Saturday, October 22, 2016

Twilight Imperium

I finally got to try out Twilight Imperium (Third Edition). My friend John brought his copy over to set up and play through a few turns - just to teach the game Rob, Bob, The Boy and myself. We'll have to set aside a whole day some time to get through a complete game. 

I really like the game - there's a LOT going on in it and it seemed a little overwhelming at first. by the time we were done playing I felt like I more or less had the basic mechanics figured out, I'm feeling like the strategy was still a bit beyond me at this point.

I was red. Because red make you go faster! (not really). I kind of goofed up my last turn because I was somehow mistakenly under the impression that a law we had passed the previous turn was only valid for THAT TURN ONLY (not suggesting that was anyone's fault but my own, just sayin'). By the time I'd realized my mistake we'd already selected Strategies for the turn... Ah well, the game was all about learning. Now we just need to set up a game before I FORGET everything I learned today!

In other news - I did finish up the 1st battalion last night and just need to put some grassy clumps on teh bases and should have pictures up tomorrow.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Great War Officers and Casualties

No, not the 1st (Western Ontario) Battalion as promised – I have been working on them. I just happened to also be working on these concurrently and sort of finished them off first.

All the figures in this post are from Gripping Beast/Woodbine Designs.

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version):

Two Canadian officers. The one with the red brassard is from the 2nd Division HQ, the other is from the 5th Brigade HQ.

A couple of 2nd Division casualties.

A couple of Australian casualties…

This figure is supposed to be another Australian casualty, but I painted it in such a was as to pass it off as a Great War Gurkha.

Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

1st (Western Ontario) Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force.

No, really… 

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Machine-guns and Mortars

Back to the Great War stuff that I’ll actually be making use of in the Vimy game…

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version):

Two German machine-gun teams from Great War Miniatures. Have I mentioned lately that I love Great War Miniatures. I do. They are lovely models with such fun details. the team on the right must be veterans as they still have their older uniforms that still have piping. 

Canadian trench mortar team that seems to be in some disagreement on where they should be firing…? Model is from 1st Corps.

Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

1st (Western Ontario) Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force. 

British Army of Indian for The Men Who Would Be Kings

This is a small force from the Army of British India I have cobbled together for The Men Who Would Be Kings. Most of the figures – the Gurkhas and Indians and their officers – I painted nearly 30 years ago. They were on 20mmx2mm card bases until a few years ago when I rebased them onto MDF multi-figure bases to make them into a DBA/HOTT force, and now I’ve rebased them to fit with all my other individually-based 19th century stuff. Conveniently there are just enough of them to make a Field Force for The Men Who Would Be Kings!

Unfortunately I don’t really have any OPPONENTS for them… But they’re ready for action for whenever I do happen to put something together.

Most of the figures were from Ral Partha, the exceptions being the Highlanders (who were mostly made by my friend John and lead by and officer and Piper from Minifigs) and the Gurkha officer, which is from Rafm.

I know, I know... the British officers probably should have uniforms that match the forces they are leading… I wasn’t so concerned with such details 30 years ago, and I can’t bothered to repaint them at this point.

I thought I would use the British 1879 list from The Men Who Would Be Kings

The entire field force.

I thought I would use the British 1879 list from The Men Who Would Be Kings:

3x Regular Infantry (@6 points each = 18 points)
1x Well Drilled Crewed Weapon (@6 points)

I’d like to make the Gurkhas (and maybe the Highlanders) “Fierce” to do this I could either downgrade the Indian and Gurkha units to “Poorly Armed” or downgrade the Gun to “Poorly Drilled”. There’s also a “Gurkha” special rule that allows them to move through difficult terrain without being slowed down, but that’s also a +1 point upgrade… I suppose I could downgrade the gun to “Poorly Drilled” and the Gurkhas to “Poorly Armed” to add that in as well…? I guess I don’t have to worry about this until I actually have someone for them to fight… Things to consider, though.

British Highlanders
Fierce Regular Infantry? (7 points)

Regular Infantry (6 points)

Fierce, Poorly Armed, Gurkha Regular Infantry?  (7 points)

Indian Artillery
Poorly Drilled Field Gun?  (4points)

Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

Some machine-guns and mortars, then the 1st (Western Ontario) Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Great War Germans Snipers and Colonial British Artillerymen

Just clearing a few things off my workbench that were mostly done before taking stock of where things were at for the Vimy Project the other day.

