Monday, 27 July 2015

516 - The Second Siege of Agratha - Part 1: Situation

Next month will see the last hurrah of the Cadian 24th, and they're not going out quietly. Thus, it begins...
Extract taken from "Roaring Successes and Dismal Failures - The Untold Stories of the Imperial Guard" by General Onan Ipithacus:
"At the turn of the century 732M41 the Imperial system Azarus was subject to a mighty Ork invasion after the space hulk "Foul Behemoth" translated into the system. The initial invasion force landed millions of Orks on the planet who proceeded to attack, conquer and loot all that lay before them. The local PDF put on a valiant fight but were dramatically overwhelmed and had to keep giving ground to the green menace.
Eventually relief came in the form of a large Imperial Fleet complete with 52 regiments of Imperial Guard. The effect was immediate, as the Ork tide was stemmed on a number of fronts. However, by concentrating on defending key strongholds and assets, the initial relief force did little more then hold the Orks in-check.
It wasn't until a second fleet arrived providing a further 34 Imperial Guard regiments and spearheaded by 3 companies of Astartes that the Orks were finally pushed back and the land they had taken reclaimed.
After 12 years of brutal fighting, the war appeared to be won. The Ork menace had been broken and many of the relief forces had left for battlefields elsewhere in the galaxy. But the Orks had other ideas than to let this world be allowed to return to peace.
How they arrived in the system is still unclear, but a new Ork fleet snuck in to the system and descended upon an almost unaware planet. It is during this second invasion that some of the most incredible battles this writer has ever witnessed took place. The first deserving notarisation in this chronicle is the second battle of Agratha City.
The city had been swept over by the first Ork invasion with little resistance. But by the time of the second invasion, it had been reclaimed and used as an Imperial Guard strongpoint to protect the Eastern valleys below Mentosa Hive. It was of particular strategic significance, not only because of it's ideal location for staging an attack on the Hive city, but also because the thermal generators deep underground near the planet's mantle provided nearly unlimitted power for charging weapons and running the machines of war. As such it was set up to be a central rest, refuelling and maintenance station for all of the nearby Imperial forces.

The Officer in command of this outpost was Admiral Drax, attached to the the Cadian 2nd/24th Light Infantry. An experienced and much decorated officer, Drax had organised his command well, but a severe lack of good military intel from high command - mostly caused by the Orks jamming almost all the nearby scanning equipment - was about to test his abilities to the extreme.
A large Ork warband led jointly by the mighty Warboss Gorblud, the uncontrollable Braindead Bidsod and the Infamous Wazdakka Gutsmek had made planetfall not too far from the city and approached it with little warning. Had it not been for the keen recon units of the Cadian 24th, the Imperial forces would have been completely caught unawares and scattered in short order. As it was Drax had just enough time to call in reinforcements from the regiments stationed nearby.
To his aid came the best the world of Praetoria could provide: the mighty 4th Foot Regiment led by the indomitable Colonel Gravis and the 4th Mechanised infantry led by the renowned Colonel Winterborne. The Imperials did not have time to set up fully entrenched positions and had to meet the Orks almost head-on - a worrying prospect to the most steadfast of Imperial Commanders. They did have one ace-up-their-sleeve which was an artillery emplacement that gave them excellent range and coverage of the city and soon-to-be battlefield.
The Orks however, had also not been idle in their reconnaisance and had dispatched their own force to take out the artillery before it's full might could be brought to bear. It was a battle fought on two fronts and could easily swing either way through moments of genius or misjudgement. The scene had been set for a tale that would either paint the Commanders as heroes or harbingers of disaster."
NB: Narrative awesomeness courtesy of Matt. More details to follow. And this is going to be good: trust me.
- D.
PS: See also Col Gravis' most recent post, here: [link].

Thursday, 23 July 2015

515 - Bolt Action 28mm: Stuff (pic-heavy)

Yup: completely forgot to post this after I spent the day playing my first proper Bolt Action battles at Kirton Games. Whilst there I also took some pics of the troops I had with me, so I thought I'd share them as I'm away from home for  a few days and I have the pics with me...

This is everything that's currently painted, mind, as I'm on a 40K push at the moment (for reasons which will soon become apparent):
Group Hug!
Core Platoon
6 Pounder - lovely!

Vickers MMG
Recce Section...although in Bolt Action only one vehicle can have the actual 'Recce' rule...
Recce Carrier. Note the optional Boys AT Rifle on a converted stand in the Bren position:this is from source pics, not just my imagination! In the third pic of this carrier, below, you might just see the very tip of the Bren gun, which I've converted to be clamped inside the starboard hull...
In essence, my Bolt Action British force now comprises the following:

  • Lieutenant + runner
  • Artillery Observer + runner
  • Medic
  • Sniper Team
  • PIAT Team
  • 4 Ten-man Rifle Sections
  • 2" Mortar Team 
  • 3" Mortar Team + spotter
  • Vickers MMG Team
  • 6pdr AT Gun
  • Recce Carrier
  • 3 Universal Carriers
  • Cromwell
  • AEC Armoured Car MkIII
  • Engineer Team (although I've no idea what rules are available for these!?)
  • Flamethrower Team.
So there we are. I've no plans to expand Bolt Action in 28mm at the moment, as I pretty much have all I want now... although I've fallen in love with the Staghound as a cheaper and better-looking recce alternative... and it'd be useful to have a spare officer in case I fancy fielding two reinforced platoons...

