Saturday 29 April 2023

ProjectWürttemberg - Württemberg Foot Artillery

Another small diversion, and helping to break up all the green of the 3rd Brigade's light infantry, I've painted up a single battery of Württemberg Foot Artillery to give some long range support. The figures are all from Front Rank, sold by Gripping Beast, and a prouder officer was never sculpted! Together with the two light battalions and clever generalmajor, I can now muster an arguably not-quite-negligible 132 points worth of Württembergers for Black Powder.

Monday 24 April 2023

Famous Faces of Beerenburg, part 3

Halflings are the perfect antidote to the traumas of my other current project! Here are the next two characters for my Fantastic Battles halfling burghers army: the third meister, and a beer meisje.

The third and last of the planned captains for the army of Beerenburg, this halfling is one of the command pack characters from The Assault Group's (TAG) halfling range. He's certainly less well armoured than the other meisters in the army, but the determined look on his face and the casual way he rests the warhammer on his shoulder suggests he knows what he's about.

The beer meisje (barmaid) is from Reaper. She's a wonderful sculpt but, as sold, was about 4-5mm taller than my other halflings. Luckily, a quik amputation of her feet below the dress brought her down to size with little in the way of noticible issues. With her huge... pints of ale ... and sympathetic face, I plan to employ her as a second magic-user for the army. While the troubadour will focus on empowering spells to get the wee folk ready for combat, she will focus on bless spells, handing out refreshing pints to restore lost resolve.  

Sunday 23 April 2023

Burrow & Badgers campaign - 1) The affair of the Royal Borough

Our campaign for Burrows & Badgers got off to a smashing start this week with a three-player game matching my rogues, the Dirty Paws, against the rival royalist bands, the Special Animal Service (Andrew), and Force 8 and a half from Newtownards (Roger). 

The open battle took place in a contested royal borough/royal burrow. The Dirty Paws (bottom right (and in front of the burrow centre left) had been tasked to purge any magic-users they could find, and hoped to scavenge anything they could from the burrows while they were there. The SAS (top right) hoped to win the engagement by wearing down the enemy forces by attrition and, always showboating, orchestrate a showdown between warband leaders. Force 8.5 (far left) just wanted to defend their patch, and take and capture a few more burrows while their rivals were distracted.

The Dirty Paws began by setting up ambushes along the perimeter of their deployment area, while Robyn the fox, Gypsy the mouse, and Seren the bat all searched for loot in the burrow within their zone. Seren was lucky enough to find a haul, earning an experience point and a few pennies to boot. Confronted by such blatant opportunism, the SAS started a cautious advance to try to drive the rogues out of the area.

Unfortunately for the rogues, Force 8.5 had the same idea and send forward their badger leader and raven second, supported by a squirrel to add pressure on the Dirty Paw's forward position. Tibbot the mouse and Osgood the otter both attempted to ambush the royalists as they advanced, but sadly proved little but their need to spend more time practicing their archery. Osgood's ability to melt into the shadows kept him hidden, but the outlook for Tibbot was not so good.  

Back against the SAS, the had sent their magic-using nun forward to help sniff out the hidden rogues, when Old Broc broke cover and roundly clobbered her causing 15 wounds in a single hit. Sadly, Boc was then attacked in turn by Lady Briar, the royalist leader. Being out-numbered, Broc wasn't too happy, but the ensuing combat was far more brutal than he expected and he was taken out of combat in one assault.

Robyn Longtooth, leader of the Dirty Paws than launched himself at the wee mouse nun, taking such a bite that she was reduced to little more than pâté. However, now Robyn found himself in a less than ideal situation and the SAS's glorious beaver hove into view.

The fight was going poorly for the rogues and Robyn was taking a battering. Gypsy, the mouse battle dancer skipped out of cover to hamstring the beaver before he even got a hit in. Sadly for the Dirty Paws, it was not enough to save Robyn who was taken out by Lady Briar.

