Wednesday, 23 July 2014

WWW Show Participation Game 2014

This year Wessex Wargamers Winchester will be putting on a participation game at Warfare in November, using my collection of 28mm pirates, the club hexon terrain and the assorted dinosaurs from my Saurian Safari collection. A couple of years ago I ran a Saurian Swashbucklers game at the club using an adapted version of the main rules which went down really well, so it's being re-invented as a multiplayer show participation game this year.

As a result, I dropped off my assorted pirates, pirate ships, dinosaurs and terrain at the club yesterday, so that a simplified set of fastplay rules can be worked out by the team. It will probably use the tried and tested mechanics that we've developed over the last few years and I'm hoping to get involved in some of the playtesting after the holidays. I think it will be a lot of fun and, hopefully, we might even win the award for Best Participation Game, which we've had a couple of times in the past.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Longstreet Shortcut

I had a good idea yesterday. A rare occurence but there you go. If I used the Billy Bones cut out paper armies for the American Civil War, I could playtest Longstreet before I set out assembling a full on 15mm Union army. This lead free option would be a quick and simple way to familiarize myself with the rules at minimal expense.
I can print out as many units as I want, making it easy to add reinforcements or new regiments as and when required. I can also use up all the plastic bases that I have accumulated from various 28mm box sets to reinforce the card stands, as I prefer to use mdf bases on my metal figures, so another good reason to give is a try.

The Confederates sets have a few gaps but I'm sure the Union stands could be adapted with some judicious use of cut and paste, tippex and a marker pen. The biggest missing element is the Confederate cavalry but most other units are there, so it's only a minor inconvenience and easily sorted. I think this might be a good idea after all. Huzzah!

Monday, 21 July 2014

SAGA Summer [2]

Another couple of Norman hearthguard units shoot off the workbench, this time knights on foot so that I can use them with or without the mounted versions to form a four or six point warband. All of the figures are different sculpts too, which makes them a bit less uniform and gives that 'skirmishy' feel to the whole thing. I'll be basing up a unit of warriors next in the form of eight mercenary sergeants in quilted armour. This is turning out to be a lot of fun and surprisingly quick, so the painting should be a bit of a blast too.


If you were wondering about what's happening with the Chain of Command Japanese Platoon, fear not. As I'm away in Cornwall and Brittany for the next few weeks, there will be a temporary halt to the production line but it will start up again in September. I'm quite pleased with the progress made to date, although I haven't completed all of the assembly, basing and undercoating by the deadline.
However, I have completed the following units, ready for painting after the holidays:
2 x Rifle / LMG Platoons of twelve men plus Junior Leader
2 x two man Sniper teams
1 x two man FOO team
1 x two man AT team
1 x two man AT rifle team
1 x  five man MMG team
1 x five man 70mm Mountain Gun team plus Junior Leader
1 x three man Flamethrower team
1 x three man Engineer Demolition team
1 x Type 95 Ha Go tank
This leaves the following units to assemble, base and undercoat when I get back:
1 x Rifle / LMG platoon of twelve men plus Junior Leader*
1 x Knee Mortar platoon of twelve men plus Junior Leader*
1 x Platoon Commander*
1 x Senior NCO / Standard Bearer*

1 x five man 47mm AT gun team plus Junior Leader
1 x five man MMG team plus Junior Leader (optional)
1 x three man Engineer Demolition Team plus Junior Leader (for an Engineer section)
1 x three man Engineer Mine Clearing and/or Wire Cutting Team
2 x Type 97 Chi Ha tanks
This is quite a lot of stuff but I only need the first four elements (*) to complete the platoon with the rest as optional support units that I can add in as and when I need them. This shouldn't take too long to do and I might even take the plastic bits and bobs I need to Cornwall to glue together before we head off to Brittany in a couple of weeks time.
I've really enjoyed assembling this force and I'm looking forward to the painting phase, which I'm planning to complete one section or support unit at a time, using the same Army Painter dip approach that I tried out on the late war US platoon last year. Who knows, I might even be able to get them ready for a game by half term in October?

