Monday, 25 June 2012

Secrets of the Third Reich - First Game and Impressions

Today folks I played my first game of Secrets of the Third Reich by West Wind Productions with a fellow member of Dice and Decks Gaming Club.
We tried a squad on squad run-through and found it very quick and easy to learn the rules, and so we had two quick run-throughs before going straight into a quick match between a Command Squad and a Rifle Squad on each side, with me using my British and my opponent using the Germans. We decided to use a 15RP limit and so we used body armour, and then upgraded the squads to use various weapon types. I won each of the run-throughs and then the match we played, using the board and the terrain to mask my troops and force my opponent to advance at me, meaning I could get a few shots in before getting some back. 
Casualties work in an interesting way in SOTR, after hitting your enemy (on a 4+, with modifiers for cover and terrain adding a +1 or +2 modifier), you roll on a chart comparing your weapon type (Rifle = Light Infantry, or Boyes Anti-Mech Rifle = Light Anti-tank for example) against the armour of your opponent, there are then two numbers for required to roll, the first (higher) number is the roll needed to produce a "Goner" result, killing your opponent, whilst a second number is the roll needed to "Down" your enemy, representing wounded but not killed troopers. Light Armour meant this was a 5 and a 3 respectively for all the troops we used. 
We found that cover is a life-saver in this game, without it, not even armour can protect basic infantry enough for them to advance through a hail of weapons fire. On average, I would say for each time a squad fired, at least 3 troops were killed outright with around 1 or 2 more downed, effectively halving the squad. 
As a review of the game I can say I am deeply impressed, rules are easy, I feel confident enough to play without the rules needing to be constantly open in front of me. The special rules haven't been truly learned to tried yet, we tried the Optical Range-finder, which removes adds a +1 modifier to the hit roll. I think they will add a greater level of detail to the game. I highly recommend this game folks! Seriously, have a go!

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Secrets Of The Third Reich - Another New Game.

I've decided in the last two weeks to start a force for West Wind Productions game; Secrets Of The Third Reich, due to the large number of models available and the background story for the game.
It's World War II, but D-Day in June 1944 was not the success it was in our timeline, instead Atomic Weapons have devastated London (Germans having stolen atomic weapon designs from America's atomic project) and Berlin, and the war has ground to a stalemate. The Germans have deployed a chemical weapon: V Gas, turning people into Zombies. The Soviets have become a seperate faction from either side; they continue to fight the German Nazis, but due to invading Finland and Swedon, have began a war with Britain and America also.
The Germans have supernatural beings; Werewolves and Vampires walk in the ranks. All factions have access to Mechs; walking tanks, with great variety, although the majority are bipedal. Traditional WW2 Vehicles remain in service alongside these machines, albeit with upgrades designed to stop gas attack and chemicals. Britain has become Nationalised, and is on it's last legs. Kent is Zombie territory due to V-gas attacks. Gas Masks are the norm for all troops in all armies. Armoured suits form part of the major factions (USA, Germany, Soviet and British), with different factions having variant versions. Drop Suits are also a feature.
There are two books for the game; the Core Rulebook, which features the basic rules, background and army lists. The second book being the Doomsday expansion, which adds to the rules, Errata on existing rules are also a feature, but new Units (Spider Mechs for the Soviets, Wasp Drop Troops for the British and so on) for existing factions along with variant Army Lists are present (E.g. Temple and MI-13 for the British). New factions are also presented such as Partisans.
After a read, I feel that I could manage a game without a huge amount of difficulty. The rules read as simple and effective, with orders being the basic way of controlling the troops in your force. Officers are important, and this shows by the higher the officer; the more types of orders your troops can perform.
I have the British Starter Set for the game, along with one (so far, with 4 more en route to make a legal unit) British Steel Armoured Suit. I have managed to make a legal army list using the starter set, with two spare troops.
Box art for the starter set

