19 July 2015

Empire of the Dead: Steam powered exo skeleton

Finally painted up the Steam Powered Exo skeleton miniature for Empire of the Dead. I loved the model, but I hate painting metallics so I had a hard time with this one and am not entirely happy with how the walker turned out.

The model is surprisingly big, and as you can see from the picture below, perfect height for wading through zombies while blasting brains with a shotgun.


17 July 2015

Empire of the Dead: Armed brothers for Bedlam Brotherhood

Caroline wanted more firepower for her Bedlam Brotherhood faction in our EotD campaign so I ordered some additional models armed with specialist weapons. The miniatures are fantastic and were lots of fun to paint - now I only have to worry about having to face those characters with my vampires!

I also have a variety of other Empire of the Dead miniatures left to paint from the Kickstarter that I have finally assembled - like the steam gyrocopter and the steam powered exo skeleton. I'm also painting 15mm Early War Poles on single bases for Chain of Command. Will post pictures of those soon.

09 July 2015

Summary fron the Swedish BF&S tournament in Lund 2015

Last weekend my buddy Andreas "Deathbullar" arranged a By Fire & Sword tournament in what turned out to be the warmest weekend so far this year. Actually the heat was unbearable and the the rooms turned into an oven but somehow we managed to play 5 games spread out between 2 days.

We had 10 contestants, originally a couple more but people either dropped out or simply did not respond after having clicked the "attending" button. Hopefully the turnout will be greater next time around, and the temperature some 10-15 Celsius lower.

Anyway, due to the heat I was exhausted for most parts of the tournament - sadly I did not manage to walk around and snap photos of other peoples armies and games - I hope those will be posted somewhere and a few of those pictures are already up on the Wargamer.pl/By Fire & Sword facebook group. What follows below is a short summary of my 5 battles.


I played the identical Lithuanian army lists that I brought to the Polish championship in Warsaw. This was mainly because I had a hard time deciding what army/nation to play and ended up with the lists that I played in Poland.


Lithuania 1655-61
13FSP,
39 Recon points

On their own ground, Swimming, Left hand division Right hand division


Colonel 3 Command points
Rotamaster 1 command point
6 bases of armored Reiters
6 bases of Reiters
12 bases of Cossack style cavalry
10 bases of Volunteers
2 bases of Dragoons


....................
Lithuania 1655-61
5FSP,
16 Recon points

On their own ground, Swimming, Left hand division Right hand division

Colonel  3 command points
3 bases of armored Reiters
3 bases of  Reiters
5 bases of Cossack style cavalry
2 bases of Dragoons
....................
Lithuania 1662-67
9FSP,
21 Recon points

On their own ground, Swimming

3 bases of armored Reiters
4 bases of Elite Reiters
9 bases of Cossack style cavalry
2 bases of Dragoons

___________________________

I had pretty much the same experience as during the Polish championship. The 9FSP list simply lacked the punch and was very expensive to field, it did not do well and I only played it once. The small 5FSP list would be good if not for the Left Hand/Right Hand division special rule. I realized that such a tiny force cannot afford to suffer that effect.


A majority (3) games were played with the large 13 point list and it worked out average this tournament.  I had some bad Left Hand/Right hand division experiences, among others a 6 base squadron of cossack style cavalry left without orders and insubordinate for an entire game.

Having given things a thought I realize that I have a difficult time building "good" lists. With good lists I mean point effective lists that have good troops without being bloated in size and points. I need to experiment more with "uncomfortable" and cheaper builds and not try to max out all companies and squadrons.


But enough of my rambling, here is the short summary of each of my 5 games and pictures from those battles.

