Friday, December 27, 2013

The Christmas Massacre: A 1000 point battle report for the Station 42 War

 December 25th 3032:  Members of the Titania militia attacked the Redwing Farm late in the afternoon on Christmas day.  The farm has been operating under the management of the Smith and Wilson Agriculture Corporation for over a year now and a small garrison of Hell Knight mercenaries were stationed there to defend the facility.
 The Hell Knights had little warning of the attack but managed to respond quickly to the threat.  With no armor on site a LAGAREV transport and a single short range missile launcher provided the mercenaries with heavy support.  
The attack was led by militia leader Ivar "Bear" Belyakov and consisted of about 28 militia member and three improvised armored vehicles.
 At least three snipers were among the militia force although two were killed in the fighting.  Early in the battle it appeared that the militia members would be beaten back by the mercenary defenders.
 After the Hell Knights afv was taken out of action the tide of the battle began to turn.  The militia infantry carefully used the farm's out buildings as cover as they moved into position.
 One unit of Hell Knights did manage to destroy two of the militia improvised armored vehicles and force a unit to fall back.
 The other Hell Knight unit did not fair as well.  Facing Bear's men, a sniper, and a technical vehicle the right flank of the mercenary defense began to crumble.
 The other unit of Hell Knights left their defensive position in an attempt to reach their comrades.  They traded fire with a few militia as they advanced which slowed their progress.  
 Despite efforts to aid them the mercenaries fighting Bear's unit died to a man including a mercenary officer presumed to be their leader.
 With only six member of their squad left standing the remaining mercenaries withdrew from the field.  
The last shots of the battle were fired by the mercenary missile emplacement which killed a few militia and routed the rest of their unit which allowed their comrades to escape the field.

Notes:  We gave the militia 1200 points vs the mercenaries 1000 points in this battle because we have found in the past if one side gets any kind of defensive position from the start that it really unbalances the game.  Also this was a surprise attack that we did as much to move the story line along as anything.  It wasn't that we pitched the battle specifically for the militia to win but we did want them to have a slight advantage.  My wife really used the terrain well pinning down my units with her "technicals" and snipers while Bears assault rifle armed unit moved into place.  With a rate of fire of 2 they are usually devastating at close range although they lack the skill of my trained mercenaries and they had the high ground as well.  All in all I think it was a fun little fight and it worked out well for the story line.  The militia were able to make off with some badly needed supplies and bloody the mercenaries which will bolster their recruitment and allow them to hold out a while longer.  
The insurgency phase of the campaign is about wrapped up.  We have some interesting things in store for the next phase of our little war.    

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Martian Troopers and Wolfhound Veteran finished!

 Well we had a productive December 25th and we managed to finish up the troops on the paint table.  I got the Wolfhound Veterans done.  I'm not quite as happy with the way they turned out for some reason.  They look okay to me but not quiet as nice as the other Wolfhounds for some reason.  I did some object source lighting on the plasma gunner and I think I got a bit heavy but OSL has never been one of my strong points.
My wife shamed me by finishing up 13 M.S.S.R. troopers in the same time it took me to finish the 6 veterans I painted and I think they turned out really nice.  The old Vor troopers look a little large next to the Pig Iron troopers but I think they look good.  They are standing straight up and almost all the Pig Iron troopers are crouched a bit.  We may replace the Vor troopers eventually but at the moment we are trying out best to use the things we have and not spend a lot of money.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Martians and Wolfhounds on the paint table!

 We have been working on more forces for the Station 42 War the last couple of days.  Above are some Martian Soviet Socialist Republic forces my wife has been painting.  They are just about finished.  All she needs to do is finish up the bases.
I'm getting pretty close to finishing the Wolfhound Veterans and Assassin as well.  I still have the metallics and bases to do on them.  Hopefully they were all be finish later today or tomorrow.  We hope to have a small campaign skirmish tonight as well so these might not get done as soon as I would like.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Battle of the Smuggler's Camp: A 1500 point No Limits game report for the Station 42 War.

