Friday 26 December 2014

478 - Christmas AT-AT Pancake For the Win!

Hullo All!

The wonderful Mrs Drax - who is a full-blooded Chicagoan - makes wonderful American-style fluffy pancakes for breakfast sometimes, and the best ones are always those we get on Christmas Day. 

This year - amongst other designs - I was delighted to get this stonkingly marvellous AT-AT design on one of them:

I love my wife!

- Drax.

Wednesday 24 December 2014

477 - Check Hedgehogs! [...sorry.]

A Merry 40K Christmas to One-and-All!

Thought I'd see the yuletime out with some 40K for once, as it's been an awfully loooooong time.

Months ago (in the summer, I'm pretty sure) Zzzzzz over at the brilliant Devos IV sent me a bunch of tanks to make - these fantastic 'Ratgard' Hedgehogs [please follow this link here to see the beautifully painted examples on their website]: an swish-looking Anti-Aircraft system atop a Chimera chassis in a proxy Hydra role.

Last week, after a gentle and suitably tactful reminder from the great Zzzzzz, I remembered that I actually needed to finish them. 

Here they are in all of their multi-pose awesomeness. NB: Please excuse the background: my modelling space (such as it is) has been overtaken by a 3' tree and a 4-footed grumpy-ass cat:
Lots of super-exciting things are afoot hobby-wise - trust me: there will be news for sure before this year is out...

All the very, very best to you and yours,

- Drax.

Friday 12 December 2014

476 - X-Wing Z-95 Headhunter Quick Repaint - W-i-P

For the first time in a long while, I painted this evening. Just a quick repaint of a Z-95, but a little something at least, in a very quiet month.

[NB: Please excuse the odd colours - blogger's being a pain.]

This Headhunter model arrived damaged (the bottom thrusters at the stern are compressed up, as is the entire rump, which gives its wings and its weapons a slightly downward pitch) but I took rather a shine to it, so I've decided to mark it out for use with unique pilots - particularly Lt Blount:

On account of its oddly retro downwards slope, I've christened it the 'Saab-95'. You can't really see the malformation here, and unsurprisingly Fantasy Flight Games sent a replacement from America within a week. Of course, I've yet to weather it - especially the nose cone.

I stole ideas for the design from the 'Scum and Villainy' card for N'dru Suhlak, via Rob's Jedi Miniatures [link here - he does it awfully, awfully well], and - having looked at it again for the purposes of this post - I've just realised I'll have to change it rather more tto make it look less like Suhlak's hotrod.


Ho-hum... least I've got some painting done!

- Drax.

Thursday 27 November 2014

475 - Happy Thanksgiving! (...and a wee realisation)

Mrs Drax is Chicago South-Sider, so 'Happy Turkey Day' to any of my US readers.
[picture of a turkey]
I've been thinking. Here are some of my thoughts, in no particular order.

   No. 1.
I want a new army. Now, this isn't just me champing at the bit to go for a PSC-Honey-Stuart-led Brits in North Africa 'Flames' army - oh no. I want a new system.

So what's it to be? - SAGA? Bolt Action in 28mm? A hopeful expansion of my 15m Bolt Action, that I could ultimately use - maybe - with some 'Battlegroup: Overlord' rules? - I just don't know. And I certainly don't have anyspare cash.

But I still get the feeling it's going to happen. And this is because...

   No. 2.'s because I've changed as a gamer. I've suddenly realised that my approach to gaming is now far more like many of the 'older' bloggers I've either met or followed through the years: I've become an occasionaly gamer of whatever ruleset I like the style of, and I'm happy to keep a pet army for each. Maybe Ive grown up. Either way, this seems dierctly linked to the fact that...

   No. 3.
...Real Life(TM) has definitely got in the way again recently - especially of '6MMPRC' - but for the first time in a long while,
This is something of a departure for me, so I'll explain briefly: I work very long hours, I have a young family, and I do my fair share around the house; I'm also the only driver in a rural household. Recently though, I've started two new things: working out (Cross-Fit) and singing in a choir. These things - unanticipated when I started out on 6MMRPC - have both been of real benefit to me (especially in terms of losing weight/getting enjoyably fitter) but have lost me three evenings a week of work, let alone painting toy soldiers, so the painting has temporarily dried up,

   No. 4.
Luckily X-Wing is AMAZING and I'm really looking forward to crafting more X-Wing scenery. Watch this space.

   No. 5.
IF (and it's a big 'IF') I do  end up going for a new direction, what should it be? And should I see if I can get a  legal (and only vaguely competitive) force painted up before February 2015 so that I ight enter a local tourney?

If you have a response to anything I've posed here, I'd really love to hear it: I think Drax is going to need a wee bit of guidance here, y'know...

