Wednesday, December 31, 2014

One Last Post – Mech!

Thought I’d squeeze in one last post before the New Year...

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

Reaper Bones CAV mech of some sort. I have no intention of playing CAV – but I did get in on the Reaper CAV: Strike Operations Kickstarter to kit myself and the kids out with giant fighting robot ‘mech-like-things so we could all play Samurai Robot Battle Royale (and possibly Mighty Monsters…)

This is the first of the plastic CAV mechs I’ve painted – I actually finished painting days ago, but didn’t get around to finishing the base until last night.

We’ll have to build some micro buildings (and rubble - for when we smash them to bits!)

Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

Looking back as 2014

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Skythian Horse Archer, Irish Wolfhounds, Wardancers and Mice

A few odd and sundry items I’ve been working on while watching Spartacus the last few evenings.

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

This is a female Skythian archer from RAFM. I started painting this the first time I thought I’d try and run a Cthulhu Invictus game back in the summer. Amanda had planned on running a Skythian Horse Archer.

I also happened to have a very similar looking Wargames Foundry MOUNTED female Skythian horse archer – so I thought I’d paint her up the same so Amanda would have a mounted version of her figure for when she rode into battle on her horse (as all Skythian Horse Archers should!)

Luckily, as they depict the same character, they should never be on the table at the same time… because when standing next to each other the difference in scale is noticeable!

More Mice from Reaper Miniatures

Some Irish Wolfhounds and a pack master from Crusader Miniatures - I thought it might be fun to try an animal-based warband in A Song of Blades and Heroes (or perhaps Song of Arthur and Merlin?)

I found three more Wood Elf Wardancers that I’d missed when I painted the rest. The figures are from Games Workshop.

The entire troupe of War Dancers.

Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

That may very well be it for painting this year… unless I finish up something while finishing off the final season of Spartacus… 

Monday, December 29, 2014

Imperial Guard Catachans

I have to admit I’ve been a fan of military role-playing games for a long time. I’m not saying they are the “best” or even my personal favourites – just saying I like them. I have very fond memories of playing Twilight: 2000, Traveller: Mercenary, Revised Recon, Behind Enemy Lines and Battletech: Mechwarrior in high school – and many of our Top Secret games were more “Special Ops” missions that “Spying”, per se... In more recent times I’ve run Tour of Darkness and Weird War Two campaigns with Savage Worlds, I even ran a Call of Cthulhu game set during the Great War where the characters were members of the Canadian Expeditionary Force.

I don’t know what it is about them… perhaps it’s because I’m interested in military history… perhaps it’s because it’s easy to set up a plot train when the characters are part of a military chain of command – “Here is your mission… go do it!”… Perhaps a bit of both.  Oh and (as a miniature wargamer) I’ve always had this megalomanic dream of running a military role-playing game where the players would start as grunts and work their way up to being the platoon/section commanders – at which point the engagements become skirmish wargames - then maybe after more campaigning they could even take command of companies and/or become part of a battalion’s staff – and then the combat engagements become another game entirely (possibly using Blitzkrieg/Cold War/Future War Commander)

I don’t even now how I started collecting up these things… Actually I do know the Void stuff I originally picked up from the bargan bin at the Dragon’s Den and I think I picked up a few odd Imperial Guard in lots off ebay. I looked into picking up a few more after I got  Rogue Trader and even more after picking up Only War last year. More recently I scrounged up a copy of an old Imperial Guard codex to see how the guard is theoretically organized – so I could organize this growing force of Imperial Guard that I seemed to be acquiring.

It’ll be awhile before I ever get around to running either Rogue Trader or Only War – but I got looking at these guys again after I picked up a few more Only War books during the annual Fantasy Flight Games Black Friday/Xmas Sale. I found I had a number of half painted guys (probably form last winter when I picked up the last batch of books/minis) and decided I should at least finish them off… then looking at the organization I realized I was one or two figure from finishing off a platoon – so I finished up a few more…

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

Assorted Imperial Guard (and proxies) I painted over the last week.

