Thursday, December 29, 2011

State of the Blog 2011

The time has come for the annual State of the Blog address.  Where are the years going?


Wargamer Blue blog has had over 10,000 visits from 126 nations in 2011.  Top three visiting nations are the USA, the UK and Australia.  The top non-english speaking nation is Germany.  The most popular post of 2011 was "Best Wargaming Table Ever?"  Just over 1,600 hits. 


Once again I am very fortunate to have some followers of this blog.  165 to be exact.  85 up from 2010.  Many thanks to you all.


The butchers bill!

In 2011 I painted :

37 x 15mm figures

1 x 15mm vehicles/guns/tanks

15 x 28mm figures

19 x Dystopian Wars Items
Total : 81 items
Painting is way down on 2010.  In, fact, it's probably the worse painting year I have ever had.  I believe I have isolated the source of the problem.  The Xbox.   Things will only get worse.  I have joined a clan of work colleagues in Call of Duty.  The good news is figure manufactures did not slump in figure sales as a result of my Call of Duty addiction.  Buying remains at historically high levels.  Especially rule books.  I believe I may have some sort of rule book compulsive purchasing disorder.
Miniature Wargaming increased dramatically in 2011 to it's highest level ever.  I  put this down to expanding my gaming network.  Most played game was Blitzkrieg Commander, followed by Dystopian Wars.  Other games played were Victory at Sea and Disposable Heroes.  I have not included Combat Commander Pacific because it's a boardgame, but bloody hell, it's good.  
Disposable Heroes remains my favourite wargame of all time and I am looking forward to some games of the squad skirmish version called Point Blank in the New Year.  

My favourite miniature release of 2011 were the 28mm Australian 6th Division figures from Harbor Designs in the USA.  The figures were sculpted by Aussie Mike Broadbent.  I bought a platoon worth.  Very nice.

The best new release rules/expansion of 2011?  I am going to have to say Hail Caesar from Warlord Games. 

Disappointment of 2011?  BEF Miniatures closing down.  Warlord Games have bought them out and are releasing all the stuff but its sad to see Crouchy chuck it in.  Top bloke.

Call of Duty Modern Warfare on the Xbox.  Enough said,
If the world does not implode in 2012 I am looking forward to the Star Wars Miniature Wargame being developed by Fantasy Flight Games.  Lets hope it's good.
Blitzkrieg Commander : I will be playing more games and expanding my armies in this truly excellent wargame.
Disposable Heroes Point Blank :  I really want to get into this game.  The appeal of only having to paint a squad of figures to play is massive.
SAGA :  The new game from Gripping Beast looks interesting.  The rule book sold out after a month.  Great reports all over the web.  Only need to paint 30 figures.  Four new faction to be released shortly including the Scots.  I might have a go at painting Tartan in 2012.
Dystopian Wars : More games to play and maybe buy one of the new nations to be released soon.  The Italian States has some appeal.
Combat Commander Pacific:  Sorry to mention a boardgame.  But I want to play more and buy the Mediterranean expansion.  I have a great opponent and that's half the fun.  Thanks Jason for introducing me to the game.
Chance of Gaming ; My favourite Podcast in 2011.  Highlight moment was the great dummy spit of 2011 when Skyler had to record the show on steak night.  I feel sorry for Americans only getting to eat steak once a week.  Anyway, since that pivotal moment in Podcast history the podcast has got a bit dull.  Last two episodes have been boring.  The show is loosing it's miniature focus and is becoming a PC gaming podcast.  Hopefully Adam re-focuses on miniatures once he beats his Battlefield 3 addiction.  Bring back the good stuff.
Meeples and Miniatures :  At number 2 and threatening to knock Chance of Gaming out of the number 1 spot.  Neil is the gentleman of the podcast world.
Historical Wargaming Podcast :  Socal Warhammer re-badged.  The boys are back, kicked Games Workshop to the curb, and are as good as ever.  The show mainly focuses on Ancients wargaming.  Number 3 on my favourites list.
What Would Patton Do :  Great show by three Flames of War fanatics.  Number 4 on the favorites list.
40K Radio :  I hate 40K but I love to listen to this show.  Great hosts, great fun.  Number 5 and climbing.
All Along the Watch Tower :  Another great historical wargaming podcast.  No show for about  2 months now.  Hopefully it will be back.
The award goes to The Angry Lurker blog.  This bloke is everywhere.  Nearly a million followers, posts every other day and comments on every blog he follows.  A legend and the wargaming blog of the year.  Join up now.
2011 was a very frustrating blogging year for me, lead by the breakdown of blogger earlier in the year.  I was finally able to get back on blogger after I learnt of the Google Chrome conspiracy.  I still have occasional problems.  There are a couple of blogs I still can't read because I suspect the owners have upgraded their settings or something along those lines.  My computer may be getting a bit too old.
Thank you all for your comments and your own personal blog posts. Keeps me motivated. Gives me great idea's. And brings the wargaming world closer together.  See you all in 2012.



