Thursday, July 12, 2018

Sturdy, Cheap and Fast D.I.Y. hedges (UPDATED)

    A long while back I grew tired of loose lichen as hedges; it was either too big, too small, too disorganized or too easily moved. A chance trip to a local dollar store found me looking a a cheap door mat in natural autumn colors (it being the height of summer this item was in the "for sale cheap" section), it struck me that the stiff natural fibers of the mat would make a decent stand-in for the branches of a hedge and the durable rubberized fabric base would hold things together nicely. I thought to myself "Heck, if it doesn't work out I can just use it as a doormat in a few months" I went big and spent the $3.00US on it. I took it home and it lay in the "Projects-Someday" pile until Trunkmonkey dropped by with his 15mm Lace Wars figures. The scenario requires hedged fields, and the lichen towered over the figures in a most unsatisfactory manner. I quickly grabbed a box-cutter and sliced off a few strips of the door mat and deployed them onto the table. They looked much better, aside from the slightly garish colors. see below;

I guess they would be fine for those three weeks in the Fall when the hedges are changing..... 

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Pike and Shotte tries the Dutch War of Devolution

the field of battle, the French are at the near edge 
and the Dutch and their allies are on the far side of the table

     A few days ago Trunkmonkey was kind enough to bring over his collection of Editions Brokaw 15mm Lace Wars figures and host a game of Pike and Shotte focusing on the Dutch War of Devolution. The Editions Brokaw miniatures are from a bygone age ( I can't find anywhere on Google that shows them in production anymore) simple, perhaps simplistic and a true 15mm figure. Trunkmonkey's careful painting made them look quite impressive on the table, as the picture above shows. We had a few snags in playing as it has been a VERY long time since we played a game using any of the rules from the Black Powder/ Hail Caesar family. Once we had ironed out the correct application of modifiers play moved along.

Friday, July 6, 2018

A Small Summer Refreshment

So, I found myself facing a day I knew I would be running around a lot but still wanted to get something "accomplished".  That was when my eye caught the fifth item I had ordered from TTCombat above and beyond the Building I recently posted about. 

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Allow me to introduce Senator Quintus Verilis Varrus ...

Senatorial Roman, Son of a noble father. Father of a hearty family.  Newly elected Magistrate of the Aventine district of Rome itself.  And someday soon an actual member of the Roman Senate. 

Monday, July 2, 2018

15mm Hard Plastic Romans

     Can it be? Somebody has begun a Kickstarter to produce 15mm hard plastic Romans. Plastic Soldier Company has shown the way with multi-scale kits. Finally somebody has looked over the 28mm wall and realized that there are a lot of gamers that prefer 15mm. Take a look at these beauties.

Sunday, July 1, 2018

Size comparison QRF M-60 with Plastic Soldier Company M-60

     I imposed on R.U.P. to bring over some of his models so that I could get some side by side photos. He had some QRF kits of the M-60 in his collection and was kind enough to oblige me. R.U.P. had found the QRF models to be less than satisfactory but they were the only ones available when he was assembling his forces for Rock the Casbah.

R.U.P. added reactive armor, and extra guns, to his QRF kits
 to produce models of the Israeli Magach version

Side-By-Side the Plastic Soldier Company M-60 and T-55

     I had a moment so I did a side-by-side shot of these two offerings from PSC. I have seen the M-60 in the flesh but never been within eyesight of a T-55. I was struck at how very small the T-55 is in comparison. The grid in the background is 1/4".

Saturday, June 30, 2018

None Shall Pass; a Lion Rampant game

     While trying to recover from playing a full-on game of WRG Ancients Fifth Edition I needed a simpler way to think. My eye cast itself across the myriad of books and rules that line the walls of my library and fell upon a  copy of Osprey's Lion Rampant; I thought to myself, "There is a simple set of rules" and began to design the following scenario.

       Arthur (Artorius, or some other Briton with a highly unlikely Roman-sounding name)  has gotten wind of a Saxon plan to march up the Old Roman Road (no, not one of those arrow-straight roads that criss-cross Britain, a road that an Old Roman once lived beside, you can see his hut in the pictures) and commit a bit of invading. Arthur objected to this as he was planning on levying taxes on those same people later this year and a change of title might complicate the book-keeping. Thus he called forth his troops and set himself to stop this affront to his dignity (and Exchequer).

Arthur and the boys declare "None Shall Pass!"

Thursday, June 28, 2018

An Indulgence

the source of all the trouble

     A while back oldSarge mentioned his first wargame, this set me to thinking about mine. After a bit of reminiscing I decided that I would like to attempt to re-create that first game. I know that you can never "go back" but that isn't to say that you can't have a second sip of a fine vintage. I rummaged around in the rules vault and discovered that I still had a copy of the WRG rules and Army Lists. Delighted by the discovery I set about my task. This was made difficult by the fact that the original Gauls and Romans belonged to the fine fellow putting on the game (kudos to you, Bob Webb!) and I have started to build both Romans and Gauls several times but never completed the task. Well, the first sign of a good soldier is that difficulty is met with resourcefulness. No Romans, Later Macedonians will do instead. No Gauls, Franks will have to fill the bill. It still was a small, well-trained force faced with hordes of valiant, if undrilled, warriors.

Great Deal from Helion Books

     Helion Books is offering their "Russian Army In The Great Northern War" book at 1/3 off through The League of Augsburg blog this is a great deal on a truly superb book. If you are at all interested in this subject you really should have this book. Don't miss this deal.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

My how the time flies!

     Just over four decades ago I played in my first "real" wargame. I was hooked from the first turn. My first armies were Airfix plastics, long since given away. My first army of metal figures was Byzantines, there was only Hinchliffe available to me at the time and I avidly saved my money and bought a pack every time I had accumulated sufficient cash. They were painted with my Testors model paints and glued to whatever I could find that was roughly the right size for a base. As time passed better figures became available, first the "second generation" Hinchliffes, then Citadel brought a lovely range and just recently I returned to my love of Late Romans because of Gripping Beasts new products.

     Unlike other armies that have come and gone I still have every single Byzantine figure I ever bought. From time to time they still are deployed on the table and they fight as well as ever despite their clearly advancing age. I know I rave a bit about the quality of this or that figure but I think you should understand what we were looking at in the misty dawn of time when I was a new gamer; so I dug out some examples of how things have changed. Behold the sort of progress that upwards of forty years can make!

the family photo, time passes from left to right

Size comparison, Old Glory T-55 vs PSC T-55 vs Peter Pig T-55

    Having put a spot of paint on my new T-55 I decided to see how it compares to the venerable Old Glory version that I have in my AK-47 collection. Once again the grid lines are 1/4". Given its age the Old Glory model holds up rather well.