A quick update. …

Sorry it’s been a quiet month on Tales From The Mancave….the girls have been excitedly preparing for Christmas and I’ve been kept busy with shopping, wrapping, chopping, cooking and playing games that sadly aren’t the kind I’d usually post about. So I’m going to give a quick update to keep your all advised of what’s been going down.  Let’s keep this simple. ….

I managed to grab three Star Trek Attack Wing Reinforcement Blind Booster Bricks for the forthcoming Temporal Cold War OP Series. I’ll be trying to post about each vessel and stick some pictures up as soon as I can.

Sticking with a space theme I’ll move next onto Star Wars.  I managed to grab a viewing of The Force Awakens on opening day and was like a child in a sweetshop with Daddy’s credit card!  Lol. Gaming wise I managed to pick up the last remaining ship I required to complete my Star Wars X-Wing collection. …the Tantive 4. Now onto Wave 8.  Being a massive Imperial fan I also wanted to get my dirty hands on the impressive Gozanti class Imperial Assault Carrier to swell the ranks of my Imperial Fleet.  I grabbed one for a very good deal of £39.67 (including P&P) from boardgameprices.co.uk which I was very happy about!

Sticking with Star Wars Christmas was very kind to me and I managed to get a whole heap of Star Wars Imperial Assault goodies from my girls.  I received Dengar to add to my wretched hive of scum in IG-88 & Boba Fett. I’m aiming to put together the whole line up of Bounty Hunters from The Empire Strikes Back. …so I need 4-Lom, Zuckuss and Bossk.  Then I’ll have then go toe to toe with my other games worth of hunters….the Predators from Prodos’ AvP.  I also got a copy of the latest expansion for SW:IA Return to Hoth. Finally I was given a load of Villain and Ally packs to build my SW:IA forces; – a Royal Guard Champion,  Kayn Samos, Chewbacca, Han Solo, R2-D2 & C-3PO and Princess Leia. So I can now assemble the whole gang from the films.  Happy gamer!

I did post a while ago about me returning to the Judge Dredd fold at NAGA to have some games with Brent Jay and Co. Well I was watching some very good deals on EBay and add luck would have it I did manage to scoop up the whole lot for a very decent price of £37 (including P&P). I ended up winning auctions for gangs for Judge Cals Personal Retinue, Justice Dept. Mega City Judges and Specialist Judges. So they’ll go onto the gaming table for use at some point in January against Brent.

The Hairy Gamers (me and Tris) took a little road trip to Dragonmeet in London during December to collect our AvP Wave 2 pledges and boy was there a whole load to struggle through a busy convention with.  I now have 3x Alien Warriors, 2x Alien Queens, 2x Royal Guards, 2x Alien Crushers, 2x Predaliens, 2x Alien Eggs, 2x Berserker Predators, 2x Predator HellHounds, 2x USCM Powerloaders and 1x each set of Dice (USCM, Aliens & Predators). I also bought an extra two boxes of Alien Warriors from Asylum Wargames Online Shop for a great price of £10 each. You can grab some too by visiting them on http://asylumwargaming.tictail.com/ . These guys have great deals on all sorts of goodies residual if you’re interested in Macrocosm or AvP.

This takes me neatly onto Macrocosm. Despite the awesome Chris Nicholls being very busy with his adventure into fatherhood for the second time he managed to go above and beyond to send out my Macrocosm Malignancy pledge.  Once the chaos of Christmas has subdued I’ll try to take some pictures and post more about this! Thanks Chris.  If you too are interested in Macrocosm then you can find more details on the website at http://www.macrocosm.co.uk/

