Friday, January 31, 2014

Eight Years in Undercoat

Well I suppose you could say the shakos, boots and gaiters were done...

I thought it would be nice for my Middle Guard to be expertly painted and asked my friend Brenton.  I cleaned them up and undercoated them, as well as providing a print of the required uniform.  This was eight years ago.  Since then Brenton has fathered at least three children and the only additional coverage my figures got was dust and cobwebs.  :-(

They have now been retrieved and are on the project list for 2014.  Will they have better luck with me?

Cancon 2014 - DBA Competition Day 2

Enter the Burgundians

The armies that were fielded for Day 2 were from Books II and IV as follows:

III/10b Rajputs 747-1300AD
III/20b T'ang Chinese 618-755AD
III/21a Italian Lombard 584-774AD
IV/03 Anglo-Norman 1072-1181AD
IV/03 Anglo-Norman 1072-1181AD
IV/13a Medieval German 1106-1235AD
IV/14a Jurchen-Chin 1114-1234AD
IV/22 Serbian Empire 1180-1459AD
IV/43c Later Hungarian 1397-1526AD
IV/48 Yuan Chinese 1260-1368AD
IV/54c Medieval Scandanavian Swedish 1391-1523AD
IV/62 100 Years War 1322-1455AD
IV/64b Medieval French 1346-1418AD
IV/64b Medieval French 1346-1418AD
IV/74 Free Companty or Armagnac 1357-1410AD
IV/80 Hussite 1419-1434Ad and 1464-1471AD
IV/80 Hussite 1419-1434Ad and 1464-1471AD
IV/84 Burgundian Ordonnance 1471-1477 AD
IV/85a Wars of the Roses Engliah 1455-1485AD
IV/85b Wars of the Roses English 1487AD

Game seven was against Medieval Scandanavian commanded by my friend Brenton S.  It was a very bloody affair.  We were tied at four all, then five all until I was able to luckily score a sixth casualty and my first win of the day.

The battle developed over the hill on my left.

And this was how it finished.  What is you is what is left of the two armies.  My knights in the centre had just killed their opponents.

Game eight was against an identical Burgundian Ordonnance army, but my lads were better and I was a lot older than the opposing general and didn't hesitate to take advantage when presented with an exposed flank.  This was the first game in which I was not the attacker and got to deploy some of my terrain, most notably my new road.

I lost one element on my left, but my knights on my right ran down the enemy line killing the necessary four elements to achieve victory.

Game nine saw a medieval German army commanded by another junior general blown away by my mighty bombard.  No photos unfortunately.

Game ten was a loss against Anglo-Normans.  I foolishly had my bombard blocking my deployment and was unable to get my army into grips before it was all too late.

Bombard looks good, but is damned hard to maneuver if you ever want to get it out of the way.

Game eleven and I fought a 100 Years War English army commanded by a general only a fraction of that age.  I was the defender.

The enemy launched an isolated attack on my left.  I think the road intrigued them.  I lost one element to their four.

Game twelve and the final in the competition was against an army from the War of the Roses.  Another young general.  After going two down I was able to come back to a four to two win.

I was defending again.  In such situations I always deployed the Keep as my camp.  I had also decided to keep my bombard out of the action.  The enemy had a light element that they left in the rear as well so we effectively fought with eleven elements each.

I was mightily chuffed to come in overall second place!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Cancon 2014 - DBA Competition Day 1

I used to play a lot of DBA, both in competitions and campaigns and 2014 provided me with an opportunity to attend Cancon after a break of three years.  It was massive and fragmented as can be seen from this direction board:

The DBA competition was run over two days, with day one for armies from books I and II.  

