Kudos to Ancient and Modern Army Supplies (Donnington miniatures)

I’ve been roped into playing as the competition at Daventry (Campaign 2014) next week. Its teams of three, 5 games over 2 days. 6 teams so its round robin event. The periods are -

Period 1: The Fight for Dutch Independence(1568-1633) : – Early Imperial Spanish; Elizabethan English; Early Eighty Years war Dutch; Later Eighty Years War Dutch; Later Imperial Spanish (Army of Flanders); French Huguenot; French Catholic.

Period 2: Trouble in the East 1577- 1589 – Early Ottoman Turks; Wallachian, Moldavian and Transylvanian; Early Russian; Vasa Swedish; Cossack; Later Imperial Austrian; Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth; Early Venetian Colonial.

Period 3: Armies of Asia, Africa and America, between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn 1500 – 1644: – Muslim Indian, Hindu Indian, Indonesian or Malaccan; Thai, Burmese and Khmer; Vietnamese; Horn of Africa; Hawaiian; Mughal; Aztec; Tlaxcalan, Huaxtec or Otomi; Tarascan; Zapotec or Mixtec; Chinatec; Mayan; Inca; Mapuche or Araucanian; Tupi; Amazonian Forest Tribes; Chichimec; Western Sudanese; Central African; Central Sudanese; West African Forest; Mossi. (European Allies allowed – no more than 4 BG’s)

The group I’ve been put into is period 1 , So I thought I’d give my Spanish a run out.

http://lurkio.co.uk/blog/gallery/renaissance/15mm-imperial-Spanish

As its an early period the foot is later tercio which I’ve never been particularly enamoured with. So I’ thought I’d play a mounted heavy version. This required some extra figures for a German ally. With 7 days before the event , I contacted Damian at A&M about a rush order for the extra figures. With no complaint the figures were dispatched that same day, and arrived the next day. So kudos to Damian for a great service.

Painted the next day, here they are -

I love these Bandolier Reiter, useless in the game  (poor, unarmoured carbine/pistol). But really charismatic. Its like they know what is in store for them ;-)

horse1 dragoon1

 

 

FoG:R Western Sudanese

This collection came into my possession recently. Painted by John Munro, this lot won Britcon 2012 using the following list

Hausa1

West Sudanese – 800AP, winner of Britcon 2012

  • Great Commander, two TC’s and one Tuareg Ally TC
  • 1 unit Avg Lf bow 6 stands
  • 1 unit Avg LF Jls 6 stands
  • 7 units Warriors Avge Bow each of 6 stands
  • 4 units Tuareg camels Superior Light Lance Swd each of 4 stands
  • 4 units of LH Avge Light Lance Jls
  • 1 unit Cavalry Superior, Armoured Light lance, Swd 4 stands

All units unprotected other than the cavalry unit above

There is full gallery in the pages above (or)

http://lurkio.co.uk/blog/gallery/renaissance/15-west-sudanese

But here are a couple of shots -

Hausa11 Hausa2

 

 

Tabletop games day 2014

Yesterday was international tabletop games day. I normally would have gone to my LFGS , but everyone was struck with the bout of the lurgy. So rather than miss it tabletopday2014_300x250altogether it seems a good idea to lock the doors , draw the curtains and have a day altogether playing old favourite sharing our own germs. As a family affair the games would have to be kid friendly (9 & 10) and also ‘mummy’ friendly – not so easy!

www.tabletopday.com

 

 

First up was Metro. The theme being Art Nouveau Parisian rail management. It’s a simple pattern matching game as players place tiles to try and create long tracks from station to station.metro1 It’s a great kick off game as you can put as must or as little effort in (as the tile placement is quite prescribed), and other player tiles an easily mess up your well planned ideas

georgieANDloganGeorgie writes -When we played the game Metro, it was really quite fun. It was a kind of game you really had to think about and plan in your head otherwise you got really confused. I like it when you have a proper family game that nearly everyone can play plus if I got to rate it it would definitely be a 5 out of 5!

