Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Xmas Cheer

Not a lot of it around this year - I'm full of cold - coughing, spluttering, etc.  Such is life!

On the positive side being out of circulation has meant that I have done quite a bit of reading lately.

Border Reivers: proved interesting if a bit unsatisfying (like most Osprey books I find).  The Currours will no doubt be converted in due course.

Irregular Wars 2nd Edition:  really a heap better than the first edition.  Can't wait to try out the rules.  Optional cards are way too expensive though.

Not wanting to mess about with re-basing and considering that my 20mm plastics are already set for DBA-RRR, I went in search of  the 'unused' Meso-American 15mm figures.

It turns out that I have:
             a considerable number of Aztecs (mainly Tin Soldier and Minifigs);
             some Tupi (Grumpys & Gladiator), Maya (Gladiator ),
             plus a few Incas(Minifigs) & Eskimos(MY Miniatures).

Can't help feeling that there may be some American Indians somewhere lurking about (also MY)!

European opposition is sadly lacking though - only some Wars of the Roses figures that could be press-ganged into use.  Hopefully Vapnatak will provide the answer!!!

Anyway ..... although I do not celebrate xmas for those who do may I wish you all a


Monday, 8 December 2014

Returning from Recon

"4 plastic Blue Dice,
3 pots of paint,
2 boxes of soldiers .....and...
a book on Border Reivers."

My booty from Recon 2014:

Now that I have given up on Armati I'm looking to re-base my New Kingdom Egyptians, Trojans & Sea Peoples/Philistines for Impetus.  Depending upon what is needed whether I draft these figures into an existing army or use them as the basis for a new one - time will tell.

At last I managed to find this book on the Bring & Buy (at £4).  Only read a few pages so far but it looks interesting.  A DBA-RRR force created from Curours (plus head-swaps) seems possible. 

The 2nd Edition of these rules (pdf) came into my possession earlier in the week.  A huge improvement over the previous version - but a lot more pages to read.  I'm almost tempted to buy the book when it comes out!

Purchased on the weekend before Recon, at the Halifax shop.  These useful figures will go into my 'stock pile' until they are needed.

Finally Monday saw a DBM battle between Polybian Romans versus Axumite Abbyssinians in Arabia.  Again we managed to face off our camels & light horse against his Light horse (Numidians this time).  The enemy threw a "1"  to make their ally unreliable.  Sensing victory our hordes advanced.  Light Horse Harry (Chris) quickly threw a "6" to get his command moving and avoided contact for most of the game.  After 3 hours we declared a draw with fewer than 10 casualties per side.

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Another Quick Note

RL getting in the way again - folk dancing & computers.

Been calling at least twice a week lately - something to do with xmas no doubt!
Also had to build a new computer as the previous one was burning out the CPU (ouch!).

Still I did managed to put a bit of paint on lead today - tidying up some Irish kerns [Ps(I)] that I hastily painted for a recent game ...... plus starting on their 'wealthier' brothers [Ps(S)].

Renaissance figures are definitely on the back burner, along with the WW1 East Africans.

Hopefully with the festive break (which I don't celebrate) I will find time to catch up on the painting front.

No doubt this Saturday's trip to Recon (Pudsey) will mean even more bare metal and/or plastic going into the unpainted pile - Ho hum!

Thursday, 6 November 2014

WW1 in East Africa - Pt.3

Here are the last 2 pictures of my Brits in East Africa:

Officers, NCOs, machine-guns and an artillery piece (from various sources).

Some Indians & Arabs (ex Mahdists) plus Brit mtd officer.

On the DBM front this week Patrician Roman faced off against Late Roman (Eastern) - yet another Roman civil war!  Terrain meant that one-third of the board was never used.  The Patricians deployed all 4 commands in one half of the table with 2 in front of 2.  The Later Romans were more strung out  and their first dice stalled their allied command.  In spite of a determined advance in the centre the LR camel command was hit by other camels (supported by bows) and broke.  It was only a matter of time before sufficient casualties were caused to take out half the army.  a 10:0 win to the Patricians.

