Brigade Models Sci-fi Buildings

To help the Sci-fi Rampant project along I decided to add a few buildings to the scenery collection, as I suspected that just having the troops run about in the woods in the middle of nowhere could get a bit dull.

Brigade Models do some excellent sets, and their Research Base was exactly the sort of thing I was after. With their winter discount running at the moment, it was 15% off too, which was a bonus. I was determined to get cracking on it when it arrived, so that it didn’t just get moved quietly onto the to-do scenery pile in a few weeks when my interest wandered in other directions.

So, after a bit of a clean-up on the bottom of the pieces, and a black undercoat, I gave them a 3-tone dry brush from dark green up to light grey. They look a bit tie-died but work OK on both my green and winter terrain boards reasonably well.

There are some small containers to do, which are included in the set, but otherwise this lot are finished – within a week of ordering, which is pretty good going for me!

A Second Go at Frostgrave

At the weekend Goat Major invited me over for a game of Frostgrave, which we played once before and had a lot of fun with. As it had been a long time since the first game we decided to simply start again, both using pretty much the same warbands as before.

Mine is based around a Necromancer, who has suitably motley followers, including his (when successfully raised) pet Zombie, Alan. GM’s lot are an Arabian looking mob led by an Enchanter on a magic carpet.

The scenery was awesome as before, a complete setting with everything gelling together and making a very challenging landscape to fight over. Lots of obstacles, cover and height changes are important in this game, and allows you to clamber and hide to your heart’s content. Clearly there’s no frost involved here, but the game’s the same whatever the setting. We played the Silent Tower scenario, but I spent most of my time just trying roll above a 5 on the cursed d20.

We took a while to get back to understanding the rules properly, but after a few oversights we had a very entertaining game. Although I managed to get half the treasure off the board, I left 80% casualties behind. Fortunately I made all but one of the post-game survival rolls for them, so it wasn’t all bad. GM made it to the tower to get additional experience points, and if it hadn’t been for his apprentice getting gored to death by a randomly encountered Boar, he’d have won by an even bigger margin.

Despite a fair few casting failures we managed to deploy quite a few spells between us, which of course is what Frostgrave is all about. After the game we rolled up the results of our scavenging and now have a bit of money to spend, and some options to play with. Hopefully we’ll pick this up again in January for some more fun. Thanks GM for the excellent hospitality!

 

 

Some 15mm Sci-Fi Bits

I’m slowly coming back to this ‘period’, and am looking again at using the Dragon Rampant rules to provide a manageable, fun type of game.

While I’ve been pondering the rules, and avoiding painting any actual figures, I have managed to add a few bits of scenery that I was recently given by a generous soul. These will be general items to scatter around, or make part of the scenario as objectives or targets for destruction, etc.

These are MDF kits from Blotz. They’re easy to assemble and easier to paint. I tried to find a colour scheme that would go with both my terrain colours, and I think it’ll do.

 

Sharp Practice – The Return of the Black Widow

A few days ago the post-Napoleonic imaginations forces came out of their boxes again for another game of Sharp Practice. The plot followed loosely on from a previous game (link) where one of Fleurie’s spies (a very attractive and devious lady operating under the codename of ‘The Black Widow’) was extricated from a tricky position (ooh er!) by a scratch force sent to look for her. Now word had reached Medetian military intelligence of an intended rendezvous, at which they might just catch the evil woman and put an end to her troublesome meddling.

My friend Jase duly took on command of the Medetian spy-hunting force, and I prepared a few Fleurians to defend the rendezvous location (a remote farm), plus a larger relief force to come on later.

The Medetians had been able to send some men on ahead to surround the farm and pin down the men there. Of the spy there was no sign.

The game provided a lot of good moments, with both of us bringing on reinforcements in formation, and there was often tension waiting for the next card to be turned up.

Some key moments…

The Medetian marines charged in (on the 2nd attempt) to clear off the pesky Voltigeurs, but somewhat surprisingly received a right drubbing.

The Fleurian commander, Captain Mauzac, confidently led his men onto the field in a large formation, with cavalry on the right and skirmishers on the left, he’d soon see off those annoying Bersaglieri in the wood. Instead of fleeing, Jase decided on a final volley from the Bersaglieri before they were overrun. The result: one hit, one dead officer!

The cavalry arriving a tad late for poor old Mauzac:

It offered Sergeant Luberon his moment of glory, which he duly grasped by stepping forward to lead the now leaderless line. He did well but was later usurped when a proper officer arrived.

The Medetian hordes advanced:

The main forces angled towards each other for a musketry duel.

The Black Widow decides it’s time to depart, and leaves her hiding place in the stables. She follows a retreating unit of Voltigeurs away from the Medetian attack.

The dashing Hussar, Lieutenant Gillette, was aiming for the flank of the Medetian line, but instead met a wall of Grenadiers who’d been hurried into place by the Medetian commander, his most crucial move of the day. It was bloody for both sides, but the Hussars were forced to withdraw, their injured officer following slowly behind.

