Sunday, March 26, 2017

More English Pike!


I finished up a second unit of English pike for The Pikeman’s Lament over the weekend. As with the recently painted English pike in red four of these were painted almost a year and a half ago, but I replaced their original pikes and repainted helmets and one of the buffcoats.


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


A unit of Pike for The Pikeman’s Lament. Most of the figures are from Old Glory Miniatures, but there are three in there from Warlord Games as well.


Push of Pike!

I’ve said before I hate the “at charge” pose for wargaming figures – at least on multi-figure bases (such as for DBA-X) as long pikes sticking out in front of the bases often make it difficult or impossible for said bases to actually make contact. I’m starting to come around to the point where I don’t mind it so much in skirmish games – at least when they’re individually-based and can be moved to not block to combatants from making contact. Also, actually making physical contact in a skirmish game seems less important than in most games with multi-figure bases – as long as they theoretically had the move to make the distance and you know which point from where the losing combatant would have to retreat from…


Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

A GAME?! Maybe?! There’s trouble a-brewing in the highlands!

I have more highlanders on the workbench at the moment, and I’m just finishing up another batch of ECW Irish – which are going on a multi-figure base for my Scots Royalist DBA-X army. 

Friday, March 24, 2017

The Pikeman’s Lament Dramatis Personae: Robert MacRame


One of the really fun things about The Pikeman’s Lament is the little narrative campaign system for your company commanders. With Lion Rampant and Dragon Rampant your commander gets to roll for some sort of special trait (that isn’t always good!) – and in The Men Who Would Be Kings the leader in EVERY single unit rolls for some sort of trait! But in Pikeman’s Lament, in addition to rolling for a background for your officer (each of which confers an associated trait that affects the officer in the game), as your officer survives games and gains Honour (victory points, essentially) he can gain new, additional traits! There is a topping out element, however: once your commander gains a certain amount of Honour, they are promoted to higher command and no longer lead a company, and you start anew with rolling up a background for his replacement...

So I got very excited thinking of all the possibilities for my commanders. I’ll have five at some point; a Scottish Highlander, an Irish Catholic Mercenary, a Scots Covenanter, and English Royalist and Parliamentarian. But I thought I’d start with The Scottish Highlander… and rolled a 4… “You are a weasel of a  man with little Honour, much to the regret of your rich merchant father who paid for your officer’s rank”… The Basic trait is – Sly: May refuse challenges without incurring the usual Morale Test…

Okay… not totally what I was initially imagining, but I can work with that…

Giving it a little thought I decided that rather than a rich merchant, his father could be the head of a minor clan: The MacRames of Glen Dunny!


Our Hero: Robert MacRame – Third son of Angus MacRame of Glenn Dunny

He does cut a dashing figure, does he not? Unfortunately, he’s a bit of an unscrupulous cad.

Being the third son, Robert is not likely to inherit. All will go to his older bother James. His father and brother have very high ideals about honour and family and expect that Robert should always stand by his brother’s side. Robert bristles under leadership of his eldest brother James and is determined to make his own way – he is always scheming and looking for a way to make a great deal of money with very little effort on his part - much to the chagrin of his father. His father says his shady deals bring dishonour to the family name, but Robert cares not. He is determined to set himself up as a self-made laird.

As for the troubles in the south, Robert couldn’t give a fig whose arse polishes the throne of England, or what prayer books are read from down at the kirk, as long as there is money to be made… and he is sure there IS money to be made selling provisions and other supplies to the government for the army being sent south – if only he could corner the marker on SOMETHING the army desperately needed...


Robert has gathered around him a gang of loyal toadies and thugs. There are his two younger brothers; Jock and Willy, who also despise their eldest brother. Also he has in his employ a couple of well paid hard men who had no compulsions whatsoever about perpetrating a bit of brutal violence at their masters behest; Hamish Graham “The Cracker” (known for cracking skulls!) and Archibald McPhee (a bit of a practical jokester!). And, of course, every good Scots leader needs a piper to announce his entrance!

