Friday, October 30, 2009

After Action Report - Secret Agent "Lands" Successfully

One of the top secret OSS pilots in action last night

Last night Kevin H, Brian, Bill and myself successfully fought a "Check Your Six" mission where Kevin's pilot, an OSS secret agent, was succesfully inserted into Nazi Germany using the ruse of getting shotdown in a dogfight. Dallas, Cam and Dave, playing the pilots of a top German protection squadron escorting an experimental Luftwaffe aircraft, were the unwitting dupes to our brilliant ploy.

Using brilliant advanced flying tactics, Brian, Bill and I were able to leave Kevin isolated on one part of the board, so Cam could "shoot down" Kevin. Of course, by counting on Cam, we were taking a big risk, and it was close run thing, as Cam, despite being armed with two cannons and two heavy MGs, did nearly no damage to Kevin's plane through an initial round of firing.

The Luftwaffe side, convinced the dogfight was legitimate and that it was critical to "protect" the Luftwaffe prototype that would have zero outcome on the war, didn't suspect a thing!

We were awesomely successful in the end. We also managed to avoid shooting down any of the Luftwaffe pilots, who would have suspected something when they bailed out and landed close to Kevin....

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Thursday Game

"Papagei flock, this is Papagei Eins. Climb behind me and call out when you spot Falke. Over."

Leutnant Heinz Sachsenberg turned his head in the cramped cockpit, his eyes scanning methodically for the aircraft code-named "Hawk". It was an experimental plane, a wunder-waffe, one of the new jet aircraft designed by the egg-heads and guaranteed to win the war. What hogwash, Sachsenberg thought to himself. I'll never trust anything without a propeller... in any case, if rumours were to be believed, the pilot of the Falke was at least as important as the plane itself, for it was being delivered from the factory to JV44 by Hannah Reitsch, one of the Reich's most accomplished test pilots and a favourite of the Führer.

Staffelkapitan Sachsenberg was jolted from his reverie by a crackle of static on his headphones. "Heino! There's Falke -- seven o'clock low -- and watch out for the Indianer up high!" Sachsenberg cranked his head nearly all the way around and spotted the Mustangs closing on his formation.

"I see them! All aircraft attack! Verkaaft's mei Gwand 'I foahr in himmel - sell myclothes, I'm going to heaven!!"

Thursday's game will be (you guessed it) Check Your 6! - late war action.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

8-Year Wait for Reinforcements...

One of the fun things about collecting and painting the Austrians for the Napoleonic era is that by neglecting your collection, you are kind of acting in the character of the parsimonious Hapsburg family and their shoddy overall treatment of their otherwise stoic soldiers.

I have not added a unit (not even a STAND) to my Austrian 15mm force for 8 years - last figures I added were in 2002! Truly a gold-standard neglect of the Austrian army. And it's not like I didn't like the collection - I display them happily in the living room, complete with the nicks and dents they have acquired over years of use. Like that school paper from Grade 10, I just never got around to doing more work on them.

While rummaging through my pile of stuff in recent weeks, I encountered my pile of Austrian stuff. Much unpainted. And I was still out of the same stuff I that halted my progress back in 2002. But one bag was un-opened - Landwehr.

I painted these over the weekend, and based them up last night. Just need the goop to dry, and they'll be ready to get run over by Napoleon's finest.

So after 8 years, my Austrians have some reinforcements. A battalion of Landwehr! Not glamorous, but at least we're moving again. I hope to add some odds and sods, like finishing a unit of Cheveauxlegers, a couple of formations based as skirmishers, a horse-artillery base, and one or two more line units.

As for the Landwehr, I will need to add quite a few more units to make them actually a viable part of a given scenario. But I may use them as part of advance guard etc. for some 1809 games. While the figure packs come with standard bearers, I'm going to leave them without a flag for now. I'm not even sure if they had them - "Vienna Retired Armed Constabulary" or something like that?

Friday, October 23, 2009

After Action Report - Dallas Saves the De

Last night the Conscripts assembled at Dallas' place, expecting a game of Napoleonics. However, it was not to be, because of some bad luck for me at the office - a meeting going until nearly 9pm (lame excuse, I know). Thankfully, Dallas deployed Formula De, the F-1 racing board game, and a good time ensued.

