Saturday, 27 June 2009

The History of Rome


No painting this week (or last week, or...) school's been pretty busy (I've been herding 5 year olds on and off stage for the school production!), but one thing I have managed to do is listen to the latest History of Rome podcast. The whole series is brilliant!

Mike Duncan is doing a fantastic job of bringing the long, and frankly complicated, history of the Roman people to the masses. Well worth the listen.

And Tracie - yes, tanks are big and hard to hide. But that does not mean that they should stick out like sore thumbs! A pink tank just does not 'work'!


Sunday, 21 June 2009

Ghosts of the Ostfront

Good afternoon,

I've just finished listening to Dan Carlan's Hard Core History latest pod cast Ghosts of the Ostfront (Part II). These pod casts are fascinating. He's got a highly detailed, yet conversational style that is very engaging to listen to.

The Punic Nightmare series of casts on the Punic Wars (shows 21 to 23) were brilliant! I highly recommend giving them a listen.


Saturday, 20 June 2009

Yet to be Kiwi Firefly...

Kiwi Shermans and Fireflies in Italy, 1944. From the 4th NZ Armoured Brigade page on the Kiwis in Armor site.

As part of my Crossfire Kiwi company bound for Italy, I decided to add a small armor detachment. I already have a couple of the HaT/Armorfast Shermans to work with my Americans (and their Armorfast M10), so why not? I'll use them.

And just as the Americans had the M10 for tank killing, the Kiwis will need their own tank killer. As can be seen from these contemporary photos, they used Fireflies for this role. (Interestingly, marked up as Americans - from the air at least.)

I simply built the Armorfast kit with the hatches open and stuffed in a spare Esci British commander as the tank commander. Sure, he doesn't have a tanker's helmet, but, hey, no worries!

Now painting a tank, that's something I haven't done before...


Sunday, 7 June 2009

A HOTT Night in June...Battle Two...

(And, in case some don't get the reference, it's winter down here in New Zealand)

Good evening,

After our first stouch of the evening, where my Skellies got well and truly done, thanks in no small part to my God shooting through without doing a thing (yeah, ok, the primary reason was actually poor deployment on my part, and then getting caught trying to re-deploy!), we lined up and went again.

This time I decided to trade in the O-So-Useless-God for a couple of Riders, who I knew would at least turn up for the show!

Adrian traded in one Horde for a Sneaker - a nasty great big spider. I don't like spiders...

And away we went. Again, I was the invader. Again, I didn't get the side I was wanting. Again, I didn't deploy very well...I was hoping he'd come through the terrain into my Hordes. Going between the terrain? Who'd a thunk it?!

I sent forward my Riders and started to make agressive type moves with my chariots (Knight / Hero / Knight), but, well, they were facing flyers, who I knew would be there one minute, and gone the next, so, well, what was the point?

(Caesar Skellies sitting atop some HaT Numidian and Indian (I think) horses. I had to cut their boney bums off so they'd sit proper like!)

And so it was that I simply moved off the hill, and then back onto it again!

(My Hero element)

"Ok," thought I, "if you want to come up the center, then I'll send a Horde of Skellies into the Bad Going to threaten your flank then." Seemed like a good idea at the time...

But then, who should turn up? That great hariy spider! My valient hordes managed to hold it off for one bound (@ +0 to +2, I might add), but, well, their demise was really never in doubt.

Then Adrian did something tricky. He flew his Flyers right over my Riders and landed behind them. I must say, I wasn't expecting that, and had no real answer for this new threat...

...especially when the flying death wing flew into the back of my riders!

Against the odds, my Skellies on horsies just got pushed back...straight into the first of five consecutive bounds where I managed to roll a big fat "1" for my PIP dice. Yep, "1" is the loneliest number!

Rather than give my advantage of the hill, I brought back on my spider eaten Horde in an attempt to threaten the fliers with getting ZOC'd. A slim chance, but it did seem to work for a while...

...ok, not for very long. Adrian's next bound saw one of the flyers break off and menace my overlapped left most Knight element. Bother.

Against the odds, my Knight survived the first onset, in spite of its support being recoiled along the line.

And back to rolling a 1! Still, I only needed 1 to move the boys into the fray...

...but they did little to postpone the inevitable! Moreover, even though my Hero managed to push back Adrian's Behemoth, suddenly he was all set to be on the receiving end of some serious mobbing. Stink!

In the meantime, Adrian's winged bringers of nastiness came in for another crack at my Riders. The odds weren't looking good...

...and neither were they.

At this stage my optimism was fading. I had an Aerial Hero floating around on my flank, my own Hero was about to be swamped, and Adrian was completely ignoring the bulk of my army. Bother.

Now Adrian rolled in for what we both expected to be the coup de grace. Figuring my Hero to be dead meat anyway, he moved his flyer to ensure my other Knight couldn't recoil when his Blade pushed it back. Or so he thought.

