Wednesday, December 28, 2011

So Long 2011, Hello 2012


From a gaming perspective, I'm not sorry to see the Year 2011 come to the end of the calendar. It wasn't a good year of gaming for me. I missed one tournament, played only Day 1 of a two-day tournament, and was generally unsuccessful in playing this game we all love called FOW.

What I am thankful for is the circumstances that caused the above is much much improved! We're just pushing toy soldiers around and in this rodeo called life, in it's an insignificant game.

Click below to read more

Monday, December 19, 2011

Bye Bye Sherman Six-Pac


Wayne of Battlefront responded to the possible glitches/errors in Red Bear thread.

2. In the Inomarochnikiy Tankovy Company the point costs for "6 M4 76mm (M4A2 Sherman)" should be about 545 points not 480 (page 126). Why?
adding the 6th tank costs 5 points
adding the 7th tank costs 130 points
-> Shouldn't be right. ;-)

Yes that is wrong, 6 M4 76mm (M4A2 Sherman) should be 545 points.

There goes my 19 Sherman 76 list!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Red Bear in hands!!


X-mas came two weeks early this year. The LGS received its shipment of Red Bear yesterday. A friend picked me a copy and I got my hands on it today. I also got the FOW Russian and German obj markers. They're very nice; didn't take pics of them, though.

I took photos of the TOE and points of the Tankovy, Rota Razvedki, and Lend Lease Tankovy (Ino) lists as well as the new Infiltration and Tank Escort rules.

Click below to see more.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Reinforcements for 11th Panzer Division


Carlos of Sentinel Minature Painting did these for me in time for the SoCal Smackdown 2011. Once again Carlos outdid himself.

I've detailed the use of 731 and 735 in Game 3, which was their baptism of fire. They are two of an eventual four-tank platoon.

The Marder is the first of four Marders I'll be needing. Together with the grey/white-wash Pz IIIIL's platoon, they'll be another way for me to play 11.PD. The Marders will swap out with the Pz IVF-2's and form the backbone of heavy AT. The Pz IIIL's will serve multi-role as AT and anti-infantry.



Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Wargames Illustrated 290 - Otto Carius


Here are photos of the Otto Carius special rules in the Red Bear / Grey Wolf issue of Wargames Illustrated #290 that arrived at my doorstep today.

Also, head on over to the Flames of War website. The Thursday post is up and the new point totals for the new Hen and Chicks rule and ROF 1 vehicles is discussed.

It's a whole new ballgame on the Eastern Front in Late War!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

They've Killed Fritz! - The Fear of Losing your Favorite Unit on Gameplay

If you're reading this blog, I'd wager the majority of you are very familiar with this scene from Wizards. In case you're not, you'd hear the "They've killed Fritz!" line echo across gaming halls and in stores over and over whenever a player lost a unit. I know my friends and I did, especially with our favorite units.

What does this have to do with miniature wargamming?

I'm glad you asked.

Friday, November 4, 2011

SoCal SmackDown 2011 - Game 3


Well now, I've played two games and lost 1-6. One more game to go for the day. One more chance to redeem myself. One more chance to get a win.

I'm in a slump. I need a Slump Buster. I channel Tony LaRussa. I swap out the CiC and Pz III platoon leader for the panzer-grey Panzer III's painted by Sentinel. Yeah, I benched two toy models. C'mon, it's not unheard of. People line dice up and smash the offending dice for failure to roll good numbers.

We all gather around the TO's table at the center of the hall and breathlessly await our assignments. Hugo! Hugo? Wait, Hugo only plays German. Wait...erm...argggh! Blue on blue. Again? Le sigh.

I shake Hugo's hand and get a peek at his army across the table.


Le Gulp.

Two Tigers? Again!?

Hugo's playing a Grenadier Company.

Along with the two obligatory platoons of Grens, he has the aforementioned Tiggers, a couple of Marders, Nebs and an AA platoon to get to an even six platoons.

In case you've forgotten what I'm running-

11.PD Line-Up

HQ 1x Pz III L/M, 1x PZ IV F-2
P1: 4x Pz III L/M
P2: 3x Pz IV F-2
P3: 1x Tiger 1E
P4: 2x 8-Rads
P5: 3x Nebelwerfers with staff and obs

Mission: Hasty Assault. It's a new mission for me. This was the ?? on the mission listing before the tournament. The TO made his decision on the final mission added to the rotation.

