Monday, 31 December 2012

2012 - Adam's Year In Review

having finished my brit company para box I varnished it 
January 2012
So here we are December of 2012 and it’s time to look back over what has happened in my life on the miniatures front.
I think the place to start is something I posted on our old ‘exiles forum’ looking at my plans for 2012.
What's my plan for 2012?

'Well finish my two current projects, firstly my British paratroopers, which are getting there finally that the main company box is all painted!
 Secondly was to finish my eldar - principally the ghost warriors which I need to do! Might then get a second super heavy or avatar to finish it off! After that not sure, not gaming as much at the moment, do couple more tournaments would be nice. 
non FoW models!



With 6th ed coming up, it'll be great fun learning a new rule set which I'm certain will dominate my life, as to a new army - well with rumours being that at least one of my armies will be updated this year I'm certain they'll get some love then and there!
As for learning another new system, not too sure, I like the FOW rules but not the painting, and dystopian doesn't do it for me. May just do something off like fantasy...'




Our last 40K competition!

I’m going to start there with the non FoW suff!
40K has been something I’ve played since getting back into miniatures in about 2005. I did actually finally finish my elder this year, though unlike what I wrote, I did not do another super heavy of flyer – I did finish a pair of wraitlords, some wraithguard, scorpions and rangers, but the thing I most looked forward too, in some ways killed it off for me; 6th edition.
infinity - gorgeous models!
Whilst I had been looking forward to this, sadly the changes with allies and flyers really made me notice how old my elder were, and when you combined that with the last 40K tournament I played (including winning the fabled triple team – and I now think likely the last) the power creep was really noticeable and GK’s were deeply unpleasant. So on the bright side, I achieved my aim, but didn’t continue any further – at least until they re-do elder…

I also spoke about maybe learning another game system, which I sort of achieved, I have read the Infinity rulebook, and painted up a force for that, but still need to play it! Thankfully me and Winner Dave are planning this for 2013.

Frost!
So FOW then, back when I wrote the above piece I had only just finished painting the para company box, and I’d hated the experience! I had never painted at this scale before and the task of trying to do all of them in 1 batch had driven me mad, I’d also only seen 1.5 games played and not played at all myself.
Well that’s changed now. I’ve completed (at least until the new ‘Market garden’ book is released) my Para’s and now really enjoy painting at this scale. My force is now fairly big, able to completely fill the para and airlanding lists in ABtF.

 I’ve also managed to collect bits to do a couple of other allied lists too, my ill fated (by that they are hard to play) Manitoba Dragoons and their 12 staghound hoard; and also my shermans as well, along with all the supporting gubbinz.

I’ve also played a fair few games, whilst initially these were against people like Ben, Dave and others in our group. I’ve now met a whole new load of local FoW players and even gone to my
first tournament too. I may still get some rules confuse, but I think I know the rule set well, and have known a few more list now than I did then.
Para's at Breakthrough Assault tournament

The other thing which I never even considered but became such a big part of this year was terrain! I’ve always painted my terrain and have a decent amount of 40K terrain, but I had to completely start again almost this year to paint terrain suitable for FoW. But in the end it’s been well worth it, I have a nicely painted realm of battle board, hills, woods, hedges, rivers, buildings and roads; all of which add to the cinematic nature of the game.
all of this was unpainted or not mine this time last year

But as I look back on to why I did this, one thing sticks out in my mind and that was having to do AAR’s for ‘operation sealion’! This was what I think really got me into FoW it was almost a compulsion for me to check the latest reports and wonder whether the axis forces were being driven back into the sea. I feel those at WWPD who did this campaign should look back with a lot of pride at sealion – Thank you.



So there it is, my year in miniatures summed up in around 800 words, it’s been an enjoyable year, and I really look forward to what 2013 brings.

Thanks for reading

Adam

Saturday, 29 December 2012

A Look Back Over 2012

Hello All

We are at the end of 2012, so it's that time of year to have a look back over the year before looking at 2013.

