Wednesday, 22 April 2015

new non-shiny toys

Got these the other day from the nice people at Minibits.  They are intended to be markers for ADG or Maurice or anything else that might benefit.   Up till now I've just used dice or counters.  

What I got were 20mm and 15mm round bases, dice-frames for 7mm and 12mm dice, and a selection of 10mm dice with frames.  

I'd seen Minibits stuff at shows and I'd bought some bases, but not bought the dice frames. Then I was prompted recently by a picture on a friend's blog where he incorporated a dice-frame into the base.  

See picture here,

Then I saw the blog,  where the chap cleverly put the dice-frame on a circular base and coloured the base the same as the units.  That sold me on the idea.  

Here's an example of what's intended.     

This is one of my Blue Moon 18mm Great Northern War units with the dice-frames in front.  I was trying to see what might look best for this scale.  

Left to right there are a 20mm round base, a 15mm round base with a 7mm dice-frame, a 20mm round base with a 10mm dice-frame and two 12mm dice frames, one on top of a 20mm square balsa base.

For 15 - 18mm figures, I reckon the best choice will be the 7mm dice-frame on the 15mm base.  I'll do some more experiments at the weekend.  Then I may see about gluing the frames to the bases and doing some textured basing.     

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Ongoing work

Here's the ongoing work with the Great Northern War stuff.  

Mostly this is just the first wash of the uniform coat.  I was going to carry on with lining round the belts and cuffs and so on, but my brain turned towards commercial washes or inks.  Up till now I've always been DIY on washes.  I asked some friends and got good suggestions, and so I sent off for Vallejo washes and Army Painter inks.  I'll push ahead with the Swedes where I've done most of the painting and leave the rest till the washes and inks arrive.  Then I'll do some experiments.      

At the front of the picture are the first measuring sticks to use with Maurice.  Each space is 30mm, a base-width.  Just for the fun of it, I'm making yellow and blue sticks for the Swedes and Red, Blue, White and Green for the Russians.         

Finally, the Swedes on which most has been done.  Hopefully I'll get these done in the next week.  When I'm doing these I'm thinking about the colour combination of uniforms and standards, so 3 of the units below will have yellow facings, but one will have red and the flag of the Narke-Varmlands regiment.      

Thursday nights at the club

Here's what we did in the last couple of meetings.  

Two weeks ago was Sails of Glory.  Six of us round a 4 x 4 foot table.  3 a side with one ship each.  I had the l'imperial, a nice 108 gun ship.  There was one equivalent sized ship on the other side.  The other 4 ships were 70 - 80 gun.  Each side approached from an opposite corner of the table with the wind coming from a 3rd corner.  

I think some naval chappie said a captain could do no better than put his ship into harm's way - and so I did.  I got in several good broadsides, even once moving between two enemy ships and firing off full port and starboard broadsides in the same turn.  But I took a bit of damage and eventually was the first ship to sink.  But an excellent game and fun for all.  

In the background were games of FoG Renaissance and some science-fiction thing.   

Last week, there was some planned building work going on in the area used by the club, so we played boardgames.  

First up was Mexica, a brilliant 4-player game of canals and bridges and and buildings.  Great fun, where players have to establish areas through building canals and then spread the building work to win control of each area.  This time playing the game I came last.      

Next was Boom Town, with 5 of us playing.  Boom Town is an old favourite, a game of developing a town area while doing down the other players and their attempts to do the same.

Finally we played Richard's game, a fun little card game where every card is named for a Richard.  One side of the card has a description of the person; Richard the III, Richard Dawkins, Richard Baker etc.  The other side of the card has that person's date of birth.  The objective is to read the description, then arrange the cards in order of the date of birth and hold the cards up for the other players to tell you if you are right.  If you are correct you take another card, but if wrong you don't.  The winner is the player who gets to 6 cards and is able to arrange them in the correct date of birth order.  

In the background was a game of FoG Renaissance.   

Next week, two of us will be playing Maurice with 6mm Marlburian figures.  Possibly a scenario based on Ramilles.

Sunday, 5 April 2015

GNW artillery

Got the GNW artillery done, but not much else other than basing.  Here's the result.  Not too bad at all. 

First the Russians.  

 Then the Swedes.  

I've still to do some lighter guns, probably two for each side. I've also got some really big gun which is a bit too big to look good on a 30mm frontage base, so I may well do it on 60mm frontage and call it 2 guns in a game.    

And last Thursday at the club there were 4 games of ADG on the go.  My Burgundian Ordnance narrowly lost to a Free company, Medieval Germans took on Medieval Hungarians, Andalusian Arab types took on more Late Hungarians, and Picts took on some type of Roman army.  

