Wednesday, 4 December 2013

Work In Progress......November 2013

Work in progress is a bit of a none-entity this time round.  I managed to find employment far more swiftly than at the beginning of the year, but at the expense of my evenings and my sole free modelling and gaming time.  Said work is with Asda, picking online orders between the unpleasantly early time of 6am and 11am which has meant needing to sleep from 9pm onwards, and because I work every Friday I’m currently not gaming on a Thursday.  It has a major side benefit that I am free to spend most of each day with family however.  It is permanent, but seasonal, so I expect to be dropped from the rota in the new year which is fine, and fortunately the people there are lovely.

Onto modelling and the only bit I have managed earlier in the month is the painting of a number of American Civil War 6mm troops, namely an infantry regiment, a cavalry regiment,  4 artillery pieces, dismounted cavalry and skirmishing infantry, and most importantly 3 command bases to lead them.  They are painted and stuck to their MDF bases, but I haven’t got round to painting and flocking the actual MDF bit, so they are stored away waiting for that day.  I’ve taken a few pictures to brighten the day anyway.


I have managed one significant game this month; fighting Red’s British armour to a draw in my Flames of War campaign game.  The campaign continues with round 2 due to end after the 19th of December.

Current Reading

Most definitely the Stryker books by Michael Arnold.  I’ve read 3 of the first 4 so far, and I’ve moved onto the 4th today; Assassin’s Reign.  Billed at the ‘Sharpe of the English Civil War’ it does have similarities in the writing and the way it moves along at pace, but I feel it gives even more period feel and detail than Sharpe, and is certainly good enough to read cover to cover. 

Painted Vs. Purchased

Not bought anything.  Not painted anything.  So a 0-0 still then!

Friday, 8 November 2013

Prelude to Lostwithil - English Civil War

Got into a bit of an English Civil War scrap last night as we tested out Aidan’s scenario for the bigger Battle of Lostwithil (hopefully to appear later in the month).  In brief my Royalists were joined by Red’s, and commanded by Charles himself (who turned out to be as inept as the rest of my commanders).  They advanced onto the board on a 6 foot frontage against a Parliamentarian army only slightly smaller and proceeded to fight in an unsightly scrap that didn’t go far and wasn’t in the slightest decisive after 3 hours.  David Astbury and Aidan split the defending Rebels 50/50.

The setting was that the Parliamentarian troops, commanded by Old Robin the Lord Essex, were trapped and awaiting naval ships to lift them out of Cornwall, but in the meantime they were to try and break out of the Royalist cordon.  The victory conditions were that the Rebels got 1 victory point for each unit that escaped, and the Royalists 1 victory point for each they wiped out, so the Roundheads sent forward their horse to try and get away, while their foot mostly stayed further back.  In the end it was a rather predictable 4-1 Royalist win, with only the invincible Polish Lancers(!) breaking through and fleeing.  My infantry suffered from bloody awful command rolls, and went up against rebel infantry in a ruined castle which weren’t going anywhere, while Red expended all of our powder reserves (limited powder in operation this time out) trying to shoot 3-4 roundhead horse regiments, and mostly failing.  The scenario needs a bit of work and a much bigger table for the actual thing I think.

Interestingly we turned up to discover another 28mm English Civil war battle about to start on a similar sized table, so we setup as close as possible in the hope of trading a few shots later across the void…..

David's Rebels defending fields, hedgerows, and sheep.

The main area of the battlefield, with the Royalists appearing en-masse on the far edge.

The Rebels second big charge as Red's Royalist infantry starts turning up.

My dragoons in the woods on the Royalist left flank.

The castle (to the right) defended so ably by David.

Unengaged Scotsmen.

My desperate attempts to reduce the castle - I even had a storming party complete with petard which failed in 6+ turns to move more than 18" of the 36" I needed.

Stradlings pike come close, but not close enough.

The final nail for the Roundheads escape hopes as Red brings on the reserve cavalry brigade.

Still time for the flamboyant lancers to scythe through some of my remaining horse and escape. 

Friday, 1 November 2013

Work In Progress.........October 2013

A new year, and the hobby front has gone very quiet this month for a variety of reasons, including poor health and other distractions such as searching for work.  Bar the dotting the ‘i’s and crossing the ‘t’s I’ve now finished my current job so I’m on to looking for something new and exciting which challenges me – on all fronts it cannot fail to be an improvement on the one I’m finishing at the heritage centre.

