Wednesday 27 June 2012

Ibn Coldir's Enormous Column (WAB El Cid)

El Scrivs and I met up at Maelstrom last night for a game of WAB. The main purpose being to allow El Scrivs to use his newly painted Christian Spanish force ahead of Hot Lead this weekend, thereby hopefully allowing him to use up all the bad luck present in newly painted miniatures before the event itself.
I've been following his painting on his blog for a while now and was really looking forward to seeing the models in the metal as it were.
Sure enough I wasn't disappointed, the army looked fantastic.

El Scrivs leads the Men of Scrivalonia to war

As it was the first outing for the Spanish I thought it only right and proper to use my Almoravids for that authentic "in supplement" feel. I'm not planning on taking the Almoravids to Hot Lead as I feel like giving the Early Saxons a run out, but I'd always rather play genuine historical opponents when possible, and to be honest no amount of practising is likely to make me any better at the game come Sunday.

We randomly generated a scenario from the list on the GB web site and deemed that I would be defending a ruined pillar of great value and interest to Moorish Imams. Meanwhile the infidel Spanish would be doing their best to defile it in the name of their god.

My 1000pt list included
2x23 Berbers with Large shields
13 Archers
9 Skirmishers
9 Berber horsemen

As I type this up I've just realised that I overspent on characters. So I cheated. Sorry Scrivs.

Scrivs 1500 pt list was:
Infante General and Arminger ASB in a unit of 10 Caballeros Hildagos
Infante in a unit of 11 Caballeros
8 Jinettes
21 Peones and 7 Aqueros
9 Peones Light Infantry with throwing spears
9 Aqueros
8 Skirmishers

He hadn't cheated.

I deployed with the two units of spear flanking my Enormous Column with Archers by the hill on my right, skirmishers skulking in the foliage and the Berber horse over on the left.

El Scrivs took the first turn and signalled a general advance.

 My left flank

 Hands off our Column!

Early exchanges on the left flank saw my Berbers rather surprisingly drive off the Caballeros with some lucky javelinating whilst the Spanish closed the gap on Ibn Coldir's forces

 That's the last we'll see of them I expect!

 Wait till you see the whites of their eyes.

Elsewhere on the board my archers stripped away several of the Hildagos, which was something of a relief. However the Caballeros inevitably rallied whilst the jinettes rather ominously surrounded the archers on the hill.

The rallied Caballeros crashed into the Berber cavalry despite their attempt to flee.

And the skirmishers clashed on the fringes of the wood.

 This didn't end well for the Tribal fellas.

The Hildagos, clearly stung, thundered home into the skirmishing archers.

Look out lads!

 With inevitable results

However the Berber Cavalry were holding their own, with the Caballeros clearly most afflicted by "newly painted" syndrome.

In the centre the Peones and Arqueros peppered the  guarding units with sharp objects. Cleverly staying far enough away to stop the nominated Shrine Guardians from charging.

The Hidalgos reversed and charged into a unit of Berbers. Fortunately the jinettes failed their test to charge home and add weight to the combat.
However El Scrivs issued a challenge and Imran the Imam reluctantly stepped up to the plate.

Allah protect me from his giant Pea Shooter!

The jaws of the trap close

Fortunately the Hidalgos were also suffering a bit from being fresh off the painting table and were unable to break the spearmen. Imran even survived a round, allowing the Berbers to hate their opponents, which tipped things a bit. The second round of combat saw the knights break, and flee the table, pursued by the spearmen. Fortunately for the forces of Christendom, the departure of El Scrivs only saw the big unit of Peones flee whilst the rest of the army held firm.

In the final turn the Christian forces closed in on Ibn Coldir's Enormous Column and Ibn Coldir launched himself at the Caballeros (who had finally disoposed of the Almoravid cavalry) hoping to break them and secure the column for himself. Sadly it was my turn to be afflicted with rubber spears and I was actually lucky not to break and flee.

As the clamour of battle died down. We totalled up the victory points. El Scrivs had most men nearest my Column, so claimed 500 extra victory points. Which was enough to gain him a narrow victory. In truth my final charge had robably cost me the game as it reduced the unit below half strength and killed another four men who would have been close to the pillar.
However as I cheated in my army list a Spanish victory was clearly the correct result.

