Wednesday 27 June 2012

White Dwarf 391 & Wargames Illustrated 297

The closest delivery ever for my two subscriptions, but Wargames Illustrated still came first, but only by a single day.

White Dwarf is dominated by the new 40k release, so much in fact warhammer fantasy gets a mere two pages and LOTR gets nothing at all.  If you're not interested in 40K don't even think about buying this issuse.  So assuming you like 40K is it any good? Well you start off with the new releases section showing the new book and various new templates/cards/dice you can buy.  Next is what passes for the design notes article, it mentions a few of the changes (like allies, fortifications, flyers and warlords), but doesn't tell you why they changed anything except for a vauge intention to make it more 'cinematic' and narrative driven.  I'm holding off judgement on the new edition till I've played it a bit, and that probaly won't be till the new boxed set comes out.  Next comes my favorite bit, no less than 22 examples of real players 40K armies, theres some inspriational stuff here and I particulary like the Imperial Gaurd army made with added empire parts from fantasy.  There's also a couple of brief battle reports and one of the new painting guides that I'm not keen on for the tau.  The final 40K article is a guide for using the new pyschic powers with existing armies, dull but definatly useful.  And finally Jervis has gone walkies and Jeremy Vetcock steps into standard bearer, it makes a nice change as Jervis seems to have been getting a bit stale of late.  
In conclusion, this is an OK issuse, if they'd have bothered with a proper design  notes article it would have even been good, but alas.

This months theme in Wargames Illustrated is the new flames of war expansion 'devil's charge' about the battle of the bulge in 1944.  The theme only gets two articles, a complicated 3 table scenario for Peipers charge and then a battle report showcasing the scenario.  Its a large game and it'd be a while before my fledgling force could give it a go!  They seemed to have crammed a lot of other stuff into this issuse (maybe it feels that way because of the small theme), two small show reports from salute and adepticon (They sat there will be more from salute next issuse), I've also decided I really need to try and get to salute next year.  Two hobby articles, one on how to paint faces and another on how to photograph miniatures, you never know there might be an improvement in photograpy around here as a result.  Then of course there are the other historical articles this month featuring the battle of falkirk 1746 (carrying on from last months theme), the Illyrian revolt of 6AD, early post independence US-Indian wars, and the Boshin war at the start of Imperial Japan.  And finally a look at the new bolt action 28mm WW2 game from warlord games, which admitedly looks interesting, but I'm trying to ignore it a bit as I might be tempted and I've alredy started collecting WW2 in 15mm, and theres no way I want to start collecing periods in more than one scale.  Quite a good issue all round.

Monday 25 June 2012

Eldar Viper & 40K Ruins

Just a quicky today, a new Eldar Vyper Jetbike to show and a couple of pieces of gothic ruins.

The Vyper has had an extra heavy weapon slung underneath in the manner of a landspeeder.  And for 60pts can put out 6 strength 6 shots a turn, not to shabby at all.

The ruins are the old plastic set that origanally came in the 3rd edition boxed set.  I didn't put a lot of effort into these, just a quick spray in grey and the a covering in devlan mud, but its worked out I think.

Also as it happens this is my 200th post, I'm quite suprised that I've got this far to be honest, but thank you for reading, and heres to the next 200!

Friday 22 June 2012

HaT 1:72 Scale 17th Lancers

This is a set of models I've been waiting for for several years, ever since I painted my first zulu war Brits around 3 years ago this set has been on the horizon, but it's been worth the wait and for 1:72 scale models these are great, although inevitably the lances are a bit fragile.

These are of course the famous 17th Lancers as they were in the Zulu war, although as long as you're not too fussy they could serve as other colonial lancers as well.  I'm planning to paint up a second set for use with my British army in the Sudan.  You get 12 horses in the set, but 15 riders which allows for a bit of variety and with the bonus arms to include officers and buglers.

Monday 18 June 2012

Royal Yugoslav Navy In Victory At Sea

As well as the main navies covered by the victory at sea rules Navwar (my ship maker of choice) also produce fleet packs for many of the smaller navies of the era.  Some of them have had rules published over at David Manleys website, but I've gone and bought the Yugoslavian pack which doesn't and had a stab and converting their stats into rules myself.

The Yugoslav Navy was pretty small in 1941 and the Navwar pack contains the only 5 vessels that were of any real size, an ageing ex-German light cruiser, a British built destroyer leader and 3 french built destroyers.  The cruiser was very old and not much use for anything but training, the four destroyers however were modern and effective.  Yugoslavia was quickly overun by the axis and most of her fleet ended up serving with the Italians.

First up the light cruiser Dalmacija, of German origin where she was known as the Niobe.

The Destroyer Leader Dubrovnik

And the three destroyers of the Beograd class: Beograd, Zagreb and Ljubljana

And finally here is the link to the PDF I've done with the stats for the above ships.

Friday 15 June 2012

Ponte Del Diavolo - A Short Boardgame Review

I picked this up a while ago in The Works as a random impulse purchase.  It's a boardgame in what I believe is called the 'eurogame style'  which to my mind (possibly wrong I'm no expert on this) means it has wooden playing pieces, a civilian theme and no dice. (EDIT: I'm reliably informed that eurogames can have dice)

The game is a two player game and the aim of which is to create a series of islands connected by bridges.  You get no points for islands themselves only for connections.  Gameplay is very simple you take it in turns to place either two island squares of your colour or one bridge conecting two of your island pieces.  Bridges can only be placed so that they only cross open spaces.  Thats about it really, the game continues until neither player can play any more, you then total up the scores, the longer the chain of connected islands the more points you get.  It sounds simplistic and well, it is, but it works really well and provides a lot of choices with what to do on your tun.  You often have the choice of attempting to block your opponent or trying to establish your own island chain (essentially to attack or defend).  Playing it feels similar to playing 'Go' but it's a lot smaller in scale and takes a lot less time (we were playing games in around 20-30mins).

