Sunday, December 25, 2016

Some holiday 54mm AWI

Merry Christmas, gamers! Hopefully Santa left you a mountain of lead, rather than a lump of ("clean") coal. I've been busy painting in my spare time, with the weak British pound helping expand my 54mm AWI forces. In retrospect, I should have done some Hessians for today!

These Americans are part of an Armies in Plastic "Any British Regiment" box. It has the same content as the "Any American Regiment" box, but the figures were cast in eye-searing red instead of a horribly unnatural royal blue. To try and differentiate my forces, I have been painting the advancing poses as Americans (and nipping off any bayonets) while the Brits get shooting and charging poses (with bayonets).

The figures are okay. There is not a lot of detail on them and I further muddied it with an overly heavy coat of gesso. This was my first go with paint-on primer (a nod to the extreme cold we had last week which precluded spray painting) and getting coverage over the red plastic required two coats. I think I have that sorted out now and future priming will be better! Great teeth on the primer, though.

As you zoom in, you can see my painting gets less impressive (this scheme is a Maryland regiment, I think). I also picked up some 1/32 figures from Accurate Armies and they are much better figures (with detail more akin to metals--kind of like when Italeri upscales their 1/72's). I am looking forward to painting them!

I also managed to finish three terrain pieces I have been avoiding for a year (one emplacement and two walls). They are big pieces and don't really fit my terrain. But they are now done and I don't have to avoid looking at that shelf anymore!

Up next: Probably some more 54mm AWI (a full British unit to finish off the box I opened). Then I'll turn my mind to the Accurate figures. Some will be Hessians. Others will be American rabble. I'd also like to game a game of muskets and Tomahawks going in the new year. Bruce has agreed to supply the troops so I need to put together some orbats and get a couple of practice games in.

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Aurelian at the club

Our last night of club play this year saw 10 guys out. There was both Blood Bowl (below) and Dread Ball (no pic), which looked fun.

Bruce was keen to bloody his Persians so brought some 15mm Aurelian out. He and I took the Romans against Chen and Dave's Persians. The Persians are a tough army to play--lots of light troops, some terrible rabble, and then a few terrifying heavy elements.

Having never played before, Dave's announcement that the Persians would try a double envelopment was greeted with derisive laughter from onlookers. But damned if it didn't almost work!

Here is a mid-game shot with the Roman's closing in the middle (they were under time pressure) and the Persian wings staring to nibble at the flanks. The Romans would get lucky in the middle, damaging the elephants before closing for some decisive combat. The game could easily have gone the other way if the elephant and cataphract fights had gone Persian.

In the end, the Persians ran out of cards. This was my exact experience last week playing British warbands in the same scenario. There just aren't quite enough cards for the defender to run an active defence and run out the objective clock on the Romans.

The defender either needs to play a static delaying action (tough for the Persians given their crap infantry) or do something decisive to cost the Roman cards through cohort loss. That said, it was a closer game that is should have been: Dave and Chen are wily card optimizers.

Up next: Some more 54mm AWI!

Friday, December 16, 2016

Aurelian campaign continued

Bruce and I continued our Aureleian campaign this week with the first large battle between the dastardly Romans and the British freedom fighters.

Bruce had 10 turns to march across the board and seize two objectives. I managed to drop some nasty terrain (light green oval) in his way early on. I then moved to try and jam up his legions in bad terrain. Tactically this was right (bad terrain levels the playing field for the Brits) but strategically this was an error (burned too many cards).

I knew I was in real card trouble just about the moment when the armies collided. The first skirmishes were pretty indecisive.

Then this started to happen....

...and now everyone has party hats and I'm low on cards and Bruce is also working horse around my flank.

I tried a hail Mary attack to run him out of cards through unit loss but he had a special card that negated the flank benefits for one turn and that was all she wrote. I should have just waited him out.

We then returned to Druid to move the campaign along We played another 5 turns (so we're 50% of the way done). Bruce has supply problems but I have not rallied enough tribes. We stopped when we got another big battle result and we'll game that out.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

54mm AWI Cavalry

I finally finished off six mounted British troops for my 54mm AWI armies. Have I mentioned how much I dislike painting cavalry! So much surface area.

These were Armies in Plastic figures, from the same boxes I used to make up some American dragoons a few weeks ago. Nice dynamic poses. Only a few spots where production requirements compromised the sculpts.

I've posed these fellows next to a metal All The King's Men officer I painted. The horses match (more or less). The metal horse is a bit shorter and also not as long.

The details on the metal figure are also crisper and deeper. The trade off is the greater price.

Up next: Some Aurelian with Bruce on Tuesday, I think. I'm working my way through some terrain and also a few small projects while waiting for another shipment of troops.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

December 6 club night

Last week I had to travel to Calgary for work and dropped in at the Sentry Box on a Sunday afternoon. Very crowded with gamers. Managed not to buy anything!

We had 10 guys out for our second-last gaming night of the year. Bruce hosted Wiley, Terry, Chen, Justin and I in a game of Colt Express. Below you can see Justin looking all innocent ("oh, how do you play? oh really, gosh, and I can shoot Bruce over and over again? well shucks...").

Overall, a very fun game and we had three runs through it. Pre-planning of moves each turn followed by a playing of the cards. Winner has the most loot. There is a sheriff to move to screw stuff up. Punches were thrown. Terry got shot (a lot). Great light game--probably best with 4-6 players.

Dave and Jon played some Bolt Action Vietnam, I think. Great looking table.

