Monday 30 June 2014

A remarkably busy week...

I wasn't expecting to get much done this week, as I was away at a LARP in Nottingham. However, despite that, it seems I've gotten a bunch of bits and pieces done.

I've been playing around with Agrellan Earth to try and get some particular effects. Notably, these two bases aren't it! Would anyone be interested in them? They're 40mm round GW bases.

I've also bought these lovely pre-painted ruins from Candy Art Studio. Expect to see them in the background of a few model pics in the future!

Finally, I've managed to complete the Imperial Preacher for my Astra Militarum army, which was also a commitment for the Independent Characters Hobby Progress Challenge 2014. The base is still wet in the photo, I was skimming in close to the deadline!

Thursday 26 June 2014

Battle Report: Slow Grow League, Week 1: 500 points vs White Scars Space Marines

Ladies and gentlemen, Slow Grow is back! 3 weeks at 500 points, then 750, 1,000, 1,250 and 1,500.

I'm running my Imperial Guard again, and having suffered from a lack of troops in previous small point games, I decided to start out with:

Lord Commissar with Power Sword

Platoon Command Squad with 4 Melta Guns
Chimera with Hunter Killer Missile

2 x Infantry Squad with Flamer
20 Conscripts

Veteran Squad with 2 flamers, 1 grenade launcher, Demolitions

We tried out this new fangled card based mission malarky. Red D6s are objective markers. We got the simple "you have 3 objectives each turn" thing. There was a diagonal deployment. One flamer squad went into the dilapidated Firebase on the right.

Here's my deployment. Can you spot my deliberate mistake?

Yup. I'm meant to deploy behind the line.

There we go, that's much better.

I'm facing a Chapter Master with a burning blade on a bike, two small bike squads - one with grav guns and one with flamers, and a single attack bike with a heavy bolter.

Bikes rush forward all over the place and control three objectives to gain D3 victory points.

An orbital bombardment nukes the command Chimera, which proceeds to explode, nearly wiping out an infantry squad and blowing up a few conscripts.

I run the three survivors of the infantry squad into the bunker, and the veterans also run forward to grab three objectives as I've drawn the same card as my opponent.

The Chapter Master comes looking for my Commissar Lord.

Two flamers wipe out the Veterans.

A challenge is issued, and accepted, and the Commissar is turned into a fine red mist by the Chapter Master. The conscripts break and run, succeed at fleeing and make it two inches!

We couldn't remember if you could flame into vehicle firing points any more, but decided to let people anyway because it was cool. I fired a few shots and through a couple of grenades out the windows, but it wasn't doing much good!

The infantry squad came out in the vain hope of grabbing an objective, while the conscripts were gunned down and run down by the bikers.

A valiant sergeant held on for a couple of turns against the Chapter Master as his squad was cut down around him, but finally, he was despatched, leaving the Marines victorious with only a wounded Chapter Master to show for it - and no other Marines dead or wounded.

Monday 23 June 2014

Imperial Preacher: A little painting progress

Here's some work I've done on getting a priest ready for my Imperial Guard. he's basically done, but needs more contrast on his skin tones, and maybe a little clean up on his robe before I base him.

I've entered a slow grow league at Dark Sphere, so you may see some accounts of some of my games in the near future.

I've also been thinking a little about what I use this blog for, and what I want to try and achieve, both with my hobby and with my blog. That is all a little vague right now, but I'm thinking about how to put it into words and maybe make some sort of plan.

Saturday 21 June 2014

William Blake Mosaics, near Dark Sphere - Lambeth, London

It seems I'm oblivious, because it took me a while to notice these.

They are just around the corner from my local gaming store, Dark Sphere. I took some photos of them when I finally noticed them back in April, and scheduled to put the photos up once I'd finished all the Salute stuff.

Sadly, it seems that someone decided to steal some of the mosaics. The sign explains that the abstract pieces are done by local children until the originals can be recreated.

I'm not sure which, if any, of the remaining mosaics are "originals" or reproductions done after the theft.

This ceramic plaque lists the artists who worked on the mosaics.

I do not know all the William Blake references in the pictures.

I hope you liked the slightly off topic post. If you like this sort of thing, you should potter over to Tears of Envy. She posts many eclectic things.

Monday 16 June 2014

Battle Report: A Skirmish with Dark Eldar (6th Edition)

So, after finishing a game against Paul's Space Wolves, back in February, there was enough time to fit in a game against his new Dark Eldar force.

