Saka Light Cavalry

Saka Light Cavalry

Monday, 27 June 2016

China Trees

Some may remember me buying a bunch of trees from China a year or so ago. I picked out the ones that would work with 6mm and put the rest to onside where they have sat ever since. A couple of weeks ago I pulled them back out of a box and have started to base them up for use in 15mm games.

The smaller tree's used for 6mm look better than their larger brothers as the plastic growth looks a bit too plastic but for the price they work good enough for me.

A true 15mm scale cavalry unit to show the scale. I have around another twelve I have yet to base which will give us a nice low price option on trees to go with the others that are available so if we need a good sized wood it's covered.

That still leaves me with over 100 6mm Leven Miniatures trees to base up. These are much better quality as the trunks and branches are wire allowing me to change their shapes and the greenery is far more realistic.

 I suspect I am not the only one that manages to forget such tasks and need to set time aside to do them. It's not that I don't enjoy doing as I do but still they keep being passed over.

Thursday, 23 June 2016

Joy of Six - Warning Orders July 17th

I went over to Lee's last night so we could reorganise the units we will need in just over three weeks time for Joy of Six. Many of you will remember that last year we put on Project Waterloo that saw every battalion, battery and cavalry regiment that saw action up to about 6pm on the table. You can find the report here. Our plan not to do anything this year as we could not get an ancients game sorted in time was changed when Lee talked himself er, US into putting on a game. Given our choices we decided on using a quarter of the boards (six foot by four) and refight the attack on Hougoumont. 

Action from last years attack.
This will make use of the excellent Leven Miniatures building set and trees as well as a rather small proportion of our troops. I will be fielding about 35 units to Lee's allied 20 odd. However in a change to last years move and talk display rather than actual game we should have time to actually play the game as well so our finished rules will finally get a public outing. Lee and The Boy will be doing most of the playing whilst I will try and cause upset by talking to anyone foolish enough to get close. Last year we and my mate Matt's bunch were the big games so it's nice to take a back seat this year.

Looking forward to meeting lots of you there though so hope plenty turn up. I still need to get my order into Leven as they have released a bunch of new buildings that are rather tasty.

Post setting up the game and sorting out a few wrinkles we sat down to discuss games and new projects etc and whilst most of the chat went the way I expected I was in for a few surprise twists.

It can not be a surprise to anyone that getting a few games of Black Powder SYW games under our belts as soon as possible was at the top of the list. Look for a game in the next two weeks with a mix of painted and primed figs as we both battle towards a respectable force. I like BP so it will be good if we hit it off. If not then it's off to Osprey but lets wait and see.

Lee now is almost done with Napoleonic's. OK what I mean is that Lee now has almost all Nations in 6mm Napoleonic's and his painter has been churning out figures at such a rate he has thrown some 6mm Confederates at him to pad out the returns to keep from quite finishing his collection. Not that he has the Prussians as I have enough for the whole 100 days campaign. I am so relieved we went 6mm. The only question now is which battles to go to first. We can almost fight any battle from the period at Battalion level though we still need to do some work for a few of the really big or exotic ones (such as Egypt) so between SYW battles we will get a few of these going again.

Ancients, Lee has a few good armies in 15mm that have not graced the table in a couple of years whilst I have played Matt a bunch of times, mostly with my Persians. Hail Caesar will be the rules with Lee and myself happy to move away from Field of Glory. Not that HC is a lock, I just have a fair bit of experience of them with Matt and Kev's Cabin.

Give me a few months and I will have enough Persians in 6mm to give my Macedonians something to chew on. Lee is also extending his 6mm Romans so we can start work on our 6mm Ancients rules as well.

Lee also wants to get on with his Saxon's for Saga and given I have enough figures for about fifteen points we can get a game or two of this going to give him reason to get going.

The biggest surprise is how far Rapid Fire has fallen down the list. Lee continues to buy out the world reserve in figures and vehicles etc but his lust to play has dropped off for now. Of course that means nothing, as soon as we meet up next time he will be pushing for a game of this. 

Until a few months ago we were managing a game at worst every other week but his work has been really busy and real life industries had kicked in but as half the battle is organisation and habit we are booking game time again ahead of time and you can bet within the next two to three months all of the above will have been played at least once.

Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Casualty Marker 1st Hussars

Old Glory supply a standard bearer in their SYW Prussian Hussars which is a shame as the Hussars did not carry standards! Rather than waist it I decided to paint it up and use as a casualty marker. I can only hope not to need it too often.

We are creeping ever closer to getting a game in with the SYW. Lee has based up some cavalry and infantry as well as painting up yet more. I have yet to base up more than one heavy cavalry base as I don't want to base up too many before painting them.

At the moment I am basing up three command bases and three 6mm British Napoleonic British for The Boys army. Close behind these are three bases of 6mm Persian bow units. Only then will I get back to the SYW with one or two cavalry regiments and a couple of grenadier battalions. I also need to get started on The Boy's French SYW, it seems I have my work cut out for me.

Talking of other projects I mentioned recently I plan on starting the Polish for Project Russia 1812, well so far nothing has been ventured but in a Lee kind of way I also have some French artillery limbers, caissons and guns, though some will be painted up as Italian so as to finish off my Italian commitment to Project Russia 1812. So something is coming towards finished I guess.

Thursday, 16 June 2016

von Szekely Hussars SYW

It's not often that I don't enjoy painting something and even less that it effects the finished result but these sit in that group. I am not saying I did a bad job but they could and should have been better. Given the new size of cavalry units I should buy another pack so that I am able to generate three units but at the moment I just don't want to.

These are Old Glory as supplied by Timecast and whilst they have the detail that the infantry get the sculpting seems to have been done by someone else. Whilst the riders were quite easy to clean up the mounts were less so, especially the horses with closed legs (front) which were just too much trouble to separate. Right from first inspection I was disappointed with them so I did not enter the process with a positive view.

It's not all bad, they paint up well but maybe it's the uniform colour which looked really ugly before the ink wash was applied but I found myself cutting corners to get them finished which just adds to the annoyance.

Regiment One all ride chestnuts with white tails but I wanted a bit of a campaign look about them so have a few riding either chestnuts with brown tails or horses of other colours. Just wait till I do one with dapples! I am pleased how the braiding came out on the pelisse which was a great bit of sculpting. 

For all the moans above I am happy with the look and look forward to using them in games. I will be needing other Hussar units later but before that I will paint up their heavier brothers.

Originally we were going with two bases 60x30 with a total of eight figures for light cavalry and ten for the heavies. However on seeing the SYW game by I think Nottingham Outlaws we were struck by the mass look of the cavalry and decided to copy it. Light cavalry will have ten figures and heavier types will have 14-16 figures per unit, quite a bit more painting to be done then.

The new bases are 60x60 with two per regiment allowing us to use some form of column. The obvious side effect other than time to paint is the extra outlay we have committed too. It could get worse as I will be looking at Blue Moon as an alternative to Old Glory but that choice will wait till after I have painted up a few Lancashire Games regiments.

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Ancient Casualty Markers

I used the last two Warbases small dials to rebase two of my original casualty markers that I painted up five or more years ago. I still have a bunch to do with the markers I bought at Partizan.

These will be used for Hail Caesar so I will need quite a few more as our games now have twenty plus units. Matt has already got loads for his army so I am playing catch up.

The figures are from Donnington Miniatures and cost 30p per figure. The dials cost 60p so each one comes in a little under £1 so not too bad given the number required.

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Lancashire Games Prussian SYW Regiment

Having bought for The Boy some French SYW figures from Lancashire Games and being happy with the look and speed of painting I decided to buy into them for my Prussians. I was hoping they would paint up faster than the Old Glory and I can't lie the discounted price was very attractive. I made this more so by buying an army pack which has a good discount but also took advantage of the 20% extra discount that is offered when Lancashire Games attends a show doubling up on discounts certainly helps with the cost of a 15mm army!

A fairly quick paint up, less than two weeks for all three battalions. The figures were a real mix of quality in castings, some had a lot of flash whilst others needed very little work at all. In all cases the metal was quite soft so cleaned up quite quickly and for the most part I was able to get all the mould lines off missing just a couple. Speed of clean up was quicker than the Old Glory which have a harder metal to deal with.

