Tuesday, February 28, 2017


I wasn't sure how to finish basing my skellies.  I'd just left them in mud, but then I thought tulips, daffodils and with the help of Leadbear's Tufts my thoughts took shape.


"That smell, that floral smell, it ... reminds me of funerals."

Group hug.

Marching through the marigolds.

The tufts provided plenty of variety, went on easy and I'm very happy with how my horde of skellies has now turned out.

I highly recommend Leadbear's Tufts: https://www.facebook.com/leadbearstufts/

Fields of Failure

Some years ago I saw a post on making fields out of door mats.  Excellent I thought.  Seems so easy. Well I searched for a suitable mat.  The only ones that seemed to be available were expensive design mats with lots of coloured printing, but then one day I found what I thought was a suitable mat at a very suitable price (something like $5 compared to $50 or more).

It turned out to be a bugger to cut so I abandoned the project.  But last Saturday I again saw an example of a doormat field and so redoubled my efforts.

And it all started to unravel...

I might still be able to make something out of it, and started seeing how well the bits glue and look. Maybe some promise as brush markers and such, but not sure I need them.  Worse, I now have to store an unravelling mat.

The solution is to look for a doormat with a rubberised backing which was the type I saw on Saturday.  It means a trip to Ikea. 

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Two Marks versus Two Stephens

One of the Twenty First Century's First World's Challenges is coming up with different titles for blog posts. I tend to favour an equal mix of accuracy, obscurity, informative and bizarre.

Mark B is in the German all yellow plane while I'm back in the Albatross with the yellow fuselage.  Stephen N is in the Bristol Fighter and Stephen B is in the Snipe.

Early on the Bristol catches fire.

I'm buzzing about trying to get a target

A near collision.

But then it goes bad and I find my plane on fire.

So I fly off into the sunset.

Crash, bang, wallop!  
The Snipe collides with the Bristol Fighter sending it spiraling down to crash and burn.

But in a parting shot the Snipe inflicts a catastrophic hit on the Fokker.

At least I'd escaped.

Two On One

Mark Woods and his daughter were coaxed into flying the Bristol Fighter which was set up on by two Albatross scouts, Stephen and myself.

Livia was the rear gunner and was happy to shoot away.

A close encounter...

Luckily no damage was sustained in the near collision.

But some shots got the Bristol smoking

But around this time I had taken over half damage and made my exit, 
leaving Stephen's Albatross to continue the fight, which ended without loss.

The Battle of Lincoln

Very fortuitously I was reading an old issue of Miniature Wargames from July 1996 and came across a description of the 1141 Battle of Lincoln between King Stephen and the Earl of Gloucester.  Perfect I thought for a quick game of DBA.

First challenge was what was the army.  Turned out to be an easy challenge, IV/3 Anglo-Norman 1072AD-1181AD.  I still using DBA 2.0, but planning to upgrade to DBA 3.0- real soon now (or at least give them a try).

My Burgundians and Dark Ages armies were pressed into service.  The armies were identical at 1x3Kn (Gen), 3x3Kn, 4x4Sp, 3x3Bw, 1x3Cv.

Apart from the terrain and the rough period of the troops, I made no attempt to create an OOB or an historical setup, except to make the Earl of Gloucseter the invader.

I played the Earl of Gloucester and Stephen played King Stephen.  We played outside in a nice warm 38 degrees Centigrade while the air conditioning unit in the club room was being repaired.

King Stephen advanced while I shuffled troops to extend my line and draw in his right.

I will call this the advance of William of Ypres against my Welsh mercenaries.

My bow crumbled before the knights, most unexpectedly...

All the action was on that flank.

And it ended in tears when my General took an arrow to the eye.

Here is the article I used, included fro future reference and so I can let go of the magazine:

Friday, February 24, 2017

The Bother with Bofors

I've had the Battlefront Bofors gun set to do for a while now.

My first challenge was in determining how to base them.  I wanted a fixed position and decided I needed to make some sandbags.  Easy enough I guess, but I was put off by having to master a new skill and was then easily distracted by other projects.

