Monday, 31 March 2014

Deadzone Game 28th A.A.R Marauders (me) vs Plague (wife)

The wife challenged me to a game of Deadzone before she had to go to work on Friday and who am I to refuse. The more I play this the more I bump these strike teams up in my list of things I really need to get painted. I'm afraid I didn't get the camera out till around halfway through so there's basically no photos (and to be honest just undercoated figures don't really yell out "Photograph me" to me) so I'll apologize now for the wall of text.

Setting up I pulled the "Occupy" mission (Control {solely occupy the 3 objective areas and the cubes adjacent to them} the 3 objective points)... NOPE. Not with the Wife fielding a Stage 1A (1st tier infected, picture 12' tall 5' wide killing machine) as her commander (The bastards are almost impossible to kill). So I redraw.... "Target Y" (Control Y for 4vp plus points for Capturing X + Z and killing the 7+ points cost units).

Unknown to me at the time my wife had drawn "Pile Them High" a kill mission giving rising points based on the cost of the dead unit plus an additional point per trooper unit killed.

She managed to secure the 1st rounds initiative.

In response to her set up, I opted for a left flank of four commandos, a middle center point of my gun laden "Rainmaker" (an orx in a full body mech-suit covered in guns) in an attempt to control the battle field from high and a right flank of my 2 maw-beasts, flamer commando, a commando and my commander. It gave me enough troops to overpower her right flank (she'd setup heavily on her left hand flank) and check and control if needed the objective markers on that side. It meant I'd have a hell of a time getting control of Y if it was in front of my right flank but I figured I had enough fire power to pin her 3as and quite a bit on direct power with the ripper to handle the stage 1a and 2a I'd be ok.

Turn 1
Plague Initiative

The plague advanced hard and fast with the 2A (2nd tier infection), 3Ds (infected dogs) and some of the 3As (final tier infection, able to use items/weapons) surging toward my strike team. The twisted creatures were heading down toward my right flank so I got the ripper up to higher ground giving him the commanding position I wanted him in and moved the commandos on the left into covered positions closing in on the markers while keeping some firing lines open.

"There they are sir" "Hold the line boys let's see what they're gonna do" Like we really need to see he thinks to himself. Sure enough the Mutes begin to surge ahead. "Rainmaker get up that tower. Left flank advance under cover, don't mess this up the Captain wants this area secured"

The remainder of the infected forces moved forwards in response to the commandos. Advancing into cover my remaining commando blazes away at the closer 3Ds square without effect, I really don't want those dogs getting into combat with me so I take a shot with my flamer commandos pistol and..... 1st kill of the day to me. Having the way clear to the objective point in front of me I move the maw beasts up one to the marker..... It's Y, ok time to move up a little and get control of this point. The second beast move up but blocks LOS on my wife. My final action for the turn is to attempt a command action (I really want to get a shot in with my Rainmaker this turn) but not a single success on the roll. A point to note is at this stage I've completely forgotten her 1A....

 "Sir, hounds incoming" The sound of rifle fire begins to echo around the area. A single pistol shot rings out to his left and the hound drops. His fingers tap out the release command without having to look a well practiced action and the Maw beasts stream out now unleashed to deal with the infected force the only way they can. "Rainmaker open fire on the....." Damn transmitters come loose again bloody goblins he thinks as he tightens the module back up.

Turn 2
Plague Initiative

The 2A streams to the central objective point and the 3A with the HMG moves into a covering position. Over my right flank the currently non-mutated (relatively speaking) 3A picks up the acid breath mutation thanks to a battle card and spits at the maw beast on the objective Y marker injuring the poor creature. She holds there to see how I respond. I charge the injured beast into combat with it's attacker, but only manage to wound it. Seeing as she only has a few 3As (that I can see) I charge the healthy maw beast in and not only kill the wounded creature I double up and get a free move/fight action. I use this to head into the next cube and kill a 2nd 3A, leaving only the slow 3A (crippling spasms mutation) alive. Feeling cocky I take a shot at the 2A with the rainmakers Gatling cannon... no effect. I roll for the gun crazy but it's all good he just stops shooting. Feeling a bit cheated with the no effect roll I blaze away with one of the commandos, success just he's only alert now.

