Wednesday, February 27, 2013

pSeverius vs eButcher

Had a quick Warmachine game with Elliot last night. It wasn't intended to be quick, but that's what happened. 

Scenario #7, Outflank. Here's the opening set up. Pennies marked the center of 12" control zones.

Elliot had an eButcher list out full of glass cannons looking for a quick strike before Menoth attrition ground him down. Besides Conquest, he had Doom Reavers, Manhunters, Great Bears, Eliminators, Drakun and Beast 09.

I had a pSeverius list with Errants, Reckoner, Avatar and the Blessing of Vengeance. Plenty of support staff as well.

Khador turn 1. Elliot had first turn. On my left flank he sent up Manhunters, Eliminators, the Drakun, Conquest and Butcher.

On my right flank (which did not factor into the game's outcome), Doom Reavers, Great Bears and Beast 09.

Menoth turn 1. I assaulted my Seneschal into Yuri the Axe. No effect. Errants moved up to take ground (one got counter-charged and killed by Drakun). They received Defender's Ward from Severius and Tough from Rhupert. Drakun also took a couple of hits from Reckoner.

On my right flank, the Blessing and Avatar moved up.

Khador turn 2. Elliot looks for a quick kill. He feats and starts by sending Butcher into the Errants. The first knight toughed three times. Hmmm...Elliot begins to curse. Drakun moves up and kills one Errant. The Eliminators run towards the center board. Over the course of his normal activations, Elliot accumulates 6 rage tokens on Butcher. The feat then kicks in. He puts tokens on both Eliminators and the Drakun. The first Eliminator moves in and rolls triple 6s for damage on Severius. Ouch! I only have 4 hit points left. The second charges in and takes Severius down to 1 hit point. Oh no! The Drakun needs to finish the job, but as he advances towards Severius an Errant gets a free strike. Dead Drakun!

Severius ends the assassination run sitting on one life.

Menoth turn 2. Well, eButcher is swinging in the wind. Five Errants charge and that ends the game.

Short, furious, and very close match.

'Til next time.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Intercessor Kreoss

Well, here we are in the depths of winter (for Canada anyway). What better way to pass the time than developing the Warmachine meta. There is a league running at the local store (Thunderground) and I'm playing in it today. I wanted to get IKreoss out, and so I needed to finish off his paint job.

To that end...

A nice model, but I'm not thrilled with the end result after painting. I think I put too much white into the scheme. Oh well, he'll work fine regardless!

'Til next time.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

IKreoss vs Old Witch

Elliot and I haven't played a game for a couple of weeks. Fortunately, he was able to come over last night, and we got in a 50-point game. We played the Supply and Demand scenario (#2) from the new SR2013 pack.

Here is the opening set up. The flag in the middle denotes the center of a 12" scoring zone. There are some weird scoring rules for the supply objectives which I don't think will often come into play. Essentially, players should just go ahead and destroy the opposing objective for 1 point and then either try to score the remaining required 4 points through zone domination...or just kill the opposing 'caster.

Elliot continues his Conquest tour of Khador. This night, he put Old Witch on the board with the colossal. The rest of his list consisted of Assassins, Eliminators, Greylords, Mechaniks and Aiyana and Holt.

I brought out a partially-painted IKreoss (the new Menoth epic cavalry 'caster) and considered putting Judicator in the list. However, I opted out of the big point investment and loaded up with infantry and another heavy 'jack instead. So, the list consisted of Vengers, Gravus, min Errants, Daughters, Fire of Salvation, a Reckoner, Vassal, Mechanik, Choir and Rhupert. The thinking here was to get the Daughters up to def 18 and infiltrate them deep, while Igniting the Vengers and going for really powerful cav charges. Well...half the plan worked.

Khador turn 1. Elliot got the first turn. He had no speed buffs for his force, so he just pushed up the board as far as he could. He got Murder of Crows out in the middle of the board to deny a central push to my Daughters, and then put up a wall of Blizzards to keep my minimal shooting at bay.

Menoth turn 1. I push the Errants into the right flank woods, looking for a quick kill on the objective. I swung my Daughters over to the left flank and crossed the Vengers towards the center. One sacrificial Venger rode out ahead to get the Battle-driven buff on the rest of the unit. IKreoss put his DEF buff on the Daughters, damage buff on the Vengers and Warpath on himself. Rhupert puts Dirge of Mists on the Daughters as well. They will be DEF 18 for the entire game.

