mercredi 28 novembre 2012

When it's chilly, and sun is lacking, one's mind might wander

Slight change of post...
I've always had a thing for space ships, and an interest in (wait for it) Warhammer 40,000. Yes it might sound strange, but i really like the dark, gothic look. BUT the thing that i don't like too about 40K it the background; i hate the idea of millions of men charging in like some mindless horde, and space marines, the elite of humanity, charging in packed ranks. It just seems stupid to me (don't get me started on cover in the 40k game).
Never the less, i do like Battlegroup Gothic, and although i don't have any ships (too pricey) i like the look, so i thought i'd try and make one while i ahd some free time. I have tried using miliputt in the past, but they're hard, so i made one using Solidworks, ie virtually.
Here are the fruits of my work, the front and back, no where near done but started. Below is the front gun decks and the prow:

Here's the back. There will be the bridge here, along with sensors and what not.

I wanted a bit of an older look, as i had the idea the other day that before the Imperials used plasma drives, they used atomic drives. Now they're only used in far away colonies, ones where men fight properly, use cover and basicly use more 'modern' tactics.
Rant over ;)
--->Back to reality--->
I have also started a group of 6 French crossbowmen. I've done the skin, metal and the blue jackets so far, but today hasn't been great so a bit dull in the painting/gaming room (i prefer natural light, and we have energy saving light bulbs that give off a yellow light. Being slighly colour blind means it would be a devil to see the blue). I have also hade a handgunner leaning his weapon on his shoulder wearing lots of armour. Photos probably at the weekend.

dimanche 25 novembre 2012

Couple of pics of the gang

Recieved some pics from Diedier from Stratejeux of the Lanciers de Garonne:
With this blog being almost one year old, i decided to lift the visor and reveal myself. I'm the lad with the blond hair and glasses to the right. yes, i'm the only one with bnlond hair!
The table is the game i played on, along with the two younger guys in the middle (one's wearing glasses) and the chap on the far right, second row. They were great guys and i look forward to playing with them again. Diedier is the man on the right, front row.

More mercs and shiny plate

Photos, photos, photos!
Yes, here are my latest bunch of merry warriors, the scandanavian crossbowmen (i say they're Danes, but whatever goes) and a brave leader urging on his men.
Here's the brave chap. I really wanted to paint him as i love the pose. The plume and buckler are red and white, not for any livery reason, just i didn't want to do blue.

The crossbowmen. I went a bit to town with these, so to say. Being a member on the Lead adventure forum, i often see Captain Blood's excellent work. I have his tutorial he wrote on my computer and he is why i stepped up my painting. So, the other day i was thinking about how to make my figues look better, and i had the idea to do not three, but five (yes, 5) layers of paint.

So, first i did a dark undercoat. The second coat was slightly lighter, leaving shadows in the darkest creases. The third was the main coat, with the next being main highlights and the last picking out thje most raised features.

Needless to say, it took longer than usual, but i think they look better, especially the man aiming his crossbow. I did the faces in my usual way (dark layer, brown ink, flesh) but i'm going to give them the three or five layer treatment next time. I also experimented with trouser colours, like the man belwo on the right, using GW bubonic brown (i've had that paint in my paint box for years now!).

Group shot. I experimented with painted armour, not sure if red is a great colour. Makes them look a bit like fire fighters. :/
You might notice they all wear brown jackets, but no badge. It is deliberate, as i wanted them to be coherient, but not be associated with and retinue. That way i can use them with English, French and Burgundians (i'm starting to group my mercs together to field a Burgundian force to fight the French).