Whilst we were on our road trip I managed to teach Tris the rules for The Devils Run and we even managed to grab a couple of demo games on the stand the Word Forge Games team were using.  Both of us are mad keen for this game and with any luck I’ll be able to help Mark Rapson with some more play testing and reviewing of the game in the build up to shipping.  With so many ideas for this game, with me posting regular bat-reps and reviews and with Mad Max Fury Road available on Blu-Ray and DVD it was inevitable that others would be drawn into the TDR:R666 game. Recently Tris and I expanded the Hairy Gamers family by inviting Gareth Mosley and James Hall to join our ranks. Both have the R666 bug and are busy trash-bashing and scheming for when R666 drops.  James has been busy using any and all HotWheels and Matchbox cars he can get his busy hands on to bash together some cars to use.  I myself am waiting until my pledge drops to see what gaps I have in my collection before getting too busy with trash-bashing. My ideas are mainly for scenery and game tiles based on British Roads rather than the American ones in the game.

Guildball now. ….as some of my regular readers will recall I play in a local Guildhall league at Black Dragon Games in Hinckley. Sadlt this has not been going to we’ll for my Fishermen who have lost their opening two encounters against Craigs Mort-Union team (12-8) & Andy T’s murderous Butchers (12-4). This week I have a double header of games planned against David Mustin and Mark Southerd in store on Tuesday so watch this space for that.  I’ve gone in half’s on a Union Starter with David to get me a copy of Avarisse and Greede to add to my Union Starter of Blackheath, Decimate and Gutter. I also added a Harry “The Hat” Hallahan to my Union line-up this month as well as hopefully getting the miniatures I’m owed by Jay Finnegan in the form of Fangtooth and Hemlocke. At some point I’ll have to grab me a copy of Coin,  the Union Mascot, so I can play Union too. I’ll do a “Gaming on a Budget” post later to cover my Guildball activities.  Having seen a couple of demo’s at Dragonmeet and spoken to one of the brains behind Guildball, Rich, Hairy Gamer Tris had also picked up a great deal on a Masons team for Guildball so we’ll probably throw down at some point even if it’s just to teach him the rules.

Lastly im going to talk about Frostgrave. Not the game or any bat-reps or warband stuff but mostly terrain.  I managed to grab myself two of the old Games Workshop Mighty Fortress plastic kits from EBay as a starter for my planned scenery. I wanted to build the walls of Felstadt. I also picked up 84 Lemax Snow Covered Wintery Pine Trees, a Garden of Morr kit from GW and some rather large Amera plastic moulded kits for their F204 Large Hill Top Ruin (Fantasy Realms page) & Z236 Corner Ruined Building  (Future Zone page). You can take a closer look at thier range on the link below;-

http://www.amera.co.uk/product.php?range=f

Once I get the chance to do anything with any of the above I’ll post something.

Merry Christmas and a Happy and Prosperous New Year to you all!

Mancave update – Birthday and stuff

Sorry Mancavers….its been a while since I last posted because its been crazy here recently.  Most of August has been crazy busy with work and child summer holidays etc but stuff has been happening so bear with me whilst I try to paraphrase everything and start anew.

Firstly August was my birthday and my girls know me really well!  I was given a copy of Twin Shadows, the Tattooine expansion from Fantasy Flight Games for Star Wars Imperial Assault.  I also managed to get a set of extra dice for running my STIA campaign.  Both the girls seem to love it too….Phoebe has a thing for rolling dice and taking them in and out of bags and Grace has a worrying knack of rolling Evades on Defence dice.  I knew there was a reason I didn’t play her often!

Star Wars Imperial Assault Twin Shadows

Star Wars Imperial Assault Twin Shadows

The birthday also brought other goodies to the Mancave.  I invested in an Airbrush and Compressor for painting miniatures.  I opted for a deal from eBay and even though the airbrush provided isn’t the greatest it should allow me to develop my skills and improve.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Airbrush-Dual-Action-Paint-Spray-Gun-1-6hp-Compressor-Kit-Needle-Air-Brush-Set-/181327198835?hash=item2a37f17a73

Ooooo....a big white box...what could it be?

Ooooo….a big white box…what could it be?

Well well well....its a Compressor for my airbrush.

Well well well….its a Compressor for my airbrush.

My new Airbrush Compressor...just waiting on my Iwata Neo now!

