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

Thanks for reading

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


Thanks for reading

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

Thanks for reading

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.

Thanks for reading

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

Thanks for reading

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.

Thanks for reading

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.

Thanks for reading

Friday, 12 July 2019

War is Father of All

   I've had a decent hobby streak recently with a few posts coming this week in fairly quick succession. The last two units of Greek mortals for my Athenian project are an (oversized) unit of archers and an unit of unarmoured hoplites. It looks a lot like I'll be getting the ancient Greek version of Lion Rampant or maybe Men of Bronze to the table before Of Gods and Mortals, but we shall have to see what my regular opponents fancy trying first.

Thanks for reading

Monday, 8 July 2019

Owls to Athens

   This is the final unit of armoured Athenian hoplites for the Greek project, leaving me with a single batch of mortals and a few legendary models left to go. I've added in a heavy lochagos from the Mortal Gods partly because I need some heroes for Of Gods and Mortals and partly because I wanted to see what the model was like, although I replaced the spear with a sword to make him stand out on the table.

Thanks for reading

Saturday, 6 July 2019

Summoned from Hades

  The last few batches of mortal Greeks are on the verge of being finished but due to how quick and easy undead are to paint, the last two batches of skeletons from Wargames Atlantic have jumped the queue. I built the last figures I needed for my planned Of Gods and Mortals list then built the last few figures as a mix of either spearman or archers to round out units for a potential Lion Rampant army as I am very tempted by another box or two of these.

   The spearmen have been built using the last of the round shields and a handful of the more Boeotian looking shields, with a fair few left without shields at all. If I was to buy another box or two of these, I would definitely buy a pack of spare shields from Victrix.

Thanks for reading

Thursday, 4 July 2019

Getting into Gaslands

   I listen to a lot of wargaming podcasts and follow a lot of blogs and Gaslands was one of those games that was impossible to miss when it was first released and as a result I had the book on preorder as soon as I heard about it and a pair of toy cars sitting on my desk to go with it, but that was about as far as I got. Then recently my gaming club (SEEMs) decided to do a big order for the templates, something I had been meaning to pick up for ages, so I went in on it too and once these had arrived the project escalated quickly, with a game planned for the following week.

   As I have been focussing on my Greek project, I left the toy cars until a couple of days before and in a blind panic I raided my *Pile of Potential for anything that looked remotely useful and the following two cars are the result.
*aptly named

In hindsight, I feel like this model could do with numbers on the doors.

   Of the two cars, the one with Jerry the mouse on the front was the one I designed for myself, with the Frozen themed car being designed for my mate Steve B**.  The brass spikes on the car are because he hates wire spears too. I’ve not added a huge amount of bits to either car, but what has been added is either plain sheets of plasti-card cut to fit or bits from various GW kits.

**Whose young daughter is going through a Frozen phase . . .

   The last photo is the result of a wipe out that ended with a crash into a concrete bollard which ricocheted off into a crash barrier, with my driver going through the pearly gates upside-down and on fire - beware of those pesky hazard markers. I'd like to say this was near the end of the race, but the bollards I hit were actually the first gates . . .
   I've also since bought another car and have plans to round out both teams. . .

Thanks for reading

Saturday, 29 June 2019

Deepening the files

   Feeling like I have had a big enough detour for a bit I have been tidying up the next few half finished Greek units and it snowballed a bit quicker than I had planned, with 3 units at the same time. Not a huge amount to add about these guys other than its another unit of slingers, unarmoured hoplites and armoured hoplites from Victrix and I am going through a bit of a light blue phase.

Thanks for reading

Wednesday, 26 June 2019

Devotees of Dionysus

   Following on from Greek skeleton warriors are another unit for Of Gods and Mortals, Satyrs. The models are from Foundry Miniatures and part of a (slightly) bigger order that included a pack of Gods to actually try the rules out with. Looking through the rules I needed a few legendary units, so this was one of the choices I made, although I suspect I'll be picking more up in the future.
   I tried to make the skin tone look different from the Greek mortals I have been painting to emphasis the differeness, beyond the obivious horns and goat legs.


Thanks for reading

Monday, 24 June 2019

Sons of Hades

   I should be getting on with more of my hoplites as I still have a fair few to go, however, when the box of Wargames Atlantic Greek skeletons turned up, I just had to get at least one unit built and painted.
   First up, I have mixed feelings on this kit. I'm not 100% sure what the makers of the kit wanted it to be, it promises a lot of choices but doesn't really give enough of any to really keep anyone happy, in my opinion. For example, you only get a single round shield per 4 skeletons, which when most hobbyists are going to want to build the scene from Jason and the Argonauts, its not enough. The same applies to the late pike, although wanting to build a full box of late skeletons is going to be a much more niche plan.
   I have started using metal washers for bases as I now use magnetic sheet to store my figures and I found the skeleton that has separate legs just doesn't work with my setup as it is just too fragile. Again, I get what they were going for my including it, but it's a figure on every sprue that I am putting straight into my scenery bits box.

