27 December 2015

Plan N - Eight Down, How Many Hundred To Go?

A very quick update, christmas eve saw me complete the first block of eight miniatures belonging to the first unit I'm painting up for 'Plan N'.

26 December 2015

Day Break At Hangman's Creek

I played my first game of Black Powder over at Carl's earlier in the week. We used miniatures from his 15mm scale American Civil War collection and played out the 'Daybreak at Hangman's Creek' scenario from the Black Powder rulebook. As I said this was the first time I actually played a game of Black Powder and the second for Carl, so after dicing for sides we took our time to step through the rules making sure we understood them.

With command of the Confederate forces I attempted to close on Carl's Union troops who were camped in and around the afore mentioned Hangman's Creek. Sometimes I found the rules to be a little wordy and a couple of times found the meaning of the rules lost amongst them. You might say I couldn't see the forest for the trees. Apart from these few moments we found the game play to be straight forward and the game turns passed quickly until Carl broken enough of my units for me to lose the game.

I found Black Powder to be a fun simple set of rules. This isn't Empire or Piquet and like a lot of the current generation of rules, uses special rules or traits to add flavour to units in a game. But surprisingly the rules seem to encourage the right behaviour from units of close order troops either in column or line under a players control on the tabletop.

As a rule of thumb if a set of rules has your miniatures acting in a manner similar their real world counterparts and it's not a chore to play the game then something right must be happening, so Black Powder even with it's verbose language sometimes hiding the actual rules is some thing I'll play again. 

19 December 2015

Plan N - Cracking On

Sticking to the plan, I've made a start on the next part of the painting queue, a battalion of napoleonic British line infantry. This will be the first unit I paint that belongs to 'Plan N' and because it's a large unit of 32 miniatures I've broken it down to four more manageable sub-groups of eight miniatures each.

This is the first of nine infantry units that I'm painting up for the 'red force' in scenario one and I have decided to base 'red force' on units that served in the 'Peninsular Campaign'. I've made up a list of the colours I've collected and from that list it's a simple matter of checking to see if that any of the units whose colours I have, served in the peninsular.

I came up with the following 'order of battle'.

Line Infantry Units:

1st Regiment Of Foot (Royal Scots)
3rd (East Kent) Regiment Of Foot (The Buffs)
4th (King’s Own) Regiment Of Foot
27th (Inniskilling) Regiment Of Foot
50th (West Kent) Regiment Of Foot
87th (Prince of Wales's Irish) Regiment of Foot  
88th (Connaught Rangers) Regiment Of Foot
92nd Regiment Of Foot (Gordon)

Light Infantry Unit:

95th Regiment of Foot, the 95th Rifles

There's no order to this, as I mentioned the only requirement was to have fought in the peninsular campaign and as for including the 95th? Well? Why not?

11 December 2015

"At that close range we won't last long against those Star Destroyers!"

And I didn't.

While Beth has been away doing 'science stuff' Lachlan and I have been playing Star Wars Armada, We started with the introductory scenario and then moved to normal games. While Lachlan beavered away desiging 300 point Imperial fleets I took the lazy way and used an online fleet builder - Fab's Fleet Generator - Star Wars Armada randomly generating the rebel forces which I pitted against the 'Ginger Sith'.

I won the introductory scenario by killing more fighters but after that it went mostly Lachlan's way. First he experimented with a clump of tie bombers and then in the next game he charged in with two Gladiator class star destroyers armed with concussion missiles and a swarm of tie fighters.

Lot's of people of have written about Star Wars Armada so I won't go into detail about it here, a quick search on google will return any number of reviews and opinions. What I will say is that like it's stable mate Star Wars X Wing, Armada is a well presented miniatures game that plays straight out of the box. Like X Wing, Armada has a range of excellent pre-painted miniatures, though this time it's depicting the larger ships of star wars universe.

This game along with X Wing will certainly keep me happy while I continue to work through my painting queue.

08 December 2015

27 November 2015

On The Workbench - Get In The Queue

I've got a number of half finished projects that have been sitting in what I've begun to call 'Workbench Hell', they're those half finished, never quite started projects that litter your workbench collecting dust. But I've hit upon a plan to clear the decks that doesn't involve stuffing them in a box. Although I have some of in that state too.

Since I'm pushing along with 'Operation M' and the more recent 'Plan N' and of course having a lot of fun with both of them I thought I might use them as a 'reward' for getting projects out of 'Workbench Hell'. None of these waylaid tasks are up to the same scale as either 'Operation M' or 'Plan N' so before I can move on with the next step of either I must first free something sitting in 'Workbench Hell' by completing it. Much in the same way that I completed my 'space torpedoes' before painting my cosmo navy scout planes.

