Saturday, 24 December 2011

Dear Santa...

This year I want;

A Bren Gun
A Million Quid
Bettany Hughes
Peace and Quiet

I think the first three are pretty certain... got no hope on number four though.

In miniatures news, I've not painted anything still - simply no time with work. However I have hatched a plan to make a Dwarf airship for Splintered Lands using a Gripping Beast 28mm Dark Ages Sailing Boat, and a table lamp shade frame.

Which will necessitate me buying a Goblin Bat Clan warband to indulge in some aerial combat. In fact, I think I might knock up some rules for SSL specifically for the airship and have some skirmishes fought entirely above the Wyldewood as the Dwarfs fight off Goblin boarders.

And if I'm going to buy a Goblin warband, I may as well get the Bugbear one to round out the collection.

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Motion To War!

"The beacons are lit! The beacons of Ashdown Forest! The great army of Kent is marching to war!"

In his coastal stronghold deep in the kingdom of the Seaxe, the Lord Tangent pensively rubbed his chin and lit yet another cigarette. He studied the spy's report again; his nemesis Odo of Kent had indeed mustered a mighty horde, and was now planning on another raid Southwards... as early as the end of January.

This news was troubling indeed.

He studied the roster... the Fyrd was insufficient...

It meant an event would now have to occur which had not happened in age...

He would have to paint something.

Thursday, 8 December 2011

2011 review, and plans for 2012

As 2011 fizzles out, I'm starting to look at next year, and what I'm planning to get painted/played, and also look back on this year and review how it went.

As it turned out, this year has been pretty good, all in all. I painted a 15mm Romano-British warband, sort of started a Saxon warband to fight against them. Got plenty of Splintered Lands painted, and bought - Dwarfs and Beastlands. Also invested in a fair amount of scenery.

Gaming-wise played Brytenwalda a few times, but then got diverted back to my favourite of Song of Splintered Lands. Played a bit of Song of Arthur & Merlin, and a couple of other randoms such as Sturmovik Commander.

Next year I'm planning on the following;

Saga; already got a load of Musketeer early Saxons unpainted. Think I'll get some bigger shields for them to make them later, then painting them up for Saga and Song of Arthur & Merlin

Splintered Lands: lots of painting to do here, and hopefully lots of games.

Bag The Hun; Already have enough 1/600 to replay the Battle of Britain in 1:1, so just need a hex mat/map. Discovered a website with aerial reconnaissance photos of Blighty taken by the RAF in 1946. So, stitched together a load of them from Woodmancote - a village about 5 miles North of here. Slowly colouring them in, and will get that to a Graphic/Printers to be printed on a 4 x 6 vinyl mat with hexes over the top
The actual image I'm working on is currently 13mb and enormous - haven't worked out what scale it'll be in when printed at that size, so may need to add bits later on. Strangely therapeutic process, and enjoying mucking about with Gimp trying to recreate fields to the human eye.

So what's in the pipeline for you next year?

Sunday, 27 November 2011

The Tangent goes to War!

Myself and the rather smashing chap Mike of Little Odo's Miniature Wargaming Blog have been threatening to actually push some of the collective lead mountains around some green fuzzy polystyrene for a while now, and it finally happened this afternoon.

Mike made the perilous journey down from farthest Bromley in the dark wilds of Kent, bringing some Gripping Beast 28mm Romano-British, and some warband lists for Song of Splintered Lands.

You'll have to excuse the photos - using my Blackberry Curve, and the camera on it is utterly useless. Mike took a handful more using his Blackberry, so between us we might be able to find one that's in focus.

Anyway - first out of the block was SSL. Mike's first outing with the SBH engine, and he played the baddies (the Flowering/Rebels), and promptly handed my goodies (the Faithful) their collective furry backsides on plates.

Can't remember much of the game - seemed to involve a gruesome kill from both sides, but morale held. My decision to use the brilliantly hopeless Tassletail Brothers again but paid to any hope of winning things... that and Mike's uncanny ability to roll six after six after six... with my bloody dice!

We then swapped it around, and Mike picked up the Faithful whilst I elected to give my sort-of-painted Dwarf warband its first outing.

So, how did the Stunty Debut go? Erm, well - the Champion on Bear charged off on his own, fully expecting to make short work of the clump of mice, but he ended up transfixed, then suffered a sudden bout of being dead. The battle in the middle see-sawed, and eventually the Faithful prevailed. It was a close run thing though. Mike rolled a lot of sixes.


So, how does the Dwarf faction in SSL shape up? Rather well, I must say - they've all got long ranged attack, which didn't dawn on me at first. This potentially has huge benefit when using the SBH tactic of stopping short of an opponent to force him to charge (thereby increasing his chance of failing activation when he has to roll at least 2 activations, or preferably three).

