Thursday, 31 March 2016

Time to party like it's 1985

The first boxes arrive for the Cold War:

Some infantry and some tanks. Pretty straight forward. The infantry are going to need transports, the tanks are going to need more tanks.

When the boxes are opened we are confronted with 10 sprues for the T-72s, along with some decals and the unit cards. I like the cards. They contain all of the info needed to play with that unit.

The infantry come with lots of infantry, cards and stands. One thing I had somehow missed when reading through the book was that the gremlin AA and MG stands are actually large bases, That is a bit different.

The long term plan is to mount the infantry in BMPs, get some Gophers for AA and Carnations for heavy support, as well as more T-72s. By that time hopefully the West Germans will be out and I can begin accumulating some Leopard/Marder/Panzergrenadier goodness.

Time to go listen to some Wham...


Tuesday, 29 March 2016

2 more HG platoons complete

This time an infantry platoon and a pioneer platoon for this company of the Herman Goering Division.
3 stands of HG infantry. I used a lot of Luftwaffe blue with this platoon, because I love the colour, and it makes the HG a little more unique.
The light wasn't good for taking photos this afternoon, but you get the idea.
Pioneers - a few more camo smocks with this lot
The last three stands of pioneers.
So I have one more platoon and the artillery crew to finish. They should all be ready to post down to Craig in anticipation of the next lot of arrivals by Monday.


Monday, 28 March 2016

Battle of Dertosa

Mike came around this morning and we had another game of Commands and Colors Ancients. I let him choose the scenario and the side, so he decided to be Carthaginian and chose Dertosa as the scenario. I thought it was a bit of a strange choice - the Carthaginians looked quite outgunned, especially in the centre, but had a cavalry advantage on the wings.
The first turn
I dragged some pretty generic cards out of the pile, and decided that I would concentrate on winning the battle on my left centre. I would refuse my right flank as it faced the elephants and heavy infantry. I was expecting this to be the main area of attack.
As it worked out, Mike's left hardly moved all game, as he tried to pin my centre but suffered from his auxilia being outgunned by the Roman medium infantry, and some poor dice rolls when his light cavalry tried to get around my flank.
End game
In the end I won quite comfortably, collecting 6 victory banners by taking out light and auxiliary units - and one very unlucky heavy infantry unit. I had no cavalry left at the end of the game, but it didn't matter - Mike had lost his centre.
We talked about the level of abstraction at the end of the game and how when you gather two units to attack together with some sort of advantage it can all be undone if you roll a flag with your first attack and force your opponent to retreat before your second unit gets a shot.
Aside from that, it was an enjoyable and quick game, and I'm certainly keen to play more regularly, although Mike needs to find a way to fit it into his hectic schedule.


Sunday, 27 March 2016

My Wargaming Week

A number of blogs that I follow have a 'Paint Table Saturday'where they look at what they are working on. I thought about following suit, but decided that the paint table didn't really cover all of the various hobby doings that I get up to. I always post my painting, but not everything else that goes on behind the scenes. I thought I might try to do a week in review post, and the plan is to try and do this once a week on a Sunday.Hence, 'My wargaming week'. We'll see how long it lasts.

 First up, Some Centurion Shots for the Arab-Israeli wars. I decided to sell my good old Quality Castings Centurions seeing as I had these four Battlefront vehicles that I got from Geoff just kicking around after abandoning the India-Pakistan project. They were undercoated, base coated and given a bath in Army Painter dip last weekend, and yesterday they got the last few licks of paint and a varnish.

On Friday I decided that I'd undercoat the M48s and anti-tank jeeps that had been ear-marked for the Pakistani army. They will now do service in the Israeli forces. Up until now I have had 8 Magach 3s, but no Magach 2s, so these will give me some list flexibility - as will the option to field a full anti-tank jeep platoon.

 I undercoated the last of the Crimean War figures last weekend, and yesterday painted up their bases. These guys are ready to slip into the painting schedule after I've finished Geoff's next lot of figures.

 Newly built and basecoated are 2 platoons of late war armour for the New Zealanders in Italy. In exchange for the next commission for Craig which will contain British paras, Japanese tanks and some SS infantry, I'll be receiving most a late war New Zealand army. This armour and soon to be purchased 6 pounder at guns wil complete the list.

 The paint tray at the moment with a couple of platoons of the Herman Goering division. Of course this week I finished a batch of Craig's figures as well, and they have their own post. With this lot, the basic colours are done, and I estimate that they will be complete by Wednesday. Then just another two platoons and Craig's figures will be completed.

