Monday, March 30, 2015

Art de la Guerre and By fire and the Sword

Sometimes even the best of plans gets derailed by reality and sometimes by unrealistic expectations.
I had planned all my projects to happen with large enough intervals of time between them so that I would not face the dreaded "pile of lead"  accumulating on the projects table, but Alas, it happened....yet again.....

I received my orders from Old glory ( FIW) and Wargamer (BFAS) on the same day, and my Franco Prussian armies that I ordered from Pendraken are likely to arrive very soon, so I will end up with a pile of lead to work on instead of having the luxury of doing one project at the time.

At the same time I have been playing Art de la Guerre (ADLG) with My Friends Frank, Scott and Al at our local gaming shop and its really been great. I have been preparing and painting a lot of new armies for the game (see picture)and so that has been keeping me busy while I was waiting for the other stuff to arrive.
So far I have decided to put together a Teutonic Knights army, Triumvirate Romans, Spartans, Athenians, ancient British, Gauls, some type of crusaders or Frankish armies  and some late medieval knight armies, all in 15mm.
Eventually I will build republican Romans and  Carthaginians but I want to do those in 28mm along side with all the 28mm ADLG armies that I need to condition from my WAB armies.

The games I played in the last 2 weeks were fun although I only thought of taking pictures in two of them. I played Frank with his amazingly painted Tamils, and I shirked my duties that day and forgot my figs so Frank loaned me his also very nicely painted Patrician Romans, so Pilum vs Elelphants! and I can tell you, an enraged elephant that is about to die is not fun, as my trampled front units can attest!

Luckily I had peanuts in my pocket, so I distracted his charging Elephants and was able to break his line and take a narrow victory......

Then I played against Scott and his Late Ottomans with my Catalan Company, and his cavalry stomp me, although I had a few good rounds. The next game was against Al and I played his Nikephorian Byzantines, again with my Catalan company, and he completely destroyed them (funny enough I did not take pictures of these games, not intentionally though).
I went back to the drawing board and redesigned my Catalan Company and I played Al again, this time he decided to use his Ayyubid Arab army and it was a tough close game, but I was able to break his lines and won. But again it was close, a difference of 5 break points.

 It was great to have played these games and look forward to maybe playing once or twice again this week.I really like the game (ADLG) and its been a lot of fun.

As I mentioned before I received my BFAS shipment, and although they missed a few things that they will mail later, I still received a lot of stuff.I got Muscovites, Transilvanians and Polish. So I have several weeks of work just with that order. will post pics as I progress.

My Old glory FIW stuff arrived too at the same time. I will start doing a few pieces in between other projects to change air. There is no rush on that particular set of models so, I will take my time since its one of my favourite time periods. and I want to do them well.

The only things left that I have on the line for now are the Franco-Prussian armies  in 10mm that I ordered from pendraken, The Spanish civil war 10mm and 28mm armies that I want to put together and the Great northern war and late 17th century armies I was putting together. The Franco-Prussian stuff I will work on probably by Memorial day, and the rest I still need to order certain elements for each  of those projects, so they are at the back of the line until I get everything I need to put them together.

Finally, There are two articles that I will write, one, a consumer reports-type approach to wargaming rules for which I am trying to enlist some of my friends and fellow wargamers to help me out with this. I will post more on the subject as I develop this idea. The second is an article on the pluses and minuses of painting in 6mm, 10mm, 15mm and 28mm as I will be painting a small group of miniatures in each of these scales and report my experience as a painter with "all thumbs for fingers" and will make sure to include nice pics to go along my painting disasters and horrors that will probably ensue.

Until then, Game on.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The road to hell is paved with good intentions

As with all best intentions, reality seems to straighten us out when we least expect it. I have been trying to put more time working on my wargaming stuff and life and work keeps getting in the way of my best planned objectives.

However a few things have moved along my work table (coffee table or kitchen table really) and that makes me feel that I have not wasted my time in the past weeks.

so I received the pendraken order with the spanish civil war (SCW) and great norther war (GNW) figs that I ordered. Mostly because I wanted to see if they were suitable for my purposes. They are great miniatures! pendraken really makes a top notch job casting them, and they were very attentive and responsive when I emailed them, since they took a long time to get here (about 3 weeks). I found out that they actually cast them on demand, I suppose that they do not do that with all the more popular ranges, but I have to say that I do not believe that they get an order every day for SCW or GNW figs and hence the need to cast them as orders come.