It's not all paint! At Stratejeux, Diedier had some simple but effective markers for keeping track of casualties. Inspired, i made some cheap shock markers so i don't have to use dice (once i removed the shock and rolled the die accidently). They're circles of cardboard, and i might add some colour but for now they're servicable.

samedi 24 novembre 2012

Stratejeux sans images

Stratejeux has come and gone. I had a real blast! At first, i was slightly concerned as all the events before had a strong board game presence (not really my thing, although war gaming is a board game in essence) but i was delighted when half the room was full of tables and terrain. Huzzah!
There was few different games going on; infinity, force on force, epic armageddon, dark age Normans, muskets & tomahawks, and Little Big Horn (more on that in a moment).
Unfortunatly, my camera decided not to work, but...
Before, i had been talking via email a man named Cedric, who was in the Centurions club. I messaged him months ago asking about the club, and said i would go over one saturday if i could. Alas, it never happened, as my brother has band practice in Agen, which in completly the opposite dirrection! But i managed to meet up with him at Stratejeux, and he indroduced me to Diedier from the Lanciers du Garonne, another Bordeaux club.
We chatted a bit, and i was invited to play in the club's Little Big Horn game, which i couldn't refuse! I was a 2 vs 2 game, 2 with the Indians (including me) and 2 for the Americans led by Custer.
We played with the rules Battlecry, a card based system (i'm starting to like cards now!) which i picked up quickly. The aim is to destroy 6 enemy units and take their 'banners'. Killing a chief or officer also counts as a banner. We the Indians had masses of men, but terrain and a horrid hand meant we were imobile for several turns. An attack to destroy 4 infantry units on our right failed and we lost a unit, so we concentrated on the left, where soon a horde of Indian cavalry were bearing down on 2 units of cavalry and some american foot.
There was much fighting, and we managed to kill 4 units losing 1 in the process. We pressed on, encircling and destroying some more cavalry and almost winnning us the game. But our oppenants were stout and brave, and launched several cavalry charges, killing several units. On our right, some cavalry almost destroyed a infantry unit that would have won us the game, but the dice foiled me and victroy went to the Americans.
We played for about 2 1/2 hours!
So, much fun had by all and i will now try and go down to one of their club days and get involved. I shall hopefully be able to get some photos from Diedier's blog of the game and show. Maybe i can introduce Dux Britanniarum to the club?!?
Tomorrow, my finished mercenary crossbowmen and knight, and my latest assembled figures who shall form a new war band, this time of franc archers who have been made disbanded and turned to mercenary work.
Until tomorrow!

samedi 17 novembre 2012

3000 views and Stratejeux

Wow, never thought my humble blog would be seen 3000 times in just under a year! When i began this blog i didn't think i would keep it up for long, not really sure what to write in it. The blog is almost 1 year old now (in december), with 3000 views and 43 followers.
Thanks to every one who reads my blabbering and for commenting, your ideas and encouragments help me keep up the pace :D
And tomorrow i'm going to Bordeaux for my first wargames show in 4 years. Yes, for all the time i've lived in France i've never been to a show. In England i went to Derby but i couldn't find anything here, then i found a club in Bordeaux who told me about this show. Really looking forward to it!
Right, time to paint some mercenary crossbowmen...

mercredi 14 novembre 2012

The small post

Just a few pics of the mini a built, a kneeling crossbow man. After some cutting and sticking he is now hiding behind his pavise as he struggles to reload his heavy weapon. The pavise will go on his back (it looks too small leant up in front on him) and is peppered with arrows; a good reason to take cover!
Some pictures aren't the best, i was taking advantage of the setting sun.

Close up of the head. It's a head with a cap, with the cap removed and replaced with a kettle hat. This was an experiment, as i have another idea in mind using this same technique...

dimanche 11 novembre 2012

Blood in the south - A Wars of the Roses feud

   As John stepped off the boat, he did not feel like he was home. With a sword at his belt and a bow on his shoulder he doubted he old allies would like his presence. He thought when he returned he would be happy to be in his land of birth, with the people he knew and the smells from his childhood. Instead a great dread, a burden on his heart, sat in his chest; he would never be home.

   Other men passed him, all carrying weapons and armour, and some spoke foreign languages. Some were from Flanders, many were from Germany, and in the mist of the mercenaries John felt like he was invading his homeland, not reclaiming it. Finally Adam stepped from one of the rowing boats like a prince and looked around him like he had left his castle in the morning and was watching the sunrise.

