Monday, December 31, 2018

New Year Roundup 2018/2019

It's always interesting to try and write these posts. They force a bit of introspection about ones gaming habits and, more importantly, they trigger a look at what you actually accomplished. I was quite surprised, and chuffed, about my productivity.

28mm: 113 figs plus 3 cars and 4 tents
15mm 116 figs plus 1 walker and 2 buildings
Aeronefs: 9

The mini accumulation continues, however, as I suspect I gained more than I painted. I was given some lots of lead but terrain seemed to be the real weakness this year. There were some sales and gifting that put a dent into things but on the increase. I need to focus a bit on stopping the gains this coming year.

Look at my 2018 Resolutions I am astonished I did them all! I suspect I was conservative as I was probably writing them with an infant sleeping next to me. I think this year I should probably strive for the achievable with maybe a 'stretch goal'.

1/. Document my work better/Increase blog posts. (I will informally target at least 24 posts this year.)
2/. Attend Enfilade (again) with a (new) French command.
SUCCESS! Enfilade was a good time as always and my guard corp looked sharp and held the centre for a good while before vaporizing under a crushing cav charge.

3/. Don't be a lurker. Be a commenter. 
qualified SUCCESS. I was excellent about this in the 1st half of the year. The wheels fell off a bit in the latter half, but I've started an uptick again. I think the trick for time management (vs endless web surfing) is that if you are going to read it, you better post. If you don't want to post......get it off your feed.

4/. Finish two 'in progress' batches of figures.
SUCCESS! The 15mm chasseur and generals, as well as some buildings, fortications and more. Super good.

2019 Resolutions

1/. Host at least one game of General du Corp with my own figs
-This requires getting the rules, making some range sticks, and painting up enough french to field a force.

2/. Finish my game craft mini buildings OR sigma event buildings
The gamecraft buildings I've been chipping away at, but have had for many years. Shameful really. The sigma would be the easy version I can bang out in the fall if I've been bad. 

3/. Host/play one of: frostgrave, fistful of lead/galactic heroes, hardwired, or other small skirmish game
Previous resolutions to do a skirmish game (both sides) have failed...numerous times. 

4/.  Complete the french oob for snappy nappy for either austerlitz OR marengo. 
I should have a lot of what I need. This will help focus the efforts onto what I should actually be painting for my 15mm french. 

The reposted pictures of the years work after the break.....

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Honours of War AAR - The crossroads (take three)

This was the third attempt at the same scenario using different rulesets in order to best compare and select a preferred one. The scenario, as before, involves two perfectly balanced forces converging on a crossroads with seperated columns (4 columns all arriving at semi random times). The strategies of the combatants had been diced in the original attempt and keep consistent since.

This go around uses Osprey's Honours of War. It was very helpfully suggested by Jonathan Freitag of Palouse Wargaming Journal who has a number of battles written up using it as well. We both liked the rules and are planning another go around (with a different scenario). We did have some concerns about time to close, but we think if we change to the 20mm distances (from the 15mm) and possibly add some road benefit it may alleviate those problems for us. On to the writeup and more thoughts...

Friday, November 23, 2018

Black Powder AAR - The crossroads (redux)

In the quest for a most preferred ruleset (thereby sidestepping the 'best' discussion trap) Tommy and myself replayed the crossroads game . A quick recap: we are hunting for a lacewars era ruleset to use with an imagi-nations type campaign/dabbling.

The scenario has been taken out of the excellent 'programmed wargame scenarios' and sees a closing engagement between two enemies of  two brigades each  marching down 4 roads that intersect in the middle (hence the crossroads designation).  Tommy has instructions to form a north-south battle line centered on the town, while my own orders are to take the commanding heights past the town.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Age Of Reason AAR - The crossroads

My forces marching towards the distant hills
I'm hunting for a 'lace wars' era rule set that I like enough to play regularly. One of the local gamers handed me a big box of unpainted lead (15mm scale isn't something he wants anymore) for the era. I'm planning on painting up an 'imagi-nation', but basing and unit sizes somewhat depend on rules so....the hunt is on.

