Monday, 26 June 2017

A Few More Colonials

I wanted to finish off the rest of the figures I'd prepared before and since Ayton, and here they are. These will be seeing some action (hopefully soon) in my 1830s Medetian colonial setting, using the Sharp Practice rules.

First, some RSMs kindly donated from Andy's cavernous spares box. Two will naturally be Big Men (ie. leaders) for Sharp Practice.


The last of the Gripping Beast Arabs:


Artillery crew converted from Gripping Beast Arabs:


Finally, an officer for my Fleurian artillery (Victrix plastic):







Friday, 23 June 2017

Junk!

Granted, not an original post name.

At the AMG weekend a few people brought along things to sell/dispose of and I picked this up from Paul for a few quid. It'll fit in nicely with my non-specific colonial setting, either as an operational vessel for the locals or just as a nice piece of scenery. I gave it a dust, added the masts, and repainted the black bits. And that's it, ready to go. :)




Tuesday, 20 June 2017

AMG17 - A Fantastic Weekend

Last weekend I attended the AMG forum gaming weekend near Kenilworth. There were about 20 of us, including forum members, forum ex-members, and at least one person who was neither!

Just like last year, it was an excellent crowd and we had a lot of fun both during the gaming sessions, and during the bar sessions. Apart from our group there were 300+ other guests in the hotel, all there for a Dancing with the Stars weekend. We didn't mix much :)  - although a couple of gents did pop by to have a look.

Stuart organised an excellent and smooth-running event. Big thanks to him.

The games were all top notch; Graham with Falkirk, Colin with Leuthen, Martin with the Sudan and Paul with Ramillies. I wanted to play all 4 but only managed Leuthen and Ramilies. Both were excellent, and very well run by friendly and helpful hosts.

Ramilies:


The Sudan (obviously), done in grand style by Martin, with lovely figures, using Sands of the Sudan:



Unfortunately my pic of Graham's excellent and very popular Falkirk game didn't come out, so this is the best I've got from that. Lovely British cavalry.


Day 1 - I played as one of the Austrian commanders in Colin's superb Leuthen 1757 game, using the Honours of War rules.


Robbie and Gary were on the flanks and we faced Chris, Jim and Tony as the Prussians. Fittingly, Jim (Der Alte Fritz) played as Frederick.



More Austrians rushing to help hold the line:


Soon to be ex-grenadiers!


The Prussian grenadiers charge the church wall. They got in once, but I managed to push them back out with my reserves.


Repeating the Prussian's dramatic success on the tabletop isn't as simple as Frederick made it look. It was close in the end, but was declared a win for the Austrians.


Day 2 - I joined Paul's tremendous refight of the southern half of Ramillies 1706 (ie. the cavalry action and the village on the French extreme right flank). We used Paul's own rules from the Grimsby club, which are straightforward but give lots of period flavour. I took the right-hand French, with dismounted dragoons in the village, infantry alongside, and some of the Garde squadrons on my left.

We had a lot of cavalry clashes early on, and then the infantry came forward to carry on the fight. It was slightly unique as an 18th century wargame in that there were no artillery on the table (other than a couple of attached light guns). It made a nice change.


Below - waiting for the dreaded Dutch guard to arrive and commence their deadly platoon fire. Fortunately I was able to get some flank supports in place to help see off the first battalion! After that it was a matter of holding on.



Aly and Leigh battled it out at the other end of the table, with Steve commanding the French centre and Ken fighting us with Dutch and Danish. We got a solid result on the left flank, with Aly's battalions mostly sent packing, and in the end the French were declared the victors. :)


A few general scenes. There was always a lot of banter and laughter in the room, making for an excellent atmosphere (which was needed as it was bloody warm with the aircon only partially working)!




The hotel wasn't a bad place to have a few post-game beers, and the weather was amazing too!


Aly brought along a couple of sets of the Perry's new Travel Battle game, which looked nice painted up, and Mark brought a 6mm version of The Wargame which was very impressive. Chris showed off some of his lovely period-art too, so there was something to see in every corner of the room.

Great stuff all-round then, and very motivational from a hobby perspective.
Hopefully we'll be doing it again next year (albeit under a new name I suspect).

Monday, 19 June 2017

More Colonial Irregulars

I'm planning to get as much use as I can out of the Gripping Beast plastic Arabs I painted for Ayton, which means using them for colonial games too. Yes, there are a few too many bows in evidence, but I'm not really bothered. That said, I'm adding some musket-armed figures to bring them a bit more up to date!

These are from First Corps' SYW in India range. They're a bit shiny despite 2 coasts of varnish but hey. I've used the same colour scheme as the medieval types and they should fit together OK. 



I've painted, but yet to base, a further 6 plastic guys with spears, which takes me to 44 figures. I think I need another half pack from First Corps to get me to 48 (and increase the musket count), which will make a healthy total of 4 Sharp Practice groups of Wallahs.

Additionally there are 4 plastic figures I've done as artillery crew, which I just need to base too. 

