Thursday, January 25, 2007

Playing With Stu's First Cast

I had the honour of taking home the first cast of Stu's new terrain, and going at it with a hammer. Copious amounts of PVA later and it's all back together, an a piece of CD terrain is taking shape...

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Going The Extra Mile

Battlefront really do know how to treat their customers, although as I mentioned a little while back, I'd go for phoning for replacement/missing parts over emailing. It's taken about a month for the missing pieces to arrive, and as per usual, they came with extras.

I did however notice something interesting with my replacement bases; they've been updated.

Rather than a smooth shiny surface to stick your miniatures on, they have a slightly textured finish. Why they did this I'm not sure, as you'll still want to score the base before gluing/basing.

Another difference is on the bottom. The bases now have little - nay, minute - pin-head feet, and notification that Battlefront own the copyright for the design...

Saturday, January 13, 2007

The Year Ahead...

Last year I finally got round to discovering exactly what Flames of War was all about. I had been interested but unsure for a while. The turning point I think was hooking up with Stu through his website and discovering that there was a group of people, similar to me, that were already playing.

I had envisioned being the only person over 20 playing Flames of War, but am now happily aware that 30-somethings can play too.

I needed an easy and quick way into Flames of War, as I knew nothing of the game mechanics, or even how to set up and Army, So I sold my X-Box and games and bought a German Grenadierkompanie Boxed Army, and paint sets.

My choice of army was purely one of economics - it was the cheapest one available.

Painting 15mm turned out to be a tad harder than I had envisioned - especially the dark uniforms of the Germans. I discovered that I had no where with decent lighting to paint at night so had to steal the odd occasion on the weekends to get some painting done.

This random, uncertain approach to painting has left me with a mostly unfinished army.

So my first aim for this year is to finish painting my Germans. Not all of them mind you, just the ones that I need for my re-jigged army.

The Artillery will have to wait.

Once my missing pieces have arrived from Battlefront (note to self - always phone up about missing or miscast pieces - the response time form emailing them is appalling!) I will glue my 2nd Grenadier Platoon to their bases, base them with GIB and paint them.

This will be a quick and fast paint job (well, probably not what most gamers would call quick) just to get them ready to play with.

My MG Platoons however will be lovingly painted with camo before basing.

And the I'll have to finish my Marders and Assemble and paint my Tiger.

Once I've done all of that, I should have managed to save up some money to make my first British Airborne purchase.

I'll be looking at an initial 600pt Army, so that I can have some quick games at home and teach my girls how to play, but will slowly build it up to a full strength 1500pt Army.

Of course this will mean creating a 600pt late war Army out of my existing German Grenadierkompanie, but that should be easy.

In fact coming up with Army lists is quite easy, so I might have a good look at Daniel's D Minus 1 book and make up a couple of Army options so that I know what to build towards.

So that's my primary aims for this year - finish my Germans, and slowly build up a British Airborne Company.

Of course, I have been vaguely promising Stu I'd come up with a .45 Pulp scenario so that he can play a game intead of running it...

Thursday, January 11, 2007

My Part In His Downfall

Thanks to a newly (back in March last year!) discovered website, I came across this little item for Spike Milligan's War Diaries, which caused me to promptly log onto trade me to do a search.

The only book on trade me happened to be the first in the series; Adolf Hitler, My Part In His Downfall. Cool. I'll buy it.

And I did.

Trouble is, when it arrived I realised that it was about his training and not the actual war.

What rubbish I thought, ripped off.

And so it collected dust, until Christmas when I had misplaced Christmas In Stalingard. I picked up Spike's book and started reading. What a laugh. It has to be one of the funniest books I've read.

So I set out to see what other books in the series I could pick up on trade me. Nothing.

Nothing until last week when there was a book called Milligan's War - The Selected War Memoirs Of Spike Milligan.

Selected huh? Well after some research I made an educated guess that it would contain condensed versions of all six of his books. Condensed would do me fine.

