Monday, February 27, 2017

Progress Review #1

It is the end of the first full month since I've started my new direction. At least until I completely finish my initial purchase, I want to do a review at the end of the month to look at the progress I have made and where I plan to go next month. I had hope I would get more accomplish but at least I've made more progress than my usual pace last year.

As you can see I only got to Team Yankee stuff this month. All six tanks are mostly assembled. One of the smoke launchers was deflective so the far end T-72 can't be finished until I get the replacement in about 2 weeks. The Leopard 2 and one T-72 is fully primed and I started painting them. I should get to/finish priming the remaining 3 T-72s tomorrow. I was really up in the air on how to paint my tanks. For some reason green and red was strongly appealing for both countries. For West German I wanted to do green, red and yellow camo. I didn't have the right shade of yellow so I had to buy it. For the Soviets I was leading to green as a main color, something else for a secondary color for one formation and red as a main color with the green as a secondary for the other formation. I was a little worried at first that my two countries were going to look too similar. Fortunately I don't think that will be an issue now. I had a lot of Flames of War paint I've never used and it help solve my dilemma. It had a brown in the set that look like red to me. I thought it was the perfect shade for my Germans and I knew I wanted a stronger red for my Soviets. Even better the set had two different greens: Reflective Green and Luftwaffe Green.

Luftwaffe Green was what I was feeling towards my West Germans. The Reflective Green is suitably different to work with my Soviets. I've only just started painting but I'm liking what I'm seeing so far. The next thing I need to try is red for the other Soviet formation. Funny enough I already have a strong red from Games Workshop.

I'm going to use that red camo with the Reflective Green. I hope this comes out well as I'm picking my colors in the Joy of Painting style. I hope to be done with the painting on most of the tanks in a week or two. After that I'm going to need to pick up a gloss spray so I can follow in the footsteps of what Tracy did for his Soviets. It might have been what I did wrong with my US as I didn't put a gloss coat on before I added the shade.

For next month I plan on finishing the tanks, do a little work on the Gepard and Fliegerfaust Gruppe I already had, start on the Plague Monks and Relic Knights and maybe do something with BattleTech. I don't see myself getting into the Hordes stuff until April or May. Let see how much of this I can get done by the end of March.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Team Yankee Tactics: Mistaken Target

I think a lot of people do not realize how useful the Mistaken Target rule is in Team Yankee. Its value does take a bit to truly appreciate. I myself didn't realize some of the things that could be done with it until I play a few games where it came up. Here I will share some ways the Mistaken Target rule can help you in games.

First I better explain what the Mistaken Target rule is. When your opponent is shooting at one of your platoon, they pick an individual team to target. The attacker can assign the hits how they like as long as the first hit goes on the initial targeted team, and all the hits are evenly distributed within 6 inches of that target. Mistaken Target comes in here as now the defender has the option to swap all the hits on one legal team with all the hits on a second legal team. The first use most players think of for this rule is if some teams in the platoon are inoperative (bailed/bogged down) then you want to try to move as many hits away from the active tank teams. But this just scratches the surface of what you can do with it. Look at this example:

In this example an Abram shot at the T-72s and hit once, putting the hit on tank marked A. You might think it doesn't matter which tank gets hit but it does. Tank A is within 16 inches of the Abram while tank B is more than 16 inches. That puts Tank B at long range so its armor is 1 higher. So it would be in the Soviet player's best interest to swap hits for a higher chance of a tank surviving. In a related note, remember you have to keep track of where each hit came from, especially if some of the shooters are getting side shots like in this next example:

Let's assume the Abrams in this example are more than 8 inches away. If each Abram hit once then the US player would want to put the hit from C on Tank B and D on to Tank A so it would be impossible for the Soviets to make an Armor save because it would be side shots. The Mistaken Target rule would allow the Soviet player to swap hits so both shots would be on front armor. In the heat of battle it can be easy to forget to use the Mistaken Target in this way. On the flip side, a tank "knife" fight is far more deadly than I initially thought. I figure that if my opponent is going to flank my tanks and there is no way to stop it, I would deploy my vehicles facing every directions, hoping I could then use Mistake Target to put as many shots as possible on front armor. What I didn't realize until recently is that if my opponent close the distance, then not only can they practice place the hits for maximum side shots, I also wouldn't be able to use Mistake Target rule because they are too close. In the above example the Abrams are actually 4 inches away, which would prevent the Soviets from using Mistake Targets. In this in mind for your games.

In the next example I have two pictures. In the first picture things are in the actual distance I will be describing. The second picture is a close up of the action so it would be easier to see what the issue is.

