Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Desert Terrain

Here are the finished hills and woods for the 15mm Numidians and Carthaginians

Monday, June 28, 2010

Numidians & Terrain

Here are the first couple of stands of 28mm Numidian Light Horse.


Yesterday I also decided it was time to make some appropriate terrain for the 15mm Numidians. As their terrain is hilly I need a couple of steep hills and some woods (amongst other thinngs).

Here are the woods I made last night. They are on a base of cork covered in PVA and then dipped in sand. The trees are removable and are offcuts of 3mm MDF.

And work in progress, the first of three hills. As you can see these are quite low and shallow- the price you pay for having them so that figures don't keep rolling off.

The hill is on a cork base to which I've glued (using PVA) some polystyrene. Then the permafilla is applied. The next step, once the permafilla is dried is to paint it and then cover it in PVA and
cover in beach sand. Once that is dried a light dry brush and some light green Woodlands Scenics foliage added and it will be done.


Sunday, June 27, 2010

DBA Battle Report- Numidians

I haven't managed to do much painting this week as I was in Wellington for work for a couple of days but I did manage to paint my first couple of stands of 28mm Numidians and also get 3 games of DBA in with the 15mm Numidians at TAG.

I was really pleased with the way they played. Light, fluffy and annoying best describes them (IMO). I managed 2 wins out of 3 games and two of the games came down to the wire and could have gone either way. The one thing I do need to learn is how to use my light horse more effectively. I tend to be rash throwing at least one or two down a flank early to go after the camp but more often than not they tend to die or be ZoCed by my opponents. They tend to do much better when I keep them back threatening to do flank moves! I must learn to curb my impetuous nature on the gaming table.

Overall the army, although to my mind not a powerhouse army, can provide a challenge to opponents as the mobility means I can quickly react to changing situation so I think they will be the force I take the the CHCH gaming comp.

Game 1: 4-1 vs Mark (Patrician Romans) I took photos of this one- see below

Game 2: 3-5 vs Dave (Ostrogoths? 2x LH, 6x bow and 4x knights)
I killed the enemy general and was 3-3 but failed to kill a second unit (of flanked bow) needed to win the game and the next turn the vengeful Romans cut a couple of elements to pieces to take the victory-a great game though.

Game 3: 4-3 vs Stephen- (Mid Imperial Romans)
Another hard fought game as I sought to match up my elephant with his cavalry while avoiding his blades. I was controlling things quite nicely until the last couple of turns when his his blades got into contact with some of my auxillia and started hacking through them and almost won the game for him!

The First Battle vs Mark's Patrician Romans

The enemy general is one of the central knights.

Result: 4-1 to the Numidians.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

28mm Gripping Beast Vikings

I've finally finished the Gripping beast Vikings.


Thursday, June 17, 2010


Finally got round to a game of Impetus. Kent and I used the basic rules but the points from Extra Impetus 2 for the Ancient Britons and Early Imperial Romans.

Neither of us minded which side we went so Kent rolled and went Romans. Each army was just under 200pts:

  • 1x Cav
  • 3x legionnaires
  • 3x auxilia
  • 1x scorpion

Ancient Britons
  • 2x Chariots
  • 2x light cav
  • 8x warband
  • 2x javelins (skirmishers)
The Romans, outnumbered, wisely decided to defend.

If in doubt go up the middle- Warband on one flank. Cav and chariots on the other.

Here we come! The Romans pretty much stand and await developments.

Waiting for the flanking troops to catch up.

Kent begins to reposition his troops- slightly, after my cavalry imploded against them. Memo to self: light cavalry is called that for a reason!

Well, since plan A worked so well, time for plan B- charge with the general's chariot!

The battle lines are becoming disjointed but alas my impetuous warband can't finish off any Romans.

Kent sends in the Roman Cavalry to support the flank.

Death of the last chariot! Game, set and match.

Crushing victory to the Romans (I only managed to kill his artillery). Those Romans and their pilums are very hard! We'll get them next time though.

