Monday, November 18, 2013

Barbie's Elven Watchtower in 25mm

About a year ago I found this Barbie Rapunzel tower at a yard sale, and I bought it figuring I could make something from it some day.  Well, with my number of painted Reaper Bones fantasy figures growing, I've started thinking about using them in some games, and I thought it might a be a good time to actually do something with this Barbie tower.    I wish I could tell you more about it, other than it said, "Barbie Rapunzel" on it and was copyright in 2002.  It had a Barbie head in the tower that was on some sort of flip-up spring mechanism (which I had removed at some point soon after getting the toy). When I searched online for something similar, all I could find was the Barbie Enchanted Tower, which stands 20 inches tall.   This one is much smaller, coming in at only 8.5 inches tall; and where the big one opens up to create a play area, this one doesn't open.
To begin with, I glued the tower to an old CD.  I then added a few pieces to complete the tower look.   To the front panel, to hide the barbie logo, I added a cardboard door, and a set of old plaster terrain stairs I had lying around.  Also, to the upper level, I added a plaster stonework circle, which I had.  I  added a small metal jump ring to the door to make a handle, and a small square of wood to the upper floor to make a trapdoor.
Shown with a 25mm Reaper Bones figure for scale.
When all the glue had dried, I sprayed the whole thing with Krylon Matte Black with Fusion.  I then dry-brushed it with three different layers of grey, working from darkest to lightest.  My final step was to do a very light dry-brush with white on the corners and floral carvings. I then painted the door and the roof with blue.
At first I was going to cover up the embossed rose bushes with clump foliage glued on, but I actually ended up liking the carved nature of them (one each side of the door), and I thought they helped the Elven appearance of the tower.
The finished tower shown with some 25mm Reaper Bones figures for scale.
I did however, glue some foliage on the back of the tower to hide the Mattel logo and copyright information.
All and all I'm very pleased with how this came out.  It was fun little project, and will make a great addition to a scenario.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

My North Polenburg Imagi-Nation: Complete 1st Division in 10mm

As some of you may have read here previously, (See: Look, Sarge, it's Not Quite the Seven Years War ) I've been working on recreating my 40mm North Polenburg Imagi-Nation units, that we use with the old-school rules "Charge!", into 10mm units for use with our "Look, Sarge, No Charts" system of rules. One of the parts of this project that I looked forward to, was the opportunity, due to the size and low cost of 10mm figures, to create a large portion of the (if not the whole) North Polenburg Army.  This would be very hard, if not impossible, to do in 40mm due to the size of the figures and units.
A comparison of a portion of one of the 40mm regiments, and it's 10mm counterpart.
Well, I'm happy to announce that I have finished painting and basing the complete North Polenburg 1st Division, including an attached brigade of heavy cavalry.
The 1st Division and it's attached cavalry brigade assembled on the parade grounds
The Division is commanded by General Schlegel, and consists of two brigades, each of three regiments,  and two attached batteries of artillery.
General Schlegel and his aide (base on the left) consult with their Corp Commander, General Rudolph and his staff (base on the right)
1st Brigade- General Palmer commanding: 1st "Queen Jennifer" Regt., 2nd "Hawks" Regt., 3rd Regt.
2nd Brigade- General Bailey commanding: 4th "Prince Edgar" Regt., 5th "Prince Edward" Regt, 6th Regt.
(Those officers and units shown in italics are those that also exist in my 40mm version.)
1st Heavy Cavalry Brigade- Gen. Haag commanding: 31st Dragoon Regt., 32nd Dragoon Regt., 33rd Dragoon Regt.
I'm really pleased with how these forces have turned out, and I'm looking forward to continuing to grow this project.  I think my next move will be to start building an opposing force, from the neighboring country of South Polenburg.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Reaper's Final Reveal is a Big One!

How's this for a big finish! Now if they can only reach 3 million!

