Thursday, August 31, 2023

The Battle of Bingham Farms

        Tom from Texas was kind enough to host the game last Saturday and, as is his wont, put on a large  ACW battle featuring his massive collection of 15mm minis. The situation was complicated due to a power outage from some local storms but, through herculean efforts, Tom had arranged  a generator would be on hand to provide power and the game could proceed as planned. Pleas excuse the dark pictures in the post below, circumstances were less than optimal. The game was played using Fire & Fury rules with four players to a side.

       Despite my strident protestations I was placed in charge of the Union cavalry. As I predicted this was a poor choice, as much as I love cavalry I am simply out of my depth when conducting operations beyond a straightforward charge. Our primary objective to to take control of the crossroads to facilitate the march toward Richmond (off to the left in the following pictures). I drove my Division forward leaving a single brigade dismounted along the road to cover the following infantry debouching from the defile. I my haste I misjudged the distance that the Rebel cavalry could move and my lead brigade was caught in the flank by the enemy onslaught and shattered (actually the cowards largely surrendered)

opening moves, Union cavalry arrived along the road at the bottom right 
then dashed headlong down the road

the Rebs saw their chance and charged the inattentive Union troopers,
 breaking them in and instant
having shattered the first brigade the Rebs turned toward the following Union brigade
after overrunning the artillery battery left in the roadway
having seen the approaching threat the Union second brigade put up a better fight
 but was thrown back and had to rally east of the highway

the much fought over Union artillery battery 
it never moved or fired a shot the rest of the game

as the Union cavalry rallied the infantry poured onto the battlefield from both sides

Monday, August 28, 2023

Aaaaand They're Done!


       It's not really that close to the wire, I shot them with matte coat yesterday and was just waiting for it to dry before sending them off to barracks. Not much of a force (the Romans really didn't much go for cavalry and light troops - at least not in the glory days) these guys are just rounding out the packs that I had opened during my foolish "an army in two days" attempt. Two weeks was a more reasonable estimate; all in all I managed 112 Legionnaires, 37 assorted barbarian types, 30 Auxilia and ten mounted figures. There still are some minis left over but I think that I will paint them as Auxilia to even out the force.

all the minis are old Falcon miniatures except the general, he hails from RAFM

Saturday, August 26, 2023

Romans, almost done!


forty-eight more legionnaires to join the ranks 

       Fortunately my area has been experiencing some rather stormy weather which prevented me from mowing the lawn. Seeking to fill the idle hours I knocked out the rest of the Roman foot and made great strides in finishing off the remaining Gallic foot and horse. As it stands I will easily meet my 28AUG23 deadline which leaves me with the decision of what to run at Pro Or Con. Either 02Hundred Hours or back to the big boats and a demo of Mad For War, currently I'm leaning toward Mad For War........


 just waiting for the glue to dry before a trip to the flocking bin

Friday, August 25, 2023

So, I was wrong.....


the Falcon Miniatures Roman DBA army that I painted ages ago

       As I sat painting my current batch of Romans there was a a nagging thought that I had, at some time in the past, painted Romans. I did some commission work ages past but that wasn't what was bothering me. I just knew that I had a Roman army tucked away somewhere. I dug through the wall of boxes that I keep my painted minis in without success. I checked the "deep storage" area behind the Pile of Plastic Embarrassment without luck. Frustrated, I returned to the game room to ponder and found, peering at me from the back corner of the display case, a Roman army that I had painted to play DBA back when that was a new thing. So, yes, I was wrong, I did have some Romans. I have since added this merry band to my box of Romans as I grind away at finishing the batch on the painting table.

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Romans, part deux


the worst part is that there is still eight boxes of RAFM Romans to go,
 and I found an old Wargames Factory box of plastic Romans in the Pile of Embarrassment 

        Despite a constant torrent of interruptions I have been plugging away at these guys. I have set a completion date of 28AUG23 (probably unrealistic but hey,I guy can dream). If they don't make that mark they will go on the back burner while I prep for the game I will be running at Pro-Or-Con on 23SEP2. I'm not sure what I'm going to run just yet, but I'm pretty sure it won't be Romans.

