Jan 25, 2015

The Complete Map of Dorfainen

So a little bit of photoshopping later I've got this as a result to corner up most of my Imagi-Nations. Making this took a surprisingly short amount of time, but it is a very rough version. I just added a lot of layers and did funny stuff with them, nothing special.

In other news, I'd like to build some pre-dreadnoughts of balsa wood, for which I gladly accept every advice, either pointing me to sources or what to look out for when building them etc. It's just the same as with the sailing ships, I'm too much broke to buy real models while a strip of balsa wood costs less than two bucks (what with the USD conversion rate skyrocketing even more)...
I'll cover the plans in another post and will probably make a WIP sequence the way I did with the gunboat.

Jan 22, 2015

Nova Hungaria - Adversaries

Two platoons of 1st company and a squad of the Penal platoon of the Vladislaus V battalion moved through the thick swamps between the rivers Pfongov and Vaga of Nova Hungaria. With the use of an old map, Lt. Vajdafy was navigating through the mud to find a passage to connect the two rivers with a canal. The experts in the Hofkriegsrat argued that connecting the two rivers would offer a route to establish trade with further parts of the island plus, as proven by previous encounters, the SMS Maria Theresa can disperse any foe that comes near the riverbanks, which means extended control without straining the supply lines. 
To achieve this, they only needed to drain a large portion of the swampland with months of hard work, then dig the channel without any industrial equipment and no available explosives, while keeping the natives from killing them to the last man during the process.
Anyway, not much was to be seen in the jungle ahead of them, but the freshly appointed commander  of the battalion, [name censored by the Imperial Secret Service] opted for caution, something very lacking of other members of the princely [censored] family.

Jan 18, 2015

Purchase history - January, and plans for the year

A period set to the 15th is in effect, so here's what I have bought:
Zvezda Samurai boxes, cavalry, no-dachi and ninjas. They only need basing now but didn't take any photos.
Vallejo paints: primer, purple, glaze medium, magic blue,
Cheap brown acrylic paint for bases, varnish, PVA, static grass, all ran out at the same time.
Lion Rampant, Kindle format (some trouble with my bank not processing online payment on weekends, sorted out, also, why can't I pay with paypal on Amazon???).

For painting the samurai I tried a slightly different approach, namely similar but more careful glazes like the sort I'm using on horses, over a bright (white) primer. 

The long-term plans:

Priority: Expanding the 17th century armies a little. For Victory Without Quarter, many armies are up and running. Hosting a large game on multiple tables seems a good idea - with a box of Roundhead/reiter cavalry the opposing armies will be quite large (5-6 foot regiments, 3-4 cannon and 2-3 cavalry regiments per side). Should have printed cards for this as my handwriting (on DIY cards) is far from being clear.

On topic of larger battles, I could do the same with Maurice but it would need a second card deck. I could translate the cards and print two decks for less cost. Yes, for Maurice I'll be collecting 6mm GNW figures (from Baccus), but these will turn up later in the year I think.

Zvezda Samurai, using SDS/Lion Rampant, as the Great Empire Ren - a warband for SDS is already planned, using a samurai archer from the previous lot and the new Zvezda boxes.
Medieval SDS/Lion Rampant: for the time being I'm going to use SDS, simply because I don't want to paint large batches of medieval figs. I have a 300pt warband of 8 figures on the painting tray right now, this (about 10-20 at one time) seems to be a good pace.

Priority: 15mm sci-fi: enough armies to launch a campaign using house rules. I went out to the woods and collected material for a Tree Monsters army, it's going to be some twigs and bark for every unit, and not much fuss about painting either, I will use a bright green wash and then varnish everything.
The other armies will be the Space Worms, which will be sculpted entirely; the Five Republics, which will be the universal army that everything will fit into (including pirates and stuff); and the Space Orcs, with a bunch of Soviet tanks and whatnot.
Seems I'll have some trouble finding the Zvezda tanks for the orcs - will most likely be done in Feb/March. Initially, I'm going to use skirmish games until the armies reach the size that can be played with One Page Sci-Fi. 

Painting away the 1/72 Napoleonics, no buys until everything is complete. Zvezda is bringing out a freshly sculpted French dragoon pack but this will be a mini-set (very disappointed that they do not continue producing larger boxes, and this also means that the price on the OOP ones will go higher).

Jan 14, 2015

Victory Without Quarter - Deluge

This game was played on Dec 23. It was a winter scenario using Victory Without Quarter, an encounter between Polish and Swedish forces.
The table was set up with two hills in the centre and eastern table edge and a village with walls on the west.
This time smaller units had been used: 4/5 for cavalry (where they had narrower bases) and 12 for infantry.

Jan 10, 2015

Maurice AAR on the Schultze-Böhnstadt blog

This time with a bit more narrative.

