Friday, 15 March 2019

It's been a while but I'm back and WW2 NWE beckons

I've never really done WW2, the plethora  and variety of machines and men, and resultant variations on the tabletop have to a degree put me off. I'm not a great one for looking at charts to see if A has hit and subsequently damaged, destroyed or tickled B. Give me a hit on 4 and destroy on their failed 4 anytime. You can get away with this is ancients, less so in Black Powder BP and onward .

So after a hiatus of some considerable weeks, due to a serious accident which derailed me big time and from which, whilst medically recovered is still creating a different view on what I want to do, messing with my mind I find I now look at the effort I've put in to Post Velamentum and know that I will get back to it, but my interests are changed.

I've been playing a lot of Blitzkrieg Commander recently too. (V2) and version IV is out this April, it is less worried about the version of the Panzer IV that is shooting/being shot at and the variation of the Sherman at the other end of the barrel. There is also a degree of hit on 4 save on 4. So it allows for a broader paint brush of divisional responses as opposed to squad games, which I've discovered is my preferred go to.

My main opponent is determined to fight over the Russian steep, but armies I've acquired are from 1944 NW Europe. This was also the period I first played BKC2 against a group of Madgamers.

As stated I have had for a while a 10mm Late British NW Europe army, I also have a less complete German army to oppose it, gaps in the both armies are being plugged with metal from Pendraken.

Now as you will all realise if you've read anything I've previously written that I do scenery so I'm now looking at what I will need. I have some Normandy houses and church. Just need a few more and the odd barn or two and apparently a hell of a lot of hedges.

I found this article

I can see a game here where a force of Brits has to dislodge a much smaller group of Germans. As that fits in with my current models, I'm now off to prepare for making hedges, several meters worth.

Monday, 6 August 2018

Post Velamentum 2

...Continued   You may need to read my previous blog, Post Velamentum

Things have advanced, not as fast as I might have wished, but it is an interesting learning curve.
Having absorbed a lot of the Shadow Storm ideas, I started.


I've looked at each army re-written the magic so it relates to a unit rather than a stand and made it comply with the Hail Caesar rules.
One point of interest was that the ranged magic attacks in WM counted successful hits as contributing towards the combat results. I didn't think this was necessary. Unlike WM where unless the damage removes a stand it is cleared after the shooting magic phase, in HC! the damage stays on the unit  adding to its loss of stamina.
To reinforce this decision, consider that in WM any wounds caused by closing shots are counted towards the combat (so just like ranged spells) whilst in HC! they are not.

Racial traits, Army Rules and Special Rules.

I'm always looking for the HC! special rule that could be applied and in many instances I've managed to find them, but they don't deal with the undead, Orcs and Skaven so some special rules have been created but I'm trying to keep them to the minimum and am still working to see if I can ditch some of my creations as in my view the less additional PV rules the better.
So one by one I'm going through the army lists, creating each unit, dealing with army traits, special/unique weapons and applying existing concepts where applicable. I've found the addition of each army and its units can cause a rethink of how I've dealt with a previous army so by the time I was doing the 8th army it required checking balance with the previous seven and I determined that a  complete rethink of the stats creations mechanism was required and also at this point a lot of Shadow Storm ideas/concepts were dropped.

One rule I found myself following was always go back to the Warmaster Rules. In many instances this resolved confusion and difficulties caused by my absorbing the Shadow Storm rules and I
found myself ditching almost 80-90% of them as they didn't fit what I was wanting to do which was convert Warmaster to play HC!.
Please don't take this as a criticism of the Shadow Storm rules as if I was looking for an alternative to WHF then I'm confident I'd be going down this route. .

What next?

When I've created every army I'm going to reference back to the army lists for HC!; 'Biblical & Classical' and 'Late Antiquity to Early Medieval'. Whilst I am aware of period supplements; 'Shield Wall', 'Britannia', 'Germania' and others, for the moment I'm leaving them out of the equation.

Other Progress

I've play tested a small 8 units per side game and we both liked the result, the Magic was as good/bad as it used to be in WM and the combat worked out satisfactorily.
I re-based elements of my Orc Warmaster army for this and though friends have based their existing bases on top of MDF, either directly or using recessed MDF to hold the stands as a unit. I'm very unlikely to play WM again as I am convinced PV will work so I'm going for it and have stripped the WM models off their old bases and put them on the new.

