Sunday, June 21, 2020

Best Father’s Day Gift Ever

No new minis to share today, but lots of backlog to catch up on.

However, today’s topic is this fine set of young men and woman who arrived on my lawn at lunchtime today courtesy of my wonderful wife and daughter.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Anglo Duch Wars AAR pt 3

Situation after firing on T7.  Smoke puffs on the engaged side indicate ships that fired this turn.  Puffs on the unengaged side indicate unloaded guns from prior turns.

In turn 8, the iniative order became key due to the Fire as She Bears (FASB) rule.  The Dutch won the toss and the order of movement was as follows.

  1. The Dutch move their Flagship Zeven Provincien first.  She attempted a FASB on the English tail ender Ruby before movement.  This required a successful reload roll and then -2 penalty kn her dice, ut it was the only way she could fire before the English swept past her.    She reloads and hits Ruby 4 times, causing a crew catastrophic hit.  Zeven Provincien then moves her full distance forward.  Ruby reloads and FASB before ZP moves out of arc, scoring 1 hit.
  2. The English move their flagship Royal Charles next,  attempting a FASB on the Dutch tail-ender Noorderkwartier.  However, she fails her reload and moves her full distance without firing.  Noorderkwartier declines the possible FASB on Royal Charles.
  3. The Dutch move Speigel next (second in line behind the ZP).  She could FASB but fans her reload.  The English Monck declines the FASB on Speigel.
  4. The English move their second Royal Oak.  She reloads and FASB on Geloof before movement, scoring 1 hit hit.  Geloof declines the FASB in return.
  5.  The remaining ship follow in line ahead without attempted FASBs.
In regular fire, Geloof reloads and hits Ruby twice.  Ruby is damaged and takes a morale check which she passes.

After firing on T8.  Puffs on engaged side show firing this turn.   Royal Oak has two puffs due to her heavy guns.

Turn 9 firing was on a FASB basis.  Monck failed to reload but Noorderkwartier hit Monck once.  Ruby hit Geloof twice but took one it in return.  In the morale phases, Ruby got a "must retire" result.

On the 10th turn the fleets swept past each other without FASB and the English admiral takes stock.  With his flagship worn and firing half dice and Ruby having to retire, he opts to retire with his squadron into safer waters.  The Dutch have taken less damage but let them retire rather than risk uncharted shoals.  This also made a convenient point to call it a day and figure where I'd messed up the rules.

Historically, typically the fleets came about and made another pass of one another.  The course reversals were made from the front and took a long time.  During the interval damaged ships attempted repairs, dropped out of line and/or retired home depending on the level of damage and the will of the captain and crew.  Seamanship was generally very high on both sides but it takes a while to get a line of 30 plus ships to reverse course.  James acheived the rare feat of a course reversal from the rear at Lowestoft which was quicker but took a high level of coordination and command control.  

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Anglo-Dutch Wars AAR pt2

The situation after 5 turns.  Dutch have won the race for the weather advantage and are upwind of the English.  Both fleets have turned to a broad reach to bring full broadsides, but no fire yet.

Turn 6 before firing.  Royal Charles and Speigel exchange fire, as do Royal Oak and Seven Provinicien.  Geloof delays her turns to fire at Royal Charles but the other ships have no target in arc.

Royal Oak and Zeven Provincien each scored multiple hits with the Dutch Flagship taking the worst damage due to the heavy English Guns.  The combined fore of two dutch ships reduced the Royal Charles to worn and scored a catestrophic hit (they scored a total of 10 hits on 13 dice!), reducing her firepower by 1/2.  Royal Charles hurt Speigel in return but not enough to reduce her to worn.

Turn 7 after movement and reloading but before firing.

Cotton puffs on the unengaged side show unloaded guns.  Royal Charles and Royal Oak have heavy guns so take at least two turns to reload.  Speigel and Geloof failed to reload, but the Dutch flagship was successful.

Turn 7 firing shown with cotton puffs on the engaged side.  Note how Geloof is out of line due to the delayed turn.  All fire is between 2-4" so at close range.

Zeven Provincien and Ruby traded fire with Ruby taking 3 hits and her opponent 2.  Both became worn as a result.  Monck opened fire at Speigel and reduced her to worn, while Noorderkwartier fired an effective broadside on Royal Charles hitting 4 times on 7 shots.

I realize in retrospect that I messed up the moment after both sides turned on turn 5.  The Dutch certainly and probably the English should have moved faster as they are broad reaching not close hauled.  Oh well rookie error on a fist time play through.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Action off the Galloper Sands 1666

It's been 6 weeks since I've posted, but I've been up to a fair amount in my own private isolation chamber!  April was filled with end of semester and exams, with Zoom lectures  taking far more time than normal.  Ditto for doing individual final exams for every student.  There has been some painting appearing on the Quaratine Challenge and I'll try to catch up on these posts in the next week or so.

