Saturday, 31 March 2012

Guerilla Warfare

The Guerillas are done.

And the whole unit...

I say whole unit because I plan on using these in tiny units of 6 with the Brave special rule. The idea being that they have a limited fighting capacity, but are difficult to disperse entirely.

The militia brigade will have 6 battalions and 4 guerilla skirmishers. Though I may split this to be 3 and 2.


Friday, 30 March 2012


The Spanish Guerillas are almost complete.

Which is not something I can say about the Warriors of Chaos list.

The rumours have it that there will be a new book this year - apparently August - so I have made the decision to buy the models I like as a painting project, and then see what turns up in the new book. Hopefully there will be some Monsterous Cavalry, and in an ideal world the inclusion of these would push Chaos Knights into core; allowing you to bulod a super hitty cavalry army. Even better would be the option to allow Marauder cavalry to have bows, allowing you to buld a Chaos Mongol army.


Thursday, 29 March 2012

Training the Next Generation

I have managed a little painting of my Spanish Guerillas, but the weather has been too nice to do any prolonged painting.

Instead I have been flexing my gaming mojo but having a game of throw the ball in the flower pot with my four year old. He is clearly a rules lawyer in the making, as the rules changed after practically every throw, until he was the only one who got a try and was allowed to stand right next to the pot and just drop the ball in. I lost 10-3.

Still while the flower pot campion was scorring on his scooter I did manage to sit on the step in the warm sunshine and sketch out a shopping list for completeing the Spanish project and getting to skim read through the Black Powder rule book and make some notes.


Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Chaotic Thinking

It's driving me round the bend trying to work out a Warriors of Chaos army.

I know that I don't want Chaos Knights, as they are lacking in this age of monsterous cavalry. And I am pretty sure that when the new book comes my guess is that Warriors will get their own monsterous cavalry. But without the Knights the army is pretty slow moving.

For fluff reasons I want a large Chosen unit, and like the idea of filling out the core with marauders and skirmishing marauder cavalry. But you very quickly run out of points trying to squeeze it all in. Especially when you start adding in characters.

Writing lists for the Ogres is easier than this - or maybe I've just had more practice.

The pictures of the new Empire releases is also rather tempting. They don't attract me as much as the idea of a nurgle themed Chaos army, but those Demigryffs look very nice.


Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Festering Consumerism

I mentioned recently that I was thinking of starting another fantasy army.

My initial plan was Orcs and Goblins with a core of Savage Orcs. However looking through the new book I found myself disappointed by many of the options and uninspired. Plus the Orcs and Goblins are too similar to Ogres.

The game on Sunday has kind of rekindled in Warrior's of Chaos.

So I have spent today looking through the book, scribbling lists, and pricing stuff up. The plan is to build a fluffy Nurgle themed army. And to built it unit by unit, with some conversions.

As much as I am enjoying painting the Spanish, it would be nice have something entirely different.


Monday, 26 March 2012

Saints and Sinners

The second militia battalion is finished.

I'm pleased with how the icon on the banner turned out. It's a copy of an icon of Saint Theresa of Avila. Part of me thinks it needs some writing or other iconography added, but no doubt I will change my mind whhen I fold it.


Sunday, 25 March 2012

The Battle of Foggy Farm

I got down the club today, and cracked open the Ogres.

It's been a while since I have even thought about Warhammer so it was perhaps ideal that I was up against James and his Warriors of Chaos army. James is a nice bloke and, unlike many Warhammer players, is willing to discuss things in an adult manner so that we both got a batter idea of what was meant to happen - it helped too that Darren was there to lend a hand when situations arose that we were unsure of.

His army was slightly different to what I had envisaged, as he had only one large Marauder block - Korne with halberds - instead of the two that I thought he would run. He had two blocks of Marauder horsemen, one with axes, one with spears. A largish unit of Warriors. A small unit of dogs. A level 4 sorceror and a level 1 on a disc, both Tzeentch.

We rolled for deployment - meeting engagement. I won the roll off and deployed first.