Next up was Wings of War. WW1 themed combat (in the centenary year). wog1The game is played with placement card planned for 3 moves in advance. The shooting is drawing cards from damage deck. Our game we had to call short as we had to break for dinner. It was a bit skewed by the Allies insisting on using a 2 seater! Have and fore and aft machine gun sounds like a good thing, but the single gun only has a lesser capablility. In the initial pass the Allies had the worst of it. The Nieuport took 7 damaged and damaged rudder meaning that it couldn’t turn right for the remainder of the game. The DH4 opponents drew a slew of 0 damage cards from front and aft. So advantage to the Germans , but a long way to go before we called time for lunch

georgieANDloganGeorgie writes – Unfortunately we had to stop the game in the middle but we got most of it. I like the way you don’t know what other people are going to do and your card may not work for the other players!

 

Game 3 was the choice of my little boy – Warmachine.warmachine A starter box match between Khador and Cygnar. Using the quick starter rules it makes things a lot easier and Warmachine less of a brain strain than Hordes. What’s not to like with big battling robots!

Georgie writes – War-machine. Just a game filled to the brim of plans and carefree fighting! Robots fighting robots. It does not get any better! At first I didn’t really fancy playing but now I can see how my dad and brother liked so much!

 

warmachine2

For afternoon tea we took in a little Tongiaki. A game of Polynesian island conquest.tongiaki I used to have fun with this a few years ago, but couldn’t quite get it this time round. There is partly a co-operative element where players need to group together in numbers to make sea travel less risky. The flip side of that coin is sacrificing your own pieces to send you opponents on treacherous sea voyages where sometimes they never come back!

Georgie writes – Tongiaki was a game of luck, waiting for which card would come out of the pile and seeing if you would get lost. It was a really fun and easy game to play. A good game in a short amount of time.

Finally and getting late was the old skool dungeon bash – Dungeons and Dragons. d&d2Lower the lights and get the flickering candles as a bunch of intrepid adventures must enter the dungeon to find the portal to enable the trapped children return home in time for school in the morning! This was an old Pendraken 10mm dungeon that I’ve had for many years. It’s nice to experience a 9 & 10 years olds naïve view of the dungeon experience. The simplest of encounters and traps all ‘new to young eyes’! Lovely

georgieANDloganGeorgie writes – Dungeons and Dragons!!!!!! My favourite! My dad was the dungeon master and boy he was good. The way he introduced it to us was brill. He made all dark and spooky. We came down stairs slowly. He twirled us round and round, sat us down at the table and we played. I like the way you can just ask to do anything you want and see if it happens. I asked if I could play basketball with a skeleton’s head. It smashed on the stone floor!

d&d1

 

Squarebashing Germans

The British are now all painted (just waiting to be based)

brit_fin

…now I turn my attention to the Germans. After the usual clean up and hot glue to craft sticks they are ready to go. They are new ‘re-sculpted’ Peter Pig Germans. I haven’t seen the originals so cannot compare. When comparing to the BEF I would say that they are a little finer – the facial details are certainly finer.

The BEF had taken me longer than I really wanted, it been over 2 weeks (although I have been distracted). For the Germans my original plan was to undercoat white and gloopy wash grey and then  varnish ‘stain’, in a similar way to the BEF.  But instead I thought I would cut out a stage and go for a coloured primer. I would have normally used a car primer grey (which is light and neutral), but I thought I’d try an army painter primer. I originally looked at the wolf grey (to get a bluish hue), but thought it was a little too blue. The uniform grey seemed to fit the bill, and with that purchased it was down to spraying. I did go a light dusting of white over the figures in the first instance. When using the AP primers in the past I have found  that you end up doing quite a heavy coat to cover all the bare metal. A tough of white primer first seems to alleviate that. It comes out a little brighter and stops a little of the capillary action pulling the paint into the recess.

After the priming I was pleasantly surprised that the grey had quite a blue hue to it anyway, so was I was looking for. It was a little dark though, and I did toy with the idea of airbrushing a highlight coat , or maybe a drybrush. BUT …  I reigned myself in …  this was meant to be a quick project.

germ1

So post the primer I blocked in the boots , rifle stock, pack and helmet.

