Sunday, 21 September 2014

Mega Bolt Action

My last few posts have been a little random, but don't worry... today sees a return to my regular blogging topic.

Gaming. And its Bolt Action gaming. The run continues! :)

Rob was unable to make it today, so on arrival I found that Phil & Mark had already decided that we would play a large game of Bolt Action.... 2000pts per side!?! Cripes really guys were my first thoughts....

The two of them with their standard 1000pt forces vs. as much as I could put together for a German force.

It meant I pretty much had everything I own split across two platoons....

I stuck with a Regular force along the lines of:

First Lt + assistant
Second Lt + assistant
4 Squads of 10 (2 smg, 1 lmg).... 2 squads also had 2 panzerfausts
1 Vet squad of 10 (5 smg, 1 lmg)
Medium MG
Medium mortar
Heavy mortar
Light artillery
Sniper team
Panzer IV H
StuH 42
Sd Kfz 222
Sd Kfz 251/1

20 orders! It was going to be a long game.... but luckily Garth arrived in time to help command the German forces.

We choose Maximum Attrition as the mission. It seemed the best choice with such large forces.

The table set-up:

First turn just saw all the forces arriving on the table. The large number of units meant positioning them could be difficult..

The dastardly British FAO on the look out for a juicy target

The nebelwerfer crew prepare for action
Turn 2 sees more maneuvering as forces advance to make good use of cover. The nebelwerfer fires its first salvo and misses it target..... but destroys 3 USMC teams that are nearby. A good start! I think I might like this nebelwerfer.... The medium mortar also hits one of the USMC infantry teams.

Not a lot else happens through turn 1 & 2. The German HE units are all making their presence felt. The armoured vehicles take a few pot shots, but to little effect.

The start of turn 3 sees Garth and I holding our breathes as Mark and Phil roll for their artillery barrage/air strike....

The nebelwerfer is the target of the air strike.... the artillery barrage aiming point is to the left of the heavy mortar. This could end badly for us....

Mark goes first. The artillery barrage arrives... this is the one I didn't want to see. End result...

The German medic is also obliterated by HE shells. Everyone else ends up with a couple of pins.

Next up is Phil and he rolls for his air strike. I really don't want the nebelwerfer to be knocked out so early...

Phil rolls.... the die spins.... and it's a 1! The air strike has mis-identified its target (again!). It unloads it's ordnance on a USMC squad taking cover in the shell craters..

When the dust settles, the squad has been destroyed, but the surrounding units got lucky with hardly any pins being dished out.

What could have ended so badly for us has now put some pressure on the USMC forces. German HE units continue to do some damage. Infantry units from both sides take a few long range shots at each other whilst both sides continue to advance. A lucky USMC mortar strike destroys the German MMG, but casualties are still relatively light on the German side. The Staghound continues to do very little damage to the 251/1.

Phil now places his second air strike. This time the Panzer IV H is the target. Both Garth and I threaten great deals of mirth if he rolls another 1, but what are the odds? I'm expecting a dead tank.

The next turn starts.

Phil rolls for his air strike..... and the die is cocked.

Try again Phil.

He rolls.

The dice bounces along the table.... 

And finally settles.

It's a 1. Again.

Cue great deals of laughter from Garth, Mark and I :)

But Mark's laughter is short lived...

His Cromwell has now found itself as the target of the air strike! End result =

But only just! Garth made hard work of his rolls to hit and destroy the Cromwell. Luckily a fire broke out on the tank and all the pins ensured the morale check was failed.

As the turn draws to a close, more USMC/British units are lost. One German unit in the forest should have been lost (especially after going FUBAR when trying to carry out an order), but the Allied forces just can't dish out enough wounds.

The final order die for the turn is German and I move up the Vet squad to deal with a British squad that has moved up through the fields.

The combined weight of point blank smg & lmg fire ensures the British unit breaks and runs after taking heavy casualties.

At this point Mark and Phil concede. They've lost around 9 or 10 orders to our loss of 4 at the end of turn 4. The loss of the Cromwell effectively gives the StuH 42 and Panzer IV H free reign on the battlefield (even with the Staghound still active). That coupled with heavily pinned Allied units due to the air strikes meant that they were unlikely to cause many more casualties.   

I think Phil finally understands why we have all been telling him to forget about his air strikes and to take something else instead. It hasn't been effective in any games that I've seen him play... particularly since he seems to like rolling 1's for them :)

The time was just before 4pm, so we ended things there and tidied up. Mark had an updated copy of Rome 2: Total War, so that caught the guys attention for the rest of the afternoon as I hit the road to head home for a beer or two....

