Saturday, 29 March 2014

A Tale of Duelling Gamers - Prologue

Not quite as ominous as it sounds - there are no pistols at dawn here, and the only things that will be flying are paintbrushes rather than bullets. You see, a Tale of Duelling Gamers is a painting challenge pioneered by Puddingwrestler of Terrain For Hippos blog fame. In previous years, the challenge has been Duelling Paintbrushes and has been an intense competition between Puddingwrestler and Hoodling of The Hoodling's Hole (whose blog regular readers will hopefully have noticed in my own blog roll), and gradually expanded to include other Aussie gamers. This year, the challenge has been expanded to include other participants over an extended time period, and I've taken the plunge and asked to take part in order to work towards completing my ambition of painting all my Wood Elf figures by the end of the year. 

For those who used to read the White Dwarf magazines of old, you might be familiar with the 'Tale of Four Gamers' series and the Tale of Duelling Gamers follows a similar format. 

The Objective

To build up a Warhammer/Warhammer 40,000 army over a period of months, reporting on progress along the way. The challenge is designed to show new gamers how they can build up an effective army without blowing their brudgets over a period of months, and how this can be a much more relaxed process than the insane flurry that is Duelling Paintbrushes. We also aim to show how, through the cunning application of second hand or on special (or from Mantic!) you can accumulate $700 worth of GW stuff for a fraction of the cost.

The Rules

The full rules can all be found on Google Drive but here's the important ones:
  • The challenge runs from April to September 2014
  • The first month's budget is $200, and then $100 for each month after
  • Anyone mad enough to take part from a non-Australian country must base their purchases on current Australian GW retail prices. This is to ensure that the rest of the world feel sympathy for Australian gamers who have to pay these prices normally.
  • Models can be bought second-hand, or taken from an existing collection, but the budget is based on current GW retail prices for the equivalent models in AUD
  • Each month's installment is to be completely built and painted by the end of that month. 
  • Progress is to be reported in a blog post, at least once a month.
  • Those who sign up and then decide to drop out shall be rightly taunted for the weedy gits they are

So there you have it! The challenge starts on April 1st, so I'll be taking stock of what figures I can paint up to make the final legal list. Meanwhile, I've got to start working out how much stuff costs in Australia - I have a feeling I won't be getting much for my money!

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Kirkburn Bridge at WMMS

Last weekend saw the 38th West Midlands Military Show take place at Aldersley Leisure Village, near Wolverhampton, and as I briefly mentioned in my last post we took along our "Kirkburn Bridge" game to show. The four of us (Gary, Paul, my old man Kev and myself) had a very enjoyable day out, and to top it off, myself and Paul (the Young 'Uns) led the Scots to victory over the Old Guard (Gary and Kev) which means that Scots are currently 2-1 up in the overall scores for this scenario! 

What follows are the collection of photos I took on the day at various points, which hopefully give a flavour for the course of the game. 

The two forces at the start of the battle - the Scots ensconced in the corner,
with the English moving onto the battlefield from two directions.
Another view showing the English flooding across the river near
 the "kirk" and the bridge (hence the name of the battle!)
Youth vs. Experience - Paul (right) moves the Scots against Gary's (left) English.
Somehow, Youth managed to come out on top (despite Paul's best efforts!)

The Scots in the foreground (mine) shuffle out into a battle line to confront the two incoming English brigades; in the background, Paul makes hard work of defeating Gary's numerically inferior knights.

Hereford's command (background) slogs its way across the field, while in the foreground
Gloucester's command form up to confront the Scots guarding the stream crossing.

What's wrong with this picture? A couple of missing Scottish units,
 as a result of Paul's unusually poor dice rolling!

Meanwhile, the Scottish reinforcements of Moray's command
continually fail to take advantage of the exposed English flanks

Edward Bruce stalwartly prepares the defences on the Scottish left flank, holding up Gloucester's command for the whole game with a couple of units of peasants!

Hereford's command continue their slow progress across the field;
Robert the Bruce wanders over to see what's taking so long...

Meanwhile, Paul's Scots continue to decline all opportunities to break the English resistance -
despite having less than half the number of units, Gary still has the upper hand!

The Duke of Gloucester finally reaches the stream,
while the Scottish peasants taunt him from the higher ground.

