AVBCW: Big Game Hereford 2013 – 0

Well we’ve been planning this Big Game for several months, as a follow on from last year’s (if anyone has some photos of that game please let me know).

As commented earlier, a Big Game is precisely that, you hire a village hall or similar locations and have huge tables with lots of players.

In our case, JP and I have gone for two tables 10×6, which takes a serious amount of scenery. Luckily as Scenery Boy, I have that amount of scenery, though I have had to up my game on this one !

Is that a crashed car ?

Here’re some pictures for the tables we will be using for the Siege of Ledbury Part 2.

Of course JP and I put this together in less than an hour or so tonight and will be adding to this.

But it goives you an idea of the size of the games.

BoB/RCW: White Command II

Here are some figures for my White Command unit, to lead their ragged troops into battle:

One of the standards has slipped a little as you can see – somenthing you notice in a close up photo like this is totally unseen when deployed on the table. The second more animated standard is the St Andrew’s flag that was occasionally used and was also the standard of the Imperial Russian Navy.

A Brigade Games and an Artizan figure – a medic, and a mad officer wielding two mauser pistols (one with snail magazine). I painted the Officer’s ‘tache white, like the one in Dr Zhivago.

Get back in your ranks !!
Even more officers !

One’s from Brigade Games, the rest are Copplestone. As you should notice, the right hand one is the officer from the White Field Gun. I swapped him with another White Officer to make the command and artillery units more varied.

Scale – Mine’s Bigger Than Yours

We all know about scale creep in our figures, but there’s ongoing issues with vehicles. 28mm is not a scale, it’s a size and it’s very difficult to pin down what scale it really is.

L-R:
– HLBSCo Rolls Royce (now OOP) 28mm
– Copplestone, 1/55th
– Corgi 1/50th

The old HLBSCo is really tiny – its on a base that has a second card layer to jack it up a bit so it looks almost as tall as the Copplestone, but is much shorter. The Corgi one towers over both.

All can be used, but you’d need to keep them in separate units and not leave them next to each other before our suspension of disbelief evaporated !

And then there are ranges of vehicles in 1/48th and 1/56th scales as well. It’s all a bit of a mess and you have to be careful when buying stuff so that it will fit in with your existing collection. Caveat emptor.

Still all of them are nice models. The Corgi belongs to Byakhee JP and may well get an outing this Saturday at the Big Game we are organising for AVBCW.

Angel Heart (I know who I am)

After a decade or more I’ve just watched Angel Heart on DVD. A strange film that mixes noir, and voodoo to good effect. Stars Mickey Rourke and Robert de Niro.

Recommended as a good film, but not for the faint hearted.

Harry Angel: She was doing my chart. I gave her Johnny’s birthdate, February 14th. Except someone got to her and took out their own Valentine card. They split her open, and they cut out her heart. I guess she couldn’t predict the future for herself.
Louis Cyphre: The future isn’t what it used to be Mr. Angel.

So don’t watch the following…

And that’s not the half of it…

Louis Cyphre: They say there’s enough religion in the world to make men hate each other, but not enough to make them love.

BoB: More revolting Bolsheviks

As part of my plan to get through figures and paint them as I find them, here are some Bolsheviks, even though they aren’t per se part of this year’s painting plan.

Artillery:

I had to check I wasn’t missing a crewman – the Bolshevik gun crew by Copplestone (BU6) only has 4 crew, whilst the White gun crew number 5:

A Bolshevik standard bearer:

The slogan is “Forward !“:

Nice figures.
Some White command and artillery tomorrow.

Monopoly Tokens – Cat !

Well there is a new Monopoly token: the Cat, which replaces the Iron. This change prompted this article in the Torygraph today:

For what can appear, at first acquaintance, to be a small, fur-coated, heat-seeking digestive tract that sleeps 16 hours a day, this is some achievement.

I wish mine slept 16 hours a day, they have wrecked the lounge curtains by going curtain climbing, and done a heck of a lot of bag diving and box nudging in the last few days ! Not to mention figure dabbing and paint pot rolling. All because I refuse to turn the weather off.

[Monty’s cat jumps onto the sofa]
Uncle Monty: Get that damned little swine out of here!
[he lunges at it and it runs off]
Uncle Monty: It’s trying to get itself in with you, it’s trying for even more advantage! It’s obsessed with its gut, it’s like a bloody rugby ball now! It will die, it will die!
Withnail: Monty, Monty…
Uncle Monty: No, no, no, dear boy, you must leave, you must leave. Yet again that oaf has destroyed my day!

One commentator said it only costs 40p per day.
I wish…

Meanwhile there are some Bolsheviks and White Russian commands to be photo’d tomorrow…

Battle Star Galactica

As a kid I watched the original Battle Star Gakactica series (BSG), so when they brought out the new ‘reimagining” I was interested. As I don’t watch TV let alone satellite, it took a couple of comments from the Byakhees to persuade me to invest in the first few DVDs, and its something I didn’t regret. Last week, thanks to the taxman, I got a load of money and treated myself to the original 1970’s version.

So after nearly 30 years I watched it again, I knew that one of the main criticisms of the original series was that it recycled footage a lot.

My veridict

I can see virtually all of the main charcters from the “reimagined” series easily enough. There was a lot of good acting and characterisation that came out despite the rather stilted dialogue, and ’70’s hair styles. There was way too much recycled footage of spacecraft and radar images, way way way too much !

I felt that the plots were rather rushed compared to the modern version which is rather odd as most people complain that TV shows today are too fast. No, in this case the original series tried to pack too much into their episodes and missed out loads of stuff – well unless they were simply missing a lot of back story. Talking of which, whilst the original series used various colloquial terms, like ‘frack’ (but not as often), it was littered with inconsistencies about whether they were leaving star systems, galaxies and so forth which the new series didn’t. This jarred a lot.

