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.


Quick overview:
  • Fairly small museum, containing a large room with lots of ECW exhibits, mainly focusing on Newark
  • Several other rooms looking at Newark through the ages
  • Dressing up for kids (and adults!)
  • Some great, very professional short films depicting important events in the war
If you do go, I recommend you make a day of it and take time to explore the Civil War defences around the town as well.  Anyone interested in 17th century defensive warfare should definitely visit the Sconce - best example of earthworks from that era anywhere in Europe.

Time for pictures!

Sir Thomas Fairfax's wheelchair!  He scooted around this contraption by turning the handles on the arm.  It had this description of the great man in later life using the chair:
"wherein he sate like an old Romane, his manly countenance striking Awe and Reverence into all that beheld him, and yet mixt with so much modesty, and meekness, as no figure of a mortal man ever represented before."
Thought this exhibit was fascinating and quite sad in a way, thinking of the great
leader from all those paintings sat in there in his old age.
My brother as a matchlock musketeer. 
My trusty wench / lovely girlfriend and I
The Sconce
And no, I don't work for the tourist board.

Look out later this month for an ECW Supercampaign, to rival our glorious ACW one from a few weeks back.  We'll be refighting the Third Siege of Newark, my brother as the Parliamentarian commander, Kieran as the Scots leader, and I as the glorious Royalists!

For the King!

Ed

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

Friday, 15 May 2015

The Chattanooga Campaign

Greetings from the mists of time!  I'll get the feeble apologies out of the way first.  I've had a good year off the blog now, as I went on several work-related courses which took up all my free time.  Having fractured my ankle, however, I'm back where I started in my old job and I've found myself with a lot more free time on my hands.

So I decided to start the blog back up again.  I don't know if I'll ever get back to my once-a-week posting rate; I'll take it steady for the moment and we'll see how things pan out.  To get the ball rolling I'll relate a very exciting campaign I've recently finished.

The Chattanooga Campaign

The Second Day of the Battle of Chattanooga -
shortly after this the lines disintegrated and
both sides were compelled to withdraw.
My last post (way back in January) was a battle report of Give Them The Cold Steel.  After this, we decided to do a map campaign exploring an alternate history scenario, to whit, an early attempt by the Federals to seize Chattanooga before (and instead of) Corinth in March 1862.

This was done in real time (1 day = 1 day), with a set of map campaign rules umpired by Kieran, who's written a post about his own role as umpire/administrator.  Assuming historical alter-egos, I took command of the Union forces in Nashville, and my brother Ollie led the Confederates defending Chattanooga.  We sparred across the Tennessee countryside for three weeks and fought a series of battles, resulting in a complete Confederate victory.  Damnation!

Firstly, the Battle of Dry Fork Creek - a force of Federal cavalry surrounded Confederate troopers and forced five hundred of them to surrender.  A great victory for the North, but soured by the death of their division commander General P. H. Sheridan (who in real life lived to be a prominent leader in the East later in the war).

Sunday, 25 January 2015

2mm ACW Battle Report

Hello again, and welcome to another long-overdue update on Palladian Guard.  Despite my new hectic, blog-free lifestyle I've had chance to do some more wargaming recently so I thought I'd share.  You may remember the card-and-counter ACW game from December - well, I bought some 2mm Horse and Musket minis from Irregular Miniatures and we decided to take our gaming to the next level.  See below for a pictorialised version of an excellent game of Give Them The Cold Steel we had last night.

Deployment - the Union are attacking, so their brigades come on turn-by-turn.