Saturday, 8 November 2014

1/72nd Middle Earth: First completed formation

Hey all.
Well, it has been quite sometime since my first post, in which I showed off a single base of Rohan foot and three bases of generic rangers. I didn't really do very much with that project after that, up until quite recently. I decided that I was sick of just having that single lonely base of foot soldiers, and that it was time to paint up the rest of the formation. So, over the course of about a week and a half (which is about half a week longer than it took to do the first base) I've painted up five more bases of Rohan heavy foot.

The unit is depicted here in double column formation
I decided on six bases since it would allow me to use a fair range of formations for the unit, each of which will have their own strengths and weaknesses. I am slowly formulating a rules system in my head, but since I am still a very long way away from having two complete armies, I'm not really worrying about it.

Double line formation

Single line formation

Marching column formation
Staggered wide formation

Now that this formation is done, I've started (more slowly) on a unit of cavalry and a unit of archers. After the Rohan army is finished, I guess I will try to hunt down some plastic/metal orcs to start an evil army. I am also pondering what kind of models to use for Gondorians. Having considered Normans, Byzanties, Vikings and Saxons, I am leaning towards using Normans for the northern part of the population (possibly with conversions for the men of Dol Amroth) and Byzanties for the southern population (maybe mix them in with the forces of Umbar or Near Harad).
Elves and dwarves I anticipate will be more than a little bit of a problem for me, but I think I will have to just cross that bridge when I come to it.

WIP Rohan horses

WIP Rohan archers
So, that's about it. I'll make a new post once I get another formation done, or when I drift on to something else, as I often do. Until next time, cheers!

Thursday, 25 September 2014

Hello all, I'm back again with some images of the largest miniature I have ever owned. Yes, I now have an Oliphant added to my collection of 28mm LotR minis, purchased off a friend of my Dad's in exchanged for a force of 15mm Arabs I'd had for over 10 years. I was lucky enough to find that the grey giant had already had some paint slapped on, but most of it was too rushed looking even for my standards, so I have been slowly working my way around the behemoth for the past two months or so, and I must say that my desk looks a bit barren without it towering over everything.

Upon reflection, I probably should have taken a picture of the base before I glued the Oliphant on, as it really is the best part of the whole model, both in detail and in painting.

When it came to the Haradrim, I didn't want to go with the style presented on box art, or in the films. I did consider painting them as black Africans, but then realised that that would be silly considering their attire. I'm not really sure what cultural group they resemble, if any, since their skin is a kind of goldeny colour (professional term there), but it is still very white looking. I also put a high priority on avoiding them looking like they were wearing uniforms, not sure if I succeeded, but they look okay to me.

This last picture was done for a close up of the armour. Whilst the original design shows gold, I decided that would be beyond the means of simple peasants, so opted for a leather like design.
So, now that the Mamuk is done, I don't really have anything in particular to do on the hobby front. I have been fiddling around with a bunch of 'Space Troopers' I bought a while back, wondering if they might not make good Marine stand-ins for 40k. And of course I have also been doing a little more with my 1/72nd LotR stuff, as I would like to finally finish those two extra bases so that have a four base Rohan formation.

Anyway, stay tuned for more content as I have now entered upon two weeks of school holidays and while I'm not playing Halo with my friends, I should have a good deal of time on my hands.


Sunday, 13 July 2014

The Halo experiment

Hello all and welcome to another post. With the completion of my Quarte Bras project (for the moment at any rate, there is no guarantee I will not return to it at some point in the future as I have a tendency to do), I am now free to get started on my newest project. As most people may have guessed from the title, I intend to make a foray into the world of SPARTAN John-117, or as most people know him: The Master Chief. I had previously spent many laborious hours working out a set of rules by which I might play a skirmish game in the Halo universe. This would be two wins for me, as it would allow me to combine elements from both war-gaming and video-gaming, my two primary pursuits. The rules system is still a little shaky, and is yet to receive a proper field test, but two weeks ago I placed an order for a group of Halo Heroclix miniatures and now they have arrived.

The choice of Heroclix is something I struggled with for some time. I kept thinking at first that I should be able to hunt down models for this from generic science fiction sellers, as I had done for a Doctor Who project from over a year ago (no models were ever ordered). But while the human forces were incredibly easy to find repeated over and over again in various ways, the armies of evil, the alien Covenant Empire, proved so difficult that in the end I decided to take the short cut route. Doubtless the armies for this project will at their largest consist of only one maybe two small skirmish forces per side, but that is all I am after: a series of nice short games with small units with my friends. The main need for this was brought about by the distinct failure of several LotR games that used far too many models, and even though they were great fun, it was generally agreed that there was just too much happening. So, instead of just playing smaller games with the vast variety of Middle Earth models I have, I decided to start a completely new collection. I was surprised to find that I so much extra storage space being cluttered up by empty reference boxes.

Anyway, the models have arrived and my overall verdict is that they are not too shabby. I wouldn't say they are award winning, or that they had pristine paint jobs, but I think that overall they are quite decent models, that should be quite fun to repaint and rebase. I plan to keep both the clix bases and the cards, in case I ever decide to try and use them in a game with the system they were intended for, but I am going to put these models on better bases, and most likely repaint them, even if I only go so far as to apply a few washes.

Now without further ado, a few shots of my newest acquisitions. The human forces are going to need a second order at some point to beef them out, probably with a warthog, but the Covenant forces are easily sufficient for the long run I think.

