Saturday, February 28, 2015

What Have We Here...?

On Thursday this week this great big box arrived...

Yeah, that's the Reaper Miniatures Bones 2 Kickstarter...

It actually arrived just as we were getting ready to head out to violin lesson. Never was it harder to force ourselves to go out to our violin lesson!

We spent a couple hours sorting them out Thursday evening.

We left the boy sorting them while I took The Girl to her Tap Dance Class. She didn't even want to go. She's NEVER not wanted to go to Tap... She's gotten weepy and pouty on the rare occasion that I wasn't able to get her to Tap.... THAT's how excited everyone - including The Girl - was about the arrival of all these goodies.

After we got home we got them all sorted out and figured out who gets what (and thus who's painting them!)

Our respective collections (mine is in the middle - we really did get in on this so I'd have relatively inexpensive stuff for the kids to paint while they're still learning to paint). Io picked one or two things I was actually interested in, and then got what no one else could be talked into taking... The Boy's collection looks a bit bigger than The Girl's, but that's because he picked more large beastly-monster type things.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

11th Annual Wargaming Birthday Bash

For the last decade and a bit I’ve been celebrating my birthday with friends, dice and little men made of lead. Sometimes it’s just one big game the evening or afternoon of my birthday – or other times it’s been an entire weekend affair on a weekend close to my birthday.

For this year I’d originally planned to run a Song of Shadows and Dust campaign over the Family Day long weekend two weeks ago… but that kind of fell through. I DID end up playing games all weekend - which was super fun – it wasn’t quite the minicon/campaign weekend it’s been in the past… and it was two weeks ago… it was more… well… a long weekend of playing games with the family (and a few friends) and didn’t seem at all connected with my birthday (except for the fact that "John brought me two Dr. Grogdbort graphic novels as a birthday present!

I briefly considered setting something up for my actually birthday (last night)… but never got around to organizing anything or inviting anyone… so my birthday this year was rather…. “low key”…

We started off the day with Amanda scurrying off to work while the kids and I dragged our butts out of bed. After breakfast and violin practice we did  a bit of reading – finishing off a book about Atalanta (the ancient Greek heroine). Then we had a bit of a climbing jam:

The Boy.

Not bad for an old feller... 

It makes me weep to think I was once that flexible... 

After lunch we played Olympus (I totally forgot to take a picture for this report… doh!) and I totally crushed the kids again… or maybe they let me win – because it WAS my birthday…

After that I had to haul The Girl out to her jazz dance class. When we got home and supper had been eaten and baths had been had and Amanda went out to teach her Wednesday evening yoga class, the kids and I had been planning to just play another board game or card game… but I got thinking it’s been and awfully long time since we’ve actually PLAYED a miniature game… and I’d been rereading Fear and Faith and the kids have their own zombie and survivor miniatures that they’ve never actually got to play with… so I talked them into letting me set up a little zombie scenario and we had a private little Wargaming Birthday Bash after all…

Fear and Faith


WE pretty much used the “Zombie Infestation” scenario right out of the book, with the exception that the survivors had only 200 points and the zombies had 300.

 Also I added that the survivors were looking for supplies and could alternately win if the could locate 3 batches of supplies and exit with them off their own table edge. To locate supplies they had to enter a building then spend an entire turn searching it (quality roll on three dice – 2+ successes = supplies found, 1 success = try again next turn, 3 failures = no supplies in this building). Supplies were heavy and required two hands to carry – one person could do it but move would be reduced to short, if two carried it they could move at medium. An action was required to pick it up. If engaged by zombies they automatically dropped the goods.

 Some of the zombies could also be hidden in buildings – I dug out my old Zombie Hot Spot Markers to mark the different buildings (1-6 – though I suppose The Boy could just have easily written the names of the businesses for the buildings which zombies were hidden in…).


