Thursday, April 30, 2009

Thursday Game

Imperium News Network, 0331009M41:

Earlier today, officials of the Adeptus Sanitorum announced a quarantine and citizens' travel advisory for the planet Alta Mexicosa in the Ultima Segmentum (universal grid reference 7658-R567G). An outbreak of the highly contagious porcine fever virus has killed millions of Imperial citizens and resulted in closure of all spaceports on the planet.

It is anticipated that the Adeptus Ministorum will soon designate the planet a Deathworld and dispatch Imperial fleet assets preparatory to virus-bombing the planet.

In related news, Trans-Imperium Holiday Corporation also announced that its all-inclusive getaways to its resorts on the sulfur-beaches of Alta Mexicosa have been greatly reduced in price, up to 95% off, and that all vacations booked include a multi-spectrum inoculation and complimentary anti-viral facemasks (limit one per traveller).


Thursday's game will be Warhammer 40K - pitting the intrepid Imperial Guard defenders of Alta Mexicosa against the pox-ridden, plague-carrying minions of Father Nurgle. Can the brave Guardsman defend the laboratories of the Planetary Health Organization long enough for a cure to be synthesized, or will the pustulent forces of Chaos and their infected allies conquer another Imperial world?

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

New addition to the "Arsenal of Future-Socialism"

I've now finished painting and weathering the latest addition to my FuturKom forces, the T-640 heavy tank. (Please ignore the gloss around the decals as I'd run out of matte spray)

As I wrote in the previous "build" post, the model is based on a 1/35 T-64, built mostly from the box, with some GW bits bunged on, skirts made from plasticard, and a biiiiig gun.

Some Pig Iron Kolony Militia to show scale. In keeping with Soviet doctrine the FuturKom heavy tanks are a bit smaller and more manoeuvrable than their Western counterparts.

Crewman has a GW Cadian tank crew body and a Pig Iron Kolony head. Looking forward to crushing some future-fascists with this bad boy!

Friday, April 24, 2009

From the factories of Future Tankograd...

Escalation continues in the twisted future world of Spacekrieg... so in order to maintain any kind of parity with Greg's GünSchwarm, my FuturKom forces needed a superheavy tank of their own.

Superheavy love comes in the form of a 1/35 T-64 kit with some GW sci-fi gubbins bunged on, plus the obligatory unfeasibly large main gun. Take THAT, Future Helmut Kohl!!

I plugged a sweet Pig Iron head onto a GW Imperial Guard half-body for a commander. I may stick some more future-krap onto the vehicle yet but most likely it will go to the paint shop pretty much as it sits right here. "Onward to the Socialist Future - FuturKom!"

"Frost to XXX Corps...come in XXX Corps..."

Last night I set up a 28mm skirmish game set during "Operation Market Garden" - the Allied airborne assault that aimed to capture a bridge on the Rhine by coup-de-main. Our game was set on 19 September 1944, just after the Guards tankers of XXX Corps had linked up with American paratroopers of the 504th PIR. The combined Allied force's objective was to take the bridge at Nijmegen, and our scenario followed several tanks and an infantry platoon assaulting along Hell's Highway through the outskirts of Nijmegen. They had 8 turns to get across the table and exit the opposite edge to achieve a major victory.

Historically the assault reached within a few hundred meters of the bridge but ground to a halt in the face of determined German resistance from elements of the 10th SS-Panzerdivision "Hohenstaufen". The refight ended similarly... mainly as a result of some appalling dierolling from the Allied players! (those were Greg, Mike B. and Cam, for those keeping score).

The Germans (Frederick, Mike F. and Brian) deployed an infantry section, MG42, sniper, and platoon command squad hidden on the table, infantry section well-forward. The American paras bumped into the Germans in the first turn and took some casualties - the Germans successfully pinning down one squad. The supporting paras retaliated with massed Garand and .30 cal fire, taking out 8 of the 10 man section. The fanatical SS survivors passed their morale test, and in their next turn emerged from cover and hosed down the pinned para squad, routing them off the table! Flushed with success, they then charged the para platoon command squad but their luck ran out and the Germans were wiped out.