Very quickly the cavalry is setting up to clash at the crossroads
My erstwhile opponent, Tommy, came into a large lot of prussians based and painted for Age of Reason. It seemed to be the most simple approach to try these rules first. We chose a relatively small set of matched forces (4 units infantry (inc 1 grenadier), 2 units can (light and med), and 2 cannon). Consulting Charles Grants 'Programmed Wargame Scenarios' we found that we were advance guards coming from the East/West trying to seize the cross roads. Tommy was meant to form a line of battle North/South at the crossroads. I was meant to 'seize the heights' which involved marching past to the South West and occupying the hills. Obviously these were incompatible plans so things got bloody.

I find it interesting when rules do cause 'historical' engagements. We had lots of failure of nerves to actually close into melee. Our cavalry clashed early/first and each side had a unit run off the table (dragoons beating hussars in both cases). It was actually more effective for grenadiers to advance to musketry range and blaze away at a lesser unit than (fail to) charge in.

Failure of will means the cav swaps insults at close range

 Some mistakes were made. The artillery was overly effective for the first couple salvos (1/2 of an infantry unit disappeared in a pink mist at one point).
The cavalry also tested their ability to close to combat incorrectly early, so there probably would have been even fast clashes at the beginning.

We played for 3 hours before running out of time. I suspect we were pretty close to a decision. Tests to withdraw were being made (although currently at a 12 on 2 dice). More importantly a lot of units were worn and likely to leave with a few more casualties. 

 I'd be willing to give these rules another go, having gotten up to speed on them. Our plan is to try the same forces/scenario with a different ruleset next month for comparison.
My infantry blindly marches past the screening cavalry into the teeth of the guns. A pink mist ensues....

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Imperial Skies - French fleet (2) - Brigade Aeronefs

The second half of the french fleet that came with my kickstarter. These are two cruisers are a Jeanne La Pucelle class, a Valiant class, and the Battle ship is the Charlemagne class. The latter has since been retired and remastered with some superstructure options and moveable turrets. I suppose this one probably is the 'actual' Charlemagne of the class as it's old and non-improved.

Once again, I'm a little unhappy with the grottiness of the boats and the annoying guy wire ripping up the paint from the lead problem. I also struggle with deciding whether to glue the bases in. These ones have a tiny plastic plug that is hugely annoying when it snaps off in the lead as happens most frequently in any structural failure.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Imperial Skies - French fleet (1) - Brigade Aeronefs

I kickstarted the imperial skies ruleset. It was done by Robin Fitton of Rottenlead blog who also wrote Gruntz so I was easily hooked. Once again, figs delivered a few years ago I'm sure, and they are just getting paint now. *sigh*. I ended up with two fleets so I should get cracking on the other one and then maybe I can actually try the game!

These figs are from Brigade miniatures Aeronef line. I was quite interested in aeronef but reading into the rules it sounded as they they were quite dated and (I supect) clunky. A rules freshen up was just what it took to get me in.

These two squadrons are the destroyers. I think destroyer is as small as it gets for the nefs.

The paint jobs I'm a bit meh on. They look a bit too grotty. Really annoyingly the lines (silk thread) tend to rip off the paint from the bare metal. Cool looking, but I forsee repeat repairs in the future.

Friday, September 7, 2018

15mm French Napoleonic Generals - Old Glory

As part of the "finish that lot of lead you got 7 years ago so you can finally table that force of french" project we have some generals hitting the table. These guys are a single bag of old glory lead. I was a little mystified by some of them (which is not uncommon with napoleonics I find) as they have different head gear and saddle blankets. I suspect that some might actually be ADC (aide du camps) but I wimped out and painted them all as high level officers.

