Ship painting epic fail

I tried painting one of my Napoleonic ships today and to accurately describe what it looks like will no doubt offend a lot of readers.

 It was so bad that I would proudly game with unpainted figures rather than show a single person what the mess I made of the ship looks like.

 I didn't quite have the right hull colour that is recommended for painting these ships, so I might be tempted to give it another go if I can find said suggested paint, but until then these figures will remain unpainted.

 If I thought I could ship the figures safely to a figure painter I would do so, but the 1:2400 scale is a bit fragile for popping in the post.

 I will still play games of Trafalgar with the minis, but it might be a long time before they are painted :-(

Trafalgar



 Avast ye land lubbers!  If all goes well I will be playing my first game of "Trafalgar" tonight.  I also have the "Kiss Me Hardy" rules, but thought I would try the Warhammer Historical rules first.

I have enough ships for 11 per side, but as my mate and I will be learning the rules we will start off with one ship each as we go through the rules and then add more ships once we know enough to play an actual game.

Having not played the game (which I bought as a pre-order when it was due for release) I have read a bit about what other's think of the game on a few forums, but I will play the game as is initially and see what I think of the rules as is.

  I have read a few complains that the rules are a typical warhammer deal, I go you go, min max and so on, but having played a number of "Victory at Sea" games I can't see much difference in the play sequence.

 I will post my thoughts on the game and how the game played tomorrow, assuming I will be playing.

Edit: no game tonight - as usually happens when I do a lot of prep work the game night gets cancelled, so hopefully I will get to play next week.  I might even attempt to paint one (or more) of the tiny ships before then.

Witchfinder General

I have always wanted to play a witchfinder game - I have a couple of figures stashed away somewhere in case I ever managed to get this project up and running.

 I learnt today that a set of rules for playing witchfinder games is being released on 31 Oct this year:

Witchfinder General

I was looking for a book to read on the Book Depository site and found you can pre-order it for 25% cheaper than the price shown on the Dashing Dice site, and they have free P&P as well.

Anyone else interested can place their order here: book depository

Conan!

Well, I guess Matakishi's Crom rules tempted me more than I thought, as two figures arrived in the mail today after I searched the internet for suitable figures to represent Conan and Red Sonja.

 Apparently both figures are no longer sold in shops - you have to buy them direct from Reaper Miniatures as they are OOP.

 I was lucky enough to find an ebay store that was selling both of these figures so I jumped on the chance to get them.


The sword on my Conan figure is bent in the package, and both figures have a bit of flash to clean up, but these things are not really a problem.

Hopefully the next time I show these figures they will be painted (fingers crossed).

Now I need to rustle up some opponents for Conan. I am still trying to decide which country within Hyboria. Hard to make my mind up, but I am having fun reading my old Conan books to help me decide.

Pirates arrrrgh!

In my pile of lead are a number of pirate figures. Some are the original wargames foundry miniatures and the majority are Eureka Miniatures when they initially came out. I painted a couple of figures, but the majority are unpainted (as usual).

I am seriously thinking of starting up with pirates again, as I think Matakishi's  "Crom" rules will be perfect for pirate games.

I have enough figures to get a game going provided I play pirate crew vs pirate zombies and or skeletons.

 What I want to do is have enough variety to play any kind of game:

Pirates
          vs Soldiers/Sailors (French/English/Spanish) using War of Spanish Succession figures

          vs undead (Zombies and Skeletons)

          vs other pirates

         vs Natives (cannibals or many other types)

         vs Sea Monsters

Q:  What else have I not thought about for opponents for my pirates?


Figures:

Pirates: Eureka Miniatures, Foundry, Brigade Games, Black Cat Bases, Black Scorpion, Reaper, Artizan, Crusader(?)

Soldiers: Front Rank Miniatures, Black Cat Bases, Wargames Factory (soon to be released plastic)

Undead: Eureka, Foundry (I think?)

Natives: Eureka, Reaper, Copplestone

Sea Monsters: Black Cat Bases


Q: What other figures have I missed?


Ooooh - I just found this site that has a guide to Pirate figures :-D  Pirate Guide

Modern "What if" Conflicts?

