Saka Light Cavalry

Saka Light Cavalry

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Last Call for Secret Santa and Hail Caesar I already know at Kev's Cabin

The Secret Santa for 2014 closes on Sunday 19th October so this is the last chance to join in the fun and Guarantee getting a wargames present from someone who takes the hobby as serious as you do.

We have 29 taking part this year and as each year has seen an increase in participants I feel this is now here to stay. What makes it great for me is that Cath my wife really enjoys running it and this allows me to play as well.

If you want in just leave a comment here letting me know and send me an email by the widget at the top of my page. You will be committing to send and receive a present of about £15 plus postage or equivalent value for those not buying in the UK. It has to be wargames related and can come from a list, idea from reading their blog (if they have one) or something you think they will really want.

I have started work on my Santa Clause present and it's really fun to be working on something for another gamer so thanks to Chris for running the other version of Christmas wargames fun.

Thursday just gone saw me head over to Kev's to play a Hail Caesar game with Kev's superb 1/72 figures. I was on Kev's side with the Celts facing Glen and Andrew (Loki) I have been invited over a few times but this was the first time I was able to make it and was somewhat taken back by how close it was to work. As in 15 minutes from work! This of course will make it extremely easy to get over for future games.

Kev has a great set up and Charlie is a very understanding and cool wife and the night was very relaxed and full of laughter. I knew they had not so very long ago jettisoned one of the players for failing to follow the ten commandments so obviously I did not want to disappoint and honestly they were so laid back it was a breeze to play with them. Yes we had a number of rule questions but all were sorted in a friendly way of players very at ease with each other.

Being my first game of Hail Caesar I was really interested in it's mechanics and feel. I also know it's Marmite in it's play, you either really like it or really don't! For me I can see why they play the rules, your going to get a game in an evening and it has a nice feel to it. Even though it's I go you go the command rules are slick enough that this by no means makes moving a forgone conclusion and that's the main Marmite issue. We have a similar rule in the Napoleonic rules so I was at home with the concept.

I forgot to take many pictures and these were on my phone so not the best but here you can see my warbands trying to stand up to the Roman's. I really liked how the rules work in the special Roman abilities and I can tell you hitting them face on and not killing them in the first round is not the best way of dealing with them.

I also had some light cavalry and chariots these should have made the top of the hill before the Romans but the dice, the dice. So instead I was happy to pelt the Auxiliaries from a distance which was wearing them down, these are easier to harm than the Legionnaires.

Kev had relied on my covering his flank but this turned out a bad move as I failed to move for two turns allowing Glen to crash into Kev's open flank and drive off the field two warbands and this was to be a major loss for us as the numbers were on the Roman side and whilst I was to get involved with Glen's force Andy was able to send all his troops against Kev with me unable to get troops across to help out. Kev against the odds won two rounds of combat but Andrew saved liek the best of them and as the casualties built up Kev was getting close to losing the rest of his infantry.

I was doing worse and soon all my infantry had been routed from the field whilst my cavalry slowly retreated from the victorious Romans. Kev tried to salvage some honour by standing against the Roman cavalry with his but even that was not to be and a total rout was achieved.

So a fun game that were no opportunity to ridicule an opponent was missed or ally for that matter. From that one game I think I may have the rules for the 6mm Ancients project and I have started to look for rules (one of the commandments LOL) and I can see once the Waterloo Project is finished I will be painting up a few other side projects such as a few boxes of Hoplites or something similar. I also have some 20mm SHQ WWII American Paratroops which may see the light of day on the painting desk.

A fun night that I look forward to doing again at some time in the not too distant though not for a few weeks as I have other wargame and work commitments that will keep me from the Cabin. A big thanks to the guys, Charlie and Bilbo for not eating me alive.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Secret Santa Catching Up

First of all thanks to everyone who has confirmed their details in the last few days and to the latest victims members of this ever growing club. This is the third year we have had the Secret Santa and it's nice to see how much it has grown. We have a lot of old faces amongst us again so it must be pressing the right buttons.

Below I have the names of a few I still need to contact me with their postal address and blog details so I can pass them on to Cath. If you know the people involved can you let them know, I will be leaving messages on their blogs but any help would be appreciated.

So we have just a few more days to join the fun and  one more will give us 30!!! For those who do not know the idea is to have someone assigned to you who you buy a wargames related present for at around £15 whilst someone else is buying for you. This means come Christmas day you get something under the tree that will be a surprise and not for your feet.