My main mistake this turn was moving my 'jacks up the right flank. My thinking was to keep them out of Conquest's line of sight. However, Old Witch has Augury, meaning Conquest can see through forests. So, he can see and shoot at me, and I can't close with him easily. Yuck.

Khador turn 2. Elliot is worried about my alpha strike, so he decides to move up Old Witch and feat. Essentially, this prevents me from ending an advance within 14" of her with most of my army. During the turn he kills his objective (1 point). He also whacks my advanced Venger and an Errant. This puts two soul tokens on Gravus. Important for my next turn.

Menoth turn 2. Basically, I back away with everyone, except for one Errant. That guy I move up and take the POW 14. A quick death, and the third soul token on Gravus. Gravus then advances 8" up to Elliot's line of assassins screening the Old Witch. With reach, I have Elliot's 'caster engaged in melee...just where I want her.

Gravus takes no damage from the Murder of Crows, but he does take 7 damage from the feat. However, no joy for Elliot. Two swings later, Old Witch is pounded for 12 damage, and she only has 4 hit points left. I think this is the main drawback for a powerful control area feat like the Witch has...she has to move up and expose herself to get it off. Sure, her feat set me back a turn and crippled my alpha strike, but I got very close to killing her in retaliation. If only. Anyway, the game continues.

Khador turn 3. Elliot swarms Gravus with Assassins. A few of them also charge up and kill another Venger (my cav are essentially Battle-driven the entire game). Elliot has also maneuvered his Eliminators into my backfield, but nothing really happens with them. The other thing to note is that the middle of the board is pretty crowded for most of the game, leaving Conquest to sit back and shoot. Although he did hit a few targets and some infantry did go down to blast damage, I think Elliot wishes this colossal would have done more.

For the most part, Elliot's dice failed him during this game at crucial times. Case in point. Gravus is dismounted and the subsequent Greylord sprays which are intended to blow him off the board leave the knight with 1 hit point left. Amazing. I get to use him for another turn.

Menoth turn 3. OK, the Old Witch feat is over and I have to make hay. I figure the greatest threat to me is the Kayazy Underboss. Time for IKreoss to go to work. My 'caster moves up, feats, and gets an angle on Elliot's Demolisher. Murder of Crows and Iron Flesh come off and I stick Death Sentence on the Kayazy. Force Hammer to the Demolisher.

I knock the heavy 'jack over the Underboss and kill him with the collateral damage. Hmmm, that went well. I then cast Crevasse and wipe out another 5 Assassins. The Daughters then charge and kill another two Assassins. Gravus, with one soul token, limps over to an exposed Greylord and swipes him away. With the soul, he takes a second attack and kills another Greylord. Finally, my Errants go to work on the objective. A good turn...most of Elliot's infantry has been removed from the table.

I move up my remaining two Vengers to screen IKreoss and await Elliot's assassination attempt.

Khador turn 4. Elliot throws everything he can at IKreoss. First, he manages to clear out one Venger, providing line of sight to my 'caster. However, after all is said and done, he only gets eight damage on IKreoss...and I heal back a couple of those due to some Daughters that are killed by blast damage (yeah Imperishable Conviction).

Menoth turn 4. I finally have charge angles on Conquest with my 'jacks. I load them up and go in. Unfortunately, I only do about 75% damage to the colossal. Next turn, Elliot's two remaining Mechaniks get the weapon systems working again, so this attack wasn't worth it.

Anyway, I withdraw IKreoss, jam Elliot's remaining Assassins and 'caster with Daughters and destroy the objective. Elliot and I are tied at 1 scenario point each.

Khador turn 5. Elliot and I had agreed to play to 11:00 PM, and time was  almost up in the game. Elliot's only play for a win is to clear the zone and score another control point. He gets close, but in the end I have a 'jack and a solo in the zone. The game ends in a tie...

Menoth turn 5. ...But Elliot is a sport and he lets me take my turn to see if I win it. I just charge my last remaining Daughter into Old Witch. I have two chances to roll a 9 to land a hit. I make my first roll with a 10. Charge damage takes down the Old Witch and the game is over with a quick assassination.

