Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Hellfire Club versus the Japanese command IHMN game

In a great game of IHMN with Greg as an opponent, I fielded the  Hellfire Club  company (vol. 2) against a Japanese (modified)  (vol 3) company.

The table is set, the Japanese are attempting to keep the Hellfire Club from getting over the bridge.  The area in the foreground is subject to the 'death from above' in this "run for your lives" scenario. Here we can see the Hellfire club, in red robes and scales.
In this shot the awaiting Japanese.
Quickly, for armed mostly with clubs and knives, the Hellfire Club's outer circle closes with the Japanese troops.  The hand of Greg is about to commit a second trooper.  To no avail.
Uncharacteristic die rolling prevented the Sons of Nippon from making any appreciable knocking down  of the  outer circle acolytes.

The edge of doom shown most brilliantly as a pencil. The forward most acolyte, Molly, was a veritable dervish, carving through Japanese soldiers with aplomb, a paring knife and incredible die rolls.
The big dude (the red monstrosity.) He did rather well, dispatching the special weapons carrier and the actual leader of the Japanese unit.
Final melee before the race off the board .  The first to cross was the greater demon, who made his pluck roll against the greater sigil of banishment (nasty piece of kit!).  The rest of his fight against the Japanese second in command was a draw. The leaders of the Hellfire Club got away, losing almost all their followers.  No surprise there!

The scenario is a great nailbiter, run too slow and get caught by the advancing line of doom.  Move too cleverly, worrying about always staying in cover can backfire.  Of course, this lets the opposing force get in some good licks as they retreat. Unless they are too slow to  avoid destruction as well. We will have to try this scenario again, with better special effects for the line of doom.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

British supply wagon and RHA limber

Recent painted items include some additions to the supply train and a limber for the Royal Horse artillery batteries.  The drivers, wearing a simplified version of the RHA uniform, were fun to paint.  The model, from the Perry Miniatures British Napoleonic range, was a gift from my long suffering  wife.   Just about all craft paints, from Delta Ceramcoat to Apple Barrel were used to paint the crew and wagon.

 The supply wagon in all its glory.

 Close up of the wagon and the animated attendant.
Detail of the drivers.

RHA Limber
The limber continues my attempt to show at least one limber per artillery type on the tabletop.  No wondering whether the battery is ready for action or limbered for movement.  The set is again from the Perry brothers' British Napoleonic line.  One of my favorite uniforms to paint.  Certainly not the fastest!
 Shot without the flash.
 Shot with flash...washes out some of the color.

More detail
Final shot. Great detail on the limber itself.

More next time.  Maybe something different.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

AAR Ottomans vs Hungarians, using Band of Brothers rules part 1

In late February we started looking for a good weekend to play, luckily one appeared three or so weeks out that worked for both of us. Barry Frandsen agreed to debut his Hungarians, based on the 16th Century, against my Ottomans from the same period. Barry related it had been a good five years for him since he played BoB; it had been 2 years for me….and longer since the Ottomans had been on the table.  With the three week interval, we both had a chance to read the rules through again, which is good to reacquaint with the rule mechanics. 

A very little about the rules:
Piquet is the ‘bones’ of Band of Brothers (BOB).  The supplement makes a few changes to the card definitions, adds a matrix showing what is required before certain categories of troops can melee.  There are also a few tweaks to the melee rules which help to reflect special units and period practices.   The opposed die rolls, impetus swings and ‘opportunity pips’ mechanics remain in the rules.  As  always, players can have the individual mechanics modified  to suit tastes…..more on that later.
I am partial to the rules in this set because of the ability to reflect the strengths and weaknesses of various armies in the period within a framework of rules without resorting to a lot of ‘special’ or “one off” rules.   The flexibility for this does come at a price, the set up time for a game, at least in the building up of a force requires some time and a passing knowledge of the period to get a force to look and feel like a representative force from the period.
Because of the lack of formal lists and set up work, the lack of a fixed turn sequence and a certain amout of randomization in how events occur, the rules are not everyone’s cup of tea.  For anyone interested in looking further, there is a very helpful yahoo group, just search under ‘Piquet’ to find. 

Getting Ready
Due to the size and configuration of the armies… 20 to 24 units, with lots of cavalry, I did clear of the entire 8 feet  of the table in the ‘Cellar of Doom’ and set out a rolling landscape to evoke the plains of Hungary, a likely place or the foes to meet.

Does Barry know something I don't know about one of his commanders?

The table allowed us to deploy the armies as’ deep’ or ‘thin’ as wanted.  A typical unit requires four to eight inches of frontage, depending on the formation (I neglected to mention, the scale of the figures is 28mm) which means at least some unit are in a second line.  Since I was host and had dressed the table, I offered Barry his choice of sides and or to add or remove terrain as he chose.  Barry chose to accept the terrain as give, brave fellow!

More next time.

More Wesfalia treats

In the box with the Jager Corps and gun crew, was something extra.   A pack of the British field surgeon and helpers.  Thank you, Westfalia, for the additional treat!

