Monday, September 19, 2016

Bolt Action with Neverness part deux

Greetings folks

Bob here with another tale of game of Bolt Action with Neverness. Hit the link to check out his battle report of the days events. As most all of you know by now 2nd Edition is out in the wild and yours truly got the new starter set and free box of infantry (Warlord rocks).

I've been building the contents of the box and so far I am pleased with the new US Airborne plastics. May end up picking up a full box of them when they release. I'll write up a little review of the box and my thoughts on the rule changes. I have managed to get a game in using the new rules and my initial impressions are positive.

Recently I completed my first attempt at painting terrain. I have to say that I am fairly pleased with the results. Hit it with the air brush then washed and dry brushed it. Fairly simple process. Here is the final product

Until next time, happy gaming!

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Bolt Action vs Neverness

Hey folks,

Long time no post. I certainly haven't been silent on the hobby front with various projects being completed. Hopefully I will get some articles out over the next few weeks highlighting some things I have been working on. Bolt Action 2nd Edition is not far away at this point so I will be doing a review of that when it hits. John and I both have been hitting Total War: Warhammer pretty hard since it came out and I will try and get a review of it up here soon. In the mean time please enjoy this battle report from Neverness where he gets his first ever Bolt Action game in against your's truly. Happy gaming, folks!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Warhammer:TW Strategy

So about a week and CA has been teasing us with Campaign play thrus. It has got Bob and I talking about how we will play. We will undoubtedly have multiple campaigns ourselves but of course we are going to have coop campaign as well.

Dwarf Campaign

John's thinking Coop: To start I would prefer to play as the Dwarves, I have the tabletop army and I love their style of play. So I definitely play a lot slower than the Devs play, but I don't want any of that rebellion bull crap. You're dwarves. So general strategy is to focus on one problem and hammer it till its gone. Single player this probably means attacking the orcs to my south and securing that while ignoring the north. However in the coop I figure I will be saving Bob a lot. We typically like to choose factions that border each other or at least are quickly close to have a shared/protected border.

Vampire Campaign

Having that protected edge is huge. Maybe the biggest thing imo. Being able to turn our armies around to face outward problems only is hugely beneficial. With the number of small factions available we are sure to be attacked from all around. In Coop, depending on who Bob plays as ,(Empire?) the quickest path will probably be straight through the Vampires. Which is fine imo. It gets us a shared border (BIG) gets rid of a couple enemy factions including one of the big ones (BIG). Getting rid of problems early will be very helpful and with one quickly removed we should be able to slow play the rest.

Bob's thinking Coop: I will of course be playing the Empire for several reasons: 1) I have a large Empire army, 2) the old alliance between Sigmar and the High King, and 3) it just makes sense considering how we play. Funny, I was going to say the same for helping John in the south (John: I do tend to be the lightning rod of hate)..... Having the ability to march and support each other is going to be huge as is the fact both races can expand to the north and south.

Empire Campaign

John's thinking Army Build: As dwarves I am not going to be fast, I am not going to be magicky and I am not going to lose. Defensive play with plenty of heavy infantry and artillery. In some of the gameplay I have seen the players like a lot of missile troops, I am not that way. My ideal army is probably General, 3 Organ Guns, 2 Quarellers, 2 slayers, 2 Hammerers and 9 Ironbreakers. Come get it. Organ guns to deal with any cav and flankers, quarellers to deal with any opposed missile troops (I like them for their longer range). The Ironbreakers will be my main line with the Hammerers as the anchors on the flanks and the Slayers as reserves. Not sure what I want to do with that last slot, maybe a cannon for range and ranged monster killing but otherwise I think they are going to be useless.

The idea of this army is to be able to dish out enough damage at range to be able to force the enemy to close into combat. with enemy ranged armies I will count on my artillery and superior armor to weather their fire, and for Chaos I still (I think) have enough heavy combat units to outlast them. In either case I will depend on my artillery dishing out a lot of damage and I need to protect them, therefore the slayers who just want to kill something and don't care how scary the enemy lord is on a dragon.

