Sunday, February 28, 2016

Chinese Militia - The Water Margin

More Chinese Militia for the Water Margin participation game at Hammerhead. Nothing like a hard deadline to drive the brushes. 
These rebel infantry will aid the 108 heroes fighting a cruel and corrupt government.

Meanwhile I figured it would be useful for each faction to have a suitable bannerman to match to the revenue markers, so the following characters give me several options and add to that Water Margin feel from the 1970's TV series.


Less than a week to go.... still plenty more to do.

Friday, February 26, 2016

A miner affair.... A VBCW Encounter.

A break from the far East, after several weeks of flicking through the rules finally a chance to give Flying lead a run out......
The rules are based on the popular "Song of Blades and Heroes" rules mechanics, a simple mechanism but surprisingly complex if you are to win a game.

What better place than going back to AVBCW it's been a while...

The Government have been pressuring the workforce for greater output in an effort to bolster the flagging economy as the years of war begin to bite. Pushed to far the miners take up arms, kicking out the pit managers and throwing up defences.
The Police are set in to break the miners and seize control of the mine works.

The approaches to the mine works.

The miners take up their positions, 18 fighters armed with a mixture of rifles, Pistols and one Maxim.

The Police break into two groups swinging both left and right, using the hedge rows to cover their advance.

The Miners seeing the Government forces fail a number of tests advance to bring their rifles and maxim into range.

A number of Police are out of the fight, forcing the others to seek the cover of the tree line.

Using the leaders motivation and gambling on three actions, a detachment of Police skirt the old wool shop and flank the advancing miners.

A close range fire fight and the ambush bonus take down several of the advancing socialists.

On the right flank the Police pour forward.

At close range the Maxim can be really nasty.

The shop steward leads his men forward to defend against the flanking move.

A well aimed shot and the Shop Steward is down.

Seeing their leader out of the fight a number of the militia head for the table edge.

With their threshold at 50% the remaining militia seek to sanctuary off table. The Mine falls to the Government.

A great addition to the Songs of Blades stable, I like the way the character activation works you have to take a gamble on the number of activations needed which adds to the battlefield friction.
The firefights work well with a minimal number of dice with models ducking for cover and going to ground.

Definately one to try again in the near future....

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Oriental Jump off and Shock Markers....

Another good day on the brushes.
I finished the prep on the Plasti Craft Games - Kensei rural elements and Japanese Grave Set yesterday and allowed them to dry over night.
The plan is use these as victory markers in the forthcoming Water Margin game, but they will also double up for jump off points for the RJW project or Dragon Rampant casualty markers so plenty of uses.

The dice frames are from Minbits, with 8 coloured dice in their 7mm range - if gives me plenty of scope for factions within the Water Margin game.

A link on the Perry's website provides for some fantastic oriential flags for their Korean Range these will come in handy for the various factions married to the various dice colours...

Steady progress with more Infantry waiting in the wings....

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Chinese Zombies - Watchful I Studio's

Not quite true to the TV series, but how could I resist and an interesting twist to the Hammerhead factions in March.
Kao Chiu unwittingly releases the souls of nine dozen rebel knights from the tomb in which they had been sealed.
But what of the souls left behind?

Why not have a Fangshi - Occultist commanding legions of the undead as they rise up and defend their burial ground. 
Another offering from Watchful I Studio, these are better sculpts than the terracottao warriors still a little on the thin side but they have really captured the shambling nature of your classic zombie.

Friday, February 19, 2016

Hammerhead 2016 - The Water Margin.

Less than 3 weeks to go and what was a mere title a few weeks ago is now at least a plan.

I had an idea several months back to turn the 70's BBC2 favourite - The Water Margin to a miniatures game, but I needed the push to bring it to life - Why not do at at Hammerhead was the suggestion from fellow club members. Foolishly I agreed.

Cover PhotoHammerhead is different to the main shows on the circuit, every game at Hammerhead is visitor participation, which means that you are very welcome 'to have a go’ at a wide variety of different historical and fantasy based games.

When considering our offering, I thought about my own experiences around shows, how much time would I be prepared to give up to play a game?

How to cater for 3-5 people who all need to be involved from the outset and have a clear winner in each session and what rules to use that allow people to pick up the game mechanics relatively quickly?

The rules were a reasonably easy pick, the release of Advanced Songs of Blades and Heroes gave me a rule system familar to a number of us at the club and small games last around 30-60 minutes.

Just the scenario to pick.

Inspiration can come from a number of sources, several months ago I took part in a speedball tournment it's a darn sight faster than regular paintball and alot more scary for those now not so nimble as they were in their 20's. Points are awarded for capturing a number of flags, in a limited time period.
Could this be re-created on the table top?
I spotted these from Plasti Craft Games - Kensei Range.

I was on the look out for some suitable jump off points for the RJW Project or Dragon Rampant casualty markers for the Song Project, they seemed perfect for what I had in mind.

And so we have it.
Several players competing for loot or resources with the owner of the most markers deemed the winner...

3 weeks to go, no pressure then......

Drop along on the 5th March and become one of the 'Nine Dozen Heroes or One Wicked Man' 

Monday, February 15, 2016

England Invaded - Martian Moves Turn 3

Two months have slipped by since the last outing in the current Martian Empires campaign but the Martian's have not been idle.