The Bear could have been good I suspect, but I went a bit mental with him. The Bondi are better than their stat line would have you believe; shieldwall is hugely powerful. Huscarls are so-so, but the good overall quality makes them a dependable lot. The Crossbow Specialists are very strong indeed - Shooter Long, sharpshooter, and C3 means they're rocking with +5 within 5", which is very respectable indeed.

After that, we played the new version of Song of Arthur & Merlin. The first game took about 5 minutes with my Saxons getting pummeled by Mike's numerically superior Romano British. Mike rolled a lot of sixes.

Second game, we doubled the size of the table, and added a couple of cavalry each to run about 370 points. (I think SAM in historical mode is too small at 300pts). This gave us more tactical scope, and I finally won something. Mike didn't roll a lot of sixes.

Set up on 4x4 board.


Saxon horse pile into the back of the Romano-British shieldwall.


Then it was dinner time, so we called it after four games and a rousing afternoon's toy soldier action.

Think Mike enjoyed himself - he certainly didn't run away screaming, which most people usually do from the house of Tangent, and looking forward to another outing soon.

I think I'll actually find some time to finish the Dwarf band - great fun to play with, and a nice change from the Druid's Children. I'll also get the Beastlands warband underway properly, just because I'm all inspired again.

Nothing else to report, except Splintered Light having a 25% sale until the end of the year. Get over there, say hi to David, and get your lead mountain up.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Beards and Cheese

Looking back over the blog, it's been interesting to note my gradual loss of gaming mojo in the last twelve months. Of late I've painted nothing, gamed even less, and displayed the classic symptoms of a gamer scratching around for inspiration.

So, last weekend I embarked on a proper tidy up of the lead pile. The intention was to spark a bit of interest in my hobby, and to give myself the opportunity to sift through the vast mountain of stuff and perhaps sell a few bits.

Typically I didn't find anything I really wanted to sell, having sold off all the really useless stuff a few years back. Nonetheless, a tidy workbench is a productive workbench. Probably.

Alongside that an incident with the boiler at home (no, not that one, the one which heats the water) prompted local chum Stuart at the Great Game to offer to buy my 28mm town scenery from me - some of which can be seen here;
I've had it a number of years, made for me by a bloke in Oz. It's probably only been used in anger no more than a dozen times, and has spent the last couple of years languishing in another friend's gaming hut/shed/thing. Stuart has a son and they're both into 28mm WW2 at the moment, so it'll be going to a good home.

This sale is rather convenient in terms of timing and funds. A week or so ago I was in a cantankerous mood, and decided to email the local gaming circle about restarting Blood Bowl. For reasons which would take ages to explain, Blood Bowl had become the byword for Beardy Cheese Play and after running in a very active league, we all dropped it. I was surprised, therefore, when all bar one person readily agreed. So now I need to buy a team.

The person to blame for this, I've decided, is Laughing Ferret Labs. Quite apart from having a bloody brilliant blog, detailing a steady descent into gaming madness, he's also a dab hand at painting things. Especially Blood Bowl teams. If I wasn't reading about his Blood Bowl teams so often it never would have occurred to me to mention it to anyone. Honest.

My previous BB team was a Shadowforge Bunny Girl team, supported by a Heresy Ogre. They looked brilliant, but were pretty crap on the table. Not entirely their fault it must be said, as I've never been a great tactical player, especially with the wonky rules GW tend to turn out. The girls were sold a number of years back for a rather large sum of cash, so the hunt begins. It might be a short hunt, truth be told, because Impact! Miniatures do a Scotling team, and being descended of the mighty clan Hamilton that appeals to me. (I should state I am in no way Scottish. I'm Sussex.)

Last but by no means least, Mike of Little Odo's Blogspot is probably going to make the perilous journey South West from his vast mansion in Kent to push lead round a table, eat food, and generally talk rubbish. Games we're intending on are Song of Splintered Lands, and probably something Dark Ages like Saga.

This may happen in November. Which November is entirely open because both of us work and have families, so getting to play with toy soldiers for any length of time requires planning and co-ordination which makes Overlord look like it was jotted down on the back of a Woodbine packet.

So, that's that. 28mm WW2 is now to the bottom of the pile for me - which is a touch sad, because it's what got me back into wargaming back in 2005. Blood Bowl rears it's ugly UgoIgo head again. I've got even more to paint. And, I've still not painted anything.

Just to finish, here's some Splintered Light Badgers and chums lurking about the woods looking menacing. 'You want some? You want some? Grrrr... I'll bite yer face off'

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Roman villa; abandoned or not?

I'm on a scenery vibe at the moment. I've not bothered with it much since I commissioned a whole town of 28mm WW2 stuff back in 2005. Further discussions with Paul's Modelling Workshop about where to go next with the 15mm stuff yielded this;



A provincial Roman Villa - this one being 28mm, but you get the idea. A 15mm version would be around 8" x 10" (roughly the size of an A4 sheet of paper) - which given a typical 15mm skirmish board is rarely bigger than 48" x 48", and more normally 24" x 24" makes it a fairly sizeable thing to fight over/round/through.