Dallas (M. Schumacher, Ferrari), Cam (J. Trulli, Panasonic Toyota), Bill (D. Coulthard, West McLaren Mercedes), Brian (G. Fisichella, Sauber Petronas), Dave V (M. Webber, Jaguar) and Mike F (Michele Burcholini, Red Bull 3rd World Racing Team) took to the race track - Interlagos, in Brazil. Cam and Mike built huge leads, and were so confident, they took the liberty of a pit stop to restore their cars ("so, you need the tires, right?"). Dallas, sensing an opportunity, ditched "operation bronze medal" and sped past them, gambling that his car could hold up.

As Dallas raced by, Cam fired up and chased. Mike F had leave at that point, so I took over his car, pledging to drive as recklessly as needed in order to win. I lived up to the first part of that, shredding most of the new tires in the first turn out of pit row. But Dallas and Cam pulled ahead, neck and neck through the final lap. It was a great race, and we were all concerned to see Cam rolling hot. And I was shamelessly rooting for Dallas' car to fall apart...but turn after turn, Dallas held it together.

It went to the final dice roll, but Dallas beat Cam for first place. I was so sure Dallas' car would get wrecked, but it was not to be. Dallas repaid my taunting with a cheap little Schumacher victory dance, which he performed with eerie effectiveness (and rightfully so).

Bill and I contested for third place, but his car was pushed just a bit too far on the second last turn, and he ended up in the cheap seats. Dave finished fourth, and Brian's car was retired by his pit crew.

A great race! Sorry about the third place finish Mike...that will teach you to maintain your car.

My apologies again to all for the timing not working out. I definitely hope we can get the Shako game rescheduled.

[Final comment from Dallas: Cam... you learned many things at Interlagos. Mainly, you learned that the board can be wrong, and no amount of counting squares can replace pure driving skill and winning spirit. And that Toyota will never win a Grand Prix.]

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Thursday Game - III Corps vs. III Korps - This Time, It's Napoleonic

This Thursday we will return once again to Napoleonics! The scenario will be set in Bavaria, 1809. Archduke Charles has sent 140,000 troops into the Confederation of the Rhine, proving the war of the fifth coalition (Fifth? Must have been fun negotiations - "no, really, THIS time we'll get him!").

The Austrians have had a rough go of the weather, but are pushing the Bavarian troops back. Marshal Berthier, a gifted chief of staff for Napoleon, has performed poorly as an army commander for the French, and Napoleon is racing to the scene to take command himself. In the interim, Davout's III Corps has become isolated near Regensburg. The Austrians sense an opportunity to pounce and take out one of Napoleon's most experienced formations, potentially winning the war!

Austrian columns march to pin the French against the Danube. Prince Hohenzollern's III Korps encounters the lead elements of Davout's III Corps near the village of Teugen. Davout is on the move, trying to break through to the retreating Bavarians. The Prince looks to hold them back while he sends messengers to the Archduke, pleading for reinforcements. Will the Austrians hold? Will the ultra-cautious Charles even bother with reinforcements? And if he does, will they arrive in time?

More (slow) 25mm Napoleonic Progress

Last night I finished another unit of Perry French - this time a unit of Light Infantry. I've based them in the goop, and after a good two days of drying, these will be ready to have the bases painted up (no, they are not marching through the snow) and they can join my burgeoning 25mm French army, which will then consist of all of four units - three line batallions, and one light battalion. Slowly but surely, I guess....

Another unit of Perry French, waiting for the basing goop to dry out. The officer, drummer and standard bearer are metal - the rest are plastic.

Also, as a testament to my lack of focus, I am also working away at some opponents for these guys (and of course perhaps the poll will send Mike F in the 25mm direction, but so far the 15mm Portugese seem to be winning). Initial progress is below. These are not recently painted (I first started on these guys about two years ago!!!) and I have not yet completed a 24-man unit for the Austrians, but again...slowly but surely.

