Friday 21 December 2012

West Wind Zombie Hunter.

When I bought the West Wind Productions Biker gang I also purchased the single foot figure that they had titled "Zombie Hunter" and for a whole £2 not a bad addition to my Zombie Apocalypse survivors. It does need to be said that he is slightly larger than the normal 28mm figures, but not overly so and he will fit in with the rest. A one piece casting he is armed, as you can see, with a hatchet or axe and a sawn off shot gun. The gun is a little bit large and a little cumbersome, and has a cartoon feel to it. Personally I don't mind that and he should fit well with the mounted bikers. The dynamic pose will stop me getting any more of him despite the price, as I can see them standing out in a game.

As you can see on the rear view there are no hidden weapons although it is possible he might have something under the jacket if you need to play him that way. I went for a very basic colour scheme. I did try dark blue trousers first but as there are some obvious pockets on his thighs I changed it to a desert tan colour which went well with the Jacket lining and his hair. He really was a joy to paint, just one of those figures that put up no fight with the brush so I am tempted to get a few more from the range, after all the price is right.  Given the weapons and clothing this could be quite a versatile figure suited to all manner of escapades from pulp games (maybe he's a crazy Pilot which the Eldrich horrors have driven insane) to Zombie hunting with Biker gang games thrown in for good measure.

Despite having a week off I have managed very little painting as I have been busy baking. To the right we have a fresh cream chocolate cake for a leaving do at work and 3 boxes of rich chocolate fudge, which will be Christmas gifts to my neighbours. The fudge is a variation of my usual recipe with pistachios mixed with the chocolate. In Addition to these I have also managed to bake a Maple and Walnut cake and a Dundee Cake. So while not painting I have not been idle!

That's today's post. I shall blog again on Sunday so until then thanks for reading take care and don't let the brush get dry! All the best Clint

Wednesday 19 December 2012

Biker Gang (unpainted)

I recently was given a Biker figure which Vamipfan (AKA Bryan) and Brummie (AKA Simon)  were able to identify as coming from West Wind Productions . Having found the source I immeadiatly oedered a set. For £19.99 you get 10 Bikers and bikes. Now for me 10 mounted figures for £20 seemed like a very good deal. Postage cost were not too high and delivery time was within 1 week which considering it is the week before Christmas is very quick service. Having had one I was aware that they were multi part figures. (2 Part Bike, separate arms and heads).

The bike chassis were all the same, which is not a major issue. Two different forks were included, 5 of each type. It would have been nice to have some "Ape-hangers" for handlebars but the variety of forks will give some degree of variety.  Still as it works out at £2 each with rider it would be churlish to make a fuss about what one would have found in an ideal setting.
There are 10 bodies, with legs attached in 3 different poses. Which should make for a less uniform look to the gang. Three head sprues, each of four heads for a total of 12 heads. Add to this 10 arms. For me the problem with the arms is that they did not send the right combination. By that I mean I have an ODD number of sleeved and bare arms. In an ideal world they would have been equal or even a couple of spares. Most of the weapons are OK, But as only 10 were supplied there is not so many choices that you can make. One is armed with a chainsaw for example only an utter fool would use a chainsaw on a motorbike. It in no way will lead to a happy outcome. Therefore this arm even if no others will get converted. Maybe a simple weapon swap maybe something more dramatic. The other weapon I don't like is the M16 which seems very small and weedy when compared with the other toys. 

I can only speak for the pack I received and it is possible that other packs might have a better selection and more variety with arms and weapons. As mentioned above though for the price I really can't complain. If I can get 6 I am happy with for £20 I will still think I have had a bargain.

That's it for today. All the best and speak soon Clint.

Monday 17 December 2012

Caen 0.1 AAR

Ian and Grahams Position end of turn 2
The Caen Campaign has started. The first battle was always to be a learning experience as there were 7 people playing the one game and only tow of them had played the rules before, although another one had managed to read them prior to the game. The first battle was a very simple affair of 2 Canadian squads advancing across the Normandy Countryside to make contact with the Germans. I split each squad down so that each person had a single fire team with either a Sergeant or Corporal in charge. These were to be very similar squads to the ones each player will get but as a campaign pre-game it was disclosed that they would get fresh squads for the campaign and as such this was a learning game.

The Canadian players were (in proximity to my seat):
  • Ian
  • Graham
  • Kevin
  • Dave
While the Germans were:
  • Tim
  • Relf.
The Germans were allowed to set up 40cm from the table edge while the Canadians (who were advancing were allowed a 10cm start zone. The top picture shows Ian and Grahams Canadians at the end of the first turn. taking the left flank they were advancing on Tim's 1/2 squad. The small yellow dice was the first shot of the game (by Ian) and having thrown 3 of a kind on the dice the gun was out of ammo much to the mirth of the Germans (and many of the Canadian players as well). Ian was trying out al the rule options as he wanted to learn the rules as swiftly as possible.

