Sunday, 26 March 2017

AHPC: The Aftermath...


Pfew! Hanging on with my fingernails and shear perseverance, I managed to finish the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge and gain my points target of 1500 points. It was my 3rd Challenge and even though I now can say I know the drill it is still exciting to the last. If you have never participated in an event like this you cannot understand the chemistry that exists between the Challengers, their Minions and the Snowlord out of the High North beyond the Wall. The effect of 3 months of painting comradeship within the points-system used to calculate your targets, is quite profound in that I am still counting up Challenge points when  looking at figures on my desk.

In the end, I managed to reach the 16th place, quite good if you look at the veterans firmly and immovably entrenched in the top 10. Anyway, even after Challenge's end when the list is fixed, I look at it half expecting to see my name move down the list and I can't stand the timer showing all zero's to indicate the event is over. Yeah I have a big Challenge-lag, but, and this is VERY important: no painters-block. Last Challenge left me completely empty, not so this year, I want to paint but am tired from other stuff so am now up to very little actual painting, if I wasn't tired I'd be painting believe you me!

On to the Highlights. Basically there are 3 and in no particular order, these are the Side Duel I held with Iannick, 

my participation in the Curtgeld with Stefan and Lord Awdry 

and me ending up in 3rd place in the West Theme Round.

As far as personal goals go, I did not do so bad either. I have managed to gain the 1500 points I had set myself at the start. Now I have been moaning about this high and low, but at one stage, I really was convinced I was going to end below the 1000 points and that I did not want to do. The second most important goal of the Challenge is to get paint on your miniatures, I was not going to fail in this regard. With superhuman effort, a lot of goading from Phil my pet Minion (or is it the other way round?) and support from the other Challengers I got busy and it paid off. 
So I finished in the top 20, also a personal target I want to keep aspiring to each Challenge, I ended up 3rd in the East Theme round and runner up about two times in other Theme rounds. Yeah I am pretty happy all round. 

Without doubt the biggest model I have painted this far must be my TTCombat coaster, a ship model that I really like and looks amazing in the showcase. I stupidly forgot to include it in the picture above, how dumb is that!?

The majority of the figures I have painted in this Challenge are either Dark Age figures or part of my 80's Pulp Project with some sundry others thrown in for good measure. This has left me with a small pile of unpainted figures. These are 20 odd Vikings, 4 Crooked Dice female martial artists, 6 Battlemechs, 4 80's Pulp vehicles and the 15mm Crimean War Brits. The latter did not get painted because they are not based yet and I did not want to loose time on basing them rather then painting more stuff already based. 

Basically all these figures were already part of my lead pile, the only figures I bought during the Challenge are some 28mm Dutch troops for WW2. What's this? I hear you cry, you have always said you'd not start gaming WW2! Yes that is very true and at the moment I am still not doing that! That said... my interest in WW2 has always been either professional (as a teacher) or concerning regional happenings. Personal stories of people I know, mostly my family are what interest me most about the war. Don't get me wrong I love reading books on several different theatres of the War and watching movies about them, but do not feel like playing them out on the board. However, I am within spitting distance of some of the heroic last stands of the Dutch forces during May 1940... Anyway, whether I am going to actually use them in wargames or just for educational purposes in my classroom I am not sure yet, we will see in time. 

So that's pretty much my Challenge for 2017, if Curt's still running it next year, I will most definitely be joining in and probably with a little unexpected twist at that.
This leaves me with saying a great big thank you to all of the Challengers, Minions and of course the Snowlord and Lady Sarah for making this Feast of Figures possible for yet another year!

Saturday, 18 March 2017

The End is nigh...


With the final day(s) of the Challenge in sight and me still a few points short of my target I am in a painting frenzy, so no time for a long post here on the blog. There are however, two new posts up at the Challenge site.

Cheers Sander

Friday, 10 March 2017

Past the 1000 mark!


Today not one but two post went live on the Challenge page taking me past the 1000 points mark. Initially I have listed for 1500 points, but halfway through I was seriously doubting I would ever reach even the 1000 points, but thanks to 56 little Prussians I now finally did. You know I do think I might try to get those 1500 as well, all or nothing!

Here are links to the posts, and if you haven't voted in the Side Duel then do so now or be a rectangular thing!

Cheers Sander

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Knowing is half the Battle!


