Saka Light Cavalry

Saka Light Cavalry

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Joy of Six and Spends

Joy of Six has come and gone, I was really looking forward to this years as we were having a year off from putting on a display game. The only issue was getting to the event! Unknown to the organisers and most of Sheffield's population the vast majority of the roads around Hallam University was closed for a bike race. Sheffield Council have form for incompetence in organising events. Just the other year they had a marathon but failed to order water and only on the day realised cancelling the event!! Par for the course the people standing at the barriers did not know alternative routes nor it seemed did they care. Eventually we found the way in but I know more than one had to park miles away and walk in after trying and failing to find that one road out of many that got you in.

Regardless the attendance was good, not sure how it compared with last years but again space was all used up and plenty of games and traders were in attendance. The food remained good at prices that were reasonable, something that is getting rarer at shows making it the only show I don't take a packed lunch to.

I did not get any photo's of the show, just never got going with that sort of thing. Plenty of good looking games though, it was kind of weird seeing another Waterloo game in the same spot we had a couple of years ago and impressive it was too.

Most games were display but plenty of games were also participation. One such me and Lee played towards the end of the show which I was not really keen to play at the offset as by this point I was feeling rather tired. Turned out to be a great opportunity. The rules are based on Too The Strongest and is the ECW version that looks to be coming out in the future. I am a real fan of the ECW and so am a little difficult to please. I have to say that to this point no ECW rules have really grabbed me but these have a great feel and the mechanics whilst simple are very clever. Hopefully we will be getting our hands on playtest copies so we can try them out further. They are close to wrap up so I doubt we will have much influence on their development but I think these will be our go to rules for ECW.

They look to be able to play out medium sized games (15-20 units a side) in a short evening and should be able to handle very large games without to much trouble. We had around 15 units per side and the commands were all over the place to stimulate a confused command were neither side were ready for the battle and this came across well as you tried to make units work either together or separated by terrain or distance. We both got the gist of the rules relatively quickly and started to explore tactical options and how the game mechanics worked these moves out.

It's enough to say that when we turned up at the show we were selling our old Baccus casting s and getting new ones in the future. Now the plan is to keep the old, carry on painting them and get them on the table then get the new stuff and replace as we go. I am even thinking of trying out To The Strongest rules for our 6mm ancients because if they play as fast and have similar mechanics they could work well for next years game.

Of course a show is nothing without it's purchase. First stop was Leven Miniatures though it was mostly to drop off very late models but I did buy a few bits. Having painted no buildings for myself for well over a year I just did not want to increase the hoard too much, plus I actually don't know which buildings I need. I do know though that I will need to add to my ECW suitable buildings and the Medieval MED18 Large Manor & Stables will work. I also bought GEN18 Spanish Windmill, I really should have bought another one or two of these so will get more at a future show or post. Lastly a retired stone building that originally was in one of the American ranges but again I think I can use it elsewhere.

No one got rich off me with Baccus just getting a small order mostly because I forgot to sort out a list of what else I need for my Magnesia army. So two packs of elephants when I needed the, I bought two packs of Celts, naked fanatics and light cavalry. In both cases as the packs I wanted were sold out (buy early not late!). Again I needed more Celtic infantry than just one pack so need to add to these. The light cavalry will be OK though.

We returned home and everyone had a great time. Lee is buzzing over the ECW and picked up a raft of painted figures as well as about completing the lead required for next years display game. I have a few ECW cavalry regiments on my desk awaiting paint so it's got me revved up as well.

Talking of painting desk, two battalions of 15mm SYW Prussians are about to shuffle off whilst I have three British Dragoon regiments for The Boy's Peninsular army and another four phalanx blocks just marching on behind the cavalry. It's going to be very 6mm for a few weeks.

Saturday, 15 July 2017

Baccus 6mm Cataphracts

With Joy of Six tomorrow I thought I had better show some recently purchased and painted 6mm figures. These are from Baccus and will be used in our display game next year. You see some nice symmetry goes into these posts LOL.

These were a quick paint as I am putting in less detail in the figures than I would do if they were my Napoleonic's as with these armies we are going for the mass effect rather than neat crossbelts etc.

Given this objective we need some splash of colour which is provided by the standards and cloaks. In the game I think I will be using five units so I actually have two more than I will need for that game but it's possible that we will do the game again at a later date but double up the units, a lot depends on other possible projects or if we need more for other games.

