Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Dragoons Monsieur Rico, Millions of them

Alright. Not millions, 42 to be exact. Conveniently both the meaning of life and the number of dragoons unboxed from my latest Troopship From Scotland.

Gavin has written a fine piece about them, well illustrated here.

Here is a shot of the lot taken from Gavin's article just to add some color to this post.

Thirty mounted modular dragoons and twelve dismounted dragoons to go with them.

I cannot say enough in regards to the quality of painting and service it has been my good fortune to receive from the good folks at Alternative Armies / 15mm.co.uk, other than that I am well pleased.

In this batch of 30 multipiece models only three figures had bits that had fallen off in transit, and these were still in the wrapping for the figure to which they belonged. That's no mean feat. Over the years AA's packing has improved dramatically to the point where I never worry over the complexity of a painted piece before ordering.

The new resin losange bases for the horse look sharp. It's a nice improvement over the old rectangular bases.

Also included was a set of food items for conversions. 

Cooked Meat (pictured above), Fish, Dodo Legs, and Carrots. 

On a personal note I've been unable to do much gaming, or put much effort into writing lately for a number of medical reasons and this package has given me quite a lift so Thanks to Alternative Armies for that as well!

Sorry for not posting more often but to borrow a phrase "good health is just around the corner" and I've lots of plans to put into practice in terms of rules, conversions, and scenarios when I'm up to it.

Happy veteran's day and thank you for your service to all readers who have served their country!

And as always. thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Forlorn Hope: A New Encounter for 95th WIP

Been working on this one a bit. Hope to send it off to Ed soon.

Basically your character can choose to lead the first assault party into a breached fortress wall.
Success will yield great rewards.
Death or maiming is more likely.

Here Captain Sharke (bvt.) leads a party of ten men; a Sergeant, two grenadiers, four line infantry, and two light Bobs.

They start out just before first light and hope the French sentries won't notice them until the very last possible minute.

In the event they were noticed right away...

Shots rang out. Carcass lit the morning. Fougasse turned the ground into so many mini volcanoes.

Sharke was hit twice by musket balls and took a pummelling from a mine but still he carried on.

First man into the breach was grenadier Simpkin of the South Mordor Regiment.

He was immediately shot and killed by a squad of Frenchmen waiting behind the retrenchment.

Disappointed at not having been first, Sharke redoubled his efforts, making his way up the wall to the parapet and killing a French officer in hand to hand combat.

The other side of the breach was tackled by a light infantryman who was not as lucky. His broken body tumbled to the ground below.

Of the ten men in the party only three reached the top of the wall.

It was enough to secure a lodgement for follow on forces, so a good, if costly, result.

Still need to finish up some bits (that means writing), both for this and the regular assault scenario. Still the end is in sight!

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Team Jakub vs. Team Edvarda

Which side are you on?

As war in the Witchlands rages on, twilight is falling.

As chaos engulfs La Grande Armee, teenaged Isabella Le Morte, faces a different kind of war.

A war of the Heart.

Daughter of one of Emperor Mordred's liaison officers, Isabella has been living amongst the werewolves of Diberia for some months.

There she struck up a friendship with werewolf  heartthrob Jakub.

Jakub is an up and coming werewolf leader held in some regard by both General Hoofiuszko as well as the Emproer himself.

Jakub has lost his heart to young Belladonna.

Edvarda Sverkayushchey-Kozhi-Bletski
aka Kulinkov
aka The Pope of Mope
But life (and death) is not so straight forward for the wan Isabella.

Out gathering nightshade one frosty morning, Isabella found herself surrounded by fierce Zombiske Cossacks.

The wee girl was unceremoniously brought before the raiders' leader, Captain  Edvarda Sverkayushchey-Kozhi-Bletski  aka Kulinkov.

When his undead eyes met hers for the first time she was lost.

The feeling was apparently mutual as the sparkly vampyre soon spoke to her of his feelings.

No ordinary Vampyre was Kulinkov. He loathed his undeath as well as the hierarchy that had spawned it. 

Kulinkov vowed to Isabella that one day he would be free of the Dark Czar's grip and when that day came he would fight for the Emperor. 

With that Edvarda made sure that Isabella was safely returned to her camp.

Ever since their first encounter Isabella has been increasingly dreaming about a "life" of  undeath, in which she spends eternity with the dreamy Edvarda.

Truth be told, while by no means wishing the curse of undeath on his beloved, Edvarada has been making plans involving Isabella as well.

Meanwhile Jakub has had visions of his own.

Note: Edvarda was first introduced in the  scenario "General Buster and the Cossacks of Doom", published as part of the Orcs in the Webbe Advent Calendar 2013, and rules for his use in games of Flintloque may be found at the above link.

