Sunday, January 20, 2019

A bag full of heads and yet more Haitians.



A bag full of heads - Well you can imagine the postman's face when he enquired what it was.
The opening moves of the Haitian campiagn is well underway and it's already serving it's purpose as it's got me painting again. Although the back log has just got worse.

Trent Miniatures do a great range for the French in Haiti and with many of their blister packs coming with seprate heads you can build quite a variety into your units, it also means as the units build I can set about creating my own. Surprisingly Trent don't do a pack of a pack of spare black heads however a quick chat with Steve over at Arcane Scenery and a few days later enough heads to kit out several regiments.
   

Given the trouble Steve went to and how quickly he turned them around, it would be rude not to use the opportunity not to bolster the ranks before the first games kick off.

The prep is done I just need to put paint to metal, with the various head swaps I should be able to field these extra's against the various factions.


First up Trent bodies from their 8th Cavalry with African heads attached, their are several accounts of the Haitian loyals using cavalry in a formal capacity, uniform details are hard to comeby but these should be a nice addition to colonial forces or the Regular Haitian's as they get more organised.



Everyone loves an uprising judging by the number of people picking the cheap but nasty - escaped slaves so another unit of stick welding freemen is in order.


I with the extra heads these Haitian regulars man it out of the spares box, suitable for all sides from runaway soldiers to colonial militia they are bound to see plenty of action.


Reading the Osprey Men-at-Arms publication many of the French of the period wore the conical hats and I wanted to re-present these to give me forces for the Republicans and Royalists. 
I am undecided yet where to paint them in the earlier white or more traditional blue, eventually I imagine both.


Image result for napoleons oversea armies

To get the early war look I took the bodies from the Polish Haiti packs and gave them the round hats from the Colonial cavalry which gave them an earlier war feel, I left a couple of the sombero's and sun hats to break them up a little, they have a far more lived in feel.
I am really looking forward to getting these painted up and in the field.


 

Monday, January 14, 2019

Ghost Archipelago - Atlantian Heritor

Having won my ill gotten gains in the last game, it gave me an excuse to paint up this recent purchase from Antimatter Games and their ShadowSea offering, I have been on the look out for a while for a Heritor type to bolster the Atlantian Faction and he seemed to fit the bill.

The Antediluvian Miniatures are wonderful sculpts but they could do with one or to additional mini's to bolster the range.... (Guy's if you are reading this :-)...


He comes with a hooded cape but a little work with the craft knife and you have yourself another bullet head to add to the mix. Armed with a large sword and hand held crossbow he should fit right in. He comes with separate arms so you can position them to your own liking and they fitted together very cleanly.


He is a reasonable fit when compared to the Antediluvian Miniatures - Guardian range his limbs and features are slightly thinner but based up looks a good match.
He should help protect me from the avenging pirates after last weeks slight accident with a firing line of muskets.



Perfect timing as the next outing which see's our valiant band scaling a large tower taking on a big monkey - Black Powder King-Kong anyone?

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Ghost Archipelago - #5 The Rescue.

The first game of the new year and another outing in the Ghost Archipelago.
This is rapidly becoming one of the go to games during mid-week, slowly our little mini-heroes are growing a character of there own and you do feel a little bit worried about putting some of the more experienced characters in the line of fire, for fear of being sent back to the start if they get killed.

This game was a little different I wanted to grow the forces slowly so why not offer a Warden or Heritor up for grabs if you could rescue your man.
Our three hostages are shackled in the centre of the temple guarded by those nasty turtle fellas who are surprisingly hard to dispatch.


Guarded on all corners the poor man's ninja turtles won't move until anyone comes within 10"s of them. So my plan was simple sit back and wait for the others to thin the herd and perhaps killed each other in the process.



The Marines did their usual thing and rushed towards danger drawing a number of the guards away.


Whilst lead proved to be rather ineffective, steel was a far better choice as they went to work on those harden shells.


Meanwhile the Free Company moved forwards grabbing their treasure and pushing forward on the opposite side of the table drawing more of the guards into combat.


Now the Atlantians are devious. They are the sort of people who would stand back and let others do the work. They are the sort of people who would shoot you in the back when you are fighting the locals and steal all your treasure when all the hard work is done. So it is claimed.
I might have by accident shot a Pirate in the back when he was fighting his way through the temple entrance, but I am afraid that photo never made it on to the blog :-)

Meanwhile other bullet heads as they have been rudely nicknamed made hard work of killing two guards.... It took almost all night to finish the little buggers off.


With the Free Comany a number of men down, due to people carry off treasure, a couple of injured due to the heavy fighting in the temple entrance and one of their biggest fighters accidently killed by the bulletheads, they were forced to fall back as their leader fell under heavy blows from the remaining defenders.
The Marines seized their chance having cleared their guards they grabbed two of the prisoners and headed off table.