The invaders break free from their red weed covered territory into the areas of England currently untouched by the steel claws of the out of world invader. West Glamorgan, Northamptonshire, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire fall to the Martians without a fight, historical cities and and towns that have stood for hundreds of years are razed to the ground, Stowmarket and Cambridge are nothing more than blackened ruins.

Meanwhile the battle lines are drawn in other areas, in the Midlands where the Humans have sufficent troops to hold the Martian invader they form up prepared to stem the Martian advance, will they fight or will they withdraw, pulling the red foe away from their cylinders?

Defence of Powys
700 Martian vs 345 Human

Defence of Staffordshire
600 Martian vs 300 Human
Defence of Cheshire
509 Martian vs 200 Human
Defence of Warwickshire
500 Martian vs 200 Human

The siege of London continues, the occasional scout machine scuttles forward probing the earth works and trenches, however over recent days the hammering from the pits has increased and the unearthly howling can be heard long into the night.
The Martian onslaught is coming.

2000 vs 800 - Attacking on two fronts.
The Martians are also attacking the Surrey salient (300 vs 100) but with such a small garrison one suspects the The Queens Royal Foot will have to retire towards the capital if it still stands.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Chechnya - 1st outing...

After several weeks of painting finally time to put some lead on the table.

Nothing too taxing for the first outing but it did allow everyone to get their toys out and try the rules in 15mm.

June 1995 somewhere between Benoi and Vedeno - Chechnya.
A Russian BM21 has broken down on one of the major supply routes. A squad has been left behind to protect the rocket launcher whilst reinforcements are on route along with a repair party. The area is known for rebel activity.
The Russians must protect the vehicle and drive off any Chechen fighters.

The northern approaches, the vehicle park can be seen in the centre of the table.

The BM21 is in a reasonable good defensible position with shielded by a row of houses and light woods to the North, East and West.

The Russian commander opted for a cirle of pickets in the high ground hoping to spot the rebels early, they are soon rewarded with two guards stumbling into two whole squads of Checken fighters.


The pickets fall back, but a pour dice roll leaves them pinned in the road and dispite covering fire from the corner house are soon cut down in a hail of bullets.


Meanwhile on the Northern raod a Russian squad is under fire from a Chechen screening force.

To the South a BMP1 edges along the approaches to the vehicle park, Chechen fire does little to slow it's advance.

A further Russian security force approaches from the West only to ambushed by another Chechen fire time.

 A short firefight drives the Russians to ground, with casualties on both sides.

We have had some good encounters using Chris Peers rules in 28mm, but they did not covert well to 15mm, the vehicles movement was to slow and the command and control was difficult to maintain in the smaller scale for squads in such a large area, which was a shame as the scenario should have given a better encounter. 
The plan is to try and rerun using Force on Force and see if that gives us a better result and more in keeping with what we had in mind espically if we are increasing the vehicle count.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Terracotta warriors - Watchful I Studio's

Several months ago I backed Watchful I Studio's Kickstarter for their Ancient Chinese Range, they added a number of fantasy pieces to the Kickstarter campaign which I thought would be useful for the odd Chinese fantasy encounter.

With Hammerhead but a month or so away, perhaps the most fun show on the circuit  the Wyverns have elected to run a participation game with the working title "The Water Margin".
I best get thinking about what this will look like.

I imagine you might see these breaking from their static poses and strutting about the table.

Sunday, February 07, 2016

Chechen Project - Heavy Metal Part 3

Mission complete.

With smell of varnish still lingering the Russian Armour is complete and ready for action tonight, I might even be tempted to change the scenario just to throw in a some mobile reinforcements for the Russians to give these some game time, but we all know about the curse of freshly painted models :-)

Column Forward - The Russian Federation.

Two BTR70's and a BTR80, I need to add a further vehicle to represent the command vehicle for the platoon, but might use the BTR80 for that as the BTR70's are such an iconic vehicle.

A pair of T-72 B's ready to lead the assault, I could be tempted by a couple of T80's to finish off the platoon but these give the Russian's a spearhead.

A BRDM2 to provide a recon element togother with a BMP2, the BMP will form the basis of the second section, which I plan to bolster with a couple of BMD's.

A ZSU-23-4 "Shilka" used in a ground support role.

I am short of a few vehicles to bring the various platoons up to strength, the next batch will be a little more worn with stowage and a few with distruptive paint patterns, but for now these will be more than enough for the run of the mill encounter.

Saturday, February 06, 2016

Chechen Project - Heavy Metal Part 2

A late night paint session on Friday to bring these to the table top in time for Sunday.
With the opening a scenario involving mostly infantry, I figured best to start with the mission objectives in case I don't get enough hours on the brushes this weekend.

First up a BM21 Rocket Launcher and it's accompanying support function a URAL open backed truck. 

The plan is paint up all vehicles with a Russian Federation feel on the basis that captured kit would be used for the Chechen's as the scenario dictates.

With the bulk of the Russian forces being MBT's and AFV's and armoured columns their opponents the Chechen's will be restricted to various artillery types to support their ground troops so hardware like the BM21 will be perfect although the likihood of actually firing it on table will be minimal if you consider the actual ranges open to this artillery piece.

The QRF kits went together reasonably well and once painted and based look great, whilst they may lack the crisp style that can be achieved in the newer plastic offerings they will stand up to game play a little better and have a real weight to them.

I have added the smaller bricks to blend with the officers amongst the foot figures and the rubble, should allow me to easily transfer them from a rural to an urban setting.