Interested? just leave a comment below or email me via the button top right side of the blog and I will pass you onto Cath my wife who runs the show. 

So if your name is below can you please email me as above so I can pass on all your details to Cath.

J Miller
Ron Carnegie
Fire Monkey Boy
Paul Smith

and that's the lot so I am really happy with the state of things at the moment as I would have expected a few more on the list at this point.

Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Baccus French Horse Artillery - Newish Release

Baccus released these new French Napoleonic Horse Artillery not that long ago but it's getting hard to keep up with the releases LOL.

These are HFR31H/S at £3 for a pack of four in the UK. These are a mix as I have subbed the howitzers from the foot battery for the horse as per a previous post. Like the foot, these are great clean miniatures 

In practice I will have one howitzer with a regular gun to simulate a battery but wanted to show the howitzers together. As you now expect from Baccus the guns are one piece castings. I never had an issue glueing the wheels on but the move to one piece casting was very popular.

As you can see here, they really are crisp. You can also see the Sabretacheon a couple of the figures shown. All four have them and makes a nice point of difference.

Here are the longer barrelled friends that will pair up with the howitzers again with 1812-15 Horse Artillery crews. These give me more than I actually need for the Waterloo game but the great thing with the French is that you always need more. Indeed I actually have a few more guns and crews to paint up at some point as well as the just released Guard ones I will be painting up soon.

So these are the last figures I will be including in the Waterloo game, well unless I get the urge for painting up even more. In the meantime it's the Prussians and then those spare Guard.

Monday, 13 October 2014

Secret Santa - The Last Week

I have decided to set the closing date early for the Secret Santa to allow plenty of time to get your target sorted out and that date will be this coming Sunday the 19th of October. 

If you have signed up please check below to make sure you are listed. If not send me an email or message on this post.

Not signed up yet but want in then leave a message below. The idea for anyone not aware is that each person involved gets a target randomly drawn by my wife Cath who they get to buy a wargames related present to the value of about £15 (or equivalent in foreign money). I suggest you buy the gift in the country of your target to cut down on postage though Cath does tend to group say the USA together if enough numbers involved etc to make life easier. Also she will re-draw anyone who has bought for the same person in either of the previous two years.

Anyway I have two lists below, one for those who have contacted only by the comments and those who have emailed. Anyone who has not emailed can you do so with your full details (Name, address and blog name if you have one) this will allow Cath to provide your gifter with the information they will need to sort your present out.

It is OK to put up a wish list on your blog, or email Cath to give to your gifter or let them decide. I can't recommend nipping on your targets blog and having a good rummage as you can come up with great ideas that way. My target last year was really happy with his present as it was something he was planning on getting at a later date which I had guessed from a previous post from earlier in the year. Result was two happy bloggers LOL.

Got Your Email Details at Least.
Brendan Watts
Jake Bledsoe
Andy McMaster
Conrad Kinch
Chris Stolsen
Ray Rousell (can you email Cath or me as an email bounced that Cath sent you)
Stefan (AKA Monty)
Dave Docherty
Flags of War Iain
Thomas Nissvik
Markus Sharaput
Patrick Ballinger
Stuart Markham
Gary Amos
Ian Willey

Not Got Your Email please contact me.
Thomas Richer
J Miller
Leif Eriksson
Ron Carnegie
Edwin King
Fire Monkey Boy
Paul Smith
Largo W
Mike Whitaker

of course I could have your email lost somewhere on this computer so if your on the bottom list just be sure and send again and I will send on to the boss.

Not on either list and you should be, again let me know. Also if you want to join in and it's before the 19th October 2014 then please join the fun. It would be great to crack the 30 mark.

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Gifts at a Wargames Show

As I mentioned in the post about Castle Donnington I received some gifts, well my son received them really but I can dream can't I? These are tremendous gifts from Loki and even at his tender age my son really appreciates them. At the moment his Saga army is Anglo-Dane but I can see him moving onto Vikings, or at least using mine some of the time. Not that it will stop him using these guys in the odd game anyway. In fact I expect a few test games coming up next weekend as it's my sons birthday Friday so it would be a great treat for him to start playing with his figures.

The quality of the painting speaks for itself. I was already planning on commissioning Andrew to paint up a point or two of Vikings for me, now I need to as my son has more Loki figures than I do!

