Monday, October 31, 2011

D-Day Commision Project Part II

Well thought I would share one more post before the end of the month.  Show you where I'm at.

One thing I decided is once I'm done this D-Day project, which will be shortly, I'm going to finally get to my matter what anyone tried to get me to do.  They've been sitting ready for a while now and were probably dusty, so I decided to try my dremel on them.  Clean up those flash lines a little better.  Worked pretty good, so we'll see how those turn out shortly.

Here are the Hetzers I'm doing for Shawn.  I decided to try my hand at ambush camo for these.  I base coated them Hull red, and then gave them a thick Gloss Varnish.

What i'm going to do is use sticky tack to cover up parts of the vehicle and then airbrush the next colour.  Then I will use sticky tack to cover up more of it, and airbrush the 3rd colour.  I did try this with some aircraft I'm working on but the sticky tack pealed some of the paint.  This is why I applied the gloss varnish now.

I'm almost done applying the first layer of sticky tack.

I'm also working on a rusted out Somua.  I wanted it to look like it had been sitting in the field for a few years.  So, I did the paint backwards from what you would normally do when applying rust.

I base coated in a hull red.  Its pretty close to rust, but maybe a bit dark.  But that is ok.  Then I used a wet brush method to put streaks on it.  This is the first time I tried this.  I used reaper rust brown, and made it really watery...about 1:10.  then brushed it on in up down motions so it liked like it had been rained on.  This turned out really well.  Although my pictures really suck.  I have to stop using this camera.

Next I used a ripped piece of foam from the blister and applied dabs of green and yellow colours that would see on a French Tank.  normally you would do the rust this way over the base coat.  but I wanted it to look really rusty.  I made the green and yellow lighter because paint fades in the sun.  It looks kinda silly right now because the colours are so bright.

Next I did a pin wash over the whole vehicle.  Now I could barley even take a picture becasue its so shiny. 

Next I applied some caked on mud.  Tonight I will give it a coat of matte varnish and then apply some dust.  This should tame the colours down and make the mud look like its been there a while...I hope!

The Destroyed Panzer IV's I haven't got to yet.  I varnished them and painted the tracks.  But I still need to figure out how I will make them look destroyed.

Stay tuned.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Rules Nazi Episode VIII - Applying Hits - Mixed AT & Weakest Armour

Figured I better do another apply hits one, since someone brought to my attention others at tournaments are doing this incorrect.

I think whats happening is people are mixing and matching the Mixed AT Ratings and Weakest Armour rules, instead of treating them totally separate.

Lets assume,
Red Dice - MG AT-2
Green Dice - 76mm AT-9
Blue Dice - 57mm AT-11

From what I've heard these are the situations that are happening

Players are applying ALL lower AT weapons to lower Armour ratings, and all Higher AT ratings to lower AT ratings.  Or vice versa depending on their interpretation.  Here we have 4 MG hits, and 2 Main Gun hits.

Correct Way.

YOU STILL HAVE TO APPLY HITS EVENLY.  If there are only 2 vehicles and 8 hits, both vehicles will still end up with 4 hits each.  If you somehow got 7 main gun hits, and 1 MG hits, you don't apply 7 hits to the highest FA rating.  Or worse the other way around.

The other situation is people are just matching High AT ratings to the Highest Armour rating and moving down the line.

Here we have 3 weapons getting 7 hits.  One AT-11, Two AT-9, and four AT-2.  So, people apply hits like this.

Hits not applied evenly.
Apply Hits to lowest armour.

Each unit would have to have 2 hits each and then you would apply a 3rd hit to the lowest armour rating.

These are 2 totally separate rules

Even in my correct pictures above I have the Highest AT rating going to the Highest Armour rating.  You don't have to do this to comply with both rules.  The Defender can choose.

In the above picture, the truck takes the most hits because it is unarmoured.  The 2 armoured vehicles take 3 higher AT hits.  But because they each take 2 hits, you can mix and match the AT-ratings as you wish.  Maybe you put the MG hit on the Panzer III.  it doesn't matter both rules have been met.

