Saturday, June 3, 2017

KublaCon 2017

So, last weekend I was at KublaCon, a four day Con at the Hyatt Regency in Burlingame, CA.

Friday 3PM Speed-Painting!:
Speed-Painting contest! Can you paint a masterpiece in 40 minutes? Give it your best shot, and win fame, fortune and...Kublabucks! All materials are provided, and contestants are judged immediately after by Kubla Staff. Winners are invited back for a Masterclass Speed-painting session Sunday evening at 6:00 pm.
Pretty much as advertised. They gave ten of us the same mini, the same set of paints, the same brush, and generously allotted an extra five minutes. We were told to concentrate on the mini, not the base. There was some good-natured ribbing from my neighbor about how one was supposed to use as much bubble-gum pink as possible. Fellow contestants ranged from pros to people painting their first mini . . . ever.

And we were off! One of the hardest parts was using somebody else's paints, which had been in storage since last KublaCon. Everybody has their own mixes and preferred colors for shading, highlighting and washing, none of which were available here. Nor were said paints in the dropper bottles used by Reaper, Vallejo, and so forth - which allow for ready mixing. It was old-school with the linked acrylic paints you get in model kits for kids.

Quite a bit of fun. And not a bad bit of work, if I do say so myself:
I give you Urz the Destroyer, known to his friends as "Steve"
I'm quite proud of his bright blue eye, the slight gold tinge to his teeth (good old Goblo-Orcish dentistry there!), and the use of "bubble gum pink" and "melon" on his bracelet. The leatherwork came out rather well, too (raw and burnt umber, IIRC). I came in third, with an invite for the 6PM Sunday Masterclass SpeedPainting! contest.

Onward!

Friday 6PM Guinegate, 1479 - DBA 3.0 Big Battle:
Late 15th century battle between France and Austria. DBA 3.0 Big Battle rules with 15mm figures.
I'm a long-time DBA player, but hadn't had the chance to play the new(ish) 3.0 rules yet. Guingate was part of the Wars of the Burgundian Succession, and an interesting scenario. Both the French and the Habsburgs had two wings of knights and lots of artillery. The Habsburg center were pikemen, the French center the franc-archers. I had the French left wing, artillery, knights (always pronounced k-nigh-its), and a stand of dismounted men-at-arms.

My artillerists pretty clearly ate their Wheaties, rolling hot to destroy the Habsburg artillery in counterbattery fire, then tear up their supporting crossbowmen, then defeat the Habsburg pike in melee (must have been a double load of canister!). Rolling a lot of sixes helps. I suppose I actually have to pay them now . . .

My knights charged up the hill, soundly thrashed their Habsburg opponents, watched them flee toward the river in their rear, ready the pursuit, and look to the right to see the rest of the French army broken and streaming from the field. L'oops!

Sadly, I didn't take any photos, but I did win a coloring book:
Who doesn't like Gens d'Armes?
 Saturday, 9AM Battle Of Morleia, 1863 - The Sword and the Flame:
A little-known battle. The Republicans mass assault a Conservative held town during the
Maximillian Adventure in Mexico. “Victoria o Muerte!”
Two regiments of regular cavalry, one of irregular cavalry, four of militia, and two of regular infantry
This was the game I had come to play. I love colonials, and The Sword and the Flame is always an absolute blast to play. I am a serious fan of Science vs. Pluck, have played a whole host of enjoyable Plains Wars games with a homebrew ruleset, and naturally have my own ideas on one, but The Sword and the Flame is the granddaddy of them all. Colonials brings in an element of roleplaying that is often lacking in other periods, and that is a major appeal.
¡Arriba, arriba!
We were playing at more of the "800 Fighting Englishmen" scale, where a unit was a regiment, but it worked. I had the cavalry and two infantry brigades, tasked with taking the city's outskirts past the aqueduct and pushing into the city's flank.

The advance was . . . ragged. My cavalry and machete armed militia were keen to get to grips with the Maxamillians (routinely maxing out the movement dice), while the regular infantry sort of brought up the rear (what can you do when you roll 2 ones on 2d6?). With the Maximilians armed with modern rifles and in Category IV cover, there really wasn't much to do but close as fast as possible.


