Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Great War Casualties

Well I think I painted that Medieval Bug out… I’m done with those for the time being – but will definitely be returning to medieval themes come summer. For the next bit I’m going to be concentrating on getting some Great War units painted, aw well as another faction and some more buildings for Song of Shadows and Dust - and perhaps a few other odd and sundry items…

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version):

Great War Canadian Casualty markers from Great War Miniatures.

I’ve painted them with battle patches of the 7th Infantry Brigade, CEF, which all my other Great War Miniatures are part of, though it’s occurred to me that I have no casualty figures from  Brigade Games  and Renegade Miniatures - which make up the 9th and 8th Infantry Brigades, respectively (the other Brigades in the 3rd Division)…

Perhaps these will be used through out the division. In that case I might need MORE! 

Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

An announcement concerning the upcoming 11th Annuan Wargaming Birthday Bash?

Ummmm… The workbench is in a bit of a state of flux as I’ve been trying to clear off stuff I’m not going to get to anytime soon and make space for other stuff… 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Galleys and Galleons

I FINALLY got in a game of Galleys & Galleons this afternoon – a new game under development from Nic Wright and Ganesha Games. (Sorry Nic)!! Hopefully now that I’ve got it on the table and played a game (and all the kids activities are wrapping up for the year!) I should be able to get in a bunch more games over the Holidaze!

Tuesday afternoons we usually play some board games with some other homeschoolificators – but this week I decided to introduce the two that were able to make it this week to miniature gaming! So, while my kids have played lots of miniature games (and a lot of Ganesha Games) , two of the players, not only had no experience with the Ganesha Games/Song of Rules, They had never even played a miniatures game before – so this would be a real test of the system! As it turned out everyone, more or less, picked it up straight away and we were all off sailing, as it were.


The crew of the Red Snapper heard tell of a Spanish merchant ship, heavily laden with New World Gold would soon be heading home to Europe – enlisting the aid of the Snow – an English privateer – they endeavored to take the Merchantman down and share out the booty. The laid in wait, in the lee of some smallish islands in the carribean await the Spanish gold ship to lumber past on it’s way out into the open sea.


Pirates and privateers set up within one medium of the east end of the table. Their objective was to take the Merchantman intact – gold’s no good at the bottom of the sea.

Spanish Gold ship and escort set up within one medium of the West table edge. Their objective was for the Merchantman to safely make it off the east edge of the table.

Wind started out of the north.


The Red Snapper – Brig
The Snow – Brig

Harfleur – Indiaman
Rapier – Brig

Maybe those aren’t the most Spanish sounding names… I just used those because those were the names I had on the ships from the last time we used them…


To start off I noticed the battery on my camera was noe low and as I have not yet figured out what Amanda did with the other one I tried to take only a few picture hoping it might last at least until the end of the game… So a lot of these were hastily taken – without properly waiting for the canera to focus… sorry…

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)

Initial setup from the North East. On the bottom left of the picture are the Pirates. On the top right are the Spaniards


Everyone went straight ahead.

Spaniards lumber forward.

The Pirates sail towards their quarry.


The Harfleur, seeing the pirates rushing towards them thorugh the gap between the islands turned to skirt around the north end of the Islands. The Red Snapper saw this maneuver and began turning about. The Snow also made to come about.


The Rapier darted forward betweent eh Islands and fired upon the Red Snapper and extreme range – shots all falling very short.

The Harfleur slowed as it turned into the wind a bit.

The Red Snapper, coming about, strayed into the shallows around the island, but safely navigated their way around any rocks there might have been there.

The Snow rolled two failures – a double One which shifted the wind direction.


The Rapier ALSO rolled two failures - with a double one – shifting the wind a bit more. I think the change in wind made the Harfleur pick up speed and it almost sailed off the table edge – not being able to maneuver (as the Rapier had rolled a turn-over before it could activate and change course!)

The Red Snapper also picked up speed and so it went tearing through the shallows by the island and sustained TWO DAMAGE due to hitting rocks and whatnot.

The Snow turned.


The Rapier fired on the snow – hits, but with no appreciable affect.

The Harfleur did some fancy maneuvering – trying to find that fine line between not going too fast and sailing off the table edge and not sailing into the shallows too close to the island…

The Red Snapper decided to try and repair some damage, but in the process failed to slow the speed of their ship and sustained MORE damage on rocks in the shallows!?

The Snow returned fire on the Rapier – which was equally ineffective and then sailed on past – trying to sail about the island and give chase to the Harfleur.


The Harfleur… a merchantman… fired it’s bow chasers… at the Red Snapper at the very end of a second long stick… causing no damage at all (surprising no one…).

The Rapier started to come about.