For game purposes Robert and his crew will be fielded as a Forlorn Hope. With them will be a number of units of clansmen – a few of his FATHER’S men that had been put at his disposal. I might add in a unit of shot or commanded shot…?


Two units of clansmen (so far….)

With the two units of clansmen and the Forlorn Hope I have 12 points worth of units – halfway to a standard 24 point force. Seems like a good place to start though, and add units as the force progresses through the campaign and Robert (hopefully) gains Honour!

I could simply field the Forlorn Hope and SIX units of Clansmen. Unfortunately I only really have enough figures for four…. Unless I pilfer a few I had set aside to make a Scots Royalist DBA force… I might do that… otherwise I’m not sure how I’ll come up with 24…? I do have some Irish I could add, but I had thought I’d field them as their OWN force… We shall see – young Robert needs to survive his first action, then perhaps we’ll start worrying about what to add to his force!


(Those of you who have been following the blog a LONG time may remember visiting Glen Dunny before - an action during the 1988 Soviet invasion of Great Britain - and two further actions at the Village of Dunny - as the Soviet VDV tried to establish a crossing on the Black Dunny Water - and Dunnymuir


Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

Possibly a report of Robert MacRame’s first engagement against the government forces (what could possibly turn this fine capitalist, wannabe war profiteer against the potential cash cow of the government!?)…?

Or perhaps an introduction to Robert’s soon-to-be nemesis Evan “Holy” McErrol – a dour Covenanter Commander and son of an even dourer martyred Calvinist Presbyterian preacher – with a hatred for the English and anyone who would support their king…?

Thursday, March 23, 2017

English Pike


Another unit ready for The Pikeman’s Lament...

I had thought I’d hold off on posting these and use them for a round of the Lead Painter’s League, but then I realized I’ve submitted photos for the first three rounds and the league doesn’t even get under way until April – so I don’t have to submit another team for a MONTH!? While I know some people are painting away to get ahead of the game, painting up a new batch of five figures a week is nothing for me, so…

Figures are from Old Glory Miniatures

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


One unit of Pike for The Pikeman’s Lament.

Four of these I actually painted over a year ago, but I used much shorter and skinnier pikes, so I replaced those when I painted up this unit (and ended up repainting their gloves!).


When the dust settles I should have four units of pike and four of shot for the English.

Being all part of a company they should probably all have the same colour uniform… but I’m doing each in a different colour – though there will be similar colours. The red and orange units could be in one company, and the blue and green units in the other…

Of course two units of pike and two units of shot isn’t going to make complete companies… I’ll need to add some other stuff, but I will have a couple units of  Horse and I do have the Forlorn Hopes Dismounted Cavalry… not to mention a few Clubmen to pad things out where necessary…


Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

Probably some More ECW Pike… or a report of some ECW action with The Pikeman’s Lament.

Monday, March 20, 2017

English Civil War Cavalry


I have been busy painting new things… it’s just that most of them you’ll have to wait a month to see. I thought I’d try and get in on the Lead Adventure Forum’s Lead Painter’s League this year. Stuff submitted to the league cannot previously have been be posted anywhere on the internet. So…

I have been working on some more post apocalyptic scavenger types for Mutants and Death Ray Guns and some English Civil War Irish for The Pikeman’s Lament. I will post them here after they’ve been featured in the Lead Painter’s League.

I also happened to finish up a solitary mounted cavalryman – which I will not be submitting as an entry into the League – which finishes off a unit of six for The Pikeman’s Lament (the other five were painted over a year ago…).

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


Solitary newly painted cavalryman from Old Glory


Completed unit of Cavalry. Could be “Trotters” or “Gallopers”. I’ll probably use them as “Gallopers”, because that’s how I roll…

Huzzah!


Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

I was planning a post to introduce some of the Dramatis Personae that will be involved in my upcoming narrative campaign for The Pikeman’s Lament.

I have a little scenario I’d like to run sometime this week, hopefully there will be a report of that little action! 