This would give my Romano-British something to fight for, and something for my Saxons to raid, not to mention the Scots-Irish and Pictish warbands also in the club. As with the other pieces, it would also double up for Songs of Splintered Lands, and Pride of Lions (if I ever get that far).

The decision I'm stuck on is whether to have the Villa abandoned, or have it occupied in a good state of repair?

Historically the villas remained in use after 465AD, but seem to have slowly fallen into disrepair as the old skills were lost, and the Saxons encroached ever further westwards. From a gaming perspective it has relative merits either way.

Thoughts, chaps?

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Scenery Pt.II


The rest of the scenery pics arrived.
Marsh/Swamp area

Woodland section

Another view of the section above, plus the other section of the set.

Very pleased with these - will photograph accordingly when they appear.

Now thinking about what to add next - an abandoned Roman Villa is an idea which won't go away.

Monday, 19 September 2011

Commissioned Scenery

Nothing has happened in my world of wargaming of late. I bought a Splintered Light 'Beastlands' warband a few months back, half started painting them, then lost interest in the whole thing. The reasons for this are manifold, and beyond explanation in print as they'd really need a supporting powerpoint presentation, and I do enough of that with the day job.

This morning, an unexpected email appeared from the chap I'd commissioned four or five months ago to make some 15mm scenery. To be honest, I'd given up expecting anything from him, and was considering cancelling the cheque.

So, the email was most welcome for this reason, and primarily because it contained pictures of what he's made.


Now, suddenly, I'm looking forward to turfing out my Saxon warband to paint them up to fight my Romano-British - probably using Saga - and will also crack on with the Dwarf and Beastland warbands for Splintered Lands.

Happy gamer.

More pics when they arrive and I've got my grubby palms on them and scattered toy soldiers artistically across them.

Thursday, 11 August 2011


I like chancing across things on the internet. Well some things I don't like chancing across, like the this morning's Google burp whilst looking for something entirely unrelated; "Eh, What's that then? Good grief, look at the state of her... Oh, she's not going to...". What has been seen cannot be unseen.

Erm, anyway. Last night on a gaming forum there was a discussion about Blood Bowl figures inspiring someone to convert some Warjacks into Blood Bowl Dwarfs. I've no interest in Blood Bowl these days, but I still clicked the link, and ended up spending an hour or so browsing the brilliance contained therein.

This one caught my eye in particular;

So I'm now scouting around for 15mm Dinosaurs so my Splintered Lands warbands can undertake some big game hunting when they're not tearing each other limb from limb.

Also, downloaded Pride of Lions last night. Written by John McBride, author of the Song of Splintered Lands supplement, and father of David McBride of Splintered Light.

In my head I'm eventually getting towards gaming larger fantasy battles in 15mm, and really like the look of these rules. Can be adapted for non-magical (historical basically) battles if you like, by simply ignoring the magic section. Uses opposed dice rolls, with quality of troops represented by the size of their dice - D4 to D24.

No pictures on this entry - there's enough eye candy at Laughing Ferret to keep you all busy.

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Splintered Light painting WIP

A big pile of painting WIP, all Splintered Light, all brilliant sculpts/casts. Just to prove that sometimes I do get the brushes out. Note these photos were taken outdoors on a bright sunny day, in the shade. My camera is completely stuffed.

I also, somehow, managed to order a Beastlands warband (Satyrs, Fauns & Minotaurs) from SLM, so will need to reduce the lead pile a bit before they arrive

First elements of my Dwarven warband for SSL. For non-uniform units, I tend to batch paint things these days in fairly identical little groups... once the warband is complete it gives a good overall impression of variety

Second elements - a little further behind.

Mr Toad, possibly resident of Toad Hall. Because he's awesome. Rest of the not-Willows gang on the table too.

A little band of Otters which I'm slowly building up. These guys all come with the original Faithful boxed set, and I've got six Otter Rogues to go with them

Rebels/Flowering foxes with wolverine. These belong to my friend who almost never paints, so wanting to battle against painted toy soldiers, I'm working through his boxed set. Also got some supplementary Fox warriors to go with them.

Lastly, the brilliant Fire Dragon, which was intercepted and claimed, then subsequently painted by my 4yr old daughter. She's got drybrushing to learn next. Proof that the Camera is smegged - right wing is bright green, left is vermillion. Camera says otherwise.

Friday, 29 July 2011

Out of the Forests

Way back, in the dim distant past, before I took up breeding, smoking, debt, paying tax, and before I understood EBITDA, Dense Wave Division Multiplexing, and how to sell stuff, life was a simple affair; Could I complete my paper round in less than 50 minutes? Would Claire go out with me? (she did) How could I raise funds to pay for the latest wonderous thing from Citadel? What fighter plane would I fly when I joined the RAF?