aka pbeccas on all forums

& Rat of Tobruk on The Miniatures Page

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas Haul 2011

My most impressive gift and totally unexpected surprise was this 1/30 scale Australian Light Horseman from King and Country figures.  Pre-painted and solid lead.  It's absolutely superb.  Theres a whole lot of them to collect and I immediately got an obsessive bug to buy them all.  That is until I visited the website and saw the price.  At an average of $100.00 per figure, one will do until next Christmas.  King and Country have some nice stuff if your bored and want to do some web surfing.  Check it out.

Second favourite gift and definitely written on my letter to Santa was the 28mm jungle village from Architects of War.  The solid resin buildings with lift off roofs are something worth fighting over on the gaming table.

Next gift is the 15mm Desert fort from Battlefront.  Pre-painted resin.  It's a beauty.

And finally, the gift that I have been waiting for.  Call of Duty MW3.  Time to hit the XBox once I get the in-laws out of my Xbox room (They are staying here for Christmas  -- Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr)

Hope you all had equally impressive hauls.  I left the boring stuff off.  Shirts, shorts etc.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Merry Christmas 2011


Saturday, November 26, 2011

Where Have the Italians Gone? : Disposable Heroes After Action Report

Not far from Beja Tunisia, thing have gone quite.  The small town of El Kabab is a critical outpost manned by elements of the Italian Superga Division.  But no-one has heard from them.  What has gone wrong?  Have the Americans captured the town?  Where have the Italians gone?  Maybe their omission from Point Blank was the last straw?  A small recon platoon is dispatched from 21st Panzer Division.  Their commander (me) is a cunning man and very popular with the ladies.  The platoon dismounts from their trucks and advances on the town.  Meanwhile, the American US II Corps advance.  Their commander chews his bubble gum and surveys the town ahead (this did happen and took about five minutes of my life away that I will never get back).  Something is not right.  It's too quite.  He sends in a platoon of the men he hates the most- the Disposable Heroes.
German advance.

 The Americans advance.

The American use their elevated positions and start spotting.  An Afrika Korps squad is revealed on the right flank.

 The American reach the town.

Americans take cover in the warehouse. 

 Hand to hand fighting in a house,

 The Germans are driven back, the last three fighting men.

Heroes of the game.  This squad did all the hard fighting and won.

