Saturday, July 31, 2021

Chehalis Veterans Memorial Museum Game Day

Just got back from a great game day at the Chehalis Veterans Memorial Museum. This was my second time for this event - the one last year was cancelled due to the shutdown. It was great to see the old gaming buddies there, just like we hadn't skipped a year. My buddy, Scott, and I ran our Imjin War Naval game in the second period. We had 5 players for our game "At The Height Of Battle". A few of the players were familiar with other rules by the author, David Manley, so were keen on trying these out. Two of them are also fellow bloggers - Kevin with "A Gamer's Tale" and David with "I Live With Cats".

The museum itself is run by veterans and volunteers, and has been around in some form or fashion since 1997. It's located right off of I-5, about 30 minutes south of Olympia. It has an impressive collection of mostly-US military artifacts - donated by or on loan from private collections, including actual veterans and family members.

The games were held upstairs in their events hall. Refreshments were provided - coffee and snacks.

Pictures of some of the games.
Assault On A Spanish Harbor - Black Seas.
Yes Commissar - a RCW game using homebrew rules.
WW2 Desert Campaign game - not sure of the rules, but the scale was 1/72nd/20mm.
ACW game in 15mm using Regimental Fire and Fury, I think.
Imjin War naval battle using At The Height Of Battle. Japanese were declared winners in Turn 3 after capturing over 50% of the ships of a Korean squadron. Although, on the Japanese right flank - the action was very close and could've gone either way.

Here are a few pictures of the excellent collection at the museum on the first floor.

As we were leaving, a group of hot rod enthusiasts were gathering outside. There's also a vintage railroad museum next door too. Quite a place to spend the day.

It was great seeing gaming buddies who've I've not seen for over a year; seemed like old times. We hope we can continue to game together again in the future.

McFarlane 7" Space Marines - Side Project

Although I've only played 40K once - and not versed at all in the lore and codices, I just had to get some of these 7" tall, articulated figures made by McFarlane when I stumbled upon them on ebay. The unpainted ones will be a Salamander and Space Wolf - hopefully. The pre-painted red one is a Blood Angel, of course. I picked up an older Space Marine codex book (also from ebay) just for some background. Pictured below with a normal 28mm Space Marine figure for scale comparison.

The figures are articulated by ball-joints, which can be pulled apart to facilitate painting. The "Beaky" helmet/head is from a separate ebay parts vendor. Just had to get one in this helmet.
The rattle can green is a bit too dark for the Salamander; possibly an undercoat of yellow would've helped. Might try to find a lighter green to overspray as a highlight. The blue is okay for the Space Wolf - tried to give it a lighter coat to allow some of the grey base color showing.
Anyway, just a quick WIP update on a side-project as a change to 28mm historicals. Hopefully not too offensive :) I'll be heading out with my buddy to a game day at a privately owned/operated veterans museum. Taking our Imjin War naval game stuff in case they have an open table. Thanks as always for stopping by and checking out the blog. Best wishes to you all!

Wednesday, July 28, 2021

Perry Napoleonic Austrian Cuirassiers and Dragoons

These figures are from a box of plastic Perry Austrian Cavalry and a command sprue to make two 8-man units. The set comes with options to build Cuirassiers, Dragoons or Chevauxlegers; as well as heads with helmets for 1798-1805 with smaller woolen crest and queues, 1805-15 with tall woolen crest and 1805-1815 with woolen crest removed.

Since most Perry Napoleonic cavalry plastic sets come with 14 figures, adding a command sprue with officer and musician allows for these two 8-man units. Granted, most folks like 12 figures for standard size cavalry in Black Powder, but I've gone with 8 figures for a few reasons. One reason is they take up less space on the usual 8' X 5' table to I play on; and another is they paint up faster (and cheaper).
Speaking of painting; these were painted in my usual way of block painting and staining with Minwax, and highlights added afterwards. The horses were base coated with rattle can spray paint - two shades of brown and white (for the musicians).
It's great that the Austrians used the same saddle cloth for their Cuirassiers and Dragoons. In fact, I'm really starting to appreciate their take on uniforms - simple, yet elegantly styled uniforms, mostly in white with colorful facings.
Well, these figures are the last of the Austrian token force...for now anyway. Mounted high command and artillery may be added later, but for now other projects are waiting in the queue. One is the Perry AWI figures sitting in trays and base coated weeks ago. On the gaming front, my buddy and I plan to host our Imjin War naval game this coming Saturday at the Chehalis Veterans Museum. This is a privately-funded museum and very impressive. A must-see if you're ever in the area. Thanks for stopping by and wishing you all the best.