These are (mostly) old I-Kore Void Viridian Commandoes (the fellow with the flamer is a Kryomek trooper). As I mentioned I’d originally picked up a few out of bargain bin for $1/pack – I’d originally planned to just use them as generic sci-fi military dudes, but then realized they’d make pretty good proxies at Imperial Guard Catachans. This particular lot I picked up off ebay to finish off a couple of squads of them (see the complete squads below)

These are some monks from Black Tree Design that I tried converting (with some gen-u-ine GW guard bitz) to use as Ministorium Priests of the Ecclesiarchy (I hope GW doesn’t sue).

Some Gen-u-ine Games Workshop Imperial Guard Catachan Jungle Fighters.

Adding these guys to troops I already have I end up with:

Blast! I’m TWO GUYS short of a (rather understrength) platoon of proxies (the platoon HQ should have two more guys in it…).

A few of the new guys allowed me to finish up a complete platoon of Catachan Imperial Guard.

The three older Ogryn I’ve just finished up look like little kids next to the other newer (but previously painted) Ogryn I have. I guess I’ll call him the Bone’ead of this attached Abhuman squad. Two of these guys came with goofy helmets with horns(!?) so I added a plastic GW Warhammer Fantasy ogre head to one and the other I just carved off the offending helmet and added a beret made of Green Stuff. Teh head swap looks pretty cool, the beret conversion... well.. it's not my best conversion ever - but it's better than the silly horned helmet! 

These are some of the other guys I just finished that will become part of some other platoon’s command sections (or something).

I also have a Company Command section and another attatched abhuman section of Ratling snipers - which are already painted. I have enough figures to make a second complete three-infantry-squad all GW Catachan platoon (as the one above) and another Platoon HQ, an infantry squad, a Heavy Weapons squad (three heavy bolters), and a smattering of additional light support weapons (flamers, plasma guns, melta guns snipers, and SIX guys with demolition chargers!?) I’m not sure what to do with them – perhaps organize them into special weapon squads? I have a batch of old Rogue Trader Era guardsmen that I thought I could use as a Veteran Squad. Oh, and a Scout Sentinal Troop….

Oh, and that’s just the Catachans… (I’ve acquired a smattering of Tallarn and Cadians – about a platoon of each)

(Oh, and then there’s the three 1/48 WW2 KV-2 tanks I picked up – along with a few GW bitz – to convert into a squad of Guard Ragnarok tanks – anybody remember those from Epic?)

I’m done with these for now though…

Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

I have some Irish Wolfhounds that I’m just finishing up on the workbench and a few other odd and sundry items.

Stay tuned for that Looking Back at 2014 post.

We’ve been playing a LOT of boardgames this past week – perhaps I’ll post about that as well… 

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Game Plan 2015

Never too early to start planning for next year…

Most of this Involves some concrete plans for the first quarter and some general plans or ideas for the rest of the year.


I recently posted that I will be hosting my 11th Annual Wargaming Birthday Bash/Winter Wargaming Weekend the weekend of 13-15 February 2015. It will be a Rome-themed weekend with a Song of Shadows and Dust campaign on Friday and Saturday and some board games on Sunday including Conquest of the Empire.

Beyond that…?

I had a thought of hosting a Summer Campaign Weekend… I won’t be thinking about this too much until Wargaming Birthday Bash/Winter Wargaming Weekend is over. I am of missed feelings about a summer gaming thing. Part of me feels like “who would want to spend a weekend indoors in the summer when they could be outside enjoying the weather!?”. On the other hand, it would be easier to travel in the summer – for friends in other cities…


Board and Card Games

We’re going to play a LOT of boardgames over the next year…

I was looking at my BGG Collection - which by the time the dust settles after the seasonal holiday gift-giving (and BOXING DAY!) I’ll have over 400 games and expansions. Looking a little further I realized I’ve only played a quarter of those – now, keep in mind, many of those are small expansions (a single pack of cards added to a Munchkin game is a separate entry – NINE of those are just Carcasonne expansions that came with the BIG BOX. Many others are games I played a lot “back in the day” but simply haven’t played in the last seven or eight years that I’ve been tracking game plays on The Geek. I have decided that starting now and before the end of the 2015 I’m going to make sure we play 100 new games and expansions – so at least half my collection will have plays recorded! That’s on average about two per week. To kick us off, starting tomorrow, We’re going to play one new game EVERY DAY until the new year – that’ll knock ten off the list and get us on our way.

