24 December 2008

Rome for the Holidays


My non-denominational winter holiday greeting for the past few years. A Young Ones reference (definition 1), for those too young, old, or un-hip to recognize it. People get so sensitive about what you can safely say in order to wish people well. ;)

I'm working on a couple of things over the holiday, most of which are not my own figures. But I'm trying to sneak in a few for myself.

I canceled my pre-order for the Wargames Factory Celts, but switched to a box of their Romans, partially out of curiosity, partly out of a desire to paint some Romans, partly because I recently finished watching the Rome TV series and have almost wrapped up Caesar's Conquest of Gaul and have already started his Commentaries on the Civil War.

I was impatient with the first unit of 16 figures, so about 20% of the way through the process, I decided to just finish 4 of them entirely to see how they turned out. My impatience was not necessarily a good thing. I was questioning whether the figures were worth finishing. I was actually pleasantly surprised.

In the beginning... I decided to do a group of 16, including command, armed with gladius. I decided to leave the crests on, and mount them all on individual bases for maximum WAB flexibility. (I'll use move trays -- the bases are magnetized.)

I'd also like to start off my saying that a lot of what I've read in some of the other reviews is pretty much my experience. On the sprue, the figures looked a bit iffy, but the detail popped out a little better after a coat of primer. (I used black.) However, once I started painting I had mixed feelings about the detail... more on this in a minute.

The figures cleaned up quicker than the Warlord figures. The mold lines weren't bad at all. The plastic does seem almost a bit too hard. I like the feel of Warlord and GW plastic a bit better. But this is a bit of a nit-picky detail. Once I clipped & cleaned them, I didn't think about it again.

Having read some of the other reviews, particularly the one at MacPhee's Miniature Men, I wanted to make sure they based up OK. In the end, I didn't have much of a problem. I kept the shields tight (I like to paint with my figures fully assembled from the start), and posed them at a slight angle. Mine actually rank up better than the Warlord Celts, and better than many of the GW figures. (I've got over a hundred of those plastic Skaven and have to make sure they don't get out of order otherwise I'll spend a full evening sorting out the puzzle.) The photos should show that they worked out OK on the 20x20 WAB bases.

On to the painting... I painted these figures the same way I paint almost all other figures. I happen to almost always paint flesh first. So I started off on the wrong foot. One of the most disappointing features on the figures are the faces. The detail is so flat that my usual basecoat, wash and quick 2-3 highlights didn't work out well. I almost had to paint the features on. Considering how little flesh/face is exposed, this seems silly. I just wish the detail would have been more crisp and deep.

From there I went on to the mail and had the opposite experience. I was planning on having similar problems and expected to do some drybrushing, a wash or two and more drybrushing. To be honest, a simple & quick drybrush would have been enough. I went a little extra and added one wash and simple drybrush-highlight in spots. The mail didn't look deep/crisp to the eye, but it was a different story when I hit it with the paint brush.

Most of the rest of the figure was simple and I honestly don't have much to say about it other than they painted up quickly and turned out a bit better than I initially expected (after being disappointed with the faces.) I've read some complaints about the sandals, and I agree that they're not as detailed as some other figures. But to be honest, I preferred being able to just paint them all brown and not worry about tiny slivers of flesh colors showing through individual straps. I feel like I paint a little better than a "tabletop" quality, but I still paint armies, not individual show quality (Golden Daemon, etc.) figures. So I was OK with that level of detail.

There's been some grumbling about proportions, etc. and it largely seems based on a single photo of a single figure, from what I can tell. Having held, assembled and painted the figures, I think that many of the complaints have been overstated. I do agree that the command figures are definitely the weak point to the boxed set (I will get to them in a later review), but the rank and file troops pictured above look pretty decent. Especially considering the price of about 60 cents per figure.

Compared to Old Glory (in general -- I haven't painted their Ceasarian Romans), I'd take the Wargames Factory. The assembly time is probably a wash (considering OG mold lines & flash), the detail is softer but cleaner, and I prefer the poses and expressions. Compared to some of the "premium" UK lead (Foundry, etc.) they certainly don't look as good, but they're almost 1/4 the price, you don't have to screw around with lead dust from filing/flashing the metal. Most proportion issues are a trade off, since even the "premium" figures have some issues in that department. Compared to the Warlord Celts, I've got to admit there are some differences in expectations because of the type of troops. Overall, though, I thought the detail on the Warlord figures was better (more crisp). On the Celts, I expected more variety, but this wasn't an issue with the more uniform Romans. But I did prefer the more natural poses on the WF Romans to the twisted & gyrating WG Celts. Because of the different nature of the two types of troops, though, some comparisons are difficult.

Although I had some issues with the figures, I'm pleasantly surprised as far as the rank & file are concerned. Hopefully they'll sort out some of the problem spots (crispness & depth of detail) in future products.

18 December 2008

Painted Figures

I'm going to make my own little statement inspired by this....


...which was in turn inspired by this...


I haven't attended one of the GW GTs, but I have played in a few of the Indy GTs as well as a pile of RTT and other tournaments and events.

Honestly, part of the reason I enjoy going is the spectacle of the game. It's as much a part of the hobby as pushing figures and rolling dice. That's what makes miniatures gaming different from other types of wargames. I look forward to seeing the great tables many of these events build, and the armies people have modeled and painted as much as I enjoy the challenge of facing new opponents and the opportunity to meet new players.

When I started playing, my friends and I obviously started with unpainted figures. Actually, some of us moved into it from cardboard counter games. But we started with small armies and painted the figures as best and quickly as we could, and then moved into larger games as we painted more figures. Inevitably some of us would add in new units, most of the time waiting until they were painted. Once in a while impatience would win out and we would field something unpainted, but that usually only lasted a game or two.

New players were cut some slack and given a chance to play before finishing their armies. Figures were usually available for loan from other players as well. But again, there was a bit of an unspoken rule that you got your figures painted. I don't even remember any discussion on this. It was just part of the game/hobby.

But as I've gotten older and some of the games have become more popular, I've noticed an increasing number of not just unpainted figure, but armies that never get painted at all. Some even included unassembled multi-piece kits. Yes, I saw people playing with a bunch of metal pieces piled on bases, and watched them scoop up all the pieces that fell off their pile of "soldiers" every time they moved them.

I think it's sad and really dims the appeal of the hobby.

To me, it is also another aspect of the increased focus on the competetive aspect of the hobby above all else, which has been overshadowing other aspects of wargaming as well.

I don't expect everyone to paint to the same standards. I don't expect everything to look like it came out of a magazine or professional painting studio. But at least give it a try.

I don't expect new players to have everything painted overnight. But once again, at least try to make some progress.

Sometimes I miss my old hobby of wargaming.

11 December 2008

Foundry Celts

An assortment of Foundry Celts. Actually, one of them is a mystery figure. Second guy from the left in the second pic below. He's bigger than the rest, and I found him in a small plastic bag by himself. Might have been a sample figure given away at a convention. I have no idea how long he's been sitting around. A couple of these figures have been painted for something like 10 years. Just finished the rest.

