Friday, December 12, 2014

Tanksgiving 2014 at Chicagoland Games

My apologies for the delay in updating the blog. As per my previous post, we bought our first home last month and I've been unbelievably busy trying to keep up with closing, moving, and a myriad host of home improvement projects that have taken nearly all of my free time, outside of work and parenting. That said, this past weekend I had the good fortune to get a day off work to travel into the city to take part in Chicagoland Game's annual Tanksgiving event.

This was a homecoming of sorts for me, as the CLG Flames of War group used to be my regular when I lived in the city. It's been a couple years since we moved to the suburbs and over 2 years since I last joined in the fun of Tanksgiving 2012; so it was nice to see the old crew, meet some new faces, and shoot the shit with some of the coolest FLGS owners - Lexx and J.P. (they also run the X-Wing events at Adepticon, which are awesome and great fun, highly recommended).

This year's event saw 10,000 points of German Armour vs. 10,000 points of Allied Armour (most being US, with the odd Soviet thrown in for good measure). The board layout is pictured below. Each "section" has a white scoring zone - full platoons within the zone at the end of every turn win that side 1 VP, which worked well....until the second turn when pretty much every one forgot about bumrushing the zones and focused on clobbering the opposing sides' AFVs.

The table setup - Germans will be on the inside of the "L", Allies on the outside.

I chose to take Kampfgruppe Bake - the good Doctor himself, a platoon of 3 Panther Ausf. As, a platoon of 4 Tigers, a half-tracked Panzerspah platoon, and our trusty Bergepanther ARV. Facing me were J.P.'s US Tank Destroyer Company....inside the city. Seasoned commanders amongst you will notice the problem right now, the fact that I haven't played FOW in a year and a half may have fuzzed my strategic thinking.

On my left flank, in "Tiger Alley", was a Schwere Panzer Ko. with the ever-popular Otto Carius mounted in a Jagdtiger Platoon (Fun fact: Carius begged to be returned to his Tiger unit on the Eastern Front after he was wounded in action but ended up in the West and HATED the Jagdtiger because of its mechanical unreliability), a few Kongstiger platoons, and a Tiger platoon. Facing them would be a late Sherman Company and some US Pershings.

On my extreme left flank, we had two Panzer Kompanies (literally Pz IV tank hordes) vs. Tankovy and another US Sherman Company in the rural countryside. As much as the rest of the Heavy Panzers slugged it out with the Allies, this area would prove an AFV quagmire for both sides.

The cautious first turn didn't see much action. The close quarters of the city see the first points being awarded to both sides - my Panzerspah platoon and J.P.'s Shermans being fully in the zone. In the pic above, you'll see KG Bake supported by PzIVs of the SchwerePz Ko. to my left. The picture below shows the first kill of the game - one lonely PzIV. First blood goes to the Allies.

Turn two - the PzSpah and Shermans are still hanging out in the city zone. Not much action here......(wait for it).

Turn three - the first appearance of the dreaded US Tank Destroyers (in the tall grass at the bottom above), who KO one Panther. The Tiger platoon does better (knocking out several Shermans), but the Allies get a lucky shot in and KO a Tiger. It's loss will effect my tactics greatly in subsequent turns. (Finally!) Coming under fire from the Shermans, the PzSpahs are forced to disengage behind cover.

The extreme left flank action sees many medium tanks on both sides KO'd by this turn. The Soviet Tankovy are taking extremely heavy fire from StuGs of the Panzer Kompanie and the Jagdpanthers.

The end of KG Bake is drawing nearer. The next turn sees the TDs maneuvering behind my Panthers, forcing a double bail....almost on Bake himself! The good doctor is able to remount his ride after this and run away.

Baptism of fire. Facing a full platoon of US TDs, Shermans, and Stuarts; the PzIVs and PzSpah are totally eliminated.

The fall of Dr. Bake. There's not much left of the Kampfgruppe at this point, except from 2 lonely Tigers who will spend the next few minutes not doing much...

This is (unfortunately) the only shot I got of the late game "Tiger Alley" - the Tigers had been virtually eliminated at this point, letting the Pershings advance into the socring zone.

The Panzer Kompanies have advanced well forward at this point in the game and are starting to move forward, pushing out the Allies. However, with the developments in "Tiger Alley" and the city, their right flank will become untenable in the turns ahead.

This is the final shot, it speaks for itself. Outnumbered and outgunned, the Allies have won this sector. Unfortunately, I had a train back home to catch so this is it. I believe the Allies won....but the Germans gave them a bloody nose doing it. Happy Tanksgiving!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

We're Moving And Making Room!

Well, it's been all of 5 years since I've played a game of 40K and, while I'm not ready to part with everything 40K (mostly because I could use it in Inquisimunda), I do have to par down some of my collection before we make the move to our first house. As such, the following items are for sale. Most of these are painted to a Good/Very Good Tabletop Standard (3-color minimum) and come from a pet-/smoke-free home.

