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The Swedish Infantry for Horka 1709 and some post-Salute 2018 Stuff

“…but in summary of Salute I can say “a lot of people, met some new and old friends, the games looked great, got some gifts(!), picked up some stuff and bought some more, What a Tanker from Too Fat Lardies looked fun, a fantastic GNW battle from Michael Leck – from my perspective the Show rolled a Six.” 

From about a week ago!

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We have been busy with the Little Ones year end Rugby Tournament the last week so I have not been doing that much hobby wise lately.  We went to Isle of Wight and had a blast – it is a wonderful part of the world.

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The Little One getting ready for another day of fun!

 

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Isle of Wight is a nice part of England and with the ferry crossing it almost feels like a “proper holiday!”

I realise that it is now about 10 days ago since Salute 2018, so I think there are plenty of better places for an overview of Salute –  I suggest you try Big Lee’s most excellent blog here.   Alternatively, or as well, you could go to youtube and watch the terrain tutors very nice video of the show (press play below) – if you have not checked out his other stuff do that as well.

What follows are just a few snippets of things from my personal experience.

Twisting the Dragon’s Tail

On St George’s Day! 100 years ago the Royal Navy attempted to block the Belgian port of Zeebrugge.   The idea was to block the canal entrance by sinking obsolete ships – this to stop U-boats and light shipping from leaving port.

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Lovely model of the Vindictive (An Arrogant Class Cruiser).  Her guns were replaced with flamethrowers, howitzers and mortars for the raid.

The game presented by the Maidstone Wargames society showed the actions of the HMS Vindictive that carried a troop or royal marines that were to take out some German Gun positions.  It was a beautifully presented game and the ship was a thing of beauty and  scratch built (using a lot of tomato pure tubes as sheeting material – that is hard core in my books – “What a we having for Dinner today?”, “It is another round of Pasta with Tomato Sauce!”).

Mission Command: Normandy

Mission Command is a new set of WW2 rules that promises to capture the essence of tactical and operational combat for company level to division level.  It captures the way in which different armies (nationalities) operated in practice in terms of tactical and operational command, control and communication.  It was a pleasure to have a chat with the guys.  I found it intriguing – more information here.  It is currently at the final stages of playtesting and a relatively inexpensive beta ruleset can be obtain through the link above.  The game is Umpired and orders are given at the beginning of them game but can be modified.  However the changes to the orders have to be achieved within command structures where the fog of war, imperfect information and confusion can cause unintended outcomes.

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Mission Command: Normandy. Bocage, I think they are from the Tree Fella!  Ground scale is 1mm equals 2 meters.  Each figure represents 5 to 10 men and a vehicle model 2 to 5 vehicles.  They used flames of war based models on the day.  Further theatres and armies will be covered. I really like the players manual that can be downloaded from the their page – it has some interesting overviews of doctrine, practice and organisation for the Americans, British and Germans (here).

The Battle of Foy

Most of us remember this from the phenomenal Band of Brothers book and TV-series.  This table was a joy to watch and the group presenting it was passionate about sharing their enthusiasm.  I have a special place somewhere for snow terrain and this one was inspiring.  The miniatures used were 20mm and it was played using the Bolt Action rules.  The tall pine trees are made with the same technique as I used from my trees earlier in the year (more about how to make them here).

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Tumbling Dice and another Diversion – Bag the Finn!

Paul at Tumbling Dice (link here) have a nice range of 1/600 aircraft and I bought myself a bundle of his nice aircraft that I want to use for some aerial dogfights between Finland and Soviet.  They are very nice and they are relatively easy to paint them and it will not cost you a fortune to get started.  I have some already that I used for Battle of Britain 1940.

I also got myself a selection of books from Amazon recently about the Finnish and Sovietic air force of the period – mostly second hand from Amazon at a not too heavy cost.

 

I will be using the Too Fat Lardies rules Bag the Hun for these (link here).  The Scramble supplement have a little piece of using the Rules for the Finnish Winter War to get me started, but I think I will focus on the Continuation War period – those Brewster Buffalos looks far too cool!.

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A selection of Aircraft used by the Finnish Airforce in the Winter War and early part of the Continuation War, including the Bristol Blenheim, Gloster Gladiator, Brewster Buffalo, Curtiss Mohawk, Morane-Saulnier MS406, Fokker DXXI and VL Myrsky.  This is from the Tumbling Dice trade stand from Salute. They are between 10mm to 20mm long.

 

I was not going to but I got some of Lifecolors nice paints for this project (I got all the colours individually, from their paint set pictures below a part from the black as I thought I could get away with it!).  This is a perfect on the move project as it does not take a lot of space – a handful of paints and a handful of planes and you can take off anywhere!

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The full set from Lifecolor

The only question is what playing surface to use.  It would be really good have a aerial picture with good resolution of a winter land scape from above.  Have not seen anyone doing one and I do not know where to get a good resolution picture from – any ideas gladly taken?

 

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Like this but, taken from a higher altitude.

 

Eureka!

With some help from the Welsh Wizard, Mike Hobbs, we manage to order for a sufficient amount to get a healthy discount from Eureka (more here) – who did their annual trip from down under to Salute. They have a good selection of stuff and I got myself a lot of 15mm (some WW2 Australians with Great Coat and Russian Partisans) and some 28mm stuff (for my Mutant 1984).

 

I will show these in a later post as I have no intention of doing anything with them at the moment.  Big shout out to Nic and crew – see you next year!

 

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My favourite miniature in my Eureka Order was this Boiler Suit Monkey with a Submachine Gun M/45B – also known as Carl Gustav.  Today an obsolete weapon (being developed in the 1940s) having its last years of service with the Swedish Home Guards.  But in Mutant 1984 this is a potent and useful weapon.

 

 

What a Tanker!

Too Fat Lardies were demonstrating their What a Tanker game and it looked great.  Go and do yourself a favour and buy the book from here.  If you need a little more convincing check out the stuff below.  Had a good chat with Rich, Nick and Sidney – thanks for your time!

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The Command Dice results

For more on the game if you do not want to take my word for it.

A video by the Lardies themselves:

Also check out these links for podcast whilst you paint your tanks:

  • The Veteran Wargamer (Jay) have gone Tank Mad in a wonderful way – check out his two podcasts for more here and here.
  • ..and the Meeples and Miniatures here.

We are hopefully doing a game of What a Tanker this weekend using some 15mm German tanks vs Russian or American tanks – preparations are underway more to come.

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However 6mm may be a good option and I spotted Baccus Shermans and Panzer IVs at Salute – they look very nice and the Sherman is due out very soon.

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Baccus tanks – very nice!

 

Stäket 1719

Michael Leck and friends, as have become tradition, presented yet another stunning table with a historical battle with a Swedish denominator – this time depicting the battle of Stäket 1719 (more here). This is a small battle at the end of the Northern War with with the King having been shot in Norway in 1718 and with the Russians and Cossacks terrorising the Swedish east coast with a fleet of Galleys (this was know as the Russian Harryings (Rysshärjningarna).  The attack was repulsed but the Russians managed to escape without any damage to their fleet allowing them to continue their harrying the following year.

 

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Mr Leck himself – setting things up!
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The Pikeman’s Lamen rules that Michael co-wrote with Dan Mersey were used to run the Battle
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Jan’s homemade galleys – they were “mass produced” by making a master and a mould!
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Overview!   You can read more about this battle on the Dalauppror blog here.

 

The galleys and the terrain boards (and a few of the miniatures) were made by Jan (who is another exile Swede living in the UK). The rest of the miniatures were flown in with Michael and chums.

As I have declated before Michael, and I, used to roll dice and use our imagination in the same role-playing club many moons ago.  It is always nice to see him and his latest stuff – he actually brought me two presents, a giant stag beetle and a Swedish king.  Many thanks Michael!

 

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This Giant Stag Beetle will be bent into shape and used for my Mutant 1984 project.  It is one of the most memorable monsters from the 1980s rpg.  The miniature is 28mm.

