31 December 2008

On The Workbench - 31 Dec 2008

Well those Klingon starships are still pushed aside to make way for the rest of my GZG Full Thrust Phalon Fleet and some BFG Elder escorts.

22 December 2008

Set The Mainsail And Damn The Pulse Torpedoes!

After a break of about five years, I found myself having 5 games of Full Thrust and Battlefleet Gothic at the local gaming shop Area52. Two local gamers both independent of each other decided they needed a break from Warhammer40K and went looking for something new.

The first didn't stray too far from home and was looking for a opponent to face off against the Battlefleet Gothic imperial ships he was collecting. The second had heard about this 'Full Thrust' game and was wondering what it was all about. Suddenly I found my table converted to a spacedock as fleets of miniature spacecraft were rediscovered and repaired.

I have to admit that I really am surprised by Battlefleet Gothic, up until recently I had played exactly half a game when it first was released. My opponent for that game and I probably didn't like each other very much and while I had been busy painting my ships I hadn't had the chance to read the rules, my opponent derided me for daring to play without reading the rules and declared that he wouldn't be explaining them to me. Fair enough I thought as I started flipping through the rules, I decided to return the favour by making use of the special Elder movement rules to dash into extreme weapons range, pepper my opponent's ships with long range fire and turn around and run back to escape any return fire. And that's how it went until my opponent's friend turned up and pointed out another special Elder rule that increased my weapons batteries effectiveness, at this point my opponent decided the game was over. So that was that, my Elder ships were consigned to storage and I went back to Full Thrust and my NSL fleet.

So like I said this time round I'm surprised and after three much more fun attempts at BFG I have found I really like this game after all. Enormously big ships slug it out and the escorts have the life expectancy of a firefly, how can you not enjoy that? Too bad it's been relegated to the specialist games range.

The other two games of Full Thrust were equally enjoyable. I was able to wheel out first a Neu Swabian League fleet and then an alien Phalon Fleet. My opponent first borrowed my wife's Federal Stats Europa fleet and in the intervening week purchased and painted a 'new construction' Eurasian Solar Union fleet. I won the first game mostly due to some excellent luck and finished the second game with my Phalon battleship and heavy cruiser scurrying away behind the a wave of plasma bolts.

The break I've had from regularly playing Full Thrust has only served to reinforce how much I enjoy a wargame like Full Thrust after playing these two games. It's simple, yet flexible mechanics allows a surprising amount of detail, but it doesn't bog a new player down in page turning and they can get straight down to the business of pushing their miniature ships around the table.

23 November 2008

So That's What Computers Are For

Recently I played a scenario from the World In Flames board game. It was the first introductory scenario, the German invasion of Russia, Operation Barbarossa. But I'll have to admit that even though I enjoyed myself playing as the Russians making fundamental errors that lost the game in two turns and allowed the Germans march on to Moscow, I did come away feeling somewhat overwhelmed. So many counters, so much information on the map, so many optional rules to choose to ignore and exactly how many resoursces did I have?

The problem isn't that the game mechanics are complicated, in fact they are simple indeed. The problem that there is a incredible amount of these simple steps required to play a game. What's really needed to play these type of games is a mechanism that automates the stepping through of the multitude of steps and that's when it dawned on me. That's what computers are for .........

13 November 2008

So many miniatures, so little self control.

There, just when I was thinking that I had my wargaming project impulse control well in hand. Having completed a block of WW2 British miniatures and starting on a squadron of Klingon starships now sitting on the workbench, but alas it is not to be. Now thanks to a thread in the local games shop forum I’ve convinced myself I want to, no! I need to dig out my Battlefleet Gothic Elder pirate fleet and complete that too. And in the process of digging out the Elder I also came across the three Rafik class frigate miniatures I had brought for Attack Vector …… 

But now in a effort to divert attention from my current inability to actually finish painting a wargaming army I’d like to point out the most cool thing about my wife’s office, the view out the window. This is what was parked outside when I dropped her off at work this morning.

It is of course HMAS Tobruk, the Royal Australian Navy's heavy landing ship. Tobruk and various others like her are always appearing outside my wife's office window. Much more interesting than a view of a tree.

25 October 2008

On The Workbench - 26 Oct 2008

The current block of 15mm WW2 British are done and now the Klingon starships have made it to the front of the painting queue. I had hoped to have them finished by the end of the weekend but alas the need to tear down the old fences around the house yard and dig up an offending water pipe from the dam of course took longer than I would have hoped.

Once these are finished it's back to more WW2 British, this time half tracks for the motor rifle battalion.

19 October 2008

On The Workbench - 17 Oct 2008

What's on my workbench? Some 15mm Battlefront late war British. Almost done, all I have left to do is finish the bases.

The black masses in the background are the next project, Klingon starships to use with ADB's Federation Commander game undercoated and ready to be painted.