Sunday 30 December 2012

Once Upon a Time...

...there was Classic Battletech,


For some time I've had a Samsung Galaxy 2 tablet to use at work. Now as it goes with these things, I am allowed to take it home as well. For quite some time I have not seen the use of these far-too- small-for-my-fingers doodahs apart from the two things I need them for at work. Recently I have downloaded a whole load of Battletech novels and use the tablet as an e-reader. Boy has thát been fun!

That reminded me about the fact that I wrote some battletech batreps a while ago in the form of a background story and thought I'd put it up here just for the fun of it.

So here we go:

Carnagy Hospital

Town of Geraldton, Karomer

Melissia theatre

Lyran Alliance

2 September 3067

Star Captain Ilse was content, her operation was going as planned. Her binary of Clan Diamond Shark battlemechs had been given the task of evacuating 2 MASH units laden with downed and wounded mech pilots and a bank of genetic material stored in a specially converted Mobile HQ vehicle. At the moment the vehicles were still empty and coming in from the South towards the Hospital to load their cargo and sneak away to the CDS LZ’s further North-East. The Star Captain had deployed her Beta Star in the town itself to protect the hospital and had kept her own Alpha Star back in the vale North of the city to provide a mobile reserve where needed.

The area had been reasonably quiet after the initial fighting between the Lyran Alliance and Clan Jade Falcon had moved on further to the Western half of this continent of Karomer. Nevertheless some activity of Jade Falcon forces had been picked up by orbital satellites and therefore Ilse kept an eye on her radar screen. While the Star Commander of Beta Star was in the process of relaying his statrep her vigilance paid off as she noticed 5 bleeping points on the radar screen from the corner of her eye. “Hold that Star Commander! Check your radar scans and tell me what you see.” She barked at her subordinate. “Multiple targets incoming from the South Star Captain” the man answered. “IFF identifies them as a Star of Jade Falcons. You want my star to intercept quaff?” Ilse checked the screen again and toggled to a wider area scan to see whether there were more bogeys inbound but one star it appeared to remain. “Aff Star Commander keep them away from our objective.” She wanted to add something but a blinking light on her comms array caught her attention there was a call coming in over the open frequency, probably the Falcon Commander’s batchall.

“This is Star Commander Orpheus of Alpha Beak 1, Iota Cluster of Clan Jade Falcon; I hereby challenge the Commander of the Clan Diamond Shark Binary for a Trial of Possession concerning the Genetic Material you are about to transport. State with what forces you are willing to defend.” It took Star Captain Ilse a while to identify from which mech the batchall was coming and great was her surprise when she learned it was from a hellfire second line mech in the point of the Jade Falcon formation. “This is Star Captain Ilse of Alpha Star of Prime Binary of the 39th Strike Cluster. If Clan Jade Falcon feels it can defeat our valiant forces with just one star and a commander in a second line mech I do not feel bound by honour to do any bidding. You insult our prowess so you can feel the full force of our wrath or crawl back in the patchy nest you fell out off! We do not feel bound by this challenge at all! Therefore we do not recognise this Trial of Possession you call it.” The line remained silent for a few more seconds then the enemy commander’s voice sounded wearily, almost annoyed over the link “Very well Star Captain, you are not the first one to deny the force of  the Hellfire mech and be fooled by the fact that it is not the chassis that makes a fighter great but the warrior’s capabilities. We will attack with all our available forces. Bargained bad and done.”

 “Star Commander Orpheus to Alpha Beak 1: engage!” Orpheus throttled his mech into a running gait and scanned for his first viable target of the day. An enemy  Gargoyle was picked up by the IFF and he moved his reticule over the mech until it gained a target lock and he fired off a salvo of LRM’s. One of the flights flew widely over the humanoid mech but the other two flights peppered the mech’s surface all over shredding armour where they hit but doing no real serious damage, around him his Star engaged the enemy with the fury he knew would make this battle a Jade Falcon victory. His plan was simple: he and his Star would draw away the Diamond Shark force defending the city and hospital while Alpha Talon 2 would make a combat drop right in the middle of the town in order to destroy the hospital and capture the transports. The remaining Diamond Shark Star would hopefully be too far away to intercept Alpha Talon 2 before the job was done but it remained a bit of gamble, one he was willing to take. Alpha Talon was mostly made up of unblooded warriors that badly needed to gain some experience if they were to prove useful in the next faze of the Clan Invasion of the Lyran Alliance. His objectives were threefold: destroy the hospital and deny it’s facilities to either the Lyrans and the Diamond Sharks, capture the genetic material for the Falcon breeding programs and destroy as much of the enemy force, he was sure he would succeed in accomplishing this.

