Tuesday, 31 May 2011

British Foot Artillery, and a cunning transportation solution

Another week, and another photo of my British Napoleonics, this time a battery of the Royal Foot Artillery:

Miniatures are Victrix plastics, with Architects of War hedges filling the background and Hovels ltd atrillery emplacments. These were a bargain and painted up brilliantly but have yet to see the tabletop. The smoke is the best material we've found to date, the lining of Perry Miniatures blisters. This is much, much more natural-looking than cotton wool. Progress on Napoleonics has stalled as I worked on the WWII project, but I hope to put some time in soon.

I'm also often trying to find an 'optimum' solution for tranposrting figs. I've got a Figures in Comfort case that I love, but they are a bit too pricey to have enough to hold all of my various forces. So, for plastics and odd scales I've been experimenting. Here's the solution for my 28mm Napoleonic British:

So, top left to bottom right we have 95th Rifles, KGL light dragoons, Royal Foot Artillery, 28th North Gloucestershire Light, 28th North Gloucestershire centre, two unpainted units of redcoats, and finally the 42nd 'Black Watch'. Since I took the photo the painted 42nd have doubled, and the Rifles have been finished. Redocats next, when I can bring myself to it!

It is a standard A4 box file, lined on the bottom with sticky-backed steel sheet (I got mine from Principles of War). The troops are then based on Gale Force 9 magentic bases. The Colours are just short enough to fit in. The magnets are strong enough to rank the models up, they don't move as long as you don't shake the box too vigourosly. The only ones I would be worries about would be my Perry metal cavalry.

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Triples, belatedly

Thought I'd post my thoughts on a long Saturday spent at Triples. Firstly, love the new venue - easy to get to, with a nice, airy, well-lit hall which most traders and games fit into. I was fond of the old Triples venue, but mostly as I knew if from being a Sheffield Student. Really, Triples was a bit of a rabbit warren of rooms full of dimly lit stands and games. Endearing, but not ideal for a hobby which is becoming increasingly well-presented and professional. The new location is a great improvement.

There were some impressive demo games, as much from the number of figures on show as the themes. None really inspired us to dive into a new subject though. A great blog, Too Much Lead, has a good few pics of the highlights:


The purchases were a mixed success, as I had a long list of hopeful items. We're often tempted on the spur of the moment to undertake a new project, but not this year. The best contenders were Anglo-Dutch wars naval, or 10mm medieval/ancients. Neither got us excited enough to purchase. At the end of a good 4 hours browsing, the haul was:
-Two desert hills to texture up for Napoleonic Peninsular war
-pack of Redoubt defenses, again for Peninsular
-Renedra plastic fencing
-three packs of MiniNatur tufts to detail up a whole host of bases and terrain
-a few final (honest!) bits from Pendraken to bulk the Tommy platoon out
-an impulse purchase of some Gripping Beast/Woodbine British Countryside Hunt minis, probably to be used as Pulp characters

This came in at only half the budget,so spare money to splash out this month!

Monday, 23 May 2011

Gaming weekend, Battle Report

Just back from a long weekend with my brother, where we itnended to get some solid gaming in while the womenfolk knitted and gossipped. Unfortunately, fate was against us, with a two hour delay on the trains on Friday writing off any gaming then, and my brother coming down with something which although mild, was an unwanted distraction.

Still, we rolled out the 10mm WWII for two games using Baptism of Fire. Mostly, we were chuffed to both be using fully painted forces of the first time in an age. And they did both look mighty spiffing, if I do say so myself. I've added a few photos of the first game below - British attackers aiming to break through the German position.

The assault begins

The markers are for defensive hidden deployment of troops and defenses, as well as D6 dummy markers. Smoke and flames is for morale statue (one for suppressed, two for pinned) - these were from my initial bombardment.

Shermans crest the hill

The terrain is mostly scratch built, with Hovels Ltd farm buildings, which painted up nicely. Note the table has moved - kicked out for dinner to be served! A substantial benefit to being able to play on 2' by 4'.

Panzer IV knocks out the Firefly's turret

Enough said really - the Brit armour is in a fix, having lost their main firepower.


We called it a wrap, with by brother unable to stop the start of a tide of Tommies flooding past his right flank. Although the Brits were losing the tank battle, they had succeeded at holding back the German centre for long enough to start acheiving their objective in numbers.

Lessons learned:
- The rules play well, but a turn takes 30 - 40 minutes or so and are very interactive so require a lot of attention.
- As we've only played a few times, and the rulebook design does leave quite a lot to be desired, there is a lot of rulebook flicking to slow things down.
- Bring plenty of transport - infantry is slow to maneuver on such a large board.
-Never underestimate the panic a single 2" mortar can cause with a good barrage.
- Armour is strong, but goes down fast to the heaviest guns, or is impossible to beat from others. We may need to tweak the armour rules to prevent armoured one-upmanship forcing us both to always bring some major AT firepower at the expense of everything else. The next game highlighted this perfectly, when the Tiger I showed itself...
- Fully painted figs and terrain are hughely rewarding

We also made a short trip to Triples on Saturday, to stock on on supplies and inspiration. More on that later!

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

A cunning plan?

So, havin watched Sharpe's Enemy last night, I'm itching to knock up some mounted Spanish Guerillas and preferably a Marquessa-esque character. I know Redoubt do a set, but in a stickler for lovely figs and as far as I can tell they aren't so lovely. Dang.

Today I had a brainwave - how about using Perry ACW cavalry as the basis for some conversions work? They look basic enough to modify, which should be easy being plastic. I've plenty of bits from various Perry and Victrix sets and should have enough ability to tweak the clothing with green stuff. I once did an entirely converted 40K IG Adeptus Mechanicus force, which left me a soft spot for converting.

So, that may be a plan to start with but doesn't help with the Marquessa...

Update: ACW cavalry bought for a bargain £15, started cutting them up and planning my motley band.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

A Little Progress

As mentioned previously, I've been working on some 10mm WWII, a pet project of my brother. Below are the first finished models, a platoon of Tommies and a couple of Vickers MGs They are Pendraken models, magnetically based onto custom-made metal bases, which should make them hugely adaptable.

They will be used for skirmish rules, so we tried magnetic basing so we could remove casualties.

Phone pic on the dining table once again, I'll update with a proper picture once I've painted up their transport and armour!

Over the weekend I also finished my second unit of 95th Rifles skirmishers, maintaining my Napoleonics output. No pics at the moment, though I did post the original unit the other week.