Not sure anybody won the game (hey, historical outcome!).

Dave and Kevin played blood bowl: Bagshot Gutsplitters versus the Blue Ballers. This was on going as I left.

Up next: I managed to finished some 54mm AWI cavalry. Oh, man, I hate painting cavalry! Then maybe onto some more AWI troops. I'd also like to sort out Muskets and Tomahawks for a club game in January with some borrowed troops. Hopefully I will get to play a game of Aurelian against Bruce next week.

Saturday, November 26, 2016

Druid and 54mm AWI

I dropped in on Bruce Tuesday to start our Hell Hath No Fury campaign, based on the old board game Druid. The set up is simple. The Britons need to make hay while the Romans are activating.

We played about half way through the 20 turns in an hour. I was busy burning SE England while Bruce marched legions towards me. I spent some time disappearing in the forest and also marching and counter marching to keep his legions tied up. Eventually we had the makings of a major battle north of London that we'll game out using Aurelian next time.

I also finally moved seven 54mm AWI British troops off the painting table. These are plastics left over from an Any Regiment box by Armies in plastic.

Nice enough troops. I sealed these before washing to give them a fresher look than the dirty metal figures I've done. I have six British cavalry under way. And I finally cracked the plastic on Muskets and Tomahawks.

Up next: I think I am free for both club nights in December.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Aurelian and Druid

I didn't get to the club this week but I did get a few gams in. Jess and I have been continuing to play through Red November, trying to get a win against the mechanics. Sheesh.

Last week, Bruce hosted a game of Aurelian (Rome v Hairys). The scenario was an ambush where the Hairys had 15 hands of play to control a base of sheep. We're still learning the system and I think I got lucky with the terrain placement.

My plan to face down his screaming hordes was to close and minimize his ability to maneuver while running out the turn clock.

My heavies moved through the skirmishers (who became the reserve and last line of defence) wile my cavalry moved to refuse the flank against his cavalry.

The eventual clash in the centre was a bit of a slog. The right-hand part of the lines because a bit of a FUBAR as Bruce cagily sought to turn flanks and try to get a break through.

Fortunately, that game works both way and managed to delay his advance and run his cards down.

In the end, he just ran out of time (15 turns in insanely tight!). Also tangling head on with Romans is a rough business. I suspect I will face some terrain woes in future engagements.

Bruce then broke out a copy of Druid and we played a few turns to get the hang of it. His thought is to use it as a campaign mechanic for Aurelian. It seemed simply enough and I'm looking forward to it

Up next: I have been doing a bit of painting as I move a bunch of 54mm British AWI off of the painting table. Not sure what comes next!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

November 1 Club Night

We had 12 guys out at the club last night. Bruce hosted Chen and I in a game of Aurelian. I played the Romans. I fiddled around a lot with the bases and neglected to recognize the importance of the hill on my left...

Bruce put his barbarian heavies in the woods, leaving me to face skirmishers and a bunch of horse. I went forward and he dropped some annoying terrain that really disrupted my movement.

The horse battle on the left was inconclusive for a long time. In the meantime Chen joined Brice and pushed forward the barbarian foot while my troops were disordered. Things were looking bad as my card deck was getting low.

I finally managed to attrit the barbarian cards in the horse battle, then stalled their movement with an event card and the slammed into the side of main force for two turns.

The resulting unit loss pushed them to the break point of their card deck just before my own deck expired. The lesson here is that good luck and the toughness of the Roman can overcome really bad generalship.

Bruce and Chen played a second game with the Romans winning again.

We also had a game of Silver Tower out plus whatever the heck Richard Borg's WW1 game is called.

And Dave hosted a WW2 Crete game (Bolt Action maybe?) with Jon.

Up next: Some more 54mm AWI.

Friday, October 21, 2016

1/32-scale frontier militia

I couldn't make the club this week but I did manage to finish some painting. These are the second half of an Armies in Plastic 1/32-scale box of FIW troops. 

I painted these guys up as frontier militia for the rebels. My thought was that this took advantage of the figures' otherwise antiquated FIW gear. They can also fill in the ranks of larger militia units or act as scouts.

Overall, these are nice enough figures. They have an interesting variety of gear and poses and there was only one annoying bent rifle barrel.

The sculpting on plastics can sometimes be a bit muddy in order to deal with the undercut issue of metal moulds. These guys turned out okay, I think. Washing really helps add some depth to the figures and the paint tones.

Up next: I'm turning my mind to the British with eight foot figures underway and then six mounted.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

1/32-scale Rebel Dragoons

A couple of weeks back, I posted some 1/32-scale FIW troops that I painted up as AWI rebel dragoons.  These were plastics from Armies in Plastic.  My plan was to add in a few mounted (since most dragoons would fight dismounted) to flesh out some units for the upcoming Tricorne set of rules.

I finally have the mounted figures done. Man, 1/32-scale horse are big figures! These fellows are also from Armies in Plastic. I nipped the sides of the tricornes off to get a soft cap that seems more in keeping with the illustrations of American dragoons.

The horses were a mixed bag, in terms of painting. They look better in person than in the pictures. Overall, I'm happy there are so few cavalry in the AWI!

I have spray primed another six horse for the British dragoon units and these are next on my painting list. I also have a few generic foot left over that I may paint up to stretch out the British dragoons if needed. I keep hoping for a unit list for Tricorne so I can focus my painting.

Up next: I can't make the club this week but I will finish another eight-man unit of frontier militia for the Rebel side. This is another paint job conversion of the FIW set I bought.