Friday, 29 April 2011

Project Update

I thought it was about time I got my various projects straight in my own mind and so this post can kill two birds with one stone.

Work in Progress

Dahomey 1892: as you may have seen from my last post, I have just finished basing the figures for this project and so I can take this straight from stage 3 (construction) to 5 (complete). I may expand this one in the future to allow bigger games but that's only in the idea stage.

Indian Mutiny: This is currently at stage 3 with the first batch of figures painted (British 32nd and 53rd; 2 units of Mutineers and some Badmashes) and currently on the workbench being based. I picked up the Sikhs, Highlanders, some artillery and cavalry at Salute for the next phase. My next challenge is to add some more suitable buildings to my adobe scenery.

Sudan: Salute saw me purchase some more figures for the phased expansion of my existing Sudan project (which I could have argued was stage 5 until I had these bright ideas!). The first expansion is to allow me to field the appropriate units for the Suakin campaign. So I picked up some more British infantry and some 19th Hussars. Part of the infantry will be painted up to match my existing unit and the balance as RMLI (no not the lifeboat people!) which are quite similar but with white webbing and helmets rather than the khaki. The last part of this phase will be to get the Yorks & Lancs (which will be a nice contrast in their Indian khaki uniforms) and some Black Watch. Then the next phase will be Khartoum - I plan to add some basingers and cavalry to my existing Egyptian troops plus get some Mahdist cavalry/camelry. The final phase (which will be some way off) is to do the Camel Corps.

WW2 Med: Arguably this project is really an expansion of my existing WW2 North Africa project but I decided to cover a larger scope in order to get more use out of the figures. So I could technically argue this is already at stage 4 (pilot) since I have had the DAK and Goumiers on the table. The Artizan US have just come back from the painter and are stuck to bases and I picked up a Corgi Sherman with a suitable colour scheme for Sicily. The GIs have a pretty generic look to enable them to be used for US or US equipped French for the Med and also for Normandy.

WW2 NW Europe: I had already classes this as a stage 5 project but Foundry had a nice offer on and so I picked up their Paras. As with all their Perry sculpted WW2, these are lovely figures and are now painted and stuck to bases. I also picked up some stens and PIATs from Crusader to add to my existing Brits so that I can use them for a little later in the war than I originally intended.

Afghanistan 1979: Having got lucky with some bids on eBay, I have managed to collect a decent range of figures for the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. Some of these figures will also see service in my Cold War project (see next) and the Mujahideen can also be used for later conflicts too (see Planned Projects below). I intend to try out Force on Force with these when they're ready. The figures are currently off being painted and I have also picked up a Copplestone BTR70 which I will do myself. My Colonial Steamboat adobe buildings will be brought into service for this one too.

Cold War: Having played a game against Lenin's Soviet paras recently it became apparent that I didn't have enough BAOR (not really a surprise as I originally bought these to do Northern Ireland) so I picked up a few more Mongrel packs from Newline Designs - enough to give me a platoon or so. Lenin now has the unenviable job of trying to match the excellent DPM he did on the previous figures! As I mentioned above the appropriate figures from the Soviet packs will be seeing service here too. The upcoming supplement to Force on Force is likely to provide some useful inspiration for this project.

Falklands: Having bought some Royal Marines from Lenin (who bought them back from a friend when he decided he didn't need them as UNIT troopers - after a change in beret colour) I decided that these really should have some historical opposition (as well as being available for the Cold War project) and so added a few Argentinians (also from MoFo). These are also with Lenin for matching to his previous paintwork and since I don't have any painted opposition as yet this s technically a stage 3 project.

Russian Civil War: Having bought the former HLBS interventionist British when I thought they were being discontinued (Tiger Miniatures eventually picked them up) I have not really done any more for this one (basically allowing it to languish at stage 2). I do plan to get some Copplestone Reds in greatcoats but I have been waiting (for quite a while) for Musketeer to release their WW1 Russians in greatcoats (to use as Whites and also for WW1 Eastern Front) to give the project a bit more scope. If these come out or if I get reinspired by something else then this one could easily come back to life.

WW1 Eastern Front: Another stalled stage 2 project (having already got some Musketeer Russians not in greatcoats) awaiting the next Musketeer release.

Montrose: I am currently in the process of rebasing these Redoubt figures individually onto 25mm circular bases to use wit my Warbases movement trays (thus making storage - always a problem with pike - much easier). I still need to find a set of rules I am happy with for these, which is likely to be the key to getting this to the table (although I do have a couple of interesting prospects).

Scarlet Pimpernel: Those old Foundry figures I bought are now painted and stuck to bases. I just need to decide on what finish I am going to do on the bases and assemble and paint the guillotine. I plan to use Gloire for this project and have picked up the Richard E Grant TV shows for inspiration.

Marlburian: Having picked up the first batch of figures from Black Hat I found these had quite a bit of flash on them which has slowed this one down a bit. I need to clean these up, decide which units I want them to be and get them off for painting and then I can work out how best to base them given that I have yet to decide which rules to use (and two of them have quite different basing approaches).

Maximilian in Mexico: Once again I have failed to make any progress at all on this one. The key issue is deciding which rules to use so that I know how many more of which figures I need. I have actually been toying with the idea of movng this one to Sharp Practice but that needs a little more thought.

