Monday 31 July 2017

Sabine, Der kleine Husar

Although officially denied, it is not unusual to find the spirited young wife of a certain senior hussar officer in the company of Lucky Fuchs. So much has her presence become common place, that Fuch’s jäger have come to embrace her as something of a mascot.

Sabine is an old Old Glory USA figure from one of the French Marshals packs - no longer available from Old Glory (USA or UK). She is supposed to be a mistress for one of the officers. Happily, Mark in Perth (WA, not Scotland) has a spare one on his lead pile and, several emails later, here she is.

I know her shako is very French looking, but I figured a lady hussar could wear what she liked. I did a little research into 1806 hussar regiments and it looks like one of the only (the only) Prussian hussars in shakos at that stage were Gettkandt's regiment. Dark green pelisse, light green jacket, white or buff trousers with green overalls. Lots of silver lace. 

In our games, I will be using Sabine as a support option, treating her as a holy woman. That way she can follow along beside Fuchs until the lads are under pressure, then step forward, remove their shock, and encourage them to great deeds!

Sunday 30 July 2017

Elysium Trading Corp.TM in action

The Elysium Trading Corp.TM got their first outing last night in a three-way Horizon Wars clash. We played 12 force points each, four turns, attempting to secure the wreckage of the fallen super heavy mech in the center of the table. Opposed to my ETC Pegasus Force was Brett's battle group built around a P5 super heavy tank with combined arms support, and a third force under JB consisting of four P3 planes.

JB lost a plane early in his first turn and thereafter, learned how to use them properly...

By the start of turn four Brett and I had drummed each other silly, with my ETC marginally getting the better of it. The super heavy tank was finished off by a sneaky shot from IRN Mech through the wreckage of the objective. I raced my airborne section to the objective and they dug in around the legs. Then at the end of the final turn, the planes came back. When we went to recover their bodies, all we found of the poor bastards from the airborne section were their boots...

So a tactical win for JB - he denied either of us the objective. But with no ground assets, he couldn't claim it himself. The ETC were in the best position to do so, but were too bloodied to be able to hold the position and were forced to withdraw.

A great game, and worked really well as a three-way battle. Also splendidn to see aircraft being used to their potential.

Saturday 29 July 2017

Imperium Turbae: Mob Violence in Late Republican Rome

I came across this again the other day and thought to link to it here as some useful background reading for anyone looking for inspiration for Song of Shadows and Dust games/campaigns.

Imperium Turbae: Mob Violence in Late Republican Rome

That is all. Carry on.

Saturday 22 July 2017

Prehistoric lady hunter

Most of us have an image that comes to mind when we hear the words 'caveman' and 'woman'.

Whether it's Raquel Welch, Daryl Hannah, or Camilla Belle, the lady in question is generally... well... pretty easy on the eyes. I'm afraid the first female to join my hunting party is a bit more like Wilma...

Wilma the Spanish Neanderthal, reconstructed by Becky Hale

Despite my other misgivings, it should be clear that I really like the Flytrap Factory 20mm cavemen, and have been using them as the basis of my hunting party. The problem is, Flytrap Factory clearly have very fixed ideas about the role of women as none of their hunters, in 20mm or in the 28mm line, are of the fairer sex. As there are no other ranges that really match the comically caricatured features of the Flytrap cavies, I decided to have a go myself and convert on of the duplicate hunters I was sent.

I started with this hirsute chap, using a small file to remove his beard, moustache and sideburns. I didn't think I would be able to manage rebuilding her nose and brows, so she was going to be stuck with them.

Then I got to  work with the Milliput. This conversion marking only the third tome I have used it. She had her chin rebuilt and pouty lips added. I tried to add some hair in front of her ears to cover up the mess left behind after the filing, some more at the back behind her bun, and rebuilt her left ear. Then, of course, boobies. Due to the overall proportions of the base model, I made them ample, is unsupported, and kept them very much G rated.

The undercoating showed just how rough the file left the face... But, at the end of the day, nothing that thickly applied paint couldn't fix. Below you can see Mrs Cavie next to Bow, my existing conversion of the same base model. I know that she is not the most feminine of miniatures, but I'm kinda proud of how well she turned out. Judge for yourself, but I think that if you didn't know, you wouldn't immediately think that these two were the same figure. No she just needs a name. Leading contenders are Frygg, Girt, Oooh or Shrub. We wont know until she starts to be played. Then the natural name will settle.

Tuesday 18 July 2017

Hetairoi's hunting adventures

Edu over at Hetairoi Wargames has posted reports on his first couple of Palaeo Diet games on his blog.

