Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Operation Bear 2019 - Player Pack

Operation Bear 2019

Welcome to the player pack for this year's Operation Bear Bolt Action Tournament.

Last year Operation Bear was Melbourne's largest ever Bolt Action Event and this year looks to be only bigger!

 Operation Bear 2019 will be held at Good Games Melbourne on Sunday, the 4th of August 2019.

Operation Bear continues to be a Bolt Action event aimed at providing established players with a fun, casual event that is slightly different from your stock standard wargaming event and is aimed at encouraging new players in trying out Bolt Action for the first time!

Good Games 
Level 1, 365 Lonsdale Street
Melbourne, VIC 3000
(03) 9670 0102

Contact Information:
For more information, to submit an army list and for registration information please email Brad at:  whatisabattle(at)gmail (dot) com

Please be on time for this event. Registration opens at 9:15 AM on the 4th of August. Games will begin at 9:30 AM. 

Army Lists:
Given that this event is geared towards fun, inclusive play and that it is designed to welcome newer players to Melbourne's Bolt Action scene, I have fairly high standards for listing for this event. As a result I will be rather draconian with list submissions. I would like to emphasise that this is an fun, casual event. 

I would like to encourage people to experiment and play with lists that are fun to play with and to play against. This is NOT a win at all costs event. The TO reserves the right to ask players to resubmit army lists that are considered... perhaps "too hard" for the spirit of the event. 

If you are unsure, please ask. 

All armies for this event should be no larger than 667 points.

Given this low points level:

  - Armies cannot include free units of any kind. That includes arty observers, free squads or free squads that you get if you buy two of a similar type (see national rules).
 - Armies can have up to two armoured vehicles with armour of 7 or one armoured vehicle with armour of 8 or more.

  - Armies may not include more than three soft skinned vehicles.

  - Armies must be made up using the generic reinforced platoons rules and armies CANNOT contain more than one platoon. That is right, your army has to be one and only one platoon.

  - Forces cannot include more than one flame thrower per army

  - Tank Platoons are not allowed for this event

  - The German squad from The Western Desert Book that confers a free LMG is not allowed for this event.

Please make sure that you are familiar with the most up to date rules FAQ PDF available (for free) from the Warlord Games Website.

Please email them to: whatisabattle(at)gmail (dot) com

Given the purpose of the event, we will have 9 trophies on offer at this event. Most of these have nothing to do with winning games on the tabletop, that is intentional. That said, there will be plenty of prizes in addition to this that players will be eligible to win. Prizes will be randomly drawn after the trophies have been handed out.

Best Sportsman (for the player that folks most liked playing)
Best Painted Army (as determined by players in the event)
Best Themed Army (as determined by the TO, if your army has a theme make sure this is communicated to the TO, I would recommend writing an accompanying fluff piece)
Hobby Hero (For next level conversions, painting and theming combined... The total package)
Best New Player (You are eligible for this if this is your 1st or 2nd ever Bolt Action Event)
Bolt Action Badass (For the player that takes a list that bucks the meta and avoids the obvious efficient units). 
1st Place
2nd Place
3rd Place

These awards will be spread out. Players will not be able to win more than one. If a player is eligible to win multiple awards, they will be given the choice of which one they would like and the unchosen trophy will be passed onto the next eligible player. 

As stated above, Operation Bear is a FOUR game tournament.  Each round will last roughly 90-100 minutes.  In Round 1 players will be chosen at random but grudges are possible at player request. We will be using 4 missions over the course of the day. Three will be objective based missions and one will be based on "Meeting Engagement" (where you win by "killing" more order dice than you lose). No mission in this event will allow vehicles to claim or contest objectives at all. 

Games will be played on 4X4 tables on this event!

This is shaping up to be Melbourne's largest Bolt Action event ever. Because of this, as a TO, I will be not be playing as a "gumby" if we have an odd number of players. I will endeavour to have a gumby army on the day if we need one but if this is not possible, a bye might be necessary. Should a player end up with a buy, they will receive the points as though they had won the round.

As a TO, I will not be entering or be eligible to win any prizes or awards at this event.

To submit an army list and for registration information please email Brad at:  whatisabattle(at)gmail (dot) com

The event costs $25 which must be paid via PayPal prior to the event to hold your place.

For this event you will need:
   Warlord order dice (rounded edges preferred) and enough six sided dice to play the game
   3, 40mm circular objective markers
   A tape measure
   The rulebook and relevant “Armies of…” book or approved PDF list
   Pin markers
   A pen and/or a pencil
   3 print outs of your army list
   An appropriate dice bag

We would like to thank our incredibly generous sponsors for this event:

 The War and Peace gang have once again generously provided prize support this tournament.  As the Australian distributor of Warlord games products they have a great selection of product AND have a super friendly and helpful staff that love to "talk shop."  Give them a call or check them out online:

We would also like to express our thanks to Warlord Games for writing such a great game system (Bolt Action) and for consistently providing great prize support for our events.  Thanks guys!!!

We would also like to sincerely thank Michael from Laser Shark Designs for his excellent work in helping us to have cool, laser cut trophy components and custom tournament swag!

Friday, February 8, 2019

1/56 G.I. JOE VAMP Jeep

 Today I am back to talk about another of my favourite G.I. Joe vehicles. The VAMP was the second Joe vehicle that I collected as a kid and over the years it is easily one of the toys that I played with most. Naturally, it was one of the first models that I wanted to add to this army.