Since then I’ve decided I’m going to hold off on working on the terrain for a few weeks to do a bit more research. But I do have the next Canadian battalion on the workbench – they will be the 1st (Western Ontario) Battalion. The whole of the First Brigade were from Ontario – the other battalions being from Eastern Ontario, Central Ontario, and Toronto. All of the figures are form Wargames Foundry.

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version):

A German Sniper and Stormtrooper from Great War Miniatures.

Back of the sniper – to show off his camouflaged cape.

Two more snipers – also from Great War Miniatures.

Detail of their other sides.

While at least being Great War subjects, I’m not sure I’ll actually make use of these in the Vimy game

Two colonial British artillerymen. I think the chap carrying the ammo crate is from Wargames Foundry the officer is from Black Tree Design.

I painted these to add to some existing (previously painted) gun crews as the number of dice rolled for guns in The Men Who Would Be Kings is based on how many figures are left in the unit. Technically, if I’m increasing all the unit sizes by 25% (as I was planning to do), I should have FIVE gunners… I guess I’ll have to find another I can add to the team!

Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

1st (Western Ontario) Battalion, Canadian Expeditionary Force. 

(And, hopefully, a game of The Men Who Would Be Kings - before I forget the rules and have to read them all over again!) 

Sunday, October 16, 2016

On With the Vimy Project!

With ToonCon and REGINA TRENCH! out of the way it’s time to get cracking on the Vimy Project once again, So I thought I’d just post a quick update on the state of the project – as much to remind myself what still needs to be done as any of you our there in bloggerland. I have 19 weeks until the Winter Wargaming Weekend/birthday Bash and 25 weeks until the big show on the 100th anniversary of the battle – 9 April 2017.

(For those that are new, the plan is to make a roughly scale model of Vimy Ridge and enough figures to make 48 Canadian battalions and 18 German battalions – at 15 figures/battalion – plus staff and support models it will total well over 1000 figures - and have this all ready for the 100th Anniversary of the battle on 9 April 2017 – I posted the initial Vimy Project plans almost 10 years ago and have been working on it on and off since then. More “off” than “on”, I’m afraid. But now it’s Go Time and I am all “ON” for then next 6 months!)

I have between 19 and 23 battalions of British Canadians to finish before then… There are 19 battalions I need to finish the Canadian Corps – but 4 of them did not participate in the battle on 9 April 1917 – the 10th Brigade was being held in reserve to assault The Pimple – a redoubt just nort of the ridge – on the following day. So I don’t REALLY need to have them painted for the game… There are four battalions of British that were attached to the Canadains on the 9th, however, that I should get done.

There are between 9 and 12 battalions of German infantry I need to cast and paint up as well.

I also need some more support teams (mortars and machine-guns) – some still need to be assembled, some still need to be acquired! I need to finish up 7 machine-gun and 6 mortar teams for the Canadians and 5-10 machine-gun and 3-8 mortar teams for the Germans (depending on how many I decide I’m going to use per Regiment)

This means I have 28–35 battalions of infantry still to do about 20-30 support teams to do in 15 weeks. I should probably be trying to get two battalions of infantry and at least one support team done each week (because I still have terrain to do!!)

Sooooo… no more Zulus (or any other distractions, for that matter!) until next may!! (Although I probably will try to get in a few games of The Men Who Would Be Kings with stuff that I already have).

And then there is the terrain…

I can say this weekend I resumed work on the Vimy terrain. I am starting with refurbishing the original terrain for the 4th Division that I started building almost 10 years ago. A little over four years ago I started refurbishing the terrain (as the original terrain was a bit rushed and I didn’t get to doing all the details in the trenches I’d originally intended (revetting, duck boards, sandbag parapets, etc). Also the original trenches were a lot narrower (as I’d made them for miniatures originally based on smaller bases than my current miniatures are! I have three (of the four) terrain block to refurbish and a dozen more, or so, to build from scratch.

The Fourth Division's terrain - at the north end of the Ridge - with parts that I previously refurbished (bottom left), parts I'm just cutting into (mostly on the right) and stuff I haven't gotten to (everywhere else). 

Parts of the Nothern half of the Fourth Division terrain - including the parts I previously refurbished.

Northwest corner of the Fourth Division Terrain where I've don most of the cutting so far. What a mess. 

The Southeast corner of the Fourth Division terrain - with a few figures thrown in for scale. Haven't done any cutting here just yet - so you can see the terrain pretty much as it was.

Detail of the old trenches as they are (with a few markings where I'm planning to cut).

