Sunday 30 December 2012

Vikings 2

I managed to paint the Anglo Saxon army from Lancashire Games before Christmas. They only took around 4 hours over two sessions. They are rough and ready but good enough for some proper playtesting.

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.

More soon...

Saturday 15 December 2012

Round up and Looking forward

On the whole this has been a pretty poor year for me wargaming wise. I had practically 6 months away from the hobby over the spring and summer due to various comittments. September saw me return to the club and take part in a couple of games and then the last month has seen a combination of work and illness keep me away. I hope to make the club on the 21st to pass on seasons greetings and join in a game if the opportunity arises.

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
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.

More soon...

Saturday 8 December 2012

Vikings (1)

For playtesting 'Longships' I have taken advantage of Lancashire Games seasonal discount of 15%. For £65.00 I have bought a Viking and a Saxon army. I shall use these pending Peter Pig releasing their own range then gradually replace the Lanchashire figures. I will then either sell them or else turn them into DBX/FOG armies.

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!

More soon...

Thursday 6 December 2012

Kirk Douglas was a Viking

Peter Pig have made the official announcement of their upcoming Viking Raids game, 'Longships'.

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.

More soon!

Wednesday 5 December 2012

O Tannenbaum

The Christmas Tree is up in the Buckets of Dice household, much to the delight of my daughter who now recognises Santa and all the trappings. I played a blinder as 'Scrooge', trying to get the tree to stay upright and fighting with lights and tinsel.

As always its worth the effort in the end.

The 1914 French are finished, or should that be 'fini'.

I procrastinated something rotten on getting these done but with the completion of a unit of Dragoons I can say they are ready for battle. Unfortunately their debut has been delayed through a combination of manflu and then my car needing a new windscreen.

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!

These are the new barricades from Peter Pig, specifically the urban version. They are designed to be the hasty works a defender gets at the start of a game of Square Bashing. They really are lovely pieces with barrels, mattresses, a piano and even a coffin going to make up the barricade. I can see these having lots of uses. There are four pieces in all measuring around 5".

This is my crossroads objective for Square Bashing. I have christened it Hellfire Crossroads. Clearly an important piece of road judging by the amount of shelling around it. No direct hits yet though!

This is another objective piece, the destroyed chateaux. Shelling has clearly been more effective on this building, now a shadow of its former self which was actually a walled farm from Mainly Militairy if I remember correctly, bought many years ago and damaged during several house moves.

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.

More soon...