Tuesday, 29 April 2014

The Art of War 2014 (Part 1)

Last weekend was the first ever Art of War Event at the Sanctuary Gaming Centre - and what an Event it was!

Yup. Its a church!
The Venue:

The Venue itself was simply fantastic. A huge gaming area, with plenty of room between tables, a snack bar, and a shop situated in the Chancel (where the clergy sit) and the Altar serving as the till (there's a political/religious statement there somewhere I'm sure). 
Spacious gaming area 

Shop behind the Chancel/Rood scree (Thank you internets!)

Nice variety of stock lines

The Altar of commerce/Till

The main hall from the shop end
 This has to be one of the nicest places to play wargames, the snack shop was adequate and very competitively priced (bottles of Pepsi for £1, two for £1.50!), the only downside would be the fact it currently only has a single toilet (well, that and it's nearly three hours drive away). The shop carried a nice variety of lines, if the actual depth of coverage was limited - having only been open since last November, its still early days in this respect.

The Tournament:

Arranged by Tim Harris and Steve Charlton, the event itself was 1750 late war, with the twist that the 'master' players were penalised for taking infantry/mech armies. This was an effort to stop them using tried and tested lists, and give the 'newer' players a slight advantage.

The awards
The awards themselves were beautiful drawings of various WW2 themes, with the titles added in lovely script - As Steve commented, a trophy you don't have to hide on the shelf!

Prize support
The prize support was second to none. Really. Just look at that stuff!!

I'll go through my games in part two, but here are some shots of the finished Tigers. I was a little miffed not to get through to the second round of judging for the painting competitions, however I got some great feedback and will be trying even harder next time!

The 1 and 2ic are BF resin, the rest are plastic soldier company

Dom's Decals worked a treat

Panzer Vor!!
The whole day ran like clockwork, with everyone having a great time. The 'ambient' music was a tad annoying at times, although the War of the Worlds soundtrack did make me feel at home, seeing as I live 2 minutes from Horsell Common. The food was adequate, - as it was included in the ticket price, I wasn't expecting much. That's the only two things I can think of that are negative about this weekend. Oh, that and the fact the entire population of the North decided to visit the same Brewers Fare we wanted to eat at!

Steve doing his best 'intrepid leader' impression...
The awards were different, with everyone having a chance to win something during the entire weekend - be it the 'highest placed beginner', best painted (with three different classes no less), and the Valour award. This was actually won by Justin 'The Troll' Carnzu, for this:

Andy Croft (of Breakthrough Assault fame) was defending against Justin's 7th AD. Justin had pushed up, and was about to capture the closest objective and win the game, when Andy got a reserve platoon on, and opted to bring his Grenadier Platoon on. These would have not been able to reach the objective to contest, meaning Justin would have won the game next turn. So instead, Justin pointed this out, and let Andy change his mind and bring on his Stugs, to keep the game going. Andy nominated Justin for the Valour award, and we had a happy if embarrassed Troll!

Justin receiving his Valour award from Tim Harris, while 'Wild' Bill Wilcox awaits another tournament win...
I can't say how great the weekend was, and got a chance to meet up with some familiar faces, along with some new ones!

We also got a chance to play test some new prototypes from Anarchy Models, as well as hand out some of the new 'Fez-man' objectives:

Super limited 'Full Hummel' Fez-man objective token - Play me at a tournament to get yours!
Justin was also using the new 'Smoke Template' set due out soon from Anarchy Models:

Not the best picture...

But you get the idea! These are made of sturdy Acrylic

And my personal favourite, the direct fire smoke - bigger than you think!
The direct fire smoke markers might not be produced in the clear acrylic, but we'll have to wait and see. They are scaled to the rules, and are much bigger than the cotton balls that most people use!

The weekend was ace, so many thanks to Tim, Steve, and the players for making such a great event. Art of War Too is in September, and I'm already scheming early war armies to take...

Stay tuned for the game write ups and more pictures from the event in part 2!

For now, thanks for reading, and I'll leave you with the results sheet.


Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Road to Art of War Pt.4

So, its now three days until Art of War. Crap!

The tigers are getting there, with only the final details and decals to go. At the end of last week, I needed to finish building them! The main tigers are PSC, with the 1ic and 2ic battlefront's offerings. One is a standard tiger 1e, for the other I chose the Hungarian special guy from Stafford Games. I hacked off as many bits as I could be bothered with, the side skirts being moulded into the hull made it slightly difficult. I purposely swapped and mixed hatch styles, turret models and road wheels to try and match the description given in Bridge by Bridge. The tank crew are all BF from my various kits.

As they were on Friday night
I'm still using the Plastic Soldier Company Dunklegelb spray, as I like this once I've given it a brown wash to darken it down.

Airbrush ho!

I then applied a two colour cammo (using Vallejo Air) with my Aztec airbrush. It's been quite annoying, as I've started to struggle with the flow, with either the paint being to thin and running (spidering) on the model, or clogging the nozzle. I'm looking into if an Iwata works better, but more on that another day.

The disc cammo was applied using Anarchy Models HD Stencils using the 1mm uber small discs that are currently in production. 

