January 16, 2014

Attack Wing, Oh How I've Missed Thee

We played our month 4 organized play "Dominion War" event at Trilogy Gaming Club last night. I have to say I was really disappointed to have only two other players in attendance, especially after having to go through all of December without an event due to the holiday break. Needless to say I was looking forward to playing some games of Attack Wing!

Lewis and Shane line up their fleets (Romulan and Federation respectively) for the first game. It was a relatively short affair with the two-ship Federation fleet being highly outmaneuvered and outgunned. We opted to play a three player game afterward so as not to leave anyone sitting out for a lengthy stretch and selected one of the scenarios from the rule book.

Although "The Chase" was written with each player controlling a single 40-point ship in mind we decided to play 100-point fleets to make it more interesting. Since I had planned to play a Romulan list for the tournament, and I've played Klingons several times already I put together a Dominion, mostly Cardassian fleet instead.

Cardassian Fleet (98pts):

- Koranak w/ Gul Dukat, Boheeka, Cloaking Device and Dorsal Weapons Array
- Kraxon w/ Gul Danar, Sar and Tetryon Emmissions
- Keldon class w/ Gul Evek, Glinne Telle, Cloaking Device and Dorsal Weapons Array
- Admiral's Order - United Force

The game went pretty long, and I was the first to lose a ship. My Keldon has picked up two mission tokens from the nearest objective marker and had taken some damage from the Romulans, including a critical hit. I had opted not to fire on a Federation ship the previous turn in order to keep my cloak active. Any collision would cause me damage. Poor maneuvering caused my ships to all bunch together while I was heading off to pick up the second token...the first kill of the game and I had done it to myself!

I few rounds later saw the Enterprise destroyed by my two remaining ships and Donatra's Valdore had picked up her second token. Shane had suffered terrible luck trying to pick up his first token and had thus split his force. We both decided to try stopping Donatra from beaming down to the planet with her prize.

Dropping her shields the Valdore beamed her captain down to the planet and was left vulnerable to both of my remaining ships. With only a few hull left the Valdore was vaporized. Lewis and Shane were both left with only one ship (the Excelsior being kept together by O'Brien and large amounts of gum and duct tape I think). The Khazara was in a little better shape and my Kraxon was down to 1 hull. The Koranak had only suffered minor shield damage.

We could have played it out to determine a victor, but were about a half hour over time and called it. I think I would have lost even with my two ships because I simply wasn't in a good position to turn around. I'd have lost the Kraxon in the next turn and my only hope was a dorsal weapons array to take out one of the two opposing ships. It was good fun nonetheless and we all took home a prize USS Sutherland along with a set of flagship cards.

I'll cover my thoughts on the OP4 prize items in an upcoming post.


I thought I'd add some brief thoughts about the Cardassian ships after my first real use of them. To start with, the Keldon class ship adds some much needed firepower to the Dominion's ranks. Having that great 5-dice primary attack, puts them on par with most Klingon ships there. Having to pay extra for the cloaking devices does make them more costly, and they are definitely not as maneuverable as the Klingon or Romulan ships. You do have to treat the cloak upgrades with care. They require so many actions to re-enable, which means you'll likely only get their benefit once or twice in a game. Use them wisely!

I just realized I had two captains on the Kraxon. What a cheater I am! *hangs his head in shame*

I think the only card I didn't use at all was Glinn Telle but he was an addition to fill the free ten points granted by my Admiral's Order. I would drop him from the list without reservation, which would give me a total of five points to add an elite attack die or some command tokens. The once-per-round re-roll from the AO was also highly useful and I used it to full advantage.

The generic Keldon class didn't make much use of his cloak or dorsal weapons array due to the scenario eating up that captain's actions. In a kill-em-all game they're definitely keepers. Gul Dukat was very effective and I used his free battle stations / evade every round. Being able to do that for free allowed me to keep my dorsal weapons array enabled much more frequently.

I didn't use the Kraxon or Koranak ship abilities, but again I chalk that up more to the scenario we were playing than that they're not useful. Those Tetryon Emissions coupled with Sar were extremely useful keeping the Kraxon alive in the case that I did need to siphon damage off of my other ships.

I'd happily play this list again. It has good attack strength and some good staying power. I think all it's really missing is a way to repair shields. Maneuvering is key with this fleet though, because it'll be very tough to shake someone once they get behind you. Keep those Dorsal Weapons Arrays ready.

