Monday, November 28, 2016

Projects, New and Old

Hello everyone ... as the year is quickly coming to an end I'm working to finish some projects while already starting a new project for next year.

Pickett's Charge (work in progress)

Major progress has been made here.  I have my first play test of the scenario I posted about (link here) scheduled for December 18th and I'm going to get as much done as I can before then (will not be 100% complete ... but should have a lot more done than I do right now).  The good news is all the miniatures are painted.

The big progress here was getting my 6 foot by 8 foot teddy bear fur mat completed.  Fellow wargamer Dan Kerrick had stumbled upon this great couple from the East coast that do fur mats at very reasonable prices.  I had bought some of their generic wheat fields and green fields for my general gaming purposes and I've been really happy with them (see them used in my Bolt Action 2.0 game I played last weekend here).  In addition to their Ebay listing for their generic mats, they also take custom project requests ... such as my request for them to make my Pickett's Charge mat.  If you would like to get in touch with them drop me an email at and I'll give you an introduction.

Anyways ... I still have to pull out my stone walls, hedgerows, and trees (put them away after last weeks game in the Thanksgiving clean up) ... but I have two unpainted buildings put out that I will finish before the play test and my snake rail fencing ... which is primed but still in need of the grey drybrush to give them the aged/weathered look.  Anyways ... some phone pictures taken below as I start to stage the table and work through finishing the various details ...

The view from the Confederate side.

The view from the Union side.

In both photos above the Emmitsburg Road is crossing the middle'ish of the table with the Taneytown Road straight across the back of the Union position.

Looking toward the Union position.

The Emmitsburg road.

From the Union position ... the primed stone wall marks
the defensive line for the Union units (stone wall
turning to hedgerow).

Some new Union troops in the process of being based.

So, getting there but the project is clearly starting to take form.  I'll be running this game at DundraCon in February of 2017.

Omaha Beach Landing

I've not forgotten about this one ... but I have redesigned it a bit.  Originally (see here) my mat layout used a cliff that was a little to much of a cliff (to high).

Current configuration ...

I want to 1/2 the height of the cliff which will extend the width of the table but also create a gentler slope up to the top.  I have assembled all the beach obstacles and still need to finish assembling the remaining landing craft.  All troops are painted/done.  I need to build out two main bunkers as well.  I'm looking to run this game at KublaCon in May of 2017.

I also have a concept for extending the back of this table by 6 feet by 8 feet to do a "phase 2" game that has the allies push inland to take German artillery positions and such ... but that is not currently in plan for KublaCon ... but a future expansion of the scenario.

A New Project for 2017

Well ... a bit off the beaten path here.  I was looking to do Rorke's Drift in 2017 but honestly I'm a bit tired out on it having seen so many others do it (both locally and online).  I have all the stuff for it ... but I'm going to keep it all in the box for now.

I have not bought anything from Games Workshop for many - many long years.  I grew up on historicals and only when I moved to the SF bay area did I get into Warhammer fantasy for a while, before finding my way back to the light (and my sanity).

That being said, I've always enjoyed some of the secondary ranges from GW - such as Space Hulk and, Blood Bowl.  I went over to the GW site to order the newly released Blood Bowl.  I do like to laugh at GW prices so I poked around the website a bit.

Early last year the thought of doing Helm's Deep struck me ... but alas the GW range for LOTR was long discontinued.  Well, my poking around the GW website I stumbled into the fact that the entire LOTR range has been re-released under the Hobbit stuff.  Now, the prices are higher and you get less --- I did say GW right? --- but, at least it is far less than the insanity of Ebay.  Some deals can certainly be found out there, but many of the Ebay prices are worst that the retail cost GW is charging ... I guess word of the availability hasn't gotten around yet.

Anyways, having missed the boat the first time round, I decided I'm going to dig right into getting Helm's Deep done.  I was particularly inspired by another who did a bang up job with it ...

Check this project out ... and poke around the other
terrain projects he has done, spectacular.

Now, if you go to his site there he gives you a great walk through of how he built his Helm's Deep model.  Well, count me in!  My only change to his excellent design will be to make in modular instead of a fixed/dedicated tabletop (so, in short, something I can store easier).

I've already ordered and received my molds from Hirst (castle molds detailed on the "Onyx" blog)... pictured below.  I've also ordered the Woodland Scenics rock molds and enough dental plaster to build Minas Tirth ...

So ... with everything I need to build Helm's Deep and the deeping wall, I turned my eye towards the miniatures.  Now, ordering all this stuff still costs an arm and a leg from GW so I found some good deals on Ebay (despite all the crazy prices that are there) and most of all, a large Uruk-Hai army I had traded to my gaming buddy John Lantz many long years ago.  Well, I traded John my Star Wars X-Wing and Armada stuff and picked up all his Uruk-Hai (formerly mine) and Galadrium --- to which there is a butt load of both.

With these miniature acquisitions I have about 350 Uruk-Hai (troops, command, extras and such) and about 120 Galadrium (which is good, I only need about 40-50 for the scenario I'm thinking of, but I need to pick out the archer and sword arm poses from the bunch) and lastly about 60-70 Rohirum on foot (plus all the personalities and command stuff).

All in all this project I think is going to be impressive!  I'm targeting running this game at PacifiCon in 2017 (September).

Bolt Action Modern

I've not forgotten about Bolt Action Modern.  I've finally played Bolt Action 2nd Edition which was much needed and I've started to work on the updates to the rules -- the changes have given me lots of food for thought.

I've also contracted my 3D guy to do up a proper Canadian LAV III ... waiting to hear back from him on that front but once done I'll get a few of them printed off and overcome the last roadblock for getting my modern Canadians done.

