Saturday, March 3, 2018

The Scottish Project

Ah, the heady delights of a new project! This week the last bits and pieces arrived so I can now begin work on [drumroll...] The Scottish Project! That's right, a new year and a new project. Not to say that the 55 Days at Peking project or the Warhammer Fantasy Empire project and going to be neglected, just um... "sharing my attention" with my new baby.

Like a certain play be Shakespeare I cannot speak it's name. Actually that's complete bollocks, but it was a good opening so what the hell. Anyway, my new project begins today - recreating the Battle of Auldearn in the Wars of the Three Kingdoms in 10mm and using Simon Miller's forthcoming For King and Parliament rules.

The whole box and (quite literally) dice. Everything I need to get cracking


Fortunately for me Pendraken Miniatures have a comprehensive and quite lovely range in 10mm which fulfills all my needs to cover both sides of the conflict. I'm starting, as any loyal subject of the King would, with Montrose and his forces.

One of the benefits of 10mm is cost and I was able to source all the miniatures and most of the flags required for under A$130 including shipping. Last night I spent an enjoyable hour or so divvying everything up into units.

Orders of Battle

With Simon's help and plenty of reading I've assembled an order of battle for both sides. The units involved won't change much from here although the unit stats might get tweaked a little over time once I've seen how things play out on the table top.

The Covenanters are numerically superior but inferior in quality and short on commanders, meaning the additional units will be less effective overall and harder to manoeuvre as well.

Basing Arrangement

One of the strengths of For King and Parliament is the lack of off-table record keeping and I've stretched that to the max in how I'm basing and recording data.

Units will sit on a single 90mm x 50mm base, with miniatures occupying the front 2/3 of the base and the rear 1/3 reserved for unit name and dice holders for recording experience/hits, ammunition and dash (if cavalry). The right-hand (7mm) dice holder will contain the hits dice, green for "raw", yellow for "seasoned" and blue for "experienced". The one or two left-hand dice holders will contain the ammo and dash dice.

Basing Style

I want a really atmospheric highland feel for the bases so I'm going over-the-top on tufts and bushes. This is the look I'm going for...

Photo credit "Must See Scotland - Flowers of Scotland"

Martin from Tajima1 very kindly did a custom order for me (in record time no less!) and created heather tufts in a matched purple colour using his "moss mix" tufts as a base. Combined with the same moss mix tufts I should be able to get a close approximation of the dense highland ground cover above.

And that's about where I'm at right now. Time to kick on and actually paint something!


Sunday, February 18, 2018

First Boxer Rebellion Games! Pic heavy!

At last! Today my good mate Cory from our regular gaming group came over after lunch we managed to get a couple of 55 Days at Peking games played out.

We had an absolute ball with both games, the first being a comfortable-ish relief for the legation defenders and the second a real nail-biter with just three German Seebatallion surviving when the relief arrived. We used The Natives are Restless Tonight colonial skirmish rules by Paul Ward a.k.a. Matakishi, freely available from his wonderful website and they worked a treat.

Action was fast, bloody and there was always something happening. In game one we broke or killed off 11 units of melee armed Boxers with several more on the table when relief arrived. In game two it was 13 units of Boxers, including several with firearms, before the relief arrived.

Here's a pile of photos I took with my phone. Not all the best quality but things were moving so quickly we didn't want to spend too much time on photography. Anyway, enjoy the images and at the end there's some conclusions and thoughts for future games.

The International Gun in action

Stout Japanese. They died to a man. Twice!

Big trouble in Little Britain. They're inside the walls!

Boxer artillery breaches the British legation compound wall! 

Kansu Braves preparing to chagre

Last ditch defence! German Seebatallion firing line defends the breach.

Russian reinforcements

"Pasha Tojo" in waiting. He earned his name with his second death...

Pasha Tojo assailed by hordes of Chinese fights to his last breath atop the stairs

Charlton Heston, going down fighting...

What a relief! The last of all the legation forces left alive in game two

Some thoughts...

The rules worked *really* well. They produce fast-paced games with a good balance of hordes of Boxers vs relatively few Imperial defenders concluded in around 90 minutes. With 50 Imperials and approximately twice that (at least) in Boxers that's a brilliant outcome.

Bigger games will produce some activation challenges. The most actions currently allowed for per turn is 3 for aces and 2 for court cards. This means in bigger games some units won't act very often if at all. Easy enough to fix by tinkering with the card activation to make some cards worth more activations or perhaps introduce a second deck.

Isolated legations don't last long. Historically these were abandoned and forces concentrated within a perimeter centred on the British Legation and this is how the game plays out too.

I'm not sure the Tartar Wall is necessary. It's fundamental to the history, being key to the defence but that was over a period of 55 days. I'm not sure how much value it would add for a 90 minute game and it will be a big build at even something like the right scale. Maybe smaller and still included is the answer?

Some plans...

I need to build another couple of legations but that will be it for buildings apart from the Palace of Prince Su (a small walled complex) and some other small bits and pieces, mostly set dressing. I have enough Boxers to support a game of that size and it will enable more players to participate. Some more Imperials will also be required.

I'll probably buy some sabot bases at some point to facilitate pitched battles outside Peking or at least large sizes skirmishes. That would also allow me to add some Imperial cavalry, and Chinese regular forces, and maybe a gunboat, and a railway, and... well you get the picture :-)

Anyway, that's enough for today. I was suffering a bit of project fatigue with all build / paint and no play. Now I've my enthusiasm back in spades!


Saturday, February 17, 2018

Empire Reiksgard Foot Knights

Just a quick post about my latest AHPCVIII entry...

This time its a unit of 24 Reiksgard Knights on foot. Happy to have these off the workbench as they've been hanging about, taunting me relentlessly with their half-finished state for some time now.

More pictures and some random musings on the Challenge blog.


Wednesday, February 14, 2018

AHPC VIII - Ev's Challenge, Day 57

Greetings friends and followers!

It's been a while since I've delivered a progress report on what has been a moderately productive Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge (at least by my admittedly leisurely standards), so here goes.

I had a bit of a rest following the Flight Theme Round, but resolved to get back into the game while on holidays from work.

First off the table was my entry in the Theme Round, 'BFG', 'Shooting the Messenger', an insight into how Ogres handle battlefield parleys.

A concerted push to get some more terrain into the mix saw the long-neglected contents of my garage get turned over in quest of something suitable, and I lighted on an old kit from GW, 'Dreadstone Blight', a ruined wizard's tower.

I'm very pleased with how it turned out, though the designers do love them some skullz...

I was also able to return to a previous subject, Chaos Dwarf Admiral Thadrak Krakenbane, seen here at the height of his powers. This Scibor sculpt was a delight to paint.

A Reaper Bones Ettin rounded out Day 41's entries. I decided to go with a yellowy skin tone, and the large expanses of flesh on the beastie rewarded the extra effort.

The 'Music' Theme Round was upon me shortly afterwards, and I was pleased to be able to submit some old skool minis in the form of these Goff Rockerz, an Ork rock band from the early WH40K universe. Extra bright goblin green skin and gaudy costumes, and the tribute to the days of Rogue Trader was complete!

Finally, I finished some more Scibor Dwarves, the Salvage Crew. The colour scheme is meant to recall blue denim overalls and convey a sense of no-nonsense workers and craftsmen.

A wealth of detail on these sculpts, especially given their small size, but they really repay the extra effort.

Another bonus theme awaits, 'Childhood', so I'd better get cracking.

Stay tuned...


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