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Showing posts from 2015

Two Splendid Lines

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Today I'm going to share a playtest of the 6mm regimental game I'm writing - tentatively named Two Splendid Lines, from a Union officer who observed Pickett's Charge and so described that fateful advance.

The aim aim is to represent command and leadership of a regiment in line warfare:
Your regiment cannot 'just stop' or 'just turn round'.  Proper commands must be used, just as in real lifeAs well as casualties, order and cohesion is tracked. As my last post described, I've done a lot of research on the proper drill commands.  Using my Baccus 6mm ACW figures, I playtested an attack on a Federal position using my 4th Texas Infantry.  Each stand is one company of about 50 men.

I was going to wait until I'd painted and built all of these, but instead I've decided to go for a 'warts and all' look at writing a wargame.


New Painting Area

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Hope everyone had a good Christmas!

I've been a bit quiet of late as I unexpectedly had to move house - I still work in south Wales but now live in North Yorkshire, making for some interesting commuting.

I have two overdue posts with the results of our Franco Prussian War campaign, and the work on an immersive 6mm Regimental 'Simulator' game for ACW.  Both will follow this week - I promise!

In the meantime, I thought I'd quickly share this picture of my new painting area.  Without being to gloaty, I have managed to secure a box room to use as a hobby zone.


6mm Baccus ACW

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Hello again!  First off, apologies for not being on all the way through November; I've been living in a dusty hole all month in Cyprus.  But fear not, wargaming was never very far from my mind and with my latest purchases I have an idea for another ACW game.
I recently read Civil War Tactics by Earl J. Hess.  This book looks at regimental-level tactics and is a real eye-opener for wargamers.  We have some conception of different manoeuvres and formations used in battle, but this book goes into detail about how and why each formation was used.  How colonels changed their formations in battle, and why drill was important even in the fabled 'Age of the Rifled Musket'.  I supplemented this with a pamphlet called Casey's For Reenactors.  This translates the contemporary drill manuals into understandable English for a modern audience, with plenty of diagrams.
I want to create a wargame where you are the colonel of a regiment, and you have to give proper orders to your men and…

How To Run a Supercampaign - Part III

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Afternoon everyone, and time for my (belated) Part III in the series, How To Run a Supercampaign.  In Part I, we looked at how to prepare for these campaigns and Part II saw a delve into the mechanics of administering them.

For the third and final part, I'll be exploring how to add character and fluff to your games, bringing them to life.  Although the mechanics of a map campaign in this level of detail are perhaps unusual, they're not unique.  Player feedback has told me that the fluff is the best part of a Supercampaign.  I don't want to tell people how to write fluff - many of you are already experts on creating it.  This is more on how to make simple, easy fluff that doesn't take hours.

How to Run a Supercampaign - Part II

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My last post was the first in a three-part series, looking at how to plan and prepare a Supercampaign.  This week, I'll be exploring how you can administer the campaign with a gamesmaster - as well as some thoughts for how you could do it without one.

The Campaign Map



How to Run A Supercampaign - Part I

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You may remember the two supercampaigns we've run in the last year - American Civil War and English Civil War.  Prompted by a recent comment on one of those, I'm going to do a series of guides on exactly what a supercampaign is, and how to run one:
Part I - planning and preparationPart II - map moves and battlesPart III - write up and feedbackHow are they different from normal campaigns?
First off, a recap on what a supercampaign is.  It's essentially a fancy map campaign, where players make their moves in secret.  A gamesmaster administers random events and feeds confusing information and intelligence reports to players, who then sift through them and create a real plan of action.

It consists of two parts - the campaign map, where generals move round their armies; and the tabletop, where battles are fought between armies which meet each other.  Anyone who's played the Total War series of PC games will be very familiar with that.

Tutorial: FPW Prussian Jägers

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It's been a long time since I've done a tutorial on here, so I thought I'd share a step-by-step on painting a Prussian Jäger of the Franco-Prussian War.

It's mainly up here for passing interest, since most readers are already accomplished painters, but also serves as a useful reference for me in case I want to paint the same models in years to come.  Also, perhaps it will serve as a detailed example of my painting style, which usually runs like this:

White undercoatFlat coloursArmy painter washFlat colours again as a highlightDetail and ligher colours for final highlight I'd be interested to hear people's thoughts on this method; I've been thinking a lot about other painting methods and techniques ever since I saw some of Dai's lovely RPG figures.
1.  The figure (a Foundry model) is superglued to a 2p coin and then undercoated with a white spraypaint.

The Royalists' Last Stronghold

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Perceptive readers of my last post remembered that my last Supercampaign was accompanied by a full book detailing the twists and turns of the battles, written in the style of a real-world history book, and called Burning Tennessee.

Well, I'm pleased to be able to say I managed to put something similar together for the English Civil War campaign.  It's not on quite the same scale as Burning Tennessee (I had a lot of free time earlier this year to be able to write it), but it's got all the lovely details in there.  In a similar vein as my last book it's written in the style of an Osprey book, with maps and pictures re-captioned to describe our own campaign.

English Civil War Superpost

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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.

Death Korps Tunnelling Squad

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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.

National Civil War Centre

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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.

Gaming in the Garden - 2mm Napoleonic Battle Report

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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.

Mordheim Battle Report: Blood on the Streets

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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) - championThe Three Mu…

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

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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.

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 …

Battle Report: Meeting Engagement

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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.

Battlefleet 1900: New 1:2400 ships

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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.


Random Project - Baneblade

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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 spraypaintWash with a huge tin of black inkWait to dry then sponge metal onto the cornersDot every rivet with watered-down rust powder (not as bad as it sounds)Heavy dose of black weathering powder on the muzzles etcDetailing like the markings and lights Voila!  A quick and simple project, and a good chance to try out some basic tank weathering ideas.  Enjoy!

Mordheim Warband - The Fourth Kingdomites

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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!

The Chattanooga Campaign

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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
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…

2mm ACW Battle Report

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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.