10 December 2008

Painting Commissions

I've got a bit of time in my schedule for new paining commissions. Email me for details if you're interested in getting something painted.



05 December 2008

Army ADD, eBay, weather, birthday

Army ADD

My rather scatter-brained plan is...

Step 1. Gauls & Germans for a mixed "barbarian" army.
Step 2. Expand one (probably Germans) into a full stand-alone army.
Step 3. Take the remainder (probably Gauls) and make Marian/Caesarian Roman army with barbarian allies.

I just canceled my preorder for the plastic Celts. If/when they ever appear on the market, I'll consider them. But my enthusiasm is a bit dulled by the wait. When I cancelled the order, I did switch it to a box of the Caesars Legion plastics. We'll see how they look when they get here. At least I know they've shipped. ;)

Due to economic doom, the holidays, etc. I've cancelled my plan to order Foundry's big German army deal. But I was going to still order two of the (big!) infantry units. Then I got an email about Black Tree Design's holiday sale. I may have to switch plans. I was hoping they's have a bargain pack of ancient Germans, but no luck. I'm going to email them and ask, anyway. Maybe a pack or two of Gauls and a few packs of Germans if they offer them. I'm familiar with their fantasy figures, through some old commissions in ages past. But I'm not familiar with their historicals. The pics on the web page look good, though.

for those who aren't familiar.

All this typing. I should be painting.

Current project is some dwarfs for a friend and the small remainder of my Foundry Celts.

eBay Madness

I'm currently cheesed at eBay. (Or more specifically, the bidding market on eBay.) I listed my second batch of stuff to clear out and got next to nothing for most of it. When I paint on commission, I usually get about $10 per infantry figure (paint only, not the figure itself). All my painted stuff sold for less than retail price of unpainted figures. New GW stuff went for almost nothing. Why is it that whenever I bid on anything, prices go through the roof? Like new figures going for more than you would pay at the local store or from the manufacturer. I've never understood that.

Maybe I'm just bitter, but I suspect a bit of foul play in some people's auctions.

Also, I'm bitter because only about 1/3 of the people who are getting my bargains have bothered to leave any feedback so far.


I've been a mid-westerner (or Old Northwest, if you want my preferred history-geek term) all my life. But age must be creeping up on me. It's barely December and I'm sick of the cold. I talked to my fiancee about moving somewhere warmer. She's originally from California. I've never been there, but for some reason it's never appealed to me until now.


Sunday is my birthday. Pearl Harbor Day. I'm going out Saturday night, getting together with friends. Probably eat some red meat, get a bit boozed. Another good excuse to order some figures like I've been talking about for weeks.

30 November 2008

Warlord vs. Foundry

I dug up one of my old Foundry Gauls to compare their size (and a change in painting style over the past decade, it seems...) with the Warlord figures.

I was too lazy to move the unit I was basing out of they way, so you get them charging at you in the foreground.

As usual, click to enlarge.

28 November 2008

Burgundian vs. Swiss Turkey Showdown

So I just took 2500 points of Burgundians against their best-friends-forever, the Swiss, and managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Charles would be proud.

I only snapped one pic, a bit blurry because my newer-better-more-expensive phone takes the crappiest photos on the planet.

This is at the turning point, from behind the Burgundian lines. On the left are some Swiss mounted crossbowmen and way back behind a wall by the farmhouse in the upper left is their ribaldquin that never fired a shot. To the right of the building are my coustilliers who had plowed through the shot-up remnants of some halberdiers, then through some skirmishers, and into the flank of a pike unit. Just to the south of them are some dismounted gendarmes waiting to join the fight above. Behind them are some skirmishing handgunners who had fled from the afore-mentioned but now annihilated halberdiers, but later rallied.

To the right of them is the Fustercluck Royale. (Pardon my French.) On the Burgundian side we have (from lef to right) ordonnance archers with hand+half swords, Low Countries pikemen, and ordonnance pikemen. A second unit of archers with hand+half swords has maneuvered around the flank of the Swiss line. On the Swiss side (again, left to right) are unarmoured pike, gewalthut with heavy armour, and more unarmoured pike. The Swiss were the chargers. My mounted general and BSB moved left, from behind the lines, just in case they needed to avoid the fleeing of their own troops. On the hill to the left are some Burgundian crossbowmen. Not on the table are some more Swiss halberdiers and a huge unit of allied knights and lighter cavalry in a combined formations. To the north of the hill are my gendarmes who were running down successive waves of skirmishers desperately throwing their bodies in my way in an attempt to slow me down. (Halberdiers had killed several gendarmes already, due to my inability to roll anything but 1's for their armour saves. This is a curse for me in WAB, as my Sarmation cataphracts always did the same thing. I can make saves for nekkid guys with wicker shields all day, but never for the tin-men on horses.)

So I was doing OK up til this point. The Swiss had a substantial pile of bodies, and I had lost a cannon, some skirmisers and a few gendarmes. Due to the loss of the skirmishers, though, the resulting combat above aligned funny and was one single combat involving six units. This was my downfall. I did OK with two of my three units, and considering that I had worn the Swiss down already, I would have probably won the two outside combats if they were three separate ones. The pain came from the gewalthut in the center. Not only did they still have all their ranks, they did a lot of damage in combat and my Flesmish pikemen were typically ineffective. (I notice they make a good scapegoat for the Burgundian dukes, so I'll work with what history has provided.)

In the subsequent break tests, my archers on the left stay, but all the pikemen run. And run fast. Off the table. Then the panic tests set in. My coustilliers, who had just beat the tar out of the pikemen (who were stubborn, so stuck around despite casualties) AND the mounted crossbow (who had charged them in the rear but then fled from the combat), take off running. The archers who were ready for a flank charge also take off running.

The subsequent turn, my dismounted gendarmes charge the pikemen, but with a less secure position than if the coustilliers had stuck around. The archers on the left lose combat again and are run off the table. The Swiss pike swing in to the side of the general, who panics from the loss of the archers, letting the pike hit the BSB instead. Except that the general is caught by pursuit. Dead, so more panic tests all around. Everyone but the dismounted gendarmes fail. The worst of it is that my mounted gendarmes flee from skirmishers. How embarrassing.

I get the last turn, so most of my fleeing troops do rally, but the loss of 3 big blocks of infantry plus the mounted gendarmes (who were below 5 figures at this point) hurt. The fact that I had beat up on several of his pike units didn't help, since they still had small remnants left. If there were half-points as in WFB it would have been a closer game.

So the big battle in the center was the pivot. Two things went wrong. One was the alignment of the combats. Second was bad break & especially bad panic rolls.

Fun game nonetheless! 2500 points in about 1.5 hours. That included a bit of flipping through the books as we were making sure not to confuse WFB & WAB rules. Afterward we both commented on how much more fun WAB feels vs. WFB anymore. We're alreay speaking of a rematch and getting a couple more people for either a mini-round-robin or team game in the Classical period.

26 November 2008

Burgundian Banners from Imperial Forge

I recently received a preview set of Burgundian Ordonnance banners from Imperial Forge. ( http://stores.ebay.com/Imperial-Forge ). So here's the first set of photos & a bit of a review.