Battle 1
Lithuania 9FSP vs Fredrik and his Swedes
Scenario: Patrol


Fredrik is a relatively new player but surprised me with very good gameplay during our battle. I was quite weary of his artillery and the insane gunline he could muster. Unfortunate turn of events and recklessness resulted in my cossack style cavalry being flank charged by Reiters on the right flank of the table. Fortunately I rolled a 1 which meant that they were just pushed and in the following close combat sequence they repulsed their attackers. The following turn my cavalry unit attacked the Reiters but it was Fredrik's turn to roll a 1 on his morale test and despite having lost the fight he just backed away. Then I was attacked again this time by both his Reiter units and my cavalry routed. We both managed to scout the 3 landmarks but I had taken more losses so the battle ended a Tactical defeat on my part while Fredrik had a Tactical victory

My score:
Big Points 2
Small Points 7


21 June 2015

Chain of Command: Eastern front village assault

In our last game of Chain of Command, Johan and I decided to try out the advanced vehicle rules. That is, fielding multiple vehicles and designating one of them a senior commander who can control several vehicles with his command initiatives.

As such we ignored the regular "support option" restrictions, and fielded the following forces:


Germans:

Panzergrenadier platoon (regular) Force Morale 10
1x Panger G (Senior officer, troop commander)
1x StuG G with schürzen
1x Stug G
1x PzIII Lwith schürzen

1x SdKfz 234/2 Puma

Soviets:

Tank rider platoon (regular) Force Morale 10
1x KV1 (Senior officer, troop commander)
1x T-34 Obr1942/43
1x T-34/85
2x SU76
1x 57mm ZiS2 AT gun
1x 45mm L66 AT gun
The table was heavy with terrain,  the center made up of a eastern front type village, and the right flank the outskirts of a town. The scenario played was "Attack on an objective", which was the city outskirt held by the Soviet side.

German forces entered the table west of the village, while the Soviets were deploying inside the village and the city outskirt. 

German infantry deployed west and south of the village, but waited for tank support before proceeding towards the enemy, By that time the Soviet side had deployed two squads flanked by the ZiS2 AT gun in the village, making it quite difficult to approach it. The Germans split up in smaller teams and attempted their attack, supported by tanks. Ambushing Soviet infantry fired from the buildings and stalled the German infantry while the AT gun hit the advancing StuG square in the frontal armor which caused it to go stop dead in its tracks, the Junior commander being wounded and the driver panic!

18 June 2015

Witcher 3: The Wild Hunt review

Back in August 2014 I preordered the game and was waiting with great anticipation - then the game was delayed to May 2015... When it finally did arrive I was affraid that the hype and my own anticipation would have killed it for me. Fortunately, the Witche 3: The Wild Hunt somehow made it to release and onto my harddrive and delivered a mindblowingly good game that is everything I wanted since playing Witcher 1 and 2.

To begin with, the greatest addition to the game is the open world which allows writer Andrzej Sapkowskis world come to life in this video game adaptation. Now Geralt is no longer led through tunnels or isolated map sections, he can travel on foot, horseback or with boat across a gigantic map that rivals the one in "Skyrim". The attention to detail in the shifting environments, locations, small villages or just isolated huts in the middle of the wilderness is amazing. There is a "lived in" feeling about it all, and coupled with the eastern European touch you get locations that are set apart from other generic fantasy locales. Among many such locations that I love in this game is the castle belonging to a self proclaimed baron - it sits atop a hill and is half in ruin but still populated

The politics of the Witcher universe have been amped up for the third installment, persecution of wizards, civilians butchered by soldiers and roads lined with hanged victims add a gritty and dark atmosphere to the game. The countryside is war torn, and along the frontline which have recently seen heavy fighting you can expect to see soldier camps, piles of dead, ghouls eating corpses, executions and civilian despair. 


We also see a welcome return of the "monster hunting quests", Geralt can take on numerous contracts ranging from solving a haunted house problem to tracking down and killing huge monsters out in the wilderness. Some of these quests have several layers and steps before they can be completed and frequently tell a immersive story about a place and its inhabitants.

The side quests are also wonderfully constructed, written and voice acted.  Having played nearly 52 hours I have only completed 33% of the game according to the Good Old Games meter. I've consciously kept myself barely involved in the main quest in order to explore the vast and rich world that the game offers. Like in earlier games, quests can range from serious and shocking to hilarious comedy material - which is a welcome mix. What both types of quests combine and constantly offer is giving Geralt moral choices, should he kill the target or just let someone off with a warning. Down the road you often find out the consequence of your actions, and it is far too late to reload your savegame. This is a strength of the Witcher games, and keeps your making of choices relevant and you on the edge.

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