Wednesday, 15 August 2018

2nd Afghan War: 66th (Berkshire) Regiment of Foot II

I wanted to try and get one unit of the 66th Foot finished for tonight's try out of The Men Who Would Be Kings and have just given the first 12 a spray of Anti-Shine...

The Perry plastics were just undercoated Army Painter Bleached Bone, the flesh, webbing and guns blocked in and then "dipped" in Army Painter Soft Tone dip. Think it has worked well and I'm happy with the result. 24 more to go...

Monday, 13 August 2018

2nd Afghan War: 66th (Berkshire) Regiment of Foot I

Playing some games of Outremer at BIG over the last couple of weeks led in a round about way to conversations about colonial wargaming and George said he fancied trying out Osprey's The Men Who Would Be Kings and would I be interested if he brought along a couple of Field Forces for it, even if they were only undercoated? Of course I would...

We will be doing Sudan as George has a number of boxes of Perry Madhists which he said he would try and stick together over the weekend and after a little pondering (and reading the rulebook) I thought I could jump in by raising a British Field Force, three units of Regular Infantry requiring the same number of figures found in one box of Perry's plastic British Infantry (Afghanistan and Sudan) 1877-85, so I popped in BIG on Friday and bought a box. I just need to find my Bengal Lancers now to complete a 24 point Field Force...

Over the weekend I've stuck them together and based them, along with three Warbases 12 figure movement bases which I had sitting around...

Now whilst George is bringing along a pile of Madhists, I have to confess that the North-West Frontier floats my colonial boat more so I have used the Afghanistan covered pith helmets rather than the uncovered Sudan ones and will paint them up as the ill-fated 66th Berkshire along with the regimental mascot Bobbie, who is also found in the box.

The figures look perfect for a dipping approach, so I am going to spray them a bone colour and see if dip will darken that to a Khaki look, otherwise I will find a darker sand colour and use that.

Postscript: As the BBC Weather forecast got it wrong and it did not poor down with rain after lunch, I sneaked outside and undercoated them...

Thursday, 9 August 2018

(Outremer) Death in the Dust!

Popped down to BIG last night for some more Outremer with George, Matt and Tom. Unfortunately no plan survives contact with the enemy and Tom was unable to make it so I volunteered to "umpire" a game between George and Matt - the Caravan scenario.

This was good as it allowed me more time to get to grips with the rulebook with a real life game going on. At its heart Outremer is a really a very good game with some great ideas and mechanics and I do like it a lot. However it clearly has not been blind-playtested properly (I suspect people read it rather than played it). For example, the only reference to terrain is a line that "more is best" but the scenarios would benefit from some indication of what would be reasonable given the objectives of both sides and I can't imagine playtesters playing these scenarios would not have flagged this. That said it is not anything experienced gamers should not be able to cope with.

I suspect we should have had more terrain on the table as Matt's Crusaders struggled against George's Arabs with their missile fire advantage. That said he did manage to get his caravan to within one move of safety before his final character was taken down.

I then played George at the Rescue scenario. I had made a few changes to my warband. My new leader was now an Arif, I removed two Ahdath spear and added another Peasant with a bow. Having seen how kick ass George's two characters with the Sneaky trait were last week I had come up with a cunning plan to thwart them (which I promptly forgot and split my band into two like I did previously).

George's sneaky guys (bottom left) move up the sand dune having emerged from their hiding place...
His Sneaky guys took out one of my peasant bowmen in turn one and my Arif then failed a Faith test and ran off the board! My Mamluk tried to get into hand to hand combat but went down under arrow fire...

Mamluk and Peasant down! My Leader having ran off!
My other group had a bit of success taking down one of George's bowmen, but under bow fire from in front and the flank, I lost two more men before fleeing the battlefield and leaving the captured hostage in enemy hands.

One bad guy down, the Scavengers advance across the desert... 
Next time I shall try and remember my cunning plan to deal with them Sneaky types!

Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Panzerfäuste: Dwarf Pilot

Hysterical Games are giving away a Dwarf Luftbest Pilot this month with any order £25 or more. A lovely little figure I couldn't wait to slap some paint on him...

