Monday 28 July 2014

Transport with a big gun

      It was a pretty quiet weekend of painting, so here is just a quick post on the one thing I did get time to do.
     This is the first real bit of armour for my vbcw Albertines. I've given it a really basic colour scheme because in bigger games it'll be running alongside a matching pair of private owned vans and I want this one to look much more like the established military workhorse of the fleet.

vbcw lledo days past vehicle

I just need to lay my hands on some suitable drivers and a gunner or two now.

Thursday 24 July 2014

Hordes of the Things

     The go to game for anything regiment based, be it fantasy or historical, at my club is the DBA adaption Hordes of the Things, HOTTS, and somehow I have managed to avoid playing a single game of it. Chatting to the club chairman, Neil, I mentioned in passing that the dark ages are my favourite period of history and I really wanted to do a big dark age army, which then set off a series of events that led to this:
hordes of the things saxon viking mega game
     192 points on each side of dark age goodness. As I have only really been dabbling with historical gaming for the last year or so, neither of these were my armies, the figures were a mix of Neil and Chris' collections, but I took my part of the Saxon army and got ready for a bit of shield wall action. Starting from the left and going round clockwise; the Viking armies were controlled by Neil and Chris, the Saxon armies by John and then me.

hordes of the things saxon viking mega game

      At the mid point in the game I was going to take another photo of the whole board, but because the whole of the two armies on the Saxon right flank were still lined up staring at each other, I instead focused on the Saxon left, where 3 turns of combat had already been fought. Between the second and third photos another 5 rounds of combat had been fought and in realistic shield wall style, the casualties hadn't been decisive, it was just grinding the opponent down by pure attrition. It was really interesting to see a game whose mechanics mean you need to try and keep the line of combat straight, the weird steps that appear as you win or lose combats ultimately weaken you, so even if you are winning the majority of the combats, sometimes the clever move is to retreat certain elements to strengthen your line again.

hordes of the things saxon viking mega game

The game was set up slightly too late into the evening, hence no scenery and the fact we didn't get to finish, but it gave me a taste of what I was missing out on. So now armed with a copy of the hordes rulebook, a gripping beast catalogue and a list of base measurements, I am ready to start my own army.

Tuesday 22 July 2014

Post box

       This post box is the latest addition to my vbcw scenery collection. It a mid-Victorian post box from Yeoman model's range of resin scenery bits. I always find that its small bits like these that really help place a game and this should do a sterling job.
 vbcw victorian postbox scenery
Thanks for reading

Monday 21 July 2014

Shambling in the rain

    Inspired by the storms we had at the end of last week and over the weekend, I dug out a zombie figure that has been sitting in my lead draw for a while. So here he is; Zombie Gene Kelly by Musketeer Miniatures:
Musketeer miniatures zmobie gene kelly

      He can now be added to the world's slowest growing zombie horde.

Saturday 19 July 2014

'Went the day well' VBCW Albertine platoon

    With the news that I may have just found some local opponents to learn the Solway gaming club's very British civil war rules 'Went the day well?' with, it seems fortuitous that I have now finished my platoon to play that game with.
     Up first are the remaining men that now complete my VBCW Albertine platoon, the regular British army troops and the militia nco who is wearing the jacket and cap of a serving soldier.

musketeer miniatures ww1 army vbcw

       This is the full 35 men I need to make my platoon, and as my army grows some of these units will be moved around into other platoons and I might even muck about with the composition of the command group to reflect the platoon they will become part of. At the moment though, my platoon is made up of one unit of trained rifles and two units of untrained militia, plus their command.

vbcw went the day well platoon

        My command group is supposed to look like the best of units mixed into one unit to better unify my force. A regular army officer to command, two militia men, a local doctor as a medic and a cricket umpire to be in charge of signals.

musketeer miniatures vbcw command

       These guys are probably still my favourite unit so far. I just love the look of a unit of cricket players, armed to the teeth and ready to fight for their cause.

vbcw sloppy jalopy cricketers militia

      My bog standard unit of militia. I given the nco part of a regular army uniform to give him an element of authority with the men. These sort of units will eventually make the bulk of my force, so expect a lot more of them to appear on my desk in the coming months.

musketeer miniatures vbcw militia

     The regular soldiers are probably from the Romford barracks and have thrown their lot in with the Lord Protector Prince Albert, and they give my army an element of trained troops to balance against the green, untrained nature of the two militia units.

musketeer miniatures ww1 army vbcw

Thanks for reading.