Incredibly, not only did my Hero bounce off both the Behemoth and his flanking Horde, the hard done by Knight actually ran through the Blade element, leaving the Flyer, well, in thin air!

(It had been some time since Adrian had played HOTT/DBA, and he had forgotten that Knights quick kill Blades...)

What a time to roll another 1 on the PIP dice! I could do nothing but watch and fret!

And so, with the initiative well and truly in Adrian's court, he moved a Horde to ZOC my Hero, and then was able to move over the Giant to quick kill my Knight. Bother. Still, fairs fair...I guess...

On the left flank, another attack was launched on my remaining hapless Rider. Incredibly, in spite of being overlapped, he managed to deal to the flyer! Now the tense stand off began, with my Rider feeling powerless to go up against Adrian's Arial Hero General, and Adrian believing that he couldn't break off due to ZOC issues. As I said, it had been a while since he played.

I would have told him that his General was free to do what he would, but I didn't know until after the would have made a huge difference to the outcome...

Finally I rolled a decent PIP dice. Now my Magician was to earn all of the points I had spent on him. With a deft magic attack, he produced a flee result on the Flyer who promptly flew off the board!

My Hero also tried to throw his weight around by attacking the closest enemy element. In less than Heroic fashion, he managed to give the Horde a good...pushing back...

This did, however, leave him somewhat exposed, and he was promptly contacted to the front and on both flanks - it was to be a tense 3 to 2 combat, were he to lose this one, that would be the game...

...but huzzah, he pushed through, so to speak, and managed to bounce the Horde and Behemoth. (The Blade wasn't in front edge contact, so remained where he was.)

After chasing down and finally dealing to the Horde, my gallant Hero turned to face the Giant. Ah, I finally had the PIPs to get the remaining Rider off the flank and head towards the action. If only he could get there in time...

(Notice the slowly encroaching Horde that had finally ZOC'd the Arial Hero. That was part of Adrian's confusion - how to disengage when ZOC'd...)

After a couple of tense rounds of stalled combats the Rider finally rode in to support his beleaguered Hero. At last, the tables were turning...

And so they did. With a Hero to the front, and overlapped by a front edge combat to its flank, the Giant finally came down in a screaming heap.

And that was that. All in all a very enjoyable, unexpected and tense game.

Thanks Adrian!


Saturday, 6 June 2009

A HOTT Night in June...Battle One...

Good evening,

Last night I went around to Robin's place for a pretty rare event - a wargame!

We were playing Hordes of the Things, and I decided to take my Skellies, as I had just (like, an hour beforehand!) finished basing my recently completed Hordes, God and Stronghold.

For the first game, I squared up against Adrian's 25mm Ral Patha Goblins, which consisted of...

  • 1 x Aerial Hero General

  • 2 x Flyers

  • 1 x Behemoth

  • 1 x Riders

  • 2 x Blades

  • 4 x Hordes

...with my Caesar 20mm [plastic] Skellies, which were comprised thusly...

  • 1 x Magician General

  • 1 x God

  • 1 x Hero (the Chariot with the flag)

  • 2 x Knights (the other Chariots)

  • 8 x Hordes (what's a Skellie army without a horde of Hordes?!)

Adrian set out the terrain, I rolled for my base edge, and got the one that I wasn't wanting, and away we went!

Soon after we began, I realized that my expendables/Hordes, like, the bulk of my army, what I have designed to be one of the army's strengths - to absorb the bulk of the hits from the enemy army while my hard hitters picked and chose their match ups - were facing, well practically nothing (Flyers can be there one moment, gone the next), while my relatively few close combat hard hitters were facing the bulk of Adrian's force.

Opps! And I had deployed after he did!

Ok, thought I, he'll stay on the hill (hey, who would turn down an easy +1 advantage in close combat? Turns out, Adrian, who didn't realize he had a +1 close combat advantage by staying on the hill!), so I've got time to redepoly...haven't I?

Rats! Adrian started moving forward both his Flyers and his troops on the hill.

I vainly tried to move forward some of the Hordes to try to head off his incoming Winged Beasties of Nastiness, but my real hope arrived in my next bound - the God arrived in the flank of his infantry. "Cool," thought I.

However, my jubilation was short lived...I rolled insufficient PIPs to actually command the God in my next bound (the General being too far away - apparently, this God is hard of hearing...), and then I rolled a "1" in the following bound...and he ran away! Arghhh!

In the meantime Adrian's flying column had headed off my chariots and, well...beheaded it!

Then his foot/Behemoth caught the Knights and made short work of them.

(All while the General sat hiding in the back!)

And that was it. Well done Adrian, that's some very clever tactics there.

We had time, so we set up again for a rematch...with some subtle changes...