All the boardgames i played over the last year with the kids was definitely one of the highlights of the year and finding games to tie into the history we were studying was a stroke of brilliance (If I do say so myself) – more on all that in the 2014 In Review post coming up in a week or tow - so I’m really looking forward to playing even more this coming year.

While there will be a lot of other games going on - there will be a number of games following teh periods of history we will be studying over the year - starting with 7 WondersParthenon and  Alexander the Great this week to finish up the Greeks (and other ancients), followed by Rome (ItaliaConquest of the Empire, Ostia, Quo Vadis, Palatinus)  and moving through the Dark Ages (Dux Bellorum, Song of Arthur and Merlin, Tara, Constantinopolis, etc...) and Middle Ages (Carcassonne? Hammer of the Scots, King Arthur, Knights of Charlemagne, Warrior Knights, Lion Rampant, San Gimignano, Siena, Ventura, etc) to the Renaissance... 

In the fall I started hosting a Board Game Afternoon on Tuesday for some fellow homeschoolificators. It was fun. I plan to continue.

I’m attending Freezerburn 2015 this year – a small one-day-boardgaming-min-con hosted by my friend John, who also organizes Tooncon (not to be confused with John – who makes the Toy Soldiers)

Perhaps it’s about time I started attending Tooncon with The Boy…?

Skirmish Miniature Gaming

The next couple of months will be mostly focused on preparing for the Song of Shadows and Dust campaign at the 11th Annual Wargaming Birthday Bash/Winter Wargaming Weekend. I will be spending a LOT of time making buildings – but hopefully we’ll be playing lots of games just to get the rules in my head really good.

Other than that I imagine I’ll be playing a lot of other Ganesha Games I picked up most of their catalogue over the last year and a few of those remain unplayed. I have Of Gods and Mortals, A Fistful of Kung Fu – Hong Kong Movie Wargame Rules,  Flying Lead, Hearts and Minds, Fear and Faith, Kooky Teenage Monster Hunters, MORE Drums and Shakos, Song of Arthur and Merlin, Samurai Robot Battle Royale, Mighty Monsters, Flashing Steel, and Song of Drums and Tomahawks - all of which I have bought, but haven’t played yet. I’m going to play all of them in 2015 sometime… (that’ll be 12 games off my list right there!)

I’d also like to run a few A Song of Blades and Heroes campaigns using Song of Deeds and Glory.

I’ll also still be playtesting Galleys and Galleons! (not sure if that qualifies as “Skirmish wargaming”..?)

Big Battle Miniature Gaming

I don’t really have time to build any “Big Armies”… I could bust out some Great War stuff and play Contemptible Little Armies… I have any number of Hordes of the Things armies or Dark Ages DBA armies that I could get out… but I haven’t really had the urge to do so lately and I can’t see me doing that at any point in the immediate future. Nor will I likely be adding to any of the existing forces at any point in the near future – with the exception of the Great War miniatures for the Vimy Project. Perhaps I’ll get in a game of CLA before

The only Big Battle games I could see myself playing a bit of is Lion Rampant (which isn't very "Big Battles" as it still has a 1:1 figure ratio... it's just Bigger than all teh other skirmish games I've been playing of late...) and possibly Dux Bellorum - because I have it and I might be able to get away with using elements of my DBA Dark Ages armies to play it.

Role-Playing Games

I made a few attempts last year to get a few Role-playing campaigns going, but most fizzled before they really got started. This year I’m planning on running a Cthulhu Invictus campaign for the kids – which should tie neatly into our study of Ancient Rome over the next few months.


My main focus for the first part of the year will be to make terrain – buildings, buildings and MORE buildings for the upcoming Song of Shadows and Dust campaign at the 11th Annual Wargaming Birthday Bash/Winter Wargaming Weekend. I should also get a few civilians done and maybe another faction…

After that…? Painting stuff I already have, mostly. I have a bunch of medieval units for  Lion Rampant I’d like to paint up. I need to finish up The Third Division for the Vimy Project and over 2015 I will need to acquire figures for the 2nd Division and some Germans (though I may just cast more of my own sculpts) and get cracking on some terrain!

