Saturday, December 29, 2018

Three 54mm cannons

I found myself short a few cannons before Xmas. I didn't want to pick up two more boxes of Armies in Plastic cannons so, instead, I bought three metal pencil sharpener off eBay.

These scale pretty well with 1/32 minis (I think the cannon on the left below is AiP).

You can often find unusual but helpful gaming stuff in the pencil sharpener section of eBay (e.g., most of my 28mm wild west wagons were pencil sharpeners).

Above you can see the sharpener that is built into the base. The only change required is gluing a bit of card in place below the barrel to cover the opening. These sharpeners also shoot matchsticks (or did--I doubt they operate now!).

Once set among figures, they look the part. I paid about $20 for three, which was a deal.

Up next: I have two groups of 54mm British AWI guards underway plus some 28mm furniture and some HO-scale garbage dumpsters.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

All I want for Xmas are some 54mm French cavalry

Merry Christmas to everyone! I recently finished up some 54mm French cavalry for Tricorne. These are Armies in Plastic AWI cavalry that I slightly modified the hats on.  

It isn't perfectly clear what kind of cavalry were involved in the various battles in Tricorne (dragoon or hussars) so I based the paint scheme on the Mollo plate of the hussars. I couldn't find any putty locally to deal with the hats so I left them a vague "light infantry" shape.

Overall, these will do. The blue jackets shifted a bit towards grey after I washed on some shadows so they might serve as generic dragoons in a pinch. I also found myself short on some cannon so, after some sussing out of options, three more of those are underway.

Saturday, December 22, 2018


Sadly, I missed the last club night of the year this past week. But I did manage to get a game or two in, with Jessica and I playing both Cthulhu Pandemic and Memoir 44.

The old ones kicked our asses at Pandemic so I hauled out Sainte-Mere-Eglise (one of the started scenarios from Memoir) and we tried that. There is a paradrop for the US player with the potential for up to four extra units appearing (I got three).

I moved into town to try and neutralize any centre cards Jess might have. She, in turn, moved up her flankers. I took an early lead but she finally got her tanks to break out from behind the infantry screen and then there was hell to pay.

I think it was a 5-3 victory for the US, but it was much closer than the score would suggest as lots of US units were down to a single figure.

I also looked at the kitchen cabinetry in a new way this week and noticed we seem to have some sort of image of Yoda in the grain. (Some people say Jabba, but they are wrong and stupid for even thinking that--look at the ears, people. THE EARS! WRONG YOU ARE!).

Don't know why I didn't see that earlier (we've had the cabinets for a decade).

The club is on a Christmas hiatus and, since our first cub night is January 1, I suspect Red Claw will be closed. More time for painting, then. And maybe some more Memoir--I'd like to try the Sword beach scenario.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Terrain and trucks

I finished off some 28mm pieces I picked up at Red Claw a few weeks ago. These add a bit of mad-scientist/evil vampire terrain to my collection.

First up is a cage and torture rack plus two piles of chain. The cage come apart and you can get a figure inside it.

I also picked up a mirror, some end tables, a desk and a crow on a bird stand.

The detail on these is pretty amazing. The mirror even knows to not reflect the vampire!

I took trip to a local flea market. I didn't see much there but I did pick up two old tractor-trailer units. These should add some additional LOS blocks to the warehouse district of Gotham. They were pretty new and shiny looking so I made them a touch grittier.

They are too small for 28mm figures (more 1/87 than 1/64) but they fit in reasonably well with the HO-scale terrain I have been using.

These HO-scale cars are a pretty decent match. Sorry my camera hates the colour red so much--the cab is not this eye-searing in person.

Up next: Working on some 54mm cavalry still.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Longstreet: McFarlane's Haymaker

I dropped over to Bruce's on Tuesday in the hopes of reversing my string of ACW losses. Bruce set up a nice game of Longstreet, with the Southerners on the attack.

Key things tonote in the photo above is the victory marker located just behind the right-most field as well as Bruce's refused right flank (top left of picture). My plan was to hit the right side hard, push him back and grab the objective marker, betting that I would have enough points to win the game.

So I advanced, we traded fire and (on the left) you can see Bruce hurrying his cavalry around into position. I roughly calculated he would not make it in time, but he had a couple of good cards that accelerate his progress.

Above, the lines have connected and Bruce is about to take a pounding. So far, so good.

Then Bruce played a couple of good cards that stalled my advance while his cavalry surged forward. At one point I had to discard 1d6 of cards and, of course, I rolled a 6, thereby forfeiting my turn (no cards). Arrrrgh!

That left me as per above and his cavalry (below) rode down my cannon. The cannon beat off the attack (with great dice--he got spanked) but the damage the cannon took pushed me over the threshold and Bruce won a convincing victory. A great save by Bruce.