Finally, the English resolve breaks (no thanks to Paul!) and
the Scottish flank is cleared, with King Edward taken prisoner! 
Meanwhile, Gloucester's knights finally charge across the river -
Gloucester's retinue (foreground) push back the peasants, and will eventually break them,
while Clifford's retinue suffer the ignominy of defeat and are subsequently routed!
In the background, the rest of the Scots spearmen impatiently wait for Hereford to engage... 

Having defeated and routed Clifford's knights, the De La Haye/Annandale spears decide to take the fight to the English - this proved to be a mistake, as I wandered off leaving Paul in command of my units, and Paul conspired to lose this fight as well! Subsequently, the heroes of the flank turned into villains as they were routed by lowly Welsh archers!

Hereford still shying from engagement, as the Scots continue to hold the line,
with reinforcements arriving in the form of Scottish knights...

Having finally broken the Scottish peasants, Gloucester's remaining cavalry make their way
into the rear of the Scottish lines, but are on the verge of routing themselves...

The view of the field as the battle draws the a close - the English have lost one division (Pembroke's) and are on the verge of losing another (Gloucester's), with Hereford reluctant to commit to the fight. Meanwhile, the Scots hold a strong centre and have a complete division and the remains of the Highland division available as reinforcements. A clear Scottish victory!

And just to round out the day, we were subsequently awarded two awards for our efforts! We were very happy to receive the trophies for 3rd Best Demo Game, and for Best Painted Army! 
So all in all, a very successful day! The Young 'Uns carried the day, despite Paul's best efforts to botch our superiority on the right flank, but more importantly we all had a fantastic day, and thoroughly enjoyed playing, shopping, chatting and meeting lots of people who expressed an interest in our game. 

Many thanks to all those who stopped to look, and to those that stayed a bit longer to stop and chat too! We're hoping to next take the game to Phalanx at St. Helens in June, so for anyone in the North West - look out for us there!

Saturday, 8 March 2014

WMMS 2014

Just a quick note to anyone in or near the Midlands area - tomorrow, Sunday 9th March, is the West Midlands Military Show at Aldersley Leisure Village (known as "Alumwell" to us who attended the show before the venue change).

Once again, we'll be putting on our 'Kirkburn Bridge' game so if you're attending the show, please pop along and say hello. Doors open to the public at 10am!

For more details of the show (including directions, list of traders and exhibits) head to:

Saturday, 1 March 2014

The First Steps...

OK, getting the Great Repaint under way! 

I've spent the last couple of weeks prepping figures for the repaint - stripping some painted stuff, assembling some "new" stuff, rebasing stuff and undercoating (yes, the rain finally stopped!)

The first batch to face the brushes is this:

4 Dryads
9 current Glade Guard
1 old Glade Guard champion (who I'll probably use as a lesser character)
Highborn with GW
9 Eternal Guard
32 old plastic Archers

They've all been spray undercoated white, and as you can see I've painted all the bases (Dawnstone/Codex Grey). Next up, they'll all receive an all-over wash of Nuln Oil. It's not really necessary to wash them all over, but it saves me being neat! It's a nice easy job and doesn't require much concentration, which means it's possible for me to do it while sitting in front of the TV of an evening if I have to spend time with the other half (and it's also possible to do even if a cat decides it's going to sit on my lap while I'm painting, which I found out this afternoon...) 

Once these are all washed, I'll start with the proper painting. Meanwhile, I've got 15 Glade Riders lined up and ready to undercoat next, and a bunch of minis mid-assembly which I can work on at will. I always like to have several different things on the go at different stages, so that I can avoid particular jobs if I'm not in the mood and do something easier (like paint bases or wash figures in front of the TV...)

Talking of assembling minis though, I've a quandary I need some help with. It might be a bit of a long shot, but I'm calling out to all those people with a Forest Dragon model...

I'm trying to assemble my Dragon, and everything's reasonably straightforward with the exception of the right foot (pictured below). Trouble is, I just cannot work out what the correct 'angle' is for it to attach to the leg. The join isn't flush, so I can't work out how it's supposed to be positioned, and I can't work out a natural angle for the part that keeps the foot on the floor at the same level as the front foot...

So, does anyone have an example of the correct angle/position for the foot, and would someone perhaps be able to take a picture to show me how I'm supposed to attach mine?!