Despite numerous efforts to keep my work desk tidy it never seems to stay that way long. Part of the problem was having paints everywhere. The rack I have for my Vallejo, although neat and solid, is not the most accessible and I have way more bottles than holes! So having looked at various options I settled on the vertical racks that Warbases do. I wanted something that took up little table space and these seemed the best option.
So they arrived today and I managed to get away from work early to ‘install’ them. There are only 6 pieces and construction took no more than 15 minutes for both. I applied a little PVA along the joints to keep everything in place:Then came the ‘sorting of the paints’… Each rack holds 45 Vallejo bottles and I filled them rather too quickly…I decided to use the old rack to hold duplicate bottles (of which there were 24!), inks and washes. And the stepped rack at the back to hold the big bottles of acrylics I use for basing and the Vallejo Primers.And the top of the rack held the ridiculous number of variants of green I seem to have! I’d been storing the surplus Vallejo (and others) in the desk drawer. This wasn’t ideal as it was hard to see the colours so I’m now using this for all the odds and ends of paints from different manufacturers:This freed up some space at the left to put all the big bottles that were previously getting in the way on the right hand side. So now I yet again have a nice tidy table!On the left you can see the current WIP stuff of which more in a day or so when some bases arrive!
All in all I’m quite pleased with the racks. At £7 each they are cheap and quick to make and take up little space. I’m tempted to get another one though. I want to organise the paints into my preferred and regular triads and label up the racks…
After the big tidy up the other week I’ve finally cleared a couple of things in the pile. A while back I acquired some Sudan Brits from Martin (Slugbalancer). Neatly painted I just applied a wash and based them after painting a few more to make up a full unit. He then most kindly sent me some more! Again, wash required, extras to paint, and then base. This now gives me two units! Slow progress but getting there…And then the Curse of Burt strikes! Re-basing! The 10mm Lancer Prussians I painted and based a few weeks ago I decided just weren’t right. Four 6 figures bases, although quick to paint, just didn’t look like a unit to me. And when in line the FLAGS WERE NOT IN THE MIDDLE!!!
So, after consulting the Goat (Simon) I decided that a DBN compatible 40mm base was the answer. Now I thought this was just a quick rebase as I had it in my head the first lot were on 30mm bases so it was just a matter of re-arranging them. But they were on 25mm! And to get the required 12 figures on a 40mm base I had to paint another 12… but I think it was worth it…
The flags are printed from Warflag.com. I might try and stick a bit in the top for a finial as the poles are a little short for the size of flag I want…
So that is the 1st Battalion Muffling regiment. Just need to do the second now!
And finally the latest rule arrival is the 2nd Edition of Brigade Fire and Fury. Only had a couple of read throughs but the changes look interesting, adding a little more detail to unit classifications, some streamlining of mechanisms, diagrams and examples seem clearer, and a force generator added. Looking forward to trying them.
After a nice lie in, breakfast, and nice smelly thing presents and chocolate I managed to grab a little Father’s Day me time in the attic. I’d thought to do some painting but the place is a mess so a tidy up was required first. The painting area in the desk was cleared and cleaned, paints put away, and the desk protector I’ve had for months finally put down…So… looking much tidier… Only issue is the mouse doesn’t like the plastic mat hence the piece of paper. I could really do with another Vallejo type paint rack and I have another drawer full of paints…
Now, to clear the desk I had to move off all the part prepped/painted odds and ends. All of these I piled on the now rather cluttered ‘gaming’ table…As you can see, no gaming on there for a while… But it did enable me to sort all the bits I have in the queue…So, left side starting at the back:
28mm Spencer Smith FPW French Marines and Mitrailleuse and crew
20mm Les Higgins WSS
28mm RSM primed…
10mm 1806 Project…
Centre starting at back:
Crann Tara Savoia cavalry
10mm Sudan British
15mm Macedonian pikemen
Right side, starting at back:
28mm Crann Tara Savoia infantry
28mm RSM (painted!)
15mm Minifigs ACW odds and ends…
Now the current plan is to do the 1806 first. You may notice that the unit I had based is now off their bases! More of which in a day or so…
The C18th 28mm stuff should really be started as needed for Ayton next May but the 20mm WSS may be needed before if Essex Boy arranges an early 2018 game in his new shed!
