Thursday, June 27, 2013

A pair of interesting characters...


I've painted two more Quar (counts-as-Brits) to go in my Quar invasion army for Bolt Action. The platoon commander can have two assistants/runners/bodyguards/etc., and these two will fill those positions.  First up, the bag piper:

So how do you say: 'What the hell is that noise? That's not supposed to be music is it?' in German?

Playing the tunes written by their ancestors (Quar worship their ancestors), he will inspire nearby troops on to greater acts of valor whilst conquering the pathetic humans that oppose them! While he has no weapon on him, concealed somewhere is a pistol, probably hidden under the bagpipe.

I can assure you, no photos are staged for propaganda purposes...

Of course, what better way to inspire the folks back home, than with photographs depicting such acts of valor? My 'embedded' (not sure what term was used in WWII) Camera Quar will do just that! Also armed with a pistol (again concealed), he is also festooned with gear! Two cameras, a pack full of lenses, film, flash powder, etc., and even a loaf of french bread that's been 'liberated' from the locals no doubt! lol, it's even wrapped in a picnic blanket. All he needs now is a bottle of French wine (though he's more likely to get some of Screech's German whine).

Behold: the Is-Caerten and his two flunkies!

Here's the whole of my command group. I have to admit, that these two latest Quar are easily my favorites in my little collection of them! I still have another handful on order (need to check on the status of that actually...) and aside from the Crusaders-turned-SQS (SAS) whom are awaiting parts from that order, I only have four remaining Quar to paint! No doubt they will be facing Screech's gray (but not Panzer gray) Germans before long...

Monday, June 24, 2013

Battletech Reorganization


Recently I've decided to reorganize my CBT forces. I had reached the point of owning a reinforced battalion and...well, that's really more than I actually wanted (and ironically didn't actually include all that I do want). Thus I set about reorganizing what I had. First off, I wanted lighter units. True my Capellans can still field a heavy lance, but only one. Everything else is a medium weight lance. True that limits me in the department of brute force, but I like the mobility aspect of CBT, and I'm aiming more for that. Fielding primarily medium and light machines helps and as such. Indeed my merc unit has one one heavy mech, a Dragon/Grand Dragon (that mech is on their logo, so kinda a necessity).

Solid Colored Hex = have it and is painted. Faded Colored Hex = I have it but not painted. Black Hex = I don't have it.

Despite my love of the foot slogging infantry, in order to get them close enough to theoretically do something, expensive APCs and IFVs were required. However we're aiming for smaller BV games, so there's not much room for those transports anymore. So the OMG!, WTF? and BBQ! platoons, and said APCs and IFV (along with my AC-2 Carrier as it wasn't pulling its weight) went the way of Ebay.  Likewise, I've either traded off to Kushial or else put on ebay all 3 of my assault mechs as well as a few others (bid high, and often, lol!). All in all, an infantry company and a combined-arms company (plus 1 extra mech) have been sent off, hopefully to greener pastures.

I pondered switching unit identites (not hard as little is actually painted) however I stuck with the Legion of the Rising Sun and just switched Capellan units. While the 3rd CRC may use camouflage, that kind of paint scheme looks kinda generic to me. I considered several Draconis Combine units, but since the legion started in the Combine, I can pull from their units lists provided their older models. For the Capellans I decided on the McCarron's armored Cavalry's 4th regiment. Flat green with the occasional white stripe is an easy color scheme to paint, and I've always like the 'Big MAC's' fluff.

I also have the local Podunks who are mostly 'generic filler' of mechanized infantry. I tried them out this past weekend, and while accomplishing absolutely nothing damage-wise, I was pleased at their mobility w/o the need of transports. That and I didn't want to alter the Urbanmech's color scheme after its golden BB.

