Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Flames of War Weekend!

Well, this past weekend was another FoW sort of weekend. Rob & Tom came over on Saturday to throw down with some desert early warfare action. Rob brought his 8th army Tom brought his 8th army and his DAK. Of course I was using my DAK as well.
The first game I played was against Robs British 8th Army on the table below and we played the Free-For-All game out of the Fow main rulebook. This would be my third official game of Fow and we each had 1500 points. I made a push for the objective on the left side while Rob bulked up this side. I had thought my Panzer Platoon and I quickly routed most of the troops on the left until Rob rolled three Matilda's up to stop my tanks. Needless to say, Panzer III's had a tough time punching through the Matilda's armour. The game ended as a draw with neither one of us getting to the objectives. Was a great game and was hard fought.
My second game was against Tom's 8th army that made up a ton of Cruiser Tanks! I have to say I was a bit intimidated by his force. We once again played Free-For-All and I used the same force. Like I mentioned Tom had a ton of tanks, one infantry platoon and a artillery platoon of 25 ponders. But the thing I was afraid of was all of his tanks. Now my force included a 5 Tank Panzer platoon, 3 Full Infantry Platoons, a platoon of PaK38's, a Platoon of 2 8.8's and a platoon of 7.5cm guns along with a HQ platoon.
Tom sent his armoured cars up to the village and also brought up his infantry while his tanks were everywhere. Now I know how the DAK troops must have felt being out gunned and out numbered in the desert!

But as in real life, I realized just what 3 Pak38's could do in a short time as seen by this picture of all the brewed up vehicles! I soon had confidence again and was feeling pretty good about the battle.
Needless to say, the DAK troops held off the British armoured attack and walked away with a slight victory under there belt. We had a great game and I learned a lot about my force. As Tom & Rob left, I felt pretty good about both games and finished up basing my troops and was itching for another game. So I waited for about 30 minutes and called Rob at his house to set up a game for Sunday at his place, it seems that the FoW bug had bitten me pretty good.
So Sunday rolls around and I pick up my army (two small containers) and head or Robs place for the third game of Fow. We decided to try the Breakthrough scenario with Rob being the attacker. As seen by this photo, I split my force into two with all my anti armour units in one section. My infantry started the game Dug in and in foxholes. Robs job was to have all of his force break out of the upper right corner to get to the lower left corner where the two objectives were. The rest of his force would come on after turn three if he rolled well.
I had placed all my armour and anti tank units all around his deployment zone waiting for him to try to bust out.

Here is a shot with Robs force deployed at the beginning of the turn, you can see he was pretty packed in on his corner on the upper right side.

The first turn my Panzer's rolled forward to try to stop his Matilda's again and except for the Panzer IVF1, I did not do so well. It was my Pak38's that were eventually able to stop them.

The battle raged on for 6 turns before Rob was able to get his reinforcements to enter the table. By this time I had positioned on of my Infantry units on a hill overlooking where he would enter and started dumping fire down on him as the British marched on to the board.

My dug in infantry had stalled Robs attack on the north side of the board for most of the game so it all depended on the reinforcements to try to breakthrough.

Robs artillery started to fire directly onto my Panzer's and they started to drop like flies. The North side was starting to falter and Rob finally broke my dug in Infantry out after turn 7.

By this time I was starting to loose too many platoons and had to test for my Company Moral, it seems that the DAK Commander had seen enough and pulled out of the battle. This left the British reinforcements only 12" from one of the objectives, which meant Rob got the win.

All in all it was a great game, I thought for sure I had Rob on the ropes and it looked like I was going to be getting the Win, but alas it was not meant to be. This sort of game reminded me of just how a real battle can be won or lost in just a few moments. I had a blast and look forward to playing again.
So since FoW seems to have taken me over, I would like to mention an event happening this weekend (May 22nd & 23rd) which is Shifting Sands 10 which is run by a few local Fow guys here in the valley. Rob & I are planning on going out to check this out this weekend to give us more inspiration for our FoW addictions.

Sunday, May 09, 2010



It is no surprise that I have been working on my Flames of War Afrika Korps army. With Rob getting his British 8th army going I thought it was about time to get the Afrika Korps up and going. Now these are just work in progress and still need to be finished up, all of these have been dipped and are waiting for decals and dullcoate.

So first up is an objective counter of fuel drums. After reading Brazen Chariots by Major Robert Crisp (awesome book by the way!) I knew I had to paint up these fuel drums since petrol was in limited quantities for both sides of the war in Afrika.

Next up is a dreaded 88's, I have to confess, I bought this model after FoW came out in first edition since I love the look of the 88's. I put it together and stuck it away until just recently. Now it seems I have 5 of these models! To bad I can only have 3!

