Wednesday 26 February 2020

6mm Austrian cavalry artillery

While I am finding the painting process for these chaps painfully slow (all those cuffs, collars, turnbacks and cross belts!), I am enjoying the results. Here are my two batteries of Austrian cavalry artillery - complete with little benches for the gunners to ride on. Like the rest of the Baccus 6mm Austrian range, these are wonderful sculpts.

I can now do a decent sized vanguard division (60 points worth), but I will wait on the flag for the Bohemians before putting them all together. ­čśĆ

Saturday 22 February 2020

More 6mm Hussars! Huzzar!

Painted in such an ambiguous way as to represent the 3rd (Erzherzhog Ferdinand Carl d'Este), 7th (Lichtenstein), or 10th (Stipsicz) Hussars - all wore blue uniforms with green shakos - here are my second unit of Hussars for my Austrian vangaurd division. 

Thursday 20 February 2020

6mm Austrian J├Ąger for Bataille Empire

The Imperial and Royal Army of Emperor Francis II continues to gather, albeit slowly. Here is a battalion of elite j├Ąger to lead my vanguard.

Admittedly, this photo was taken accidentally while trying to get a good angle to see the detail on the tiny Baccus 6mm j├Ągers, but it does rather give a good sense of their size...

Wednesday 19 February 2020

Jurassic Coast: PD: Pulp goes underwater

Another missive from Mark in Thailand:

Hi all

I wanted to see if Nic Wright’s Pulp draft expansion for his Palaeo Diet: Eat or be Eaten could be used for underwater hunting tours, with no or minimal modification. So here goes.


Our party of adventurers are Eden & Lucifer Hardlove (the formerly conjoined twins), Jacques Cousteau the renowned French aeronaut who has made all those daring ascents in balloons, and Nigel Marvin (Google him) who is the tour guide. Here they are in a commemorative photo, after being dropped off by the Utterley-Barking Time Tours submersible.

It will be back to bring them home after 10 Turns, before their air (and possibly their luck) runs out.

The game will be played on a 900x900mm table, shown below. Note the wildlife. At top L a Liopleurodon (King carnivore). At top R 2x generic sharks of the era (pack predators). At lower R: 2x plesiosaurs (Great herbivores). At lower L: a small but aggressive plesiosaur (raptor) and a giant starfish (qv).

Here are the mods to the PDEE Pulp rules that will be used:
  1. Although most of the terrain is alive, and some is potentially dangerous to the adventurers (eg the large anemone at Centre L) it is all treated as inert, and impassable.
  2. Adventurers can travel only on the seabed, no free-swimming.
  3. Beasts can be at low or high level (represented by different height stands). At high level they can travel over terrain but cannot attack hunters and cannot be attacked. It takes a reaction to change level up or down.
  4. Adventurer weapons: a glaive (The Hardlove twins) counts as a Club. A spear gun (Cousteau, Marvin) counts as a rifle and can shoot up to high level.
  5. The giant starfish is an beast that cannot be wounded or killed, and has a permanent Predate reaction that senses blood anywhere on the table (but S not M movement). For some reason it is attracted only to dead and wounded adventurers. Any such in contact is immediately ingested.

In accordance with their tour plan, the Adventurers aim to (1) visit each quarter of the tabletop, and (2) bag a marine reptile. They have decided to do the visiting first, and see what relatively less dangerous beast might present itself for slaughter.

They advanced cautiously towards the centre of the table, mostly sticking close together, although Marvin fell behind a bit. A nearby Plesiosaur moved away, another continued grazing on jellyfish. They continued forward. Marvin was still behind the others, apparently having trouble with his breather, but the others pushed on. The Hardloves paused to allow Marvin time to catch up, as a Liopleurodon and a couple of mean-looking sharks circled in the water above. But Cousteau, on spotting the sharks, threw away caution and opened fire. He missed. The nearer shark moved to attack, coming down to low level. Marvin then took a shot, also missing, alarming the shark which turned away and moved back up to high level.

