Friday, November 30, 2012

A Trip to the Dino Zoo

 Hi Kids, The North Carolina Zoo has a special exhibit going on, a display of, you guessed it, dinosaurs!  I've always been a big fan of these thunder lizards and figured they were worth a look.  I didn't bother writing down the names of these guys, and my memory ain't what it used to be, so we'll just have to rough it.  The first one is a Raptor made famous by that little known movie "Jurasic Park."  Speaking of Jurasic Park, a zoo employee told me that last week a visitor demanded her money back since she expected these animals to be real live dinosaurs. Eye-yi-yi..... At the very least us Pulp gamers can see examples of what "the experts" think dino color schemes would look like, although they admited they really have no idea and their paint schemes were based on lizards.
 A T-Rex the kids can climb on, if they have the guts.
 Stegosaurus. I remember this one since I was a kid.

 Something like Ceratosaurus?  Ring any bells?

 Aposomethingsomethingsaurus.  Used to be a Brontosaurus until they discovered it was the same dino that somebody else had already named.  Bummer.  I always liked the Brontosaurus.
 Ank...?  They said even it's eyelids were armored.  No doubt the speed demon of the prehistoric world.
 Compys.  Cute little guys.  Right up to the point when they gang-chew you.
Another childhood fav, the Triceratops!

 Big Daddy, the T-rex!  This is one of the anamatronic (it moves) ones.  From sheer dumb luck as I walked by it's head pivoted to follow me.  Yes, I know its a robot. But it was still creepy to have a 15 foot tall monster watching me go by.

 Lookit those beady little eyes.....
 T-rex babies in the nest.
 A better shot of the color scheme.
 Don't remember this guy's name, but they did not know if he was a carnivore or not.  Three foot claws though!

 A smaller well.....
 Don't know about this one either.  They said they didn't know if it spat poison or not.  Looks like it could.
 And don't brightly colored animals tend to be poisonous?
 And yes, the zoo has normal animals too.  Take this guy, for example. One of 8 or 10 elephants.
And a Barred Owl.  This is what provides the background in a few episodes of "Finding Bigfoot" on the Animal Planet Channel TV show.  It's feet look pretty small, though.
If you want to see the dinos you better hurry, their last day is Friday!  I've heard rumors that the  Winston-Salem "Sciworks" place has some different dinos on display, too, but haven't seen 'em.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Skeleton Archers for Undead army

Some more retro Warhammer. I have been getting ready for a game of Third edition Warhammer Fantasy Battle against Chuckaroobob at the upcoming GameOnGW games day 15 Dec2012 at Gaming Underground in High Point NC.

Back in third edition warhammer fantasy battle there was only an Undead army not the Vampire Counts and Tomb Kings in the current edition of fantasy battle. So you could field skeleton bowmen in any Undead army.

Another blast from the past, one of the skeleton bowmen from the original Skeleton Army Box set.

My four remaining bowmen. I have at some time lost one of them from the original box but still have the other five bits I didn't use. Back in fifth edition the Lahmian vampires could field units of skeleton bowmen and I bought a box of tomb king archer to make a unit for my Lahmian army. Before I built them a new army book came out and did away with the blood line special abilities. Now I have enough bits to build twenty five archers. I can knock them out rather quickly but while reading the Warhammer Armies book I came across the option for a skeleton unit to be equipped with arqubuses or the more current handguns.

So I know I have some handgunners around in a box some where, and a quick off with their heads and glue on some zombie heads, then bobs your uncle, Undead handgunners.


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

More Grim Reapers for the Undead Army

I am planning on Fielding an Undead army for my upcoming third edition Warhammer fantasy battle game against Chuckaroobob at the GameOnGw game day 15Dec2012 at Gaming Underground in High Point NC.
A little background, in Third edition Fantasy battle there wasn't Vampire Counts and Tomb King there was only Undead. One unit now gone from Vampire armies were the Skeleton Grim Reapers. They were skeletons equipped with scythes, that they used as two handed weapons. The original Skeleton army box had the bits for ten grim reapers and I built them that way back in the day. A couple editions later I was rebuilding my army into a Vampire counts army and did away with the grim reapers. I broke off their scythes and rebuilt them into swordsmen. I saved the bits and have since rebuilt them. I only had ten and I wanted a unit of twenty for my game against Chuckaroobob. So a  raid into the bits box.

I knew I had a bunch of scythes from the old zombie set an my original plan was to just use them as is. After mocking up a couple I didn't like the look and didn't want the Grim Reapers to have one fleshy arm and the rest all skeleton. So time to convert a zombie scythe to a skeleton scythe.

The start of the conversion, a zombie scythe arm and a skeleton morning star arm.

My first go at the conversion was cutting the both arms at the wrist and pinning them together. It went together pretty good but then I had to go back and sculpt the wrist bones back on with greenstuff. I could make it work but back to the drawing board.

Plan B, more straight forward. Cut the morning star off of the skeleton hand and drill a hole through the grip. Then cut the zombie hand out of the center of the scythe and drill both sections. Then run a piece of brass wire through the skeleton hand and set the two sections of scythe on the wire and glue. I was careful to drill in the center of the hand and scythe handles. After I glued them on, I just had to go back and greenstuff the gap between the handles and the hand. Ready for the model.

The second half of the Skeleton Grim Reapers starts to take shape.

The second half of the Grim Reapers finished. I though about making a more dynamic pose with the skeletons holding the scythes across their chest but decided to stick with a quick conversion and have less trouble ranking them up.

The whole unit of Grim Reapers. The old style scythes are decidedly smaller than the zombie scythes but I can live with it. I still might make some command models for them or just use one of the other sets I already have built and painted. I plan to have them lead by either a Necromancer or Undead hero for the game but I am still finalizing my list.

