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A Review of 2020 and another great game of Mutant 1984

Gosh, how do you review 2020? It was a bloody miserable year from many aspects and I think better analysts will summarise the world events like COVID-19, Brexit, American Elections and whether historical wargaming is dying. This review is more personal…

Well given all the time I have had working from home rather than getting into an office my blog activity has been really poor – this is only the 24th blogpost this year, that is about half the number of blog posts I normally do. However I do a lot of mini-blogging on Twitter and sometimes wish that I could link the two in some way. The blog posts feel more permanent and perhaps more like an achievement and gives time for a little bit more thought and wider information compare to doing tweets – I do not know.

Anyway thanks to everyone who follows this blog, the facebook group (not sure what to do with it) and/or my twitter account. All your encouragement has been really helpful this year, keep it up!

In terms of the hobby it has been a fantastic year and a few highlights for me have been playing in Jeremy Short’s Runequest campaign with some great people, attended the virtual Grogmeet that was an absolute blast and again catching up with new and old friends, hosted my own RPG on Roll20 for the Gang running a 28 year old scenario I wrote for the first Dalcon in 1992 (The Dweller in Darkness). Mike Hobbs set up a virtual paint club that I have really enjoyed and again met new and old friends for some casual chat. Thanks to all of you!

The Little One and the Others

The Little One is always up for a Game and playing with him is not something new I have discovered during lock-down but we had a blast playing a lot of games including Chain of Command, What a Tanker, Twilight of The Sun King, Men who Would be Kings, Dragon Rampant and many others. We have even got the rest of the family involved in some RPG and board game fun which I have to say is an achievement, Cheers mate!

What a Tanker in Dalarna 1943 with the Little One

Painting for Charity

I also had this idea that now seems like a no brainer about paining an army together as a community projects and try to make some money for charity. Well what a total blast that was and in 2021 we will take it further. This project actually makes me really proud and I take my Tricorne, of is it floppy hat off to all the painters who participated.

Here are some links about the project, including painting guides, etc.

Overview

Painting Guide – Horse

Painting Guide – Artillery

Painting Guide – Dragoon

Painting Guide – Infantry

Various updates here, here and here.

Overview the armies

Below a few pictures when we fought a Battle using these two amazing armies, with the help of the Twilight of the Sun King rules.

The high level plan for the project moving forward is

  • Doing a booklet with the armies
  • I would like the Army to fight a Battle at a Proper wargames show
  • Raising monies to Combat stress by doing a Raffle to win the army

More about this in 2021, again thanks to all who participated and encouraged.

Gods Own Scale Podcast

Sean Clarke re-launched the Gods Own Scale following some, I hope positive pressure, from Peter Berry and I. Sean has a relaxed style and brings out the best in the interviews he carries out, his passion shines through and the his list of guest have been varied and some new voices not previously heard, I especially enjoyed the episodes on Irregular Miniatures and Heroics and Ros.

I was invited together with Daniel Hodgson, Alex Sotheran to the Christmas special. It was a long show and I hope it came across like a few hobbyists having a good talk in the pub, because that is how it felt.

https://godsownscale6mm.podbean.com/e/episode-25-the-christmas-show/

Well done Sean!

#Grogmerp

After a long and relentless campaign of trying to get Dirk at Grognard Towers to do an episode on MERP he did TWO episodes and he even brought Legend Liz Danforth to the party – what an absolute delight. Dirk also asked me to do a “First, Last and Everything”, you can listen to it in the link below.

Image

Dalarna 1943

The project got some attention from the Dala Radio and it was fun to talk about the project and I wrote about that here. I have also made some suppression markers and jump off points here as well as some river assault boats, here. This is a great project and I will try to start playtesting some scenarios for a Swedish Half-Pint sized campaign in 2021. You can find the latest Swedish Platoon lists here.

Other Stuff

I also did some strange base forces for Infamy! Infamy!, more here. This is expanding the Mutant 1984 world in an early era.

I did some cool 2mm bases and that I will use to try out Mark Backhouse’s upcoming rule set “Strength and Honour”. More here. This will be my early 2021 focus.

So for 2021 it will be more of the same, I wish you from the bottom of my heart a fantastic 2021!

A bonus

But before I go, we had a fantastic game last night and I am too tired for a write-up and there are other things to do, so a few pictures from the Twitter Feed – Another Mutant 1984 diversion using a variant of “The Men who would be Kings” rules, with some freaky events.

Some 2mm bases for playtesting Homunculus Est (now Strength and Honour)

Continuing from the last post where I discussed my first test base of 2mm using miniatures from Irregular Miniatures (see more about this here here).

The first test base

Although I was reasonably happy I learned a few lessons and had a re-think of what I wanted to do, in summary this was.

  • 100mm by 50mm bases
  • Early Imperial Roman formations for the legions
  • Use Matt brown as a base cost and make the bases a little bit greener

Anyway had another batch from Irregular and got into it.

