Tuesday, 27 December 2016

2016 Scoreboard

The film spin-off skirmish game, Terminator Genisys, was
my last game of the year. It's well designed and was
fun to play. I did just scrape a win even though all 
my surviving Terminators had been reduced to
Owing to other commitments and distractions my painting and gaming achievements continued to decline during 2016. I completed the armies for only one game - 15mm Portuguese / Dutch / Spanish armies for Irregular Wars. I did, however, create usable if unpainted 10mm Seven Years War armies for Maurice.

I also started 15mm Sci-Fi armies for Gruntz 15mm, collected 15mm Japanese armies for Irregular Wars, collected 10mm Chinese Warlord armies for Red Actions, and bought a first batch of 6mm Franco-Prussian War figures for Bloody Big Battles!

Perhaps that doesn't sound too bad, but my gaming total was very poor. This year I managed only 17 games. These were:

Bloody Big Battles! 3
Irregular Wars 3
C&C Battlecry 3
Might & Reason 2
Gorechosen 2
C&C Napoleonics 1
C&C Great War 1
Terminator Genisys 1
Other 1

The 'other' was a gangster skirmish game devised by a fellow club member, Bernard, and based on a set of cowboy rules possibly called Fistful of Aces. The games in bold are my own.

This is not a great total but all these games were enjoyable and worthwhile, which is the important thing.

Perhaps I should also mention that this is the forty-second post to the blog this year, the highest ever. Some may suspect that blogging is detracting from painting and gaming. Perhaps so. Nonetheless, I have had some very helpful feedback as a result of floating ideas here first so it's not a complete distraction.

My next post will be in the new year and will outline my plans and resolutions for 2017.

Monday, 19 December 2016

Bloody Big Battles of WW2

WW2 at grand-tactical level on Bob Mackenzie's
I was always intending to have a crack at the 1940 campaign in France using Megablitz, or, more likely, the hex-based Hexblitz variant, using 3mm models. Now there is a new option for WW2 grand tactical/operational rules in beta, Bloody Big World War Two Battles, an extension of Chris Pringle's 19th Century Bloody Big Battles! It will be interesting to see how well a set of 19th Century rules can spawn a WW2 derivative. At this operational level with its inevitable abstractions I see no reason why it shouldn't.

The big advantage of something coming from the BBB stable is that it will be driven by historical scenarios. The provision of OOBs and maps will save months of research that would probably never be adequate anyway. Are historical scenarios obligatory for an operational level game? Well, they're not going to be possible for depicting the 'Cold War gone hot' because it never happened, but in general historical actuality does seem to go hand in hand with grand tactical wargaming.

BBWW2B uses 3" bases and a ground scale of 3" to the kilometre at the regimental level or 6" to the kilometre at battalion level. Bob Mackenzie, who is developing this WW2 variant, uses existing 6mm models on sabots which is not merely decorative but apparently allows for removal of casualties.

Bob Mackenzie's website has some some BBWW2B scenarios including battle reports and photos. Click on What's New to find them. Further details can be found on Chris Pringle's blog and the BBB Yahoo Group.

Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Bloody Big Battles! - basing figures 3

I have to admit that I didn't like the suggested basing for Skirmisher stands in Bloody Big Battles! and wrote about it here. I suggested the use of Skirmisher markers, thinking that there wasn't enough room on a 1" stand for additional skirmisher figures. Since getting my hands on some actual Baccus 6mm Franco-Prussian War figures, however, I think it is practical - for 6mm figures - to get skirmishers onto an ordinary base by placing the formed troops at the back. And that's not the only way in which my plans have changed.

The left-hand Imperial French infantry base (above) has a Skirmisher characteristic. The other one doesn't. The Baccus strips of formed figures have been clipped so the figures fill the MDF bases from side-to-side. However, I think it will be difficult to texture the MDF when the figure bases are flush with the edge. I've therefore rejected the idea of having five figures in line. Simply adding two strips per base will keep everything simpler (below).
I had assumed that two skirmisher figures would be needed, but one figure makes the point just as well if not better (above). This is obviously a more abstract representation than I had originally planned.

Heavy cavalry will be three-up as expected. Light cavalry might have two.

1" bases provide plenty of room for a gun and four crew. 

Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Tools of the trade

Thicker than water?
I've always thinned acrylic paint with water,  but proper acrylic thinner is said to improve flow and coverage. So I ordered some Vallejo acrylic medium which is apparently the same stuff used in the paint but without the pigment. The reason for this extra care is the prospect of painting 6mm figures.

Shiny new scalpels and lots of new ways to cut your fingers.
A visit to a homestore chain, The Range, produced a nice set of scalpels and a packet of small-to-medium sized files. I have in the past tended to crimp on dedicated modelling tools but now I pick up whatever looks like it might be useful.

Something to file away for the future.