My plan is already in progress as I've stared a queue which so far consists of:
  • Finish painting a human Bloodbowl Team - Workbench Hell
  • Painting a battalion of napoleonic British line infantry - Plan N
  • Paint a group of 1/600th scale MiG-17s - Workbench Hell
  • Paint three assembled Cosmo Navy destroyers and one non-scale 3 step carrier - Operation M
  • Finish painting a non-scale Comet Empire battleship - Workbench Hell
  • Assemble and paint a battalion of Napoleonic French line infantry - Plan N
  • Finish painting a non-scale Comet Empire carrier - Workbench Hell
  • Paint three assembled Cosmo Navy cruisers - Operation M
  • Finish painting a non-scale Comet Empire missile cruiser - Workbench Hell
  • Assemble and paint a second battalion of Napoleonic French line infantry - Plan N
  • Finish painting a GZG 15mm scale NAC gun jeep - Workbench Hell
  • Paint one assembled Cosmo Navy Battleship - Operation M
  • Finish assembling and paint one non-scale Earth Defence Force cruiser - Workbench Hell
It seems a lot, but once I work through this, what has been languishing on my workbench will be finished. Complete and ready to use. The Bloodbowl team is already almost finished and my son already is telling me how I might add to the team. But before that there's those British line infantry and any more Bloodbowl miniatures will just have to get to the back of the queue.

16 November 2015

It's 'N' For Napoleonic - Plan N, Part 2.

Last time I outlined my plan to work through a number of scenarios from ‘Scenarios for Wargames’ and build up a collection of 28mm scale French and British napoleonic miniatures and terrain. The next step I intended was to work out the roster of both the opposing forces using the Piquet ‘Les Grognards’ I intend on using. But before that a more obvious next step would be to take stock of the miniatures that I have in hand. So I did that instead.

There was no plan in what I purchased aside from sticking with British and French nationalities, almost everything was purchased locally from a shop here in Hobart over a number of months and they have up to now sat on top of a bookcase in the hallway.

Here is a list of the miniatures accumulated so far;

Perry Miniatures

1 x French Napoleonic Hussars 1792-1815 (14 x Mounted Miniatures)

1 x British Napoleonic Line Infantry 1808-1815 (40 x Foot Miniatures)


1 x French Napoleonic Infantry 1804-1807 (60 x Foot Miniatures)

French Napoleonic Line Infantry Flags 1804 to 1812 Patterns

1 x British Napoleonic Highlanders Centre Companies (60 x Foot Miniatures)
1 x British Peninsular Infantry Centre Companies (52 x Foot Miniatures)
1 x British Napoleonic Foot Artillery (15 x Crew, 3 x Guns, 3 x Limbers)
1 x Mounted British Peninsular Colonels & Foot Pioneer (2 x Mounted, 1 x Foot Miniatures)
1 x Mounted Highland Colonels & Foot Pioneer (2 x Mounted, 1 x Foot Miniatures)

British Napoleonic Flags Of The Peninsular War 1808-1814(1)


French Line Artillery, Full Dress (6 x Foot Miniatures)
French 4LB Field Gun (1 x Gun)

Duke of Wellington & Staff (5 x Mounted, 5 x Foot Miniatures)
British 12LB Field Gun (1 x Gun)

Warlord Games

1 x British Royal Horse Artillery 9LB Cannon (1 x Gun, 3 x Crew)

Previously I had made a start on the Perry Miniatures British line infantry so I rescued them from the hell that is corner of my work bench and spent Sunday afternoon dusting them off and assembling the extra miniatures required to bring that unit up to the required 32 miniatures.

I’m also reliably informed that Santa will bring me a box of British light dragoons and another of French dragoons, both from Perry Miniatures.

Obviously I will have to acquire some more miniatures but this should keep me going for the immediate future.

12 November 2015

First Lick Of Paint - Operation M Part 10

I finished painting the three Type 100 cosmo navy scout planes for operation M. I still don't know how I intend to use them on the tabletop but I've got three cool little 1/1000th scale space planes to buzz around the large ships on my tabletop.

06 November 2015

On The Workbench - Torpedoes Away.

I've finished my space torpedoes, I varnished them this morning and now the are ready to go zooming across my tabletop.

02 November 2015

Plan N - "On dit que Dieu est toujours pour les gros bataillons."

The first in an occasional series of posts about my latest mad scheme.

Over the years I’ve alway had some napoleonic miniatures in my collection. Currently I have some 15mm scale British based for ‘Napoleon’s Battles’, but over the last couple of years I have purchased some French and British hard plastic 28mm scale napoleonic miniatures from ’Warlord Games’, ‘Vitrix’ and ‘Perry Miniatures’.

I picked up a copy of Warlord Games ‘Black Powder’ rules and while the rules appear to be quite serviceable I haven’t played a game with them yet. But still the book is still well worth the purchase. It’s beautifully laid out and full of lot’s of images of well painted miniatures in large units on well presented wargaming tables laid out with some excellent looking terrain. Reading through this book gave me the inspiration with which how I’m to use my as yet un-employed 28mm scale napoleonic miniatures and return to some ‘old school’ wargaming and get some big battalions on the table top.

