Sunday, December 6, 2009

Creaking Along

I had hoped to have the entire SYW backlog finished up this weekend, but don’t. [Insert various lame excuses here.]

However, I did get the bases for all these fine fellows base-coated. My technique, shamelessly stolen from a White Dwarf article a few years ago, is:

1. Cover base in glue (white/PVA) or similar, then dunk in sand. I use Woodland Scenics fine ballast.

2. After thoroughly drying at least over night, paint with Apple Barrel “nutmeg brown” and again allow to thoroughly dry.

3. Drybrush with Apple Barrel “antique white.”

4. Stipple with white glue, then dunk in Woodland Scenics blended turf.

5. Optionally, add one or two tufts of static grass.

It ends up looking like this shot of Landgraf Bogey reviewing his troops:

Basing Example

What I’ve accomplished is up through step 2 for the following:


Musketeer Regiment Crommelin, 54 figures
Musketeer Regiment Walloon, 54 figures
Grenadier Regiment van Pallandt, 54 figures
Regiment te Paard Roncour, 24 figures
2 x 3pdr with 8 crew
5 mounted generals


Chevaulegers Regiment von Bruhl, 24 figures


Arquebusiers de Grassin, 18 figures


Infantry Regiment de Ligne (IR 38, Netherlands), 66 figures
Infantry Regiment Fürstenberg (Swabian), 66 figures

Obviously, the Imperial forces are receiving a large reinforcement! So what does that work out to? About 320 foot and 53 mounted figures. So I’ve been doing something! Now I need to base my Napoleonic Portuguese brigade, too (another 120 infantry, 24 mounted, and 4 guns with 20 or so crew).

This week’s purchases were the new books by Charles Grant and company: The Annexation of Chiraz, The Wargamers Annual Volume 1, and Wargaming in History Series: Charles Grant's
The Seven Years' War Krefeld, Sandershausen and Lutterberg – 1758
. My Eureka order arrived, with “Ragged Continentals” and the various new SYW vignettes—wonderful figures! I’m looking forward to the new Battlegames, which hopefully will arrive Monday.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Status Report

This morning saw the first figure-related gaming activity in months. I took a couple hours to start basing the figures that have been piling up over the last few months. Not exactly a thrill, but I was listening to the third installment of the View From The Veranda podcast.

This episode was about what is the inspiration behind wargaming. Some of the discussion was, as they say, “spot on” for me, while other parts were not the same as my experience. In particular, I came to miniature gaming from board wargames via Dungeons & Dragons. The first miniature game I played was a hypothetical post-Waterloo scenario using the rules Pas de Charge be George Nafziger.

So what have I accomplished, gaming wise? Not a whole lot, really, but today I got the sand glued down onto the bases for about 200 SYW figures for BAR. I have three regiments of Dutch WAS infantry, with two guns and two squadrons of horse, a regiment of the new Saxon Chevaulegers von Brühl, and a small force of Eureka Arquebusiers de Grassin all from Eureka Miniatures. I also have two regiments of Minden Miniatures Austrian infantry, one in pink facings and the other in red but painted as the Regiment von Fürstenberg.

Once this whole lot is ready, I’ll share some pics. The Mindens in particular look fabulous!

My reading stack has been piled with new rule books lately. I have Foundry’s Napoleon, Warlord Games’ Black Powder, and Sam Mustafa’s Lasalle. Hopefully when Ray visits over Christmas, we’ll give them all a test run.

On the technological side of the blog, this is my first entry using Windows Live Writer to compose the blog. So far it is very easy to use.

Ray and I attended Millenium Con XII in Austin, Texas in early November. The highlight of the con was playing in a Sharp Practice game by Faron Bell:


Ray and I definitely plan to play a few more games of Sharp Practice.

I have found what I think may be a “sweet spot” in my schedule: early Saturday and Sunday mornings. I hope to get in more basing, some painting, and weekly updates about them and whatever else is going on in gaming. See you then!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

The lead pile stirs

Note to self: No more saying/writing/blogging/thinking that things are getting better. It is best not to tempt fate that way.

That said, I have come to the conclusion that painting big battalions is just not going to happen any time soon. I'll be doing good to get the ones I have based!

So, the lead pile was raided today. My Eureka Arquebusiers de Grassin and two regiments of Austrians from Minden Miniatures are packed and will head off for painting on Monday. That reduces the pile by 152 figures. Although I need to order some mounted colonels from Frank.

Sending off this order leaves a regiment each of Minden Prussian fusiliers and musketeers, and two regiments of Old School Miniatures Prussian musketeers from Fighting 15s. Oh, and the newly-arrived Eureka Saxon horse.

Once these all get done, I would love to get more of the Minden Miniatures of various flavours, and some more Crusader Miniatures too. Of course, there are always plenty of other options out there, so we'll see. Checking the relative sizes of the Homburgers and their allies compared to the Landgraf and his allies reveals that the Electoral force needs more cavalry, the Imperials need more white-coated infantry of several flavors, and both sides are fairly even in the artillery arm.

Blogging about my armies just reminded me of one of those "Doh!" moments I recently experienced.

I was reading Charles S. Grant's various new books, The War Game Companion, Battlegames Table Top Teasers Vol 1, and Raid on St Michel. I was pondering how I could use them for some games, and was wondering the best way to represent the militia units in the books. (Quick summary: the militia units are half the size of regular units.) I contemplated ordering some of the Eureka "Ragged Continentals" and painting them up in various colors; that way they could stand in for any country that needed them.

