Monday, 15 December 2014

First Bull Run - ACW Card-and-Counter Game

Evening all!  Think I'm overdue a quick update, so I thought I'd share a very enjoyable game we had the other day.  For a long time we've thought about the possibility of using counters to represent units when playing larger-scale games.  Saves on terrain, time, cost - just about everything.  Of course you loose the joy of painting and collecting, but if you want to replicate army-level encounters (as opposed to the platoon- or company-level battles of 28mm wargaming), collecting a whole army is impossible.

Having said that, given how cheap 2mm models are, I've recently ordered a pack from Irregular Miniatures' Horse and Musket range.  At that scale the effect will be pretty much the same as card counters.  I'll let you know how it goes.

Anyway, to Friday.  My brother came round to my new house and we christened it with a game of Give Them The Cold Steel, an excellent (and free) set of ACW rules.  I tweaked them to change the scale, making 1" the frontage of a regiment so we could play on a map of six sheets of A4 paper, with the Trench Raiders plastic sheets to prevent slippage.

Using the Wikipedia page for First Bull Run/Manassas Junction, I created a 1" x 3/4" square for each regiment, and we picked the action round Henry House as the snapshot for our battle.  That gave each player about five brigades (25 regiments) to handle.  To the uninitiated, the rather awful film Gods and Generals does have some excellent battle scenes in it which capture the feel of the battle.

The set-up for the battle - complete with fancy dress.
Union 1st Brigade, Second Division under Colonel Porter.  This brigade, on the Union left, took withering sharpshooter fire and Porter himself was killed.  The unit was so shattered by the time it reached the Confederate lines that a sharp counter-charge soon saw it routing in chaos.
The Confederate line, further back than in real life, extends east from Bald Hill.  Jackson's famous brigade takes the brunt of the Union assault and comes off the worst, but it holds position.
The battle in full swing - the smoke and random event cards made for a very chaotic battle!
Near Stone House, you can see a brigade in column where I made my last desparate gamble.  Forming Sherman's men up in column, I attempt to smash through the Confederate lines in French fashion.  You can see Ollie's hand as he swings Col Evans' brigade round and pours musket fire into my flank.  Ouch!  That didn't work.  Despite my success on the right flank with cavalry, I know I didn't have the infantry in the centre to follow it up so I called a general retreat, leaving Ollie victorious.  Well done!
What a fantastic battle.  I try not to bang on about GW too much on this blog, regular readers know my feelings.  But as we were playing, Kieran got a marketing email through on his phone advertising a new squad of five Terminators for £35.

Total cost of this game?  99p for a pack of cotton wool balls.

Ed

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Checking in...

It's been a long time, folks.  I thought I'd check in and let my loyal followers (both of them) know that I'm still alive and kicking.  It's always sad to read someone's blog that just trails away into nothing, so I'll try and make this as upbeat as possible.  Just to get it out the way, Real Life is going fine and I'm ticking along nicely.  Even managing to get a bit of wargaming in now and again!

In the last few months, the big news is that me and Kieran have started doing Flames of War! (Cheers from the wings)  I've been reading a lot about the First World War recently and I couldn't pass up an opportunity to start yet another fresh project.  I've meticulously researched C Coy, 18th (Service) Bn Northumberland Fusiliers (1st Tyneside Pioneers) and am trying to recreate exactly the company as it fought a valiant rearguard action against German stormtroopers in May 1918, on the Lys river bridgehead.

Wednesday, 14 May 2014

Battle Report: Last Stand of the Storm Wolves

As promised, despite my change of blogging pace last week I have a nice little battle report to share with you good people.  After a short hiatus in our 40K campaign, me and Ollie decided to get together and play a good old fashioned 40K game.  We had all the old codexes and decided to make it an Oldhammer game - that is, Third Edition.  This is less of a Battle Report and more of a picture compilation, just since it was so dynamic (read 'cuffed') and didn't really follow a structure.

The gallant Marines defending the sanctity of the Emperor's church...

Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Liebster Award - and Some News

Another round of Liebster Awards have been handed out, which means general good-natured mutual congratulation and appreciation of other people's blogs must go around!  I'm also using this post to announce a bit of a change of pace at Palladian Guard for the next few months.

