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.

Sunday, December 09, 2018

Ghost Archipelago - #4 Swampland

Blimey has it really been over 6 months since the last outing of Ghost Archipelago?
No wonder it took longer than usual to get to grips with the rules, good news by the end of turn 2 we were well under way.

A couple of quick texts around the group and we were able to amass enough boats and bridges for the Swampland Scenario, three islands with treasure aplenty, but don't roll low on your initiative as this will cause a swamp zombie to appear. Unsurprisingly it was a night of low rolls :-(

The adventures had been busy over the past 6 months and everyone had a couple of sail boats to bring to the party, Marines, Privateers and Atlantians all prepared their landing parties.

The Crew of the Sun Chaser got off to their usual start, set upon by Zombies. OK we the other players kept placing our undead foe in their path. The Marines marched about confidently shooting anything that moved and the bullet heads hung about doing very little.

Bonus points could be gained by stepping on each island, but being a sporting bunch we of course were happy to let that happen - Not. So Zombies were soon appearing on the bridges to block the path of the adventurers.

Whilst the Privateers made a lightening grab for the central treasure, the Marines rushed the central island however tonight for once the Atlantians had decided to bring some powder for the muskets and could actually hit a target, the Marines came under concentrated fire and several of their section were killed caught in the open, left isolated even Captain Masters was shot and put out of the game.

Even without a leader the Marines continued their bold moves snatching treasure and loading up their sail boats, however if you can block a bridge why not fill have a zombie climb aboard your vessel. Yes we the other players might be going last, but we get to mess you up with Swamp Zombies.

As the game drew to a close the Privateers had snatched the bulk of the loot, the Marines limped off with a bunch of treasure and the Atlantians were left holding the table with nothing but one pile of gold and a bunch of undead.

A cracking evenings entertainment which makes me wonder why it took so long to make it on the table. The wandering monster rule and low initiative placement keeps the game flowing and serves as a great tactic to keep players tied up. As you push for that extra treasure.

Despite their high casualties on the night the Marines managed to recover most of their troops and everyone is spoiling for a fight to get their revenge. Roll on round 5.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Haitian Buildings.

For a while now I have been pondering which manufacturer to pick to make a small town for the Haiti campaign, many of Haiti’s towns and cities feature elegant colonial government buildings and cathedrals which were built during the years of French rule. In particular Cap‑Haïtien which served the administrative center is particularly noted for its colonial architecture sadly a number of the older buildings on the island were destroyed in the earthquake of 2010.

Haiti has it's own unique feel to it which in wargaming terms can be represented in my opinion using a number of  the offerings on the market for Spain, Mexico or the Spanish maine all of which give me that Caribbean feel that I am looking for.

Haiti may have its shabby areas but its art scene thrives.Image result for old 1800 haiti pictures

I do like my tabletop to have some good functional scenary that can be played across and handled without flinching everytime someone walks by the table.

Of late game and painting time seems to be under pressure from the real world so and with a backlog of figures I certainly don't want to be spending valuable figure time on construction so even though so some of the latest MDF offerings are fantastic and I might be tempted by some key pieces in the future I am only looking at pre-built offerings.

I thinned the list of possibles down to some of Brigade and Empress they both had key buildings that would get regular game time.

Brigade do a lovely set of Caribbean buildings which fitted the bill, but without an easy way to get them into the UK have stepped back from these.

The Empress stuff is lovely and the Church for example would make a great centre piece but running in at £59.00 it did make me wince a little.... (I do see the value in MDF if you have the time and skills to construct these buildings).
However the range lacks the breath I was looking for.

Image result for empress spanish buildings

Then I came across these guys at Warfare last weekend. Tablescape.

Light weight, Ready Painted and with a generic feel that gives me the Haitian feel but could also cross over into several other collections that I have.
They were reasonably priced as well.
The Church below is ready painted for £32.00.
No making, sticking, green stuff or painting... that has to be a good return on investment?

The guys have a broad range and the out houses can be added to some of their main buildings to give me a little more variety as needed.