The board ended up with more terrain on it, and we got diagonal deployment. The dice we laid out were an attempt to roughly indicate where the deployment lines are.

Here's the small raiding party - two Kabalite squads in Raiders, and a Ravager to murder tanks.

Here's my deployment, all deployment like. Also, team Dark Eldar lined up abreast, so it was like the Guard had just ambushed them in convoy, which was kind of cool.

There were some sneaky Ratlings discouraging anyone from ambling in this direction.

Early Dark Eldar fire was pretty effective and encouraged much running away.

The Dark Eldar skimmers formed up ready to cause some serious damage.

The Penal Legion, knowing their job was holding objectives, decided not to waste their lives on open ground and headed for cover.

The Chimera was . . . brave. However, the Ravager went down, immobilised.

A slightly Benny Hill - like moment here, as the Penal Legion start running around the back of the bunker to reduce the chance of getting shot.

The Ratlings realised no-one was coming into range of their sniper rifles so started a long hike to a better firing position.

The Dark Eldar started trying to outflank, and also to use the buildings to get away from the pesky Hydra. Then they lost another skimmer to enemy fire, now leaving the remaining Kabalites out on a limb away from the objectives.

Then the second exploded heavily, dropping the Dark Eldar into a hole where it used to be.

They took their vengeance on the newly rallied Guard squad, sending the survivors scurrying for cover a second time.

The Penal Legion advanced a bit further to provide a screen for the Ratlings.

The surviving Dark Eldar took heavy fire, with the squad whose transport had been blown up not making it.

The Ratlings' stumpy little legs weren't bringing them closer to any surviving targets!

The Penal Legion held the objective closest to the Dark Eldar, hoping they didn't notice.

The Dark Eldar turned the corner to try and wreck the Chimera, but were unsuccessful.

The troops in the Chimera then pulled back to another objective, while the Chimera advanced and showed what a hull mounted Heavy Flamer can do to incautious Dark Eldar.

With that, the game was done - the Dark Eldar held one objective, but the Imperial Guard comfortably held two. The ambush on the Dark Eldar convoy was successful, and victory was claimed for the Guard!

Saturday 14 June 2014

Salute Saturdays: Georgian War Display Board

This is the last of my "Salute Saturdays", having finally run out of photos I took at Salute.

This display board was of the Russo-Georgian War from 1991-92.

However, given the tense situation in Ukraine at the time, there was apparently some discussion about whether or not to continue with it.

In the end, it was decided to take the board and be up front about the fact it had been planned long before the situation in the Ukraine had escalated, and I think on consideration that was probably the right one. It was an excellent and well laid out board, and a lot of work had clearly gone into it.

Thursday 12 June 2014

Space Wolf Battle Report Retrospective

So, earlier this week I talked about a battle against Space Wolves I had back in February. Now, interestingly, at the time, my friend James commented, having seen some of the photos, that it wasn't really to his taste because it didn't appear that much game was actually being played.

Now, in many ways, I think James was right in that there were some mistakes Paul and I made in how we set up the game. There are two important ones.

The table is pretty sparse for terrain, but that happens sometimes - for all I'm obsessed about terrain, I mostly own a lot of unassembled stuff! We had done the system in the 6th ed rulebook for placing terrain pieces, but chance had meant we'd rolled very low. We should probably have tweaked up the amount of terrain.

Paul's list was pretty sensible from a Space Wolf perspective. If we'd arranged a more narrative game, we might have either gone all drop pod, or had a few more troops in Rhinos on the field at the start of the game. But historically, my Guard artillery happily spends the first turn taking all his troops out of Rhinos, so I don't blame him for not taking them!

Here's the two big problems, in one shot.

Firstly, that I had not taken anywhere near enough infantry to be able to do very much with the majority of the table - I was in a situation where my Guardsmen were going to be outnumbered by Grey Hunters, and that is a terrible place to be in for the Imperial Guard.

Secondly, as a result of that lack of model count, I had ended up placing the two objectives incredibly close to each other, all at one end of the table - resulting in a very tight packed game without much in the way of tactics and manoeuvre. It was a short range brutal punch up that took quite a long time. Its an absolute credit to Paul as a person and a gamer that this was still an enjoyable way of passing the time - but looking back, I get the feeling that with a different list choice on my part and a little more planning, it could have been even more enjoyable for very little extra effort.

We had a smaller points value game against Paul's nascent Dark Eldar force straight after the Guard fight - and that was a marked improvement. You should see that up on the blog soon.