Blog discription

What will you find here? Ramblings from an aging gamer-miniature painter. When I first started out in this hobby computers were in their infancy and finding other gamers could only be done by going to conventions or as in my case bumping into somebody who happened to see me reading "Panzer Leader" on the school bus. Look how far we have come! The internet has allowed our small community to be able to connect on a level I never dreamed of when I was but a small lad. What I do hope you will find here is something interesting from one wargamer/miniature painter to another. I paint miniatures somewhat decently, so I will be posting some pictures of my work, and perhaps a review or two of games and/or miniatures. Most of all this is just about having fun and anything I post here is meant to be for that reason.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Saga: "Saxons" from the supplement Aetius & Arthur

Finished my first unit for my new Saga warband. It's from the Saxon list of Aetius & Arthur and it's all foot, which means lots and lots of painting still to be done. Here are some pictures of my first Warrior class unit, a Geoguth based unit (which means youth or the younger lads still learning the trade). They would mostly be armed with a buckler for raids, used as an offensive weapon and would only use larger shields later. Spear would be their primary weapon with a knife or short short for their backup. Mostly would have no armor and be mostly helmet-less but for some reason Gripping beast packed these. I mostly like the figures other than I have no idea why the pose with the dude charging with his knife drawn has not taken the time to think, "Oh yeah I have a perfectly good sword still sheathed, why am I doing this again?". Anyways I need every figure so he got painted up.

Remember to click on the photos to see a larger view.
 Above 4 including command figures

...and the rest of the dudes who make the bulk of the army

As always thanks for looking.


Thursday, May 25, 2017

Skirmish Sangin: Part 2

Continuing on from my previous posting I present my US Infantry painted by Steve Dake, with the bases done by me. The models are 28mm Empress Miniatures. They have a lot going for them pose wise. Lot's of motion and that is something I really dig in my miniatures, no stiff posing and yet at the same time a realistic pose. Of course no pose is a good pose unless you give it the right paint job and Steve was spot on again with my US lads. I have all kinds of ideas for more troops, but first I am busy painting up some terrain (mostly buildings) for the Afghanistan area (that I purchased from Phalanx Consortium) so I can have a few games before deciding what direction I want to go with this.

But in the meantime here are the photo's. Remember to click on them to see larger size.

The above figures are US1 On Patrol from Empress
Above are US2 In Firefight from Empress
Above are US3 from Empress
Above are US4 command group, includes radioman and medic

Well that's it for today hope you enjoyed the photos.


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Skirmish Sangin: Part 1

Last year (2016) I attended CincyCon for the first time down in Southern Ohio, I came across a new (to me) miniature rules set called "Skirmish Sangin", which as the name insinuates is a skirmish level game. Meant to play with around 40 figures at most, but probably around 30 is more likely what I am thinking. This because it's based on table size and a few other things. I don't plan on running anything more than a 4 foot by 4 foot table.

While at this convention Chris (the proprietor) of "The Phalanx Consortium" (who is the US distributor for Skirmish Sangin products) was running demo games, and his beautiful table and nicely done figures caught this ex army man's interest. I tried out a game with a friend while Chris game mastered and helped keep the game flowing well. I'll let the following sentence tell you if I enjoyed the game or not. After the game I went to his booth and promptly bought the rules, a supplement, and a bunch of Afgans, and US Rangers. My friend bought some of his buildings which I purchased off of him a few months later after much pleading and imploring. The game really rocked me. It's a campaign that I didn't know too much about (because of the much more reported goings on in Iraq) and I wanted to learn more about why, where, how, etc.

Well as most miniaturists other projects took up my time and I kept meaning to start them up and one year later still hadn't done anything with it (other than collect, which is something all of us miniaturists are very good at;)). So another CincyCon came (2017 March) and has gone and while there I again stopped by Phalanx Consortium booth and bought some more troops and scenery items. I had also supplemented my Skirmish Sagin figures with the also wonderful line from Empress Miniatures. When I came home I literally had to sit myself down and ask myself, with so many projects going on, when was I going to get around to painting these guys so I could get playing at the table?

