27 Dec 2015

Malifaux - the final Arcanist Crew, Colette and the Showgirls!

The 7th, and final, Arcanist crew has been released in plastic, and I've now painted it up. This involved a bit of innovative basing (for me), some cute use of mini magnets and a lot of flesh coloured paint as Colette and the Showgirls take to the stage for the first time!  




See how they were painted, assembled and based in this painting walkthrough 

17 Dec 2015

The Great British Bacon-Off

We're back to FoGR and some more Renaissance action as the Early Danish Army sizzles its way in several extremely bold, and a number of even rasher (see what I did there?) battles at Warfare 2015.


The army attempts to contest the leaderboard and emulate last years victory with a series of unfashionable Reiter units and some well-stuffed pikemen. Is the bacon worth the slicing - time for you to decide in these 4 battle reports

4 Dec 2015

ADLG in London - 3 Reports with Hannibal in command

The inaugural Central London ADLG 1-dayer saw Hannibal commanding the Carthaginians in 3 games of L'Art de la Guerre, against the forces of India, Rome and Macedonia.


See how Hannibal fared in three fully-photographed match reports, including the usual mix of rules hints and explanations, dubious captions and withering post-game analysis from Monty Hannibal, Pirate Hannibal and Viking Hannibal

22 Nov 2015

28mm Perry Longbowmen - with added Stakes!

At Warfare this year I had decided to jump into buying a L'Art de la Guerre army in 28mm, with the typical thought that adding around 5 boxes of multipart plastic self assembly infantry would be an easy way to expand my existing long-unfinished Swiss pikemen into a series of other morphable medieval armies.


That saw a purchase of Perry plastics and then, of course, a spot of the same stuff, largely built and mostly painted but unbased on the bring and buy. So I ended up with twice as much as I needed.


However, it did mean some of them got based up really quickly! I also had the time to play around with making some magnetised stakes, allowing them to be used with or without the stakes.


Instructions on how to do this, more photos, and links to buy the magnets are in this article

8 Nov 2015

Results from Central London inaugural ADLG event now online

This was the first (of hopefully many) 1-day Central London L'Art de la Guerre competitions, covering the Classical period in 15mm, and the results are now online.



With a turnout of 26 players, split fairly evenly between Central London and the Rest of the World (i.e. mostly SELWG) a good time, and a good curry, was had by all. Many people had played less than half a dozen, or in some cases even less games of ADLG, but the rules flowed quickly, and there were very few umpire calls, all of which could be resolved by a quick (but polite) dose of RTFM !!

The range of armies in the competition was unsurprisingly weighted towards the Classical standards, of Alexandrian, Seleucid, Successor and a handful of Romans. All games were played at 200 points, with a 2 & 1/4 hour duration.



Round one featured 13 games and 6 decisive results, after which a fairly solid Swiss pairing (a few SELWG/SELWG and London/London pairings were manually adjusted out in mid table) saw 9 decisive results in the time allowed. Round 3, again pretty close to pure Swiss, saw 7 decisive results out of 13.



Everyone seemed to have a good time, with even people who had only played 1-2 games before (and at least a couple who hadn't entered a competition before either) of picking up the pace and the rules very quickly.



Scoring was done using a marginally simplified version of the French system, with the scoresheet being made available on the BHGS rankings page for download. It's a tad over-complicated, but it does mean that the basic "3 points for a win" mechanic inherent in the French system is maintained without having to add a "goal difference" secondary score, which would make running events through most competition-running software systems rather tricky.

Onwards and upwards for ADLG!

7 Nov 2015

15mm Ancients - ADLG resurrects the painting urge..

Having become increasingly enamoured of ADLG, I finally got around to buying and painting up some proper Carthaginian cavalry and elephants recently, have fudged both types with dubious Greek proxies and morphs for pretty much the best part of, erm, mumble mumble years.

The 200 point format of ADLG means you have an army with just 20-25 elements (around 35-40 bases in old DBX/FoG money, with infantry being 2-bases and cavalry, elephants and psiloi being singles), so adding an odd element here or there to an existing army is a simple way to tart it up a bit.
The pictures of both are now included in the 15mm gallery - sadly Corvus Belli are no longer being produced, but I think that Martin at Vexillia still has a handful of the elephants on sale.




Both will be making an appearance this weekend at a 24-player ADLG event at Central London - how long they will appear for in the battle reports is an entirely different question!.

Welcome to Croydon

In yet another impressive addition to my globetrotting gaming career, Croydon is added to the roll call of infamy in a 4-round fixed master Malifaux tournament.


Being in too much of a hurry to try and play the game to manage to remember to take a full set of photos, there are nevertheless some vaguely amusing captions here, and the beginnings of some analysis as well. A first for everything...


