Friday, December 23, 2011

Prussians on the Move!

File:Valmy battle.jpgThe Battle of Valmy 1792 by Jean-Baptiste Mauzaisse

I have been working on the French Revolution for years with Magister Militum figures. This year (and next) I devoted a significant amount of resources into the project. Magister Militum has been fantastic working to get their French listings rounded out and completed. In 2012, they are working on the Prussians as am I. Richard Clewer and I correspond periodically about the period and the figure line which is in expansion mode.
With his permission, here is an excerpt about the Prussians and new releases in 2012: "...We needed to get Fusiliers done from scratch (they wore a shako and different jacket to Prussian Infantry and Grenadiers). Also they have no standard bearers, or standards. The Jagers are a conversion, the Bosniaks are being done from scratch and cavalry command being converted for the others...We are also getting limbers made...horses with artillery men for the limbers...I will try to get those sent off first thing..."
Click here for PRU001 Fusilier, advancingClick here for PRU009 Hussar commandClick here for PRU011 ArtillerymenClick here for PRU003 Grenadier, advancing





So there, you have it. Straight from the proverbial horse's mouth. Prussians are on the move!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

By Fire and Sword

By Fire and Sword is a new set of rules for 17th Century warfare in Eastern Europe (http://www.fireandsword.wargamer.pl/index.php). The good news is the rules are out and they look fantastic! The bad news is they are only available in Polish. The good news is also they will be released in English in May of 2012. Excellent! The period is nicely covered in a number of historical fiction novels (The Deluge, With Fire and Sword, etc.) by Henryk Sienkiewicz.
Here's a three part review from the excellent Blog Anatoli's Game Room:
Finally, there is a dedicated set of rules to cover Winged Hussars; Janissaries; Cossacks; Boyars, etc. where they are not just an after thought tacked onto a Renaissance warfare set of rules. Now, where did I put my Poles?
Oh, and if your are interested in the period, North Star carries the publisher's 15mm figure line (http://www.northstarfigures.com/list.php?man=108&page=1).

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I just added a subscribe by email function down at the bottom of the page. I find it makes it easier for some.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Monday, December 19, 2011

