Sunday, June 29, 2014

Egyptian Mechanized Infantry HQ - 15mm Fate Of A Nation

Egyptian Mech Infantry company command

Some more 15mm Egyptian kit off the painting line - this is the command element for the Egyptian Mechanized Infantry Company.  There is a command stand and some support weapon teams that are optional upgrades for the unit.

Recoilless rifle team for the Egyptians
Egyptian mechanized infantry company commander - likely one of the worst jobs available in 1967...
There are two LMG teams - I believe they are meant to be RPDs.  I find the assortment of Cold War-era LMGs very confusing - I thought the RPD had a circular magazine, but perhaps it could be belt-fed too? Hopefully someone more knowledgeable fill me in…

LMG team for the Egyptians

Another view of the weapon teams
There is also a single BTR-152 APC for these fellows to cruise around in - you can see this model was damaged, a common problem I have found with these models from Battlefront.  I have painted about five of these so far, and four or them were broken in the package in this way, with a cracked section on the side walls of the vehicle.

Note the chip in the side of the vehicle - I tried to dress it up as battle damage, but it is the result of poor packaging by Battlefront
There are also two recoilless rifle teams, 82mm calibre ("B-40", I believe). All together these four teams can join the mechanized infantry platoon, an enormous collection of bases and vehicles that occupy just a single selection on the Egyptian force organization chart for "Fate Of A Nation"!

This almost wraps it for the Egyptian infantry for now…on to the tanks…

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum Visit

A couple of weeks ago Jen and I made the 2 1/2 hour drive out to Brandon for PrairieCon, where I played in the fun games put on by fellow Conscripts Greg and Dallas. Saturday evening we were joined by Kim, Byron, Anne and Chris at my favourite Brandon watering hole/restaurant, The Dock on Princess. Yum!

On Sunday, Jen and I went to the Commonwealth Air Training Plan Museum, located by the Brandon airport. We'd been meaning to go for some time, and this was a great opportunity. During World War Two the British  Commonwealth Air Training Plan trained 131,533 Allied pilots and aircrew at 231 locations all across Canada. Brandon was a major centre for this effort.

There are several dioramas at the museum depicting day to day operations...

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...including prohibited activities such as stunt flying!

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There were uniforms on display...

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...including this heated flying suit that looks like teddy bear pajamas!

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There were some exhibits regarding women's role in the war effort.

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The heart of the collection are the many aircraft located in the hanger portion of the building, some of which are illustrated below.

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The father of our friend Samantha trained as an air gunner in a Bristol Bolingbroke (a license built copy of the Blenheim bomber), but the war ended before he was posted overseas.

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There were interesting exhibits such as CO2 based firefighting equipment...

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...and war booty seized from the Japanese.

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The museum is in the midst of restoring several aircraft, including a Hawker Hurricane.

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The Fairey Battle in the workshop is interesting. There exist no plans, but the museum is working with a museum in Australia who are undertaking a similar project. Note both the R/C model (which the pile of junk behind it will eventually look like)...

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...and the more detailed model fuselage covered in pencil marks.

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The memorial of the fallen will be completed in the fall of 2014.

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I urge anyone in the neighbourhood to drop by, and to consider making a donation to the Memorial Project.

Monday, June 23, 2014

The New 40K - Elysians vs. Nurgle Marines Battle Report

Scary huh? And me with no anti-aircraft...
Last Thursday night I decided it was time to try out the new 40K rules - the seventh edition that just landed about three weeks ago. I'd bought the rules on the release weekend and of course have been reading the forums to get a sense of their reception. It seemed like the biggest changes were in the new "Psychic Phase" and with the new "Tactical Objectives" that spice up the game somewhat. So I got ahold of Conscript Greg to solicit a game. He brought his fully airborne Elysian army to face off against my Nurgle Chaos Space Marines.

You saw Greg's six (!) flyers in the first picture - here's the guys that ride in them.

And here's what I brought - three squads of seven Plague Marines each in a Rhino, a Blight Drone, Sorceror, Chaos Lord in Terminator armour, six Terminators, and...

...a Land Raider :-)  1500 points.

We randomly generated a mission and got the one where you lay out six objectives, and VPs are determined solely by accomplishing the Tactical Objectives. Fortunately I'd bought a set of the spiffy Tactical Objective cards so we didn't need to faff around with rolling dice. Thank God for that because we each started with six Tactical Objectives...

We took turns placing the objectives. I took care not to repeat my typical mistake of putting objectives close to or in my own deployment zone. I intend to be moving towards the enemy during the game, so putting objectives in my own zone is counter-productive. I'd either have to leave a unit behind to hold it, or move something back to get it at the end of the game. Either way I'd get screwed, because the enemy will overwhelm my single holding unit, or I'll be abandoning other objectives to retake that one! Better to place them not where you are starting out, but where you intend to end up...

I was scared witless of all those flyers and me without any AAA. Undeterred, however, I got the first turn and stroked off for the objective markers. I held some crappy cards (kill the enemy psyker, destroy an enemy fortification) that were impossible to achieve (he had no psyker or fort), but some good ones too - take three objectives for d3 VPs, and take Objective 1. Fortunately the new rules provide that any unit (in a normal force-comp army anyway) is scoring, so I could roll the Land Raider, Rhinos and Drone up to objectives and control them. Very handy, and I did so. Greg had deployed a squad and some heavy weapons in the Skyshield landing pad and shot at me in his turn.

In turn two I redeployed a bit and grabbed another objective. They were "Mysterious" and the roll was lucky, it got the controlling unit the "Skyfire" AA ability. I also almost wiped out the squad on the pad for another VP but that would have to wait until my turn 3, getting me a VP for First Blood. But on the bottom of turn 2 "Hell was unleashed" and six flyers appeared...

It could've been worse for sure. Two Rhinos got knocked out and their occupants Pinned (it just occurred to me now that their Fearless rule might have rendered the Plague Marines immune from Pinning, I'll need to check that). Lots of shots from the Punisher cannons but not a ton of damage. I managed to knock down a random flyer and it turned out well for me - it was about the only one with a gun that could hurt the Land Raider.

Meanwhile the infamous "Bile Cyclist of Nurgle" worked his way around to the Elysian command squad and puked up all over the lot. This gained me a VP from a card ("slay an enemy character") plus two more: one each for Linebreaker and Slay the Warlord.

Long faces on the Imperial side got longer when the Sorceror succeeded in summoning 10 Plaguebearers who landed close to the Elysian missile launchers...

The Elysian flyers circled overhead but lacked any real punch to deal with the tough Nurgle dudes. We decided to call the game at the bottom of turn 4.

The Nurgle lads ended up with 8 VPs to the Elysians' 2. A pretty tough outing for Greg as his boys are overmatched against MEQs - let alone the T5-Feel-No-Pain Nurgle crew. He's contemplating more anti-armour stuff and that would be a good idea. Me, I would recommend reducing the Elysian component to a detachment, and adding a detachment of leg Guardsmen supported by armour. I've faced that combo before and it is brutal.

I enjoyed seventh edition, but that's not surprising because I liked sixth and this edition is not much different. The one thing I worry about a bit is how the changes in the Psychic rules will affect armies like Eldar that field buffed out psykers already... it seems like seventh has pumped up psykers even more, and it remains to be seen how this may affect game balance.