Thursday, August 30, 2012

Commands and Colors Tabletop Game

When Glenn came to town to pick up the armies, we were able to get in a game of Commands and Colors Ancients on the tabletop.

Glenn and Jon commanded the Carthagininas.  Matt (one of my school gaming club members) and I took the Romans.

Here were the initial dispositions.

Roman Left

Roman Center

Roman Right

Carthaginian Right

Carthaginian Center

Carthaginian Left -- Light Troops Galore!

Opening Moves

All the Roman cards were for the right, so we pushed our infantry forward.  Glenn and Jon had lots of light troop specific cards, so they were able to use their lighter forces to good effect.

Jon threw his Numidian cavalry around our flank, and the Romans began to lose units.

With the Roman light troops nearly wiped out, the hastati and principes moved forward to engage,

The Carthaginian light troops were able to evade and then return to the fight.  As we both ran out of cards for this sector, the fighting died down, but Carthage had caused much more damage than she had suffered.

The Romans next tried the other flank, but our cavalry was soundly trounced by the Gallic horse.  Our medium infantry could not make much progress.

The center saw a clash of heavy troops, as Carthaginian spearmen and elephants met medium and heavy Roman infantry.

The Carthaginian center finally broke under the pressure, and Roman units fanned out to the flanks.

 The table at the end of the game reflected the both the confusion of the battle and its seperation into three distinct fights.  Rome squeaked out a victory by one flag.

Monday, August 27, 2012

15mm Greek Hoplites

For the past two weeks, and I have been working on a Macedonian army in 15mm.  It's one of the Old Glory FoG starter armies that I bought three years ago.  So far I have finished two units of phalangites (32 men each) and this unit of 32 hoplites.

I like the Old Glory figures very much.  The spears are piano wire, supplied by Old Glory with the figures.  I drilled out the hands with my Dremel, so these should be reasonably sturdy figures.  Bases are Litko, of course.  I hand painted the shields.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Punic Wars Armies for Commands and Colors Ancients

Here are the completed figures.


Carthage's Italian Allies

Liby Phonecians



Rome's Italian Allies


All the Figures

Army Markers for Campaign Map

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Punic Wars Commission -- Fini

Glenn, my patron for this commission, arrived in beautiful Coeur d'Alene yesterday.  Jon and Matt joined us today, and we got in two games of Commands and Colors Ancients with the complete armies.

Glenn left my house an hour ago with a trunk full of painted miniatures, and I'm sure he will enjoy gaming with them for years, for decades, to come!

I'm sad to see the figures go, but happy to be done with the largest single project I have ever tackled.  Tomorrow I go back to work as a high school teacher after five years as stay at home dad.

I'll have pictures of the complete armies on the blog tomorrow or Tuesday, and I'll see if I can't get a battle report posted as well.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

French Legere Voltiguers

I am back to painting for myself, and it feels good.  I grabbed the nearest primed figures from my workbench, a set of nine French skirmishers in 28mm that I primed four years ago for Jon's Maida game and never got around to painting.

After concentrating on quality for nine months, I opted for speed for this batch.  I painted these nine figures in just under 90 minutes, which is a pretty good pace.  Some of the finer painting is a little sloppy, but these will look great on the table.

All figures are Front Rank.

Delta Ceramcoat occasionally stops production of some of my favorite colors.  For years I have used "Manganese Blue" as my shade tone for French and ACW Union uniforms, but Delta stopped making it.  I switched to "Prussian Blue" for this batch, and I think it works well.

I tried out a new flesh shade tone, Delta's "Ginger Spice," and I like it.  Their "Dark Flesh" is still my go-to color for flesh shade, but it doesn't give quite enough contrast with "Medium Flesh" all by itself.  I end up applying a straight "Fleshtone" highlight to increase the contrast, but I did not want to use three different flesh colors on these figures.  "Ginger Spice" and "Medium Flesh" work very well together.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Project Inventory

Now that I have finished my massive commission, I can start painting for myself again.  Like every other wargamer I know, I have a number of projects in progress.  However, I am going back to work in a week and a half, and I have two young children, so my painting time is severely limited.  It may be time to start aggressively pruning some projects.

I have a few playable 28mm armies for Warhammer Ancient Battles.

  • Alexander's Army
  • Republican Romans
  • Carthaginians
  • Gauls / Britons
  • Marian Romans
  • Imperial Romans
I have planned to add late Achaemenid Persians and classical Greeks to that list, as well as expanding my Gallic army.  All three of those are difficult to paint well, and I may start unloading some figures.

I also have two 28mm armies for Field of Glory.

