Saturday, 31 January 2015

ECW: Reinforcments

I just about finished painting these English Civil War figures ahead of the To Defy a King game last Sunday, but never got round to photographing them until today. This is a big field cannon called a demi-calverin, from Perry Miniatures. I call it Big Blue. 

And here are my dismounted dragoons. Mostly Perry Miniatures, with a few Warlord Fire-lock armed musketeers left over from my fire-lock unit. I opted for the same red coats, but most of the dragoons sport buff overcoats as they like to think of themselves as cavalry. Dragoons of this period didn't fight mounted, and perform a skirmish role protecting the flanks, baggage train etc. 

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Scenery for Pirates (Arrh! Jim Lad!)

Here is a few of pictures of the latest bits of scenery I have been making. These are from 4Grounds and they are from their Fabled Realms fantasy rage (they are from the Mordenburg range- not at all based on inspired by Mordhiem) They certainly wouldn't look out of place on a Warhammer table but I think they will do for a number of other genres as they are mercifully free from grinning sculls and other Games Workshop inspired oddness.

Included in the range is three different types of houses- Dockside, High Street and Back Street. Dockside is the grandest quarter, where the burgers and merchant's homes and so on. They are three stories: The ground floor is accessible from the street and is a cellar or a shop. The main family residence is accessed via an external staircase. High Street houses are simpler affairs, but still impressive, while back street houses are simple single story structures. There are also a number of ruined versions of the houses and a very imposing inn. 
I picked up a back street house and a dockside dwelling, principally to use for On the Seven Seas and Freebooter's Fate. They are pre-painted and Laser Cut from MDF, and come with a step by step photographed instructions which were very useful. The smaller house took about an hour to build but the larger one was more complicated and took about 5 hours (I would probably be quicker next time, and I used PVA, which I had to wait to dry during a few of the more delicate stages). 

They are lovely models, with lost of nice details like doors that open, and even a trap door. They also have fully detailed interiors, which is great too, especially for skirmish games. I lightly dry brushed the timber work and roof tiles to help pick out the detailing and cover a few burn marks. This took about five minutes, but really enhanced the over all look. I particularly liked the way they are made to look a bit 'wonky': the roofs and walls slope at weird angles. Having grown up in Chester, where we have some of the best preserved Tudor timbered buildings in England, I really liked this as it looks very realistic and stopped them looking too boxy. 

While I intend to use these houses as pirate dwellings I can also see they will be useful for Lord of The Rings, VBCW, ECW or a whole host of other settings. My regular gaming buddy Pulp Citizen is getting a couple too, and when we put the together we will have the start of a little town!

Sunday, 25 January 2015

ECW: TO Defy A King

Today I had my first game of the new English Civil War wargame 'To Defy A King', alongside the chaps down the Earlswood Wargamers, under the expert eye of the games designer, Keith Johnson. We played a game set in the Scottish highlands, pitching Royalist again Covenanter (I was on the side of the Covenanters). I fielded, for the first time, my two cannons, a regiment of firelocks, a regiment of dismounted dragoons and a roughly regiment sized rabble of scummy clubmen. Luckily some other players brought some proper troops. 

Highlights for me were halting a Irish regiment mid-charge with some devastating musketry and cannoneering, and Allan failing two consecutive moral roles (a roll of 3 and a roll of 2 on 2d6) causing an entire regiment rout away from a howling, kilt wearing regiment of highlanders, even though they hadn't even taken a single casualty!

Keiths game, To Defy a King, is a great game, fast paced and easy to pick up. It's best suited for clubs or for players with very large collections of ECW figures, as you really benefit from having lots of regiments on the table. It is well crafted and flows well, coping easily with the complications of having lots of figures on the table, and it played out a whole battle in just a couple of hours. 
Royalist Cavalry moving down one flank

Cavalry making a mess of my clubmen

The wind blasted highlands disturbed by battle

Big Blue and Little Red, by new cannons

At short range cannon can make a mess of Irishmen

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

2014 Round Up

2014 has been another busy year for me from a painting point of view. At best estimate I reckon I have painted over two hundred miniatures, although not all of them ended up on the blog. I began the year by joining Earlswood Wargamers, which has been a great move,as the guys in the club are very welcoming and I have been introduces to new games and wargaming genres. I continue to expand my English Civil War and Napoleonic War collections, and have even branched out into X Wing and Dead Man's Hand as a direct result of joining the club. 

My Napoleonics continued to develop throughout the year, with me completion my British line infantry, French grenadiers, and Royal Navy Sailors. I have enjoyed making scenery and painting the more unusual figures like the supply cart, Spanish civilians and French sappers. Having discovered Songs of Drums and Shakos I have continued to relish painting these characterful figures, which seem a bit useless in big battalions games, but really bring small skirmish games to life. 

I have also completed the bulk of my 'Dad's Army' Home Guard army for Bolt Action, although I have yet to paint more than a few test models fro my Fallschirmsjaeger force so I can carry out Operation Sealion games. The Home Guard may see some action soon in VBCW. 

I have continued to add to my Modern African range, and they have been posted over on my other blog- Hotel Zugando, throughout the year. I have yet to get a game in for that this year, as I have gone a bit cold on Force on Force, I have heard that 2 Hour Wargames may be doing an Ultra Modern rules set in 2015, which might be something to look forward to. I have looked at Skirmish Sangin, Flying Lead and Spectre, but they don't seem to do it for me. I backed the Empress Miniatures and Spectre Miniatures Kick Starters, so I have plenty of Africans and UN troops waiting for  their turn under the paint brush in 2015. 

Other ranges I have added too, as and when the mood struck me, have been Four Colour, French and Indian Wars, Wild West Zombies and my Regardez Zombie! range.

