Saturday, November 3, 2018

Upcoming Events; World at War 3NOV18

      Located inside the historic Fort Meigs in Perrysburg Ohio and running from 9am-430pm this annual event takes place inside the Visitor's Center at the Fort. Hosted by the Fort Meigs staff and HMGS Great Lakes  this event features historical and fiction games, admission is $5.00. Sign-up for games is on an in-person basis, but if you can't get into a game the Visitor Center and Fort are well worth the trip as well. It is, I believe, the largest palisaded log fort in the Western Hemisphere, possibly the world.The Fort is easy to get to, just off I-75 a short distance south of Toledo.

     Be There!

Friday, October 26, 2018

Upcoming Events Pro or Con 2018

     Once again the boys from Pro or Con wargaming group are putting on their Fall convention; Pro or Con 2018. So set aside the 27th of October to attend, or better yet go to the website and sign up to run a game. There will be three gaming sessions spanning 8am through 11pm. so there is plenty of available slots. There is also the free flea market so bring your goodies and sell/swap/buy.
      I look forward to seeing old friends and making new ones.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

A Return to the Lace Wars Part....oh heck, I've lost count

may I present the Danish Lifgarden til Hest

     Strangely enough, now that I am not under pressure to get units done for the convention on the 27th, I find it easier to get units finished. In my quest to find units of different colors I chose the Danish Lifgarden til Hest (Guards Cavalry in English). Matching the foot guards in snazzy buff-yellow coats with carmine cuffs and turnbacks they are a sharp-looking unit. The blackened steel cuirass contrasts nicely with the bright colors of the uniform.

Pikeman's Lament Rules Modifications for Pro or Con

     Having learned from prior demo games I am going to make some small changes to the Pikeman's Lament rules for the convention. I have no problems with how the rules play and am completely happy with them, but, for use in a convention I have found these changes make things play just a bit smoother.

      1. Rolling for Orders. A unit that has failed top pass its Orders check does not end the turn for that player. Instead we will be playing as if it were TMWWBK , a failed Orders check simply freezes the unit in question for the rest of the turn and you move on to the next unit. This keeps a string of poor rolls from ruining somebody's day after they have driven all the way to the Con.

     2. Each side will be subdivided into separate forces, they will all act on the same initiative  but they will be entirely distinct forces. Morale and Command effects will be specific to the player's force alone.

     3. I will produce the Commanders Characteristics and have them ready on a card in advance. Each side will be randomly dealt a number of Commanders  Cards equal to the number of players. They may examine them and assign the commanders to the units as they see fit.

     4. I will provide Unit Data Cards for each unit, these will list the Orders and Actions as well as the movement rate of all the units as well as a note regarding any special rules that apply.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Return to the Lace Wars, Sir Edward Villiers Regiment of Horse 1694

     I can breathe a little easier now that I have finished all of the extra units that I promised myself would be ready by Pro or Con. I present to you Lord Edward Villiers regiment of Horse circa 1694.

finally, a unit of Horse in red

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

War of the League of Augsburg Rules UPDATED ( a Fourth time)

field test of version 1.0 about to begin

     I was ruminating about my dissatisfaction with rules for the War of the League of Augsburg when it occurred to me that I have a word-processor and the ability to type (sort of). I then sat myself down and thought real hard about my impression of warfare before the advent of Marlborough (his impact seems to have completely overtaken the entire English wargaming community's view of the entire period 1688-1718). After I awoke from my nap the kernel of these rules was in my head, so I sat down and typed it. It seems to be working after a couple of tests. If you are interested in such things take a look and give them a try.

Sunday, October 7, 2018

Con Jobs

     The Housemartin came over a bit early today and we gave his (and my own) scenario for Pro or Con a go. First we played through my Pikeman's Lament game, the results were satisfactory but the test game showed a couple of points that would benefit from a minor tweak.

     From there we moved on to The Housemartin's Gangs of Rome scenario. I have to admit that I greatly enjoyed this skirmish level game and The Housemartin's collection of buildings certainly improved the pleasure of the game

      We are looking forward to seeing you all at the convention.

