Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Saga Eastern Princes - Hearthguard, Warriors, Warlord

Since I'm hosting a big Saga game day on Saturday, getting the shield transfers onto these figures was top priority. I cracked on and got it done and here they are. Most of these figures were painted last week during the World Series games and have been based and flocked just waiting for the transfers. This group shot shows all the figures not previously shown. All of these are from Gripping Beast's Russian Princedoms starter warband box. As far as figure count is concerned, I'm counting this effort as 26 figures.

 Hearthguard unit number one.

Hearthguard unit number two.

The Warlord. Most reviews of this boxed set give this figure low marks. I think the sculpt has good detail, but the pose is a bit awkward. 

The Warriors. I really like this unit. I have a second one to paint up that's just waiting on an order of shields. I'm going to convert some Pagan Rus figures as more city militia to give me additional poses. I've only played a few games of Saga, but so far I'm really liking warriors with melee weapons as good all-purpose troops.

Getting the (war)band back together. Here's a group shot of the entire six point warband. A video, which actually shows the figures more clearly is below.

After finishing up the army I also designed a set of Saga measuring sticks for club use with our club name and logo. These were cut and engraved from arctic birch plywood on my laser engraver.

Saga Turcopoles

These are eight Turcopoles from Gripping Beast for my Saga armies. They'll also do double duty as 'Eastern Horsemen'. Truth be told I think these figures fit the Eastern Horsemen role even better than the Turcopole role due to all of them having their bows drawn and shooting. Turcopoles to me were more all-purpose light cavalry. Still these work great for both. 

I have painted these up in 'average joe' gear. Lots of browns and earth tones for on-campaign wear. These guys didn't have retainers washing their clothes and carrying their battle gear for them. They were working stiffs.

This unit makes Saga point number three for my Eastern Princes Saga army. Today my LBMS transfers arrived so I can finally finish the hearthguard and warriors I painted up last week. Look for more photos of those units here on the blog soon. This unit I will count as 16 figures for the painting totals: 8 riders and 8 horses.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Saga Russian Princedoms Fortified Wagon

This is a fortified 'heavy baggage wagon' for my Saga Eastern Princes (Russian) force. This is in fact the reason I chose the list. I started wargaming over 30 years ago when our club was primarily gaming WRG 2nd edition Renaissance rules. One of our club's members had a large wagon laager in their force that I always thought looked 'way cool'. Fast forward 30 years and given the chance to have one of my own I jumped at it.

The wagon itself is from Essex Miniatures. It is their stock number C&W8 - "Eastern European War Wagon w/Protection". Saga allows for bases for the wagon from 40-50 mm wide and 80-120mm long. The Essex wagon fits comfortably on a 45mm wide base, but just barely squeezes on a 120mm long base. I would strongly discourage using wagons from larger 'epic' sized 32mm figure lines. The crew are Old Glory figures. The axe-armed figures are from their medieval civilians pack and the crossbowman was a gift from my uncle from his dead lead.

The special rules for the wagon have it moving slowly on the battlefield, but it is heavily armored and most enemy units cannot attack other units in your force if they could also attack the wagon. I'm unsure how this can be used effectively, but I'll have fun figuring it out.

I usually prefer to save the fun units to paint until the end of a project to keep my motivation up. With several units in this army requiring shield transfers that are still in the post, I broke form and went ahead and completed this unit while watching Thursday Night Football. Total painting time including basing was about four hours.  I'm going to count this as 8 figures in the painting totals.  This unit costs 1 Saga point bringing my Eastern Princes force count up to 2 points. We usually play 6-point armies, so I'm 1/3 of the way there.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Saga Russian Princedoms City Militia Crossbowmen

Now that the October game day and the Tobacco Factory project are behind me, it's time for something new. This is the start of my first Saga army. I've chosen to start with an 'Eastern Princes' army list, which includes Russian and Lithuanian Christian armies. This first unit is only available for Russian armies, but I do intend to eventually paint up enough figures to do both armies with their unique units.