I get to be the attacker! Hurray! No? Yes! You don't want to be attacking in Hasty Assault? Why? I place everything on the table. Hugo's Tigers go into ambush. Rot roh.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

SoCal SmackDown 2011 - Game 2


Okay, lunch time is over and I've pizza-fied myself and ready for battle! We all gather around the raised platform where Tim and other TO's (Warmachine, WH40K and WHFB, etc) sit with their laptops. The pairings are announced and my opponent is announced - MK. Cool, MK's a great dude! Wait, MK always plays Germans. I'm playing blue-on-blue for the 2nd Round?

Well, I swallow and hide my disappointment. I didn't understand that day how I could be facing a German list after only Game 1. It was until later that I understood the Swiss Chess System was being used by the TO. The Swiss Chess System is basically a randomly determined opponent in Game 1 and then in each proceeding round you are paired with an opponent who has similar points.

Okay, I get it now. Still, I would think though there had to be an Ally who lost 1-6 that I could be matched up against. I later found out that most of the Axis got smoked in Round 1.

Time for Game 2.

MK's German Pioneer.

1x Pioneer Platoon
1x Pioneer Platoon (in ambush)
2x Tigers
1x AA Platoon
3x Nebels
1x KV-1E
Limited HS-129

11.PD Line-Up

HQ 1x Pz III L/M, 1x PZ IV F-2
P1: 4x Pz III L/M
P2: 3x Pz IV F-2
P3: 1x Tiger 1E
P4: 2x 8-Rads
P5: 3x Nebelwerfers with staff and obs

Mission: Fighting Withdrawal

Everybody gets everything on the table. No KG concerns this time.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

It Returns....


In case you didn't know or haven't heard, tomorrow marks the return of The Walking Dead, Season 2.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

SoCal SmackDown 2011 - Game 1


It's Saturday morning and 12 players (6 Axis and 6 Allies) show up to IVth installment of Maus Haus. The TO was hoping for more players. but the NoCal (northern California) group had their own tournament this weekend and couldn't make it down. This might be the last 2-day FOW tourney in this area, as it's apparent it's too hard to get large numbers of players on holiday weekends because of travel and family commitments. Secondly, other FOW groups usually have their tourney going at the same time, so the pool of players able to participate in a "long" tourney is relatively small.

Now to Game 1.

I drew Eric K's US Mech Infantry list.

5x Grants
5x Stuarts
4x M10 Wolverines
1x Armored Rifles
1x Armored Rifles
unknown platoon

I'm running 11.PD

HQ 1x Pz III L/M, 1x PZ IV F-2
P1: 4x Pz III L/M
P2: 3x Pz IV F-2
P3: 1x Tiger 1E
P4: 2x 8-Rads
P5: 3x Nebelwerfers with staff and obs

Mission: Encounter

Half-on, Half-off for both of us. Eric puts his 2 Armored Rifle platoons and the unknown platoon in reserve. His M10's are held in Ambush.

I elect to KG an F-2 with a Pz III L/M, to bring me to 6 platoons. I choose to bring the Pz III L/M platoon (CiC attached), the F-2 platoon and the Tiger.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Santa, O, Santa!!





We interrupt the stream of SoCal Smackdown AAR (well, before I post the first game), with blatant drool all over the screen. I think I've been too many of SinSynn's posts over at House of Paincakes. Don't you judge me, SinSynn!!

It's been a quiet year of purchases for me. I'm not into EW Desert, nor LW Italy. Nothing wrong with those periods. Just not for me.

Visit the FOW site. Read Jean-Paul's preview of what the plans are for 2012 and you'll see the lists they'll be included in each book. They are going to be huge.

Here are my hopes:

1) Emcha 76mm included in the Forward Detachment list
2) More support options for a Lend Lease Tankovy
3) A German list to catch my fancy in Grey Wolf. Kinda of ho hum right now.

I better start bribing people because my naughty-nice list is unbalanced.

East Front junkies rejoice!!

