Thursday, October 26, 2006

Two in One!

Last week was a good week for games.

Been a very long while since I got two games in within seven days, but I did it this week.

A game at home on sunday first of all; we rolled out the Epic 40k figures. As you can see from the arrayed armies of Orks and Imperial Guard, what they lack in size they more than make up for in numbers. In total the game involved around 250 figures and 120+ vehicles.

An Ork assault developed on the ruins of a regional penal colony on Armageddon. At first only an Ork supply station was occupied, but the fast moving forces of the Kult of Speed and forces of Battlewagons sonn applied some pressure to a defending Company of the 181st defence militia regiment. Although reserves for the 181st were arriving, it appeared it would be too slow to stop the Orkish advance.

A wide advance by the Orks was then backed up by infantry and the slow progress of the Ork Great Gargant. But now the long range firepower of the 181st and their tanks and artillery started to make an impression. Several ork units were pinned down whilst a Tank company made a rapid advance on the left flank:

Whilst some Ork forces advanced, others stalled and the first force was outright destroyed, sent into retreat. The artillery and concentrated fire of the Baneblade and Shadowsword tanks stopping the main attack. On the left, Orks were trying to counter the Tank advance.

As many Ork units broke, the Gargant finally came into play, in doing so attracting a mass of fire from the Reaver titan and Shadowswords. Sorely outnumbered, the Leman Russ tanks broke, but not without inflicting many losses on the Orks. The 181st and its' command company held in the centre. Overall a hard fought,but inconclusive draw; cut short a turn by the start of the final F1 race of the season!

The second game was at the Leeds club last night, and as promised I took along my Medievals; but not alas my camera! Two 1600 point armies for WAB - Flemish and French - put about 250 figures ont oa little 4x4 foot table.

A solid line of Flemish Pike were under my command, with a little help from some foot knights, Swordsmen, handgunners, bowmen, a cannon and a troop of mounted seargents. My opponent had a typical French array; two units of knights, some crossbowmen, heavy spearmen, light spearmen and a mass of peasants.

Terrain played a major part, as the French knights got lost behind a wood for the first three turns (moving back and forth in column trying to find a point they could attack without my cannon and handgunners getting them first). on the opposite flank the peasants occupied a farm, whilst my pike line advanced over a low hill, slowly forming an oblique line.

A misjudged manoevre on my part left my seargents - attached to the General - exposed to the smaller unit of French knights, near the farm. He should have pounded me on the charge, but even needing 6's to save, I made 5 throws and escaped unscathed, my horse cut two of his down and they fled. I'd turn his flank through pure good luck! He now had to try to block me with his knights, from charging his fighting line in the rear. He also turned his crossbowmen in fear of my horse.

The rest of his line had come well forward, whilst his general tried to chase down my skirmishers. Some of his spearmen tried to occupy the woods, but handgun fire and a pikeman charge dealt with them. My cannon enfiladed his crossbows, and the fled with heavy losses. Neverthe less a charge in the centre by his heavy spearmen stalled my advance and initially put flight to some of my troops. Only the foot knights held.

His king rode down the handgunners and threatend to do the same to my cannon, but by this point my centre had consolidated, three units outflanked and then destroyed his spearmen, whilste my last unit of pike flushed out the peasants from the farm. My horse failed to charge again, but by this poiunt the game was over. A Flemish victory, Hurrah!

All good fun, and my figures received a favourable response from the other members. Leeds seems to be one of the clubs where they think 28mm is dead; Oh how very wrong they are! still, it means my stuff gets some good attention. Other games on last night were a WW2 skirmish, a Vietnam game in 20mm; and as ever 15mm DBA (the same 2-3 players as always, with the same armies, and so far as I could tell, the exact same terrain) - apparently it's all they ever do.

Thursday, October 19, 2006


Posted a few shots of my Warhammer 40K Ork armour on the other day and they seemed to go down well. Granted I am not a great figure painter, but the ingenuity and variety of the models impressed the people there; which was all I was hoping for.

Honestly the quality of their painting knocks my socks off; I'm learning a lot just looking at the pages. But it isn't practical for the purposes of my mass-production painting schedules. You cant knock out 24 figures a week, if you are doing three highlights, a shaded glaze and then three MORE hightlights to finish up, each colour!

My models are a mix of GW's own models heavily converted with plasticard, and the contents of the bits box. And low cost 1:35th scale WW2 tank models with varying degrees of conversion carried out.

They certainly don't lack for imagination!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Leeds Wargames Club

As an alternative to the murderous journey to Harrogate; I've now tried Leeds' best known games night. To be fair there are several in Leeds and its' immediate area. But this one had the advantage of being nearby, and after the DBA tourney - discussed some months back on this blog - I knew how to find it!

