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Friday 3 December 2010

Quick update...

Hello one and all. So sorry for lack of updates recently, but I have been on a self-imposed painting ban since attending the Warhammer World campaign weekend with my El Cid army. This is because the frenzied painting spree that had lasted from June til the end of October has aggravated an already unpleasant repetitive strain injury in my right arm. This is impacting on all my hobbies, as guitar playing doesn't do it any good either - not good when one has gigs booked and needing rehearsal for!!!

So, basically, I have stopped painting, or, at least, I had til this week, where I picked up a brush just to see what happened. I managed 90 mins before it hurt, which is good...that's 85 mins more than when I stopped painting in October!!

Anyway, the El Cid force now stands at 2500pts, so I don't need to do any more to it, although at some point I do want to paint a unit of Knights Hospitaller and a unit of peones in the livery of the Hospitallers to give the army an early 12th Century Aragonese feel (Alfonso 'The Battler' introduced the Hospitallers into Spain in the early 12th century.)

However, my next job is to finally finish the 4 Saxons I promised someone I'd do for him in August. They are over halfway complete, so should be easy to get done in the next two weeks, even with a limit of no more than an hour at a time painting. Then it's Colonials time. I aim to get enough Anglo-Indians and Pathans done to start trying out Triumph and Tragedy with a couple of chaps at wargames club early next year. These are being painted in the same way as my Repo Romans that have now been temporarily shelved, so 'basecoat, AP dip and one highlight' jobs. Have just picked up some Pontoonier Miniatures British - very nice models!!!

Once those are done, I need to paint a unit of peltasts to join my Sulla era Romans as we have a club campaign starting in April and I need some 'auxiliary' infantry (I figured Greek types would suit the overall 'Sulla vs Mithridates' army theme and have had the models for ages but with no deadline or no event, I hadn't painted them before) , then it's back to Repo Romans, probably midway through next year.

One thing is certain more mad frenzied painting-fests...the doc has already told me that the arm damage is only going to get worse, unless I do everything in extreme moderation or simply stop everything altogether...the latter is not an option!!

Friday 10 September 2010

Pine Wood of Tevar new pics

Courtesy of Chris Payne, here are 3 rather cool pics from last weekend at Partizan.
First, a close-up of James' marvellous new banner for El Cid...

Here's a close-up of the camp...

And a really good shot of the whole battle...really good lighting on this one (something of a miracle in the Kelham Hall!!!) so you can see the whole table in all its glory...


Monday 6 September 2010

The Pine Wood of Tevar demo game, Partizan 5th Sept 2010

Here are the pics I took during James Morris' demo game 'The Pine Wood of Tevar' at Partizan yesterday. Apologies for the quality of some of the pics, but I was struggling to find a few moments to snap away in between chatting to the myriad of interested gamers (so many that in fact we only played the game once all day!!!!) and rolling some dice. So, if you nclick on a pic and it's a wee bit blurred, I'm sorry. Also, these humble pics don't really do the game justice. James' magnificent terrain and brilliant eye for how to arrange it (note the way the wooded slopes pull the eye onto the rockty outcrop and the perfect position of the camp on the other side...brilliant!!) simply loked stunning, as it was a table of about 10 x 6 feet!!

The pics tell the story of the game as we played it until I lost the will to take any more pics!
Below, view down the Catalan battleline just before my Andalusian allied cavalry failed the first of 3 failed allies tests (yup...three ones in a a row!!!)
El Cid's force mooch out of the camp to meet the onslaught...little suspecting the Count of Barcelona's devious ruse...

View from the Catalan right flank - Christian Jinetes, led by a newly-painted hero...

The Count of Barcelona and his personal retinue and army standard...

The other half of the Catalan panzer division!!!!

Close-up of El Cid's personal retinue (yes...a Copplestone Charlton Heston...note the faberoony banner. (BTW...El Cid...WS7!!! 4 attacks...veteran...ugh...!!! We later agreed that WS7 was too much and that he should be WS6 instead, with all other stats remaining as usual.) This unit is veteran too...sigh...

