29 July 2017

A New Project

The Sharpe novels and TV series started me off in wargaming about 15 years ago, and it is a hobby that I have enjoyed immensely. It is never complete; there is always something to add, adjust or sometimes completely change. I am very thankful to Bernard Cornwell for that, he has kept me busy well beyond reading his books and watching two great TV series.

It must have been 7-8 years ago when I bought a copy of Sharpe Practice and with it came two 28mm figures from Alban Miniatures. I did not like the ruleset but I did like the figures. They were so different from the chunkers from all the other 28mm Napoleonic manufactures. But because of this they were useless to me so I put them away. A lot of things have happened since then, I got rid of the 3000 twenty-eight mm Napoleonic figures that I had painted and paid someone else to paint an equivalent 18 mm Napoleonic army for me. This was without doubt a correct decision, they take much less room and are so much easier with which to game.

I did keep around a hundred 28mm figures so I  could play Sharpe Practice 2 (which unlike Sharp Practice is a great ruleset). These were both French and British and are Perry, Front Rank, Calpe and even some Foundry miniatures. All very nice figures.

In the last few years, I have gone beyond Napoleonics to other wargaming eras and have painted figures from several different manufacturers. Every now and than I ended up painting figures which were much more anatomic without the exaggerated heads and hands that characterize most 28mm miniatures. I particularly like the FIW figures from Conquest Miniatures as well as the fantasy figures  from Westwind. Both these sculptors' figures are finer in proportion than most 28mm miniatures although Alban are still the best proportioned I have seen.

I recently was going over my now small 28mm Napoleonic skirmish collection to see what I needed to add. I have to admit missing painting the occasional 28mm Napoleonic, but I just was not that keen to paint any chunkers, I get enough of that from adding to my Dark Ages collection. I then remembered those 2 figures from Alban Miniatures, dug them out of the box and said why not!

They are a little more challenging to paint as they are much less exaggerated in proportion but at the same time they are excellent sculpts as one can see. I am not a great painter but I believe they came out pretty good.

That was the easy bit but I would like to build up enough figures to field a French and English skirmish force. And here comes the rub, Alban Miniatures are of course now defunct. So where was I to get the figures? As you can see from their website, they had a good range of French, a fairly good range of British and had added some Austrian and Saxon figures. They are very nice figures and I wanted some. I advertised on TMP, Lead Adventure, TFL forum and Yahoo group and fortunately struck pay dirt in the Netherlands. Dick B., a Dutch wargamer, just happened to have almost 60 rifles and voltiguers that he was never going to paint. He very kindly agreed to sell them to me and they are on their way now.

The search continues, of course, as there are French line voltiguers and fusiliers as well as some British light infantry out there. If any knows a source or has some to sell please contact me. Maybe one could say that I am on quite a quixotic adventure but it does excite me!

Now if I could only figure out how to improve the white balance in my photos, I will be all set.

28 July 2017

In Praise of SAGA

Over the last couple of years, myself and Adam have got in quite a few games of SAGA which I have really enjoyed. The game is quite different from the other skirmish games I play as there really is no good Command and Control mechanism and it is a simple IGO-UGO game. It really is not a historical simulation and has elements of both tabletop gaming as well as  board games.

At the same time, the Battleboards and SAGA dice give it a really tactical depth, while the individual figure characteristics (a problem I find with a lot of the new Osprey Skirmish games) are kept to a minimum. Hearthguard are all hearthguard and so on. The movement, shooting and melee mechanisms are all quite simple and easily remembered.

Sounds simple does it not, but the Battleboards and the SAGA dice really lift this with the player having to make some very complex tactical decisions in each turn which not only effect that turn but also the next.

As you can guess, I quite enjoy this game. We have been playing with factions from the main Dark Ages ruleset but last night I decided to play the Britons a faction from the Aetius and Arthur supplement. It was a fun game and as promised we had no difficulty matching warbands from eras 500 years apart. I also have a Moslem warband ready to go from the Cross and Crescent supplement, so more to come.

It was also the first time I played a non generic Warlord, I could not resist fielding Arthur, King of the Britons. I hardly every play warbands with Hearthguards and using Arthur required using a all Hearthguard warband! The Briton Battleboard had lot's of interesting options.

We had a good game, I am sure Adam will have a Action Report soon up on his blog; the Fencing Frog but I did take a couple of photos.
The javelin throwing Norse-Gaels cut down this unit of Hearthguard pretty quickly
The Sacred Ground (a very nice terrain piece the Adam acquired in a kickstarter)
Arthur and a band of Hearthguard

23 July 2017

Matataww'ia for SAGA

It is nice to get back to some 28mm figure painting. One of the good things about SAGA is you can paint up some Dark Age figures and these will do for many Northern European warbands. But they are not going to work for the crusades.

Several years ago I painted up some Andalusian Moors before SAGA: the Cross and the Crescent was released. I could get 4 points toward a moslem warband but not more. Over the winter, I painted up some moorish bowmen so I was just one point away. I decided to go with a Dogs of War unit to make up the extra point and after having a look, I decided of course to go with some Naffatta. Who would have thought it. 

I decided to go with Footsore Miniatures, I have had bad experiences with casting on other producers of moorish 28mm miniatures. The Footsore only have two Naffatta figures but I felt this was OK and I have had some excellent casting from them in the past. These were a little rough but cleaned up easily enough.

