Monday, September 9, 2013

Spanish Army of Flanders

There has been alot of excitement among my local gaming group about the Fire and the Sword rule set. This finally motivated me to get off my butt and finish the first unit of my Spanish. The Spanish don't play a role in the Second Northern War (the conflict the rules cover) but they make perfectly acceptable mercenaries. I might even make two standard bearers for each unit so I can double them as Swedes.

I haven't done any banners yet as I'm planning to buy these from Flags of War.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Battle Mat and Ork Concept

Progress in the shipyard has been slow this month. I've had my parents here to visit and most of my time has been taken up touring around and playing golf. Now that they have jetted off for warmer climbs I need to make the most of the time before the fall semester from hell (tm) begins to eat up my time.

I have been steadily acquiring ships via ebay. The Imperial Flotilla is already completes and I have about 30% of the ork vessels.

I have an orc ship done with my planned paint scheme in outline (no highlights or shadowing) just to see if it would work.

I kind of like it although I think it will benefit alot from some highlighting.

I have also acquired an excellent battlemat. I experimented with a lot of ideas to try and do it cheaply. Eventually I stumbled upon a thread on Boardgame Geek which suggested a vinyl banner. It turns out that a site like will print a photo on vinyl quite cheaply. I took a high def Hubble space telescope photo and had it printed at 4 x 8 ft.

Although it suffers a little from being blown up so much I still think it looks great, particularly at the low low price of $40. It also has the added attraction of being very easy to transport to the club or wherever. I take no responsibility for those strange alien creatures.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

The Imperative

Astropaths have confirmed that the Dictator class cruiser Imperative has joined other elements of the Imperial Fleet. This addition significantly boosts the strength of the cyclops squadron.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Elements of the Imperial Fleet Emerge from the Immaterium

Sources within the Administratum have confirmed that a troop convoy, long overdue, has finally arrived in the Cyclops Cluster. The ships, Argo, Solaris, Agricola and Carpatha, are transporting the 597th Valhalan and the 14th Cradoc mechanized infantry to engage the foul Xenos currently befouling several of the cluster's more outlying worlds.

Sources also indicated that the convoy was escorted by a squadron of Imperial Navy destroyers. These stoic defenders of the Imperium will doubtlessly sweep the orkish scourge from the stars.

The Administratum and the Ecclesiarchy issued a joint statement condeming recent speculation that Eldar corsairs had also been sighted in the sector. Such speculation constitutes disloyalty to the Imperium and will be treated as the base treason it is. Anyone who can name those spreading these alarmist rumors is urged to come forward and report the matter to their local Ecclesiarchy or Arbites.

Monday, July 1, 2013

It is Loot Loot Loot That Makes the Boys Get up and Shoot

So I happened by my local games store on the weekend and they were having a huge sale on all their old books, boardgames and various sundrys.

All of this for under 20 bucks!
3 copies of Inferno
Warhammer Rule book
Skaven Army Book
Orcs and Goblins Army book
Fading Suns RPG
Adventure (Pulp Era) RPG
Mystic China (no idea what it is but it looked cool)
Mystery on the Nile board game (somewhat like a hyped up version of Cluedo review to follow)
Lord of The Rings themed Tarot cards

Suffice to say the poverty stricken gamer traped inside my poverty striken body couldn't be happier! Im taking an intensive course right now and dont have time to read but soon that will be over and ill be able to tuck up with a cup of tea and enjoy!

Also on an unrelated note Bacon muffins:

Tired of eating bacon and eggs with a fork? Try Bacon muffins 100% bacon egg and cheese

Friday, June 28, 2013

Battlefleet Gothic - Cyclops Cluster Campaign

Cyclops Cluster Campagin

Every year, or nearly every year, my best friend comes to America to visit for about 2 weeks. Each year we try to play as many games as we can and we generally try to theme it around a particular game system. This time its going to be Gamesworkshop's Battlefleet Gothic (BFG). I know Games Workshop isn't always fashionable in historical gaming circles but I will freely admit that two of the greatest games I have ever played have been Mordheim and Battlefleet Gothic.

BFG is a space combat game set in the 40k universe which very closely resembles WW1/WW2 naval combat. All of the usual Warhammer 40k races are represented in the core rules or in various supplements. It has been out of production for nearly a decade but I can still find sufficient models on Ebay to build a couple of fleets. I actually received the original game for Christmas the year it was released and played tons of games against my brother so there is major nostalgia value to be had.

I am usually an Eldar player in the 40k universe (even though I havent played 40k for many years and several editions) and my inclination was to pick Eldar for this campaign. Unfortunately the Eldar are so powerful and so unbalanced that their very use in battle has been labeled a war crime, or at least a crime against fun gaming. I am still planning on building an Eldar fleet although more for the fun of it than any other reason. Its possible that a third party might want to play a game or two in our campaign so Id like to have the ships on hand.