 Orpheus split his force in two and started towards the city’s outskirts. His radar showed that the division of his star had drawn the Sharks into splitting up as well and coming for him rather then stay in the vicinity of the Hospital compound. If he could hold them here long enough for Alpha Talon to reach their target his victory would be almost a foregone thing. Apart from the enemy Gargoyle , who had clearly been deployed as outpost, the IFF showed a Cauldron Born, Stormcrow, Summoner and a Phantom comprising the enemy star; a decent mix of armour and firepower. The fight now really began and the skies were lit up by the green and red of lasers and black smoke, made by the impact of missiles being swapped by both sides. While he had ordered his Star to honour Clan tradition and fight one on one, Star Commander Orpheus noticed that the enemy Star Commander had no such scruples: the Gargoyle, Cauldron Born and Stormcrow all targeted his Hellfire with almost their full arsenal and if it hadn’t been for the terrain in which he found some cover he would have faced a lot of damage this early in the battle.  “Star Commander Tyne for Star Commander Orpheus, Alpha Talon 2 is on target and will commence combat drop in 3 from now.”   The transmission snapped Orpheus from the battle raging around him and he cleared his throat to answer “Aff Star Commander. We have the enemy star pinned down in the town’s outskirts make the drop and carry the day in honour of the Falcon!” With that he poured another salvo of his LRM’s into the Gargoyle followed up by his Heavy Large Laser and a shot from his Heavy Medium Laser destroying most of his adversaries left arm.

Star Captain Ilse watched from the cockpit of her Timberwolf as the Jade Falcon star engaged her Beta Star among the buildings of the outskirts away from the hospital. The transports were now at the hospital and feverishly loading the wounded and genetic material before the Falcons could break through. Then another beeping from her radar screen attracted Ilse’s  attention. “No this cannot be!” she exclaimed within the confines of her cockpit. The screen showed what clearly was another Jade Falcon star making a combat drop right in the middle of the town and very near the hospital she was ordered to protect! “Star Commander Ilse to Alpha Star: make speed for the town centre and engage the new enemy star.” Several affs confirmed her troopers readiness to engage the enemy and forward her forces surged, into the very thing she was bred for: BATTLE! Meanwhile the combat drop wasn’t wholly going right for the Falcons, one Timberwolf dropping from the dropship clearly had a jump jet failure, as the pilot spiralled down and hit a Mad Dog from the first Falcon star entering the city. Both mechs disappeared in a cloud of dust and smoke only to appear mostly undamaged form their abrupt contact minutes later. A Falcon Ice Ferret landed on top of a building close to the hospital which was clearly not the LZ it had intended to land on but the pilot seemed not to much affected with his bad luck and commenced firing on the hospital right away.

Two of the transports had meanwhile loaded up and departed from the hospital compound and Ilse sent a Stormcrow and Summoner from her star to escort them from the city safely. Her IFF now relayed the chassis of the new inbound Falcons and revealed there to be a Warhawk, Summoner, Timberwolf, Ice Ferret and a Blood Asp, the latter clearly salvage from a battle with Clan Blood Spirit in earlier battles. Because Beta Star had opened up a free-for-all by concentrating on the enemy Star Commander, the town centre soon changed into a rubble strewn battlefield, filled with energy discharges and other ordnance flying around. Severall of Beta Star’s mechs had found their way back to the Hospital and engaged the dropped enemy mechs in order to give the last MASH unit time to get away from the hospital, which was taking serious damage from the Falcon shooting. One Falcon Mad Dog, with just one arm left, targeted it’s solely surviving weapon (a gauss rifle) at the hospital before being destroyed by two Beta Star mechs.

The last transport sped away due North with screaming tires as the escorting Summoner and Stormcrow together with Beta Star mechs ganged up on an enemy Warhawk. Star Captain Ilse cursed Beta Commander for opening up the free-for-all but she couldn’t help that now. Luckily she had most of the second Falcon star bunched up in the town unable to follow the transports while the first Falcon star commanded by this Star Commander Orpheus was still tied up in the outskirts. Together with a Huntsmen and a mad Dog of Alpha Star she made to cut the latter off. Before she entered the town’s Northern outskirts however, she encountered the very enemy she was hunting on the rolling fields enclosing Geraldton. An enemy Timberwolf and Black Lanner blocked her way. This fight was turning very nasty indeed!