Week Fifty of 2011

The week was over lightening fast. The run-up to Christmas makes the time fly like no other time of the year...and I still have not sent my Christmas Card yet. Today.
I did manage to paint fairly regularly. It always amazes me how much you can accomplish if you just paint thirty to sixty minutes a day. My painting table is crammed with stuff but it is all progressing. It is very encouraging. I have found that the progression speeds up if you have several projects in varying stages. There is a danger and it is two-fold: too many projects at once can stall you as you become overwhelmed; but, too few leaves you completing things in fits and starts. I have six projects running at a time. This gives me any number of tasks depending on how I feel. If I get tired of inking, I switch to blocking. If I am tired of basing, I work on cleaning, building, priming or highlighting and so on. The nice part about this: last night I started to feel overwhelmed, so I grabbed two figures and finished them as they were that close. That got me fired back up and I went back to painting armor on some dwarves.
Projects:
ACW is heating up. I found my missing bag of Union and Confederate Horse Holders. That means I am going to have to paint up some of more of my 28mm skirmish set that slowly has been growing over the years. I think it needs a few cavalry for both sides. My goal has been paint a squadron of twelve: mounted dismounted and horseholders. After that, it's either some Zouaves and artillery and then I have a nice small set for skirmishes.
Chaco is progressing. My mortar teams and machine gun teams arrived from Khurasan. Into the Stocking they will go. Post-Christmas will see the forces of Bolivia and Chaco get some heavy weapons. Rules--I think I am going to use Songs of Our Ancestors (http://wargameguru.weebly.com/review---song-of-our-ancestors.html) which was written for the Quar by Zombiesmith (http://www.zombiesmith.com/pages/quar-fluff). The genre is a thinly disguised WW1 hence,I think it will make a pretty good set of Chaco rules. I was a bit chagrined to see that Bolt Action finally came out with the "right" Vickers as I had always planned to do the small set in 28mm but was daunted by scratchbuilding a Vickers. I had even identifed the infantry figures from various lines that would have worked...oh well, I did it in 15mm as I got tired of waiting for the tankette...ain't that the way.
Colonialism/VSF is percolating nicely. I can smell the jungle--if you have ever been to the jungle you know what I mean. I dug out my Darkest Africa unpainted lead and started organizing. I also started mixing and matching Old Glory into that to round out the tribes. I also had put a small order into Foundry as the specials got too good to be missed. Foundry for all its faults ships fast. The box even had extra figures and shields. BUT, and I hate to be ungrateful, but, they shorted me 25% of my spears. Extra figures are nice. Extra shields are nice. Their figures do not come with spears so you have to order them special or make your own. I have a Masai spear and they are very different than what I can sculpt. So, I ordered spears because they are the correct spear...disturbingly, I am getting silence from Customer service. The whining aside, I think I may be putting some brush work on my Africans this coming year. The idea, a very Pulp-y small skirmish set of 28mm with a Battles By GASLIGHT/Rampant Colonialism/Sword and the Flame sized battle set in the new Blue Moon 15mm. Painting Masai is fun (lots of red, white and black), but I hardly want to paint an army of them in 28mm. Or Mahdists. Or Azande. Or Zulu. Or...I'm a sick, sick person. Why can't I just have generic Africans? Or American Indians?
Conan is rocking along. I am working simultaneously on guy and bad hero(-ine) figures and a whole host of minions. Some of the more Fantastic Darkest Africa stuff landed here, too.
Fantasy is happening. I saw a box come in from my Mother-in-Law that has the feel and heft of the Dwarven Forge stuff. I suspect it's the new Ice Cave set (http://www.dwarvenforge.com/cavern-sets?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage.pbv.v1.tpl&product_id=16433&category_id=2). In addition, I have been busily working on a horde of figures for my Dwarf King's Hold set.
French Revolution is resting. I think it might rest until 2012 when the Prussians will need to start coming. Perhaps, I will farm this one out and work on the British forces. I also have been thinking about the Trent figure line as it calls out for a six figure a side skirmish...someday when the 15mm armies are done. Maybe. (http://www.northstarfigures.com/list.php?man=60&cat=171&page=1)
Gamma World! I love this game. It was impossible to play more than a few one-shots in its day. Now 4th Edition D&D has gone GW. I had pre-subscribed way before it came out so I got it a 50% cost. Well, a rumble through some Horrorclix, Mage Knight, Star Wars and D&D pre-paints in my plastic pile spawned an idea: take the excess and turn it GW. Then the thought percolated for a day or two and a post on TMP brought it back to the fore. Here's the post (http://theminiaturespage.com/boards/msg.mv?id=251750) and here's a great summary of many of the monster and character types (http://theminiaturespage.com/boards/msg.mv?id=251750) and (http://theminiaturespage.com/boards/msg.mv?id=121302) and (http://theminiaturespage.com/boards/msg.mv?id=85362). Anyway, a quick add of a few HeroClix and Dreamblades from eBay to go into my stocking (Santa is so cool) and I have got many of the monsters and characters ready to go...anyone want to play? The new version occurs in a world wrecked by the Hadron Collider. It's pretty cool. And, 4th Ed has more of a miniature battle game feel than RPG. Check out this one for inspiration:
try to paint that...this one is going to be a character figure for me. If your primary mutation is pyrokinetic...now, where did I put thaose blisters of Reaper Weapons and cybernetic enhancements?
Dreamblade miniatures chrysotic plague Arsonist


Modern got an unexpected and excellent reinforcement. An acquaintance, Jake was lightening his load and sent me a Solido diecast VAB along with some SWAT decals. He kept one and turned it into a breaching vehicle for Modern and Post-Apoc gaming. The model is very nice...naturally being a war-gamer, I now want another, one to paint for SWAT and one to use for my Modern/Post-Apoc gaming. SWAT versus Military...Decisions, decisions.
OGRE is coming! I can feel the sub-sonic rumble of the tracks and hear the roar of Atomics in my minds-eye. I keep keep finding myself looking at my OGRE stuff. This week I also fiddled with Angel Barrack's buildings trying to decide if I should base them. I also was exploring building them in various styles and whether they could be changeable. The result: I think I am going to base them; I am defnitely painting them in two schemes; and, no they are going to be permanently glued together with the bits going into other projects.
Pulp is getting a slow growth as I have been painting and basing a few figures a week of this stuff. The slow progress feels pretty good as it feels like the Pulp mountian is shrinking. Slowly. But, shrinking none-the-less.