Hobby Stuff

I did love painting this army but it now lives in another
country thanks to Ebay.
I'm really looking forward to getting Market Garden and
getting a few games in with the 11th Armoured
I had a busy year and a year that changed my hobby life. It is the first year in many many years were I didn't play a single game of Warhammer 40k! In fact I have sold all my GW products bar a few Blood Bowl Teams. 2012 was the year GW games all but disappeared from my life and Flames of War become the top dog in my hobby life, and to that end I ended up painting a lot of armies! You had my DAK, Hungarians, Irish Guards, 11th Armoured and the start of my US forces. I can't remember a time I have painted so much and enjoyed it to boot. Hopefully 2013 will be as productive if not more so.



Gaming wise I achieve my goal of playing 52 games on 52 weeks was achieved just, I play game number 52 on Wednesday. For me the highlight of 2012 had to be WWPD's Operation Sealion campaign. It really got all us into FOW in a big way, with a reason to play lots of games and for me a chance to write up a little background story for my Hungarians, I would say if it hadn't be for Sealion I dare say we would probably not be as into FOW as we are now.

My only real regret of 2012 from a gaming point of view was not getting to any FOW events bar the tournament I ran in November, this is something I will be changing next year with Brighton and Corrivary already booked in.


Personal Stuff

This has been a busy year for me. 2012 was my first full year as a dad, as I write this my 13 month old baby (well toddler, she doesn't really look like a baby anymore) is asleep, which is the only reason I have any time to write this! But thanks to careful planning and a relaxed wife I have still found a fair amount of time to paint and game, but any time I have lost is worth it.

September was the maddest month of my life! Cat started a new job in Bournemouth, we moved house twice, had a stag weekend and I got married to my long term partner Cat (we had been together for 10 years so about time really!), oh and had a weekend away in Cornwall where I mostly slept!

I also set myself the goal of losing some weight, (I had stopped playing rugby and having a pregnant girlfriend with lots of food around and then having a baby does seem to make you gain a bit of weight), anyway I started at a nearly 17 stone, but by my wedding in September I was down in 12 stone 7 pounds. I have since balanced out t 13 stone flat which I'm happy with.

Looking forward to 2013

My hobby plans for 2013 are to continue with my US armies, I'm looking at being able to run 4 or 5 lists from the Bugles books by the end of next year. I want to revise my British Armoured armies with the new Market Garden books. I also have an eye on doing some Germans but we'll see were that leads me.

2012 was a great year for Flames of War gaming for me, but I hope 2013 will be even better. I have already bought tickets to two tournaments in January and February and I have an eye on 2 or 3 other tournaments later in the year. So keep an eye out for tournament after action reports through out the year.

As always thanks for reading

Ben

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Fallschirmjäger Heavy Mortars

Good afternoon and Happy Christmas to you all,

I've finally finished my platoon of heavy mortars, which I started painting almost straight after the Breakthrough Assault tournament.  They had arrived the day before the tournament and I got a chance to use them in anger against Adam a couple of days ago.


I airbrushed the mortars themselves, the crewmen were finished off using my new brush. 
Every time I paint I find I try a new technique/paint scheme, so my armies never look fully coordinated but I don't mind too much.  One thing I am really keen on is improving every time I paint, to that end any comments on how I could make the next batch (Pak 40s) look better is appreciated.

































Thanks and Happy Christmas again...

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

A Very Chaffee Christmas

Hello All

So yesterday was a little know event called Christmas. Well I was lucky enough to have my friends club together and buy me a Cavalry Group army deal that Battlefront released earlier this month!


In a slightly childish manner I ripped off the outer packaging to see the toys inside. The box is chock a block with models, so I dare say the early part of next year will be heavily involved with painting tanks. The set really seemed great value and I think I may look into picking up the US Tank Company Army Box.


Well I hope you all had a nice Christmas and got lots of nice toys yourself.

Thanks for reading and until next time,

Ben

Tuesday, 25 December 2012

Merry Christmas!



A Merry Christmas from all of us at Breakthrough Assault. I hope you all have a nice day and lots of new toys.

Ben

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Windsor and Newton Series 7 Review

As painters the most important weapon of our warfare is the paint brush, since I started painting   I've been through a lot of brushes.  Like most I started with whatever GW had to offer, then I started experimenting...

For quite a while I've been really happy with Army Painter's series of synthetic brushes.  I found them so much easier to look after and handle.  My best work was done with army painter brushes and I particularly liked the 'Regiment Brush'.  These brushes hold their shape really well and stand up to plenty of abuse.  In short I would happily recommend to newbie painters.

