Wednesday, January 19, 2011

EWG Club Night: C&C Napoleonics

We had 11 guys out at the club last night with three games running. Kevin and Scott played a game of WHFB 8th Ed. Kevin trotted out a lizard army which was spectacular to behold.

He faced down Scott's tooled up demons with some sort of riders of doom unit pictured below. In the end, the lizards managed to vanquish the demons and which the demon press is calling "a really bad roll of the dice".

Dave hosted a game of Black Powder Zulus. I'm not sure what happened here in the end but it was very pretty.

Bruce brought of Command and Colours Napoleonics for a trial run. Having luckily won both games we played, I am firmly convinced it is the best Napoleonic game ever! Very much like Command and Colours Ancients except almost every unit has a missile attack and unit strength deteriorates as casualties mount. This gave the game a different feel and terrain seemed to matter a lot (although that may be the scenario). The loss of combat effectiveness made me treat damaged units differently--I was far more likely to pull them out of the line.

Like regular CCA, the command cards are a wonderful mechanic, making the game very accessible. Yet the cards also heavily dictate one's strategy. In our second game, I got two forced marches and three attack right cards out of the gate. So I marched up the right and then just kept attacking. There were some decisions for me to make about the specific tactics but the strategic choice was made with no real reference to my disposition or the terrain.

On balance, I think the mechanic is a fine one--it is just slightly jarring in terms of reconciling your notional role as CnC and the actual choices you have. It is almost like your actual role is the three brigade commanders and you get to influence, but not ultimately decide what the CnC will order. I would definitely play again.

Up next: I'm working on some 28mm Saxons and have a bunch of 15mm DBA armies to paint up for commissions. Updates will be slow for the next two weeks as my computer access will be very limited.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

15mm WW2 Infantry

I completed a group of 15mm US infantry to go along with the halftracks I painted earlier. These are Battlefront figures. It has been awhile since I painted WW2 (and even longer since I painted US troops) and it took me some time to figure out the paint scheme.

Painting on a black primer and then doing a black wash saw them come out too dark the first time so I did a quick set of highlights to lighten the figures. I'm not sure I got the colour right--maybe too much blue. But then again, it depends on the light you are viewing them in. These look a bit more M*A*S*H then The Longest Day to my eye.

There were five bases of rifles.

I thought the variety of poses was pretty good. The fellow holding onto his helmet is a nice pose but not sure one really needs more than one of him. Yet when I consider all of the throw-away poses in old plastic sets I think I should just keep my mouth shut.

There were also five bases of bazookas.

The fellow standing is a nice variation but I would have preferred a second prone pose.

There is a 37mm ATG to provide some support. Not sure how useful that is unless they were charged by a Volkscompany of Panzer IIs. But it will make a satisfying pah-twang as it bounces off the front of a Panther.

There is a single base of mortars as well as an HQ base (not pictured). And there are two bases of MGs.

Up next: It is club night tonight so I may have pictures of Zulus, C&C Napoleonics and replicant-Mark to share. Then I'm off to spend some time with the family and work on some 28mm Saxons. These are going well but slowly--lots of detail to ass around with. On the Saxons, I mean.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

15mm US half-tracks

A box of commission stuff arrived last week and I decided (to mix things up some) to have a go at the 15mm WW2 stuff first. There was a US armoured infantry company in there. The infantry bases are still drying but the halftracks and the M-8 Greyhound are done.

The scout car is a nice model. It came with two figures for the turret but I could not get both of them to fit. It has been three or more year since I've painted any armour so I had to figure out how to do that again. The wash effect seems to work.

I used a similar effect on the halftracks. I've no idea why the reddish rust on the tracks pops so much in these pictures--it does not look nearly so red in reality.

I also have a bunch of infantry drying. I had some difficulty trying to get the colour of the uniforms right--we'll see how they look once I snap some pictures.

Up next: Well, some 15mm US infantry. I am also working on some 28mm Saxons. Given events over at Wargames Factory, I won't be buying any more of these. Yet there is another box of these guys on my shelf along with some vikings. The good news is the vikings go well with Gripping Beast so I can get enough plastics to complete that army. Then back to some commission work--a DBA army of some kind as well as a bunch of YS howitzers await!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

More 15mm EIR Romans

I completed a commission last night for a 15mm Early Imperial Roman DBA (II/56) army. The figures are Old Glory and I believe this is an all-option army. This is my first run with a new camera I purchased so I'm hopeful the pictures are a bit better.

In unrelated news, I was playing Scrabble the other night with my wife and found myself with the letters r, i, i, i, r, a, t. What a lousy hand, until I realized that spelled triarii--a 50-point bonus for using all seven letters. Alas, triarii is not in the scrabble dictionary.. Arrgh.

This army includes four bases of 4Ax. I fiddled with the shield patterns some based on my experience earlier this month with another EIR army.

The core of the army is, of course, five bases of 4Bd with an general unit.

There is also an optional 3Cv general unit.

This forms part of the three 3Cv bases the army fields.

There is one base of Art, in this case a ballista with three crew.

There is one base of 2LH--some German horsemen to harass the flanks with. These might be Essex figures--hard to say.

There are also three bow (likely Minifigs) to help hold off a cavalry opponents. And there is also a single base of Ps to bolster the blades against mounted.

I was quite happy with how the chainmail came out on the figures--this is just a thin black primer (cut with future) over the bare metal and then later hit with a brown/black wash.

