Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Konflikt 47: Rounding Out My US Army Platoon

The block of troops I got painted up in March gave my US platoon a solid foundation to build on and adding in the Sherman-T and a Coyote boosted it to a respectable sized force.  Since the average size game locally is 1000 points I went through my list to see what holes they might have on the battlefield and did my best to find solutions to what they were missing.  Surprisingly enough I was able to finish my force out by just adding six minis and all I had to do was pick up a couple of weapon sprues to finish them off.

One of the things that I noticed in my first game was the lack of any antitank weapons in my force.  Our game was very small (only 500 points each). Even so my opponent had a scout car and the only thing that I had that could even attempt to get through its armor at range was my Coyote.  Compared to the four panzerfausts he had running around the board I really didn't like my chances.  To try to offset this I decided that I had to add a couple of bazooka teams.  While these are dedicated tank hunters, their range isn't bad and it forces my opponent to deal with these two serious threats to any armor he might be fielding.  Combined with the Sherman T this means there are three units on the board that have solid armor piercing capabilities which should give me some good tactical options as well.

For my final choice I decided to take an artillery forward observer.  My first game I had also faced a German air force forward observer and while I can see how it could have gone very, very badly for me, the dice were thankfully on my side for that game.  One of the things that struck me as a possible weakness was just the potential for enemy flak to stop the attack.  I have no idea at this point if that is really a concern (heck, maybe no one around here plays with enough flak to be an issue...) but I decided at least for now to work around the problem by trying the artillery instead.  Only time will tell if it is a good choice but I'm eager to give it a try.

As for when that's going to happen, I'm thinking that I'll going to try to get in a game in the next week using some proxy minis for my new additions.  The online store that I have been trying out unfortunately told me eight days after I placed the order that they couldn't fill it.  I looked at the Warlord store and surprisingly enough I was able to find the sprues for about the same price and with free shipping.  It will potentially take a few weeks to get here but then again the online store that I was trying out isn't much better as far as how fast they fulfill their orders.  It'll be proxies until they arrive but I'm okay with that.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Frostgrave: Homemade Treasure Tokens

My daughter and I have been taking part in a Frostgrave campaign for a while now though I haven't said too much about it.  We both have really been having fun with it and we've slowly been working on expanding our warbands.  When I first started playing I was using glass beads to represent treasure but I decided I needed to make some actual tokens instead.  Here's the result of my first attempt.

Your typical assortment of fantasy treasure items... plus a keg of ale.
The stack of coins and the treasure chest are Hirst Arts pieces I grabbed from eBay and painted up while the other three are scratch built. Nothing too fancy but I really like how they pop on the table.  These were done when I had first gotten into the game but since my daughter started playing as well I decided to make another set that were themed for my second warband which is led by a goblin witch.

My gobbo assortment of treasure items; 'shrooms and yummy spider bits!
This set were a lot of fun to make and I really like seeing them on the table.  The two groups of mushrooms are made from epoxy while the dead spider is a Halloween party favor, all hot glued onto some bases.  Of course once I'd done these I was itching to make some more, especially for my daughter's werewolf warband. After all, everybody loves bacon, right?

The other white meat.
These were some HO scale pigs I'd picked up for a Battlefield Evolution scenario I was going to run years ago.  I'd based some on washers but never actually done anything with them until now.  Some epoxy on the base, a quick coat of paint plus a wash and voila!  Instant pigs!  I'm particularly happy with how the snow came out.  I don't have any snow for basing so I just painted the base with brown and then dabbled on the white paint to create a patchy effect.  I'm also going to make her another one that is just a pile of bacon for a special treasure token but I haven't had a chance to put it together yet.  We have Frostgrave this weekend so I'll have to see what I can do to remedy that this week.  And maybe I'll even try to get some pictures of the game.  It's been a while since I've done a battle report but we'll just have to see how many players so up on Saturday.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Konflikt 47: Finished... And Based Even!

