Wargaming Musings?

I'm a bit of a butterfly in terms of my attention and sticking to gaming projects long term isn't my strongest point. On the bright side, atleast I flit between the same things. Expect an ecclectic medley of Moderns, Dark Ages, Quar and Early Wild West, almost all in 28mm... (with some 1/48 moderns thrown in... )

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

More from the painting desk

... sadly still all waiting for basing at this stage, although the BritApoc figures have since been done :)

2 survivors (The girl with the SMLE is joining the 'white armband militia', not sure about the geezer with the SLR and beret... possibly a Warlord's retinue) and 2 scavs (the girl in the yellow great coat is a bit more of a hard-core loaner than she in the jumper. I can see jumper girl as more of the 'PR' side of the scavs operation - someone to talk to traders, etc rather than pick through the contaminated ruins... that said, she certainly seems pretty competant with that revolver, so maybe she is ex-police? from L to R; Mongrel, converted Dixons, Warmacre & converted hetzerdog

On the left is a fairly generic fighter. With his cudgel and torn clothes, he could be a poor farmer, scavenger, machine shop worker or raiding yob. 
The Punk next to him is definitely up to no good, and will join a radier gang (my vanilla one, as I doubt the kins will take to kindly to him joining them!). 
The guy in the hat is my first merchant (and entry to my 4th Birthday challenge - better pics will go up once he's based)- Ted. A former pawn-shop owner, this guy did pretty well in the run up to and immediate aftermath of the end. Having a bit of a nack for trading, a reasonable ammount of cash, no scruples or morals and lots of dodgy contacts meant he could get hold of pretty much anything. So in the dark days of the End when everyone else was beating their neighbours over the heads with planks of wood to try to get hold of the last loaf of mouldy bread on the supermarket shelves, Ted was holed up in his office, feet perched on stacks of tinns and smugly smoking cigars whilst armed hoodlums kept the hoy-poloy in line and sold tubs of dog-food at extortionate prices. He's just continued in that line. He now travels about in a motley assortment of vehicles, with a heavily armed bodyguard of thugs. Ted will trade anything - drugs, slaves, guns. 
The guy next to him was one of his contacts -a security van driver, who was drummed out of the army for misconduct and who had a side line in leg-breaking before things all went haywire. He's just the sort of man Ted likes working for him - not too bright, very violent and willing to do anything to anyone. These days he heads up Ted's bodyguard... (he has a Stirling over his shoulder)
L to R; Foundry Victorian, Urban Beat (North Star), Killer Bee, Converted Killer Bee 

Lycaons for my EotD games. The Wolf-lady is a Reaper female werewolf. She's been a fun one to paint up, but looks a lot more wolf-like than the Westwind figures. I think she's likely to end up in a seperaate pack, along with another more wolf-like mate. The wolve are Westind. I'm quite pleased with how their fur turned out - it was an adeptus battle grey base coat, bestial brown wash, drybushed with codex grey & then graveyard earth. The belly fur got an extra highlight with Denhb (or some such) stone, whilst the back got a dry brush of a mix of Adeptus battle-grey/black. The same formula was used on the werewolf too, although with the addition of Tallarn flesh for her hands/paws.
Assorted city types for EotD - a Foundry brawler who will be acting as muscle for a deranged aristocrat (Using the Dark Fire club template, reskinned so that most of the basic members are street toughs/henchmen) , a Foundry Gentleman (who will be joining a 'good' gentleman's club of some sort) a Design 28' Gent who has 'evil' written all over him. He'll be acting as Jack the Ripper in London games, and as a generic club member in my 'German' Dark fire club... 

More EotD figures - this time another wolf for the Lycaons (although this time an Alternative armies model which has been re-purposed from its original duties as a mount for a goblin), and a West Wind Wolfen Jager. I'm trying to keep the Wolfen jagers to quite a neutral pallet,  primarily in an attempt to match the sort of colours that are seen in Victorian era European hunting togs, but also to try to play up the more rural, sober/drab aspects of the faction

The last of the EotD figures for this update - more Foundry cossacks & a TAG priest. These guys will probably join the Hetman on his attempts to avenge his now Vampiric wife.... 

The first 1/48ths I've done in a long time. These guys have been say on my desk for ages, so it's about time I pulled my finger out! They are modern Russian Spetsnatz in Gorka(?) camouflage suits over standard Flora-pattern shirts, etc. Although I had toyed in doing them in a mix of camo schemes, I felt that this might make things confusing if/as/when they are used as advisors for the ChDKZ rebels. I've painted the unit badges black, to make them look like they have been 'sterilised' prior to deployment... not that the NATO forces will have too much difficulty guessing their origins what with the camo, etc...

