Thursday, December 7, 2017

Thoughts About One Hour Wargames Medieval

With respect to Neil Thomas's One Hour Wargame Medieval rules, as I have mentioned before, I have no experience with any other medieval rules to compare but they work well enough for me and feel different than the WW2 set, which is good enough (what can I say, I set a low bar). While I enjoy playing them, they are not without issues, owing, in large part, to the very simplicity I find so appealing.

If you can focus on anything but that curling cat hair, you are a better person than I am.

In my last outing, I was perplexed by how to handle units in the town.

What qualifies as "in town"? How many units can be in the same town? This is important as units get a significant defensive bonus (halving hits against it) from being in town.

And does the idea of knights fighting in a town have precedent? See,not only do I not have any experience with medieval wargames, I know virtually nothing about the time period outside of Hollywood depictions. I just happen to think armor is really cool.

Ignoring my ignorance of history for the moment (I know it looms large, but please, for the sake of this discussion), the questions about towns from a rules perspective still stand.

In the event, I ruled that two units could count the defensive bonus from the town, as long as half, or near half of the base was inside the borders defined for it. My rationale was that, for this scenario, the map showed a 4" x 6" town approximately.  My bases are roughly 4" square. Depth is not given in the rules (a width of 4" to 6" is suggested) but I have to imagine that most people aren't using 54mm+ figures on deep bases. I figured that at least two bases would fit for most people, so I would allow the same if the units were in base to base contact. I'm not sure this is the best rationale and I welcome suggestions.

Now with regards to that defensive bonus.

At the end of the game, a unit of men-at-arms entered the town. They have a natural bonus of taking only half damage. When they are in town, do they take half again, so that men-at-arms take 1/4 damage? I couldn't find anywhere in the rules that says these bonuses aren't cumulative and so 1/4 damage it was. I'm not convinced this is the best for game play, but lacking any reason not to do so, it worked well enough. It also means you should probably hold your town with men-at-arms, which doesn't sound wrong to me in light of my ignorance of the period and despite my failure to do so for the Redsylvanian forces.

Neither of these rules questions are show stoppers, but players will have to address them when they arise. If you play solo, as I do, you can, like I often do, make a different decision each time and no harm done (or by coincidence make the same decision each time because you forgot what you did last time), but if you're playing the game with others, it's probably for the best to decide this ahead of time, and use the Morschauser suggestion to dice between differing opinions and move on.

For a much more in depth look at the rules, here are some links I came across that address the issues with much detail and thought:

https://ecw40mmproject.blogspot.com/2017/05/whats-missing-in-one-hour-wargames-rules.html
https://darkages40and25.blogspot.com/2017/10/one-hour-wargames-medieval-rules.html

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

One Hour Wargames: Scenario 10 : Late Arrivals

The Prince of Redsylvania, having failed to stop the Kingdom of Mavi's advance ordered a stand against the invaders outside of the village of Sătesc. Unfortunately, ready troops were in short supply and so the Prince found himself hoping reinforcements would arrive in time to repel the the enemy.

**********
For the second scenario, in what is a very low key campaign, using one of the methods suggested by Neil Thomas in One Hour Wargames, I diced between scenarios 7 through 12 in the same book. A roll of the d6 resulted in 4: Scenario 10: Late Arrivals

The orders of battle were as follows:
  • Kingdom of Mavi - 4 Knights, 1 Levies, 1 Men-at-Arms
  • Redsylvania - 4 Knights, 1 Archers, 1 Men-at-Arms
For the sake of continuity, I changed the compass direction (treating the N as an S) given on the map and description for Scenario 10, deciding that it made more sense if the village was at the north end of the map to reflect the northward movement of the Kingdom of Mavi from the previous game.

All is quiet. Too quiet.
Redsylvania, confusingly the blue army in this scenario, deployed their archers and men-at-arms per the initial deployment rules for the scenario. The units were chosen by die roll and probably would not have been my first choice.  Also, because they had lost the previous scenario, one of the Redsylvanian units would start with 1d3 damage. This was again determined by die roll and would be their 6th unit to arrive on the table (one of the Knight units).