A great cheer went up as we took the first building in hand-to-hand combat. One militia unit was almost completely wiped out by defensive fire, only a brave seniorita and the Mexican flag surviving the hail of lead to make it to the first floor door.
Success!
With the Maximilian artillery still holding out on the roof of the white building, a further push was needed. Militia dashed across the narrow street into the basement of the white building. French sappers (boo!) tossed grenades in through the courtyard and followed up.
Yes, that Frenchman with a pistol. Machete him!
All to no avail. The French held the building.

Up came the cavalry, lead by their valiant brigadier, to charge the barricades and guns closing the streets. Hey, it works in the movies. Demolishing one barricade, a gray-clad regiment of Mexicans charge in. Vile contra-guerillas clatter through the streets to meet them. The Brigadier draws his sword and pistol . . .

Fierce fighting in the narrow streets. The lead lancer goes down, then another one. The Brigadier kills his first man, then his second, then the colonel of the  contra-guerillas! A fourth falls, then a fifth.

Calamity! A vile contra-guerilla skewers the Brigadier, and he falls to the ground, dead (bad time to roll a one, slick).

Pressing on, the Lancers rout off the rest of the contra-guerillas, ready to charge the commander of Moriela itself in the rear . . . and fail to close. (bad time to forget you had a reroll!)
The fall of Moriela
Ultimately, the cavalry pressed through both streets, aided by the capture of several buildings on the other side of the canal. Note the Maximilians still hold all three of the outbuildings, it being very difficult to survive defensive fire with small, shot up units, and even harder to kill the key figures with musketry.

Always appreciated

Saturday, 3PM Rage of the Monsters! - Giant Monster Rampage:
Come and battle some of the greatest monsters the world has ever known! Rain destruction down upon the unsuspecting citizens of the city and see who will be king of the monsters!
Destroyah!
This looked like a fun game. Who doesn't like giant monsters and destroying poor defenseless cities . . . erm, urban renewal?
Poor defenseless city
Ultimately, I gave up my spot so a little girl and her dad could hop in. After all, who doesn't want to encourage new blood in the hobby? Walking by from time to time, it certainly looked like people were having fun, and the city pretty much in ruins.

Sunday, 10AM DBA Tournament - DBA 3.0:
De Bellis Antiquitatis 3.0 Tournament (15mm). Bring your own armies, but there will be many armies provided as well. Come and try out the new version of this classic quick play Ancient Rules.
Later Polish - As taken, 4x3Kn, 4x3Cav, 2x8Cb, 2x2Lh
This was both fun and a disappointment.

Fun because I liked what I had seen of DBA 3.0 on Friday, and had a beautifully painted Later Polish army on loan from the gamemaster to play with.

Disappointing because there were very few other players. I ended up doing best 2 out of 3 with a player fielding Teutonic Knights (boo!), and one or two people joined in later with some Classical Greek armies.

The Later Polish army was fun, but had one serious problem - the knights. In DBA, if a knight wins a combat, they must follow-up. Inevitably, if you don't roll high enough in melee, that results in pushing the enemy back just enough so that one stand of knights penetrates, gets doubly-overlapped, and killed when you equally inevitably, roll a 1.
The fatal scrum with the Teutonic Knights
Which is pretty much what happened. As the defender (Aggression 1 means you're almost always the defender against a high aggression army), you get to set up the terrain. One item I picked is the infamous Barker river, which can be paltry (1-2 on a d6), slow things down (3-4 on a d6), or slow things down and aid the defenders (a 5-6 on a d6).

Seeing the Teutonic knights hung up on the river, I sensed opportunity. We charged down off the hill in the bend, caught them in the water, pushed them across, and then promptly died as the fatal overlaps kicked in.
What do you mean, don't roll I?
Game 2, I replaced the river with a built-up-area, garrisoned it with crossbows, and readied for the inevitable clash.

Fewer photos this time, but it pretty much played out the same way. My Polish knights would defeat their Teutonic counterparts, driving them back but not killing them. Once stuck into the Teutonic ranks, I'd roll an I (I was using roman numeral dice) and die.

So, two 4-3 victories to the Teutonic Knights, for a 2-0 result overall. DBA 3.0 is quite different from DBA 2.2, and well worth purchasing and dusting off my armies.

