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Thanks to all who have kept with me and keep doing so.
This years weekend at UKGE saw a VERY busy Hilton Hotel at the NEC with masses of folks navigating the Trade Halls.
Must have been the busiest day ever for this event. I didn’t get any Saturday pics as it was hard enough to walk around the venue (Trade and Family Zone areas). The Bring and Buy queue was mad too. Sunday seemed much quiter by comparison.
I got some FoW Tournament pics on Sunday morning (round 1) and a few others, like the big DZC Frigate.
Hopefully next year with the NEC Hall for the Trade I hear then the gaming areas should be bigger (and the Family Zone guys!)
Here are the pics I have…. from Sunday. Quieter (and rainier). It’s a tiring event for me to manouevre around (being a bit of an old Hulk) but you can try to grab somewhere to sit down and play a game – a lot of people were doing that all round the Hotel.
Sunday Flames of War… (about an hour into the first game)…
… and mainly “Dropzone Commander” DZC…. such beautiful models…. (some joker got in on the act too, the Dalek took care of him…)
The Model Assault Frigate is a small ship (!) just some 560 metres long apparently and only 100 (I counted 48 on one side…) Condor Dropships…. plus a very large triple barrelled cannon jobbie and what look like missile pods all around. Very nice model. As it is in 10mm scale I guess you can work out the model length – use the lego models on the rear engine section for scale if you are lazy.
I wanted to post an update on where I am at with Flames of War. Over the course of 2014 my interest in FoW has waned a bit, but I wasn’t sure why. I have now sold off my HG Germans and all but one unit of my US 3rd ID.
There is still my painted British tank based army (with decals!) I am keeping that one. I still have a reasonable amount of plastic (mainly from the Open Fire box set) and want to put together a German force. In fact I have two ideas… A StuG Batterie and a Grenadier list, based around some of the same platoons. I may even venture in Panzer IV’s !
With renewed energy, the new year will see these Axis forces come into being!
I have some more painting now to get these ready to meet the Brit tanks! The infantry can wait a bit longer.
A distinct lack of energy in December was followed by a busy Christmastime. I managed only to find time to try some more Lord of the Rings Living Card Game, and quite a few (demo) games of Battlefront’s (not them!) Combat Mission: Fortress Italy computer game.
Both games are great for the solo gamer. Strategy and tactics and a bit of luck have their place. I tried out several decks at the LotR game against the starter mission “Journey down the Anduin” and then had several goes trying to crack the “Elephants and Tigers” scenario in the CMFI game (Fallschirmjager really rule the roost in that one!)
Having “ummed and ahhd” about this game for the last year I finally got a game of DZC in. I had skimmed my old Version 1 rulebook and wondered how complicated it would be.
When my gaming buddy Dan offered to show me the game I jumped as I really do love the models.
We played at our local NWGC, Stockport. Sadly, I couldn’t quite get the camera to focus properly despite taking a number of shots of Dan’s beautifully painted Shaltari force. I only had my phone camera and I always seem to struggle indoors with these. The Shaltari have an insectoid look to them that when painted really shows the functional yet aesthetically pleasing designs. The designer has done wonders creating the models.
Having seen another army being played (PHR) that were also brilliantly painted (by James I think?) I have to say that the bar is set hight on painting these forces.
So, is this just about nice models or is there a good game?
Dan set up the basic poster mapboard, buildings and starter scenario from the starter set. He used Shaltari not UCM, I took an unpainted Scourge army. The points value for these basic forces is about a 550 point ‘skirmish’. That gave us 3 battlegroups apiece, one infantry plus transport, 1 tank plus transport, 1 AA unit plus transport. the Shaltari were a pretty new force for Dan and the transports (Gates) seem to work a little differently to the standard transports. That aside, we got stuck in.
The missions mean scouting out buildings with objectives and searching them. Once successful, the infantry need to get the objective out of the building and back off their baseline to capture it. As there were three objectives to take, the winner would be the one with most captured and removed from the table.
On Turn 1 Dan won the activation roll and moved one of his units. He got his infantry into the building on Turn 1. I then moved a unit – tanks I think by dropping them off my dropship in cover. The activation is done alternatively until all battlegroups have moved (the unit and their transports).
He positioned his Gates on the board – it looks like the Shaltari and use the Gates to move around the board instantly. Nice. I need to read up more on these guys!
We then moved alternatively until the turn was ended – I used my infantry to take the central building.
Dan got the initiative again. His infantry searched the building on this turn and got the objective. I spent three more turns trying to get the objective in my building.
Meanwhile I had left my infantry transports in the open (silly me) and got the dropship and an APC blown up.