Friday, 31 October 2014

WW1 East Africa Project (revisited) - Pt.2

A couple of pictures of my Brits:

Left - 30th Punjab regiment             Centre - Masai warriors         Right - actual Brits  

Left - 2nd Jammu & Kashmir Rifles          Centre - Arab auxilliaries              Right - Askaris

Looking through my rules I unearthed the following:

"Hordes of the Empire" by Potter, Blake & Webb

"HotT in Darkest Africa" by Mac Walker
[available on the HotT Yahoo group]

Obviously both are based on "Hordes of the Things.  It looks as though I tried to combine these into one set!

"I Wish I Was In France" by Tony Cullen

Tried these out but found them a bit too complex.  Maybe I should try again!

"East Africa WW1" by Will McNally

Not tried these at all.

"In the Heart of East Africa"
 [] - scroll down for the playsheet

These are a variant of "In the Heart of Africa" a much larger (now commercial) set written by Chris Peers.  I have tried ItHoEA but they are for skirmishes using bases of single figures - fine if you want that scale.

Next time - Pt.3 - more Brit pics & info sources.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

WW1 East Africa Project (revisited) - Pt.1

With the issue of new figures from HaT I decided to dig out the old box files.  Not surprisingly the contents needed some quick repairs and basing work.  The paint job could also do with some improvements.   Nevertheless I intend giving them an outing in late November - so the next job is sorting out the rules.

Here are some of the German forces:

         Left - Ruga Ruga armed with spears & shield
(various sources including Red Indians).
    Centre - Schutztruppe from HaT box 8123
Right - Ruga Ruga armed with muskets / rifles.     

                                                                     Similar to above.

             Not sure where the gun came from (or the mounted officer).
Foot are Schutztruppe again.

                  'Personality' figures from various sources plus machine-guns 
(from who-knows where?).

With another 4 bases of Schutztruppe that's all I have for the Germans.  The Brits will be in part 2.

On the DBM front Monday's match was Early Libyans v Later Sargonid Assyrian.  This is another case of a powerful and successful army doing badly under the rules (like most of the Romans).  The list gives you over-priced 4h chariots (counting as Kn(S) @ 14 ap each) and only packets of other troop types.  Not surprisingly the Assyrians were massacred for the second week running.

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Another Quick Note

Just updated my previous post - photos instead of the box backs.  Managed to dig out two small lamps from my cupboard - light levels still poor (a very grey October here in northern England).

No DBM this Monday but Saturday saw a re-fight of Blenheim (King of the Battlefield) and a Samurai Civil War (Impetus).

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

A Bumper Harvest

For the first time ever I purchased an entire issue of Hat soldiers (E25) - six boxes in total (very fast service from Model Hobbies Ltd).

I tried photographing the figures but light levels have been so poor since Monday that I haven't managed any decent pictures.  Maybe later!!!

 First up - 8298 Huns - 3 sprues. The only 'ancients' set in the release.  Don't know where they are going to end up but we shall see.

 Two 'colonial' sets next - 8289 Bengal Lancers and 8288 Colonial British Dragoons (3 sprues each).

Last up - three sets that replace the truly dreadful Hat/Coates & Shine WW1 German Colonial Infantry (8123) that only managed 3 for sculpting at PSR [].

We have - 8268 Askaris, 8269 Ruga Ruga & 8270 Schutztruppe.  All these can be used for the WW1 conflict in East Africa (4 sprues per box).  Now if only HaT could manage some combatants for West Africa!

The Ruga Ruga could be used elsewhere and provide a number of baggage handlers which are much needed.

When light permits I will provide photos and, maybe, I will post about my WW1 East Africa project.

Saturday, 11 October 2014

Struggling On

First off - Monday's DBM tussle was between Marian Roman and Abyssinians.  In the centre Wb(O) faced  Wb(F) - at exactly the same points expenditure.  On our (Abby) left flank the motley command of Ps(S) & Lh(O) tried to investigate a large BUA but made little progress.  The other flank was a different story however - our Camels(O) & Lh(O) had Cv and Lh in their sites.  Such an unequal contest resulted in a broken command and a 6:4 win to us.

