Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 In Review

Yikes, like a lemming to the sea, I have this undeniable yearning to write one of those tacky year in review entries.  My only defense is that, well, all the other "kids" are doing it too.

In all seriousness, 2010 was a good year for me on both the family front (most important) and the hobby front.

From a hobby perspective, I entered 2010 with the following goals (i) game more, (ii) host some games, (iii) add one new army/period, (iv) flesh out my Napoleonic French force, and (v) use the Black Powder ruleset with 6mm ACW.

I was able to accomplish four out the five goals with an epic fail on (iii) add ONE new army/period.  I just couldn't keep to one and seem to have gone on a bit of a naval bender during 2010 adding fairly large fleets for WWI, ACW Ironclads and 1/2400 Napoleonic naval - a total of 67 painted and based ship models.

There were two hobby related events that really standout for me during 2010.  The first is helping, in a small way, my friend Ernie launch his new business "Architects of War".  Ernie and his wife Barb have done an amazing job getting their business off-the-ground in 2010 - the business started operations in late January, opened selling to the public at Historicon and is ending the year with a large product line of over 50 unique terrain items, a new line of 28mm ACW skirmish figures, and being the sole US distributor for Perry Plastics, Gripping Beast and others.  Not a bad showing for a two person operation.  If you haven't checked out their stuff please do so - you will not be disappointed.  I take no credit for Ernie and Barb's success, my role was essentially to lift heavy things and try not to damage the inventory.

The second big event for me was attending my first convention (Historicon) for three days rather than a quick day trip and run through the vendor area.  I had a blast and look forward to returning to future Historicon's.  I do blame my little aquatic diversion this year on a Russo Japanese War naval battle I participated in at Historicon put on by Brian DeWitt and the NOVAG gaming club.  I played in the game on Friday and by Saturday I had a load of GHQ 1/2400 WWI naval miniatures in my "loot" bag - go figure.  I do hope GHQ gave Brian a sales commission.  The highlight of the convention was the big Napoleonic game put on by Ernie, the Perry twins and John Stallard - what a game that was!

On the modeling front, outside of the Naval output, I manage to build up a small 28mm Imperial Roman army and finish up my 6mm ACW collection by completing 4 additional divisions (2 confederate and 2 Union) bring my total collection to approximately 3,000 painted figures in 3 Union and 3 Confederate divisions. The numbers seem so much bigger when using 6mm.  I have found that Black powder plays extremely well in 6mm (just convert the gauge from inches to centimeters) and it allows for very large battles to be fought easily.

2010 also saw some terrain output, especially for 6mm ACW and 15mm FOW.  I find I like making terrain as much as painting figures.

My goals for 2011 are simple
- continue to stress gaming over collecting and host at least 6 games at the house, including running a 6mm ACW campaign game
- revamp my game room to allow for more storage and complete the "man-cave" conversion
- build some modular terrain boards
- finish up the 28mm Imperial Romans and get them on the table
- attend Historicon in July (pending executive spouse approval)
- participate in a tournament style gaming event (likely FOW) to see how I like it
- try focusing on finishing armies rather than adding new ones.

I have high hopes for all of these goals save the last one - ooohhh look there's something shiny over there....

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Uncharted Seas Battle Report

The naval-themed holiday break here at the Lair continued today as my son and I got in a quick game of Uncharted Seas.  It's been ages since we've played and we were very rusty on the rules.  Our game was a meeting engagement between and Orc and Iron Dwarf fleets, each of which consisted of a batlteship, 3 cruisers and 6 frigates.

 There was some rudimentary scenery in this game which did have a big impact on play.  The second picture is about halfway throught the game and my son Orc cruisers are lined up for a run at my battleship.  The dice were not kind to Sean this evening and his cruisers took a pounding from the battleship and Frigates

 This picture is from the end of the last turn.  The Orc fleet only had it's Battleship and 2 frigates afloat to face the dwarf fleet which had only lost 2 frigates - although one cruiser was had one damage point left.  All in all it was a fun and quick game.
Here's a photo of the Orc admiral, who was very gracious in defeat.  I do think he is plotting for a re-match in a day or two, so I need to gloat now as I doubt he'll let me off so easy next time.