The Red Snapper scored a success and a failure – but not JUST a failure – rolled a one on a coloured die and had to make an “All At Sea” roll – which in the end made her fire on the Harfleur – which she’d been planning to do anyway! No effect.

Snow still desperately trying it give chase.


The Harfleur turned a bit with it’s single action – the two fouble fail rolls turned the wind even further.

The Rapier could only said straight ahead – not being able to activate.

The Snapper rolled another two fails – including another one on a coloured die – the result was that they were to strike their colours and surrender. We figured it was more likely that they’d just sail on by and make for cover hoping the Indiaman made a run for it out to sea and not stick around to rake them up the stern!

Given the speed of the Snapper – it would likely have sailed off the table edge that turn anyway.

So the only actual damage done to any ships was due to hitting rocks or reefs in the shallows around the Island... Well, we got to practice moving the little ships about... and we've pretty much got that down. NEXT game we'll get down to some serious gunnery and boarding actions. 

I like the game so far. Definitely looking forward to having another go. It definitely has the right feel for a naval game in the age of sail – but still has the uncomplicated, streamlined, fast-play of other Ganesha products.

I think the only real problems were caused by my placement of the islands in the middle of the table – which turned out to be just way too big for such a small table and made it hard to ships to maneuver around them without accidentally sailing off the edge of the table. Probably tried too ambitious a scenario for the first time around – should have just had some open sea and said, “there they are, go sink ‘em!” 

Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

Well now that the kids have had a taste of that salty sea air we’ll be have a few more game reports to post! Ya-HARRRR!

I also have some Great War stuff I’m just finishing up. 

Monday, December 15, 2014

More Mediaeval Foote Serjeants

I had another very productive evening of painting last night...

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version):

Another unit of  “Expert” Foot Serjeants for Lion Rampant. These are from Front Rank Figures.

Nothing too fancy, just another unit for the "opposing force". 

Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

Game Report for Galleys and Galleons.

No, seriously.

I have two games lined up – one this evening, one tomorrow afternoon. Hopefully I get to posting a report of both games tomorrow evening. 

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Mediaeval Foot Sergeants

Another unit for Lion Rampant - some Foot Sergeants with Spears.

I actually did a bit of a tutorial on how I made the flag – you can check it out here:

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version):

Mediaeval Foot Sergeants from Crusader Miniatures.

These were not part of the Lion Rampant Army Deal I recently ordered – though they were ordered at the same time. The nice thing about the army deal was that you got exactly the number you need for the units. The Crusader infantry generally come in sets of eight – which isnt’s upper helpful if you’re trying to make units of 6 or 12 (unless you want two units – then three packs will do you fine). Luckily there’s a four man Infantry command pack that I purchased along with a pack of Foot Sergeants with Spears to make 12 (thougha whole third of the unit then doesn’t actually have spears… Ah, well… lovely figures though.

When I form them into Shiltron I’ll just tuck those non-spear-armed guys into the second rank to hide… and maybe remove them as the first casualties…? Well, at least that horn-blower lad can be first to go!

Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

Game reports. Someday…? 

Next – painting wise – will probably be some Great War stuff – some of which is already done but I thought I’d save for when I’ve finished up a bit more (enough that I can put it all together into one post). I’ll probably also forge ahead with a few more Mediaeval types… some Expert Serageants (with halberds, etc) for the green/yellow opposing force and/or some more mounted… 

Making Flags

I had an extremely productive day yesterday and almost have another unit completed for Lion Rampant. This unit happens to have a standard bearer. It’s been a good long time since I last made a flag – and an even longer time since I did a How-To/Painting Tutorial post (and they always seem to be popular… and the flag I was planning seemed like a quick and simple enough one… so here it is – this is how I make flags. It’s not the only way… I’m not even suggesting it’s the best way… it’s just the way I do it. Take what you will from it, discard the rest.

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)

Unit very nearly finished on the workbench.

There he is, the standard bearer himself.

I use standard quarter inch ruled graph paper from a pad. I use the pad stuff (ass opposed to stuff from a graph notebook or loose pages) because on the pads the lines are only printed on one side! The lines are dark enough to bee seen through to the other side – to easily use as guidelines – but not dark enough that they will be seen through paint when the painting is done on the back (non-lined) side.

First I measure or just set the figure down on the page to see approximately how big of a flag I’m going to be able to make. Looks like I can do an 1 ¼ inch flage here.

Outline on reverse

Leave a quarter inch gap between the two flag field faces for wrapping around the pole – probably more than is necessary for most things you’d use as a pole – but better to have too much than not enough.