Technically speaking for Napoleons Battles these are all divisional leaders as they are a single model on a 1 inch base. I almost group up some, but I realize I need a fair number of divisional leaders, and I have another bag of 'marshals' which should more than cover the higher level command.

At this point I really only need some heavy cavalry to be able to field all the necessary unit types for my french force. Unsurprisingly I have way more extra units than that to paint, but it's nice to have the choice narrowed for me.

Saturday, September 1, 2018

Congo! Sultanate of Zanzibar (3) - 28mm wargames foundry

The final elements in the Sultanate column are the local african hirelings. No doubt these guys are cannon fodder for the more 'valuable' troops. Also, I expect these guys desert often as the groups pass into different tribal areas and get too far from home.

 East coast Africans were in a drier area so that the shields could be solid wood. The forest tribes tend to use wicker as jungles rot everything pretty fast.

We see some basic muskets, spear troops, and those poor poor porters.

Strangely for the Zanzibari's the white robes denoted a higher socio economic class, whereas for the Africans, having a piece of colored cloth to cover your junk was an aspiration.

I could have 'dirtied' up the loin clothes, but I felt it's more visually pleasing to have crisp colors on the wargaming table.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Congo! Sultanate of Zanzibar (2) - 28mm wargames foundry

Following in the column of the Zanzibari sultanate we find some hirelings. The Baluchis (as per wargame foundry) were a somewhat hereditary warrior caste. They could come from Africa but Arabs and Indians were common as well. These guys struck me as fairly Indian in flavour, although the colouration of robes followed the zanibar theme (yellows and whites).

Once again there was some challenge making visually cohesive units. I don't think these guys suceeded, though luckily the sculpts are fairly unifying (swords/shields and extra long muskets) and the unit sufficiently different from some of the other units.

The Ruga Ruga were bandit mercenaries. They smoked drugs, wore 'fancy' clothes and acted tough. I imagine their direct spiritual successors are fairly prevalent in bush war africa of the modern era.

These guys were pretty fun to paint, and despite having individualized fashion sense, I think the unit is obvious that it belongs together.  It did take a longer time to paint for all the extra colours and the hemming and hawing about how to paint them.

Monday, August 20, 2018

Congo! Sultanate of Zanzibar (1) - 28mm wargames foundry

Leadership Team
One of our local gamers mentioned collecting a force for Congo. In one of those strange series of events, I ended up spotting a wicked deal for a copious amount of lead on TMP, and then needed to buff up an order to get free shipping so ended up ordering the rules. Neither the other local gamer or myself have made much progress past that. No longer! The Sultanate has stolen a march and woe be those fools who stand against them!
Trained Troops

 The figures are 28mm wargames foundry darkest africa range. They have a lot of character. I ended up with way too many and fobbed off the lot of africans with looted european gear (and carrying heads etc) to a buddy to return a gift of ancients. Fun stuff hiding there.

The "trained troops" have a better looking rifle; A repeater I suspect. The zanzibari's have slightly shoddier weaponry. Given the zanibari national dress was lots of white gowns it was a bit tricky to add colour and maintain 'unit' groupings. I hazard that I have succeeded.

My one clanger is the eyes are probably a bit too white, though it's less noticeable in person, on the table, at 3 feet.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

15mm french chassuer a cheval - old glory

Gosh, multiple posts without napoleonics, I was starting to get worried too. Here we have two bags of old glory 15mm chassuer a cheval all painted up nice. The problem with these bags (in my opinion) is that you end up with too much command for most systems. 32 figs with 4 standards and 4 musicians is a bit bonkers.

I decided to go for a bit of colour and did 4 distinct unit colorations (also I had 4 command stands). Though these will be used for napoleons battles, I expect I will use them for other games, and can't say I'm a fan of basing 4 cavalry in a deep narrow base.