My new Airbrush Compressor…just waiting on my Iwata Neo now!

I also bought an Iwata Neo Airbrush for when my mad crazy lack of painting skills improve enough to warrant a better quality airbush, then I’ll use the cheap one provided with my compressor for things like priming and painting scenery.  The two brands and models highly recommended were the Iwata Neo and Badger Patriot 105.  I opted for the Iwata Neo.

Iwata Neo Airbrush

Iwata Neo Airbrush

So I’m definitely looking forward to getting involved and practising with my airbrush.  To prompt me to do more I’ve also entered a monthly painting competition with some of the PRODOS guys on the Warzone Facebook page.  Each month we’ll be taking a mini or unit from sprue to final painting.  Its more of a painters support group rather than a serious competition.  Damn you Evans!

Lastly as an impulse purchase the Mancave has received an upgrade……..we bought a Barcrest Aliens Fruit Machine!!!!  Yes we have a fruit machine in the Mancave.  Its crazy awesome!

The Mancave - before.....

The Mancave – before…..

The Mancave - after by dark.....

The Mancave – after by dark…..

The Mancave - after by light.....

The Mancave – after by light…..

The Aliens Fruit Machine

The Aliens Fruit Machine

I have actually managed to get some gaming in this month too.  Ive been getting involved with Star Wars Armada, building fleet lists and tweaking my builds but only managed 1 serious competitive game.  I grabbed a cheap Gladiator Class Destroyer off eBay to help me build something I’ve been planning.  I’m considering running a swarm of Gladiators rather than using the Victory Class Star destroyers as they’re more maneuverable.  One of the Admirals available to my Imperials, Admiral Motti, will grant extra hull points to each of them so they can be a little tougher when engaging those Rebel Assault Frigates.

Star Wars Armada Gladiator Class SD

Star Wars Armada Gladiator Class SD

I’ve had my first competitive game of Star Wars Armada against Dave Baxter at NAGA.  My Imperial Fleet comprising of two Victory Class Star Destroyers with upgrades, 6 squadrons of TIE Bombers and 2 Squadrons of TIE Interceptors as Escorts managed to eek out a technical victory against Dave’s Rebel List of an Assault Frigate, two Corvettes and 8 squadrons of X-Wings.  It was a tight game but after one of my VSD’s was destroyed by focus fire Dave’s Assault Frigate was forced off the board and unable to turn quickly enough he lost it.  178-165 to the Imperial Fleet!

20150805_193707 20150805_193713 20150805_205433

Last night saw a defence of my position in the NAGA X-Wing League against a very determined Scott Russell and his Psycho Tycho and Outrider Dash combo.  As soon as Scott sends me his fleet list I’ll post it as a comment on this post.  My Imperial Fleet consisted of the following:-

Darth Vader (32) TIE Advanced (29), TIE/x1 (0), Calculation (1), Twin Ion Engine Mk. II (1), Advanced Targeting Computer (5)

Colonel Jendon (43) Lambda-Class Shuttle (26), Fire-Control System (2), “Mangler” Cannon (4), Emperor Palpatine (8), ST-321 (3)

Lieutenant Colzet (25) TIE Advanced (23), TIE/x1 (0), Twin Ion Engine Mk. II (1), Advanced Targeting Computer (5)

Colzet's TIE Advanced (left) and Vader's TIE Advanced (right) flank Colonel Jendon's Lambda bearing Emperor Palpatine.

Colzet’s TIE Advanced (left) and Vader’s TIE Advanced (right) flank Colonel Jendon’s Lambda bearing Emperor Palpatine.

