Blogger of Normandie is an independent fan blog, and not directly related to, controlled by, or representing the views of Devil Pig Games, their staff, related companies, holdings, or individuals.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Die Cut HoN Tokens


Note: This article was to appear six months ago, but due to changes in my life and a three month lead time on the dies featured below. I happy to be able to finally bring it to you today. Also I apologize for the image quality, my old studio is now a classroom for my daughter.

Die Cut HoN Token Blanks with the Sizzix Bigkick
 
The Bigkick is a hand operated die cutting machine that applies a great deal of pressure, and is therefor capable of cutting through; thick cardboard, paper, even leather, and thin wood. The are only two draw backs to this particular system one the dies (pictured below) are solid black, which makes it hard to line up images for cutting. This makes it best suited to cutting only the blanks, but it's not impossible to cut the images as well. It will just take a lot of practice to learn how to best line them up. My first attempts is pictured below. (Click images for larger versions)

As you can see the image is off center, but not unusable. With some practice I could get with in a millimeter or two of center.

The process for cutting is quite easy, simply create what they call a sandwich, with two pieces of plexi-glass, the die and what you want to cut. Feed it in to the machine, use one hand to guide it so the sandwich doesn't split, and the other hand to turn the crank. (I doesn't matter what side the crank is on so it's perfect for lefties as well.)


There you have it a perfect die cut blank, with the exact dimensions of an real HoN token, and perfect rounded corners. Below is a comparison of the blanks and some real HoN tokens.



Now I mentioned there are two drawbacks, the second is cost. I ordered these six dies before my current situation, and they cost me about $250, plus $100 for the machine itself. so the cost can be quite prohibitive, also the dies I ordered only cut one black per pass, so it can also get time consuming. The final cost issue is there as still several sizes I do not have, and at $65 a die, I will not be ordering them any time soon.

Although I originally purchased these for my own personal use, I thinking of offering blank tokens for sale. I will have to talk to Clem first, and get some test stock to see if this machine lives up to its specs and can cut something as thick as a real HoN token. Currently my material is softer and only half as thick.

Let me know what you all think, and if you have any questions please ask.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Fury: Wardaddy's Tiger Killer

The Brad Pitt war epic Fury is an amazing movie blending the stories of amazing people like Audie Murphy and "War Daddy" Pool, as well as the stories of amazing tanks like Bomb a Canadian Sherman that survived from the Normandie invasion to the wars end. It's an excellent war film, and a great look at working tanks. 10 actual Sherman Tanks, and the worlds only running Tiger I were used in the film.



Of course the star of the film for tread heads like me, is Fury herself, an M4A3E8 (Easy 8). She's a beautiful tank and portrayed in the film by an actual Sherman (an M4A4, Firefly), not some plywood replica. The real tank named RON/HARRY (T224875) can be seen at the Bovington Tank Museum in England. (image below) She is one of the worlds last running Shermans, while over 49 thousand were built, only 1000 remain and a far smaller number are in working order.


But to bring Fury to Heroes of Normandie requires some creative license. First of all, the look of the tank in the movie is very unique, with lots of little details like backpacks, helmets, "log armor," ect. Many of these are beyond my ability right now, but I do have a nice Easy 8, and a few add-ons (like guns, and the Nazi helmet on the headlight.)


As for a special ability, the first thing that came to mind was the scene in act two when the Shermans, take on Tiger 131. With Fury being the only survivor of the encounter. In the fight the crew know that the only way to kill a Tiger is to take it from behind. So Fury has the special ability "In the rear" which gives enemy vehicles a penalty when Fury attacks them from the rear. This gives the feeling of the gunner's precise aim hitting the perfect soft spot. (link to the PDF is at the bottom)

I hope folks enjoy this HoN add-on, and have fun replicating the Tiger fight from act two. and if you haven't scene the movie yet, and you're a tank fan, you should make an effort to see it.




Monday, August 3, 2015

Some Pics From GenCon

Bob King was at GenCon and snapped a few pictures at the HoN booth, and tournament.
 

Clem, a "Red Devil", and Alex
 
Below are some pictures from the tournament, it looked like things went great. Maybe one day I'll make to GenCon
 






 
If you were at GenCon and have some pictures from the HoN booth, we'd like to post them. So lets us know about them.
 
Sorry if this post looks a little rough, but Windows 10 does not work with my old blog software. Hopefully I'll be able to find a new one. 