I may pick up another Ancient Civilians Collection… and figures for the 2nd Canadian Division  (I think the plan was to use 1st Corps, Gripping Beast/Woodbine, and Irregular Miniatures… but otherwise I don’t imagine buying much else – I’m sure the odd thing will come up… but for the most part I HAVE all the miniatures for all of the games I’m planning on playing this year – I just need to find time to PAINT the ones that are as yet unpainted!  

Well.... That's as much of the plan I have sorted out so far. I'm sure I'll be updating the plan as they year goes by. Stay tuned for the aforementioned 2014 in Review (in a week and a bit) and more game reports and painting updates this week!! 


Um… yeah… long story…

So, I’d been looking at picking up Mice and Mystics to play with the kids. Seemed like it was all the rage on BGG for a bit – near the top of The Hotness list, #96 on the overall Boardgame Rank… I was kind of back and forth about it…. it’s not inexpensive… I was at the point of trying to talk myself out of it… I do have a LOT of board games already… So I thought I’d tell Amanda about it – thinking she’d just say “NO” and that’d be that – but then SHE (Ms. “Why-Are-You-Spending-More-Money-On-Games-Don’t-You-Have-Enough-Already?”) actually said – “Oh, that sounds CUTE, go ahead and get it!”. So then I actually showed it to the kids and they were a bit interested… after further discussion it came out that they were lukewarm to the idea of playing humans turned into mice running through a castle to warn a king or whatever and were actually mostly just interested in the toys and floor plans which they’d like to use for “their own games”.

So I decided I’m for sure not going to get it (but I may change my mind tomorrow… or on Boxing Day…) – if it’s mice they want to play with – I HAVE Mice!? I bought these two or three (or FOUR!?) years ago!? I have Mouseguard: the Role-Playing Game - or A Song of Blades and Heroes or A Tale of Blades and Heroes for that matter.

So I busted out the mice to paint up. We may or may not play games with them in the near future.

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

The bunch so for. They are from Reaper Miniatures.

Assassin and Pirate

Warrior and Ranger – The Girl said she like the ranger one and wants to play with it…

Bard, Paladin, and Monk.

I had been considering putting some static grass on these – but then realized if they’re actually supposed to be mouse-sized mice grass would actually be taller than them… But then I figured they could actually be giant-sized (relative to actual mice), post-apocalyptic, MUTANT mice… (I could use them with  Mutants and Death Ray Guns!?)

Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

Games… Toys… The Usual… 

I do have a few more Mouselings... 

11th Annual Wargaming Birthday Bash Weekend - 13-15 February 2015

It is that time of year again when I get to thinking about what to do for next year’s Wargaming Birthday Bash Weekend – coming up in February. With the success of last year’s skirmish campaign , I thought I’d try something similar again. This year I am thinking of a Rome-themed weekend (in part because that is what the kids and I will be studying from early January until March). There might be a Gladius or two given away as prizes... There may or may not be a toga party.... or it might just be a weekend long toga party… with miniature gaming...

So, if all went according to plan… 

Friday Night/Saturday - Song of Shadows and Dust Campaign 

Street violence in the ancient Mediterranean – Gangs of thugs representing one faction or another spilling blood in some Mediterranean city in the first century BC/BCE (or AD/CE?). I thought I'd use elements of the campaign system from Song of Deeds and Glory and maybe even have a map of the city so people can fight for control of neighborhoods...?

For the first time ever I will not be supplying forces for all the players – the players will have to bring their own Roman street gang (or similar faction). I figure this shouldn’t be too much to ask As with most "Song of" games from Ganesha Games> they will need a half dozen figures for an average faction to start with – of course they should probably plan to bring a half dozen more to add to their faction as it grows throughout the campaign (providing they don’t lose horribly in every game!). I put one together relatively inexpensively in less than a week, so…

I will be supplying the 3-5 URBAN game boards we'd need – that’s a LOT of buildings I have to make between now and then - and possibly a few of the civilians!!? Depending on the time of day there are civilians wandering around the table and react to violence in their immediate vicinity - usually running away - but sometime they JOIN one side or the other! It would be nice if others could bring along a few appropriate civilians as well…

Sunday - Conquest of the Empire (and other board games)

Another of those old Milton Bradley big box games reprinted by Eagle Games - I haven't read the rules yet, but it looks almost identical to Ikusa/Shogun/Samurai Swords – and last year’s Ikusa game WAS a whole lot of fun!

