Saturday, December 31, 2016

6 x 6 Game Challenge 2017 - An Introduction

Kaptain Kobold from The Stronghold Rebuilt blog put out a challenge for the coming year.  He talked about all the painting challenges that go on during the year, but said we are all gamers so shouldn't we have some challenges focused on playing games?

The idea is to play several games several times so that you can develop your understanding of the games.  Instead of just learning the rules and playing one or twice, you can actually get enough games in that you start to have some strategy and tactics behind you.

This sounds fun.    So I've decided to take the challenge.  Below are the details of the challenge as listed on The Stronghold Rebuilt.

The Six by Six Challenge 2017 
(i) Select a list of Six games. These can be miniature, card, board or role-playing games. You may change entries on the list during the year, but game-plays for games you drop should no longer count towards the challenge.
(ii) To start the challenge, post the link to your blog. 
(iii) You commit to play each of  your six chosen games at least six times during the course of 2017. 
(iv) When you play a game in your challenge list, record the play in your blog. This record can range from a one line acknowledgment to a full blow-by-blow report. 
(v) If you've done it right, at the end of the year you should have at least thirty-six game sessions recorded.

I hereby commit to playing six games six times each in 2017.  That works out to 3 games per month.  I am planning to not only blog about my plays but also to create videos for my YouTube channel.

Don't worry, I will continue to do all the other fun projects I like to work on.  I am excited for this challenge.  I play quite a few games, but honestly I don't often play the same game all that many times in a year.

My games for the challenge are:

I've a couple board games and a couple miniature games on the list.  I'm sure a few of the plays will be solo on a couple of these games.

I challenge my readers to sign up for this challenge as well.  Spend some time playing the games that you spend all that time painting models and building terrain for.

GHQ's Modern US Army Tank Company M1A2 Combat Command - Unboxing

I picked up a couple of rule sets so I can play some Cold War gone hot battles.

I got Team Yankee, Cold War Commander, and Fist Full of TOWs III.  Team Yankee is written with 15mm in mind, but I think it will work better and the scale will make more sense with 6mm models.  I plan to use most of the rules and ranges as written, but use 6mm models instead.  Cold War Commander and Fist Full of TOWs III are both written to be scale neutral and 6mm will work well for both of those.

With some rules in hand, I needed to get some models.  There are several manufactures that make appropriate models in this scale.  I have some C-in-C models on the way and have also got a few GHQ models.

For the US forces, I picked up a Combat Command box of Modern US Army Tank Company M1A2s.

I thought I would show off what comes in the box and give a few thoughts on the models.

14 - M1A2 Abrams tanks
2 - HMMWVs
1 - M35 truck
1 - M88 ARV
1 - M113A3 track
1 - M577 track

Other Stuff
Set of introductory wargame rules
Painting guide
Model Catalog
Plastic storage case with foam insert

Here are a few pictures of the models that come in the box.

The models look great.  there is very little flash that needs to be removed.  There are a few mold lines that will need to be cleaned up, but overall they should be pretty easy to prepare for painting.

I'm surprised and impressed by how detailed these models are for this scale. The HMMWVs and truck have their undercarriage fully modeled.  I'm not sure that will ever be useful, but it does look nice.

I only took a quick look at the rules that are included.  They seem pretty straight forward, and could be an option if I didn't already have a couple of rule sets in hand.  The painting and terrain guide are also useful.

GHQ models are some of the more expensive ones on the market, they have great detail and look fantastic. I'm looking forward to painting these models and will enjoy using them in some battles.

What do you think of the detail?  Are they what you expected?

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Painting The Walking Dead: All Out War - Derek

Derek is the last model from the core box of The Walking Dead: All Out War to hit my paint table.

Derek is an interesting model and painted up as quickly as the rest.  He is a little shiny in the pictures, but that will be taken care of after I dull coat the model.

My goal with these models was to show how nice a simple paint job could look.  Don't be afraid to paint your models.  Even a simple paint job can look nice and will add to the game play experience.  I will guarantee* that if you set this game up at your local shop and have all painted models for the game, that people will stop and watch, ask questions, and may even ask to join in.

