Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Fantasy gamers review Black Powder

This is worth a look; one of the more unintentionally funny wargames videos on Youtube.


Two fantasy gamers talk about Black Powder.  "What factions do you get in the book then?"

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Home-made Mistral

My Spanish Marines for the forthcoming Cold War Commanders big game at Broughton need some Mistral SAMs and while I hopefully have some coming from some of the guys taking part, I thought I'd have a go a scratch building a couple.

Mistral is a French-built pedestal-launched system.  The stats are comparable with the American shoulder-launched Stinger and that's how I'm going to point it in CWC.

When launched it has a distinctive signature, kicking up dust from the initial launching charge before the white rocket plume starts to form.

Having previously built a rocket battery for my Ottoman Turks, I had an idea of how I could do a 1/300th scale Mistral.  A little Green Stuff, some wire, and some hamster bedding gave me this:

I think it'll do until something better comes along.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Action at San Serafino

Gus, Ron, and Leo came over today and we played our first game of Sharp Practice 2.  Gus and Ron played the British while Jamie and Leo were the French.

The scenario was based on one in the rulebook.  The British were to rescue a Royal Navy officer who had been captured by the French.  That this officer just happened to be the scion of an allied German royal family just added to the urgency.

The British entered from the bottom right edge of the picture below whilst the main French force, sent to interfere with the British plans, entered from the middle of the left-hand side.

The prisoner was in the white house at the bottom right corner of the town square.  He was guarded by a sergeant and eight fusiliers.

Because I'd positioned a building within six inches of the target building, the scenario deployment rules allowed Gus and Ron to position two units of 95th Rifles in the adjacent "gatehouse".  This was to prove decisive.

Jamie's main column of 36e Ligne fusiliers split, with one group heading to occupy the house in the picture below.  Unfortunately they were the victims of an error on my part.  A misapplication of the rules meant that they were rather more badly mauled by the Rifles than should have been the case.  Badly shocked they fell back behind the mule-train.

Meanwhile, a large force from the 20th Foot, led by Major Robert Helmsley, advanced towards San Serafino.

At this point the village (no the real one that I live in) was hit by a power cut!  We were playing in the available light of a rainy Saturday afternoon.  Suddenly it became easier to believe that we were in Galicia in January 1809!

Below we see Jamie's main column about to launch a close assault on the gatehouse (centre left).

While Helmsley's column edge closer....

As the power came back on in Storrs, the fisticuffs in San Serafino were disastrous for the French who fled towards the cover of the barn.

In the end, Helmsley managed to get the 20th Foot's light company into position to assault the target building whilst a groups of Lieutenant Pugin's Rifles threatened to attack it from another side.

Sergeant LeBrun's group left it too late to escape from the house and they elected to surrender and relinquish their prisoner when surrounded by British troops.

My initial impression is that Sharp Practice 2 is a significant improvement over its predecessor.  There's enough in there to tell me that when we've got a better handle on the rules, we could have some good games with it.

Jamie's view is that we've played Sharp Practice in one form or another several times and on each occasion one of the players has had their day ruined by having a large chunk of their force wiped out or badly hamstrung by unfortunate dice rolls or horrible runs of cards.

There's a lot in that view and I can understand Jamie being reluctant to try SP again because he was the victim on more than one occasion.  However, in the defence of the rules, part of the problem was in the way we tend to play.  Our games tend to involve several players on both sides and to some extent I've been giving our players too few units.  I should probably given Jamie and Leo at least another leader and maybe two more Groups of men.

We may try playing it without buildings next time as they did rather turn into strongpoints and to some extent made the game feel more like a WW2 action.

Friday, August 19, 2016

And he crosses the line...

These twelve Late roman legionaries (from the Gripping Beast Plastics boxed set) get me to 28 figures painted in my self-imposed timescale.

These guys continue my newly found conviction that "finished is good enough".  I don't pretend that they are great paint jobs; indeed a few years ago I'd have been very unsatisfied with them.  I'd also not have got close to finishing them in the time these have taken.  However, they are done and I'll be able to use them in my planned Lion Rampant Bacaudae campaign.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

A surge towards victory?

As British athletes piled up an impressive horde of gold medals this Olympic weekend, I was pushing forward with my attempt to complete 26 figures in 26 days.

First up is this mounted knight.  He's combined from a couple of unidentified castings I found in my random box of spare figures.

Very broadly inspired by the Osprey book on the Baltic Crusades, I've gone for a vaguely Swedish colour scheme.  No basing yet as I'm not sure what this figure's ultimate role might be.

Next to be completed was this Numidian cavalryman.

The rider is one of a handful I picked up cheap on eBay.  The horse is left over from a pack of Foundry Plains Indians.  Again, not based yet apart from his bottle-top painting stand.  He may join a few of his fellows on a 120mm wide Impetus element base.

And finally for now, a unit of Late Roman skirmishers.

These are slightly modified from the Gripping Beast plastics set.  I wanted a bit of variation from the other archers I've painted so I chose a different base colour (Vallejo Khaki and white mixed) and I replaced the round patch decorations with square swastikas.  On some of the figures simply filled in the etched circular patch with Green Stuff, on other I attached a square panel of very thin Green Stuff to represent an appliqué cloth panel.

I've added a bit of variation to the unit by importing some non-standard heads.  I wanted the unit to look like a cosmopolitan bunch from across the Western Empire so I've used a couple of heads from GB's Dark Ages plastics and one metal Numidian head left over from the figure I converted into a mounted Bacaudae shepherd.

So sixteen down and ten left to do with another seventeen days left in August.  I'm in gold medal position on this one!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

A useful civilian?

This is a repaint of an old figure I've had sitting in undercoated form on my desk for months while I figured out which colours to use.  In the end I used US Olive Drab and a greyish blue.

He'll provide useful set dressing for Lion Rampant games.

This will be the last finished figure for a few days in my push to do 26 figures in the last 26 days of August.  I'm now working on a unit of six Late Roman skirmishers.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Another two down

The 26 figures in 26 days challenge continues.  First up this evening is this old true 25mm Napoleonic officer.

I've no idea which manufacturer he's by or even what nationality he was meant to be.  He came out of a large tin of mostly plastic bits I had from Tim Gow (and which I passed on to Richard Phillips).  I've tidied up an originally all white uniform and painted him as an Irish rebel officer.  He'll likely see action as part of a United Irishmen force for Sharp Practice 2.

Second up is this Basilisk:

This was a secondhand purchase and was painted when I got it.  I'm claiming it towards my total, though, as it needed some touching up and basing.