The maddened beasts continue to stream forth, one of the more human looking ones suddenly double over in agony and suddenly lobs a hissing green mass from it's throat at a maw beast catching it in the face. It makes a single agonisied yelp then continues to charge the creature and clamps it jaws down on it's leg. It's pack mate follows closely behind and tears out it's throat before continuing on seemingly without pause to disembowel another ruined figure further along. The whir of a gattling cannon sound above him support by the sharp cracking of rifle fire as his trained team begins to pick out targets, things seem to be going to plan for once. He grins. 

The Wife smiles at me. I get worried. The 1A steps out from behind the tower into combat with the injured maw beast. It is at this point I remember she has him. I proceed to watch him tear the beast in half, then move into combat with the remaining one not only killing it but absolutely destroying it. She gets excited and move her remaining 3D towards my commander. I begin my round by taking a shot at the 3D wounding it. I realize she's still got one model to activate so I can grab initiative on the next round so I ignore the 3D now and focus on the 2A targeting him with the commandos flamer and rolling high enough to drop him to suppressed and wounding him. However The Wife manages to avoid having him set alight. I maneuver the remaining commandos around. Time for another command roll and yes enough successes to get the "Rainmaker" to fire on the 1A. I take a shot with his H.E.W. beamer but can't get enough wounds through to actually make a dint (Really Tough ability make it really tough to kill things oddly enough). The poor spasming 3A shuffles forward to end the turn.

A towering mass blurs into view tearing both maw beasts into pieces without pausing. Shit. "Look alive fellas we've got a first stage infection here" So much for things going to plan. A roaring noise and blast of heat alert take his attention momentarily as chemical fire rolls over one of the more mutated figures but the amount of determination and rage against any other living creature keeps the beast active. Thank the stars we're immune to this bug he thinks, not for the first time. "Rainmaker, focus fire on the monster we need this area secure" A purple beam arcs across his field of vision slamming into the back of the monstrosity but the beast merely turns and laughs menacingly.

Turn 3
Marauder Initiative

I start the round by taking a shot at the 3D and finishing it off before it could do any damage with a commando. I then take control of the Y objective with the flamer and opened up with the flamer at the spasming 3A in the hope of pinning him down but had no effect. I activate the "Rainmaker" next and fire a rocket salvo at the same 3A and manage to not only suppress it but get a point of damage through wounding the twisted caricature of a man, he goes "gun crazy" this time giving me another shot with a different weapon, so I blaze away at the 2A hoping to kill it off while it's suppressed but don't manage to even scratch it, rolling again for gun crazy and I get a 3 (phew... that was close a 1 or 2 gives the wife a chance to shoot at me with him) so the now (as I'm picturing it) foaming at the mouth orx takes aim at the 1A with the H.E.W. beamer but again I just can't roll well enough to get past it's armour and "Really Tough". What's happened to my 8 successes more from last game. I activate another commando on the other side of the field and attempt to pick off the 2A while it's suppressed but The Wife's ridiculously high survival rolls keep it on the board.

"Let's take control of this situation boys, you know what you need to do so do it" Weapon fire ensues. The remain hound drops. "Sir, beacon found. Securing location" comes across the coms as the chemical roar is again heard from in front of him at the same time as rockets fly over head slamming into the same area forcing a sad looking Mute behind some debris clutching it's side. Bubbling laughter sounds over the coms. Damn! "Tuck your heads in lads hes gone again" Varied noises and gun fire erupts from the tower, a spray of bullets at the second stage infected and the lash of a beam at the first stage but both seem to shrug off the shots. Atleast he kept the fire to the enemy this time. There's something about strapping an Orx to a suit overloaded with weapons that does things to the man, but the payoff is just so worth the risk. 