So what were the highlights, from a gaming perspective, of 2014? 
  • Salute , which saw me spending A LOT of cash on lead men, was great fun, with some impressive tables to be seen. 
  • Zombtober was a success again too, with bloggers from all over the place painting their icky zombie hordes. 
  • Kick Starter has proven a biggy this year for me too. I backed Spectre Miniatures, Across The Dead Earth, Empress Miniatures (well that was 2013, but the figures were late), and Pulp City (which haven't tuned up yet). All of these have been successful and great fun to be part of. 
  • Pulp Citizens Halloween and Christmas Madness games have been great fun too, especially making the Monkey God idol and the giant snowman. 
So what is for 2015? Well painting this massive pile of lead is on my priority list. Expect more napoleoinics, more modern Africa, and a return to two old ranges- Scum and Villainy and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang. Finishing my Dad's Army and Fallshcirmjager would be good too. I will add a few more elements to my ECW army, but them I think that will be enough.
New projects will be limited to small, easily contained projects (a dozen figures at the most). I am going to avoid big projects as for the last three years I have been churning out whole armies, which I hardly ever get to use, an it is very frustrating. Pulp City, Dead Man's Hand, War Machine and On The Severn Sea are all looking likely at the moment.  

Hope you have a great New Year!

Saturday, 27 December 2014

Earlswood Wargamers Christmas 'All-Dayer'

It is the tradition at Christmas for the Earlswood Wargamers to have a big 'all-day' game Unfortunately, due to real-life commitments I was't able to attend, but I did pop down to take a few photos. This year there was a civil war theme and the games featured a game of 'To Defy A King', the English Civil War rules. They were recreating the battle of Edgehill. The other game was American Civil War on the stunning Gettysburg board built in meticulous detail and to 28mm scale by Alan. It really is a thing of beauty 

Alan's meticulously researched Gettysburg plan

ECW-Battle of Edgehill


Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Christmas Madness 2014: The Snowman Cometh

Just to prove I haven't been entirely idle during December, here is our annual Christmas Madness battle report. The figures and the scenery belong to Pulp Citizen and me, and I scratch built the Snowman (based on Marshmallow from Disney's Frozen). This stylish Battle Report was all the work of Pulp Citizen, who did a great job turning my photos into a story. 

I have painted lots more stuff, as well as Marshmallow, but the light has been to poor and I have been to busy to get good photos. perhaps after Christmas I might have more time to get some better photos- expect a flurry of pictures soon. In the mean time, as Pulp Citizen says "Thanks for Reading and Merry Christmas!".

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

French and Indian Wars: Eighteenth Century Settlers

Here are a few more hardy English Settlers fro my French and Indian Wars Projects. These will also be useful for any 'tricorn era' 18th Centrury game, and will no doubt see some use in my planned Pirate Projects- Charlie and I are planning to paint some Pirates for 'on the Seven Seas' in the new year (so long as Father Christmas is good to us) and these guys will serve us well as smugglers or land lubbers. they might get some use in the American Civil War games at Earlswood too.

These figures are from Redount Miniatures (I think) and are well sculpted, with characterful faces.

Friday, 28 November 2014

To Defy A King: English Civil War Firelock Armed Musketeers

I have previously stated that the English Civil War is not really my sort of thing...I don't know why, but as a wargaming period it just doesn't do it for me. However, at the Earslwood Wargaming Group ECW is very big, especially amongst the veteran gamers. Indeed one of the movers and shakers at the group has just published his own set of rules called "To Defy a King", which seem a lot of fun. Given that the prospect of playing more ECW games in the future is quite high, I thought I had better get some more troops together. I have previously painted some armed peasants (called 'clubmen' because they clubbed together to defend their homes, not because they were wielding clubs -although some certainly were) and when I spoke to Kieth about what I should paint next he suggested cannons, as there is a bit of a shortage of cannons in the group. Seeing a little niche I thought I could fill, I have decided to go into artillery. 

To start off my little ECW army I have painted up a regiment of firelock armed musketeers. The artillery officers at the time were said to have preferred firelocks for their guards because they were less prone to spark and make the gun powder wagons explode- which is probably a good thing.  They are supported by a minion, which is a sort of small cannon that can be manhandled across the battlefield (unlike the larger cannons which were emplaced before the battle and were effectively immobile).

My next plan is to add a small regiment of dismounted dragoons (also armed with firelocks) to protect the flank, a brace of field guns and a supply wagon laden with powder and shot. 

The musketeers are from Warlord Games and the cannon is from Perry Miniatures. 

Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Jungle Ruins from a Pet Shop!

Here are a couple of goldfish ornaments I bought form my local petshop- Pets at Home. The Buddha head I bought a while ago, but the ruins I only picked up this week. I think these will be great for any games of Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, Pulp City, or IHMN set in the jungle. Cheep, preprinted scenery is always welcome!

Here you can see my KKBB villain Ezekiel Maxwell and some of his henchmen as they inspect the ruins, searching for the Green Diamond he needs to build his latest dooms day device. 

Sunday, 23 November 2014

Gladiators Ready!

Those who are about to die...

I have finally finished the six Wargames Foundry gladiators I bought at Salute. I have eleven now, including the five Crusader Miniatures ones I painted for Lead Painters League earlier in the year. 

I love painting these guys. They are an absolute pleasure to paint- no fiddly Napoleonic uniforms and no tiny belt pouches.

The next step will be to buy Jugular and try out a few games with them. if it is any good I might try and introduce it to my wargaming club. 

Nubian Retarius, Gaul Hoplomach, Thracian

Nubian Hoplomachus, Spanish Laqucarius and  Samnite
And these are the five I painted for the LPL earlier in the year. They are from Crusader Miniatures.
Two Murmillio, Maxamus the Provocatores, Murmillio and a Crupellarius