Monday, 29 December 2014

Galleys & Galleons: the fleets assemble

My first batch of ships for Galleys & Galleons is now based and primed. The ships are to some extent interchangeable but these photos represent my first thoughts.

The Merchants. From back to front: Peter Pig Large Merchantman, Fluyt, and Small Merchantman. The Dhow (foreground) is a 1/300 Grumpy model with the original crew removed, and Peter Pig crew and guns substituted. I also replaced the supplied but rather vulnerable mast with a stout dressmaking pin. This made it harder to superglue the sail on, but I'd rather cope with a detached sail than a wonky or broken mast.

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Galleys & Galleons: making sea bases

I decided to try a new method for basing my 1/450 Peter Pig pirate ships for Galleys & Galleons - aluminium 'turkey' foil. It's said this should be used shiny side up. I'm not sure why but I followed suit. Rather than just crumpling it, I rubbed it over the side of a ribbed tin can. I then varied the angle a little and re-rubbed parts to create a more irregular wave effect.

Monday, 15 December 2014

Galleys & Galleons

Nic Wright's Irregular Wars: Conflict at the World's End reinforced my interest in games which require only small armies and a compact playing area, and can be finished in 1-2 hours. I was thinking about other, similarly compact, land war options, when Nic's new pirate naval game - Galleys & Galleons - impinged on my consciousness. This is currently at the play-testing stage and I have enrolled as a volunteer.

The game involves very modest forces, can be played in a quite restricted area, and promises to be fast and furious. It satisfies all the criteria for a modest, compact and fast game, but what initially attracted me to it were the photos on Nic's blog of his superbly painted 1/450 pirate ships made by Peter Pig .

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

More cheap blocks

Whilst browsing an economy hardware store, I came across a Jenga-type game, but in miniature. The game had 48 smoothly finished wooden blocks, measuring 45mm x 15mm x 10mm. At only £1.99 each I decided to snap up four while they were still available.

I don't have any immediate use for them, but I think they could, for example,  make good 20thC ship counters. Being wood they are obviously lighter than my 'ceramic' Mah Jongg tablets and may be prone to shifting about, but that won't matter so much if they are used for a hex game.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Irregular Wars : Conflict at the World's End 2nd Edition

A new version of Nic Wright's Irregular Wars: Conflict at the World's End has just been published. Full details of where to get it are on Nic's blog.

I must declare an interest here as my friend Ian and I were amongst the playtesters. While the latter no doubt helped to tighten up the new version, the concept and innovations are entirely down to the author's visionary imagination.

Nic has enhanced Version 2.0 with some new mechanics including an important 'wavering' state, an expanded set of chance cards that add period flavour and high drama, and a straightforward campaign system to provide context to tabletop battles. There are also exciting new lists including Mapuche and Berbers (which I'm planning to use for Barbary Pirates), and Rajput and Vijayanagara.

Obviously I have an interest in 16-17C warfare, these are clever rules, and they give an exciting and enjoyable game. Irregular Wars requires only a modest investment in figures, a small playing area and can be completed in about 1.5 hours in my experience, though the author says 1 hour!

I'm still painting my colonial Portuguese and Dutch armies, but my English/Irish/Spanish armies are awaiting the release of Khurasan's English and Spanish figures which are exceptionally promising but are taking ages to appear.