This was perhaps the best scenrio for my army, as it offered the opportunity to get into combat quickly, thus overcoming the 'disadvantage' in the magical battle.

The initial deployment can be seen in the picture below.

After the deployments, I placed the scouting maneaters behind the warriors unit, intending to bring down the level 1 on the disc with pistol shots.

The Mournfangs declared a charge on the Marauder horsemen with axes. After some indecision as to what the marauders should do, James decided that they should stand and take the charge. His problem was that if the Marauders fled, there was a good chance either of their being caught, or fleeing off the table. Add to this that they were masking a unit of Chaos Knights, that he wished not to be charged.

This was the first time he had faced Ogres and was perhaps unaware of how fast the army can move.

In the movement phase I played things cautiously, shuffling the line to set up potential flank charges, and trying to set up a threat zone into which James would be reluctant to advance with his warriors.

In the magic phase the firebelly got Flame Cage off on the Marauders irresistibly. This caused a few casualties, but more importantly pinned the unit. The firebelly took a wound from the miscast.

In the shooting phase the Leadbelchers blasted away at the dogs without much effect. The Ironblaster was more successful. It took a shot at the sorceror in the woods, and though it missed him it took out eight or nine of them. The Maneaters manged a get a wound on the disc rider.

The combat bewteen the Marauders and the Mournfang went in favour of the Ogres. The Marauders were reduced to a single figure by the impact hits. The riders did their best to give them a sporting chance by whiffing their attacks, but the hungry mounts ate the remianing rider, leaving the unit to slam into the stationary Chaos Knights.

This a picture of the end of the Ogre turn 1

In the Chaos turn, the dogs charged the Leadbelchers. The Marauder cavalry, with spears, flanked around the house to threaten the flank of the bulls. The Marauders in the flame cage opted to stay put. The level 4 jumped form the woods to the safety fo the marauder block. While the level 1 flew over the Maneaters. And the Warriors moved up.

I managed to nullify the magic phase pretty much. The level 4 managed to get one spell off irresistibly, I don't recall that it did much more than kill a few of the chaps standing around the wizard due to the miscast.

The cavalry threw some spears at the bulls, and managed a wound.

Which led to the combat phase. The Leadbelchers killed the dogs. The Mournfangs killed three of Knights with impact hits before killing off the rest of the unit in the comabt at the cost of a single wound. The unit reformed for a flank charge at the Marauder block.

Going into turn 2 the table looked like this.

It was at this point that I made several mistakes.

The plan I had was that the Mournfangs should be used to take out the Marauders. I was pretty certain that they could do enough casualties to win the combat despite static res. However, perhaps because the level 4 had joined the unit, I decided to double up on the Marauders with the Maneaters and the Mournfangs. Thinking back I should have used a swift reform on the Maneaters to allow them to have another shot at killing the Level 1 on the disc with their pistols.

The other mistake I made was to put the Bulls into the house. The logic of this is something I can't quite explain. They would have been better employed facing off the Marauder cavalry as a meatshield. Perhaps I thought they would have a psychological effect on the Warriors who would sooner or later parade past the window as the Bulls waved at them from the windows.

In the magic phase I managed to get a flame cage on the warriors, at the cost of another wound to the Firebelly from the miscast.

The shooting was again a non event.

The comabt between the Maneaters and Mournfangs and the Marauders was pretty one sided. The Mournfangs lost more casualties to the charge through the woods than the combat. Though the unit was not wiped out, which led to another mistake. I opted to pursue with the Maneaters with the aim of hitting the warriors in the flank, while the Mournfangs pursued the Marauders with the intention of running them down.

The problem was that though the Maneaters were able to pin the warriors and prevent them charging, the Mournfangs in their destruction of the Marauders created a huge jam in the centre of the bag I had created around the Warriors, and prevented the Tyrant and the Iron Guts from charging.

The tactical mess can be seen here...