In anticipation of my Airwar: C21 rules and some planes arriving I am thinking about modern conflicts and how to justify coming up with situations where modern jets would be used against each other.

There are plenty of countries that could go to war, but the main problem I seem to face is the use of nuclear weapons.

So how to justify a conflict where nukes wont be used?

"Nuke - just don't do it" - maybe the threat of a world wide nuclear war is enough deterrent to prevent a nuclear war. Maybe a bit over simplified but it could work.

Russia - if the state of their navy is anything to go by maybe Russian nukes/deployment systems are so poorly maintained that whilst the threat is there, they can't be used.

North Korea - just write a bit of back ground with a) they didn't actually develop nuclear weapons and it was all a sham, or b) due to lack of funds and resources (inc. a starving population) they weren't able to produce nuclear weapons.

China - apparently they have a 'do not use first policy'. This can be very useful as it means they 'pwomise' they will not use nukes unless they are used on them first.

The West - well, being the 'good guys' the West will never use them on others first.

African Nations - well, considering most of these nations don't really have much of an airforce compared to bigger nations would it really be fun to have an airwar that could end in the first game of a campaign?



With these points in mind, I am tempted to work on some following conflict ideas:

Indonesia vs Australia (and allies). The allies would be needed due to the small size of Australia's air force.

Russia:
             conflict against former Soviet states escalates bringing the west into conflict with Russia.

            vs Japan (over the northern Island chains). Can escalate including Western Forces.
           Also as per the background of the novel "Fortunes of War"

            War against the West due to invasions in Europe (Red Storm Rising novel)

North Korea:
                     stock standard 2nd Korea War (Red Phoenix novel)
                                     
                    vs Japan over years of tension, including kidnapping of Japanese citizens

China:
           vs Vietnam - escalates bringing the west in (Red Dragon Rising novels)

          vs Japan/Allies - over resources and control of southern Island, as per events last year.


Other Nations?

 I haven't read the book, but apparently Larry Bond wrote a novel with France fighting against the U.S. which would be interesting to read.

To make a game interesting I think major powers are needed, or at least countries that have a decent sized air force.

 I will do some research to see if African and South American Nations could come into contention. After seeing how some middle eastern nations didn't really put up much of a fight with their air force over the years, I don't think a middle eastern setting would be very rewarding.

Crom play test - Samurai style

 I play tested a game of "Crom" using some unpainted minis (so what :-P ), a few pieces of scenery and an imaginary river (I need to make some scenery!)

I used a 60 cm X 60 cm playing area on a purpose built table for one of my scenery tiles and this area played o.k. for a seven minis per side game. I think I could easily push it to ten or maybe twelve figures per game in this playing area, but I feel it might get crowded after that.

The game plays very quickly - and while it might seem simplistic at first I found I needed to put a bit more thought in to what I do as going all out in attack leaves that attacker defenceless to other attacks that most likely will follow.

The initiative system works well, but then as it is card based activation (unless dice are used to help win the initiative) I am probably biased in this regard. I enjoy card based activation systems the most of all.

The rules state that characters figures can move through friendly figures. Some how I had it in my head that this applied to all friendly figures, but if only characters can do this then it is much better.

 As you will see from the photos allowing minions to move through friendly figures reduces the tactical advantage of controlling a bottle neck.

 Combat is quick and nasty - a minion can die with one hit, and the survivor more likely than not will be left open for a defenceless attack as mentioned above.

The game certainly needs a good scenario with objectives. A straight out battle is one thing, but being able to or being forced to use characters to meet objectives will turn it in to a whole different game.

Overall I enjoyed this game and the rules very much. Simple with enough thought needed to tactics.

I think this set of rules would lend itself to projects that have been in the back of my mind that I want to play very much: Viking, Greek Mythology, Pirates and a Pulp game to name a few.

I wonder if they would work for zombie games....

The set up: each side has 1 character, a 2IC and 5 minions.

The first combat on the bridge


The enemy minion suffered badly at the hands of the tougher good guy...

... but was left defenceless against the enemy character who cleaved him in half.