This was not going according to plan, Star Commander Orpheus thought. Alpha Talon’s drop had been less then easy; while all mechs had landed more or less on location some had minor damage as a result of an unlucky collision. He had lost only a Mad Dog and it’s pilot had ejected safely after tying up two of the enemy mechs. Orpheus had noticed the enemy Star Captain entering the fight dividing her force, her plan was obvious to him. She had sent one part of her star to support the force fighting to defend the transports and hospital and had come with her remaining forces to cut him and his star off from the fighting. He switched to his star’s frequency. “Star Commander Orpheus to Mechwarriors Grace and Deirdre, I need you to hold those incoming Sharks up as long as possible. Do whatever it takes to keep them from cutting us off from Alpha Talon, meanwhile I will try to link up understood quaff?” the replies followed immediately “Aff commander, Mechwarrior Deirdre here, I  will engage the enemy Commander in a duel, this will tie her up smartly quaff?” Orpheus smiled to himself, while the Sharks had shamelessly opened the free-for-all they would not deny a direct challenge and that would indeed keep them from being useful to their forces in the town. “Aff Deirdre good thinking! Mechwarrior Grace engage the enemy Huntsman in a duel too. May the Falcon guide your aim! Make Aidan Pryde proud of you!” both women answered with a steady ‘seyla’ and headed out towards the enemy and their duels.

Orpheus was meanwhile entering the town and the site of carnage. “Star Commander Tyne, what is your status?” he asked “My star is doing well in holding off the enemy but the transports are heading off due North. Shall I pursue?” Orpheus checked his screen “Neg Star Commander you are too far away. Sent in your faster mechs. Part of Alpha Beak has engaged the enemy escort force in duels and they may also be able to get to the transports after ending their trials. Tie down those enemy mechs near you and destroy the hospital.” No reply came back and as Orpheus entered the hospital compound he knew why; Tyne’s Warhawk had been surrounded by enemy mechs and had been damaged badly a PPC shot taking out most of his comm gear. Four enemy mechs focussed on the Warhawk and Orpheus had to shield his eyes when the Warhawk’s armour finally buckled under the attacks and blew apart. Shortly before the engine shielding was breached and the fusion reactor blew up the Warhawk’s cockpit was blasted free from the dying machine and sent Star Commander Tyne flying beyond the battle’s confines. “Freebirth!” Orpheus cursed, this was not at all what he had hoped for. In a rage he targeted the back armour of the Shark Cauldron Born that had helped destroy the Warhawk and in an orgy of laser and LRM fire he blew the mech to smithereens it’s pilot escaping like Tyne had done. ‘You will be scrubbing my mech’s legs as a bondsman soon” Orpheus greeted the pilot as his chute opened up and the man disappeared behind some factory buildings. His tactical feeds showed that his force was slowly pushing the diamond Sharks North and out of the town. Just then the hospital collapsed in a giant dust cloud and with a sound like thunder reverberating round his cockpit.

“Star Captain, the hospital is down! Do you want us to remain here and destroy the Falcons or retreat with the transports quineg?” Star Captain Ilse had no time for her subordinate’s indecisiveness she was facing an enemy Timberwolf in a direct duel. The Falcon mechwarrior had  arrogantly challenged her and a Falcon Black Lanner pilot had equally arrogantly challenged the Huntsman pilot that was accompanying her. While Beta Commander’s dishonour might be putting a smut on the victory the Sharks would surely claim here, Ilse would not stoop so low and would keep herself up to the Clan tradition of honourable combat. The duels were really evenly matched and this irked her beyond annoyance. The incoming messages from the Beta Star’s commander didn’t make her any happier as well. “Star Captain Ilse! I have lost more then half my force and the hospital is down we cannot hold this city any more! We will retreat!” Ilse tried to control her anger and keep her cool. A burst of her heavy lasers destroyed the Falcon’s Gauss rifle and put the mech out of balance, while the Falcon Pilot tried to steady her mech Ilse contacted Beta Commander “Neg Star Commander, you will not retreat! What about the transports are the transports safe?” the reply was immediate “Aff Captain! They are en route to the Silver Fin. I will escort them there.”   Ilse was glad that Beta Commander had regained his composure and was thinking clearly again, she would have to face this man in a circle of equals for his behaviour here though, since it reflected badly on her command and the way she had handled this battle. As Beta Star was down to two heavily damaged mechs they could do no good here anyway and they would indeed be of more use escorting the transports to the Silver Fin. The Silver Fin was the dropship waiting to carry her task force back to the Diamond Shark base of operations in the Melissia Theatre. “Very well Star Commander, Star Captain Ilse over and out!”  

