Saturday 1 June 2013

Happy accident?

Not everything goes to plan for any of us. I was hoping to share some figure with you this morning. Alas due to an accident on one of the BBIB Broadside boards I have had my spare time snatched away as I tried to deal with it. I must have had a careless moment and a dollop of yellow paint was discovered towards the centre of one of the boards. It was a small dollop but had dried overnight. This gave me two options, Scrape it and sand it off, or treat it as an opportunity. I took the lazy (erhm... I mean the more considered) way and treated it as a happy accident.

Two coats of varnish later I added white "breaker" waves around this tiny (paint) "island". It has now become a reef or a shoal or some other navigation hazard. It makes one section of the board ever so slightly tricky. It is not a large hazard but it is something to avoid moving into. Which is a polite way of saying everyone else will avoid it and yet somehow it will be strangely "magnetic" to my ships!

Two closer pictures of the blemish the lower image being bigger than life size. So it really is not a huge mote and now that I have come to terms with it I actually think of it as an advantage and adds something to the boards. As indicated in the title it is indeed a happy accident.

That's it for today.  Club tomorrow and a game of "Dead Man's Hand" . So until Monday have a good couple of days and with luck talk again on Monday.

Post Script: I can now get a local supply of Confectioners chocolate. So with luck I should be able to make something nice for the BROADSIDE Bloggers. Although I must admit I will be giving certain traders priority..... it all depends on how much I an make in time.

All the best Clint.

Thursday 30 May 2013

Dead Mans Hand

Dead Mans Hand by Great Escape Games is a set of wild west skirmish rules. I purchased these rules at Salute this year. Now having read them I thought I would offer my initial thoughts. As yet I have not played the game but I have a game planned for Sunday so on Monday I will probably give my second thoughts on the rules along with an after action report.

The Good.

Firstly let me start with the fact that I do generally like these rules. They are well written and very well presented with high production values. The initiative system to determine which figure goes first is quite simply the best I have come across in any skirmish game. It's both tactical and swift to implement and allows players some, but very limited, control of the order they will be able to carry out the battle in that turn. The rest of the mechanics are equally slick with combat being quick (and with good dice rolls) deadly. Any character can have instant death on a d20 roll of 19+. Which I feel is fair as a lucky shot can and will kill anyone. This does not appear to be the main way of dying though. Normally you will suffer a series of flesh wounds or combat fatigue which will wear away the figure until they just can't cope and are forced to leave the board. There are cut out counters (we'll all photo copy them rather than chop up the book) which not only cover these wounds but ammo and movement as well. Overall the game mechanics are well thought out simple to implement and seem, without playing to present a very good level of challenge.

One other factor of the game is that each player is dealt a hand of cards. These cards can be played as the player wants but only restocked at the rate of 1 card a turn and only in the turn a card is used. Which means that if you use 2 cards in one turn then you will only ever get one random card from the whole pack back. This adds a nice tactical element to the use of cards. each card from a standard deck of playing cards has a special rule. Some apply to the figure you are using, the others to your opponents figures. Each of the four suits (Hearts, clubs, diamonds and spades) applies to one of the 4 types of gangs/posses. But you will only be using the colour (red and black) that applies to your gang type, (sometimes just the suit that applies.) I won't go into any more detail about the fate deck just to say all the special results do fit into the Wild West Skirmish Genre.

The Bad

Despite all the good stuff there is some bad things, or should I say things I don't like (maybe you will). I feel there has been a serious number of missed opportunities. Weapon choice is very limited, Pistol,  Rifle, Repeater and Shotgun. So if you wanted a derringer or a sawn off or anything more unusual you are out of luck. 4 types of gun and that's it (5 types if you fire both barrels of the shotgun!). Maybe in the future they will charge you for a supplement that will have more in, but I really think they should have been in the core rules. Likewise melee weapons are  non existent in the rules.  The whole melee rules fit on a single A4  page. Which means an unarmed figure is just as good in hand to hand as a guy with a cavalry sabre. Draw your own conclusion from that, personally I would give the bloke with a sword a better chance of being the one who can walk away!

The Ugly.

 There are no rules for Native Americans or First Nation if you want the PC terms or Injuns if you use the Hollywood 1960's vernacular. Again another missed opportunity which given the slimness of the rules could easily have been rectified. Given the lack of hand weapons and the fact they have tied each gang type to a suit in the card deck unless they are willing double up on suits or create a whole new one they have limited themselves. I do feel the rules are overpriced, YES I AM A CHEAPSKATE! The rule book is slim with a softback cover Easily bent and creased.... mine already has been coming home from Salute. I find the playing cards unimaginative both on the face and the reverse sides. They just lack character. They will function in the game well enough, but so will unpainted figures and cardboard boxes for buildings, I bet you would paint your figures though! The scenarios are good and tie into some very popular films but there is minimal guidance for creating your own scenarios or building any form of campaign. Just that a standard game should have 21 points each side. Points are only given for figures, not weapons or cards in the fate deck or starting positions or anything else. It's very much a case of you have the same points each now fight it out! There is also no character progression so once you have a posse/gang then that's it. Legends of the old west (basically Wild west Necromunda) does this so well that it is a shame that other companies can't at least acknowledge the fact that the continuing story of your gangs might have some appeal.


The game mechanics are good and do replicate the feel of a "Spaghetti Western" very well. They give a flavour of few dollars more and not High Noon. SO for a one off game of shooting cowboy against shooting cowboy in a town setting the rules are very good. If you are looking for more detail or a campaign setting  or Cowboys and Indians or anything other than the scenarios in the book hard luck it's all a missed opportunity.

