Friday, December 30, 2011

Some Hovels and a look back on 2011 plus Project list for 2012

There is something about Hovel terrain I really like that makes them one of my favourites. When one thinks several companies make better sculpts and the clean up needed on Hovels is often quite bit to get them up to snuff one must ask why do I like them so much then?  I suppose you could say they are very cost friendly, however that's not it, but rather I'd sum them up as certain quaintness about them that I find extremely charming that gives a feeling of I just got to have that.
The buildings I did here are from their 15mm battlefield series which are a Ruined Church, Factory Chimney, Coal Shed and Industrial Building. After the clean up they were fun to paint up and really take weathering very nicely. I plan on getting more from the series and already own some others from other sets in both 15mm and 28mm. I  also plan on picking up their awesome 28mm Hougoumont  and  La Haye Saint Nap sets one day!
Miniature Company- Hovels


Well the year has gone by so lets take a look at my 2011 project list and see how I did. As always I never complete nearly as much as I like, but with that in mind I think I did ok or even passably good.

The review of 2011:

-Paint a new Brigade of 28mm American AWI  towards my BG Guilford Courthouse project-30% completed- At 30% I'd have say I missed the mark by a good measure, but still managed something which is good. So a generous incomplete for this.

-Paint a Brigade of 28mm Union ACW for GaG- 90% completed- At 90% that is a success! I only need to paint the commander then the brigade is finished. Of course I can increase it's size at later date if I wish.

-Paint a Brigade of 28mm Confederate ACW for GaG- Nothing is nothing so zero here.

-Paint 550pts. of US Airborne for Disposable Heroes- 100% completed- Total success!! Actually I even did more points then that and plan on adding more at some point!

-Paint 550pts. of Fallschirmjäger for Disposable Heroes- 25% completed- Hardly did anything here so incomplete.

- Build, buy and paint terrain for Disposable Heroes- Errr zero...

-Complete my 15mm FOW  Fallschirmschirmjäger army-70% completed- Pretty darn good and so a minor success here. A couple units more and then should be where I want to be.

-Paint up a 2000pts WAB 28mm Mercenary Spanish Christian army for El Cid- 100% completed- A smashing Success even if it was arduous at times! I plan on adding some infantry to this at some point, but for now it's finished.

-Paint a Basic Impetus Arab Ayyubid army for Impetus(evt. 300pts or more)-10% completed- Oh dear, way under par on this! I do really need to pick up the tempo!

- Build, buy and paint terrain for 15mm.- 40% completed -  Well... I did some so a minor success here, but again really need to do more.

-Complete a small warband for Chaos in Cairo- 40% completed- For such a small amount of figures to do 40% is a pretty darn low and so incomplete on this.

-Paint a few Zombie survivors and zombies for DWA- 70% completed- I would call this a success as I painted enough to game with, but still room for more of course.

- Build, buy and paint terrain for 28mm ACW- Err, bought the  terrain and..well umm..ok not acceptable.

-Renovate and remodel Hobby Room- 75% completed- Even at 75% this is a huge success as I really just need to do a few more things and it will hit the target completely!

- Construct movement bases for Impetus for armies already based for WAB-I knew there was something I was supposed to

Another thing about 2011 is the sheer amount of rules and supplements that I purchased. I have never bought so many in one year before resulting in I haven't fully read half of them!

Providing the Aztec's get it wrong and we are still here in 2012 I have quite a few projects planned which is not surprising from me!

Planned Projects:

- BG AWI(28mm)- Last year I only managed a regiment on my 2nd American Brigade and so I need to add a couple more to finish off the brigade.

-GAG Union ACW(28mm)- Virtually finished my first brigade with only really needing to do a commander to be done, However I might add a cannon and another infantry regiment to it if the mood takes me.

-GAG Confederate ACW(28mm)- Really need to get a brigade of this done. I'm looking forward to painting these guys as earth tones are in my comfort zone of painting which usually means a relaxing stress free painting session. I tend to favour the brown tones(butternut in particular) and so expect my confederates to have slightly less grey then many others do. Hopefully with the completion of this brigade my friends and I can pool our troops together for some Guns at Gettysburg gaming!

- Read all the rules and supplements I bought in 2011!- With the explosion of wargames hitting the market coupled with others I've wanted to try plus all the deals has quite literally buried me in rules thus I haven't had a chance to read all that I purchased in 2011. So many games to look forward to!

- Fallschirmjager Operation Squad(28mm)- FJ's are very hard to paint and so my outlook of attaining a force needed to play DH looked pretty darn grim to do in any reasonable time.......until I discovered Operation Squad which uses far less miniatures! Where I before needed about 40 miniatures I now only need about 11 or so leaving me only a few to paint. So I'll be able to actually play them while I build up for larger skirmish games.