It would have been better on reflection not to have pursued. This may well have created a problem when the level 4 rallied, but the unit would have certainly beeen destroyed by an Iron Gut charge - assuming they survived the magic phase. It also compounded the earlier mistake of the dual charge. For it would have been better for the Mournfangs to go in alone, and assuming they won the combat, to break the Marauders in the second round of combat and force them to flee in a direction away form the centre of the bag.

The mistake of putting the Bulls in the house was also played out, when the cavalry simply moved around the flank and took a position at the rear of the Leadbelchers. The Maneaters were killed to a man by the warriors in the combat phase.

In my turn I managed to clear some charge and firing lanes on the Warriors, but despite getting another flame cage on the Warriors, they ignored this and charged the Leadbelchers, while the cavalry stuck to them in the rear. The leadbelchers put up a decent fight, with the Firebelly doing well in the challenge, they were run down. However the Warriors did not pursue sufficiently to escape a flank charge by the Iron Guts which broke them. Though they were not caught in flight, they were charged again as they rallied and destroyed.

At which point James called it a day. And their we rolled out the last few turns to see what may have happened, it was clear the day belonged to the Ogres.

A very enjoyable game, for a number of reasons. Obviously a victory makes things sweeter, but more importantly I was pleased to see that it is possible to play without a Level 4. Despite the Bulls househunting adventures it was noticable that without the BSB, two or three butcher set up that I have been using as a principle of the army build, that the extra unit is useful - even if as a means of points denial. And to be honest I really feel uneasy at running the multi character bunker of Iron Guts.


Saturday, 24 March 2012

Gut Instinct

So having drawn up a list for tomorrow's game, I have been battling with myself not to change it.

The problem is that I know that once I change one unit, that in next to no time I will have changed the whole list to be pretty much the list I always end up coming back to. Which is pretty much defeating the point of experimenting.

The basic problem I have when thinking about the Ogres is that in my ideal world The core of the army would be a block of Ironfists, flanked by 2 units of 6 Bulls, that would act sort of in the way that Empire detachments. But because of the points values, and the other elements that I would like to include, this build is pretty much impossible.

However, as we all know perfection is pretty much impossible.

As for a plan for the game.

I know that 4 Mournfang can pretty much take out a horde of Marauders. And I know that the Ogres are more mobile and can out manouvre a Warriors army. The question is how to use the scouting maneaters in conjunction with one or more of the other units. And if I can keep the Tyrant alive long enough.


Friday, 23 March 2012

Fluff Bunny Ogres

As I mentioned the other day after a two week hiatus I shall be heading down the club on Sunday, for game of Warhammer.

The game is a 2k game against James' Warriors of Chaos army. From memory the army has a block of warriors, two blocks of marauder infantry, and some cavalry. It's a pretty fluffy army, in so much as James built it with a specific story in mind, and doesn't appear to have branched into the more WAACO avenues of the army.

So here is the list I have come up with.

Tyrant with Iron Fist, Heavy Armour, Fencers Blades, Talisman of Endurance, Crown of Command.
Firebelly Level 2, Dispel Scroll, Ruby Ring.

8 Iron Guts with standard and musician.
6 Bulls with Iron Fist and musician.
5 Leadbelchers with musician.
4 Mournfangs with Iron Fist, Heavy Armour, and musician.
4 Maneaters with scout, Immune to Pschology, musician and Brace of Pistols.

2000 point.

So there you have it. No BSB, not much magic but I said I wanted to try something different. My guess is that the game will either be an epic slugfest or over pretty quickly.

Who knows we may even get in two games - or three:)


Thursday, 22 March 2012

Mix and Match

The first militia battalion is done.

I'm rather pleased with the result. And it has inspired me to have a slight rethink of the army into having a regular infantry brigade and guerilla brigade - and a combination of the two as the circumstance demands.

And I have touched up the Light infantry (oooooh missus) that got frosted at the spraying stage.

The recent frosting accidents have pretty much led me to start looking for the same products but in liquid form. Not least because this unit doesn't look anywhere as good as they did when they were first painted. Still on the positive side, I doubt they are going to chip, as they now have about five or six layers of varnish.