Another reason why I’ve not been into the hobby as much has been a diffusion of interests.  No one period/scale/project has stood out as something I want too do.  I’ve played some Flames of War, but not been grabbed enough to pick up a brush.  I’d like to start on some World War One French with an eye towards a possible 1914 game at Gauntlet, but I lack the finance to buy any, and the same goes towards the English Civil War which I’m still keen on adding to my collection, but I’ve painted every model!

Actual Painting

Fortunately I do have some painting to talk about, because as one of my Thursday night games in October I finally managed to stick my 6mm American Civil War Yankees on the battlefield.  They were not numerous enough to make a complete side, but the addition of many of Andy’s zouvres made for an even two games, of which I lost both but enjoyed heartily.  This was finally enough to motivate me to do something modelling related.

My troops were lacking skirmishers, dismounted cavalry, command bases and cannon, so all were cut, stuck to lolly pop sticks and sprayed a lovely colour of black.  Then over a week later I added some blue to some of the infantry, command and artillery.  They are a work in progress, and once I’ve done the initial batch I’ll move onto the dismounted cavalry.  There is also a regiment of zouvres, complete with skirmishers, to do which will provide a break in the blue proceedings; I’ll have to look up their colour scheme.  Once the lot are finished I’ll base them en-masse and do an ACW post and maybe play another game.  After that I am pretty much out of Union troops, and I’ll have to make another purchase to carry on trying to keep up with Andy’s massed confederate regiments which significantly outnumber me!

Other things hanging around the edge of the painting table

A couple of 4 figure bases of Wars of the Roses archers in 28mm scale; the perrys miniatures which I keep almost having the enthusiasm to paint but not quite.

Current reading

Some basic, quite simple, books on the first world war to get a feel for the period and the events of 1914-15 before I plunge in and buy some French.  I’ve also read Antony Beevor’s ‘Berlin’ book again, super stuff, I really enjoy his detailed narrative style which flows beautifully and makes a book that deals with such a complex subject simply flow.  I’ve his Stalingrad book waiting to be read again as well.


A few games this month, mostly of Flames of War as I lost to James in the Race For The Rhine campaign (which I’m running) thanks to my impatience, then returned the favour by running him over with my rarely used Panthers in a big 3,000pt game.  I also managed to fit in the aforementioned ACW game, a big Market Garden battle on a Saturday, and finally suffered a very conclusive defeat in my quarter final Bloodbowl game to Paddy.

Purchased Vs Painted

This may be a good year for this ratio, mostly because I don’t expect to be able to buy many models!  And it’s a good start.
Purchased – 0

Painted - 0

Saturday, 12 October 2013

The American Civil War - An Odyssey In 6mm - Part 4

Let there be many tiny men with little brightly coloured flags above their heads; and there was!  There will be a bit of flannel below (you know the sort) but the upshot is that I have managed to finish – paint, base, flock, flags, varnish – a whole bunch of my 6mm Union troops, to a total of 5 regiments of infantry, 2 of cavalry, and 2 batteries of cannon.  And I’m pleased with myself.

The whole 'danged lot before the additon of flags.



Closeup of the first fully completed regiment - a Wisconsin one, the others are a second wisconsin, 2 from New York, and finally one from pennsylvania.


In truth the 1st regiment of foot was finished last month, and it provided a blueprint for me to complete the rest.  Having spent part of a holiday to Cornwall painting an infantry regiment I decided that I had enough to start the basing process.  This went through the following steps:
  1. I stuck the models to the MDF bases using Army Painter super glue (very strong stuff – a good purchase).
  2. Then I added a layer of PVA glue onto the exposed MDF before covering with fine sand.  My choice of brand in this case was Baccus’ own product.
  3. With the sand very dry I painted it, and any bits of the soldiers metal bases that needed it, Hull Red (Vallejo) paint – a dark brown.  This I had problems with because the sand began clumping and it was very hard work.  Advice was sought from Andy, and I started significantly watering down the paint and dabbing it on, letting it “flow from the brush onto the sand” were his words, and it mostly worked.
  4. With the brown dry I then used Kharki Grey (Vallejo), a lighter brown, to give it a bit of depth with a dry brush, and painted the edges of the bases Olive Green (Vallejo).
  5. Baccus were then the source of my flock; bright green and applied directly after a coat of watered down PVA glue.  I tend to put a lot of flock on to cover most of the base after seeing Michael’s English Civil War troops and the effect he’d managed there.
  6. Flag time, and the Baccus flags (seeing a theme here) were applied, with a national flag and a state flag for each of the command bases.  These were stuck together, and to the flag pole using PVA glue, another Andy tip which worked better than my efforts with pritstick!
  7. Finally an Army Painted Matt Varnish over the whole ensemble to dampen down the shine from the ink wash, and give the models some protection.