 

 

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This is the stats from the original 1984 rulebook, not very clever but big!  A gigantic Stagbeetle is 7 meters long, 2 meters tall and 2.5 meters wide. It is very aggressive. Its colour is blue-black with blue jaws.

 

 

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The next gift came in a nice box and is a miniature depicting the Swedish King Gustav Vasa. The model is based on a painting by Carl Larsson showing his entry to Stockholm as King 1523 (more about him here).

 

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This is Michae’s painted version of the model.  Mine is on the lead mountain – maturing as Sidney would say.  Some more background on the model can be found here.

How much is your collection worth!

I also had a nice chat and a coffee with good friend Peter Riley who is running the Wargamer Collection Calculator (I have discussed them before on the blog, here) that now features a wargames directory with more than 1,000 traders, clubs and societies – is your club on it?  Their base offer is in effect a collection manager where you can log you wargames collection in words and pictures with some high level estimate of its potential worth – perhaps for the purpose of using this as a basis for a separate insurance of your collection.  Even if you do not want to insure your collection you could perhaps use it as a collection manager. Registration is free.  Check them out here.

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…I think that represents a biased but still fair sample of Salute goodies!  I forgot the Daleks, here we go.

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Horka 1708 update – Swedish Infantry and Artillery thoughts

I have been working away with the Horka project and here is the Swedish Infantry contingent. 28 bases (compared to the 64 Russian ones, presented earlier here).

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I am also working on Artillery and have come to some kind of compromise for artillery. The Russian used a lot of smaller artillery pieces – battalion guns.  In the accounts of Poltava once of the key elements is the Russian Artillery ripping away the advancing Swedes, changing to shrapnel for the last 200 meters.  Placing a few cannons on the sides, as is the typical set-up, where the cannons representing 8 to 16 pieces of something like are shown as two bases on the sides, that does not really convey the story.  So I will use thin frontage bases (15mm wide)  and put them between the Russian battalions to illustrate these pieces.  It may be overkill from a ratio vs model count – but we can deal with this and having a quick glance at the way it looks I do not think there is a way back.  More about artillery in a later post.  This was just me getting carried away!

 

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Fire!
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Looks good enough for me!

 

/ Hope that was of some interest!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Featured

Saga 2nd Edition in 6mm Age of Vikings – Twilight of the Thundergod

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I had a very  nice day at Salute yesterday, but have decided to reflect on that next week as I think his blog post is long enough – but in summary of Salute I can say “a lot of people, met some new and old friends, the games looked great, got some gifts(!), picked up some stuff and bought some more, What a Tanker from Too Fat Lardies looked fun, a fantastic GNW battle from Michael Leck – from my perspective the Show rolled a Six.”  More next week on this and some further on the progress on the Horka Project.

 

 

 

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Ok, one picture for now of what I think was the most stunning table on the day and it was simply based on the colour schemes used – it was very nice.  Yes other tables had more impressive buildings and clutter but in terms of overall visual appeal and artistry this was the one to beat on the day – I think colour and composition goes a long way and this one I think proved that point.   This was put on by “A Few Brits and the Hobby” and was depicting the Battle of Leros in 1943.  It was a demonstration game and was depicting the last successful German invasion of the war (WW2) when the island of Leros was taken in November 1943 as part of the Taifun operation (yes you are right another operation in 1941 was carried out with the same name).  From the guys own blur for the game “Despite being outnumbered by the defenders, the Germans managed to gain local numerical superiority in various small battles and used total air supremacy to defeat the enemy despite heavy losses.  Leros was another British disaster in the eastern Mediterranean and Germanys last major campaign victory in the region.”

 

 

 

 

back to the main theme….

I decided to start this blog on the back of doing a participation game of Saga in 6mm with the gentlemen from the eminent Meeples and Miniatures podcast (link here) for the Joy of Six in 2016.  The demo game was Saga in 6mm and I went all out and did starter armies (4pts) for the 12 factions from the three first books for the Age of Viking era (a total of 15 official Age of Vikings factions were produced for the first edition rules, if we exclude semi-official ones like the Skraelings, Revenant and Steppe Tribes).

This is the 100th blog update since the start and I felt it appropriate to do an update on Saga on the back of the Second edition being published earlier this year.  It is a long one but I do hope you will find it of some interest.

For this special occasion I asked Neil Shuck for a few words as a kind of preface (thank you Neil).

“When I had a conversation with Dave Luff on the podcast about the possibility of gaming Saga in 6mm, we had no idea of the forces we were about to unleash.
Dave was on one of his ‘it’s only a counter’ monologues, and with the fact that that very nice Mr Berry had just brought out some more of his Dark Age range, we were discussing the idea of being able to play Saga in a smaller scale, and what impact that might have on the game.  As with many of our ideas, it never got close to the painting table, so imagine our surprise when Per contacted us to say that he had taken our idea and moved it to the next level.

We may have planted the seed, but Per is a force of nature when an idea takes hold, and the rest is, as they say, history.  Per did a fantastic job creating all the forces, plus building the tables, and the games were very well received on the day.  More importantly, the game still works – if anything, the grander scale created by the smaller models gives it a more epic feel.  Congratulations Per, you have done a fantastic job with this.” 

– Neil Shuck, from the Meeples and Miniatures Podcast (link here).

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Here is a link to that very first blog post with a postscript that makes a few notes and links to the other relevant posts.  Note that the Factions are presented again in the text that follows, I will not repeat the information in the Part 6 to 8 sections about terrain, buildings and painting.

We had a blast on the day of the Joy of Six 2016 Show and Neil wrote about his experience on the Meeples and Miniatures webpage here and my report on the Roll a One blog is here.

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From the 2016 event – we ran two table – The Queens table and the Kings table (you can see the Lewis chess Queen overseeing the proceedings on this table and the king is blocked by the Sign overseeing the other).

It was a nice project to get done and all-in-all I did 2,474 miniatures in a total on 324 bases (25mm square).  Each base contained between 3 to 10 miniatures depending on type, but in general:

  • Mounted – Warlord 5, Hearthguard 4, Warrior 3
  • Foot – Warlord 10, Hearthguard 9, Warrior 8, Levy 4

After the show the Little One and I played a fair few games of Saga and we really enjoyed it.  We then drifted away to other things and the models have been left standing relatively still for a while (apart from a few sessions using the eminent Dux Brit rules from Too Fat Lardies, a test of the Sword and Spear Rules and a few games of Saga here and there).  In the beginning of the year (2018) Studio Tomahawk released the updated edition of Saga (I will call is Saga 2) – where there is a core set of rules and then a book for each era (e.g. Viking, Arthurian, Crusade, etc.).  I was debating on whether to get the new rules or not as we found the old ones more than satisfactory, but as I stated in an earlier blogpost.

I have all the old Saga books and I am aware this version will probably not blow me away in the same way as the first set, but it is on the basis of that very first set I bought the second edition. Saga is a fantastic game and I, and especially the Little One, want to be part of the ongoing process of making it even better.

I got the basic rule book for £8.50 (this contains the basic rules) and the Age of Vikings (this has the Viking factions and 12 battle boards) supplement for £25.50, which I believe is very competitive, from Dark Sphere (link here) with free postage (as at 14/03/18). That is a total of £34.

The original Saga Rules were typically sold for £25 and gave you 4 battle boards, three additional supplements (actually four if you count the campaign supplement) were produced cover the Viking Age at a typical total cost of say £42.  This gives a total comparative cost at £67 vs. £34.  So this new packaging is more cost effective, although the start-up cost is higher (£34 vs £25) as you need some battle boards to play the game.

The only thing that slightly irritated me is that there is only one base scenario in the basic rules – Clash of the Warlords, and that there are no specific scenarios in the source books  either – instead there will be a specific scenario book.  I really hope that this scenario book is something really special as I honestly think that some more scenarios could have been included in the basic rulebook or in the supplement(s) – so the comparison above is not fully a like for like.

