Saturday, 14 February 2015

ACW game, Battle for Sawmill Village

Last night we played a quick ACW game, using our house rules (see link to our ACW page if you want to see the rules).

I used scenario #41 from Charles Grant's Scenarios for Wargames as the setup. This is a fairly standard encounter battle, where two sides, evenly set up, both want to take control of the same village in the centre on the table. I didn't have much time setting up the table, so it was a bit on the minimal side w.r.t visuals.

A few things we observed:
  • Battles that have both armies fighting for control of a relatively small area tend to become crowded and messy affairs. All units converge on the same area. The result is a lot of fiddling with frontages and facing, and sometimes outcomes of fights depend solely on the fact that you couldn't place your figures they way you wanted 3 turns ago. Even though we swore off the competitive aspect of wargaming many eons ago in favour of a more gentlemenlike apporach to the game, it still gave me some headaches.
  • Our rules do not work that well when units are occupying single buildings, so we might have to work on that.
  • Specific rulesets are usually designed with a specific type of scenario in mind: lots of cover, no cover, many units, fewer units, etc... Deviating from these hidden assumptions often stretches a particular ruleset to its limits.
Anyway, here are a few quick and dirty pictures. Not of too high quality, I'm afraid. I am still not used to taking photographs when wearing reading glasses ...

Game from the Union side. The casualties in the lower-right corner are casualty markers.
We use them to indicate when a unit needs to take a morale check.

Bart's giant moving hand picking up some Confederates.
Confederate Battery deployed on the hill.
Game -winning tactic, as it turned out several moves later.
Union Battery deployed on the wrong hill.
Smoke marker from Early War Miniatures.
Both sides try to take control of Sawmill Village.
More Confederate troop moving going on ...

Battle for the village in full swing.
Just to show off my Featherstone signature ... :-)

A Gentleman's wargame is not complete without some whisky or bourbon.
This time Jack Daniels Silver Select.
"To the friends of the Schild & Vriend Gentlemen's Wargaming Society!"

Thursday, 12 February 2015

Oldhammer: Orcs and Goblins

In preparation for a replay of the Ziggurat of Doom, the initial WFB1 scenario, I decided to bring out and clean up my Oldhammer Orcs&Goblins. I didn't repaint the figures, but redid the bases in an 80s style - grey flock and some simple tufts of grass and small rocks.

Note that the Orcs and Goblins are not painted green, but Orcs a brownish flesh, and the Goblins a fleshy orange ;-) Sacrilege to some, creativity to others.

Identification of some of the miniatures I have labeled as "Ral Partha" is still uncertain, but I am working on it. Any help appreciated.

All Orcs & Goblins around the Ziggurat of Doom.
Goblin Wolf Riders by Alternative Armies. See this page on Lostminiswiki.
Goblin warriors - all Citadel Miniatures
Goblin Fanatics - Citadel.
Various Orcs - Ral Partha 11-409.
The one in front looks suspiciously like the Ral Partha Bunny of Doom.
The one front left probably from the Orc Legion of Death 02-083
Orc Warriors - all Citadel. Some Alternative Armies goblins in the foreground.
More Ral Partha Orcs.

Catapult (including crew) is from Prince August.
Bolt Thrower Citadel, crew Bolt Thrower probably Ral Partha
Grenadier (Classic Fantasy Blister #327) Orc General, Citadel goblin.
Citadel Orc Archers.
Citadel Goblin Archers

Friday, 6 February 2015

Old Minifigs

I started with miniature wargaming during the 2nd half of the eighties, but only started to acquire the bulk of my wargaming figures somewhere around 1989 or 1990.

Hence, I am quite unfamiliar with ranges from the seventies. However, I have started to develop a certain fondness for old wargaming figures, and although I am not a hardcore collector, I try to pick up some figures here and there when another veteran wargamer sells off some of his stock.

This week I came into the possession of a couple of scifi and fantasy Minifigs, thanks to fellow veteran wargamer Wim VDB. I do not think I ever owned Minifigs before, although I am aware of the legendary status of this brand. So, I am quite happy that now I do have some old charming Minifigs in my growing collection of old-fashioned wargaming figures.

For identification, I turned to the excellent Lostminiswiki. Not all acquired minis are shown in the pictures below.

Some unopened packs! In this case, figures from the range Aurelea Rococo,
Knights of the Silver Rose.
Science fiction figures. A selection the Central Galactic Force, Samain, and Zarquin.
Some figures from the renowned Valley of the Four Winds range.
This range was really exceptional, in the sense that it captured a Breughel-like fantasy world.

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Next up on the painting table: Elves

My plan of moving through my pile of unpainted lead and plastic is nicely moving along. I try to group my painting into batches of thematically linked figures, e.g. all medievals, all scifi, etc. This doesn't always work for the odd figure here and there, it mostly provides a nice coherent feel to most painted units. Especially since I paint to a (some might say crude) gaming standard, it is important that the troops look visually as if the could belong together.

Next up are the Elves. Over the years, I never really collected a lot of Elves, apart from some figures for roleplaying, but below are the main units I plan to paint in the immediate future.

The plastic Elves from the WFB 4th edition boxed set. These were released in 1992.  I bought the box, but was already moving out of Warhammer at the time. Hence, these figures never got painted, apart from 8 spearman that I once needed for the Siege of Lowenheim game. The original pastic sprues also are listed in the 1992 catalogue.

An old set, but a recent acquisition, is the Ral Partha Elven Chariot, designed by Tom Meier. The first reference I could find is in the 1982 Ral Partha Catalogue. I bought this set a couple of months ago from Wim VDB, a fellow Belgian wargamer, who also has been in the hobby for quite a few decades. I really look forward to putting this one together and painting it.