Here is where I would mark out geometric shapes – but this is a very simple flag I’m working on today – one colour with a devise in the top corner or maybe center. I hadn’t really decided as I was starting. Perhaps it would have been better to do this when I was making flags for some Seven years War or Napoleonic troops with more interesting/elaborate standards… but I’m not painting those today. Perhaps I’ll do another some day when I get back to those periods…?

Using the lines I can see through as a guideline I paint some brown rectangles down the center – this it to make it look like there are bands of fabric wrapped around the pole

Dark red as background to the main field. The red I use is Decoart Americana Napa Red – it’s fairly translucent – which is okay when painting over a black primed figure, but painting on white paper it’s going to need two coats.

Second coat. probably could have done with a third... but I am lazy...

Yes I paint way outside the lines on the outer edges that will be cut – it doesn’t matter – it’s going to be cut off and better to overshoot those lines than be a shade short and have white bits showing on the coloured field when you’ve cut it out!

Next I did the outline of the device in black.  I kind of just eyeball it and paint it freehand – other than RIGHT NOW, no one is ever going to see both sides of the flag at once and so won’t be able to tell if it doesn’t line up just perfectly. Also if it does look a little wonky it doesn’t really matter as when I bend it to make it look like it’s flapping in the wind - everything will get visually distorted anyway. I’m going for a “general effect” – so that when someone looks at it on the tabletop they will be able to recognize that it is a flag and be able to tell which side it is on and maybe be able to quickly make out a few details to tell which unit it is (especially if in an army with uniforms that are otherwise not easy to tell apart)

Then on top of that the base colour for the device.

Then highlight colours for field and device. I have just painted sections one colour - but I prefer to do it with a deeper background colour and a highlight colour as I find it gives the finished flag a bit more movement and dynamism. 

This is, more or less, the same process I use for painting shields - only on a slightly grander scale. 

Once it’s all dry I cut it out – usually using the lines on the other side to determine where to cut (as I coloured outside the lines on the other side!). Usually I'm holding it up to let some light shine through so I can see where I painted on the other side. 

This was exceptionally hard to take a picture of as normally I am using two hands to do this – one to hold the paper, the other holding the scissors… I ended up having to prop it on the edge of the table and take the picture holding the camera in my left hand – and trying to hold is super steady as the lighting in the basement was not exactly ideal and the shutter speed was about 1/25 or 1/30!? I had a similar problem a few of the next few shots as well – normally I’d be holding the miniature with one hand, painting (or whatever) with the other… but hopefully you get the idea of what is going on here.

All cut out and ready to be mounted on the figure!

Slather one side with white glue or acrylic gel. I prefer the gel, but I've used both.

Carefully wrap around making sure all corners match up - and wiping off any excess glue or gel that squishes out the sides (this is where a matte acrylic gel makes things easier - you can just use a brush and spread it over the flag). I also kind of pinch the flag together at the pole so it wraps tightly around at the pole. 

Once that is done, shape the flag to look like it’s flapping in the wind!

Once it’s dry I have a good look at it and if there’s areas where the two sides of the paper didn’t match up quite right I carefully trim it with some smallish scissors – this one happened to turn out pretty good so I didn’t have to try and take any pictures of that maneuver which surely would have exploded my brain!?

NO matter how tightly you press the two sides together there is always going to be a bit of white showing at the edges… 

…so I just touch up the edges with whichever field colour is appropriate – luckily here the entire banner is one colour so there was no delicate fiddling involved. I don’t leave a huge bead of paint on the flag – like the one you can see in the picture above – that was subsequently spread smooth on the flag. I also, at this point, touch up any of the highlight colours to make them brighter in parts that are on th outer sides of the folds – if necessary.

Once it’s good an thoroughly dry I give it a coat of the same brush on varnish I paint on the figures.

And we have a finished standard bearer.

Well I hope this has inspiring for at least some of you out there. Do please let me know if you find this sort of post useful – they’re fun to do – but time consuming (and time isn’t something I often find myself having a surplus of!). If you have any questions - fire away in the comment section below!

I will try to do this again sometime when I have a more complex or elaborate flag to do.

Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

I’ll do a quick post of the finished unit shortly…. 

Friday, December 12, 2014

More Mediaevals

A few more mediaeval figures rolling off the workbench for Lion Rampant.

(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version):

Foot Men-at-Arms from Crusader Miniatures that I recently picked up as part of a Lion Rampant deal that North Star Figures was (and still is) offering.

A unit of Crossbow for my green-coloured opposing force. Also from Crusader Miniatures and part of the same Lion Rampant deal that North Star Figures. I tried to do these in slightly more muted tones of green and yellow - compared to the Knights I did earlier - because... well... these are just pee-ons... The fancy-schmancy dyes and fabrics are saved for (can only be afforded by) the noble classes. 