For the second time The Wife begins her turn by smiling, I'm really starting to dislike this woman. She plays a "Courage" battle card on the 2A removing the suppression, the proceeds to "Get Mean" removing her pinning and gaining alert status again and finally charges into the flamer commando. But it's my turn to grin I manage to roll high enough to draw the combat, he holds his ground without injury. Unfortunately I'm currently 4vp down while he's sitting in that cube with me. Her specialist 3As come around on the flank where the commandos are but the grenade launcher 3A can't get LOS to the cubes I'm in and the HMG opens up at a commando but she can't roll a single success, so I'm left laughing at the remnants of her turn. To finish off the turn I shoot back at the HMG 3A and manage a wound and charge my remaining commando into her GL 3A and manage to kill it in the ensuing combat round and capturing marker Z (1vp).

Suddenly the second tier leaps to it's feet and rushes toward Burnz and his vulnerable backpack/chemical tank "Burnz! Incoming". Warnings burst across the coms giving the soldier enough time to pull his combat knife and defend himself. Fire and return fire opens up on the left "Soldiers secure that flank and get over here, no more playing around" "Sir!" comes the smart responses.

Turn 4
Plague Initiative

Things are looking ok.. ish for me now. The Wife begins by taking another shot at the commando with the HMG 3A again no successes. Ha! She then attempts another combat round against the flamer commando with her 2A. No successes, double Ha! Finally she lumbers her 1A forwards but he's still too far away to have any effect on my objective point and "Gets Mean" with her remaining 3A removing the suppression.

I begin by shooting the surviving HMG 3A and then advancing onto objective marker X 1 more vp. I fire the "Rainmaker"'s beamer at the 2A again to no effect. I take a command roll to reactive him again, I manage to do it but again I just can't kill the damn thing. Seeing as shooting doesn't appear to be working well I charge my commando into combat with it. Finally. I claim the fallen model with some sense of satisfaction after the amount of fire I've pumped into the damn thing during the game. My final action is to move the flamer commando back slightly and open up at the remaining crippled 3A putting him back under suppression.

The rifle fire stops to the left "On our way". Again the beam lances towards the relatively smaller monstrosity and again it shrugs it off. "Fire again!" Still it stands, this could get messy... and explosive. He sees "Blitz" draw his combat knife and rush the smaller giant. After a whirlwind of action the beast falls to the ground. A satisfied grin crosses his face, it's always good to see the boys pull down the bigger ones. The monster halts his advance and melts away deciding that perhaps after all this section of the deadzoned planet isn't worth it's life after all. "Ok men, mop it up and secure the area, I'm gonna radio for orders and requisition some more maws"

Her force in tatters and her mission she feels unobtainable now The Wife concedes.

Final Victory Point tally 9 to 4

Another enjoyable game. The only one left to have a go now is The Eldest although that's mostly my fault as I've not yet glued the Enforcer faction together so I'll have to get that done soon. The more I play this the faster the strike teams move up in my painting queue (Again sorry about the lack of photo to wall of text ratio, but undercoated pics just don't do the game justice). Although we've just started a 5 man trail league in Dreadball to make sure we're doing all the miscellaneous things (scattering the ball, etc) the same way for the larger one we'll be starting at the end of next month, so I think remaining 8 teams and various M.V.P.s are still slightly ahead on the list.... just

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Bolt Action German Platoon Infantry Finished

Well, after playing another game of Deadzone against the wife (A.A.R. coming up in the next couple of days) I looked around and realized that I've been letting the painting slip a little even though I've finally got that casual roster I've been chasing (although there's another 2 week holiday block next week I'm covering {no rest for the wicked :) }). The hundreds of minis on there way from the various kickstarters that are looking at being shipped in the next couple of months may possible be a factor as well. I'm determined not to let the unpainted pile continue to grow larger than the painted without at least putting up a fight.

So I thought "Right let's clear what's on the table". Unfortunately I'm unable to completely finish my platoon off (Need to buy a couple of colours for the tanks), the infantry were well within my reach. I'm becoming more comfortable with basing now and decided to play with a few different materials this time. My Foldio photo studio (yet another kickstarter) arrived in the post as well so I took the opportunity to pull it out and have a play with it also. Really make a difference to the shots, although I'll still need to play with it a bit. I manage to completely cancel the L.E.D.s with the flash once or twice.

