Friday 27 January 2012

Two Gangs of Four and a Ship

The Citadel "wash" experimentation continues:

Note: A run of DIY jobs comes to assist my wargaming modelling, the mixture left over from grouting the tiles in the bathroom comes in handy to texture the bases (a very light/bright alien looking planet rock). The Red Guardian has had its base washed over, its base was also textured with a toothbrush.  

The two back figures (see above: Blue and brown) were base coated in Games Workshop "Sand Yellow" before receiving a couple of coats of wash just to see the effect. Methinks it loses all the subtle advantages of the wash and becomes just a semi opaque paint of little additional value - Golden Rule: One guide wash is enough. The chap to the front left above was base coated in Games Workshop "Dark Angels Green" (in fact the last effective use from this dried up bottle before it was discarded with a third of the paint unused) then washed over in Citadel "Asurmen Blue". The result was a very dark looking affair apart from the helmet's Anita's Acrylic "Cream" turning a shade of medium blue. Again I applied two washes which seems to be an overkill. The Red Guardian was left alone from further experimentation (and oh boy was he glad).

The double washed figures don't look so bad in the bright light of my halogen spot-light (Mr Blue and Mr Brown to the left above). I have also started a rescue attempt on the Dark Green model by using Games Workshop's "Goblin Green" (I seem to have a lot of this colour for some reason) on its body and Games Workshops "Sunburst Yellow" on the helmet. It now reminds me of the Green Goblin from the Spiderman films. The dark blue wash over the dark green base coat equates to a dark black undercoat (Ok for a bit of dark lining) but nothing much has been gained for all the extra work involved (three coats instead of one). Note the red Martian soil underfoot and an igneous flowing feel to the base ;)

Meanwhile ...

More historical plunder lies on the painting tray (see above). My 28mm Redoubt Enterprises Renaissance Light/Medium horse (two little grey's) finally get some attention. In the distance behind them is the 1/1200 KM Prince Eugen slowly getting a lighter shade of grey applied to her superstructure.

The full complement of Renaissance Horse is seen above, complete with their riders, crossbowmen. These would bring a much needed balance to my Renaissance Impetus army,  as in one base of screening missile firing light horse. Hark, the call and lure of the Renaissance is beckoning my brush. I like it when I get started, but the trouble is just getting started in the first place ;)

Thursday 26 January 2012

It all comes out in the Wash

Flicking through the Games Workshop guide of "How to Paint Citadel Miniatures" I came across the concept of a Guide Coat (see page 42 of said tome). The idea being that to get really bright in your face colours a White undercoat brings out the colours much, much more but an unwelcome side-effect is that fine detail becomes harder to pick out. Using a wash to slightly discolour the figure helps by allowing wash to gather in crooks and crannies for better definition of distinct areas and detail.

Seeing as I had a few Citadel Washes lying around I thought this was just the ticket for my Eldar impulse purchases. See below for a Vallejo "Bone White" undercoat with a wash of Citadel "Baal Red", for a "slightly pink" Eldar Guardian:

Another Edlar Guardian gets a 'brown effect' with the same Vallejo "Bone White" undercoat and an "Ogryn Flesh" Citadel Wash (see below):

It certainly made a difference in being able to pick the detail out, and I was fairly impressed. No further forward with the real painting but I could see far more of the model. I continued the painting experiment using what paints I had to hand (see below):

I followed the painting guide theme as per the packet illustration using:
  • Anita's Acrylics "Earth Brown" mixed with Anita's Acrylics "Dark Red" for the armour
  • Mixing in Games Workshop's "Sunburst Yellow" fpr good highlighting effect with the above
  • Anita's Acrylics "Midnight Blue" mixed with Anita's Acrylics "Cream" for the weapon
  • Anita's Acrylics "Cream" was also used neat for the helmet
  • Anita's Acrylics "Metallic Black" was mixed with Games Workshops "Mithril Silver for some 'exhausty' vent things on the back of the model
  • Tamiya Semi-Gloss Black X-18 was used on the visor and arm bracelet, the former flecked with "Midnight Blue + Cream" eye slots
  • The breast and arm gems were painted with Games Workshop Goblin Green and a touch of Anita's Acrylic "Cream" added for a highlight
So end'eth the 'painting psalm' of the Eldar Guardian!

Starship Trooper for Hire (see above), suits you sir.