As Turn 3 came up, the adventurers agreed that for the moment they would eschew further investigation of table Q1 (until the Liopleurodon moved on) and see if they could bag a shark. Cousteau fired ... and missed ...  no beast reaction (rolled predate but no wounded or dead objectives). He fired again ... hit the shark, it moved to attack, descending to low level. Lucifer Hardlove now moved up to the attacking shark to spear (club) it. As he closed in the beast showed its teeth (roared). Lucifer faltered, but the Hardloves are made of stern stuff and he pressed on (passed all his die rolls), and smote the shark mightily, killing it with a second wound.

This moment was captured by the camera drone recording the tour. Cousteau, who contributed the first wound, is second from Right.

The other shark came to check out the kill (predate reaction), moving down to low level. 

As Turn 4 comes along, the adventurers hold a quick conference (they have excellent LOS underwater radios). Marvin urges caution, but the paying customers have seen blood and want more. They will take on the second shark. How hard could it be?

Cousteau moves forward slightly to get a better shot (move into range) and wounds the beast. It attacks Lucifer Hardlove, who is closest, but is fended off. Then Lucifer attacks, but doesn’t hit the shark, which attacks him again, and is fended off again! This is desperate stuff. Lucifer attacks again, this time causing a second wound and finishing off the shark.

There is no stopping them now. Eden Hardlove, the only who doesn’t have a kill, decides he will take on the Liopleurodon, and Lucifer and Cousteau, overconfident, agree to come along. Marvin follows, realising he’ll probably have to rescue them sooner rather than later.

So in Turn 5 the adventurers start stalking the Liopleurodon. Here they go ... 

This photo shows the end of turn situation. Cousteau has inflicted a shooting wound on the monster, but the adventurers have mostly been sent scurrying back to their starting points by its threatening behaviour (roar), even though it has stayed up at high level and moved off a bit (alarmed).

In turn 6 the hunt continued. The adventurers plan is to use the same technique that accounted for both sharks: use speargun shooting to bring the beast down to low level, then finish it off with glaives.

Cousteau and Marvin both took shots but failed to hit, or cause any useful reaction. Eden Hardlove, fearing he was never going to get any action, broke ranks and moved closer. The beast obliged with a Lunge reaction, coming down to low level. The next photo shows the beast confronting Eden. In the background L-R: Lucifer Hardlove, Jaques Cousteau, Nigel Marvin.
It’s Turn 7 now, the last turn available before it’ll be necessary to head back to the rendezvous with the submersible. 

Eden Hardlove fails an activation and the Liopleurodon lunges at him, somehow missing.  Eden attacks, wounding the beast. It fights back, missing again. Eden attacks again, but misses this time, and the beast shows its teeth (roars) and Eden backs cautiously away. Next, Lucifer gambles and wins on three activations. He moves towards the beast, which attacks him causing a wound. Nearby the giant starfish sniffs the currents ... Lucifer attacks, causing the beast another (third) wound. It shows its teeth again (roars) but Lucifer isn’t impressed (passes all die rolls), and attacks again but misses. Just as he thinks he’s OK the liopleurodon shows why it’s apex predator of the Jurassic Coast: a snap of the jaws and Lucifer is gone. Well, is upper half is gone. The bottom half remains as a predation point.

Horrified, Cousteau and Marvin take their shots. Marvin places an aimed shot and causes another (fourth) hit. The beast attacks, targetting Eden Hardlove who is closest, wounding him. Cousteau also tries an aimed shot, and gets another (fifth) hit. The beast, probably terminally wounded, moves away (up to high level).

Note to self: make some “blood in the water” clouds from cotton wool for dramatic effect.
Turn 8, and the adventurers have a dilemma. One more hit on the Liopleurodon will finish it, and no-one has ever bagged one of these beasts before. But unless they make tracks, they may miss the submersible rendezvous, and their air supply is not forever.