Vietnam: Technically I bought this at stage 4 but I would like to get a few more figures done before bringing this one to the table. The extra figures are currently with Lenin as he did the originals.

Greek Myth: This has taken a bit of a back seat - largely because Lenin hasn't been inspired to do his Greek figures and he is doing mine too. i know he has been working on some of the Amazons but large areas of flesh are often tricky and I suspect a lot of "research" may have been required!

Planned Projects

First Maori War: The recent release from Empress certanly caught my eye; they're Paul Hicks sculpts and I really like his style. I took the opportunity to pick up the Maori fortification book from the Osprey fortress series (as it was available for quite a discount) and this really looks like it has some potential. I need to get some more reference material as I knew precious little about this one. The Maoris certainly seem to have been formidable opponents and were quite a different proposition from some of the more traditional colonial foes. They were ferocious, well armed and well versed in tactics and military engineering all of which combined gave the British forces a bit of a headache. There certainly seems to me to be enough here for some interesting games.

Modern Afghanistan: Once again Empress are partly to blame for this one (although not Mr Hicks this time) combined with Force on Force. Their modern figures are excellent and are crying out to me to buy them! Of course the key question is whether to go with the US or the new British releases. Both are lovely figures and I am certainly leaning towards the Brits but the selection of weapons in the packs is less ideal - of course this may be sorted in future releases (and I am not planning to get any of these just yet - see the above as to why not!). My existing Mujahideen can easily be morphed into Taliban and the addition of a few more modern weapons would make this quite distinct. The Afghanistan supplement for FoF is likely to tip me over the edge here...

WW2 Poles: I have been keeping my eye on the Bolt Action Polish troops for a while. I really like the figures and early war has always interested me. People seem to think that the Poles just collapsed in the face of the German invasion but this is far from the case. They put up one hell of a fight particularly when you consider that Stalin was invading them from the ther direction as well. But I have held off as thry didn't have any anti-tank support (a slim excuse I know but one I was hanging onto for the sake of the budget!) and then Warlord decided to re-release them with the ATRs and ATGs! Bang goes my excuse - so these may well be being added to the WIP list sometime in the not too distant future!

Blimey, now I have written that all down I am quite surprised as to how much I have in progress. Better stop writing and get on with some of it then!

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Dahomey 1892

HAving just finished basing my Dixon 28mm figures for the Second Franco-Dahomean War, I thought I would post a couple of pictures:

The French Foreign Legion

The Amazons

The Regular Fon

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Salute 2011

Like a very large number of other gamers I visited Salute again this year.  Initially I had thought that arriving very early (due to the trains I wanted not being run on a Saturday - thanks Southeastern!) was going to be a bit of a nuisance; however, judging from some of the comments I have seen from others much further back in the Q-Buster queue I think I was actually quite lucky.

As usual there was plenty of interest (photos of a couple of the games that caught my eye are below) and I managed to pick up the additions to my Indian Mutiny and Sudan projects that I was looking for - which was nice.  I'm not sure whether there were as many people there this year - it felt a little less crowded but that by itself can be a little misleading.  In any event I met up with quite a few friends I hadn't seen in a while which certainly made the trip worthwhile.

Friday, 8 April 2011

Eric's Soul Exchange (or Probability is Only a Theory)

After a rather patchy attendance record of late I've managed to get down to the club two weeks running.  Last week was a 15mm Spanish Civil War game using the TooFatLardies' Triumph of the Will rules and Bronze Mike's lovely figures and this week was a 15mm Ancients outing which is part of an ongoing campaign (the first game of which I played which is an indication of my infrequent visits).

Anyway one of the chaps, Eric the Spy, has a bit of a reputation with the dice.  So much so, in fact, it has been widely suggested that he sold his soul to Satan in exchange for this gift.  Well, last week Eric was on the Nationalist side with me and Jonathan defending a village against a Republican counter attack.  Eric and Jonathan were nicely emplaced in the substantial village buildings and were being frontally assaulted across the open by Crazy Dave.  We all thought this was simply a diversion to take our attention away from their flanking attack, fronted by the redoubtable Iron Mike.  But then Crazy started to exhibit dice skills that made Eric's pale into insignificance.  Of course it was immediately suggested that Eric has franchised his arrangement with Beelzebub and that Crazy was the first applicant!

In any case, Crazy stormed across the open ground and kicked poor Jonathan clear out of his buildings and secured the front of the village.  It was then a battle between the satanically influence dice as Eric was determined to throw Crazy back out again.

Meanwhile I had moved from my reserve position, nice and safe behind the village (ideal for any self respecting Nationalist commander) to cover the flank facing Iron Mike's onslaught.  Things looked touch and go for a little while but then reinforcements arrived in Iron's flank and gave him something to think about!  In the end the Republican assault faltered and we were victorious but looking at the probability of some of Crazy and Eric's rolls was an object lesson that each time you roll the probability is exactly the same irrespective of how many previous good or bad rolls you've had!

Given that both Crazy and Eric were in evidence this week and on opposing sides once again (this time I was a Carthaginian - actually Italian and Spanish mercenaries fighting for them - alongside Crazy) I expected a real rematch.  Whilst there was some evidence of some pretty amazing rolling but nothing compared to the previous week (maybe the Dark Lord was otherwise occupied?).  Yet again I was facing a flank attack from Iron though and things went a little differently this time (probably because Jonathan had sent all our light troops off to support the siege) - fun nonetheless.