Sunday, December 17, 2017

For want of a nail....

     So, I sat myself down and faced up to the jam I had placed myself in. Nail heads, zillions of 'em! Dozens of shutters and doors each needing dozens of nail heads to look believable, then there was the drawbridges.......

     Three hours later I was done. I think they turned out rather well after all.

in retrospect I probably should have painted the coat of arms on that shield
before I glued it to the drawbridge....

can't build with wood and not use nails! next is chains and portcullises

there are an awful lot of windows and doors on this thing !
I really should have made a mold and cast them in resin, such is hindsight

Friday, December 15, 2017

OK, So I'm a wimp...

     Facing the daunting task of installing bars in simply dozens of window frames I wimped out. The fact that I had run out of florist's wire and there was a snowstorm in progress gave me an excuse, but it was just an excuse and I know it.
     Instead of the barred windows I opted for installing shutters, it was only afterward that I realized that I would now have to put no less than four rivets on each and every one of of the hinge straps!

What price cowardice?

Of course the answer is Tedium, more Tedium.           Oh, the shame of it all!

in retrospect I should have made a mold for the window and door frames
at times I am an idiot

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Gaming Update

     With the chaos of overtime, my birthday and Christmas piled into the next ten or so days I really would like to get a chance to game. Is anybody available around 1900hrs on the 15th, 16th or 17th?
Call or respond in the Comments section, also be ready with an idea of what you would like to play.....I am far too swamped to be creative. Assuming I can get stuff done around here there will be times open next week as well.

Glimpse of the future


the red trim over white plaster is striking on the model, on the real thing
 in the blazing tropical sunshine it must have been absolutely stunning

    When dealing with a long-drawn-out project I often find myself losing interest (my MOUNTAIN of semi-completed projects is a testament to that fact). The Castillo is approaching that point. To stave off the urge to just put the entire project on a shelf and walk away I decided to take a tiny portion of it and finish it. This gives me a view into the future and restores my hope. I grabbed the "small section" gateway and a wall section and tidied them up for a coat of paint. After the base coat had been applied I added the trademark Spanish red on white Bourbon colors, I may have gone a bit over the top on the gateway but it got my fires lit again

having painted it in the "as new" colors I find it too stark, for the finished model 
I am going to paint it with a light caramel color and then drybrush white over it

Details, details, details......

    Despite the rumors of my demise I battle on (working 152 hours out of the last 288 has prevented any work on the blog in the last 12 days, but I carry on!).. The Castillo has gotten to the point where there are a host of tiny details. This is slow work and less than enlightening as far as techniques go so I have not bored you with the routine but necessary work.
        As I come to new ideas or techniques I do try to highlight them and below you will find as much. In my endless quest to reduce the blueboard pile at my house I try to find ways to use it instead of other products. To this point I needed some 3/32" round dowels to use for the cable-molding on the Castillo, but I needed that doweling to be flexible enough to wrap around my corner towers which are about 1 1/4" in diameter, clearly the standard Birch wood is not up to the task; enter blue board! But It is Square! you exclaim in disbelief. Only to begin with, I reply.  Follow the madness below.

let us start with an unsuspecting 1/4" square bit of blueboard

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Really Amazing Stuff

     If you have ever watched television you have doubtless encountered some lad bellowing at you about the wondrous product he is selling (BTW why is it that they are all Aussies? Or is that just a USA thing?). Despite these strident urgings I normally resist the exhortation to run out and purchase their products. Happily OldSarge put me onto a product that actually performs as advertised; UV light activated glue, I had assumed that this was just another version of the always-disappointing superglue family. I was never more wrong! The glue consists of equal parts happiness, wonder and magical chemistry. At last we have something that performs all the amazing tasks that the nice fellow from Melbourne was screaming about on the television last night at 3a.m.

seriously, this is good stuff

     I found it at my local hardware store, and with OldSarge's ringing endorsement haunting my memory, I picked up a package. I have been trying this on every project that superglue has failed me on and it has performed admirably. The plastic resin does not dry out or stick your fingers together, it is only activated once the UV flashlight is shone on it, then it hardens in seconds. No shrinking. No fumes. No white fog forming on adjacent surfaces.  You DO have to be smart enough not to shine the UV light into your eyes. One caution; the glue is only activated by the UV  light so can only be used in applications where you can apply the light source. I am still exploring the uses of this marvel of modern science and suggest that you give it a go as well.

