Whitley Bay 3D Games Night – March

My God! I have managed three games at the Whitley Bay 3D Gamers Club so far this year! One a month! 🙂 Tuesdays do just seem to work better for me. So, yes, this evening I descended yet again on the Whitley Bay Masonic Hall for a game of Fire and Fury organised by Ian Logan. It was a relatively quiet night at the club with only two miniatures games on (Fire and Fury and Beneath the Lily Banner) and a game of Conflict of Heroes with Dougie and Alex Robinson and Nick Walker.

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Conflict of Heroes looks very nice and the counters are HUGE! But I can’t see it replacing ASL in my gaming… 🙂

My game was a three aside Fire and Fury game (Ian Logan, Andy Blenkinsop, John Peace, Paul Brown, me, Mike Cornish) which saw a Union force trying to take control of a town along the Confederate lines of supply and the rebel forces trying to occupy said town to keep the lines clear. I was on the side of the Confederacy and we had three divisions facing a similar but slightly larger Union force. Artillery was kept low (we had four batteries) and there was no cavalry. The action can be summed up in three distinct parts.

On the Confederate left Andy B took his division wide to draw away the strong Union division away from the town. This he succeeded in doing but had no luck at all in his attack! Despite his best efforts he got shot to hell from front and flank and by the end his whole division disintegrated with the Union losing only ONE stand!

On the far right another Rebel division set up quite far from the town expecting to be facing Union troops trying to flank the town. However, the Union division made a more direct attack on the town and was able to deploy one brigade to face the (slowly) coming threat! With a stream and fences to cross it was a while before the Rebels came to grips. This allowed the Union batteries to pummel one of my brigades and when the first Brigade finally did come to grips with the enemy it was with one of the strongest Union brigades and their valiant charge bounced off…

In the centre my division of two veteran brigades crossed the stream and fences to draw up on the left and right of the town. The right hand brigade suffered from the Union guns and although it held its line it did not come to grips with the enemy. The strong left hand brigade formed up with its guns and awaited two Union brigades. This SHOULD have gone a lot better! I had three rounds of shooting where I was firing on the 30 row. And I rolled 1,1 and 2… After battling with some disorder and finally managing to whittle away the first Union brigade I had several 14+ shots. And rolled 1s and 2s! It was quite shocking and a little depressing… :(. Overall my shooting was rotten and the Union return, although not devastating was enough to cause regular disorder and prevent my pushing any attack.

With the left flank destroyed and Union brigades closing in and the right flank attack faltering it was clear the Confederacy would not be able to take, never mind hold, the town so it was time to withdraw. Hopefully the pictures give some idea of the game flow.

I’ve not played Fire and Fury before but the mechanisms seem quite straightforward. The extremes of the D10 were quite noticeable in this game but generally I don’t mind this as anything weird that happens I’m quite happy to weave into a narrative. I’ll happily play again and I might even look at Regimental Fire and Fury. All in all, good fun and a good laugh (though Andy is probably less enthused!).

The other game (Andy Dunn, Darren Byers, Mike Tully) was a 15mm Beneath the Lilly Banners game. I have no idea on the scenario or what happened in the game but the figures did look very nice and the provenance of said figures may be interesting (which I may post about later!).

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It was a most enjoyable evening. Added bonus was that yesterday I retired my trusty HTC One phone and replaced it with a Samsung Galaxy S6. The camera on the HTC was great when there was decent light but often at clubs and shows it just couldn’t cope. The S6 seems much better and I’m quite pleased with the results.

And this Saturday I will be in Durham for Wor Lard! But I really should be painting for Ayton…

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On the workbench…

The painting mojo seems to be slowly returning. Another hour spent tonight (and last night). Some decent progress on gunners for the battalion guns for Ayton:

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With the guns prep’d to go as well and obviously some 15mm Old Glory pikemen I just had to make a start on!

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And I’ve finally broken out the Rosemary and Co. brushes I bought last year. And they seem to be working quite well!

Onwards and upwards!

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Rampant Plastic Normans!

As the great annual Ayton game looms at the start of May and I prepare my painting plan based in the army list I supplied for the big C18th campaign it it only logical that my limited painting and modelling time be firmly focussed on… Modern Microarmour, 15mm ACW and 28mm Normans! 🙂 I’ve posted some pics of the Modern Brits before but here are the vehicles for the FV432 and Saxon units. And some SPGs. Needless to say I’m still painting the infantry!

