Saka Light Cavalry

Saka Light Cavalry

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Chatter Behind the Bikesheds - Blogging V Facebooking

Something I have been mulling over for the last few months or longer has been the relationship between running a blog and posting on open feeds and pages on Facebook. Both have their advantages and draw. However how well do they sit together?

Blogging has been here for quite some time and peeps like me have managed to rack up quite a few posts over the years. However Groups and Pages on Facebook have really taken off in the last couple of years and a good number of quality communities have sprung up making such sites as TMP rather less the place to hang, (ducks and runs for cover).

We all know Video Killed the Radio Star but is Facebook standing over the mortally wounded Blogger with a knife dripping blood? Probably not but I do think if you swap the knife for a pool cue and a few hours in A&E and you would be closer to the truth than most would want to admit.

But for all the attractiveness of Facebook Groups I wonder how many will wake up in the morning to see the beaut from the night before actually is a bag of spanners? I mean you can't really argue against the speed of response to a quick post. The likes seem to come faster than light and if you time it right the comments can be thick and fast. 

Set against this Blogging gets very few likes as the images get seen by a lot less people, likewise comments seem to be mostly the same few who regularly comment, it's so often the same crowd. OK lets rewind a bit, you mean it's the same peeps most of the time, these guys must really be into the stuff we write then. Now THAT is cool and it's even cooler when an old post gets a comment, especially when it also is from a new follower. 

That's the biggest weakness of Facebook, one post gets plucked out by Facebook every now and again to point out you have been mates with X for x years and here's a post you shared. other than that your pretty much bolloxed regards looking back in time on posts you have thrown into the wide world. 

What I really find useful is situations like when I was wanting to know which way the flags should go on the colonels battalion for my SYW Prussians. On the excellent Seven Years War Wargaming group a quick question was very well answered. A great resource and shows Facebook at it's best for gamers.

Blogging will always have it's place, at the moment I do think it's at possibly it's lowest ebb and will remain so for some time but as bloggers start to realise they are missing chunks of their own hobby history I believe more will either return to blogging or blog that bit more often. I make no secret my main reason for blogging is self serving. I do it because I enjoy it and enjoy the feedback.

My recent posting rate has dropped way off to one post a week from the heyday of five plus a week and average of three a week. That is despite having plenty to blog about and more to do with the lack of time to keep my blogs fully updated, play the games I do and actually paint up figures. I can live with that, though my aim is to get back to three posts a week. Lets see how I do with that over the coming month LOL.

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

6mm Hoplites by Baccus and Partizan

As part of my Persian army pack by Baccus was enough Hoplites to paint up two units. These are AGR01 Greek Hoplites Advancing and as such come in the normal four figure across strips rather than the four deep if the attacking version (AGR02). This makes it much easier to paint the shields.

I also found them that little bit faster to paint which is always a bonus. So each unit is twelve figures across and four deep to give me 48 figures a unit. Half the number of one of my Macedonian phalanx.

This time I stayed away from the joke shields, though I resorted to using Greek alphabet letters to add doable variety to the blocks.  

The Hoplites are based on 60x30 bases so no space to add dice cells which is unfortunate. Typical of Baccus these have good detail that the use of simple drybrush picks out detail to aid painting them up.

This gives me four blocks which for the time being is enough. My next work on this project will me Persian, a mix of infantry and more cavalry but I also need to get some chariots and command done. Once they are painted up then we can look at getting a couple of games in.

So Partizan was over the weekend and it seems it went down with others the same as me, a great day and I am happy with the new venue. It also proves that a move to this type of venue does not mean a loss of atmosphere. The hall was buzzing and it took till around 3pm before it started to slacken off. 

Add in the Bloggers meet up and other arranged meets and it was almost a perfect day. My purchases were very much restrained, just some more dice cells and mini casualty markers from Warbases and the Warlords Black Powder expansion The Last Argument of Kings. Must be the first show I have not bought any figures from, not that I am going short at the moment.

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Casualty Markers for SYW

I only have two battalions of infantry and two guns and already I am on with the casualty markers! Well seeing as we will be using Black Powder (at least to start with) I thought they would look better than dice and have the advantage of keeping the correct score if knocked a bit.

These are again Old Glory via Timecast  and are actually from the artillery pack but are obviously casualties. So much so that I did not want to use them on the gun bases, but as I am using just three figures on the smaller guns these were spare. They also do a casualty pack so will probably pick one of those up in the future once I am well into painting the figures I have in hand.

Again these are nice sculps with plenty of detail. I wanted to tart them up a bit so added flocking powder to a grass tuft for a flower effect. The base is one of the smaller dial markers from Warbases (30mm diameter) and yes I will be buying more at Partizan this weekend.

The fourth one saw me use a spare drummer from the two battalions I painted up first. Originally he was going on a command stand but I could not resist getting him finished off. I still have a number of spare unpainted figures that could make it to command bases but these have yet to be painted.

I have just prepped up three battalions of Prussians from the Lancashire Games army pack so these will be started at some point this week. Size wise they work fine with the Old Glory ones, well the infantry do, not checked the guns or cavalry yet. Talking of cavalry I have a regiment of Hussars also on the table so will have to get these started as well. I even have a couple of old limbers that will be painted up soon just to have them ready. 

