Monday 28 April 2014

Warpstone Crystal

This is one of the resin bits I picked up at Salute.

It's from Wargames Terrain Workshop.
I'd spotted them before I set off and wandered by their stand before the doors opened. In their online store at the time they only had plain resin versions, but when I saw they had them in coloured crystal resin I knew  had to get a couple. So I picked up the large crystal in red and this medium one in green.
It'll be a stack of purest warpstone for our forthcoming underground games of WFB.

Took me only a few minutes to paint the base and drybrush with greys, then I gave the crystals a wash with green ink, just to emphasise them a bit and job done.

In other news my regular WFB opponent has just started a blog.
He is both a better and faster painter than I am. And more ginger.
It'll be mainly WFB based I imagine (with maybe some WotR thrown in) but go and have a look and give him a follow if you like that sort of thing:
Stevo's mini Soldiers

Saturday 26 April 2014

First Fench Naps Finished

So the Frenchmen I started in Swindon are now complete as well.
Rough and ready, but they're fit for purpose.

Friday 25 April 2014


Twelve years ago I found myself in a sunny Brisbane on ANZAC day.
Until that point my only real connection with the day and what it meant to Australians and New Zealanders was via the Pogues cover of Eric Bogle's song The Band Played Waltzing Matilda, in which a crippled veteran looks back on the war and bemoans the fading of the parade.
I was therefore quite surprised by the turnout to watch the parade. There were even a couple of original Diggers driven by in jeeps.
I was even more amazed to see young children taking part in the parade, marching alongside veterans of the Second World War and more recent conflicts.
Someone explained that they were the children or grandchildren of veterans either marching with, or in place of, their family members.
I think I got something in my eye at this point.

Apparently it was a decision taken when the collective memory seemed to be dying out and the parades were seen as outdated, and had been very successful in connecting younger people with the sacrifices made by their countrymen and reconnecting a proud nation with one of it's formative events.

I was reminded of all this when my ipod threw up the Eric Bogle original today while I was trying to work. A song I used to view purely as an attack on the futility and wastefulness of war has a much more poignant meaning for me now that the foresight of Australians means that young people are unlikely to ask "what are they marching for" and the song's gloomy conclusion that "someday no-one will march there at all" is unlikely to come to pass.

"Lest we forget"

Swindon Soldiering (4)

Last night, to the delicate background noise of Swindon's dodgiest nightclub thumping away not far from my hotel, I did a little more work on these.
Despite the Stygian gloom of my room's lights I decided to tackle the white. In the cold hash natural light of a grizzly Swindon morning they look OK.

A bit of fettling to do over the weekend and these will be finished I reckon.
Not a bad return for a few nights away.

Thursday 24 April 2014

Sigmar's Blood - the Climax (17)

And so to the final game of the campaign.
This was to be a biggie - all the forces from the previous games, plus a few more besides. Fortunately the kids were away, so we were able to get started early!

I was once again the Vampires as we figured I'd played them the most.

I deployed with my infantry in the centre, the cavalry and weird chariot thingy on my left and held the right with just a couple of ethereals.
My main plan was to use Von Carstein to buff the dead daylights out of my infantry in the centre, whilst sending the Vargheists in pursuit of Volkmar.

Mannfred von Carstein's Boney Army

Volkmar's boys in blue

And largely this was a plan that worked very well.
Whether because this scenario is a bit imbalanced in favour of the undead, or just because (for once) I was fortunate with the dice all went very well for me.
The Ghouls were buffed to the max and creamed the swordsmen and ran them and the level four light wizard down. The Zombies were flattened by the flagellants, who overran into a poorly positioned Mannfred. But he duly demonstrated that he's at least as good a fighter as spell caster and chopped them down. The chariot thingy held the knights for a turn or two before crumbling but Mannfreds marvelous magic saw them off. The Dire Wolves were dire and failed to kill the handgunners but the ethereal cavalry finished them off.
In the centre the arch lector piled into the ghouls, but some frantic buffing from Mannfred and the timely arrival of the Vargheists saw the War Altar chopped into kindling and Volkmar carried off to the tower.

The swordsmen get grabbed by the ghoulies

Dearly beloved we are gathered here today to TRAMPLE GHOULS!
The Bloody Wolves come to a bloody end

Empire reinforcements crept on over on my right but were held up by some ethereals. In the end the ghouls got overexcited and charged the Reiksguard and were duly despatched.

However by this stage I was well in front and my only worry were the demigryph knights heading for the tower to try and release the arch lector.

If we sneak quietly around here...
At this point I made a substantial error and in my eagerness to thin the demigryphs I left Mannfred exposed to a cannon shot.
The inevitable happened and, from a huge lead, crumbling rapidly reduced the forces of undeath. Fortunately the damage done to the demigryphs meant the Vargheists were able to hold on to the arch lector and their prize.

And so the game drew to a close.
I was ahead on seven victory points to six. However we had each achieved a goal in the game that was worth D3 victory points.
We rolled, and the empire got the full three to my measly one.
The Empire had triumphed and Sylvania remains just out of Mannfred's grasp!