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Entering the Modern Era

    Most people who know me personally are aware that I am a bit of a Luddite. I have  finally bowed to the advances of Modem Science and dispensed with mu "old-fashioned" land line for my telephone. Henceforth I will be using solely this new-fangled "cellular phone". If you don';t have my current number send me a email and request it. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Year's End Book Recall




     Yes, you know who you are. Now bring back my books, you have had them for months and I would like them back. Don't make me name names (or worse yet, come to your house in the middle of the night). I am missing several valuable and hard to find books. Don't ruin things for everybody by not returning the books that you have borrowed.

Friday, November 24, 2017

R.U.P.'s new Rule set

     A while back R.U.P. showed up at my house with another of his lavishly appointed 15mm wargames. This one was an encounter between the Israelis and the P.L.O.  Everything was up to R.U.P.'s usual standard; lovely miniatures painted to a superb standard, Attractive terrain with a density of detail to rival a railway modeller's effort and a detailed scenario. One big change was the rules, instead of the tried and true Rock the Casbah rules from Lard Island we were to be the test subject of a new acquisition; Spectre Operations from Spectre Miniatures (who, by the way, produce some truly stunning minis, take a look at the website)

somewhere in the peaceful Lebanese countryside two infantry patrols are one the move,
 one each from the IDF and the PLO, both seek valuable intel (probably trying to hunt down the gamer that disgraced such a pretty table by leaving all those dice in the picture)

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Katy, bar the window!

    Yes. it is a bad pun. If I was any good as a comedian I could hire people to build stuff for me, but things are such as they are. Having put hinges and handles on the doors it was now time to turn my attentions to window treatments, and I don't mean those gauzy shreds of fabric that interior designers like to hang around window frames. I mean the sort of thing that would keep an angry pirate safely outside your room; thick iron bars!

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Another Great Resource

this is the Royal Aircraft Factory's SE1 of 1911
(yes, the front of it is to the left)


    This isn't connected to anything in particular, but is simply representative of some of the really cool stuff out there on the web. Blue Print Box has hundreds of blueprints of aircraft, vehicles and weapons. All ready to download and completely free!

Good Reasons for Attending Conventions

      One of the great things that happen at conventions is that you run into old friends. This happened to me when I attended Pro or Con. I ran into two old buddies of mine that time and circumstance had caused me to lose track of; Dave MacDonald and Kevin Davidson. I was happy to find them both well and gaming with all the energy and enthusiasm they had decades ago (Has it really been that long? OMG!). I had the pleasure of their company through two games of Pikeman's Lament and in side discussions found that Kevin has his own blog; Zhodani Commando, take a look, it is a treat for the eyes to say the least.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Doors, Hinges and Handles

     Having finally finished the embrasures I decided to indulge my OCD just a bit and add doors in the doorways. Having done so I then found myself compelled to add hinges and handles. A simple process in its own but there are a couple of dozen doors, and it simply wouldn'r do to have some door with handles and others without.

finding myself without any thin balsa (my preferred answer) I decided to  
try slicing blueboard very thinly as a substitute, it seems to have worked

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Now All I Need is Sixty-Six Cannon

     Behold below the Castillo. Now fully embrasured she awaits only a drawbridge to be ready to defend herself against Pirates, Englishmen and the odd Huguenot. Doors, window shutters and other such niceties are still required, of course, but hardly mandatory when facing invaders. Wait, there is the small matter of armaments; I have but six cannon with which to defend this erstwhile mighty fortress, sixty-six embrasures remain empty! Much Sadness.
      Actually, my research shows the the Castillo was never fully armed when under the flag of Spain (and, most likely not while in English or American hands) so the demands do not run anywhere close to a full 72 cannon. I do intend this for other purposes and will need many more cannon before I'm finished so if anybody has a line on cheap cannon (or just cannon barrels) please drop a note in the comments.