Uncharted Seas is one of those odd games that is both simple and fun but yet still never seems to get played that much.  I'm trying to hold back on jumping into Spartan's new Dystopian Wars game system but it looks awfully tempting.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Trafalgar Test Battle - The Conclusion

 Here is the second part of the Trafalgar test game Battle report - turns 12 to 22.  The French fleet continues to press it's position advantage and pours heavy raking fire into the HMS Victory.  The British begin to land some more blows as the line of third rates (second group from the bottom) begin to fire on the the French 1st rate (Austerlitz) and their second rate, the Commerce de Paris.

 By turn 14 both the HMS Victory and Phoebe have been reduced to dis-masted wrecks and they have fallen out of the line.  The Austerlitz has taken a pounding but is still game for the fight.

 The French heavies manage to cross over the Britsh third raters and and succed in dismasting the HMS Conqueror and the beat up the Orion, setting both on fire.  So far, the British have lost three ships to none for the French but that's about to change.

The British fleet pulls a crafty move and shifts it's entire focus on the the line of 5 French 3rd rates (at the very top of the picture).  The French heavies (a First Rates and 2 second raters pass along the British but damage has slowed them and once they turn to re-engage they can not catch up.  The line of French Frigates (lower left) is fast enough to catch up and harass the English fleet as they pound the French third raters.  At this point my camera battery died so no more pictures.  Lets just say the British fleet got some revenge as they sank 2 French 3rd raters and heavily damaged two others at the cost of one of theirs and another frigate.

Overall, the battle went to the French with the following tally:

British Losses
Sunk: Conqueror (3rd Rate), Orion (3rd Rate), Agamemnon (3rd Rate, small) and the Frigates Phoebe and Macedonian.
Taken as a prize by the French: HMS Victory (oh the shame)

French Losses
Sunk: Bucentaure (2nd Rate), Orion and Lion (3rd Raters)

As for the Trafalgar ruleset, I liked them but need to get a better grasp of the finer points of fleet movement.  The game was really won for the French in the first six moves before contact.  The importance of maneuver makes sense from a historical perspective, but all the advantages seem to go the way of the French early on.  Once the basics of the rules are understood the game plays very fast and is suitable for larger fleet actions

The use of an iPad for damage tracking was a big success but the spreadsheet tool i was using needs a good bit of refinement.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Trafalgar with an iPad

 I decided to get out my 1/2400 Napoleonic fleets and have a go at a game with a twist - I'm using an iPad to track damage of the British fleet and just pen and paper for the French.  The first picture shows all the game supplies one needs to play a game of Trafalgar.  I'll ramble on about the tracking software later on.
 The next picture shows the fleets in there starting positions, with the British in the lower left and the French at the other end of the table.  Both fleets consist of 12 ships eachs - 1 First Rate, 2 Second Rates, 5 3rd Rates, 1 Small 3rd Rate (64 guns) and 3 frigates.  The miniatures are from Figurehead.