It was a fun game and only took about an hour and a half from start to finish, ran smoothly and was a lot of fun. My only issue now is convincing other TAG members to give it a try. I think that it will be the main rules we use for 28mm gaming.

The only issue now is to order my Chariots and Warlord Games Ancient Britons...

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Selucids & Numidians

More 15mm armies, even though I am trying to stop 15mm and concentrate on 28mm!

  • 1x Cav Gen
  • 1x Cav
  • 1x LH
  • 2x Elephants
  • 4x Pike
  • 1x Aux
  • 2x Psiloi
I didn't have a pike army and this one seemed to have a nice balance to it and thought it would be more of a heavy hitter army for at the upcoming CHCH DBA comp. However, I'm not sure I like it though, I'm more of an auxilia or warband player so I'm not sure if it will get much use. But at least now I have a pike army for vs the guys at TAG.

A mix of ranges- the auxillia are Xyston (arrived and painted up yesterday), Libyan spear (to represent the imitation legionnaires-so count as blade), elephant and light horse are Old Glory, the Cav General is Corvus Belli. I've heard a lot of positive comments about the CB range but personally I don't like them and intend to use the larger Xyston figures whenever possible.

  • 1x Cav General
  • 4x LH
  • 1x Blade
  • 5x Auxilia
  • 1x Elephant

I still have to paint up a few elements of psiloi (just in case) but don't see me ever using 5-6 of them! This is more my kind of army, light, fluffy and annoying and definitely not a powerhouse by any stretch of the imagination- however it also has a lot of mobility between the light horse and the auxilia.

At present its a toss up between these guys and the Galatians for the CHCH comp- I also received some Galatians/Gauls from Xyston yesterday so they need to be finished as well.


Friday, June 11, 2010

28mm Gripping Beast Vikings

I have painted 5 stands of viking this week (40 figures). I am now waiting for some Little Big Man Studio transfers to arrive so I can finish the shields.

This is half the force I will need, and once done means I'll only need some Normans to finish my 6x 1066 armies. I really like the way the vikings go together, they are great figures- nicely animated and proportioned. Each sprue has a few spare heads as well (which I'll use when it cmes time to making some bondi figures).

Once again they re a bit shiny under the flash and look much duller to the naked eye.

My plan is to start putting together 200pt Impetus forces (about the same number of stands as a regular DBA army) and run a few games with Kent.

Future Plans
On our way to Southcon Kent (Galpy's Paint Shack) and I were talking about doing a BIG 28mm demo game, problem is what period to do. Kent is keen for a Trojan wars theme but we haven't finalised it yet- an I'd be keen as it is a period I know nothing about. The plan would be to spend most of next year working towards it, builkding armies and tables etc and run it as a demo game at TAGCON and possible Conquest later in the year. We will see what eventuates but I'm keen for something.

In the meantime I'm hoping to run a game of Basic Impetus (Imperial Romans vs Ancient Britons) with Kent at TAG next week to see if he likes the rules and to see if we can drum up any interest in the rules with our DBA stalwarts.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Southcon 2010 Report

I forgot to take my camera on day one and got too involved in the games to take a lot on day 2 but here are a few pictures from the comp.

The German army assembles

I painted it up a couple years ago as part of my Stalingrad themed army.

Cauldron vs British Rifles

British 3.7" AA- Range 40", At 13, what's not to like? Unless you are on the receiving end! My nebelwerfers ranged in about 4 times but missed each time, or the gun saved. My panzers ended up MGing them to death in the end!

Things are a bit dicey- Sherman moving back and forth and the portees had just zoomed on and popped a panzer IV- I got them next turn (they are hidden in the picture just above the destroyed panzer.

After 2 and a bit hours I'm finally able to launch an assault into the town.

Breakthrough vs Nick G- turn 5 my reserves arrive to try to take on the kiwis who have fallen back and dug in on the objectives.