   “God has granted us fair weather!” He called. “He supports our cause!” He seemed happy, and John walked up the beach to where his comrades assembled. Robin, one of Adam’s officers, was organising the men and keeping them together, and once everyone was together they began the march, leaving many of the Queen’s and the Prince’s army behind.

   For although they had landed with the Queen and Prince Edward, Adam had other plans. Instead of following the army, he had a score to settle with Sir Hammond, the man responsible, in Adam’s eyes, for his exile. Sir Hammond was once a Lancastrian, but had abandoned his old allegiance and joined Edward, and in doing so attacked Adam and forced him to flee his estates. Now, with vengeance burning in his heart, Adam had returned to kill Hammond and loot his estates. He did not want land, only blood, and he had hired a band of violent Germans and promised them all the loot they wanted. They were rough but experienced, armed with spears, pikes and halberds, but the only uniform they wore was either an old coat or hose in white and blue. Some wore a badge that also flew on their banner, and John marched behind them with the few English who had stayed with Adam, either through bond or being forced to; John was part of Adam’s household when he fled, and he had the choice to stay and be killed or run. Ever since he had fought with pole arm and sword, becoming a reluctant soldier because God had decided he could not be peaceful for ever. He would have loved to return to his wife and his house, but he doubted either still remained. Even just the thought pained him.

   That night he slept little, worried and scared by the coming fight. It was sure Hammond would come out and attack Adam, to protect his estates and finish the grudge, and when they met no quarter would he given or asked for. The Germans seemed ready for anything; John sat in prayer, and hoped he would make it through alive.

The forces broke camp at dawn, and discovered that they were closer than first thought. The call went out to form ranks and ready weapons...
Sir Hammond (pointing in full plate) gathers his men at arms and bill men around him to flank the enemy. Some retinue archers under Martin the Mad are ready to support him.

Jack stands with the militia archers and wait for the Lancastrians...

The Yorkists arrive, led by the mercenaries.

On the right, Arthur leads the mounted men at arms and some English archers.

The battle commences with an eager rush by the mercenaries. They aim for the militia on the slope, who have closed ranks.

The militia let loose a Volley!, and in their next turn the Germans close ranks, but fail to reach contact. Peter, the German captain, watches his men and gives them courage.

Arthur moves after a slight pause, and the missile troops advance to pour fire on the Yorkist retinue archers.

The Germans reach the militia line, who have been reinforced by some men at arms, and a bitter melee breaks out. The militia fight hard, killing a veteran mercenary.

The pictures bigger because it kept stretching. Odd computers
Encouraged by Hammond himself, the militia archers force back the mercenaries.

Knowing his men are shocked, Peter ^pulls back his men to regroup, and Sir Adam rides over to steady the line. Four Germans do flee however, and the militia keep up some fire.

However, while this is going on, Arthur leads an armoured charge that shatters the bill men (12 shock and 1 kill!) and causes the retinue archers to flee. 
The bill men are cut down without mercy. A couple and Martin manage to escpae and hide in a hedge and ditch, forcing the cavalry to look elsewhere.

Hammond orders the archers to turn, and their arrows down a knight.

However, by this time the Germans have regrouped, and although they are weakened they march back with drim determination, passing their dead and wounded comrades as they go.
"Come and 'ave a go if you think you're hard enough!"

Arthur rides closer to the archers; who have turned back to the Germans, but in doing so are charged by Hammond and his men-at-arms. The fight is hard...

and two Lancastrians are pulled from their saddles and cut down on the floor. One Yorkist is killed, but Hammond's men keep going, killing another man and force the rest to run.

The militia's fire is slakening as their arrows are running low, but together with the skirmishers they kill some lightly armoured soldiers.

The fleeing cavalry. The German handgunners, seeing them run, began to edge away themselves, and the archers were reluctant to close with the enemy.

Germans fall, and the last soldier runs, leaving only the veterans with Adam.

A view of the Yorkist's left at this point.
As before, the Germans close ranks and charge, this time with Peter in the front rank.

