Friday 16 March 2012


Here are the first 20mm Taliban to roll of the painting table. Mostly heavy weapons with one rifleman. Two pics a front and back shot as I have yet to identify the weapon the standing guy on the left is aiming. It looks pretty meaty but not out of scale and you know he'll be target of choice for any coalition forces that are anywhere close to him. As mentioned previously these are 20mm MJ FIGURES (available here. ) I have a few liberation miniatures and a few Britannia Taliban figures as well but they seem a bit cartoonie by comparison I'll have to paint some just to make sure they fit in before I am too harsh a critic.
So if anyone can identify the weapon the left most figure is carrying I would be grateful. I have emailed MJ figures to ask what it is, but as yet no reply. But as it was painted a dull (catachan) green is because that's how it is portrayed on the MJ web site.
All these figures will be mounted on small coins with ready mixed wall filler spread on them to disguise the step of the figures integral base. Then coated in sand and painted. Swamp tufts were then split up and glued to the bases. I did try Highland Tufts first but they looked too harsh so I have had to order more swamp tufts this morning.  It's not until you start to paint Taliban that you ever think about what colour clothes they wear. Most of the news real footage show them in white, but as I don't like painting white I decided that creams and greys would make a good alternative, with some wearing blues reds brows etc to break up the monotony of the grey/cream. In Retrospect I have over painted these and could get the same result by missing one of the highlight stages out. Oh well live and learn, die and forget it all.

I start the next batch this afternoon along with the first of the British troops. Don't get excited I have yet to purchase the bulk of the Brits so this is a special one off figure. You'll see on Sunday no doubt.
I have also started to assemble the Taliban Pickup with HMG which will be one of the very very few Taliban vehicles I will do. With luck I can undercoat it today and start it on the weekend, but I should get some more foot troops done first.

Lastly for today I got the final coat of "muck" on the latest moon board yesterday. so that project is moving along too.

I'll post again Sunday. Thanks for reading, Cheers Clint

Wednesday 14 March 2012

Sorry no pics today

The non wargaming news is that following an 18 hour shift on Monday the powers that be have relented and got an agency worker in for the rest of this week as I was beginning to look and feel like the living dead. As such not had any time for painting at all. But now I am back to 11 hour days for the rest of the week so I should be able to turn it round.

Now my wargaming news.  (don't expect much) Even though I have not been painting I have been buying. God bless this magickal Internet shopping malarkey. Any time, any place, anywhere.... I had a Martini moment and bought the Saga rules. So here are my first impression of the game that seems to be sweeping through clubs at the moment.

Firstly the rules are quite thin. They are about the same size and quality of Spartan Games Uncharted seas with similar paper and cover stock. At first I was a little disappointed wanting more "bulk" for my buck. I was wrong. Thin they may be, but they are not padded out with unnecessary fluff. No maps. Painting guides, No how to make terrain. No unessercay pictures. No bumph no non-sense and no padding. The rules are simple and straightforward with plenty of examples. They do not treat you like a five year old but niether do they leave you to make wild assumptions. Everything is explained and laid out clearly. Overall I am impressed with the style and quality.

As I said the rules are simple. The rules of football are simple too. The simplicity of the rules is not the attraction of the game. In Saga the first thing you do in a game is to roll some dice. As wargamers we all like rolling dice so that's good. You then allocate these dice to your "battle board". Each Faction has their own "Battle board" and it's mostly in the way you assign the dice you roll on the battle board which dictates which units will move, shoot, rest or be ignored for a turn. The symbols on the dice correspond to where you can put them on the "battle board". Therefore levy units for example which have rare symbols and are thus rolled less frequently should following the laws of average move, shoot and fight less. One activation would be to shoot if they have ranged weapons, another to move and another to rest. Not only are the dice used to determine which types and how many units you will activate they can also be used to sway the odds of a favourable out come for attack or defence, but you have to assign them before you activate units so it from first reading appears that a plan of action needs to be formulated before you touch any figures each turn.

