Friday, January 22, 2021

Dead Man's Hand AAR Stagecoach Attack

I got up to the club for another game of Dead Man's Hand with Jeff  yesterday and it was an absolute blast. Easily one of the most fun and cinematic games of DMH I've yet to play and I think we're really going to try to make this a once a month game if possible, maybe even create a bit of a campaign with a continuing storyline.

I really wanted to get all my Battlefield in a Box Badlands bluffs, plateaus, and rocks on the table for a game as they really give a Monuments Valley/John Ford kind of look. I had several different ideas for the game but decided on the US cavalry escorting a new commander in a stagecoach to Fort Defiance, while the Indians were attempting to stop that from happening.

We rolled off to see which sides we would run. I took control of the US cavalry, escorting the stagecoach and Jeff ran the Indians, trying to stop the stage from getting to the opposite side of the table. 

This is the very first time I've ever played DMH where every single model was mounted and I'll definitely be doing it more often in the future as it was a lot of fun.

I did have foot models available for every model in the event of being either shot or knocked off their horse, which surprisingly we only had one.

Jeff set himself up with the Indians in two separate groups above. 

Out of all the figures I own (and believe me I have a ton lol!) the mounted Indians we used in the game are easily my favorite models, hands down no contest.

The war paint on the horses really make them pop on the tabletop.

This model is my absolute favorite of all out of the 15 that I currently own. It really reminds me of Wind in His Hair from the movie Dances With Wolves.

Two Moons led the Indians - second from the right.

I placed my troopers around the stage, three in front, two to the side, and two in the rear hoping to keep as many options available depending on where the Indians would end up attacking.

I also had the stage driver with a pistol and his companion riding shotgun, with, well, a shotgun 😀

In hindsight and talking with Jeff after the game, the next time I run this scenario I will have the two passengers in the stage armed and as a part of the cavalry side as well.

This will hopefully help to make it a little harder for the Indians to attempt to jump onto the stagecoach with the passengers being able to defend at point blank range.

With the way initiative works in DMH (I also got to use my new token initiative markers and they worked a treat) and the fact that you are able to move 8 inches for one move action on horseback, even though we started pretty far apart by the fifth activation of turn one we were fully engaged. 

With both side blasting away with pistols, bows, and rifles.

As well as having our first cinematic moment where one of the Indians came galloping up alongside my commanding officer, Major O'Rourke. 

And smashed O'Rourke with his club nearly knocking him off his horse.

The bluffs and plateaus really created a choke point for the stagecoach here and I needed to get through there as quickly as I could, but also needed to not get too far ahead of my escort to leave myself pretty much defenseless.

Jeff played that position to his advantage brilliantly and it was here that the Indians really swarmed the stagecoach and where the game really took on the feel of a movie.

By the end of the game I lost four of my troopers right at that choke point.

It was also here that we had our first attempt at hijacking the stagecoach. Thankfully for me Jeff failed his nerve test in attempting to jump off his horse and onto the stage and his Indian fell off to the side.

This turned out to be one of my few kills on the day as Trooper Collins managed to shoot this Indian attempting to ride around to the back of the stage.

A close up of him with his bow raised, but not quite quick enough.

Jeff ended up taking out the stage driver with a natural 19 roll. With the stagecoach driverless we decided that it should run at max speed and the direction should be randomly rolled when its activation would come up. Talk about possible chaos in the making!

Seeing all of this play out, I managed to get one of my troopers up along side the stage and I successfully made the leap off his horse and onto the stage in an attempt to take over the reins and retake control of the stage.

But I never got to the front of the stage as another Indian jumped on the stage from the front and a hand to hand fight ensued. 

As per usual in these types of situations I naturally lost the fight, badly, and had yet another trooper go down. The next turn the warrior made his way to the front of the stage and grabbed the reins.

