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

Friday, 14 November 2014

Peninsular War Skirmish: The Baguette Incident

The Peninsular War continues to rage across the countryside of Spain and Portugal. Following his defeat at the farm house Captain de Forest of the French Army has been recuperating and given light duties by his commanding officer. He is to escort a supply wagon bringing baguettes, cheese and wine (all vital supplies for the French) to a garrison occupying a village in the Spanish countryside. 

While many an officer of de Forest's rank would find an escort duty demeaning de Forest is not perturbed; Mainly because the pretty young cantiniere leading the wagon has caught the captain's eye. Well he is a Frenchman after all. 

British army Lieutenant George Bagshot, a Quartermaster of the 24th Regiment of Foot, is once more gathering supplies when the two riflemen assigned to his section spot de Forest's supply wagon. Bagshot, seeing his opportunity to return to base early laden with French supplies, quickly sets up an ambush. 

Bagshot sets up half his men hidden in a cork wood with a commanding view of the lane, while the other half, including the two chosen men from the 95th rifles, are concealed in another copse of trees near the ford. 

Deforest, concerned about the possibility of an attack from guerillas had his grenadiers marching in file either side of the wagon, with the rest of his men formed a rear guard. 

Bagshots opening volley kills one of the fusiliers, sending the French into a frenzy of activity. The fusiliers return fire, without much effect, and one of the grenadier groups form up between the wagon and Bagshot's redcoats, while the grenadier sergeant tries to escort the wagon to the ford, blissfully unaware that the Chosen Men are covering the ford. 

The French fire several volleys into the British, but the redcoats are well concealed in the cork wood, and escape serious harm. Then a volley from the redcoats catches Captain de Forest in the open, and the brave Frenchman is cut down in a hail of musketry- this time his wounds prove fatal!

The shocking news of the officers death sends waves of panic through the French, and their lines start to break. One of the grenadiers threw down his musket and fled, and the rest fell back in disarray. The French sergeant did what he could to stem the panic, but in the end he could only rally four men. 

Determined to push on to the garrison, and thinking they were leaving the British ambush behind, the French start to cross the ford. Just then two more redcoats emerge from the woods to block the path ahead, and the chosen men begin sniping at the grenadiers- their bold sergeant is killed, sending as second wave of panic. The Frenchmen and and the pretty young cantiniere flee, abandoning the wagon to the redcoats.

This mission was one from the rules (its in More Drums and Shakos) and played well. James was unlucky with some rolls, and Charlie was (as always) very lucky, and the result was closer that it would appear. All James had to do for success was to get off the board edge with at least three men and the wagon, and he came very close to succeeding, but the death of the sergeant scuppered any chance he had. All in all this was an interesting mission, and the first one we had used from the rules and I was rather happy with the way it went. 

Saturday, 8 November 2014

Songs of Drums and Shakos: A Battle Report

The British form up in the orchard

Last week at the Earlswood Wargamers I ran a game of Drums and Shako for James and my son Charlie. James took charge of the French and Charlie took the British. 
The French officer,  Captain Anton de Forest was leading a patrol of Line Grenadiers with Sergeant Fabron, when they came across a small Portuguese farmhouse that was being used as a British foraging post. The British quartermaster, Lieutenant George Bagshot and his Sargent, Ezekiel Scumton had been scouring the area for supplies for the army and had a handful of red coats picking oranges from the orchard when the French grenadiers arrived. The British also had three chosen men from the 95th rifles who were picking up some supplies for their officer. 

Captain de Forest leads the Grenadiers towards the farmhouse

The French advanced in their tried and tested columns, with the daring Sargent Fabron at the front. Fabron's Column took heavy and effective fire from the British especially the marksmen of the 95th rifles, never the less the second column reached the ford in good order. 

Sergeant Fabron at the ford

The British open fire on the column crossing the  ford. 

The French crossed the ford under heavy fire, and succeeded in outflanking the British, firing a volley that killed a chosen man outright. Sargent Scumton saw the danger and lead ordered the red jackets to reload, then advance on towards the French Grenadiers who were frantically reloading. Scumton then signalled his men to commence firing by shooting one of the grenadiers in the head with his pistol. The resulting point blank volley killed or wounded half of the grenadiers. 

A VERY short range fire fight ensues 
 Meanwhile Sargent Fabron and the last of the Grenadiers from his column prepare to charge the rifleman on the steps of the farm house. The riflemen, seeing them coming, spat the bullet into his rifle, rammed it home and then shot the French sergeant as he reached the bottom of the steps. 

When one of the Chosen Men spots Captain de Forest trying to cross the ford he took aim and fired, dropping the Frenchman like a stone. The grenadiers, still recoiling from the devastating English Volley, and seeing their officer and NCO fall, begin to fall back in disarray. One of the Frenchmen paused long enough to scoop the half drowned and wounded de Forest from the river before hurrying back to their own lines. 

The Rifleman takes aim on de Forest while Lt Bagshot hides behind the tool-shed
 All in all a very satisfying game. In fairness to James it was a points balanced game and he was attacking a foe in a easily defended position- perhaps it would have been kinder to have given him a couple more men to balance it out better. James did well, playing the French as the might have done in history, advancing bravely in two columns until very close. Charlie's surprise point-blank range volley was very effective. 

The game is fast and furious, and very easy to pick up. Both lads enjoyed the way the battle ebbs and flows in such an unpredictable way. Charlie had said that he though historical would be dull in comparison to fantasy, but had to concede it was a lot of fun.  Killing the officers- and conversely protecting them behind the tool shed- is the the way to go. Both Sergeant Fabron and Scumton performed bravely contributed to the battle. 

Thursday, 6 November 2014

Last Four Zomtober Napocalypse Survivors

Although I didn't get round to finishing the French Napocalypse survivors for my Regardez! Zombie! game during zomtober I did finally finish them off in the first week in November- so that nearly counts.

Again these are all Perry Miniatures 'Retreat From Moscow' range. Very nice to paint, and nice that there were all from different regiments so I could paint each one in a different uniform- I like that.

All that I have to do now is play the game. Maybe I can finally persuade Pulp Citizen to play Napoleonics?

First up, one of Napoleons Old Guard. Even in the midst of a zombie apocalypse he has kept his uniform smart. He has lost his boots, but the rest of his koit is in good order.  

Napoleon's Old Guard
 Next up a sapper in his forage cap wrapped in some hessian sacking. This chap looks like he has seen too much and is about to snap. 

Next up a Chasseur a Cherval (minus his horse). He has lost his carbine but is ready for action. 

Chasseur a Cherval

And finally a proud Polish Lancer who has lost his horse and 'acquired' a carbine. He doesn't look like he thinks that is a fare exchange.

Polish Lancer

And here is my motley crew of Frenchmen (and one Pole). They look ready for anything. What is that lurking in the shadows? 

  "Regardez! Zombie!"