Sunday 22 February 2009

Templates and Scenary

Most RFCM rules use templates for area scenary like woods, villages and the like. I have been using various colours of felt cut into interesting shapes up until now. This afternoon I cut up a load of lino floor tiles which I intend to texture and flock. They should look really nice when done. The lino is great as you can cut it with scissors but is pretty tough. If they do warp slightly you can just bend it back into shape. The templates are roughly 8"x6" which is half an A4 piece of paper. The RFCM rules state that the templates can be an inch or so either up or down from this size. Also two templates can be butted up together to make a larger area. Its a great system to lay out your terrain. I may do some road pieces. I currentley use the S&A scenics felt pieces but they do look a bit stylised. I will gradually replace all my bits of scenary to look how I want. For any demo/participation type games at shows I will build specific boards with scenary items sculpted on to them.

I will try some pictures tomorrow.

Saturday 21 February 2009

More Regiment of Foote and MOCB

Painted a unit of Foote for RoF today. A yellow coat regiment which looks nice. Only took me an hour and they look quite nice if I do say so myself.

Also painted up 4 of the M113's. Two of these are the older models by Peter Pig which were replaced some time last year. The newer ones are slightly wider and have some stowage. I did have some problems sticking the new ones together but I am fairly happy with them now. I was going to use the older two for my AK47 as UN vehicles but got carried away and all four are now painted in Olive Drab ready to head out towards Saigon with some new grunts.

I have been rearranging my figures into the Kaiser Rushworth cases. Thes really are excellent cases and great value for money. I use the 'D2' trays which are pick and pluck fitting 40 3cmx3cm bases to a tray and 4 trays to a case. I now have one box for my Union CWB army, one for my Reb CWB army, one for my AK47 stuff, one for my PBI stuff and one for odds and ends which has the MOCB collection in at the minute. I intend to get more of these as my PITS collection is still loose in a cardboard box and my ECW collection remains in box files due to the amount of pikes and horse. Highly recommended.

Hopefully a gameat home this week, possibly Tuesday. Not sure what yet. I do fancy another RoF game testing the Edgehill scenario.

More soon.

Thursday 19 February 2009

Regiment of Foote Scenarios

After some work on a scenario for Worcester, I have decided to shelve it for now. In its place will be Lansdowne which was smaller but involved Waller and Hopton, so a bit different from the major clashes the other scenarios cover. It is a classic attack defence game too so fits the RoF framework nicely.

More soon.

Points system

Just updated my points system to take account of scenary bits. I think I am under selling myself with 5 points for a building as it probably takes more than 5 times as long to paint a building as it does a foot figure.

Last years tally did not necessarily include basing of figures, but now I only count figures that are based to score points. This has had the consequence that I have only just finished basing figures I painted 6 months ago which has eaten into my painting time for this month. All basing is now done however so from this point each point has to be earnt!

My aim is to hit 2ooo points for the year. Thats only 170 or so points a month. I CAN turn that out in a couple of days or so, but not often. I am on course so far. My wife is away skiing at the end of March so I plan a paint fest over that week (leaving an hour for frantic cleaning just before she gets home of course!). I am thinking this will be the start of my Wars of the Roses. I will aim to do the prep on these before hand and will aim to do 200 figures over the week.

I am way up on my 'pledge' (paint more than I buy). Of course I may actually buy MORE figures than I paint but because I score points for scenary and more points for vehicles, the balance should work in my favour. Maybe I should 'point up' each purchase.

More Vietnam

Spent the last week painting dead peasants, live peasants, dead Marines, caches and hooches for my Vietnam. Also finished all the basing on my ACW and PBI armies. Just the flags to do on the ACW stuff.

Also painted a load of walls and fences plus some rocky outcrop pieces that Peter Pig do. The fences are from Peter Pigs Western range and look nice and rough. I also have done a few fences from Timecast. The walls are 'drystone' types I bought at Alumwell when it WAS Alumwell so that must be 5 or 6 years ago I guess. Its funny that with wargaming, its not just about painting the figures or basing them. For me the game has to look right with all the associated impedimenta (?). So I seem to have spent a lot of time lately getting these bits done. I always seem to buy these bits but never get round to painting them.

I have a couple of M113's to finish for Vietnam and then can look at playing a few games. I have both the old and new versions from Peter Pig. I think the older ones may go towards a UN Peacekeeping force for AK47. I also have a couple of diecast Hueys, but these are prepaints which I wont be touching. Hopefully at Alumwell I will pick up some decal sheets from Skytrex for the M113's to make them look really nice.