El Cid's Andalusian failed allies tests here, no siree...

El Cid's Christian jinetes...led by a veteran character (all El Cid's characters were veterans)

El Cid's camp...just look at those brilliantly painted tents and the myriad of 'stuff' to make the camp look mega cool!!

What's this??!! Sneaky catalans on the ridge behind the Cid's lines...Crossbows and archers, no less! We also had spearmen attacking out of the wood on El Cid's right flank...(cue evil laughter...)

El Cid's army from above...

The crossbowmens' view of the battlefield..."Hey, amigos...El Cid has NO IDEA that we are here...!!!"

View from behind the Catalan lines...look at that panorama towards the ridge...stunning!!

Another of El Cid's nasty characters...

El Cid's best mate, Alvar Fanez...he had a rough time of it later on...shame!!!

Another view of that brilliant El Cid retinue...awesome painting!!

Turn 1: General Catalan advance (we got first turn automatically...) My allies top left are still debating whether to join in. On my right flank, I attempt to draw El Cid's Andalusian nobles into a charge...This continued with charges and feigned flights over a few turns...

Turn 4: After messing about for 3 turns (actually, we were 'jockeying for position' with our caballeros), James caved and advanced into range (Andy Mctaggart had told me earlier that he would if I waited long's true..he did!! ;-) ) So I charged my 'panzer division' into El Cid's 'Tiger division'...

Close up of the main event. The Cid challenges the Count...he stoopidly accepts and, despite charging and going first, causes no wounds and receives one! Overall, it's a drawn combat, even with the muso roll-off!

In this combat, Alvar Fanez challenged my character and slaughtered him despite going second!! Killed outright!! However, this incensed the Catalan caballeros, who kicked major arese and ran the El Cid unit down, capturing Fanez in the process!! Hoorah!!! Yes, we were using the 'Ransom' rules from the El Cid book...

The end of turn 5: The Count is wounded a second time and his caballeros seem to be armed with rubber swords!!! We flee, but get away! We decide that, new rules notwithstanding, army standards are NOT captured unless the bearer is killed (or captured)

Those pesky Andalusian nobles use their special move to get on my I charged them..and bounced, reduced to 5 or less...bye bye jinetes....even with a flippin' character in there...sigh...

The Count has rallied and been caught in a charge. He declines the inevitable challenge and flees twice more before eventually being caught and captured. His army standard who accepted the challenge was killed outright...

This is better!!! On my left, a combination of bowfire, crossbows and (eventually) Andalusian jinetes causes the El Cid jineters to be in a spot of bother!! We slaughtered them with caballeros and the character fled only to be peppered with about 4000 crossbow bolts...ouch...
Earlier, my peones had stood off a unit of dismounted knights, chaisng and slaughtering them to a man. The gallant caballeros thenm turned and finished off El Cid's archers and crossbowmen, capturing the camp in a final glorious charge, just before the Count was captured!!

So, game over! A Winning draw for El Cid, as he had fulfilled the main objective - kill or capture the opposing general - difficult for the catalans with El Cid being as hard as he was, hence the decision to tone him down a notch!! However, the Cid had actually lost more men than the Count and had lost his camp with all its accumulated loot, so no shame in that at all!!
As I hope you can sense from this narrative, I loved every second of it! A brilliant game on the best terrain I've ever played on with a great opponent! It was my first show demo and I loved it!!
Thanks to all who came to look and to chat and to tell us how great it looked. We really appreciated the interest.
Watch out for a full article and scenario in Wargames Illustrated soon with better pics of course!!!
Now, I have to paint some more models ready for October at Warhammer World. More info about my army choice and the new models shortly...
Thanks for reading!!

Tuesday 17 August 2010

El Cid, El Cid and MORE El Cid...

