Sunday, 14 August 2016


Hercules and some Argonauts

The Inseläffchen is a big fan of Greek myth and so I picked up a pack of Wargames Foundry Argonauts at the last Hamburg Tactica.

Painting these was a joy and the sculpts are lovely.  There are many more packs in this range, featuring monsters as well as other heroes and I can well imagine buying some more come next February.

I also bought a pack of 3 Medusa (Medusi?) and they are also now painted and just waiting to be based.

The plan is to come up with some simple rules to use them in a Heroquest type Dungeon crawl and later for Songs of Blades and Heroes. 

Sunday, 3 July 2016

Scatter Terrain

When I can grab a few hours hobby time but don't feel like painting figures I usually take the opportunity to knock up some small peices of terrain which I can dress the table with.  They usually serve no purpose other than to decorate and add a touch of flavour. 

Formally, when I didn't know any better I would just throw down some random buildings and unrealistic trees but since I've started reading the many wonderful blogs and hobby magazines I have tried to set my sights a little higher.  There are loads of companies producing high quality resin or metal pieces but buying a lot them soon starts to eat up my budget and anyway it's a lot of fun.

The first piece is an outside loo - primarily intended for my Muskets and Tomahawks homestead but it could be used in later periods up to WW2, perhaps in the garden of a small French farmhouse.

Construction is just a cardboard structure covered in coffee stirrers with the edges trimmed.  

Next is a medieval cart.  The Escort scenario for Saga requires 3 pieces of baggage and although the models produced by Gripping Beast are great I wanted to make my own.  Using the same technique as the outside toilet but this time with balsa wood.  The animals are from Pegasus hobbies and include pigs, sheep and goats.

A chicken coop - same principle as the other pieces.  This also could serve in multiple periods.

A woodpile which wouldn't look out of place in a Saga, M&T, Napoleonic or WW1/2 game.  The axe is from Bripping Beast, the log from the cherry tree in front of my house and the logs tiny pieces of basswood.

Long ago I got some Games Workshop terrain from a friend and since picking up some WW2 figures I decided to take another look at them.  The idea is that a Norman church has been destroyed during the fighting and is now being defended by US airborne.

One thing I had to do was to shave off the ubiquitous skulls and other GW idiosyncracies!

Saturday, 7 May 2016

Lion Rampant

One of my gaming resolutions this year was to try out some of the games that I've had for a while and hadn't played.  First came Muskets and Tomahawks just after Christmas and then Black Ops.

2 weeks ago we played our first Lion Rampant game - My Normans, consisting of 2 x Mounted Sergeants, 3 x Foot Sergeants and 1 x Crossbows versus a Saxon force.

The details are now a bit hazy but I remember it was a fun game, the rules were incredibly easy to pick up and very intuitive and gave a fun, and especially bloody game.

The rules place a lot of emphasis on units becoming 'Battered' and running away which is exactly what happened to both armies.  In the end it became a duel between two shooting units which my army lost.

We will return to LionRampant in future weeks and there is some talk of branching out into the fantasy variant - Dragon Rampant, using my growing GW Empire army.

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Sharp Practice v.2

TooFatLardies recently released a new version of their very successful Sharp Practice which seems to be taking the historical wargaming scene by storm and I took the plunge and shelled out for one of their bundles which comes with a PDF, a hard copy of the rules and a pack of the playing cards.

 I bought some Victrix and Perry minis last year and painted up enough for a Song of Drums and Shakos force but knowing myself I had enough for the inevitable upscaling to a larger skirmish/smaller battle.

I dont know anybody local who plays any Lardies rules - which is a shame and perhaps a reason to Spread the 'Schmalz'.

Saturday, 13 February 2016

Black Ops from Osprey - First Games and Impressions

As a 'palatte cleanser' after our Saga campaign we decided to try a new ruleset that I bought on a whim just before Christmas - Black Ops from Osprey Publishing.