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Dismounted ECW Cavalry


Moving on…

I’ve been obsessing about The Pikeman’s Lament since it was released a month or so ago and having recently abandoned the Vimy Project I’ve launched straight into trying to get some units together to play a game.

Of course I have a pile of DBA-X ECW units I COULD use… just use casualty markers… But I happen to HAVE a lot of individually based ECW figures anyway, so I shouldn’t take much to organize dedicated units for Pikeman’s Lament.

Picking some “low-haninng fruit” I painted up three dismounted cavalrymen that finishes up three units of “Forlorn Hope” – smallish units of hard-hitting elites – similar to the dismounted knights (Foot Men-at-Arms) in Lion Rampant except… y’know… with muskets and the like.

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


Three newly painted dismounted ECW cavalrymen. The two on the left are Wargames Foundry figures that came are part of a pack of dismounted ECW cavalry I ordered a year and a half ago (when I was last excited about the era – as I was reading about it with the kids and the release of 
En Garde!</a> was approaching!) I mostly ordered them fort the OTHER figures in the pack – which I painted shortly after their arrival. These are copies of figures I already owned and had painted… so… there was less motivation to get them done… (until now!!).

The fellow on the left tossing the bomb is from Warlord Games. He was part of a storming party I painted up previously. This fellow wasn’t painted at that time because his flimsy little scabbard broke off. I was going to model a proper scabbard on their, but in the end just drilled it out, stuck in a bit of wire and painted that… If I hadn’t mentioned it, no one would probably have noticed…


Forlorn Hope #1 – Dismounted Cuirassiers – these would be classified as “aggressive” – a 0 point upgrade that removes the ability to shoot, but increases their Stamina and Attack Value. All but one is from Wargames Foundry, the odd man out is actually a Dixon Miniatures figures from their Flodden line?! I figured it was close enough – could be some poor old chap that couldn’t afford new armour and swords and had to go into battle wearing his granddads armour…

The four cuirassiers that are identical to the newly painted one I have had for-EVAR – I actually painted them 27 years ago!


Forlorn Hope #2 – Figures from Wargames Foundry and Dixon Miniatures again. This unit doesn’t actually include any of the newly painted ones above… I just thought I’d include a picture of them. As with the cuirassiers above, a couple of these chaps were painted 27 years ago. Can you guess which ones?


Forlorn Hope #3 – figures are mostly f from Warlord Games - with one from Wargames Foundry.



The entire storming party from Warlord Games... which I guess could be fielded as a Forlorn Hope of its own - if you could imagine the petard stand as a single element thus making a unit of six. I imagine I would more likely use the petard as a “token” of sorts in a scenario that has to be escorted to the gate of an enemy fortification and left there long enough for the storming party to clear away to a safe distance… much like the critters in the foraging or rustling scenarios. 

Good to be back working on a project I actually WANT to be working on! I actually completely reorganized all my ECW figures into four DBA-X armies (ECW Royalist, ECW Parliament – with options to make an ECW New Model Army, ECW Covaneteers, and ECW Scots Royalists) and four similar Pikeman’s Lament forces – with a few options for each. I've ordered just a few new miniatures to finish up a couple units in each. 

Despite these English Forlorn Hopes the most likely forces to be completed first will be the Scots.


Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

More English Civil War for Pikeman’s Lament!

Or possibly some more post apocalyptic types for Mutants and Death Ray Guns

Or possibly even some JET BIKES for Faustus Furious 3000! 

So… Vimy…


Not happening this year. Sorry.

I want to thank everyone that has commented on this blog and been so supportive of the project.

Though time has been running short, that wasn’t really what killed it. I probably could have gotten it done – though it might not have been as pretty as I originally intended. It wasn’t even the lack of enthusiasm – I could have worked through that. I sat down with my mostly finished plan and started pricing out the materials I’d have to run out and get to build the terrain and WOW prices of building materials have gone up since I last bought any in quantity! It was going to cost a LOT more than I’d originally budgeted for (and my original budget for the project was going to completely blow my year’s toys spending budget as it was). That was the final nail in the coffin. (Well that and the kitchen renovation that Amanda’s suddenly decided MUST HAPPEN THIS YEAR!!! But that’s a whole other story…).

