Friday 27 January 2023

Old World Army Challenge: VI: Necromunda

That's right, chummers, I'm doing the Old World Army Challenge again.

c'm'ere and call me that, cleanskin

This year, the Dread Lord has opened the call to Fanatic and Specialist Games, including Necromunda, so I'm trying to get something like seven Necromunda95 and Gorkamorka warbands done in six months. Let's see how we get done.

Introduction post: Wherein I reveal my madness.

January post: A 'rank & file' post for the Skavvy gang.

Coming up next: Pit Slaves.

CanCon with the Too Fat Lardies

 Last weekend was CanCon, one of Australia's larger hobby conventions. Despite living in the capital for years now, I usually only attend to do some shopping and a bit of gawking. This year, I was invited as a spare to the Too Fat Lardies Chain of Command campaign weekend. There was a real chance a few players' schedules might be shaky, the Australia CoC scene is always recruiting, and I'm local: a great combination.

The campaign day was run by a chap named Steve, who is probably now in my top-five Friendly Wargaming Lads. We'd never met, but you'd never know it for how welcoming and chill he was, happy to explain rules, point out fun details, and just generally be a chill bloke. He also ran a fun weekend, with an interesting scenario - on some very fine terrain by John Bond.

The scenario is as follows: Some time following the Normandy invasion, the British are pushing into this French town. Day One (Saturday AM) involves crossing the fields and entering the town proper. Day Two (Saturday PM) is attempting to make the bridge. Day Three (Sunday AM), the Germans have to hold the bridge itself or blow it. Day Four (Sunday PM) was flexible, depending on the previous days, but there was a chance for German armour to arrive and retake the British side.

In the end, the games fought to a standstill over the bridge - the Brits were held in place and didn't cross, but the bridge stayed open. I only fought a few rounds, rolling some dice during Sunday AM, but it was great fun and really sealed the deal on me digging out those Early War Poles...

Saturday 21 January 2023

After Action Report: Terror in the Peaks

    Réfractaires, it is not your duty to die uselessly.
        - Resistance pamphlet

somewhere in the mountains of Occupied France

An old friend of mine and wargaming/role-playing buddy has finally made the pilgrimage down from to visit me, mostly to play in the Too Fat Lardies event at CanCon in a game of Chain of Command. He's even convinced me to be a backup player in case one of the others has to leave early and cannot finish the campaign. Of course, I've never played a game of Chain of Command, although I am interested in the increased historical verisimilitude of it over its main competitors. 

So we decided to head to the local store and bodge together some terrain and play an intro game. Jolt has an incredible selection of terrain, but it's mostly intended for far-future or vaguely fantasy settings, and it also turned out that every single local gamer wanted to test their armies before this weekend's tournament scene at CanCon. But we made do with the above layout. A forked road, a burning farm, some rough cliffs and pine forests, an ancient church. Could be somewhere in Europe, sure.

Al brought me an infantry platoon of horrible fascists, reinforced with an additional Senior Leader (Keptain Köwærd); he brought an adhoc platoon-sized contingents of French rebels, communists, and jumped-up peasants, reinforced with some stolen submachine guns and a backwoodsman calling himself a sniper. Both sides had low morale; it was freezing, there is little food, and nobody wants to die for their fatherland in the arse-end of nowhere.

fascists cower in the gutted church

My favourite thing about Chain of Command is the initial patrol phase. It makes the act of deployment a game of tug-of-war with your opponent and really livens up the otherwise straightforward bit of 'you're on that side, I'm on this side'. Having units come on from the jump-off points that are then scattered (and can be moved!) about the field is the only wargame I've found so far that does a good show of mimicking the fog of war.

In these snowy hills, the fascist regulars didn't know from where the cursed marquis would come...

who dares impede us

I did get lucky in my first few turns, managing to bring on two squads at opposite ends of the field. By getting enough initiative to put the churchgoers on overwatch meant that Al, who had intended to come through the forest opposite, was immediately on the defensive.