Hungarian troops going on to the bases - the castings are from Foundry (which I think the Perrys scultped but I'm not sure).

I hope to have a small game in 25mm scale sometime late next year, pitting the Austrians against somekind of French rear-guard in the 1813-1814 time frame. Of course, detail types will know that these two opponents don't even really add up - the French are in the post-1812 uniforms, while the Austrians are still in their pre-1809 helmets. On the other hand, who cares? It will be really fun to have these out on the table one day.

I am thinking about 10 units per side would do it for a starter game....oh man, that's lots of figures...

Monday, October 19, 2009

New Poll

Well, it was getting to be high-time for another Fawcett Poll, so I have switched them up. This one will help you provide input into a very important question - which faction should we pressure Mike F into collecting and painting for Napoleonics? After all, I've been pressuring him for some time, but he has always been able to say back "well, where should I start?". A fair question. This poll should help close down that avenue of escape, and push him toward something that will help our overall Napoleonic gaming efforts.

As for the last poll, which dealt with "what should happen next" on the friendly planet Toxo IV, the winner was "brutal street fighting". Watch for a game invite before the end of the year that will provide for this.

Now let the pressuring of Mike F begin!

And Cam, FYI - don't take this as a signal that we're letting up on you in any way. You had better paint a platoon of modern PLA - and soon...

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Time to put the pressure on Cam

Looks like modern 28mm Chinese are now available.


From the Painting Table - Veteran Sgt. Goat Boy and Perry French

A little update from the Greg B painting table. Now that I am coaching hockey again, my productivity has slowed, but I have been working away on a few projects and thought I would post some progress on the blog.

First up, a classic figure from the Rogue Trader era, the Beastman Sergeant with plasma pistol. This is from the time of the human bombs, penal legion troops with exploding heads, and other Imperial Guard odd-xilia. Acquired in some sort of unwise Ebay purchase at least two years ago, I have finally painted him up. I would love to find a pack of the old metal Beastmen (as in, Imperial Guard Beastmen - seriously - they were in the army list - standards have changed) I don't think it will be worth the time or the OOP mark-ups. So he'll fit in fine as some kind of "veteran sergeant". Certainly he will confuse Chaos opponents.

"For the Emperor - and better grazing rights!"

While Goat Boy was fun, my primary efforts lately have been on a renewed push on 25mm Napoleonics. I've been working my way through toward a 3rd unit of Perry French. This unit will be mostly plastic, with a metal NCO, mounted Colonel and a "porte-aigle" mixed in. A few of the finished models are below.

Now I just need to base them, fix one of Brian's awesome banners, and they will be ready for battle. Still a long way away from a force ready for a game, but at least it is progressing. Up next I hope to finish a unit of Legere troops (essentially the same in terms of quality, but blue pants) and a unit in skirmish formation. An order for reinforcements was made to the Perrys this month - hopefully they arrive around the end of October to keep the momentum going, although chances are I will have switched projects by then (like my entire squadron of blue Valkyries for 40k).

I did receive a pre-order box of Perry Plastic French Heavy Cavalry - and they are gorgeous! I have never painted a Cuirassier in any scale, so I have one model assembled for test-painting and mistake-making purposes. Watch for further updates!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

FutureBritz Progress

Here are the repainted and converted AT-43 suits that I'll be using with the FutureBritz force.

Thursday Game - Jailbreak!

Long-time Fawcett followers might recall a fun game we had in January of this year. Taking place in the Star Wars universe, the game featured Han Solo and his "terror gang" attempting to escape from Imperials and local authorities after a daring heist. Read the details here:

Thursday's game will explore the ramifications of "the duty of fair representation" in labour relations, as Han had contacted his staff representative in the Brotherhood of Smugglers and Bounty Hunters Local #4587 (Corellia). The BSBH duly determined that one of their members was in trouble and has sent a union delegation to file a grievance and negotiate for his release from the Spice Mines.

Solo being Solo, of course, he convinced the union reps to assist him in making his case for freedom more forcefully, and is about to make good (or not) his escape from the Spice Mines!

See you on Thursday at my place, usual time. Also it's my birthday this weekend so there will be cake!!