During my research I had found many mentions of the Windsor and Newton series 7 brush and had endeavored to buy one.  I found a local art shop which stocked them, but when I went to buy one I was shocked at the price and walked out with a bod standard W&N brush, which was apparently sable...It was awful   Put it anywhere near paint and the bristles spread out in an instant with all shape lost and not a point in sight.  I think I retired it to the bin, if not then i've lost it.  What a waste of money.

After reading this post on WWPD's forum, my interest was renewed.  This time I made sure I bought a series 7 and went a size higher than I would normally, and here she is, pictured with my regular brushes.



At first, I thought "Meh, what's the big deal."  Sure it holds its point and behaves nothing like that previous bad experience, but it's not bringing anything to the table that I don't already have and for £8.50, I'm not sure I've got my money's worth.

That's what I first thought...now I'm thinking "I wish i'd discovered this brush sooner."  I guess it took some getting used to and some actual use. It is simply amazing, I can't stress that enough.  It's a size 1, and I get better thin lines than the AP 'Detail Brush' pictured above.  It doesn't just hold it's shape...it really holds it shape, even after an hour of painting or so I hardly have to reshape it at all (which means I swallow less paint!).  I've noticed a big decline in mishaps and visits to the paint pallet as it holds more paint.

I've found the best results are to paint with the side of the brush as much as possible as paint doesn't seem to flow from the tip, but because of the shape, that's a lot easier than it sounds.

So, they're expensive, yes, but if you are looking for that next step up in your painting then get one.  I don't think you'll be disappointed.  If you are new to painting or are not bothered by things like fine lines and layered highlights, then don't bother.

Please comment to let me know what brushes you use and your experiences with them...I haven't bought brush soap yet, I'm using the wife's shampoo and conditioner instead :) but I'd like to know if it's worth it.

Thanks for reading

Coops

Friday, 21 December 2012

StuG life

So I've been a little quiet on the painting front, but I've finally managed to finish a unit this month.

These are my StuG's from the Open fire box set, I have to say that they were a real joy to put together, required very little trimming and filing during the process and after an accidental drop on the way to spray them - they hold together quite well too.

Now there's 6 of us and the chance's are one of us will fail a bogging test
Yeah boss, I'm bogged
As for painting them I followed the same technique as I did for my trucks in my tale of winter gamers. I have to say that I found it easier and think it looks even better on the StuG's than it did on the trucks

rolling through a winter wonderland

I do think that painting Camo without an airbrush seems to get a bad press, but I find it aesthetically pleasing so frankly I'm pretty happy with them. I hadn't used decals on my allied army (except my Typhoons) thankfully Battlefronts explanation of what the numbers meant led to some kind of organisation for these guys.

2nd company, 3rd platoon, 3rd tank - I think
 As for in the game, well I've faced Stug's a lot, and I quite like the StuG battery list personally. I always had the opinion that the StuG's main strength was being a threat alongside the bigger cat's. So whilst the heavy 17 pounders etc were trying to pick them off the Stug's could get close and hit other units.

does that tree look big to you?
Arsenal
Tank Teams
NameMobilityFrontSideTopEquipment and Notes
  Weapon RangeROFAnti-tankFirepower
Assault-guns
StuG G or StuG IVStandard Tank731Hull MG, Protected ammo, Schürzen.
  7.5cm StuK40 gun32"/80cm2113+Hull mounted.


More recently though I've found the real problem is that they tempt my 6 Pounders to fire thus losing gone to ground - evil Stug's I hope to learn to use them well.

Anyway hope you enjoy,

Thanks Dr Cox

Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Book Review - Operation Norwind - Osprey

Good morning everyone.

Since I've started assembling my force for our Tale of winter Gamers, I've become acutely aware just how little I know about the bulge and more importantly (to me) my force and their place in Operation Nordwind.


I know that Battlefront do a great job on providing a decent level of information about the campaigns detailed in their books, but I wanted a little bit more.

So whilst my girlfriend was buying shoes I discovered this in a local bookshop, and decided to pick it up. (that and I had a book voucher...)


So what to make of it, firstly it's nicely set out, the book starts with a nice overview of how things were set up in the European Theater of Operations, the larger schemes and the personalities involved.


