Monday, 8 May 2017

Another MDF Cart

I can't resist a cheap MDF wagon/cart kit - here's the latest, bought last year from 4Ground. There were a couple of options for the final look, including not adding the high sides. I just wanted something generic so left them on.




It even came with full illustrated instructions, which help a bit. A quick three-shade drybrush and it was sorted. It'll get use in a variety of periods, even just as scenery.

Saturday, 6 May 2017

Pack Mules

I have finally painted half a dozen pack mules (and ponies) that I thought I'd bought a couple of years ago. Turns out it was 2011..


Three are from a Warlord Games ECW pack and the other three have been converted from TAG Cossack ponies which I declared too small to look right for wargaming (although I appreciate they may be technically accurate!) To keep things simple I just stuck some spare blanket rolls on them which came from the Perry plastic AWI British infantry box.

It always feels good getting bits and pieces like this done, so next time I need a supply convoy for a game, I'll be able to dig these out :)

Thursday, 4 May 2017

Ayton 2017

Well, that was another brilliant weekend with the LAW guys up near Scarborough. Lots of beer, banter, hobby chat and gaming - the best type of weekend :)

Some Game 1 pics:



We had 2 days of multi-player Lion Rampant games, all excellently planned and umpired by Gary who had done a lot of prep to ensure everything went smoothly. Big thanks to him for that.




There were over a dozen factions, with players bringing everything from Normans to Mongols, Arabs and Burgundians. Under a straight-forward and fun system like Lion Rampant things like this work, so you can just concentrate on enjoying yourself. There were 3 rounds of games, building in size from 3-4 player on Saturday morning to a big all-player bash on Sunday, with a castle thrown in as a centre piece.




Gary had designed a clever background whereby an island near the Holy Land was targeted by invaders and raiders of all descriptions, each with their own agenda for mayhem. Allies and enemies shifted a bit here and there and overall there was an on-going Glory Points tally to track everyone's campaign success - or failure.

Some Game 2 pics:






I did pretty poorly in the points scoring, but was a few places off the bottom I think. Anyway, Andy managed minus 4 points after 2 games, and no-one could compete with that level of incompetence. I tried though - managing to get my General killed in a duel I instigated, which wasn't an ideal result to say the least! Still, even without his presence the Medetians and their Saracen allies were the first to assault the castle walls on Sunday. Naturally, despite beating the defenders from the parapets, they also failed their courage test and were dumped back to the bottom again..twice :(

Some Game 3 pics:








My fatal duel:






With large numbers of players and some slightly oversized retinues, we decided to ease the unit activation failure pain a bit on day 2 by allowing all players a single re-roll for their first failed activation if their General was within 12". As this is an existing rule (it's one of the commander traits) it didn't introduce anything new or unbalance the game, it just made things flow a bit more evenly and allowed the attackers to move across the table with some consistency to ensure people made it into action.

We also fudged the rule for keeping 3" gaps between friendly units, just to make things a little easier for a big game with lots of troops.

Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and we also had the visual delight of another of Tim and Tim's 54mm extravaganzas - a fictitious modern game set in Africa with lots of excellent scenery and stunning paint jobs on the figures:





As always, big thanks to Mark for organising the venue and supplies, and making dinner arrangements. Looking forward to 2018's event already - a return to the 18th century with Henry's campaign taking us to the sub-continent!


Thursday, 27 April 2017

Lion Rampant Retinue Ready for Ayton

All finished in good time for once. The last figures were painted on Monday and based on Wednesday, which is 2 days earlier than normal!

Here they are then, the retinue of Count Tankard of Medetia, a Norman adventurer and the founder of my imagi-nation.



Knights:


Mounted Serjeants:


Foot Serjeants:


Fierce Foot (or Yeomen, depending):


Archers:


Bidowers:


They're ready for action and, let's face it, they're probably all going to fail, flee or fall. But it'll be fun!!

Monday, 24 April 2017

Some Arab Artillery Crew

With the Gripping Beast Arab infantry painted for the Ayton weekend I decided to use a few of the remaining figures for something else.

Plastic figures are fairly easy to convert (the drilling is easier for a start!) so I have produced 4 artillery crew for my planned foray into 19th century imagi-nations colonial gaming. I've equipped them with items from Minden/Crann Tara artillery packs, plus a powder keg and some cannon balls.


They'll be painted to match the rest, nice and simple in black with white turbans.

The final 6 figures have been assembled as more bow/spear guys, which I'll paint at the same time.

Thursday, 20 April 2017

Saracens Done

The gaming and drinking extravaganza that is Ayton 2017 is fast approaching, and I'm actually on track to have everything finished in time without a last minute panic. There's a first for everything it seems!

My Lion Rampant retinue represents an Italo-Norman and Saracen alliance, for a bit of variety.

The Saracens make up the the bulk of my force, in terms of quantity if not quality. I've used a box of Gripping Beast Arab infantry to produce 3 units; 12 spearmen (to be yeomen or fierce foot), 12 archers, and 6 bidowers. To help speed things up I've kept the pallet very small, with black robes all-round and no fancy shield designs. I think this looks OK and it's simple enough to not put me off adding more in the future.