The rest is on hold…
The other success of the day (apart from cleaning the attic windows) was zapping my big PC and installing a new version of Linux (MINT). The version of Ubuntu I had on was ‘broken’ and hadn’t been properly updated for a couple of years. So installing a current version was getting to be a priority. I usually install and keep my home directory but this time I jiggled the partitions round and created a new home and saved the old one. Before my ‘me’ time ran out I managed to restore my Thunderbird profile and get the Citrix Receiver working so I can log into work on Wednesday. Lots of stuff to reinstall now but it will be good to have a current setup…
And the day was rounded off nicely with beer and home made pizza at the Pickthall’s. Always a pleasure…
Today, 10th June was the annual Durham Wargames Show put on by Durham Wargames Group at their club venue. I couldn’t make last year’s show so was determined to make this year. Luckily Lawrence was able to offer a lift and we arrived shortly after 10am. The bring and buy was in the pavillion on your right before you get to the main venue so we nipped in there first. It was quite busy with people booking stuff in and a good selection on the tables already. There was a table opposite that I think was meant for people booking in etc. but everyone seemed to be rummaging through the boxes there as well! Lots of books on the B&B but possibly not as many figures as previous years. And although quite busy for the first hour and a half I felt that by 11.30 everything that was going on was on and pretty well all the stuff that was going to sell was sold. There seemed to be a few bargains and the book prices were good. If I had spare shelf space I’d probably no longer have spare shelf space! 🙂
Hitting the bring and buy first was a good idea. I only had one thing on my shopping list, Jena, Auerstaedt: The Triumph of the Eagle by Francois-Guy Hourtoulle.
I used to have a copy of this acquired during previous project starts for an 1806 Prussian Army but I have been unable to find it! I must have sold it on at some point when I gave up. I knew that Worley Books usually had copies for £10 so if nothing else I was going to buy that. But there on the bring and buy was a copy for £5! Bargain! Sorted!
In the same room was a nice looking 28mm ACW game using Johnny Reb 2 rules.Very tidy game and nice to chat with Dave Jarvis both during the game and over coffee.
The main venue is two large rooms. There were only a dozen or so traders but all are fairly local and good to see them supporting the local show. Sadly, one of the traders, Northumbria Games, had a a closing down sale. I’ve seen them at many shows over the years and it is sad to see them go. I think the dominance of online purchases and Kickstarter played a big part. A shame…
The chaps from Old Glory UK usually put on a game at Durham rather than trade and had a nice looking late medieval game.This was the only game in the right hand room. In the larger main ‘hall’ were the remaining traders and two more games. A WW2 skirmish:And a nice looking game using the recent Pikeman’s Lament:
Durham is always a small show and for me is more about supporting the club and traders and having a good natter with the local players. It did seem quiet this year, possibly not helped by the rotten weather. I do hope it continues though as I always enjoy the day.
So given I had got the book I wanted and I’m trying to be sensible at the moment I started no new scales or periods and only bought four average dice! Not sure why but I’m sure they will come in somewhere!
Thanks to the Durham Wargames Group and nice to bump into a good few people and natter. And thanks again to Lawrence (and Rowena) for the lift!
I was going to keep this as a secret project just in case, as has happened before, it come to nought…
I’ve always wanted to do 1806 Prussians. I tried starting in 6mm, had some French painted, but never got round to the Prussians. And then sold them… I’ve contemplated 28mm but too expensive. I’ve since decide that 6mm is no good for my eyes. And 15mm I would just spend too long painting especially as I’d want to go the AB route…
And the last few weeks I’ve been following the progress of Richard Phillips on various Facebook groups as he progresses rapidly through an 1806/9 Saxon project in 10mm. So I thought, what the hell, a few samples can’t hurt…
Now he is using Magister Militum 10mm and I quite like them but I also spotted the Lancer Miniatures range for the period. I quite like the infantry but am a little reserved about the cavalry. I’ll paint a few and see… So I ordered a pack of Prussian musketeers and command and painted 4 bases of 6. Quickly. Roughly two hours from undercoated to done. They could be a little neater in places and I’ll likely spend more time on the others but with the purpose of getting units done quickly they will do…
I’m broadly planning on using General d’Armee and four bases will form a standard unit. And I’m looking at the OOB for Saalfeld so get to paint Fusiliers and Saxons as well.
We shall see what happens but I only really intend to buy a couple of units at a time and paint them before ordering more. And I still need to find the right flags!
