Monday, October 27, 2014

Shopping in Leeds

Fiasco yesterday.  It seemed to have an odd balance.  I was struck by the sheer number of trade stands which seemed to out number the games considerably.  In fact, grabbing a quick look at the leaflet, it appears to have been 40 traders to 27 games .  That 27 surprises me as there didn't seem that many, perhaps because so many of them were "promotional" games linked to trade stands.

The star game for me was the 6mm Battle of Nashville by the Legion of Blokes (who've starred at Triples in the past under various names).  As always, I'm impressed by the diorama-like effect of their basing.

Also impressing was the Battle of Harran, 1104AD, by the ever-reliable Ilkley Lads.

Other than those two, nothing really caught my eye and the majority of my time was spent chatting with the Grimsby lads about next year's CW6 game, and buying stuff.

I picked up some super glue, paints, and self-adhesive steel paper, but the stuff that is likely to appear here eventually included some more dismounted Dragoons from Baccus, some (large) 20mm Chechen heavy weapons teams for Andreivia, and some Cybermats to boost my Cybermen Pulp Alley league.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

It made sense at the time...

I was short of enough Baccus 6mm dismounted Dragoon figures to enable me to make a whole, 4-element unit for Maurice or Black Powder.  I didn't even have enough figures to finish a third element for the last unit I was working on.  So I decided to sculpt and extra, dead figure.  There he is at the left hand end of the unit:

But of course I'm still a whole base short.  So today at Fiasco I bought another pack from that nice Igor.

Only at this point did it occur to me that if I'd just waited, I'd have had enough figures to finish the unit anyway.  Still, it was fun sculpting a discarded tricorn and even a soldier's queue (pig-tail) in 6mm scale.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Pound Shop Find

I popped into my local branch of Poundland on Sunday and found this:

You can guess how much it cost.

It's a Peugeot 206 of the West Brussels Police force and being from Carorama it's in 1/72nd scale.

These models are always worth looking out for.  This one will doubtless see service in Tcherbevan.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Resurrected Helicopters

My force for next year's CP6 Cold War Commander big game (we're doing battles around Hannover in a 1985 WW3 setting) is an air-mobile battlegroup with the following, hastily knocked up justification:

“As the Warsaw Pact drive near Hannover gained momentum, NATO supreme command tasked General Pieter de Groot, Chief of Staff of the Netherlands Army, with assembling an improvised air-mobile reserve to plug any gaps appearing in the ever-more-stretched defensive line. 

‘De Groot’s Fire Brigade’, as it became known to the British at least, took in light infantry, airmobile artillery, and anti-tank units from a number of countries. They rode in a crazy mixture of helicopters, even including some US Marine Corps Sea Knights diverted from the increasingly stable Norwegian front. It was a logistician’s nightmare but it gave SACEUR some confidence that he could respond to a major breakthrough.”  

This got me into thinking what suitable helicopters I could deploy to supplement my, sketchily justified, Boeing Sea Knights.  In the lead pile I found some rather old and battered castings that I acquired as part of an eBay lot.

A lick of paint and a little plasticard gluing later we have:

Two Lynx AH1s and an AH64 Apache.  They are pretty crude castings but the additions of a little detailing in the paint job lifts them nicely.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Glorious Zheltarussian Victory

Well, not really.  A pretty pyrrhic victory for the Zheltarussian forces by the very skin of their teeth.

Gus came up to Sheffield today and we played a game of Maurice using pretty much all of the basic rules.  After a brief solo try out and a game with Jamie, this was Maurice game number three and this time I branched out by having an elite and a couple of conscript units.  Maybe next time I'll try some irregulars.

Gus took on the Yesilkarans (Ottoman Turks to you), fielding four units of Janissaries (Trained Regular Infantry), six of Sipahi (Trained Cavalry) and four pieces of artillery.  Oh, and he got a unit of Polish Winged Hussar mercenaries too.

I had seven units of Regular Infantry including one elite (the Semionovski Guard) and two conscripts (streltsi).  I also had three units of Dragoons (Trained Regular Cavalry) and four guns.

With this being Gus's first game, I decided not to introduce notables or any of the other advanced rules.

Gus stuck with the default deployment I'd set up for him - infantry in the centre with guns on one flank and three units of cavalry on each wing.  I matched this except that my infantry centre was stronger and my right and left cavalry wings (one and two units respectively) looked vulnerable!

The dismounted Moskovski Dragoons approach the marsh
that I hoped would help protect my right flank.
The Zheltarussian infantry began on a ridge overlooking the enemy.
Gus began the game by playing a Death of a Hero event card that immediately reduced my army's morale.

