Saturday, November 26, 2022

Man of War

Bruce graciously put on a game of Man of War, hauling out his lovely collection of GHQ ships. This is a very slick system with movement triggered by one's speed (the faster you go, the more times you move in a turn--akin to the activation system in the old fighter-plane game Mustangs). Movement is interspersed with five shared firing phases. So the challenge is to maneuver so you can take advantage of (and not be screwed by...) the occurrence of the firing opportunity. I imagine Bruce has tweaked the rules some but I can't recall what the tweaks were.

Our scenario was a smaller but better quality French fleet (foreground) having the wind gauge on a British fleet (background). The wind is running left to right across the picture above and is abeam the one French ship that is cutting hard to the right all on its own. In my mind, I call this game "oh shit, the wind shifted" and this was no exception

So we get get moving and the second turn I roll a wind change in direction (it is now coming from the right, angling along the hex grain to the left) and it has dramatically weakened. This is a very unlikely event. Bruce has just turned his fleet to try and take the wind gauge away from me and this change basically catches him in irons, partly becalmed, and creates a major traffic jam (basically, he is now screwed). Despite my sympathy for his situation. I am proceeding to take full advantage.

Picture above of pretty ships with a speed counter on in. Speed ranges 0-7 hexes per turn--speed 4 for a big ship is pretty fast.

I manage to get a group of ships around the end of his line an start doing rear rakes. Some lucky rolls and he has two ships awash. My effort to board isn't successful, however.

Over on the left, I'm trying to get ships around the front for more rakes and put him in a box. The wind has just left him with no good options except to fight it out until he can get turned around and run.

In the end, one of his awash ships strikes it colours and that causes a cascading morale failure (a second seton unlucky dice for Bruce) and his fleet breaks contact. Probably a pretty decisive (and lucky) victory for the French.

Overall, one of the better sets of rules. Maneuver is slow and grinding, wind position and crew quality really matter, unusual things (like boarding actions) are risky and unlikely to occur. The mechanics create command and control limits that seem realistic while still giving players some difficult choices around movement and combat. The firing mechanic (basically, if you fire now, you have to skip the next firing phase to reload that side), in particular, make for tough choices.

Up next: A different era of naval operations.

Saturday, November 19, 2022

Crimean Russians Advancing

Despite a slow week at the painting table, I finished off the first of two batches of 28mm Crimean Russians from Foundry.

These are the advancing pose. Nothings special about them (beyond their sheer number). I managed to step on one fellow and his bayonet cut quite a gouge in my foot!

Up next: Lego naval ship?

Saturday, November 12, 2022

Some Pulp Alley Musketeers

I dropped in on Bruce to play some Pulp Alley. He was keen to try out a new solo-play chart he'd created to go with the solo deck he'd bought. Basically, you roll 3d6 for each NPC unit and cross reference against proximity to enemy (different chart for each type of NPC) to determine what they do. This is an alternative to players just making the 'most sensible' move for NPCs during a solo game. Overall, it worked well.

Bruce set a lovely table. I think I snapped this at the end. The four musketeers came on on the bottom of the frame with the baddies starting at random spots (mostly on the far edge). There were four minor plot points (various articles belonging to the queen). Once a side had on minor plot point (1 point each), they could then hustle to the tavern, climb the stairs and try to convince a noble to join them (four points).

Almost immediately, two musketeers ran into a group of the Cardinal's goons in the woods while trying to rescue a lady in waiting. The musketeers sent these fellow packing but the random dice meant that one of the musketeers spent the rest of the game here dueling and buying time for the rest.

A second musketeer grabbed the queen's diary and with two minor plot points in the can, everyone made for the tavern, the cardinals' goons in hot pursuit.

A big barney in the woods tied up a lot of the cardinal's resources. One musketeer ran into the tavern and up the stairs before getting cut off by some goons. Two more musketeers jumped through the door and put the boots them.

In the end, the musketeers managed to (barely) get the noble and two minor points out the back door. There were no casualties among the musketeers and three among the cardinal's forces so we gave the game to the musketeers.

Overall, the random reaction table workers well, adding unexpected events and limiting the helicopter god effect. The solo deck was also pretty effective, penalizing or rewarding in random (and annoying) points.

Saturday, November 5, 2022

Even more Russians with helmets

More Perry Russians for Crimea. This time in the shooting pose.

Nice sculpts also likely suitable for colonial adventures into the 1920s and 1930s. Just an overwhelming number of figures to paint. 

Thank Cthulhu I can just spray on the beige and detail.

Up next: Unless I go blind, we'll have more Russians. This time a huge number in the advancing pose. 

Saturday, October 29, 2022

More Crimean Russians, now with helmets

 The endless hordes of Russians continue. These are 28mm Perry figures from Foundry.

There were 13 figures in this unit and the pose is "defending". I think they turned out okay (followed examples on Foundry site). I wish the helmets had been just a touch darker. 

