Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Featherstone Weekend

For the fourth year I made my way to the excellent Wargames Holiday centre in Basingstoke. It is a little more bijou than last year but actually it means that you use all the table space and the second six foot wide table isn't just a place for storing dead troops.
The battle this year was Blenheim using Black Powder. As they are designed to be the rules were amended slightly. This meant that firing came before movement, but actually this encouraged you to shoot in charges, as well as rotating troops to ensure the least disrupted made the attack. It made more sense than using brigades till they were slaughtered to a man.
We played the battle through twice over  the weekend. The first time I had a purely cavalry command of French line and Guard cavalry. Opposite me was Henry Hyde with an Anglo-Hanovarian command. This proceeded to do its best Pacman impression and munched it's way through my command. Both my brigades were broken by just after lunch on Saturday. Given a similar fate had been suffered by the rest of the Franco-Bavarian army, we called it a day and set up again with the two teams swapping commands. Although we aimed to ensure that no-one was directly opposite their previous adversary, I ended up facing Henry again, but this time attacking Blenheim with 3 infantry brigades. Sadly the result was the same, and by the end of the game on Sunday afternoon, all 3 Brigades had broken.
Steve Thompson had taken over from Henry who had to go and deal with real life issues, and I was very pleased when he won "most gentlemanly gamer".

This was the second time I'd played Black Powder, but the first against someone other than my son. I think if you are looking for a ultradetailed set of rules that are period exclusive, then look elsewhere. If on the other hand you want a set of rules that don't burn your brain, give results that feel right, and can be played whilst having a laugh with your opponent, then these are the ones. I came back with all kinds of ideas, but have decided to finish the 15mm Persians first. After that I'm going to look at the 10mm Crimeans I got at Crusade. I'm thinking of going with a 100x40 base per regiment with 30 castings on it. With Black powder not needing base removal, they can be little dioramas. The reality of course may be quite different.

Monday, 13 March 2017


Possibly due to the effect of cammo overload, I've not been as productive as I'd hoped recently. I finished off all the Germans and have done another 62 20mm British to oppose them.
The next project was to finish off my 15mm Ancient Persians from the first War and Empire set. These are almost as bad as the Germans with their multicoloured clothes, but I've decided on just block colours to retain my sanity. I've done 40, only another 160 to go before I can do the cavalry. Although the castings are lovely I wish they had a slightly bigger base. Some of the poses are top heavy and even with quick acting superglue and direct pressute they still fall over. This makes the fact I've lots more to do slightly daunting.
Off to the Featherstone Weekend this week. It's Blenhem this year and Black Powder rules so looking forward to a good game. I will report back next week.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

I hate cammo

I really don't know why I do it. I'd just finished the 20mm tanks Huw bought at Crusade, and was feeling benevelant. I got out the boxes of 20mm Valiant WW2 Germans that Tom had originally bought, and assembled them. It was then I realised that as they were all for 1944 on, the vast majority of them wore cammoflagued smocks and zelrbahns! Having nearly gone blind doing peadot cammo in the past, this made the painting a real chore. Yet I have stuck to it and now only have the bases of the last batch to do. When they are done, I will have painted over 150 castings, which will go with the 2 Panzer IV and 3 Stugs that Huw was given earlier. This will give him a good force for CoC or Rapid Fire in 20mm, so we might even have the next WW2 game only using his figures.