The main firefight blazed for several turns and casualties (and shock) piled up on both sides. Eventually the Medetians’ morale dropped and the game was up. Their commander called off the attack and his troops withdrew.

Unseen by the enemy, the Black Widow had not run straight for the safety of the Fleurian table edge, but had made a dash for the lake, where she had a boat hidden. Escorted by the well-meaning, hopelessly lovelorn (but romantic no-hoper) Lieutenant Aramon, she had other plans to fulfil and was soon away from danger and heading off to who-knows-where…

We had a lot of fun with this, and the rules are providing consistently challenging, event-laden and exciting games. The beer was good too.

 

 

 

 

Changing the Setting

My naval/amphibious project has had some minor attention recently, with a view to getting things ready for a big multi-player game next year. I have added some more ground troops, including the odd tank and artillery piece, and will aim to post some pics of these soon.

Since painting some fir trees to dress the islands for a northern setting, I’ve been on the hunt for small palm trees to re-locate things in the Pacific when I want to involve the Japanese and American fleets. I tracked down a Chinese (aren’t they all?) manufacturer on eBay and bought 100 30mm palm trees for a few quid. I’d almost forgotten about them until they arrived at the start of this week. They look fine, and I’ve simply painted the trunks a darker brown and based them in 1s, 2s and 3s (as I’ve done with the fir trees). I’m not aiming for full-on jungles, I just want a few trees to create the right look.

So, here are some Germans in the Baltic:

And with a quick switch round, some Japanese in the Pacific:

Autumn Bits and Pieces

Although posts have been a bit few and far between lately, I’ve been getting some stuff done. I have set up a spill-over workstation on the dining room table, and up until the point where I’m evicted, I have a number of projects to work on – generally involving glue, styrofoam, MDF, sand and paint. Messy stuff then!

First up, was a simple assemble and paint job..

Oriental Jetties (TTCombat MDF) – for Sharp Practice and other 28mm skirmish games:

More to come…

 

Honours of War – A LAW Forum Get-together

In early October a group of us from the forum were cordially invited to come for a game in Gary’s very impressive Wargames room. As they go, it must be one of the best around, and comfortably accommodated 9 players and a good-sized table. It was a good opportunity to catch up with the guys, who came from far and wide as always, and meet one of Gary’s very friendly local club members, Ian, who joined us.

We would be using the Honours of War rules and most of us had brought a contingent of our own historical or imagi-nations troops. Gary had prepared the table, scenario, some of the forces, and all of the catering for the day – what a decent bloke! It was an attack/defend game, with a central bridge as the key, and 2 built up areas on the flanks also counting as objectives.

My Medetians took the right flank for the defenders, with reinforcements to come on later, and faced Iain and Simon who arrived en mass in the opening few turns.

The fighting was pretty intense, and the rules held up pretty well, considering we had a lot of troops on the table by the end. I didn’t quite manage to hold onto my village, with a last-ditch counter attack failing in the final turn. However, the bridge and farm were competently defended by Jeremy and Purps on my left, so overall we just about won.

All in all it was a lot of fun playing such a good-looking wargame with old mates and new acquaintances. There was good banter and everyone was on good form, which was great to see.

After the game we had a very nice dinner and a few beers in one of the local pubs, rounding off an excellent weekend. Hopefully we’ll be invited back next year!

 

 

St. Valentio Skewered by El Kebab!

I’ve been making steady progress with my plans for playing colonial imagi-nation games. These will be set in Medetia’s exotic 19th century colonies, using the Sharp Practice 2 rules.

Although I haven’t finished my jungle bases, or added any buildings yet, I felt that with lots of figures now painted a game could still be possible. So, I decided that the soon-t0-be rebellious sepoys and natives would start out with an away match – and become the fierce corsairs of the notorious El Kebab, terror of the southern sea. The sleepy, and lightly garrisoned, Medetian island outpost of St. Valentio was their target, with its trade goods and wealthy merchants. General vandalism would also be on the cards of course. My good mate Jase was up some corsairing, and duly loaded his vessels with a horde of ne’er do wells and set sail..

El Kebab’s small fleet, led by his own ship, the Scimitar, approached the main harbour out of the dawn shadows and made straight for the jetties. The alarm was sounded by the lookout in the fort, and the Medetians were roused from their slumbers. A party of sailors in the harbour were the first to see action, as the approaching corsairs let loose with grape from their guns.

The damage inflicted on the sailors was returned with interest by artillery and rifle fire from the shore, which swept away the Scimitar’s gun crew. El Kebab, may his name be forever showered with glory, may have cowered in the stern a bit when this happened.

Acting the part of El Kebab in full, Jase had decided to drive his two larger ships right into the harbour to offload their landing parties, while the (somewhat slower and more inconsistent) rowed boats followed behind.