Bob's thinking army builds: Well I am of a few minds on this. The Empire has several different builds I am thinking of. On the table top and in Total War games I typically go for a combined arms type of set up. I am thinking of a General and Wizard in most armies when available with a Warrior Priest or Witch Hunter thrown in depending on how useful they are. I typically take a solid 8 to 10 Infantry units giving me a strong battle line. I am thinking 2-4 Greatswords, 3-4 Swordsmen and 3-4 Halberdiers, and maybe a spear unit or 2 depending on who I am mainly fighting. For support I want 3 units of Handgunners as I like their superior stopping power. Cav will consist of either 2 Demigryphs or 2 Knights with an addition of Outriders or Pistoliers if needed. Artillery is a must so I am planning on running at least 2-3 units at all times with composition being dictated by who I am predominately fighting. For Vamps I am thinking Mortars and Hellstorm rockets where as Chaos will be Hellblasters and Cannon. Oh and I wont be leaving home without a Steam Tank in my high tier armies. The STank is an capable of dealing with multiple threats while also withstanding some hurt back. The choices available are one of the many reasons why I like the Empire as an army.

If you plan on playing give us some of your thoughts in the comments!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Warhammer: Total War Update

So the original release date, April 28th, has come and gone and we have nothing to show for it. While we knew about the delay I always held onto hope that they would release a beta/something for those who preordered. Instead we have had to deal with more videos by guys who can't play the  game.

including this one I actually haven't watched at the time I typed this up.

They have been doing a couple different types of movies.

The Slayers Guide offers a perspective on some of the monstrous creatures out there

And they have even started getting the community involved vs devs. but again no one seems to know what they are doing (who brings trebuchets as the DEFENDER in a siege?)

And then of course they have been doing more set piece battles.

And lastly they have started doing "challenges" for each other, which I actually like. But again these people largely don't know how to play their own game. I admit it might be scripted just to show off some things, but come on. Also I am a big fan of the undead puns.

Plenty of other videos out there. also some commentary from fans and other blog runners. Some offer good insight and give good screen shots of unit stats, I still am curious to see some side by side stats, but others reviewers have voices fit for a brick to the face and a silent movie role.

Overall thoughts continue to be positive, after some of the early misgivings I had from videos and releases, seeing more and more come out has definitely put me back on the  happy side for this game. I have loved seeing the unit rosters expand and be fleshed out. The sieges have been great, protecting a quarter of the city doesn't bother me and I am interested in seeing how settlements defenses level.

I have been real happy seeing everything they are putting into the Bretonians as an unplayable race. Probably the first real dlc imo. I don't count chaos, yeah yeah yeah BS rabble rabble rabble, get over it.

I couldn't find it in a quick search, too lazy for more, but there was an awesome video breaking down the AI's thought process in sieges. In the video they go over how different blocks of units are assigned different roles within a subset (attack gates, attack walls, break down walls) which was amazing to see. Hopefully some of that carries over into the normal battles as well. would love to see some ranged enemies taking advantage of hills, or the enemy actually holding a choke point and not just an automatic engaged everything with everything mode. Hopefully this really evolves the battlefield. I am looking forward to the challenge as I usually play the battles with difficulty all the way up to have a little bit of back and forth. so if we start seeing strategy, unlike that ork vs bretonia video, I will be extremely happy with this game.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Battlefleet Gothic: Armada (Some Beta spoilers)

Imperial Battlecruiser with Space Marine Favor
Battlefleet Armada Homepage

-All images taken from my progress (or Bobs) in the Beta-

Quick Synopsis:

J- Another GW based tabletop game getting made into a computer game, yay! I never played the tabletop so I can't do a comparison (Bob can) but my experience with the game/beta has been very positive. For being a beta I give it a good 91. I have only really played as the Imperials so my knowledge is a bit limited by choice. For the Emperor!

