Sound of the Guns. Nuts! Blood on the Risers Solo mission.

As my ragtag platoon advances towards Saint Mere Eglise it comes upon a cluster of houses that is clearly being used to garrison some Jerry’s. We need to clear out these houses so we’re not leaving enemies to our rear when we get to Saint Mere Eglise. As we ready our assault we run into a lieutenant an eight more paratroopers. We split into three squads and advance to secure what will be our Northern flank.

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GZG 25mm Neu Swabian League, WIP Wednesday!

I have a decent sized collection of unpainted Ground Zero Games 25mm Stargrunt figures that I’m planning on using in both Tomorrow’s War and 5150 Star Army from Two Hour Wargames. My plan is to use them to fight out both the first and second Glory War, pitting the DPRG against the combined force of the US Marines and the Republic of Arden.

GZG’s Neu Swabian League’s troops in their hard armor, enclosed helmets, gyro-stabilized SAWs and energy weapons fit well into my vision for the US Marines. They looks tougher than the ESU troops but still just behind the cutting edge like the Marines are described.

The platoon ready to get sealed and a wash applied tomorrow
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Thunder and Flash! Nuts! Solo campaign.

One of the reasons I wanted to learn Two Hour Wargames’ system of rules was to play co-op games with my friend Murph. The stars aligned and Murph came down to play a game and catch up, so I picked up the Nuts! campaign Blood on the Risers campaign so we would have something a little more structured than the random learning games I’ve been playing solo. We played through the first scenario and I replayed it again at night.

The campaign begins with my lone lieutenant parachuting into Normandy in the middle of the night on D-Day. A AAA battery and three PEFs are deployed to the table. As my character searches the fields for some equipment bundles the PEFs move on up towards me.

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Nuts! Round 2. Solo Wargaming

Game number 2 has my platoon of US Airborne defending a farmhouse from an impending attack by the Germans. I set up my forces, generated the PEFs and started the game.

Not wanting to leave the cover of my stone walls and ruined buildings I waited for the Germans to advance, only shifting one .30 cal team to my right since two PEFs appeared in the woods. As the closest PEF moves into view it resolves into three armored vehicles! Since I have only one platoon with one bazooka I decide that they will appear as three half-tracks, sent in support of the advancing troops. It doesn’t make any sense that they would appear in the middle of the board, so I have them enter the board at the roads to my north.

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2020’s Hobby Goals, or: The Road to 350 Redux.

I wrapped up my 2019 goals just in time, breaking the 350 mark in December. I thought I would blow through it and raise my goal for 2020 but I think 350 is fairly easy to achieve, I painted somewhere in the neighborhood of 500 miniatures and about two dozen vehicles if you count the two commissions I was working on, but I won’t be increase it.

A portion of the Closet of Shame…

So what will my main projects be for 2020? Eisenkern, Terminator Genisys, Kobolds, old school 25mm sci-fi, and Battletech. I’m certain I’ll mix in some D&D, Zombies (both modern and WWII) and hopefully some 15mm stompy robots to mix it up a little bit.

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Studio Miniatures Die Verdammten (Nazi Zombies)

One of my 2019 projects was to paint up a bunch of Nazi Zombies for our yearly Weird War II game at Council of Five Nations. I picked up a couple boxes of Studio Miniatures Die Verdammten, plastic Nazi Zombies. At the time they had a bundle that included two twenty zombie boxes, some alternate metal heads and a metal Nazi officer mini. I was excited to have cheap ‘multi-pose’ plastic miniatures so I could fill the table without breaking the bank.

While they’re technically multi-pose there is only two bodies, one alternate head and three sets of arms per sprue, so the actual range of poses is limited. I used the alternate heads and left over bits from my Warlord figures to increase the variety. The Warlord figure were also very usefully for using up the left over arm and head bits from the Zombie sprues, leaving little waste and ‘fleshing’ out the horde.

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Wrapping up my first 350! 2019 painting in review.

2019 is almost done and I haven’t blogged since the beginning of the year! I set out in January with a goal of painting 350 28mm miniature figures, with my major projects being a WWII Soviet army, Terminator Genisys miniatures and a mix of zombies including some Nazi Zombies for a convention game in my hometown I attend every October. I never got to the Soviets, as a matter o fact I’m trying to sell them off since I don’t think I want to do the Warlord Games plastics, they’re too fiddly and the weapons are too prone to breaking. and I didn’t do nearly as much as I thought I would of the other tree. I wound up only getting 16 Nazi zombies and 8 modern zombies done, and only 28 of the Genisys miniatures completed. Considering how easy the Terminators are to paint that’s a pitiful amount.

