Thursday, May 31, 2012

Dust Warfare: The First Fight

The following is a recap of my first game of Dust Warfare.  It was my Axis against Kevin's Allies.  We played 150pts.
Our lists were as follows:
Axis Sturmgrenadiere Platoon

Command Section: Kommandotrupp
1st Section: Battle Grenadiers
2nd Section: Battle Grenadiers
3rd Section: Heavy Recon Grenadiers
4th Section: Laser Grenadiers
Support Section:  "Luther" Medium Panzer Walker

Allied Combat Platoon

Command Section: Ranger Command Squad "The Boss"
1st Section: Combat Rangers Squad "The Gunners"
2nd Section: Combat Rangers Squad "The Gunners"
3rd Section: Assault Rangers Squad "BBQ Squad"
4th Section: Heavy Ranger Tank Hunter Squad "Tank Busters"
Support Section: Medium Combat Walker M2-A"Mickey"

We decided to use the table to make our mission as opposed to using one of the pre-built missions.  If we're going to try out this game, we're going to try out everything.  Going through this process we came up with the deployment type "Close Engagement" with the objective "Eliminate the Enemy" and no special conditions. We deployed between 6 and 18 inches from our respective board edges and rolled to see who would go first.  I ended up with 2 hits and Kevin with 3.  So I started the game with 2 orders.  Here is our deployment.  Not having much idea how this was all going to work out, or how to play the army we both started with pretty much everything in cover and mostly out of range.

For my command phase I gave a Blitzkrieg order to the Battle grenadiers by the bunker and advanced them behind the laser grenadiers.  I have my command squad move up as well and they get a reaction token.  Not knowing too much since I did not have the rules to review I placed my command poorly and not all of my units fall within its influence.  Oh well.  Another he

I missed a picture here for Kevin's command phase.  He had three orders.  The first he uses to try and call a "Long Tom" Artillery strike against my command squad (because it contained my painted officer).  It missed.    
The last was used on the Mickey to take a shot at my Luther, he missed.

In my combat phase I advanced the Blitzkrieging Grenadiers to behind bunker I and shot my Panzerfausts and Panzershreck at the Mickey.  The Panzershreck scores a hit and does 2 damage!  Causing an external fire.  Next I move up the Heavy Recon Grenadiers towards the bottom of the screen.  They fire at the BBQ squad in the emplacement there and manage to kill 3 of the 5. I then move up the Laser Grenadiers and fire at the Ranger squad below the Mickey.  They manage to Kill 1.  The Luther Shoots at the Mickey but misses.  The second Grenadier Squad moves forward 3".

Kevin begins his turn by taking out some hardcore vengeance on my Grenadiers which shot his Mickey.  His command squad shoots at them and takes three of 'em out.  The Mickey puts out the fire.  The Ranger squad near it removes a suppression marker and shoots at the Laser Grenadiers with their UGLs and rifles, they fail to cause any kills.  The Tank Busters fly out to behind the wrecked scout car and blow up my Heavy Recon Grenadiers.   This leaves the remaining infantry with nothing to shoot at.

This initiative phase I roll 2 hits and Kevin 1.  He gets to go first.  He again attempts to Long Tom my HQ, this time he succeeds.  The strike takes out one of my Kommadotrupp.  It also hits against the Grenadiers near Bunker I and suppresses them.  I Blitzkrieg order the Panzershreck to take another shot at the Mickey, it misses.  I then order the Laser Grenadiers to shoot at the nearest Combat Rangers and manage to pick one more of them off.
The Combat Phase brings me more pain.  The Mickey begins shooting at my command squad killing another member.  His HQ finished off my Battle Grenadiers near bunker I as well.  I lose a Laser Grenadier to the Ranger Squad they just shot at.  Worst of all the Tank Buster roll up and destroy my Luther with a single salvo!

My combat phase is pretty uneventful as the tide has really gone against me now.  My Laser Grenadiers manage to pick off a single Ranger.