This situation happen in my last game, to my detriment. I pointed the issue out in hopes for me and Tracy to become better gamers and it bite me in the end. In this example it is the US turn and the Cobra hasn't fired yet. Wanting to protect my aircraft, I attempted to wiped out the enemy AA. The Soviets still had two working Shilkas and I just had my HQ tank to take them out. The Abram only hit once so I put the hit on the Shilka labelled A. It doesn't matter what angle the shot is coming from, any hit on a Shilka from an Abram is practically a dead Shilka. However in this case, Shilka A is in range of the Cobra while Shilka B is just outside of range to shoot at the aircraft. Since there is nothing else to shoot at the Shilkas it is in the Soviets player best interest to swap the hit so they can still do AA fire on the Cobras. In our actually game we played West Germans vs Soviets and I lost a Tornado because of this situation.

So always be aware what your opponents can still shoot next before deciding on using Mistaken Target rule and rolling saves. Because just swapping hits away from the active tanks may not be in your best interest. Instead it might be more beneficial to try to protect certain Anti-Aircraft teams or move hits onto teams that are the only targets for enemies that still can shoot.

One last point on Mistaken Targets and its something I only learn when I decided to write this post. Infantry can ALWAYS use the Mistaken Target rule outside of assaults. The restriction on using Mistaken Targets specifically mentions tank teams. And I think this makes sense. No matter how close you get, the enemy probably can't tell which individual soldier is apart of which team. And even if you could snipe a special weapons guy like a Milan Missile Team, the platoon probably has some people cross trained with those weapons and could pick them off the dead guy. In fact, something like that happen in the Team Yankee novel. use the Mistaken Target rule if they are outside 4 inches. Their usage of 'either' confused me and I thought the rule was saying something else. The thing I've never notice before is that you can't swap hits to a tank within 8 inches even if the initial target is more than 8 inches away. I always just check to see if the target was within 8 inches or not. I know now I need to also pay attention to who the hits is getting swap to. I also thought that if someone in the shooting platoon was within 8 inches, then none of the platoon's shoots could be swap. But this is incorrect. You need to check whether each shooting team's shots can be swap separately. Sorry for the error.

I hope I was able to offer some advice on playing Team Yankee. If you know of some tactics using the Mistaken Target rule that I didn't cover, please leave a comment about it. Thank you for reading.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

The New Beginning Starts Now!

I got my Battlefront stuff today so now I'm ready to discuss my miniature fresh start. Here is a group shot of everything I picked up.

One thing you may notice is that there is no World War 2 miniature. I was planning on getting the Kleinpanzer Wanze to restart my Flames of War force because its a cool looking vehicle but I eventually decided to just drop it for now. Part of the reason was being unsure which Flames of War list to work on since working on multiple German list sometime have as much in common with each other as complete different armies. Also with Team Yankee going from "a game I may get to play sometime in the future, maybe" to "setting up a Team Yankee night", I have more of an incentive to get my Team Yankee stuff done.

From my Battlefront only picture, you can tell I dropped the T-72 singles and the Wanze to get the T-72 box instead. And its a good thing that I did. I had plan to buy a single tank here and there and maybe get the Potecknov's Bears box set from my local store. I now know that won't work for me because of decals. I hadn't taken a good look at the Soviet decals until I open my box and they sucked, at least for my purpose. For start there are only 16 big number decals on the sheet. I don't know why they have two different size numbers on the sheet but if I'm going to use any decals, I'm going to use the same size on all my T-72. My list has 20 tanks so I will need to customize a few numbers no matter what. However the numbers on the sheet is what really gives me problems. The sheet has the numbers "200" and every number between "216" and "230". I don't see a system that makes sense using those numbers. What's extra strange is that you couldn't number your tanks the same way as the tanks on the T-72 box picture. All the tanks on the box are numbered in the 300s. There is noway to number your tanks in that way because they only give you 2 pairs of 3s. Long story short, trying to number my tanks in a way that makes sense to me is going to require a bunch decal sheets. To grab as many decal sheets as possible means I should only buy my tanks in the T-72 Tankovy Company box. I guess this does makes my next three Soviet purchase straight forward.

My West German force is a different story. I don't have either a partial or full list preset to build for my West Germans so I have a different set of considerations for what to get next. A combination of options I'm likely to choose often and reducing proxies are my top priorities. With those in mind artillery will one of the last things I will get as I can us my US 109s to stand for West German's M109s in the meantime. That said, getting my first Leopard 2 assemble is going to be nice but I am really not sure where to go next. I need tank decals so getting the Leopard 2 box or the German Army deal is a good idea. At this point I am not sold on the helicopters so I will probably go with the Leopard 2 box. I just think helicopters are too expensive point wise and I need to play a lot more games with them before I commit to them. The Marder box is another strong option as I will need some amount of infantry to balance my force. With all things consider I think my next Team Yankee purchase will be the Leopard 2 box so I can finish my current Leo2 with my following West German purchase most likely being the Marder box.