I took on two commissions from friends, one a continuation for Murph of his German WWII army and another from a new player at the club just south of me for another German WWII army. It helped fund some hobby purchases and is part of the reason I got so many of my own Germans done this year but it did cut into my painting time, I was worried I wasn’t going to make my goal but I picked up speed as fall hit and the convention stuff was done.

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The road to 350

2018 was a slow year for me. Between finishing up a degree, having a baby and starting a new job miniatures and gaming took a back seat. 2019 is upon us, the baby is almost a year old and I’m settling into the new job pretty well. I started thinking about what I want to get accomplished this year and decided to set myself a goal. 350 miniatures painted by the end of the year.  This sounds lofty, but there are several reasons I think I can get this done.

  • On a normal week of painting a couple hours a night for 2-3 nights I can usually get done about 10 figures if it’s batch painting uniforms, 6-8 if they’re individual characters.
  • My main project of the year is a Soviet WWII army. This will require me to paint over 100 soldiers, which I’m going to use ‘The Dip’ method on to speed up the process.
  • The other project I’m working on this year is the Terminator Genisys game. I have a little over 60 Terminators, which are easy as pie to paint up by the dozen since they’re simply prime black, drybrush gunmetal, wash, drybrush silver, paint eyes and the plasma gun. The resistance is almost as easy since I’m sticking to batches of 16 figures with a simple camo pattern (it’s the future, I can make it up!) and armor. The sculpts are pretty basic but well done so they should paint up pretty quickly. My guess is once I get going it’ll be 8 resistance and 8-16 Terminators a week.
  • I have two batches of zombies and one batch of Nazi zombies to finish up. This totals about 50 figures  and most of the zombies are simply going to get basecoated, dip’ed and then a simple highlight. They’re zombies, they’re dirty, and they’re meant to die by the bushel load.

These three projects account for roughly 250 of my 350 goal. The rest will consist of D&D minis, finishing up the German and US WWII armies I have, finishing up some German minis for a friend and a whole bunch of 6mm stuff I dug out of storage when my Ogre Minis II pledge showed up.

The second part of my New Years pledge is to not buy hundreds of minis this year. I’ve made several allowances if the prices are right. For years I’ve been drooling over two lines of minis. I missed out on the Starship Troopers game when it first came out and Dreamforge games makes a line of Eisenkern minis that I like. I have some of each already now and keep looking out for good prices. I still need some vehicles for my Soviet army, and if Warlord runs another sale after my raise comes in I will grab a couple vehicles. I already have enough to paint for this year though.

The year has started well, it’s the last week in January and already I have almost 60 minis finished for Terminator and another couple dozen random minis that were assembled and primed so I could clean of the paint desk.

CoC: Homerun at Osmanville

We’ve been playing through the 29, Lets Go! campaign for Chain of Command casually since the beginning of the year. We weren’t interested in fighting back and forth through the scenarios and replaying until the Americans won, so we just played each scenario once and moved on. Dan and I wrapped it up with scenario 5 last night. We’ve learned a bunch of lessons over the course of the campaign. One of the first was that this game tends to take longer than 2 hours to play. I’ve had a number of people tell me that they get through the average game in just about 2 hours, our experience is that with two players each game should take about 3 hours to fight to a conclusion. At the 2.5 hour mark we’re usually able to tell how its going to go, but we wouldn’t actually reach the objectives for at least another half an hour. Considering our time restraints (it’s an hour drive for me to get to the store) we generally call it right around 10-10:15 so I can make it home by midnight.

The building on the far left is the objective, the Americans have to either reduce my force morale to 0 or take the building and end the turn to win. Our Patrol Phase wound up with us deploying our jump off points about 3/4 of the way up the board, one either side of the second house and hedges there. Dan’s tank would, of course, have to deploy down one of the roads.

Dan chose his mandatory Sherman, plus a .50 cal and a .30 machine gun and the extra BAR for each squad. The .50 cal would go on to be the American VIP I believe, the reduction in cover being a major factor and one of the things that makes it almost mandatory for us now.

 

I chose a PAK38, an MG42, an adjutant and two pieces of barbed wire. With the Americans having TWO senior leaders and the Germans only having one I felt I needed to get mine on the board early. Rolling multiple 4’s would be an ongoing theme for BOTH sides during this game. I unfortunately left the barbed wire stands at home, so had to make do with a roadblock on the upper road. I think the barbed wire would have been a lot better, letting me deny the spot that the Americans used to great effect.