Solution? Maybe it was time to farm this out to another painter. But who? There was a certain style and character I was looking for, and I had in the back of my mind who that person was going to be. This was because I had been following his work on the internet over the years from blog postings to his work for miniature companies for their displays. His style over the years has gotten better and better, and I have to say my most vivid memory was his beautifully painted French Cuirassier's for the Franco Prussian war, which I had the pleasure of pushing around in a game many many years ago. His name is Steve Dake and the pictures I will show you below, I am sure, will have you agree with me how lovely they are.

The first batch I am showing you here are the Afghanistan or Taliban figures I sent him. When they arrived they were what I expected and more. Now I think I am a decent painter, but there is no way I could have copied Steve's work. The character he gives the models with his paint brush is just amazing to me. The only thing that I had to do was flock and paint the bases in a style that I wanted. But first I sprayed them all with Krylon's "Crystal Clear (1303)". This is a permanent, protective gloss finish that allowed me to handle the figures (and protect my investment) while I worked on the bases. When finished with bases I then gave the figure and base a coat of Testor's Dulcote (mat finish). What's really great about Crystal Clear is it does not yellow over the years like a previous product I had.

Okay, lets get to the pictures now, ladies and gentlemen I present my Afghanistan's by Steve Dake!

[remember clicking on picture makes them larger]
[above Sniper from Skirmish Sangin]

[above Mortar Crew from Empress]

[above are some of my favorite figures from the two different lines. The one on the left is Empress with an Afgan holding a cellphone close to his ear, the center and one on the right are Skirmish Sangin. The center figure I love because Steve made this character come alive with a pair of running pants, the figure on the right because of his pose with an AK47 slung over his shoulder and carrying an RPG}

[group one mix of Empress and Skirmish Sangin]

[group 2 of all Skirmish Sangin I believe]

[and finally group 3 of Empress and Skirmish Sangin]

I am super happy with these figures and now I am thinking I need to add another 20, but that will be for another day. As always thanks for looking, and a special shout out to Steve for his great work.


Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Infinity: Nomads | Tunguska Interventors

Added a few more figures to my Nomad collection. I have one more Nomad figure to paint and then I am going to start on my Yu Jing collection.

The Tunguska Interventors are some really cool sculpts. Rich in movement and character. I'd like to get some plastic disks with a print on them showing them doing their hacking thing. One day, but not now. In meantime I hope you enjoy these figures.


Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Infinity: Terrain review "Antenocitis Workshop's" Asian Garden sets 1 & 2

Painting miniatures is only half of our work, the other half is collecting nice terrain pieces that help enhance the aesthetic value of our miniatures.

So as my Infinity forces slowly grow it was time for me to start the process of collecting said items. Now one can scratch build their own (I don't have the motivation nor the time to put into this though there are many talented people out there you could probably hire as mercenaries to do this for you.), buy pre-painted buildings (expensive), buy pre-painted MDF (cheaper, but painted stuff can still be up there in price, AND some of this still has to be put together), or you can buy MDF kits that you have to assemble and paint yourself. My choice lies somewhere in the middle, and having a new airbrush will certainly help me in this (I hope). 

Couple of kits I picked up are from Antenocitis Workshop, called Asian Garden Set 1, and Asian Garden Set 2. Both come pre-painted, but when you really think about it, is one color considered pre-painted? Any ways these were nice little kits. Assembly was not hard, just tedious. Also some of the parts are delicate so require care in removing from sprues (sharp razor knife) and handling. 

Set 1 comes with 4 small planters, 2 large planters, 1 Tori planter, and 4 light booths. It also comes with some flocking to help you make the planters, well, look like planters. Lastly it comes with white paper for you to cut out and use on your light booths/boxes. I recommend using a glue stick to adhere the paper to the light boxes as it's less messy and you won't have the paper absorbing the glue. 

Set 2 comes with 4 table & bench sets, plus 4 separate benches. These were easy to assemble as well but just remember the bit about razor knife and removing from sprue. As I was gluing the support structure between the legs I added just a bit to much pressure squeezing them together and it snapped. Fortunately I was able to mend it, and lesson learned. 