I am most of the way through the Normans, which should be finished off this weekend.

I'll be digging out a few buildings and bits of scenery to contribute to the collective efforts of the group, and am really looking forward to catching up with the guys and rolling a few dice in just over a week's time.

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Bit of a Catch Up

Although there's been no blog activity for a while, there have at least been some hobby goings on.
Not much was actually getting finished so I wasn't taking many pics, but there has been some gaming, and progress on a number of projects

The best of the gaming was a weekend in Newcastle with Andy hosting an excellent ACW game using his newly re-based collection and Fire & Fury rules. He'd devised a scenario and set up the terrain too. The game took place in meeting room upstairs at a commercial stables, which added to ambience!

It was an encounter battle which 5 of us played to an entertaining draw. Plenty of flank attacks, charges and counter-charges as the advantage swung back and forth. Plenty of beer was had on the 2 evenings as well, which with the excellent company made it a very good time all-round.







I've spent some more time evolving my 15mm fantasy dungeon game, which is pretty much sorted and has seen some solo and 2-player games recently. Now I'm just having fun adding the odd monster, character or dungeon feature, plus some background fluff and additional rules that come to mind.





This year's Ayton weekend (coming up very soon) calls for Lion Rampant forces from anywhere between 1100-1500, so I'm taking a very early Medetian force from their Normans-in-Italy era. It will be supplemented by Saracen auxiliaries, together making a standard 24 point retinue.

I've painted 6 knights (Conquest plastics) and 30 Gripping Beast Arab foot, leaving 2 units left to finish before the end of the month. I'll try to get the whole force together for a pic soon.



I've tried yet another method for making islands for my scratchbuilt naval games, this time it was 6mm blue foam (painted green and gridded to match the sea boards) on thin card (painted sandy for beaches). With the odd building, tree or airfield they should look OK.

Two prototypes:


Maybe they'll be the start of an overhaul of my islands in general, or I'll just add them to the pile!

I just need to get back into the routine of updating the blog now, so more soon hopefully!

Saturday, 4 February 2017

Frosty Ruins

Another couple of bits of MDF scenery completed. These kits are from TT Combat, good value and easy to assemble. I decided to base them on 5mm styrofoam so that I could easily etch some paving slabs into them, and carve a slope to the edges.


I left the bases reasonably plain instead of covering them in lots of rubble, etc, as they're just intended as gaming scenery for figures to be placed on, not an exercise in modelling!


Although I may not ever go the whole hog and collect enough winter-look ruins for Frostgrave, I fancied doing these in that style. I'm going to be expanding my winter terrain this year and am intending to build up some more generic scenery. The nice thing about these arches is that they're not so big that they won't work for 15mm as well as 28mm.





Sunday, 22 January 2017

Sharp Practice 2 - The Raid - Part 2

In December my friend and I played the first of a 2-part scenario - see the write-up here

A week or so ago we played the remaining part, which saw the Medetian rearguard holding the bridge that the village raiding force would need to use in order to return to the ship. The bridge defence force had been determined by Jase at the start of the first game and contained a bit of a mix of army and naval types.


Jase deployed with a perimeter of 2 groups of line infantry on one side of the river, and a group of Bersaglieri plus the gun (in a central position, on a rise giving a good view in most directions) on the other. He kept a reserve of 2 groups of sailors - at the pub, naturally. He had supporting assets in the form of a Holy Man and a handy additional Level 1 leader.


As dawn broke my Fleurian patrols converged on the bridge. I would be rolling for their arrival points, and had decided to split my force into a cavalry command (2 groups) and an infantry one (1 group of Grenadiers, 2 of Line infantry and 1 of skirmishers). As it happened these 2 commands came on from opposite sides of the table, but due to some freakish card drawing (early Tiffin cards after 3 re-shuffles) no-one actually appeared until the 4th turn. I should have ruled that the sailors would by now be too pissed to fight, but it didn't occur to me at the time!



My cavalry came on at a canter and presented the defenders with quite a shock. I should probably have held back and kept the horsemen as a threat but, being a typical wargamer, I decided to seize the moment and move to charge the infantry guarding the bridge. Unfortunately one group was seen off completely by a volley from their intended target, aided by accurate rifle fire from the Bersaglieri hidden in the trees on the other side of the river. Scratch one flank then (although I did get the other group to charge late in the game, to their doom!)



On the other side of the table, my pretty 2-group formation was hammered on its approach by canister from the gun, despite my other groups trying to pin down the artillerymen with musketry. By the time I got the line close enough to do some damage it was being hit from all angles, as the nearest sailors joined in the fun from the pub garden. I did see off the gun crew in the end, but losses and shock meant the game was up for the Fleurians and they skulked away, leaving the Medetian raiders free to return via the bridge and make a successful withdrawal back to their ship - and home for tea and medals. Well done Jase, 2 out of 2!




This was another good fun game of Sharp Practice, and we are becoming more confident we're playing the rules properly (at least most of the time). Hopefully we'll return to the fray in a few weeks.