A tad delayed, but here’s a photo round up of our first meeting of 2022. In addition to our AGM, we had a SAGA battle day, involving 8 players, a FOG Renaissance ECW game, a Lords of the Rings Game and some Spy-Fi action.
First up a SAGA-fest with Scots, Bretons, Welsh, Vikings and Anglo-Danes. In addition to some experienced SAGA players we had a couple of prospective members join in for their first games.
Moving on the the English Civil War, 15mm figures using Field of Gory rules.
Moving from history to fiction, Marcus had a try out of his underwater Spy-Fi rules.
And finally to Fantasy, a Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game.
The Wolf Tamer is no more. Owain of Bangor is dead!. Ambushed and killed by English bandits, Owain the Benevolent, Owain the Peaceful, Owain the Thrice-Blessed, now lies in Heaven.
Though his body now lies in the earth his soul and spirit still lives. Bleddyn ab Owain, his beloved son, has made his way back to Bangor. He has left his studies at the abbey of Llanbadarn Fawr to take up his rightful place as heir of his father’s demesne. With him he has brought the ways of the men of Deheubarth – pony riders skilled in making war from their mounts.
Master builder Stephen takes us through the construction of his latest masterpiece.
I recently ordered a few bits from Scotia Grendel and one of the things I ordered was some standing stones.
It was a nice quick delivery.
I have a soft spot for these old resin scenics – reminds me of back in the early 90s when I started getting into gaming and our local shop stocked them.
What I liked about these pieces were the Saxon style carvings. You see, I like my fantasy couched a bit in history. Problem was that the Saxon carvings only appeared on one side of the top pieces. On the other side was a more literal, typical fantasy, depiction of a dragon.
And on one side of each of the uprights was an equally typical fantasy style arrow thingy.
I didn’t like that.
So what I decided to do was make a mould of the Saxon style dragon, cast it, and use it to replace the dragon I didn’t like.
I used some Oyumaru modelling compound (Ed: other suppliers are available) to make a mould of the Saxon dragon. I then used some of Wilko’s own-brand epoxy resin with a tiny blob of brown paint to cast it.
Once this had set I sanded the reverse side down and also sanded down the fantasy dragon on the actual resin piece. I then glued it in place and used some Miliput to blend it in.
With the arrows on the uprights I simply sanded them down and then skinned the surface with Miliput and stippled it to look like the stone effect.
I then turned my head to the base. I wanted it mounted on a rocky outcrop to make it look more dramatic. To keep it light I was going to use expanded polystyrene. However, that’s not the strongest material. So I made a sandwich of it, with a wooden base and a wooden top to which I could glue the resin so it would be more firmly attached to the wood rather than expanded polystyrene.
I used PVA glue to fix it all together and then put a couple of heavy books on it to keep it flat whilst the glue set. I left it a good 24 hours, because the glue takes longer to set on polystyrene.
When that had set it was time to glue the standing stones to it. A good dollop of superglue and the basic model was done. I then broke away the surplus expanded polystyrene in the shape of how I wanted the outcrop.
To make the model stronger and more resilient to knocks I decided I would skin the model in Miliput. I used the Standard grade, because that’s what I had to hand.
To create a stone-effect I used…a stone! Yup, went out into the garden, found a small stone with a suitable texture and after the Miliput had been smeared all over I pressed and smudged the stone into the putty.
The altar stone with sacrificial goat was a piece from…well, I honestly can’t remember. It’s been sitting in the bits bag for a long time waiting for a use. And now its time had come. I also thought about adding a couple of poles with skulls on them. Had a few ideas about that, but it wasn’t the time to add that just yet, so I could keep mulling on it.
Right then, the painting.
Look, stone is rarely grey. That’s not to say there’s no grey stones, but stones have a lot more to them than just grey. Stone painted grey with a black undercoat just looks too stark and is not what stone looks like. It’s as wrong as painting tree trunks brown – have a look at them, they are not the colour of chocolate!
My usual approach with painting stone is to start with a dark brown undercoat. This was no different. I used Humbrol Model Spray dark brown. There then followed a series of dry-brushings using browns and, yes, some grey as well!
Dark brown undercoat
With the painting done all that was left were the final touches. I revisited my skull-on-stick idea, but I toned it down. Instead of several I decided to keep it simple with just the one – made from a cocktail stick and skull from GW’s Box Of Skulls.