Reluctantly, they abandon the remains of Lucifer Hardlove to the encroaching giant starfish, and ... but wait, we’re not done yet. Nigel Marvin fails all 3 activation dice. The only beast interested is the aggressive little plesiosaur lurking near the barnacle reef, and it attacks him (being already at low level). And causes a wound.

Turn 9, and the little plesiosaur attacks again as Marvin rolls another failure, and he is wounded again and killed! He never got an opportunity to fight back. Possibly the beast disabled his breather gear in its first attack - the Official Enquiry will be checking the drone footage about that. The next photo shows this tragic incident, and also the giant starfish nearly at its lunch.

In Turn 10 the two surviving hunters, Jacques Cousteau and the wounded Eden Hardlove, meet the returning submarine and will soon be back in their own time. They have achieved the objectives of the tour (visited each table quarter - or at least been in each quarter - and bagged a beast, in fact two) plus almost knocking off a Liopleurodon. But two members have been killed, a paying customer (never a good look) and an experienced tour guide (hard to replace). So a mixed result at best.

Monday 10 February 2020

Hungarian 4th (Von Vecsey/Hessen Homburg) Hussars - writ small

I've been much distracted, but have finally managed to get another unit painted for my Bataille Empire Austrian corp. Unlike the large lumbering unit of Bohemian landwehr I painted last, this time I went with a plucky, punchy little unit of Hungarian hussars to join my vanguard division. I ensured a historically accurate order of battle for my division by asking my family which uniforms they liked best. The result - the 4th hussars, AKA the most colourful unit they could find! The figures are Baccus 6mm, and they are simply splendid! 

Saturday 8 February 2020

Snatch-and-run with Palaeo Diet: Pulp

My wee lad and I got in a quick game of Palaeo Diet: Pulp this weekend, using my 15mm sci-fi collections. We played a variant of a scenario that will appear in the book (due very soon) - re-skinned of course for a more space operatic look.

The transporter dropped the Imperial fire-team in a open landing space in the vicinity of a space pirate safe holdout. The team consisted of a commander with a pistol, two troopers with SMGs, and a sniper with a rifle.

The target of their snatch-and-run mission was a droid containing valuable intel that had fallen into the pirates' hands. It was guarded by a mystic space wizard and a variety of space scum and villainy.

The stage was set, and the dice were rolled. 

The two SMG-armed troopers opted to move straight towards the centre of the board, where they engaged in a brutal fire-fight with two pirates. On of the troopers was almost immediately gunned down, while only one of the pirates took a hit.

The commander and sniper managed to scale the flanking building and fired down from the rooftop. One of the pirates was dropped, while his wounded companion started to back away. After exchanging shots with the other SMG-armed trooper, the wounded pirate was killed, but the trooper took a wound himself.

With support from the sniper on the roof, the commander and wounded trooper pushed forward. What was supposed to be a routine extraction mission was getting messy. A lumbering hairy pirate tried to stop their advance, but despite firing several shots with his shotgun, failed to mark the Imperials before being killed himself.

From round the corner of the building, another pirate started to blaze away with her shotgun. This time, the commander took two consecutive hits and fell to the ground. The sniper was also hit by one of her shots, but managed to place a hit on her in return and she was finished off by the wounded trooper.

All of the bloodshed had caused the other pirates to fall back away from the droid. The sniper risked a dash forward, activated the droid, and then started to withdraw. However, the space wizard watched the sniper's bold move incredulously, and summoned another of his minions (a power-claw armed space dwarf!) who emerged from a doorway right next to the sniper.

Preferring discretion to valour - and the high chance of becoming a statistic - the sniper legged it. Both the sniper and the trooper, wounded as they were, managed to get back to the extraction point with the droid and were airlifted off-world. 

The mission was technically a success, but someone will now have to write a couple of letters to the parents of the two Imperials left behind.