I also needed a Warlord that was a little less spectacular than the one I had painted for my Andalusian force, the Matataww'ia were a pretty grim bunch.

So there we have it, by painting up 4 more bowmen, I can also field a Saracen warband!

19 July 2017

Legio Pallidus Mor: The Pale Rider

I have had this model on my painting desk for quite some time, but finally got it finished yesterday. This Warhound Scout Titan represents the first Allied Lords of War weapon that I have added to my Epic Blood Angels force. At 275 points it was not too costly. Again from the 40k Fan Site.

The Warhound-class Titan belongs to the smallest class of Imperial Titan, and is used as a scout or as the flanking element of a Titan Legion in conjunction with others of its kind. The Warhound-class Titan is thus the most common form of what is classified as a Scout Titan by the Collegia Titanica.

The Epic 30-40k World is quite complex to the uninitiated but I am slowly starting to understand it. As noted above the Titans serve different Forge Worlds and at the break up of the empire during the Horus Heresy like the Legion Astartes, the Collegia Titanica also split into Traitor and Loyalist factions.

My next decision was what loyalist Titan legion I should pick, as I was running through the lists I came upon the name Legio Pallidus Mor. I had made my decision. More from the 40K Wiki.

The Legio Pallidus Mor is one of the most ancient Titan Legions of the Collegia Titanica and has always been a fervent supporter of the Emperor of Mankind. The Legioparticipated in some of the most gruesome fighting of the Great Crusade, often fighting side-by-side with the grim Astartes of the IV Legion, the Iron Warriors. Within the Pale Riders this is a source of both great pride and great shame: pride for the bloody battles and protracted sieges that eventually led the Iron Warriors to rebel but only deepened the Legio 's resolve and devotion to the Emperor, and shame because they did not call out the change that overcame their allies. It was this shame that led the Pallidus Mor to sequester almost all of its historical data, though they valiantly fought in defence of the Imperium during the Horus Heresy.
Since the great betrayal by their closest allies, the Legio Pallidus Mor's credo has been one of self-reliance, dogged tenacity and grim fatalism. As a Legion, the Pale Riders have never cringed to pay the butcher's bill, and accounts of detachments emerging decimated but victorious from a battle are the very epitome of this mentality. A Princeps of the Pallidus Mor will always march expecting the worst possible outcome. He will not allow himself to be misguided by the vain trappings of honour and fame. He will sacrifice anything, including his life, that of his crew and most important of all, that of his God-engine, if it means securing victory. Perhaps unusually for a Titan Legion, none of the Princeps of the Pallidus Mor are interred in an ammiotic tank but choose to remain close to their human form while commanding their Titan. Additionally, this Legion's Titan crews keep themselves in peak physical condition and undergo regular training and fire-drills to allow them to defend themselves in hand-to-hand combat. As a consequence, each crew-member always carries a side-arm should circumstances dictate the need to fight outside their God-engines or survive alone in the wilds.
Their colours are midnight black and ivory which also attracted me. I just could not get the ivory right so I decided to try a yellow glaze and lo and behold, I got yellow. Not initially what I planned but attractive enough and definitely different the my red coloured Blood Angels. First time I used a glaze, I was quite impressed, I will have to experiment some more with them.

It is armed with a Plasma Blastgun on the right and a Vulcan Mega Bolter on the left. I hope I have it right.

I used the vallejo alcohol based metals a great product.
I left the armour on the leg simple with the hope that I could find an appropriate  decal.
I left the main body simple
I got the idea to add a couple of troopers from Iannick. They really add the dimension of scale
Need to take down the side view ports (eyes), a little maybe.

15 July 2017

Finally Some Painting: Javelin Attack Speeders

I have been very slow to get some painting done over the last 4 months, I suppose this is normal after the Painting Challenge but I also unexpectedly became quite ill and for 6 weeks in April and May, I had 3 hospital admissions and emergency surgery....it was not fun. I am all recovered now, so time to get back to the paint table.

I had started these figures in early April, they were almost done aside from some finish work. On the table with them was a Warhound, hopefully I will get this finished soon.

These are metal figures painted in the livery of the Blood Angels for my Epic Armageddon force for the 30k Horus Heresy. They are lovely little models and it was fun painting them although I did find it a little difficult to pick up after 3 months, so they may be a little rushed.

They represent a Legion Javelin Attack Speeder Squadron, this is made up of 5 vehicles. It is worth 250 points towards my planned 4000 force. I am not sure which core detachment they will support as I am reorganizing my army. Here is the blurb from the 40k Wiki.

The Javelin is a fast attack anti-gravitic skimmer used by the Adeptus Astartes in a role similar to that of the more common Land Speeder. However, unlike the Land Speeder, the Javelin mounts heavy anti-armour weaponry that it uses to engage enemy armoured vehicles and heavy infantry. The Javelin is armed with either a set of twin-linked Cyclone Missile Launchers or Lascannons as its main weapons. These weapons are located on the vehicle's flanks. The Javelin is also armed with a pintle-mounted Heavy Bolter that is used for close-range protection from enemy infantry. The pintle-mounted Heavy Bolter can be replaced with either a Heavy Flamer or a Multi-Melta. The Javelin can also be outfitted with a searchlight and up to two Hunter-Killer Missile Launchers for added firepower.

Three Lascannons and 2 Missile Launchers

photos updated 7-18-17