Actually, I'll get right to the photos (click to enlarge) of some heavy infantry...

...and Antoine, The Grand Bastard...

Those are the only ones I've got on figures right now. I've got some more that are "prepped" but are awaiting a few finishing touches on the figures on which they will be mounted, and a couple more still drying.

First off, a little background. I've been painting figures for, well, quite a while. I've gone through different materials & methods for doing banners, but I've always painted them myself. I want my Burgundians to look good (as I'd like all my armies) but after much consideration, I figured it would not be in my best interest to hand paint all the standards. So prior to receiving these standards, I tried printing my own on an inkjet at home with decent but unimpressive success.

So enter Imperial Forge's recent Burgundian banner preview. Even before I received them in the mail, I could tell from his own photos that they were more detailed than what I had pieced together on my own and definitely more detail than I could paint by hand. They're also right about the size I had scaled for mine.

So this week I started cutting & gluing the IF banners. Keep in mind that what follows is my first real experimentation with printed banners... I'm using brushed on watered down Sobo (PVA) glue. This has been a bit tricky for me. The paper drinks it up fast (the dry environment here probably doesn't help), so once I start sticking the two halves together, they don't want to move. I was afraid I was going to destroy one or two of them when I had to pull them apart a few times, but they survived intact. I'm getting better as I go.

While they dry, I am wrapping them around various plastic tubes, paint brush handles, paint bottles, etc. to get them to dry in a wavy manner. I tried giving one some more "extreme" folds, as I saw someone selling pre-fab banners at Historicon with severly wrinkled folds, but I was less successful. These banners appear to be on a slightly heavier paper, so the folds were creating some unattractive wrinkles/lines in the paper & printing when you looked very closely. I'll stick with the curvy waves as above from now on. The ones I saw at Historicon may have been on thinner paper, possibly regular stock, since they were a bit less colorful if I remember correctly.

Speaking of color, these are nice and bright. Almost a bit too bright compared to my figures. This may be a trick of the slightly gloss finish of the banners. This was helped by hitting them with a layer of clearcoat, and did take the edge off the gloss. You can still see a hint of it in the photos, but a second coat should do the trick. I also ran a thinned layer of paint very carefully along the edges of the paper, to hide the barely visible white thickness of the paper.

I think one of myh favorite things about the banners is the texture on some of the fields. You can see it in the photos above, but it's not overbearing. Definitely something I would not have had the patience to paint had I done this by hand.

My own inexperience with printed banners aside (though I've improving as I put more together!), the only downside is that some of the text is a bit hard to read on one of the banners. The one I'm looking at now (I'll post a pic in the next day or two) is the St. Judas banner, with the Je Lay Empirins motto and details in yellow (or/gold/whatever) on a black background. I notice a black outline helps define the details and lettering on the other colored fields, but I think on the black one is a little visually confusing. A similar thing happens with the more delicate/thin areas of the fleur-de-lis on one of the other banners.

Speaking of saints, I do like the level of detail on the saints' images and the tiny lettering identifying them (which is legible.) I hope to see a St. Thomas banner in the next set, since I share a name and occupation with him. ;)

So basically, I'm pretty happy with the banners. I'm a convert. After seeing the two above in place, I'm planning on using more for the rest of the army. As I said, I don't have a lot to compare these too, but compared to my own attempts at paper banners and the thought of trying to hand paint them, I'm digging the Imperial Forge banners and will be on the lookout for more.

24 November 2008

Warlord Games Celts (part 3)

I'm more or less done with the figures. I still need to base them. I had considered doing some plaid/stripe/tartan/check patterns on some of the clothing, but I'm not sure I've got the enthusiasm for it at the moment. But I'm a moody painter, so who knows what tomorrow will bring.

After I transferred the photo to the computer, I noticed the menacing figure coming around the cardboard backdrop. I decided to leave him in. (He's one of a group of figures I'm touching up for a friend.)

So, after doing all of this on the Warlord Gauls, how do I feel about them?

Ease of convertability
Good detail

Assembly time
Difficult to rank
Bad poses

There's a certain ability to create variety with the figures, but considering the potential for multi-piece figures, there's a lot of same-ness to the figures. If the would have made the bodies single piece, but with a variety of separate arms, this may have turned out better. I don't know. I bitched about the heads already, more variety there may have helped also. Still, compared to something like a range of say, seeing the same 12-16 metal figures over and over, they're not really worse off.

The way I see it, they are nicer looking competators to Old Glory figures. They're both cheap and make it more affordable to buy a huge barbarian horde. The trade off is that although you get nicer looking figures with cleaner details than Old Glory (in my opinion), you end up paying for it through time spent cleaning & assembling the figures.

Maybe that gets quicker with practice. I doubt it, though. My WFB Empire army could probably grow to twice its size just with plastic kits hidden away in my basement. But after putting so many of those plastic figures together, I've lost the will to continue for the moment. In contrast, I just quickly cleaned up some more metal Front Rank medievals for my Burgundians. They're quality figures, and I pay twice as much for that. But I spent a fraction of the time prepping them, which means more time painting.

So while I'm not going to bash Warlord's Celts, I can't honestly say I'm a huge fan. I do look for a good balance between price and quality. Unfortunately, I think the frustrations of these figures listed in the "cons" column push them just barely over my tolerance. The newly announced mixed metal & plastic Britons don't help generate enough enthusiasm for me, as I'm not fond of mixed plastic & metal kits and can already image the problem, for example, of a plastic figure with a metal carynx or standard.

I still can't comment on Wargames Factory, as their Celts haven't shipped. I'm going to assume that they will still involve similar issues in terms of prep time. But if they manage a similar level of detail while avoiding goofy looking poses, and manage to rank up decently, they could swing my opinion the other way a bit. Addressing some of the variety issues would help, as well. Even better if they scale up with Warlord's figures, since that would help with varity already.

I'll post some final pics once these are based.

Coming next... more Burgundian Ordonnance. A preview of some new banners from Imperial Forge. And maybe a battle report from a Thanksgiving weekend showdown between Bold Chuck against those pike-wielding pussies from the Alps. The Burgundians are practically guarenteed a win. ;)

21 November 2008

Warlord Games Celts (part 2)

I've got at least a basecoat and wash on everything but the weapons & shields. I've started highlighting the clothing, belts, etc. after this pic.

I'm going to try saying some nice things. The detail really is pretty good on these figures. Although I complained I was disappointed in the variety of heads, I do like the detail and expressiveness of the faces. There are a couple of awkward mold lines, but that's plastic figures I suppose.

The folds & details on the clothing are nice. A tiny bit on the smallish side for fast painting, but it's not a bad thing per se.

There was a little too much daylight coming in the windows (from the left) for the camera settings in the photo below.

I've recently re-read Agricola and Germania, and I'm about half way through Caesar's Conquest of Gaul.

Since I was "in the mood" I decided to reserve the first season of Rome on DVD at the library. I just got done watching the first episode. So of course now I'm thinking, "well, a Roman army wouldn't really require too many figures, and I could use Gauls or Germans to fill them out a bit. And I could do some civil war stuff with the one friend I've managed to get interested in WAB recently.