Sunday 3PM Battle of Gettysburg - Little Round Top - This Hallowed Ground v2.1:
The fighting at the Little Round Top during the Battle of Gettysburg was made famous by the actions of the 20th Maine. Complete with that action, and the action around Devil’s Den, can the Confederate army push the Union flank?
Shameless commercial plug
This was the last of seven games put on by a gaming group out of Fremont, CA. Consistently, they had the best looking games at the Con, and you can read their summary (and drool over the photos) at Jay's Wargaming Madness. The rules were a simple but realistic homebrew they've been using for a while, and have in Napoleonic and Civil War flavors. Here, a unit was a battalion, regiment, or battery and players push a brigade. Most battles handle a division, and they have a pretty good little morale system.

I hadn't been able to get into their modern, Napoleonic or Pickett's Charge and McPherson's Ridge games, but by Sunday night, with the Con winding down, I saw a seat available and snapped it up.


20th ME, 83rd PA, 44th NY and 16th MI

The scenario was a compressed part of the fighting on the Union Left Flank on Day 2 of Gettysburg.
I was handed Vincent's Brigade (3rd Brigade, 1st Division, V Corps, Army of the Potomac,) and given the end of the Union line, told to hold Little Round Top.

Given the Confederate dispositions, I was told, if practicable, to push up Big Round Top and flank 'em. As it turned out, those instructions were rather prophetic.

Massed on Big Round Top were five Confederate regiments, from two different brigades. Half the Confederates (Hood's Texans), pushed across the valley into the Devil's Den. Three regiments decided to slow down and deploy for a musketry duel with my brigade. Snug behind fat rocks on high ground, and with an extra regiment and battery in my favor, I decided to oblige them.

The rules are generally a bucket of dice game, with lots of d6 rolled for firing or melee (number based on formation), with attendant saves and modifiers. Morale is basically rolling higher than the number of casualties you've taken. Depending on how shot up you are, you may have to check to see if you obey orders.

 Simple, easy to learn, lots of fun.







Colonel Vincent's view
A more God's eye view of the action
Fortunately, I had purchased quite a few dVI from the Chessex booth at the Dealer's Hall. Given the academic bents of both Vincent and Col. Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain of the 20th Maine, using the Roman Numeral dice seemed apropos.
Nothing like a bit of crass commercialism between games
Lots of IV, V and VI (needed for hits and passing morale) and V and VI (needed to make saves) followed, and soon the Confederate regiments were shot up.

At this point, the game master passed by and handed me a new miniature. He hadn't mentioned it in the pregame brief, because none of the playtesting had born it out, but there was a special Chamberlain rule, allowing me to reroll tests to charge and morale checks for one turn.

With the Rebs faltering and pulling back, it seemed time. Especially since the Devil's Den had fallen, and the Confederates were pushing the other Union forces back to the swamp.

BAYONETS!!!!!!
View from the Confederate lines
The Chamberlain miniature was mostly for the photographs. The few Confederates left mostly pulled back, and their departure from the field was hastened by a few volleys of musketry fire. But the timely move up Big Round Top secured us ten victory points, holding Little Round Top netted five more, and the three Confederate regiments leaving secured another three, contributing eighteen to the overall Union score of twenty-four. With the Confederates securing the Devil's Den and chewing up the Union forces there, it was a draw, 28 (Confederate) to 24 (Union), or pretty much how it turned out historically.

Plus, it was a beautiful game - beautifully painted miniatures on absolutely beautiful terrain. Exactly what I needed to inspire me to get back to painting.

So that was KublaCon. In the week since, I have finished up another few miniatures for my Colonials, and am itching to get back to my Plains Wars collection. Also, I need to get one of those teddy bear mats.

Huzzah!

Sunday, September 18, 2016

'e's not dead yet, sahr!


