Thursday, April 29, 2021

Dispatches from the front XVIII - Cracking open the War Chest.

Blimey this coming out of lockdown is tiring, some many things to do before we even get into proper gaming, But plenty of pub garden planning to get the juices following as we enter into the summer months. 

The recent sell off of older projects has given me a war chest for gaming.... just don't tell the boss.

First up after a good chat with Fred at Two Shed's Fred, about some purpose built 6mm paddy fields and roads for the Red Phoenix Project for Korea and who knows maybe a dabble into Vietnam..... 
Great communication and service from Fred and Emily, well worth checking them out.

These were the first mock up's of the paddy fields, just what I had in mind high banks and a mix of water filled and planted. I can't wait to see these in the flesh in the coming weeks.

Custom orders is becoming quite a thing, as the Infamy and Sharp Practice games get larger I wanted to expand the Big Men in games. The guys at Blotz already had 1-10 but not some of the additional counters needed for Too Fat Lardies games. They have now created generic flags and an end of turn counter.

These are available on the Blotz Website

Meanwhile the prep for the Plains Wars continues apace, I did consider painting them on their sprues but in the end opted for mounting them on their bases adding in the filler and sand to allow me paint them in situ. My thinking was that the basing and dry brushing was likely to have landed on the painted figures... With over 100 stands, it looks rather daunting, but should be ok if I break them down into the sub units as tackling all in one go would be madness......   

With a change in the Covid regulations and being allowed to meet in each others gardens plans are underway to restart the LOTR campaign. It's been several months since any dice have been rolled, let's hope the hiatus results in some better results for the good guys as the forces of Mordor have had it their own way for the opening rounds.

If all of this was not enough a couple of extra's dropped on the mat to top up the painting queue. A few extra's from Warlord and Warbases for the Kings of Bronze and the Water Margin projects.

Meanwhile a couple of items coming up on the radar - The Stargrave Nickstarter was successful prompted plenty of interest in the gaming community with starter sets and freebee's. I only opted for the rules but have a couple of ideas.

Could it see a resurgence in the following... which have been off the table for more years than I care to remember.

Meanwhile one to keep an eye on in the days ahead, I have always be tempted by the French Foreign Legion and the latest 1898 Miniatures release looks very nice.
Initially six groups, 2 Command, others marching, skirmishing and firing,  I have the terrain but need to see what they have planned for the Arabs, I could cannibalise some of the Ottoman forces from the Napoleonic games, but really want to see what is planned and if they mix with other ranges on the market.

You can see more here. (20+) 1898 Miniaturas | Facebook

Lots to keep me occupied in the weeks ahead.

Sunday, April 25, 2021

The Elizabethan Zombie Chronicles #7 - The Dee Sanction & The line Must Hold.

The latest kick starter dropped on the mat last week in the form of the Dee Sanction. A Standalone RPG of Elizabethan supernatural investigation where players take on the role of characters aiding John Dee in the fight against dark malevolent forces.

The perfect compliment for the on going Zombie Chronicles and the prompt to give the Spanish a run out on the new table.

On the far side of Barnford - Alvar Fanez had been extending his earth works and readying his men for an attack from the forces of darkness.

Supplies were in short supply and the men's morale was low, a few had been caught stealing from the warehouses in the town, surly these good Catholic souls would not be conspiring with the those evil beings, a night in the stocks should sort them out. 

Dawn on the 2nd and the cadavers shambled forwarded supported by evil doers on broomsticks. Let's hope the earthworks are high enough. Fanez took his place in the line amongst his men.

On eastern side of town Fanez had not had time to prepare barricades he hoped the noise and movement on the main road would be enough to distract this opposite number.

In the northwest corned under the magical control of one of the witches the dead found a gap in the line.

Wolves raced out from the tree line seeing a gap in the livings defences as they shifted to support the north wall.

On the eastern edge of town yet more undead stumbled from the fields towards the open road, black power filled the air as the defenders shot down a number of the risen. But wave after wave slowly wore them down, the troops broke and ran into the town.

With a gap in the line the early morning sun was blocked by the death of crows swooping down on the remaining defenders. The troops on the earth works were unaware that the town was wide open.....

Stay tuned for #8 and the escape from Barnford.....

Itching to give this a try with a couple of living opponents, with the pub gardens open, some spring sunshine a few more weeks and finally some face to face gaming.....

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Water Margin - Heroes

Whilst the prep for the Pony Wars continues I thought I would switch projects and finish off a extra's picked up several months ago.

Having completed the Sung cavalry recently I thought it was time to give the Heroes of Liangshan Po some extra reinforcements. 

Watching the later episodes of the Water Margin TV show, I thought I would pick a number of the leading characters.

The latest recruits, Kung Sung Cheng - Master Tactician, Kuang Sheng - Great Blade (ex-General), Tai-TSung - Magic Traveller and Li - Kwei - The Black Whirlwind.

Meanwhile a couple of bandits nasty fellows preying on travellers and the weak, the type of characters to give Laingshan Po a bad reputation. 

Great castings from Scotia Grendel and their Tales of the Dragon Kings Range.

