December 31, 2014

2014 Year in Review

As with most miniature gamers who take up blogging, today is the day to write about what we acomplished and did not accomplish during the year.

For myself, all I can say is that 2014 was a huge success for me regarding gaming.  Seeing how in 2013 I only had 2 blog posts, and 3 in 2012, to already finish 2014 with 85 posts is an accompishment all by itself.

On to the actually gaming.......

Bolt Action

At the end of January 2014, I was introduced to a farely new 28mm WWII game called Bolt Action.  Seeing how I always loved the WWII era and have been waiting for a ruleset to catch on world wide, I jumped right into it.  A long time friend of mine (Tim @ Cursed Treasures) was bringing back his 2 day event "Gathering in the Desert" for 2014 and it was going to be Bolt Action (previously LotR).  I had 3 weeks to get an army built, painted and ready for the tournament.  I acomplished getting 1000 points of Soviets completed and had a great time playing in the event and catching up with some old friends.  My son had also played in the event with a borrowed army and also had a good time.  It was now time to get him an army built and painted so we can get some more games in.

I finished 1000 points of US for him, plus we managed to get a German army done and also added some new units to our armies.  I was able to get in 21 games for the year, most of them were in the first half of 2014.  After the summer my gaming and blogging took a little hiatus and I was concentratng once again on my personal health and exercising more.

We still have a lot more models to paint up and complete for this game, hopefully we'll get them done in 2015.

X-Wing

X-Wing really surprised me in 2014.  At first I did not want to get into 'another' miniature game with all my time contraints, but I am glad that I did.  My son was playing the game for most of 2013 and finally on my 40th birthday in March of 2014 I had him give me an introduction to the game.  Boy did I really like the game.  First off, there is nothing to paint (sure you can paint the models if you really wanted to, but I feel Fantasy Flight Games did a really nice job on the pre-painted models).  Second a standard game is 100 points which is to be played in 75 minutes.  This was a huge plus for me.  I really do not care to spend 3-4 hours playing one game, so to get a game in just over an hour was a huge benefit.  And finally it's 'Star Wars'....

I managed to get 20 games in for the year (with the last game being yesterday afternoon) and I see many more games for 2015.

Warhammer Fantasy

This was a bust for me.  I had some hope to revive this game in 2014 and managed to get 2 games in.  I also dug out a lot of my old models and started to touch some up, but the summer came and once again this game slid from me.  The time and money to get a unit completed in this game is starting to get ridiculous with Games Workshop pricing.

Flames of War

Another bust.  I also had some high hopes for this game seeing how I already had some models for this game.  I had my friend (Rob @ Drunken Samurai) re-teach me the game and also managed to get a game in with my son.  But seeing how at the time I was really into Bolt Action, another WWII based game (and in 15mm scale) was starting to look slim.  When Bolt Action released their Tank Wars book, my son and I did manage to use our Flames of War models to play some of the Tank Wars games.

Dungeons & Dragons

In August of 2014, Wizards released Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition.  I always wanted to really get into D&D and did manage to find a group back in 3E, but that did not last long.  Before I bought any books for 5E, I went to find a group to play with.  I managed to get a hold of a Dungeon Master playing at Desert Sky Games who offerered to run a campaign for me and two of my sons.  We then also recruited another player and the adventure began.  We are now playing every Sunday from 12pm-2pm at Desert Sky Games and I am really enjoying playing 5th Edition.

Well that is about all for 2014.  Stay tuned for tomorrow's post on what to expect for 2015.

December 30, 2014

Battle Report: 12/30/2014 X-Wing

I managed to get 1 more game of X-Wing in this afternoon before we move into 2015.  Unfortunately it was another loss for me.  That is 2 losses in a row, not a good way to finish 2014.  Hopefully we'll start 2015 on the right foot.

Seeing how we just picked up a YT-2400 last night, I thought it was a good time to give it a try.  I googled some lists for it and most of what I found were 'Super Dash' lists, so I decided to try one of these variants.

This game was going to be Rebels vs Rebels.