Marder 1s vs Veteran (Kiwi) Shermans- the last sherman bailed the marders and the kiwi's assaulted to destroy them and give Nick a point.

French Foreign Legion (an early war French force morphed to mid war). These are the French pinned markers- they don't get pinned, they get drunk! HO model railway accessories apparently- it was a very nice painted army with some amazing vignettes, but alas with the way we were racing to get the game completed I forgot to take any more photos.

28mm Gripping Beast Vikings

Gripping Beast are one of my favourite figure manufacturers so I've been wanting to get some of their new Vikings since they were released. one of the guys in Dunedin has just started importing 28mm figures and a box of Gripping Beast Vikings arrived on Friday, the same day as we got into town for Southcon so naturally enough I had to buy them!

What can I say, the figures are everything I was hoping they would be. Sure, as with most plastics, they can get a bit fiddly to fit together but they look in proportion, and more importantly, match well with the metal range. Here are a few photos of the first, and not yet completed stands. At 44 figures per box it will only take me 2 boxes for a DBA size, big base, army. My plan is to once the Saxons are released convert up a few Saxons into the hird as all the figure sin the box are wearing chain mail.

And Grpping beast metal Vikings painted up as Norse-Irish.

A side shot gives a good comparison.


Monday, June 7, 2010

Southcon 2010 Report

A great weekend. As is usual with Southcon it was Axis vs Allies with preset tables (one mission per table). My armoured PGs came 3rd Axis (and 3rd overall on points) and very nearly won- had I unpinned a command team to contest on the last turn of the last game I would have won 5-2 and been first equal or first so it was a close, close finish and literally went down to the last turn. Played lots of interesting and fun lists.


Game 1: 4-3 Hasty Assault (defending) vs Dave D’s USA Armoured Rfifgle- we always have great intense games and this was no exception. his passing 6 morale tests to keep platoons on table didn't help my cause and it could have gone either way.

Game 2: 5-2 FFA vs Guards strelk on a table with 90% woods! Had to kill very single Russian infantry stand (2 and 1 coy formations) to win it in another hard fought game on a table that did my half tracks (and artillery) no favours.

Game 3: Bye (one Russian tank company didn’t turn up)

Game 4: 5-2 Cauldron: Vs a very solid British rifle force- a cat and mouse game that went to the wire. Very well played by Che.

Game 5: 5-2 Breakthrough vs Nick G’s Paras supported by Kiwi’s. a game won by Nick’s fearless paras failing every morale check they needed! It was up to his kiwis to win some respect for the game where the dice gods really did abandon him. I think his 4 failed out of 5 infantry saves pretty much summed up his luck for the game.

Game 6: 3-4 vs French Foreign Legion. Encounter (see above)- the French artillery rules, even with light guns, are nasty!

The last game was always going to be tight- encounter on a table with only 2 bridges and a river running across the centre of the table, vs a French Foreign Legion force that had been roughly handled vs heavier tanks (best AT was 8) but with all its light AT guns was perfect counter to my panzer grenadier force-we had a fun, free flowing game that went to he last turn of the 2 hrs and he just grabbed an objective before me I I failed to unpin a command stand to contest (would have been 5-2 the other way if I had) The time limit for the last round made it hard for both of us and we both made mistakes as a result as we were trying to win and get though as many turns as we could.

We gave it our best shot and the French pulled off a great win- in the nick of time. Great finish and lots of fun.

Final result: 3rd Axis and 3rd on overall points- about 2 pts behind 1st (Fusileri) and 1 behind Panzers with lots of flame tanks! So it was very close at the top. The Allies took a bit of a beating most rounds but Nick fought his way to the top of the back with his para’s.

Great to see a Sicily Fuscileri cleaning up all the allies lists for Peter B to take best Axis and best overall.

So what worked, what didn't?

Infantry: Fragile but dangerous. Couldn’t afford to take casualties but could hit hard. Was never able to take advantage of an armoured assault although would have liked to on a couple of occasions. Should come with a handle with care sticker on them.