- Build, buy and paint terrain(15/28mm)- Painting up terrain is just as important as painting your miniatures I think. You can have very nicely painted miniatures, but if your terrain isn't equally as nice it can spoil the whole effect. I've already purchased quite a bit and already have a good start on the painting, but much more still needs to be done.

-Fallschirmschirmjäger(15mm)- Already have large chunk of this finished for FOW and just need to do a couple more units and I'll reach my target of around 1750pts or so not including tank support. I also plan on using my 15mm stuff to try out TFL "I ain't been shot Mum" rule set.

-Shimazu Samurai for Impetus(28mm)- After years of procrastination I've finally decided on the rule set, clan and approach to painting them. I can really see this really jumping into it's own as I'm not only just interested in the Samurai, but their enemies as well to include Warrior Monks, Koreans and of course other Samurai. As matter of fact the Japanese interest me in several periods to include the entire Medieval period, Japanese/Russian conflict, Boxer Rebellion and WWII.

-Arab Ayyubid army for Impetus(15mm)- I got a weak start on them in 2011, but I plan on picking up the pace in 2012 and at least paint up a basic army and with some luck actually completing 300pts. worth. So far they have been interesting and fun working with so much color!

-Chaos in Cairo(28mm)-One would have thought with just a few miniatures I would have finished it, but as always something came up. With just a little luck I should be able to do this.

-US Tank Company(15mm)- With my hobby room I've become much more focused on collecting armies for both sides of a given period so as to insure I have an army available for guests to either use or to subsidise their armies with. With the miniature count low and painting complexity not too difficult I see this project standing a very good chance of seeing completion.

-Late War British WWI(28mm)- Thanks to Sindney over at Roundwoods world I started to seriously look at WWI and so picked up the Great War series of books at WH. The combination was just too much for my weak mind to resist and so I decided to jump in! My plan of approach is to start at squad level collecting and playing until I have sufficient miniatures for larger skirmishes. Looking forward to painting a few and with the earth tones of the British it should be a comfortable start.

- Put in a new wargames table and buy some wall hangings- It would be nice to get a permanent table into my room next year instead of the folding tables I'm using now. I also need to pick up some historical weapons to hang up on my walls to compliment my pictures and complete the look I#m going for.

 -Paint up squad or so of Natal Carbineers(28mm)- The Zulu War does interest me, but isn't a huge one of mine, however it is a favourite period of a friend and so I'm supporting his interest by collecting some Natal Carbineers and some Boars that I happen to like and will use in his campaigns.

Other Projects that may get started :

-French and IndianWar(28mm)- I've been wanting to do some French Marines and Indians for quite some time and they could easily end up going into the planned projects, but for now they will remain on the maybe projects pile.

-French Naps(28mm)- Well I've decided how I want them to look and how I'll paint them, but this would be a major commitment and so not sure yet if 2012 is the year for them. As always I'll let the winds of mood and time decide.

-Aztecs and Spanish for Impetus (28mm)- If I start them it would be slowly with only a base or two. This would be more of a painting project then a gaming one. I really would like to paint this as the mini's for this period are some of the best Foundry ever did which will be the only ones I use for this project.

-Italian Wars for Impetus(28mm)- Like the Aztecs and Arabs it gives me a chance to step out of my comfort zone and paint lots of color for something different and one just has to like the looks of huge pike blocks!

-SCW(28mm)- Again something I'd like to do and with all the squad level games out it might not be to difficult to start and so this could get moved to the planed projects.

-Romano British(28mm)- Another army I've been meaning to do, but I just can't seem to fit them in. I really want to as Bill has done superb work on them, but just don't see the time yet.

- Praetorian Romans(28mm)
- Need to be re-painted and possibly re-based as well and as of now I just not in the mood to do so.

- Assyrian's(28mm)- No longer sure which rules I want them for or if I want to do any more biblical armies at all. For now this stays on the back burner.

-Ancient Germans(28mm)- Pretty much tied in with the Praetorian Romans and so if I do one then I'll do the other. So far, they will remain on the maybe list.

- Just can't seem to decide if I want to sell them or paint them. For now they will sit on the lead pile.

-El Cid(28mm)- Since I only have mounted figures completed I really need to add some infantry to the force, but other projects take precedence.

-Moors(28mm)- Another army that's been on my to do list for a number of years. Maybe this year I'll actually do it. Time will tell, but for now didn't make the planned projects.

-Ironclads(28mm)- Still thinking of doing this someday, but haven't quite worked out how.

