Thursday, July 30, 2015

Skirmish Sangin US Delta Team A Review

Here is a video review of some of the items available through the Radio Dishdash Day of the Rangers KickStarter.

If you are unable to view the video, or would like the narrative with still shots, continue reading below.

Finely detailed, 28mm figure. Black wash applied to really make the detail 'pop'.

Clamshell plastic packaging and foam piece to protect figures. Four figures come in this package for about US$14.
Some flashing was present on the inside of the legs of two of the figures. 

This was later removed with a hobby knife.


How they compare

The Radio Dishdash figures scale well with other 28mm figures. Seen here are 28mm Marine Force Recon (and insurgent figure) from Eureka Miniatures.

The Radio Dishdash figures are more of a true to scale figure than a "heroic" scale figure. 

Here in a similar pose, you can see that the Delta figure is slightly taller, a little more slender, and has a gun that has a smaller barrel. Both units are based on the same type washer.


Overall, these figures are very crisp and will scale well with your existing Eureka miniatures. You can eventually find them in the Skirmish Sangin store, but currently they are available (at a discount) through the Day of the Rangers KickStarter.

G&G Rating

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Historicon 2015 wrap-up (Friday - Part 1)

Friday, July 17

Checking in - No game for you!

Through pre-registering online, you are able to register for one event per day. What I did not realize (last year I was playing in the Bolt Action Tournament on Friday and Saturday) was that on site you are only allowed to register for one game as well (total of two games per day). Now, that's not to say that you couldn't walk up to a game and get in - if there is space available and the GM is okay with it. The point here is that register early to make sure you get in to the game that you really want. There was also limited availability on site; so even if I was able to register for multiple games, nearly all of the games that I was interested in (and had not used my one early registration on) were already filled. You've been warned!

It's 9am. Do you know where your wallet is?

The vendor hall opens at 0900. The line begins to form 15-30 minutes prior. I didn't stop to take a picture; I was on a mission. I had a plan and a shopping list and for the most part, I did not deviate.
  • Phalanx Consortium
    • This was my top priority. I had purchased the PDF of Maalintii Rangers in the hotel room the night before. Besides the Skirmish Sangin connection, I was targeting Phalanx because they were also selling the former Crescent Root middle east series on behalf of The "ART" of Wargaming. When I arrived, they had already sold two of the four buildings on the table and I quickly grabbed the remaining two (one being the smallest in the series). I also added two long wall sections (one with a gate). I picked up the newly released acrylic counters for Skirmish Sangin as well as one pack of the newly released Deltas.
  • Eureka Miniatures
    • Here I added figures for the upcoming Mogadishu scenarios in Maalintii Rangers, including the Somali gunmen super set and African civilians (to be used for the mob).
  • Empress Miniatures
    • I had on my list an SPG-9 technical and an M-ATV. The 1/50 scale M-ATV is impressive to behold, but also comes with a hefty price tag. I opted for the more conservative HUMVEE with .50 cal. They did not have the SPG-9 technical on display, but after inquiring, they did have them on-site for purchase.
  • Brigade Games
    • I had included on my list a few items to build on my Pacific USMC, but ended up only picking up a newly released Company B Mercedes LAPV technical.
  • Thoroughbred Miniatures
    • No purchases initially. Did return on Sunday for a few items to build upon my current collection which will focus on the Battle of Mobile Bay.
  • Warlord Games
    • No purchases; but I did browse the latest theater book - Germany Strikes! which will likely be purchased for electronic use with Amazon Kindle.
  • Targets of opportunity
    • There was a vendor with 40% off some items. Here I picked up a couple 28mm terrain pieces from Novus Design and a set of Army Painter brushes.
(Photos and any reviews of these items will come as separate posts. Stay tuned!)

Boom! Clang!

This is not some rendition of Charli XCX's Boom Clap - hey I have a 3 year old daughter, I've heard this song several hundred times. Anyway, one of my go dos for HCON 2015 was to play some ironclad game(s). I had already pre-registered for Jerry Frazee's BATTLEGROUP OVERLORD - HOLDING CARENTAN game at 7:00pm, so I used my one remaining game registration on Gary Cole's BLOCKADE RUNNER.

The setting is Charleston Harbor. The game system is the Under Both Flags module of Sail and Steam Navies by David Brandon. It is available in PDF form at the Wargame Vault.

