Thursday, September 27, 2018

The Treasure of Ungray Pliskie

Clementia and Gebrovia were never the best of friends.  Two small states on a fractured continent, they survived the ravages of plague, pestilence, war and religion to enter the new age of enlightenment with shared borders and fistfuls of disputes.  Each nation eyed the other with suspicion, and relied on spies for information and vigilant border forces for security.

Whilst the citizens may carry on trade and agriculture as if there was no border, princes, dukes and generals alike preferred to move coloured blocks across maps, and plan for the war that would in their eyes - of whichever nation alike - unite two nations as one under their rightful fist.

All that was needed was an excuse, a spark for the flame, grounds for a war.  In 1718 such matters appeared to come to a head, and the smoke that warned of fire first rose...

Formally Ungray Pliskie fell in the domain of Gebrovia, but the crossroads outside the village was considered to be a part of the border.  Ordinarily this would have been no issue, but when a chest of sensitive documents was lost from a Gebrovian military despatch in the area, tensions arose.

Rumours swiftly abounded that the chest contained a small fortune in regimental paye; but the word that garnered most attention from the Clementinians was rumour of Gebrovian military plans within the chest.  Both sides gathered a handful of available troops, in an attempt to find and retrieve the lost materiel at the first opportunity.  Fate would ensure each fell upon it at the same moment.

Local peasants had already discovered the chest, and it had been cracked open to reveal a great mass of coin, startled however, they dropped their booty and fled as two parties of Jaegers closed on the prize, one Gebrovian, the other Clementine.

Lieutenant Pozniezy of the Uscary Jaegers was leading one of several patrols in the area, but it was his that would encounter the enemy this day.  Drawn by the movement of the peasants, he led his half-dozen men towards the crossroad.  Hat the same time Clementine light infantry were stalking towards the treasure in their distinctive grey uniforms.

Clementine Jaegers, led by Lieutenant Toft
Lt. Pozniezy and some of his troops
The first Pozniezy knew of the contest ahead was the crack of fire as a Clementine sharpshooter found his mark.  Corporal Cheiznay slumped to the ground with a howl, never again to stir.  In a mixture of rage and panic the Uscary Jaegers dashed forward, making the best of the ground as further shots rang out.  Clementinians were renowned for their training with the musket...
But for Gebrovians, the truest weapon was the blade, going forward was their favour, and combat with daggers drawn their forte.
Gebrovian men reached the chest and began to drag it back to their territory; in doing so another bullet found its' mark and one of the privates joined his corporal in the cold earth.  But by now the Clementines were closing with the Gebrovians, believing their numbers would carry now.  Seargent Khehknosi went toe to toe with a Clementine soldier, and deftly finished his opponent, with the butt of his musket.
Lt. Toft, leading the Clementines, braved the hopelessly inaccurate Grebovian fire to charge down their leader; hoping to turn the tide.  A duel would ensue, but not before a shot hit Pozniezy in the flank, causing a grievous wound.

The skirmish was swift, and bloody, but from this point it all fell into the grateful hands of the Gebrovians.  At point blank range enve their cheaply made muskets could find their mark, whilst even sorely wounded Pozniezy proved a more wary and able swordsman than Toft, who slumped to the ground, a sword in his heart.

Private Janusei delivered the final blows, making short work of two of the enemy.  Allowing his surviving comrades time to gather up the rewards and withdraw to safety.

 As for the Clementinians, they left empty handed.  Three of their men made it back safely to their lines, whilst three, including their commander died, and one, severely wounded, was taken prisoner.  The Gebrovians suffered two dead, and the wounds to Pozniezy would see him recuperating for some months.  But the vast majority of the pay was recovered, along with the secret orders hidden beneath it.

Tensions flared, with Gebrovia accusing the Clementines of violating their border in an act of outright theft.  The prisoner was exhibited as evidence of the transgression.  The question would become, what the next move would be...

Only time would tell.