On the back of having read the rulebook and the Age of Viking supplement and had a few games, I personally think it was worth the upgrade. I can use all of my existing models to play and the Saga Dice are the same (I have two sets of each type of dice as I used them for demo gaming and that allowed a higher number of combinations to be played over two tables at the same time) with one exception (the Last Romans, see below).

On the other if you have the old rules I am not sure I would be a position to strongly insist you should do or feel the same.  It is still Saga after all. However, I do hope that more supplements covering other Ages will be developed and made available on the back of this re-release.  The pictures of some Samurai warriors in the rulebook gives an interesting hint.

This blogpost will re-introduce the factions presented in those old blog posts, with what I hope are better pictures. In addition there are some changes to the composition and I have now enough figures to do starting warbands for the 10 of the 12 included in the Age of Vikings supplement.  I will further include some notes on changes to the rules (that only makes sense if you know the first edition) and finally show a few pictures of from some of the games we have played over the Easter Period with some friends and family.  I hope it is of some interest – it was nice to get them on the table again.

 Factions (4 pt Starter Armies)

 Anyway let us look at some of the miniatures (again!, note I do not have miniatures for two of the factions but are repeating the advice I gave in Saga in 6mm – Part 12).  All models, with the exception of the Irish Dogs, are from Baccus 6mm (link here) and the codes are from their catalogue to indicate what miniatures have been used.  The original picture showing the whole 4pt warband have been reused here, but I have also included close ups of each unit.  I am in two minds about this as I think 6mm is best shown in mass not as individual close ups (well I let you form your own opinion).  When you paint bulk and fast like I do for my projects it does not always look that great in a close up – but then why not.  All are on 25mm square bases, you may want to refer to that as an inch at your own peril of being 0.4mm out!

A few changes are noted in the text basically:

  • Reduction of a Battle Board (-3)
    • The Welsh and Stratchclyde Welsh now share a Battleboard 
    • The Normans and Bretons now share a Battleboard
    • Their is no longer a Pagan Prince board, but I assume this one is now assumed included in the Pagan Rus board (as one of their heroic options are a Pagan Prince)
  • Renaming of Battle Board (+/-0)
    • The Frankish board is now renamed the Carolignian board
    • The Byzantine battleboard is now renamed the Last Romans (and actually needs a set of dice I do not have (yet!) – the Roman/Briton dice that were introduced with the Saga Aetius and Arthur rules. 

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Anyway here are the Warbands:

Irish Starting Warband

The front figure are from the ALR04 Lanciarii (from the Late Roman Range) and a banner miniature I do not know from where. The two row of warriors are from EMV02 – Unarmoured Spearmen (vikings!).
These are actually two Hearthguard (Fianna) Units and I used the ALR04 Lanciarii (from the Late Roman Range) to represent these Javelin armed units.
These are my favourites they are the Warrior units and I used EMV02 – Unarmoured Spearmen (vikings!).
The Irish have the option to field a warrior unit of war dogs and who could honestly resist that? I needed to find some 6mm dogs. Baccus does not do any dogs but I did not need to get to any extreme measures as Perfect Six (link here) do some nice ones (and since I ordered my dogs they now also do wolves that could represent even more terrifying dogs – mine were border collies painted grey rather than the less intimidating Lassie look) so I ordered enough dogs to do 8 No. bases with 5 dogs and a dog handler on each. I used AMO01 Moorish infantry from the “Rome and Enemies range” for the dog handlers. These were leftovers from another project and I felt that the movement in these skirmish type figures were suitable to act as “leaders of the pack”. The war dogs may be more legend than reality but I think they add flair to the game.

Welsh Starting Warbands

I have two Welsh starting warbands as there were two separate boards in the first edition – one for Welsh and one for the Mounted Strathclyde Welsh.

Welsh

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For the Warlord I used the unarmoured spearmen (EMV02 – from the Viking code) fronted by 2 spearmen figures
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For the Hearthguards I used the unarmoured spearmen (EMV02 – from the Viking code) fronted by an individual model from the Late Roman lanciarii code (ALR04) to mark the units as being armed with Javelin .
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These warriors were made by using a front line of  models from the Late Roman lanciarii code (ALR04) to mark the units as being armed with Javelin, with a back line of the EMV02 Viking unarmoured Spearmen.
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A Javelin warrior unit bases on ALR04 – Lanciarii
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For the bonnedig (levy) I used Norman Archers (EMN05) – to get some balance versus all those Javelins.

Stratchclyde Welsh

Stratchclyde Welsh Warlord – Modelled with AG003 – Gothic Heavy Cavalry. For the miniature holding his hand up I have no clue.
Stratchclyde Welsh Hearthguard (Teulu) – AG003 Gothic Heavy Cavalry.
Stratchclyde Welsh Hearthguard (Teulu) – AG003 Gothic Heavy Cavalry.
Stratchclyde Welsh Warriors – AG004 Gothic Medium Cavalry.
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Stratchclyde Welsh Warriors – AG004 Gothic Medium Cavalry.

Scots Starting Warband

Scot Warlord – the mounted miniature a AG003 Gothic Heavy Cavalry, the man with the axe from the EMA05 – Saxon Leaders and command set, the first row of soldiers a mixture of figures from various sets, the backline from AG001-Gothic infantry
Scottish Hearthguard – AG001 – Gothic Infantry
Scottish Hearthguard – AG001 – Gothic Infantry
Scottish Warriors – AG001 – Gothic Infantry
Scottish Warriors – AG001 – Gothic Infantry

Viking Starting Warband

Viking Warlord – The mounted Vikings are from the EMV05 – Viking Luminaries and Loonies pack and the foot from the EMV01 – Armoured Spearmen pack.
Viking Hearthguard (Berserkers) – the hero models are from the EMV05 – Viking Luminaries and Loonies pack and the foot from the EMV01 – Armoured Spearmen pack.
Viking Hearthguard – the hero models are from the EMV05- Viking Luminaries and Loonies pack and the foot from the EMV01 – Armoured Spearmen Pack.
Viking Warriors – EMV01- Armoured Spearmen
Viking Warriors – EMV01- Armoured Spearmen

Norman / Breton Starting Warband

As for the Welsh this is now one Battleboards for what used to be two – the Normans and the Bretons.  The difference is that the mounted Hearthguards have Javelins.

Norman

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Charging cavalry (EMN01) was used for the Warlord (but with one of the fronting figures from the EMN06 – Norman Leaders pack).
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For the hearthguards (Knights) I used the Charging cavalry (EMN01)
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Another unit of Hearthguard (Knights) using the Charging cavalry (EMN01).
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The crossbow unit are Warriors so I decided to put 6 on each base (mainly as I only had one pack of 48 miniatures EMN07 – Norman Crossbowmen at the time and it divides nicely with 8, if you remember your times table).
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The archers are Levy and based on the EMN05 – Norman Archers

 

Breton

 

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For the Warlord I used EMN01 (Norman Armoured Cavalry) , however in doing it again I would have used the EMN03 (unarmoured cavalry) code for all mounted Breton units – to represent the more Javelin oriented Breton cavalry.
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For the Hearthguard unit I also used EMN01 (Norman Armoured Cavalry), with the same comment as for the Warlord above.
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Another Hearthguard Unit using EMN01.
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These are the Warriors using the EMN03 – Norman unarmoured cavalry code and represent the Javelin armed mounted Breton soldiers.
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These are the Warriors using the EMN03 – Norman unarmoured cavalry code and represent the Javelin armed mounted Breton soldiers.
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Javelin armed levy using ALR04 – Lanciarii.