With this many models finished I think it may be time to take to the table soon.  5 regiments of infantry isn’t much of a match for Andy’s current Rebel horde, but if his zouvres and a few commanding officers (I haven’t managed to do any yet) swap sides it begins to look a lot more even.  The next ACW bits on the list to be made/painted are some command bases, skirmishers for the infantry, and dismounted cavalry, all of which I had put off due to not having a sufficiently sharp knife to start separating them from their tabs!  The blades are now bought, so maybe they’ll have their chance.

Sunday, 6 October 2013

A Wargaming Review of 2013

Its October so it must be time for another wargaming review with the end of my painting ‘year’.  Last years review was short because I had done little in the way of wargaming due to my job at the Imperial War Museum, however when this finished in mid October 2012 I decided I had neglected a major interest and threw myself into it. 
The Changing of the Guard

It has definitely been a year of change; since last October I have sold over 700 models of varying sizes and types.  The majority have been Games Workshop ones as old world of Fantasy/Sci-fi games make way for the Historical ones.  The ships of battlefleet gothic and the titans of Epic 40k were followed out of the door by the edges of my Imperial Guard collection, a whole bunch of Chaos Space marines, and my Bretonnians for warhammer.  eBay was heavily used throughout, although some pieces were sold at the RGMB as well.  This reflected my realisation that there was lots I wanted too do but couldn’t due to lack of funds, and lots I had not taken out of their boxes since we moved to Wrexham at the start of 2009.  Surviving the cull were the Skaven and Undead for warhammer, the bulk of the Imperial Guard for 40k, and the Necromunda and Bloodbowl bits.

In reply I took the opportunity to visit wargaming shows in York (Vapnartek, February) and Sheffield (Tripples, May), and blessed by excellent company I used the funds raised to purchase many historical models.  A Welsh warband for Saga came out of my trip to York (as did the Saga rules – courtesy of Red’s propaganda, and a particularly good suggestion it was too).  Following a very agreeable game of the Wars of the Roses against Aidan some more troops appears for that, and additional finishing pieces for my English Civil War Royalists were also added.  An additional period, and a new scale, was begun by the purchase of many little 6mm American Civil War troops, and I decided that my scenery collection had too many holes and needed a revamp with a number of new buildings and roads being added.  I also purchased my first Sci-fi models for years when I bought into Dreadball – a third new game this year after Saga and ACW, and a recommendation by Laurent which I have not regretted for a moment.  At the last moment I purchased my first Flames of War 15mm Germans for an age when I bought the Open Fire boxed set, and the purchased tally stood at 474.  Much less than the sold total, but, sadly after purchases of hobby materials, it cost much more than the amount I had recouped in sales.

In terms of gaming my habits have also changed.  When I finished my work in Manchester I decided to start going to the Deeside Defenders club in Broughton regularly, as well as the RGMB in Chester.  The latter is on a Tuesday and the former on a Thursday so I could do both with ease.  The cost of the two started to mount however, particularly going to Chester with petrol and £2.50 a night, while travelling to Broughton meant I could share a car and the excellent banter on the way there and back, and entry was only £1.  In the last few year the RGMB had become inundated with magic card players, and in the last few months it had reached a point where I could no longer find a table at 6pm, or space, or hear myself when I did, and the level of enjoyment (pressured by the knowledge of how much it was costing me) dropped off.  I decided to stop going to Chester for a period, but to keep an ear out and if it, and my finances, improved I could rethink.  Thursdays are now the gaming night of choice.

A Year of Games

It has been a very varied year of games.  Whereas I used to play either Warhammer, Warhammer 40k, or perhaps Necromunda or Bloodbowl, and latterly Flames of War en-masse for long periods I found that often I was playing 3-4 different games (and periods) in a month.  This was helped by being at Deeside, where there were much more options in terms of historical gaming.  I’ve listed some of the games below:

  • Bloodbowl – I made it to the Deeside competition quarter finals with my skaven in late 2012, and I’m now occupying the same spot so far this year, whether I’ll get any further is unlikely!
  • Dreadball – Having started this new game I helped Laurent setup, and played in, a one-day tournament, coming a close second to Andy, who’d I’d shown how to play the game the previous Thursday!
  • Blackpowder – I dipped into the American civil war a few times, and I am especially grateful to Will at Deeside for giving me the benefit of his time, expertise and 20mm horde to get a feel for the period before I plumbed for 6mm Union troops to face Andy’s Rebels in the future.  It was particularly enjoyable to play a game with an umpire (Will again), which added an extra level to the games.
  • Flames of War – Several large battles ensued, whole day affairs which were mostly prompted by Phil who’s energy is worth admiration – he tends to start everything we do, and then someone (me?) makes his ideas reality.  I also played a few smaller games; fighting in the boccage against James was entertaining and different and worth doing again.
  • English Civil War – using Pike & Shotte rules the highlights were an enjoyable campaign run by Aidan, and a spectacular punch-up run by Blue Team Dave over the Gauntlet wargaming show weekend, which was the stimulus behind much of my painting this year.
  • Saga – I’ve used the Welsh throughout, with multiplayer games being the most common with normally 3-4 players around.
  • Cold War Commander – I had two shots at this, enjoying the entirely armoured introduction more than the combined arms battle a few weeks later.

The Battle for Chester - from the English Civil War campaign season.

A less successful scenario for the Falase Gap in Flames of War.

The Gauntlet setup for the epic 'Relief of Hawarden' battle.

And again, with my fully painted Royalists pouring out of Chester onto the Holt road.

My Dreadball Corporation team - Carbis Bay Buccaneers.

All 10 teams from the one-day tournament.

Some of Will's excellent (and sizable) 20mm American Civil War collection.

I also seemed to have ended up playing lots of introductory games; explaining the rules to players who then tended to beat me thoroughly (Andy).  I can remember demonstrating Flames of War, Dreadball, and Saga to more than 1 person this year.  I’m hoping to play a little less variety and focus a bit more on a few specific games this year coming because I found that due to this jumping between periods I couldn’t get really into, or excited about, any one period/game, which affected my painting volume after July.

In terms of painting 2013 must surely be my most productive year ever.  A few major projects are responsible for this, and the majority of the 396 figures I painted in the period were done just for the single large ECW battle at Gauntlet, so I think I’ve much to thank Blue Team Dave for.  This focus upon only using painted figures at The Relief of Hawarden battle ensured that I finished entirely my Royalist army, more than 240 figures which were done at a rate of over 50 a month. 

Other projects included the painting of my entire Saga warband, 6pts (45 figures done, plenty more could be added in the future), my Dreadball team (11 figures and a ball), and finally my American Civil War 6mm stuff, which I finished 74 models of.  Scenery also took a chunk of my time, and Luke and Red were probably sick with my whinging about needing to find a 28mm church in York!  I did find a Norman chapel which was almost as good, and was added too by many feet of road, the repair and renovation of several older buildings, and some other extras such as ponds, a farm, and a bridge or two.

My first Union regiment from Wisconsin.

A bit of farm scenery for Flames of War.

The horse wing of my Royalist army.

The whole Royalist army of Lord Flasheart just before I finished the last few little details.

Some Saga, ECW and civilians on the painting table.

My initial Welsh Saga warband of 4 points from the Gripping Beast boxed set.  Its now expanded to 6 points.

What does 2014 hold?

Hopefully a new job for starters!  The lack of finance is really biting in and without Pete’s very generous lifts almost every Thursday I suspect I’d have to significantly cut down on gaming time.  Other than that I have a Flames of War campaign which I’m running in the autumn/winter months, and a Market Garden game in a week or so’s time.

Looking longer term I would like to finish my 6mm American Civil War army to a reasonable size, play in another Dreadball tournament, and play much more Flames of War – possibly revamping my German army for the latter which has had no work done on it in nearly 2 years.  Finally I feel there is unfinished English Civil War business to be seen too by my finished Royalist army.  Another campaign season would be excellent.

On the painting front – could this be the year my painted defeats my purchased, aiming for it to be so.  American Civil War and Flames of War to the fore.

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

Work In Progress.....September 2013

Right until the last bit of the month I didn’t really do much, but having managed to get some paint on a band of 6mm American Civil War troops while on holiday I came back and pressed through with the basing of all the Union troops I had done so far.  This turned out to be a grand total of 74 models (1 equalling; a strip of 4 infantry, a strip of 3 cavalry, or 1 cannon and crew).  A nice ending to what has been probably my most productive year of painting models.  This also enables me, after borrowing a few models from Andy, to claim to have an ACW force capable of taking to the field – post coming soon.

With a Flames Of War game against James coming up, and a bigger game in October to look at I also gained some added enthusiasm for painting a few bits of scenery, and the big Hovels resin bridge that has been sitting in the garage (thanks Dave!) has gained a few different colours, and I’m pleased with the overall effect.  It should be good for a couple of different scales as well, with Flames of War and 28mm English Civil War the big contenders. 