No, Drax. 

Naughty Drax. 

Remember the sacred 6MMRPC Oath, Drax.

Sunday, 19 July 2015

514 - 6MMRPC 7: A Little More Excitement for Drax

Hullo, All.

I'm afraid that this single tank will need to count for this week's 6MMRPC, as I've been away in Amsterdam all last week. But it's a great tank:
Not yet finished, but an absolute JOY to construct! Kudos, Battlefront; kudos.

That's right - the excellent Damon over at [link] has invited me to paint up a unit for their charity auctions (for veterans - check it out on their site!), and I offered to paint their donated Battlefront Comets, seeing as I'm geared up for painting 11th Armoured Division tanks anyway. Yay!

NB: Being a low-urgency painted-for-charity unit, I shall decree that this unit will NOT count as a 'purchase' towards my 6MMRPC, but I shall factor its completion into my list. Pleasingly, I'll be able to paint these in concert with my recently-built replacement Shermans...

The Comets arrived whilst I was away: it's four complete tanks plus a fifth minus its turret. Damon has suggested making it an objective marker, so that'll be a nice challenge too. Included in the package was also the lovely box of Soviet Naval Brigade, as mentioned in my last post. Gorgeous.

But these babies are not my priority right now. Time ticks on apace, and I've got 25 stormtroopers to paint, methinks...and my summer holidays have just begun...

- D.

Monday, 13 July 2015

513 - youtube wargaming, Drax Wins a Prize!

I won something!

If you're not already a fan, I seriously and wholeheartedly recommend the brilliant, brilliant Norwegian chaps over at [link here]. In short, they are essentially playing through many of the major land battles of all theatres of WWII - in vague chronological order - through the marvellous medium of Bolt Action, filmed and posted on youtube! 

I have essentially become addicted to their material, as it's a way of vicariously getting to enjoy playing the brilliant game that is Bolt Action, and the gentle ribbing and enjoyably Nordic buffoonery is the perfect antidote to all the beardy posturing and gamesmanship that seems to have come to the fore in video uploads of other games. The hosts (led by the charismatic Svein and Damon) are extremely sporting and generous in their gameplay and love more than anything to tell a story.

They are making in-roads to filming other games systems as well (including Flames of War, Terminator Genisys and -soon - 40K) but with the probable exception of Terminator, I don't know how well these will all work for videos: in my (sadly not inconsiderable) experience of watching other people play on youtube, I've realised that I-go-you-go mechanics can swiftly get boring, and smaller minis (like Flames) can get lost. 

[Interestingly, X-Wing works really really well through video if filmed and edited tightly and if the commentary is crisp, knowledgeable and inoffensive (why do so many of us nerds feel the desire to be so bloomin' negative and derisory? - anyone'd think we were outcast at school!) it can be a real joy to watch. Competitive games too, as these are usually the ones filmed. I love that even newbies can stand a chance in X-Wing tourneys, and the core mechanic really does translate well. I heartily recommend an Australian channel, Fly Casual [link here], whose videos are very pleasant indeed!]

ANYWAY...All of this brings me back to my stroke of good luck. As I was watching the latest Bolt Action scrap this week (Operation Ironclad - 1942: Madagascar - British Commandos Vs Vichy French), I realised they were inviting answers to a question on their facebook group, of which I am a member. I answered first, and - lo and behold - I soon found out that I won the following:
Yay! I faced these beauties in my first (and only proper) Bolt Action game (link here) and they really impressed me, so what an absolutely delightful prize! I told you they were lovely chaps over at, didn't I?!

I've plans for this...and something else as well...but you'll have to wait to see precisely what other excitement I'll have in store.


- D.

Saturday, 11 July 2015

512 - 6MMRPC 7: 40K Stormtrooper Progress


Someone recently suggested that if one paints faces first, then one feels - on a more personal level - more bound to finish the figures; almost as if one starts to invest in them as heroic-28mm people!

So I tried it:
f you're wondering why I have so many projects on the go at the moment, these is a reason. For a 40K fixture I have coming up(!) I really want to finish up a bunch of loose ends...but more on this in another post soon.

Out of interest, other projects I have actively bubbling away include the following:
Da Masta Cheef's Ork Tankbustas,
Bolt Action 28mm AEC Armoured Car Mk III
Flames of War Vickers Machine Gun Platoon
Flames of War Shermans,

...and of these, given the looming 40k confrontation, Da Boyz are, of course, top of the list!

'Til next time then (and I've splendid news to impart this week),

Ave Imperator.

- Drax.

Sunday, 5 July 2015

511 - 6MMRPC 6: 40K Stormtroopers - It's On!

A teaser post really: 

I've got a big -- and I do mean 'BIG' -- 40K thing looming on the horizon, and I find that all of a sudden I really want to finish off painting some of the final bits and bobs for the Cadian 24th. In this case, I figured it's time - as part of the 6MMRPC - to acually construct and paint the remaining troops of my Stormtrooper platoon. 

By 'Stormtrooper' I do of course mean 'Militarum Tempestus'.
These pics are full size: check out the sergeant's 'tache!
And by 'remaining troops' I do of course mean 'two more full squads and an HQ'.


Still - my second job finished about 20 minutes I'm now going to be a lot more free! Weeee!

- D.