Sunday, 30 December 2012
The Vikings are sprayed and ready to go and should take around the same length of time. Whilst painting i have been listening to the audio book of Swordsong by Bernard Cornwell. This is the fourth in the Uhtred saga and inspiring stuff it is too if slightly repetitive. I have found another author, Giles Kristian who has written a trilogy of Viking books set slightly earlier than Cornwell. I have made a start on the first and it is quite promising.
Also this is the first post using my new Ipad. If all goes well I may start posting more frequently from it as adding pictures seems to be a doddle!
Martin at Peter Pig has promised pictures of the first Viking sculpts some time soon so keep checking the website out.
Saturday, 15 December 2012
The order from Lancashhire Games arived and has been prepped and ready for a quick paint job to start playing 'Longships' in earnest. The castings are pretty rough and ready and wouldnt be a first choice of figure for a project but as a cheap way to at least playtest the rules pending a full range from Peter Pig they will do. I also recieved my order from Peter Pig taking advantage of their 20% end of year discount. So, to add to the lead pile I have a Nationalist and Anarchist army for the Spanish Civil War using Bayonets and Ideallogy. I'm not entirely sure when I'll get around to painting these, as my lead pile now consists of the following:
1. EI Roman army for Fields of Glory
2. Ancient German army for Fields of Glory
3. Nationalists for Bayonets and Ideallogy
4. Anarchists for Bayonets and Ideallogy
5. Early World War 2 Germans in greatcoats for PBI
6. Opposing sides for a 15mm Sci Fi skirmish
7. Two HoTT armies bought from 15mm.co.uk
8. A load of AWI for Washingtons Army
9. A new Sudan British army for Patrols in the Sudan to be painted in red coats
10. late World War 1 Germans for Squarebashing
11. late World War 1 British for Squarebashing.
12. The above mentioned Saxons and Vikings for 'Longships'
13. A moderate amount of ACW for Civil War Battles
14. A Scottish army for ECW Regiment of Foote for Marston Moor
15. Old West figures for a projected AK47 1st edition conversion
16. A little bit of US/Mex war Americans.
17. A skirmish pack for TUSK from Irregular Miniatures.
Thats actually 19 'armies'.
And thats not including a load of Games Workshop fantasy and 40k.
Which, frankly, is quite ridiculous. At a conservative guess, thats over £1500 worth of unpainted figures lying around the house. I have a tendency to dream up the next new project way before the last has been finished (or even started). I have looked at Franco Prussian war, Crimean War and Indian Mutiney in the last month alone.
A while ago, there was a blog going by the name of 'The Frugal Wargamer'. Basically an attempt to spend little and make use of what you have got. I think any purchases were made from money accrued by selling stuff you already have.
So, 2013 will be my frugal year. My only figure purchase will be the Peter Pig Saxons and Vikings when they appear and if excess budget from sales allow, maybe some Russian Civil War. I will allow myself £100 budget from the family purse. Any extra money required will be from sales via ebay or bring and buys. I will also allow myself entry to shows and maybe the odd book. The £100 will be my limit for figures, scenery, rules, paint and brushes.
The aim for the year will be to clear as much of the lead pile as possible and I will keep a balance sheet of figures painted, bought as well as money inb and out. If half of the above list is cleared I will be happy. At some point before the new year I will try to work out just how many figures are in the pile. I wont be counting the Games Workshop stuff as that has always been seperate from this blog.
I hope to play more (a common theme from past years on this blog). I hope to get to as many Peter Pig battle days as possible. I hope to enjoy myself!
This will a cathartic moment for me. As you can see I have bought figures for projects that have never seen the light of day. 2014 may see me back to my normal self, but I owe it to myself to show some restraint and get use out of what I have in stock.
Saturday, 8 December 2012
I hope to sit down tonight and look at getting around 250 figures ready to paint in production line method. I like to spray basecoat my figures and I fancy doing something different with these to see just how fast I can get them done. The vikings will predominately be in reds blues and greens with greys and browns mixed in. I am thinking of either dividing the figures up and spraying them in strips of the various colours, then minimal detailing and dip. Or spraying them all white, washing the base colour on, minimal detailing and then dip.
The Saxons will be in scarlets, browns, dark green, deep blues whites and purples using the same method. Of course they will be pretty much interchangeable. Again the aim is for speed and not worrying about neatness.
