Monday, November 24, 2014

Dropping the Checkers on the 2014 Season

Another racing season is officially over. Well, for all intents and purposes it has been over for me since September with the end of the Indy car season, but there was still that matter of NASCAR and F1 to go. While the chase still seems silly, the F1 championship is still something worth noting, so well done, Lewis Hamilton.

I'm not the biggest F1 fan in the world, considering most of them to be prima donnas compared to the Indy drivers. But that said, the machines are phenomenal examples of technology at its best, and frankly, I do kinda like Lewis Hamilton. I dunno, just seems like a decent enough bloke, if I can speak the language a bit. He may not be as popular as past champions, and he certainly benefits from being on a dominant team, but he still had to go out and do it.

With that, I offer a humble challenge. (Which, coming from a mere American racing fan I'm sure isn't worth a nickel, but I offer it anyway.) Lewis Hamilton has joined an elite group now consisting of four British drivers with multiple F1 titles to their credit. The three others, Jim Clark, Graham Hill and Jackie Stewart also all competed at Indy, with Clark and Hill getting wins. (Well, Hill's can be argued as by default, but nonetheless...)

So what do you say, Lewis? Fancy an entry in the 500? I'd be all for it!

In the meantime, only five months until May.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

More PT Boats

Finished up these three 80' Elcos last night, also from PT Dockyard. Much more heavily armed, and ready to go barge busting!

I also made some additional progress on one of the destroyers, which is now basically ready for paint. Of course I am tempted to get some more coastal craft, but I suppose I should run through at least one game with what I have first!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Going Coastal: Some of the Mosquito Fleet

Here's something a little different: WW2 coastal! US PT boats, to be precise. Which led to a brief debate, is this or is this not obscure? My erstwhile opponent Jon's first reaction was, "Oh, another obscure topic for you!" I countered with, "Sure, if you consider the titanic struggle between the United States and Japan across the vastness of the Pacific to be obscure. Most people have heard of it." :)

77' Elcos
80' Elcos
At any rate, these are 1/600 scale resin models from the PT Dockyard. A bit fiddly to clean up some of the small guns and such, but ridiculously easy to paint. I think the end result looks great!

Here we have two early war 77' Elco PT boats, done up in Measure 5 (dark gray) paint. I could use these for some actions in the Philippines, or maybe New Guinea? The other three are '80 Elcos done up in an earlier setup with torpedo tubes, and without the heavy armament that comes later. I do have three of those almost done that will make excellent barge busters. These are painted straight up with Testors medium green.

Speaking of which, I also have about half dozen Daihatsu barges painted up (no pics yet...) and am working on a couple of 1/700 Japanese destroyers. I plan on testing these out with the Flaklighter rules, hopefully before the holidays.

Another option is to incorporate these into a CY6 game.

Which reminds me, I haven't been neglecting that, either. In addition to some P-400s for the Cactus Air Force, I am back to trying to improve the flight stands to better show altitude. And perhaps ever better, I received some 1/1850 ship counters from Topside Miniatures that will look great on the CY6 hex map and serve very well as targets. They also currently have a Kickstarter going for Atlantic fleets. Tempting....

Monday, November 10, 2014

Getting the Young Ones Rolling Dice

Last week I introduced my daughters to the thrill of determining combat results by rolling a die! OK, so it was a LEGO game. And the variable outcomes are pretty much limited to a sword = you win, and a shield = you lose, but still.

This is one of the LEGO Heroica line of games. I've had this one, and one other for a while, but waited to get them out for the girls. They actually had a ball. Seems wandering through the Harduk forest in search of the evil wizard king, battling spiders and werewolves along the way, is just there thing. Hmmmm. Wonder where they get that from!

Though the game is quite simplistic, there are some strategies involved, and the girls were pretty quick to pick up on them. What route to take, how to deal with magic teleporting doors to your advantage, how to use the magic potion to your advantage, etc. I'm a proud dad. :) Heck, one even caught me in an overlooked rule. "Um, dad, aren't you supposed to move back one after you lose?" Oh yeah, you caught me!

We ran through it a few times, and each one was a little different. They got a little boisterous, climbing ON the table and such, which will be frowned upon at a con, but hey, we were having fun. I think they will like some other games, like a My Little Pony card game, but that requires more reading. LEGO kept it simple - count the pips and look at the symbols and off you go. I'm looking at adding some more challenging house rules, like variable numbers of dice needed based on monster level, etc. And I'm looking to add a couple more of the modules. All in all a fun time.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Saving the Saxon Village from Marauding Vikings

Sunday I was lucky enough to get in another game of Saga with good 'ol Jon. Despite him being able to seemingly call down all the gods from Asgaard for assistance using the Saga battleboard, and some uncharacteristic good dice rolling on his part, my Saxons were finally able to do in his warlord and save the day. The villagers are safe once again!

We were actually a little confused about inflicting hits on the warlord, and may still not have done it right. But so it goes. I need to look that up some more.

There are still some rules that puzzle us, like the uphill attacks and use of cover, etc., but as has been pointed out, Saga is first and foremost a GAME. It's fun. So we go with it.

I have some Dark Age civilian types on the table that I hope to use as future objectives - monks, women, etc. And I still have a bunch of unpainted Normans, but am inspired really to get a few more Vikings and paint them up. I also need to do something about a Scots/Irish faction. Ah, the list never ends!

Without further ado, the photos...

Goose for supper? Maybe when we're done.

Overview of the battle. Crops are carpet samples from Menard's. :)

My warlord, surveying the scene.

Saxon hearthguard.

More Saxon hearthguard - freshly painted BTD with incomplete bases.

I like how he turned out. Looks like he's been in a few scraps.

Come on, you pagans!

The warlord, joined by his brave warriors.