Anglo-Danes Starting Warband

Anglo-Danish Warlord – Mixture of Leaders and personalities from the early medieval range as well as EMA01 – Huscarles with Spear.  Technically this should perhaps be a heavy weapon (e.g Dane Axe equipment and this is how we play and just remember it).
Anglo-Danish Hearthguard – EMA01 – Huscarles with Spear and leaders from
Anglo-Danish Hearthguard (Heavy Weapons) –  EMA02 – Huscarles with Axe
Anglo Danish Warriors – EMA01 – Huscarles with Spear (look at the unit in the front left, seems like someone did not listen to their orders)
Anglo Danish Warriors – EMA01 – Huscarles with Spear

Anglo-Saxon Starting Warband

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For the  warlord unit I used the Huscarls with Spear (EMA01) fronted by miniatures from the Saxon Leaders pack.
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For the hearthguard  I used the Huscarls with Spear (EMA01) again fronted by miniatures from the Saxon Leaders pack.
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For the warriors I used EMA03 – Fyrd Spearmen
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Another unit of warriors, again, using EMA03 – Fyrd Spearmen
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These are the Ango-Saxon shield and spear levy and I used a thin line of  Fyrd Spearmen (EMA03).

Carolignians / Franks Starting Warband

For the Warlord I used the Norman charging cavalry (EMN01).
For the hearthguards I used the Norman charging cavalry (EMN01).
Another hearthguard unit (EMN01).
A warrior unit using the Norman armoured infantry (EMN01).
As one warrior unit can be armed with Crossbow I did so with Norman Crossbowmen (EMN07).

Norse-Gael Starting Warband

 

 

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For these domesticated Vikings I used armoured Viking spearmen (EMV01) for the warlord unit (fronted with miniatures from the Viking and Norman leader packs – leftovers from EMV05 and EMN06).
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For this hearthguard unit (heavy weapons) I used the Viking axemen (EMV03)
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This Warrior unit is using the  armoured Viking spearmen (EMV01)
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This warrior (heavy weapons) unit is using Viking axemen (EMV03)
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The final warrior unit used the unarmoured Viking spearmen (EMV01) fronted by the good old Lanciarii (ALR04) as these are Javelin armoured warriors.

 

Jomsvikings Starting Warband

The warlord is using Armoured Spearmen (EMV01) fronted by mounted characters from (EMV05).  I used a uniform look for this legendary mercenary norse warrior warband which is probably not very likely – but I like the overall effect.
This is a Hearthguard, again using the Armoured Spearmen (EMV01) fronted by characters from (EMV05).
Another Hearthguard unit, same as above.
Warriors using the unarmoured spear (EMV02).
Again, Warriors using the unarmoured spear (EMV02).

The Last Romans (Byzantines)

Did not make this faction, but here are my ideas (I have the miniatures and just need to get them done).

Starting Army: Mounted Warlord (CIS01 – Seljuq Turk Heavy Cavalry), Mounted Hearthguard (CIS01 – Seljuq Turk Heavy Cavalry), Mounted Hearthguard with Bow (ASS02- Armoured Horse Archers), Warriors (EMV01 – Armoured Spearmen), Warriors with Bow (ALR05 – Archer).

Pagan Rus

Did not make this faction either, but here are my ideas (I have the miniatures and just need to get them done).

Starting army: Warlord (EMV01 -Armoured Spearmen), 2 No. Hearthguard (EMV01 -Armoured Spearmen), Warrior (EMV01 – Armoured Spearmen) and Levy with Javelins (ALR04 – Lanciarii)

Starting Army (Rus Princes based): Mounted Warlord (CFR04 – Turcopoles), 2 No. Mounted Hearthguard (CFR04 – Turcopoles), Warrior (EMV02 – Unarmoured Spearmen) and Warrior with Bow (ALR05 – Archer).

Playing the Game

Changes to the 2nd Edition Rules

You may want to skip this sections if you have no interest in what the changes are between the two versions, as this only makes some sense if you are familiar with the rules.

When reading the two rules again side by side (pun not intended) a few changes can be noted between the versions.  In addition to what I will cover here the battleboards have changed but I have not yet analysed them and probably will not.  I have played most of the old battle boards at least once but would felt it a step too far for the purpose of this. Doing this review/rough notes took me longer than I wanted it to take, I do not pretend I believe it is complete and may have missed or misunderstood something:

  1. The Warlord model (base in our case) can no longer use the side by side ability
  2. Resilience ability now allows 1 fatigue to be taken instead of 1 hit  up to its limit (see below – but to lower your suspense it is now 3 fatigue markers for all units).  
  3. Only a Hearthguard model/base (within (S)hort distance) can be used to sacrifice/taking damage on behalf of the Warlord. 
  4. We obey ability now allows free activation of any action – not just movement. 
  5. The Warlord now has 8 attack dice (previous he had 5) and only generate one Saga Dice (previously it generated 2 dice)
  6. Heroic units gets the warlord abilities as well.
  7. Levies now generate Saga Dice if the unit has 6 or more figures – previously they did not generate any at all.
  8. Warriors generate Saga Dice if the unit has 4 or more figures – this avoids the 1 man warrior unit being withdrawn to generate Saga dide.
  9. The Saga Dices left on the battleboard from a previous round does not affect how many you roll in your next turn (unless the total of dice on the board + allowed Saga dice from units is higher than 8. As 8 Saga Dice is still the maximum in play at any given time).
  10. In combat you can use 2 fatigue to cancel an enemy activation
  11. You can spend 1 fatigue to reduce the movement of an unit activating to S(hort)
  12. In shooting you can spend more than 1 fatigue to decrease the defending units armour, and in melee the same and also for increasing the attackers armour.
  13. All units are now exhausted when it has 3 fatigue markers allocated to it (3 is the maximum accumulation allowed), this gives -1 to all attack dice.
  14. All units in a group fight if they are engaged with another unit.
  15. Movement is done in straight line (including charges/attacks) 
  16. Models (bases in this case) in a unit to stay within S(hort) from the first unit being moved – this technically means that levies at 12 models cannot create a long line. For our purposes not a big problem, we tend to play the units as 2 deep by 6 frontage (levies), 2 by 4 warriors and 1 by 4 for hearthguards.  This to simulate some kind of depth in shield wall concept typical for the “Age”.
  17. Movement is free (cost no Saga dice) if you are at L(ong) range away from any enemy and movement ends up L(ong) range from any enemy.
  18. Shooting – combat pool maximum at Step 1 at 8 dice, final maximum at Step 3 16 dice.  There is no limit on the number of defence dice that can be applied (previously twice the number of hit was the maximum).
  19. Meele – a unit can only be engaged with one enemy units. There is no longer a step 0 (the reaction abilities are no longer being used). Maximum combat pool is now 16 at Stage 1 and double at Stage 3.  As for missile there is no limit for the number of defence die than can be applied.  Defending unit may choose to Close Ranks and gain the effect of solid cover but only gets half of its normal number of attack dice (The old rule of sacrificing attack dice to get defence dice is no longer used).  Note this rule is not available to mounted, bow/crossbow armed units and heavy weapons (e.g. dane axes).  So perhaps a better name for the ability would be to “Form Shieldwall!”.  Defenders in solid cover never withdraw if they outnumber the attacking unit, other units may end up less than VS if there are terrain restrictions.
  20. If all the figures are in cover, the cover counts – if not it does not count.
  21. Dangerous terrain introduced – works like uneven terrain but also causes 1 fatigue to the unit.
  22. Changes to the dimension of the sizes of terrain – I let you go a figure this one, I do not tend to care about these things – sorry!.  It is getting late.
  23. Equipment /Weapons – clarification of modifications and restriction, changes to rules for composite bows (free activation and no fatigue), crossbow (+1 to attack instead of -1 to Armour, and can only shot once per turn), javelin (+1 melee attack dice when charging, an example of this is the classic roman infantry attack I suppose), there is a new improvised weapon category.

Playing it over Easter

We decided to play a few games over the Easter Period and we only used starter warbands and I used my 2 by 2 terrain tile (famous from sessions of Pikemans Lament last year) as this one can easily be accommodated in a house full to the brim of family and friends. As we had mixed familiarity of the rules this was sufficient to get a few games played, starting within direct engagement distance.