 A close up of the British fleet.  The flag ship (HMS Victory) is leading the center column.  My apologies for the rather bland seascape - it's just a blue piece of canvas that hasn't been trimmed for the table top.  While not the best, it does work for a test game.
 First Contact!  As the fleets where closing the wind shifted in the favor of the French which allowed them to close fast and set up long range raking shots from the Austerlitz (1st Rate) and Commerce de Paris (2nd Rate) on the HMS Victory.  Fate was not kind to the Brits as 3 critical hits were rolled and not saved.  The Vicrory's rudder was jammed and she can't change course until she rolls a "6" (on a D6) to repair the damage.
 The Fleets continue to close but the hapless Victory only plows ahead into even more deadly raking fire from the French Heavies.  But all is not lost for our plucky British - their frigate line (top right) is giving the French 74's  something to think about.  A critical hit from the frigate Phoebe has set the Orion (a third rate) on fire.  Apparently, uncontrolled fires on wooden ship stuffed with gunpowder are a bad thing.  The Phoebe did pay a price as she lost her foremast in the exchange and will be significantly slower.  How does the battle turn out?  Well you must wait for a second post....
 The real goal of the game was to play around with using an iPad as a game tool.  The picture to the left shows an individual ship's damage sheet (in this case the Victory).  Each ship has a similar page.
The neat thing about tracking electronically is that individual ship data can feed into a summary listing so a player can get a good understanding of his fleet status at a glance.  The formating is crude as it's just a prototype but I think there is real promise here with the technology.  I'm just using a spreadsheet now but it works.

As far as practicality, using a electronic tracking form is likely more trouble than it's worth if there are only a handful of ship per side (say 2 or 3 each).  It becomes incredibly useful when playing large fleet actions where one can become confused easily.  I've also tested a version that sends it data to a third party (game umpire).  One of the side benefit of using this approach is that players can send out fleet lists before a battle and allow players to get a good understanding of the forces - that saves time on game day which leads to more game time vs set up time.

I'll be doing some more prototyping over the Christmas holiday and hopefully will refine the tool so it can be used for multiple game formats.  I'll be trying Uncharted Seas next.

I would be very interested in anyones thoughts on how to improve the concept of electronic tracking or other ideas for how to use an iPad with gaming.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Joyful Festivus and/or insert politically correct holiday salutation here!  Here in the Geek's Lair we are busy with holiday preparations.  You know, the preparations where my wife commands me to do "this" and then "encourages me to do "that".  We try to make a big deal of this season with lots of baking and weight gaining (perhaps those are somehow related?).  Despite a lagging economy, 2010 has turned out to be a pretty good year and we're looking to send it off in a grand way by spending time together.  Perhaps a little "over-sentimental" but that's the way it is.

Both I and my family wish all of you and yours a wonderful holiday season.  Hopefully, Santa will be good to you and remember to bring me the special dice I asked for - you know the ones that only roll sixes!

To steal a quote from Clement Moore, "Merry Christmas to all and to all a goodnight"

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Robotics: Maryland State Championship Winners!

Not much on the miniature wargaming front as it was crunch time for the my son's Boy Scout troop's robotics team (I'm the coach) as it prepared for the Dec 11th Maryland State Championships.  A very surprising thing happened - they won!

Here's a team picture with their plaque, trophy and individual medals.  Our team is wearing grey "Craftsman Tools" shirts.  My son is the second from the left in the back - curly hair, big muscles and a very large smile.  I'm the dorky looking guy in a green sweat shirt and ball cap in the right rear.

The next picture was taken at the end of the final match and it was a fitting tribute to the day as all four robots performed spectacularly!  The score of the match was 52 to 50 in our favor so it was very close.  You can see that all four 'bots are balancing on the swing bridges, which earns each team extra points.  That's pretty impressive as each bot weighs anywhere from 10 - 50+ pounds.  We specifically designed our 'bot to be very strong, a bit slow (therefore, easier to control) and very heavy.  The mass differential was very important to us as there is a good bit of "contact" on the field.  During one of the qualifying rounds our bot was repeatedly rammed on each side by the two opposing bots, much to their dismay, as one flipped over and the second lost it's moveable arm.  Our 'bot just kept going it's slow and steady pace.

There were 34 teams competing at the tournament, one came from as far away as Italy, so the competition was very fierce.  Our team placed fourth overall in the qualifying period but managed to win the single elimination championship tournament.  This was our third year competing as a team and a marked improvement over our previous performances.

The last picture is a closer view of our robot during one of the matches - it was in the process of balancing itself on the bridge during the autonomous part of the competition.  Each match has 2 parts - an autonomous portion where the robot operates on it's own and a tele-op mode where the robot is driven via remote control by the team.