The aim is to get these done by the new year to start proper play testing instead of 'theoryising' whilst looking forward to the Peter Pig sculpts. There is hopefully a playtest in February and it would be nice to turn up with two painted armies.
Ok glue, stanley knife, card painting strips all to hand. Wish me luck I'm going in!
Thursday, 6 December 2012
I am part of the playtest group for the rules and have been musing over them for a few months now. I am pretty excited at the thought of getting this to the table. There are some really interesting new mechanisms as one would expect from the RFCM stable and a range of figures is promised.
For now I have made do with card counters but may try and pick up some figures from Ebay to get me by whilst waiting on the PP sculpts.
Dark Age wargaming is a crowded area at the moment but primarily in the 28mm skirmish market. Whilst accepting that the likes of Dux Britaniarium and Saga can be played with 2mm if you so wish, their main customer base is most definately 28mm, typically using the nice Gripping Beast figures judging by most blogs.
15mm Dark Age doesn't really exist at the moment outside of DBX/FOG type games which probably aren't that representative of Dark Age warfare to any degree. So a new set of rules, aimed at 15mm gamers with game play designed to specifically replicate warfare in the Viking period really hits a gap in the market in my eyes.
Of course required reading is Bernard Cornwalls Viking books telling the story of Uhtred and his battles for and against the Vikings alongside Alfred. Formulaic they maybe but good fun and plenty of ideas for scenarios.
I just hope Martin doesn't forget to do a figure of Kirk Douglas to lead my army.
Wednesday, 5 December 2012
The 1914 French are finished, or should that be 'fini'.
They should make a nice contrast in their blue and red. Particulalry the two zouave units.
I have 9 'soixante quinze' field guns which was one of the most effective guns of the war. They are alongside 6 machine guns and the French Higher Command base. The command is a bit boring at the minute, just three officers standing around. I plan to do something more interesting with the base when I can think of something!
So lots done but not much gaming to report. I did attend Warfare which I will report on in the next post. I have also taken advantage of the 20% discount dished out by Peter Pig and I'll discuss how I put that to use later.
Wednesday, 7 November 2012
Yes. Lots. All over thye house. And garage. 1pt
* Having played so many different games you confidently quote rules for a totally different period, scale or ruleset to the one you're playing at that moment
I play almost exclusively Peter Pig rules which while many have common mechanics also have their differences. Which does lead to some confusion when I'm umpiring. 1pt
* You have lied to your partner / spouse about how much you've spent on the hobby
Lyin is a bit strong. Not really discussed is more accurate. 0pts.
* You get genuinely excited when a package arrives in the post - then hide it upstairs quickly before your partner sees it. If your partner finds it first, you lie about the contents.
Yes, hide it upstairs. No, if she finds it I own up. 1/2pt
* You have joined a re-enactment society (5 points for this one!)
* You have played in an unsuitable venue
If you count very cold garages, yes. 1pt
* You continue to search for the perfect Napoleonic / WW2 / Ancients / ACW etc. rule set (knowing that it doesn't actually exist).
Not really. Happy with my RFCM rules. 0pts.
* For that reason you have developed your own house rules for certain periods. And think them far superior to the original author's efforts.
* You have returned from a wargames show and sneaked upstairs to hide the stash.
* You have an irrational aversion to some genres and vow never to play them regardless of how much fun they look. Like Dystopian Wars, 6mm Napoleonics, Warhammer 40k, Malifaux etc.
No, I'll play anything.
* You have made your own wargames scenery.
Yes, lots. 1pt
* You have reached a painting 'wall' ("If I have to paint another f________ Gaul, I'm going to scream")
Many times, most recently my AWI collection. Love the figures but for some reason struggled to get over the finish line with them. 1pt.
* You have lost - and regained - your wargaming mojo.
Several times. Always comes back with a bang though! 1pt.
* You have the occasional (and short lived) sense of guilt with your wife/children when complaining to them about the money spent in clothes, shoes or toys/Xbox games when you have £200 of unpainted metal stuffed in an upstairs drawer.
Occasionally. But, its my only vice. I just never ask how much the latest pair of shoes/dress/handbag cost. 1pt.
* You have done armies in different scales for the same period (e.g. ACW in 28mm, 15mm and 6mm).
