Wednesday, October 11, 2017

First Impressions on Skirmish Sangin

Hello,

So yesterday I was finally able to get my four Skirmish Sangin books in a nice little FedEx box. I have to say that they are awesome. First off is that they are big, not thick, but big with a nice sized font and pictures and designs galore that make the thing look beautiful. They all follow this pattern of amazing design and I can't wait to read them all.

So far I've read up to the spotting rules in the main rule book but a quick flip through of the other books pleases me as they not only have many real life pictures of various soldiers doing combat in environments around Afghanistan but they also have pictures of their professionally painted soldiers and professionally made boards. What I find funny is after all these awesome game pieces you still see the cheaply printed cardstock tokens being used in the screenshots.

Overall the books have made a great first impression and they seem more "durable" than most rule books I've gotten in the past. I will have to print off the Errata for Afrika and all the reference sheets and tokens but I don't think that will be too hard as I've found out it is super cheap to have these things printed off at an office supply store.

While flipping through Dispatches 1 I did notice rules about campaign play and advancement of characters which I find to be an awesome feature. I also love the rules for support and how they do make the difference between Taliban and ISAF gear and training.

Meanwhile Afrika (the fictionalized Africa) looks like a fun read but they did change the design a little bit by changing the color scheme of things. The orange on black is still nice but in a slightly dim environment it kinda blends together for me. Maybe thats my eyes but oh well. What intrigues me about Afrika is the rules for making PMC groups and all the various made up factions that are in there. I think I will buy the Molgadisu Rangers supplement (the black hawk down book) so that I can play scenarios for that and get more rules to go along with Afrika.

Rules wise the game doesn't seem that difficult as it does stick to using d10s for almost everything from damage to skill rolls. D6s are used for a couple things but mostly keeping track of stuff like when soldiers go on their turn. Wounds and other stats are all kept on a character sheet almost like GRUNT or, my dad's own creation, NAM. Since I'm familiar with it I really enjoy seeing this concept somewhere else in the gaming world. Those are my thoughts

I would love to get some actual miniatures for this game but for now I'm working on the terrain only and sticking to my little Paper guys. On the Hobby side I've bought another board (maybe I mentioned this already) and have painted and turfed it up to be a basic flat grass board. Tomorrow I'll clear coat it and probably buy another board on Friday. What I want is to make some terrain to represent:
  • Farms
  • Rivers
  • Creeks
  • Hills
  • Ditches
  • Woods 
  • Ponds
  • Swamps
And many more. Right now I have an idea for the farm fields that involve tooth picks and paper but we'll see how that turns out. What i've noticed is that the Midwest isn't that flat as there are small changes in elevation that, when prone, could be used for cover. Plus the more rural you get you begin to see the rolling hills and dense woods all around that would obviously be difficult to fight in so I want to model that also.  Ditches will be hard but I feel I could come up with something. Maybe a piece of cardboard or cardstock with two "bumps" on each side that once painted would look like a ditch.

Once I get some pictures I'll post them. One thing I've noticed for my rural battles is that I'll need a lot of scatter terrain if I want it to look like an actual forest so I'll have to build things like rocks, broken logs, various lengths of brush, and other small things like that.

Well I think that is all but I've been eyeing some force recon guys from eureka.

-"Jonah"

Monday, October 9, 2017

Has it been a week?

Hello,

Man I cannot believe its been a week since I last posted to this. Man time flies when you only work and sleep. Well I'm still waiting on my copies of Skirmish Sangin to come in. Apparently it was delayed by one day. I was going to post a first impressions on the books but that will not happen today. Instead I guess I'll talk about some recent purchases I've made.

Purchases

Well I bought a 200 dollar BB gun. The SIG SAUER MPX AIRGUN. It is very fun to shoot and feels and looks so real! I will be having a blast working with this and maybe even taking it on some camping trips too.

