31 December, 2014

So Long, 2014

More like 'good riddance!' from a wargaming/blogging perspective. I haven't played or posted much at all. But here's a quick rundown of some highlights...

Gaming Highlights

Rogue Spear (Force on Force)
Ran a short campaign inspired by Tom Clancy's Rainbow Six novels at Leprecon. Smaller Force on Force games seem to be my favourite nowadays, as exemplified by the Classified book. There may be more from me next year along these lines...

Caen Campaign (Memoir '44)
I played in one of the campaign book's campaigns over a short day. Marvellous company and access to Mr. Kinch's drinks cellar makes this one a hit regardless (though the game was also great fun).

Black Sun (Pulp)
I haven't even gotten around to posting my reports on this from Gaelcon yet! But suffice to say this went down a hit. I even ran this entombed scenario three times on the Sunday for different groups of people.


This 6mm Bretonnians project is breath-taking. I love seeing these guys in action...

While still spending effort on Medieval Scandinavian matters, it's great to see something else here

Table Terror
This Scooby Gang (especially the Mystery Machine) caught my eye. Even more than Michi's usual fare!


Victory Point
Gives some valuable perspective on the events shown/written about in Lone Survivor.

Losing Small Wars
If the recent withdrawal of British forces from Afghanistan gave you pause, you owe it to yourself to read this book.

A Genius for War
Perhaps overstated at times, but this is a fascinating study of how the Prussian/German army staff was set up to succeed in wars, regardless of political leadership.


SOC-R Spec Ops Boat - S&S Models
These are going to get into some action in 2015 I hope. Some more 'classified' trouble ahead!

Hell Diver VTOL riders - Clear Horizon Miniatures
I just love the concept for these miniatures. While obviously not useful in every scenario, these figures are great colour for your sci-fi VTOLs

Battlegroup Barbarossa - Ironfist Publishing
Going back in time from Kursk and Fall of the Reich for a third look at the armies of Germany and the Soviet Union must've been no easy task. However the guys produce another game feeling significantly different from those which have gone before.


The Blacklist
This is a cheese and ham platform for James Spader - perhaps the only thing salvaging the overblown plotting. But it's simply fantastic

Gravity Falls
Imagine that Twin Peaks had been made for kids, no need. Watch Gravity Falls instead.

True Detective
The writing and direction (all done by the same people across every episode) mean that this is one of the most evenly produced shows I've every seen. Added to the surprisingly strong performances from both leads (Matthew McConaughey & Woody Harrelson ), I recommend without reservation.

I've been spending a lot more time playing boardgames than previously, so maybe that's taking up time and energy previously spend blogging and wargaming. Perhaps I could try posting some of that...

Anyway, hope you had a great 2014, and here's to an even better 2015!

24 October, 2014

Black Sun - Teaser

So, it's been quite a while since I've been here. I've been gaming a bit, but seem to have lost my mojo for blogging. If you have any ideas/lessons for how to reinvigorate this aspect, please let me know!

But now, back to semi-regular service!

Black Sun

Dr. Ernst Lehman, previously a member of the mysterious Thule Society, but now leading scientist with Himmler’s Ahnenerbe has organised an expedition to a ruined temple in Libya where he believes Frederick Barbarossa’s legendary Black Sun mosaic is lost. This could be the key to victory in the Nazi’s quest for world domination.

Renowned adventurer, Bill Blazkowicz is racing Lehman to the lost temple. Along with a small band of companions, he must thwart the Nazi’s insane plans.

In this three-part campaign, play out Blazkowicz’s daring game of cat-and-mouse against his Nazi foes as he attempts to keep the occult power of the Black Sun from changing the fate of the world!

I'll be running this three-part campaign at Gaelcon from tomorrow.

10 July, 2014

Capturing the Crossing

The main thrust of Operation Epsom began at 0700 hrs. on June 26th. Early British progress was good, with solid artillery support and even some naval gunfire. It looked like the way was clear. The forward German positions, however, were lightly manned and the British soon discovered the German defence in depth. The goal for the first day was to capture the bridge that spanned the Odon just south of Cheux. The crossing was critical to maintain the operation’s momentum. The 15th Scottish Division, supported by the 31st Tank Brigade, made its way toward Cheux where it soon was bogged down in hours of bitter hand-to-hand fighting.

The German 12th SS Hitlerjugend Panzer Division with elements from the 21st Panzer Division launched a counterattack to repel the British and deny the crossing. The Germans were beaten back with the aid of the British artillery but succeeded in temporarily halting the Allied advance. The British pressed the attack with the 11th Armoured Division, but it too stalled out. Without the support or armour, the British infantry soon ran into trouble and opted to dig in for the night well short of its desired crossing. The German commander, General Dollman viewed the containment as an outright defensive victory.