I'm getting terribly close to actually being able to field a coherent french force in 15mm. Zounds! It's only been like 7 or 8 years since I got my huge lot of 15mm naps.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

15mm XCOM - Sectopod (Heavy Gear Naga)

Another contribution to the XCOM project. I feel like this is the 'avatar project' in that it veeerrrrryyyy slowly makes progress....and then is knocked back a few steps. The model has been sitting in my boxes for far too long (do we detect a theme here?) so I'm pretty chuffed it's finally painted.

The sectopod is a tough enemy in the video game, being a walking tank. It uses some faster firing weapons, but can power up for a big area of effect devastating attack. I find it a bit more tough than dangerous....I suppose this would be true for a tank vs infantry.

Friday, August 3, 2018

Fortifications - earthberm wood reinforced

A set of fortifications (unknown manufacturer) that have sat in a box for years. I think this may have come from a bartertown swap.....maybe. I know for sure I didn't select them directly to order. Maybe a lot of terrain?
Anyway, having done some vietnam fortifications in the past I had an easy paint recipe, so on the table they went to be worked on when I am burnt out on batch painting.

I'm pretty happy with the effect and amount of time it took to bang these out. It's a bit unfortunate there are sandbags as that makes them less useable for a wide range of time periods.

Sunday, July 29, 2018

28mm Vehicles #2: Marx and ZombieSmith

 Another set of cars to add to the tiny carpool. I'm hoping to eventually get enough 'traffic' to make a small urban table look reasonable. I suspect this will take some time. This time we have one car from Zombie smith (they have a set of 3 resin vehicles for very reasonable pricing). I tried a newer type of window effect. I'm not sure I'm sold on it......though I may just have to fill in some of the white better next time before inking. Ideally the idea is that it's reflecting some of the inner lighting from a dark car interior.

The marx future car I'm not entirely happy with. Orange is a bit of a beast for me to paint, I have trouble with coverage and smoothness. The turqoise seating I like, and the mirror effect. The metallic detailing is quite what I'm happy with. Probably it's too uniform and either needs to be dirtied up a bit, or heat modulated (which sounds challenging) or something. I doubt I'll get to it any time soon as other projects beckon....

Friday, June 29, 2018

Dutch Red Lancers - Perry Miniatures

These guys are colorful and actually a treat to paint. As much as napoleonics are generally considered bright and finicky, sometimes you hit paydirt and get a unit like this. What a color explosion!

I know essentially nothing about these troops. They were part of the imperial guard, so obviously are  fairly elite. The nationality is not totally unusual as there are a number of formations in the Grande Armee that Napoleon simple ported over from their parent army and occasionally redressed. Why ruin a crack unit when you can 'borrow' it? The benefits of empire I suppose.

This jpeg I managed to find online and was totally invaluable in painting the unit. I wish it was easier to find stuff like this, as napoleonic uniforms can be confusing at the best of times.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Russian Dragoons & Officers - Perry miniatures

And now for a big change...more napoleonics! Russians at least. I was 'short' some Russian cav, so I ordered and painted up some more dragoons. The officers I believe were moldering away half finished for quite some time, so I finished them at the same time.

I suspect the officer with the sword high is actually a warlord figure, but I might be confused.

Friday, June 15, 2018

French Headquarters - Perry Miniatures

As part of a larger Perry order I grabbed the 'Napoleon and Staff' collection. It's fun to have some recognizable figures/personalities on the board. I actually had already painted a napoleon I grabbed out of a box at a convention, so I handed this new one off to a local gamer who didn't have one (and therefore *needed* one).

I probably could have crowded more figs onto one base, but I figured this was good enough. 

Saturday, June 9, 2018

French Imperial Guard Cannon - Perry Minatures

More Imperial Guard on parade today. I need two bases for Enfilade but decided I might as well finish the requirements for Waterloo (4). I'm not sure that I will use the horse artillery as horse artillery, but we'll see. I have vague plans to have different colored dice (there's a dice frame on each base to track strength) for horse artillery.
 The horse artillery always looks a bit more glamorous with their extra lace and curved swords.

 My picture setup is a bit lacking right now. So apologies for the terrible 'background'.