The Great Horse Race continues

     As I push ahead with my Lace Wars cavalry project I thought that I would take a moment and let my gentle readers into my working method. Not to suggest that this is the only way, or even a better way, to get things accomplished. It is just my way of breaking the project down into digestible sized pieces. As you have seen earlier I have assembled and mounted on bases all of my horses, next I assembled all of the legs (the only thing in the set that is provided with no options). In the case of this kit this is the lower half of the figure from the belt downward. After these were glued together and dried I tacked one set of legs to the back corner of a horse's base, see below:

the starting point for everything

Thursday, October 4, 2018

Old Fashioned Vaudeville

"hey Ed, do you smell glue?"
 Two men standing near a medieval cottage:
        LOU: (pointing excitedly) "Ooh, Ooh, herd of horses!"
        BUD: (with a hint of sarcasm) "Of course I've heard of horses"
        LOU: (pointing once again) "Not as in 'have you heard of horses" but as 'Look, there is a herd
                                                          of  horses"
        BUD: (noticing the large number of horses running by) "That's not a herd of horses"
        LOU: (frustrated) "A bunch of horses all running around together is a herd of horses, right?"
        BUD: (growing angry) "Of course it is, what are you, an idiot?"
        LOU: (pointing once more) "And that is a bunch of horses all running around together, right?"
        BUD: "Well, for the first time you are making sense, yes that is a bunch of horses together"
        LOU: (exasperated) "And would you be so kind as to explain why THAT bunch of horses,
                                          running around together ISN'T a herd of horses"
        BUD: "Don't you see, that isn't a herd of horses, that is Anton's next painting project!!!"
                                                                (drum sounds Ba-Da-Bum)

"yes I do Junior, but it is Testors, so we will be alright"

     OK, if I was any good as a comedy writer I could have Fernando paint my figures for me, but you just saw my skills in that vein. My self-imposed mission is to have all of these guys operational by Christmas. Once they are completed I will have 108 cavalry in service, which I hope will be sufficient for my rules.
     The hardest part is deciding which units to paint, I want to paint only real historical units even though they are being used in a semi-Imagination campaign. I would like to make full use of the variety offered by the Wargames Factory design and the wide choice of colors that units used during the period. Reader's suggestions will be considered but I warn you, there will be a red-jacketed unit, some Russian green-coated dragoons and at least one wild French unit in yellow with red facings (I swear it looks like they were dressing in Elton John's closet!).

Wednesday, October 3, 2018

A return to 28mm Lace Wars; French Royal Carabiniers

     Just in case everyone had thought that I had given up blogging and painting let me correct that misconception; I have NEARLY given up blogging and painting because I have been busy with all sorts of annoying "grown-up" stuff. Happily that is mostly behind me now and I can get back to playing with toy soldiers. First order of business was to complete the forces that I will need for the game that I am hosting at Pro or Con 2018 (nothing like a convention deadline to get the paintbrush back in action). I haven't finished them yet but I have just finished the French Royal Carabiniers .

armed with rifled muskets these elite "dragoons" 
were given to Louis XIV's favorite son, the Duc du Maine

Sunday, September 23, 2018

A Century and a half of Wargaming

     I'm not referring to the time since H.G. Wells seminal book on the matter (Little Wars, a book every gamer should read, it is free from Gutenberg click on this highlighted section), I'm talking about the total years of wargaming experience that was crammed into my game room the other day when my friends Kevin, Skip and Tom all showed up to play a couple of games of Pikeman's Lament. We had all been wargaming since the late 1970's and it just stuck us just how much combined experience there was in our little company.
       I hadn't seen Skip in ages, and Kevin lives on the other side of town, so we don't often see each other aside from gaming conventions, Tom is a rather more frequent visitor, but few of us are gaming as much as we would like. Skip and Kevin each brought 18 points worth of their ECW troops to stand in for Imperialists and I refashioned the Housemartin's Turks into a 36 point Ottoman force looking to seize Vienna.

the Turks went with a smaller force of elite Forlorn Hope Jannisaries in the center 
with the scruffy draftees on the flanks

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

More Action Under Sail

     Last weekend R.U.P. presented another sailing ship action, a close fight between a couple of Napoleonic featherweights; Portugal and Spain. A follow-on to this  earlier action. The history between the nations that share the Iberian peninsula is long and acrimonious so they probably didn't need to be on opposite sides in the Napoleonic era to take a chance to have a go at one another, but any excuse is a good one when you are looking for a fight.
       The problem being is that neither of these nations were on the cutting edge of naval power by the 1800's, in fact they were pretty solidly in the "has been" category. That didn't make them hate each other any less (or lessen their desire to steal each other's colonies) they just weren't real good at the fighting part of conflict any longer.
      The scenario is two Spanish ships fleeing a slightly stronger (and better manned) Portuguese fleet trying to make safe harbor behind the guns of a fort.