MG42 HMG Team
81mm Mortar Team

Heer Infantry Squad

Squad NCO
Infantry Platoon
Infantry Platoon

I've got the Hetzer still to finished from the box set along with the PaK 40 75mm anti-tank gun still to assemble and paint, as well as the Tiger II kit I bought which while it's possible a little large to be supporting a single platoon.... come on it's a freakin Tiger II.

All and all I'm happy with the way my painting is improving. Gotta work a little more on the eye's though.

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Guild Ball: Fishermen (Me) vs Butchers (Youngest) Paperdoll Edition

Seeing as the Guild Ball kickstarter was coming to a close and I've after much thought gone for the Guild Insider pledge, I felt I'd best get a game in before I had spent my £500 on getting everything. With the public release slimmed down basic rules and paperdolls in hand (well on the table) I scanned the house looking for an opponent. Wife at work, Eldest out a shops...... Bang Youngest volunteers.

We opt to play with just 3 of the released characters each.


Ox – Team Captain
Shark – Team Captain
Boiler – Attacker
Angel - Attacker
Brisket – Midfielder
Greyscales - Midfielder

Setup is rather easy. Roll off a D6 each, winner picks who's kicking or receiving. Goals are placed, receiver 1st. Teams are placed again receiver 1st, then the ball is placed within 18" of the kickers goal with the requirement that on kick off it is in the receiver's half. Roll to see if it lands on target then begin.

Play is alternated with each player activating one model in initiative order using influence to move/attack etc or to activate individual plays off their character sheets (referred to as play books). Influence is allocated to each model at the start of each turn and can be used to bluff players at times as to which player will be the key to each of your turns.

Our game started with myself receiving the ball. Greyscales quickly snapped up the ball with Angel and Shark taking their turns to head up the field. Leaving Brisket to guard the goalpost Ox and Boiler headed toward the fishermen players.

Turn 2 saw a win of initiative for me and a run of passing to gather momentum and resulted in a goal for the fishermen. The game progressed from there with myself using the fishermen abilities to move in and out of combat via combat results (and also gaining momentum at the same time) meant I could keep control of the combats fairly well while leaving players free to score and move the ball around. Youngest managed to highlight the danger of the Butcher play style managing to deal damage equal to 2/3 of Greyscales health in a single activation via a heavily influenced Ox, and take several large chunks of health from both my other players in single massive hits. I did manage to pull down Brisket but it took the combined effort of 3 turns and all 3 players in vary degrees to pull this off.

All in all I'm very happy with the way the game plays out and will be getting in another game or two over the course of the week with any luck. I'm feeling perfectly justified in the outlay (happy the the Wife is in for half along with me) and I'm looking forward to all the perks that my pledge will bring. (Involvement in ongoing development discussions, further testing of the other teams, the 8th retail-only Engineer team and every model in the kickstarter in resin{That being said the production metal miniatures are some of the best I've seen}).

There's currently 17 hours and if anyone is sitting on the fence or looking for a new game there's still enough time to download the rules and get a quick game in then throw in for the 2 team pledge and make a decision from there if you want any additional add ons post kickstarter. Link

Friday, 14 March 2014


After pledging a rather large amount on Mantic's Deadzone kickstarter (Assault team pledge plus add ons) I received my 1st wave shipment in a rather large box and gleefully unpacked it. It then sat in that state whilst I whittled down my various on the go projects and jockeyed to fit in hobby around work and family. Now finally with my Stargrunt platoon finished and my WW2 germans merely waiting for me to paint and glue in the guns a string of rather rainy weather hit, what else was there for me to do but pull out my remaining unglued Dreadball and Deadzone models and get them together in preparation for my next painting project (before my Wrath of Kings, wave 2 Deadzone and various other kickstarters begin flowing in).

