Thursday, 23 March 2017

Kampfgruppe Nordland part 2

Hi all

The next installment from Chris "Naps" Thorne and his excellent Bolt Action project.


For Bolt Action Rules

Well after a little taster with the 88mm Flak it's time to move onto the rest of the KG (see previous posts here and here) . I have now got ahead of where I wanted to be painting wise so we should now hopefully see a weekly update appearing in da grotto.......thank you Gobbo!

So first up the KG commander. In game terms I've taken him as a Veteran officer with one soldier  accompanying him as well as purchasing a medic as well.

He represents SS-Sturmbannfuhrer Rudolf Ternedde. Originally a Battalion Commander in SS Panzer-Grenadier Regiment 24 "Danmark". Ternedde was appointed commander of the remnants of Nordland's two infantry regiments, 23 "Norge" and 24 "Danmark" on 25th April 1945 following the death of the Regiments previous commander, Obersturmfuhrer Petersen. Both amounted too little more than battalion strength by this stage and Ternedde would lead them in the final days of fighting in Berlin. Ternedde is believed to have led the breakout attempt on the 1st May of the remains of the Nordland Division. He survived the war the breakout passing away in 1999.

During his combat service from 1940 to wars end he had been awarded the Iron Cross 1st and 2nd Class, German Cross in Gold, Honour Roll Clasp of the Army, Close Combat Clasp in Gold for 50 days of close combat, Wound Badge in Gold for 5 or more wounds and the Infantry Assault Badge.

The figure are all by Warlord games. I was able to find a company making 28mm propaganda posters, so have added one on the medics base.....blowing in the wind. It's the first time I've painted German camouflage from this period. I've attempted to recreate the autumn Oak leaf pattern on the reversible SS camouflage smocks. I used a You Tube channel, Wargames, Soldiers and strategy for guidance on this ( thank you). The pattern is actually applied with a cocktail stick rather than a brush, a new method for me and actually worked really well.....I think.....well this is what it should look like....

So before the next installment, I would be interested to know how much detail you want me to go into. Concentrate on painting or the historical side.......anyway let me know via da Grotto. Thanks to N4L for the photos and Gobbo for the time and space!!

thanks Naps!

hope you enjoy

Monday, 20 March 2017

The Grandest of all Temple Dogs

Hi all

I've returned from my tournament travels, pics and reports to follow but they will be next week ......probably ;-) 

So instead, a bit of a filler post until the end of the week when I'll treat you to Chris's next excellent Bolt Action update.

During the Black Friday madness, Wayland Games put this miniature out with a 40% reduction.  I ummed and ahhed as my Temple faction is already a very healthy size but I just love the idea of the very Temple itself defending the balance across the Isles.  Plus the model is just lovely.

The defence of the oldest temples and most sacred shrines is often entrusted to the great Oki Shisa. Mountains of ever watchful stone, still and silent for decades but always ready. None know how many Oki Shisa there are but these holy wardens are the bane of those who would attempt to manipulate their Ki against the Temple or hold sway over the land. The enchantments that gift the Shisa protection also imbue the stone with a keenness akin to a Masamune blade.

So like most Temple models he has a cheap, boostible melee dice pool, to go with this impressive combat ability it also has "Sharp" which ignores armour and toughness traits. +2 damage makes it destructive in melee too and "Tireless" means he'll not lose activations if he is engaged in combat, "durable" means it only ever loses one wound per melee action.

Oki is also "Souless" which means it passes opposed Ki tests automatically.  It is able to "leech" Ki from fellow Temple fighters and "Channel" it to others in a 12" bubble centred on itself meaning those who need the Ki can use it.  

Those of you who are following the game will note that Oki has a move of 0, which means it cannot move under normal circumstances, however it has a special unique ability that allows him to move 4" per activation or other attributes including denying opponents that the ability to interact with scenario objectives, which could make him an absolute roadblock in the game.

