Friday, 16 May 2014

A weekend of Events!

So, I've decided to bite the bullet and run a whole weekend of War Gaming madness.

At the top of the page are links to both events, running over the last weekend of November. The Saturday is a no holds barred Flames of War tank battle. I'm hoping this will be the largest UK game of Flames of War, but I need a bench mark - if you know of battle reports from mega battles, please let me know so I can track our progress.

As August is the release of Bolt Action Tank Battles, the Sunday is pretty much the same thing, although with 28mm goodness.

I hope you will take the time to get that extra unit painted, and join me on the weekend, it promises to be hobby, turned up to Fez!

On other hobby notes, I'm off to go the airbrush training at SnM stuff tomorrow, so should have an in depth review for you soon-other dates are available:

Tuesday, 13 May 2014

"State of the Hobby update"

Working on some major blog posts, with some real content that should be up this weekend, but here's a little one to keep you guys in the loop.

Flames of War

WWPD have started their global campaign (although if you didn't know that, I would be impressed at your ostrich level of head burying!), and myself and the Guildford boys (Freddie, Justin, and even Soviet Paul!) are looking to both play normal FoW games using the new Italy books, but also tying it into an 'Infantry Aces' campaign. This works doubly well as we have one or two possible new recruits to the FoW 'Habit' (as we all know this goes beyond a hobby). Might also see if the Breakthrough Assault guys want to come up one Monday night for an Italy themed special.

I'll most likely be painting up my Late war FJ's for the Aces campaign, and then swapping lists to use all the new nice toys out of the Italy books for the larger ones. I've been gluing together the 'new' BF Panzer IV's, which are lovely kits, even if I did stick the rear bulkheads on upside down. After I've done this I'll try and fix that.....

Random Hobby:

As I'm quite handy with gluing bits together, I put together a Tamiya 1/350 scale King George V battleship kit that Justin is painting up as a gift for his old man. This thing is a beast, and took a whole weekend to put together. Justin's happy though, which is the main thing. That's a 15mm Tiger (1/100) for scale!

After spending all that time building someone else's toy, I spoilt myself with some random construction of my own, resulting in this mini review:

Warlord Games Plastic 28mm M4 Sherman

This was an unexpected bonus from Salute this year, and the first kit labelled as being done in partnership with Italeri

Mmmm, Hobby Crack. Lovely looking box!

What you get for your £18. Reverse of flyer has warlord games promo material

The Sprues. Quite a bit of wasted space on the right, would be nice to have baggage or other options (crew perhaps?)

Why no building pictures? No time, this thing fell together.

Its a nice looking tank

The pre-moulded track sagging is my favourite feature

Think I'll paint the back of the tank really really well, and leave the front, It's the only side I get to see during a game....

The sherman was a breeze to build, the only part that took a minute to figure out (or be careful with) is the tracks - the front sprocket/track interception is moulded on the drive sprocket, so there is a chunk 'missing' from the track. This makes the join seem-less when completed, but would be a real pain if you didn't think about what you were doing. That, and which way up the loading hatch (on turret, pictured above) goes as its a separate piece)

The only faults are the headlights had a bit of flash and loss of detail, however for the price point its a great wargaming model.

5/5 Tommy Cookers.

Thanks for reading,


Saturday, 10 May 2014

The Art of War 2014 (Part 2)

Phew, four day weeks at work are hectic - same amount of work to be done, just 1/5th less time to do it in!

First game - Paul Chambers - Soviet Strelkovy - Encounter

Hang about, this isn't the Netherlands. Hanz, are you sure that was the right train??

Not deployed yet, just looking cool...

Deployment, I'm hoping to press up and storm the right objective

The Soviet horde is growing... so many guns!

I pushed hard with the first platoon on the right flak, driving hell for leather into the face of the guns. I had hoped to kill his SU122's (or 100's?. They were AT scary either way) at a faster rate than I did. A combination of shelling and the SU fire accounted for a couple of the tigers until I remembered to take pictures again.

Burning tigers. Booo!

They are only guns right? Should be easy to crush under my tracks....

My tigers arrive on the left corner, although I forget to bring them on up to 16" on, and they crawl on from the back edge

The SU's and t24's from reserve (not forgetting they can come on from 16" in) flank and destroy the first half of the tigers

More reserves, wrong corner! Dang scattered reserves

Tigers push up. At last

Oh dear, one dead, and a ton of t34's. Not looking good

Trying to kill some of those pesky dug in guns

The t34's come around the corner, but hen and chicks + gone to ground limit their shooting. The two tigers in the wood and the two in the centre take a heavy toll

Bottom, my two 'cavalry' tanks help defend the objective

Paul moving his infantry across the olive groves

The remaining t34's form a firing squad, after the tigers retreat into the woods, whilst still contesting

Four 88 mm KwK 36 L/56 roar in anger, and destroy enough to force a check on the t34's - who fail and flee!

The SU's die and flee, meaning the battle unexpectedly swings my way...

The tigers assault the left objective, driving back the guns. The two remain in the woods, guarding against the assault guns.

The tigers flank the carefully lined up defenses

Guns rush to defend the objective

The tigers kill the remaining infantry in the centre, but still a long way from a check.