Thanks for reading. Until next time :)

Monday, 15 September 2014


My Crossfit journey started today.

All I can say is.. cripes what I got myself into! :)

Something that I may become quite addicted to....!

Awesome start to the journey. There are 4 of us in this intro cert course, so a nice small number for all the technique training.

Session consisted of ~45mins of technique followed by a fitness test.... uh oh... I wasn't expecting that.

400m run
40 air squats (hips below knees)
30 sit ups
20 hand release press-ups
10 strict pull-ups


I'm not normally that competitive. I normally just focus on achieving personal bests when training.

But there is this young fella in the group. He talked himself down a bit prior to the fitness test.

The timer counted down and then we just ate his dust on the 400m run! That boy was quick.

I got him on the pull-ups though :) Helps being tall (I'm 6ft 1) and having some strength.

Ended up with a time of 4min 46sec to complete the test. Fastest in my group (and yeap I was knackered at the end of it), but there was a time of 4min 38sec in the morning intro cert class.

I've now got 4 weeks of intro training and the test is repeated.

Expectations are high. I reckon there is some good time to be shaved off in the run, squats (downside of being tall) and pull-ups. That young fella is going to be hard to bet second time round though....

I'll let you know how I get on :)

Sunday, 14 September 2014

It's Sunday again

And that means it's gaming day.

I was late to gaming (again :) ), but this time it was due to popping into Ardmore airport on the way there. Battle of Britain commemorations were being held today and normally there is a flypast of the warbirds based at Ardmore. I had been hoping to photograph them taking off. This is the best I got...

... before they and the rest of the aircraft were returned to their hangars due to the crap weather.

On arrival at Mark's, Phil (USMC) and Mr Darling (British) were playing a game of Bolt Action. Darling was giving the USMC a good old thrashing. Great work for his first game :)

They were playing  maximum attrition and British firepower certainly made short work of the USMC forces. I snapped a couple of pics..

This was basically the turning point of the game.... the British artillery bombardment arrives at the same time as the USMC air strike mis-identifies its target and hits the USMC lines (Phil rolled a 1...). Look at all those pins... (the  unit hit by the air strike was also destroyed).

The game finished (with British victory) and none of us were that keen to roll out another game. I hadn't even realised that GuardCon was on this weekend. As it happened it was just down the road and a couple of mates had registered to play Saga. We decided to pop down there to have a look for the rest of the afternoon.

Now I had been wondering why I was struggling to take some good pics... just before leaving GuardCon I realised why... I had accidentally flicked the image stabiliser on the lens I was using to off! Whoops.... end result = not many good photos.


I just admit that I am very curious about this game. The game play with the battle boards looks very interesting. I just haven't found a force yet that captures my interest to really draw me in, but who knows...


I really should seriously think about FlamesCon....


The Titans on display looked cool. The rest of the armies... some interesting ones, but I just really do not miss these games at all.

But what did really stand out was this -


It seems that these guys had been trying to get a tournament organised for GuardCon, but couldn't round up enough players. If only we had known! :) I wouldn't have had enough stuff painted anyway, but could be something for next year.

They had a very cool set-up. Unfortunately the pictures don't do it justice. 

Until next week. Thanks for popping in and having a look.

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Something Different

Today is Father's Day here in NZ, so there was no gaming today.

Sooo... to make the most of the day (and since the weather forecast was looking okish)... Rob and I headed out to for a bit of a play around photography wise.

Neither of us had been out to North Head for a very long time. Now, North Head, for all my overseas friends (that includes you Southerners... :) ), is an old military site guarding the harbour to Auckland.

It was originally built in case of a Russian invasion in the late 1800's and it was then extended further during the world wars. Here is a PDF document showing the site in more detail. It's well worth a visit for some great views across Auckland, but you also get to look through some of the old bunkers and tunnels.

Rob's put a few photos from today up on his blog here. He remembered to change his camera back to autofocus when we were back in daylight around the main guns that are still in place...

It ended up being a fantastic day as the weather really turned it on (maybe Spring is actually here!). Bright, sunny and hot! I wish I had worn shorts... The great weather meant the views were fantastic.

The real reason we were here was to try out some photography in the tunnels/bunkers and play around with different lighting effects. The techniques used involved tripods, very long exposures (30s) and torches.... Rob also had some colour gels to play around with as well.

It all made for some great effects including light painting and ghosting. I was keen to try and create a few eerie looking photos, but my old mug just isn't that scary looking... :)

Finally, a lot of Tui were also out enjoying the sunshine... I enjoy photographing these guys as they have the most amazing colours.

I hope you enjoyed :) It was certainly good fun playing around taking all the photos today.

Until next time. Thanks for having a read.