After a brutal combat, the militia decide to pull back, leaving the slope to the Germans.

The Yorkist harassing troops manage to kill a German, but they stand their ground

The archers are encouraged by the Germans' success, and loose a volley at the militia. Thge tired militia continue to retreat under the arrows as their commander, Jack, tries to keep them together.

In a gamble to take back the slope, hammond charges with his men-at-arms up the slope. The Germans are in closed ranks, however, and throw back the men-at-arms and route them. Seeing their lord run, the militia decide to follow them, causing the force to collapse.

View of the field at the end of the battle.

The German losses on the slope.

After the cavalry charge.

The Germans, bloodied and tired, hold the slope. The battle is over.

   A victorious cry left the Lancastrian’s lips as the rest of Hammond’s men turned and fled. The men would have pursued them, calling up their horses from the rear and hunt them down through villages and forest, but they were too tired, and Hammond kept his men together to avoid them becoming separated and cut down. Adam called out to his enemy to come and fight him, one on one to the death, but Hammond was already gone and Adam reined in his horse angrily.
   John fell to his knees and thanked God he was alive. He was near a well-built house, the owners gone when they saw the approaching forces. Adam would order it looted and burned, but for now the Germans began looting the corpses of the archers that had held the small slope for so long before they collapsed and fled. On the approach to the slope several men lay with arrows sticking from their bodies, and in front of John lay a row of bodies where the Yorkist bill men had fled before the Lancastrian knights, and several of the men-at-arms now also lay dead went Hammond and his men-at-arms had charged them and dragged some from their saddles. The smell of rotten eggs hung over the battle field, and fetid smoke floated above them like a ghost. John rose from his knees; even though they had won, John did not feel happy. They would have to fight again, this time with the Queen and the Prince, and John wished he was free of Adam and could run, but he knew he would be killed if found. He gathered some stray arrows, took some vegetables from the house’s
garden the Germans had left, and watched as the house burned bright.
*   *   *
A hard fought battle that could have gone either way. I thought when the Germans pulled back they would be unable to come back in, but they did and pulled off a win. The Yorkists should have kept up the pressure, but with only 1 melee unit, holding the slope was the best tactic. If they were soldiers, the Germans would have been pursued and possibly broken.
The thing i liked about this game was the 'realism'; the Yorkists lost 12 men, the Lancastrians 13, while about a dozen fled all together from both sides (some archers, bill men, cavalry and Germans, mostly survivors of damaged units) but they all fled by friendly edges so did not test for being lost.
I hope to start a campaign soon, but i'm back at lycée tomorrow. Best finish off my school work :D
I have some plans for another mercenary band, this one more rag-tag, and i'm thinking of doing another English retinue so i can have a true English on English Wars of the Roses battle.Anyway, until next time, happy gaming!

jeudi 8 novembre 2012

Take the cannon!

