Friday Post – Friday, 13th of March 2015

It’s been a pretty good week this week. I finished off a good amount of scatter terrain for Infinity; won the two games of Infinity I played last Saturday; played a game of Flames of War on Monday; and painted my Tokusetsu Eisei and Kohei, plus their Yaozao servants.

Scatter Terrain

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On the left we have some steel girder piles made from cut up corflute. The pieces are 6cm long (roughly) and I’ve done my best to cut evenly between the inside pieces. I glued them to a base of 3mm MDF then undercoated black. Then they were painted Gunmetal Grey and washed with a very, very watered down coat of Electric Blue.

In the middle are four large cardboard boxes. Presumably with industrial sized white goods in them or something. They are just cardstock scored and folded to be 25mm cubes (roughly, I think they’re a little smaller than this, you should get a 3mm headshot over them). They’re painted Mud Puddle and then dry brushed with Yellow Oxide to lighten up. The masking tape over the top is painted Bone White.

Finally on the right are the stone/brick piles. The pallets are popsticks cut to be roughly 33mm long. Three of them are laid out slightly spaced apart and then perpendicularly across I glued four matchsticks also cut to 33mm. Then another three 33mm popsticks are laid atop those parallel to the bottom layer. I then glued three layers of 5mm foamcore cut to size and scored the pattern in the top. The foamcore was painted Neutral Grey. Finally I cut some Glad Wrap and wound it round the stack, gluing as I went. End result looks pretty good imo.

Tokusetsu Eisei and Kohei

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Above we have a variety of not so great photographs of the four models in the JSA support pack. They have all turn out alright, the images aren’t particularly flattering. I used a lot more Bloody Red and Electric Blue on them than I usually do, simply because of the backpacks and bags etc. Pretty stock standard JSA stuff otherwise: German Grey base on the paints over which I paint German Field Grey, Dead White Armour, German Grey guns.

Over the weekend I hope to tackle a blister or two and start on the Dog Warriors. I might also contemplate rebasing my painted Aragoto Senkenbutai. Maybe.

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AAR – Flames of War – Mid War – Hungarians V Soviets

Yesterday I was able to take advantage of the public holiday to enjoy a game of Flames of War with a mate. He took command of my Hungarians while I commanded the Soviets. We rolled [MISSION] and he beat me in the roll off to be declared the attacker. The Soviet force being smaller in terms of company numbers, I took advantage of the +1 to my roll to secure the first turn. I didn’t take precise notes, so I know my recount is not 100% accurate, but read on for a rough order of battle.

 The Lists

 Hungary

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1090 points

Company HQ, two rifle platoons with three squads each (all with rifle/MG teams), weapons platoon with three MGs, 149mm howitzer battery (two guns and observer) and three Panzer IV F2s.

Soviet

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1090 points

Battalion HQ with two 45mm Obr 1939 AT guns, two strelokovy companies with two platoons, Maxim MG and commisar team, strelokovy mortar company with three sections and commisar team, six T-34 1942 medium tanks (no cupolas).

The Battlefield

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The image above is of our deployments from the southern end of the field. Our Objectives are mirrored: the Hungarians are going for the road on the south flank and edge of the field on the north flank, while the Soviets aimed to secure either the edge of the field (behind the barn) on the south flank) or road on the north flank.

Order of Battle

The first turn was pretty uneventful for both sides. I moved my forces straight up, my line spanning the entire battlefield, except my mortars (which would stay stationary and unharmed for the entire battle. My mortars pinned the MGs on the north flank, but failed to inflict any casualties. The MGs failed to unpin (this was the theme of the battle, a lot of things getting pinned and crawling around on the ground while slowly being picked off). Hungarian shooting was similarly uneventful, with the howitzers pinning the strelokovy on the southern flank, but MGs and AT guns (which had moved up) failing to cause any damage.

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The Hungarian AT guns covered their centre. The spotter is just to the right.