On the subject of Veitnam there was a great documentary on BBC4 this week called 'How Vietnam Was Lost'. Told the story of two events that changed the war. One was an ambush just north of Siagon where 60+ US troops were killed having being pressured into searching out the local VC regiment by Westmoreland. The other was one of the first Anti War demos in an American university (cant remember which one) that started peacefully protesting against the universities links with the makers of Napalm. The local police were sent in and all hell broke loose with the police bascially brutalising the students ending up with over 60 in hospital. Both events took place on 17th October 1967. Very thought provoking. Especially the commanding officer of the lead company who looked your typical 'all american jock' type who broke down on camera telling about how his company was dead in the field and that he had being shot 4 times himself. Catch it on iPlayer if you missed it.

Back to wargaming and I have been thinking about making some permanent baseboards for my games. Most of the latest RFCM sets are on either 5x3 or 6x3. The new aK47 is 6x3. PBI is 4x4 and MOCB 6x4. I am thinking that MOCB would work just as well on either 6x3 or 5x3. My PBI will always be played on a cotton sheet marked out into squares (for now anyways). The rest I am thinking I will do one 6x3 board, pretty much as described in Battles in the Age of War using a GW static grass mat with some low level scenic bits on. Not sure about roads and rivers. May scult these on, although it does limit your set up somewhat. Hills are another thing. I currently use S&A scenics scenary which are nice and practical but the plastic bases I use do tend to slide down them too easily. As ever with these projects I am stuck between a rock and a hard place. I may just do a board for demo/participation game purposes which should be easy enough.

My scenarios for Regiment of Foote are coming along nicely. Just need to sort out the problem of having no scanner. I am fairly sure Peter Pig hand draw their maps for their scenarios and then scan the picture into the computer. I love how these look and want to replicate it if I can. I may have to wait until I am back at work and use a scanner there! On the scenarios themselves I am just researching Worcester, all the others are done. Some tinkering to do to ensure they play right under the rules. One minor problem has been to tailor the number of units under each command. Too many and it will be very difficult to maintain any cohesion. I think absolutely no more than 6 units per command. The size of Marston Moor has necessitated 4 generals per side.

More next week. I may have them done by this time next week, but as we are off to Berlin a week today I doubt I will have time to post them up.

Saturday 14 February 2009

A day under the duvet part 2.

Ever the romantic on Valentines day I have been shivering underneath the duvet most of the day.

It did give me time to go back to my project to write scenarios for Regiment of Foote. I have 3 done, research done for the other three and just the maps to do. I intend to make them look a bit like those in Bloody Barons and Civil War Battles. I think they look really good and playtesting will begin next week.

Thank You Martin

A quick thank you to Martin Goddard for permission to use the Peter Pig image for the blog.

Man Flu

Down with the dreaded lurgy meaning I can barely get out of bed at the minute. I have had to take time off work for the first time in years which I feel very guilty about. spent today under the duvet watching 'The Man who Would be King' and 'Apocalypse Now redux'.

Cant sleep hence the late post. Thinking of trying to put some paint on metal tomorrow or finish off some basing. So many ideas not enough time. I have plans and ambitions beyond my ability to manage.

A rough buying plan formulated today. I am getting some scenary and a PBI army from Alumwell. Maybe a couple of other bits but nothing major. Likely get a tin of Army Painter Strong tone. Then Triples in April. Peter Pig dont attend this show so other than maybe a book or two, and bits that catch my eye nothing major here. Partizan in May will be a mjor purchase of Samurai, enough to complete two armies adding to the stuff I already have. Maybe the figures for one of the larger scenarios. June is Phalanx but again no Peter Pig so nothing major other than the usual. July and August is a dry month for shows, but September will see 2nd Partizan and possibly a purchase of Hey You in the Jail figures and buildings and maybe Dervish for my PITS stuff.

If there is a PBI or CWB day in Bournemouth this year I will attend come hell or high water. With no AK47 day I will need my annual fix of gaming. If Portbury do a PBI day too I may try and get there as well. Not sure if Peter Pig will hold one of their comps in August (there wasn't one last year). If they do I will do my best to get there as well.

I am thinking of having a mass clear out of fantasy/sc fi stuff that has been lying around for ever. If I can ever get around to getting my backside into gear I will photograph the stuff for ebay and keep the blog updated with progress.

Reading several books at the moment as usual. 'Terrible Swift Sword' by Bruce Catton is my ACW fix. I love his style. The words flow off the page with ease. Also I have 'We were soldiers Once...and Young'. Vietnam action in the Ia Drang valley. Good stuff. Constantly reading my collection of RFCM titles to get to grips. New AK47 is the current favourite , although I dug out Pieces of Eight earlier today for another seed of a plan.