Then it came to the varnish ‘dip’/’stain’. I suppose in my mind I was going to use AP dark tone. The £1 shop varnish I used last time does have a mahogany tint, and I didn’t really want to the lose the blue grey that I had achieved. The AP dark tone is based on an oily black rather than brown, so seemed to fit the bill. It also meant that the 2 protagonist armies would have a distinct tonal difference.

germ2

After that had dried , then I went back and did the face and hands. I like these to be bright, and doing this before the washes had a horrible dirtying effect. Then  a bit of red piping , and a touch of metal. Then a matt varnish and the job is complete.

germ3

Overall I’m not as happy with these as the BEF. Greens and browns are much easier to pull together with this sort of wash technique. My complaints are , they are too dark for my tastes. germ4The AP dip is very strong. The base coat was a little too dark. If I had stuck to my original plan and gone white – acrylic wash , then I could have had more control and that stage does add a highlighting element. The overall figures just have a flat appearance with little in the way of contrast.germ5

 

 

That said its all about getting the soldiers on the table , for this project I can let it slide.

There are more Germans than British, so I will allow myself another 2 weeks to get these done. I should probably think of this in terms of 37 days …  a countdown to war…

A little bit of Squarebashing

After being caught up with all the centenary media (esp 37 Days), I thought that this year would be a good idea to do a little WW1. The remit of this project would that it would be up and running in a few weeks. Concentrating on the very early part of the war I needed to be playing while the period was still ‘hot’. With that in mind here is my tutorial on how to paint 200 infantry in about 2 weeks.

The first army will be the small British BEF. My preferred 15mm manufacturer being Peter Pig. The reasons being – neatly cast (no cleanup) , comprehensive range , quirky looking sculpts (with a reasonable high relief – more on that later)…. And finally ‘all round good eggs at PP’

With this in mind I will commit to do the whole of the army in a single ‘process batch’. Here are the steps –

prep1

Debag the figures.
Clean up (none), other than a scrape along the bottom to keep the base flat
Hot glue gun them lolly sticks (the large ‘tongue depressor’ type). Bagful for a £1 at a craft shop/works

prep2

Primer. I picked PSC German Dunkel Gelb for this job. It has a rather pleasing green hue, and it light and bright. As the project would be a ‘wash’ project then at this stage you can afford to be light and bright. The subsequent washes will bring it down (and I like bright!)

prep3

Primary Wash. Mix up a big batch of gloopy paint wash. There wasn’t much method to this. It was just a mix of khaki and green (Vallejo Brown violet) until it was an approximation of the colours I was aiming for.

prep4

Mix to milky consistency, a bit of acrylic flow improver (vital to avoid tide marks). But on a ‘spray primer’ I find that the surface tension means that you do get a good capillary action. The main worry is that this is too much and the paint pools. Flow improver is good for that. The best I’ve found is GW Lahmian medium (but it is expensive) and for smaller batches I’d recommend. But in this case I just use a cheapo (Windsor and Newton)..

prep5As you can see at this stage you don’t have to be be too fussy and can really blob it on. When it dries it will shrink back and you are trying to use the paint over the primer to do your shading.
At this point I’m going to block paint all the main areas of colour. So, webbing and pack with a lighter canvas colour, rifle stock brown. Not leave the face at this point. The face is the only thing I’m going to paint. The face is a focal point for the eye, do this well and all else if forgiven

 

 

Shading Wash. Once you this has dried (leave overnight) then comes the varnish wash. This is a red/brown/mahogany darkoakthat I bought from a £1 shop. Thinned down with turps to a very wet wash and lather it on. All the figure brightness will drop anyway at this point. You can use Army painter dips (which are probably better colour ranges) , but the only thing I find is that they give a waxy finish when dry and its hard to paint any detail over later. I might use AP dip for the Boche later. I like my cheap dip, as it had a Polyurethane finish and acts as a hard coat and can easily be painted over.

prep6

Leave to dry for 2 days. This stuff take a long time to dry, and is really stinky , so is best left outside (or in a shed)

Then it is really the home run.