On the painting front I have almost finished some Chinese warband elements.  Some colour has appeared on the Dutch and Transylvanians but not nearly enough.  Sad to say RL is still getting in the way.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

RL Getting In The Way

It's been almost a month since I blogged - real life had interposed itself.  With the Folk Dance season starting in September I have been very busy and the pressure is not easing off (calling today and Friday).  Still I will try to get some painting done soon.

Monday's DBM game was between Lysimachid and Alexandrian Imperial.  Some pikemen actually got into contact (but not with each other).  So a long drawn-out affair with Lysimachus' cavalry arm being whittled away.

The Saturday game featured DBA-RRR with 4 players in a 'round robin' followed by a larger game in the afternoon.

In the first game my Polish hussars went crashing into the French with the inevitable result.  Tim's Colonial Spanish were comprehensively trounced.

The second round saw John Smith triumphant again and my Germans were six-oned relentlessly.

The 'big battle' saw 30YW Catholics versus Protestants.  Quite a struggle which ebbed and flowed for a while until a decisive loss in the centre.

The rules are more subtle than they seem (especially the flank support rule).  I added a few house rules regarding generals for the last game:

(a)  C-in-C's command has 12 elements plus a round command stand.
(b)  SG's commands are 12 strong including a nominated general.
(c)  SG's get +1 for everything and 1d6 for movement.
(d)  C-in-C gets 1d6 for his command plus 1d3 to be distributed as he likes to elements
      or groups within 18"  (9" if line-of-sight is blocked by terrain).

The extra 1d3 made PIP distribution more even and seemed to work fine.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Polish Presence

Finished the last bases for Polish-Lithuanian 'Commonwealth'. 

Commander & 2 x Lh

Armoured cossacks & 'winged' hussars

As an experiment I used a mid-green background.  As you can see the lights appear to have turned it turquoise!  The 'light-bounce' is also strong.  Guess I will go back to the white sheet (even if it does go a bit pinkish).

Anyway that's the Polish-Lithuanian army completed - by substituting another Lh for the WWg.  I will get around to building that wagon then the Lh can go to the Transylvanian army.

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Est Arrive

No not the Beaujolais (that's in November) but the 60mm bases.  At the first opportunity I put painted figures on bare bases and got on with the flocking.  So here are the additions:

On the left - 4 elements of Portuguese colonial musketeers (with very bright feathers courtesy of South American birds of paradise).
On the right - 1 element of Russian Blades plus 3 Dutch shot.

On the left - Spanish colonial soldiers - Escopeteros (ex WoR Courers), 4-to-a-base Blades & 1 shot.
On the right - 3 Lh (haven't decided exactly where each is going).

This means that I now have 11 x DBA-RRR armies ready to fight - Free Cossacks, Danish 30YW, French 30YW, German Catholic, German Protestant, Ottoman Turks, Portuguese Colonial, Russians, Safavid Persians, Spanish Colonial & Early Gustavian Swedish.

Yesterday was another DBM scrap - Ancient British (with Roman ally) v Syracusans.  The dice gods were capricious granting large movement scores only to wait until you were over-extended then serve up a '1'.  Combat dice were no better with me losing 3 cavalry in one round even though I was on even or better odds. 

Come the final round the first combat dice-off killed 3 of our hoplites and the central command collapsed.  Two of the enemy warband fell leaving only two more needed to break the enemy centre.  The remaining dice-offs did nothing until there was only my lone cavalryman to try his luck.  I rolled the bones and turned away to get the tin ready.  6-2 was enough to snatch a draw from the jaws of defeat. 

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Just Some Notes

No progress on the DBA-RRR front because of very poor service from  I ordered (and paid for) £22 worth of  60mm mdf bases on the 8th August - and am still waiting for delivery.  Subsequent emails have gone un-answered.  Now I have to try to reclaim my money via PayPal.