Star Commander Orpheus’comms crackled and the voice of Mechwarrior Deirdre came over the link “Star Commander the transports are leaving our reach do you want me to break the duel and kill them quaff?” Orpheus took the tactical display into consideration and answered her “Neg Deirdre. The transports are too far beyond our reach but we have destroyed the hospital and most of the Diamond Sharks Beta Star. We should now make sure we gain our secondary target of destroying the enemy force wholesale.” Without listening to her reaction Orpheus switched comms to the channel Alpha Talon was using. “Star Commander Orpheus to Alpha Talon, destroy as many enemy mechs as possible. Try to drive them to my position at nav point gamma.” Most of Alpha Talon’s pilots acknowledged his order and soon he had formed part of his binary up in a firing line to receive the Diamond Sharks that the remainder of his force was driving before them. Now let us end  this little brawl, Orpheus mused. “Mechwarrior Deirdre break your duel and target the Stormcrow coming right on your 3 o’clock. Mechwarriors Yesukai and Toke target that Stormcrow as well. Mechwarrior Grace you will remain in duel with the Huntsman. The rest of you target the enemy Summoner with me! We will end this stain on Karomer here forever!” While most of the pilots confirmed his commands grimly, mechwarrior Grace contacted him on a closed channel “Star Commander this is not a very honourable way to deal with these Diamond Sharks Quineg?” Orpheus understood her reaction but had his answer ready “and how would you call the opening moves of this battle made by the Diamond Sharks then, mechwarrior Grace? Would you call targeting an enemy commander with 3 mechs at once honourable?” Her answer came while Orpheus was strafing the Shark Summoner with his heavy large laser and burning off tons of armour  of the mechs right leg making the Summoner loose balance and topple over on it’s front. “Neg commander you are right of course. I will comply” Orpheus smiled yet again…

Star Captain Ilse could not find any curse to shoot at the Falcons who had now cowardly ganged up on her remaining forces and had goaded two of her Star’s mechs to run the gauntlet in order to get to her position. She opened up the link to her binary’s general frequency “Star Captain Ilse to all Clan Diamond Shark Forces, we have safe guarded the transports and kept the Falcons from gaining the genetic material. They now cowardly broke tradition and so I see now shame in making a tactical withdrawal to the Silver Fin. Alpha Star Disengage!” Immediately after sending the order she opened the open channel “Clan Jade Falcon Forces, this is Star Captain Ilse; you have shamed yourselves by breaching the sanctity of a duel between two clan warriors we do not recognise you as an honourable enemy as a result. While we leave you the field you can consider yourselves on the loosing side of this Trial of Possession! May the Great Kerensky forgive your sins.”

Star Captain Ilse’s message amused Orpheus he switched open the channel to riposte: “This is Star Commander Orpheus, you may think of us of loosing this Trial but let us sum up the facts: you have succeeded in getting your transports away but in the process you have lost half your force, the hospital and you are leaving the field in our hands. Our objective was to destroy the hospital which we did, destroy your force which we did also accomplish and to gain genetic material which in a way we also did since we captured four of your warriors as bondsmen. Rest assured that in good time their genetic material will be enhanced by our techs for the benefit of our  breeding program. On the face of honour: you did not recognise our honour from the start of this engagement Star Captain Ilse, so why should I care for your deluded sense of what Honour is anyway!?” he decided to end his taunt with a quote from the Remembrance:

And battle though you surely will;

Your, defeat is never much in doubt

However strong your resistance, still

You will die hearing our victorious shout!”


Battle Cruiser “The Falcon’s Cry”

In Orbit, Karomer

Melissia theatre

Lyran Alliance

30  September 3067

“Excuse me Star Colonel?” Star Colonel Sly Hazen turned from his view of the planet of Karomer through the bridge's aft viewing port. “What is it Captain?” The captain of the Falcon’s Cry handed him a data slide with a frown on his face “The first reports of the fighting from the eastern continent sir. It took longer as usual, due to the destruction of the Geraldton HPG facility. We had to reroute all messages via comm. satellites.” Without looking at the captain the Star Colonel accessed the data slide, things were hanging in the balance. The invasion of Karomer; and  indeed of the Lyran Alliance was all part of Kahn Pryde’s grand scheme of rebuilding the Jade Falcon forces to a pre Refusal War footage. The fighting on the invaded planets served to sharpen the green troops’ beaks and talons. Thát part was going well…the part of actually holding on to conquered territory was a different matter altogether. The backwater planet of Karomer had proved to be garrisoned by some hardened IS units amongst which were some Mercenaries that were giving Hazen’s forces a bloody nose.