The components are all a little basic but do the job absolutely fine.  You get a board (with a nice edge round it which helps keep the pieces in place, wooden tiles and bridges, a bag to put them in and a double sided piece of paper with the rules on.

The other thing of note is the opening mechanic which I absolutely love;  The oldest player places two island tiles and then the other player then choses weather he will play with those pieces as his turn, or plays with the other pieces.  It's fantastic and I'm not sure yet what the best move with the starting pieces is.  Play too well and your opponent gets a head start and play too badly and you harm yourself.

I like this game a lot, it fills a nice 2-player slot that my boardgame collection isn't great on, doesn't take too long and provides real decisions.  If you see this at a good price I reccomend you buy it.

Tuesday 12 June 2012

Historic Ships of The Thames in London

The day before the Diamond Jubliee boat parade I found myself taking a stroll along the Thames, and it turns out that there are several interesting historic ships moored along the bank.

First up is was is now called HQS Wellington (formally HMS Wellington) which is a WW2 grimsby class sloop.  In WW2 she served mainly with the north atlantic convoys and also took part in operation dynamo (the evacuation at dunkirk).  After the war she became the Livery hall of the master mariners as Headquarters Ship Wellington which she remains to this day.

This is HMS President (formerly HMS Saxifrage) a flower class sloop and a Q-Ship (a ship disguised as a merchant ship to tempt submarines into attacking it) launched in 1918.  She served as a Royal Naval Reserve drill ship and is now a function venue.

Next up is this replica of Francis Drake's ship the Golden Hind.  This replica was launched in 1973 and like the origanal has circumnavigated the globe.  It's not a big ship compared to something like the Victory and would have been extremly cramped for its 80 crew.

Of course there is also the mighty cruiser HMS Belfast by tower bridge which I visited last summer.

As it happens I also saw a couple of examples of our current navy as well

Just past Tower Bridge HMS Hurworth was moored at HMS President (the shore establishment not the ship mentioned above).  HMS Hurworth is a Hunt class mine countermeasure vessel.  As well as hunting mines the Hunt class also patrol the UK's fisheries.  Interestingly the Hunt class's hulls aren't steel, but are glass reinforced plastic.

And finally up by Vauxhill bridge three of these small Royal Marine boats zoomed by.  Just outside the MI6 building actually, I'm sure it wasn't really a james bond moment but it was rather  cool.

Sunday 10 June 2012

Mantic Zombies - Part 6 - All Finished

I've finally finished all the Mantic Zombies I've got! Yey! they came from a mixture of the zombie boxed set, dwarf kings hold and the crazy bag.  No matter their origin they all got based on 20mm bases so they can join my warhammer vampire counts army.  I have 41 zombies in all, the new 12 are shown below and then finally a picture of the completed horde.

Thursday 7 June 2012

A Second Rhino

My Space Marine army is getting a new addition today in the form of a much needed second rhino.  I'm a firm believer that all space marine squads with the option should take a rhino or razorback as they are fantastic value for points and really open up a lot of options.  The problem has always been that I consider them quite expensive to buy (in real money terms) for what they are.  Still ebay has come to my rescue and I've added the rhino you see below to my army.

As there wasn't really a lot to this post I've randomly added one of my favorite pieces of artwork, 'Durer's Rhinoceros' (tenuous link I know), a woodcut done in 1515.

Tuesday 5 June 2012

Diamond Jubilee Thames Flotilla

Congratulations to her Majesty!

I was in London for a few days this weekend and on sunday I went down to the river with my friends and watched the Jubilee flotilla pass by.  Very good it was too, very entertaining and a great atmosphere.  We even managed to avoid the worst of the rain by being near the start, so it was nearly over for us by the time the weather really deteriated.  I grant it doesn't really have that much to do with this blog's theme, but it did feature several interesting military vessels, which of course do, and the truth is I just couldn't resist posting a few pics of a great day.

One of the highlights of the parade was the 'Dunkirk little ships' headed up by MTB 102, which served as the flagship of the fleet during Operation Dynamo.  She is thought to be the smallest ship to ever serve as a flagship for the Royal Navy.

These two are presumably Army boats of some sort, but I can't seem to find out anything else about them.

It turns out the RAF had boats too, at the top is HSL 102 which was used to rescue downed pilots in the channel in WW2.  The bottom picture contains another resuce boat (441) and at the back Linsey 2111 which also served in WW2 as a floating workship and refuller for RAF seaplanes.

And finally HMS Medusa, a harbour defense launch launched in 1943.  She took part in D-Day and continued to serve untill paid off in 1965.

Saturday 2 June 2012

Scibor Sci-Fi Servants - Part 2

I've painted up my scibor sci-fi servants, I haven't got that much to add to the last post, only that I found even more defects whilst painting them, it's such a shame.  Maybe it is part of the nature of the material, but I'm fast going off resin!

As I said I was going to I mounted them on standard 40K bases not the nice scenic ones they came with.  Painted up the one holding the book has turned out to be my favorite.

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