My old Airfix farm also gained a new lease of life.  Originally a 1/72 model of La Haye Sainte I had found it in my Airfix bits box and put it back together incorrectly, due to a few missing parts, and based it on a wooden board so that it looked like a farm once again.  I painted it in very basic colours for use in Flames of War games, and it did look the part, but I always felt it was missing some colour.  I’ve filled in the cracks between the bricks with Iraqi Sand (an excellent tip from Red) and followed up with a brown wash to give it a weathered look.  A drybrush of the same sand had a decent effect on the rest, and some flock gave it a bit more green.

Farm in 1/72 with a 15mm Battlefront german car to demonstrate scale.

The bridge, minus the toll hut, should also be fine for 15mm, but perfect for 28mm as the Royalist horse demonstrate.
The farm from another angle, the roofs are removable.

For the Painted/Purchased lark I did make a last minute mistake and bought the Battlefront Open Fire boxed set for Flames of War; at £28 (£22 + postage) on Amazon it was a bargain, but did add an additional 33 models (1 model per team) to my purchased side:

Painted: 385

Purchased: 474

Plans for October: In the next few months I’m (hopefully) running a Flames of War campaign, so I may turn back to that and paint a few of the unfinished figures for use in the Race for the Rhine.  I also have my ACW command and a cavalry regiment waiting beside the painting table for a space, and I’ve just finished reading another Wars of the Roses book, so maybe the numerous models I’ve got for that will actually get some paint too!  Finally my improving scenery collection is making my hills look a bit out of place, so I might return to those and redo them in a brighter colour. It is also the end of my painting year, so a ‘Wargaming Review – 2013’ might be in the offing.

Or I might just play more football manager: Season 3 with Liverpool and I’ve been headhunted by Internazionale!

Friday, 27 September 2013

Saga - The Welsh Vs. The Irish

A Saga punch-up, and a rare one at that because only two warbands were involved!  With Red’s Vikings backing out at the 11th hour we played a scenario or two that weren’t The Crows Feast.  My Welsh had to content themselves with trying to stop Luke’s Irish firstly from transporting goods to market, and secondly from sacking a village.

In the first attempt I didn’t do very well in The Escort scenario.  My cunning use of my 8-strong heathguard as a tactical column worked nicely in isolating and wiping out Lukes mounted heathguard in a hail of javelins, but I then failed to remember my own weakness to missile fire and my own horsemen went the same way against the Irish warriors.  In fact the only troops to survive to the end on each side were the two warlords and the levys, who picked on everyone else with their bows and slings.  My hearthguard killed off the warriors and tried the same javelin and charge trick on the Irish warlord, but he bulked up with Saga powers and I bounced off to be whittled down by the slings.  My warriors and warlord succeeded in stopping the other block of Irish heathguard, but at the cost of all of my warriors, and while my Warlord was triumphantly sacking a bunch of sheep (a big moment for him), the goats and the cart were heading in the opposite direction under cover of the Irish warlord and no amount of desperate welsh sprinting could catch them up – victory to Luke.

Trying to stop the escort, Welsh in the foreground, with the red-cloaks of the heathguard to the left.

The second scenario we went for was the Homeland one, and I ended up defending my three buildings with 4 points of troops against Lukes 6 points.  This was less entertaining because I ran out the victor rather easily; leaving us thinking that perhaps we’d missed something.  My 8 strong heathguard looked near invincible in their house while, with the enemy divided trying to take all the buildings, my Warlord and warriors sallied out to attack the Irish flank.  I lost one of the houses and the 8 warriors inside, but it cost Luke his mounted heathguard, his wolfhounds, and his big axe men, and his warlord was left alone to face my second bunch of 8 warriors who chopped him up and claimed victory for the Welsh.

Luke's Irish sneaking up on a house/

My warlord and warriors sally out.

Mounted Irish heathguard.

Bonus scenery - a sheperd and his flock, obviously glad not to be the objective of the Welsh warlord this time round.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Average Joes - Match Day 5

Average Joes 3 – 1 Blue Giants

 Average Joes notched their third victory in their last group stage match and a place in the quarter finals with a victory over human side the Blue Giants.  Any hopes that playing the humans would be a welcome relief after their battering at the hands of the Orc sides was swiftly dispelled, with the humans putting the boot in at every opportunity, and their suspiciously scaly ogre particularly guilty of some tasty tackling.  This was so effective that after starting the first half with 14 players the rats finished it with only 5 players on the pitch. 3 linerats were seriously injured and being administered to by ‘Joes apothecary – a shady looking character with some bells and a stick – and even rat ogre Shirley was left unconscious.  This was most probably karma after Shirley had made an awful mess of an excellent scoring opportunity, swinging and missing twice on an easy block to leave gutter runner Cotton McKnight out on a limb, and subsequently pushed into the crowd; the humans not missing a trick there!  The Blue Giants took advantage of their numbers to seize the ball after the crowd returned it, and dash down the pitch where not even a last ditch attempt by rat thrower Murdock was enough to stop them making it 1-0. 

