Monday, 8 October 2018

I'm still around, just thinking about going Old School

But not posting much, obviously. Things were fairly hectic in the past month, and if the hobby time is a choice between painting and blogging, painting wins I'm afraid.

In the meantime, I've been looking at the cabinets and making decisions about what I really want to do from here on in. The result is a decision to try and concentrate on just a couple of key projects. The first is Ancients, and in particular, the Roman Civil Wars. This is to be in 28mm, using Warlord plastics and the Clash of Empires rules. I've looked at Warhammer Ancient Battles and War and Conquest as well, but CoE is the ruleset that appeals the most. I've already got 2 armies worth of Romans, although there needs to be much gluing of the plastic before they get anywhere.

The second, more immediate, decision is to expand the Spanish War of Succession project from a skirmish game using Pikeman's Lament into a full blown army game. I've been inspired by Old School Gaming and reading through some of Charles Grant's Tabletop Teasers using his imagi-nations. Now I'll never end up building 48 figure battalions, but I am going bigger than I normally would with 20 figures to a battalion. 8 figures to a cavalry unit, which follows the organisations laid down in the ruleset Honours of War. I'm not necessarily going to use those rules, I have a plan to write my own Featherstone style set, but I do like the visual result of battles that use them.

I tossed up whether to go completely Imagi-Nation, naming fictional regiments etc., but when it comes down to it, I really enjoy the research that goes on around historical armies. And given the paucity of info on the Spanish campaign in the War of Succession, there is a quite a bit of imagination needed anyway. So I've set a plan in place to build two sides reflective of forces in the Peninsular 1706-8. I've kept the Spanish in Tercios with their coats of many colours before the big chnage to white in 1707, but the Allies have some Imperial troops in their OOB that didn't show up until 1708. Both forces will have imaginary commanders in an imaginary campaign in an imaginary province which borders the Pyrenees. I've finished the first unit, the Spanish Valencia Tercio already.
The full 20 figure regiment

Close up of the command with hand painted flags. Information on the standards is quite sparse, and often conjectural, so I just did one 'King's Colour' in white and a Colonel's Colour' in the colour of the coats.

Green stuff was used to put the fur on the grenadier caps.
The planned armies are:
The Two Crowns
Spanish - Tercios Sevilla, Valencia, Murcia and Spanish Guard. Mahony Dragoons, Poco Blaco Horse and Granaderos a Cabello.
French - Orleans, Royal des Vaisseux, La Couronne and Berwick Regiments. Tessé Dragoons, La Reine and Berry Horse.
The Grand Alliance
British - Foot Guards, Rivers' Foot, Royal Dragoons and Killigrew's Dragoons.
Dutch - St Amant Regiment, Drimborn's Horse
Palatine - Leibregiment zu Fuss and Frankenberg's Horse
Imperial - Stahremberg and Osnabruck regiments, Jorger Dragoons
Spanish - Catalonian Guard and Zinzendorf Dragoons

Yes, there are Spanish on both sides. The result will be some extremely multicoloured armies.

I've also been doing some painting for others, in particular Geoff. Here's the latest:
Border Reivers
And he can't get enough zombies!
I've played a DBA game where the Athenians defeated the Spartans, although I haven't had time to write it up. I also had a game of Songs of Broken Legions with Adam, where he took the Romans and crushed the Celtic warband. I need to go back and rework the stats for the poor old barbarians...

And finally, something I thought you'd never see on this blog.
Pure yellow trimmings - we don't do any of that brass rubbish around here!

I've tried to add some battle damage, so he isn't too shiny
I gave up on Games Workshop a long time ago as their prices went ridiculous and the rules alienated me. Kill-team has got me interested, and Dan made me a Kill Team and sent it to me all the way from Australia. It's going to be 90s style Ultramarines (the last time a played the game and enjoyed it). Adam is very keen on playing, so why not?