Turn 3 sees Kevin and I both roll 2 hits and so we reroll and I get a 1 to his 2.  I use my one order to have the Laser Grenadiers Blitzkrieg and shoot at the Rangers again.  They manage to pick off 2 more.  Kevin calls in a Long Tom strike on my Grenadiers near the Luther Wreck and kills 1.  His other order is used on the Mickey which continues to pummel my HQ. Leaving only my Radio guy alive.  The autumn cover of his helm blended in with the blood of his fallen comrades.  Really it's because the Mickey did not have LOS to him and you can't kill what you can't see.
The combat phase sees the Laser Grenadiers kill another Ranger, leaving one alive.  I move the remaining Battle Grenadier squad back into cover.  Kevin makes a general advance.  The lone Ranger is suppressed enough that he is forced to fall back.  The BBQers move up and smoke a Laser Grenadier and the Tank Busters enter close combat with my Battle Grenadiers.

Turn 4 and I am all "Game over man!"
The fight must go on until the last man has fallen though.  So we roll for initiative.  I roll no hits and Kevin gets 1.  My order is spent telling command that the Obereutnant is dead and the radio man is in command.  Kevin calls in the Long Toms on my Battle Grenadiers but it does no harm this time.

Combat phase sees kill a single Tank buster as I move out of combat and not much of anything else as I try and hold in cover and just survive a little longer.  Kevin takes the laser Grenadiers down to 1 man with the BBQ squad.

Turn 5 and Kevin rolls 1 to my none.  I Blitzkrieg my radio man to the back of Bunker II.  Kevin Long Toms the Grenadiers.  Combat phase sees me shoot my radio man at the Tank Busters and try to Laser a BBQer.  It also sees Kevin wipe the Axis forces from the table and sweep on to victory.

So, that's that.  I lost this game of "Dust Warfare"  but that's not to say I did not enjoy it.  It's rather fun and I enjoy it more than I did Warmachine.  Here's a list of some things I liked and did not like.

-Can be played rather quickly at this point level if you are more familiar with the rules than we are.
-The hit system simplifies shooting and helps speed things up
-I like the phases and rolling for initiative each turn.
-The allied and axis special orders Long Tom and Blitz Krieg seem to be balanced. With the arty strike having great reach and firepower, but Blitzkrieg allowing you to really put a good unit to extra use at a key point in the game.
-Pretty cheap to get into.

-Cover feels a bit wonky to me.
-There's no such thing as durability, things die pretty easy.
-Warfare should have unit cards.
-Moving only 3 inches in terrain is rough.

Overall I had a positive experience and we have ordered the started set for yet more models, expect a table update and another Dust Battle next week.  I did work on the table last Sunday, but it was mostly just spraying on a several coats of clearcoat to protect it during use.  Not very post worthy.  I also had to fix the water, but you can see that next time.  Also look for a post on some more painted Dust models!

Friday, May 25, 2012

Dust Warfare: First Impressions

All this talk of Dust: Warfare has got me interested.  So,  I decided to start it up.  I began by ordering an Axis medium Panzer Walker.  So,  I talked a couple friends into starting it with me and one of them started by ordering the rule book.  First impressions on the background, models, and the rules all seem rather positive on our end. I did decide to modify the base models somewhat considering the time saved on construction and priming.

So, once we read a little bit from the book I started getting a list together.  To start we chose to make 150 point armies.  Below you will see my first platoon which is of the Sturmgrenadiere variety, the jack of all trades for axis platoons.  All this was purchased for under $100 through amazon.  Nice!

First up we have the command section, the Kommandotrupp squad.  There's the officer, a radioman, machine-gunner, rifleman, and an engineer.  You can see the universal modification that I made, adding stocks to all of the StG 47 rifles.  I also lowered the angle at which the officer is holding his rifle.

Next up is the first of two Battle Grenadier squads.  They are the basic troops of the German forces.  Not much to modify on this first one.  Just the stocks and lowering the Panzershreck  on the guy second from the right so that he is looking over it.  I also made some leg swaps for better posing.

