Sunday, 17 April 2016

Off the Painting Table (Apr 2016)

It has been a while since my bushes were used due to my indecision about what project to undertake next. Inspired by the Bloody Big Battles (BBB) rules I decided to buy some Pendraken 10mm armies for the Franco-Prussian War.

The first batch painted was 10 bases of French infantry. I chose a fairly bright blue for the tunic so the French army would contrast with a more blue-black colour to be used for the Prussians. The amount of detail on the castings is excellent and I am happy with the results obtained. The French look suitably bright and should stand out on the battlefield. I have not textured the bases yet because this can wait until the army is complete. The next group to be painted will be another 10 bases of French infantry, these will be followed by French chasseurs, artillery and finally cavalry. The Prussian forces will then follow, so I should have a few months of painting ahead.

On Saturday I visited the massive Salute show at Excel, London. The theme was ‘Steam Punk’ but this was not especially evident; I was expecting plenty of re-enactors and numerous demo games. The only re-enactors were the usual Star Wars Imperial troopers, and there was no preponderance of themed games, just the usual number of small scale games of Malifaux etc. There were a few zombie games but these hold little interest for me. I took no photos and others write better show reviews on various blogs, so the games that stood out for me included:

Vietnam game (25mm) by Essex Gamesters - beautiful battlefield and civilians.

ECW Siege of Bristol (28mm) by Crewe & Nantwich Club – great set up, not sure how works as a playable wargame.

Napoleonic Peninsular (28mm) by Victrix – beautiful but again not sure if playable.

SYW game (28mm) by Bill Gaskin – the most stunning game in the show in my opinion.

My Salute purchases included some trees from Last Valley, more 10mm Pendraken figures (1860’s Austrians), a copy of Bloody Big European Battles, a copy of Dropzone Commander (not sure why I bought this!). I resisted buying the new Baroque rules or the new ECW ‘The Kingdom is Ours’ rules from James Daniels. I was tempted by Horizon Wars by Osprey but these will wait until I have read a few reviews. The Chicago Way gangster rules by Great Escape Games almost got bought but I manfully resisted! I was interested to see Tomahawk Studios will be releasing a colonial set of rules, Congo, later in the year.
Whilst at Salute I bumped into my wargaming friend, Ian. We sat down to play a demo game of Peter Pig ACW riverine rules, ‘Hammering Iron’. I took the Union monitor force versus Ian with the Rebel force of Ironclads and steamers. Other players joined us, and a boy (13-14 years old) joined me and took control of the USS Monitor. What followed was an amazing game. My companion successively fired on 3 different Rebel vessels, each time doing enough damage to produce a critical hit dice roll: he rolled double 6 three times in a row, blowing up the enemy ships! The look on Ian’s face, his fellow Rebel players, and the game Umpires was a sight to remember. Ian and I later calculated the probability of 3 successive double 6’s to be 46,650:1 !!! I hope the luck has rubbed off on me!

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