Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Happy New Year

Well this is it  the last day of 2013 and I for one will be glad to see the back of it. To many bad memories and instances involving personal and work life.

Hoping 2014 is a bit better and hopefully I can get to work and actually finish the fair few projects that have been languishing.

So here's to everyone and wishing you all the best for the forthcoming year.


Monday, 23 December 2013

Mikhail Kalashnikov Died Aged 94

Mikhail Kalashnikov, the designer of the assault rifle that has killed more people than any other firearm in the world, has died in hospital at the age of 94.
The creator of the AK-47 more than 60 years ago died in hospital his home city of Izhevsk, near the Ural Mountains - where his gun is still made, he had been ill for some time and had been in intensive care since November 17.
Kalashnikov, a Russian peasant with little formal education, designed the eponymous rifle in 1947 - with the letters AK-47 referring to 'Kalashnikov's Automatic' (Avtomat Kalashnikova) and the year of its release.
But the rifle and its variants soon became the weapons of choice for dozens of armies and guerrilla groups around the world. Specifically engineered to work in the harsh conditions in which Soviet troops operated, it became one of the most successful weapons ever produced and turned its inventor into one of the most lauded men in the Soviet Union. Cheap, efficient and easily mass-produced, the gun soon became synonymous with killing on a sometimes indiscriminate scale.
It was taken up by militants as far afield as Iraq, Afghanistan, Colombia, Liberia, Sudan, Zaire and Gaza, to name a few. 
There are an estimated 100 million Kalashnikovs, one for every 70 people in the world. The gun is in official service in 55 countries and adorns the flag of Mozambique. Its vast popularity was partly down to the fact its design was never patented, so it was widely ripped off. It also became prized for its sturdy reliability in difficult conditions. During the Vietnam war American soldiers reportedly threw away their M-16s in the harsh jungle and took every AK-47 they could find.

Born in a Siberian village as the 17th child of his family on November 10, 1919, Mikhail Kalashnikov had a tragic childhood during which his father was deported under Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin in 1930. In October 1941 he was heavily wounded and shell-shocked in a Soviet defeat by the Germans. He reportedly first conceived of the weapon while recovering in hospital.

Despite the lethal legacy of his weapon, Russia lavished Kalashnikov with honours including the prestigious Hero of Russia prize, the nation's highest honour, for designing the iconic rifle. In 2007, president Vladimir Putin praised him, saying 'The Kalashnikov rifle is a symbol of the creative genius of our people.'
The inventor had said he had never intended for it to become the world's most popular weapon, and he fell into making it by accident. Instead he had wanted to design farm equipment 'such as a lawnmower', he claimed.
Yet he carried on working as the chief designer at Izmash well into his 80s. He reportedly profited little from his gun, at least until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Because of the lack of patent laws he was, like the inventors of more innocuous global successes like Tetris, merely a state employee.
Kalashnikov has been quoted as saying 'I created a weapon to defend the  motherland's borders,' during an award ceremony at the Kremlin to mark his 90th birthday, as well as 'It's not my fault that it was sometimes used where it shouldn't have been. This is the fault of politicians.'

There is a bronze bust of him in his native village of Kurya in the Siberian region of Altai - and it is a local tradition for newlyweds to lay flowers there. 'They whisper "Uncle Misha, wish us happiness and healthy kids,". He once said. "What other gun designer can boast of that?"

Saturday, 21 December 2013

Merry Christmas Bloggers

As I will be working from tomorrow all over the Christmas period I will probably not be posting anything now till the New Year.

On that note I just want to wish everyone who kindly takes the time to peruse this little bit of geekdom a very MERRY CHRISTMAS, HAPPY HOLIDAYS ETC and here's hoping for a prosperous NEW YEAR.

Thoughts and Best Wishes to you all and your Families and I hope you have a safe, enjoyable time.

I will be on constant duty for Queen and Country until the New Year, so see you all then.

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Mantic Games - Deadzone.

Deadzone is produced by Mantic Games and is a fast paced, scenario driving skirmish game delving into part of their expanding Sci-Fi Warpath universe.

As far as I was concerned, when Mantic brought out the Deadzone Kickstarter I was not going to get involved. One, because I just couldnt afford it at the time and two, because I was starting to get disheartened by Kickstarters. The majority I have backed or considered backing have ended up being delayed, having quality issues or other such problems.

But then the old tinternet started throwing up info and pictures of peoples KS pledges arriving. The stuff didnt look to bad (apart from the typical Mantic mold lines) so I took a plunge. I found a cheap starter set with Ltd Ed Metal Survivor miniature and a whole Rebel force was obtained cheap via fleabay.

Two extra terrain sets ordered cheap also and I have a good Christmas "Me" pressie before some KS backers actually have actually received theirs and it didnt cost me lots either.