I've got the attention span and focus of a typical wargamer.

So I am seriously considering a small Roman force. I probably will go ahead and try out some of the new plastics. What can I say, they're the latest craze. And they're affordable enough to make my lack of focus somewhat acceptable. I just have to decide between Warlord & Wargames Factory.

20 November 2008

BTD Ancient Germans

I've seen the figures in person, but not directly next to Foundry's Ancient Germans. If anyone would care to comment on how well the two would mix, leave a reply. I suspect they will work well together.

BTD Ancient Germans

Also, I've not ordered from them before, but have heard some people in Europe/UK mention delays. But since I'm in the US, I'd be curious to hear if everything's OK ordering from them in TX.

Just spotted that they sell gift certificates. I'll have to drop some hints to friends and family for the holidays. ;)

17 November 2008

Warlord Games Celts (part 1)

I've assembled and started painting one box of Warlord Games Celts. So here's the start of a quick painting project and a bit of a review.

I like big horde armies. Multi-piece plastic sounds like a great idea, in theory. That's what I figured, initially. You get 100s of figures all looking different, they're cheap, and you don't risk back injuries carrying around all that lead. Whether you like GW or not, you've got to admit they've done some great things with plastic kits. I would think that the companies starting to manufacture similar kits for the historical market would pay close attention. (Especially those companies run by ex-GW staff...)

So with that optimism in mind, I picked up two boxes of Warlord Games Celts, and pre-ordered two boxes of Wargames Factory Celts.

I've got to admit that after assembling just one box of the Warlord Games figures, I realize I had overlooked one of the negatives of plastic horde armies. Assembly time. It was tedius. And after all of that cleaning and fitting and gluing, I've still missed a number of mold lines. And the mold lines are one of my issues with the figures. Some of them are quite prominent.

The detail is pretty good. They're not metal figures, but that's an acceptable trade off. The bad spots are some of the "mitten hands" and one of the heads has some sort of strage issue with the eyes. I'm not sure if that is a molding problem or a sculpting problem.

Which brings me to the low point. I've got several significant complaints with the sculpting and choice of "bits." Some of the poses are bordering absurd - doubled over and harshly twisted torsos. Add the outstretched flailing arms to the mix and the figures are a pain in the ass to rank up. In my photo below you can see that there is actually an extra loose figure. That's because when I mounted the figures in the center on a couple of group bases, I just ran out of room. Plus I couldn't stand having even one more of the bent-over-sniffing-someones-butt poses in the formed unit.

At first I was annoyed by the lack of shields for all the figures, but in the end there's no way I would have got them to rank up if they all had shields.

I do admit that part of the issue may be that I am basing them on 20x20 bases (or their multi-figure equivalent). Maybe if I was putting them on larger bases, they would work out better. But unfortunately, that's the size I need for the games I'm playing. It's not honestly that unusual, so I find it surprising that a manufacturer would design figures which are difficult to rank up in popular or common basing schemes.

You're really got to match up the right torsos with the right legs as well. They're posable, but only to a limited extend before the anatomy starts looking even more screwed up. Add the limited variety in heads (many duplicates) and there's not as much variety as it seems there would be.

So far all I've got is the black primer and a few coats of flesh done. This has gone pretty well, at least. They've far more pleasant to paint than to assemble, probably because of the fairly crisp and well proportioned detail.

So far: I'm disappointed.

I'll post some more pics as I make some progress.

16 November 2008

More Khador pics

The two commission figures are done.

Mine are just about finished. I need to decide how to finish the bases. I was going to do something rocky with snow, but now that I've done the basic texture & painting, I'm not sure about the snow. My fear is that it will blend in with the rest of the base too much.

14 November 2008

More Khador

I worked on the previously posted Khador figures for Warmachine. As usual, you should be able to click on the pics to enlarge.

First up is the one who's furthest along, Drago. He's almost done, though I've got a bunch of tiny detail work I want to do on him.

Next, my two warjacks, um, Jack and Jack. I guess they don't have proper names. I don't even know the generic names off hand. I suppose I'll need to invest in the reference card deck if I'm actually going to use them. (Again, the two below are mine, the first pic and the last pic are commissions.)

And finally the Devastator.

My plan is to finish up tomorrow or Sunday, depending on how the weekend goes.

Germania Calls - a shameless plug

My copy of Tacitus' Agricola & Germania has been AWOL for many years. I just picked up a used copy through Amazon after too much waiting to find it at local bookstores. I haven't managed to find it at any of the local bookstores and the chain stores' (Borders and B&N) "History" sections are full of Hitler and pseudo-history and conspiracy stuff like Templars, masons and how aliens built the pyramids. A sad state for the study of history, if you ask me.

So I tore through it the past two days.

I've been leaning increasingly to Ancient Germans for my next project. I'm still trying to trade/sell off some of the odds & ends in my collection to help fund this. So I've made the brave/foolish decison to dive into the world of eBay...


By the way, in addition to Foundry's wonderful looking (though still a lot of cash in one chunk) holiday sale, I'm very tempted by Black Tree Design's Ancient Germans for a bit of variety!

10 November 2008

Warmachine - Khador

I do occasional commission work and have been sporadically painting a few Warmachine Khador figures for one person in particular. Recently I picked up enough Khador figures for a small starter force for myself, as mentioned in my last comments re: Loot.

So I've started working on 4 big Khador warjacks this week. Two on commission and two I picked up for myself. My plan is at each step I'm using the latter as a testing ground for techniques to use on the former.

I've done all of the steel portions so far, though I think they will get one very thin wash before I move on. I've used a similar technique to one I recently read about on the Too Much Lead blog. The difference being that I reverse the first six stages or so. But I am working with small details where that article is dealing with edges along larger areas.

What I've done is start off black, then a sloppy coat of a an orangy-brown mix. Then I start drybrushing a mix of the orange and/or brown with some dark steel metalic, then just some dark metalic, then I start feathering on some lighter metalics & silvers along some of the edges and spots I want to look scraped or clean. So I end up with weathered metal with a bit of rust in the recesses, but cleaner looking steel on the edges and areas where it would be more likely to have rubbed off.

The top pic are my two figures, the bottom two are the commission pieces. It may be a bit difficult to see the details of the "rust" in the photo, but I think it gives the general impression. (As usual, click the photos to enlarge them.) After I paint the rest of the "painted" surfaces & details, I'll probably go back with some very thinned down orange and add some rusty streaks where they make sense. It may not show well, though, since the "painted" surfaces will be red.

I forget the names of all of the above warjacks except the twin-axe wielding loonie, who's a unique warjack named Drago. He was about 25 pieces and one hell of an assembly job. The two I bought were already assembled, but were glued together pretty sloppy. I'm hoping the weathered look & rust helps hide some of the sloppy glue.

09 November 2008

Recent Lootings

Just thought I'd give a run down of some of the loot I've picked up since the Summer...

At Historicon I managed to nab some deals in the flea market, including a cheap if somewhat used Army Transport bag/case, some more old plastic GW Empire state troops, and a small starter force of Warmachine Khador figures for about 1/2 price. I looted some of the remaining WotR figures from Age of Glory's dwindling Front Rank bins, as well as some OG Flemish figures, some of which I've recently painted (and posted photos.) I got a few odds & ends, modeling supplies & such as well. I don't recall if I posted this figure from Ramshackle Games or not, but I will do a review in the near future. (When I get up the inspiration to paint it.)