I also have a number of other Rome-Themed board and card games... Ostia, Quo Vadis, Palatinus, etc...

Another departure from previous years is that I will be holding this on the long weekend in February (13-15). Usually I like to hold it on (or at least as close to) my birthday – but a few of the out-of-towners hove suggested on a few occasions that I should hold it on the long weekend to make it easier for them to travel. So I thought I’d give that a try. (Of course that means I have two weeks less to get buildings made!)

Should be fun – hopefully we’ll have a good turn out – despite my draconian requirements of… y’know… painting your own damned figures… 

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Irish Kerns

I know, I said I was pretty much done with the Medieval stuff… I has started these before that post and rather than shuffle them back off to their storage boxes half-painted I decided to quickly finish them off before forging ahead with new things.

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

Medieval Irish Kerns from Crusader Miniatures. There was supposed to be eight in the pack, but I only seem to have gotten seven. I’ll hassle them about it in the new year – perhaps when I order stuff from them again. North Star Figures (which distributes Crusader) decided to move warehouses in the middle of xmas rush season. I imagine that has caused no end of nightmares – so I just couldn’t go hassling them right now to send out a single figure they missed when they are likely up to their necks in orders they need to fill!

I like these figures – as with most Crusader stuff (maybe some of the WW2 stuff is a bit on the chunky side – even for me…) – but it’s kind of an odd pack with one in four sculpts being a dude with his foot on a head… If I were to make units of them – one quarter of all the units would be resting their foots on beheaded heads… a grisly scene – to be sure - that would strike fear into the hearts of their enemies… but… I don’t know… I think it would look weird. As it turns out I won’t be making entire units with these, I just bought the one pack to mix in with all the Irish I already have – to give them a bit of variety.

Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

There’s some Great War figures on my workbench – some from Great War Miniatures to finish up the 7th Infantry Brigade – others are newly arrived from  Brigade Games and will make up the 9th Infantry Brigade. I also have a small handful of Ancient/Mythical Greeks which I’d like to finish up as they are the only remaining ones I have to finish up (well… that are individually based… I have many, MANY more that are to be painted and put together on multi-figure bases to make armies for DBA/HOTT.

I also have in my hot little hands the new draft of Galleys and Galleons – so expect another game report of that in the next few days.

The kids finished up the last of their activities today so for the next three weeks we got nothing going on but gamin’ and reading and painting miniatures and maybe watching a few movies… (and if Amanda has any say about it, I’ll be building a few more bookshelves…). So there should be plenty of painting updates and game reports in the coming weeks.

I’ll also be writing some posts about plans for the upcoming year. 

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Great War Casualties

Well I think I painted that Medieval Bug out… I’m done with those for the time being – but will definitely be returning to medieval themes come summer. For the next bit I’m going to be concentrating on getting some Great War units painted, aw well as another faction and some more buildings for Song of Shadows and Dust - and perhaps a few other odd and sundry items…

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

Great War Canadian Casualty markers from Great War Miniatures.

I’ve painted them with battle patches of the 7th Infantry Brigade, CEF, which all my other Great War Miniatures are part of, though it’s occurred to me that I have no casualty figures from  Brigade Games  and Renegade Miniatures - which make up the 9th and 8th Infantry Brigades, respectively (the other Brigades in the 3rd Division)…

Perhaps these will be used through out the division. In that case I might need MORE! 

Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

An announcement concerning the upcoming 11th Annuan Wargaming Birthday Bash?

