Friday, April 29, 2011

Special Guest Blogger: They called me mad, but I did it!

I, Daniel Hoyt, have once again hijacked this blog for my own devilish purposes. This time I am here to display the much awaited results of my four month mega terrain project monstrosity. They took many man-hours to finish, but they are finally complete. I present to the world, my 28mm First World War western front modular trench system. I apologize for the poor quality of the pics, they were taken with my iPhone.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Relief at last!

Whew! I've got that familiar feeling of relief again. I've slogged my way through the last 10 figures of les Grenadiers à Cheval Boursin, bringing this cavalry unit up to 28 figures. While it looks very cool as a massed unit on the table, it has been a bit of a struggle for me to finish it. Besides my general lack of painting time and energy lately, I frankly just became tired of painting the same figure over and over. Not sure why this was the case with this unit. I was able to crank out 40+ of the same figure for my first ImagiNation infantry unit in record time without the same painting ennui. I think I'll take a break from cavalry for a while and concentrate on more infantry and guns. Next up, in fact, are some limbers for the battalion guns of Régiment d'Infanterie Roquefort and an ammunition wagon to supply them. After that, more Grenadiers de Camembert (in their sweet violet uniforms), then for something completely different, the WWI Russian Baltic fleet (not in 28mm, of course...though that would be mighty impressive).

Two views of the premier cavalry regiment of Le Grand-Duché de Gourmandie, les Grenadiers à Cheval Boursin (28 figures strong). 

This unit consists of three squadrons, each with its own distinctive facing colour. The newest addition is 3e Escadron on the right of the regimental line (left side of the photo) in the violet facings. Out front is the command party led by Colonel Georges LeRoque, Comte de Villenveulle in his distinctive bronzed cuirass. His stand-off nature does little to endear him to his men, down upon whom he looks with disdain. This is is in stark contrast to the commander of 1er Escadron, Chef d'Escadron Phillipe Langeron (in the front rank, to the farthest right in the picture), a charismatic and popular man (except with his fellow high-born officers).

Saturday, April 2, 2011

WWII: adding to the collection

I know that sometime in the distant past I was happy to have finished my WWII 1940 "project in a box" but surprise of surprises...I'm moving onto a second box. Thus, it is soon to become a "project in two boxes." Damn, but I have no self-control. "Oooh, shiny! Must have 'em!"

And I put the blame for this squarely on the shoulders of Vidal and Martin. Perhaps blame is not quite the right word here. In the case of Vidal, he needs only show me a new toy or expose me to a new rule set or gaming genre and I inevitably get hooked. Martin Jensen (he of WGG Distribution), on the other hand has had a more direct and focused effect on my ability to withstand the "must buy the shiny new toy" syndrome. At Hotlead last weekend, his silky sales technique forced (yes, forced) me to purchase (entirely against my will) an entire Polish infantry platoon of Warlord Games figures. And then what does he do? He comes with Vidal on Monday to the Bramptonia Gaming Palace with his bright wit and easy smile to play what? WWII, of course! Oh, I see their evil and cunning plan. Don't think that I can't see what's going on here. Laugh and joke while we play and all the time planting the seed of WWII collecting firmly again in my psyche! (OK, I won't mention that two weeks earlier at Cold Wars I  bought an entire British 1940 platoon from Crusader Miniatures)

And so, on to the Monday WWII game. Vidal commanded a reinforced platoon of German motorized infantry tasked with capturing and holding a key bridge from Martin's French force. Martin commanded a standard French infantry platoon with some armour support (assuming you categorize FT-17s as armour support). Rather than bore anyone with a lengthy AAR, I've included a couple of photos from the game below. 

German infantry and armour advance in the face of fierce French resistance. 
Crusader figures and AGNM Pz 38(t).

A French S-35 faces down a German Pz 38(t) and a StugIIIC in the distance. Surprisingly, despite quite a few armour hits, not a single AFV was destroyed in this game.
Vehicles from AGNM.

The game ended in a French victory since they still held the bridge as night approached (actually, the doorbell rang and the pizza arrived, thus ending the game). Highlights of the game? German pioneers  completely clearing two houses filled with French troops in a single turn! That flammenwerfer is a nasty piece of equipment. And Martins' skillful use of terrain and resources to conduct a true defence in depth. He was able to disengage a portion of his first line (that part that hadn't been fired by the flammenwerfer) and withdraw to a second defensive line while the Germans were reorganizing after their initial attacks. It's not often I see a true defence in depth on the gaming table. Gamers tend to hold pieces of ground stubbornly without much thought to multiple lines of defence. 

Thanks Vidal and Martin for great game! Martin is off home to Saudi Arabia later this month. Stay safe!