Sunday, April 30, 2023

Missing in Action

I've not posted here for a bit - the real world got in the way in the form of the Covid-19 virus. Having avoided it for three years, I finally picked up a case two weeks ago. I really do recommend that you avoid getting a dose if you can manage it!

I've not done anything much in the way of painting but did manage to do these civilian types for my Steel Lard game:

They are both from the 1st Corps range. In my game they'll represent Colonels Lewis Washington and Robert Lee.

The other recent development has been to finally take the plunge and buy a 3D printer. On a friend's recommendation, I went for the Creality Ender-3 S1 Pro. Several people recommended resin printers but I didn't fancy messing around with liquid resin, having to UV cure models etc.

So far I've produced a single Doric column (more to follow) and a sabot base...

It's a struggle to get the hang of this - I feel like I'm missing a genuinely comprehensive instruction book but I'm sure I'll get there eventually.

Wednesday, April 19, 2023

The Deadwood stage... has arrived

"Sherrif murdered, crops burned, stores looted, people stampeded, cattle raped. Well the time has come to act and act fast. I'm leaving!"

The What a Cowboy package (rules, card-deck and counters) arrived this morning.

I was able to get straight down to learning the rules. Having played in John Savage's games at Steel Lard was a help in picking things us were Lard TV's tutorial videos.

I decided on a small action to be fought by, on one side, the buffalo hunter Mungo Chatney (rated as a Shootist) 

and cowhand O.S. Mapp (rated as a Greenhorn) 

and on the other side by Watt Atanka (an exiled Maori trapper, rated as a Shootist) 

and cowhand Annie Beechley (another Greenhorn).

For the setting I used my small board (about 30" x 35") with some of my adobe buildings, which I thought would suggest that we were somewhere in the New Mexico Territory.

Mungo Chatney kicked things off by dashing into the town square and sheltering behind a wagon.

As Annie Beechley took up position behind some crates, Watt Atanaka managed to throw four sixes in his hand of six dice. This gave him an additional Bonanza token and ended the turn early.

Watt dashed up towards a position behind the barrel that you can just see by the purple die showing a six. Unfortunately he ended up using almost all of his sixes to move the full distance thanks to a series of ones on his move dice. He did get to shoot at Mungo Chatney but missed.

Chatney returned fire causing Atanka to dodge black around the corner of the building. This put Atanka in position, next turn, to have a shot at O.S. Mapp. Critical Hit, failed dodge, roll of six for effect; instant kill.

We were then into a two-on-one fight and eventually Mungo Chatney was also gunned down.

This first run-through confirms my feelings having played What a Cowboy at Steel Lard a few years back. It's great fun and should work nicely for what I want to do with in November.

Monday, April 17, 2023

What 'What a Cowboy' Cowboys have I got?

With What a Cowboy pre-ordered, I thought I'd have a dig through the current collection to see what painted minis I have that will suit the game.

At least initially I'm aiming to use the rules for the earlier end of the Western genre - the run up to the American Civil War. As such, a number of my ACW irregulars will work just fine. First up are these guys. They were finished recently and represent the contents of Foundry's "Armed Civilians" pack.

They've come out looking a bit shiny in this photo. They're less so in real life but I think I will give them another going-over with matt varnish.

By the way, I'm using Humbrol Acrylic Matt Varnish at present. If any one knows of a better, brush-on, water-based varnish I'd be interested to hear.

Next up we have another Foundry set. This time, if I recall correctly, "Dismounted Irregular Cavalry".

Another load of Foundry figures next. I've had these guys for years and think they come from a number of different packs. Some of them have previously served as guerrillas in my Mexican Republican force for Sharp Practice. I have a lot of other suitable figures and buildings if I decided to go south of the border to run a What a Cowboy campaign one day.

Moving to other manufacturers, these guys look like they'd work. I believe they are old Call of Cthulhu miniatures from Citadel but I may be wrong. 

The left hand two were, I believe, painted by my wife 30-odd years ago. I'm not sure the clergyman's dress  is in-period and he does appear to be thrusting his cross at some giant hideous-unknowable-blasphemy but you never know when you might need such a character. Maybe he's just calling on the Almighty to give the citizens of Rock Ridge the courage they need to face the trials ahead?

Moving away from the core setting, I've seen someone on Facebook suggesting that they might use What a Cowboy to model the adventures of a certain Victorian sleuth.