At Buckeye Battles I won a few prizes and grabbed some new Fleshhounds and Galrauch the chaos dragon. I just like the figure for the latter, and want to paint him up. The former were going to be used in a Daemons of Chaos army, but after picking up the book I just can't play that army with a clear concience. It's so out of whack with the rest of the game that it didn't seem fun. So I traded them off.

I won some prizes again at Marauders Mayhem and got some gift certificates for the Krystal Keep, and cashed them in immediately for some GW wood elves and the WAB Alexander the Great book. I also spent some cash the first day on a few older figures that were in a clearance bin, but the most important score was two bottles of the old GW Flesh Wash, which is now out of production. I've tried all their other washes, but they don't work the way I use the Flesh Wash. So I've postponed my having to resort to finding an alternate solution. (The alternative will probably be to go back to Coat d'Arms Flesh Wash.)

I recently purchased the Hannibal & Punic Wars book for WAB at Recess Games (the more-or-less local game store), which just came in last week.

At the Recess Rumble this weekend, I got another prize certificate which I used to pick up the WFB Bretonnian army book and a few paints. I'm not certain I'm actually going to do a Bretonnian army, but like a sugared up 8-year-old with ADD, my army plans change daily, so who knows. The benefit being that I can use historical figures to serve a dual purpose.

Recess Rumble

Recess Rumble

This weekend was Recess Rumble, right in my back yard. Well, more like the other side of town. But still Cleveland-ish. I was going to bring a variation on my Marienburg list, but didn't think of it until too late and didn't have time to paint the figures I wanted to use. I think I'm going to continue playing the army for a full year, which means Marienburgers at BASHcon. But after that, I think they're on a shelf for a while.

Back to the two day Recess Rumble. It was the first year for the event, so it was fairly small. It ended up being a 12 player tourney, with half the players representing the local Team BREWS and the other half representing Columbus' Team SLACKER. All the scenarios were story driven, almsot like a linear campaign. Some of the scenario rules were a bit funky, which threw a twist on the usual games. I appreciated this, since it was something different than usual and IMHO it's the sort of thing that takes the edge off of competition. (Not that either Team really had any win-at-all-costs type players.)

Game 1
vs. Dark Elves

Her list was mainly infantry, with two units of spearelves, two units of black guard, some dark riders, a hydra and a pair of bolt shooters. 4 heroes on foot (mostly in the black guard), 2 assassins and no spellcasters. There were two craters from which we had to sit units and a character in order to mine "magic rocks."

I'm usually pretty good with ranging artillery shots, and I had some good dice on my rockets early on and managed to get both units of black guard down to 1 figure + heroes by about the second turn. I managed to nail the hydra with 6 cannon shots, but it regenerated 5 of them and took only 3 wounds from the one that it didn't. My pistoliers did fairly well for a change, and managed to take out the dark riders and a few spearelves before falling victim to one of the scenario rules (which let the spearelves unexpectedly skirmish and charge them!)

I ended up with a solid victory, but my opponent had almost as many battle points as me by virtue of her following the scenario objectives better than I did and mining more rocks.

I've got to give my Team mates a hard time -- I was the only one to win in the first round. ;)

Game 2
vs. Orccs & Goblins

Out of six SLACKERS players, three had Orcs & Goblins. I guess their showing at Marauders Mayhem made an impression! (The overall winner from Marauders was, in fact, one of the SLACKERS.

This was a fairly typical looking O&G horde army. Low magic again, which was good, since I have minimal magic and enjoyed that aspect of the first game. The scenario was again a rock mining quest, this time with a single crater in the center of the table, a river bisecting the table lengthwise, and two 6" fords on either side of the crater. This created an interesting bottleneck.

I set up with all my shooting in the center, right across from the bottleneck. Infantry was on either side, and cavalry on the flanks. The bulk of his infantry was aimed at the center. My artillery did OK, but not as good as last time. Miraculously my 10 handgunners, who are usually more a liability than a benefit, became infamous orc killers over the course of the game. The knights managed to quickly cross the river by charging goblins as they were crossing and then pursuing/overrunning the rest of the way. Combined with some key failed animosity tests, this meant I had two units of knights with warrior priests running around in the backfield. One unit took out a unit of night goblins, two bolt throwers, a doom diver and a unit of orc arrer boys! In the meantime, I was able to isolate and deal with Orc units individually. First a couple of wolf rider units, then a unit of savage orcs, then the boys themselves.

It ended up a massacre for me, thanks in part to orc animosity.

Game 3
vs. Orcs & Goblins

This was the same army that beat me at the Bookery RTT about a year or so ago (vs. my Skaven) and then beat me again at Buckeye Battles this summer. Again, another horde army.

The scenario was the wierdest and most difficult of the set. The deployment zones were lowlands covered in fog (only see 2" like in woods) and the rest of the battlefield was uphill to a ridge that ran lengthwise along the center of the table. Again there was a magic crater in the center. Anyone in the center crater could only see out to the edge of the crater, and the only way to see units in the crater was to be on the edge (or inside it as well, obviously.) Various special rules came up due to the mining of the "magic rocks," the most important one ended up being large numbers of orcs going ethereal. 8O

My shooting was limited, and there was just a lot of strange interaction between the two armies due to limited lines of sight. In the center and on my right flank, however, the Orcs managed to push straight through and just pound out everything I had. Everything that went well with the previous game went wrong in this game, especially my inability to isolate and pick apart units. My opponent really made good use of his advantage of numbers.

The game ended up as a loss for me.

Game 4
vs. Orcs & Goblins

I ended up with the green hat trick. This was the overall winner at Marauders Mayhem. Again, a horde army, but a bit heavier on the chariots plus a giant and a lord on a wyvern.

My normal artillery skill left me. I managed to miss every cannon shot. I put 3 wounds on the wyvern with the pistoliers, but that was it. All the fast moving stuff was on my instantly, wrapping around both flanks. By the time I was engaged in the center, everyone was getting hit in the flanks. Even when I thought I was making good decisions (like hitting a chariot in a flank) it would turn sour (like rolling 2" for overrun which let the unit get hit in the flank by orcs...)

By about turn 4 the game was a hopeless massacre. We played through to the end anyway. I had a few figures left by the end.

Game 5
vs. Warriors of Chaos

Last game was against a fellow BREWS player. Strange scenario in which we deployed in opposite corners, on cliffsides overlooking a valley in which there was a central objective zone in which we had to bring two objects in order to gain battle points and certain benefits/curses.

This will sound a bit odd, but by the time we hit turns 4 & 5, each of our armies effectively counted as "undead" with all of their rules (unbreakable, crumble, fear, etc.) Our spellcasters all got IoN, but we each had a single weak spellcaster.

Admittedly, the terrain favored my empire, with 4 artillery pieces & a unit of 10 handgunners.

