Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Fiddling With Points

The last of the French units is slowly being painted, I thought I would make them Young Guard.

And so my mind has turned to the Spanish.

Last night I found myself looking at the points section at the back of the Black Powder rules and pondering on the meaning of them. Regular readers will recall my dismay at the notion of the rules being codified by the production of army lists. They might also note my attempts to avoid using special rules when designing my Spanish army list. Thus my examination of the points system to understand how it is intended to be applied.

It strikes me that there is an obvious relation between the battlion size and the dice. The standard battalion has 3 shooting dice and 6 dice in hand to hand, given that battalions are usually deployed with 6 companies this equates to half a shooting dice per company, and one dice in hand to hand.

For now I am more interested in the relationship between companies and dice than points.

The list I have devised for the first brigade is this.

3 battalions of 24 regular infantry, in 4 companies - 3 shooting, 4 hand to hand, 4+ morale, 3 stamina.
3 battalions of 16 militia, in 4 companies - 2 shooting, 4 hand to hand, 5+ morale, 2 stamina.
2 battalions of 12 light infantry, in 6 companies - 3 shooting, 6 hand to hand, 4+ morale, 2 stamina.

All of the units have the must form square special rule. But other than that none of them have any other special rules.

There is a slight anomoly with regard to the hand to hand quality of the light infantry, which I might look at again. But for the time being I am happy to leave them to follow the apparent formula. I will just assume that they are independent minded chaps with great martial prowess.

But apart from this anomoly, I feel that this forms a good basis for the army. There is the possibility of the brigade fighting well, but it has the potential for brittle morale, and geared more toward fighting with musketry rather than closing to press home the bayonet.

In terms of points this matches up rather well with the French Brigades I have. These have four battalions of 36 men large unit standard infantry, which are 40 points each - thus 160 for the brigade.

The regulars are 34 points, the militia 24, and the lights 32 - giving a total of 238.

Which may seem to be not comparable, but keep in mind the Spanish will be significantly deficient of cavalry and artillery.


Tuesday, 28 February 2012

One More To Go...

And they are done...

Which leaves only one more unit and the French are complete.


ps, I just had a quick tot up, and so far this year I have painted 160 figures + terrain.

Monday, 27 February 2012

More Spanish Ulcers

I have finished the painting on the French Napoleonic infantry unit...

Just the inking and basing to do. Then there is one more unit to do and the French army will be complete.

The first of the Crossley trucks has always been done...

Which brings me to the new army, the Napoleonic Spanish.

I have discussed me thinking on the army on this blog before, and ironically my slight change of plan has been brought about by a similar consideration that led to the original Spanish army beeing in such a state when the war began - money.

Having priced up the figures, I have decided to pull in my horns slightly on my original plans. The principle behind the army remains the same, using unit size instead of special rules to produce fickle troops, bloated commands to promote military inefficiency and lack of cavalry and artillery to make the troops over reliant on bravery - all of which I feel will represent the Spanish well.


I have begun recruiting the troops, and as I type they are making their way through the mountains to drive out.... ahem.... they are making their way through the postal system.


Saturday, 25 February 2012

Pimping a Ride

The first of the trucks is nearly finished.

It would have been done but the new PVA I have been using for the basing is more watery than the stuff I was using, so I have more than usually cautious.


Friday, 24 February 2012

Take That Back

The first couple of Crossley trucks has arrived.

As a little light relief between the colours of the French Napoleonics I have been painting, I have treated myself to working on one of the vehicles.

I notice the latest episode of Heelenhammer had the statement from Anthony Spiers.

Judging by this rambling announcement, the basis of the threatened legal action was that because of what was said he would suffer by being excluded from tournaments in the future - supposedly because people would refuse to play him. Given that the legal action would have cost in the region of several hundred thousand pounds should it have been defended, and several thousand pounds even to get started, I found myself wondering what was the point of the whole ferago.

Beyond it being a further exaample of bad sportsmanship by....


Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Bad Show

I'm slowly working through another unit of French Napoleonics.

Other than that I have been buying vehicles on ebay for the RCW project. So far I have got 5 Crossley trucks and Vauxhall staff car, for about the same price as I would pay for a single resin lorry from say Sloppy Jalopy.

