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 26, 2014

I love Summer time!!!

I wouldn't normally say that, but it's true for this year at least. We got hammered by one of the worst winters in Michigan in the last 30 years. I can't remember snow and cold like that since I was a child living up north in Michigan. Any ways that explains my statement. I am sooo freaking happy that it's bloody finally warm!

So I've been busy in the garden and doing honey do things, but I have had a chance to put some more paint on 12 Hoplites and as I mentioned before I decided to mount the bodies (Victrix 28mm Models) and leave the other bits on the sprue. This is what I used to do when I built models way back when, and it's helping facilitate detail work in what would have been hard to reach spots. Able to get to that trim work on the leather armor much better without all the bits in the way. I will have to do a little filing and touch up work on the bits I cut off the sprue after I am done painting them, but that will be a breeze. So far I am very pleased with the results I am getting. I should be able to put up some pics in another week or so. Why that long you may ask? Well it's because it's SUMMER TIME! Yes indeed, getting outside and cycling, drinking beer, cycling some more, gardening, honey do lists, etc. etc. So you get the point.  Because it's not Winter I am not trapped in my man cave;)

Until next time, cheers

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Athens Revisited

My ADD afflicted mind has me going through interests and gaming periods faster than you can say rip van winkle! My latest craze has been with the Greeks. If you've ever read Victor Hanson's books (for instance his great "Western Way of War") you'll understand why I've always had a fancy for them. But I do give credit (or should I say blame;)) to my very good friend for getting me back on board this colorful period. He is almost a clone of me when it comes to going from period to period, but just delves into it a bit deeper in the research department. He started reading everything Greek of late and then off he went and bought every Victrix Greek box they made plus one each;) Oh and all the transfers as well. Then of course it didn't help me that he talked non stop about them and then pointed me to a blog site called "Too Much Lead" (who sadly quit the blog business) who posted a couple of Saga battle boards for the period. Well let's say I was already falling off the cliff when my friend gave me an extra push;)

Here is a couple of jpeg's of the Battle Boards for Sparta and Athens. I've noticed a few mistakes on the battle board but nothing that can't be easily fixed. The idea is to play test them a bit and tweak them to my taste.

 [Attention: To those not used to looking at pictures on blog, if you click on pictures you will see the larger size]

Now with the above in mind I just had to paint my General/Warlord first. If for anything, it was to inspire me toward whether I wanted to really do it or not (I do!!!). So a few posts ago I showed you my built up base. The following pictures will show you a mini step by step I did in creating the finished product.
Parts glued together (in the future I will paint the bodies seperate from the other bits and paint those on the sprue).
I wanted to use the arm holding the helmet which is a left arm and the arm to rest on the shield was a left one. So I took a right arm for holding spear upright and used a little milliput to make a sleeve to match the other arm.
First coats of paint
Some basic shading and the start of building up the base.
The job finished with a gloss coat (please forgive the Japanese back drop, I have yet to make Greek Terrain;))
...and now with a dull coat to complete.
Excitement courses through my veins, so the General (me) assembles his troops;)

Friday, June 6, 2014

What do I have to do to win one of these!!!

Well the continuing Saga (get it, Saga) for my Anglo Danes is that they just can't get past these Viking dogs. An Army that I am beginning to hate. Today I gamed against Mark and he brought his only Saga Army over to go up against my only Saga Army the Anglo Danes. This time we played the "Sacred Ground" scenario, more to change things up than anything. This one has the goal of you putting troops into terrain for victory points which are calculated at the end of each game turn. The one good thing that came out of the whole ordeal (yes it is becoming an ordeal with this Anglo Dane Army) is that while you are getting the models painted and terrain in order, it helps keep your interest up by getting a few games in.

Mark was kind enough to bring over some trees to make our board look a little better, but I definitely need to purchase a nice ground cloth. I've got a few but they are all for naval or air games with hexes on them. Which won't do at all, so it's a bed sheet until then.

Going into this game I had an idea of how to use my battle board a little more efficiently than I have in the past. The ideal was to use a one, two punch. Hit his Warriors with one of my Warriors and use the ability "Lords of Battle" on him. The idea is, regardless of a win or loss, I would follow up and hit him while he is exhausted with one of my Huscarl units. Perfect plan right? Wrong! You can only plan the best you can and then the wicked little woman called "Lady Luck" pops in and destroys all your visions of glory.