On the DBM front I took Former Ch'in (List 2.21) to face Andy's Early Vietnamese.  I ended up fighting against 3 commands with the inevitable result.  Two of the enemy commands were near breakpoint but that was little compensation for a birthday defeat.

When John Smith returns from Partizan (at Newark) he will, hopefully, bring me some alternative bases - so normal service can be resumed!

Thursday, 14 August 2014

Commanding Figures

Four new commanders off the paint table plus some horse.....

Colonial Portuguese and German Catholic

The stripes on the commander's legs are more Spanish than Portuguese - oh well!  The figure is a War of the Roses Courer.  The German commander is from the Waterloo 1815 Cromwell's Cavalry set.

Danish & Safavid Persian

The Danish horseman is another Cromwell cavalryman.  The Safavids are a mix of Saracens & Mongols.

French Bernadine cavalry & Danish harquebusiers

Now I have to admit that I couldn't find any pictures of Bernadine cavalry but the French Kn were still very old-fashioned at this time so I took a risk.  The harquebusiers are yet more Cromwellian cavalry.

So that's the majority of the commanders done.  Once my new order of bases arrives I can finish off some horse and foot.  Just the Polish, Dutch & Transylvanians to go then!

Saturday, 9 August 2014

A Bit More Progress

Well here we are one week after my last post - with a bit more progress on the Renaissance front:

Two elements for my Cossack army - the pikemen have been modified to turn them into 'drilled cossacks'
                                                       - the skirmishers are new

6 elements for my new Polish army - 2 x Regular Sh, 2 x Irreg Sh, 1 x Gun (it should be smaller) and 1 x 'Polish cossacks'.   

On the DBM front Monday's game was Andy's Tamil Indian versus Al's Later Crusader.  I seconded Andy and was in charge of the main attack in the centre.  Now the last time I was put in charge of a mass of Wb(F) it wasn't long before they disintegrated.  This first impact out of 7 dice I threw 5 sixes.  I killed 10 elements in one round (Andy killed 2 more).  The game was decided by 8.30 pm.  I think that I have used up all my luck for at least a year!

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Progress Report

Still revising my DBA-RRR 30YW armies.  Plenty of painting done but little actually finished.

Modified dragoons base for German Catholics - thought I would show the rear view this time!

On my painting tray are:

1 x 3 Cv   harquebusiers (Danish)
2 x 3 Kn   Bernadine cavalry (French)
1 x 2 Sk   snipers (Free Cossacks)
1 x 2 Lh   Croats (German Catholic)
1 x 3 Cv   Feudal horse (German Protestant)
1 x 3 Cv   German mercenary reiters (Swedish)
1 x 2 Lh   German mercenary harquebusiers (Swedish)

This gives you some idea of just how many changes I have had to make.

Hopefully I can get these oddments painted up for the September game but it is not looking good - time will tell.
On the club front I played another game of Saga - this time a 3-hander - Bretons, Welsh & Jomsviking.  It struck me that it was far too easy for the Jomsvikings to get their Wrath up to 6 (and keep it there)!

There was a DBM game going on between Lysimachids & Seleukids.  As expected the pikes never got into contact.  Lysimachus lost one wing to enemy horse but had bottled up the enemy right so tightly that a draw was offered and accepted.  All par for the course.

Friday, 25 July 2014

ECW Cavalry & War Wagons

When did we loose control of deliveries?  How has the balance of power tipped in favour of the workmen, delivery companies et al?  I seem to have spent a lot of time this week just waiting around for people to turn up!  [OK rant over].

Three items from Hannants (can't complain about their service at all) - one repeat and two new:


 New release from Waterloo 1815 - Cromwell's Cavalry (ECW)

Only 4 poses is a bit limited - even though one of them has an alternative arm.  
The figures are on the small side but fit in well with Revell.
Let's hope that more cavalry are forthcoming!


So far I have collected:

 1 x Orion 72039 Hussite War Wagon and Command -

2 x Zxezda 8064 Zaporozhian Cossacks -

1 x Mini Art 72010 Housits / Hussites -

Included in the Mini Art box was an exploded diagram - Well Done Mini Art!
It's a great pity that Orion didn't think to do the same.