Sunday 23 November 2014

474 - X-Wing Game 6: 'Attack Run' (Epic)

In my last post I outlined our pre-game minigame of X-Wing, which the Rebels won. The idea of this was that the winner of that pre-game would take the role of the attacker in this game - 'Attack Run'...but as it happened, the Empire ships never had much of a chance, and besides, DS and I really wanted to try out his shiny-new flight of TIE the we decided that the Empire ships would be the attacking force in our main scenario.

[above] "Assume attack formation!"
We'd decided to play Babaganoosh's 'Attack Run' mission [please see footnote] and I'll summarise it here:

220 pts of Empire are attacking lengthwise down a 6'x3' table to strike at a 'research installation' with 2 shields and 6 hull points. Stopping them are 150 pts' worth of Rebels with another 100 pts in reserve: to arrive behind the attackers at the end of turn 2. Ouch! The Research Installation is also protected by a field of rather nasty proximity mines explosive asteroids. Ouch, ouch!
Very long story short: the atttack failed, the action barely left the attacker's third of the table, and it was really really good fun!

The forces, some pics, then notes:

Annyingly, some of the images just won't go vetical today...:
[above] This is my mostly accurate reconstruction of what DS brought to the table - he doesn't use a digital version (yet).
[above] The round marker at this end constitutes the target Research Station. DS keeps reminding me that it's time for Drax to get building some space scenery...
[above] The lines close...
[above] ...and in come my reinforcements! They quickly launch some torpedoes at the Bombers...and one X-Wing dies to TIE fire. 
[above] Mxing it up more. Check out the poor old Y-Wing at the back!
[above] One bomber down...
[above] ...and the other. Y-Wing had a part in this one's demise too! *grins*.
[above] And a neat wee barrel roll brings that last bomber just into Dantels' arcs. Sadly since then I've realised that the 'Enhanced Scopes' means that you have to move as if on Pilot Skill 0: I thought at the time that it was optional thing. Oops: sorry!
Highlights of the game:
  • DS's formation flying: never in the field of galactic combat has a squadron of TIEs moved so balletically. Seriously: he moved them in unison, headed-off my every move and stymied my shooting so much that I failed to kill a single measly one of them!
  • My lone Y-Wing on guard duty: tasked with simply pootling left-to-right across the edge of the minefield. I did exactly that - in a gratifyingly useful way!
  • The TIE Bombers looked AMAZING.
  • Rather pleasingly, the fatal last shot was made by Nera Dantels in her B-Wing after a really really nifty wee barrel roll: we've not done much of that before, and it was one of only two bits of good flying I did all game (DS definitely has the edge on me there).
  • We didn't disclose to each other our upgrades, or what I had in reserve. This became particularly pertinent as I thought that DS's Firespray and Defender were guning for the target too (it could only be damaged by ordinance), so I thought I was absolutely on the ropes and about to lose. Turns out the destruction of the last TIE Bomber also ended DS's chances  for success.
  • Linked to not knowing about upgrades, just as Dantels' B-Wing had turned broadside-on to the flow of battle, DS's Onxy Squadron TIE Defender pilot utterly banjaxed her by opening up with a surprise ion cannon. Git.
What could've made it better and lessons learnt:
  • The mission really didn't use all of the table - barely a third - and it really needed to: the mines, for example, didn't come in to play at all (and they would've been really hard to deal with if they had, too!)
  • The defender's reinforcements arriving right up the exhaust pipes of the attacking bombers gave me WAY too much of an advantage - not that I used it as fully as I could! Instead of this, it might be better for the defender's reinforcements to arrive from a randomised position, or later on, or in (randomised?) dribs-and-drabs, or even start on the table beside the Research Installation!
  • The imbalance in points allocation made no real sense, given the current mission as it is.
  • I mistakenly equipped Dantels with an ion torpedo, which the squadron builder program I use told me came with my 'Rebel Aces' pack. It turns out it doesn't. If it seems odd that I didn't realise this, there are legitimate reasons too dull even for me to go into.
  • The 3-attack-dice proximity mines really would have been utterly brutal had they been encountered by a shot-up attacking squadron - especially as there is no indication in the mission briefing that defence dice may be rolled!
  • Maybe the defender's starting ships could start further back too, in order to give the attackers time to manoeuvre into some formation other than line abreast.
Despite what appear to be our many reservations, though, the game was a real blast to play, and I'm very grateful to DS for having the grace to continue to fight on, even though he was absolutely on the ropes with his last bomber whilst I laboured under the panicked impression that his bombers were but a decoy for the unscather Firespray to zoom down the flank and destroy the target with impunity on its own.

Not even my lone Y-Wing could'v stopped it!

Thanks for reading. There'll be a non-X-Wing post soon, I think...

- Drax.

Babaganoosh is a frequent and popular contributor to the entirely excellent Fantasy Flight Games Mission Control (Beta), and whilst I'm fairly sure I'm not allowed to reproduce images from their site here, I urge you to visit it (not through Internet Explorer, mind) here [link].