Tuesday, September 27, 2022

On the workbench - sort of

Further progress of terrain for Riga...

A bit hard to see as the sun is quite low in the sky over my usual photography spot but this is another cluster of buildings for the suburbs. I've just spray undercoated it and will start on painting tomorrow.

Also under way is this pair of haystacks. I'm assuming that the area of the suburbs that has animal corrals for the market (one of them features in my terrain set) would have some space for animal feed. I'm working on a small piece of muddy ground (left over from my experiments in making terrain cloths) and these two will stand on it when complete.

As you can see the structure is built around a piece of wooden rod. I topped both rods with a round map pin for decoration. The shape of the mound of hay is built up from foam core offcuts. I then added layers of Milliput caved into a believable pattern with a craft-knife blade. This is basically an adaptation of the approach I use for thatched roofs.

Friday, September 23, 2022

Picts Finished!

The recently acquired box of Gripping Beast Picts is done. I now have four units of Pictish warriors and two of skirmishers for use with Lion Rampant.

There were 25 models in the box and they can be made up with a mix of axes and spears (oh and one sword). That was fine to give me two units of twelve tribal warriors.

There are also a few crossbows and one spare figure left over. Could I possibly find a way of cobbling together a unit of skirmishers too?

Digging through the piles of leftover bits I found a half-completed figure I'd built out of Greenstuff and spare parts. He was originally going to be a generic Dark Ages archer but the Medieval longbow I'd used just looked too big. I cut off the hand holding the bow and replaced it with a crossbow from the Gripping Beast box. Two down, four to go!

Then I found some unused GB Dark Ages Warriors left over from when Jamie was building his Saga warbands. A couple of white metal short bows and scratchbuilt arrow quivers and I was up to five figures (I left one of the figures with a spear - I don't see the Picts as organising themselves into differentiated units by weapon type).

Finally, a white metal wolf left over from a long-ago Hordes of the Things project enabled me to add a sixth figure to the unit in the form of a hunting dog.

This gets me to a 20 point force for Lion Rampant (I'm using David Sullivan's Crepusculum Imperii variant stats). I might see if I can cobble together a light cavalry unit to complete the picture.

Saturday, September 10, 2022

Reinforcements arrive!

I popped down to Wargames Emporium yesterday to make sure I had some models to keep me going for a few more weeks.

The Victrix French artillery (or at least one of the three teams in the pack) will be converted into Westphalian artillery for use in our 1812 Livonia campaign.

I've decided I far prefer the visual impact of 28mm for Sharp Practice. I think I'll probably sell off my 20mm Napoleonics.

The Picts will get based up for Lion Rampant to join the metal ones I finished recently.

Thursday, September 8, 2022

Ebor Lard 2022 Report

On Saturday Tom Davis kindly drove Alex Sotheran and I up to Green Hammerton (near York) for the annual Ebor Lard games day. As usual there was a feast of gorgeous looking Too Fat Lardies games on offer.

In the morning I played in John Savage's The Eagle Has Landed 55BC, an Infamy Infamy game in which a Roman landing party attempted to make off with the captured British king Churchilliax in a coup de main aimed at paving the way for Julius Caesar's invasion.

As usual with John's games the terrain was lovely.

I took on the role of commander of a party of Roman marines holding the beach while centurion Octavius Steinerus) led a strike force bringing in the captive.

Unfortunately, however, the Romans hadn't had time to scout out the wooded area either site of Steinerus's route and we were soon up against "Britons... fahsands of 'em" (if I can briefly switch filmic references).

My marines had, perhaps foolishly, deployed into column as I thought I might be able to rush them forward and close down one of the British ambush points. The front group of Marines was immediately routed having been reduced to half strength.

Fortunately, I rolled a relatively low score on the dice to see how far they fled and this left the two Marine Leaders handily placed to join the one remaining group on the edge of the beach. This would prove crucial as events developed.

Meanwhile the Roman force under Steinerus was being swamped by ambushing Britons.

From this point onwards the battle was remarkable for the continued resistance of the second marine unit. With two officers they were able to continue rallying off shock for turn after turn...

... even with British cavalry in their rear!

In the end, after we'd been convinced for ages that the jig was up for the Romans (they were on 1 point of Force Morale turn after turn) Steinerus managed to reach the headland above the beach... and that was it - with escape in sight the final point of Force Morale was lost and the Roman mission had ended in failure.

The game was hugely enjoyable despite (or perhaps because of) the late defeat. If you get the chance to play in one of John Savage's games at a convention I'd strongly recommend it.

My afternoon game was Jeremy Short's What Sins Have We Committed? This was a Dux Britanniarum game featuring the full cast of Arthurian characters. I played the aged Arthur!

The set-up was very pretty!

I have to say I found this game somewhat frustrating. Dux Brit is one of the older Too Fat Lardies games and in my experience they seem (like first edition Sharp Practice) to get the balance wrong between player control and chaos. At most points in the game I didn't feel in control of my own troops and when I was able to get them to do what I wanted, the result was distinctly disappointing. And yet, when we came to tot up the victory points Arthur had won!

As usual the other games were equally gorgeous looking...

I strongly recommend your getting along to a Lardy day if you get the opportunity.  

Steel Lard takes place in Sheffield on 19 November 2022. If you'd like a place, please let me know by commenting here.

Friday, September 2, 2022

I'm not long for this world!

Barring a few bits of assorted junk, these six Goth cavalry represent the end of my 28mm lead (and plastic) mountain. And as we know, a wargamer with no figures left to paint must soon meet his maker!

They are built pretty much straight out of the Gripping Beast plastic Dark Ages Cavalry box. I may have used a few parts from the Late Roman Heavy Cavalry pack.

As usual, I've tried to go with reasonably muted colours appropriate for pre-industrial dye technology but I used a few greyish-blue colours as these guys are likely to be among the better off elements of a Goth force. The blue tunics look rather brighter in the picture than they do in reality.

The plan is to use them to play Lion Rampant but I may also have a go at adapting Infamy Infamy to the fourth century.