I’ll admit I’m not the most organized of planners. I’ve also been spending a lot of time going through old boxes trying to find notes or sketches or plans or maps I used to make the original terrain and studying them to try and figure out how to connect the existing terrain in with the new bits I’m going to have to make. These are some of the sketches from various different parts of the planning process at various different times over the last 10 years. Some make more sense than others. But none exactly match the terrain I made. I’m guessing in the process of actually MAKING the terrain I just made changes on the fly to deal with things that came up… or I simply treated the plans a little like the “Pirates Code”… “They’re more like… guidelines…”

In the process of making this mess, however, I got to realizing I hadn’t included any support or communication trenches on the Canadian side. In game terms they weren’t really necessary – and most of the support trenches wouldn’t fit on the planned are of terrain – but I got to wondering if I should at least add in some communication trenches while I’m at it?

This also led me to wondering if I should include all of the subways that were build to help bring troops and supplies forward for the assault – safe and out of sight of the Germans on the ridge! If so, how should I depict them – just model the subway exit points in the front line? Or should I make underground subways (with removable tops) that we can store all the second wave troops in until after the first wave troops have left the frontline trenches!? 

I should definitely make some dugouts for all the trench mortar teams! I’ve started doing so on the Germans side of things (as well as posts for MG teams). But I should probably do the same for the Canadians (which gives me another reason to do Communication trenches as the Trench mortar dugouts would be off the communications trenches…

What about forward command posts for the brigade staff I’ve been painting? Should I do the same on the other side – have command posts on the other side for Regimental staff? I have no idea where these would have actually been historically and no idea where to start looking. So do I bother? Or just put some in for fun in a reasonable/likely place?

I also need to make some more Barrage Markers.

Oh and I’m going to need to make a whole lot MORE Barbed Wire!

So… the plan… After sitting down and thinking things over this afternoon I decided ideally things should go something like this:

Finish refurbishing 4th Division terrain
Finish plans for the rest of the terrain
Paint 1st Brigade figures and 2 German MGs and 1 Canadian MG

Start on 3rd Division terrain squares
Paint 4th and 5th Brigades (8 battalions) plus available support weapons

Finish 3rd Division Terrain squares, start on 2nd division
Cast and paint 3 regiments (9 battalions) of Germans

Figure out budget for the year
Order remaining figures (6th Brigade plus assorted support weapons)
Cast and paint 3 more German battalions and British Brigade
Finish 2nd Divison terrain, start on 1st Division

Paint 6th Brigade
Finish 1st Division terrain

This would get the bulk of the work done by the end of February so I could do some playtesting on the annual Winter Wargaming Weekend/Birthday Bash…

This would leave March to finish up anything not quite finished up and to make barrage markers and wire and measuring sticks and maps and divisional/brigade order sheets, etc.

Oh yeah… and somewhere along the line I’ll need to recruit some more players… If I had one player per Canadian Brigade (each commanding 4 battalions) and four “helpers” to run the Germans, I’ll need 16 participants.

Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

Not Zulus… Great War Stuff!!

Thursday, October 13, 2016


More Zulus…

Another break from the Great War to finish up two more units for my Zulu force for The Men Who Would Be Kings. These were largely done because a) I’d really like to try out The Men Who Would Be Kings and b) these were pretty low hanging fruit – in that I painted four small groups of five to finish up four 20-figure units! Unfortunately this doesn’t COMPLETE a 24-point force… so now what…? To finish the force I need to paint up two more units – of 20 figures each!

I guess I do have a bunch of musket armed Zulus I could cobble together into a unit (or possibly TWO) of 15  guys – I’d probably class them as Irregulars, and maybe either Poor Shots or downgrade to Antiquated Muskets, but with Fieldcraft…? That could make a 24 point force... 

I do have enough British done for a 24-point field force already done.

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version):

The recently painted chaps – more unmarried Zulus from Wargames Foundry.

I’m going to need to get around to painting some MARRIED Zulus at some point!

One of the units finished up by this lot. (can you tell which are the new ones?)

The other unit finished up by this lot. 

The entire force – so far… with the two units of zulus with pilfered firearms it could be fielded as a 24-point Field Force! 

Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

I have another unmarried unit sitting one the workbench (because all the unmarried Zulus require manufacturing spear and then gluing them on along with shields – the unmarried ones are assembled, primed, and ready to go (again with the low-hanging fruit!). 

Or perhaps I'll just play a few games with the two units of musket armed Zulus and get back to doing Great War stuff!!