Montag, 18. April 2016

From Aurelian to ACW

Dear friends,

as some of you may already have noticed, the final part (#4) of my Aurelian-tutorial is now online. It contains many special aspects such as playing interrupts and also gives a short summary. I hope you'll like it.

Here is the link to the video.

After painting, playing and filming so much Ancients, I think it is time for a little break. I'll use it to finish a project that was long in waiting. Being a great fan of Sam Mustafa's Longstreet, over the last two years I have built two large ACW armies ("large" in any sense of the word, so being both 28mm and more then two units...). They have been used quite a few times but the real finish wasn't done - many of the bases were unfinished and also there were some units missing. So I'm going to remedy this situation now.

You'll see the results rather soon. As an appetizer, here is are a few shots of a small Union unit...


Sonntag, 10. April 2016

Aurelian - Part #3 of the video is online

Hi all,

just a quick note that part #3 of the walkthrough-video is now online.

This video contains the Turn Sequence and guides you through Shooting, Moving and Fighting.

I hope I'll be able to finish the part #4, which will be the last part, this week.


Donnerstag, 7. April 2016


The hibernation of this blog is finally over! Many thanks to all of you who've kept this blog in their reading-list even if it has gone quiet for more than a year. The reason for this prolonged hibernation is manyfold, a combination of finishing my PhD, a demanding time in the family and many small and large factors that added up to the choice between still having a hobby or blogging about it - because there was no time for both.

What scarce hobby-time I did have in the last year, I mostly spend on the playtesting of Aurelian, the new game of Sam Mustafa. It is his first ancients-game, and since I am a fierce fan of his rulesets and was drawn by these into both the Napoleonic Wars and even the ACW (periods I previously had fiercly denied to play for many years), this really was a treat for me and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

A very special aspect of it all was that I got to provide all the pictures - both for the rulebook (well, rule PDF really) and the unit tiles, which can be used as playing pieces.

So, in a sense, now everyone can play with my miniatures collection simply by using these unit tiles which even come as a free download.

For me, Aurelian has many strengths and not many weaknesses, and I really enjoy this game. Thus I have taken the time to plunge into a new aspect of modern hobby-communication and have done some viedos about it on youtube. You can see a little teaser here...

...and if you think you can enjoy it and bear my terrible pronounciation, you can watch the preparation...

... and the setup-procedure of the game.

Part three which will cover the turn sequence and the battle itself with shooting, moving and fighting. It is uploaded right as I write this, however, it may take some time until you can sse it as I have asked Sam to preview it first - just in case I made any mistakes.

To sum it up, here is what I like most about the game:

1) The Focus of the Period
Instead of the usual "Moses to Cortez" - aproach, the focus on a relatively short period of time really gives flavour to the game and is - in my oppinion - much more historically accurate then the "one size has to fit all" mechanisms of some other games.

2) Adjuncts
After you've choosen and "bought" your army, it will recieve a personality by the addition of heroes, priests, experts or traitors. They really add character, fun - and unpredictability.

3) Stamina
I've never before encountered a system that is so suited to mirror the increasing fatigue and loss of stamina of an army. After several rounds of fighting, your options will be limited and fighting results will decrease in quality. In most other games the chances of rolling high is unchanged from the beginning when the army is freshly deployed to the end when it is anxious, tired and demoralized. Not so in Aurelian - here you will experience the strain that's put on your troops by the gradual loss of your good cards.

4) Strategems and Interrupts
The cards also allow for the use of strategems - and for your opponent to undermine them. You can make plans, but they won't succeed all the time...

So the game is fast, fun and solidly based in history in a timeframe I really enjoy. As you can guess, this won't be the last post about it you'll read here.

At the moment I'm begging/annoying Sam to use a similar approach for the Crusades or even the Carthaginian Wars. Whether I succeed with that cunning scheme largely depends on the success of Aurelian - so do me and us all a big favor and buy the PDF ;-)

Best, see you soon,

Montag, 22. Dezember 2014

Samurai in the Snow

Hi all,

December is traditionally a very tense time at my office - everyone expects me to finish all those projects that nobody was really interested in for so many months before. So I have to be a busy bee, and (as I had anticipated) painting progress for the painting challange so far is quite slow - but my masterplan is to make up for this lack of progress during and after the holidays!

My first entry to the painting challange is a Samurai of the Perry range - indeed I had this backtrop of a beautiful Japanese-gardens-calendar, and this inpired me to paint a fitting figure to use for the "cold" special theme of the painting challange.

It was really great fun to paint this Samurai, especially without the typical armour. I'm going to paint some more of these...

Have a nice holiday everyone, and thanks for your great support in 2014. I hope you get a lot of shiny toys under the Christmas tree. for me it will be the new Perry Azincourt-Range, and I'm really looking forward to these figures!