January 14, 2014

Deadzone - Shipment 1 Inventory Complete

Whew now sorting through the massive box of Deadzone stuff...that was a lot of work. I had gone through the package shortly after I received it in December and organized the various bags into their appropriate factions, but beyond that I hadn't actually checked all the figures and parts. The pictures in this post are largely collected from Mantic's promotional materials, as I haven't constructed any of my own toys yet. I really wish they've just labeled the damn bags. It would have made things a lots easier for all the Kickstarter supporters.

I started off trying to figure out what was default to the core box game, then the extra items I ordered, and finally all of the stuff I got as bonus items for supporting the Kickstarter campaign. After going through the base game I counted up all the parts for my "Enforcers" faction bag.

I really like the look of these figures, although the image from Mantic's website shows some expertly painted samples. Some of the detail on the guns looks a little soft (across the board, not specifically the Enforcers). The booster that I had ordered for these guys was delayed and will come in the second shipment. I do like the overall design of the figures however and I'm quite looking forward to putting them together. The studio colour scheme is actually very good in my opinion, and I'm inclined to use it as a basis for my own paint work.

Next up are "the Plague." I didn't order the faction booster for these guys, figuring the base game would come with enough stuff and extra KS figures to give me a good start. I did order some zombies that will come with shipment 2.

Again I think the figure designs are quite good. The troopers and phase 2 figures are nothing particularly unique, but the phase 1 is a beast. It's probably the one design that really made me interested in backing the game at first. A lot of folks would disagree with me, but I like it. Reminds me a little of Superman's murderer Doomsday. The pink hues might not make it into my paint schemes but it works well enough on these figures.

The Rebs faction looked like a fun bunch of misfits, so I ordered a booster for this faction which I did receive. Two Teratons on my squad, look out! Some of these alien designs were pretty interesting, particularly the Yindij and Sorak figures. I'm a little sad I passed on the Chovar add-on, but I can always pick one up later. With duplicates of some figures I'll likely do some conversions with this batch.

Last up for the figures were the Marauders. If you've ever seen 40k Orks there is nothing surprising or new here. They're pretty interesting looking overall, but since I have some 40k figures these were the ones I was least interested in. I still am less than enthralled with them actually. That said though, the paint work on the studio figures does make them look pretty damned good.

Oh I forgot all of the Mercenaries and KS extra figures. I love the "Blaine" Predator figure, and the Judwan assassin is also great. The survivor and Recon Unit whatever-his-name is are also very good looking. There are a few others that I'm pretty lukewarm on but in general this batch is strong. It'll be difficult to choose which one of these to start with.

Finally we had all the other bits and bobs in my package. Included in the base game was the core worlds battle zone. At my pledge level the amount of sprues included for that were doubled. I added the fortifications and landing pad battle zones to my pledge as well. Over half the space in my package was filled with terrain sprues!

 Fortifications sprues

Landing pad sprues

We also got that spiffy vinyl mat for the game to be played on. I can see wanting to buy an extra one to play larger games! I guess I could use the paper one also included in the box...but yuck. The acrylic upgrade tokens are generally garbage, a lot like the ones that we got for Dreadball. The resin crate tokens are really cool though so I'm looking forward to putting those together!

Lastly were all of my add-on scenery bits. I purchased one of each of the Antenociti's Workshop terrain bundles (four in total), as well as getting the air scrubbers and the other things (I can't remember what they're called. Combining these with the terrain pack from Sedition Wars will mean being able to create some really excellent looking sci-fi tables. Of course it'll take me months to paint even half of it...

I was one of the lucky folks who ended up to have an accurate shipment. Sorting through everything was a bit of a nightmare due to things coming in multiple bags per faction and no proper list of what figures should be included as part of each faction starter/booster. Now that I'm all sorted out I'm not concerned with it, but some simple label stickers on the bag would go a long way to making the process easier on the customers.

After all that work however I'm happy with what I have received, and I know there's a lot more on the way. I ordered the Asterians faction starter, and have some more extras coming like my zombies and Enforcer booster. Whether it shows up next week or in six months I'm damn sure I will be nowhere near having all this stuff painted anyway.

*Transmission End*

January 10, 2014

Field Report: SA-1234-FfF

December 17th, 1923

From: Carl Selinger, Commanding Field Agent
To: Director Silver, Calgary Field Office

Director Silver,

It has been several months since my last update and I have much to share. Our last outing went badly, very badly. Simply put, Professor Armitage and Dr. McDermott were both killed during our investigation of the stone circle. In our attempt to flee from the area we were captured and held by a man named Hemler. At least, that's what all of his followers referred to him as.

The man wears a grey uniform identical to his followers, but atop his head is a gleaming silver mask. To my knowledge, he never speaks. However it seems his minions receive directions from him in some manner while in his presence. I hesitate to suggest telepathy or mind control, but after all I've seen in my work I certainly wouldn't rule it out.