The sneaky Atlantians with the temple to themselves grabbed the last prisoner, but not before their Warden was taken down by the last remaining defender.... Cheats never prosper....



Whilst the Atlantians may have gained a new character to aid them in their battles I fear I my have burnt my bridges with the Pirates and Marines.....

Let's hope everyone has forgotten the accident by the next game..... I suspect not.

Wednesday, January 09, 2019

The Pearl of the Antillies. - The Haiti Campaign.

Campaigns are a tricky business the idea is great but all to often people fall by the way side, lose interest or the games take to long to playout before the next campaign move, however after 12 months of one off games in Haiti I am hoping to not fall into that trap as we kick off the 2019 Wyvern Wargamers and friends Campaign.

A number of the key mechanisms are pulled from the the Too Fat Lardies campaign suppliment Dawns and Departures but with a number of adaptions. 
Each player has a set number of points to spend in this case 120, once spent all players will be advised of how many Foot, Horse or Cannon are in play, players will have no idea of the quality or make up of the forces. However the core forces are pre-built to try and keep forces largely historical. 

I have opted for a modern map to allow me to use the separate regions of Haiti to decide if players are on home soil, it also means I can use google maps to see how far it takes to walk to a named location if we get into a race for a certain location.

Over the last 12 months I have press ganged a number of club players into club games, these should give club members a reason to fight, but also gives me a reason to paint units.
The campaign has scope for upto 11 players - So plenty of room for back stabbing and side swapping.



The Campaign Objective.

Welcome to Saint-Dominque part of the island of Hispaniola an Island rich in Sugar and Coffee plantations as well as cotton and cacao for chocolate but it is sugar and coffee that are the most important. Under the French plantation system which was based upon slave labour, Haiti is was and should be an enormously profitable operation. The Haitian sugar economy was in competition with the northeast region of Brazil, which previously had been the major source of sugar for Europe. The French sugar and coffee operations in Haiti were so productive that its exports to Europe were comparable and perhaps exceeded the total exports of the British North American colonies whoever controls the island can expect unprecedented wealth and power.
The campaign begins on the 1st August 1791 with French Royalists, French Republican, Spanish, British, Ex-slaves, Free People of colour and Mulattoes vying for control of the Island.
British – Thomas Maitland – RED
French Royalist/Planters – Viscount de Blanchelande – WHITE
French Republican – Léger-Félicité Sonthonax – BLUE
Spanish – Joaquín Moreno - YELLOW
Mulatto – André Rigaud – BLACK
Ex-Slaves - Dutty Boukman – ORANGE
Ex-Slaves – Georges Biassou – PURPLE
Ex - Slaves - Princess  Amethyste - PINK
Haitian Loyalists - Toussaint Louverture – GREEN
Haitian Loyalists - Jean-Jacques Dessalines – GOLD


I have used some poetic licence in terms of characters and time frames but Sharp Practice is a fine set of rules and if you have a status three bigman you might as well make him historical.


A couple of the roles are currently umpired controlled waiting for the spark of rebellion to be light in their region.

Stay tuned for regular updates as the campaign kicks off in a few weeks.

Saturday, January 05, 2019

Welcome to 2019...

A little later than planned - Happy New Year!

Last year was pretty slow on the painting and gaming front, a good summer and a DIY filled winter broke the habit and with a new job which seemed to eat into the spare time my paint total was just under 100 figures almost half what I completed in 2017.
So this year a concious effort to get more hobby time in.

I have given myself a challenge to make 30 mins every game hobby time, be it reading, painting or updating the blog. A wargamers fitbit :-)

5 Days in and it's going to plan with some prep done for the latest batch of recruits for the Haiti campaign and this petrol station completed from Gale Force Nine for Team Yankee.



OK it was ready painted but I picked it up cheap because the roof was broken, it definately looks better on a base and with the pumps given a corporate make over.
It will be a good fit for the Modern Russian scenario's or 15mm sci-fi games.


So having had a chance to think about the year ahead what do I see on the wargaming road map.

The on going campaign using Ghost Archipelago is gathering pace, it's the perfect game for an evenings entertainment, having picked up a couple of extra books over Christmas I plan on expanding this out and increase the faction sizes with a couple of extra's from Black Scorpion. Our midweek game saw players gain an extra recruit more on that in the coming days.


Haiti Campaign.
The campaign map is complete, the forces worked out and a number of players at the club press ganged into taking roles. I plan on updating the map movement via the blog, that should help with the page views.
It has a little bit of poetic licence with players taking the part of characters from the different stages of the war, but it is perfect for Sharp Practice, Haiti gives you so many options, Slaves vs British, British vs French, Spanish vs French, Slaves vs French, etc, etc...
I have a couple of Pbem spaces available if anyone is interested?



