Wednesday, 26 August 2015

OOH Look at the pretty pictures ...some shiny some not ....

Despite the pressure of work and especially government papercrap I'm still managing to get a little painting and writing done. Not bad when we've shipped out over 70 parcels this past  week to assorted customers as far apart as Australia and Finland.
Now as it happens I still have a taste for painting figures and vehicles - far more than for the actual playing of games- though an intresting game can still engage my attention. as witness the recent French Revolution action in the previous post.
 However back to the plot. I've managed to finish the first Scorpion CVRT  for the slowly progressing modern  "green British" (that is as disctinct from my "desert British" ) This project isn't going as fast as I'd like simply because I'm getting sidetracked by other stuff- not least "Shinyloo" and a couple of articles I'm writing.
Curassiers and Carabiniers. These are the ones that needed a lot of TLCand a new coat of shinyness !

15mm Scorpion- part of the Command Decision CDMOD range. This model will join the small but growing band of 1980 British for BAOR.
 As for "Shinyloo"  there has bee a small upsurge helped not a little by a bundle of  rather knackerd Hinchliffe/Foremost  cavalry recently picked up on ebay. They had at one time been beutifully painted but had seen hard service and needed a good bit of TLC. Rebasing and weapon replacement as well as a general wash and brush up . They fit in well with the Staddens I've already finished but then they should as Gilder allegedly used Stadden and Willie figures as dollies- as well as Les Higgins Jason for the Hincliffe ECW range.
Stadden Royal  Horse Artillery with an old Hincliffe gun
 The Hincliffe /Foremost range fit into my self-imposed rules for "Shinyloo"- just having been in production since the mid-seventies. I've a dozen Hincliffe French dragoons from the same era - part of the same lot- who need a bit less TLC before they are added to the Emperor Shinypartes army !
On a separate note I've been pondering upon "games" and "Wargaming" and about how - potentially - they are now very  different- not in essence but in detail and of course the devil is in the detail.
 There are several "games" Saga, Lion Rampant , Frostgrave, Muskets and Tomahwks Dead Mans Hand  etc. etc . which all seem very similar to me , purporting to be part of "wargaming" . Doubtless there are plenty more especially in the Sci-fant arena.They appear limited in scope with  less than 50 figures a side masquerading in that most ridiculous of terms a "skirmish army" (yes gentle reader I've had that said to me more than a few times    
 "I want a skirmish army ")
 Hmm define skirmish and army ... thinks I  but these days  trying to teach any games player anything  is usually a bad idea. Like GW drones they get locked into the "gamin' innit" mindset and the reality and even the English Language goes out of the window. Now don't misunderstand I don't CARE but it does amuse me that- in our hobby as in life an idiots opinion however uniformed is  now apparently as valuble as that of a chap who knows whereof he speaks. Indeed  one might opine that the place is stiff with politicians.
 This kind of stuff panders to the instant gratification gang of course. Usually the gratifcation of the "game designer Dudes"  who peddle this limited type of stuff. The bit I really don't get- honestly I'm not taking the piss here is what the purchasers and players get out of this in the longer term. I can see that you might want a quick and simple kids game once in a while. But why would you play- say Frostgrave more than a few times. Saga is  a bit more open ended but the limits of 20 or 30 figure- if that- forces are sure to be reached pretty quickly. In a sense its just the same as DBA The limits of a 12 element force- no matter how many different ones there are will be reached pretty quickly. So where is the point after that ?. Slaving yourself to any given "games system" for the "gaming experience"  is such a narrow view of our open -ended and in theory virtually limitless hobby that I really wonder why you would bother.
 As an example  for me DBA palled after about half a dozen dice rolling contests- sorry games-  on the silly 2 feet by 2 feet "board" (notice board not table)  so just how are this new rush of  clone-a-skirmish games any different?
 Now I don't have a down on skirmish wargaming per-se- a skirmish or small action is part of any military operation  so some of the time you are going to want to transfer them to the table but such actions are not the whole gamut 
 There will be people out there who tell you "its all I can afford" or "Its all I have time for" - well if DBA was the only choice I'd get another hobby - watching paint dry would be of more interest.
 As for affording it well I've been skint so I have a little sympathy but I simply  decided what I wanted to do then worked out how money or not- back in the day it was Airfix  or nowt lad ! 
 I suppose it all comes down to the fact that I'm not PRIMARILY a games player- can't see the point of most of 'em- perhaps someone can enlighten me .... 