It was, as usual when playing Paul, a great game, with all the good stuff I like about WAB: see-sawing throughout with the result in doubt until we'd done the maths.

You can read El Scrivs own version of events over on his blog

Really looking forward to Hot Lead now.

If any of this has got the juices flowing for playing some El Cid games, don't forget El Scrivs and I are running an event at Maelstrom later in the year. There are still places left. Link at the top of the page or click here.

Elsewhere at Maelstrom there was this rather lovely big Napoleonic game going on.
No idea who or what any of it is, but it looks smashing doesn't it?

Must. Resist. Napoleonics.

Friday 22 June 2012

Crusader Dark Age Scottish Thegns (2)

I have made some progress with these chaps.
Wash progress.
Essentially everything has been given a coat of one of the Citadel Washes.

Tallarn Flesh: Ogryn Flesh
Boltgun Metal: Badab Black
Snakebite Leather: Gyphonne Sepia
Dark Flesh: Devlan Mud

Mechrite Red: Devlan Mud

Necron Abyss: Asurmen Blue
Bestial Brown: Devlan Mud

Clathan Brown: Devlan Mud
Desert Yellow:Gyphonne Sepia

Orkhide Shade: Thrakka Green
Vomit Brown: Ogryn Flesh

Black, hilts and pommels etc. and the shoes have not had any washes added at this stage.

Next stage will be highlighting everything with the original base colours

Monday 18 June 2012

Waterloo Day

Today is the 197th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo.
Well done Wellington, and thanks Blucher for saving our bacon.

Anyway it's as good an excuse as any to show this clip from the 1970 Waterloo movie:

I remember watching this scene as a kid and thinking it looked terrific. Though in truth the bit that really sticks with me (sentimentalist that I am) was when the Lancers catch them just after this and a locket gets lost in the mud. There's a fair bit of that anachronistic 1970's War is Hell stuff in the film. Including a guy running from the square in an 1815 style recreation of the Why? poster that adorned most student bedrooms in the '80's

One day, when I'm grown up and have infinite time and money I shall have a Napoleonic army (or two) and it will include a unit of French Lancers.
In the meantime the uniforms terrify me!

Saturday 9 June 2012

Crusader Dark Age Scottish Thegns (1)

The final part of my purchase from Northstar a few weeks ago was a pack of Crusader Miniatures Scottish Thegns. I'm going to build a small warband so I can use Macbeth in some SAGA games.
I've admired the Crusader ranges for a long time, but as I'd already started my Christian Spanish and Late Saxon armies using GB figures I've never got round to buying many of their fine models, so the new list in Northern Fury, together with the Macbeth model was just the excuse I was looking for.
Nice models, 8 to a pack, two each of four poses. Minimal cleaning up required, and the (sharp) Northstar spears went in place no problem. Interestingly I've often seen the Crusader miniatures described as "chunky", but these seem quite slender to my eye. Maybe it's because I'm more used to the Musketeer and GW models but I wouldn't have called these all that chunky. What they are is nice and unfussy and I'm expecting them to be easy and pleasant to paint.
I based them on Renedra 20mm square bases (just in case I ever go mad and decide to build a unit or two for WAB/Hail Caesar...), added sand, undercoated them black and have so far added just base coats:

The common colours are as follows:
Flesh: Tallarn Flesh
Armour: Boltgun Metal
Leather: Snakebite Leather or Dark Flesh
Shoes: Scorched Brown
Hilts, clasps etc: Tin Bitz

The individual models have different tunic and hair colours:
Tunic: Orkhide Shade
Hair: Vomit Brown

Tunic: Calthan Brown
Hair: Desert Yellow

Tunic: Mechrite Red
Hair: Chaos Black

Tunic: Necron Abyss
Hair: Bestial Brown

Next step is the application of washes, which shouldn't take too long...

Friday 1 June 2012


I've just realised I recently passed the 100 follower mark.
Thank-you all for taking the time to read my witless ramblings.
Or just for looking at the pretty soldiers.