Monday, May 27, 2019

Rebels & Patriots - the War of 1812 test games.

A little while ago, myself and Gav had a chance to play another test game of Rebels and Patriots; and with my newly finished Americans raring to go, it was a chance to get the War of 1812 ball rolling again.

The main issue was going to be the rather more limited British forces I would be able to present.  I obviously had a handful of Natives and some Glengarry Rifles, but for the time being at least any other models would need to proxy from my Peninsular British.  Thankfully the lights companies of my original British regiments were singly based, and with the addition of a commander and some artillery, one of the scenarios in the rules was easy to play. 

We set up for the Mendenhall's Battery scenario, with the British placing two guns on a hill in the centre of the board, which the Americans were to storm. 

Our field of battle
The battery was accompanied directly by a platoon of Light infantry, with the Glengarry militia and Natives in reserve.
The battery and camp to the rear
Natives and militia
The Americans placed their main force of a large platoon in the fields aiming to cover their advance.  Ohio Militia  were nearer the far itself, whilst two sections of the 4th Rifles were in open ground close to woodland.  

The Ohio militia  ruin some Canadian potato seedlings
I took command of the Americans, and Gav the British.

Mid game
It was, as it turned out, not a success for America.  If ever a scenario required two things, more cover and cavalry, this was it.  As it was the battlefield played into the hands of the British, with the artillery raking the American ranks with fire before they were able to close even to musketry range.  

The US rifles were unable to make a significant dent in the British light troops, meanwhile the Ojibwe pounced on the militia and defeated them in a swift exchange.
New model syndrome
Which was about the point I conceded.  In less than an hour we had thoroughly break-tested the scenario, and perhaps found it wanting (short of forcing them to set up 6 inches in from of a forest, I can't see how one wins as the attacker).
Time to go!
That however meant we had plenty of time on our evening for a second go.  I quickly adjusted the British list to a couple of sections of good quality Light infantry, and a single gun, and set up a version of Lament ridge, as the bridge over the Lament river.
Deep in the woods, a river runs...
Potential for a similar American disaster was apparent, when Gav deployed his cannon to the road, with the bridge effectively covered by its' fire.
However with the river deemed fordable along its' length, much denser woodland, and the priority not being the gun itself, it would be possible to circumvent it's threat.

Gav hurried for the Bridge, whilst I had to redeploy to avoid gifting his gun with soft targets.  The Ohio militia used the hill to cover themselves and laid withering fire into the natives, who eagerly advanced on them across an open field.
Give fire!
US rifles crossed the river and held up the British left flank.  Their fire kept the light infantry at bay and diverted the British artillery, whilst the US line conducted a largely unassailed advance on the bridge.
Cross now, they are unguarded
The US line swept over the bridge and in a succession of attacks took the Glengarry, Light infantry and Artillery by turns.  Delivering a spectacular blow to the British.  the natives by this point had charged the Ohio militia, and been thrown back, only to find their way barred by a flanking section of Rifles.  Who effectively finished them off.
A last hurrah!
So the bridge fell easily to American hands.  Overall we shared honours for our evening.  Rebels and Patriots like many of the Rampant engine games can stand or fall based on how balanced your force selection is to the scenario in hand.  For this second game the armies were well matched, but luck went more the direction of the Americans.

So far I'm really linking the way the rules play, and they operate at an ideal scale for both the smaller battles of 1812, and for my intended sizes of forces.

Very pleasing.


Sunday, May 26, 2019

Boduria: Volkzima, God of Winter

I wanted a centerpiece for the Bodurian army, and I likewise wanted to tie it in to the wolfen theme that is an intended part of the force.  This was an opportunity to dip in to one of my favorite sources for excellent value fantasy models; Schliech:

As it comes the Eldrador Ice Wolf is a nice looking model, well cast considering it is technically just a toy.  Being designed to go with three inch figurines, it's a substantial model, and being intended for children, it is also reasonably priced.  About a tenner.

But it did need a repaint to fit in with my other models, and more importantly perhaps, to cover up the artificial, plastic ice.  I think the ice as made looks pretty good, but at the same time only part of the model has it for the ice parts, so overall it needed a repaint.

On repainting it I was not going to be able to get quite the same transparency, but I managed a fairly cold looking solid blue for the back and the legs.  The paint jobs for the Bodurians are just flat colours, but for Volkzima I added further levels of highlight before giving it a shaded glaze.

Reaper sorceress, for scale
The other piece of work here is in the base, which is pretty large.  140mm x 80mm.  I wanted the model to appear to be bringing winter with it, so at the front ofthe base it is summer, but where Volkzima steps frost appears, and to the rear of the base, deep snow lies (subsequently given a layer of snow flock over the top of a 50/50 PVA glue - Bicarbonate of Soda mix),

As for in game usage, I can't decide yet what is most appropriate in Dragon Rampant.  Monsters are too brittle but they could reflect the fickle nature of a summoned god.  Otherwise, Elite infantry or Elite riders with spell caster or other similar abilities may work.  The beauty of the system is that it will accommodate all sorts of specialist troops within the template of a single type.

Either way, it's another 6-10 points for the army.


Saturday, May 25, 2019

Imperial Assault - Princess Leia

Another quickie post, following on from the IA reinforcements I got a couple of months' back.  Here is the (slightly annoyingly, Hoth version) Princess Leia miniature.  Super easy to do, and a really good capture of the character.

Leia Organa
 Less easy to do, and mainly because I had to try and match the colours of the three I'd already done, were these Rebel navy troopers.

