Monday, April 11, 2016

PTO Terrain: Shrine

with Mike
(Cross-posted from Behind Enemy Lines...)

I've been on the hunt for a small Buddha statute to make into a jungle statue for my Vietnam terrain, but I've had little luck. However, I saw a little shrine in the aquarium section at the local pet shop and grabbed it for $10.

With my Pacific terrain project starting up in force, I've brought this out for some finishing. While shrines like these may not have been seen on the island hopping, they were certainly in southeast Asia where the Japanese empire clashed with British commonwealth forces. So, it'll certainly see use at some point!

Monday, April 4, 2016

PTO Terrain: Bamboo Groves

with Mike
(Cross-posted from Behind Enemy Lines...)

As my PTO terrain project continues, one of the things I wanted to make was some bamboo groves. These should complement my jungle pieces and hopefully take a bit of the load off them in terms of tabletop coverage. I planned to do 12 pieces, but in the end I did 6... you'll see why!

As usual I start with a little visual research. Luckily I didn't need to go far:

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Beach Basing

with Mike
(Cross-posted from Behind Enemy Lines...)

As I draw closer to basing my Marines, I've been experimenting with some different techniques to get a good beach effect. As usual I always start with photos and there's always a lot of great South Pacific holiday pictures to look at.

My objective with this experiment is Betio Island during the Tarawa landings. Using a collection of photos, I had a go at a few different bases to try a few things.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Semper Fi in the E.T.O.

with Mike
(Cross-posted from Behind Enemy Lines...)

Hello and welcome to our first Behind Enemy Lines battle report! It's no secret that the PTO has us by the balls. It's new, exciting, and it's got MARINES! I was so excited to get a game in that I lept at the chance to play a quick game with friend of the crew, Patrick. Pat's an accomplished German SS player, often taking trackless armies and doing quite well with them. 

As he doesn't have a PTO force (yet) we were keen to have a go with the often pondered USMC vs Waffen-SS match up. So, we settled on 1500 points using the late war points column in Gung Ho!

Monday, March 7, 2016

Sugarfields: A Terrain Tutorial

Sugar fields ablaze on Tinian
by Mike
(Cross-posted from Behind Enemy Lines...)

One of the major features of the Battles of Saipan and Tinian were sugar cane fields and the refinery facility. Plantations such as these are common in the Pacific islands and on the Asian mainland.

The fields are wide, square and open, rather reminiscent of Normandy fields. They are even edged by hedges, so you could look into using hedgerow terrain pieces to frame your fields.

Furthermore, one iconic photo stick in my mind. It’s of a 75mm SPG half-track. I’m fairly confident that this photo was the genesis of my desire to play the PTO on the table top....

Friday, February 26, 2016

Making Scatter Terrain

by Mike
(Cross-posted from Behind Enemy Lines...)

Using the method I described in the Jungle Patches and Woods article earlier this week, I made up some scatter terrain using the same bits of foliage. This time, instead of using the larger bases, I put them all on small Flames of War command bases so that I could spread them out a bit further.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Making Jungle Terrain Pieces

by Mike
(Cross-posted from Behind Enemy Lines...)

When I was getting into Brown Water Navy for Vietnam, I knew I was going to need a lot of jungle terrain. It’s a rather iconic piece of terrain for the region, so I wanted to make sure I had a lot that I could spread out across the battlefield.

After looking around online I found some good tutorials out there, so be sure to have a look at those as well as this one and take the bits that work for you and your project.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Specific Pacific Terrain

with Mike
(Cross posted from: Behind Enemy Lines...)

The Pacific is finally here, which means I’ve got some terrain building to do! I’m one of those odd people who really enjoys a big terrain project to work on. Now that I’ve got a gamer garage up and running, I can finally take on some more ambitious projects, which is just as well since the Pacific is a unique battlefield from my typical array of European houses, hedgerows, and wheat fields!

As we anxiously await the arrival of the new figures, let's have a look and see what’s going to be needed to get some Pacific terrain rolling.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

And We're Back!


Yes, it's been 6 months, but let's face it you've been having a great time without my ramblings! There's been some interesting changes in the wargame world, new games, new communities, new things to explore in the hobby. After some time in the wilderness, I've make it a priorty to get this blog back on its feet.

I've had a lot on in the last year but I've not been slack on the hobby front. Chief among my hobby efforts has been out podcast Behind Enemy Lines. Dan, Greg, Damian, and I have been pretty busy cranking out a fortnightly-ish podcast and blog, so a lot of my energy is going there.

The big news on that front is that we're covering the new upcoming Flames Of War expansion into the Pacific, a theatre I've been wishing for for over a decade. I couldn't be more excited to dive into that! You can follow that progress on the Behind Enemy Lines blog and check out the Flames of War: Pacific group on facebook. I'm doing a lot of reading and writing for the BEL blog, however I'll cross post my own articles here as well as they come up.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Closing Time ...

This Age of Sigmar thing is really, really interesting to follow. I can't think of another time where a AAA game system has plunged itself into it's own End Times and then reinvented itself (for better or worse). Like it or hate it, you have to recognize this as major event in our collective wargaming hobby.

Now, I'm the least qualified person to actually speak with any authority on the world of Warhammer. I know exactly jack shit about the history and fluff, other than enough to name the various factions. I had a Vampire Counts army back in '03, but gave it up shortly thereafter for a more rewarding experience playing Confrontation 3.0 and it's brilliant Dogs of War narrative/semi-RPG campaign system (to this day, I believe it remains the best in the genre).

But something about the boldness of this shift was intriguing. When the internets exploded with rage and love (but mostly rage) over the new Age of Sigmar release, there were a few sore points with veteran players, chief among them that this new set of rules replaces Warhammer 8th Edition (something I still don't think is exactly true). There were also some 'interesting' rules like one about dancing while rolling a die to get re-rolls on misses or some such madness. Basically, the noise I was getting (and there was s shit ton of noise) was basically that this new game was too simple, it's stupid, and how could they replace the time-honored WHFB with this tripe?

Well, not all the noise is negative. There's a ground swell of support for the system among the 40k crowd. Interestingly AoS after-action reports looks more like a 40k game than an old-school WHFB game with loose formations as opposed to rank-and-file. The rules have been streamlined into something vaguely more familiar to a 40k player (and dare I say, a FoW player such as myself). So it's a big change for traditional Warhammer players to swallow.

Or is it?

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

How to Hate a Game, Properly

"Hate" is a strong word. It's got a lot of polarizing connotations associated with it, but the truth is that you are (sometimes) allowed to just not like something so much that no other word would suffice, like with raisins and grocer's apostrophes. But I don't believe for a second that there's ever a legitimate reason to use that word in the context of wargaming due to the nature of being a totally voluntary activity. If you're driven to hate, then you should probably stop wargaming.

This week in the wargaming world, there's certainly been a lot of "hate" being thrown around due to the release of the Age of Sigmar (AoS) ruleset for Warhammer (Fantasy) from Games Workshop. Now, if you're looking for my opinion on this ruleset, you're going to be sorely disappointed no matter what AoS camp you're in because I don't have one. So where is this going? Well I thought this as good a time as any to actually talk about why it's OK to not like a game and how I go about trying to be respectful when expressing it to others.