Ha! That got your attention didn't it?! :-) Sorry that there's no eye candy to go with the title...just advance warning that my El Cid army will be making an appearance at 'The Other Partizan' on Sunday September 5th at Kelham Hall, Newark. Yes, James Morris has kindly invited me to join him in putting on an El Cid demo game! We shall be doing 'The Pine Woods ofTevar', where El Cid took on the unfortunate Count of Barcelona and destroyed his army, capturing most ofthe Catalan nobility in the process!! Naturally, I shall play the Count of Barcelona and James shall play El Cid...for two reasons:
1. James wrote the El Cid supplement - who else could be El Cid?
2. El Cid needs to win!!!!!! With James playing the great man, that's significantly more likely than if I do!!

Scenario details to be revealed on the day (James and I have spoken and he is currently drafting it out) but suffice to say that it will be great and will look fab, as the terrain will be marvellous and James' army looks stunning. He's also painting new character models, which I'm looking forward to seeing!!!

Anyway, I'm doing a bit of painting for the event. I shall be increasing the number of models in one of my cablleros hidalgos units, as well as adding additional models to my Spanish and Andalusian jinetes units and my Peones unit. I shall also be adding an additional character (4 Catalans are named in the sources for this battle, so I shall field all 4!) and a small unit of Ballasteros (x-bows.) As with all this army, the models are Perry. Look out for them on the blog over the next few weeks and if you come to Partizan, do drop by and say 'hello', especially if we have thus far only corresponded online. I always like to put a face to a name whenever possible...

Following the event, I shall continue to paint El Cid stuff as I hope to go to the October Warhammer World El Cid campaign, also being run by Mr Morris and for that I need 2500pts...YIKES!!!!!! That's one more unit of caballeros and another of peones. to add to the load I already have painted...better get the painting going!!!!


Thursday 5 August 2010

Clickable Byzantine army pics...


Apologies...some pics in the last post weren't clickable...I think because I re-arranged the order after upload... So here are the full army shots and some cavalry shots that SHOULD be clickable so they expand!

Let me know if they don't... You'd think I'd have got this blogging thing sorted by now wouldn't you!!??!!

Wednesday 4 August 2010

Justinian Byzantines for Hot Lead 2010

Hi Folks
Here is my 1500pt Justinian Byzantine army that I took to Hot Lead at Gripping Beast HQ lasy month. The army is built from the Beyond The Golden gate supplement, which was quite a challenge, as I wanted to take an army that was 'opponent friendly' and which suited the event. Most WAB players seem to feel that BtGG armies are rather OTT so I wanted to disprove that. Accordingly, I decided to take no Bucellarii, as they are HUGELY cheesy, being strength 4 with options for kontos or thrusting spear, making them strength 5 on the charge!!! I also decided that I would take no kontos armed troops, using thrusting spears instead, as I actually feel that, as well as being more 'friendly', the thrusting spear rule more than adequately portrays the use of the various kontos-type weapons in use at the time - I hate the 'always strike first' rule that Kontos gives, unless I'm playing against other kontos armed troops at my wargames club, of course!!!!

So, here's the army: Clockwise from top left back row:
9 Psiloi with javelins
24 skutatoi (thrusting spear, large shield)
ASB and Magister (Magister armed with heavy armour, shield and throwing spear, both drilled)
24 skutatoi (as the first unit)
10 psiloi with bow and buckler
9 Regular Byzantine cavalry (light armour, bow, buckler: superior byzantine cavalry)
12 Comitatus (heavy armour, thrusting spear, bow, buckler: superior byzantine cavalry, drilled)
10 German allied cavalry (light armour, thrusting spear, shield, superior German cavalry)

Here are the Comitatus: My late Roman cataphracts remounted on unarmoured horses (they can also be used as Romano-British commanipulares now!)

Here are the HGerman allied cavalry. Some of these are from my Arthurian armies, but others are repainted late Roman cavalry (I repainted tunics and shields to match my current colour scheme and to take away the 'uniformed' look, as I had done months ago with the cataphracts.) They also have a new leader and standard bearer, both old Late Romans also with repainted tunics and shields.