Elliot and I with Khador and Menoth always play grinding games that go right down to the wire. This was a prime example. An excellent and fun game with two very competitive 'casters. The game see-sawed back and forth, and either of us could have won at a couple of times during the game. I'm already looking forward to the next match.

'Til next time.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Fokker D.VII (OAW) 1/32: Part 2

Continuing on with the Wingnut Wings Fok D.VII (OAW). Minor progress this week...just put the engine in.

I also have one other photo of the plane's pilot, Fritz Schliewen. Here is a group photo of Jasta 6 pilots in the late summer of 1918. Schliewen, who would have been 20 or 21 years old at the time, is identified as the pilot 4th from the right.

This is a 21-piece model of the Daimler-Mercedes 180hp D.IIIa engine. The fit and engineering is excellent.

And the current state of the interior assembly...comin' along. Fuselage halves are next!

'Til next time.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Fokker D.VII (OAW) 1/32: Part 1

Well, I've decided to undertake a display model project. I really haven't done something like this for decades...building a model just to have it and put it on display. No gaming application whatsoever. It feels weird.

A few weeks back, I was digging around in a pile of WWI magazines, and was drawn (once again) to the myriad articles featuring Wingnut Wings models. This is Peter Jackson's model kit outfit in New Zealand. All their WWI planes are in 1/32nd scale...enormous by my gaming standards. But no one can deny the beauty and engineering perfection of these kits.

I decided to acquire one and build it. But which one? There are already numerous kits available, ranging from the early war DH2s to Gotha bombers. If I was to only do one of these kits it would have to be: a) a popular subject, b) rigging light and c) relatively uncomplicated in general structure. Hmmm, sounds like a Fokker D.VII.

It arrived in the mail and I dug right in. Wow...big kit. And beautiful.

When I was placing my order, I wanted to do a largely lozenge fabric example. So many Fokker D.VIIs had elaborate paint schemes and these have been the subject of many modelling efforts. However, most D.VIIs were simply covered in lozenge fabric and then just painted with jasta-identifying tail and/or nose markings.

Wingnut Wings supplies numerous decal options for their kits. The closest I could come to my desired end product was an OAW Fokker (built by the eastern Albatross factory under license) flown by Fritz Schliewen, Jasta 6 in the fall of 1918.

That's his plane at the bottom of the decal sheet lineup.

A very pretty plane. 4-color lozenge overall. Jasta 6 tail, wheel and nose stripes, and then a simple but distinctive personal marking...the Bavarian diamond band around the middle of the fuselage. 

Here's Robert Karr's painting of Schliewen's D.VII.

There are only a couple of known photos of Fritz Schliewen. Here he is sitting on the back of his D.VII. This was likely taken in late August, 1918.

Researching WWI pilots is difficult at the best of times. So many records have been lost or destroyed over the past century. Schliewen turned out to be very tough to get background information on, particularly since his last name had two spellings. He was also known as Fritz Schiemann.

Here's his history, as best as I can reconstruct it. He was born in 1897. He entered the German air force at age 17, in 1914, and became a two-seater pilot. He flew artillery spotting aircraft for most of the war. However, at the beginning of August, 1918, he entered Jastaschule I (fighter school). He graduated in mid-August and was immediately posted to Jasta 6 (part of Jadgeswchwader I, Richthofen's famous flying circus). There, he earned two air combat victories.

His first was at 3:25 PM on Thursday, September 5th, shooting down a British observation balloon while on a mission with fellow Jasta 6 pilot, Richard Wenzl. The balloon's observer, Sgt Woolgar, jumped to safety. See the painting above for an image of that afternoon's action.

His second and final victory came on October 29th at 4:25 in the afternoon, when he downed a SPAD XIII (likely French). Little is known of this particular action.

Schliewen survived the war. Although details cannot be confirmed, it seems he died in 1945, at age 48, while fleeing with his family from the Russian advance through Eastern Europe near the end of WWII. That was certainly a dangerous time, and a bitter end.

On to the build.

This week, I started into the cockpit. The Wingnut Wings instruction book is wonderfully put together, and very detailed. The parts are small (and there are many of them), but construction is clear and straightforward.

Here we are at the end of week 1...

Love all the details in this kit. Too bad a lot of it will be covered up when the fuselage goes together!

One final view of the assembly.

Taking on this project will certainly eat into my game model productivity for the year...but it's nice to change things up for once. Looking forward to getting deeper into this project.

'Til next time.