Monthly Archives: July 2019

Gencon Preparations Continue — Oathsworn Mouse

Rob Dean

I had a little time for painting yesterday, so I decided that I had better work on more of the Burrows and Badgers figures I will be needing for Gencon.  I finished off another mouse warrior.  By Sunday, whatever I have done will be the pool of potential recruits for the third warband I’m providing.

via The Sharp End of the Brush http://sharpbrush.blogspot.com/2019/07/gencon-preparations-continue-oathsworn.html
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Axebeak: Bones 4 Lost Valley Figure

Chris Palmer

  This past week I also painted the Axebeak from the Bones 4 Lost Valley Expansion set.  This was one of the last remaining monsters I needed to complete my Ghost Archipelago bestiary, so was happy to finally get it in my hands.
       I prepped the figure in the usual way, soaking it in a dish of water with a couple drops of dish-soap added, then giving it a light scrub with a soft toothbrush, and then rinsing and drying it.  I then glued the figure to a pair of black-primed 1" fender washers, set adjacent to one another, with Aleene’s Tacky glue, and then placed the figure in my painting grip.

     I began by painting its body with Americana “Wedgewood Blue”, its beak and eyes with Reaper MSP “Hearth Fire”, and its crest and tail with Americana “Grey Sky”.

     Next, I painted the legs and “hands” with Ceramcoat “Raw Sienna”, and his tongue with Americana “Shading Flesh”.  I then let the figure dry for a while, and afterwards gave the entire thing a coat of Citadel “Nuln Oil” wash.  When the wash was dry, I drybrushed the main body with a mix of the base"Wedgewood Blue" and some lighter Crafter’s Acrylic Tropical Blue".

     I then drybrushed the beak with some Americana “Tangerine”, and did further highlights with a mix of the Tangerine and some Apple Barrel “Lemon Chiffon”. Next, I drybrushed the tail and the crest with Americana “Snow White”, and the legs and “hands” with a mix of the base “Raw Sienna” and some lighter Ceramcoat “Maple Sugar Tan”.    After that I used some of the “raw Sienna”/“Maple Sugar Tan” mix and painted highlights directly on the ribbing on the legs.  I followed up by painting the talons with just some of the “Maple Sugar Tan”, and highlighting his tongue with the base “Shading Flesh”.
     Next, I painted  toucan-like markings on his beak, and did his eyes, with Ceramcoat “Black”.  I then went back and painted irises in the eyes with Americana “True Blue”, and added in “Black” pupils and some “Snow White” highlight specks.  Lastly, I painted the entire base with “Americana "Mississippi Mud”.
       I let the figure dry overnight and the next day I gave it a coat of Americana “DuraClear Matte” varnish.    Then, when  the varnish was dry, I used some white glue to flock the base.  Another overnight dry, and I sprayed it with Testor’s “Dullcote”.  When the “Dullcote” was dry, I went back and hit is eyes with a little Americana “DuraClear Gloss” varnish. 

     This is a nice simple figure, and was an easy one to paint up. I’m generally pleased with how it turned out.

via All Bones About It http://allbonesabout.blogspot.com/2019/07/axebeak-bones-4-lost-valley-figure.html
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Retreat from Moscow at Historicon 2019

Buck

I ran a fun Combat Patrol™ game at Historicon using the Napoleonic supplement rules.  It featured a ragtag group of starving Frenchmen trying to reach the safety of a small Russian village while the pursuing Russians worked to stop them.

Lindybiege moves his French troops.

The Russians came from all sides of the table.  Most of the Frenchmen were in a small column in the center of the table.  The French were aided by some early card draws and unusually fast movement.

The French cavalry reach the outskirts of town where they were quickly engaged by fanatical Russian priests.

Dave Wood helps keep the game moving.

Pursuing Russian infantry.

When the game ended, the French had the better part of four teams (five figures each) into the town’s buildings.  The Russians have four teams of infantry and some remnants of other units. We had to call the game, because the hotel was going to kick us out of the hall, and it was clear that the French would be able to hold out against attacks by the remaining infantry.

I think all the players had a good time.  I made a few tweaks to the scenario after the play test at a HAWKs night, and it seemed to really make the scenario work well.

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The Battle of Hoth

Buck

Greg and I ran two instances of the Battle of Hoth with Combat Patrol™ at Historicon 2019. The first was Friday night, and the second was Saturday morning.  Both instances went well.  On Friday night the Imperials got half way to the cave / hangar.  On Saturday they blew up the shield generator.  At that point, the heroes tried to escape in the Millennium Falcon.  When it emerged from the cave entrance an Imperial AT-AT took a reaction shot and blew up the Falcon!