Rebels 100 'Super Dash I' (Arrow)
Dash Rendar (YT-2400)
[Lone Wolf, Heavy Laser Cannon, Recon Specialist, Outrider]

Corran Horn (E-Wing)
[Engine Upgrade, Veteran Instincts, Advanced Sensors, R2-D2]

Rebels 100 'Attack Of The Wings' (Dark Knight)
Luke Skywalker (X-Wing)
[R2-D2, Expose, Shield Upgrade]

Keyan Farlander(B-Wing)
[Heavy Laser Cannon, Push the Limit]

Rookie Pilot (X-Wing)


I was very happy with my deployment and the first moveds of the game.  Unfortunately when the E-Wing approached the enemy B-Wing, I was in no position for a barrel roll to get out of the front arc of the B-Wing.  After some direct hits from the E-Wing to the B-Wing and the B-Wing returning fire along with Luke Skywalker, the E-Wing fell pretty fast.

It was now up to the YT-2400 to try and finish off 3 ships.  The YT-2400 was able to finish off the B-Wing and do some damage to the Rookie Pilot, but it was not enough and the 2 remaining X-Wings finished off the YT-2400 Freighter.








X-Wing: Wave V YT-2400 Freighter & VT-49 Decimator

I know I'm a little behind on the X-Wing Wave V releases (released on 11/26/2014), but we had a very busy end of November early December being out of town. My son did pick up the VT-49 Decimator two weeks ago and I did manage to get in 2 games with it this past weekend.

Yesterday our LGS (Empire Games) posted on Facebook that they were having a 20% off entire store end of year sale, the first time that they ever did this. So since we were still missing the YT-2400 Freighter, we headed out to Empire Games to grab one (along with some other items, but that will be a post of it's own).

So we are now complete for the Wave V release. We are still missing the Rebel Transport and Tantive IV expansion packs. I have not been gun-ho on purchasing these at the moment. I do want them for our collection, but I honestly do not see us using them in any games. Maybe in the distant future we will pick these up. I still need to catch up on some of the Battlefoam for our Wave IV and V releases.







December 28, 2014

Battle Report: 12/27-28/2014 X-Wing

Well this is my first blog post in awhile, and my first post strictly using my iPad.  I have recently decided to try and eliminate my laptop as much as possible and to use my iPad more (grant it with a keyboard attached), and I am using the 'web gui' of blogger and not the iPad app.  I still need to play with the app some more to see how hard it is to arrange the photos.

Anyways, on to some X-Wing......  My son and I were able to get in 2 games of X-Wing this weekend, 1 last night (Saturday) and 1 today (Sunday).  My son recently picked up the VT-49 Decimator, so I thought that I would give it a shot.  I love running the YT-1300 for the Rebels, so why not the VT-49 for the Empire.

Saturday 12/27/2014

Empire 100 (Arrow)
Captain Oicunn (VT-49 Decimator)
[Engine Upgrade, Determination ,Intelligence Agent ,Mara Jade ,Navigator ,Dauntless]

Whisper (Tie Phantom)
[Veteran Instincts, Fire-Control Systems ,Gunner, Advanced Cloaking Device]

Rebels 100 (Dark Knight)
Han Solo (YT-1300)
[Millennium Falcon, Gunner]

Luke Skywalker (X-Wing)
[R2-D2 ,Marksmanship]

Tala Squadron Pilot (Z-95)

With this VT-49 list, the objective was to 'ram' my opponent, and that is what I did.  I went straight for the X-Wing and Z-95 and took them out pretty quickly.  Whisper had taken some early damage, so my goal with him was to keep him away and alive after  destroyed the 2 Rebel ships.  A dumb move on my part had me flying Whisper right into an asteroid and causing the last hull damage to destroy the ship.

Now it was for the 2 big ships to finish each other off.  After a little cat and mouse, I was able to use 'Navigator' and extend the range of my maneuver causing the VT-49 to crash right into Han Solo and destroying him.  It was a victory for the Empire.




