Sunday, January 31, 2010

Things Wargaming - Short Reviews

I've picked up all of the products below over the past month and I thought I'd share some thoughts about them.

Black Powder is the big new thing for me, so much so that I am currently painting 102French 28mm miniatures! Actions speak louder than words.

Great survey if you don't have any other. The price, with free shipping, from Amazon can't be beaten. However, it has to be said that there are no pictures of French line of any use to a miniature painter in the book.

Great survey if you don't have any other. As above, the price, with free shipping, from Amazon can't be beaten. However, it has to be said (again) that there are no pictures of French line of any use to a miniature painter in the book, and I had to pull out my old Osprey French Line book. A major oversight from Osprey. Risable, really.

My SOA membership has been renewed again. The current production of the SOA magazine, The Slingshot, makes it one of the best available for an ancient wargamer. Kudos to the editor, Mark Watson.

I recently picked up issues 37 - 43 of Wargames: Soldiers and Strategy. Issue 37 had a superb article on refighting Ligny written by Barry Hilton. Elsewhere there were some quite remarkable ventures in translation, different in kind from the prior 36 issues. To give credit, however, most of the errors were entertaining. On the whole, then, still in the top three wargaming magazines for me, and so I will continue to purchase them.

I've been looking for a painting magazine for years. I thought Game Forces would be it, but too much focus on larger scales and busts, and too little on the tricks and techniques used by the painters. Pass.

Well, what a massive improvement the new Wargames Illustrated has shown over the days before it was purchased by Battlefront. I will be subscribing from issue 268 on...I have all the other issues since Battlefront took over. Top drawer stuff!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Napoleonic French Painting Report

All 102 of the Victrix and Perry French are now modelled, hand-primed and drybrushed white. The plan is to paint them all using washes. Here is a close-up which shows well the ghostly effect reached by drybrushing white over a black basecoat.
Here is a wider picture showing most of the French models. I tend to make my own washes with the paints I have...the strangest paints can provide the best of washes. One notable example off of the top of my head is Delta Ceramcote's Midnight Blue, which is just a beautiful paint to work with. This time, I'm going to try the GW washes, along with seeing if I can make a good wash with either the Derivan French Blue or one of the Foundry French Blues. I'll see what works.

The miniatures will all be based on 40x40mm bases for Black Powder. I think I'm going to cheat a little on this and glue 2 miniatures to opposite corners of each 40mm base and paint them like that, adding the other singles later. I haven't figured out exactly how I'm handling the skirmisher thing yet. I have enough Voltigeurs; I just need to figure out the basing.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Wargaming with Thagrosh and Vlad

So, another 700 km road trip - each way - for some Hordes and Warmachine gaming. I haven't played a lot of Hordes, and what I have played was mostly Primal Skorne armies back in the spring and summer of 2007. The last time I played Thaggie was during the May 24th weekend in 2008.

I brought Legion and Khador with me across the island and for the first game I flipped a coin to decide which to play against Mark's eDeneghra list. I forgot my camera, and so was reliant on the use of Jason's.

This is a nice shot of the table in the earliest part of the battle. My Legion paintjob is set off well by the Pegasus ruins Ken picked up from Neal at the Warstore.

The view from Mark's side of the table.

I was hoping for an epochal struggle between Carnivean and Death Jack.

Alas, it was a Death Jack that thought discretion the better part of valor.

I conceded the game after eDennie survived a second round of burning (she was on fire from the Carnivean's Blight Breath, and I had whiffed the first damage roll, which easily could have done the job on its own). As of the moment in time that I conceded Thagrosh had been beaten up on during Dennie's feat turn...I could have Slipstreamed him away as I was next to the Seraph in any event but I didn't bother...I Obliterated a Nightwretch instead but Mark had another Bonejack or three in the wings.


Generally, advancing towards a Cryx assassination army is counter-productive as well as being counterintuitive.