B- Right now we are only going to be discussing the solo skirmish. Versus multiplayer really doesn't appeal to either of us and the campaign isn't there yet. I have been playing all 3 factions available right not (Eldar are incoming at the time this goes out) and each of them feels pretty close to what I remember of the tabletop game.

J- Fleet battles of the 40k universe. Build and customize your fleet and lead to battle against 4 possible foes. Imperials, Chaos, Orks and Eldar, you can end up fighting your own faction in skirmish. As it stands you can only do a tutorial portion of the campaign, or the skirmishes up to a point. As you level up both your admiral and ships they unlock more options and slots and larger battles. Pretty fun format, another one where you just have to level your stuff up and get the biggest available. But having the biggest and the best isn't necessary to win. Battles are on a fairly open "map" (its space) where you control your ships, right now there is a good bit of micromanaging and it takes some getting used to.

J- You start with only light cruisers and escorts, and as you level, you unlock cruisers, battle cruisers and finally battleships. Right now the battleship is the biggest, idk if it stays that way at full release, and now the fleet make up is limited to 1 battleship, 2 battle cruisers, 3 cruisers and 4 light cruisers. Escort ships are "free". each of the classifications holds at least 2 options and on up to 5 within each tier.

Light Cruiser, if you zoom in you can see more of my fleet in the background
B- Briefly the fleets play as follows: Imperials are all about closer range broadside firefights. Their ships are heavily armoured in the prow so they can soak up some fire getting in to "cross the T". Chaos have the advantage of longer range over the Imperials with more prow and all around firing weapons. Throw in favors of the Chaos gods and you get some really interesting ships. Orks are all about ramming and getting in close. Their guns hit hard when they hit (Orks aren't known for accuracy) and they excel at boarding actions. Their ships maneuver like drunken cows piloting a bathtub, but if they line up a good ramming action your ships are not going to get the better of that deal. While the Eldar haven't been released yet I can talk a little about them from what I remember of the table top game. They are fast, hit like a truck, and have a glass jaw. Eldar have superior range, strike craft, and maneuverability plus some tricks to mitigate incoming fire. Just don't get caught in a close range broadside fight. Eldar ships are fragile compared to the other races and are more focused on prow and 180 degree firing arcs.

J- Did I mention micromanaging? Get good at it and it is very rewarding. I started with getting my but handed to me, but as I figured out the nuances it became much better. and there are a bunch of different mission types already available with more to come. You have your straight up fights, to capture objectives, escape to defend locations. each race and even ship has a unique play style. you really have to accept that play style to get the most out of it. If you want ranged combat and play Orks you are going to have a bad time. There is a genuine different feel to short range combat vs long range, ramming/boarding actions and support/fighters. You do get to pick your what part of your fleet is participating in each fight so you are never stuck with the same ship.

J- So beyond the ship choice and combat controls the game offers several other customization. Favors are 4 race specific upgrades, that you get to choose, that give two  benefits a piece to each ship equipped with it. I have equipped my whole fleet with Space Marines to make me less susceptible to boarding actions and give benefits to when I board others. Skills and attributes are not race specific but some are ship specific (you can't upgrade the lances on a ship that doesn't have them, sorry) and offer a good bit of differentiation to get your fleet to fight the way you want. The Orks get more upgrades to ships than the others, and early on in the beta there was a grayed out option for fleet colors, they have since removed it. But I would bet it is back at full release, maybe just for multiplayer but it would be cool in skirmish/campaign. Hopefully they at least change which Chapter of Space Marines I have, not a fan of the yellow.

J- 1. Ships aren't as tier-able as I thought they would be as far as stats go. A frigate has the same flank armor as a battleship and the same troop strength. 2. The sizes of the ships can be strange. A battle cruiser is the same size as a cruiser for the Imperials. 3.Add macros, please! At least someway to map my ship selection as selecting the one specific ship you want can be problematic.4 Right now you can't control the skirmishes, the point total, victory condition or enemy. It would be nice to control that. 5.ish. I think its just a beta thing but the limit to your level and the number of ships you can get as well as the size of the battles being capped. I have a 1500 point fleet and I only ever get to field 700 of it, come on!

