Saturday, 2 July 2016


Over the past couple of years I've bought a few Reaper Bones miniatures when I've been to shows, and they've then sat in the unpainted 'lead' pile. So I painted one yesterday - the cybernetic Ape-X!

THis is a nice, versatile figure, as it scales just as well for skirmishes ...

... as it does for giant monsters.

And the Reaper plastic was no harder to work with than metal. I undercoated it straight out of the box and, once it was dry, was able to get started with no issues at all.

Friday, 1 July 2016

Glory Hallelujah - Antietam

A nation divided and torn apart over issues of race and self-determination. A wealthy conservative elite leads their population out of the Union. Chaos. A dark time in the nation's history.

But enough of current British politics. Last night we played Black Powder, adding in rules from the new ACW Glory Hallelujah supplement,and had a go at a scenario based on the earliest stages of Antietam. Essentially this was the action across the Cornfield, except that for reasons of simplicity we left off the cornfield. And, as is traditional, of course, the Dunker Church ended up with a spire, rather than looking like a white-painted house.

Basically we had three brigades a side, and just set to. It was really about trying out the rules. Some of our group are giving them a full test over the weekend when they play another big Gettysburg game. This was a practice.

Here's the setup - Union on the left and Brexit on the extreme right. Sorry. Confederates. And just on the right. Getting distracted there.

The Confederates were itching for a counter-attack from the word go.

Union troops worked their way down a road through the woods.

A Union brigade advanced towards the Dunker Church in a column of regiments, whilst the Confederates rushed to meet them in a supported line. It was all looking a bit Fire & Fury.

In the centre skirmishers from both sides dominated the action.

On their left the Union shook the troops in the woods into lines.

There was lots of firing on the Confederate left as Ralph, commanding the Union, tried to get units to bear.

Confederate units in the centre routed, leaving a big gap. The Union artillery was mostly responsible, slicing and dicing any unit which got in range.

Fighting in the woods.

On the Confederate left a regiment finally  got in a charge, and swept their Union opponents away. However the supporting units all stood their ground, leaving things looking a bit shaky for the Rebels.

At that point we called the game. There's was still fighting to be had, but things weren't looking brilliant for the Confederates.

The changes to the rules were interesting, making it a lot harder for units to charge - possibly too hard in my opinion - and leading to a series of deadly firefights. Passage of lines is harder as well, meaning that you have to plan how your troops will get to the harp end of the battle more carefully. It was certainly a change playing a less fluid game of Black Powder, and it will be interesting to see how the bigger Gettysburg game goes this weekend.

Meanwhile Gary and John P played Saga. Here's another shot of those Norman knights people liked from last week's report.

Geoff and 50th birthday boy Peter played big-battle DBA.

Peter brought sweet, sticky wine, cake and nibbles for us all. Geoff allowed him to win in a Sarmatian/Successor battle. Nice one, Geoff.

Saturday, 25 June 2016

Forgotten Heroes - Jenny Everywhere - Part 4

The painting of Jenny Everywhere is completed.

I confess to a small conceit; the outfit is based on one of mine, excepted I gave Jenny a sturdy jacket rather than the cardigan. And she has the scarf and goggles, of course:

Of course it now means that I can cosplay as one of my own figures.

I wasn't sure what to do about her right hand. She appears to be holding a small device of some kind, which didn't become apparent until she was mostly painted. I did consider converting it to something else - specifically a slice of toast, as a love of toast is one of the character's defining features apparently - but I discovered that the had is a little too fragile for even the small amount of cutting and filing such a change would entail at this stage. Yes, her army fell off, and had to be glued back on.

In the end I just painted the small device in silver and left it at that. It can be whatever you want it to be.

I spray varnished her, and then chopped her off her base. As you can see the base is hollow; whilst you can opt to print a figure such that it is entirely solid, generally it's not worth the effort. In this case it was a double-edged sword, as the figure's being hollow is what made the arm difficult to modify, but it also meant that removing the base was a doddle.

And here she is glued to her perspex base.

Jenny Everywhere - Completed

So that's me done for Forgotten Heroes, since I can't seem myself doing another figure in the five days which remain of this month. Thank you to all those who have encouraged me and said nice things about my efforts. As I said at the outset, painting and modelling aren't my thing at all, and I prefer gaming to actually generating the toys and scenery. But I have enjoyed putting these two figures together, and will almost certainly give it another go next year, if only because there was a completely stupid idea I had for this year which I'd love to implement.