Painting and Painters:
  • Bret delivered a bunch of figures he had done much work on. With a little work here and there I will have a pile of stuff completed.. He is also lightening his load so he sent a bunch of stuff my way. Thanks! There is some great stuff in there: a bunch of partial paints, old OOP figures, Space Hulk first edition markers, boards, etc.
  • I enagaged in a Chaco War basing extravaganza. The forces are ready.
  • Conan minions, heroes, heroines, animals and villains were in the block painting section of my table. They are progressing.
  • Dwarf King's Hold nine dwarves, two bone piles, one mastiff, twenty-two skeletons, two dog skeletons and tow pits of doom are progressing down the conveyor belt towards the final black-lining and highlighting. This is the slowest but most rewarding part of any project. Then comes the terrible job of basing. And varnishing.
  • Pulp merchant seamen crew and a bunch of others are in the final stage--basing.

Magazines:
  • Battle Games is supposed to be back on track after a threatened closure. A Christmas issued is promised.
  • Miniature Wargames arrived. It was filled with goodness for the English Gamer--convention reports, schedules and a club listing. There were also a decent set of free rules for the Punic War gamer.
  • Wargames Illustrated is due any day.
BLOGS:

Merry Christmas,

Mark

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Wiz-War

Where's my Wiz-War?

I pre-ordered this hoping for some good Christmas-time Wiz-Wars with my friends and family...but it seems to be delayed. I remember this game as great...and that was when I played it with cardboard and counters in two color. Now I have painted figures and Dwarven Forge terrain to make it even cooler.

[Now changed to a 1st Quarter 2012 release]

Matt's Gaming Page

Matt's Gaming Page is a great Blog. Lot's of great pictures and some excellent AAR's of a variety of games. His latest post is about Crooked Dice's 7TV game. Check it out: http://mattsgamepage.blogspot.com/2011/12/first-7tv-episode-at-gloucester-club.html) He's also a great painter and does take commissions.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Saturday, December 10, 2011

28mm Coolness for Christmas

Wargames Foundry has a beautiful new book, Condottiere, The Dogs of War on Renaissance Italy. It looks pretty good. The price tag is not too bad. It followsthe trend in hardcover rules $40.00 with free shipping. I suspect some of the other prices for non-US customers are better as the Foundry exchange rate is rooted firmly in the 1920's many times being well over the $2.00 per English Pound. Whatever the case, the page shots are very nice.
I would steer clear of the book if you have any interest in the period as I suspect the possession of such could be a tipping point. I have a close friend who is steadily working away on his collection, so I am interested in the book...I suspect I am fine with not owning the figures as I have enough periods...but I do have my Leonardo stuff and if I bought some Old Glory and...danger Mark Ryan Danger... any way, here's the link:
http://wargamesfoundry.com/books/wargames_rule_book/any/any/condottiere_the_dogs_of_war_fp024/?sector_id=
If not to make matter worse, it seems today they are selling their new Napoleonic era rules, Napoleon for $20.00. Here's the link: (http://wargamesfoundry.com/books/wargames_rule_book/any/any/napoleon_fp019/?sector_id=)...
And did you see Warlord's deal on Roarke's Drift? Take a look at this: (http://www.warlordgames.com/14631/new%C2%A0horns-of-the-buffalo-rorkes-drift-collectors-set/). Whoa! That's cool.HoTB
I must say, if I did not already have it in 15mm, I'd be amending my Christmas list. What almost got me, though was the Roman watchtower:
Eastern Roman Watchtower

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Tengu Models

Check out Tengu Models (http://www.tengumodels.co.uk/).

I picked up a

DF04 Son of Yog-Sothoth for use in Pulp and Conan games...







































Painting Fire

I stumbled across this tutorial on painting fire (http://hot-lead.org/advance/fire_prac.htm) that seems to give a good result:
It also has a discussion of the theory(http://hot-lead.org/advance/fire_theory.htm)...I am in the process of trying it out...stay tuned for my result.


Monday, December 5, 2011

I'm Back.

I'm back. Sorry about the silence...I'll start back posting stuff. In the mean time, here's a quick record of my gaming last week:

Christmas is just 20 days away...are you ready? I am not. I have started to shop and have made some headway. Normally, I am done by Thanksgiving and spend the December enjoying the season and looking for that odd, special gift. The most frustrating thing this year is is that I but keep finding things I should have put on my list...must resist, must resist.

