Sunday, January 31, 2016

Minifigs Roman General

This figure is equally ancient and just what I needed to lead my Legion "Airfixus" into battle.  At a guess he was added to my lead pile in the late 1970s.  He might be the Scipio Africanus personality figure that Minifigs used to have.

The horse went a bit lumpy and I'm still perfecting my white horse painting technique.  This one had a brown wash applied and then a second cost of white paint.  For once the varnish went matt (I'm now thinking the spray can is empty and I was just spraying gas) and I wanted a more satin look.  However that is easy to go back and fix.

14th Chasseurs a Cheval bis

I could have called this post "14th Chasseurs a Cheval douze".  Chris H found the missing twelfth man and given the effort he went to find him, I thought I better add him to the command base asap.


In my previous post on these guys, I mentioned I was unhappy with my repair of the elite trooper's plume.  I took this opportunity to fix it.  In breaking it off  a bit more paint came away than I would have preferred, but this just meant I had a bit more room to drill a hole and secure a pin.  The plume was then built up with plaster.  A lick of paint, coat of PVA glue and a light spray varnish and all better.  I was particularly happy how the pompom turned out, something that was missing on the old plume (which can be seen, discarded in the photo).

Now looking much more elite.

Friday, January 29, 2016

MCMLXVII Legion "Airfixus"

A new year has seen me digging out some old figures to paint/base and organise for games.  And when I say old, I mean old.  The Airfix Romans were released in 1967 and I would have bought these figures around then.  I've long had a project to make a DBA army using them, but the recent game of Impetus with the ANF inspired me to do up a unit for a future game,

For my future reference, this was the paints I used:

Tamiya Matt Black undercoat
Atelier Raw Sienna Dark - leather
VJ Medium Flesh
Citadel Shade Reikland Fleshshade 
Jo Sonja Olive Green - pants
VJ Oily Steel - metal
Jo Sonja Green Oxide - pant highlights
Jo Sonja Burnt Umber - sandals (impressionist)
Tamiya Flat Earth - base
Jo Sonja Yellow Deep - shield

Working within the limitations of the figures I was lucky they had not gone brittle.  That allowed me to reposition the shield arm.  The flesh shade worked really well which was a surprise as I didn't think the figures had much detail to be accentuated.

I'm not totally happy how the shields turned out, but they will do for now.  I like the yellow and black signifying "danger" as a colour scheme.

The next thing for these guys is a Impetus size movement tray and maybe some markers for opportunity, disorder and casualties.  I'm thinking green (for go), light brown (for dust) and red brown (for blood).  Could just go with green, yellow and red.

Amazing - these figures are almost 50 years old.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Viking on Viking Action

It's time to get on and play the competition Saga games for the NWS Saga League.  This was my first competition game.  My Vikings took on Paul's Vikings using scenario 1 - Clash of Warlords.

My forces, berserkers back with the warlord, more hearthguard on each wing, then warriors and levy in the centre.

Facing, from the left, warriors, hearthguard(6), berserkers behind, another hearthguard(6) and a hearthguard(4) with the enemy Warlord.

Paul's grey Vikings went first.  I moved up hoping my levy might inflict some casualties, but Paul had wisely selected the "increase armour value in shooting" ability.

In the second turn a unit of grey hearthguard attacked my right wing warriors.  It was bloody, but I was left with three fighters and the remaining grey hearthguard ran off.  

Then my hearthguard got into action, sweeping away the enemy's small unit of hearthguard and threatening their warlord.

But turn three saw Paul use the Loki ability to remove my reduced warrior unit and after pushing back my levy with his other six man hearthguard unit was able to create a gap to launch his berserkers against my warlord.  I survived, but only by passing casualties on to my berserkers who sadly dies to a man protecting my warlord.  Brave chaps.

Then it was my turn.  My hearthguard flung themselves at the enemy warlord.  It was close, but didn't quiet make it, even with using the Ullr ability to reroll my failed hits (there were a good number and all rerolls failed to hit as well).

Turn 4 and my warlord dies alone.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Kiev to Rostov via Vassal - GT83, GT84 and the end

GT83 had more snow, no surprise there, but GT84 was frost...

End of GT83, the Axis are still attacking, but the Soviet defences are never ending.

The supposedly good weather on GT84 gave the Axis their last chance and they attacked all along the line.

It was a success, but they are still too far from Rostov.

It was then I had cause to check the fine print on the weather table.  I was looking to see what the chance of frost was - 20%.  Then I saw the note: need two consecutive turns of frost to undo the effects of snow ("lingering snow" is the term they use).  As the first snow was GT73, the Axis had four frost turns that should have been snow.  The illegal frosty weather was what allowed the Axis to shift the panzers to strike south of Stalino.  So it goes - it was fun.