I also did a unit of command bases.

Up next: More Russians! I didn't find anything at the model railway sale on last weekend so I'm back to grinding through my to-paint pile.

Saturday, October 22, 2022

More Crimean Russians

Some more 28mm Crimean Russians from Foundry. 

Up next: Yet even more Russians, but this time in helmets!

Saturday, October 15, 2022

28mm Crimean Russians

I'm grinding my way through a huge lot of 28mm Crimean Russians that I received last fall.

These are Perry sculpts and have lots of character. I used the pictures on the Foundry website as the painting guide.

I'd say these fellows could also be used in colonial adventures from the 1850s into the 1930s.

Up next: More Russians for Crimea!

Saturday, October 8, 2022

Rebased 28mm pulp-era Cobra

I have several things on the painting table, but nothing ready to show this week (too many distractions as the gardening and kayaking seasons come to a close). One thing I did finish this week was rebasing my pulp-era Cobra troops.

There are eight more troopers I didn't take a snap of. All are Pulp Figures except the Cobra Commander in the middle (whom I bought from Crooked Dice miniatures). 

Up next: Looking forward to the model train swap meet at the end of the month to secure some autumn projects. Also working on a bunch of Crimean Russians (so many Russians...).

Saturday, October 1, 2022

For Sale: Painted Star Wars Legion Rebel Army

I have for sale a painted Rebel army for Star Wars Legion. The army includes the cards and counters but no dice. I'd like $250, which is less than the cost of the unpainted minis.

There are five seven-man foot units, two Lukes, and three AT-RT walkers. The guns on the walkers swivel (magnet mounts) and there are three extra guns if you want to customize the weaponry.

From a pet- and smoke-free home. Would not consider parting this out. Shipping is extra at cost. offers to .

Saturday, September 24, 2022

AT-RTs and Cobra Commander

I finished off the last of the Star Wars Legion rebels I bought: three AT-RTs. I will have all of these guys up for sale shortly. They come with all of the counters and cards you need for the game.

These were interesting figures to paint. The bow-mounted guns rotate on magnets and there are also three spare guns of various descriptions so you can change out the armaments.

I also finished off a new Cobra Commander figure that I got from Crooked Dice. Not sure why his pistol is in his right hand but the holster is on the left leg? A cross-draw hip holster would be weird, no?

This one seems slightly better than the Pulp Figures one that I converted with some paint.

He fits in reasonably well with the Cobra troopers from Pulp Figures. 

I have ordered some more slotta bases and will rebase the rest of the Cobra army to match the Commander.

Saturday, September 17, 2022

Even more brown Rebels

Alright, this is the last of the rebel foot from Star Wars Legion. Another squad in brown but with Luke in Bespin garb.

I went with dun-coloured shirts instead of blue so this squad could be differentiated from last week's, but could also still be combined.

Overall, I'm pretty happy with these guys. Easy to paint beautiful sculpts.

Up next: Some AT-RTs and then may some Crimea War figures?

Saturday, September 10, 2022

Rebels, but this time in brown!

Okay, some more Star Wars Legion rebels. For the third and fourth (next week) squads, I decided to shift palettes and have a drab brown base. These fellows still got rebel blue blouses. 

I've been fiddling with the commercial wash they came with (very nice product) and experimented with the skin tone. Basically, could I get a decent brown-ish skin tone without the usual hoops I jump through with my current technique. I think the answer is yes.

These figures have great detail that can be painted in a lot of different ways. The sculptor should be very proud of this work.

Up next: two more batches of Legion. Another set of troops and then some AT-RTs.

Saturday, September 3, 2022

More rebel troops

I finished  second set of rebel troopers for Star Wars Legion. I again went with a jungle theme.

To these guys I added some additional camp (basically a speckle of brighter green). 

The idea was that they could be used with the unit I finished two weeks ago but could also be separately.

In the end (especially after using the dark wash that came with the figures), the camo doesn't really distinguish the figures too much. You can see this set of figures (middle two poses below) compared to the earlier, slight drabber unit. Oh well!

Onto some walkers and maybe some troopers with brown uniforms for a more arid environment.

Saturday, August 27, 2022


A friend asked me to paint his figures from Gloomhaven, which I take it is some kind of adventure game with figures that unlock as you go. Since the figures are all boxed up, there may be some spoilers below (sorry).

Overall, the figures were harder painting than I normally do. Each pose was unique (i.e., no one in standard fatigues or outfits). But there were some recurring elements that needed to be consistent. These were sometimes not apparent until I'd already painted them a different colour. 

Nobody ended up getting stripped, but a lot of paint blistered due to high-volume swearing! I also did not have the character cards, so I had to work from the images I could find online plus some guess work.

Overall, they turned out okay. The wash really pulled them together by popping the muted detail on some of the sculpts.

Happy they are done and not a complete embarrassment! Now back to some Star Wars.