I've chosen this list for a couple very non-competitive reasons. First, nobody else in the club has this army, and second it gets to field a way cool wagon laager, which I've always wanted to paint up. Early reports from the Saga forums say the wagon laager is a sub-optimal choice for the list, but I'm doing it anyways.

These figures are Gripping Beast's Russian City Militia crossbows. There are only four poses in a pack. These are the figures from three separate packs. What they lack for in variety they make up for in sculpting quality. Easy and enjoyable figures to paint. I spent about six hours painting these, four of which were spent while watching game one of the world series. 

Next up during game two of the world series was a significant amount of progress on two four-figure units of hearthguard and a warlord for the army. Finishing them is waiting on a shipment of shield transfers. In the meantime I'll continue on to the wagon laager. Expect more posts about this army soon.

Sunday, October 21, 2018

28MM Luftwaffe Field Division Troops With Assault Rifles

These are the last unpainted infantry I had left for my late war German WWII army. They are 20 Luftwaffe Field Division infantry armed with the German late war assault rifle, the
STG-44. Geöring equipped his beloved field division troops with some of the best equipment available, including the STG-44.

The figures are a mix. Ten of them are from Warlord Games Veteran Grenadiers pack. The remaining ten are two blisters of Artisan Games German Assault Rifles in Assorted Headgear (discontinued). I really like the way the Artisan and Warlord figures mix. Unless you're very familiar with which poses are which, it's very hard to tell the two manufacturers apart.

All I have left to finish my WWII Germans is to finish painting two Hetzer assault guns and a single German motorcycle team. The latter may end up becoming a Finnish asset instead.

Monday, October 15, 2018

October 2018 Northern Conspiracy Game Day - Operation Avalanche - Allied Invasion of Italy at Salerno

Saturday, the Northern Conspiracy gathered for a game day centered around Operation Avalanche - the Allied invasion of Italy at Salerno. To the left, club president Ed M. kicks things off with a rousing talk to the troops about logistics and the day.

Below are photographs of the four tables the hosts set up to accommodate the possible 20-24 attendees we've been seeing at recent game days. Turnout was very light at only 12 players, so instead of running all the tables under-staffed with players, we decided to run two tables at full capacity. This was a choice I think everyone found worked out well.

For the "Tobacco Factory" table we had German players of John, Byron and Guest Josh (not pictured). Opposed to them were Bob, Kevin and Phil as the Scott's guards.

Early in the game Bob deployed his 17 pounder AT gun to cover the open area on the river side of the complex. The Bren carrier which was towing the AT gun was immediately destroyed by fire from the German Stug III stranding the AT gun where it was. Later combined fire from two infantry squads and an SdKfz 222 armored car finished off the British AT gun.

As an effort to counter the 222 and avoid incoming Stug fire, the British 'Honey' Stuart withdrew to the river and took a pot shot at the 222. For the rest of the battle both the 222 and the Stuart broke for tea - their commanders focusing their efforts elsewhere.

With threats at the river countered the Stug took up a position on the far side of the complex. The British countered with their Sherman, which bounced first one, then four additional main rounds off the Stug, silencing it.

Kevin aggressively attacked the central most building of the complex, nicknamed the 'keystone' as it was the key to controlling the complex with each side having equal amounts of the complex controlled. Kevin's troops pressed the Germans well, eventually falling and being replaced by another British infantry unit.

The Germans also lost an infantry unit in the fray replacing it as well. As night began to fall (in game and in reality) a desperate situation arose and the fighting accellerated (GM put the assault into sudden death mode) with each unit giving the other their best. As the battle drew to a close, the German infantry commanded by guest Josh was just able to outlast Kevin's guards. The result, a marginal German victory with possession of the Tobacco Factory for another day - this was the historical result as well.

One last photo of Ralph's beautiful table. More great photographs of both battles can also be seen at club member Michael B's flicker page and Rob's Imgur page.