Friday, November 29, 2019

Twitch Stream Replay - Basing 28mm French Napoleonics #2

This is a replay of today's stream where I finish basing up the figures from yesterday's stream by adding grass tufts and other scenic items. I also base up another three units of young guard French infantry.

For those wishing to get a notification on Twitch the next time I attempt to stream, you can follow my channel there. My channel link is

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Twitch Stream Replay - Basing 28mm French Napoleonics

Lately I've been using my tablet at my painting table to watch miniature painters who stream on About 80% of these painters are painting Warhammer figures with the balance painting fantasy or science fiction figures. Rarely do I see anyone painting historical figures. Still, these are very skilled painters and there's plenty to learn from them regardless of subject matter.

I always wondered if this would be fun to do so I gave it a try. Below is a YouTube video replay of my first stream. The video quality is fair to sometimes poor and the audio volume is a bit low. All of this was done straight from my phone, clamped to my painting light. Clearly not a proper streaming set-up. Still if there's interest I may set up a proper streaming rig with multiple cameras and proper video. Give the stream a watch and give me your honest, even if brutal, feedback.

For those wishing to get a notification on Twitch the next time I attempt to stream, you can follow my channel there. My channel link is

These are some of the other painting streams I follow and enjoy:

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Northern Conspiracy Game Night - November 2019

Last night the Northern Conspiracy gathered for our monthly game night. This was the final meeting of the current administrative board as our club operates on a December to November fiscal year. It has been a great year of gaming.

Seen to the left here is Warren receiving the club's sportsmanship trophy from outgoing president Dick. The Northern Conspiracy highly values the friendship and sportsmanship of its members. Warren well embodies these values every year. This year the club recognized him with the sportsman award. Warren is a consummate gentleman at the table while still being an excellent gamer - a combination to be honored.

Now on to the games!

I played in Don's Maurice game of 30 Year's war Russians versus Turks. John, Bruce and I were the Russians. Our Turkish opponents Peter, Warren, Paul and Dave.

We nominated John to be CinC, and he chose to hold the right flank against Peter and Warren's double-team force.

I received and all infantry force tasked with assaulting the village defended by Paul's elite Janissarys and militia.

Bruce and Dave faced off in a massive cavalry clash which saw to the total destruction of both cavalry wings.

Photos here of Dave and Bruce sorting out the Carnage.

The final photo on the lower right also shows Paul's troops occupying and protecting the village preparing to receive my assault.

My assault goes in. I lost two infantry battalions, but gave as good as I got eliminating one Janissary unit and the militia in the town. This cleared the town of enemy but my troops were too exhausted to attempt to hold the town with Paul's other Janissarys ready to counter attack, so I attempted to rest and recover before taking the position.

With Dave's command mostly neutralized, Bruce brings his infantry up to support the press through the town. My troops are still fatigued, while my commander is otherwise distracted trying to help our right flank hold (by using event cards).

On our right flank, Warren and Peter press home their attacks. John does a fine job eliminating some of Peter's militia and at least one of Warren's cavalry, but in the end both attacks wear down our right.  As time was called the Turkish army was near its breaking point but in a very good position. The consensus, and GM Don's opinion was that the Russians had enough army morale left to seal the deal. That and the clearing of the town made this a Russian victory. The Turkish players I thought played very well and the battle was a close fought affair the entire night.

Incoming club president Charlie ran a 15mm Iron Cross game that seemed to generate a lot of excitement. I couldn't take much time away from my game to get more details about the battle, but it looked like everyone had a great time.

Michael ran a Sails of Glory game that was also full of players. From what Michael told me, his ships of the line were out maneuvered and harassed by a larger number of smaller frigates. The frigate's superior agility coming to play to their advantage in the battle.

We had a great turn out this month. This I attribute to an excellent slate of games put on by all the game masters. Thanks to them for hosting great games.

Monday, November 18, 2019

Saga Levantine Crusades Game Day

Saturday my friend Mike hosted the first game day in a series he's running using Saga. The setting is the 7th and 8th crusades in the Levant. Players and armies chosen from a list of appropriate armies for the area and period. I got in with my Crusader army. Each player was paired up with a historical opponent and we played the very complex 'Pillage' scenario from the Saga Book of Battles. Much fun and confusion was had by all. Mike will be varying the scenarios and using some of the Saga rules for Warlord experience to add flavor to the campaign.

