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