Saturday, 26 September 2015

DMH Desperado Gang Coming Along Nicely

Blooming 'eck! More than 50% finished on a project ... Can't be right!

But it is. Four of the Seven Old West figures have now been painted for my Dead Man's Hand Desperado gang. 

It'll just take me another three years to get the last three figures painted :))
28mm Miniatures [from left]: Ironclad Miniatures, Foundry, Great Escape Games, Foundry

Just checked to see if the flower woman is an Ironclad figure, and spotted that their website has lots of photo's of the painted figures! Recommended. 

I'll now go and post these on the Forums and get stick for not watering down the paints before using them!   ; )

Friday, 25 September 2015

Royal Navy Brig for Napoleonic Naval Battles

Managed to get some free time to finish off a 1/1200 brig-sloop model that's been needing the rigging completing for a few weeks.

The model is a Langton Miniatures unrated vessel. 18-gun Brig. Probably will see service against the US Navy models I've still to construct, for the War of 1812.
The terrain mat you can see that I've used is a Pathfinder Flip-Mat and I've just spotted that they make a number of over RPG -type mats that may be of use to skirmish games!

Thanks for looking

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

A Play By Mail / Email Campaign Game of War, Intrigue, Diplomacy, Trade etc. set in the C18th

[Warning! This post is about pen and paper wargames, so might not be of interest to everybody.]
Agema Publications produce a massive rpg-type 'diplomacy-cum-civilisation-cum-wargames campaign' game called The Glory of Kings (formerly known as La Gloire du Roi) which is set in the period beginning 1700AD.
I'll be playing out the game solely on paper, though the option is also there for email. It requires the players to use their imagination as well as historical research. I've been playing The Glory of Kings off-and-on since 1999, controlling various positions such as The Dukedom of Savoy-Piedmont (Northern Italy - Turin), The United Kingdoms of England and Wales, and, to be something completely different, Blackbeard the Pirate.

Well, I've now joined up again to play in the latest game (Game 10) and have taken on the ruler-ship of the Kingdom of Rozwi.

Who? You ask. Well, the following picture should give you a better idea.
The Rozwi Empire [1660 - 1866] was establish on the Zimbabwean Plateau by Changamire Dombo. They were cattle farmers, skilled in gold working and ivory carving, traded with the neighbouring Portuguese colony at Mozambique and also with the Omani traders who were based at Zanzibar. They were also the Zulu warriors of their day!
An absolutely, totally different game position from the majority of the rest - the European, Indian and Asian countries (even sometimes an anachronistic American Republic) who all enjoy a level of civilisation contemporary to 1700AD. And then there's me, Rozwi, still actually living in the Sub-Saharan African Iron-Age.

I've just completed my first 'start-up' turn and posted it back to the Games Master this morning.
Not wanting to give too many details away (as it is a competitive game played against other players) I've re-organised my armed tribal infantry into regiments, composed my Military Regulations for the troops to be drilled in - they'll then need to be exercised in battlefield tactics on 'Army Exercise Days' when properly drilled - and lastly, created some additional non-player-controlled characters for my position. A couple of wives, some advisers for important areas such as cattle husbandry and gold trade work, and one or two men who'll possibly become ambassadors to neighbouring tribes, or European colonies, in the future.

Suffice to say, this is a long-term type of game. Played out one game turn every three weeks, each game turn representing a calendar month in the C18th. Players have been known to be involved in games for a decade or more!
In terms of money, (as money makes the World go around, after all) at £10 a game turn it is very reasonable, as, when all things considered, the Games Master won't be making a large amount of money for the amount of work he puts in for each player.

Seventeen game turns might be managed in any one real-life year, £170 therefore, and for that I will get the benefit of playing a wargame against other opponents and the games master without leaving my home. Considering that Agema provides either .pdf emailed turns or mailed out paper-copy turns, with an in-game colour newspaper, armed forces and financial lists for your game position, letters sent from other players, and also they cover the postage cost of the turn sent back to you, that £170 a year is good value for money. I can spend £170 in an hour on toy soldiers, and probably never get around to painting or playing with them!
In a couple of sentences; The Glory of Kings Play By Mail / Play By Email works for me. I can interact with other players through rpg-themed in-game correspondence or through the in-game newspaper. I get the benefit of playing a game that allows me to learn as I play, both in military and social history, historical technological and religious matters, also researching general history and about other cultures.

The game does not have to be played as a wargame, the army or the navies commanded could simply be left as a defensive device and the player could instead decide to play a diplomatic, religious, financial or trading type of game - or a combination of all or any of the component aspects of running a country. Or, if a game position such as that of a pirate was chosen (Barbary, Japanese, European in the West Indies) then it's all basically about creating chaos!
I'll finish off by publishing the link to the Agema Publications forum, then readers can check that out as well.

For those of you who know my past history in regard health matters, you'll obviously see that playing such a game as this is ideally suited to those of us who are unable to get out of the house, or are unable to socialise, for one reason or another.

Off note: Agema produces other PBM / PBEM games. True wargames, played out like a game of postal chess, or other campaign games set in other time periods. Well worth checking out.

Friday, 11 September 2015

Frostgrave - A Start

Another one-figure paint-job post, I'm afraid. 