the layout, in the distance the Spanish, the nearer three ships are Portuguese,
 sailing slightly faster and closing in inevitably on their prey

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Half a Million hits...a pause for thought

500,000+     Well, my, my, thank you all!
     Little did I know when I started this blog back in December of 2010 that it would;
          A.   Last anywhere this long
          B.   Ever garner a half a million hits
          C.   Gain readers on every habitable continent

     Frankly I am a bit surprised at this success, and heartened by all the positive feedback that my ill-organized ramblings have provided. I thank all of my readers, and particularly all the kind souls who have provided advice, encouragement and honest appraisals of my work.

     Having noticed the milestone it gave me a thought to look back over the last eight years and see what has been popular, what hasn't and what I could do better. Blogger provides some (very) limited data resources but, as I haven't bothered to keep track, their data will have to do.

      Most Popular Post;
           In the last month; Blue Board Sabot Bases
           Over all time;       More Silliness with Blue Board   

    It struck me as odd that a off-the-top-of-my-head post about an Ork temple would be the most popular post. but then I noticed that the top five of the all time most popular posts were terrain articles, to wit;
         More Silliness with Blue Board
         Still More Silliness with Blue Board
         Blue Board Sabot Bases
         D.I.Y. Game Mats
         To The Blue Foam Beyond
     Now, I understand that a good few of these are from people linking to that page as an entry point to my blog instead of going to the homepage and linking from there (I have done the same thing myself with other blogs) but I do find it funny that the post that motivated them to link to my blog was one that stemmed from one of my rather mundane D.I.Y. efforts. This is further reinforced by the fact that of my organized Pages the link to Adventures in Blue Board and Foamcore  has gotten far away the largest number of hits with over 14,000

     Of the balance of the top ten posts three are figure reviews;
         Conquest Norman Foot  #6
         Fireforge Teutonic Knights   #9
         Perry's Mounted Knights 1450-1500  #10

     These I had thought would be more popular until just a few minutes ago when I Googled the subject, it seems that I am just one of thousands playing the "unboxing" game. Still I will continue to do them on any new figures that I purchase, I hope that they are received well as I do try to be honest and accurate (being as these are models I intend to add to my collection and not motivated by any commercial compensation).

    And the last two are photo-stories, at number eight an AAR on one of R.U.P's visually stunning Cold War in Africa games; Somewhere In Africa  which I thought odd as all of his games are over-the-top beautiful and at number seven a photo report on Spartacon 2018.
      I was a a bit taken aback by the low ranking of the AAR, all of R.U.P's battle reports were commented on heavily and favorably; even some of my game reports caught the attention of readers enough to get a comment or two.

     These sort of stats seem to indicate that I should stick with the arts and crafts postings but I suspect that the real truth of the matter is that the AARs and figure reviews are more popular than they seem as they are the producer of many more comments. Don't anybody get your hopes up for a better, more organized and streamlined blog. It is going to remain the same part-time stream of semi-consciousness mess that it has always been.

    Thanks again to everybody who has put up with me so far, I hope you continue to enjoy the hobby as much as I do! 

Thursday, September 13, 2018

More blue board sabot bases

     So, I was playing around with the Proxxon hot wire cutter and made some more sabot bases . Nothing new with the techniques so I won't bore you with all that. I made them into long narrow irregular shapes to depict troops moving in files through bad terrain or (turning ninety degrees) an infantry line that has become unformed or disordered

marching in poor order

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Beat to Quarters! Ships Sighted!

This Saturday, September 15th, Rich Uncle Patrick shall be hosting another game of Close Action, the game of 18th Century Sail.

Quarrelsome Catholics face off in a small engagement of utmost enormitude and importance off the coast of South America! Gather up your men, get the blessing of your Padre, and set off on the waves to glory for crown and country*!