A long shot of the table mid way through Friday night.

An Imperial AT-AT walks over Rebel trenches.

The Rebels received 9.7 points for every turn the Millennium Falcon was on the table.  As soon as the shield generator was blown up, the heroes had to board the Falcon and fly away, ending the game.  The Imperials received 1 point for each Rebel they killed and 5 points for heavy weapons.  At the end of the first day, the score was 58.2 to 57 in favor of the Rebels.  In the second to last turn of the second day, the score was tied up, but with a lot of last turn casualties and the death of the Falcon, it was a convincing Imperial victory.

Another view of the table.

Snow speeders attack!

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Americans in the Philippines at Historicon

Buck

Overview of the table.

I ran a Combat Patrol™ game set in the Philippines in 1941 Thursday evening at Historicon 2019.  The game involved and advancing Japanese infantry platoon supported by light tanks and defending American infantry with an anti-tank gun.

Japanese advance through a defile.

The Japanese were very cautions with their tanks, moving them through the difficult terrain instead of up the road.  They guessed that the Americans would have the road covered, and they were correct.  The Japanese weighted their right flank.  Initially it was slow going (at half speed through the jungle) but when they hit the thick grass they picked up the pace a bit.

The American defenses along the creek, which was impassible to vehicles.

The Americans chose a very linear defense.  When they detected the Japanese movement through the jungle, they quickly repositioned their machine-guns.  A lot of hidden movement can really slow down a convention game, so I had the Americans deploy their infantry on the table, but I let them do hidden placement for their two machine-guns and the anti-tank gun.

The Americans advanced from their line along the creek to attack the light Japanese left flank.

The American player on their right flank recognized that the Japanese had weighted their right and that their left was weak.  To make the game interesting, he chose to advance to try to disrupt the Japanese attack.  Unfortunately, luck was not with him, and the Japanese spotted them first and opened fire.  by the end of the game, this American squad was all but wiped out.

Eventually, the Japanese decide to advance over the bridge.

Toward the end of the Japanese finally mustered the courage to advance across the bridge with their tanks.  The anti-tank gun took a reaction fire, which brewed up the light tank.  Though the Americans lost the battle, this provided a moment of victory.

The Japanese and Americans engage in a firefight across the creek.

The Americans were defending the creek on their left.  The Japanese advanced to the creek.  The Americans reacted first, mauling the first Japanese squad that showed itself.  After a couple of turns, however, the Japanese recovered somewhat and began to gain the upper hand in the protracted firefight.  When the smoke cleared, the Americans were withdrawing, and the Japanese easily advanced across the creek to the hut along the road.

Another view of the table.

I think all the players had a good time.  They were all engaged throughout the battle.

I used the rules from the South Pacific supplement, including the Banzai! charge rules.  For some of the players, this was their first exposure to Combat Patrol, but they grasped the rules quickly and were soon playing the game with only minimal involvement by me.

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Armies for Kids at Historicon 2019

Buck

The recipients of the free armies and Chris Johnson, this year’s GM.

At Historicon 2019, the Harford Area Weekly Kriegspielsers hosted another Armies for Kids game.  This year’s GM was Chris Johnson.

The game in progress.

I think this is the eighth or ninth year we have done this.  We paint six sets of armies, one for each “side.”  We package those along with rules (Milk and Cookies Rules from Big Battles for Little Hands), rulers, dice, paper terrain, and other goodies.  The game is a participation game for kids under ten years old.  When the game is over, each of the kids gets to take home a full set of painted figures and all the accessories.

A closeup of some of the action.

The idea is that hopefully these kids go home and start playing games with their buddies. The kids at the convention come with their parents, so in many ways we are preaching to the converted; however, we hope that these kids go home and introduce their little buddies to wargaming.

The kids and all their swag.

We only had five kids this year, but we were prepared for six.  Do these kids look happy to you?  A couple of recent years we’ve had trouble getting enough kids for this project.  Maybe we’ll need to put it away for a while.

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Townsfolk, Cooper: Bones 4 Figure

Chris Palmer

    This past week I painted the Cooper from the Bones 4 Core Townsfolk II set.  I thought it was about time I tackled one of the plain ol’ Human figures from Bones 4! 🙂
     I prepped the figure in the usual way, soaking it in a dish of water with a couple drops of dish-soap added, then giving it a light scrub with a soft toothbrush, and then rinsing and drying it.  I then glued the figure to a black-primed 1" fender washer with Aleene’s Tacky glue, and then placed the figure in my painting grip.

     I began by painting his face and arms with Reaper MSP “Tanned Skin”.  I then painted his pants with Folk Art “Dark Brown”, his shirt with Americana “Antique White”, and his vest with Anita’s Burnt Sienna".