Thursday 17 July 2014

VBCW militia

     Just a quick mid-week post. I've had this picture of my latest Very British Civil War unit sitting on my laptop since Saturday evening but it keeps being over taken to getting it's very own post by the next shiny thing that has come off my painting desk. So, here is it's time to shine.
     This unit of worker's militia is the second unit for my Albertine faction from the VBCW. I like the idea of the various worker's militia's comprising the majority of the actual fighting men involved in the civil war. Local communities, colleagues or even sports clubs, arming themselves and fighting for whatever cause they believe in, be it communist or fascist ideals, supporting either king, or even just defending their local interest in a country roaming with uncontrolled armies. So, even though the next unit that is on my painting desk is a regular army unit, I want the majority of my Essex Albertine force to just be different units of militia, with these guys being one of many.

musketeer miniatures vbcw albertine militia

     I should get a post up Sunday or Monday showing off my whole 'Went the day well?' platoon, so until then. I hope you enjoyed reading this.

Tuesday 15 July 2014

Anglo-Saxon Saga Warband

    As I had a quite afternoon I thought I would spend some time with my camera and some scenery to take some proper photos of armies that were painted up before I started this blog. I am going to concentrate on armies that I have mentioned in this blog so far, especially ones that are still being painted, so that you can put pictures of models into your mind where before they have only been written about.
        I thought I would start with my Anglo-Saxon Saga warband;

Anglo-saxon saga warband
My current 5 point Anglo-saxon saga warband
 I use the Gripping Beast Hereward the Wake model for my Anglo-Saxon warlord. I think this is one of the nicest sculpts out there at the moment and is the model that really got this whole project really kick started. I have purposely painted him up differently to the way he is painted on their website just to try not to mislead opponents into thinking he is being used as the infamous man himself.
Anglo-saxon saga warband hereward the wake
Odda Whitehorn, Anglo-Saxon warlord, his huscarls and his personal priest (bard)
Anglo-saxon saga warband
Warriors unit 1

Anglo-saxon saga warband
Warriors unit 2

Anglo-saxon saga warband
Warriors unit 3 
       My whole Anglo-Saxon warband is made from Gripping beast plastics, I think their plastic are really nice sculpts and a really good deal for the amount you get. Plus the idea of drilling and sticking white metal weapons into white metal hands on a scale bigger than a couple of 4 man units feels me with a serious sense of dread, so these plastics make the whole process a lot easier.
I have tried to keep to the historical evidence as much as possible, so my levy will be completely unarmoured, my warriors are a mix of mostly unarmoured but with helmets and a few that are armoured, while my huscarls are a completely armoured. I don't think chainmail would have been all that common, so I try to keep it to the professional warriors.

       Thanks for reading.

Church Part 2.

       So this is how my Battlefield Britain church from Cavalier models now looks. I'm pretty happy with the end result of my church building project. A double layer of pva and a quick spray of hair spray as varnish seems to have created a strong covering that I am hoping will survive the table. I wanted something that looked very British and something that looked a little different from the norm and I think I have achieved both of those aims.
vbcw 28mm wargame church scenery
 vbcw 28mm wargame church scenery

vbcw 28mm wargame church scenery

Thanks for having a look.

Sunday 13 July 2014

Star Trek Attack Wing Tournament

     So today was the Tholian web scenario of the Wizkid's Star Trek Attack Wing op tournaments. It comprises of three games per player, where you earn the points from your opponent's fleet that were destroyed by the end of the game, so a full win is 100 points but you can still come away with 70-80 odd points and still lose.
     The Tholian web scenario sets two fleets fighting while the Tholians slowly build a energy web around them. At the end of each turn the web gets slightly tighter and the game ends when one fleet is completely destroyed. Any ship that touches the web, in anyway, is destroyed.
     I'm not going to list my fleet in detail because it wasn't good enough for anyone to want to copy, or for me to re-use exactly as it was, but the important bit of the build were the three ships themselves and what I had expected their jobs in the fleet to be. My initial attack ship was my named Keldon class with a level 7 captain on, his job was to take out the shields on what ever my target ship was going to be that turn. My next ship was an un-named Keldon class with a level 5 captain. It's job was take out shieldless ships with an upgrade card that allowed it to do extra attacks on ships with no active shields, also useful on cloaked ships. My last ship was a pure damage absorbing, shield carrier, in the form of a name Kraxon and a level 3 captain. It had the ability to take damage on its own shields that was actually targeted on another ship and then rebuild shields each turn. Any shooting attacks it had was then a pure bonus.
     My first game was against Steve with his Klingons. This was the first game I have ever played with my Cardassian fleet and, I'll be honest, not having a proper look at the maneuver dial before I started playing turned out to be a big mistake in this game. 
     We both played the first two games playing like a proper Klingon fleet should in this game, charge at each other and joust, K-turn and both go back and do it all over again.