I basically ordered 3 Roman army packs some Partians and Germans, now I am not sure what I used for what but know that for the Legion bases I used early imperial bases, I use 30 per base, which is ten packs and about £3.3 per base if someone is counting. I have ordered enough make some more legion bases and warbands and have done this by ordering individual codes (however with my impressionistic and quick approach it does not really matter that much).
Some of bases have flash on the bottom, you do not want to keep this and need to get rid of it. Wash your hands after you have done it and get rid of the excess carefully, I always use a paper I can fold up and throw.
The legions in triple acies
Six warbands on the top, then a base of light cavalry, two bases of heavy cavalry, two bases of skirmishers and a base on light cavalry.
Sprayed them matt brown
Drubrush with my normal three colour set, light brown, light terracota and a pale yellowish (Straw).
Paint the blocks black
Then I started putting on the details for the warbands and skirmishers, this stage representing shields, I used about 5 different colours in the end, then later painted some brown and bronze on top of the heads to represent a mixture of headgear, I also painted some colours on the back. The whole idea is to get something that looks like something reasonable from a distance like the picture below. It is not really painting more making dots that give an impression for the barbarian type of bases I use a wide variety of colour and for the Roman bases I will go more uniform in terms of colour (as well as formation as you can see on the basing approach).
I then based it with a mixture of some old Javis flock I had, I think it is dark, medium and light green mixture at equal ratio and some additional detail. At about 20-30 minutes per base of painting this is a perfectly achievable project to do in a weekend. This is really the way to look at then as the detail is not really there at least not in the way I have painted them .
Here the warbands on the table and a big shout to Geek Villian who did the brilliant mat (link here) – I got the green grass version (6X4) and I love it. You may be aware that I have made a numerous amount of mats but the flexibility in this kind of light fleece type of mat is fantastic and I really like the colour tone if this one. Go and have a look.
The cavalry from behind
The skirmishers
Here tbey all are on the new wargames mat. Good enough and nice to know that you can do an army in a few sessions.
Next time I will finish the Legions (and make another 3) and the light cavalry bases, do some more war bands and some wagon bases needed to play some of the scenarios, before I crack on with some terrain pieces.

/ Hope that was of some interest

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Going 2mm tall and working on my Infamy! Infamy! Mutant 1984 Laug Warband

Another weekend coming to an end, but some hobby time was found.

Homunculus Est

Mark Backhaus, who you may know as the General of the Denswe Army of the Charity Project I am running (or perhaps as the chap who turns out all those interesting articles in Wargames Soldiers and Strategy) asked if I wanted to do some playtesting of upcoming ancient rules Homunculus Est using my collection of Punic war 6mm stuff. Of course I was! I will play test it with the Little One.

The rule set aims to be a fast resolution Ancient battle wargame, playing very big battles on smallish tables. It is specially designed to be played in smaller scales creating a spectacle of big formations battling each other. Mark has done some amazing bases showing massed formations in 2mm and although I do have miniatures to try out the rules in 6mm I thought I could have a go at making a few big 2mm bases.

I ordered a starter pack of 2mm Romans from Irregular Miniatures (link here) to have a see how it would be to work with the scale. I had a done a try as few years ago and I did not like it, it felt like there were just small blobs shaped in some kind of manner to look like something but too small to get into some detail, compared to the 6mm and above I was used to.

However I have been blown away of some of the works done by some of my friends recently like Mike Hobbs, Vlad Seabrook-Smith, Sidney Roundwood and Mark himself.

The trick is just the same as I found in my large 6mm battles where I try to create a spectacle reminiscent of the old battle paintings that fascinated me as a youngster (here are few examples). It is really about focusing on being artistic to reach something looking realistic. A massed line of 28mm miniatures will look realistic but you need a bloody big line to really give the realistic look of a “big” battle.

Anyway some pictures and some narrative how my little test base went.

These are the basic Legionnaire bases that arrived – the Hoplites in the back are actually 6mm from Rapier Miniatures. They are very small remember.
I set about arranging the bases on a 120mm by 60mm base roughly representing a late Roman Legion, with some cavalry protecting the flanks, two rows of Cohorts (10 in totals), a line of skirmisher and at the back some reinforcements/reserves. I covered the base in PVA before putting the bases down then I covered it some some birdcage sand and let it dry.
I primed it with grey undercoat because I had run out of black and then drybrushed the ground with Green Ochre, a light Terracota and some Green. Then I used some diluted black paint and painted the miniatures.
I then painted a little bit of red where we assume the shield would be and some silver where the helmets would, alittle bit of white, flesh and gold (brass) here and there. Focusing on looking it from a distance, leaving the black and not overdoing the colours, if you zoom in it does not look realistic but take a step back and it does (well kind of).
From the side, I added some green turf scatter on top.
Here taking the step back! Not too bad.

On the whole I am really happy with this and will get some more to do the bases for playtesting Mark’s rules using 2mm big bases, my notes are:

  • I will be using 100mm by 50mm bases (slightly smaller than the one used for this project)
  • I will use an early Imperial Roman formation for Legions
  • I will use another base coat and will spray the base with Matt Brown before I start painting it and make the bases look a little bit greener, more like my normal 6mm bases.
  • I will also need to make some warbands etc.
  • It will be fun and they paint up very quickly, possibly a little bit longer doing warbands assuming differing shields and clothes, etc.

Infamy! Infamy! Mutant 1984

I wrote last time about my take on Infamy! Infamy! setting it in my childhood haven of Mutant 1984 (more here). I did do my first unit of some cavalry in my Laug Warband, loosely based on the Gauls in the rules.

These are the Red Riding Wolf Riders and were made using a combination of Oathmark Wolf riders, some ancients plastic sets and some WW2 plastic sprues and some animal heads from Sally 4th.

The Laugs attack through the Dead Forest and the Pyri Commonwealth Monster hunters get ready to push them back. Some of them even carry Shields of their fallen comrades.
As usually done with the Laptop in the background with some random pictures from the net – this one found under the search “wasteland”.
I still think that Hunter Chief Bosse Byracka (the Dog) is really cool.
So a little bit of a mixture of scales this weekend

/ Hope that was of some interest! Have a good week.