We play the rules exactly as written, one a base is the same as a base in the 28mm version, no adjustments for ranges of missile weapons or movement.

Here are a few pictures from these games, the games flowed nicely and went really well.

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The Easter set-up – all games played with the same terrain constellation and with the same opponents – Vikings vs Normans.  For the normans we used 3 units of 4 Knights/Hearthguards and a unit of 8 Sergeant/Warriors and the Lord himself.  The Vikings had a unit of 4 No. Hearthguard Berserkers and a normal 4 base strong Hearthguard unit, supported by two units of 8 warriors (and the Warlord himself, mounted on a horse but moving like a foot unit).
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The new rulebooks and  battleboards – they have the same feel as the old Crusade boards (if you are familiar with these).
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Let us ride down those Norsemen!
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I like the effect of this picture!
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I know there is only 1 No. One rolled here but I needed to roll 5 or more to hit, with 8 base and 3 bonus dice for my warriors. I hit shit all with that roll!

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Very powerful if used at the right time.  I got my warlord sacked by this ability being used.
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The Norse Warlord fighting unit of 4 Sergeants (Warriors)
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A Viking attack on the Norman Warlord
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The Normans breaking through my shield wall
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The Guys on the bench. It must have been when I played the Normans! A row of Hearthguard taken out!

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Conclusion:  Saga is still fun and works really well in 6mm whether you have the old or the new set of rules.  In its base it is a simple I go you go – you roll to hit and then your opponent rolls to save kind of game.  But with the addition of being able to use your opponents fatigue to gain benefits and the battle boards it is a unique game and I, and the Little One, really like it.  

Note: I have played six games with the new version and lost five. 

/ I hope that was of some interest, below two bonus parts one about music and the other some old Saga battle shots!

Bonus 1: Old Battle Shots 6mm in Action

Bonus 2: Music for you musings

In the original postings we included some recommended music whilst painting your warbands – so here are a few oldies and a few new ones

Amon Amarth starting with their Twilight of the Thunder God (that incidentially would be a fantastic title for a set of wargame rules in the Age of Vikings) followed by At Dawn’s First Light and Pursuit of Vikings – it does not get much more Viking melodic death metal than this.  This is perhaps not everyone’s cup of, sorry I meant horn of mead!

If that was too heavy for you do not despair there are some equally good options (youtube is full of this kind of things – should get your warbands done in an afternoon or give you plenty of inspiration to crush your opponents on the wargames table).

 

 

Featured

Gaslands in 6MM – out of sight but not out of mind

GASLANDS IN 6MM

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Some time ago I was writing a few blog entries about doing Gaslands in 6mm and then it went quiet – we actually have played a fair few games and really enjoy it.

Anyway a little bit of summary of where we are at with this:

  1. Overview
  2. Games we have played on our Toxic Track
  3. Using Dropzone commander terrain
  4. Further ideas – Snowmobiles and Zombies

As I have said before I am not in a position to have a permanent set-up so prefer to do some of the games I play on smaller surfaces (say a maximum of 3 by 4 feet), so games like X-wing or Saga are great straight from the box.  Another way to achieve this is to convert a bigger scale game (e.g.28mm) from inches to centimeters (1″ becomes 1 cm) or by using half inches (1″ becomes 1/2″ or 1.27cm – not that difficult if you make special measuring sticks – a one time investment in time) – and using smaller scales for the miniatures. I did this for the Dan Mersey series of rules (e.g. here and here) and for Too Fat Lardies Sharp Practice (e.g. here) and it does work.  Yes it is a little bit more fiddly.

My original thoughts on doing Gaslands in 6mm – well actually more than thoughts – can be found summarised in a blog post I wrote earlier (Here).  After this I got myself some 50% movement templates that I bought from Bendyboards (link here, contact Lee and ask him for 50% if this is of interest) that produces the official Gaslands templates.  This in effect means that a 2 by 2 foot board equates to a 4 by 4 in full scale.

 If you want a good overview of the game, I think this review (link here) is a good summary and worth reading instead of me repeating something similar in content but less enjoyable and thorough.  I agree with the sentiment of this review.

TERRAIN FOR PLAYING THE GAME

Getting toxic

So far we have used the Toxic track I made some time ago to do our games, we played a fair few games just using a car each with front mounted machine gun, but we have now also done some games with 3 to 5 vehicles on each side.  I find that it produces different games – the single car race is about outmaneuvering and skill whilst the selection of vehicles tends to lead to a more skirmish fight situation – at least the way the Little One and I are playing.  Both version highly enjoyable.

Here is the terrain board again (2 by 2 feet) – we are ready to press the pedals very quickly with 2 minutes of so set-up time.

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It has some slimy pits that are best left alone.

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Here are a few shots from some of the games we have played.

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dropzone commander ruined city tiles

I actually came to the conclusion that the cars I ended up getting were probably closer to 10mm than 6mm scale – instead of 1/285 scale I found them being more like 1/200.  10mm normally is referred to as 1/160.   I then remembered the Dropzone commander rules and some cityscape terrain I had seen that looked decent – at least from what I was seeing.   I ordered a set of ruined city tiles and buildings for the Dropzone commander game.  It is a card board set in 10mm scale and I think this will work brilliantly as it may portray a section of a city where the level of radiation is too high for permanent inhabitation, or otherwise abandoned, and is now being used for Gaslands competitions.

You can find more information about it here.  It comes with 20 buildings and mats to cover 6 by 4 feet, so more than plenty for our needs. At £20 (reduced at the time I bought it 3rd April 2018, from £30) for the whole set (including delivery in the UK), hardly any significant outlay even if it is cardboard and we will probably end up knocking down the buildings whilst maneuvering our cars – but I will keep you posted on how this cardboard adventure will progress.

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Here is the full set as presented on the Webpage. Looks ok I would use some model trees for the park but otherwise good to go.  It is recommended that you mount the tiles on some sturdier board.

Here are some shots showing how the cars I am using compare in relation to the terrain.  I think it is a more than adequate fit and I think this terrain have some potential for a lot of different things.

 

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Really like this
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Spot on

 

In addition you can download more buildings for free on the webpage (here), but I think I will stick to these pre-printed ones as I am happy with the amount of terrain I already have in the basic set.  I suppose if you use these you could re-sixe them to fit to the scale you are using.

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Example of a printable free building for Dropzone Commander as the link above.

further gasland ideas

mutant 1984

I recently completed some Snowmobiles for my Mutant 1984 project, based on a matchbox model (“Snow Hopper”). I found these at a Poundshop for £1 each.

These are in “28mm” and I am planning on using Gaslands for a chase scene with some skiers, snowmobiles and some other snow vehicles, like the one in the picture below from Warlord Games – the Gaz 98 Aerosan (link here, picture from their webpage) and the skiers (link here, picture from their webpage). Still work in progress, so some time away from completion.  It is basically a “downhillish” race where a detachment of Pyri Commonwealth Scouts on skis are being spotted by some Borderguards of the Ulvriket Army on Patrol in the occupied Göinge during the cold Winter Year 109.

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6MM ZombieS

I also have some 6mm zombies that I need to paint to do the zombie scenario for my “6mm” cars, these are from Microworld Miniatures and I will be using Zombies and Ghouls (link to Microworlds Undead Range, here. Pictures from their Webpage).

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In summary we are having fun with these rules!, I hope you are too.

Next time is the 100th Roll a One blog entry.

/All the best, and by the way we had a guest font in this blog post it is called 28 days later and used in Gaslands – you can download it here.

 

 

Featured

Horka 1708 update – Russian Infantry Completed

In the last posting (here) I set out what this blog posting would be about:

Blogpost 98, w.c 02-Apr-18. Some completed stuff for Horka 1708, this will be pictures of the completed Russian Infantry – the 64 bases required.  I just need to complete the basing and add flags to the final ones in the next few days. 