Fantasy Battles.
Whilst left unsupervised this morning I committed to Fireforges latest Kickstarter - Forgotten World their zombie villagers will be great for the Elizabethan project and coupled with Warlord's new rules this looks like it might be year of swords, shields and zombies...
https://fireforge-games.com/img/kickstarter/ld/peasants.jpg
Thanks for dropping by over the past 12 months and passing comment, plenty more to come this year as I try and reach the summit of lead mountain.
 

Monday, December 31, 2018

The last post of the year.


Welcome to the last post of 2018.
It's now traditional in the blogosphere to throw up a review of the past 12 months efforts but more of that in a later post, the last 3 months seemed to have slowed to snails pace on the gaming and painting front, a new job closer to home which actually turned into less free time rather than more, coupled with a few DIY projects which curtailed much of that painting and gaming time, so hopefully 2019 brings a bit more free time to get some hobby time in.

I did manage to sneak in a couple of games over the Christmas break which all seemed to have an undead feel to them.
First up a zombie horde chased off a band of Elizabethan Spanish looking to fill carry out a short run to fill a bucket of water.

 

It all started so well bring the oxen out and keep quiet, the last thing you want to do was awaken the dead from their plague pits.


You definately don't want to fire a musket in the middle of the table and awaken everyone within 100 yards of you and your water party. Looks like the trip to the river bank will have to wait.


Meanwhile on Boxing day whilst most people were sleeping off yet another large lunch and far too many chocolates. a few valiant souls were intoduced to Zombicide.
 

This should have been an easy scenario but the turn of the cards and some bad decision making turned into a nightmare. Running down a blind alley and finding their way blocked by a nasty wolf thing... they watched as the undead kept on building into a swarm.



Our heroes were taken down by sheers numbers, not sure how many Zombicide virgins will be back for more, but my new doors looked nice :-)


The wife and kids did me proud on the present front amongst the usual offering of socks and ale. (what do people think I do at weekends?) was a copy of Warlords latest offering Cruel Seas, it looks like a fun system and perfect for a quick evenings gaming without the need for masses of terrain which will need packing away. The boats look great, I am seriously tempted by an armed trawler...


It takes me back to my childhood of reading commando comics at the local newsagent but when did they become £2.00!!! They were 10p in my day.

Image result for commando full speed east


So what for 2019?
I would like to think I can get a little more game time in, I have plans for a Haitian campaign at the club which should spur on the painting activity, I stll have several gaps to fill and have committed to putting on a game at Hammerhead so no time to waste.
The Pirate adventuring has been fun and with Northstar releasing tribal warriors that could make for a few evenings entertainment, the Irish need a few more extra's for Dux and then their are a couple of projects which I am being tempted by once I have cleared some of the back log.

Have a great new year all....

Sunday, December 23, 2018

The Pearl of the Antilles - Haitian Revolution AAR #6 Crossing the border.

The last game of 2018 so why not finish with a multi-sided affair which sees the Haitian loyalists crossing the border into Santo Domingo to attack the plantations.

The Spanish had cobbled together a scratch force to defend the main house, knowing that an attack was coming.


Many of the local women folk had gathered on the front porch including Lady Jane Beufort an English lady and wife of the Spanish land owner Migel Vega a nasty piece of work of owner of many slaves.


The Spanish had a Squadron of cavalry who were itching to put down the revolt once and for all, they mustered at the forge looking for a chance to take the fight to the insurgents.


Rushing out of the barn the first of the escaped slaves pushed forwards towards the defenders.
Their shaman urged them forwards. They had one mission kill Migel Vega nothing else mattered.


Fearing that Lady Jane would be harmed by revolt the English had sent a detachment from a ship of the line to cross into Spanish territory to rescue her, they had ordered to stop anyone who got in there way. With neither the Spanish or English making any agressive moves towards each other they united in defending against a common foe.


As the colonial powers plotted to defeat the uprising and whisk Lady Jane away, the slaves pressed on with their attack moving towards the main house and seeking out Vega.


Vega had been commanding his hounds supported by the plantation militia who had been occupying the upstairs of the main house and had been keeping the attackers at bay when by twist of fate having triggered a firing event, let loose a volley and rushed out to meet the Haitian loyalists.


Thinking the cowardly slaves were running scared the Spanish were surprised when the Slaves fell back and ignored them, they had a greater prize in their sights Vega had been stripped of many his dog handlers as the remaining hound fell back, Vega ran to join the victorious skirmish unit but was caught in the open and swamped by the insurgents.... Game over.


A cracking way to finish the year and a good introduction to a couple of new club members.
Finally a long break over Christmas a chance to get back on the brushes which have been lacking in recent months and a push to get some of the core forces complete before the launch of the campaign proper in Jan 2019.