The Survivors – played by The Girl

 (All of these were assembled and painted by The Girl – cut her some slack, she’s 8 years old…)

Amanda – Zombie Hunter with Chainsaw
Q 3+, C 2, 52 points, Chainsaw

Shelly – Zombie Hunter with Machete
Q 3+, C 3, 36 points, Heavy Weapon

Susan – Zombie Survivor with SMG
Q 4+, C 2, 24 Points, SMG (+1, Medium, Move & Shoot, Auto)

Sally – Zombie Survivor with SMG
Q 4+, C 2, 24 Points, SMG (+1, Medium, Move & Shoot, Auto)

Mackenzie - Zombie Survivor with Shotgun
Q 4+, C 2, 23 Points, Shotgun (+2/+1, Medium)

Jessica – Zombie Survivor with Pistol
Q 4+, C 2, 21 Points, Pistol (+1, Short)

Clarissa – Zombie Survivor with Golf Club
Q 4+, C 2, 20 Points, Heavy Weapon

The Zombies - played by The Boy

 (All of these were assembled and painted by the kids – The Boy painted the male zombies and, despite the fact that he had plenty zombies to field his own force, he borrowed a few of the female zombies from The Girl, just to have a little gender diversity among the undead. He’s thoughtful that way…)

15x Walking Dead
Q 5+, C2, 21 points, Zombie, Mindless, Short Move,

(I tired to convince him to take only 5 of the regular "Walking Dead" and 6 of "Grouped Walking Dead" with the "Mob" special rule, but he would have none of that...) 


(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)

The Kids all set up and ready to go.

Only four of The Boys zombies were out in the street. Four of them were hidden in buildings and the remaining seven were off the table waiting to come on as reinforcements. One of them only made two moves in the entire game.

I had a feeling things were going to go badly for the zombies – 5+ quality means at least two thirds of his guys are just not going to do stuff rolling two dice for activation is a pretty risky proposition… odds are it will result in the end of a turn…

Amanda the Zombie Hunter with a Chainsaw burst in the back door of Curt’s Comic Cave and found a zombie waiting in there for her.

(the buildings don't open, so anyone on the roof is actually "inside")

She quickly dissected it with her chainsaw and began to search for supplies… not sure what sort of supplies they were hoping to find in a comic store… perhaps back issues of The Walking Dead to learn more about what they’re up against?

Shelly didn’t fare so well across the street at the Supply Sergeants Surplus Store – there were two zombies waiting there for her. She put up a bit of a fight – and took out one of them – but was eventually overpowered by one and eaten…

One of the Zombies that had started in the middle of the table finally made its way to where Susan and Clarissa had been cowering since the first turn – unable to move. Amanda saw it shamble past and burst out the front door to saw it in half.

Unfortunately all this noise out in the street drew the attention of some of the zombie reinforcements.

Mackenzie tried to shoot one of the other zombies that had wandered up from mid table. Her first attempt she only had one action so could only push back or knock it down – she rolled high enough to triple it - which would have been a gruesome death for a normal person – but her shot just blew away part of its ribcage and it staggered away from her, but it shambled on. (zombies can only be taken out by AIMED short – i.e. to the head – I’d be willing to say that tripling it could cause enough trauma that it could be taken out of action in the future… we’ll see…)

The next turn she did get the two actions she needed to take an aimed shot and blew its head clean off!

Somewhere around this time the zombie that had eaten Shelly, shambled to the door and ate Sally – who had been standing there doing nothing for a few turns perhaps in shocked silence after witnessing the gory death of her comrade… or maybe she was just standing their screaming the whole time… not sure… but she got eaten too.

The reinforcement zombies tha arrived near the Comic Cave chased Susan and Clarissa out of their hiding spot. One of them gunked up Amanda’s chainsaw and caused it to stall… luckily she got it started again before anything dreadful happened.

All the ruckus – screaming and sawing and shotgun blasts – eventually drew the attention of the remaining zombie reinforcements.

Amanda steped in and sawed through two zombies that were trying to get at Susan.

Unfortunately Susan suffered a gruesome death that caused Amanda to recoil in horror and Clarissa to flee into the building. Eventually Clarrisa picked up the supplies in the building and made her way out the back door with them and back to their encampment… 

A zombie shambled forward and tried to take a bite out of Jessica, but she managed to knock it down long enough to make good her escape. At this point The Girl decided to cut her losses and try and escape with what she could.

Mackenzie knocked down a few more zombies wither shotgun, but they just wouldn’t STAY down because she couldn’t get her sh!t together enough to AIM FOR THE HEAD… Amanda finished off the zombies out front of The Comic Cave and came running to try and help Mackenzie, but she was too late. The zombies ate her and Amanda failed a fear test and ran off the table.

Of the seven that went looking for supplies only three came back.

Of the nine zombies that were killed – seven were taken out by Amanda and her chainsaw! Chainsaws are wicked awesome against zombies!

The kids had a great time – it has been WAY too long since we actually played a miniature skirmish. I think this may actually be the first one so far this year!? Hopefully this will inspire us to do some MORE!