Having ruled out the Eldar I opted to go with the Imperial Fleet. While the good guys is a very relative term in the 40k universe this is as close as it gets. Their models look awesome and the lean towards a combination of gunnery and special weapons particularly torpedos. I actually still have a number of cruisers from the original game I got years ago so it saves me a few bucks on ships as well. My friend opted for Orks, a fleet I have never faced before. They favor high firepower short range weapons in combination with ramming and boarding assaults. Unfortunately we have to start this fleet from scratch but six months ought to be more than enough time to put a fleet together.

We are both big fans of campaigns (from Mordheim) so we decided to run our games as a campaign based on the BFG campaign rules. The campaign is based on a map and controlling various star systems that give you resources. You earn (or lose) resources and renown by fighting for control of these systems. I haven't actually ever played it but it seems like over the course of a campaign you ships will get increasingly veteran (if they survive) but will also become more dilapidated as battle damage is patched and field expedient retrofits lower the ships combat ability. I really love the idea of this as it dissuaded the kind of all or nothing throw everything you have at the enemy style of play. Having a cruiser crippled or destroyed represents a real loss in game terms that will have to be made good with scant resources.

I decided to set the campagin just after the events described in the Battlefleet gothic rulebook and backstory. The Imperium has emerged victorious at horrendous cost. The Orks are taking advantage of the Imperium's weakness to launch an all out invasion of the Cyclops Cluster.

The Cyclops Cluster Campaign

In the months and years following Lord Admiral Ravensburg's great victory at Gethsemane and the shattering of the Despoilers war fleets the Imperial Navy was left to try to pick up the pieces of the Gothic Sector. Despite victory in space the war weary systems of the Sector would not know peace for many years. Rebellions began under the vile banner of the Despoiler continued on dozens of worlds and the scattered remnants of the Chaos war fleets continued to harass Imperial shipping wherever they could. Fortunately for the Imperium Eldar pirate activity decreased markedly following the alliance and their sleek warships were largely absent beyond the occasional siting in the nebulas and other such barren regions of space.

Much less promising was the situation in the Cyclops cluster. Long a hotbed of activity for Ork pirates and raiders these loathsome Xenos had expanded their power during the Gethsemane campaign. In order to win his great victory Lord Admiral Ravensburg had stripped every sector of shipping in order to concentrate his battle fleet. The resulting vacuum allowed the Orks, thus far kept in check by the Cyclopes squadron almost unchallenged mastery of the sector. Ork invasions began on a number of worlds almost immediately and within months a full scale war had erupted.

Fortunately for the beleaguered Imperial guard regiments and thinly stretched Planetary Defense Forces in early M41.151 a large Imperial squadron emerged from the Immaterium to once again contest the space lanes. The surviving ships of the Cyclops squadron had returned to face this new and desperate peril.

Eran Canticus ~ A History of the Gothic War


Star Map of the Cyclops Cluster
 The Map above shows the layout of the Cyclops Cluster. Players fight for control of worlds which provide him with resources to buy fresh unit and repair battle damage to his fleet. Players may attack systems adjacent to them and thus can spread their influence by winning victories.

The Imperials will begin (as the rules state) with defacto control of all systems but in order to represent the Ork Waaaaagh! I will immediately cede control of D3 worlds to the Ork commander to represent worlds that have been overrun before the Imperial counterstrike can arrive. Hive worlds and Forge worlds will be Imperial at the start of the campaign as these worlds would be both populace and heavily defended.

So the stage is set. Over the next few months I will set about painting the fleet and building terrain and hopefully some epic space battles will ensue.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Exiles 3rd Birthday Giveaway!

The title more or less says it all. I would highly encourage everyone to check him out at his blog, its a great read and he is giving away some great prizes:

Congrats and Happy Blog Birthday!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

The Bow Rake's Progress

I have recently made a shocking discovery. If I read about a particular period I am much more able to focus on projects in that period. This is particularly true for audiobooks so I can read and work at the same time. Want to paint some French knights? Listen to Barbara Tuchman's The Calamitous 14th Century. Want to paint some Vikings? Pop on Bernarld Cornwells Saxon series.  For my long running 28mm brig project I find Dewey Lambdin and Patrick O'Brien to be the ticket. I've made great progress after a long period of torpor and I am looking forward to finishing it off and starting the next ship in my planned series.

Sailing on the Arabian Sea 

This is the starter ship in a series of ships I am hoping to use in some Napoleonic naval skirmishing games. I've learned a tremendous amount from this prototype that will help me improve the next ship and hopefully produce something like a stage by stage.

We are run out on both sides! Either our captain is a genius or we are all going to die!

This brig is a converted merchantman so it dosent have a true gun deck. Although this collection of artillery does look rather formidable. I am still in two minds about adding shot garlands and artillery tools as if I clutter the deck up too much it will become difficult to move minis around on it. I will also add a midships hatch so the crew could theoretically access the holds.

The view from the forecastle

While I scratch-built the ship itself, I did go in for cannons, a ships wheel, an anchor and a figurehead.