The first casualty of the battle was inflicted when the commissar for the southern company attempted to motivate the men after they opted to stay pinned following the artillery barrage the turn before. He was unsuccessful (also a running theme) but the men managed dig in. Meanwhile the northern company moved further up the field and managed to pick off one of the Hungarian teams in the buildings opposite them. My mortars picked off an MG (I think?) while my T34s poured machine gun fire onto the AT guns, pinning them but causing no casualties. The AT guns and MGs both failed to unpin in the Hungarian turn. The PIVs repositioned in an attempt to set up a trap for my T34s. The northern rifle platoon moved up and the shooting from them and the MGs took out a couple of squads from my northern company. Artillery fire bailed on of my T34s also.

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Soviet infantry advancing on the north flank.

My southern company failed to unpin, but did manage to dig in this time (I decided not to try motivate them). Opening up on the rifle platoon opposite on the north flank I caused some casualties, but more importantly I managed to pin them. My AT guns fired on the Hungarian AT guns for nil result, and I took out another MG with mortar fire. My T34s moved up and opened up with machine guns on the southern rifle platoon, causing significant casualties. In response the PIVs moved up and took out a T34 and bailed some others, the rest of the Hungarian forces stayed put with their heads down. A few more of my northern company were picked off with rifle, MG and AT gun fire.

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The south flank, Hungarians moving up to assault.

My south flank unpinned and moved up next turn but didn’t cause any damage. My T34s all remounted and took out one PIV (the central one, breaking their chain of command) and bailed both the others. On the north flank I moved up and shot some more of the Hungarians opposite. The remaining two PIVs remounted and opened up on the T34s with devastating effect, taking out three of the remaining five. The tanks held firm though and didn’t quit the field. The MGs and AT guns stayed pinned, along with the northern rifle platoon. The southern Hungarian platoon unpinned, however, moved up, shot and assaulted my southern company. In the assault that followed the Hungarians were killed to a man, but the Soviet conscripts lost their nerve and broke off, despite the best efforts of the commissar to motivate them to fight on. In response the victorious platoon consolidated back out of sight to (hopefully) be withdrawn from the field next turn.

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On the left, the panzers and T-34s face off, on the right the conscripts flee from the lone hungarian rifle team.

Next turn my whole force moved up, my remaining two T34s made a beeline for the southern-most PIV but only managed to bail it. My AT guns managed to bail the other PIV. It was this turn that saw the Hungarian AT guns silenced, and the last MG team die too. Both their command teams held firm though and did not quit the field. The north flank saw concentrated mortar fire and rifle fire inflict little damage on the Hungarian rifles, followed by an aborted assault when the remaining five Hungarian teams all hit my conscripts. The Hungarian turn netted another T34 kill, but little more damage was done by anything – though my southern company was again pinned by artillery fire. The remains of the southern Hungarian rifle platoon, AT guns and MGs were withdrawn from the battlefield to deny the Soviets the chance to completely destroy them.

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The assault is stopped in its tracks.

By this stage we were both pretty bloodied. My north company was at 5 squads (out of the 21 it started with), I only had a single T34 and lost over a quarter of my other strelokovy company. In response I’d seen off three Hungarian platoons (though they had not been destroyed). The Hungarians were in no position at this stage to push forward and take an objective, except with their remaining tanks. My north company, however, was able to move up and onto my north objective. I bailed the remaining two PIVs and, luckily for me, both failed to remount. The remaining riflemen on the north flank made a last ditched attempt to clear the Soviets off their objective. Another two squads were killed, and in response the remaining three (or perhaps four according to the image below) achieved nothing. The nerve of the Hungarians broke, however, and they fell back while I consolidated my three teams onto the Objective.

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The Soviets consolidated on the objective.

And so it was that the Soviets secured victory! Having not lost an entire company, the victory would be a stunning, 6:1 victory – however it was far from such a feat. We both agreed that it was far more appropriate to consider it a 1:1 victory to the Soviets (i.e. working things out as though the game were a draw) given the high cost paid to secure the Objective (I had about 14 rifle teams left out of the 42 I began with, only a single T34, one AT gun, my HQ teams, plus the unharmed mortar company plus spotter. The Hungarians had two PIVs, unharmed artillery and spotter, their command teams and five rifle teams out of the 20 they began with. So really, both of us were at about 25-30% strength at the game’s end).