Sunday 12/28/2014

Empire 100
Rear Admiral Chiraneau (VT-49)
Gunner
Engine Upgrade
Veteren Instincts

Boba Fett (Firespray-31)
Recon Specialist
Tactical Jammer
Veteren Instincts

Rebels 100
Luke Skywalker (X-Wing)
R2-D2
Vetern Instincts

Corran Horn (E-Wing)
Veteren Instincts

Kyle Katarn (HWK-290)
Moldy Crow
Recon Specialist
Blaster Turret

With both of my ships having PS10, I was lucky enough to be able to get the initiative.  So 'Boba Fett' "Shoots First".....

From the get go I deployed all wrong.  The objective with this list is to have Boba Fett obstruct the VT-49, that did not happen at all.  I ended up going right at the 3 Rebel ships.  This was a back and forth battle.  I was able to destroy Corran Horn and Kyle Katarn, but Luke using the Force manage to shoot down the VT-49 and positioned himself on the tail of Boba Fett.  With 'Target Lock' on..... Boba Fett came crashing down.




**So after wrinting this, the web version has some bugs.... and the app version I cannot figure how to arrange the photos.** We'll keep trying both and see which I like best.

October 22, 2014

Bolt Action: Panther Ausf A Plastic Box Set (ordered)

Back in March of this year, Warlord Games and Italeri announced a partnership to have Italarei bring more plastic vehicles and terrain pieces to the wargaming world and further enhance the Bolt Action range.

The first two vehicles they were going to release are the United States M4 Sherman and the German Panther Ausf A.  Well in August the Panther was officially released.


The Panther was the best all-round German tank of the war and although conceived as a medium tank, at 45 tons and with frontal armour over 100mm thick, it could easily be rated more highly.
The Panther’s thick, sloping front armour was copied from the Russian T-34 but the main gun was a weapon that far excelled anything the Russians possessed, the high velocity KwK 42 L70, which was capable of penetrating any Allied tank in service when it was first introduced.
This is the second variant of the Panther – bizarrely the Panther’s marks don’t run alphabetically, instead running D, A and then G. Built from mid 1943 onwards, it saw action on both Eastern and Western fronts, serving with distinction.  Changes on the original Panther Ausf D include a redesigned hull machine gun and a commanders cupola.
Seeing how I am just getting back into Bolt Action from a short hiatus, I thought adding a new German tank would be a great start.  I was really considering adding the Tiger 1 (after watching FURY), but seeing how Warlord Games will probably be releasing more and more plastic kits, I opted to go ahead and order the new Panther Ausf A.

I happen to come across a new retailer with an online presence the other day, www.boltaction.us with all of their models being 10% off and free shipping on all orders over $25.00.  I placed my order late yesterday afternoon and received an email today that my order has shipped.  So far so good with this retailer.  More than likely my order will come in sometime next week and I will then start on the assembly.

October 17, 2014

Bolt Action: United States 'M10 Tank Destroyer'

WOW! it has been 4 months since I last posted a model that I painted, let alone a few actual months that I posted anything at all.  It's not that I haven't been gaming, I have been playing some X-Wing during that time, I just haven't been posting any battle reports on it.  But it has been since D-Day that I last played a game of Bolt Action.  Other things in life just get in the way.  I've been trying to get back into shape....again.... and waking up early every morning to go bike riding just makes me too tired in the evenings to want to do anything.  Plus our Sundays are now devoted to playing the new edition of Dungeons & Dragons.

So lately I've been thinking about Bolt Action again, what a perfect time to jump back in with the new WWII movie that opened up today 'FURY'.  With having my wife and kid work at the theater, my son and I did catch the late night premier last night and I really enjoyed the movie.  It got the blood pumping again to get back to painting my Bolt Action.  I probably wont go all out crazy like I did to start the year off, but I will slowly be adding more models to the painting table when time allows.

I have a lot of Bolt Action models that need assembling and painting, and in honor of the movie, I started off with a tank.  My sons United States M10 Tank Destroyer.  This is only his second tank for his US army.