    Next, I painted his boot with Americana “Bittersweet Chocolate”, his hat with Vallejo Model Color “USA Olive Drab”, and his belt and pouch with Americana “Asphaltum”.  Then I painted his mallet with Americana “Sable Brown”, the keg with Americana “Fawn”,  and his scabbard with Accent “Real Umber”.

          I then did his hair with Accent Mustard Seed and his belt buckle with Americana “Zinc”.   I let the figure dry for a while, and then gave his face and arms a coat of Citadel “Reikland Fleshshade” wash.  When that was dry, I gave the rest of the figure a wash with Citadel “Agrax Earthshade” wash".  When the washes were good and dry, I painted his eyes, and then highlighted his skin with Reaper MSP Tanned Highlight".  I also highlighted his hair with Ceramcoat “Maple Sugar Tan”.

     Next, I highlighted his shirt with the base “Antique White”, and then some of the “Antique White” mixed with a little Americana “Bleached Sand”.   I then highlighted his vest with some of the base “Burnt Sienna” mixed with a little Crafter’s Acrylic “Orange Spice”, and his pants with some Folk Art “Teddy Bear Brown”.  After that, I highlighted his mallet and the keg both with some of the “Bleached Sand”, and I highlighted his boots with Americana “Mississippi Mud”.  Next, I highlighted his pouch and belt with Americana “Sable Brown”,  his scabbard with Nicole’s “Brown”, and his hat with Reaper MSP “Turkey Brown”.
     When I was done painting the figure, I used some white glue to glue some fine brown sand to the base.  When the sand was dry, I painted it with a coat of Americana “Raw Umber”. When this was dry, I drybrushed the sand with Ceramcoat “Territorial Beige”, and then with some Folk Art “Butter Pecan”; lastly I drybrushed it with a little Crafter’s Acrylic “Light Antique White”.
      I let the figure dry overnight and the next day I gave it a coat of Americana “DuraClear Matte” varnish.    Another overnight dry, and I sprayed it with Testor’s Dullcote".

     It was nice to work on a relatively simple “normal” figure. 🙂  I think he turned out pretty well in the end.

via All Bones About It http://allbonesabout.blogspot.com/2019/07/townsfolk-cooper-bones-4-figure.html
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Historicon 2019 AAR

Rob Dean

This year is the the 25th anniversary of the HAWKs, and Historicon has moved to a new venue, the Lancaster County Convention Center in downtown Lancaster.  With those two points in mind, when the call for HAWKs games for the convention went out a few months ago, I decided to sign up.  Unfortunately, right after making that decision, my employer decided they need me in Kentucky through the Friday of the convention.  That left me with space for one game, and I elected to run a Not Quite Seven Years War game.  This was probably not the most considered decision I have made. 

I got back from my trip, which itself fell right after all of the excitement surrounding Norman’s wedding, on Friday afternoon, with all of the collecting and packing for my game still to do.

I had considered the scenario in advance, and elected to use one of the tried and true C.S. Grant situations from Scenarios for Wargames, #15, Reinforcements in Defence: On the Table.  In my usual translation of Grant scenarios to Charge, that gave a force of four foot regiments and a cavalry regiment to the attackers, and three infantry regiments and a cavalry regiment to the defenders.  What I hadn’t stopped to consider in advance was that I only have six complete regiments of infantry around the house.  I decided to assemble the assorted companies of incomplete units to get the seventh, but it did involve “reflagging” some of the Schoeffen-Buschhagen troops as belonging to some unspecified minor power with similar uniforms. 

I was happy to find that all of the necessary scenery was near the surface, although my scenery storage boxes now definitely need a reorganization, as ad hoc searching through them the last several games have induced a good deal of entropy into the system.  By 10:00 Saturday morning I had everything gathered, and attached it all to a hand cart we got for Gencon the other year.  I had heard that parking was likely to be a problem, so I wanted to be ready to haul the game as needed.

Hand cart test loaded

I got up to Lancaster about 12:30, and ran into my first problem. Driving by myself, I couldn’t get the GPS system to recognize the parking structures on the fly, and Lancaster is a twisty little maze of one-way streets, all the same.  So it took a while to find the entrance of one of the official structures.  It was about three and a half rather long blocks from the convention center, so I set out to scout without reloading the cart.  The convention had supposedly arranged dropoff zones and volunteers to watch your stuff, but when I first drove by the convention center the spaces were all full, and I didn’t really want to leave even a friend to mind my stuff for an uncertain amount of time while I circled looking for parking.  Anyway, I arrived on foot and found that my QRS code to pick up my badge worked without issue.  I found the HAWKs in a dim, cavernous, and noisy hall, one of two dedicated to gaming.  Since my game wasn’t until 7:00, I decided that I would do whatever shopping I was doing and then go collect my hand cart and gear.  I ended up with a couple of 1/72 plastic figure boxes (Silk Road caravan and Etruscans, the latter a potential Sea Peoples tribe for the Bronze Age), a Deep Cuts Studio road pack (for the new table, as a test), a resin rowboat for Ghost Archipelago, and a couple of books.  I had a look around the flea market as well, but, perhaps fortunately, nothing seemed to be immediately necessary or useful.

