Thursday, 3 September 2015

A Fistful of Lead [3]

There's not been much time for painting this week but I have started on some terrain for the Old West project, with a selection of Woodland Scenics trees glued to 30mm metal washers, textured and spray undercoated with a combination of Halfords camouflage Ultra Matt Khaki for the bases and Ultra Matt Brown for the branches. I've given them an initial dry brush with Foundry Rawhide Light and Boneyard but the bases will get a wash of GW Agrax Earthshade to add some shading later, together with some limited static grass and scrub tufts.

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Fistful of Lead Reloaded Report {Part 1}

I had a cracking game of Fistful of Lead: Reloaded yesterday at the club, so here's a brief description, turn by turn, of how the action played out.
We started by creating two gangs, one of four outlaws and one of four lawmen armed with the same weapons of a rifle and four pistols. The campaign rules allow 15 points to be spent on each gang at this stage including weapons and positive or negative traits, so we decided to follow this approach and spent our points accordingly. This allowed us to try out some of the positive traits during the game including Quick, Gunslinger, Tough as Nails and Deadeye, all picked by a random draw of the cards.
The rules also include a series of non-campaign scenarios so, to keep things simple, we decided to try out the first of these 'Gunfight at the Just All-Right Corral'. This was a simple lawmen versus bad guys set up with the objective of killing or forcing off the opposition, with a major victory for one side if its leader shot down his immediate opposite number. We did change the figure ratio to an even four aside, however, which may be one reason why the game went a full ten turns in duration ending in true last man standing style!
The rules are based around the use of playing cards to structure the turn sequence in a random way, with some suits having priority and some cards also having special characteristics. For example, a Six of any suit can be used to instantly reload if a figure has run out of bullets, while a Queen of Hearts can be played to cure one wound then move as normal. This is a really neat and efficient idea, while also encouraging some tactical game play. We were intrigued to see how this system worked in practice, so set up the first turn of the scenario and dealt the cards, one card per figure.
Turn 1
My outlaws set up in the corral at the end of the main street and the lawmen set up outside the sheriff's office at the opposite end. I moved first as I had a King of Spades, moving my drunk gang member (which was an option in the scenario set up) over the corral fence and back again, following the random movement procedure from p2 of the rules (its says p3 but we found it anyway). This ended with him standing in a corner facing the wrong way round...things could only get better!
The lawmen then played two lower suit Kings, moving the rifle armed deputy up the street and taking an out of range pot shot at the outlaw leader (no pre-measuring allowed). With the second King the sheriff followed up in support. I then played an Ace, which can be any card, using it as a Queen to move my rifle armed bandit out of the corral. We then used the rest of our lower number cards to move our remaining two gang members into the street on either side as back up.
Turn 2
In turn two I was lucky enough to get two Kings, so used one straight away to move up my rifle armed outlaw into long range (19'') and  take a shot at the nearest lawman. I missed as I needed a D10 score of 7+ including my Deadeye trait but only got a 3. The second King was used to rush another of my outlaws on the opposite side of the street into the cover provided by the local undertaker's front porch, with the added advantage of a very swift service if things went downhill fast.
The lawmen then used a Queen of Spades to move a marshall up to meet this outlaw and attempt a pistol shot but, once again, he misjudged the range and wasted a bullet. He then used a Ten of Diamonds to bring forward a lawman as back up for the frustrated shootist. I then deployed a special card, the Queen of Hearts, to cure my drunk of his hangover, allowing him to turn around, climb over the fence and move to back up his leader, who used a Five of Spades to advance into gunshot range of the goodies.
This didn't help much as the lawmen then played a Four of Clubs to bring up his sheriff and a Two of Diamonds to activate his rifle armed sidekick, allowing him to fire a double shot despite having moved (a 'deuce' being a very handy special card). This was aimed at my outlaw leader 9'' away, so counting as short range. One shot hit home and I rolled to see the result which ended up as a 9. The leader was now lying stone dead in the street!
Turn 3
I could not now win a major victory but neither could the side of law and order, as the sheriff was supposed to gun down his opposite number rather then leaving it to one of his deputies! However, I was now one man down so needed to put some pressure on the opposition and get some revenge. I kicked off with the Queen of Spades, using my priority to take two rifle shots at the rifle armed lawman just down the street. I needed a 4+, as I had the Deadeye trait and fired at short range, so the odds were good. I rolled an unmodified 10, which is an instant hit, to pin the lawmen on the floor. He crawled off down an alley way and out of sight, leaving my outlaw free to switch his second shot across the street at another lawman, which missed as I rolled a 2.
The lawmen then played a Queen of Hearts, moving a pistol armed deputy into short range of my rifleman and giving him a close shave with a single bullet. This pinned the riflemen down and forced him back into the nearest cover. This was followed up with a Nine of Diamonds and an Eight of Spades gun duel between one of my outlaws and one of the lawmen on the opposite side of the street, which resulted in two misses and both figures running out of ammo (this happens if you roll an unmodified 1). The lawmen then used a Five of Clubs to attempt to un-pin his rifle armed deputy but failed as he only rolled a 4 but required a 6+ to get up off the dirt.
In the final action of the turn I played my last card, a Three of Spades, to blast away at one of the lawmen with my pistol armed ex-drunk. I rolled a 10, so got an automatic hit, leading to a wound when the lawman rolled a 7 on the D10. This was a good but not quite good enough to even up the odds. I really needed to keep the lawmen pinned down to stop them shooting back, while inflicting some more wounds and, if I played the cards right and rolled high, perhaps even a kill to avenge my outlaw leader's inconvenient demise. The next turn looked like being a real knife edge gunfight, with the outcome of the game definitely up for grabs.
Turn Four
.....to follow.