Face painting. A orange brown base coat foe hands and face, then AP tanned flesh and AP barbarian flesh ( I bought a new brush for this, just for a crisp edge). As I said it you do a good face then all else will be overlooked. This triad does give quite a ruddy complexion , but as this was a decision to contrast with uniform (and bring out the greens) .. red and green been complementary on the colour wheel.
You may choice to put in a little paint over the webbing and bring out a strap or two.

fin1

The final stage being the matt varnish. I like a lead chromate based paint (outside job) , 1407 Rail Match Matt Varnish. I have been using this for 20 years and have found no equal (and I tried them all!)

fin2

23

 

BADcon game 4 – Ghaznavid

Game 4 – Ghaznavid – John and Malcolm

So, game 4 , Sunday afternoon. With 2 loses now we were right down the pack. When the draw was put up , and we had drawn Ghaznavid, I had mixed emotions. An army of Ghilmen and Turkomen wouldn’t be much fun. But my thinking was if that’s the army they wanted why pick Ghaznavid when there are probably better armies out there for that style of play.  The main difference I could see was the amount of elephants available. I wasn’t disappointed. There were 8 beasts in total

The list (~)was

  • 3 BG of elephants
  • 3 BG of Ghilmen (arm/sup/bow/sw)
  • 4 BG of Turcomen (sup/bow/sw)
  • 1 BG of Ghazis (prot/sup/if/sw)
  • 1 BG of Dailami (arm/sup/if/sw)
  • 1 BG of LF with a firearm

The terrain was mixed. On our left flank was a couple of contiguous field giving a 8” corridor of RGo against the short table edge. In the centre was a large open field. My suspicions were raised when they had won the PBI but picked agricultural and have a big open field as their compulsory. Not the move of a cavalry commander. ON the right were more fields, but nothing that bore and impact on the game

game4_2

Our plan was to deploy neutrally. Spear up front , Knights on reserve. Our trump card of deploying our 16 bases of Crossbowmen opposite the open field as our last move was somewhat trumped by the placement of a further 2 BG of Elephants and Dailami opposing them (the field would not pose a problem for the elephants and the impact foot would surely sweep us away).

The Ghaznavids had deployed (from left to right) the ghazis to go through the enclosed field. A string of Ghilmen covering the gap in-between. Elephants deployed somewhat in reserve, to exploit any gaps. Then 2 more elephants and Dailami and then a cloud of Turkomen to cover the open right flank.

game4_1

The game started slowely. At least having the first move allowed us to deploy the Crossbowmen who were in a vulnerable spot. One BG turned and marched left, the other right. The gap between replaced by 2 BG of spear, who were deployed to the rear. This somewhat limited our strategic advance , as the spear couldn’t really enter the field, but would act as a barrier on the far side. To be honest the Dailami might fancy their chances anyway.

game4_3

In response the Ghaznavids made a general advance. The Ghazis entered the enclosed field. We had placed the 2 BG of LF(4) bow there and really that was their game. They advanced we shot and evaded. But were enough of a nuisance for the ghazis not to ignore us , and therefore they played little part in the game.

The Ghilmen advanced and started shooting the spears. But the spears are pretty robust to shooting and not much happened. The Dailami & Elephants advanced into the open field, and on far right the Turkomen rushed forward , we had 2 BG of Knights and now 1 BG of Crossbowmen to hold them all off (not great). However, fortune favoured them , and 8 bases of Crossbow can shoot with as many dice as 12 bases of Lh when they dice to close to short range to try and win the shooting war. All of the Ghaznavid generals were marshalling elephants elsewhere and a couple of bad dice throws and the LH became disrupted, and then fragmented, as they pulled bad to get away some more targeted long range shooting broke one units and the Knights provided sterling support (not failing any impetuous charge tests). With that the Turks fell back and it was the Crusaders who would have the opportunity to envelop.

But the main event was in the centre. We had 2 blocks (of 2 BGs) of spear one in advance on the left. The other was limited by the field in front of it. It had fallen into a bit of a sticky situation. It was being shot at by the Ghilmen (superior), and now the fire syphoniers (cheeky). Our advance was limited as there were other troops , including the elephants, threatening the flanks. So we were being peppered with a lot of arrows and now taking a minus on the test (being shot at by firearms), we had to do something.