Sunday, August 20, 2023

ACW battle at Tom's Place 26AUG23 1600hrs

Tom will be hosting a 15mm ACW battle at his place 26AUG 23 at 1600hrs,

Late arrivals can be accommodated

Original Fire & Fury rules

Saturday, August 19, 2023

Two Days Wasn't Enough, But a week will do


Old School paint-jobs for Old School minis, just waiting for the shield decals
not quite finished but the core of a force is there;
four cohorts, two units of auxilia and two barbarian allies

       My absurd deadline of two days came and went in a flash and I had to use substitutes in my game with The Housemartin (which ended with my resounding defeat). This shall not be the case in the future! The substitutes I mean; my luck in dice-dependent games is notoriously bad. With the luxury of a couple of extra days I finished the above seen figures and I am starting on a few more cohorts of infantry and a couple of units of cavalry which will round the force out nicely. Now all I need is some dice that have a few vestiges of luck on them.
       What I don't ever want to hear again is a complaint about assembling plastic minis. These all required shields and spears, heck a few even needed heads glued on! With plastic minis you just put a dot of tube cement on it and the part stays in place. Metal minis require holding (and seem to need to test-fit every part by gluing it to my fingers first!!!), absolutely nightmarish!


The Roman (Proxy) Civil War!

 Our new scheme for our WRG games is to randomly pick a book, then each of us pick an army from the book and tell each other, that way we can tailor our field army to deal with the general opponent.  This time around we used Book One (the orange, or "biblical" book).  When it cam time to reveal our army selection there was some confusion as we both chose Army 59, the Marian Romans.  Our confusion arose as we were both unclear if the other was asking, or telling their army.   So we ended up using the army list for among the most famous civil wars in History - those of Julius and Pompey, and Mark Antony and Octavian.  Here are the results.  Returning to type we failed to photograph the deployments.  Below is after turn 1.  Anton had 43 scouting points to my 6, so my troops went on the board first.  

Thursday, August 17, 2023

Close! But that only counts in Horseshoes and Slow Dancing

       In retrospect, my attempt at painting just over 100 Romans in less than three days was probably a bit daft. But I gave a good try, the minis are at about the 60% stage, needing only small details and washes to get them table-ready. With the pressure off I can relax and move at a more congenial pace.Still, I am a bit disappointed that I can longer sit the whole day through and paint minis like I could back in the day

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

All Roads Lead To Rome, or at least to a Roman Army?

        At times I am subject to fits of madness, acts of folly that lead people to question if I should be institutionalized. As a child they were seen as the actions of a rambunctious boy, in my teenage years they were viewed as acts of rebellion. Now, as a senior-citizen they are likely to be considered to be the product of approaching senility. But I know the ugly truth, sometimes I just make stupid decisions. 

       The most recent of these is a by-product of my Thursday games with my best friend, The Housemartin. Our weekly forays into the mysteries of WRG 6th Edition have pointed out the stunning gap in my miniature collection; I possess no Roman armies. Yes, I do have post-Roman Britons and quite a good many Byzantines, but there are no true Romans of any flavor, Republican or Imperial, on my shelves. Last night I decided to try to remedy that inadequacy with the idea of having them ready for Thursday's game, I ventured into The Vault and approached the Mountain of Shame and after thirty minutes of shifting lead I had assembled a significant group of Romans. 

first up was an old Falcon Miniatures Marian Roman DBA pack

next was this collection of AR codes from Hinchliffe 
(AR was their Ancient Roman series, but these guys look decidedly barbaric)

the contents of the Falcon pack will give me a start on the infantry

then I was saved by these bags from Old Glory

       So far I have the barbarians and the Falcon minis based and primed. With luck I can get the Old Glory stuff squared away by bedtime and get some paint on the others. If I crush it tomorrow and paint all night they might just be ready in time. Basing details will have to wait for a later time.

Things that I HATE to do; Re-basing minis

        There are some things about this hobby that I deeply enjoy; the camaraderie of hanging out with like-minded people, the research into historical events, building terrain or unusual models, the challenge of figuring out an effective strategy given one's troops and the terrain, even running campaigns to link together the battles and place them in context. Then there are things about the hobby that give me no joy; painting minis, the endless task of repairing battle-damage to my miniature forces, and the "herding cats" aspect of getting folks organized for game-day. Finally there are things that I absolutely despise, well actually, there is ONE thing that I actively HATE doing; re-basing miniatures. To me the act of putting that final coat of matte varnish on a completes stand of minis is an almost sacred event. These troops are now ready for action, my labors are over and it is time to start the fun part of the hobby. Pulling minis off of bases just because some rules-writer was too egotistical to respect existing conventions is an utter anathema to me, I have avoided rules that would force me to do so, even stopped playing periods to avoid it. Only once in all my five decades of gaming have I re-based an entire force, that occasion came about when I encountered a truly brilliant set of rules in one of my favorite periods that had long gone unplayed due to horrible old rules (the switch from WRG pike & shot to Tercio a few years back). 