My Fleet less the Twin Ion Engines (unshown)

My Fleet less the Twin Ion Engines (unshown)

The idea was to advance slowly using Jendon to Target Lock the biggest threat and pass his Targets Locks off to Vader and Colzet.  With the constant Target Locks and ability to K-turn and close quickly using soft 3 greens I could try to slide past the rebel ships and take down the biggest threats.  Scott’s fleet closed very quickly using 2-3 actions per ship and stressing itself to ridiculous levels allowing his two ships to strip shields from Jendons Lambda but my twin TIE Advanced’s both assaulted Tycho and closed quickly not allowing Dash’s Outrider to use its Heavy Laser Cannon at R2-3.  The setting of dice from Palpatine really saved the day as neither TIE Advanced even took damage.  My three ships destroyed Tycho in a couple of turns even with his ridiculous numbers of evade dice.  He parked on an asteroid and without a shot Colzet and Vader tore him to pieces as Jendon stopped dead and caused Dash to smash into the back of him.  Now with three ships versus Scotts 1 it was merely a matter of time before Colzet and Vader did the business and finished Dash off.  After 5 turns with Dash whittling a few hits off the Lambda every round it eventually fell and was destroyed onto to have Colzet sweep in and finish it off for the win.  Victory to my Imperial fleet.

So all in all its been a really busy time here.  I have made a vow to attempt to post more often following a super bust August including my daughters Summer Holidays.

I started painting my Xenos from my AvP core box set.  I’m not going with anything clever just a nice clean table quality paint job.  Grace, my eldest daughter, wanted to have a go at painting one herself so I helped her assemble and glue one of the Xenos before helping her prime it and drybrush it.  All her won work but once its based and finished (during her next visit) I’m sure that it will be very difficult to distinguish between hers and mine.  She’s better than I gave her credit for!

I’m hitting them up with a Black Prime basecoat, then drybrushing the highest points with Pure Silver from the P3 range, following that a wash of Nuln Oil from GW to add depth before spraying a Satin Varnish all over to protect the paint.  Only once this is dry will I start to paint the domes of the Xeno heads with GW’s ‘Ardcoat to add a wet look.  Heres some WiP shots of my work so far.

Next week I’ll be getting a demo for Guildball from Mark Southerd at NAGA so I’ll finally get a chance to play my fishermen team against his Alchemists.  he’s not only a very good player but also a professional demo guy for it so I should be on the wrong end of a beating!  Im still doing my “Gaming on a Budget” series of articles and will be posting one as soon as I decide what this months purchases will be.

Over and out for now Mancavers!

Watch this space for more Mancave updates.  There will be Star Trek Attack Wing updates as the new waves drop, Star Wars X-Wing updates including hopefully a glimpse of the new core set from Fantasy Flight Games for The Force Awakens, a review of the new Smash-Up:Munchkin and hopefully more updates on painting all my AvP stuff.  With so much going on its going to be a very busy time!

Mancave move around

So this weekend it was time to try and make the Mancave a little more usable.  Recently, and especially since my month off, it has been more of a dumping ground for geekery and little to no room for actually gaming etc.  So Lucy and I set about making some space in there and re-organising.

We mainly use Ikea furniture to display and organise the geekery in the Mancave.  Kallax storage units make great shelving and are robust and sturdy so can handly a lot of usage.  The Detolf Display Cabinets are cheap (only £40), easy to build and look quite swish however there is a lot of dead space within them.  With only 3 shelves you could easily fit another 4 shelves in each doubling the storage capacity.  Recently I’ve been struggling to get all my Star Trek Attack Wing ships into the two Detolf Display Cabinets so now they have moved I think Im going to have to look into modding these units to carry more ships.

After some searching around I found a forum which had a nice “how-to” for modding the shelves:-

Modding Ikea Detolf Shelves

Armed with this information I trawled EBay to find some 3/16″ Wire Rope Clips.  Happy with my purchase (I needed 32 but got three packs of 12) I now need to find a local glazier to cut me some sheets of glass for shelves.  I’ve measured up and reckon 8 off (15 1/2″ x 11 1/4″ x 1/8″) with a pencil grind edge should do the trick.  Just need to find a decent and cheap source for them.

