24 April 2017

Victorian Renaissance Titles 2017

I took part in the Victorian Renaissance Titles for 2017 over the weekend. Competitors played four games of Field of Glory Rennaisance with 800 point lists drawn from Wars of Religion (and no date retriction).

I fielded an Early 30 Years' War German Catholic army, with plenty of heavily armoured Kürassiere, two average late tercios, Kossaken and artillery. I played four games that were tough, but enjoyable.

Here are some photos of my army taken during the last game:

The miniatures are mostly Grumpy and Museum miniatures.

22 June 2016

Battle of Empress Augusta Bay

At the League last Sunday we refought the Battle of Empress Augusta Bay using 'Victory at Sea'. Brett and Liam commanded the IJN (coming in from the north west), while Ara and I commanded the US Navy.

Background on the battle can be read on Wikipedia here:

While the US Navy Action Report Film:

And the interrogation of Vice Admiral Omori: 

Were useful in setting up the game and terrain.

Fleet compositions were as follows:

Imperial Japanese Navy
Cruiser Squadron
Myōkō (Myōkō-class heavy cruiser)
Haguro (Myōkō-class heavy cruiser)

10th Cruiser Squadron
Agano (Agano-class light cruiser)
Naganami (Yūgumo-class destroyer)
Hatsukaze (Kagerō-class destroyer)
Wakatsuki (Akizuki-class destroyer)

3rd Destroyer Squadron
Sendai (Sendai-class light cruiser)
Shigure (Shiratsuyu-class destroyer)
Samidare (Shiratsuyu-class destroyer)
Shiratsuyu (Shiratsuyu-class destroyer)

United States Navy
CruDiv 12
USS Montpelier (Cleveland-class light cruiser)
USS Cleveland (Cleveland-class light cruiser)
USS Columbia (Cleveland-class light cruiser)
USS Denver (Cleveland-class light cruiser)

DesDiv 45
USS Charles Ausburne (Fletcher-class destroyer)
USS Dyson (Fletcher-class destroyer)
USS Stanley (Fletcher-class destroyer)
USS Claxton (Fletcher-class destroyer)

DesDiv 46
USS Spence (Fletcher-class destroyer)
USS Thatcher (Fletcher-class destroyer)
USS Converse (Fletcher-class destroyer)
USS Foote (Fletcher-class destroyer)

The set up followed the situation from the point Admiral Merril ordered DesDiv 46 to attack with the USS Foote misinterpreting the commandand continuing on south. Game play was streamlined by having the destroyer squadrons' movement and shooting worked out together, and pairs of cruisers (though as the game went on we allowed independent activation for the cruisers) doing the same. The photo below is turn two or three, with the rain clouds (acting as cover) at the bottom of the photo. These would play an important part in the battle.

As it was a night battle, another element we used was flares that two Japenese snooper aircraft could drop over an enemy aircraft that would negate the negative to hit modifers for spotting at night under the rules. The aircraft cound move 15" at the start of each turn when the Japanese players activated their first squadron. The flare marker would then stay with the ship before being removed at the end of the turn. Normal spotting and night fighting rules (as per main rulebook and the OOB supplement) were also used, though I muddled them a little in the heat of the battle.

Ara and I fudged the defensive of the tranport ships (worth 3 victory points each), allowing the 10th Cruiser Squadron to slip through the rain clouds and launch torpedos without any opposition. We called the game when it was clear the ships would've all sunk before the remnants of the US Navy could have returned to protect the transports (none sank as I had made them too resilient). The Americans had only saved some honour in sinking more enemy crusiers (worth 3 victory points each) and detroyers (worth 1 victory point each).

Reflections on the game had us thinking that the torpedos for the Fletcher-class destroyers definitely seemed to be too powerful, so we're going to reread the rules to see if we missed something. I also made the transport ships too powerful (i.e. too many hull boxes), so for the next game I'll make them easier to sink.

Finally, there were too many ships on the table. Our previous games have been refights of River Plate, Cape Spada and the Bismarck with only a handful of ships on the table. For this battle there were a total of 22 ships, plus another 5 transport ships. The 6' x 4' table felt too crowded. Simple solution though - less ships or a bigger table. We'll play smaller actions in the next few months, but the squadron activation certainly allows for larger actions.

Rules: Mongoose Publishing 'Victory at Sea'
Scale: 1/1800 ships and 1/900 aircraft
Miniatures: Wizards of the Coast's 'War at Sea'
Table size: 6' x 4'

08 November 2015

Weird WWII Doctors

Lead Adventure Forum (LAF) is having a Weird Wars Painting club, so I looked through my unpainted miniatures and found these two weird WWII doctors.

Dr Oetker

Originally got these 5+ years ago from Darkson Designs (now sold by Black Ball Games) in their AE-WWII range. Never played the game, but finally may have use for them as generic mad doctors.

Dr Viktor Haaren

The painting's okay (got these done in an hour or two - that's fast for me), but white paint jobs and crappy mobile photos aren't the best. I have finally got a digital camera, but I need to find/buy a cable so I can transfer the photos to my computer.

08 June 2015

S.D.Z.A. / Simon Stålenhag Project

Last year on Lead Adventure Forum (http://www.lead-adventure.de) someone posted a link to Simon Stålenhag's gallery of his illustrations (warning for those that haven't seen it before, it's big):

As soon as I saw this collection I was enchanted. There's  mecha, dinosaurs, Scandinavian landscape and snow; what's not to love?

Over the last year I have been casually trawling my unpainted collection to see what miniatures could be used for a project inspired by these illustrations and I've placed them together to the side.

I didn't have a ruleset in mind, but the more I read about  S.D.Z.A. (Super-Hero Dinosaur Zombie Apocalypse) by Van-Helsing/Nexus Miniatures, the more I could see them fitting together.

More on S.D.Z.A. here:

I hope over the coming months to record my work for this project; from miniatures, terrain pieces to games.

I'm currently putting together some dinosaurs to start the project, a ~1/60 scale T-Rex and some 28mm raptors from Eureka Miniatures. Photos for them prepped ready for painting in the next week or so.

23 May 2015

A Saga Begins

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be Saint Nick.

More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and call'd them by name:
"Now, Dasher! Now, Dancer! Now, Prancer and Vixen!
"On, Comet! On, Cupid! On, Donner and Blitzen!"

10 December 2014

Blood Bowl Night Goblin Team

Years (decades) ago I bought the Games Workshop plastic Night Goblin box set along with the mid-nineties Goblin fanatics and converted 14 of them into a Blood Bowl team. They sat in their undercoat for years.

This year some of us decided to play a 4th division league (with, well, 4th division teams); mostly Goblins, Halflings and Ogres. The games have been... frustratingly fun.

Anyway, here's my Night Goblin team, based on the Münchner Kindl:

They were a lot of fun to paint.

10 February 2013

War of the Ring Mordor Army

After not being happy with the dip I had done on these a year or so ago (washed the colours out a little too much), I ended up painting 1-2 basic colours, highlights and shading on every figure (The non-orcs were only undercoated in December, but they're basically black anyway). It's to a gaming standard I'm pretty happy with.

All up about 2000 points with all options, but that's Sauron (at 500) and 4 Ringwraiths (at 500); 1000+ points gets you a good game*. Current army fits in an A4 storage file box from Officeworks.

Will aim to get this up to 1500 points of troops in the next year, or build an OPFOR (Last Alliance Elves & Men).

*Based on the one game I play a few years ago.