ACW from 2mm to 25mm. 1pt.
* You have jealously coveted someone else's troops (if Ian pops his clogs, I'll be round his house with a Transit van before he hits the ground).
Yes, of course. 1pt
* You have laughed (secretly or otherwise) as someone else's paint job (Marks' purple camels come to mind)
I would like to say no but in all honesty, yes. Yes I have. 1pt.
* You have provided a piece of useless trivia relating to the troops on the table to show off your wargaming knowledge.
Probably but dont recall.
* You have contradicted someone elses' trivia - demonstrating your superior knowledge and giving you a warm glow inside.
Almost certainly not.
* You have caused a major disaster on a wargames table (spilling a pint, collapsing the table, dropped someone else's figures on the floor). Mark has flattened two tables in the past year - and he was losing both battles....
Yes. Toms dwarves years ago. Picture a boxfile, partly overhanging the table edge. And me removing figures from the half of the box actually on the table. 1pt.
* You have cheered when an opponent's dice lets them down at a critical point (I have literally danced in front of someone when he failed a morale roll)
Yes, but only in good humoured jest. 1pt.
* You have lied to your partner about going gaming. "Mothers' not very well - just popping around to see her. I'll be back in about - oh - seven hours".
* You have lied to an attractive woman (man) about your hobby.
Yes, my wife when I first met her. Always a tricky point in a fledgling relationship to own up to this hobby. 1pt.
* You have made an opponent cry. It doesn't count if they are under 8 years old though.
* You have painted the same army in the same scale more than once (Monty, you dawg!)
Yes. ACW. 1pt.
* You have reference books on armies you haven't even got (I have books on ECW, ACW, SYW, 30YW yet not one solitary figure for any of these periods).
Yes. I dont game every period I'm interested in, just dont have the time. 1pt.
* You have bought figures for a period you have never and will never play - because they were cheap.
Cant think I have.
* You have inflicted grevious bodily harm on a dice that has let you down. This includes the guy who used to drill holes in them and impale the offenders on cocktail-stick stakes and Big Lee taking an axe to one offender.
No but I love the cocktail stick idea!
* You blog or have a web-page about your Wargaming activities
* Your book collection is almost all war and wargames related
Yes. I'm sure my wifes family think I am some right wing war monger. 1pt
* You critique 'war' movies (especially Hollywood war movies) for historical accuracy (like the use of American tanks - Pershings I think - to represent German Panzers in the 'Battle of the Bulge'.)
Yes. The Battle of the Bulge. Also the use of carbines by the British Infantry in Zulu Dawn. 1pt.
* You spend car / train journeys checking out the lie of the land - considering which way you would attack from and whether it would make good wargaming terrain.
So, 20 1/2 pts to add to my previous total giving me 36pts out of a possible 57 or in other words I am 63% wargamer.
Still not sure what that means but interesting all the same. I have seen some people hit the 70% mark and more. Wow!
Tuesday, 6 November 2012
Well, lets see. 1 point per positive response.
* Spent at least £500 on figures / tanks - and you get extra kudos for every £500 you've spent
Er...yep. Many times over I suspect. 1pt
* Pricked your finger or thumb on a pike block - several times
Actually no. Lots of scalpel reltaed incidents. 0pts
* Tried at least 10 different rule sets and vowed never to play half of them ever again
* Bought an army off EBay
Yes. A Space Marine army. To see what happened to it, see the next point. 1pt
* Sold an army on EBay
Lots, including a nice 25mm Dixon ACW collection that went to the States which I regret. Also the Space Marines from above. Plus many others. 1pt
* spent months painting an army - then used it in anger once
Yes. Two DBA armies many years ago. 1 game, next stop the bring and buy. 1pt
* tried several different periods and genres
Oh yes. As evidenced on this very blog. 1pt
* dropped a box of figures on the floor from a great height
Yes. Tom's Dwarves? 1pt
* lost a battle on the last throw of the dice
Mmmm. 1st Day Gettysburg at Johns. Did we win or lose? It was down to the last throw of the dice though! Lets say 1/2pt
* made at least one enemy for life
No. This is a hobby right? 0pts
* had a proper, stand up argument over a wargamers table
Seen a few but never sank to been involved in one. 0pts
* thrown a dice across a room
Oh dear. The points are drying up. 0pts.
