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.


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.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Mordheim Battle Report

This lonely street became the scene of some vicious fighting today...
Those of you following my Mordheim series will know I've been putting together a warband for a few weeks now.  I was over at Coldsteel Dan's place recently and we managed to get a test game in!  Thanks to Mike for getting it all together and for all the terrain and organisation.  In the tradition of most of my batreps, I won't go in to all the nitty-gritty and stick to some general photos.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

U-Boat Diorama


I was in my local model shop recently, and I found myself overcome by a mad impulse to buy a big naval kit.  They have a wide selection of large-scale WWII ships, mostly on the top shelves and covered in dust.  I spied a 1:72 Type IX kit for a bargain price, and quickly snapped it up.  But what then?  I already have a small-scale U-boat kit from last Christmas.  I decided to turn this one into a diorama of a U-boat arriving back after a successful patrol.  This would involve cutting the hull in half, and setting it in plaster or some other such water substitute - a suitable challenge!

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Battlefleet 1900

Another step forward on a long-dormant project today.  Way back in the mists of time (end of 2012), I bought some 1:3000 Russo-Japanese War ships with the intention of playing some Quickfire games.  Well, [insert measly excuse here] got in the way and I'm sorry to say they gathered dust for a few years.  However the interest was never really dead, and I recently went on holiday to Northumberland.  While wandering Barter Books, I found some great books on the history of the Russian navy, as well as late 19th century 'torpedo boat destroyer' designs.

And the rest, as they say, is history!  I dusted off the ships, repainted them, and decided to try the more complex Battlefleet rules. 

Battlefleet 1900 Playtest

They go in to much more detail than Quickfire, particularly with damage.  Effects include listing, searchlights being shot out, guns damaged, rudders jammed, crew panicking ... in short, real 'nitty gritty' detail that the amateur specialist loves.

The rules took a good three read-throughs, and even when me and Kieran had a test game I made some errors.  Specifically, I forgot all about critical hits so all four battleships were circling each other (sometimes at a range of about 200 yards) and blasting away, causing only superficial damage.  Woops!  But the game was fun, despite the severe constraints of a basic test game, and now I'm looking forward to expanding the fleets.  I want to do a few alternate history games around Admiral Rozhestvensky's ill-fated voyage to Tshushima.  

Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Mordheim Warband - Part III

Ach!  Zombies!**
Part III
The Zombies

(If you missed them, catch up with Part I, the planning, and Part II, the Vampire)

I've toyed with collecting Undead for Warhammer in the past, and every time I always do the same kind of army.  Big powerful vampire, minimum number of token heroes, and endless zombie hordes!

It's not really competitive*, but it makes for a very fun game and is very fluffy.  I've carried this over to my Mordheim warband, and with the consent of my opponents I have one vampire, one Necromancer, and endless zombie hordes!  My objective each game will be to get as many zombies killed (re-killed?) as possible, and generally have lots of fun.

Wednesday, 19 February 2014

Trench Raiders Triple

A bit of set-dressing for our game, courtesy of Kieran's re-enacting days
Palladian Guard is firmly back in First World War mode today, as we share another of our Trench Raiders Triple battle reports.  The first was from a few weeks back and saw the Germans and Brits battle it out in the last desperate days of 1917.  This one was after Kieran had painted up his lovely French infantry, so I played with the men of 5th Battalion, the Lincolnshire Regiment, while Ollie commanded 5. Sturmbattalion.

This is a two-parter with Kieran - I'm going to do a brief update of the Trench Raider rules, and talk a bit about how they've developed to this point.  Then I'll relate the first battle where Ollie's stormtroopers attacked a French position, then I'll hand over to Kieran at DYHAF for him to do the final two clashes - the French and British attacks on two German positions.

Wednesday, 12 February 2014

Death Korps Commander

OZf. Hans Heinrich von Tiesenhausen, 
Commanding 4. Kompanie
It's been a while since we had an update on the Death Korps, so I'll share a couple of outstanding projects.  The main one is my FW DK Commander - one of my favourite models of all time.  I decided to convert him into a 'command stand' like a historical game, since he won't be doing much actual combat.  This is something I did for my old HQ diorama - a 60mm base with three men on it.

I also remembered to take step-by-step photos!  Hurrah!  Take a look below to see the diorama take shape.

Wednesday, 5 February 2014

Mordheim Warband - Part II

In Part I we looked at the Mordheim Warband, I was conceptualising and deciding just which bunch of desperadoes to pick.  Having decided on Undead, I set about painting my Vampire model, and deciding on a name and some fluff.

Part II
The Vampire

Those of you who read the last update will remember the model I picked was from Reaper Miniatures.  I have nothing but good things to say about their figures, there's a great range and the service was excellent.  I set about painting my lovely vampiress...

This was one of those models that was delightfully simple to paint - a quick white undercoat and she was ready.  I used Chaos Black for the hair and a Scab Red basecoat, Blood Red highlight for her dress (what else...).  Blood Red can be quite blotchy, so it took about three coats to get rid of that and get a really smooth colour.  I deliberately kept the harshness of the creases and shading, to make it more appreciable at a distance.

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

English Civil War

This year has already seen Kieran and I start a new project with the Mordheim Warbands, which are well under way.  We couldn't possibly be starting something else as well, could we?

Sir Gervase Lucas' Company.  Give fire!

We could!

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Mordheim Warband - Part I

When reading other people's blogs, I often find the most useful pieces to be on the breakdown of a project - how it was conceived, executed and delivered.  I always forget to chart my progress as I go, so I'm pleased to report that myself, Kieran, Coldsteel Dan and a few others are starting a Mordheim campaign soon.  More excitingly still - I'm going to document the whole thing, and this is the first post in that series. 

Part I
The Plan

Oh, Sergeant Bilko, will you never get things right?

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Oldhammer 40K

Whether it's fedoras, pop art, colonial wars or Nickelodean, retro is back.  Old is the new new, and where else is this more true than the grumbling masses of ageing GW fans*?  My gaming group have already rejected a lot of the changes that Sixth Edition brought**, and we generally play from memory (mostly Fourth).

But Kieran recently, and generously, let me have a copy of the Second Edition Guard Codex, and I have fond memories of the Third Edition one.  So, when idly browsing Ebay I came across some absolute steals...

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Trench Raiders Campaign Day

My British Trench Raiders, from Great War Miniatures.  At last, the Allies can go on the offensive!
With all of us off at different times over Christmas, Kieran, Ollie and I made a special effort to get together for a few games of Trench Raiders during the festive period.  The game is really maturing now, thanks to all the readers of this blog who have downloaded and enjoyed the game across the world.  My gratitude goes out to those who've emailed in with feedback on the game; every email has contributed in some way to the rules.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Painting Death Korps

Happy New Year

First of all, thanks to everyone for the last year and here's looking forward to another belter.  Among the new projects lurking in the wings is an English Civil War army and a Mordheim Warband.

A few weeks ago, I shared some of my thoughts on starting a Death Korps of Krieg army.  With the models here and my holiday in full swing, I decided to make a start with building and painting.

Construction

I bought some of these models off Ebay, and they arrived loose in a small plastic money bag.  There was nothing wrong with the quality, but they had all been removed from the sprues and it was impossible to tell which arm fitted to which lasgun or body.  Only by tortuously laying out every torso, left arm and right arm could I try every permutation until they fitted, and even then I had to use lots of Green Stuff.  

I saved about £5 by buying second hand off Ebay; although I've only had good experiences (with various sellers) buying GW stuff, but for FW it's a bit of a false economy.  I'll be sticking with proper FW stuff to minimise the risk in future.