AAR on the way soon.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

SoCal SmackDown 2011 - The Tables


Here are the tables Tim set up for the Smackdown. I don't know who else contributed to the terrain, but thanks to whomever you are. Hugo and Marco set up the 8th table. It wasn't finished when I took the pics. My first game, oddly enough, will be on the 8th table.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

SoCal Smackdown 2011 - Preview Pics


In between games, I took the opportunity to wander around the ballroom and see what other people were playing.

See the pictures below.

Friday, September 2, 2011

SoCal SmackDown


In less than 12 hours, I'll be at the SoCal Smackdown, participating in the 1,750 pt MW tournament. The Battlefoam bag is sitting at the foot of the bed, camera in pocket, dice, and Das Book and the Small Rule Book. I also received 3 Nebelwerfers and a Pz IV F-2 in the mail to complete the army.

I'm taking the following:

HQ 1x Pz III L/M, 1x PZ IV F-2
P1: 4x Pz III L/M
P2: 3x Pz IV F-2
P3: 1x Tiger 1E
P4: 2x 8-Rads
P5: 3x Nebelwerfers with staff and obs


The list is from North Africa (Tunisian Panzer Kompanie). Funny thing is my tanks are all winter white-washed. I wanted Nebelwerfers (smoke!!), but they aren't available in Eastern Front force organizations for a panzer kompanie. So in effect, I'm doing a "counts as" with a force painted for the Eastern Front and using North Africa TO&E. Yay me.

It's a 2-day event with 5 missions. Day 2 for me is iffy because of a family conflict that I just found out about. If I can't make Day 2, it should be okay as Tim has a ringer and usually more people fall off. I'll just be happy to get some games in. It's been over 2 months since I've played. I have no expectations beyond not wanting to be on the wrong side of a 6-1.

As NFL players say after the Super Bowl - I'm going to Disneyland (the Marriott is located across the street).

Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Dog Days of Summer


The sweltering heat wave which baked the East Coast finally returned to where it belongs in August and it brought along the humidity. Ouch. It's been brutal. Air conditioners are working over time and the power company is pleading with everyone to run appliances at night. Oh and let's add a stomach bug to the equation, leaving me with little motivation to paint, model or even thrown down dice over the past few weeks.

There's another reason. There's a new girl in my life. She 4 mos old and weighs in at a stout 29 pounds. It's Saucy, the Labradoodle!

Now Saucy wasn't my choice of a name for her. I knew we'd be getting a dog before the end of the year. I had several naming ideas. The conversations went along like this:

Me: "I know a great name for the dog."
She Who Must Be Obeyed: "What?"
Me: "Rommel?"
SWMBO: "What's a Rommel?"
Me: (surprised that she doesn't know who Rommel is): "Rommel is a World War 2 German General. He commanded the Ghost Division during the Battle of France. He commanded the Africa Korps and was given the nickname "Desert Fox" and was well respected by the Allies."
SWMBO: "No. Not another German general. You know what happened last time with Panzer."
Me: "Panzer wasn't a german general, it means tank or armor."
SWMBO: (Gives the Look)
Me: "Okay. Okay. How about Cromwell?"
SWMBO: "No German generals."
Me: "Nope, not a German. He's British."
SWMBO: "No."
Me: "Churchill?"
SWMBO: "No."
Me: "Bradley."
SWMBO: "That's good, but what if we get a girl."
Me: "What about Emcha?"
SWMBO: "That's cute. Where's it mean?"
Me: "It's Russian."
SWMBO: "Is it a tank or used in tanks."
Me: (long pause) "Maybe..."

Now the above is all tongue-in-cheek. My wife is very supportive (yes, tolerant as well) of my obsession (er, hobby). Perhaps I did throw good FOW names at her over the months leading up to finding a dog. I think Steve of WWPD has a dog named Scout or Recon or both. My friend (Armored Cav veteran) named his cat Sabot, as is Armored Piercing Fin Stabilised Discarding Sabot (APFSDS).

In the end, once we got her, her personality made the name choice easy. We love her and couldn't be happier.

Monday, August 8, 2011

White Wash M4A2 Sherman Test Piece


I recently started delving into pigment powders after speaking with RJM (aka Ryan Miller). I had asked him how he winterized the Panzer III's and Panzer IV's for the 11th Panzer Division. Armed with this information, I ordered two jars of White Ash from the MIG site, along with Pigment Fixer.