I only saw the action on our table and the two medieval tables closest to us, but everyone seemed to have a good game - even the over-intense competition head on the Picts vs Romans table who at times seemed to want to start a good FoG style argument.  

The arabs seemed to loose heavily and steadily while on the other table the Hungarians were being pressed by the Germans.  

On our table, I had taken the mixed bow and spear units, 6 knights, some crossbow and an artillery piece, a grand total of 17 units.  The Free Company had 6 knights, longbow, some levy and some chappies with HCW, a total of 18 units.  

The Free Company won the initiative and advanced rapidly and I thought I was going to be well caught out.  A few good rolls saved me in some exchanges of bowfire and in knight-on-knight melee.  The HCW chaps got in amongst my mixed spear and bow and caused a bit of damage, but nothing too drastic, certainly a lot less than I had feared.  A lot of units had some cohesion damage but both sides held in there for a long time.  But eventually with cohesion at something like 16 against me to 14 against the Free Company, I lost a knight who'd already suffered 2 hits.  Game over; but it was an excellent game.  

Next week - Sails of Glory. Probably 6 - 8 players round the table with 1 or 2 ships each. 

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Work in progress

I had thought to get some more GNW stuff done, but couldn't quite get the time to finish some more.  Here are some photos of current progress. The Swedish infantry at the back are done, but still to be based, and the artillery need the bases finished.  Hopefully, I'll get both done in the next few days. 

Part of the reason for the delay on the GNW figures was I started basing and re-basing the Seven Years war stuff.  Most of these have been unbased in boxes for years. Here are some quick views of the current state of play.    

First some Austrians. Cavalry will be 3 figures on a 40mm square base.  Here, I've put the 2 outer figures on a base and put the the centre figure on a temporary base.  This is just to allow me to start the texturing on the main base and allow me the space to paint the figures.  The chaps at the top right are the light infantry chasseurs, grenzer and pandours in 16 figure units.   

And some Austrian infantry.  A similar basing principle here with 3 figures mounted at the front of a 40mm wide base, with the rear rank on a temporary base to allow me the space to paint the figures.  These will make 8 battalions of 23 figures  (the mounted infantry officer takes the space of 2 infantry).  

And some Prussians.  Same principle on basing here.  I've still to base fusiliers, grenadiers, cavalry, artillery and generals.        

And waiting in the wings are the British (getting  these was all a good idea at the time).    

And the French. These were originally based to Age of Reason, then rebased for a DBA, Volley and Bayonet or a Shako variant, but now I'm going to base them for Maurice.     

And some close shots of some French units. They must be blinking in the light as they've been in boxes for 15 years and more.   

Some current reading

Here's some current reading.   All of it to support my work on the Great Northern War figures.    

For anyone that's interested, do note that Peter Englund's books, Poltava; the birth of the Russian Empire and The Battle that shook Europe; Poltava and the birth of the Russian Empire are the same text. The battle that shook Europe is just a more recent printing.  


I knew little other of the era than the battles of Narva and Poltava, but was surprised and a little shocked to read of the behaviour of the Swedes in Poland, Ukraine and Russia where they burned villages and killed civilians and prisoners of war; things that we've heard about in WW2, some 230-plus years latter.    

For years I had the view promoted by most 18th century rules that this was an era of gentlemanly and 'civilised' war between professionals.  But not so.  

And will this new knowledge stop me playing horse and musket games? I doubt it, though it will temper my view of some characters and armies.  And I've still to read most of Massie's book on Peter the Great.

Now, back to painting colourful uniforms.   

Thursday nights at the club

Missed a couple of posts on club nights again.  And sadly no photos.   

Three weeks back, our planned Dystopian Wars 2-a-side game got slightly reshuffled through illness and we played a 1-on-1 game.  My Americans took on the fleet of Antarctica.  A good game, with me losing a complete squadron and many other ships damaged against the loss of a few Antarctic ships and submarines, but no complete sqadrons lost. 

Two weeks back I played a game of Impetus with the 6mm Normans and Saxons I painted for a friend.  He had them on 40mm wide elements, nicely flocked and finished. I must get some photos on a future date.  
I had the Normans and faced the Saxon centre lined up on a hilltop. I tried 2 wide flanking moves with the cavalry while holding the centre with Norman spear and bows. My flank moves took time and the Saxon player took the opportunity to advance and smash my centre. Then I started to do some damage on the flank, but not before losing some cavalry which tipped the Norman morale.  Both armies had a morale total of 18, and I reached 19 which the Saxon was on 14 or 15.  A very good game.  

Last Thursday we played the boardgame Ankh-Morpork as a tribute to Sir Terry Pratchett and a homage to the joy his books have given us over the years.  

Next week it's back to ADG in 15mm.  There may well be 3 or 4 games on the night as a few people want to play.