Just a couple of weeks ago a lance of assault mechs had ambled straight through the frontlines and into a star of Second Line mechs and driven those to flight. Hardline Falcon officers would frown on such display of shame but the Refusal War had changed much and Hazen shared his Kahn‘s views on how to rebuilt the Falcon’s strength. Besides what could you expect from Freebirth second liners? Fact was he needed the pilots and mechs. No reinforcements could be expected to be sent to him and the deadline for leaving Karomer was drawing near, yet he had to hold on until the Jade Falcon Forces that had penetrated further into Lyran space had retreated past his position. Hazen and his Galaxy functioned as the backdoor back to the Falcon’s OZ.

The data slide proved to be the report of Star Commander Tyne, commander of Alpha Talon 2, the unit tasked with defending the Geraldton HPG station. Clearly they failed; they had lost 3 mechs (all pilots ejected safely and made their way back to Falcon lines) and had downed 3 enemy mechs but the interesting part of the report was that the enemy lance contained a, previously unknown, chassis. The enemy’s markings had shown them to be from the mercenary unit identified as the Devonshire Devils, the chassis seemed to be prototypes of some sort. One Devonshire Mech had been left standing on the field awaiting the extraction of his downed comrades and the removal of the experimental designs by salvage and S&R teams. Alpha Talon’s pilots had been rescued by Mechwarrior Suzie in her Stormcrow who, due to loosing all her weapons in the fight, had to quite the field early and had appropriated a transport with which she could pick up her star mates. After seeing their mechs destroyed. Special mention was due to Star Commander Tyne for killing two enemy mechs and to Mechwarrior Yesukai who jumped his Summoner on top of an Argus killing the mech, and almost blasting the remaining Awesome variant to bits getting his chassis destroyed from under him. Hazen hoped to get hold of some of these prototypes if they crossed his path again in the future. Word was that Clan Diamond Shark had been leaking Clan tech to the IS and he hoped to prove their betrayal by capturing mechs equipped with that Clan tech. Maybe these Devonshire Devils were in on the Diamond Shark deal…

 Cheers Sander

Listening to: "Industrial Silence" by Madrugada

Monday 24 December 2012

Happy Holidays!


I wish all and everyone of you the very best for the Holidays and 2013, may our paintbrushes ever be sharp, our paint never run out or dry up and the stream of new miniatures be unending!

Oh yeah and may Father Time grant us enough of that precious commodity to make the former stuff worth while!

Cheers Sander


Sunday 23 December 2012

Holiday Zombie Infestation II


Today I've found some extra pictures on our school website regarding the workshop we did Friday so here they are!

First some more from my Doctor Z scenario:

Lastly some more of Mark's Search and Rescue scenario:

Cheers Sander

Listening to: "UNO" by Green Day

Saturday 22 December 2012

Holiday Zombie Infestation


Huzzah it's Christmas Holiday over here, two weeks of no school. Yesterday we had a Christmas celebration of sorts at the school where Mark and I work and it included a round of workshops provided by teachers in which they presented their non-school-related hobbies to the pupils. Naturally Mark and myself hosted a wargame: due to the easy to learn rules and the all-round appeal of the Zombie theme we went for ATZ.

Here you can see the two tables we set up:

- Capture Doctor Z:

- Search and Rescue:

Since I hosted the Doctor Z scenario, capture the evil Doctor who unleashed the Zed virus) I have taken more pictures of that game then the other one hosted by Mark.  


The Special Forces team had to search each building in order to find the Doctor.

Mostly the buildings contained...zombies:

Resulting in two troopers getting knocked down and eaten..

Meanwhile more and more Zeds gathered outside; when you go down to the woods today, you're in for a big surprise because there's a Zombie-picknick!

As happens in games of ATZ pretty much everybody gets eaten in the end so...

Meanwhile in the city things were heating up too!

Finally the bell sounded indicating the end of the Celebrations and some pupils went home accordingly, a lot of the other players remained behind to finish the game. Because I had to do some other school-related chores Mark took over and we merged the two player groups on the wood table. Stupidly I forgot to ask how the game ended and whether the Doctor was captured. But regarding the way things stood when I left, I gather everybody ended up in the Zombie's pick-nick basket :-)

I totally forgot to mention that most of the zombies were painted by the kids of the school-mini-painting-club. They also got the chance to play with their mini's against the survivors.

That makes an end to this episode watch out for any Zeds threatening you're Holidays and take the warnings of the instructional video below to heart!