Excuse me while I go add $35 to my pledge... :-)

Friday, October 25, 2013

Reaper Bones II Kickstarter Nears the 24 Hour Countdown Mark

The Reaper Bones II Kickstarter has almost reached the 24 hours remaining mark. The rewards should be coming fast and furious now.   It's time to get on board if you've been undecided up to this point.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Oops, I Did It Again: Reaper Bones Kickstarter II

Well, for those who don't already know, Reaper began another Bones Kickstarter on the first day of the month, and up until now I had resisted; as the box of mostly still unpainted Bones from the last Reaper Kickstarter is till sitting next to my painting table. It was good incentive not to buy in.    However, I am weak when it comes to such quantities of nice inexpensive minis, so I knew it was only time before I caved.  So today in a weak moment I went and pledged.  Oh, well, my painting queue is now full for the next few years. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing.  If I can only finish the first Bones Kickstarter box before the projected delivery of December 2014 for the second.  :-)

For those that are interested here is the link:

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Steampunk (VSF) Goodness at the Maryland Renn Fair

I was at the Maryland Renn Fair yesterday, and was happy to see a number of well done Steampunk outfits being worn.  Also, an iron-worker artist selling there at the fair had a number of really nice steampunk weapons for sale in his stall. See below for some shots of some of the folks I saw. Sorry for the picture quality, but all I had was my phone's camera.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Barrage XVII Video Posted

I have posted to Youtube a short video of last weekend's Barrage gaming day, held by the HAWKs in HavreDeGrace, Maryland.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

HAWKs' Barrage XVII Con is a Big Success

Barrage XVII, the HAWKs one-day gaming convention was held last Saturday at the Community Center in Havre De Grace, Maryland.  The convention was a big success, with over 100 attendees, lots of great games to play, and several dealers and flea market sellers to shop at..  Below are some shots of a few of the games.
A view of the gaming area early in the day

Greg Priebe, and Noah Guilbault run a well received Dr Who game, with an interesting table layout that featured an outdoor area, a cavern/tunnel area, and deep in the tunnels, a scientific installation area.

"Treasure Hunt on Mayhem Island" featured a beautiful island layout

Dave Wood's "Battle of Bar-sur-Aube, 1814" A Napoleonic battle using "Fate of Battle" rules.

"Belchite, 1937" was a beautiful little Spanish Civil War battle using Bolt Action rules.

Also at Barrage was a Flames of War tournament which ran most of the day.

Paul Heffner's Aerodrome games are always a crowd favorite at Barrage.

"The Bridge", was a beautiful  ACW game.

Djebel El Hamra was a WWII North Africa game using CD 4 rules.

I ran a Fantasy game called "Save the Treasure" using "Bear Yourselves Valiantly" rules.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Save the Treasure!: A "Bear Yourselves Valiantly" Rules Game Report.

At last Friday's HAWKs meeting, I ran a Fantasy mass-combat game using our under-development "Bear Yourselves Valiantly" rules. The game was a playtest for my Barrage scenario and was entitled "Save the Treasure!".  The set-up is that an Evil army comprised of Skeletons, Goblins, and Humans has conducted a very successful raid on the coast of an Elven land, and are now making their way back to their boats bringing wagons full of treasure and prisoners to be used as slaves.
  Meanwhile, the Elves have rallied scattered forces to pursue them and attempt to cut them off before they can get to their boats.  See the photo below for initial deployments.  Both sides get 15 points for each of the two wagon base they control at the end of the game, 5 pts for each of the four slave bases they control, and 10 pts for each of the five boats they have control of for the Evil side, or burn for the Elves' side.
Click on any photo to see it bigger.
  The game opened with the Goblins and the treasure and slaves making a dash for the boats, while the Skeletons turned to face the pursuing High Elves.  The Wood Elves meanwhile headed for the boats.  Across the river, the second group of High Elves there headed for a nearby ford to cross, while the giant eagles under their command raced across the river to engage an approaching swarm of bats from the Skeleton's force.  The Humans guarding the boats attempted to form a defensive perimeter.
The Wood Elf Force makes it's way toward the boats, as the human defenders move to stop them.
The Goblins, treasure and slaves in tow,  head for the boats as, in the distance, their Wolf Riders and the Skeleton's swarm of Giant Bats try to slow the advance of the High Elf cavalry and Giant Eagles..

The Skeleton rear guard force, and the pursuing High Elves spar with each other.  The battle here see-sawed back and forth, with the Elves ultimately taking the worse of it.

The battle for the boats. The Wood Elves advance, as a force of Goblins moves up on their right flank, and is slowed by the woods (dark brown cloth). Meanwhile the Giants on the hill hurl boulders at the Wood Elves, with little effect.

A view of the action near the end.  The treasure is getting nearer to the gap between the two hills. At the river crossing, the Giant Bats and Wolf Riders are getting worn down and forced back.  The High Elf's ultimate success there becomes obvious, but will the Bats and Wold Riders buy enough time for the treasure and prisoners to get out of the Elf Cavalry's reach.

