Monday, 25 May 2015

Tanks in the desert and Scenery...In SPACE!

Since my last update I've mostly been building playing 2nd ed 40k- Peribon Krate has been continuing his campaign against the Khornate Warbands at large on the Myrilyon Plains, and so far has been 100% successful, and the mission to eliminate the warband's leader came to fruition when Lord Stabby "May your entrails gum up my Chain Axe" McKilllalot obligingly teleported himself in front of one of the Grenadiers overwatching Missile Launcher teams, possibly having been nudged there by Peribon's home made Teleport Jammer (which he built by collecting the first 67 instalments of the popular part-work  "Make your own Teleport Jammer!" and eventually completed with instructions downloaded from the galaxy -wide-web and parts he'd scrounged from his own kitchen.) .  The Blood Thirsty Coven has beaten a retreat for now, in order to elect a new leader by the ancient rite of "last man breathing".

In expectation of further scifi fun to come I did a bit more terrain building...

Above you can see my new research facility! It features a, er...really big spherical thing with an anti aircraft turret on top, a walkway leading to a landing pad where a grav-car is parked. The facility is situated atop a plateau, itself already home to a variety of interesting flora and fauna... 

A closer view of the landing pad and walkway, the point defence guns just visible.

Numerous household items went into making this model: The plateau is simply a mass of polystyrene and papier mache, the plants are a combination of plastic aquarium plants and their close cousin but slightly cheaper plastic house plants. The stand for the landing pad is a biro tube, the pad itself a random bit of tupperware from the kitchen cupboard. The main building is an old hamster ball atop an upturned soup container.  The Grav-Car is a combination of computer mouse and plastic spoon... 
The whole as assembled and sprinkled with things I found in the bits box.  

In the pictures above you might also spy some new figures. Looking pretty in pink below the landing pad is a cyborg assassin from EM4 miniatures. I was recently looking for a couple of new recruits for the Trevuntular Grenadiers and finding old Rogue Trader Guard figures hard to come by on ebay ( at reasonable prices at least) I decided to look elsewhere, EM4 catching my attention. Some of their Troopers seemed to fit the bill and I put in an order for a selection of figures, picking up some metal and plastic figures. The sculpts are clean and well proportioned , though I'm undecided if they fit the bill being a little more realistic than the old RT Guard figures.  One of the metal troopers is hidden amongst the Grenadiers in the pictures above , but I think his slender figure gives him away.   The plastics are worthy of further attention if you're on a budget working out at 51p a figure! The Trooper are a well proportioned and theres some level of variation with their poses possible. Weapons are only basic pistols and rifles, I swapped the pistols for Las-pistols as I felt they lacked definition. Apparently alternative weapon fits are available separately but were out of stock when I ordered. Might have to get some more at some point.  Not sure what for exactly, but they might make generic sci-fi bad guys for scenarios etc.

I also got some of the Em4 space rangers above. The large power armoured warriors a simple figures with little variation other than weapons. I believe they are from the same era as Space Crusade and if you think of them as being an alternative to the Marines from that game you'll have a fair idea what to expect. 5 figures for £2.55 is cheap as they come and they paint up nicely. A sergeant is included for shouting, and carries pistol and sword, the other 4 figures come with a hefty gun as standard , or you can swap that with one of the 3 heavy weapons in the box. I'm very much tempted to get more of these.  Not many more, maybe another 4 boxes or so. I think the lack of variation would get dull with more than that and most of the figures don't lend themselves well to conversion, but watch this space and I'll see what may be done.

On to this weeks game which was Flames of War!  Foxhole Phil had challenged me to a game set around the Alamein period and then at the last minute substitued his friend Mark- a relative newcomer to FOW. The idea being that I would play Mark and Phil could explain  what was going on and generally advising!

The mission was Hold the Line, with 2000 points aside. I deployed my newly refurbished 3rd Hussars of the 9th Armoured Brigade - 5 Shermans, 9 Grants, 6 Stuarts and a smattering of armoured cars, Bofors and infantry.
My opponent deployed a Grenadier company with every type of anti-tank weapon the Germans can have in mid war...I can't help thinking that there might have been a spy sneaking a peak at my army list before the game! My plan was to advance under cover of smoke! And hope something made it to the other end of the table...not a great plan, but with four dug in AT guns in range before the ball opened, almost no cover, and three Dianas and  a pair of 88's in ambush it was the best I could do!

Phil and Mark prepare for war!

The set up- British tanks ready to roll...The oasis is another recent model of mine.

And They're off! The Honeys and Humbers tear ahead to try and
draw the inevitable ambush.

The Germans bide their time. The British have completely failed to cover their advance with smoke.
The objectives, a burning radio truck and a fuel lorry await.

Suddenly the Germans are pushed back! A honey Troop (rather to everyones surprise) had failed
to draw the ambush but had survived enough AT fire to actually assault, destroying two AT guns and
forcing the huns back! The Dianas and 88s were promptly revealed! 
Casualties were rather heavier on the other flank with the three honeys and 2 grants burning before the
dug in AT guns were dealt with.  But with the germans on the other flank pushed back the troops around the radio
truck found their AT guns destroyed and the Diana's caught in enfilade as the 2IC led his remaining vehicles forward.
Supressing the 88s with smoke the British heavies move into take the objective.
The infantry move up in support, and the 2IC brings the remaining grant and humbers
across from the left flank to help.  It looks good but the first German reinforcements have arrived!

The 88's try and finish off the grants as the panzer 3's attack!

The Bofors move up to support the attack whilst the Mighty Antar begins recovery operations.

The infantry move up to the objective as the final stuka of the day attempts to turn the tide! The Armour provides covering fire, destroying an 88 and smoking the other. German casualties mount and their infantry no longer hold the objective, their only hope is that the panzer III's can move up and hold on until more reinforcements arrive! And then, due to interference from high command, the panzers are pulled back to deal with a lone Grant  rampaging behind the enemy gun line handing victory to the British! Huzzah!

A Good game, and close too, with 11 out of 20 tanks burning! It was Phil's intervention that gave me the win- Whilst he mostly simply informed Mark of his options and explained how to carry them out  during his turn, and then during my turn commentate on my actions and explain the rules behind them, which seemed like a useful and helpful way of doing things, allowing Mark to make all the actual decision and allowing  us to generally simply get on and play, it is unfortunate that when things started to come to a head he began giving "advice", which mark follwed unquestioningly. It was a strange decision from Phil to send the only unit that could bolster their line on a wild goose chase after a lone tank doing no harm to anyone. But there we are. I nearly pointed their mistake out myself but with time cracking on past 10pm we really needed to be packing up, so I adhered to the old adage of "Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake"and let them learn the hard way!

Next week Ill be commanding My Italians in the desert once more, against Phil and Mark with Gurkhas.  Till then, as they say on Duplcene IV "Ffarrfarfarrafffarrffaarffaraarrrfffarfarfaarfaffarfffaarar".   Couldn't have said it better myself...