Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Another defeat at the hands of a kid...

Yes, a foray into the local GW shop produced the usual results; my beautifully painted, and lovingly crafted eldar, were thrashed by a bunch of troops who still smelt of undercoat. To be fair to him, the one figure he had painted so far was nicely done, and the models were all well made. But that was all. I don't want to sound like some puritannical paint facist; because I'm not - it took me fifteen years to become a competant painter, longer than many GW players have been on Earth - however, it is always the way that the uglier the army, the more assured it is to pound me.

As you can see I got one good photo of my Eldar Fire Prism, the only thing to survive the game, and worth every point I paid for it. That aside being outnumbered 5 vehicles to 1 was the deathknell for me.

Also bad news was the previews of lots of new Eldar models, temptation again. Another reason why I only venture in a GW shop once every few months.

Friday, May 26, 2006

Oops - Part the third

As promised the New Kingdom Egyptians, not too shabby for being knocked out in a week...

I know it's not been long, but I've managed to move to adding some units suitable for WAB to this lot rather than an enemy army I'd actually have to buy. There were some thirty quids worth of Essex Egyptians and Sherden (destined to be royal guards and mercenaries) along with the sprinkling of Phillistines in my box of 15mm biblicals.

A temporary reprise, spoiled by buying a copy of Warhammer ECW on ebay earlier.

Ho hum.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Ooops - part the second

So in short order a DBA army (New Kingdom Egyptian) a camp, and a custom 'built up area' was assembled. Seven days to paint the army (photo's to follow) and camp, with the BUA scheduled to be finished by Friday.

Doesn't end there of course, the same box I found my NKE army in contained about half the figures for a Phillistines army, so I'm wondering how long I can resist picking up the required figures to build an opposing force.

Meanwhile, I find myself contract painting WW2 Russians; and still the Samurai remain unpainted.

Oh dear...

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Wet weekends...

Are always enlivened by a game, even if it is necessary to run a solo battle.

As my last game had shown no end of shortcomings in my comprehension of the rules, I thought it worthwhile having another run through of Warhammer Ancients. Two 1500 point armies were assembled; a Republican Roman army with absolutely no surprises to it, and an Etruscan Greek army.

The Etruscans used the Greek list from AoA, but with a couple of allowances for their Italian nature, Cavalry were bought as Italian allies, with shield and light armour. Peltasts similarly were Italian and thus allowed standards, unlike other Greeks (not therefore contributing to the sages points value rules). Lastly I permitted them the luxury of a unit of Ligurian mercenaries, bought as barbarian warriors.

Positions after turn 1; the Etruscans lost the initiative roll for deployment and ended up on the flat plain between a hill and a forest. A pre-game random roll had made the Roman general conservative, so his deployment had been classic Roman and his tactics fairly simple. The Romans were slightly outnumbered.

Turn 2. The Etruscans develop flank attacks whilst allowing their Cretan archers to pepper the Roman velites. The Roman commander on auto pilot advances in a broad arc, except for holding his Triarii back and hastily reversing his small cavalry force. In the early part of the game the Etruscans were able to deliver a punishing level of fire on the roman ranks, they had 4 units with javelins, including their cavalry, and the Cretan archers BS of 4 made then particularly deadly.

The Etsrucan front line, figures are Zvezda 20mm Greeks.

The Roman front line, mostly 20mm Zvezda Romans, but with Hat Velites (Macedonian allies) and a Hat general. All forces are based for DBM/DBA, which is generally fine for WAB, so long as you can mark casualties in some way, I've always used glass beads, but others prefer rings, casualty dice or paper accounting.

Turn 3. The Ligurians run out of the woodland impetuously, the velites are scattered. The phalanxes advance a little.

Turn 4. The Roman cavalry tries to face off the Italians, the Triarii move to face an expected flank attack if the Roman horse can't contain them. A charge by the Princeps results in the Ligurians fleeing the field, never to return. The centre pushed forward.

Turn 5 The Roman centre went in, One rather battered maniple was destroyed straight away, and the phalanx that pursued it smacked into the maniple behind it, to which their general and army standard were attached.

Turn 6. The Phalanxes pummel the roman centre, whilst the Italian peltasts attempt to break the right with aid from skirmishers, sadly the lightest troops already ran. Surprisingly the Roman cavaly outfought their Italian foes, and spent the rest of the game pursuing them.

Turn 7. The Romans put to rout the left phalanx of the Etruscans and destroyed their Italian allies, but in the centre the attack of the reserve on the Roman maniple, left the Roman general and his standard supported by only a few velites, a personal combat had now begun as the Etruscan general (marked by his soothsayer on the stand behind the unit, but - in rules terms - fighting in the front rank) sought out his oppostie number.

Turn 8. The Roman flank troops rally and the Triarii approach. The Etruscan general is unlucky and dies; all his units break in panic, except for the central phalanx which was able to stand and hack down the Roman leader in turn. Of the Romans though, only the Battle Standard and velites fled, both outrunning the phalanx. At this point it was clear the gig was up for Etruria!

So, an entertaining diversion, and useful to learn some important rule clarifications. Less mistakes against my next real opponent I hope!