My forces took it in turns to fire on the building that Dan’s infantry were holed up in. Dan pulled the objective out of his building but couldn’t get the troops out so quickly – the Gates I think have a restriction on how much can pass through them in a turn.
Gradually that building was destroyed before Dan could get his men out. My tanks, infantry and AA kept pounding it and it collapsed, killing the occupants and one unfortunate Shaltari transport that was too close to the building as well.
My infantry were killed off down to two damaged stands but I got the objective and left the building. With only one APC left for them, they had to try to get off the map.
At the end of Turn 6 (end of game), my APC was just 4 inches form the edge of the board. Dan won by 1 objective to nil. If I had grabbed one, it would go to kill points. Dan had destroyed most of my infantry and a whole unit of my tanks. I had only killed his infantry unit. Well done Dan!
The aim of this game was for me to “learn the ropes”. Afterwards Dan showed me how a close combat works. Basically it was a fight in a building that took three turns. It was pretty evenly matched. That would have tied up those forces for most of a game!
What did I think? Brilliant. Not only are the models good, the game mechanics are good too. It’s not too difficult to pick up the rules quickly and the game plays quickly too. Units roll on to the table, carry out their missions and support each other. The end result was a close game. Having an alternative unit activation mechanic means that each player is on the alert all the time, not waiting for “their turn” to come. It spices up the game. A unit may not get to move exactly when you thought it would as you may lose initiative.
The contents of the starter box (Scourge and UCM) plus all the buildings, map boards, counters, templates, dice, tape measure and rulebook really are good value.
Now that the starter forces (4 of them) are in plastic, the game has become good value and “do-able” even on a budget. You can build on the core force to build it up to 1000, 1500 or 2000 points.
I am really hooked now and want to get into this game. The system reminds me of the fun of playing the old GW epic space marine (2nd edition) but is a little more complex. There’s a lot more to discover as you can have Commanders and Command Cards. More to take on board! Looking forward to my next game! Big thanks to Dan for taking the time to play my first game through. Thoroughly enjoyable evening.
Apologies for some fuzzy pictures… it gives a flavour even if I couldn’t quite get those lovely Shaltari Gates and vehicles into focus.
I haven’t posted anything for a while – holidays and other things to do. Don’t worry. I am back on it and getting ramped up.
finishing off the “Jugula” game Gladiator models….
finishing off some Flames of War bases and vehicles…..
completing the models for the Amber RPG….
putting some paint and basing on the DUST Tactics minis…..
and of course….. lots of Saga – I need to finished the Arab army and build some camels!
I have been posting on WWPD’s www.sagatapestry.com website AND done a review on WWPD’s Outpost Zero site – Jugula (combat).
Check out the following…
Thanks for checking these and for continuing to follow me.
Anyone else recently buy into DUST Tactics? It’s a cheery and simple enough game. But by heck are the unit cards complicated. How many variants of the game now? Four (Warfare, 3 x Tactics)? Five if you allow the “battlefield” version of ‘Tactics…
They all use the same models, but there are unit cards for each game and within DUST Tactics, some 3 variations.
Here’s the starter sets and three add-ons I bought for me and one of the kids….
The cards that you get are a bit of a hit and miss.
Dust Warfare cards, the large Dust Tactics cards, the smaller Dust tactics cards, marked 2013 and the small cards almost identical to the latter but marked 2014.
Older, Larger Tactics cards…
The size difference, old to new…. for the same unit…
The comparison 20134 to 2014 editions… just one year apart and very similar cards…
What is the difference? Well, the main thing is the difference in points cost, they have been re-evaluated.
You need to make sure the cards you use are from the 2014 edition or at least all from the same edition!
Here’s the bottom right corner of the cards to avoid mistakes…
You better make sure you have the right ones.
Here is the 2014 SSU card set…
The 2014 SSU Card deck set says on the back that it covers all those units that came out prior to January 2014.
I bought the Dust Tactics starter sets in May 2014 and they have 2013 cards inside them, making them incompatible with these new cards (that may come in some of the model boxes?) . I think its pretty confusing for a new player to find they have to replace all the cards even in the starter sets. Every box seems to have been brought out at different times and so has different cards in them. One of the expansion sets I bought had NO Dust tactics cards in at all(!) I have had to contact Battlefront Customer Services twice and then follow-up again to get a clarification.
I have to say that while Customer Services did help (I got the missing card and now they have supplied the 2014 SSU deck as a good will gesture), it should NOT be so “hit and miss” or complicated to just get a playable set of models. Having three sets of Dust Tactics cards alone when the last two seem to be only a year apart seems like madness.
Well, that’s my little rant about DT. I still need to get the Axis cards just for the few units in the starter set – aaghh! 🙂
If they change the cards next year I may deliver the game back to BF via a strange portal(!)