Monday, April 16, 2018

From Faith, Cometh Honour - Massive Heresy Iron Warriors Update

So, as prep for the New Year's game, some desperate last-minute escalation occurred on the Iron warriors front, in the form of a Leviathan Siege Dreadnought, two squads of Iron Havocs, and a mighty Typhon Siege Tank!

The best thing about the Iron Warriors, though, is how quickly the models paint up. Even assembling the Leviathan went quickly. I used magnets to attach the arm weapons for quick swaps, so the model can be equipped with any two of the Siege Claw, Cyclonic Melta-Lance (!), or Grav-Flux Bombard (!!)

As a side note, it was pointed out at the game how comical the naming conventions are for the Heresy-era Forge World weapons. It's like the designers take one adjective from column A, one from column B, and stick a noun in from column C, and there's your weapon name:








Magnets are fun... and the economy that results from easy swaps is undeniable.

Five missile-launcher equipped MKIV Marines add some flexible firepower...

...while a lascannon squad adds some vehicle-killing capacity.

The Typhon Siege Tank is another key addition to the Iron Warriors contingent.

Assembly was mostly straightforward. The sponson lascannons were a bit tricky but still went together OK.

Decal is from the Iron Warriors transfer set with an added numeral.

The Typhon is a mighty chunk of resin for sure! The main gun itself is ridiculous, but cool-ridiculous, if you know what I mean.

Tracks are ready to roll over the enemies of the Emperor Warmaster!

Of course, all new models acquitted themselves admirably as detailed in the battle report!

Prussian Artillery and 28mm FPW Odds & Ends

Some Prussian artillery and a few foot-slogging odds & ends for my 28mm Franco-Prussian war projects
Over the weekend I finished a few more bits for my 28mm Franco-Prussian War project(s), and here they are!  Up first are a few spare 28mm figures for my skirmish-gaming side of things - these are the extremely awesome sculpts from "Eagles of Empire".  The more I paint these castings, the more I love them.  They have some new figure releases lined up for 2018, and I'm pretty excited to see them - especially the French Turcos!

Chasspot rifles being prepped for action in defence of the Second Empire!
There are four French infantrymen here, intended to "round out" the four squads of French infantry I have painted from seven models to eight models each.  While that difference makes no difference in many skirmish rules, if I can ever sort out "Sharpe Practice" from Too Fat Lardies I think the base elements of four/eight in the infantry units will make a difference.

So much detail on these lovely "Eagles of Empire" castings
These fellows show all of the lean, tall beauty of the "Eagles of Empire" sculpts, with all sorts of excellent detail.  The uniform of the French infantry from this era is just beautiful, and I love to paint them up.
Drums of war! Prussian drummer beats the charge - need to close the range on those Chassepot rifles!

The animation of the "Eagles of Empire" sculpts is really something - you can feel the beat!
There is also a lone Prussian figure - a drummer.  Again, this is mostly intended to "round out" my collection of individually-based 28mm Prussian troops.  Each package of Eagles of Empire Prussians includes both a drummer and a bugler...since the bugler is also carrying a rifle, I used the bugler as command figures, and did not use the drummer.  Now that most of my individually-based Prussians are completed (well, for now, at any rate), I thought the drummer would be a useful figure to have around, so I finished painting him up over the weekend.

And then, we move to an artillery piece! While this may have some application for skirmish-type gaming, the gun piece is intended to accompany the 28mm Prussians I am painting for "Black Powder" type games.  The gun and crew are all from the War-games Foundry FPW range, which was sculpted by the Perry brothers.

Prussian artillery - gun and crew castings from War-games Foundry
The Prussian artillery was devastating in the Franco-Prussian war. While the Prussian infantry were out-gunned by the Chassepot rifles of their French opponents, the steel breach-loading artillery of the Prussian army was a great (over) equalizer.   The Prussian guns out-ranged the rifled muzzle-loading French artillery and would generally blast them to pieces before turning their attention to the French infantry positions.

You can see a bit of the breech-loading mechanism for the artillery in this shot

Ready to fight for the King, and blast those upstart French to pieces! This Krupp weapon will come in handy...
Gaming certain periods in 28mm calls for some distortions, and the FPW games will be subject to this as the ranges would generally stretch beyond most tables, at least for the Prussian guns.  Indeed, when the time comes to finally play a 28mm game, I expect I will be telling the players that the Prussian guns are somewhere off-table...

