Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Bolt Action

I just realised that it has been a little while since my last gaming post.

But there has been plenty of distractions:)

After a long day on Saturday.... I was looking forward to a nice quiet Sunday with not a lot of thinking required.

Queue Bolt Action :)

Lee had made it along to games this weekend with his small American force and was keen to try out a game.

Initially he just went up against Rob's Japs (500pts each) and ended up getting a pretty solid victory!

For the next game, rather than 2 play and 2 watch, I suggested we play 2 on 2. Each player fielding 500pts.

That would mean my Germans and Rob's Japs would be against Mark's Brits and Lee's Yanks.

Each side had one objective to guard, otherwise it was just basically who could annihilate who first.

Deployment began and forces started to advance...

The Staghound races up the road to a dominant position on the table and the Americans quickly align using a hedgerow for cover.

I'm somewhat nervous at this point as the Staghound is going to be tough to dislodge. My Sd Kfz 222 isn't going to do much against it.... Rob and I pour fire into the British Artillery Obs, but fail to hit...

Do I drop it now or drop it later.... Mark ponders a tough decision :)

And the end result is a barrage marker (masquerading as a Brit Para pin marker) gets placed right in amongst my troops!

The remaining German troops and some very relieved Japanese troops continue their advance...

... and the turn ends there. Turn 2 and Mark, with a slight grin, rolls for his artillery barrage. I'll let the pictures tell the story of what happened....

A disaster with the co-ordinates given turns the tables very quickly as the British artillery destroy their own Staghound and also obliterate the British FAO (karma?). A number of British and American units now found themselves pinned due the barrage (ended up with an 11" radius).

But it was about to get worse for the Allies... the large American infantry unit already had pins prior to the barrage.... now it had more pin markers.

And it hadn't spotted the Japanese flamethrower team.... Woooosh! Bye bye Americans.

This was followed up by a Japanese unit charging the American bazooka team....

In the space of a few minutes, the Allies had lost 4 units (okay.. one was the FAO), but the game had completely turned and was effectively lost from this point with other Allied units struggling to do much with the pins on them (Mark failed a lot of order checks from this point on). I hate to imagine what would have happened if the barrage had come down on me!

Still, not that much fun to have the game lost or won on a single dice roll.....

We played on though. My forces were now free to advance and started to engage the remaining British forces...

The Japanese infantry and flamethrower team continued to clean up the American forces....

...except for that medic! He just would not die and even won some assaults against the Japanese! This kinda highlighted the usefulness of upgrading to Veteran status.... :)

It took the flamethrower team to force a morale check (even they couldn't kill him) which the Medic failed and fled from the table. Still, a pretty herioc stand by the non-combatant! :)

The game ended there. Victory to the Axis forces. Man of the match award was shared between the British artillery and the Japanese flamethrower team. I think Rob said this was the best he had seen the flamethrower do. I was just glad it was on my side... :)

I'm not sold on the British artillery (or American air strike) rules. They are pretty powerful with no real way to counter them. Especially with only a 1 in 6 chance of it going wrong are good odds from a British/American perspective. I do wonder if they are a little too overpowered for the game?

As for flamethrowers... they are just dirty. I can understand why some players love them so much.

Still, the game bought a nice, quiet and relaxed Sunday to a close.

A pretty enjoyable long weekend overall.

Monday, 27 April 2015

ANZAC Day - Additional Photos

The weather today started off pretty terrible, so that has given me some time to play around in Lightroom and try a few things with the photos I took on Saturday.

I've tried to create a couple of different effects, but it was also a chance to keep practicing how to use the adjustment brush in LR.

The first, I'm not so sure on. I wanted to try and bring out a face or two in the crowd to make them stand out with the Cenotaph, but I'm not really sure what I'm trying to create out of this image.

The second is one where I have tried for a "ghosts of the past effect" as there were some people there, as part of the service, dressed in period costume. It seemed appropriate to try and turn them into black & white. For this image, I think they are too far away to give it much impact.

The next ones were simple. I just dropped all the colour out apart from red (and a little blue in one) to make them stand out.

Finally, a black & white using Silver Efex.

As always, am interested in what people think.

Saturday, 25 April 2015


Today is ANZAC Day.

100 years ago today our troops landed in on the shores of a little known place called Gallipoli in what would become a disaster. A place of heroism, but so full of futility. It is a place that really forged us as a nation. It is our day of remembrance with our mates across the ditch in Australia.

Today was a little different for me... Lee had been asked by the Auckland War Memorial Museum to do some photography for them over the course the day. I managed to tag along.... my first official event as an actual "photographer"! Thanks for getting me in Lee! :)

We were up and off just before 4:30am this morning to take part in the Dawn Service and then photograph the museum's events. I think we left around 2:30pm...!!

It was a quite a challenge in the dark and then in the low light of the museum, even with the awesome ISO levels that my 7D mk2 is quite comfortable with! I found the shutter speed was still dropping very low even when the ISO cranked up to 16,000. I could have used a tripod, but I was having to capture people.... and people tend to move around which means low shutter speeds result in blurring.

The brief for the museum was to capture the events being held inside with a focus on family & kids engaging with the museums various displays. Even with the challenging conditions, I think I did okay. I haven't posted many that meet the brief here, I'll leave them for the museum.

I've tried a few different things, both in taking the photos and post processing. I think some photos could have more time spent on them, but I'm curious to see what people think as they are now. There are definitely a few that I need to have a look at creating a black & white and leaving some coloured items in them.. Maybe later though....  I'm tired and I think its almost bedtime, but I wanted to post some photos today.


Lest we forget.