Meanwhile, the recce Dingo armoured car zipped out in front along the road, followed by the Shermans and Firefly. A German PaK40 AT gun was revealed, and knocked out the Dingo, with Greg's Shermans next in their line of fire. Unfortunately for the Germans, Cam's paras were advancing on their flank, and after some confusion (and shouted orders/"encouragement" from Greg) the paras took out the AT position.

As the Allies advanced, more Germans arrived from reserve - a Pzkpfw.IV and a heavy halftrack with quad 20mm. The quad was positioned for a flank shot on the lead Sherman and after some lucky dierolling by Frederick the Sherman was knocked out. Sadly for Greg his remaining tankers suffered from chronic failures to spot the enemy and once spotted, to hit anything. "Don't these *bleeps* know there's a WAR on???"

Cam's men continued to work their way down the flank and despite some confusion regarding number of dice to be rolled and when to roll them, they succeeded in reaching the objective and exiting the table. (To be fair to Cam he'd written his last examination the previous day and had been "celebrating" the night before).

As for the rest of the Allies, things went from bad to worse. A German Panther showed up and shot up the remaining Shermans... a German victory but I think that the Allies did no worse than they had historically ;-)


GünSchwarm continues expansion

GünSchwarm continues to plot a miraculous counter-attack out of New New Berlin. However, more troops, and tanks, are needed for that miracle. So with that in mind, inspired by a notion from Dallas, I have slapped some bits on a 1/32 scale Hetzer model to create some kind of Space Hetzer - with the obligatory absurd weapon (intended to be the same "calibre" as that of the Space Panthers). Since the Hetzer was so small, the off-scale version of it fits in well with the 28mm GW figures in GünSchwarm.

The Schwarm is also looking for some improved infantry. I have a Cadian "Grenadier" force for 40k, with lots of the Kasrkin troopers, so I am painting up some extras in the GünSchwarm colour scheme, to serve as elite GünSchwarm infantry, with some slight armour protection, and slightly better standard infantry weapons. The first few examples are (slightly blurry) above. Plus, they give you some idea of the size of the Space Hetzer model. Stay tuned for photos once this sucker is painted up.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

AstroTO Game Four - Fight or Flight

The previous evening my wife's cousin BBQ'd some great steak. After a night's rest, I was ready for AstroTO Day Two.

Opponent: Eric's Chaos Daemons:
Greater Daemon HQ w/ Breath of Chaos, Bellow of Endless Fury, etc.
9 Flamers of Tzeentch
15 Plaguebearers of Nurgle
15 Bloodletters of Khorne
9 stands of Nurglings
Winged Daemon Prince w/ Breath of Chaos

Again, a classic match up - The Tempest of Blades vs. Chaos Undivided!

The scenario was a real puzzler for both of us. The Attacker started off table in Reserve and could come on the west, south or east board edges. The Defender had a 24" square setup area centered on the north table edge. The Defender's general had to set up in the command bunker, and anything else could set up as well. The Defender would win 150 victory points for exiting their general off one of the Attacker's table edges - that would be enough to break a tie at the 1500 point level. Both sides would get VPs for killing things, as usual.

Eric and I agreed that either side had some real tactical challenges.

Looking at the table, I thought that if I drew "Defender" I would set up both HQs as a unit (to spread some wounds on the Autarch). Then, first turn I would move them east or west to just past the limit of the 24" setup area. Next turn, I would turbo boost, getting the Farseer off the table.

We rolled dice, and Eric won and chose Defender. He further chose to set up everything on the table, in a series of ranks. It was certainly weird seeing daemons all set up on the table before the start of a game.

We decided that the Daemons had come in, trashed the planetary defense forces, and were enjoying themselves when the Eldar decided to show up and spoil their party.

The two Dire Avenger squads showed up first. Moving only 6" the all-shuriken-cannon Wave Serpent opened up on the Flamers of Tzeentch, killing 3 - they were a priority target, since their flames would automatically cause unsavable wounds and could cause glancing hits on vehicles.

The Daemons started sending everyone east, with the exception of the Flamers and daemon Prince, who advanced south.