British armour supports infantry in the attack on the bridge
Their right flank advances with some artillery support - they'll need it as the Germans as well-ensconced in the hill beyond
Germans advancing to take control of the central hill overlooking the farmhouse and bocage are met with a brief armoured thrust
The British tanks are driven back, taking significant damage
In the centre, the struggle over the farm sees the elite German armour take a hammering
The Luftwaffe (twice in one day!) shows up to wreak havoc on the strong British left flank 
Staying around to knock out an armour troop and the artillery battery
The struggle over the farm intensifies, with a infantry assault pushing the German control there to the limit
A final armoured attack nearly cuts off the farm, but the counter-punch leaves the British reeling
A hard-fought German victory leaves the campaign for Caen in the balance...

04 July, 2014

Securing the Flank

So after a month-long hiatus of posting I'm back! I do have a few in the pipeline, so expect some posts in quick succession next week. I suppose I've been pursuing my other gaming hobbies a bit more recently:
Anyway, back in May we got together for a day-long Memoir '44 campaign of the British attack on Caen...

In preparation for Montgomery’s Operation Epsom, the 49th Infantry Division, nicknamed the Polar Bears because of their arm path, was order to take the town of Fontenay le Pesnel. Their second objective was to secure Raury and the heights that surrounded it. The capture of these two locations would protect the 15th Division’s flank as they made the main push against their primary objective of Epsom – an outflanking action that would finally take Caen. 

The 49th Infantry was faced with the 12th SS Panzer Division (Hitlerjugend) and bumped into Panzer Lehr’s flank, bring them into the battle. The German defenders held tough and the inexperience division was unable to take its objective that day.

Allied command chose to move ahead anyway and Operation Epsom was kicked off on June 26 with the high ground around Raury still in the hands of the enemy. German armour and artillery overlooked the ground that the 15th was moving over, leading to heavier resistance than Montgomery had hoped to face.

The battle lines are drawn; some elite German armour backs up PanzerGrenadiers in the centre, while another unit lies behind some bocage on the extreme German left flank
The British have some unexpected help in the form of an artillery battery (tucked in behind the ridgeline separating the two sides)
The Luftwaffe makes a surprise appearance; this must be the sortie of the day!
With British armour still at its start line, they're incredibly susceptible to the strafing run. The attack is a great success!
The British right flank advances in strength, mostly infantry but with some armoured support - the German units beyond are dug in on the hillside
With the German armour making a move through the hedgerows, a British attack is launched
The British tanks, with significant infantry support drive the German infantry out of their defences and force the German armour to retreat
The German air cover is still making a nuisance of itself, and now is supporting the elite German units' attack in the centre
With some reverse-slope support from its armour units behind, the British infantry attacks and wipes out the Tigers and PanzerGrenadiers in short order
The Luftwaffe plane follows in quick succession!
A overwhelming victory by the British; but one where many of their units were on their last legs. 
Will they be able to maintain their momentum to capture the bridge crossing over the Odon?

06 June, 2014


What kind of crazed warriors would, having just escaped from a pit of vipers, return there?
Only the insane have strength enough to prosper...

After nightfall, Grak and Bruul approach the chaos lair; eager to recover arms and equipment which will aid their resistance to the vile invaders...

Strong spotlights reach out into the surrounding countryside, but they leave several good approaches open to the pair
To their astonishment they notice an ancient dreadnought being raised from the depths of the facility - the minions of chaos cannot be allowed to make it full operational!
Climbing to the top of a lift shaft they can see the venerable warmachine being marched into the central area to be worked on
Bruul climbs up to a platform, and aiming to be as quiet as possible tries to take out the two cultists up there - however one falls to his death as they struggle and the alarm is raised
Another spotlight is turned on and they see a tech--priest at work on the dreadnought; though of more immediate concern is the heavy stubber on station on a tower beyond!
They leap to the ground to take cover and clear the platform to the other site
Laying waste around the compound, Bruul suppresses the cultist on the other side of the compound while Grak takes care of the heavy stubber in the tower
Charging into the compound, Grak covers the other entrances into the courtyard while Bruul takes on the Tech-Priest. Wiping out all the cultists they can see they take control of the area.
They complete the start-up routines on the dreadnought (which had been on the verge of being made a weapon for chaos) and march back to the landing zone to make contact with the Valkyrie

29 May, 2014

Lead Painters' League - Season 8 concluding

You have a few days to vote in the final round of the Lead Painters' League and if anything, the quality has increased as time has gone by.

As before I'm not picking out my favourite pieces, but I'm hoping to highlight a few match-ups which are (or ought to be) very close - the theme this final round is 'The War to end all Wars'.

Hedjaz Railway vs. Turkish machine-gun wagon, Hejaz railway, 1916

WW1 German Pilots vs. The Dog Carts of War

Welcome to Tannenberg vs. WW1 Turks

Well done all!

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