On the Painting Table

Painting is still going a bit slow. I’m slowly building up my 15mm Native Americans for the ACW and managed to finish a couple more of the Union Indian Brigade. I also painted another one of the Oathsworn anthropomorphic animals.

I modeled the fur colour after the tomcat living at our place!

Some time ago, I also received Annie’s Kickstarter and I finally painted up two of the figures.

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On the painting tray are even more Indians – this time, Confederates. In the end, I want to have four skirmishers group of six figures for each side.

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In the foreground, you can see some mounted Indians. They have been standing there for a while and I’m pretty stuck with those at the moment. They are from 15mm.co.uk and are not the best sculpts and castings, so painting them is a bit of a hassle. I’ll give them one more chance, otherwise I’ll put them away. The snakey guys you can see in between are 28mm serpentmen from EM4. They will be used for our Sellswords & Spellslingers games.

Last week, I suddenly had the desire to build something. I found a nice photograph of the Hilton Head post office during the Civil War and spontaneously decided to model this building. As always, I made the shell out of plastic sheet and added cardboard strips for the weatherboarding. It’s not yet finished, but it’s been a fast and smooth build so far.

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Last but not least, I got myself some pine trees. I’ve been thinking about those for a while now, as many of the ACW actions I’m gaming were fought in or around pine woods, and I finally caved in and got two packs. Let’s see how they look on the tabletop. The tiny animals will also add some detail to the 15mm landscape.

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Missin’ in Action 2018

Two years ago, we had organised a summer gaming event for friends out in the countryside. A month or so ago, K. and I decided spontaneously to do another such event under the title of Missin’ in Action 2018, this time however at our new house (which is in an area of town formerly called Missindorf, hence the name). The idea was to gather friends and host one or two miniature games out in the garden.

Unfortunately, the weather did not agree and we had to move it inside. Fortunately, people turned up nonetheless.

I chose Sellswords & Spellslingers as the event’s game and decided to have two rounds of games. The first was played with six people, of which only three had played it before. The rules are, however, easy to grasp and, being cooperative, work very well to introduce people into miniatures gaming. We played the ‘Healer’ mission from the rule-book and had to rescue the wise woman. My wizard teleported our archer onto the rooftop of the healer’s hut, where he skillfully covered the rescue operation, led by our intrepid halfling Leader riding his pig.

After a short break, reinforcements arrived in the form of Virago and his two kids. For the second round of games, we split a 6’x4′ table into two areas: One with a village in the middle, where one group played the ‘Defend the Village’ scenario, and another with swampy wastelands, where the other group played the ‘Through the Badlands’ scenario. The border between the two playing areas was demarcated by a river, with the added incentive that, if the group crossing the badlands made it to the ford, it could enter the other game and help defend the village.

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The poor heroes defending the village drew a Brain Devourer as their main enemy and struggled hard to bring him down. Meanwhile, Virago’s elven family shot their way through the lizardmen and orcs standing in our way. My dwarven wizard helped to speed the journey by teleporting people ahead, but in the end it was the elves who did the hard work, killing one monster after another with their arrows. We even managed to reach the village, but before the elves could get off a shot, the Brain Devourer was brought down by the brave dwarven fighter.

This was a really great afternoon! I’ve definitely learned from last time’s mistakes: back then, I cramped all players into one game, which ground to a slow crawl as the rules were unable to cope with such an amount of players. Playing two scenario in parallel proved to be a good solution for a large group that nonetheless wants to share a gaming experience. Each game took less than 90 minutes, so it was pretty relaxed and there was plenty of time to chat. It seems that everyone, kids and adults alike, enjoyed the games and had fun. I’m definitely planning on doing this again next year!

Animal House

Well, well, well – it seems that animal ardor, creature craze, fauna frenzy or even zoological zeal are rampant, at least among my mates, as Sigur and Virago have both bought the new Osprey rules-set Burrows & Badgers. How could I resist? Especially since I’ve already got a set of Oathsworn animals, which I bought about two years ago. I’ve occasionally painted the odd figure since then and now have a collection of ten anthropomorphic animals awaiting adventure.

To be honest, I wasn’t sure what to do with them, but now that Burrows & Badgers has arrived, they might see the gaming table yet. It’s not that I need another set of small-scale skirmish rules – there is still Songs of Blades and Heroes, which I really like – but Burrows & Badgers is a lovely book with great illustrations by none other than Gary Chalk. And there are some interesting ideas in there.

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I haven’t played it yet, so I can’t tell you more than that, but I will keep you posted if I do. And I will definitely paint the rest of my animals – this is one of my favourite line of miniatures and painting them is a real pleasure.

Gettysburg Battle Day

Some time ago, I proposed a Gettysburg Battle Day to the local wargaming community. Inspired by the yearly Battle Day of the Society of Ancients, the idea was to present different games, all of which dealt in one way or another with the Battle of Gettysburg. The aim was to get different perspectives on the battle, not only from the time and area chosen for the scenario, but also from the different rule sets.

To my great joy, many people were interested in participating, so yesterday a bunch of wargamers assembled at the club for the event. When I arrived (a bit late, admittedly, as I had to finish some stuff for my scenario – I was late with preparations this time), the games were already in full swing.

Virago and Sigur had prepared a Longstreet scenario dealing with the arrival of Howard’s XI Corps on the first day of the battle. Following historical events, the game ended with a Confederate victory.

The guys from Tabletop Wien West had three games running. Their main game used Kugelhagel for a scenario dealing with the fighting at Culp’s Hill. As always, they had a very busy table with a lively crowd.

Additionally, they had a Kugelhagel solo game and a game of Battlecry set up.

Nikfu and James had set up a game of Pickett’s Charge, a set of rules that I’m very interested in.

I had prepared a scenario for the skirmishing around Bliss Farm, using Sharp Practice. At the beginning, the farm buildings were occupied by Stephan’s Confederate skirmishers. I managed to drive them out, but the Rebel reinforcements arrived before I could consolidate my position and after a brief struggle, they retook the barn, at which point my Force Morale collapsed.

Finally, a group of people around Helim and Slowik had a game of Altar of Freedom using 6mm figures. They portrayed the whole battle on one 6’x4′ table and it looked spectacular! I fell completely in love with those figures and the way they were presented. This is how a big battle should look like, with mass formations and enough space for manoeuvring. Another great thing about this set-up was that it tied together the other games – you could identify on this table the spots the other games depicted.

I’m happy that the Gettysburg Battle Day was a huge success. Everybody was enthusiastic and all had invested considerable time and effort in their games. For me, it was great to meet friends, to play an exciting game of Sharp Practice and to see other perspectives on the battle. But most of all, it was a very inspiring day which gave me many ideas about how to develop my ACW gaming.