RJM explained that you mix the pigment with water, lather it in on the model and then use fingers or blister packing to rub off the pigment to show the wear and weathering. My first attempt the pigment/water mixture was too runny in my opinion. I added more pigment powder to thicken it. In retrospect, it was too much as can be seen by the build up around the cupola and gun mantle.

Still, I liked the effect for a first try. What I also learned is that it is crucial to NOT be generous with the pigment fixer. Too much of the fixer will wash away the pigment powder, and defeat the purpose.

Next time, I'll apply the water/pigment mixture in stages, gradually building up the white wash and then gently scrubbing off areas of the tank with the most wear. As far as Pigment Fixer, the brush will barely have any of it on the thistles. RJM says you don't need that much.

The test tank in question (if you have guessed by the bent barrel) is an Old Glory M4A2.

I hope you found this information on pigment powder somewhat useful. RJM says it takes plenty of trial and error to get the mixture right and to learn how much white wash to apply.


Saturday, July 30, 2011

Easy Army: Fortress Europe Soviets added

Just a quick update.

By special request, Gregg over at Easy Army has done three Soviet lists from the Fortress Europe book. I asked Gregg if he was going to add the Unoffocial Heavy Tank Killer company option. In less than a day, he put it up. How's that for a quick response. =)

Any list with a Heavy Tank Killer company must be approved by a Tournament Organizer until the PDF becomes official.

In the meantime, Soviet players will get tinker with their Fortress Europe lists with the fun of adding SU-100's and SU-85M's.

Thanks, Gregg.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Book Review: Dmitriy Loza's book


I went back and forth before purchasing this book from Amazon. The price of $33+ for a book that is less than 200 pages put me off. The text is 157 pages long actually, with the rest filled with Footnote explanations and an Index. Another thing to consider the battles against the Germans fill the first 101 pages and then the remaining 50 pages focus on Loza's transfer to Manchuria to disarm the Japanese. Aside from the long road marches, the Japanese Front portion of the book will hold little interest.

Yet I couldn't resist the draw of reading about Lend Lease Shermans in Russian service. There's also the fact that I'm building a 76mm Emcha Batallion from the Stalin's Europe book and the author of the book is Dmitriy Loza, one of the Warriors in SE.

There are only 2 maps in the book - one for the Western front and the other is for the Far east front. Loza does a good job of describing the operational situation before he delves more into what his unit is doing. The pictures in the book can be found on the Internet. You won't find any new Emcha pics.

You'd think after the negatives I'm posting, I wouldn't have liked the book.

But I did.

Loza tells anecdotes about the Emcha in service. He talks about the use of Forward Detachments and Infiltrations to outmaneuver strong defensive positions. There's talk of radios inside the Shermans (something T-34's didn't always have) and how Loza's Batallion maneuvered as a whole to accomplish a mission (cough, no Hen & Chicks). Loza is Deputy Batallion Commander (basically the 2iC), which is mirrored in his ability to take over as CiC if the CiC gets whacked. This is why I wanted the book, to hear these stories and see how they can be recreated in FOW.

However, if you aren't interested in Lend Lease Shermans in Russia, don't buy the book. The cost versus the number of pages is too high. You have to be a Lend Lease nut like me to get any value out of it. Find a Lend Lease friend and borrow their copy.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

A view from above


Spending quality time with the Misses. At 600+ feet in the air, it's very serene and quiet. Santa Catalina Island providing a picturesque background.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Zveda Pz II 1/100 Plastic Snap-On Kit


I picked up a couple of Zveda Pz II and Pz IIIG plastic kits. I've heard good things about them and for the price I was curious enough to see how viable they'd be on the tabletop.

Click below to see pics of the Pz II kit.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Imperial Armour 10: The Artwork


Other sites have reviewed the series of Badab War, namely the Independent Characters in Episode 21 and Collegia Titanic. Both have great reviews, positive and negative, to base a decision to plop $75+ on Part I or Part II.

I don't play 40K. Don't play to. I'm well invested in FoW. Yet, I still own an Ork army that I built and painted back in the early days of 40K and Adeptus Titanticus. They are buried at a friend's workshop. Maybe one day I'll dig them out and post a few pics. There's still one thing I enjoy about 40K and it's the fluff. The grim and dark future resonates with me. Humanity fighting enemies from within and outside the Imperium.