The Wood Elves succeed in burning one of the ships as they drive off the human defenders, just as the Goblins are cresting the hill and the treasure wagons reach the gap. The decision is made to let the slow moving prisoners fall behind, and to concentrate on getting the wagons safely though. The Human's War Hounds and mercenary Minotaurs move to stem the tide of the on-rushing Elves.
In the end it was a close fought affair, and unfortunately we had to stop the game due to time constraints before a clear winner was declared; though most felt the Elves would ultimately gain the victory.  Everyone had a great time, and I am looking forward to running this scenario again at Barrage on September 14th.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Warhorse-Con III at Warhorse Farm in Gettysburg, PA

This past Saturday, 8.24.13, Buck Surdu and his daughter Sammy, Dave Wood, and myself made the trip up to our friend Sam Fuson's Warhorse Farm in Gettysburg, PA to run some GASLIGHT and "Look, Sarge, No Charts" games for him and his friends.  We began the day with my "Victoria Hawkes Saves the Queen" GASLIGHT game, and Buck running a "Battle of LaRothier" Napoleonic scenario using Fate of Battle rules. 
   This is the sixth time I've run my V.H. Saves the Queen scenario, and the players as usual had a great time.  The game pits an allied force of U.S. Marines, British Guards, and Cowboys, against a group of Prussians and their mercenary gunslingers. The Prussians have kidnapped the Queen of England while she was on a goodwill trip to the U.S., and have whisked Her Majesty away to a deserted Texas town where they await a zeppelin flying in from Mexico to transport the Queen out of the country.  The 'Good Guys' have 12 turns to rescue the Queen before the zeppelin arrives.

Victoria Hawkes Saves the Queen
The game got off to a good start with both sides trading shots, but unfortunately, the Prussian side lost most of their Main Characters early in the game to failed Save rolls, leaving the 'Good Guy' Heroes, particularly Jasper Flint, the U.S. Marshal  to seriously damage the Prussian forces.  It took the whole game for the Allies to find the Queen, but in the end the Prussians just didn't have enough to stop them from taking her back.  This tied up the score for this scenario with 3 Prussian wins, and 3 Allied wins overall.
U.S. Marshal Jasper Flint, cuts his way through the Prussian defenders.
While I was running this, Buck and Dave were running their Battle of LaRothier in the next room.  This is a winter battle from the 1814 campaign.  The game turned out to be a close fought afair.
The Battle of LaRothier. Photo by Buck Surdu
After a late lunch of pizza we set up and began our afternoon games.  I ran a "Look, Sarge, No Charts:WWII" game which was a Battle of Njimegan scenario.  The battle started off with the Germans in control of the town and it looked like the Allies would have their work cut out for them trying to dislodge the defenders. 
The Battle of Njimegan
I was called to command the Germans on the right, as we were short a player, and I ended up facing the brunt of the allied armor.  A lucky activation sequence, where the tanks got to activate twice with no reply from me, allowed them to create and exploit a breakthrough before I could suitably react.  This sealed our fate, and as the hour was getting late, we decided to call it a day.
Allied armor breaks through.
While I was running Njimegan, Buck was doing a GASLIGHT undersea game, with  a lot of his cool underwater figures.  It was a multi-sided affair, with several different opposing groups trying to recover valuables from the downed Nautilus submarine, while Captain Nemo attempted to foil them.
Buck's undersea GASLIGHT game.
All in all it was a really fun day, and we are already looking forward to Warhorse-Con IV.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

"Bear Yourselves Valiantly" Rules Development Session

Last Saturday, the "Bear Yourselves Valiantly"(Look, Sarge, No Charts: Fantasy, Ancients, and Medieval)  author team, Buck Surdu, Dave Wood, James, Nickle, and myself, along with Duncan Adams from the HAWKs, got together for a day dedicated to ironing out some of the issues that have been occuring with the rules over the past few playtest sessions we've run.  These issues mainly dealt with clarifying allowable movement, participant's roles in melee, and the exact roles of leaders.
We played two games, first a War of the Roses battle, then a Rome vs Carthage one. Since playing the games to actually determine a winner wasn't the real goal, we were able to go real slow, stopping several times during the games to discuss aspects of the rules, and try different things out. It turned out to be a very productive session, and we believe we have most of the major issues ironed out.
I'm looking forward to now trying out our new modifications in a public playtest coming up at Barrage, the HAWKs one day con in September.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