star trek attack wing tholian web

     The downside was that it turns out Cardassians can't K-turn . . . With the web closing in and my ships having to spend 3 turns just to get back to where I wanted to be the more maneuverable Klingons just took me apart.

star trek attack wing tholian web

star trek attack wing tholian web

star trek attack wing tholian web

       So the first win was a walk over to Steve. He got the full 100 points, while I came away with nothing.

     The second game was against a new player called Gary. He was playing borg with ships he had only bought that morning so was in the same sort of position I was trying to learn his fleet. The initial few turns showed that I had leaned my lesson about my maneuver dials with my fleet doing a big curve around the field rather than heading straight in.

star trek attack wing tholian web

      Two round of concentrated fire later and I had taken out his sphere, while he had done minor damage, spread over all my ships.

star trek attack wing tholian web

star trek attack wing tholian web

      Then just at the point where all my ships were on the verge of blowing up he made a massive mistake. I had to turn away from his last remaining ship and start the three turns of trying to turn somewhere useful, and instead of seeing what I was going to have to do and capitalising on it, he moved in front of my fleet, allowing me to carry on shooting. Then as I carried on turning his ship stayed in my firing arch.

star trek attack wing tholian web

       The result of the game was a complete borg lose, my ships were all damaged but none were destroyed, so 100 points to me and none to Gary. The fact it ended up this way came down to 2 important mistakes on his part; he didn't concentrate his fire and take out any of my ships and he didn't capitalise on my terrible maneuver dial to get free shots up the rear of my ships.

      The last game was against Mark and his Dominion fleet. Two very evenly matched fleets, even to the point his Keldon was built almost exactly the same as mine. We both spent the first two turns doing big sweeping curves around the board to try and help our turns later on. Our initial class left his Keldon blown up and two of my ships sharing damage. Then the turning saga began.

star trek attack wing tholian web

star trek attack wing tholian web

     I forgot to take a photo of the end of the game because it got really strange. In the penultimate turn a few bad maneuvers meant that I lost two ships to be web and Mark lost one ship to it. Then a last turn of terrible shooting on a board that was now limited to about a half a foot by a foot meant that the web went straight through both of our remaining ships causing a draw. 100 points the both of us in a game where the players involved only killed one of the six ships on the board. I'm not sure if that means it should have been a Tholian win?

     I came 5th out of a field of 8, which isn't that bad considering I took an untested fleet and one that wasn't designed to be a tournament winner, but I did come away with the prize for most sporting player, which is actually really nice. Below are the pictures of my prize ship, Tholian One.
star trek attack wing tholian web

star trek attack wing tholian web

Thanks for reading.


      I'm still going to save the vbcw unit for later, but I thought Batman deserved his own post. This model was a proper spur of the moment buy, I doubt I will ever play the game, it was just a really nice figure I couldn't say no to.

Knight models batman

       The model is from Knight Models and, to be honest, the whole range is really pretty. I must have spent a good 20 minutes standing by the rack trying to work out which one was going to be heading home with me. The only disappointing thing was that I thought I was buying the Batman in the picture below, as this is the cover from the blister pack . . . On the other hand there is a Robin in the range as well, so who knows if he will turn up at some point.

Knight models batman

Saturday 12 July 2014

Saturday wanderings and achievements

     My first weekend post, I've finally worked how how to load photos on my home laptop so I am no longer reliant on my work computer at lunch time. So, why the post?
     Firstly, I went to the opening of the Basildon Games Workshop. First impressions of the shop itself is that it is a much bigger games workshop than I am used to, 3 big tables and space for people to walk and play. It also has a much older crowd in it than I am used to. It's all promising stuff for a decent gaming group. I'm not particularly a games workshop games player any more, but I am still interested in their stuff and having a new closer local is never a bad thing when you are in need of a pot of paint.

Games Workshop GW basildon

     Then on a completely separate note, I finally based my trees. The tree's are slightly too bushy to really show off their basing but hopefully they will make more regular appearances in the backgrounds of photos now they all look pretty. I need to have a go at improving the pine trees, but at £1 a pop, and with a pack of 40mm bases to plant them on, they were too good a deal to turn down.

wargaming trees scenery

      I have another vbcw unit painted up and I'll put them online when the bases are dry, plus I am off to a tournament tomorrow so there should be some good posts coming in the next few days. Until then, thanks for reading.