When done, I'll get the whole lot together, with the leaders and cavalry, for a photo shoot. Then I just need to finish some scenery and we're off to the conquer some jungle-clad islands in the name of Medetia!  :)

Friday, 16 June 2017

The Dreaded Re-basing

We all hate it, but most of us have to (well, choose to!) do it from time to time. This one was worth the effort as I wanted my irregular sepoys to be on single rather than multi- bases so that they work better for Sharp Practice. They can still go onto sabots for games where they need to form up in a battalion.

They're RSM figures, a mix of their Ottoman figures with some minor conversions in the form of weapons added to hands. They've seen service in several games, as a battalion made up of 6 bases of 5. With a couple of spares kindly donated by Count Belisarius I will be able to make 4 groups of 8 or 3 of 10 (militia) for Sharp Practice.

Then: the 'soak the mdf base in water' method:


Now: on 20mm washers:


Much happier!

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Big Buildings!

Back in January I made an effort to get through the MDF mountain (more of a hillock really), assembling a number of kits and painting most of them too. I was stalled with these 2 Timeline buildings as I needed something to tile the roofs with, so they sat unfinished while I searched the web (in vain) for what I wanted. In the end I decided to just get on and make my own, using the time-honoured card strip method. They're not perfect, but they'll do and are better than the standard flat MDF roofs.


I added some texture to the walls to cover up the construction slots and joins, and painted everything in shades to roughly match my existing 28mm buildings. I decided to 'hinge' the doors with insulation tape as I didn't want them fixed in place, but wasn't up to anything more complicated. The are no features inside as, for me, wargame building interiors are best kept simple and clear, as figure bases are oversized anyway.


I added the usual bit of texture around the bases and declared them finished. I like these kits a lot. They're big buggers, but should look good on the table, especially for skirmish games.










Monday, 8 May 2017

Another MDF Cart

I can't resist a cheap MDF wagon/cart kit - here's the latest, bought last year from 4Ground. There were a couple of options for the final look, including not adding the high sides. I just wanted something generic so left them on.




It even came with full illustrated instructions, which help a bit. A quick three-shade drybrush and it was sorted. It'll get use in a variety of periods, even just as scenery.

Saturday, 6 May 2017

Pack Mules

I have finally painted half a dozen pack mules (and ponies) that I thought I'd bought a couple of years ago. Turns out it was 2011..


Three are from a Warlord Games ECW pack and the other three have been converted from TAG Cossack ponies which I declared too small to look right for wargaming (although I appreciate they may be technically accurate!) To keep things simple I just stuck some spare blanket rolls on them which came from the Perry plastic AWI British infantry box.

It always feels good getting bits and pieces like this done, so next time I need a supply convoy for a game, I'll be able to dig these out :)

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Ayton 2017

Well, that was another brilliant weekend with the LAW guys up near Scarborough. Lots of beer, banter, hobby chat and gaming - the best type of weekend :)

Some Game 1 pics:



We had 2 days of multi-player Lion Rampant games, all excellently planned and umpired by Gary who had done a lot of prep to ensure everything went smoothly. Big thanks to him for that.




There were over a dozen factions, with players bringing everything from Normans to Mongols, Arabs and Burgundians. Under a straight-forward and fun system like Lion Rampant things like this work, so you can just concentrate on enjoying yourself. There were 3 rounds of games, building in size from 3-4 player on Saturday morning to a big all-player bash on Sunday, with a castle thrown in as a centre piece.




Gary had designed a clever background whereby an island near the Holy Land was targeted by invaders and raiders of all descriptions, each with their own agenda for mayhem. Allies and enemies shifted a bit here and there and overall there was an on-going Glory Points tally to track everyone's campaign success - or failure.

Some Game 2 pics:






I did pretty poorly in the points scoring, but was a few places off the bottom I think. Anyway, Andy managed minus 4 points after 2 games, and no-one could compete with that level of incompetence. I tried though - managing to get my General killed in a duel I instigated, which wasn't an ideal result to say the least! Still, even without his presence the Medetians and their Saracen allies were the first to assault the castle walls on Sunday. Naturally, despite beating the defenders from the parapets, they also failed their courage test and were dumped back to the bottom again..twice :(

Some Game 3 pics:








My fatal duel:






With large numbers of players and some slightly oversized retinues, we decided to ease the unit activation failure pain a bit on day 2 by allowing all players a single re-roll for their first failed activation if their General was within 12". As this is an existing rule (it's one of the commander traits) it didn't introduce anything new or unbalance the game, it just made things flow a bit more evenly and allowed the attackers to move across the table with some consistency to ensure people made it into action.

We also fudged the rule for keeping 3" gaps between friendly units, just to make things a little easier for a big game with lots of troops.

Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and we also had the visual delight of another of Tim and Tim's 54mm extravaganzas - a fictitious modern game set in Africa with lots of excellent scenery and stunning paint jobs on the figures:





As always, big thanks to Mark for organising the venue and supplies, and making dinner arrangements. Looking forward to 2018's event already - a return to the 18th century with Henry's campaign taking us to the sub-continent!