Tim's position end of turn 2
Tim's Germans were always intent on occupying this building but as it was outside of his deployment zone he could not start in position and had to spend a couple of turns moving troops before he was ready for the Canadians. Unfortunately I had deliberately left this building with Very restricted fields of fire with a small wood directly across the other side of the road from it.  A better place for Tim to have started was about a foot to his left but the building was just too tempting a location. I can't fault Tim too much I am sure I would not have spotted it and concentrated on the building as well. By the time Tim was in position the Canadians (Graham and Ian) had also moved into positions which gave them the optimum cover bonuses. Tim did manage to wound one of Ian's chaps with a rifle shot at extreme range which left that figure crawling around for the whole game.
The long range shooting between German and Canadian riflemen lasted for a while which gave Ian's section time to get to the other side of the woods ready for some close in work. Graham managed to pin the German LMG which gave Ian the chance to rush the building. A lone runner with a grenade skirted the woods and was about to throw the grenade when Tim snatched the order priority and let rip with the corporal and the MP40. The grenadier was cut down in the middle of the road in front of the house. But knowing that the corporal could not fire again in that turn Ian sent another chap with a ready grenade out into the open. Hurling the grenade through the window it exploded inside and took the Machine gun and crew out of the game. Tim's Corporal was also shot down by Ian's sergeant's sten gun and pinned. Tim got the corporal out the back of the house but his rifleman by the parked car was picked of by Grahams rifles. At this stage Tim was down to just 2 figures. Seeing that Ian could mop them up Graham wheeled to bring fire on Relfies section. In a desperate last ditch attack Tim tried to lull a similar grenade trick on Grahams troops. If it had been successful the Canadians would have been on a morale check so it was one of the last moves of the game on this flank. Fortunately for Graham his Sten carrying Corporal won order priority moved and fired and killed the German before he could throw the grenade.
Kev to the right Dave to the left Turn 2.
Across the other side of the Battlefield Rolf's Germans were all set up and hiding from Kev and Dave's Squad. Moving through some woods to the edge of the treeline these Canadians used the rule that you can always target a support weapon (in this case the Light Machine gun of Ralf's) to try to keep it pinned with long range rifle fire. The tactic worked quite well for a short time but eventually the belt fed MG was able to lay down a hail of fire into Kev's 1/2 squad that tipped the balance. The LMG can fire 6 times in a turn as opposed to a single rifle shot. Dave was managing to stay out of the line of fire and snipe at the German riflemen that were protecting the MG34. One of these players did manage to kill the Mg34 gunner, but the assistant took over. The Mg34 did it's work and killed enough Canadians to put them on an immediate morale check before Dave could shoot back. Very bad dice rolls that one normally attributes to either myself or Tim forced the Majority of Kev and Dave's troops off of the board as they either retreated or hunkered down unwilling to fight. By this Time Graham was starting to lay down some fire on Relfies bullet ridden abode. However the Germans snatched initiative and Relfie turned the MG 34 on the line of Graham troops.

Relfs starting position from which he hardly moved.
 Mg Team upstairs in the building
 and the purple dice indicating
which troops were hidden.

Unfortunately Relfie did not realise that Graham had a Bren Gun and therefore did not target it. But the MG did well and killed one (by inflicting 2 wounds) and pinned another. The Bren gunner returned fire and with 4 shots as a rate of fire was able to kill the MG gunner on the top floor. As time was now pressing Kev sent his NCO out from the woods into the open, but was not close enough to fire his Sten. As Relfie won initative the next turn he charged forward with his Sergeant and an MP40 Kev Relf and Graham all rolled of order priority (Relfie even had a re-roll due to veteran status). Graham won and the Bren barked again and the sergeant fell grasping his chest where he had hoped a medal would have been pinned. This put the Germans below the Break point and the took a morale check for each figure still active and conceded the game.

Conclusion: Over all the rules worked well and players seem to appreciate both the simplicity and the feel of the rules. We did make a few mistakes, but not too many I think. (Until Graham emails me and tells me all the things I got wrong). The Main criticism seems to be that it is no harder to throw a grenade through a window from across a street as it is to throw it just on a random section of ground. a simple house rule can fix this though. Overall not a bad start and now most of the players have tried a game they should be able to play mostly just from a crib sheet. So all in all I count it as a success.

Thanks for reading this report. I hope to post again on Wednesday, til then all the best Clint.