The Sun has got his hat on….

At last, a day when the sun is out and I am not hosting a game !

Finally some more painting, photos and varnishing.

Oh, and cats going out so they don’t wreck the place.

Even though they did like the fire last night.

I took natural light for granted until setting up this blog.

Some WIP.

Special Guest Superstar DJ: High Elves

Here’s Stuart’s latest efforts – High Elves.

But they’re RED !

Stuart’s rationale:

Yes, the red scheme was because this is my third High Elf army I’ve painted and I couldn’t face all that blue and white again. I wanted to do something different and the same applies for the desert bases, I simply did them to match my tomb kings.

This army is a fund raiser for ebay so I can finally buy a ‘realm of battle’ gameboard but in the event that it does not sell I will find myself lumbered with another army (one I think my daughter has designs on) – so I might as well have one that matches my other collection.

I tried to paint this quickly and started in August. Always looking for a short cut I chose to sort out all the armour by use of a silver acrylic spray (Humbrol I think). This was then ‘hit’ with a black wash and a few highlights of mithril (or whatever it is called these days).

For the red I jumped with both feet on the GW ‘brand new paint range’ bandwagon and used Khorne Red (base), Carroburg Crimson (wash), Wazdakka red (layer 1) and good old Blood Red for the final highligh (layer 2). In some places where extra contrast was needed I mixed in a little orange for the brightest highlights.

The turquoise accent came from nowhere really. I originally thought about a green but it hurt my eyes! so turquoise it was. Nothing clever just Hawk Turqouise mixed with a little white.

Most of what you see is done with a GW large brush. It’s quick and I find if looked after that they hold their point quite well. As I was told at art college many years ago it is not the size of your brush that counts its the quality of the point – I am sure I have heard a similar quote elsewhere about something else somewhere…

A bit blurry this last picture, but it shows the same sort of ruined Arabyan head on the base, which as Stuart comments, helps tie it in thematically to his Tomb Kings.

There are some more pictures on Stuart’s Flikr account including the finished swordmasters

BoB/RCW: Terek Cossacks

Here are my Terek Cossacks. They are Copplestone Caucasian Cossacks (BU35):

In the RCW, the Terek Cosack host mostly supported the White cause, but was relatively reluctant to move far from its homelands, as were the Kuban and Don Cossacks which caused a lot of problems for the AFSR.

I chose to paint the models as Tereks, because of the blue colour of this host, which fits in well with my Colourful White Russian Army. Though I used a charcoal grey for their clothing to make them very different.

Modern day Cossacks in uniform. As usual, in the RCW it would be doubtful they’d have been so uniformly and so well attired, but for the table top we can do a bit of “what if”…and make a nice colourful unit that isn’t dressed in khakhi, more of which later.

All 15 in the unit.

These will go well with the Terek standard bearer I did earlier. I’m also getting better and more confidant painting horses, having done 30+ Cossacks, and well on the way to another 15+ Cavalry recently.

Luckily the sun has turned up this afternoon to allow these photos – it started out lashing down with rain, leading to flooding on roads nearby. Maybe tomorrow some more photos, who knows ?

BoB/RCW: Setting the East Ablaze Rules

Like many BOB gamers I had to do a double take on hearing of a new book called “Setting the East Ablaze“, as many have got into BoB when Mark Copplestone and Chris Peers recommended reading Peter Hopkirk’s excellent book “Setting the East Ablaze”.

This is a new ruleset from Partizan Press available from Caliver Books. So always in search of the perfect rules set I went and ordered them.

they are a professional full colour throughout, glossy set of rules, A4 size. They are obviously aimed at BoB, but could take on RCW and other post WW1 conflicts with some ease as is alluded to in the text and some of the photos of Colonial African adventures.

They come with a Playsheet, which is separate from the book and printed on thicker paper/thin card, which is always useful to have.

