Monday, March 28, 2016

Easter Paint Table.

Well the bank holiday may have been a wash out with Storm Katie battering the UK it did give me a chance to hide away in doors and make some serious in roads into the various projects currently on the go.

The priority had to be the Russian infantry for the Chechen Wars project, the vehicles had been completed a couple of months back and they were in need of some infantry support, espically given the planned force on force outing next week.

Three sections completed with their BTR 70/80's transport.
With Armies Army kickstarter, modern winter Russians due for dispatch in the coming months, it will be nice to recieve these knowing that the backbone of the force is complete.

I have a couple of BMP's to make up and some support elements, but they can wait a while.

Monday and time to up a scale.
A further bunch of Chinese militia have been clogging up the paint table for a few weeks, so these needed to be completed before moving on to more fanciful units.

The Avanced Songs of Blades and Heroes rules arrived last week, so these will come in handy when I give the rules a run out shortly. With 50 or so of these complete I can move on to more government types to give Lin Chung a run out taking on the evil Kao Chiu.

Whilst the paint dry's on the militia I used the opportunity to finish off some Cherry Blossom trees these should have been ready for Hammerhead but were delayed in the post.

I am not sure how they will stand up to regular game play, I seem to be losing blossom quicker than the real thing. A couple of coats of varish my hold some of the scatter in place - but if anyone has any other suggestions?

Still they do look the part and will give the table a more oriental feel.

And last but not least - The Products for Wargamers pond gets a make over, a new paint job and some extra tufts make it suitable for the Middle East.

Really pleased with the output this weekend.
Oh and the Kitchen was finished as well....
I might be in the good books for a few weeks to get this little lot on the paint table.

So many projects so little time.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Russian Infantry - Chechnya 1995

With so many projects, where to start?
Having completed the Chechen Infantry and the Russian Armour recently its probably best to get the Russian Infantry under way to give the Chechen's some opponents. Eventually I should have enough to complete a Full Platoon plus command.
The Russian uniforms of the war came in a variety of types ranging from the splinter camo schemes to the Urban Camouflage popular with the NVD units.

I wanted my Russians to look a little different to their Chechen counterparts and opted for the plain brown trouser and tunics.

First Chechen War (photos by Alexander Nemenov) - Album on Imgur:

The lighting has made them look yellower than they actually are, but I am pleased with the results, I shall probably look to lighten some of the troops smocks to give a more lived in look.

Uniform Guide
Smock -  GW Zamesi Desert
Helmet - Foundry 27A Storm Green
Webbing - GW Death World Forest
Fur Lining - GW Dann Stone
Rifle - Foundry 14A Tan
RPG - Foundry 30A Raw Linen
Boots - Black 

I based the squad on those for the BTR series:-
Squad Leader/BTR Commander, armed with a AK-74 plus Gren Launcher, BTR Driver/Mechanic, BTR Gunner, Machine Gunner, armed with a RPK-74, Grenadier, armed with a RPG-16, Senior Rifleman/Asst. Squad Leader, Rifleman/Asst. Grenadier, 2x Riflemen. 

2 more sections to go including support sections, command and a sniper unit.

Friday, March 25, 2016

The Easter - Lead Challange

Easter Bank holiday, 4 days off work, finally warm enough to varnish winters output and a chance to take stock of the recent flurry of purchases thanks to trips to Hammerhead and WMMS.

I have tried to restrict my interests in recent years to certain periods, but as I look over the latest purchases it dawned on my that the Wargames Butterfly has been creeping into my recent purchases.

In no particular order.
  • More for the Water Margin project, with a War Wagon, Carts, Light Cavalry, Infantry and some Chinese Wizards to create a Chinese Frostgrave Faction.
  • A whole bunch of Russian Infantry for Chechnya.
  • Guardians for Lemuria - Just lovely sculpts.
  • Various barricades from Anisty Castings.
  • A Martian Blood pool for when the Human forces cross into Martian territory.
  • A Pool/Oasis for the Ottoman project which is bound to rise up the painting list with Sharp Practice 2 launch in April.

Quite a to do list and with decorating the kitchen and reversing mother nature in the garden on the agenda. I am begining to think I should have stopped at work.

No promises but let's see what can be achieved this weekend.
Good job some of these tasks can be done between coats of paint and allowing glue to dry.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

Chechen Heavy Support - Tilting the odds.

It's been a month or so since the last update from the Chechen front,

I picked up a pack of Eureka's Partisan Heavy Weapons Crew recently and armed them with a heavy artillery piece, not your typical support weapon, but useful in scenario's to send the Russians rushing across the table hunting down the artillery before it can limber up and leave.

I based the gun and crew separately as I am a little unsure of the rules that we will be using for future games. We have a Force of Force run through in the coming weeks, so lets see if they give a better feel that at Close Quarters which need not scale up to larger games.