The Confederates have been given four casemate ironclads to face off against four monitors and the flagship of the Union (in this battle), the USS New Ironsides. She had an intimidating battery of guns. But perhaps more daunting to the CSA fleet, was trying to penetrate the 14 armor of the monitor turrets with what seemed like less than adequate firepower.

I had been given the flagship for the Confederates, the CSS Columbia. This was the most heavily armed casemate in the battle, and as you can see, its best gun was only a 10 firepower. 

The CSA fleet headed out to meet the incoming Union ships. The blockade runners would also be coming in from the Atlantic (opposite side of the table; Charleston is behind the camera in this view). The ironclads exchanged salvos but not much damage was done. Our GM made several references to "some of the worst die rolling I've ever seen." And there are lots of dice! It is a d10 based system and when you do happen to strike and penetrate the armor, it can lead to some 20+ dice being rolled.

When the first of the blockade runners did appear, she quickly scooted across the board. The initial movement caught the Union off guard, but the New Ironsides guns had plenty enough range and after a few salvos, managed to destroy her engines (or wheel box) and left her immobilized. The next blockade runner to enter the board suffered a similar fate, but much swifter.

At this point, the time was nearing an end and congratulations were in order to the sailors of the Union fleet. It was a fun experience, but I think I still prefer Smoke on the Water. I did have some interesting conversation with the gentleman to my left. Turns out he was visiting from Wilmington, NC. In speaking of ironclads, we discussed two of GMT's games which we both have and have played - Iron & Oak and Rebel Raiders. He mentioned he developed some home brew scenarios for Iron & Oak that focus on the battles around Wilmington. We exchanged emails and hopefully I will get a look at those in the future.

After the game, I spent some more time walking around the Exhibit Hall... (to be continued)

Historicon Wrap-up (Exhibit Hall walk through)

 Walking through the Exhibit Hall...

Impressive board for the Normandy invasion. I am still not sure how they interact with the center of the board.
BattleGroup open gaming

Miniature Building Authority's modern board - used for several games. This one was a zombie apocalypse game. It looked like fun and talking with a friend who was playing in it, he agreed.

A Pacific board worthy of fighting over.

Skirmish Sangin set up on the MBA board. Colin Phillips, the game's designer, was in the States to GM. I had already committed to another 7pm game, so I was unable to sit in on this one. A gaming partner did register for this one and he said it was good. One step closer to getting Sangin on the table in Charlotte.
Not something you see everyday... Well, not something you see at every Historicon. Saw this running between the Sangin table and my 7pm BattleGroup game. It was "The Sound of Music" done as a miniatures game. Hat tip to these guys for going all out.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Skirmish Sangin acrylic counters

I had seen on the Skirmish Sangin forum that they would be releasing some acrylic counters at Historicon and was intrigued. While I've scratch built terrain, I've never been one for making my own counters - I have a couple print and play games sitting on the sideline to prove it - and there are a lot of counters in Sangin.

Unfortunately, they had noted that they would not have the 50 morale counters at Historicon; only the 50 action counters. When I arrived at the booth on Friday, there appeared to be two boxes remaining. I quickly grabbed one for US$20, along with some other tidbits, including a pack of their new Deltas (currently featured in their Day of the Rangers KickStarter) and some of the former Crescent Root middle east buildings now cast by The "ART" of Wargaming.

You can also pick up all 100 counters through the KS; and I highly recommend that you do. They add a nice touch of form and function. Form in the sense that they do not detract or hide your tabletop.

G&G rating:

Here are some photos of the counters in use:

Friday, July 24, 2015

Empress Miniatures - .50 cal HMMWV

One of the items that I picked up at Historicon was a .50 cal Humvee for modern 28mm skirmish gaming. I already had a technical (with MMG) for the insurgents, so I thought I would add some mobile firepower for the ISAF forces.

The kit itself was fairly straightforward to assemble. There was some excess material on the inside of the tires that needed to be removed with a hobby knife, but other than that, there was very little flashing.
My biggest dilemma was where to put the .50 cal. Looking at the image provided on the box (visible in the background), I was thinking about mounting in the rear firing position. I had a couple reasons for wanting to do this - (1) most folks would probably mount it forward facing, so it would differentiate my model from others and (2) having recently watched Blackhawk Down (on the car ride home from Historicon mind you), I noticed that while making the drive to the crash site, the gunner was typically firing in the rear arc after having already passed the target. There was also a triangular shape in the driver/rear side of the cupola that seemed to be similar in shape and size to the base of the .50 cal mount, so I thought that would make for a good mounting point. After gluing it on (of course), I noticed that the hinges for the roof hatch were on the driver's side which meant that positioning the gun there would prohibit the swing of the hatch. This bothered me, so I popped of the gun mount and resorted to gluing it facing forward. Oh, the best laid plans...