In any case, for as nice figures as they are I realized that 10mm is an awkward scale  for what I want to do with them, at least for the SCW ones. 10mm is great to create the feel of a large army and still have nice detail on the figures.  Arguably 15mm is similar but 10mm really gives you the "mass feel" when you play at the Corps level. So I think what I will do is order a few more packs and build a small force of each side ( a batallion of each kind, composed of 3 companies and each company with 3 platoons of about 10 figs each), so I can play small battles in a small table.
For the original purpose that I had for them I think I will use instead empress 28mm. so, this puts this project back at the start of the line.

For the GNW, I think they work, specially for the rules that I want to use. however, because I really like the look of the period, I think I will also build 28mm swedish and russian forces using musketeer and foundry figs (they are sooooo nice!)  but due to the price of these figs, I will do this slowly, probably in batches of 24 at the time.

Checking these pendraken figs convinced me to do my Franco-Prussian war project in 10mm and ordered a French and a Prussian army pack from them. I am actually really excited about this.

Finally I have jumped with both feet into the FIW and AWI periods. I have been working on my AWI British (Perry 28mm) and I am waiting for my old glory FIW order. In the mean time I have watched the last of the Mohicans and The Patriot a couple of times,  and I have been reading the classic work by Francis Parkman in two volumes "Pioneers of France in the New World" which although written in 1865, still reads really well and its a lot of fun!

Anyway, I will post pics next time of what I have accomplished so far

Sunday, March 01, 2015

New Year, New Life, New Projects

Although it is already the beginning of March, It still feels like a new year. There are several projects that I have started and that I have promised myself I will finish this year.

Although I have a strong preference for Historical wargaming, I also enjoy Fantasy and Science Fiction wargaming and they have to compete for my painting and gaming time with all the other historical interests I have , so I decided that this year I was going to dedicate a bit more of my time to care, update and complete my Fantasy and Science Fiction collections.

Similarly, I want to finally this year complete at least the core of several historical projects that I really wanted to work on, and so I began at the beginning of the year by ordering and putting together the materials necessary to doing them.

In the first place I am working on expanding my French and Indian wars French in 28mm so I can use them not only with Muskets and Tomahawks but also with the new ruleset  Land of the Free, which I find not only interesting but nice in its relaxed approach without sacrificing the period feel. 

After my French are done, I have started a British AWI force that is assembled (perry 28mm) primed and set in popsicle sticks ready to paint. My intent was to use them for both FIW and AWI, but in all honesty, it kind of bothers me that they look out of period when I put them next to my French, so I decided I will do also FIW British courtesy of me becoming party of the Old glory army and the discount that it entails. My only concern is that the Brits might be a little smaller than my warlord French, if this is the case I might use the blue moon collection of the period. 
Evidently to complete the period (1750's-1810's) I need Continentals and Woodlands indians,  these I plan to complete with Wargames Factory miniatures, which in this range they are pretty nice for the price. 

The Next project I have embarked upon is putting together a core of Nationalists and republicans fighting the Spanish civil war. I plan to do this with Pendraken 10mm. I have ordered a few packs to try them out, will post more about that once I get them and confirm that this is the way I want to go.

Next on the List is also a 10mm Pendraken project, I will build the core of a French, Italian, Austrian, German and allies and Danish armies for the rules 1870, 1866, 1859 and Zouave II. I have been wanting to do this for the longest time, and although I consider this a long term project I wanted to start this year.

 Next is also another project that involve the 1660's-1720's period including the many wars that it encompasses. I do not know if I will use 10mm, or 28mm,  Pendraken, old glory, foundry, wargames factory or other miniatures. I want to build armies for the great norther war and  the wars of Louis XIV. I do not like the term Marlbourian wars as the English were not involved in all of these wars and it does not really cover the entire time period, and the term lace wars I just find silly so I guess I will refer to them as simply as 17th and early 18th century european wars. This is a LONG term project but I have ordered a few Pendraken figs in their great northern war range to see how they turn out. There are many really good rules sets for this period, in particular I like Maurice, Under the lily Banners and Age of Reason.

Finally I want to finish all my 15mm medieval, dark ages and classical armies for Art de la Guerre, as they have been sitting on my project table now for a very long time and there are quite a lot of them. I need to work on my Roman and Greek armies in 28mm that have been waiting for attention for a long time, and I have a ton  of stuff coming in from the By fire and the sword kickstarter, so this is the year that I have promised myself to finish all of them.

On the planing stages of course are my plans to complete a PHR army for Drop Zone Commander, refit and update my infinity, Anima tactics, and Eden forces, dust up an complete my Flames of war Strelkovy, perhaps add a section of Ghurkas and a Stuart to my Chindits, continue working on my 28mm medieval Arab armies, and of course give some long deserved TLC to my Lizardmen army, which for many reasons, mostly emotional attachment, they are my favorite miniatures army I posses. 

This is quite a lot I think, but we will see how much I can accomplish.