For the paintjob I took a medium grey for the main body and head with a gold neck torc and washed it heavily in GW's "Niklah Oxide" and then a dark green wash in certain areas.  Then drybrushed with the medium grey and then again with a light grey. Once that was done I painted the eyes a vivid blue and attempted a blue glaze to the nearest surfaces to represent the eyes glowing in a supernatural way and finally I added a homemade creeper/plant to climb up over the "living statue's" body and cover the gaps between the head and the body (which came in separate parts).  Added to a filler/spackle crafted base to represent the Temple floor it was done.

hope you enjoy

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Throwing down the Gaunlet - da Gobbo's response

Hi all

Before I get to the post, I've just noticed how close I am to getting 100,000 views - a figure I would not have imagined I would get near to when I started back up a couple of years ago, I'm just thrilled that people have taken to reading the stuff I put out there. So if I tip over the 100k mark in the next few days I'll bring forward the competition I was going to run in the summer to April as a thank you.

 Now we return you to your regular viewing...

you may remember last week, Rich "Nerd4Life" Gates issuing a challenge to the rest of the Nerd Herd (link is here). He of course took his beloved War of the Ring, a game none of the other Herders have taken up  before much to his annoyance.  Well I had to put my thinking cap on and come up with something special, something to grab the imagination of the lads......


Yes! it just screamed out to be taken up by the Herd.  I've played it once before with Damon but it has fallen to the wayside as these things do, Rich and Chris hadn't even looked in it's direction before - scandalous.  For those of you not familiar, 7TV2e is the latest version of the game produced by Crooked Dice that allows us gamers to recreate those cheesy 60's and 70's TV shows that had us enthralled every week.  Love you some Capt Scarlett - it's covered, The Sweeney your jam - covered, how about The Man From Uncle, The New Avengers, Dr Who - yep, yep, yep!!  Perfection....

I've lifted the following straight off the Crooked Dice website so feel free to head over there and read the rest but in a nutshell this is how it works....

The basic rules allow you to put together a cast of between 3 and 24 (or more!) models and fight other casts in abandoned warehouses, secret volcano lairs, forbidding jungles and underwater bases – in fact anywhere you like! Use your star qualities, special effects and gadgets to get your mission accomplished before the countdown ends and the episode is over. The core rules are generic, so if you’ve seen it on screen or had a dream about your perfect lineup, you can put your cast together quicker than ever before.

Making a 7TV 2nd Edition cast

There are two ways to make a 7TV cast; open casting and using a Programme Guide. The Programme Guides each detail in full the personalities and rules for all the models from one of 7TV Studios TV shows. Open casting is the system in the core rules, and allows you to choose a wide range of generic models to fit the kind of cast you’d like to build.
First you choose either a heroic or villainous cast. Each side gets a different mix of Stars, Co-Stars, Extras and vehicles to choose from. Then you choose your cast’s ratings – both sides play with an equal ratings value). This could be between 25 for a small game to 50 or more for a climactic blowout.

Fire vs Water!

Then you choose your Stars and Co-Stars. These are highly rated, but have excellent abilities. You have to include at least one Star or Co-Star model to lead your cast. Each one has access to two or more genres, or which there are 7: Civilian, Crime, Law and Order, Military, Science, Secret and Unknown. Then you pick your Extras (and vehicles). These provide the numbers your cast will need, but you can only include a particular Extra or vehicle if they share at least one genre with one or more of your Stars or Co-Stars. Tricksy.

Beware faulty gadgets!

The Episode

Image result for end credits of 1970's tv shows
There are 6 basic episodes you can play, all of which offer different rules to keep the game variable. Each episode will see 5 identical objective tokens played on the table, to represent vital info, secret plans, alien technology and the like. A win is more likely if you can grab as many as you can. Some episodes also feature the ‘maguffin’, a kind of really super objective. If you use it, make sure you end up with it!

