In which I blog about my miniature wargaming and whatever else takes my interest!

In which I blog about my miniature wargaming and whatever else takes my interest!

Thursday, August 31, 2023

Sharp Katanas

Finding the Kurosawa movie Ran on Prime last week prompted me to revisit my abandoned Samurai while I wait to buy more Quar.

This got me thinking about rules, and what I want from a Samurai themed game. Ronin is a fine game, with lots of tactical nuance in the hand to hand, but perhaps too gritty for forces larger than 6 to 8 figures.

Lion Rampant is maybe too big, without enough focus on heroic actions by mighty warriors.

I want a sweet spot in the middle somewhere. I also want variable sizes of groups of foot soldiers. Fixed unit sizes as in the Rampant games won't work for my collection.

I also want something reasonably simple, and solo friendly. I like card driven activation for solo play. So maybe try some tweaks on the hand to hand in Sharp Practice?

I'm also lazy and cheap. So buying the Too Fat Lardies rules Dux Britannarium, just so I can play the Samurai adaptation Seven Spears, is a non-starter.

Test of Honour with it's bespoke dice and tokens is also out for reasons of cheapness. As Cyndi Lauper said "Girls just wanna have fun. " I'm not looking to sell these, they just need to be solo playable, have heroic actions, bunches of troops so it feels more like a battle, and not be so complicated that it leaves Mikey and his monks befuddled. 

Shouldn't be too hard, right?

Monday, August 28, 2023

Slow Moving Chevau-leger

I almost had these finished on the Canada Day Long Weekend. But then the Quar arrived, and they got pushed to the back burner for seven weeks.

I found them rather frustrating and slow going, because there is so much going on with these figures, and a lot of fussy little details. But they are done now, even with an additional diversion to assemble, prime and paint a couple dozen Middle Earth figures last week. 

These are Perry plastic Napoleonic Austrian cavalry. I assembled them as chevau-leger, but with the full helmet crest, because I like it better. And I chose a regiment with white coats and red facings so they can proxy as dragoons if needed, and also because I like it better. Austrian cavalry should be in white coats, unless they are hussars. But honestly, the only difference is the halter on the horse's head. I know regulations called for bigger men and horses going to the dragoons and smaller men and horses going to the chevau-leger, but I don't see an inch or two really mattering. Plus what recruiting Sergeant, or Lieutenant getting remounts, is going to turn away a recruit, or horse, because it was too big?

Dragoon regiments were easily converted to chevau-leger as well, so how different were they really? Or were they converted to chevau-leger because they couldn't get enough of the right sized mounts and troopers? Personally, I think health and fitness of the horses, and training and elan of the troopers, was far more important than a few inches. I'd take the Chasseurs a Cheval of the Guard over a worn out dragoon regiment any day. 

In Austrian service at least, it seems the biggest difference was how they were used. Dragoons were kept in the Reserve Corps with the Cuirassiers and Grenadiers. So obviously meant for shock action, which might inform the mindsets of the troopers. Chevau-leger were assigned to the Corps to perform light cavalry roles; reconnaissance, pickets, screening, advance guard and rear guard duties. So they might not be as inclined to charge home, despite their straight heavy saber. But cavalrymen are cavalrymen, and eager for a charge if their horses are up to it.

I could just be talking out of my ass too.

I did mess up and glued the trumpeter onto the officer's horse. Oops. 

Too bad. 

Anyway moving on. I'll just say that the officer had his horse shot out from under and he's on a troop horse that had it's saddle emptied. But that is a drawback with plastics. Metal figures assembled with superglue I could have bunged them in the freezer for 24 hours and popped them out of their saddles easy-peasy. Oh well.

I decided to spice up the officer's base by adding a Bavarian Grenadier's helmet and a discarded pack from a left over Hat figure. I was originally going to use one of many extra French shako heads (or even a grenadier busby!), but decided a Bavarian helmet would be more appropriate, since this force will be almost exclusively fighting my Bavarians. I decided on a Grenadier, because the red plume pops nicely in the grass. It was the work of an hour or so to paint them and glue the pieces in place.