Ummmm… The workbench is in a bit of a state of flux as I’ve been trying to clear off stuff I’m not going to get to anytime soon and make space for other stuff… 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Galleys and Galleons

I FINALLY got in a game of Galleys & Galleons this afternoon – a new game under development from Nic Wright and Ganesha Games. (Sorry Nic)!! Hopefully now that I’ve got it on the table and played a game (and all the kids activities are wrapping up for the year!) I should be able to get in a bunch more games over the Holidaze!

Tuesday afternoons we usually play some board games with some other homeschoolificators – but this week I decided to introduce the two that were able to make it this week to miniature gaming! So, while my kids have played lots of miniature games (and a lot of Ganesha Games) , two of the players, not only had no experience with the Ganesha Games/Song of Rules, They had never even played a miniatures game before – so this would be a real test of the system! As it turned out everyone, more or less, picked it up straight away and we were all off sailing, as it were.


The crew of the Red Snapper heard tell of a Spanish merchant ship, heavily laden with New World Gold would soon be heading home to Europe – enlisting the aid of the Snow – an English privateer – they endeavored to take the Merchantman down and share out the booty. The laid in wait, in the lee of some smallish islands in the carribean await the Spanish gold ship to lumber past on it’s way out into the open sea.


Pirates and privateers set up within one medium of the east end of the table. Their objective was to take the Merchantman intact – gold’s no good at the bottom of the sea.

Spanish Gold ship and escort set up within one medium of the West table edge. Their objective was for the Merchantman to safely make it off the east edge of the table.

Wind started out of the north.


The Red Snapper – Brig
The Snow – Brig

Harfleur – Indiaman
Rapier – Brig

Maybe those aren’t the most Spanish sounding names… I just used those because those were the names I had on the ships from the last time we used them…


To start off I noticed the battery on my camera was noe low and as I have not yet figured out what Amanda did with the other one I tried to take only a few picture hoping it might last at least until the end of the game… So a lot of these were hastily taken – without properly waiting for the canera to focus… sorry…

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

Initial setup from the North East. On the bottom left of the picture are the Pirates. On the top right are the Spaniards


Everyone went straight ahead.

Spaniards lumber forward.

The Pirates sail towards their quarry.


The Harfleur, seeing the pirates rushing towards them thorugh the gap between the islands turned to skirt around the north end of the Islands. The Red Snapper saw this maneuver and began turning about. The Snow also made to come about.


The Rapier darted forward betweent eh Islands and fired upon the Red Snapper and extreme range – shots all falling very short.

The Harfleur slowed as it turned into the wind a bit.

The Red Snapper, coming about, strayed into the shallows around the island, but safely navigated their way around any rocks there might have been there.

The Snow rolled two failures – a double One which shifted the wind direction.


The Rapier ALSO rolled two failures - with a double one – shifting the wind a bit more. I think the change in wind made the Harfleur pick up speed and it almost sailed off the table edge – not being able to maneuver (as the Rapier had rolled a turn-over before it could activate and change course!)

The Red Snapper also picked up speed and so it went tearing through the shallows by the island and sustained TWO DAMAGE due to hitting rocks and whatnot.

The Snow turned.


The Rapier fired on the snow – hits, but with no appreciable affect.

The Harfleur did some fancy maneuvering – trying to find that fine line between not going too fast and sailing off the table edge and not sailing into the shallows too close to the island…

The Red Snapper decided to try and repair some damage, but in the process failed to slow the speed of their ship and sustained MORE damage on rocks in the shallows!?

The Snow returned fire on the Rapier – which was equally ineffective and then sailed on past – trying to sail about the island and give chase to the Harfleur.


The Harfleur… a merchantman… fired it’s bow chasers… at the Red Snapper at the very end of a second long stick… causing no damage at all (surprising no one…).

The Rapier started to come about.

The Red Snapper scored a success and a failure – but not JUST a failure – rolled a one on a coloured die and had to make an “All At Sea” roll – which in the end made her fire on the Harfleur – which she’d been planning to do anyway! No effect.

Snow still desperately trying it give chase.


The Harfleur turned a bit with it’s single action – the two fouble fail rolls turned the wind even further.

The Rapier could only said straight ahead – not being able to activate.