The plan is simple, use my copy of ‘Scenarios for War-games’ by Charles Stewart Grant. It contains 52 war-game scenarios, the idea being that it provides the wargamer with ready made problems and challenges to face on the table top. So why not start with scenario one, assemble and paint enough miniatures for both the ‘Red’ and ‘Blue’ forces described in the scenario and do the same with the terrain and then enjoy the game.

Next move on to scenario two, flip the sides, so who ever was the red force is now blue. Assemble and paint up any miniatures and the terrain required for that scenario and once more, enjoy the game.

What next? You guessed it. Move on to scenario three, flip the sides again and once I have assembled the forces for this scenario I should have a British and a French force each containing;

6 to 8 units of infantry
1 x unit of light infantry
2 x units of heavy cavalry
1 x unit of light cavalry
4 x cannon

I’m fairly certain that this amount of miniatures will cover the majority of the horse and musket forces described in the most of the scenarios in the book, so once I’m past scenario three the majority of the miniature collecting and painting will be over. Although occasionally a scenario might call for one or two more units or something along the lines of a baggage wagon and maybe some interesting terrain.

I intend to initially work through the first five scenarios, once I’ve done this I intend on pausing for a moment to see what I’m might do with this next. Continue on playing through all 52 scenarios? Maybe?

I’ve noticed on reading other wargaming blogs and forums Black Powder is a fairly popular, so just in case I do run across the opportunity I’ll base my miniatures as suggested by Black powder (four infantry miniatures on a 40 x 40 mm base, 2 cavalry miniatures of a 50 x 50 mm base. Artillery, as required) so if the opportunity presents itself I can fit in with someone who is already based his miniatures for Black Powder, or at least a similar basing scheme. 

But the rules I’ll play the game with are going to be the Piquet ‘Les Grognards’, napoleonic supplement. To get those big battalions I’ll be making use of the ‘zoom rules’ on page 70 of the Piquet master rules which allow you to scale the game to suit the level command. I’ll be doubling the number of stands for each unit and using a ground scale of 1” equals 12 yards. Your average infantry unit will be made up 8 stands with 32 miniatures, and a cavalry unit would also have 8 stands with 16 miniatures. Which matches nicely with the nominal unit size given in Black Powder.

Next is to decide which nationality gets to be ‘red’ and ‘blue’ and the answer is an obvious one, since the British are ‘red coats’ they can start as the red force in ‘Scenario One’ which is a positional defence they have:

4 x units of infantry
1 x unit of light infantry
2 x units of heavy cavalry
4 x guns (cannon)

The French, the blue force are have:

8 x units of infantry
1 x unit of light infantry
2 x units of heavy cavalry
1 x unit of light cavalry
4 x guns (cannon)

Next time. What these armies are made of and ground they'll fight over.

25 October 2015

Do You Think That's Wise Sir?

Couldn't help but notice this trailer of the new 'Dad's Army' film. Due out next year it's a remake of a very popular British TV show following the misadventures of a platoon of home guard in England in during World War Two. I grew up watching the show and have it on DVD and I must admit I'm looking forward to watching this once it's released, even if Mrs Mainwaring is a on screen character. In the original show she certainly loomed large in Captain Mainwaring's life but you never got to see her.

Anyhow in anticipation of the upcoming film I thought I'd post these images of Beth's 'Dad's Army' miniatures. Actually they're aren't called that and they belong to a world war two range from Foundry, but there is a passing resemblance.

Long past their prime these enthusiastic part-time soliders stand ready beside the platoon transport (Lcpl Jones's Butcher's Van) to defend their homes against any invading German foe. The van is actually a die-cast corgi van Beth found on-line at a vintage toy site.

 "Take that Jerry" Pte Pike wearing his muffler given to him by his Mum (because his such a delicate boy) likes nothing more than get his hands on the platoon's 'tommy gun'. "...just like James Cagney..."

"Do you think that's wise, Sir?" The long suffering Sgt Wilson stands ready to offer advice to Captain Mainwarring.

Members of the platoon out on patrol, looking for Nazi parachutists dressed as nuns.

Carrying the lewis gun, these platoon members rush forward to where they are needed. We can only hope Pte Frazer hasn't misplaced the butterfly spring again.

15 October 2015

On The Workbench - Need Some More Black

I sat down tonight intending to undercoat my new based space torpedoes in preparation to painting them and finish off a non-scale 'Andromeda' from the original Space Battleship Yamato that's been nearly finished for 'a while' and what do I find? I'm almost out of black paint? I blame the 'paint goblins', surely there are such things.