I notice the Anthony Spiers controversy is making it's way around the interwebz.

The basics of the story is that at Sheffield Slaughter he ended up having to play against his brother in the last game. By all accounts it was a rather bad tempered affair. Which ended with Anthony docking his brother two points for bad sportsmanship, which cost his brother the tournament.

This was initially reported on Heelenhammer - Dan Heelan won the tournament, and was playing on the next table. It appears that Anthony took umbridge at the way the matter was reported, perhaps due to the comments of co-presenter Wayne Kemp, who pointed out that this was not the first time that such things had happened, and that if he was drawn against Mr Spiers in tournament he would refuse to play the game as it would be two hours of his life he would never get back.

And indeed this appears to be the opinion of more than just Mr Kemp, as others have said much the same thing on various forums and podcasts - not least from his brother who declared on the Og Games forum that he was never having anything to do with brother again.

Then the story took a bizarre twist, with claims that Anthony Spiers had threatened to take legal action against Heelenhammer and Bad Dice. Though it appears that no action has been forcoming. Instead Heelenhammer have agreed to read out a statement giving his side of the story.

The irony is that after causing so much bad feeling, and cost his brother a tournament win, Anthony appears to have returned to Australia, leaving his brother Andy in thew awkward position of playing games and trying to organise events with the very people that his charming brother has threatened to sue.

Which brings me to this rather curious take on events.

As my Gran used to say when a game of Snap was getting out of hand, "it's only a game, you're not playing for a row of houses."


Tuesday, 21 February 2012

Flames of War's Loss is 40k's Gain

I feel sorry for long time Flames of War players.

When I got back into wargaming I did start a Flames of War British 8th Army army. I collected a few infantry companies, an artillery battery, and some Matilda tanks but when I worked out how much it was going to cost to get the rest of the stuff I needed, and the price of the books (I come from a gaming generation in which a rule book that costs more than a fiver is an extravagance) I knocked it on the head. Oh, and I was a bit annoyed when they stopped guests looking at the gallery on the forums and the forums in general - true I was doing it largely because I wanted to look at points costs, and I could have continued to do so by registering, but I would rather not be marketed at by a company that I already felt was ripping me off.

Regular readers will know that I am not a fan of the game. My reasons are mainly to do with the way the game fetishises Nazism, but that is by-the-by. If people want to play the game, and they enjoy it, then good luck to them.

Which brings me to why I feel sorry for long time Flames of War players.

If the interwebz is to be believed, those disgruntled with 40k are piling into Flames of War in much the same way as disgruntled fantasy players are supposed to have piled into Warmachine. On the face of it this should be good news for Flames of War players, after all who doesn't want more people playing your favourite game?

Except that the people making the jump are at the nutty end of the 40k spectrum, in exactly the same way as Warmachine has cleansed WFB of the knuckledragging element.

Flames of War grognards can look forward to a future of netlisting, internut wisdom, bullying conformity, min maxing, rules exploits, tournaments, and angry Americans unaware that frankly no one gives a shit about 'their local area'... and all of it neatly bundled into that most weasel of words, 'community'.

Of course this is good news for 40k players - if you allow for the nutters who are akin to the angry ex who hangs around the interwebz slagging off their former love - because with a new edition pending, and the crazies out of the way they can enjoy their games again. After all 8th edition has a far more enjoyable general culture since the 'mass' rage quit, why shouldn't 40k get the same filip?

Oh and while I am on the subject. I did find myself shaking my head at a review of the latest Flames of War rule book. According to the reviewer it was a positive that the new book is longer than the last book. It's about 300 pages or so. No doubt there are lots of pictures, and text boxes with anti-historical factoids, but I really don't understand this trend for bloated rules.

Still, it does offer endless opportunities for us casual observers to have a laugh. My personal source of amusement are those discussions in which the converts claim that the fluff - i.e. the history - doesn't matter because the rules allow them to do whatever janky shenanigans they are using to win (AAC;)).


Monday, 20 February 2012

A Fool Thinking

After the latest round of clearing out my wargames stuff via ebay, I am now in a dilemma of what to buy.