Finally, this isn't a wargaming project, but is tangentially related. I have long had the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe Deluxe Edition just sitting in a box. The DC Who's Who has been sitting on a shelf. Neither of these situations was optimal. They are my favourite reference material - after 1989 I feel that Marvel and DC comics took a slide that they have only occasionally recovered from since, and those recoveries have been spasmodic and never been sustained (I'm thinking, for example, of Joss Whedon's run on Astonishing X-Men and Garth Ennis' brilliant Nick Fury and Punisher runs). So these are like a time capsule on my favourite era in comic books. As such, they deserved better treatment, so today I built slip cases for them so that they could comfortably sit on one of my bookshelves. The ultimate plan is to cover them in a collage of pictures like some over-excited 12 year old girl decorating her diary, but just a couple of pictures have been glued on so far.

So that was the wargaming week that was.


Thursday, 24 March 2016

More for the HG army

About half way through now. Here are the fallshirmjager platoon and the machine guns that are part of the company:
The FJ command stand.
More fallshirmjager
Even more fallshirmjager!
The machine guns for the Herman Goering heavy weapons platoon.
Close up of the MGs
I have another HG infantry platoon and a pioneer platoon on the painting tray now. 


Friday, 18 March 2016

Starting the HG

So I finally stopped getting distracted and got into the latest commission - a Flames of War company from the Herman Goering Division.
I've started by painting up the HQ elements and a couple of mortars.
Lots of command - and a Goliath!


Two mortars for the heavy weapons platoon
The figures are nice to paint and I really like the Luftwaffe blue uniform. I've started the Fallshirmjager platoon and the MGs for the rest of the Heavy Weapons platoon. Hopefully they will be up by mid next week.


Sunday, 13 March 2016

Desert set-up

Today I finished off some desert buildings for the Arab Israeli Wars.
A close up of the village
Panoramic shot with a MiG lurking over some Israeli Shermans.
The first buildings that I made I gave to John when I sold him the Arab-Israeli stuff last year. They weren't part of the swap back so I needed to make some more. These have been on the go over the last few weekends, and the final coat of paint went on today. The last thing I need for the set up is a well (makes no sense having a village in the desert without one), so I'll be thinking about how I'm going to put that one together.

Other triumphs this weekend are cleaning and basing all of my Pakistani infantry, the Indian recoiless rifles and gluing together two Pakistani M48s and two anti-tank jeeps. The Crimean War Russian hussars and artillery arrived on Thursday and they are all now based and undercoated. I also glued together 6 Warg riders to complete my Dragon Rampant armies for Lord of the Rings. All very productive forms of procrastination before I get the Herman Goering Divison figures painted for Craig. But from here it feels like I've been getting the house in order before embarking on this commission. Now I'm set and it will be into the first 40 figures tomorrow night!


Thursday, 10 March 2016

Some sneaky Sardinians

Sneaky because somehow they managed to jump into the painting queue without being planned for. Since I ordered the cavalry from Lancashire Games I've been thinking that it probably wouldn't take me too long to get them painted. I could probably just sneak them in before I get into the Craig's figures without setting myself back too much. And I was right. Three evenings' work, which included having to repaint their greatcoats because I painted them dark blue instead of blue-grey.
The Granatieri di Sardegna
The Cacciatori di Sardegna
Artillery in campaign dress.
The Sardinians - eager to make their mark in the Crimea
The figures are not actually Sardinians. They are French from the long-since revamped Lancashire Games range which I acquired second hand. But the uniforms are practically identical in cut to the French. I had seen an image of the Sardinian Grenadiers with epaulettes, so went with that. My understanding is that the ordinary line had no shoulder decorations. I don't know if the Cacciatori even went to the Crimea, but I like the green epaulettes, so as far as I'm concerned, they were there!

So why didn't I just paint them as French? Well I have French for the Franco-Prussian War to pant in blue coats and red trousers, and I have World War One French to paint in blue coats and red trousers, so I just felt like something different would look nice in the cabinets.

OK, I better go and paint what I was meant to paint this week.


Sunday, 6 March 2016

Great Northern War game and rules updates

Last night I played a solo game set in the Great Northern War. I rolled up scenario 25 in the one Hour Wargames book, which is infiltration. This consists of a lone unit of red force (the Russians) having to hold off four units of Blue Force (the Swedes) until reinforcements arrive. For their part the Swedes had to get 2 units off the north-west corner of the table via the road. The Swedes rolled up 3 infantry and 1 cavalry unit, the Russians got 4 infantry, 1 gun and a Dragoon unit.
My camera battery died so I thought I might try using the ipad to take photos. This is the main reason why the photos below are so bad. I shan't be using that option again.
Starting shot. The Rostovski regiment alone on the hill, surrounded by Swedes.
Things as they were in Turn 6. The Vasterbotten regiment is chasing down the remains of the Rostovski regiment while the other three units of Swedes head for the north. The Uppland regiment has responsibility for taking out the Ingermanlandski regiment in the north, and suffers hideous casualties on the way in. The rest of the Russian force has just arrived in the South (edge nearest the camera).
The Russians are outnumbered but holding on grimly.
A bitter battle ended - the Uppland regiment broken.
The Vasterbotten Regiment finally wipes out the Rostovski, only to find itself surrounded.
I forgot to check the rules and allowed the Swedes to escape off the northern table edge without using the road, thereby winning the game. I had already packed up when I reread the scenario conditions and realised that they needed to use the road. In hindsight I think they would have made it, but only just, taking the Russians on the road in the flank.

