Friday, 23 November 2012

First Look: SAGA The Raven's Shadow

I had a chance to pop into Orc's Nest again today (always a mistke for my wallet) and luckily they had a few copies of the second supplement for Saga and so I decided to pick one up.

Like the Northern Fury, the previous supplement, The Raven's Shadow is published in a similar style to the main rule book and is accompanied by four cardstock battle boards.  This supplement is slightly longer than the previous one at 28 pages and introduces four new factions - the Franks, the Irish, the Norse-Gaels and the Kingdom of Strathclyde - along with some new rules, Q&A and an errata.  All the new factions utilise the existing available dice (Franks = Normans, Irish = Scots, Norse-Gaels = Vikings, Strathclyde = Welsh).

There are two new rules for Saga introduced by the Raven's Shadow - Melee/Reaction Abilities and War Banners.  Melee/Reaction Abilities are, as you might expect, new abilities but these can be used prior to the existing melee steps.  War Banners allows you to substitute a banner for one figure in a hearthguard or warrior unit which then allows the unit to rest any time during a turn (assuming this has been "paid" for with the appropriate dice).

As before, each faction has a brief introduction, any special rules, new Heroes and the faction's specific abilities which run to around four pages per faction with a few accompanying photographs of appropriate figures.

The Franks allow you to choose between a Merovingian, Carolingian or Capetian Frankish warband each of which have different builds.  The Frankish Warlord and hearthguard must be mounted.  The Irish have the option of fielding Wolfhounds in place of a warrior unit and upgrading individual hearthguards to Curaidh champions.  The core feature of the Norse-Gaels seems to be challenges and the Strathclyde warbands are mostly mounted and can deploy some off table initially.

As I have figures for some of these factions already and am particularly interested in the Irish I thought this would be a useful addition to my Saga collection.

Wednesday, 21 November 2012

WSS: Allied Artillery

Clearly the foot need some support so here's the artillery:

The figures are Black Hat once again.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

WSS: Allied Commanders

With six Foot units completed I obviously need some commanders - here they are:

Monday, 19 November 2012

WSS: The Cameronians

The final British foot unit for this phase of the War of Spanish Succession project is the Cameronians (which became the 26th Foot).

If you've been following the previous posts it will be no surprise that the figures are Black Hat and the flag is from Warflag.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

WSS: The Royal Irish

The fifth unit for my War of Spanish Succession project is Frederick Hamilton's Regiment of Foot (eventually to be come the 18th Foot). In 1704 the regiment marched with Marlborough to the Danube where it participated in the Battle of the Schellenberg and then Blenheim. The following year Frederick Hamilton retired and sold his commission to Richard Ingoldsby (who had been colonel of the 23rd). Under Ingoldsby the regiment was present at the forcing of the Brabant Lines and in 1706 the Battle of Ramillies and the siege of Menin. It was also at the Battles of Oudenaarde and Malplaquet. Ingoldsby died in 1712 and was succeeded by Lieutenant-Colonel Stearne.

Once again the figures are Black Hat and the flag is from Warflag.

4Ground Damaged 15mm WW2 Buildings

In addition to the 28mm American Legends buildings I mentioned in the last post, 4Ground have also released damaged versions of some of their 15mm Europe at War series:

I wondered about the design of the one above until I saw this picture:

The the semi-detached houses are also available in a more ruined state as a set:

Saturday, 17 November 2012

New 4Ground Buildings for FIW/ACW

4Ground have just released their American Legends range which includes four 28mm buildings intended for North America which would work for both the French & Indian Wars and the American War of Independence.  There are three different styles of cabin and a blockhouse:

This is making me think about Muskets & Tomahawks again - when I should be concentrating on 15mm Marlburian!

WSS: Lucas's Regiment

The third unit for my War of Spanish Succession project is Lord Lucas's Regiment of Foot (now part of the Duke of Lancaster's Regiment).  The regiment was raised in East Anglia in 1702.

As before the figures are Black Hat and the flag is from Warflag.

Thursday, 15 November 2012

WSS: Churchill's Regiment

The third unit for my War of Spanish Succession project is Churchill's Regiment of Foot (the Buffs).

Once again the figures are Black Hat and the flag is from Warflag.  I realise there is some debate about the accuracy of the flag and I have seen a much plainer "buff" alternative; however, I much prefer this one so I went with it.

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

WSS: Orkney's Royal Regiment

The next unit for my War of Spanish Succession project is the oldest infantry regiment in the British Army - the Earl of Orkney's Royal Regiment of Foot:

The figures are from Black Hat and the flag is from Warflag.

Sunday, 11 November 2012

WSS: 1st Foot Guards (updated)

I have finally managed to get some of my 15mm units for the War of Spanish Succession nearing completion.  The first, appropriately I think, is the 1st Regiment of Foot Guards (now the Grenadier Guards) who not only had the first Duke of Marlborough as their Colonel but also saw action at all his major triumphs - the Schellenberg, Blenheim, Ramillies, Oudenarde and Malplaquet.

The figures are all from Black Hat Miniatures and the flag is from Maverick Models.

I wasn't entirely happy with the Maverick flag so I have replaced it with one from Warflag which I think works better:

Lest We Forget

Royal British LegionFlanders' Field of Poppies, Menin Gate

They went with songs to the battle, they were young.
Straight of limb, true of eyes, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

2012 Plan Review

Being well into November I thought it was about time to review my progress on the plans I made back at the beginning of January.  Taking things in the order I originally outlined them:

28mm Mahdist War - as I previously posted I have completed the first phase (the Suakin Campaign) of this project with the small exception of some rough stone walls - I had hoped to have these done by now but still haven't actually started them - indeed it's this post which has got them back onto my to do list!  With the next phase (Khartoum) having been put on hold I've really not done anything on this project since June and given the number of other things I have on the go I am wondering if the next phase will even make it onto my 2013 list.