Still, having some of the lighter guns represented on the table isn't the worst thing in the world - it's always fun to give the players control of some artillery, and then some of the issues that come with it (watching for the firing lanes etc).  Vague off-table threats are one thing, but having the artillery piece on the board will be useful for focusing the minds of the players.  This will be a useful addition to the forces of the Kingdom of Prussia when that distant time arrives for a game of "Black Powder" using massed 28mm figures...  

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

More Foundry Prussians

Another unit joins my 28mm Prussian collection...
I'm continuing to burn the brushes painting up figures from the late 19th century in Europe and the Franco-Prussian War of 1870.  This is a second unit of Prussian infantry, rather similar-looking to the first unit I completed a couple of weeks ago.  That similarity is no accident, as both are comprised of 28mm Prussian castings from War-games Foundry, and use GMB flags.  There is some slight variation in the ground cover and the nature and placement of the officer figures, but overall still very familiar - 20 figures based in the main unit, and four figures on individual round bases to represent the deployment of skirmishers.

A somewhat rotund officer directing his men in the firing line...
There is also an additional figure on a round base at the corner in the photos - this is an artillery officer.  He looks very similar to other Prussian officers, but the helmet is a little different - a rounded thingy on top instead of a spike. His artillery piece and crew hasn't been painted yet, so he joined this infantry unit for the group photo.

Artillery officer in the front left of the photo...would stand in well for a general infantry officer too, I think

Individual castings on round bases will be used to represent the deployment of skirmishers
These Foundry figures are, as before, a complete joy to paint.  Figures sculpted by the Perry twins always seem so familiar, even when the period or setting is relatively new. It has been great fun to paint these fellows up.  In general, I still continue to be pretty locked in on this period and am even dabbling in some other scales!

Love these Foundry castings!
As before, still a long, long way to go with this project - even though I can now report that the forces available to the Kingdom of Prussian have doubled! Last time I mentioned an approximate goal of 166 infantry castings for my 28mm Prussian forces.  With this second unit done, that is 48 castings out of the way, leaving only 122 or so to go...patience, patience, slow and steady will be the path to the goal here...just need to keep chipping away, adding a unit here and there, and maybe by the fall or winter it will be time for a game of "Black Powder"...

Monday, April 9, 2018

The Greeks first battle!

After working all winter on a huge number of Ancient Greeks, it was time to get them out and on the table for a battle.  While the plan is to run a few story driven battles with everyone at Dallas's place, I really wanted to get a handle on the rules in a one on one game before attempting a big multi player game.

So, last week with Dallas away and no regular game booked, Greg and I got together to hash through the "Hail Caesar" rules and make a go at a game.

The protagonists were made up of a group of allied Greeks (Athenians and Thebeians) vs a smaller but more elite force of Lacedaemonians (more commonly referred to as the Spartans).   The battle field was made up of a lot of open desert area, with a well blocking part of one flank, and a few fields scattered around the edges.

Here are some of the Allied Greeks.

And here are some of the Spartans.

The rule set we used is "Hail Caesar" but most of you will be familiar with it in it's many other incarnations as: Pike & Shotte, Black Powder, or originally as Games Workshops Warmaster!

The game started with a lot of manuever failures on the side of the Athenians, with several units just refusing to follow orders. Eventually though after about 2 turns of minor move and adjust, both Greg and I went "Screw this!" and slammed our forces into each other.

 The initial hit, shattered an Athenian unit and sent it running right off the bat!  I suddenly worried that the game would be over in 30 minutes flat and that I would need WAY more units for a viable game.  However, it turns out that was a fluke, and things settled down after that with the push and counter push (literally) that phalanx combat was known for.

 Down the huge battle line, things went good and bad for each force.  In the center we fought forever back and forth, on the Spartans right flank they pushed through, and on the Athenians right flank, they pushed through.

The Spartan push on their right flank went well to start and then due to a number of bad rolls for them, and great rolls for 2 small skirmish units, they got held up for a large number of turns.  They finally routed the 2 small units but were too late to help elsewhere by that time.

On the Athenians right flank, they pushed forward, but then got pushed back 3 or 4 times all while shaken and disordered!  Amazingly they never ran and held several units in check for most of the game!  They finally did route near the end, but by then it wall in in the center for the game.

The center of the battle tied up at least 3 units on each side and was back and forth for a long time.  In the end both sides were battered, bruised, and shaken.  The deciding factor ended up being both of us throwing our generals in for a few extra combat dice, and units deciding to run due to being shaken and having to test on tied combats.