Of the Games Workshop Science Fiction "races" I enjoy painting 'selected' items of the:
  • Tau
  • Tyranids
  • Necrons
    Empire Space Marines
  • (and now)Eldar. 
I have "odds and sods figures" from all the above without playing the 40K Game System (something on the list to do before I die). To me they are more Generic Sci-Fi figures to be mixed in and matched with any other Sci-Fi kit and rules I have to hand.

Saturday 21 January 2012

Painting Tray: A Distraction

Confessions of a wargaming butterfly continued ... I lasted twenty days into 2012 until I was distracted by of all things whilst wandering round Hobbycraft ... I saw it, I succumbed to it and then I bought it ... can you spot my wargaming 'January folly' below?

Now I have got to figure out what to do with it (or rather them). Of all things a small (4 figures) pack of Games Workshop Eldar Guardians. I just thought for 'general' Science Fiction they may come in useful, somehow. I tried to justify them on the basis of a painting exercise and a 'wash' technique experiment. My eldest son (nearly seven) thought they were 'cool' which is worrying for the future.

Painting Guide pulled from the Net:

Meanwhile the KM Prinz Eugen slowly acquires more Atlantic Grey paint (the Airfix painting guide was not that convincing so I decided two shades of get would suffice). A more pressing need is the four Renaissance Light Horse from Redoubt Enterprises that are needing painting in the next eight days for my next Impetus game.

Friday 20 January 2012

New HaT WWII Germans and Japanese riding bicycles

Just spotted these postings in Bunker Talk on the "new" HaT German WWII bicycle troops (just after I was feeling clever for myself getting my hands on the old ones):

Can you have too many troops on bicycles? The post also mentions a set of Japanese WWII bicycle riders which I think would be very, very useful"!

Is there anything not now covered in WWII 20mm wargaming, I'm pushed to think of something!

Thursday 19 January 2012

Polish 7TP painting (continued III) ... Clanky Tank Finale

Partly for the sanity of NZ Paul (recoiling in horror at the multitude of recent Renaissance postings bringing flash backs of history lessons from his school days, learning lists of kings and queens etc.) and partly for my own pictorial confirmation of "painting progress" in 2012, I conclude my early war WWII Polish Tank painting spree (later war I guess it  would be Allied Cromwell's or T34/85's depending on whether it was Western or Eastern front). My "independent" 7TP tank company (see below):

The three tome highlighted camouflage is completed and the tank tracks are now painted with Anita's Acrylic Metallic Black and then highlighted by mixing in a tad of my diminishing stock of Games Workshop Mithril Silver. A close-up of the said painted tracks is shown below:

They now go into the "early war" draw, next to a I will return to these at a later date to do a matte varnish coat to protect the paint from shedding/scratching/wearing after handling as the SHQ metal casting has sharp edges on its boxy superstructure

The other thing I intend to do is put a plasti-card floor on the bottom of these models as it is very disconcerting when your fingers disappear inside its hollowed out carcass and tends to make me drop the blooming things!

The twin turret 7TP, the one I nominated as a "command tank" (see above), is a funny looking beast and must have been a nightmare to try and use in combat. SHQ Polish 'heavy armour' complete.

1526 Mohacs: The Big Picture

The Hungarian Right Wing rose as a phoenix from the ashes of disaster to see the Ottoman Left Wing of Horse break and run to the rear, next stop Constantinople. Confidently my General crested a small rise which gave a precious glimpse of the whole field of battle.

He froze in horror to see that the success on the right wing was matched with a disaster to the Hungarian sister Wing of Horse on the left. There the Turkish Spahi had ably supported their Light Horse and consequently pounced on the Hungarian Lancer Knights who made break through advances

All hung on the centre of the battlefield where the Infantry were in deep contest. A fierce, chilling cry rung out from the Ottoman lines as the Elite Janissaries charged the Hungarian Pike and Shot. There was a brief moment of resistance before the Hungarian centre shattered and was streaming to the rear in chaos All had been fought for nought.

"Sire, sire What shall he do?" cried the General's retinue "Stay and learn Turkish or move to France and learn French" was his sarcastic reply as he turned his horse away in disgust. Well played the to Turks the day was wo by them fairly and squarely, I am sure they suffered as much under the DBR rules as did the Hungarians. No photographs are available (as of writing) as I was unable to make the final session but was emailed the chilling finale today.