We played this game as a meeting engagement.  Both platoons advancing on an unoccupied town.  We used blinds to hide our troops.  Two blinds per squad.  One blind hiding the unit, the other a dummy.  A simple rule burrowed from I Aint Been Shot Mum from the Too Fat Lardies.  A very quick summary of the game :
Youngy advanced his units on a broad even front.  I tried to be sneaky faking an attack up the centre of the board whilst most of my platoon was on the right flank.  I kept my dummy blinds advancing behind cover whilst the real units advance in the open.  The Ruse worked.  Youngy started concentrating his weapon teams in the middle of the board and spent activations attempting to spot them.  We both reached the town together and auto spotting within 12 inches revealed our forces.   Then it was a mad dash for the cover of the houses.  Youngy pinned and routed my HMG team early in the game.  The riflemen of both sides shot it out. The dice gods deserted me and favoured Youngy.  He began to pin me down.  Soon four German teams could not return fire and the Americans charged in with bayonets.  Vicious house to house fighting resulted in complete victory to the Americans.  My brave men were wiped out or surrendered.  Final result Germans : 25 Dead,  2 Surrendered, 1 Ran Away.  Americans : 4 Dead.  Germans driven from the village and complete victory to Youngy.  Great game.  Good fun.  Best rules in the world.  And where did the Italians go?  Better send emails to Iron Ivan Keith and Chal.  They might know.  Thanks for reading and goodnight.         

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

FIrst Game of Combat Commander Pacific

Played my first game of Combat Commander Pacific last night.  Operation Cherry Blossom - USMC landing on Bougainville Island on the 1st of November, 1943.  My opponent was Jason, an experience Combat Commander Europe player but his first go at the Pacific.

Basically, after an initial naval bombardment, the USMC arrive in two waves and have to get off the beach and take the scenario objectives or wipe out the Japanese defenders.  The Japs are in bunkers and trenches and have no surrender and will fight to the end.  The Marines will surrender if they loose 16 squads.  The game feels a lot like the original Squad Leader.  However all movement and firing are controlled by cards.  Each player has a huge deck of cards.  You each have a card hand that you replenish each turn.  The cards have orders such as fire, move, charge etc.  You might really want to assault a trench but unless you have an advance card in your hand you can't.  Random events pop up that put your plans in array.  Your card hand management is very important.

The USMC won the game (me).  The game played very well once I worked out the eb and flow of the card system.  The game took 2.5 hours.  The scenario was really well designed giving both players equal chance of winning.  All in all, a very positive experience for me.  Many thanks to Jason for teaching me how to play.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Disposable Heroes: Point Blank

Everyone who knows me and follows my blog knows I am an Iron Ivan Fanboy.  Disposable Heroes is my favourite wargame of all time.  If Iron Ivan jazzed up the rulebook into full colour it would be HUGE.

The latest rule book from the lads is Point Blank.  A squad level skirmish game.  Average of 10 figures per side.  The rules use the same mechanics as Disposable Heroes so I am keen to try them out.  Best thing is I already have the figures.  As soon as these rules arrive I will be posting battle reports. 

From their website : 
Point Blank is a brand new squad level skirmish system for 1:1 modern tactical firearm combat. Players are in charge of a squad or several fire teams and control the individual actions of their soldiers, weapon teams, vehicles or support weapons. The rules are focused on the tactical concepts of fire and maneuver, command and control, and morale as well as training and experience. Any period of modern firearms combat can be simulated, from The Great War all the way to today and beyond.

The Point Blank book contains everything you need to run games with infantry, artillery, and vehicles as well as rules for spotting and hiding, as well as night, weather, smoke, and fog. There are three major periods represented for the army lists in the book: WWII (which includes Germany, U.S., Soviet, British, French, and Polish. Vietnam (which includes U.S., ARVN, Australian, NVA, and VC. As well as modern forces for the Global War on Terror or any other modern hot spot (which includes U.S., British, Mujaheddin, and Insurgent). Rounding out the book are three scenarios, each one concentrating on one of the periods covered in the book and focusing on a tactical concept. The missions include Combat Patrol, Ambush, and a VIP Snatch. There is lots more besides in this 94 page rulebook to keep players busy and gaming.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Australian Infantry

1200 Point Australian Infantry Battlegroup for Blitzkrieg Commander.  Figures are 15mm Battlefront.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Bark Endeavor

Took the rug rat down to Fremantle today to watch Her Majesty's Bark Endeavor return home after 12 years.  The replica was built here but now lives in Sydney.  The Endeavor was the ship that claimed Australia for the British Empire.  After her voyage to Australia she was used to transport British troops to the American colonies during the American War of Independence.  She was scuttled at the entrance of Newport Harbour in the US in an effort to deny access to the port by a fleet of French ships arriving with French troops.