In the next pictures both are correct.  Both vehciles are armoured, so it makes no differance where the higher AT hits go.  But the Wespe takes the extra hit, whether it be MG or a higher AT (defenders choice) because it is the lower armour.

But in this next picture the 2 higher AT hits have to go to the armoured vehicle becasue the truck is unarmoured.  And the truck also gets the extra hit because it has a lower armour.  NOT because all MG hits go to the unarmoured vehicle.  There is a difference.

Mixed Anti-Tank Rating - with this rule, it makes absolutely no difference what the AT rating is or what the Armour of the vehicle is (sort of).  It only matters if the targets are armoured or not.  The 'not' can mean unarmoured vehicles, gun teams, or infantry teams.

But this doesn't mean that an armoured unit takes all the hits if the targets include other teams.

Lets say you have 5 hits with 3 different AT ratings.  And you have 5 targets.  All that matters is that 2 targets are unarmoured and 3 targets are not armoured.

Each target still gets 1 hit.  Its just that the 2 armoured units take 2 from the higher AT ratings.  Other then that, the defender decides where the hits go.

1 hit still to each target.

You can apply lower AT ratings to higher Armour ratings.  As long as the higher AT ratings are going to armoured vehicles.  You could apply the 11-At hit to the wespe instead of the Panzer III.  You could also apply the 9-At hit to an infantry team instead of the truck.

Hit Weakest Armour First - This does not mean you match High AT Ratings to Lower Armour ratings.  That is mixing this rule with the above rule.  And they don't mix at all.  This is specifically if you are hitting vehicles.  The key to this one is 'subject to all previous rules about allocating hits'

You still have to apply hits evenly, and you still apply hits to teams closer then 16" first.

In the example below, we have 2 hits.  The mistake being made is you apply 1 hit to the truck, and 1 hit to the wespe because they have the lower Armour Ratings.  But because the truck is over 16", you MUST apply 1 hit each to the wespe and Panzer III.  All hits have to be applied to targets closer then 16" first.

Truck over 16"
Mixing The Rules
The rules don't really mix because all other rules must apply BEFORE you use the Hit the Weakest armour first.

Here is an example.

Each vehicle must take one hit.  The 2 armoured vehicles take the higher AT hits, so the truck takes an MG hit.  Doesn't matter which armoured unit takes which hit.  The 4th hit DOES NOT go to the truck just because its the lowest armour rating.  Its over 16" so must go to one of the armoured vehicles.  The wespe is a lower armour then the Panzer III so it takes the MG hit.

However because the Wespe and the Panzer III op are both armoured, you could put both higher AT hits on the Wespe and put the MG hit on the Panzer III op. Its the defenders choice.  As long as the Wespe takes 2 hits. 

Hopefully this makes things a bit more clearer.  As I said in the first apply hits post, it makes things a lot clearer if you make things with different colour dice.  Remember hits must be distributed evenly.  And remember to apply the rule separately.

Mixed Anti-tank - only being armoured or NOT matters

Weakest Armour - weakest armour takes the extra hit when pertaining to vehicles.

One last thing to remember is to do shooting platoon to platoon.  Beside the fact that this is the actual rule, it does save a lot of confusion.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Grenadiers vs Strelkovy - Mid War Game II

I had a buddy come to town from Edmonton this weekend.  Some of you may remember me talking about him at one of the tournaments.

AKA: Cheating Nik and his god damn Cheating Americans.

Since I had minimal time between hocky and going to see "The Thing" that day, I decided to just use the armies I had prebuilt. The good old Grenadiers and Strelkovy.  The classic match up.

Grenadiers - 0
Strelkovy - 1

Nik decided he wanted to be the Grenadiers because he wanted to try out the Tiger.

Last time Nik and I played I came up against him in the worst possible situation.  My Konigs Kompanie fighting his Cheating American paratroopers in No Retreat.  Almost impossible for the KT's to win.  And sure enough compounded by the fact that I forgot about his ambush, I was slaughtered.

