AVBCW: BUF Artillery

One of last Xmas’ presents was a Great War Miniatures British WW1 Artillery piece and crew that I have got round to painting up for my BUF force, possibly for use at Evesham BG5 at the end of the month:

A good number of crew servicing the gun.

You can’t see them well, but there are also piles of spent shell cases on the ground as well, they come with the crew pack.

Hopefully I’ll get a couple more of these artillery sets so I can do more BUF and MHC artillery.

‘Artillery brings dignity to what would otherwise be an undignified brawl (Sid Meier)’

A Godevlan’d Mud Emergency… Or Washes Then and Now

I reached for some Devlan Mud wash when painting some barricades today, and found there was none left in the paint racks. Ok, time to break out another from the stasth. Shock ! Horror ! There was none. Now I’d done a stock take earlier this year and back in March I had about 6 bottles of the stuff plus the one on the go…it seems I have gone through all 6+ of them.

Ok, what’s this I mused ? A bottle of Citadel Brown Ink back from the dim and distant past, let’s use that. Hmm, within seconds of applying it to the boxes in the barricade section I was painting I realsied the difference between the washes back then, and now.

Realising that virtually every figure I have on the table requires a brown wash at some point between now and Sunday (when I normally go shopping and can get to GW), I realised I had to do an EMERGENCY paint run as I can’t waste 4 days not painting anything to completion. A startled GW Manager had to do a double check and exclaimed:

It’s Wednesday not Sunday !

Three bottles of Agrax Earthshade (the replacement for Devlan Mud wash) later he had recovered his poise…
On returning home I broke open the first of the new Agrax wash and applied it.

The box on the right was done with the old Brown Ink. Despite a vigorous shake, the ink was much more dense and cloudy than the Agrax wash which I used on the left hand boxes. I even had to remove some with a tissue the old Brown Ink was so thick.
(The barricade is a resin piece by Hovels, ideal for BoB and AVBCW)

I dug out some of my other old brown washes (the original brown wash, and then Chestnut Ink) and the coverage was similarly not as good as the current washes (either devlan Mud, or now Agrax Earthshade).

Now I haven’t had the chance to use much of the latest Citadel range, but I have a feeling that this experience will be replicated. So it seems that the last 15-20 years has seen a great improvemnt in the technology and ofrmulation of paints and paint techniques.

Shame its going to take a long time to confirm this as I have rather a lot of paint to get through.

WHFB: Dwarf Juggernaut TA2 – Part Five B

Well Rich had a go at the cunning plan for the juggernaut – place a sheet of steel cut in to the shape of the main deck, cover the greenstuff and sculpt to make it look like the wooden deck.

He did two templates, one from thin sheet steel – this was on the edge of working.
He did a second template using metal tape – this was not really working.

So he’s gone back to the sheet steel option but using liquid greenstuff to make that layer even thinner.

In the meantime, as you can see I have been starting to paint the crew and passengers. I’ve tried to work in a common theme of blue clothing and some brass work on all the models to keep the putative army colour scheme going. Cloaks/ponchos are dark green, not least because the norse looking dwarf with axe was one of the first models I bought and originally painted with an (enamel) green cloak.

WHFB: Dark Elf Sorceress

Along with the DE Chariot crew and Beastmaster’s, Byakhee Rich’s Intensive Care & Pinning Unit took in a Sorceress I painted a few years ago and has been neglected on my painting desk after suffering an accident that rendered her ‘armless ! This is the option with a short hydra headed magic wand.

She’s an Avatars of War miniature. Comes with separate head for her dragonette familiar (!), head and two arm options. And the arm is connected at the elbow, so they really need pinning. If any sculptors out there read this, please make arm options join at the shoulder if possible with good strong surface areas and or deep joints to pin them !

In time, I will build the other option with outstretched hand

WHFB: Dark Elf Chariots

Clearing out the playroom, I found my DE Chariots, or most of them. I’ve already assembled and painted one and photo’d it, minus the crew.

