Friday, April 30, 2010

Sash and Saber French Artillery Battery

Well, finished the Sash and Saber crew to man the two 12 pounders which had already been painted before. I know the color of the "green" of the gun carriages and accessories varied - it was a mix of yellow and black paint available. However, I think I may use Vallejo Brown Violet in the future, if I acquire more French guns. The Vallejo color is used on the "sticks" the crew are carrying. It's a more subtle color than what I used for the gun carriages.
Granted these are Line Foot guys and 12 pounders, from what little I know about Artillery, were normally reserved for the Guard. I also recall reading something about 12 pounders being a rarity in the Peninsular. This will have to do for now though, as there is another round of Sharp Practice scheduled for tomorrow. This will be likely the final playtest before Enfilade. Adrian and I still need to playtest our last-minute WAB game we're also hosting at the convention. Thankfully, Adrian knows WAB (at least 1.5) like the, "back of his hand" - his words, really :)!

I should add that the figures themselves are nicely sculpted and all 10 figures in the set are individual poses - no duplicates. Not painted yet are a pile of backpacks that came with the crew set, and some additional pieces like a bucket of cannon balls and ramrods that came with the cannon set.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

WAB 2nd Edition Now Available for Direct Sales

If you are interested the long-awaited WAB 2nd Edition is now up for sale on the Warhammer Historical site. Don't be the last kid on your block to get a copy!
Here's the newsletter write-up:

"Hi There,
Warhammer Historical can proudly announce the long-awaited release of the Second Edition of the hugely popular Warhammer Ancient Battles, which is available to order now for immediate dispatch. The lavish new edition is extensively illustrated with a plethora of diagrams, artwork and photographs of painted models, as you can see from these sample page spreads here and here.

The book also features a selection of new special rules covering the unique doctrines, cultures and weaponry of ancient times in order to add even greater depth and enjoyment to your games. There are also fully revised army lists for Romans and Barbarians, and a selection of sample army rosters from across the ancient periods, from the Egyptians of the New Kingdom to the Crusades

This full colour large format 216 page hardback book features a fully updated and extensively revised set of rules for playing the epic battles of the ancient world. The new rulebook is £32, and is available to order here exclusively from Warhammer Historical.

To celebrate the release, we have extended our popular online store half-price supplement offer to encompass the new Warhammer Ancient Battles rulebook – so while stocks last, you can select any Warhammer Ancient Battles supplement at a great 50% discount when you purchase the Second Edition rulebook!

How to order from Warhammer Historical
As always, we offer several ways of ordering Warhammer Historical items:
Online at
Available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for ease of ordering with a credit or debit card. As with all our ordering methods, we can ship your order worldwide, to any address you choose. Express delivery and Standard shipping options are available.

By Telephone
The Warhammer Historical Customer Service Team is available between 9.00am and 5.00pm U.K. time, Monday to Friday and we are happy to take your order over the telephone with a credit or debit card. We can be reached on 011 44 115 916 8375 from the US and Canada; 00 44 115 916 8375 from most of Europe or 0115 916 8375 if you are within the U.K.

We are also able to answer any questions you have about any aspect of the Warhammer Historical range, from queries regarding stock levels to recommendations for the ideal gift.

By Post
We can accept orders arriving via the post, and this is the only method of ordering if you wish to pay by cheque or postal order.

By Fax
You can also send a credit or debit card order to us by fax on 0115 900 4882.

If you have any questions, please don`t hesitate to give us a call."

An Exchange Rate Calculator

Great timing too - as I just wrote a large check to Uncle Sam last night. I got home  from work and saw a thick envelope from the IRS. Lo and behold, after throwing a mini nervous breakdown/temper tantrum, I realized I didn't include my Army retirement income for 2008's return. Why I didn't, I can't recall, but I thought I did. I had used Turbo-Tax for the first time and was probably on a role and thought the retirement income went on a separate line - it was the first year I received the retirement too. Anyway, I luckily have a great fiduciary - my wife - and we have a good amount saved up for emergencies. I kept repeating , "Render unto Caesar what is Caesar's," and actually felt better. Oh, and it's my wife's birthday on Saturday - Happy B'Day, Honey! I also need to pick up another bottle of Vallejo Black Ink/Stain and hex bases from  The Game Matrix in Tacoma .