Curtis - 0
Nik - 1

Besides the fact, that he's a cheating bastard, Nik is a fun guy to play.  I knows the rules probably better then I do with out looking at the rule book.  I know the rules pretty well, but I probably can't do it with out a rule book.  And he remembers them correctly...which a lot of people don't.

So, we began by rolling for which scenario we were going to play....Trench Fight.  Oh, very cool, I haven't had a lot of chances to use any of my Fortifications.  And then we rolled to see who would defend...SON OF A...that cheating Nik strikes again...I have to come the long way across the board with Strelkovy to attack a dug in Nik, with Fortifications.

He took  a couple of barbed wire, a few trenchlines, and 2 MG Bunkers.

After the set up I was feeling pretty confident.  His Germans looked pretty piddly.  Then after my preliminary bombardment, I was feeling even better.  I half wiped out his MG's and his PAK 40's that were in ambush.  YES, Strelkovy were looking in fine form...

That was about the only time the whole game I was happy.  Things just unraveled from the start.

I deployed my largest Strelkovy Company away from his MG teams.  Unfortunately we played where the hill was rough terrain so I couldn't move them at the double.  I had my god of War at the back which barley fit spread out.  I was going to rush my other Strelkovy Company right up the middle where there were no obstacles.  I was going to rush my SU-85's down the right flank to try and take out the barbed wire, so that my middle strelkovy could quickly change direction and head to the swamp objective.

First turn went as planned, except the god of war stunk to high heaven.

On his turn he revealed his ambush, which I sort of did and sort of didn't forget this time.  Just didn't think he would have revealed so soon.  And the Pak 40's crushed my Su-85's. 

Not really a whole lot more to tell.  He slowly dwindled me down with those MG bunkers

I did make it to the barbed wire, and tried to assault with my large 32 team Strelkovy company.  How ever they failed a moral check.  So, my Commissar shot a team to have them real roll...then the Strelkovy said F-This and shot the Commissar back.  I don't know if I've even heard of that happening never mind to me.

The whole game pretty much went like that.  The God of War was totally useless.

I did have 1 bright spot in the whole game only to have to take away from me.  Just out of spite I tried to kill his tiger with my 57mm.  I think I only had one left at the time too.  And it was a super long shot.  I think he was just in the 32" range, and he had concealment.  So, I was going to need a 6 to even hit.  And I had just moved so my RoF was 1.

1 Roll = 6

Now I think I could only bail him out at this point, because he was over 16".  But, even for that to happen, Nik needed to roll a 1.

1 Armour Save = 1

Now I just needed to make my Fire Power test.  I'd already beaten the odds, and I only needed a 4+.  That's 50/50.

1 Fire Power Test = 2.

SON OF A...That is how the whole battle went.  My large Strelkovy Company ran away the first chance they got seeing how they had already killed their Commissar.  Leaving my HQ all alone to cover the whole left flank and tank on the tiger by himself.  I think even blew him up instead of assaulting him.

Grenadiers = 1
Strelkovy = 1

Very fun game, despite it being pretty much lopsided.

Thanx a lot Nik.  I don't get much time to play these days.
At least now I know its not the Americans that Cheat....its just you!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Campaign Part I - The Plan

I've been coming up with ideas over the past few weeks for a FoW campaign. One where anyone with any army can join at any time. This campaign will not be historical in anyway, except maybe the armies that fight.

The reason Firestorm doesn't work, is because you need a lot of people with a lot of specific units and armies. Or, if you are like me someone insane enough to own all the units needed. But, even then It will take me years to get it all painted.  We need a campaign where you can play with a few buddies.  And maybe a few of those buddies only have 1 or 2 armies.

Thought I would start sharing my ideas as I put the plan together, and hopefully get ideas from people as well.

My first though was what to use as a map. This has started to be sort of an obsession for me. I have no idea how people create maps. I am trying several different ideas, and none really work that well. But more on that later.

The reason the map is so important, is because depending on what I can do with the map will depend greatly on what rules I incorporate. So lets start from the begining on the plan, before we get to the map.