I still have three bloody light booths to put together, but I ran out of patience and decided to paint some figures instead. I'll return to them on another day.

Here is a shot of everything and the Planter boxes done.

In summary I recommend these little bits of scatter terrain and I think they will do nicely not only in my Infinity games but also will find use in my Samurai games.


Thursday, April 20, 2017

Saga "The Crescent & The Cross": The Battle of Seville (scenario played "Captured!")

My name is Isa ibn Shuhayd and I am a hajib (chief-minister) of Cordoba. As I am getting older I have decided it important to leave behind a detailed description about my part (in the great campaign) in commanding the armies of His Highness the Emir Abd ar-Rahman II in the hihri year 230 (for you Christians your Georgian calendar has this at 844).

Around August reports had reached His Highness the Emir Add ar-Rahman II that the Majus (‘Fire-worshipper’ or known by Christians as Norseman or “man from the North”) with a great many ships had raided and taken the city of Lisbon. They soon left after several weeks of fighting and plundering sailing further south raiding the town of Cadiz, Medina Sidonia, and Algeciras on the Mediterranean coast.

Then in late September the Majus sailed up the Guadalquivir and set up a base on a defensible island on the Guadalquivir marshes near Seville. Local forces fought against the Majus but were defeated. The Majus then laid siege to Seville in early October and after heavy fighting the Majus took the city by storm except for the Citadel which remained in our hands. The Majus showed no mercy to the inhabitants and they suffered extremely at the Majus hands. No quarter was given and the town was left in ruins.

His Highness upon hearing of the fall of Seville summoned me to command his armies and crush the infidel that has defiled our holy land. Quickly raising an Army and gathering in Cordoba I marched the Army towards Seville in early November. Upon reaching our destination I set up my headquarters on a commanding hill not far from Seville.

Several battles were fought with neither side gaining an advantage, but in the middle of November a great battle occurred and our forces where victorious! We killed up to a thousand of the Majus and burned over 30 of their ships using our catapults launching our greek fire bombs. In addition we captured their leader as well as 400 other prisoner’s that we promptly hanged from the palm trees of Talyata!

The Majus retreated in what was left of their ships down the Guadalquivir, or so we thought. I prepared to take their captive leader back to Cordoba to present him to His Highness as a gift and symbol of our great victory.

With a small guard of soldiers I began the march toward Cordoba when word reached me that those devils had doubled back in the night and got ahead of us on the Guadalquivir in an attempt to rescue their now captive leader.

Battle lines were drawn and the leaderless Majus advanced to do battle once more…….

Captured! (A Crescent & The Cross scenario)

My friend Mark came over the other day and we played this scenario for the first time. It was also the first time we played a battle board from C&C as well! As I have mentioned in a recent blog post my very good friend Skip painted a Moor Army up for me and when I received it in the mail I immediately placed them on bases and flocked them up etc. So I was very excited to battle with them for the first time. I chose not to use the Naffata option, but instead wanted to try using war banners. Though they spruce up your army and make it a bit more colorful I don't think I will take as many next time. But onward to a quick AAR of what happened in our 6 point game.

1 X 4 man Hearthguard unit (Berserkers) 
4 X 6 man Warrior units
1 X 8 man Warrior unit
1 X 12 man levy (bow)

1 X Isa ibn Shuhayd mounted in all his glory (Warlord)
1 X 4 mounted Hearthguard (Javelin armed, so reduced armor in melee)
1 X 12 man Warrior unit (with War Banner)
2 X 10 man Warrior units (both with War Banner)
1 X 12 man levy (bow)

For terrain placement my Viking opponent elected to only choose one piece (which ended up being a large hill), and I selected two large woods and a large crop field. We had to stay outside of M (6 inches) from the road that ran across the center of the table. We diced off for the possibility of moving or removing a terrain piece and I was able to move his hill M, and he selected one of my woods and successfully removed it.