The writers set out their aims on page 7, under “Principles”, where they clearly state what they’re aiming at achieving and as far asi can see they follow through non those principles ! This is perhaps something many games designers don’;t do – and I include myself here having tinkered with my own systems with various mates over the years. Take a step back and work out what you are trying to do, how you are going to do it and what the key principles are. If you don’t do this, then you end up with “mission creep” and a mish mash of rules ideas that seem good at the time and in isolation, but when brought together, make for an awful mess.

The rules are clearly laid out in numbered paragraphs (hmm, good for referencing, good for clarity but a bit clunky in style). As they are almost bullet point in style, the rules seem easy to read and understand. My only comment here is that the Morale section seems out of place in terms of order of sequence of play.

Activation of units is again determined by pulling cards – one card for each specific unit. What the unit can do is controlled by its Class (from 1 -5). There are suggested options for Event and Chance decks as well, which will go well with the more “Pulp” style of gaming.

Movement is mostly random – as a matter of personal choice I don’t like this. I can see merits where it is difficult terrain, improvised or primitive vehicles but not for infantry. But again at least it is in a clear table so very easy to use.

Ranges of weapons are quite short. Similarly the blast radius for most weapons is 1″ or 2″ only. Shooting in Ambush, Smoke, Fog and AA are also covered along with aircraft in general. Melee is fairly simple with the pursue rules clear cut and the “Table of Terror – Prisoners” equally ruthless. Trains and ships are also covered.

There is eye candy throughout which is always welcome and I’ve got a few more ideas for conversion (my wallet is crying, again). There is a nice style of headings using faux-Cyrillic letters, which again reinforces the aim that this is for BoB/RCW.

Appendix 1 briefly covers points values, but the basic assumption really is you should be making up fun scenarios. Appendix 2 has a good list or armoured cars and tanks and how they work in the game. Appendix 3 has some optional rules, mostly for arsonists. Though there is a good section on civilian mobs. Appendix 4 has some complex templates which I would have to play test to see if they’re useful, they remind me of the old Laserburn templates in some ways (again a personal preference KISS and use the GW deviation dice and templates). Appendix 5 covers army morale, so you need be concerned about your overall casualties not just a unit’s casualties. Good idea.

There are no army lists, and the authors on the Lead Adventure Forum (a place i’ve only really got interested in recently) comment:

There are points values, but no army lists. There are plenty of these around (Mark Plant, Chris Peers to name but two), and plenty of books that give orbats. We couldnt see how we could add value in these. We will be including battle lists in the campaign book, due out next year [2013].

Overall it looks a good set of rules, and one I will enjoy play testing. Hopefully should there be any decent light in the next week I’ll post some pictures of play tests.

AVBCW: Battle of Little Hereford (Alternate views)

Here are some alternate views:

Tym:

Well we have found the blood soaked camera and the bodies of the murdered civilians, now we have had the film developed it has shown the brave defenders gallantly holding back the Red flood as its many waves broke upon the stalwart men and women of the BUF. These misled people who were driven forward by their false prophets with lies and threats are seen falling in a wasteful death. Professional and combined forces of his Majesty’s Government. Accurate artillery fire destroyed the Reds large tank and a young hero with his Boys anti tank gun bravely dueled against a Russian supplied tank and disabled it as it threatened the brave daughters of Britain saving them in a hour of need. It was also observed that the Trotskis shelled the houses of the local people who have stayed true to the King causing great damage. No BUF men had been stationed in these buildings as it was hoped that if not occupied the Communists would not attack them. We must now report that at least two families have been left homeless. The Independent forces from Hereford have also suffered a good bloody nose leaving behind many dead. His Majesty’s forces stand firmly on the banks of the Teme ready to hold the lines of his Majesty’s land.

JP has updated his blog: Big Trouble in Little Hereford.

And the Bombardier has held forth on the usual places like The Very british Civil Forum: Free Tenbury NewsFascist Invasion halted.

