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!

24 November, 2010

Another Big Project!

As well as completing the Project Build over on The Guild for 2010 on Sunday evening, the very next day we delivered the other big project for the year!

Laura and her mother are both doing well.
So you'll understand if you don't hear an awful lot from me over the next while!

21 November, 2010

Black Mamba Down

Rebel forces have shot down a Black Mamba interface shuttle. 1 crew member is seriously wounded and 1 security team member are killed.

Art by Omen2501

Crew assemble at the crash site, but the rebel forces are closing in.

Crash Site

The HCPS patrol drives in over the ridge

Patrol drives in

Sakhan Mercs move through forest towards the industrial complex

Sakhan Mercs move through forest

Gunbots scanning ahead - their heavy automatic weapons will add significant firepower to the mercenary fire teams

Gunbot scans ahead

Patrol moves through the fields - turret sweeps seeming to miss the rebel squad to their left

Patrol moves through fields

Rebel anti-armour team takes aim at the lead IFV from cover

Anti-Armour team takes aim

Light Tank has a commanding view from on top of ridge, and it takes out the anti-armour team with its main gun

Light Tank on top of ridge

The security team at the crash site is taking hits from the advancing mercenaries

Security team taking hits

A firefight erupts as the squad dismounts, with the rebels giving as good as they get

Firefight erupts as squad dismounts

A heavy anti-matter round immobilised the IFV causing the crew to bailout (although the platoon commander sticks around and calls in the quick reaction force. With the Light Tank suppressed things do not look good for the government forces!

IFV immobilised

Sakhan Mercs reach crash site to outflank the security team

Sakhan Mercs reach crash site

Merc sniper team sets up on rooftop

Merc sniper team sets up

Dropship crew run for it, although two of their number are wounded on the way towards the arriving APC

Dropship crew run for it

APC disgorges squad and heavy weapons team who set up to hold off Sakhan mercenaries at crash site

APC disgorges squad

Combined arms secure flank, wiping out initial ambushing rebels

Combined arms secure flank

VIPs get covering fire as they make their way to the APC

VIPs get covering fire

Something comes over the net which indicates that the HCPS will be deploying chemical weapons. The regular forces manage to deploy countermeasures without affecting their performance too badly, but the irregulars suit up and run for it


Bad luck continues for the rebel forces as HCPS nano-dust attacks their drones, taking two of the gunbots out of commission.
Another sniper team is in position - severely hampered by their anti-chem gear they have worked their way around the back of the government forces

Another sniper team in position

They've lined up a shot on the VIPs as they board the APC but the light tank takes them out before they can take it. It's main gun fails (equipment made by the lowest bidder!) but its twin machine guns will suffice

Snipers have lined up shot on VIPs

The armour unit continues it advance towards the Sakhan mercenaries

Tank advances

They have no chance in the open and take serious casualties

Sakhan Mercs in open

The other merc fireteam is taking hits as well as they cross open ground to reach the crash site

Mercs taking hits as they cross ground

Sakhans take aim at the APC with a light anti-tank weapon (but its better than nothing, right?)

Sakhans take aim with anti-tank weapon

The vehicle explodes in spectacular fashion (a Golden BB!) with everyone on board killed

Golden BB

Fire team in office has a commanding view and puts fire in on the shocked troops alongside the wrecked APC

Fire team in office has commanding view

The Quick Reaction Force swoops into the complex, aiming to land directly in front of the beleaguered patrol. And close enough to deny the opportunity to capture one of the stricken security guards

Quick Reaction Force swoops in

The power armour squad leaps into action laying about them with terrible accuracy

Power Armoured squad leaps into action

Discretion the better part of valour - the light infantry escape, but their comrades in the building to their right aren't so lucky

Discretion the better part of valour

Light Tank takes plasma directly in the guts - destroying its anti-grav modules

Light Tank takes plasma directly in the guts

The Sakhan mercenaries withdraw, with the rooftop sniper team clipping the patrol's commander hampering any attempts at pursuit.

Sakhan Mercs withdraw

The two VIPs were killed along with the four crew members who survived the crash, when they were seemingly safe and about to be evacuated. The rebels bloodied the government force's nose, but in the end the loss of their irregular troops and the timely arrival of the quick reaction force proved the salvation of the government patrol.
The rebels win 11-9, which is indecisive, but no shame for the rebellion...

My first game of Tomorrow's War - impressive stuff and the changes which have been made to the system are quite effective

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