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Victrix Highlanders Have Arrived

And they must've beat the volcanic ash by a close margin. The box is post-marked as leaving the UK on April 14th - about the time that whole volcanic ash thing kicked off. I wasn't in any rush to get them anyway, as I won't start on these until after Enfilade.
The two regimental colors in this set are the 79th Cameroon and 92nd Gordon Highlanders. Both very distinguished units, having served in the Egyptian Campaign, as well as the Peninsular and Waterloo. The colors in this set note that the 92nd's colors are *Peninsular*. I think the Center Company Highlander box has the 92nd colors with the Peninsular honors on it.

Here is a Tartan painting tutorial that I plan to try out. This is the pattern for the 79th:
And the one for the 92nd:
The bonnet:
The hose - although it doesn't appear to have much showing above the gaiters on the Victrix figures:
 Looks easy, huh? Ha! We'll see after doing it 60 times over!

I also ordered the mounted Highland officers and sapper metal set. The plan is to build units for both the 79th and 92nd - but the primary one I want is the 79th. I will attempt to scalpel away the wings for the Center guys. The majority will be mounted four to a base of 40mm X 40mm ,in mostly marching or positions without their arms & muskets extending too far out in front. It'll be interesting to see what can be made out of them.

Oh, and I just got an email from John at the Panzer Depot letting me know the Front Rank figures I ordered just arrived. He's offered to mail them to me since I may not be able to make it up there before Enfilade. There are a couple more Spanish Guerrillas figures in the order. If not, no problem - they are mostly nice to have, but not a show-stopper for the Sharp Practice game. Which reminds me, I need to get back to finishing the Sash and Saber French Artillerymen for, hopefully, another play test this weekend

ADDENDUM: Here is the tutorial provided in Greg's comment below of another way of doing tartans. It looks similar to the Cameron pattern with it's red stripes. I don't know if I can manage that thin lines though - the thinnest brush I have ever used is 00. Anything thinner would seem to have the paint dry on the brush before it can make it to the figure. Maybe it's because the brushes I've been using for the last five years were all bought when I was stationed in Korea and were about a $0.50 a piece. My wife bought them at a factory where they were made. She bought a lot of them, but I now only have about 10 left.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Crusader Gladiators - Painted

Finished these guys as fast as I could so I can start on the Sash & Saber figures. The shields still need some detail work - but that can wait. They also need to be based properly. I'll go to the Game Matrix next week to see if they have some hex bases; I'm sure they do.

Looks like the guy on the left in the picture above needs his foot armor painted.

Not sure of which rules these guys will be used in, but I may re-look the Duel rules in Siege and Conquest. I don't want too-complicated rules.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Sash & Saber French Foot Artillery

The Sash & Saber figures arrived yesterday up at the Panzer Depot . John, the owner, emailed me to let me know they were in. After meeting with my gaming buddy, Adrian, this morning to discuss our  Enfilade WAB game, I took the drive up to Kirkland to pick up the figures. Another fellow gamer, Lawrence B. , rode up with me. It looked like there was a large Flames of War tourney going on up there when we walked in. Lawrence picked up a box of Victrix French Infantry. Anyway, the S&S figures look great - just like they look on their site. The only thing I wish they had were the carrot-shaped pompoms - instead they have ball pompoms on their shakos.

The set of ten figures will be broken down into two units to man the two guns I already have. There's even a nice stack of backpacks int he set.
Here's a quick comparison shot with two S&S figures in the middle and plastic Perry and Victrix figures flanking them. They look like they'll be okay on the table together. Especially since they'll be in their own units manning the guns.
These should be fairly quick to paint up - basically in all dark-blue uniforms and red piping/trim. I finally have some French with long gaiters!