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Some end games shots. The remaining T-34 facing the (bailed out) Panzer, and Soviet infantry pinned down in the centre of the field.

It was a good battle though and much closer than our first engagement. We both agreed we looked forward to being able to meet in the North African desert in the future!

Friday Post – Friday, 6th March 2015

That’s right, it’s a Friday update! This week I’ve painted three miniatures, made a list of all the hobby things I have pending/to do, madly put together some scatter terrain (in progress as I type) and got back to planning Bolt Action things.

 Domaru Butai with Boarding Shotgun

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First up we have the Domaru Butai with boarding shotgun. Not much to say here really. She’s got white armour and red shoulder pads – that’s pretty stock standard JSA colouring right there. Gluing the arms on was a little fiddly, and I’m not convinced the right arm is in the correct spot on the shoulder, but it fits, it’s glued, I’m not complaining. Having the choice between fielding a chain rifle Domaru and a Domaru with a boarding shotgun is a good one to have, which is what the rest of the JSA painting is all about really – models that provide choice, rather than models that provide variety (the JSA range is only so big, and I, after all, own it all).

Kempeitai with Combi Rifle

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Following the same theme, we have the other Kempeitai model, again providing more kit choice. She’s done the same as my other Kempeitai: pants are German Field Grey over German Grey (I love the JSA pants, did I ever mention that? ), coat and armour is Dead White, coat trim is Stonewall Grey. Middle chestplate area is Bloody Red (as are the shoulder pads) and on this model I decided the centre panel of the armour would be Electric Blue (on my other Kempeitai it is white). I also should mention here that I’ve changed how I do my swords and scabbards. On my earlier JSA models (Domaru Butai w/ Chain Rifle, Kempeitai w/ Boarding Shotgun etc) the scabbards are black with red trim (the sashes at the top of the scabbard) and sword grips are black. I’ve decided to add more colour and go with red blade grips, red scabbard and Electric Blue sashes. I’ve been looking forward to having this Kempeitai model done, I’ve more often than not found myself wanting to field a combi rifle on my Kempeitai, rather than the boarding shotgun (and there have been a couple of times the boarding shotgun choice has led to poor performance). Given the Kempeitai’s good, but not great, close combat abilities and the fact you really want to run them with Chain of Command and try keep them in safer firing zones, the combi rifle is the stronger choice in my opinion – hence the combi rifle costing more points to field.

Comms Tech

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Finally we have the Comms Tech from the Dire Foes mission pack. This mission pack was my first ever Infinity purchase and until this model I have been yet to paint any of it (though I’ve looked over the contents to see how it all fits together etc). The reason I’m starting with the Comms Tech is pretty simple: I need a HVT model (preferably one for each faction really). With games 3 and 4 of our ITS league on tomorrow night, I wanted her done in time for that. Pretty simple and straight forward here: Black boots and belts, Stormy Blue pants, Hot Orange vest (gotta have a high vis vest on site, there was no way I was going to do the vest blue like Corvus Belli have her painted up!), Stone Wall Grey under shirt. She was very quick and easy to paint and I’m pleased with the results.

Other Things

I mentioned some other things above and from here on out we have a wall of text on what I’m planning to do next.

The first thing is to declare March “Infinity Month”. Last year I had “Flames of War – North Africa Month” in September over which I focused all my efforts in getting my DAK ready for battle (the battle part is still yet to happen, much to my disappointment). I did up a calander and planned out what I would paint each week and the whole thing was very successful. I’ve decided I’ll do the same thing this month for Infinity. So far I’ve got the three aforementioned models done. Over the next week I want to knock off the JSA Support Pack models (and maybe the Ninja with Hacking Device), following that I’ll do the Aragoto Senkenbutai box (and maybe the Haramaki with missile launcher), In the last week of March I’ll take on the Dog Warrior box and then in the last days of the month/first week of April knock off the Tracktor MULs (and maybe the Line Kazak with Missile Launcher). Getting all this done will knock off everything I actually anticipate using on a fairly regular basis. The only other task to add in there is to rebase my other Aragotos (which I am not looking forward to, I suspect it will be difficult). It will also shrink my Infinity painting pile down to three blisters (four if I count the Authorised Bounty Hunter) and two boxes (JSA TAG and the other two Dire Foes characters).

