Tuesday, 7 July 2020

And some current activity - 15/18mm Napoleonic again.

My seemingly endless fascination with the Napoleonic Wars stumbles on. 

Some time ago, I decided to start the forces for the initial fighting at Quatre Bras in 1815.  Actually, it's more like restarting a restart of a repeat of a repeat of a project I've been fascinated by for the past 50-odd years. 

I don't know how often I've done figures for this battle in different scales; maybe it's because of the wide variation in uniforms in such a small battle. There are French line and light infantry in blue, line lancers and chasseurs in green, possibly some of the Dutch lancers of the Guard in red, artillery in blue and for the real anorak geeks, cuirassiers with and without cuirass.  

Then there are the allies. Dutch-Belgian jaeger in green, militia and line in blue, Nassau in green and some in blue, British rifles in green, line infantry in red, highlanders and the good old 28th in the stovepipe shako. Some cavalry in pale blue. 

So here are the first couple of units, finally getting some paint splashed on them. Now, for some oddball reason, I put the flags of the 23rd fusiliers on the first British unit, even though they were not at Quatre Bras. I think I just had the flags available.  

These are CGM figures.   

And a unit of Dutch-Belgian militia.  

The painting style I've gone for here is my old favourite of basic but tidy, with the uniform colours just a little brighter than they might have been historically because I want to see them. They are, after all, just toy soldiers.   

The basing for these figures is mainly for Black Powder, with a 24 figure unit as my standard unit. I deliberately chose to spread the figures out on four 40mm x 30mm bases. The skirmishers at the front are just representative - for the look of the thing.  

I will try to keep the impetus going for this, though I've been recently tempted to try 10mm again, with lots of figures on a base. 

More later.  

first post for a while - wars of roses finished

This is some of my activity during the lockdown period.  

I got my Wars of the Roses force finished. Originally intended only for Lion Rampant, I managed a couple of small games of Hail Caesar with it, though I reckon I will need to get another box of infantry to give me a reasonable Hail Caesar force.    

Although Lion Rampant has units of 12, I decided to paint up the figures in livery in groups of 6 so I could have more colour schemes. 

The long swallow-tailed banner with the knights is Richard of Gloucester.  

And the foot banners and the commanders. The main banner in the middle is for the Earl of Warwick. 

And a picture of the full force. 

More posts soon ... 

Sunday, 16 February 2020

Recent activity - old books, Wars of the Roses and some Malifaux

Here is some of my ongoing activity. 

First a couple of vintage books which I was prompted to read. The Spike Milligan book is a recent edition of his classic. 

I think it was painting the Wars of the Roses figures that prompted me to read Donald Featherstone's book again. I don't care if there are more shiny and current publications available, this is still a great little book. 

I'm also borrowing all Spike Milligan's other war books from a friend.  I reckon at least two of them, "Rommer. Gunner Who?" and "Mussolini. His Part in my downfall", are two of the best first hand accounts of British soldiers in world war 2. If you haven't read them, I would urge you to do so if you have an interest in the era.  

And on to game stuff. Some of my Wars of Roses stuff is now looking the part.  

And a couple of home made banners help to make these mounted figures.  

Another little project is Malifaux; a skirmish game that mixes steampunk, wild west, samurai and gothic horror. Though I don't like the horror elements in the game, I do like many of the figures. 

Here, I'm getting around to finishing the Lady Justice crew. These are the original metal figures and the crew is is made up of flame-haired Lady Justice, the Judge in white and three death marshals. I've still to finish off the bases.   

And finally, after a bit of reading about Saxons and Normans, I decided to watch this again. It's a Channel 4 docu-drama from 4-5 years ago. 

 More later ... 

Club activity - Black Powder and Lion Rampant

Here are some photos from recent club games.  

First a Black Powder game of Briar Creek from the AWI. I was commanding the British advancing here from left to right. And there are a couple of interlopers in our game; Great Northern War cavalry as painted substitutes as the chap who owns the figures doesn't yet have AWI cavalry. 

Here is the mounted clash. The British came off best. 

The lines come together. My British are advancing up the table. Two units have charged.  

To the British left, the rest of the lines clash. 

And the fun part ... the British lose a unit on the right, but win the remaining combat shown below. And the American militia are already Shaken with 3 casualties and have failed their saves and taken 4 excess casualties this turn. 