Battleship showing signs of battle after taking heavy damage
B- They still have some stat tweaks to make for sure. Key macros are a must have considering the amount of micro managing of abilities that is needed. I wouldn't mind having a more options for ship customization (paint scheme and details), but that is mostly cosmetic.

Real Life:
J- Game got delayed, I am starting to just blame GW for this, but comes out on April 21st (I think). The beta is fun and fills in the wait. They fixed most of the major glitches and problems that I experienced at first. Some things are still wonky and or slow, but I trust them to get it fixed. If you are wanting to enjoy a real graphics marvel, this probably isn't for you. The detail and graphics themselves are very good, for a beta, but I spend my whole battle zoomed way out to see all the action. If you are lucky you do get some good cinematic endings to each fight, usually something blowing up or a ship escaping or something. battles tend to be very quick 5 minutes being pretty standard. I don't think I have had a fight go 10 minutes.

B- So I have to say that this is one of the best betas I have ever gotten to play. I love BFG and this is a pretty good video game adaptation of it. Yeah the game got delayed, but I'm not all that upset about it. The devs have been pretty transparent about why they delayed it (they listened to feedback) and the fact that they are running the 10% off pre-sale price for a few months after release is brilliant. The graphics are good for what the game is going for and they improved as the beta has progressed. I have had a lot of fun playing the skirmish and I can't wait to get my hands on the campaign and full release. In the future I hope the game does well enough to see the addition of the full BFG fleet list. Would I recommend this game? Yes, even in beta form. Stay tuned and we will bring a full review when the game officially releases here in a few weeks!

Saturday, February 27, 2016

What's on my table 2/27

Greeting folks!

Bob here with some ruminations and pictures of what hobby stuff I have been into. Bolt Action has been lodged front and center recently so I have attempted to harness that energy into painting and it has happily born fruit. Check this out folks,

Paras after flocking. Had to go back and dry brush the fatigues because my dumb ass forgot that step on all of these....
All of my infantry completed barring some base work. The weapons teams are on the painting table at the moment

Good progress on the French infantry. 2 squads left then the support weapons.

That's right folks, I have been a model of completing projects of late. If I keep this up I may just screw up and finish an army of two (stranger things have  happened)! The Americans and the French have been getting the love at the moment as they are the smaller of the 3 armies I have. The Germans will be next after I get the French infantry and American support weapons done.

This past game night I managed to actually play a game of 40k (will wonders never cease?!). This was my first use of the newer Dark Angels book since it was released. When I say 40k has dropped off locally, I mean it has dropped off locally as to be non existent on any given night. Here are some highlights of the game. It was a Crusade mission with 5 objectives. My opponent, Screech, ran a vehicle heavy Guard list. We agreed on 1750 points for the game.

Flyers: still wrong as hell in 40k.

End of the game shot. I had 2 models on the board but managed to win off of objectives!
Final score of the game was me:8, Screech 5. In the end it boiled down to me having models on objectives at the end of the game and having killed all of his infantry except 1 squad. This was a fun game with the usual amount of head scratching at rules and crap dice rolls. I lost a Terminator squad to a miss hap and that hurt a bit. It had been a long time since either of us played. I really don't know what to think of the game of 40k anymore. It still works, but good lord is it clunky compared to other systems (Bolt Action in particular).

So there you have it gentle readers. I hope to start into a semi-regular routine of posting again, but we shall see. Happy gaming!