I remain winless at Longstreet in a long while but hope for another chance for victory.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Commercial block

As part of a job lot, I picked up this merchants block from Walther. It was in bad shape. It was missing both roof pieces, the short wall on the roof, and, most concerningly, an angled piece of brick on the front corner was missing. 

I didn't snap a picture of the building I got but I think it was supposed to look like the one above. The cupola and door were missing. To fix this, I had to remove parts of two walls to allow the front corner to mate. I also had to make roof and wall pieces.

I then did not minimal painting. The result is passable. It looks way worse in this photo than in real life. I will go back and touch up the brick work on the from corner.

For $2 and a bit of plastic card, I'm happy enough.

Up next: Some 54mm AWI highlands that have been staring mournfully from the paint table for almost a year.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Monmouth Courthouse

I hauled my 54mm AWI troops out to the club this week to put on a game of Tricorne. I selected the Monmouth Courthouse scenario as I don't think I have ever gamed that one before.

Scott and Bruce were for king and Richard and Chen were for congress. Red Claw was packed when we got there so I much appreciate Leanne saving us a 6x4 table to game on.

Monmouth has 22 units per side and requires nine victory banners to win, so it took us two hours to get through the scenario. The British can gain two banners per American hill-hex that they occupy.

The British spent a lot of time maintaining a solid line to allow them to play the many, many line cards that they got. They focussed first on ejecting the Americans from the forward line of hedges and trying to firm up the British left flank (which was enfiladed by cannon).

These poor Prussian grenadiers earned their pay that day and were forced to advance to the rear after a few turns. Bruce also immediately lost the unit of highlanders I spent weeks (WEEKS!) painting to a bad rout die roll over on the British right.

The shot above pretty much sums up the first hour. The British carefully advanced under fire while the Americans fell back.

I trotted out both some new cannons (made from pencil sharpeners) and some cavalry that had not seen battle before. This was about 50% of my 54mm collection.

Having taken the hedge line, there was a lengthy bit of bombardment (there are seven cannons in the game) which started to pile up the American casualties. There were also a pair (?) of American leader losses which was unfortunate for the rebels.

At this point, the British finally got some right-side cards and started to advance on that side (in the background of the photo below) while the Americans tried to put some pressure on in the foreground.

Grabbing a hill hex (background of photo below) gave the British the two extra banners they needed and brought the game to a close (I think it was 9-4 but am not sure).

Overall, relatively fun. The British got a lot of line cards and worked hard to maximize their effectiveness. The Americans suffered for this. And also had a couple of nasty rout rolls. Thanks to everyone for playing!

Tuesday, December 4, 2018


Still more buildings this week. This is an HO-scale factory I got for $2 at the railway swap meet.

This is a nice model. I spent some time dry brushing, washing and sealing. The photos don't really show the improvement this made but it is now a nice looking piece.

It has lots of levels for characters to move on and fight from behind. This as a fairly easy reclamation project. I still need to print off a sign for the one on the roof.

Next week I'll have a more difficult project finished.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Hey you, in the jail!

I dropped over to Bruce's on Tuesday to try out "Hey you, in the jail!", a meter Pig rule set akin to AK47. I missed the game at the club last Tuesday and Bruce wanted to give some rules amendments a try (primarily adding in three objective markers to force the defenders to move about the table.

Like many PP rules, there is a pregame map phase that creates a campaign-like feel. I ended up defending three objectives with two units. Bruce arrived on the board with three units and sent one on a flank march. The map game eventually played out in favour with my reinforcements arriving early and Bruce's not arriving at all.

Above you can see my troops loitering at the farm, ready to defend the bridge (out of shot on right) of the objective marker on the hill. Bruce's flankers have just arrived at my rear.

Bruce's main force quickly grabbed the highest value marker in the middle of the table. While a gunfight developed back by the farm. My reinforcements arrived just behind Bruce's flankers. This was heartening but ultimately pointless as I couldn't roll higher than a four all night.

In the main time, I attack one of Bruce's weaker units at range to try and kill off some units (which counted towards the victory total). Alas, the dice deserted me.

In the end my troops were forced to dash for an objective marker (unsuccessfully) and took a pounding as Bruce handily won the game. I don't recall the score but on my way out Bruce hand me both my coat and my ass, so I suspect it was pretty lopsided!

Overall, a fun game. Shooting was pretty ineffective and we talked about lowering the saving scored (so hits stick more often). That said, the rules seemed fine (with the addition to objective markers)--my problems were all dice-related. This rules might well work for the Riel Rebellion.

I'm nw back at the paint table working on more HO-scale buildings and a few more 54mm AWI. I hope to run an AWI game at the club next week.