Cheers Sander,

Listening to: "Industrial Silence" by Madrugada

Monday 17 December 2012



For some time I've had a lot of 20mm white metal civilian figures lying around. Some of these are from CPmodels others are from Elhiem. The civilians are mostly WW2 civies but mainly I am going to use them for my Great War games as scenery or scenario objectives. Their first outing however will be a participation game of All Things Zombie this Friday at the school where Mark and I work. There's a Christmas celebration of sorts in which teachers give "workshops" featuring their, non-school related hobbies" and so we decided to host two tables of ATZ games. The rules are easy to learn and will make for great fun!

Here are the pictures:

Male refugees:

Women and children:

Henchmen (these are really Gestapo officers but I will use them as henchmen for...)

The Doctor :

An as of yet still un-named hero...

Hope you like them!

Cheers Sander

Listening to: "Dance of Death" by Iron Maiden

Saturday 15 December 2012

Reall Compagnia Irlandesa


After a long absence I am more or less back. Here are some pictures of the last of my HäT Spanish testshots. I have painted these as a fictional regiment featured in the popular Sharpe series: the Real Compagnia Irlandesa. So yes I know these are not historically accurate but like them all the same. I hope to use them in some Sharpe inspired skirmish games in the future.

Cheers Sander

Listening to: "Re-Machined, a tribute to Deep Purple" by various artists

Saturday 1 December 2012

Over the Hills...


Work and family leave pretty little hobby-time for me lately. Yet in between serious stuff I've managed to paint up one of my Amera Plastics hills. This one I did up to use as mountain with Dystopian Wars or as regular hill with 20mm games.

Several more of these await painting, some I will paint up to represent arid terrain, like this one, and some more will be done to resemble more Northern terrain with snow-covered tops.

Cheers Sander

Listening to: "Good morning Saigon" by several artists

Thursday 22 November 2012

Blogger Awards!


Huzzah! I got nominated for the Liebster Blogger Award by Monsieur Rosbif at his fabulous blog. Thanks heaps my friend!

Rules for this stylish affair are:
Copy and paste the award on your blog linking it to the blogger who has given it to you.
  1. Pass the award to your top 5 favourite blogs with less than 200 followers by leaving a comment on one of their posts to notify them that they have won the award and listing them on your own blog.
  2. Sit back and bask in that warm fuzzy feeling that comes with knowing that you have just made someone's day!
  3. There is no obligation to pass this on to anyone else but it is nice if you do. 
Well, the less then 200 followers is a bit of a poser but here are my five nominees:

1) Number one should absolutely be Uwe from history in 1:72.I really like it when people try to contribute to the hobby by actually making a difference Uwe is one such person. He has provided countless of hobby-friends with colourplates on the most exotic uniforms and has started his own line of white metal figures of unavailable troops and periods. Big tumbs up!
2) Jan-Willem from Pijlie's Wargames Blog is one of my great gaming friends and is a true all-rounder, never seen someone who can host about ANY game, using truly ANY ruleset!
3) Peter from Peter's Cave is always inspiring and seems to eternally optimistic and good humoured!
4) Stefan from Monty's Caravan has a great little blog too and just reached 100 followers, congrats!
5) I also like to put in front of the Jury Matt from "Waterloo to Mons" who has been an inspiration and fun read as well for quite some time!

Enjoy these blogs and vote for your own favourites,

Cheers Sander

Sunday 11 November 2012

Lest we forget!

Title says it all really...

Monday 5 November 2012

Crisis Antwerp 2012, a short story


Last Saturday, the highlight of my hobby-year came round: the Crisis Convention at the Waagnatie Hall in Antwerp. It was in several ways a "first-time" experience; for one the convention moved from a one hall exhibit to a big two hall location. Secondly we were travelling in a larger company then last year since apart from my brother Lars, our designated driver, and Mark, both of whom joined me last year, we were accompanied by Albert-Martijn from Groningen who had come to stay with us for the weekend.

Before I start with a smallish report of how the visit went, I'll start with my goals for the day. Did I have any? Yes I did, they were rather Limited but all the same here they are:
- I wanted to get some new brushes preferably  Kolinsky's
- I hoped to pick up the Freebooter 2012 Limited edition figure
- I wanted some MicroArt Discworld figures
- Don't shoot me but some GW space marines to finish off my DA's were on the list as well
-I secretly hoped to be able to get a box of Zombicide as well...