I like Fear and Faith – there are some subtle differences between it and A Song of Blades and Heroes and – being the big dummy that I am – I sometimes had trouble keeping them straight and/or just forgot, but it made for a fun and interesting game and I’m looking forward to playing it some more! Though I’m tempted to have a go at Flying Lead… or perhaps Flashing Steel… too many games, not enough time!

Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

Not sure… more painting…? Another game report…? 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

A Few Germans

I finished up a few Germans – just to complete an early war German platoon…

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version):

The two in the middle are from West Wind Productions, the pairs flanking them are from Crusader Miniatures

I’ll post some pictures of the entire platoon in the 28mm World War Two Gallery shortly.

Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

A game report of the 11th Annual Wargaming Birthday Bash!

Sunday, February 22, 2015

World War Two Soviets

I've updated the 28mm World War Two Gallery and added new pictures of the complete force of Second World War Soviets...

Go check them out.

28mm WW2 Soviets – Done and DONE!

Last evening I finished up one more batch of WW2 Soviets and this lot finished off ALL of the 28mm WW2 Soviets I have (and ever hope to have!).

Hopefully later today (or perhaps tomorrow) I’ll get to posting pictures of the entire force on my 28mm World War Two Gallery. I do like taking pictures outside for the best lighting... but it's -40°C with the windchill this morning... so perhaps tomorrow. In the meantime you will have to live with some pictures taken indoors of these last few I just finished up...

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version):

A few Officers and Staff from  West Wind Productions

Here are the rest of the Officers, Staff and characters. These would make up the company command, perhaps some forward observers, and perhaps visitors from the Battalion or Regimental HQ – there’s even a General and good ol’ Comrade Stalin himself in that lot.

One more sniper from Black Tree Design

Four more Russian zombies – also from West Wind Productions.

They make up a horde of 20 russian zombies. It may not seem like much of a horde (compared to the 100+ regular Soviet infantrymen I have!?) but it’s a large enough horde for a small group of player characters in a role-playing game (or heroes in a smaller skirmish) to deal with – and I do have LOTS of other zombies I could add in that aren’t specifically Russian – but could be passed off as such  - as there are a bundh of my other horde in various shades of khaki rags - or poor 1940s Russian civilians that have also been turned…

Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

Gosh… where to go from here… paint more stuff… PLAY SOME GAMES!? 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Finishing Off More WW2 Soviets

Continuing with the drive to finish off my 28mm WW2 Soviets – I bring you the last of the tanks and casualties (and a couple others)!

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version):

Three T-34/76 tanks from West Wind Productions.

A few years back West Wind had a huge sale and I think these were 40 or 50% off… the pound sterling was also dropping at that point (at least compared to the Canadian Dollar…)

So I bought a platoon of  five T-34, a troop of Shermans for my Canadians, and a Tiger, two Panthers and a later Panzer IV… I have yet to assemble the German tanks.

The entire platoon of T-34s. If I hadn’t been so lazy I probably should have converted a few of the commanders to take some other pose… ah well…

Four remaining casualty figures I had to finish up from  Black Tree Design.

I have a LOT of Soviet casualty markers… Mind you I have a LOT of soviet infantry, so… probably not enough casualty markers to mark every dead - if I were ever to field the lot of them in a single, en masse attack on a German position – but enough to litter the field with some of the dead and injured...

Two other odd items found in the WW2 Soviet box. A  Black Tree Design sniper and a spy (or some such) from Blue Moon Manufacturing.

Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

I have a few officers and odd things to finish up then all the WW2 Soviets will be DONE! I think there's less than 20 at this point. Then it'll be time to do a massive update to the 28mm World War Two Gallery!

I should do the WW2 British/Canadian Paras as well – they have less than twenty of those needing to be finished up… 

Also on the workbench: Scottish Jacobites, Mediaeval casualties and bandits, post-post modern gang members, Ghost hunters, etc, etc… 

Monday, February 16, 2015

Family Day Long Weekend (of GAMING!)

In the Province of Saskatchewan The third Monday of February is a statutory holiday called Family Day. This Family Day long weekend we had a Weekend of Gaming!! Originally I’d planned to have a Song of Shadows and Dust campaign – but that kind of fell through as only Paul (in Winnipeg) and Terry (in Edmonton) showed any interest and so I decided to call it off – it seemed a bit much to ask them to collectively drive almost 1300km just to play games with each other and possibly me and The Boy… AS it turned out this was really for the best as we ended up having a massive blizzard over the weekend and the roads and highways are just awful!

