- Space Mecha Combat in 1/144 scale
- Modern Naval Gaming in 1/1200 (the Ticonderoga was lost, you say?)
- Warhammer 40k (that can't possibly be the real Typhus...)
- Lord of the Rings
- Space Hulk
- Warmaster

Other than that, we really don't game very many periods...

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


This will be the last Wednesday game for awhile, I promise.

Lord of the Rings, actually set in Middle-Earth for once ;-)

7:30pm at my place, see you there.


The Smallest Addiction Yet

Who would have thought these could get so small...2mm Leopard MBTs (below) from Ozzdial Osmy. Above - here is a picture of US A-10s laying the smack on a column of Soviet tanks:

Test Post with Photos

These blogs allow you to post a photo of the "blogger"; since the intent of the blog is to represent our gaming group, I thought I would start with this photo of the wonderful "Chemical Commies", 25mm figures made by Eureka. First noticed by my friend Dallas some time ago - maybe two years already - the purchase of these figures prompted us to pile into modern 25-28mm gaming, and the Chemical Commies have participated in actions involving everything from an assault on West Germany to World War Z encounters in Iraq, New York and elsewhere.

Test Post

This is a test post to ensure the blog is functioning properly. The next post will attempt to include photos as well.