with the corner towers in place it does look very much more elegant

Monday, November 13, 2017

Further Progress on the Tedium Front

     Having finally finished the dozens of doors and windows I moved on to the next hugely repetitive job; embrasures. There are dozens of these as well, and they need to be the same size and evenly spaced. So I made myself a little template and started the long process of carving notches in my lovely parapets.

about a third done so far; each bastion has ten embrasures

just to relieve the boredom I decided to fancy-up the main gate a bit

     Next up is the corner towers, then the drawbridge, then doors and window-grates, then a portcullis, then the Ravelin..............

Start 'Em Young!!!

    Rich Uncle Pat (R.U.P. to most folks in the know) reports great success in his efforts to inculcate the Wargaming Spirit in his first born. Dice are used to regulate casualties (although the "red spot means a hit" is sometimes replaced with a more Wellsian approach of flinging the die at the target) and the youngster displays great skill in both methods of casualty randomization.

terrain is kept to a minimum while teaching the rules

casualties tend to be ferocious

Friday, November 10, 2017

Sometimes Things Just Happen Part IV; The Aztec Temple

As if I didn't already have WAY too many distractions......I was at my local Brick&Mortar the other day when Matt (an employee of same) told me that he was working on a Conquistador vs Aztecs game using any of a number of rules sets. The discussion wandered around and it came up that it would be visually striking, as well as an instant stage-setter, to have an iconic step pyramid on the table. I said that it would be dead easy to knock together as they were all right angles and layered like a birthday cake, it is always easy to brag......

.......but this morning I got home from work and couldn't get to sleep. My busy mind needed to occupy itself with busy hands, so off to the workshop I went; and this happened. I will be delivering it to Matt for completion as I have too much work already but it was a happy half-hour and very therapeutic.

the stairs need a little refinement and the whole thing needs a lot of surface decoration, 
but it is a decent start, of course it is hollow inside to allow for "Indiana Jones" style exploring

Friday, November 3, 2017

Making Gun Carriages

     Having built a couple of boxes of the old Wargame Factory War of Spanish Succession cannon kits (currently available from Warlord Games) I found myself in possession of several spare gun barrels. As these were beautifully sculpted cannon barrels it seemed a pity to just throw them away, besides, I needed cannons to mount on the walls of gradually completing Castillo de San Marcos. The biggest stumbling block is that fortresses use cannons on garrison carriages (the classic "ships cannon" on the small heavy mount with little wheels) not the two wheels and a trail style carriages that the model provides. It was clear that I was in for a building project.
       Not fancying the idea of making dozens of tiny symmetrical wheels I cast around for an idea as to what I could use as a substitute. After some thought I hit upon the idea of using small flat beads to replace the wheels. A trip to Hobby Lobby provided both the beads and the bass wood strips to build the rest of the carriages.

the components, 3/32 square basswood strips,  a string of beads and the "donor kits"
wood glue and a fresh blade in the X-Acto knife

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Things I Bought at Pro or Con

     One of the great things about our local gaming conventions is that John Vincent of Quality Miniatures usually shows up with a vast array of reasons for me to spend money. This latest convention was no different, and I walked away quite happy to have added to my collection of 28mm Mediterranean/Caribbean buildings. These were hand-crafted by John himself and are carefully constructed with lift-off roofs and evocative details. Check out his website, if you don't see what you want contact John, he may be able to build exactly what you are looking for (he is talented like that!).

a small mosque or temple

Monday, October 30, 2017

Pro or Con 2017 convention report

     Another Pro or Con convention has come and gone. The games were beautiful, the company convivial and the bargains were available. My game was oversubscribed and I ended up with twice as many players as I had figured on; changes were made and everyone had a good time. Due to the press of action in my game I was not able to take a look at any of the other morning session games (apologies to the many gamemasters that had games with excellent terrain and beautifully presented miniature, I could only glance at your displays).
       After a short break for lunch I was able to photograph some of the afternoon session games. See below.