I'm very proud of the Scouts.


Saturday, November 27, 2010

War of 1812: A Battle "Somewhere" in Canada

 Today I had the opportunity to play a war game at Ernie's house (Architects of War).  I had thought we were going to play test his new Uncivil American Civil War rules, but Ernie felt that would be too "work-like" so he opted for a War of 1812 game using his house Napoleonic's rules (Gentlemen of Rank).  The rules are command and control oriented and use command cards which means units, especially militia and indians can do unexpected things.  It's a fun game system.  The first picture shows the table which features some of Ernie's gorgeous Architects of War terrain.

The US force (commanded by me) was the attacker and our objective was to seize the port at the other end of the table.  The US attacking force consisted of 3 Regular infantry battalions, 2 Militia battalions, 2 dragoon troops and 2 guns.  Opposing the US were a mixed force of 2 Regular British line Battalions, 1 Canadian Militia Battalion, 2 Bands of Indians (think foot calvary) and a single gun.

 Here are my brave troops entering the board.  The bulk of the regulars entered on the right flank.  The center was held by a gun and 1 regular battalion and militia and a Dragoon troop made up the left flank.  By the way there is a sneak peak of some of Ernie's future terrain releases in the pick but I'm not allowed to tell you what they are.

 The British deployed in depth with their 2 regular battalions up front with the gun in the center.  The Militia made up a second line, just behind the white church/meeting house in the upper center of the picture.  The Indians were just arriving via canoe at the dock and would soon join the fray.  A few other notable features of the battlefield are the hedges along the road and the stone walls, all which played important roles in the battle.

 The bulk of my forces advanced up the right flank, shielded by a hedge on the left.  One of my two guns was with this force also - you can just see it behind the large tree.  Just prior to this picture being taken, the British (played very well be Mike) had dispatched my other cannon with very effective counter battery fire!  My remaining cannon was not long for this world either as a few turns later, Mike played one of his command cards, which indicated a fuse malfunctioned on my cannon and it blew up.  We lovingly call these command cards "F-U Cards"

 But all was not lost, the Dragoon troop with the main force charged the lone British cannon and quickly dispatched the crew.  Unfortunately I lost control of the unit (command cards again) and it plowed forward into a waiting Indian Band.  Let's just say the Indians "took care of business" and my dragoons routed from the table.  At this point neither army had artillery - the battle became an infantry focused slugfest.

 The most dramatic action of the day occurred on the far left flank.  The second band of Indians charged my other dragoon unit which was dismounted and already reduced to 8 figures for 12.  My unit had to draw a reaction card and the result was a counter charge - 8 dismounted calvary troopers charging 21 blood-thirsty Indians.  My guys took 5 casualties and inflicted 3 on the Indians - but one of those was the chief and the unit broke!  This as complete luck on my part and was the turning point in the game my left flank gained a very large advantage.

 The indians managed to rally but were then charged by one of my militia units and further worn down.  In the center the second Indian band charged one of the US regular battalions (in the cornfield) but were held in check.  On the following turn the US unit counter-charged the Indians and put them to flight.  The carry through of the charge then brought the unit into contact with the flank of the center British battalion which was not in position to repulse the attack from where the Indians were supposed to be.  The British broke and routed back.  The resulting morale check forced the other British battalion to fall back in disorder.

The US initiated a general advance across the line, chasing the retreating British and their remaining Canadian allies towards the port.  The game was called a US victory but it was a very near run of things.

All-in-all it was a great afternoon.  As you can see from the photos the terrain and figures were fabulous.  Ernie makes some great products which I think really enhance the overall gaming experience.  I also really enjoyed the War of 1812 setting - a nice combination of Napoleonics in a very colorful setting.  I hope we play another 1812 themed game very soon.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Day is my favorite Holiday - it's one that actually reminds one to be thankful for what you have and two it encourages gluttony!  While I am sure I'm biased, there is no finer food than my wife's Turkey.

