AVBCW: HQ options

I’m building a new version of Malvern Hills Conservators, as a flying column, with lots of cavalry and other fast units.

Here’s my dismounted cavalry HMG – Great War Miniatures WW1 figures.

Here are a couple of runners:

Very useful under the rules we are developing for “Went the Day Well ?”

They’re Foundry Home Guard which I didn’t build until now because their left arm with the rifle came separately. I took one look and thiought ‘I caqn stupid glue them on, and every time I pick them up the arms are going to come off’….so I got Byakhee Richard pin them on instead – probably 5 minutes for him, and probably years off my life in terms of irritation.

AVBCW: Painting Challenge

Well hopefully it won’t have escaped some peoples’ notice my mate JP & I are hosting another one of our Big Games on the 27th September. So we’re busy gearing up to organising it, dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s.

As usual, I am providing armies for delinquents who don’t know better and haven’t got their own little toy soldiers.

A recent review of the detritus, found a load of Foundry WW2 Home Guard cyclists.As one of the things JP & I are pushing in our latest game is the lack of fuel and ammo, bicycles are an ideal anitdote to lots of tanks and armoured cars.

As you can see, there’s a fair bit of greenstuff to make the arms meld in with the bodies, otherwise excellent models, so I planned to have a new unit of them to deploy on the battlefield – in accordance with my plan to get a new unit on the board with every single game I play !

In addition, my review found a number of other units to put together…

Luckily, Byakhee Richard is one of them so as Chief Engineer for many of the larger more complex items I build, he has been busy building new armoured vehicles for me. These (Musketeer) Lancia Armoured Trucks were used in the 1920’s not least in the Irish Civil War.

There was a fair amount oif blue language used whilst Richard built this Austin Morris A/C, however the outcome is very good with an excellent crew including one of Paul Hicks’ tank commanders – a bren gun, BOYS anti tank rifle and smoke bombs and this makes an excellent addition to the mechanised arm of the MHC.

Richard did however send me his list of mobile BUF….including a request for more cavalry, and even dismounted cavalry.

Good job I have some on the painting table. Again Musketeer BUF…

Looks like I’ll be busy over the next couple of weeks painting this lot up in time for the ganme.

Good job I almost finished the command group for the socialists for Mike then isn’t it ? 😉

Pirates !

Avast ye bilge rats, it’s International Talk Like A Pirate Day !

So get talking the lingo, or I’ll keelhaul you all.

The Official Site is here.

In the mean time here are some pirates I painted about 12 years ago. Mostly Foundry sculpted by Will Hannah:

The Captain and First Mates.

The crew, these figures I used for a Mordheim gang. The old Town Cryer magazine had alternate warband rules including some Pirate rules.

Knife thrower, seivel gun, and one of the original Citadel priates by the Perry twins (most of the set are now sold via Foundry).

Some ladies. And according to historical sources, may often have gone for the Page 3 look in battle to denote their gender !

Painted in reds and yellows, so quite different from my usual fare, and at the beginning of getting back into painting figures so a bit crude by my current standardds, but certainly good enough to field today.

A useful guide from Osprey.

Now I’m off for a bit to listen to Ramming Speed by the March Violets, a gothic sea shanty.

BoB: German Artillery

I painted this a few days ago, but until now have been unable to get even a half decent set of photos of it:

Being dark grey against a dark grey field piece its very difficult to get anything other than a dingy monochrome picture.

From Great War Miniatures, comes with a good compliment of crew too.

Painted with Foundry Early War German Grey uniform colour which looks very green on the mid coat, but when applied to the very grey base coat turns out fine.