As if you haven't voted for me enough, today the most exiting post on the Challenge blog for me went up: my 80's Pulp side duel with Iannick is on.

You can check it out:

If you're watching it in a webversion you can vote for either Iannicks Bad-Guys: 

  or my Good-Guys:

 Iannick is a brilliant gentleman and Millsy has been a real help in arranging all this! So go on put in your vote!

Friday, 3 March 2017

Bantha Pudu!


Yup you guessed it! Another post is up at the Challenge blog, go over


and have a look!

Cheers Sander

Monday, 27 February 2017

Finally: Poldercon 2017!


It has taken me long enough (2 weeks) but I have finally made it to resize and sort through the pictures I took at Poldercon. Elsewhere your can read about the format of this convention (basically you sign in for max. 4 games and play them) I will just relate my impressions and thoughts on the event.

For me Poldercon is pretty much one of two moments in the year I get to play wargames lately. The other one being the Ducosim convention I sometimes get to go to. Anyway I signed in for 3 games since I have to go by train and would miss most of the first game-round getting there. These games were Sharpe Practice, Bolt Action and En Garde, I have the rules for Sharpe Practice and En Garde but haven't had a chance to play them yet. Like manyu others I learn a game best by playing it and specially for the latter two since when reading the rules I got the impression both games were really cumbersome with loads of deifferent formations, movement-types and specially many many many (Commandant Lassard anyone?) modifiers on the rolls with the dice.

Bolt Action is a game almost just as popular as FoW and since I am still looking for the perfect ruleset to use with my 80's Pulp games, (no I do not think 7TV will do) even though I think I found it in Black Ops, I wanted to try this out.

Well here we go!

Some more general shots:

A brilliant looking Roman wagon escort.

Another ancient battlefield, no idea what ruleset or figures.

A FoW game I believe, nice scenery!

This AWI game was hosted by Jasper and looked amazing!

A very nice WW2 in the Netherlands game.

The Chicago Way game. Brilliant map, anyone know what make this is?

No idea what this was, but very nicely made!

Very detailed modern urban diorama!

Dead Man's Hand, very nice table. The train of course is the best!

A very good Freeebooters Fate table. The landscaping is just downright gorgeous.

Team Yankee table I believe.

Mister Crijns provided a workshop: "How to make your own tree"nothing like Bob Ross at all.

The first game I played was Sharpe Practice run by Eltjo in more or less period dress.

As commander of the Continental Right flank my teammate and I had to make sure the ferry over the river was taken and the British rearguard destroyed.

Soon my Continental Militia entered the compound and started shooting up a unit of Loyalists. This went rather good even though my troops were of less quality. Meanwhile our left flank was seriously cut up by the British regulars but managed to hang on.

My shooting was pretty good, scoring 5 hits on a unit of 6 men. To see what would happen my opponent rolled 5 ones thus saving all five of them...

My militia shot down more loyalists and I was reinforced with my dismounted dragoons.

Just as I finished off the Loyalists, a unit of Hessian grenadiers used the ferry and landed on our side of the river.

Now hard pressed by the loyalist unit on my left flank and the Hessians in my front, the militia was seriously under pressure.

Instead of doing what grenadiers are good at: charging, they were happy to trade salvo after salvo with me.

Meanwhile some Continental mounted troops had arrived and we decided to let them jump the fence and charge the last loyalist unit in the flank.

Most of the unit made the jump and charged home, through some obscurity it was not deemed a flank charge, but it hurt anyway, relieving my militia a great deal.

The loyalists were broken...and my dragoons charged the Hessians in the flank and cut them up. With just one big unit still on the beach-head, the Brits had lost. Huzzah for the Continentals!

Next up was the lunch break and a little shopping, a little because there are few dealers present since the event is geared towards play, not pay! In the end I came home with just one purchase, an Empress Miniatures Humvee with grenade launcher. Nice little model for my 80's Pulp project.

After lunch I was able to try out Bolt Action. I was going to play ze Jermans against some Frenchies in early 1940. Now I do think my object was to flush the French from the village, but I failed miserably. To get a hang of the game the starting forces were made up of all sorts of troops and that's fine, but if I would have to choose my own forces i would have left out the artillery observer and the AT rifle team and got some more infantry. It also didn't help that my armoured car was blown to smithereens by the French 75mm from turn 1.

My wheels advance!

The infantry try to sneak up on a la vache...