United States: M10 Tank Destroyer

United States: M10 Tank Destroyer
Painting Points: 10

August 18, 2014

Battle Report: 8/17/2014 X-Wing

I cannot believe it has been just slightly over 3 months since I last played a game of X-Wing and about 2 months since playing any game..... been keeping myself busy trying to quit smoking, diet and picked up cycling all at the same time (been doing really good with those three). Plus the garage is really really hot here in the summer months. So after my morning ride yesterday morning, I decided to go and get a game of X-Wing in with my son and we headed on out to our LGS with our X-Wing gaming mat in tow.

I actually really do enjoy playing this game, pretty quick to setup and cleanup, plays really quick (standard tournament game is 75 minutes) and no models to paint, LOL.

Unfortunately I forgot to take any pictures of the game, but here are the lists that we played.  I was going for a 'Han Shoots First' alternative and my son, of course had Luke.

=============
Han And 2 Y's
=============

100 points

Pilots
------

Han Solo (54)
YT-1300 (46), Marksmanship (3), Gunner (5)

Gold Squadron Pilot (23)
Y-Wing (18), Ion Cannon Turret (5)

Gold Squadron Pilot (23)
Y-Wing (18), Ion Cannon Turret (5)


=============================
Luke/Rookie/2x Green Squadron
=============================

100 points

Pilots
------

Luke Skywalker (35)
X-Wing (28), R2-D2 (4), Marksmanship (3)

Rookie Pilot (21)

Green Squadron Pilot (22)
A-Wing (19), Push the Limit (3)

Green Squadron Pilot (22)
A-Wing (19), Push the Limit (3)


Let's just say that Han shot the $#!7 out of Luke and from there it was all over.  I always enjoy playing with the YT-1300 (favorite ship).... but next time I'll try something different.

June 10, 2014

Bolt Action: Alessio talks about the upcoming Bolt Action Tank Battles Supplement

In this video, prepared for the first US Warlord Games Day, Alessio Cavatore talks about the future of Bolt Action, especially the upcoming Bolt Action supplement for playing with tank armies.



June 9, 2014

Battle Report: 6/6/2014 Bolt Action on D-Day

Well we could not miss playing a game of Bolt Action on the 70th anniversary of D-Day.  So after my son got home from work we headed out to our local game store for a late night game.

Since it was D-Day, I let my son play his US army while I commanded to the Germans.  We tried to setup the table to represent the beach landing (minus the water) and elected to play the scenario "Envelopment" with the US being the attackers (without the ability to 'Outflank').  We both selected 'theater' lists with the Germans playing 'Normandy' instead of 'Atlantik Wall' (I do not have the appropriate models for that list).

With the layout of the table and the Germans being able to start 'Hidden', I knew it was going to be hard time for the Americans, but it was all for fun, and with the possibility of re-writing history.

Friday 6/6/2014
Points: 1000
Scenario: Envelopment
Objective: The attacker must try to move as many of his units as he can into the defender's set-up zone or off the opposing side's table edge.
Armies: United States 'Attackers' (Dragi) vs Germany 'Defenders' (Dean)

Table Setup
Germans Deployed


Turn 1:
During the first turn it was mainly just the US advancing onto the table.  Not too many units had range to fire.  The German sniper missed with his shot as well as the German MMG.

Turn 2:
The Germans kill 4 US Pioneers and they fail their Morale test.

Turn 3:
The US new 75mm Pack Howitzer takes out the German MMG team.

Turn 4:
The Germans concentrated fire on a US squad and eliminating them while also thinning down the US Rangers squad.



Turn 5:
The US Sherman fires at the German Stug III and misses. Germany fires back and knocks out the Sherman.  Germany also then concentrated fire on the US Rangers and they fail Morale.

US Sherman knocked out.
US Rangers fail Morale.

Turn 6:
German squads concentrate fire again on US squads and finishes off another one.

Turn 7:
Remaining US squads miss their shots while the Germans bunker down.



Germany: 10
United States: 2

June 6, 2014

Bolt Action: United States '75mm Pack Howitzer'

With today being the 70th anniversary of D-Day, I had to get something completed for Bolt Action.