AVBCW: Big Game Hereford 2013 – 1

After a last minute line up change we got to the game. On Table 1 – we had two tables…

The BUF (Richard) and Royalists (Roo & Tom) massed their cavalry, some 40+.
Now Cavalry did not have a good track record in AVBCW games (note past tense)…

But when augmented with Tanks, and a few good dice rolls they stormed across the table towards the Anglican and Socialists. Though the BUF tank did blow up a building on the way over…

Whilst the Socialists from B’ham after rather placing thier car in a rather rakish position on the bridge suffered from the effects of a chance card that meant it was out of petrol. This seemingly small event went on to make a major impact on the game, as the broken down car was then shelled by the BUF tank, blown up and left wrecked on the bridge blocking it. It provided cover for Anglican bomb squads who attempted to blow up the BUF super tank later as it crossed the stream.

Meanwhile the Socialist NCO checked out the wrecked car..and found that it had contained the Bishop of Hereford, who had now escaped and was somewhere on one of the two tables…capturing the Bishop would be a major issue for both sides.

Elsewhere, the Anglicans had sent forward a unit across the stream. Screams were heard across the fields, and the survivors later claimed that they had found an Abyssinian Lion in the bushes that attacked them. Both the Anglican troops who claimed to be attacked, and the Royalists moving towards them made these claims, but to date no reliable photographic evidence has been shown. It is suspected that a domestic house cat or two was responsible for clawing a few ankles.

The staff of Emperor Hailie Sellasie have declined to comment on the whereabouts of his highness’ pet lions.

With the Royalists and BUF approaching the bridge, the Socialists called up their reserves !

With both their lead car and motorised tachanka out of action (kaput), the socialists retreated as per orders whilst the BUF and Royalists targeted them with mortars and tank guns. Luckily for the socialists the BUF super tank managed to get stuck trying to cross a hedge which bought them some time. However, spies in their midst, fog and other adverse chance cards really hindered them and they were not able to mount a decent defence.

Having loped off the head of the scarecrow that was taunting them (it was dressed up in BUF uniform), the BUF cavalry cantered on, leaving in their wake some very annoyed Twiggy Mommet protesters who turned their scythes, pitchforks and shotguns on the unfortunate BUF infantry.

Breakthrough !

The BUF supertank crosses not only the hedge, but the stream !
Thbis was the beginning of the end for the Anglicans and Socialists. With the tank across, and seemingly immune to the tank killers of the Anglicans who made a brave effort, the ATR squad mown down by BUF cavalry, the tide turned against them.

However, the Anglicans went down fighting, the Royalists assaulted the immobilised tanks (known as the Hot-Rod), but the Anglican commander raced to the rescue and valiantly fought off the Royalists.

And then a Chance card through everything up in to the air. It turned out the commanders were old enemies and basically everyone had a grudge against each other…CHARGE…

To be continued…

BoB/RCW: White Russian Lancers in Chinese Service 2

Finally finished off the first lot of these. Lovely sculpts.
Spent all day yesterday mired in producing bids, but today had some half decent natural light levels. So here they are:

The start: The basic figure comes with rider separate from horse, with a separate da-dao beheading sword so it can easily be replaced with something else like a Mosin-Nagant rifle. To build the miniature you also need a base (Foundry MDF) and a lance (Foundry steel pin). The figure and pin all got trimmed for flash and size. As the figure comes with a stirrup holster, you can be generous with the length of the lance and it’s a really good sturdy fix for once.

Base and undercoating as normal. I then painted the horse as per Kevin Dallimore’s guide, and painted the White Russian with GW Orkhide foundation paint for the uniform and Foundry Buff leather for the boots to make them look “yellow”. The da-dao sheath was painted Foundry Drab, and the webbing/straps Foundry Granite. I then used GW Badab Black Wash for the uniform (with a subsequent highlight of Orkhide again) and GW Devlan Mud wash for the boots.

Looks about right IMHO. I added Foundry Napoleonic British Redcoat for the shoulder makings and I was pretty much done.

(Third time lucky on the photo, so it doesn’t look like the crude daubings of an 11 year old !)

I do 5 horses of each shade as a batch, so the actual units of 15 cavalry end up with at least three different horse colours. The light remains so poor that there is no point in providing photos of the Bay brown and black horses !

Next up, I have more of these I will add to the Russian Cossack horses, probably with Mosin Nagant rifles, and I might have a stab at some of the pennants for the lances. Just to make them look real hard and elite as they should be !