At this point, the Dirty Paws had achieved one objective outright, taking down the nun, and the SAS likewise were doing ok having removed the rogues' leader from the battle. However, Force 8.5 had not only an uncontested deployment area, but had also driven Osgood and Tibbot back from their forward position and thereby claimed three terrain pieces. The focus of the fight now shifted to stopping their advance. Osgood the otter was dispatched by the raven (at which point the rogues should have fled because Osgood was the warband's 2iC, but I forgot that bit at the time).

The hamstrung beaver went berserk, chasing after Gypsy who did her best to lead it towards the other royalist band. She ducked out of the way, leaving his free to charge the raven, but the initiative shifted...

Ant the raven went for the beaver instead, dispatching the furry fellow, only to then take a perfectly placed arrow from Tibbot in the back of his head, reducing him to 1 wound.

Emboldened by the turn of events, wee Seren the bat then flew at the raven, certain of the kill - only to roll a 1 against the raven's perfect block. However, Force 8.5 had had enough at this stage and bottled it, securing their secondary objectives, but technically leaving the SAS as the battle's victors.

The after-battle shenanigans would belie that victory. The wee mouse nun was unable to recover from being turned into pâté, and while several of the surviving members of the SAS gained experience advancements, they could not scrape together enough pennies to replace their magic-user.

Force 8.5 had better luck, earning a fiew advancements, finding a goodly lot of shiny pennies, and roughing up a wandering slaver who handed over a small beast as a bribe to allow him to carry on his journey.

The Dirty Paws had a cracking time of it. Beyond the loot found in the burrow and the bounty paid for killing the nun, they went on to find more loot in a well, make a tidy arrangement with a tame quartermaster and found a sunken treasure ship with a magical necklace of casting for Seren. In the end they landed an enormous pile of pennies allowing them to hire and arm a ferret - Sgian Dubh - as well as buying a magical double handed weapon of leeching (given to Old Broc). Robyn, suffered a hand injury, reducing his Strike, while Osgood's lacerated body means that he'll need time off to recover. Broc - who will act up as the warband's second next battle - was hardened by his injuries. As if he wasn't fearless enough already?

Friday 21 April 2023

ProjectWürttemberg - 1st and 2nd Battalions Württemberg Light Infantry

It has taken the better part of a year, but I'm delighted to have now completed both Württemberg light infantry battalions for our 1812 group project. 

To aid in differentiating the two units who wear more-or-less the same uniform, the 1st Battalion (with yellow metal) have been given warmer coloured campaign breeches, while the 2nd Battalion (with white metal) have cooler coloured breeches. 

Two small jäger battalions and some attached artillery, and the 3rd Brigade, 25th Division will be complete.

Thursday 20 April 2023

Zoidberg in trash armour

Flush with the success of his Zoidolorian earlier in the month, the wee lad has followed through and created a second sculpt with enough momentum to make most wargamers cry. 

Originally it was to be a rubbish bin/astro mech, but things got out of hand! The new creation, Zoidberg in trash armour, is again entirely his work. He sculpted and painted it entirely himself except for the Slurm writing on the can. 

Friday 14 April 2023

Something a little different? The Zoidolorian

I'm so chuffed with my wee lad - although he's not so wee anymore! He's been watching a lot of Futurama and the Mandolorian, enough to have sculpted himself a 28mm Zoidolorian! He then proceeded to paint him up with only a little guidance.

At only 12, I think he has done an amazing job! What a champion - can't wait to see what happens next.

Wednesday 12 April 2023

ProjectWürttemberg - 1st Battalion Light Infantry

Over Easter I managed to complete the first two companies of the 1st Battalion of Württemberg Light Infantry for our 1812 group project. All minis are Front Rank, now sold through Gripping Beast. This is very much a slow burning project, but after completing each wee bit, I always hope the momentum will build!

I've the other two companies sitting on the desk now to be painted, and two small jäger battalions and a light artillery piece on order to complete the Light Infantry (3rd) Brigade.

Tuesday 11 April 2023

Beerenberg takes the field - 28mm Fantastic Battles

Taking advantage of time off over Easter, I got in a game of Fantastic Battles with Jim who was good enough to tailor a small 650 point army of orcs to face off against the current state of my halfling burgher army on a 20u x 20u table (4' x 4'). 

