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Saturday, 16 September 2017
Tuesday, 12 September 2017
I've finished the Crimean War Russian foot, 8 regiments of 24 figures. These are all 28mm Ebor Miniatures with Venners flags. I think this was quite possibly the quickest set of figures I've painted, managing to do them in 48 figure batches. The painting style has been kept simple, though I'm pondering whether I should have gone for a shiny gloss varnish instead of matt. Still varnishing decision aside I'm pleased with the outcome as I think they look pretty impressive on mass.
The history behind this project is firmly rooted in the acquisition of some Crimean War British that were going cheap, this eventually led me to looking for some Russians and I settled on Ebor Miniatures because of the value for money, especially as this was an accidental project.....sort of. I did however get into a lengthy discussion with PayPal who kindly froze my account over a payment for the Crimean War British that I ordered. Despite explaining at great length that the reference was in connection with a mid 19th century conflict and concerned toy soldiers, I was informed that the transaction was in breach of the trade embargo. Eventually a photo of the embargoed goods cleared the situation up. So from this international arms dealer come sanction buster.....who ever said this hobby wasn't interesting....until next time...
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Thursday, 7 September 2017
I've been slightly sidetracked into painting some WWII American forces for Bolt Action after my youngest showed a keen interest in a Sherman tank model that I'd just finished (pictures below). The model is 1/56 scale from Die Waffenkammer. I've painted up some of the support options and have started assembling Warlord Games plastic infantry. The only thing that's bugging me at the moment is the whereabouts of a box of metal figures that I've misplaced; I suspect they'll turn up when all the infantry have been painted!
Monday, 4 September 2017
The other day I set up a small game of Bonnie Blue Flag to test the rules out. There were quite a few surprises during the play, and I found the rules fun and enjoyable to play. In this initial game skirmishers and cavalry were not deployed, though I don't feel their absence adversely affected the gaming experience.
A brief explanation of the rules: firing is automatic with the receiving unit testing for effect on a D100 role after applying various modifiers to a base value determined by troop quality. If under 10% is rolled on the percentile dice then a jeopardy rule comes into play and the unit is broken and removed from play. Testing units that fail then test on a results table to determine the outcome. Each unit possess a level of attrition points based on troop quality, though this can be adjusted to reflect historical situations where units although experienced or veteran may be battle worn. Generals have a number of attrition points that can be spent to bolster units that have received depletion of their own attrition. One aspect that I particularly like about the rules is the role for initiative each turn, this is a D6 role plus the commanders attrition, so it becomes important for the general to decide whether to spend those precious attrition points and possibly concede the initiative next turn.
The objective was as per the scenario in the rules; seize and control the crossroads. Initial dispositions saw the union forces deploying on turns 1 to 3 as follows:
Turn 1 - Veteran Infantry centre to advance on the crossroads.
Turn 2 - Experienced Infantry to union left flank, with Veteran artillery deploying Union left between the two infantry regiments.
Turn 3 - Raw infantry deploying to the Union right flank, and Experienced infantry to the Union left between the Raw infantry and Veteran infantry.
Following turn 3 the Union forces on the table had the Veteran infantry making a bold advance on the crossroads in the face of the oncoming Confederates' supported by the advancing Veteran artillery (who deployed) and the experienced infantry on their left flank. Turn 3, had seen the arrival of Union reinforcements on the right.
Raw Inf Experienced Inf
Veteran Art Experienced Inf
The Confederate forces deployed as follows:
Turn 1 - Raw Infantry centre to advance on the crossroads.
Turn 2 - Experienced infantry to the Confederate left flank, with Experienced artillery deploying to left between the two infantry regiments.
Turn 3 - Veteran infantry deploying to the Confederate right flank, and Veteran infantry to the Confederate right next to the Raw Infantry.
The early rounds had seen preliminary exchanges of fire between the forces as they advanced on the crossroads and sought to impose their presence on the battlefield, with both sides choosing to advance in the face of the enemy. The early exchanges went slightly in the favour of the Confederates as their Raw infantry in the centre exhibiting enthusiasm stood resolute and unyielding in the face of the Veteran Union infantry.
Turn 3 saw the Confederate forces seizing the initiative and continue to unleash a withering fire on the advancing experienced Union forces on the right, which ended the turn close to breaking. It was at this point that with the Confederate forces seemingly in the ascendancy that the dreaded 10% rule came into effect; when receiving fire from the Experienced Union infantry that had been so mercilessly itself subjected to intense fire.
The 10% rule - results in the immediate breaking of the testing unit; and heralded the ignominious breaking and flight from the field of the Veteran Confederate unit. Until this point I had the feeling that a comfortable Confederate victory was looming.