My ridiculously vivid adolescent imagination was fired in no small part by the artwork which always accompanied the Games Workshop products. Space Marine box art by Jim Burns remains, to me at least, the seminal box cover of any game, anywhere - it is exactly how my imagination portrayed the legions of identikit genetically enhanced super soldiers of the future (only much later did I realise the nod to De Niro's 'Leetle Friend').

Burns' solitary work apart, the only artist which really defined the whole period for me was Paul Bonner. Then, as now, an unknown outside of the gaming world, it has been argued that he influenced the GW spiral death dive into comedy space orks, or that his comic-esque lantern jawed hapless Guardsmen were the opposite of the gritty depravity of Blanche's work which defined the preceeding Rogue Trader era.

However, I like to recall the pen & ink work he did for the Adeptus Titanicus rulebook, including the feature panel work for the Warhound Princeps narrative. Or remember the obsessive attention to the minutae - spent cases, toolkits, etc. Or observe the expressive faces, the dynamics of the interaction between the subjects in the art.

So, some years ago, I decided to email Paul and see if he'd sell me any of his originals. To my surprise he replied with the unsurprising news that GW had retained all his artwork, but countered this with the welcome news that he had a book coming out.

So I bought his book.

Out of the Forests by Paul Bonner

It is, without a shadow of doubt, the best book I've ever owned. I'd recommend this to anyone interested in fantasy wargaming, or fantasy art. Simply stunning. It's also the only book in my considerable library that I would not part with, ever. Spanning his early work, his time in-house for GW, his work for Rackham and onwards, and his stunning Nordic themed Dwarfs and Trolls.

If you only buy one book this year, spend it on this, it's that good. If you aren't completely blown away by it, you have no soul.

Years after buying it, I still get it down from the shelf from time to time, and immerse myself in a world all but lost to me now; the world of my imagination fired by fantastic art.

Saturday, 23 July 2011

More Splintered Lands

Sooo, I may have possibly sent some more money in the general direction of David @ Splintered Light... again...

This time I'm blaming it on my virtual pal Mike - although I think we've got a reciprocating he made me do it . In truth, I think Mike commented on my Splintered Lands Druid's Children a while ago, and then I suggested he take a look at Songs, and specifically Song of Splintered Lands. Then David @ Splintered Light decided to have a 20% sale for his regular customers (now extended to everyone), and the rest, as they say, was inevitable.

As I was getting a warband on Mike's behalf, I thought it prudent to, erm, save on the shipping, and get myself a Dwarven warband (of the Bob Olley Splintered Land variety, rather than the tiny 15mm fantasy range sculpted by Whiff Whaff). I also got my youngest the rather spiffing Fire Dragon to paint - she's rather positive about Dragons.

As I'm an old 80's Citadel type of chap at heart, I find the Bob Olley sculpts just tick all my boxes - and they have leapfrogged the Splintered Light Saxon warband on the painting table. As of this afternoon, all of them have been stuck on coin of the realm, sprayed black, and painting is underway. They'll be Saxon themed - mainly because that's the colours I've been using of late - so not many grey hairs, but lots of blondes, stripes, and so on. Slapping some more paint on tomorrow, so should have the first five completed - will post pics accordingly.

What else has occured in the tangential world of my wargaming? Well, the scenery commissioned from Paul's Modelling Workshop is still WIP, so waiting for that. Also, I picked up four 2' x 2' TSS scenic tiles from someone off a forum - cheap at £4 a tile. I've been looking at these for yonks, but never taken the plunge - something I regret doing now - they're brilliant.

So, if all works out, should soon have a nice load of spiffing scenery to put on my new tiles, and fight over with Romano-British, Saxons, Dwarves, and Badgers. Can't go wrong. Well, can go wrong, and seemingly is going rather wrong, but that's another story.

Oh, last bit of news - in my capacity as copyreader for WSS, I've blagged myself a copy of Bag The Hun 2, reviewing, for the purposes of. Major problem with this is that I don't have a bloody great hex mat - so the coming months may see a sudden lurch back into flying things. Pete and myself gave the rules a small run out the other evening, and I really liked some of the elements of the rules.

That's all for tonight folks. Pictures of painted things next time, promise.

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Your Opinion Please?

No, not your opinion on this blog - ignorance is bliss and all that.

Rather, I'm the copyreader for a well known wargames magazine. We (the Editorial team) have been discussing what to do over the coming issues to keep the interest levels up.

So, rather than explain any further (and risk influencing the input), over to you, all ten of my followers - what articles would make you buy a Historical wargaming magazine?

Scale, period, type (painting, tactics, rants, etc), anything else.

Answers on a comment box please!