Rob and I played a game this past Saturday which was a lot of fun. 8k points of my 4th MAC vs. the Taurian Concordant (unit unknown). No specific scenario, but there was a city in the center of the table, we both entered and I was summarily pushed out of it. He lost a commando with a few other light mechs sporting a few holes, whereas I had a Blackhawk KU that was barely clinging to life. Thus casualties were light all around.

Probably the most significant result of the game was my LRM Hetzer tank crew's fate. Despite being parked on a hill, with an excellent field of fire, and multiple enemy mechs coming straight at it (some of which were wearing Narc beacons), the damned tank never once connected! WTF?!? Thus, its crew has since been reassigned to J-27 ordinance Transport duty! Which, for those unfamiliar with CBT, is essentially a death sentence. My Podunk infantry also failed to hit anything, but they're Podunks, so such failures are expected (that and they cost a mere 58 points).

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Quar! In! Spaaaaaain--wait, what?

'Yes I get that they're aliens from space, but if you're using them via the British army list in Bolt Action, then what the hell are they doing in Spain?'

My Camera Quar will photograph humanity's defeat!
lol, I know of few people who will read this post's title (hopefully in the 'Pigs! In! Spaaaace!' narrator's voice from the Muppet show) and probably think that question. Well, have you ever wondered why You never heard about Spain and/or Portugal while Europe was tearing itself apart during WWII? History would have you believe that they were neutral countries, and only small volunteer contingents fought in WWII for both sides. Truth is though, they were really fighting aliens...

Yes, both the Bagpiper and their Welsh sounding names are why they'll use the British Commonwealth army list.
...aaaand that's where my Quar fit into Warlord's Bolt Action WWII (a.k.a.: Weird War Two) game.  Now granted, in their own universe, the Quar are incapable of space flight. Indeed, they've been waging what is essentially WWI for the past several hundred years (without the nerve gas), but to bring them into WWII, they need to be aliens from outer space. The problem is, where do they land to allow them to quickly get into the thick of the fighting? Well hello there Iberian Peninsula, you're just what I was looking for. Yes, I needed a beachhead and I'm sorry Spain & Portugal, but you two are it!

Currently my MMG team needs another loader. No worries though, he's on order!
While all hell was breaking loose all over the rest of Europe and the Pacific, instead of Franco consolidating his power/control after winning the Spanish civil war, Spain was beset by an alien invasion of Quar. Conquering Spain, they struck west into and taking Portugal. Having succeeded there, the Quar then struck east and went straight into the nightmare of WWII. Holy shit Batman! They're armed to the teeth in this direction! Commandeering local shipping to try crossing either the English channel, or the Mediterranean (assuming Allied & Axis ships/subs/planes didn't sink them in the process) I would imagine the Quar would find themselves running into the same problem!

In my one Bolt Action demo game, the mortar was probably the best weapon in my force. With only 2 Quar this qualifies as a light mortar, so I'm not sure how it will fare on the battlefield.

Of course Rob is looking into possibly fielding either the Japanese or  Russians, so other landings will be made, but as of right now, the Iberian Peninsula is my established beachhead. As to why a space faring race is no more proficient in battle than the armies of WWII? Well, if those weapons were sufficient to conquer their own planet (and potentially any others that they arrived at prior to Earth), then why worry about improved weaponry? They already have the best (or so they thought, damn you humanity)! Besides, wouldn't it be a better idea to try and develop spacecraft that function like an Imperial Star Destroyer rather than an interstellar troop ships and landing craft that the Quar have instead? Given the 'old fashioned sci-fi' feel of these guys in this setting, i figure their ships would look something like this.

Oh, and for of my Spaniard and/or Portuguese readers out there (assuming I have any), your grandfathers did not go quietly during the Quar invasion. My quar army, the 57th Consolidated Catrawd (regiment) is made of the remnants of shattered units, and thus have a variety of uniforms among their number. As such I've grouped these Quar into a unit which I would like to use as 'inexperienced' troops (once I have sufficient numbers to not need veterans to stretch points). Rather than being 'inexperienced' they'll instead be the psychologically broken remnants of those units that took part in the initial landings, and were essentially destroyed in the taking of Spain & Portugal. Rather than pull them back for rest & refit, they've just been lumped together and put back onto the front line where they can (hopefully) be of use before being wiped out (much like in the actual Quar universe). Ya see, despite their goofy appearance, they really are quite brutal little creatures who excel at killing one another just as well as humanity does.