My observer calls down an off-board artillery bombardment.

These troops are seated in the halftrack, just so you know...

Some Frenchies in a house, I do believe it's La Belle Alliance...

The French PAK and some pigs.

A General advance

The infantry enter the paddock.

The French in the building take potshots at the advancing Germans.

My return fire forced the French unit out of the building, they were so distressed that they kept on running...

My panzer had advanced into the square and was trying to shoot up the French gunners and failing miserably.

The halftrack was taking the longer but safer way round the back.

The troopers in the village  advanced even further but were targeted by a French HMG in a building and had to go to ground.

My other squad had disembarked and tried to sneak up on the French cavalry unit.

While under heavy fire my troops tried to rush the street and dive for cover in the farmhouse.

The cavalry noticed me and charged, but my shooting caused several casualties.

The ensuing hand-to-hand combat left all French dead and just my officer and a second standing. These in turn were despatched buy French infantry who only now dared show themselves.

The unit in the village was pinned down and would go nowhere.

With time against us I conceded the game and had to conclude that I really like the system, all be it that I don't get why I should use dice as markers/ tokens but never mind that. Sadly this ruleset is not really good to play low level skirmishes with named characters with.

The final game I played at Poldercon was an En Garde version of John Carter of Mars. Jan-Willem had constructed 4 brilliant Barsoomian flyers, well one from Helium, one from Zodanga and two from the British Star Empire. Since I was only fighting against one opponent (one young lady with the name of Sanne) we decided to discard the British flyers and make this a Barsoomian get-together. Some evil genius Queen or such had conquered an atmosphere tower and threatened to destroy the entire planet. We had to stop her of course. JW had implied that when players work together the game could be over and won in 10 minutes. If players would start to target each other...

Well this is what happened:
An overview of the table.

My flyer. You flew them by using a system derived from the ever hilarious robo-rally.

Early on, I decided not to shoot at Sanne, she decided otherwise because it would be more fun to fight each other. Now shooting as JW had envisaged it causes really a lot of damage and therefore might just leave the both of us with too little left to fulfil the mission. So therefore I only shot back to see if I could disable her guns, this only worked partly and I got hammered in turn.

As one of the effects of the damage I took was that my ship was going down towards the ground, I decided to go for the door at the base of the tower rather than the platforms. Sanne caught on and went for the platforms.

Chivalrous as I am, I shot at the guards at the platforms, so Sanne would have less to worry about and got hammered yet again for my trouble...

For my shot to breach the doors I rolled magnificently!

Before taking too much damage I disembarked on half of my force. We both had one leader and sidekick/ lieutenant and 8 regular grunts.

After my ships ability to fly was disabled, I evacuated it and went for the door. Knowing JW and having seen Tarks and White Apes on the board, I was half expecting the tower to be packed with nasty surprises.

Only to find out there were none. I therefore raced my troops into the tower but Sanne beat me to it. She destroyed all left over guards and eventually the Queen as well.

The scenery and figures were just a delight for the eye!

Now a new plan entered my shaken mind: since the lady had shot down my ride and had engaged the Queen by this time, I decided to steal her flyer leaving her victorious but stranded on the arid Barsoomian plains.

While Sanne was fighting the evil Queen with her Lieutenant, she had left her boss vulnerable on the landingpad next to the flyer, I swamped her and cut her down, with minimal loss. If time and JW had permitted I am sure my 9 troops with 2 leaders would have easily overcome her left over crew of 4 on the flyer. This left me with a draw.

So my conclusions of Poldercon? Definitely worth every penny and minute spend on it! The atmosphere is so friendly, you get to meet old- and new friends and play games you have not tried before. The hosts all know what they are doing and are all very nice and friendly. 
My verdict on the games? Well Sharp Practice is far nicer then I thought and I will try this again soon.
Bolt Action is really nice to play but I think the rulebook is rather expensive at the moment and am not sure I want to get into this. 
En Garde, even though JW provided us with a brilliant game with even more stunning figures, I just can't get this game! JW had to provide all scores and modifiers and not once was I able to deduct for my self what I needed to score or what effect my dice rolls had. I just basically rolled the dice, looked JW in the eye imploringly and he told me what had just happened. Total bullocks. 

My main conclusion is: I am good with Linear Warfare of the Horse-and-Musket period, I am reasonably well at skirmishes and suck in WW2. Oh well I can live with that!