How it compares

Here we can see the scale comparison between another Empress vehicle - the technical with SPG-9 - and my first technical - a Stan Johansen miniature. The Empress vehicles are listed as 1/50 scale models. The Stan Johansen model may be closer to 1/56 for 28mm. As you can see, they're pretty comparable and there shouldn't be any scale issues with them being on the table at the same time.


Overall, I'm pretty happy with the .50 cal HMMWV kit. A buddy of mine had picked up the weapon station HMMWV kit at Historicon as well and he was not happy with it. Perhaps it's the difference in kits or he was just unlucky. This kit was pretty smooth. It'll set you back a pretty penny, US$32 was what we paid at Historicon. There will certainly be cheaper options out there - perhaps even 1/43 scale die-cast if you plan ahead (settle on that scale for vehicles and be consistent). There was a die-cast model on Amazon recently for under US$15, but I don't think that would scale well at all with these figures. I've already made that mistake once before - bought a 1/48 scale plane and set it next to some 1/56 scale tanks - and plan to not repeat it

G&G Rating

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Historicon 2015 wrap-up (Thursday)

Thursday, July 16

Car ride up - Mole, Toad, Rat, and Badger speed away from a heist amidst chaos and confusion

"Ice cream!"

Out of Dodge is a four-player, RPG about four criminals escaping from a botched heist. I won't go too deep into this one, but it was fun and made for an interesting car ride up. We were quoting things said in this session through the weekend, so I'd say it had a lasting impression.
There's a more in-depth review on Shut up and Sit down:
Check it out!
Available from Bully Pulpit Games:

The early bird gets the worm. We got Armada... sort of.

We arrived on site after registration and the vendor hall had closed. Most of us had pre-registered, so that wasn't a terrible loss. However, that meant we would not be able to participate in any of the games this evening (I don't think any of us anticipated getting there in time to play any of the PEL events anyway).

We walked around and surveyed the games being played.

After a while, we settled back into the main exhibit hall, found a few tables and chairs and setup a game of Star Wars: Armada to show some of the guys in our group that had not yet played it. Call it excitement or anticipation for the con, but this hardly got up and running amidst all of the chatter. A few turns were played and I think it was beneficial for those looking to learn more about it.

It was definitely after midnight (I think after 1am) at this point and we had not even seen the hotel room yet, so we headed back that way. We had a big day ahead of us...

Skirmish Sangin BattleScribe build

I started working on putting together a BattleScribe Game System and Catalogue for Skirmish Sangin. The initial build will just be USMC and Insurgent forces. I will be seeking input from folks on the Sangin forums... If by the way you were unaware, there is a forum dedicated to Skirmish Sangin - Check it out.

In the meantime, here are some initial screenshots from my progress. I wasn't sure if people would want to use this for pulling together the standard/historical selections or creating their own custom forces. In the d, the answer is probably both. So, I've included a Standard Fire Team which fills in the default setup, but also a Custom Fire Team which removes restrictions on size, breakdown, etc.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

UPDATED (7/28/2015) Skirmish Sangin, Maalintii Rangers, Historicon, and Kickstarter, oh my!

Skirmish Sangin, Maalintii Rangers, Historicon, and Kickstarter, oh my!

Just caught wind of the Meeples & Miniatures podcast with Colin Phillips of Radio Dish-Dash.

Catch the podcast here:

There's mention of the latest Battle Book, Maalintii Rangers, which is an add-on to Skirmish Sangin and will be released at Historicon.

Sneak peak over on the Skirmish Sangin blog:

Also mentioned is a possible Kickstarter campaign where we'll potentially see figures, vehicles, and buildings.

UPDATE (7/28/2015): The KickStarter campaign is now live! As of 7/28/2015 it is beyond its funding goal and on track for some stretch goals.

I picked up the Skirmish Sangin PDF on the drive home from Historicon last year. Unfortunately, a year has past and I never did manage to get it to the table. I did eventually get all of my insurgents forces painted and a few USMC done - as seen in a previous post. At that time we utilized Flying Lead and its Afghanistan expansion, Hearts & Minds.

This year at Historicon, Colin himself will be in attendance. I am hoping to catch a demo game of Skirmish Sangin on Friday to get the juices flowing and hopefully convince a local gamer or two to partake in a few games this year.