I have several of the expansions so I'm guessing I will paint some or all of those at some point as well.

*Not a real guarantee.

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Painting The Walking Dead: All Out War - Liam

Liam is next up to be painted.  He isn't the toughest guy around and is really just a low pointed model that can take an activation and hopefully draw away from walkers from your real fighters.

All that said, he was still a fun model to paint and turned out well.

I'm very close to done with the models from the base game.  Let me know in the comments if you want to see me continue painting some of the expansions or if I should move onto a different project.

A Tale of a Frugal Gamer - Episode 1

Sometimes I really like to go to the cheap side with my gaming.  Not always but occasionally.

I thought it might be interesting to talk about some of my efforts to cheap out.

Today I'm going to talk about Undead.  

I picked up a bunch of old GW undead models for pretty cheap at some point.  I've had them for a while and thought they could make a good basis for a Mighty Armies force.

Mighty Armies is made for 15mm but it is easy to scale it up.  I built the army a while ago and played it once or twice.  I liked the game but it didn't gain much traction with my group.

Now my group is thinking about Kings of War.  I've got a good start but need to build larger units.  In an effort to keep this army on the cheap side I sought out some cheap skeletons.  

I found some on Amazon and they run about $14 for 100 models.  I figured I would give them a try and if they didn't work I'd only be out $14.

I got the models and they are big.  Real big.  Way to big to be human skeletons in a 28-32mm army.

But... Maybe all isn't lost.  I think I can make these work somehow.  There are several different weapon combinations.

I've come up with a couple ideas.

1.  Maybe these are the skeletons of ogres.  Why not use these models for an undead themed ogre army.  I can use the ogre list and just use the skeletons as ogres.  I will need to find some suitable models for characters, war machines, and beasts.  I think I can find some Reaper Bones models for some of them.

2.  Use these models as regular Undead. Multi-base these on bases that would be correct for regular skeletons.  The idea is that the necromancer raised a bunch of ogres to form some units in the army.

3.  Similar to #2... Throw a couple of these big boys into a regiment/horde/legion of skeletons.  They will take up a bigger space on the base and they will just be filler on the base.  I'm thinking I will do some bases with these big models 28mm models and 15mm models.  Kind of a hodgepodge of undead races.

4.  I painted and based a unit of 3 models up.  I plan to use them as a proxy for zombie trolls.

None of these will necessarily be legal in a tournament but I can't imagine any of your local group would have a problem with you fielding this army.

This can make for an interesting themed army and could give you a cool army that didn't cost much.

What kind of ideas have you got for these guys?

Do you have any cheap cheats for your gaming?

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Painting The Walking Dead: All Out War - Carl

Next, we have the young one from the survivor group; Carl.  This kid is tough though a bit creepy and maybe even a little cold blooded.  Not someone you should mess with when the world has fallen apart.

I'm still happy with my painting scheme for these models and I'm think they fit the theme well.

If you've got this game, don't be scared to put some paint on these models.  It will make your game look a lot better and will draw more attention from any spectators.

Liam is waiting for his turn.  Stay tuned.

Monday, December 19, 2016

Painting The Walking Dead: All Out War - Rick

Next up, the iconic Rick.  Everyone knows who Rick is.  He is the leader of the survivors, who rules with bloodthirsty cruelty, or does what it takes to keep his people going.  Depends on your perspective.

Another fun model to paint and another decent looking model for my table.

I've still got more models to paint so keep an eye out for more additions to the crew.

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Painting The Walking Dead: All Out War - Basing the walkers

I wanted to base up my walkers in a consistent way so they have a unified look.  I decided to base them up so they looked like they were walking down a road.

When I painted them, I put a solid coat of anthracite grey over the base.  The next step was to cut some strips of blue tape so I could get nice straight edges.  I stuck the strips down and painted a bit of white onto the base.  For the yellow stripes, I put a coat of yellow over the white.

In the end, these turned out very nice.  They do look a little like they are all walking down the middle of the road together, but I'm okay with that.

Let me know what you think or if you have any questions.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Imperial Skies - Thoughts after my first few games...

I finally managed to get a couple of games played of Imperial Skies.

Both games so far were played with only class A and B ships and a pretty low number of ships.