Finally, to prevent me from devolving into a constant changing of plans turn to turn, i decided orders were required for each side, beyond the objective of the scenario. I created three possible strategic plans for each and diced between them. These, to the extent possible, guided the movement and turn to turn tactical decisions for the units.



**********

The archers reconsider their career choice.
Redsylvanian men-at-arms prepare to meet the charging Mavi knights
Redsylvanian reenforcements crash into the Mavi troops!
The Mavi levies are quickly eliminated.
The same unit of Redsylvanian knights rides down a unit of Mavi knights! They would see their own defeat soon after.
The last two units of Redsylvanian knights arrive but are handily disposed of in devastating flank attacks.
Mavi men-at-arms capture Sătesc as the last of the Redsylvanian resistance dissipates.


**********

Figures are mostly Deetail. The oversized levies are Supreme 60mm saracens. Rules used were the Medieval rules in One Hour Wargames by Neil Thomas without modification.

Thursday, November 30, 2017

To My Surprise, Painting Continues

Yesterday's lunch hour was lost to buying jumper/booster cables and refiling sheet music, but today I had some time and managed to squeeze in some painting. For those following along, I'm painting the Armies in Plastic Highlanders I acquired some time ago.

Since there's not much different about the work on this batch of four from the last, I thought I'd show how I haul my figures, paints, brushes, and water jar to and from the office instead.



The plastic tray is from one of my son's bento boxes. This one took a fall from the counter top to the tiled kitchen floor that resulted in a sizable crack to one of the corners  (not unlike how I've damaged numerous cell phones). While this allegedly made it unfit as a lunch box, it was easily re-purposed into a project tray.

The tray is fairly heavy and sturdy and doesn't move around much during the commute - although for safety's sake it rides in my son's car seat (he doesn't ride with me for my commute, so there's no conflict).

You can also see that I use craft paints primarily.I have a good number of Vallejo model paints - mostly shades of green and brown for WW2 - but not nearly as many as I have craft paint. The latter work just as well in most cases, although I do prefer Vallejo white to white craft brands.

Saturday, November 25, 2017

A Medieval One Hour Wargames Flank Attack.

Saturday night, I had the opportunity to put toy soldiers on the table and decided my medieval collection needed an outing. The rule choice was easy - my armies are based for One Hour Wargames. For a scenario, I used the same book and a quick roll of a die determined I'd play Scenario 6: Flank Attack.

Per the rules, I diced for the opposing forces:

Red
4 Knights
1 Men at Arms
1 Levy

Blue
3 Knights
2 Men at Arms
1 Levy

The setup: The Redsylvanian prince, having learned of  an advancing column of the army of the Kingdom of Mavi*, deployed a small blocking force on the road north of the Twin Hills, while organizing a larger force to stage a flanking attack.

Individual unit location was determined by die rolls for both sides.



The scenario objective: Blue is to get three units off the table via the road by the end of turn 15, while Red is to stop them. The notes suggest that the flank attack needs to strike quickly to prevent the small force blocking the road from collapsing under the weight of the advancing enemy.

In the event, the Mavi army split their effort: with some of the force dedicated to breaking through while the rest focused on intercepting the flanking attack. In retrospect, probably a poor plan.




The worst of the fighting concentrated north of the Twin Hills, and boiled down to a scrum between men-at-arms:



This battle by the hill went on longer than it should have, because I didn't realize the Redsylvanian unit was attacking uphill  - which should have reduced the damage they caused. They had clamored over the dead and that put them at equal height with the Mavi unit on the hill. Hence my confusion.

Meanwhile, the Redsylvanian forces blocking the road collapsed - but not before doling out significant damage to the Mavi troops - and the first Mavi unit, the levies, made its way north via the road. However, since the battle by the hills was going to be close, the Mavi commander ordered his last unit of knights, despite being worn out and on the verge of collapse (14 points of damage!), to strike the Redsylvanian men-at-arms from the rear.

Thus caught, the Redsylvanians had no chance. They met their end in turn 11.


This was not enough for a Mavi victory, which required three units off the table before the end of turn 15. The knights, with their 12" movement rate off road (15" on road) had an easy time of it. But the Mavi men-at-arms had a way to go, and with a paltry 6"/9" of movement.