 The four castings as a group.
 The detail on the left hand figure is simply amazing.  Bad lighting makes a bad photo.
The wounded figure and one surgeon ready to hack.

  I did not notice the saw until now.  I guess I don't know 'a hawk from a handsaw..'

Monday, October 27, 2014

Had to get these .... artillery for the Kielmansegge Freikorps

Well, Kielmansegge's Jager Corps at some time in its existence had a one pounder canon attached, served by crew from the Jager's ranks. 

Now that just means if it's made (and it is, thanks to the good folk of Westfalia Miniatures)  I must include it into the unit.

The packaging came through with a business card...clever marketing, eh?
 Very carefully packed, as you can see.
 One view of the crew after priming. No flash to speak of on these very clean castings.

 I did take the opportunity to double the number of Jager castings I have.  These will mount on washers to use in skirmish games.
Such nice figures.  I will paint them up soon.
There is actually more detail in the kit than I am showing.  Pull ropes are included. Hmmm, how to base these?

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Hostile Realms AAR the battle of the Cursed Helm

Yeah, just when I thought it was safe to play ancients. I brought my old figures out for a lark.  I 'shoulda' read the rules more closely.

The army I used was basically an 'Army of the Realmn'  list which I set out here:


My opponent, Jakob, presented a very nicely painted GW Ogre army modeled on the Dwarf list, of all things!  Jakob had a lot of heroes with his assault units and the heroes were 'high-strength' as befitted their combat role.

The Ogre cavalry were really big dudes on really big mounts!

The other units were simply... really big dudes.

Even the Ogre artillery was extra intimidating. 

I made the mistake of leaving all my leaders unattached early in the game. And misreading the EHC take not two but three hits.  This caused my cavalry units to vaporize even faster than my poor dice rolling should have allowed. And the magic users were not 'effective' as no manna cards came up, which it turns out I needed them for my clever, game turning spell.

And I kept rolling 1's and 2's for combats.  I did tie one melee, so that's something.

Best part of the game was Jakob, who was good enough to thrash me and better not to gloat as he did the deed.   So to the victor go the combat photos.

At the other end of the table, Greg and Peter C. were still going at it hammer and tongs...where Jakob and I had brought pretty elite armies, this goblin/orc vs northern barbarian slugfest brought to mind traffic on I-84 !  The barbarians were quite successful at first, but ran out of steam and were starting to get pushed back when I left.   Greg always does well when he 'goes green.'

Even the mighty tusker did not turn the tide against the green horde!  So, there you have it, probably the most 'fantasy battle'  I'll play for a couple of years.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Just a few ogangsters and street toughs, and three ladies of Spain

The gangsters are from Brigade Games  and are part of about 15 or so I will eventually paint up as 1920's and 1930's denizen's of ill repute for my police to battle. From baseball bats to tommy guns, the range is a good mix of bad guys.

These are three milicianos from Empress Mini's Spanish Civil War line.... I have about a dozen or so other militia figures to paint up.

The last figure I've painted this week is an adventurer from Pulp Miniatures, one of a great pack including a pilot who looks to be from the AVG  as well as a fellow with a bullwhip, more on them later.

Last unit readied for Hostile Realms game, the mounted Squires of the Realm

A unit of spear mounted cavalry, clad in leather armor whose main job it is to scout and hold flanks against infantry units, in a pinch they can support heavier armored units in a charge.

The figures are from the GW Bretonnian range circa 1996 and represent the last unit to be painted for the game, being finished up Friday.   I believe the figures are sculpted by the Perry twins, as many of the figures in the Bretonnia range were.

By reviewing the box of unpainted lead, I still have 4 Knights of the realm, four spear men, four archers four more of the mounted squires and 5 each Questing and Grail Knights which could conceivably be put into the filed when painted. Maybe someday, sigh, after all the other projects are done!

They'll be making their debut at the Time Machine next weekend, as part of a revised 'Middle Kingdom' army.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Hostile Realms game

It would appear that no project ever truly dies. Next weekend I get to trot out the old GW fantasy army full of knights and archers, although to use in a different game system.

Hostile Realms is a set of rules for fantasy  armies which is aimed at large battles by Piquet..  Magic is present but less important than in some systems.  We've had a good result in the Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen era. So, with a week to go to gametime, let me make the rounds with the army of the Kingdom of the Middle Griddle.

The realm is dependent upon the call out of the knightly class, mounted on wonderful charging steeds and brave to the point of foolishness. One unit of the 'King's Household' and three units of the various Dukes, barons, Viscounts, etc, make up this portion of the list.

Some few of the knights must be completed, but you get the flavor from the photo.

Now these fellows are properly accoutred.

 Of course, the bowmen are there to soften up the foe, and provide feet on the ground.

There are four units of bowmen, one of which can skirmish. There is also an unhappy group who flunked archery and are armed with spears, but they are expected only to hold ground.