Here we have the second Battle Grenadier squad.  Made some more leg swaps and switched the Panzerfaust in the sergeant's hand for his StG 47.  On all of the troops who are shooting their rifles, I cut off the  fronts of their necks and glued them so that they appear to be looking down their rifle sights.  I then had to fill in the back of their necks with some greenstuff.

This squad is a Laser Grenadier squad, there was not much to do here so to break it up I changed up one of the guys.  The leader, in the center, used to have his left arm positioned on the laser rifle, similarly to the troops on either side.  So  I cut this arm and hand loose and made it so he, like all the other squad leaders, is pointing forward.

The last of the troops are Heavy Recon Grenadiers.  Pretty intimidating in their heavy armor.  This squad did not take too much either.  I had to strengthen the combat knives with super glue since the plastic is sorta soft.  I also re-positioned the guy on the right so he is not leaning so far forward.  He looked like he was slipping onto his face before if you ask me.

Lastly we have the Medium Panzer Walker.  First we have the Ludwig, which is armed with 2 8.8cm guns.  You can see the front piece of spaced armor, the gun-shield I added, and the antenna.

Here's a view of the side, where you can see some of the stowage, and the spaced armor covering the engine compartment.

Here is the rear, again showing the spaced armor as well as a rack of Jerry cans.

On this side I added some steps for climbing  into the vehicle.

Second we have the Lothar, which has a pair of rocket launchers.

Lastly there is the Luthor, armed with a claw and a Flak Cannon.  All three of them look pretty cool in my opinion, and I cannot wait to check them out in game.  The model had minimal flash and did not take too long to clean up.  Some of the parts did not have adequate glue and broke, so I had to re-glue them.

This picture shows a test of the camouflage pattern I was trying out for the infantry.  It's based on late war German camo patterns.  I decided I liked the way it looked, but I switched the base color from German Fieldgrey to Catachan Green.  I was originally going to paint them as Afrika Korps, but the models are wearing heavier clothes and gloves not really suited to North Africa.

Having decided to use this type of camo I decided to do a full test model using the officer.  His hat and trousers are German Fieldgrey from Vallejo, his armor is a dark green from Tamiya, and his camo smock is as shown above.

On his chest and left shoulder is the Balkenkreuz, a stylized version of the Iron Cross and symbol of the Wehrmacht.

His right shoulderpad displays his rank of Oberleutnant, or 1st Lieutenant.

I am very happy with my decision to start this game so far.  I like the models, they had little flash and very little cleaning.  The only dislike I had was the softness of the plastic.  It means that thin things like rifles and knives are easy to bend and most of them came warped.  You should go through and add thin bands of super glue to harden them and position them as they should be.  Other than that all that I really had to do was glue the torsos and the heads.  I chose to do more because of the time saved due to pre-assembly and in all it still took less time than if you would have had to clip sprues, clean flash, and glue everything together.      They're in 1/48 scale meaning there's a load of historical kits out there waiting to be used and converted or whatever.  I like the WW2 setting and I think that they did a good job in how they got rid of the Nazis.  Stuff has to be PC these days...

  Sunday night, I will be facing my friends Allies, or my other friend's Axis.  My brother is still undecided but we're trying to swing him to play the SSU.

Look for another table post Sunday or Monday if I get enough done, then a review of how I felt about finally playing Dust.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Building a Gaming Table [Part 4]

Here we are again with another update on the gaming table!  This week was really painting heavy with lots of drybrushing and some detailing too.  First I started with painting the desert/waster part of the table.  We used craft store paints to do this, a medium brown, then a light brown, and finally a tan.  I also painted up the corresponding dunes and one of the wreck markers in the same colors.

Here's a shot of it complete, with light highlights in the areas that I built up with the clay.  I also resprayed with the dark brown spray paint in the path where the bridge crosses the river.

Next, I drybrushed the urban parts of the board.  Used the same craft paints but a medium gray and a light gray.  Did all of the drybrushing with a cheap 2 inch natural, soft brush.  They're basically the cheapest you can get at Home Depot but are very forgiving on the amount of paint on the brush and cover very well for this application.