Eyeballing it, I wasn't sure they'd make it, but in turn 14, the Kindgom of Mavi claimed victory.

All in all it was a fun engrossing game, and little more than an hour from setup to tear down. I don't know when I'll get to play again so hopefully this scratches the itch for awhile.

*according to Google, mavi is the Turkish word that means 'blue'

Monday, November 20, 2017

A Noticeable Improvement

Thanks to those who commented on my last post.

Today at lunch I took the opportunity to cover the straps in white and eliminate the black lining attempt. Here are two of our stalwart soldiers (the other two are not presentable - I slop the white on and then cut in with the tunic color).

Aside from how visible the horrible job i did trying to clean the flash off these figures (i would have been better off leaving it), is in these pictures,  i think the straps and bags look immeasurably better than in the previous post and much closer to what i had in mind.





It took the entirety of my lunch to get them to this state, so I will probably finish tomorrow out with the other two. With some time during the upcoming long Thanksgiving weekend (I'm in the US) and a few lunch hours, I hope to get this unit of 10 figures completed before December arrives.

Oh and I forgot to mention before, but these are Armies in Plastic - but you probably already knew that!

Friday, November 17, 2017

Making Time to Paint

It is an unfortunate fact of reality that things get in the way. Or rather, there isn't enough time to do everything - and in my case that means toy soldiers get pushed aside for other things. 

Except I REALLY miss wargaming when I don't get to play at least monthly. I could field a WW2 or medieval game just about any time, but I am still  hooked on my 1/32 VSF idea.

It occurred to me that at least two days a week, my lunch hour is free (the other days I walk. Trying to stay heart healthy and fit and all that.) So, yesterday, I brought my Highlanders, paint, brushes and jar for the water for brush cleaning (pro tip: don't put this next to your coffee cup, unless you like dipping paint brushes in your coffee. smh)

I'm really rusty on painting and so I'm not at all happy with how these are going, but they aren't done yet. Maybe by the time I am finished they'll look more satisfactory to my eyes. In any case, I'm going for "toy-soldier-with-black lining", so there won't be any shading to speak of.


All Things Considered coffee mug for scale. Not really, I just like it - from an NPR pledge drive many years ago.

Monday, September 4, 2017

German Defense of Pomme de Terre, France, October 1944

In October, 1944,  "Pumpkin Company" (of US 16th Infantry Regiment) with support of elements of 1st Division encountered elements of German Kampfgruppe  Hefeweizen outside the town of Pomme de Terre.

Map showing initial dispositions and movements.
US command had determined hill 736b would be the objective and to that end, the effectiveness of German defenses in the town were minimized. However, German mortars, situated behind the town and relying on spotters based with German platoons in the area, played a significant role in the action that took place in Paulette's Woods.

A single German platoon held the woods gallantly with help from the mortars until the US concentrated the platoons of Pumpkin Company on their position and forced them out of the fight.

Cat is not to scale.
US armor and anti-tank support focused their efforts on hill 736b, weakening the defenders, but they could not withstand the barrage of mortar, rifle, and anti-tank fire received in return.

Press photo.
It was left to the fighting men of Pumpkin Company to clear out the Germans and capture the hill. From their protected position within Paulette's Woods, Pumpkin Company subjected the hill-based defenders to withering fire.

Outgunned, the Germans abandoned the hill and, with that, their position in the town become untenable; the German forces retreated.

***
This action was payed out using Neil Thomas's One Hour Wargame rules with his scenario 14, Static Defence. It was actually the 2nd time playing the same scenario in the same evening.

Given the vagaries of NT's rules - attacking infantry in a town or woods is BAD PLAN. And the 1st effort ended in 7 or so turns. Oh, and mortars in NT's rules are pretty deadly for infantry in the open. As they should be.

For this second attempt, using the same forces, I focused my efforts on the hill, while keeping my own infantry under cover - to much better effect.

It came down to turn 14 before the US platoons stepped foot on the hill and ended the game.

The observation rules in NT's WWII rule set played a role in the victory, as they had moved outside of the mortar's line of sight, and there were no units left within 12" to spot the US platoons on the mortar team's behalf.