However, the American player rolls a 12 for his Break Test, and survives. And for the 3rd turn. The British are beginning to lose heart. 

And here my British are falling back, morale failing all round.  It was a great game, played in great spirit.   

And now Lion Rampant. This was the first game in our annual tourney. My Free Company is advancing towards the Hungarians.  Not long after this, I lost my commander to a Lucky Blow.  C'est la guerre. 

Here are my mounted serjeants, relegated to the baseline after about 3 turns and completely failing a courage test.  

My crossbows advance. They and my longbows proved to be the game changers. 

My half-painted skirmishers sneak round the hedge trying to avoid the Hungarians.  They took some casualties and failed a Courage test a few turns later. 

In the end, victory went to my Free Company. Just. I won by 2 points. Another great game, where the advantage swung from side to side, till my bows finally did enough to win. 

More later ... 

Saturday, 11 January 2020

How to mess up perfectly acceptable figures

I'm sure everyone has done it at some point.  You have some painted figures, well painted, perfectly acceptable, and some voice in your head says "you could re-do that bit; make them better." 

Well, I started from 6 bowmen here who are part of this group. They are the ones will the blue / deep red livery.  Here, they are fine; nicely done and ready for the addition of some flock grass .

Now, there's a colour used in medieval and Wars of Roses times called Murrey, Sanguine or Bloody. No one is quite sure just exactly what the colour is, as different authors describe the same colour by different terms. It's often described as a purplish-red crimson.

These bowmen were intended to be in blue / murrey livery.  And for some 3 years they have been fine; they've been used in many games of Lion Rampant and some games of Hail Caesar. They've been fine for me and neither has anyone else.

And so this week a little voice in my head says "You could re-do that half of the tunics, make them better. Make them more murrey-ish."

And so I reached for purple wash, purple ink and paint and tried to "make them better". I didn't. I just made a muddy mess. This picture doesn't do justice.

I then moved into damage-limitation mode. The figures on the left of this picture are still the mistakes whilst the figures on the right have had some of the ink and wash removed. 

I then gave the red half of the tunics a couple of thin coats of white as a fresh undercoat, and reached for some reds that were close to hand. I chose the Citadel Red Gore colour as a base representative of murrey. It's good enough and gets me back to where I was a few days ago.

And here I am again. I've added some shading with the Miniature Paints Burgundy colour and some black was carefully applied in folds.

The pictures don't readily give justice to the mistake and the repair, but it's a little lesson in not listening to the voices. If figures are fine and look good enough for a game, then that's what they are - fine and good enough.

My next task is to get back to tidying the rest of my Wars of Roses figures. 

Wednesday, 8 January 2020

Painting again

So with a new year, I've got started on painting again, thought it is older half-finished Wars of Roses stuff. 

These have had a few games in their half-painted state, but I'm going to try to get them all finished. Here's the re-touched archers and horses for the knights. Just got the bases to finish off here.   

And here's my first figures for a major undercoating session. Most of the figures round the outside are AB Napoleonics. I'm eventually going to try to do these for my old Quatre Bras project. These are Dutch-Belgians and French. My project idea is to paint the forces as they came into action.    

In the centre are large fantasy and sci-fi type figures. Most are Raging Heroes, though these is a Malifaux crew in there (the 3rd edition Colette crew).  

My first task will be to try to complete my Wars of Roses figures, then to move on to whatever next takes my fancy. 

More later. 

Games review of 2019

Here's my games review of 2019.  Not a bad year overall, even if time was a bit limited in the last few months. Sorry, there's no pictures in this post. 

The rules and the number of games played were; 

Black Powder - 6
A mixture of AWI, Napoleonic, SYW and GNW. Still a whole lot of fun for me.

Hail Caesar - 6
Again, a lot of fun. Most games played in 28mm, though one was played in 15mm and was just as much fun.

Cruel Seas - 3
Reasonably fun games with small boats, but we were surprise to see larger and heavier merchant vessels turn far easier and more quickly than the MTB's.  

Warlords of Erehwon - 3
This is a fantasy game based on the Bolt Action mechanisms. Games were quite fun, though the Bolt Action mechanisms guarantee that every unit will get to do something. Sadly, there's no variable turn-end that would put a spanner in the works,and these type of games tend to get favoured by deterministic players who like every unit to do take acion by radar control.  