This weekend I got the chance to do a solo playtest of Barry Hilton's 17th century naval rules.  I ran through 10 turns using 4 ships squadrons from my Dutch and English fleets (1/2400 scale Tumbling Dice minis)

The Dutch Zeven Provinciën (80), Speigel (70), Geloof (60), Noordeerkwartier (60)

The English Royal Charles (86), Royal Oak (80), Monck (58), Ruby (48)
The flagships had veteran crews with all other crews being veterans.  The three biggest English ships have heavy guns.

The two squadrons started on equal footing close hauled.  After three turns, the speedier Dutch are pulling ahead of the English. 

The dutch have clearly won the race and are in danger of crossing the English "T".

Turn 4:  the English have the initiative and bear off the wind to bring their broadsides to bear.

Turn 5 the Dutch turn to steer parallel but on opposite courses.  Anglo Dutch Wars battles feature repeated "passes" on opposite courses.  
I'll finish up the AAR later, but can make some initial comments on the draft rules.

  • This was a fun little game
  • They played well, were fast to pick up and things were relatively straightforward.
  • They seem to give a reasonable result of the period and ships.
  • Barry's QRS wasn't readable on my iPad but I didn't really need one!
  • I was using d6, d8, d10 and d12.  It would help greatly to have dedicated colours for each type of dice.  
  • I need to iron my sea matt!  It's exterior grade vinyl upholstery so this will take research and checking with the wife on correct techniques and iron temperatures.

Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Orks Discuss Lunch Options With the Snowlord

As part of the AHPC, I was given a personal challenge by Curt the SnowLord on reaching the summit  .  

A squad of Orks approaches the summit.  They are tired, cold and hungry but they are determined to complete their task.  The Boss in charge addresses the Snowlord.

"Oi Furball!  Are you the oversized Care Bear that's been givin' our mate Pete a 'ard time?  'e sent us up 'ere to sort things out and collect 'is loot from you.

Pete said we should introduce ourselves and tell you a bit about us.  We's from Crud Camphell's Crudsaders from the Evil Suns klan, as you probly figgured from all da red we's wearin'.  We's vetruns  we is.  We fought the Sandbagger, the Evil Badger of Kent, and the ar*ehole who keeps trying to tell us what our names really mean.  We fought in the Spider Vehicle War, the Plaid Primer Incident and the Duel of the Skullz.  I'd tell you more but my finker don't work so good afta too many KABOOMs!  Dok Hurty is s'posed to be the unit historian, but he and Millzy spend all their time pokin' each otha in the eye and it never gets writ down proppa.  

Pete likes dem Ancient Geeks so we'z modelled out kit a bit on dem, wit all the red and bronze bitz.  We also like dem Eytalians 'e does so some of us went for the bi-coloured pants - of course we 'ad to let out a bit in the seat.  Ray like liked the Eytalian look so much he even slashed and fluted his codpiece if you want to have a peek.

Anyway's there's sposed to be some reward fer us to collect up 'ere. I suggest that you cough if up snappy like cuz the boyz are getting 'ungry after that climb.  Mylez over dere figgers 'imself a chef.  'e found sum fungi comin' up the hill and some 'erbs over in da garden and he reckons 'e can make a pretty good Eyetalian stew outta you.  

Burchy with da Rokkit launcha has an ichy trigga finga but 'e figgers if 'e's real careful wid his aim he'll leave enough blue fur unsinged for a pair a mittens for Pete's missus.

So it's up to you big guy!  You can hand over da loot and point uz in the direction of the nearest pub wit an all day breakfast and we'll be outta yer fur pronto.  Or we can let Mylez and Burchy 'ave a go and we'll dine al fresco up 'ere.

So this is a unit of Oak Boyz straight outta the GW box, 9 regular boyz plus a  nob boss and a rokkit launcha squad weapon.  I went for the Shootas over the Choppa and Slugga option to get a bit better firepower (such as it is).  I had more fun than I expect with these guys.   I made a bunch of rookie mistakes and maybe learned a couple of things along the way.

I didn't use the GW canon paints but my research indicates that some freedom of expression is OK with Orks who use what's lying around anyway.  The green is pretty vibrant but no more so than what I found on picture searches so I left it so.  I avoided the evil transfers in the box and free handed the checkers on the rokkit - they look much better on table than in my close up pictures.  When my wife saw these guys she thought that they were ugly and needed softening up and that I should add flowers to the bases - which I have done.

I did look at Space Marines but got bogged down in all the arcane Marketing BS - it left me whimpering like a small girl and longing for the warm embracing comfort of Napoleonic regiment facing colours, piping, company pompoms and musician liveries.  So rather than drink the purple Koolaid  um become assimilated into the Borg Collective, um pursue Space Marines I went with Space Orks who are less regimented.  Plus I figured that if I'm going stupid I'll go all in stoopid.

So my brief was
  • paint up a 40K unit;þ
  • any race, any faction;þ
  • they have to be in the colours and livery set out by their Games Workshop codex þ
  • you have to explain the background of the unit.þ

I believe that I have completed the required elements of this technical program and await the judges scores in the kiss'n'cry area.