I've also bought some more balsa wood to make another section for my terrain board. I've come up with a plan to make some simple hills and a river but that'll have to wait until I've made all the boards. I'm thinking I need about 3-6 boards. 3 for a nice linear small game and 6 for a normal 2'x4' board. Usually for Skirmish Sangin you play on a 4'x4' board but a board half the size will have to do as I'm limited to space.

I've bought another book since I finished Dagger 22. Its called The Only Thing Worth Dying For and its by Eric Blehm. Dagger 22 was good but I will admit some parts were confusing and some were written bland. Where I zipped through Zero Footprint in a week this one took about 2 weeks to finish as it didn't have me as intrigued as I thought. I'm trying to read about all different kinds and parts of the military so that when I go into Skirmish Sangin I can get a better feel of how a military functions.

My smallest purchase was a set of black and white Chessex d10s for about 10 bucks because of shipping. They are nice and clean dice. Can't wait to use them.

Hobby

Hobby wise nothing really has happened. I've been playing Ghost Recon: Wildlands and Call to Arms alot recently to get quick games in after work and the gym. I'm also recording these so that I can edit them into an RP series for the video game group i'm in. But as far as painting and crafting goes? Nadda. I'm thinking of printing out the Mayhem paper terrain through a printing service so that I don't have to keep buying ink. That way I can say, "Print 5 of these houses, 2 of these cars, and 5 of these misc pieces", then boom. 20-30 bucks later I have nice quality cardstock images printed. I will probably print out soldiers at home since those are easy to do.

Other

As for other things going on I'm heading to Missouri this weekend to visit friends and then next week heading to Wisconsin to visit family then its off to Halloween to dress up as... something. I don't know what. Work has been a pain as they have been really long days with not much enjoyment. I also keep sleeping in so I don't have any lunches when I go there. I've been losing motivation to go to the gym just out of fatigue but I know if I don't go then my relative that goes with me won't go either and I have to motivate them to keep going.

And really thats all I've been doing is playing games and sleeping after work. Maybe these new books will motivate me to jump into the project again of making paper minis. I have thought of an idea to make the paper cars more sturdy but we will test that out later.

Hope you all are doing well,

Jonah

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Mini-Tutorial: Making long lasting Paper Miniatures

Hello,

I've seen a lot of people using paper miniatures but I wanted to show a way to create long lasting paper minis for a low cost.

Materials Needed


All that you need for this project is:
  • Some sort of glue
  • Some Cardstock or normal paper
  • Wooden Craft Circles
  • Foam Sheets (not foam board)
  • A sharp cutting tool, I used an X-acto knife

Step 1: Printing

 Head over to junior general, or another paper miniature website, and print off sheets for your units. As you see I've printed off some USMC and some Insurgents. Junior General has loads of free models in all periods and even top down views if you want.

Step 2: Cutting

Using your cutting tool cut out some of your soldiers like so. Try to keep it as "Square" as possible as it will make cutting and trimming the foam easier. Then cut along the line splitting the back and front. Keep these together!

Step 3: Cutting Foam

 Now its time to cut out the foam. Place one of your cut outs on the foam and trim around it creating a foam square (or rectangle) of the same size.

Step 4: Gluing

Now you glue ONE side onto the foam piece. If using normal printer paper you will want to use glue that is low in water. A good strong glue stick will work or apply a thin layer of Sticky Tack Glue which dries in minutes.
As you see I did this to all of my cut out pieces but kept the other size "paired" with them so I don't get them confused.

Step 5: Trimming

I don't have a picture for this but this step you trim off extra foam and paper with your sharp cutting tool. Once you have done that then glue the other side. A tip to get it to match is to line up the "green base". You will notice that your other piece might be over the foam because you've trimmed it. Now you can easily trim off that extra paper with scissors or your cutting tool and you will have both sides aligned up real well.