Some of the money will obviously go on the Napoleonic Spanish. For the time being it will probably only be for the regular units of the first brigade.

And some of it will go to KR multicase.

But the big question is how spend the rest.

Having tried out the basic rules yesterday I have more idea of the strengths and weknesses of the two forces. Obviously when the more advanced elements of the rules get factored in like smoke, off table support, aircraft etc, my veiws on the balance of the forces will perhaps change.

I guess ultimately it comes down to a question of what you imagined when you started out ona project.

For the British force my vision was to create a force that was effectively at the cutting edge of military technology. Thus going forward I am looking to give them mobility in the form of Matchbox Crossley's - my daily hunt around the charity shops today drew a blank except for an an omnitrix that my eldest son is delighted with - give them more support in the form of a three gun Vickers battery and some mortars and ultimately a tank.

For the Bolsheviks my vision includes cavalry and an armoured train. My search for the latter has been greatly helped by the discovery of a Chinese made kids train set that is perfect for conversion and is a fraction of the cost of buying the equivilent in O guage - anyone who thinks that wargaming is an expensive hobby, should look at the costs involved in model railways. Part of me wants to include some more machine guns into the force but I am thinking this will maybe make the Bolsheviks too powerful, especially in games involving armoured cars and trains.

However being a wargamer, and never being content to have one unfinished army when you can have two, I have been looking at and costing out a white Finish army. The new Shattered Empires range from Scheltrum is just too tempting. I rather like the idea of mixing the Copplestone partisans and ragged Russians, with the Scheltrum armed civilians, with Renegade Austrians and giving them a shattering of Germans.

All of which takes me way over the ammount I have received from ebay...


Sunday, 19 February 2012

The First Shots in Russia

Went down the club and had a game of Through the Mud and the Blood with Rich.

As it was the first time playing the game for both of us I am sure we made mistakes on the rules, so my observations may be a little awry. I had the rule book, and had read the rules, Rich had not, so it is entirely a positive for the ruleset that after a quick explanation by me about the mechanics we both grasped the principles very quickly, and there were very few rules queries.

I played the Bolsheviks, and Rich played the British.

The British deployed on the table and were defending a village. The first turn was pretty non eventful as the snifter card showed up before the Russians. When the Russians did show up the fighting was fierce and bitter. The British were hampered early on by a shortage of ammunition that allowed the Reds to move more freely than they otherwise would have.

In the end the British were reduced to a diminished squad who manfully held the earthworks, and were facing off against a section of Red Guards, who were loitering in some shell holes, and a section of riflemen who managed to sweep around the village to get into a position to assault the earthwork.

And so to the game.

Because this was a test game I set it up so that the section leaders were level 2 and the platoon leaders level 3. In hindsight I should probably have reduced these, as for most of the game the leaders had more iniative than orders to give, and made suppression less of an issue than I would have liked. Perhaps if we were more experienced with the game, and were splitting sections for scouting, sniping, sending runners etc, then there would have been more hard choices.

Machine guns were certainly not overpowered, which I liked. True, one of my sections that ran forward to assault over open ground did lose 8 of it's men, and stacked up a heap of suppression, when it was opened upon by a lewis gun and supporting rifle section. But it was fine. And in truth the machine guns were often jammed, and for most turns were chipping off the odd casualty here and there.

We both agreed that we liked the card mechanic for iniative. It keeps both players involved throughout the game turn, and I rather liked that units would often remain static for two or three turns in a row.

All in all it was a good first try for the rules.

And they offered a fun and challenging game.


Saturday, 18 February 2012

Impact Hits

The shell holes have come out rather well...

I have arranged a game at the club to try out the Through the Mud and the Blood rules.

Fingers crossed.


Friday, 17 February 2012


Given my lack of enthusiasm for painting at present, I thought I'd make a bit of terrain...

I made some craters ages ago for the Orks - before I sold them off - so I put some flock on them. And they are fine. But they do rather look like the rsult of 15" naval gun fire.

So I decided to have another go that better represented the effects of field artillery. So I stuck some beer bottle tops to a CD, added PVA and sand, and they don't look too bad.

So now it is just a case of waiting for the glue to dry and then slap on some paint and static grass.