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Rebuilding…

Getting back to work, Thanks to everyone for their support, during this minor crisis.

I now have my Allied standard tank template set up the way I like it, and will be working on a few self-propelled guns.


I'll be out of town later this week so expect a full post in a couple weeks.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Pour nos Fans Francophones…

Pour nos fans francophones, un scénario avec Captain America de Jacojack.

Captain PDF

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Special Panthers

Today’s HoN add-on is a couple of vehicles on which would become a somewhat rare, but frightening addition to the German arsenal, and another that was too little too late.

First today is the massive Jagdpanther G2, sporting a dreaded 8.8 cm PaK 43 L/71, one the German’s most effective antitank guns. The Jagdpanther packed this powerful gun into a low profile, heavy armored, turret-less tank-destroyer.

jagdpanzer v

While production numbers for the Jagdpanther were less than 1000, they developed a deadly reputation on the Eastern Front. However only 12 would be deployed to the Battle of Normandie. it wouldn’t be until the Ardennes offensive that the Americans would encounter significant numbers of these deadly beasts.

Next, we have the Panther Coelian, which the Germans would fail to build. The Coelian is a great concept that early German success and hubris would prevent from even seeing the prototype phase, until it was to late.

During the early was armored anti-aircraft vehicles had been designed and developed by the Germans, but they encountered very little in the was of aerial threats. The Luftwaffe was able to deal handily with any aircraft the Germans encountered.

Panther Coelian 2015

However, as the war progressed and more and more air resources were wasted in the Battle of Brittan, and later as the Americans began to gain air superiority the Germans returned to the idea of an anti-air tank. They rushed the development of the Coelian, and within a matter of months had built a wooden prototype, but it would never see production. Ironically Allied air power, would destroy the production capability for the Coelian preventing it from ever seeing the battlefield.

Now you can bring both of these vehicles to Heroes of Normandie with the PDF below.

Panther Pack PDF

That is all.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

The Music Maker…

The M4 Sherman tank was the allied armored vehicle of choice, despite its short comings it was produced in massive numbers. Allowing the Allies to simply out number the technically better, but harder to build German tanks. Given the massive number of Sherman hulls available, a variety of variants soon began to appear on the battlefield. From the outlandish Crab to the simple dozer, the Sherman filled every possible role.

One of those roles was light artillery support in the form of the M4 (T34) Calliope, named for it’s resemblance to the musical instrument. The Calliope sported 60 4.5 inch HVAR Rocket tubes in groups of 12. Allowing the Calliope to fire any single group for a small salvo, or all 60 tubes could be fired simultaneously for a massive barrage of rockets.

SHERMAN CALLIOPE 2015 Grey Template

With the rocket system fully mounted to the turret the main gun of the Sherman was not affected and the turret could rotate normally. The rocket tubes elevation was fixed to the main gun’s. And the only real disadvantage to the system, was its high profile, making the Calliope a bit easier to see from a distance, but often German soldiers didn’t know what they were looking at till it was too late.

Now bring the superior firepower the Allies need to HoN with the Calliope Pack, which has two Calliopes the one pictures above and a command version, with “Barrage Order” with two separate recruitment options. Available in PDF format Below.

This version uses the standard Grey artillery template from HoN.

Sherman Calliope Pack PDF

Monday, May 11, 2015

Effective but Controversial

Behold the awe inspiring firepower of the Jagdpanzer IV/70, armed with the same gun as a Panther medium tank, but built as a tank destroyer. Heavily armored with a low profile making it harder to hit. These were some of the best tank destroyers the Germans ever developed, serving throughout the European theater, from the Russian front to Normandie.

jagdpanzer iv

Yet, like most tank destroyers they were not versatile vehicles. They were no substitute for real tanks due to their limited traverse guns, and were not suited to the role filled by the StuG III and IV, due to their massive size. This lack of versatility is what made the IV/70 a controversial choice for the German armored forces. While a good tank destroyer was needed, it was felt by some that production of the more flexible and proven Panzer IV should take priority over this new untested design. Even with the personal objection of Heinz Guderian the IV/70 would go into production.

Official production began in 1942, with about 2000 vehicles being produced through 1945. And now you can field your own Panzer IV/70 on the fields of Heroes of Normandie, with the PDF file below.