  • Middle Republican Romans
  • Carthaginians
I haven't really enjoyed the Field of Glory games I have played, but I do like the basing.  I will probably add a few units to these armies while I continue looking for the perfect ancients rules set.  Commands and Colors Ancients is almost ideal, but it's hard to justify painting figures when the board games are so fun and easy.

Dark Ages
I have a couple hundred Viking and Saxon figures, but I have only painted about 20 of them.  This is an easy period to paint: prime black, drybrush silver, paint clothing in various earth tones, and pick out the flesh.  I don't have a rules set in mind, but there are enough coming out now that something is sure to be fun.  I'll read the rules, and if any of them fire me up, I'll start painting again.

English Civil War
My friend Jon has some beautiful 28mm armies and a great set of rules.  I have a couple of Scottish regiments that I can add to his forces.  At one time, I planned to field an entire Scottish army, but this is another project I will move to the back burner.

Lace Wars
I bought a bunch of Old Glory 28mm figures for Blenheim, but I have only painted one regiment.  I don't have a rules set in mind, and the period is not one of my favorites, so I will leave it alone for a while.

I also bought some Crusader SYW figures, planning to paint a French army for Koenig Krieg, but again, this is not one of my favorite periods, and I will probably let this project lapse.

American Revolution
I like the British Grenadier! rules and would love to get in more gaming with them.  My group started a project to field decent sized armies in 28mm, but our British player never finished.  Fortunately, he gave me his unpainted figures, so between those, the several hundred Old Glory and Fife and Drum figures I have bought, and the figures I have already painted, I should be able to field a British army pretty soon.  This one is my top priority.

One of our favorite rules sets is Age of Eagles, and I have the following large armies based for AoE.

  • French, 1807-12
  • Russian, 1812
  • British, 1806-12
  • Austrian 1805-12
  • Spanish, 1809
That basing also works for my favorite tactical set, General de Brigade.  I will continue to add to these armies, but I probably will not add any more.

I have a couple of large armies painted in 28mm for the 1809 war between France and Austria.  I haven't found the perfect set of rules for 28mm tactical wargaming, but I love painting 28mm Napoleonics.  I have been working on some of Eureka's French Revolutionary Wars range, planning to fight some of Suvarov's campaigns in Italy using General de Brigade as my rules.  I love the figures so much that I will also make this project a priority.

American Civil War
This is by far my favorite period.  I even taught a class on the Civil War for a few years.  My library is enormous, and Regimental Fire and Fury is my favorite set of wargaming rules.  I have large armies in 15/18mm, and I will continue to add to them.  Blue Moon's figures especially are calling to me.

I have been working for five years on 28mm armies, planning to use Guns at Gettysburg as my rules.  But Regimental Fire and Fury is so perfect as a rules set and so poorly suited to 28mm that I have not pushed through to completion.  If anyone has any suggestions for 28mm rules sets, I would love to hear them.  For now I will continue painting my 28mm figures, but they are not a top priority.

World War II
This should be one of the most popular periods among my gaming group, since we all have a major interest in the second world war.  I have pretty good sized armies in 15mm.

  • United States, NW Europe 1944-5
  • Germany, 1940-5
  • Soviet Union, 1941-3
  • Japan, 1941-5
  • Great Britain, western desert, 1940-2
  • France, 1940
I use Battlefront: WWII as my rules, but our last few games have lacked that certain something.  I have Afrika Korps, desert Italians, and USMC in my lead pile.  I will probably not tackle any of these projects anytime soon.

I would love to do some skirmish gaming in 28mm, and I have good sized (30-60 figure) armies in 28mm.

  • US Army, NW Europe 1944-5
  • US Airborne, 1942-5
  • German Wehrmacht, 1941-5
  • German SS, 1942-5
  • Soviet Union, 1941-5
The problem is that I have not found a really fun, historically accurate set of rules.  I have a few hundred unpainted figures lying around.  We have tried Nuts!, Beer and Pretzels, Look Sarge No Charts, Face of Battle, and Rate of Fire, but Nuts! was unintelligible to us, Beer and Pretzels, Look Sarge, and Face of Battle just did not seem historically grounded, and although I enjoyed Rate of Fire, the other fellows did not.  Again, I am open to suggestions.

I will be focusing on finishing enough AWI British to start playing some games, and I will try to get enough Suvarov in Italy figures painted by this time next year to play at least a small scenario.

As time allows, I will paint up some 15mm Napoleonics and ACW to add to my existing armies.  I will also add some more units to my ancients armies.

I am experiencing some time pressure, but one nice thing about that is that is forces me to focus on my main interests and strengths.  I can firmly declare that I game only a few periods: classical antiquity, American Revolution, Napoleonics, and Civil War.