Another excellent thing to take place is that this weekend (which is a long weekend) I will finally be getting shelves up in my garage, providing much needed wargaming related storage space. With this done I can actually get terrain making projects going again – although I’ll probably not do anything until next month. The exception to that is knocking off some scatter terrain. The reason for my rush to get some done is, again, our ITS league games tomorrow. Two guys currently provide all our terrain, but extra scatter terrain has been requested if possible. I’m hoping that I will be able to get together: six pallets of bricks (I made the pallets last night, I’ll do the bricks tonight); six girder piles; four small electrical/traffic light control substation box things (the ones on corners near traffic light intersections); and maybe two large hydrant boxes (in miniature terms they’d be about 30mm deep, 30mm high and 60mm wide, or there abouts). It is all fairly simple and small stuff to put together and straight forward to paint, so I’m hopeful it will all be done in time.

Finally I’ve got back to planning Bolt Action things. I had wanted to dedicate Quarter 2 of 2014/15 to Bolt Action, however that wasn’t to be. Projecting out to the end of Infinity March, I anticipate that I will be able to focus significant energy on Bolt Action. While there are still plenty of other projects that could be done, that fact is that I will have enough on hand for Infinity that I can host two tables at home with easy. Likewise for Flames of War I’ve had my Eastern Front stuff in a useable position for years. I’d like to get my Bolt Action stuff to the same point, in fact I’d like to do quite a lot of things for Bolt Actions because it is a game that my mates (who do not actively collect and play wargames) would be in to, and it’s quite a bit less intricate than Infinity (where it pays big time to know what each and every model is capable of). I’ll likely fit in Infinity terrain production in the mix, but I’m hopeful that once Infinity March is over, and I can ease off the Infinity pedal, I’ll finally (finally1) be able to put significant effort into Bolt Action.

Only time will tell though. For now it is time to go back to making this scatter terrain as quickly as possible. There may be a post Sunday or Monday with the outcome of tomorrow’s ITS games, otherwise I anticipate another Friday post next week with the next results from Infinity March!

Things I’ve Painted This Week

So I painted some things this week after wasting the week before doing not much. Actually that’s not quite true, for I broke a promise to myself. I had said that I would not purchase any more miniatures for Infinity until I was done/mostly done the pile of stuff I have on my painting table at the moment. Aaaand then I went and bought the Dog Warriors box, the Cameronian blister and ordered the Spetsnatz with boarding shotgun (which didn’t arrive for some strange reason, even though it was in stock). This has led me to breaking a second promise, which was to never paint tartan again after the Grey Rifles model in the Ariadna starter. I think I did a better job of it this time, but it is still far from fantastic.

Karakuri no-so-Special Project

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Here is a shot of the three Karakuri models. The image hasn’t got the front right hand model in focus unfortunately. They’re ok, I couldn’t get the eyes right on the Mk12 model (rear most model) as you can see in my post from when I finished that particular miniature. They’re ok though and I look forward to using them. Very basic: white, black piping, red swatches and chain rifles.

Cameronian

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Here we have my second go at doing tartan. I think it came out much better this time round. In fact I really like how the model came out as a whole. The middle shot there sells him best I think. Up close the tartan is pretty lacklustre, but at table distance it looks nice. It was a base of Gory Red over which I did a coat of Bloody Red. Then horizontal stripes of German Camo Beige and Black and vertical stripes of Black. Body armour is Stonewall Grey over Shadow Grey, flesh is Dead White built up from Charred Brown to German Camo Beige. I kept the hair and tail darker with a light dry brush of German Camo Beige. All in all, he’s pretty cool I think.

Next up: Domaru Butai w/ Boarding Shotgun, Kempeitai w/ Combi-Rifle and the Comms Tech civvie from the JSA-Aridana dire does box (which I want done for next weekend’s ITS games).