Next turn, only the Farseer and Autarch showed up, moving behind hard cover. Obviously, more practice battle drill was required. More shots were poured into the Flamers, killing another three. The Daemon's General kept running towards the eastern table edge. Krak missiles just bounced off his hide.

As the Greater Daemon kept running, the Daemon Prince, Nurgling and Flamers advanced south. The Tzeentch daemons' breath hit and glanced a Wave Serpent, taking off a turret.

The rest of the Swordwind finally decided to show up. After a very eventful shooting phase (a couple of Wave Serpents, Warp Spiders, Fire Dragons, and a double Bladestorm), the Daemon Prince and over half the Nurglings were gone. The Autarch charged the Flamers, leaving only one left alive.

The Greater Daemon made it off the board, whereupon the Bloodletters and Plague Bearers started running south. The last of the Flamers fell, but the Nurglings kept the Autarch locked in close combat as the rest of the Eldar mounted up and/or moved off west.

After killing the Daemon Prince, the Flamers of Tzeentch and over half the Nurglings, the Eldar had racked up over 600 VPs. Even if the Autarch died, the Eldar had scored enough to win, despite the Daemon general's successful exit.

The Farseer led the rest of her forces west, skirmishing at the extreme range of vehicle weaponry, running out the clock.

The Autarch was last seen bravely fighting against overwhelming odds, as the Bloodletters engulfed him with their hacking blades:

Result: Eldar Victory

Click here for Game Five.

It's Thursday!

We'll be playing WW2 in 25/28mm. The scenario is set in operation Market-Garden.
Tanks of XXX Corps' Guards Armoured Division finally link up with elements of the US 504th P.I.R. for the assault on the Nijmegen bridge... but first they have to fight their way there! Can the rag-tag German defenders stop the determined attackers from achieving a breakthrough to the beleagured British in Arnhem?
See you tonight!

AstroTO Game Three - Crash Site Recovery

Opponent: Jim's Dark Eldar:
Autarch and her Incubi retinue, riding a Raider skimmer
Three squads of Warrior infantry, all with Dark Lances
Warrior squad mounted on a Raider
Wych squad riding a Raider
Ravager gunship
Squad of Wyches all riding Reaver jetbikes

The table had a crashed spaceship in the middle, with woods and ridges all around. To win the scenario a player's forces had to merely hold more objectives than their opponent - there were 6 large containers randomly scattered about, plus the spaceship pilot. The pilot moved a random distance each turn, away from the nearest models; he could be captured by being defeated in close combat. The boxes could be picked up only by moving into contact in the movement phase, but when first picked up they might explode on a roll of "1" on a D6, with a S7 AP4 large blast marker. Yikes!

Only Troops could set up. The Dark Eldar went first and set up all four Warrior squads. The Eldar kept everything off table. The Dark kin swiftly captured two packages and revealed the unstable cargo of a third, which exploded.

Next turn the Farseer, Autarch and both Avenger squads came on from reserve. The Avengers disembarked and unleashed a pair of Bladestorms. They wiped out one Warrior squad, freeing an objective.

Another Dark Eldar squad was reduced to just a single Warrior, holding an objective; he mounted back on his Raider to flee the scene.

Reserves rolled randomly for board edge. Rolling a "6" the Reaver jetbikes came on right beside the Blood Redeemers (Avenger squad two). The biker Wyches wiped out the Avengers in a hail of rifle fire and flashing blades, and then consolidated towards the Farseer. The Ravager showed up and nailed most of the Companions (Avenger squad one) with blast markers, but their morale held.

At the start of the game I had specified that the Banshees would come in on foot, separate from their skimmer. Rolling a "1" for table edge, they came in right behind the Reavers. They ran over, charged in and wiped them out with their power swords before any of the surprised Wyches could strike a blow in return.

Wave Serpent fire brought down the Ravager (those open topped skimmers can really dish out the pain, but they can't take much damage).

The action heated up in the middle of the table as an epic fight for the pilot commenced. The Spiders teleported from their board edge, then assaulted and captured the pilot.

The Wyches came screaming in on their Raider, assaulting the Spiders and freeing the pilot. The Autarch joined the fray, adding his laser lance to support the Spiders. The Spiders were wiped out and the Autarch defeated. The Wyches consolidated south to drive the Autarch off the table.