My game was against Charlie's Byzantines. I was defending the village against his force lead by his fearsome Varangian Guard supported by some mercenary western knights.

I'm not going to go into our battle much other than to say I made a big mistake playing not knowing that the villagers were mercenaries, and I used some of the advanced Saga abilities. Charlie was graceful about forgiving this mistake but it made the outcome of our game much different than it should have been. The first turn the Varangian guard eliminated one unit of civilians easily. All of my civilians should have suffered similar fates, but due to me using Saga abilities, the subsequent fights with my civilians went better for them than they deserved.

To the left, my dead civilians after two turns. I got good reinforcement rolls. I was able to re-occupy the central building in my village with Charlie's Varangian guards heading off to pillage other buildings.  This helped me raise the alarm and end the game quickly before Charlie ran off with too much loot.

Photos from the other tables where you can see hordes of invading mongols swarming the villages in both of the other games.

The most common sight of the day - everyone reading and re-reading the complex scenario rules. The good news is, after this most of the other scenarios should be MUCH easier to learn. This one has all the bells and whistles in it. Since Mike was GM for these games and I got to play, I'm counting it as a game played in my annual counts and not a game hosted.

Friday, November 15, 2019

28mm Crusader Heavy Cavalry #2

I'm playing some Saga tomorrow and the scenario requires that I use my crusader army. Call this 'just in time inventory'. I've finished up these eight Gripping Beast Crusader Hearthguard figures tonight, just in time for tomorrow's game.

The horses on these were painted with inks over zenethal primed figures. I still have some refining to do on my technique for this, but I'm happy with the results and in the end it was faster than brush painting with better results.

The riders were painted using my usual techniques, although I used more intentional highlighting and only used spot washes where needed instead of a complete 'dip' of the figures. I like the results a lot. The shields were LBMS transfers, but they were too small for the shields, so a lot of hand painting to fill in the borders and touch up the look was needed.

It's winter weather here, so photographs are inside. My apologies for the glare. I'm counting these as 16 figured in my annual painting totals.


Friday, November 8, 2019

28mm Crusader Warlord, Heavy Cavalry and Bannerman

These are ten of Old Glory's DA-12 Norman Heavy Knights. I've painted them up to represent Baltic and Levantine Crusaders. The only difference is I used some Crusades LBMS Studios shield transfers mixed in with some Norman ones. In all honesty I could probably also use my entire Crusader army as Normans without anyone really taking offense at it. My friend Mike has invited me to play in some Levantine crusades games and my Eastern Princes army isn't appropriate for that theater of war, so I'm pouring on the gas to finish up my Crusader army. With these figures I can field a six-point Saga force. I can't field what I feel is an optimal unit composition, but I'm legal.

Old Glory sells these in a pack of ten figures and horses, so I've painted them up for Saga as two four-man hearthguard units, a Warlord and a banner carrier. I still have to research and make a banner for the banner carrier.

For the painting of these I used my normal techniques for the riders, with a black prime, dry brush of the chain mail and then block painting of the rest. For the horses I experimented with a zenithil prime and some layered ink washes in various color mixes. The horses came out good enough considering the ink wash technique cut the painting time for them by probably 25%.

I'm counting this as 20 figures for my annual figure painting totals.

Next up on the painting table are eight more hearthguard comprised of Gripping Beast figures.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Shameless Ebay Plug

Just a quick, shameless plug that I've listed some 28mm western figures on Ebay. I saw some other listings for similar figures and it reminded me I had these that I painted for a single club game, but don't really have any future plans to use. Thought clearing out the space in my figure storage for some more of my painted Saga lead would make sense.

Auctions can be viewed here:

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

3-D Model of French 8lb Gribauval Cannon for 3-D Printing

I'm working up the courage to invest in a resin-based SLA 3-D printer. I thought it would be an excellent tool to augment my laser and significantly increase my making capabilities for wargaming terrain, vehicles and maybe eventually figures. Before I'm willing to pull the trigger, I need to make sure my 2-D CAD skills can translate well to 3-D modeling. This project is a learning exercise in using the free 3-D modeling program Blender.