08 October 2015

05 October 2015

World Broadsword Championship 2015 and Gloriana Cup

Recently some members of the Hobart branch of the Stoccata School of Defence travelled to Sydney to participate in The World Broadship Championship. One entered and won the Junior title and the other four entered the senior competition and all made it through to the finals. There were eight spots in the finals so it was Tasmania against the world, two of the four won second and third place.

So congratulations to Lewis Hand (1st place, junior) , Mariusz Rybak (2nd place, senior), Shaun Jefferys, (3rd place, senior) and Shaun Douglas and Bennett McComish (finalists), great job guys.

28 September 2015

Damn The Torpedoes! - 'Operation M' Part 10.

I finally got the chance to stick the last few bits onto to the Garmallis battleship and inspired by the large number of torpedo/missile tubes depicted on the model I've decided to make a diversion.

Back in 2011 I refurbished some zeppelins, come space torpedoes. I have nine in total but that doesn't really seem enough so I've dug out another eleven zeppelins out of a dusty corner of my workbench and I'm in process of converting them into flash, zoomy space torpedoes.

17 September 2015

Halo Fall Of Reach - Father, Son Time.

I've been playing the Halo Fleet Battles with Lachlan. There's nothing quite 'character building' as playing the UNSC against the Covenant.

14 September 2015

A Plague On My House - 'Operation M' - Part 9

I was hoping to make a start on painting the Cosmo Navy force but the inevitable winter flu made it's way through our home and painting miniatures and model kits didn't really seem that appealing for a while. But eventually I did make a start on putting together the Gaiderol class astro battleship, the flagship of the Garmallis force.

But once I was recovered enough I filled my role of 'parental taxi service' and drove Lachlan and Mei to Launceston for a small anime con being held on the UTAS Launceston campus. Also attending was a historical reenactment group, 'The Wayfarers of Midgard', I met some of these guys previously on the set of a local film production 'MacBeth 1040AD' and it was good to catch up with them and watch them hit each other with swords.

And speaking of swords, these turned up in the post last Thursday morning from Darkwood Armory. I'm told it's a rule of thumb here at the Hobart branch of the 'Stoccata School Of Defence' that any gear you order for fencing always turns up after the weekly training session. Mine is the red handled sword and the black handled one is a late 21st birthday present for Lachlan.

And before anyone asks, they're blunt. Hitting each other with sharp swords is in a word, silly.

06 September 2015

'Operation M' - Part 8

While not essential to my plans, acquiring the forth Garmallis ship set was too good an opportunity to pass up (after all, 'Father's Day' of course. What other reason would I need?). Beth was going to purchase it herself from Hobbyco in Sydney but airline shenanigans meant Beth wasn't able to get to the shop so I braved their online shop and placed an order and it arrived today with the morning mail.

24 August 2015

A Lick Of Paint And They'll Be In Fighting Trim - 'Operation M' - Part 7

My project to use those excellent 1/1000th Bandai kits from the anime series 'Space Battleship 2199' on the tabletop has reached a mile stone.

I've finished assembling the Cosmo Navy navy ships. I'm going to keep the stem of the bases mounting the models but I'll probably replace the thick square base with something flat and less obtrusive. Once again I mounted the small scout planes on some Gamesworkshop flying bases I had to hand.

Meanwhile 'Number One Spawn' has been busy too, assembling the 49 little plastic ships that came in the Halo: Fleet Battles 'The Fall Of Reach' boxset. Now like me all Lachlan has to now is paint them.

17 August 2015

'Operation M' - Part 6

I've been busy assembling the Cosmo Navy ships and the mecha colle three step carrier that came with the first set, I plan on assembling all seven ships of the Cosmo Navy force and painting in them all as a group before starting on the Garmallis Astro Fleet ships.

10 August 2015

"Cinders and Ashes!"

The Model Train Show was held at the Tasmanian Transport Museum at Glenorchy last weekend and I went for a look. There were a number of interesting layouts which definitely will provide ideas and inspiration for terrain on the tabletop. But also interestingly, there was a steady stream crying small children, possibly upset because they were unable to play with all the cool toys.

04 August 2015

'Operation M' - Part 5

I've been busy continuing to put together the cruiser and destroyer from the first Cosmo Navy set.

But on Monday Beth had a trip to Sydney and while there she stopped by Hobbyco picked up one of the ship sets I wanted for the Garmillas Astro Fleet force, one more set to go.

Anyhow, what was Beth doing in Sydney? Something very cool. She appeared a ABC TV show called 'Q and A'. It's a live panel show where the panellists are asked questions by the audience. Making up the panel was Neil deGrasse Tyson, Astrophysicist & Science Communicator; Ranjana Srivastava, Oncologist and Author; Adam Spencer, Broadcaster and Maths Geek; and Beth Fulton, Mathematician and Marine Scientist, CSIRO. Beth said it was quite the experience.