"i see zem! i see ze kowartly frenchmen"

Al is a generous opponent. I had initially thought of the open, flat-topped hill next to my roadblock jump-off as a death trap. It was open and flat, with absolutely no cover. Of course, it also provided a huge view of the entire field. Once he pointed that out, I scurried a squad up it and sat them in overwatch up there, much to his frustration.

"okay ve vill leafe ze khurch but only slowly"

He also reminded me that squads come in two elements, and that I could move the manoeuvre element while keeping the machine gun in overwatch. Naturally, he immediately deployed his submachine gun-heavy squad into the forest, preventing me from safely assaulting that jump-off point. Git.

line them up...


First blood to the French resistance with a good old-fashioned duck hunt. Hill's risky.

if you go down in the woods today, you'd better go in disguise...

'if we line up in a row, they will be caught by surprise!'

As I moved one of the riflemen squads down past the hedgerows, another group of partisans emerged, ready to initiate a firefight. Al and I got several rules wrong here - he should have gone tactical and hit the dirt (after being reminded, my hill-squad did that, but he never remembered to). Additionally, I added far too many dice for the squad's machine gun - although my dice consistently rolled below-or-only average, so I don't think it mattered too much.


Nevertheless, the end result for this squad of rebels was most of them being killed and sufficient shock to break them. I also concussed their sergent, reducing the partisan morale. This group broke and ran, freeing my outflanking squad to move towards their jump-off point.

'right, that's it. forward!'

Losing a jump-off point in Chain of Command causes significant morale damage to the hosting force. Seeing the easy route my squad had toward his right-hand point, Al decided that his only hope lay in cracking open my little church fortress.

bullets fly!

Unfortunately, his dice failed him. I shot down several partisans and caused some shock, with almost no losses of my own. My succeeding phases didn't do a lot, but his numbers significantly dwindled.

the keptain comes out but continues to kower

I'd kept my second Senior Leader in reserve, waiting until I needed his shock-removing talents - so right when Al had caused several casualties and enough shock to reduce the church squad's effectiveness, Keptain Köwærd pulled himself out of his foxhole and shouted for the men to hold; reducing the shock in both sections to nothing.

At this point, the store was closing and so we decided to end it there. The Germans had a clear line to take a partisan jump-off point and had caused about thrice the casualties. Al still had a real chance to swing it, if he made a big assault and got a bit lucky - the loss of a squad, NCO, officer and jump-point would probably have shattered my platoon - but that would have been a significant shift from how the game looked on the table.

At any rate, a cracking game against a real gentleman of an opponent. I think I have to dust off that old Polish project now. Let me see, a 1939 Polish infantry platoon has three squads of fourteen men, and I already have...

Thursday 8 December 2022

"Mercenary captains are either capable men or they are not."

 Goblin's Paladins, a small mercenary company operating in the Periphery, has recently completed a re-arm and re-fit, allowing us to see part of its Order of Battle.

Goblin's Paladins - Command and Fire Lances

I have three factions planned for my Battletech collection. The first, 1st Canopian Cuirassiers of the Magistcracy of Canopus, we've already seen, including in action against Periphery mercenaries and pirates. The second are my mercenary company, now with two lances finished. I intend to add a third lance at some point to give it some better bite, but for now:

Elements of 1st Company, mercenary company "Goblin's Paladins", c.3067-3085

Tuesday 6 December 2022

mortem tyrannis: growth and growth

 A few additions to the Death Guard.

Aspiring Champion-Sergeant Gehazi

Aspiring Champion-Sergeant Naaman

Aspiring Champion-Sergeant Joab

You may remember my squads of 7-strong Death Guard infantry. Fluffy, fun, neat - a great part of this accidental project. Unfortunately, the 9th edition codex made those squads immediately illegal. Now, while 9th edition is basically unplayable due to a) the overwritten rules making it hard to follow the game and b) the constant rules changes making any faint understanding immediately obsolete, I wasn't totally happy with a few aspects of the squads anyway. One lacked an icon, for instance, and I wanted more of the fun equipment that 8/9th has brought to Mortarion's Chosen.

