Thursday, September 22, 2011

Nuts! First impressions

click picture to go to 2 hour wargames site

I ordered a copy of Nuts! Second edition rules from 2 hour wargames recently and after spending a couple of days going over the rules I sat down and tried the intro mission. The mission uses only a few infantry models per side and is meant to give a feel for the flow of the reaction system used by these rules. I am not going to go into a detailed description of the system as I have still not grasped it 100% but I can say that it is very different from what I am used to.  The system felt wrong to me at first, between having to roll dice for almost everything and having to flip back and forth through the book to follow different charts and find rules, I found it fairly frustrating. after a couple of turns however things started to fall into place and I found myself rolling dice and calling  hit or miss or whatever without even having to look at the charts in some cases. I know I did some things wrong but that's just because we all know you never get it 100% down in the first go, but I think there is a good game here.  The only issue I have is that I do not have "properly" based miniatures for this game. Being a skirmish game minis should be single based while everything I have is Flames of war based. While I try the system out I will be using Flames of war style minis until I decide if I want to continue with this game. The next issue comes along if I do decide to continue to play and that is scale, I have 15mm terrain and tanks from my FOW stuff but I would really like to bump up to 20mm for Nuts!. Just what I need a whole new scale.

Anyone who has played at least a few games of Nuts! feel free to comment and give me your opinions.

Monday, September 19, 2011

solo gaming?

over the last couple of months of reading various blogs I have come across a couple of people calling November 2011 "solo tabletop gaming appreciation month".  I have been very lucky over the last year and a half when it comes to gaming. Last year I moved form Virginia to New York. I have some great buddies to game with in VA and if I was willing to drive about 45 minutes I had a very active Flames of War group available to me as well. Here in NY it was different, I was starting from scratch and I knew already that Flames of War was basically a dead game here. I was afraid I was going to have to take up 40k if I wanted to game anymore, I think I would rather gnaw my own foot off. Now Syracuse has a small but growing Fow community thanks to the efforts of  another player who got things rolling, he has since dropped out of the community but I have taken on the role of keeping things going and growing the group. Of course for awhile I thought I was going to have to take up solo gaming if I wanted to continue to play. Though I would much rather play with someone I appreciate the fact that sometimes that may not be possible for some people. so this November I will attempt to play at least one solo game and share the results here, this will either be a campaign of the old Avalon hill B-17 queen of the skies or I will try a few games of NUTS! from 2 hour wargames.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Monday, September 12, 2011

Sundays gaming

Yesterday our Flames of war group had a change of venue for the day as we joined the salt city wargamers at Walts hobby for the day. The salt city wargamers were putting on a civil war game and had invited us to join them. I figured this could be a good way for us to not only meet some other local gamers but possibly draw some more interest to Flames of war as well.

The civil war game was quite the game to see in my opinion. Being played in 10mm on an area a little smaller than the usual FOW table it was quite the grand battle taking place. here are some of the pictures I took of their game.  Click on the pictures to really see the quality of the units.
The table was impressive.
union artillery, zouaves marching in the background

union troops

The confederate lines

 The troops were painted to a much higher standard than I would have expected from 10mm, I was most impressed by the extreme variation of the confederate uniforms. I even spotted one trooper wearing a red shirt in the sea of greys and butternuts. I will have to try to get a chance to play in the next game.

I set up my Normandy table and once my group showed up we fought a couple of 1750 point battles as well.

 Twice a British Armored Reece company of Cromwell's and firefly's took on a German Panzer company.
Both battles resulted in a victory for the British tankers.

It was a good day of gaming and I am looking forward to being able to join the salt city wargamers again.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Plastic soldier company Allied M4A2 sherman tank reveiw

As mentioned in my previous post I picked up 2 boxes of these recently. I mostly picked them up as I wanted to see if the quality was there for the cost. I have built up the first box of 5 at this point and can honestly say I am happy with them thus far.

What you get in the box.
   Each box contains 5 sprues and a very basic instruction sheet. Each of the 5 sprues contains all the parts to make one tank, the box says "some assembly required" and they aren't kidding. Most of my experience with gaming models comes from Battlefront tanks which would be something like 7 parts for a tank like this, each sprue here contains 45 parts. going by the basic diagram on the instruction sheet your at about 22 parts per tank and depending on the variant you build it will be even more parts. I myself enjoy assembling a kit like this while watching a movie or some TV, so I don't mind this at all.
I am not kidding when I say a basic instruction sheet, on one side it shows a picture of a single sprue and 3 variants which can be made, on the other it shows the major parts to make one variant. This isn't too big a deal though as its not too hard to figure out what parts you need. If there is anything missing from the box its decals, though its not like I am used to getting decals with my gaming models anyway.

The tanks

 The detail on these is quite good, I think they may even have better cleaner detail than the best models Battlefront has put out. The biggest issue I have had with tanks has been the excess metal which destroys the detail on the one part of the tracks you can see, to a point this is replicated on these models though not nearly as bad as it is on a metal model. The tracks are made up of a top and a bottom half which connect at this same point. Very careful clean up of the tracks and careful assembly could make this 100% unnoticeable unlike the metal models where no matter what you do it will never come out right. each sprue has the parts to make a couple different variants, as well as one U.S. and one British Tank commander. There are also a couple of pieces of stowage and a few parts which I cant Identify for sure what they are. The first failing of this kit is in the turrets in my opinion. You have the option to model two different turrets one for the 75mm or 105mm gun and the later turret for the 76mm gun. There are only enough hatches however to do one or the other. One of the biggest things I kept hearing about the T-34 kit is the ability to have both turrets and thus field them as either tank as needed. I intend to scratch build some hatches so I have the option of either a 75mm or 76mm but it would have been nice to be able to do this out of the box.  there is one other failing of this kit and it will be the biggest issue for some. The hull of this tank is an M4A2 while the 76mm turret is for a M4A3. If your not going to use the 76mm turret then this kit seems to have no real issues, if you are and want your model to be accurate then your not going to be happy. I myself am going to try to ignore the inaccuracy, Though it may annoy me to no end in the long run.

 I gave one tank a basic paint job so you could better see the details on these. While there is still a lot to do before they are done you can see here what you get with these. The last picture here is a comparison with a Battlefront Firefly which is the only type of Sherman I have to compare it with. The Battlefront Firefly's always seemed like they weren't quite wide enough to me, well it seems that compared to these they are about the same width but the BF tank is a bit longer which would make it seem like it needed to be wider. I am no expert on the Sherman tank but the PSC tanks look like they are better scaled to me than this particular BF Sherman.

BF Firefly on the Right is a bit longer
All in all I like these models, I like the ease of assembly and the extra little bits of extra detail on the BF tanks better, but I think the PSC tanks are closer to being scaled properly (though other BF Shermans may be better in this respect).  I would not recommend this particular kit for 76mm tanks however as the hull is wrong but if you need 75mm or 105mm tanks this is a great set. Both BF and PSC tanks have flaws, depending on which flaws you find easier to tolerate will help determine which ones are right for you. For me cost wins the day as neither kit is perfect and PSC comes out on top.