I used static grass in patches around the base. I kept it sparse on top of the rock because there wouldn’t be so much earth for the grass to grow in. I then added some clump foliage to represent weeds and things, paying attention to add it to nooks and crannies and also the area that may not be trodden on so much.
With that done, the Temple Of The Wilds is complete.
After a gap of exactly 17 months the Society resumed meetings last weekend. For the time being meetings will be members-only, no visitors or prospective new members are allowed. That is being kept under review.
For the first meeting we had five games in progress; Ancients (6mm, Fields of Glory), Dark Ages (28mm, SAGA), WW2 (3mm, Rommel), Modern / Post Apocalypse (28mm, Zona Alfa) and Fantasy (28mm, Lord of the Rings).
Fields of Glory, by Mark.
This was the first outing for the Pontic army, who took on a late Republican Roman army, basically pike and cavalry vs well trained legionaries.
The first battle was a close run thing, the Pontic cavalry chased the Roman cavalry around the left flank before taking out two units, alas this was too little too late as the Romans swept around the right flank destroying all in their path, a close battle but the Romans won the day.
The second battle saw the Pontic forces consolidate their pike into one large block (24 bases) with two generals attached and rear support in the shape of offensive spearman. The intent was to take out two elite legions, however the Romans had other ideas and deftly avoided a full on battle taking out the supporting spearmen and eventually surrounding the pike block which spelt the end of things for the Pontic army.
A heavy defeat for the Pontics this time as the Romans showed that well drilled troops and some great tactics can win the day. Great to be back at the club, as for the Pontic army, there’s always next time!
SAGA, by Andy & Jeremey
We staged two games, both with 6 point armies. In the first game Jeremey had a Viking warband, comprising his Warlord, two units of six Hearthguard (3 pts) and three units of 8 Warriors (3pts). Against that Andy fielded an Anglo-Danish warband, comprising his Warlord, two units of six Hearthguard (3 pts), two units of 8 Warriors (2pts) and a unit of bow armed levy (1 pt).
Both sides deployed across a diagonal centreline, with each sides right flank extending past the opponents left flank.
As the warbands advanced Andy brought the units of Warriors and Hearthguard on his right flank round to try and out flank Jeremey’s left, and also pushed his levy forward taking a second activation (and a fatigue marker) in order to loose arrows at some Viking Warriors, to little effect. Jeremey responded by using the Viking Battle board ability Odin to exhaust the Levy, and promptly charged the Warriors in decimating the Archers.
That set the tone for the first game, with Andy dishing out Fatigue when he could, and Jeremey removing it and several of Andy’s warband in response. The battle culminated in Andy’s Warlord with a couple of Hearthguard taking a stand against the last of Jeremey’s Hearthguard, only to fall in ignominy.
In the second game both players changed their warbands.
Jeremey changed his army completely, going for a Anglo Saxon warband with three units of 16 Warriors* (2 pts each) in addition to his Warlord.
* (Ed: We got that wrong, maximum unit size is 12 figures, so it should have been 4 units of 12 Warriors).
The Anglo-Saxon battle board is markedly different from most to others, with abilities dependent more on the number of figures in a unit rather than their quality.
Andy retired his Levy archers and took an additional point of Warriors, splitting them between the two units to make 2 units of 12.
The armies advanced, clashing in a range of hills. Jeremey made good use of the abilities that reduce the number of attack dice available to their opponents. (Ed: Which would have been less effective with units of 12 rather than 16).
The battle raged back and forth with the Saxons keeping the upper hand while their unit sizes remained large. But similar to the first game the battle was hard fought, coming down to a fight with the Warlord. Although in the second battle Andy sent his Warlord to his doom against the last of Jeremey’s Saxon Fyrd, cutting down several before being overcome.
Counterattack at Deir el Tarfa, by Alan
In the summer of 1942, following its victory at Gazala, Panzerarmee Afrika pursued the British 8th army into Egypt. Rommel’s first attempt to break 8th Army’s lines failed in July, but by the end of August he was prepared to mount one last major offensive. German and Italian armor turned the Allied left flank almost 90 degrees and drove deep into Allied positions. On the evening of 31 August the 15th Panzer division began an assault on Alam-el-Halfa Ridge while the 21st Panzer division protected its exposed left flank.