A Fire Fighting boat leads the way.

 Endeavor enters the port.
 Man, sailing ships are sure slow.

And away she goes past us.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Union Regiment Painted

I promised I would paint something.  A standard Union Civil War Regiment with Black Powder rules in mind.  Figures are 15mm Peter Pig.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Combat Commander

Apologies for the lack of posts this month.  I have been ultra slack at painting (done none).  Playing too much Call of Duty live on the Xbox.  But I have also been playing a lot of tabletop games, averaging one a week.  That's been a mixture of Dystopian Wars, Blitzkrieg Commander and Victory at Sea.

My latest shinny thing is Combat Commander Pacific and the New Guinea expansion pack from GMT Games.  .Combat Commander Pacific is ranked number 3 on Boardgame Geeks best wargames of all time list.  It's a Squad Leader style game with squad counters and squad weapons such as LMG's, HMG's and mortars.  You control platoons of units fighting historical scenarios.  All your moves are card driven which is a great game mechanic because you can't really pre-plan anything.  You need to think on the spot with this game.  Combat Commander Pacific has Australian units and battles so that's why I got it.  And I can convert a lot of the scenarios to miniature wargaming.  Anyway, my friend Jason is going to walk me through a game shortly.  He is a veteran gamer of Combat Commander Europe.  I will let you know how I go.

And I will paint something soon - I promise.  And if anyone want's to link up on Xbox live.  Let me know.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Afrika Korps v Australians : Blitzkrieg Commander Battle Report

Welcome to another Blitzkrieg Commander Battle Report.  This time we return to the desert in 1943 and pit the Deutschland Afrika Korps against the Australian Imperial Force.  Godders commands the Germans, I command the AIF.   At stake is the small town of El Godfrey, a place where weary goat herders can rest after a long day of goat herding.  (Does anyone know where I can buy some 15mm goats?)  Rommel needs this town as a staging point for his thrust to Cairo.  The Australian plan is simple and it worked at Tobruk.  Let Rommels tanks pass the outer defensive perimeter and draw them onto hidden guns.  Ambush the following infantry.  And cut off the panzers retreat. 
 The Panzers advance towards El Godfrey in two powerful formations.

"It's a trap!"  The Australian anti-tank guns sited in the town open fire on the Germans.  British armoured support hits the Panzers in the flanks.  The German commander is not worried.  His following infantry will deal with the guns while he turns to deal with the flank tank attack.  "Where are the infantry?"  

"It's another trap!"  The Australians rise out of their caves and ambush the panzer grenadiers on the left & right flanks.  This was a blood bath.  All the bonus flank shots decimated the Germans.  After the first round of shooting only a few Germans remained. (Apologies for unpainted figures - that's a carton).  

 The Panzers take a terrible beating from the Anti-Tank guns.

 But the Australians don't get it all their own way.

 The Germans turn to secure their flanks.

The British are out gunned and out armoured.  Very soon the British tanks are all burning wrecks.  However enough damage has been done to the German Battlegroup and they reach breaking point.  A roll of the dice seals their fate and they are forced to retreat.

El Godfrey has been held.

This game was set up in scenario format ignoring army points.  It was going to be a hard ask for the Germans to win.  The idea was to have a fun game.  All it takes are a few failed CV rolls on the Australians part and the Germans would have a good chance of winning.  We tried to simulate the circumstances of the first battle of Tobruk, using a later time period to suit our models.  It seemed to work.  A good interesting game that lasted 2 hours.  We have seen what German do to cows, thankfully the goats where saved.    

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Over the Top

I checked my emails this morning and found a Warhammer Historical Newsletter proclaiming the release of Over the Top.  This is the long awaited supplement to The Great War, containing army lists for the whole war and new trench fighting rules.  As you will remember The Great War only covered 1914 & 1918 when the war was mobile.  Full colour WWI.  I had to order a copy.  

