Thursday 30 April 2015

Old School Fantasy

As an ageing wargamer I find it amusing when the "kids" call Warhammer 3rd edition "Oldhammer", remembering as I do the days before Warhammer even existed. Some of the first fantasy miniatures I bought were Ral Partha ones manufactured in the UK under licence by Citadel, some of Tom Meier's elves being my favourite figures at the time.

I was pleasantly surprised to see that there are moves by Iron Wind Metals to bring many of these miniatures back into production and that a Kickstarter to do this has already been funded.

Happy though I am to see the figures back, I wasn't planning to get on board with this Kickstarter, but there is a little voice in the back of my head going "Dragon Rampant, Dragon Rampant" Sigh...

Wednesday 29 April 2015

Urban Ruins Mat

I've been on the lookout for a suitable urban terrain mat for sometime, especially one I could get cut to the size of my wargames table which is 6' by 6'. This from Deep Cut Studio looks like it may well be what I want and the price seems quite reasonable too...

Tuesday 28 April 2015

Garth Ennis' Battlefields

When I posted about Osprey's planned foray into the world of comics, I mentioned Garth Ennis recent War Stories and Battlefields series. It was only later that I realised i had only read the War Stories comics and not the Battlefields ones, so quickly popped an order off to Amazon for the first of the three collections of stories.

I must say the three collected stories in the volume one are all excellent stories and superbly illustrated by three different artists. Ennis certainly doesn't pull his punches in describing the horrors of war and these are certainly not kids comics.

The three stories are The Night Witches, the story of Soviet female aviators in the Great Patriotic War, The Tankies, a story of a novice British tank crew in Normandy and Dear Billy. The latter is an incredibly moving story of a young nurse in the Far East and her traumatic experiences. All three of the stories had a cinematic quality to them, but Dear Billy would make for a great film.

Wargamers will get a lot out of The Night Witches and Tankies, but all three stories are excellent and Battlefields volume one is well worth getting hold of...

Monday 27 April 2015

Conan: Royal Armies of the Hyborean Age

Happy bunny time at Bleaseworld as I finally secured a copy of Royal Armies of the Hyborean Age by Lin Carter and Scott Bizar which was published by Fantasy Games Unlimited in 1975 - for just a fiver!

A set of what we would now call 'old school' rules, the best part is the inclusion of army lists with troop and banner descriptions, which with Lin Carter's involvement are about as official as we are very likely to get.

Now I've got this, I may have to dust off that old 10mm project...

Sunday 26 April 2015

Panzerfäuste Dwarves

I know they are only the 3D renders but I am very excited by how good the new Panzerfäuste Dwarves are going to look...

I have seen a blurry photo of the print of two of the Dwarves and they do look this good.

Friday 24 April 2015

Panzerfäuste Reborn!

I've had to keep this under my hat for a while but I can tell you something I have been dying to for months! This is what I posted on the Wessex Games Fantasy Yahoo Group today...

"I love Panzerfäuste, it is a great game with a great background. It is also a game that has huge potential but sadly a potential that I have not been able to realise through Wessex Games.

Last last year Rob Alderman, a long time fan of the game, approached me about producing a new edition. As you may know Rob has a full-time job working for Prodos Games and has a level of experience in the industry and a portfolio of contacts that I can only dream of. He knows the figure designers, artists, manufacturers and printers that could make Panzerfäuste the game I first dreamed of and the one we both dream of playing!

So we are going to do it!

We have set up Hysterical Games, a jointly owned company to produce a new version of Panzerfäuste.

We have a plan, Rob has a team of artists and sculptors working on some beautiful colour art and brand new miniatures. Rob is working on new rules and I’m having a whale of a time fleshing out the background,

I suppose I should clarify what I mean when I say a new version of Panzerfäuste...

The new version will be a completely different game. As you know the original game was a section level skirmish game, the new version will be a reinforced platoon level mass battle game. This means that not only will the basic infantry be produced for the game, but (at long last) there will be support weapons produced along with the armoured war-beasts that take on the role of tanks in the world of Panzerfäuste.

The skirmish game will not die and will continue to be available, so in effect there will be two Panzerfäuste games available for you to play, a squad level skirmish one and a platoon level battle one depending on what takes your fancy.