Time to crack open excel and have a look at creating a list for the game at the weekend.


Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Raising the Militia

The painting is done on the first of the militia battalions.

I was thinking today, while doing the school run, about the issue of this style of small units - and whether it is gamey. When it struck me that the disadvantages - the ease of outflanking through the smaller footprint for instance - outweigh the potential advantage of the shooting.

Which is nice.


Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Run Away

After a fortnight's hiatus, I have arranged a game down the club on Sunday.

And after a two month hiatus the Ogres will be seeing daylight.

I'll have a look at the list later in the week, but I have a desire to try something different. I'm thinking of playing a Tyrant, and maybe not having a BSB. I realise this is heresy in 8th ed but it is something I haven't tried, and I really want to experiment, and get out of the 'safety first' mores that have become gospel.


Monday, 19 March 2012

More Changes

The Spanish light infantry are done.

There's a bit of frosting which I will deal with a few days. It was much worse, but I gave then a drenching in putity seal and it has cleaned up much of it.

I might also look at getting a lighter shade of green to break up the flatness.

But other than that I am quite pleased with them.

Working on these and the Irlanda regiment I found that 12 figures a really nice number to paint. Add to this that I like the asthetic of 6 figures to a base, means that I have revised my plans for the militia elements of the Spanish army.

Originally the plan was to have the militia in units of 16, 4 to a base, with four bases to a unit. But now the plan is to have units of 12, 6 to a base, with two bases in a unit. Which I think will emphasise the ad hoc, ramshackle nature of the Spanish forces. It also means that the militia units will only have two formations, march column and line.

It remains to be seen if this turns out to be slightly gamey, due to the unit footprint being smaller - 3 militia units will have the same frontage as 1 'standard', thus giving them the advantage of 6 shooting dice compared to 3. Though the lack of stamina will to some extent balance this out.


Saturday, 17 March 2012

A Distant Rumble

I've been working on a unit of Spanish light infantry.

The base coat is almost done.

During smoke/tea breaks I have found myself pricing up Orcs. And more specifically Savage Orcs. Which is odd because I haven't really thought about WFB for a month or so. Yet I really do - and always have - liked the Savage Orc models.

The problem I have is the animosity rule.

In one sense this is a good thing, as I am not an uber competative player, I like randomness and I know the army will suit my idea of fun. But...

The list I am working on in my head is Savage Orcs, Savage Orc Boar Boyz, Chariots, Mangler Squigs and Trolls. It's all pretty much up and at them.

Of course there is still a lot of Spanish Napoleonics to paint, so there is plenty of time to think about things.

However, at the end of the day, I just like painting Orcs.


Thursday, 15 March 2012

Forward to Baylen

The first battalion of Spanish is done.

It is the Irlanda regiment.

I was particularly pleased with the freehand on the flag.

Hurrah for the illuminated magifying headband thingy....


Wednesday, 14 March 2012

A Pleasant Surprise

There was a time when Miniature Wargames was as much part of my hobby as the figures and the games.

Indeed it was probably issue 19 that got me seriously involved in wargaming. And somewhere probably at my mother's I have every issue form the first to something like 120.

However it is some years since I actually bought a copy. And on the rare occassion that I have had a nose at it in Smiths I have found myself rolling my eyes at the poor quality of the content.

So imagine my surprise when today I picked up the recent copy and found it both entertaining and informative. Had I not been brassic I would have bought it.


Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Wild Geese

The basecoat of the fusiliers is done...

They are converted Victrix French.


Monday, 12 March 2012

Ginger Moustaches on Parade

The grenadiers are done...

Cue blurry picture.....

The detail will become clearer when the ink settles in a couple of months.... hopefully.


Sunday, 11 March 2012

Invisible Paint

I fancied trying a bit of free hand on the grenadiers hats...

You'll have to take my word for how marvellous it looks ;)


Saturday, 10 March 2012

Half Dressed

The Spanish project has started...

