Sunday, November 28, 2010

1960: The Making of the President

Bruce dropped by yesterday and we tried out 1960: The Making of the President. This card-drive political game allows you to refight the Nixon v Kennedy campaign.

Overall, this was a very good game and took about two hours for us to fumble through our first game with only a few mistakes. At the beginning of the game each player starts with support in some states while other states are open. Cards can be played to put down support, eventually locking up states and their electoral votes, as events (which are often difficult choices) or to influence things like media support of control of the issues.

The map (above) is quite lovely as are the components. Each turn entails playing five cards and then putting a sixth in your "debate" hand where you play out the televised debate. There are also ways to make events happen even if the other player uses the card to place control markers. Overall, there were lots of strategic options as well as some sense of campaign tactics.

In the end, Nixon managed to squeak out a win by focusing in the last two turns on the swing state of New York, having locked up Texas and California quite early. Lucky cards helped here. I quite enjoyed myself despite playing tricky Dick.

Up next: Yes, Trojans. Also some 28mm Celts have dragged themselves out of the paint pile for assembly. And perhaps a game of Duel After Dark (UK bomber offensive in WW2) on Tuesday.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Samurai test figures

Awhile back, I traded Dave Senior a bunch of painted 1/72 plastics for a bunch of unpainted Samurai from the old Clan Wars game, thinking I would do a Samurai DBA army in 28mm. After feeling daunted by the figures, I decided I would paint three figures and see how they turned out.

Overall, I'm moderately satisfied. It wasn't a complete disaster and I learned a lot. The first was that black armour might not be the ideal colour scheme. These look okay. But I wonder what a red and yellow scheme might look like.

Second, the details really matter so I'll need to slow down some. The third is that using these slotta figs on non-slotta bases is going to have a high PITA factor. But it is a start.

Up next: I'm working on 15mm Trojans and finally finished building and priming the chariots, which turned out to be less complex than I thought once I started dryfitting the pieces. Bruce is also inbound with a board game as I type. And I might take up the Table Top Gaming News challenge and get my 28mm Gallic/Celtic DBA army done over the holidays.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

28mm Mounted Normans

While assembling and priming a 15mm Trojan army this week, I also completed another 12 mounted 28mm Normans. These are plastics from Conquest Games.

The details is quite nice, I think, even given my pretty basic painting skills.

This completes the mounted contingent of my army. Now I just have to wait for Conquest's foot box. I also have another box of mounted. I could use one more base of mounted for the Normans and the rest I might convert for Saxon and Viking mounted units.

While the remainder of the Trojan army is underway (flesh is done), I'm still assembling the chariots (arrrgh) and the Trojan horse that will form the camp. This fellow needs the tail and rolling base still but should look cool once assembled.

I also unearthed the last of my 6mm rebasing project, a nightmare job of pulling pike troops off 40x20mm bases and putting them on 80x40mm bases. These guys are set up to soak to loosen the glue.

Up next: A spot of gaming this weekend plus the 15mm Trojans are the pressing issues. After that, I might put my mind of another 15mm army or maybe start to assemble the rest of a 28mm Gallic army I started in the spring.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

15mm Macedonian Army

I finished another commission army this week, this time a 15mm Alexandrian Macedonian army. These are Essex figures and gave me fits in prepping them. The pike were so bent (often wrapped around the pikeman's body) that some were broken and getting the rest into some semblance of straight was a job!

There are six bases of pike here. I was directed to copy Ray Rangel's army in terms of colours as closely as I could.

There are two bases of CV, including a CV general on the right. I quite like Essex cavalry because the bases are so thin but that sometimes make getting them to sit on a paint stick or a base tricky.

I used a new static grass (from Army Painter). It was cheaper (by half) than the GW stuff I usually use and seems to a decent match. It didn't take to the glue quite as readily as the GW stuff but nothing some encouragement (pushing a wad of it down) couldn't fix.

There are two bases of psiloi.

I believe these fellows are supposed to a base of 4Ax. I quite like how the horse-hair crests turned out.

And, of course, a base of 2Lh.

Up next: I have 12 28mm Norman cavalry underway. I'm also assembling a 15mm Trojan DBA army (including Trojan horse for a camp). There is a fair bit of assembly to do, including some fairly interesting chariot rigging. Work is going to be a bit busy this week so I'm hopeful to get the Trojans assembled by next week and then the painting underway hereafter. And I'll need to find some yellowish static grass.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Club Night November 16

There were about 12 guys out last night at the club and three games ran. The largest was a Zulu game Dave ran with Black Powder. As one might expect, we have the thin red thin versus hordes of Zulus (which kept regenerating at the edge of the table).