So, they ought to fit right in...I hope.

Monday, June 17, 2013


lol, by both the title and the photo above, I'm sure that you can tell just what this post is about...

Warfrog came out of hiding to play with us at the FLGS this past Saturday with his Eldar. After having been repeatedly asked if I'd read my copy of the codex  (to which I kept replying: no, just a bit of fluff and looking at the pictures), he offered to show me what the Eldar can now do. Sounded good to me as even if I lost, I'd still be able to see just what my army can do.

Well, as it turns out, no not really.

What follows are a few photos taken (by Warfrog & Neverness) at the beginning of and the final moments of my still (sadly) 'not-so-Red Corsairs' which Warfrog used to mop the floor...

Warfrog's '50 shades of grey' army. Unfortunately, while they are Eldar, there are absolutely no models in common with my Exodites/Saim-Hann. Note: The Viper is a proxied Farseer on a Jetbike.

The (not so) Red Corsairs, awaiting their doom...

The Eldar deployment. Probably a moot point given the OMG/WTF extreme movement capabilities of this army. 1500 points, relic, dawn of war deployment.

He went first and for me, things went (steeply) down hill from there...

Fast forward to the end, where aside from a random model or two, and one squad of spiders which blew their jet pack/assault phase move, leaving them to be caught and wiped out in HTH. What you see here is my Sorcerer 'Harold of Nurgle' staring at his oblivion. ONE Red Corsair, bearing his icon of vengeance did survive to keep me from being tabled, but small victory that was...

RTVoril and Kushial elected to just watch rather than play and commented that it was one of the worst beat downs that they'd ever seen me take! Indeed, despite 5 turns the game ended early enough for Warfrog to play another, yet RTVoril and his Eldar (Wraith Knight included) wanted no part of Warfrog's army!

Still it was a fun, and had the occasional moments of hilarity that we all look for in games. I guess now I need to skip the fluff and 'ooh pretty' pictures and start reading my Eldar codex's rules...

Thursday, June 13, 2013

The Fem Fa'Tau


What are you looking at Gue'la?
My GF lead her Tau in their battlefield debut (this time under her command) the other night. During the game she informed me that they're all female. So I guess she needs a Shadow Sun mini, assuming one can be found for a reasonable price that isn't FAILcast. During the game named her army the:

 'Fem Fa'Tau'

We played 1000 points, kill points, straight across the board deployment on a 4'x4' table.


My Deployment
Her Deployment
Turn one the horde advances, and shooting picks of a drone...

...causing a broadside to flee granting me first blood! Mental note: lone broadsides can no longer have drones!

Her Devilfish arrives from reserve and they pile up behind the ruins, meanwhile my CSM squad is already down by two!

The Horde inches closer, meanwhile the predators manage to remove another drone, and wound its parent Broadside, it holds its ground though.

SHIT! I forgot to shoot that Helbrute, and the outflanking stealth suits capitalize by immobilizing it in place.

A 2nd round of shooting dispatches the Helbrute and as you can see, my horde has been shot to pieces by this point! The Tau Commander has lost her bodyguard, and would soon fall to the predator's lascannons. The 2nd broadside has also fallen to the predators.

Shoo! Get away!

'Big Ugly' (as she named it) crosses the trenches (despite 2 seeker missile and a few heavy rail gun hits by this point) while the CSM lord and few remaining cultists continue to whittle away at the fire warrior/pathfinder mass in the ruins.