That's when I realized that I already HAVE half-strength units (other that the obvious ploy of splitting "regular" units): my collection was originally for 24-figure units, and I have combined them into BAR-sized big battalions or purchased new ones at larger size. But I have four old units that were only 24 figures strong that I never up-sized. Voila! Instant militia! One is a Prussian Freibattalion, one is the Wurzburg Red battalion, and one each generic French and Spanish units. That was a satisfying discovery.

Which reminds me of my next game purchase: more bases. I must go count how many I need to order for the Dutch.


Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Blog? What blog?

I think we have finally reached a modicum of stability in the realm of family and health issues. No boring details here, though, since this is an ImagiNation after all!

So, what has the Landgraf been up to on the gaming front? Plenty of different things with no guiding principle.

First and most enjoyable, Ray came and visited. In the weeks leading up to his visit, something got us directed at Memoir '44. This WW2 board game with miniatures is a lot of fun, but I had not played it in years and Ray not at all. Well, we took care of that!

Ray now owns everything put out for the system, and I'm not far behind. During the weekend he was here, we played at least 12 games (six scenarios, swapping sides after each game). We thoroughly enjoyed it.

M44 is one of Richard Borg's Command & Colours series. I had bought the C&C version of Battle Cry at Cold Wars 2001 after playing it under Mr. Borg's guidance all afternoon. So I pulled it out for Ray and I to try.

Somehow, eight years later, the game is still mint: figures on sprues, counters unpunched, heck even the dice stickers are still on their sheet. Ray informed me that the game is being sold on Ebay and other places for a tidy sum. So, punch out and play or save and sell?? We decided to leave it for now.

But that led to all kinds of C&C-related excursions. We went looking for Napoleonic versions, especially ones we could play using our 28mm miniatures. I almost bought myself a set of Kallistra Hexon for my birthday to make into a miniatures game. Ray and I are still discussing it.

Our interest in GW's War of the Ring faded quickly. Even though I actually sat down and painted a dozen figures or so. Really!

I have made several book and terrain purchases (the Landgraf's pontoon train arrived today from PMCGames, for example), including the reprint of the classic His Britannic Majesty's Army in Western Germany by Eighteenth Century Press. And now I'm anxiously awaiting the third and final volume of Jack Gill's history of Napoleon's 1809 campaign.

On the ImagiNation front, my preorder of Eureka Miniatures' Saxon cavalry has arrived. Beautiful figures! The Empress will no doubt be please by this accession to her strength: 8 squadrons of cavalry, two each of cuirassiers, dragoons, chevaulegers, and hussars, plus a dismounted squadron for each of the two light regiments.

I did run my Le Petit Empereur game at ChimaeraCon 2009. It looked good, but only played through once or twice. See a couple of pics here.

I am working on some plans right now for the rest of the year. My Saxon cavalry, Mittel-Nirgendwo infantry, and various Minden Miniatures are all crying out to be painted, but I am sorely tempted by my Napoleonic lead pile. Hopefully, another post will follow soon with real progress to be noted.

Thanks for stopping by.

Ed v. H-F

Thursday, February 26, 2009

A Message from the Landgraf

This year has not started as one of the Landgraviate’s best. Suffice to say that due to familial health issues there has been zero gaming activity.

Which is not the same as “no gaming scheming.” I learned long ago that whenever you spend time at a doctor’s office or (especially) a hospital you must have books, magazines, rules, or some such to keep you occupied. If you don’t have them, you will be sitting for a long time. If you DO have them, either you spend less time waiting or it at least goes by quicker.

So I’ve done a fair bit of reading (Napoleonic history, the wargames magazines, all of the new C S Grant publications), and an even greater amount of thinking and planning.

In SYW units and armies and countries, I’ve made up lists using Minden, Battlescape, Fighting 15s, and Eureka figures. In fact, my Eureka Dutch were sent off to a painting service before Christmas and have returned. They look wonderful, but still are not based or terrained. That’s 3 battalions, 2 squadrons, 2 guns with crew and some generals all at BAR big battalion strength. And I’m waiting for the release of the Eureka 100 Club Saxon cavalry to make a big order there, too.

I’ve been looking at my Napoleonic collection (30:1 in 28mm) and drew up a list of units (of up to corps size!) from Calpe, Foundry, Perry, Victrix, Steve Barber, Front Rank, Eureka, and others. I have also committed to putting on an all-day demonstration (in 28mm) of the game Le Petit Empereur at a local San Antonio, Texas game convention, ChimaeraCon, on 7 March.

I picked up some Games Workshop stuff as well: the 40K Assault on Black Reach starter (to play against Ray), additional Lizardmen for my WHFB army, and I’m eagerly looking forward to the War of the Ring book as well.

As you can see when I don’t have an actual project in hard I tend to wander quite a bit! Note, however, that with the exception of reading books and opening boxes of miniatures, that I have not actually painted or gamed any of this. I hope that putting on the LPE demonstration will help, as it is reprise of a game Ray and I put on at MillenniumCon 2006. So I have all the parts and just need to put on the game.

So what are my plans for 2009? At this point I really don’t know. Hopefully ChimaeraCon will inspire me. Napoleonics and SYW are tied for most likely, with Lord of the Rings running a close third.

I’ll let you know how CCon goes!