Or more appropriately, what I've been up to during my (so far) baby-induced 4 1/2 month exile. As always, I can't promise I'm back 100% (as a matter of fact, I can promise I'm not), but I can promise games are in my future (the table is already set up).
The big news is that I've been painting. A lot. And in a couple new scales. If you're here you're probably aware that I am pretty much exclusively a 10mm gamer. That's not going away by any means, but apparently I've become a 6mm Modern gamer, in a big way. It started about six months ago, when I bought a small force of GHQ minis for some Soviet-Afghan gaming, with plans to move into more stuff beyond that.
The next thing I knew, I was drowning in 6mm Modern stuff (NATO and Warsaw Pact equipment), the vast majority of it from fellas at TMP's Marketplace. First up was some ridiculously cheap CinC T-80s and OT-64s that I couldn't resist. Then I gentleman had bought a bunch of GHQ stuff of US, NVA, VC, and civilians to play Charlie Don't Surf in 6mm, then he decided against it. Then the guy I got the T-80s and OT-64s from decided to offload some more Warsaw Pact stuff, as well as some NATO stuff. Then a different guy decided to offload some CinC NATO armored cars and APCs, and a few WarPac tanks. Then another guy decided to get rid of a boatload of WarPac tanks and APCs. Then a few more. Then a bunch of German and Brit tanks and APCs. Then I filled some stuff in with an order from GHQ... Along the way I picked up TFL's Charlie Don't Surf, as well as Lock'N Load's War at War (Eisenbach Gap and Death of 1st Panzer), and No End in Sight (from my buddy Ivan). Oh, and Neil Thomas' Napoleonic Wargaming and One Hour Wargames. And Iron Ivan's Point Blank. Probably forgetting something in there...
Well, let's get to the photos, and there's a lot of them.
MBT ~50 (T-55, -72, -80)
APC ~40 (BTR 70, BMP 1 and 2, six Spahpanzer Luchs that look close enough like BTRs,
and 10 Chinese APCs that I don't remember the nomenclature for)
AAA 5 ZSU-23-4
SAM 5 SA-13
Recce 12 BRDM (most with AT-5)
Engineer 10 MTLB
SP Mortar 5 of whatever those Soviet Airborne SP mortar carriers are called
Arty 12 122mm SP howitzers
MLRS 6 Katyusha mounted on trucks
MBT ~80 (T-55, -62, -72, an Type 63 and 69)
APC ~50 (a few BTRs, mostly OT-64)
AAA 5 ZSU-57
SAM 5 SA-9
Recce 9 cheesy little armored cars, some with a main gun, some with only MGs (looks like
Engineer 3 tracked vehicles (actually US ammo carriers)
SP Mortar 4 Soviet airborne SP mortar (just looked it up: 2S9)
Arty 10 SP 122mm howitzer
MLRS None yet...
So, some of you are probably laughing at the fact I've co-opted some NATO vehicles into the WarPac, as well as mixing in Chinese stuff. Well, when you get a lot of stuff cheap by getting it second hand, you make some sacrifices. Or at least that's what I did ;)
Also, the big reason I split my WarPac forces into 'green' and 'khaki' is not so I have a temperate and a desert force, it's because I intend on having WarPac gear fighting WarPac gear.
Okay, enough of the 6mm already... I've been working on some 10mm stuff as well. I haven't bought any new 10mm since last January, but I did rebase some stuff and finally finish some stuff. I've got a mind to rebase a bunch of other 10mm stuff I haven't been playing with too, and I don't mean since the baby, I mean stuff I bought and never gamed with, or even really had a plan for (just the "Ooooh, shiny!!!"), before we had the baby. Like Falklands Range Brits, and my Indo-China French and Vietminh.
The big push has been to get troops based up individually (in platoon strength) to play Ivan's "No End in Sight," which look like a whole lot of fun. On a side note, I actually put a squad per side on the table this morning and played a few turns to get familiar/comfortable with the rules. I really like them, but didn't take any pics and won't write it up. You know I'm a fan of campaign play, so I'll hold off playing and writing until I've got the back-story stuff figured out. Along those lines, I rebased my modern US troops into two platoons, one temperate and one desert. I also rebased (and repainted some of) my WarPac troops. I also put in an order with Minifigs for some Modern French, and to finish off my WarPac troops. More to follow, let's get to the pics.
Please forgive the typos, I'm typing with one hand while holing the little one...
This reminds me: I need to come up with a Platoon Sergeant! Which then reminds me, to hell with Ivan and his blatant disrespect for Platoon Sergeants!!! Ahem: (paraphrasing) some countries have Plt Sgt, and he'll roll for activation as normal, except he's automatically exhausted after the first activation unless he rolls a natural 6. You can kiss my @#$, Ivan!!! I demand a change to your rules! Out of respect for Plt Sgt's obviously super human abilities, the rule should read: "All Platoons should have a Plt Sgt, and he's +3 on his first activation roll, +4 on his second, +5 on his third, and so on, and it's impossible for him to become exhausted, be pinned, or succumb to his wounds." Much more realistic, says I.
A 'Super MEU' is stood up. The old MEU concept (of Marines floating around, waiting for something to happen) if flushed; the new MEU concept is the troops are constantly training at various locations worlwide, honing their edge. They are deployable worldwide within 24 hours, owing to the fact they have dedicated Military Airlift that travels with them to move men and personal equipment, and Maritime Prepositioned Ships were plussed up around the worldwide so that (pretty much) any location can be serviced within 24 hours, allowing the MEU to have CAS, helos, UAVs, tanks, tracks, HMMWVs, LAVs, etc...
I'm not as big a fan of PSCs plastic troops though, and so, even though they are of a scale so as to match with no one else's stuff, and are actually a bit too big for my PSC vehicles, the Valiant "1/72" troops were just so beautiful (I've been eyeing them for a loooong time) I couldn't help myself. I ordered a box of US, a box of Brit, a box of regular Germans, Normandy Germans, and German paratroopers. I built all the vehicles but my Bren carriers and German PaK-38s, and primed them (above). So far I've built all the US, but no one else is built out, and I've only painted up a few test troops.
Alright, let's get down to brass tacks. I started setting up a table for a fight next weekend. My goal was two-fold: one, I wanted to set up for a 10mm fight with NEIS, and two, I've taken a lot of crap about my hills (I'm looking at you Panda, and Blue), so I wanted to try putting my hills under the mat. So I put my hills under the mat, and it looked good, but not right for 10mm. So I ended up setting up a 6mm table... Not my first choice, but just how things worked out. It's a helluva war gentlemen...
Please take a look.
Well, that's it folks. It feels to be good to be back on the blogging track, and I look forward to getting a game or two in next weekend, so stay tuned. Hell, the following week we have Veteran's Day, so I can guarantee I'll be getting a game or two in then as well. Sorry for the extraordinarily long post, but if you made it this far, thanks for sticking with me. More to come.