These are the half painted grenadiers for the Irlanda regiment.

With my new fancy brushes and the illuminated maginfier headband thingy - plus this is the only project that I currently have on the go - I have decided to have a go at giving the army a high quality paintjob.


Friday, 9 March 2012

Background Noise

While painting I like to have some background noise.

Podcasts are ideal, as are cop shows but I am starting to find history programs very annoying. Particularly those put out by the BBC.

I realise that it is fashionable to critise the BBC for pumping out left wing propoganda but I found myself wondering why valuable time that should have been set aside to broadcasting informative history, was instead wasted on She Wolves: Englands Early Queens. No doubt Dr Helen Castor, who is billed as an historian, is knowledgeable on her subject. But this was more women's studies than history.

And I did wonder why Jeremy Paxman allowed himself to get involved in the deeply flawed and racist series Empire.

Is it really too much to ask that the ten year olds who do the commisioning stop looking for 'fashionable' angles and instead make programs that educate and inform?

Meh... it's the BBC, so I guess the answer is yes.


Thursday, 8 March 2012

In Praise of the Defeated

I have always been rather sceptical of Napoleon's greatness as a general.

He was the master of Forrest's maxim about getting their fastest with the mostest but if one looks at the Battle of Smolensk, you can't help but wonder at his sanity.

My reason for mentioning this iconoclasm is that I have been in search of suitable scenarios, and generally reading up on the history of the Peninsular war, and the thing that is most noticable is how few battles the French actually won. Whilst it is true that Napoleon was not commanding in many of these encounters, the noticable characteristic of the French victories was that they were generally outnumbering the enemy due to a strategic masterstroke (which is clearly the sign of good generalship) (but... yah no?).

Ok, in part this obseravtion is due to my seeking to understand the nature of the Spanish army I am in the process of building. But it is odd who history has dealt with the French army in the Penisula compared to the Spanish.


Wednesday, 7 March 2012

A Project Completed

And so the French are finished.

I might look to add a few bits and pieces in the future, maybe some horse artillery, another command group, and possibly some siege guns.

All that remains is to get some pictures of the whole army.


Tuesday, 6 March 2012

The Young Guard Prepare to March

And with a stroke of the brush the French are finished.... (bar the basing)

And so my thoughts turn to the Spanish.


Monday, 5 March 2012

Boning Up

I was pleased to find that the Nafziger collection is available online.

The document I found most interesting, while looking for information on the Spanish army of 1808, was a break down by regiment of British units in 1811 giving the figures for death and desertion. The curious statistic that stood out was that units stationed in Ireland suffered greater rates of attrition, due to desertion, than many of the units fighting the war in Spain and Portugal from both factors combined. There was also rather a lot of desertion from units based in Scotland. Though I was also interested to note that one regiment was listed as serving in Jamaica and England, and it too had a very high desertion rate. Hardly surprising given the West Indies reputation as a death sentence due to disease.

The painting of the Young Guard progresses pleasingly. In fact they are almost complete - and thus the French army, that I started just over a year ago.


Sunday, 4 March 2012

The Battle of Pierre Tombale

It is often said that generals fight the last war.

Well today I found myself fighting the next.

Having spent the bus journey to the club writing out an army list for my French Napoleonics I arrived to be presented with an alternative set up. Instead of having two infantry brigades, commanded by a divisional general, I was to fight with a reinforced brigade comprising 5 infantry battalions, a battalion of light infantry and two battalion guns. The cavalry brigade was pretty much as I had already laid out.

The scenario was that the French were to advance on a fortified positon and spike the Spanish siege guns. In additon my force would come on in three groups.

This presented two challenges - one tactical and one psychological.

The tactical challenge was that although I outnumbered the enemy by 3-1, because I was coming onto the table piecemeal, I wanted to establish a strong position from which to launch the assualt, without the infantry getting too strung out.

The psychological challenge was that I had prepared myself to fight an entirely different style of battle. One in which the two brigades could support each other by way of a methodical advance.

In the event I failed in both challenges.