It started off fairly slowly, though. Other than sniping a couple of chaos knights withe cannons, I didn't do much with the shooting. What it really came down to was a couple grinding match in which I beat his giant but lost my knights and more importantly a freak cannon shot. A unit of chaos warriors had beaten a speedbump unit of archers in combat, exposing their flank to a cannon shot. The unit was about 6 figures wide, with two warriors in a second rank. On the far side of the front rank were the BSB and general. I thought I was under-guessing, in order to guarentee getting at least a couple of the warriors. (I had been overshooting a bit earlier in the game.) They're close, so I guess 4" range. I roll a 10 on the artillery die. This lands the cannonball on the BSB's head and carries through into the general. I figure, "well, at least I get two warriors" since he's got enough to be covered by the "Look Out Sir!" rule. He rolls 1's for both of them, and I max out on wounds, killing them both. Including the bonus for killing the general, that turns the game about 700 points or so further in my favor.

Both sides lost all their heavy knights, but all of his infantry were below half strength, mine were above half. His fast cav & hounds were gone, my pistoliers survived untouched. His warriors who should have cut through my greatswords, but multiple turns of crappy rolling turned that fight in my favor. Massacre for me.


So in the end I was 3-2. Not too bad. I did poorly in scenario objectives (I had -5 battle points in Game 4!) I ended up in the middle of the pack in terms of overall scores. I did manage to squeek by with best painted, which was judged on a 100 point itemized scoring system -- only 2 points ahead of my nearest competitor, who got overall 2nd place anyway. (A very nice army - it got one of my votes for best army at Buckeye!)

So that was the first Recess Rumble. I've been busy and distracted lately, so I took this tournament off in terms of photos & detailed battle reports. It was a good first year for the tournament.

Marauders Mayhem

Marauders Mayhem
Day 2, Game 3
vs. Daemons of Chaos

OK, it just looks like I'm never going to finish that last battle report from Marauders Mayhem. So here's the short version, without photos. Sorry. Honestly, it wasn't a terribly exciting game anyway.

My last game was against an all-Nurgle Daemons of Chaos army. I used to have one of these back in the days of the hardbound Realms of Chaos books up through the 6th edtion Ravening Hordes list. I even still have a few odd figures lingering around waiting to find a new home.

So this was my first experience with a mono-Nurgle list under the new army book. The list seemed fairly reasonable. Three big units of plague bearers, 4 heralds on palenquins, 2 beasts of Nurgle and a small unit of Nurglings.

The table was fairly open, so I set up pretty far back in the deployment zone to max out my shooting time. After 3-4 turns of dropping rockets, cannons, arrow, pistol and handgun shots at the regenerating & ward saving horde I managed to kill the nurglings (one turn shooting then melee with the pistoliers) and a couple of plague bearers. That's it. That includes numerous direct rocket and cannon shots.

The beasts of nurgle were tied up fighting a cannon crew and then stalled for a bit longer with some archers and spent most of the game doing that, so I consider them somewhat irrelevent. The big units with the heralds, on the otherhand, were just tarpits. I simply couldn't kill enough of them and they don't run away. In spite of the fact that I pretty much had them surrounded and was attacking them from all sides. But they didn't do a whole lot of damage to me, either.

So we ended up with a draw.

I don't fault my opponent for his army. He obviously had a lot of interest & modeling involved in his Nurgle theme, and if I understand correctly he had been playing them since the old days when I did. But under the new rules it's just a bit of a boring army to play against. Unless maybe you've got flaming attacks to negate the regeneration.


I've previously commented on the results, which can be reviewed in the old entry...

Basically I went 2-2-1, did OK overall, took best general and painting, and was on the winning team. More importantly, I played some new opponents and had a good time. And saw giant concrete corn.

30 October 2008

The Road Ahead, Random Musings


I'm continuing to work on the Burgundians & Low Countries figures for now. I've got some more archers just about done. At some point I'm going to work out some way of arranging a gallery o images.


I still intend to do an ancient army again (I sold off all my ancients during my time away from the hobby.) It's just up in the air a bit. Right now it all depends on whether Wargames Factory's figures come in before the holidays and whether or not they are any good. Otherwise, I think I may have to take advantage of Foundry's holiday deal on Ancient Germans. But that creates a deadline for me that I'll need to decide upon very soon.

In order to fund my ancient army by year's end without dipping into holiday gift money ("Sorry Mom, I wanted to get you something nice, but Foundry had this great deal on Germans...") I'm trying to sell off a few things to cover at least part of the expense. If you're feeling charitable, you can check out one of my ads at Bartertown: http://www.bartertown.com/trading/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=74461

Miniature Wargaming as a Hobby

This may get to be a bit of a rambling babble...

I've recently come back to the hobby after a bit of time away. Previously I ran events at stores and conventions, was a fairly active part of a local game club, did some playtesting for a couple of developers/manufacturers, and seemed to have a bit more involvement in the hobby. Lately I've been going to a local store for WFB games and some WFB tournaments in the region, plus a return to Historicon. It all seems a bit different.

For one thing, I feel like I'm not as much an active part of the hobby. I'm not running any games, no demos, no playtesting, no leagues, nothing. I just show up, play some games, chat a bit, and that's it. Except maybe for some online stuff like this blog.

On the other hand, the hobby itself has changed. It has become a more "competative" atmosphere, in my opionion. More people are interested in tournaments than in participation games or demo games. A lot of the big conventions I used to go to are gone, replaced by game-specific tournaments (mainly WFB & 40k.)

So I've been thinking about what I can do to contribute somehow. Everything that I've considered has been tainted with my own selfish desire to get more opponents. What my wandering mind has been considering...
  • Participation/Demo Games. I've been thinking about trying to put together a WAB medieval demo game to run both at the big HMGS-E conventions, and possibly at some more local events/stores. Honestly I enjoy WAB and I'm especially a fan of medievals, so this would be a good chance for me to try to promote something I'm genuinely interested in. (And maybe convert some new opponents.) I'd like to do it right, however, with huge armies and beautiful scenery. So I've got some work ahead of me, but a decent start.
  • Local Gaming Group. I'm on the east side of Cleveland. I know one other miniatures gamer on this side of town. (WFB player.) If I drive 30-45 minutes south or west, I can find more players. There's a similar situation with game stores. If you plot my location on a map of Cleveland, there's a bubble of no-game-stores within a 30-45 minute drive. They're mainly on the west side & Akron. I know there's got to be some east side players. So maybe I should see what I can do to locate & contact people. I've got one table here at home. It would be even better to have a store around here.
  • Convert the Nonbelievers! This one is a little more tricksy. Most of my non-gaming friends don't seem the type to be in any way interested. The few that might be interested, I fear would be put off by spending the money to buy a bunch of little toy soldiers, paints, etc. I have no problems providing everything, but it would be good to have some other people who are completely into the whole thing on their own. Not just in terms of materials, but learning the rules & providing some challenging games.
  • Non-Competative WFB Games. My introduction to the game was a huge multi-player battle. In the far recesses of my memory, this is still one of the Best Games Ever. There were objectives, tons of figures, and it wa a lot of fun with little competative pressure. The entire focus of WFB seems to be on competition lately. No veering from "official" armies, strict counting of VPs, etc. even in non-tournament settings. Don't know where I'm going with this. Just that something needs to save my interest in the game. I was originally looking forward to painting up & playing a WE army. Now I've trying to sell it and have little interest in WFB at the moment.
So that's my bit of "blog confessional" regarding a scattered thought on the hobby. A lot of it's things that pass through my mind while I'm painting.

