Friday, 25 July 2014

You know you've been painting the same pack of figures too many times...

...when you can spot that someone's stiffed you on an eBay sale because you don't recognise a pose.

The last Battlefront assault boat section I picked up on eBay definitely contains some figures that aren't from UBX09/US747 - that and it's a mortar section short.


The busyness continues apace - busy painting the third wave for Bloody Omaha (that's going to wind up over 400 figures total, I think).

To cap that off, I'm musical director for a fantasy rock musical at the World SF convention (Loncon 3, weekend of 14-18 August at the Excel), which takes place on the Monday (just in case any of my readers are going).

After that? I'm due a vacation (as are my wife and son who are both in the band!).

Thursday, 24 July 2014



That wasn't too tired to blog....

...or too busy to blog...

That was so busy the last couple of days have rolled into one and I honestly thought I'd already blogged!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Fine tuning "Bloody Omaha", 1940s Fest.

As you may recall, the club is taking our IABSM3 demo game "Bloody Omaha" to the "Festival of the 40's" in Pondersbridge (just SE of Peterborough) this weekend. If you're reading this, and feel like attending, it's a great weekend with loads of reenactment groups, evening entertainment etc. Adult admission is £6, kids under 16, veterans and current armed forces personnel get in free. And if you make yourself known to us as a reader of this blog, at the big 8'x6' D-Day table in the marquee, we'll even let you hang around and help try and survive the hell that is Omaha Beach.

After some feedback from the first couple of games, and a rewatch of the opening to 'Saving Private Ryan', we've fine tuned a few things, since in both the games we ran, the Americans pretty much didn't need wave 3 of the landing craft (G/16th RCT of the Big Red One), and they did seem to make it off the beach as far as the shingle a little easily. For those who took part at the club or Operation Market Larden 2, here are the changes:

  • troops disembark off the LCVPs on their first activation, NOT when the LCVP arrives on table.
    • while aboard they count as in hard cover (unless hit by HE, obviously), and they're packed in in the loading order according to the reference sources I have, which means that the 'front' squad will be the one taking most casualties from (say) MG fire.
    • it costs 1 dice of movement to get down the ramp, and they disembark in loading order.
    • I'm considering adding a rule that troops not off the LCVP at the 'Smoke 'em if you got 'em' (Tea Break) card will disembark pretty much in a dense target just off the loading ramp, since the LCVP crew just want the hell out of there.
  • movement penalties:
    • on the beach -1/dice
    • in water -2/dice (the major change)
    • flamethrower teams an extra -1/dice
  • German MG and mortar positions can't be fired on by non-area-effect weapons until they're spotted
  • I may add a German ammunition shortage card to the deck when wave 3 lands (several of the German MG34s actually stopped firing because they ran out of ammo and/or their barrels overheated to the point of being unusable).
  • all assault sections now labelled on the back of their bases - bye-bye coloured PostIts.
  • Medics are only on 2 of the 6 boats in a wave (5 or 6 on a d6, max of 2), and they act like level 3 Big Men who move on their section card (or at the Tea Break if they haven't), and can only remove shock.
We did a test run of the first wave (amid snarky remarks from Reuben, our secretary about why we needed an 8'x'6' table when we were just fighting in the first 18" of it :D) at the club last night (thanks to AndyM (as ever) and John), and it seems to work much better, and feel even more grittily realistic. One section that disembarked pretty much under the nose of Gefrieter Severloh's MG34 was for all practical purposes destroyed in about 3 runs through the activation deck, having piled up enough shock from the first round of fire (plus an MG bonus card) that several of its squads were finding movement nearly impossible, and to make matters worse it had no Big Man or medic. Another had to be chivvied off the LCVP by its Big Man, and the first bunch to reach the shingle were a scattered mess of three different sections.

Poor old AndyM is off to Omaha Beach for real on Thursday, which means he will once again miss a full 'production' run through of the game :D He is under orders to bring me back some photos, though.

Monday, 21 July 2014

"The Lancaster: Britain's Flying Past"

If, like me, you love the sound of four Merlin engines, this is for you.

A documentary by John Sergeant on the history of the pride of Bomber Command, the Lancaster.

And while we're at it, if you happen to be anywhere in the vicinity of East Kirkby on Sept 2nd, then Just Jane, the Lincs Aviation Heritage Centre Lancaster, will be taxying while both the BBMF Lancaster and the Canadian Lancaster will be flying overhead. It's probably sold out but there should be plenty of chances to catch the two airborne Lancs both then and over the summer.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Total Wargamer

It appears (as per my yesterday post), that Total Wargamer have ceased trading in miniatures. (Despite the fact there's no evidence of this on the website yet.)

From one of the GCN reps on Facebook (who I am prepared to trust as a source):
Have received this message:
We have basically ceased trading and I'm afraid a few orders have been missed whilst winding this up.
We have modified your order and have arranged a refund for you.
Our card processor will return the funds to the account that funds were removed from.
We aim to have refunds completed in 3-5 working days but will be completed in a period no longer than 30 calendar days from date of request.
More details in the thread here.

Saturday, 19 July 2014


(and I don't mean the Fleetwood Mac album, much as I love it.)
This photo is not
what it seems.

Just musing about news, gossip, rumour...

There's a rumour doing the rounds on Facebook concerning a wargames retailer. While I'm not going to be at all surprised if it's true, since all I have is an unsubstantiated but unsurprising rumour and some ancillary info after a little bit of digging, I'm not going to name names or details. I do try and keep 'newsy' posts on this blog to things that have reliable sources, because I'd like to be considered trustworthy on that score.

[Written and posted Saturday, even if the laptop seems to have missed the Publish click, so I'm not counting this as a break in the streak. Since I wrote it, I do have a reasonably solid confirmation on the rumour in question, so I'll be posting an update today.]

Friday, 18 July 2014

Flames of War WWI reviews

The first reviews of the Battlefront WW1 stuff are out, courtesy of WWPD (unsurprisingly) and Model Dads.

Sadly, these reviews only cover the extra rules tweaks, but they do contain some nice pics of the figures, which do look promising. All I need now is to find a nice set of company-level WW1 rules.
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