I can’t resist new 1/72; the Airfix imprinting remains…

After that, I walked back to the car and loaded my cart.  As you can see from the pictures, the front wheels are small, so dragging it three blocks across city sidewalks was an adventure.  I dragged it up to the HAWKs space to await set up time.

Eventually, I got things set up.  As can be seen from the pictures, I used the dozen company movement stands to keep things moving along.  By Saturday night most people were starting to run down, so I had only three players of a possible six, so everyone had plenty to do.  The attackers got two players.  I had several situations arise where Charge!’s old school mechanics were troubling players, so I’m not sure that it was one of my better games, a bit disappointing after all the labor to haul it and set it up.

Coalition forces deploy to seize the hill

Anyway, this scenario is a tough one on the defenders, as they are pretty much guaranteed to lose everything initially on the table in the effort to buy time to use the reinforcements effectively.  The Pragmatic Coalition forces started right off with an attempt to charge the gun position at the end of the Alliance line with the Schoeffen-Buschhagen (S-B) hussars, which ended up in a complicated accidental melee with advancing Alliance dragoons.  The hussars attacking the gun were met with a withering blast of canister, and the gun position was secure for the moment.

S-B Hussars charge, bravely but futilely

Undeterred by this failure, the Coalition commander next sent in the Wachovian light infantry to seize the gun.  They succeeded, but were driven off in turn by the first reinforcements to arrive, more Alliance dragoons.  A complicate cavalry melee developed at the end of the alliance position (typical in most of the times I’ve used this scenario).  Meanwhile, Coalition infantry rolled forward, generally holding up well in the firefight with the Alliance infantry.

Cavalry melee develops as Alliance dragoons attempt to buy time

As the Alliance commander sounded the retreat at the hill, the cavalry melee broke up, and new Alliance infantry arrived on the scene.

Alliance reinforcements begin to deploy for battle

However, this had taken quite a while, and sunset was close.  (See below.)  As the armies made ready for a rough night on the field, a small party of Alliance dragoons had pressed forward to find that the survivors of the von Nordhafen regiment had retired.  The other leading Coalition regiment was near to breaking as well, and the issue the next day, when the infantry would have been nearly equal, was still in doubt.  Possibly the Coalition forces would have been able to use their superiority in artillery and cavalry to drive off the Alliance army, but vital time had already been lost…

Situation as night falls; hill remains contested

It turned out that the convention center had booked the main gaming halls for another event on Sunday, so we had to clear out by a hard deadline of midnight.  With the logistics involved in stowing 550 individually based figures for travel, I didn’t want to press the issue, so we called the game around 10:30.  One or two more turns wouldn’t have been decisive in any case, so the Alliance was deemed to have succeeded in their orders to hold until nightfall.  The next day here would make for an interesting scenario; perhaps I’ll have a go at translating it into AGW for fun and play it soon.  

Also, I’m not a night owl, and it was a somewhat tense drive home, well beyond my usual bed time.  Duncan Adams helped me out by watching my cart while I got the car.  I wasn’t thrilled by running out of the regularly inhabited zone of the downtown district at 11:30, but I got back to the convention center with the car, where I found that the designated parking was all blocked by non-Historicon people.  Nevertheless, we got things loaded up.  Rough roads on the way back were hard on the travel boxes; the cavalry, in particular, don’t have enough steel area to “grab” the magnets of the boxes for their weight.  Happily nothing was damaged, but the appearance upon arriving home was alarming. 

Rough roads home from Lancaster

Overall, I’m cautious about the new venue.  It’s much nicer than the decaying Host had been, but the difficulties around parking and unloading don’t appear to be easy to address.  The center also had three of six escalators malfunctioning, and an elevator problem would have been serious, given that the spaces used were stacked on four levels.  If I go again next year, I’d prioritize running a more portable game, just for some extra margin with contingencies.

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Nick “Lindybiege” plays Retreat from Moscow at Hostoricon.

Nick “Lindybiege” plays Retreat from Moscow at Hostoricon.

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Luke attacks with his snow speeded.

Luke attacks with his snow speeded.

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