The latter, however, suddenly found itself under counterattack by the British 22nd and 23rd armoured brigades. Eighth Army’s new commander, Bernard Montgomery, had held these units in reserve for precisely this contingency.
Our game focussed on the fight between the two British armoured brigades and 21st Panzer which was supported by elements of the Italian Littorio Division.
An initial advance by the British held most of 21st Panzer between the Deir el Tarfa and Deir el Agram ridges and an intense tank battle ensued. But the Italians swept around the British right flank and managed to seize one of the objectives. With the tank battle see-sawing between the British and German forces the Italian held objective became the key to the engagement. Despite several British counterattacks on the position the Italians held on.
The last British infantry assault almost succeeded but couldn’t quite take the position. So as night fell the engagement went to the Axis but with supplies running low they were forced to pull out overnight.
The game was played using the Rommel rule set by Sam Mustafa and using 3mm models from Oddzial Osmy.
Zona Alfa, by John and Tony
I decided to run a 4 mission mini campaign to introduce a new player (Tony) to the rules. Tony would have to recover salvage to generate funds to enable retirement from the zone whilst achieving the objectives from the mission. This is done by searching Hotspots of which there are five and the objective. A triggered Hotspot is guarded by Zone Hostiles, these can be of 6 types, the type and distance from the Hotspot being determine by Dice. Those Zone Hostiles with Melee capability head for the nearest member of the crew, those with ranged combat capability will head for cover then shoot at the nearest member of the crew. The missions were linked so that achieving an objective allows the player to proceed with the following mission.
Tony’s first job was to pick a 4 person Veteran crew from my collection and kit them out ready for action.
Mission 1. Disaster at Kovgorod.
A patrol has been lost in the Exclusion Zone. The last signal has been tracked from their APC to Kovgorod so that’s where the crew are headed. As they approach the village, they spot the disabled APC but a pack of Zombies has beaten them to it attracted by the smell of Blood.
Tony did well in this game and was well on his way to the retirement fund target after just one game. What could possibly go wrong?
Mission 2. The Prisoner at Bunker C13
After completing the mission, the crew recover a map with a bunker highlighted. There were four dead bodies in the APC, the map revealed the location of the fifth member of the patrol. Here Tony got into trouble with Bandits. One party of Bandits had been triggered before the start of the mission and a second entered on table as Tony triggered a hotspot. Caught in a crossfire his Leader was killed early on the mission and when deciding to head for the objective, he found that these were also guarded by Bandits. Using smoke to blindside this group of Bandits, the crew were able to move out of Line of Sight, rescue the prisoner and make it out. The objective had been achieved but at a high price.
Mission 3. Road Block at Strabants Crossing
The Prisoner from the bunker had recovered and told the crew about a Laboratory hidden deep in the forest so after reequipping that’s where they were headed until they found the track blocked with a party of bandits lying in wait. This time they were dealt with clinically, as were a swarm of zombies headed for them.
A satchel charge was laid and the roadblock cleared at the second attempt. Another hotspot was triggered and a gaggle of ghouls were stopped in the nick of time. Things were heating up as another hotspot was triggered and a pack of wild mutant dogs clambered over the APC to attack one of the crew members stationed on its roof.
A desperate fight saw all dogs killed and as the PC was refuelled from the diesel tank, the crew were able to make good their escape.
Mission 4. The Hidden laboratory.
With no time to replenish the supplies, Tony’s crew appeared in good shape. The retirement fund had almost been achieved and now all that was needed was a top up and recovery of the drugs caches hidden in the lab – piece of cake, except at the start of each turn a D10 was rolled. If this result added to the turn number was more than 10 a zone event would occur the following move. The crew moved quickly to the lab and whilst the first zone event, a swarm of irradiated insects was easily avoided, the second – a zone security patrol was a different proposition and two of the crew were wounded in a protracted fire fight whilst the lab was being searched. With the security patrol eliminated and the drugs collected, it was time to head back to the APC, just as a terrifying Alpha Mutant entered the arena.
Unable to take on this monster one crew member bravely fought it as the rest of the crew fled. Finally succumbing to the vicious attacks of the Mutant, she had bought vital time for the rest of the crew as they just made it back to the APC before another Zone Patrol entered the area.
It had been a rollercoaster Zone Run with plenty of tactical decisions to make, with some jeopardy and the result hanging in the balance until the final stages of the final mission.