So I painted and converted a few more lads. Now the three squads are ten-strong, which is less flavoursome but there are still three of them - and I can always drop a few members if I ever actually play a game with them.

Saturday 3 December 2022

Those ex-Slaves

You are not machines, you are not cattle - you are men!

there's power in a union

I've had these on my desk since they came out. Always love a narrative of working lads breaking their chains. It's even better if the chains are laser-powered. The pit slaves in Necromunda '98 had similar vibes, and the tale of Bull Gorg goes hard. It's tragic that we never got a miniature of him.

The ex-Slave Ogryn gang in Necromunda '17 fills a similar place, with the addition benefit of just straight-up lobotomizing some of the workers. grim But solves a problem! or does it

The gang (for which I'm yet to decide on a name) also fits into the vague 'civilians' project. These guys can be an outlaw gang of workers in revolt or they can used as flavour or muscle for various factions - all their 'weapons' are really tools, after all. This is why they have my desert basing instead of the grimy underdark basing you've seen before.

Thursday 1 December 2022

Old World Army Challenge: Wood Elves II: VICTORY

 I know I haven't posted here, but I did finish the Old World Army Challenge this year!

really should have brushed my hair first huh

My total of Wood Elves stands at something like 3910 points, so I'm nearly finished. However, this year's OWAC will be something very different. Stay tuned...

Monday 28 November 2022

Those Guys

 Just some lads.

lads lads lads

I try to group the civilian posts by theme, but these lads (and the below robot) are all I've done in the past few months, so they can go up together. These four are available as Sailors at Crooked Dice.

yeah just headed to the space-pub for a space-schnitty

I randomly decided to make one chap a football fan because why not. The meaty bloke on the right is into the same punk band as one of my squats:

we ain't dead! say it a-fucken-gain!


Finally, we have the non-sentient P0-N3 bot, 'Bill', from Skull & Crown's Space Scrappers line. An absolute treat to paint up!

Saturday 26 November 2022

Project: Blood Bowl - Amazons

 It's been a while. My computer became too unstable to write anything longer than an email, [redacted] occured, I got promoted at work. Luckily, I've done fucken tons of hobby stuff since April. Let's start with a fully completed project.

watch the parrot!

Of course, about sixty seconds after I finished the last of these girls, Games Workshop released a new ruleset for them. It doesn't look too bad. Catchers are gone and while the blitzers are reduced to 0-2, we now have blockers, who are also 0-2. So I should be able to use the team without too much trouble - if littlemangs and I ever get around to seeing one other in real life, that is.

Presenting the Lemuria Leopards!

Tuesday 12 April 2022

League of Two-As-Four: Match One - Uzkulak Udugs v Skälsbërg Skrëëchers

Good afternoon, folks! A few weeks ago, my regular opponent Mangs-of-War and I got together on a calm autumn day to inaugurate a miniature Blood Bowl league.

..the teams line up! Here comes the kick!

Unfortunately, this was on 14 March, and I'm writing this nearly a month later, so I've forgotten nearly all the details. It's been an unforgivably busy month at work and with the Old World Army Challenge, with April not shaking out much better. This means that you will have to settle for some snapshots and my vague recollections.

On the other hand, this is the first match of the League of Two-As-Four, where Mangs and I take our four Blood Bowl teams and mash them against each other. Two coaches! Four teams! For games where we play against ourselves,* we will hand control of the team to the other coach. Fun! The team roster looks like this:

Team Team Name Coach
Chaos Dwarfs Uzkulak Udugs goblinpaladin
Human Skälsbërg Skrëëchers Mangs-of-War
Elf Union Saphery Strikers Mangs-of-War
Amazons Lemuria Leopards** goblinpaladin

For this first bout, the Uzkulak Udugs took the field against the Skrëëchers, here fielding an Ogre instead of Herr Skrëëch. Come below the cut for pictures and a match summary...

Sunday 27 March 2022

Old World Army Challenge: Wood Elves II: Beasts!

 Over at the Old World Army Challenge, the March issue is out!

grr. argh.

I really enjoyed painting these beasts! We're past the halfway point, and some great miniatures are still to come...