For once I seem to have managed to live up to at least my own expectations. I spent the first day of the Easter Break finalising the basing and then added some flags the following day – boring at hell at times but I figured it would be worth the effort. Here are some pictures (there is a listing the completed unit at the end of this posting).  All models are from Baccus (link here).

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Aerial shot of the Russian Infantry element of the Horka 1708 army, 64 bases and each base represents a battalion. There are another 91 bases of cavalry to add as well as some artillery and leaders.  Note that I have tried to avoid the lines being too straight as I think this adds a better feel of “movement and maneuvering”.  The units without standards/flags are grenadiers. 

 

 

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A few dudes with flags from Baccus and Tiny Tin Troops

 

 

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The majority of the Infantry have Green Coats with Red Cuffs, but there are some more colours on offers.

 

 

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A lot of the Russian had Karpus/Kartuz it is a type of hat worn by Swedish and Russian Soliders – you can find more on headgear on a blogposting by Boris Megorsky here 

 

I am doing the final cavalry elements and hope to be able to inspect them on the parade ground shortly before I get onto to finalising the Swedes.

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Last cavalry unit drying following application of Windsor Newton Nutbrown Ink.

 

In other news I have ordered some stuff over the last few weeks for my Mutant 1984 project (1980s roleplaying in a world that most certainly was), I would like to give a little shout out for the miniatures from Space Vixens from Mars.  They regularly show up at shows and do their games and invite anyone along for a hilarious ride.   Here are a few of the models that I will be using for my Mutant 1984 project (taken from their webpage – link here).

I wanted to have a rock band with mutated Beetles but had to go with Plan B, the Mutated Beetles.  They are famous throughout the Pyri Commonwealth and I will try to find a Walrus head and do a headswap!

Here is their typical set list (length of the show tends to be dependent on the capacity of the steam powered electrical generator of the local venue).

Here comes the Burning Sun, For the Benefit of Mr. Rijn, Baby You Can Ride my Horse, Mutant on the Hill, Got to Get you into my brain, Happiness if a smoking blunderbuss, I am the Mutated Walrus, I want to hold your four hands, Mental Mystery Tour, Mean Mr. Ketchup, Roll Over Justin Beaver, September in the Acid Rain, Three cool mutated cats, Two of Me and finally (and I suppose you also grew tired of the list!) You’ve Got to Hide Your Mental Powers Away.

Anyway, hope that was of some interest.  We have also been playing some games over the Easter Break but those will be presented in some future blogs as per the plan presented last in the last blog.

 

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Saga in 6mm played over the Easter Weekend using the new Saga rules – good times were had!

 

If you are interested in following the blog you could like it on facebook (link here), become a follower on twitter (link here), or sign up here as a wordpress user or by leaving your e-mail.

/ See you

Russian Infantry units at Horka 1708

(now 100% completed)

Unit Type Ref Bases ToTSK Unit Models
Preobrazhenski Infantry R01 3 Large Unit 72
Semenovski Infantry R02 3 Large Unit 72
Ingermanlandski Infantry R03 3 Large Unit 72
Astrachanski Infantry R04 1 Small Unit 24
Moscowski Infantry R05 2 Normal Unit 48
Sibirski Infantry R06 2 Normal Unit 48
Pskovski Infantry R07 2 Normal Unit 48
Kazanski Infantry R08 2 Normal Unit 48
Vologodski Infantry R09 2 Normal Unit 48
Nizhegorodski Infantry R10 2 Normal Unit 48
Busch’s Grenadier Regiment Infantry R11 2 Normal Unit 48
Repnins Grenadier Regiment Infantry R12 2 Normal Unit 48
Kievski Infantry R13 3 Large Unit 72
Narvski Infantry R14 3 Large Unit 72
Schlüsselburgski Infantry R15 2 Normal Unit 48
Novgorodski Infantry R16 2 Normal Unit 48
Butyrski Infantry R17 2 Normal Unit 48
Rostovski Infantry R18 2 Normal Unit 48
du Bois’ Grenadier Regiment Infantry R19 2 Normal Unit 48
Rentzel’s Regiment Infantry R20 2 Normal Unit 48
Lefort’s Regiment Infantry R21 2 Normal Unit 48
Kargopolski Infantry R22 2 Normal Unit 48
Koporski Infantry R23 2 Normal Unit 48
Tobolski Infantry R24 2 Normal Unit 48
Belgorodski Infantry R25 2 Normal Unit 48
Luzhski Infantry R26 2 Normal Unit 48
Olonetzski Infantry R27 2 Normal Unit 48
Ryazanski Infantry R28 2 Normal Unit 48
Vjatski Infantry R29 2 Normal Unit 48
Chernigovski Infantry R30 2 Normal Unit 48

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Featured

Painted Cabin and Snowmobiles – Mutant 1984

As stated last time I am bulk finishing stuff for Horka so not much to show with regards to progress overall.  I realised I am approaching the 100th blog posting and I thought I would make a little bit of a special going back to Saga and do something with regards to the new rules.

 

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Basing in progress, followed by drybrushing, final detailing, flags and static grass. Getting there!

 

This is the plan, for the next 4 postings.

Blogpost 98, w.c 02-Apr-18. Some completed stuff for Horka 1708, this will be pictures of the completed Russian Infantry – the 64 bases required.  I just need to complete the basing and add flags to the final ones in the next few days. 

Blogpost 99, w.c. 09-Apr-18. – Gaslands in Microscale/6mm, this will have some shots from some games we have played and my impression of doing it with 50% measures.

Blogpost 100, w.c. 16-Apr-18. – Special about Saga 2 in 6mm, this will be some reflections, changes to rules and pictures from Gameplay with the new rules over the Easter Period.

Blogpost 101, w.c. 23-Apr-18. –  My take on Salute on the 14th.  Looking forward to see Michael Leck’s Stäket 1719 and Too Fat Lardies Demo game of What a Tanker!, to mention a few things. I also have a few things to pick up (some more Mutant 1984 stuff).

A little bit of progress on the Mutant 1984 stuff

I did put some paint on the Cabin I built and added some snow, I still have to do the doors and windows and a final fix of the snow cover but I think this will give an idea on how it will look in the end.  There is a note on how I built the cabin from the Blog post two weeks ago (link here).  (More on this overall project here)

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I also finished some Snowmobiles I will use for the Mutant 1984 project for a little scenario involving a motorised chase scene.  These were bases on some matchbox models I found whilst looking for some stuff for Gaslands – they are a different scale than the normal Matchbox stuff and work reasonably well with 28mm.  I used some Warlord Plastic Americans that I cut up a little bit (e.g. legs and hands) that allowed me to create something resembling drivers for these cool vehicles.

 

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Got two of these.  They are called the “Snow Hopper”. I liked the look of them and they had some detail that could be utilised in a repaint.
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Add some Plastic Americans (later I added some filler here and there) and we were good to go.  Later I skipped the wind screen as this was in blue plastic and I liked the look without. I guess I should have got heads with googles but I did not have any. And if you ask about the thin clothing I will pretend you did not.
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“I just light my Cigar then we get going mate!”
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Simple, but I like the way they turned out and a good deal at £1 each. Yes they have to stretch a little bit to be able to Steer but I think the fit is close enough.  Yes I can also see the blue foam, but it will be dealt with!

 

Hope that was of some interest.

/ Take care

 

 

Featured

GNW Horka 1708 update, Tiny Tin Troops, 2nd Edition Saga and Helion Books

 

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Dark Ages Warriors (6mm Baccus)

I am currently spending a lot of hobby time finalising bases for the Horka 1708 project that will be presented at the 6mm show Joy of Six in July this year (a link to the webpage here).  This will be  my 6th year of putting a game on (2012 GNW Fraustadt 1706, 2013 GNW Klissow 1702, 2014 GNW Kalisz 1706, 2015 GNW Gadebusch 1712, 2016 Saga in 6mm, 2017 GNW Lesnaya 1708 and Dragon Rampant in 6mm).  It is my favourite show of the year because it showcases what can be done in this scale and what is available as a lot of the 6mm miniature and terrain/building traders are in attendance. I suggest you check it out and get yourself to Sheffield this Summer (15th July).

