About Me

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London, United Kingdom
A mythical beast - a female wargamer! I got back into wargaming in the summer of 2011 after a very, very long break. My current interests are Ancients, ACW, 30YW and SciFi gaming.

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Black Ops

No, I'm not suggesting that nefarious types are responsible for me not having finished painting the other three superheroes. That is my own doing. Unless the weather this week is really being controlled by the NWO/MIB/(insert your choice of conspiracy organisation here)...

Monday night saw me playing another game in the runup to Sunday's club game of Jutland; this time the stern chase from Dogger Bank. On Tuesday I was at a Safety/Fire/Facilities etc exhibition at the Excel all day and by the time I got home my hip and knee joints were aching like mad so I didn't feel like painting. Wednesday evening was hot and humid which left me too lethargic to do any painting. As for last night...

Well, I was playing Black Ops with Simon at the club, which provided a welcome break from all the stuff on TV and the 'net about the EU referendum. But that's enough about that - let's just say that we are now living in interesting times...

Anyway, back to Black Ops. For those that don't know these are the rules from Osprey, written by Guy Bowers (editor of Wargames, Soldiers & Strategy) for small unit modern special ops type games.

Simon's force was the People's Vegetarian Liberation Army, a bunch of pretty low quality types; I had the Colonel Sanders' Contractors who were (meant to be) a well trained effective paramilitary unit.

We'd agreed to try out the Stealth scenarios, just to see how they worked. After setting out terrain we rolled to determine the mission for the first game - sabotage. My Contractors had to blow up a cache of weapons (Simon decided that these were Tofu Grenades) in a compound; he was defending with half his force on guard patrol and the rest (including his "Ace") asleep in barracks. I split my force and came in from two edges - the plan was for one team to get into the compound and blow up the tofu stockpile while the other team provided cover.

Everything went well at first. My entry team got into positions without being seen and I decided it was time to enter the compound. Which was when things went tits up. There was a sentry right by the entry point who I decided to take out quietly in close quarter combat. My guy rolled a 1, Simon's sentry rolled a 6, my guy died, Simon's was now activated. What the heck, open fire! Unfortunately all my aimed shots missed their targets and I'd made enough nose to arouse Simon's Ace and activate him. And as he had potential line of sight to some of my guys, he was able to raise the alarm straight away (unless he rolled a one on his reaction roll, which he didn't).

Now, I had carefully positioned the support gunner from the entry team on the roof of a building overlooking the compound. Unfortunately, this turned out to be the barracks where the rest of the PVLA were quartered. They activated next, came out of the building and some started shooting while the rest made their way round to the steps up to the roof.

Meanwhile one of my guys had got into the compound and next to the Tofu cache. He just had to stay next to it for 2 activations and the job would be done. He almost made it, but the PVLA ace took him out (having walked straight past him once in the dark) before he could get the second activation. By then I'd lost 5 of my 8 guys and had to take a break test - I failed which meant my guys had to fall back, leaving the Tofu cache intact.

Sadly, my professionals didn't seem able to shoot for toffee. Mind you, his guys with the RPGs weren't much better as all there shots were complete misses (well, we did declare the first one as a hit on a tree which was behind the guy he shot at!). To a large degree I wasn't helped by Simon having a long run of activation cards which meant he was able to take out most of my unit without me being able to do anything about it.








We then took a short break before playing a second game. This time I was defending - the mission rolled was espionage and the site was a village. Simon had to steal a communication device (to stop Colonel Sanders broadcasting adverts extolling the eating of finger lickin' good chicken). Half my troops would be guards on table, the others were off table patrolling and would only come on when the alarm was raised.

Simon managed to get into the village undetected and get to the transmitter without the alarm being raised. Even after lots of gunfire and RPGs being fired (I rolled a few natural ones). Eventually the alarm was raised and my reinforcements came on. the riflemen must have been practicing as they were able to shoot and took out several PVLA guerillas (unlike their support gunner who still couldn't shoot for toffee and got killed almost immediately). However, numbers told and my unit was soon reduced to just two guys, with the transmitter having been stolen and sneaked out of the village almost unmolested (my "Ace" couldn't shoot for toffee either). In hindsight, I should probably have placed the transmitter more centrally as the PVLA got to it far too quickly, which meant there was less opportunity for my guards to spot them and for the alarm to be raised.








So, what do I think of the rules? They're fun and allow for fast, bloody play. They're quick to pick up, but the card activation can be quite brutal if one side gets a long run of activations. Before Black Ops we would have used Force on Force/Tomorrow's War for this sort of game, but it could be tediously slow and the initiative system was a pain. Black Ops allows for fast play, isn't complex but does capture the feel of this type of operation (OK, maybe a bit bloodier than it would be). The stealth rules played well as the guard reactions are dependent on the amount of noise you make getting there (noise markers are added for running, climbing, shooting etc) and guards only roll for reactions if they have potential line of sight to an attacker - otherwise they either stay still or move 3 inches straight ahead. the wording of the Observation rule and how it would work in stealth scenarios did cause some confusion.