We removed a lot of the books, cookery and baking that had been occupying space on my shelves and stored them in the loft.  This freed up a lot of space to put more games onto the shelves, so the two copies of Star Wars Armada and the copy of Star Wars Imperial Assault found new homes along with some older games that hadn;t been unpacked from the move until this point; War on Terror, Apples to Apples, Skyline 3000, The LOGO Game, Key to the Kingdom and an old copy of Necromunda I had kicking around.

Other related projects include finishing off my folding 4’x4′ gaming table.  I got one half made before bad weather set in last summer so I had better get on with that as soon as I have a free weekend.  You can see part of it lurking on the left of the picture of the Kallax Storage Unit above.

I’m also going to try and get a semi permanent painting station set-up for me so painting becomes less of a chore and I’ll be able to jump in and out of painting a lot easier.

The Star Trek CCG cards need sorting too.  They’ve not really been unpacked since we moved from the ‘Nam to Coventry.   I’d like to be able to get back into the CCG scene and complete my collection.  Im only missing The Motion Pictures (TMP) and All Good Things (AGT) sets.  They’re still astronomically expensive and very difficult to find for retail anywhere near me.  Sadly I think I’m going to have to abandon my idea for a huge picture displaying a full set as the frame cost is prohibitive and I’m a little short on wall space.  It would have been an ace picture to put up displaying 363 black bordered rare cards but at over 2m long by over 1m tall its not a small undertaking.  Even tweaking the numbers I still cant get it much smaller than over 1.8m by just under 1.4m.  Such a shame!

Its FFG Friday at the Mancave!

As well as yesterday being an all round awesome day for Star Trek goodies in the Mancave I also received some other lovely little surprises.

My supplier also sent me the Spring 2015 Tournament Medal’s for both Star Wars Imperial Assault and Star Wars Armada.  This means I now have a spare Armada medal…what to do….hmmm?

#maytheforcebewithyou

Jase

Star Wars X-Wing “The Trench Run” Demo @ NAGA (13-05-2015)

Tonight at NAGA I was taking an old LARping buddy of mine who had recently moved into the area along to meet the guys and see what NAGA was like.  He’d expressed an interest in playing Star Wars X-Wing so with that in mind I booked a table and came up with an idea to show him the ropes.  Initially I consulted with fellow Hairy Gamer, Tris, who being a huge Star Wars nerd and all round X-Wing guy gave me some advice.  The plan was simple, two fleets using “big recognisable” names from Star Wars that  Wayne could choose from.  As the ships for both fleets were put on the table Wayne decided he’d take control of the Rebels which were as follows:- 

130 points ——

Han Solo (50) YT-1300 (46), Chewbacca (4)

Luke Skywalker (32) X-Wing (28), R2-D2 (4)

Biggs Darklighter X-Wing (25)

“Dutch” Vander Y-Wing (23)

That obviously left me with the Imperials to fly and my fleet to face those Rebel scum would be as follows:-

130 points ——

Darth Vader TIE Advanced (29)

“Howlrunner” TIE Fighter (18)

Backstabber TIE Fighter (16)

Black Squadron Pilot TIE Figfhter (14) x 2

Boba Fett Firespray-31 (39)

The idea was that most of the pilots in this battle participated in the Trench Run from Star Wars:A New Hope, so they would be something a fan of the franchise would understand and have “seen in motion”.  The only exception being Boba Fett, who wasn’t there but everyone loves Boba and I included him rather than spend those 39 points on more TIE Fighters.  At least this way Wayne would see the difference between high skill pilots and low skill pilots, big hull and shield ships versus no shield ships, hard hitting 360 degree arcs and 90 degree fwd arcs.

With our fleets decided we setup.  The first turn was quite slow as Wayne was new to the game.  There were some mistakes made and Actions forgotten but as we went along I reminded Wayne.  I was getting him into the habit of taking Actions even if he couldn’t do anything in the Combat Phase……so that later taking those Actions would feel like second nature to him.  The two fleets tentatively Advanced and I encouraged him to take at least one of each Action available in his fleet if possible so I could “learninate” him and explain what each action did.  With no Combat after turn 1 we had an opportunity to build up the learning turn by turn.  We took our time and I explained how the Maneuver Dial and templates worked.  It made sense to him.  I also covered some basics like crashing into other ships and obstacles such as asteroids.

