Monday, March 23, 2009

Squad 1 and 88mw cannon complete

Here's one squad of FutureBritz finshed. Note the PIAT II and exo-suit NCO.
Here's the 88 Mega Watt cannon.
I just need to finish the crew.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


Games Workshop's new Shadowsword super-heavy tank kit is awesome, in the truest sense of the word. It's big - dwarfing anything in the 40K plastics range short of a Baneblade. It's pricey, too - a wince-inducing $110 CN at full retail. And most importantly, it has a BIG gun.

I decided to build one of these behemoths almost as soon as I read the announcement of the kit's upcoming release. I figured it would fit perfectly in the future-retro sci-fi world that many of the gang have been obsessed with lately. (See the multitudinous FuturKom/GünSchwarm entries on the blog this year)

My particular Shadowsword, "Wotan", takes its inspiration from the German battle tank of the Great War, the A7V. "Wotan" was the sobriquet given to one of these behemoths by its crew. The rusty, muddy grey colour scheme and iron cross insignia are an homage to the markings of the original vehicle, along with the death's head that featured prominently on several A7Vs.

The vehicle was built stock from the box, leaving off the sponsons which I though somewhat silly given the role of this machine as a Titan-killer. Bitz for the Bitz God I suppose! Weathering was done using gel texture medium for mud and painting with various Citadel browns. Rust was supplied by pin-washes of Citadel Chestnut Ink. Decals courtesy the bits box as well - crosses from a 1/72 WWI aircraft kit (a Roland I think), Roman numerals from Brent Dietrich, and the death's head from the Tamiya 1/48 StuG III.
The commander is a Steel Legion model from GW, he's the loader from the crew-served lascannon, razor-sawed to fit in the turret. He had some details resculpted with greenstuff and his helmet painted in camo to tie in the Great War theme. All in all it's a pretty cool model and I'm pleased with how it turned out.

"Scheisse! Is that the time?? We're late for the assault!!"

Friday, March 20, 2009

Shake 'n' Bake - the photos

Here are some photos of the game last night, to accompany Greg's excellent battle report below:

Germans had to get from bottom left to top right in 20 turns - what could go wrong?

KV-85s lurk...

Here kitty kitty...

Nice kitty kitty...

Tigers vor!!

Greg did a great job on these models.

SU-85s "shaked 'n' baked"

The culprits

T-34's (top) move out to engage the Panthers. It will end in tears...

T-34s on the Russian left flank

German armour

Coffins for (many) brothers

Infantry targetted by artillery

KV-85s supporting Russian "crunchies"

Thanks for the game, Greg, it was awesome!

Battle Report - Shake and Bäke on the steppes

Last night the Conscripts assembled to play Spearhead CR, a house-modified, map-free version of Spearhead. The scale was 6mm, and the scenario was set in the Spring of 1944, west of the Dnieper river in Ukraine. It was based on the scenario "The Devil's Cauldron", from the scenario book "Where the Iron Crosses Grow."

The scenario featured Schwere Panzer Regiment Bäke, a heavy-duty "fire brigade" fighting to break out of a pocket and escort the remnants of a German infantry divison to "safety". A Russian infantry brigade and Guards tank brigade blocked their path.

It was a great turnout again - Dallas, Mike F and Cam took command of the Panzers, while Bill, Frederick and Mike B beat their ploughshares into swords and rolled with the Russians.

We used the giant 8'x5' table for the scenario, and the conditions hinged on whether the Germans could get a majority of of the infantry division survivors (represented by trucks) from one short end of the table ALL the way to the other side.

It seemed really easy until the German players realized that the trucks don't move very fast...but at least they had an escort party with style. Regiment Bäke consisted of a battalion of Tiger Is, a battalion of Panthers, and a battalion of combat engineers teeming with flamethrowers and other goodies and backed by a "Stuka Zu Fuss". Morale wise, the unit was a solid veteran force, with the Tiger Is in particular being total rock stars.

This being 1944, the Russians enjoyed the quality of quantity - two battalions of infantry, a battalion of motorized infantry, three battalions of T-34s (two of those units equipped with T-34-85s) and attached goodies including a unit of 76mm field guns, Su-85s and KV-85s. As a Guards formation, they even enjoyed a morale rating of "regular" (as opposed to "random").

