Tuesday, 13 August 2019

Adding to the herd

   When I built my first two units of cavalry for my Union army, the idea was just to have a couple of light units to harry flanks but now I have 4 units it feels a bit more like a substantial force, so I built the very last unit with a banner and bugle.
   Otherwise, the horses were painted in the same batches as the gun limber horse team and the 3rd unit of cavalrymen to match. Together the 4 units and the cannon with full horse team and limber come to 24 points, which is the recommended points level for Rebels and Patriots, so I'm very tempted to see what a fully mobile Union army can do on the board . . .

   And now for something different, my Confederate Ambulance from Perry Miniatures. While the initial project was supposed to just be a 24 point Union force to try Rebels and Patriots out in the ACW period, the spiral into 30 point forces for both sides was fairly inevitable. However, as the recent push has all been for my Union forces, I didn't want the Confederate side to look like it was lacking anything. I have plans to buy another box of Confederate infantry and I have a unit of confederate cavalry on my painting desk, but I felt they needed something else in their back line and as I was placing my last order, it became obvious, an ambulance*.

*Obvious to me anyway

perry miniatures acw confederate ambulance rebels and patriots

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Monday, 5 August 2019

Did someone request some Zouaves?

   Aside from needing to finish my cannons to set the battlefield and adding more cavalry*, there was two more things that really got me thinking from the battle report, the first was the scenery** the other was the sheer amount of units. We play ACW using the Rebels & Patriots ruleset from Osprey Publishing and I think they are a really good evening game, we currently only play with 5-6 units a side at around 30 points, however, I reckon these rules will scale up higher. So I started talking to Neil about adding another 3-4 units of infantry per side, but having them as new detachments with their own officers and banners etc. One of the things I mentioned was that I was tempted to make one of the groups Zouaves and it just happened that Neil had a few sprues of them that he had no use for, which made the choice easier.
   I picked the 72rnd Pennsylvania, Baxter's Fire Zouaves, partly because they were from a similar area as my normal infantry and partly because their uniform looked fairly simple, although it turned out they wear non-Zouave hats which made building 36 of them a touch more interesting. I tried cutting the fezzes off and replacing them with spare caps but it was going to be too big a job for the amount of figures I wanted to do it with, so I bought a pack of the Perry Black Union heads that are wearing the correct hats to speed the process up. The uniform the 72rnd wear is the same colours as their regular Union counterparts but with the Zouave cut of trouser and jacket, although my photo makes the jacket look a bit brighter than it actually is.

*More to come
**Which I am working on


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Thursday, 1 August 2019

Mobility is the Key

  The next few posts are all going to start the same way, 'the next thing that Jay's game inspired me to do was' and this one is no exception. So, for the second post of this particular trip down the rabbit hole I want to focus on the next unit of Union Cavalry. I already have 2 units finished, although only 1 has made it to the table so far, but seeing the long line of horses really got me thinking.
   I have a real mental block when it comes to cavalry, which is why I rarely have them in my armies even though they really suit my play style, however, the last box of Perry cavalry I painted really bought it home that it is a stupid block to have, instead of seeing a unit of 6 horsemen as a single complicated batch, you have to treat them as 2 batches of 6 models, that just happen to end up being combined*. In the end, I actually painted the horses in smaller batches than that, in batches of 4-5 along with a horse or two from the limber team to cut my time, so as I write this, the horses for my next unit are already finished and just waiting on their riders.

*Which has opened the doors in my head to all the cavalry
sitting in my to do pile for other armies**
**I might do a cavalry month at some point soon

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Tuesday, 30 July 2019

The ACW Rabbit Hole

   The next series of posts are going to be a detour that I hadn't planned on a project I thought was basically finished . . .

   This sordid story starts a couple of Mondays ago when I was quietly minding my own business and spending some time catching up on blog posts when I came across Jay's Wargaming Madness and his newest post an ACW farm defence. This was followed by a conversation with my mate, Neil, which really sent me off the deep end as he offered me a pile of figures for free, which itself, lead to me placing a top up order with the Perry twins.

   Amongst the many things that the game inspired me to do was to finish my cannons properly. Initially, I had built and painted my cannons and crew to get them on the table for a game, leaving the limbers on their sprues as a job for later, but as is so often the case, there is always a new shiny to focus on rather than doing limbers for units you are already using in games. Once I had decided to get om with them, building and painting turned out to be a fairly straight forward job * and they will make my games look a fair bit better straight away. As cannons are a fair bit over powered for their cost** in Rebels and Patriots we are unlikely to run more than a single one per side, so to keep costs down, I only bought a single horse team (I'll probably get more another day) which was then built to go in my Union forces too. In my head the two sides are starting to looking like a defensive Confederate army and an aggressive Union army, so my battlefield extras will start to show that theme.