Playing the game made me realise that there were some things missing from the rules, which I've since updated. The first is that the rules for marching weren't in the GNW rules, not that it affected the game as the deployment of the Russians hindered any chance of marching, but I have now added them in.

Second, what to do about artillery if attacked in hand to hand. For all of the OHW rules I have amended artillery. Now artillery cannot be charged frontally if it has a friendly unit within 10 cm. Secondly, I've changed the charge restrictions from not being able to charge 'if the opposing unit has more bases', to 'if the opposing unit has more hits remaining'. This means the single element of the artillery won't always be outnumbered. Finally, for artillery that is caught in hand to hand combat, it is automatically destroyed. No need to worry about how it fights back etc. I think this balances artillery out - keep them supported and they should manage to avoid hand to hand combat which will annihilate them. Leave them out on heir own and they may be able to shoot up the opposition so that they can't charge, but their flanks will be exposed. I'll have to have a test and see how this plays out.

Finally, I've amended the combat outcome rules so that they make sense. Essentially a combat ends when a unit is destroyed or forced to withdraw because it loses a base. If neither of these conditions apply, the combat goes into the next player's turn, and the charged unit may turn to its flank if necessary.

All of the OHW rules have now been updated with these amendments.


Saturday, 5 March 2016


So in the most recent mail-out from Caliver Books I find out that the first shipment of the Great Northern War Compendium was damaged and so it will be another couple of weeks before they get the new shipment, meaning another three weeks before I see it. This can't be helped, but as a person with no sense of delayed gratification, it makes me very itchy indeed!
The ship carrying the GNW Compendium leaving the US...
I have consoled myself by ordering a few figures from Irregular Miniatures, which have nothing to do with the projects in 'accumulation year'. These are adding to existing projects. Now I had been seriously thinking about getting armies for the 30 Years War, and right up until yesterday afternoon, such was the plan. Then I changed my mind (of course) at the last moment, and decided that what I really wanted was some Polish winged hussars, because, well, you know, they look cool. It made good sense at this point to make a Saxon-Polish force for the Great Northern War. I already had some left-over Russians so a Saxon cavalry regiment, a Polish dragoon regiment, a Saxon infantry regiment and artillery are already in place. I've filled this out so that there will also be a unit of Polish Winged Hussars (because, you know, they look cool), 3 more infantry units and a dismounted dragoon regiment. A perfect size force for my One Hour Wargames rules, which will now need a bit of adapting to account for this new army.
Did I or did I not say that they look cool?
A Polish Dragoon as they would have appeared at Klissow looks very much like a Russian Dragoon in kartuz.
I love easy conversions!
I also ordered some Crimean Russian Hussars and artillery to finish off my Crimean armies, and from Lancashire Games I'm looking to get some Sardinian cavalry to join the two Sardinian infantry regiments and artillery I still need to paint up.
No, no, no! SardinIANS! And they didn't wear armour.
I haven't ignored accumulation year totally. I've just ordered a couple of Ospreys for the French and Indian War:

Accumulation year has plans to purchase French and British regulars for this conflict, along with terrain, but after buying all the stuff in this post, accumulation year has run out of money again.


Thursday, 3 March 2016

A few more painted commission figures

Here is the last of the batch of figures sent to me by Geoff: 2 Perry Korean figures, 7 Native Americans and a young Boudicca.
Young Boudicca. A slim figure, and not the easiest face to paint.
Korean command figures. Geoff will add the standard when the figure gets to him.
The first of the Blue Moon Native Americans. I was so happy with the final skin tone I almost didn't feel like painting the rest of the figures. The photos make them look darker than they appear on the table.

This guy is my favourite.
The skin tone was achieved by using Vallejo saddle brown as a base and then mixing in more and more flat flesh for highlights. When that was finished they looked a bit light, so I made a glaze of Vallejo cavalry brown and washed the figures in it. I'm very happy with the final look.

I now have Craig's 15mm Flames of War Herman Goring Division unit to paint, but tonight I might have a break from painting.