Forgotten Heroes 2016 - Captain UK and Jenny Everywhere

"The character of Jenny Everywhere is available for use by anyone, with only one condition: This paragraph must be included in any publication involving Jenny Everywhere, that others might use this property as they wish. All rights reversed."

Saga Team-Up

We got Saga out again on Thursday, but this time we played a scenario where two forces were allied against the other two for the whole game, rater than the chaotic alliances of the previous game.

We chose the alliances randomly, and so it was that I, playing the Welsh (again), found myself teamed up with the Normans, under John P. Meanwhile Caesar took Vikings and was teamed with Gary, playing the Jomsvikings.

This was our setup. As the Welsh I was happy to sit in rough terrain with my javelins, tempting and taunting enemy units into range and then throwing things at them and running away. John mixed some of his Normans in with my troops, which led to a little bit of a traffic jam.

On the other side, the Viking Alliance were heavily weighted to their right flank, which was opposite very little of our forces.

With a lot of Vikings opposing them, John pulled his Norman horse over to our right. This set the pace of what we thought might be a short, and rather uninteresting game, as our side ran away (or 'redeployed') and the Vikings tried to catch us.

Here's a shot of the whole field, showing the Vikings towards the top, and the Norman/Welsh Union at the bottom.

However we hadn't really got how the Jomsvikings work. They can force us to either lose troops, or give them Wrath points. The latter can be spent to move our units in a way of the Jomsviking's choice. Not wanting to lose troops - even the expendable levy - we conceded those points, and found to our disadvantage just how useful they are. Our troops, in their carefully prepared positions, soon found themselves moving to meet the oncoming Vikings, including this unit of rather vulnerable looking levy.

And the Norman cavalry, who were stuck with no choice but to charge the oncoming Vikings with very little in the way of support. They didn't last long; an unlucky combat on one side saw one unit wiped out with virtually no loss to the enemy, whereas the other unit inflicted casualties but was then routed by Viking trickery. And that was pretty much it for the alliance's cavalry.

I started working the Welsh board as best I could, showering the advancing Vikings with javelins, then running away when they tried to advance to combat. This led to the Vikings edging forward into and arrow/javelin kill-zone.

Some sturdier Welsh warriors joined the fight. They were also armed with javelins.

The Vikings finally brought the Welsh to battle. However casualties from missile weapons meant that the Welsh could bring their Strength in Numbers ability to bear. They lost the fight, but it was close and casualties were heavy on both sides. But the Welsh were happy to trade levy for warriors.

This is the last photo of the game, as my phone ran out of juice afterwards. Some Welsh hearthguard were drawn out of cover and attacked by Vikings and ended up getting wiped out.

At the end of that combat the Vikings were ahead on pints, and had just enough to claim a victory. However some more accurate javelin-throwing saw more Viking casualties, which evened things up to them having a mere winning draw. A final charge by the Norman warlord against a group of isolated Jomsvikings could have tipped the result either way, but in fact whilst the Vikings were totally destroyed, the warlord succumbed to his wounds immediately afterwards, leading to no change in the relative scores.

So the Vikings could claim a winning draw in what finally proved, in the second half, to be a tense and interesting game. I'm still not a great fan of Saga, with the Jomsvikings' ability very much being an example of how the things you can do with your board don't seem to directly represent anything on the table; they just seem to be able to magically make enemy figures disappear, or mind-control them, and I can't equate that to any kind of 'real life' capability. That said I find most of the Welsh board fairly logical, with their abilities relating to use of terrain, numbers and missiles.

Thanks to Gary and Caesar for putting on the game, and for John as well for adding in his toys.

Ralph and Brian played Flames of War 40K, with burning tanks ...

... and helicopters with snakes on.


Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Forgotten Heroes - Jenny Everywhere - Part 3

Here's Jenny Everywhere with an undercoat. It very nicely brings together all of the plastic and putty into a whole; I'm pleased with the result.

Well, fairly pleased. Putting her next to some Heroclix figures I can see my choice of base figure was less inspired than I thought. Whilst she is about right in terms of height, the fact that she was scaled up from an 18mm figure has left her with a head that's bigger than those of a Heroclix. Maybe when she's painted it will be less obvious though.

If you look closely at the rear-view above you can see that the back of her skirt and one of her legs looks wet. That's some wood glue drying, since there were still a few rough patches needed smoothing out.

And so to the painting and the initial blocks of colour. Blue dress, yellow tights and a brown jacket matched with the shoes. 

She's looking good so far. More painting - indeed the rest of the painting - in the next part.
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