Prices listed do not include postage. Also open to trades for FOW Panzer 38(t) and Armoured Trains (German or Polish), Hugarian Toldis/Turans/Nimrods OR Bolt Action 28mm ww2 stuff.

If interested, send me an email

FOW German Heavy Infantry Gun 15cm SIG33 Platoon (stripped) - $10

Solid Resin 15mm buildings (2 smaller buildings are repainted and flocked) - $10 for all 3

Eldar Guardian Squad (12 Guardians) with Dragon Forge Resin Bases (2x 60mm, 2x Flying Bases, 3x 40mm, 1x 25mm) - $20

FOW Hungarian Infantry Lot (75mm AT Platoon - NIB, HMG Platoon, 4x Officers, 2x Panzerschreks, 4x Panzerfausts, 2x Light Mortars, 8x LMGs, 45x Rifles, 7x Medium & 5x Small Bases) - SOLD

Ork Shoota Mob (17x Shoota Boyz, 2x Big Shoota Boyz, 1x Nob) - SOLD

Ork Slugga Mob & Trukk (11x Boyz & 1x Nob custom-assembled to look like hunters & trappers, custom-made Trukk built on GW Trukk chassis) - SOLD

Flames of War GE060 Panther D (new in blister) - SOLD

Horus Heresy books and Necromunda Junktion book - SOLD

Skorcha Wagon/Trukk (built from the frame of a GW Space Marine Rhino) - SOLD

Ork Trukk (scratchbuilt on GW Trukk chassis, removable gunner) - SOLD

Ork Lobbas x3 (scratchbuilt) - SOLD

Grot Mob (22x Grots, Ork Handler, Squig) -  SOLD

Ork Rokkit Buggies (custom-made from Ork bikes, bitz, and plasticard) - SOLD

Loota Mob (10x Lootas) - SOLD

MegaNobz Mob (6x OOP metal MegaNobz w/ Kombi-shootas) - SOLD

Monday, October 6, 2014

Dawn of the Jet Age: 15mm Me262 & Me163

To round out my current work on some Late Late War German Tankhunters, here are the Tamiya Me163 and Me262 assembled and painted. I really enjoyed assembling and painting these models and hope that Tamiya offers further aircraft kits in this scale for WW2 (I'd especially like to see a US P-38 Lightning or P-61 Black Widow). I've included a comparison pic with AIM's Early War Stuka.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Road to Adepticon 2015: 15mm Lumber Camp - 100% Complete!

The lumber camp is finally complete and I'm pretty pleased with the results considering the amount of time it took (work being done mostly on weeknights or during my son's naptimes over this past month). The entire complex, if not spread out, occupies around 2 sq. ft. - somewhere between a 1/4" and 1/3" of a table space. Considering it really only needs some roads and large tracts of woods, the size is "just right" for FOW.

I weathered the exterior wood surfaces using artist's inks in cool grey, sepia, and some very watered-down india ink black. I then drybrushed vertically (in most cases, perpendicular to the woodgrain) with pure white, with the dual outcome of the wood looking "streaked" and making the edges "pop". The tin roofs were basepainted a dark brown, then got multiple washes of rust red, and finally received a liberal dose of dry pigments.

The broken down truck behind the maintenance shed is a Zvezda ZIS-5 model with the wheels and cargo bed left off. The lumber mill's saw track is N gauge track with the ties removed, the attendant log cart is made from basswood and an N gauge riail "truck" with the actual wheels removed (it rests on the plastic hubcaps - for lack of a better term). The wooden barrels scattered throughout are available from Khurasan Miniatures. Timber piles were made by collecting sticks of various diameters and species, cutting them in roughly 1.5" lengths, and then stacking them haphazardly. I made the lumber stacks with basswood offcuts.

This lumber camp will be used to represent the Karelia Region of Finland/Russia in the FOW: Recon In Force tournament for Adepticon 2015. I should have used my Russians for size comparisons but instead grabbed some Early War Krauts!

Friday, September 26, 2014

Koshka ubiytsy Zimoy, Winter 1944

I took a little break from making terrain to finish up some minis. I'd always wanted to add some assault guns to the Soviet Tankovy Battalion I finished a couple years ago but have been unwilling to spend the cash to buy them. Recently, I came across a good deal and bought them....then promptly realized I had lost the paint color chart I used for the prior minis! Instead I decided to try my luck at whitewash winter camo in an attempt to make the pantone difference a little less noticeable. 

These are the first 15mm minis I've done in awhile that do not have an oil wash and/or pigment weathering done to them. I assembled, cleaned, and then primed them all in pure white. I then added "chips" of the base Soviet green color with a dry sponge, adding the running whitewash effect with a 00 brush. I then painted all the details and colored all the reserve fuel tanks Soviet green to show how often they had been handled or replaced. I then gave the entire mini a wash of grey and did "dirt" weathering with my airbrush.

Though they aren't perfect, I'm satisfied for an initial try on whitewash camo. Enjoy!