Marders 1s: Not overall happy with them, and If I could I would upgrade to marder IIs or 3s. The slow movement and overloaded made them less useful than other versions so will find the points for the later versions.

Panzer IVs- did okay- even managed a bombardment vs the French. Faced 3 armies with shermans and 1 with KV 85s so were totally outclassed in all tank duels but they managed to help kill all 3 tank Sherman platoons without losing a platoon- by only attacking when the Sherman’s were down to 2! I think panzer III Ls or Ns would have been a safer option though (FA 6).

150mm Infantry guns: Underperformed in almost all games. Bailed a Veteran Kiwi Sherman and killed a 6 pdr vs Nick (no HE meant I could deploy close enough to use the main gun) and got a KV 85 which couldn’t move a way from an objective I had a panzer IV contesting but apart from that rarely go into play or missed- would definitely look at replacing them, either with Grilles- which would mean a radical rethink- or by changing a few other things to upgrade the tanks and tank hunters.

Nebelwerfers: Solid and dependable but I missed the big panzerwerfer template so next time think I’ll take a ‘43 list to utilise them.

Pak 38s with half tracks: These were my favourite unit. I usually combat attached to one or both platoons so that I had extra 1-3 MG half tracks and found this flexibility very good- adding 3 + 2iC and commander gave me up to 9 half tracks. Very, very flexible and added much needed ompph (and protection vs pesky US half tracks), so were the discovery of the comp for me.


DBA Battle of Balaclavus

Some post game comments from the Dave B who was good enough to organise the carnage for us:

Roman Mark
as the Roman left flank commander was unlucky to throw a "1" on his first pip die, making it almost impossible to face off the British Light cavalry swarming him. He tried, but he would have been better to abandon the wagons (loaded catapults) and instead tried to reform his cavalry further back. Fighting where he did eventually he was swamped by both Craig and Steve. I think all the trash talk between Mark and Craig went to Mark's head!!

Brit Steve had a slow moving british force but still managed to get in contact with Mark's left flank and Ian's right flank when Ian moved across the valley to attack. He was also given the town force which though it suffered from long range artillery firing was posing a real threat on the Roman's extreme right flank at the end of the game.

Roman Ian, not being needed to hold the line against the chariots advanced across the valley to deal with Steve's force. It seemed fairly even there at the close of play.

Roman Tim as the right flank outpost did very well holding his hill strongpoint, as I never had enough pip dice (minimum of 4 needed) to attack him there. I was fortunate that he got concerned about his flank and deployed troops off the hill which enabled me to get on their flanks! and cruch them.
Roman Tony, easily held the chariots off with his artillery, but was somewhat shocked to find his artillery running out of ammo.
[I had always intended this as I had hesitated between having say 8 artillery and unlimited ammo in the main line OR as much artillery as People bought along but start reducing its ammo from Move 4 on. In the end we had 16 artillery in the main line (12 forward, 4 back), 2 artillry on right front, and one right rear, plus the 2 loaded up ones on left flank THAT HAD ALREADY RUN OUT OF AMMO (the subtle clue for the Brits that ammo wouldn't be unlimited!).

Tony also deployed the camp reserves to bolster up Mark's force to prevent it breaking.

Brit Craig
Did well with his light cavalry against the Roman cavalry. Easily did the best of the Brits with his faster moving troops and his initial position part way up the board.

Brit Lewis
Needs to replace his dice as they specialise in throwing 1s or 2s, which is a bit of a disadvantage in DBA. Followed his victory conditions well and was able to give Cardiganus a glorious honourable death!

If I was gaming it again I would vary the scenario from the Slingshot Article as follows:

1. Possibly swop the British Chariot Force and Light Cavalry around. This would enable the Light Cavalry with their extra move distance and march move ability to move up the valley quicker, and pose much more of a threat. Still maintain the rule that Cardigan can only die in a melee, not from shooting AND still keep a high morale break factor for charge up the valley (In our battle had to lose 8 out of 13 before a morale test!). It would make the battle for the Roman left flank using chariots possibly more interesting as the Brits wouldn't be able to march move into position, giving the Romans more time to react.