 Thank you for following my blog and for reading this long winded post! Happy New Year!!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Wishing all of you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! I wish to thank everyone who follows my blog as I really appreciate it! I'm really happy I've met so many folks who share my passion for wargaming and always look forward to reading what everyone is doing in our hobby.
I hope your stockings are bursting with lead!
New Year and a new look for my blog!
Next week I'll give a year in review and a new project plan list for 2012.

Monday, December 19, 2011

19th Indiana Regiment Iron Brigade

The 19th Indiana were part of what the confederates called "That d*mned Black Hat brigade!" before everyone began calling them the "Iron Brigade" because of their Iron resolve not to back down from the enemy even when under intense fire or pressure. This resolve almost lead to their utter destruction at Gettysburg where it suffered 1200 killed & wounded out of 1900 engaged with some regiments hitting 75% and 80% casualties. Although the brigade was arguably the Unions finest brigade that was ever in the field and sustained more causalities then any other in the course of the war to back that up one must say after Gettysburg the brigade was never quite the same again, however even after that it did still remain an elite formation until the end of the war.
The 19th like the rest of the brigade was composed of western state soldiers that instead of fighting in the west fought in the east wearing the distinctive Hardee hat, frock coats and white gaiters that made them stand out in the army of the Potomac where sack coats and kepi's were the norm.
The 19th Indiana was mustered into service on July 29th, 1861 at Camp Morton in Indianapolis Indiana. The regiment served in numerous campaigns and battles including Brawner Farm, 2nd Bull Run, South Mountain, Antietam(suffered heavily here), Fredericksburg, Fitzhugh's Crossing, Gettysburg, Wilderness, Laurel Hill, North Anna, Cold Harbor, Petersburg and it's sieges, Weldon Road and Yellow House. Not including those lost from sickness and disease the regiment lost 5 officers and 194 enlisted men killed/wounded from battle before being mustered out on July 28th, 1864 with those remaining joining the 20th Indiana.

A monument to the regiment can be seen here:

More info. on the 19th Indiana:

Home page of the Iron Brigade:

The Iron Brigade as a whole consisted of the 2nd Wisconsin, 6th Wisconsin, 7th, Wisconsin, 19th Indiana and the 24th Michigan. I probably will do another regiment from them with my eye on the Sash and Saber version in the future.

The miniatures are from Redoubt which I believe make the best ACW miniatures on the market followed by Sash and Saber and Perry. While the Perry's probably make the most proportionally correct ACW mini's they are not very painter friendly and sometimes can be a bit static and this is where Redoubt really excels in that their miniatures are not only painter friendly but really pack tons of character as do Sash and Saber which I happen to really like!
I tried a few new things out with these. The first being the coat which I used Foundry Union Blue A, B but then used Deep Blue C for a final highlight as I felt Union Blue C was too dark. I saw Giles do something similar with his French and liked it. The other thing is a tried a new base color as the reddish brown wasn't working for me any more.This new base is more of a grey earth tone and I quite like it. I'm going to also try out a real earthy brown on another regiment and see how it works.
I was just able to finish this unit tonight in time to have my desk cleared off for tomorrow which kicks off Curt's painting competition where I already have a unit primed and ready to go!
As always thanks for viewing!
Miniature Company- Redoubt

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Operation Squad

A game out of Italy formally titled Operation World War II, but has since changed to Operation Squad from Warlord Games is probably the best skirmish game I've ever played and that's saying something.  These Italians keep making games I like a great deal with Impetus for my Medieval/Ancients and now this for my skirmish games.

The rules are extremely easy to learn and play great straight from the book without any need to modify, however they are also constructed in such a way that house rules can also be added without any difficulties at all if you want to adjust them for your gaming tastes, terrain or particular environment or scenario you have in mind. They have enough lists to get you going from all the major powers(3 each) and if something isn't there you want it wouldn't be difficult to come up with your own as the formula they use is pretty simple.

It's designed with 28mm gaming in mind, but of course you could play it at whatever scale you wish with some tweeks. It uses between 10 to 15 miniatures per side with initiative deciding the order figures are activated. Once initiative is decided by a roll a player activates a figure by declaring an action and then the opponent declares a reaction. This continues until either a player chooses not to react or 3 actions/reactions have been declared. The actions/reactions are then resolved until completed and then another set of actions/reactions are done etc. until all models are finished and thus ending a turn.

Weapons have a set number of dice per shot with additional dice for modifiers and the defender gets a sort of saving throw with x number of dice plus additional dice for modifiers for each shot. IMHO  , because of how the modifiers work in the game you get a very satisfactory and realistic game of squad level tactics that is neither too quick nor too slow to complete(roughly 2 hrs or so).