This was the traditional game of two halves however.  The magic sponge (or bells and a stick) obviously worked wonders in the dressing room because Average Joes were able to field 11 players for the start of the second half.  Meanwhile the Blue Giants found their gloves has been tampered with, and their blocks were of much less effect.  A training ground set piece during the first drive saw the rats grab the equaliser; gutter runner The Rat making no mistake as he made a beeline for the endzone after his team had made the gap.  The Blue Giants had the ball back, but with rat ogre Shirley back on the pitch they lost it far too easily and once again found themselves playing catch-up to a gutter runner as Cotton made up for his first half crowd surfing action by slipping away and scoring number 2.  The humans seemed to lose heart at this hammer blow of 2 touchdowns in 5 ratty turns, but gamely played on with half of the second half remaining.  However the skaven side were now on song, and picked off the edges of the human cage until the ball carrier was exposed once more, this time to storm vermin Tank.  He slammed in a blitz, and the ball went loose to be picked up by The Rat, and handed off to Cotton to speed almost the length of half the pitch to make it safe at 3-1 and send the 15,000 ratty fans – more than twice the 7,000 humans – into raptures.

Friday, 13 September 2013

Saga - An Anglo-Danish & Welsh Alliance Vs The Vikings & Irish

After a while in the impenetrable darkness of the foam trays my Welsh came out for a fight using the Saga rules.  The plan was an introduction to Saga for Andy, and we also acquired Luke and Red.  Having played a basic ‘how-to’ introduction for Andy we set up again for a 2 vs 2 battle, where Andy’s Anglo-Danes (kindly lent by Luke) joined my Welsh in fighting Lukes Irish and Reds Vikings, a real mixed couple of alliances!  On the 4ft by 4ft battlefield the allying warbands were quite close together, but it still split into two separate fights, with Red’s Vikings going all out at my Welsh, and Lukes Irish looking to wrestle control of a crossroads and church from Andy.

The Danish-Welsh alliance had the best of the opening exchanges with Andys warriors and hearthguard wiping out Lukes larger hearthguard unit behind the church while my javalins cost Red his berserkers for the loss of a bunch of warriors, and another large Viking warrior unit was whittled down and then destroyed by my mounted warriors.  Luke gained some revenge on my horse with his nasty ‘shooting from cover’ saga ability, before Red’s warlord stepped amongst them and wiped them out.  In the process I isolated another Viking warrior unit, and reduced it too one exhausted man who would play no further part using my warlord and hearthguard before falling back to prevent a counter attack.

Lukes troops advanced down the road, warriors in front and hearthguard and warlord behind.  The warriors met the Danish warriors and came off worse, before the Irish hearthguard stepped in.  Then the Danes warlord and hearthguard attacked and wiped out the irish hearthguard, leaving Luke to mount a counterattack on the Danish warlord with his own warlord and a champion.  Sadly for the Irish this went horribly wrong and his warlord was slain.

This coincided with the Welsh victory on the Danes right, and an attack by the remaining Viking warriors was seen off by the Welsh hearthguard, before the Welsh warlord waded into the Viking warlord and defeated him.  A javelin in the back for the last Viking model – the exhausted warrior, and the Welsh, down to their last two models, were victorious.  With two warlords on the rampage the Irish didn’t follow the Viking example of ‘too the last man’ and retreated leaving the field to the Anglo-Danish/Welsh alliance.

An enjoyable game, and definitely time to get my Saga out more often!  We used 4pts per player to make it more manageable for Andy as a new player, but he picked up the rules swiftly and next time we could expand to 6pts (I felt lost without my levy).  I also setup the table to look nice rather than to the saga rules for scenery, which I always feel is better, and makes it feel more realistic even if it can give one side an advantage – not in this case however. 

The early stages - Welsh in the cottages garden waiting the Viking onslaught opposite.

The Vikings advancing.

The Irish hearthguard (yellow shields) get into trouble.
Closeup of the Welsh warlord about to wade in.

The Anglo-Danes await the Irish at the crossroads.