I then painted the roads with the medium gray, but more solidly.  I also mixed the medium and light grays to varying hues to add some variations to the road.

Once that was done it was time to detail the road.  This started with detailing the craters with some light gray highlights and some soot marks.  It also involved adding some lines to the road.  Had to start by masking them off.

Then I painted them on unevenly with some yellow paint.  When I do lines like this I don't paint it to cover it completely but only lightly so it looks worn out.

Here we see the results of this with some stop lines added as well.  The river's base colors were also done and the resin mixed and poured in.  I have some water based water effects which I will make look muddy and add to texture the surface more.  Should also make the water look more natural and dirty.

Here's a shot of what I have done so far.  I also painted the "Techno Bridge" while waiting for the river's paint to dry.

So, should have everything pretty much wrapped up by next time.  Cup holders, finish the river, seal the whole thing, and add some static grass spots.  It will need to be stained as well but my brother is going to do that while I work on terrain.  Finishing all of our terrain and building more will be the next big step for this project.  That's already begun in my other series New Table, New Terrain!

Thanks for stopping by.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Building a Gaming Table [Part 3]

Now for another installment of this series.  Got a lot of work done this week, lots of glue and sand and paint involved.  I got to do some work on Sunday as well as Thursday of this week, unfortunately I forgot my camera both days, fortunately Kevin has an iPhone and it takes a decent photo.

First up the clay lifted a bit due to shrinkage,  I had not really run into this problem using this clay on smaller areas and I bought it since it said minimum shrinkage.  However, most of the areas I put it lifted and separated completely from the foam.  Nothing a little bit of Elmer's glue could not fix though.

So, after those were all glued down I got to work mixing up some sand and various sizes of ballast to make the flocking mix.  Also mixed a couple of bottles of Elmer's with some water to glue it down with.

Then it was time to paint on the glue and pour the sand mix in as well.  It's important that you tape off the sides before you start this because any wetness on the sides would have kept the tape from sticking and would interfere with staining later on.

Whenever I do flocking I tend to really pour the stuff on, it's better to have too much than too little.  The added weight helps keep it in place while the glue sets and helps more flock actually get worked into that glue.

This leaves us with a table that looks like a sandbox.  For this night we only flocked up to the edge of the urban portion in preparation for the roads.

Speaking of roads, some 1/8 inch foam tape is used to form the borders for the next step.  I had a layout figured out and measured and marked all of the road edges.

Next it was time to pour the roads.  For this I use water putty since it dries faster and stronger than plaster of Paris. It weighs about the same and is also a little easier to work with in cases where there is sculpting involved.  

I used a tape knife to level and smooth out the putty to fill the designated areas, in this case plaster may have been easier to work with.  This is where we left off for Sunday as the hour was late and we ran out of putty before I was done with the roads.

Thursday began with cleaning out a shop vac and then vacuuming up the excess sand mixture from the previously flocked side of the board.

It took far too long for my liking and was far too loud, but still faster and more effective than sweeping.

After that I finished pouring the roads and we waited for them to dry up a bit.  Once that was done it was time for some battle damage.  So the Stukas were called in for a bombing run.

This is where the road vanishes and the wastes begin and so the end of the road has got to be a bit rough.  The hammer ended up being a mistake as it caused so much vibration that this section of road lifted from the foam.  Again, lesson learned, again Elmer's fixed it.

The end of the derelict road.

I made an assortment of sizes for the road damages, some autocannon some strafing runs etc.

Then we flocked the rest of it.  I also added some debris around the craters on the roads.

Next, I painted up the far end of the board.  I used spray paint and it went very quickly, I also painted some of the terrain I made awhile back and flocked along with the board.

The urban part of the city got a black base coat and some gray variations.  The road is going to be gray, so that got a pretty solid coat of gray.  This picture makes it look as if there is more urban than dirt, but this is not true, it's pretty close to 50/50.

Next week I will begin dry brushing the flock and cleaning up the edges of the overspray.  I'll also be adding details like road stripes and the like.  Got a lot done but there is still plenty left to do!