The new miniatures will be compatible with the old Wessex Games figures, but they will be head and shoulders above them in terms of detail. Rob has a lot of experience at Prodos dealing with the production of wargames figures in lightweight polyurethane resin from computer 3D renders and that is what we are going to use going forward.

 Now I confess as an old grognard I was a little bit skeptical about this, until I saw what Prodos have produced. Have a look at these figures here and start imagining what we can now do for Panzerfäuste!

We will be starting the project by concentrating on the start of the Great Dwarven War in Panzerfäuste, concentrating our initial efforts on Dwarves, Gnomes, Orcs and Troglodyte armies. After that we will move onto the Dark Elves, Ogres, Rats etc. My list of armies and troop types that I want to see produced is extremely long to say the least!

More news will be coming soon. Please follow the Hysterical Games page on Facebook where we will be posting regular updates and sneak peaks of the miniatures and artwork as soon as we can:  If you are at Salute tomorrow pop along and say hello to Rob on the Prodos stand, hopefully he will have a picture of the first Dwarf infantry renders. Also have a look at the Warzone Resurrection figures as that is the detail we are going for. I hope you are as excited by this news as I am.

Hopefully we can make Panzerfäuste the game of 2015 – and beyond!"

Excited? Damn right I am...

Thursday 23 April 2015

Tolkien Retail Therapy

It may be the painkillers talking (!) but the Trolls I painted the other week have rekindled my desire to do something Tolkien inspired. To this end I have engaged in a little retail therapy and picked up a box of forty Gripping Beast Arab Spearman to paint up as Haradrim...

I am erring towards using WHFB2 for some games, I never was that keen on the look of the "Strategy Game" basing and I have piles of Moria goblins sat around that should make a large horde army doable, if I can work out a quick way to paint them...

Wednesday 22 April 2015

Out of Commission

I appear to have a trapped nerve in my left arm, which is now in a sling and I'm dosed up on painkillers.  So no painting, grrr...

Tuesday 21 April 2015

Bolt Action: Vichy Colonial Troops

I came across a really interesting looking Kickstarter to produce one of the most useful WW2 forces around - WW2 French Colonial Troops. Useful why? Because they fought the Germans, British, Italians, Americans, Japanese and other French troops in battles from Morocco to Indo-China.

The figures look wonderful and there are a number of useful head variants including Adrian helmets, solar topees, kepi and chechia.

Sadly it looks like the Kickstarter is going to fail, with nine days to go it is not even half way to its target. This is a shame, but given the masters are already sculpted the wisest course would be to relaunch it with a more modest target to cover the costs of moulds and production, the sculpting costs being recouped through future sales beyond the Kickstarter. Here's hoping, because the resin masters look amazing...

Monday 20 April 2015


BBC America has released a short teaser for the forthcoming BBC series The Last Kingdom based on the Bernard Cornwell book. Really looking forward to this...

Sunday 19 April 2015

Batman: Dawn of Justice

Well I needed a bit of inspiration to get on and finish my Penguin miniature...

Saturday 18 April 2015

Highway to Hell...

So with a new Mad Max movie coming out in May you think someone would be clever enough to release a similarly themed miniatures game around the same time. What's that Word Forge Games? You're launching a Kickstarter in May for Devil's Run: Route 666, a 20mm game of post-apocalyptic road rage?

I've been following the build up to this game on the Facebook page and the 3D renders certainly look interesting and should be pretty awesome painted up. If you are Salute next week there should be some models on the Prodos stand to have a look at.

This isn't the only piece of Mad Max inspired goodness around. Ramshackle Games having released a lovely looking 20mm Biker Gang set, eleven resin models for £20. These do look very, very nice...

Friday 17 April 2015

"StormTroopers Incoming..."

I'm not a Playstation player, but the trailer for November's Star Wars Battlefront 3 due out in November looks extremely cool - I might just have to watch Saul playing it! :-)

Thursday 16 April 2015

The Force Awakens...

My inner twelve year old is very, very excited at the moment and probably won't be able to sleep tonight...

Wednesday 15 April 2015

Osprey War Comics!

Interesting news yesterday from Osprey, in that they are going into partnership with Commando comic books to produce "eight new graphic war novels consisting of an original, fictional, comic strip of 84 pages coupled with detailed historical information describing the featured conflict, campaign and combatants."