Jagdpanzer IV/70 2015 PDF

Friday, April 17, 2015

Dodge WC Pack

Today’s little Heroes expansion set is centered on the not so glamorous Dodge WC. While the DWC would see a lot of service in the form of the venerable DWC-54 Ambulance, in both WWII and Korea, the other Dodges were considered far less successful.

First up is the DWC-51, this early version of the WC would see service mostly in non-combat roles far from the actual fighting. While it was good at what it did, it was larger and less maneuverable then the Jeep and this made it a second choice for most soldiers. It was often used as a convoy command vehicle, which could find themselves under enemy fire from time to time.

DODGE WC-51 2015

Next up we have two version of the improved WC-56. Although the 56 was better then the 51 in every way, it was still almost a meter longer then the Jeep, and it’s unique silhouette made it difficult to camouflage. The 56’s were disliked for this reason, as the were felt to be easy targets. Despite this, a large number would see service throughout Europe, though most soldiers would prefer a Jeep.

Unarmed:

DODGE WC-56 2015

Armed:

DODGE WC-56 50 CAL 2015

This pack also includes an additional DWC-54 Ambulance, previously seen in my US Prime Movers Pack.

Find this all in print-and-play format in the PDF below.

Dodge WC Pack PDF

That is all.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

An English Bulldog

Today’s custom release for HoN is the British A39 Tortoise; a massive fixed casemate gun built to takedown Tigers.

A39 2015

Of all the war’s super-tanks the A39 has some of the thinnest armor, but it’s still thick enough to take almost anything the Germans could throw at it. Armed with a 94mm main gun this “tank” could take out all but the heaviest of enemy armor. However, it has one major disadvantage, it’s fixed gun has extremely limited traverse, and requires the vehicle itself rotate in order to aim the weapon. This leaves it extremely vulnerable to flanking attacks.

Testing would prove the A39 to be a reliable and accurate weapon, but all this would come too late for them to see any service in the war against the Nazis. The original order of 25 was reduced to six, and those were soon retired as there were no more enemy “super-tanks” to fight.

But what if the British had fielded such a beast on the fields of France? Now you can find out for yourself with your own A39 for Heroes of Normandie.

A39 TORTOISE PDF

That is all.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

The Porsche Pack

While researching and compiling the German Prime Movers pack, I couldn’t help but be struck by the sheer number of vehicles and variants designed by Ferdinand Porsche. While today he’s best known for his iconic sports cars with the engines in the back. During the war he designed everything from Hitler’s People’s Car (Volkswagen) to the Panzer VII Maus. Large or small Dr. Porsche seemed innately skilled in vehicle design.

So, today here are five vehicles designed by Porsche, with three of them being never before seen in Heroes of Normandie.

The first two vehicles in the pack are the Kubelwagen and Schimmwagen, because you can never have too many of these.

The first new vehicle is the Type-67 Ambulance, based on the Kubelwagen chassis. It functions in game just like my previously released DWC Ambulance. Allowing units who spend a turn aboard it to “heal a wound.”

KUBELWAGEN AMBULANCE 2015

Next up is the Lieferwagen, another of the many variants of the Kubelwagen. By simply chopping the hull in half and adding a truck bed, the Germans were able to create an excellent little transporter.

LIEFERWAGEN 2015

Finally we have the Kommandeurwagen, a variant of the Kubelwagen and the Volkswagen. The KW uses the body of the Beetle on the frame of a 4x4 Kubelwagen. These vehicles were issued to important commanders in the field, as a status symbol.

VW type 87 2015

I hope everyone enjoys these little German cars. You can find all five in the PDF below.

The Porsche Pack PDF

That is all.

Monday, April 6, 2015

A German Convoy Approaches…

Today the German counterparts to last week’s US Prime Movers storm onto the battlefield. While this new set of unarmed vehicles is not quite as interesting as their US opposites. They are fewer points over all, so it’s easier to field them all in the same army.

Let’s begin with the most unique of these vehicles, the Schwimmwagen. This little amphibious car was designed by Porsche, and is based on the Type 82 Kubelwagen. While it’s not going to cross the Channel any time soon, it will cross a river fast enough to make it a worthwhile endeavor.

SCHWIMMWAGEN 2015

Next up is the Kubelwagen itself, also designed by Porsche, but its no sports car. This unforgiving little utilitarian vehicle, is like a US Jeep in its simplicity, but really lacks the off-road oomph of its American competition. Yet on good ground or roads this was a fine vehicle, with good reliability.