Security guards on patrol

Image result for drama tv shows of the 1960'sGadget and Countdown cards

7TV wouldn’t be complete without gadgets – cutting edge technology you can use to get your models out of trouble in an instant. You’ll draw gadget cards from the deck of 20 then choose the ones you think will serve you best during your episode. You’ll also create a shared Countdown deck of cards, which will tick down during play. Once the last card is gone the episode will end. Each turn a player can turn over 1 or 2 cards (2 gives you benefits, but makes for a shorter game!) then play the event detailed on the last card drawn.There are 45 Countdown cards, including 15 more potent Finale cards. These add a random element to the proceedings, and make each turn start with a tactical choice – speed up the countdown for the benefits during your turn, or advance it normally and get more turns to play?

Heroes 2 NEWNinja DealParanormal ExterminatorsSCUBA

Plot Points

Image result for drama tv shows of the 1960'sAt this point you will have a pool of plot points in front of you (you can use anything for these – pennies, glass beads, dead spiders). You use these during your own turn to activate models and use some of their special effects, remove debilitating statuses and make more effective attacks. If you’re lucky you will have enough to do everything you want in your turn, but more often, you’ll have to make some tough choices. And try not to spend them all! You’ll need to keep some for you opponent’s turn, as you need them to try to protect your models from your opponent’s attacks. Phew!

So I've chosen the game system, what do I want to do with it? Now it would be really easy just to wheel out my TMNT miniatures, which is the reason why I looked into 7TV2e in the first place, but this smacks of a total lack of effort on my part - after all what have I done differently.  But at the same time they make such excellent 7TV2e casts and it would be a shame to not use them, especially in light of Crooked Dice producing a Programme Guide for them, so they have to be in. Btw you can find my previous TMNT posts in the links here, here, here and here. So what can I offer that's different? well a couple of things really.  First of all I'm going to scratch build a series of modular boards that would be perfect (I hope!) for gaming with the Turtles, I will of course chart my progress on that project on here in a series of posts and videos for the YouTube channel so you can see the boards develop.  This I think will be visually alluring and whet the Herd's appetite for the game. Is that enough to satisfy Rich's challenge? Well if not hopefully the second part of the project will appeal to the inner nerd of any gamer and it involves a certain enigmatic.........what's that? I've run out of time in this episode for the big reveal?  Oh well in the style of those amazing TV shows of our yesteryear - "Tune in next time for more 7TV2e!"

hope you enjoy

Monday, 13 March 2017

Daimyo of the South

hi all

This coming Saturday Damon "Rulez" Carlton and myself will once again be representing the Nerd Herd in a Bushido tournament - the Daimyo of the South. Hosted by a brand new Bushido retainer and all round good egg Ben Calvert-Lee and located at the Royal British Legion Portsmouth South club this 42 rice (point) tournament promises to be a day of competition played in the most relaxed of atmospheres, for me Bushidoists play very zen indeed!

No automatic alt text available.

Rulez will be taking his Savage Wave, a faction of snarling and brutal Oni (demons) and mischievous Bakemono (gremlin type creatures). Last time he did very well with his ninjas, running away with first place, so he's hoping to retain his Gold coin status this time around.

Me, I'll be taking my Silvermoon Trade Syndicate rather than my beloved Temple of Ro-Kan. The gangsters that make up the Syndicate operate in an entirely different way to the beneficent monks of the Temple so we'll see how I get on.

As to the rest of the competitors we are facing 3x Ito Clan (snake samurai), 1x KKZ (ninjas), 3x Tengu Decension (bird men), 1x Cult of Yurei (undead), 1x Prefecture of Ryu (human samurai), 2x other STS and another Wave. Sadly no Temple, if I had known that I would have taken them and sadly no Jung Pirates which surprises me as they are the latest releases.... 

I'll publish the list I took following the event so as to give no succour to my enemies, but it will come with the reasons I took them and of course an account on how we got on!


Friday, 10 March 2017

Kampfgruppe Nordland part 1

Hi all

Chris "Naps" Thorne has kindly updated us with his progress on his Bolt Action project in building his Kampfgruppe Nordland, the intro to which you can find here.