DBR rant  #3: We really still don't know the rules
Post match analysis revealed that the stunning break-through Janissary (Fast Shot) charge was calculated wrongly. The 'calculators' had neglected to add in a bonus for being "Shot with a rear support of Shot fighting against (Fast) Shot" [yes I ask you how intelligible is that?] for the Hungarian defenders. This (+1) would have negated several circumstances where the (-1) for being Inferior and recalculating the melee scores after losing or being equalled in combat. Philosophically the Hungarian C-in-C reflected that it only speeded up the inevitable but boy how many years have the Redcar 'collective' being playing the various DBx sets of rules and 'we' still are very unsure if the tabletop outcomes are valid or even added up correctly. In tennis the call is for 'new balls please'! Life is too short to learn or understand these rule IMHO.


Naturally as a sucker for punishment I am facing a ECW campaign battle next week under DBR ... but should I? It's the Early Parliamentarian Horse versus the Royalist Knights pickle which makes the Hungarian versus Ottoman game look as simple as a game of snap? Perhaps I should take some migraine tablets and a pair of dark glasses along just in case.


Wednesday 18 January 2012

1526 Mohacs: The Hungarian Right (My Battle) - Part 3

Today death must follow a "Wing of Horse", but whose?.

Fearing nothing and fully expecting to be nominated posthumously as a Christian martyr my General goes forth into a place where no sane man should ever venture. He found himself and his retinue outnumbered, overlapped, outflanked and plain and in simple terms in dire straights. His quality factors  brought the contest to an 'even dice roll' but if the Turk rolls higher than my dice, the General and thus his whole Command were lost outright (see below) by the "DBx: Shutting the Door" mechanism. Note: The blurred photograph aptly depicted my jittery state of mind at this point:

And I rolled a "1". Goodnight Vienna hello Constantinople, but wait there is no hooping or great "huzzah" from the Turk, is he being gentlemanly and discrete? No the Ottoman too rolled a "1", so in fact 'snake eyes' - a stand, the Hungarian General lives to fight another day (well phase at least). Statistically that's my luck for the year gone then!

Granted a surplus of PiPs from my C-inC this enabled my Knight Lancers to mow down the Light Horse (Fast) that stood in my way. This time it was Ottoman Light Horse (Fast) suffering a (-1) modifier and mortally hurting them. From an initial force of ten they were now down to two survivors (see above). 4 VP's to me and given that previously the Ottoman also lost a Spahi Cavalry element from a fluke "1"-"6" Artillery fire from my supporting infantry (see previous posts) it was the Turks turn to look "peaky" (5 VP). One more element lost and the Ottoman's Command was 'gone'.

It was now the Turks phase:

The Light Horse (Superior) fought an uncharacteristically static battle above "milling around", while the Spahi formed up against my overstretched Knights. Hoping for a quick kill they desperately attacked, a kill would crush the Hungarian command, so would "Lady Luck" smile for the Ottoman (see below, the Spahi attack with an overlap on my normal Knight Lancer):

No. A simple recoil, not a kill, which allowed my Knights in turn to retaliate in force (see below). Knight Lancers like fighting Spahi on 'their' (as in the Knights) phasing turn. Taking it to them means they only need to score greater than the Spahi to kill the Spahi. Going in with an overlap on one side and the Hungarian General on the other certainly gave the Hungarians the statistical 'edge': 

Te result was statistical, drawing in one combat (LHS) but winning with the General (who was in the process of making quite a name for himself) and in the process taking down the Ottoman Left Wing of Horse, "huzzah". from near certain death to resurrection in a matter of a few dice rolls (see below and the advanced blue flag of the Hungarian General)!

The only other actions was the combat and containment of the Ottoman Light Horse (Superior), by pinning them frontally in combat and restricting their possible retreat from positioning a Light Horse (Fast) behind them (see below):

This combat dice produced two Ottoman recoils (see below):

However this still pinned or bagged the Ottoman Light Horse (Superior) for next turn, but as the Ottoman Command had broken this is academic, as it was more than likely that the Light Horse would just "flee the field" as they were already counted as lost for VP purposes. The Ottoman would be concentrating on saving the bulk of the remaining Spahi in the now 'demoralised' Ottoman command.