KUBELWAGEN 2015

Next up the reason this isn’t called the “Porsche Pack.” The Krupp Protze. This Krupp creation was first used mostly for towing and servicing German artillery, but it would see service as a more general truppenwagen, as the war progressed.

KRUPP PROTZE

Finally we have the Opel Blitz, the closet thing the Germans had to the US CCWK. This truck was larger, more efficient, and could carry more weight then the Protze. And compared to its US competition, is was just as capable in most situations. The CCWK did have the advantage of an additional axle, which improved its off-road performance in some situations. However, the Blitz lived up to its name with a top road speed of 80kph.

OPEL BLITZ 2015

You can bring all these German vehicles to the fields of HoN with the PDF linked below.

German Prime Movers 2015 PDF

That is all.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Prime Movers for the Allies

Today I have a set of four great US work horses. While these unarmed hulks may not be the greatest combat vehicles, they were awesome at carrying troops and equipment to and from the battlefields of Europe.

First up in the pack is the Dodge WC-54C Ambulance, an Autonomous vehicle capable of providing treatment to the wounded with its medical transport ability. This ability works differently from Doc’s Medic ability, in that it allows you to remove a wound (return a unit to its front side up)from any unit that spends a turn being transported by the ambulance.

DWC-54 2015

Next is the weird little Ford GPA, an amphibious Jeep clone, that is a little slower then its landlocked cousin, but can cross any body of water. Its small size makes it the perfect transport for a scout unit or brave Hero looking to get into battle fast.

FORD GPA 2015

Then we have the US Army’s true work horse, the GMC CCWK 6x6. This 2 1/2 ton truck is affectionately known as the Duce-and-a-half, and its descendants still serve the Army today. Capable of transporting two full squads with relatively high speed, these were invaluable “weapons” in the war against the Germans.

GMC 6X6 2015

Finally we have the biggest beast of burden in the pack, the DUWK amphibious 6x6. This aquatic monster is basically the love child of a CCWK and a boat; slow on the water and not much faster on land these things saw limited service in Europe, but where they were used, they proved to be an effective means of getting troops and supplies across the water.

GMC DUWK 6X6 2015

Remember that even though these vehicles are unarmed, any troops inside them can receive orders, and therefor attack from within while riding around the battlefield.

Expand your HoN motor-pool with the PDF below. Comments welcome.

US Transport Pack 2015 PDF

This new PDF features my latest template, which has a “bleed” around the tokens. This will make it easier to prevent white edges on your print-and-play versions.

That is all.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Building an Army (literally)

Today, we’ll be looking at turning those PDF files I keep posting into playable game pieces for Heroes of Normandie.

Some notes first:

1: These are not hard and fast rules, if you have a method that works better for you, use it.

2: Given the lower resolution of both the PDFs and most commercial printers, you shouldn't expect these to look as good as actual HoN counters, no mater how precise you cut them.

3: I’m still experimenting with corners, so the corner cuts in these images may not be the same ones you’ve seen before or again.

Ok now that that’s out of the way, let’s get started.

First, equipment, and materials.

P1030217

I use a Purple Cows combo cutter, with rotary blade and guillotine. A Fiskar’s 3 way Corner Rounder, some good scissors, and craft calipers to check sizing for the standard HoN counters.

Materials: I use Avery Full Sheet Labels, and Crescent Cold Press Illustration board, which is exactly half the thickness of an HoN counter.

Step One: Print. Today it’s a Flakmaus!

P1030218

I use a huge Epson monster, but any color Inkjet or Laser will work. Print the PDF on the Avery label sheets, with all sizing options off. (no zoom, fit to page, etc.)

Step Two: Rough cut the stickers.

P1030219

Cut the stickers out, leaving some white around all sides.

Step Three: Stick the stickers.

P1030220

Place the labels on the board and cut them out, I had scrap pieces that were the sizes I needed, so that saved some time. Be sure to place the stickers on the unmarked side of the board, as the “Crescent” logo may show through. Note: the fronts and backs are on their own separate pieces of board. They’ll be glued together in the last step.

Step Four: Trimming to size.

P1030221P1030222

Using the guillotine blade on the combo cutter, I trim down the counter to a rectangle.

Step Five: Corner cutting.