But they're done now at long last. I have a not bad Austrian force assembled. I should get the Mad Padre to print me a field gun or two and get them some baggage. Then I should put them on the table against the Bavarians.

Sunday, August 27, 2023

More Middle Earth; More Goblins, Dwarven Fire Support and Dwarven B-Echelon

While I wait for the plastic Quar to be released I decided to bash on with some Middle Earth figures purchased earlier this year and fill in gaps in both the goblin and dwarven orders of battle.

The goblins arrived mid-February along with The Unexpected Army. A pack each of Vendel fantasy goblins with spears and goblins archers.

Light flesh, grey tunics, red hoods. Then everything got a brown wash.

Love the little details like the earrings

This, combined with previous Goblins, will now give me two 12x figure units of Goblin archers and two 12x figure units of goblins with spears. So lots of cheap arrow fodder. I've decided that the combined spear and bow profile that I use with the orcs makes these cheap low-caste troops more expensive and just doesn't feel very gobliny. 

I also decided to do a unit of Conqueror Model Dwarves with bows that I'd purchased in January with my Christmas bonus. After last fall's battles I decided that the dwarves really need some more firepower. So 16 archers in mail and 8 unarmoured just to give variety. I know a lot of folks like crossbows or even handguns for dwarves, but crossbows just don't feel very Middle Earth to me, so regular bows thanks. They then got stuck for a month by a Russian cyber attack on the Royal Mail. By the time I got them, I was distracted by other things; hobbits, Xenos Rampant and getting Hot Lead organized.

Oh yeah, and Quar....

Interesting to do them alongside the goblins. Same sculptor, but the goblins were nice one piece castings. The dwarves had separate, fiddly bows to glue into hands. Many of the shields were separate too, but some cast on. Frustrating to glue, but they look alright now.

I also revamped my 30+ year old second hand Medieval pack ponies to make a dedicated dwarf supply element. I quite liked the result I got from my Warlord Napoleonic pack mule train, so I thought I'd do the same for the dwarves.

Warlord mule train

Despite careful math to maximize figure purchases, I somehow, fortuitously had a spare Spearman to use as the baggage wrangler. 

An evening with the pin vise, some thin wire, and different glues got me this:

Because of the wire leads, I needed to have everything assembled before painting. For the pony wrangler, I just reversed the spear so that it looks like he is carrying it over his shoulder, and then glued the shield to his back so I could drill a hole through the shield hand to run the leads through.

The Lion Rampant scenario "Attack on a Convoy" needs three supply elements. I could always add the second stand of Napoleonic pack mules to make a string of three bases. Pack animals seem more suitable to dwarves marching through rugged terrain then wagons would.

I've continued the basing I used with my Samurai baggage and my Bavarian supply wagons. Sand in the middle and flocking and tufts along the edges to suggest a track.

I should figure out a suitable supply element for my Orcs. Perhaps big, dirty, clumsy wagons being whipped along by orcs?

Saturday, August 12, 2023

Last Crusaders! (For Now)

"Join the Army they said. See Alwynd they said."

This must be a record for me. Within a month of receiving my initial order from Zombiesmith Miniatures, I have them all painted and flocked. I had these done last weekend, but the Iron Keep showing up mid-week got in the way of them getting their photo shoot.

These last bits include some characters. Another officer:

I don't like the official officer's helmets. So this Big Quar is showing his disdain by going on a raid in his officer's cap. I'm going to have to see if I can buy spare heads when I get more officers.

A sapper with a well used entrenching spade and a couple of anti-tractor mines:

The Messenger Squirrel handler with squirrels!:

I based the squirrels individually because they are an expendable asset for command and control.

Rhyfler Oraan:

Plus some more rhyflers. Three with ryshis and three with bogens and a second LMG team:

These extra rhyflers came as added team members for the heavy shotgun and the LMG teams.

I've downloaded and printed off the WW1 supplement for Chain of Command and a file from the Quar discussion group about adjusting it to the Quar. Perhaps that will give me the game that I seek. 

I should make some trenches soonish, before the table gets too cluttered again.

"Ancestors! It's cold! Where's my relief?"