Between trying to sort out Forum access for Colonel Bill's news, and setting up a new laptop, my time has been limited this week. Stu is suffering a manic week, too! At the time of writing this he should be making his way down south for tomorrow's wargames show. 

Anyway, back to me. 

One of the things I want to get out of this association with Colonel Bill's is an impetus to kick-start my involvement in local gaming clubs. I was formerly a member of several clubs in the Catterick Garrison area, and have ventured as far as York and Durham to visit other clubs in my time. But at the moment I'm a 'Billy No Mates' whose not actually playing. 

So, to that end, I'm working on a couple of things to get myself going [as I hate turning up with no items of my own to use - even if nobody else plays the stuff I've brought it does show that I'm willing]. The previously shown Desperado gang for Dead Man's Hand, a 10mm Mongol force for Lion Rampant, based so that I can also use it for Warband also [in the case of LR I'll also have to provide appropriately based opponents for the Mongolians, but that's no issue], and my last quick solution is starting something for Frostgrave. 

I could turn up with Naval stuff, but naval gaming is an acquired taste.

So, Frostgrave. 

Just the one figure to start with. A Midlam Miniature's vampire, painted up as a human spell-caster. The only change to the model I made was a quick cutting off of the vampire teeth. 

I fancied having ago at painting that light-source technique that people far better than myself use. In this case I hoped to achieve a look to the miniature that showed she was in the process of casting a magical spell with her hands, and the resulting blue glow had filled her palms and suffused the surrounding clothing. 

Maybe the paint job just looks like she's had her hands in blue paint!
I've got to say I really enjoyed painting this figure. To me there's a very old-school feel to the casting and I was quickly able to paint it. Perfect for table top gaming.
I'm not sure why there's a darker area of purple on the raised sleeve. I'll have to check to see if I've missed it with the highlight coat.

This is it with the Frostgrave project for now, as I don't actually have a copy of the rules, though I do have quite the number of suitable figures.

Readers waiting for the first update from the Colonel Bill's side of the blog: Like you I am waiting for some content from Stu. Col. Bills being a one-man-venture, makes Stu a very busy man, so we've all got to be patient, I'm afraid.

I do know that the next [Colonel Bill's] Depot Battalion figure is fast approaching ... So get ready for a Ducking!

My female spell-caster had better watch out!

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Southern Belles of the Confederacy... Attack!

I seem to have more cowboy figures than I know what to do with. 

There's more to arrive in the post, too!

I began sorting out my Old West figure collection after I came back from Border Reiver, at Gateshead, last Saturday. A necessity as, even though I'd just bought some more Old West figures from Stu at Col. Bill's to add to the cowboy lead pile, if I'm not careful I'm going to end up with multiples of a lot of specific trades that could populate a town. 

So I began sorting the figures out (by modelled gender) and quickly realised that I'd gone over the top with 'female' models. I also quickly realised that my idea of an armed bunch of townswomen wasn't possibly something that I fancied doing after all. That is until yesterday, however, and I ended up painting the below figure [a Desperado in Confederate officer's uniform] and I suddenly had the idea of a Battalion-ranked (male) officer collecting together a mixed bunch of Southern Ladies to defend the Confederacy from the Yankee peril. We won't look too much into the fact that these southern ladies and gent' are still causing mayhem twenty-years after the Civil War ended, and now in the Wild West.
As I said, I've plenty of Old West figures, and looking at the picture below I can tell you that no less than four of the models were purchased from Colonel Bill's, three from the bargain-priced second-hand range and one, bought new, is a Belt Fed Girl [Groan! Sorry for the plug].
As can be seen in the photo's is the fact that there's some scale-creep issue. This shouldn't be a problem, as the male in this case is leaning forward and not at his full height, and he works well with the Artizan and Foundry figures. The Ironclad Miniatures lady and the Belt Fed (bare-breasted) figure are on a par, height-wise with the male model.

The shorter lady with musket, at the right-hand end, I'll lift slightly, by modelling a rock or something for her to be stood upon.
There is a backstory behind why the above lady is going around bare-breasted. It's because she wants all the men she kills to know they were bested by a woman! That and the fact that I needed a figure with two guns to act as my "Killer" character, as per the Dead Man's Hand rules.
The lady with shotgun and her companion with pistol are by Foundry, the lady ramming home the musket is a figure I'm not familiar with. I bought them all from Stu, which he'd labelled them all as Darkest Africa figures, so if anyone wants to know for certain ask Colonel Bill.

I plan on using the above group for games of Dead Man's Hand - a Desperado gang - But other commitments will see me painting two other figures first. I need to paint up a wizard, or two, for the Steve Dean Painting Forum's Magic User Challenge, before month's end. So those should be next on the blog, as part of my own projects.

Before all that though, there's the small matter of unpackaging a brand-new computer and setting it all up. I can't wait till this laptop I'm currently working on is finished with!

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Border Reiver Show Photo's

Border Reiver 2015 

[with a few omissions - apologies]

WW2 - Pegasus Bridge?
 Moderns - Afghanistan?
 Anglo-Zulu War, 1879
American Civil War
 Frostgrave meets Blood Bowl
 Russo-Japanese War, 1904-05
 Pendraken Miniatures' Warband 
 Andrew Wylie's Dead Man's Hand