Friday, April 16, 2021

6mm Pony Wars - First steps.

As it looks like we are finally coming out of Lockdown and the thought of face to face gaming draws ever closer, it gave me the impetus to kick start the Pony Wars Project.

My vision for the project and the choice of 6mm was to provide those sweeping plains as the cavalry struggle to pin the Indians and force them into battle but are ever conscious of the supports being left exposed to war parties.

My initial thoughts were to adapt Sharp Practice but base the figures in groups or sections, with a way to record shock and causalities. However I have one eye on the forthcoming Pony Wars Rules, resurrected from the 1980's.

The beauty of 6mm is you get so much bang for your buck.

First up the Indian Mounted Warbands, based in groups of 10 and their foot variants in groups of 6. Within Sharp Practice I am thinking about applying the Irregular Cavalry quality class, but that may change in play testing.

I envisage using the command base to double up as the shock and casualty markers and using the smaller Flames of War movement bases to make them easily recognisable on the table and minbits sabots to hold the dice.

The packs from Baccus contain enough to create 10 mounted groups and 12 foot groups, more than enough for a standard Sharp Practice game.

On to the US cavalry and enough to create 4 troops of cavalry from the initial single packs.

I wanted the Cavalry to have a long tail on the table top with ultimately wagons and wood cutting parties etc, which tie down the better armed troopers trying to cover too much ground.

The US cavalry will be in groups of 8 for the mounted sections, converting to 6 figures when dismounted. In the same way Big Men will be represented by an officer, guidon and bugler.

The difference for the US cavalry is I will have casualty bases to capture shock and kills.

Each troop will have on table an accompanying mule train, which I will be using to record low ammo and horse holders which will need to be protected.

I am not sure the right idea was to base them all in one go, the fumes from the super glue plays havoc with your eyesight after a while.... :-)
But good to get them out of the packs and on to the bases to see the size of the initial project.

I am hoping that it will be relatively easy to get them to the table top once the prep work is done with filler and sand, A few more 28's to finish first as I suspect the switch to their smaller cousins will take a few days to get my eye in on the paint table.

Friday, April 09, 2021

Water Margin - Sung Cavalry

Another unit of our friends in Orange.

They look better flocked and based than they did up close on the paint table, I suspect lacking historical accuracy they fit the style of the TV show.

Great castings from the chaps at 1st Corps their Ancient Chinese range has a certain charm and fits well with the Scotia Grendel's Tale of the Dragon Kings range.

Can plush uniforms stand up to the men freemen of Laing Shan Po?

Next up more heroes of the Water Margin.

Saturday, April 03, 2021

Kings of Bronze #1 - Hittite Hasty Attack

After the first play test of solo rules a few weeks ago time to give the campaign it's first proper test and Huharmati's advance south.

Having secured the high ground Huharmati looked out across the plains towards the small town of Al Shebbeh a wadi screened the town with a crossing marking the main route into town, this would need to be seized if Al Shebbeh and it's riches would fall to the Hittites.

Will the Gods be with Hurarmati.

The coloured spots represent the potential Egyptian opponents, A B or C each class containing a differing spread of troops, I deployed these blinds based at likely points of defence, but with no idea what would appear on the table.

The dice gods were against Hurarmati and each roll on the blinds revealed a unit of Egyptians lining the wadi, Al Shebbeh would be a tough nut to crack. In the centre a group of close attack troops and a unit of spearmen.

I sent the Hittite heavy chariots on the left flank skirting the wadi to bypass the bulk of the defenders. Here the defenders were a little thinner with two of the blinds blank and the others only groups of infantry.

In the centre the advance of the Hittite Spearmen drew the Egyptian close attack troops from the wadi as they rushed towards the block of spearmen (12 on 2D6), the Hittite archers loosed their arrows as the attackers entered the open ground.

The Egyptians closed but the weight of Hittite spearmen and their supports drove them backwards back across the wadi.

With the close attack troops shattered the Hittite infantry were able to seize northern side of the wadi pinning the defenders in the village.

The Egyptian chariots were pinned in the centre of the village unwilling to advance across the rough terrain to close with the ranks of shield bearing spearmen.

Meanwhile on the right flank the Heavy Hittite chariots crashed headlong into the defenders, heavy spears disrupting the ranks before they could get organsised.

The flank was being turned and lighter armoured Egyptian chariot no match for the heavier Hittite war wagon. After one round of combat the Egyptians are forced to flee.

The Egyptian morale is starting to crumble, pinned in the village and under pressure on the outskirts of town their force morale drops to zero ending the game.

Nice to get all the toys on the table at least, the AI mechanism works reasonably well, although a couple of tweaks are needed on these with excess shock and perhaps some variance for those Bigman 3 leaders perhaps they could advance or lower their dice roll by one level above their status, e.g. Big man L2 can adapt the change by +/- 1.

Great to get Two Sheds Fred wadi and scrubland on the table, a great addition to the desert terrain and only with multiple users over a number of periods so glad I made the investment.
You can see more of Fred's terrain here...

What next for Huharmati?
Let's see what the fate dice hold.....