I got this model from Shapeways and even though it is made from a low quality material, once painted, I think it came up nicely! The sponge method used to represent the chipped whitewash hid the worst of the materials sins, thankfully.

Like the MOBAT, the VAMP, was featured heavily in the pages of the comic and its driver, Clutch, is one of my top ten Joe's of all time.

Over the years there have been a huge number of VAMP variants, used by both Joe and Cobra forces. The weapon systems on these vehicles also varied dramatically. When painting this one, I left the weapons off the back deck on purpose while I figure out how I am going to use it on the tabletop. In the meantime, I will use it as a jeep or a wheeled artillery tow. 

Though the VAMP has come in a myriad of colours over the years, I thought I would stick to the classic green. I did this despite the roof and doors being features of the VAMP MK2 (which was tan).

I definitely need to source some fuel cans for the rack in the back.

I have three of these models already printed plus a Mk 1 Diecast kit, a few Cobra Stingers and some "What-if" trucks made using the cabs from this iconic vehicle.

You will definitely be seeing more VAMP's soon!

Tuesday, February 5, 2019


Ahhh, The MOBAT. From my earliest days as a G.I.JOE fan I have been in love with this tank! Featured prominently in issue number one of the comic, the MOBAT was an integral part of many of the original comic missions.

This tank has a huge nostalgia factor for me because, while it was not one of my first Joe vehicles (Those were the RAM and the VAMP for those wondering), I did get it for Christmas the first year I collected G.I. Joe toys from one of my favourite uncles (who had the forethought to also give me batteries). I drove this bad boy over piles of books in my Grandma's living room for hours. It was awesome! Yes, I am child of the 80's!

I think that the sponge chipping method worked particularly well on this vehicle given the number of wide blank plates it has as part of its armoured hull.

I started by painting the whole model white before black lining/washing the crevices a dark grey. I then repanelled the white back in to make the white neat before using blister pack sponge to apply the green to represent the green "underneath" the whitewash.

In Bolt Action terms I plan on using this as a Pershing, which is the American reskin of the Tiger tank in the rules. Given the size of the MOBAT's gun and its armour, I think that that suits.

 To the left you can see what it came like. It is a 3D print of a file found of Thingiverse that was printed in resin.

Only taking a few minutes to clean up before priming, this kit was a dream to paint up and prepare for the tabletop.

I absolutely adore this tank and I am now considering painting up another in the Crimson Guard alternative paint scheme that was sold by SEARS in the 80's. I think it would look ace in red and black!

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Konflikt '47 Kodiak Walker

One of the best parts about Warlord's Konflikt '47 are the cool vehicles that you get to add to your existing armies to turn your standard WW2 armies... "weird."

One of those weird and wacky contraptions is the Kodiak Walker for the US forces. Looking suspiciously like the old Madcat mech from Battletech, this beastie carries an autocannon and a pair of heavy machine guns in each of its two arms. It Bolt Action/K'47 terms it throws out buckets of dice, all of which have an armoured piecing value, making this the perfect tool to stop transports, light vehicles and scary troops like werewolves, zombies and giant mutant bear men in their tracks.

This model was one of my first experiments as a painter using blister pack sponge as a means of "chipping" whitewashed armour. Though it is not perfect, I am quite pleased with the results.

Just looking at this model gets me excited to place Konflikt '47 again. Might have to set up another game sooner than later!

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Warlord Games IS-3

A few years ago I published a review of the Warlord Games's IS-3 tank kit for WWPD. Now this is a very controversial vehicle in Bolt Action for several reasons.

First of all, the IS-3 was probably introduced into the war so late that the Germans had already surrendered. While many were sent to fight Japanese forces in Manchuria, it has never been actually confirmed if this beast ever saw actual combat during WW2.

Second of all, this tank has the highest armour value of any tank in the game. The armour to its front is one higher than super heavy tanks meaning that it can and does often survive direct hits from most AT guns in the game. The last time I used this tank it took repeated shots to its front from a King Tiger and outside of pins and scratches to its paint... it rolled away unscathed. It is TOUGH!

Third and last, it is one of the most expensive tanks in the game. Coming in at 600 points (at regular), this thing is the definition of points inefficient. Especially since it only carries a heavy AT gun. Regardless, if you have a small army and you need to fill out points to get your force onto the table or if you just like armoured rarities, this baby is for you. Plus, the sharp casting and solid detail on this Warlord resin kit is fantastic!

For more info on the IS-3 click here.

Monday, January 28, 2019

The Soviet Motor Pool Grows! (Some Support Vehicles)

Here are a few of the support vehicles that painted up last year to accompany my winter Soviet WW2 army.

This truck is made by Rubicon and comes with two alternative beds. I used the closed canvas top on this truck so that I could use the open bed on another truck that I will post later. Despite my... reluctance to build plastic kits (I prefer the sharp lines and quick assembly of resin models), I really do like the finished look of this model.

I have also included pictures of an early Soviet armoured car and a Komsomolets armoured tractor. In Bolt Action terms the armoured car is a cheap order dice that zips around the board with light machine gun. Likewise, the Komsomolets is there to serve as a cheap armoured transport that also mounts a light machine gun. You can find out more about this vehicle here.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Custom Made SU-76i

A couple of years ago, the extremely talented Jakob Lotz made a custom SU-76i model out of the hull of a Panzer III and plasticard. I painted it to match my existing Soviet SU-152, using a chipped white washed effect. 

I could not be more pleased with the results in the end. The BTD Soviet Sailor is to show scale.

For more information about this interesting Soviet vehicle that was made out of captured German vehicles click here