Ah, the old cell phone camera line of sight trick! Meanwhile Big Ugly starts pulling the gooey remains of the white squad of fire warriors out thru the windows, while the painted squad redeploys away from it!

His minions all gone, the CSM lord dispatches the two drones and turns to get that stealth suit, and manages to do so just before the game's end.

Here you can see the 4 remaining models in my army, we equaled unit KPs, but I won by the First Blood and Warlord KPs. She looks like she still had fun though!
 Yeah, gotta figure out a way to deal with the charging thru the OMG! WTF? supporting fire! 3-4 units shoe-horned into a small area murdered everything that got close, only the Helbrute's AV12 allowed it to wade thru and attack! Meanwhile she said she needs to read her book some more, which means things will continue to get worse when facing the 'Fem Fa'Tau'...

Monday, June 10, 2013

The propaganda was right, they ARE monsters!


So, as mentioned last week, we've been looking into Warlord's Bolt Action WWII miniature game. Screech bought the rulebook, and ran me thru a demo game last week. The game seemed alright, nothing too exotic rules-wise to wrap our heads around. The game writers (Alessio Cavatore and Rick Priestly) have written most of the games that I've played over the years and lets face it, they aren't going to stray too far from what they already know works. Rob thought it felt like 40k with Germans, but I didn't get that vibe myself.

Rob & I have since ordered the rulebooks ourselves via Amazon which was all to happy to add our Discover Card cash back bonuses to our orders resulting in a collective total of $0.58 for two rule books, shipping included! With Screech already playing the Germans, we were pondering factions when it occurred to me that the American forces that I had proxied using Chaos Cultists were all but identically equipped as my Quar minis are! I asked if there were any objections to the idea and there wasn't. Thus, having previously lived their entire lives either on the shelf (or still unassembled and in the box) Bolt Action will soon bring them to the tabletop as we fight 'Weird War Two'. Huzzah!

The Germans are this way troops!

I'll be fielding my Quar as British troops, as the SAS can switch out all of their Rifles for SMGs which matches the weapons fit of my as yet unassembled/painted Crusader Quar. It will also account for their slightly different uniforms/equipment. Besides, most Quar names are based off of Welsh (and to me just as unpronounceable), and that fits well with the British Commonwealth motif.

Bagpipes? I thought they were Welsh?
Having only 11 painted, with about 7 Crusaders with applicable weaponry available, I placed a small order to Zombiesmith to flesh out my platoon a bit. My is-Caerten (platoon commander) who is pictured above, on the left is armed with a pistol. Screech commented that pistols were all but useless, but oh well, he has one. To assist him, he can have up to 2 assistants (runners, bodyguards, etc.). So included in my order are the two seen here, a bag piper to inspire the troops, and a combat cameraQuar to record their glorious actions in combat! I also ordered a mortar and LMG team.

Having an old thread on the zombiesmith forum about my Quar, the 57th Bleeding Line, I posted on there my idea for their resurrection and new arena of battle. As you can see by the comments below, this idea was warmly welcomed!

'Headzombie' is the creator of the Quar.
I'm still awaiting my rulebook, but there are apparently rules for using captured enemy vehicles. I hope so as I'd like a Chyweethl (more commonly known on the zombie forums as a 'Cheese Wheel') which looks like it would work as a Stug or Hetzer, rather than anything of British Commonwealth manufacture.  Unless of course I added a turret to it and used it as a Grant/Lee...

Thursday, June 6, 2013

My current distractions and what not...


First up, I have some very important news! Well...okay so its not that important since its being announced here and not on an actual news site, but anyways: My game room is once again open for operation, Huzzah!

Here it is, set up for last night's Bolt Action demo game. My thoughts on which I'll get to next week so stay tuned...

The last two of my grandparents' ginormous dollhouses that were designated for my cousins left the premises last Sunday, and to my knowledge they left the state of Tennessee yesterday. They ought to be in Pennsylvania/New York by now. There are of course three smaller ones still under the tables, to which we need to be mindful of, as much for the sake of our knees (as Screech found out last night) as for the houses themselves.