The Snapper rolled another two fails – including another one on a coloured die – the result was that they were to strike their colours and surrender. We figured it was more likely that they’d just sail on by and make for cover hoping the Indiaman made a run for it out to sea and not stick around to rake them up the stern!

Given the speed of the Snapper – it would likely have sailed off the table edge that turn anyway.

So the only actual damage done to any ships was due to hitting rocks or reefs in the shallows around the Island... Well, we got to practice moving the little ships about... and we've pretty much got that down. NEXT game we'll get down to some serious gunnery and boarding actions. 

I like the game so far. Definitely looking forward to having another go. It definitely has the right feel for a naval game in the age of sail – but still has the uncomplicated, streamlined, fast-play of other Ganesha products.

I think the only real problems were caused by my placement of the islands in the middle of the table – which turned out to be just way too big for such a small table and made it hard to ships to maneuver around them without accidentally sailing off the edge of the table. Probably tried too ambitious a scenario for the first time around – should have just had some open sea and said, “there they are, go sink ‘em!” 

Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

Well now that the kids have had a taste of that salty sea air we’ll be have a few more game reports to post! Ya-HARRRR!

I also have some Great War stuff I’m just finishing up. 

Monday, December 15, 2014

More Mediaeval Foote Serjeants

I had another very productive evening of painting last night...

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

Another unit of  “Expert” Foot Serjeants for Lion Rampant. These are from Front Rank Figures.

Nothing too fancy, just another unit for the "opposing force". 

Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

Game Report for Galleys and Galleons.

No, seriously.

I have two games lined up – one this evening, one tomorrow afternoon. Hopefully I get to posting a report of both games tomorrow evening. 

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Mediaeval Foot Sergeants

Another unit for Lion Rampant - some Foot Sergeants with Spears.

I actually did a bit of a tutorial on how I made the flag – you can check it out here:

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

Mediaeval Foot Sergeants from Crusader Miniatures.

These were not part of the Lion Rampant Army Deal I recently ordered – though they were ordered at the same time. The nice thing about the army deal was that you got exactly the number you need for the units. The Crusader infantry generally come in sets of eight – which isnt’s upper helpful if you’re trying to make units of 6 or 12 (unless you want two units – then three packs will do you fine). Luckily there’s a four man Infantry command pack that I purchased along with a pack of Foot Sergeants with Spears to make 12 (thougha whole third of the unit then doesn’t actually have spears… Ah, well… lovely figures though.

When I form them into Shiltron I’ll just tuck those non-spear-armed guys into the second rank to hide… and maybe remove them as the first casualties…? Well, at least that horn-blower lad can be first to go!

Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

Game reports. Someday…? 

Next – painting wise – will probably be some Great War stuff – some of which is already done but I thought I’d save for when I’ve finished up a bit more (enough that I can put it all together into one post). I’ll probably also forge ahead with a few more Mediaeval types… some Expert Serageants (with halberds, etc) for the green/yellow opposing force and/or some more mounted… 

Making Flags

I had an extremely productive day yesterday and almost have another unit completed for Lion Rampant. This unit happens to have a standard bearer. It’s been a good long time since I last made a flag – and an even longer time since I did a How-To/Painting Tutorial post (and they always seem to be popular… and the flag I was planning seemed like a quick and simple enough one… so here it is – this is how I make flags. It’s not the only way… I’m not even suggesting it’s the best way… it’s just the way I do it. Take what you will from it, discard the rest.

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

Unit very nearly finished on the workbench.

There he is, the standard bearer himself.

I use standard quarter inch ruled graph paper from a pad. I use the pad stuff (ass opposed to stuff from a graph notebook or loose pages) because on the pads the lines are only printed on one side! The lines are dark enough to bee seen through to the other side – to easily use as guidelines – but not dark enough that they will be seen through paint when the painting is done on the back (non-lined) side.

First I measure or just set the figure down on the page to see approximately how big of a flag I’m going to be able to make. Looks like I can do an 1 ¼ inch flage here.

Outline on reverse

Leave a quarter inch gap between the two flag field faces for wrapping around the pole – probably more than is necessary for most things you’d use as a pole – but better to have too much than not enough.

