Monday, 19 April 2010

More bits and pieces

Painting has not been quite so hectic lately after I finishing tarting up the Spanish buildings and walls for my game last weekend. Since them I have been doing some basing and undercoating, I like to base figures then paint them as it stops me having to repaint the boots and trousers after my sloppy basing!

So on the undercoating tray I have;

20 Victrix Highlanders
16 Front Rank Spanish Guerrillas
8 Steve Barber Sailors
8 Perry Dismounted Dragoons

Also I have completed the base green on my 6mm Soviet hordes for CWC, alas my order to Perry Miniatures for some civilian figures suitable for the peninsula has disappeared in to the ether, at least now I can add the armed priests I found about 60 seconds after I pressed send on the original order.

Here's a photo from yesterdays game, christening my new green gaming mat from Mat-O-War, excellent value, I have the green and desert mats.

The mat performed well, my German infantry not so - the dice gods were not with me. The mats are surprisingly thick and get take paint etc to customize them.

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Scenario ideas for Song of Drums and Shakos

Whilst I have been painting recently I have rewatched all of Sharpe and most of Hornblower on DVD for inspiration. I have also been reading Mark Urban's book on the Rifles as well as Mark Adkin's Sharpe Companion which showed just how much ITV messed with Sharpe to get him on the TV.

Both books have left me with plenty of game ideas, the format I shall try is to create a series of encounters linked by the results which will make up the evenings game.

One such game will be based on the skirmish for the bridge of Barba del Puerco (literally 'Pigs Beard') in March 1810. The bridge is on the Spanish Portuguese border, on one side the Light Division under black Bob Crauford and on the other the French army under Massena.

The 95th Rifles guarded the bridge. In opposition, Massena massed voltigeurs and grenadiers together and stuck the bridge killing the sentries and then advanced towards the bridge. Luckily the rest of the unit on guard was roused and as they started to feed in to the skirmish their superior marksmanship started to take its toll.

Historically the French were beaten back taking proportionally many more casualties than the British and it took the French some time to attack again. Further information on the many skirmishes which happened here can also be found here along with some photos of the bridge more recently.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Song of Drums and Shakos

Mark and I ran through Song of Drums and Shakos on Sunday, just a squad each to get our head round the rules. Mark had the riflemen, an Officer, NCO and four chosen men. I had French Light Infantry with an Officer, NCO and six chasseurs.

The figures used were Foundry and Front Rank. The buildings are from Grand Manner, Snapdragon or home made.

The table is oversized for the rules we only used the nearest half with the walled fruit orchard and the houses. We each started diagonally opposite.

Here's the walled orchard. The Gate is resin from Snapdragon whilst i made the rest of the walls from foamcore, card and balsa to match about over 15 years ago. I did give the a little paint touch up.

Large houses again from Snapdragon but roofs were never modelled, as far as I know these houses have never been sold generally. I saw them in the workshop and snapped them up. The roofs are made from sheet tin, shaped into pantiles.

I send half the Chasseurs with the officer whilst the NCO takes the remainder through the orchard.

Skirmishing through the collapsed wall causes casualties on both sides. The over large kapoc smoke indicates an empty musket or rifle. I must make some smaller.

The orchard has a well at the center.

The rifleman opens the small door and fires. Shortly after the officer charges in and is shot down causing the rest of the riflemen to rout.

The game was very enjoyable, we loved the way initiative swaps between players, I have more figures to paint like spanish guerillas and civilians, french cavalry and highlanders so more scenario opportunities for games.

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Mini Review - Mantic Ghouls

Mantic and Wayland Games had an offer, subscribe to the email lists and get a free sprue of ghouls, seemed a reasonable offer so I gave it a go.

So bodies come in two halves split at the waist and a head goes on the end of the neck. Arms are part of the torso and can't be posed. There are a couple of bits like a hand grasping a dagger and an 'Edward Scissorhands' hands which you add presumably by cutting off the existing hands.

These may be ghouls but at my house they will be savage zombies, here is a comparison with a Studio Miniatures 'old lady' zombie and a Heresy Ghoul. With a sympathetic paint and basing job they will fit in fine.

The design of the figures does limit how much individuality they can have and I guess ghouls are something you don't have in large numbers so the posing won't be the biggest issue. Wonder if they will do zombies? The ghouls do have a number of spikes driven through them, I cut one off as it looked like a mushroom.


Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Figure Storage

Like many I have bought figure cases from the likes of Games Workshop and loose foam trays from Figures in Comfort or KR. Many of my trays are stored in zip up boxes I bought from Ikea.

The ones I have are called LYCKLIG, I can't see them online but they have something similar called FLĂ–RT which might be suitable and comes in 2 sizes (£4.49 and £5.99), they are meant for CD/DVD storage. Check they haven't messed with the sizes too much before shelling out. Then start queuing for the cheap ice cream!