It remains to be seen which bits I take from each set to construct my Polish War Wagon.  
Watch this space.....

Thursday, 17 July 2014


According to DBA-RRR my dragoons should be..."mounted on a 40x40mm base with 3 shooters and one figure holding horses, or mounted on horseback in the rear."

Well...setting aside that I use 20mm figures (not 15mm as per the rules) I had previously just put 3 shooters on a standard base.  This meant that they were not obviously distinguishable from other foot troops.

Looking around my spares trays I found some old Airfix Napoleonics:

On the left - Revell artilleryman (I seem to have a lot of spares).
On the right - Airfix Napoleonic Cuirassier & horse

After the 'chop-job' these bits went back to the spares box.  The horse with arm attached - plus armless artilleryman were brought together.

A bit of arm bending, some filler and a paint job later 3 of the 4 new dragoon units.  Now the trouble is...when you photograph your figures you see the faults that ordinary sight doesn't.  The one on the right needs more filler as the arm and shoulder have slightly parted company....Ho hum!

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

German Protestant 30YW

I can't believe that it has been a month since I blogged - think I had better make a weekly contribution from now on.

Anyway here is the bulk of my new DBA-RRR army:

3 x Pi, 1x Dr, 1 x Art

4 x Sh, 2 x Pk

I still need to modify the Dr stand, create 1 x Cv and a general's base.  Note the thick MDF bases - makes the units much easier to handle - well worth the money.

Talking of DBA-RRR I noticed that v1.21 of the army lists contained quite a few changes so I went through my existing 10 armies only to find that I needed to make a lot of alterations.  Apart from artillery being split between CAN & GUN the number of Pk elements has been severely reduced.  Only 3 armies didn't need modification.

No DBM match on Monday so I played Saga for the first time - Vikings versus Welsh.  It was a steep learning curve with plenty of mistakes on both sides.  I had 2 figures standing at the end including my Warlord.  It was an interesting game but neither of us thought that it was particularly historically accurate.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Paint Table Oddments

Maybe I have a strange way of painting - but it works for me.  I usually have one main project on the go plus a number of 'strays' at the tray edges.  When I have a little paint left on the brush (especially browns) a 'stray' or two get leather work done.

 Over time a group of figures gets near to completion - so I finish them off - and here are the latest oddments:

Greek hoplites (Old Minifigs) fronted by Regular peltasts (Tin Soldier).

A real mixture of 'Arabs' - on the left 4 bases of Almughavars (Minifigs)
         - on the right 4 bases of cavalry (unknown)

Current main project is 20mm 30 Years' War Germans.  

The latest version of the DBA-RRR army lists meant that I had to remove 1 x Pk and replace it with 1 x Sh (for the Imperial Catholic army).  The unwanted Pk can go towards building a German Protestant army.

At the edge of the board are 10 x Carthaginian 4h chariots (STILL) plus sundry others.                 

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Parcels - part 2

You wouldn't believe how many attempts I made to take these pictures!  The riders fit badly on their mounts and the bases are not wide enough to be stable (sigh!).

 Lithuanian Tartars

Polish Lisovchiki

Yesterday's DBM scrap was between Later Muslim Indian and Anglo-Danish.  The game started late and, in spite of a Welsh flank march arriving, resulted in a draw.  

Still it was better than last week's debacle where I did everything wrong - positioning, army composition and dice-throwing.  My Medieval Portuguese went down 0-10.  Such is life! 

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Parcels Galore!

Saturday 7th June - two parcels arrived.

The heavier one was from with my custom MDF bases (60mm frontage).  These are destined to smarten up my Renaissance DBA-RRR figures making them easier to handle and less liable to breakages (I hope).

The lighter parcel was from Emodels:


I found an interesting article on the Lisovchiki:

Scroll down for the English translation.

As soon as the figures have completed their 'chemical treatment' and I have trimmed them up I will post pictures.