Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Moderns at Mark D's

Last Friday, Bob, Ralph and I travelled up to Mark D's place to play test his game for the upcoming Huzzah! convention in Portland, ME. The game is an adaptation of one of the recent Bolt Action tournament scenarios. Mark has adapted it for his Bolt Action Moderns adaptation. Mark and I played the insurgents, Ralph and Bob played the French led establishment forces.

With only four players Mark randomly selected partial commands for each side. Both sides ended up with a lot of the vehicles and armor and light on infantry. The French side got the worst of this with only one full squad of grunts, but all the toys: Cobra helicopter, two armored cars and two machine gun trucks. They also got a mortar and an HQ squad.

We received a technical with an auto-cannon on it. A second towed auto cannon, two heavy MGs and five squads of infantry.

This game was fun, fast paced and lots of stuff got 'blown up'. The infantry on both sides have plenty of firepower to deal with the vehicles. In the end the game was won by the French thanks to a heroic charge by their Lieutenant in the last turn. Somehow he survived taking incoming fire from no less than six of our squads/weapons. Hollywood material for sure! Look for Mark's game at Huzzah! - it's going to be a good one.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Northern Conspiracy 2016 Symposium

Last Friday night our club got together for our semi-annual symposium. This is the one night a year that we put down the figures and dice, and have presentations on various subjects. Each time we do this it's a rewarding evening. This year was no exception.

We started off with a presentation from Earl's father. Mr. Richards gave us a wonderful talk about his military service during World War II in the Navy Armed Guard. Serving in both the Atlantic and Pacific, Mr. Richards told us numerous excellent stories about his service, both combat and non-combat related.

Mike followed with a presentation on the rise and fall of Mare Nostrum - the Roman domination of the Mediterranean ocean. Mike's discussion compared the popular conclusions about the fall of Rome to a more modern interpretation. After seeing Mike's presentation I'm inclined to side with his conclusion that the more modern studies may have it right.

Following Mike all of the members participated in a round table discussion about military service, both personal experiences as well as several members discussing family members' service.  John brought in reconnaissance photos his father took while flying B-24s in Europe as well as a silk 'escape' map which was something I've never seen in person, even in a museum, let alone be able to handle. Ralph and Ed told stories about being in armour between Vietnam and the Cold War, Phil discussed his Grandfather's service in WWI and I told a couple of stories about my Grandfather's adventurers being a 'scrounge' when not on active duty.

On a personal note, sorry about the lack of posts lately. I was down with pneumonia for 3 weeks. I'm on the mend now and hopefully back to normal!

Monday, March 14, 2016

Carthaginian Medium Infantry

These are two units of Carthaginian medium infantry, made up of some left-over figures from my dead lead box. They are based up as peltasts or other such medium infantry. In Hanibal at the Gates, these will most likely be used as soldiers, but could also be pressed into service as rankers. These two units are meant to flank my red Carthaginian hoplite phalanx, one stand of which I recently posted in this post. It's the right unit in the blog post.

The figures are Old Glory. The rear figures from their medium Carthaginian infantry pack and the front skirmishing figures from their Italian medium infantry pack. The latter were selected based on their helmets, two of which were modified by removing the plumes. The shields are a mix of what comes with each bag of figures as well as some characteristic Carthaginian bronze shields from my bits box. Next up on the painting table are two stands of Roman principes to complete my white legion.

More Ancients Re-Basing

I'm continuing to re-base my 28mm ancients from DBA/FOG to the dedicated basing of Hanibal at the Gates. These are five more stands re-based.

The first unit is my Campanian hoplites. These were originally painted in January, 2014. Now re-based they represent three hoplite stands in HATG. The right-most base includes three figures painted last month to make the number of figures per stand work.

The final two stands of Numidian infantry include a musician, painted back in January but never photographed. Re-basing from three to five figures per stand allows these two stands to be used as peltasts or medium infantry - soldiers or rankers in HATG terms.

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Northern Conspiracy Game Night - March 2016

Last Friday our club got together for our monthly game night. Of the three games offered, I chose to play in Ed's British Colonial game using his home-brew rules based loosely on Gaslight and Sword and the Flame. Ed calls them Gasflame. 
Ed organizes his games to a very high level. Each command arrives in it's own box and each unit has a card with unit statistics, firing factors and a photo of the figures. Hard to get confused with play aids like that!

On the native side was Don, Paul and myself. For the British, Mike, Dave and Ralph. The scenario called for the capturing of a central hill. With wild men armed mostly with swords and spears, the native plan was pretty simple - CHARGE!

The British did a good job of holding us off. Dave obliterated the first native unit that crested the target hill. Ralph did similarly to my first infantry charge on his cavalry. Things settled down a little after that, but over time the British did more damage than the natives, and nobody held the hill. Win for the British empire. The sun will not set on non-British land this day.

The second games was Michael's pirate game, complete with a shipwreck and very nicely painted native islanders. More photos of Mike's game can be seen on his gallery here: https://www.flickr.com/photos/127078331@N07/albums/72157663495920803/with/25426098840/

The third game was Dick's 6mm Napoleonic game, with great looking battle lines due to the high number of 6mm figures per unit.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Samnite Linnen Legion

These figures represent a portion of the Samnite 'linen legion'. The linen legion, is mentioned in Livy and is reported to have been comprised of religious purists. The white of their tunics and shields and the silvering of their arms and armor were because white and silver were colors that symbolized this religious purity. As part of a larger Samnite army these figures would be part of the elite portion of the army. As mercenaries in my Roman, Carthaginian or Pyrrhic armies they'll represent a half-legion or division of soldiers and skirmishers. Later on if I paint up a full Samnite army I would add the spear line to these units to complete the legion. Like my previous Samnite unit, these are Old Glory figures with Aventine shields.

Also painted with these figures were three additional Campanian hoplite figures to round out a third unit as part of an upcoming re-basing effort for a previously painted unit. These figures will receive their matte varnish as part of the re-basing process.

With these three, this is another 24 figures added to this year's painting totals. The frigid weather this winter has had a positive influence on my painting, that's for sure.

Northern Conspiracy - Game Day February 2016

Yesterday, our new club president Charlie organized the first game day of the year. The event was a one-day campaign re-creating the opening moves of the 1809 War of the Fifth Coalition. Organizing this game day was a herculean effort by Charlie aided by Ed, Ralph, Bob and me by bringing a significant portion of the troops. In addition to organizing the campaign and writing the rules, Charlie brought over half of the Austrian forces to the game - hundreds of figures.

The day started out with a brief overview of Charlie's rules, Napoleon's Rules of War.

This was followed by some map moves, mostly pre-planned prior to the game day which resulted in four separate, but simultaneous battles being fought. Pictured here, the French high command, Ralph and Ed, conferencing.

After the initial map moves, the games could begin. Each would be considered a sizable game, but as a whole, an epic offering with over 500 28mm figures involved over 36 feet of tables, and over 20 players.

I had more than my hands full just playing on my own table. There we inflicted many more casualties than we sustained, but didn't break through the French lines, which was our objective. Elsewhere across the room similar outcomes were happening on each table. My personal thanks to Earl, who took many of the early day photos while he was waiting for his command to arrive onto a table. You can even see the rare photo of me below left moving my troops, thanks to Earl.