Figurehead and wheel both from Redoubt Enterprises

So my brig is nearly ready to set sail. Final touches:

  • Attach anchor
  • Door to the great cabins
  • Hatch to below decks
  • Tighten sails
  • Spanker boom and sail
  • Taffrail lanterns
Hopefully this wont take too long to finish off!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Loki's 2nd Aniversary Give Away

I just discovered this blog by a link to this competition and I sorry I didnt stumble across it sooner!

I encourage anyone with an interest in wargaming (presumabley anyone who might ever discover this blog) to check it out!

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Another Mordheim Single

Having really enjoyed painting the first duelist I decided I would do another. This came in the same blister as the previous mini and while I really enjoy the pose I am not so crazy about the vest he is wearing. None the less I think I will promote him to command of my warband.

I like to have a narrative for anything I paint. I think this guy and the duelist were a proper pair of rakehells back in Altdorf before scandal forced them to flee the city and make a living with the sword. The next step is to dust of the old warband and get them all together!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

A Duelist in Mordheim

There is something very refreshing about painting a single mini. It is so nice to get a single figure completely done in the space of a day or two rather than laboriously painting 30 musket barrels, then 30 musket stocks then 30 musket flints and so an and so forth of into infinity.

I got this particular mini last year sometime when I was thinking about building a Witch-hunter warband for Mordheim. I eventually dropped the idea but I recently found my original Reikland warband and thought I could add him in.

A young noble of the Empire

I am a huge fan of Mordheim although I have to say that I struggle to win games as humans. My primary opponent is Skaven and they are a truly terrifying opponent. My vision for this model is a young nobleman who gets in over his head in society and is forced to flee from the capital and make his living on the road. An enterprising young fellow might just make his way to the city of the damned.

In keeping with the Mordheim theme I improved cobble stones. Next time I think I will wear gloves when I do this as the finger prints are a little more pronounced than I might have hoped.

Greenstuff cobblestones

All in all I am very happy with this mini. Another beauty of single figures is they are good for painting morale, especially when your in a bit of a funk. I'm working on another project at the moment that I'm not 100 percent satisfied with and this was a breath of fresh air. Oh and the armored cup, you need to protect your junk when you duel...

Monday, February 4, 2013

Medieval Footman

My first venture into 40mm and Medievals. It isn't a period that has ever interested me much in terms of gaming but when I was a boy I had a near obsession with Robin Hood. I must have owed a dozen different collections of Robin Hood legends and my brother and I spent countless hours making bows out of local bamboo.

I was somewhat fortunate in that the Maine Historical Wargamers Association is holding their annual February games day in a week and one of the attendees is the producer of an excellent set of medieval rules called Day of Battle In order to get enough figures together in 40mm he took the unusual step of offering a free figure to anyone who would paint them. Free is my kind of price at the moment so I saddled up for my first 40mm adventure...

I think this guy would definitely make a worthy Guy of Gisborne or one of the Sheriff's other goons.

I must banish the thought of doing a Robin Hood skirmish campaign in 40mm...

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Thrown in the Brig

I've finally started to make some headway on my brig. I have the basic coat of paint on it and have started on the rigging.

It is based on a schematic of a Swedish privateer which also helped inspire my choice of colors. This will be a merchantman/pirate. I chose to mount the guns on the deck to give the impression of a converted ship rather than a purpose built warship.

I am currently working on the ratlines which have proven to be much more challenging than I had originally imagined. Obviously I have quite a bit of trimming to do once I get them to my satisfaction.

I will be staining the ropes to a more nautical color and coating them with thinned PVA glue to seal and give them more rigidity.

A look down the deck.

The prow and stern are the sections which still require significant work and paint. There is a fair bit of gilding I would like to do and I want to mount some sort of ornate design on the after cabins  I also need to pain the figurehead and the nameplate.

I also have to clad the stern when my new shipment of timbers comes in.

Finally  a few of the scurvy sea dogs who will be crewing or capturing this vessel.

These are Black Scorpion Able Seamen. I cant say they are my best work but I think once they have proper bases and I can get a second coat of dullcote on them they will do quite nicely.

Xmas Train!

We have a tradition of electric trains in my family ever since my Dad bought one back for us from Singapore. I decided it was time to share it with my own children. I built a small little Christmas village for it to circle as well.

I installed some Christmas lights between the trees to give the forest a sort of fairy woodland feel. Unfortunately that doesn't really come through in the photos.

I made use of some amazing Hirtsarts moldings that I cast ages ago but never got around to using.

The whole set is modular so I can pack it up easily and get it out of my basement/lair without damage. I plan to eventually add a latex road which will cover up the larger seam.

Both my son and my daughter loved the train set and it was a very big hit over Xmas. There was a somewhat regrettable tendency at first to put the people on the tracks but they got into the spirit of things relatively quickly. My next step is to acquire a cheap table so I can have it set up in the basement year round!