So I bought IA10 (I resisted for several months) after listening to IC Episode 21. Thanks Carl and Geoff (though my wallet curses you both lol). I enjoyed the read. I think the battles should have been more detailed. I liked the history of the chapters presented at the end of the book.

I was also struck by the graphic design and it reminded me of the work of Claes Sundin. Claes is a world famous aviation artist, focusing mostly on the Luftwaffe and VVS (Russian airforce).

IA10 (and I'll assume the other IA books) have great profiles of the Marine chapters and vehicles. To compare....

IA10 - Space SharksPhotobucket

Claes's work

The profiles of the Land Raiders, Rhinios, Drop Pods, Dreadnoughts, etc are just as high quality as the work Claes put in his airplane profiles. To me that shows tha Forgeworld is spending $$ and time to make a high quality product.

I have zero interest in the Eldar. I don't like Space Wolves. Having made such a declaration, it's possible I'll buy IA11 based on the fluff and graphic art.

Well done Forgeworld.

In other news, I have a game with P tomorrow. He's bringing a nasty Tankovy for me to playtest the 11th Panzer Division against. I'm also on vacation, so expect posts to be more sporadic than usual. I plan to get more games in besides tomorrows and lots of painting.

All for now. Thanks for visiting.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

11th Panzer Division vs Rota Razvedki in Encounter


OOB P's Rota Razvedki

HQ CiC, 2iC Rifle w/motorcycles
Razvedki Platoon (9 stands) in M3A1
Razvedki Platoon (9 stands) in U/C, armed with Boys AT
4x SU-76M
9x Stuarts
6x 81-BM-41 mortars in trucks, Observer Rifle team
4x ZiS-3 AT guns

1,575 pts (ermmmm.....)

11. Panzer Division circa Dec 1942, near the Chir River

HQ: 2x Panzer III L w/schurzen
P1: 4x Panzer III L w/schurzen
P2: 3x Panzer IV F-2
P3: Panzer Pionners w/Goliath and in Trucks
P4: 2x 8-rads

1,500 pts

Eh, I wrote down P's army and input it into Easy Army and it spit out a cost of 1,575. It's 1,670 if the mortars switch from 81mm to 120mm. I thought P said they were 120mm mortars. Meh, I probably messed up the force list as he read it to me.

Mission = Encounter.

Warning, many many pics to follow. I took 67 pics during the battle, but it was whittled down to I'm not sure how many. Secondly, since there are so many pics I don't want to put the battle summary at the end. Some of you may not want to stare at all those pics. Instead, the battle summary is below in the large blank area in white-font. Highlight the area with your mouse to read my thoughts.

Begin White Font

Well, a hard fought 3-4 loss. Considering I was probably out-pointed, I fought well. Again, I wasn't nearly as aggressive with the Pz IIIM's as I should have been. They are FA6 for goodness sake. I also misread the ROF on the Stuart, giving it ROF 3 instead of 2. Oiy. Plus, I'm immune to AT7 and I forgot the Stuarts had Hen and Chicks, hampering their movement.

I also blew it with the Boys AT rifle, it being a passenger fired weapon. Knowing the capabilities of the weapon would have helped and I would have pointed out it couldn't fire with Paul's guys dismounted and not worried about the U/C's flanking the Pz F-2's.

Those were the two big mistakes. The pioneers never unpinned and simply served as target practice for Paul's mortars. I was happy with the way I dispatched the SU-76's as they were a big threat at the beginning of the game.

This will be the basis for the army I'll take to Maus Haus IV for the Labor Day SoCal Smackdown. I need to add 250pts. I see many versions of this 1,500pt force. I could drop the F-2's and take all Pz IIIM's and add Marder IIIH's and a Auf Squadron as support. It'd be a very fast moving army and in the enemies face real quick.

