Friday 26 February 2016

New Rules Pages

I've just created new pages on the blog that contain various rules variants. The first five of them are adaptations of One Hour Wargames for the Great Northern War, Crimean War, War of the Triple Alliance, Franco-Prussian War and Napoleonic Wars. All of them contain my simple command variation and base removal. There are little bits inserted here and there designed to reflect the different aspects of warfare in the various conflicts, hopefully without unbalancing the system too far.
A French Revolutionary game - all units based as in the rules.
Action in the Crimea
The sides line up in Livonia - GNW action from last year
Prepared for battle - the FPW is a project in progress
As is the War of the triple Alliance
The other ruleset is Eagle Rampant for the Gallic Wars. This was the final variant of Lion Rampant I settled on for Caesar in Gaul, before writing a variant of the Punic Wars for Wargames, Soldiers and Strategy.

One of the things about any rules that I write or adapt is that they invariably reflect the figures collection that I have to hand. They don't aim to encompass all possibilities for any period - as they are for my amusement, they really don't need to. My brief for games that I like to play is pretty straight forward. They can't be too complicated - I want to play the game not the rules. I don't want them to drag on - 1 to 2 hours is my favoured resolution time. They have to give a challenging game on a smallish scale - my pocket projects are all about a dozen units or less per side. One Hour Wargames fits the bill for all three criteria, although there are aspects that I have to add in - command and base removal for instance - because they fit with my 'idea' of a wargame.

When I have accumulated the figures and playtested the rules, I'll put the FoW variant for the Indo-Pakistani War up here. I can't imagine Battlefront will be too interested in such an obscure period despite having all of the vehicles and figures necessary.

All of the rules are intended to be 'live'. I will put any amendments I make as a I play into them so that they are up to date with what I am playing. Please feel free to use them, link to them and add and delete things as you see fit. If they are your cup of tea, I hope you enjoy them. If not, maybe you'll get some ideas from them.


Thursday 25 February 2016

Delivery from Australia

On the doorstep when I got home was this delivery from Dan, all the way from across the ditch:

I had contacted him last month to ask him to look out for any cheap Muskets and Tomahawks at CanCon that he could pick up for me. He didn't see any, but then said that he didn't think he would get around to getting his own up and running, and did I want them? In return, I could send him the old Warhammer 40K second edition rules. As this was a bit of a one sided deal, I've also offered to paint his Samurai buntai for Ronin.

So what arrived? The rules and cards, French Wilderness, Indian and British Wilderness forces from North Star, and a Last of the Mohicans pack from Warlord (I think). Also in there are some Three Musketeers figures from the Brigade Games range for use with En Garde. They were a surprise. Very, very cool, especially as I was reading about the battle of Rocroi last night and thinking about French figures for the Thirty Years War. Admittedly I was thinking One Hour Wargames pocket project, but I'm not going to quibble!

The French and Indian War has always been a bit of a favourite of mine, and I'm keen to add a couple of regular units to these Wilderness forces, along with some civilians. This year is officially accumulation year, where I forsake any great advance on my own projects, paint for other people, and build up my collections to paint from next year onwards. The French and Indian War is pretty high up on that project list, after 1588, Ronin and my mid-war German Flames of War army I will probably start painting these guys, so I should get to them later this year.

Thanks Dan!


Wednesday 24 February 2016

24 zombies in 24 hours

OK, I admit I didn't paint 24 zombies in 24 hours, but I did finish them all off within that space of time, and here I am posting about the last dozen. The first were in yesterday's blog post.

I decided to photograph them against a green background, as I figured the camera was focusing on the ground detail rather than the figures. I don't know whether it helped a lot.

I've just started the last 10 figures tonight, I hope to have them finished by early next week.


Tuesday 23 February 2016

Zombies and status update

Here are the first dozen zombies for Geoff. These are plastic figures that contain a number of repeated poses, so I've tried to paint them all as individually as possible:

So this is a third of Geoff's figures. Below is a photo of the painting tray - I'm about halfway through the next lot of zombies, then I have some native Americans and Koreans to paint. Finally, My test-paint Centurion for the Indo-Pakistani War is at the back of the tray. I have left one of the completed zombies on the tray at the left. He should have been in the photo above.

When Geoff's figures are done and the test Centurion is appropriately pretty (they are my favourite tank), I have the above commission from Craig - a Flames of War force from the Herman Goering Division. That should keep me busy!


Sunday 21 February 2016

First game of Commands and Colours Ancients

I went around to Mike's new house just a couple of minutes away from here today and we finally had a game of Commands and Colours Ancients. This being our first game, we chose what looked like a relatively simple scenario with the River Ticinus. Forces were entirely cavalry and light infantry. This was good because we could get a feel for the game without having to remember too many different troop types.
Mid-way through the battle and the fragmentation of the lines is obvious.
I have to say that I am very glad we finally played a game. It was a close run thing, but in the end the Romans took it out. We learned so much about how the cards work and the sorts of things that we need to be aware of  in our movement and deployment of force, and came to understand the elegance of the entire system. Is it on my list to play again? Absolutely. I now understand why so many people rave about this game!