Redcar House Rule: "Closing the Door":
If the above combat seemed slightly cumbersome, especially since Light Horse and 'mounted' in general have large movement allowances to quickly get into the rear/flank, I should explain that a 'House Rule' is in effect. Closing onto a flank, "closing the door" in DBx terms, as in prohibiting the attacked unit from retreating and thus killing the element was/is deemed too easy under DBx rules by the Redcar gamers. Myself I am quite happy with the normal DBx mechanism but when in Rome (or Redcar) I play under the House Rule. To close the door you must start already behind the flank of an enemy unit. This makes for much more linear slugging matches and does reduce the DBx movement "fiddles". However IMHO one house amendment does not redeem what I consider ultimately as a flawed system, more 'competition' based than 'historical simulation' biased. As stated this is only "my opinion" and carries no weight to other gamers whose experiences and preferences differ, but allows me with clear conscience to re-base my figures for my preferred rule-sets Impetus or Fields Of Glory (FoG).   

Next: But what of the other Hungarian Commands?

Monday 16 January 2012

1526 Mohacs: The Hungarian Right (My Battle) - Part 2

The adversaries face each other off, Hungarians on the bottom, Turkish to the top (see below). Let battle commence:

The Light Horse forces clash head on and I suffer a(nother) moment of DBR learning curve angst (see below). Note: Spot the lingering Turkish Light horse at the back (top left below). Discretion was deemed the better part of this stands valour, as despite being a potential 'overlap' in combat, the Turkish General didn't go in for feat of being 'shot off his horse' by a supporting unit of Hungarian bow. The benefit of 'combined arms' support and the mounted 'fear of the bow' aka Agincourt ;)

DBR angst #1 explained in Barker'esk:
I discover that Light Horse (Fast) suffer a (-1) if equalled or beaten in combat when not "phasing".

In English:
Light Horse (Fast) are rather fickle fellows.They like to give it out but not take it back, like a school bully. Hence they have an additional 50mm movement capability to take them to contact (making a potential 300mm total move). However when they are on the receiving end of things and are 'equalled or bettered' they receive a (-1) modifier to their dice combat roll to recalculate their final; score. This often takes them over the statistical killing edge to be 'doubled' and hence killed in combat.

Perfect DBR Barkerite Solution:
So, I should never have taken these chaps within 305mm (30.5cm) of the enemy Light Horse (Fast). Then they would not have been on the end of the receiving charge and I would have been able to extend out into line my Light Horse (Superior) on the right and advance upon the Turk with a tactical advantage. In fact I would/should have 'first' (as in first move in the move/puzzle sequence) moved my column of Light Horse (Superior) into a place where the Light Horse (Fast) could have 'wheeled slightly', to form an angled line. The DBR movement suddenly turns into a Suduko puzzle with "correct solutions" to the 'DBx'land geometry'. Can you see what colour my aura is, or rather see why it is turning a brown-black?

Remember this is supposed to be fun and entertainment ;)

What actually happened. 
The Turk pounced (and good on him) and butchered two stands of my Light Horse (Fast), as per the gaps in the line (see photograph up above the previous text). Both sides were now a mass of confusion, typical Light Horse stuff. Count two layers up from the line of Knight Lancers to see my original front line (again the photograph above not below).

My turn next, the outcome is shown below:  

I return the complement and "wallop-in" (authentic Hungarian Renaissance battle terminology, or so I believe) and I take a Light Horse (Fast) back from the Turk, but there is also a DBR angst moment #2 (see below).  "With a spare PiP" I also make a stupendous DBR movement error of astronomical proportions in my rear line, thinking I would be supporting my General I gave him a rear rank support, it's just a pity that Knights don't get rear rank support. Thus I shorten my line (always a bad thing in DBx) and effectively take a valuable fighting unit out of the game. Could I do it any better (ahem, worse) if I really tried? SNAFU! Serves me right for not revising my DBR GCSE ('comprehensive/high' school) exam the night before. What I was trying to avoid was to stop my Knight (General) winning against a Light Horse and charging forward uncontrollably without any form of support, as a dangerous gap in my Light Horse screen had opened in front of my General.

[Rant Start: Optional reading]
DBR angst moment #2:
This line of previously Light Horse (Fast) turns into a mixture of Light Horse (Fast) and Light Horse (Superior). Where did the latter suddenly come from (remember I did not have the Turkish Order of Battle to hand during the battle)? This saved the Turk one possibly two "deaths". It was not intentional I am sure, but this sort of thing happens all the time in DBx games because they are 'element' games rather than 'unit' games, mixtures of troop types on similar bases can lead to 'floating troop types'. It is also too late to go back and retrospectively measure that charge distance, over 25cm and the Light Horse (Superior) would not have got in.