Meanwhile, the Banshees, Dragons and surviving Avengers had all seized objectives.

The Archon and her retinue had earlier dismounted in some woods beside an open objective. Trying to salvage a tie, they moved toward the container, screened by their Raider skimmer. Rolling low for difficult terrain, the Archon was the only one who could reach the objective and pick it up. She just had to avoid rolling "The Scottish Number" to successfully capture it...


Even I shouted in dismay when the container exploded in the Autarch's face. Her protective field and her bodyguards' armour protected them from the resulting blast.

The Farseer was able to jet over to the pilot and successfully assault him, capturing him. The other Aspect Warriors either mounted up or ran away from the action, protecting their objectives.

The game ended, with the objective tally Eldar 3 (plus the pilot), Dark Eldar 1.

Result: Eldar Victory

Click here for Game Four.

AstroTO Game Two - Temple of Doom

Opponent: Andrew's Nidzilla:
Two shooty Hive Tyrannts w/ a Tyrant Guard each
Three shooty Carnifexes
Two even tougher heavy shooty Fexes
Two ripper swarms

The scenario involved pulling a random, hidden objective from a deck of cards. You could reveal your objective to gain a benefit, or hold on until the end, to gain battle points.

The third side in the middle of the board was an Imperial Inquisitor and retinue of various gun-toting bravos, torturing a prisoner in an energy-field protected temple in the middle of the table. They would shoot at anyone else.

My objective was to keep the Inquisitor alive.

The Tyranid horde went first and set up a phalanx of huge bugs on the board. I kept everything in reserve. The bugs advanced a bit. Trying to keep as much off as possible, I didn't use the Autarch's +1. Rolling a series of 5's and 6's, everybody showed up except the Autarch. Not thinking clearly, I revealed my objective prematurely and advanced everything up close; by revealing their objective the Eldar wouldn't get shot by the plasma cannons and other nasty stuff belonging to the Inquisitorial forces.

This of course was a grave error. Their enemy's plan plan revealed, the bugs threw everything they had at the Inquisitorial forces, taking down the field and wiping out the inhabitants of the temple.

The Eldar plan in ruins, and with no way to win, the Farseer summoned the Autarch to her presence next turn. To atone for so badly messing up the timing of the advance, the Autarch was ordered to turbo boost, alone, straight toward the temple, as the rest of the army advanced to the east and west. The ensuing Tyranid shooting phase left nothing but a greasy smear where the Autarch formerly hovered.

The Eldar concentrated on the Tyranid army general - a huge Hive Tyrant. A moral victory of sorts was achieved when the women of the Banshee Shrine took down the enemy general in a flurry of sword blows:

This particular Swordwind raiding force wasn't really equipped to go toe-to-toe with so many T6 and T7 creatures, and took it on the chin as the game wound down, the Farseer finally falling to concentrated firepower. As the game ended, Andrew revealed his objective to be the assassination of the Eldar general. Of course.

In retrospect, what I should have done was demonstrate strongly against the Inquisitor, sacrificing the Spiders in a futile attack on the Temple, to try and fool Andrew into thinking that our mission was to assassinate the Inquisitor.

Shoulda, woulda, coulda. Andrew played a great game and was a gentleman.

Result: Tyranid victory
Click here for Game Three.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Astronomi-con Toronto 2009: Day One, Game One - Grot Mart

I played at AstroTO 2009. Lots of fun. Plenty of 40K eye candy, playing great opponents on beautiful terrain, with interesting scenarios.

I brought the Swordwind again. It's probably the last time for Astro for the next while - my Crimson Fists 1st Company (using Deathwing rules) is waiting in the wings.