I need more chariot based puns - more 6mm Bronze Age L'Art de la Guerre

At the start of the month, Andrew and I met up with Tim for another Egyptian-Minoan grudge match.  This time, Timhotep commanded one of Andrewhotep's Egyptian divisions - all the while whispering foul suggestions in the guileless Pharaoh's ear.

The two forces lined up across a vast open plain, only a single gentle hill and a few fields offering any sort of distraction. As the defender, the Minoans plonked their army between one of the fields and the hill. On the left was the heavy spearmen division, curiously missing a couple of their light infantry screen (hidden in ambush in the field). The center was composed of the heavy chariot division, with their medium spear supports on their right, and beyond the medium spear was a tiny allied Myrmidon division. Opposite the heavy spearmen, pharaoh deployed six units of Egyptian chariots in two groups, the Egyptian centre consisted of all of the Sea Peoples Pharaoh could scrape off the beach, while opposite the Myrmidons was a vast array of Egyptian medium foot - a mixture of bow, axemen, and spearmen.

The armies closed as quickly as their dared - the Minoans hoping to maximise the damage against Sea People's swordsmen with a chariot charge as soon as possible; the Egyptians seeking to use their much faster flanks to carry out encircling maneuvres. Happily, the ambush markers in the fields to either flank prevented any immediate threat to the Minoan flanks.

As the outermost Egyptian chariot division approached the field on the Minoan left, the ambush of Cretan slingers was sprung. Safe among the furrows, the slingers were more than ready for a shoot out with the bow-armed chariots. What could possibly go wrong?

In the centre, the lines kept closing. The Minoan skirmishers were having a bit of an off day, but the match ups still looked promising. Andrewhotep has discovered that my force marching his heavy impetuous swordsmen twice in turn one, but only moving his medium impetuous swordsmen once, he can get them to line up again at the end of turn two presuming both groups move once... He likes his lines. I would have rathered he was a bit more disorganised.

The massed Egyptian infantry discovered that the threat of an ambush in the fields to their front was as empty as a pharaoh's tomb a year after burial. They surged into the fields and were charged instead by the brave Myrmidons. The Myrmidon medium swordsmen had all the trimmings - impact, armour, elite - but there weren't a whole lot of them.

The centres crunched together. Faced with the heavy Minoan chariots, the Sea Peoples swordsmen, even the medium swordsmen, put on their angry faces and raised their shields. The great wave of destruction failed to materialise, and the chariot charge was stalled. The Minoan skirmishers managed to do a little damage to the Egyptian chariots in front of the spearwall, but the canny charioteers refused to charge home and instead exchanged insults and the occasional arrow with the doughty Minoan spearmen.

Over in the ambush field, the Egyptian chariots redeployed from column into line and were comfortably getting the better of the Minoan slingers.

The Egyptian infantry began to engulf the Myrmidon command wholesale. The Myrmidons were only supposed to hold them up for a turn or two while the heavy chariots destroyed the Egyptian centre. While the centres continued to grind into each other, the Myrmidons felt the heat.

Slowly, but ever so surely, the Egyptian numbers began to bear and the Myrmidon flank was turned.
In the centre, far from being crushed under hoof, the Sea Peoples division was tearing holes in the Egyptian line. A heavy chariot unit and a block of heavy spearmen were routed, and despite the Minoan's being able to attack the pursuing units of Sea People's in the flank, it was cold comfort.

The Minoan spearwall surged forward and charged the Egyptian chariots, whose arrows were starting to bite. The chariotry evaded, but the charge achieved little beyond a temporary respite from arrows. In the centre, the battle between the heavy chariots and the Sea Peoples began to go in favour of the Minoans. Cracks were forming in the Egyptian line and the flood of cranky Minoans was waitng to push through.

In the end, it was all a bit too little, too late. The Egyptians were mauled, but the Minoan lines were ripped to pieces. The battle ended with a pretty decisive Egyptian victory with the Minoans at 25/25 breakpoints, and the Egyptians hovering somewhere around 17/23. Well played gentlemen. Well played.