Maybe it's the weather...

26 October 2008

Low Countries Pike

I finished one unit of 25 Low Counties pike. They're Old Glory Flesmish Pikemen from the Wars of the Roses Range. I'm slightly less impressed with them now that they're painted. Before that, I had overlooked some of the strange faces on a few of the figures. For example, one guy's jaw is close to half the height of his face, so he looks really cartoony.

The poses are pretty good. The detail is decent. But a few of those faces... I'm proud of the fact that I normally paint eyes on all my figures (well, barring those that have visors or helmets obscuring their eyes...) but I just had to pass on a few of these, as it would only draw attention to the fact that the faces were that bad.

Still, some of the faces are pretty good, and a few have closed helmets, so it's a mixed bag. Plus there's the bonus you get with all OG figures - they're inexpensive compared to other manufacturers. En masse, I don't know how much you will notice. I still have to finish the bases and add some banners. Once the banners are added, I figure they will obscure a lot of the unit and emphasize the "big picture" rather than the individual figures.

They did paint up rather quickly. I've got another unit plus some extra figures to do.

I do need to find a couple command figures, now. Basically a leader and a musician for each unit. I've got a pile of Front Rank musicians due to an ordering screw-up (on my part), but they look too large in the OG unit.

As usual, click to photos to enlarge them.

edit: Hrm... after taking a look at the photos, I wonder if I overdid the blue just a bit...

Gentleman! Behold.... Corn!

On the way down to Marauders, dinner plans with friends on Friday night changed, so we had a little extra time. We still wanted to get TF out of Dodge Cleveland, so we made a little detour around Cowlumbus. I was wary of a SLACKER ambush, since this is in their territory, but we managed to avoid detection.

"Let's go see the giant Corn!" I said.


"The giant Corn! It's Concrete!"


"You don't know the giant concrete corn? I think it's in Dublin. Somewhere just off the highway. We'll take 270 around the outside of the city and go look for it."

We had a mission! The first order of business was coffee - we jumped off at the first Dublin exit we could find. It was mid-day and I've got a habit to maintain. We head along whateverstreetitwas and spy a Starbucks in the midst of heavy traffic and school crossing madness. A few minutes later and the SteamCelica was parked on a sidestreet and we were walking a few block back to coffee shop, me excitedly telling tales of wonderous Corn! as we went. As fate would have it, right around the corner from the Sarbucks was a Dublin visitors' bureau. The very first item in their wonderfiul world of Dublin brochure' list of "Attractions" was Corn! It also happened to be just down the same street we had parked on, and in the same direction.

So after a tedious 15 minutes or so waiting in line behind 50 caffiene crazed middle-schoolers (frightening... very frightening...) we hit the road again and finally found the glorious, glorious...

...Corn! A whole field of it. And Osage orange trees throwing their fruit at us. (Seriously. Next time I bring a hard-hat.)

So that, it seems, is what passes for excitement in Cowlumbus Ohio, my friends.

25 October 2008

Marauders Mayhem - Day 2 Game 4

Day 2 - Game 4

vs. Bretonnians

I've fallen a bit behind. I'm just going to have to wrap these up in a bit of a slackerish manner so I can just get them posted and not forget entirely.

I went into Day two with a 2-1 record. I figured I would be up against some tougher armies the second day. For some reason I remember hearing that I was going to either face Brets or Daemons. I was hoping for Brets and got my wish. My last game against Brets was a slaughter, so I was optimistic...

From left to right, my opponent had... Knighte errant, archers, peasants with hero, KotR with lord & BSB, peasants with damsel, archers, pegasi, KotR with damsel, KotR.

From left to right I had... handgunners (in back corner, out of pic), swordsmen, rocket, greatswords, rockets, swordsmen, cannon, knights, pistoliers, cannon, knights.

The scenario was capture the flag and mutinous dogs (I thought I could take out the pegasi for the VPs and keep them from claiming table quarters...)

The brets advance. take a hill on the left, and push my cav into position to support each other on the right while still trying to pistol the pegasi to oblivion (unsuccesful.) I did land decent rocket shot on some peasants, though. I figured in a capture the flag game, that couldn't hurt.

On the left my pistols and knights fall collapse, though I leave one unit of KotR in position to get flanked by my supporting knights. On the left I previously took the hill to use it as an advantage when the Errants charged. I managed to peel off a full rank of them with a lucky rocket shot, first! Not much luck wiht any of the other artillery. My cannons were failing me.

This is towards the end of the game. My knights on the left managed to tie up his KotR and pegasi, and my archers in the woods put a wound on the damsel (who left the one unit of KotR but quickly ran to the peasant unit) and march blocked the KotR. The big tin man's unit of KotR charge and smash through my swordsmen, who break. My general was in the unit but manages to do nothing useful. The KotR pursue the detachment so that the knights smash into the flank of the greatswords. No problem, right? They're stubborn. I roll boxcars on their break test and they flee the folowing turn, are destroyed and the knights continue into the rocket. On the far left I break the Errants but fail to catch them. They rally, I charge and win combat again, they flee again, and he moves his archers into a position to flank me, so I end up forced to turn and face him. Nothing definitive happens on that flank by the end of the game.

So with my center smashed and my flanks just barely holding on. the game was a disaster. Nothing really went right and I failed to get wounds in any manner whatsoever (melee, artillery, etc.) A few failed break tests just finished me off.

So I'm 2-2 going into game 5...

21 October 2008

Color Tool

As long as I am sharing helpful links, I should include this color tool:


Plastic Banners

I had previously mentioned an article (written by Imperialforge) I utilized on making plastic banners. I found it on CMON:


The minor differences in the way I've done it are:

I used flat (non-textured) needle-nose pliers to hold the full length of the side of the banner that would connect with the pieces of tube. This way I made sure they remained straight.

I used hollow tubes, so I didn't need to drill out solid plastic rod.

Here's two of my examples:

Example 1
Example 2

My plan is to make a small batch of fairly generic looking banners to use as counters (mostly for captured standards and objectives) in games.

19 October 2008

Marauders 08 - Day 1 Game 3

Day 1 - Game 3

vs. Vampire Counts

Durring the voting for favorite army, this army got one of my votes. It might not have been one of the most intricately painted armies, but the overall look of a HORDE of zombies, in a coffin carrying case was really impressive. I'm always a fan of "more figures." Some of us were discussing the destruction possibilities on the large unit of 100 zombies. It appeared I was going to get my chance at it.

From left to right, my opponent had fell bats, zombies, plague cart, 100 zombies, more zombies in front of 4 vampires with skeleton escort, black coach, and dire wolves.

From left to right I had knights, handguns, rocket, cannon, rocket, cannon, swordsmen, swordsmen, pistoliers, greatswords, and on the far right, more knights.

