Monday, September 15, 2014

Cats and Wargames

We obtained a cat from the SPCA and at night (When my daughter is asleep) it likes to be near me (Where I am usually painted at the kitchen table). In the last few nights it has found the paint pile an interesting place and keeps jumping on the table (Where it is not allowed).

 However the cat is tone deaf so no amount of talking to it will help. I have to walk around the table and pick it up from the front (Otherwise it gets a fright being deaf). I must have done this about 10 times last night so my output is being affected but I guess it is good exercise.

I have started to re-base my French and so far have changed 6 units around, finished painting another 2 and am just about to finish repainting one more. Then I'll tidy up my cavalry and fix some guns (the guns were shattered in the quakes) and then I'll have a handy small force for a game. All the standards were busted in the earthquakes too so more work is required on those.

Then I shall continue on with my Saxons and Hotspur figures, then maybe the Russians and Prussians too..........and that Austrian unit I have floating around.

To make things worse I have almost finished my 6mm 1815 Prussian Army for solo games. And when I mean games, I mean Plancenoit at Battalion level.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Blast from the Past.

My first purchased 25mm Napoleonic unit was from Military Miniatures in Auckland and was 25mm Hotspur French - I picked up 50 odd figures and 12 Chasseurs. Over my 10 year hiatus and the next 15 or so years the infantry dwindled down to 34 odd figures so I looked at finding if any more. I found the sculpter had passed away, some if its other ranges still existed under other companies but the Napoloenic line had dissapeared from the world. I managed to find another 10 figures at a swap meet and I also asked on a few forums if anyone had any (Surely i coudnt be the only person that had them) but no luck - Some NZ war gamers mentioned having them but they were others and their fate was unknown.

As they are my first ever unit (and my favourite figures to be honest) they are my favourite so I gave up getting more.  But a few weeks ago I tried one more time and I asked on the yahoo groups NZ forum if anyone had 4 of the figures so I could finish one of the units and a fellow wargamer replied. The end result is this, 100 or so beautiful little 25mm Hotspur French figures FREE. Thanks to the Brian at the blog Woolshed .

He wanted them to find a home (He had a load painted up himself) and gave them to me free and I am very thankful. (Of course I have his address from the packet so I'm sure something will find its way into his letterbox soon ;) as a thank you).

So I now have enough for 5 Units (plus my existing re-painted unit (Finished last night) which then leads onto another problem - I've been repainted a napoleonic unit every few weeks and that urge to do more is starting again. Considering I have 150 Hinton Hunt Saxons, 40 minfigs,40 Italians and 30 odd cavalry to finish up (As well repainting 6 existing Front Rank units) I could do with a good French Napoleonic phase - (The Russians and Prussians need a rebase and touch up too but the few British I have I might sell). What is the grand total of the French - well its a lot (Too many to be honest but you can never have enough can you).

French - 6 line (@24 figures), 1 Cuirrassier (@12), 1 Chasseur, 2 Dragoon, 2 Lancer
German Allies - 20+ units (@24), 1 Cuirrassier, 2 Hussar, 1 Dragoon
Guns for Africa.......

Prussians and Russians (About 12 units each plus 4 cav each)

I should really have a game with them.

A side note - As part of my 6mm armies I picked up a few aircraft and I have been painting them as I do the ground forces. Below is a Me109 for the France 1940 games I plan to play solo. I quite like how it turned out though I have to say basing them on the stands has been an epic journey. I drilled some holes but my first attempt failed so after about 4 attempts as a last resort I used super glue.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Ramelle "Take two."

Some time ago I managed to take part in a refight of the Ramelle area on 7th June 1944. Last weekend the same table was used again and was an encounter action between advancing Allies and a German batlegroup

All 10mm Pendraken figures from Colin and Jim Morton's collections (I need to get mine painted asap). I drew a map of the action and then promptly lost it so all I have are some out of sequence pictures.