It's the same list I used at Mechani-Kon a couple of weeks ago (click on the photos for larger images):

Farseer - Doom; Eldar Jetbike; Runes of Warding; Singing Spear

Autarch - Eldar Jetbike; Fusion Gun; Mandiblaster; Laser Lance

10 Dire Avengers - including Exarch with Bladestorm and 2 Avenger Shuriken Catapults
Wave Serpent - Spirit Stones; Shuriken Cannon; Twin-Linked Shuriken Cannons

10 Dire Avengers - including Exarch with Bladestorm, Diresword and Shuriken Pistol
Wave Serpent - Spirit Stones; Twin-Linked Missile Launchers

10 Howling Banshees - including Exarch with Executioner
Wave Serpent - Spirit Stones; Twin-Linked Shuriken Cannons

9 Fire Dragons
Wave Serpent - Spirit Stones; Twin-Linked Shuriken Cannons

5 Warp Spiders - including Exarch with 2 Death Spinners

Total: 1500 Points

Game One - Grot Mart

My first game was against Andrew's Daemons. IIRC, he had a Daemon Prince, a Nurgle Daemon, some smaller Nurgle Daemons, some winged thingies with melta bombs, some Blood Letters and a couple of daemonic engines of some sort. The scenario granted victory points , with 100 extra points scored for controlling each of 4 piles of loot. You could gain 200 points instead by dragging the loot to a Snotling trader in his store in the middle of the table and "Making a Deal."

With the Daemons' ability to deep strike first turn, I didn't think the Eldar would be able to grab objectives first and survive the ensuing close combats. The Eldar all started in reserve, to be able to concentrate their forces.

The Daemons had first move, and half deep stuck on or near the four objectives, which made for a steep uphill battle. Andrew played cannily. He didn't fight much with his large war engines once they showed up, instead handing off loot to them, to be safely dragged to the trader.

Best game moment: a giant war engine crawling over the market, confronting the tiny Snotling, and asking,

"Uh,...wanna trade?"

A pack of Nurgle daemons deep struck in the Eldar southwest corner. The Dragons and Spiders shot them, setting them up for a charge from the Autarch, which forced the daemons to drop their loot.

The Daemon Prince used the surviving Nurgle icon to deep strike in. The Nurgle daemons put a single wound on the Autarch. The Farseer Doomed the winged daemon, then the Banshees charged and finished off it and the Nurgle boys.

The Companions (Dire Avengers squad one) entered on the southeast quarter, combining their fire with the Blood Redeemers (Dire Avenger squad two) to wipe out the Blood Letters, but not before the latter had handed off the loot they captured.

In the end, the Daemons managed 3 trades with the Snotling, scoring 600 VPs. The Eldar managed to capture one loot pile and kill enough daemons to tie.

Result: Eldar and Daemons tied

Click here for Game Two.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Astronomi-con Army Showcase

Here are some of the highlights of the 50-odd armies brought to Astronomi-con Toronto, 2009.

Royce's Ravenwing:

John's Wraithlord:

John's Eldar:

John's Wave Serpent:

Iron Hands (note the scratch-built interiors for all the vehicles):

Cory's Daemons:

Cory's Greater Deaemon of Nurgle:

Nick's Phoenix Space Marines:

Nick's home made insignia, made into decals:

Garrett's Eldar:

More Armies:






Brief battle reports (I didn't take detailed notes) and in-game photos to follow.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

"Who is this Mowwwses?"

Hey All,

Curt here. I was feeling a little nostalgic when I dug up these photos from one of the New Years Games we had back in Winnipeg (2002?), and so I thought I'd pass them along for a laugh. Its the rather cheesy chariot race across the Red Sea. My apologies for the crap photos but I think you can get the gist of what went on.

If memory serves me correctly the scenario went something like this: Moses had just parted the Red Sea and legged it across with the slaves. Pursuing them into the middle of the wet seabed is a whole passel of young Egyptian noblemen in their chariots.

Seeing this, Moses asks The Almighty to hit 'flush' and the boys in the chariots have to dash like hell back to their shoreline before they are engulfed by the collapsing water channel. Since all of these young lads are in line for the throne they take this opportunity to thin out the bloodline a tad. A chariot drag/death race ensues, with whips, NASCAR chariot rubbing, attacking sea serpents, seaweed road obstacles and onrushing wall-o-water all taking their toll.

I drank too much beer with my brothers-in-law and I have no idea who won (Kevin, Rob?), but I think we had fun. Everyone that rolled out assembled and painted-up a Wargames Foundry chariot that I provided (which was my Tom Sawyer approach to getting them done-up - sneaky bugger ;)). Good times, good times!