Citadel Bargain Box

I was on the way home this afternoon so thought I'd pop into the local charity shop before picking up the kids from school. It was a bit of an unexpected surprise to find an old Citadel Bargain Box in the toy section, which on first inspection seemed to contain some Perry WOTR figures and some painted Warhammer Goblin archers from the late 80's or early 90's by the look of them, although I'm no expert when it comes to this sort of thing. 

It was only £4.99 so I took a punt and bought it. When I got home and unpacked it I found some old Citadel Amazon figures as well, together with a pile of metal and plastic shields, swords and polearms. The Perry figures will be added to the ones I already have and could be used for some sort of skirmish project or even as an alternative Frostgrave option. The rest will be put on Ebay when I get the time, although I really like the Amazons so may keep hold of a couple. 

Monday, 31 August 2015

Bolt Action Yanks [37]

A good selection of stuff here.
I have three ex-Corgi die-cast Sherman M4A3's in support of my Bolt Action late war US infantry platoon but they definitely need some more stowage and weathering to look the part. I've been hunting around for some affordable but good quality 28mm scale resin or plastic stowage bits for ages but stumbled on this today completely by accident. There's a good variety of tarps, boxes, jerry cans and bags in the set, so it should be easy to glue them all over the tanks in suitable places.
Where's all my kit gone?

This way to the stowage pile!
It looks like I'll have enough bits and bobs to deck out all three tanks and have some left over for the M3A1 half tracks that I have yet to paint up. In fact, I've been thinking of turning the platoon into armoured infantry anyway, as I have enough tracks and tanks to transport them around and would only need about a dozen more figures to bring them up to strength.

A Fistful of Lead [2]


I finished the mounted versions of my lawmen yesterday, which I had previously painted but hadn't completed and which required some shading, detailing and washing. These are now ready for a game Fistful of Lead Reloaded that I've set up for Tuesday at the club. I'm now going to complete three mounted figures for my Mexican posse which require a bit more work to  finish off. If I get the time, I'm also going to assemble, base and paint some Woodlands Scenics plastic trees to use as cover and to kick start my terrain collection for the Wild West.

Sunday, 30 August 2015

A Fistful of Lead [1]

We got back from France last night after a long, hot journey but I found some time to dig out the figures for the wild west posses that I'm starting in September. The first consists of an outlaw bank robber gang of ten figures made up from the Artizan and Crusader ranges. These are all dismounted as I haven't got any suitable outlaw figures on horse but that's not a big problem.

The second posse is a based around the Artizan pinkerton figures, which I think are some of the best in the range. I don't have these yet but decided to order both packs as I've always wanted to use them, although not as Pinkerton agents. Instead, along with a Foundry 'Doc Haskins' mounted / dismounted character that looks similar in style, they will be Wells Fargo agents or work as enforcers for a railroad or mining boss.

In the meantime, over the next couple of days, I'll be finishing off some mounted lawman that I painted years ago but didn't get round to completing. These only need the horses tidied up, an overall wash in Army Painter quickshade and some base decorating with static grass and tufts to be finished. I'll then have a mounted version of my lawman posse ready for a game of Fistful of Lead Reloaded.

Thursday, 27 August 2015

Wild West Reboot

Over the last couple of weeks or so I've been thinking about booting up my Old West project, which I originally began way back in 2004 and which ended up with two complete posses, one of Lawmen and one of Mexican outlaws. These were used for a number of very enjoyable games using the then newly published Legends of the Old West rules. After a while, however, these fizzled out and I moved onto other things, despite tinkering with The Rules With No Name and enjoying a couple of games of Dead Mans Hand at the club.