Wednesday 17 February 2016

The Great Northern War Compendium

I became aware of the project to put this 2 volume set of books on the Great Northern War together last year, and signed up for an alert when it was eventually published. I knew it would probably be quite expensive, but I really love this period and information in English is limited, to say the least.
The pictures on the facebook page are absolutely stunning.
So I hoped that when it came out I would have access to the funds necessary to purchase it. Well, it is out in a few days and Caliver Books have a limited number that they are taking orders for. The price tag is £110, plus p&p which comes out at about $300 NZD, but if I miss out on these books I'll kick myself, so this is where the next lot of commission money is going. I've put my name on Dave Ryan's list and I'm really hoping I'll get a set. I'll have to put back the plan to purchase some more bits and pieces for the Indo-Pakistan War, but they will still be there in a few months time.

 I've also been looking at getting some figures for the New Zealand Musket Wars from Empress and Eureka's upcoming precolonial Maori range. The plan at the moment is to use them with the Muskets and Tomahawks rules. I'm still going down that track, but maybe a bit later on in the year now.

Fingers crossed that in a couple of weeks time I can post a review of the GNW compendium.


Tuesday 16 February 2016

ACW cavalry

These were painted up for John in return for some unpainted infantry to be turned into Indians for the Indo-Pakistani 1965 project. The rest of John's ACW collection is painted using the Army Painter dip, so these were painted to fit in with that. They are very basic and all shading is accomplished by the tin of gloop. They could be highlighted up in places, but that would mean that they don't fit in with the rest of the armies. In essence, this is what my 'wargames standard' painting looks like - the most basic job I can do, that I'm satisfied with.
Hair can be any colour you want, so long as it's brown.

John will give them another coat of matt varnish to remove a few remaining bits of shiny, but he took them away this afternoon happy.

Now - Zombies.


Sunday 14 February 2016

Plast Craft Feudal Dwelling review

I ordered one of these Plast Craft feudal dwelling sets last week in order to beef up my 28mm Samurai terrain for Ronin. Part of a range of scenery for the Kensei game, it features two buildings made from PVC plastic and corrugated card. It comes in a slim cardboard box with an attractive sleeve featuring photos of the completed buildings.

My first reaction on opening it was surprise - no instructions. On the sleeve it says to download them from the website, which I did on my ipad, but I thought it odd that something as simple as a sheet of paper with printed instructions was not included.
I laid out all of the pieces to mimic the first illustration on the instruction sheet which referred to the pieces by number. This was useful, because some of the windows etc that you pop out of the buildings are actually used later on.

I began with the larger building and made the mistake of putting it together with PVA. Having earlier assembled one of the temples. I should have remembered that superglue is actually the best adhesive to use. As such, having completed the basic framework, I left it to dry overnight. The pieces fit together very well, and the assembly is very straight forward.

The next night I finished the assembly, with superglue this time, and it went very quickly. The instructions were clear and the pieces to use were obvious. Once completed though, the tabs on each corner and the window frames etc. were bright white and very obvious. Some people would probably be happy to leave the building like that, but for me it stood out glaringly. So the next day I attacked it with the paint brush, using Vallejo Stone Grey mixed with varying degrees of white (for the upper walls) and black (for the stone work). The results can be seen below:
Both buildings side by side with some Perry Samurai for scale
A close up so that you can see the corners where I've done the touch ups.
Aside from having to download the instructions, I really had no issues with constructing this kit. If I did it again I would use Superglue for the whole construction, but PVA still works - it is just a bit slower in drying. The final result is really nice, as you can see above. Touching up the corner tabs with  a bit of paint is not essential, but I would recommend it, as it completes the model.
From the website, here is the photo of the assembled kit. You will notice the tabs which I painted over.

Relatively cheap, pretty and easy - that is my kind of terrain. Recommended.

I now need to finish painting my other Samurai Buntai and start playing!


Saturday 13 February 2016

Meine Panzergrenadiere

The last week has been a pretty hectic one work wise, but I have found time to do a little painting, for myself this time. I have assembled a small, basic 1750 point mid-war Panzerkompanie for Flames of War to oppose my Soviets that are growing gradually as I paint for Craig and in return he sends reinforcements. These guys are from one of the armoured companies of the 64th Shutzen Regiment, 16th Division, 1st Panzer Armee, and will support the 2nd Panzer Regiment in its sweep across Russian in Summer 1942 (I've been doing some research...).
Platoon HQ and light mortar.
1st gruppe
Second gruppe
Third gruppe
Another close up of the boss.
I haven't added any rank insignia yet. To be honest, I forgot all about it until I just put these photos up. I'll try and get that done over the next little while, but first I want to get all of the vehicles finished.

I undercoated 24 zombies for Geoff this afternoon. so back to commission painting for now.


Thursday 4 February 2016

Fallshirmjager finally finished

Despite the relieved sound of the title, I really enjoyed painting these figures. I am glad to get them finished, though, because they are for Craig and the Christmas period saw a number of delays in getting them painted.
No captions, these are the last 29 of the 45 figures I had to paint.

They are painted with a base coat, Army Painter Strong Tone dip, and then highlighting. I find the dip comes into its own when painting WWII figures with the muted colour schemes, and it protects the paint job that much more.
I quite pleased with the flamethrower at the bottom too. I don't know that the photo really captures the blending between the colours very well.
Now - 24 Perry ACW cavalry for John, a Flames of War Panzergrenaider platoon for myself and some Native Americans ( I can't say Indians given that I am doing a project with Indian Indians which might make things confusing) for Geoff.