Friday, July 29, 2011

Belgians v Germans : Blitzkrieg Commander Battle Report

The brave Belgians and the Germans face off in a 1000 point meeting engagement of Blitzkrieg Commander.  Both sides advance towards a farmhouse destroyed by the relentless Luftwaffe.  Yours truly commands the Belgians, Guido commands the Hun.
The Belgians win initiative and move first, attempting an outflanking maneuver on the left.  The Belgians have one awesome ACG-1, and two not so awesome FT-17's.
Unfortunately, the Belgian flanking tanks are up against a nasty German tank formation.  Outranged and outgunned the Belgians are destroyed in a matter of minutes.  Flanking maneuver failed.
The Germans decided they don't like cows and shoot them all.  Here two German mortar teams set up behind a stone wall.  Ready to rain suppression down on any Belgian infantry that advance towards the farm.
And here come the Belgians advancing along the right road.  Infantry with a couple of HMGs in support.  They come under heavy mortar fire.  Yellow markers are suppression.  Blue dice are the hits taken.  Each unit needs 6 hits to be knocked out of the game.
More Belgian infantry advancing in the centre.  This time they have 47mm SA-FRC anti-tank guns in support.  However highly mobile German infantry are now in the farmhouse and are raining down fire on the attackers.  Both AT Guns are suppressed and are soon knocked out without firing a shot.
The Belgians Alamo.  They make it towards the protective cover of a stone wall and find more German cow atrocities.  The Belgians have two anti-tank rifles which will surely put a halt to the advancing Panzers.
The Panzers line up on the Belgians left flank and let rip.  The Belgians are under intense fire from armour, mortars, infantry and HMG's.  Before long the Belgians reach breakpoint, fail their break dice roll and run off the battlefield.  Germany victorious.  The Belgians lost three tank units, two AT units, two AT Rifle units, and three infantry units before breaking and fleeing.  The Germans lost one HMG unit and two Infantry units.  Thanks for the game Guido.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

1st Game of Dystopian Wars

 The ocean battleground. 
The heroic Empire of the Blazing Sun on the right.  The evil Federated States of America on the left.  This was a 400pt recon game.
 Two fine squadrons of Empire ships.  A mighty Battleship and two cruisers.

 Two sneaky Federation blimps and one solitary heroic squadron of Empire tiny flyer fighters.

The final shame.  My Empire battleship was boarded by Marines from three Federation cruisers and taken as a prize.  

Last night I travelled to the Outpost North gaming club to participate in my first ever game of Dystopian Wars.  It was a simple 400 point recon game.  My opponent was Jason, a fine outstanding gentleman with excellent modeling and game tutorial skills.  The game lasted three turns.  To put it simply, I got SMASHED.  My whole fleet was sunk, except the battleship which was taken as a prize.  My Tiny Flyers were all shot down.  I did get a couple of campaign points for having a fully painted fleet.  YAY.  The Federals lost three frigates sunk, and one taken as a prize. (That only happened because Jason was gracious enough to tell me how to carry out that maneuver).

My thoughts on Dystopian Wars.  This is not an easy game to play.  You need to be aware of your ships capabilities.  When to link attack and defensive weapons, when not to link them.  Be aware of ranges.  Watch out for blimps.  They are nasty.  Tiny Flyers suck.  They are really complex to use, get shot down easily, and they don't do much damage.  Jason explained that they are better to use as a swarm.  Frigates are nasty little ships.  Fast, and they throw out a heap of firepower.  I really underrated the frigate but I now have a greater appreciation for them.  Boarding ships is nasty.  The number of marines in each ship is very important.  Stay away from ships with a lot of marines.  The battlefield gets ugly with a lot of counters next to damaged ships.  I really don't like that but its part of the game.  In summary, I really enjoyed myself.  I have to study the rulebook more.  Again, many thanks to Jason for his time.  I learnt a lot.  But will I remember it!