Next up I have some Hitler Youth for Geoff to do tonight, a British 6 pounder and crew for Craig, and a bit more work on my Ultras. Tomorrow my first Army Box of Warlord Marlborough's Army should show up, so assembly will be the priority.


Saturday, 8 September 2018


Painting has not been easy this past month - work has soaked up a good amount of hobby time, so I was pleased to get a DBA army finished this week. Army I/52d Later Athenians in the Early Greek Hoplite list. My Spartans needed some opposition, and who better than the sons of Attica? I just need to paint up one more psiloi element for the Spartans and a Light Horse for the Athenians and these guys will be able to morph into Bk II/5a and b, albeit the Spartans will look a bit anachronistic without their pilos helmets.

Athenian army gathered for battle
Close up of the cavalry and psiloi.
They had their first outing last night against the Spartans, and have hence recorded their first loss 4-2. It was a rainy day and the ploughed fields were rough going, which led to some interesting moments. Their general may have learned a few lessons though. The Spartan shield wall is a real pig to pull apart, but the Athenians almost managed it! The cavalry was sacrificed needlessly and the Psiloi were on the wrong end of a 6-1 roll which essentially turned the game. I'm still at a loss as to what to do with the Spartan horde element. It usually just sits back and looks after the camp.
In my next battle I'm planning on using this Time of Day display that Stevie whipped up. I printed out the images and glued them to a cut down desk calendar. It means that there are a limited amount of turns within a game to achieve victory for an invading force. I'm thinking about playing it alongside the quick linear campaign that has been outlined here.

In other news I finished Craig's Star Wars Legion stuff.

I think they came out pretty well - certainly look war-torn.

Some DBA battle reports soon I hope.


Sunday, 5 August 2018

An old friend

Friday night was games night, and for something different we thought we'd pull out a game of Warhammer Ancient Battles. John purchased these Age of Arthur armies off me some time ago, and they have since languished in his cabinet, but for a very good reason (more on that below), I felt like a game of WAB. So Arthur would ride again!
The two armies line up opposite each other, Mordred at the top of the picture, Arthur below.
 I didn't have much time to prepare for the battle and forgot that each unit had a character with it to give it a little more staying power, but as it turned out, we still had a fairly good game. I umpired while Mordred Mike and Arthurian Adam rolled the dice.
The two sides draw closer. Arthur's Teulu just out of picture on the right prepare to steamroll their opposition and outflank Mordred's forces.

The Combrogi see off the mercenary German mounted geoguth on the left, while Arthur's knights round the building, all in accordance with the plan.

Mordred Mike wasn't about to be beaten that easily though. he turned his left flank to meet the Arthurian cavalry and pinned the Arthurian infantry.

Here you see two units of Combrogi decide that they don't want to fight anymore, while Mordred's infantry prove a rather stubborn roadblock for Arthur's cavalry.

One unit of Combrogi rally in the centre, but by now the crux of the battle is on the right where the Arthurian cavalry has been forced to retire behind their infantry.

The last turn sees Mordred defeat and then run down the opposing infantry. Arthur and the last unit of  Combrogi fail their panic tests and the army routs.
 I had forgotten how much fun WAB is. Although I probably won't play it again. More on that soon.

Arquebusiers von Geradefurt
 I've been painting a few figures for my Dragon Rampant Fantasy project. I've also created the campaign background for the battles.
Die Schwarzenritter von Tarnach
 The plan is to paint these guys very simply. Base coats and washes with minimal highlighting. The idea is to get them on the table for battle. Later on I can come back and touch them up a bit if I like.
Close up with Goltz von Tarnach himself

Every base has a hit marker dice.

The only element of Orcs so far painted. This element fits 3 Orcs, but takes 6 hits. This works fine in Dragon Rampant.
 I want to paint a few more Orcs - some Boar riders and the other three chaps for the above unit before I delve back into finishing Craig's rebels.