2. Possibly reduce the number of artillery shooting from the main force (16 may have been OTT, but it was at Lewis!). Alternatively redo the long range charts so that in the 5-12 range to get a kill, one has to double rather than as I had it beat by 3, but admittedly Lewis made it easy by throwing 1s or 2s.

Anyway it seemed to play well and everone got some fighting.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

DBA Battle of Balaclavus

After the game being postponed for a week due to flooding the armies assembled for some Big Battle DBA madness- thanks to Dave for organising it. A few tweaks to the rules- such as 24" range for Roman artillery and each Celtic commander having their own individual goals, meant nobody knew what was going to happen.

The starting forces:
  • Roman Right Flank Outpost- 8 Blades (incl Gen), 2 psiloi and 2 catapults
  • Roman Right/Centre Force (Oliver)- 8 Blades, 2x Psiloi, 1x Cav (Gen), 2 x catapults
  • Roman Centre (way down the valley) Heaps of artillery and Caesar(Blade Gen), 8 Blades, 2 Psiloi and 2 Cav
  • Roman Left Flank Outpost 2 wagons (loaded up catapults), 4 Cav, Cav Gen, and a wee way away 6 Blades 2 Psiloi
  • Raglanni Centre Reserve- Warband Gen, 6 WB, 4 Psiloi, 2 Lght Hrse
  • Lord Cardiganus Centre- 12 chariots (incl Gen)
  • Lucani Left Flank- 1 Ch (Gen), 10 Warbands, 4 x psiloi
  • Nolano Right Flank- 1Ch (Gen), 6 Lght Hrse, 6 WB

Emergency Reserves- More Warbands and Psiloi.
So that's the basic briefing.

Start your engines!

The Chariot force starts to ride down the valley of death straight towards a dozen warmachines. My own cavalry and warband prepare to accomplish their own goal- taking out the baggage train.

Various Roman forces encamped (with enfilading artillery) on the hills.

One down, one to go. The first baggage train falls. Meanwhile the artillery is seriously disrupting the chariot force (there were special rules in play at longer ranges, standard artillery rues at close range)

My light horse, aided by Stephen's have destroyed the baggage and surrounded 2-3 elements of cavalry while the cowardly Roman general (Marcus Bradleyus) slips away to join his infantry.

Chariots spread out- and several are about to die- in front of the chariots are caltrops which are -1 to combat factor if fighting over them. Stephen's warband stoically march t0o the sounds of battle (at 2" per move they've a long, long way to walk!), while Ian's Romans have marched down the hill in search of glory.

Where did all the chariots go? Most went splat thanks to some woeful dice rolling from Lewis! About this point the Roman artillery ran out of ammo to keep things interesting.

Victory! Well kind of. After losing 8 out of 12 chariots the chariot command folds but not before teh general manages to destroy a single artillery piece, then turn tail and flee. The rest of the British forces call it a day (or in this case a night). The battle was still raging but alas it was time to pack up and head home as it was getting late.

My command managed to get 1st on the British side for destroying 4 Cavalry, a blade and 2 baggage for 10 victory points, Stephen's horde were a close second with 8.

A great game played between 8 players with lots of carnage on both sides. Next time I think there will be slightly less artillery!

Lots of fun but the "geometry wars" aspect of DBA was once again apparent at times and, to me at least, this aspect of the rules is a real turn off. Micro measuring angles to put elements into zones of control/or so that they can't attack units is, for me, the rules main issue. Micro managing angles is not what ancient warfare should be about but it is a major aspect of DBA and some of the manovres this creates does make one raise their eyebrows in disbelief! So I am interested to see what changes the new version of DBA, rumoured to be in the wind, makes to reduce this aspect of the game.