Another 1/48th - in this case a MVD sniper. I've got a few more MVD figures to do at some stage, and they will be in mixed uniforms (as was often seen in Chechnya, due to having a very tangled series of supply routes). Mostly it will be a mix of the Standard 'flora' green, and the blue city scheme of this guys trousers, although there is another in a winter coat which will be getting the same scheme as this one (not sure what it's called, but it is a 3-tone vertical pattern) just to keep things a bit more ordered... They have the Russian Flag patch on one sleeve, which should help make them stand out from any ChDKZ volunteers they might be supporting.

VDV - these were the 'core' figures that I used for the ChDKZ conversions which I've already shown. They are in Flora cammo, which is used by the VSV although perhaps it is not as distinctive as the 'sun-flower' scheme, but I wanted to keep that for the ChDKZ, as it feels older (having been one of, if not THE, most distinctive soviet schemes) and more likely to be available from second hand sources...

Something of a 1 off at the moment, this guy was really quick to paint. I was hopping that the generic webbing and jacket, russian camo trousers and M16 would give a suitably eclectic feel, reflecting the mixed sources of so much of the equipment in use in africa today. He towers over my 28's, so not much chance of him getting any gaming table action in the foreseeable future... 

And finally, a view of my painting desk - cluttered as usual!

Saturday, 18 August 2012

20 questions...

These have been doing the rounds, and I've really enjoyed seeing other people's answers.... so here's my replies!

The questions:

1. Favourite Wargaming period and why?
I've had many favourites (Post apoc, Victorian/Colonial & moderns) - but I think the longest lasting and most encompassing must be Moderns (used in the lose, wargamer-ish, 1945-to today sense). I enjoy the varied and disparate aspects, and the often challenging gameplay factors associated with asymmetric warfare.  To someone (like me) who gets bored painting too many similar figures, militia and irregulars are a gift from the gods side of thing.  I guess, on a slightly more wishy-washy side of things, it also helps me better understand the historical social and political forces which have shaped the current state of affairs in the world.   I guess it's also a continuation in some ways of my child-hood of Action Man games, using a mix of kit from the original release and the 90's re-release...

2. Next period, money no object?
Tough one - I'd love more 1/48th Moderns, so money being no object I'd buy the HLBS range, re-master it and re-release it (which would then let me do both Modern Africa & Eastern-Europe). Assuming that's not an actual option, I'd love to either do a 28mm Eastern Europe setting (Chernarus, rescaled) or 28mm 'Cold-war gone hot' 

3. Favourite 5 films? (In no particular order - and I seem to have overshot 5.... whoops!)
Blood diamond
Wild geese
The Rocketeer
Romancing the stone & Jewel of the Nile
3:10 to Yuma (remake)
The Mummy

4. Favourite 5 TV series? (Again, no-order)
Tailspin (pseduo 'pulp-era' kiddies cartoon series from my youth, but still something I fall back on whilst suffering from bad colds, etc)
New Tricks
Lark-rise to Candleford

5. Favourite book and author?
Wind in the Willows has to be my favourite book of all time.

In terms of a 'gaming related' book -  I'm not sure. Probably one of my Africa ones (Maybe Don't Let's go to the Dogs tonight. Rain Goddess, Dark of the Sun or Swordsong)

For Authors... Bernard Cornwell writes books which made me want to game the dark ages, so that's pretty good going, but Wilbur Smith's various stories have to be amongst the most listened to audio books in my collection.... I also know that I could pick up any Dan Abnett book (my 40k playing past manifests itself here) and know I'll thoroughly enjoy the read...

6. Greatest General? Can’t count yourself!!
Alfred the Great? He had many flaws, but he did turn the tide on the viking invasion...

7. Favourite Wargames rules?
Skank/Warlords of the Wasteland - available here: http://www.skankgame.com/
Probably the best quick, fun modern-sci fi rules out there...
I also really enjoy Chris Peers' "At Close Quarters", for Modern games

8. Favourite Sport and team?
Not really 'in' to sports - so I'm going to have to pass on this one.

9. If you had a only use once time machine, when and where would you go?
Hampshire, 495s, to see Cerdic & the people who would be come the West Saxons arrive in Britain.

10. Last meal on Death Row?
Hmmm - too many choices. Probably one of my Mums roasts - with Pork or Lamb with onion sauce. Barring that, maybe a Chinese or Indian buffet.