Saturday, July 24, 2021

Another "At the Height Of Battle" Imjin War Naval Game

Yesterday, my buddy Scott and I played our third Imjin War naval game using David Manley's "At The Height Of Battle" rules. I wasn't going to post a report of the game as the images look pretty much the same as the earlier post of the game. However, because of the author's quick responses to our questions after the game (via the game's FaceBook page), I felt like giving the game another nice shout out.

Maneuvering of fleets during the beginning phases of Turn 2. Korean fleet in the top of the photo. As mentioned previously, each turn has 6 phases (3 per side) that are card driven.
The three Japanese squadrons (lower half of image) having fired heavy artillery (12" range) into the Korean fleet. Heavy artillery fire is tracked using cotton tufts as they can only be fired once per turn. Only two Korean ships were damaged by all of the firing. The overall Japanese commander's ship is the large O Ataka Bune with the center squadron.
Still Turn 2 with two back to back Korean phases (note the cards). Their heavy and light artillery has had greater results on the Japanese ships. For the record, light artillery can be fired during all phases in a turn, but has only a 3" range. The red squares (tokens borrowed from "Roman Seas") indicate damaged ships; red zigzag markers are crippled ships; white smoke, fired heavy artillery, and black smoke, fired piercing arrows - which only the Koreans have, and can only be used once per game.
Korean phase in Turn 3 - this is actually at the end of the turn as the O Ataka Bune command vessel has been captured and 4 Japanese ships already floating wrecks. The Floating Wreck and Crew Tired markers are also from "Roman Seas", the later represent captured ships. The Japanese had captured a Korean ship in an earlier phase, but was re-captured the next phase by Koreans. One of the things clarified by the author after the game, was that captured ships can be immediately crewed by, or set fire to, by the enemy. In our game, my buddy argued that this could only be done in the next phase/turn. Using this "logic" he was able to re-capture his ship in the next phase. I would've attempted to set fire to the captured ship immediately upon capture to have prevented this - this takes a D6 roll of 2-6. Floating wrecks can sink on a roll of 6 during the command phase at the start of each turn. If not, they are subject to drift with the wind direction at the start of the game. I should also note that all of our games have been using movement by oar and not sail. Movement by sail being a bit more complicated because of wind direction, so we've not tried that yet.
Here's a shot with clearer views of the actual ships. The large one in the center is the Japanese command ship, an O Ataka Bune. The smaller ones are Japanese Seki Bune - the majority of the Japanese fleet. The ones they are surrounding for boarding are Korean Panokseon - they mainstay of the Korean fleet. Up to 3 ships can attempt to board one enemy ship. The use of one of the ships boarding factors are used with half of the other two. Prior to boarding, light artillery can used by both sides; also the Japanese can use fire bombs per the rules to lower the abilities of the Koreans. Fire bombs weren't used in this game as we weren't sure if they could be used along with light artillery. This too was clarified by the author after the game - and they can indeed be used with light artillery.
Crew casualties to the O Ataka Bune inflicted during the light artillery exchange prior to boarding dramatically reduced its actual boarding effectiveness. Skulls represent crew casualties - which reduce boarding factors by half. So in the case of the O Ataka Bune, they went from a boarding factor of 7 to 3 - per the rules, always round down. For clarification, factors are added to the die rolls. We place die next to ships that will fire artillery - once fired we place cotton "smoke" if it was heavy artillery fire so we know they can't fire again during the turn.
We called the game as in addition to the capture of the Japanese fleet commander (and his probable immediate execution), four other Japanese ships were floating wrecks and several others damaged. We both thoroughly enjoy the rules, and feel they flow well, and provide a good interpretation for this period.

Apologies for the somewhat lengthy write-up, but wanted to provide more details of the game mechanics. Thanks again for dropping by and wishing you all the best!