The model is of a French 8 lb. Gribauval Cannon. This was chosen because there are some decent plan and elevation drawings available, and it's a common cannon made at several weights. It was used both in the Napoleonic wars and in the USA during the war of 1812. I figured making something 'real' instead of the same tutorial objects would help me learn rather than just repeat what tutorials are doing.

There's a lot more work to do before this would make a decent 28mm figure, but the bones of the structure are there. So far I've invested about 40 hours learning the software and making the model. A skilled Blender modeler probably could have done this in an hour. I have a lot to learn, but this exercise is encouraging that I may eventually develop the skills to properly utilize a 3-D printer of my own and make my own models, not just print pre-made models from the Internet.

Monday, November 4, 2019

Battle of the Bloggers

This past Saturday three of the club's four bloggers got together. Mark D. of Mark D's Gaming Site and I visited Ed of Ed M's Wargaming Meanderings Blog to play a game of Ed's heavily modified V&B for wing scale 19th century games. Ed's system features two-stand infantry and cavalry units as battalions and squadrons and single stand units as half-battalions/squadrons. There are many other changes, which make for a very different game albeit with familiar core mechanics. I expect at some point three different posts about this game. I'll cross link here when Ed and Mark's posts go up.

Mark had played the scenario once before as the Honved so he chose the Austrians and I commanded the Honved. Both armies featured many of Ed's wonderful figure conversions and excellent painting shown previously on his blog. Here are a couple of close-up photos of my units that started on the table.

The scenario was a meeting engagement with some villages on my right flank (Mark's left) and some hills in the center. With only one command of advance guard available to start for each side I wanted to get my half-battalion of Jagers into the town, or if possible, into the woods past the town. Mark saw the same opportunity, and moving first got to the woods so I settled for the village. My cavalry protected my infantry columns flank and Mark charged with his uhlans but my hussars held sending his lancers back with half their strength lost.

From here Mark and I brought up our armies from off table and got them on-line. On my right flank my Jagers forced Mark's Grenzers back in the woods out of range. On my left I pressed with a single squadron of Hussars looking for an opening on Mark's flank or to force his heavy cavalry command to that flank, away from my vulnerable half battalions which I massed on the right flank under the command of my CinC.

On the left flank Mark did counter with his cavalry brigade forcing me to withdraw my single squadron and match him with my lighter cavalry. I tried to bring up my horse gun, but didn't really do so very effectively and his was shooting at my cavalry while Mine wasn't returning fire. In the center we were at a standoff, with the exception of his artillery which was on-line although at long range I was weathering the fire well enough for it not to be pressing the issue...yet.

My final regiment with my one high-morale infantry unit, the 'red hats', advanced to press the right flank where I had amassed my half battalions and jagers to finally press the issue in the woods.

If Volley & Bayonet has one flaw, it's that it's a game of counter punching. The attacker is always at a huge disadvantage. With the scenario a balanced meeting engagement, and both Mark and I being seasoned V&B players, neither of us wanted to attack. It was a game losing move. Still, a play test needs combat, so I made a go of it and went in with the whole lot on the right. This went fairly well as I had my full battalion of elites on Mark's half battalion. I was able to press the flank on the right and following up it looked decently promising.

On the left I went 'over the top' on the hill with my horse gun and an infantry battalion and prolonged my field guns to support the push against the single unit Mark had on the hill. Three on one - it seemed like a fine plan. Then Mark reminded me why you don't attack in V&B by eliminating all of my artillery in a single turn with two shots by his stationary defending units. That attack not only stopped, I was now pretty much pant-less on my left-center.
I did a classic 'last turn' move by charging all of my cavalry into Mark's cavalry, mostly 'for science'. This resulted in Mark's heavies nearly eliminating my hussars, and me also losing against his battery and his Uhlans. If there were another turn all of my cavalry would have been eliminated by Mark's counter-charges and horse gun opening up my line of supply for raiding by Mark's cavalry. Another case of he to acts last, laughs best in V&B.

All in all a great day of gaming. Ed's changes to V&B seem to be flowing in the right direction. My complaints about V&B are more about the core system and not Ed's modifications. I had some suggestions to Ed on things that might be done to ease the V&B counter-punching issue a bit. Also this is a separate,  unrelated rule system to his upcoming 'Chocolate Box Wars' project... so that V&B nit I'm picking might not even be part of his new system.