According to Osprey's MD "This new collaboration brings together the story-telling expertise of Commando and the historical authority of Osprey". Well I might agree with the latter, I'm not sure about the former. As a kid I would pick up the odd Commando issue, normally second hand, but as a general rule found the stories lacking compared to the strips in the likes of Battle and Warlord. Part of this was obviously down to character familiarity, but the style and story telling in Commando, with odd exceptions, never matchd the weekly comics.

It will be interesting to see what this collaboration brings, after all Garth Ennis recently wrote some excellent WW2 stories in his War Stories and Battlefields series' but this new venture's success will depend on the qualities of the writers and artists involved.

Tuesday 14 April 2015

Dragon Rampant!

Excellent news on Dan Mersey's blog - Lion Rampant is spinning off a full fantasy version. Roll on December 2015, I'll have to hope I am on Santa's good list! :-)

Monday 13 April 2015

Fur and Freedom!!!

Many years ago I fell in love with Brian Jacques Redwall books. I would like to say I bought these for Saul when he was younger but actually they were SWMBO's! :-) Published for kids, I found them hugely enjoyable, well written and not without a few lump in the throat moments was popular characters get killed off (Jacques is pretty brutal). What struck me at the time was how they would make for a superb fantasy wargame setting...

I'm not sure why it's taken so long for someone to pick up on the idea, but now Oathsworn Miniatures have and they have an (already funded) Kickstarter running called Burrows and Badgers. The miniatures are pure Redwall and I am seriously tempted.

Sunday 12 April 2015

Warhammer: Dwarf Bear Cavalry II

Here's the second of the two Dwarf bear cavalry I created from a mash up of Arcane Legions and GW bits. My favourite of the two...

Here he is with his companion.

Painting Target: 101/1000

Saturday 11 April 2015

Warhammer: Dwarf Bear Cavalry I

I finished the first of the two Dwarf bear cavalry I have converted using the bear and legs from a  Arcane Legions Ursan Cataphract (from the Roman Cavalry box) and the top half of a sixth(?) edition GW plastic Dwarf.

I'm not 100% happy with the Green Stuff cloak but the overall effect is pretty good and I'm happy enough with him. Hopefully his companion will be finished by tomorrow...

Painting Target: 100/1000

Friday 10 April 2015

Lord of the Rings: Olog-Hai II

I had planned to use today's lunch hour to crack on with the Dwarf bear riders (and have made a bit more progress), but the postie delivered another Eaglemoss pre-painted troll picked up on eBay for a couple of quid.

This one if the Battle Troll, I'm not so keen on this model but with a bit of work on the mace, some weathering, highlights (mainly on the leather) and some washes I'm happy with the end result. Here he is with yesterday's Armoured Troll...

Painting Target: 99/1000

Thursday 9 April 2015

Lord of the Rings: Olog-Hai I

I progressed the Dwarves during my lunch hour today, the metal work is now all done and all non-metal bits re-undercoated.

I also managed to base this pre-painted Eaglemoss Armoured Troll (part of a range of chess pieces I believe) and add a little detail, mainly through drybrushing the armour, flesh and loin cloth to add some more depth and some rust to the sword and plate. Nice model that fits in well enough with the GW models, the 28mm Saxon gives some idea of size.

Painting Target: 98/1000

Wednesday 8 April 2015

Warhammer: Dwarf Mountaineers

Dwarf Mountaineer - yours for £97!
Typical wargamer, my thoughts turn to 6mm WW2 so that naturally today sees me start painting some Warhammer Dwarves! :-)

I have had a unit of old Citadel plastics that I converted into a unit of Rangers a few years back, a number wearing Davy Crockett style fur hats.

Additionally I have a couple of Dwarves rounding bears I converted out of Citadel plastics and some plastic bears I picked up from a fantasy wargame a while back (I can't remember the name of the game but IIRC the bears had Romans riding them).

The Rangers put me in mind of an old article for Dwarf Mountaineers in an ancient White Dwarf (scan below), they'd make an interesting unit to convert, especially the ski troops. Certainly a better option than the £97 being asked for the one miniature Citadel produced back in the day on eBay!

Tuesday 7 April 2015

The Joy of Six...