Thursday, 16 February 2012

From the Horses Mouth

I regularly listen to the D6 Generation.

Episodes 91 and 92 are my two favourite episodes because of the interviews with Ed Stark and Randall Bills. Regular readers will know of my dislike for 'internet wisdom' and these two interviews do much to blow away any number of myths. The snippet that sticks in my mind is that back in the 1980/90's German Battletech conventions had 5000 attendees. Of course this is overlooked in the 'community' because they speak 'foreign'.


An ex-Gw employee has surfaced on Reddit for a chat.

Personally I found what the chap had to say rather interesting.

For instance the price of GW products is determined by the goblin index. The more important a figure is deemed to be in an army, the higher the price. Which explains why you can buy 6 Ogre Bulls for less than 3 Vampire Big Ghoul things. But doesn't explain the price of Yhetees.

Of course the reaction has been usual entitlement, instant gratification nonsense. Which was to be expected. However what makes it amusing is that those doing the whining clearly haven't read what has been said.

It is a common complaint that GW doesn't listen to what people say online. The ex-employee clearly states that they do - and every interview I have seen or heard confirm this - but uses the case of Blood Bowl as an example of the company listening to the interwebz doing what they asked (re-releasing the game) and making a boob by doing so. Yet without the slightest hint of irony the whiners ignore this and continue on with their ceaseless pointless groaning.

While it is true that I am not planning on spending any money at present on GW products, and don't really have much of a desire to have a game of Warhammer at the moment. I have to say that I was pleased with what the chap had to say, and in a sense it restored the faith I have in the company.


Wednesday, 15 February 2012


The hovel is finished...

Channel 5 is currently showing an interesting series about the Royal Marines in Afghanistan. While the situation, and the style of warfare is not the same, I was struck by similarities between the operations in Afghanistan and Russia in 1918 - 1920.

For instance much is made of the ideological differnces between the combatants. Indeed I suspect that if the average man in the street were to be asked the reasons for the British intervention they would say that it was an attempt to stamp out Bolshevism. Just as today there is a strain of thought that would have it that the NATO forces are engaged in a religious war.

However the reality of the intervention, certainly in the north, was for very different reasons. The British were there to protect the mass of supplies they had supplied to the Tzarist forces, with the intention of proventing them from falling into German hands. It should be kept in mind that the armistace was still a while off at the time the British launched the first all arms naval assault in history on Murmansk.

Leaving the wider pictrue aside, the task of the infantry was much the same in both conflicts. Therefore I have been rather inspired by the program in developing some scenarios.


Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Twisting Logic

Here's a curious thing..

Surfing around the internet in search of information on the Spanish army in the Peninsula and the armies in the Russian civil war, it occured to me as decidedly odd that the various bloggers and groups engaged with these armies play games of far greater invention and variety than people playing system games such as Warhammer, Warmahordes etc.

No doubt there is some deep psychological explantion behind this, relating to the social contract and culture.


The hovel is now complete. I really need to find a better way of thatching a roof than using bruch bristles.

36 more French infantry are now assembled and taunting me to undercoat and paint them.

And after window shopping Spanish figures, I have had a slight rethink on brigade composition - mainly due to not wanting to spend so much on shipping, which I shall dissemble into fluff relating to supply.


Monday, 13 February 2012

The Snooze Button

I've had a pretty quiet day on the painting front.

So quiet, I didn't do any.

The hovel now almost has a roof, and the I now have a pack of cards for Through the Mud and the Blood.


Sunday, 12 February 2012

Bad Workmen...

I managed to get to the club this week.

I got in a couple of games the first was a Force on Force game set in Bosnia.

Now, I don't want to get too grumpy about this game. And certainly at the time I did get a bit of the face on. But I really didn't get the rule system. To put that statement into some sort of context, I hadn't read the rules and therefore didn't cotton on to a couple of things that perhaps expose my prejudices.

The first is that Force on Force is so obviously an American ruleset. Which I define as being overly complicated, non intuative, and requiring of playing in a defined playstyle.

And I accept this is harsh, and I am sure that it is a fun game - I have seen and heard many people say that it is. But...

Let's put it this way...