With the Indians in control of the stage and making their way off the board, and me only having one trooper left we called the game - but that does leave that lone trooper to return to tell the tale of what happened and to set up a rescue of the now kidnapped commander and his wife. There was quite a bit more that happened in the game, but a lack of pictures and also my horrific memory unfortunately leaves me with this summary of the game, hopefully it makes sense.

So stay tuned... but then that would mean that I now have to build teepee's for an Indian village, ugh lol!

The more I get to play DMH again the more I remember why I absolutely love it. It's such a fast paced game and really fits the Old West perfectly. Now I just have to source some casualty models for the cavalry and Indians.

Until next time, thanks for looking!

*also apologies for the awful photos, they are all from my three year old phone - something I really need to address, and my only goal for 2021 is a new camera*

Thursday, January 21, 2021

MV Australis Black Site Studios Pt. 1

Here is my first midway entry for Dave Stone's "Paint What You've Got Challenge". Everything in this first photo was done in about a day and a half and I'm certain I could have completed the whole thing in another day.

Honestly this build has unfortunately hit a wall, and I was cruising along nicely too despite some issues with the initial paint job which I ended up re-doing.

It may be hard to see in the photos but the black painted parts had all kinds of odd white splotches all over them. It almost looked like mildew but I can't imagine how that could possibly be.

I cleaned up all the sprues with the black paint the best I could and ended up having to put three coats of the new black paint on to completely cover whatever that white stuff was, but it all worked out thankfully.

I will tell you right off the bat that in hindsight I didn't look closely enough at the photo of the completed ship and just jumped right in with two feet and started building it. I didn't give the kit enough thought about what I wanted to accomplish beyond simply repainting and adding more "ship" details and there is one really big thing I wish I could go back and change. 

I really wish that I would have increased the height of the hull, and this is why I've hit a wall with the build. With this kind of ship I think that the hull needs to higher than it currently is - here's my quick mock up of that height difference, maybe not quite twice the height but definitely at least half that. Again, in hindsight it's a huge oversight on my part and I immediately realized it when I put all the hull pieces together across the table in the first photo.

So, do I just push on with the ship as it is or do I attempt to pull off the water line pieces and increase the height of the hull, and hope that the damage won't be enough to ruin the entire build. I'm not sure because the water line pieces are a thin cardboard like material and I know that they aren't going to come off easily.

But beyond my hold up with the hull height another thing I changed was the overall color of the ship - the hull originally was red with the waterline being black - above on the left. I reversed those to the hull being black and the waterline red. This gives the ship a more traditional painted look. 

So while I stepped away from the ship to decide how I want to proceed I plugged along painting more Star Wars models and Lord of the Rings models. As well as cleaning up and fixing several Lord of the Rings models I picked up off of Ebay for cheap.

I completed over 40 Army of the Dead models from LotR.

That's a pretty big accomplishment for me lol! I don't think I've completed that many models of the same type since some ACW stuff I did probably like six or seven years ago.

Now I just have to decide how I want to base them - do I put them on my favorite thin clear bases or do a traditional base? If I go clear then I will have opened a Pandora's Box of madness because then I'll have to do the same to all my other LotR models.

Speaking of LotR here are those Ebay auctions I mentioned above.

I'm going to call them Ebay Rescues, because as you can see they needed quite a bit of help. All of these are the actual photos from Ebay.

Lots of modifications needed for missing and broken parts.

And a whole bunch of Simple Green to get all that old paint off.

But miracles do happen lol!

I decided to give Gandalf a sword instead of trying to fashion a new staff and honestly I'm really pleased with the end result.

Still need to make a staff for the foot version of Gandalf though.

And Theoden back with a nice new gray prime.

I also completed some more Legion models - more droids, because you can never have enough.

And a squad of Death Troopers. These proved way more difficult than they should have been. I tried a gloss finish and it looked awful. I then tried a paint on gloss and only did some of the more prominent armor, and that was a train wreck too, so it was straight black and call it a day.

And last, I started working on some Rebel Fleet troopers.

I always liked these uniforms despite those helmets functionality being a real head scratcher.

Until next time, thanks for looking!