Well it's been a manic few weeks of painting and basing in my lair. The wife is still talking to me....... I think ....... So here is the first unit for the Kampfgruppe. A dreaded 88mm Flak manned by a not so impressive Volkssturm crew and led by a Luftwaffe NCO. Anyone who has seen the brilliant German film "Downfall" will remember this scene.

I wanted to try and recreate this if possible. In the end I settled for a Volkssturm crew manning the gun due to a lack of suitable miniatures. Hitler Youth had been used since 1943 as Flakhelfers with the Luftwaffe. Whether Volkssturm were crewing weapons of this calibrate/complexity in Berlin I'm unsure. There was certainly an 88 in the vicinity of Potsdamer during the fighting, photographed after the battle, and as most appeared to be employed without the characteristic gun shield, that's how I've chosen to portray it.

Figures are by Empress Miniatures Spanish Civil War range and it is a beautiful big beastie......the base is 6 inches square and I've added on a dice tray for orders, wounds and pins for Bolt Action.

Thanks to Rich for taking the photos.......really appreciated mate.

What a cracking piece, thanks Naps.

hope you enjoy

Monday, 6 March 2017

the Administrator

Hi all

Another purchase for my emerging Silvermoon Trade Syndicate.  May I present Zo, a Saiko-Komon (senior advisor) and a welcome addition to the support section of my faction which currently is a little light in favour of the heavy hitters.  As I've stated before Bushido is all about scenario and sometimes disrupting your opponent's plans are just as important as swatting him with a giant Buto!! Anyway here's his blurb from GCT....

Exactly how Old Zo is remains unknown as it seems he has been in service to the Gumis of the Silvermoon for decades. If the years have taken their toll on his body they have certainly not affected his cunning mind and his famed intellect. Nothing gets past the owl like eyes surveying every situation from behind his rimmed glasses, weighing up the myriad options available.

Looking at his card, Zo is weak in melee, has no ranged attack and offers very little to the combat swirling around him  but what he does do is subtle and far more important.  At the beginning of the turn he puts up his "Tax" aura and all of sudden its harder for the other faction to pull off life saving Ki boosts or game changing Ki Feats, all the time swelling the Ki available to Zo and with his "Trade" feat he can then channel that to his fellow STS gang members allowing them to use the Ki - useful? Hell yeah!

Paint wise, he was a lovely one piece miniature, which I'm very grateful for.  Sticking to the rich reds and purples of my faction colours.  One day I'll get the perfect lighting for my iPad and take some decent pictures, but each of his kimono sections has a different floral pattern  which is fairly decent.

I have a tournament in a couple of weeks and I'll be taking the Silvermoon Trade Syndicate, maybe Zo will make an appearance, although at this stage he's untested so it will be a gamble, but gambling is what these guys do best......

hope you enjoy

Friday, 3 March 2017

Throwing down the gauntlet!!

Hi all

this was submitted to me by Rich, our resident "butterfly nerd" so I've just posted it in it's entirety.

I have been a nerd since I was about 13 and for most of that time I have been well and truly in the closet, having only “come out” in more recent years. In fact since I met Da Gobbo Andy! Andy taught me to embrace myself and nurtured me in what can only be described as a safe loving and welcoming environment. Thanks Andy I love You!

However, Andy has now joined various groups that partake in various activities and he is constantly trying to entice me into these “unusual meetings". However, I am a monogamous nerd and apart from the safe shelter of the nerd herd where I am among like minded caring nerds I prefer to practice my fetish alone!

Which brings me neatly onto the reason for my post today, one of the problems with the Nerd Herd apart from us living extremely busy lives and finding it hard to get regular game time is that we all have slightly different interests within the hobby and struggle to co ordinate projects. With the exception of our "Tale Of Four Gamers" post last year we have failed utterly to stick to one project.

Damon “Rulez” is a pure Bushidoist and trying to get him to do anything else is like trying to take a lolly from a two year old. He says he wants to try different games but then Bushido keeps calling, to be fair he won a tournament as regular readers know and his painting is amazing for someone who didn’t paint until six months ago

Chris “Naps” is a git! He decides to start a new project and tells us all, we all get excited and then he buys every model available and paints them all in a week. I have just about started looking on eBay for the rule book by this point! He will generally have three project on the go at once and finish them before the rest of us have had our dinner!