the first game I was too busy to take any photos, the second game had fewer players
 and they had a handle on the rules which allowed me the luxury of taking pictures
here we see the French on the right and the Dutch on the left

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

A Test of my Convention Game



the table and troops

     Joe dropped by and we took the opportunity to test out my game scenario that I was planning on using at the Convention on the 28th. The picture above shows the troops and the layout of the table that I am planning on using. I tried to give a good selection of troop types while remaining close to the sort of troops found in the early stages of the Nine Years War. 32 points per force provides plenty of troops for two players on each side. After due consideration of the terrain I conceived a Brilliant Plan, see below  

the Forlorn Hope (being totally B.A. troops) would smash their way into the farmstead and then be able to fire into flanks of the enemy troops while being safe from the powerful Gallopers
the skirmishers would make noise on the left 
while the Shot advanced to flank the farmstead and provide a base of fire

Friday, October 20, 2017

Custom Figures That YOU Design

      Have you ever wished for a truly custom figure to represent your hero in a Role-Playing game. Well, I certainly have. Enter Hero Forge an on-line custom figure design and creation company. They are a bit pricey if you are building an army but if you are looking for the miniature to represent your august personage on the gaming table they can create a truly customized figure and then 3-D print it for you. Check out the Dwarven Warrior that I designed for myself, the whole process took just a couple of minutes.


Sunday, October 8, 2017

Castillo Assembled

     To break the tedium of window and door frames I assembled the fortress on my folding banquet tables (the ones in the picture are eight foot long and have a combined width of five feet). It is HUGE ........ I can barely wait to take this to a convention.

     I plan on using Pikeman's Lament for convention play and have already started on a battered wall section and a damaged bastion to make the assault easier.


Saturday, October 7, 2017

Packaging and storage problems solved

     I throw most of the stuff that appears in my mailbox away as soon as I see it (the balance are bills that I would PREFER to throw away but can't). However, every once in a great while, an item of real interest appears. In the most recent case it was the very substantial Uline Corporation catalog. Although aimed at commercial shippers there are a cornucopia of goodies in here (and on their website) that are of interest to wargamers seeking an answer on how to safely store our tiny armies. They produce boxes in sizes ranging from the ridiculously small to the frightfully large as well as shipping tubes (perfect for maps) and every imaginable packing material. Whether you need twenty boxes or a thousand you will most certainly find what you need here, take a look.

     Of particular interest is this page that lists "literature mailers" which are nice flat sturdy boxes with tab-closed lids, they come in different heights and sizes and will accommodate everything from 2mm to 54mm figures. I have dozens securely storing my 15mm WW2 collection.

Friday, October 6, 2017

A higher order of tedium......

....one thing that I had not noticed about the Castillo de San Marcos is the simply HUGE number of doors and windows that face into the courtyard. I tried drawing them but it just looked silly. Thus I have to install a LOT of door and window frames. After two days of steady work I'm about half finished.

lots and lots of doorways and windows.....

.....and lots more to go

      The next step is adding the fifty-plus embrasures to the parapet. Does anybody know where I can get a bulk discount on about sixty 18lbr cannon on naval mounts?

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Another Great Resource



     Anyone who knows me at any level of familiarity will have noticed my interest (fetish? obsession? mental disorder?) in permanent fortifications. particularly those in the New World. My children endured "fort day" on every vacation that we took as a family. A further reading of this blog shows the extent that I will go to in an effort to satisfy this ongoing enthusiam. So you can imagine my delight when I discovered this website Starforts.com . Written in a delightfully irreverent style and cross-linked in every direction this is one man's effort to document every starfort in the Universe. I'd say he is off to a pretty good start. Grab a glass of your favorite libation and enjoy!