With their new basing (those done so far)
As they were
 Their right wing
 Their left wing

I've just noticed the Orcs to the left of the Wyvern in the image above have turned their back's on the camera, I will be speaking to them later.

When I started ny Warmaster army I had access to a large number of Battle of five armies Orcs, I based these up and then realised the size difference, so bough Baccus goblins and play GW Orcs as Black Orcs. This kept the size comparison realistic.


Tuesday, 26 June 2018

Post Velamentum

A quiet period as I sit down and consider the rather Herculean task I have taken on.

I have played a lot of Warmaster in the past and enjoy the fun of the game but the mechanic can be a bit painful especially with regard to extended combat, they are easy enough to master if you play a few games, but quickly forgotten if you don't play it often enough.
Various people have also complained over the years about how over powerful Cavalry is and whilst I know there is a live fan based rewrite of the rules and continuing improvements, there is an element of me that thinks rather than repair and patch why not start fresh.

Well of course the answer is do you know how much work is involved in writing a rules set? I do I've written a few short rules for participation games and wargames shows and whilst I did win best participation game for one and received request for the rules etc from as far a field as Canada and New Zealand, writing a whole rules set is far too much to take on.

One of my favorite games is Hail Caesar!, from Warlord games and written by Rick Priestly who is of course the same Rick Priestly who wrote Warmaster many years ago. In many ways Hail Caesar! is a third generation development of the original  Warmaster Fantasy, Rick Priestly wrote Warmaster Ancients and I understand put in place a lot of things that were missing from or not dealt with satisfactorily in Warmaster and planned to go back and re-write Warmaster.
Of course that may all be hearsay......

The command and control element of Hail Ceasar! is clearly from the same stable and these elements in Warmaster that people have complained about have been ironed out.

So after a game of HC! the other day my opponent talked about playing his WM armies with the HC! rules, it would almost be as easy as just laying the magic over the top.

And magically he is right, however as we may want to play a Roman army against an Orc horde we need to rebuild/cost the Warmaster units for HC!. We also need to look at changing the spell wording.

That my friends is where I am currently.

I have resourced some information and ideas from a rules set called Shadow Storm that whilst excellent doesn't do what I want. It is a wonderful merge of WHF and HC!, but it's written from the 28mm level rather than my favored scale of 6 mm or 10 mm, there is also for my taste too much magic. I want the same gentle touch of magic and the humorous rules. Like the Giant Rules.

So I've started my own merge of Warmaster and HC!.

So far so good.

We've always played our HC! in 6mm and have reduced the movement and range by 2/3rds so that 18" range became 12". Funninly enough when I looked at range in WM for the same weapon it was 30cm which is as close to 12" as you can get. Again and again, I found convenient coincidence so I'm hopeful of producing an effective HC supplement in due course.

I decided to call it Post Velamentum, latin for behind the veil. in this case the veil of darkness, night or mystery.

I have a provisional supplemental rules set, in part lifted from Shadow Storm.
I have created an excel spreadsheet that will cost units for me
I have started on the armies doing each in turn, and doing their units, special army rules and spells.
As I complete each army it impacts on previous units, spells and abilities as well as the rules themselves as I seek balance.

Continued ...   Post Velamentum 2

Thursday, 21 June 2018

Storage Boxes and Trays

In an earlier post I talked about Really useful Boxes and Commission Figurines' trays.
Having finished off a lot of my 6mm ancients I needed to maximise the number I can get in one box, Why carry two boxes when one will do, well it's lighter came to mind when I'd done, but I'd rather pump-lead that walk the distance twice!.

Anyway one 9 ltr really useful box can take 4 20mm trays and 2 30mm trays 6 trays in total for a total height of 140mm. As the MDF is 2mm wide then a 20mm tray gives you 18mm of model space, a 30m tray gives you 28mm

When I fill the RU box I put the Kontos carrying tray in the top s it has at least another 2mm of space because the lid has a raised centre.