Each building is made from rigid foam, the smaller buildings are solid and the larger buildings have a hollow centre, you won't be able to put figures in them, but most Sharp Practice games I don't tend to do that anyway.
I will probably add a little colour to the window frames and doors but they really are table ready straight out of the box. I picked up a couple of core town houses, the out houses and farm buildings.

No excuse now not to get on with the Infantry languishing on the paint table.

I will post some comparisons next to the figures in the coming days.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Boukman & Lamaretiniere - Trent Miniatures

Remind me next time not to fit my own bathroom, it's taken far longer than planned for and seriously dented by playing and painting time. I think I will still to modelling on a far smaller scale.

I am sure I am not the only one but if I don't pick the brushes up on a regular basis it takes a little longer to get my eye in, with a battalion of half finished French staring at me from the paint table, I thought I would ease myself back in with a couple of leaders for the Haitian campaign which is now likely to kick off in the new year.

Both figures are from the Trent minaitures range and give me a couple of extra options in Sharp Practice for some additional big Men and Women...

First up - Boukman, the first leader of the August 1791 slave revolt in St. Domingue.
Boukman was a true big man reported to have a large and powerful physique and was reputed to be a Voodoo priest. He was killed in battle in November 1791.

Then we have Marie-Jeanne Lamartiniere, a female soldier in Toussaint Louverture’s army.
She fought with Dessalines in the defence of Crete-a-Pierrot against Napoleons invading French.

It seems ages since I last did a show, so really looking forward to Warfare tomorrow where me and the rest of the Wyvern guys are supporting Paul and Kallistra by putting on the Battle of Varna.

It's sure to be bloody, be sure to drop by for a chat if you are at the show, with 000's of Ottomans on the table we will need some help moving them all....

Kallistra on tour 

Sunday, October 28, 2018

The dead are rising - Elizabethan Zombie Wars.

All Hallows Eve is nearly upon us, so time to raise the dead and dust off the Elizabethan forces for a club zombie outing. Three groups of the living, The English looking to rescue their comrades from the clutches of the evil Spanish, The Spaniards have landed in England looking to cleanse the land they have heard rumours of witches holding the locals in their evil grasp and finally the locals seeking to secure their food stocks before the opposing armies loot them....

The only problem all objectives are in the barn unknown to each player.....

Each player selects a table edge to approach the village, no cadavers are in sight, but each player is aware that the village is surrounded by six burial pits and any noise will awaken the dead.

The Spanish head down the road on mass believing in safety in numbers. However this only serves to awaken the plague victims as the ground gives up the recently passed.

The English fair little better as the burial mound spits out its content driving them towards the village.

The English head for the cornfield looking to hide amongst the corn, out of sight and ear shot.
Will the dead lose interest?

Meanwhile the Spaniards greated by a wall of zombies outside the blacksmiths make a dash across the enclosure, looking to lose their opponents, however this triggers a further plague pit, many of the Spaniards slip past but one poor soul is caught.

Taking several of the dead with him Pedro falls and the zombies are briefly distracted as they feast on their opponent.

The forces of Spain reach the barn doors first and whilst battling the dead hack at the barn door without success the noise echoes across the village.

The locals somewhat late to the party rush down the road having seen that the undead were distracted by the Spanish despartely trying to force the barn doors open.

Finally with the dead massing the Spanish finally break the barn door down to reveal the awful truth.... The dead and their foul coven of witches, the dead shamble forwards seeking the flesh of the invaders.

So close to their goal the Spanish are forced backwards by the sheer weight of the dead rushing towards them. With Sword, Dagger and Musket Butt the Spaniards set about cleansing the land.

The English seize their opportunity and spotting the side door charge forward firing into the Witches who now have no zombies to protect them and their prisoners.

Many of the Spaniards and locals join the ranks of the dead as they struggle in vain to reach their objective as the sneaky English finish off the witches and rescue their comrades.

With a number of casualties the Zombies gorge on the recently killed allowing the remainder of locals and Spanish to leave the table to the dead, as the English take their prize and head for home.

A great club game with plenty of fun as each side tried to draw the zombies on to their opponents. Played using LOTR with a couple of adaptions A link can be found here.

It's just a shame no one entered Werewolf Wood :-)

Until next time....