The Bombardier also comments:

Things I did right:

  • Found two of the three fords, even though I didn’t fully exploit them.
  • Sent my veterans and sniper towards the river early. Despite them taking damage and being wiped out in the end, they at least took a BUF unit with them.
  • My mortar and steam lorry HMGs bloodied the BUF by the bridge.

Things wrong:

  • Sent most of my units down the road instead of towards the fords. By the time I turned them around, it was too late.
  • Forgot the fact I could run my soldiers 12″. If I had remembered that, my Pippin Fort soldiers could have got across the river earlier and might have made a difference (or at least fired a single shot!!).
  • Bunched my infantry together when crossing the ford making easy work for the BUF field gun on the other side. I should have spaced them and moved my mortar up in support.

AVBCW: Battle of Little Hereford (Part Two)

Tym and myself were the BUF defenders, and had to prevent the Commies (JP) and LDV (The Bombardier) crossing the river and taking the station (not represented on table). As we were using Went the Day Well ? rules we each drew a card from a normal pack of cards to decided initiative order for each unit – it is not an “I Go, You Go” set of rules. So you may see cards on the table in some of the pictures, a rare departure from my no extraneous cr@p on the table house rule – something all my guests did adhere to remarkably well, so thanks chaps!

My troops deployed next to the bridge over the river Teme that bisected most of the board, before it turned and ran off the edge after about six foot, which meant Tym and I were squeezed into a small area about 4×3, with the attackers, have the full 8×3 plus a flanking area. On top of this, JP had written some rules for finding fords on the river after an anomalously dry spring…

Tym occupied the large pub and the majority of the area to defend against incursions over these mysteriouisly numerous fords. My Cavalry deplpyed mid way the back read to rush to the rescue of any breaches of our line. Both Tym and I came packing field artillery. Just for once I did not use a tank, much to JP’s annoyance as he came with a tank busting crew.

JP deployed his steam contraption, HQ, HMG and a unit of infantry opposite the bridge in an obvious attempt to rush it. Nice and tightly packed… 😉
Though he did use his brand new spangly T26 and a unit of infantry to menace the long front opposite Tym. Along with a standard bearer and female commissar.

The Bombardier’s non aligned (cough) LDV deployed on my flank.

The game started. Unsurprisingly, I targeted my artillery on JP’s nicely packed troops opposite the bridge and drew the first blood.

The road signs, are morale markers. I took out the HMG, suppressed the revolting workers/infantry, suppressed his HQ unit and knocked out one of the weapons turretts of the steam behemoth…Meanwhile the forces jockeyed for position.

Jp then decided to move his steam contraption forward to bring the second turret HMG to bear. Sadly for him, I had mu BOYS rifle team on Covering Fire, and with a single well aimed shot managed to blow it up !!! Right in front of the bridge thus meaning they would not be able to get any of their impressive looking vehicles across the bridge. Oh woe.

More cases of “target acquired” hove into view, as the LDV marched over open terrain against my BUF defenders:

But JP dealt out some damage with his T26 perched on a hill, and Tym’s Women’s Auxillaries decided to make a well timed temporary tactical withdrawal.

I returned from my brief Beastwatch, to find that I’d lost my flank defenders (one unit of BUF infantry), and had not slowed the LDV’s attack. Tym had immobilised the T26 on the bank of the river by a ford, but it was still firing. The Bombardier’s Tankettes had been shaken up by my troops and diverted through a woodland to the river, where they found another ford. The advancing LDV troops on my flank got to the river, and guess what, found a ford.

However, they were facing down the barrel of my field gun, there was an irregular unit of BUF in the cottage, and my cavalry raced round to shore up the flank.

With predictable results for the LDV…

Meanwhile Tym and JP were exchanging fire as they were locked in a stand off. Tym lost his HMG to a stray shell from the T26. JP tried to send a unit of infantry to support the tankettes, but got shot up by my veteran infantry guarding the bridge, and Tym’s troops in the pub by the bridge. This didn’t stop my rapidly depleted veterans defending the bridge being made to withdraw after being flanked by the tankettes crossing the ford. JP’s troops had dug in on the other side of the board and were being hit by Tym’s stray shells he was aiming at the T26 which remained stubbornly in action all game !

