Thursday, February 26, 2015

Claymore Castings Crossbowmen

I know I say this a lot, but these are some of the best-sculpted figures I own. They are the French crossbowmen recently released by Claymore Castings, which has become my "company to watch". There are 3 packs of 4 figures in this release, so I bought them all. The detail and animation on these figures are just amazing, as is the engineering. The "cross-piece" (bow and bowstring) comes in a separate piece, and as you can see some bows are drawn, some are not, and some have quarrels in them... which means each piece is specific to a figure! At least one of the pieces had the tip of the quarrel on the bow piece, and the shaft on the stock, and one had the hand on the bow piece! And the thing is, everything fits together so well, I bet you can't tell which figure had which combination.

The pavises are from the Perry WOTR European mercenaries box set.

Here are the figures shown separately. About half of them must have played Skyrim, because they are wearing some form of knee armour.

I show the last figure separately, because it is probably my favourite of the lot; check it out: he is holding a crossbow bolt in his teeth!

The next release from Claymore Castings is Hundred Years War knights, which I may not get; but I will be keeping an eye for figures I can use.

The next purchase for this army is likely to be the WOTR light horse box set from Perry, which will be released at Salute this year. After those my army may be considered "complete". I think.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Warhammer Fantasy Spell Markers

I am not a big fan of magic in my fantasy wargames, and my Empire army doesn't even have a wizard. I do field a Warrior Priest though, and he has prayers which he can use to either increase his unit's attack strength or its defence. It can sometimes be hard to remember which one is effect during a turn, so I made a couple of markers for them.

They are just spare bits from my bits box, glued to a plastic 20mm base and painted in monochrome.

Shield of Faith and Hammer of Sigmar

I wanted to make something for my Night Goblin army too, which does have a few shamans (because they can't survive without a few). I assume the spell I will use most often is Sneaky Stabbin', but instead of using just bit of a weapon I decided to use a spare goblin figure I had.

Perhaps I should have based him on a round base to make him stand out, but on a square base he can be used in a unit in case I needed an extra figure.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

SAGA - LOTR Edition

fg bought a copy of SAGA: The Crescent and the Cross and we tried the rules using some Lord of the Rings battleboards that he found.

We set up a 4 point game using his Gondor troops and my Moria goblins.

The warbands face off in the ruins of Osgiliath.

The men of Gondor push the goblin archers from their cover behind the low wall and advance!

A goblin counter-attack force the warlord to a corner.

The warlord cuts down a troll... with a little help.

I have read about SAGA but have not had a chance to play it. I had imagined that the game is a bit "gamey", relying on the right combo of dice to perform some super-action that wins the game for you. In reality one seldom has the chance to wait for the right combination of dice to come up as he is constantly under attack by the opposing side.

Still, as a skirmish game I didn't find it substantively different or superior to the other ones we have been playing. Perhaps some of the new rules in The Crescent and the Cross may make the game more interesting?

Sunday, February 08, 2015


Despite the lack of updates, I *have* been painting - just not so urgently as there isn't an immediate project that I *need* to paint for.

One of the projects I have been painting is this "Hector on chariot" by Redoubt Enterprise. I am a little disappointed by the quality of the sculpt and I had difficulty making out how to assemble the chariot as I ordered two which came in separate ziplocs but then I mixed them up and... well, an instruction sheet included in the package or available on their website would have been nice. I have a feeling I did something wrong because the chariot is sort of tilted backwards...

I painted Hector according to the Connolly illustration, which seems to be what Redoubt based their figure on too. I haven't figured out how I want to flock the chariot base, or how I am going to secure the figures to the chariot and still be able to remove them during the game.

In fact, I haven't even figured out which set of rules I am going to use the figures with when I eventually get enough painted for a game, but I do know whichever set of rules I settle on, I will need to track some stats on the chariot using dice.

Because I saw these cool dice-holders from Warbases and I knew I had to use them somehow.

The dice can be used to mark number of javelins, speed of the chariot, hit points/morale of the hero... something.

Monday, February 02, 2015

February Giveaway

Last month's giveaway had a grand total of one participant, so I am upping the ante this month.

Since my last post was about a set of colonial rules, let me offer the following this month:

On offer are Chris Peers' Ever-Victorious Armies, The Kris and the Flame supplement for The Sword and the Flame, and the Colonial Campaign's Ethiopian supplement.

Again, the rules are:

Let me know if you are interested in getting either of the bundles by leaving a comment, and I will draw a recipient on the 15th of the month. This is not a first-come, first-serve offer.
The offer is free; once I let you know you have been drawn, do let me have your email and mailing address and I will mail it off to you. You don't even have to pay for the postage. I am doing this not to get some money back, but to give these rules a good home. If you want to pay back somehow, I ask that you make a small donation to a local charity, or consider doing the same thing I am doing and give some rulebooks that you no longer use a chance for a new lease of gaming life.

Good luck.

Sunday, February 01, 2015

Colonial Rules Playtest

I am playtesting another set of rules for Dan, this time for colonial warfare. The rules are primarily meant for individually-based figures, but since all I have for the colonial period are my 15mm Indian Mutiny figures based on elements, I used them for the test game.

I set up a simple encounter battle, where a British/EIC relief force on their way to... some besieged garrison finds their way blocked by a force of sepoys and badmash.

The set-up

The British bring their gun to bear and commence counter-battery fire, while the infantry close in. The cavalry executes a deep flank around the hill to the right. The mutineers counter the move by moving two units to the flank.

A fierce fire-fight ensues. Casualties mount on both sides.

The rebel gun is taken out! The mutineers push their right flank forward. What's taking the cavalry so long?

The cavalry finally reach the rebel flank, but the mutineers are ready for them!

The cavalry is destroyed in a quick melee, and the badmash engage the British left in hand-to-hand combat...

... and are driven back! But the mutineer left flank now turns around and begin to threaten the weakened British centre.

The British fall back and form a new line of defence anchored by their gun; a whiff of grapeshot should save the day: 8 dice, needing 4+ to hit...


In the end the British were overwhelmed by the mutineers and wiped out. There are not yet any "army morale" rules in the current draft, so it was a fight to the last man. What the game did show is that the force ratio recommended in the rules is about right. I probably should have reduced the shooting skills of the sepoys a bit more, although with the good die-rolls they were making I doubt it would have made a difference.

I think the problem here was that I was over-confident with the British, while I played the mutineers more cautiously; the British should have engaged the mutineers at long range, capitalising on their superior artillery drills and longer rifle ranges (compared to the obsolete ones used by the mutineers, which were the spark that started the whole mutiny). The cavalry was too weak to take on infantry on its own, and should have been held back for pursuit, riding down individual units of mutineers that are suffering from morale penalty.

I think I should give this scenario another go another day.