I would like to make it clear that my Turkish opponent is an outstandingly good chap and somebody I like gaming with (we share a badge of honour and courage serving as Union commanders together in a long ACW campaign which was fantastic fun so I know he is no wargaming cheat) but the DBR (DBx) rule-goblin makes me such a cantankerous beast! It always leaves me with that "have I been robbed(?)" intentionally or unintentionally feeling and thinking "why can't we get these rules played right or at least consistently". Anyway get over it and get on playing the game, worse things happen at sea!   
[Rant Over :) Continue Reading]

A flip-flop of clattering exchanges sees the Hungarians lose another three Light Horse (Fast) and woe betide 'me and my command' a precious Knight Lancer versus a Light Horse (Fast) to a "1 - 6" dice roll. The Ottomans in turn loses two more Light Horse (Fast). The Turks are well up in the victory point race, as my command is already nearing its break point.

There is worse news though as careful examination of the photograph above reveals exactly what I didn't want to happen, has now happened (sigh). My Knight General has been victorious in combat, made the Light Horse (Fast) it was fighting flee and advanced into the throng of the enemy fearlessly. This is the opposite of 'DBR angst' as a bizarre feature of the game I do like, a troop type behaving with historical correctness not gaming ingenuity and guile. Sadly it also looks like the end of the line for my General and with it also my command!

Next: A glorious death awaits

1526 Mohacs: The Hungarian Right (My Battle) - Part 1

Preliminaries over the main events starts: The Hungarians 'en masse' advance straight forwards.

A bunched up Hungarian linear mass of Light Horse (Fast) screens the Lance armed Knights, with a small column of Light Horse (Superior) aloof to the right. These Light Horse (Superior) were in that formation purely to fit inside the deployment zone. (Already there were DBR deployment mistakes here, more of later). The Hungarians had deployed as far forward as permitted and were going to "go for it" as otherwise their infantry were going to spend a long time under the guns. "One in, all in" was the motto.

The Ottomans had decided to refuse their left flank (i.e. mine) and hoped to win on their right and centre. Consequentially their cavalry against me were going to fight a 'delaying action'. The Ottoman General had calculated that he could lose all of his Light Cavalry and still not be a "beaten command" (see above). Hence the 'sacrifice of the lights' was enacted. The Ottoman twelve stands of Spahi Cavalry are a grim sight in the distance (see below). Silently I was pleased all that Turkish cavalry was not going to be "in my face". 

I did have a friendly bunch of infantry hanging on the inside of my all horse formation (see below) which was nice. Bow armed and a bit of artillery against enemy mounted they could be a useful asset:

The Hungarians advance was countered by a brave "Huzzah" from the Ottoman Light Cavalry formation as they too charged forwards. There was to be no 'pretty prancing' to be had here but a straight forward in and at them! I have already made several DBR mistakes here. I should have deployed my small but perfectly formed Light Horse (Superior) column into line before advancing, in fact they should have been in the fighting line right from the start. Columns that don't 'support' the front rank with a rear rank modifier are silly to take into combat as potentially they are just a way to lose more stands quickly. Knowing which does and which doesn't thins out the DBR boys from the men, and I was looking rather boyish and naive at this point! 

Pop quiz: Guess the range between the two lines of Light Horse. If it is less than or equal to 25cm then what happened next was quite legal, if it was over then it was illegal (Note: scale wise the big blocks are two foot by two foot). Arrgh, my angst against DBx rules and geometry was beginning to well up inside of me. The Ottoman was working on the assumption that all his Light Horse were fast (capable of 25cm movement + 5cm charge), however despite the troop types looking the same there was a mixture of (Superior) and (Fast). He only remember they were (Superior) when the combat came about, after movement. The benefit of the doubt goes to the Ottoman, but it's a plague of the DBx "element" rather than "unit" ME (manoeuvre element) that is encountered over and over again, leading to fraught and ambiguous situations (IMHO).    