Today marks the 70th anniversary of the D-Day Landings in Normandy – perhaps the most pivotal moment in World War II, when the Allied forces commenced operations to push the German army back out of France, culminating in the fall of the Third Reich.


It has been awhile since I added anything to my son's United States army, and since he received a lot of items for his High School graduation, it was time to get some of those items on the painting table.

This week I completed his US Army 75mm Pack Howitzer, he has been lacking in some artillery, so I thought this would be a good start.

United States: 75mm Pack Howitzer
United States: 75mm Pack Howitzer
United States: 75mm Pack Howitzer
The plan will be to try and get in a game tonight after my son gets off to work.  We have to get a Bolt Action game in on D-Day.

Painting Points: 3

June 4, 2014

Bolt Action: Errata and FAQ Updated 05/30/2014

Warlord Games released this morning an updated Errata/FAQ for Bolt Action.

Alessio Cavatore has been busy working on an update to make tank pinning a little more realistic – you can check out the results in our free PDF download.
There are also various other clarifications as well as rules for the Luftfaust rocket launcher and Krumlauf assault rifle from the Last Levy boxed set (allowing you to fire round corners!).

Here are some of the changes:
  1. Pinning against vehicles has changed to make it a little harder to Pin enclosed vehicles.
  2. Units that are receiving fire from a Mortar must now move at least 1" to re-set the firing sequence.
  3. Snipers hit as normal against units inside buildings.
  4. LMG loader rule is clarified.  You can change the loader each turn, but for more realism they recommend to assign a man to be the loader for the entire game.
There are also a few other changes and army book errata/faq's.

"The Demo Gamers" blog has also updated their excellent Main Rulebook Index he has created and can be found HERE.

June 3, 2014

Painting Points: May 2014

I know a few days late, but there was not really much to report for the month of May.

May was a busy month personally for me, plus spending the last week of it at Disneyland.  I did manage to paint 2 models for the month.  A Dreadlord for my Warhammer Fantasy Dark Elves army, and a HMG for my Bolt Action Soviet Union army.

I was hoping that June would really pick up for me.  My son received a lot of models for his Bolt Action US Army, and we have a lot of Warhammer Fantasy models we need to complete.  I just need to sit down and get started on a few items.

We'll see how the month goes.....

Total Painting Points for the month: 4

Total Painting Points for the year: 351

May 18, 2014

Bolt Action: Soviet Union 'Maxim HMG Team'

Well I did not think I was going to be able to get another model finished this month, but Friday night I squeezed in my Soviet Maxim HMG Team.

I've got two boys graduating next week (one in High School, one in Jr. High) with family flying in.  Then taking the extended family off to Disneyland the week after.  Gonna be busy.

Once June come around, I'll be busy with the modeling/painting.  A bunch more models for Bolt Action, then need to finish out some units for Warhammer Fantasy.

Soviet Union: Maxim HMG
Soviet Union: Maxim HMG
Soviet Union: Maxim HMG

Painting Points: 3

May 13, 2014

Battle Report: 5/9/2014 Warhammer 'Dwarfs vs Skaven' (2500 Points)

Friday night May 9th, I played my first game of Warhammer Fantasy in a few years (I did get a quick 1000 point game in the weekend before with my son, but that was more of a refresher on the rules).  I've been working on a 2500 point Dark Elves list, since I did not have everything quite done with them, I decided to break out my Dwarfs for this battle and enjoy some 'Hatred' vs the Skaven.

I met up with 'SkavenInAz' at Empire Games for our battle.  Seeing how I have not played in a few years (and he knew that) it was more of a 'learning' type of game where I had asked a lot of questions and tactical decisions.

Unfortunately I did not take any pictures of the game, but 'SkavenInAz' posts all his battle reports on his YouTube channel.  Below is his battle report.


The Dwarfs did take a beating from the Skaven, but not without taking out quite a few of those dirty rats.  It was good to get out and get a game of Fantasy in again.

