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Friday, 30 October 2015

In the dark...

A warm glow for the evening...


Happy Halloween! (Mwha Ha Ha!!!)

Will's and his cousins have been pumpkin carving...will take some snaps when they are lit up.



Don't mess with this goat herder

When we visited the Derby show I bought my usual supplies from Warbases. Whilst waiting for some deliberating customers I noticed that there was a range of 28mm animals. Thinking about my fantasy drive I thought some wandering animals would make some suitable objectives.

That got me to thinking about trolls from some recent school work, and then a scenario idea came forth with encouragement to finish my Reaper marsh troll. I can imagine some plucky (and hungry) adventurers wanting to steal some camp fire cooking ingredients from a rather cross shepherd...

Random animal movements, cross boars and impetuous animal younglings could cause some chaos to an already difficult task. Let's hope the adventurers don't become a tasty morsel themselves!


Thursday, 29 October 2015

First play of Infinity

Ed kindly brought over his collection of Infinity miniatures and the starter set of terrain to introduce myself and Will's to the system. We managed to get through 3 games of increasing difficulty (not that we scratched the surface).

I quite liked the system as everything seemed to make sense, in no small part to Ed's fantastic tuition. So much so that Will's managed to stay involved for all three games. Whilst there is evident complexity, each component seems to integrate well with equipment, troop types and scenarios providing lots of variety.

The rule book is available as a free download which supports entry into the game, however the price of miniatures is pretty steep, so I'll keep my eye out on E-bay.

Thanks to Ed for providing the time and patience for running the games...


Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Fresh questors to Arcadia

Now that the game is fully 'colourised', thought it a good opportunity to introduce Ed and Daz to the game. It's a suitable, light evening's entertainment and easy on the (small) brain. So welcome to the first scenario again...

Tonight saw two games. A four player bash introducing Ed and Daz, with myself and Will guiding; then a three player game with Ed, Daz and myself. Highlights of the first game was Wills rapid win, before the rest of us were actually aware (his quote,"it's too easy"). A younger, quicker mind seeing through all of our banter and gassing. The second game saw Ed becoming trapped between mine and Daz's characters, with the character Grom 'skull crackin' all before him in a wounded berserk like state - five attack dice being something not to dabble against!

Certain combinations of characters worked well, Hobsbawn blasting magic for Grom to follow up with an additional turn maintained the centre of the board. The portals make camping very difficult as they can project characters swiftly anywhere on the board. It certainly felt like shark feeding time when characters became weakened, as other characters descended upon them to gain that quest winning action of killing other players. The game was certainly enhanced by the miniatures being painted, and it reminded me just how much I like their character and styling. I'll let Grom have the last words...



Monday, 26 October 2015

It's really done!

A late night entry, but I felt it was so close to finishing, that the Minotaur was worth putting paint to. He was quite simple to do, and seemed to go at a lively pace. It's a personal minor achievement to actually complete a whole project, even if it is the figure content of a boardgame! On the successful painting wave, I might have a game of Arcadia Quest tomorrow...or a miniatures based Command and Colors game, depending on the number of players available. Will take some piccies.



A very nearly, nearly finished project

Sat in a box, next to other unloved toys, sat some lonely minotaurs. They were the last set of miniatures to paint from the boardgame 'Arcadia Quest'. I think I left these because they were some of the most interesting to look at so I wanted to do them painting justice. New shiny toys came along...and there they have been sat for a while. Maybe it's my mood, or just wanting some quick wins, I decided to finish off these bulwark bulls. I've one character Minotaur left to do and then that's it (unless the extensions somehow come into my possession). Oh well...


Sunday, 25 October 2015

Street life

What a busy few days with work. Certainly not had the time or energy to complete anything substantial. I still had some Warbases carts to make, so, today was the day. A little more to add to my fantasy street scene. They are not something I have put a lot of energy into, but hopefully they might kickstart me into further activity. Let's see...



Sunday, 11 October 2015

Blucher bases - MDF style

Another purchase at Derby was some miniatures from commission figurines. The special thing about these pieces is that they are made from MDF and are virtually 'flats'! For the cost of just ten pounds you get all of these figures...

These have been a little experiment for me on several wavelengths. Firstly, this was an exercise in speed painting. These bases have been completed, start to finish, in about five hours. They are not meant to be perfectly painted as I want to have quickly prepared, massed miniatures. Besides, 6mm is not meant to be judged under a microscope.