* rebased an army for a different rule set
Yes. Napoleonic 15mm from Grand Manner to Principles of War. 1pt.
* inflicted a whopping defeat on an opponent
Yes, but probably only once! 1pt.
* suffered an embarrassing defeat due to a stupid tactical decision
Almost certainly. Several times. I didnt take the hint when moving a unit down the side of a wood when the umpire began singing "If you go down to the woods today...". Enemy forces burst out of the wood and sweep my army away in a mass flank attack. 1pt.
* joined a wargamers club
Yes. Proud to be a member of Stoke Wargames Club. Occassional member of the Weymouth Levellers! 1pt.
* bought a ton of lead that remains unpainted
Yes, but now somewhat reduced. 1pt.
* been to a wargamers show
Er...yes. At least half a dozen, often more, every year for 20 plus years. 1pt.
* have more dice than is logical or necessary to own - and have used most of them
Doesn't everyone? 1pt.
* have taken boxes of troops down to a club just to show them off to your mates
So 15 1/2. No idea what that means!
Sunday, 4 November 2012
As a little experiment I used Army Painter Strong tone ink instead of the dip. Results were a little disappointing in that the ink tended to stain the colours rather than flow into the creases as the dip does. Hence for the first time in I dont know when I had to go back and add highlighting to brighten the colours back up. The new inks do have their uses, but they are not a replacement in my eyes for the dip.
With the year fast drawing to an end I look back on a pretty dismal year for my hobby. It started really well and is finishing with a flourish but they bookend a barren six months where virtually nothing was done apart from trawling the usual websites. One thing I can take away from the period is that I am less inclined to contribute to the various forums. Apart from The Gentlemans Wargame Parlour and WD3, none seem to have content that appeals. To be honest I am an inveterate lurker anyway so now take or leave the forums nowadays anyway.
Warfare at Reading is only a couple of weeks away. I'll be there hopefully mid afternoon on the Saturday and all day Sunday. I may treat myself to some more Peter Pig goodness. I am thinking along the lines of either Spanish Civil War or Pieces of Eight. These are the two ranges they do that I cant put a game on for. I have been promising for years to do either or both of these. Not sure which way I am leaning at the moment but I'll keep you updated.
Other purchases that are on the radar are some of the new AWI marching figures, Ikko Ikki for my Samurai collection or the Sudan Gunboat. Away from Peter Pig I love the idea of copying Mr Farrow (link to the right) and doing Indian Mutiney using a DBA variant and Irregular Miniatures figures. And....I still haven't got my ancients done. Now that should be a priority to be honest as I have ready made opponents in Keith and Ade at the club but I just seem to always find something else to do when the inspiration stikes.
In the lead pile remain my Old West Peter Pig figures for a project where I hope to write my own rules. My late war WW1 stuff is no where near finished but the Germans are at least underway. So despite the doldrums of the mid part of the year you can see that there is plenty to go at and inspiration is not lacking!
Now for a musical interlude! Tom Waits singing '(Looking for the) Heart of Saturday Night'. 1975 vintage. Enjoy!
Saturday, 3 November 2012
Monday, 22 October 2012
My 1914 French are all done apart from basetex on the bases. I have finished all but the cavalry for my 1846 U.S. army to face off against Ade's Mexicans. I finished up my Queens Rangers for the AWI today along with a Confederate brass band (figures from Essex). Whereas for months I have had figures in various stages of completion, not having any motivation to finish them, I now seem to be able to sit and get the job done. Looking at various other bloggers out there you frequently see people describing burnout or loss of motivation. Some even contemplate selling evereything and walking away from the hobby. Whilst others are in fine form knocking out figures by the dozen and playing more games than ever. I dont know of other pastimes that afflict its participants in a similar way. Do golfers play at every opportunity and then hit a brick wall and stop for a few months?
I was speaking to someone at a show a while ago about the phenomenon of buying a load of figures for a project at a show only for inspiration to desert a week later leaving the pile of figures to languish on the mythical 'lead-pile' we all have. This can in some cases amount to hundreds of pounds worth of figures that go untouched, sometimes for years. How many golfers or fishermen for example do you know that impulse buy the latest gear only to store it at the back of the garage unused? Not many I suspect. We are a strange bunch.
