Wednesday, 24 February 2010

Hirst Arts blocks Adobes

I have been curious about the Hirst Arts blocks since I first saw them on the internet a few years ago, my thoughts were "can't be bothered with that, I remember Linka" which is still pretty valid in my opinion.

There are sellers on eBay who list both kits and sets of pre-cast bricks, this seems much less hassle so I ordered about a tenners worth out of curiosity. The bricks I ordered came from Egyptian Basic Block Mold #95, and would seem to represent about 25 (!) sets of mouldings. They sat in the box over xmas, and recently one evening whilst giving thought to Ambush Alley I grabbed some No More Nails and Lego and sat in front of the TV building.

The purpose of the Lego pieces, built in to corners is to push the pieces in to nice straight right angles, even then I have a building which looks it was built by cowboys! Once built and given a couple of days for the glue to dry, I base coated with Dulux Earth Glaze then dry brushed with Tawny Crest 1 and 2 (now alas discontinued). The doors were made of balsa and foamcore in order to create a recess and no make the doors that obvious should I use them for 28mm.

Now some photos, the base coated photo appeared a couple of days ago but I will show it again here for completeness.

and now drybrushed with some props.

I need some walls, satellite dishes and aircon units for the roofs.


Monday, 22 February 2010

Seek and Destroy Part 2

The previous post gave the scenario for last nights game, we grabbed some terrain tiles, lichen, some rocks and a few trees and put together a 6' x 6' table. The two British platoons entered from this far table edge. Here Stu and Mark are discussing possible tactics.

The Zulu players, another Mark and myself decide to put 4 of our units in plain view on the table and have the other 2 hidden in cover ready to surprise the British. No plan survives contact with the enemy as one platoon of British advance down one table edge and blunder into a Zulu Iviyo. The Zulus unable to declare a charge, move out of rifle range.

With the Zulus now seemingly committed the advance against the thin red (and blue) line.

Half a platoon of the 13th commanded by the sergeant climb the hill to gain better firing positions, the Zulu unit in front of the hill has charged the one end of the Naval Brigade but has left stragglers and wounded behind. Meanwhile the units of renegade Zulus advance.

The Naval Brigade easily beat of the attack, as the survivors flee, another Iviyo advances on the sailors.

It was at this point the Zulu players decided "Hey we should let them advance on to the table some more, maybe we can split them up" then proceeded to ignore that excellent idea and instead try to break the Naval Brigade with a whole Ibutho.

To take some of the pressure off the Zulus facing the Naval Brigade, Zulus attack the section at the base of the hill and inevitably lose.

No this is getting to the point when you start to think that the Zulus can't lose this melee.

The Zulus charge in and the British roll lucky, and turning back to back fight off the natives. .

Breaking the Zulus who flee, ready for the next unit to attack

Now a fresh unit starts to charge home led by Mblini, the renegade Swazi.

But lucky British shooting kills Mblini, the leader of the attacking Ibutho and his followers are stunned with shock and fail to charge home! They stand before the British and take a withering volley after which British victory was declared and this part of Zulu land was declared tamed.

Overall the rules worked well, clearly a couple of things could have worked better for us. The Zulus can't penny packet their rifles as they are needed to thin down the British before the attack, I have some questions regarding wounded figures and of course we probably should have remembered to throw spears on the way in - next time we will remember.


Sunday, 21 February 2010

Seek and Destroy

Tonight's club game is a Zulu war scenario with The Sword and The Flame making it's club debut.

Scenario – Seek and Destroy

Set out from Kambula on the orders of Colonel Evelyn Wood, commanding No 4 column, to deal with two renegade Zulu bands which have been raiding locally and preventing Uhamu, Cetshwayo’s half brother from bringing his people into Natal – he is currently in hiding near the Swazi border.

The raiders are Mblini, Swazi freebooter with a band of renegade Zulus and Manyanyoba a petty Zulu chieftain. The raiders have been attacking isolated kraals and homesteads for miles.

Take 2 platoons of the 13th Foot (Prince Albert's Regiment of Light Infantry) with sufficient wagons and mules to carry supplies, seek and destroy the renegade Zulus.
Nominate 1 player to be the ranking British officer.

British Forces

2 Platoons with a sergeant, commanded by a Lieutenant. (Each totalling 20 figures, all ranks)
Company Sergeant Major
Captain, Officer Commanding.