It had always been my intention to follow this up with a prequel mini-campaign featuring a series of skirmishes between Edvarda's undead and Jakub's werewolves. The outcome of the thing will be decided by the games although we must presume that Edvarda "lives" in order to turn coat and take part in Colonel Buster's expedition.

Only recently did I manage to finish up Jakub, a werewolf from West Wind's Gothic Horror line IIRC. I also took some time to rework Edvarda in a foot and mounted version including some repainting and use of gloss varnish on his skin to give that sparkly effect that drives the ladies wild.

The first encounter is already planned with the Undead raiding a convoy defended by the werewolves and elves although at this point I am not sure when it will make it onto the table.

Hope you enjoyed the post and thanks for stopping by!

Friday, September 12, 2014

The Shongodtha Patrol

At the base of the Skeevooza Massif live the Shongodtha Shongod tribe. In the past these poor souls have been traditional prey for the Othari slaving expeditions that come south from the deserts or west from the coast of Afri.

All of that is about to change.

No one knows where he came from or even his real name. Those who have heard him speak and lived to tell of it say his words hint at a Guinalean origin. The most prevalent rumour is that he was the soul survivor of a shipwreck on the treacherous Carrot Coast. One day he simply marched into the Shongodtha Shongod village, with his batman, Sergeant Friday and just...took charge.

Bwana Lucky, as he styles himself, reorganized the tribal levy along Uropean Lines  
 and named his small army The Shongodtha Patrol.

The patrol consists of two battalions of infantry and one regiment of cavalry. 

It is often the case that the light companies are detached and sent out as scouts under the command of Sergeant Friday.

The grenadier companies are kept with their parent battalion unless some particularly important  task calls for their combination into a small battalion of their own.

Bwana Lucky can be found leading any part of the patrol, as often as not in the thick of battle. It is said that he carries powerful talismans that prevent his suffering any wound by enemy hands.

In the time since Bwana Lucky has come on the scene, many tales of desperate jungle ambuscades and daring savannah raids tell of the doom of many an Othari slaver.

There are even tales of  the growing wealth of the Shongodtha Shongod. 

Such tales may be their undoing.

 Notes: It all started with a  much appreciated offer of help. As 2012 was winding down I was casting about for mounted Halfling figures to use in Black Powder Fantasy battles and skirmishes. Elton Waters find fellow and splendid sculptor that he is, offered to craft two x ten figure units based on the Alternative Armies mounted halfling codes.

The result of his labors may be seen by right clicking here.

To my delight Elton had included a 21st figure; a halfling in ragged trousers wearing an African mask, holding aloft a bone fetish. I was informed that this unfortunate had been inducted into the Royal Navy and shipwrecked in Afri.

On first sight I knew just which figures to us as his tribe. Kallistra make a series of pygmies similar to those offered by Games Workshop as opponents for their  Snotlings back in the day.

With my glacial painting speed it only took until now to get the tribe table ready. It's not so much my speed, this lot only took about a week to paint with extra time before for priming and after for basing, rather its the large time lapses between my summoning of the energy and will to actually paint that slows things down considerably.

In any event, I do hope you enjoy the figures and look forward to seeing them in action in the future.

As always, thanks for stopping by!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Boar Commando (really) WIP

Spent this week painting mostly.

First up is this unit of boar centaur Boers.

EDIT: The figures are from Gray Cat Castings, sold by Steve Jackson (SJ Games at Warehouse 21). I have ten of them but there is only one pose. Painted them mostly to get them done. Another unit of "mounted" infantry for Albion or plucky opponents for same. The boar shape really does not lend itself to "centaurism" in the way that a horse's shape does. Boars are too short between the legs and their necks not nearly long enough to pull off the required effect. From a distance they look a bit like donkey centaurs. In close up one can see their beady eyes and pig snouts.

Next up a very special figure and the first unit of Kallistra pygmies. 

A few years back Elton Waters very kindly offered to sculpt some fine halfling mounted archers for me. When I received the package it also contained this fine fellow wearing the mask along with a back story for him. More on that in another post. However the moment I set eyes on him, I knew what troops to use to back him up. Two or so years later he is on the painting bench.

The pygmies' wart hog mounts are properly hog like and and fierce looking.
The pygmies themselves are quite interesting. They make a fine complement to cartoony fantasy lines such as Alternative Armies Flintloque and properly old Games Workshop/Citadel figures.

What you see above is a unit of twelve riders led by Elton's halfling on a saluki hound. 