End White Font

Friday, June 24, 2011

Plastic Soldier Company M4A1 Re-Toolingn Announcement


CATMAN2 of The Plastic Soldier Company writes:

To ensure close historical accuracy, we are delighted to announce that we have reorganized the existing 15mm M4A1 kit into two separate kits:

•M4A1 75mm with a "small hatch" dry stowage hull
•M4A1 76mm Wet Stowage with a "large hatch" wet stowage hull

Bravo PSC. Treadheads pointed out the inaccuracies of using the single hull for both the M4A1 and M4A1 76. You responded to the criticisms, when other companies may have ignored the error with a "buy it or don't buy it approach".

I eagerly await the M4A2 76mm kit and will purchase a few boxes. It's companies like PSC that need the communities support. Having several options available to purchase 15mm or 28mm WWII minis is a good thing and when I see a company respond so quickly and right before a major release is amazing.


You've won a new fan.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Plastic Soldier Company Shermans Release Dates

The Plastic Soldier Company (PSC) made ripples in the 15mm miniatures market with the release of their T-34 kit with a 76mm and 85mm turrets. Instead of having to buy a T-34/76 and a T-34/85 model, a player can just swap turrets on a PSC model. In effect, PSC gave the buyer two tanks for the price of one. The kits have receive positive reviews by the gents over at WWPD (see Steve's June 16, 2011 post showing more T-34's spawning. Yes, Steve finally saw the light and joined the comrades). Craig's Wargamming Blog (see Blog List) also reviewed PSC's Panzer IV kit. I've been hoping and crossing fingers and toes hoping the Sherman would get the PSC T-34 "treatment". The wait is over.




The PSC site hasn't put up the sprue for the M4A2. Hopefully that will be soon. The M4A1 looks like it will have a cast hull, while the M4A2 will be the welded hull (my preference). I'll definitely pick up a couple of M4A2 boxes for use in my third company of Emchas in anticipating of a LW Soviet compilation where some Confident Trained Lend Lease Tankovy formation would be most welcome (cough, cough, cheaper, can field 24 M4A2 at Confident Trained).

Estimated Release Dates-

M4A1: 6/30/11
M4A2: 7/8/11

Friday, June 17, 2011

Tank Aces


The release of Infantry Aces had me thinking if Battlefront will do something similar with armored forces. Back in the days of the Steel Panthers computer game, in order to add spice and variety to the campaign battles, my friend and I would track the progress of individual units. They would gain experience, and became better shots, would recover from suppression quicker and have a higher rate of fire. They'd also have a better chance of surviving a catastrophic hit to their vehicle. Several times my friend and I would race half-tracks to pick up bailed crew and send them to the rear just so they would survive the battle and not lose their experience for the next game.

I like the roleplaying aspect Infantry Aces adds to the game. I think I'll do the same with some of my armies. I'll create characters, name them, and track their progress in AAR's. I find myself looking for something more than just playing FOW. I think a Tank Aces type of fiction might be the thing to add a narrative story to the game.

I found a Vehicle Hit Location table and "borrowered" the ideas. The percentages were changes, as were the results. After a battle, I'll consult the table for each of my "destroyed tanks" and see if the crew survives to fight another day.

I apologize for the big gap between the paragraph and the actual table. I suck at HTML.

If anyone has ideas for Tank Aces, I'd welcome them wholeheartedly.

d100Hit LocationResult
00-15Fuel TankRoll d6 (1-4, occupants escape. 5-6, vehicle explodes, make Warrior Save)
15-30EngineRoll d6 (1-3, engine catches fire. Occupants escape. 4-6, vehicle rolls to a stop, inoperable)
31-40Main GunMain gun inoperable
41-50SuspensionVehicle grinds to a stop, inoperable
51-65TreadsVehicle immobile
66-80HullRoll d6 (1-4, round passes through, minor crew injuries, crew abandons vehicle. 5-6, Driver, radio operator make Warrior Saves or KIA)
81-90TurretRoll d6 (1-4, round passes through, minor crew injuries, crew abandons vehicle. 5-6, Commander, Loader, Gunner make Warrior Saves or KIA)
91-95MagazineVehicle explodes. Crew makes Warrior Save or KIA
96-99Missed Me By That MuchSmoke, noise, shouting and confusion. Everyone's fine, but wake up after the battle

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Old Glory Pz IIIF - Dab Technique


Did a couple of test pieces of the Old Glory Panzer IIIF platoon for the upcoming Barbarossa EW book due in 2012. I used the "sponge technique", dabbing a torn piece of blister foam into Vallejo German Grey around the vehicle to show wear on the winter whitewash.