Zulu Forces

Each Zulu band (Ibutho) comprises 3 Iviyo let by a minor Induna and let by a Senior Induna (Mblini or Manyanyoba) (61 figures)

I in 6 of the Zulu warriors are armed with antiquated muskets, they may fire from the front of their units, there are insufficient numbers to form a skirmish unit.

Meanwhile, I am planning another game of Ambush Alley but feel that I still don't have enough buildings even with the buying of the five Hovel last weekend. I had a small selection of Hirst Arts blocks from ebay, I put these together over the course of a couple of evenings and 'plastered' them with filler. I still have some detail to do to the windows which hopefully will make them suitable for 20mm and 28mm, and make them more 'deserty'.

Sunday, 14 February 2010

Valentines Day Massacre

Alas no gaming today but a day of painting and watching DVDs. Picking up Inglourious Basterds, District 9 and Terminator: Salvation in the week, ex-rentals so had plenty to watch whilst painting.

Here's the Adobes;

They were initial painted, after washing, with Dulux Earth Glaze 1, when dry they had a heavy drybrush of Dulux Tawny Crest 1.

Next comes the third colour, Dulux Tawny Crest 2 to lighten the whole thing up.

Paint the wooden bits brown, then give them a wash and paint the window holes in black.

"Yes, the area has gone downhill since all the building work!"

Here are the two heavy cruisers and the new frigates with separate turrets, the 2 ships lurking at the back are an attempt to keep the painting similar, but the new ones seen darker.

Finally here's yesterdays Micro Armour purchase, I still needs some bits and pieces like a Shilka, Air Support and some Infantry.

Well I'm hoping for my GZG 15mm battle force will arrive this week and I'll have to crack on with that when it comes, I have some interesting bids on ebay at the moment, more on that another day, dinner and a HALO novel beckon.


Saturday, 13 February 2010

Road Trip

I have had a pleasant day visiting a couple of the Midland's games shops and making a few purchases. So firstly some more Hovels 25mm (they are quite small for 25mm but excellent for 20mm) Adobes for my Ambush Alley games and some Soviet micro armour for Cold War Commander. These came from Spirit Games, bit of a trek but I spent at least an hour and a half exploring all the stock, very enjoyable and very hard not to find something to buy.

On the way back I called in to Wayland's Forge in Birmingham and bought a copy of the Firestorm Armada. I still think the ships are expensive especially when they suggest you should be working towards playing with the equivalent of two boxed sets! I am thinking of making my own, somehow.

Tomorrow, I shall put the finishing touches to some new Dwarf ships for US and paint my new adobes.


Monday, 8 February 2010

We came, we saw, we sank

Perhaps it would sound grander in latin!

Alas last nights 2 small games of Uncharted Seas left many a dwarf swimming for home as their fleets were poorly handled. Both games were 'recce' games for our campaign and so were with limited points.

First off I get to play Dane and his Orcs, in this scenario I have to get close to his ships to examine them. What happens when you get close to Orc ships? They fire at you and you sink! Being substantially outnumbered I didn't have a chance.

In the next game I played Darren and the Dragon Lords, a straight battle. I really should have found some time to remind myself of the rules over the weekend so the Dragon Lords where all over me, I did sink a whole squadron of frigates and am pretty sure I could have made a mess of the flag ship given another turn and the initiative.

Once home I ordered some more frigates, this time the new models with proper turrets and a pair of the heavy cruisers. I must devise a means of naming the models without keep picking them up and I am giving thought to basing the ships too as I like the look and more importantly it stops them knocking into each other in the box.

Next club should be another Zulu game this time using The Sword and the Flame. Before then I hope to have painted the 15mm centaurs and the remains of the Naval Brigade so watch this space.


Saturday, 6 February 2010

Hammers Slammers vs Painting Block

Well I have at last managed to get the first two volumes of the Hammers Slammers books by David Drake these are currently getting me psyched up to paint some 15mm Sci-Fi at the end of the month, with the new Simon Scarrow paperback out yesterday the reading pile is getting big.

Since the mammoth January painting total I haven't lifted a brush - this is pretty usual for me when I paint a lot in a short time then have a break I find it difficult to start again!! I will attempt to start the remaining Naval Brigade this weekend and Sunday I have some games of Uncharted Seas planned.

Last night I flocked the insides of my Zulu movement tray and they look pretty smart now. I am going to have to have a day photgraphing these in the light tent.