Step 6: Basing

Now you need to grab that bag of Wooden Craft Circles which I found at Micheals which is a craft store in the United States. As you see, in one bag there are many sizes of tokens. A small, medium and large. Grab a miniature if you have one and then see which one is the best fit. For me the medium craft circles are the exact size of a 28mm base.
 Now what you do is simple, just glue your foam token onto the base. What I did was use the medium bases for infantry and then used the large bases for weapon teams. The small bases will be used for counters and possible IEDs and land mines.
Sometimes your infantry miniature will hang over the medium base. (Especially the crouched soldiers) For me this was fine but you can either use long craft bases for this (like cut up pop sickle sticks) or put them on the large base.

NOTE: If you wish to decorate the bases then you need to do that BEFORE you glue it onto the foam so that you don't paint on the foam token. If you wish to decorate them after you've glued I suggest using PVA glue and some flock or rocks. Or you could use Sharpies to color the bases.

Step 7: Final Result

Though these miniatures are slightly smaller than the "heroic" 28mm they fit well with the 28mm paper terrain that I own and are actually pretty durable. After a couple hours of work here is my result:
I plan on to making some vehicles and creating some IED markers out of those small bases. I hope you enjoy this tutorial!

-"Jonah"


Starting 28mm Modern Part 5 - Some Purchases

Hello,

Its been a couple days since the last post of mine but I've been making progress slowly and I've been working on my new job. I've finally purchased a ruleset and I did buy 4 sets of paper terrain from World Works Games. The ruleset I've purchased is not Spectre as originally planned but instead I've bought Skirmish Sangin and almost all of its expansions. Why Sangin over Spectre? Well the real reason is that it seems more indepth and has a focus on individual characters which I enjoy very much. Reading reviews on it and watching videos makes it seem like a simple game that doesn't require a lot of minis but it can as it has support for everything from infantry to vehicles to support like artillery and airstrikes. Meanwhile after reading Spectre reviews and videos it seems it is normal skirmish game focusing on the modern equipment and more "covert" operations like PMCs and Special Forces. Still neat and uses d6s. I might buy that ruleset later but for now Skirmish Sangin is where I'm going.

So what else did I buy? Well for the World Works Games purchases I bought Mayhem Services, Mayhem Streets, Mayhem Greystone, and Mayhem traffic. This will allow me to create some neat looking cities and towns on the boards that I'm working on. I did find Cardstock finally and bought some Tack Glue in order to clue these together. I'm happy with the results so far as I've built one building (still needs a roof). I bought some d10s for Skirmish Sangin and that's really all that I've bought. I'm thinking of printing off some paper minis once I get Skirmish Sangin to play with until I can afford miniatures as after this big week of spending I need to save a couple weeks worth of pay. I'll be using Junior General for that as I've used their paper minis a long time ago and they are good and free!

As far as painting goes I've been practicing one my Imperial guard and T'au different camo themes. So far I'm working on painting jungle tiger stripe, woodland camo and predator camo. I really want to get the predator camo down pat so that I can paint my US Marines with the "Spring Green" Predator Camo as I own a jacket with this camo and really enjoy it. I've also started on the Kroot again, painting the skin color of many of them. Its been fun and a nice break from working all the time and the gym. Other camos I want to paint are the "chocolate chip" desert camo and try my hand at some digi camos like MARPAT.

Since I bought almost all the rule books for Skirmish Sangin I'll have a lot of reading to do throughout the week which might delay me further. I also have to finish "Dagger 22" still but that has been a really fun read. If I really want to use miniatures for my first game of Skirmish Sangin I think I'll use my Imperial guard as whatever I choose. As slow as my progress has been it has given me something to think about at work. Hopefully I'll actually get all my miniatures painted but who knows.

Really I have no new purchase plans. I want to buy miniatures but I don't need to so I'm going to wait. After this post I'm going to print off some paper minis and more terrain but the only thing I'll need to buy for the paper minis is those small plastic discs to glue them on which won't be that expensive as I can get them from Combat Storm for cheap. (I think $5 for 100). I hope your hobby is going well.