A very nice illustration of Line Foot Artillery, pre-Bardin regulations.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Battle of Heraclea - A Farewell to WAB 1.5 Game Proposal

As a sort of joke, I posted a message on the  Puyallup (War)gamers Yahoo group to see if anyone was interested in hosting a "Farewell to WAB 1.5" game at Enfilade next month. Adrian N. who is a big supporter of WAB quickly took the bait. He offered up his excellent Republican Romans which he has used several times against Carthaginians. At first I was thinking of a scenario using the Samnite Wars. However, after I got home and took a look at my available forces, it was apparent that I didn't have enough Hoplites and Samnites to battle Adrian's close to 3K point army. Instead, I think we'll go with a Battle of Heraclea scenario. This way I can beef up the army with my three phalanx units and heavy cavalry wedge - not to mention my lone towered elephant. I really don't like to play elephants as I find them too much trouble for what they're worth - but since they were a factor historically, I will put one on the table. Here's a quick snap shot I just took:
I would like to add some mercenary archers and slingers - so, hopefully someone will have some for Enfilade (only five weeks away). This game will be on Sunday - my Sharp Practice game will be on Friday. Now we have this game to play-test too!

Check out this page about a WAB-version of the battle by Jeff Jonas - it is actually linked at the bottom of the Wikipedia site of the battle! Our game will be a much scaled-down version of Jeff's, of course.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Did You Hear About ...?

The new WAB Second Edition (aka Version 2.0) being released soon? I'm sure you've seen the announcement on  TMP  , but I'd be remiss to not announce it here also. This is called the "WAB Corner" after all. Even though, I've kind of let Napoleonics - specifically stuff to do with Sharp Practice - take over recently. However, that said, I'm looking forward to the new set of WAB rules

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Crusader Gladiators

Started on - well primed - some excellently sculpted Crusader Miniatures Gladiators. These are the heavy armed and armored types. I still need to get some Retiarii. These are named as they are from the Crusader sets. They're temporarily based; I plan to mount them on hexes.
This is the first picture of Gladiators I remember as a kid; it is in a  book titled "Classical Myths" by Max Herzberg. I still have the hardcopy printed in 1960 that my mom bought at a booksale back in the early 70's. The caption in the book is from Byron, "The arena swims around him - he is gone. Ere ceased the inhuman shout which hailed the wretch who won." I prefer, "Ave, imperator, morituri te salutant!" I remember reading about a US soldier in Vietnam awaiting a full-scale attack, turning around in his foxhole and saying to his comrades, "We who are about to die, salute you!" His buddies failed to see the humor.
Here are some mosiacs found on the web:

The Societas Via Romana site has a great introduction to this favorite pastime of Romans; as well as short descriptions of the various types of Gladiators.

I haven't yet decided on which rules to use with them, but there was a recent post on TMP about a modification to Morituri te Salutant. It sounds intriguing - the modification, that is.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Perry Napoleonic Casualties

Just a little update to keep this blog alive. While awaiting the arrival of Sash & Saber French Artillerymen, Victrix Flank Company Highlanders, a few Front Rank figures, and the soon-to-be released Perry French Hussars (pre-ordered), I figured I'd paint up a couple of casualty figures that came with the French Heavy Cavalry box.

The British figure comes with separate musket and covered Belgic shako. I don't think the French figure comes with a weapon. There were six total casualty figures - three each French and British.

I postponed another Sharp Practice playtest until next Saturday. I was hoping to have the S&S artillerymen in and painted for the game, but it still isn't in. In fact, I was informed yesterday, that the order may be delayed due to the vendor being at a convention.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Some "House-Rules" for Sharp Practice

Perusing the excellent Sharp Practice Forum I've yet to find a definitive answer to a question that came up during a recent play test game. The issue is how to change a formation in column into line. The section on "Changing Facing and Formation", doesn't specifically address the scenario we encountered. That is a formation (which for Sharp Practice is two or more "groups" combined) in march column needing to reform on line to their direction of march. The aforementioned rule seems to only address a change if the column were to turn to line 90 degrees of their march. The optional rules found in Appendix One "Step Sharply" has a good overview of the different drills each major nation performed, as well as excellent diagrams. It even concludes with a subsection of "Using Drill For Table-Top Formations." However, it doesn't include actual application, nor distances to use for these movements.

In the absence of specific rulings, I've proposed to my gaming buddies, the following "house-rule" to change a formation in march column to line in the direction of march. Hopefully the following diagrams with captions are self-explanatory. I have the original as a Power Point Slide Show with the units moving up in sequence automatically - in my previous career I had to stoop to being a Power Point "Ranger" sometimes.
This may all seem a bit trivial and common sense, but it came up for discussion at the last play test and hopefully this "house-rule" will solve our future games in this regard.