The army is heavily dependent on its heroic leaders and the locally produced wizards.

The General, of course wields a magic sword....it must be magic to be used two handed on a horse without dire consequences to mobility.

The battle standard of the Realm is carried by another heroic figure.

The magical backstopping is present in the presence of the Lady of the Lake.  Mounted on a unicorn, she can wilt even the most dangerous of foes with only a glance.  I am working out special spells for her, more in keeping with her role as Keeper of Nature.  One of the rules includes turning your opponent into a frog. See below.  I am glad to get this figure out for a game, the first in probably eight years.  Good thing lead does not go bad.

Probably not the Lady you  get upset on the wrong day.

The final entry in to the lists is 'The Greenwood Knight'  which is a single heroic figure who is primarily a defense of an arboreal area of the battlefield. I am working on the rules for the figure, as the original qualities of the hero don't translate easily from one rules set to another.  But it's just too cool a mini to pass up putting on the table.

Oh, yes, there is a unit of 'Squires,' a sort of hobilar style unit, but they are not yet painted...as the opening paragraph says, no project ever truly dies!  Mounted on horses, armed with spears, they will provide some coverage when the knights are out thrashing all and sundry. As I get the Squires finished, I'll put up a photo.

So there you have it, a small but powerful force to happily waste a couple of hours with next weekend when I will be avoiding yard work!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Land Shark Company for IHMN

It's not often you can make reference to separate events in popular culture, occurring decades apart.  Rising to the challenge, I present a combination of the 1970's Landshark skit from SNL and the 2013 made for cable movie Sharknado ( my daughter and son in law made me watch the latter,  that's my story and  I'm sticking to it.)
Land Shark Company

This is a whimsical take on a 'Sharknado' style monster based company for use in games of IHMN.   Nothing is meant to be 'realistic' but I did try to keep the honor in the mechanics.  It could be used with some cultists if you'd rather think of the background as an demon rather than a mutation, albeit Dr. Munro might have considered this after a bad batch of seafood.

Of course we need the Land Shark as the kingpin in the company.  So:

Land Shark:
Pluck:  3+  (16) 
Move 6" plus 3"  (2) (he's big)
FV 4+  (16)  (between his teeth and his temper)
SV  0 (he does not need to throw things)
Protection  11 (16) (sharkskin suit)
Leadership 3+ (9)  (would you say 'no' to him?)
Swimming  (2) (Obviously, would not be much of a shark...)
Terrifying (10)  ( look at 'im, need I say anything?)
Fearless (10)  ( not afraid of anything)
Numb (10) (Cold blooded)
Berserker (5)
Land Shark total: 96
 Of course every leader needs followers...there are two types, sharks and cutists.

Pluck 5+ (3)
Move 6" plus 3"  (2)  (to keep up with the big guy)
FV 3+  (7)
SV 0
Protection 11 (16) (sharkskin suit)
Swimming  (2) (Obviously, would not be much of a shark...)
Fearless (10)  ( not afraid of anything)

Shark total: 40

The swimming attribute actually allows the sharks and the Land Shark to move in water or on land.   The ideal terrain for the gang would be 'the Docks,'  a small boat, a coastal area. 
So far, there is no Victorian feeling for the crew, so we need the assistance (as does the Land Shark need recon )  of a cult of Shark worshippers, of course. 

Pluck:  5+ (3)
Move 6"
FV 0 
SV  0
Protection  8 (1) (Heavy Robes)
Leading cultist can take Cloud men's minds (8), Harden(8),  Erudite Wit (5) ;  Pluck for the leader can be increased to 4+ (4)
Cultist can have knife (3) or Sacrificial (large) Knife (3) or a pistol (3)

Leading Cultist Pluck 4+, Cloud men's minds (8), Harden(8),  Erudite Wit (5), knife for a total of 32

 Leaders can be either male or female, on of the few places for equality of sexes in the period. This obviously puts them outside the circle of decent society. 

Cult member with knife  total 7
Cult member with pistol and knife total 10
Unarmed cult member total 4

  It is assumed either the cultists call the Land Shark from a chanting circle, in which he appears with the accompanying sharks.  Obviously it would behoove the opposed companies to prevent the chant from taking place.  The Leader simply needs to have the cultists in a chant circle, and pass an unmodified pluck roll for the Land Shark and friends to appear. 

 Of course, if the leader dastardly sacrifices a cult member, the sacrifice would increase the Pluck roll by 2.  Sacrifices can be male or female, but are almost always portrayed as a female, newly recruited to the fold.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Wow just wow on these buildings

I saw these 'in the resin' Friday night...Thomas had been talking the company up, but you have to see them in person.  They are that good.  28mm no flash, no bubbles, roof comes off on each piece.  The Coach Inn is in three pieces, each with its own roof.  And the roofs are curved, as you would find in that style!

 Backside of the blacksmith's forge.
 Coach Inn, the most spectacular of the various pieces.
Merchant house, cottages.