It moves from there to an understanding of the different force commanders involved, and the difficulties they faced, such as Tassigny (1ere Armee commander) and his relationships with the U.S commanders, and how Himmlers own lust for power led to disjointed axis plans.


The book then goes on to provide details about the forces involved and then detail the  planning and actions which formed operation Nordwind. Information about the terrain, the controversies around Strasbourg, and the almost entirely futile execution of the operation.

The book has really helped me understand the operation better, It really appeals to me in some ways, as I know that my force is doomed to fail, but they're going to make the American's pay for every centimeter of ground they want.

The writing is clear, the photo's plentiful, and some brilliant maps and drawings as well throughout the book to help illustrate what happened, it is really a pleasure to read.

The last thing is that it has actually shaped what models I want in my force. I'm going to rejig things to fit in some flammpanzers - they seem quite iconic to my forces in Nordwind. And my decision to have no artillery is also in keeping.

I hope you enjoyed this book review, it really has led to me thinking that maybe a little more research on my next force might be warranted.

Thanks for reading

Adam

Monday, 17 December 2012

Manitoba Dragoons List Discussion


I thought I’d do something a little different this time and review one of the PDF’s which is on the Battlefront website.
I thought I’d start with the one list which I actually (slightly drunkenly) fell in love with – The Manitoba Dragoons.
I'm a Stag Man!

Now the reason that I chose these guys was because a few years ago I spent a very enjoyable 3 months working in Winnipeg, and when I saw the list hit the website I knew I had to do it! It also filled the other criteria I had for a list having finished (or so I thought at the time) my British Para’s.
By this I mean that it was not infantry, it was not fearless, and it was not veteran! I also hoped that I would be able to prove to Mr Coops that a recon vehicle list could work – his puma’s were not having much luck at this time.

So I thought I would try and do a list first for these guys – with the secondary intention that it would also cover the bases for a future Canadian Armour list too.
going on recon by the hedge

So first choice were the HQ and troop choices. In the initial list the HQ had access to the AA staghound, but in the final version it was the deadly Staghound 3! Now battlefront don’t have models for these guys, so I read up their history. Being staghounds with Crusader 3 turrets added, I did just that, but instead of battlefronts crusaders I hit up skytrex for my Crusaders, and the turrets fitted a treat.
The normal Staghounds I picked up from every gaming shop I went to, and ordered the remaining ones I needed from our local FLG, they took a long time to arrive, and I assume it’s because everyone ordered these awesome models – or there was some problems with shipping maybe…
Stag 3's hit like a butterfly

So that was the Core of the force 8 Staghound 1’s and 4 Stag hound 3’s. Now the support.

I knew I would struggle against any armour, so the Shermans and firefly and the MC10’s were my next purchases, again I was please to see that the Canadian rules for mission tactics and remounting vehicles should help to keep them going – though it seems lately whenever I say ‘Oh Canada’ when re-rolling to remount, I still fail!
we have to hide, it's what we're trained for!

After that it became pretty clear that to hit 1750 I was pretty much going to need to fill out the divisional support options. So I got a motor platoon, some mobile Bofors –in hindsight I think the oerlikons are a better choice as they don’t have the awkward layout!

And also some sextons – I almost went for the normal 25pdrs, but with everything else mobile the sextons made sense.
aim, fire!

And of course topping it off with some air support.

Now I had a look back over my solo (and short lived) blog and found a couple of missions I played with these guys, and remembered playing a couple of others, (including a brilliant doubles game where Coops panthers failed to damage my stag3’s, which then proceeded to waste them!
All in all though, learning to use a heavy recon force was hard – utilising terrain well was important, and being trained keeping the boys safe from enemy tanks/infantry – well anything really; proved to be a huge challenge from my sit and dig para’s.
move out into the houses!

I think in retrospect trying these guys as my second force was a big ask, as they struggled against most lists they were up against due to the Stag’s limited firepower, and the vulnerability of their support, but typing this has actually convinced me to maybe break them out again, to see if an older wiser and more experience me would have better luck – I doubt it, but who knows.

