Sunday, 8 October 2017

Terrain and basing update

We can't always be painting miniatures, sometimes we need to do stuff that's not as exciting but none the less essential.

First up I am restarting my 15mm terrain collection for WW2, I knocked out a couple of Peter Pig farm buildings, I'm avoiding anything too urban and just going for rural stuff where possible.

I've had a bag of Noch fir trees for ages and had started basing them and then moved on to other things, I forced myself to finished them. These are good for 6mm or 10mm and I fancy adding another bag of these.

I have based up some of the cheap Chinese trees, noticeably not as good as the firs but these are pennies per tree. I've more of these to base.

More Warbases skirmish trays for Sharp Practice to save me having to swap figures around.

These are single penny rings that I have added tiny 2mm high numbers, this gives me with this set 8 red and blue big men numbered 1 to 8 and green numbered 1 to 4. Useful in identifying your character figures during the game.

As an example here's red one and two.

Yesterday I popped along to the Derby Worlds show, now sited in rural Leicestershire. The show was well lit but the hall was a little cramped as they run several competition games over both days. 

Success was had as I picked up both my wagon and limber team for my 28mm ACW collection along with the Fall of the Reich supplement for Battlegroup - sorry Stu no stats for your Maus!

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Battlegroup WW2 - a first run through

The Battlegroup WW2 rules published by The Plastic Soldier Company have been around for a few years, recently they have printed a new core rulebook, a Battle of the Bulge book and a reprint of their Overlord book. A Market Garden volume is next in the works whilst a Cold War version is being worked on. Lots going on there and I wanted to have a run through the rules to see how they played.

Picking a straightforward scenario and a couple of small forces from my collection, we sat down to run through the game. I believe in the couple of hours we had, the rules certainly proved themselves, we had a few questions and I was able to solve those with a quiet read through the rule book afterwards.

Each turn you receive a number of orders, invariably less than you need, orders are used to activate teams, annoyingly called squads in the rules, the turn passes to your opponent when complete. As teams are destroyed or rallied, players draw counters and when the value of your counters exceeds your Battle Rating, your remaining troops withdraw and you lose.

My WW2 collection has been in storage for more than three years and it was good to see it again. Looking at my US vehicles I can see I need to get more decals and add some markings to many of these but it wouldn't take long. I've another 10 Shermans and some more infantry.

The Germans have some unfinished Fallschirmjager, so many plans, so little time. I'm off to the 'Worlds' at the weekend, I'll have a look out for more terrain bits and pieces.

Saturday, 16 September 2017

Colours 2017

We shot down to Newbury for a few hours yesterday, I'd only a few things on my shopping list but the absence of the Foundry Napoleonic racks meant no British Marines, and no Perrys then no limber or wagon for ACW.

Essentials like MDF bases and tufts came first, 15mm walls from Debris of War and then a couple of great character figures from Gringo40s. The surprise purchase was the Sudan scenario book, this will be great for TMWWBK.

I managed to finish the ACW casualty markers, complete with horses, Union and Confederate, all with Minibits 7mm frames.

Last year I bought some great buildings from Leven Miniatures, great models and easy to paint. Here's the first few themed for ACW.

I'm working on some 15mm farm buildings from Peter Pig for our inaugural playing of Battleground, these were a pre order for collection, somehow they still came in the post?  They are all primed and ready for paint.

Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Summer All Day Game - ACW Sharp Practice

I was keen get some skirmishers painted for my Union forces, a quick order to Perry Miniatures brought some suitable figures through the letterbox. One is a pack of Confederates, but don't tell them - I just painted them blue! Both packs of Berdans were supplemented by the free figure from Warlord which came with the release of 'Glory Hallelujah' which convieniently gave me enough figures to field the officer as a big man in Sharp Practice.

In their first game they did reasonably well, even the Renedra barn managed to survive its first game without being burnt down. Perhaps the curse is broken?

Here's a couple of shots from our game, Stuart playing the Rebs has written the game up on his blog, the link is after the photos.

Monday, 21 August 2017

From one civil war to another

My recent game of Sharp Practice caused me to think about my ACW collections, my 28mm Union troops are desperately in need of skirmishers and my 6mm Confederates lurked nearby mocking me for being unfinished since 2010!

Whilst reviewing old blog posts I found my unboxing post and my first few units. These figures had caused me a few problems, I've based the early regiments twice as I focused on to unit bases and didn't like painting off the black undercoat. Whilst off recently I took the plunge and pulled out the part painted strips and cracked on.

Once I had some momentum up it ceased being a chore and started planning future additions, more of everything!

It's ready for a game now;

18 infantry regiments
4 combined skirmishers bases
2 cavalry squadrons
2 dismounted cavalry squadrons with horse holders
4 cannon w/ 2 limbers
5 brigade commanders
3 division commanders
1 corps commander or CinC

I have some Perrys on the painting table for the 28mm Union, now did I buy some buildings from Joy of 6 last year?

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Escaping the grot box

We all have one, a grot box, a box or shelf of shame, that place where unfinished models go after we've lost interest in them. No don't confuse this with your lead or plastic mountain of untouched kits or figures - this is models we've started and lost interest, perhaps it's a dull sculpt and doesn't inspire, or we've moved on to another project.

There is a good selection of bits in mine and I'm working towards clearing it out, mixing it in with my current projects.

This week I've managed to finish a few bits and pieces. Firstly a Frostgrave bard, also good for D&D.

Next a couple of French officers, originally from Victrix but now no longer in their catalogue.

Finally a Front Rank civilian flanked by two Warlord British Officers suitable for the Peninsula War.


Recently I had the opportunity to visit friends who had moved to France, flying to Basel, we drove down the motorway through Alsace, you can see a graffiti covered pillbox in the shot below.

The Romans were also here, all that remains of the town of Epomanduodurum is the amphitheatre.

Most significantly, the city of Belfort was besieged three times during the nineteenth century, twice during the Napoleonic wars and once more in the Franco Prussian War. The statue below commemorates the leaders in each of those sieges. 

The city was protected by fortifications designed by Vauban. The city successfully resisted the Prussians and the defenders marched out with their weapons after the armistice. Because of this success, this part of Alsace was not handed over to new German empire.

After the 1871 war, the French built more forts in this area, their large cannon would give mutually supporting fire. This example Fort du Mont Bart was only open to school parties on the day we were passing.

The French like to leave anachronistic vehicles at their historical sites, Belfort had a Sherman, Mont Bart had this Panhard EBR.