The bobby here is, I think, from the Pulp Miniatures range by Bob Murch. Holmes and Watson are older figures, again I think painted by Stella, probably from Grenadier Miniatures?

Finally we have a couple of characterful civilians. This first guy was a gift from Tom Davis. I suspect he's probably yet another Foundry miniature but I haven't checked their catalogue to be sure.

And finally another figure who may be a tad out of period but I think might work. I'm pretty sure he's another Pulp figure. I just love the sword cane.

Tuesday, April 11, 2023

What A Cowboy scenery

I started recently building terrain for the game I plan to run at Steel Lard 2023. I'm not going to reveal the details at this stage other than to say that I'm heading in the direction of What A Cowboy.

First thing completed was this firemen's hose reel.

Apart from using the wheels from the Airfix French Napoleonic Artillery set, it's all scratch built.

I also built this fire engine out of various bits from the spare parts box.

Finally we have a water tower modelled on an actual example somewhere in the southern USA.

Construction is my usual foamcore box technique. I've used cardboard and angle-section plastic to plate the water tank and applied Warbases laser cut card tiles to the roof. 

Thursday, April 6, 2023

Stone Cold Lard, 29th April 2023

Not content with organising Steel Lard in November, I seem to have volunteered myself into another job!

Late last week we learned that the Sherwood OutLard event that was scheduled for Saturday 29th April had been cancelled due to the ill-health of the organiser. Richard Phillips and I wondered if we could put on an, albeit smaller and hastily organised, alternative event for the same weekend to take advantage of the fact that we already have the date saved in our diaries.

Richard runs a gaming venue, The Unit, on a farm at Stone in Staffordshire where we are proposing (at present) to put on three games accommodating (again at present) 12 players. The normal Lardy Day facilities of nearby cooking lager and chicken vindaloo aren’t available so you might want to treat this as a there-and-back-in-a-day event. At present the games planned for Stone Cold Lard are:

A Spy in the Suburbs - a narrative-focussed Sharp Practice game set in Riga during the summer of 1812 (presented by Richard Crawley and Richard Phillips)

Assault on the Sugar Refinery 1916 - a recreation of the Canadian assault on the sugar beet refinery at Courcellette during the battle of the Somme. The game uses the CoCing Up the Mud and the Blood rules published in the 2014 Lard Christmas Special (presented by Alex Sotheran)

The Battle of Fort Necessity - The Battle of Fort Necessity began the French and Indian War, which later spiraled into the global conflict known as the Seven Years’ War. Another Sharp Practice game (presented by Ken Welsh)

The cost for the event would be £15 per person. This includes a buffet lunch and teas and coffees throughout.

At the moment we’re just testing the water to see if there’s enough demand to justify going ahead with this idea. Given the short time period before the date, could you please let me know as soon as possible if you’d like to attend? Commenting here is one way or you could email me at crawleystorrs <at> gmail <dot> com.

Monday, April 3, 2023

Latest ACW additions

Among my recent birthday presents was a pack of Perry Armed Civilians from Jamie. Now completed they look like this...

They are nice clean castings and paint up well. They should be useful for Confederate guerrillas in Sharp Practice but I also have some thoughts about how I might use them with the new What A Cowboy rules from Too Fat Lardies.

Another recent addition to the collection came about when I started considering what to do with the spare drummers left over from the Perry plastic ACW boxes. With Sharp Practice I'm very unlikely to ever need more than one drummer per side.

Looking at Philip Katcher's The American Soldier (I've mentioned it here before; it's a compilation of plates from various Osprey books), I found a picture of a US Army signal corps private and decided I could produce something similar to make use of the drummer model.

The basic drummer body is used as-is. I removed the locating lug for the drum on his thigh and carved back the metalwork on on the drum strap to allow the smooth attachment of a cartridge case to represent the signal cartridge pouch. The strap is a bit fictional but I'm prepared to live with it.

The signal pistol was produced using an arm from the cavalry box. I cut the barrel and cylinder from the existing pistol in such a way that I retained a strip of plastic forward of the trigger guard. I then removed the barrel and glued the cylinder back on further forward than it originally was. The whole thing is painted in brass colour with a dark brown grip (where visible) and a black dot to represent the large calibre barrel for firing flares.

There's no obvious in-rules use for this kind of figure but I reckon I can come up with a scenario that uses him. Perhaps if Union troops were assaulting a Confederate fort they might use flares to signal to off-table gunboats to cease firing as the attackers crossed the parapet?