Here is where I would mark out geometric shapes – but this is a very simple flag I’m working on today – one colour with a devise in the top corner or maybe center. I hadn’t really decided as I was starting. Perhaps it would have been better to do this when I was making flags for some Seven years War or Napoleonic troops with more interesting/elaborate standards… but I’m not painting those today. Perhaps I’ll do another some day when I get back to those periods…?

Using the lines I can see through as a guideline I paint some brown rectangles down the center – this it to make it look like there are bands of fabric wrapped around the pole

Dark red as background to the main field. The red I use is Decoart Americana Napa Red – it’s fairly translucent – which is okay when painting over a black primed figure, but painting on white paper it’s going to need two coats.

Second coat. probably could have done with a third... but I am lazy...

Yes I paint way outside the lines on the outer edges that will be cut – it doesn’t matter – it’s going to be cut off and better to overshoot those lines than be a shade short and have white bits showing on the coloured field when you’ve cut it out!

Next I did the outline of the device in black.  I kind of just eyeball it and paint it freehand – other than RIGHT NOW, no one is ever going to see both sides of the flag at once and so won’t be able to tell if it doesn’t line up just perfectly. Also if it does look a little wonky it doesn’t really matter as when I bend it to make it look like it’s flapping in the wind - everything will get visually distorted anyway. I’m going for a “general effect” – so that when someone looks at it on the tabletop they will be able to recognize that it is a flag and be able to tell which side it is on and maybe be able to quickly make out a few details to tell which unit it is (especially if in an army with uniforms that are otherwise not easy to tell apart)

Then on top of that the base colour for the device.

Then highlight colours for field and device. I have just painted sections one colour - but I prefer to do it with a deeper background colour and a highlight colour as I find it gives the finished flag a bit more movement and dynamism. 

This is, more or less, the same process I use for painting shields - only on a slightly grander scale. 

Once it’s all dry I cut it out – usually using the lines on the other side to determine where to cut (as I coloured outside the lines on the other side!). Usually I'm holding it up to let some light shine through so I can see where I painted on the other side. 

This was exceptionally hard to take a picture of as normally I am using two hands to do this – one to hold the paper, the other holding the scissors… I ended up having to prop it on the edge of the table and take the picture holding the camera in my left hand – and trying to hold is super steady as the lighting in the basement was not exactly ideal and the shutter speed was about 1/25 or 1/30!? I had a similar problem a few of the next few shots as well – normally I’d be holding the miniature with one hand, painting (or whatever) with the other… but hopefully you get the idea of what is going on here.

All cut out and ready to be mounted on the figure!

Slather one side with white glue or acrylic gel. I prefer the gel, but I've used both.

Carefully wrap around making sure all corners match up - and wiping off any excess glue or gel that squishes out the sides (this is where a matte acrylic gel makes things easier - you can just use a brush and spread it over the flag). I also kind of pinch the flag together at the pole so it wraps tightly around at the pole. 

Once that is done, shape the flag to look like it’s flapping in the wind!

Once it’s dry I have a good look at it and if there’s areas where the two sides of the paper didn’t match up quite right I carefully trim it with some smallish scissors – this one happened to turn out pretty good so I didn’t have to try and take any pictures of that maneuver which surely would have exploded my brain!?

NO matter how tightly you press the two sides together there is always going to be a bit of white showing at the edges… 

…so I just touch up the edges with whichever field colour is appropriate – luckily here the entire banner is one colour so there was no delicate fiddling involved. I don’t leave a huge bead of paint on the flag – like the one you can see in the picture above – that was subsequently spread smooth on the flag. I also, at this point, touch up any of the highlight colours to make them brighter in parts that are on th outer sides of the folds – if necessary.

Once it’s good an thoroughly dry I give it a coat of the same brush on varnish I paint on the figures.

And we have a finished standard bearer.

Well I hope this has inspiring for at least some of you out there. Do please let me know if you find this sort of post useful – they’re fun to do – but time consuming (and time isn’t something I often find myself having a surplus of!). If you have any questions - fire away in the comment section below!

I will try to do this again sometime when I have a more complex or elaborate flag to do.

Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

I’ll do a quick post of the finished unit shortly….