 

To the left of the , while the Ghazis pushed on to their road to nowhere, gaps where appearing and the Elephants were trying to wheedle their way through.  We has some KN in reserve (no ideal), but we tried to intercept with some spearmen. Then we had a breakthrough. One BG of Elephants did start of get through the gap, so we did have to commit some Knight. But the elephants were isolated, with a general. Our Knights did have a general and with the elephants angle of approach meant that the initial impact would be small , only 1 base,(thus avoiding too much of 3 dice per elephant at impact). We held in the impact. Then we swung around and started to overlap. The elephant then could only ever get 4 dice (at a +POA), and the Knight (even disordered had 4 dice , then finally 6 as both flanks were overlapped), while at a minus POA re-rolling 1&2s meant that the fight was pretty even.  At the same time the left most spear BG charges some Ghilmen, just to get them away, but in the charge threw a 6” , not catching the cavalry but allowing a little wheel an contact the other BG of elephants at the furthest distance. Again only a small contact reduced the Elephant impact effect and even though we disrupted in the impact, we held and then the numbers would tell. We had 8 bases and with the overlaps we could muster 6 dice (and then 8 when bolstered). While both sides were average, and level on POA , we were throwing more dice.

game4_5

The Elephants proved to be the proverbial glass hammer, and within a couple of turns both had lost a base, and broke. This crashed them through a supporting BG  of enemy MF who were acting as rear support and allowed the Crusader spearmen to convert the pursuit of elephants into charge into the disrupted auxiliary foot (who held briefly then broke).  So on the far left we had troop swinging around.  With both flanks collapsing the Ghazanvids pressed the centre.  The cavalry got close and allowed the spear to charge, they evaded and fled around an elephant to its flanks, but the spear crashed into an elephant. This combat was swift and the elephant broke. The Crusaders pursuing toward the camp. By virtue of alignment and line ups as part of this combat the spears were behind the enemy lines and had cavalry to front rear and flank, so my hopes for them wasn’t high. Over the open field on the centre with the break of some of the supporting units crossbowmen advance, their target the last remaining BG of Elephants. The Elephants , given their compatriots less than stellar performance , thought better of it and tried to retire. This was leaving the Dailami somewhat isolated in the field ( we still tried to give then a wide berth as they are as tough as nails in the rough going)

game4_6

The Ghaznavid army was rocking, it has lost about 8-10 points of its 14-15. Most of the elephants were gone, LH had retired to the four corners of the board trying to bolster. As a final last ditch attempt some Ghilmen stood to be charged by some spearmen , to allow the last elephants to charge them from the rear.  Even though we lost the fight the doughty spearmen did not break (hurrah)

game4_7

At that point the Ghaznavid losses elsewhere , accumulated to a point where they broke. Leaving the Crusaders with a final 24-1 win. This was an interesting game. Our opponents were definitely committed to win, I suppose picking 8 elephants makes that decision for you. A great battle to end the weekend off with.

The final win shot us up the board and we ended up with a respectable 8th place.

Not bad for an army that had never won previously. As a final post mortem, I think in the past my army composition had been  a bit basic. You want big BG of foot, you want the Military Order knights (why else Crusader?) , but this always lead to small BG army count. Actually picking the Armenian ally was a breakthrough. In the past I had disregarded it as ‘nothing good’, and only ever really contemplated Bedouin allies to up the BG count, and give a bit of skirmishing potential. But the boost that the Armenians gave was access to the 4 bases BG of LF bow and MF JLS. Having 4 of these boosted the army size of 12-13  to a respectable 15. The Medium foot (with the change in v2 rules) meant they could support 2 BG of 8 Crusader foot (with resorting to silly columns). The general with his entourage of Armenian Knights was a hammer , so all of the allied troops had a role to play. Good choice, and I might use the Crusaders more often now! 

We had 4 great games, against 4 great opponents, who have reinvigorate me to do more FoG ancients! Thanks to all whom we played :-)

BADcon game 3 – Later Crusader

Game 3 – Later Crusader vs Later Crusader, Graeme and Rob

Mid table now sees us draw another Crusader army. Their army was similar to ours (no surprise), differing only by having no Military order knights and a Syrian Ally rather than an Armenian one. The Syrians bought some light horse and Cavalry lancers and some light foot.