   Saying all of that, it's a kit I would be surprised if I didn't buy at least one more box* of (maybe more**) and it was a complete joy to build and paint. They will get used in a Hades themed Of Gods and Mortals force and I have a vague plan of an Undead Greek Lion Rampant force. . .
*Along with spare shields from Victrix
**tempted to mix in a pack or two of the Foundry Greek skeletons too

Thanks for reading

Thursday, 20 June 2019

Raise your Aspis

   I'm at that mid point in my Ancient Greek project where it is hard to make these posts anything more than 'here is another unit just like the one you have already seen', but I have some other stuff in the works to mix it up a bit and I should be able to get some game photos in pretty soon.
   In the meantime, here is another unit of armoured Athenian hoplites, this one led by a man with a rabbit on his shield*.

 *Rabbits and owls will be the theme for leaders

Thanks for reading

Monday, 17 June 2019

Psiloi and friends

   Much later than planned, even though the models have been finished for almost a week, and I've got another unit that just needs the last few bits finishing off, but here is the next batch of completed figures for my Greek project, another unit of unarmoured hoplites and the first unit of psiloi (slingers). I'm pushing hard to get to the point I can get some Greeks on the table for a game, and I am pretty close now.

   The hoplites include a musician from the Mortal Gods range for a bit of variety. I decided to order some more wire spears when I started this project, so I there would be no risk of running out in the middle of anything (even though I now have enough to not run out for a good few years) and when the choice came down to ordering from North Star or Footsore, I went with the company that I could add a few miniatures to the parcel, and some of the single figures from the Mortal Gods range are particuarly nice*.

*Very real risk of me picking up some of the Athenian Marines when they are back in stock

Thanks for reading

Friday, 7 June 2019

More Troops for the City State

   As I mentioned last post, I am painting my batches in two groups, armoured and unarmoured (everything else). This post is going to be about the first unit of unarmoured Hoplites.

   First up, I am nowehere near as keen on this kit as the armoured hoplites. As the unarmoured models have integral hands attached to the spears, but joined on by a tiny wrist joint, I can't replace the spears, and they are really easy to break*. Also, there is such a difference in poses that I'm not really sure you could use these guys to fill out the back of an armoured unit (as I had planned) without it looking strange. All that being said, they are fairly quick to paint and the spare heads have come in useful to replace the unhelmeted head from the armoured box**.

*I've actually painted slightly more than this unit and I've already had to repair 4 wrist joints.
**Heavily armoured hoplites without helmets on looks daft in bulk.

   The other thing I thought I had better mention at this point is my unit numbers. After speaking to my mate, Neil, we decided we would ignore Men of Bronze's 10 man unit idea (no big deal as units fight as abstract elements anyway) and use the Lion Rampant unit sizes of 12 or 6 for units. This allows us to use the same units for the Greek version of Lion Rampant and Men of Bronze without fiddling around with models or movement trays*** and those 2 extra men seem to make a big difference to how the unit looks.

***More to come.

Thanks for reading

Monday, 3 June 2019

Went and caught the Ancient Greek

   Unless you have been hiding under a rock in the last couple of months, there has been a renewed interest for Ancient Greek wargaming at the sec, with last month seeing the release of two rulesets in the form of Men of Bronze and Mortal Gods. As I have already said I want to be a lot stricter on the new skirmish games I get into – preferring rulesets that are just a book and your own figures, than sets that rely on buying specific models, unit cards and tokens – I was purposely ignoring Mortal Gods, but Men of Bronze (sharing similarities to my beloved Rampant system) set ideas off in my head. Then I found out that my wife had booked a long weekend for us in Athens and a plan started to come together for an Athenian army. . .


   I can safely say that I have bought more Victrix* models than I’ll need for a single game**, but I firmly believe under buying is much worse than over buying. I had initially planned to paint this army in the same way as my other non-uniformed historical collections in a batches of cross unit models, but when my unarmoured units arrived, I realised how little they shared with the armoured models, so I am going to paint batches of armoured or mixed unarmoured instead.
   The armoured box of Athenians turned up first, so this was what I started with. They are built as they come out of the pack, except I have swapped their plastic spears for wire spears, simply because I broke one of the spears before I even finished spraying them (oaf) and I really like wire spears. Shield designs are a mix of Little Big Man Studios and Warlord games to give variety.
*and other
**Although, I plan to use the figures for multiple systems

   My next unit is almost finished too, so I should be posting again fairly soon.