11. Fantasy relationship and why?
Emilia Peabody from Elizabeth Peters books..

12. If your life were a movie, who would play you?
Hmmm... not sure. /i asked the Missus, and she said a young Anthony Stewart Head.... so there you go then...!

13. Favourite Comic Superhero?
Not really into super-heroes... 

14. Favourite Military quote?
I'm struggling to think of a 'military' one offhand. A quote I appreciate, which is related to war gaming: 
“I needed a drink, I needed a lot of life insurance, I needed a vacation, I needed a home in the country. What I had was a coat, a hat and a gun." - Raymond Chandler, Fair-well my Lovely.

 15. Historical destination to visit?
Valsgarde or Vendel, to see the Migration period tombs

16. Biggest Wargaming regret?
Selling off some of my VSF figures a couple of years ago, only to re-start the Victorian period with EotD; or maybe starting my 36mm/1:48th collection 6 months after the range became OOP...! 

17. Favourite Fantasy job?
Full time/professional living history type/re-enactor. either that, or running my own figure company... 

18. Favourite Song Top 5?
Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner - Warren Zevon
Atlantic City - Bruce Springsteen
Downeaster Alexa - Billy Joel
Over the Hills & Far Away - Nightwish
Closing Time - Semisonic

19. Favourite Wargaming Moment?
Possibly taking out a Necron Monolith on the first turn of a 40K roadshow game, from maximum range, by rolling a very lucky glancing hit. Especially as it was featuring the newly pimped Necron army, and the Monolith had only been out for a month or two.  I even won a limited edition Dark Angel Marine Sgt (which I have only just sold).
That or a really close solo game, pulling a wounded helicopter pilot from (literally) under the machetes of a mob of angry locals. It was made even more ponient as I had the Black Hawk Down (another favourite film) soundtrack playing, and it had just reached the slow piece from when the Rangers have to jog back to the Pakistani Stadium. It was intense rolling those dice...!  

20. The miserable Git question, what upsets you?
Inauthentic Vikings/Saxons! Cold callers, and dangerous cycalists whilst driving

21. Favourite videogame (something I pinched from Arlequin's blog spot)?
Max Payne 1&2 have been replayed several times, as have Fallout 1, 2 & Tactics. Operation Flashpoint was great for it's time. Probably Vietcong & the add on-pack come top though. I haven't replayed them, as I don't want to spoil the experience! 
The 'best' moment in a game, atleast the most moving, was in Men of Valour, when your platoon leader is gunned down next to you, and you're powerless to prevent it. You and a few others manage to drag him back behind the M113, for him to slowly bleed out; all to the sound of 'On the Eve of Destruction'. The other great touch from that game was the fact that following your character's death, you were presented with the letter of consolation from your commanding officer to your parents, which was updated depending on the level you were on and the stage in that mission. 

The questions, if anyone wants to have a try (an idea blatantly ripped off from Brummie - thanks mate!):

1. Favourite Wargaming period and why?

2. Next period, money no object?
3. Favourite 5 films?
4. Favourite 5 TV series?
5. Favourite book and author?
6. Greatest General? Can’t count yourself!!
7. Favourite Wargames rules?
8. Favourite Sport and team?
9. If you had a only use once time machine, when and where would you go?
10. Last meal on Death Row?
11. Fantasy relationship and why?
12. If your life were a movie, who would play you?
13. Favourite Comic Superhero?
14. Favourite Military quote?
15. Historical destination to visit?
16. Biggest Wargaming regret?
17. Favourite Fantasy job?
18. Favourite Song Top 5?
19. Favourite Wargaming Moment?
20. The miserable Git question, what upsets you?

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

More from the painting desk...

I just thought I'd update folks with some of the stuff I've been working on since getting back from my Holiday trip a fortnight and a bit ago. As usual, they are all awaiting basing, but there is a real mix here this time. I actually finished a few figures for the FoF game on Sunday, which I've since put away so didn't get around to photographing, so you'll have to excuse those. With Danny now deciding to use my BritApoc background, I've been thinking about it a lot more and this has resulted in a few finished figures and lots with just flesh coats done. Additionally,  I'll be going up to visit at the end of the month, and some retro post-apoc gaming is definitely on the menu, so it seems like a good opportunity/inspiration to get some more  figures painted...