Thursday, May 18, 2006


So the Japanese battalion was swiftly finished, I was getting ready to start the Samurai when I spotted this on a DBA related webpage:

"Scheduled as a substitute for the cancelled Fiasco convention, DBAL is a
DBA 15mm competition using version 2.2 of DBA organized by the Leeds Wargames Club for club members and players around the region. It will be held on Saturday, 17th June 2006 (n.b. the only Saturday in June when England will
not be playing a game in the World Cup) at the New Headingley Club, St Michaels
Lane Headingley, Leeds 6. The event runs from 11am to about 5.30pm.
Cost will be £3 per player. Contact Trevor Bavage on 0113 2759762 or

Well, that's me suckered in! I had a pile of 15mm ancients lying around awaiting painting, so now a new army (thankfully only 50 odd figures) is on the painting table taking shape. Can I get them ready in time? I reckon so, I've got 4 weeks...

Monday, May 08, 2006

The Battle of Walkensvaard 1382

My first game of WAB in a year or so. I picked out two 2000 point forces from my favourite armies from the Age of Chivalry supplement for my two players to command, whilst I got familiar with the rules again by umpiring. The Forces were respectively a Hundred years war French army with 18 cavalry and 90 or so foot; and a Low Countries army (hereafter referred to as the Flemish) of 14 cavalry and 120 foot.

The French Array in full. Around 2/3rds of the force was either Nobles, knights esquires or men at arms on foot. Discounting the peasants they were outnumbered almost two to one.

The French Brigands, one of the few citizen units they fielded. Figures are a mixture of Essex and Games workshop. Other troops on display are by Foundry, Irregular and Black Tree Design.

The Flemish army, Five cannons and two large pike blocks were the core of a solid, if somewhat static force. It proved to have little in the way of attack, but a dogged defense

The Initial Dispositions. As it turned out, a mix of placed terrain and random movement of it resulted in a wide open plain for the battle. Suiting the French knights perfectly, but also giving the Flemish cannons free range...

By the third turn the Parisian milita had charged and bounced of the particularly stubborn Coutrai crossbowmen. The French knights however were about to deliver a devastating charge that would overrun the artillery on their right and catch the Flemish general, with his handful of knights in the flank and rout them off the table.

The French cannon blew itself up the second time it fired, but this opened the field for the esquires and foot knights to advance. With their lord gone, panic thinned the Flemish ranks, and they had to begin an advance simply to block the enemy cavalry from hitting their vulnerable sides.

The esquires however repeated the sucess of the Knights, and rolled up first a Flemish unit of seargents, and then a unit of Targedragers it hit in the flank. The Flemish realised the gig was up, and with the army reduced to only some crossbowmen and a unit of Pikeman, gave France the field.

Like many games not played in a while, we got a few things wrong (well, I as umpire did), but they probably balanced out, and anyway the two players were quite new to the game anyhow; so it didn't effect their enjoyment. Battle standards were allowed to re-roll all Panic and Break tests, when it should have only been break tests, but the french knights should've also been allowed back into the game after chasing two units off the table.

Always nice to get the 28's out again, next time I'll take some better pictures...

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Going east...

Having finished my last long term project of a 20mm DBM Camillan Roman army, the next projects rumble into view; despite the ever present mixture of bits and pieces that exist on most modeller-wargamers' painting table, it was naturally time to start two new projects.

The first one was accidental, I intended to rummage through my big bag of WW2 leftovers, mostly from my childhood and teens, when it seemed necessary to have one pack of everything, and paint off what units I could. It was onto ebay for the lot of them, maybe get a fiver for every ten or so?

Apparently, there really are a lot of people out there who are too lazy to paint there own figures.

Fine by me; there are a lot of things I can buy when I get £2 per figure for my paint jobs. It's a pay off for the years of practice and time spent trying techniques, that led to ways to knock up attractive figures for a reasonable expenditure of time and effort.

But rummaging to sell stuff, always leads down those dusty corridoor, to half decided plans.

So I ended up with some of my favourite figures back on the painting table, after nearly twenty years. Matchbox Japanese infantry. So it turned out, more than enough to defend a small island in Crossfire, or Rapid Fire. A couple of quick purchases from Frontline, and MMS soon provided a couple of tanks, an infantry gun and an anti tank gun to support them. In a week or two the Japanese will be ready to defend their atoll to the last against my innumerable americans...

But besides them it's another Japanese force that I really want to get stuck in to; hundreds of 20mm Samurai are beckoning. Two Warhammer armies are the plan - a Mix of Zvezda, Caeser, and Milton Bradley figures, timely as well with the Art Of War supplement on oriental armies due any day soon. Compared to Romans or World War two uniforms though, the Samurai are an altogether more daunting proposition. The only consolation being the small size needed to get started. A thousand point Samurai army will only need about 50 figures.

On top of them though there are still 30 28mm American GI's and Wermacht Inantry, on the paint table, along with a 1/48th Pak 40, a White Half Track, a 20mm German Flak wagen, a bunch of other oddments...

I don't think many wargamers have the will to avoid this situation though.