  1. I still need to work out how this will work, but the starting number of players will have starting locations on the map.  Doesn't have to be historical.  But there will be territory spaces between starting locations.  Depending on how many people start of course.   It will basically be like Risk or Diplomacy except you fight using FoW.  But I want to incorporate other rules to give it more flavor.
  2. Starting with the simplest idea attacking from one territory to an opponents territory will trigger a FoW battle.  Opponents can just decide on an era and point total, and fight their battle.  If the 'Attacker' wins he takes the new territory, if the 'Attacker losses, he doesn't....simple. 
  3. Playing around with ideas where Armour can attack farther (maybe 3 territories), Mech (2 territories), Inf (1 Territory).  And maybe some supply issues if a territory is surrounded. 
  4. My goal is to use all Scenarios (at least from Das Book) and have them come up in certain situations, but this again could depend on the map. 
  5. Once the campaign has started if new players wanted to join, they could "invade" a coastal territory.  They could either do a beach landing, using Hit the Beach mission.  Or they could use a Paratrooper force using Seize and Hold mission.  Both missions can easily be adapted for use with other nations, and pretty much every nation has a Paratrooper force.  Even the Soviets just use Guards Strelkovy as their Paratroopers.
  6. I'm playing with ideas of using Game victory points as a money system to do different things.  Say it costs certain amount of VP's to attack.  Maybe even costs more or less depending on the situation.  You could even spend VP's to attempt espionage stuff.  I've even though of spending VP's to build up defenses forcing players to use the scenario's that use Fortifications.
  7. Countries will not have to buy Air Power.  The level of air will depend on certain situations. 
  8. I will expand the weather system I did in the Kursk Campaign.  This may constitute implementing a turn system based on time of year.  It also will depend on the map and if I can create different weather zones.  Effects will be minimal, but could effect everything form Air Power, Invasions, terrain, maybe even bombardments.   
The Map
How good I can make the map will determine how good my rules can be.  As I mentioned I'd like to be able to use all the scenario's.  One thing I'd like to do with the map is add major rivers.  Then if you attack into a territory across one of these rivers, you have to play the River Crossing scenario. 

I've found a few tools that use google maps, but the problem with these are they either have too many territories and/or they are they show the current political structure.  I know this won't be historical, but I'd at least have some of the countries right.

So far the best option has been an app called realpolitik.  Its mapping software create to keep track of a Diplomacy Board game, so you can play over e-mail.  I've used it before.  It has several variant to choose from, and I can change colours and country names easily.

The problem with this map is I can't edit the physical map, and it has these supply points.  The supply points i'm actually thinking of ways to use them in the campaign, but there are too many of them.  I'd really like to limit them.

Here is an example.  This is the Aberration Variant and so far is the best one.

The other one I've found that could work really well is SmartDraw.  But this is going to take a lot of time and planning to make a good map.

Eventually you could get into more complicated situations where if I've built a time line, you could only use EW books during 1940-41, MW books between 42-43, and LW books after 44.

If I ever figure out the map stuff, you could even go a bit farther, and divide the map into book sections.  Africa can only use those books, Eastern front only those books...but then you are getting away from what I want it to do.  But would still be very cool.

Hopefully I'll have another update soon.  Let me know if you have any idea.  Even if I don't use them, other peoples ideas sometimes lead me to other ideas.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Rules Nazi Episode VII - Anti-Aircraft vs AA MG.

This one probably isn't a big deal to most, but when I was first starting out, this caused an issue for me;

The difference between AA MG and Anti-Aircraft.

Could be on upcoming German train?
For some strange reason I deducted that these were the same things.  I mean really...what does AA stand for?  You guessed it...Anti-Aircraft.  How could I possibly have made the mistake of thinking they were the same thing?  Must be that weird New Zealand Engrish again.

Anyway, yes, there is a difference between the 2.  And it starts with knowing what a tank team is.