Sunday, 29 January 2017

Crusade Penarth

Every year I look forward to Penarth's own  wargaming show and every year I'm disappointed. This year was no exception despite the new venue. The show has moved from the leisure centre which although cramped did mean eveything was in one place. Moving to the nearby Secondary School has offered them more space but I'm not sure they made the best use of it.
The main hall had a good mix of traders with Magister Miĺlitum at one end and Warlord Games at the other. Local traders Great Escape Games and Bad Squiddo Games had decent sized stalls on one wall near the door so had a lot of passing trade I think.
The rest of the traders were scattered into adjacent classrooms, some very small so getting in and out was a challenge. I feel sorry for the traders who had stalls in what was obviously a small atrium between classrooms. It did feel that they were being punished, perhaps for not being willing to buy a primium spot in the hall. For most traders I would think, there is a balancing act between buying the best spot you can and ensuring that you don't make a loss on the day.
Sadly the participation and demonstration games was the usual "row of backs to the punters so we can play a big club game". Notable exceptions were the Too Fat Lardies, who were both in attendance together with local 'wargaming celebrity' Mike Hobbs, and their game of "what a tanker" which looked simple and great fun. There were peals of laughter coming from that room all the time I was at the show.
The other exception was a beautiful roman gang game using a "Songs of Blades and Heroes" suppliment. I'm really sorry but I can't remember who was staging it. Each side had 6 gang members and a secret objective. Some of the Gang were good in close combat but others were good at long range with their slingshots. My 10 year old son, Huw,  and I had a great half hour. I managed to set his gang's HQ on fire and if he hadn't of slain my Boss with a lucky slingshot, I'd have won the next time I activated. As it was he won as his objective was to kill my leader.
On the purchases front there weren't many. Huw picked up some not-Lego of WW2 vehicles, and a tank for his  BEF forces in 20mm. I was very restrained. A couple of 10mm  Crimean battalions for this years only new project; some armoured cars to add to my VBCW units, as well as  the new big battalion Napoleonic rules "Grand Battles Napoleon" which I hope will do exactly what it says. The final purchase was Commands & Colours: Napoleonics which I have been after for a while and has only just come back into print.
So, would I go again next year? Again I'm not sure. I was hoping to visit Dave Thomas' stand but it appeared he had not come despite being on the website advert. I think I might save my brownie points up and go either to Salute or Warfare, probably the latter as it's easier to get to.
So good marks for the new venue being light and airy and easy to park. Bad marks for traders and the layout. Overall 6/10, could do much better.

Friday, 20 January 2017

2016 stats

Sorry for neglecting the blog but there's been a lot of real life going on recently so I haven't really been doing much hobbywise recently.
I did get some 28mm Napoleonic Austrians from the fat man so I think I'll do post 1809 in 28mm and pre in 10mm. As I also got the Grandest manner rules this will allow me to use both varients.
So onto the statistics. I thought I'd present them in a slightly different manner :

28mm 333 painted and 841 bought =+508

15mm 284 painted and 940 bought= +656

10mm 674 painted and 300 bought= -374

6mm 67 bases painted and 40 bases bought = -27

Spencer Smiths
      790 painted and 730 bought = -60

AFV 15 painted and 10 bought =-10

20mm 248 painted and 730 bought = +482.

I think that shows my focus this year has been on the smaller scales, yet I' ve still managed to get through a fair amount of painting.

The plan for 2017 is to attempt to make a dent in the lead/plastic mountain. I may have a small splurge at Crusade next weekend but after that I think I'll try not to buy anything till Warfare in November. As things stand now I don't have any academic calls upon my non work time ao hopefully I can just get on with stuff. I'm also aiming to have at least one miniatures game a month, even if it is only X-wing against my Son.

Sunday, 23 October 2016

The New MW magazine

The first issue of this magazine has arrived. Whilst changes are to be expected with the new editor and board, I was disappointed to see the return of the white text on black background. It is so difficult to read that I must confess I skipped all those pages. I hope that this  will not keep happening, but look forward to the next issue.

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Autumn thoughts 3

I'm having a little think about what I really want to do in the hobby. There's stuff going on in the real world that's making me re-evaluate an awful lot of things. At the moment I'm going towards 10mm for a lot of periods. Again I realise that this is a process I've gone through several times in the lifespan of this blog, but the new Pendraken sculpts are lovely. I might stay with 28mm for the Hundred Days and do 10mm for everything else.
With regards to the 10mm I've started with some Austrians, going 8 on a 40x20 base. This would mean that French would be on a 30x20 base, needing me to buy more bases in a different size. I already have 30x30 base so might just see how 6 French castings look on this base.

I was sent some 2mm ACW, and have to say that they look ok. Each 30x30 base represents a regiment or brigade so could allow for some big battles. Having painted up some of the terrain that came with them, I've got the bug so they've jumped up the queue.

The most current things on the painting table are some 10mm CSA and 10mm Austrians. I'll post some photos when they're done.