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Song of Blades and Heroes - Play by forum

As a complete change of pace, I have started a new board on the 'Board of the Living Lead" forum to allow members to play a "Play by Forum" Game.

 Spots are limited to forum members only, and at this stage I have one confirm player (Brummie) and two almost confirmed (Clint and Blaidd Drwg [formally known as Maj. Dizaster] ) that just need to check over the rules and decide what to play.

Those wanting to know more can visit the forum: board of the living lead

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On a side note, I noticed on Blaidd's blog that 'Dwarvemeber 2013' has started.  Similar to zomtober, bloggers pledge to paint at least one dwarf a week during November.

 I would be in on this, but I only have one half painted dwarf in my collection.

 Anyone interested can join in the fun here: dwarvember 2013 is about to begin

28mm Water Buffalo

I have been eyeing off these water buffalo for a while now for use in my Vietnam game:

 They are produced by Cavalcade Wargames, and sell for $3.50USD each.

 The reason I am buying two of them is because Cavalcade is closing shop on 4th November this year.

 There stock is supposedly going to be sold off to other companies, but I thought I would buy some just in case they don't come on the market again.

 So, hopefully I will have some water buffalo coming my way soon.

Anyone else interested in these, or other figure they have can visit Cavalcade Wargames.

A tomb and an update

I finished off a GW model tomb I have had around for over a year today:

 I mounted it on an old CD, put a model railway tree next to it, placed some random grass and tufts over the base and then glued some silver birch tree seeds at the base of the tree to give it the autumn look.

 I will use this for In Her Majesty's Name and Strange Aeons mostly, but it will be useful for a zombie game as well.

Update wise - I have finished off my Japanese WW2 zombies - I just need the time to get the PBB game up and running on my Zombie blog. I haven't forgotten the game; it is more a matter of real life getting in the way.

I have a few other things on the painting desk and some scenery being put together, but more on that when I finish them.

In Her Majesty's Name - a review

Yesterday I received my pre-order copy of "In Her Majesty's Name".

 Like a bounder I tagged my order on to the shirt tails of those that had blazed their way through the fund raiser when there were only hours left before the fund raiser closed.

 I would have loved to have spent a bit more to secure some of the figures, but there were out of my budget. I didn't want the figure packs on offer, rather the never to be sold figures only for those funding the project with higher payments could get.

Contenting myself with just the rule book I waited with anticipation for it to arrive.

 Enough of my waffle - on to the review.

In Her Majesty's Name

 The book is the same size of the Osprey Men at Arms series, so most readers will be familiar with the dimensions.

In total there are sixty four pages in the book, including contents and reference sheets.

The way the rules are laid out is a bit similar to some military publications, in that each section has a 'chapter' number, and each sub section is also numbered. Thus section one is divided into "1", "1.1", "1.2" and so on.

 As you read through the rules any reference to another rule within an explanation also gives the numbered reference to the other rule as part of that explanation.

For example 3.2.2 Running mentions figures in certain armour types can not run. This sentence also has a reference number to the armour types mentioned by including (5.1) within the rule.

 This makes it very easy to follow the logical progress of the rule and quickly find the following up section to fully understand the rule in question.

The rules are broken down into easy to read and understand sections.

 The introduction includes standard information such as standard gaming conventions describing dice rolls and what you need to play.

 Next comes a description of attributes for each figure within the game.  As the game is not stat heavy this is far from taxing on the brain.

Following that is the core rule system itself, covering movement, shooting and melee.

The remainder of the book covers setting up a game, charts listing all the equipment stats for the game, pre-generated groups of adventurers (referred to as "companies' within the rules... not a business type company, but a band of fellow like minded chaps), scenarios, settings for your games and then the briefest of campaign notes.

As mentioned the rules are very easy to read and understand.  Even though they might appear simple there is plenty of scope for tactics and rewarding clever thinking whilst playing a game.

One really good thing about this game is that each player doesn't need a lot of figures to play a game (between five and twenty figures per side is suggested) and a 3' x 3' playing area (that is roughly 91.5 centimetres for us metric types).

 Designing your companies does have a point value system to prevent players from going potty and fielding 100 steam tanks against five newspaper boys but, unless you are playing against a complete bounder, gentlemen could dispense with the need for the use of points should they be so inclined.  I for one will keep to the point value system, and I am one that normally hates points values.

Within the rules are notes for designing your own armour, weapons and mystic powers. This allows for players to add new aspects to the game.

 What there isn't is a system for designing your own 'weird science' (read steam powered vehicles, weapons of confounded design or simple gadgets).  Hopefully this will come out with the second book planned for the game, or failing that, a third book.

The campaign rules are very brief, but not hard to flesh out should a player feel the need to do so. Within the campaign rules is a system for advancing your intrepid heroes or adding new equipment or adventurers to your company should you feel the need.