The Axis were sitting on 106 Victory Points giving them a Axis Operational level (range 96 to 126).  Given they had cheated, I'll downgrade that to Axis Marginal (range 75 to 95).

Apart from the weather, the main handicap the Axis had was I failed to get all the panzer divisions moving as soon as I could.  I should have made that the main priority.  

Unfortunately I failed to blog the early moves.  In fact posting about the game has been an unexpected source of extra enjoyment in playing it.

Great game.  Massive undertaking made possible by Vassal.  Fabulous boardgame and to think you can link it with others in the GMT Barbarossa series to make an even bigger game - Wow!

Monday, January 25, 2016

El Cid versus the Andalusians

Richard's friend Michael very kindly put on this learning game of Impetus, umpiring Richard as El Cid and myself with the Andalusians.  It was a big game at around 500 points with some complex units to get our minds around.

This is my right flank.  The troops in black robes are elite and actually heavy infantry, not light foot.  The disk is for the command and is turned over once the command has moved to avoid confusion - good idea.

The right flank was soon in action with my javelin armed light cavalry starting to make progress in besting the enemy.

The centre of both armies was infantry supported by missile troops.

Things developed quickly on the right as the enemy's impetuous troops didn't hold back. That is El Cid leading the knights as well. 

My troops started to get worn down, but they were dishing out punishment as they went.
The red disk means disorder.  The green dice is casualties.

The centres start to approach.  My right was triumphant, but now to weak to do much.  The right of my centre was also weakened by the previous fighting.  And then I had a dumb command role...

The enemy right now advances.  A mass of knights screened by skirmishers throwing rocks.

The left of my centre is now engaged.  This was a long combat with my troops getting pushed back repeatedly.

But I had a lot of unengaged cavalry on my left...

My right is clear and the centre hanging on, just.

On the left my numbers start to tell.

Great game.  Still learning the rules, but they played well, even though a few things are still hard to get my head around (mainly how hits convert to casualties).

Thanks Michael for hosting the game, much appreciated.

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Kiev to Rostov via Vassal - GT82

As suspected, snow.  The Axis advance starts to crawl...

The Axis still manage some attacks.

However they fail to produce a breakthrough.  The Soviets keep digging, but most of the strongpoints are lacking troops.  There are three turns to go.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Repairs to Fiat CR.42 Falco

Back in 2014 a disaster befell one of my Wings of Glory planes which I posted about here:

Almost straight away I started repairs, it has just taken rather a long time...

The wheel has been carved from plasticard and the strut is a sliver of bamboo from a skewer, all liberally coated with PVA glue.

Back in the skies (and yes that is the real blue sky)

Flying over the sandy desert conditions of my back yard.

I was trying to get shots from different angles, but it kept twisting around on the wire.

Damaged, but serviceable.

I'm finding it hard to remember which wheel assembly is the made up one.  I couldn't resist painting the bombs and then in a fit of madness I decided to drill out the stalk so I could try what it looked like mounted on wire.  Interesting... I thinking the big peg spoils the model.

Kiev to Rostov via Vassal - GT81

In what might be the last fine weather (although frosty) turn of the game, the Axis make a big attack.  The Soviet forces are so reduced this just might be the breakthrough the Axis need to reach Rostov.

The attacks were carefully planned.  The Axis even attempted to interdict the Soviet HQ.

The plan was successfully executed.

And the result has been a huge hole in the Soviet defences.

The Soviets responded by pulling back and commenced constructing more strongpoints.

The Soviets are very short of troops.  Most units are only 2 factors and therefore vulnerable to Axis overruns.  It hasn't helped that Soviet high command has still been calling for reinforcements to be sent to the Moscow front.  However the Soviets have weather, distance and reduced Axis attack supply in their favour.  Will it be enough to last four turns?

Thursday, January 21, 2016


Well, destruction wasn't assured when we started play, but that is what happened.

My new ME110 night fighter being escorted by Matthew with a FW190.

Stephen N makes a pass with his Spitfire.  I think this left us both with half damage.  Lucky it was long range.

The Allies also had two Beaufighters under the control of Gareth and Olivier.  The Axis had another FW190 and a "special" ME110 under Paul's command.

Paul's rebadged ME110 is in trouble.

My ME110 makes it over the city and Herr Hess bails out.
If you are not familiar with the Deputy Fuhrer, you can find some information here:

Gareth gets a kill and Matthew blows up.

Down goes Stephen followed by Paul's ME110.

By now my ME110 is heading for home, but is badly shot up by Gareth's Beaufighter in a fly by.  However I get in a Parthian shot and that was the end of Gareth.

And then I run into the last Beaufighter and I'm shot to bits, but the remaining FW puts and end to Olivier only to be consumed in flames.

That's it.  All planes down.