The leading elements of the infanty entered the field and advanced on the fortified hill. The Legere formed up to protect the two infantry battalions in mixed formation from the riflemen in the woods on the right. They made reasonable progress but it was obvious after the first outbreak of shooting that they were not going to drive off the artillery with musketry. And as the siege guns opened up on the leading elements it became equally clear that they were in a very parlous place.

It soon became clear that the General de Brigade would have his work cut out to keep his command together, as units began to take casualties and morale began to waiver. Disorder was also a big issue, effectively pinning units.

One hopeful sign was when one of the battalion guns enfiladed a Spanish militia battalion and routed them. But in general the French were pinned and in confusion.

It should be pointed out that there was an opportunity for the Legere and the Swiss to assault the guns. But I choose to form a line and try and drive the enemy off with musket fire.

I realise that this is not very French, and the part of the reasoning behind it was due to my not fully understanding the rules. As at the time I was more concerned with trying to ensure that I had a chance to issue a rally order. The units in question could have used their iniative to launch the assault. But then there was a lot I could and should have done in hindsight, had I not got tied up in trying to hold the ground for a co ordinated assault - like given Brigade orders instead of trying to micromanage the situation, and used attack columns instead of mixed formations to take advantage of the free move.

Indeed this line of cautious thinking became worse when the commander got swept away trying to rally a shaken unit and the new commander had an even worse command rating.

Oh and my folly was compounded when I allowed myself to become drawn into a fight with some riflemen in a wood. Instead of the cavalry being used to save the infantry by attacking the guns in a glorious charge, they got drawn out the to right flank, fought a brief and bloody skirmish with the British cavalry before the Hussars were destroyed by enfilading fire, and the cavalry were beaten off when they blundered into the riflemen - being destroyed by rifle fire before they made contact.

The game ended with the French in retreat and the Spanish siege guns firmly in place.

And so to the opening statement.

Because what made this game so interesting for me was that the French performed pretty much like the Spanish army I am in the process of planning and building. Which in a perverse sort of way made me rather excited about the project.

Obviously I should have taken the bull by the horns, formed up in column and charged. And perhaps it is a lesson that one should ensure that when visualising how you want your force to perform that one should not become too fixated on the visualisation at the expense of the situation on the table.

Still we live and learn.


Saturday, 3 March 2012

Painting Yoga

The illuminated magnifying headset thing is a real boon for painting.

It makes me realise how much of my painting recently has been a matter of educated guesswork. Suddenly I can see the model in all it's glory - or imperfections - as the case may be.

Though I do wonder if prelonged usage might lead to a trip to the chiropractor, For I find myself bending and twisting into all kinds of odd angles to marry the magnification to the light. As absurd as I look wearing the thing, I no doubt increase the absurdity by the contortions.

But no matter. If it results in my armies looking marvellous, then it is a price worth paying.


Friday, 2 March 2012

Playing in Historical Fashion

So the nearly completed French are to get the first run out as a division at the club on Sunday.

Dean is working out a scenario, so it remains to be seen what devious schemes he dreams up. I'm going to be trying out big battalions and battalion guns. However a check through the rules has revealed that guns can only be manhandled once per turn, so my original plan of the brigade rolling forward with artillery support is slightly stymied. But then given that the plan was always based on Wellington's remark about the French 'coming on in the same old way', perhaps that is what he meant, given that this will but implied necessity slow up the advance of the mixed columns.

But regardless there must be a reason why the French re-introduced the use of smaller calibre cannon at about the time they invaded Spain.

Of course I could take the advice of the interwebz, ignore attempting to understand the army and just double up attack columns on units in line....


Thursday, 1 March 2012

Spick and Span

I have finally done it.

I am now the proud owner of Winsor and Newton Series 7 paintbrush. Oh and I have also bought one of those illuminated magnifying headband things. The two purchases are connected, as I have decided that after a few years of knocking out 'table top' quality figures, that the Spanish army I am about to embark upon will recieve a high quality paint job.