 Over all  I think these are a great set of rules with enough flavour to capture the feel of Victorian Science Fiction / Steampunk.

And I think they will work nicely for a play by blog game... but not until I have finished the planned zombie game.

So, if you like VFS / Steampunk or are interested in it, I highly recommend the rules to anyone still wondering if they want to get them or not.

Now to order the figures I need for my first game.......

Shelldrake vs the slump

I have been in a bit of a slump since the beginning of the year - a lot of non hobby influences have caused this, and I couldn't get motivated to do anything much at all.

 But I think I have turned a corner in the whole slump thing and hopefully I can get back to posting a bit more regularly.

So, some updates.

 I didn't play the Vietnam game I was intending back on Boxing Day 2012.  The game had been sitting there for me to play until I packed it up today (21st April).

 I have a photos of figure I painted last year sometime that I can't remember posting yet:

 The figure is a Reaper Bones that I purchased mid 2012 (?) and I intend to use it for my Strange Aeons game, or any game that needs a werewolf.

A few years ago, Si from Bend Sinister miniatures was kind enough to send me some 10mm Napoleonic samples.  I was kind of scared by the size of them, and my eyes couldn't really see them well enough to paint them.

 The other week my mate lent me a spare pair of his eye glasses that have magnifying lenses. I thought I would try them out on the 10mm samples I had, and here are the results:

British Dragoon, French Infantry and British infantry

rear of British infantry, French Old Guard, and rear of Dragoon.

Given that they are 10mm figures I am extremely happy with how they came out. So happy that I have placed an order for some figures, with the intention of slowly building up a couple of opposing Corps for a Napoleonic campaign.

 Being able to see them made the world of difference, and they are actually very easy and fast to paint up.

 I also purchased the Crusader Publishing Napoleonic rules "March Attack" and it is these rules I intend to use for my Napoleonic games.

The reason I was lent the magnifying glasses was to assist in my painting of 6mm WW2 figures:

WW2 micro armour work in progress

We are experimenting with Division level games using Bolt Action. We have play tested a few games so far and are still tinkering with a few things, but it has been worth while so far.

 Using micro armour we can push a couple of divisions around a table and play out strategic map games at the same time.

 In case you are wondering, one base equals a battalion or regiment for infantry or armour, and one base of artillery equals a battery.

 I won't go into any detail on the rules yet, but the system I have come up with works very nicely.

 I am currently painting up the gunners for the artillery units and the infantry.

 Believe it or not, but the British tanks were a much lighter green until I put the varnish on them :-(

I am also working on my WW2 Japanese zombies, as mentioned on my zombie blog.

And, if you are interested in buying some miniature please keep a eye on my blog, as I will be cleaning out a lot of my old projects and hoping to sell the minis off.

Battlefield Academy

If anyone has, or is interested in, Battlefield Academy and would like to play a PBEM game, please let me know.

For those that don't know, Battlefield Academy is a WW2 PC game that allows for normal game play, or to go head to head against a human player via emails.

 I have just updated my game after not playing it for maybe a year, and it has notified me that I can invite players to a PBEM game as long as they have the free demo.

 So, if you want to play a game, and are prepared to instal the demo of the game, please let me know.

Demo and info on the game can be found here: Battlefield Academy

I am not sure how the PBEM thing works, but it shouldn't be too hard to work out...

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Back to actual wargaming with real figures (as opposed to virtual ones) - I seem to be having a busy year so far - it is March and I have still yet to play a game.  I have been around to my Mate's place twice in Feb, but no games were played as we kept getting side tracked with ideas for future games, one of which will be WW2 micro armour.

 I haven't forgotten the PBB WW2 zombie game (as mentioned on my zombie blog) - I just need to time to sit down and get it up and running.  With the 'warm' weather we have been having in my part of the world I just haven't had the energy to do too much after work.

Deep Ones?

I have been searching for ages to find some "Deep Ones" that matched those from various Call of Cthulhu books to use in my Strange Aeons games.

 Most of the deep ones out there just didn't seem to cut it when it came to these nasty little creatures.

 Well, I think I may have found some:

These figures are from the "Carnevale" and have some weird name, but I think they would make excellent Deep Ones.

 They are not cheap; $17.72 for just two lead minis, but postage is reasonable, giving a total of $20.75 if I order them.

 I am not sure if I can justify the cost of only two minis for $20, but the figures are very nice.

 I might have to put these in the category that the nightgaunts are and just buy them.  I will look around for someone that sells them cheaper first.


I have always liked Nightgaunts from my days of playing Call of Cthulhu, and I have a few figures for my Strange Aeons games.

 But today I saw a green for a Nightgaunt that I really want to add to my collection when it is released.

