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Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Dusting off old scenery

When I first started playing 15mm WWII I remembered seeing down the local club a guy using railway scenery. Whilst the buildings seemed to show their plastic origins, I quite liked the detail. After some investigation, and a little compromising on scale, I settled on using HO/OO scale kits.

A friend put me onto the wealth of German railway building manufacturers - Faller, Vollmer and Pola to mention a few. One problem is that the scenery naturally depicts Northern Europe. However for me this wasn't a problem as I game the late war period anyway. But still the problem of the plasticness remained..

...until I discovered weathering powders. Previously I tried using washes and drybrushes on the buildings, but the paint never seemed to 'stick' nice and evenly. The powders seem to stick to, and soften,the plastic, giving a less harsh, more realistic texture.

Recent motivation to go back to my kits and start the dusting process has been the purchase of some gridded terrain mats from BigRedBat. I have been using some of the ideas from my Sci-fi rules to write my own WWII rules. My first love was Advanced Squad Leader, and I wanted to bring some of those concepts into my custom dice...but more on this another time!


To The Strongest - Arab Conquest

Ah, too many projects on the go, when will I learn? (Smiling...). Here's the other half of my starting effort for a first game - the Arabs. It's taken a while for me to get them to the camera simply because I needed to add some bushes to the bases, it would probably have been quicker to grow them! Anyway, here's their basic list and some more piccies



Sunday, 17 January 2016

15mm British Shermans finished

A quick painting log, next half-tracks!



Blind leaps of Lemming faith

After a sleepy Sunday afternoon start, full of roast pork, we decided to play 'Leaping Lemmings' by GMT games. This was a surprise buy some years ago when on holiday at Hunstanton (I think...) in a small shop that looked like a newsagents, ah the memories...

After a short recap of the rules the lemmings were set free. As you can see by the pile of bones below, the yellow jacketed crew must have been plumper than the others.

Active eagles didn't stop the determination of the little furry creature's desire to throw themselves over the edge of the abyss.

Due to several interruptions of a burst water pipe across the road, and cups of tea made from water board bottled water (called convenience water - not sure who no water is 'convenient' for?) we decided to call a halt just before the end of the movement draw pile. The scores looked like this;

Well done to Will, who's collection of chow pellets give him an additional six points to seize the victory. Most of my potential points resided in the feathered tummy of the birds of prey. As ever, getting a game you haven't played,in a while kept the game fresh. Next time, more hiding in the bushes!


Straight to action for the valiant recruits

It's been great fun to introduce some friends into the 'geeky'world of boardgames. We have had a couple of sessions together with games such as Thunder Alley, Fury of Dracula and Game of Thrones. I decided to take a risk and introduce them to a slightly 'hardcore' experience of 'Command and Colours' Epic. This game strikes a great balance between theme, complexity and interest when there are lots of players. Here is a quick review of how it went...

After an a quick short play, without cards, the basics of moving and firing were grasped by everybody, at which time the pizzas arrived! After everybody was fed and watered, we sat down for a six player game. The Carthaginians released that the battle was going to be won or lost with the elephants. The initial attack was repulsed in the centre, yet gained more success when the elephants were reinforced with auxilia to support the attack.

On the Roman right flank, ther slight superiority in light cavalry came to nothing, as the Carthaginians used light foot troops to bolster the line. For the whole battle the light cavalry of both sides continually pushed backwards and forwards, with no real affect on the result of the battle.

The Roman left played little In terms of gaining the upper hand, however the casualties incurred certainly would. The Romans initially had success with defeating the Carthaginian cavalry, but we're then repulsed by Gallic warbands pushing forward to fill the gap. Heavy casualties were incurred on both sides.

As is usually the case, the battle was decided in the centre. With support, the elephants certainly began to shake the Roman light and medium infantry; two elephant units broke through right to the back line of the Roman position. The timely intervention of the Roman heavy reserves finally pinched off the surviving elephants and mopped up the remnants of the Carthagininian first line of troops. Hannibal's veterans tried to stabilize the situation, but their timing was too late. A Roman victory of 14 banners to 9 banners; certainly not a run away victory.

After a slow start (and the digestion of lots of pizza), the players began to understand the different types of troops and their relative effectiveness in combat. As time went on, and it got later, play really speeded up; this however did not stop the player's understanding and led to a climatic surge to complete the game.

Thanks to Becky, Anna, Martyn, Adam and Ryan for entering into the spirit of things. This was certainly something they had not experienced before, being somewhat heavy in theme and complexity. They did go away with a sense of what ancients can be like. For me, yet again, it showed how several players can focus on their own action, whilst being oblivious to what is happening elsewhere; and all completed in under two hours!

Adam now has a new nick name - Scipio!


Saturday, 9 January 2016

To The Strongest ; Byzantine recruits

My gridded playmates arrived today which has provided just the impetus to get ready for a game of 'To The Strongest'. I'm not going to rush this, as you can (or I do) burn out quickly. So I thought I would break these postings into several parts. This one shows a quick army list that I have put together for my Byzantines;

These are some close ups of the troops on muster.

Next up will be some Arab Conquest, just need to add some finishing touches to their bases...


Saturday, 2 January 2016

Batch two - Churchills ready to roll (slowly)

Here's the next set of five tanks completed. At least this time I haven't lost one of the photo logs.

This time I tried a darker wash. I also dispensed with the brown violet drybrush. I think the use of the green grey drybrush gave a good edging effect compared to the first batch, painted in the previous posting. Overall, I am happier with these vehicles than the last ones.



Friday, 1 January 2016

First paint posting on the first of the year

Well let's get the year started with the first painting posting. In my usual impatient self, I decided to paint some of the recently built tanks before having completed building them all (four Fireflies left to do). I also have managed to lose one of the photos from my painting log...

They didn't take that long to.paint. As ever, the weathering seemed to bring the vehicles to life. Thoughts for the next batch; stick to a darker edging colour (initially tried buff which was too light), and try a slightly darker was to create a little more contrast.