       In light of that what you see below is a rarity of the highest order, I have just finished rebasing my Dark Ages heavy cavalry. These minis entered my collection in 1978, they are from the ancient Heritage Minis "Lord of the Rings" range Riders of Rohan. For some unfathomable reason I based them individually at that time and have struggled on for decades with the fiddly nature of loose figures. Recently The Housemartin and I have been playing the almost-as-old WRG Ancients 6th edition rules which has called these doughty warriors into service several times and the task of handling the individually mounted minis has been such a bother that I took the drastic step of placing them onto proper bases. I also took the added ordeal of freshening up the paint work (which they badly needed after nearly a half-century of service). Overall I am pleased with the results, am I likely to do this with other older figures? Most likely not.

despite their age the energy and proportions of the original sculpts still looks great
please ignore the Goth foot, they appear here only because the off-cuts of basing material were right the right size  for basing them

 the new basing and touched up paint does bring these aged soldiers back to life... only if my dice weren't as cold as liquid nitrogen maybe I'd have a chance

Friday, August 11, 2023

Getting Dirty on the Scottish Border, The Bastle House Project comes to completion

       I have long suffered from a motivational malady wherein I find it harder and harder to find the will to finish a project the closer it gets to completion. The Bastle House project had become one of those problems. for nearly two weeks it sat untended and unloved. Finally I decided to "act like a grown-up" and finish the project so that I could address even older tasks that were still awaiting completion (like the Wargames Atlantic Partisans). The models were complete and painted, wanting only a dark wash and weathering, so that is what I set myself to do.

       I mixed up a thin wash of black india ink and acrylic floor polish and gave all of the buildings a thorough coat. This toned-down the differences between the individually hand-painted stones in a most satisfactory manner. Fortunately this took long enough that the first items were dry by the time I was finished with the last item (this prevented me from having an excuse to become distracted by some other gadfly-project). The floor polish imparts a glossy surface that makes weathering and highlighting difficult so I then shot the entire collection with a thin coat of Vallejo Matte Spray. This takes quite a while to dry so I called it quits for the night. 

       The next morning I returned to the workshop and mixed a simply silly amount of very pale grey paint which I used to dry-brush over the entirety of the exterior surfaces of the models. This gave the models a more uniform look. I took no pictures of these steps as they were frankly stunningly boring and there are far better instructionals on such subjects than I could provide.

then I lost my mind and decided to "add a little moss, here and there"

The Pre-Opium War, aka "the Angry little balls of Hate", a WRG AAR


       This time around we were using the Third (gray) book of armies, Anton chose the Anglo-Normans, and I chose the Ming Chinese.  I had decided before we chose which book that I wanted to get the Chinese back on the table so since there is only one Chinese army in the gray book the matter was settled by the choice of books for me.  However, I knew Anton would bring LOADS of EHI and 2HCW's so how to contend with what I knew was coming was my issue.  On the positive, this time at least we remembered to take a picture of the initial deployment.  Anton and I had a draw for Scouting points (57:47 in Anton's favor) so we simultaneously deployed from our respective right flanks.  

Wednesday, August 9, 2023

Gaming Update, My Place 12AUG23, 1900hrs

        We will be gaming at my place this Saturday at 7pm

        Tom will be hosting an ACW battle at his place 26AUG 23 at 1800hrs

Friday, August 4, 2023

A WRG "Levantcident" another AAR And a Question for you all.

       In another of our fairly regular collisions, Anton's Catalan Company and My First Crusade Armies clashed recently, with some startling results.  Anton's are the near, mine are the far forces.

       Anton outscouted me 48:15, so my army had to deploy first so Anton could adjust.  Here we see the situation at the end of the first turn as we again neglected to take a picture of the initial deployments.  

Wednesday, August 2, 2023

Back to the Bastle House project, interiors


I am Ivor Ironchin, I would like to show you my house, an old Wargames Factory Viking takes the tour

        After a long hiatus I have returned to my labors at the Bastle House Project. The experiment with the Small House interior having been satisfactory I continued to use the approach on the much larger house. First, floors were installed and painted in all three levels of the model. Then matte board was cut to fit on the interior walls of the house (be careful to take account of the thickness of the card when making measurements) then laid out flat. The interior face of the wall was sketched out and built onto the flat surface.

       Once construction was completed the wall sections were then painted and carefully inserted into the corresponding floor to check for fit and finish. Assured that my measurements were correct the messy business of gluing the interiors in place began. As usual I used my old stand-by, Titebond Carpenter's Wood Glue, this was spread thin and allowed to dry to the point of being tacky while I applied glue to the back of the interior wall section. this was also allowed to dry for a while before being carefully inserted into the model.

Tuesday, August 1, 2023

WRG at the gap in the forest an AAR

So Anton decided to change things up in our games.  This time we tried randomly assigning the book, then we each chose an army from that book and told each other what our armies would be.  The book rolled for was the second army book (the yellow one) Anton chose the Varangian/Russ and I chose the Feudal Spanish, let the planning and counter planning commence!  Below you see the two armies on the table after the terrain was set.