After a little passing to build up our cards I then ordered the Zheltarussian artillery to begin bombarding the Janissaries...

Two cotton puffs per gun reflect the fact that early 18th century artillery,
moved by civilian contractors, was largely immobile once battle
had begun.  The puffs must me removed before the guns may march.
... whilst Gus began advancing his right wing cavalry.

Massed Sipahi
One of the Sipahi units is disrupted as they must cross
a field of crops.
Gus had obviously got the hang of event cards as his next play saw the lone mounted Dragoon regiment on my right flank move backwards nearly exiting the table!

I decided I had to try and destroy his Janissary centre before his numberless cavalry enveloped me.  I pushed forward my line but immediately encountered some that "wasn't on the map".  A cluster of pig-sties suddenly blocked the march of the Semionovsky Guards.

One Janissary unit has already been routed (from top left of this picture) by
a combination of artillery bombardment and musketry.
But those pig-sties are a nuisance.
At this point both sides began to lose units in the centre; me to Gus's artillery firing canister and Gus to the weight of superior numbers of infantry.  Fortunately, I was also able to bring some muskets to bear on the Sipahi threatening my left.  

Gus then hit me with yet another event card forcing the Semionovski to advance through the animal pens thus disrupting their formation and putting them in range of the enemy guns.  By the time I'd advanced the rest of the infantry to join them they were close to breaking point and only a hasty Rally order kept them in the picture.

The stage was now set for the main event; the clash of the two infantry lines.

The Semionovski were taking most of the punishment and eventually it all became too much and they broke leaving me with a gap in my line and nothing but the Streltsy to fill it.

At this point Gus launched a charge by his remaining Janissaries and there was a flurry of card play.

The fierce attack of the Janissaries (Grenadiers Forward! card) was partly deflected by stubborn defence (Attack Falters and Hold The Line! cards) but the Disruptions my infantry had previously taken made all the difference and two of my last three line infantry units were routed leaving me one loss away from complete defeat.

My only chance was to throw my left flank cavalry in a desperate charge at the Turkish guns.  Viatski's Dragoon Regiment were able to reach and engage two gun batteries.  We rolled the dice and, when the smoke had cleared, the crews of the guns had fled.  Gus rolled for the morale effect of losing the two batteries and one of the dice came up six losing him his last two Army Morale points.  

Viatski's Dragoons (left) about to charge through the gap in front of the
remaining Zheltarussian line infantry unit to engage the enemy
guns (off camera to the right).
So a narrow victory to the Zheltarussians who had only one point of Army Morale left at the end of the game!

We agreed that the game would go faster when the players were more familiar with what the cards did.  I'm pleased with the story that the rules told.  I'll certainly continue to use them.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

On the Workbench - Rhino Rider

Approaching completion is this chap.  He's a Foundry Plains Indian on the Rhino from the (far too medieval for a Praxian) Tabletop Miniatures Rhino Rider.

I think he'll probably stay unbased for use with Song of Blades and Heroes rather than joining the HOTT collection.

Friday, October 3, 2014

Paint problems

It was, as Mr Fry would have it, Quite Interesting.  I finished a new 28mm figure in the form of this Sartarite Thane:

Knowing he was intended for my Song of Blades and Heroes Pavis Project and would therefore be subject to handling and possibly being lain down on abrasive terrain, I decided he should have gloss varnish and then matt over the top.

Strangely, however, the areas painted in Vallejo Black Green (the sleeves and the trip of his mail hauberk) lifted badly when I applied the gloss coat.  On those areas alone the white undercoat was revealed.

What you see now is a repaint with Vallejo Bronze Green, which seems to show no such problems.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Wargamer Generosity

Time after time I've found our hobby to be populated by good people who are incredibly generous with their time and resources.

Last week I asked on the SOTCW forum if anyone would spare some unwanted figures so I could make up Andreivia Lucky Bags.  The idea being that people could buy entry to Crisis Point IV, enough figures to make themselves a suitable force, and some background material on the setting. I figured that if four or five people provided a dozen or so plastic figures each we could make up, with what I have spare already, three or four such packs.

This evening I came home to find that John from Glasgow (aka Bannockburn Bhoy on the SOTCW forum) had sent me the following:

That's 131 metal figures!  With these we can make up Russian, British and American platoon packs and by adding some of my current stock of plastics and Atlantic Jeeps, a nice Armenian Militia unit too!

All I can say is, "Thank you, John.  Your generosity is greatly appreciated and will go some way to ensuring that we make a significant surplus and can make a useful donation to our chosen charity".