We also had a number of named pilots with unique abilities so as we deployed and moved I explained how Wayne may way to use those abilities.  He was flying “Dutch” Vander with a wingman of Biggs Darklighter.  Biggs can take an attack if he could be targetted on behalf of “Dutch” and when “Dutch” takes a Target Lock action another friendly ship within range 2 can also acquire a Target Lock.

As we made our way through turn 2 the two fleets closed on each other.  Boba’s Firespray and Backstabber and Black Squadron Pilot TIE’s advanced on Dutch and Biggs on Wayne’s left flank.  My second Black Squadron TIE and “Howrunner” advanced into the asteroid field ready to take on his YT-1300 captained by Han Solo with Chewbacca.  Down Wayne’s right flank father and son advanced on one another as Luke Skywalker left the safety of accomanying Han and went for Vader in his TIE Advanced.

Now we were in a position to fire and we slowly made our way through this.  The process was explained that unlike maneuvering we now give the higher skill pilots an opportunity to go first.  Starting with our 9’s.  As we both had a pilot skill 9 captain the first shot was determined by Initiative.  The Empire always get Initiative in ties so Vader shot first.  At long range Hans’s YT-1300 gains an additional defense die.  We roll, we modify results and we compare final results.  This process continues until we finish the round.  I explain how Target Locks and Focuses work along with Evade tokens.

All in all a good game was had and Wayne picked it up very quickly.  In hindsight both Luke Skywalker with R2D2 and Han with Chewbacca were a little tough to break down and despite an impressive showing from a resilient Black Squadron Pilot I couldnt break down that YT-1300.  In the end after more than 2 hours of playing it ended up with a fully hulled and unshielded YT-1300 versus my 1 Hull point Black Squadron TIE.  If I could get close enough to fire Wayne would get the first shot and probably destroy me.  It was getting late and we were on opposite sides of the board so to finish the game off I displayed what happens when a ship lands “off the mat”.  My plucky TIE took one for the team and flew off the board so we could both get home.

I’d like to think Wayne enjoyed the game.  He was a little suprised at the cost of some of the components especially in the aftermarket such as EBay.  He seemed to like the fact that playing the game did not mean he had to invest as heavily as he would have to in other games such as Warhammer 40k or Warhammer FB and he could only buy 2-3 ships and play.  I’m thinking of doing a Star Wars Armada demo next week for Wayne if hes interested?

Its been a very Star Wars month in the Mancave as I did a review/deboxing of my Star Wars Armada, did a demo for Wayne of Star Wars X-Wing and yesterday my Star Wars Imperial Assault game arrived.  Im seriously considering running a campaign for a few mates at Chez Marden once a month.  I currently play in one at NAGA and really enjoy it.

Star Wars: Armada deboxing and first thoughts

During my self imposed geek-exile in April the long awaited and eagerly anticipated Star Wars:Armada was released.  Sadly due to taking a month off it languished in the Mancave awaiting the TLC it so dearly craved from me.  I did manage to grab a quick demo game at the Wayland Games stand at Salute 2015 but now I’ve had a chance to tear away the plastic and take a look at the contents and give my first impressions.

I scribbled down some initial thoughts for anyone interested in it.  Please do let me know what you think and I’d like to hear your thoughts and feelings on Fantasy Flight Games latest game in their massive Star Wars collection.

Star Wars Armada First Thoughts

Star Wars : Armada – First thoughts

Tonight I managed to take a look at my Star Wars:Armada box and jot down a few of my thoughts on it based on a quick run through of the game tonight and at Salute 2015 with Hairy Gamer Tris.  Let me know what you think.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/7dhuk7i4d0zhkoc/Star%20Wars%20Armada%20First%20Thoughts.docx?dl=0

Happy reading!