Next: The fights starts proper

Saturday 14 January 2012

1526 Mohacs: The Order of Battle (Ottoman Empire)

The Ottoman Right Wing of Horse:

  • 1 x Spahi (General) Cav
  • 11 x Spahi Cav
  • 4 x Light Horse (Superior)
  • 6 x Light Horse (Fast)

The Ottoman Infantry Centre:

  • 2 x Spahi (1 x General and 1 x C-in-C General) Cav
  • 3 x Spahi Cav
  • 12 x Shot (Janissary)
  • 3 x Artillery (Superior)
  • 8 x Warband
  • 4 x Bow
  • 6 x Hoard (Superior)
  • 2 x Skirmishers

The Ottoman Left Wing of Horse:

  • 1 x Spahi (General) Cav
  • 11 x Spahi Cav
  • 4 x Light Horse (Superior)
  • 6 x Light Horse (Fast)

The the thing to note about the Ottoman's is that they see to be "big" on everything, as in the number of bases that they field. Their "Wings of Horse" out number the Hungarians and we are using DBR (a DBx game) which from my past experience favours 'width' over 'depth'. If the Ottoman horse is aggressive then it is going to be 'interesting' for the Hungarians. The considerable Ottoman artillery park suggests a defensive role for their infantry forcing the Hungarians to attack. The eclectic mix of regular (Janissary) and odds-and-sods makes an unpredictable encounter against the "Shot" based Hungarians.

Thursday 12 January 2012

1526 Mohacs: The Order of Battle (Hungarian)

The Hungarian Army Left Wing of Horse (butting up against the banks of a river):
  • 5 x Lancers (Knights)
  • 1 x Lancer (Knight) General
  • 8 x Light Horse (Fast)
  • 3 x  Light Horse (Superior)

The Hungarian Army Centre (Left Side) Infantry:

  • 6 x Bow
  • 2 x Artillery(Inferior)
  • 8 x Shot
  • 4 x Pike
  • 2 x Lancers (Knights)
  • 1 x Lancer (Knight) C-in-C "Elected King"

The Hungarian Army Centre (Right Side) Infantry:

  • 8 x Shot
  • 1 x Artillery (Inferior)
  • 8 x Shot
  • 4 x Pike
  • 6 x Bow

The Hungarian Army Right Wing of Horse (My Command):

  • 5 x Lancers (Knights)
  • 1 x Lancer (Knight) General 
  • 8 x Light Horse (Fast)
  • 3 x  Light Horse (Superior)
All in all a fairly impressive army collection, none of which were mine.

    Wednesday 11 January 2012

    The Battle of Mohacs 1526 - Renaissance

    Keeping up with my New Year's resolution I managed to make a wargame this month. In fact it was a gloriously big affair, a re-run of the 2011 Christmas special set up by my Redcar club. Over Xmas they opted for a deployment that was roughly 'historical', but in this re-run 'free deployment' was allowed (as per the DBR rules and conventions). It also allowed players to 'change sides' and see it from the other perspective. I must confess that I knew little or nothing about this battle in advance (see link below for the historical description and background):  

    Wikipedia: The Battle of Mohacs

    Somewhere on a flat Hungarian plain the Hungarian army of Knights and Peasant Infantry. These being the lower classes whose fighting ability was very much under-valued by the armour plate wearing, horse riding, lance armed aristocracy. Of historical interest and note is the fact that the "King" was 'elected' and not hereditary. This made for a poor command structure, as each Hungarian noble thought himself as good as the king and was a law unto himself. The Hungarian Army arrayed itself to face the Ottoman invaders (see below, viewed left-bottom to right-top):

    The Hungarian army was comprised of: two "Wings of Horse", "Knight Lancers" supported by "Light Horse". In the middle was a huge mass (as in by far the bulk of the army in physical stands, although not 'point-wise' as the Hungarian Knights were rather 'expensive' to buy) of the Peasant "Infantry". The Peasant Infantry were "Shot" and "Bow" plus a few "Pike". The Ottoman tourists were deployed as follows (see below viewed right-bottom to left-top):

    Again formidable "Wings of Horse" but with a more compact middle of "Infantry", very diverse in troop type. The horse was a mixture of "Light Horse" and "Spahi Cavalry", not quite as deadly but more numerous than the psychopathic Hungarian Knights.The Ottoman infantry was an eclectic mix of revolting Hungarian(ish) peasants making a bid for regime change, mixed with odds-and-sods warband and bow, backed up by the Ottoman Janissary "Shot" and the daunting obligatory Ottoman "Artillery Park" (of which every Ottoman General I have ever met never claims never to have enough of in relation to his "historical counterpart". yThen blames his bad dice rolling.).