A "Look, Sarge, No Charts: WWI" Game

At last Friday's HAWKs meeting, I got to play in Duncan Adam's WWI "Look, Sarge, No Charts" (LSNC) game.  Duncan has been working on modifying LSNC for WWI for a couple years now; combining elements of both the ACW version of the rules, and the WWII one. While he usually used his 25mm figures, mounted for another rules set, for these playtests, he recently took the plunge into 10mm for this period.  This was the first time his new 10mm WWI LSNC armies got to do battle.
My Brigade in their initial deployment, and two of the hills they needed to defend. 10mm WWI figures from Pendraken.
The scenario was from the early part of the war.  As the Germans are swinging southwest through Belgium, the French attack northeast into the hinge between these advancing Hun forces, and the other enemy forces on the German's left flank.  So, both sides had orders to attack; the French to seize a small town at the far corner of the table, and the German's to capture the three hills where the French first deploy.
One of the German Brigades opposite me, and the massed German artillery.
I took the command of the lone French brigade that starts on the table, facing two German brigades. There is another French Brigade that enters after the first turn.
The Germans immediately put pressure on my right flank
To begin, I boldly attacked on my left hoping to turn back the German right, catching them in a pincer as my friends entered on their other flank.   This attack soon petered out, and I  then found myself threatened on both flanks.  The concentrated German artillery was merciless, smashing any poor French unit who showed their heads in the open.
As I launch an ill fated attack on the Germans on my left.
With the arrival of my compatriots, some of the pressure was pulled away from my right, but all thoughts of attack were gone now, I was just desperately trying to hold the German's away from their objective.  It was up to the other brigade to try and seize our objective.
The French reinforcing brigade arrives.
In the end, we were very close to capturing the town, while the Germans had succeeded in capturing one of the hills, and were a turn away from the second.  All in all it was a close fought thing, and very exciting. I really love what Duncan has done with his modifications.  They really capture the punishing nature of this period of warfare, and you can see why it didn't take long for them all to start digging trenches.  And, his new armies were really beautifully painted, and a lot of fun to play with.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Look, Sarge, It's Not Quite The SevenYears War

As many of my readers know, one of my many projects that I enjoy is participating in the club's "Not Quite The Seven Years War" Imagi-Nations project. In the project, club member's  build their own Imagi-nation armies using homecast 40mm Prince August figures. My nation is North Polenburg, and over the years I have collected a very large force of two Infantry Regiments, one Dragoon Regiment, two cannon and crew, and various company level units including Engineers, Militia, and Hussars. I recently posted a battle report HERE on this blog, that those who are interested can check out if they wish.
   So, I got in my mind earlier this year, that it might be cool to start a new project (See this Blog's Name :-) ) and re create the Not Quite Seven Years War (NQSYW) project in 10mm, with the goal to use the 10mm units with our "Look, Sarge, No Charts" (LSNC) rules, where each base equals a regiment.  This way, I wouldn't be limited to commanding not much more than a brigade on the table due to the limits of the 40mm single based figures.  With 10mm figures, and each base equalling a regiment, it is the norm in LSNC for players to control a division.  I could see recreating he whole North Polenburg Army at this scale! (Insert maniacal laughter)
(Click any photo to view it larger)

A Company of the 40mm Queen Jennifer Regiment with the whole regiment in 10mm in front of them
 So with Historicon approaching earlier this month, I set about pre-ordering  from Old Gory, to be picked up at the con, enough of their 10mm SYW figures to build a nice 1-player sized Divisional force as a start to my project. And since Historicon, I have set about recreating my existing 40mm Regiments in 10mm.  I purchased enough to do a Division consisting of two Infantry Brigades of 3 Regiments each, with a support Battery, and an attached Brigade of 3 Dragoon Regiments.
A Company of the 40mm 2nd Regiment (The Hawks), with their Hawk mascot standard, and the complete regiment in 10mm with the standard recreated, now on foot
Now, the hope is that a few of the other club members will be interested enough in this project to join in and create some opposition forces for me to battle, and maybe some allies as well.  If not, I will have to consider doing so myself.  The nice thing about this project is it's proving quick to paint, and the outlay for a single player sized force, with the Old Glory Army Discount, was only about $50.
My esteemed self, The General Lord Palmer, 1st Brigade Commander, and his 10mm counterpart.

The two regiments and their commander. I am currently working on the third regiment for this brigade.

A section of two 40mm guns and crews of the North Polenburg Artillery, and a complete battery in 10mm

A squadron, in 40mm, of the famed 32nd Dragoons on their all white chargers, and the whole 32nd Dragoon regiment in 10mm.