What got me confused early in my FoW career is I didn't know exactly what a tank team was.   It started when I was trying to figure out what firing arc the DshK on a truck had.  I was too caught up in thinking that the model was what the model was.  What I mean is the DshK is just a machine gun on a truck...not a tank.  The DshK Gun unmounted had the 'Turntable' attribute.  But the main gun on the truck didn't.  Looking at the model logically, and seeing that it had the awkward layout attribute, I deduced that it must only have a 180 degree firing arc.  When I asked the question on the forum someone pointed out that it would have a 360 degree arc because it was a tank team and DIDN'T have the 'Hull Mounted' attribute.

Everything falls into 1 of 4 categories of teams.
  • Tank Teams
  • Infantry Teams
  • Transport Teams
  • Gun Teams
So, once I figured out what a tank team was, I couldn't figure out what the differance was between say a Wespe with a AA MG, and a DshK Truck.  I mean they were both machine guns after all.

Needless to say this got me looking at all the other Anti-Aircraft rules, and this only served to confuse me more.  Remember this was early in my Career before I figured out New Zealand Engrish.

Anyway, there are 2 types of Anti-Aircraft guns and they are totally different.

AA MG (Anti-Aircraft MG)
They even put the word Anti-Aircraft in the title of the weapon.  This is probably what confused me the most.
This is a vehicle secondary weapon, like co-ax mg or hull mg.  You will only see this listed on lists as AA MG as a vehicle attribute.  But I believe they put the (Anti-Aircraft MG) to give it the Anti-Aircraft attribute.  Even though it doesn't say that any where.

Except you can't fire this weapon and shoot the MAIN gun at the same time.  Although you can shoot it with other MG's on the vehicle.  And if you fire this weapon (doesn't matter if at aircraft or not) you are more vulnerable in assaults.

And it is also classified as a self-defense weapon.  What this means is that it can shoot at aircraft ONLY if the aircraft is targeting the vehicles platoon.  And even then it only gets a RoF of 1.

This is an attribute of a vehicles main gun or a gun team.  So, it can fire full ROF at aircraft.  Unless its a heavy anti-aircraft weapon.  Then they get only 1 RoF.

This is also what confused me in the beginning, is that the whole shooting anti-craft section talks about the anti-aircraft attribute, which technically the AA MG does not have.  Unless you count the (Anti-Aircraft MG) in its title.   I think one could argue that this section doesn't apply to Self-Defense Anti-Aircraft weapons.

The saving grace is that it says ANY TEAM firing at aircraft...

So, if you shoot at aircraft, whether you have Anti-Aircraft, AA MG, or Heavy Anti-Craft, you can't move at the double, shoot, dig in, or assault in your next turn.

We won't even talk about cover from aircraft...will we WebGriffin?

Hopefully this rule doesn't or didn't confuse most people.  Unfortunately it confused me.  But I think this led me down the path to understand Phil's crazy Engrish.

New Zealand Engrish
When I talk about New Zealand Engrish, what I'm talking about is how the creators words seem to mean different things, then what he intended.   I want to do a whole Rules Nazi episode on this but I'll start it here.

This is why the MALFTF is bigger then the rule book.

Take for instance "Far Side of" means "in Between".  I'm of course referring to Cover from Aircraft.  This may not have been Phils intent on the rule, but he is wrong as the rule is written.

Another (meaning different) is Phils use of the word "Another" as it pertains to breakthrough assaults.

To mean Another means a different one.  The rule says;

If you launched the Assault and won, you may use your platoon's consolidation movement to launch a break-through assault against another platoon within 4"

As I said, to me this means a different platoon other then the one you just assaulted.  Again, even if this isn't what Phil meant when writing the rule, that IS how its written.

Websters meaning of "Another"

: different or distinct from the one first considered another angle>
: some other another time>
: being one more in addition to one or more of the same kind another piece of pie>

This is Phils Answer in the MALFTF when someone asked this question.