Monday, February 22, 2016

Bolt Action action

Hey folks, Bob here with some updates on the hobby front. I am happy to report that after a lull Bolt Action is picking up again! I have managed to get in two games per night at the last two game nights! The first round was against our local big cat enthusiast finally managed to actually put some arms on his infantry and get a game in. We played two 750 point games with the vaunted superiority of the late war grenadiers and German armour falling to the guts and glory of US airborne and the humble Sherman tank.
No, that isn't some strange pipe. It is our dice cup/macro cannon. That face in the middle is the face of  getting your ass whooped and your Panzer IV not doing shit and dying to a Sherman 75mm and a 57mm at gun. Photo courtesy of Da Masta Cheef
Fire and maneuver

That's right folks, one shot one kill. 

My second set of games were a lighter affair. Our newest player, Mike, wanted to get a game in with his newly built US forces from the D-Day Firefight intro box. We decided on a 500 point game with me bringing my early war Germans. I decided on an all infantry force as armour takes up a lot of points at that size of a game (and it wouldn't have been fair). While I won both games, a lot of that was due to rather poor dice rolling on Mike's part and two airstrikes that didn't mange to do much and a "1" result that wound up in my favor. Mike's enthusiasm for the game wasn't dimmed however and he plans on expanding his forces soon. So really big news as well on people picking armies. Our long time hold out finally picked an army! After over a year of vacillation it will be Imperial Japan for our longest hold out.

Our local armies are as follows:

Blitzkrieg Germans (me), French (me), 2 US airborne (one of them me), British paras, late war German panzergrenadiers, Imperial Japan, DAK (coming soon hopefully), and 1 US army with another coming soon as well, and a Weird War force of Russian Aardvarks.

That is all for now, folks! Happy gaming!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Warhammer: Total War update

Warhammer Total War Empire Campaign Video

So the good folks over at Creative Assembly released another video and I have a few comments I am fully hoping they steal, again.

1. For the love of Sigmar start the major factions out with more than 1 city/town. And there had better not be a big difference from the starting strength of the good guys vs the bad guys. but I willing to bet pennies on dollars that the bad guys will start with more than the good guys. in the video it says the Empire starts with only one city, complete bull hockey. notice the difference between where the two factions are in the videos. Orks have stuff all over and the Empire has two provinces, way too big of a difference to be balanced. (i know its not the same turn)

2. Hopefully the good guys have real "diplomatic" options on how to convince the other provinces to join them. Hopefully similar to Empire with the British and the American Colonies. if not that I would like to see the provinces under siege from 1 major enemy army (that never actually takes anything) and that defeating that army and/or settlement will unlock control of that whole province. What I inferred from the video is that if you are the Empire you will spend way too long conquering the lands that are already supposed to report to you, when diplomacy never works for you. but again I am willing to bet that your allies get nommed before you can talk them into joining you or they straight up declare war on you and you just have to conquer them like anywhere else. It was turn 71 in the video and they only had 7 provinces and no diplomatic expansion; while the enemies had grown exponentially via violent measures.

3. Hopefully the AI is dead set on maintaining alliances or at least neutrality between the good guys. going back to the lore the Empire and Dwarves don't fight, Bretonnia and the Dwarves don't really fight. The good guys have enough going on where they don't need other good guys coming after them. at least until late game, only option situations. I could understand the little guys going after big guys but it shouldn't happen if they are at war with a bad guy faction (which should be all the time)

4. Something all total wars need to fix is the enemy's preference just to attack the player faction even while being destroyed from the other side. too many times the enemy faction sends its final army at a town while a third faction besieges their capital. it ticks me off and is unrealistic. would really like to see some self preservation come into play.

5. No "homing" enemies like the Huns in Attila or the Mongols in Medieval. hopefully the enemies growth is more along a general front expanding out, and not one that seeks out the player's faction.  with the video it seemed like the player had three enemy factions coming at him. Bretonian vamps, empire vamps and the ork tribe to the north.
Previous Warhammer Total War comments 4
for those curious on what I have said earlier here are the links to previous posts, some going way back before anything came out at all. A couple of them reflect things above. a couple of these links go back to 2013, its like I am psychic. don't tell the witch hunters. could have swore I did another one but couldn't find it.
Previous Warhammer Total War comments
Previous Warhammer Total War comments 2
Previous Warhammer Total War comments 3

sadly Warhammer Total War is about all that I have an interest in of late as far as GW is concerned so this is how I will post. Damn GW for killing Fantasy.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

2016 Hobby Goals and Wishlist

Greeting good readers!

