Decisive Operations Hobby Blog!
A lot of awesome progress has happened since I last wrote. I’ll do a quick catch up to the status of my projects and I will talk about the Bolt Action Mediterranean Tournament that I participated!
Paint All The Lannister: Finished the last group of Halberdiers. I have technically painted all the Lannisters I own, just Mountains Men, Bolton Cav, and a few characters left. This project is on hold for now. If I get motivation to paint the Flayed Men, I’ll knock them out, but I am anxiously waiting the end of month release of the King’s Guard. I have to say, running around with all this gold and red on the table looks awesome. I am really enjoying this game and the look of the minis!
Napoleonic French/Vistula Legion: Finished the final 13 Vistula’s for a basic Sharp Practice force. This is just in time for a Sharp Practice demo day next week. Now that the bulk of the force is done, I can paint the Artillery for my cannons and or take a break from this project even though I am really enjoy painting these metal Vistula Legionaries (a little burned out with 46 great coats, 12 Vistulas, 12 Cav, 4 officers painted). I am even eying the French Sappers/Engineers from Warlord for some scenario minis.
Here is a sneak peak of the demo I will be running at the San Antonio Games Expo:
Bolt Action: Last year I painted 10 of my French Dragon Portes. When I sat down and did a hard look at all the projects that I wanted to finish I came to the realization that I did not have the time to devote to this project. However, I still wanted to finish my goal of an early-mid-late war French Force (late War finished already). I hired a friend of mine (Seth) to paint the remainder of my infantry using the one squad I painted as a frame of reference. I still knocked out all the vehicles and a few of the weapons teams (I also did all the bases). To be honest I am very happy I decided to get help finishing this project. I love what Seth did and now that I’m gaming WW2 with a fully painted force it has reenergized my desire for this time period.
Now that the force is painted, I was able to do the final touches to tie these miniatures to a historical unit, the 2nd Dragoon Regiment. This regiment fought in the battle of France and reactivated in Tunisia and fought the reminder of the war. I provided my opponents this one pager to go with my army list. For me this is where historical miniature war games really shine, when I can combine my interests in miniatures and history.
Bolt Action Tournament: I was apprehensive about a Bolt Action tournament. I started WW2 gaming with Chain of Command and the list building/min maxing nonsense that can happen in BA worried me. However, the game is fun, and this tournament was themed (Mediterranean) so I figured I’d give it a go and try to do the best I could with a ‘historical’ French Reconnaissance Platoon.
First game was at 1250 points in what is becoming a grudge match between Oscar’s Germans (who also religiously plays French) and my Fighting France. The mission was ‘Seize and Hold’ and the terrain was sparser than we normally play but the trench lines really gave it the ambiance of a frontlines trench warfare battle, so we didn’t mind. The Germans were able to push me off a central objective on the last turn of the game in the last five dice. Very close and fun game.
Second game was against Germans again, this time we played ‘No Man’s Land’ at 750 points. Most of the game was spent FUBAR’ing and or failing order tests because of the initial pins of the preliminary bombardment. The Moroccan Goumiers were the hero of the battle in this game and frankly for the last three games. As Veterans and Tough Troops, the can take a lot of punishment but still get into close combat where they eat order dice like hungry hungry hippos. Running away from the German flamethrower team and getting the Goumiers into close combat led me to a 2-1 victory! Overall, I finished third and pick up some Motorcycle Germans and a nice gift card! Not a bad showing, by far not my first miniature wargaming tournament but my first Bolt Action tournament.
With the rampant success of this lethal squad I figured it was time to give them some well earned flavor. The Goumiers of 2nd Dragoon Regiment will now be known as the Lions of the Atlas. I will make a little unit card for them and hopefully continue to build on their ruthless success on the field of battle.
Wrapping it up: It feels weird plugging Bolt Action because I may be one of the few people that was exposed to Chain of Command before Bolt Action, but I love both systems. Both have their own quirks and game experiences but I will continue to play both systems. Yea, flamethrowers feel OP, yea vehicles seem to die way to easy, yea its weird having a medium artillery piece on a 6x4 table but all these peculiarities give a different yet rewarding game experience AND you can use the same miniatures, which for junkies like me is amazing.
There were a few temptations to derail my hobby goals this month. First, the French Starter set for Team Yankee for 50% off at a local game store. Second, Brigade Games Kickstarter for AWI. It’s still going on as we speak, and this is the cheapest, best quality, way to get an AWI force for Sharp Practice. Third, Black Sun Vietnam miniatures, intentionally pulpy but still super cool. I think the best way to game ‘Modern’ ie post WW2 is going to be to play Spectre Operations and keep it small scale. I really have no desire to paint 30-50 Vietnam Era Soldiers. I think 10 will help me keep my sanity IF I want to go down that road.
Coming up next is a Sharp Practice demo and then my gaming kind of goes black out for April. Paint All the Lannisters is on a brief hold until I get my hands on the King’s Guard. Free France is basically complete, I believe I have a SAS jeep for late war that I need to paint. I will more than likely paint a sniper miniature, but I feel very content with this project. Vistula Legion is 100% done for Sharp Practice. I need two cannon crew, but I don’t know how keen I am on putting cannons in a light infantry force (I’d rather spend points on lancers). Undying Dynasties/Tomb Kings is a tale as old as time, song as old as rhyme; as soon as you start an escalation league life hits you and your gaming group hard. I have never had a successful escalation league in my 18 some years of gaming. Moral of the story I guess is, if you feel like you need change or are in a rut, start an escalation league and some major life event will fall from the sky. I still have ambitions for this project but its tempered now.
I know you are reading this thinking wow, he just deflected all these hobby goals in just two blog posts… I like to think deflecting as adapting… I am going to start working on Team Yankee French, it will be the same regiment as my WW2 force (that’s really cool for me) and gives me a reason to paint a FAMAS, which is an abbreviation for, the best bullpup rifle ever! I own next to nothing Team Yankee and we will see what happens with the release of Oil War in March/April. I am really excited about the era and scale, but I am hesitant to start throwing money at a new game. I’m not committing to it, but I am doing some research on the 33rd Waffen SS, Charlemagne Division. I have some miniatures thanks to Black Friday deals, and I need an Axis force to complement my Allies. I also came across this book, “The Captive Dreamer” which is a story/autobiography of Christan De La Maziere who joined the 33rd in 1944. I don’t know how to describe it, but so far it has been a haunting story of political idealism/fanaticism playing out it its most extreme outcome. The story and history are so compelling that I want to have it represented on the table top at some time.
At the conclusion of this entry I am sitting at 112 of 365 miniatures painted this year.
Thanks for reading and feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or any social media platform.