The enemy Crusader army was

  • 3 BG of Knights
  • 4 BG of Spear
  • 1 BG of Crossbowmen
  • 1 Syrian lancer
  • 2-3 BG of horse archers
  • 1-2 BG of light foot bow

The terrain was minimal and played little part in the game. We had a single wood on our right flank (upon which we anchored), there was a piece of uneven ground on our far left that made a little contribution. We had won the PBI roll off and got to deploy last. Which was of little importance as troops lined up and looked to be matched off… an advantage we did have was to deploy all of our crossbowmen on the open left flank, this was opposed by the Syrian ally, so was good for us, we should win that shooting war. Our right flank was spears up against the wood (with our light foot deployed within)

game3_1

Both armies trundle forward. The Syrians did advance which was somewhat surprising, I was anticipating a mass redeployment when faced by so many shooters. I guess they didn’t want a hanging flank, and there weren’t many gaps for them to fill anyway.

game3_2

In this first phase the shooting went in our favour. The Crossbowmen advanced ( Skirmishers can only prevent march moves with 4” in these new rules) shifting to allow Knights to pass through the ranks. The Syrian cavalry was in a quandary it could face off our Knights, who would be slightly better, or retreat for a better opportunity. The problem with allied troops is that you only get one general, and with some light horse getting peppered with crossbow bolts his influence was being stretched. The Syrian cavalry sought the table edge to avoid being overlapped on both sides, and thus faced the Crusading Knights rather than trying to a juicier charge on the crossbowmen.

 

This charge duly occurred and is it when bad for the Arab cavalry. The ‘knightly’ lance giving the Crusaders a POA. The Syrian soon lost a base and disrupted. The horse archers were wavering , with the Syrian general committed to the heavy cavalry fight he could no longer influence the other units in line of command. The Syrian lancers soon broke and that freed up that whole flank. The crossbowmen could start to wheel inwards and we had rampant Knights sweeping down round the left flank. All good so far…

game3_3

On the right there was a big of a standoff. We had 2 units of spear faced by 1 unit of spear and the crossbowmen , with both sides having some Knights in reserve. The opposing crusader were bringing more foot up to support the fight so it would be in our advantage to press on. We did have a better defence as we had 2 Bgs of LF in the wood which could pop out unopposed and shoot the mounted in reserve. The thought of the crossbowmen facing armoured spear was too much though and we got in a charge. The crossbowmen crumbled and dropped to fragmented. At the same time the 2 Bgs of knights classed, and we go the better of them. They lost a base and disrupted. That phase couldn’t have gone any better … and then it all went wrong.

game3_5

The fragmented crossbowmen who were then down to 3-4 dice needing 5’s beat our armoured spear (6 dice needing 4’s), not once but three times on the trot. Each time we lost a base as a result on the penultimate bound we did win against the fragmented troops (who with no general nearby couldn’t rally for the previous 2 rounds) but they threw 11 on the dice just enough to save them. Ignominiously the next turn they beat us again and we lost the 4th base (to auto break our 8 man spear unit).

game3_6

While this was going on the Knights next to them had a change in fortune too. After being 8 dice vs 4 dice up, they lost that fight (both sides needing 4’s re-rolling 1&2s ) .. to cap it off our general was killed, and our knights dropped to disrupted. To add insult to injury the enemy crusaders rallied. But the jig was up… Our knights broke, next to the routing spears. The pursing knights bounded into camp. We were haemorrhaging points on this flank now.

One our winning left flank , the Syrian thought better of it and started beating a retreat across the back of the table. Our crossbowmen were in pursuit, but would have no chance to catch. The flank was open a revealing some enemy knights. Who rather than being shot, advanced to be intercepted by a BG of our spear. The knights options were limited and ended up charging the steady armoured spear, not normally recommended. However, fortune was on their side and they beat the spear who duly dropped to disrupted. 2 more turns later and the spear were broken. In the centre some more spearmen fought (against other spearmen), but it was for naught. We did some success and broke some spear and knights, but our attrition points were too high and our army broke.

Certainly in this game the luck we had in the first game was cancelled out! We accrued 7 points in that game, which wasn’t too bad considering such a terrible set of events.