While held captive they asked us innumerable questions about our mission, who we work for, what we know about the stone circle. It seems however that the have no knowledge of the Threshold and I'm proud to say that all of my men acquitted themselves admirably. No one revealed anything. But director, the things they did to the bodies of our fallen comrades in hopes of breaking us...unspeakable. I had begun to fear that we might succumb to these horrors when we were miraculously rescued!

Agents Carter and Moreau were somehow able to find us and spirit us away during the night. We evaded pursuit and have boarded a train bound for Marseilles. From there will return home to re-equip. With the current condition of my team, I fear that doing otherwise will simply result in more agents lost. I'll ensure that our findings are forwarded to the London and Paris offices before boarding our ship.

It seems that our rescuers are intent on returning home with us. I've no cause to deny them doing so. By the time we arrive I'm sure we will be ready to accept any assignment you may have for us.


Carl Selinger

PS: I've cabled the Paris office and requested our new agent dossiers be forwarded to you ASAP.

--Communique from Paris--
ATTN: Director Silver
RE: Agent Dossiers

Monique Moreau

Randolph Carter

The dynamic duo, oh and Carter's there too.

January 09, 2014

Operation Squad WW2 - German Panzer Grenadiers

During the summer I went on a trip to PM Hobby, hoping to pick up some Gesso and ended up grabbing these Tamiya 1:48 scale Panzer Grenadiers on a whim (impulse buying at its finest). There are nine soliders plus three tank crew models in the box, as well as a vehicle driver and a seated officer. I haven't got any vehicles to put them in, but I'm thinking that maybe now I need one! I'll have to take a look at what kind of vehicles are available in the "Vehicles!" expansion for Operation Squad WW2.

One thing that I liked about this box was the instruction sheet. Being a war gamer, most of us get so accustomed to receiving a box or blister container filled with a bunch of random parts and simply being expected to 'figure it out'. I suppose part of that is the manufacturer giving you the freedom to construct the model(s) as you like but for beginners, or lazy people (that'd be me) detailed instructions are great.

The casting quality is ok, but the detail on the torsos and faces is a little soft. Construction was rather time consuming due all the small pieces for each figure. I clipped out and constructed them one figure at a time, which seemed the easiest route so as not to get all the tiny parts mixed up, or lost. Something to note is that there are only a few bases (odd shaped, flat ovals) included in the set, so you'll want to use your own. I've used some 25mm bases from my bits box so that they'll fit in better with my other models.

Something else I liked about this box, is that there are some examples of camouflage patterns that were worn by these fellows, and the instructions mark the figures with the appropriate Tamiya colours from their paint range. While I don't own any Tamiya paints, they provide some nice paint charts here. I wasn't interested in painting them in camo, instead opting for a much easier grey and black uniform scheme.

As downside to the figures is that they are definitely intended to be models and not gaming pieces. The barrels of the long rifles are very thin and will break off rather easily if not handled carefully. Since I'm not gaming with any kids, I hope they'll survive. I was a little concerned that the 1:48 scale wouldn't look right against my 28mm figures, but they stack up closely enough. If you hold a 28mm figure up right next to one of these you can tell they're not quite a match, but at two or three feet away on the table they look just fine.

For my $16, these were a great investment and I have added several more to my gaming collection (see here for my previously completed Russian Infantry). I'll be using these models for Operation Squad: WW2, because they look good and are a cost-effective, historically accurate option for the game.

Paint recipes:

- primed with white gesso (darkened with grey paint)
- flesh base coated with GW Tallarn Flesh
- all black uniform parts, boots, belts and leather painted with a mix of GW Black and Fortress grey
- washed with GW Badab Black
- flesh washed with GW Sepia

White-uniformed tank commander:
- painted white all non-flesh with white
- used above black/grey mix
- washed everything except flesh with Vallejo grey wash
- GW Badab black wash on boots and belt to darken again.
- silver touches on the hat, buttons and buckles

- base coated with AP Uniform Grey
- GW Boltgun metal for silver piping
- AP Undead Flesh for some equipment and socks
- GW brown on wood
- P3 Bloodtracker Brown on backpacks
- rifles GW Boltgun metal with P3 Armor Wash

January 06, 2014

More KS Stuff Arrives. I Play Card Games Instead.

In the final few weeks of the year my work and personal schedule generally get overloaded. I'm sure that's no different than most of you folks out there. I was smart enough to get my shopping done earlier than usual, which meant everything was wrapped and under the tree by the 15th, which I believe is a new record for me!