 Sunday December 15th 3032:  Early Sunday morning a patrol of Hell Knights mercenaries operating out of Station 42 engaged a group of insurgents off loading supplies at a smuggler's camp about 8 kilometers east of the spaceport.
 The Mercenaries attacked swiftly with three light APCs and a light hover tank supporting a light mech.  The insurgents seem to have been caught unprepared but they quickly rallied and fought back.
 Several militia improvised armored vehicles arrived on the scene trading fire with the mercenaries.  Among the insurgents was a squad of Wolfhound Friekorps and a Wolfhound APC.
 The Hell Knights quickly overwhelmed the insurgents right flank but were stalled by the determined resistance of Boon's Militia and the Wolfhounds.
 The Insurgents managed to destroy two Hell Knight APCs and push the light tank back.  The Hell Knights mech picked off the last of Boon's Militia but slipped and fell on some loose ground near one of the smugglers ship.
 The remaining Hell Knight APC charged the center of of the insurgents line and offloaded it's squad which engaged in hand to hand fighting with some Venture Star Miners while also trading fire with the Wolfhounds.
The mercenary mech regained it footing and attacked the insurgents field cannon and sniper killing them both.  The Wolfhounds APC was destroyed by the Hell Knights light tank and the rest of the Wolfhounds were killed by the mercenary APC.  The remaining miners immediately surrendered.  The smugglers ships managed to take off and escape in the confusion.  Other insurgents seen approaching the battle broke off and fled Northeast.

Notes:  This was a brutal battle that turned into a complete rout of the insurgents.  Most of the mercenary vehicles were heavily damaged and two were destroyed but I only lost one trooper.  I think my wife should have brought the rest of her reserves onto the board much more quickly but that's always a hard call.  

Monday, December 23, 2013

Jägers Painted!

 Well I got the Jägers painted up today.  This brings the total Wolfhound force up to 18 troopers 2 tanks and 1 APC.  Not bad so far.
I was kind of worried that the color for the bases would blend too much with the color of their coats but I'm pretty happy with the way they turned out.  It seems one of them lost his canteen along the way but I may be able to fix that some time in the future.

I'm really happy with the way they turned out.  I was also kind of worried that using the same heads would look goofy but I think it worked out well.  Pretty soon I think we are going to have a battle between the Wolfhounds and the Hellknights.  I would bet we have close to enough Wolfhounds for a 1500 point battle as it is.  With those super heavy tanks we might even have more than that.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Jägers on the paint table!

I started painting my Jägers today.  I used a WWII German camouflage pattern as inspiration for their coats and some German Camo Dark Green paint from Vallejo.  I'm planning on painting their flat caps and Packs German Fieldgrey but most of the rest of their kit will be black.  I'm pretty happy with the way they are progressing.  Hopefully we will see more Wolfhounds in our campaign soon.

Monday, December 16, 2013

My Current Hell Knights Army and the painted Woflhounds force

 Just felt like posting a pic of my Hell Knights army as it stands at this point.  There are 56 troops and 13 vehicles bringing the army total to 69 pieces.  Of course I have quite a ways to go before I "finish" this force but it's a pretty decent army worth several thousand points in No Limits which give my quite a bit of variety for most games in our campaign.
The Wolfhounds have a much more modest force but considering that at the end of October they consisted of only one six man squad I'm very happy with the progress I have made.  I'm planning on focusing on this force for my winter work break and hopefully I will add another 12 troops and a few more vehicles so it will be a nice little army by early in January.

Wolfhound Infiltrators build.

 I spent part of the weekend putting together a few more figures for my Wolfhound Freikorps army.  The assassin is a Reaper miniature with a SMG from the Wargames Factory Male Zombie Survivors boxed set.  The Jägers are built from Wargames factory Shocktroopers using the flat cap head for every member of the squad.  They will be infiltrators for the army serving as scouts but they will have veteran stats so they will be more like Rangers or Commandos than Scouts.
I used entirely too much kit for these guys and used entirely too many kits to scavenge the pieces.  I even scratch built two sets of grapple lines out of green floral wire.  They are kind of ruff and I considered ordering some better bits to customize these guys but I decided I should stick with some stuff I already have because my game budget seems to get tighter every month.
These guys will probably be a pretty expensive squad since each member has a rifle, pistol, and hand to hand weapon as well as grapple lines but I think they will be effective.  They are also going to be a pain in the butt to paint.  I will probably paint their coats in some kind of Germanic looking camouflage.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Wolfhound Freikorps: Shocktrooper Squad Painted!

Got the new squad of Shocktroopers painted up for my Wolfhound Freikorps.  This is the second squad for that army I have finished.  Next up is the veteran squad then I need to assemble some more.

The first step to solving the problem is admitting you have one.........