I'm not sure how this one ended but I recall hearing that Barry was the most victorious individual player. Perhaps this also suggests a Zulu victory?

Justin put on a game of PT Boats using a card-driven game with weird, (and I thought) way cool mechanics. Basically, you have a hand of cards that allow you to do different things. You play out your hand as fast or slow as you like (with no reference to what anyone else is doing) and then you must make a morale test before drawing a new hand. If you fail the morale roll, your boat veers off in a random direction. This can be bad, as pictured above ("look out Justin!").

I'd like to try this again with a small pack of PT boats taking on a convoy of larger ships. This would let us do some torpedo runs!

Mark also bested Chen and I playing a Kushite DBA army against the Norse Irish. Arrrgh! But a fun little game. The Norse-Irish move fast.

Up next: Work continues on the 15mm Macedonians (pike are done--now onto cavalry and others). I also have some 28mm Normans built and primered. Then back to some more 15mm guys--Trojans, I think.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

More 28mm Normans

I spent the weekend finishing off painting my first box of Conquest Games 28mm Normans and assembling a second box. With some additional work, I think I have a much better handle on this set. Among the "discoveries" are that all of the horse halves fit together so there are four possible body types. Add on three heads and it becomes possible to have 12 unique horse poses. That is some good design!

I made up two bases of 3Kn for my DBA army, including a general stand. I decided to make the rest of my Normans in mail. This allows me to reserve the extra fellows in padded armour or tunics from the other two sets (nine total, I think) and mate them with some additional sprues of horses to make mounted Vikings or Saxons. As I was thinking about doing some Wargames Factory and Gripping Beast Vikings over the Christmas break, this works out pretty well.

I also did up the single base of 2LH I needed for the Normans. Here I used the tunic-clad fellows from the first set and some round shields. With different heads, these could easily double as mounted Vikings or Saxons, I think.

I found putting together the second box to be quite a lot easier with all 12 assembled (at a leisurely pace) within an hour. I took my time to save the right parts for the Saxon/Viking cavalry as well as to get some diversity among the poses. I'm quite chuffed to see what a foot set from Conquest might look like.

Below is one of three dead Normans I have (one per box). I did this one to see what it would look like. I presume this fellow died from a respiratory ailment caused by inhalation of static grass. I'm not sure of the value of these dead poses but I think I use this one as part of a Saxon camp.

Below you can see the Conquest Games mounted Normans matched up against the HaT 28mm El Cid heavy Spanish infantry. I had hoped to use the HaT foot but clearly they don't work together so I'll wait on Conquest's foot box. The height is the same between the sets but the girth is different (compare the helmets) which means the HaT fellows will need to serve as Anglo Danes for the Normans to ride down (in my experience playing Anglo-Danes).

Up next: I'm half-way through painting a 15mm Macedonian DBA army and should have that done by next weekend. I will also get the 12 Normans I built together primer. And the club is this week.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Harold's Demise 1069

We played the fourth year of the EDBAG DBA Campaign this week. Things were pretty balanced at the start of the game, with the map looking like this:

The various factions were:

Scottish Isles at Glasgow, 2 prestige, 9 stands left.
Norse Irish at Dublin, 0 prestige, 8 stands left.
Pre-Feudal Scots at Trondheim, 1 prestige, 6 stands left.
Green Vikings at Waterford, 8 prestige, 4 stands left, vassal of the Scottish Isles until twice more defeated).
White Vikings at Oslo (inactive), 0 prestige, 12 stands left.
Anglo Danes at London, 0 prestige, 6 stands left, vassal of orange Normans until once more defeated.
Orange Normans at Hastings, 8 prestige, 7 stands remaining
Blue Normans at Antwerp, 6 prestige, 8 stands remaining

After rebuilding armies, war was declared and the spring battles ensured. The White Vikings (with a contingent from The Pre-Feudal Scots) took on the Blue Normans at Bergen. The Blue Normans were sent packing back to Antwerp.

At Nottingham, the Scottish Islanders met the Anglo-Danes and a contingent of Orange Normans, inflicting a handy defeat upon them. In the west, the Green Vikings moved on Limerick, facing the terrible Norse Irish battle cry of "Wherul ah sixahs" and were demolished.

The Summer turn saw the Norse Irish successfully besiege Waterford while the Green Vikings unsuccessfully besieged Dublin. In the middle, the Scottish Islanders unsuccessfully besieged Nottingham and in the east, the Pre-Feudal Scots took the fight to the Blue Normans in Antwerp and were repulsed.