The Russians were permitted to set the infantry battalions and attachments on the table, and hold everything else as a reserve. The infantry dug into blocking positions along a road and farm that cut from one long edge to the other. The Germans entered from the far short edge and began to trudge across.

Without dwelling on the details, the Russian side opted for an agressive use of their armour, pushing into the middle of the table in a bid to halt the Panzers. Dallas was in control of the Panthers, and although his first few turns were not promising, the gunners eventually remembered to use AT rounds and after a couple of turns the centre of the table was choked with burning Russian tanks and tank destroyers.

Shortly thereafter Cam made a flank entry with the engineers, and BBQ'd most of a Russian infantry battalion.

Morale rolls were tough for the Russians - although they have many "battalions", they tend to be smaller than the German equivalent, and so roll sooner (and more often) for morale. Frederick managed to stay in the fight for a couple of turns, but soon the surviving T-34s and infantry were withdrawing, leaving a big open flank. The Panthers had destroyed/routed the better part of a brigade at the loss of three platoons!

The Russians did bite back - Frederick's brigade commander was declared a Hero of the Soviet Union after single-handedly defeating three engineer platoons in two seperate close assaults, causing enough losses that the German Pioneer battalion had to fall back (tough break on that morale roll Cam)! Also, Mike B's motorcycle recon platoon had an epic adventure, racing around behind Mike F's Tiger I battalion and calling artillery on the German trucks, nearly winning the game. Low point for the Germans had to be Mike F's failure - using TWO platoons of Tiger Is - to knock out the Russian motorcylces...unfortunately for the plucky recon troops, that luck did not hold, and they were obliterated by HE in the next turn.

We ended the game a little after midnight, with victory in sight (although not completely assured) for the Germans. Shorn of most of their armoured support, the Russians looked set to become tread-food. However, the Germans could ill afford to lose anymore of the trucks, so in the end it was a very close game - the Russian players did much better than they felt, with all of those burning T-34s on the table.

Thanks to everyone for coming out, and to Dallas for hosting! Hopefully he will post pictures to the blog very soon.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Thursday game - "The Devil's Cauldron"

This week we will be playing 6mm WW2 using Spearhead CR, my slightly modified (no maps!) version of Arty Contliffe's excellent divisional WW2 rules. The game will be based on a scenario "The Devil's Cauldron" from the Spearhead supplement "Where the Iron Crosses Grow".

"No problem gents - it's just a Guards Tank Brigade - everyone climb aboard..."

West of the Dnieper River, March, 1944 - Marshal Koniev’s 2nd Ukranian Front has broken through the German lines (again), trapping a number of Wehrmacht formations and creating a series of “Kesselschlatchen” – “cauldron battles” – where trapped units fight to escape and Russian forces rush to block them.

One “kessel” includes Schwere Panzer Regiment Bake, a formidable “fire brigade” which had been holding the line while other units fell back. As the Russian spearheads bite deep, Regiment Bake must now cut a path through the Soviet lines for itself and the remnants of the 361st infantry division. This is one prize the Russians don’t wish to see slip away, and elements of the 5th Guards Tank Army have been dispatched to stop this lethal German unit once and for all.

Cobbled together in 1943, Regiment Bake has been rushing from crisis to crisis as the military situation in the southern sector of the Eastern front deteriorates, racking up an impressive tally of tactical vcitories and destroyed enemy tanks. Do they have enough fight left for one more breakout?

Monday, March 16, 2009

Gün Schwarm Reinforcements

Following our recent inconclusive encounter with FutureKom, it was clear more reinforcements were needed for GünSchwarm. So I finished painting this on the weekend - a Mark XIV "Urban Obliterator", equipped with a semi-recoilless 275mm rocket mortar, coaxial 25mm cannon, and some slight armoured protection. Perfect for GünSchwarm urban development projects.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

My, that's a big 'un

New Warhammer 40K "Shadowsword" super-heavy tank... purchased on Tuesday night, built on Wednesday night... one thing I'll say for GW kits, they're easy to put together. This one is going to be painted as an "A7V" homage to go with an Armageddon Steel Legion force done up as Germans from the Great War... stay tuned.

Friday, March 13, 2009

FuturKom vs. GünSchwarm

Last night, the irrestible force of GünSchwarm met the immovable object of FuturKom.

And there was carnage!!

Greg B. and I had the chance to roll out the new toys last night in our first sci-fi skirmish game using our house rules. And it was a blast!