*Glory not available on all Seven Seas. Please consult with your local governor to see if this applies to you. You must be Catholic to collect on this glory; please contact Pius VI for more details on glory and afterlife. Glory not redeemable for following things: food, shelter, money, happiness. Glory is non-returnable after 1807. Do not taunt glory. Glory should only be taken in controllable, select doses; using too much glory may lead one to Armada obsession, Imperial disfunction, and Naval gazing. Void where prohibited.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Painted minis and models for sale

     My long-time friend, Tom from Texas, recently made a couple of large purchases of collections to get certain figures into his own collection. The problem being there is a very significant number of figures and models that are excess to his needs. To avoid hauling this mass of things around to Conventions trying to sell them he has set up an Ebay store and a blog to pass along the extra figures. All of the items are complete and well-painted, and he is offering them at prices at or below the cost of the miniature.

         You will see him in my blogroll as The WargamesAlchemist

         The Ebay store can be found here

         He assures me that new items will be added daily so keep an eye out for that certain something to add to your toy collection.

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Blue Board Tower and base completed

the tower, as we last saw it

     It was far too miserable to be outside today so I bestirred myself and retried to the workshop where I found my tower in the same state that it was a week ago. Shamed by my sloth I decided to put in a couple of hours work and get this thing done. The first step was to find my container of Tidy Cat kitty litter (always buy the unscented variety) this was liberally applied around the foot of the cliff and the inside edges of the moat. Soaked in a mix of Titebond wood glue and water and left for an hour or so this sets up quite hard and looks rather nicely like mounds of small rocks.

Thursday, August 23, 2018

Further Adventures in the Nine Years War

     Both Joe and I had an evening available so I once more imposed on his good will for further testing of my rules. The scenario was a follow-up to the previous one; with the success in the last battle the French were able to force the Allies to turn and fight a major action. Unbeknownst to the Allies the wily French had dispatched a force to turn the Allied flank. Discovering this threat at the last moment the Allied commander sent a brigade of foot and a couple of guns with the intention of slowing the French enough that they would arrive too late to affect the outcome of the main battle.

a quiet looking bit of north-east France

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

A Little Side Project...UPDATED, YET AGAIN !!

     I was growing tired of painting minis so I began to think of starting a little side project, you know, just a little something to stay busy until painting seemed interesting once more. I had seen a video on how to cut circles using the Proxxon Hot Wire cutter so I figured "What the heck, I'll give it a try". An hour or so later I had it down to the point where I could make decent circles.  But what to do with them, I asked myself.........then this happened.

I really have to start making a plan before I get the tools out

Friday, August 17, 2018

Blue Board Sabot bases completed

      Following on from my earlier post on scratchbuilding base from blue board
   I spent a couple of hours texturing, painting and flocking the irregularly shaped sabot bases that I had made. To my eyes they turned out well, maybe a little more color in the greenery is needed....

first, I rounded off the edges with a little 60 grit sandpaper

Thursday, August 16, 2018

D.I.Y. Sabot bases using the Proxxon hotwire cutter

     I have never been a patient man, waiting is what I do worst.

     While working on my War of the League of Augsburg rules it was apparent that handling the loose figures was not going to work and I needed to base them as groups rather than individuals. But I didn't want to base them all only to find out that a change was needed or, worse yet, that I was scrapping the project and going back to just using them in skirmish games.

     Then it struck me that all I really needed was sabot bases that would fit the pennies that the figures were mounted on. A quick search on the internet revealed several sources that would happily make the bases for me; but I would have to wait until they were made and shipped! This wouldn't do.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Further testing of League of Augsburg rules

   So, I dragooned Joe into a test game of the rules I have recently updated . Despite the fact that he had worked for ten hours in the sweltering heat (95+ degrees Fahrenheit) he got the gist of things within a couple of turns and we finished the game in about two hours of playing time.

never one for subtly, Joe planned a massive left-hook punch 
a view from the French left rear

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Best Laid Plans ...

Here is the Story, as those of you who read these construction reports know I am working on a Roman Tenement using TT Combat buildings to create a row of 4-5 story buildings snugged up against each other for Gangs of Rome games.  One particular kit I liked was called "Small Store A".  In reading over the company's building measurements I thought I had figured out how to add on to this one as well and get it scraping the sky.  Unfortunately those plans failed miserably leading to a need to adjust and adapt.  More on those gyrations in future posts, but in the mean time I decided to go ahead with the basic building.  Then it dawned on me that while I have walked through construction of these building many times I do not recall ever walking through the prep to get things ready to build. So I decided to make this post all about the prep steps of sorting cleaning and painting everything before the actual assembly. 

Be warned this is a photo heavy post.  So proceed only if you (and your band width) dare!!