After a wash, Drybrush middlestone, and tracks

I washed them with brown shade, then drybrushed it back up with with middlestone to brighten them up and sharpen the edges. The tracks and replacement panels/parts were flat browned, then Cavalry Brown drybrushed to give it the red hew. 

They were tested at the Guildford Games Club against Justin 'the troll' Carnzu's 7th AD list, which he is also taking to the tournament. 

Tigers Marsch!

After taking some posing pictures, we rolled for mission and I was attacking in Breakthrough. I put the 2 strong platoon in delayed reserves, leaving me to deploy 10 tigers. AWESOME

They looked good rolling across the open... until the AT 13 easy eights opened up and turned my tigers inside out. Not being able to roll a moral test lead to the army running away. Not good.

However, we reset with me defending, and I drew it out to a bloody win! Justin's list is very competitive, with my tigers being a rather silly one, so I'm not too sore. I learnt some good lessons about smoke, and biding my time - being gone to ground rather than taking 1 or 2 shots that would probably hit a Jumbo and bounce anyway.

As they are now

I noticed that the 'Frankenstien' aspect was missing in the pictures, with the RotBarun replacement panels merging with the brown cammo - So I decided to go further, adding even more parts in the brown primer (including an entire early war turret) and some barrels in the bakerlite grey primer, and one even in bare metal. Once I've added the chipping, decals and some general weathering, I'm looking forward to seeing the finished result.

More soon, Thanks for reading,


Monday, 14 April 2014

Salute 2014, Protocol Seven, Road to Art of War Pt.3,

Hello again!

I've got a spare half hour at Lunch, so I thought I would actually get a blog post done!

Last Saturday was Salute, and I was helping my good friend Brian over at Anarchy Models to run his stand. Had I known in advance this would require a 4am start, I might not have been so enthusiastic. Oh well!

The show itself was great, bigger and busier than ever (or so it seemed to me) with the overall quality of the stands (both Demo and Trade products) increasing. Its exciting to see the hobby improving at such a rate.

The Anarchy stand - the quietest it was all day!

For those who haven't seen, Anarchy (http://anarchymodels.co.uk/) produces high (really high!) quality Resin products (bases, add-on kits, crystals), is a retailer for Iwata airbrushes and the latest and greatest product, the 'HD Stencil System' - a mini review you can find here: http://fez-man.blogspot.co.uk/2014/03/product-review-anarchy-models-hd.html

My hobby pledge took a hammering, having picked up:

Bolt Action: Winter War Finns for Bolt action from the Baker Company Kickstarter, tank crew and decals for the huge number of Warlord Games tanks heading my way, along with a new Plastic Sherman M4 - reviewed here soon!

Flames of war: The new Battlefront Plastic Germans (both the Panzer IV's and Panzer Gren's box, along with a king tiger for 'Operation Octopus' - more on that soon), as well as scoring 5 BF Resin Tigers for £25 from the Warlords club sale stand. I added another Peter Pig Maus, as it was rude to only have one...

Add a couple of Hasstle Free modern mini's, Dystopian Wars flyers and a KR case for my X-wing and I'm really broke-so of course, the Sunday after the show I went into GW Woking and picked up the new Guard codex too. Hobby Crack indeed..... I'm not looking forward to updating the Pledge Calculator.

Back to the show, and although I didn't get a lot of time to 'shop' (most of my purchases were pre-order pick ups before the doors opened), I was able to meet some of the faces of companies such as Mantic and Battlefront, both of whom have exciting ventures on the way.

So. Many. Necrons
The Frantic Frenchman, Mr Fiquet (http://fredswarhammerstuff.blogspot.co.uk/) dragged me clear across the hall to see this rather impressive Necron Display (Featuring Crystals by Anarchy Models no less!). It was a shame to hear they don't get gamed with, I would have loved to extend an invite to the next Apocafez game.

It was also good to see our friends from the World of Twilight putting in an appearance:

I'm looking forward to seeing the goodies from their latest KS.

One of the reasons the Blog has been quiet is the weekend before I was running my Live Action Roleply (LARP), set in the near-future where a horrible zombie virus has killed most of humanity, and the survivors live a brutal life moving from one safe(er) area to another: Protocol Seven.

We had a great photographer visit us this game, so please check out his pictures here!

Me as 'Major Urquhart'. Sadly murdered by his own men!
We've also had a review of a previous event that was published in Airsoft Action Magazine posted online: http://www.airsoft-action.co.uk/protocol-seven/

Added to that a formal Gliding Ball, I've not had much time for Flames of War.

However, Art of War is looming, and I had to send in a list.

I'm going Full Hummel.

12 Tigers, nothing else.

Will I win many games? Probably not. But I'll at least get it painted, and it'll be a lot of fun trundling that many cats across the board. Plus, if I'm hungover on the Sunday, I won't have to remember different stat-lines and special rules.

I'll have more pictures and thoughts on the Tigers as I get them finished this week.

See you next time, thanks for reading!


Friday, 11 April 2014

Salute 2014

Hello all,
I know I've been a tad quiet again, there are more updates on the way.
Just wanted to let you all know I'll be helping Brian of Anarchy Models at his stand at Salute tomorrow, so if you are visiting feel free to drop by and say hello!

Look forward to seeing you there!