Great quality and would be a prize for anyone's army. I think he will be using this guy as the leader of his best troops and why not he looks the part.

This guy though is my favourite and has helped me decide I need some berserker's, he is just too cool not to want a bunch of them! The effect Andrew has got on the trousers is so very good and I plan to study it for some of the other figures I have yet to paint for my force.

Great clinic in how to paint flesh and wood are also rolled into this figure. OK I won't be able to match such brush control but I sure can improve my skills just by taking note. This year has been such a focus on 6mm that all other scales have suffered a little but fortunately I will be spreading over a wider range as next year gets closer and whilst 6mm will be seeing a lot of painting action 2015 will see lots of the other scales as well.

Andrew also supplied something for us to fight over as well. Two highland cows from Warbases, indeed I think famous from a Warbases Wednesday post and if that was not enough....

A pair of Boars or Wild Pigs, again from the Warbases animal range. I have finally cracked open my Warbase horses blisters and have cleaned and primed them, no excuse now not to get them all painted up and ready for the next shoot out. 

So a very big thank you to Andrew and if you want to own something as grand as these then you can commission Andrew or Kev over at Brigantes Studio, just don't jump ahead of me in the queue LOL.

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Building Of The Week Sarissa Precision Old West Store

Well 7 days without a post, sorry about that but I have been so busy at work on a computer that I was just not able to get it together to sit in front of another computer. Fortunately I have still had some time for hobby related activities but less so than normal. I have still managed good progress into painting Hougoumont with both sets of buildings having the walls and roofs worked on but have now put them to one side to allow me to work on the Prussians which are half way through being cleaned up.

Last night I started work on one of the buildings bought last weekend, this is Sarissa Precision D001 Old West 28mm (£8) and is the smallest building they do for Western games. I bought 3 different versions though they all have the same basic shape but the doors and windows are different. They also do a small Plus version that has a veranda I will possibly buy one or two of these next time.

And more I am sure there will be, as they are a good value do it yourself alternative to the excellent 4Ground buildings, though of course much simpler in their offering. As these are for use with the kids (me and Lee will hijack them every now and again) I wanted to inject a little humour into the buildings so here we have somewhere you can get a replacement gun should you find yours keeps missing the target.

The building has one small window on one side which can be placed on either side of the building. I washed the walls with watered down Mahogany (70.846) from Vallejo which gave the desired weathered look to the sides. My thinking was that the owner would try and keep the front of the building in better condition than the sides or rear.

My only bugbear of the whole model is the back door. It's actually wider than the two doors at the front added together. Not a deal breaker but an unnecessary gaff in my opinion. Of course I made it worse by painting it bright colours, oh well.

I painted up the back of the sign and roof a fairly none de-script grey, I think I may add a thin wash to it but in real life it's not got the bright look it seems to have here.

Nice to see the floorboards on the inside, again I may do some more work on these with a wash of ink that will bring out the wood a little better. I gave the inside four coats of Foundation White as I wanted it to not look too dark when the roof was on. Seems to have worked so worth the extra time taken.

Have you spotted what's missing? yes it's the back door on the inside, just like the missing front doors. It's one of those things that I think would be worse to try and paint in rather than leave blank. If I can pick up some door blanks I will do so and add them to the rear of the buildings and then I would consider painting in the doors.

Don't take the whole door issue to much to heart, when a building is just £8 you can accept such minor issues though at least the door width could be easily corrected. Sarissa Precision is based quite local to where I live so it's nice to see them doing so well. Their full range is large, even the Western has a lot of variants that would make a large town if you so wished, though actual houses seem not to be over optioned to say the least.

So can anyone come up with a few names for some of these buildings, I am thinking Custer's General Stores, Lynn Seed, Dry Goods but can you give me any better?

Don't forget still time to join in the Secret Santa and Blog Giveaway, see the previous post for links.

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Castle Donnington Show and Shopping

It's taken a few days to get round to doing my report on Donnington World Wargames Championship. Indeed I am still getting over the day as it was as tough on the body as it was on the wallet!!!

As for many old hands the shows real big moments has to be meeting up with lots of friends who I only get to see at the shows. This one was no different other than a few who I did not get to see. My son was really good as he is getting used to this part of the show and he likes to meet up with people he has met at previous show. Still expecting a seven year old to stand still whilst Dad talks to mates when all you want to do is spend money and play games is a trial. 