After placing terrain Mark won the roll to pick sides and chose to be the rescuers (and happy he did, otherwise my whole story line would have been whacked;)), his choice to select which side of table to be on though had me scratching my head a bit. But never try to get inside the head of a Viking player, it is a very scary place to be. After seeing my deployment he spread his troops across the table as he did not know where I was going to place his captured Warlord. He had also divided up his figures so he could roll six saga dice. 

As the scenario states I have to take 2 hearthguard from a unit and form them up as a unit with the enemies warlord as guards. These act as a unit and do not generate saga dice, nor melee or shooting dice. But the unit you take them from is allowed to go below the minimum of the required 4 man unit rule. You place this unit as the last unit placed. 

Here is the setup [clicking on pictures make them bigger]:

The end of the Viking turn one saw the viking player do what vikings like to do most, advance to contact! His archer's let fly a volley but this was ineffective.
The end of the Moor turn one, had the Moors cautiously advancing. I made a point to stay just outside of L (12 inches) from his crazy Amazon berzerker ladies. This troop type along with one of his abilities of being able to re roll his missed hits always messes with my brain. I fear them even if I say out loud to him I don't;)

Here are a few shots of what the Moors see at the end of the first round:

Moor left flank

The end of the Moor infantry line on right flank (Levy Archers out of picture)

The beginning of Viking turn two was a sight to behold! Instead of quickly moving troops to their right flank the Vikings went bat shit crazy and charged! I believe the Viking player thought he could wipe out my warrior unit on my right flank and begin to turn my right flank in hopes if I tried to dash his captured Warlord off the table his Berzerkers would hold until the might of his army could roll me up.

Unfortunately that is not how it went down. His archers tried to soften up my warriors on the right flank with several volleys, but in the end I only took one causality. The Viking player then smacked my now nine man warrior unit with his 8 man warrior unit on the flank. These mighty warriors must have been his veterans because their approach gave them a tactically advantage in that he got his full 8 warriors in where I could only get 6 (he hit them from the flank). He caused many hits but I was a saving machine and four men went down. The opposite was true for him, I caused five hits and he saved only one. A tie so he had to bounce back S (4 inches). But he wasn't done yet. With a fatigue token from my just fought battle he launched his 6 man warrior unit into my now five man warrior unit (but only four can fight because one is a banner man). Here is a shot just before the roll off:
Once more he had the advantage in 6 dice to my 4 dice. He used my fatigue to lower me to a 3 armor factor and I was sure I was a gone'er. Except! Again I was a saving machine and I lost only two figures (choosing my banner man to go), my four dice back all caused hits and again he only saved one. Allah was truly blessing us in our battle today! The Moor right had held! Each of us losing seven figures, it was a very bloody beginning indeed!

The end of Viking turn 2:
The main show, results at the end of viking two
Same picture of scene different angle
Viking positions at end of their turn 2

The end of the Moor turn two had the Moors seeing if they could take advantage of this situation and perhaps cause the Viking player to lose a Saga die by destroying one of his units. The Moor archers fired twice on his once 8 man unit that had been reduced to four but could not finish them off causing only two causalities. So the Moor commander took a chance and sent in his three surviving warriors who had bared the previous onslaught and shouted out "Allahu Akbar" and drove home a spirited attack. Once more the Moor dice where hot, and the Viking cold. The once 8 man warrior unit was wiped out causing two units within S (4 inches) to take a fatigue each. The Viking player whiffed on his attack rolls and the 3 victorious Moors rejoiced in their good fortune!

The end of Viking turn three the Viking player only having 5 Saga dice had a bad roll. He tried shooting up my 12 man warrior unit but in the end only caused one casualty. He brought his Berzerkers forward and left some dice on the board to deal with my expected attack.

The end of Moor turn three The only way the Raider player (Moors) can win this scenario is by getting the captured Warlord off the enemies side of the table. I sensed weakness in the Viking positions and knew what I had to do. Time to clear a path so the prisoner could be galloped off the board. But lady luck started to swing those early good dice throws the Moors where having and started to balance them out with my sudden below average rolls. 

