Sunday, May 7, 2017

Mayday 2017

On Saturday, I went to this year's Mayday convention held here in the Edmonton area. Jonathan, the organizer, found an excellent community center in St. Albert that served as a new location for us, and we managed to gather a decent crowd.

This time, I ran a game of Imperial Skies. This is a steampunk Victorian flying battleships game created by Brigade Models. For the miniatures, rather than Brigade Models products, I used ship models from an unrelated board game called Leviathans, an interesting product that unfortunately didn't do well commercially.

Newcomer (to EWG but not to gaming) Derek and long-time EWG member Dan played my game, which involved German battleships attempting to destroy British forts on Mars. Derek played the British fleet and Dan the German.
Dan sent his German warships on board in several columns, with Derek's smaller British fleet attempting to maneuver and cross the Germans' "T".

Initially, the Germans did some damage to the British fleet, destroying a destroyer and a cruiser that wandered too close to the German columns by themselves, while the British did relatively little damage, mainly owing to Derek's dice initially performing badly. However, Derek finally managed to get his battleship into position, and blasted one of the two German battleships at close range. "Crossing the T" is quite nasty in this game.

The battle descended into a swirling melee where generally the British managed to cross the T more and did more damage over time.

Dan finally got his remaining battleship close to the British forts and demolished one of them. However, the forts were heavily dug-in and proved hard to destroy, while the British blasted the German ships one by one. At the end, we called the game at the time limit and Germans were not getting any farther. Both player enjoyed the game quite a bit though.

Next, I played in Dennis' DBA tournament, where each player had three games against different opponents.
I played using one of Dennis' armies, the Anglo-Irish, against Rob and Don from Calgary, and Dave from right here in Edmonton. Things went poorly for me due to die rolling in the first two games, and I lost them both. However, in the third game, Dave's dice were even worse than mine, and I managed to win. It really reinforced the view that DBA is very dependent on single die rolls, leading to a lot of player frustration.

Later that night, Dennis ran a big-battle DBA game of the Battle of Ilipa, between Romans and Carthaginians. I think I like the big-battle version quite a bit more, since there are more die rolls for PIPs (i.e. action points), and so the game is less dependent on single die rolls. Also, more miniatures are involved and the whole thing looks a lot more like a large battle.

All in all, this was another great Mayday, and I hope we can stay at the new location, which proved to be a very nice one indeed.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

More Dropfleet

For the upcoming Dropfleet League game tomorrow, I painted up some more Scourge ships.

This game is going to be another skirmish, at 750 points. I heard that the Basilisk battlecruiser is quite good, so I painted up the one from the last post. Plus, I painted up a troop transport module and attached it to one of my cruisers to make a Chimera troop transport.

Even though the game will be too small for a battleship, I like the Scourge model so much that I painted it up. It will definitely be making an appearance for the following game, which will be larger. Of course, as I showed in the last post, the head weapons are magnetized. The above is the Daemon configuration.

This is the Dragon configuration for the same ship, with fighter/torpedo launchers instead of occulus weapons arrays.

This shows the relative sizes of the battlecruiser and the battleship.

Unrelated to Dropfleet, for the upcoming Tuesday night game, I'm going to run a game of Imperial Skies, with steampunk flying battleships on Mars. The miniatures are from a boardgame called Leviathans, which unfortunately is no longer supported.

In this game, German battleships are trying to take on British ships and forts. The above are British ships flying above their forts.

These are some of the attacking German ships.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

First Dropfleet Game

I finally managed to paint around 500 points worth of Dropfleet Commander ships, just in time for a game organized in St. Albert on Sunday.

I painted four of the magnetized frigates from the previous post.
Here are a couple of Djinns armed with plasma weapons and a Gargoyle, a troop carrier. I decided on a fairly simple colour scheme of purple outlines with some green tinges over a metallic surface.

This is the second Gargoyle, painted to the same scheme.

I also figured out how to magnetize the cruisers so the wings, cheek weapons, and the "crown" of the heavy cruiser are all removable. Here are the two I painted for the game, an Ifrit on top, and a Shenlong on the bottom. These are all convertible to other ship classes.

I also kit-bashed some Nickar corvettes, which don't have released models yet. These are just made from left-over weapons wings and painted in the same scheme. They are quite useful as troop carrier killers in the game.
Trevor from St. Albert organized the game on Sunday, and it was a blast. He brought out orbital gaming mats that really provided the proper atmosphere (pun intended) for the game. There were quite a few tables, mostly new players learning the game. This was my first time playing and I got hooked!

Carrying on, I'm building the next batch of ships right now. Here is a Basilisk battlecruiser, which I hear is quite good in the game. It's assembled with magnetized cheek weapons, and ready to be painted.

I also got hold of a battleship, which is quite a big hunk of resin. Again, I magnetized the head weapons so they can be swapped. This is the Daemon configuration with beam weapons.

This is the Dragon configuration with launch bays on the sides of the head instead.

I can't wait for next month's game, and I'll be bringing some new ships to it.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Dropfleet Kickstarter!

Last year, I bought into the Dropfleet Commander kickstarter created by Hawk Wargames. This is a starship combat game based on their Dropzone Commander universe. I ordered a basic starter set from both the UCM and Scourge, two of the main factions, along with a bunch of freebies (mainly extra ships) given as a part of the kickstarter.

Last Friday, I finally received my package.