-"Jonah"

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Starting 28mm Modern Part 4 - Errors and Ideas

Hello,

Well when I awoke this morning I found that my first poster board terrain tiled had dried, but it was warped in the corners. Saddened I went to work trying to figure out what to do while not wasting the poster board that I had bought. After the gym I went in and bought green flock and a balsa wood sheet for 10 dollars each. This balsa wood isn't the cheapest being 10 dollars for a 12 x 24 piece but it seems sturdy and a better, less warpable, option than the poster board. I will put paint on it tomorrow and then add the simple flock I bought. I did add the flock to my warped piece to see if it will warp more or stay the same as it didn't warp THAT badly, just at the corners. This is also allowing me to test and see how I want to add flock to the future pieces of terrain. My river pieces on the foam board didn't warp but I only painted the river piece on to them. I'm thinking of cutting out my river pieces and just placing those onto the future balsa board pieces. Though they will be elevated from the board I think they will still look nice.

I was looking at Spectre Miniatures website and saw that they had re-stocked the store, but still hadn't replied to my email, and the starter set I wanted was sadly out of stock. I guess I'll have to wait to buy it but, this gives me time to make some cardstock terrain and practice more camouflage methods on my T'au who are slowly getting painted because of this. One of the first sets of miniatures I'll be buying is a group of Chinese PLA modern to represent the Red For in my game.

A new idea I had was to buy some water decal paper along with the cardstock. These water decals I would use to print out custom logos to put on to the Red Rebels Security team miniatures and future vehicles. Then I would also print off various posters, banners and flags to put around the cities I make representing various propaganda depending on what area you are located in the battle. Of course I'd have to make these things since I have made a custom genre of battle.

I was thinking about those cityscapes to buy and build and I think i'll also buy the abandoned set for the more war torn and destroyed areas of the game. Combine that with the custruction and destroyed sets for an amazing battle torn city. I've actually thought up a battle that could use the SWAT team along with the Red Rebel Security Company.

One problem is the more ideas I have the more money I need to get this the way I have it in my mind. As for some missions I see the need for large groups of modern civilians, whether neutral or angry, some unique objective markers, prisoners, vehicles, and things like that to really flesh out the game but sadly I do not have the funds to do that. That's why I reel my brain back to it and go, how can I get there? This is where me working long hours and building things like terrain BEFORE I get my cool miniatures so that once I get my minis I can just paint and play right away. I believe this method will keep my motivation going but maybe not.

I hope this is helping you guys realize my mistakes as I'm already dreaming too big at the moment and have to calm myself down to a doable level of creation based on my funds. So what I learned today? It takes time to get all this stuff ready so be patient. Sure I could play with books and pop cans but wouldn't it be cooler if we were playing on grass with detailed buildings and great detailed missions? Yes it would.

My Ideas for Phase I "How it began"
Mission 1: The Riot
-Operator: Codename, Giants
In an east coast city the police have gotten intel of a large political group planning a protest. Recent invesitagions have led the law enforcement to believe that this protest might turn violent as weapon purchases and smuggling have been connected to this group. The RRSC is being hired to act as security for the town square while SWAT and the local Police are spread out across town preparing security for the threat ahead. Needless to say the protest approaches town square... armed.

Mission 2: The Border
-Operator: Codename, Dog
On a hot sunny day in the south a large group of RRSC members have been hired by anonymous government source to take out a group of cartel who have made their home in a small desert town. Intel reports that the civilians have long since been pushed out of the town while local police and national guard have met stiff resistance. In the day they are supposed to watch over the town and gain intel of who is inside but once night approaches they must proceed with their attack.

Mission 3: The Long Con
-Operator: Codename, KillemAll (KEM)
It has been days since the Red For had landed on the beaches of Cali in force. KEM listened in to all the radio traffic through his radio in RHQ-W (Red Headquarters West). He had heard about the attacks to the east and south but the fighting here seemed worse. Intense block to block combat. KEM rallied all he could but reports indicated that many Red Rebels were scattered throughout the city in need of help. KEM gathered all he could and head out to save his fellow Rebels.