Here are the twenty armies that were fielded for the first day's games:

I/02a Early Egyptian 3000-1640BC
I/22b New Kingdom Egyptian 1543-1069BC
I/26a Later Mycenaean Achaian 1250-1190BC
I/26b Later Mycenaean Trojan 1520-1190BC
I/53 Saitic Egyptian 664-335BC
II/03 Classical Indian 500BC-545AD
II/05b Later Hoplite Greek Athenian 450-275BC
II/05h Later Hoplite Greek Siciliot 450-235BC
II/07 Later Achaemenid Persian 420-329BC
II/09 Syracusan 410-210BC
II/11 Gallic 400-50BC
II/15 Alexandrian Imperial 328-320BC
II/15 Alexandrian Imperial 328-320BC
II/19a Seleucid 320-280BC
II/19c Seleucid 204-167BC
II/25 Bosporan 310-107BC and 46BC-375AD
II/26 Later Sarmatian 310BC-375AD
II/33 Polybian Roman 275-105BC
II/49 Marian Roman 105-25BC
II/79a Chinese Northern Dynasty 317-589AD

Day one saw my Alexandrian Imperials take the field.  Perhaps a bit hesitantly as I had only played two games during the past three years.

Game one against some Greeks (the Athenians I think) demonstrated the superiority of pike over spear.

My lads closing in.  General already committed!  Well, he is aggression level 4.

Victory!  Alexander breaks the line, the pikes beat spear.  Only downside was throwing a one with the companions on the left.  I killed five enemy for the one loss.

Game two against some classical Indians demonstrated my superior dice rolling.

The end.  My pikes finished killing the fourth enemy element for no loss on my side.

Game three against some late Chinese was a near run thing, but I was out generaled by David L, one of the master DBA players in Canberra.

My left has been pulling back, but I was very happy to get my pikes in.

My left has collapsed.  Pikes are doing well and one of my cavalry units pushed the enemy off the board, but oh dear, Alexander is in a tricky spot and throws a one ending the game.  I was down four elements, but had inflicted three losses on the enemy.

Game four against Seleucids saw a lot of terrain, but a very much split enemy force which failed to gather enough command resources to get their act together.  This left their brave general a bit exposed.

Dead enemy general, end of game.  He was in a tough spot, but a roll of one to my six didn't help.

Game five was a fiasco against some horrid Egyptians.  Trapped between a marsh and a forest my army was shot up and eventually surrounded coming to a very inglorious end.  No photos unfortunately.  While I did have some poor command rolls it is fair to say I was comprehensively out generalled, not surprising as the player went on to win the day and the competition.  However I did kill one element (on a good die roll).

Game six was the final game of the day and was against some old but nimble Greeks (Achaians).  It was a hard fought affair but victory again went to my superior dice rolling, although it took a good while to achieve victory.

Tough going.  I was down three elements, but my superior dice rolling combined with pikes versus spears, allowed me to get four kills on the enemy and victory,

Six great games against noble opponents.  I was the attacker in all six games.  

Thursday, January 16, 2014

A Pair of Camels

For my sixth session of Wings of Glory I took to the air in a pair of Sopwith Camels.

Looks good but a bit too close.  Drats!  


Still circling.

Heading for home, trailing smoke.

Played quickly and cleanly.  While there were no kills, after the war we found that three of the four German planes had crashed on landing.  The British only had one serious landing mishap, but the pilot walked away unscathed to fight another day (or in a fortnight's time).

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

42nd Foot - The Black Watch

Not that I don't already have enough Highlanders in both 15mm (as well as all those Airifx Highlanders I have), but here is the first of the touched up, rebased and in this case refaced unit of my early Christmas present (the lot buy of AB Miniatures painted by Dragon Painting Services).

Apart from the facings and new flag, I redid the drum and bagpipes.  The plumes are special for the 42nd (according to my source book: Uniforms of Waterloo in colour).  I took out the yellow stripe on the kilt with a black stripe.  Major touch up was some chipped paint and bent bayonets - I was rather rough opening the packet they came in.  The other thing I added was the white lace on the cuffs - the solid blue cuffs just didn't look right.