Yesterday I made the trip to Partizan at Newark Showground. I’ve always enjoyed Partizan and the new venue is excellent. Despite a soft spot for the warren that was Kelham I have to admit the new place is ideal. Easy to get to, light and spacious. Food is a little basic and pricey but as a vegan I was quite happy with my chips and beans! There was a long queue to get in when we arrived at 10:10 and that was still going at 10:30 when other friend arrived. A good sign! There were some excellent demo games and a good selection of participation games. Not sure how the latter went as it’s not something I’m generally interested in but seemed popular enough and is a good thing to see at shows.
I usually take lot and lots of pictures for show reports but of late that has become less of a priority. I tend to sort my orders out beforehand and then the event is more of a social meet up. Lots of the LAW guys present and good to see Brendan and Timmo. Had a long chart with Harry Sidebottom and picked up the first of his latest Throne of the Caesars series, Iron and Rust. I’ve read the Ballista series and enjoyed them and have been meaning to try these for a while. And it was actually quite nice to have a proper book rather than the Kindle I’ve been using of late for fiction books. Interesting as well to discuss the popularity of ‘Roman’ fiction with publishers and their preference for that over other periods despite the risk of flooding the market. I took a few pictures of the games that took my eye or were in my periods so apologies to the ones I missed out. Nothing personal!
Graham at Crann Tara had an excellent looking game using his teddy bear fur done for our AMG games at Partizan a few years ago. This time graced with lots of his own range of figures. Excellent looking game.Just along was the Perry’s Egypt game. VERY nice figures.I’ve been following the Steve Jones’s painting of his AWI figures on Facebook and it was good to see them in the flesh in his excellent Bunker Hill game:Dave Docherty’s Sudan game was very pretty. Meant to stop and have a char but kept getting sidetracked!And the Derby Wargames Port Arthur Russo-Japanese naval game looked excellent!The League of Gentleman Anti-Alchemists put on a nice looking WSS game in 28mm:
Too Fat Lardies were in residence with two games. A Peninsular Sharp Practice game and to go with the launch of General D’Armee, Dave Brown’s new Napoleonic rules, a 15mm Napoleonic game. Some nicely painted ABs in display and the game certainly looked the part. I have a copy of Pickett’s Charge on which these rules are based and was getting very twitchy about my off/on/off/on/off 1806 Napoleonic project!
And a few more of games I liked the look of!The last is of Simon Miller’s ECW variant of To The Strongest. ECW is a period I’ve never been tempted by. No idea why. It’s just never clicked with me… The table looked impressive though.
Lots more good games there as well and some pretty participation games as well. If I hadn’t spent so much time talking I’d have taken more pics!
I had very few needs for the show and a clear mission to not start any more periods or scales! Most of what I wanted I had pre-ordered. This was the haul:
I’d arrange with Graham at Crann Tara to grab some of the new Savoia cavalry, partly in exchange for some 6mm painted Napoleonic British. And he also bought me the extra figures to make up a unit from figures I traded with Peeler in return for food! There are a couple of little packs of Perry 1st Crusade. Some Hospitilars to make up the rest of the Brotherhood of the Swan, and some more armed pilgrims so I can do serfs if needed!
The show figure was Hemingway (no use to me…) and Harry S gave me one of the Ballista figures which I might paint and chuck in with some Saxons! And speaking of which, I wanted some command type figure to go with the plastic Saxons I intend to paint. The SAGA packs were a little costly but Foundry came to the rescue with a nice command pack.
I get a little leeway getting to Partizan as it coincides with my birthday (today!) so my wife has also renewed my Wargames, Soldiers and Strategy subscription. For me this is the only magazine worth getting at the moment. And I also finally got the last of Christian Camerons’s Arimnestos books, Rage of Ares. Really enjoy these and it will be good to see the conclusion.
And there we have it. Another Partizan. Another birthday. All good and only offset by a developing toothache!
Other stuff doesn’t really do it justice. This is just a collection of pics of other peoples armies and their games. I have no idea what was going on in most of them! There are also a few pics of Tims Hall and Waudby’s 54mm game! This was a joy to behold. Excellent painting of both figures and vehicles and a great looking table.
There were also some excellent armies on display in other parts of the Lion Rampant games:
As with all Ayton games everyone had put in lots of effort getting armies ready, some from existing armies they had, others painting up full retinues from scratch. It also reflects well of the whole Ayton ethos that people put in a LOT of effort creating armies in scales and periods they may never have looked at before!
Thoughts on the Games
We played a ‘test’ Lion Rampant game last year and that was great fun. Finding a way to deal with activations in larger games has been a challenge. Gary put in a lot of work preparing the background to the games and mechanisms to run them. In the first games we controlled activation by drawing a card for each player. This did mean that sometimes players got two turns in a row but as is the nature of the game it didn’t always mean you got to do much if you failed to activate anything! But it kept the game moving.