Moving on to Warhammer, I was able to get exactly what I wanted to start my Age of Sigmar Poison Army. I love the 3 snap together Chaos Warrior box. It maintains the Chaos aspect of the army and gives me something to practice a new color scheme. The focus of the army however will be with Skaven and the Plague Monks will give me my first taste of rats. I already have square bases to base them with. The next step with them is either another box of Plague Monks since my local store has one on the shelf, the Pestilens Starter Box or the Clan Rats box to get more square bases and rat bits. I will need quite a few more purchases before I will have enough to play with the army. I also need to keep an eye on the General's Handbook 2 news as that may change the outlook of my army. For that matter I need to learn what's in the Pestilens Battletome as well.

It's a little easier to determine what to get next for Hordes and BattleTech after these purchases. Nothing for a while! In BattleTechs case I feel I only need a few mechs for my purpose. Proxying is not as big of an issue in BattleTech and Chris has more than enough models to supply us both for the campaign. I don't need that many mechs to show off the look of my force and I think both the Warhammer and Longbow capture the essence of my army. If need be I can always add one or two more mechs later based on what I will bring in the campaign.

On the other hand I'm getting nothing for Hordes for while because I truly have no idea what to get. I still haven't play enough to even know I like the game. My knowledge on the game and Circle Orboros is quite low. I pick up the Druid Wilder because I really feel she will fit in how I want to play the game. They didn't have the Warbeast I was interested in so I grab Morvahna the Autumnblade instead. I knew I wanted her eventually and I need a warlock to start playing with so I figure might as well start with her. I wanted to start with a different warlock but I never found anyone else I was interested in. I initially wanted Morvahna later was because the story I'm crafting doesn't have her appear for a while, at least in combat. At least now when she does appear in my story I should be good at using her. But that is a long way down the road. Right now learning the game and what is my prefer play style are my top Horde priorities.

I initially wanted to pick up two female cloud giants to go into my Shieldmaiden army. I decide to just grab one now to see if I like the model and how I can paint it. If it turns out well then I will pick up a second cloud giant shortly. After taking her out the package and getting a good look at her, I think chances are good I will be getting that second one. The second giant will probably be a good time to practice doing conversions such as giving her a different weapons.

I'm really excited about everything I pick up. I hope by the end of the month I can have half the Plague Monks, the Chaos Warriors, and all the Team Yankee stuff finish. I'm already getting Team Yankee games in and I should be getting BattleTech and Hordes games soon as well. A gallery page will be forthcoming so I will have a place to post my progress with all these projects. Stay tune. Thanks for reading!

Sunday, February 5, 2017

The Delay is Over!

I finally got my Christmas purchase done. My Battlefront order should be here early next week and I have everything else on my gaming table. What I ultimately got is a little different from my initial plans. I will go into how when my Battlefront stuff arrives and I can do a group picture. For now I want to go over my immediately Team Yankee plans.

Tracy has returned to the hobby and picked up the new books. We were given the option the join the next campaign our Oklahoma friends were putting together. We both decided to decline as the campaign was starting that week and we wanted some time to get back into the swing of things (and I was still busy for another week moving). Tracy has found a lot interest in both the British and East German armies. However he wants to get some games in before he invests in them. I on the other hand has shelf my incomplete US army to make a West German and Soviet force. With the prospect of actually getting games in I will be investing in Team Yankee a lot more than I thought I was going to do. We have restart doing Team Yankee demos again though this is mostly Tracy. Today at the demo there was discussions to have a Team Yankee game night with a third player. Even being away from the scene for half a year, it seems our previous efforts are beginning to blossom a local Team Yankee scene beyond the two of us. And all this happen a little over the last 2 weeks.

So what does all this mean? For this blog it means more Team Yankee articles are incoming. It means more Team Yankee tutorials and battle reports on Tracy's channel. And it means we may soon have enough players and interests to do our own Team Yankee campaign. This is quite the unexpected turn around for me but I am excited for it. I have a few ideas for campaigns. Now I can feel confident to work on them and know I can put them to use almost immediately. I'm already thinking about what to get next but that is a discussion that should go with the upcoming group picture post. So I will leave things here. I need to start designing a logo for my AoS army anyway. Thank you for reading.