As for distractions, we've been feeling a bit of a 40k burnout here lately. Its a seasonal thing, nothing to be alarmed about, but still annoying. Attendance at the FLGS has been down (though the college kids going home for the summer has a part in that as well). The easy switch was to WHFB.

On that front, my Army of Stirland had a good run of 2:1 out of three games. However at 1850 points (pretty much my max army size) I have one build, with little variation beyond a character swap or two. So it gets old fast. We've pondered a campaign some, in the form of an Empire civil war among the three local Empire armies. However 1/3 of that is MIA for the summer (see the college kids bit above) and another 1/3 is lacking the Empire rule book and (more importantly) the funds to remedy that. So will just ponder it some more for a while.  Given my reluctance to invest more in that game right now, I'm thinking 1000-1250 point games would work best if we do try a campaign.

Looking elsewhere, Rob keeps mentioning the Malifaux beta rules are out, to which I keep reminding him I have no interest in that game. He doesn't bother with mentioning Warmahordes as that cause is lost from the start (that said, I'm still rather fond of Lt. Moen, if only for my 'fluff' for him). The FLGS had a bunch of the Warlord games on display, kinda out of nowhere really. While Rob likes Pike and Shotte, to me that looks like my Stirland army all over again. So being the history buffs that Rob, Screech and I are, we're pondering the Bolt Action game instead, but I'll get into that next week.

One other idea, is to resurrect Heavy Gear again. I have 250-300 points in the form of one squad (all previously painted minis barring the one I was going to proxy for Battletech have long since been sold off). Rob has 3 squads of Northern Guard which he said he'd give me! As nice as that is, before he buys a new faction, I think he ought to hang on to two squads, and we'll give it a few games to see if we want to really give it another go. If we do, then he can give his two remaining squads to Screech and dragoon him into the game. Besides, we never quite got the rules all the way down before, and Screech is much better at translating the rules from a rulebook to the table top than I am.

Prior to discussing Heavy Gear, I painted up these two Stripped-Down Hunters last Sunday for no other reason than they were 'something different'. Also I wouldn't have much time to paint as we were moving dollhouses around, and Gears paint up rather quickly. Stripped-Down Hunters are more or less ad-hoc recon gears, where the rocket pod and some arm, leg and shoulder armor is removed and replaced with ballistic cloth. The weight reduction increases their speed, though as expected as the expense of firepower and protection. They're common in the Western Frontier Protectorate (my favorite faction) which tends to be on the lower end of the economic spectrum.

So, will ponder Bolt Action some more for next week, while still playing 40k this coming weekend. Burnt out as we are, I still did miss it after a month or so of WHFB.

Monday, June 3, 2013

The first engagement of my GF's Tau army...


I've not fielded Tau in quite a while, and certainly not since the new codex release. Combine with that my girlfriend's want to play with her new army, and it was painfully obvious that I needed a crash course in the new Tau's operating procedures! As such I took them for a spin (with her permission of course) this past Saturday night while she was at work. My opponent was to be the ever wily Neverness and his archaic Ultrasmurfs. 

As per my norm, what follows will be a photo dump of the game with my usual running commentary in the captions. He also took quite a few photos of our game, so give his blog a look for a battle report from the opposing viewpoint. Indeed, this game is probably the best covered of all of my games thus far!

Setup was 1500 points, Crusade scenario with 4 objectives, and the weird triangular deployment zones. Tau went first and night fight didn't kick in till turn 5.

The amassed tau. Again this was sort of a 'community project' in its assembly (with more stealth suits than one can shake a stick at), and once more many thanks to RTVoril, Kushial & Screech!