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A while back (pre- Christmas?) I bought some rather nice painted 15mm ACW Confederate from Iain Burt (Essex Boy) at a rather bargain price. These are I think Peter Pig and very nicely painted. They came mounted 4-5 on a base on unfinished steel bases so they needed to come off those and go on the standard Fire & Fury bases all my other stuff is on. That gave me two 10 stand units (usable for Longstreet as well) and a couple of spare command stands. Very nicely done figures by Mr Burt!

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Finally we come to the plastic Normans. Now I have always been a heft man! I was happy to concede the great opportunities the advent of hard plastic figures offered and have seen many people paint them beautifully. And they look great on the table. But for me the illusion was ruined as soon as you picked them up! 🙂 I had tried some of the Perry Napoleonics a long time ago and gave up sticking them together. Too many bits and too fiddly for me. So in theory that was me done with plastics. Forever…

Then Tim Hall generously passed his small C18th force to me to do service with Altefritzenburg. This force contained the famed Braunschweig Kuirassiers! These were Perry French cuirassiers with tricorn head swaps. A lovely unit and a great conversion.

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So I finally owned some plastics but had yet to paint any. Move forward to the Ayton weekend last year where we discussed the plans for 2016 and 2017. Having just done a C19th Colonial bash tradition holds that the following year we return to our C18th ImagiNation games. But for 2017 it was proposed to try something different and Lion Rampant got the vote. We had a trial run of the rules at the Lion Rampant weekend at Foundry late last year organised by Simon Tonkiss (Goat Major – go look at his excellent new blog: Göaterdämmerung) and I had great plans to paint something for that weekend but it didn’t pan out. I had decided I wanted a Norman/1st Crusade type force with maybe a few Arab types thrown in. This would nicely reflect my C18th and C19th ImagiNation forces. As this was in theory just for a one off game I didn’t want to spend a fortune so I looked at the Conquest Games Norman plastics and thought, What the Hell! I’d give plastics another go. So I bought some infantry. And cavalry. And a few metal Perry miniatures for crossbows and command. And some of the archers. And then for the Arabs I bought Gripping Beast Heavy Arab Cavalry and Infantry. Then got sent some Dark Age Warriors by mistake. Which I bought anyway. And also got given another pack of the Arab infantry… So I now have a plastic pile to join my lead and MDF ones! And that excludes the Games Workshop Orcs I acquired (don’t ask!). And I won’t even mention the PSC 1/72nd US infantry and Shermans…

So we come to the Conquest Normans. I thought I would attempt a unit of 12 infantry to start. I actually stuck these together last year and even primed one but did nothing until a couple of weeks ago. They come as body, head and arms so you can vary the poses quite a bit. The bodies have a variety of armour and you can arm with sword or spear and even a few with round shields. I went for a mix of types but stuck to the kite shields. They stick together quite well. As the heads attach to a flat surface you have to be careful to get them central (some of mine are a little out) and some of the armoured heads seem a little long in the neck. One slight jarring effect is that all come with a sword IN the scabbard. So if you arm them with swords then they appear to have two! I know you could cut/file off the handle but I didn’t think it was worth the effort and the potential damage!

Figures were mounted on 25mm washers and primed black using  the Vallejo Primer (brushed on). I haven’t painted this period in 28mm since the late 70s/early 80s and having been in a mojo slump for quite a while I was unsure how to tackle them. I’d been reading good things about the latest GW washes (replacements for Devlan Mud and Badab Black) so I picked up a couple of the new larger bottles (how much!!!!!?!?!?!?!). So for these figures most was done with a base coat followed by one or the other washes and then a highlight with the base or slightly lighter. As these are still sort of linked to my ImagiNation theme I went for the green and red of Altefritzenburg for the shields. Needless to say my Swans will be making an appearance as well, later!

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Overall, I’m quite pleased with how they come out. The faces were a different approach to normal and I may vary that for the next batch as I’m not sure it fully works.

Not sure what to paint next. I REALLY should line up the stuff for Ayton in May. Not a lot to paint but it will take time. Maybe as the mojo seems to be returning it would be good to get them out of the way. I also need to clear the decks a little as I want to try and have a game at home with my 7 year old. Might look at the One Hour Wargames ACW rules. And I need to sort out my Punic War stuff for the big To The Strongest Game in November. And get to the Whitley Bay Club so I can keep to my once a month plan!

Onwards and upwards!

 

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