Meanwhile, here's a random photo from the collection.


Saturday, 18 June 2011

Painter's Block Pt.2

Over a month since my last entry, so time for an update I thought.

So, what's happened in the world of Dunc since this time last month? Well, I've changed employers - which has meant a spot of gardening leave, followed by a fairly intense June. I also bought myself a new bike (of the operator-propelled variety).

As I wasn't working for seven weeks, I initially painted with some enthusiasm, but this wore off after the first week; no stress at work equalled little desire to paint. The new job has kept me busy this month, and along with the new toy (a Trek 1.1 if you know about such devices), it's all been a bit quiet.

However, it wasn't a total write-off. I was given a couple of Heresy Miniatures monsters - a werewolf and a yeti - in some state of disrepair. The yeti had been hacked to bits, but the werewolf just needed pulling apart and reglueing. Lots of Greenstuff later and the yeti is looking good and on it's first coat. The werewolf is completed and should be based sometime tomorrow. Picture to follow.

This led me to idly browse Ebay for more Heresy odds n sods - turned up 2 lurkers, 6 ghouls, a ghoul king, and a trio of halfling adventurers. All for £15! (Incidentally - the Halflings are of no interest to me - so if anyone wants them, just email me). These will be added to collection of hideous things and RBG adventurers for the Labyrinth Lord campaign I'm slowly putting together.

After the deal was done, I got chatting to the seller - turns out he's got about £300 worth of made but unpainted Heresy goodness. Some very rare bits too - more Lurkers, a Tunnel Dweller, and the Heresy Angel with pillar. All mine for £150 - a bargain (I think).

Alongside that, I finally got my backside into gear and commissioned some scenery from Paul's Modelling Workshop as follows;

3' worth of Roman Roads, and two forest/wooded area sections as per this picture,

And a dollop of marshland like this

This is for my 15mm Dark Ages project. Assuming I'm happy with the results, and from those pics I can't imagine I won't be, then I'll be commissioning some more - 3' of Dyke, and - funds allowing - a representation of Bamburgh Fort (from the Osprey book on post-Roman British forts). So much for 15mm being a cheap way of gaming!

Also turned up in the post after a considerable wait is my 3' x 2' gaming mat from Hotz Matz, without the craters. Not bad, as it turned out, but not quite as much a colour mix of earth/green as I was expecting. Nevertheless, it keeps the whole lot portable.

So, back to the painting table - in a final effort to get myself painting again I dug out all manner of things today and prepped them up ready for colouring in - all 15mm - the Saxon army, the Romano-British cavalry reinforcements, the Longboat (ERM), the Oxen, Cart, Livestock etc (Magister Militum), and a few other bits. Assuming I don't get roped into anything else this Sunday, I should be able to get some paint on them.

When it's all done I think it's going to be a real visual feast.

When it's done...

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Painter's Block

It happens to everyone, but that doesn't make it any less frustrating. I need to paint, and I've got plenty to paint, but just can't get the enthusiasm to get into it.

Get the paints out, select from the wonderous selection of beautiful miniatures, apply first coat of something, and then... interest wanders. Put it away again.

I always admire professional figure painters such as the impossibly talented Andrew Taylor, or Dave Imrie - not just because of their stunning ability to colour in toy soldiers, but also because they seemingly manage to paint relentlessly to a fantastic standard.

This morning I even tried forcing myself to paint by sitting down and starting on something simple (15mm Saxon war dogs from Splintered Light), but that just made it worse. So, in the absence of painting, I'm going to ramble on about the other bits of my wargaming world.

Currently my gaming is occupied entirely by 15mm Dark Ages, and Song of Splintered Lands (notionally 18mm, but fairly open to interpretation). Over the years I've grown tired of playing on cricket pitches, so have been investing some Google time on scenery.

I've picked up a Celtic farmstead from Hovels (via great service from Essex Miniatures), and had a pop at some OO scale trees on individual bases. Currently waiting on a delivery from Hotz Matz to play on, and a Longboat from Essex for raiding party action. The farmstead is very good value at £27 with the pigsty (still missing the pigs I got from ERM at the same time), but been looking for something special to fight over.

This led me to pick up some books on Iron Age forts, and culminated in a discussion with a commission scenery builder about Roman roads, dykes, and marsh sections. As I'm largely hopeless at scenery building I think I'll be investing in this soon.

The real spark has been the scenery builder's suggestion of having a go at making Bamburgh castle circa 500AD

Whether intentional or not, this has struck a chord with me as I love Cornwell's Warlord series about Uhtred of Bannenburg. Will report shortly on progress

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

SSL: The Good, The Bad, and the Unlucky

Third SSL game in as many weeks last night, and a huge attack of Arrghhh!!

An outing against Pete's Kobolds, only the second or third time Pete has played Songs with the Kobolds, so let him get away with more than I usually would. Also threw some advice across the table - although none of this would have made the blindest bit of difference to the way the game panned out.