Monday, 9 September 2013

The American Civil War – An Odyssey in 6mm – Part 3

Update on the Union troop movements time, although it’s a small to tiny update because I haven’t done a lot of work on them this month.  After the initial burst of energy I was sidetracked by football manager (who isn’t) returning to a computer screen near me for the first time in 6-7 years, and by trees falling.  I did receive my order of sand and flock from Baccus however, and this pushed me on to test-base one of my infantry regiments. 

The initial results weren’t promising, when I tried painting the base colour of Vallejo Hull Red over the sand (which had been stuck on with PVA glue) the sand rucked up (is that a word?) and I could barely get any paint to stay.  I consulted someone with experience (Andy) who suggested dabbing on the paint – letting a very wet horde of it flow off the brush rather than brush it on as I normally do with larger models bases.  This worked much better, although seemed extravagant in terms of time and quantity of paint it took.  Once this was on I drybrushed the base a lighter brown (Vallejo Kharki Brown) to give it depth, then applied flock and finally flags before giving it all a coat of Army Painted matt varnish spray.

Overall I’m happy with the effect, the flags in particular (another Baccus purchase while in Sheffield earlier in the year) really finish the model, and I’m looking forward to doing more.  For a next move I’ve decided I don’t need to match the opposition in numbers to have a game, luckily because they’ve already 13+ infantry regiments alone, so I’m looking to finish the part painted one I have on the table at the moment, then do several command bases before moving onto massed basing.  When this is finished hopefully I’ll have 5 infantry regiments and 3 troops of horse supported by 2 cannon batteries.  Unfortunately I still have lots of work to do to get any skirmishers or dismounted infantry done, I need a new/sharper craft knife to separate the men from their strips before I can start that.  

The first foot regiment - flags denote a unit from Wisconsin, mainly because I've actually been there!

Saturday, 7 September 2013

The SmAshes 2013 – A Brief Report Of A Dreadball Tournament

 Devised by the indomitable and frankly daft Laurent Blom, and with the catchy name of the ‘SmAshes’, this one day Dreadball tournament was played in a small room behind the Deeside bar, which was less dingy and dodgy than it initially sounds.  There was plenty of room for the 10 participants to stretch their legs, put out their figures and boards, and rail against the world on varying subjects, including lunch, the method of balls returning to play, and how many millions of creds an upgrade cost before they settled down to play. 

The Players & Their Teams:
Pete – The Lost (Locusts)
James – Greenskin Clobbaz (Marauders)
Adrian – Orcland Raiders (Marauders)
Chris – simply :) (Marauders)
Mark – Plague Bearers (Veer-myn)
Laurent – Gromril Giants (Forge Fathers)
Paddy – Blue Bronzed Blitzers (Corporation)
Ian - Veer-myn Foundation (Veer-myn)
Andy – Hollywood All-Stars (Corporation)
Rick (yours truly) – Carbis Bay Buccaneers (Corporation)

The Teams.

The Rules:

The tournament consisted of four rounds in a league format, with the result to be decided within the day.  3 points were available for a 7-0 wipeout victory, 2 points for a run-of-the-mill victory, and 1 for a draw.  Nothing for a defeat, unsurprisingly.  In the event of a draw of points at the top some counting of the number of 3 and 4 point strikes would be required.  The matchups were drawn randomly from, in the absence of a decent hat, a glasses case (very rock and roll), with any reoccurring matchups redrawn to ensure players only met once.

Round 1:

The first round saw two draws, and shock victories for the Hollywood All-Stars (who had only learnt the rules on the previous Thursday) and the Veer-myn Foundation (who hadn’t actually learnt any rules, but didn’t let this put them off).  The remaining 3 games were very close.

The Lost Vs Carbis Bay Buccaneers (0-1)
Greenskin Clobbaz Vs J (0-0)
Blue Bronzed Blitzers Vs Gromril Giants (0-0)
Veery-myn Foundation Vs Orcland Raiders (3-0)
Hollywood All-Stars Vs Plague Bearers (6-0)

Round 2:

The first round had obviously broke the ice and scoring started in earnest, with no draws in round 2.  The ratmen of the Veer-myn Foundation were named for their tendency to provide the foundations for the league, but racked up another surprise victory against their marauder opponents.  Two teams very familiar with each other met in a grudge match as the Gromril Giants sought to put one over on their corporation rivals, but were heavily defeated.  Another grudge match saw the Plague Bearers defeat the Orcland Raiders, while, while the sole locust team went down to the other surprise package the Hollywood All-Stars. 