Andy “Da Gobbo” well Andy is all things to all nerds his output is superb quality varied and finished at a good pace. He is always keen for a new project and supportive. I know I drive him mad with my butterfly nature and slow painting.

And then me Richard “Nerd 4 Life” I am a total butterfly as I said I buy a box set and move onto the next project before the cling film wrap is removed. I paint slower than a sloth and struggle to keep up with the others. I am also the only Pro Games Workshopper in the group and am constantly trying to get the others interested in games like, Epic, War of The Ring, Space Hulk etc.

With all that in mind it is small wonder we don’t get a lot of games in so I have decided to set the herd a challenge. We are all to pick one game and over the next 12 months we must paint two opposing forces (can use models & systems already owned) Once that is done we will host an evening (food and beer to be included) and demo it to the herd. This has to be a game that we have not played in the group before NO BUSHIDO ANDY & DAMON!!!!

The aim is to motivate us all to carry on with our solo projects but have an incentive to finish a project and its an excuse for us to try a new system or visit something old that we love.

So with that in mind I will be going with War of The Ring from Games Workshop. For those of you who don’t know this is a brilliant game. It is a large scale many model games (probably a bad thing for me but I do have a lot painted already) I love the cinematic nature of the game and the way it reflects beautifully for me the book and films. Personally, it’s the best system I ever played and I can’t wait to show it off to the herd!

I have attached some pictures of my armies I have so far over the short term I will be finishing off my Galadhrim Elves and should be ready to demo in about three months, that’s the plan anyway. I will of course let you all know how I am getting on. I am someone who needs a deadline so making a public declaration like this will help me see this through. So nerds are you with me or against me?


So N4L has thrown down the gauntlet and issued that challenge, I for one will pick it up!  I've got a project in mind and this fits in with my plan beautifully. I've put in my orders for the required forces and will announce my project over the coming months but for the moment I'm going to keep it under my hat!!


Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Crabs in da Grotto......scratch....scratch

Hi all

once again I find myself apologising for my title, couldn't help myself....

Another reinforcement for my Bushido Jung Pirate faction and this is one of the best yet!! So this time we have Tetsuso.  This monster burst onto the scene last year and I was stunned not to see him in a Pirates line up at the tournament last year. On a 50mm base he is a stunning "tank" of a miniature and brutal in combat.

There comes a time after many cycles when a Korusea has spent so long living a life on the waves that he starts to become more comfortable on the gentle rocking of a ship than the solid earth of land. Tetsuso has been touched by the Kami of the sea and turned into a monster of shell and claw, a formidable adversary capable of snapping bone and steel alike.

looking at his card then, first of all you see he weighs in at a hefty 10 rice putting him an expensive bracket but you get loads of bonuses for that 10 rice.

"Armour (3)" and a hefty 10 point wound track means this boy/crab/monster is gonna stay in the fight and with 3 melee dice, a choice between his Naginata or Kami blessed claws he'll either strike first or finish the fight with relative ease. Combined with his Ki feat "Crushing Blow" giving him "Brutal and "Armour Piercing" he can really tear it up! He causes "Fear (5)" meaning it's likely his opponent is going to lose a dice in melee too.

base colours
 Paint wise he was fairly simple as I blocked the legs and shell with Vallejo's "Orange Brown" and painted the "man" part with my Jung faction colours.

For shading I pretty much covered the whole model with GW "Carroburg Crimson" except for his hair and weapon. I then re shaded the shell and legs with Army Painter "Strong Tone" and another coat of Crimson.


Fight wise, the guy is a tank and can be thrown right down the centre of the battlefield causing trouble and being trusted to hold his own against most opponents.  Like his "Sharky" brother he is rather unsubtle and not really to be used to interact with scenario objectives.

hope you enjoy