*that I should have done at the same time as the cannons really
**or is it under pointed?
   I'm painting up horses for the limber team at the same time as I paint horses for the next units of Union Cavalry to try and get a mix of different horse types in, while hopefully not just going mad and having one of everything, but I had to try an American paint horse.
   I'm quite pleased with the resulting cannon and full crew and am really looking forward to getting them on the table.

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Thursday, 25 July 2019

Gonna Shoot Me Some Varmint

   As I said in the last post, I had been watching a lot of films that have been inspiring my hobby and this is another one of those. In the last few weeks I've watched Tombstone (not hugely impressed) and the first 3 of the Clint Eastwood spaghetti westerns (A Fistful Of Dollars, For A Few Dollars More and The Good, The Bad And The Ugly - which I love even if the dubbing is terrible) and this got me thinking. Then when I heard that 4ground had gone under (hopefully just in the short term) it gave me the kick up the arse to really get on with some ideas I had been brewing for Dead Man's Hand and this is the first* of them.
   Dead Man's Hand is one of my most played single ruleset in the last 4 or 5 years** but we have basically just played the same Lawmen vs Outlaws based games since we first picked up the game, ignoring the odd Kelly gang or Cowboy/Desperado diversion. I picked up Legends of Dead Man's Hand at Salute (and have just picked up the Curse of Dead Man's Hand to complete my collection) so we could try some different scenarios and after a quick flick through and a quicker chat, it was decided to pick up another gang, which with my recent film history turned out to be the Banditos. Looking at their rules they should play differently enough to mix the game up a bit, plus they look different enough to change the aesthetics of our games.
*Of many
**There are just too many good games

   The models themselves are from Great Escape Games and are only the second of their boxed gangs I have actually bought*** and are really nice sculpts with a lot of detail. When it came to painting, the detail was a tad daunting, so I did the only thing I knew how, bring up a picture of their painted gang and copy it. Although, I did swap the colour schemes of some figures and change a few colours around to make them my own.
***At the moment

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Monday, 15 July 2019

Charge of (a different) the Light Brigade

 Many of us volunteered to fight for the Union. Some came mainly because we were bored at home and this looked like it might be fun. Some came because we were ashamed not to. Many came because it was the right thing to do
Colonel Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain (Gettysburg film)

   Over the last few weeks I've had a couple of evenings and whole weekend days where the wife has been out and I've had the house to myself. This has been brilliant for my hobby productivity but it has also meant I have watched an inordinate amount of films, some completely inane but some that have inspired me to do more bits for my hobby. This post is the first of one of those.
   One of the films I watched was Gettysburg, having never seen it before and not knowing what to expect, I sat down one evening with a handful of batches of primed Greek models, a beer and put on the film. Four hours later I was trawling online to get some American Civil War Cavalry without a real plan as to which side it would be for, which is why the Perry Miniatures plastic box was such a good deal. Being useful for both sides, it gave me another couple of days, while it was in the post, for me to really work out which side needed them and because the only other person I know who is currently painting an ACW army is doing Confederates, it made sense for me to add them to my Union army.

   We played a 36 (ish) point, 4 player game of Rebels and Patriots last weekend and, although I only had a single unit of my cavalry ready, it was good to see what they could do (I completely forgot to take any photos) and it turns out they can be brutal, however, little 6 man units of light cavalry are not shock troops and really shouldn't be used as such.

   The last model is from my first Perry order. I bought him with the mind of putting him at the back of the board as a bit of battlefield clutter as he is probably holding the two highest ranking Union officers in my force.

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Sunday, 14 July 2019

Summon the Gods and call down their wrath

   To tie off my ancient Greek project are the pack of Gods and the Gorgons I bought from Foundry Miniatures. Now that everything I bought is painted and I have 2 full box files of figures, I am happy to call this project finished, for the time being.*
**Again, are projects ever really finished?

   From left to right we have: Ares, Poseidon, Hephaestus, Zeus and Hades. I'd have loved to have Athena in the mix, but if I was only buying one pack, this was the post useful one to pick up to give Of Gods and Mortals a try**.
**Now where is my kraken?

   I'm not 100% sure on the Gorgons colours. I copied pictures I found online as I wasn't sure how to make the transition from the human half to the snake half but in hindsight, plain green doesn't look particularly snake like. I'm half tempted to go back at a later date and repaint them in a more python like skin.

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