Saturday, June 4, 2011

M4A2 Test Models


A couple of posts ago I asked advice about drybrushing two M4A2 test models. One model was painted with Model Master Forest Green, while the other was Model Master Olive Drab.

I drybrushed Russian Uniform over the Forest Green. As you can see, or can't see, the drybrushing hardly shows up because the Forest Green is a deep color.



Next up is the Model Master Olive Drab M4A2.



It turned out extremely well. It's the best tank I've painted. I was very proud and posed it on the FOW Gallery and received good feedback.

After the Model Master Olive Drab, I a light drybrush of German Camo Beige was used. Then GW Badab Black was used as a wash, being careful to dab up any access. Seal a couple of times with Testors Dullcote and voila.

I'll be doing up a company of M4A2 in this scheme.

Thanks Chevalier de la Terre and Griddon for the drybrushing help.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Winning by Losing


I hesitated about the subject line for this post. It comes across as too Politically Correct. I abhor PD; I feel it's turned this country into a collection of appeasers who fret too much time about finding words and making statements so now one is offended. It's a topic for another day.

I couldn't find a better title. It sticks. Let's get started and see what I mean by the phrase.

We're wargamers. We're competitive by nature, otherwise we wouldn't be playing miniature wargmaes, or card games, or board games or video games, etc. We don't like losing. I have yet to meet the wargamer who spent hours and $$$ on his American War of Independence Colonial Army and say he didn't mind seeing his force get slaughtered by the Redcoats at Bunker Hill. Or the video game player in a Halo Death Match getting annhilated again and again and again every time he respawned and then saying he didn't mind. Bull-and-crap.

Losing sucks. Period.

You win, I lose. Inoring ties (both players lose in a tie, especially at a FOW tourney), the game boils down to one player is victorious over another.

Yet is gaming really a zero-sum game?

These thoughts floated in my head while I drove home after a FOW game with Paul. It was a grueling match. In the end, I lost. Again. While driving I began to mentally berate and beat myself up for the mistakes I made. This is typical of me, I do a post-mortem of each FOW game I play and try to digest the lessons learned and what worked and what didn't.

Why did I deploy that way? Was there a better option?

Did I really need to double-time my armored vehicles towards a group of PaK38's? Would I have been better served to maneuver around terrain?

Should I be more selectively aggressive in certain situations? How do I identify those situations in the future?

Putting my vehicles in and out of the foam and moving to a different tourney tables is a pain and wastes times. Is there a better way to transport the army to a tourney that doesn't risk the models?

Is my anal retentive note taking and snapping pictures slowing the game down for my opponent? What's a better way to take notes and keep the flow of the game going?

I was then figuratively hit right between the eyes by an AT 16 shell fired by a Jagdpanther.

What was I doing? I might have lost the game, but look at what I gained. I gained experience. I learned lessons. I had the pleasure of seeing the army I built perform on an imgaginary battlefield. My nice painted (via commission) army looked great on the tabletop amongst all the wonderful terrain provided by Paul or Tim. I spent an afternoon with a friend playing a miniature wargame. People came by to observe the game. I spent an afternoon with a good friend.

Compare al that to what I would have been doing instead of gaming. Mow the lawn? Honey-Do lists at home. Wash the cars. Watch TV. Shopping with the misses. Shuttle kids.

When I match losing a FOW game to that list, it looks like a personal win. Now before I depart for an afternoon, everything on that list and more is done. Being a wargamer and a family mans means striking a balance. We all know that.

I still hate losing. I like playing players better than me. I learn more that way. It also means I lose a lot.

But now I remind myself on what I'm gaining that goes beyond just losing a game. One day all this losing will translate to performing well at a MW tourney that will punch my ticket to Adepticon (would sooooo love that!). I'll balance the losing against what I'd be doing with free time on a lazy Sunday.

It's turning a loss into a win. Shoot, maybe that's the title I should have used.

Have a great Memorial Day weekend. When pushing toys soldiers across a tabletop, take time to remember those who didn't return and sacrificed themselves for our freedom.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Tank Protection Corps


In the center of a group of serious looking fellows is an Old Glory M4A2. The Sherman is a test piece for dry brushing Russian Uniform before I try it on the Battlefront Lend Lease counterparts.