I took the picture yesterday while my son, Sean, and I were waiting in line to pick up our Turkeys from a local poultry producer, Maple Lawn Farms.  Typically, I get the birds on the tuesday before Thanksgiving rather than the Wed so there usually isn't a line.  Not so this year!  It was a pleasant wait but there was an awkward moment as the line snaked past one of the Turkey pens where we were eyed very menacingly by a bunch of Turkeys who must have known what was about.

Thanksgiving is a bit of a chaotic show in our home - I've lost count of the guest list (things like that are above my household pay grade) but I think it's above 30 by now.  

I am worried about a playtest Ernie (Architects of War) is running this Saturday using his developing American Civil War skirmish rules - after the amount of Turkey and supporting food units that I plan to consume today I may not be able to reach any mini's in the middle of his table!!

Have a great holiday everyone.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

WWPD Podcast

There is a new podcast out there for historical miniatures that I highly recommend - "What Would Patton Do?: News From the Front"  The main focus is Flames of War but there are hints of a broader range of topics in the future.  

Like all new endeavors, this podcast has had some initial technical issues and an occasional rant, but it seems to have settled down into an enjoyable listen.  I especially enjoyed the most current episode (number 6) as there was a nice walk through of some of the new FOW books that are coming out.  Lets just say that either my or my son's Christmas list will be enlarged to add the new D-Day book that's coming out.

Give it a listen, I think you'll like it.

Note: some of the earlier episodes have some rough language, fortunately the level of colorful language appears to have been toned down to a more genteel level for the more current podcasts.  If bad language offends you, skip episode four.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Napoleonic Naval

 I needed a break from painting 28mm Romans, so I decided to descend in the lead pile and pull out something different.  Almost two years ago, I picked up a copy of the Napoleonic naval ruleset "Trafalgar" and a couple 1/2400 Figurehead Starter fleet packs.  Each pack has 11 ships - 1 120 gun, 1 100 gun, 1 80 gun, 4 74 guns, 1 64 gun, 2 40/35 gun and 1 20 gun sloop.  It's a nice little force.  I assembled one of the fleets and painted a 74 gun ship - the yellow hulls indicate these will be British.  The ships consist of a base, hull, main mast and rear sails.  While they look a bit fiddly, the ships go together very well and have very little flash.
 Here's a close up of the painted 74 gun ship-of-the-line.  The ships paint up well and have a good deal of detail despite the tiny scale.  I used the painting instructions that are in the Trafalgar ruleset and then washed the model with some Army Painter "light tone".  I think it looks pretty good.  The effort required to paint a ship is about the same as if takes to paint either 2 28mm infantry figures or one mounted one.  I think I can finish up the fleet in a week or so.  My playing surface is 8x4 feet, so that will afford a lot of room for large fleet battles in 1/2400.

The third picture is a close up of the unpainted 120 gun First-Rate ship-of-the-line.  As you would expect, it's a good bit bigger than the 74!

I did think about trying to do some minimal rigging on these models but after a few false starts I realized that was a silly idea.  I think if you squint, you can almost see the rigging!

I have also built up a handful of 1/1200 Langton Sailing ships.  These Models are really superb but are both difficult and time consuming to build.  The brass sails are a particular challenge.  The one pictured is the USS Ben Franklin, a 74 gun US Ship-of-the-line.  I two others completed and have a few more to play with - these are great models for a special "duel Scenario"

I'll be spending a few more weeks doing "naval modeling" before returning to pump out a few more Roman infantry Cohorts.

Thanks for reading.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Auxiliaries and Artillery

 More progress on my Imperial Roman Army.  The first Auxiliary Infantry unit has been completed.  Again these are the plastic Warlord Auxiliary figures and they build and paint nicely.  As mentioned in a previous post, I had some issues with the sizing of the Little Big Man shield transfers and decided to use the shield decals provided by Warlord.  The decals look fine.  It appears that the LBMS shield transfers are for the metal Warlord Auxiliaries whose shields are a tad larger than the plastic ones.  One drawback of the plastic auxiliaries is that there are no command figures.  I did a minimalist job to convert one figure to a standard bearer and another to a commander (using a smaller shield).  A bit dodgy, but it will work for now.