Missed the club again tonight due to the lurgy. Not attended since early December now. The less I go the less motivation I have to make the effort. Going to try and go to bed now without waking my wife who is on earlies in the morning (5.30 alarm).

Thursday 12 February 2009

End of an era

When I first started wargaming Wargames Illustrates was the magazine of choice with Miniature Wargames and Practical Wargaming a nice to have rather than need. Of course this was pre internet making the monthly fix my only connection with the wider world of the hobby outside of my local club.

I wont say that I enjoyed every article (Ever Victorious Army/Darkest Africa/Pirates), but in the main news of upcoming shows, new releases and the photographs grabbed me every time.

Of late I have only picked up the odd copy here and there, Battlegames being my choice read. I do feel there is still a place for the printed magazine, but it is rare that a piece of news hits me first from a magazine rather than TMP or one of the many YahooGroups I follow.

News that Battlefront have bought WI has shocked me. Ok so the halcyon days may have gone but I have grave doubts about the future of the magazine. Hopefully BF will resist the temptation to make WI the historical White Dwarf and still accept articles for rival products. We will have to wait and see. I predict more WW2 articles featuring Flames of War. It will be interesting to see if they were to accept a submission based on PBI. Time will tell.

Wednesday 11 February 2009

Game and more painting

Had an excellent game of Regiment of Foote last night with Martyn my long time wargames opponent. It was his first game of Regiment of Foote but we managed to play to a conclusion within 3 hours or so (taking into account I was a bit rusty too!)

Here we see the field of battle at dawn. This little piece of England is the border of the counties of Barpshire and Scruttockshire where those two rivals for the heart of Lady Geraldine, The Earl of Trent, Benton Smythe and Sir Marmaduke Evans MP are heading for a clash of arms. The crossroads is known locally as Bayleighs Cross. The date is 4th April 1642....

The two armies deployed, Sir Marmaduke (me) with his Roundheads to the left and the Earl of Trent (Martyn) to the right.

Martyn was defending after the campaign section of the rules, but after four marches each, he lost only one unit at the deployment . This meant it was going to be a hard game for the attacker (me!) to win. Still, Marmaduke girded his loins and after an early morning prayer session, he stood in his stirrups and ordered the advance. This shot shows the slow advance of the foote in the centre. In the background the Royalist horse were getting the better of things which gave them free reign later in the battle.

A clash between Deverells Roundhead Cuirassiers having the worst of it against a veteran unit of Royalist horse led by the dashing Prince Eugene.

More Royalist horse deploying to the field behind the a conscript Bluecoat regiment, shaking in their boots as facing them was a horde of Puritanical roundheads about to trample all over them.

A general shot of the field showing essential wargaming impedimentia, Peter Pig dice, beer, biscuits and a nice cup of tea.

A dramatic shot of some Roundhead dragoons on foote, creeping around the hedgerows on their left flank. They had a tough game skirimishing with their Royalist counterparts but did their job preventing the Royalist horse getting around to the rear.

It was a great game that ended in a winning draw for the Royalists with their veteran cavalry having practically free reign by games end. Although I had control of the centre with my foote, they were feeling exposed as all but one of my Regiments of horse (and a conscript unit at that!) had routed from the field.
Marmaduke had no option but to retire from the field to reorganise his forces muttering "Odds tis a small thing that you have! The Earl of Trent quaffed on ale in the local. An aide of his was heard to say "zooks sir,we have but fought lightly today!"
We used the proposed modifications from the RFCM Yahoogroup that Peter Pig put up in November. The main changes being to the assault phase. A greatly reduced number of dice are now used, with a result that infantry fights in particular can be less decisive. I thought they worked very well, but as ever a couple of questions came up.
1. There are no factors in the new 'Fight' table for charger cavalry or to take account of the quality of the units fighting. On the quality issue, the saving rolls may account for this but maybe there should be something for having a better class of troops in a fight (+2d6 for using better class troops than opponent....maybe +1 for trained v conscript and 2D6 for veteran v conscript). I appreciate the new table is designed to reduce the number of dice rolled, but I do feel charger cavalry need a plus as well.
2.The cavalry who rout cavalry opponents table perhaps should be for cavalry verses infantry too as in the main rules victorious cavalry pursue off table similar to when fighting cavalry.
Thumbs up from me for the changes. Looking forward to the next clash between Marmaduke and the Earl of Trent as the Earl follows up on his minor victory. Next game in a couple of weeks, not sure what yet!
If you look to the right you will see my painting points are creeping up. 164 now. Thats more point than I have brought so far this year. The latest editions are Viet Cong with RPGS and LMGs, US Marines with LAWs, a Reb unit for CWB along with some officers and markers. Only a couple of bits left for CWB now and then a game hopefully!
On a completely different note myself and Lisa saw 'Slumdog Millionaire' the other night and we both thought it was one of the best films we have seen in a long time. Uplifting stuff in these times of fiscal hardship!