Fortunately Derek was running a WWI gallop game that he was able to get not one but two games in whilst I was talking to Peter at Baccus and being relieved of funds. My son has now played three WWI games in his short career that's one more than I have in well over 20 years of play. More on his WWI doings later in this post.

We had planned on his getting revenge on me at Dead Man's Hand but though we visited the table five times during the show no one was at the table nor any information to say why the figures a tape measure and a Quick Reference Sheet were left abandoned. So we left without getting in a game, more shame to running a so called display game.

So I was very pleased The Manchester Mob put on a very fun Squig Race  that after many changes in fortune saw my son win after both his Nephew and Father take the lead but be found wanting at the final hurdle. The smile on his face was well worth the whole trip and he saved his treasure of a chocolate was saved till he got home so he could proudly show his prize to his sister and mum.

From comments I gather it was a lot busier than the year before. I can't honestly remember but it was nice and busy. However Sunday according to one friend was very quite but easy to shop. Dr. Mike was showing his skills and sharing ideas in his 6mm clinic. It's always good to see new converts and 6mm painters honing their skills as this can only strengthen the hobby and he has to be recognised for the tireless efforts he puts in. My son wanted to have a go at painting some WWI 6mm figs as he received some at The Joy of Six. When I finish the base in a day or two I will blog them as I have to say I am very proud of his work and it should be a lesson to any who say they can't paint that scale.

I will also do a separate post on some fabulous gifts from a mate for my son to enjoy. He also was given some more 6mm figures by Peter at Baccus, not sure of the need as the boy is hooked on 6mm but Thanks Peter I am thinking I will be getting into more periods in 6mm than I can hope to get through LOL. That I guess leads me onto what I bought, well here goes.

First up is the KR Multicase figure box. Mostly this is to hold the roleplaying figures that are otherwise going to be subject to more mishaps and a general reduction in looks as they really need to be accessible but out of the way. I have also put our Saga and cowboy figures in it but this is more a temporary home that will chop and change as we need to take one or the other on the road as I can see the odd game being played over at Lee's of both.

I needed static grass and a few paints so was happy to pick up one summer and two autumn grass with Lee buying the same so these have been added to my original fast diminishing stocks that will see me through the next 1-2 years. Also in the carrier bag given on entry was a pack of bases, I ended up with three packs all told. Also in the bags were some Napoleonic French Line Infantry trees that my son will have the chance to paint up once I have assembled them. I picked up five of the six paints I was after, the one I did not get I still have a reasonable amount left so no worries there.

The new French Napoleonic figures just released by Baccus was available so I grabbed them these being Guard Infantry in Greatcoats NFR28 skirmishers for sameNFR29, Guard foot and horse artillery NFR34T and NFR33S none of which I need for Project Waterloo but I will get some of each painted up regardless.

Sticking with Baccus I also picked up a few packs of ancients, enough to put together a decent sized pike phalanx, six elephants and saka horse archers. These I will start work on in the distant future when I want to do something different. I expect to start them sometime next year before any of the major shows I will be able to get to.

Can anyone guess what I have bought these sweeping brush bristles for? It was a great idea Dr. Mike let me in on and if it works for me as well as it has for him I will be a very happy boy.

The Baccus French might not be for Project Waterloo but this is. It's the Timecast La Belle Alliance Inn and it's quite likely to be the only building on the boards that will not be Leven. Mike has no plans as things stand on doing the building so I have got it from Timecast. Not that I want you to think I have anything against Timecast far from it, but we do need this building for the game and to be honest it would have been great to only use Leven as we simply have hundreds of them between us. This is a very nice model and will be fun to paint up once I have space on the table for it.

Four coffins for the cowboys, after all you need things to hide behind and put the losing side in. I thought £4 for four coffins was a real bargain and they look like they will paint up a treat. I really do like how the Warebases range is growing and look forward to getting more things from them in the future.

Last and no means least was five buildings and a gallows from Sarissa Precision. I bought four smaller buildings and one larger store, these are basic kits but perfect for what we want. I noticed Lee was looking at them and licking his lips, no doubt he will be getting some of his own in the future. Actually I doubt I will stick at these but lets see how many I get done and what I make of them first. I have made up the one building just to see and will start to paint it up once I have the table clear of the 6mm hoard I am working on at the moment.