Wednesday, July 21, 2021

Perry Austrian Napoleonic Infantry

Finished up the two battalions of Perry Austrian line infantry. As mentioned in the previous post, only one box of plastics were used to build these two 24-man units. Although there are 48 figures in the set, there is only set of command figures. One of the units is currently led by an NCO, and flag pole was fashioned from a Victrix British figure. Also, only one unit has a drummer - and since I place most drummers in the rear of the command stand, the missing one isn't too noticeable. A metal command may be added in the future.

These aren't representative of nay particular regiment, as the facing colors were used by several different ones.
The cross straps and musket slings were highlight with Vallejo Game Color Artic White (which is the only white I currently have on hand), and the uniform a mixture of the white with Vallejo Stone Grey.
The gaiter buttons are nicely sculpted and paint up pretty easily by applying the brush tip at an angle and sort of sweeping the paint along them. The Minwax staining helps define the buttons too. I hope Perry (or Victrix) will someday release plastic French in full gaiters - preferably Old or Young/Middle Guard types.
There are now 6 24-man battalions for the token Austrian force. The Perry and Victrix plastics work well together, IMO. Still need to paint up the box of Cuirassiers/Dragoon. On the gaming front, another Imjin War naval game is scheduled for Friday - this will be the third time playing the rules, and should have it pretty much down by now. Thanks again for stopping by and wishing you all the best!

Sunday, July 18, 2021

Perry Austrian Infantry WIP & Imjin War Naval Game Update

Although the At Height of Battle Imjin War naval game went very well, I only took several so-so pictures. Figured I'd bolster the post with a WIP update on a box of Perry Napoleonic Austrian Infantry. They are in two 24-man units - one in crested helmet and the other in shako. As the box was picked up off of Amazon (sold by Brookhurst Hobby), it only has one proper command set. Used the flagpole (with cords cut off) and arm from a Victrix British figure for one unit. Also an NCO as a stand-in leader until an actual officer is obtained (maybe a metal figure for variety).  Had a spare sapper from an earlier command sprue to spice up the command stands. 

So far only basic areas block coated over a white undercoat. Still need to do the facings and metal parts, among other details. As usual, they'll be given the Minwax stain treatment later.
Now onto the At The Height Of Battle game. This was the second game for my buddy Scott and I, but we had another player, James, join in for his first game. Scott used his Korean fleet of 3 squadrons vs. my Japanese with 3 squadrons. The Koreans had two turtle ships (one a small one) and the rest Panokseon. The Japanese fleet had an O Ataka Bune as the overall fleet commander, and 9 Ataka Bune and 15 Seki Bune  - all equally divided into 3 squadrons. The Japanese had more ships overall - 8 ships to the average 6 in the Korean squadrons. Although I ran one of the Japanese squadrons, the majority of the fighting was between the two other Japanese squadrons run by James. This was mainly due to the early maneuvering where James' ships either blocked my LOS for artillery or his ships got into boarding actions before my ships could arrive. My squadron was basically held in reserve to report the battle to the Shogun afterwards. Here are the scant few shots I was able to take due to the heavy action going on.
I think the photo above is around the end of turn 2. The red markers are stand-ins to show damage to ships after taking artillery fire. The white "smoke" indicate heavy artillery having been fired and cannot again be used until the next turn. As mentioned in the previous post on these rules. The turns are card driven - 3 each per side. Each card represents a phase which that side will do all of it's actions - command phase, movement phase, firing phase and finally any boarding actions. So 6 phases (cards drawn) is one complete turn. The phases and turns went smoothly as we were more familiar with the rules this time around. We did try out things we hadn't in the first session. Scott's Korean ships used their "once per game" "Piercing Arrows" which allowed a +2 to their die roll for hits. The Japanese used their ability to use "Fire Bombs" during boarding actions. We also used Light Artillery (i.e. arquebuses and bows) during boarding by both sides.
The photo above is during turn 3 or early in turn 4 - got lost in the confusion of battle. The zigzag red markers indicate "Crippled" ships - basically the next level down from "Damaged" - these cause degradation of movement. The skulls represent crew casualties - which affect shooting and boarding; basically from -1 to each down to 1/2 the allotted points to die rolls for these actions.
We called the game after turn 4, as James had to take off for familial duties. It was declared a close tie - with either side being able to get a clear victory if we were to have gone another turn or two. The Japanese had captured 3 Korean ships - from different squadrons. If they had done all 3 from one, it would've caused the Koreans to test having lost more than half of their ships. However, the Koreans in their phase of the turn managed to wreck 2 Japanese ships - the next step down after "Crippled". Some "Roman Seas" "Floating Wreck" markers were used for this. The "Crew Tired" markers indicate captured ships. We were adding different markers on the fly. In fact, after posting this on the "At The Height Of Battle" Facebook, Matt at MT Miniatures said he'll be creating markers for these results.All in all another successful use of the the rules. Scott and I may be playing another round this coming week, and hopefully host it at the end of the month at a game day at the Chehalis Veterans Museum. Until next next time, wishing you all the very best in health and hobby pursuits!