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

A Naval Incident

     R.U.P. brought by some of his lovely toys and taught J&R and myself a new Naval Wargaming rule set called Close Action. These play with a similar level of granularity as Wooden Ships and Iron Men but emphasize different aspects of sailing and combat. I enjoyed them very much even though I had a slow pig of a ship and an hilariously incompetent crew. We played using R.U.P.'s beautiful collection of GHQ Micronauts on a Deep Cut Studios sea mat, the boats are mounted on Langton Miniatures bases.

     The scenario is a simple one, on 20 April 1776 the Spanish 70 gun ship of the line, the San Augustin, is fleeing from two Portuguese ships the 64 gun Prazeres and the 32 gun Pilar. The San Augustin is trying to get to safety under the guns of the fortress on Santa Catarina island. The San Augustin has one huge problem; she has been at sea for far too long and her bottom is badly fouled rendering her very slow. And, by the way, the crew of pressed farmhands and shop clerks have very little training and very poor morale.

this is my Spanish ship, the San Augustin, 70 guns, captained by Don Jose Techain
R.U.P. always goes all-in on his projects, 
he is currently completing another forty or so of these GHQ beauties

Thursday, August 2, 2018

A Great Deal on another great book!

The Swedish Army of the Great Northern War is available from the Book Depository for $18.44US (free shipping worldwide). While you are on that page check out the other great Helion titles in the scroll at the bottom of the page......I might just have to take out a loan! It is also available through the League of Augsburg site at 15GBP. Whichever way you buiy it this is a great book at a great price!

Saturday, July 28, 2018

OK .. This is what happens when I have too many projects, but a fair amount of time.

So, as it turns out I have managed to get four projects done at once so I have just decided to go ahead and inundate Anton's board with all of them even though this one is not quite done. 

Thursday, July 26, 2018

The Usual Suspects ... Roman Style

Or "Coniecturalem artem esse medicinam Medicine!"  ("Round up the usual Suspects!")

Looks Like Blood Bowl this Saturday

     Unless I hear waves of sorrow and lamentations we will be playing Blood Bowl this Saturday. I have been swept up in the craze and am fine tuning my Orks. It might be that I actually completed a couple of passes, or I just like this version of football, it reminds me of the way we used to play as kids; rules were real vague, tripping and piling-on was allowed, a general mayhem sort of thing!

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

The Sailor's Lament

So, as warned previously I purchased a couple of Sarissa Roman Cargo boats months ago and have finally gotten around to completing them so here is the review for those who may be interested. 

This is an artists rendition, what follows is Sarissa's version. 

Gripping Beast Late Roman Heavy Cavalry finished (at last!)

they spent quite a while on the painting bench

      So, after two months of being retired I finally finished a wargames unit. At this rate I will have to be retired for about 170 years to just work through the pile of miniatures on the "urgent" desk. Not a good start at all. I do think that they turned out rather well. I painted them entirely with Americana acrylics, sprayed over with Krylon Workable Artists Matted Finish, then a light coat of Armory Matte finish spray. 

Monday, July 23, 2018

Did Somebody say Blood Bowl?

I like Blood Bowl! 

The Impossible has Happened!!!

     No, I didn't win the Lotto. But this did happen; twice, in the same evening, my Orc Blood Bowl team completed a pass!!!!!!!!!   Snab-Stab the Gobbo (a.k.a.  Concrete Paws) and Lineman B (they aren't entitled to names until they survive a season) both caught passes. I still lost both games but things are definitely looking up!

Snab-Stab ended up one square short of the end-zone when time ran out

Lineman B was so flummoxed by the fact that he had actually 
caught the ball that he was unable to evade the 'Umie players

Sunday, July 22, 2018

Cool stuff I found on the web; 3-D starforts and such

     Part of my endless fishing around on the internet found me seeking a 3-D model of Castillo Des San Felipe in Cartagena des Indias, Columbia. Well, eventually I found this:

it is like a fortress wedding cake, look at all the layers!

        Along the way I did find this gem .  3-D Warehouse hosts thousands of 3-D models of everything imaginable (lampshades to ocean freighters) among which is a pretty cool collection of castles, fortresses and fortified cities in 3-D. The link leads to a collection in Spanish but a bit of work in the Search bar will lead you to what you seek (be careful the Spanish and Portuguese seemed to name every third fort they built "San Felipe"). 