Monday 7 July 2014

Church. Part 1

    Cavalier book's battlefield buildings range is pretty much the starting point for scenery at my local gaming club with a couple of members owning enough terraces, cottages and shops to build a decent looking village for what ever the game of the night happens to be, usually if these are coming out zombies are involved . . . As much as the range is really nice, and the quality can't be faulted, the sheer monotone, sameness of the pre-painted stuff means the street view just isn't that interesting to look at, so I wanted to add something different with my purchase.
     As my better camera is off being repaired, I can only make poor excuses about the quality of the photography, but here we go anyway.

VBCW 28mm church

      Pebble dashed churches are quite common in my local area, usually they are Methodist or Salvation Army, and I thought, a copy of one of these would look quite nice amongst all the brick buildings.

     My first step was to glue all the windows and the door on, as it would be next to impossible to make a neat job of this after the sand had been applied. Then once they were all dry I covered the church in a layer of PVA and shock it around in a box of sand for a while. Once that was dry it was covered in a diluted PVA mix and extra sand was used to tidy up and bits where the sand hadn't stuck. The current result is a solid layer of sand on the outside of the building.

VBCW 28mm church

     The next stage will be to tidy up the bits I don't want sand on and then apply a layer of varnish to really seal it all on. 

I hope I have given someone ideas from this, until next time.

Tuesday 1 July 2014

Half year resolution round up

    While I haven't been blogging for half a year yet, I did make some wargaming/hobby related new year resolutions to motivate me to get projects off of my painting table and onto the gaming table this year, and I thought I would take this moment to have a look at how well I have done with them.

The first resolution was just to get me gaming more, after spending about 4-5 years while at uni, and just afterwards, where I didn't play at all, I wanted to make sure I kept gaming and didn't let it drift off again.

  • Play 52 games this year. So far I am at 45, mostly thanks to my star trek attack wing tournaments and weekly gaming club.
The second resolution was to paint 6000 points worth of models this year, which is a very games workshop focused aim. This was based on the amount of gw models I was buying at the end of last year, but with my massive increase in non-gw models, esp ones that don't actually have a points cost in game, I have also started counting the number of models. My original aim with 6000 points was that 500 a month is generally a couple of units or maybe a character and a big tank, which is easily do able.

  • Paint 6000 points of models. So far I am at 4966, so well over my half way aim. While model count is now up at 174.
My last resolution was a bit more obscure. It was to paint up 5 Warhammer Storm of Magic monsters. This was mostly just to try and get some of those really cool monsters that I could never quite justify buying a real reason to end up on my painting table, and then ultimately onto a shelf to look pretty.

  • Paint 5 storm of magic monsters. Currently at 1, but I do have a second sitting next to my desk patiently waiting for its turn.
The other thing I decided to do this year was to keep a note of all my games played and the results. I am not, and never will be, a power gamer, my wins will always be out numbered by my losses, but I am just curious to see what the end number actually is. Then I also want to see over the next few years how my gaming has changed, in terms of what systems I end up with at any one point as my go to game. I know last year probably would have been 40k again after a long absence, while the year before was definitely Lord of the Rings. 
  • Different games played this year: 15.
  • Most played game this year: Star Trek Attack Wing
  • Win/Loss ratio: 42% win ration, not bad when my gaming is constantly compared to ww1 generals.
Thanks for reading


     So there I was happily painting various dark age peoples along with some British militia from the late 1930's and then a parcel appeared on the doorstep, and it was at that point I realised my current painting projects didn't stand a chance of having priority any more.
     In a moment of weakness, probably after spending too much time lurking on other people's blogs, I think I'm looking at you Michael Awdry of 28mm Victorian warfare fame, I ordered some small lead dinosaurs from hlbs. These are going to get painted in dribs and drabs as the mood takes me, but last night, while watching Jurassic park, I got the first group finished. . .

28mm hlbs velociraptor dinosaur
My velociraptor pack
     Yet again the picture quality is terrible, I think I might have another go at it tonight, but here are my 6 Velociraptors. Much as the picture really doesn't show it I am immensely pleased with them.
     Now it's probably a good thing I didn't stop at the entertainer last night and buy myself a big plastic dinosaur to repaint isn't it. Oh wait . . .

28mm hlbs dinosaur conflix