I was fortunate enough to receive three nominations (so far), from Liam at Frothing Muppet's Land of Miniatures, my good friend Kieran at DYHAF, and Marshal Argos' 313 Rgt - cracking blogs which I genuinely look forward to reading.

The idea is to spread the word on smaller blogs, getting people clicking and looking at the ones that are still struggling to break out.  To that end, I won't re-nominate either of my very (very) worthy nominators and focus on smaller, newer blogs I enjoy.  Without further ado, the rules!

Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Battle Report: Battle of the North Sea Part II

Welcome back all, to Palladian Guard for the second half of our Quickfire game, which plays out a counterfactual clash between the Russian and Japanese fleets in the North Sea.  Read up on Part I here.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Battle Report: Battle of the North Sea Part I

Welcome to the first proper battle report for our Battlefleet 1900 games.  Using the WTJ rules and ships, we are fighting out real and counterfactual naval engagements from the Russo-Japanese War.  This scenario imagines an ambush between the Russian Pacific Squadron, en route from St Petersburg to the Pacific, by a force of Japanese ships.  This was a scenario widely feared by the Russians at the time, making them so jumpy they blew a British fishing smack to smithereens in the oft-forgotten Dogger Bank Incident, nearly starting a major Anglo-Russian war in the process.

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Storm Wolves Command Squad

I don't usually do commission work, but recently my brother got a Storm Wolves force together - a Space Wolves offshoot chapter based heavily on Vikings.  He had a five-man command squad are a 500pt army in their own right (last seen in the Battle of the Palace Steps) so I was challenged to paint them up.  These were an interesting challenge.  I've never painted SMs before, and rarely do metallic.  In case you can't tell. 

Pleased with:
  • Shield designs
  • Glowy sword
Not pleased with:
  • Patchiness of the white helmet
  • Grey armour looks somewhat uneven
If anyone has any tips on painting white ... I have been tempted to leave the undercoated white showing through unpainted, has anyone tried this?


Haakon Haakonsen and Command Squad


Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Sandman Specialist Entry Team

Regular readers will remember the crew of the Punisher tank from last year who defected to the Breaker Insurgency (the rebellious miners rising up against Palladian rule in our current campaign).  Well, Coldsteel Dan repaid the favour with some of Inquisitor Tiberius' hand-picked 'Specialist Entry Teams' of elite Guardsmen.  Here are the models Dan made and painted, along with some fluff.  These chaps will be joining in our forthcoming Small Games.


Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Finished U-Boat Diorama

Das Boot ist fertig, Herr Kaleun!

(Listen to this video in the background while viewing for the full Das Boot experience...)

Well, after approximately 20 hours' work, my U-Boat Diorama is completed.  It has been an emotional project, with a few moments of depression (when I realised my harbour water was far too clean and blue, necessitating a complete repaint) to elation (solving it with a spare tin of field-grey coloured Dulux I had from somewhere).

The crew were fun to paint in 20mm, and a challenge; the boat itself was actually done in about 15 mins (seriously!), with just one wash of black ink, an airbrushed highlight, and a liberal dose of weathering powders.  The water took the longest - painstakingly built up with filler, expanding foam, plaster, and PVA glue.  Each layer took about three days to dry, and the final glossy PVA is still not quite dry in time for its Wednesday photoshoot.

I'll let the pics do the talking.


Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Small Gaming: How I Fell In Love With GW Again

If there's one post title that's guaranteed to generate some comments, it's along the lines of 'Why I Hate GW', or 'Why I'm Boycotting GW'.  (Hypocrisy Alert:  I myself have tried this a few times in the past)  But I've had a bit of a rethink, and thought I'd share the secret of how you too can get back to the good old days.  It's called Small Gaming.

What is Small Gaming?

Small Gaming is skirmish games like Necromunda or Mordheim, or bigger games played with 'small rules' - such as Kill Team or Patrol Clash for Warhammer 40K.  It also has undertones of 'classic' GW, so old models, rules and mindsets - although there's nothing to stop you using newer models in it.

How did it start?

Necromunda - thanks to Kieran's breathtaking terrain skills we had a fantastic weekend that showed me happiness is in three dimensions.  A few gantries, steps, levels and tight-knit alleyways changes your game.