Starting the figures off are a few yobbos; one converted from a Foundry skin-head, the other two straight out of the pack from Urban Beat/North Star... I've got a few more of these guys, and I'm hoping to get a couple more finished to make a decent enough gang (or a tleast to give my generic raiders a suitable feel)

I've painted several versions of this (Foundry) figure over the years for different projcts as I think he's cracking... but I've never ended up with an end result that I'm actually happy with. This version isn't perfect, but I can't think what else to do to him. He's just a generic civilian, trying to get by. That said, he is well armed by the setting's levels, so maybe he's of some import in his community, or maybe the captain of the militia.

These 2 Design 28 Policemen have been done as fantasy pieces, to help police the streets of my not-very-specific Central European city for EotD. Again, more to come!

More Wulfen Jager (2 West Wind, 1 Foundry) - ready to help keep the world safe from supernatural nasties. The guy with the crutch will either be fielded as a replacement when a character gets injured, or more likely, just as another club member.

A pair of Cossack Wars Ladies. I've an idea that perhaps a Hetman's wife has been killed (or turned?) by a vampire, and as such he's brought his family west to the mountains in an attempt for revenge (using the Gentleman's club list. Given the number of swords, they might count as Zendarians). The more full bodied lady might be the Wife's maid, whilst the stroppy looking one in red either a rather butch daughter or younger sister of the wife?

The Hetman's children have also joined the struggle (Foundry & Cossack Wars). I may go back and add embroidery to some of these coats to make them look a bit more luxuriant/richer... I'm not sure yet. 

A couple of Oddsies. I'm planning on writing rules for the use of anarchist 'mercenaries' in EotD (alongside boxers, doctors, local guides ,etc - you know the routine from games like Mordhiem, LotOW & Necromunda), so here's a figure to represent one. The lady will probably join a mob, although she might become a faction member - I'm not sure yet. I've tried to paint her as if she is slightly greying, and given her clothes, she may very well have taken up arms to defend her shop from the monsters, or to avenge a lost son/family member. (Design 28 & Foundry) 

A faithful retainer for my Hetman, and a boy who has got his fathers rifle and his grand-dad's hat (mob member - I know the mobs are only 'supposed' to be able to throw stones,  but I'm not sure how accurate this laddie would be anyway!) figures are Foundry & Conquest.

A pair of settlers/Filibusters/goodness-knows-what for my Early West games, painted up in my current enthusiasm for all things Victorian-y... (Foundry)

And finally a scale comparison & sneak peak of what else is to come from my painting desk. from thel eft they are:
TAG, Foundry Victorian, West wind EotD, Foundry Cossack, LAM, West wind GH, Foundry Ripper (on a piece of plastic-card), Design 28's & artizan. I can also say (but alas, not show as they have gone away for my Birthday) that the North Star 1866, Eureka Tyrolean's & Blue Moon Romanians are all of similar sizes to these...   

The Russian Empire's side of the Carpathians?

I've just seen these from Siberia Miniatures


And whilst some are clearly too late (Lewis gunner and gent in the suit with the automatic) most should be suitable for our period (although the broom handle Mausers holstered on a couple of peoples belts are 8 years too early... but I'm not that picky!). Coupled with the West Wind  Tsar & family, cossack body guards and possibly some of the Cowboy Wars Russian hunting parties this could make for a great one off game with the Tsar's or some other Aristocrat's mountain dacha coming under attack from Vampires/zombies/werewolves/anarchists/you-get-the-idea. If the above picture looks funky, there are links to painted figures on the site, which make them look even better - and also reminf me that I should probably do more embroidery on the coats of my cossacks...

First steps on the road to Stanleyville: Photos from a FoF game

Just a short post showing some snaps from my FoF game last weekend - the scenario was the beginnings of the road to Stanleyville, where the Belgian Paracommados (here represented by mercenaries, as there aren't any actual figures available) try to capture an airstrip to support their efforts to liberate the 1400 or so hostages held in stanleyville by the Simba rebels. The 'Belgians' attack across the length of the runway, in an attempt to capture the control tower and other buildings... unbeknownst to them, the Simbas have reinforcements on the way, and they spawn behind the Belgians! 

In the end, the Belgian forces just about managed to capture the control tower, whilst the other buildings remained in Simba hands. Due to heavy casualties, and only eliminating 3 Simba sections (despite killing over 50 figures), the Belgians lost with 17 vp to the Simba's 23vp

Most of the figures were mine (The mercenaries on the right, assautling the airstrip belonged to John, as did the vast majority of the scenery - some of the runway scatter was mine, and some was Steve's.) 

I'm afraid there's no real narrative to the pictures, although they are all in chronological order... I hope folks enjoy them as much as we enjoyed playing!