Regular cavalry: More repainted late Romans (tunics and bucklers) with a Romano Brit as the unit leader.

The Romano-British milites masquerading as Eastern Romans. I chose the most 'Roman' models for this unit. Next to them, repainted Roman archers (tunics and bucklers)

A unit of Late Roman infantry with repainted tunics and shields. Again, originally painted 10 years ago in 'parade ground' colours, now redone to match my other models.

The Magister - West Wind's Arthur model, who also commands Romano Brits for me!

ASB: West Wind Arthuian banner bearer on holiday from Romano-British service ;-)

So, there you have it!!
On the day, they trashed a 1000pt Sassanid army in the 'Saving the Plunder' scenario. Basically, the Persians had to get a wagon load of booty off the table before I caught it! After enduring a turn of massed archery, I decided that a full-on charge was the order of the day. As the Sassanid player had also not taken kontos, the fights were evenly matched, but my troops came out on top, his allied Parthians and Lakhmids fled and the rest of the game was me chasing down fleeing troops - oh, and capturing the wagon! Victory by 1500pts to 0!!
Second game was against Shieldwall Welsh. I only had 1000pts in the 'Scared Shrine' scenario that I've talked about on here before. I was hideously outnumbered and due to an unlucky panic test failure early on was on the back foot all the way through. Luckily, I had read the scenario victory conditions carefully and played very well by sticking to those and only lost by 200 ish points, so a close-run defeat/draw.
Game 3 was agaisnt Romano-British with Welsh allies. The Romano Brit player played the scenario very aggressively (it was 'herediatary enemies - 2 random units each with 'hatred') and destroyed my infantry before I could destroy his flankers and get in his rear. In the end it was a draw - I lost by 85 points in another really good game.
Game 4: Multi-player game. Me and some AoArt Picts vs 2 Rus armies, 1 pagan Rus and 1 Era of Princes. This was a fabulous game where I managed to outmanoeuvre the Rus opposite me while his ally utterly (to the very last figure) trashed the Pict allied force. As a result, of the 4 players, the Era of princes Rus player got about 2000 VPs; I got 1150, the Rus opposite me got about 300 and the Pict about 100.
All in all, I came about 15th out of 30 ish...way better than usual. If I'd played a few more games and practised co-ordinating my cavalry better, I'd have done even better as that was what let me down in game 3 and 4 particularly - I just took too long getting into position for the killer charges... Still, none of my opponents found my army 'Cheesy' or 'OTT', so I reckon that was a result! I'll use it again for sure and am about to paint a unit of Huns to go with it (once I've done a load of El Cid stuff for a demo game and gaming event in October!!)
I hope yuou enjoyed this post! It's been a while since I showed you any stuff!!

Spam part 2

Hi there.
Seems that, in my efforts to prevent spam, I made it impossible for anyone to post comments! Try it now. It should let all registered users (incl open ID) to post and I have set up moderation, so that I can see in advance if any crap arrives and thereby filter it out!!

Let's see if that works!!!


Tuesday 13 July 2010

Killing the SPAM!!!

Just to let you know that I am still here and that normal service will shortly be resumed. To prevent the zillions of Chinese spam comments on the blog, only those registered can now comment on my posts...if I've set it up right!! I'll monitor this and see if I've done it right! If no-one comments, I'll know I've c*cked up somewhere and I'll sort it!!! Please try to comment and I'll see what happens!

Sorry...blame the idiots who are spamming me out... :-(

Justinian Byzantines to come shortly!!


Saturday 1 May 2010

WAB 2.0's here at last!!! And it's good...very good! All the alterations kinda make sense. I'm playing my first game on Monday evening - a 1500pts per side Age of Arthur game against Carl and his Saxons. I will be taking either Romano British or British kingdoms...hmm...shieldwall foot, or close order warband that can't manoeuvre...hmmm...dunno yet!!

Anyway, have any of you spotted the 3 pics in WAB 2.0 that contain my models? You haven't??!! Shame on you!! Two have my Caesarian Romans and one has Romano-Brit milites...get searching... :-)

WAB 2.0 battle report next week all being well...