My daughter has unwittingly deployed her Terminators in a unique version of the 'Star Wars defense'; the Star Wars defense being the tried and true tactic of letting your wingman hang back to get blown away while you go after a high value target.

The wife thinks I've corrupted my daughter. I say no! She's into 40K right now and though she thinks the tanks are very cute, she hasn't tried Flames of War - - - yet.

At the very least, I have a painting buddy. Also, you've seen her work here on a Panzer IV E platoon.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Drybrush question


These are BF's LL Imo 76mm Shermans. They are painted with Model Master Olive Drab (left) and Forest Green.

The question I have for you modelers/painters out there is this - - do I drybrush Brown Olive (tank on the left) and Russian Uniform (for the right) before or after I dip? I have Army Painter medium shade. I wonder do I dip and then drybrush or is better to dry brush, dip, then use Matt Varnish to remove the gloss?

Any comments appreciated.

By the way, these Lend Lease 76 Shermans are my new favorite model done by Battlefront. I like the look, feel and there's a presence to the model. It looks great on the game board or just sitting in the foam, waiting for the next game.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Rumble - 46th Guards Tank Brigade vs Feldenhalle


It's May Day 2011. What better way to celebrate all things "red" than with an After Action Report featuring the 46th Guards Tank Brigade! This game was played between Paul and myself waaaaaaay back on Sunday, Feb 13, 2011. Subsequent events that occurred later that month and hinted at in prior posts delayed its posting until now.

Grab a cold one and I hope you enjoy it.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Easy Army


I finished listening to WWPD Episode 16 on Friday. Steve, Luke and Joe talk about a new web-based army builder called Easy Army. Intrigued, I venture over and I'm stunned to see all the work put into this site. Steve mentions in the podcast that Gregg, who's is doing Easy Army, has gotten the force diagram artwork from Battlefront, thereby alleviating any legal entanglements. I did a quick 654th force to see how it works.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Changes to the 654th


The new Earth and Steel compilation book has changed the 654th. I hadn't noticed since I don't own the book - - yet. Camp_Cromwell did an Excel Army List builder for the Germans of Earth and Steel.

The biggest change is the loss of the mortars and the addition of other artillery options.

The old 654th looked like this:

CiC, 2iC

2x Jagdpanthers
3x StuG G's
1x Grenadier Platoon with PF
1x Pioneer Platoon
4x 82mm mortars

Now the new list I'm thinking about is this:


3x Jagdpanthers (CV)
3x StuG G's (CT)
1x 9-stand Pioneer with PF (CT)
3x Panzerwerfer 42's (CV)

I like it. 4-platoons. I can make the Jagdpanther very large by adding the CiC to it, or I can splinter a Jagdpanther off with the CiC (aks Kampfgruppe) and form two solid platoons of Jagdpanthers. The 9-stand Pioneer platoon offers more durability than the normal 7-stand force you'd see in a CV platoon. The Panzerwerfers offer survivability than the mortars or a static artillery park of 10.5cm guns.


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Old Glory Pz IIIFs


Sorry for the lack of posts, lately. March is a month I'd rather soon forget. The only good thing about the month is that mom is home and doing better.

In the meantime, I had bought and assembled some Pz IIIF's from Old Glory for my last EW Russia panzer platoon. I got 6 Pz IIIF's (3x pack) for $13.20. Hard to beat that price by anyone's math!

Here's some photos.




Comparison if Battlefront Pz IIIE and an Old Glory Pz IIIF

I like these Old Glory Panzer IIIF's a lot! I can't stress how much easier it was to assemble them and not have to worry about gluing the main gun to the turret. If you recall when I built Battlefront's Pz IIIE's, I had to trim the base of the barrel in order to get it to fit into the gun mantlet. Bleh.

Also, I didn't have to shave much of the extra flashing from the mini. Battlefront tanks are still bigger than their competitors. Yet, these Pz IIIF's definitely past the eye test from the tabletop distance of 3-feet and closer.

The one thing missing from the Old Glory tanks is a tank commander. None came in the bag. =( Ah, well. I'll identify the platoon leaders in some other fashion.