Once they were glued it seemed a shame not to take them for a spin. Got the 1st game in last Friday (7/3) against my youngest. She picked the Rebels as her faction and due to her mother (my wife) wanting to play plague (who I'd had my eyes on from the start of the campaign) I opted to take the Marauders (although I'm hoping for a Veer-myn faction in the rumored later this year Deadzone 2 kickstarter campaign). It was a good game although it ended in a whitewash for my poor daughter with me killing almost her entire team without taking a single casualty. It was a good learning curve for both of us in regards to how the game plays and she's already got some ideas for how to beat me next time. As it was the 1st game I've played apart from a run through or two of the beta rules I didn't get any photos of the game itself but managed to remember to take one of the actual board. I have instantly fallen in love with the battlezone scenery from Mantic as well. It took me maybe 20 mins to remove it from the sprues and setup the board.

This morning saw myself and the wife pair off. Marauders vs Plague. One of the things I'd learnt from the 1st game is that more terrain/cover squares the better, so a few more bits from the sprues resulted in this setup.

We drew a opposing ends setup with her beginning the game. I had drawn a Kill mission, Wipe them all out. No worries right. Her first activation saw her stage 2 rushing forward (thanks to the Overactive Metabolism mutation she assigned to it before the game) and her stage 3as being swept along in it's wake. Having the stage 2 appear in front of me like that although I couldn't manage a clear shot was too tempting a target for me so I burnt 3 commandos' activation trying to take it down and rolling a succession of utter utter garbage not even managing to hit him once. I moved a few other troops on the flank and passed back the round. She ran a her dogs and remaining stage 3 forward a little and the stage 1 sideways into more cover. I finished up the turn moving a few more troops into positions.

The next couple of turns passed in a blur of combat action. Her Stage 2 rushing over to my side and tearing one of my Mawbeasts apart. My other dog streaming around the back end of her team and managing to tear 2 stage 3s apart(thanks to 2 of the 3 majorly success die rolls I managed this game{nothing compared to her string of 4 to 5+ success survival rolls}) before getting bogged down with the two remaining ones on the ground. One of her troopers popping up to the second level of terrain and lobbing a grenade down on my troops pinning one and managing to soak two turns of multiple gunfire before I gave up and risked a melee to put her down. It was around this stage she played her hand and ran both her hellhounds off the board at my deployment area. Ah ha!! An infiltrate mission, and with her stage 2 about to run off the board as well I had only once choice. Her only non-success survival role for the game (ie not one single success in her die pool) and I managed to get her not only pinned, but suppressed. Bring on the..... ffs 3 consecutive misses by my troops, well done boys, well done indeed. Not to worry her entire activation next turn will be to get back to pinned I figured got another turn up my sleeve.

Next turn. She has initiative. As I thought the Stage 2 "Get's Mean" and removes his suppression marker. But she has a plan, step 2 is to activate her Stage 1 who lets loose a loud roar over the battlezone which inspires the Stage 2 to new heights of action "Getting Mean" again (a short action now he's not pinned) and with a move card played on him he's off the board ><. Now I'm not sure of the VPs for her models at the moment but I'm pretty sure I now need to kill the stage 1 to get the win. I manage to kill off her remaining Stage 3s in my activation and get my "Rainmaker" ripper suit troop up to the top of the tower ready to start raining hell down on the Stage 1. But in my last and best roll of the game one of my standard commandos has a clear shot at the giant beast and manages a massive 8 successes to her 1. Really tough ability and armour taken into account and he still manages a kill shot, giving me the VP for the kill and enough for the game.

Final total 4pts for her and 8pts for me. Great game and I'm looking forward to getting some paint on the minis before too much time has elapsed.

Also there's a few kickstarters running at the moment I feel are worth checking out.

Dreadball Extreme - Mantic's underground illegal version of Dreadball
Counterblast - Pulp SciFi minis and rules
Guild Ball - An quasi-historical fantasy skirmish game built around soccer
World of Twilight: Travels through Anyaral - An alternate fantasy world with some really unique miniatures
Across the Dead Earth - Post-apocalyptic gang based skirmish game set in the UK
Bio Syndrome - A multi period set of rules based around battling zombies. The rules themselves are already available as a free download, but the author is seeking to polish them