I have since played another game, the start of a very simple campaign. We'll see how that goes - campaigns, even simple ones, often falter.

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Seeing the Forest for the Trees

One of my perpetual 'problems' is finding a suitable tree for my gaming table. As I am after a certain aesthetic, I find that the more realistic looking botanical imitations fail me.

My favorite trees have been made of paper and I may yet return to them, but at the moment I am using plastic pine needle clumps from an artificial Christmas tree made in the late 1960s or very early 1970s (my parents purchased it no later than 1972).

These are acceptable, and, that they make use of the last remnants of the Christmas tree that I used for most of my life, they have a certain nostalgic quality to them.

However, like most wargamers, I am never satisfied with things-as-they-are and for the last year or so, I have been enamored of these and similar trees. While I think Playmobil makes the perfect tree for toy soldier gaming, they are large and require more storage space than I can afford to give them.

These 2.5D trees strike a nice balance.

While on vacation visiting my parents, I took my son to Antique World & Flea Market, located in Clarence, NY (fun fact, I worked there briefly in high school as a janitor). And, as we perused the stalls for used Star Wars toys for him (of which we found plenty), I kept an eye out for toy soldiers and such for myself. As expected I didn't find much, but as you must have now surmised from my topic for this post, I did come across some trees in the 2.5D style.

Lumped in with maybe 100 cowboys, Native Americans, horses, cattle and fencing, I had to make a special request to purchase the trees separately. Of course, the stall's owner was getting lunch, so his assistant had to phone him, and explain what it was I was asking about.

They came back with a price of $3 for the pair - a more than reasonable price, given the links above.

Score!

A Tiger tank leaps out from behind the trees to attack Wonder Woman, who is hardly surprised.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

Wonder Woman has Arrived and a Comparison Pic

Monday night, I was excited to find a package awaiting me on my return home from a work conference in Chicago.

Inside?

Wonder Woman (plus Batman, Superman, Flash, and Joker).

Here she is, in comparison to some other figures:

My, that Highlander officer is pale.
That she is tall does not bother me - she's an Amazon right?

The French figure and the (in-progress) Highlander are both AiP and that brand that will supply the WWI Germans and British, so that they mix well enough with WW is all I care about. The TSSD German was just for further comparison - those figures tend to be tall compared to Airfix and Matchbox. Compared to my 60mm-ish Saracens, not pictured, she looks a decent height, but vastly underfed.

I'm rather pleased with her appearance overall and may do considerably less modifying of her outfit with green stuff than I originally planned. Here is quarter-sized shield (of paper) for illustration of one possible mod. The shield plays a significant role in the movie, although it's not something I usually think of when I think of Wonder Woman.


I'm traveling again this weekend - this time for fun - so that means no painting or gaming until I get back. Hopefully, a visit to Antiques World & Flea Market turns up some interesting finds though!

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Wonder Woman in 1/32?

On Father's Day, through an act of cunning, I managed to schedule a trip to the movies to see Wonder Woman .

I have always liked WW, more so, than many other DC characters, and the issues of the comic that I have picked up in recent years have been good.  I'll spare you  an in-depth review.of the movie but  I came away thoroughly enamored of the character (despite some terrible dialog where my eyes quite nearly rolled out of their sockets) :

Wonder Woman is a bad-ass.



Now, you may be asking yourself, what does this have to do with wargaming?

The movie is set during the late days of WWI. Every WWI scene cries out 'you can wargame this!', well it does if you're a wargamer - I suspect non-wargamers were not inspired in that way.

 And so, dear reader, that is how I found myself searching the web over the last few days for a suitable Wonder Woman in the appropriate scale.

For the more traditional forces, Armies in Plastic, has a suitable WWI line for one-stop shopping, including the necessary - for this project - WWI Germans in Stahlhelm Helmets, WWI British Army in Steel Helmets, WWI Highlanders (if you want to field that character) and importantly, a German A7V. You can also, if your wallet allows, field W. Britain and other collector-type soldiers.
Our heroine, however, is not so easy to procure.