Kobolds brought legions of little dog-faced warriors to the table - ten warriors, five skirmishers, a wizard, and a leader. The Faithful had an Otter Leader, Otter Hero, two Otter Archers, and two Badgers.

When you're outnumbered 3-1, there's only really one thing for it - Charge! However, Charge! relies on several factors of statistical likelihood occurring; namely, activation dice.

The Faithful managed to turnover play on their first activation roll no less than four times, and turned over six times in total. Kobolds only had to maintain formation to pick off the various Badgers and Otters.

I should point out that these failures were occurring with a Leader at Q2 (he failed twice), and Badgers and Otter hero at Q3 within command radius giving them effective Q2.

So I lost - badly. Managed to kill one solitary Kobold warrior (all fifteen points) for the loss of 250pts worth of Badgers and Otters.

I'm going burn my dice today, and plot revenge.

I've got some Otter Rogues, and the not Wind-in-the-Willows packs winging their way from Splintered Light. These, I think, will be supported in future by the Mice spearmen - I've not used them for some time now, and I think it's beginning to show.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

SSL: For A Few Badgers More

A very picture heavy battle report for the next instalment of Song of Splintered Lands this evening - sorry if you've got a poor connection.

So, to business - the freshly painted Rebels/Flowering (Oli) were out for revenge after last week's drubbing (see A Fistful of Badgers a few posts back), so much so that they wheeled out the mighty Wolverine character. 122pts of mightiness. Escorting him were two Rat personalities, five rat warriors, and the obligatory pair of fox archers.

Flushed and confident from their last success, the Faithful's Badgers had largely gone onto the reserves bench. Thus, the Faithful warband (Me) comprised of things not often seen; The Tassletail Brothers leading a pair of Squirrel Swords, a Squirrel Archer, Otter sword, Otter Spear, Otter Archer, and heavy support in the form of just two armoured Badgers.

Excuse the pictures - poor lighting and the texture of the terrain mat confused the hell out of the camera.

Starting positions
Faithful nearest the bottom, archers just out of shot in bottom right corner.

And they're off - business as usual for the rats, no doubt feeling particularly brave due to the presence of that Wolverine

The Faithful adopt a similar formation. Archers again out of shot.

So, on the second turn, combat begins. Badgers engage the Wolverine, who is knocked down after pushing back the first Badger

The Rats swamp the Blue Badger, and the Shamen transfixes him. He dies - with crashing inevitability Mr. Anderson, as Elrond might say.

The Wolverine then deals with second Badger after knocking him down (Badger did get up, then fell over again, then the Otter failed his activation), and it all starts to go horribly wrong. Nasty death and the Faithful make their first morale check as Fergus Tassletail also falls to the Wolverine.

The Faithful fall back, and the Flowering regroup. The Squirrel Archer brought down the Ratlord, and the Otter archer finished him off. Too little too late though.

The Fox Archers took the Squirrel out, and forced the Otter back. Meanwhile the Wolverine and Rats closed in on the shaken remains of the Faithful. The Rats are held at bay and then fall back when another falls bring the Flowering warband to under 50%. The Wolverine, however, is completely impervious to such fripperies as dead rodents, and proceeds to deal death to the hopeless little Squirrels. A below-50% morale check for the Faithful and they rout.


Game over.

Great fun, as Songs always is.

The Squirrels aren't good in hand-to-hand, but I love the look of them, so I think they'll get another run out soon. The Otters are intriguing though - very good in hand-to-hand, so they'll definitely feature in the next warband.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

The Price of War?

As regular readers of my ramblings will know, I've got a thing for 15mm at the moment. Although I maintain the guiding principle behind this fixation is cost, it must be said that the 15mm world does get some seriously cool toys to play with, and with a typical board being two or three feet by two, not much space is required.

In a rare moment (for my gaming at least), I decided to work out how much my 15mm Dark Ages setup has cost thus far;

Brytenwalda Rules - £0
Splintered Light Romano British Warband - £20*
Splintered Light Saxon Warband - £20*
LBMS Shield Transfers - £9
Hovels Celtic Pigsty & Farm/Hamlet - £26
ERM Livestock (for rustling scenarios) - £5**
Hotz Matz 3 x 2 Gaming mat - £18
Trees - £0 (left overs from 28mm tree making
Shoreline/Beach - £0 (more on this later)

Total - £106

**tiny livestock have vanished, completely, so will need to be replaced

There's a few other scenic/objective type bits I'm going to get, but haven't decided yet. Nevertheless, a hundred quid for everything one might possibly need to play 15mm Dark Ages skirmish until the cows come home. Two warbands as well - so I can play against anyone on our Tuesday gaming nights.