I get the iniative, drive onto the table, take a position in cover behind a hedge and declare that I am going to shoot at some Croats hidden in a nearby wood. A dice gets rolled. For some reason they get to shoot first. Ok I can live with that. They shoot, three of my guys get wounded. Ok I can live with that. So I drive onto the table with an APC, take up a position near to the first truck, declare I am going to shoot the guys int he wood with a heavy machine gun. They decide they are going to run away. They roll a dice. And they get to run away, I don't get to shoot at them or anyone else.

At which point I am thinking... eh?

I mean I get that things have different reaction times, and it is perfectly possible for those guys to take a shot at the first truck, and then at the sight of the APC they leg it. But it seems a little strange to me the APC can't then target something else.

And it go even more bizarre when in the second turn some guys started blowing things up with what appeared to be a belt fed RPG. Everything of mine that so much as blinked an eye in their direction granted them a reaction, and every reaction shot they took involved firing a rocket at my troops.

But like I said I haven't read the rules so I don't know what the time scale in a turn it is.

Perhaps the intention is that each action of the player with the iniative is abstracted to represent a period twenty or thirty seconds after the previous action - or howver long it takes for the non-active player to spot, be int he perfect position, and have a reloaded piece of anti-tank ordinance ready for action (although to be fair, the attacks were made with one less dice for each subsequent attack ;))

And seemingly the player with the iniative can't even turn the tables on the seemingly super human non-active player by trying to give the iniative away. I tried this by going on overwatch, but even then it turned out the non-active got the advantage and just blew stuff up before I even got to fire.

Add to this the rather weird notion - given the super human ability of the defending player to spot everything and react according - that when the attacking player had finished their turn, the defender was then allowed to run around and redeploy without interferance.

It was at this point that I got a bit of the game face on, and went for a fag, thinking this was the silliest game I have played in a long while and wondering why this abstract nonsense was so popular.

When I returned, calmed by nicoteine, I declared my intention to retreat of the board, had a bit of cross purpose conversation with Dean who was umpiring and we agree to move onto a game of General Quarters.

Dean played the Japanese, Rich (I'm terrible with names, so my apologies if I get your name wrong) played the Americans and I umpired.

There wasn't really a scenario, I ran through the SDS cards, a few of the basic rules, advised both players to make smoke and away we went.

It is a long time since I played General Quarters, and I wondered if I had got the balance of the forces a little wrong when in the first turn the US heavy cruiser, Quincy, crippled the Japanese light cruiser, Kino, with a single salvo. But I needed have worried as the game progressed rather nicely, with the usual torpedo fuelled mayhem amid the trails of smoke.

It was pretty much a draw, with Japanese losing 2 light cruisers, and a couple of destroyers, and the US losing the heavy cruiser Helena, and a couple of destroyers, with the Quincy managing to limp off the table to safety with it's bridge and rudder destroyed, having only recently managed ot put out a serious fire.

Afterwards I sort of managed to arrange a RCW game with Rich (sorry if I got your name wrong) and then it was off to catch the bus, and grab a latte (with a northern flat 'a') and a couple of sausage rolls from Greggs.

On the way home after reading through the 8 pages of rules for General Quarters and noticing a few rules that had been played wrongly - such as forgetting to apply the minimal range - my mind turned to the substantially thicker set of rules that is Force on Force.

One obvious note to make is that no one involved with the game today was entirely conversant with the rules, but leaving that aside.

I get that the intention of the rules to cut out the early turns of the game, and plunge the player into the action. And if we were looking at today's game from a narrative perspective it was a good simulation of modern warfare - I as the Serb commander who had very little idea of what he was doing, turned up at a village, got ambushed and killed in very short order.

But as I mulled over my perception of the mechanics I found myself wondering about some of the game design choices.

For instance I didn't understand why troops could get badly wounded. In terms of the game they served no further purpose, yet for some reason they remained on the table. Perhaps it offered scenarios for evacution. And ok it did have a psychological effect on me, in that as soon as one of the squads took such casualties I had a distinct disincentive to move the rest of the squad - but then the rather odd reaction mechanic did this any way.

I am not saying that the reaction mechanic was bad - well actually I am sort of.