Saturday 7 February 2009

Pictures 2

I am shopping around for a new camera so hope to be able to put up some better (and larger!)pictures soon.

Painted 12 ECW dragoons today and finished some basing on dismounted dragoons and a Reb artillery crew. Also started another building this time for Vietnam.

Off to work now!

Friday 6 February 2009


As I dont have a camera at the minute I am having to make do with my phone.

Here is the new American Civil War church and a big house from Peter Pig.

This is the small house.

Finally the unit of English Civil War Cuirassier.

Thursday 5 February 2009

A few thoughts before work

I am on a real Peter Pig kick at the minute and just cant find enough time to do all I want to. I have had a slow start to the year painting wise, but January is always a bit slow on the gaming front due to work, birthdays and other social events that keep me away from my brushes.

I have just finished the new Peter Pig ACW buildings, using my new philosophy of slap the paint on and wash it with Games Workshops Devlan Mud, Ogryn Flesh or Army Painter (APd). They wont win any prizes but look nice for the amount of work put in. I have also APd'd a unit of Rebs and a unit of Union that I painted last year in my old style of black undercoat and two highlights. I wasn't going to bother but they fit in better now with my armies.

Just finished some AK47 civilians too that look nice with minimal effort as well as a camera crew. I have looking at me a giraffe, a rhino, some pigs and cattle as well as a couple of crocodiles. Funny the things we wargamers collect isn't it?

Plans for this month are to get the ACW figures on table, finish up a couple of ECW bits along with my PBI armies. March should see me starting my Wars of the Roses armies for Bloody Barons. I have enough figures for the Towton scenario but will paint the forces for Blore Heath (just down the road from me) to get me going. Then its Samurai for the Battles in the Age of War. Somewhere in there will be new bits for AK47 as they come out to promote the new version of AK47 Republic. I would love to fit in some Hey You in the Jail and also some bits and bobs for Patrols in the Sudan. Last but not least maybe, just maybe, some Spanish Civil War. Oh and of course Men of Company B.

Too ambitious? Moi? With my reputation? This year will be a record breaking year for me painting wise. Last year I didn't really get going unitl Partizan in May wher I bought my first tin of Army Painter. That tin is still going though I do have a second tin waiting in the wings. I have been using the Dark Tone which is basically black. I may try the Strong tone which is dark brown when I go ot Alumwell in March.

Any way time to get ready for work. More later!

Sunday 1 February 2009

York show

After spending the evening at a Charity Ball, I was slightly under the weather on the drive upto York this morning. Two and a bit hours I arrived just after 10.30am where I met Keith Martin and Tonk from the Stoke club.

As usual I wondered around checking out where everything was and scanning the demo games. York is one of the largest one day shows with an excellent mix of traders and games in a light and airy venue. Some very nice games on display with the award for top game going to (I think) the Ilkley Lads with a large WW2 Desert game in 28mm. They took my vote for the scenary really which was TSS tiles with a excellent desert effect painted on top. There was a massive 28mm Shiloh by the Like a Stonewall group which was nice, but somehow 'too big', with not enough trees and ugly yellow card unit markers.

As the first show for me of the year, I couldnt resist adding to the lead pile, buying the balance of the figures for the Bloody Barons Towton scenario. As well as these I got a few paints and brushes, the charming 'Tusk I, II and III' rules from Irregular Miniatures with the 'Sir Harry and his hunting party' figure pack and the new ACW buildings from Peter PigI also played Battles in the Age of War with Stuart (Meecham?) from Peter Pig. Very enjoyable. Had a nice chat with Stuart about all things Piggie as well as a chat with Nigel about the new AK47 which I am quite excited about. Nigel also kindly took an order for some scenary to collect at the Alumwell show. Overall a very enjoyable day, catching up with the lads, wandering aimlessly around the various games and stands and of course spending some money.

A big plus was arranging a game or two with Martin and Keith. Hopefully a game of Regiment of Foote followed by a trail of the new AK47. Mrs Clark is out shopping all day tomorrow so I plan a day of painting which is a good job really because a lot of snow is on the way! Not decided what to tackle yet, possibly to finish the basing of my ACW which I spent alot of yesterday doing, and maybe crack on with Vietnam bits. Maybe a couple of scenary bits for ECW too.

Apologies for no pictures but I lost my digital camera a few weeks ago and although my phone has a good camera, I always forget to use it!

More next week.