May 12, 2014

WFB: Dark Elves Dreadlord w/ Great Weapon

I was on pace to go the whole month without painting a single model, I could not let that happen, I had to get at least one Painting Point in for the month.  The next few weeks will be busy with 'life', so I am not sure how much will be painted in the next 2-3 weeks.  I would like to still get a few more models completed this month.

It has almost been 4 years since I last painted a Warhammer Fantasy model.  For some reason lately, I had the urge to get back into Fantasy.  It may be because of the recent release of the new Wood Elves book.  When I first started into war-gaming back in 2002, it was with Warhammer Fantasy, and I had just about every army available.  Through the years most of them have sold off, but I did manage to hold onto four armies, Dark Elves, Dwarfs, Empire and Wood Elves (my son also has unpainted High Elves).  Seeing how most of my armies/lists are pretty old, I'll need to update some of the armies to be competitive.

With my Dark Elves army, my previous Dreadlord was mounted on a Cold One.  With the recent Dark Elves book, they removed most of the magic items that made him viable.  So now I needed a Dreadlord/Master on foot so he can join one of my rank and file units.

So I present to you, my first Warhammer Fantasy model in four years, Dark Elves Dreadlord.

Dark Elves: Dreadlord with Great Weapon
Dark Elves: Dreadlord with Great Weapon
Dark Elves: Dreadlord with Great Weapon
Painting Points: 1

Battle Report: 5/11/2014 Bolt Action 'Soviet Union vs Germany' (1000 Points "Maximum Attrition")

With yesterday being 'Mother's Day', my oldest son and I headed out to our local game store (Empire Games) while the wife was with the youngest two, afterwards we were all going to meet for a late lunch.  Usually my son and I play in the garage, but since we are still lacking in some terrain we decided to play at Empire Games.

Sunday 5/10/2014
Points: 1000
Scenario: Maximum Attrition
Objective: Destroy the enemy.
Armies: Soviet Union (Dean) vs Germany (Dragi)

Lately I have been really loving the 'flamethrower' on the tanks, so of course I had to run the OT-34/85 again.  I ran a more balanced list this time around from the last time I tried this tank, dropping the ISU-122 and Veterans for more regular Infantry.

Officer:
1 Jr LT w/SMG

1 Infantry w/SMG

Infantry Squads:
 

Guards Squad 1
1 NCO w/Rifle
1 LMG
1 LMG Loader
3 Infantry w/SMG
4 Infantry w/Rifle


Guards Squad 2
1 NCO w/Rifle
1 LMG
1 LMG Loader
3 Infantry w/SMG
4 Infantry w/Rifle


Guards Squad 3
1 NCO w/Rifle
3 Infantry w/SMG
5 Infantry w/Rifle

 

Guards Squad 4
1 NCO w/Rifle
3 Infantry w/SMG
5 Infantry w/Rifle


Free Rifle Squad
1 NCO w/ Rifle
11 Infantry w/Rifle

1 Medium Mortar (Inexperienced)
1 Flamethrower Team

Artillery:
1 ZiS-3 Divisional Gun

Tanks:

1 OT-34/85 Flamethrower Tank

The German list my son was playing was also a very 'balanced' Late War list.  2 Veteran Squads of 10 men with 5 assault rifle each, 2 Regular Squads with 2 assault rifles, Flamethrower Team, StugIII, MMG, 2nd LT and Soldier with assault rifles.

Since we were playing at the store, I really loaded up the table with terrain to make it feel more real.

Middle of Turn 2
OT-34/85 knocks out the German StugIII and flames a Veteran Sqaud.
Soviet Medium Mortar hits the German MMG and takes them out.
Soviet Free Rifles could not do any damage from an 'outflank', but the OT-34/85
comes in and flames the German Veterans.
Soviet Guards Squad finishing the last unit of a German Heer Grenadier Squad.
Lone German soldier, the 2nd Lt, failing his morale check.
This was a blowout for the Soviet Union.  8-0  'Maximum Attrition' seems to really be my game.  The MVP of the game was the Soviet OT-34/85 which by itself took out 4 German units. 
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