Fisrtly with Phil in tow, and then on my own, I've visited their last two regular Wednesday evenings. Compared to harrogate, the set up is not disimilar, but nowhere near as permanent feeling, though a steady arrangement from what I could judge. The club has arrays of scenery available in cabinets, and a few club owned games appear to be stored. The attendance was reasonable on both nights, about 16 players and a couple of hangers on/loiterers. Thankfully there were some games on too.

Over the course of the nights there were games of Flames of War, Blood Bowl, Crimson Skies, Block Wars and DBA played. For myself and Phil it was a game set in the English Civil War, using Peter Pig rules (Regiment of Foote I think). An entertaining little affair. Whilst this week America beckoned, with a refight of part of Antietam, using Fire and Fury.

Observations include a preference for small scales, in figures and games. 15mm on a 3x4 foot table seemed to be the norm, whilst the ACW game stretched to 4 foot square, but was only in 6mm. Additionally despite a pretty extensive scenery selection, presentation of games could best be termed as functional. Maybe I was spoiled by the Grimsby club for all those years, but 20mm and 25/28mm games played on great terrain on big tables is what I really expect at a club!

Still another friendly bunch; and crucially a 15 minute drive from my home, on roads I actually know! I think I shall introduce them to my 28mm medievals, and see how we go from there...

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Photo bonanza

Well; I finally scraped together the savings devoted to a camera: £50 from the contract paint job of Russian infantry, and £100 from selling my Flintloque figures. With that I was able to replace my aging digital camera; all the photos on this site to date have been taken on a simple Vivtar 2mp point and click I got from Argos a couple of years ago. Adequate for ebay and generic holiday/celebration photos; it really suffered in delivering quality shots. Now I've upgraded to a Samsung 5mp camera with a decent range of settings, manual override, and a decent macro function (amongst other things). So here are some new shots.

Firstly, here are the 15mm Egyptians I was working on earlier this year in all their glory. About two months work, thanks to the varnish-wash technique, they look pretty respectable!

All figures are by Essex, a mix of their Early and later New Kingdom Egyptians, along with some Sherden allies.

Finally for these, the general gives his orders, beside the entranceway to a regional temple...

Next, to test the range of options, I dug out my WWII 28mm Americans.

M4A3 Sherman (IIRC) by Bandai, figures by Black Tree; and yes they are rather too green!

Some B&W shots to give more atmosphere; more Black Tree Americans support a Solido/Verem M20 utility car.

A general view, someone's got wind of enemy, nearby...

All these shots were taken without modification, on basic settings on a Samsung Digimax V50. Uploaded without scaling or post-production. I'm quite pleased, the results should only improve when I run them through potatoshop.

Lastly, the burden of the wargamer:

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Harrogate Wargames Club

As a new inductee to the world of motor vehicle transportation, I took an outing to one of the local wargames clubs. Although Leeds is nearer, I opted to have a look at the Harrogate Wargames club first, they are on paper a fairly easy drive from where I live, and had a good reputation. There website is not much help however, and as it turned out the roads in Harrogate are a nightmare.

After a 35 minute drive and an hour long trundle around Harrogate and its' environs, I finally found the place. The RAFA club is one of many servicemens clubs in Harrogate, I should know, I visited three trying to find the right one! On entry I found there to be a large range of board and card games going on, darn I thought, no figure gamers.

But this was only the first floor, I soon found the historical gamers - at the bar - and was introduced around and given a tour. It turns out this is a healthy group of 30 to 50 (!) regulars with a more or less permanent residence in the club and the use of 5 rooms over two floors! masses of terrain, storage for regulars armies, and a huge selection of their own boardgames. Thankfully the emphasis did not seem to be on tournament play of a limited set of rules, but on a 'bring it and we'll play it' sentiment.

I was impressed.

Eventually we got round to a game, a modern version of the very trendy Flames of War rules, played in 1/144th scale (12mm) on a 8x6 table. British and Dutch forces against Russians in the sort of WW3 - cold war - scenario every modern gamer used to do in the eighties. Painted up, it all looked pretty good.

So after a couple of hours play I realised it was gone 11, and they showed no sign of stopping; I had to call it quits and drive home. A missed turn resulted in a 15 mile detour and rally driving conditions along pitch black country roads. Gulp!

Overall, I liked the place, and will give it another chance, but at this stage I just couldn't do that drive every week; even if I did get the right turns each way. Maybe as a monthly treat...

Next week I hope to try the Leeds club, and see how they compare