We're surrounded
In fact these are a little darker in shirt and trews than their forebears.  But not so much that I am concerned.

Building up quite the skirmish forces now.


Tuesday, May 14, 2019

Bavarian 4th Light Infantry

My first light infantry regiment for the Bavarians is actually their 4th; the Theobald Regiment.

In line
 As ever, Warrior Miniatures, and for 15mm and about 20p each, absolute crackers!

In column
I really like this combination of dark green, blue-grey and red details.  I think this is my favourite regiment of the army so far.

Next up, some more cavalry...


Wednesday, May 08, 2019

Bodurian Levies begin to be 'Raised'

My Bodurian project is a mash-up of Napoleonics, with a heavy Russian slant, and Werewolf/Supernatural themed fantasy, for Dragon Rampant.  What started as a small diversion, is now growing apace, and has seen enough command figures for a second elite infantry group to be formed:

New Elites
The intention is to mix these across both command groups to produce two suitably diverse parties.  Three of these miniatures are from my Reaper Bones supply, with the sorceress being modified with Green-stuff to wear a less revealing outfit.  The Officer is from a second Perry Russian command Sprue I picked up for this purpose, modified with an arm from the unending supply of Perry spares I have.

The Werewolves are from the Wizards of the Coast D&D range.  A clear attempt to provide D&D specific equivalents to the Reaper Bones range.  At £5 for two the price was good, but the quality of the mouldings was not great, and a lot of filling and trimming was needed before painting; which kinda made their being pre-undercoated in the factory, pointless.

Anyhoo.  This lot will be commanding a second battalion of Bodurian troops.  But whilst the first Battalion are already formed of elite, loyal, human soldiery, this group will be the dregs of the state.


The Obchenyi is a levied militia, formed of a sub-human race.  Foreign states have referred to these as goblins, but in truth, their distorted, mutated forms have more to do with twisted attempts some centuries ago to create a super race of golems; malleable living clay created by cultic priests, mated with vastly enlarged homunculus grown by alchemists.  The net result was a race of beings with no wholly consistent form, and only a limited intellect, but who could reproduce from little more than the grubby soil and organic matter found in swamps across the realm.

Obchenyi proved useful as slave labour, but were far from supermen.  Physically durable though they may be, they proved slow witted, and little able to conduct more than routine tasks.  More often than not they served on farms, as willing labour, fed from the scraps pigs would reject.  Their use in battle being limited to use for simple headlong assaults, as human shields, garrison troops, or as rearguards; they permit the more flexible and powerful elements of the Bodurian military to be released for more tactical demands.


To make the models I had a simple idea in mind, to use the GW Hobbit Goblin set.

Nicked from their website
 These are, by GW standards, a pretty good value set, being 36 models in 18 one-piece poses for a reasonable £30.  They have a suitably rabble-like appearance, and are not overly encumbered so will make for a speedy paint job.  It's a set I've seen used inventively before, and they certainly have something of a grotesque look to them.  Ideal as a base.

However I did want to fit them better to my theme, so some Napoleonic accoutrement was called for.  This meant adding a selection of muskets and shakos to a portion of the models.

Mid-process on my hi-tech setup
 It turns out most of the models could have a simple trim to fit a hat, and with them they look suitably thematic, and slightly comedic.  Fitting muskets meant cutting away old weapons, and some careful trimming, which is time consuming.  About a third of the goblins received each modification, randomly distributed so that just over half the models were in some way augmented.  I also did a few weapon swaps to vary up the other poses.

Three companies
Lastly, they had their slottabases replaced with 20mm squares, to fit the rest of the army.  I'm no fan of the GW bases, simply too thick for my eye.

I think these will be one big painting session, but there's a couple of other projects to get out the way first.


Thursday, May 02, 2019

Blue Stuff - Wonder Stuff!!

 I have known of Blue Stuff for a while, but it almost seems implausible.  Here is a material that can cold cast a number of modelling mediums, basically anything not reliant on high heat to cast, can easily be shaped and worked with, and can completely be reused.

It all seemed too good to be true.

Still I eventually got hold of some.

Boy was I impressed!

Now bearing in mind I've never used this stuff before, it was incredibly easy to use.  Simply soften a strip of the stuff in hot water until malleable, and then either press the parts you wish to mould into the material wholesale, or for more complicated parts create a two part mould.  I was attempting to make tall hats for my Canadian militia, so used these as a test subject.  The first attempts used a mix of one piece and two piece moulds with hats converted from Victrix French Shakos as a test.

First attempt
 I tried both methods of moulding first, and then filled the moulds with Green Stuff, though for particularly complex moulds a cold-cure pouring resin would be much better.  Nevertheless the results came out well, it was just that the French shako based hats, were huge!

Inevitably, I scrapped the hats, but the Blu stuff went into hot water and was soon ready for a second try.

For the next version I switched to prototypes based on Belgic shakos, trimmed of all details.  I made six of these, but then made a pair of simple push moulds so I could mass produce them.  Thus I was able to make 12 hats in in one swift go.

Mark II in mass production
 Some I removed from the mould after about 4 hours, at which point they were basically firm, but the brims could be folded up.  The rest had some 24 hours in the moulds by which point they were solid.  Some trimming of excess green left me with more than a dozen usable hats.  As we can see below:

So overall, an incredibly useful product.  You can pick it up for a few £/$/€ on ebay, or via this fine store:

Lastly, if you want to know more, this incredible modeler (who I subscribe to on YouTube) clued me up on the product with this neat little video; showing how it's done:

True, you may balk at wholesale cloning of parts, but the potential is there to be exploited or not, depending on what you do with it...