Sunday, 26 October 2014

Bolt Action Russians


I guess I should engage in a bit of throat clearing as its been a good while since I posted to my blog.  I've actually been really busy with real life, other less blog-friendly games (like board gaming and roleplaying) and also working on a wargames project that has taken a good deal of my time and attention.

And of course during that time I've also been wargaming, but I've neglected the blog here for various reasons.  I shall take the shame.  I also noticed that the last few posts showed the start of a few projects without then covering the finish.

Hmm....

So, anyway, I'll kick off again with a basically completed project:  Bolt Action Russians.

A good while ago, when Warlord first released Bolt Action my group and I gave them a go.  We were in a different place regarding our gaming interests at that time and the rules got shelved.  However, of late we've been playing 'bitty' games, not really settling on anything and we decided we wanted to put something on the table that would be tournament based, good fun, simple, with lots of pretty toys, decent rules, and gaming that encompassed list building, as well as good solid game tactics.

We tried a few games that didn't quite fit the bill, including Bolt Action.  Then we played Bolt Action again.  And again.  And we looked around at our collections and said, 'hey remember those figures we bought for Rules of Engagement and never used?!

Yeah, so...its safe to say we've been playing Bolt Action pretty solidly lately, with proxies to learn the rules as we build up our tournament forces.

As ever, I've gone for Russians.

We're playing 1000pts, so I've been steadily building a 'core force', plus a bunch of options to try out.  I suspect, as ever I'll end up with far more than I'll ever actually field!  Hehe...

So these figures are a mix of Black Tree Design minis that I bought a few years ago, some Copplestone stuff and the maddeningly fiddly Warlord plastics.  They all mix in quite well which is good. 

Here's my main force so far.

Russian Reinforced platoon (generic list), 1000pts.
The Lt is accompanied by a flag-bearer.  Their role is mainly to ride with the assault units and keep them going forwards, hence they are armed with SMGs.


Vasily!  Get that left flank moving!!
The platoon is supported by three teams with anti-tank rifles.  I've found them to be a really useful and flexible part of the force, able to take on light armour, enemy infantry dug in buildings, and also snipe and pin if no other targets present themselves.  Spread out across the battlefield, I can usually get at least one of them firing into the side or rear armour of an enemy tank!  Hehe...Also they are easy for the opponent to miss in the chaos f a battle and they have popped up from cover unexpectedly a few times.



My main armour is a T-28, which is a monster infantry killer!  As I've not been able to find a T-28 model this is a Copplestone Vickers MkIII - basically the same tank anyway.



And my tank killer armour is the BA-10, a highly mobile 'glass cannon' recce armoured car able to take out all but the heaviest enemy tanks with its main gun, and nippy enough to get itself out of trouble when the enemy returns fire.


Light, fast, and able to react as a recce vehicle to get out of trouble, the BA-10 carries a main gun capable of brewing up all but the heavy tanks it'll face.  Recce vehicles are a must in any Bolt Action force, and the crew of this BA-10 are speed racers, hooning about the battlefield and putting shells into buildings, or any enemy armour they can come across.
  
A unit of Guards with rifles and a Panzerfaust provide me with tactical flexibility and this unit usually ties all the other elements of my force together.

Hang on chaps, my bolt has jammed.  anyone know how to clear it?
 I also take advantage of the Russians free unit of conscripts.  Here they are armed with rifles and Molotov cocktails.  I use them mainly as reserves or to take and hold easy objectives. 


Brand new shiny kit, bayonets fixed, and burning vodka bottles at the ready!

Over there comrades!  Duck and cover...
A dreadful waste of good Hrenovuha if you ask me...
 My main attacking force is made up of two units of veteran assault engineers fully equipped with SMGs and a flamethrower team.  They usually start in the trucks, steam forwards of turn 1 to decamp into a solid position to launch a vicious close assault or close ranged fire.



The utterly brutal flamethrower - king of any Bolt Action table.
Oh, and I've made some useful little pin markers too.

Made from the Minibits 'dice herder' frames and Warlord's pin markers.  Very useful and unobtrusive on the tabletop.

So that's my main 1000pt force, but I'm steadily building a variety of options to try out. 

Standing ready in reserve.

A T34 of course.  I've not tried this out yet, as I'm trying to get to grips with the core force outlined above.  The T34 is an expensive points option to go with.  I might field it as the flamethrower variant though.



Grubby and oil stained as befitting a working battle vehicle.

I have a heavy field gun which I've used as a heavy howitzer.  Its utterly brutal, able to flatten whole buildings and wipe out units in one shot, but its basically a static unit and Bolt Action is definitely a game that requires mobility in your troops.


After a particularly heavy night on the turnip vodka, Alexei tries desperately to remember how to fire the field gun.

I've got a sniper team.  Not used these yet, but I pretty much face snipers in every enemy force so I should give them a go sometime.  I've found that when they're placed high up in a central building they can be devastating, but otherwise, not so good.
  
Zaytzev's got nowt on you Boris...right through that officer's cap-skull at 1000 yards...