    How the two sides would physically match up this time was anyone's guess. In the historical deployment the Ottoman's army hurt itself as it emphasised depth over width, something which the DBR rule set punishes. The Ottoman player was also disadvantaged in that the Hungarian C-in-C respected the capability of "Shot" against "Mounted" (even knights) and unlike the historical counterpart did not elect to try and 'charge down the guns' with his royal retinue. In the Xmas game narrow Hungarian victory resulted. I too k my Hungarian command seat to the far right in line of battle, in charge of a "Wing of Horse".

    Sunday 8 January 2012

    The Prinz Eugen sails forth with a basecode of Atlantic grey

    The "Sink the Bismarck" kits are still 'calling' to me (but they are on my 'list' of things to do so they are technically a distraction not a deviation from my 'clanky tanks' project): 

    The Prince Eugen catches my eye for a quick once-over with the brush (see above), in many ways a miniature 8" version of the battleship Bismarck. So much so that even the chief gunnery officer and Admiral Holland mistook the Prince Eugen for the Bismarck in the opening phases of the Battle of the Denmark Strait and mistakenly opened up on the Prince Eugen first (much to the angst of the crew of the Prince Eugen):

    The hull and super structure gets a coat of Games Workshop Adeptus BattleGrey (again just to use it up) and the decking Anita's Acrylic Dark Earth.The superstructure according to the Airfix painting guide is rather interesting in being a lighter shade of grey than the hull. Hmm, that goes against my usual WW2 warship painting scheme so I'll have to plan what to do during the forthcoming 'mid-tone highlighting' phase:  

    She looks rather menacing if your are on the bridge of a County class British cruiser guarding the misty approaches to the Denmark Straits in 1940. The German force s for the Battle of the Denmark Strait are approaching completion what so the RN?

    Saturday 7 January 2012

    A Final New Years Modelling Treat for ME!

    Given that the annual New Year Exodus took me up to Edinburgh again, I managed to 'orchestrate' a trip to the Wonderland model shop on Lothian Road, Santa's Grotto to me, using the feeble excuse of a faulty Scalectrix car needing an urgent repair. While there I spotted the following "must buys":

    HaT's German Mounted WWII Infantry, something which can complement the German Cyclist WWII Infantry (seeing is believing) and also something I can classify as an "20mm WWII early war". I was originally keeping an eye out for HaT's plastic Polish WW2 Infantry box (to complement my Polish Tank forces) but settled for these instead. Also no sign for HaT's WWII Italian Cavalry, maybe next time.

    Next were these fine German Paratrooper figures from Italeri, out for a while now, but like all their new mouldings simply too good to pass up on, I had wanted them for a while. Discretion being the better part of valour meant that I stopped myself going infantry crazy over the Italeri 'Tank Hunter Teams' and an intriguing Italeri Italian WW2 large (10.5cm?) Artillery piece.     

    Finally I did make sure I got one of these kits from Zvezda, essential for an early war, self respecting Motorised Rifle Battalion of the Soviet Union. This also meant I neglected to buy the Airfix WWII 1/76 Cromwell and the WW2 1/76 Airfix Churchill Bridgelayer kits (again), but I had a lack of funds and space. Their time will come I am sure ;)

    Friday 6 January 2012

    Airfix Releases 2012

    Airfix Releases

    Of interest is the 1/76 Matilda re-release for the Western Desert (although I have a stash of three partially painted and one of the Hedgehog jungle variant already) and the new German King Tiger II (in what looks like a Porshe turret)

    The 1/76 Cromwell is still on my shopping list from last year and I should really get the 1/76 Churchill Bridgelayer before it "disappears"

    The only other this I note is the multiple Me-109's and a "ground attack" Mustang 

    Thursday 5 January 2012

    More Polish 7TP painting (continued II) ...

    The 'base colours' are put onto the second "gun tank":

    The shading starts, mid-tone and final highlight. The shades of brown was harder to do Anita Acrylic's Earth Brown, Anita Acrylic's Dark Red, Games Workshop Sunburst Yellow and Anita's Acrylic Cream. The challenge was not to turn the brown pink: 

    The final yellow colour gets a white shade highlight:

    Camouflage pattern complete, tracks and exhausts to do next:  

    Still think I will plastic-card the bottom to make the model feel more solid. The kits do need to be varnished however as the SHQ castings have sharp lines which mean that the Anita Arylic's paints have a tendancy to 'rub' off the metal. Handle with care until the varnish goes on ;)