Thursday, December 24, 2020

Merry Christmas


My last exam are graded and the marks entered into the system.  So I’ve shifted from working from home to relaxing at home.  It’s a subtle shift!

The Angel is new this year. The starfish is a gift from my Grandmother from many years ago.

I’ve signed up for this year’s Painting Challenge and have already started work on various projects for it.  But no final results yet.

However, Christmas came  two days early with splendid chap Iain W gifting me his Curtgeld in the form on a wonderful Landschneckt commander for my Italian Wars project.  Now I have to dust off that project and see what needs to be added on it.

Saturday, December 5, 2020

War of the Pacific AAR pt 2

Continuing on from part one in my prior post....

Panorama view note the brightly coloured arcs of fire templates!

Jeremey's blockaders fire at my Peruvian torpedo boats and attempt evasive Hanover's

Getting down to business

Running through the QRS, the rule swerve very quick to pick up.

The tbs strike home while Curt's squadron comes near.  The near tb had a near miss with it's spar torpedo while the far one struck home for a kill!

Skipping ahead one of Jeremey's ships splits Curt's line

Things settle down to a general melee

At this point we wound things up with the following summary
  • The Chileans sank one monitor, with Stacy nobly heaving too to save the crew.
  • The wooden ships got bashed around with a Chilean sunk by spar torpedo and a Peruvian sunk by ramming.
  • The sea going ironclads largely cancelled these serve out.  
  • We reckoned that the Peruvians would sail into Iquiqui and be blockaded by the Chileans. 
Everyone had fun and enjoyed the game.  The rules worked well and were easy to pick up.  There was room for one or two tweaks but nothing major.  It was noted that the sequenced movement worked well and it was much easier to figure and execute orders than a recent GQIII game.

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

AAR War of the Pacific Pt 1

  A few weeks back, before we had more COVID restrictions in place, I GMed an actual naval game.  I took me a while to get my AAR together so I don't remember the turn by turn details but the basic situation is as follows.

  • Ships are 1/2400 from Tumbling Dice painted by me during last year's Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge X.
  • Rule were Dahlgren and Columbiad a fast play set by noted nail game David Manley available from Wargames Vault.  These were a new set to all of us.
  • Curt hosted, so it's his sea mat (looks very spiffy), arid hills representing the coast of the Atacampa desert and a Spanish town masquerading as Iquiqui.
  • Instead of a historical scenario I put everything on table but in a historical setting.  Basically I wanted to test the various ship types and the rules, and figure that this might be a one shot game using the toys.
  • Jeremey had a squadron of Chilean cruising (unarmored) ships and was blockading the Peruvian port.  I took the local Peruvian forces, two ex-ACW monitors and two spar torpedo boats.
  • Curt had a Peruvian relief force of two sea going Ironclads and a well armed but unarmoured corvette.  Stacy had a Chilean force also of two sea going ironclads and a well armed but unarmoured corvette.

Game set up.

The Peruvian relief force, Huascar, Indepencia and Union

Jeremy's blockaders, the sacrificial offerings.

Close up of Jeremy's ships.

I pretend to know what I'm doing.  Actually after a couple turns everyone had the rule mechanics down pat.

Long range shot.  Curt's ships in foreground.  My ships are attacking Jeremy in the middle distance and Stacy approaches in the distance.

Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Sad Day

 It was my Dad’s funeral today in the UK.  With COVID travel restrictions, we had to watch over a video webcast from our couch in Regina.  Dad was 88 and lived a very full life.  He went into hospital at the end of September with multiple health issues and came down with COVID while hospitalized.

Dad joined the navy in 1946 at the age of 13, and served til the early 70s.  Not sure where or when this is from but it’s a good picture.  Take care of yourselves.

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.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

AHPC X: Aunt Jane Takes a Balloon Ride

Continuing my tour of Challenge Island, I would like to take another balloon ride.
Aunt Jane is unarmed except for the Withering Stare and Tsk Tsk of Reproachment

I have a single figure here today, an elderly lady from Bad Squiddo's range of WW2  women.  I'd like to take her on a balloon ride to Piper's Peak.

Annie Norman of Bad Squiddo has a really nice range of women figures for the WW2 civilian and uniformed.  I've become a big fan of her work andI ordered a couple packs over the Christmas break.  I will be rolling these out over the rest of the challenge.  I also bought into he kickstarter campaign so expect to see more of them in the next Challenge (if there is one) if not before.
I kept the attire simple and basic but it's a nice cast and painted up well.