The complete and utter lack of interest/response from my regular gaming pals for this weekend put me into a bit of a gaming funk for a bit… and then I missed Freezerburn and spent  five days in hospital (not related)… after that I decided “screw it” I’ll have a weekend of just gaming with my family. And after another bit I decided to invite a few others to join in as well….

Here’s how it all went down...

Friday Evening - 13 February 2015

I ran a Call of Cthulhu adventure called Cold Harvest. I used a homebrew mash-up set of rules using elements of Fear and Faith, Flying Lead, and A Tale of Blades and Heroes. I wanted something simple so the focus would be on the “role-playing” and not the system of rules. I wanted the focus to be on the role-playing as the adventure is investigation heavy with very little action. Unfortunately I also wanted to run it as a one-shot, one evening adventure… and one of the three players had to spilt just after 10pm giving us only three hours to play it in… so I tired to rush it a bit… and left bits out (some on purpose, others because i forgot about them in the rush)… and then we didn’t even get to really finish it… so it was a bit of an anticlimactic fizzle to start off the weekend. Luckily things went up from there.

Saturday - 14 February 2015

This is when the snow REALLY started to fall. It was also blowing and drifiting.

In the morning Rick and Other Tim came over to join Amanda, Myself, The Boy and The Girl in a six-player game of Small World! It was fun to try out a six-player game… but it also took a long time… and we had to cut it a bit short as Amanda and The Girl had to cut out to go to a hair appointment… ah well…

Once the girls were gone Other Tim busted out a game he brought along called Glory to Rome. I really enjoyed it – a lot of options and hard decisions to make every round – I still don’t really get the strategy at all, but I had a fun time trying (and I think I actually won in the end?). The boy was a little overwhelmed and didn’t have so great of a time…

After Glory to Rom Rick had to leave so Other Tim, The Boy and Myself busted out Ingenious.

Around the time we finished Amanda and The Girl staggered in having clawed their way through and over countless snowdrifts between our place and the hair salon downtown. At this point Other Tim had to be on his way and I headed out to start shoveling snow.

Sun Dogs on Saturday afternoon. For those that haven't heard of them they are the lights to either side of the sun in the picture and is the sun’s light being refracted through ice crystals in the upper atmosphere. Generally only visible when it’s really freaking cold.

When I finally come in I found the kids actually playing a game of  O Zoo Le Mio - which was kind of exciting – it is extremely rare that they actually get out a game on their own and play it – this may be the first time they’ve done that – at least the first time they’ve done that and played the game using the ACTUAL RULES of the game…

After supper we tried out two new (to us) games…

Dungeonville… I’d picked it up really cheap (like $5?) off ebay a number of years back from a distributor that was going out of business… art by John Kovalic… how bad could it be. Maybe I won’t go so far as calling it “bad’… but it’s a little simple for the likes of us and it wasn’t exactly the most fun we had we had all weekend....

Pirate Faces!

Finally we played another new to us game (also bought cheap off ebay from the very same distributor – also $5). It’s a Reiner Knizia game, so it’s quick and fun enough and clever with a bolt-on theme.

Sunday - 15 February 2015

My friend John brought over his new game Onward to Venus – which is a super fun game designed by Martin Wallace based on the Doctor Grordbort graphic novels from writer/artist Greg Broadmore. I got to play the British Empire, Amanda was France, John the Germans, The Girl played the Russians (because… ballerinas…), and The Boy played the USA.

Let’s just say that the sun does not set on the British Empire! Huzzah!

John also got me two of the graphic novels for my birthday - which was pretty awesome - THANKS!

After John took off we tried out yet another cheap ebay game that we’re finally getting around to trying out. I’d picked it up largely because of the theme – recycling – that’s a good thing to teach kids, right? While it turned out to be a clever enough card game, the theme was pretty weak and you were theoretically different companies competing to get the city contract and if you ended your turn with too many cards in your hand you had to “illegally dump” them… Ah well…

In the evening Amanda and I wandered over to the Persephone Theatre for their performance of Mary’s Wedding - which I thought was really well done.

