Friday, 31 January 2020

X Painting Challenge - Exploring Unchartered Territory

The rules of engagement of this year’s Challenge (marking the 10th Anniversary) have changed… and for good in my view. 

The main novelty is the contest to explore “Challenge Island”, in which participants are required to explore several key landmarks, across one the paths to the interior of the island, to reach the Snow Lord Peak in its centre (conveniently marked as the “X” of the island). You can read all the details here
Each landmark represents a special painting task for those brave enough to dare exploring this unchartered insular terrain in the middle of some unknown ocean. Incidentally, each landmark is named after some of the longer-standing challengers and I was honoured with one of the locations (Benito’s Brook”).
Today I have been studying the map in order to plot my adventure and considering the different tasks involved, I have concluded that my best way to reach the Snow Lord Peak is through the Path of History.
This path covers only 4 milestones, and I need a fifth to get access to the Snow Lod Peak; therefore, I’ll use the Sarah’s airmobile services at least twice, one to be transported to another landmark and after that to be airlifted to the presence of the Snow Lord.
As mentioned, this looks like we are going to have a lot of fun this year as, not me specially, but some of the contenders have already displayed in the past a significant level of creativity in their projects.
If you are reading this and you are a challenger, I wish you Bon Chance. If you are not, then I recommend staying tuned and to follow the Challenge daily because you are going to enjoy it a lot.

Monday, 18 November 2019

Clock's ticking to the 10th Painting Challenge

Madrid Puerta del Sol Tower Clock

I can hardly believe that 8 months have passed, and the new edition of the Painting Challenge is looming now sooooo close in time (it will start as usual on Dec 21st and hopefully it will be announced over the next days).
This year I entered into the planning phase at a very early stage (late September) and by now I have most of my core project for this Challenge almost ready (assembling, basing and priming).
As many of you may know, my strategy is to concentrate my efforts in one single project or army (Fallschirmjagers, Napoleonic Austrians or British Red Devils as in 2018/19…) and then complement with some leftovers from other projects.

This year I decided to focus my effort in building an early II World War German Army for the Blitzkrieg period. The reason for this is twofold: on the one hand, TooFatLardies released this year the first major supplement for Chain of Command centred around the France 40 campaign. The follow up videos uploaded to its YouTube official channel with Richard Clarke and Nick Skinner playing a few of the campaign games only light my desire.

Saturday, 26 October 2019

Back to the Future or 2019 The Year I Returned to Tabletop Wargaming

It’s late October and I thought the right time to provide an update and y whereabouts. I just realised my last post is from May this year, some of you may wonder if I’m still life (which I am, as you can see). The truth is that I followed my own advice from late last year of “doing it as and when” and not getting worried of setting targets or goals to publish in the blog.
So what I’ve been up to? Well, I can say that it’s been of a back to the future of sorts year: very little playing with minis and a lot with tabletop wargames.
Fist a ittle bit of context and history Unlike many of the anglo-saxon wargamers, my first steps in the hobby were not with little toy soldiers or the Donald Featherson’s book (totally unknown in Spain the 70s) but with boxed wargames in the very early 80s.
Given my interest for history and particularly 2nd World War history, my late father found like the perfect Xmas gift for me in December 1980 in the form of wargame: Panzerblitz (followd soon after by the sister game Panzerleader). It was like a revelation from heaven and the start of my long standing interest in the hobby. I played with my brother and collected close to 30 Avalon Hill and Victory Games products.
In the mid 80s I was cofounder of Club Dragón in Madrid and my interests started to widen towards the games with minis, initially fantasy games (WFB) and very soon historical games in the Ancient and 2nd World War period.
Gradually I abandoned tabletop wargamers and haven’t literally again played a single game since AH went through the financial drain in the late 90s and was sold to Hasbro.
This has completely reversed this year. I coincided with a very active small group of wargamers that gather every Friday afternoon. Coincidentally, we have moved the office of my company from the suburbs to new premises centrally located and 10 minutes walking from the club in late January… so all stars aligned.

Monday, 27 May 2019

Saturday, 27 April 2019

British Sherman for Chain of Command

I’m having quite an enjoyable wargaming weekend. Started yesterday (Friday) playing the inaugural game of Sickle Cut (GMT’s strategic France 40 wargame designed by the my most revered Simonitch).

And today Saturday I had the opportunity to conclude my latest model, a British-crewed Sherman useful either for either Chain of Command or What a Tanker. This is part of the tail of models that I could not finish before the Painting Challenged ended a month ago.

Sunday, 21 April 2019

1815 The Hundred Days - Scenarios for General d'Armee

Reissswitz Press, TooFatlardies’ sister publishing company has just released a new publication called “1815, The Hundred Days”, a supplement for General d’Armee and covering the period of Napoleon´s return from Elbe Island to Waterloo.
This 45 pages-long booklet is divided in two parts:
  • The historical background of the campaign leading to Napoleon’s defeat on 18th June 1815, intersected with comments from the Dave Brown expressing his views of some the key moments of the campaign (the “blue boxes” in the book).
  •  Six scenarios covering some of the key actions in this period: the crossing of the Sambre at Charleroi (Battle at Gilly), Quatre Bras, Ligny (the Battle at St Amand), Waterloo’s Battle for Mount St Jean, Plancenoit and finally the iconic attack of the Old Guard. 
Therefore this is NOT a campaign book á la Pint-Sized format used in Chain of Command, but six independent scenarios that can be played individually.
Each scenario is very well detailed, with precise roster of troops involved, nicely drawn maps and clear special scenario rules. The battles can be played in standard or large formats, and specific instructions are also provided. The scenarios also include suggestions on terms of table sizes to be played in 15mm (I suppose also valid for 20mm – 1/72scale) as well as 28mm.
The publications maintains the a very high quality standards of other Reisswitz Press releases, contents are well structured, the edition is outstanding and include some very nice photos and illustrations.
Generally speaking, all what I could have expected for a supplement for GdA is in the book.
This is the first supplement for General d’Armee since the publication of the rules early last year, but it seems from comments in the Lard Island blog that more are in the pipeline. The book scenarios are also useful as templates to build your own scenarios in other campaigns or standalone battles.
!815 The Hundred Days is sold for 9.68 Pounds only in electronic pdf format, no plans to be released in hard copy. It can be acquired at the TooFatLardies website here.

Wednesday, 17 April 2019

Martlet Campaign - Games 1 & 2

Over the past two weekends we started and re-started again playing the Martlet campaign:  no surprise, my gaming pals and I seem to be a little bit rusty in relation to the Chain of Command book and additionally forgot to read the special scenario rules, which basically invalidated the result of the first two games.
The first replayed game (Scenario 1-Probe into Fontenay) represents an attack of the German outposts located in the outskirts of the village of Fontenay. The British win if at least one team exits the table through the German baseline.