Don't ever use Thagroshes' spell Obliterate again! I missed it once, I think with a boosted attack roll. That's 5 fury gone. To get a reasonable result you need to boost damage too. To put it more reasonably, I can just imagine situations where it's useful, but you'd have to knock the target down first.

Don't feed living models to a Death Jack if you can avoid it. I took his arm off and then gave him some bacongator to put it back on again.

Okay, game two. I didn't want to play inter-faction and so I went with Everblight again against a Karchev list. This first picture shows the situation at the end of round two. I'm positioning the Gatorman Posse for a potential charge on Karchev.

Karchev has moved up closer again. I've decided now that I'm going to charge him with the Carnivean after Slipstreaming it over from its' current position.

Okay, I've charged, first, the Forsaken. A couple of points...she's lost 1 point of P+S on her claw in MKII but more to the point it was a dumb idea any way you look at it. Then the Carnivean charged with three Fury left to be used. I missed everything! with the Breath Attack and then did very poorly with two bites and two claw attacks against Karchev. The Wardog is fantastic with Karchev, raising his melee defence to 14. Wildness. Then, I decided I'd experiment and see what would happen if I charged the Spriggan with Thaggie. I used all of my Fury but one and didn't get the Spriggan's lance, or very much else for that matter. The lesson learned from this experiment is that Thagrosh does warjack damage (i.e. the same as a Beserker's axe) but that doesn't mean he can take out a Warjack.

Here's a side view of the final confrontation.

Next up were a couple of games that night against Jason's Cygnar and Trollbloods. In this first shot I've just taken 9 points off of Krae by a combination of sniper shots and a blown up Beserker - not shown. ;-)

This is another picture of the same scene from just behind Krae. The rest of the game involved a series of futile attempts by each of us to assassinate the other's caster. Jason whiffed an attack from a Lancer that would have finished Vlad, and Eiryss basically killed Krae with a couple of deathbolts over the course of three rounds.

I learned a lot during this game about playing Beserkers. As well, Eiryss is a must have for my GenCon list. The main thing I learned, however, is to never give up. That's ultimately what that whole play like you've got a pair thing means for me...just never give up because in Warmachine you truly have a chance to win every game you play if you are just a little patient in the face of adversity.

The final game of the day was my Legion against Jason's Madrak list. This was a rather disjointed affair during which, amongst other things, my Carnivean was killed twice! We had to call the game due to exhaustion, but Jason was in pretty good shape by then. I did learn a few things, however. My Seraph actually finished off a Dire Troll Mauler (it needed a Critical Hit with two fives on two dice to do it) which was a pleasant surprise. Thagrosh killed the Fell Caller and two Champions in the same turn of combat as well, with Fury to spare. I didn't play as agressively as I should have and made the cardinal error of splitting up my forces from the second round on. I also dropped Fog of War when I didn't need too, and held off on casting Spiny Growth when I should have put it on the Carnivean (I was thinking I'd transfer onto it later and the animus would have put it up to max Fury, but I had the Seraph at full health in any event and the Carnivean would have lived a little longer). Oh, and I forgot one of the key rules of meodern life...Don't feed the Troll! However, the game also reinforced for me the importance of taking out the foe's warbeasts. That lesson is what playing against Warmachine armies will not get you.

All in a great day. I am decided upon Vlad and Khador again for GenCon. It's just ultimately the familiarity factor...I owe it to the other players. Here is the core of my 35 point Hardcore list:

2 x Beserkers
Great Bears

I just need to decide how I'm going to spend my final 7 points. I'm pretty sure I'll take the Drakhun with dismount, which leaves 2 points. I have to decide whether I'll take Kell, a Field Gun or a Manhunter.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Newest Army-Painted Thagrosh horde

My newest project, a 35 point Everblight force, led by Thagrosh the Prophet. I acquired the Everblight models in a trade with JET (see Geektactica blog) a couple of years ago. They had a variety of painting on them, with base colours blocked out on the Carnivean, and washes and drybrushing on the lights and the Seraph. I have painted all models to some extent, but my greatest efforts have been reserved for the heavies. All the bases are my work, as is the Gatorman Posse.

