Monday 15 February 2021

The 15mm Bug

    As I've said before, my available hobby time is a bit more sporadic at the moment and I've ended up with periods of time where Edward is fussing and I'm left with time to think instead of getting on with painting. One of the outcomes of this and the ACW project from my last few posts is that I am really intrigued by 15mm.

   When Games Workshop released 9th edition 40k one of their posts on the community page (which was repeated on their podcast) was that they have noticed that most players don't have access to a 6 by 4 foot table. I want to say they claimed 60% of players had access to one, but only 30 odd % owned one*, so the majority of games were actually being played on smaller boards. 

*My stats are probably wrong as I'm going off memory

but I think they prove where I'm going with this.

   This got me thinking about my gaming. I've not been to Wayland Games for very nearly a year now as they haven't yet reopened their gaming centre after the first lockdown, so the only 6 by 4 board I have access to is at my mate Neil's house. Then with Ed being around, it makes more sense to do as much gaming at home as I can, even when Waylands is open again, so that I don't just leave my wife with the kid every time I want a game. So, does 15mm make more sense?

   I bought into the first Forged In Battle 15mm kickstarter as it was being talked about a lot on the Meeples and Miniatures podcast about the same time they were waxing lyrical about Sword & Spear - it was also the reason I failed my paint more than I buy target for 2015 with a late purchase of a couple of hundred figures** - but every time I get a pack out to have a look, I decide it's probably beyond me and put them away. With all my thinking, I thought this was the perfect time to try to paint a unit and see how it goes, then one thing led to another and I had two finished units before I knew it.

**Literally the last thing I bought in 2015 was 216 15mm figures. . .

   So, here is the first units of Middle Imperial Romans from Forged In Battle Miniatures, based on an 80 by 40mm bases.

One of the things I'm really enjoying about element bases of 15mm troops is not having straight lines of troops, my second base shows it a bit better than this base does.

As ever, my photography of 15mm is terrible, but they will look much better as army shots later on.

Thanks for reading

Wednesday 10 February 2021

Working on the periphery

    It's about this point where I've really started to worry that my hobby plan for 2021 has already gone out of the window. I had planned to spend the first few months of hobby getting my War of the Roses projects moving well ahead of the May deadline, however, it seems that my head is stuck in a 15mm (ish) space. More on that in another post.

   This post is about the extra bits that I decided I needed to add to make the two sprues of 'Epic' scale figures from Warlord Games into a full game that could be played when games are allowed to resume. I felt it was obvious that I needed limbers for the cannons that came on the sprue, a unit or two of cavalry for each side and I wanted some scenery.

   Going in the order listed above, here are the limbers. I went with Kallistra for all my extra figures as other reviews seemed to suggest that they scaled well and I have to say, I am convinced they are the same scale - if you ignore the single horseman who comes on the sprue and is a bit bigger than the Kallistra horsemen. I mounted the limbers on bases that matched the cannon's base from the warlord sprue and I put the cannons that came with the limbers on their own bases, so they can be replaced with a set up cannon.

Kallistra Confederate Limber with Warlord plastic cannon

View from behind the Union Limber

   Next up are some cavalry. One of my main problems with historical gaming is the issue of basing. Normally I solve this by mounted 28mm figures on separate bases and having a variety of movement trays to fit either different rulesets or different opponents, however, with 12mm figures this is a tad harder. I toyed with making a unit two smaller bases of 4 horse as it looked really good, but in the end, I went with 6 horse on a base the same size that the warlord infantry are mounted on. The more I thought about it, the more having a more standard base size for my games made sense. 

Union Cavalry

Confederate Cavalry

   Last up I have some scenery.  Looking online the best option, for what I was after, seemed to be Hovels, so I ordered the farmstead set and some tents.

   The tents I just based up as simply as I could as it is supposed to look like the edge of an encampment. The farmstead, however, I spent a bit more time building. Each gap between buildings is big enough for a stand of figures and the end result is that you can have 4 units defending the farm with the command unit in the centre. The haystacks came with the farmstead and aren't glued down, while the wagon was a test order from Irregular Miniatures which seems a bit large but without the oxen and crew I don't have a problem with it.

   As ever, my painting at 15mm doesn't survive the close shots from my camera, but I am really pleased with how this stuff looks on the table. I've got enough for a decent 2 player game as I had planned for my small table, but now I think the theory is sound, I still have more coming in the post to try and make it a bigger battle game for when we can meet up with the club again.

Thanks for reading

Thursday 4 February 2021

Doing the other side

    I wasn't planning on getting another post out quite so quickly, but a day where my mum was able to help babysit our son gave me a chunk of free time to relax that I put into painting. I used the time to carry on with my plan of getting two 15mm armies ready for a game the moment there is some relaxation of the mixing rules and we can start gaming at home.

   I'd already made sure that my confederates were tidied up and sprayed, ready to go. As they would be a bit less uniform than my Union, I knew they would take a bit longer, but (other than the straps) they were still good fun to paint. I gave them all a grey uniform based on the uniform palette I used on the 28mm version and, again, like the Union troops I gave them the same banners that their 28mm counterparts have.

   Now I have two sides sorted and the project is done, it makes sense to own up to the full truth. I've been placing a few little orders elsewhere to fill this project out a bit. I've got some cavalry and limbers coming for both sides from Kalistra as they seem to be the best size match out there - more on that when they arrive - and I picked up some scenery from Hovels just to stop it being a green board with some trees. If this works out as I hope it will, I should have a good looking game I can play at home, and if I can convince a few other guys to paint their sprues, we'll have a decent sized game to play at the club.

   There is also a voice in my head telling me to pick up at least another couple of sprues to bulk both sides out, but I think its best we ignore him at the moment.

Thanks for reading