For instance I lost the APC because I declared that I was going to fire a .50cal machine gun at a house that had a squad with an RPG. The got the jump on me fired first and blew up the APC. Fine, if I was in a house with an RPG and their was an APC in the vacinity, that would probably be my No 1 target. But my problem with the mechanic in the game is that keeping that 'truism' in mind had the APC declared against another target, and another unit had targetted the squad with the RPG, then the RPG would have targetted them. Add to this that it wasn't even the fire of the .50cal machine gun that prompted the response but the controlling players intention.

Which to me brings it back to this being a matter of 'modern' American game design, imo. That the mechanics of the game are played rather than the situation - which is one of the reasons games like Warmachine and Malifaux have no interest for me. In the situation with the APC I had three squads and the APC. Had I played the mechanics, and fired the three squads before the APC, and drawn the fire of the RPG with the accompanying diminishing number of dice, by the time the APC fired it would have been less likely that the APC would have been destroyed. Which just seems wrong - and tantamount to combo play.

It may seem that I am simply moaning, however I am willing to give the game another go - more than one if I can. And I am quite happy to adopt the playstyle in order to enter into the enjoyment. It's just, and allowing for the truthful nature of the narrative created by the game it just isn't my idea of what a modern battle should feel like.

I found myself comparing Force on Force with Through the Mud and the Blood. True I haven't played the latter - which will hopefully be rectified, either next Sunday or in the near future - and I found myself wishing that Force on Force had more friction. For instance, instead of a unit getting a reaction to every threat, and the test being whether it got the jump or had to take the punishment before the reaction, that there was a chance that it just didn't react at all - which in game turns is solved by the simple expedient of only being able to fire once per turn. Or that instead of wounds, the figure is either dead or alive and the wounds are implied by the suppression counters.

Still very few plans in war stand up to the first contact with the enemy, so it may well be that Through the Mud and the Blood won't stand up to my expectations.

And Force on Force certainly gave me plenty to think about on the way home.

Still it was nice to see Dean and Rich (sorry if that's not your name) having fun playing General Quarters.


Saturday, 11 February 2012

The Spanish Ulcer

My guess is that every wargamer has a particular army/project that they 'obsess' about in idle moments.

For me at the present time, that army/project is the Spanish Napoleonic force I am currently window shopping for.

I have made a few decisions. The regular line infantry will be Victrix French 1804-07 - with plumes added. The militia will be a mixture of Eagle miniatures and Perry Carlists. I may add a few Front Rank. The plan is to work on the infantry first and then see what is available for the cavalry and the artillery.

In considering the force I have a number of issues/questions that I am looking to built into the army.

The first relates to the regular forces. From all acounts the Spanish army was hamstrung by outdated ideas, a shortage of officers and corruption. Using Black Powder rules, my idea is to have battalions of 24 infantry but in 4 companies (4 bases). I realise many people prefer 4 figures to a base, but for me it doesn't really give the feeling of massed infantry that I prefer. My plan is then to have the Grenadier detached into small grenadier battlions of 12 figures. And similarly sized units of light infantry.

Thus in an infantry brigade the regulars would have 6 units - 2 standard sized infantry battlions plus 4 small units of detached grenadiers and light infantry. The detached units would not have the 'must form square' special rule though they would be able to form square as part of the brigade.

The brigade would also include between two and four militia battalions of 12 figures on two bases - counting as small units - with the same rules about forming square.

This would create a brigade of between 8 and 10 units, that would have the potential for good fire power, and good support options which encourage the brigade to be used in successive lines in the 18th century fashion, but is unweildy and potentially difficult to control and co-ordinate.

The other idea I am working on is to give this force minimal cavalry and artilley support, perhaps more than the maladministration of the Spanish army explains the percieved poor performance. Also I am struck by the numerous accounts of the army in the field using what can be best described as 'elan' tactics akin to the French in 1914 - that may be surmised in the immortal words of Corporal Jones as, 'they don't like it up 'em.' Hence my current thinking of pitting numerous small Spanish battalions - with a stamina of 2 - against large French battalions - with stamina of 4. The aim is to create an army that is liable to shock, with built in morale and command problems, but doesn't use the catch all - and imo rather silly - unreliable special rule.