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Imjin War Naval Reinforcements - MT Miniatures

Painted up some reinforcements for another "At The Height Of Battle" game this Friday. These are 6 Ataka Bune and 15 Seki Bune for the Japanese, and 10 "mixed" Panokseon for the Koreans. These are packs sold separately from MT Miniatures to compliment the starter set.

They were pretty much speed painted using a Vallejo Flesh Wash and Black Ink mix over a white undercoat. Then given a light dry-brush to make the nicely sculpted details pop. If you want them to have a more colorful look, you could paint the top rails of the ships in different colors like red or blue. Only the 6 Ataka Bune had sails, so helped speed up the process. The bases are plasticard with acrylic caulking added. When semi-dry, the caulking is given a "wavy" appearance. I used the tip of a sculpting tool, but you could use anything for this. The ships are added to the caulking before it's dried completely. You could also add a drop of glue to the bottom of the ships and gently "squish" them into the caulking too. For the water color, I used about a 60:40 mixture of Vallejo Dark Prussian Blue and Vallejo Deep Green. The paint is applied fairly watered down to allow a variation of depth to the paint on the white undercoated acrylic. Finally, a very light dry-brushing of white is applied to catch the waves/wakes. 
Above is a shot of the fleets so far - enough for 3 squadrons per side. My buddy, Scott, has even more ships, so it could get crowded on the gaming table. Will post a review of the game along with photos. Until next time, wishing you all the best and thanks for stopping by the old blog.

Sunday, July 11, 2021

Old World Fountain - Wizkids Deep Cuts

 Here's an Old World style city/town fountain made by Wizkids Deep Cuts. Found it on ebay for about $4 - with shipping came to around $8; but still a good deal, IMO. Plan to use it for Black Powder and Bolt Action as a cover/LOS blocking terrain. 

The main pieces are made from the same (or similar) material as Reaper Bones figures. The "water" parts are semi-transparent plastic whose undersides can be painted to make the "water" look a bit more realistic. 
The fountain parts come primed in a light gray. I dry-brushed Vallejo Stone Grey over the fountain parts and Vallejo Bronze for the Neptune statue. These were then given a sepia wash - the fountain parts dry-brushed again with Stone Grey mixed with a little white for highlights.
I've been wanting a town fountain for some time, and glad to have stumbled upon this kit. Quite a simple kit that paints up very quickly. Also, as the pieces are modular they can be broken down for storage and transport - if needed.

Friday, July 9, 2021

Perry Napoleonic Austrian Landwehr

Here are two units of Austrian Landwehr using a box of Perry plastics and an additional command sprue. Mahrische in brown coats and Salzburg in green coats.

My initial intentions were to paint the box set up as two regular line units - one in shako and the other in crested helmets. However, after seeing the included painting guide I zeroed in on the color examples of the Landwehr. In 1813 the Landwehr uniforms changed to grey coats with facing colors of the line units they were assigned to. So, these will have to be for earlier battles - possibly up to the 1812 Russian Campaign.
The 48-figure Perry set comes with only one command sprue, so added another with the order to build up the two units. The set does come with enough heads to have all 48 in helmets, shako or corse-hut. The latter is worn by the Salzburgers.
As with most Perry plastic Napoleonic sets, there are several marching poses with only heads and backpacks needed to be added onto the figure. I did convert the arms of one of the officers using a hobby knife to change the pose a bit. The Mahrische's officer is the original pose for the figure.
Painting up the previous Victrix Austrian Grenadiers has turned out to have been a bit of a slippery slope. I had no intention of building up an Austrian army, but now feel the need to add a few more battalions of regular white-coated line infantry. Anyway, it's things like this about the hobby which are unexpected and not at all unpleasant. Thanks for stopping by and hope you all are in good health and up to good gaming and painting projects.