I also finished the Warlord artillery box set.  I really like both the metal crewman and the resin scorpions and ballista.  They went together easily although there was a good bit of flash on the figures.  I will "dress-up" the artillery pieces with some elastic thread between the torsion arms and payload.

Here's the army as it stands now: 3 Cohort's of Legionnaires (24 figs each), 1 24 figure Auxiliary Infantry unit, 1 12 figure Auxiliary calvary unit, 1 Ballista, 2 Scorpions and two command stands.  It's a total of 120 painted figures which is a nice starting force for WAB.

I've got enough plastic figures to flesh out 2 more 24 man cohorts and 12 more Auxiliary calvary (you can see them at the back of the picture).  My next step will be to scenic the bases of the painted figures and try them out on the tabletop.  All-in-all, it's been great fun building this army and not bad progress for 2 months.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Legion Expands!

 The combination of a little free time and a trip to Fall-In has allowed me to expand my Early Imperial Roman Army.  I finished two command stands, the one in the first picture is the "Unleash Hell" figure from Warlord.  I'm very happy with how it came out and look forward to this gentleman leading my Legion to many victories across the table top

In terms of finished units I have 4 - the 24 man cohorts and a 12 figure Auxiliary calvary unit.  Both the calvary unit and the lower left infantry unit were purchased at Fall-In.  You can also see the second command stand towards the rear of the picture.

I have several units "on-the-workbench" including some more calvary, an artillery unit with 2 scorpions and a ballista, and a nearly completed 24 man Auxiliary Infantry unit.  All the figures are from Warlord.  I still need to apply shield transfers and attach and finish off the shields.

Here's a closer look at the Auxiliary infantry.  I will say I found these guys a bit of a challenge - I kept breaking the spears while painting - they are very delicate and I doubt will last long under normal table top wear and tear.  I think I will be replacing them with wire spears when I get the chance.  The Little Big Man Studios shield transfers also need to be trimmed a bit more than usual to fit the size of the plastic shields.  The transfers appear to be designed for the metal warlord Auxiliaries rather than the plastic ones.  The difference is that the plastic shields are a bit small for the transfer and the center metal "bump" is bigger than the precut hole.

I've got enough plastic figures to create 2 more infantry units (one regular legionnaires and one praetorians).  Once I finish what's on the workbench, I think I'll hold off on those until we see how the army plays on the tabletop.  Given the popularity of the new Gripping Beast plastic Vikings with my gaming group, I suspect their first foes will be Vikings rather than a more historically accurate foe.  Never-the-less, whatever foe they face will feel the might of Roman arms!

I hope to finish up the army by the end of November and move on to some terrain making.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Thoughts on Fall-In, 2010

Well Fall-In, 2010 has come and gone and I thought I would ramble on a bit about my experience.  Overall, I enjoyed the experience but not nearly as much as I enjoyed Historicon, 2010.

Each con has four aspects that impact my experience, the gaming, the crowd, the vendor hall and the venue.  On the first three out of the four, I would give the con high marks.

I had a good gaming experience, playing one long naval game (see my last post) and watching several others.  Given the crowd appeared very light, there was plenty of open spaces and gaming opportunities.

The Vendor Hall had fewer vendors than usual given the timing of the con but most of the main vendors I wanted to peruse were there.  I picked more than I should and enjoyed the shopping "experience".  I was also pleased to see that my friend Ernie's Architects of War booth was doing a very brisk business.  On the social front, I met some great people and had a fun time for the one and half days I was there.