'Another' in this context was used in the sense of 'an additional', not in the sense of 'a different'. Don't know if it is just me, but I'd have used a phrase involving the words 'a different platoon' if I meant that. Another to me is more 'additional' than 'different', as in 'I'll have another muffin please!'. To me that means I want one more, rather than to swap the one I've got for a different one. Cheers (Phil)

Even in his answer he has proved himself wrong.  If he is having "another" muffin he is still having a different one, even though it maybe the same kind.  You aren't eating the same muffin you just eat.

The same thing should apply to FoW the way its currently written.  You may have assaulted a German Grenadier platoon.  But you can still assault the same kind of platoon, just not the same platoon you just assaulted.

The rule book is riddled with examples like this. This is the whole reason I started the Rules Nazi.  This is why the forum is rittled with game quesitons, this is why the 'Errata' is bigger then the freaking rule book.

The game doesn't play the same way that its written.

Don't get me wrong I love this game.  I'm very passionate about it.  I don't even want to change it.  But, if there is ever a version 3, Phil needs to let me Proof Read, or write it myself.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

D-Day Commission Project.

Finished most of the stuff from my D-Day Commission project over the weekend.

A whole bunch of obstacles, 2 Boats, and 4 DD Shermans.

Obstacles were pretty easy.  Painted them all German grey, and then added some rust to them.  Did a fine dry brush of gunmetal, but I don't like it.  Gun metal, is too....sparkly.  Seems more like glitter then paint.  Probably why most people are starting to just use German grey instead.  But I find German grey too blue to look like metal.

The DD Shermans turned out pretty good.  Added some decals on the deck and an antenna.  The only thing about these, is I REALLY hate the mold.  Its a solid piece of resin.  Even between the gun and the hull, there is resign.  It looks really dumb.  You can't paint the whole thing the same color as the tank.  I painted it black.  But this looks pretty dumb too, since you should be able to see the hull.  In other words there should be space there.   I don't know.

The "skirt" turned out a bit dark, but after a "wet" dry brush...(does that make sense?) they turned out pretty well.  I didn't clean off my brush as much before dry brushing.  This made streaks along the smooth parts that normal dry brushing wouldn't do.  To me this made it look way more like cloth and a little dirty.

The boats seemed to be more of a hope and pray sort of project.  I had never painted them before.  For a hope and pray they turned out really well.  I did try to do pin washing with rust but it turned out way to red.  The shine of the Future makes it look red.  I'd realy like to figure out that rust colour on boats.  maybe more brown?

The damaged part of the boat turned out pretty good, discouvered my new favorite tool, the Dremel!  I used German Grey, black, and then did a highlight with a white pencil crayon.  Didn't want to ruin it with gun metal.  Glad I did the obstacles first.

Sorry i couldn't get them to you this weekend Shawn.

To complete my part of the project I have 2 destroyed Panzer IVs and rusted out Somua to do.

Monday, October 10, 2011

More Germans...and Finally the Ferdi!

I haven't been posting as much painted stuff as I would like because I have about 15 projects on the go at the same time. When I pull out (ha ha i said pull out) a particular colour, I use it on everything that needs it.

Well I finally was able to finish 3 projects in between stages of the D-Day stuff.

I was suppose to go to an early war tournament and I started some Czech 38t's and some Panzer I's. I also started some PanzerJagers but haven't finished those yet.

Tried a few new things. With the Panzer I's, I didn't do a wash over the whole tank. All I did was a wash over the tracks, and pin wash everything else. They turned out really well.

The Czech panzers I did the same way I always do them. Wash the whole vehicle, and then highlight. The tricky part with these guys the decals don't fit in between the rivets on the turret. I trimmed them as much as I could. And then the rivets made it VERY difficult to maneuver the decals around. Unfortunately a few of them are crooked.

But, best of all, and what probably a bunch of people are waiting for, is I finished the Ferdinand. I did the same as the panzer I's. I didn't do a wash over the whole vehicle. Just the tracks and pin washed everything else. I also went WAY lighter on the highlight then I normally do. I dare say it turned out very well and could be one of my best. It was certainly one of the most fun to do. I'm really glad I redid the camo...sorry to all those that voted for me to keep the old one. I'm pretty sure the next time I do camo like this I'll be able to get the lines even better.