Monday - 16 February 2015

John stopped by again this afternoon to join us for a five-player game of Parthenon: Rise of the Aegean. We’ve played this a couple times over the last month. I really like it. You play an island in the Aegean and start with two villages that generate one of six different types of basic commodities. With those you trade with other islands (players) or neighboring or foreign lands to get different commodities to build other villages, or workshops, or agora structures on your island. The first to build all six villages, two workshops, six agora structures and two wonders wins. I don’t know if we’re getting better at it of if it just gets easier with more players - The first time we played (a three-player game – me and the kids) I don’t think anyone finished building everything. The second time we played (four-player – me and Amanda and the kids) both The Girl and I finished on the very last turn. This game The Girl (who is eight) beat us all by finishing all her buildings with two turns left to go!?

Amanda took the kids out to go sledding for a bit afterwards while I did some cleaning and sorted out how to play the next game…

Amanda getting a little rowdy – wanting to demonstrate how her witch pulled off that tight turn around the tower… Fun game – witches, on upright vacuums, racing around the tabletop…

After supper we tried out one more new game – Delta V – where we played mining companies exploring for and mining minerals in the Delta V asteroid field. It’s sort of Memory match with rockets and aliens…

I don’t know about Amanda and The Girl, but The Boy scored 3 or 4 contracts for a total of 20 points, I completed two… for a total of -1 points… Clearly I should not be heading up any mining operations in deep space!!

Oh and over the weekend we played a few games of Hearts and Kaiser – which I’ve been teaching the kids with my new fancy schmansy deck of Cthulhu cards!


Now to get back to some miniature gaming! 

I will still be having an 11th Annual Wargaming Birthday Bash on my actual birthday (Wednesday the 25th) and it WILL be a miniature war game!! If all goes according to plan I'll be running a great big game of Galleys and Galleons! (or if things don't go according to plan, it may well be some other game using the Song of Blades and Heroes engine - possible Flying Lead or Fear and Faith..?)

Sunday, February 15, 2015

WW2 Soviets!?

Now those that have been paying attention will probably be wondering: “What? I thought Tim was ‘sick’ of WW2?” - I assure you this is not part of a renewed interest in the most over-gamed war in history. On Friday I ran a new Call of Cthulhu adventure (using a mash-up of Flying Lead and A Tale of Blades and Heroes) called Cold Harvest - which involves the players playing NKVD agents investigating a drop in production and potential “anti-soviet activities” at a collective farm way off in the middle of nowhere. The adventure is more investigation than action, but I thought I’d paint up some of these NKVD agents I happen to have on hand. And while I was looking through the storage drawers I noticed how very few 28mm WW2 Russians I had remaining to paint… so I thought I’d paint them up so I could say “DONE”! Because that’s how I roll…

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version):

The first batch of the remiaing WW2 Soviets. I’ll hopefully have another post next week with the last of them – then perhaps I’ll update the 28mm World War Two Gallery with pictures of the complete force.

The aforementioned NKVD agents from Black Tree Design.

Dead NKVD agent – actually just a regular dead Soviet infantryman – but this one didn’t have a helmet (as most of them do) so I painted him to look a little like the NKVD agent so I’d have a casualty to plop on the table if any of them die – just to add to the horror of it all.

NKVD agents with Rifles

NKVD agents with sub-machineguns

I think this guy was supposed to be a Soviet staff officer  that came in a pack from West Wind Productions, but I thought I might be able to pass him off as a Soviet Naval Officer (as I do have some Soviet Naval Infantry… and I figured they could do with an officer)

Soviet General from the Black Tree Design Men of War line.

Commie Cossak from Artizan Designs

Two soviets from Blue Moon Manufacturing.

Finally two guns from the Plastic Soldier Model Company 28mm Anti-tank gun kit – it comes with two gun carriages and crews and barrel options to build either 45mm M1937 anti tank gun, 45mm M1942 anti tank gun or 76mm M1943 infantry gun – as I already have a 45mm M1937 anti tank gun (from Bolt Action) I built the other two options.

45mm M1942 anti tank gun and crew. These are nice little kits that give lots of little bits to make a bit of a diorama – shell casings, ammor crates, rilfes, etc.

Another shot of the 45mm M1942 anti tank gun.

76mm M1943 infantry gun

Again with the 76mm M1943 infantry gun.

Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

As previously mentioned I have another batch of WW2 Soviets on the workbench (including THREE T-34/76 tanks!) that I’d decided to finish off so I call that collection DONE! There are also still some Great War Canadians and Micro Sci-fi and other odd and sundry bits lurking in the wings…

I also just finished reading Flying Lead and the lastest update for the Galleys and Galleons play-test rules and I am eager to give both a try in the next week!