Carbis Bay Buccaneers Vs Gromril Giants (7-0)
The Lost Vs Hollywood All-Stars (0-3)
Greenskin Clobbaz Vs Veer-myn Foundation (0-7)
Orcland Raiders Vs Plague Bearers (0-2)
Blue Bronzed Blitzers Vs J  (5-0)

Round 3:

A spot of lunch later and it was now or never time for those who’d had a poor morning.  The Carbis Bay Buccaneers and Hollywood All-Stars picked up where they had left off with 7-0 wipe outs, although the 'Buccaneers were lucky to do so before their opponents destroyed their entire team.  Elsewhere The Lost and the Gromril Giants both gained their first wins, and the Blue Bronzed Blitzers stepped away from the tanning booths long enough to hold Veer-myn Foundation to a draw.

Carbis Bay Buccaneers Vs Plague Bearers (7-0)
Hollywood All-Stars Vs J (7-0)
Greenskin Clobbaz Vs The Lost (0-1)
Gromril Giants Vs Orcland Raiders (7-0)
Veer-myn Foundation Vs Blue Bronzed Blitzers (0-0)

Round 4:

With the results from round 3 in the possibilities were anything but clear, with the only certainty being that one of three teams would win the title.  The Carbis Bay Buccaneers led the table on 8 points, and played the Hollywood All-Stars (on 7 points) in a grandstand and voluntarily orchestrated finish.  The Veer-myn Foundation, on 6 points, waited in the wings hoping that a draw would enable them to sweep past.

In the event the ratmen lost to a Gromril Giants side grinding out the result.  Elsewhere The Lost fought hard to avoid defeat to the Blue Bronzed Blitzers but a final 4-point strike finished them off and the ‘Blitzers moved up to finish 3rd.  The marauder team known simply as J lost a close game 1-0 to fellow maurauder side Orcland Raiders, and the Plague Bearers rounded off a forgettable tournament for the Greenskin Clobbaz with a 7-0 wipeout.

The title deciding game lasted longer than the rest in this final round, and after the Hollywood All-Stars capitalised on an early mistake by the Corporation side they rarely looked back.  A trading of 3-point strikes took the score swiftly to 6-0, but the Carbis Bay Buccaneers fought back three times (from 6-0, 6-0 and 5-0), with their star striker Dirk Pitt scoring two 4-point strikes and a 3-point strike to bring it back to 1-0, before another unforced error on the last turn yielded the game, and the title to the Hollywood All-Stars.

Greenskin Clobbaz Vs Plague Bearers (0-7)
Orcland Raiders Vs J (1-0)
Blue Bronzed Blitzers Vs The Lost (7-0)
Veery-myn Foundation Vs Gromril Giants (0-1)
Carbis Bay Buccaneers Vs Hollywood All-Stars (4-0)

The Final League Table:

Round 1
Round 2
Round 3
Round 4
Hollywood All-Stars
Carbis Bay Buccaneers
Blue Bronzed Blitzers
Veer-myn Foundation
Gromril Giants
Plague Bearers
Orcland Raiders
The Lost
Greenskin Clobbaz

The Awards:
Tournament Champions – Andy Canham with his Hollywood All-Stars
Best Painted – Adrian with his Orcland Raiders

The Carbis Bay Buccaneers.

The Gromril Giants.

A CoSHH nightmare - The Plague Bearers.

The Champions - The Hollywood All-Stars (Brad Pitt included!)

The clear winners of the Best Painted Award - The Orcland Raiders.
Three of the Greenskin Clobbaz menacing a veer-myn.  
One of the surprise packages - the Veer-myn Foundation.  

A rare shot of a guard from the famously publicity shy Blue Bronzed Blitzers.
The teams once more, this time with trophys next to the winning sides.

The winners once again - the Hollywood All-Stars during the final presentation.

The sole Locust team; The Lost.

A team known only as a symbol -   :-)

The Tournament In Numbers
  • ·         Out of 20 matches a total of 7 ended in 7-0 wipeouts, three of which came in round 2.
  • ·         Only 2 teams avoided defeat; the winners Hollywood All-Stars, and the tough men of the Blue Bronzed Blitzers.
  • ·         The Corporation teams won the most points, with their three gaining 24, the two rat sides scoring 11, the single forge father getting 6, and the Locusts only just dropping below the three marauder teams; 2 vs 4.
  • ·         The Carbis Bay Buccaneers claimed the most 7-0 wipeouts with 2.
  • ·         If the tournament had been worked out on the post-lunch results the Gromril Giants would have come joint top; food obviously a factor.