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Antietam Refought, Part IV the Finale

     Last we visited the fray the Confederates were holding in the north by the skin of their teeth while in the east Sumner's relentless pressure had drawn all of the Rebel reserves to his assault. Mansfield was finally working out how to get past one hugely stubborn Confederate brigade. With all the reserves on both sides in play there was little suspense left, just a lot of hard fighting.

at the top of the picture you can see the last of the Rebel reserves turning to the east to confront Sumner's troops, the center is held by a few artillery batteries and two perilously weak Confederate brigades, oh, and a d10 (which, from it's blue uniform, would tend to favor the Union)

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Antietam, Part III, The Confederate Riposte

     With all the Union cards on the table, and the balance (however slowly) shift in the favor of the Bluebellies, the Confederate Commander (Joe) had hard decisions to make; Hill stood little chance of stopping Sumner's slow-moving (but overwhelming) advance, while Hooker was finishing off J.R. Jones in the center. The one shining spot was Hood's indomitable defense of the snake-rail fence that stood in the path of Mansfield. With precious few brigades in reserve where would he send them to stymie the Union attack and gain a chance to win the day?

the Texans attack along the road had slowed Hooker's advance 
but the one brigade of bold Southern boys was swamped by the mass of Northerners
 and Hooker's troops began to flow past them to the west

Antietam Refought Part II; Opening Moves

    Having shown you the terrain, and the Union's Cunning Plan, we will now begin to unfold how the game progressed. As always the Plan did not survive contact with the enemy.........but it at least provided a framework for action. The Fire & Fury Brigade level rules functioned very well, providing a fast playing game with its share of frustrating Command breakdowns and offering realistic results.

     I played Mansfield, the narration is told from the Union viewpoint (mostly mine). J&R or R.U.P. please add the opposing narrative if you wish.

and the Cunning Plan runs into problems right away, 
Mansfield's Corps is slowed by atrocious Command rolls right off the bat 
moving at half speed instead of a stunning sudden assault

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Antietam Fought Part I, The Cunning Plan

     Before to see how we fought it out you might like a quick reminder how the actual battle proceeded. The Civil War Trust has produced a lot of great material. Watch this highly informative video on the historic battle  it is chock full of information and is very well done.

     Our refight was slightly different. We ignored the whole Burnside Bridge fight as a wash and played the game with the idea that, on that front at least, things would follow the pattern of historical events. You will see that the rest of the battle turned out rather differently.

     As for the rest of the battle you will see from the photos below that the troops were laid out largely according to historical deployment. We did allow for a bit more coordination between the Union Commanders that was followed that fateful day one hundred fifty-five years before.

     Thus we have the field of battle reduced to manageable proportions; the area contained within the green line is the area represented by our tabletop;


Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Antietam it is

    Tom from Texas would like to host Antietam this Sunday at noon.


So all you ACW fans get your kepis on and let's see if we can do better than the original cast .
Reply in comments or call/text/email

Below you will find photos of the table ready for the action;


A Great Deal Done on the Star Fort

     Having the luxury of two consecutive days off of work I allowed myself the pleasure of wasting most of one of them in the workshop. The Castillo has been occupying the game table like some invading Leviathan, virtually demanding attention. I finished the molding line that runs along the parapet on all of the walls and bastions, completed the stairway, made the hard decision to only card-clad the vulnerable corners and edges (the sheer volume of surface argued against cladding the entire thing as I had done with the first bastion) and started on applying a coating of wallboard compound to simulate the stucco that covered the original fort. All in all a good bit of work.

the stairway had been started earlier, a simple enough thing, built up layer-cake style,
 it took up a surprising amount of time to complete

Friday, September 8, 2017

Not Dead Yet!!!!