Here are some before shots (actually of the unit still to do):

And now for the finished product:

In retrospect I should have put the drummer and piper in the front rank of their own stand.

I was hit by serendipity when I saw this post the other day: Waterloo Highlanders: The 42nd Regiment of Foot.html  It also provided the inspiration to touch up the new flag as I had just used the generic one for blue faced regiments from Warflags.  Still not sure I have it right, but time to move on to the next unit.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Miss Fisher Cluedo

Possibly slightly off-topic, but this was a  gift to the family for Xmas: Miss Fisher Cluedo.

Actually it was my Trojan Horse, hoping to lure them into playing a boardgame on a subject I knew they loved, Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries (think Aussie Miss Marple but with sex appeal and local colour). My secret plan is to lead them from this to a game like Shadows Over Camelot and then World In Flames ... here we come.  Ha ha, it is not going to happen, but as Miss Fisher says, she likes a man with a plan.

I'd always wanted Cluedo, although I can't every recall actually playing it, although I am sure I did.  It is just so much part of popular culture.

The mechanics are simple but play well - how can I use them in a wargame?  The graphics are good and the little model murder weapons are cute.  The only let down, and rather a big one as it also confused play, were the character pieces: just  generic clear plastic tokens on coloured bases with no relation to the character at all.  This would just not do!

First I thought I would get some figures and paint them up.  An hours fun searching and learning more about the world of pulp then I care too, I decided this was not the best immediate option.  I then thought to make up some cards (stupidly forgetting the game came with cards).  Finding pictures of the six character was relatively easy however and using my Excel skills and a colour printer I generated some paper tags to attach to the aforementioned offensive plastic tokens.  These were easily fixed with wonderful PVA glue and viola!

I probably should have resized and cropped Mr Butler and Constable Collins so that their heads were of the same size with the other four characters.  A red background for Miss Fisher would also have been better (it was just by chance that Jack and Dot appear colour coordinated.  However my long term aim is to replace them with figures.

WRG Ancients 6th Edition Competition in Newcastle, Australia in 1984

Another blast from the past, thirty years ago in fact.  WRG Ancients 6th Edition competition in Newcastle, Australia in 1984.  

Some things were fairly rudimentary ...

These first two pictures look like my mate Myron's Tibetans.  I can tell by the crappy die rolls!

There's my boys!  Tin Soldier Greeks (with some borrowed Minifigs to fill them out).  This was in the days of "flat basing" (think "flat earth" is more like it).  The only consolation is that the bases matched my wargaming table which in those days was a table tennis table.

Looks like my guys are in trouble. 
 Not sure what the columns were for, probably trying to dodge the chariots or something.

My guys again.  At least the scenery was flat too.

The WRG reference sheet visible.  
I think this was the rules with the +1 for seeing the army standard advancing.

There I am, eighteenth row in the left hand column, one draw and one win amongst many losses.  
Looks like I beat Myron by one point.

What was special about this competition was the man himself was there:  Phil Barker.  
Probably why I'd made the effort to go to Newcastle 

Phil is the gentleman in white standing on the right hand side adjudicating.

And for my troubles the great man presented me with this little trophy.  And very proud I was too!

Friday, January 10, 2014


Fifth game of Wings of Glory and I'm still in training.  For this game three Sopwith Snipes and one Camel took on three Fokker triplanes somewhere over the Western Front (where it was anything but quiet).

My planes, Number 2 and Number 8 of Squadron 4.

First pass, Number 2 got some shots in but then its guns jammed.  Bother!

Bad collision by number 2 resulted in eight damage points.  Ouch!

Number 2 heading for home.  In the background one of the enemy Fokkers crashes and burns.

Things look bad for Number 8 which is in the sights of the Zebra, but help was at hand.  The none flaming plane being piloted by my compatriot circled round and shot the Zebra down.

All up a decisive win for the British with two enemy planes down to one of our own (which burnt to a cinder).