With their mighty leader heroically directing things from aboard his ship, his trusty sub-commander, Munjit Dhal and ex-Sepoy Sergeant Badbhaji, led their men ashore to start the mayhem.

The Medetian garrison, though somewhat scattered and having to rally from various points of the compass, were reacting however. Their commander, Major Nebbiolo, wasn’t on top form – perhaps due to too much vino rosso the night before! His officers and NCOs were showing clearer heads though, and Sergeant Rigato of the Bersaglieri and Brevet-Lieutenant Lambrusco were taking the fight to the raiders. The main square was the scene of some running firefights and vicious melees, and casualties mounted on both sides as the advantage swung to and fro.

After seeing off one enemy group, young Lambrusco, hero of several previous games, somehow survived his own unit being wiped out by a second horde of corsairs. His bravery must surely see his promotion to Lieutenant now.

By now, despite Major Nebbiolo coming down from the fort to take charge, the raiders were getting stuck into the looting and burning. The church turned out to be more stiffly defended than was expected, but the frenzied clergy and their gamekeeper were sent packing with a howling charge.

Finally, El Kebab himself made his presence felt as he ushered ashore his most feared mob – the savage Big Choppers of Kamul ‘the Blade’.

Outside the harbour, the wily Imlik Bling and his sharpshooters kept a returning patrol of Bersaglieri at arm’s length as both sides traded shots from their boats.

Finally, enough was enough for the defenders who were forced to pull back to the fort and leave the corsairs free to ransack several houses, capture some residents for ransom, and retire at their leisure from a successful raid.

After this vicious assault, the Medetians would be keen to exact their revenge against El Kebab, and would be sure to leave no stone unturned in their pursuit of him and his band of cutthroats…

It was a great game, played in an excellent spirit, and it provided a lot of laughs throughout. The rules, as always, generated a lot of challenges for us, and delivered a believable and entertaining narrative. More soon hopefully!

September Scratchbuild Challenge

The Loose Association of Wargamers forum is running a challenge this month to use up some of the stuff that wargamers collect and hoard in the hope they’ll be useful someday. I am definitely one of those people who can’t help holding onto a decent sheet of polystyrene, cardboard tube or piece of balsa, so I decided to have a go.

Good timing then – as a new curtain pole came packed in some L-shaped card lengths, and I detected a potential use straight away!

I have been intending to buy some 28mm earthworks as defences to use in various games, particularly Sharp Practice skirmishes in the Medetian colonies. Nothing in 28mm resin is super-cheap, so I thought I might economise a bit with my new cardboard bits 🙂

This isn’t intended as a detailed step-by-step account of how I produced the final piece, but basically I cut a 30cm length and removed a section for a gun emplacement. Then I plugged the ends, and based the entire piece, with card. The remaining features were the adding of a firing step with a rear extension for the gun and crew (10mm styrofoam sandwiched between more card and decked with thin strips), a ‘planked’ shield for the gun and finally some sharpened dowel spikes to deter attackers.

I used some filler on the gaps and on the main earthwork, and covered it with sand.

Everything received a Sandtex black undercoat and a heavy brush of Sandtex bitter chocolate. The wood received a light grey drybrush before everything was finished with a sand-coloured final brush. I painted the front edge green to match my terrain boards, and that’s it done!

I just need to make a few more bits now and then get them on the table for some interesting pirate stronghold scenarios!

 

A Big Battle in the Midlands

A few weekends ago a group of 8 members of the Loose Association of Wargamers got together near Grantham for an 18th century wargame. We all contributed some troops, both historical and imagi-nation, and used the Honours of War rules. It was nice to meet Jeremy and his family for the first time, and we didn’t seem to put him off coming to future LAW events!

Purps made the arrangements at a village hall, and also made half the terrain with some very impressive sculpted boards. The other half was LT’s excellent teddy bear fur. Once some buildings, hedges, trees and other scenery was in place, we had a very nice looking long battlefield of about 30′ by 5′.

Empty and full pics of the table:

The various collections were combined to create 2 large armies, with 4 players a side. There was a background scenario which led nicely to a big set-to, with me part of the attacking side. I took control of the left centre and had to capture the bridge. I deployed 2 columns of battalions, with artillery and cavalry in support.

Action in the centre, where the forces of Medetia fought for the bridge:

Action on the flanks:

The game was played in great spirit and we had a very enjoyable day. By the end we had been victorious pretty much all along the line, although the enemy had fought hard and we were up against it in a number of places. General E. Pickled led another utter collapse of what seemed to be a strong flank – it’s his special gift!

Purps: “well, that’s the left flank gone!”Pickled: “there were more troops here a minute ago”

Naturally, an evening of good food a drink followed. Some of the guys played a second game the on the Sunday, which I couldn’t stay for unfortunately.

Big thanks to everyone for their great company and friendly participation as always, and in particular to Purps for doing so much prep which made a big difference to how smoothly everything ran.