I have run out of steel bases so stage one of the Shinification Project is complete. This is most of the Swans/Altefritzenburg troops (guns, the band, and lancers to do) and most of the (N)Ottomans… Still cavalry to do as the bases I have are too big for the smaller RSM horses.
So… here is the project so far:
Pasha Sultan Abdul Seyfi of K’ha’Ramel, Guardian of the Blood Red Moon and Protector of the Sacred Camel and Supreme Commander of the Ever Invincible Army has found his army to be less than invincible of late and has requested aid from the Franco-Braunschweig Alliance. A small contingent of Marines have arrived bringing with them the latest in killing technology.
The Sultan’s troops, although loyal and well trained are not the best armed….
Facing them are the troops of the Altefriztenburg Expeditionary Force comprising the 1st Altefritzenburg Regiment…
And the famed Savage Swans of Von Donovan’s Legion! All supported by the 1st Altefritzenburg Jaegers.
Because I’ve been rebasing units I made up for various Ayton events the number of figures and command varied depending on what vague plan I had for units that year! For the Swans I had a 30 figure unit including command so pulling out two 12 figure units and splitting out the command left me with 2 odd figures I’ll no doubt use somewhere. For the Altefritzenburgers I did 30 figures PLUS command so had six figures left over. I decided that I’d give them a white shoulder strap and class them as the ‘light’ company who will be crack shots!
While removing figures from bases I only had one disaster with the mounted Altefritzenburg officer.
I’m not that adept at repairing figures but for this I drilled two of the legs and pinned the join and then glued the lot with epoxy resin. It seems fairly robust…
And with the Swans is their fearsome mascot, Ganymede!
And overseeing the events are the Archduke of Altefritzenburg and (in green) Field Marshall von Donovan. And recording all for posterity is Major Seymour Wittering (Retired), War Correspondent for the Britannic Times.
I’ve not got quite enough for a AGW game but I have sorted out the French FPW Spencer Smiths I have and if I order about another 8 figures I can add 5 units to that side. I also have some Bavarians coming. And I’m painting three figures to allow me to add another unit of 12 Ottoman infantry and somewhere I have some RSM Janissaries! And more steel bases are due next week!
My main desk lamp on the painting desk has been struggling for a while. I’ve had it years but the fitting inside the shade has snapped off, the whole lamp/shade part broke many years ago and has to be wrapped around the arm to hold in place, and the springs and levers are all broken and need wedging in place with bits of wood to stop them collapsing… All in all, like me, it’s a bit knackered…
So when one of my not cheap super day light bulbs went I started looking at options. I’d looked at various blogs and forums for advice on lamps but the really good options all seemed a bit expensive. Then I stumbled on a video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hNMnBv4auvk) about using cheap angle poise lamps from IKEA with decent bulbs in. I had the bulbs (had already got a replacement one one I decided costs looked to make a new lamp prohibitive) so yesterday it was off to IKEA!
All I wanted was two lamps. £9 each. But as family were in tow we also came out with 4 cushions, 3 cushion covers, tea towels, two mats and a bulb… Such is IKEA…
So now we have the new solution! Two lamps clamped to the desk and giving good light and easy to move out of the way to see the monitors.
OK. So they no longer do them in black…and the yellow ones were out of stock…so they only had pink… Still, it’s not like anyone’s going to see them and take the piss is it?… Oh…hang on…
OK. The recent 42mm Shiny game has rather drawn me back to the days of gloss varnished figures. When I returned to wargaming in the early 90s and started my Mid-Republican Romans I gloss varnished them. Doing that seemed to make the colours pop. As I played a few more games and atteneded shows it became evident that gloss varnish was no longer trendy so everything got a matt varnish and that’s what I’ve been doing since. But following the game a few weeks ago and a chat with Simon (Goat Major) a little plan was hatched…
Two of the Ayton games have been C19th games. One an ‘alternative’ ACW game and the other a Colonial game. All involved assorted forces from peoples ImagiNation armies which some of us had painted up variants for the period. I, inevitably, did the Savage Swans and other units of the Legion and then added units for Altefritzenburg. The majority of the figures were from the Spencer Smith Classic Franco-Prussian War range with a few specials from Stadden. However, I’ve never used these figures for anything else. Recently I’d pondered using them for Sharp Practice but I’m not sure the rules work too well for the later period. I’ve looked at other rules for the period but still done nothing. Then the chat with Simon came up with the idea of re-basing them all on single bases, glossing them, and then using the forthcoming A Gentleman’s War rules.
I decided I’d use the same 20x25mm basing as the 42mm figures so I could just order a load and use for both projects. As I had one base left I picked a single figure from the force and applied the gloss!
Quite pleased with the result. I decided to keep the base matt as I may paint my MDF sheets the same green to sue for ‘old school’ type games. So, as more bases are still on order I COULD have started removing from bases and glossing the existing figures but…in the current spirit of clearing up batches of figures I’ve had sat around for ages (sometimes years!) I dug out some Spencer Smith FPW French Marines and a Mitrailleuse and crew that have been sat primed and on bottle tops for a loooonng time! Although I’ve painted them as French they will really form part of a French-like nation who are acting as advisors/support for my Ottoman themed troops (which will also be getting the Shiny treatment!) so I’m not 100% obsessed with accuracy of detail.
Anyway, I’ve painted a dozen of them and an officer and the Mitrailleuse and crew. I’m still waiting on the steel bases arriving so once they do they’ll be based up properly but for now you get the idea.