 A company called Avolak Castings posted some photos of their greens on LAF:

 This is just one of the images showing off these excellent sculpts.

 I have been looking at Avolak Castings since they first showed up on LAF, but I have been hesitant to buy anything from them because the prices are in Euros and there is not cost on postage.

 Usually the postage from Euro nations is very expensive.

 But, when the Nightgaunts come out I might just have to harden up and place an order to get some.

The figures are not up on the Avolak Castings web site yet, but they do have some other excellent figures for those that play Call of Cthulhu type games: Avolak Castings

NVA vehicles

Thanks to Brent from Company B joining the 'Board of the living lead' zombie forum I have been taking another look at what Company B has for sale.

I noticed in the news section on the Company B web site that a BTR-152 & BTR-40 are nearing release.

I have always wanted some vehicles for my enemy forces so I did a bit of research and discovered that both were used by the NVA. It seems the BTR-40 might have been used a bit more than the BTR-152, but that could just be due to the what I turned up in my research.

 So, when it is released for sale, I think I will get myself a BTR-40 to include in my games for scenario purposes and to use as a juicy target for calling in artillery and or an air strike.

 I do have a US figure with an M72 LAW that I didn't paint up as a LRRP due to the fact the figure doesn't have a back pack, but if I make it part of a ready reaction force I can explain it away conveniently.

BTR-40 in the service of a non NVA user

 It shouldn't be too hard to create stats for Bolt Action as the vehicles are fairly basic in those rules, and Iron Ivan Games has stats for them in "The Long Road South" supplement.

So, as soon as the BTR-40 is released for sale I will look at getting one for my game.

City building

For the last few days I have been scratch building with my Gangster campaign in mind.

I drew up some plans and came up with this:

Note the shadowy figure lurking on the roof top

 The design has the building mounted on a MDF board that also acts as the side walks for the city.

 By placing the model onto a dark surface it automatically makes the roads, thus removing the need to make roads completely.

 I sketched out a map and between nine and twelve of these in various forms will give me a decent sized bit of gang turf to fight over.

 I am in the process of designing some shops with apartments above them that will go together to created an alley way to skulk in. These buildings will be shorter but wider as they will take up the space of one of the side walks to accomplish what I have planned.

 At this stage I am thinking of painting all of the buildings the same grey colour to give it a gothic type of feel, but this could change if I manage to find other colours I like.

 The great thing about keeping the designs simple is that I can use these buildings for my Gangsters, my planned Super hero game and even zombie games set in a city.

 I also want to find some fire hydrants, post boxes and street lights to fill out the city.

2013 - what will it hold?

In my last post I reviewed my wargaming efforts for 2012.

 Now it the time to project what I would like to do for 2013.

 A few project will be continued over into this year, namely my 28mm Vietnam campaign and the one I started at the end of last year, my 1920's Gangster setting.

 I still have a Vietnam game set up waiting to be played - hay fever saw my plans for playing on boxing day go out the window and the next thing I know it is the first of January.

"Mad Dogs with Guns", the 1920's Gangster game, will progress as I paint more miniatures and make some scenery. I am currently making a building for the game, a kind of prototype, and it if works I will not only be able to make scenery for the Gangsters, but also use it for zombie games and even super heroes.

 I will post photos of it once I have finished it.

 Strange Aeons is a must - lots of figures actually painted up, so I just need to play the game.

 I would like to get a game or two in of Wild West, but I really want to make some sandy based tiles for the game first.

If I can get a big enough playing area I would like to play with the Modern jets I have, and even get some WW2 dogfights in.

 WW2 in the form of Bolt Action skirmished is on the cards. I can probably put up a section vs section game already, or at least come close to it, so that is something to work on.

Sci-Fi - one of the big fails for last year was the purchase of some Defiance games Marines and Bugs.  After about three months my order arrived, but the bugs were missing parts. IF the replacement parts that were promised ever arrive I intend to do a 28mm Bug hunt game.

I should probably focus on the figures I already have, but I am tempted to put together a 15mm sci-fi skirmish game. I think I might resist this one for the moment.

 I do have the makings of an 18mm Seven years war Prussian army lying around, and I might paint these up as an Imagi-nation, but that isn't a priority. I might consider selling the figures.

What I do want to do is to go through my pile of lead and sell off anything that isn't really a feasible project. This will not only give me some cash to splash on the hobby, but tidy up the place a bit.

No doubt something shiny will come along to distract me, but my key focuses will be 28mm game for Vietnam, 1920s (gangsters and strange aeons) and WW2. These three are fairly realistic and achievable for the year.

 Oh, and if I can't get a zombie game in I am planning another "Play By Blog" zombie game. Anyone interested can read about it on my Zombie wargame blog; the link is in the side panel.