As I see it there are two possible options: find an actual Wonder Woman figure and work with that or find a toy soldier that can be made to stand in for her.

There was a not-too-surprising lack of suitable toy soldiers in this scale. And no matter the case, a good deal of green stuff would be necessary for her outfit. Seeing as how many of the female figures are topless and wear skimpy outfits (particularly in the Fantasy genre), they do lend themselves to customization. Nude "dollies" for figure sculpting would work as well.

I am not afraid of trying this, but I'm also lazy and cheap frugal.

Instead, let us bring on the actual Wonder Woman figures.

This was more of a struggle than I thought it would be (now, if I wanted a 6" or 12" tall figure I'd have an embarrassment of riches) but I finally found this:


They are described variously as 2.25" and 2.5", and even as 2.75" on one site. They are  DC "figurines", although one site described them as cake toppers. Their intended purpose is of no consequence of course.

The Wonder Woman in this set has the advantage of being clad in an outfit that is close to matching Gal Gidot's (I would repaint the bodice, and use green stuff to add a skirt to the shorts, and dress up the boots a little). Her left arm is in the perfect position to mount a custom made shield, if so desired. And so that is the figure I will start with.

My project forces - using the GASLIGHT rules as a model since they're easily ported to various periods:

The Good Guys:
Wonder Woman (hero - in GASLIGHT i'd give her a couple of special abilities and hit points)

Optional:
1-2 10-figure unit of British (regular)
Small unit, or group of unattached, main characters: Highlander Sniper, the spy, the actor, the scout (holy crap, I just realized they're the A-team!)

The Bad Guys :
1-2 10- figure units of Germans
1 German tank
1 unattached German officer

Optional:
Ares (either metal or one of the cheap 60mm Supreme Greek Hoplites. He's a hero as well and would merit hit points and abilities)


The spear is not traditional for the comic character, but I like the pose.
So while the paint isn't even close to done on my VSF project, I'm starting another one.

That's how you know you're alive right?

Friday, June 16, 2017

Morschauser Modern: American and German forces clash at Hook's Farm!

Both sides descend on Hook's Farm, cottage, and the Firefly Church in equal measure.



American tanks coordinate their firing effectively and manage to bring down one of the German behemoths. 

Meanwhile, across the field of battle, an American tank drives back the opposing German armor. German infantry storms the church unopposed.


The farm is easily taken without a shot fired by a US platoon with a gun in support. So, too, goes the cottage.


German forces continue to hold the church and their armor mounts attacks on the Americans in the cottage, while a German squad(bottom right-ish) rushes to the aid of the HMG team pinned down in some ruins.


Having repelled an American infantry assault on the church in a vicious melee, the Germans focus their efforts on the isolated American tank.

box of dice? no no. it's a monolith.
Under fire from the church and from armor to their front, an American infantry bravely withstands it all from the disintegrating walls of the cottage. With their anti-tank grenades they eliminate a 2nd piece of German armor.


An aerial view shows the disposition of the forces, with most infantry in cover. Note that the tan k on the American right has taken out some of the infantry that had been harassing it. A frantic commander orders the tank crew turn its focus to the church to assist the gun team and infantry squads in clearing out the pesky Germans.


The American left begins to sweep one of its tanks and a gun around to the German right flank. The Germans respond in a desperate attempt to stave off defeat.


Suddenly finding itself in the sites of the German Jagdpanther, the Sherman on the hill retreats for safety.


With the American squads in the cottage and behind the stone wall eliminated, the Germans try to press home their assault on their left - focusing on the isolated tank - in an attempt to steal victory from the jaws of defeat.


Furious shelling from a gun and a Sherman take out the Jagdpanther. It is the deathblow for the German attack force.


Having suffered 50% losses, the German commander orders his troops to fall back.

Total turns: 7

*** Some notes that probably belonged on the last post ***

Initiative was card based - borrowing from a method used in old Two Hour Wargames rules. If the suits match, that side goes first. If the suits don't match, higher card goes first.

The ATG/field howitzers and mortars rained down their terror with impunity.

Melee with the roster system is 'interesting'.

