Saturday, January 30, 2021

Water Margin - Last of the bare metal

January's television task complete... The entire box set. One every evening unsurprisingly no one else was keen to to watch it. Terrible by modern standards but it has a certain quality to it and it did give me a nudge to finally finish the last of the 1st Corp Chinese.

These odds and ends have been hanging around in the spares draw for a number of years, with a couple of Water Margin 'Zoom' campaigns coming up, a good day on the brushes turning these from undercoat to table and just enough to create another warband.

Meanwhile I finished the last of the old glory casualties, which have also been languishing in the same draw, these shock markers will be useful for Infamy or Sharp Practice. 

Another bare metal project complete... 
Well maybe..... Let's see what the postie brings in the days ahead.....

Monday, January 25, 2021

Dispatches from the front XVI

A bit of a mixed bag this week as we enter into the third week of Lockdown 3.0 in the UK.

First up a post I should put up a few weeks ago around ammo markers and 3rd prints, Paul over 'at move along nothing to see here'  very kindly shared some 3D printed arrows after a conversation around markers for Infamy Infamy. I had some spare sabots and circular bases, so thought I would use  them up to create some nice counters for the Ancient games.

Despite first appearances they are quite resilient and once based should look quite the part.

Missing that face to face gaming and off game banter that club nights bring, I thought I would dabble with a couple of virtual games whilst not physical gaming it gives me an excuse to set up weekly gaming calls and sneak in some solo gaming with field commanders pulling the strings as it were.

The first one is a short RPG type affair based around the Water Margin and Ancient China, as it was pure fantasy, I "borrowed" the Warhammer map for Cathay which has just about the right level of detail. At the moment players take command of regions garrisons or unknown rebels looking to over throw the corrupt government. I imagine if you will TV shows of the 70's and 80's Water Margin/Robin Hood with players taking hostages, stealing jewels or blocking roads to ambush convoys.

I will be briefing players on Zoom each week, which is an excuse for a beer and a chat about all things gaming, successful missions will see the ranks of the rebels swell, failures and rebels flee the cause..

So far the rebels have picked their camps and hide outs to base their operations and the government forces increased security... more to follow.

If anyone want's to join in plenty of room for extra's and sub-plots....

Meanwhile an excuse to dig out a classic Tactics II perhaps the perfect game for Lockdown Britain the grand father of  tactical board games and with a handy grid mechanism perfect to for a daily exchange of orders, you never know I might be able to covert to table top games for the Red Phoenix Project in the weeks ahead.

Red vs Blue with the objective of securing the opponents cities. Fortunately I have two copies of the map so my virtual opponent can spend his winter evenings pouring over the map planning each month of movement. Before a call to move the regiments and corps.

The initial deployments.... equal forces on both sides... Stay tuned for the first moves.

Meanwhile another year older, without meals out or trips to the pub, I was gifted a number that I actually wanted.... blimey that was a win. OK so I did not push it asking for 'swarf' as my father used to refer to my early miniatures but lots of reading material, some fillers for Bolt Action Far East, The British in Haiti and a great read for the forthcoming Pony Wars Project.

This was an interesting surprise.... Aliens - Another Glorious Day in the Corp, A Solo or Co-Op adventure based on the movie... On face value slightly more complicated that Zombicide but minis are lovely.... more on this in the weeks ahead.

An finally a note to self don't tell a fellow gamer that my mission is to paint everything I own.... On this occasion I might just have settled on socks or beer. What on earth am I going to do with these.... 7 mini's in plastic made up of what looks like 10 parts each..... why???? - Give me Perry Plastics any day.

Despite over 35 years of gaming I have never played 40K, I suspect this is a devious trick to get me to make and paint his stuff, but will give them a go, maybe in the autumn looking at the pile of lead still on the to do pile.

Until next time....

Friday, January 22, 2021

Yet more Hittite Spears - Newline Designs

Well they took longer than they should.....I really should be getting the last of the chariots completed but figured I would clear yet more Hittite Spearmen from the painting queue...This time two groups from Newline Designs.

These match up really well against the existing Foundry and Warlord castings, they come with separate shield and spear.. The spears are sturdy and are mighty sharp. They could do with being perhaps 5mm shorter, but do have a 'heavy' feel to them.

Whilst wading through these I thought I would clear a couple of spares which I would turn into a rally point for the Hittites or perhaps a command stand or musician within Infamy Infamy. 

Next up... Something else from the lead pile.....

Sunday, January 17, 2021

Pharaoh's gate..... Battlefield in a Box Review.

A slow week, on the painting front, I am still staring at the same 16 Hittites from 2 weeks ago.... I put it down to yet another lockdown and that lack of in person gaming. Keen to ensure I move forward gradually I figured I would give this a bit of make over, an unexpected Christmas gift and one of the latest offering from Battlefield in a Box - Forgotten City Range.

Gamers can be picky about ready made and painted terrain but having spent hours hunched over a table painting miniature warriors who then has the patience to then create the terrain as well? Hence in recent years the rise of straight to table terrain pieces... 

The forgotten city range is loosely based on Egyptian/Babylonian/Assyrian style. The gate has some clean angles which feels largely historical. The walls have a grainy and sand blasted feel to them, which feels in keeping with the period.
The gate is a good size  coming in at 145mm height by 240mm in diameter which feels right for a large scale centre piece and it won't budge once put on the table.
I can see it being used in some forthcoming scenario's for Kings of Bronze or perhaps some of the Atlantis type games should they resurface in the future.