Not quite sure what I'll use him for, probably a scenario objective, but he is a great miniature...

Saturday, 4 August 2018

(Outremer) Frankish Warband I

A rummage in the attic at Blease Towers looking for a Coolbox at the behest of SWMBO led to the re-discovery of a tin full of (very) old Citadel Norman infantry (the slottabase tabs say 1985). They are mainly infantry with a number of duplicates and whilst there doesn't appear to be enough of anything other than unmounted knights for use in Saga, there is enough useful models for Outremer!

So I have based up eight and undercoated them to make a Frankish warband to go alongside my Saracen one...

I won't need all the models for a 750 Livre warband but what I have pulled out the tin gives me some options to play with.

Thursday, 2 August 2018

(Outremer) Death in the Sand!

Played two scenarios from Outremer: Faith and Blood at BIG last night, with hugely differing outcomes...

Game One: Camp Assault

Salah's Scavengers surround and attack Tom's Crusader camp with the aim of seizing four loot objectives.

I split the Scavengers into three groups to surround and assault the camp from various points. I rashly advanced one peasant bowman straight over the sand dune and he soon found himself under fire from a Frankish archer. However he had Allah's blessing as the infidel arrows missed and he took the Frank down with his return fire (I must note here that Tom had the worst ever series of die rolls I have ever witnessed rolling five 1's and one 2 in a row at the start of the game which greatly helped my stupid tactics).

Nothing seemed to go well for Tom's Crusaders. I took down his second archer and one of my spearmen took out an axe armed warrior - again the Dice Gods looking after me. Another archer took out Tom's leader and his remaining warrior decided to flee the battlefield.

Tom's extremely poor dice rolls certainly worked in my favour in this battle which flagged up a few problems with the rules, the scenario Victory Conditions especially, as we were unsure whether I could claim the Loot as "seized" as I had not picked it up before Tom fled, although I controlled the battlefield within the game turns. As this meant 80 Livres for either the attacker or defender we applied common sense and gave the Loot to the victorious attackers, though technically the scenario victory conditions say objectives not seized give the defender the Livres.

This led to a lengthy discussion were we concluded it would actually benefit the Defender to flee the battlefield in turn one before the Attacker has the opportunity to seize any objectives and pocket the 80 Livres! :-)

Game Two: Skirmish

The Scavengers next battle was against George's Arabs and I think my guys had been smoking hashish with their winnings against the Franks!

George's band was a little more experienced than mine and had an advantage in two of his characters had the Sneaky trait allowing them to set up pretty much anywhere on the board after I had deployed.

As George was advancing from the opposite table corner (apart from his two sneaky guys) I decided to split my band into two and try and attack from two fronts. Unfortunately this did not work that well!

As one group advanced down the right hand side of the table, one of George's sneaky Arab's burst through a side door and attacked my spearmen taking his down. He then engaged my leader and after a couple of rounds of hand to hand combat took him down too.

Elsewhere the remaining spearmen in this group was shot by an archer and my archer having bottled his Faith test was cut down by George's remaining sneaky Arab!

With half my band down I decided I was going to flee the battlefield at the start of the next turn but was not able to do so before George slit the throats of my leader and archer to gain extra XP!

So unfortunately with Mohammed Salah viciously slain in his second battle, the leaderless Scavengers have disbanded and I will have to roll up a new Band of brigands before the next game...

Wednesday, 1 August 2018

(Outremer) Salah's Scavengers

Off to BIG in a little while for another spin with Osprey's Outremer. I'm hoping I remember some of the rules(!) However I did manage to point up my own 749 Livre warband and finish off two more figures, conversions using Gripping Beast Viking bodies and Arab infantry heads, shields and equipment, to give me a couple of armoured figures that hopefully won't die quite as quickly as the rank and file.

Sub-Arif Mohammed Salah and Mamluk Amhed Hassan
Spear armed Adath's Essam El-Hadrid, Mohammed Awad and Ahmed Hegazi
Bow armed Peasant's Saad Samir, Sherif Ekramy and Ramadan Sobhi
Yes, all the character names are taken from the Egyptian World Cup football squad!