All the best,

Samstag, 29. November 2014

This took some time

Hi all,

yes, the hibernation of this blog is finally over. 2014 had some rough patches to navigate and it was no good year for the hobby - so at some time I had to decide wether I'd use the sparse free time I had to actually have a hobby or only to talk/blog about wishing to have one. Thank you anywhere for bearing with me.

I'm otpimistic there'll be some more activity on this blog rather soon as I have enlisted in the Analogue Hobbies 5th annual painting challange, and I'm planing on honouring my goal of 500 points worth painting!

Until then I'd like to show you some more pictures of my ever growing crusading armies. These beauties have scored two big successes tis year: First, two pictures of my Crusaders have had the honour to appear in the new and quite exiting SAGA Crusades-supplement. Then, I've won "best painted" with my Moors at the very well organized and truly entertaining Holmgang SAGA tournament. Thank you again Patrick for the organisation and also thank you to everyone how has voted for my troops.

OK, with no further ado - here they are. First: The Crusaders.

Perry Miniatures Crusaders

More Perry Miniatures Crusaders

And here are the Moors/Saracenes:

Cavalry with a mix of several companies - mostly Musketeer, Black Tree, Gripping Beast and Artizan

Thanks and until next time,

Sonntag, 29. Dezember 2013

Crusades reloaded

Hi all,

I hope you all had a fantastic Christmas and Santa has brought you all the shiny toys you'd hoped for. For me it was great - the festivities, but also the addition to the lead- (and book-) mountain.

Chief among the presents was a new supply of Perry Crusaders, and this gives me the reason to talk about one of the projects I have worked at during the "quiet" phase of this blog between May and October. I was considering rebasing and enhancing my Crusader army for quite some time now, but with the mass of new rules and the lack of a real favorite set it was hard to decide on a basing system.

My Perry Crusader knights attacking
The most flexible variant of course is the DBx-basing scheme that is compatible with all but skirmish systems and has a 6cm front for 28mm figures. Yet the 4cm depth for mounted always requires some squeezing and 4 figures to a base is not as visually impressive as I'd like. The 12cm front of Impetus on the other hand can look very impressive if furnished with enough figures, but you need a large playing field and indeed tons of figures if you want to play anything else but impetus.

I've tried several options and came up with this one finally: 8cm front. Essentially I double the standard DBx/FOG-base-sizes for 15mm, so I can play DBx with them as well as any other system like FOG, Hail Ceasar, Dux Bellorum, Impetus and others. The basing system gives me 6cm depth for horses and 3cm for heavy infantry - and thus it very conveniantly solves the depth-problem for mounted bases:

My Perry Crusader general with his loyal Syrian bannerman

For specially trained horsemen (knights superior or cavalry superior in DBx-terms) that fought in dense formations, I'll put four figures on a base:

Military Order Knights - again all from the Perry Crusader range
 For infantry the increased width and depth gives room for some limited diorama-building and story-telling. I double the figures required for DBx - give or take one or two figures.

Two bases of Crusader Spearmen - some Perry, some Foundry, some Magister Militum

This system is visually attractive, especially "en masse": The five bases of spearmen you have in your Crusader DBA army really does look like - well, not an army yet, but more than a few figures at least.

5 bases of spearmen - mostly from the Perry Crusader range

And this is the complete DBA-army: 12 bases (5 spear, 4 knights, 1 bow, 2 crossbows). Now I'm going to treat the Syrians the same way and test the new basing scheme wth a game of DBA. I certainly won't rebase my extensive ancients collection, but if it all works out well I may define the scheme as my standard for the medieval era.

I wish you all the very best for the new year and thank you for your continuing support and interest. Take care and see you in 2014,


Sonntag, 17. November 2013

A long road to Longstreet

Lately I had the oppertunity to play a game of Longstreet. It's no secreet that up to the first announcement of Sam Mustafa with some promising details on that game I neither had any interest in the period nor a special fondnes for the figures. I had bought some ACW cavalry when they first appeared at the Salute (for it was the first set of historical figures made from hard plastic), but sadly I have long since tradet this pack for I don't know what. Thus my lead mountain - as large as it looms - was up to date clear of any figure representing a soldier after the date of 1815.

Now this has to change, because Longstreet is - as I had feared when I had read the announcement of Sam - just and planly great. It is great fun to read and even more fun to play, and the same way I've catched the Napoleonic plague with Lasalle, it seems it has happened again.

So I gave in, and have since heavily invested into this period. Now the first regiment is ready for the fight, and I couldn't wait to show it off.

Perry ACW Union Regiment
Since I don't know to much about the period, I have chosen a nondescript regiment of volunteers ("Smallville's finest"). I'll add a few historical regiments at a later date, when I have read more about it - Don Troiani has already been ordered...

For the whole project, I've chosen to use exclusively Perry Miniatures. Many of them I'll paint myself, but given the size of the project I've already contacted some trusted painters as well. 

I'll keep you informed about the progress. Until next time - and thank's for dropping by!