There are also a couple of infantry units, a mix of spear, knobkerry, and blowgun. This week I was only able to paint the command figures. Hope to finish the rest of them up soon.

Thanks for dropping by.  

Friday, August 22, 2014

95th, Flintloques, and Muskets

Flintloque and Muskets a free supplement for 95th

It must be apparent to observant readers that my Napoleonic figures are a bit "off".

There is a very good reason for this.

Although I often use them as historical figures, my Napoleonics are actually "Napoleoniques" hailing from the fantasy world of Valon.

A world where all of the usual, as well as some rather less usual, fantasy races all seem to be trapped in episodes of "Sharpe's Rifles", with the orcs cast as British, and the elves as French.

And jolly good fun it is too!

Valon is the world of of Alternative Armies's Flintloque and Slaughterloo figure ranges, examples of which may be seen in practically all of the posts on my blog.

While I have written 95th, as well as Muskets and Shakos, as strictly historical games, I do like to use the figures for their intended purposes as well. Flintloque is a fine game, presented in a series of well written and entertaining books covering different theaters of war. I encourage those with an interest to check out the free version of the rules available here.

Getting back to the main subject of this post, in the past I had written a small supplement to allow players of THW games to use Flintloque figures with THW rules.

With the release of 95th, an updated version of that supplement Flintloques and Muskets, is now available on Craig Andrews' excellent web site, Orcs in the Webbe .

I thank Craig for hosting the supplement, as well as running a very entertaining website, and Gavin Syme of Alternative Armies for his tireless support of my madder ideas in this genre!

Hope you enjoy the game and don't forget to check out Flintloque when you have the time.

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Giglamps and El Labrador

His duel with Mac Rattry behind him, Giggers was told the reason for his summons.

It seems the Peer was in a bit of a pickle. His Spymaster, a shadowy figure known only as "El Labrador" was on the run! The timing of the thing was, as usual, abysmal.

The army was on the verge of an offensive, planned in no small part on information provided by El Labrador. Should El Labrador suffer capture, not only the coming offensive, but the Duke's entire spy network would be at risk.

And so it fell to young Giggers, to seek out and rescue El Labrador. Travelling fast and light was the order of the day. Giggers elected to take only his trusted coverman, Cooke, on the mission.

This is my first game with the published version of 95th. Regular readers will know of this game's development under its working title of "Baker Rifle".

Giggers is a Rep 5, a leader, and Fierce. Cooke is Rep 4 and a Brute. Both are mounted and armed with a sabre, pistol, and carbine. 

The game was written to allow play in a 3x3 foot area. Normally I play on a larger area but this time I  marked out the edges and grid with small stones. The Rescue mission requires one to three buildings in the center of the table and in this case the dice gave me three. To the right of the town was an impassable escarpment, to the left, a wood. Behind the town was a hill.

I elected to enter the table from the bottom right, planning to use the escarpment to protect my flank while searching for my target.

The game started with three Possible Enemy Forces (PEF''s). One was in the wood, one behind the wood, and the third behind the escarpment. Each building also potentially held enemy troops. Somewhere among all of theses possibilities lay El Labrador.

Giggers cautiously led the way to the escarpment. It was impossible to make the move without checking to see there were enemies in the nearest building. There were none, but test for enemy forces indicated the next PEF would be more likely to generate foes.

At this point Giggers' plan was to scout the church and the escarpment and then sweep left behind the town, dealing with any enemy forces as they were uncovered.

This is the situation at the end of turn 2. Even with the increased chance of finding enemy troops, the church also proved to be vacant. It is worth noting here that even if one doesn't get shot at when approaching a building, there is still a chance that enemy are lurking in wait. They may strike when your troops actually enter the building.

At this point the enemy stole a march one me! Now the enemy was closing in for the kill. One PEF beyond the escarpment, one behind the church, and one on the far side of the church.

Here Giggers proved the wisdom of approaching mounted. A quick change of direction and fast movement might unhinge the enemy's scheme.

As our Hero cantered now across the front of the village, he saw a figure pointing towards the church with a hushed motion. El Labrador!

Cantering on Giggers caught site of the reason for El Labrador's gestures. A blue clad figure with musket was taking aim by the church!

The musket roared but the Rep 4 line infantryman failed to hit his mark.

Detailing Cooke to see to El Labrador, Giggers put spurs to his mount and charged. The infantryman put up a surprisingly good fight, besting Giggers in the first round of melee and forcing the use of Giggers' hero dice.

A second round ended in a draw.

Finally after a third round, Giggers beat his foe down, out of the fight.

Meanwhile as Cooke sheparded El Labrador towards safety, the final PEF resolved into a Rep 5 French line officers, four Rep 5 infantrymen, and a single Rep 4 infantryman. Quite a formidable detail.