Mission 4: The Slow Street
-Operator: Codename, Lil_misfit
Lil_misfit was in constant contact with his lead members trying to figure out the situation. The RRSC was getting flooded with job requests from around the United States but being so few in number they couldn't do them all. After days of conducting supply trips and coordinating members on their missions soon the Red For made it to rural America. Red Rebel convoys were being hit costing many in supplies and many injuries. Lil_misfit discovered that a small Pro-Red force was hiding in a small town nearby. It was time to stop them.

Those are my mission ideas that I want to play out to represent the beginning of the conflict. I hope it will be fun.

"Jonah"

Monday, September 25, 2017

Starting 28mm Modern Part 3 - Getting Terrain Made and Background Story

Hello,

So I'm still working in the shadows to get this Homefront game made but I'm being smarter than I was with Warhammer 40k. Right now I'm building Terrain Boards using poster boards, paint and flock. Hopefully they don't warp as this is a test. I have many 10 inch by 10 inch pieces along with a couple 8inch by 10 inch pieces (being used for rivers). So I've finished Zero Footprint and I've bought Dagger 22 for research purposes on how modern warfare works. I've also been watching combat footage and some documentaries on the Ukraine conflict. Once these terrain boards are made I'll work on the paper buildings from World Works Games but from what I've read I better act fast since the man who hosts the site is leaving it for another company. Here is a list of the items I'm buying as these seem to be the best for modern terrain:

Grey Stone and Office Flats: both 4 bucks - $8
Mayhem Services - $4
Mayhem Traffic - $4
Mayhem Street Props - $4
Mayhem Destroyed - $4 (This one I'm unsure of)
Mayhem Under Construction - $4
Mayhem Apartments - $4
Mayhem Armory - $4
Mayhem Junkyard - $4
Mayhem Bank - $8
Mayhem Police- $8
Mayhem Mall - $8
Mayhem Marina -$8
Mayhem Rail - $8
Mayhem Streets - $8
Total - $88

Now this is a lot but the way I see it I get loads of INFINITE terrain for this price unlike other expensive pieces of terrain. Using Card stock and foam makes these pieces very strong plus they are all modular meaning you can mix and match them in order to create your own pieces. So $88 dollars plus the cost of Glue, Card Stock, and Foam will make this well over 100 buckaroos but I have ideas for each set for battles. Maybe I can get some of my relatives to help me build this stuff... then again maybe not. So seeing this trend of spending when will I buy miniatures? When my terrain is done or at least most of it.

So I've been thinking about the story behind this homefront conflict and here it is so far:

I will be playing a company called the "Red Rebels Security Company", these guys are a small company of 100 members ranging across the world split into two Operations. The American Operations (AmOp) and the European Operations (EuOp, pronounced YOU-OP). Overall three people run the company, all who are stationed in the United States. They have members from all over with varied experiences in Security and Combat ranging from fighting cartel members in Bolivia and allied with various Counter Terrorism groups in stopping major or growing organizations. Made up of Ex-Military, Special Forces, CIA, and various other elite groups this small security force is very skilled.

Upon the increase of the Ukraine conflict and a surge of Radical Islam in the middle east the NATO nations took actions to help prevent these from breaking out causing more damage. Bombings, shootings and various demonstrations were common throughout NATO countries causing internal conflict. Unbeknownst to the United States their navies were one day attacked by unknown and unmarked ships. A few months later various radical groups, ranging from radical religious and political groups, began to accelerate their attacks and were seen with weapons as if they had become militarized. These conflicts popped up around the country for many months as the national guard and police forces dispatched of each of them but they kept happening.

Then it happened, one "protest" was eliminated quickly but a known Russian spetnaz was killed there. After this was found various sleeper cells were activated, unknowingly to the US Gov, and the invasion began by the combined forces known as "Red For".