See how the Spider Man did in the reports

30 Oct 2015

28mm FoGR Reports from Derby 2015

Marvel at the size of their pikestaffs, and be amazed at the innovative use of crewmen along with their battalion gunnes as the Catholic TYW Germans attempt to mask their true emissions and bravely soldier on against all comers, real and imaginary, in a series of four fully-loaded 28mm FoGR battle reports from the 2015 Derby Convention



Read the battle reports here!

13 Oct 2015

Random dents in the painting pile

Following on from my "shame myself" post about my rather eclectic lead pile, I've actually gotten off of Facebook, Yahoo Groups and every forum going and started painting some stuff again.

The rather random mix of "done" is presented for you here:


Here are a couple of sadly now discontinued elephants from Corvus Belli. My "Greek and Roman" elephants from Essex had gotten a bit aged and sad, and so when these came up at a fire-sale discount a year or so ago I jumped in to pick some up. Their predecessors may well be on sale in the Bring and Buy at Warfare I suspect...


A simple paint job, dry-brushing over black



I also picked up two Carthaginian elephants without howdahs - having never really had any like this before other than the odd one from Xyston, which is now a Generals element




And now for something totally different - a load of baggage and cargo, for obstacles for Malifaux to make my town look a little more lived-in


This is a mix of bits of barricade and luggage from Andy at Ainsty Castings and others. Some are multi-item castings, but at the back I have glued a few individual boxes together as well.


All of these should be clickable as larger photos

23 Sep 2015

Breaking the to-do list with 28mm TYW Gunnes

Remember that post from a few weeks ago with my gaming "to do" list on it?

Of course, I managed to prioritize something that wasn't on the list, wasn't necessary and didn't add any new models to my collection of usable figures - a rebasing project for my 28mm TYW Regimental gunnes onto 50mm round bases.



Ta-dah!

6 Sep 2015

Mainforce 6mm British infantry in 1980's DPM

Out of the many painting projects I have been avoiding, these Mainforce prone infantry for CWC have somehow made it to the top of the pile along with a handful of T90's.


See how I managed to generate fairly convincing DPM cammo in 6mm on prone figures here!



30 Aug 2015

On the workbench....

Every now and then I remember that this website is basically a blog (and there is in fact a Blogger version of it was well), so this statement is true in a very literal sense as well), and so perhaps sometimes I should just make some entirely self-indulgent posts about what I'm up to right now.

So, in between updating this site and doing various BHGS things, I also am attempting to finish the following painting pile:

  • 2-3 x 28mm Swiss / Landsnecht Kiels for FoGR (including Arquebus "wings")
  • Updating some of my 15mm Greek & Cathaginian elephants with new versions for ADLG
  • A 28mm Oliver Cromwell (because one can't have too many 28mm Renaissance generals..)
  • 8 x 28mm Norman/Christian knights for Saga, plus a priest..
  • 2 bases of baggage to go with the Landsnecht Kiels
  • A pack of Mainforce 6mm modern British infantry 
  • A 15mm PBI WW2 Belgian army which has been stuck at the stage of being based and undercoated for about 8 years... 
  • 20-odd bases of 15mm Renaissance American Indians for FoGR
  • Another 10 or so bases of Eastern shot in 15mm for FoGR 
  • Casualties for the above... 
  • Oh, and casualties for the Kiel..
  • Boxes and barricades in 28mm for Malifaux
  • 20mm WW2 Us Heavy Weapon teams, for CHain of Command or Bolt Action
  • 4 x 15mm Scythed Chariots (no idea...) and 4 bases of 15mm Carthaginian Heavy Cavalry
  • A full 15mm Scots Renaissance army, to be everything from Covenanters to Jacobites
  • Loads of 20mm WW2 Germans, who are based and undercoated in Uniform Grey, but that's about it so far. 
  • Some 10mm ACW Union troops that I was donated (I already have far too many..) 
  • 5 x Modern Russian 6mm T90's - cheap GHQ in a bring and buy that I couldn't resist
  • 2 x 20mm WW2 buildings (MDF) to assemble
  • 16 bases of Polish/Russian Renaissance Shotte - undercoated, but now becalmed... 
  • A 10mm WW2 landing craft 

and that's all before I start thinking about rebasing stuff for different rulesets, or selling things on eBay..

How on earth I find time to update this website who knows !





25 Aug 2015

"Lite" Saga battle reports using Saracens

I recently took part in a 1-day Saga event at Central London Club and managed to get my newish 28mm Arabs out on table - a mix of GB plastics, Perry mounted and some Artizan Designs infantry for extra variety.

The report is more a collection of photos and some comments on using the army than a proper report, as I had to concentrate to remember the rules and learn how to use the previously-untried army, and with a short time frame for each game it would have been unfair on my opponents to have been faffing around with too many photos.