The colouring was not at sandy as on the box cover more grey to my eye, so won't be a perfect mix with my existing terrain and I needed to dry brush the base to fit with my other basing.

I am not sure about the skulls adorning the top of the model and would have perhaps preferred warrior sculpts. Still I suppose it will fit with the Ghost Archipelago games.

On the downside it's weight with two solid resin columns is almost to have for the base, so much so that the base of mine had fractured and cracked across the width of the model, this looks like it is caused by the to columns leaning out and putting stress on the base. It was solved by cementing the roof piece in place to reinforce the base.  I would have perhaps explored hollow columns to reduce the weight?

The edge of the piece is a little fragile and elements could start to chip away over time with numerous game play. 

I disguised the fracture with the occasion tuft, good job that was a style of base I was aiming for.  

An imposing terrain piece you can see with the 25mm Warlord figures on the roof.
Coming in at £25 it's not cheap but will give you a number of gaming choices across a number of periods although you may find yourself rebasing it long term.

How back to the brushes and these flaming Hittites.

Monday, January 11, 2021

MIddle Eastern Encampment - Adrian's Walls

A slightly delayed post. A fantastic Christmas present from the family, I could probably have scratch built something similar but I was pressured into giving them a list and was told that it can't contain all my usual "weird" stuff. - The cheek of it.

Cast in resistant resin they come ready painted out of the box, this middle eastern encampment will be suitable for the Ancient encounters, but could easily be used for the Napoleonic project right up to modern day.

I gave them a slight tweak dry brushing the bases to blend with my own terrain and added some extra grasses and rocks to give them a levant feel.

Now they just need some game time that might have to be solo given the current status of the UK.

Thursday, January 07, 2021

The Elizabethan Zombie Chronicles #6 - Royal Ambush

The first game of 2021 albeit a solo affair.

Back in March last year we saw how good Queen Elizabeth had escaped London as the dead rose from the plague pits and over ran the city, filling the streets of the capital and tearing apart all who stood in their way. The open countryside gave some respite as the party headed towards Windsor and potential safety.. See here.

As mentioned in an earlier post I had a hankering for an ambush scenario and this gave me an opportunity to give the werewolves a run out and the rule tweaks for Infamy Infamy. Each Werewolf was an Elite unit in there own right with a leader.

Inspired by Last of the Mohicans as the winter sun started to set the woods fell silent as the royal column made it's way West. Adding in some solo mechanisms, I added 6 additional blank chits to the evil side and a chit for every unit and spread them either side of column, so I would not know where the concentration of attackers would be.

The column had to make it across the table or defeat the attackers, I placed the cavalry at the front, the Queen was nestled in the centre of the column with pike to the front and rear. The column had upto 1D3 turns before the attackers were added to the bag.

So the scene is set can the Queen escape the tooth and claw hidden amongst the undergrowth?

The wolves were weighted to the front and rear of the column. where a group of matchlock men had turned to fire on a rushing werewolf exposing their rear to the advancing wolves.

Bad news first chit out of the bag the wolves.... who tore into the unloaded matchlock men, who fled towards the treeline and untold horrors. The wolves turned towards the Queen.

Fearing for the Queen's safety the Demi Lancers rushed towards the rear of the column only for Werewolves to charge into the front of the column. The Matchlock men fired but were unable to stop the werewolf closing and inflicting masses of shock on the defenders who fled, allowing the half man to close switch his attention to the supporting pike block.

Meanwhile at the rear of the column Sir Daniel Fanshaw rushed to meet the wolf threat driving them from the field. 

For now the Queen was safe, she and her hand maidens move towards the safety of the Royal Pike block as the Demi Lancers moved to support the line from the advancing lycanthropes.

Before the lancers could bring their lancers to bare the creatures were on them, the fight was bitter and the lancers fled, but a number of the werewolves had been wounded, each blow weakened the forces of darkness force morale as the Queen and here retinue hung on, watching as another unit was set upon by another foul creature.

As darkness fell as quickly as they had appeared the werewolves were gone, but the column survived and began to form up and continue upon it's way, battered but unbowed.

A fun encounter touch and go from start to finish, the werewolves are savage inflicting double shock in the first round, but their force morale can be shaken for every time they are forced backwards or killed in combat which felt quite good for the feel I am looking for.

Next up a few more of the evil oddities to put them through there paces.

Sunday, January 03, 2021

Nubian Mercenaries - Infamy Infamy

The first mini's out of the blocks for 2021 and the start of phase two of the Kings of Bronze Project. The Nubian's make an appearance. I was able to persuade the family to include a couple of packs of Foundry to the wish list and a quiet lockdown Christmas allowed me to get a lot of prep done before kicking off the new year with a few hours of uninterrupted painting time.

First up a 6 man skirmish unit. The Nubians were noted archers and regarding by the Egyptians as the best scouts and skirmishers and were found in Egyptian armies across the empire.

Next up a Warband of 10 Warriors armed with mixed weapons of javelin and war clubs.

As usual great sculpts from Wargames Foundry they really do stand the test of time, these two units will be a great addition to Egyptian forces and give them some variety on the battlefield.

I have added the adapted Infamy stats if anyone is interested for both the skirmish unit and the warriors.

Nubian Skirmishers



Points Value







Step Out

Aggressive Attack





Darken the Sky, Vipers, Supra Numerum

Nubian Warriors



Points Value







Step Out

Aggressive Attack





Mob, Fervour