Close-up of the zombie menace.

Opening moves (top of second turn in photo, I think.) The hordes shambles forward. I shift my pistoliers around the right, along with the knights. Everyone else is going to wait, with the greatswords moving next to the big pillar thing. Fell bats chase some cannon crew back behind the line. I spent my first turn wasting rocket shots on the skeleton unit with the vampires. Between the coach sucking up all his magic dice and some lucky/unluck dice, not much happens in the early magic phases.

Mid game. It sucked to have to do it, but I charged the zombies on the left flank with knights in order to keep them off my shooters. Around the right, my flankers move as fast as they can, and chew up the dire wolves. His skeledons & vamps turn to the rear. The black coach is fully charged up, and my greatswords fail their terror check in an attempt to charge it. The coach then charges them, sending them fleeing yet again. Cannons spend several turns bouncing shots (multiple 1's rolled to wound) against the coach (prior to it going ethereal) and the plague cart. The rockets get smarter, however. They aim here:

Right at that zombie. I picked him out of the bunch. First sniper-rocket shot nails him directly! The second veers off course slightly, but still hits piles of zombies. The rockets take down 43 of them. 3 more fall to handgunners, 1 more to an archer. Both units of zombies charge in to my swordsmen.

(Side note, I love the two zombies looking at each other in shock.)

After this, I simply forgot to take more photos.

The greatswords rally, but fail another test against the coach. In the end, I lose the greatswords, but it keeps the coach in the far corner for the rest of the game.

I eventually finish off the smaller unit of zombies in the center, but can not chew through the remaining 50-ish from the horde fast enough. (Also, they are striking first with WS6.) The knights on the left wipe out the zombies, but as soon as they turn to face the center, more summoned zombies pop up in their way. The knights on the right also get bogged down fighting summoned zombies. The pistoliers and artillery end up taking down quite a few skeletons, though (not surprisingly) they just summon back up. I did nail the BSB with a cannon shot, though. I'm not normally one for "cannon sniping" but considering 4 of the 5 figures in the front rank were vampires, there was little point in killing rank & file when they could be summoned back almost as fast as I could kill them, and they still get their Look Out Sir (or Ma'am, in this case) I feel no guilt.

This was the only game that didn't go the full 6 turns, probably due to the long magic phase and buckets of dice being rolled. I'm would have been interested to see where it would have gone. Many "what ifs." Not just about the unplayed turns. I wonder "what if" my greatswords hadn't failed multiple LD tests, "what if" I didn't roll 1 to wound on every cannon shot the first two turns, or "what if" I had just targeted the mega-horde right from the start.

End result is a narrow victory for Marienburg. I killed enough zombies plus a vamp to overcome the loss of the greatswords. I didn't lose much else. Record at the end of Day 1 is 2-1.


Saturday night my fiancee and I met up with some friends who live in the area. (She came down with me & hung out with them most of the weekend.) I'm not entirely certain where we went, since we traveled all over Dayton to get there, but we had some pretty good Mexican food. After all that (and a giant margarita), I was dead tired (undead tired?) and passed out before midnight.

Unfortunately, our neighbors in the hotel were on some sort of sorority party weekend or something, and I kept getting woken up by insanely loud gigling and screeching. Each time I would think, "one more minute of this and I'm going to go kick their door in," and it would quiet down and I would drift off, only to be woken up again by more of the same. This wasn't just like normal "late night" hours. This was like 4:30 am.

By the time the alarm went off (several times, since I hit snooze for 30 minutes...) I was significantly under-rested and not ready for Day 2...


I've got the attention span of a cat.

Not in the mood to write battle reports today (or yesterday) so I spent a bit of time prepping figures for my Burgundians the the eventual plan to expand their Low Counties allies into an army unto itself.

Pictured are 25 Flemish pikemen from Old Glory, 11 handgunners from Mirliton/Grenadier, 19 more archers from Front Rank, 5 more Front Rank crossbow, and 30 billmen/halberdiers that are a mix of Front Rank and Mirliton/Grenadier. (In the background are about 30 Foundry landsknecht pikemen that I was just too lazy to move. I don't know when I will get to them, they've been hanging around since the range first came out!)

That represents most of the infantry figures I currently have, with the exception of another unit of OG Low Countries pikemen and 30 of their Flemish figures with assorted weapons (about half with plancon & half with axes -- probably more suited to 14th century.)

I've got to check in with some friends, but we may get a big Burgundian vs. Swiss game in at Thanksgiving when an old friend comes into town for the holiday. I'm sure there's a great Charles the Bold joke in there somewhere, relating to carving turkeys, but it's just not coming to me at the moment. ;)

I'll get back to the batttle reports shortly, and still plan on an ancient/classical WAB army. (Waiting on the Wargames Factory figures to see what direction that takes.) So for now, the Burgundians get a few weeks of attention.

If a ball of brightly colored yarn doesn't distract me first.

17 October 2008

Marauders 08 - Day 1 Game 2

Day 1 Game 2

vs. Empire/Kislev

This was a first for me. I've seen the Kislev stuff (which looks great, in my opinion) but hadn't actually faced it before. My opponent's army was close to a 50/50 split between Kislev & Empire.

From left to right he had Horse archers, horse archers, outriders, steam tank, Griffon legion, flagellants, Inner circle knights with grand master, horse archers, horse archers, and horse archers. One of the latter had a mage. Somewhere -- in one of the two heavy cav units -- was a warrior priest as well.

From left to right I had two units of knights (mostly out of picture), rockets, cannon, handgunners (on hill), swordsmen + detachments, more swordsmen + detachments, cannon & rocket, greatswords + detachments, and pistoliers.

I played marshlands. His army was begging for marshlands, though, the effect of which was to slow all cavalry, monsters and steam tanks. My opponent played pitched battle, which limited the marshlands effects to the first two turns. My plan was to hold the center, stop the STank with cannons, punch through the left flank and distract/delay on the right.

First few turns, we advance, I shoot. Excitement, no? I nailed his steam tank with a cannon, but only caused a couple wounds. My first turn I actually rolled misfires on three of my four artillery pieces, only one blew up though.

If his cav was going to hit me, I wanted to try to make sure that when he did, I got the most out of my detachments, so I advanced in the center. The steam tank takes a point of damage from a blown steam point roll.

The left side is essentially mine, as I had hoped, though the steam tank could screw that up a bit. My plan is just to avoid it by hitting things (like the outriders flank) and moving on as fast as I can. My swordsmen momentarilly falter on the left side of my infantry center. General with Inner Circle knights charge in! But I hold!

Things go very badly for the Inner Circle knights and grand master. They are defeated and run down by the greatswords. I rally my swordsmen and move my knights in on the left. Flagellants charge in, but I figure I will beat them eventually and it only ties up a swordsmen unit - I take this as a fair (for me) trade.

Here it gets a little hazy. I think my knights blew it against the Griffon legion, who pursued them into the difficult terrain (ruins), with my swordsmen in pursuit. As predicted, I finish off the flagellents and head for the deployment zone. Game over, victory for the Empire. Well, Marienburg Empire at any rate. Annother good game and good opponent.