Being the first part of our loose, narrative campaign set in our Imagi-nations: Gebrovia and Clementia.  Myself and James will hopefully continue this tale soon, in escalating numbers!  This opening game however , was extremely small, and used the Osprey Games 'En Garde' rules.


Tuesday, September 25, 2018

A second batch of Ojibwe

These were finished a couple of weeks ago, but prior to that, they were in danger of languishing indefinitely.  In painting terms I've found an issue with painting irregular troops, that they tend to become more complex in design with each set, and that it gets harder to make them diverse at the same time.  You feel like you are in danger of repetition, whether it be poses or paint schemes.  Truly random is had to achieve, patterns show up all to easily.

Anyhoo.  Another 8 of the 24 Ojibwe tribesmen I want to produce:

Same guys, different arrangement
Not much else to add really.  Progress is progress...


Monday, September 24, 2018

15mm terrain time...

New projects abound, and this brings its attendant demands on other strands of modelling.  I decided I needed some 15mm terrain, all the every day countryside stuff you need for a basic tabletop.  However I didn't want to spend a fortune, so most of the following items were made from leftovers and items scrounged at best.

A few hours work
The fences are the ever reliable coffee house stirrers, sliced roughly down the middle and assembled flat before gluing to artists board.

Whole stirrer ends make good stone gateposts
 For the walls I experimented with stripping the outer surface from foamcore, in the hope of finding a textured surface.  At first I had my doubts, but paint showed up a lot of texture.  I had already added an impression of stonework along the top of the walls with the back of a craftknife blade.

Simple but effective
 Lastly the bridge, surely a gaming essential, was from the Warbases super cheap terrain ranges, and was added to an order of bases, as I'm sometimes lazy.  That said, I used off-cuts and cereal box card to improve the setting and surface.  This double span bridge is large enough for my budget art foam river.

15mm Austrians for scale
Overall I reckon I spent a fiver on this collection, most of which was on the bridge.  I need a few trees yet, but I'm not going to attempt to make those; that is definitely a job for someone else...


Sunday, September 23, 2018

TML on Tour 2018....

TML has been on holiday with the significant other to Anglesey.  Managing to pick one of the stormiest weeks in many a year to do so.  Just us, 5 dogs and hundred mile an hour winds...

Consequently, games were played, as I introduced the good lady to a selection of accessible modern classics:

Valley of the Kings - Deckbuilding in a compact box

Azul - Abstract tile laying magic!
Also played was NMBR9, another tile laying puzzle game, Scrabble and cardgame classic Sh**head!

Weather favoured sheltered spots on a number of days, and Anglesey is at the heard of medieval English castle building.  No surprise we ended up in a couple, the lady loves castles!

First up was Caernarvon:

Roman inspired, purportedly.

One of the largest and best maintained castles in Britain 
The castle also contains the regimental museum for the Royal Welch Fusiliers; which was of interest to me:


Early uniform modelled 


 Napoleonic scene



Boer War equipment

WWI Vickers MMG
 The museum went up to the present day, the RWF having had a long and varied history.

Another day involved a rain-sodden trip to Holy Island; the highlight of wich for this nerd was the stumbling on to a beautifully preserved Iron Age (Celtic) farmstead or village:

 The Preservation of the Stone walled huts was remarkable.

Hut  with south facing entrance corridor

Large hut with Northern 'Altar' stone
 Post storm we risked another castle; Beaumaris:
 Never entirely finished in its' day, it was nevertheless made a functional fortification, and would've been an imposing challenge to its opposition.

 Still it fell to siege at least twice.


 The Chapel has been restored to something like it's original condition:

 Anglesey was a lovely break, and had plenty for the history buff, military or otherwise, to enjoy.  Wales overall was dramatic (thanks Storms!).  I'll remember the long walks on the beaches as much as the ancient fortresses and crumbling ruins...