These rules are designed for WWII, but can easily be used for any period using fire arms that you care to play with only a few modifications.  To me this is very exciting as I'm a slow painter and wargaming butterfly on top that which makes it difficult for me to collect for games as it takes me quite some time before I have enough painted to do so. This game now makes it possible for me to collect several different theatres in WWII plus diverse amount of other periods I care to try. Now, when I paint 10 or so figures they will see action right away and not months or even years later after sitting on shelf waiting for enough figures to be finished so I can play whatever system I'm collecting for!

Also, the table requirement isn't big which makes building and collecting terrain for it inexpensive and relatively quick to do. Of course the game could be expanded in size if you wish by simply doubling the squads, but again these rules are not really designed for larger then squad level play with probably 2 squads a side being the very maximum.

The book itself is soft cover with about 45p. all color on high grade paper with inserts that can photocopied or removed and used if you wish. The layout could have been better in finding things for the occasional question, but fortunately you won't really need to after a couple games. They should have added more fluff and pics for the price they are asking which is quite a bit for a small book, but lucky for them the rules are good enough and so it's well worth it. When one views it at just a bit more expensive then Disposable Heroes(another fav of mine) which is only black and white on cheap paper then it's even easier to swallow. This isn't the most detailed set of rules for low level WWII skirmish games I've played, but it sure is the most fun!

They also just released a vehicle supplement for you heavy metal fans to be used in your games which I haven't had a chance to try out yet:

Lot's more rules reviews to come as I purchased a truck load this year!!

Monday, December 12, 2011

2nd Annual Analogue Hobbies Winter Painting challenge

I really enjoyed following Curt's Painting challenge last year on his very nice blog which you should visit if you have not. So, when he opened up a second Painting Challenge I jumped on aboard to enjoy being part of something different within our community. All the rules and guidelines can be found within the link by simply clicking the picture. I don't know if he's taking more entries, but it's fun to follow even if your not in the competition which I found out last year.
I don't have a hope of placing as I'm not the most prolific of painters, but I am hoping it does spur me on to get more figures painted then I normally do and more importantly just to be apart of it and enjoy watching what other folks do....oh.... and watch Fran and Ray banter each other!
I'm not sure what I will start with as my mood changes like the breeze, but I do have some prospects in mind with Samurai, Arabs or ACW being likely, but by no means certain!
It all kicks off on the 20th and so visit Curt's blog and give him some support as he will have his work cut out for him of which I have no envy! Now I need to pick out a Viking......and the sock of cash for bribes...errrr expenses that is.:-)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A period too far?

Just like Larry this happens to me all too often, but I find myself doing less impulsive buying since completing my hobby room. I know, many would be surprised at that statement given the way I jump around, but it's true. I've become more of a focused wargames butterfly then a random one. I know that's a contradiction in terms, but let me explain.
I used to see a period or rather army I liked and would simply buy it without a thought if anyone else was interested in the period that I gamed with or if I even liked the historical opponents of the army I was collecting. With a growing interest from my club in historical wargaming I've begun looking at armies asking if anyone else likes the period I'm interested in. Also I ask what they are interested in and see if that works for me as well. This has influenced my collecting quite a bit of late.
The other factor is my hobby room where I have started to put on games in it and plan to do more on a progressively more frequent basis. With this in mind I've realized when collecting a period I should collect for both sides in which I'd happily play either side so when I have guest I have an army they can use or add to their existing forces for bigger games.
I also want to be more focused on my large army projects in narrowing the periods and leave the skirmish games for multiple periods. Easier said then done I know, but I have begun to put this into effect with some success.
I'm not saying I will never collect an army again that only I like, but I for sure will think about it first before I buy it which will help me not having useless armies occupying space like for example my:

Trojans- Great looking army, but limited historical opponents which makes finding players having a Mycenaean army of their own rare and also if I built one myself finding someone to play it difficult which in the end made this not a good choice and what's even more sad is it's completely painted!

ECW- Living in Germany has made local interest virtually non-existent. If they are interested in the period it's usually the TYW which I'm not interested in!

Imperial Romans- I collected and yes painted it for a quick army starter and have discovered I just really don't like Imperial Romans and like the later ones in particular Romano British arghhh!

Early HYW English- Really like the army, but not at all interested in collecting their opponents and nobody around me wants to either.......:-(

Assyrians- Great looking army to collect, but again no interest in collecting their traditional enemies and nobody else is either. I may still paint them up, but with so many other projects that will get used makes this unlikely.

Aztecs- Not much interest around me, but I still may stubbornly do them as they are just flat out cool!

As always, focused doesn't mean one period with me as I need room to jump, but rather a narrowing of periods. As they meet the criteria of club interest and I like both sides these periods look like they will get a lot of attention from me:


I will be doing more of course, but the above look to be big on the list. I'll give a project list for the new year later as usual. Just thought I'd share some of my recent hobby thoughts.:-)