Anyways, to see the Arabs in action follow this link

17 Aug 2015

UK ADLG Yahoo Group started

Having received quite a few emails from other players across the UK who are either not on the ADLG forum, or who have struggled to register on it, I've now created a UK ADLG Yahoo Group to help connect UK-based players and see if this can help generate some more UK interest for UK-specific events and competitions

The Yahoo Group is online here


You can subscribe by emailing ukadlg-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

1 Aug 2015

Darkfaux - another Malifaux event, this time with added Monkey's Ass!

Darkfaux, a one day 4 game Fixed Master event held in the heart of glamorous London town.

In a scruffy side street under a railway arch next to a car wash.

See Jungle King Marcus wobble, see monkeys wave their arms around ineffectually, see Pigs in armour, see dead dogs eating metal worms and understand how a big tree can be used as an offensive game piece!

Read the reports here 

(there is more analysis from Steampunk Hannibal too..  )

25 Jul 2015

L'Art de la Guerre - 5 games, and some serious thoughts about the UK Ancients scene

Back in June I took part in the 2nd L'Art de la Guerre "proper" competition at the BHGS Challenge in Oxford, using a Feudal German army in a Feudal themed period event. I've ended up writing in this preamble something of an essay on ADLG and the UK competition scene, but the reports are still here if you want to skip it !

The German army was pretty simple, reducing my opportunities to mess things up by trying to execute any sort of over complicated plan, and the end result was fairly successful as well - as you can see in these 5 match reports, complete with rules hints and the usual captions and expert analysis from Hannibal.


The Essay starts here... 

This was my first serious session of ADLG, battle-testing the rules in a proper competition setting and I'm delighted to report that - probably unsurprisingly given their long pedigree in France - they emerged pretty much fully unscathed, with the QR sheet barely needed by the end of the weekend.

The other good news was that by the middle of the event I was starting to "play the game" (and enjoy it) rather than "playing the rules" - a quick leaning curve towards enjoying shoving ancients figures around once again.



The reason is probably because at the end of the day ADLG is mechanically extremely similar to DBx games, with pip dice and opposed combat rolls as the core mechanics, and so those familiar tactical problems about finding you have an over complex plan and too few pips to execute it, or that you have suffered a 6-1 combat result that has knocked a hole in you line and you need to shore it up quickly (or that the opposite has happened, and you need to work out how to exploit it!).

With the low base combat factors in ADLG it did initially feel that the role (or roll) of the dice was playing a bigger part in the outcome of the game that I was used to, but a bit of number crunching to reality-check this, and more importantly getting comfortable enough with the rules and mechanics so that I could start to concentrate on the proper tactical decisions and doing things to try and beat my opponent in the actual games rather than being 100% focused on the rules themselves was a hurdle that once I had crossed it, I was totally comfortable with. Playing at 300 points also helped a lot too as a couple of poorly timed 1-6 results make much less of a dent in a 34 unit army than a 22 unit one!



Ultimately ADLG is a well put together fun game, which has the huge advantages of being also fully battle-tested, competition-ready ruleset that is now being extremely widely played in France, Spain, and the US, making the possibility of proper international competitions once again something which I can look forward to attending.

It's also still a "new" set in the UK, so everyone playing is still on the bottom of the same learning curve and can test out new armies and tactics to try and find ways to use those long-ignored figures and units (looks longingly at large Avar army that got painted just as I lost the will to live with FoGAM..), and it also has a viable "short-form" game at 200 points as well as the FoGAM/DBx equivalent "long form" game at 300, so ADLG all in all should really be bang on trend for what people seem to be looking for in a game today.

Will it end up being so - I hope so, but that still needs some more takeup. My experience of the the UK Ancients scene has been to be part of it at an incredibly fortunate, or even spoilt maybe, period of time over the past 20 or so years, and to have benefited from being part of a community that embraced what was at the time a radical and wildly innovative, yet very simple (mechanically) modern ruleset in the shape of DBM, which came bursting onto the scene after several decades of rather tired, iterative updates 1st-through-7th sets (and derivatives thereof).

DBM however, because of it's success, became "played-out" for a lot (but not all) of the community, with most all jumping on the bandwagon of FoGAM - more I suspect on the basis that it allowed the community to stay together, socialising, drinking and pushing toy soldiers around together, but with a different set of intellectual challenges to underpin it after the challenges and puzzles inherent in DBM had all been all but overcome.

But, in the shift away from DBM, neither FoGAM (nor DBMM) ever seemed to quite capture the mass imagination of the community in the same way as the WRG to DBM transition did, and neither has proved to be the sweep-all-in-its-path behemoth that DBM was, nor have they developed the longevity, nor the enduring multi-national international appeal that DBM did in it's heyday either.  