It's designed to replicate those modern action films and games with a choice of factions including special forces, militias, gangsters and even Ninjas! I don't particulary want to game any specific wars such as those in Afghanistan or Iraq but the idea of playing a Bond leading a crack squad to rescue the girl or blow something up is quite appealing.

To that end, and in order to save money I purchased a couple of packs of 1/72 plastic and 20mm metal figures last year from a few companies including who were having a sale and I can recommend them for quality and service.

However, while they are still on the painting table we chose our woefully underused (and in my case badly painted) 40k forces.  My Space Marine scouts were played as 'Professionals' and Phil's Orks were a 'Militia' force.

The photos below come from our second game, played as a standard mission without the stealth rules.  One of the houses contained an object of interest which we had to retrieve and move off table.  Activation is card based and therefore the turn sequence is fairly random.

The 'Ace' and team approach  the first building and one member enters through a rear window and luckily finds the object quickly.  Enemy forces are just out of sight on the left and sneaking their way through the hedgerows.

 A second team puts down supression fire on a unit that might threaten exfil.  Another group is out of sight behind the house on the right.

A lone sniper takes position in order to cover the team from a heavy machine gun just poking out at the bottom of the lane.   But he took some suppression forcing him to keep his head down.

 The Ace pays the price for leaving cover and the enemy ace takes the opportunity to put him down. This forces a morale check which I lost forcing me to fall back but since I have the object of interest (represented by the white gem) this doesn't matter as it's time to get out of dodge.

 The group pulls back as my units support weapon lays down covering fire, ending the threat of the militia heavy weapon.  In this game there is safety in numbers so they form a screen which means hits cannot just fall on one model.

The fallen leader couldn't be stabilised and died at the scene - the body was left where it lay and there was no 'leave no man behind' ethos displayed.  The enemy had broken from cover and were in danger of catching my men out in the open but the card which activated my 'Jacks' or standard troops came next and the guy carrying the 'football' crossed the line for a win.


The game was fun and it was fast - over in just under an hour.  It had a good cinematic feel and the potential for a good narrative which we both feel vital in our gaming.

The supression rule is interesting and I think most shots were suppressive fire which made for some interesting tactical choices.  Often it didn't seem the logical choice to fire on the man but rather on the area just in front of him.
It needs a lot more terrain  as you can't rely on armour for saves when you're not in cover.  Our last game had a lot of flanking for position and shooting at each other across a large open square.

The rules are quite ambiguous in some places and do require players to actually talk to each other and perhaps discuss what makes sense.  When that happened I tried to imagine it as a scene from a film and that often helped.  This abiguity might be annoying for some but I didn't mind at all and I felt that I got to interact with the game much more than in some games with very prescriptive rules.

One possibility for me is using the rules to game some old WW2 movies - 'Where Eagles Dare' or 'Guns of Navarone' style adventures.  Before that, i'd like to test the stealth missions which add 'spotting' and 'noise' to the mix.

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Saga Campaign - The Last Stand

At last the Saxon dogs were run down and surrounded.  There was no escape and the senseless revolt would soon be over.  The rebels had trapped themselves within a small hamlet which was no more than a pile of smouldering rubble but Rufus grudgingly admitted it afforded the rabble small protection. Within the small shieldwalls his nemesis, the Priest hid.  Probably offering prayers and pleas to the Allmighty and hoping that now, at his end, he could hide behind his robes and escape the Kings justice.

"Not a chance", He muttered.  "My Lord?", his trumpeter, thinking that he had missed a command, asked nervously. 

"The men are in position?" 
"They are, my Lord. And eager too." A grunt was all the reply he received.  After such a successful start to the campaign things hadn't been to the Norman warlords liking.  Many Saxons had been slain and their homes burnt but the flame of rebellion hadn't been extinguished, and Rufus, ruing his failure to take the head of Warrior-Priest had become more irritable and demanding of his men.

"Signal the attack.  Let us end it this day"  The Plan was simple.  Thin the lines with archery, overwhelm the rear and lead the charge into the panicking enemy.