Sir Percy and Lady Agnes Located, Deep in Equatoria!
Posted this day, somewhere in Equatoria, September the Sixteenth, the Year One Thousand, Eight-Hundred Eighty Nine, to the Right Honorable General Sir Bertram Erskine Churchill Wellseley Gough-Smith, secretary of the Most Ancient and Honorable Society of Military Haberdashery and Sartorial Elegance,
Dash it all, Bertie. This is simply too much to bear.
Oberleutnant von Prince, Tom really is a stand up chap, has brought word that rumors of my demise, or worse, have been circulating London of late. Why Sir Evelyn Cresswell even had the audacity to propose that the Carleton vacate my suite and have my belongings sent to that good-for-nothing nephew of mine. The Sales and Wynne's must have been beside themselves, though they should know that my dearest Agnes, having faced down Pathan savages at the age of six, has nothing to fear from anything in our sojourn across the Dark Continent. Quite the opposite, in fact! I say we shant see the likes of those cannibals again.
Do not let Willie waver in the slightest. Blue, red, even grey and that benighted khaki are out, and green is in. If it's good enough for Napier and Wolseley, it's good enough for me, and more than good enough for the whole German Army! Now's not the time to get wobbly, fearing that my being eaten by a crocodile or trampled by an elephant means Cossacks rampaging down the streets of Berlin! Bosh and twaddle, poppycock even! I'll have you know a man can be nigh invisible to even the keenest eye and trustiest rifle in green, yet still cut a dashing figure with the ladies, not that I need that with my darling Agnes at my side these many years. Yes, I know the Old Boy is set on blue, or white, or aquamarine for all I know, but press him on the green!
Pass on my compliments to the Sirdar, and yes, I shall take up the colonelcy in the Egyptian Lancers he is keen to invest me with, lest Her Majesty need my own, humble services. I look forward to another spot of action, and am sure my experiences in Equatoria shall provide him with the most useful understanding of the Mahdists thereabout. 
Agnes and I look forward to the pleasure of your hospitality, and the conviviality of the Club, upon our return to England.
Executed by his own hand,
Yours, very respectfully,
Colonel Lord Percy Higgenbottom, 20th Hussars
 Sir Percy and Lady Agnes, conferring with Oberleutnant Tom von Prince, somewhere in Equatoria
For those not in the know, Lord Percy was one of the most valiant members of the British Empire. Born in 1832, he lived to the ripe old age of ninety-nine, recording amongst his crowning achievements the exploration of Equatoria, the settling of Kenya, being the first into Ulundi, Kabul, Kandahar, Ismalia, Cairo, Omdurman, Khartoum,  Ladysmith and Pretoria, and foremost advocate of what he steadfastly never called "field gray," adopted by the German Empire in 1908. Though his active service days were over, in his capacity as President of the Most Ancient and Honorable Society of Military Haberdashery and Sartorial Elegance, he was consulted heavily by Lord Haldane on the reforms of the British Army and establishment of the Expeditionary Force.

Of the two, Lady Agnes was the most formidable of the pair. A niece of Florentina Sale, the "Grenadier in Petticoats," Lady Agnes survived both the siege and evacuation of the British Cantonment in Kabul, defeating furious afghans only through force of personality and her steely gaze, formidable even at the tender age of six. Meeting Sir Percy during the Great Mutiny, she followed him throughout his many exploits and adventures. One of the few items of concordance between the Duke of Cambridge, Lord Wolseley and Lord Roberts was the worth of Lady Agnes in the Order of Battle, though the Duke of Cambridge rated her the worth of a Brigade of Guards, while Lord Roberts felt her gaze was more that of reserve artillery. 

More doings of the Mahdi!


Highly places sources in both the War Office and Horse Guards report that the Mahdi is dispatching additional forces to Equatoria, or perhaps Dongola. More Jihadiyya, in the service of that most modern of Mahdist generals, who's infamy is such we shall not sully our paper with his vile name, can only spell additional trouble for those seeking to restore the suzerainty of Her Majesty and soundly thrash the Murders of Gordon not members of Parliament.

The fortification of  additional key points along the necessary route of advance to Khartoum, can only spell additional difficulties for the forces of the Crown now in Mapfrica. Our intrepid reporters have brought sketches of Mahdist fortifications, and they do appear weighty.


 It is the weighty opinion of military advisors to the Editorial Board, along with members of the English Bible Society and the Adventurer's Club, who have experience in such matters, that additional reinforcements must immediately be sent to Mapfrica, to reconquer the Soudan at the earliest possible and most expedient moment. 

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Tis the season . . .

. . . for the annual Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge.

Every year, this inspires me to dust off some space, pull the paints and minis out of the boxes they're in, and try to make some kind of progress. This year is no different.

I've set the very modest goal of 200 points, which I achieved in the 4th Challenge, and failed miserably in the 5th. Dire threats have been made about feet and fire here for the VI Challenge. It being Romanesque theme of 'game changers', the use of Latin numerals seemed appropriate.