I used the buy now feature, and today the book arrived. 425 pages of irreverent humour and insights into the war.

Of course, Stu and Aaron might say that you gotta read the full versions, but me, with my limited reading time, I'm always happy with condensed.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Have Tiger, Will Use.

Or, Air Support and Artillery are a waste of time.

For the first time ever, I still had my artillery at the end of the game. Of course, just because my gunners were still breathing didn't mean they did anything to help me.

So, once again, I re-jig my army:

Company HQ
x2 Command SMG Teams 40pts

Grenadier Platoons
1st Platoon (4 squads) 200pts
2nd Platoon (3squads) 155pts

Machine Gun Platoons
1st Platoon (2 sections) 155pts
2nd Platoon (2 sections) 155pts

Tank Hunter Platoon
x4 Marder III M 405pts

Heavy Tank Platoon
x1 Tiger IE 385pts

Total 1495pts

Hhhhmmmm, I wonder if one tank is worth 385pts? Only time will tell...

Bloody Luftwaffe

The Deutsche Luftwaffe or Luftwaffe (German: air force, literally "Air Weapon", IPA: ['luftvafÉ™]) is the commonly used term for the German air force. In German usage the word Luftwaffe can also be a generic term, so "die Britische Luftwaffe" would mean "the British Air Force".

Literally Air Weapon. Or when playing Flames of War, a huge waste of points. Priority air with a flying tank did nothing. I repeat nothing.

I think I'm gonna get some Tigers. Lots of Tigers.

Oh yeah, last nights game against Daniel, the dug in US troops managed to destroy my German attack, leaving me to throw in the towel with only 3 Marders, my Arty and HQ left alive!

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Trying DAS with my Arty.

Because of the cracking problems I encountered with my MG base (see below) I decided to try a different approach to using DAS. I decided to apply the DAS to the base as one coherent whole, followed by pressing the pieces into the DAS, smoothing the lumps, texturing the the surface and then carefully removing the pieces to be glued into place after painting.

Don't know how well this will work, but we'll see.

First MG Team Finished

One down, three-point-five to go. Based this time with DAS rather than the messy GIB Stop. Trouble is. on drying, becasue it had to be applied around the figures, there was some cracking, so as you will see above shortly, I'm going to try another way of using DAS with my next Arty Gun.

Also, because I now have grass, I've completed a little 'fallen tree' piece of scenery.

Friday, January 05, 2007

MG Platoon

I'm aiming to have a base of my MG Platoon painted and based in time for Tuesday's game. To make things more challenging I'm giving my boys some camo, and I'm gonna try a slightly different approach to basing them... So far so good, and with the weekend upon us, I should be able to complete my mission!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

1st Grenadier Platoon Finished!

Painted, based and ready for battle!

Monte Cassino

The Battle for Monte Cassino began on the 4th of January 1944, and was essentially a series of battles along the German Gustav Line. Smack in the middle was the Benedictine Monastery at Cassino.

Apparently, the Germans were acutely aware of the historical significance of the Benedictine Monastery at Cassino, and Field Marshall Albert Kesselring, ordered German units not to include the monastery itself in German defensive positions. Accordingly he informed the Allies of his actions.

Of course, no one knows exactly how well the Germans adhered to this order, and with the Monastery being a hugely tactical advantage for it’s all encompassing views of the Allied positions, the Americans decided to bomb the crap out of it.

On February 15th, American B-17 and B36 bomber laid waste to the historical site and two days later, German Paratroopers poured into the ruins to defend the area.

Once these German Paratroopers took position, the Allies attacked four times before routing them with a loss of 54,000 Allied men to the German loss of only 20,000.

No one knows if the bombing of the Monastery ultimately helped or hindered the Allied advance through Italy.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

I've been painting...

My first Grenadier Platoon is almost finished, they just need to be ink washed, possibly highlighted and then based. Should have them finished and be onto to the MG Platoon by the weekend.

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