 I wasn't sure if I should make this post or not.  I took these pics over a week ago and was going to do this post at that time but then I decided against it.  Now I have changed my mined again.  A few weeks ago I decided that I seriously needed to re-organize my game stuff and purge some of the crap I have collected over the years.  I do this fairly often with varied amounts of success.  I have not done this since my last move and things are getting very out of hand.
 I have been collecting miniatures for about 28 years now.  I started when I was 10 or 11 and I still have some of my "first" miniatures.  My wife started the hobby when we started dating 19 years ago so for almost 20 years both of us have been buying miniatures and collecting other hobby related things.  Our daughter is 17 and even though she is not at into miniature gaming as my wife and I are she does game and has acquired a fair amount of gaming stuff herself.  
Two adults and one almost adult can sure collect a lot of gaming stuff.  Like I said we have purged and re-organized several times in the past but our collection is still huge.  Thousands of miniatures.  Hundreds of game books and all the supplies needed to do the "hobby".
We are also very adept at building our own terrain out of both traditional materials and random junk as anyone who follows this blog is aware.  That makes for a massive collection.  Our half finished and abandoned projects amount to more than a lot of gamers collect and we have a large collection of finished projects as well.

As I said right now we are in the process of re-organizing and purging yet again.  The pics above were taken a couple weeks into the process.  If we don't do this every now and again our project progress becomes impossible because we end up spending most of our time either looking for stuff we have misplaced or trying to find table space to work on things.  The problem is that we are at that critical stage where the things is getting away from us because of the sheer scope of the problem.  The pics above only show perhaps a quarter of our "hoard" and they are also the result of two weeks of purging quite a few things.

To be perfectly honest I feel like I need to get rid of 75% of my collection and I would still have enough stuff to keep me busy for a very long time.  In reality I will be lucky to actually unload or pitch 10% of the crap partly because I"ll probably get burned out before I get done with the process but even that will help.
My biggest fear is that right now we have plenty of room for a gaming stuff.  In fact we could cram a whole lot more stuff into our gaming and studio space without it taking over the rest of the house but I can't be sure that we won't end up in another place in the future that just isn't going to have room for the stuff we have.

 We have been in that situation before and had it pretty much take over the rest of the house.  That's not really fun.  I'm not really a hoarder by nature and while I can put up with clutter in certain areas I can't stand when it takes over the house and it gets to the point that I am embarrassed to even open the door when someone stops by much less have company over.

Anyway the point is that even though I love to game and I am lucky enough to have a wife and family who love it as well that in itself can be as much a curse as a blessing.  It makes it easy to over collect and over spend on gaming stuff and that can cause real complications.  I hope to get on top of this situation before I give up on it and just shove everything back into boxes and back into the corners and closets which won't help a dang thing.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Building the Wolfhounds

 We've started building up some new squads for the Wolfhound Freikorps.  At the moment we only have one squad done and three vehicles.  Getting the force to numbers we can field is part of our Winter projects this year so over the weekend and the last couple of days I put together a couple of squads for the army.
Above is a regular Shocktrooper squad built from the Wargames Factory Shocktroopers box.  I added a vox caster from the Games Workshop Cadian Imperial Guard squad to make one of them a com specialist.

For my Veteran Shocktrooper squad I used heads from the Wargames Factory Shocktrooper Heavy Weapons squad box.  I used some small backpacks from the Wargames Factory Male Zombie Survivors box on 5 of the squad members and a communications pack from a Games Workshop Catachan Jungle Guard squad.  I used a Games Workshop Plasma rifle for one of the special weapons trooper and a sniper rifle from a Wyrd miniatures modern weapons pack. (Or at least I think that is were I got it.)

Hopefully I will have these squads painted up soon.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Tanksgiving: Project Wrap Up!

Well I went a little over my deadline wrapping this up but I'm okay with that.  I managed to get 9 tanks and armored vehicles finished in one month for my Tanksgiving project and since I didn't start till the end of the first week of November and I just finished these at the end of the first week of December I'm still pretty happy with my progress.
I finished four vehicles for my Hell Knights Mercenaries bringing their vehicle total up to 13.  Three of the tanks are for my Wolfhound Friekorps which is my next big army project.  Two of them I just painted up as generic mercenary tanks for general use.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Tanksgiving update: Well Crap!

Well today didn't go as planned.  This is all the progress I made on my Tanksgiving marathon.  Not exactly what I had hoped for.  I just had too many things pop up today and I got too distracted with other task one of which I will detail tomorrow.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Tanksgiving Update: 5 Vehicle Mix!