I didn't manage to finish my army by the end of the month... instead I finished it on the 3rd of this month..  Still pretty happy with that progress as I really didn't think that I was going to get them all done so quickly.  They are only painted to table top quality but it works for now.  I'll probably go back and add more details as time goes on but my primary goal for now was to have a painted army to field.
My US Army platoon in all its glory.
Something that I did pick up that I was really impressed with was one of the shades from Games Workshop, something camoshade?  Don't have the bottle in front of me but basically its their green shade and it works amazing!  It really gave some nice depth to their uniforms without muddying things up and I love how the Tesla Sherman came out.  Very subtle difference but enough to really make it pop.
Sherman with a zap gun!
I also grabbed a pot of the Reikland flesh shade but I'm less impressed with this one.  If anything it seemed like it was just too thin for what I was using it for (flesh tones... go figure) but I'm sure I'll give it another go in the future.
The question now is where do I go from here?  Currently I'm at just under 650 points painted and ready to go so I'm looking at expanding to a full 1000 point list since that seems to be the standard locally.  My first addition is going to be the Coyote light walker.  I had tried fielding one in my first game and it while it wasn't great (stupid panzerfausts...) but I can definitely see the potential.  Equipped with both an HMG and an MMG, it can function as an armored version of either of those weapon teams.  It doesn't get the re-rolls that they have, but it is able to move and fire plus even just its advance is faster than walking troops.  Adding the armor into the equation and it just makes sense to me since it is only an extra 19 points above the veteran HMG team... plus the model is so cool!  That's always good reason, right?  It will take up an armored car slot but I still think that it will be a strong addition.
Beyond that I really think that I need to focus on getting some antitank weapons onto the field.  Currently the only thing that I have that can really threaten armored units is the Tesla Sherman which is potentially putting all of my eggs in one basket.  I could go for an antitank gun but I'd rather have something a little more mobile so I really think that a couple of bazooka teams will be my best option.  I was sorely tempted by the heavy bazooka team with their heavy armor but they are very expensive.  I know that I'll get some eventually (especially since I want to assemble a heavy armor platoon next) but for this list in think that a couple of regular bazooka teams will fit nicely.  This gives me three tools to use against enemy armor which not only gives me more options but also gives my opponent more targets to focus on which should increase their overall survivability.  Sounds good in theory, now I'll just have to see how it plays out in practice.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Konflikt 47: That Escalated Quickly If Briefly

My last post I had only managed to get three of my first squad finished.  Then that night I sat down and completed five more so things had started moving along at a pretty good clip.  Here's a shot of everything that I have painted so far for my troops (minus the Tesla Sherman).

Officers in the front, sniper team on the left, medic on the right, and three squads of six behind them.

As I've been working on them my overall force structure has been slowly evolving.  Originally I had planned on two squads of eight but after digging around on the interwebs I found some interesting information about how US Army squads in WW2 would typically split into two six man teams equally dividing the support elements.  I like the flexibility that this offers so I decided to emulate that with my own troops.  Of course this did make my individual squads more expensive (coming in at 100 points each for six regular soldiers) but I thought I might as well give it a try.

I was also thinking about mixing up my uniforms a little to represent the inconsistent supply lines that they would be experiencing being entrenched in Europe in the spring of '47.  I was hoping I might be able to bum some bits from a friend of mine that is playing German to add some variety to my own troops but unfortunately he doesn't have much left so I had to press ahead with the stock bits for the US.  I think this would have been pretty cool and I'd love to do it in the future so I'm going  to have to keep it in mind.  I have decided that I want to do this with my vehicles though since I haven't picked up many of those.  Specifically I'm planning on getting a couple of SdKfz 251 half tracks for transports for my troops.  This was something that was done during the war though there were issues that had to be dealt with such as repairs and being shot at by your own side.  Still, I love the idea and can't wait to make some headway with it.