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.

Friday, June 22, 2018

Cold War Workhorse Part II The PSC T-55

   I have had this kit for some time and just now realized that I had not done a review of it. So Here I go...... Plastic Soldier Company has done a great job of bringing affordable, highly-detailed models of the most common tanks to the wargaming community. In this subject they have produced an excellent model of the most common tank in the world; the Russian T-55 (and a good many of its variants). With some estimates running as high as 100,000 models made the T-55 will figure large in any wargaming of the post WW2 era.

front box art

     Molded in a medium gray plastic that shows detail well and cast without flash or noticeable mold-lines this kit provides parts to build six variants of this long serving tank.

Photo review of Conquest miniatures 28mm Medieval Knights

   I had the pleasure of reviewing the latest issue from Conquest Miniatures, Medieval Knights for the period mid1100s-1200AD. Don't let the tragically bad box-art fool you, these are really good figures!

Thursday, June 21, 2018

A more or less typical Night with Anton

I have been waiting to post this one for a while as I figured I should wait until Anton came back to the land of the living (sober) after his revelries.  I figured posting would be a good sign so now that he has made several I will launch this missive. 

So, for all of you gentle readers who have never had the pleasure of an evening at Anton's I thought I would write this one up to reflect the modus vivendi of the group. 

Review of the PSC Cold War Soviet Infantry

     I had a chance to review the new Plastic Soldier Company Cold War Soviet Infantry set. Top quality product all around!

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

28mm Plastic Horse Size Comparison

     In response to a question I received I did a side-by-side size comparison of some of the plastic model horses in my "to do" pile. The grid in the background is 1/4" graph paper positioned directly behind the models to reduce parallax effects. This is in no way comprehensive, just a way for readers to get an idea of the size, proportions and detail of the various manufacturer's product.

left to right
Perrys Miniatures from their Mounted Men-at-Arms 1450-1500 kit
Conquest Miniatures Medieval Knights 1300
Gripping Beast Late Roman Heavy Cavalry (also Dark Ages Cavalry)
Warlord Lace Wars (they use the same oddly proportioned beast for all of their cavalry)
Victrix Napoleonic Austrian (sorry, I have no Victrix cavalry at all)
Fireforge Mounted Sergeants

Cold War Workhorse the PSC M-60

     I did a review and build of the Plastic Soldier Company's M-60 model for the Michigan Toy Soldier Shop
You can read my review here

     This is what the model looks like once it is built

Photo Review Gripping Beast Late Roman Heavy Cavalry

cover art, nicely done, good painting ideas 
except that the silver-faced helmet was used only for games and exercises, not battle

     I now these have been around a while now, but I finally got a chance to open up the box and start on building them. While I was doing that I thought I would do a quick photo review of the models for anyone that hasn't seen them in the flesh (er....plastic?). 

Monday, June 18, 2018

Kearsarge Komplete

     Well,  I managed to find a few hours and finished this model. Overall it was a fun build. I think the model is effective in conveying the style of the ship, even if 55% of the hull was shortened away.

side-shot, ruler for scale 

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Sometimes Things Just Happen Part V

     Truth be told, I get bored easily. I just finished painting my way through a small mountain of 1/300 buildings for R.U.P. to use in his upcoming Batteltech Extravaganza. I have a dozen other projects on the "Urgent" pile but I had the itch to build a boat. I remembered that my friend Steve had expressed an interest in having one of my pre-dreadnoughts for his own and that he found the two-tier turrets of the Kearsarge class of USN battleships to be intriguing.

      Then this sort of happened.......

at the end of a couple of hours I had this worked up

another few hours brought further refinements and some paint

     She still needs a fair amount of work; guns, boats, ventilators, masts and railings, but she is taking shape nicely. As usual lots of concessions have been made to both playability and storage-space. A fair half of the hull length is missing as are the attendant midships guns. Other details have been ruthlessly pared down to the bare minimum to reduce breakage and clear deck space for the crew.
The picture below gives you an idea of how much was traded away to reduce the model to a manageable size.

this is the "missing bit" the funnels and cranes will be re-arranged to make sure
 that they appear on the model , the bow and stern have been foreshortened as well 

     I skipped on the step-by-step as there is nothing new in the modelling techniques used in this build. Check "Adventures in Blue Board and Foamcore" for step-by-step articles on my prior projects