The figures come with no pose variation for each figure though being soft I am sure some changes could be made. Some of the detail such as the straps is a bit over stated (not helped by my painting) but it works for me. I actually enjoyed painting these more than I did the Old Glory as they were faster and I found batch painting in Battalions rather rewarding. The tunic's, waistcoats and trousers were all done en-mass with the white onwards done by battalion. One big whoops however is that they are for some reason carrying their muskets on their right shoulder and not left as they should be. Indeed the French have got it right. This is not something that is too big a deal for me but I know it would be for many a gamer.

The colonels battalion has the two flags whilst the 2nd (above) and third get the one flag. This is just the second battalion but I have already moved away from my plan of painting up the army for the invasion of Saxony as the 2nd Regiment was in the area of Silesia but I had the flags (same sheet as 1st Regiment) and I could not resist the black flags. I have the flags for another four regiments (12 batts) so have plenty for now but I will be buying more from Fighting 15's when I need them as they are good quality flags.

The figures for me strike a good balance of detail to ease of painting making them reasonably quick to paint up. Something to consider if like me you are having to provide the painting for two armies! 

For the third battalion I used the musketeer advancing pose. Lee is not fond of this or the firing pose much preferring the upright muskets. I realise these are much easier to base and game with but I rather like mixing them up. I added a couple of upright figures to the rear of the command base figuring these would be less likely to be firing past the officers ears.

We based them so as to be able to put them in march column. Black Powder allow Prussians to form both sides of the command stand whilst other armies have to turn and march into position to turn to flank and face the enemy making them that bit harder to position than my Prussians.

For size comparison I have the Old Glory on the left and Lancashire Games on the right. As you can see they are comparable which is very handy. I still have a good number of Old Glory to paint up and I do see me buying yet more but I have a lot more Lancashire Games figures to paint up and yes I can see me buying more of those too.

Here is another shot of both companies. I now have five finished battalions and have made a start on my first cavalry unit, more on these in a future post. It's fair to say we have got our SYW project started and as soon as Lee and I can manage some FTF we will start trying the rules out. First up Black Powder to be followed by the Osprey rules if we are not feeling BP.

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

New Family Favourite Kleine Fische

we have had this German card game for almost twenty years. I bought it at the same time as I bought a bunch of others, a mix of card games and big box games. Somehow we never quite got round to it and it just got put up in the loft when we lost the games room to child #2, yes it's The Boy's fault.

Anyway I had to go up in the loft to add a few books to the hundreds up there and a couple of games that have fallen off the play list. A good opportunity to bring down a few others. With the kids being 11 and 9 we still have a number of games they are not old enough to fully get. We tend to let them loose on up to about 12+ games. Both get Settlers of Catan and hold their own at Ticket to Ride so they do all right.

Kleine Fische is 7 plus but whilst seven year olds can play this it's got a deeper play level that a older and more experienced gamer can get their teeth into. It's typical of the better German (OK Euro if you will) game in that it's so very easy to get the rules but mixed in with the simplistic rules is some nice tweaks that getting will increase your chance of winning and deepen your enjoyment. The Girl got this real quick, The Boy took a few hands before he fully got most of the depth. 

It's great for kids as each game is fast paced and whilst little interaction takes place your still involved. the aim is to collect different fishes on your fishing line without suffering the octopus gobbling them all up. It's all about knowing when to stop turning the cards over against the risk of going for one more card to get extra points.

Once the deck is exhausted you score the highest card you have in each type and add to previous rounds score. First to 77 wins which seems about three to four rounds on average. The blurb says 15-25 minutes a game but to be honest we were having too much fun to pay attention to it.

I got home from work to find out they had been playing a few three person games and had a ball (it's 2-4 player). If I remember correctly we paid about £5 for it so it was a steel. A quick look on -bay, Amazon and Spirit Games show no copies, seems it did not make a splash and get a lot of attention then. 

It's no headliner but I expect it to make regular appearances for a fair bit of time to come. If you like German games then this ones well worth looking out for. It's also a great bridge game for your none gaming friends over a few beers.