A shot of everyone from front rank left to right. Two Sangheili (or Elites) with Carbines, four Kig-Yar (or Jackals) with pistols and energy shields, two more Kig-Yar with Particle Beam Rifles (snipers), two more Sangheili with Plasma Rifles, a big group of 6 Unggoy with pistols (grunts) as well as 1 with a fuel rod cannon out the front, 2 Sangheili Zealots and 2 human marines with battle rifles and 2 marines with M7 sub-machine guns. 
The two Sangheili with Covenant Carbines and Plasma Rifles.

Regular Unggoy with pistol, side and front on.
Unggoy with fuel rod cannon front.
And Side.
The Sangheili Zealots with the distinctive blue energy swords.
Kig-Yar with their energy shields and plasma pistols.
The Kig-Yar snipers, who will doubtless lay many an unwary model low.
The human marines with Battle Rifles (left) and SMGs (right).

 It is most likely obvious to an observer that these models still have their Heroclix bases attached, but I do plan to remove these with care, and replace them with a more suited circular base. One with flock and gravel and all those things that make bases worth while. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed this insight into my future project, I hope to have many posts on it in future.

Good luck and Godspeed!

 The Sarge at Arms

Saturday, 28 June 2014

Quatre Bras-Tying up loose ends

As promised (though not as soon as I promised) Quatre Bras. The Battle of Quatre Bras was one of the two engagements that took place before the famous Battle of Waterloo (which was actually at Mont St Jean and Plancenoit, but no one really seems to care about such small details). The battle was fought between British and Allied forces under the command of the Duke of Wellington and French forces under the command of Marshal Ney and of General (not sure about that rank) Reille. The Combat was of course centred around the settlement of Quatre Bras, where Wellington had begun to recentralise his forces, after initially preparing to gather at Nivelles to the west. The French attack foolishly did not begin until 2pm in the afternoon, as Ney had the entire morning wasted away doing practically nothing at all. By this point the British were ready to defend against the attack.

The scenario I played through with me myself and I (other players for me are an extremely rare commodity) is not totally accurate to the actual numbers and forces at the battle, but I like to think it gave the right idea. The rules were simple: you role dice to shoot at people and move models around. I wasn't really using an official rules set, but was more just going with the principles I knew from the many other rules sets I've read in the past. Thankfully I can get away with this easily because there is no one else participating in the game. Of course when I play with someone else I make sure I stick to the rules, otherwise my friends tend to get a little annoyed (probably with good reason).

So, thus the layout is given, and the battle begins.

The 9th division moves forwards hurriedly to secure Gemioncourt Farm as well as moving to pin British forces in the nearby patch of woodland.

Pire advances his Chasseurs towards Bossu Wood to support the advancing French infantry.
With much playing of bagpipes Picton's highlanders advance forwards to the road, where they crouch in the ditch supported by the artillery that train their guns on the farm buildings.

Finally the guns make themselves heard as the dirt is sent whizzing away into the sky in large chunks all along the battle line as the artillery blasts apart the foe.
Foy continues his advance, linking some of his troops up with Bachelu's, as cannon fire forces the battalions towards the forested roadside.

As the French infantry advance through the woodland confidently, they are surprised by a heavy volley from the British lines ahead of them. Many of the shots ping off of the trees, but enough of them hit the French columns to stagger their advance.
The Highlanders have rushed to the roadside, and squat in the ditch as a mass of cannon fire flies overhead. Miraculously they suffer practically no damage.
The Hussars, angered by the cannon fire charge ahead, only to have front part of one of their wedges broken, the Chasseurs upon them after a vicious carbine volley. However, the French have blue guts, and are cut to pieces by the Hussars who manage to break apart the attack, despite their own casualties.
The French lancers, hither too unnoticed, charge forwards to assault the British guns and infantry, pressing for the hamlet itself.
The French smash through on the opposite flank as well; the highlanders after having survived several other bombardments, are finally dislodged by a bayonet charge while the other French troops are blasted at by cannons at close range, as they push the surviving British far back away from the road.
The (blurry) Chasseurs reform to try and finish the battle in Bossu Wood, but at its current state, it looks as if French casualties are too high for victory to be achieved on the Western flank.
Some French infantry form square to protect themselves from the threat of British dragoons, not knowing that the remnants of the hussars are forming up behind them also. Further down the line the lancers are in trouble, despite the presence of friendly infantry, the centre is turning into a hell hole for the combatants.
A very blurry picture of the final layout. As you probably cannot tell what's going on, I will tell you. The French troops have routed the British on the far east flank, but are held down on the west flank. The centre has simply devolved into a blood bath, with the French still having a limited number of troops that they can commit garrisoning Gemioncourt farm, but the British are just managing to hold the advantage, thanks to a grape shot volley against the overly excited lancers.

As the sun began to dip behind the dark shadow of Bossu Wood, Marshal Ney gazed out at the battle lines. Cannon smoke still drifted over the vallied area, and the cries of dying men hung in the air, so thick that the French commander thought that if he was to sweep his hand through the air in front of him, he would be able to pick them up in his hand. "Not quite the results we were hoping for eh?" he asked of Reille, who was seated on his own horse just behind him to his right.

"No sir. Not quite."

"The Emperor will not be overly pleased about this you know. Still, last I heard Ligny was turning out to be a rousing success, those Prussian barbarians were running like rabbits; hopefully his mood will be lightened."

"If you don't mind me saying so sir, I can't help but get the feeling as if things were supposed to go a little differently today."

Ney gazed out at the battlefield and pondered Reille's words. When he spoke, he was only partially sure of his own words until they came out. "No, I think not. It do not believe this could have gone any other way really."

There you have it ladies and gentlemen. I have finally finished up those loose ends I said I would. Now I can put up something for my next project! Though knowing me it will at best not be for another month or something like that. But anyway, I will do my best, I'm just glad I got this done. Hope you enjoyed this battle report, until next time good luck and Godspeed.