Up next: I have started assembling a bunch of 28mm Saxons for a DBA army. This is slow work as I learn about the options available within the Wargames Factory boxes.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

AWI 1/72 British DBHx Dragoons

I've finally finished the last of the core units for my 1/72-scale AWI DBHx armies. These fellows are British light cavalry from Italeri's nice boxed set.

Rather than make all 17 figures, I decided to make up two bases of dragoons and one of cavalry which should be enough to do Cowpens and Guilford Courthouse. I've put the rest of the box away in case I can use it for my War of 1812 project in some way.

For the dragoon bases I decided to use two figures, one with a sword and one with a firearm. I found these a bit if a pain to paint--as much detail as most 28mm figures but just that much smaller.

I added a third figure for the cavalry base and armed them all with swords. Overall, I'm fairly pleased with the outcome.

I also did one figure up as the British general so I can play the mobile general rule for DBHx. In hind-sight I should have done two generals for each army so I could have two commands. If I get ambitious and add loyalists or militia to the armies, I will paint up another commander for each side.

Up next: I have another 15mm EIR DBA army primed and ready to paint for a commission. I'm still mulling my next personal project but likely something 28mm.

Friday, January 7, 2011

15mm EIR Romans

I finished painting a 15mm Early Imperial Roman (II/56) army this week. These are almost all Old Glory figures (the bow might be Minifigs and the light horse are Xyston). I primed them (in deference to the weather) with black paint and future floor wax. This took some extra time (versus spraying) but allowed me to skip painting the silver.

This is (I think) an all options army, with five bases of 4Bd, three bases of 3Cv, one base of 2LH, one base of 4Bw, one base of 2Ps, one base of 1Art and four bases of 4Ax.

When I play EIRs, I typically use the 4Bd general option and you can see him standing here amid horns, standards and whatnot.

There is also a 3Cv general option which you can see here in the middle stand of cavalry.

Overall, there are five bases of 4Bd (including the general) which gives the army significant punch against other foot. Although beware the warband quick-kill issue. These fellows are all wearing chain mail.

The 2LH base is a conversion of two Xyston Gaulish figures that I put on horses of unknown origins. The skirmishers are Old Glory and they give the blade a better ability to withstand mounted charges and warband.

There are two types of ranged weapons. The ballista is Old Glory while the bow are (I think) Minifigs. There are also four bases of 4Ax.

These painted fairly quickly. Cleaning and glueing and priming took 40 minutes all told. Painting the nine colours (@20 minutes each) took another three and a quick wash added another 20 minutes. Then there was about an hour all told of basing so about five hours for 41 foot and 11 mounted.

These fellows are available for sale $55 plus shipping (likely $15 in Canada or the US). I'd also accept a part trade for some 28mm skeletons. offers to . SOLD!

Up next: The last of the British AWI dragoons. I'm not sure what follows--perhaps I'll start on some 28mm Saxons?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

AWI 1/72 American DBHx Artillery

With only British dragoons left on the painting table, I finished the basing on these 1/72-scale American artillery pieces. The kits are a mix of Imex's British and American artilllery sets.

These fellows are small howitzers with a mixed crew. I painted up the American artillery troops with a few more guys in civvies.

And below you can see the small, two-pounder cannon.

Overall, a useful addition to the armies. With only the British dragoons left, I now turn my mind to how I could add a few elements and make this army more fantastical for HoTT. I think a flying ship of some kind would be a nice addition. Lurkers (Benedict Arnold? The Swamp Fox?) and heroes might also be nice touches.

Up next: Some 15mm EIRs are dry and await pictures. And I hope to finish the painting on the dragoons at lunch today. Thereafter, who knows?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

EWG Club Night

We had 12 guys pass through last night with nine playing games. Scott and Dave played two games of Command and Colours Ancients. Things are not looking so good for the Roman player over on the right flank.

Terry, Chen and Bruce played a game of Civilization. There were a lot of components!

Dave and Mark commanded the sheep-lovin' Scots in a 28mm game of HoTT. Facing them where the slack-jaw skeletons commanded by Justin and me. Below you can see the results of charging my three bases of riders against Mark's knights in support of Justin's line. Hey, where'd my riders go?

This pretty much summed up the game--the skeletons didn't have the stomach for the fight and could never quite finish anything. Below you can see my line facing down Dave's cagey Scots.

The picture below was about mid game and I figured Mark was about to get boned. Neither knight can retreat and the fellow on the left is an aerial hero. We should have gotten at least one. Alas, the old maxim "In case of emergency, roll 6" proved our undoing. An ignoble defeat for the undead.

Up next: 1/72 AWI American artillery is ready to go along with a 15mm EIR DBA army. And I have the last 1/72 AWI British forces (dragoons) almost painted.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

AWI 1/72 American DBHx Dragoons

While traditional cavalry units were not common in the AWI (versus, say, Europe), I did want to include some horse options for both the American and British units in my armies. This is necessary for some scenarios (e.g., Guilford Courthouse, Cowpens) and adds an interesting dimension to ahistorical games.

The British were easy enough to figure--Italeri does a set of British AWI light cavalry. But what of the Americans? I decided to model the American horse as dragoons--men who moved on horse but fought on foot. I pulled the horses from the Imex British and American foot sets and then paired them with some foot fellows in a mix of uniforms.

In retrospect, having the horses tied to trees or a fence and the foot fellows kneeing to shoot might have been the better choice, although that would have been hard to fit on the right bases (these bases are already too deep for DBHx standards). That said, I'm fairly happy with these two units.

Up next: AWI American artillery are drying and I'm almost done the British dragoons. I also have finished some 15mm Romans. Alas, work commences again today so that will cut down on my productivity some.