On the gaming front I finally managed to get in a game of Konflikt at my LGS!  It was only a small 500 point game and we were focused on trying to get our heads around the rules so not much by way of pictures to share but I did have a lot of fun.

The one and only picture I took of our game.
After playing the game I did decide to change my unit structure a bit more.  For the game I fielded two regular six man infantry units both with SMG, BAR, and rifle grenades, a regular 2nd Lt with an accompanying soldier, a medic, a regular sniper team, and a regular Coyote walker (for anyone checking the points, this is less than 500 points because I forget the walker, sniper, and officer were supposed to be Veterans).  At the end of the game the medic really hadn't done anything other than give me an extra order die and the rifle grenades were never even fired.  In light of this I'm going to drop the rifle grenades and medic while adding in another regular six man unit with the same overall composition.  This will give me a little more firepower in my 500 point block which should help (and its also what's pictured above).

Another thing that I noticed was the lack of any really anti-armor weapons for the US.  My opponent had three panzerfausts which was more than enough to obliterate my Coyote while I couldn't even scratch his armor car.  I definitely need to look at some heavy weapon options as I expand my list with a bazooka team being first and foremost...  Or maybe a heavy bazooka team.  Love the look of the heavy infantry and I really want to field some of them.

As for the rules, they seemed fairly straight forward though there was quite a bit of hunting to try to find information in the rulebook.  I'm planning on tabbing it to make things a little easier plus I'm working on making some unit cards for me to use so that I can have their stats available at a glance.  Not that there's a ton to remember but when you are still trying to get your head around the rules anything that makes it easier is good in my book.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Konflikt 47: Slowly Trudging Along...

Well, we are a good ways into the month and while I had been making good progress, things have definitely slowed down quite a bit.  So far I've managed to complete a whopping three minis from the first squad!

Even with so little done I'm far from giving up hope.  I've got some solid progress on the rest of the first squad so I should be able to wrap them up fairly quickly and I've really been able to push forward with my painting.  After all, making more time for hobby is always a good thing in my books.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Konflikt 47: Damn You Snow!!!

Another week into my painting challenge and unfortunately things haven't progress as far as I had wanted.  I have some basic work done on the first squad but they aren't done yet.  Between the snow storm that hit the northeast and not even knowing if we were going to be going out of town as we had planned, hobby had to take a back seat.  Now we are leaving for a shorter trip (A whole 48 hours in Vegas for me!!! Woo-hoo!!!) so its going to be next week that I'll be playing catch-up to get things back up to speed.  Still feel confident that I can get it done though and then I'll start planning for the future...  Walkers!  Bwah-ha-ha-ha-ha!!!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Konflikt 47: And We're Off!

Well it's been a week and I've made pretty good progress so far.  A First and Second Lieutenant, a couple of soldiers to accompany them, a sniper team, and a medic (need to make some stretcher bearers for him still...)  Here's a shot of the group.

This batch rounds out my command options for now so its time to get to the troops.  So far I have eighteen of them assembled and ready to paint so this will give me a solid start, plus I want to finish up my Sherman-T and start work on the jeep so this should keep me going for the rest of the month.  If not, I'll just have to start gluing some more of the other troops I have lying around which would work too.
My ultimate goal is to be able to field three squads of 12 troops plus the command elements and a few support units.  Once these are painted it will be easy enough to piece them out during force creation to give me access to more units as well.  This will limit my weapon choices in some cases but I like the idea of drawing from the reinforced platoon to make my army.  Call me crazy.

Of course I already have ideas for how I want to expand my forces in the future (no shocker there...).  I'd love to be able to field a couple of units of heavy infantry plus the heavy bazooka team but before that I really want to get a couple of walkers.  Like the way the US ones look so I'm excited to get some on the table though I'm not sure which ones yet.  I'm leaning towards a Coyote and a Grizzly but I want to test drive them first before I decide.  I have some suitable minis thanks to my Warmachine days so I can use some proxies before I commit to one which is always nice.  Now to get on with more painting!