I began the Moor turn 3 by once more turning to my three left over warriors and engaging his 3 man warrior unit. Why not, if I could eliminate them he would be down to four Saga dice, and so far these boys had been unstoppable. So I rolled in only to get smacked up the side of the head by Viking stubbornness. I lost a figure and they stood rock solid making all their saving throws. So I turned my attention to those Viking Levy archers and crashed into them with my 11 man warrior unit in hopes that I could wipe them out or at least bleed them really good. Now with a banner man I end up only rolling ten dice, and I did pretty well slicing up a good portion of those pesky levy and took down 6 while only losing two. I then took my 2 man mounted hearthguard unit and tried to roll with lady luck and finish them off, but I was only able to take 2 more though I didn't lose any. I then took my far left 10 man warrior unit and hit his 6 man warrior unit on his far right and took out four losing two. But now I was exposed to a counter attack on his turn four. Nail biting time..,.

The end of Viking turn 4 Still only rolling 5 Saga dice and with few options left to him with his troops out of position he set up his board to for use on my turn. But then the most bazaar thing happened. He fired his four archers into my 2 man mounted hearthguard. Only two dice, but I used his fatigue to raise my armor to 5. Of course he rolls five and six, and of course I fail my armor saves and poof! Suddenly I am down to rolling five Saga dice.

The end of Moor turn 4 and Victory! But a near run thing just the same. I still needed to clear a path and make room to gallop the enemy Warlord off the table. Only rolling 5 Saga dice of course I rolled like poop, but I had a plan. My once 12 man unit down to 9 (only 8 dice because of banner man) crashed into his Berzerkers hoping I could take them all out. He completely wiped me out of course with his re-roll misses ability used and I barely succeeded in cutting down those mushroom tripping Amazon crazy women (that's what he uses for his berzerkers). Now it was time to turn my attention to the last warrior unit he had on his far right. Two stinking warriors between me and galloping his captured warlord off the table. He had backed them up but still had a fatigue on them. This is an eight turn game but I was like this has to happen now! So I launched my Warlord that had the distance thinking I can take these guys out with five dice, and using his fatigue I sent my Warlord's armor up to 6. Yes! No way with two dice he can touch me. If there had not been a witness there, watching us play you would have thought I was making this stuff up. The bastard rolled double 6's!!!! Aaaaaggghhhhh!!! A cheer went up from the other side! Our visitor and my opponent were ready for high five fever!!! It was hopefully to be a great morale victory even if their Warlord was carried off. With baited breath they waited my save roll.... YES! I rolled one save thus securing a total victory without being told for the next 20 years, "yes you won... but", Lol, they really would do that to me. I was then able to gallop his Warlord off the table and then end the game.

Mark is a very aggressive player and the Vikings fit his play style very well, that said after playing this one for the first time we both would play this one different the next time.  Not knowing if you will win the roll to go first or not is a big factor in placing terrain. I think both players should pick the max terrain per the Crescent & Cross rules. Then selecting who is the Raider or Rescuer would depend on one's army, and this will go hand in hand in how terrain was placed.

I learned quite a bit on how the Moor battle board works and definitely won't be going with three War Banners in future, though I probably will place them out just because they look cool (but not count them as War Banners). I liked how they played and after playing I got a better idea of the combinations I need to use on their battle board.

I have to say I found this to be a very interesting scenario and I give this one a solid A in my book. I will be playing this one again for sure in the future. If you haven't played it, please give it a try.


Friday, April 14, 2017

Infinity: Combined Army Sectorial | Onyx: Unidron Batroids

A few friends and I have taken on the world of Infinity and so far we like it. It's a skirmish type game with low troop count, but man do these boys pack some weapons. I've painted a few here for a friend and I have about 9 more to go, so that he will have an army to play with. As you can tell by the photo's he's all anything Alien, Predator, Terminator type stuff. So when he saw these boys he jumped right on the band wagon.

Here are the first three I've done for them. They are basic type troops armed with a Plasma Carabin, and enough to get him started out.

[clicking on the pics makes them bigger]
Thanks for looking