The rules, regulations, and other whatnot can be found by clicking the die on the right. As usual, we have the following bonus themes:
The Fortnight Theme Bonus Rounds
Same as previous years, we will have a series of thematic Bonus Rounds. Each Bonus Round asks Challengers to enter a submission that illustrates a particular theme. The Bonus Rounds are not mandatory, they are just a little bit of fun to pace out the the Challenge and allow people to gain some points and fame through presenting vignettes and specific single figures.
Those Challengers who manage to submit an entry for a 'Fortnight Theme Bonus Round' will receive an extra 50 points on top of the regular entry tally. No scales less than 15mm will be eligible for the Theme Bonus Rounds but they can be of a historical or fictional subject.
The seven Bonus Themes along with their submission deadlines are:
  • January 3rd: Nostalgia 
  • January 17th: Epic Fail 
  • January 31st : Defensive Terrain 
  • February 14th: L'amour 
  • February 28th: Nautical 
  • March 13th: Gambler/Risk-Taker
Given holiday plans and other commitments, I probably won't make the 3rd. My preliminary plan is to paint and submit a 1/2400 HMS Dreadnought for either the nautical or risk taker themes, she being the most famous nautical game changer out there. Since the Curtgeld this round is a 25/28mm Gambler/Risk-Taker, that's an automatic Bonus Theme submission.

I have always been fond of the Lace Wars. We originally played using Habitants and Highlanders, which is a Canadian Wargamers Group ruleset for the Seven Years War in America. Despite that, it's proved to be readily adaptable to the more cavalry-heavy battlefields of Europe. The only real need was new morale ratings. We originally began with somebody's French and Allied collections, and then I acquired a sizable collection of Old Glory 15mm Russians and Prussians.

If you like the SYW and don't have this, go buy the PDF. Shoo, off with you now! The book contains a history of the war in North America, a campaign generator, skirmish and big battle rules. What I especially like about them are how you have an uncertain time factor driven by customizable action decks, and how they're readily amenable to upscaling.

Other rulesets followed. We played a lot of Age of Honor's Fire and Fury, focusing on the War of Austrian Succession in Italy, with Austrians, French, Spanish, Neopolitans, and all that jazz. Since I didn't really have figures for the period, mine sat in a box. I slowly began expanding the Prussians, painting lots of cuirassier, since I desperately needed cavalry for the Prussian contingent.

Köingkrieg followed. I became heavily involved in both the rules-testing and the development of Russian orders of battle. My figures cane out of the box, and more were purchased or added. Trolling through orders of battle at the Seven Years War Project, I settled on Paltzig/Kay and began expanding.
A typical Russian deployment - infantry out front, less than stellar cavalry in reserve.
We're a whole cavalry regiment, really?
Unfortunately, things never were quite right. All these rule sets use large figure ratios. Habitants and Highlanders and Königkrieg are all 1/50, while Age of Honor is 1/90ish (4 infantry figures per stand, one stand representing 360 men, 2 cavalry per stand, representing 180 men). None really give the right visual scope for infantry, since battalions are twelve figures, max. Cavalry regiments are similarly small. The scales precluded fielding cavalry by squadron, since the units would be 4 or less. With cavalry regiments, you don't really get the same feel you do with squadrons, where it's a nail-biting, feed 'em in and pray. You also find the smaller regiments (like a French or British one of 2 squadrons) heavily overpowered by a five squadron Prussian one, despite the greater ease of handling six vice ten or fifteen squadrons!

I'd played several 28mm games, where larger (30 man) units were used, and the felt much better. The League of Augsburg, Jim Purky, and especially James Roach have spectacular displays. Though, being 28mm, battles were much smaller in scope. Budget, time, and having lots of 15mms already, investing in 28mm figures at 30+per battalion just isn't feasible. Wanting the best of both worlds, I've decided to return to Habitants and Highlanders, since it is my favorite rule set, and expand my 15mms again. While designed for 1/50, the rule mechanics will work just as well with more figures per unit. The fire factors and morale rules scale with unit size anyway, and it's designed to take up to 24 figures per unit, perhaps even more.
James Roach's set up for Mollwitz, the kind of scope I want.

