Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Gone fishin'

Bruce hosted another game of Hammerin' Iron, ACW ironclads by Peter Pig at his house. This time Bruce played the attacker and we had a game where randomness featured large.

I began by re-rolling a die that eliminated 20% of my fleet only to eliminate more than 33% (queue good-natured swearing, stupid 1 in 6 chance). Deployment was okay for me, with islands channeling Bruce up the far side of the board while my one ship and fort blocked the other.

I managed to get enough cards that I could bombard his bottled up fleet. And he rolled a magazine explosion for his first reinforcement (boom!). But I could get no reinforcements for the longest time so Bruce steamed slowly up the far side and pulverized the town.

At this point, I got some lucky hits and blew up his big ship and also damaged his biggest ship. I lost a steamer (below) but positioned myself for a ram (which led to him striking his colours). In the end, a victory for the defender--lots of freaky dice rolling and a good time. The game really shows off the rag-tag nature of naval action during the ACW.

Up next: Well, nothing, actually. I've decided to take the summer off from gaming blogging. This will let me re-organize the gaming room, get a few pieces painted for the autumn and generally concentrate on gardening and cycling while the weather is good. I'll still be gaming and blogging but you'll have to wait until September to see any results. Have a good summer! -- Bob

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

EWG June 18

We had 11 guys out last night and four games ran. I did not get pictures of the 28mm Warmachines or the 1/600 Hammerin' Iron game. I did snap some shots of a Napoleonic game using a mixture of 1/72 plastics and old, old 20mm metals.

This was a rematch of the CCN game from last meeting, this time played with LaSalle. The upshot was basically the same outcome--the British couldn't get it going due to the terrain restrictions.

I played a game of CCA against Chen. We played through the Marathon scenario from the first expansion. The first game was close for the Persians after the Greek left disintegrated. But then suddenly the Greek right arrived and beat us to smithereens. 6-4 Greeks and a historical win.

We switches sides and I was looking forward to payback. But I could not kill Chen's units. Oh, the Greeks could beat the heck out of the Persians, but then they ran away (aren't the Greeks supposed to do the running in this scenario?)! Eventually the Persians won 6-5 or 6-4 (I was too distraught to remember clearly). Grrr! Good gaming from Chen, my willy, orange-julius-fueled opponent.

Up next: I have some 1/72-scale ancient Germans under way. If soccer gets rained out tonight I may spend some time blocking in some tunic and pant colours tonight.

Friday, June 14, 2013

1/72 7th Cavalry

Earlier this spring, I painted up a bunch of 1/72 NWMP for an 1885 game set on the Canadian prairie. This project continues to lumber along in the background and I have several boxes of plastics to paint up. One of the what-ifs I wanted to explore was a Monroe doctrine theme ("Me kon is Yukon").

Enter the US 7th Cavalry (leave your carbines with the constable...). These are Italeri US ACW union troops but they are close enough. Too many kepis but what can you do? Nice figures and maybe also workable for the Fenian raids (colours are wonky and too uniform, but who would know that locally...).

There were 15 mounted troops in this box and two dismounted. I didn't paint the horses for the dismounted fellows but they will do as foot soldiers. Need to pick up some foot and artillery anyhow (maybe some of them HaT Gatling guns!).

These fit in okay with the NWMP I have done. The Italeri are a bit bigger and a bit better sculpted but not enough to be bothered about. Mostly looks like a 1/76 vs 1/72 issue. Must now find some Indian figures I like.

Up next: Some 1/72 MiniArt Germans are primed and some paint has gone on. And it is club night on Tuesday.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Hammerin' Iron: 1/600 ACW ironclads

I pooped by Bruce's last night for a game and out of the tickle trunk come some 1/600-scale ACW ironclads he mad from wood (mostly popsicle sticks) back when he was a teenager. Now I won't speculate on precisely how old these are, but I imagine Shaun Cassidy pounding from the hi-fi when these keels were being laid down.

We used Peter Pig's Hammerin' Iron rules. These gave a good game but likely won't appeal to historical purists. About the same level of complexity as Full Thrust. Interesting maneuvering decisions and the diversity of ships made for a real ragtag fleet feel.

Above we have the targe... errr... transports I was to sack (along with bomb the fort, burn the supplies and sink the enemy--it was quite a laundry lists of tasks). Below my fleet tangles with the lead elements of Bruce's fleet. He basically got penny-packeted to death.

I managed to eek out a decisive win (there was a significant amount of luck involved). A second game would have been quite different, I imagine. Quite a fun game all told. And I have never played an ACW ironclads game so that is off the bucket list!

