Saturday, 29 August 2015

English Civil War Superpost

My good self, the Marquess of Nottingham.
Pictures are from Jane Dunn.
Welcome back to Palladian Guard, where today I'll be sharing the results of our ECW Supercampaign!

What is a Supercampaign?

It's like a normal campaign, a series of linked battles played out on a map.  But we blur the lines with roleplaying - orders have to be written and troops moved around a master campaign map in real time.  Not using 'nodes' or 'pins', we really do work out how far the men march and how many miles they're spread out over!  There are secret notes, orders, couriers and subterfuges that make for a gripping campaign season.  Our most recent Supercampaign was the American Civil War one.

What's this Supercampaign all about?

Some might remember our recent trips to the National Civil War Centre - our gaming group are all from Newark in the UK, which was a Royalist stronghold during the Civil War.  This campaign saw us playing out the Third Siege, which lasted from late 1645 to the end of the war the following year.

So how did it go?

To keep this post short and digestible, I'll summarize everything quite briefly.

 I assumed the role of the (fictional) Marquess of Nottingham, leading a small Royalist garrison.  Although the war was nearly over and there was no hope of a 'victory' for me, it was my job to try and fight for favourable surrender terms for my men.  I had a tiny force - about ten stands of 2mm Irregular Miniatures - but the town had formidable defences and artillery cover which made any direct assault a difficult prospect.

The Parliamentarians led by brother Ollie (the fictional Sir James Maxwell, MP), and the allied Scots by the valiant Kieran (Earl of Kinross), had a hugely superior force but had a long line to garrison.  They had about thirty stands to command, but it would be hard for them to guard the entire siege line round the town while concentrating quickly for battle.

My worthy foe, Sir James!
Over the first few months I led some daring raids out of the town and scored a few successes, burning the surrounding villages (depriving the besiegers of vital winter quarters) and looting supplies.  Soon, however, the attritional casualties, cold weather and outbreaks of typhus wore down my men and I fought one battle too many.  Outside North Muskham my army was all but annihilated and I barely escaped with my life!  A further six weeks of protracted negotiations, prolonged by the intransigence of both parties, eventually led to the besiegers biting the bullet and storming the town at night, while I tried to slip away and escape by boat!

A satisfyingly climactic battle ensued, and despite some horrendous casualties storming the guns the besiegers broke through into the town.  Still unwilling to surrender, I blew up the town's magazine and managed to escape with about three boatloads of my most loyal men.  Unfortunately my boat later sank on the way to Oxford and I was captured.  My life graciously spared by Sir James, who instead banished me to the Isle of Wight.  The Earl of Kinross was less disposed to mercy but eventually relented...

In summary, a clear Parliamentarian/Scottish victory, but I'm pleased I held out to the last!  Even if, of the 3,000 men I started with, 1,000 were captured and 1,750 were killed in battle or died of typhus.  Oh dear.

My lovingly-made model of the town of Newark!
The Royalists sally forth, past the Queen's Sconce towards Farndon!  All the moves were meticulously
worked out on a map, painstakingly researched by Kieran.
Sir John Redman's troops approach Farndon.  We used a modification of the Give Them The Cold Steel ACW rules, suitably tweaked for 17th Century warfare.
And there we have it!  I hope that captures some of the drama and tension of what was a fantastic four weeks' campaigning.  What's next, I hear you cry?  The distant rumble of the Franco-Prussian War can be heard just over the horizon...

Bye for now,

Ed

Friday, 21 August 2015

Death Korps Tunnelling Squad

An update from the mists of time... I found these pics buried in my computer this morning, so I thought I'd share them in all their poorly-lit gloriness.  They're part of my nascent 500pt Death Korps army - in fact the only active 40K project I have on the go at the moment.  I've almost totally switched over to historical stuff, but still enjoy painting these figures for old times' sake.

If this were an Osprey book, I'd point out the camouflage helmets and blue turnback cuffs - both distinctions of Pioneer Korps units.  They are identifiable as part of the Divisional Pioneer Battalion (as opposed to Company Pioneer Platoon), since the latter are considered 'organic' and wear white turnback cuffs like the infantry unit they're attached to.

Thursday, 30 July 2015

National Civil War Centre

I notice a few weeks have slipped by, so time for an update.  I've got a lot of projects on the go - both in the wargaming world and in real life.  However the whole month of August is booked as leave, so I hope to have plenty to share with you over the coming weeks.

If you are a UK-based gamer, I thoroughly recommend a visit to the National Civil War Centre in Newark-on-Trent, Nottinghamshire.  I have an annual pass and can honestly say it's the best museum I've ever been to - I visit at least once a week.  Of course, we're currently planning our English Civil War campaign so there's a lot of research I do there but it's also quite a good family destination.  My brother takes his 8-month-old there - apparently the only thing that stops her crying is watching videos of pikemen.


Friday, 17 July 2015

Gaming in the Garden - 2mm Napoleonic Battle Report

A quick 'pic update' today with some photos of our recent 2mm Napoleonic smash.  We were using my modified set of Give Them The Cold Steel, tweaked for early nineteenth-century combat.  A 4x4 board was used, this time with a gaming mat which was very convenient - watch this space for a review next week.

As usual, I'll let the pictures and captions do the talking rather than doing a full dissection.  I played as the French, and Mike as the valiant Brits using 2mm Irregular Miniatures figures.

The gaming mat was from Game Mat EU - my favourite thing about it is
that you can easily make hills by putting books underneath the mat.