The halflings of Beerenburg fielded (from left to right) two hackbut small artillery batteries, a small unit of urchin slingers commanded by a rogue, a three-company unit of skilled guild archers backed up by a magic-user and the warlord, a giant, and a single company of mounted burgers accompanied by a captain. 

Facing then were a reckless three-company unit wild orcs led by a captain, a four-company unit of archers, an elite four-company unit of spear-orcs with the orc warlord, and another reckless unit of wild orcs - this time four-companies strong, led by a magic-user.

During the Mishaps sequence, all orc units except the slower elite spearmen became enthusiastic and deployed further forward than expected. The halflings suffered no mishaps and prepared to receive the enemy.

On the orc left, the column of wild orcs led by the shaman advanced.

Keeping pace, the reckless wild orcs on the orc right did the same, receiving fire from the halfling hackbuts on the hill, and the skirmishing urchins (who had gone forward themselves, but now fell back before the orcish advance). The orc archers remained within range of the urchins, but beyond the bowshot of the halfling guild archers, waiting for the orc spearmen to catch up.

The shaman led his reckless orc column forward into the woods on the halfling right.

While on the halfling left, concentrated shooting from the hackbuts, slingers, and guild archers scattered the wild orcs before them and started concentrating their fire down the line, focusing next on the orc archers. Before his unit fled, the orc captain had jumped to join the archers, but now he realised that even that unit would not necessarily provide sanctuary.

The orc archers advanced under withering fire while the halfling warlord rallied the urchins of all their Resolve loss. Over in the woods, the orc shaman changed from column into line.

The halfling captain chose that moment to order her mounted burghers and giant into the orcs in the woods. The giant was empowered by the halfling mage, rolling a crushing 12 attack dice into the orcish flank. In order to protect the giant, the halfling captain asked a small swarm of rats to pop up between the giant and the ominous looking orc spears, but they emerged off to the right of the intended location. Not ideal, but no harm done.

The wild orcs in the woods held their nerve through the first combat but suffered heavy losses and failed to inflict any noticeable harm in return.

Over in the centre, the massed halfling shooting managed to scatter the orc archers before them - not without suffering Resolve loss in return. The orc captain had again left his unit ahead of their defeat, allowing them to flee around him. But the orc casualties were mounting and they only needed to lose one more company before the army broke.

In a last-ditch attempt to have a laugh, the orc captain single-handedly charged the slingers who stood to face him. Wielding the Blade of Unsurmountable Power, the captain managed to cause two Resolve loss on the skirmishers before he fell. Those two hits were enough to kill the poor halfling rogue attached to the unit.

To thwart any chance of an orcish moral victory, the halfling rats started gnawing into the flanks of the spearmen. The orcs quickly drove them away, but they were pinned for what turned out to be the essential turn ... 

... as over in the woods, the orcs finally broke and fled before the halfling burghers and their mercenary giant. With the loss of the large wild orc unit, the belly went out of the orc warlord and his army melted away.

This was a surprising victory for the halflings - I was expecting to be quickly overwhelmed by the much larger and more bellicose orc army. However, the orcs' piecemeal advance allowed the halflings to concentrate fire on one unit at a time. In addition, the units on both flanks of the orc line had the reckless trait meaning they were faster and fiercer, but had less resolve. As irregular companies, with defence 4+, that meant they were particularly fragile when faced with massed shooting or, as in the woods, where they were pinned in place with an attack against their flank. 

My thanks to Jim for a fun game and some great craic. Part of me thinks I should retire the Beerenburgers now, as they are unlikely to ever be quite so successful again!

Saturday 8 April 2023

Messing about with boats again

Life and work have been a little busier than usual over the last few weeks, so there's not been a lot of gaming, or painting completed. However, following a notion I've harboured for a while, I started pulling together the basic mechanics for a game of ancient naval warfare. I managed to corner JB last weekend and we set about messing about with boats.

We were only testing and tweaking the basic mechanics - activation, movement, combat, shooting, and balancing the risks and rewards of ramming, shearing oars and playing with fire etc. All in all, it seems to give smooth play, and satisfactory results. There's plenty more to test, and that's before you start introducing traits and tactical doctrines... Something to keep an eye on for the future.