I came back to them only to decide that one of the gun crew figures was really too deformed and that I should try and get a replacement.  I used that as an excuse to defer the project yet again.  I should say that Battlefront provided a replacement with no fuss or serious delay.

With my recent success with the Crusader tanks I thought the time had come for another attempt.

Just cleaning up the bits was fiddly, but I stuck at it and got them washed (carefully).  Then it was time for assembly.  I had the relevant Battlefront page to help but also ended up digging out my old Airfix Bofors gun to see how it went together (more on this later).  If I thought cleaning the parts was fiddly, gluing them with super glue was doubly so.

But I succeeded.

Well, with one gun at least.  Still resting before I attempt the other.  

In the above photo you can see the replacement pointing figure and also the stunted hand of the original one which I painted up anyway.

I've still got the basing challenge and now think I will remove the gun shield as this is what I'm after:

But the fun thing has been digging out the Airfix Bofors kit.  It is one of the more recent kits I've made, but that still makes it early 1980s (most likely).  I really went overboard in making the gun configurable as can be seen in these two pictures.

I also note I applied transfers which was rather rare for me.  The crew are very similar to that provided by Battlefront, but no pointing.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Clive of Impetus nee India

Last night at the club I was fortunate to take part in a big 650 points per side Impetus game.  I was expecting Classical Indians and was surprised to find it was much later, pitting British against the French in India, both sides being mostly Indian.  In another twist both armies were close to being mirror images of each other.

Dave had done all the organising and took on the role of Clive of India, assisted by Geoff and myself. The French were commanded by Richard, assisted by Andrew and Mark B.

I took command of the cavalry and elephants,

Our deployments were different unlike our almost identical armies. I was on the right flank (bottom of the picture) while the French kept their cavalry in reserve. 
I commenced an outflanking manoeuvre.

Almost immediately the Expert Clive found out he was only Fair.

My light cavalry got into the action early, but after some initial success, 
not much happened for a good while.

With a Poor command structure the risks of moving too fast were high

An attempt to hurry up put my outflanking force into disorder.

But we got there.

There had been lots of action on the other side of the battlefield 
and things were looking grim for the British.

Why I no longer put much store in Rolls of Destiny.  
I threw a six, rerolled and threw another six.
The same thing happened later.  
Lucky we only had three Rolls of Destiny.

The enemy are pulling back, however I am not in a position to exploit this.

In the very top left hand corner.  
A French cavalry unit is stuck before British muskets.  
It would have contacted on anything but a 1.
Possibly a game defining moment...

The last hurrah.
My cavalry sweep round the flank winning the Jewel of India for the British Crown, 
although Clive took all the recognition.

Thanks Dave for organising this fascinating battle.  Most enjoyable and challenging.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Songs of Humans and Undead Humans

Last night's game was based on the Ambush Scenario in Song of Blades and Heroes.

The humans were annoyed that the undead humans kept them awake at night with all their rattling and rambling.  Something had to be done.

That's my background story anyway.

Mark B took the humans and Stephen N the undead and I umpired and made up rules as we went (or rather I looked up the rules as required, which was rare as I'd kept everything very simple).

The skellies (Q3+,C2) ambush the warriors  (Q3+,C3).

The skellies had a few ironman contestants in their ranks (Q3+, C3)

But the humans kept together while the skellies attacked a bit piecemeal.

But more skellies were coming.

The fighting was vicious.

But the skellies were struggling

But they kept on fighting, even against the odds.

The skellies are getting a bit thin, even skeletal you might say.

But they were fighting hard, regardless of Stephen's poor dice rolling skills.

Almost parity in numbers.
Well, not quite, there are many more humans, however being armoured (Q4+,C4) they were slow, making them hard to get into action and they had a habit of failing their activation rolls 
(Mark showing his dice skills were a match for Stephen's)

The skellies fight on.
It helps being undead as they ignore gruesome kills,
and that had been happening a lot - did I mention Stephen's dice skills?

The last of the skellies.

Lots of fun and easy to build a story around the game.  Three humans were killed so maybe there should be three more skellies next time...

Also I see that I really need to finish their bases.  Help (as in product) is on the way!