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Konflikt 47: An Army In A Month

I've been slowly working on assembling my US Army force for Konflikt 47 and since I think I've finally decided on a paint scheme I decided its time to get serious about getting them painted.  To that end I've decided to paint one of my soldiers a day for the whole month of March.  I'm travelling out of state for about five days but I should be able to pick up the slack from that break easily enough.

And to make it even more of a challenge (since going from barely painting to doing most of an army isn't enough) I'm also going to do updates on my progress on the blog each week.  Kind of a crazy idea but I've been enjoying picking my brushes up again not to mention the blogging so why not, right?  Now to see how this actually works out.  Wish me luck!

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Konflikt 47: Well That Makes Things Easier...

After my last post I decided to do a quick search to see if maybe there already is a campaign system out there for Bolt Action/Konflikt 47 and what do you know?  The folks over at WWPD.net came out with their own version of this the end of last year call the Road To Victory.

This system starts each commander out with a 2nd Lieutenant, two squads worth no more than 110 points each, and two more random units.  The campaign is designed to be played with two players over five or six games with each player receiving two more random reinforcing units after each game.  Overall its not a bad little system and even has substitution rules for switching out your random roll for an inexperienced infantry unit or an armored transport.  There is also an experience system of sorts so which is nice plus in my opinion.

Even so I'm tempted to modify it slightly to use cards instead of tables for the random units.  This way you can tailor it to the units that you actually own plus it would be possible to add in some kind of special events.  Maybe bonus reinforcements of some kind or the troops are spread thin so you have to press on with your current resources.  Good to see that most of the work is done for me already though as its much easier to modify an existing set of rules instead of creating your own from scratch.

Of course I should probably try to get in a game first...  Need to get myself over to the LGS to remedy that soon.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Fresh Troops For The Western Front

The end of last year I was able to get a great deal on some 28mm WWII US infantry (from Dreamforge Games) and a Sherman-T (from Warlord Games) so I could start building a force for Konflikt 47.  I must admit that I've always been interested in trying out WWII minis but dealing with the "rivet counters" is just too annoying.  "You can't actually field that unit because we are playing in the fall of 1944 and the Germans stopped using those in the spring of '43."  Thankfully that's something that just doesn't come into play for Konflikt.  Gotta love alternate history!
Since then I had started assembling a force but I've been stuck trying to figure out the best mix of troops to field.  Yeah, I know.  I'm gripping about rivet counters but being a power gamer... not something I'm proud of but I had inspiration strike and come up with a great solution to my problem.  Why not just make a full platoon according and pull from that?  After all, its easy enough to just break up the by the book full units into smaller units plus it lets me add some kind of story element to the whole thing which my brain likes to latch on to for some reason.  To that end I started work on the second platoon of (insert random company name here...) company, freshly sent to the frontlines on the western front in the spring of 1947 which is when the "official history" in the core rulebook ends.

For my overall force, I'm thinking a squad of veteran troops, two squads of regular troops, and a squad of inexperienced troops.  Some fairly basic unit selections for now but as time goes by I'll gradually expand their numbers.

Ideally I'd love to get in a campaign using this kind of idea; form one unit platoon of infantry at the beginning of the campaign and you use them as your pool of troops moving forward, expanding or replenishing them as the campaign continues.  After each game both the winner and loser receive a number of points that can be used to rebuild the existing units or purchase new ones.  There could also be a random chance of something unique happening.  Maybe the platoon requisition officer is able to get ahold of more supplies or they are chosen to test some new technology for the high command.  Of course things wouldn't be all good.  It would only make sense for there to be some negative effects as well; the supply lines being disrupted, sickness effecting a number of the troops.  I really like the idea of the story growing as the campaign continues so I'll have to look more into this... though I should probably work on assembling some more troops first.