Tanks are Solido and Rocco(?). Guns are CTS and Britains. Figures are Britains, Toy Soldiers of San Diego, Matchbox, 21st Century, and Airfix.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Morschauser Modern and Battle of Hook's Farm

As mentioned here, I had decided to try my hand at the esteemed Battle of Hook's Farm, set in WW2 rather than the more traditional Horse & Musket period, owing largely to an abundance in my collection of the former, and a dearth of the latter.

Before I get to the game proper, it seems wise to at least mention some of my pre-game decisions.

A map of the battle field from Little Wars: http://gutenberg.net.au/ebooks15/1500571h.html#sec4
First, how to convert Wells's tidy "a compact little force of 3 guns, 48 infantry, and 25 horse" to the period?

I opted for the following: treat this as a 1:1 type game and thus 48 infantry is roughly 5 infantry squads/sections in WW2. However, given the very close to 2:1 ratio of infantry to horse, I decided on 6 infantry squads/sections as 1 under-strength company if you will.

Why as 1 under-strength company?

To justify the use of armor in place of 'horse'. Of course, one cannot justify 25 tanks on the battle field, no matter how much fun that would be, when fielding only 48 infantry. A company could well be supported by a limited amount of armor however.

Following the same line of thought for infantry,  I decided 10 horse is roughly 1 vehicle, or 2.5 vehicles total. Rounding up, thanks to the 2:1 infantry to horse ratio, I get 2 sections : 1 vehicle.

Why 'vehicle' and not 'tank'?

While in the original, Hook's Farm is, despite the reports by the blue army commander, a battle between two exactly equal forces, I thought variety, being the spice of life, after all, was a better option. And given the make up of my toy soldier WW2 forces of 3 tanks, 1 jeep/kublewagen, and 1 APC for the US, and 4 for the Germans, some randomization could be entertained.

For the US: Roll 1d6, 1-4: tank, 5: jeep, 6: APC
For the Germans: Roll 1d6: 1-3 tank, 4: kublewagen, 5-6: APC

In the event, each side ended up with 3 tanks

As for 3 guns, I opted to stick with the number but again, randomize the exact conversion of the word 'gun'.

Roll 1d6: 1-3 ATG/Field Howitzer, 4-5: Mortar 6: HMG

The US ended up with 2 ATGs/Field Howitzers and a mortar. While the Germans acquired 1 ATG, 1 mortar, and 1 HMG.

So, to summarize the OOB:
Americans:
6 infantry squads/sections
3 tanks
2 ATGs/Field Howitzers
1 Mortar

Germans:
6 infantry squads/sections
3 tanks
1 ATG
1 Mortar
1 HMG

I had some issues translating the map in Little Wars to my table. I had originally planned to play on the floor, which would have allowed some more maneuvering but the presence of company in the living room prevented me from taking it over. As such, 'the country', was a bit cramped.

There were some modifications to be made to the rules: 6" for infantry, 9"for tanks, taken from Neil Thomas's One Hour Wargames WW2 rules, the 12" sighting rule from the same, and the weapon ranges also borrowed from those rules.

Morschauser's 'roster' option was employed with 4 points per infantry unit, and 2 points for everyone else.

Other situations were dealt with on the fly -occupying buildings is something Little Wars forbids and Morschauser doesn't really seem to address, so I left it to my gut as it occurred.

After setting out the US per the description of the blue army deployment, I mostly randomized the German force layout and started to play.

For a victory condition, I went with the first side to take out  >= 50% of the enemy would win the field, or at the end of 10 turns, I would count roster points remaining.

Next time, for real, the battle report.


Turn 1: The armies begin their advances.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Send in the Cavalry!

As mentioned previously, my war camels aren't needed in my One Hour Wargames Saracen force (I already have 4 bases of "knights") but I thought they, along with the unused foot soldiers would make a good skirmish force, of use in medieval, fantasy, and VSF games.

Unfortunately, the bases on all but 2 of the 12 camels were wonky as all get out - meaning any attempt to stand all but two of them was a failure.

Enter boiling water. A quick dip softened the bases and camel legs enough that I could shape them into upright camels of the finest sort.