Another item I am working on are three PAK 38's. The one in the middle is from Old Glory and the two on either side are from Battlefront. I think they blend together nicely. The crews are being painted now.

Now we get to the good stuff...Tanks! Here are three Panzer III's that are awaiting decals and there final weathering. I plan to model the Panzer 15 Division so these will be marked appropriately.

Here is another group of models that were purchased a long time ago with the 88's, another Panzer III and a Tiger Tank. I plan to expand my army to cover Tunisia so the Tiger will see action in that army list. Plus what good German armour fan would not have at least one Tiger Tank!

And the last shot is of the infantry, the base colors are being blocked in now and I plan to have these done by next weekend.

So there you go, the start of my North Afrika korps.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

What are you?

So today Rob (Drunkensamurai) and I were chatting at lunch, it seems that the new Black Powder Rules from Warlord Games have his interest. It seems that he is finding the rules rather refreshing and it may be something we both start playing around with.

But one part of the conversation peaked my interest, What sort of gamer are you? It seems there are three types of figure gamers (yes I know there may be more), that most folks fall into. The three types are, the Modeler, the Collector and the Gamer. Now most figure gamers tend to have all three of these types in their hobby makeup and one of these three types is most important to the person. I will try to explain the three different types.

The Modeler - You have seen this guy, he is the one that scratch builds everything and can not leave a stock model alone. This would also be the guy that loves to paint as well. They love everything about the experience of the "Hobby" as long as it fits this part of the hobby. Usually they don't play with their creations and usually build them as showpieces but some do use their creations.

The Collector - This is the guy that buys everything and I mean everything! It does not matter what it is for, they will buy it and they love collecting huge stashes of stuff. Usually the Collector is also viewed as a completest, since he has to have everything. It's the sort of person that would say something like "I am going to build every army from 40K!" and they usually do it. And it also means if someone is getting ride of something they are usually the first ones to grab or buy it.

The Gamer - This guy is the person who plays everything! He will play every minis game out there and most of the time his stuff is either not painted or assembled (which drives the Modeler crazy!). This is the guy that one week will be playing 40K and than a few days later is playing DBM, than Bloodbowl and than... you get the idea, he plays everything.

Now most miniature gamers like I mentioned above have some sort of each type in their gaming DNA. Although some types are more important than others, all of us gamers have these three traits in some form or the other. A example of a gamers DNA will look something like this, Gamer/Modeler/Collector or Collector/Modeler/Gamer or some other form, but you should get the picture. This is what people talk about when they mention "the Hobby" and what is important to them. It's good to understand what is important to you in "the Hobby" and you usually have friends that have the same sort of DNA.

Reason I bring this up is partly due to the conversation with Rob today about the Black Powder rules. It seems that Rick Priestly, Jervis Johnson and Paul Sawyer have a refreshing look at how they play games. They refer to playing "the Game" and not worrying about the little stuff with the rules. From what I have seen and heard from Rob, the Black Powder rules are very straight forward and pretty easy. It is clear that Rick, Jervis & Paul are of the Collector/Modeler/Gamer DNA makeup and you can tell from the rules. They are more interested in playing with their collections of nicely painted up stuff and not worrying about every little rule. They enjoy getting together to show off their stuff and hang out with each other. The "Game" is about having a good time with friends pushing nicely painted minis instead of worrying about all the troubles in the world.

I think this (Gamer DNA) is important to know about yourself and the other folks you game with. For the Rick,Jervis, Paul group, it is pretty clear where their interests are. If you understand how your DNA is it allows you to be able to enjoy the games more. I know there have been times that some folks rub me the wrong way and it was because of one of these traits was different from mine.

Will use me and my game group as another example, I am a Modeler/Collector/Gamer. I like nice looking models and rarely put anything down on the table unless it has been painted (yeah I am a paint Snob!). I tend to try to keep to the same manufacturer on all my builds and rarely mix and match figure companies. I also like having a good time and knowing that little rule that is easily forgotten is no big deal to me. Rob is the same sort of person, we both like the same sort of things.

Now my friend Mike is a Gamer/Collector/Modeler. He enjoys playing a different game each week and buys just about every (I know Mike I am exaggerating!) rulebook that comes out. He also doesn't care if he has paint on a figure or not, he just wants to play games.

Another friend Tom is a Collector/Modeler/Gamer. Tom like to buy stuff and is always working on getting a new something. He has so many trades going on he should be on the stock exchange! Tom likes to paint his own stuff when he has time and it is usually pretty hard to get a game in him since life is always keeping him busy.

So what's the point you ask? Well it is important to understand what each persons take of the "Hobby" is. For the crew who wrote Black Powder, it's about having a good time and pushing lead around. Once you understand your own groups game DNA, you may find you enjoy the games and time with them more.