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!


Mittwoch, 23. Oktober 2013

A published gaming mat

Is it spring yet?  Well, it seems this blog has confused the seasons and was hibernating during all of this beautiful summer. I often thought about posting, but real life was extremly busy - a little future wargamer has arrived in our familiy and my doctoral thesis has reached its final phase. Under these circumstances hobby time is extremly scarce, so I had to decide whether to actually paint and game or just to write/blog about it.

While the volume of what I get finished these days is insignificant when compared to earlier times, I still got some projects on the way. The most important of which does appear on page 60 of the current issue of Wargames Soldiers & Strategy (#69), and I‘ve enjoyed this very much.

  • [...]
  • Sir Tobi - 'A quest for the ultimate flexible gaming mat - the philosopher's portable battlefield'.
  • [...]

I‘ll come back to other projects I‘ve worked on in later posts but want to use this one for the question what acrylic paste or sealant to use in the mat building process. I couldn‘t post a link to Amazon in my article in WSS, but I‘ll post it here (no, I don't have a contract with Amazon, so please go ahead and buy it wherever you like). 

So if you want to (considerably) dirty your hands with your own gaming mat - workshop, I‘ll recommend this product (if you are ordering from Germany or don‘t mind oversea postage):

An alternative from Amazon UK which sohould work fine, too (although I have not worked with it myself) is this product: 
If anyone uses it, please be so kind and give me a feedback if your content with it.

I guess there will be a follow up article in WSS, but first I‘m looking forward to see this one in print.

Best regards to all of you and thanks for your visit,

Montag, 6. Mai 2013

Great Games at AttritiCon

My club's annual event, the AttritiCon, was tremendous fun again. The con was well recieved (we had something of a hundred participants and visitors this time), and it was a very relaxed and joyful atmosphere with people having big talks about little figures and playing old and new games. For me it was a first that I didn't play any tournament but helped staging two demonstration games - the best decision I could have made, as it was truly great.

One of these games was a big 400p Impetus demo in 28mm with Christopher aka Axebreaker. Christopher is a very nice person and a gifted painter, and the army he put on the table certainly has a very lasting "wow"-effect. Here he is, sitting in the middle and explaining grand strategy to the players:

Facing each other on the Spanish plainland were my Andalusians (which you already know)... 

28mm Andalusians
... and Christopher's fantastic El Cid army:
28mm El Cid
The Scenario was a historical one, but we took liberties with the set up and added a Spanish Version of La Haye Sainte:

In two large battles the armies fought it out who would rule this part of Spain...

... and there were plenty of heroic moments like with this mercenary knights in Andalusian service (bottom centre), who survived turns after turns of onslought by a overwhelmingly outnumbering enemy...  

...or simply massive, optically overwhelming fighting scenes. 

I can only say thanks to Christopher, who (since it was one of my first times playing Impetus) had the hard work of involving and explaining, while I was free to enjoy the figures and role some dice. What a great game it was. We're considering to do something like this again in the future, but for the moment we're both glad that we finished everything in time (and we both shrink back even from the thought of another such huge project...).

The other game was much smaller in figure-numbers but not in matters of fun. In our own adaption of the SAGA rules, Patrick alias "Wraith" and myself prepared a little scenario set in the end-struggles of the Imjin war: A Japanase colony is attacked by a Korean army, and in a limited number of seven turns the game is decided by the number of buildings burned by the Koreans or defended by the Japanese. For those interested, I have made available the Korean Battleboard for download.    

The setting: A little Japanese village built by the invaders
 Patrick is a very nice person and great fun to game with, and his Samurai troops are truly a feast for the eyes. Here is the master of the games...

...and here you can see some of his very beautiful troops:

Perry Samurai painted by Patrick

I myself added the scenery (the buildings are John Jenkins Design) as well as the Koreans:  

Perry Koreans

The scenario was played five times that day. Everytime the fighting was tough...

 ...and both the scenario as well as the battleboards proved to be well balanced, as the results of the battles were quite different. The only thing that didn't differ was the fun the players had: 

Here are some more shots of the battles in progress:

My heartfeld thanks to my both co-organizers and hobby friends - as well as to all the players joining in. It was so much fun!

Now I'm back at my painting table, and it feels so good to be free to paint anything I want without having to keep a shedule. Alas, as gaming events like these are known to be the petri dish of hobby inspiration, a new plan and shedule will emerge soon enough... But more of this some other times.

All the best to you and thanks for your visit,

Samstag, 20. April 2013

The Andalusians are ready to march

There's nothing like an upcoming deadline to speed up the work :-) 

At our next big club event AttritiCon which will be held in two weeks I have the honour to stage an El Cid - Impetus game with Christopher aka Axebreaker, known near and far for his beautiful armies. Just take a look at his fabtastic El Cid army and you will understand why to say I'm under pressure to present something adequate really is quite an understatement. 

Thus I have started to base and paint an Andalusian army that was for a long time in my mind and in my cuppord but for some reason or the other had not seen the light of day yet. Today I'm glad to say that it is finished. Have a look for yourself:

Impetus Andalusian Cavalry (figues by Musketeer, Gripping Beast, Artizan, Black Tree and Crusader)


Impetus Andalusian Infantry (figues by Musketeer, Artizan, Gripping Beast and Black Tree)

I have already written what there is to say about this army here, so this time I'll let it suffice with the army list and some more pictures. All together it is a 400p army consisting of two commands:

Command 1 (Horse): 227 p
1 Expert Commander (C-in-C), attached to CM below 30 p
4 Andalusian Cav CM 92 p
1 Mercenary Knights  29 p
1 Banu Birzal CM  30 p
2 Andalusian CL with Javelin 46 p

Command 2 (mainly foot): 173 p
1 Expert Commander (not attached)  20 p
2 Javelin Skirmishers 24 p

3 Andalusian Foot and Archers fielded together as large units  75 p
2 Mercenary Light Horse with Bow  44 p                                      

 Now all I have left to do is learn the Impetus - rules... And, ahem, finish some other figures I'll need for the event. But more of this later.

All the best to you, take care and thanks for your visit,