Tuesday, November 25, 2014

US SAGA Grand Melee-I'm in!

Eric Hagen is co-running the US SAGA Grand Melee next March.  Eric organized the stellar SAGA Storm last fall, so the Grand Melee is guaranteed to be amazing. Two days of gaming, six scenarios, forty players and prizes galore...I've heard the call and I'm in!

I can't wait to see 40 warbands out on the tabletop.  I was planning to paint up a new warband to throw in for the "Best Painted" competition but I just picked up a huge 15mm painting contract. No worries as I have 5 warbands to choose from.

I've been playing Norse-Gael lately so I'm taking them. Personal challenges make up half of their battleboard and that means you have to win a pre-melee dice-off to unlock these abilities.  This makes them a bit of a gamble as losing a challenge costs you all the dice you parked on that ability!

A number of our local players have registered for the Melee and we've started weekly games to tune up.  As much as I enjoy painting and playing SAGA, I'm an average player.  I lose focus during the game, I fail to see the "long game" and if I have a beer on an empty stomach, victory is lost!  My chances of winning the Melee are equal to my chances of winning the Triple Crown. I do want to make a good show of it and practice games are perfect to that achieving that end.

With batttleboard abilities like Howling Axes and Slaughter, I'm buffing up my warband.  I've got some Footsore Miniatures axemen on the table and wow, they're lovely sculpts! I should also put in a plug for my new Nordic dice bag from Broake and Thumb Studios on eBay.  Here's hoping the raven rune brings me the lucky dice I'll need on game days!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

I love a man in a uniform #2

Round 2 of the British project is officers, specialists and HQ. Figures are a mix of Bolt Action and Artizan.

PIAT team,  2" mortar and and medic.

Forward Observer, Platoon and section leaders. Last week, I posted up pictures of the British sections but I forgot to include the section leaders. They were a bit shy but I managed to get them in front of the camera today.  Leaders are mounted on larger bases.

PIATs, mortars, minesweepers, engineers, Brens and flamethrowers. I think I'm required to add an "...oh my!" 

The Brits are all block painted and washed with Army Painter Soft Tone. Selective highlights were applied.  Painting neat, I kept black intact for shadows on backpacks, straps and other gear. Flesh was done with Vallejo hull red as the base followed by Foundry Flesh 5A, B and C.  

I got in the second game in our Arnhem campaign game.  I muffed the patrol phase so badly that Hugh advanced his Paras through the woods unopposed. In game 3, I have the option to call on reinforcements (including armor) for a German counterattack.  My force morale is pretty brittle compared to the Paras but I'm going all in.  I hope to make a game of it and include a full report!

Below are pictures from our reset.  The area south of the road is woods.  The area north of the houses is wooded also. The Brits didn't want to go house to house so they concentrated on a thrust through the woods south of the road.  It was a very short and sharp engagement!  

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

I love a man in a uniform

Today's title is a straight lift from one the more clever songs of the 80s.  +5 points if you know the band and yes, I'm keeping score! I've got a large drop of British under way for Chain of Command. This platoon is all Artizan Designs.  When a figure is modeled as well as these, I assume the sculptor is also a painter.  I used a basecoat, wash and selective highlights to give these some pop.

The photos start with each section, and then pics of the  teams that make up the section (or squad as we say in the US).  British sections were made up of a Bren gun team plus a rifle team.  Three sections make a platoon, including a HQ with a PIAT and 2" mortar team.  Specialists will be featured in future posts.

First Section
Rifle Team
Bren Team
Second section

Third section
Hugh and I started the CoC Market-Garden campaign found in Wargames, Soldiers and Strategy #74.  The campaign is 4 linked battles representing the British 5 Platoon's spearhead for 3 Para’s advance on Arnhem. I ran the German training/replacement unit blocking the Para's advance. Thanks to some white hot dice and great generalship (tongue in cheek!), I beat Hugh's Para's quickly and soundly.

We reset and replayed the battle as the British must win to advance the campaign.  In our rematch, I got a beat-down before I withdrew off the table. My force morale plunged as a result and the next campaign battle just got exponentially more difficult for the Germans. Ouch!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014


The more I play SAGA, Dead Man's Hand, Chain of Command and Dux Brit, the less time I have for Field of Glory.  When our group does play FoG, it's for ancients only.  I realized my Later Ottoman Turks hadn't been on a tabletop since 2012 so, off to the market they went.

The Ottomans brought a commission to paint the  army into the Renaissance era. I'd always planned to do this myself but a lack of interest in FoG - Renaissance in the Twin Cities meant I never tried the rules and never made the leap.  Coming in 3 years after the original army was completed, these figures are the Renaissance era Ottomans I always wanted to paint.

The Janissary musketeers are all Mike's Models.  Possessing an Old School charm, I was uncertain how the figures would paint up.  It turns out they were quite nice to work with. It goes to show you can't judge a figure until you put some paint on it.  

These Tufekcis musketeers are by Old Glory.  The variety of poses, uniforms and colors give them the irregular look I was aiming for.  

Azab bow are by Mike's Models. While painted as irregulars, I kept a tight palette to avoid the dreaded "clown army" look.  

The Delis or "Mad-Head" cavalry are Mike's Models.  In Field of Glory, these fellows are tough!  
The Tufekcis cavalry are Mike's Models as well. 
To round out the lot, I painted up a Serbian allied command stand and Azab handgunners. 

The new owner is an active FoG tournament player. The Ottomans will get to travel across the globe for games in the US and abroad.   That's quite a change up from sitting on the shelf for 2 years. Cheers and good luck with these lads, Dannie!