In the picture the top two trays are the 30mm ones with cavalry in.
The white tape is masking tape I've passed through the handles and then stuck to itself, these surprisingly robust handle allow me to gently lower the trays into the box.

The tray contain 2 Roman armies, a Dacian Army and a Sarmation Army and yes there is space for a few more units.

The 9 Litre box, yes I can still lift it up.

Thursday, 7 June 2018

Alien Trees 2 6mm-15mm or 28mm Scrub

In my continuing push to make scenery for my Mechanoid game, I was considering the plastic aquarium plant selections, but they all seemed to big and didn't do it for me. I wanted small leaves.

I also wanted an alien feel to them so green was a no go.

In a previous article I talked about making Alien trees these were for 28mm 40K games. These were wire and string efforts. I pushed the idea on with variants for Saga/Frostgrave producing a very tall Cedar of Lebanon. In 40K you also need some Jungle Terrain and you can make that with plastic aquarium plants, the problem being with them that they are too low. However by threading them through a kebab stick fixed in a drilled mdf board, you can have almost as much height as you want.

Mind open to ideas I waited, I find if I go looking for stuff I wont find it, it has to be a light-bulb moment and is often better because of it. I also find that if I don't feel like moving forwards with the plan then there is something, some point I've missed. So I wait for fruition, of course some times it's instant but I wasn't happy with my plans.

It grew on me:
1) the red flock
2) getting a mat with red patches on it.

Then I found a plant option I pulled a few bit out in the store to check it out and the leaves were perfect, I pushed the small spray back on and bought it, in fact I've been back to buy a second and 'Oh there is a large green ball too!'

But... it was mauve, I tried to think of it as purple as that would fit better but it is most definitely the blue side of purple, mauve trees on an alien planet? Why not, but yet...

I played around with the idea and used cocktail sticks as the holes were smaller than aquarium plants. I threaded 2-5 pieces on each stick to increase height and thickness of the 'plant'.

You get the idea. And there I stopped, dithered.

The the light-bulb moment was more a memory as I went through stuff from way back in the 1990's the precursors to the jungle terrain I'd made for my 9 year old son (who am I kidding? and me!).

The foliage had come from a supplier of artificial planets to florists. This is way back in time before plastic aquarium plants! The items were gold in colour so I'd spray painted them green, in time the green had peeled off.

But now I had proper plastic foliage and proper acrylic spray paint, in fact I had Blood angel Red or Dragon red depending on your supplier and voila, now we are motoring!

N.B. don't be too accurate with your red paint, green and mauve showing through adds belief.

My usual wood filler as basing material on to small MDF bases and some larger ones, can't use CDs as I want to drill trough them and glue my cocktail sticks in. Black spray the bases, dry brush grey and then almost white, as described earlier, flock then drill hole from top through base onto old wood, not wife's favourite table top, as if (cough). For variety do a large base and clump it with 4 sticks.I use the small plants as scatter on my wood defined areas, moving them to one side as unts pass through, the larger bases I place as individual clumps of impenetrable, LOS blocking, dense terrain.

Cocktail stick pushed in from below point first, then last bit  glued before final push through base. At this point my youngest kitten jumped on to the table I had 20 of these bases out and at that moment they looked like a field of caltrops I had visions of a stabbed paw and a large vet's bill. (Never mind the flack from CiC/SWMBO.)

However after threading the plants on I stuck a small bead on the top, it looks like the budding growth point of the plant - need is the mother of invention and inspiration.

I've made these for 6mm, they'd work for 10-15, just lengthen the cocktail stick my max length was 2/3rds. OFC they would also make good scrub for 28mm, and that's what I like versatility.

Hope you approve.

Mechanoids Revisited

The great plan is to use the Mechanoids, their domes, tree scenery and cloth at the next Joy of 6  which a must visit for UK 6mm gamers.

So a few practise games to get our hand in so to speak and a realisation that green cloth and trees doesn't do it.

Hence the push for Alien terrain, cloth, etc etc.

Rather than rebase my existing mechanoids and being one of those that never does anything by halves, when I can do 5 times more than I will ever field at the same time. I cracked on with some new models.

Having learnt from my previous efforts, I now base my models (whisper it, beads) and then undercoat, especially as I want black basing. I then add the panel pins and for the new large battle Mechanoids because the hole in the top is too large I thread the panel pin through a black sequin first.