    Despite my job's best efforts at working me to death I managed to get a day off. I took a little while to unwind  and worked on the Castillo project for a few hours. I had to make the walls deeper (another math error had left them too thin by almost 33%). Then I got to work filling gaps and added details. After this I am back to the card cladding of the surfaces then mounting the whole thing on sections of thin plywood.

the extent of my error is visible here,
 the blue at the back of each section is the depth that needed to be added

Monday, August 28, 2017

Just a Quick Note

     In one final outburst of gaming before my job ruined my vacation I played on Sunday. Only Joe could make it so we set to with my new favorite rule set Pikeman's Lament. Three back-to-back games in just over four hours tested Joe's new "Combat Only" force of Pikemen, Clansmen and Aggressive Gallopers fronted only by two units of Commanded Shot against my standard firepower-heavy force. Joe won the first two games, the first by a narrow margin , the second by a landslide and we fought the third "Morning Assault" to a draw. We were having too much fun to stop to record things but I did snap a shot of the draw at the end of the third game

      The Morning Assault envisions a dawn attack against an enemy held defensive line with a sneak attack on its flank. Victory conditions are only achieved through the complete destruction of the enemy force or, when there are five of fewer units still on the table. We battered each other until only four Commanded Shot were left; two of Joe's and two of mine. As usual, my Leader fell in combat as did Joe's. Both survived their wounds and will be back next game.

the figures were left largely where they fell showing the intensity of the fighting,
 only thirteen figures on my force fled and ten in Joe's; the rest fell in combat on the field

Friday, August 25, 2017

To The Rescue, a Pikeman's Lament AAR

     Having lost my Leader, captured by oldSarge's Duelist in the last battle, I was resolved to try to rescue him from captivity. I laid out the terrain with a small farm in the center and offered oldSarge his choice of sides. From there we played out rescue mission in the rule book; half of oldSarge's troops were in the and around the buildings guarding the prisoner while the rest of his force was away foraging. With great caution and stealth my troops had crept close during the night. As dawn broke my troops charged forward with a loud "huzzah!"........or something to that effect.

the situation at the beginning of the battle
the French troops are arriving on the near edge, the Dutch reinforcements will appear on the far (top) edge with the two building in the center already occupied by some Dutch foot

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

How the Heck did I miss this?

Warning Order is a free online wargaming magazine. Loaded with reviews, scenarios, and thoughtful articles it also has the color photos that would make it a match for one of the British glossies if it were published in a hardcopy format.

Take a look and be prepared to spend some time, there are now 46 issues published. 

Enjoy!

Thursday, August 10, 2017

I hate when this happens....

.....somebody beat me to it!



       My grand plan for building a Pirates game wherein the ships sail around in an imaginary sea and the game tables are islands has already been done. And in grand style I might add. R.U.P. found this gem that I somehow missed ages ago when it showed up on Jay's Wargaming Madness blog (which is an interesting way to spend some of your free time, I might add). Check his post here for more pictures.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Nine Years War, a minor action Pikeman's Lament AAR

     The French confronted the Dutch in some anonymous corner of the Netherlands on the fringes of the main armies. Pikeman's Lament (once again) handled the action admirably; I wish I could claim my generalship was as effective. 30 points on a side; the Dutch had two units of Shot, two of Trotters, two units of Forlorn Hope and a single unit of Commanded Shot. Opposing the the French possessed three units of Shot, two units of Gallopers, two units of Commanded Shot and a lone Forlorn Hope.


the battle begins, I had advanced the two units on my left then failed a Command roll,
 this turned out to be a theme for both myself and oldSarge in this game

Thursday, August 3, 2017

A Little More Housekeeping

I just finished reorganizing all of the Perry Brothers, Victrix, Wargames Factory, Warlord Games, and Fireforge 28mm plastic minis and Zvezda and Plastic Soldier Company  kit reviews so that they link back to the original review instead of being one long run-on page. Hopefully this will help anybody looking for a particular kit.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Black Powder in the Mountains, Spain 1810

     We had decided to take a break from Pikeman's Lament and dust off some old figures and rules for a game of Black Powder set in Spain set in 1810.

enthusiastic, but frightfully unprepared, the militia assemble in the pass

       Moore had fled long ago, Wellington is lurking near Portugal and the Spanish find themselves trying to eject the French from Spain on their own. There are still significant portions of the old Royal Army operating in Spain as well as some of the newly-raised militia troops. The Spanish have decided to fortify and hold one of the narrow passes between the French armies in an effort to keep the enemy scattered. They have asked some locally raised militia to hold the pass while divisions of regular troops move into the area. With this pass seized, and a respectable sized force of Royal troops assembled, the Spanish will force the French to spend the winter short of supplies, fragmented with poor communications and surrounded by a hostile countryside.
       The French, to no one's surprise, have taken exception to this plan and have moved vigorously to thwart it. The stage is set for battle.