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Quarantine Painting Challenge Post 1

With the AHPC wrapped up I'm now taking part in the Quarantine Painting challenge.   This is my first post.  I still have some final posts from the regular challenge to get on this blog, but I'll get there!

I am a bit late off the starting gun with my first post but here goes.  I've got some Tumbling Dice 1/2400 scale ships from their Anglo Dutch Wars range.  This project was meant to be one of my big focuses for the regular challenge but I had issues gluing sails to masts and then got distracted by other projects that weren't as fiddly to assemble.  I think I finally figured out how to assemble these little ships reasonably and hopefully will have more to come in the Quarantine Challenge.

Assembly issues aside (all of which lie between the seat pad and the cutting mat) these are lovely little ships with a nice amount of detail and paint up nicely with a gentle hand.  You can get away with more basic modelling skills vis a vis larger scales and don't need to rigging if you don't want to.  I've been inspired by Barry Hilton's work over at his blog (oh sod that I flat out blame Barry for getting me interested in this period).  Go get lost there to see ships with very nice paint work and rigging.

First up a set of English ships.  Two of these appeared in my later flurry on the last day of the regular challenge, but they've been touched up a bit and given names and flags.

  • On the far right leading the line is the second rate Royal Oak, named for Charles II's place of refuge after the battle of Worcester.   She was completed in 1665, heavily engaged as a flagship during the three major battles of the Second Dutch War and then burnt by the Dutch at the Medway fiasco in 1667.
  • Next in line is the third rate Monck one of the last tips built under the Commonwealth.  She was named for Cromwell's General at Sea George Monck who basically handed Charles II his throne and become Duke of Albemarle as a result.  Albemarle tag teamed command of the fleet through most of the Second Dutch war with Prince Rupert.  Monck the ship served through the Second and Third Dutch Wars, the Nine Years war and part of the War of Spanish Succession before being rebuilt in 1707.
  • Next is the fourth rate Ruby built in 1651 under the Commonwealth to a design that was resumed many times in the English navy.  She served 50 years and fought in 16 major fleet actions.
  • Behind Ruby is the fifth rate Colchestor built in 1654 and lost in 1667 fighting the French in Martinique.
  • There are also two ketches Nonsuch and Lizard.  Nonsuch is a famous ship in Canada as in 1668 she was sold to Prince Rupert for the expedition that created the Hudson's Bay Company.  Lizard was used a fireship in the action known as Holmes' Bonfire.

Stern view.  I tried to show the detailed galleries but it's a bad photo and angle.

Sailing off to adventure and battle.

I played a little loose with flags on these ships trying to balance historical accuracy, game play and my limited  fine motor skills.  These larger ships were all in the Red Squadron so where red ensigns at the stern, if somewhat oversized.  (My dad could tell you the arcane rules of using of red/blue/white ensigns in modern times but in 1666 it was much easier!)  I've added a Union Jack (again oversize) at the main, apparently this was first used in Charles II reign.  Royal Oak gets an additional red ensign to denote her flag role at her foremast.  The labels include the ship's name, a Union Jack to show nationality and red ensign to show that they are part of the red squadron.

Monday, March 16, 2020

AHPC X Land Girls Picnic at Piper's Peak

For Piper's Peak...
Tamsin would like you to paint anything that is (or could be): 
i) associated with mountains; or
ii) taking a look (a peek); or
iii) displaying anger ('a fit of pique')
(Or a cheeky airline stewardess - ed.)
I of course went for a pun...

Hey, hey Booboo it looks like a Pic-a-nic over at Piper's Peak....*

Ok I'm making for indulgence from our flight attendant here.  It's a horrible pun, put so was the Peke (or alleged Peke in that case, since the model certainly wasn't a Pekinese).   But I wanted to post these figures and I knew that Tamsin is a big fan of Annie Norman's stuff.

This is a set of five members of the Women's Land Army, see the article at the IWM for info, on a lunch break from working the fields during WW2.  They are from Bad Squiddo games' wonderful Women in WW2 range.

Not a whole bunch to say on these.  They are wonderful casts, with lots of character and paint very nicely.  They are in regulation green jumper and Khaki overalls, but a couple sport non-regulation head wear.

I enlisted my wife's help in getting the hair colours right and she suggested toning down the red head and adding more colour to the blonde.  She was of course correct on both counts.

Lynne also had me adjust the colour of the girls' tea as the first attempt looked "strong enough that a mouse could trot across without getting a foot wet". 

* I did honestly look for a Yogi Bear figure to add to this post but no joy.  The closest I could find was a 200mm multipart figure on Thingverse.

Assuming that I haven't appalled Tamsin too much with the pun, that's 5 figures at 5 points each plus 30 for the location.

I haven't subject you to my musical tastes this challenge so will rectify that with appropriately titled "Me and the Farmer" by the Housemartins.  This band ticked a lot of boxes for me - jangly guitars, poppy tunes, lovely harmonies and biting lyrics.  Half the band went on the form the Beautiful South while the bassist became Fatboy Slim.  May I present the boppiest song about bonded servitude ever written.