These amount to three cavalry boosters, or fifteen regiments of Napoleonic cavalry, yep that's a lot of horses. Other than some Gallic cavalry I think I have all the cavalry I need for the game, most of the rest of the painting will be another eight or nine pike phalanxes and a fair few peltast units.

Lee will also have Cataphract's in his army but not as many. I also have plenty of heavy cavalry as well so as you would expect the Romans will be making more use of their infantry. It should look rather OTT with massed pike, loads of bow and wings full of cavalry and yet more infantry whilst a force of about a third of mine faces off. Some special rules are already in progress for the game but we have yet to start playtesting so fingers crossed.

I had enough figures left over to make four command bases a couple of which will get used in the game but the others will hopefully get used in other games. At least now I have quite a few options for command.

As mentioned we have Joy of Six tomorrow and whilst I do not have a shopping list I have been looking on the Leven website and I have an eye for a few more buildings and yes I do plan to get going on painting some of the ones I already have stashed away. Indeed I am rather looking forward to getting on with it.

I may or may not buy more Baccus tomorrow. I should get the last of the pike but will probably swerve those and get the other packs I will need so possibly generate a big push to get everything finished before this year ends.

Mostly though I want to take the time to look at all the games and actually see Joy of Six at my leisure rather than the dash round I normally get when putting on a game. So if your there I look forward to bumping into you and just chillin'

Thursday, 6 July 2017

As Good As Done

Finished the Zombie bust I received last week. Really enjoyed working on it and made a nice change from the usual work I do. Not that it is 100% finished yet as I have to sort out a socket to base him on, also varnish the bust and a few finishing touches I will do once that is done.

It's hard to believe that Steve the sculptor has not been at this for that long as he really adds great detail that could easily be missed out when sculpting. Most of the painting has been layered with the red as a wash. It's actually skin tone but I got the effect I was after.

The shirt was a mix of layers and an early attempt at blending. Lots of layers and detail went into the shoulder socket and collar bone. So that's the first bust I have ever painted and I do believe I will be having a few more goes. Not that that's all I have been painting. I have a few 6mm cavalry units for our ancients game and have started a couple more battalions of 15mm Prussian SYW and The Boy has added three regiments of Light Dragoons for his 6mm British Peninsular army so I have a queue.

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

Zombee Bust

I stumbled on this Zombie bust just the other day on Facebook. These are produced by Steve an independent sculptor and Commission Painter. At the moment he just has a bust called The Beast Handler but he also does limited run busts like this Zombie. Originally limited to about 20 models he has reduced the run still further to 15 and just has a couple left.

The cost is £18 plus postage and represents excellent value and I thought well worth a punt. Steve has real fast turnaround and I received the figure today after supplying my address on Monday evening!!

The finish is white, but this image gives a better idea of the detail which is very clear. I have already started work on the sculpt and I have to say I am more impressed than I thought was possible. This is quite a diversion for me but one I am really enjoying. So thanks Steve, top marks so far.

Thursday, 22 June 2017

15mm Macedonian Phalanx or Two

These are the first figures finished post challenge that was not actually started during the challenge. I don't even know the supplier of the figures as these were given to me by a friend years and years ago now. I ended up just doing a very basic paint job on them but they look OK on the table.

All but sixteen of the figures needed the pikes adding which was OK as I have plenty of wire to snip and glue in place. These continue with the plan of putting all the figures on a single base for use with Hail Caesar which will make it far easier to move them around the table.

The shields have Little Big Man transfers on them costing £3.50 per sheet. I needed two sheets but that leaves me with enough spares to do a third unit which I will do at some point. Very fast service and low cost postage means I will be happy to use again.

The transfers went on with ease though I really need to improve on my placement as you can see from the photo's.

This unit has a mix of different helmets which with the varied positions of the pikes make them look a bit more interesting.

The second block has two different makes of figure and I have put the ones with cast pikes to the front as their shields are domed whilst the rear ranks have flat faced shields. The front rank could possibly be Essex but that is a guess.

With these two blocks I now have about three blocks more than I need. However as I have far more Persians than you would expect to see in a game it's possible for my extra blocks to be used in a monster game sometime. Of course I can always use more pike in a game and cut back on other troops.

With Joy of Six just around the corner I am starting to feel the need to make good progress on our display game for next year. As such I have the Cataphract's  on the painting table at the moment. I plan to get them done before the end of the month and either move onto some SYW or keep on  with the Ancients and get the five phalanx units I have in stock painted. I still need to buy more of these as well as plenty more figures before I have all the units required. With over 4600 unpainted figures in hand I am not exactly short of stock, just seems I have the wrong figures at the moment.