Up next: Some 1/72 7th cavalry are half painted.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

More 1/72 Celts

I'm a bit under the weather today so not much is happening. But these fellows finally dried and are ready. This is the other half of a box of 1/72 Strelets Germans.

A couple of very perpendicular poses (fourth and sixth pose below) where weapons had to be attached. I'm not sure these were really worth the bother. I'd rather have a glued on shield (first and fifth pose) than a fiddly weapon through a ring hand.

Overall, nice figures. These fellows will serve as the opposition when GMT gets around to reissuing the second expansion to CCA. They will also serve as warriors in various armies.

Up next: I'm working on some 1/72 US cavalry which are nice Italeri sculpts. And some MiniArt Germans, including some horse. These sculpts are less nice (the horses are awful) but I think they will match the Strelets well enough. I'm also stickering the Spartans expansion to CCA.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Victoria: Miniature World

Work took me to Victoria for two busy days this past week. I didn't get a chance to visit Fort Rodd Hill or the naval museum. But I did get an hour to walk through Miniature World. Now in its 42nd year of operation, Miniature world is a collection of dioramas and doll houses on the main floor of the Empress Hotel.

There were a lot of dioramas. This one is of Caen, 1944 in 1/35. The level of detail is pretty amazing and hard to convey with just a few pictures. Note the partisans about to make trouble for the tanker (who really should be buttoned up).

Many of the displays have an interactive component. The 1918 British airbase has buttons that cause the props of the planes that are taxiing to spin. This is 1/72 and on the other side of the diorama (which you can see as you wind your away through the exhibits are three companies of Airfix troops moving up a road.

There are a number of oddball scales. This scene in a building interior in slightly bigger than 54mm. The full street scene is a celebration of the defeat of Napoleon (I think) but all of the insides of the buildings are also populated and lit.

There is a lovely 30YW attack with folks falling off the drawbridge. There are hundreds and hundreds of figures in this display. It looks 1/72 and there are a couple of figures that look like the Airfix Robin Hood kit. But others look metal.

There is a 100-foot 1885 railway exhibit which takes you across the country as it winds along. Below is (now) east Calgary. This display also have a day and night sequences with a starry sky.

You can also see Winnipeg as the troops disembark to repress the Riel Rebellion. This is a narrow section that relies a lot on a painted backdrop (alas, perhaps the weakest of the backdrops).

This is a z-scale representation of the valley of the castles, featuring about a dozen German castles. Note the operating gondola in the background.

There is an interesting Battle of Britian display looking out of the back of a Dornier or Henkel. This uses forced perspective to create much greater depth than display would normally allow.

A better use of forced perspective is this shot of coal mining. Up close we have 1/87-scale stuff and in the space of about four feet, it drops down to 2mm building. The picture does not do this justice--up close, it is quite convincing as the valley drops away from you.

The most impressive display is the multi-phase circus display. I snapped two shots of the largest of the displays. Below you can see the circus coming to two in 1/87-scale and doing a grand parade. there are lots of visual gags, like the guys washing the window of the display case. This set has three operating training and took 7000 hours of work.

As you move down the ling, you can see the big top and mid-way and then the industrial yard. This picture mostly shows you the scope of the display (in the background you can see the city from the picture above).

All told, a very nice way to spend an hour. I only took pictures of a fraction of what was there. There are also doll houses and all manner of other large-scale dioramas.

Up next: 1/72 Celts and maybe some gaming with Bruce in Tuesday.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

1/72 Celts

Today 24 Strelet's Celts have rolled off the production line. These fellows are part of my miniaturizing Commands and Colors Ancients project.

Overall, nice figures but with a fair bit of flash to clean up. The figures are a bit two-dimensional. To off-set that, there are a couple of poses in this set (more come tomorrow) with separate weapons. These have more depth but tend to be very perpendicular (if that makes any sense).

That said, I like the beefy nature of these figures to the thinner poses of, say, HaT--they remind me of metals and go well with some MiniArt Germans I just primed. Nothing wrong with Hat--I have a couple boxes of those to paint up as well.

Up next: The rest of these Celts are being based. And I have some more 1/72 that is primed and ready to paint, including some US 7th Cavalry and some ancient Germans.

Sunday, June 2, 2013

1/72 elephants

Work, the garden and soccer season have cut into my gaming but the hobby room has not been entirely collecting dust. I have some new stuff finishing up this week.

First up are these old metal elephants I previously panted but recently rebased for 1/72 Commands and Colors Ancients. Not entirely sure what kind of elephants these ares but paired with a light footman, they should do well enough for representing elephant units.

Up next: Some 1/72 Celts by Strelets (likely in two parts as the basing proicess was broken up by travel). Then on to some 1/72 US 7th Cavalry and then some 1/72 MiniArt Germans.