Mechanoid are then dry brushed with chain mail and then the visual unit is painted on Jade green with another lighter french green on top. I wasn't getting the results I wanted with the vision panel and accidentally ended up with a horizontal bar, which I prefer so redid those already done and pressed on.
One of the issues I have is with a black spray paint I'm using as undercoat that refuses to be painted. applying paint is like adding oil to water it probably isn't an undercoat per se, you live and learn.

Bases are then dry brushed a medium grey which seems to have a brownish tinge to it, that fits well with the cloth and then I add white to the grey and a lighter dry brush. Then it's add a little PVA and red flock, I'm using a mix of reds with a little green, original packets all bought from e-bay.

Those who read the previous Mechanoid construction Blog will note that there is now a much larger bead doing service as a Battle Mechanoid the previous versions have been re worked as Mechannons.

4,000 point army list, an adapted HOF Droid list for fun I've renamed the droids. Those keener eyed amongst you will spot the version number is based on shooting attacks and range, well why not?

Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Mechanoid Domes - construction

Having made your Mechanoid army you want suitable scenery.

A lot of the games we have been playing on are on a Tinywar games Terminator mat with the 28mm iconography (tyres/skeletons/roads) removed and lately with red grass printed on it. See link

I now wanted a Mechanoid base or settlement but what to use. I was thinking of the Eden Garden Project for this.

With this in mind I went about normal life with what you know is a 'Wargamers eye', a request came in from my CiC to go to IKEA, and I was happy enough to go along with the idea even if it was only for the Swedish Meatballs. As ever we went to the left over bin, with old or damaged or ex-display stock and there it was my Mechanoid settlement. The CiC saw me looking at the redundant Xmas tree decorations, saw the look in my eye and said, buy it. She knew there would be no peace until I had. For less than £1 I bought two packets.

Once home and other duties complete I got out the old hacksaw and cut the very top off one and I cut the second in two about a third of the way down from the top. With that moment of instant creativity that sometimes catches you I  placed the small top of the first cut on top of the smaller top end of the second which gave me a small dome with satellite dish
In the image below you can see the just cut examples, the decoration to the right awaiting its turn.

I didn't expect to get three domes from two ornaments or indeed as I repeated the sequence six domes from four; it seems I bought too many ornaments, guess they can go on thee tree next year.

I based these up on old CD's first putting on a layer of wood filla I applied 'Copydex' (a latex glue) to the bottom of the ornaments and pushed them home. This basing system requires an overnight rest to bond well, but has the advantage of being very strong until you add a lot of water whereupon you can easily separate them with out damage to the models or scenery. However ready or not I could photograph them and here they are with newly painted Mechanoids, these have matching black bases.

Dry brushed and flocked they await the first game. The red flock/static grass is a home made mix of various reds and browns purchased from e-bay. The red bushes are pulled from the centre of a floor cleaner/polisher, the bit that is discarded to fit onto the head. 

I was going to paint or ink the domes, but thought hell no, let the alien sun shine brightly on the domes.

The green dials/observation nodes have since changed shape, and have been repainted as oblong like slits.

Mechanoids establish their grip on their new world

Every Mechanoid planet needs a name and this one they called; 01011010 01001011 00110010 00110101 00110001 00101111 00110011

As they move from the highlands where they landed and move down to the lowlands they encouter areas of 'fertile' scrubland, this they ignore, aware only of the possibility of hidden predators they push on seeking out the metals they need to create new Mechanoid life, the circuitry and metal carapaces.

Wednesday, 30 May 2018

Mechanoids settle a new world.

I have been playing Future War Commander and wanted a new cloth.

I wanted an alien planet look.

A friend had already purchased a cloth from Tiny Wargames that gave me part of the look I wanted and as a previous purchaser I knew the product was of high quality and that they were prepared to supply the customer with what they wanted.

My request was straightforwards.

I wanted the Terminator cloth they supply but without the 28 mm elements, i.e. no skeleton, no tyres no road.
To further confuse I wanted red grass on it, if you see their arid cloth and then look at the arid cloth with grass you will understand what I wanted.
An exchange of emails, including photos to check his understanding of what I want and it was delivered today.