Anglo Dane Battle line
Viking Battle line

There was a hill placed in the center, and two woods placed down both sharing the same flank opposite each other. The scenario lasts eight turns and I am not sure how balanced this one is. You have to keep troops in the terrain to get points, but someone has to leave the terrain to go kick the other guy out of his. This leaves for some interesting choices or chances. 

Being as I wanted to test out my thoughts on how to use my battle board better I charged ahead and sent a Warrior and a Huscarl straight up the middle to the hill with two moves each causing each to take one fatigue.Following up on their flank was another Huscarl and my Warlord using the 'We Obey" rule to get some more troops up for support.
Situation at end of turn 1

Turn two Mark brought up his Warrior unit backed up by his Warlord by using "We Obey" and an activation. This caused him to take one fatigue but he always picks the ability "Frigg" to make it go away. He used his usual choices of "Heimdal" (gives you three attack dice, but lowers your armor by one which I now just realize that Mark has not been doing for our past three games. So THAT'S how he's been winning all this time!!!) and "Ullr" (which let's you re-roll misses). Notice how he always sets up one unit with all his other dice. Mental note, read my opponents battle board more closely, and somehow take advantage of this one unit armored fist attack. Oh yeah, back to the battle. He took out four of my eight Warriors for a loss of one. So now was the time to unleash my idea! I hit him with my Huscarl using "Unforgiving". The idea here is not to use the enemies already acquired fatigue from the previous melee, and by this melee and the Unforgiving ability will cause him to become exhausted at the end of the melee. This is where Lady Luck pops in and screws everything up for me. Against my Huscarl he causes three hits and I save two, I cause 5 on him and he saves 4. Being a tie I have to disengage. Okay I say to myself no problem, I still have 3 models out of my 4 for the Huscarl unit, and he is now exhausted. So I charge in with my now 4 model Warrior unit and I use Lords of Battle on him. He gets four dice and I get seven, but I will also add three more fatigue to him at the end of melee, but I am thinking I should be able to punch his clock and be done with it. Nope I cause 4 hits and he saves 3 and I lose 1 model so AGAIN I have to disengage! Now I am getting a little perturbed at Lady Luck. She is not helping me at all! It seems my Anglo Danes are cursed as I can't deliver a death blow to any of his units in the beginning of the game. With this thought in the back of my head I throw in my other Huscarl unit in an attempt to wipe him out. Long story short, I walked away with no loss but he still survives and disengages with two models out of 6. A bloody trail....
End of turn 2

Turn 3 see's Mark sweep forward with his 8 model Huscarl unit by using "We Obey", and then a move activation to slam into my 4 model Huscarl unit. Of course he uses "Frigg" to remove the 2nd move fatigue and "Heimdal" (Which as already mentioned we weren't reducing his armor value) and "Ullr". This is a tough combination to overcome and I did not. My 4 model Huscarl unit vaporized and caused 4 hits on him, BUT GUESS WHAT!!!, he saves three of them:( On my half of turn 3 I use what's left of my Warriors and my now 3 model Huscarl in a disperate attempt to throw his 7 model Huscarl off the hill so he doesn't race ahead in terrain holding points. I manage to take him out but at great cost losing all my Warriors and Huscarl in the process, also leaving my poor Warlord unsupported for turn 4. 
End of turn 3

Turn 4 he simply waltzed up to my Warlord with his fresh 8 model Warrior unit and Warlord using side by side and took my Warlord out. At this point I realize contining on with the game is moot as he know can afford to just sit back and rake in the victory points. So I concede. 
Dane Warlord bites the dust again

Bottom line was I still had fun, though it was tough going through some of those dice rolls, and I learned a little more about the game system. I did have thoughts about putting up the Anglo Danes on Ebay for a short while after Mark left, but I will soldier on. It's a good game system and I know one day I will win one of these without resorting to paying Mark off as he suggested;)


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Athens lives!

As you all know by looking at my last few posts I've been on this Saga kick. Great fun, so why not! So I sat back down at the painting table and put some paint on a few bowmen for my Anglo Danes, but a peculiar thing kept happening. I kept glancing over at my newly bought box of Athens Greeks from Victrix. There are a couple of lists made for the Greeks that I got off the web and I've had this idea for a Warlord/General base. So after a few coats of paint on the bowmen I began the afternoon trying not to glue my fingers together and started making my little Athens General diorama. Here is a picture of my fingers not glued to the models (which doesn't always turn out that way for me).

Tomorrow I am going to try to put some paint on them, I'll post a picture when I have them done. As always thanks for looking.