God of Battles – A rules review

Yet another purchase at Colours, was the new Foundry fantasy wargaming rules by Jake Thornton (ex-GW) God of Battles or GoBs as I shall render it as a TLA!

I bought it from the Dave Thomas stand who normally deals with all Foundry, Perry and associated products. Half price too !
(RRP £30, mine bought for £15)

It’s listed as unavailable on Amazon, and as ‘Coming Soon’ (dated 2011) on the Foundry website. The cover artwork also seems to have changed, the original artwork similar to the Tribes of Legend book.

A half overheard conversation at Colours, and the changes in availability and cover indicate something is up with the publication/distribution of these rules. Conspiracy aside, what did I get for £15 ?

The Book

A hefty hardback with glossy full colour cover, and full colour through out the pages. Lots of eye candy of many (as yet unreleased) well painted Foundry figures with excellent terrain. Lots of easy to understand diagrams, and lots of illustrations. The production values are high. My only gripe is that the fancy font used for the titles of sections, and the background page watermark sometimes clash and make it difficult to read.

The Rules

As per the Foundry Manifesto that Bryan Ansell penned back in the late 1990’s everything is done using d6s or that ubiquitous but never corporeal dice the d3. This isn’t Warhammer. Its close, and clearly related but it is not a copy. The basic rules have really been stripped down. The use of the Unit Leader, where they become the focal point for movement and shooting is really good – it removes so much ambiguity from the rules. People might not like this in terms of realism, and certainly I do like the strict line of sight rules in many games, but this would be of real use in large wargames. Warhammer certainly has become bogged down in multiple, often contradictory, and incomplete rules. So these rules are a breath of fresh air.

Game Turns

One thing many games suffer from is the I Go You Go (IGoYGo) syndrome which makes it very difficult to have more than two sides playing a game. certainly for gaming Laserburn, BoB, AVBCW and other games with multiple factions these (IGoYGo) systems fall at the first hurdle. Even in Warhammer you can and should be able to have multiple forces fighting each other. So it is good to see that these rules could conceptually cope with more than one faction. This isn’t explicitly stated in the rules though and would need some play testing.

Swapping the initiative between players as these rules do, means that each player is kept active throught the game.

Strategems are a really good concept I’ve not really come across before. The nearest is the Brink of War game I played with JP where you can surrender initiative to the other side, but GoBs is far more subtle and wide ranging than that. These enable you to stop your opponent activating units, and or activating your own units out of sequence. I think this is going into any ruleset I write !

Movement, Shooting & Combat

As commented, everything is done from the leader of the unit, its all straight lines, no mucking aorund with wheeling and other malarky, so this sounds like a good idea. Backing Off, Threat Areas and Recoiling are all also good ideas. I think I’d need to do some play testig to work out how good they are, but on paper, they’re a good idea.

Shooting is also nice and simple, though I did struggle to find ranges of weapons (but it turns out is almost an either/or situation), and very few modifiers to remember. Hmm, maybe taking simplification too far, again play testing will bring out my true feelings on this. I do like the idea that a unit shot at from the side/rear loses some of its defence, a nice idea. Similarly harrasing fire is a good idea.

Combat is similar to Warhammer (actually more like LoToW, but again very much stripped down, and results in removing casulaties (no markers here) and a test of courage.

Miracles, Soul Engines & Sacrifices

What passes for magic. Its much more linked to Gods of Battle (duh, where did the game’s name come from ?). Not Warhammer but similar. You need a card deck (minus jokers and picture cards), which is something becoming more popular/frequent in many games systems – and that’s not a bad thing ! However, Priests only get activated to call for Miracles once, well unless you have used one of those pesky Strategems I mentioned earlier !

Other Stuff

There are rules fo allies, which is always useful and until Warhammer 8th edition something WHFB missed. There are rules for working out who is the Attacker or defender, not sure how this works with Scenarios.