This was actually a great fun game to play. We had the hang of most of the rules and it was largely a stand-up pitched battle affair without too much nonsense.. Probably my favourite game of the whole campaign.

However I did feel a bit gyped by the end resolution of the game.The entire campaign came down to a single dice roll. We could have just rolled a dice each at four months ago for the same result. A fixed VP each for achieving our goals would have seen me win, but an insistence on randomness turns a narrow victory for me into a narrow victory for my opponent.

That said I've largely enjoyed the experience of collecting the armies and the narrative element of the campaign. Just slightly let down by the execution of the scenarios.

Swindon Soldiering (3)

More paint was daubed last night. Footwear, stockings, hats, hair, feathers and going over a few missed bits.

I'm pretty happy with where I've got them too. My dilemma is whether to use tonight to go over the white bits, which would be a good use of the time and will move them close to completion - however the light in the hotel room is so poor I'm not sure highlighting is a good idea.

Wednesday 23 April 2014

Swindon Soldiering (2)

I made a little progress on these last night. But accidentally had some beer in the splendid Gluepot pub, so not much progress (and I missed a few bits). Flesh and all the metal bits was the aim.

Less beer and more painting is tonight's plan. Probably.

Tuesday 22 April 2014

Swindon Soldiering

Once more I find myself in a hotel room in Swindon.
Living. The. Dream.
Anyways, inspired by the Sigmar's Blood games I've decided to do a few Empire troops.
So I've both 20 of the old Empire spearmen from the 6th edition box set down here with me for some basecoating action.

These will be a unit (horde eventually) of Wissenland Whitespears. Who will wear white. So after undercoating them with white spray the first step was a wash of Gryphonne Sepia all over their lovely puffy sleeved tops and trews.

Monday 21 April 2014

Sigmar's Blood (16) Empire Militia

Here are the Bloody Wolves, a unit of twenty Middenheim Empire militia that I painted for the Sigmar's Blood campaign.

Pretty easy to paint up, with lots of browns and blue and white (the Middenheim state colours) to tie them together a bit. A mixture of the Mordheim sprues and a few of the old Empire multi-part infantry. Mostly armed with hammers for added Middenheim-iness
I'm quite tempted now to do a unit of state troops and use these as a detachment for them.
A few shots of individuals

 Erik "Two Hammers" Knackwurst - the champion

 Just Rolf - bearing aloft the sign from the pub where they were formed and that gives them their name - the Bloody Wolves

"Tuneless" Kurt Schwanstucker - musician

I'm not even sure militia can have a command, but what the heck - 'snot a regiment without a flag.

Sunday 13 April 2014

Battle of Keren at Salute 2014

Saturday morning saw us arrive at Excel bright and breezy. Fortified by some of McDonalds finest pork style products we set to assembling the Keren game

Set Up

 A models eye view from the foot of the mountain

 And from the top
 Steep innit?

The British commandeered the BBC materials and set up their own "Broadcasting House" near the mountain, from where they broadcast mournful Italian Opera interspersed with calls to surrender designed to break Italian morale. When James discovered this he had to include the model on the table and Martin duly obliged.

 James tweaks his masterpiece

 Big, innit?


 Some minor explosions pepper the mountainside

As a surprise for James I made a cake and hewed it into a similar shape to the mountain. Its a bit yellower than I intended. I was going for that "Old Skool made by your Mum for your brthday in the 70s" vibe. James was especially impressed that the soldiers were "correct" - Airfix Italians and Revell 8th army. It tasted alright too.

 The display table - complete with Bren

 The team hard at work on assembly

James surveys his masterwork

The game begins

With set-up and fettling complete we were ready for the masses.
 The Askaris weather the initial bombardment

 The Indians begin their advance

 The lack of mortar support meant the Indian troops found it tough going

The game attracted a crowd from the moment the doors opened

At this point my camera died. Stupid camera.
So what follows from here, ae rather low quality iPhone pictures.

Sorry about that

Low quality second half pictures

 The view down the mountain

The Wellesley bombe swoops in

 Italian re-inforcements

 Still drawing crowds

 Northstar Nick surveys the scene

 Information table
James puts a lot of effort into providing information for visitors to give the game context. A big contrast with all too many games that have little or no information about what you're looking at.

The Yorkshires break into the fort

This was a terrific day out. Spent most of the day chatting to people and explaining the setting of the battle. But we still played the game through, though at times there were so many people around we had to suspend play to allow some pictures and talk to people.
The game looked spectacular and I lost count of the number of people who were impressed by the sheer scale of the mountain and the effort James and Scrivs had put in
Feel very privileged to have been asked to help James out

Other versions of the day can be found on
Steve's Blog
Scrivs Blog

And I expect on these two shortly
Martin's Blog
Matt's Blog

If you missed it the game will be at Partizan in a few months and Crisis in Antwerp later in the year