The autumn saw a further fight between the Blue Normans and the White Vikings (aided by the pre-feudal Scots) which the Blue Normans handily won. In the west, the shattered remains of the Green Vikings were trounced by the Norse Irish and the remains of the army were lost during the voyage back to the mainland. The Orange Normans were unsuccessful in their siege of Rouen. The map on the cusp of 1070 looks like this:

I will need some assistance in filling in the dispositions. I think I have the prestige points correct but have entirely lost track of the army sizes:

Scottish Isles at ?, 7 prestige, ? stands left.
Norse Irish at Dublin, 6 prestige, ? stands left.
Pre-Feudal Scots at ?, 1 prestige, ? stands left.
Green Vikings at York, 8 prestige, 0 stands left, vassal of the Scottish Isles until twice more defeated).
White Vikings at ?, 2 prestige, 7 stands left.
Anglo Danes at London, 0 prestige, ? stands left, vassal of orange Normans until once more defeated.
Orange Normans at ?, 8 prestige, ? stands remaining
Blue Normans at Antwerp, 12 prestige, ? stands remaining

Up next: Some 28mm Normans are being based up and then onto a 15mm Macedonian DBA army!

Monday, November 8, 2010

28mm Normans and Misc

As I continue to finish stuff up, I knocked off a few plastic LotR figures this weekend to add to my 28mm DBA/HoTT armies. First up was a magician for either a medieval or dark age army. Obviously an old Gandalf figure that I picked up at the club auction a couple of weeks back..

I also did a base of lurkers using some hobbits. Beware the deadly frying pan!

I then moved onto Conquest Games' new plastic Normans. I bought three boxes (36 figures) as part of a pre-order deal to make a DBA Norman/Frank army. The figures came off the sprue easily enough, although some weird curves resulted in a couple taking unchivalrous blows to their groins before I figured out a better cutting angle. Assembly was also straight forward with no gapping joins or fiddly parts.

Painting also went pretty well using my usual techniques. I fiddled around with the shields some to try and get a nice effect--I'll try something more detailed with the next figures I do. The horses are particularly nice. There are also enough extra rider bodies you can select the degree of armour you want your fellows to have. The picture below shows both chain mail and padded armour. There are also a few guys in tunics or leather jerkins.

There are two horse poses (galloping and walking) in a 2:1 ratio and the heads are interchangeable so you can create quite a lot of variety. The horses' heads might be a bit elongated but that is picking nits. I assembled the rest of the box last night and it took about 45 minutes for nine figures. I was initially unsure about the arm pose of the centre figure (it looked unnatural on the sprue) but I'm happy with it. Overall, a good purchase. Now I need some plastic foot!

Up next: Tuesday is the EDBAG 1066 campaign where I am under the harsh lash of my new overlord. I also have a bunch of Normans to paint! And another commission should be arriving shortly.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Some odds and ends: AWI and medieval

After a busy week at work (thus a slow week of gaming), I managed to finish off some stuff I have been working on. First up are 11 28mm shooters for my DBA/HoTT medieval army. I picked these guys up at the club auction.

These fellows are Old Glory figures and I experimented with a slightly more impressionistic approach to painting. I'd say it was not as effective as my usual approach so I won't do that again! That said, I now have three bases of shooters.

I also did one base of psiloi (good suggestion, Dave).

I then returned to a 15mm rebel army for the AWI. First up were three bases of dragoons. I'm not sure of the maker of these fellows (Essex?) as I got the whole army in trade.

Then I used some Age of Reason (Old Glory) continentals with broken bayonets as some militia. Not exactly as varied as militia likely were (I tried to mix up the paint colours to help them look more assorted) but there you go.

I also did three bases of light troops. I suspect these are Old Glory. And finally there are two bases of skirmishers. Between these guys and the earlier batch I did, I now have a pretty big DBHx army.

Up next: I have more odds and ends to work through. These include some 28mm lurkers and a magician for the medieval army (some LotR plastics I got at the club auction), and a few 28mm samurai that I want to experiment with to see if I have the painting mojo to tackle a bigger army. I'll be priming these this afternoon.

I also have some 28mm Normans ready to prime. These are the new plastic Normans from Conquest--I got three boxes of mounted and will finish the DBA army when some foot are released. I assembled three last night and they look pretty good. I thought the arms would look a bit strange (based on how the sprues look) but so far they look just fine).