The only real downer for me (and it's a big one) was the venue - the Lancaster Host.  Hmmmm, how can I put this politely.... there are likely better accommodations in a Mexican prison.  I got a room at the Host for Friday night and, honestly, would have checked out early if I was planning on staying a second night.  It's just an awful facility - from the quality of the meeting rooms to the unspeakable food.  Will the venue stop me from going to further events in Lancaster?  I'm not sure.  I will give Cold Wars a shot, but will stay at a different place and see how that goes.

I realize that the HMGS gets a lot flack on TMP and I certainly don't want to pile onto that gibberish.  I appreciate all those guys/gals do in planning and running large meetings.  I think they did a great job for Fall-In from a gaming and event management perspective and I appreciate their efforts.  More importantly, since my only contribution is the pittance I pay in annual fees and admittance charge my complaints should be moderated a bit - it must be a thankless task to run these things.  That said, please mark me down as a vote for a new venue for 2012 and on!  How about the VCC (where Historicon was this year) or any other place in the MD/PA/DE I-95 corridor?  Hey, I here there's a nice facility in Baltimore.

OK, that was a cheap shot, but I couldn't resist.


Saturday, October 30, 2010

Fall-In 2010

 On the spur of the moment, a quick trip was made to attend Fall-In in Lancaster.  I played in one naval game friday night - a re-fight of the battle of Tsushima.  I was in command of a battleship division of 6 of finest ships in the Czar's navy.  I should point out that the Russian fleet roster included 3 "extra" battleships to even things out.  The first picture shows the initial fleet set up with the Russians in the lower center, the main Japanese fleet in the upper right and a squadron of Japanese cruisers shadowing the Russians to the left.  The Russian objective was to exit the left side of the map.

 After a few turns the fleets are closing on one another.  We had put a hurt on the Japanese cruisers but were about to feel the weight of the Japanese big guns.  By the way, the Japanese admiral in the purple flowered shirt proved to be a most formidable opponent and her trash talking skills were considerable (in a fun and lighted hearted way).  The way she was rolling dice we were all thinking of bank rolling her on a trip to Vegas.

 The slugfest continued for a number of turns.  We played on a 10' by 8' table, which is great for a large scale naval game, but can be a bit dicey for such operations as distance measuring and moving the ships!

 The game was called shortly after this picture.  You'll notice the fleets are significantly smaller and the Russians gave as good as they got.  The Russians managed to exit 10 ships and get a one point victory over the Japanese.  It was both a very close and very fun game.  We were all especially pleased when a lucky critical hit blew up the Mikasa (the Japanese flag ship).  Huzzahh!!!!!!

Here's the  tally of sunken ships - the left two rows are Russian and the right side rows are Japanese.  This was, indeed, a very bloody engagement.

Many thanks to Brian DeWitt and the NOVAG gaming club for putting on the game and letting us play with their fabulous miniatures.  I had a blast and look forward to the next game brian might put on.

I will save my thoughts about Fall-In for another post.   It was a bit of a varied experience.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Second Roman Unit Completed

The second Roman infantry unit of my planned WAB army has been painted - it's a "regular" legionnaire unit with 24 figures.  I've used Little Big Man Studio transfers for the shields also.
Next is a close up - sorry the standard kind of gets in the way.  These miniatures were painted the same way as the previous unit - white undercoat, block painted medium flesh, red, chainmail and leather.  Once dry the unit was washed with GW Sepia toned washed.
Here's a top down picture.  I've got enough plastic figures to make up 5 Legionnaire formations of 20 - 24 figures each plus one auxiliary infantry unit of 24.  I've been very happy with the Warlord plastics with one very minor exception - the plastic standards are very delicate and I've broken both.  They will be replaced with standards that are scratch built with brass rod and bits once I learn a little more about how Roman standards are configured.

The next unit on the block is some auxiliary calvary - I've got 12 Warlord metal auxiliary cavalry figures assembled and primed.  Well almost 12 - it seems the command blister was missing the upper torso of the trumpeter, which I'm sure will be quickly set right by Warlord and their massive supply chain!