Two sample Irish Kerns from Old Glory. I have a pile of these - but as they all need fists drilled and javelins manufacturered, I've been kind of dragging my feet at getting on with them. They’ll see action in both Fierce Foot or Bidower units in a Lion Rampant Medieval Irish Retinue – at some point.

More Old Glory (I think…) religious types – ready to spread the good word.

Friar Tuck from Trent Miniatures.

Casualties from Crusader Miniatures - not part of the Lion Rampant Deal, but ordered at the same time. 

Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

Galleys and Galleons…


Maybe some Great War stuff (and more Mediaevals!).

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Last Game at John’s

A few weeks back I wandered over to John’s for one last game in his beautiful new house… before he moved out of it!

We set up a game of Wargaming Nineteenth Century Europe 1815-1878 and, as per custom, I took the Austrians and John took Russians.

(I had secretly hopped he might bust out the Russo-Japanese war stuff – as our first game had been with those figures – but I’m not complaining, any game at John’s house is guaranteed to be a good time).


We played the standard “Pitched Battle” scenario and, for once, actually ended up being able to set up on the long sides of the table. 

To win one had to be in possession of three of the four victory locations at the end of the fifteenth turn. 

In the “Pre-Battle Events” I rolled “Bogged Down” and lost two units. John rolled “Traffic Congestion” and three of his units would not arrived unit turn five.


6x Infantry
1x Skirmishers
1x Cavalry
2x Artillery
(One artillery and one infantry was lost due to pre-game events)

5x Infantry
1x Cavalry
4x Artillery
1x Cossacks
(I think an artillery, an infantry, and a cavalry unit were delayed)


(Remember: click on the pictures for a bigger version)

Initial set up from the Southeast – my Austrians are deployed on the south edge of the table.

Initial set up from the Southwest.

Again with the initial set up – from the Northwest.

The Austrians begin their advance.

On the second to third turn the Austrian cavalry clashed with Russian infantry…

… nearly pushing them right off the table with the first clash! I tried to take the battle to the Russians as I know I would only have slight numerical superiority for the first five turns…

So fast was my advance that my infantry overran Russian guns before they could even get set up on the hill! Huzzah!

The remnants of my cavalry fleeing from their second clash with the Russian Infantry west of town.

In the foreground I have three Infantry units converging on the town – one of the victory locations (of which there were four..? Two hills and two villages?). Another Infantry unit is eyeing up one of John’s units across the bridge spanning the river wondering how they’re supposed to cross that thing according to the rules. In the distance I have a unit of cavalry and a unit of artillery facing some Russian Cossacks. Oh, and my Skirmishers are on the wooded hill sniping at some of John’s infantry on the outskirts of the village on the other side of the river.

Russian Cossacks charge and overrun my guns.

The Russians finally decide the best way to go about crossing the bridge is in column of march!

This leads to their near annihilation at the hands of my deployed infantry.

Austrian infantry sweep down off the hill and smash through the wavering Russian line.

Then I got kind of lazy with the picture taking… all these were taken BEFORE the fifth turn when The Russians reinforcements show up… the next pictures are many turns later…?

That full strength Austrian unit that was holding the bridge…? Yeah, that’s them not backed up to the hill (another victory location) being charged by Russian Reserve Cavalry That cam one on the fifth turn and galloped all the way around the flanks to try and take that hill in my rear. The Russian Infantry that’s just crossed the bridge is one that also came on from reserve. The Russian gun set up just on the far side of the bridge is also one that came out of reserve on the fifth turn.

John and his fabulous game table full of toy soldiers (with bubblewrap for the immanent packing in the background!)

The remains of the unit of Russian Cossacks (after charging down the gun) They kind of held the extreme left of the Russian line and mostly just hung out to make sure my skirmishing Grenz didn’t try to pull anything funny as some of his other troops pulled out of their positions opposite to go and try to reinforce their wavering right.

The Russians are always supposed to get 1-2 free units of Cossacks – this is the first game we actually got to play with them (as John hadn’t has any for our previous games)!

The end of the game.

I think technically the Austrians won. They held a village and the wooded hill. The Russian held the other village but this hill was still somewhat contested at the end of the fifteenth turn. I didn’t take note of the losses at the end of the game – but it was a pretty bloody battle and I don’t think the Austrians would have been able to hold onto their victory locations for long had it continued...

Good times. I’m going to miss these games. Hopefully I’ll get John over here for a game or two before he takes off for good.

Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

I did get a bit of painting done over the weekend. Mostly Medieval subjects… but there’s some more Great War stuff on the workbench…

This week I hope to get in a game of Galleys and Galleons – so stay tuned for that report!