Lord of the Rings
Tony and Phil staged this game, they each sent reports, Tony’s first:
We played two Lord of the Rings games, both involving Mumaks. The first involved a group of Knights of Dol Amroth supported by some Gondorian archers attempting to take down a single beast. This all went horribly wrong for the good guys early on when Phil started shooting my knights from their saddles with archers from the howdah, much against the odds – he is not renowned for rolling sixes when it matters !
Prince Imrahil did his best to tackle the beast single-handedly but in the end was only ever one failed priority roll from being trampled, as he duly was…
The second game didn’t show any improvement (Ed.: If you can’t kill one Mumak in the first game then of course you should have two in the second game!)- this time we played a scenario in Ithilien (similar to a scene in the films) with Faramir’s Rangers ambushing an advancing group of Haradrim.
My plan was to wound the Mumaks, hope it panicked them (as happened on screen) and defeat them that way – trying to just pick them off with arrows was never going to work.
I managed to inflict some wounds on Eric’s overgrown pachyderm but it simply shrugged them off, and they simply marched on by, killing Denethor’s second son on the way.
Finally, Phil’s somewhat shorter report:
“Phil in shock double LOTR victories”
It should be noted that Phil deliberately stomped on a couple of his own spearman to get to the Dol Amroth chaps.
I start off by washing the figures in warm soapy water, to remove any mould release agent, then rinse and dry them.
For 28mm infantry I standardise on 2p coins for the bases. I can then use them individually for games like SAGA or Lion Rampant, or on sabot trays for games like Dux Bellorum.
So once cut from the sprues and any mould lined removed with a scalpel and file the figures were stuck to their bases using a general-purpose adhesive, like Bostick.
Some of the figures have their left arms as part of the torso, others have them as separate pieces. I then assembled the figures using liquid polystyrene cement, except for the shields. I leave the shields off to make it easier to paint the left arm and chest. I do keep a shield handy to check the position of the left arm against the position of the right arm and spear during assembly.
I didn’t have quite enough heads with helmets for the 16 (I had previously used some on some unarmoured bodies) so a couple of the figures had bare heads from the Dark Ages Warriors box. The bases were then built up with Polyfilla.
I then undercoated the figures with grey car primer spray.
Most of the paints I use are Vallejo Model Colour, exceptions are mainly Army Painter (AP) washes and inks.
First off, I painted any areas of mail matt black, followed by dry-brushed Gunmetal Grey. Spear tips and helmets were painted the same colour. Next the faces, necks and hands were base coated Brown Sand.
Skin was the painted Medium Flesh Tone.
Now to start with the systematic randomisation of colours for the clothing. I arranged the figures into as near a rectangular formation as possible, in this case the 16 figures simply went into four ranks of four files.
I then painted the figure’s trousers by file:
Light Brown (A, E, I, M)
Chocolate Brown (B, F, J, N)
AP Dark Stone (C, G, K, O)
Basalt Grey (D, H, L, P)
Then the tunics by rank:
Grey Blue (A, B, C, D)
Deep Green (E, F, G, H)
Red (I, J, K, L)
Mahogany Brown (M, N, O, P)
If I had been painting lower status troops, I would have used the same colours overall for tunic and trousers, but added an additional colour to the tunic mix to avoid having the tunic and trousers the same colour on any individual figure.
Next were the leggings, in diagonal lines top left to bottom right
Buff (A, F, K, P)
Pale Sand (B, G, L, M)
Beige (C, H, I, N)
Deck Tan (D, E, J, O)
Next is the leatherwork. Belts, pouches and scabbard in diagonal lines from top right to bottom left, I used the same colours for the figure’s boots in a semi random order.
German Cam Black Brown. Belts etc: (A, H, K, N) Boots: (D, F, I, O)
All leggings and figures with Tan Yellow or Brown Sand hair was washed with AP Light Tone wash.
The bases were then finished with green basetex.
Having finished the figures, I moved on to the shields.
These were cleaned up in the same way as the figures, then undercoated black on the backs and white on the front. I use white on the fronts as I was going to use shield transfers rather than painting the designs.
I then drybrushed the back of the shields with Beige Brown and painted the shield bosses Gunmetal Grey while still on the sprues.
Little Big Men Studios decals have a hole for the shield boss already cut out, but the Battle Flag decals don’t, you have to cut those yourself.