However, scaling rears it's ugly head once again. A Prussian battalion is 5 companies (4 for grenadiers), at 140 men per company. At 1/20, that translates to 7 figures on a 1"x1" or 1"x1.25" base. But a cavalry squadron of 165, at 1/20, is only 8 figures. On the same frontage (a squadron occupied the same, or more, ground as an infantry battalion), you'd lose the boot to boot look I want for my horse. So I've decided to go to a 1/10 for cavalry, and a 1/20 for infantry. Artillery will be 4 gunners per base (1"x1" or 1"x1.25") for battalion guns, and 8 gunners on 2"x3" for

So, for the challenge, my main focus is expanding my Seven years War collection. Fortunately, lots of 15mms were glued to popsicle sticks, primed, and then set aside to await painting, so not much prep work is needed.
More troops are coming, boys! He might even fix our gaiters!
Editorial comment: I stuck my challenge plans post into the "draft" folder to switch computers, since the photos I wanted to use were not on my main desktop. Since then, my challenge plans have been overcome by events. I was offered and accepted a job on the other side of the North American continent, with a move right smack dab in the middle of the Challenge. Needless to say, I have had to seriously rethink how to do this, and whether I will have the time to get paints out of storage, paint, then repack to load on a truck the start of February. Instead, I may just be a mad, mad painter the last month.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

First Challenge Submission Completed

Per Curt's 24hr publication embargo with respect to personal blogs, my first bit of challenge material has been photographed and submitted. All the gory details of who, what and how can be seen at the Challenge Blog site.

Since I seem to have serious troubles taking decent photographs for the blog of anything but the Painting Countertop, I had a buddy of mine shoot some photos. With a tiny bit of photoshopping, there were some pretty splendid ones. This is my favorite shot:

Otherwise, painting progress continues, as I struggle to attain 200pts by March 20.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Saturday(ish) Paint Table 1-2-14: Future Fifth Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge Entries

Well, the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge is almost a month old, and nothing has officially been submitted. Now, this would be a problem, except for the following:
  • I paint rather slowly
  • I'm only trying to beat my measley 200 points personal challenge, not win the whole enchilada
  • I'm in the Challenge to get back to painting (having not completed anything in MONTHS), so any progress is gravy
 On the debit side:
  • I paint rather slowly
  • I am easily distracted
  • I lost two weeks of December with the Ear Infection from Hell
  • I am in a challenge to paint up 250 points of naval items - eep!
So, with the caveats and addendums aside, I have made some spectacular progress at getting things to the 3/4ths done phase:
 Now, not all of this is Challenge eligible (having been started way before the 5th of November). But it does give you a good idea of what I am working on!

At the bottom left, the expansions for my 1/2400 WWI collection:

We have 2 British dreadnoughts (HMS Hercules and HMS Colossus), both of which are 1/2400 GHQs and were started pre-challenge. They're beautiful models, but all that detail can make them a bear to paint. In front of them are 4 Viking Forge German G-101 class destroyers. These are the exact opposite of the GHQs - very little detail, which also makes them a bear to paint, and not much fun. To the right are a happy medium - 3 wtj 1/2400 Braunschweig-class predreadnoughts. wtj does rapid-prototyped plastic, and they are a nice compromise between detail and paintability - even if I did have to scratchbuild masts. There are some problems with the lictgrau I painted the superstructure with, but otherwise I am rather pleased.

Next, more Colonials stuff:
Ignore that mounted man at the far left, he's not Victorian!
 Here we have four West Wind nuns, a Foundry African woman I am painting as a postulant, and three purchases from North Star: their tea time figure for the 2nd Anglo-Afghan War, a Artizan officer from the same time period, and then their Captain Napier of their In Her Majesty's Name steampunk line. The officers will end up on the Brigade Staff (my Victorian Entry), while the other ladies will be the nuns of the Missionnary Sisters of the Precious Blood, a Trappist religious order in South and East Africa in the 1880s. 

The man all in black is North Star's Bishop of Münster, from their 1672 line. More about him below:

I told you I got distracted!
The Bishop is going to be part of my 28mm ECW collection. Specifically, he's going to be General the Bishop Harbottle Y. Grimstone, commander of the forces of Parliament in the County of Scruttockshire. If those names are familiar, they are the Parlimentarian Commander from Charles Grant's Wargame Tactics and the county used for the campaign in Wargames Foundry's 1644 rule set. Despite his episcopal mitre, he's a fire and brimstone Puritan, severe in his faith and dealings with the ungodly and dressed accordingly. His entourage so far, are equally grim - the trooper in back and breastplate and single bar helmet, and trumpeter on foot with his arms crossed in judgment. The other ECW figures will be troopers of Sir William Waller's regiment of dragoons.