Slightly frustrating with the amount of equipment on them – takes ages to paint – but I’m quite pleased with them. I’ve painted them ‘properly’ rather than the block colours of the 42mm as that is how the rest of the project is done. When the bases arrived I’ll finish them fully and then start re-basing the rest… and maybe paint some regular French troops…
Having completed the Shiny Toy soldier game and coming away enthused to buy more, and with a large 15mm AWI game planned for next Ayton, and with the Vikings to start for my Dark Age project…it seemed sensible to dive in and paint some 15mm Macedonian Pikemen! Now, to be fair, I’ve had this little batch sat in my workbench for about three years. I got a little box of Old Glory figures from Iain Burt (Essex Boy) probably a year before that. The little batch of 16 figures with lovely little pikes fitted and Dremel’d by Iain have been frequently dusted but never work on in all that time. Someone over on the LAW forum mentioned pikemen (possibly in response to a comment about the large pile I have sat in a box from the second Forged in Battle Kickstarter!) and that clearly planted the seed… So on my return from Fram that was what was dusted off and started.
I also took delivery of a little lightbox from China (recommended by Jeremy on LAW) and for just over £5 delivered it was worth a look…
It’s a little basic with a strip of LEDs on the top front edge. I’m not sure if that edge is meant to fold in more to focus the light on the interior but it seems bright enough. It just plugs in to the USB port on my PC. So I thought I’d give it a go.
It seems OK. Pictures cropped to cut out the back corners of the box. And it’s clearly not big enough for a whole unit of 28mm figures! But for small stuff and odd figures it does the job. It also comes with a black backdrop which I’ve yet to try.
So there we have the first little block of pike. I got another lot of the same figure and then it will be time to move onto the Forged in Battle stuff. But I need Iain to do me some more of the nice pikes!
After the Russian/Allied setback on Day 1 we decided we all wanted to play another game on the Sunday so we jiggled the terrain and had the British/Allied forces pushing out and attacking the Russian forces. We drew lots for opponents but kept the same forces as the day before. I drew Iain (Essex Boy) as my opponent.. which I knew would result in an ‘entertaining’ game… In an attempt to prevent the usual ruinous cavalry events he is famous for, this time he brought an entirely infantry force to the game made up of two brigades: the Erbprinz (Spencer Smith Little Britons) and the Dystopia National Guard (lovely little figures sculpted, cast and painted by himself) along with a machine gun and a field piece.
After removing a few walls that is was decided would too generously aid an all infantry force, we deployed. My Savage Swans had as captives two Boy Scouts and the unofficial objective of the game was for Iain to recapture them.
The battle was really in two halves – physically and emotionally! But the events and outcome were strongly shaped by random weather events which from early on saw all units reduced to half movement due to mud and several periods where visibility was so reduced it was impossible for most troops to see anything to shoot at. My rapid advance on the left stalled and Iain was able to make the hedge first. He then let loose multiple withering volleys the vast majority of which I saved! I was then able to deploy and return fire and drove off one unit quickly.
In the centre I pushed forward both Jaegers and these were to do sterling work peppering the advancing troops and holding them back. The Russian Jaegers found alcohol in the nearby house and become very drunk but still fought on until the remaining officer charged the enemy, pistol in one hand and broken bottle in the other, to die a heroes death!
On the right, things were not going well for the cavalry. With the Erbprinz advancing valiantly into the fray (or hiding behind a big wall as some would call it…) there was little point in a frontal attack. And getting too close put them at risk from the gun, and staying back allowed the gun and troops to shoot across at the other troops. And when the movement was reduced to half there was no way they could redeploy to the left, and advancing was slow and left them exposed for too long. After a lot of effort I finally got both heavy units brigaded again only for a random Boy Scout to offer to lead them around the flank only to abandon them in a walled enclosure further to the rear! Although the Cuirassiers and the Cossacks tried to advance they were shot to pieces before getting anywhere near the halved charge range! Finally, they and the Naval Battalion in the centre started to withdraw having already lost the machine gun.
While Jaegers died valiantly in the centre and cavalry were frustrated by mud and Boy Scouts on the right the Altefritzenburgers and Swans fought on! Despite exchanging volleys and saving well the extra cover from the hedge was to tell and finally the Altefritzenburgers, reduced to half, fell back in disarray!
The Swans on the other hand fought valiantly! As they approached they took fire from front and side and in the fusillade of lead the CO, Oberstmajor Johann Patrick von Donovan, was struck down and severely wounded! This did not stop them pressing on and exchanging fire! But casualties mounted and they stopped at the hedge line and fought and died to a man! Hugely outgunned and outnumbered it was a valiant stand! They left a trail of dead behind them.
The Boy Scouts were then taken into the uncertain care of the Erbprinz regiment and the battle was over!
It was an excellent game and it’s always great fun playing Iain, even if he does argue lots! 🙂 I just didn’t have the infantry to fight what was basically an infantry battle and when I could have used the cavalry to at least hold and threaten, the mud made getting them anywhere impossible. Iain had some shocking dice at times but also some convenient brigade activations at crucial times. But overall it balanced out. The card systems works well and is fun. There was some concern that as a force reduces in size those few units can sometimes get multiple activations in succession and zip around a lot. But nothing happened that detracted from the overall fun! I’ll be buying the rules when they are released.
Thanks again to Tim H and Simon T for all the setup work and all the guys for making it a fun weekend both on the table and in the evenings. And also to Paul for giving me a lift which made the whole trip possible.
I might need some more Shiny toys…
And here’s a small gallery with all the pics and a few at the end from other games.
Image 1 of 41
And Simon took a load of pics as well which you can see on the LAW forum. His iPad seemed to take much better photos!