My Panzer Grenadiers give some Paras who "came a calling" a good kicking in the woods. Very soon "For you the war is over" was being barked in bad English.
 The German HQ sits  in the village sampling local fare.
My Tigers prowl in the fields while getting bombarded by 105mm Howitzers (That didn't do a thing to them).
 Paul's German Infantry secure our objective.
 Colin's fabulous British Para Mortar section.
 A German battalion forming in the woods for its assault (They can't see us so no artillery is incoming).
 The Sherman's skulk in cover !
 The Tigers pounce.
 And "pounce" they did get as they missed all firing (You know those woe-full dice you roll when you don't need to roll them), the supporting infantry then missed......everything and some Paras in the woods took them out. It always amazes me how bad my dice get when its a "critical roll" and how that luck then transforms into my opponents dice that all become 6's.

I did feel better 5 mins later as some Stug's lit up the Sherman at 100m range but I only have 3 Stugs and there are still 10 Shermans floating around.

The game is in the balance and it will be continued, hopefully the moons all align and I can get to the game.

Very enjoyable game it was and I managed to game from 9am through till 4.30pm - A massive achievement.!.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

28mm Perry ACW - 83rd Pennsylvania.


Last year I was going to play in the Gettysburg Refight, I had some figures painted but then Pneumonia struck and and I simply faded out for a good few months. I found the figures last week and decided to finish them off and then sell them to anyone who would actually use them.

I used the same painting techniques on these as my 15mm so they are very blue. However on my various trips to the States I have seen all shades of Union uniforms so I think they are fine . Perry figures are a joy to paint, but after 6mm/15mm I forgot how much space a painted and based 28mm unit will take up.

(I am also amazed that my camera (held together by medical tape) managed to take such good photos)

I can't remember who I got the flags off but they are good. I d need to finish them off as there were glued on but not tidied up afterwards. (I should have really put the flags bases in the right position for my photo).

28mm figures look bloody great don't they.  I won't do ACW in 28mm (20mm and 6mm are enough) but it was good fun painting them up, if a year late that is.

I'm looking at my Napoleonics and WSS with Envy but I need to finish a lot of other things off first. I do need to rebase my Napoleonics first and also finish off the Allied Armies (Prussian, Russian and British) but as it means at painting 300 figures and rebasing 800 or so I'm not really THAT motivated.


Monday, August 4, 2014

Rally Round the King testing.

So far this week I have played three solo Rally Round the King Games (from Two hour Wargames). These games have been to simply play test the rules as I get ready for a Solo Talomir campaign to generate some battles. The first game on Sunday night took around an hour and ended up in the Goblins getting smashed to pieces on a Dwarven shield wall. I then discovered that I got the rules on Goblins wrong (Skirmishers and formations) so I then played another game and it ended up in the Dwarfs getting a hiding (The dwarf General tried to turn the tide and ended up as a kebab) and I then discovered flaw 2 in that I had mistaken the Terror rule (It only applies to big nasty things like wolves but not goblins) so things wouldn’t have been as bad for the Dwarves. So a third game ensued – this took about half an hour and I found I knew the rules pretty well by now so I only had to refer back to the unit statistics a few times. The dwarves took the third game and the survived simply due to well train troops that could simply endure a battering.

You will see from the pic below I that I can get this on a table (I’ll have a bigger gaming mat and scenery of course) and have it all taken care of in an hour – right next to the kettle and biscuit tin.

The Talomir campaign involves a group of nations that fight in the world of Talomir. These are a mix of Humans and other folk (Goblins, Orcs, Elves etc etc). The great thing is the Human nations are simply Historical armies substituted into another settings.
I have never played ancients before so I will also be using RRTK to get used to these type of warfare and also learn about different nations and troop types that will hopefully form some bases if I ever get around to playing HoTT Tournaments at CWC. It was also mean I have will have 3 Ancient armies I could possibly use for something else.

Talmoir Nations
Tropilium – (Late Roman) – Legion and Auxiliary.
Treyine – (100YW English) – Archers and dismounted Knights.
Border Kingdoms- (Normans) – Retainers and levies.
Elf- Archers and Soldiers.
Dwarf- Crossbows and Soldiers.
Goblin- Little green men with pointy sticks and the odd wolf rider.
Orc- Bigger green men with pointy sticks and the occasional big nasty thing.

I am just finishing painting the Normans and Romans and then I will be ready to start.  The next project is to get some small WW2 6mm forces finished for the same purposes.


Thursday, July 24, 2014



I have been away for a few weeks in Auckland and Australia so things stopped somewhat. I did managed to take several boxes of WSS with me and have made them up (Which was fun) so I at least managed to get something done.