Melee happens automatically if movement brings contact, and both contacted sides fight. The loser, (the one who lost the most figures) is pushed back. Attacker is considered the looser unless he kills more than the defender. As the attacker gets to decide who fights who when they move the figures the attacker will most likely selected to double up attackers on lone defenders so this is not as much of a disadvantage as it sounds. Before attack and defence dice are rolled both players, starting with the attacker may use dice that they have assigned on the battle board to sway the odds in their favour. The actual combat mechanism is a number of d6 based on troop quality and number of figures is rolled for both attacker and defending units. The "hits" are then rolled to try to get past the armour. If sucessful it results in a casualty. At first glance this may seem too simple and players might be looking for more depth. I can see that point of view, but when you factor in things like fatigue, troop quality and the all important dice spent on the battle boards I can see the simplicity being a bonus and a more complicated method being a distraction.

 It is important to say that a unit may be activated more than once if you have the right dice to spend for this to happen. More than one activation leads to fatigue. Which can be overcome by "resting" the unit as their first action of the turn. And the unit can only "rest" once per turn, after all they only get one first activation. Now fatigue seems very important as the opponent gets to decide what form the fatigue on the unit will take when it's activated. You might choose to burn off one of their fatigue points by reducing their movement. Or you might use their fatigue points to lower the chances of them hitting in combat/shooting. Or you could make their armour less effective as they are to tired to defend themselves properly. But as it is your opponents choice chances are it will not be the one you'd have picked.

Each faction, Anglo-Dannish (I'll call them Saxon no doubt), Viking, Norman and Welsh each has both a different "battle board" and a few special rules which are intended to give a flavour of the force involved. I know they plan to produce more forces, Bretons, Scots etc as time goes on and I await those with much interest. I can see advantages in all the factions, but will need to actually play the game before I can say much more.

In conclusion: While I have not played it yet it does look like a very well composed set of rules. In many ways with the saga dice and battle boards both a combination of traditional wargame and abstracted boardgame.

Thanks for reading talk soon Clint.

Post script: Postman has quite literally dropped off another parcel of goodies for me for the BROADSIDE 2012 game. So with luck I should be able to get some painting done and have something to show on Friday.
All the best Cheers Clint

Monday 12 March 2012

The first vehicle.

This is the first vehicle I have managed to get done for the Force on Force game I plan to run at Broadside 2012. I hasten to add that it's not finished yet (as you'll notice if you look at the wheels. Yes There's some (lots) of tidying up to do. I also need to continue to "weather" it down for that really lived in feel. Still as a work in progress not too bad. This is a 20mm Britannia model. I could have put a 40mm grenade launcher on the vehicle, but decided the .50cal machine gun had a better look. I might send off for another of these brutes and put the alternate weapon on just for completion. The BAR armour was a right pain to paint and I'm still not happy with it, but I have some time so I might continue to fiddle with the paint. All in all It will suffice at least for now. I thought I might have some Taliban finished by today, but I got sidetracked onto this monster.I have 10 started so with luck I might get them done in the next couple of days, or I might tart this up. With vehicles I am never sure if I should base them. I can see points both for and against. For: the base will look like an integral part of the setting and make the model more than just a playing piece, It will allow the figures (who are also on bases) to reach the correct height while stood close to the vehicles and it can make them easier to transport. The down side is that it is more work and the base can interfere with the battle board terrain. Not that this machine will fit down any narrow gaps. For now I'll leave the vehicles off bases and tackle the issue much later. I am aware we now have less than 3 months till the show and I still have loads to do. Jane at Work has sprained her ankle (ah bless) so I have 6 hours of overtime each day this week. So with 14 hour days this blog might go dark a few times this week and next. Please bear with me I'll try to post as I normally do, but I can see myself just having to leave it once or twice.

All the best Clint.