Sunday, 21 October 2012
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CSS_Tennessee_(1863) One of the best Rebel ships in the game.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Sassacus_(1862) A really nice looking model.
Tuesday, 2 October 2012
Wednesday, 19 September 2012
I am very excited about the release of ‘Lincoln’, Steven Speilbergs film covering the last months of the Civil War and ultimately Lincolns assassination. Daniel Day Lewis looks incredible in the role and it promises to be a truly great film.
Above link is to the trailer if you haven’t seen it yet.
Saturday, 15 September 2012
Thursday, 6 September 2012
Tuesday, 14 February 2012
1914 French officers base for my latest project.
The whole unit. 4 bases of 3 figures. Around 10-12 infantry units, 6 mgs and 5-6 guns plus maybe a cavalry unit make a decent army for the new version of Square Bashing. I am just back from Yeovil where we had a weekend of playtesting. Pictures will follow. Suffice to say that I am really enjoying the rules and have 5 armies in various stages of completion. The early war French add a dash of colour to otherwise drab uniforms. I am going to mix painting up by giving some units the lighter blue kepi cover and some others in blue trousers.
This is the cavalry plus some French from the last post. Now all based up and varnished ready for action.
A closer look at a unit of Retinue cavalry. I am totally sold on basetex from Colour Party for my bases. Previousley I used flock for quick and easy basing but now prefer the look at the cost of slightly more work. I think its worth the effort.
More 1914 French on the blocks followed by 1918 Germans. Looking foward to Alumwell on March 11th but not sure of any purchases as yet.
Thursday, 2 February 2012
The men at arms are actually made up of the mounted bodyguard figures and have alot more colour to them than other men at arms I have painted and probably more colour than is historically accurate. But they are my figures and the splash of colour looks nice! I'll try to add some close ups when they are based and varnished.
I have enough cavalry for all the scenarios in the Bloody Barons rule book now. I am just short of a few crew for the heavy guns and I will have all the figures I will ever need. My plan then will be to refight each of the battles in chronological order, starting with 1st St Albans.
So, finished them a couple of days ago. The painting that is. Because when I came to base them up I couldn't for the life of me remember where I had put the 3cmx4cm bases made by Peter Pig I needed. Now any sort of modeller/wargamer worth his onions would improvise and use card or similar to make do. But my entire collection is based on the plasticard bases Peter Pig produce so I am afraid the patient horse men will have to await me collecting my order from the York show on Sunday.
And I am fairly sure, just as the last drybrush is applied to the new bases up will pop a whole stack of the missing bases I know I have SOMEWHERE.
Whilst under the weather with man flu I have enjoyed trawling the web and various hobby blogs. A most enjoyable blog with inspirational pictures is that of Phil Steele. Links are over to the right. His work on Peter Pig figures is excellent and has spurred me on to try my first 'head swap' conversions with some tam'o'shanter heads to replace the glengarrys on one of my two First World War Scots units from Peter Pig.
A preorder is in for collection from York consisting of mainly bits to finish my 1918 Germans. Who knows what impulse buys I will come away with. Hopefully not much as I have more than enough going on. But if i see a reasonably priced ancients army I might be tempted.
Anyway I'm off for a lemsip.
Sunday, 15 January 2012
Currently painting up a variety of bits including:
1) Retinue cavalry for my Wars of the Roses
2) Tanks for Vietnam
3) Scots for WW1
4) Queens Rangers for AWI
Also starting to get excited about the upcoming show season. Starting with York on 5/2/12 which is followed the week after by a day in Yeovil with the playtest team for Square Bashing. Contemplating some puchases for Yeork. Probably the last few bits for late WW1.
The trailer for 'Birdsong' on the BBC looks good. Apparently the battle scenes are rather good. I've been put off 'Warhorse' at the cinema by reviews calling it 'Black Beauty' during the First World War. Opportunities to go to the cinema are few and far between at the moment so we tend to go for films we are pretty certain we'll both enjoy so this may have to wait until DVD release.
Saturday, 14 January 2012
3 new players were taken through a game last night. 2 had in their words
'pigged' before, 1 had not.
Early war British taken by Ade and Jim. Early war German by myself and Keith.