Thanks Adam

Friday, 14 December 2012

Easy Company Heroes

Hello All

A few weeks ago I picked up a blister of the new Easy Company Heroes to go with my 101st Airborne Company I'm currently collecting. I'd quickly like to say I love the set, they really got the character of the guys from the TV series down to a tea. I have only got the HQ painted up so far but expect to see the rest of the Taccoo Sergeants as more squads get painted up.


Winters and Nixon, love the fact that Nixon is drinking!


Spiers, running of course! I like this model but part of me wishes they had gone for him jumping through an explosion as he does on the way to taking over Easy Company in the Foy episode.


Lipton. Not much to say on this model.


Overall a great set. Even if I wasn't doing Easy Company I would probably pick up the set to add some nice characters and individual models to a company of Paras.

As always thanks for looking and until next time.

Ben

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

US Glider Artillery

Hi All

I have been busy this month getting my army ready for Brighton. This platoon of Glider Artillery makes it 4 out of 6 platoons done and dusted.


I think these are a great little unit, you get a nice points break as the direct fire option isn't great, but I don't think you can complain about 115pts for 3 guns with a good firepower and smoke.

Before I knew Battlefront were releasing the Winter Jeeps I bought a set of the Skorzeny Commando Group, but not wanting to waste anything I decided to use one of the bases as a Staff Team. Although I was slightly annoyed I'm happy with how it turned out.

Not much more to say so I'll let the pictures do the talking.








Arsenal
Gun Teams
WeaponMobilityRangeROFAnti-tankFirepowerNotes
M3 105mm light howitzerHeavy16"/40cm172+Breakthrough gun, Smoke.
  Firing bombardments56"/140cm-44+Smoke Bombardment.
www.EasyArmy.comSource document: Nuts!

As always thanks for reading and until next time.

Ben

Monday, 10 December 2012

German Heavy Mortars

Hello All

Here are some heavy mortars I've painted up. They were a unit I started before my current Tale of Two Winter Gamers, but never really did more than a base coat. So I've scraped the bases clean. The platoon commander was actually my test model for my current German paint scheme.



I always like the idea of mortars, as I seem to face lots of vet dug in infantry - so an extra dice to range in is very helpful. That plus the 3+ firepower test should be more than enough to shift dug in troops.


I had thought, initially like the allies, they'd have smoke - which I was wrong about. I think it limits their usefulness, if they could smoke too, then I think they would be a unit I would automatically include in the list, without it they become harder to justify. On the one hand the points for a decent artillery battery would be 50+ points more and they could smoke, on the other hand the heavier artillery would be harder to move if needed.


The German artillery has never wowed me, but then it doesn't have Time on Target or Mike Target which help the Allies so much. I think if I was to use theses in a game, I would probably also take a normal mortar platoon too, for the smoke, and let these guys hammer the infantry. I think they also may have a small anti tank role, whilst only AT3 in barrage, against the allied shermans, with their 3+ firepower there is a small chance they could bail or even destroy the odd sherman or two.


Arsenal
Gun Teams
WeaponMobilityRangeROFAnti-tankFirepowerNotes
12cm sGW43 mortarLight56"/140cm-33+
www.EasyArmy.comSource document: Nuts!

Thanks for looking Adam

Friday, 7 December 2012

US M18 Tank Destroyer Platoon

Hi All

More support for my fledgling US army. This time we have some M18's. I painted them in the same fashion as my M4A3 Shermans and I'm happy with the results. I also changed the crew of the Jeep for winter US crew from Skorzeny Commandos set I picked up before I knew the winter jeeps were being released by themselves. Not much more to say about the models so I'll let the pictures do the talking.






Behind you Fritz!
Arsenal
Tank Teams
NameMobilityFrontSideTopEquipment and Notes
  Weapon RangeROFAnti-tankFirepower
Tank Destroyers
M18 Hellcat GMCLight Tank200.50 cal AA MG.
  M1 76mm gun (late)32"/80cm2133+
Reconnaissance
.50 cal Recon JeepJeep---.50 cal AA MG, Recce.
M20 Scout CarJeep100.50 cal AA MG, Recce.

www.EasyArmy.comSource document: Nuts!

I'm planning on doing a second unit of M18's as part of my Tale of Two Winter Gamers 101st Airborne army. With this I will have the core I need for a Tank Destroyer Company, but more on that later.

As always thanks for reading and until next time.

Ben