Then I have these guys:
I love mail!
 This is the bulk of a Marian Roman army for Clash of Empires. Of the successors to Warhammer Ancient Battles, Clash of Empires is the one I've settled on. I had War and Conquest, but sold them a while back.
I've had the urge for a return to a WAB-style game for a while now, and with the plethora of nice plastics out there, it makes it easier to achieve than ever. So I decided that I would do the Roman Civil Wars between Pompey and Caesar. Then I thought again. That would be a lot of legionaries to paint, and two armies that fight in identical ways, which might get a bit boring. But what about my second favourite (after Hannibal) Ancient character - King Mithridates the Great? So using the Seleucid list for Clash of Empires I put together the plan for a 2500 point Pontic army. Now I just need to convince my wife that this would make an excellent birthday present...
The Romans put together and sitting in the cabinet. They need a unit of Numidian skirmishers added and they will be 2500 points. I've already arranged the cabinet so that the Pontic army will sit alongside them on the right - Cretan archers are already in place (French and Indian War collection to the left, as well as a Roman elephant that was going to be for North Africa in the Civil War - now unemployed).
So, as always, plenty going on. Next update should feature a decent number of painted Rebels for Star Wars Legion.


Sunday, 22 July 2018

First Brigade advance into the Chickatachee Valley

The climax of the battle
 From the north there are three ways into the Chickatachee valley. The Western gap, the Central pike and the river itself as it loops through. The river is controlled by a battery on the bluffs overlooking Cedarsburg, and with the navy unable to proceed up the valley, it is currently not an option. So the Union commander decided to split his forces. First Brigade and the Cavalry Brigade would move down the Central pike while the Second and Third Brigades would attack through the Western gap.

The Central pike runs close to the Boone river, and there is a choke point at McPherson's Farm, where a stone bridge crosses the Boone and intersects the pike. This is where the Confederate defenders placed their pickets and set up the Texan Brigade within easy reach.
The pickets (left) spy the Union cavalry approaching.

Quickly riding back to McPherson's Farm they raise their comrades and send word to the Texan Brigade.

The Union cavalry approach warily.

The cavalry set themselves up behind the fences of the farm, while the Union troops find cover in a rocky area nearby.

A second unit of Union cavalry approaches.

The Texan Brigade is on its way. McPherson's Farm can be seen at the top of this picture.

The combined fire of the Union cavalry regiments drives off the Confederate defenders.

While the Texan Brigade begins to deploy.

The union first Brigade is also on its way.

The Union cavalry do their best to hold off the Texans, eagerly hoping that the First Brigade will get there to reinforce them in time.

The 1st Texas infantry charge uphill in to the cavalry in their hard cover.

Too late! the farm is recaptured by the Texans and the Union cavalry is sent skedaddling, along with the Indiana boys who were coming to act as the reinforcements!

The fight in the rocks is hard and bloody! But the Michigan boys are coming in for a flanking attack.

The lines take shape, with the Confederates in cover and the Union out in the open.

The Union line is weakening.

With 50% losses the First Brigade finally breaks.
With that the Union forces proved unable to force their way down the Central pike. How will the attack on the Western Gap fare? That will be the next battle.

In terms of painting, I've managed to get a bit more done:
Star Wars Legion Rebels for Craig

General Veers and the last of the Stormtroopers.

A couple of character figures for my Antony faction for Song of Broken Legions - Legate and Centurion.

With the other figures. I repainted their shields so they stand out from the Caesarians with their red shields and wings. Lucius Vorenus is in this group - Titus Pullo is with Octavian's mob.
 My other diversion has been sorting out a couple of fantasy armies using old Warhammer figures.  The intention is to use Dragon Rampant and mount the figures on multiple bases which will have built in strength markers. Orc boarboyz are on their way for another unit of heavy riders, and I'd like to get some ECW Cuirassiers for the human faction to round them out.
Human faction. The peasants at the front are 'Ravenous Hordes', the warjack at the back will be a greater warbeast.

Only 3 Orcs to a base, although the base will indicate 6 hit points. The bases at the front are for the Boar riders.
So plenty going on.