The assault on the left fails after some unlucky rolls, leaving the tigers dead

Part of the dead pile

I have to thank Paul for a great game, that swung both ways, and was tense till the end. With last bounds, and neither of us in a position to push for a win, it was a worthy draw. Paul would end up joint third!

9 tournament points to me

Game Two - 'Dr' Hamilton - Brit 50th Assault "Piat delivery service" - Counter Attack

My second game against on the Breakthrough Assault crew, playing counter attack. Not much to say on this one, I pushed my luck trying to finish off the Tank Destroyers, and the dice just didn't like me. I tied up his AT guns fainting to push for the left objective, but it didn't really do much. Finally killing the M10's with a Tiger rush, I ended up being killed by Piats, then assaulted and surrounded, failing the morale check on the platoon, then the company. Oh well! Was still a fun game!

So many hedges...

Tiger Carpark

Alex's Sniper. Best 50pts ever!

Annnnd the tiger graveyard begins.

M10's in the hedge reap a heavy toll.

Eat Mg34 tommy!


Smoke limits the killing power of the tigers

Push up and kill those poxy M10's

Get PIAT'd, then assaulted and killed!

And off they all run!
Not sure what I could have done differently, dug in Vet infantry is the bane of my tigers, but we did learn about the 'loophole' rule, where infantry can 'dig in' when in a building, and can create firing points through solid walls.

1 point to me!

Game Three - Paul Cummings - Armoured Rifle Company - Hold the Line

By this point, I was sleep deprived and tired. I got to deploy all 12 Tigers as the attacker, and resolved to roll the dice and ram all of them down on one objective, and force a company break before the delayed reserve tank hunters arrived.

Notice the subtle set up, and delicate tactics...

The targer

The start point


The ambushing second platoon reinforces the defenders....

The storm-troopering 76mm shermans (thanks to Abrahms) were a real pain!

No time to wait. Pinned one of the platoons, and went for it hell for leather..

After an assault that seemed to last an eternity, there are a lot less infantry, but a lot more burning tigers.

Is what's left enough to get the job done?


Tank Destroyers turn up and ruin my fun!

The assault was a lot of fun, but ultimately didn't go my way. Was a great finish to the first day, even if it was another 6-1 loss!

Game 4 - Andy Croft - Grenadier Kompanie (85th) - Cauldron

Being aware that it was Andy's first tournament (and in fact games of Flames of War), I tried my best to share my limited FoW knowledge with him, and point out the Pros and Cons of different options. Despite this, it was a horrible mission for him, as once I took out his only two AT assets (Pak 40's and Stugs) it was a case of shooting the infantry and guns until I could clear an objective.

1ic tiger awaits deployment

Easy for the tigers!

Only this platoon is ALL Panzerfausts...

Immediate Ambushing Pak 40's

Combination of Artie and hedges cause some pins/bogs, but no permanent damage

Second objective has just as many infantry, only these ones have a Shrek and Faust...

Pak 40's dwindle in number

Reserve platoon arrive to harry the second objective

Just over 4" away...

The 40's and 105's are dead...

His reserve stugs don't fare too well either

As they are facing four tigers on the left flank....

Tigers close in...

Infantry and AA arrive and hide behind a hill. The infantry would get to the top, but then be pinned for the rest of the game.

After assaulting and clearing the objective, the 1IC rushes over to contest. Brave, brave man.

It didn't end well for him.

After capturing the objective, and killing over a third of his platoons, I scored 19 points. Andy was a great guy to play against, and his army looked great.

Game 5 - Mark Owen - British Rifle Company - Free for all

Although a lot of Mark's army couldn't hurt me, the bits that could (his M10's and Fireflys) were loaded for bear....

So.. Much.... AT15...

Brave tigers try to deal with the right flank

Having remained gone to ground and concealed, the M10's didn't do much when they revealed themselves, but soon took a pummelling

A tiger burns from the Firefly hiding in the Bocage on the left

M10's dealt with, I shift aim to take out the firefly - and cause the platoon to flee

After killing the fireflys on the right, the tigers press on!

The tigers push up the left too!

Panzer Vorr!

Three tigers can kill some universal carriers right?

First one dies easy enough.

Wait - WHAT? Ok, I killed the centre firefly platoon, but the universal carriers had a PIAT - Resulting in a bailed tiger. Add the two destroyed from the firefly and its a check, Which they fail. TIGERS KILLED BY A PIAT! AGAIN!

Two tigers messing up the right flank, getting bailed every now and then, but nothing major

After Killing several Platoons, I finally get the company break!

Mark was a great opponent to play against, and we really got into each of the dice rolls. He even didn't get upset when I was trying to deal with the PIAT universal carrier (could I gun tank it? Move so its the only one of the two I could see to kill...). In fact, he was so gracious I did neither of those things, (what with the Gun tank one being illegal) and instead killed them the old fashioned way.

My final score sheet

I had a great weekend, and thoroughly enjoyed all my games, so much so I can't wait for next September for "Art of War Too", the early war tournament.

Thanks to Steve and Tim for running, and Richard of the Sanctuary for such a great venue, and thanks to you for reading!