The first game was a training exercise between two fleets of Turkish ships.  I took 2 Muin-I-Zaffer Class Dig Cruisers.  My opponent (Doug) took 1 Muin-I-Zaffer Class Dig Cruisers and 3 Keyk Class Patrol Digs.  We set up fairly close and had no terrain on the table.

A couple of rounds of fierce battle and I had claimed victory.

After the battle we discussed our thoughts and our primary concern was that the group activation action seemed very powerful.  Of course, I'm certain that wasn't written with this size game in mind, but if we play more games of this size, we may need to make some adjustments to that command action.

The second game saw a small clash between a Turkish force of 3 Keyk Class Patrol Digs, and 2 Muin-I-Zaffer Class Dig Cruisers (commanded by Randy) and a French force of 5 Hussard Class Motor Torpedo Nefs and 1 La Brouchet Class Torpedo Frigate.  Again, we set up on an open table, and this time we started about 3 feet apart.

This game was very close with both sides taking heavy damage.  The torpedoes seemed to be very powerful, but since they are limited to 2 shots per turn and the ships carrying them only had 3 structural points, they didn't seem over powered.

The French flotilla took the advantage and managed to dispatch the Turkish forces.

Overall Thoughts...

I want to play more games with some larger ships before I give a final opinion, but for now, I like it.  The game mechanics are pretty simple and plays quickly.  Some might think that is a bad thing, but I liked it.  I really hope that as we add in bigger ships, the speed of play stays.

There is not a lot of book keeping, but you do have to keep track of which ship is which (if you have multiple ships of the same class).

We have not used all the rules yet (elevation, fighters, ground targets, etc) so we still have a bit to learn, though I am not sure we will use all of the possible options.

I also think use of scenarios will spice things up quite a bit.  I wish some had been included with the game, but I think I can come up with some decent scenarios for future games.

I will put together a more complete review after I've played a few more games with larger fleets and larger ships.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Painting The Walking Dead: All Out War - Patrick

The next survivor on the paint table is Patrick.

I have continued with my simple paint job.  The model got a grey primer, then base colors blocked in.  After that, I went with washes on different parts of the model that compliment the base color.

Patrick will have a blue hoody and brown pants.  He will get a grassy base just like all the other survivors.

Another model ready for battle with walkers and just trying to survive in a world that has gone to sh!t.

Stay tuned to see how this project progresses.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Painting The Walking Dead: All Out War - Sandra

Its time to work on the survivors and Sandra is first on the list.

I'm sticking to my simple paint scheme, but instead of washing the whole model with Agrax Earthshade (like I've done with all the zombies) I will be using different washes on the survivors to make them stand out a bit more and give them a bit more character than the shambling hordes.

Sandra is getting a grey jacket, brown pants and a blue shirt.  I've also based her up so she looks like she is standing in a yard.  I will base all the survivors in a similar way so that they stand out on the table and you can easily tell the difference between walkers and survivors.

I am very happy with how Sandra has turned out and look forward to painting more of the survivors.

Next up will be Patrick.  Stay tuned as I continue to work through this project.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Imperial Skies - Assembling Italians and Austro-Hungarians

I took a little break from my Walking Dead project to help my friend Doug get started on some aeronefs.  My task is to clean up the models, assemble them, and prime them white.

These models are from Brigade Models and look pretty good.  A little time spent trimming flash and drilling a few holes for masts and I'm all done.

A quick coat of white primer and I will be done and will give them back to Doug so he can do the painting.


Giulo Cesare Class Light Battleship
It is missing its tail fins

Pisa Class Cruisers

Palestro Class Destroyer


Budapest Class Light Battleship
Huszar Class Destroyer

Prinz Eugen Class Destroyer
Danube Class Patrol Nef

These models look very nice.  I look forward to meeting some of these ships among the clouds and battling against them.

Painting The Walking Dead: All Out War - Zombies Part 4

I have another walker to show off today.  This one is actually my least favorite model from the base box.  I can't really put my finger on what I don't like, but it just doesn't look as good as the other models.

Oh well.  I painted it up and made a video showing how I went about it.  Stay tuned for more models as I continue on this project.