Monday, July 24, 2017

Gaming update



           oldSarge dropped by on Sunday and we got his year closed out in the Neulandia Campaign; two hard-fought battles in which he caught the Bandits in the open and then chased them into their mountain hideaway.  The next opportunity I have for gaming is Thursday evening at 7pm.

       Ideas on games, period, or which rules are open at this moment.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Somewhere in Africa......B'Maso After Action report

     Once again Rich Uncle Pat has graced us with one of his cleverly contrived and beautifully presented games. This outing involved a stolen aid convoy, foreign mercenaries, rebels and an invasion by an aggressive neighbor. So, in other words, an unusually quiet afternoon in these parts. But far and away the most striking thing about the game is that it took place in a shanty-town that covered the entire 6x4 foot table. These little gems had been acquired from tinned-pears via Ebay.UK who produces them in 15mm/20mm/28mm and is also open to commissioned projects. He can also be found on Facebook at Tinned Fruit Buildings. I was completely blown away with the look and the fact that each and every one was a hand-crafted original. Simply Awesome!

R.U.P. has more buildings but we needed to have room for a few minis!

A view from the other end, just as stunning

the mean streets down by the docks

hardly a bustling waterfront, but then, civil war is usually bad for commerce

Friday, July 7, 2017

A Return to the Rampant Lion

     Inspired by the fun we were having with Pikeman's Lament Joe and I decided to dig out Lion Rampant and my old 15mm Middle Ages troops and play a game. I have to admit that my first experiences with Lion Rampant left a bad taste in my mouth. As I have played more of Mersey's games I understand his design ideas a bit better and have come to terms with my old apprehensions.

     True to form, instead of playing a game of twenty-four points a side we thought that we would give a sixty point battle a try. We did make two changes; we broke each force into three Battles, these groups diced as separate entities so that one bad die-roll didn't freeze the action all the way across the table, secondly we decided that each base represented two figures (ignoring the number of figures mounted on the base) this changed the look of the game a great deal.

     I chose a force heavy on firepower, crossbows with pavises, a couple of blocks of Foot Sergeants and some Fierce Foot supported by two units of dismounted Knights, my only mounted troops were one unit of Knights and one of Mounted Sergeants. Joe opposed me with three units of Elite Archers, one unit of Foot Sergeants, Two units of Mounted Knights and five of Mounted Sergeants.

the right flank of Joe's army, a threatening mass of cavalry, four units of Mounted Sergeants


in the distance the rest of Joe's force; four units of Elite Archers flanked by a unit of Foot Sergeants, on his far left two units of Mounted Knights and another unit of Sergeants 

nearer is my army with (left to right) Mounted Sergeants backed by Mounted Knights then alternating units of crossbow and Foot sergeants backed by Foot Knights on my far right  a unit of foot sergeants and two units of Fierce Foot

Still Further Lamentations

     Once again I had an opportunity to play a quick game and my sole opponent was Joe, we quickly resolved on playing a round of Pikeman's Lament. I had a scenario in mind for a Napoleonic game but the it translated well to the 1690's so I laid it out on the table.

     The situation is that a convoy of siege guns needs to be delivered to the besieging army, it is being escorted by a group of infantry with a nominal cavalry escort. Word of the convoy has been passed to the opposing side. They don't have the forces to lift the siege but there is a handy force of elite cavalry and brave infantry. With steely nerve and a dash of luck they just might be able to intercept the convoy and destroy the guns and disperse the crews.


the place of battle, the convoy will arrive from the far end, 
dicing to decide which road they are on