Board-, Card and Role Playing Games Played:
Bret came to my place for an escape from the City. Saturday night we made an attempt at Mansions of Madness. It was too much game to learn on the fly. The look through just convinced us this is a MUST PLAY. The figures, the plot lines, the tiles all are fantastic. The system looks good. There is also a lot of replayability...is that a word? Each scenario has the Keeper answers three plot point questions; based upon the evil answers, it effects locations of clues, items, and other things (cue scary, ominous music). Minimum players are two (one investigator and one Keeper) but I suspect it will play even better with more people. As for the dreaded comparison to Arkham Horror, I think it is shorter in play time and it is not fully cooperative as one person is the bad guy. I think both games are winners hence they are both in my collection. I did get rid of the Witch of Arkham but only because we played that three times and Mansions of Madness finally came out.
Magnifico saw some Sunday action. The second play was even more satisfying. I can only imagine the game with the full complement of five players would be even better. Picture 16th Century Europe and Leonardo Da Vinci's invention work. Each player is the leader of a country striving to dominate the others. Each turn there is a bidding war for art, designs of war machines, improvements to inventions and architectural designs. Minor countries are gobbled up. Building projects abound. And War. But everything is expensive so it is less Risk and more real life as there is never enough money to do everything. The finals angle is the victory point track where countries gain prestige for art, having Leonardo working for you, building projects, expansion, etc. making the game having an interesting and finite experience. In our game, Bret's English isle based kingdom (Scotland was dominant) was on the ascension as he slowly gobbled up my Turkish Empire. I managed a win though he was definitely and methodically gobbling up the "sick man of Europe" as I had expanded too fast...but, I won through prestige and building. This game is a keeper. I had earmarked it for a possible culling but the second play has confirmed its place. Now to find some more players...

Miniature Games:
Friday came around finally and I managed to get to Mike's for a game hosted by Ron and his son Ben. The best way to describe it was 5150 meets 40K using FUBAR in Vogelsdorf (Mike's beutiful ruined city). Ron has boworred the races and parts of the first two games and converted them to the third. It worked and well. I was Hishen slavers using Grath and Orks to search ruins for valuable computer data. I had lost control of the Orks so they had disappeared into the sewers to lay spores (if you buy that revisionist GW junk on orks being Mushrooms). Weel, the good thing was that the Orks kept popping up and messing with the Marine forces. I suspect it made the marines a bit timid as only Mike's Assault troops and Ben's scouts pushed forward in the truly40K style. Ben's deadly sniper fire took care of the Hishen big boss. It was galling fire until he switched to the Grath which are tough, tough, tough. That's when I stopped worrying about the sniper. Unfortunately, Mike's fast moving assault marines wore down my Grath. Victory to the Marine force. The only bad thing was I was unable to get my Grath into melee and truly give the Marines the full experience...sometimes the mission precludes. It was a good, fun game. Kudos to Ron for a good game. Kudos to ben for the nasty shots, and kudos to mike for the board and the coup de grace.
Bret and I managed two games of Wrath of Ashdarlon, the sequel/expansion to Castle Ravenloft. we played the first team scenario( actually the second scenario as the first is solo). Since we played it wrong, the first time we played it a second time. wrong again, but at least we won. The reality was we made the game tougher as we played without treasure. It seems every turn that you kill a monster, you get treasure. We forgot the treasure. But really, in a true D&D game we never would have had time to loot the bodies of the monsters as we had not a single second of breathing room. We advanced (a cleric and a paladin) into the foul Dragon Ashdarlon's fortress to try to take some pressure off the local village. Within moments of entering the fortress we were under attack from monsters, snipers and traps. We fought until we were near death and retreated out having accounted for ourselves very well, but definitely requiring two more adventures to truly make an attempt... As for our mistake in the first game, we moved the monsters too much. This game is definitely harder than Castle Ravenloft but a great game. It gives you a fun fast dungeon crawl to satisfy the RPG desire without the huge time investment. The game was good enough that I am happy Legend of Drizz't is on the Christmas list. I have heard LofD takes you higher than second level and into the Underdark. Next up is rumored to be rules for taking your heroes of yore into the game system and using them instead of the pre-mades...I'm sold.
Sunday Morning dawned with Bret being railroaded into a game of Alien Attack(http://frontline-games.com/alienAttackMoreInfo.html). Actually, I'm not sure if he was railroaded, but I did not give him an option. The paint was barely dry and I had the set out. The game is a kid friendly micro-game style of sets from Reaper. I picked mine on on Monday, had it by Thursday and painted by Friday. You get one flying saucer (resin 5" diameter with flight stand); three 28mm greys, three boyscouts and one scoutmaster. The rules are simple. The figures are Reaper; thus good. The only criticism of the figures are tht the scoutmaster looks like a Canadian Mountie; but he works. If you want the boyscouts, though, you have to buy the game. We played a quick game in an hour or less which included set up and learning. The scenario, you ask: aliens land near a boyscout camp. While landing, one falls in a puddle and dissolves. The boyscouts need to fight their way off the board--best done before the saucer shows up and starts collecting. The aliens need to abduct three people. We played and Scoutmaster Wiggles and two scouts disappeared. With only one scout getting away, it is doubtful if the authorities will believe the story...perhaps the sequel over the holidays.