We set out around half past nine o' clock in the morning and arrived around eleven, Lars was able to park the car literally in front of the hall's entrance. I can still kick myself in the head for forgetting to make a group-photo of the four of us but what's done is done. We entered the hall and I must say I was caught up in the buzz of the event right away. Orientation was rather difficult because the traders were situated around the demotables and therefore I got distracted immediately when I was at a vendor's booth by a table or vice versa. I started of by going to the Crush The Kaiser table to say Hi to Paul and Ian and see the Marines I painted for them in action in the flesh. Lars kindly made a picture of the 3 of us and I made some shots of the marines in action.

                                                 3 poppies in a row ;-)

That's when the batteries of my camera decided to quit on me and none of the others had taken a camera along so for a picture report I have to refer to others Pijlie and Peter have some up on their blogs.

Paul and Ian did a tremendous job on the scenery as you can see and I think the marines are not too shabby themselves so one hell of a great table to see in the flesh. Supplied with a signed edition of the new ruleset I went on to see the rest of the hall. The first purchase I did almost set me off in the wrong direction: I own the Italeri Norman Church and want to use it for the Peninsular War, the biggest conversion I need to do to be able to use it hence, is to replace the slate shingles for Normandy with Spanish tiles. At a French-speaking vendor I found sheets of plastic with the right scale of tiles. Due to my poor abilities regarding the French Language I ended up paying €24,- for 6 measly sheets of the stuff...

Oh well onto the rest of the show. At most of these conventions the diorama's and demo-tables are of varied quality, let's be honest we all know this to be true. But this year at the Crisis all tables were at least of a very high average quality at the least. While I saw some shabby ones last year still, now everything was in very good order indeed. But there was nothing there, apart for the mentioned Dixmuide table, that really got to me like the Abyssinia table or the Nosferatu game did in recent years. 
That brings me to another point, upon completing 3 rounds of the two halls, we all felt we were ready to go home, it was by then 14.30. A very surprising fact considering we did 5 rounds last year and stayed till closing time... I have had the pleasure to speak to loads of hobby-friends while at the Crisis loved some of the games and demo's, for instance I now know that while I love the appearance of the new X-wing game, I will not start playing it because there's way too much paperwork involved, yet still I was completely happy to leave before time. The atmosphere of the new hall just was not cosy enough I guess.
I missed out on seeing some friends I knew would or should be there as well, Peter should have been around but I didn't see him, Sidney was sadly missing and I missed Tom (of CW toys) who should have been there with a stand as well completely I hope to see you next time mates!

What did I buy in the end?

- Four Kolinsky brushes: two 3 x 0 and two 5 x 0
- 6 sheets of overpriced plasticcard
- a spray can of brown basecoat
- a combat squad of space marines (in the secondhand fair for €10,-)
- 3 Discworld mini's: Granny Wheaterwax, the luggage and Death (who was missing his scythe, Micro Art has been mailed)
- the Freebooter Limited edition mini W00T!
- some 20mm WW1 Frenchies
- a KR Kaiser 1 bag with content foam.
- Opsprey's MAA ANZACS for WW1

Quite a nice haul I'd say and I am happy at that.

I will try the Crisis next year round and try to get more accustomed to the new setting.

Cheers Sander

P.S. Oh yeah I almost forgot: since my brother is not really in the hobby and was only there for the enjoyment of the trip it's not surprising he didn't buy anything, but Mark on the other hand did not, I repeat NOT buy ANYTHING! What wrong with you my friend? :-P You thought I'd forget to mention it right?

Listening to: "History Lessens" by Skyclad

Sunday 28 October 2012

Back into the fold?


It was about time I'd put up a new update. As promised last time; let's delve deeper into my hate-love relationship with GW. My love for historical miniatures out-dates my love for sci-fi and fantasy mini's and as such will always be the mainstream of my hobby-efforts.
That said my first gaming experiences were with Warhammer 40K when at high-school, somewhere around 1995 I came into contact with a few Tyranid and Ultramarines players.I still have very fond memories about that first game, which actually are a great starter for a future blog post come to think of it.
Starting out small with Space Marines of a home-made chapter, I soon turned my attention to the Dark Angels upon reading a White Dwarf containing some Dark Angel artwork showing Interrogator Chaplain Asmodai specifically. Over the years my Dark Angels army grew and both an Imperial Guard- and  Sisters of Battle army were added.