My current task is organising myself now that I have more space and getting some projects started. One good thing to come out of it all is that I am now moving a lot of items into some decent storage so everything is together , instead of being spread across 4 or 5 other boxes, using some "tri-drawer "storage boxes. I have a few already so each genre will end up with its own box - I find this storage a lot easier than my current system that involves checking stuff in any box I can find.

The first task is to get all the 1/72 ACW figures into a box like the above and not have it spread out everywhere like it is now. On top.......

 At the side............
 At the back...

Then I will have another box for WSS and other items I am painting. So incase I moved things around it doesnt turn into a big mess like the below.

Now that I am back home I have started painting again with a little helper. My daughter wants to paint (Anything) so I have been allowing her to undercoat figures. Below are some 15mm undead ( that she coated last night.

While I worked on finishing some 15mm fantasy dwarves ( and finishing some 28mmACW (Perry).
I purchased a box of ACW last year for the refight and then prompt;ly got pneumonia so missed it. So I will paint the last four figures, base then and then sell them.

The photos above have been taken with a tablet that I am experimenting with  given my camera is now quite dated (and clunky).


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Solo wargaming - Joy or curse

In my decent into solo war gaming it has opened up a large array of periods that I can now game in whereas previously I only had figures for games where I had an opponent (ACW, Napoleonic, WW2, WSS). Solo war-gaming has however open up a very broad selection of my war-gaming interests, which have to some degree made me think about what I actually want to game with and what current figures are surplus to my requirements.

As a result of Solo I now have small forces for the following periods:
  • SciFi (15mm).
  • Fantasy (15mm/6mm).
  • 10mm Pony Wars.
  • 10mm Vietnam
  • 6mm/15mm Colonial
  • 6mm WW2 (Early war\ Pacific) 
  • 6mm Napoloenic
  • 15mm WW2 Skirmish.

All small scale items I can chuck on the kitchen table (or floor) for some small games when the mood (suits me). I still have the bigger forces (28mm etc) for actual games if time arises  and even though some armies I have not played with in 3 years I still cannot bring myself to get rid of them (28mm Napoloenics is my pride and joy).

There is the issue of terrain. In the world of Glossy magazines and such I always have this view that my table needs to look like masterpiece theatre. However I find now any terrain will do as long as it looks slightly appropriate, does not fall apart when I touch it or stick to anything that moves.

Of course this new plethora of periods has lead to the usual Rule rush trying to find some decent rules. For the above periods I have looked at a large variety of rules and I think I have settled on some already.

  • Colonial - Science Versus Pluck and TSAF (The Sword and the Flame) 
  • Sci\Fi - 2150 (Twho Hour Wargames) andd Patrol Aglis (Once its released - HINT Gavin :) )
  • Fantasy - Rally Round the King, Song of Blades and Heroes..
  • WW2\Vietnam\Napoleonic unit scale - Piquet rules (Great for solo)
  • WW2\Vietnam Skirmish - Nuts\FNG
  • Pony Wars - Yellow Ribbon (Indians are controlled by rules)
The above rule-sets have good mechanics, variety,  swings of impetus that a solo wargame needs (With a few tweaks).  They do have their faults (as all rules do) but I can live with that.

As we all know finding rules can be a enjoyable yet tiresome process, forums are rife with strong opinions and its hard to guess a rule-set without trying it. I had an interesting conversation with someone recently where they stated Solo war-gaming was stupid, Piquet was crap etc etc and basically everything I was doing was nonsense.

I don't think so, the person in question is a ardent follower of trend. First it was , Rules of Engagement, blackpowder, then Lasalle, then Saga, then Bolt Action. Every year he seems to be re-basings entire armies for a new ruleset that goes out of fashion as quickly as it comes in and then he sells his army. I'm happy just to find what I like and stick with it, its not a competition after all.

Archduke Piccolo wrote a series of Napoleonic and ACW rules a very long time ago that I still think rate as some of the most enjoyable rules I have every used, considering we have played them on and off for over 25 years - simple, to the point and enjoyable and my figures are based the same now as there were back in 1993 when I purchased my first front rank infantry. It is finding a set of the ACW rules in my University papers that I then started to do this ...........

I am slowly (turtle break neck speed) getting my 1/72 armies into gear so I based all my remaining figures ready to paint.