"Red For" is made up of North Korea, Russia, Mexico, and many other smaller nations. Though China refuses that they are apart of this new coalition many of the Red For's arms can be traced back to Chinese factories but with no proof of the Chinese supplying them purposely no action can be taken against them. Large naval and aerial attacks began to happen across the United states as various paid Cartel and the Mexican military began occupying the southern reaches of the United States. Needless to say chaos ensued as the Military and Government flew into action.

That is my story so far. I hope it is understandable and reasonable but who cares... it gives me an excuse to use many miniatures I want and to recreate America and fight for it!

So as you see my thought process on how I'm going to be building up my collection and ruleset is now becoming finalized. For whatever game you're getting into you don't have to follow my process but if you really give thought into what you want to play and build it will make the experience more fun for you! One problem I have is I can't find any suburban/rural American buildings in paper terrain forum which seems to be a problem but I think after building those PDFs I can either make my own or mix the pieces to build my own!

Welp I hope this is helping you guys out with your hobby as this blog is helping me out!

"Jonah"

Friday, September 22, 2017

Starting 28mm Modern Part 2 - More minis and Painting Tuts

Hello,

I've been looking more and more for getting into 28mm modern and I've found some more websites for modern miniatures.

Eureka Miniatures 
USA Version

This website has a neat looking collection of German, us, soviets and terrorists. I haven't bought any but they all seem to be in good detail. Within' their modern category there are two types of 28mm, Eureka (made by the company) and kriegspiel. Both look cool and would provide for a unique looking army. They even have Japanese modern troops! Now I don't know if the USA vs AU websites provide different products but there are two versions of the site.

Now I haven't checked this site out fully but it seems to be a good resource also providing some vehicles and unique unit types.

S&S

We will have to see if I order from them. But there are other sites mentioned on boards that I haven't checked fully but seem to be well stocked with good choices for variety of theatres of combat.

Mongrel Miniatures
"Sloppy Jalopy"
 Gripping Beast

Both I've read much about and they seem to be, as said before, a good variety. I still don't know exactly what period I'll be playing in so i have to think about this when looking at the stores and unit types that I want. Another thing I didn't think about until at work was learning how to paint camouflage.  So here are TWO cool places I found neat tutorials that really give you an idea on how to paint ANY camo scheme that you want to. One, this tells you how to paint 6 different types of camo and after reading each tutorial I think I could choose a random scheme and follow his thought process on how to paint it. Two, this is a simple tutorial on how to paint multicam. This one turns out neat and shows what attention to detail and patience can come up with. I'm going to practice these types of painting methods on my remaining T'au Figures coming up with my own Purple,black,grey,white camo scheme that would make them unique.

I also began to think about the ruleset that I would play. I want one with vehicles but I don't really think I'll have vehicles in it as much as I think I will. In my mind I've been deciding between Force on Force (Osprey Version) and Spectre Operations. I'm still leaning towards Spectre Operations as the starter set is just too great of a deal plus it has such great reviews it has to be good! It also uses 6 sided dice which is all I have at the moment while Force on Force uses polyhedral dice sets in its game. This weekend I will be picking up another book on modern warfare and looking for good paper terrain to represent modern day America.

My idea for the theatre of war will be the Homefront theme. Since my battles will be small I'm going to pick up a poster board and cut it into either 2'x2' or 1'x1 squares and base it. The reason I want to do that is so that I can make up my own scenarios without feeling restricted by actual events that have happened. Of course this could change as I don't really see any good "rebels" to represent every day Americans with. My 2nd choice of conflict would be focusing on a PMC group that travels the middle east or south america doing jobs. This would allow me to make up missions again without the restrictions. Of course I could just make up my own country and fight over it but I want the "conflict" to feel real or possible to the readers of my battle reports. Then again... doing a Homefront type game really doesn't feel real to many Americans as we think that could never happen but I'll come up with something.

Anyways, hope these links and tutorials help you on your own project.

"Jonah"