For about 8 years I have lived in Groningen in the North of the Netherlands and it was there that I was really initiated in the wonderful world of tabletop gaming. Thanks to Albert Martijn I started playing 40K and Fantasy (Dwarfs and Empire) in earnest, followed by Classic Battletech and a small and short-lived venture into Warmachine.Since I now had a regular gaming partner and an income of my own the GW ranges formed the mainstay of the hobby.
During the last years in Groningen my gaming network expanded fast and interest in the historical period blossomed accordingly. I found out about playable historical rulesets like Warhammer Historicals and The Great War.White Dwarf lost it's main characters like the Fat Bloke, Gav Thorpe and Andy Chambers and turned more and more into a full blooded catalogue with some méh-méh articles mixed in for not-so-good measure. The emphasis of my hobby started to shift away from GW's flagship games toward the Historical variants. What irked me the most were the facts that most GW armies leaned heavily on super-heroe- characters and pimped up über units with through-the-roof statistics, this while the WH Historical rules gave you just regular Joe's with crappy stats and even the elites were not thát great.Now instead of winning by compiling the most perfect armylist and not even shooting so much as one bolter, I had to rely on my wits and strategic insights. So I still lost big-time but I enjoyed it far more because I now had a starting chance when the game began. Another issue was that most 40K games and nearly ALL fantasy games ended in a draw, I really hate draws as a result specially when almost both your entire armies lie dead in the field.

Upon moving back to Roermond, the main audience of players was...non existent. Well I had not found anyone yet to game with. After a small time I met Mark, who's a staunch Skaven player and has, I kid you not dear friends: just ONE army... yes he just has this huge Skaven army but nothing else. Oh yes a small fleet of space ships but that doesn't count. So back I was with GW WHF but the great part was: Mark was just in it for the fun. His Skaven's motto is: I won't fight anybody armed with more then a kitchen knife so my Dwarfs have had a field-day by thrashing his rats around the field of battle and even occasionally charging in! Every 3 months there's this small gaming convention in Amersfoort, the DUCOSIM, where I was able to keep playing CBT and it was there I met Jan Willem (Pijlie) he was into just about anything cool. In whatever scale and setting that could be whipped up. He now turned out to be my new partner for anything historical, soon followed by Koen.

Now with that settled I ditched the White Dwarf subscription, changed it for a Wargames Illustrated sub, best swap ever, and am now safely entrenched in Historical gaming with Black Powder as main ruleset.
So why this whole tirade? Well lately I sold of pretty much all my Imperial Guard stuff and was left gazing at my Sisters of Battle and Dark Angels, to sell or not to sell, that's the question.Why sell anything in the first place you might ask? That's easy: I am narrowing my view on the hobby. It's impossible to keep on doing all different things at once. Not in the last place since I have a limited space available in my hobbyroom. The mainstay armies will remain the Historical ones; Napoleonic, 7YW and TGW. I sold quite a lot of loose ends already like the Assyrians and my ECW Royalists (who by the way will be featured as Spanish in a diorama showing the battle of Roc Roi at a museum in said place itself). The SoB's are just a brilliant and terribly underrated army and all these lovely metal ladies have been so painstakingly painted that I cannot say farewell to them at this point in time. 

My Dark Angels are just that; my little Angels, there's no way in Hell I'm going to part with them. Yes most of them are painted in a horribly outdated style and based even worse but they remain my first brothers in arms even though the existing codexes are shite I will not part with them anytime soon.

Recently the release of Dark Vengeance renewed my interest in them. Albert Martijn sent me the limited edition Chaplain included in Dark Vengeance and seeing the quality of the plastic I really new that a version of said boxed set would be obtained eventually. The renewed interest has led me to start painting up some of the Dark Angel models lurking in my cupboards unpainted for ages. I still had about 15 Deathwing terminators left. 5 of them old metal ones and 10 new plastic terminators. The former now are done and feature down below.

To cut a long story not quite short: let's finish what I have lying around and see what will happen in the future. The Crisis is just a week away after all...

Here's a shot of some of my old and already painted metal Deathwing, they're done over an ice-blue underground which turned out all wrong. Seeing my new ones I really need to strip these and get them re-based and re-painted.

Some of my old plastic terminators, the ones with the swivelling torso's, Space Hulk issue?

Now for the newly painted terminators. I used an Army painter Rat-fur basecoat and worked up from there. The models, as said, are old metal ones including two sergeants since one of the squads above misses it's boss.

I've done the bases the way I would for historical mini's and in hindsight I should have left off the flowers...

Some characters in terminator armour were already in my showcase, but now I'm wondering whether I should re-do them as well, what do you guys think?



That's it for my trip down memory lane, sorry to have taken so much of your time, but hey you could have stopped reading ages ago ;-)

Cheers Sander

Listening to: "Skyline" by Yann Tierssen