Hopefully I should be able to get some brush time in over the bank holiday which will start to erode the increasing mountain lead which I have picked up from recent shows in March.
So many projects, so little time.....

Sunday, March 20, 2016

England Invaded - London Attacked... Round 2

The people of London continue to endure the threat of Martian attack, Red weed creeps ever closer clinging to the country lanes and abandoned homes of the nations capital.
Black Smoke hangs in low laying land like a black shroud, but still London fights on.

The resilient Londoners continue to bolster their defences earth works, barricades are thrown up at every junction looking to blunt the advance of the out of world invaders. 

London has the advantage of being ringed by rivers. To the south the River Quaggy passes through the borough of Lewisham, before joining the mighty Thames.
It is here that the latest Martian attack thows itself at the human defenders,

The Martian invaders approach  on two fronts, the first force looking to smash it's way through the industrial area covering the approaches to the mail railway line to the capital.
Attacking on two fronts with 2000 points vs the human defenders of 800 this could be the most bloody encounter yet.

Out of the mist advance the the towering sentinals advance the seirens wail "oooohhhh-laaaa" as they sweep towards the burnt out ruins, But the right hand Martian force stutters,  unable to secure a command order.

The militia hidden dug in the factory units and destroyed houses open fire and the latest monsterous creations advance on the valiant garrison. After a bloody fight the handling machines are forced back, their metal claws unable to winkle the defenders from the cellars and roofs.

Finally on the right flank more fight machines appear flanking the factory units and driving head long for the railway embankment and the river beyond.

The Artillery is unmasked and the militia rush to counter the new threat. The Heat Ray strikes the Artillery battery but the crew are able to seek shelter behind their earth works.

A fighting machine is brought down, Artillery shells smash the legs of the fighting machine and rifle fire pours into the Martian driver in his hooded compartment. A valuable morale boster for the human defenders. The Martians retire some what shaken taking their fallen comrade with them.

With another deperate victory the London garrison is bolstered by members of the Queen's Royal Foot (100 pts) who manage to slip through Martian lines as they fell back from Surrey.

With a small encounter in Powys, the initiative is soon to pass to the forces of the Crown, could this valiant defence be the start of a human fight back?

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Fishmen and Troglodytes.

I should really be catching up on other projects but can't afford to put these back in the draw for another 10 years. So off to the paint table so they can join their Cold One counter parts in any future encounters.
Perfect timing as the Advanced Songs of Blades arrived this morning in the post.

Both the Fishman and Troglodytes from Black Tree are showing there age now, both sculpts are some what on the chunky side but the large lips and bulging eyes do have a certain character and make for an interesting warband.

Armed with Tridents and Shell shields they could be appearing from a swamp land near you shortly.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

Rafm Cold Ones

Now for something completely different.

Every now and again the "Nerd Centre" as the kids call it needs a clear out and re-organising, in one of the various storage boxes I stumbled across these a long forgotten project to recreate some of H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Universe in miniature, it never got off the ground but these and some fishmen got thrown in a box based and undercoated never to grace the battlefield. 

Until now......

Not really sure when they will appear on the table.
But the pulp project is getting ever closer.

I think their predominant color was a greyish-green, though they had white bellies. They were mostly shiny and slippery, but the ridges of their backs were scaly. Their forms vaguely suggested the anthropoid, while their heads were the heads of fish, with prodigious bulging eyes that never closed. At the sides of their necks were palpitating gills, and their long paws were webbed. They hopped irregularly, sometimes on two legs and sometimes on four. I was somehow glad that they had no more than four limbs. Their croaking, baying voices, clearly used for articulate speech, held all the dark shades of expression which their staring faces lacked ... They were the blasphemous fish-frogs of the nameless design - living and horrible."

(H.P.Lovecraft - "The Shadow Over Innsmouth")

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Swatter rules review - Starship Troopers

Hot on the heels of the Songs of Blades and Heroes outing at Hammerhead thoughts turn to some of the other projects which have been hibernation for a while.

I have been on the look out for a CHAS proxy for some time the original model from the Starship Trooper game looked a little too futuristic for my tastes.

I came across the Firestorm Heavy mech from Albinoraven in the US.
Now that's more like it..... Now just for the postie to deliver.

In the past I have used the Two Hour Wargames rules for the club campaign games, but in larger multiplayer games some of the mechanisms creak a little, I came across the swatter rules on the Ganesha Games site designed for bug hunting.

I missed these these the first time around, as a fan of the SBH rule mechanism I figured I would give them a try for the Starship Troopers Project and at a mere $8 a steal.

A ‘standard game’ contains between 20-50 figures a side, in fire teams of 2-5 figures based on CD's for movement purposes, I don't plan on adopting this element of the rules but to use a command radius forcing all to remain within "medium" of one another which should work just as well.