Sorry if all that sounds negative. It's just that with such good game mechanics and a tactical initiative system it is disappointing, to me that they have not carried it further. If they had included more and put it in a hard back I would happily have paid £30. for the rules. When I say included more I am not saying a painting guide or history of the west or any of that filler fluff. None of us need any more of that. But greater diversity of weapons gangs and a campaign system would have turned this into a fantastic set. As it stands If they do bring out a supplement I will be "Meh!" as I think it will be another £20 and still not cover all the issues it will need to.

The rules are good but I am not sure I would have bought them if I had read them first, just too much missing for me. But a fool and his money etc..

That's it for today. Tune in Saturday for some painted figures. All the best Clint

Edit Sunday Morning Pre game: Having re-read the rules before I head down to the club I have found the rules for horses. They are very brief and in the scenarios section as opposed to the main rules. So I must apologise for misleading you earlier in the week.

Tuesday 28 May 2013


I promise this has nothing to do with what I have eaten or my digestive tract in any way. This is in fact what I am considering using for my wind marker at the BROADSIDE show. I originally bought it for "Uncharted Seas" by Spartan Games. but until the weekend it had just sat there unpainted and un loved. I even tried to sell it at a bring and buy but no one else wanted it either. So this weekend I gave it some paint love and got it finished. From the time the undercoat took to dry to finish (still to be varnished more of this later) took about 20 minutes and most of that time was me procrastinating. IF it is used as a wind direction marker I will add a VERY almost "Persil" white line from it's mouth to the base edge so players will know for sure which ay the wind is blowing EXACTLY!

The reason It has yet to be varnished is that I have yet to varnish the boards for the show and It makes sense to me to do the wind marker and the boards at the same time so they have the same very glossy appearance.

My dilemma is whether it would be right to use this and not a more traditional arrow to identify the way the wind is blowing. An arrow is perhaps clearer and much more expected and a lot less likely for passers by to think I have introduced sea monsters into a Napoleonic Navel Game. If I do use this I will have to be ready for kids (and stoopid know who you are,) to leave the show thinking there was a fantasy sea battle. So my question is will people at the show be very literal or will they accept it as a wind marker?

That's it for today. next one is Thursday. So until then thanks for reading and let's get painting.
All the best Clint.

Sunday 26 May 2013

Welch Regiment of Fusiliers (15mm WSS unit)

Finally I have managed to finish my first unit for the War of Spanish Succession (WSS). Based for "Beneath the Lily Banners rules. with 6 figures to a base 3 bases to a unit. Each base is 40mm frontage and 30mm depth. I have deliberately set the troops towards the back of the base and put no tufts or foliage on the base. This was because I want the figures and not the base to be the main focus. Due to a painting mishap they have been repainted so they are not quite as sharp as I would hope. But they have reached a standard with which I can accept so nothing to worry about and I'll not be re doing them. I have taken the colours from The War Room. I have also taken reference from the Lily Banner rule book and Front Rank. (checking both the individual figures and their gallery). I am in no way an expert so if I have anything wrong kindly let me know and I'll try to get it right next time (but no promises!)

The Welch* Regiment of Fusiliers was part of Rowe's Brigade at the Battle of Blenhiem. The Battle of Blenheim (referred to in some countries as the Second Battle of Höchstädt), fought on 13 August 1704, was a major battle of the War of the Spanish Succession. Louis XIV of France sought to knock Emperor Leopold out of the war by seizing Vienna, the Habsburg capital, and gain a favourable peace settlement.

The Royal Welch Fusiliers was an infantry regiment of the British Army, part of the Prince of Wales' Division. It was founded in 1689 to oppose James II and the imminent war with France. The regiment was numbered as the 23rd Regiment of Foot, though it was one of the first regiments to be granted the honour of a fusilier title and so was known as The Welsh Regiment of Fusiliers from 1702. The "Royal" accolade was earned fighting in the War of the Spanish Succession in 1713. SO at the Battle of Blenheim and for most of the WSS they did not have the "Royal" prefix.

It was commanded at Blenheim by Lieutenant General Richard Ingoldsby and numbering approximately 520 men. And as mentioned above was part of Rowe's Brigade, " the war room," (linked above,) has no colour details for it so I have simply left them out. As I am not sure they carried them or what they would look like, although I could of course hazard a guess.

*Welch is the old spelling of "Welsh" . In the Boer war and the First World War the regiment was called "The Royal Welsh Fusiliers" but in 1920 the name was changed back to the Royal Welch Fusiliers in 1920 under the Army Order no:56 although during this time the soldiers in the Regiment did tend to use the more archaic "Welch".

 Anyone interested in flags on model soldiers could do worse that to follow Ray's blog (LINK) as the regiment also was part of the Williamite force in the battle of the Boyne which Ray has been painting for recently (and I feel confident he will have done much more research than me!)

Every time I try to paint something I have never painted before it always seems to take much longer. Not that I have done one however I am confident I can get the next unit done in about 1/2 the time, and probably to a better standard.  Thanks for bearing with me as I have struggled to get them finished I feel confident I can crack on with the next unit now so I would expect to see more of the same every few weeks (you have been warned).

Have a good Bank Holiday week end folks and next blog post from me will most likely be Wednesday.... and as I have nothing started I had better get a wriggle on.

All the best Clint