Before the coming of Dux, i played lord of the rings as my main ruleset. Anyone who knows this ruleset knows that the game is sort of based around scenarios; ambushes, capture objectives, kill a leader... I have a score on my computer, many unused and waiting for their day.
Although Dux Britanniarum is more of a battle game than a skirmish game, it is certainly a smaller scale game. As such i have thought that i could use some of the LOTR scenarios for Dux.
Of course, some are either already in the game, such as wagon raids and the like, and ones with capturing high ground are simple to play out. I wanted to test something different, which could prove very handy for Wars of the Roses; instead of the usually Dux campaign, i could play a run of scenarios instead.
So today i present a scenario i thought up of when the idea first appeared in my head; Take the cannon!
Sorry for the poor map. At the bottom is the earthwork, at the top the attackers route of attack. The defenders are in and around the defences.
During a siege or large battle, the army commander tasks one of his knights to lead his men and take out the enemy guns (about 2 or 3). The enemy is entrenched behind earthworks, and to make the attacker's task harder, a band of defenders have reinforced the position. But the guns must be taken!
The attacker must destroy the guns (killing the crew) and leave by his table edge.
The defender must prevent the attackers taking out the guns.
If the attacker takes out half of the guns, the game is a draw.
Special rules:
Medieval guns fired slowly, and these guns are large pieces, possibly siege guns. As such they may fire once at the beginning of the game, and again if they load for 4 turns (may be changed). Afterwards the crew draw swords and ready themselves for the attacker (or run).
Each gun has either 4 gunners who fight as a group, as militia. They may move and fight as normal, and amy only man their pieces if they stay within 1" of it.
Note the crew may not leave the table to avoid being killed. Assume they must stay by the guns (if they flee, count the gun as disabled).
Firing the cannon:
Cannons have no range. Their shots can easily cross the table.
When they fire, roll 4 dice. Hit on a 4+.
All troops roll for damage the same; no amount of armour can stop a cannon ball! A model is killed on a 5 or 6. Shock on 2, 3 or 4, nothing on a 1. In addition, each Group takes D6 additional shock (it's big and noisy!).
I did think you could do it in the 'warhammer way', but not sure how it would work as it would only kill 2 men maximum (fewer ranks than in Warhammer).

mardi 6 novembre 2012

WARNING - Crazy idea alert

Is it the lack of figures around that's making my mind go weird, or is it just normal for me to have silly, stupid and far fetched ideas?
Probably the second.
As already said, i've been pondering upon the idea of 14th century, helped greatly by 'Vonplutz' on the subject of armour and some history. I now have a better idea of the 'look', and research led me towards either Magister Militum 10mm or the good 'ol Herorics and Ros 6mm. While the latter does not have any 14th century figures, one can fudge them, and i could get a decently large force for little cost.
Alas, another silly idea evolved. Could i convert a perry 15th century figure to the 14th century?
You're mad!
Perhaps the main suspect for this idea was a video on youtube of the Battle of Wisby, 1361. I remarked that the men looked rather how i imagined my own Runissians to look like, which i have created a small number. So then came the thought, 14th century Perrys.
What i thought was almost to use the perrys as a 'dolly' and convert/scuplt armour, clothes, etc, over the top. For helmets, i have made some Runissian ones, and since the sallets looks similarish to bascinets i could add pig faced visors and klapsvisors.
Example first made for a Song of Fire and Ice
As for armour, breastplates can be sculpted, and some men wore protective jackets over their armour, so i can add leg armour and gauntlets under a big coat.
A Perry body with sculpted chain mail shirt
My Runissian, another Perry, with a breastplate and chain mail.
Although i might not make a full army, i would like to try and make some men at arms or at least some heads even if they're not attatched to a body.
This is the reason...

vendredi 2 novembre 2012

Update at Perp

Hi all, i'm soaking in the southern sun with a good internet connection. Unfortunatly, no games have been played here, since creating new terrain dosen't appeal to me and i'm using my time pursuing other things, one being downloading modules for a game i play while the connections good. The game is a medieval fantasy one, and i've been trying to find (oddly enough) historical modules with 15th century armour. I've found some, but it gets a bit boring after a while so i go to the pen and paper and write ideas for wargaming.
I just love this hobby.
Anyway, searching for mods on the net also led me to see some snazzy 14th century armours, which got my mind ticking and so i'm now on the search for 14th century figures of any scale that might be useful in the future. The idea might never come to ripen, but i enjoy the search.
The only bad thing is that is period seems unfashionable, as the only 28mm figures i can find aren't really my thing (Perrys have spoilt me!) and i can't finds any for 15mm for the moment.
I have however plundered Bishop Lord's blog 'Grand Scale Wargaming' for 6mm and 10mm links, adding loads to my fravorites for me to ponder upon. I have some 6mm in my varied collection, mainly Napoleonic (when i was younger i tried lots of periods before settling on Medieval) and i would like to see a huge medieval army assembled in all it's splender. They're also not too pricey, always a plus for me.
So who knows, maybe after the perries are done i shall do some 6mm armies. Dux britanniarum with 6mm anyone?