The crew come with separate weapons – all joined at the wrist. Previously I’ve Stupid Glue’d the joints but this really does not stand up to handling well as the c ontact surface between the arm and wrists are so small. Byakhee Rich stepped in got roped in to do some pinning of the chariot crew (2×4) and also the Beastmasters which are much the same with long weapons and arms with small surface areas connecting at the shoulder. Now they should be able to be fielded without fear of constant breakages simply by the slightest breeze.

So there is the first fully assembled chariot. And in the meantime, I’ve managed to assemble and paint a second one.

Whilst getting all the chariot pieces together a couple of months back, I found that of the two kits I had back then I was missing one piece from one of them – the front shield on the chariot which held it all together. So I hit evil-bay to get and extra two kits, which gave me a total of three chariots. Hmm, one full unit, and one half unit. For an army on my scale I needed at least four. GW no longer sell them – haven’t done so for years in fact.

So when a couple came up for sale on the Steve Dean forum, I bought both.
And then the next day I found the missing piece, so I’ve ended up with six chariots.

Oh woe !
Now I’m considering which hero models I can mount in a chariot using the good old magnets to secure them in place.

Craters

When I was at Colours I bought some scenery from Urban Construct, who had some nice looking craters but they had bits of Jerry Cans and oil drums and other WW2 onwards stuff modelled on to them.

When doing a mail order from them after the show, I thought I’d ask if they did any craters without such modern debris so as to fit in with BoB and AVBCW

I can do craters without jerry cans, how many do you want?

And so I ordered some small and large craters which they cast up for me:

I had 3 large and six small done, and there is a fair amount of variation in them.

They were delivered Saturday morning. Nicely cast with no flash. I set to work on two immediately: basing them with artists card; followed by black undercoat; my base soil colour; a wash of Devlan Mud; and then some dry brushing; plus stone grey for the rocks; and then some basic soil flock.

(Musketeer BUF militia figure for scale)

Whilst I could spend more time making my own from scratch, I got a really good product from a responsive little enterprise that tailor made what I wanted. So big thumbs up for Urban Construct !

WHFB: Dwarves vs Dwarves & Empire

Byakhees Anthony, Jim Richard & I played a game today – remarkably short, staretd rolling at 1pm ended by 3pm !

Anthony & Rich turned up packing a Dwarf army (2k), and Empire (2k). Jim & I played two lot of 2k Dwarves.

Set up was completed. Surprisingly to me, Anthony and Richard didn’t refuse one of the flanks which was a bit interesting.

First round, and our six stone throwers had mixed success, until the 5th shot, when a direct hit on Rich’s White Wolves caused enough damage to provoke a panic test. Rich rolled 11, and then using his Battle Standard Bearer re-rolled and still got a 10…and then rolled 11 inches for a run away which was enough to see his entire unit of the table – 900 points running in the first turn…Then the Organ Gun (rolling a 10), Handgunners and Quarrellerers went onto wipe out the Drakwald Greencoats. So that was the entire flank gone in turn one. Adding insult to injury my Thunderers whittled the Imperial Outriders down to two !

Their turn and they killed 6 Thunderers, and that was pretty much it….and a crossbowman…

Next turn, the Dwarves wiped out the flanking Pistoliers unit and the Outriders causing Anthony’s Gyropcopter to panic and run away. Jim’s artillery hacked down more of Anthony’s Dwarves. My Dwarf Warriors charged the Reiksguard, rather than be charged by them (with lances), and won combat ! Guess what, the LD roll was 11 and they turned tail and ran, through the transgender wizard, at which point Rich declared game over ! Anthony knew the game was up as well, and so didn’t continue, so his 40 Miners didn’t get to turn up.

Anthony says:

We were trying to preform a flanking manoeuvre with the Dwarf miners, it is possible ! The plan was to bring a horde of 40 mIners on to a flank to cause serious problems and roll up thier exposed units. These were to be supported by Gyrocopters, that had proved useful against weaker troops. They are still yet to be tested on tougher opponents. The original plan was that they’d also be supported by the advancing troops on the flank which were initially planned to be Dwarves. This did not come about.