 El Labrador quickly ducked back behind the cover of a building but poor Cooke was not so fortunate. 

 Two shots range out. One hit Cooke's horse, only grazing the animal. The other hit Cooke, and the brave chap was dead before he hit the ground.

It was time to beat a hasty retreat!

As the French patrol surged through the town,

Giggers and El Labrador disappeared into the distance.


That was a short sharp action.

Normally the way my luck runs, PEF's are often real enemy forces and always outnumber my boys considerably. In that respect this was something of a low intensity game. 

There was quite a bit of suspense throughout. In the early turns this came from not knowing where the enemy was and in what strength. In the end game it came from facing an overwhelming French force.

Fortunately Giggers only need to escape with El Labrador and so he did. Wogan will be pleased.

D*mn*d shame about Cooke though.

Hope you enjoyed the report.
All figures are from Alternative Armies.
Buildings from Miniature Building Authority.
Other terrain of varied manufacture.

Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Another Troopship from Scotland

Two my longstanding military history interests are The Thirty Years War, and The English Civil War. Until now I have only explored each through books and boardgames.

Decided it was high time to add miniatures to that list.

Normally I prefer 28mm figures. However with storage space a concern, I was pushed over the edge by the Altuos 15mm Range available from my good freinds at 15mm.co.uk

Leaving the details of painting up to "my" painter at Alternative Armies/15mm.co.uk, I selected a variety of figures, specified basing and sat back and waited.

I could not be more pleased.

Based on four stand units, the armies have sixteen figure infantry and eight figure cavalry units.

All together there are six units of pike, ten of musketeers, and some twenty units of cavalry and dragoons, as well as six guns. Two units of musketeers and two of horse are individually mounted to allow for their use in skirmish games.

As final tough there are four separate sets of command stands. One each for Imperialists, Swedes, Parliamentarians, and Royalists. Each set consists of a three man Army commander vignette, and three each of two man subcommander vignettes, equally split between horse and foot.

Now to find some hedges and buildings to scale...

In any event I STRONGLY recommend 15mm.co.uk to any readers wtih an interst in 15mm gaming.

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Halflings on the Margins: My WFB 3rd Empire Army

Just finished the last of my GW halflings from the 80's-90's. They sat in their blisters for quite a few years before finally being painted and taking their place in the ranks of my Empire Army, but more on that later.

For now, here are the last seven. If any readers are interested in the first 23, here is a link to all of the Gorgon Halfling posts, which will also fill you in on their place on the Black Powder Fantasy battlefield. LINK

As in the past I tried to give each batch of halflings a theme. These chaps ended up being hard bitten halflings making do on the edges of civilization. These are the hollow halflings, the stuffed halflings, for whom a pint of Old Burleby's Bitter and a Mince Pie has lost all appeal.

Confronted with the savagery of life on the frontier, these chaps have either snapped, losing all touch with reality, or hardened themselves, doing unto goblins and other raiders what those raiders have done to them. 

Below is the completed unit, thirty strong, with two missile weapons between them, three if you count the pie thrower!

In the center you can see the great hero, holding aloft his gory trophy, the head of a gorgon, that he either slew, or came upon already dead, depending on whose story you choose to believe.

He is flanked by the remains of the Weemangian Guard.

In succeeding ranks may be seen the witch hunters, Larry and his brothers Daryl, the Major, and all the other notables of the Moot.

When Warhammer Armies (for 3rd edition. It was/is a wonderful hardbound set of army lists) was first released, Games Workshop had a fantastic sale. Really. They did that back then.

I was able to pick up two or three armies at a very reasonable price.  Picked up an Empire and Skaven army. Maybe one other. Not really sure at this remove.

Now, some 25+ years laters, some of the figures still await paint!

However pictured here are some that do not.

I painted most of these in the 80's-90's although I still like to pick out the odd figure or unit to add to the force now and then. 

In fact the crossbowmen are of a slightly more recent vintage being the first figures to come with separate plastic crossbows.

These knights are actually Old Glory figures that fit right in. I do have GW knights to add but while I have found their primed mounts, the riders remain in hiding.

Can't say I really play WFB anymore but 2nd and 3rd edition remain solid games and good fun. These days I am more likely to play games set in the Warhammer World using rules of my own design.

That having been said the important thing is how wonderful are the figures themselves. Full of character, each one looks like it could tell you a few stories.

BTW many of these figures are now available once again through Wargames Foundry!

Notes: All figures by Citadel Miniatures except for the mounted lay Knights. All figures shown painted by the author.