Monday, February 12, 2018

Touching base..January update

Well we are now into February already and it’s time to check in on the past month to fill in the gaps not covered by the past few posts.

The Painting and purchased tally 2018:

Well the year’s painting tally has yet to get off the mark but I did do a reasonable amount of work during January. My efforts focused on two areas, Bush Wars and Soccer players.

After recently playing another fun game of Striker (See previous post) I decided that I want to play more of this excellent game and would like a bit more variety in the teams I can play.

So I headed off to Eureka miniatures and picked up two more teams (14 players per side with substitutes). While I was there I also picked some nice farm animals for general tabletop scatter.

This brought my month’s purchases to 37.

I decided that I would paint up one team as West Ham United and the other team as Tottenham Hotspurs. I’m not so much of a perfectionist to paint away strips for teams so I make sure that the teams I paint can play in their normal colors and will not clash with my other teams. 

As soon as I got these home, they were cleaned up,based ,and undercoated (in white) in quick fashion and I started painting them. Unfortunately they weren’t finished before the end of the month so they will go into February's totals.

The other project was Bush Wars vehicles. I assembled two trucks and a couple of helicopters and undercoated them in white. In assembling the helicopters and vehicles I had to check myself when it came to the interiors. As they are supposed to be wargame models not scale models (and the models don’t come with crew figures) I decided that I don’t need to paint the interiors and can just paint the windows blue and that will be okay. 

However I cannot rule out one day painting the interiors so I glued the glass in with PVA glue (easily removable) and before spraying with white undercoat spray I gave all canopies/windows a thin coat of Vallejo primer medium. This medium is a type of rubber polymer so I should be able to carefully peel it away to expose the clear glass if I ever want to convert back to a scale model.

Some brass tubing and "Knead-It" polymer putty for a helicopter mount.

I have three Resin APCs for Bush Wars but they aren’t the best quality so I decided to go on eBay and I purchased three BTR-60PB to replace them. The resin APC will be sold off. These new models should arrive next month.

Once the APC are assembled and undercoated I can finally break out the air brush and do all the camouflage paint jobs in one go. Then it will be a relatively quick job of painting the details and weathering the models.

I will also have to print off some homemade decals of the UmBongo flag to stick on the models.

A old Hound for troop transport and every African despot must have a Hind gunship!

The UmBongo vehicle park...

So in short plenty of activity but nothing quite finished. Painting tally: 0

In an interesting crossover project there is talk that I should paint up an UmBongo national soccer team to play arch rivals Umgawaland. I could imagine a fierce match between these two African minnows interrupted by a pitch invasion by a T-62!!

On the gaming side I managed games of ECW, Striker, and Dragon Rampant (to be covered in a later post). On the board game front we played Labyrinth (with the new goblin expansion) and also a game of Star Wars rebellion.

Star Wars rebellion looks like a fun game but I will give it another play through before writing a review. It did certainly tick the boxes if you’re a fan of the original trilogy.

The evil face of the Empire!!

I was happy to see the release of the new boardgame The Dark Crystal by Riverhorse games. I picked up a copy at a local comic book store and we played our first game.

The game has a similar look and feel to the Labyrinth game and does share some similar mechanics. We did have a bit of an issue with the Garthim rules but this was fixed a couple of days later with a quick Errata by Riverhorse. It’s a bit annoying this error wasn’t picked up in proof reading but oh well. 

I will play another game before reviewing this one. I am certainly looking forward to painting the models!

And finally we come to the dreaded topic of kickstarters. 

This month I backed two kickstarters, the first was Fourth Quarter football. A miniatures board game based on American Gridiron and the second was U-Boot a cooperative board game where the players are controlling a WW2 German U-Boot with an interactive App to control the enemy.

These both look like fantastic games but in the end buyers remorse kicked in and...I cancelled my pledge. My reasons were as follows:

U-Boot: a fantastic game but I know the reality will be I would play this maybe once a year. I couldn’t really justify the cost at the moment.

Fourth Quarter football: Again I would not play this very often and as there were no Kickstarter exclusives I don’t really need to buy this now. I can buy it later on in retail (although it will cost a bit more).

So in the end my willpower held and I did..sort of.. resist the curse of the “new shiny”

And that’s it. A reasonable hobby month with some sensible purchases. Hopefully February will see me finishing some of these outstanding projects.

Bye for now!

Monday, January 15, 2018

United snatch last gasp win over courageous Chelsea. A Striker! AAR.

Hello all,

Well I'm trying to increase my blog post frequency so that it becomes more of a habit and I am able to continue posting regularly through out the year. So below is a game report from last Saturday's game of Striker! played at the club with clubmate Chee-Yan Hiew.

I was playing Manchester United. It was Chee's first game (although he had watched a game previously) but he quickly grasped the concepts in the rules and the game was very competitive and as you will see, went right down to the wire.

If you are interested in finding out more about this fun game you can follow the link below or search for the Striker group on Facebook.


The clash of Premier league giants results in tense match.

United and Chelsea met on Saturday in the Croydon Invitational Cup with both sides looking to impress as they look towards the opening of the 2018 season. United was the favourite based on past form and were expected to start the year strongly, while all eyes were on the new Chelsea manager Chee-Yan Hiew to see if he could open the year with a good performance.

The game got underway with United making a move down the left wing but a wayward pass saw the ball out of bounds and Chelsea took control. Immediately Chelsea started promisingly with nice ball movement before being stopped by the strong United defense.