This figure comes in a pack of 5 representing members of the Women's Home Defence.  I've chrsitened her Aunt Jane after Miss Jane Marple, the angel of death of St Mary Mead.  (If Miss Marple arrived in your village to stay with a niece or nephew you knew that the bodies would pile up faster that at a quaint local festival in Midsomer county.)  I've seen various screen incarnations of Miss Marple  (Angela Landsbury and Margaret Rutherford each causing WTF reactions from me) but the best for me is Joan Hickson.  She caught the fly on the wall taking it all in aspects of the character perfectly.

My wife asked me what I intended to use these figures for and I haven't a clue yet, but they could have lots of applications in WW2 and pulp games.

That's a single 25mm figure plus 10 points for my third balloon ride.

Saturday, March 14, 2020

Navarre Regiment SYW

I am working away on my task for the Snowlord, but also have some bits and bobs from stuff left mostly completed before submitting.  In this case I had all of the figures painted before I hit the summit, but I hadn't based them.

In my terms this is a paint bomb, maybe my largest ever point total.  It's a full 24 man battalion of the Navarre Regiment from the French Army for Seven Years War project.  Navarre was one of the oldest regiments in the French army, dating back to 1558 but not joining the French Army until Henri IV because King.  They served in Western Germany from 1757-1762 and took part in most of the big battles.

He doesn't show well here but I really like the Crusader drummer.  The  standard bearer in the front rank is from Front Rank

Close up of the Grenadiers.  The NCO pointing is Front Rank.

You can see the variations in Crusader's marching figures.  The office waving his hat  is FR.

Normally I roll my battalions out in three lots of 8 so as to keep up the image of progress, so a 24 man posting is rare for me.  I had planned to do the same here, but when I finished the first lot I realized that I was out of the bases I use for this project.  Challenger Byron of sourced me some free of charge (thanks Byron) on his most recent trip to Regina, but which time I had all 24 set to be based.  My Sarissa order has since arrived so I'm now Covid-19 prepared with bases.

Figures are Crusader mostly with a few Front Rank command figures.  I've done most of the unit with turn backs but added a few figures with coats undone for variety.  There's the normal command treats, two drummers in King's Livery, two flags (sourced from a gamer blog and printed at home) and a grenadier stand.  The grenadiers are over represented in the unit as there should be only 1-2 in the 24  man unit but I like the bearskins. I like to think that fusiliers were detached to guard the camp, perform picket duties etc upping the proportion of grenadiers in the main unit.

The Crusader and Front Rank figures both paint up nicely.  I like the Crusader private soldier figures with their subtle mix of related poses and the drummers are nice.  However, Crusader's officer, NCO and and standard bearers are a little static and low key so I often sub in replacements from Front Rank.  The two companies work ok to my aging and fading eyes.

Points wise that's 24 figures @ 5 point a pop for a grand total of 120, which leaves me almost exactly at my Challenge target of 500 points.  There's more stuff in progress plus the Snowlord's Challenge so I'll make my target with some room to spare.

Thursday, February 20, 2020

AHPC X Femme Fatale for Repeat Balloon Ride

A 28mm figure of a Femme Fatale for my second balloon ride of the Challenge, this one taking me to the summit of the Snowlord.  Like many challengers the ability to make use of the balloon had me scrambling through the lead pile for suitable female figures.  (I also hit the e-commerce route for some figures that were ordered in 2019 but just arrived this week.)  This figure is a 28mm Reaper Bones figure bought on spec for the Hero Theme Round a few Challenges back.  The plan was to have something mid cold war themed in front of the Berlin Wall and word smithed to fit Bowie's Heroes.  But that project got sidelined by a case of the February's and she's sat in the lead pile ever since.

Anyway for a Reaper Bones figure, quality was pretty good and she painted up nicely.  There was a small mold line that came off easily and those slender legs don't give her much support and she bent over with too much pressure on the brush but that was easily handled.  I've painted her up as a generic Femme Fatale for cold war pulp stories using as my muse....
The young Deneuve in les Parapluies de Cherbourg (sigh)
I've never seen the film, it's supposed to be good, but I can fanboy over la belle Deneuve all day long.  I have been to Cherbourg twice on sailing expeditions with my dad.  It's a typical port city with not much to offer it, but it's in France and there's some interesting harbour fortifications on the breakwaters.

No bonus points on this one, it's my second balloon ride and we've been drinking Italian reds to go with some mighty fine stripling steaks recently.  But's she's my balloon ride ticket to the Summit and what ever the Snowlord has in store for me.