Playing the Kursk supplement for Battle Academy has rekindled my desire to return to 6mm WW2 gaming. My first real experiences in wargaming as a teen were in 6mm and the Kursk games have a definite 6mm feel to them. The question is which campaign?

My teens were spent in North West Europe post D-Day, but the Russian Front is proving great fun and the mix of equipment for 1943' as well as the rough balance in each sides abilities is making it very attractive...

Monday 6 April 2015


Last year Osprey announced that 2015 would see the release of a new set of fantasy wargaming rules called Frostgrave. A small warband skirmish game with a dozen figures a side, it sounded interesting with each warband led by a wizard and their apprentice.

The March release date has been pushed back to July, but this means that North Star will be (once again) teaming up with Osprey to run a 'Nickstarter' campaign as North Star will be manufacturing twenty wizards and apprentices (one from each school of magic) AND generic fantasy warriors in plastic! This thumbnail may be a picture of the forthcoming plastics.

It also looks like that, unlike most of Osprey's wargames releases, it won't be stand alone, with Amazon having Frostgrave: Thaw of the Lich Lord available for pre-order in November.

A participation game and samples of the miniatures will apparently be on show at Salute. I must say I'm looking forward to this.

Saturday 4 April 2015

Hearts and Minds...

I spent most of today helping SWMBO dismantle my mother's kitchen so didn't get a chance to paint anything, though I did sneak in a couple more games of BA2: Kursk, the fourth scenario becoming impossibly hard if you accidentally shell and destroy the only bridge before you get your armour over the river! Doh!

Whilst looking for advice online how to get past the broken bridge (before I realised I'd blown it up accidentally) I did come across another new release from Slitherine in the form of Vietman '65, which looks pretty cool and no doubt will be bought soon.

"It is 1965 and the US ground war in Vietnam is in full swing. As a US Army commander, wage a counter-insurgency (COIN) war to secure the Ia Drang valley, on the border with Cambodia..."

Friday 3 April 2015

Battle Academy 2: Kursk Expansion

I restarted playing the Normandy Campaign for Battle Academy yesterday, but that came to a rapid halt when I saw Slitherine released the Kursk expansion for Battle Academy 2: Eastern Front...

Based on the largest tank battle of the war, you get two campaigns for your £7.99,  the first containing six scenarios as the Germans on the northern edge of the salient and the second six as the Soviet defenders on the southern edge.

Unlike the previous Battle Academy campaigns (with the exception of the excellent Arnhem one), the scenarios are locked until you successful complete the preceding one. So far I've played two of the German ones and found them very well balanced and challenging, the first victory being won in the final turn.

Thursday 2 April 2015

ColdWar 1983: National Volks Armee

I've had a very lazy day today, watching the final six episodes of Day Three of 24 with Saul. I'd seen it before but Saul hadn't and much enjoyment watching non-CGI explosions and Jack yelling "Dammit!" every thirty minutes!

I have wanted for a number of years to republish ColdWar: 1983 with photos of 28mm painted miniatures but haven't got around to it. That might be about to change as I came across a brand new range of 28mm East German NVA today from Underfire Miniatures. The eight miniatures look absolutely wonderful and will prove hard to resist...

Wednesday 1 April 2015


Today's announcement by the Harvest Media Group (producers of the X-Factor) of a brand new TV series called War-Factor must be really exciting for many in the business, especially the larger companies such as Warlord Games and Perry Miniatures.

In case you missed it, Harvest have announced an X-Factor style programme centred around historical miniatures gaming, with gamers playing off against each other in a series of televised wargames, with a panel of "expert judges" giving a critique of the players. To enhance the televisual appeal, players will be required wear "historical costume" and visual and sound effects will be used.

Apparently this programme as come about due to Simon Cowell's love of wargaming (it turns out he was a big fan of 6th edition Ancients as a teenager) and it seems he will be hosting War-Factor.

I'm not sure what I think of the programme. Any publicity is good publicity and done well this could be a boost for the industry (especially companies whose miniatures are featured) and bring in new blood int the hobby, but I am concerned what sort of "characters" will be attracted to take part and whether they will be the kind of people we want as the public face of wargaming.

The show will air on Channel 4 in the autumn with "auditions" starting at Salute and being held at wargames shows around the country.