The game started off with a good American deployment at the house. .50 cal, one full squad and the platoon Sargent, I answered with two squads, one in the upper right of this photo and another just to the left with a clear line of sight down the wall in front of the house. I also deployed the MG42 in the second floor of the house. I fired on the .50 cal to no effect.

Dan opens up with his .50 cal dealing 4 kills to a German squad, it’s cover reduced to nothing do to the heavy weapon. My Germans respond with a double activation, deploying the Pak38 on the only road the Sherman can come down and firing on Dan’s mortar, doing only a single shock.

 

Dan responds with a double activation of his own, Firing the .50 cal on the same German squad up in the corner, causing them to break as the casualties and shock stack up. They will never recover from this and spend the rest of the game cowering behind several hedges.

Dan uses the Marching Fire ability to hop a wall and put some fire down on the squad I had deployed across from the house. The only thing that saved me was having gone tactical at the end of my last activation in fear of the .50 cal. Dan followed this up on his second activation with 2 kills and 3 shock! His mortar landed a round on the Pak38, adding one shock and a kill. I continued this throughout the game, using my senior leader on this squad to remove shock and have them go tactical, the only thing that saved them.

I used my activation to shoot on Dan’s advancing squad with both of my squads and throw some hand grenades to minimal effect, 1 kill and 1 shock.

Dan decided to bring on his Sherman at this point, unfortunately I didn’t have a full CoC die to fire on it with the Pak38! His main gun causes only shock on the anti-tank gun.

Thankfully I rolled another double activation! Firing with my squads and then following up with a Handgranaten attack I almost wipe out Dan’s squad at the stone wall, they break and Dan simply removes the 2 survivors from the table. I fall back behind the hedge I came from and go tactical again. There’s not much left of this squad but they would survive right up until the end of the game, falling back far enough that the senior leader could start commanding the MG42 to fire.

My Pak38 saw it’s short useless life ended as the Sherman hits it again, causing two kills and breaking the unit. The two survivors run for their lives with five shock on two men. (use I’m using a 105 howitzer as the PAK38)

I roll four 4’s, only activating my MG42 to fire at the .50 cal. Dan one ups me by rolling five 5’s and quickly ending his phase.

The MG42 FINALLY kills the .50 cal in the next turn, it had been hiding behind a stone wall for so long!

At this point Dan has not managed to cross the road. His men are concentrated around this house, with one squad inside, one advancing to take the position I had assaulted at then retreated from. That’s a .30 cal team behind the house taking shots at my squad after routing the Pak38 team. Outside of this photo is a mortar team and a Sherman right down the road on the left. It’s not looking good for the Germans, but the Americans haven’t taken the house yet. I’m down to one squad that you can barely see on the left of the photo above, one MG42 in the house and the remnants of a squad in front of my house. If I could hold them here I can win at this point.

Dan advances his Sherman down the road, FINALY having a full Chain of Command die I ambush with my Panzerschreck team. A long range shot immobilizes the tank and adds two pins! Dan pours fire into my last full squad for a second round as causes them to break, abandoning their position. I begin to run my leader over to try and remove the shock.

As I activate next to follow up Dan does the same to me, killing the Panzerschreck team before it gets off it’s shot. And of course I fail to get a photo of the tank at any point in the game! It’s a Sherman, you’ve seen tons of them.

At this point we call the game. It’s after 10 and I have one squad reduced to an LMG team, one squad breaking, whats left of the first squad I deployed never going to recover from it’s broken status and an MG42. Dan has a full chain of command die and I have a force morale of 5. Dan can easily use his CoC die to end the turn and remove the two broken squads. He has an immobilized tank that has a line of sight to the objective building with the MG42 in it and two full squads along with two senior leaders on this board. We forgo the 30 minutes of Americans mopping up at their leisure and call it an American win.

This is our fifth game of the year so far. We’ve both started using our nations abilities to good effect. Dan was using Marching Fire to pin down one squad while hoping between stone walls, I used Hangranaten to effectively wipe out a squad that was causing me problems. Dan’s gets his money’s worth out of the .50 cal, reducing my cover along with the mortar he took for the same reason. I’ve been using my leaders to have squads go tactical, and now I need to start using covering fire and overwatch more often. I think the Germans are hampered from not being able to take another squad in this campaign. They can take a squad of green conscripts once in the whole campaign, and I’m not convinced it would be worth it. I would have loved to have a fourth infantry squad, it would have allowed me to be much more flexible in my coverage of the approach to the house. All in all it was a great game.