My favorite Everblight monsta is the Carnivean. I am seriously considering building one more and adding Typhon, a Harrier, a Forsaken and two Shepherds for a 35 point Absylonia list for GenCon. More of this later.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Khador Troika - Painted Drago and 'Zerkers

I have just finished painting and basing these three Khador warjacks tonight, except only for the coat of matte varnish to seal them. I'll be using them in a 35 point Vlad list this weekend...another road trip for the greater good.

You will note the modelled Napoleonic French behind. All 60 of the Victrix and the last 9 of the 42 Perry French are now fully built. 51 of the models have been fully hand-primed, and the other 51 are next.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Victrix French Fusiliers modelled

Another step forward. Command, voltigeurs and grenadiers to go.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Update - the Perry scrubs have their packs!

The Testors glue is non-toxic and it appears to work. This has left me sober with strong bonding. I had to sand the black primer off of their backs to facilitate the plastic bonding, though. Another small step taken towards Quatre Bras.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

New Project Begun - Black Powder Napoleonics

So I was talking to my friend Stu yesterday and we agreed to build and paint two brigades each of French and foes by this September for play using the new Black Powder rules penned by Rick Priestly and Jervis Johnson. So each of us will be building and painting one (Black Powder) brigade of French and one of the allies. Now I'm not buying any miniatures for a year so I've got to do my part with what I have. What I have for the French is a box of Victrix late French foot, a box of Perry French foot, and a box of Perry French Heavy Cavalry. I started the Victrix last night and I have now got all 60 of them cleaned up with heads and backpacks attached/glued on. Here they are in the foreground. You can see the miniatures primed black just to the right and behind? They are the 42 Perry French foot.
So I have 102 foot and 14 cavalry (in the Perry French Heavy Cavalry box). I don't have any artillery, and with only 14 cavalry I can only make one unit of cavalry. The foot will be divided into 4 units of 24. The Victrix box has 8 officers. Given that the Perry box has one already, I only need three from the Victrix box, so I've demoted 5 officers back into the ranks, though they are in the elite Voltigeur and Grenadier companies. ;-)

Because of this arrangement I ended up short 6 backpacks for my Victrix French. So I stole 3 from the Perry box (leaving me with 40 for them) and left my Victrix drummers without backpacks despite the stern requirement stated on the Victrix Instruction Sheet, which I quote:

"Backpacks are to be used on all figures except B13, B14, B15."

Stu is going to regift me a couple of Wargames Foundry French 8 pound cannons with crew that I gave him about 4-5 years ago. As well, he is regifting me a unit pack of 10 Newline Designs French Cuirrassiers. This will give me a bare minimum standard sized brigade of standard sized battalions for the French for Black Powder (using only one gun).

As for my allies, I will probably do a brigade of Prussians from my collection of Calpe Miniatures Prussians. I basically have everything Calpe has produced over the past 8-9 years so that will not be a problem. I was originally going to go British for the brigade of foes as I have a couple of boxes of Victrix British and a box of Perry British. However, I have neither cavalry nor guns for the Brits, so the Prussians it is, Prussians that have waited long enough to see the gaming table in any event.

Otherwise, you can see my Khador jacks on the painting table, namely Drago and two Beserkers, along with another nearly completed EIR Roman Legion and various other odds and ends.

I am really excited about this new venture. The Victrix figures are very fine, with very little and easily removed flash, and while it is a fairly labour intensive business putting the figures together, it is an interesting labour. I've wanted to play 28mm Napoleonics for years and now, with the Black Powder rules - a set which I think to be animated by the true spirit of wargaming - along with the amazing developments in plastic miniature manufacturing, making large armies of quality miniatures available at very reasonable prices, I think there's finally a chance for me to get a few games in after all.

I'll post developments as they occur.