Starbuck’s role was understated even though he was often the central character in the plot. Apollo’s role was underplayed, especially his relationship with his father, and as for his sister…it seems strange any military would send an entire family into combat on the same ship.

For the colonial fleet to encounter so many ‘marooned’ human civilisations was also annoying. You don’t just suffer amnesia across an entire culture to that extent. One or two marooned or isolated settlement yes, but for every other planet to have them, well…

The computers again were quite quaint, and just goes to show how far we have come.

the news series starts out well, and many of the first series’ plots echo those from the original 1970’s series, and are much better conducted than the original series. The characters are much stronger. Sometimes the story lines can feel slow, but with hindsight they are paced about right. The re-use of stock footage is also lower though it does go on unsurprisingly.

I noticed that the ships in the colonial fleet were modelled on the originals which was a nice touch including the Rising Star’s concept.

The main disappointment is that most of the Cylons are the human masquerades, not the robotic type. There should have been more of the robots. Ironically there are many hat tips to the original series including the original “men in tin can suits”. They were at least a step up from the effette brain head cylons from the original series.

The new series is also much more consistent in its terms – there is no mention of new galaxies as it is plain they are travelling through a single galaxy. Scientifically it is also better for this, and has the issues of food and water supplies added to the plot. That said, some of the story arcs are too long and could have been shortened.

To summarise, the 1970’s series is full of good ideas, marred by some poor scripts that hurry the plot along, some hammy acting and so on. the new series is much more gritty and dark which you’ll either like or loathe.

Tree ! Tree ! Tree !

As scenery boy I have a lot of trees, and for the upcoming AVBCW Battle of Ledbury that JP & I are organising for the 16th February, I got some more Trees !

Really, How Interesting

Big trees, not any of the titchy ones. As we have 28mm figures they need to be convincingly big. These are for my AVBCW, BoB and AWI projects, and could be used for WHFB too.

The latest acquisitions are pine trees, so several can be put on a single CD scenery base:

(That’s a Copplestone explorer 28mm size figure to give you an idea of their size)

For the larger deciduous trees, there’s one per CD base to help avoid them being knocked over which given their size is a real risk:

The bases have my usual brown flock and static grass on them, with the static grass mostly around the edges: partly to help disrupt the regular circular nature of the CD base; and also because grass does not grow so well under trees as the trees take up all the moisture and block out the sunlight.

The general gaming convention is that if a unit is “in the woods” one or more of their figures are placed on the base, and the rest of the unit are in base to base contact with the scenery base (within reason).

The trees are Woodland Scenics that I buy from Antics, and are 12cm+. They are imported so I often have to do special orders to get them in time for events. They do however look the part. Unsurpisingly, there will be one or two photos of the board set ups, and of the games themselves for next weekend.

On a 6×4 board, a couple of these stands of trees would be imposing. However, as I am attempting to dress two 12×6 boards on the 16th, you need substantially more scenery so I am aiming for half a dozen tree stands for each board at least.

BoB: Bolshevik Characters – Freedom from the White Oppression !

Rummaging around in the Playrom and I found some more bolsheviks that in decided to finish painting

A Copplestone Bolshevik mounted standard bearer. the flag is acquired from the internet and translates as “Freedom form the White Oppression”. I have a few more flags with slogans to add to my Bolshevik standard bearers.

Next up is a bit stranger, an Artizan figure:

A Bolshevik dominatrix in red leather ? Yup entirely historical:

Nina Pavlovna Lebedeva-Kyashko, an officious 21 year-old Moscovite, paraded about shamelessly in furs, jewelry and clothing of burzhui victims, and ‘wives of the commisars’ and ’employees of the Requisition Commission’ followed suit. When not modelling the wardrobes of her victims, Kyashko reputedly strutted about ‘armed to the teeth’ and habitually clad in dark red leather.

(White Terror, Cossack Warlords of the Trans-Siberian, Bisher, 2005, p243)

Just some more Commissars. Time to start painting the rest of the army.

BoB: Ragged White Russians

As commented earlier the White Russians in the RCW had way to many officers and way too few ordinary infantry. they resorted to conscription, but all levels of their armies suffered from supply problems. I’ve just painted up 10 Ragged White Russians from Copplestone (BU23) and have another 30 on the painting table.

there are more than 10 variants of the model, but I won’t bore you with each and every one.

The models are based on a fairly well known photo:

The Whites were supplied lots of weapons and uniforms by the Allies. Not much got to the front due to corruption and inefficiency.

So much of these supplies reached the Bolsheviks, that Trotsky sent the British General Knox a letter: “thanking him for his help in equipping the Red troops” (Figes 1996). ┬áKnox was dubbed the Quartermaster General of the Red Army.

Some of these models include Lee-Enfields, some are in British tunics, most are in ragged Russian uniform and most with Mosin-Nagants. These poor souls made up the majority of the White Russian armies on all fronts.

Gen. Yevgraf Zhivago: [narrating over a military parade in Moscow]The party looked to the peasant conscript soldiers – many of whom were wearing their first real pair of boots. When the boots had worn out, they’d be ready to listen. When the time came, I was able to take three whole battalions out of the front lines with me….By the second winter, the boots had worn out… but the line still held. Even Comrade Lenin underestimated both the anguish of that 900-mile long front… as well our own cursed capacity for suffering. Half the men went into action without any arms… irregular rations… led by officers they didn’t trust.

I’m designing a game system to generate BoB/RCW factions/armies, and the Whites (and the Reds) will be getting a lot of these demoralised poortly equipped troops.