The contents of the starter set
Army lists are composed using RP as the currency for units and upgrades. Upgrades come in two forms; unit upgrades (e.g. Adding a special weapon to the unit) and force upgrades (Body Armour for the platoon), although these upgrades normally miss out Support units, as these have their own Special Rules which make up for this. The Core Rulebook uses the example of 50RP as the guideline to aim for when designing your force, and so this is what I'm going for. So far I've reached 29RP, including the British Steel Armoured Suit Squad, which without takes my force to 23RP using just the Starter Set. I've got two force upgrades, boosting their 'Cool', which represents troop confidence and courage; from Green to Veteran, so hopefully they will stay in the fight longer. The second upgrade is body armour, making the troops a bit more hard-wearing. Weapons are mixed as the majority don't seem to cost anything; Carbines, Brens, and Boyes Anti-Mech rifles all feature in my Rifle Squad. Snipers and a Vickers Heavy Machine Gun team come as the basic support options provided by the Starter Set.
The models come in metal, with slotta-bases. They are all (bar the HMG team) come as one piece models, except the heads, which are interchangeable as part of West Wind's Seperate Head System, enabling more customisation. The heads are provided in sets of 4, and you get more than you need, with the vast majority being virtually identical.
Heads to be attached... and have (as of 26/06/2012)
My first game is on Monday, against a fellow member of my local wargames club. I will provide information on what we have found out, as well as an oveview of the game/games we will have played. 
All in all this looks like a very promising addition to the catalogue of games I play.
Tomorrow I will stick in some pictures to fit in this post! Stand-by!

Monday, 18 June 2012

6th July 2012 Painting Competition at Dice and Decks Gaming Club

On 6th July 2012 Dice and Decks Gaming Club is having one of it's reasonably regular painting competitions, with a variety of categories for members to enter. I have already got two entries ready to enter the Single Miniature category (Professor Erazmus from West Wind Productions Empire Of The Dead series, and a British Steel Armoured Suit from the same companies Secrets Of The Third Reich series). I'll stick pictures of these up post-competition, in case club members who visit this blog get an early glimpse of their rival entries.  I have effectively painted the British Steel model twice, as I washed it with badab black a little too much to begin with, dulling it to the point of no detail being visible, so I went back and re-painted it all. I'm pleased with it alot - and 4 more are en route and will be delivered to me on the 6th.
However here's some work in progress images of the Secrets of the Third Reich British Steel model:
Front View

Side View

Close-up of the Union Jack symbol on the left shoulder

However, my latest idea is to enter a 54mm miniature into the Open category, in this case I decided to use a figure from my 54mm Victrix Napoleonic Infantry set. Instead of doing a red coat, I've decided to convert it a bit; and turn it into a member of the 95th Rifles (fans of the Sharpe series will like this one!). 
I've chosen the body with the least work needing to modify it (it already has a belt which the others lack, for example). The shako hat needed to be the most modified thing - requiring a filing on the badge, before being redone with green stuff to create the right symbol. 
The next stage is to remove the bayonet from the musket and then turn the musket into a rifle. As well as add a few more details to make the weapon look better.
Work in Progress images here:
The Shako badge basic shape

The body I selected to convert into the Rifleman

Converted rifle, made from a musket
Pictures from my Work in Progress Dystopian Wars fleet are finally here (Sorry this has taken so long, folks!):
Two Attack Class Frigates with a Tribal Class Cruiser.

I apologise for lack of turrets on the Cruiser, but I'm still painting those! I am greatly pleased with my WWII style "Spitfire" style colour scheme, being used on all units.

One completed base of Tiny Fliers!

Monday, 11 June 2012

Dystopian Wars 2nd Update

I played my second game of Dystopian Wars on Thursday 7th June, and came off with a loss, but my opponent was only left with one mid-sized flyer left. My opponent being another member of my local Dice and Decks Gaming Club, and he collects the French, with their skimming cruisers and heat cannons. The game went well to begin with, with the advantage being on my side, with frigates being picked off. Until my opponent rolled an amazing set of rolls that led to a critical hit and subsequent magazine explosion on my Ruler Class Battleship (This blog really needs more pictures of things to help illustrate! I apologise and will sort it soon!), this explosion took out the majority of my fleet which was using the battleship as a safety unit to protect them from the bigger units in the French force, this left me with one squadron of frigates and my Doncaster Bombers to continue the game with! 
All in all a good game, we found a few slight issues in the rules, such as lack of height levels for some weapons, and the way critical hits come about (not often on units large enough to be truly affected by them) and affect smaller ships (i.e they are destroyed outright before any actual results take effect on them).

Monday, 4 June 2012

Dystopian Wars Update.

On Friday 1st June I played my first game of Dystopian Wars, against a fellow member of my local gaming club, who was using his Covenant of Antarctica against my Kingdom of Brittania. Admittedly the game took a great deal of extra time due to the learning of rules etc etc, but I enjoyed the game and came out of it with a victory.
So far I have also managed to paint 2 of my Attacker Class Frigates (out of 9, but we don't mention that), and I have also nearly finished my first of 3 Tribal Class Cruisers. 
I am torn between a set of possible reinforcements, in the form of either a land-based battlegroup, or either a Majesty Class Dreadnought (these things are awesome models and by the seems of it, incredibly powerful) or a Aircraft Carrier.