tisdag 29 mars 2016

GothCon 2016 - First Indochina War

Easter Holiday 2016 was celebrated by attending GothCon in Gothenburg once again. Last year, I had the flu and was running a fever throughout the event. This year I was in good health, and a damned good thing it was too, since we got in two very long but very good days of gaming.

The view from my room. The boardgame café I noticed last year is still there but I did not manage to fit in a visit this time either, sadly.

 Most of the crew assembled. From the left Henrik, me, Joakim and Koen. Laffe was stuck on the train, poor man.

We went up the hill to the school where GothCon takes place only to find that entry had been delayed and we had 2 hours to kill. Last year I backed a Kickstarter to start an esport bar in Gothenburg and I had planned to visit to see the place and pick up my Backer pin. As it was right across the street from the school we set up camp there for a while. GG Bar is a very nice place with friendly staff and as you can see, very gamery interior. Highly suggested if you find yourself in Gothenburg.  

 In keeping with the theme, playing the 6th Colonial Parachute Battalion, we had bought Bigeard caps, designed by Marcel Bigeard, then commander of that famous unit. It's not pretty (nor am I), but it worked fine as a conversation starter when engaging with onlookers.

Here is our set-up. The scenario requires the French to leave their own trenches, off the far table end, pass through the Viet Minh trench, the forest beyond it and past the rice paddies at the near end with the tank or at least one section of 50% strength. The VM just had to prevent this.

 Our presentation table contained some TFL info, a few books, some left-over terrain pieces and Koens cap, which was too small for him despite being tagged as being the right size. If you read this, http://doursoux.com/fr/, please answer your emails about that.

 Each scenario started with a small "speed bump" force of Viet Minh deployed in the trench and the rest off table, to be deployed from the Jump Off point (the Buddha at the end of the communications trench) or from the edge of the table. The French deployed 12" in from their table edge.

 All five games followed a similar pattern. The French came on the table, shot up the Viets and overran the trench.

 Sometimes the Viets were killed where they stood, sometimes driven back.

 The important difference was how many troops the Viet player could get on the table before the French came over the trench and into the forest...

 ...and how he used his troops once they were deployed.

 Every time the game was decided in a fire-fight in the forest. Once the French managed to bypass the VM forces, three times they broke the VM force morale, routing them off the table and one time the VM smashed up the French force so badly it could not win, thereby securing a Viet victory.

After the first day, we treated ourselves to a nice Indian meal...

 On the second day, we shared the room with an an official Bolt Action demo team, Damon and Joachim from http://tabletopbattle.com/. Top blokes who were also demoing Frostgrave. Sadly I did not have time to try either of their games.

Nothing says gaming convention like a mug of coffee at 2200. Well, we had players who wanted to play and five hours on the train to sleep the next day. Onwards to glory!

All in all it was a brilliant weekend of gaming fun with friends old and new. In the best Lardy tradition, the theme for next year was decided on the train home. It will be Big CoC in Finland with all the participants playing Finnish troops in action against umpire-controlled Soviets along the Raate Road. I hope I will see some of you next Easter!

torsdag 24 mars 2016

Việt Nam Độc Lập Đồng Minh Hội

That's "League for the Independence of Vietnam" or Viet Minh to you and me, the nationalist (later communist) movement for the unity and independence of Vietnam.

This is a mix of TAG and FNG (former Red Star) miniatures. The TAG ones are actually from their VietCong range so probably the sons of the VietMinh fighters they are being used as here, but the weapons and clothing work for this period too.

In my last post I added a French song from the period. My French is bad, but my Viet is non-existent, so I'll go with a French tune for the Viets too. It is actually fitting as this song was played over the radio by the VietMinh the night before the final assault on Dien Bien Phu. The irony was not lost on the French defenders, some of whom were old Resistance fighters.

onsdag 23 mars 2016

Un Bison Contre les Viets

My first tank support for the French Indo-China forces. This is a US M24 Chaffee light tank. Ten of these were disassembled, flown into Dien Bien Phu and put together again inside the base.

It is standing on one of the terrain sections we made for our game at GothCon. I think they turned out rather nice and can't wait to see them on the table. Four of us are building stuff and on Friday we will see it all together for the first time.
Last night I also finished the last Viet Minh. Hopefully I will have time to get them on the blog tomorrow.

måndag 14 mars 2016

First finished figures of 2016: VietMinh section

Not a by-the-TOE section, but pretty close anyway. The pic is rather awful and just intended as documentation of figures painted for the TFL Painting Challenge in 2016. I will get all the minis for Indo-China a proper photo session once GothCon is finished. This will include vehicles and some rather nice terrain, but for now, I can at least document that I have finished a few figures.

onsdag 9 mars 2016

The Dice Bag Lady strikes again!

We were not going to do Eastern Front in 28mm. We already have tons of stuff for it in 20mm. No need to reinvent the wheel. Laffe tempted us into doing Western Desert in 28mm, but East Front? No.

And along came Annie...
Annie, aka The Dicebag Lady, runs Bad Squiddo Games and is a very nice person even by the standards of the very friendly community that is war gaming. She has been producing female miniatures for a while and now she is launching her most ambitious project to date; female Soviet troops.

Yes, I will have to get a bunch and you should too. I mean, what other time are you actually going to get to read a Nobel Laureate as research for your gaming projects?

And on a less serious note, Katyusha approves this message!

måndag 7 mars 2016

Narrowest win ever! Zombicide games night

On Sunday I got together with Vicky and Icke for a game of Zombicide. I have played about a dozen games of Zombicide using various versions but V and I had only played once before. In that game we were incredibly lucky with the Spawn cards and basically walked through, the poor Zeds never stood a chance. This time, I promised, we would run a bigger game and there would indeed be a challenge.

 We nabbed the first two objectives without much trouble and got tooled up in the process, plenty of SMGs and shotguns. Ned found a rifle and levelled up to an extra die in ranged combat, a lethal combo. We were in good shape, clear firing lanes and good unit cohesion.

 Then things started to go wrong. Josh was going to use his Slippery ability to dodge the last few zombies and catch up with us...but a Walkers Get An Extra Turn card ruined that plan. Now we were five.

We moved at full speed towards the second-to-last objective and managed to grab that. Still sticking together with Wanda taking point we were still doing OK, but at Orange level, zombies were spawning at an alarming rate. It was make or break time. One objective left in a house with 8 rooms. There would be a loooot of zombies. Wanda broke down the door. Spawn cards came up. Fatties spawn in Sewers! Suddenly they were upon us. Fingers crossed, thumbs held and barely breathing we continued drawing cards. Walker extra move! Feeding time! Four of us died in a matter of seconds. Only Wanda was left alive, with a dozen zombies between her and the final Objective.

Icke and me were already swearing and moaning at coming so close to winning when Vicky said "I just gained Slippery, that means I can move out of a zone containing zombies at no extra cost, right? And Wanda moves two squares for each Move action?"
"Yes", we said, "but you still have to stop when you enter a zone containing zombies."
"Well, said Vicky, four actions. Count 'em"

"I move, I stop. I move, I stop. I move Double. I interact with the Objective...and we have won."

And we had indeed won. The goal of the scenario was to grab all Objectives. No need to have more than one survivor.

So, we are still leading the game 2-0. This was not an easy win, that's for sure, but it was a win. Already looking forward to the next game.