I did have some issues with some of the LBMS decals, I couldn’t peel the plastic cover off to expose the self-adhesive surface. After ruining a few of the decals I ended up gluing them to the shield complete with the plastic layer using PVA glue. I haven’t had that problem before, so I wonder if it’s because these are fairly old, 3-4 years maybe? I didn’t have any problems with the Battle Flag decals.
Once the decals had dried, I painted the shield rims with Japanese Uniform to represent the leather edging. Once this was dry, I then cut the shields from the sprues, tidied up the edges with more Japanese Uniform.
The astute among you will notice there are 20 shields, but only 16 figures, the extras will be used as battlefield markers: Fatigue in SAGA, Battered in Lion Rampant, or Leadership Points in Dux Bellorum.
It’s never a good idea to glue painted articles together, paint to paint bonds aren’t strong, so I used a file to remove the paint from the contact points and then used liquid polystyrene cement to glue the shields in place.
The figures were then given a coat of spray matt varnish.
Here they are, 16 figures, making up 4 points of SAGA Hearthguard, a unit of Lion Rampant Sergeants with four figures left over or 2 units of Dux Bellorum Noble Shieldwall:
The guy on the left of the front rank has a painted shield (Green and Light Blue) from my stash of spare shields rather than one of the shields I did in this session.
So, that’s my method for painting irregulars in a systematic way.
Here is the third and final instalment of Andy’s recently finished Dark Ages figures.
Above we have four figures from Westwind Productions DS04 Character pack, comprising (left to right) Arthur, a Bishop, Merlin and Owain.
The pack came with a selection of heads and shields for Arthur and Owain however, at some point in the painting process (interrupted by Christmas when I had to clear my painting table) I lost the shields. So Owain now has a spare Saxon shield and, as I used a Romano-British looking head for Arthur, I gave him a Late Roman shield, both from Gripping Beast Plastics.
Paints are primarily Vallejo acrylics over a grey primer finished off with Army Painter washes. Arthur and Owain’s shields were painted white and finished with Battle Flag or Little Big Men Studios transfers.
The last four figures from this batch are from a variety of manufacturers.
I’m not sure where the figure on the left came from, Irregular or Lamming perhaps? The figure was originally unarmed, so I drilled out his right hand and fitted an axe from the spares box. If I need him to fill out a unit I may give him a shield.
Next in line is a bard or skald from Ral Partha Europe, he’s playing a harp of some form.
The figures were cleaned of any mould lines and washed in soapy water to remove any residual mould release agent and dried. The oxen, cart driver and boy were fixed to temporary bases for painting, the others were fixed to 2p pieces and the bases built up with 4Ground base render. All were then primed with grey car primer.
The oxen were given a couple of coats of Vallejo Pale Sand, then the upper parts of the body were painted Dark Sand and heavily washed with Army Painter Light Tone Wash. Eyes were painted German Camouflage Black Brown, and the horns Deck Tan.
The figures skin was painted with a base coat of Vallejo Brown Sand and then Medium Flesh with a selection of browns, greys and beiges for the clothes, one of the women has a Golden Yellow dress, the other English Uniform Brown. Both have Silver and/or Bronze necklaces. Finally the figure’s bases were given a coat of green Basetex.
Once assembled the cart was painted Green Brown and washed with AP Dark Tone.
The cart, oxen and the boy were fixed to a 60mm wide by 120mm deep carboard base and the area around the oxen’s bases built up with 4Ground base render followed by a coat of green Basetex over the entire base. I then used some brown cotton to add harness ropes to the cart.
The second part of this instalment is a pack of 4 Gripping Beast Shepherds & Stockmen painted in the same way as the cart crew.
One of the Dark Ages rulesets I use (Dux Bellorum) allows some armies to have a unit of Monks to provide spiritual support to the rank and file. They may also be used as the less combatant targets of Viking raids under other rules.
All paints are Vallejo unless stated otherwise. The monks’ habits are English Uniform, with an Army Painter Mid Brown Wash. The under tunics (where relevant) are Khaki Grey and the Scapular White. Black and various shades of brown were used for their hair (what’s left of it).
The rope on the cross and monks belts are German Camouflage Beige.
The Abbott gets a nice AP Crystal Blue waistband and has some silver metalwork on his crook (Vikings may like those). The preaching monk’s bible has a Chocolate Brown cover and Pale Sand pages.