Keith did most of our rolling in the countdown to war doing very well with two
top of the three results causing Ade and Jim to put two units back into the
toy box and alot into reserve. We ended up 'attacking along the sector' and
things were looking dodgy before the game even started through depletions with
the Brits having just two professional infantry units, 2 field guns and 4 mgs on
The Brits army had from memory
7 Professional units
1 Regular (actually a French unit just painted up!)
2 Prof Cavalry
5 Guns (these may be slightly out...)
1 Professional unit
8 Regular units
1 Regular cav
1 Reserve cav
A 640pt game but with the new artillery costing of 15pts.
The Germans pushed on from the start and in turn threw a point barrage centred
on some British mgs but deviated and fell on the head of unsuspecting General
Melchett supping Early Grey in a town on the British board edge.
The British never managed to get their Higher command back on the table. They
did make very good use of the suppression barrage and halted the Germans in
On Keiths flank he bravely charged both cavalry units at a British unit and mg
behind hasty works in a wood. Despite me getting the factors wrong for the
cavalry (I gave them 3 dice per unit instead of the 1 they should have had for
attacking troops in a wood/behind works) they bounced off mainly thanks to the
Reinforcements were slow to arrive for the British intially until they opted for
option C (1 auto, roll for two more, all arrive on the road). The crossroads
objective was in row two and by game end was defended by 3 British Prof units
behind works which saw off assaults from front and flank.
Both sides managed to bring on an aeroplane which was put to good use strafing
The game lasted 5 turns with some high rolls for countdown. The Germans managed
to break through in two squares. Both sides held two objectives. The British
still had inf artillery and cavalry in reinforcements by game end. The Germans
lost 20 odd bases, the Brits only 4!! Professionals saving on 3's was a big
Points tally was British 48 Germans 49.
All three new players thoroughly enjoyed the game. None had played the old
square bashing and Jim being a complete newcomer to Peter Pig games soon got the
hang of how things worked. With lots of chatting and visits into the room from
other club members I would say the game lasted 2 hours start to finish. There
will be a couple of pictures on the blog later and I'll put them on the group
here too shortly.
We used the original depletions system as I had forgotten to take the new one
with me to club. I did use the deduction for units on an objective. Professional
Brits were rolling 3 dice instead of 4 and the two units on the objective rolled
Oh and my new Tablescape trees looked lovely. 4 per wood!!!!
Now some pictures from our official photographer...
The British army (with a newly painted French battalion acting as regular troops) lined up ready for a stout defence.
Friday, 6 January 2012
I have been painting but nothing finished yet. 1914 French for Square Bashing 2. Looking rather spiffing in their red trousers. I may try a small tutorial tomorrow night as Lisa has a friend over from work enabling me to ensconce myself in the office.
I've been following some interesting threads on forums over the festive period. It does amaze me how heated some of these discussions get. A favourite is the message boards on The Miniatures Page (link over to the right). A couple of posters on there have quite a reputation for argumentative posts and downright rudeness at times. Of course the phenomena of the 'internet warrior' is something that has risen noticeably over the years. But why people get so heated over what amounts to armchair history and toy soldiers is baffling.
One particular annoyance for me is the 'opinion stated as fact' posts by these internet warriors. This usually looks something like this....
1. "The figures made by XXXX are rubbish."
2. "The rules written by XXXX are stupid. They dont work and are not realistic."
and such like.
No opinions are like backsides. We all have one. But I do feel some people forget that opinions are just that. A subjective point of view if you will. I have opinions on figure ranges and rulesets. They are mine and mine alone. If someone likes another set of rules or figures and not the ones I like, thats fine. Neither of us is wrong in our opinion. In fact the above two examples would be much more palatable if they read like this....
1. "The figures made by XXXX are rubbish in my opinion because....." or
2. "The rules written by XXXX are stupid in my opinion because...."
My mantra of wargaming being a broad church doesn't seem to be a widely held view as people seem to be happy to entrench themselves in their own little world where only their opinion is valid. And in the case of two contributors to The Miniatures Page, if you happen to disagree with their point of view, you are liable to derision, abuse and ridicule. It leaves a bad taste in my mouth so it does.
In brighter news, Peter Pig have resculpted their AK47 Professionals.
And very nice they look too. I may have to look at a tidy up of my AK47 armies. As ever so much to do and so little time.