Do go and see how his hunters got on with the Vanilla Skies scenario and The Power of One.

Saturday 15 July 2017

Footprints in the dust

With Palaeo Diet: Eat or be Eaten in a nice stable form, we had another play around, porting the PDEE mechanics over to a different setting, this time, a group of thieves attempting to steal from a Roman diplomat in 1st century BC Syria.

Our thieves had to enter a settlement around a rural shrine...

And pinch the bag of silver from the togate gentleman with the blonde hair. 

Then they had to escape back through the crowded market place.

Or that was the plan. It turns out that the PDEE AI mechanic which works wonders with animals, is much harder to apply to the nuances of civilians, thugs and militia. Without coming close to exploring all options, we did never the less nut out various working mechanics and talk, at length, about how NPC humans would react to someone calling out in alarm etc. In the end, 2am came sooner than a completed game...

It was an interesting exercise and might be a project worth coming back to. What it certainly did, was make us want to play a lot more Song of Shadows and Dust!

Palaeo Diet bloodbath

Palaeo Diet: Eat or be Eaten has been formatted and is currently receiving a much-needed proof read. This week we messed around with a little hunt, keeping going long after our hunters had satisfied their bellies, just to see what happened. In short, it was a bit of a bloodbath.

The layout o f the table, four hills and two patches of tricky going. Three mammoths and two boar in the center of the table. We had two groups hunters (Snogg, Dogg, Rarr and Bow top left, Ogg Idd, Herc and Tark bottom right), each consisting of a spearman with a hound, an archer and a clubman.
The early turns saw our intrepid ancestors trying to get into position. For a tribal victory we needed to secure six bulk worth of meat (i.e. kill two mammoths, or one mammoth and and a pig). Critters, should they be flushed out of terrain, would also make a welcome contribution to the tribal feed.

By the end of the first turn, Bow and Snogg, in an uncharacteristic show of team work, had already taken down one boar. By turn two, there was also a nice tasty bunny (brought down by Snogg!) to add to the pot. It looked like it was going to be a short hunt.

Herc managed to get way too close to various mammoths at various times, although they usually moved off, or trumpeted and scared him off, before he had a chance to swing his club.

Ogg wasn't so lucky. He only met one mammoth...

Herc finally landed a blow or two against one of the woolly pachyderms, while Snogg took on his second boar for the hunt. I mean, we didn't need it, but why not... the boar was there.

 Finally sick of being clobbered and stuck with arrows (from both Bow and Tark), the wounded mammoth turns on Herc and brings him crashing down. Meanwhile, someone Bow took down a second rabbit.

 It then turned and charged at Tark who was squatting at the brow of a hill...

Before turning back and charging Rarr, making contact with him, but not quite managing to insert a tusk anywhere uncomfortable. With a tremendous effort, Rarr landed a final blow, bringing the mammoth down.

Here we see the surviving hunters and their huge haul of meat. Bow and Dogg were wounded, but Snogg, Rarr and Tark survived unscathed. Herc and Ogg will be remembered fondly by the tribe. In total, a mammoth, two boar and two bunnies brought in 10 bulk. More than enough to feed the four survivors, with plenty left over for the carrion eaters!

Monday 3 July 2017

Meet the hunting party!

From left to right: Urgg, Bow, Herc, Idd (the hound), Ogg, Fergg, Rarr, Tark, and Snogg
As we near the general release of Palaeo Diet: Eat or be Eaten, I thought I would take a moment to formally introduce the full hunting party that has been intensively hunting, gathering, and generally preyed upon during our end of the playtesting process. From left to right we have: Urgg, Bow, Herc, Idd (the hound), Ogg, Fergg, Rarr, Tark, and Snogg. All hunters are from Flytrap Factory; Bow, Herc, Fergg, Rarr and Tark are all minor conversions. The wee dog is from Black Cat Bases.

Hunting parties will normally have between two and eight members divided between the players. Each hunter chooses to carry a single tool type; either spears, a club, a bow or fire. Their chosen tool will very much impact on their approach to any given hunt. Any hunter may also be accompanied by a hound. Hounds activate in a similar way to hunters, but failed activation attempts will result in the hound disobeying instructions and (usually) being a nuisance.

Once players have a game or two under their belt, they can roll to randomly give one of more of their hunters a trait. The hunter may in fact be a gatherer, or a stalker - or perhaps they are lame or timid. Occasionally a hunting party may include a healer or a thinker; there are 18 traits in all. 

How will you put your hunting party together?