We set up a simple scenario pitting the neo-fascists of GünSchwarm (aka future-retro WW2 Germans) against the neo-Red Army of FuturKom (aka future-retro WW2 Russians). Followers of the blog have seen the insane arms race building with both Greg and I assembling scores of infantry and a veritable motor pool of converted sci-fi vehicles. 1/43 and 1/48 diecast and plastic models (even an aircraft) have been hacked up and stuck back together in a frenzy of coversion activity, and last night we put it all out on the table. Great turnout from the lads, also - Cam and Frederick joined Greg B. with the Güns, and Bill and Mike F. rolled with me and the Kom. Brian, Dave V. and Kevin came along later to take parts while Mike B. played future-Sweden and stayed neutral...

The game was simple - three objective markers were placed in the ruins of New New Berlin. Since the Güns were slightly "out-pointed" by the Kom (owing mostly to my zealotry in producing converted vehicles) the Güns were allowed to place a squad and a heavy weapon on the table, in a bunker with an objective marker. The Kom forces entered on one short edge, and the Gün reserve on the opposite one. Fortunately for the Güns, Cam hot-rolled the reserve rolls and the entire Gün force was on in turn two. This was just as well because the Kom SU-300 showed up from reserve on the next turn. So the battle was well and truly joined!

Without boring you with details, suffice to say the action was furious and the results too close to call. Highlights... SU-300 blowing up a Gün-squad with its howitzer only to have Frederick roll no less than FOUR sixes to save... T-340 brewing up the Space Panther... GünFlak driving off the FuturKom flyer on repeated sorties, until its Flak guns were blown off by a FuturKom Lebedev projector... sniper duel... victorious charge of the FuturKom command group into the objective bunker... good times!

The game ended after ten turns. The GünSchwarm held one objective with three men, FuturKom held another with two men, and one objective was held by no-one at all! Check out the pics.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

In the oppressive dimness of the distant time to come...

...there is only armed conflict!

Finally the sci-fi arms race reaches its culmination with the first showdown between FuturKom and GünSchwarm - with nothing less than planetary domination at stake!

Thursday's game will be sci-fi skirmish in 28mm using all of our new toys, and as Greg said, "100% Bladestorm-free!"

Usual time and usual place, see you there.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Over to our Ottawa correspondent...

An email arrived in the Inbox yesterday from Conscript Sean, who wrote a very interesting account of his weekend of Warhammer...

Sean writes:

"Last weekend I went to Game Summit, the newest tournament/con in the Ottawa area. I entered into the Fantasy and 40K HoH Tournaments, and here are some notes.

Saturday - WHFB

Well, I've always considered myself a good WHFB player, but this weekend, with 3 massacres and a major loss, I guess I put that to rest. And here I was thinking that Greg was just talking smack, and not the unvarnished truth. The only thing crashing harder than my Dwarfs was my ego. Sigh...

My first two opponents were Vampire counts, then a non-shooting Empire, then finally Skaven. Basically it was Undead outnumbering, followed by out manuveuring then being outshot and outnumbered. No high points for me, just pain and loss. But the players were quite friendly...

Sunday - 40K

With some input from Dave, I took an Eldar gunline army. It was slightly better than Saturday, with two draws, and two losses. However, that is quite a bit better than my jetbike Eldar record, so moral victory to me! (Shut up, Greg.) Noteworthy was the Star Wars themed Space Marine Army, with Storm Trooper marines, Emperor's Guard Terminators, and astro mech techmarine, the AT-ST dreadnaughts, AT-AT Land Raider and Commander Vader (converted from Ahriman). There was Eldar on Eldar action between two gunline armies, and I really hate the new rules for shooting and moving ordnance for the Guard (or at least until I take the army...) Even the Orks were fun to play, but Mega-nobz are tough.

The best part, however, was the flea market, cause I'm all about the cheap. I got roughly 55 metal Imperial Guard for $40, including 37 Cadians. I also picked up a pile of Warhammer FRPG books for $30, which is not great deal, until the I noticed he had included a copy of Slaves to Darkness in the bundle. Crossed Swords also set up a booth, and I picked up some OOP Marauder Dwarfs and a cannon.

I hope everyone is having fun, and I won't rub in the really warm weather this weekend.


Thanks for the report, Sean - great looking games!