Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Secret Santa and the Battle of Rose Cottage

My Secret Santa present was the garden set from Warbases and its great. I painted it up

I decided to use it in a small skirmish with a Ted and Hilda Brown and their grand daughter Daisy

They are armed with shotguns and a chainsaw (Daisy is a tree surgeon obviously), and they are defending their home against Zombies - of course

I used Akula's rules which are card activated and fun to play.
The battle started and Daisy and Hilda advanced to the gate and Daisy "kills" a Zombie but Hilda misses with her shot.

 However the next move the ace of Spades is drawn and all the Zombies advance knocking over the picket fence, causing the Browns to retreat.
The Zombies advance again. .

 Daisy takes out another and Ted blows the head off another

 Bravely Daisy advances but another ace of spades and the zombies swarm forward surrounding her and engaging Hilda. Hilda kills her Zombie and Daisy is a woman possessed.

The 1sr zombie scores a hit but only rips Daisy's skirt but Daisy kills it. The 2nd zombie rips Daisy's shirt before she kills it. At this rate she will be naked before she is dead. Daisy kills another 2 zombies and is now channeling River Tamm

The zombies advance again and overwhelm Daisy and then Ted and finally Hilda

The Zombies win but it was a fun hour.

It's been a sad day for music with the death of Lemmy, He was from the same suburb as me and while we are name dropping Slash's grand parents lived next door to my grandparents. Stoke has a short but illustrious list of great musicians and Robbie Williams.
You may have missed the death of John Bradbury, the drummer in The Specials and to be honest I much preferred them so this is the song

Sunday, 27 December 2015

Shiny Happy People

Christmas festivities are done and I'm exhausted (80% in a good way - family, beer and food, and 20% in a bad way - got a dodgy cold)
I had a really great time (4 sorts of fish for starters and 8 sorts of meat for mains at Christmas lunch) and some really fab presents, which I present below

Zulu command set from Empress

Naval Squad in Sennet hats from Copplestone 

Couple of Fishermen from Black Cat Bases and "The Good, The Bad and the Weird from Tsuba miniatures

Carthaginian General from Magister Militum and 2 pygmies in masks from Black Cat

Bag of  Pathans from Old Glory

 Parthian Camel Cataphracts from Magister

And finally Bengal Lancers from Perry

Generally I'm really pleased with all of them. I've not bought from Magister of Black Cat before and then are good - Magister being very much old school but well executed  and I've always wanted some of these camels.
A special word must go out to Tsuba Miniatures, these may be the best figures I've ever bought - I have more not shown that will pop up on the Painting Challenge this week. The sculpting and casting is fantastic. They can be bought from Empress bt i went direct to the blog and bought them from Marcus directly. Took a little long as he has an actual life as well but much cheaper. The selection is small but interesting.

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Painting Challenge Update and Seasons Greetings

I'm in the midst of the Painting Challenge and here is a brief update on my opening figs. I don't intend to duplicate the posts regularly, that's just pointless. However I will occasionally update and leave this blog for the other things I do, if I get time.

After 2 days I'm ahead,but it's a marathon not a Snickers (the name of Forrest Mars' childhood horse by the way).
I wish every one a joyful Christmas and a prosperous New Year and see you all in 2016. This is obviously the best Christmas song but then so is this. Depend how drunk I am and who I'm dancing with

Saturday, 19 December 2015

Dr Cooke, in the Games Room with a .....Chest of Drawers

So I got this chest of drawers from work on Thursday. It was being used to store microscope samples. Potentially very useful specimens and cost a lot of money to collect and make. However they are very old, mainly of coal (a research field we no longer pursue) and there were no labels so it will take somebody at least a year to catalogue and evaluate the samples. Universities have a lot of samples in that state and in some ways it's shame but research moves on
So a rejig of the samples into other drawers freed up this 15 drawer cabinet.

Each draw is 50mm high and will hold 187 infantry. Cavalry and guys with big spears are a problem but they can lie down or stay in their original file boxes

I have now increased my storage capacity by 34.1% (ish) and have loads of space to buy more toys. 
"O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!"
Good luck to all in the challenge and a happy Christmas and successful new year

Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Fisherman Blue

Only 3 more sleeps until the Challenge and I've been having a bit of a tidy. I'm trying to get work to throw out a set of drawers that will hold my collection perfectly (>£100 new). If I get it then I will double my storage space. So much for slowing down the buying. Which is good as I've had 5 parcels delivered this week.
I will be publishing  all my painting on the Challenge blog for the next 4 months and will probably repeat them here after the event. If this gets repetitive I may slow the post frequency. The Challenge blog will be updated daily and can be found on my blog list.
I've painted a single figure this week, he is the pump man from the Foundry deep sea divers set, the rest may get an outing over the winter. I turned his left hand round and gave him a rifle from the bits box.