Bob here after a long hiatus to offer up some of my thoughts on my hobby goals and wishlist for 2016. 2015 Proved to be an interesting year and dare I say disheartening. Despite some interesting released from GW (Skitarii mainly) the death of Warhammer Fantasy and the ever bloated and increasingly obtuse nature of the 40k rules has really put me off of them on the whole. Yes, prices factor into it of course. The ever rising price point for new kits is very disheartening. On the positive side I managed to start to branch out into other systems and companies. I am really happy with Bolt Action and Hail Caesar. Warlord is quickly becoming one of my favorite companies. I also broke down and got some Perry Brothers Hundred Years War English archers and men at arms and I have to say that I am impressed. This shouldn't be a surprise considering it is the Perry brothers. X-Wing has also been a fun system to slowly collect and play on occasion. The last part of 2015 was rather hectic as I was finishing my last semester of undergrad. I know John has been getting ridden like a cheap mule by his work and like me has been suffering from hobby malaise.

Some action from the last game of  Fantasy I played

It was a close game, but the soldiers of Nordland proved victorious over the Tomb Kings

But fear not, hope is here. I have some very achievable projects and goals for 2016 along with a rather more focused approach to GW. So what am I planning and what are my hobby aims? First of all, having graduated has put me into an interesting position. Part of what my future employment may entail is a lot of travel for weeks if not months. This doesn't leave a whole lot of time for hobby. Depending on the length of the project and the location I am fairly well set up to bring a travel case of figures and painting supplies as well as a small army of something. So let's break down my hobby ideas by category:

Games Workshop: So I am not getting out of Fantasy or 40k. For Fantasy I plan on slowly finishing out the last bits I need for my Dark Elves, finishing my Vampires, and picking up odds and ends for Brets, Beasts, Chaos, and Dwarfs when the opportunity arises. 40k is going to be largely similar. I want to get my Eldar and Guard finished out as they don't lack much. I would like to work a little more on my Iron Snakes and Skitarii, but they really aren't high priority to be honest. If Deathwatch come out I may be tempted by them, but beyond that it will take a lot to tempt me into really starting a new army. What would like to see 40k wise (this is purely a wishlist)? Plastic Guard kits for some of the older regiments, plastic aspect warriors, chaos marines, and that is it. I am curious to see where these new specialist games go. I am really enjoying collecting my legion forces for 30k. I have a feeling this is where the majority of my GW spending will be. Betrayal at Calth is an excellent set.

Warlord: I want to finish out my early war French Army. It is very close to being done and painted (gasp!). After they are done I would like to start either a British/Commonwealth army or a late war German army to square off against my US paras. I wouldn't mind developing my Hail Caesar Romans and Gauls, but they aren't a priority. Beyond the Gates of Antares looks pretty cool and I would like to read the rules for it.

Star Wars: I wouldn't mind getting a few more X-Wing ships and Armada looks cool. Not much else to say here.

Other: I will be working on an English and French army for the Hundred Years War (Agincourt period). The Perry miniatures are just that good and I love the period.

I also have a new idea on dealing with the rather huge backlog of things that need to be painted. I want to try and rotate armies painting 5-10 models at a time. I want to try and have these done in a 2-3 week window time permitting. This of course will vary with work and other constraints. I just need to be painting. Period. I would like to have all of my armies done before I can start to draw social security.

Test model for my French Army
Have a full squad painted up now

So that is my ramble for the new year. Hopefully I will get back in some sort of spasmodic rhythm of blogging. Thanks and happy gaming!