Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Another year passes - Old and New Mini's.

The last year or so has been very quite on the wargaming front, I could easily wander round a show and not part with a single penny, but this year the mojo is back and with so many projects, campaigns and club games it does feel like I have hit somewhat of a purple patch.... It must be that 30mins of hobby time every day :-)
Another birthday crept up on me, under pressure from the family to have an Amazon list because "Wargamers as so difficult to buy for...." I threw together a list of ideas and in fairness to the brood they did a fantastic job.... Ok I had to guide the wife to Steve at Arcane for a batch of Trent Miniatures and she will moan for the next 12 months about strange e-mails regarding little men, but I can live with that.

Risk Europe was a filler on the list but was surprisingly good even the kids enjoyed it, but was that because I lost? Risk was always a classic when I was a kid, the Europe variant is a little more of a wargame than the original dicefest... No camping out in Australia in this one.

Image result for risk europe

The game is set in medieval Europe and is designed for up to 4 players. You are trying to collect 7 crowns to win the game. Crowns are claimed throughout the game by capturing territories that have cities in them.

The game is played in rounds. Each player has 8 cards with "orders" for their kingdom. Players pick 2 orders take turns playing their order cards. The orders are basically to either tax your kingdom to raise money, spend money to buy armies or crowns, expand to new territories, or move troops from one territory to another. 

Unlike classic Risk you have different units with abilities. There are siege weapons, archers, cavalry, footmen and castles to defend. Definately worth checking out.

Here's a challenge for you. - Name the manufacturer.
Clearing out my parents loft out, I came across a matchbox with my first figures from the early 80's. Pretty sure the ECW figures are Essex - but the others ---- Who knows?
They would have been picked from the glass cabinet from Trevors Model Shop in Worcester, surprisingly good sculpts but the painting style needs some work. 

Meanwhile on Kickstarter I spotted this project, being a sucker for anything War of the Worlds this looked like fun.


It's a two player game based around a second invasion, it's currently at over 1000% backed with 48 Hours still to go. Perfect to prepare the way for next Christmas and the BBC's verison of War of the Worlds which is currently being film in Liverpool.

Image result for BBC war of the worlds

Right back to brushes that undercoat must be dry by now.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Messing about on the river - A french Indian war outing.

Things seem to be picking up at the club of late, a number of new members and some new games on offer. I wonder did everyone deide if 2019 was a time to devote to more hobby time?
The latest offering was a follow up to the last French Indian Wars encounter.

Having been defeated in the last game the British were in retreat and the French and their Indian allies were on the warpath. Next in their sights a small settlement on the river.
Things have been tough for the settlers, but finally a small supply boat arrives with extra tools, black powder and a trinkets, the kind of things that make a house a home.
All that was needed was to go fetch and take back to town.

However the unwanted shoppers arrived in the shape of a Huron war party looking to torch the town and run off with the supplies.

Keen to prevent this the Highlanders march out of town to meet the threat and get their revenge from the last encounter.

The war party breaks right looking to see off the settlers and destroy the supplies before the regulars can get into the fight. The settlers have the option to stand their ground or flee leaving the supplies to the savages. They stand.

The settlers whilst under pressure pour shock on the warparty, but are losing men fast, whilst the British line get into a protracted fire fight with the Indians in the wood thinking a long range volley would see them off.

Time and again the Indians are pinned in the cornfield only to clear their shock (Clever use of the flags, I shall remember that.) and move forward again, but they could not get enough movement to cross the ford, the settlers are beaten and shot down in the road, but the light company rush forward to plug the gap.

Just as the English think they have stopped the savages crossing the open ground towards the town, the French Marines appear and unlease a volley forcing the English morale to crumble as the Light Company officer took a musket ball to the chest that and the loss of the settlers and their big men was enough to push them over the edge.

A great nights gaming and a perfect dry rule for the opening rounds in the Haiti Campaign.
Once again troops were drawn into a protracted fire fight which acheived very little, Aimed volley's was the key but to late in the day to follow up on the War Party and drive them off. Isolated commands ruined the British morale from what was a strong position.

So plenty to learn from as players gear up for campaign games.

Friday, January 25, 2019

French Regulars make an appearance.

Well the campaign has certainly had the desired effect on the painting front with the first major unit off the paint table in 2019. Up until now many of the troops have been native to Haiti so time to bring one republican forces, I am working my way through the round hats but these will suffice to bolster a number of factions in play.

Made up of a number of packs from Trent Miniatures Revolutionary range they are a rag tag bunch but will give the Haitian loyalists and Slave armies someone to chase round the table.

I have added in a couple of head swaps to add in some Mulatto's or Black troops to allow me to use them in more nationalist settings. I would have liked to have done a few more but a large number of the revolutionary french have flowing locks which make it difficult to make a clean head swap.

But a smattering of native troops could be used as freemen or troops drafted in to bolster the ranks.
I have included a Haitian Army regular soldier as comparison.

They still need varnishing when the temperature is right and some extra flocking but not a bad start to the painting campaign.
Next up the return of some old favourites....

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

The Pearl of the Antillies. - The Haiti Campaign - End of Day one 1st August 1791

The first orders are in and as the sun sets on 1st August 1791 all commands have raised their colours and called together their forces for the fight to come.
Detachments are sent out into the hinterland looking to get the edge on their on their opponents and rally more troops to their cause.

It's damn hot in August with temperatures reaching into the high 90's - making movement slow with columns of men only 15km in a day.
As troops enter local villages the locals look to join the fight behind local commanders, it's amazing what a garrison of troops living on your doorstep will do for your loyalty.

There are no random events and all troops based in their home regions are supplied and do not need to draw on their reserves.

In the north of the country Spanish forces draw close to the border and watch as forces loyal to Prince Amethyste leader of the rebellious slaves in the region burn plantations and occupy the village of Ferrier forcing the white population to flee their homes.

Viscount de Blanchelande launches an expedition from the port of Cap-Haitien to secure the fort at Milot while other competiting factions spread out from their main centers of control, pulling in local villages to their cause.

In the south of the country the Republicians under Civil Commissioner Sonthonax build on their base of operations in Port Au-Prince sending out foraging parties bringing in additional supplies to support their garrisons, meanwhile the Mulatto's spread their area of control along the coast.

Next moves should be in over the weekend and further dispatches to follow.

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...
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.