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Han Chinese Persian AAR

Over a month between posts! Well whilst painting has been on an all time low I have been playing games, just not recording them. Hopefully I will get back to normal and get posting again. I have a Saga game this week and a Black Powder game the week after if all goes well. I have even started to paint more regularly again with a couple of 15mm units finished this week just waiting to be photographed.

I have had a few games of Hail Caesar with Matt recently and another with Lee. My Persians have not done too badly so maybe I am starting to use them correctly? Probably the dice have had more to do with it with two games having molten dice. This then is the other game played against Matt.

The thing about the Persians is you get a lot for your money. A lot of low cost units that is. In the distance you can see the Han whilst I have enough troops to wrap round them if the terrain would allow.

On my left flank I send in hoplites and two units of levy bow infantry. These are facing Matts only mounted force so have to be careful, I do have one of three mounted brigades just to the left in the photo that should help some.

Only trouble being that they don't much like moving forward. Matt and his group have developed a few changes to the basic activation rules giving a bonus for units and formations over a certain distance. This usually means whilst at distance you can get a few moves a turn.

On the opposite flank I charge my cavalry into Chinese infantry. In Black Powder crossbows have a few restrictions and other bonus abilities a definite disadvantage is the inability to use closing fire. As such I charged some cavalry units in his infantry on his flank. This is risky as a roll of 6 can cause you a MC that low rolls can cause some nasty effects. Also the cavalry have a 50/50 chance of becoming disordered, in this case I got lucky.

I still had another cavalry division waiting the results of the first attack before being unleashed for a clean up attack. Or they failed to get any moves!!

Back on the other flank I try to bring the Chinese chariots into melee but Matt keeps dropping them back to allow his bow armed crews to cause casualties but I have good save rolls allowing them to continue to march forwards in the hope of finally catching them.

Matt sent his bow armed light cavalry up to my right hand cavalry division in an attempt to get me to charge and in the meantime push up my casualties. This was partially successful but my cavalry are armed with javelins so it's not all one way traffic.

The centre was for the most part rather quite as I struggled to move forward. My right hand cavalry has come back from a bruising round or two of melee and needs time to get sorted out.

Disaster for my hoplites as Matt gets a open flank to charge. He went on to destroy these and move on to the second unit destroying those as well. The first time Matt can remember such good fortune for his cavalry.

However in the middle I had the advantage and was just starting to force the two wings of his army apart.

On my right I had broken some units and now can both more troops most of which were in great shape and the ability to strike from a distance.

One of Matt's brigades on my right was broken and a second flanked and bent back. All the mounted units are mine in the image above with one retreating Chinese unit in the middle. My task here was to get the most forward cavalry behind the Chinese cutting off their retreat whilst bringing the rest around the flank and the infantry to close quarters and simply attack with whichever units are presented the Chinese rear.

We called it at this point, my cavalry had managed to not only charge home against Matt's infantry but won most of the melee rounds causing Matt's position to become impossible to hold.

Sunday, 14 May 2017

Persian Satrap Cavalry Part 2

The second post on my Persians is a little different. These are of course my 6mm Baccus Persians and these give me a total of eight units of Persian cavalry so enough to start thinking about playing games.

I went with mixed colours for these two units rather than mostly singular in colour. The usual 18 figures to a base to give them some mass effect.

Like their bigger brothers these were actually started during the challenge and were left with only the horses finished so it felt a bit of a drag finishing them but I was glad to finally get them finished up.

Die holders built in as I remembered to do it! These will be the last units painted for this army for awhile as I need to concentrate on my Seleucids. However some of the units will actually be used in the Persians as well so it's not all Seleucid. Nor will it all be Ancients as I still plan to blend in a few Napoleonic units from time to time.

I also finished off three command bases for the Persians. I will need more but I will also be using Greek sub-commanders as well.

This leaves me with eight 6mm figures needing finishing at some point started during the challenge. This will happen in the next month or so I guess if only to get them off the table. In the meantime I have started painting up some 15mm figures I had prepped for the painting challenge but did not get further with. A side effect of extra prep is that I have a number of units ready to paint though I will be working on others that still need prepping. Hopefully I will get more into painting again. This mornings painting certainly was enjoyable.

With that I should be back to normal on blogging, I have a few computer games to talk about so it won't just be figures etc.