Maurice is, it seems, easy to learn and hard to master - or am I being a bad player/umpire? I have fought against three opponents and my 'score' (if such a thing exists in friendly games, being strictly abstract from the 'fun' score, which, on every occasion, was 10/10) is one tactical victory, one draw and one strategic victory. On two occasions I sent the 'boot camp rules' well before the battle to my opponents, but it is less evident compared to actually playing the game. Because of this I gave constant advice during play, but there are a few rookie mistakes that my enemies made:

- Pressing forward with cavalry
- Moving cavalry to the back of beyond (out of proper command reach)
These are cavalry related - I myself am a very careful cavalry commander but in each battle used them with devastating effect - having the <move/charge with enemy unit> cards in every battle, though, helped me a great deal. Infantry fights the battle and cavalry wins it - that's the good old Böhnstadter way. There is a marginal chance that you will have the <move any unit on the table> card and will be able to tread some units down from behind, but holding back and waiting for the right moment is an easier way to glory.

- Focusing too much on artillery altogether
Artillery needs to be very lucky to score enough long range hits, even with a Notable added, to deal enough damage that a unit can't simply shake off, and while a little more mobile than infantry, bringing them to combat as a sort of regimental gun has great risks for them as they are very easy to destroy (there were no attempts to do this in our games so far). I could increase the number of cannons to 5 per side (as it takes 5 hits to 'kill' a unit).

- Hesitating too much and too early in the game what to 'spend' cards on
After the first game's consequences had been learnt of, on the second and third I advised my opponents to be more careless during the march too meet the enemy - there's a good chance that the best cards will turn up again during the clash.

- Not grouping troops
Units must be massed to support each other and be commanded effectively. My massed cavalry attacks support this notion. It can be a hindrance, for example when a unit rears through another as a result of a charge, but the disatvantages of having placed some units here and there dotted on the battlefield outweigh this very, very much.

Jan 6, 2015

15mm Sci-Fi: buildings and vehicles

A quick post to let you show my latest paint works (OK, the dreadnought was done months ago, I just kept forgetting to include it in a blog post). Some miscellaneous buildings, a Matchbox tank and a WH40k dreadnought that will be used as a heavy mecha. The infantry guy is there for scale.

The buildings are rather simple. Some boxes, tins and whatnot glued together and painted. The bullet dents on the tin are actual bullet dents, and the rust effect was achieved with an umber wash over a gunmetal surface.

The Matchbox tank was a lucky find I believe and the paintjob is acceptable. With the dreadnought I had some problems but in the end it looks acceptable. It was bough on ebay, originally a part of the Assault on Black Reach starter set and it was comparatively cheap (and a one time only sort of acquisition).

Jan 3, 2015

More 6mm SYW figures and scenery

These are the last units of what took the Schultze-Böhnsdadt and Union an dem Flosse forces to reach full strength. There will be 1-1 more light infantry units (or those just will be added to some other army) painted, there are 48 figures in a pack. 
The Böhnstadter already had a 'notable' marker so they only needed one, in this case the heroic Dietrich von Spülge. The Flossians were given two notables, so two of these + 1 CIC per side can be added to any game.
The Flossians lacked heavy cavalry, so their mounted units are cuirassiers (no difference in Maurice terms) while the Böhnstadter received three units of dragoons.

Dec 30, 2014

Purchase History - December

It certainly feels I had blown away a lot of money this month, but most was the cost of living as I'd spent two weekends in Budapest.
For Christmas I received the final elements of my SYW ImagiNation armies (and promptly finished them during the holiday).
I had also bought TooFatLardies' Kiss Me Hardy naval rules on a whim, 6 pots of various Vallejo paints and a hot wire cutter, then some glue and more glue.

Figures-wise, besides the Christmas loot and the ACW gift stuff from János I bought Zvezda's French Napoleonic staff set from a local store (one of the few that is still running). Trouble was it had two identical sprues instead of two different ones. I fished the Zvezda website for contact info and sent a mail to their "worldwide" HQ in Germany. 10 minutes later I got a reply saying they will be sending me the other sprue free of charge. (Footnote, this is how customer support should work.)
It's going to take the figures about four more weeks to arrive from the frozen lands of Moscow (the little sods will certainly be feeling like their real-life counterparts during the retreat)  so I'll start the new year with delicious free figures (OK, considering the figure quantity/price of the set it's still just a little bit on the plus side). However, if a 1/72 buff needs any figures from the 1st sprue, I'm open to the possibility of giving away/trading some. It's the upper sprue on this picture from PSR that I have a dupe of. I already used the grenadier figures but the rest is available. If someone would want grenadiers, I have a good deal of surplus from those of the other Zvezda box. Slowly but surely I will have enough figures painted for larger scale games such as Lasalle...

In the beginning of the new year, I would mostly like to do 15mm sci-fi stuff that includes scratchbuilding a Space Worm fleet and army, some Orcs and humans from various sources. I would also prefer a general budget cut that will hopefully be easy to achieve as I have still about five hundred unpainted figures. I'm also inclined towards doing modern/cold war stuff in 1/72, namely for 'Jazygia 1996', and already spotted some cheap T-72 tanks. Then there are the 17th century armies, I've long promised myself to buy the new Waterloo 1815 Ironsides set, and we've not spoken about 6mm figures... you get the picture.

Dec 26, 2014

Painting diary XXXII.

Hello and a late Merry Christmas to all the people of blogland. During the short (for me) holidays I had not been idle and completed this bunch of stuff that I posted earlier. 
This is the Ortosilian artillery train with two Gribeuval guns and a multi-purpose cart.