Sunday, 19 June 2016

Super Sunday!

Well, I did a bit more work on all the figures this afternoon, before focusing on three which were nearest to completion. And I've finished them. So, here are some pics:

Dr E-Vil, The Dark Avenger and Ka-Pow














The remaining three should be quite quick to finish so you might get another post tomorrow or on Tuesday to show them off..

Saturday, 18 June 2016

Super Saturday

I've been taking things easy for the past few evenings (= no painting) to give myself a bit of a break after the SYW Russians. This weekend I'm making up for it bu cracking on with the Supers. I've made decent progress, with just one figure needing a lot more work to correct a cock-up I'd made with a wash after airbrushing the basecoat. See if you can guess which one.




Tomorrow I'll be carrying on, but might focus on one or two to take them to completion. The rest I'll complete during the week.

After these are done, my plan is to assemble and paint Tanya Tanker, the review figure I was sent by Raging Heroes. I won't be posting any WIP pics but might include some in my (eventual) review post. I still need to decide whether to leave her on a blank base, do my own basing or buy a suitable base topper and pin her to it.

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Hah! Surprise!

After posting last night I got caught up watching something on TV and ended up adding the basing gunk to the cavalry and commander bases while I was watching. Of course, that meant that they were ready for drybrushing and flocking this evening when I got home from work. And that is exactly what I've done. Which means that this batch is finished even earlier than expected, so on with the pics!


The whole batch


Kazanskiy Cuirassiers



Novotroitskiy Cuirassiers



Serbskiy Hussars



Vengerskiy Hussars



Generals


As you can see, I've used the "spare" grenadiers from earlier batches to add to these command bases.





And a shot of all my Russians so far to round off this post:


I'm going to need to get another box file as I've got another four foot regiments (plus another four eight at some point) to add and will be adding a lot more cavalry soon.

Monday, 13 June 2016

SYW Russian Generals Day Two

As predicted, I got the painting finished this evening, the satin varnish on shiny parts is drying and I've dabbed water around the figure bases to help loosen the PVA holding them onto the painting sticks. In a while I'll take them off the sticks and glue them onto bases.






That means that tomorrow I'll be able to add basing gunk to all of this batch - the generals, hussars and cuirassiers. Then on Wednesday evening I can drybrush the gunk and do the flocking and tufting and the batch will be complete.

Sunday, 12 June 2016

SYW Russian Generals Day One

"Two posts in one day? My word, she's treating us!"

Indeed I am, but the first one should really have been done yesterday although it wouldn't have been as far along.

Anyway, after getting chores done I cracked on with the six generals. It's amazing how quickly you make progress when there's just a handful of figures and the paint schemes are relatively simple. Here's where I've got to:



As the cloaks were such a large area with lots of folds, I gave them a blue wash then highlighted in the original shade.

All that's left to do is highlighting the flesh and the green of the uniforms, painting some details, the metalwork and touch-ups. I should be able to do all that tomorrow evening and might even be able to get as far as sticking them onto bases. That means this batch will be finished much sooner than anticipated...

Once these are done, I'll switch to the superheroes/villains for the guy at work, then I'll work on my review figure from Raging Heroes. After that it will be time to paint up some more Russian infantry (and place an order with Essex for some more cavalry - hussars, dragoons/horse grenadiers and cossacks).

Cuirassiers Day Four

I skipped doing any painting on Friday evening because I was feeling wiped out. Instead I had a good session yesterday, which saw me finish painting them and getting them varnished. So, that was Day Three. For Day Four all I've done is take them off the painting sticks and glue them onto their bases.

As you seem to like WIP pics, here's a few of them now that they're stuck onto their bases:








These are the Kazanskiy and Novotroitskiy regiments, which were converted to cuirassiers from dragoons. Although it isn't known exactly when they were issued with cuirassier uniforms and equipment I ended up painting them to show that they had. For a while I had toyed with the idea of painting them both with a mix of cuirassier and dragoon uniforms and equipment but abandoned that idea for simplicity.

Both regiments had the same flags, so to help with identification you will notice that I have placed the ensigns on different sides of the command base. To further help I've also done this:



I'm going to be doing this for all the Russians, which does mean a little bit of work is going to be required.

With these done, I've just got the six generals to paint which should be a fairly quick job, then I can do the basing for all of this batch, hopefully before next weekend.



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