Well .. there you have it ... all over the place as usual I suppose :-)

Monday, November 21, 2016

Bolt Action Version 2.0 Quick Reference Sheet

Well ... since I couldn't find a good QRS for Bolt Action version 2.0 that was actually based on going through the rule book (found one, but it was based on internet information, person had not gotten their rule book yet).

Either way, since I had the template already from doing the modern Bolt Action stuff, I made my own quick reference sheet for Bolt Action v2.0 (for World War 2, just in case that isn't clear yet) :-)

You can download the QRS in PDF format here.
You can download the QRS in PPTX format here.

You will likely need to install the font I used, called Asphaltic Scratch Rounded, which you can download from here.

The QRS is two double-sided pages but covers all the stuff from the book and all the special rules for weapons, units and vehicles.  Preview pictures below ...

I hope you all find it useful.

Bolt Action v2.0 Battle Report - Hold the Line

So, finally got a great game in ... and boy was it overdue!!

Roy Scaife, Dan Kerrick, and Wade Shows all joined me for a great game of Bolt Action 2nd edition.  The scenario was a British para platoon was holding a defensive line against a German counter-attack.  The British paras were just getting some tank support from British army forces entering the area.  I just had to use the great new church from Crescent Root Studio ... so deployed that on the table at "the edge of town."

The British paras were dug in along a trench line and the edge of the town with the British armour just advancing onto the table (partly coming through the town, part through a field).  The German forces all moved onto the table in turn 1.


Para Platoon (Veteran)

  • 1 x Officer (Captain) with 2 x Rifleman (SMG)
  • 1 x Medic
  • 2 x PIAT Teams
  • 1 x Sniper Team (deployed in the church tower, starting the game on Ambush)
  • 1 x MMG Team
  • 1 x Medium Mortar Team
  • 3 x Infantry Section (4 x SMG, 1 x LMG, 5 x Rifles each)
British Army Armoured Detachment (Regular)
  • 1 x Humber Scout Car (command vehicle)
  • 2 x Humber IV Armoured Cars
  • 1 x Armoured Troop (3 x Cromwell, 1 x Firefly VC)
  • 1 x Armoured Troop (3 x Sherman V, 1 x Firefly VC)


Fallschirmjager Group (Veteran)
  • 1 x Officer (Captain) with 1 x Rifleman
  • 1 x Medic
  • 1 x Sniper Team
  • 1 x MMG Team
  • 1 x Medium Mortar Team
  • 2 x Infantry Sections (1 x SMG, 2 x Assault Rifle, 1 x LMG, 1 x Panzerfaust, 5 x Rifles each)
  • 1 x SdKfz 251/1 (MMG)
  • 1 x SdKfz 251/10 (light AT)
  • 1 x SdKfz 251/9 Stummel (light howitzer)
  • 1 x JagPanther
  • 1 x Panzer V (Panther)
Heer Group (Regular)
  • 1 x Officer (Captain) with 2 x Riflemen
  • 1 x Medic
  • 1 x MMG Team
  • 3 x Infantry Sections (2 x SMG, 1 x LMG, 7 x Riflemen each)
  • 1 x Stug III G
  • 1 x Hetzer
  • 1 x Marder III
  • 1 x SdKfz 234 Puma Armoured Car


Trenches - We allowed firing over (enemy and friendly) units in trenches without penalty.  In addition to being heavy cover, we allowed units to increase their damage rating by 1 when in the trenches (much like the new building rules).

Smoke - A change from v1.0 was that originally when you missed with smoke, your opponent could place it anywhere within 6" of the target point.  In v2.0 that is now within 12" --- both the originally and new rule my group dislikes a lot.  When smoke shots are missed with scatter the smoke using a scatter die --- the number of inches depending on the size of the weapon.  E.g. --- for a light mortar we scatter D3+1, medium mortar is D6+1, heavy mortar is 2D6+1.


This was the funnest game of Bolt Action I've played for a long time ... if not ever.  There was a ton of action, it was very balanced, and the result was bloody.

Roy ran the British, with Wade assisting for a couple of hours (he couldn't make the whole gaming session).  Dan took the Heer and I played the Fallschirmjager.  Dan took the German force through the forest across from the trenches (in retrospect, we should have put the two MMG's over there to keep that side busy and thrown all the infantry at the other side ... but hindsight is 20/20).  I took the Fallschirmjager through the golden fields ... which ran red by games end.

We called it a draw, although slightly in the Germans favor because of the damage they had inflicted on the British armour ... but unfortunately, out of the 4 German tanks, three of them were immobilized at the end of the game with the other a smoking hulk.  The Jagpanther and Panther both got immobilized in turn 2 which really took the initial wind out of the sails for the German assault.

All but two of the British tanks were destroyed by games end ... and other than the trench positions, the paras on the town side had very little left to over resistance ... but the Fallschirmjager sections took heavy casualties getting across the field and really didn't have enough "umf" to get the ball over the goal line ... so the attack stalled about 2/3rds of the way across the field in front of the town (one Heer section also joined that assault but didn't fair any better).  I did try to lay smoke several times through the game in the field ... but the most important clouds either dispersed at the worst times or drifted in such a way that it was not very effective.

Overall I'm extremely pleased with the new rules changes and clean up.  Very well done Warlord.  Other than ignoring the turret jam crap (as mentioned before, I took a black sharpie to that part of the rulebook ... redacted) and scattering the smoke misses ... everything worked great!

Lots of (phone) pictures below ...

Alright then, onto the next thing! :-)