31 December, 2010

Farewell 2010

Well, here we are again. Time flies when you're having fun they say!

Gaming Highlights

1. Project Build over on The Guild
As I may have mentioned before, conquering the long-unpainted lead for this gave me a nice warm feeling. The Guild is a great place for eye-candy, and the support over there, whatever your level of skill is great

2. Ambush Alley at Gaelcon
Ran myself to the bone with this all-day everyday campaign at Gaelcon in October. Well worth it though!

3. Return to Dahomey
Back to Leprecon for this, and a second run at the rules with a different set of people helped polish them quite a bit. It looks like I'll save the final edits til after Gaelcon 2011, as I may have volunteered for dino-hunting in 28mm

Blogs of the Year

1. Hetairoi
Between the Samurai and the Ancient Galleys there's enough to keep me happy!

2. Small Scale Operations
Fantastic work (painting and customisations) on 20mm moderns

3. Din of Battle
A wide variety on display here. With a mix of playtesting, terrian-making and old favourites

Releases of the Year

1. Tomorrow's War
So what if it was only the pre-release version of the game - it's fine work and a worthy successor to StarGrunt II (with an intro by Jon Tuffley to boot!)

2. Hotspots from S&S
Great flavour pieces from S&S Models and they keep on coming up with such useful battlefield clutter in 20mm and 28mm.

3. This Quar's War
Not so much for the rules, but the general background is just wonderful with atmospheric letters from soldiers and such scattered throughout the book.

Projects in the Pipeline

1. Siege Warfare
A project to write rules (currently in their second draft) for 18th/19th century sieges using Richard Borg's Command & COlours as a base. This is for Conrad Kinch so I'm giving it number one placement in an attempt to name and shame myself into delivering!

2. The Zeppelin Menace
A joint project to do a Zeppelin game for Leprecon in March using Piquet's Jump or Burn rules. Mr. Kinch is currently assembling the dreaded airship itself...

3. Thirty Years War
A team project for the year with Piers and Thomas down in Kildare. The minitures are on their way from Redoubt so I'll do two small raiding parties for a Skirmish game as well as a bunch of angry civilians.

Also, while the African Warlord Big Game is in 2012, I reckon I'll have to do something before then or it'll be one mad rush!

Great TV

1. The Walking Dead
Based on the great long-running comic series this does what the best Zombie movies do - ruthlessly examine human society and psychology. Unfortunately season one was only six episodes long and we'll have to wait until late 2011 before we see season two...

2. Outnumbered
This comedy about overwhelmed parents of three could've been more middle-of-the-road plonk, but it's actually very funny. Featuring some nice improvisation by the children and some very astute observations this fills us both with strange foreboding!

3. Sherlock
Reimaginings are dangerous things, especially when the original TV series is so well remembered. This manages to be (fairly) true to the source material while being indisputably modern. Martin Freeman is simply brilliant as Watson.

Blast from the Past award going to Colditz which I watched night-by-night during November. Often I am ill-advised in revisiting old childhood favourites, but this did not disappoint.

One for 2011 has to be A Game of Thrones, based on the fantastic book by GRR Martin. Have a look over here for some work-in-progress

Books of the Year

1.Storm and Conquest: the Battle for the Indian Ocean, 1808-10 by Stephen Taylor
Part military history, part social commentary; this is a gripping account of the East India Company during the early 19th century.

2. Grand Strategy of Philip II by Geoffrey Parker
A thorough examination of Philip II's handling of the greatest empire the world had ever seen. Extensive use of primary sources reveals Spain's military and diplomatic strengths and weaknesses.

3. Best Served Cold by Joe Abercrombie
Relentlessly bleak follow-up to his First Law trilogy, simple at its core but complex in its execution. If you're not a fan of Abercrombie this will not convince you.

All in all it's been a splendid year - thanks for reading!
Oh, and look - this is post #150 as well. Probably too early for some more navel-gazing but maybe when I hit #200

28 December, 2010

Christmas Buddy

In the run-up to Christmas this year, The Guild organised a fun little Build matching up interested members randomly to swap, paint and return one or more miniatures to their buddy.

Here are my attempts for ChrisW, who also sculpted these boys. Very well done and easy to paint up (though I don't really do them justice here)

Taliban Pair (staying frosty)

Taliban Pair

Tier One Taliban Fighter (You can tell by the serious headgear)

Tier One Taliban Fighter

More impressive though is Chris' efforts - a Special Forces observation team by Liberation

Observation Team

Set up in the long grass

Set up in the long grass

Overhead View

Overhead View

A very nice idea and despite the postage carnage over Christmas, it looks like most people got theirs safe and sound

21 December, 2010

20mm Moderns - A Comparison

One 20mm miniature must be pretty much like another, right?

Well, on top of the issues of variety of ranges; sculpting styles can vary quite a lot. Just like in 6mm where you see big differences in height, stature and even head size - there's quite a difference between the makers of 20mm moderns.

I've mostly been using Britannia (with a smattering of Liberation) so I won't go through their ranges in much detail.



by Piers



by Piers



by Piers


by Piers

US Army

by Cyril


by Cyril

Delta Force

by Piers


US Marines

by Piers


by Piers


by Piers

by Matt (Elhiem)

Wartime / Kelly Heroes


by Piers


IED Teams

by Piers

Technicals (with Elhieim crew)

by Piers

Mix of Elhiem, S&S, Kellys Heroes and Wartime

by Piers

In broad strokes I think you can see that Britannia and Liberation will work well together - they're both fairly chunky. All the others are a bit more realistically proportioned and as you can see from the final picture they are a good match - mixing like this will give you a very good range of poses.

Hope this is a helpful overview, and I may add more pictures here as I come across any new threads.
A big thanks to those over on The Guild who have given me permission to post their work here.

14 December, 2010

Project Build Winners

Voting for the 2010 Project Build finished yesterday over on The Guild.

I did pretty well, garnering 12 votes (out of ~73 people voting) for my Rebellion on Novaya Sakha project putting me in seventh place (out of 17 projects)
Really happy with that (given my previous showing in build votes), but actually the real victory is the sense of accomplishment at setting out tasks a year in advance, and finished them on a tight schedule. And finishing 100 figures and 5 vehicles which have been sitting unpainted for quite a while is possibly a turning point in the long war against the lead mountain!

But you don't want to hear about those, you want to see the winners' podium!

Olivier in 3rd place with Race to the Reichstag forces and scenario. [on 27 votes]

All his tasks: 1 2 3 4 5

PrussianHussarUK in 2nd place with Normandy '44 forces and scenarios. [on 28 votes]

All his tasks: 1 2 3 4 5 Bonus

Wiking in 1st place with British forces in North-West Europe and a scenario. [on 34 votes]

All his tasks: 1 2 3 4 5

Well done to all who crossed the finishing line, I'm sure you'll agree there's some beautiful work there. Not as dominated by World War Two as these results might suggest, but regardless of the period worthy winners.

The 2011 Project is a team affair and I'm teamed up with a couple of the guys from Kildare to do a joint Thirty Years War skirmish game.

01 December, 2010

Ambush Alley Video

Irish gaming podcast crew The Adventuring Party posted this brief video of my Ambush Alley game at Gaelcon. It's not a tutorial or anything like that, but you do get an idea of the frenetic pace of the game.

On the downside, you do get to see me give an impromptu spiel / salespitch!

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