I've converted a leader/commissar model to be a spotter in a camouflaged coat.  Russian WWII camo appears to have been...um...basic.

Uh...vodka-soaked camera...

What the Hell are they shelling THAT building for!?!?  I said the church, not the tavern!

A couple of weapon teams next.  The MG team has been highly underwhelming on the table top.  In fact the Bolt Action rules have LMGs, MMGs, and HMGs underperforming in the hands of infantry, which is why my infantry don't use the iconic DP-28 LMG.  Not worth it.



And finally...bomb dogs!  Cruel I know, but these anti tank weapons appear to be highly useful.  I've not used them yet, but our British faction player fields a Churchill AVRE which is devastating.  I may need to spam bomb dogs against that monster! 

Woof!  Woof!  Woof!
Copplestone huskies with some Warlord backpacks glued on.  Simples!

Next up, I have some cavalry to paint.  Copplestone messed up my order though so I didn't get the flag bearers I asked for.  Might be a delay there then...  I've got enough to try out so far though so no worries!

Friday, 11 July 2014

Ronin - Samurai Buntai

Things are busy in my wargaming world at the moment; i'm feverishly building terrain for a Mordheim campaign, looking at the possibility of getting back into fantasy gaming with either Mantic's Kings of War or Games Workshop's Fantasy Battle.  I'm also working on a project with Pendraken miniatures which is taking a lot of time.  And then there's the roleplaying and board games...

However, not content with all that, i'm also involved in a campaign using Osprey's Ronin rules; and this morning my little Japanese dudes turned up in the mail!

There are many options for figures out there, but i chose to go with the Perry range, as they make consistently good quality figures, both in terms of casting and sculpts.  I overdid the order a bit, getting four packs, when two would probably have done, mainly as i like to have options for skirmish games like this.

So, to the initial unboxing.

Perry always send their metals in little jewelry boxes like this.



First impressions: some flash and a bit of deformation, but nothing too serious.  As usual, exceptionally crisp quality detail, and good dynamic figures.  Can't wait to get painting!









Saturday, 5 July 2014

Mordheim: City of the damned - Part 3

Our Mordheim project (part 1, part 2) is continuing and the construction of the terrain continues at a pace.  I've finished the first building, a wizard's tower belonging to 'Nicodemus' (presumably now an absentee landlord!)  




The gate to his yard has been shattered by a falling warpstone shard.


The tower itself remains intact, together with its dirt-streaked copper roof; presumably an architectural feature that enhanced the occupant's magical activities.





Here's the second structure.  Bit of a collaborative build this one - we all got together for a kick-off session and put this together over jollity and discussions about what else needed doing.  Its sort of a fortified town house, or perhaps an inn.






I've also picked up some GW fantasy buildings to help things along a bit; namely the Deathnell Watch, the Garden of Morr, and the Dreadfire Portal and Eternity Stair.


Sunday, 29 June 2014

Mordheim: City of the damned - Part 2

The project rolls on and after a weekend of feverish painting and terrain building we're making progress on the road to kicking off the campaign.  

We now have our final four warbands set to go.

Iz-Nibbs Eshin Gutter Cutters (Me)
Leader (Iz-Nibbs) - dagger, sword, brace of pistols
Sorcerer (Siniss-Terk) - dagger, club, sling (uh...the 'swarm of rats' spell 2d6 S1 hits)
2x Black rats - dagger, fighting blades
2x Gutter runners - dagger, club, sling
4x Verminkin - dagger, club, sling

Lizardmen (Sam)
Skink priest with spear 
Totem warrior sith shield and club 
2x skink great crests with shield club and shortbow
3x saurus with shield and club
4x skinks with shield club and shortbow

Mundo's Madcaps - Forest Goblins (Ben)
Cheiftan - Halberd
Shaman - Spear
Brave - Sword
Brave - Spear
Brave - Shortbow
Brave - Shortbow, Sword
5x Goblins - Spears, Bows
5x Goblins - Spears, Bows

Black orcs (Richy)
Black Orc Big Boss w/ sword, axe, dagger, and shield
2 Black Orcs w/ axe, dagger and shield
2 Youn 'uns / axe, dagger and shield, one with Black Orc Blood
2 Orc Boys w/ axe and dagger
2 Nuttaz w/ great weapon and dagger

Its going to be a real hard tournament, with some excellent players and very different warbands.  The Lizardmen and Black orcs are brutal melee crews, whereas the goblins and my skaven will have to use their wits and archery to good effect.  

Can't wait to kick off!

However, before that can happen we have the terrain to build.  There's a fair few fences and walls built and a couple of buildings too, including this one i put together today - a wizard's tower that has suffered a hit in the devastation that ruined Mordheim.

As you can see it's constructed basically from junk, paper, card, some old cork and other bits and bobs i had lying about.

Obviously it'll look a lot better when its painted!











EDIT: The first rough colours go on.  These are just the base colours so far.  The wood parts will be either black or brown.  the rooves?  I'm not sure yet, but i think a sort of blue slate grey is likely.  I was thinking about maybe red slate, but i think that will jar too much with the overall colour tone.