So, ignoring the fact that the terrain mat and scenery are useable for other systems (such as Song of Splintered Lands) I'm pretty chuffed with the whole thing myself. By comparison, that £100 spent on a Warhammer 40K Imperial Guard Army would get you, just, the absolute basic platoon.


Cheap wargaming.

Sort of.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Dwarf Shield

Rather happy with the back of the RBG Dwarf I've been working on.


All freehand - looks awesome on the miniature (i.e. without Macro)

That is all.


Friday, 29 April 2011

On the painting table

After all the words of the SSL Battle Report (and all the other wordy bits I've been posting), I thought it would be nice to demonstrate some more colouring in, wargaming, for the purposes of.

So, here's some of the current WIP.

First up is the Musketeer Miniatures early Saxons. Bill Thornhill's sculpting - bloody lovely, way above what one would reasonably expect for figures which are basically aimed at the WAB market. I've got rather a lot of these, and very slowly working through them. Great figures to paint, although I've learnt the hard way about the steel spears. One day I'll finish all 140 of them and get a Romano-British from Musketeer army to play against.

Cyning/Atheling, and his Champion - the General, basically

Armoured Cavalry - a points sink, but pretty.

Geoguth Command - veteran warriors.

Also on the table are Red Box Games adventurers.
Veteran Dwarf type... Accident with the brown ink means I'll have to redo his hands. The green came out really chalky too.

Elf Archer - really struggled with her, specifically the colour of the boots. Camera doesn't show it under this light, but the cloak is fully highlighted, as is her face.

A Njorn - again, struggling to get the palette right on this one.

Lastly we have some Splintered Light Miniatures Druid's Children Rebels - these are my mate's figures from the Batrep below. I've got fed up with playing against unpainted figs, so I've put some paint on them for him over the last two days.

A Pine Marten, and three Foxes.

Alongside this lot there is around a dozen 15mm Splintered Light Saxons, the rest of the SLM warband, a dirty great 15mm Samurai army, two 28mm Cromwell tanks, eight more commissioned tanks, etc etc.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

SSL: A Fistful of Badgers


One of the many points I like about Songs is the ease at which you can get a game in. Last night Oli and myself elected to play a 450pt Song of Splintered Lands game at about 7.30pm. Convened for battle at 8.30pm, placed some scenery on the table, had a smoke, lined up the little animals, and off we went. Here's how it happened;

Druid's Children - Brace Badgerlord (146pts!), 4 x Badgers, 1 x Hare Spear, 1 x Squirrel Sword
The Rebels - Wolverine Hero, Rat Warlord, Rat Sorcerer, 2 x Fox Archers, 1 x Stoat Brigand, 5 x Rats
Two Celtic round huts borrowed from Arthurian 15mm in the middle, seven trees dotted around them.

The Druid's Children got to deploy first - not much imagination required with seven troops; line up Badgers with Lord in the middle, Squirrel to the left, Hare to the right. The Rebels formed an inverted wedge of rats with their warlord and sorceror at the back, the Wolverine in front of them, Foxes lurked to their left, and the Stoat hung around on the right.

Turn 1;
Druid's Children moved steadily up; Badger line advanced up the clearing in the middle, Hare bounded off to the right to lurk around one of the huts, ready to spring forward and take out the pesky Fox archers. Squirrel moved to the left into the trees.

The Rebel's also advanced steadily through the trees, Wolverine and Stoat hung back, with Rats surged forward in formation. The Fox archers moved to their left to find a firing position. A couple of arrows flew towards the Badgers but failed to find their mark.

Turn 2;
The Badgers considered charging the mass of Rats now immediately to their front, but decided it was too far - started the advance from the left of the line and the second Badger rolled double 1. Turnover.

The Rats saw their chance with a disjointed Badger line to make a mess of things, but they too had an attack of indecision and rolled a double failure.

Turn 3;
A sigh of relief! The Badgers consolidated their line and continued the advance - wary of the tactical consequences of a failure, the approaching Sorceror and Wolverine, they played safe and moved up. The intention was to charge the Fox Archers with the Hare, but first the Squirrel decided the Rat Sorceror was a tempting target - another activation failure, but did get to move into contact.

The wily Sorceror used his free disengage to step away from the Squirrel, and the Rat warlord detached himself from the back of his gang and charged in, making short work of the Squirrel for the first casualty. The Fox archers found their mark on the Hare and knocked him down. The Rats moved en masse into the Badger line, but to no real effect, the Stoat moved in behind the Rats, and the Wolverine (bizarrely) moved across to engage the fallen Hare

Turn 4;
Things had begun to look grim for the Druid's Children - Badgers returned the combat but only succeeded in pushing the Rats back before yet another activation failure cursed them to hand the proceedings back to The Rebels - Hare remained on the floor.