I regret in hindsight, of only deploying in normal deployment phase – I could have done everything as Scouts or Miners. I didn’t do this this time because of the size of the time. It would have forced me to take Great Weapons which I didn’t want.

Richard’s idea to field cavalry was good, but it should be heavy cavalry throughout. Reason: High Armour save and melee support.

It doesn’t matter how good the set up was, with those dice roll (Jim’s & Richard’s).

Richard says:

I brought two big units of knights in the hope that either of them would pretty much deal with anything in front of them [Anthony comments: Normally they have] with both units being Stubborn, so if stuck in combat could hang around in combat until help arrived, hopefully Anthony’s Miners. The Fast Cavalry were mobile support to keep up, but have yet to still see them do anything useful. ‘Cos they’re way to vulnerable to any form of shooting. They’d have been quite useful against our army ! 😀

With 40 missile troops on one flank, and 30 on another, there’s no flank to turn. Sending them down the middle means they ping off a few from big Infantry units they’d have made no difference.

In summary the army(s) we bought, were incapable of dealing with the army(s) Giles & Jim brought. [Anthony: If you’d got into combat…] Maybe, if in combat with the firing line…

In summary, bad dice roll affected by just how much the game would have gone.

Jim & I got it right, to a greater extent than Anthony & Richard. We got lucky with some good dice

Zoat ‘n’ Post !

Just waiting for some stuff to dry, here’s the latest off of the painting desk:

Yup, a couple of post boxes and a Telephone box for AVBCW. All are by Mutton Chop.
Red is a very difficult colour to paint over large surfaces I find, and the pictures doesn’t capture well the gloss varnish, nor the highlights in the telephone box’s windows. Only thing missing now is some lettering on the white strips at the top of the telephone box.

A blast from the past, GW brought back Zoats when they published the Storm of Chaos book last year.

I painted the eyes the same milky white as the globe he is holding.

Equine Madness – Part 2

So I’m painting a load of AVBCW cavalry, so I thought I’d check a box of BoB cavalry.

OMG.
That’s just one box.

Yup, these are the White Russian Cossacks and Circassian Cossacks from Copplestone….

Not including the 15 Cossacks I’d been working on. (45 + 15)

Too much Equine wargaming I think, and do they really make any difference in the game ?
How can they be accounted for ?
In WW1, RCW and AVBCW Cavalry get no benefits at all.
Why am I doing this ?
Because its more historical and believable.
So there.

A World Aflame

Paul Eaglestone a regular at the Gentleman’s Wargames Parlour (GWP) recently teamed up with Osprey to publish a set of rules for the interwar period (1918-1939).

As a gamer interested in BoB/RCW and AVBCW it’s of interest, even though it’s got a heavy SCW slant to it in terms of examples. I’ve just got a copy and have had a good read through it.

As you would expect from Osprey, the publications standards are good, however, the actual rules are also of equally high standard with clear explanations throughout. Unlike many recent rulesets it concentrates on the rules alone – there is some nice eye candy, but very little ‘hobby’ material which given its wide ranging period is fine. There are plenty of illustrations from other appropriate Osprey books to keep things colourful.

The system is well explained from force composition, to Command and Control issues. Weather and other Chance events are gone through in detail something lacking from many games, as is ammunition supply which seems to be particularly punishing to speculative firing by units. Lacking ammunition also impacts on morale which I think is a great idea.

Obstacles and Engineering action is a nice add on that I have not seen elsewhere – the creation of barbed wire fields during the game, creation of trenches and other fortifications.

The rules extend into areas such as Aircraft, Boats and Trains. Having not used any of these items so far (!), I can’t comment on whether they are useful – sounds like a challenge !

Finally some sample units are provided for SCW and AVBCW, a unit roster template and some sample Chance Cards for SCW.

Looks good and I look forward to using it in anger some time very soon.