Monday, 16 May 2016

Partizan Blogging Meet

So this coming weekend is Partizan. It's a bit different this year as it's at The Showground and not it's old location at Kelham Hall. Those who have visited Hammerhead recently will be aware of the benefits of this venue. Shame about the old location as it has a lot of charm but I think the plus out paces the negatives. It's also a little bit special as Pete (Panzer Kaput) has organised a Northern Bloggers Meet for 1pm at his game (always a treat for the peepers) from where we will mooch off to a secondary location to chat and general banter. Even though it's a NORTHERN blog meet some of the natives from down south are attending, yep looking at you Tamsin! 

It goes without saying that I will be in attendance with The Boy and Lee. I may be a bit cranky as it's the last day of a week off, but at least I will finish in style.

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

SYW Prussian Guns

As promised last week, here are my SYW Prussian guns. With these I think I temporarily pass Lee on units finished. However I do know he has a few guns in the almost finished so unless I get on with some more bits he will have the lead over me again.

These are again Old Glory as supplied by Timecast and like the infantry have a great amount of detail. I have another four guns to do, another heavy and three lighter guns as well as four horse artillery guns. Lots to go at then but I won't need to paint up many more for awhile as I need to paint up bits of what I don't have.

I have used four figures for the heavy gun and just three for the lighter one. All guns have the same size base so this will help show the difference between the two sizes.

Both guns and crews painted up fairly quickly which was a big plus after the slow work on the two infantry battalions. I now have to decide what to paint next, I have a regiment of Hussars prepped but I have also received the Lancashire Games army pack so may paint up some of the infantry to see how fast they paint up. I will also move onto their cavalry as I only have the heavier cavalry via Lancashire so far.

Were still a month or possibly two away from having a game which will allow more painted figures to be on the table which is good. Just over a week to Partizan which will probably see a few more bits bought for the project but the main event will be meeting up with fellow bloggers at the Northern(ish) Bloggers Meet, very similar to the Salute Meet.

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Two More Phalanx's Finished

I managed to get these painted up in a few sessions all within a week. Much better output than I managed with the 15mm SYW Prussians that took 3+ weeks to get done. As usual these are Baccus, a mix of advancing and stood to get the depth and look I am after.

That being said I will probably paint up a few units all in the stood pose as I think it will add to the overall effect if all units don't have pikes at the slope. 

These are painted with green tunics and are a start of a third division. As per the others I have 96 figures to a block. Twelve across and eight deep. The phalanx actually fought eight deep, it will be interesting when I get them all done and put side by side. I may have enough for one full real phalanx!

With these two blocks I have now reached the half way point of my target of twenty blocks. That's over 960 figures as a few have extra commanders on the base. I have enough figures I think for another four blocks. I probably won't buy any more at Partizan, need to check my stock before deciding for sure. 

I am changing my focus over to the Persians with the aim of getting another four plus Persian infantry and about six cavalry units painted up so to be able to start playtesting some ancient battles in this scale. Next up on the painting table is another two Hoplite blocks, just finishing off my first guns for my SYW Prussians so looks to have three finishes in three weeks!

Monday, 2 May 2016

New Buys

Not one set of rules but two. Went round to Lee's for a game and was taken by surprise that he had set up a Flames of War game. To date we had just played the one game even though Lee has invested quite heavily in both troops and terrain. However as neither of us had actually read the rules recently (well over a year for me) and the mix of units was so dense I questioned the practicalness of playing as we already are not huge fans of the rules. My point being a poor game will just make us less likely to want to do so again and given the investment Lee has made that would be really not a good result.

So we talked about the rules and the HMG incident came up, this is where four MG's took out a large amount of infantry in one turn due to the bucket(s) of dice thrown over the table. Then other irritants got brought up and I started to wonder if playing a game with little or no prep would have done much more damage. The end result was Lee reminiscing over his Rapid Fire days even pulling out the supplements though the rules are AWOL.

Fast forward a couple of weeks and we both have new copies and on reading them I am confident not only will we like them but we can work with the FOW based figures so no rebasing. The only real negative is that Lee won't be needing anything like the number of vehicles he has bought, then again he still had too many for FOW but that's our Lee :-)

The second set of rules I have already played with Kev and Andy so know what I am getting into. These are of course for our SYW project. However my copy came with a box of Warlord Waterloo Napoleonic figures, all nice and sealed. Given my scale is 6mm for Naps these are surplus to requirements so if anyone wants  a box for £15 plus postage at cost just let me know and they are yours.

I have also bought a SYW Prussian army from Lancashire Games with the idea that these will paint up a lot quicker than the Old Glory and give me a good base of troops to expand on for our campaign. However like a prat I ordered the wrong army. Allan at LG has been very understanding and is replacing the army with the correct one, great service for sure. So whilst I await the army I have made a start on a couple of guns. Given my current painting rate it's going to be a slow run but I will now concentrate on a single unit at a time. 

I also have managed to paint up a couple of 6mm Phalanx's so it's not all stationary traffic.