Good luck to all the competitors and if you are a spectator then visit the challenge frequently, my post day is Wednesday under the stewardship of Dave Docherty who will probably paint the most, although Millsy will push him close. I plan to do a Leicester City and start like a hare and then try on hang on to 3rd.
To get you in the mood a song about a dauber.
It is very rare that viewing a picture has the the same effect as the first time you kiss your first love. seeing this in the National Galley did it for me, Wheatfield with Cypresses.


Sunday, 13 December 2015

Guard the Tea Ponsonby

Today I fought another battle. This time it was one of my favourite scenarios, you have to escort a wagon of supplies across the table whilst enemies appear at random from all sides.
A column of colonial Brits - 2 units of Askaris and 1 unit of highlanders must escort the wagon across the length of a jungle and hill terrain using the only clear road. The wagon appears on turn 3 and moves at 4 inches along the road EVERY turn. Against these are jungle natives comprising Fierce warriors, warriors, bow men, musket men and pygmies. These appear randomly based on the location of the wagon. I used a set of rules from an ancient Wargames Illustrated and reprinted by Foundry. The mechanism is OK but they lack a bit of detail  and were tweaked during play. Basically you can't move and fire and Natives move 50% faster than the Brits. The figures were all Foundry.

Table layout, Brits enter on the East side and must cross to West using central path

Askari scout squad enters first

Watched by a handful of archers to the South

The main column arrives with highlanders in front in 3 small squads of Askaris, each with European officer. 2 stays with wagon and other 2 are free to roam

To the North a large unit of archers appear behind hill and advance

Quickly followed by a unit of warriors on the South side

The column advances and 1 squad of Askari peel off to flush out the archers to the South

However the archers are immediately joined by a unit of musket men and the Askari retreat back towards the column

The column comes under fire from archers to the North and these are qickly despatched by the flanking unit of Askari

Pygmies appear to the South. These are good with bows but rubbish at fighting

A Unit of Fierce warriors appears to the North

A 2nd unit of musket men appear and  the Askari open fire. However although they inflict some casulaties the Natives return fire and kill all the Askari except the officer.

The column is now attacked on 2 sides by archers to the North and warriors and pygmies to the South. The scouts open fire on the pygmies and thin out their numbers. The Askaris attack the archers to the North and kill 2 but lose 2 men themselves. The Highlanders have turned to face the warriors who charge.

This is going to be close

The 1st round of the melee is inconclusive but in the 2nd the Highlanders cause the  warriors to break and they take the pygmies off the table with them. To the North the archers have been despatched.

However there are 2 units of warriors to the front . The scouts form a line and kill 1/2 the first wave and cause the 2nd wave to hesitate

The wagon won't stop and the scouts and warriors charge each other. This is it. Will British Steel win the day or will the warriors take the wagon. To the rear things are looking dire with 3 units of musket men and 1 unit of fierce warriors running like mad to catch up whilst taking pot shots at the Highlanders and whittling them down.

The melee is decisive with 6 warriors killed vs only 1 scout. The warriors rout and the way is clear.

The wagon and pack horses moves forward and is only 2 moves from the edge of the table 

The chasing natives can't catch up and it is victory to the Brits. Put the kettle on.

This was a really great battle and it is always better with a proper objective.The natives got loads of reinforcements but were unlucky that the musket men were always behind the wagon and couldn't catch up.

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Quite a lot of Mohicans

Very productive day today, )did 2 loads of laundry, wrapped all the Christmas presents (just showing off), read some more of the PhD thesis I'm examining (excellent), watched all of season 1 of Agent Carter (it's not bad) and fought a large 18th Century North American skirmish between mountain men and generic Woodland Indians (mainly Huron). It's amazing how muh you can do when you get up early and it's snowing.
The mountain men were 2 units of intrepid trappers, 1 unit of Blackfoot Indians and 1 unit of Blackfoot cavalry and the Hurons who were 3 warbands of musket armed men and 1 unit of bow armed men.

Layout, mountain men on right with white bases. Lots of hills and trees

Mountain men


The rules were pretty basic with D10 being rolled to load and fire (at least 7 needed on both to hit. All hits are kills. HTH is a simple duel with leaders and cavalry rolling a D10 and infantry a D6, loser is killed. Normal morale rules etc apply.
Both sides advance on a broad front and the Blackfoot cavalry open fire on the Hurons on the hill and despite needing 9s to hit kill 4 Hurons,a  legendary volley. The Hurons hold but next turn the cavalry charge 

The Hurons kill 2 Blackfoot (feel the need to keep writing Blackfeet) but it is not enough and the Hurons are routed. 

The Blackfoot follow up and destroy the unit.

Meanwhile on the other flank there is a musket exchange between Mountain men and Hurons

Back on the other flank the bow armed Hurons are charged the Blackfoot cavalry. The cavalry
win and in the next turn wipe out the Hurons. 

Things are not going well for the Hurons but on the other flank the musket exchange routs the Mountain Men

However the Mountain Men rally and fire on the advancing Hurons causing them to rout.off the table

All that is left is the remaining Huron warband on the hill in the centre and they are outnumbered 3:1 and flanked. So they leg it.
All in all a fun battle