Even though it's a relatively low level pledge, it still has a ton of stuff packed in there, with all the basics needed to play, along with extra ships from all existing faction.

I started building the Scourge faction right away, since I like their bio-mechanical design.
Both types of ships in the starter set, frigates and cruisers, have a variety of build options. This just begs for magnetization. The Scourge frigate is fairly straight-forward, with a common central body and several optional pairs of wings. I built up three types of wings (there are a couple more I haven't built) for four frigates, as seen in the picture above.

Here's the same frigate with the three options I have so far. The Djinn, a close-range attack craft, the Gargoyle, a troop carrier, and the Harpy, the basic ranged frigate.

Here are all four frigates with a typical fleet configuration - two Harpies and two Gargoyles. Unfortunately each sprue of four frigates only allows you to build two copies of each option.

I've built up the base of a cruiser (I have four total), but the cruiser's options are much more complex, and some of the places, like the mouth, are hard to magnetize for all the options. I'll have to think about how to do this properly.

All the factions also have resin-only battleships. I don't have any yet, but here is a size comparison of a Desolator from Dropzone Commander with the Scourge cruiser. It fits the description of Scourge battleships as being around the same length as cruisers but much wider and thicker. I may proxy the Desolator as a battleship in games before deciding on whether to splurge on battleships.

I can't wait to start painting these!

Friday, December 30, 2016

Finally, More Tyranids

I haven't been doing much painting recently, but over the holidays I managed to get some more Epic scale Tyranids done.
To get some tougher command units I painted these old-fashioned hive tyrants. They've always looked kind of goofy to me, but they actually have a lot of detail.

I converted these biovores from Warhammer 40k rippers and fleshborers. They are around the same size as the original Epic scale biovores. In Epic rules, these are a very handy artillery unit.

I also used 40k rippers straight up as raveners. They certainly look the part.

This is a closer-up view of the rippers.

I also painted my original trygons. I'm not convinced about these conversions, but they'll do for gaming.

The same trygons from the back.

My painted Epic Tyranid collection is getting pretty big now. I'm working up the courage to paint the excellent French exocrine and haruspex proxies...

Monday, October 3, 2016

FallCon 2016

Over the last weekend, I went to Calgary again for this year's FallCon gaming convention. It looks like the Calgary DBA group has become more active, and they're trying to recruit more into the fold. Overall, the convention still seems quite popular despite some bad economic times.

On Friday night, the Calgary DBA group ran a tutorial event for several potential new players, and I joined in on some of the games. Hopefully this means there will be more players in Calgary.
Don and Mark from Calgary were instructing new players on the mechanics of the game.

 Here, I guided new player Wayne in a game with Medieval French against my Komnenans.

On Saturday morning, we played a number of games with the theme of ancient Greeks and Romans versus Asians. Various Asian armies were pitted against ancient Mediterraneans in several separate tables. I was glad to see some of the new players from the previous night's event joining in.

In this picture, I had a game against Dennis' Qin dynasty army with my Celtiberian army.

There were a few other miniature games running at the same time.

There was a superheroes miniature game. I saw this board with the Batmobile coming in against some dastardly criminals. No doubt there was plenty of "Kapow!" in the game.

There was also a demo game of Fireball Forward, which looked quite intense with a bombed-out urban WWII setup.

In the afternoon, Dave P. ran a series of walk up and play WWII naval games. I watched the first one, but ultimately didn't have time to join in. I had played the same scenario before on club nights, so I was fine with that.

Instead I joined an introductory game of Steampunk Rally, an interesting boardgame. You had to build racing contraptions with cards representing components of your machine, propellers, boilers, etc., and those components provided you with power and motion to allow you to win the race. The picture above is one of my rickety contraptions.

This is a shot of the racing board, marking where the characters are in the course and some of the hazards on the track. Overall it was quite a fun game and I had a blast.

Sunday morning, I played in the Alberta Open DBA tournament. Things didn't go that well when I kept rolling 1s. Fortunately in the last game I ran into another player who did the same thing, so I managed a 1-2 W/L ratio.

Since I already have so many things to paint, I avoided getting too many extra minis this time. At the flea market, I grabbed a copy of Smallworld Underground, a variant of Smallworld which I used to play at work. It's quite a fun game.

Once again, I had a great time at FallCon, and I'm looking forward to next year. Also, the Calgary guys promised they'll come for DBA next Mayday, so I'm looking forward to that too.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Poor Attention Span

Sorry that I haven't been posting more about my epic Tyranids, but I've been distracted by some other projects such as my Kings of War dwarf army. However, I did work on some more epic, Eldar this time. I always liked the look of the newer epic Eldar revenant titans, the ones that look like giant thin Eldar with pulsar lasers for arms. They were so much more graceful than the old "walking eggs."

This is a well-painted example from CoolMiniOrNot. To make something like this, out of old 40k bits of course, I had to think about it a bit. I took some inspiration from examples on Tactical Wargames forum and came up with the following.

This is made from various guardian, dire avenger, and wraithguard bits. I tried to maintain a similar build and style to the metal epic version, with a bit of action to  the model.

Another shot from the front.

The side and back, showing the back fins and the jump jet.
This is a size comparison with a first generation epic phantom titan. It's a bit shorter than the metal epic revenant, and is up to around half the height of the phantom to the head.

I have several more on the work table with my available bits, so this can probably form of the basis of an Eldar titan army?

This does show though that my attention span is quite poor, and I really need to concentrate on finishing something before taking on other projects.