Action gets underway in the Croydon Invitational Cup.

The game then settled down into a battle of the midfields with both sides working well but unable to crack strong defensive play.

The first chance of the game came with a break through by United who surged towards goal but the final pass was overcooked and the Chelsea keeper was able to safely take the ball.

The Chelsea players came in for some rough treatment by the United midfield with Number 8 putting in a rough challenge on a Chelsea mid fielder and receiving a yellow card. The resulting free kick and Chelsea attack was eventually cleared by the United defense and they counter attacked strongly. The break through came in the 24th minute with United scoring off the boot of Andy Cole.

United makes another breakthrough!

1-0 United. Cole works his magic!

A nasty challenge from the United defender but the ref has missed it! The Chelsea fans are not happy!

After the restart Chelsea pressed forward but again they were denied by the United defense who had not been seriously tested so far. Possession then switched back and forth with neither side mounting any promising attacks.

In the shadow of half time United worked a nice passage of play that put the striker with only the Chelsea keeper to beat but the shot was deflected round the corner and United went into the break ahead on the scoreboard but ruing missed opportunities to put Chelsea away.

Missed chances on the day almost cost United the win.

The second half got underway with Chelsea in attack trying to find a chink in United's defensive armour. This passage of play gave Chelsea their first serious chance but the United keeper was up to the challenge and put in a good save to keep Chelsea scoreless. United again rebounded strongly in attack but a miss-communication between the United strikers enabled the Chelsea keeper to again recover the ball safely.
 Chelsea striker's shot is saved by the United keeper but the Chelsea pressure is building.

Chelsea finally got into a groove and mounted a promising passage of play aided by some free kicks from United for rough tackles. Chelsea worked methodically and were able to level the score in the 78th minute with a nice shot from the Chelsea striker.

Chelsea scores the equalizer!

The tension in the match markedly increased with the restart with both sides trying to work a sequence of play that would give them a chance to break the deadlock. It looked like the game would end in a draw after a promising United build up came undone after a pass went astray and Chelsea recovered for their final attack.

However at this critical moment a defensive error saw United intercept a pass and launch into the final attack of the match. This time there was no mix up with the United Strikers combining nicely to put the ball into the back of the net in the 89th minute to secure a 2-1 victory.

United launch a last gasp attack in the dying moments of the match.

A clinical finish by United secures the win!

So United took the three points on the day and probably should have made better work of their chances but Chelsea also impressed under their new manager and a draw would have been a fitting result for his debut. Chelsea can definitely build on this performance as they look towards their next match.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

A Scottish brawl: ECW action in the Battleroom

Well its still holiday time mostly in Australia and so, since its quiet, I can write a few extra Blog posts.

This weekend I had my first game for the year. It was time to get the Battleroom back in action and so with the promise of a fun game and a nice BBQ lunch, I invited my ECW buddies Tom, Richard and Jon for a game of Pike & Shotte.

Richard & Jon were keen to get all of their Scots on the table, so we came up with a fictitious Scottish brawl scenario where two Scottish forces, one Royalist (Jon & Tom) and one Parliament (Richard & myself) were opposing each other. Tom's royalist English and my Parliamentarians added a few regiments to bolster the opposing forces.

We ended up with three brigades per side consisting of two brigades of foot and one brigade of Cavalry.

Here are the opposing forces with Parliament on the left and Royalists on the Right.

Unusually for an ECW game, Richard commanding one brigade of foot and one of horse, chose to deploy his cavalry in the center to punch a hole through the enemy line. As it turned out the cavalry on both sides had virtually no bearing on the outcome of the battle.

A road bisected the battle field and it was obvious that this would be where the armies would clash.
Both sides advanced towards the road with the Parliamentarians winning the race and got off the first volley's of the battle.

On the Parliament right the Royalists had the better of it and held a defensive position on the road with two regiments of foot and a commanded shotte regiment. Poor command rolls slowed the Parliament advance with their dragoons inactive (they would do nothing for the whole battle due to poor command rolls).

Pretty soon a both sides were trading volleys across the road with Parliament having the better of the fight breaking a few Royalist units.

It was at this point that Richard decided to force the issue on his left and charged his line into the Royalists. This began a series of hard fought melees that went back and forth but Richard was slowly gaining the upperhand in the fight.

The Parliamentarians Scots break up the Royalist right.

Following Richard's example, I launched my own foot on the right and broke a Royalist shotte unit but mounting casualties were having their effect. My brigade command continued to fail command rolls requiring he Commander in Chief to come over and issue orders and rally units to keep them in the fight.

Richard finally succeeded in breaking Jon's brigade, although it was very close that both brigades could have broken. With the advantage now with Parliament, the Cavalry charged forward in the center but the Royalists calmly formed hedgehog and repulsed the cavalry. The Royalist cavalry had no room to move and were essentially stuck behind their own forces. They had also split the cavalry forces in two so in any cavalry fight they would be outnumbered.

The Royalist brigade opposing my forces was slowly losing to my units but they still had plenty of fight left in them but with the right flank broken, their center stalled and their left under heavy pressure they conceded the day to Parliament.

Of course with muso mate Jon (guitar) we had to have an impromptu play as a warm up to the battle.

All in all the day was an excellent way to kick off the gaming year with good company, good food and a good game. You can't ask for more than that!