Since they will likely be pitted against my pseudo-British force, I thought a picture was in order. It has the added bonuses of showing off my lancers again, as well as indicating the substantial differences between roughly 1/30 scale and nominally 1/32 scale figures (which seem more like 1/35 to my eyes):

"Tally hoooooo cr*p!"

In addition, I managed to put paint to my AIP Highlanders, but they have a way to go yet.

I also managed to play a game on Sunday night: a WW2 Battle of Hook's Farm. A report to follow later in the week as time allows.

"Two armies lay opposite and ready"

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Some Updates from the Administrative Offices

My new Saracens arrived yesterday, but I was on my way out the door to go to rehearsal (I play rhythm guitar in a swing orchestra), and so had little time for more than a cursory examination and sadly, no pictures.

Some quick thoughts about the Supreme Saracen figures:

  • they are BIG. I mean, I knew they were billed as 60mm so I expected some difference. I was thinking it'd be comparable to my Toy Soliders of San Diego Germans vs Airfix Germans, but it's much more noticeable. The new Saracens will have to be on their own sabots. 
  • the silver/red/blue figures are kind of garish, but the gold/red/green figures look the part to my mind.
  • The horseback archers stand just fine as foot archers, and so no conversion necessary - just some blu-tac to hold them to the sabots.
  • A small (3 or so) figures are suitable as levies for Neil Thomas's OHW army lists.
  • The war camels are pretty cool but, fresh from the package, only about half of them could stand on a flat surface without toppling. I have no need for cavalry in my OHW Saracen army, so I expect to put them to use in my VSF game.

Speaking of the VSF project:
  • Armies in Plastic Highlanders have been primed with white gesso. After I primed them, the mold lines seemed omnipresent and, while I ordinarily try to avoid cleaning such things off of figures (I do a horrible job no matter which method I try), I couldn't let them go. I did my best to trim them away and then gave a second coat of gesso. Now if only I could figure out what color their coats are supposed to be!


  • Of course, a day later, the Britain's Seaforth Highlanders over which I drool regularly, were available on ebay for an astoundingly reasonable price, including the shipping. I am fighting with all my will to not make the purchase.
  • I have decided upon the AIP Northwestern Indians from the French & Indian War line to act as yellow martians.
  • Technolog orcs - if I can acquire them priced reasonably - would make nice green martians.

WW2 and Hook's Farm

Although I started wargaming largely because of a chance read through of Wells's Little Wars, I have never tried to play out the Battle of Hook's Farm. So, given the strength of my WW2 collection, I decided to update the period and give it a try.

I made a post about this over on Little Wars Revisited. The short of it is that I will probably randomize forces by letting dice determine what "3 guns" means for WW2 forces.


My son's clone troopers man a very badly damaged PAK-40. The victim of a crushing blow from a giant's foot. These are the hazards of letting children play with your toys.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

VSF Project Begins

The first troops of my Victorian Science Fiction project in 1/32 have arrived!

I split the difference and decided to purchase Britain's set 8806 (from Ebay at a steal of a price) and use AIP Highlanders (although, of course, some 5188 sets have appeared at reasonable prices now).

Yes, the flag thing on the lance is upside down. I was too excited by their arrival to rotate it. The guns are firing Britain's models and are for my WW2 games. Pretend they aren't in the picture.
I don't think I've ever been as excited by any figures as I am by the set of lancers. They feel like proper toy soldiers, if you will - heroes of another age, full of lead and derring-do .

Here we see the first unit of 10 Highlanders mustering for basic training. Uniforms will be doled out as time permits.
The glue is intentionally sloppily applied at this stage. I swear.
I'm am as undecided on the color of their coats as I am the name of these fictitious units and their fictitious country.

Possibilities, unsurprising if you have read any of my WW2 blogs entries, revolve around characters from As Time Goes By, Are You Being Served?, and Keeping Up Appearances. So we have things like the Queens Own Fighting Pargetters, the Hardcastle Highlanders, The Hyacinth Bucket Brigade (pronounced 'bouquet brigade'if you please), etc. running about my brain.

If the Brits or Scots had a suitably named wine, this would be a lot easier (see my Riesling and Sauvingnon-Blanc forces, for example).