I generally don't get a lot of gifts at Christmas time, which isn't a bad thing because usually what I do get is pretty awesome. I also tend to buy myself a few things that I know won't show up in my stocking. So here's a recap of the things that showed up as the year rolled to a close.


A massive box of plastic showed up a few weeks before Christmas. I honestly wasn't expecting something of this magnitude, and when it showed up and was opened I shook my head and wondered why I had thought I needed so much extra scenery. It took quite a while to sort through everything, and I'm pretty sure the only items I'm missing are four regular game dice and the Mercenary deck of cards.

The castings look cleaner than the first round of Dreadball stuff, and the Antenocities resin terrain items look excellent. It's a little disappointing that Mantic didn't put in some bag listings or assembly instructions, but I'm not surprised. It did make cataloguing everything a tiresome chore however.


My final little package arrived a few days after Deadzone. This one was the alternate sculpts for some of the season 2 teams. I'm only waiting for two missing Asterian figures from the previous shipment and this one will be all finished up. I really enjoy the game after a year of playing it and wish that I had ordered the multiplayer pitch and cards during the Kickstarter campaign.

We have finally hit a high enough saturation point among the local players to drum up a league. It took me a year of pounding the game, doing demos, showing off my figures and basically begging people that bought it to give it a try. Several of the Blood Bowl crowd have finally come around and one of their folks is going to run the league with me serving as an advisor. I'll actually get to play in this one without having to do too much management work!

Judge Dredd Miniatures Game

Another package. It's been over a year since my first one arrived. I'm still missing stuff that should have showed up in that first box. Poor communication, terrible organization, good game, great figures. At this point I'm just tired of dealing with the whole thing and wish they'd get their shit together so I can cross it off of my damn list.

Wild West Exodus

About a week before Christmas this box showed up. I'd forgotten about this campaign completely and had pretty low expectations. I'm still waiting on some of my add-on scenery, but the stuff in the main box looked pretty good. The figures ARE pretty close to 35mm so I won't be mixing and matching them into many other lines or games. There were two items missing from my package, and I'm waiting a reply from their customer service about those.


I've already received some of the PDF books from my pledge and I've sadly not even really looked them over. When I got a little package at the end of last week I had no idea what it might be. It was the figures I'd ordered. On initial assessment they look pretty good, although I'm not sold on the assortment of Naz-ombie poses. I'll have to modify a few of them to get some more variation out of them. They're closer to 25 or 28mm scale and so should fit in nicely with my Strange Aeons figure collection.

If memory serves I had requested one figure be swapped out, so I have to dig through my records to see if that's correct. It's a bit of a shame that most (or ALL) of these campaigns have issues with them. On the other hand with the volumes of things they're dealing with I suppose it isn't much of a surprise.


After trying to arrange a final game day of the year last Sunday it turned out games weren't to be played at my house until the 4th. Of the nine invitees for the re-schedule, only one person felt like braving the icy temperatures and abysmal road conditions.

William dropped by with one of his recent Kickstarter acquisitions, The Agents but first we played my newest game Hero - Immortal King. I had opted for the Lair of the Liche set (there are three different sets available) when looking for a game I could play solo the week before. I gave it a run through on my own and, while not a heavy game, it was a quick diversion. Will had looked at the game a few times too so we played twice.

The dungeon player doesn't have a lot to do, and the adventurer player in both of these games lost fairly quickly. I think it's a little better game solo, and is probably a little bit easier. The price is high for what the game is, so I'd only suggest it if you want a solo game that packs really light, and can find it at a reduced price.

We followed up with a game of The Agents core game. The first few rounds were spent learning the rules and figuring out how things work. Once we got the hang of it I quite enjoyed it. The art style suits the game material well and after a few rounds there are a lot of available options on the table. While the rules say the game can support up to five players I'd say that two or three would be the best number to avoid a bunch of down time.

I'm actually tempted to look for a copy of the game myself, but that'd be silly since the only person I'd likely talk into playing it already has the game and all the KS exclusive add-ons.

January 02, 2014

2014 Begins...So What?

So a new year begins, and that means lots of folks starting up new year's resolutions: making promises to themselves and others. Most of those people will fail, or give up, or in some cases not even really get started. As for me, I'm not going to bother making grand gestures, plans or set any lofty goals.

To me the start of a new year is simply another day wherein I can learn and improve, just like the day before it, and the day after it. Why should I wait for the beginning of a new year to start something that will make me better, fitter, smarter or happier? I should be working towards those things every day, no matter where in the year it lands. And so should you.

Do what makes you happy. Improve yourself. Learn something. Do something nice for someone you care about. Or a stranger. Or not.

If you waited until the start of a new year to "get started" you've probably missed my point...but Happy New Year anyway.