In the end, the Commies and the non-aligned (cough) LDV were driven off and withdrew the one tankette still mobile, and the one LDV troops from outside of the river as they realised they did not have enough forces to exploit their small bridgehead as Tym also brought up his reserve unit of troops to support our flank and front.

Loads more photos here.

The Royalists and BUF in Hereford have not been cut off, and have prevented the strange alliances of forces hostile to the crown from joining up…

AVBCW: The Battle of Little Hereford (Part One)

Byakhees JP, Tym, The Bombardier and I played a game today:

Following the brutal but inconclusive siege of Ledbury, the opposing factions in Herefordshire were exhausted and a stalemate ensued.

The Anglican League, together with sundry other anti-government and/or anti-fascist groups, were unable to complete their goal of cutting off Royalist Hereford as an advance towards Bromyard and Leominster would stretch their already threadbare supply lines.

The Royalist and Fascist forces of government were similarly hamstrung – failing to regain the initiative as they struggled to simultaneously push back the Anglicans, deal with left-wing insurgents, ‘Twiggy Mommet’ protests and patrol the border with Wales; as well as keeping the peace within the county.

As the new campaign season began, another faction appeared on the scene to break the impasse: the Worcester Loyalists. Based in Tenbury Wells, this pro-Albertine group sought to create a Worcestershire Free State, very much in the same mould as neighbouring Shropshire. Seeking to establish secure supply lines, they had already brokered a deal with socialist forces in the West Midlands (a splinter group of which had begun operating in North Herefordshire), and now made contact with the Anglican League.

A plan was formed: if the Worcester Loyalists and neighbouring socialists could co-operate with the Reds and the Anglican League, a large anti-government coalition could be formed along the Gloucestershire/Herefordshire/Worcestershire border, linking nationalist Wales to the Midlands via the Forest of Dean, Ross, Ledbury, the Malvern Hills and Tenbury Wells.

The first step was to continue to cut off Hereford and allow the unsupplied Royalists therein to wither away without having to besiege the city. With this in mind the Worcester Loyalists proposed to seize the rail junction at Wooferton on the Hereford/Shropshire border, thus cutting the Leominster – Shrewsbury line and further isolating Royalist Herefordshire.

As is typical in this part of the country however, word quickly spread to the Royalists, who dispatched a force to deal with this attack, blocking the Tenbury – Wooferton rail line whilst setting up defences at the road crossing of the River Teme near Little Hereford. The stage was set for the latest chapter in the story of VBCW Herefordshire and Worcestershire as a combined Worcester Loyalist/Socialist force met forces of the King and Mosley head-on.

That was JP’s write up that The Bombardier aided and abetted him with.

JP, and The Bombardier played Commies, and opportunistic “unaligned LDV” based in north Worcestershire attempting to join up with the ne’er do wells in southern Herefordshire like the Anglican league. Tym and I played the dastardly BUF protecting HM at his base in Malvern/Madresfield. The forces clashed near Little Hereford and the Wooferton junction of the railway over the River Teme.

Set up:

(A peaceful countryside you would think…)

The BUF were defending the bridge.

(A bucolic countryside (protected by the fair minded clean limbed members of the BUF), whose peace is shattered by…)

The Reds and allies were attacking.

(…the revolting proletariat with their foul contraptions spreading disease, death and destruction over our fair and green countryside…)

We used Mort’s Platoon generator. In game we had a DUH moment and allowed the attackers reinforcements. So circa 3×10 infantry, a heavy weapon, some form of heavy support (tanks, field gun etc) and A N Other AVBCW unit. The table was 8×4′.

We used OOk’s Went The Day Well ? rules.

Minor downside, I had to go do Beastwatch for my parents at their smallholding.

To be continued…