Thanks for reading

Sunday, 19 May 2019

The Good Ol' Boys

   After my first couple of play throughs of Rebels and Patriots we both decided that 24 points was a tad small a game - with 5 units for the Union and 4 for the Rebels there just wasn't quite enough movement, so for our next game we decided to up it to 30 points, which would be an extra unit a side.
   While I had a spare infantry unit I could give the Union, I only had a spare cannon for the Confederates, and this turned out to be a big deal. The photos of the game are on SEEM's blog but suffice to say, 2 cannons on a single side, did turn out to massively uneven and won't be repeated, but 30 points did make the game work much better. After the game I managed to get lucky and pick up the 12 figures I needed, rather than buying in sprues of 5 and added them to my to do list.
   These should make for a much more interesting, and even, game in the future as I am really enjoying this set of rules.

Thanks for reading

Friday, 10 May 2019

We need to go faster!

   While I have a tendency to meander between projects, both old ones and new shiny ones, being on a 30k podcast is meaning that I can’t let a month go by without some Heresy hobby to show for myself, be it something painted or a game played. I had played so many games of 30k in March and early April that I had enough to split between two episodes’ hobby sections*but with May’s episode just around the corner, I realised I had nothing lined up ready**, so at the weekend I organised a game with the of the other guys on the podcast and I got the superglue out and got building.

*We recorded March’s episode late and April’s early
 in an attempt to get somewhere like on track.
**Too many other distractions

   The first model is a Sicaran battle tank and is the second such tank into my collection***. I am writing progressively more fast attack orientated lists, so the Sicaran (being a fast tank in the fluff) fits the theme, but gives me some AT/AA and a solid fire base to allow the rest of my army to get where it needs to go. I’d had this sitting in a box for a while and it was really nice to just spend a day building and painting a single model in front of the tv.
***Being a massive fan of redundancy is my lists

   The other models that I ended up working on were another pair of Legion Outriders. I got my initial two minimum squads ready for the last game I played and really enjoyed using them, but the squads were way too small. I’ve since used these in my squads and while 4 is better, a single loss still causes a moral check, which is a massive weakness, so I need to bulk them up to 5 man squads in the near future. Having two fast squads of plasma toting marines is really good fun, there is nothing like watching an opponent's face when that elite squad that is out of harm's way, is all of a sudden taken off the table by a threat they had forgotten about.
   I've also said it on the podcast and I will continue to repeat it, but, I genuinely think outriders with the Sons of Horus rules make the best outriders in the game****, as with plasma guns on the front shooting at a marine squad within 12 inches they hit on 2's, rerolling 1's, then kill on 2's. My 4 man squads were happily killing 7 or 8 marines a turn and the rerolling 1's to hit not only helps inprove their hit rate, but lowers their chance of overheating and killing themselves. Whats not to love in that?

****At least before adding Rites and Primarchs etc

   Another link to the Mournival Podcast in case anyone needs it - sound issues have now been fixed from episode 2 onwards.

Thanks for reading

Tuesday, 7 May 2019

Mob rule

   This post was due to be on something else that I finished recently, but as I was writing it, I realised it would have been the 7th different project post in a row, which even for a butterfly/magpie like me was a little bit over the top. As the last post was about Gangs of Rome, and it is a project I want to get finished, I decided to spend the weekend getting some painted*, so I could post about that next, instead.
   As the figure pile for my Gangs of Rome project is fairly small, I decided to do all of them in one batch of the same colour**, in this, light blue. Everything was ready built, having been on the shelf next to my painting desk for a fair few months at this point.
*Amongst other things

**Agente excluded

   The last base of mob that I needed to get painted. Like the last 6, I bought the deal that got me the full amount needed when the game first released, then added some Foundry Roman civilians into the bag, so I'm not 100% what model is what anymore.

   Again, when the game first released I knew there were scenarios that needed a VIP to defend, so I bought two would be senator models as I wasn't sure if both sides would need one. It was about time he got painted up.

   My last two named fighters, Maximilianus and Anethencia. I might go back over a few of my plainer fighters in the future as I have seen loads of really nice patterns painted onto their tunics, but I have to feel a bit braver to do so.

   Lastly, the Agente which was a figure I bought without knowing if I would get the card needed to play him in my fighters but knowing I really wanted to paint one up.

   I still have at least 3 buildings to finish for this game, and I really want to get it to the table more, so this isn't the end of the project, and I still need to get a bow equipment card, so I need to justify that postage . . .

Thanks for reading