I've been trying to finish up a few more tanks for my Tanksgiving marathon so I spent the last two days trying to build up several of my half finished projects.
My wife built the grey APC from the body of a cheap "Army Man" Patton tank.  We are going to be using it for the Wolfhounds.
The green 6x6 is from Secret Weapons Games and it is the only "kit" model I have done for this project.  It also cost about what the rest of the tanks in the project cost combined but it is a very nice model.  If I had the budget I'd buy at least a squadron.  I may pick up some more in the future.
The two smaller hover tanks in the front are based of a Matchbox toy.  These "Douglas" Medium Hover tanks are for my Hell Knights.  I already have one of these completed so this will bring me up to a full squadron.
The large hover missile launcher is a variation of my Landshark AFV called the "Hammerhead".  It is also for my Hell Knights.   It is built from a toy LAV-25 which came in a set from Dollar General and included the missile launcher as a tow behind weapon.  I simply converted it into a missile turret.
Hopefully I will get these painted by tomorrow night.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Tanksgiving Update: Two heavy tanks finished!

I finished these two tanks up today for my Tanksgiving Marathon.  This brings me up to four finished tanks.  Both are based on a $3.00 toy tank I picked up at the Dollar General store.  The green one is pretty much just a paint up and the camouflage one has had it's tracks removed and replaced with hover drives I scratch built from cheap razor handles.
Obviously the design owes a lot to my M1 Abrams MBT but it is a bit more narrow in design.
In my setting these tanks are produced by the same company.  The hover tanks obviously has less armor but greater speed.  The design designation will be the Laird MBT and Laird HHT respectively.  I've painted the hover tank up for my Hell Knights army with the company markings.  The tracked version I have painted up to be a part of a generic mercenary motor pool I am building so I have gone without giving it a company or national marking and have instead simply given it a name and number.
I intended to photograph these with some miniatures to show their scale.  They are pretty big.  Defiantly "heavy" tanks although they are not as big as the two Ligers I just finished. I'm happy with the way they turned out and they will likely be making an appearance in my campaign very soon.  

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Tanksgiving Progress Report: Heavy Anti-Grav Tank built!

I've been working on converting this $3.00 Dollar General tank to a hover tank for the last couple of weeks and it is basically built.  Enough to show it off anyhow.  The underside is a bit of a mess so I'm probably going to do a bit more finish work on it.
The drive is made from cheap shaving razor handles also purchased at the Dollar Store for $1.00 per 12 pack.  I used 8 to build the drive.  I used the same system on my "Hobelar" light anti-grav tank also for the Hell Knights.
The tank is shown here with my Hell Knights Mercenaries who use anti-gravity or "hover" vehicles exclusively.  This tank will probably be designated the "Laird" and it will likely be the heaviest tank in the Hell Knights arsenal.  
Hopefully I will have it painted up and ready for the table in a day or two.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Tanksgiving Concept: Converting tanks to APCs

 I was looking for an APC solution for my Wolfhound Friekorps which would be as economical as possible.  One of my goals with that army is to make it as cheaply as possible and use a lot of toy conversion.  Using the Wargames Factory Shock Troopers is a good start because I can get a box of them from for about $15.00.  So far I have picked up a couple of boxes and some heavy weapons troopers so I only have about $45.00 spent on a heavy platoon so far.  I also picked up a couple of $5.00 toy tanks so the entire army is still under $60.00.  The problem is that there are far fewer toy APCs to convert than toy tanks.  My first thought was to find some type of toy Humvee and convert it but I didn't really feel like that would suit the style of the army.  I'm trying to build a mechanized armored cavalry platoon for under $100 so I needed a cheap solution.  That's when I came across the idea of converting tanks into APCs.  The Israeli Defense Force have converted a number of tanks to APCs over the years.  Above is a Achzarit APC built off the hull of a Soviet T-54/55.  
 Here is another shot of the Achzarit from the back showing the added troop hatch.  I really like this concept in particular for the Wolfhounds because it fits some of the things I have in mind for their background.  They are not a very resource rich mercenary company but they do improvise a lot.

 Here is another IDF APC called the Namer based on a Merkava tank.  This is obviously a much more modern design than the Achzarit.
 Here is a shot of the Namer with some U.S. soldiers using it during a test.  It is a very large APC which I think might be good for the powered armor troopers I play to add to the army in the future.
 This is an IDF Puma.  More of a combat engineering vehicle than a true apc.  I just wanted to include it because I thought it might make a nice project.
 This is a VIU-55 Munja.  A Serbian combat engineer vehicle also based on a Soviet T-55.
 This is an IDF Nagmachon based on a Centurion Sho't hull.  It is ugly as sin but I think it might be an interesting concept to design for a future project.
 The IDF Nakpadon is based on then Centurian as well.  It looks very heavy with all that reactive armor.
 Another shot of the Nakpadon.
This is an Indian Tarmour based on a T-55 as well.  It's also pretty ugly but looks like a simple conversion.