It's an OK game, and I did buy a goblin army cheap to use with it. The whole Bolt Action / Warlords game mechanism would be greatly improved if an end of turn dice was put in the bag.  

Bolt Action - 2
Yes, it's still being played, though with so many new fads coming along, it's not got the appeal it once had at the club. 

Blitzkrieg Commander - 2
This is a world war 2 game based on the old Warmaster mechanisms. I wanted to use it for games on the 75th anniversary of Kursk. We played in 15mm, because lots of us still have Flames of War stuff in boxes. I think it's fun, but it didn't seem to catch on at the club, maybe because ... 

Battle Group - 2
Some of chaps have taken to this, though I find it a bit slow and dull.  It's another 1 to 1 scale game, so 1 model equals 1 tank etc. The firing mechanism introduces a spotting die roll before the actual firing die roll. It's OK, and a nice idea, but it does up the die rolls required in the game, and that just takes time. I prefer simple shoot and save mechanisms.

Breakout: Normandy - 2
This is the boardgame by Avalon Hill. Still a great favourite of mine, and we played it for the 75th anniversary of D-day.

Maurice - 2
Another favourite, though I fear it's going to get squeezed out by other games. Still, two of us really like it, so I hope we can play more this year. 

The following games were played only once in 2019. 

Bataille Empire 

This is the new Napoleonic set by the chap who wrote Art de la Guerre. It looks an OK game, though we came across a couple of odd things in our first game. We probably got things wrong, and we'll play it again. 

However, the club fad merchants who jump on every new product are pushing for it, and I do have a fear that the competition crowd will spoil it. But we'll see how it goes in 2020. 

Flames of War
I did a game for the 75th anniversary of Kursk, but people in the club seem to have given up on FoW. 

I ain't been shot mum
Lardy sh*t on WW2 at the same scale as FoW or Battle Group. It may be OK for 1 vs 1 game, but if there are more people on a side, the whole card turn mechanism because a slow snooze fest as players wait for the one player to take his turn. 

Lion Rampant
I think it's a great game, but sadly too many other games have crowded it out.
And the deterministic, radar control players never seemed to like the idea of a unit failing an activation test and doing nothing.  There's nothing quite as funny as seeing control freaks going in the huff because they can't control a unit.  

Rebels and Patriots
The latest incarnation of the Lion Rampant / Dragon Rampant system. It's for horse and musket era games, and we played with one chaps AWI figures. A great little game, though sadly too many other games will mean it won't be played as much as I'd like.

Venerable, justified and ancient. Just a great little game, and I'm glad some chaps suggested it. Got several games in on the one night. 

And finally, boardgames (though I did put Breakout Normandy above). 

Cambrai - an area movement game on the WW1 battle.  Great fun, with fixed lies of advance for the British and limited initial reserves of the Germans. 

Commands and Colors Napoleonics.
Still a favourite, though didn't get to play more than one game in 2019.

It Never Snows
This is a nice big little game on Market Garden. Big in that it covers the campaign. Little in the sense that it has lots of small scenarions. We played to commemorate the 75th anniversay. Again, sadly, the British could not hold the bridge. 

Stalingrad: Verdun on the Volga.
Played two games of this. It's an area movement game by the same chap who did Cambrai and others, all of which are based on the original Storm over Arnhem / Breakout Normandy system.  A nice game, though I don't know when I'll get back to it, so it will probably go to ebay. 

Powergrid, Spain and sundry other Euro games. 

Fun games for nights when we want to do something lighter. They are multi-player, usually involve minimal set up and are quick to play. We can usually get in a few games in an evening. 

And that's it for 2019. Not a bad total. My main disappointment is that some really good games got pushed aside by new games, and I fear this will continue in 2020. This may well see me pulling back from the club for a bit to concentrate on painting and playing things I want to play. 

A couple of local chaps have suggested playing more Lion and Dragon Rampant, Pikeman's Lament and DBA. This has got my vote, and I'm going to try to completely finish painting my Wars of Roses figures for Lion Rampant, and some other fantasy stuff for Dragon Rampant. 

And who knows - maybe some 28mm pike and shot will get painted, though I do have some other favourites to get on with, including 15mm Napoleonics for Quatre Bras.  

More later.