About half way through building them I started asking my self what I was going to do with them in a game for the current edition of Warhammer fantasy Battle. The first option is to use them as back rankers for my skeleton spear man unit. That will give me a forty skeletons for a good sized horde formation. I think the better option is as back rankers for my Grave Guard unit. That would give me thirty five Grave Guard, probably a better use until I get some more oop Grave Guard to fill out the unit.

Thanks for looking


Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Skeleton Grim Reapers for Undead army

The lads over at GameOnGw are planning another Games day on 15Dec2012. This year they are having it at Gaming Underground in High Point NC. The goal is to get people together for some good Games Workshop gaming. I was talking to Chuckaroobob about whether he was going to the games day or not and he wasn't planning to. So after a bit of reminiscing about the golden days of third edition warhammer fantasy we decided to play a game of third edition and possibly another game of Rogue Trader at the Games Day.

My first army for third edition was built up from a Slaanesh Chaos warband. A bunch of the models from that army have either had the paint striped off of them or been rebased the last time I was working on my chaos warriors .I probably have enough Beastmen but would have to finish up a bunch by December 15th.  We are going to play with all painted figures so my next two choices were  my Vampire Counts or Empire. With all of the work I have done on the Vampires they get the nod.

I started reading up on the Undead army from the 3rd edition Warhammer Armies book. Once again Game workshop came back to make fun of me. Back when I was updating my army for fifth edition fantasy battle, I had broken off all the scythes from my unit of Skeleton Grim reapers. I used those models to round out a unit of skeleton swordsmen. So back to the bits box, the only good thing about being a little bit of a pack rat.

After a dive into the bits box I came back with ten scythes from my original Skeleton army box. The one problem is that all of the shoulders on the arms had to be drilled out where I had broken them off years ago. A bit of drilling later and I could glue them back on to the skeletons.

The unit starts to take form. Nothing like a pile of over twenty year old bits being put back into use.

The unit of Grim Reapers ready for some primer. So the first ten are complete but I want a unit of twenty.

I have been in the bits box again and will post up about the second half of the unit.


Monday, November 26, 2012

Battle of Cuito Cuanavale using Disposeable Heroes with the Catawba Gamers

Once again Chuckaroobob has pulled out the stops for another great Catawba Gamers game day. This time we return to 1988 Angola for the South African Operation Hooper and the battle near Cuito Cuanavale.
I the historical battle the South Africans and UNITA attacked the Angolan FAPLA and their Cuban allies in what would become the largest tank battle since WWII. The Historical result was after attacking six times the South African finally had to retreat with destroying the FAPLA/Cuban forces. We used the Disposable Heroes rules and the Seek Out Close With and Destroy supplement form Iron Ivan.
We used several different army list for the troops. The UNITA and FAPLA were played using a modified Zipra list from the Man Among Men Rhodesian war supplement. The South Africans used a modified Rhodesian Light Infantry list with additions ( the Milan Launcher team) from the Modern British list on the Iron Ivan yahoo group. The Cubans were based on the Soviet Airborne rifle Platoon list from the By The Knife Supplement. The T55's, Btr-152, and  BTR-60 came from the By The Knife supplement while the South African Olifants used a modified MK5 Centurian from the Long Road South supplement and the armored trucks came from the Man Among Men Supplement.

Onto the game.

Fapla DSHK 12.7mm heavy machine gun crew scans the sky from a hilltop near the village.

UNITA troops move into Assault range of the village. They hide in a shell hole left by the South African G5 155mm bombardment used to soften up the village.

The long view of the battle field. The FAPLA have their backs to the river as the UNITA move into the town.

As the engagement heats up both sides call for reinforcements, The FAPLA their Cuban Allies and UNITA their South African allies. The UNITA takes the command shack at the bombed airstrip but face a FAPLA counter attack.

Cuban crewed armor arrives on the field.

A South African Olifant arrives and Fails to destroy anything.

A BTR-60 carrying a Cuban Airborne rifle squad and platoon commander advances into the village, backed by a T34/85 and covered by the machine gun from a BTR-152.

Cuban T-55 destroys an empty South African Cassipir truck.

A Cuban T-55 Acquires the South African Olifant but Fails to destroy it.

The Olifant's luck doesn't last and the combined fire of three T55 tanks brews it up.

One Cuban T-55 doesn't celebrate long as a South African Milan finishes it off.

The South African move into take the village but are pinned down in a shell hole.

South African At rocket destroys an empty Cuban Btr-60

Angolan t34/85 decides that if we can't have the village neither can they and destroys a building with its 85mm main gun.

After taking a hit from a UNITA rocket propelled grenade, A heavy machine gun destroys a Cuban BTR-60 and kills all but two passengers.

End Game, With both South African Olifant tanks destroyed and most of the South African forces pinned down The Cuban armor starts to move into the village. We called the game and ruled it a Cuban Victory but I still think the South Africans could have pulled out a win but we ran out of time. I had fun playing and researching the game really helped introduce me to another interesting African conflict. The result mirrored the historical outcome but if we run the game again I think the South Africans should have access to some off board artillery to represent the G5 155mm artillery they had historically.

Unlike the last big game I helped Chuckaroobob run, Operation Barras at Catawba Gamers , we had play tested that game several times before running it for the club. This time around we didn't have that luxury and a bit of play testing may have helped the game run a bit smoother. A worse part is The Olifants inability to damage the T-55 tanks. They had enough gun but one shot bounced off of a T-55s tracks and another one that penetrated the hull failed to kill the driver. They could have destroyed them but the low damage rolls  didn't let it happen.