The basic rules are similar to all SBH games.
You pick a unit choose to roll one to three dice to activate and each pass gives you an Action. If you roll two fails, then your turn ends. Easy to follow, difficult to master.
Each unit has a Quality Rating and a Combat Rating. Combat is an opposed D6 dice roll where you add your Combat Rating rating plus modifiers (Weapon range, Support weapons, etc.). The difference between results proves you with the damage to your unit.

A nice feature of these rules is a dice pool which is issued to the opposing forces at the start of the game. You can dip into the pool of dice at any time during the game to add to your combat or shooting results or to generate reinforcements if you are the bugs..
Be careful because once the dice are gone, they are gone. 

The rules contain a section detailing the points needed to build various units so I should be able to convert the current points to allocations to the Swatter rules.

Time to go bug hunting real soon.

Saturday, March 05, 2016

Return from Hammerhead 2016

Saturday saw the Wyvern's first club outing of the year - Hammerhead 2016
Another cracking show, 3 cracking games, great to meet up with fellow gamers and thanks to all those who took stopped by and chatted and took part in our game.
Hammerhead is shaping up to be one the best shows on the circuit, a show with a very different feel to it than others every game is a participation game, this creates a friendly atmostphere with gamers stopping by to chat and play other peoples games....
The venue the George Stevenson Hall was excellent - plenty of room to move around and natural light to see what's on offer.

The village of Hu San-She, not a place to be caught out on the street as the waring factions set about one another.

The waring factions.

 Plenty of terrain and hidden corners to get the jump on your opponent.

 Game 1 and Blue Dragon of the Blue Banner Team suffers a fatal wound as he was tempted into the open, not the best opening move.

 Members of the Imperial Guard hold the cross roads, with the Black Banner Team taking the oepning game with 6 Revenue chits.

 The Good Judge squares up to the Imperial Army Commander as they battle for ownership of the 4 revenue chits in the centre of the table.

 Sneaking through the courtyard the Blue Banner team find their way blocked by  members of the White team.

Game 3 and the Red team find their way blocked as they rush for the Prefect's courtyard.

7 minutes on the clock remaining and the Blue team rush head long for the cross roads on collision course with the yellow team.

Songs of Blades and Heroes makes for a fast paced game keeping everyone involved from the outset, each of the 3 games had a slightly different feel with players throwing caution to the wind as the clock ticked down.

Great to see all the planning was not wasted although the wallet to a bit of a battering being so close to the Curtney stand and the urge to put some rampaging Mongols on the table and a War Wagon to escort the taxes back to the capital.
Maybe one for year year.....

Friday, March 04, 2016

Hammerhead 2016 - The Prefect is in Town.....

One day to go before Hammerhead 2016 and the final mini is complete.
The local Prefect of the cruel and corrupt Government has arrived in the village of Hu San-she to collect the tax revenue when he encounters members of Laing Shan Po looking to strike a blow for freedom and take the revenue for themselves to return it to the people.

Can you become one of the 108 heroes and join the likes of disgraced hero soldier Lin Chung, Lu Ta - The Flower Priest,  Sung Chiang -- The Good Judge or Shih Chin - Tattooed Dragon as they fight tyranny and uphold justice?


Let the games begin!!!!

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Hammerhead 2016 - The Final Run Through.

After some last minute reinforcements and the inclusion of matching banners to the various factions, a chance to run through the scenario and tweak the layout and rule settings in time for Saturday's first outing at Hammerhead.

The centre of the table should be the focal point for most of the game,  on our first run through players came on from the table edge and and we went from player to player in a clockwise fashion, this left a few players out of the game for the frist 3-4 moves and a little out of the main action.

The view from the South, a number of the Revenue markers can be seen. Together with the burial ground and temple approach. With open terrain at this one end, the fighting broke into two separate fights, when we were perhaps hoping for a larger melee in the centre of the table.

The Red player makes a sweeping move looking to steal a Blue Revenue Marker, whilst Black holds the cross roads and the majority haul...

So the changes.
  • The inclusion of poker chits each round dictating the player order, the clock wise setting allowed players to predict who goes next turn after turn and the more experienced players a chance to pick off the newbies.
  • Bringing the Revenue tokens closer together which dictates where the action might take place and stops players missing the first 20 minutes simply moving.
  • A maximum of 5 players with one placed dead centre of the table. The centre player gets to grab the early lead but can they hold on to it?
  • Every player will start within 1 long measuring stick of a Token.
  • A timer to bring the game to close after 45 minutes.
  • Prizes for each token held. 
Having picked up a box of fortune cookies which match the bannerman colours - how could I resist.
If you like what you see come along on Saturday and feel free to join in the fun....
Who knows what your fortune will hold....