Turn 4, saw the initiative remaining with the Confederate forces, with the Union Veteran infantry in the centre coming under intense fire from both the Confederate artillery and Raw infantry. Despite taking heavy casualties the Veteran infantry managed to hold their ground in the face of this onslaught and return fire on the Confederate Raw infantry to the front. It was once again the misfortune of the Confederate forces to suffer the 10% rule as the previously defiant Raw infantry could take no more punishment, breaking and fleeing from the field.
The game continued until turn 8, where the pictures below show the final dispositions. The Confederate forces managed to give a sound account of themselves over the 4 turns, but the advantages in numbers for the Union only resulted in the a gradual depletion of Confederate attrition points, finally until their position became untenable and they were forced to leave the field. Given their performance following the misfortune of two 10% results, I would like to think the retreat was in good order.
The figures used it the battle were a mix of 28mm Sash and Sabre and Perry Miniatures on the Confederate side, and vintage 28mm Connoisseur Miniatures on the Union.
In summary Bonnie Blue Flag rules are fun, fast and certainly maintain a degree of uncertainty and potential for surprises during play with the roles for initiative and the 10% rule, adding to the overall enjoyment. The factor modifications for firing are easy to pick up after a few turns and I found myself hardly using the chart as the turns went on, only referring to the outcome resolution for units that failed their test under fire. I was particularly interested in the use of percentage dice for testing, and I think that this works exceptionally well, and can be extremely frustrating when rolling a 64% when 65% or over is needed; which in my mind adds to the fun. I also feel that these rules would be eminently capable of handling very large games.
Verdict: HIGHLY RECOMMENDED, I will certainly be playing Bonnie Blue Flag.
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Sunday, 3 September 2017
With all the sadness surrounding the closures of a couple of well known Wargames companies recently, I thought it would be nice to introduce a new venture, Infamous JT and wish them all the best in these oft choppy waters that are our hobby. I also think it's worth mentioning that the majority of manufacturers are small concerns often forgotten given the exceptionally high quality of product on offer. Each and everyone of them a testimony of the love and dedication, blood sweat and tears that go into feeding our gaming demands and desires. So, I feel they are all worthy of our support. So, without further ado I'll introduce the Infamous JT, an exciting new venture by Jamie Tranter.
The first releases will focus on the Polish Freedom fighters of the Warsaw Uprising of 1944, with the exciting release of 1/56 (28mm) scale Kublus. I believe there will be a Kickstarter and previews of the range will be announced on the Infamous JT Facebook page.
I have to mention that I have no personal connection with Infamous JT, only having pleasant conversations Jamie on a Facebook group we are both members, and thought his creativity, skill and enthusiasm for our hobby was worthy of a post, it is the least I can do.
If this initial release interests pop on over to Facebook and follow Infamous JT
Thursday, 24 August 2017
Some WSS Prussian Officers/Generals, 28mm figures from Ebor Miniatures.
This little addition enables my Prussian units to be fielded as a fighting force in their own right. I've lots of painting to catch up on with the WSS armies, and am determined to make a start on the Dutch next week.
The indoctrination of the younger generation is coming along at a healthy pace, both love playing Dead Mans Hand, and are keen to try other games. I think we'll try out a little ACW game with Bonnie Blue Flag rules, nothing big just 4 infantry units and some artillery a side and see what they think. Things are also looking up on the regular gaming front as plans are in progress to start a local gaming club, all we need is numbers, then we can determine a suitable venue, but early signs are promising.
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Friday, 18 August 2017
I've completed the Old West town I started as a side project. Most of the buildings have been scratch built, they have a cardboard box as the inner core and then simple balsa wood cladding outside. The small outhouse buildings were made from off cuts of balsa wood. These initial buildings were really cheap to make, only a few sheets of balsa and some glue. The bases are cork flooring tile, and all buildings were painted with a combination of 4 tester pots (dark brown, grey, ochre and cream) from a local DIY store.
The remainder were mdf kits, the 4 complete buildings and the gallows were part of a set bought off eBay from TTCombat, these were painted to match the scratch built buildings. Then there is the building under construction from 4Ground, I wasn't going to attempt scratch building that one!
There is a mix of gunfighters, all 28mm and from either Knuckleduster or Brigade Games. I have some Foundry models to paint for a little more variety.
The rules of choice are Dead Mans Hand by Great Escape Games, and I've already had one game with my kids and they loved it, so a big thumbs up! Unfortunately my eldest has inherited my appalling luck at dice, the youngest not so ( a genuine contender for the name 'Dead-Eye').
The mat is felt and from S&A Scenics, who do some excellent hand made scenic items.
I think were going to have a lot of fun shootin' it out in Dodge.