28mm Indian Mutiny - with a large part of the collection currently on the table to try out a couple of the possible rules this project has certainly advanced this year.  I picked up some Naval Brigade and Bundalee native infantry at Salute and have supplemented these with a few more figures but they are all still waiting a painting slot.  I am contemplating getting some of the volunteer horse and a couple of other bits and pieces as well - just to finish things off.

28mm WW3 - I managed to get both the BAOR and Soviets completed but still need to make and paint my BTR; however, I have used the infantry in anger a couple of times this year so it's been a result.

28mm Early War Polish - these are currently off being painted and I managed to pick up a TKS  (along with a Sdkfz 222 for the opposition) from Warlord so it's still possible this may project may reach a conclusion before year end.

15mm Marlburian - the first batches of Allied and French forces are currently on the workbench in various stages of basing.  I am hoping to have the first units of British finished very shortly so expect so see some pictures of them on the blog over the next few weeks.  I'm hoping to have some proper trial games of Maurice and Beneath the Lily Banners just after Christmas too.

28mm Montrose - rebasing is slowly progressing, as you may have been able to tell from some of my previous posts.  With the Royalists mostly done it's on to the Covenanters next, but choosing a ruleset is still the next major issue.

25mm French Revolution - "no progress" to report again I'm afraid.  This has partly been down to the intrusion of "real life" which has slowed down a number of my plans and the fact that I still haven't worked out what to use for the street terrain (and hence makes matching the basing colours somewhat problematic)

28mm RCW/WW1 Eastern Front - once again "no progress" I'm afraid plus there's not really any excuse for this one!

So that's an update on the projects I listed in January, in addition to which I have made progress on a few I hadn't listed:

28mm WW2 Paras - not only have I got my British Paras painted and based I also picked up some Bolt Action US Paras - largely because I really liked the figures.  I've always had a hankering after them despite having the same troops in 20mm...

28mm WW1 Belgians - these were the result of winning the prize draw at the Maidstone club open day.  They are Brigade Models and very nice too - they scale pretty well against the Renegade German opposition I have and so are likely to find their way onto the painting schedule early in the new year.

15mm Early WW2 - as I mentioned in June I have managed to get some more of these based but still have quite a few more to do - particularly some vehicles - so I can do some more I Ain't Been Shot Mum scenarios.

My list of possible projects for next year has, of course, changed somewhat from my June ideas:
  • 28mm French & Indian Wars (Muskets & Tomahawks)
  • 28mm Dark Ages (Saga)
  • 15mm Late WW2 (IABSM)
  • 28mm Modern Afghanistan
  • 28mm Maori Wars
  • 28mm Medieval (Otterburn or Agincourt - still not decided!)
I have no doubt this will change again before I commit to the actual list in January!

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Wargame Musings: Longstreet

Longstreet is the title of the latest game in the Honour series from Sam Mustafa to be released next year.  I spotted it when I was surfing the web this morning.  Now, whilst I am interested in the American Civil War, I was wondering why I really had any interest in these upcoming rules and it started me thinking...

I have a copy of Maurice, the previous game in the series, and the rules look interesting but I have yet to have enough games with them to tell whether they will be a "keeper".  There are certainly some interesting concepts in them and that's always something that attracts me to rules even if they don't end up having staying power.

The period is certainly of interest but my "go to" set of rules for it is Fire & Fury (the original Brigade level one).  Indeed, it has been one of my favourite sets of rules for many years.  You can teach them easily and pick them up quickly again after long periods not playing them but they still provide games with a good period "feel" and which are a lot of fun (all completely subjective views I know).  So I don't "need" another set of rules for ACW.

I know Longstreet is aimed at a slightly different size and type of game so that might be of interest though.

But what really worried me was that it was simply the "Cult of the New" - the desire to buy a new set of rules (or indeed figures, terrain, accessories, etc.) not because I need them particularly but because it's new.  I have certainly succumbed to this in the past and I have significant parts of my figure and rule collections which are a testament to that!

I am also a sucker for presentation and will often persevere with a set of rules which are well presented longer than a less attractive set - how shallow is that?  An obvious candidate in this area is Black Powder (and it's siblings) which contain mechanisms which I disliked in other sets of rules but have been willing to tolerate in order to persevere with them.

I am sure another component is my compulsive collecting tendencies (I actually feel uncomfortable if I have a book missing from a series) - although this probably isn't the case here as I don't have Lasalle (the earlier rules in the series) for example.  I am currently trying to break this one by not buying supplements for Force on Force for which I have no figures (and it's proving challenging!).

Some of it may well just be my own interest in rules mechanisms.  I found Maurice interesting from this aspect and I am sure it has been a key component in my pursuit of SAGA.

Of course it could just be the pursuit of that gaming nirvana - the perfect rules.  These are, of course, mythical as all rules are by their nature a compromise between simulation and enjoyment (which are often somewhat subjective in any event - especially the further back we go in time) - and I am sure I could never find a single set of rules which cover multiple periods as I think these will always swing toward the game end of the spectrum and fail to properly scratch the simulation itch for me.

So what's the conclusion?  I suspect it's a combination of all these factors to differing extents; however, I have enjoyed the brief navel gazing it has prompted!