Monday 23 April 2018

Sharp Practise - tidying up

   Painting Napoleonics has been a labour of both love and hate over the last couple of years but I am now at the point where I have two forces ready for a game*. I still have models left to paint** and I have no doubt that at some point in the, probably near, future I will put on my rose tinted spectacles and add another unit or two to my painting queue, but this is a good point to do a round up and work out a game plan.

*Plus models that aren't needed
**Looking at you Highlanders

   The first models in this post are a mounted British officer (planning on making him a captain) and a line sergeant, both from the South Essex, while the models themselves are from Front Rank. As this point in the project started to get close and I dared to plan my forces, I quickly realised that I was short a sgt and big officer for my British and obviously a captain wouldn't be caught dead walking on his own feet.

   Next up is a French 6 pounder cannon from Warlord games, with an extra crewman and officer from Front Rank. This was one of the first models I picked up for the project as it was a freebie thrown in when I bought my first box of French plastics from Warlord Games at Salute a couple of years ago. I suspect the cannon is a bit too green and needs toning down.

   I always like Skirmish type units, so with French Voltigeurs being so cheap in the rules I figured the only thing better than a single unit was two, plus that justified the Voltigeur officer I had already painted up. The bugler was because the model was too cool not to add.

   Like with my British, I came to the realisation that I was a tad light in commanders, be they sgts or actual officers. The sgt is a grenadier as I had nothing above a private for my two units and the officer is a regular line Lieutenant as my only officer classes were a captain and a Voltigeur Lt.

The full painted French force;
5x Line with capt, lt, drummer and 2 sgts
2x Grenadiers with sgt
2x Voltigeur with bugler and lt
Cannon with lt
Engineers and wagon

While my British are a bit lighter on numbers but are now at the point where they have;
4x Light infantry in line with capt, lt and 2x sgt
95th rifles with lt and sgt

   Now I just need to organise a game, get my highlanders painted and . . . I'm not crossing this project off just yet. I am also, painfully, aware that there are going to be uniform mistakes in these forces somewhere, it turns out that between not every model I bought being obvious on the exact uniform it represents (French Line from Warlord Games - are you pre-1812 or post-1812 etc) and my research not always giving me entirely satisfactory answers on the regiment itself's uniform means I have had to go with my instinct on occasions but with the aim of getting models on the table that are easy to work out from a glance what they actually are, I am pretty pleased with the result.

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Friday 20 April 2018

Gangs of (Just Outside) Rome

   While I have been doing a lot of work on my Napoleonic's recently, it doesn't mean that I have forgotten my other big projects for 2018 and Gangs of Rome is right near the top of the big 4. I have 4 gang members and 4 bases of mob already painted, I figured with a couple more gangers finished off I should be in a position to try out the rules.

Left to Right: Publius and Matida.

   With 2 more gang members painted up, I next turned to the scenery they would be fighting over. My Rome scenery collection is far below the required amount to play in the hustle and bustle of the Eternal City herself, so plan B (which was actually my plan A but don't tell anyone) was Gangs of (just outside) Rome, based around a villa estate. If years of watching Time Team has taught me anything, it is that a single villa does an estate not make, so a cheap Roman storehouse from Warbases later and it felt like I could put a convincing board together.

Gangs of Rome scenery building warbases storehouse

   So here we go, Gangs of (just outside) Rome;
   If I am learning a game by myself (i.e. my opponent doesn't know how to play either) I always simplify rules right down to the most basic level just so we can get a feel for the mechanics before adding the game's details back in, so that is what we did for our first game, no mob or denarii. Our first play through ended up (as the pictures will show) being a mass brawl in the middle which turned out to be fun, but ultimately unsatisfactory.

Gangs of Rome scenery board building warbases villa

   I forgot to take photos of the second game but adding in the mob and some coins made a huge different to the game (and I am sure adding multiple levels and more buildings will change the game a lot more too), the mob, especially, are really good fun in the game.
   After trying the rules out at a couple of different complexities this feel like a great evening game, potentially working as a multiple player game too. The combat is bucket of dice fighting on both sides that can be pretty bloodless at times for the effort put in, but fighting and saving added to the pebble out of the bag mechanic mean that you never get a chance to sit down and wait for your opponent to do their thing, which I see as a good sign in a game.