Clash of characters - the blue ronin winning out.


The monks start to mop up the last resistance 

Victory went to the monks and the blue ronin.

My Nihon project

Rather than post what I would like to do, I thought it might be a nice change to post what I am actually doing :-P

I started this a few years ago but depression and a painting block sort of saw it being stored in a draw for future times.



 The project was rekindled after reading Matakishi's set of rules called "Crom". The rules are designed for Conan wargames, but lacking a set of figures for this setting (hmm - a lurking project maybe?) I decided to try the rules out using my small collection of Samurai, Ninja and Sohei. I also have some Ikko-Ikki (which I intend to use as bandits) and civilian types.

The main figures I have come from Kingsford Miniatures and Perry Miniatures. Museum Miniatures do figures, but I can't load their web site at the moment to provide a link, or check to see what figures they have. I seem to remember they have some useful figures for what I want to do with my project.

(Edit: I can now access the Museum Miniatures site - maybe they were down for maintenance)

 If more companies made Mythological Japanese creatures I would include these into the game as well.

 Dixon Miniatures has a reasonable range, but many don't have photos on their website, and I like to see what I am ordering.

 I did order an Oni from a relatively new company called Riceball Miniatures, so I will use this figure when it arrives.

Scenery wise I have a Torii gate, a bridge and some nice trees that were custom made just for this project.  These are made by Fenryll but I actually ordered the Torii and Bridge through Spirit Games in the UK and saved a lot on the price.

I would really love to get some of the Oshiro range of resin buildings, but the bigger buildings are a bit pricey thanks to the exchange rate at the moment.

I will be playing a test game of Matakishi's rules this afternoon and maybe post some thoughts on the rules and how the game played.












PIWLTD #2: 18th Century Smugglers

Wargames foundry make some excellent figures that lend themselves to some potential wargames that would interest me very much.

 By mixing a few different figure ranges I have often though how a smuggler game set in coastal England would be fun to play and allow for some very interesting scenery such as beaches with cliff faces and caves with secret tunnels in them.

The smugglers would go up against military figures from the Seven Years War range, and the following seem to be the best to use for such a game:







 Wargames foundry did have a smuggler pack (code CIV07), but it is listed as currently unavailable on their web site. I found a image on a Japanese web page of all places:



And you can vary the games you play by adding in Highwaymen (another project I started ages ago but never went anywhere with it):


 Front Rank Miniatures make SYW British and 18th Century civilians that I could also use:





There is also plenty of information in books and on the web to assist in putting this game together.

 Some resources on the web are:

 Smugglers
 Smugglers and Wreckers


The main reason this is only a PIWLTD is due to the cost of the foundry miniatures - a single pack cost anything from $18 - $24AUD without postage.

 I could use the Front Rank figures as the main troops and add a couple of Foundry packs in, which would save a lot of money, but at this stage this will remain a PIWLTD.

Projects I would Like To Do #1: Grav Bike Racing

This is the first post on Project I would Like To Do (or PIWLTD for short) but will probably never get around to doing due to many reasons. I might not get around to doing them, but I figured I would post them on the off chance that someone else finds it interesting enough to being a similar project of their own.

 PIWLTD #1 - this one keeps popping up in the back of my mind a lot: Grav Bike Racing.

 Critical Mass Games released some grav bikes a few months ago and this one would be fantastic for painting up as a racer:


And GZG have grav bikes too, so I can vary which figures I could use:


A great book to read as inspiration is "Hover Car Racer" by Matthew Reilly. The book is a great read and has many diagrams that would assist the making of scenery and rules.

Very tempting, but I will resist for the moment...


Edit:

 As seen on TMP this morning Khurasan are about to release some jet bikes of their own:


My figure case

Back in May I came across a site in Australia that makes foam inserts for tool cases.

 As I really needed something to carry my figures around in I jumped on this double time.

The tool case I purchased from a large hardware warehouse franchise here in Australia. I gutted the insides so that the foam would go inside.



 The foam inserts come in two main types: infantry and cavalry size. I ordered the infantry size ones, and four of them promptly arrived. The case itself holds four layers with a foam cover layer for the top.