Neverness' Ultramarines, of which I'm sure all of the models are of legal drinking age! (Note the 'crayon tank')

The Tau's deployment. I had the Pathfinders way too far back which greatly limited their ability to markerlight anything. The 4 drones at the bottom would harass the Ultrmarine left flank for a few turns before suffering the fate of all skeet (which they so clearly resemble). 

The Ultramarines left flank deployment.

Their center deployment...

...and this tactical squad was holding their right.

The Devilfish advances under the watchful guns of a broadside.

Not much forward movement for me on turn one. In the assault or rather 'jumping phase' my Tau commander would consistently roll a '2' all game due to his iridium armor. This greatly hampered his unit's movement.

Both Stealth suit units arrived on turn 2, with the 2 fusion blaster squad arriving and killing the dreaded crayon tank granting me first blood!

Truly, the 'Warhammer Ancients' had arrived (via teleporter)!

The Ultramarine left flank does an about face to deal with the stealth suits that arrived behind them!

I'm pretty sure this was the first time I've ever encountered the Legion of the Damned!

Oh Shit! The Landraider was full of Sternguard! Thus my Stealth suits summarily died, sad face.

Those damned legionnaires killed my Devilfish! However in point blank range of the pathfinders, they were markerlighted and blown off of the table! The U-Marine tac squad out of picture killed one of the Devilfish's Drones as well.

The greater good unloads into the ancient termies, however the Sgt. on point absorbed a ton of fire before dying! It was rather disheartening.

The remaining drone commences its 'annoyance operations' against the U-marine right flank. It wouldn't accomplish much beyond that though.

Hand to hand is unethical! You were supposed to die to all of the ungodly overwatch fire! (stupid termie armor) The Fire warriors held for a turn, but the results were predictable.

I've flanked the enemy (which in most cases spells certain doom for my armies).

Faced with overwhelming odds, the last tactical marine on the right hides in that ruined building.

Contesting the objective and killing a fire warrior resulted in a text book sweep & clear of the room in which he was hiding. The Objective hadn't read the textbook though, as it blew up killing 2 fire warriors.

The Stealth suits move at best possible speed to engage the enemy, while that drone finishes off a lone marine that was hiding in the center building ruins.

My Commander (on the left) slowly moves his unit forward to engage the sternguard.

The last Termie rounds the corner, and combined with the sternguard, kills the drone, bodyguard and wounds my commander, only to be cut down by the plasma rifle's overwatch fire!

My commander then tries to tempt the sternguard away from the Fire Warriors that are holding their volatile objective.

The Stealth suits continue to advance while ignoring the big, blue box, as they lacked any fusion blasters with which to deal with it.

The fire warriors hold despite the sternguard's attempt to annihilate them. Three other fire warriors hid within the building on the left, but were close enough to an objective to cede me victory!

 Final victory points came to 8-3. I had first blood, war lord, and 2 objectives, to Neverness' 1 objective. Victory to the Tau! It was a good game and good learning experience. The Pathfinders need to be in a forward position with better fields of fire, as do the Broadsides (well, not so forward, just better fields of fire). Also that landraider was an issue. All I had to deal with it really were the 2 fusion blasters, as the heavy rail rifles only rolled 4s for armor penetration (no doubt forgetting that they were no longer STR10!). However with so many stealth suits and 2 unassembled piranhas, I ought to be able to remedy that.The list will need some tweaking, but was a good first run and gives my a good starting point on giving my GF some instruction in their use.

On a side note, a new guy to the group (Ben) arrived looking for  a game of WHFB. Sadly there were no armies for him to fight, but the quick photo below gives a glimpse of his amazingly painted High Elves! The sea guard specifically were! He plays 40k too, but the tone of his voice on mentioning his 40k armies made it clear that WHFB was his preference. He also knew of Necron Bob and his High Elves (having also played at this year's Brawler Bash), so perhaps Bob can give us some insight as to whether or not Ben's Playing skill equals his painting skill (and if it does, the sons of Stirland could be in trouble...).

This photo gives little indication of just how well painted this army is!