Terrain:
I started the week byWorking on touching up a camp set I had kicking around. Everything is done; except, I am reworking the flames. If anyone has a good way to do flames, let me know. I also have been toying around with building a trench terrain board for WW1 and Quar skirmish gaming. I think if I go this route it would be 3'x3' and have the trenches inset into the board so they look "right" instead of sticking up too far out of the ground...then again a nice resin trench would be a faster way to go.
Projects:
ACW is creeping along. I am getting ready to base the last brigade of troops I painted over two years ago. I do not like the color I painted the base, so the rebasing will take a bit longer to accomplish. I may also add a figure or two to each unit, as I guessed at a unit size as "standard" before the rules came out. Or I just will deal with it...
Chaco has had some work. I am looking forward to reading the new Osprey. I also have been trying to determine if I am going to build one of the small forts. It would be a neat little poject; but it would not have much utility outside of the Chaco as they were pretty distinctive.
Colonialism/VSF is under a major re-think. I have been trying to figure out if I want to get rid of one of the scales here. I have 15mm for the battles and a small skirmish set for the up-front-and-personal end of things, kind of like my Wild West set...but I am unsure if this is the way to go. Why the re-think? All the cheap plastic out there in 28mm suddenly makes it possible to do hordes of Dervishes/Zulus...and they paint fast.
Conan is progressing nicely. I dug through my diminishing lead mountain (now that it's smaller it's easier to find things) and shuffled various figures and small sets into a box. I am almost there. I just need a figure for Mako and for Subotai. I pretty much decided that the main action will be in 28mm and the army stuff will use my diverse 15mm collection. I heard Copplestone came out with a dead-ringer for Conan in 15mm, so this may be a reality. Pretty much the only army that I would need to do would be an Egyptian one for the forces of Stygia.
French Revolution continues apace. The last of the Fench are done and based. I only need to decide two things: do I replace the flags with Flag Dude; and, do I want to do some units for Egypt/Ireland/Haiti/Fishguard as these theaters had a few "different" colored uniforms. I also saw some Trent figures and thought maybe I should do a squad of various combatants for some 25mm Songs of Drums and Shako skirmishes.
OGRE is alive. I finally found some great buildings that have all sorts of options form Angel barracks(http://angelbarracks.co.uk/Scenery/6mm/Buildings/buildings.html) so I am getting the itch to use the units I have done. The latest battle force is painted in the USSR Black Fleet camo pattern and it needs to see action.

Painting and Painters:
Painted Alien Attack boxed set by Reaper--three greys, one saucer, three scouts and one scoutmaster (see above).
Chaco War Infantry & Tanks continue. The troops are based but I need to attach some crubs to give them a better look. The tanks are finally built but need some painting.
Various Pulp and Darkest Africa figures are getting some love. They had sat languishing with little bits of work or basing needed. I have started to break them out in groups of ten or twelve and base them
French Revolution basing of the French is done.

Magazines:
Miniature Wargames Excellent article on V&B Samurai and Black Powder Culloden which incorporates some of the latest archaeological research; thus, turning some myths on their ears. Very interesting read.

BLOGS:
My Apple Mail has failed and I can't figure it out; thus, it is impossible for me to find follow the blogs easily...it may be the end as I suddenly find myself with more time.

PodCasts:
I did not listen to much other than the news and the Economist.

More later,

Mark