So it’s not happening for the 100th anniversary, which is a bit of a shame… Not saying it’s never going to happen. When I made peace with the fact that it wasn’t happening this year It felt like a great weight had been lifted off of me and with it the general disinterest and loathing for the project. I’ll return to this some day, but it’s not going to be this year.

I may or may not do a Passchendaele battle in the fall. I have all the figures! I wouldn’t make any terrain boards – just a bunch of shell craters and pill boxes and distribute those over a table covered with a brown cloth (a little less costly and labour intensive!) I had thought of doing it for ToonCon, but I’m also planning a jet bike racing game using Faustus Furius and jet bikes from Ramshackle Games (from the Jet Bike Construction Kit Kickstarter) and I’m not sure I really want to run TWO games at the con… We’ll see…

For now… I need to do something else. I’ve been working on some English Civil War figures to try and finish up a couple of companies for Pikeman’s Lament (and/or En Garde and/or Flashing Steel). I’ve also been eyeing up my fantasy and medieval stuff and planning units for Lion Rampant/Dragon Rampant and Song of Blades and Heroes. Yesterday another package arrived from Magister Militum with some more Lead Adventure Post Apocalyptic figures (for some more Mutants and Death Ray Guns action!). And I guess since I won't be so insanely busy building terrain, we should get back to some BOARDGAMES! So, I’ll be keeping myself busy. 

It's also getting warm again this week (-1°C forecast for today and daytime highs above freezing for teh next week!) and i want to get out RIDING



Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

ECW Dismounted Cavalry!

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Countdown to Vimy – (less than) 5 weeks to go!

A bit late (again) but I was just finishing some stuff up...

The Plan for this past week was to:

#1 Finish The Canadians!



CHECK!

They’re done – and with that I have finished all the miniatures I was planning to use for the project. I haven’t even bothered to post individual pictures of each battalion. I probably won’t. But I finished off the last three battalions of the 6th Brigade and 3 machinegun teams and 4 mortar teams.



Just for giggles I thought I’d set out the entire Canadian Corps (so far… I don’t have the 10th Brigade done – as they did not take part in the action on the 9th as they were being held in reserve for an attack on “The Pimple” (as strong point just north of the ridge) the following day).

#2 Finalize Terrain Plans



Well, I did get the table cleared off and the existing terrain up on it…



And I did try to make a plan of it



And started trying to figure out how to tie it all in to the rest of the ridge.

But I can’t in all honesty say I have “finalized” any sort of plans. If I’m going ahead with this, I best get on with it!

If…

At this point, I have to be honest, I’m sick to death of this whole thing. For some time I’ve just been going through the motions of trying to get it all done and posting updates on this blog hoping somehow I might get excited at that prospect and it might rekindle some spark of enthusiasm.

On one hand I just want to throw in the towel and say “fü¢k it, it’s just not worth it anymore….” There are a hundred other things i'd rather be doing. But on the other hand I feel like I’ve put so much work into it and come so far, I should see it through, right?

Should….

Seriously, that’s the only thing keeping me going at this point – guilting myself into forward motion with “What the hell did you buy and cast and paint all those stupid figures for if you’re not going to finish it now, moron!?”

Maybe I just need to take a little break (a VERY LITTLE one – as time is running out!). I wish the weather was still like it was last week - I’d take the kids and go for a day-long bike ride and get some fresh air…


Alas the weather has taken a turn for the worse… we’ve has a few days of snow – and WIND – and the temperature has plummeted from +5°C into the -20s (°C).  

Maybe we'll just play a few more boardgames... 


Coming soon on Tim’s Miniature Wargaming Blog:

Vimy Terrain!

(or… maybe something completely different…).