I've always wanted to expand the project beyond the two existing gangs and have a box of Foundry, Artizan and Black Scorpion figures to do so, set aside waiting for a new set of rules to grab my attention. With my recent acquisition of The Law of the Gun and Fistful of Lead Reloaded, I now have a perfect opportunity to get at least one more posse rounded up from my leadpile of figures. This will now be my project for the Autumn, alongside the continuing Japanese infantry platoon for Chain of Command, with a Cowboy and/or Outlaw posse as the objective.

I'm also going to spend time and funds on some of the laser-cut mdf western buildings that are now widely available at a reasonable price. The first time round, I had to scratch build some suitable buildings and terrain, as the only alternative was expensive resin or flimsy cardboard. Now, however, I will be assembling enough mdf to kit out a small frontier settlement, complete with sheriff's office, saloon, general store, boarding house and bank, alongside other generic western buildings. I'll also aim to get all the fences, railings, barrels, wagons and other stuff to provide some soft cover during gunfights.

I can't afford the expensive option of the pre-painted buildings from 4Ground, so will be falling back on the Sarissa Precision and Battle Flag ranges, which are very nice all the same despite needing to be painted and weathered by hand. I'll aim to scratch build or adapt some terrain features including a 3' x 4' baseboard and some hills and bluffs for scenarios set beyond the outskirts of town. I already have a railroad train and carriages, so all I need to make that useful is some track and a station. I may not get all of this done but I will have enough terrain to run some games at home for the boys, which is the ultimate objective of the project.

I'm really looking forward to this project to complete over the next few months up to Xmas, putting the colonial project ideas back until the following year, unless I can squeeze in the tribal army for In the Heart of Africa at some point in the next four months? This is another of my existing projects that I'm set on for 2016, especially as there are a couple of new sets of skirmish rules for Darkest Africa just over the horizon including Congo and The Men Who Would be Kings. There's a definite feeling that things are coming around full circle at the moment, at least as far as my interests in wargaming genre are concerned.

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Fort La Latte

This was one of the visits we made during our recent camping trip to the north of Brittany. I'd been there before about twenty years ago but hadn't been able to visit the castle itself at the time. If you do go to see Fort La Latte, I'd suggest not to do so in mid-August as it was heaving with tourists looking for something to do on a rainy day, complete with bored teenagers, whining kids and bemused overweight parents...and that's just my family!

The castle itself was pretty impressive although much smaller than it looked from the outside. It has several phases of construction and alterations from the mid 14th century through to the late 18th century, although there's little in the way of information to guide you. I particularly liked the shot oven that dates from the Napoleonic phase of the fortifications, when the castle was used as an element of the coastal defences for St.Malo.

You may also recognise it from the very cheesy but classic 1958 film The Vikings starring Kirk 'I am Spartacus' Douglas, Ernest Borgnine and Tony Curtiss.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Chain of Command Japanese Platoon [22]


I started on some of the pirate ships for Galleys and Galleons over the weekend only to realise that I hadn't packed the requisite paints to finish them properly, so have re-boxed them to ship back home where they can be finished with the right colours. In the interim I've done the boots, belts and cartridge boxes for the 28mm Japanese platoon, although this was complicated by only having an 0 sized brush, the 00 having been binned after it lost its ability to paint in only one direction at a time. The forty odd figures with their inaccessible leather equipment took a couple of days to do and will need some serious tidying up, but they are now ready for the faces and arms to be blocked in tomorrow. Please remind me not to try painting more than a half a dozen 28mm figures at a go next time I decide to take on a big project like this one...well, big for me at any rate!

Monday, 24 August 2015

Fistful of Lead Reloaded

I love this cover art...brilliant!

I've been very kindly offered the chance to review the new edition of Fistful of Lead, which is a very popular set of western gunfight rules devised by Jaye Wiley (thanks Jaye!). The rules are very well presented and elegantly straightforward, without being at all over-simplistic or limited in scope, so I'm really looking forward to giving them a try.

I'm setting up a session at the club in a couple of weeks time but will hopefully give them a solo playtest beforehand, once I get back home in a few days time. I've been looking for a set of western gunfight rules to play with my kids for ages and these look like they're exactly what I've been searching for! Now all I need is some decent terrain, some buildings being at the top of the shopping list for Colours next month.

I'll post an initial review later this week, once I've had a good work through of the sequence of play and mechanisms, which make clever use of a standard deck of playing cards and a D10. We're off to the supermarket this afternoon so I may even be able to get hold of some cheap plastic cowboys and Indians for an ad-hoc playtest with the kids, although I'd much rather use my 28mm Mexican bandits and lawmen.