If you can get the army deployed correctly and acting on brigade orders, and when close to the enemy using independent moves, then it could be very effective. leaving the commander running around the brigade trying to keep on top of all the shaken units to keep the brigade in the fight.

The current plan is to have two of these brigades, supported by minimal artillery and cavalry.

We shall see how this develops.


Friday, 10 February 2012

Mes Enfants

Another unit of French rolls off the production line.

To get me through the painting process I have been binging on Sharpe on utube. It hardly seemed worth painting them at some points, given the French proclivity to die at the hands of the gallent 95th ;)


Wednesday, 8 February 2012

A Matter of Scale

I'm a little less grumpy today.

I'm still plugging on painting Napoleonic infantry. Oh and the Russian hovel mentioned a few days ago is coming along nicely. The thatching on the roof - bristles from a broom - is proving more problematic than anticipated.

For those wondering about the scale of Matchbox Yesteryear vehicles, this is a useful link.

Interestingly, the designers at Matchbox took the approach that the most important thing was that the product fitted into the box. Therefore the range goes from 1/34th scale to 1/130th.

If only many wargamers would take a similar approach to their games.


Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Moithering On

Occasionally I pop over to the Warlord forums to see what is going on with Black Powder.

I have to admit that my heart sinks whenever I do so. The first cause of dismay is the chatter about producing a book of army lists. And, the second is people chipping and chirping about rules questions. What makes this depressing is that the two are pretty linked. Which is a shame. Not least because it will not be long before numpties start organising Black Powder tournaments, and what should be a mildly competative game played between gentlemen becomes subject to 'modern' wargaming culture.


I have found myself making the kind of web searches that usually indicate a new project.

Ok, I still have some more things that I want to get for the RCW - and maybe even a new faction - but increasing I find myself looking for information on the Spanish armies in the Peninsula War.

Now obviously the Spanish forces in the Peninsula do not have a great reputation. But the thing that has always puzzled me is that this perception doesn't entirely match the facts. No one argues that the French army were composed of poor soldiers because of the Battle of Baylen. No one claims the French officers were terrible because the supply broke down, or their men were in terrible shape. And given the political situation and recent history, it is highly likely that the recorded views of the British toward their Spanish allies - and vice versa - is highly likely to be clouded.

And the one thing that cannot be denied is that the Spanish managed to maintain forces in the field, and continue fighting despite having no central government. The standardised answer is to state this was only possible because of the actions of the guerillas, the length of the French supply lines, the terrain, and the huge numbers of French troops tied down by civilian actions. All of which may be true. But it doesn't explain how armies were kept in the field without a central treasury, commiseriate, etc.

I'm sure there are those that will come up with complicated explanations to these points, and I am equally sure I dont give a monkeys if they do. Because the question I am exploring is there must be a way of creating a Spanish force that represents the actual Spanish fighting capacity beyond giving them the unreliable special rule.


One of the joys of blogging is having a traffic counter. It is interesting to see where people viewing the site live. It is equally interesting to see what brought them to the site.

What I don't understand is why people in the wee small hours of the soul turn to google and go looking for "elven butt sex" or "28mm Vikings in stockings" or whatever.


I have been working on the next unit of French infantry. Only two more after this one, yay :).


Monday, 6 February 2012

Nearly There

The Napoleonic infantry are finished...

In case you are thinking they don't look very French you'd be right... they are Swiss.

I didn't make it to the club for the game of Epic due to the snow. which was a shame. Still I have been pressing on with the painting. Currently I have three more battalions of French infantry to paint and 10 British WWI infantry to repaint - following the frosting incident - and then I will have painted everything that I have.

Obviously I have been window shopping for the things I would like to get - I wouldn't be a wargamer if I didn't - but there is a certain satisfaction to be so close to completeing the projects I started 18 months ago.


Thursday, 2 February 2012

It's Behind You

Continuing to work on the Napoleonics, and have started work on a matchstick Russian hovel.

Plus there is some light with regard to the weekend as I may have been offered a way out of the purgatory of the tournament, in the form of an introduction to Epic.

Fingers crossed.


Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Place Holder

So I have plunged into painting another 36 man Napoleonic unit.

Not much else to say today...