Deadzone is a fairly straight forward game with the dicepool mechanic and versus rolls. The game is played on a 3"x3" gridded mat and you don't need a measuring tape! While I was initially sceptical about this, as I found Dust Tactics too abstract and boardgamey, the way it works in practice pretty much combines the best of both worlds and it plays quickly while still retaining the importance of terrain and positioning. Of course, you can expand on this and play on four mats put together, or six mats - some of the recently revealed stuff (like a mortar!) are specifically aimed for larger games. But the core game is played on a small board, crammed with terrain and with the recommended 70 point Strike teams you are normally done within the hour.

The terrain is another big draw, and it's actually the reason I had a look at Deadzone in the first place. I wanted to see if the terrain would be suitable for Infinity/Judge Dredd/Necromunda. Well, basically it's suitable for pretty much anything considering it's modular and you can build what the hell you want with it!
Is it the best looking terrain available? No. There is a lot of really nice stuff out there and more is being produced everyday in the form of MDF stuff. But, it's not bad looking, its reasonally cheap and it's solid looking sci-fi terrain that could be used to create any kind of battlefield.
As this is supposed to be my Christmas Present, I have left the majority sealed, but I have started building/cleaning and converting my Rebs.
Rebel Humans

Judwan medic, Kraaw Warrior, Grogan with huge cannon

Converted Slyph Leader and 2 Zee Scavengers

Teraton brawler, Sorak and 2 Yndji

These are some really nice models, all multi part Restic. The MOLD LINES are just hideous though. Taken me ages to clean up each model and no doubt will still find some lines once I prime them for painting. But for the cost they are cheap.
 So another project, more miniatures, and another admittance that I am a gaming lead/plastic crack addict!!!

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Bloodbowl Match Karond Kar Oblivion vs Talos Tobacconists

Apologies for lapsing on writing up this latest match report in the continuing campaign of the Oblivion team, mainly due to suffering from sever crippling back pain recently and a hideous work schedule. 

The Oblivion have been storming ahead again after a few draws and frustrating games and now face the solid wall of monsterous that is the Chaos team Talos Tobbaconists.

This team of chaos monsters and men had not only a Minotaur but also the Chaos Warriors were hugely experienced, and with a few extra funds afforded to them for this game the Oblivion decided that just for the hell of it why not get a Morg'an'Thorg as well as another Apocathary (I was anticipating getting hurt a lot!).

Atrocity's fans again turned up in serious numbers but the braying howls of beastmen managed to drown out the perverse cries of the Dark Elves. The weather was a nice pleasant day betraying the nature of both teams. Tobacconists set up and booted the ball high into the air. The Oblivions Runner raced over and plucked the ball out of the sky and moved into the centre of the field, where the Chaos cage up around him. Morg let out a howl and blitzed into a lone Beastman trying to push him of the field but just pounded him into the ground stunning him.

The centre of the pitch turns into a huge bashy scrum, until the Dark Elves run out and attempt a pass to a loose Blitzer. The pass is perfect and the Blitzer heads off towards the Endzone. The Chaos surge towards the ball - but the Minotaur gets downed and an Oblivion Blitzer blitzes a Chaos Beastman and KILLS him!

The bashing carries on and a Chaos Warrior Blitzes a Dark Elf Lineman, carrying on moving in an attempt to close down the ball carrier. The Blitzer still with the gore of a freshly killed Beastman on his hands smashes into another Choas monster and the crowd is stunned as this one os also KILLED leaving just a wet sticky stain on the pitch!! The Minotaur frenzies upto an Oblivion Lineman, punches, and causes a CAS. The hired Apocathary ties to reverse the injury but is bloody incompatant and nearly makes it worse.

The Tobacconists are falling like nine-pins. A Blitzer smashes another Beastman getting yet another CAS! whislt the Blitzer with the ball runs in for a TOUCHDOWN. 1-0 Oblivon at the end of the half.

Second half and the Dark Elves kick off. The Chaos take a quicksnap and the Chaos Beastmen make their move but end up butterfingering a pass and catch play. A Chaos Warrior goes for a foul on a Oblivions star Blitzer and KO's him. The Dark Elves quickly control the ball and a TOUCHDOWN is scored again 2-0 Oblivion.

The last couple of turns ended up not being played as Callum playing the Chaos could do nothing but roll skulls and 1's so conceded..

On paper the Chaos team should have destroyed me as they were a highly experienced team of 3 seasons whilst the Oblivion have only played 6 odd games. Callum just couldnt get his tactics right on the night though.

Karond Kar Oblivion victorious again and look forward to playing a Human team next.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

2000AD Judge Dredd Campaign Tournament Part 3

For Part 1 of this Tournament Report click here

For Part 2 click here

This is the final post of my recent involvement in the Judge Dredd Campaign held at Mongoose Publishing and covers the last two games. Game's 6 and 7.

Game 6 vs Richard and his Mega-City 1 Judges - Turf War Scenario.