Well, the painting counter is a bit of a mess, but there's lots of progress going on!



Sunday, November 30, 2014

And we're back!

It's time for the Fifth Annual Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge.

Just what I need to get out of the no-painting rut and the no-blogging rut!

Goal: 200 points!
Side duel: 1st to 250 points of warships of various kinds.
Preparations: TOP SECRET!

Remember, Remember!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Expanding the Library, not the Lead Pile - the Challenge Economics.

Curt has recently posted some interesting statistics about the economic impetus of the recently completed I've been pretty good about restraining my purchase impulse during the Challenge. The only figures I purchased were a set of Foundry Darkest Africa European Ladies Two off ebay, rebranded as Roses of the Empire - DA018:


Terrain and base purchases were a bit more extravagant. I bought 60 2mmx25mm diameter and 20 3mmx30mm diameter slotted bases from Warbases, along with a bunch of their counters to use for missile salvo markers in Silent Death and Full Thrust. I also bought one of their Long Walls from the Middle Eastern range. It's a bit thin for anything but a building wall, but it's inexpensive, ships well, fit together nicely and with a textured spray paint, wash and dry brush will look splendid.
I also purchased a 28mm domed Middle Eastern building off ebay. It's roughly three stories, with two balconies/verandahs, and the option of either a dome or a flat roof. I am setting up to do mostly skirmishish (1 snuffy figure represents roughly two real snuffies, and "heroes" are 1:1), so buildings that allow figure placement inside them are essential. 



 I also purchased two Ziterdes Desert Sanctuaries (for about half retail) off Amazon. Unfortunately, they're one piece castings, so they'll have to serve as towers and impenetrable areas. I'm thinking of making a compound with four of them, connected by some Warbases walls.
But the main expenditures have been in books (and paying off that pesky library fine, because they expect the damn things back). The following recently arrived from Amazon:
  • Beyond the Khyber Pass: The Road to British Disaster in the First Afghan War ~ John H. Waller
  • Donald Featherstone's Wargaming Campaigns ~ John Curry
  • Donald Featherstone's Solo Wargaming ~ John Curry
The following are also on order:
  • Richard Simkin's Uniforms of the British Army: The Cavalry Regiments ~ W. Y. Carman
  • The Seleucid Army: Organization and Tactics in the Great Campaigns (Cambridge Classical Studies) ~ Bezalel Bar-Kochva
Half-Price Books also made the mistake of issuing a 50% off coupon, and it was promptly pillaged. I think the building is still standing, but don't hold me to it. The haul:
  • Dividing the Spoils: The War for Alexander the Great's Empire ~ Robin Waterfield
  • The Victor's Crown: A History of Ancient Sport from Homer to Byzantium ~ David Potter
  • That Sweet Enemy: The French and the British from the Sun King to the Present ~ Robert and Isabelle Tombs
  • Fusiliers: Eight Years with the Redcoats in America ~ Mark Urban
  • Napoleon's Immortals: The Imperial Guard and its Battles, 1804-1815 ~ Andrew Uffindell
  • Blue-Water Empire: The British in the Mediterranean Since 1800 ~ Robert Holland
  • The Opium Wars: The Addiction of One Empire and the Corruption of Another ~ W. Travis Hanes III and Frank Sanello
  • The Afghan Way of War: How and Why They Fight ~ Robert Johnson
  • Autumn in the Heavenly Kingdom: China, The West and the Epic Story of the Taiping Civil War ~ Stephen Platt
  • Invading Mexico: America's Continental Dream and the Mexican War, 1846-1848 ~ Joseph Wheelan
  • Hero of Beecher Island: The Life and Military Career of George A. Forsyth ~ David Dixon
  • The Wilderness Campaign ~ Gary W. Gallagher, Ed
  • Setting the Desert on Fire: T. E. Lawrence and Britain's Secret War in Arabia, 1916-1918 ~ James Barr
  • Operation Kronstadt: The True Story of Honor, Espionage, and the Rescue of Britain's Greatest Spy, The Man with the Hundred Faces ~ Harry Ferguson
I also passed on a few books about the Victorians and Dickensian London. In retrospect, they were both possibly worthy purchases, and I may snap them up later. Generally, I prefer hardbacks to paperbacks - they last better, and travel better.

So that's my contributions to the wargaming economy during Challenge-Time. Anything picked up at the SYW convention this weekend will be counted separately.