The larger Day Two game had ten players. Running it with cards would mean people possibly waiting ages for their turn so it was decided that all one side would activate and then the other. This would keep as many people ‘active’ as possible. As we also had two retinues each it was decide you could only activate one retinue a turn. This seemed to work early on but once you got a retinue in the thick of the action you had to KEEP activating that retinue to Rally troops and keep the pressure up. I don’t know how the other side of the table worked out but myself and Dave pretty well spent the whole game fighting with our one large retinue. The other retinue was further back and there just wasn’t time to bring them up. Obviously activation rolls affect this. Richie’s two retinues to my left fared better as they were both close to the enemy so it was easy to bring the second retinue into the fray when needed.
We discussed various solutions to all this:
March Moves – units outside a certain distance from the enemy get a +1 to activation rolls. We also thought of allowing double moves.
Extra activation – ALL retinues get a re-roll (on top of any leader type ones). However, to use it you have to sacrifice your leader unit’s activation. This worked well and cut down on the frustration of moving NOTHING for several turns. I know this is part of the game but if the dice go really bad it gets very frustrating. If you had already activated your leader then you couldn’t use this option.
Two Leaders – allow both leaders to activate each turn. So one larger retinue and when you fail your first activation then the other leader takes over.
We discussed other options, some similar to the Cold War Commander/Blitzkreig Commander rules where all units get a chance to roll, but felt this was moving way from the ‘core’ of the Rampant series and could possibly unbalance games, especially those with a lot of Expert Bow involved! Getting too many shots in with those could wipe out the opposition too quickly!
But overall, everything worked. Sometimes it was frustrating, sometimes the dice went well and it was great. We were all there to have fun and that we did! No one threw any strops. No one gloated at their good fortune (except maybe Iain on Day 1 but things go his way so infrequently he deserves to enjoy it while it lasts! 🙂 )
From my side, I now have a decent size Norman force, already have plans to add to it, and will be painting some Saxons/Dark Age types to oppose it! I’ve also enjoyed painting plastics! I’ve always been firmly in the heft school (no personal comments…) and avoided plastics. I didn’t like the faff of sticking them together and I didn’t like the ‘feel’ of them. Lead all the way for me! But that has changed. The Conquest Normans were easy to put together and painted up well. I’ll be working on some Gripping Beast Saxons next!
And to finish, here are the chaps. Just in case you see us at a show and want to avoid us!
And so we come to Day 2. The big game! Western Crusaders and Eastern types assaulting a castle/village/church complex. Six players on our side versus four on the other, with a couple of guns mounted in the castle facing either way. Each player has 42 points to split into two retinues. However, each turn you could only activate one of them. On the first day the activation sequence with four players was controlled by cards. This time all one side went, but as said, only one of your retinues per turn. Unfortunately, Richie was unable to attend Day 2 so myself and Dave Hall took it turns controlling his force depending on how busy we were with our own.
I split my force into a small retinue (two yeoman, two bidowers and one lot of mounted) which along with all Richie’s force were facing Bob defending the village. My main retinue (sergeants, bows etc.) joined Dave in attacking Ken and then the castle. Despite the losses on Day 1 I still chose a couple of Boasts! I went for my arrows are deadlier than my spears, and issuing a challenge. As my leader had died the day before I got to roll for two new ones and got a Great Leader and a Lionheart! So I reckoned a duel would be in order…
Let battle commence!
And at that point Gary called it a day! Although we had not taken the castle we had killed enough of the enemy to force a surrender. And for once my dice had been good! I had wiped out at least five units, killed a Lord and achieved my two boasts! A great turnaround after the dire result of Day 1! But the dice had served me well and fortunately for me Bob suffered badly with his which gave me and Dave freedom to pile into Ken! All in all a good game. Great fun and nice to win!
Another post later/tomorrow with some more pics from the weekend and thoughts in the games.
And so our 7th Ayton has come and gone. And a great weekend it was yet again. This year, as you will know if you have followed the last few posts, was to be Lion Rampant. Gary Phillips took on the onerous task of herding us all together to fight it out and produced an excellent set of games! It’s not easy setting up scenarios to fit in timescales (2 games on day 1 and 1 big game on day 2), as I’m sure Henry will attest! And especially with the weird and wonderful troops our lot can come up with! But Gary did a fine job.