I tend to move big chunks of works forward at the same time rather than completing say 4 bases and moving on to the next 4 set of bases.  I used to do it in incremental steps, and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to complete a big project/campaign by winning small victories on the way.  I still get a kick of a completed base and how that seemingly randomless drybrushing on top of the brown base, in combination with the static grass creates that little illusion that puts the models in some kind of bigger context!

However, my current small victories are all the other diversions (Gaslands, Winter War, Mutant 1984, etc.) whilst I slog away with the big one.  At times these diversions takes me away from the main mission for weeks.  But I have to admit that it does not take much to get me back to the Great Northern war period.  This final futile grasp of Sweden as a Great Power and the great battles, tragedies and personalities it contains.  I know how it all ends, but it still blows me away and there is so much more to find out.

On that note (and I have mentioned a few before) check out Helion Company’s Century of the Soldier series that have a lot of upcoming books for the Great Northern War in particular but so much more. Link to Helion here.  Give them a visit and get yourself some cool books.  I am really pleased to see Great Northern war books in English and anyone who is doing them will certainly sell me a copy – but also gets a shout out.

Here are a few of the titles I am looking forward to (various release dates):

I am currently (re-)reading another one from the Century of the Soldier series about the Pruth campaign that was released a at the end of January this year (incidentally, as Nick wrote it I had read the initial draft, but had not seen the bespoke drawings of troop types of the two sides and re-enactment pictures of Russian soldiers – and I really enjoyed it).  I discussed this book here that formed the basis for a little skirmish side project using Pikeman’s Lament (see more here, here  and here).  However this campaign lends itself to bigger battles.  Think about the mixture of differing troop types with the colourful Ottoman army of the period on one side againt the more westernized Russian army with Kalmucks, Tartars and Cossack support on the other – what a spectacle.  [editor notes: At this note he drifts away into that la la land again, planning battles and setting up painting progress spreadsheets again].

In 1711 Peter the Great, the Tsar of Russia, led a large army of veterans from Poltava and his other Great Northern War victories into the Balkans. He aimed to humble the Ottomans in the same way he had the Swedes a few years before. Victory would secure useful allies in the Balkans, cement Russia’s ‘Great Power’ status and offer Peter the opportunity to finally gain control over the Swedish king, Charles XII, thus completing his victory over Sweden. Yet within a few months, the ‘backward’ Ottomans had forced the Tsar and his Tsarina and their army of veterans into a humbling surrender near the Pruth River. The war was the first time that Russia was strong enough to confront the Ottomans independently rather than as a member of an alliance. It marked an important stage in Russia’s development. However, it also showed the significant military strength of the Ottoman Empire and the limitations of Peter the Great’s achievements. The war was of significance to the allies of both the Russians and the Ottomans. It was of course of an even greater importance to all those directly affected by the war such as the Swedish, the Polish, and the Cossacks, who had taken refuge from the reverses of the Great Northern War in the Ottoman territory. It would also bring about the defeat of the Moldavian and Walachian ambitions to shake off the Ottoman overlordship, elevating Dimitrie Cantemir into the position of a national hero celebrated to this day by the people of Romania. The book looks at the causes of this little known war and its course. Using contemporary and modern sources it examines in detail the forces involved in the conflict, seeking to determine their size, actual composition, and tactics, offering the first realistic determination on the subject in English. 

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Taken from the Helion website (link here).

So how am I getting on with the Horka project, then?. I actually did not know until recently as my notes were a little bit here, there and everywhere.  So I opened up a spreadsheet and did an inventory and counted the models I had to date.  Here is a summary of where the painting is at expressed as percentage complete (then there is basing etc, but since that is relatively quick I am only interested at this stage on whether I have enough painted lead or not!):

  • Swedish Infantry (672 foot) – 57% (16 of 28 bases done)
  • Swedish Cavalry (648 riders)  – 96% (69 of 72 bases done)
  • Russian Infantry (1536 foot) – 94% (60 of 64 bases done)
  • Russian Cavalry (819 riders) – 93% (85 of 91 bases done)

Overall – 90% complete (230 bases of 255 are now in painted condition) – over 3,500 miniature .  When I counted it all up I have to admit that I was pleasantly surprised that I had so little left to do.  It is the largest amount of bases I have ever put on a table to date. The picture below show the two armies spread on a 12 foot (3.6m) table (the middle white and blue ruler shows 1 feet increments). Both have a 8 foot frontage (2.4m) and the Russian one is mostly 4 bases deep.  I think it will be worth the Joy of Six ticket just to see that – but then I am somewhat biased with regards to tricorne hats (and Karpuses).

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Then there is artillery and leaders but I have not yet checked whether I need to do any more than what I already have available from previous projects.  I am going to have a little chat with Nick Dorrell on the likely composition of the artillery at this stage of the campaign – I will have a view and he will correct it.

Here is a photo of the work in progress – or work in a mess more like it!

 

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All required bases at various level of completion – 90% painted, 100% Baccus

I would like to do a shout out for Tiny Tin Troops that amongst many things do flags (web page here) – I found their Russian GNW flags especially useful for my project.  With so much infantry a lot of flags are required and although you could do them yourself it can be time consuming of to recolour images, etc.

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They compliment the Baccus sheets I have used up nicely (link here) – order the 8mm version (this is not the scale but the height of the flag) – link here. Nice and pleasant to deal with.

Their range of flags covers Crusades, Flodden, ECW, Ireland 1690, GNW, WSS, 7YW, Napoleonic, Armada Naval and they also have some WW2 Posters (for 6-28mm figs).

There is a painting gallery there that you may find fascinating if you are into the period, especially these.  This is from the time TTT had a painting service – inspiration stuff!

  • 6mm GNW here
  • 6mm Camps and baggage here (my favourite!, and very inspirational)
  • 6mm WSS here
  • overview page here

As for the Terrain I will not start the terrain mat (5 by 12 feet) until the weather gets more stable as I ideally need a good few sunny days – lacking in space and inspiration to do it on a gloomy day.  This is normally the last thing I do anyway so I do not expect this to be done until end of May or June.

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The rough sketch of the battle

I will need to start worrying about the real estate that I will need for Horka itself and the Villages around it.  The Better one got me a nice bunch of Eastern European buildings (mostly churches) following my thoughts on the Monastery at Poltava (more here) that I need to paint up as well.  I have some buildings already so I do not see this as a major effort.

Overall it is all in hand.

I also got the latest Saga Rules and the Viking supplement and they are nice products indeed.  I am coming up towards the 100th blogpost (having done an average of 1 post a week since I started) and I would like that particular one to be about Saga v2 in 6mm as a homage to the very first blog post Saga in 6mm (link here).  Planning to run a few games with the models I already have (I made 12 starter factions so I do not think I need to paint any more at the moment).

Some of the changes I noted so  far are:

  • Warlords have changed significantly with regards to the special abilities.
  • Levy units generate Saga dice (if they are 6 or more models on the table).
  • Warrior units reduced to less than 4 models do not give you Saga dice. This avoids the potential of a 1 man warrior unit being held back to spawn saga dice.
  • If you are far away from an enemy you can move a unit for free as a first activation.
  • Some simplification of fatigue, combat and movement rules

I got the basic rule book for £8.50 (this contains the basic rules) and the Viking supplement (this has the Viking factions and the battleboards) for £25.50, which I believe is very competitive, from Dark Sphere (link here) with free postage.

I have all the old Saga books and I am aware this version will probably not blow me away in the same way as the first set, but it is on the basis of that very first set I bought the second edition.  Saga is a fantastic game and I, and especially the Little One, want to be part of the ongoing process of making it even better.