So, that was the plan.  Hummmmm.

To fit the narrative of our campaign it was clear that the Normans had to be the aggressor yet the rules state that the player who bids the lowest number of rounds required to fulfil the victory condition of annihilating the enemy, should take that role.  It seemed unfair for me to say '10' so I thought '6' was a reasonable number.

I started off by placing two warrior units to the Saxon rear, and hearthguards and archers to the front.  My idea was to load up on shooting abilities and use the warriors to 'give the old one, two'.  The problem was I think I did this for three rounds!  Progress against a well stocked Saxon battleboard was slow and I failed to exploit the thinning front rank.  On top of this I had elevated the lightly defended stone building on my left flank into some kind of impervious bastion following my less than stellar performance in the homeland game.

Normans are an aggressive force and I didn't play to this strength.  I was way ahead on Slaughter points so there was little chance that Phil was going to catch up on that score so all he had to do was keep some defensive abilities available and bide his time.

By the time I changed my tactics it was almost too late.  The aggressor has the Endless warband rule so I didn't need to worry about running out of men.  Having taken the mighty fortress on my left I was left with the remnants of one warrior unit and the snarling Hearthguard plus the proto-turbulent priest. 

The Hearthguard unit were left with one man standing - bugger!  And I was mauled bloodily for my trouble.

An outright victory was almost at hand - the Priest and about 4 guys were left to face the full weight of my force, yet there was no 7th round.  Saxon win.

However, as far as the campaign went, it was a Norman victory with a wide margin in Slaughter points which will probably result in the rewarding of a free unit of my much missed Flemish mercenaries to feature in a future campaign.

The roar of anger could be heard above the screaming of the wounded men and beasts.  His grip of iron and flesh had closed in and all that had been left to do was to crush the last life out of the Saxons.  He cursed and spat at his men but he knew the fault was his own.. He had underestimated the rabble before him and had given them the time that had eventually saved them.

For arriving on the crest of the hill was a small Saxon force. Small but fresh.  And seeing the slaughter he had wrought, they were hell bent on retribution. Warriors were dismounting and forming up quickly whilst more damned Priests were blessing the foul smelling and hairy ranks of  men.  Scarcely believable Saxon reinforcements had come.  Pausing briefly to wonder from where they had been sent Rufus shouted for a skirmish line to cover the collection of the Norman wounded.

With shields unbattered and unbloodied approaching in good order and looking at his fatigued men and blown horses Rufus snarled curses and ordered them home.  Surveying the field one final time he saw the Black Priest accepting the adoration of his acolytes whilst the bravest of the Saxons waved their great axes in mocking invitation.

 Alan Rufus will return..........

Sunday, 10 January 2016

2016 Painting and Gaming Targets

Is there a point to setting and putting down my targets for 2016?  I think it would be a good idea to bring some discipline into my hobby so here goes.

The blog - to write batreps and aar's for all games.
              - to produce at least one terrain 'how I did it' rather than a tutorial.

Painting - Overall to reduce the lead/plastic pile by painting...
             - the Victrix British and Perry Light Dragoons for Song of Drums and Shakos
             - the Averland army
             - the 1/72 modern Special forces and Militia for Black Ops at least
             - the Heroquest monsters
             - the last details on existing models (I seem to move on far too quickly to new projects)
             - keeping my painting desk tidier!

Terrain - to make a few generic pieces for WW2 or Napoleonics and perhaps some printed cardboard for modern
              - finish off the Woodland scenics trees plus acquire some pine trees and base them

Gaming -  to continue gaming every 2 or 3 weeks
             - to try out a few of the unused rulesets that I have models for, especially Lion Rampant a bit more Muskets and Tomahawks and something from the TwoFatLardies
             - No new periods!

Buying - to limit miniature purchases.  Hamburg Tactica is in a few weeks and I'd like to keep my expenditure restricted to a few Perry Nap's, perhaps a US airborne AT gun and some scenery supplies.

Wish me luck!