Sunday, October 21, 2012

Splintered Light Chariots

I've got a 900 point Field of Glory game coming up, hopefully this weekend, and I wanted to experiment with a crazed Galatian army. If only for some tactical variety, and to use a unit type that I don't have experience with, I wanted to add in a four stand battlegroup of light chariots. I'm using the Scots-Irish chariots as manufactured by Splintered Light, but I wouldn't hesitate to use these as Gauls, Ancient British, or the Galatians I initially intend them for. Nice figures, certainly, and I'm also looking forward to their upcoming release of 15mm Vikings.

Here are my photos of the completed unit, including a closeup of a single stand:

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Stark Archers

Getting a bit more painting done lately. Heres a photo of a unit of the Stark archers that come with the core "Battles of Westeros" game, setup on the included mounted hex mat:

And a photo of all three units required for the first scenario:

They came out pretty good, I think. Not to the same quality as metal historical miniatures in 15mm, but more than acceptable. And the game will certainly look much more visually attractive with painted figures rather than with bare plastic ones.

Next up will be the Stark War Host of the North (halberdiers) units, including the Maege Mormont leader figure.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Commands and Color Hex Table

For the last several years I've kept hearing gamers mention how good a game Commands and Colors Ancients is, but I've never gotten around to getting a copy of my own. Considering that I was a boardgamer for decades before ever taking up miniatures, that's a bit surprising to me at least. Maybe its that given the relative complexity of many of the miniature games that I like, Commands and Colors gave me the impression of being too light weight. Well, finally I've gotten hold of a copy of the core game, and I must say that I find it to be brilliantly designed. I can't wait to get some games under my belt, and even though I think that the block units are very attractive and elegant on their own, this game still just screams to be played using miniatures. I know that there is a hexless variant that can be used, but I thought that in order to keep it simple, why not just use a hex map larger than the one that comes with the game. Funds being tight, I didn't want to spend a fortune, but I was able to simply and quickly put together a hex table for just this purpose.

What I did was to get two 30" x 48" poster boards from Staples. I spray painted them black, and added a layer of Moss Green paint. I then drew up a hex grid using AutoCad, and plotted it out on large sheets of paper using the plotter at my office. I actually made the number of hexes larger than what is required for a Commands and Colors game in order to also be able to play Battles of Westeros on this table. The hexes were originally sized at 4" across the flats of the hexes, but since this didn't quite fit on the poster boards, I scaled them down slightly so that they are really 3 7/8" across. Then I aligned the plots on the boards and stuck a tack through at each point of intersection. The small holes were connected with pencil lines that were then draw over with a green Sharpie. The Commands and Colors edge border and section dividers were then drawn on with a black sharpie. Here are a couple of photos of the finished board:

Not bad, I think, for a very minimal amount of money spent.

Here are also some photos of how I plan to arrange units for gameplay. The first is an eight stand barbarian warrior unit. Since in the game, this is a four block unit, two bases will be removed each time the unit takes a hit.

Being based on 40mm x 15mm bases as per heavy foot, this is an easy fit. I've also tried doing the same with an eight stand unit of barbarians based on 40mm x 20mm bases for use as medium infantry.

This seems a little tight, and I might instead just use four bases per unit as shown below:

Here is a three stand unit of Gallic medium cavalry:

 And one of Numidian skirmishers:

Finally, a unit of Roman heavy infantry:

Seems to me, this is the way Commands and Colors Ancients is meant to be played.

Now, I have to work out how to put together a larger board for Epic-sized games.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Wargames Factory Vikings

I'm still occasionally slipping in an unit of 28mm figures. I can't really afford the scale as my primarily gaming size, and I prefer the way 15mm armies look on the table for the unit-based, non-skirmish games that I like to play. But I have friends who would rather game in 28mm, and I have harbored a desire in the back of my brain that I would someday like to experiment with a Boran Norse-Irish army (with a Viking ally) for use when playing Warrior against local opponents. Since metal 28mm figures are way too expensive, I thought I would give the Wargames Factory plastics a try. The below photos are of figures that I painted from their Viking Bondi box, which gives you the ability to make a total of 32 Vikings for a cost (from the Warstore) of about $16.00.

The sculpts are pretty mediocre, in my opinion, with awkward poses that I found them fairly difficult to paint. When I first assembled them, I thought they looked surprisingly good, but once painted, I wasn't as happy with them. I think the sculpting is too shallow for the washing and "dip" techniques that I typically use. But, for 50 cents a figure, its tough to beat the price. For the next unit I do, I'll work a little harder on the washes, and maybe do a bit of highlighting afterwards. Probably, I will also use some shield transfers - well done shields certainly hide a multitude of sins on Ancient and Medieval era paint jobs.