The basic background to the games was:
Somewhere in the Med, sometime during the Crusades . . . . Sir Geoffrey the Indolent is on to a nice little earner. He has established a little fiefdom right on the main sailing route to the Levant. Crusaders on the way out are charged extortionately for food and board, even more on the way back! As a result, Sir Geoffrey has built up a significant pile of treasure from the Crusades, whilst maintaining a reign of terror over the local populace. He has a number of minor nobles to enforce this rule of law. The Western Crusaders have had enough. A number of nobles have decided to remove Sir Geoffrey and have launched a punitive expedition. They want him removed and they want to dismantle his little empire and recover their treasures. The Eastern Hordes have seen the Crusaders take their treasures and set up an outpost which threatens their shores. They want the treasures back, so have launched a raid – the objective: loot, burn and kill indiscriminately. If they destroy enough, there will be nothing for the Crusaders to defend. A renegade band of Teutonic Knights see their cause as a way to get one over on the Westerners and have joined their cause, albeit they will arrive late . . . . Meanwhile, all is not well in the House of Geoffrey. Whilst his nobles wish to preserve the island paradise, some are not keen on seeing Sir Geoffrey prosper. They are more interested in the locals and whist they don’t want it destroyed, they won’t mind if Sir Geoffrey falls to the invaders. Others of course have had their pockets lined and will defend the current set-up to the last. They are also happy to perform a little pillaging of the local populace and treasures on their own account. Cue chaos . . . . .
I, along with Dave Hall and Richie, formed the Western Crusader contingent as we all had broadly late C11th forces. My first game saw myself and Richie converging on a wagon train guarded by Ken and Gary. Each wagon had a unit attached to it that could defend but not abandon them to go fight. Rolling for my leader (Prior Donovan) he was ‘vulnerable’ so this looked like it may be his last campaign leading the Brotherhood of the Swan into battle!
And that was it. With Richie’s losses and my last two units dying we were deemed to have failed and were forced from the field allowing the wagons through. I’d misheard the Glory Points instructions and thought we HAD to pick three. And I failed all mine, scored no other victory points and so ended the game on -3. Much to the amusement of everyone there…
After a pleasant light lunch we resumed for Game 2. This time the Western Crusaders, myself, Dave Hall and Richie were assaulting a town with the intent of capturing a couple of guns that would then not be available to the defenders in the big game. The opposition was Gary and Ken on the flanks, and defending the town was the resolute Essex Boy (Iain Burt)! Dave looked at the cannon pointing down the road and the bows and crossbows massed in the buildings either side and decided to set up on the right flank! I decided that charging up the road with glorious abandon would be fun so lined up to face Iain which Richie deployed on the left (where another cannon was placed) and faced Gary.
Dave had rotten dice the whole game and could only get half his force into action. Richie, over on my left, got badly pummelled by Gary’s mounted troops and although he fought back well he too could not get his remaining troops into the fray…
I had rather poor dice. But it was a strong position to assail and Iain sat there and revelled in shooting hell out of me on the way in. It’s quite hard to coordinate an attack as you can get everything forward and ready and then have some bad rolls that leaves them vulnerable… especially to Expert Bow! But Iain did not revel in his good fortune and only sniggered and danced a jig on most rather than all good rolls… 🙂
Although I managed to score some Glory Points (2) I had again taken and failed three boasts…. so my total for the day saw me on -4! But everyone was sympathetic to my misfortune and were supportive and hardly ever mentioned it… especially Peeler…. Gits!
So that was Day 1. Not exactly a resounding success for my troops but a good laugh which is the important thing. Not the points. No one cares about the points… Or mentions them…again…and again…and again…
Tomorrow I’ll heading down to Ayton for what will be our 7th year! This year we are playing a large Lion Rampant game so I have mostly been painting Normans! And mostly over the last month as inevitably I left it all late! 🙂 The last few days have seen me rattling off 12 archers, 12 yeoman and 12 mounted chaps!
So we have 6 Conquest plastic Normans:12 Conquest plastics done as yeoman and with round shields as a sort of local force:And 12 Conquest plastic archers:And finally, the Brotherhood of the Swan! Three Perry Hospitaler command and three Conquest plastics. I intend to pick up three more Perry’s to make these a full unit.And Brother Donovan carrying the sacred banner!
Not bad for a week’s work! I’d hoped to get the force to the 42 points we need for Day Two but it was just too much. The remaining figures from the boxes will go to make some bidowers and once I have the Perrys, another mounted unit. So the force for Ayton is:Needless to say there will be a full report after the weekend! Really looking forward to it!