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Mordheim Battle Report: Blood on the Streets

With some unexpected time off, I managed to get two games of Mordheim in with Mike today.  Smashing games they were too - both played with our Gaming Philosophy in mind - lots of terrain, lots of fluff, a few skirmishing models.

This is part of a series of on-off games we're playing as part of a casual campaign, using the Fourth Kingdomites - a shooty warband with lots of muskets and pistols.  Facing off against them were Prince Leopold's finest, a tough warband that has won just about every encounter so far. A daunting prospect!

We diced for the Street Fight scenario, where a single road running through the middle is bordered by a row of houses, the rest of the board being impassible.  The objective was to get off the other side of the table.

Fourth Kingdomites
  • John Carew - leader
  • 'Naughty' Sally - champion
  • 'Deadeye' Rupert - champion (musketeer)
  • 'Strongarm' Roger - champion (musketeer)
  • 'Bish' (The Bishop of Ropeth & Mundy) - champion
  • The Three Musketeers - henchmen with muskets
Prince Leopold's Finest
  • Leopold, Prince of the People - leader, top floor
  • Gunther - champion, middle floor (L-R)
  • Maximilian - champion
  • Josef- champion
  • Alec - champion
  • Karl - champion
  • Marienburg Dandies Fencing Association - henchmen with swords
  • Marienburg Archery Society - henchmen with longbows
  • Tiny the Ogre
My worthy opponents!

Saturday, 27 June 2015

Size Isn't Everything - A Discussion on 2mm Wargaming

This blog started out as a firmly 28mm blog.  It was all about 40K at first, then moved into other historicals like WWII, with a wide variety of fantasy and non-fantasy games.  But they were all 28mm - until my recent American Civil War campaign, when I got into 2mm wargaming.  In this article I'm going to share some of the reasons for my love of 2mm gaming, and hopefully you'll share your own thoughts as well.

Cinematic, realistic, dramatic... 28mm wargaming all over.
How did you start collecting 2mm?

My main motivation for collecting and painting models is for the visual effect on the board.  I want my armies to look realistic - like a shot from a film, where possible.  Clearly, the biggest reason I started in 28mm was that it's the dominant scale for all wargaming, thanks to GW.  But they're also a good balance between detail and collectability, and every model I paint in 28mm improves my skill at that level and reinforces the preference.

I've always resisted wargames that aren't 1:1 scale - that is, games where one figure on the board doesn't represent one man in real life.  These games can still look great on the board, but for me there's just something not right about putting down ten models with a flag and calling it a 'regiment'.  It just chips away at my suspension of disbelief.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Battle Report: Meeting Engagement

As promised last week, I've got a quick batrep of our Battlefleet 1900 game from last weekend.  We were using the new Tumbling Dice 1:2400 ships, which were a real visual treat.

The engagement was between a Russian battleship, escorted by a cruiser, and a Japanese battleship supported by three destroyers.  Despite the clear firepower advantage the Russians had, destroyers have deadly torpedoes which can easily sink a larger ship.

As usual I'll stick with lightly-annotated pictures rather than a dissection.

The deployment.  The Russians (in blue, at the bottom) were
travelling left-to-right when the Japanese (top, in red) attacked.

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Battlefleet 1900: New 1:2400 ships

Frequent visitors to the blog (from before my sabbatical) may recall the Battlefleet 1900 games we played, re-enacting some battles from the Russo-Japanese War.  Well, while at Partizan this year I saw some excellent 1:2400 ships on the Tumbling Dice stand.  Spying an opportunity to snatch up some excellent models at a bargain price, I bought the £40 starter pack.  This doesn't supplant the 1:3000 WTJ models I already have, but rather allows for some new modelling opportunities and will be used to enact smaller ship-to-ship engagements rather than the fleet actions of the smaller-scale ships.


Friday, 29 May 2015

Random Project - Baneblade

Those of you fortunate enough to have been following this blog from the start will know full well that I am not a fan of Apocalypse models or games.  But recently, a friend asked me to paint up his Baneblade and was generous (or foolish) enough to say "paint it however you like!"

This is the result.  Having spent a day and a half smashing this project solidly I can still say I'm not a fan of the baneblade, it's an utterly rediculous tank and a real pain to build.  I did, however, enjoy yhe brutally simple process of painting it:

  • OD spraypaint
  • Wash with a huge tin of black ink
  • Wait to dry then sponge metal onto the corners
  • Dot every rivet with watered-down rust powder (not as bad as it sounds)
  • Heavy dose of black weathering powder on the muzzles etc
  • Detailing like the markings and lights
Voila!  A quick and simple project, and a good chance to try out some basic tank weathering ideas.  Enjoy!

Friday, 22 May 2015

Mordheim Warband - The Fourth Kingdomites

Greetings - as promised, I'm back to posting once a week.  This is just a quick photo update to show off one of the projects I've been working on for the past few weeks.  Regular readers may remember my lovely Undead Warband from last year.  Tragically, they went missing in action and I haven't seen them for a while.

Mike and I planned a campaign, so I had to produce a warband in under 24 hours.  Argh!  I rushed to the National Civil War Centre in Newark (where they sell Warlord Games miniatures), and I bought some Montrose Irish.

The (brief) fluff for these chaps is that they are part of a mad breakaway religious sect - the Fourth Kingdomites.  Details to follow - I was occupied with the painting with these chaps!

'Naughty' Sally, and the sect leader John Carew