Tuesday 30 January 2024

Barbarians of the Icy North (Library: Overdue & Returns)

The air is frigid and the ground frozen hard, but this band of barbarians seem to barely notice the cold. My latest entry to the Painting challenge is a group of plastic figures from North Star that I bought preassembled on a bring-and-buy stall some years ago. 

Long overdue some attention they are now ready to join my growing fantasy/frostgrave collection of figures. 

In the Painting Challenge, I also claimed the Challenge Library “Overdues and Returns” bonus for these because not only have they rested in my pile-o-shame for at least a year, but they presumably sat in someone else's pile-o-shame before that before being sold. So these are long long overdue for their coat of paint as well as being a return to an old project from Challenge Ten, way back in 2019. 

Monday 29 January 2024

History on the Tabletop: Writing scenarios for Wargaming Real Battles

Turning the great battles of history into an exciting tabletop wargame is more than just throwing together a list of the units that took part. This week I discuss my approach to scenario writing.

Sunday 21 January 2024

Friday 19 January 2024

Battle of Rivoli 1797 - A 6mm wargaming using Volley & Bayonet 2nd Edition

Last Weekend was my first wargame of the year with the Rejects in Stuarts Shed-o-War, and for a change, it wasn’t Stuart running the game. Richard brought his 6mm MDF figures from Commission Figurines to the shed to refight the Battle of Rivoli in 1797.

This would be the fourth attempt at relieving the French siege of Mantua and as the Austrian commander, I was advised that troops and other resources were almost exhausted and unlikely to be replenished. The plan was to send a diversionary force further to the east and to catch and destroy the French forces east of Lake Garda, centred around Rivoli.

The game began with the enemy outposts having already been pushed back from La Corona to Rivoli. The Austrian players now had an opportunity to trap the French by attacking across the Trambolore Heights, assaulting the Rivoli Plain from the Adige. Simultaneously a separate division would march up the Osteria Gorge in an attempt to turn the French flank. A third detachment would also be sent over Monte Baldo to appear in the French rear. The question was, could these elements bring enough pressure to bear before the French reinforcements arrived? 

...and the answer was no, we couldn’t.

Surjit just couldn’t fight his way out of the Gorge to get into the flank of the French Position, and while I was able to take control of the Trambolore Heights, taking them broke my Brigades and exhausted the Division. 

In the end, we just didn’t have enough Brigades left in fighting condition to exploit any of our gains, and all the while more French reinforcements were marching onto the plain.

This was a great game, exciting right to the very end, and I think we have all decided we like Richard’s use of the Volley & Bayonet rules. I’ve no idea when he’ll be running another battle in this period, but the sooner the better as I thoroughly enjoyed this game, despite the hard-fought defeat!

Wednesday 17 January 2024

French Archaeologists and other Civilians : Revisiting and old Project

The sands of the Algerian desert part to reveal a group of French civilians examining old bits of pot, drinking wine, and listening to a scratchy gramophone. All very civilized in the middle of nowhere…until the locals decide to attack of course! Then they will need the protection of a detachment of Legionnaires. Meanwhile, a handful of indigenous labourers and their overseer are working in the background thinking how strange these overdressed foreigners are. 

I’m briefly revisiting my Foreign Legion/French Colonial project from 2022 and completing a group of civilian models that were on my to-do list at the time but have sat neglected in my Pile-o-Shame ever since. I had got as far as priming and mounting them on sticks…and that has been where they have stayed for the last couple of years. This year's Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge gives me a chance to get these done and to clear my conscience of a side project not completed. 

I have also painted a couple of half-sized ‘irregular’ units consisting of civilian adventurers and explorers who have taken up arms to protect themselves. 

Just a handful of models but they are done now and start to feature in some of my games. 

Tuesday 16 January 2024

Wars of the Roses Camps and Medieval Building

Another entry to the Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge and once again I am revisiting an old project to complete a few bits and bobs. This week I went all Medieval revisiting my Wars of the Roses project from last year. This Merchants House is a relatively new acquisition and was sent to me by 6MilPhil and was part of his recent Medieval Village Kickstarter. He sent me a whole set for review last year and I have painted most of the buildings now, apart from this one. So I decided it was time to pull my finger out and get it done. 

I have also been trying to clear up a few more little bits from my Wars of the Roses project and these items have been sitting around neglected for far too long. The Tents are from Leven Miniatures and as I have come to expect from this company are reasonably priced and the resin is nice to work with. I had painted a much more colourful set last year but I really didn’t like them so I bought two more sets and went instead with this much simpler colour scheme of off-white canvas with coloured trim.

Sunday 14 January 2024

Mapping the Battle: Successful Wargames Cartography

Fitting a historical battle onto a standard 6x4 games table may mean squeezing or morphing reality to make the terrain fit. But how far can you change things before it stops being historical and becomes a work of fantasy?

Sunday 7 January 2024

What is a Wargamer? And is it different for everyone?

What is YOUR hobby? The answer will be different for every Wargamer. This week I discuss MY hobby and why it's OK to be different. 

I'll also give an update on my hobby activities, what has been on my workbench, and a review of the movie Godzilla Minus One (Hint, it is MUCH better than the last film I went to the cinema to see!)