Sunday, 20 July 2014

SAGA Summer [1]

After some deep and some not so deep thought, I've decided to scale back the scope of my painting for the holidays to concentrate on only one of my backlog of half completed projects, which has been narrowed down to SAGA. I have a Viking warband to complete but thought I'd also paint up the Norman warband that I had worked out using my leadpile as a source of figures. These Crusader Miniatures figures were bought for WAB way back but have languished in a box ever since.
The Vikings are already based and undercoated, with a little armour dry brushing and washing also under way, but the Crusader Miniatures Normans will need to be cleaned up, based and undercoated by this time next week. I have already completed the basing up of two mounted units of hearthguard along with a couple of warband leaders, one of which could be used as a Sword for Hire, so I'm well on my way.

Friday, 18 July 2014


Northstar had a special offer on the Longstreet rulebook and card deck the other day, so I thought I'd take a punt and order them. I really enjoyed a game of Maurice that I played ages ago at the club so, as this is from the same author and uses a very similar system, it looked like a good buy. I've been flicking through the compact little rulebook today and it's very well laid out, with a straightforward text and lots of diagrams to make things clear.
The basic force level is the brigade, which consists of three infantry regiments of ten bases each, a cavalry regiment of eight bases and three artillery bases, so not unmanageable as a 15mm project, especially as there are plenty of potential opponents at the club. I have a big box of Peter Pig Union figures that I originally planned to use with Fire and Fury but, as I'm not keen on the rules, I think Longstreet would make a very good alternative.
All theoretical but a potential project for next year perhaps?

Thursday, 17 July 2014

History From Below

I was looking for something else the other day and chanced upon this. It's not often you find something that is worth using in the classroom but this is a prime example of what I and many other teachers would love to see more of. It's a shame it's not an English Civil War musketeer or pikeman but, if I had the leeway to squeeze in the ACW, I'd be at it like a shot.
Sorry to wander off topic again...but I think it's more than worth it.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Summer Painting Projects

With only a week to go before the end of term, not that I'm counting of course, I've been making plans for the annual Summer holiday wargaming project. I usually spend some time cleaning up and basing the armies that I subsequently paint up over the following year, in theory at least. This can be quite productive but doesn't always end up with a finished army, as they invariably get stockpiled for a rainy day, or end up half done and gathering dust on the shelves above the workbench.
This year, however, I'm going to try a different approach by concentrating on painting up some of the back log of 28mm forces that I've assembled and then consigned to oblivion. The three projects that I've picked out are all things that I originally put together over previous Summer holidays but then stockpiled while I tackled other distractions. If I can finish painting all three I'll have made a significant inroad into the back log of 28mm projects that I have stashed away.

The first army is a 28mm Viking warband for SAGA, which I started to paint up but then got sidelined away from. This needs some archers and shields but, otherwise, is a ready to be painted straight off with no further preparation. The second will probably be my tribal villager force for In the Heart of Africa, which only needs undercoating and some shields sorted out. However, the large number of figures may mean I won't be able to pack it for the journey, so it may be replaced by something less hefty.

Finally, I have a buntai for Ronin to paint up but that needs some further thought. A while back, I started putting together a couple of buntai for Ronin using the old Foundry Samurai range of figures. These consisted of a Bandit buntai and a Koryu buntai, with a few swords for hire thrown in as extras. I'm now having second thoughts about using these figures and may just use the Northstar starter sets that I bought at Colours last year. I originally wanted to do a Sohei buntai and this would be one way to make that possible, so I will probably go for this option instead.
I also have a piratical painting project up my sleeve for On the Seven Seas but that may have to wait until after the Summer holidays, when I've had a chance to think it through in a bit more detail. The Japanese for Chain of Command will take a break while I'm away but will be picked up again in September, by which time I should have most of the units assembled, undercoated and ready to paint. I'm looking forward to actually painting some 28mm stuff and finishing it, so will keep you posted!

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Goodbye Mr Gove

I apologize for the political interruption...

.....normal service will be resumed as soon as I've stopped ******* myself  laughing.

Monday, 14 July 2014

Chain of Command Japanese Platoon [9]

Here are the first of the engineer support units, with more to follow once I get some spades, picks, shovels and wire cutters to equip them with. The flamethrower unit is a one off, but I'll be adding a second demolition team with Bangalore torpedoes to the list of 'things to do' tomorrow. I also want to have a go at a mine clearing team but this might be less straightforward and will require a bit of imaginative improvisation.