The Rebels seized on the opportunity to splatter the hapless Hare spear all over the hut. The Stoat moved around the Rats onto the end of the Badger line and pushed one back. The Rat Sorceror transfixed one of the Badgers, but the Rats were unable to capitalise on that dazed Mustelid. The Fox Archers pushed back the Badger on the right of the line. The Rat warlord rounded off the turn by moving into the dazed Badger

Turn 5;
Having survived what could have been a disasterous combat, the Badgers finally got their act together. The Stoat on their left fell, as did the Rat next to him. The Badger on the right moved in and squashed a lone rat, and the Badger Lord moved to the right to engage the Wolverine but combat ended in a draw. The transfixed Badger came to his senses to hand play to The Rebels.

The Wolverine-Badger Lord Combat resulted in the Badger being pushed back. The Rat Warlord knocked down a Badger, but the rat next to him failed his activation for an immediate turnover!

Turn 6;
The Badger Lord hurled himself at the Wolverine, and killed him. The remaining Rat Brigand also died to a Badger to take The Rebels to below 50% - amazingly all passed the morale check with only a Fox wavering. The Rat Warlord continued to hold off the various Badgers - knocking two down in the process, but with the death of the Wolverine, Stoat, and all bar one of the Rats, the Rebels called it a day.

Victory for the Druid's Children after 25 minutes of gameplay, for the loss of just the Squirrel and Hare.

Post game summary - the Druid's Children (me) were exceptionally nerfed with 5 Badgers. I don't normally deploy such a one-sided force, preferring a big mass of Mouse Spears. The Rebels did suffer from some unlucky dice - especially the Wolverine rolling a 1 (+5) to the Badger Lords 6 (+7) in Turn 6.

Moving the Wolverine into the usually ineffectual Hare was probably a mistake too, retrospectively. However, the Rats did a surprisingly good job holding up the four Badgers.

I think the critical moment was the Squirrel Sword dropping out of the tree into contact with the Sorceror. Although he paid for this move with his life, it detached the Rat Warlord from the back of the Rat Brigands, and their loss of Group activation against the Badgers meant that their poor Quality caused a turnover just when it wasn't needed.

Monday, 25 April 2011

It's my Birthday, and I'll... toy soldiers if I want to. Or, I might not actually; even though it was my Birthday and everything on Friday.

I have a bit over £50 lurking in paypal. Have had for weeks. Normally this would be gone, instantly, but this particular fifty quid is proving strangely difficult to spend. There's plenty I want, need, or fancy, for painting or gaming; there's Otherworld's outstanding range of D&D beasties. There's some Heresy bits I fancy. There's Red Box Games' Goblins. There's Splintered Light - as I'll buy just about anything David sells. I even went to Hotz Matz and Terrain Mat to look at 2' square gaming mats... every single time I put stuff in the Cart, but get to checkout and think 'nah' and close the windo.

Curious really - for as long as I can remember I've always wanted something, and never has cash lurked in paypal for such an extended period. It's also the same with Amazon - normally I have no trouble spending money there on books. Now got £70 in vouchers in the account - again, for weeks - but can't bring myself to click 'Order' at the checkout.

Painting-wise I'm not at a block - at a rough guess I've put paint on around 200 miniatures this year if I include finishing off stuff with has been WIP since forever. Indeed, in such a painting groove at the moment, that when I couldn't get on with the 15mm Samurai today, instead of doing the usual thing and packing it all away again, I got stuck straight into the 15mm Saxons.

It did briefly occur to me that I might be going off being a wargamer - I've started to finish projects, which is uncharacteristic, and I've not butterflied into a new period/scale/genre since Brytenwalda some six months back.


Wednesday, 20 April 2011

More 15mm Dark Ages

Some more shots of the Romano-British warband - finished the Cavalry, so they're largely complete/fightable at around 1000 Solidus in Brytenwalda, or a huge Song of Blades and Heroes (Song of Arthur and Merlin variant) warband. I'll also be buying some Sabots so that they (and others) can be adapted to Impetus or whatever else we end up arguing about.



Saturday, 16 April 2011

Red Box Games for Labyrinth Lord

Today was to be all about 15mm Samurai, but the black spray paint had gone all wonky. So decided to carry on with three Red Box Games Dwarfs, in the end concentrated entirely on just one.


These things are beautifully sculpted, with astounding attention to detail and dynamics - especially the Njorn range. He's come out okay, but I'm just not good enough to do him justice.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Painted some stuff

Some photos of finished things;
BEF tanks for customer - cheapo job this lot... which ended up more or less finished to a high standard as I couldn't stop mucking about with them. Especially happy with the A13.

And I've more or less finished my Splintered Light 15mm Romano-British warband for Brytenwalda. Tiny little gits - based on pennies.

Finally, a Heresy Giant Scorpion - gloss varnished the bugger, but that upsets the camera. Not my finest hour, but first 'bug' I've painted in as long as I can remember. Looks better in the metal.