Looking back, I'm not sure this is the "fault" of either ruleset - it may just be a historical accident that we all happened to be shoving pikemen and legionaries around when the first "modern" ruleset - that focused on command and control, not kit, that graded troops by their effect rather than their weapons, and which understood that simplicity of design was absolutely something worth sacrificing whole mountains of details in the pursuit of when it came to game design and philosophy.

My sense is that the UK scene is still, maybe subconsciously, waiting for another WRG-DBM transition Eureka! moment, when a radical new ruleset that tears up the past with a raft of game-changing innovations will once again be able to have a bloody good go at uniting the world wide community of Ancients gamers ... and until that time comes, every ruleset that doesn't fill those enormous boots will be judged, and rejected in favour of marking time with the familiarity of the status quo.

The underlying problem however, I suspect, is that we have already had the our Eureka! moment we will ever see - unlike the late 90's there are now just too many games in too many other periods where almost all possible innovations have already been released into he wild - and so that elusive new "innovative" system for Ancients that everyone is subconsciously waiting for has already become familiar.

Is ADLG that mythical system?

Emphatically not - it has huge nods to DBx, huge nods to FoG in its mechanics and design, and to be fair it makes no real claim to be innovative either. It has it's quirks, most notably that it is arguably a little more dice-dependent than FoGAM or DBx - but this is no accident, it's something that has been deliberately designed-in, and as long as you embrace it, it simply serves to add flavour, memorable moments and narrative colour to the ebb and flow of the game ... and most importantly of all, it helps prevent what is after all just a highly abstracted game played with toy soldiers being taken too seriously

Irrespective of what ADLG might lack in Eureka! innovations, it most certainly is an already-bomb-proof system that allows almost all types and flavours of armies to be played competitively. It uses slightly fewer figures than FoGAM or DBX, doesn't (really) need re-basing and most importantly it is already widely played in Europe, and is picking up steam in the US amongst the same crowd who used to be such keen participants in international DBM events.



If the UK Ancients crowd all could somehow get together, forget the trench-warfare of FoGAM vs DBMM, and take a collective decision that it would be better for all concerned to move en-mass to ADLG, in much the same was as seemed to happen with WRG-FoGAM, and then (almost) with DBM-FoGAM (and DBM-DBMM) then that international community that used to be such a cool thing to be a part of would suddenly be back, and the whole UK scene would be rolling dice, drinking beer and learning a brand new ruleset together once again.

The only two differences would be that this time, ADLG already has had almost all of the kinks beaten out of it by the French circuit so won't need near-term revisions, and that - for the first time - ADLG s a set that "hasn't been been invented here".

Only time will tell if these prove to be insurmountable obstacles....

OK, enough of the (unplanned) essay, and on with the reports! 

5 Jul 2015

Renaissance (ish) Chinese Musketeers for FoGR

This painting project has been hanging around since - I suspect - late 2012 when I think I bought some Lamcashire Games Arab and Chinese musket-armed figures at Warfare. Some of the Arabs were done in time to appear as Maratha infantry at Clevedon 2013 but the Chinese have languished in the painting pile .... until now!

You can click on these images to get a bigger picture:







They are from Lancashire Games Boxer Rebellion range (what with me never being one to go for the obvious morph) and have the twin advantages of being a/ cheap, and b/ definitely not obviously belonging to any actual Renaissance Chinese historical era, which is my excuse for using them as generic musketeers or arquebusiers for any sort of Vietnamese, Chinese, Indonesian or other army from that FoGR army list book.

In an even more shameless morphing plan, they were painted to match a front rank of Essex Han-era Chinese spearmen, who you can see in the last picture. The Lancashire figures are stylistically very different, and a lot taller... but at wargaming ranges the difference is not too ridiculous. Sort of.

And given that they will only surface sporadically, getting 10 bases of interesting-looking infantry for under £7 is a pretty decent deal in anyone's book.

The real upside would be if someone comes out with a set of rules covering the Boxer Rebellion using DBX basing conventions. When that happens I'll be halfway to starting another period too!

18 Jun 2015

Look! I built a Town!

Picking ridiculous projects and then almost finishing them is a classic wargamers curse, and the process of building a whole Malifaux faux-gothic-steampunk town almost from scratch instead of just coughing up for some pre-built buildings is a pretty good way of ticking that particular "curse" box, as I can now demonstrate with the following series of photos and construction hints and tips.





Learn how this came to pass here on my website

14 Jun 2015

Ironsides crew for Malifaux

Toni Ironsides is the penultimate Arcanist Master to be added to my collection, and the crew box arrived on Saturday and was painted by Sunday lunchtime - you gotta love games where you have a small figure count!

The competed crew can be seen here, with some rather neat "magical aura" effects as well



Osprey Rules on Amazon

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