Sunday, 20 July 2014
This is the first set of the Gripping Beast 35mm Gladiators for their Jugula game. I bought them from Sheffield Triples earlier this year along with the ruleset, but due to other more pressing painting duties they'd been on the shelf since then. Given the size they're great to paint (no multiple batch painted uniforms here) and you can just sit and concentrate on skin shades and other detail. The other advantage is the assortment of helmets and weapons that come with the GB sets, creating the options for lots of dynamic poses. As there's four gladiators that make up a team I've another set currently sitting on the side ready for undercoating - after that it'll be time to step into the Arena! Yikes!
Sunday, 13 July 2014
The photos above (kindly taken by Mark, as my camera phone seemed to have malfunctioned) are from a recent Sunday club game using the skirmish ruleset 'Muskets and Tomahawks'. We decided some weeks ago to try out an AWI scenario, because the rules lent themselves quite nicely to that period. It also gave myself and Ian a chance to use our newly painted Front Rank British regulars and Perry's AWI Continental Infantry. Also included were lots of militia types, some nicely painted Hessians, a few rangers and lots of Indians!
The point of the scenario was for each opposing force to capture the majority (or all) the 5 objectives - two towns, an Indian village and a fort in each corner of the board with a watchtower in the centre.
The first moves were tentative and mainly relied on spotting. Nevertheless, as soon as each army had identified the others units it was a mad dash to secure the objectives. Dave on my team had the Hessians in the middle and headed straight against Lawrence's American Militia who were advancing on the watchtower. I had the unfortunate task of attempting to take the Indian village on the right flank, and soon ran up against Marcus' three regiments of Continentals...all in firing line!! (VERY nasty indeed!!). My only option was to try and infiltrate rangers and Indians into a cornfield, and from this light cover gradually wear his forces down until my British Regulars could charge in to finish the job. Naturally this didn't go to plan, and despite putting a dint in a unit or two of Marcus' units my rangers definitely came off the worst. On the left flank Ian's British units were getting into a tangle with Simon's troops that looked to be locked in a gruesome stalemate.
Over in the centre again and Dave's troops had made some headway by securing a small forest and began to harass the enemy columns in that area. However, the watchtower was providing a tough nut as Mark's forces (again in firing line and nicely positioned on a small hillock) managed to turn anywhere East of the building into a killing ground. At this juncture I'd like to point out my only successful deed for the day, when I'd sent a unit of bloodthirsty Indians to support the defence of the aforementioned woods. Basically after a few scattered shots from my natives it was considered worth risking a rush attack from the treeline, and into the advancing American Militia unit. A risk that paid off with the American's paying dearly for their folly. Had it ended there would have been good enough, but with a 2" optional move after melee victory the Indians bounced aggressively into a second American Unit close by and (winning that) also attacked a gun battery to follow up. Much hilarity was emitted from the British side, as the Americans stood on in dismay. All good things come to an end nevertheless as the last remaining Indian Brave was cut down waving his tomahawk at the second wave of oncoming Americans.
The latter point proved the conclusion of the affair, as the American's by this time had decimated the British units so that numerically they were in the ascendancy. More and more British units were breaking and running as the repeated morale checks took their toll.
In finishing then, I'd say it was a fun game, with lots of character, an atmosphere of adventure (and very bloody). It also showed you could play a fair sized game with a good simple skirmish ruleset.
Friday, 4 July 2014
These are Conquest Games Norman Knights (plastics). I've added some cloaks using Green Stuff after feeling somewhat inspired by David Thewlis' character in the film 'Kingdom of Heaven' (historically awful but some nice scenes). I intended to paint them in quite dull colours that would reflect their modest existence, as compared to their Knights Templar compatriots. I read somewhere in the Asbridge books that during the Crusades many of the military orders looked incredibly filthy with long beards and filthy clothing, which was a reflection of the rigors of the campaigns they'd embarked upon.
I'm still excited for the upcoming 'Crescent and Cross' game from Tomahawk Studios, as the previous games like Saga and Muskets and Tomahawks have been great fun to play. The Crusades also provide loads of opportunities for small, very bloody, skirmish actions which would be well suited for these rules. Maybe a foraging expedition taken on by a group of knights and followers falling foul of an Arab Emir and his band of mounted archers, or the search for a holy relic or two!