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.