I was delighted and threw the cloth over the table and as it happens over some 'Really Useful Boxes'.
The effect was dramatic, so I hung an old star speckled cloth behind it and placed some of my Mechanoid force upon it.

If you want a cloth relevant to your game I can only recommend Tiny Wargames they are brilliant.

More on the Mechanoid models and scenery later.

N.B. I order a 7' x 5' cloth so I can throw it over hills and still have a 6' x 4' table to play on.
I think it looks better than placing hills on the cloth as they never quite match.

Establishing control

Hail Caesar 400 pts AAR - May 29th 2018

Have been busy painting up my Romans, Dacians and Samations. Have also been busy losing way too many battles, the former is why I haven't posted, rather than the later.

Last night I played another game and lost yet again, now a run of 8 I believe.
Still win or lose, it's all 'Blood for the Blood God!'

My army list

I have avoided archers as these have been the soft underbelly that has allowed my opponent easy melee victories that then allow him to flank superior units.
Skirmishers are more meat shields and if they survive long enough then they add support to the melee. My horse archers are to make up the points.

My opponent's

Over time he has dropped his archers and bolt throwers concentrating on warriors. The medium cavalry is a tactical choice and the skirmishers are to make up the points.

We play to the rules except for two house rules:

  1. Infantry are allowed to counter attack if charged and turn to face if charged to the flank, in effect they follow the cavalry rules, but only against infantry.
  2. To represent the inflexibility of  command the Dacians are limited to two commands, in effect minimum command of 6 units rather than 4.
Rome set up three core of 4 units each comprising 2 Legion and 2 Auxila, core 'A' also had a unit of medium cavalry, core 'C' the skirmishers, they were positioned as per the image below at the quarter and half way points of the board.

Dacian command was one large block of two halves, each consisting of 2 Falxmen, 4 warband and 4 skirmishers, the CiC core 'D' had a units of light horse archers.

The Roman General's plan was to move out to both flanks sending his horse sweeping around the bottom woods on to the hill to threaten the Dacian flank.
The Dacian General, me hoped to move forward in bulk accept some flank damage wipe out the Romans in front and then take out which ever of the flanking units was then closest.

Starting postions indicated with letters, final positon where seen or absent at the end of the drawn line.

Roman CiC is 'A'
Dacian CiC is 'D'

Rome began and in two turns quickly moved his Cavalry in core 'A' to the hill and his infantry to the bend in the red line.
Despite a blunder core 'B' took the hill and core 'C' were to get to the flank, again at the bend in the line.

Dacia had moved the troops forwards but on their turn two those in core 'E
1'  had to turn to face the threatening cavalry the rest of the army plodded forwards.

In turn three Rome took advantage of the elements facing off the cavalry and charged them, one legion and two supports destroying the single falxmen and supporting skirmishers. The Dacian in 'E2' joined the fray but for the rest of the game the Roman line held. Core 'D' attempted to assault cores 'B' and 'C'  but failed.

Turn four and they succeeded, the CiC joined in the fray fighting with the 2 warbands against core 'C' who lost only one unit whilst detroying all of the 2 units in 'D1' and wounding the genera
The other 4 Dacian units in 'D' cored charged the Romans on the central hill and after two rounds of fighting they had also gone.

With one wing destroyed the battlefield belonged to Rome and the surviving Dacians legged it to fight again.

NB, my opponent complained about the overwhelming advantage 4 units of falxmen gave me and stated quite forecfully that there was  no point in playing such an unfair unbalanced game. Hmmmmm apology received at end of game

Tuesday, 26 December 2017

FWC Marine Corp aka Epic Space Marines

Missed the Epic boat years ago and have been slowly accumulating some models.

I play FWC and don't play Epic so I've based some models on the FWC bases I use  and painted up some Iron Warriors and World Eaters as you will see they are 30K colour schemes.

Iron Warriors painted and based

World Eaters

Bases flocked and ready to fight for the Emporer

It's been a while but I'm back and WW2 NWE beckons

I've never really done WW2, the plethora  and variety of machines and men, and resultant variations on the tabletop have to a degree put...