So we are, for sure, dusting of the cobweb of the warbands (that was used for the Original Saga rules and have been stand in for some games of Too Fat Lardies Dux Britanniarum games).  The Little One is smiling – the Big One too.

Here are a few shots of the Saga stuff (all based on 25mm square bases) as we felt obliged to stare at it for a few minutes.

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/Take care

 

 

 

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More Mutant 1984, other RPGs and all is the Dice’s Fault

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Following on from previous discussions with regards to replaying some of the Scenarios for the Mutant roleplaying game I have been doing some further thinking and practical work.  Link here for a better background (with more stuff here, here and here).

The Mutant game this relates to is the Swedish game from 1984. This is my stain and rustless first love and the game is the forefather of the current fantastic Mutant – Year One game, by Swedish company Free League published by the British company Modiphius, link here. [The Mutant 1984 version was set in year 108!] The team also publish the eminent Tales of the Loop – Roleplaying in the 1980s that never was that is one of the most beautifully looking gaming books I have ever seen. The artwork by Simon Stålenhag is amazing (if you do not know what I am talking about, check out his homepage here!).  You should check out both these excellent games!

Tales of the loop – Roleplaying in the 1980s that never was

The landscape was full of machines and scrap metal connected to the facility in one way or another. Always present on the horizon were the colossal cooling towers, with their green obstruction lights. If you put your ear to the ground, you could hear the heartbeat of the Loop – the purring of the Gravitron, the central piece of engineering magic that was the focus of the Loop’s experiments. The facility was the largest of its kind in the world, and it was said that its forces could bend space-time itself.

Scifi artist Simon Stålenhag’s paintings of Swedish 1980s suburbia, populated by fantastic machines and strange beasts, have won global acclaim. Now, you can step into the amazing world of the Loop.

In this roleplaying game in the vein of E.T. and Stranger Things, you’ll play teenagers solving mysteries connected to the Loop. The game rules are based on Mutant: Year Zero, which was awarded with a Silver ENnie for Best Rules at Gencon 2015.

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From the Modiphius webpage, here.

Mutant: Year Zero

…goes back to the origins of the Mutant franchise: role-playing after the Apocalypse. In this game, you play as one of The People – heavily mutated humans living in The Ark, a small and isolated settlement in a sea of chaos. The outside world is unknown to you, and so is your origin.

Mutant: Year Zero has two major game environments, each with its own style of play:

The Ark, your home in the dawnworld. A nest of intrigue and Lord of the Flies-style power struggles, it’s far from a safe haven. But it’s the only home you know, and just maybe the cradle of a new civilization. The game rules let you improve and develop the Ark in the areas of Warfare, Food Supply, Technology, and Culture. It is up to you, the players, to decide which projects to embark on.

The Zone, wastelands outside the Ark. You will venture into the Zone in search of food, artifacts, other mutants, and knowledge – not least about The People’s own origin. The game includes two maps of example Zones; London and New York and a plethora of tables and other tools to let the GM populate its sectors with mutants, deadly monsters and bizarre phenomena.

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From the Modiphius webpage, here.

Thinking about rules

Having debated on how I will play the scenarios, I have decided that I will use the Original 1984 rules with some inspiration from the Mutant 2 expansion (produced 1986) and also some inspiration from early Runequest as I really loved the grouping of skill categories and individual bonuses based on characteristics.

Mutant 2 had an interesting combat system with segments and a high dexterity character acted more often than a low dexterity character.  This Mutant 1984 2.0 project wants to be a simple as possible and therefore fatties (like myself) can act as often as anyone else – however we may be less efficient when we do so.

I have devised a character sheet that should be not too unfamiliar for anyone who have played Runequest or Call of Cthulhu – the characteristics range in general between 3 and 18 and all skills are percentages.  This is still work in progress and I will finalised these shortly (and the Mutant Logo is scanned from the original 1984 cover – I have not rights to this one whatsoever. However I hope this tongue-in-cheek project gets the right owners blessing as opposed to its cursing).

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First page – including personal information like name, class (this ranges from non-mutated humans to mentally mutated animals), birth environment (e.g. big town or wilderness), social status (from underclass to the more unlikely high nobility), occupation, etc.  It also states summary traits (the idea here are four traits that summarises the person, e.g. energetic, reckless, generous, rude, this was not part of the original rules), Characteristics and Bonuses, mutations and equipment and space for a portrait of the character.

 

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Second page – this is dominated by the skills, weapon information and other notes.  This in a nutshell is an early Runequest homage – 100%.  The skills are a mixture of the original ones, additional ones from Mutant 2 as well as some Runequest inspiration with skill categories with bonuses.

For the purpose of playing the set events more like “skirmish wargame scenarios” I will need to devise some simple rules – so far 7TV (from Crooked Dice, link here) looks promising and it also has a nice campaign feel for connected scenarios, or should that be shows.

Building the cabin – Part 1

From the earlier posting you may recall the cabin I need for one of the events in the first scenario (see here).

I suppose this would require the Cabin itself – and the set-up will be so that it allows action inside and outside.

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Floor plan and picture taken from Nekropolis – Den Grå Döden by Äventyrspel 1985. 

 

Based on the floor plan I sketched the cabin on a piece of paper and used some figures to make sure the would work in the setting – no point spending time on a building that does not work for the purpose of playing in it.

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With the original dimensions.  Note that the large bear (the Officer) looks like he is in a tight spot.

I made some modifications to the layout and the final layout became a square cabin with two of the small rooms being combined to a large one and a new one created.  I decided to build the cabin on a piece of Polystyrene (Blue Foam) I had laying around.  This piece was a 20mm thick piece and I will utilise this for the detailing I will do later.

Next I drew the floorplan on top of the blue foam and used some balsa wood dowels (5mm diameter) and set out the shape in one direction (glued them down, make sure they overshoot with about 1 cm at this time) and then cladded each room (glued down) with some cut out pieces of coffee stirrers (you know the ones they have in coffee shops). I varied the direction of the planks for each room.

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The base is set – note the cuts.  I also left a little hole for where the fireplace will go but more about that later.

 

knifeThe idea is that we need to make cuts where the timbers crosses to allow the characteristic look of a log cabin.  You need to make some cuts and then slightly file it down (I just used the rough part of the Exacto knife I have – as balsa wood is really soft).

Basically cut down a v shape and then rub the rough part until you have a round groove half the depth of the dowel diameter.

If you are using hard wood dowels you have my sympathies and this would take even longer than the pain I had in using the balsa wood.

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Just continue doing a layer in each direction – cut, glue and then I used dressmakers here and there to make the construction sturdier. Be careful and go slow – balsa is a very soft material indeed.  The models are Soldiers of the Pyri Commonwealth, any similarities to Napoleonic British Riflemen are just incidental.

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and more layers…  then cut out some windows (at this stage I have no idea how I will finish them).

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Then after a few sessions

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I cut out something resembling a fire place and made a roof from a 6mm thick piece of floor insulation board (polystyrene foam).  I then made a roof from the same material and cladded the sides (the roof will be mainly full of snow so most of the insulation foam will be covered with this.

Then I added a porch on the front, some chimneys (6mm foam using a pen to make a stone build effect), a few planks to make the illusion that the whole roof is made of wood (i.e. where the snow will not go), did a first layer of builders caulk on the roof.

 

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Wait a moment are those columns actually chopsticks? 

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Very happy so far with the Cabin (working title “Overkill”) I will probably detail the surroundings and paint it before I:

  • Add some LEDs to create a flickering fire effect in the fireplace (like I did in a recent trial, shown here)
  • Do the windows and doors
  • Add some further detailing like furniture but without making it to busy.
  • Do flagpole with the flag of Ulvriket – a white wolfhead on a black background.

But that is next time,

/ Hope that was of some interest, if not I blame Dirk of the Grognard Files for ongoing, constant and brilliant inspiration on gaming in a 1980s that damn surely was!  Check the Files out by clicking here and enjoy!