Monday, September 10, 2018

Some work in progress

Having settled into the new TML towers, I've got back to painting and modelling.  Here's a couple of previews for upcoming projects:

A Léger regt.  In firing line

Destined for an allied regt.
Alongside these, I have enough models for two more French line regiments, and a metal regiment of Confederation of the Rhine troops.  This will provide all of the infantry for my Napoleonic French, and should keep me busy if not distracted well into next year.

But there are always distractions...

Tuesday, September 04, 2018

A rare GW post (for Dragon Rampant...)

So about once a year or less I pop into a Games Workshop - sorry, Warhammer store - to see what's what.  Even back when I used to play 40k and Warhammer I was a rare visitor to their stores in the last decade or so, as really, there was no point.  They'd try to enthuse you about their games, I'd confuse them by saying I was currently working on a historical army, or using their models/accessories for either a commission or a completely different game.

Such it was a few weeks ago when I dropped into the Leeds store on a whim, at the end of an afternoon's shopping.  GW have upped their game (ahem) in the last few years, and seem to have made some sensible steps forward as far as a company.  I am genuinely pleased to see games like Necromunda, Bloodbowl, and Adeptus Titanicus back on the shelves.  Heck some of the prices even seem better than I used to recall.  But it's still, understandably, a monoculture of gaming.

"So what are you collecting mate?"
"Oh nothing really, I don't play any of your games anymore; but I do still buy the occasional figure for the games I do play." I replied; as a  pack of Gryph-hounds plopped on the counter.

"I used to play Warhammer," I continued, throwing him a bone, "but I didn't get on with Age of Sigmar, I switched to other systems."  Naturally he'd never heard of - or at least held to the company line as regards them - Dragon Rampant or Kings of War.

"Oh you should definitely come back to AoS." he proffered helpfully.  "It's really improved since it first came out.

I can't imagine it hasn't, my review of the original release damned it with faint praise but, I'm not tempted.

The only reason at all for buying the Gryph-hounds was that they would make a fun unit to add to my Lion Rampant/Dragon Rampant crossover force.  When going into the realms of fantasy my Feudal English take on the mantle of the Knights of Derpabury; and what could be a better thematic unit for such a force, than the living embodiment of heraldry?

With the pack containing six models for a fairly reasonable (at fantasy figure rates) price of £15, they would make for an ideal unit of Lesser Warbeasts.  Dipping into the stash of plastics, I was able to add a human huntsmaster to the group, both to identify the leader more clearly, and to tie the unit more clearly into the army theme.

 As is my preference, I went for a more naturalistic look to the models, using images of Hawks and Eagles for colour reference.  The versions shown on the box are very AoS/GW, pretty gonzo for my tastes.
The basing is to match the Feudal/Derpabury troops, rather marshy, with irregular bases cut from MDF.

These were a quick little project, ultimately painted for the Dragon Rampant Facebook Group's monthly painting challenge.  I'm happy with the results.

I look forward to my next trip to GW to see what they have available.

In a year or two....


Monday, September 03, 2018

Mantic Terrain Walls - Really Nice

The title is probably all the review these need.  Part of my Kickstarter Terrain Crate bundle, these are not available as yet to non-backers, but will probably retail around £25 a pack for a mix of these pieces, and the fences I've already painted.  I guess about 4 feet (1.5m) of parts for that price...

Anyway.  The moulded plastic parts look and paint up terrifically.

Stan for scale
 I have enough for two good sized enclosures, or about 5 feet of a single wall.
As you hopefully can see the detail is great, and being a 'soft' plastic rather than resin, free of air bubbles or damage.  There was a little cleaning up of mould lines but overall very little to do.  I used mainly dry-brushing to bring out the texture; it also seemed provident to base the models, though it would not be essential.

Although ostensibly fantasy terrain, these are ideal for a lot of historical games too, having a drystone wall look to them.  the roofed endpieces are optional parts.

Highly recommended, when you can eventually get them.