Tuesday 6 April 2010

Dipped Republican Romans

Hi Everyone.

Here are the first shots of my work in progress 28mm Republican Roman army for WAB and Crusader rules. These pics are the first 10 painted figures in the army and are part of a 16-strong unit of Principes from one of the 2 allied Italian legions.

Basically, this army is being built to represent the army that served in the wars against Antiochus (battle of Magnesia, etc) but will also be fine for the 2nd Punic War and any of the 2nd Century Macedonian wars. The army is not points limited, but is using units that feel about righta nd will work with both WAB and Crusader. The army will be a typical 2-legion Consular army, so it will have 2 Roman legions, 2 Italian legions and assorted cavalry. It will also eventually have Pergameme and Tarentine cavalry, thureophoroi and peltats, plus a small unit of Cretan archers and an elephant!

The models used wil be Aventine miniatures for all the Velites, cavalry and Roman legions and about half the allied Italian legions. The rest of the Italian legions will be A&A Samnites, Crusader Republican Romans plus a handful of Foundry Caesarian Romans that I have converted. I'd have liked all the legions to be Aventine, but can't justify not using the suitable models I already have!! The Pergamemes will be Polemarch, as they have on pre-order a bunch of specific models in their Successor range!

The painting method is as follows:

All models wearing lots of armour (mail, full greaves, or composite Italian armour and full greaves) are spray undercoated black, with all tunics, flesh and boots re-undercoated white. All lightly armoured/unarmoured troops (hastati, pectroale-armoured Principes, bronze-armoured Triarii, Velites, etc) are spray-undercoated white with all weapons and bronze armour re-undercoated black.

Basecoats are then applied. On these pics: Flesh: Foundry Flesh mid tone. Tunics: Foundry Brick red shade or mid tone, Foundry Night Sky light, Foundry Ochre shade, Foundry phlegm green light. White tunics are left with the undercoat. Mail is drybrushed over the black with GW Chainmail. Bronze armour is all GW burnished gold. Pilum wood is Foundry Spearshaft shade. Pilum shanks are GW Chainmail. Sword blades are GW Mithril siver. Boots and belts are Foundry Bay Brown light. Armour trim (leather) is Foundry tan light.

Once these are completed, the models are washed in Army Painter Strong tone applied by brush. Once 100% dry, the tunics, flesh and bronze are given a single highlight using their original basecoat colour. Bases are painted in GW Graveyard earth. Fine sand is PVA'd on and, oncer dry, is washed with a VERY thin mix of the basecoat and water. Finally it is highlighted with GW bleached bone. The model is then given a light coat of varnish to seal in the highlights before being given a good blast Testor's Dullcote.

Shield designs are LBM. The backs of shields are Foundry Bay Brown Light. The back of the shield is washed in dip as well. The metal on the front of each shield is GW Chainmail, washed in dip. The spine of each shield has a light wash of dip. The transfer is given a brush-on coat of GW 'Aardcoat before being matted down with Dullcote.

I'm very pleased with the results. The Aventine minis look especially good using this technique, which takes about 30% of the time it takes me to do the full-on layered approach I've used on my Dark Age models. With an army the size this one will be, that's very important!!

Unit sizes will be 16 figs per heavy infantry unit and each legion wil have 1 unit of velites (12 strong), 1 unit of hastati, 1 Prinipes and 0.5 unit of triarii (the army will have 2 triarii units, each oone composed of half Roman and half Italian allied models). Cavalry will be in units of 10 or 12. Pergameme troops, not sure yet. Possibly 24 Thureophoropi and 12 Cretan archers, probably 10 each of Companion and Tarentine cavalry...

I hope to complete this unit over the next week and a half, then tackle the same legion's hastati. Each legion will have its own shield design so it's clear on the table which legion is which...

Keep checking back for updates to this and my ongoing Colonial project... I have comparatively little time to paint these days - probably about 3 hours a week if I'm lucky...