P1030223

Use the corner rounder to trim all the corners. You have three different options for corners, I was trying out a different one then normal. But you can see the standard HoN corner profile is the one marked with an X. Note: the Fiskar is not the most precise tool, but it’s the one I have, and I can’t comment on other brands. Just pay close attention as you use it.

Step Six: Repeat, over and over.

P1030225

Once all the components are cut out and all the corners rounded, now it’s time to glue. Note: a lot of folks ask how I cut the holes in the recruitment templates. Truth is I don’t.

Final Step: Gluing.

P1030226

I use Scotch Permanent Glue Stick, easy to use and low mess, but you can use what ever paper glue you like to glue the fronts to the backs.

And your done, you’ve got your very own HoN custom.

P1030228

Any questions, feel free to ask.

That is all.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

A German Sports Tank?

If you’re a German car fan, and I told you that Porsche and Maybach were collaborating on a new sports car, you’d be pretty excited. Just like the Nazi tank commanders were in 1943 when the new Tiger II (or King Tiger as the Allies called it) began to roll of the assembly lines.

King Tiger

Sadly just as we won’t be getting a Maybach powered Porsche anytime soon neither were the Germans then. The so called Porsche turret Tigers were actually built by Krupp, that’s right the coffee people, Krupp. Yet the name stuck and to this day most books and reference materials refer to this mighty beast as the Porsche Turret King Tiger.

Of course King Tiger is a misnomer in and of itself. In German the Tiger II was informally called the Königstiger. In German Königstiger is the German name for the Bengal Tiger, and while it literally translates to King Tiger. That’s not really what it means.

Although it didn’t have the body of a fine German sports car, it did have a 700 horse power Maybach gas engine, giving it a top speed of nearly 50 KPH. And a power to weight ratio of 9 BHP per tonne.

Armed with 8.8cm KwK 43 L/71 this tank could blast a hole through all but the heaviest Allied armor. Making it one of the greatest threats the Allies would face on the fields of Europe. Thankfully for the Allies the Germans would never produce more then 492 of these beasts.

Interestingly there were a number of upgrades proposed for the Tiger II, including a 900 BHP engine upgrade and a new 10.5cm main gun, but these would not see production.

You can bring the King of tanks to the battlefields of Heroes of Normandie, with the PDF below.

King Tiger Porsche Turret PDF

That is all.

Gazette #2: A Review

Heroes of Normandie Gazette issue no. 2 recently arrived here at the blogger bunker and it’s one I’ve really been looking forward to: Hobart’s Funnies. For those of you who don’t know Major Hobart was a British armor vehicle genius whose ideas were often considered too “out there” for practical use. However, he would prove the usefulness of his designs on the Normandie beaches.

This issue of the Gazette included one punch board and scenarios for to demonstrate the utility of these unusual armored vehicles.

12-PU-BOARD-UK-Lord-lovat-IMPRESSION-News-730x486

The punch-board includes three awesome vehicles the Sherman Crab, the Churchill ARK, and the Crocodile flamethrower tank. As well as Hobart himself, and various sundry equipment. As usual the art for the counters is excellent, and the new icons and rules are the usual HoN quality. I’m a personal fan of Hobart’s ability to climb into a tank and grant it a personal order, this has a lot of potential, and is a great new mechanic.

Gazette-02-730x644

The Gazette itself is the usual fare with some nice articles and two scenarios, while I haven’t played through them yet they both look interesting and seem to have a nice balance. Some folks have complained that the scenarios require you to have more then just the base game, but I don’t feel this is a huge issue, as units all have point values and are easy to interchange. As for the terrain requirements those can be a bit harder. But the Gazette is aimed toward the hardcore fan who is likely a completionist, so I understand DPG’s expectation that subscribers would own the terrain expansion.

But if you don’t have the river set required for Scenario 1, I’d suggest just replacing those tiles with ones from the core set. While that will defiantly change the dynamic of the scenario it shouldn’t effect the balance too much. But you will miss out on the ARK’s bridging ability. So you may want to exchange that for a different 25 point unit.

Overall I’m really happy with the Gazettes so far and will be looking forward to each one in the future. As for this in particular it has to be my favorite add-on for HoN to this point, as I’ve always been a fan of Hobart’s Iron Circus.

Oh and the bonus poster by Alex Bonvalot was a great addition.

gazette-site_haut_UK_2-350x243gazette-site_haut_UK_2-350x243

That is all.