The second wavelength is their interchangeability to rest on Blucher unit cards. With a little blu tack underneath, these bases can quickly represent the variety of units presented in the game. Rather than stick them with permanently marked statistics, basing them on only the width of the illustration allows ultimate flexibility. They almost feel like a blend between board gaming and miniatures games which is becoming ever popular. They certainly scratch my itch!


Sheriff of Nottingham

Everyone is still enjoying the game 'Sheriff of Nottingham'. Maybe we all want to try and catch others out, or try new strategies; whatever the motivation, it's still an exciting and intriguing little game. William again played his 'believe me, I won't lie because I'm the youngest'...Grandad tried to be a little more believing of others. Grandma still tried to creep contraband through where possible. Lucy played a more adventurous game, with a little less honesty. Me...well, not sticking to a strategy had it's usual result...

...and lost me the game badly again! This was a close one, with Will's contraband haul just being pipped to the post, with Lucy's hoard of legitimate goods. One round of picking up 4 chickens certainly helped Lucy, especially when the Sheriff didn't believe what was in the sack.

Using the IPad App really helps the game flow nicely. It has a timer for the negotiations, and throws out random comments at particularly pertinent moments during negotiations. Finally, the app keeps track of previous games and scores; always good for remembering just how big the sack was full of contraband! Final comment on the game.

Grandad - I can't lie. (Everybody else laughed)

Grandma - Williams face stops me from calling him a cheat.

Will - it was good and funny.

Lucy - I was lucky with the chicken pick up.

Anthony - trying to be clever doesn't pay, and I'm not letting Grandad shuffle the deck again.



Them bones, them Reaper Bones

A nice surprise from the Derby wargames show was suitably packed Reaper miniatures, sold by Squarehex. I had to restrain the wallet, even though Will encouraged me to buy some extra heroes he liked. So, without too much discussion, here is the first batch of finished miniatures.

I've primed a lot of the figures in different sprays. These examples were sprayed with silver. I always find these difficult to handle well. Washes can give a dirty impression, whilst dry brushes removes some of the contrasts. I used some weathering powders which evened out some of the tones.

I particularly like the guy on the throne. Not sure wether he will be an objective, or active character; one things for sure, he will certainly rule over any dungeon room he sits within.


Sunday, 4 October 2015

Blucher revisited

Bumped into an old friend a few weeks ago; many games were played in our later teenage years, including first edition DBA. Well, let the good times roll again! Like myself, Ed has found it difficult to find the time and energy to put figure to table. Fortunately, Ed has been dabbling with Sam Mustafa's Napoleonic game 'Blucher'. So we arranged a game with Daz for Saturday this week, with Ed playing a British coalition, and myself and Daz playing the French.

We used the cards from the 100 days set, so I chose to use the simple boards that I painted for a wargaming school club. Not as pretty, but functional and effective. Ed went for a large corps of quality troops on his left flank, with the Dutch and Germans holding a hill on his right flank, cavalry lurked in the centre. We went for 4 equally sized, average corps of foot, each with a battery of artillery; 2 small corps of cavalry, each with field artillery, finished out the force.

The early moves saw a see saw, with both army's left flanks moving forward to strike a telling blow. Both sides chose to ignore the centre due to the two large woods making manouvre difficult. The attack for both sides became difficult. For the English, the rough ground the French occupied reduced the effectiveness of their fire, with units waiting behind to push any advantage. The French attack stalled with a rather well timed Cavalry charge forcing the infantry to form square.

The game settled down to a grinding match. The French reinforced their heavily weakened right flank, with a fresh infantry corp propping up the position. The British continued to batter the French left, reducing them to a position of being unable to force the issue any further. Casualties mounted for both sides, with army break points being very closely reached (6 of the 7 units on both sides). Ironically, the battle was finally decided by a close combat between two battered brigades in the centre, between the two woods. The fight was so close, that the English lost by a single hit on a unit!

What an enjoyable game! Maybe it's because we had a whole afternoon, rather than a snatched evening, but the game went at a leisurely pace, with both sides swapping ideas and reminders of opportunities that could have been potentially lost. For the French, the use of strong artillery (along with some lucky barraging dice) suitably weakened British resolve, this was supplemented by taking the opportunity to shoot first when the British attacked, aided by strong skirmishers. For the British, the menace of charging cavalry kept the infantry brigades from moving forward.

Fortunately, we had time for another game afterwards, but my recording energy had gone by then. Needless to say, the second game was just as interesting, as we got to grips with the manouvre game options to maximize attacking opportunities.

We've decided that the next game will use the Scharnhorst mini campaign to generate the battle. With more practice, we're hoping to play the 100 day campaign, using photographs and email to manage the campaign section. Some little steps first though...