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Wednesday 18 April 2018

Off to capture a golden cockoo

   Hopefully, I'm not jumping the gun here but after spending Saturday painting an unit of British Napoleonic infantry, then spending Monday and Tuesday this week painting another unit, along with enough movement trays to keep me quiet for a while, means the Napoleonic section of my lead mountain is starting to look a bit sparse - the end feels in sight*.
   The unit below is another unit of plastic Warlord Games Peninsula War Napoleonic British from the South Essex Regiment, which now brings the total to 4 units of British Line.
*Dreading painting tartan when my highlanders turn up

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Monday 16 April 2018

Odds and Sods IV - A New Hope

   With more job applications filled out and my man cave returned to it's hobby orientated previous existence complete with DVD playing laptop* and a proper daylight lamp which, all combined, has led to my painting motivation returning. One of the big things I wanted to do with my enforced time off, was to put some time into those 'dead' projects, the ones that when ever I talk to someone about I always say that I don't have the time for but aren't so far down my list that they are likely to just be sold on. These projects included, both, the big stuff - Sharp Practise armies - and the small, less useful, stuff - a storm trooper platoon for 40k.

*This is how I imagine the upper class live

   As I am sure I will mention in a future post, I was in Edinburgh for a weekend recently and one of the things we did while there was go into the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards museum ** and what a museum it turned out to be. So with two units of Highland Scots on their way from Front Rank Miniatures, it was high time I got some more infantry from the South Essex out of the way.
   I decided to paint just a single unit at a time, but upon realising that if I painted at least one more sgt I reckoned I would have enough troops to try a small test game of the rules, I instead added both the none private ranked models to the painting queue and got on with it. While most of my readership was out enjoying Salute, I was painting Napoleonic infantry, normally one of the things I hate doing, yet this time I found myself strangely enjoying the process and I genuinely don't know why.
   With 3 units of British infantry, a rifle unit and a multitude of higher ranks I reckon I have enough Brits painted to at least try the rules out, which is what I plan to do in the coming weeks, along with painting more troops.

**Which has a French eagle on display

   Next up, I step away from strictly useful painted models into pure fancy and because I wanted to territory. After going to Warhammer World for the first time in a good few years in 2016, I left with a strange sense that I had been too harsh to Fantasy Warhammer's replacement, Age of Sigmar, so in 2017 when I decided I wanted to spend the year trying as many rulesets as I could, to figure out what systems I actually liked playing the most, rather than just playing what I had always just played, it became obvious that a demo of AOS had to be in order and it turned out to be a brilliant ruleset. While getting an opponent wouldn't be hard - living walking distance from a GW store and driving distance from Wayland Games - it was also clear that to play the game regularly I would need to drop something else, so it went on the back burner as a 'play another day' project, however, this didn't mean it was 'dead', I still wanted to be in a position where when I decided to start playing I could pick up my army and just go. So, with a small list written I started buying models (generally second hand from eBay) and trying to get the list together.
   The Gryph Hounds aren't the last bits to paint but they were the ones I wasn't sure how I wanted to paint. I knew I wanted to match their colours to the army's infantry but it couldn't be a direct match as these are supposed to be natural***, living creatures, so the body is a much toned down blue, the feathers are a lighter blue than the Stormcast colours, while the ornamentation matches their armoured counterparts exactly.
***Natural magical

   Another model that has been on my desk for a long, long time is the Techpriest/Magos Dominus for either 40k or 30k. It started out as a bog standard 40k techpriest, it underwent minor conversion just to make it look different to the one I already had painted up, then after it was primed and waiting for my inspiration to get painted, I had a better plan.
   In the end the figure has had; his two handed axe reduced to a one handed weapon, been given a walking stick (the flesh is weak), upgraded his single servo arm to be a pair on his back and one on his arm and been given a rotating cannon on his shoulder.

Friday 13 April 2018

Carrying on with Gangs of Rome

   My painting motivation hasn't been what it could be in recent weeks but I am turning a corner and spending more time at my painting desk and, while some of the bits have been completely off topic, I am trying to get on with some of the more important projects.

   First up, using my soon to be patented 'batch colour system' - this time white and blue, is another base of Roman mob. I think this base is entirely made up of figures from War Banner but I'm just not sure anymore.

   More importantly, I have also been trying to finish some gangers so I can try to get a game or two in to help motivate this project. I have quite enjoyed picking up the body I fancy working on, finding what the card says and building/painting the figure to fit, so in this batch Plautilla's description says that she always uses barbed arrows, so I knew the figure needed a bow.
  (Left to right: Manlius, Mastiff and Plautilla)

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Tuesday 3 April 2018

Holiday Villa In The Sun

   Gangs of Rome has fallen by the wayside a bit, but to be fair, a lot of projects have fallen as my hobby motivation has slowed down in recent weeks. This post is about the Warbases Roman Villa that I picked up when Gangs of Rome was announced and before Sarissa's involvement was announced.

warbases roman villa scenery building gangs of rome

   This villa was a model I had been trying to find an excuse to buy since I had first seen it unveiled on Warbases' blog as it looked like every villa (that wasn't a H shape) that Time Team ever dug and that was an important thing.
   I kept the painting simple using spray cans, as I suspect I will need to do a lot of buildings for GoR and I wanted it to be easy to replicate the process.

gangs of rome dominus figure warbanner

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