Well this was it, the most anticipated game of the day. My unstopable rolling East Meg machine vs the Capitalist Mega-City Judges. Coincidently to make the game even more fluffy we ended up on table 2 which was dominated by urban ruins and drew the Turf War Scenario.

This would be a straight fight then. Most damage wins. Our aim - to destroy each others forces. As Richard was slightly just ahead of me in credits I got the option to add a Mercenary character and decided to take a Las-cannon armed Assassin just for fun (he more than made up for his employement)

Sides were determined and forces were set up. Richard had a very strong force with 2 Riot Judges, 1 armed with Riot foam which could clog up me Sentenoid Robot that I had newly aquired. A Med Judge, A Psi Judge and a few more normal Judges, 1 armed with a Lawrod (Rifle version of the Lawgiver pistol)

I gained first turn and mostly moved my forces into the ruins gaining plenty of hard cover. Except for my Assassin who perched ontop of a ruin managed to get a bead on a concealed Judge and with a fantastic shot - smoaked him in one hit. Judge Armour is no defence against a high powered laser beam! Richard pretty much did the same in his turn but got revenge on the Assassin by firing a Disarming Shot against him from his Lawrod Judge and managed to hit. This meant the Assassin had now lost his Las Cannon for the game.

Tactically as I wanted to gain the advantage I thought I would let Richard come to me and I would stay defensive and pick off his Judges. This was working quite well with a few more Mega-City Judges falling to well placed shots from Pulaski (Carbine and Satelat) and Aaronovitch.

Then his Super Stealth Riot Judge with Riot Foam made a move against my Sentanoid. With my force only having low Will scores I kept failing to spot the Riot Judge and he got a shot on my Sentaniod....but missed! mwhahah.

Throwing caution to the wind I moved my Assassin towards him as now being unarmed I had nothing to lose with this character and against all odds won the check on his Stealth. I could see him...I could now charge him...whats more important is all the rest of my force could now see the Riot Judge..whats that waiting behind the wall? Oh its a Sentenoid thats not activated yet!

But first I had to resolve the Melee combat. Its no surprise, the Assassin was beaten to death by the Riot Judge. But then up rumbled the Sentenoid. With its twin Cannon practically point blank at the Riot Judge in the open, all that was left when the smoke cleared was a wet red stain on the ground.

The Mega-City Judges tried in vain to claw back some advantage but this again crumbled as another Judge was summerily dispatched by a Satelat laser to the face. The other Riot Judge got Grigorski's flamerthrower at point blank and turned extra crispy and the Psi Judge after failing to put a crushing mind blow on one of my Sovs was gunned down where she stood.

The East Meg Invasion force was victorious. Not one Sov Judge had been taken out and the hated American Megger's had been decimated.

With both Richard and I gained equal credits even though I won and he lost I now had the advantage as all my heroes had gained a level and this now put me in 1st place overall.

Game 7 vs Rob's Zombie Horde - demolition Scenario.

Back playiing Zombies again. Back on table 1 again. Back to demolition Scenario again. his time I was challenging and had to destoy the objective to win. However! Rob now had 71 ZOMBIES !!!!! plus his Zombie Mistress and a Pyrokinetic Psyker to boot.

I was not even going to bother trying to complete the objective as I didnt need to win the game, just destroy enough Zombies, gain enough experience to level up me Heroes and stay alive.

Remeber at the beginning of Post 1 I said *accruing the most credits would be the winner. * This is the important bit (not actually winning every game)
So the long slog started. I basically set up my forces to try and get as much firepower against each Zombie Mob before gradually retreating back, turning to fire, retreating back, turning to fire etc..etc..

I made one big mistake right at the beginning though and bunched a load of guys together in cover (against what!!! zombies dont shoot) this game the Pyro a perfect opportunity and flame blasted me twice with a large blast template which did quite alot of hits but fortunately didnt take any one out.

This made me think twice and I very quickly scooted out of her range and continued to blast the Undead. My forces were slowly getting pushed into a corner but I managed to take out a whole mob on the left flank which gave me a little room to move (but thats where the Pyro was so wasnt all good)

I finally lost a poor new sov Judge that I had drafted right before the game began in Melee with about 12 Zombies! he was totally dragged down and torn apart. My Sentenoid nearly got over run by a mob but only just managed to avoid them by a matter of millimeters.

Matt Sprange (Owner of Mongoose) then called time. It was over.....I was exhausted, at the end of the game I had destroyed 32 Zombies (Rob stated that this was the biggest Zombie Kill all day) every one of my Heroes had leveled up and the final credits were tallied.

Richard had also won his last game but because of the mauling I had given him he had had to buy a lot of new Judges (due to the ones I had killed) which had decreased his credits.

I HAD WON - VICTORY TO THE EAST MEG JUDGES, my name would be honoured by the Diktatorat.

L-R-Richard, Andrew, Me, Andrew Paul, Rob, Trish
An absloute cracking day, great games and really good opponents, Cant wait for the next one.