There were a lot of tied combats since phalanx units count anything that is a loss of up to 2 as a draw.  This meant that until they were shaken and had to test moral on draws, units just stood and took it!  The Spartans even more so, since they can reroll a failed armour save each turn so took far fewer casualties.

In the end, it was a blood bath with I believe 4 units left on the table!  Greg and I had a blast with it though, even though we made many mistakes, but figured them out along the way and corrected most of them.  We now both understand the rules much better and hope to have these figures out for a Thursday night game sometime soon!

More Firepower

I finally got some more Imperial Fist reinforcements completed. These have mostly been done for a few weeks, but Ive been putting off basing for a while in favor of a new terrain project that I will share when it's a little further along. My army has lacked some punch on the table, but I believe these units will correct that.

 These Mark III marines are part of a bunch of models I got used on Ebay. The price was right and they were advertised as primed only. Once I got them it was obvious they had been primed over a base coat of some red metallic paint. They were also glued together with what may well have been Portland cement which made swapping the bolters for plasma guns a bit tricky. All considered, I think the rehab project came out nicely.

 The Ryza plasma gun squad is from my original purchase last summer. Re-forming the resin hose was a nightmare and these are the first models I've assembled with the aid of boiling water. Despite my efforts, the hoses broke on several models and it was up to green stuff and superglue to finish the job.

A full squad of Ryza Lascannons for long range firepower. The lascannon cables worked much better at bending to form than the plasma cannons. They aren't segmented like the plasma cannons which keeps them from breaking.

These are the last of the Mark III marines I have for this army. I must say that although I love the look of them, I found them a real slog to paint. Looking forward the the Mark IV units I have in the pipe.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Franco-Prussian Progress - First Foundry Prussian Unit

28mm 1870 Prussians from Wargames Foundry
In December of 2017 I first posted about a new period and project - the Franco-Prussian War of 1870.  I had started down the path of 28mm figures, with an eye on one day staging a battle for the group using formed units and the very-flexible "Black Powder" rules.  I knew this would take a long time, for even a small such game (longer than the actual war, I expect) but I haven't given up on the goal - here is the first unit of Prussians!

As with the French from last December, these are castings from Wargames Foundry.  The overall unit is 24 castings strong - 20 foot models in the formed unit, and four individually-based figures to be used to represent the deployment of skirmishers.  The flag is from GMB, one of the only sources I have found for flags from this period (I think it helps that the Prussian flag bears a very strong resemblance to the colours carried by Prussian units back to the late Napoleonic era in the early 19th century).
For the King!
These Foundry castings were sculpted by the Perry Twins "back in the day", and while sculpting styles have evolved since that time, these are still really beautiful castings and I just love painting them - each time is like catching up with an old friend! The Prussian uniforms lack the true panache of the French uniforms of the Second Empire era, but these figures are still a lot of fun to paint, and I'm pleased with how this first unit has turned out.

Lovely castings, lots of fun to paint, even if the variety is lacking in the posing...
Any headaches? Maybe one - the standard bearer has some lovely ribbons cast on the pole, which would be fine if the ribbons were not set in such as way as to be stuck to the pole, making attaching a flag or banner all but impossible! It takes some delicate snipping, but the ribbons can be removed and bent back without too much damage, making it possible to attach a banner. unit down, six more to go...?
So, this is one unit of Prussians, and it joins the two units of French I have already painted.  How many of these will I actually need in order to put on a decent game? I have done some back-of-the-napkin math (i.e. the highest level of math someone with my squirrel brain can manage), and I figured I will need about eight to ten Prussian units of some sort for the game - let's say two of them are cavalry, and one is an artillery piece, so that would leave seven foot 24 castings per unit, that's about 168 castings just to cover the infantry!  In comparison, my 30k Sons of Horus collection, which is also quite (ridiculously) large, includes about 200 foot models, and took a couple of years to amass, so obviously this whole "Let's play Franco-Prussian War with Black Powder" is going to take a while.

But progress is progress! With these fellows out of the way, that leaves another...144 Prussian infantry castings! In the meantime, we can continue to play some skirmish-sized games with the awesome Eagles of Empire figures I have been painting as well over the past few months.  And if you go back to that original post from last December (and I salute your perseverance if you bother), you might have noted that I also ordered some figures in other scales at the outset...well, stay tuned for more on that...