There is a very interesting section on terrain, that starts off with describing what size terrain pieces should be, and also details of terrain that is a Habitat much like a random encounter. This seems much better than the current WHFB rules which are OTT.

Similarly there is an excellent and interesting section on Weather. Scenarios are listed including Camps & Baggage Trains.


There are some standard fantasy tropes here, and some very diferent ones such as the Sea Elves and T’lekkans. Unlike WHFB, units are bought in standard sizes for standard points, which does make things very different. There aren’t many (if any) options for units, which makes Characters more unique. This makes things a lot simpler, but the downside is you don’t get as much choice. all the armies are included in details in this book, along with painting guides. All the miniatures are by Foundry which indicates that they have a lot of as yet unreleased miniatures. (Which makes the recent announcements of a hiatus on new releases in favour of re-releases, all the more mysterious!)

The End

The book ends with a battle report, a list of Abilities, some Quick Reference sheets and most important of all an Index.


So is it any good ? I’d need a good few games with multiple factions to answer that question.
So is it interesting ? Yes. Emphatically Yes.
So is it Warhammer ? No. WHFB players will pick it up quick, get frustrated with some aspect, and welcome others !
Is it worth it ? At £15 definately. Guess you should have gone to Colours. 😉

On reading it I like it.

There are some excellent ideas in here, and the simplified games system is initially appealing. Some games play is in order.
(Hint to the Byakhees)

Colours 2012 – my experience

Well the last post was the basic what it was like to go to the wargames show. This is more about my actual experience, and what the benefits are.

Newbury is a “toidy step” and takes some time to get there so it really is an annual pilgrimage for Anthony & I. So why do we do it ?

See New Products and New Companies in the metal/plastic/resin/paper

I have an aversion to buying new products sight unseen. I wouldn’t buy a new house without seeing it. Clever paint jobs and blurred photos (or absent photos) on the internet are no replacement for seeing new stuff for real, especially when its from a new company.

Antenocitis Workshop was one such trader where I picked up a load of new product – they’ve been a good supplier for scenery material but have now branched out into sci-fi stuff, so i got some of their new 15mm hab units and other gubbins. I also had a chat with them about some things which was illuminating.

Reduce P&P costs, and get Show specials

Yup you can pick a lot of show specials, and I did. GZG even had a free take your pick box of their 15mm figures, which required no purchases – just literally help yourself.. I didn’t, I know their figures are really worth it.

As Scenery Boy, I usually buy a lot of scenery at shows, ‘cos P&P is very high on large scenery pieces I like to buy. So Critical Mass Games got visited for more alien 15mm scenery. They were a bit p!ssed because being next to the front door, they’d been screened for a while by a wall of stewards for the first hour or so.

To be Sociable

Anthony & I have been mates for nearly 30 years and whislt we meet regularly for wargames sessions we don’t have time to talk often about other topics, so as my mobile phone seems to be heading for Silicon Heaven and we had a good chat about the benefits if iPhones, Android Phones, iPads and so on as we are both techies to different degrees and on different subjects.

Attending Colours also allows me to meet up with various online acquaintances as well. So the AVBCW demo game got a vist and I met up with Tym, Tom, Ook, and for the first time Mick A.

A face to face chat is always better than anonymous e-mails and forum postings, especially when we are trying to re-arrange BG-5.
AVBCW from another angle:

Anthony & I also met up with another former work colleague, and it seems we might be able to arrange some games with him now we have his contact details.

Oh, and the best thing about the wargames show is getting the shiney stuff. I always limit myself by taking cash only – usually the traders only accept cash anyway due to lack of access to card readers. But it does mean I have a strict budget. Otherwise, there is a tendency to go completely mad, it’s like the dream we all have of finding a model shop that has everything we ever dreamed of and more ! Sadly that dream usually ends in a rush to the cash point and then racing back to be unable to find this mythical shop.

Here’s today’s haul. Not going to go through it item by item, but you’ll see a lot of this stuff as new projects in the near future. 🙂

best of all I came home to a new CD of music….more of which later…