Sunday, 23 August 2015

Revolting peasantry and English Gentlemen

So  Saturday morning dawns- well noons actually  and a small number of TWATS gather at our usual pub. Dave the Sheep  is in the chair and has brought his French revolutionary stuff- a tasty collection . We are in Brittany for the Chouan revolt and a rather lonely British battalions tasked with making off with some portable loot before the various rabble get hold of it.
 So myself as the British colonel - with a command of as many as 44 figures in 2 units has to face off against unknown hoards of french republican rabble.  So  Froggys sir Fahsands of 'em was the order of the day .....
 Now I did have a little help Mechanical Shaun had command of the Chouan hordes and there did seem to be an awful lot of them too . The  republican were commanded by Floating Jeff and Theatrical Steve (no I'm not implying that Steve is some kind of OTT prima Donna - he WORKS in the Theatre!).
 The First republican Demi- Brigade was given a proper smacking by the intitial Chouan ambush- a blast of "improvised canister" at les than 50 yards can ruin your whole morning- especially when followed up by a screaming charge of scythe and pitchfork weilding loonies (not unlike Saturday night in some pubs in Hexham when the sheeps****s come down from the hills- eh Dave ! ) So the first French Brigade  retired pell- mell in severe disorder hotly pursued by said loonies
 a mere2 of the 9 french battalion that the single british battalion had to face.

Meanwhile in another part of the field  for the British
 The day started poorly and quickly got worse . The second French Brigade advanced swiftly  totally undeterred by the British light troops- (25 dice 1 hit. the French with similar dice scoring 7 hits Floating Jeff permanent and uncanny dice rolling strikes yet again).
 The waggon starts to move gets onto the road and the wheel falls off - so several moves we don't have are spent nailing it back on ... Once we have done that the bloody road is filled with froggy peasants coming to join the punch-up so we can't use the bloody road ... laugh I thought I'd never start ...  I HATE dice rolling.
another French Battalion- I think there were 9 all told.

 However the Chouans finally get their gun loaded again and put another load of canister up the Republicans couple this with a well timed volley from the Brits and the republicans stagger a bit - their Demi- brigade refuses to charge my line- Now is my time.. Oh Bugger! that means dice rolling and the inevitable failure... it is so depressing to be right... However the Light troops form line and charge the French Flank while the line battalion looks on .  This is just enough- the French are routed and the other battalions are too far away to effect events so thankfully I can break contact, this especially as a belated squadron of light Dragoons runs up to cover the withdrawal. Phew! got away with it ...
Stalwart English Gentlemen.

Approaching the crunch!

. Technical notes.  

Regulars  were mostly Old Glory 28mm  with some generals from Trent Miniatures. Chouans were a right mixture some OG  AWI militia. Some Reiver Casting Monmouth rebels and some I didn't recognise. Rules used were "General De Brigade"- which with the odd amendment handle this kind of stuff rather well. the table wasn't too large- about 7 feet by five- max possibly a little smaller. The buildings were scratchbuilt by your gentle author about a quarter of a century ago.
 Recently I've been having bother with boredom and parts of this hobby and its  receptive and samey gamey crap. This game went some way to restoring my faith- even getting the right Hump with Floating Jeff and his Amazing Dancing Dice(any number you want to order !! or so it seemed )  stopped the boredom  so was good in the end.
 As always our thanks to Jean and Eric as "mine hosts" and Jean's amazing Beef Butties !!

Monday, 17 August 2015

More ECW units

 Despite a fiarly busy workload at the moment I'm still getting a little painting done. Though to be strictly accuate some of it is "re-conditioning" and tarting up some of the slightly the worse for wear stuff I've aquired over the last year..
Roundhead Cavalry. The lead troop are old Essex figures on Old Glory Horses
 The chaps in the blue sashes are for Fairfax's Northern Association forces. The tow other troops in the background will need to have their Sash Colours changed to eith white or yellow as they are meant for Wallers Southern Association
The Old Glory Horses are not those you get now.These went OOP about 10 years ago but I kept some !
 The Essex troopers fit rather well on the OG   horses- though these are  the older ones which I happened to have some left ,rather than the current production.
 The swaybacked funny legged Essex horses went in the melting pot. Being somewhat venerable all of thse chaps recieved a nice shiny coat. New basing all round,
 Now all I need is time to get these out on the table- I've enough cavalry to re-fight Winceby at about 1-5 I think  Hmmmmm.