21 May 2018

A Question of Scale 2

Almost 10 years ago I put together a post called A Question of Scale in which I lamented the difficulty of assessing the size of buildings before buying them. At the time I was looking at 15mm buildings for my 28mm Napoleonic large battles. What I found was that what was advertised had absolutely nothing to do with actual size.

Over the last several years, as well documented in this blog, I have gone heavily into WWII skirmish gaming. A big requirement of this is buildings, especially in Western Europe. With my scale I have a choice of two scales which should be fairly close 1/72 and 20mm (1/76). I generally have 20 mm figures with the occasional 1/72 thrown in.

I initially bought the Italeri 1/72 scale buildings which are made of hard plastic and are quite nice. Limited selection though with 3 Houses, 1 Railroad Station and 1 Church. These buildings are on the large side and the Railroad Station and Church are I think out of scale while one of the Houses is really trashy. The Country House with Porch and the Country House are quite nice and scale well with the 4ground 20mm World at War MDF collection. I have to say though that as you will see below their Café Grondeé is really out of scale with the buildings in the Farm Complex Selection. The 4ground Farm Complex is at least 1/72 scale if not larger.

I then went and bought the PlastCraft Games 15-20mm EWAR Collection. These buildings are PVC and are certainly 20mm in scale, certainly smaller then 4ground or Italeri but usable on the same table especially if the the 4ground and Italeri are used as isolated buildings and the Plastcraft are used in a town. They were quite difficult to assemble though and a little barren, I did try to do them up but somewhat unsuccessfully as you can see here.

I recently bought the Empires of War MDF Normandy collection labeled as 20mm. As you can see below these are pretty small and I think probably should be labeled as 15mm but the larger buildings are OK with the Plastcraft. My final purchase was some Sarissa Precision World War 20mm buildings  and I have to say they are nice. Not a big collection but I suspect true 20mm and fit well with the Plastcraft, the 4ground Café Grondée and the larger Empire at War buildings.

But enough talking let's have a look. I set up the MDF buildings only as there is only so much table space.
An unadorned Sarissa House-with a bit of work it came out as the below building on your right.
Sarissa Precision- I am really pleased with these buildings
Empire at War collection, they come painted which is nice. They are a little flimsy but definitely well priced
The 4ground collection, the Café Grondée, is definitely smaller then the other 2 buildings and a little more flimsy.
More 4ground
4ground again
LtR:2 Empire at War, a 4ground, Sarissa Precision and the Café Grondée
LtR: The smallest Empire of War, the 4ground Farmhouse, the Sarissa Chateau and the Café Grondé. I think you can see here that the 4ground Farm complex buildings are a little big!
Anyway, I would be happy to hear about what else is out there in is this popular scale. I really like the Sarissa buildings. I think I would pick them over the others, but the choice is limited. I think I will get rid of the 3 of the Italeri buildings I do not like. The 4ground are quite expensive so I will keep them. The Empire of War buildings are OK especially the larger ones and are quite good value. Plastcraft good size but I found tough to assemble.

20 May 2018

Huzzah 2018

Yesterday, I spent the day at the annual gaming convention put on by the Maine Historical Wargaming Convention in Portland, Maine. I believe this is the biggest gaming event in the northeast and appeared to be well attended. Clearly a lot of work was put into the event and there was some very nice layouts. There were quite a few vendors but maybe less then the last time I was there 2 years ago.

I was late to register, I actually thought I would be working the weekend, but as it happened I was not. Unfortunately most of the TFL games that I would be interested in playing were already full and I was limited in my attendance to just one day of this 3 day event. I was able to register for a Big CoC game Saturday morning and a regular CoC game Saturday evening. 

I got up early, it is about a 90 minute drive from where I live and arrived just in time to find out the morning game was cancelled! I was not able to find an alternate game to play so watched a Sharp Practice game set during the Great Northern War. The gamesmaster Greg Symko did a great job of explaining the ruleset and was able to play it to conclusion in under 2 hours with 6 players and I think around 7-8 leaders per side. An accomplishment for sure.

In the afternoon, I was able to get in on a WWI skirmish game, using the Operation Squad ruleset on a very impressive terrain with Greyscale figures. Fun game, although I found the ruleset somewhat challenging, again the gamemasters did a great job moving things along.

I finally got to play a CoC game put on by Tom Ballou set during the Battle of Hürtgen Forrest. Again a great job was done on terrific terrain using a blend of CoC and At a Sharp End. I really enjoyed playing and got a chance to re-connect with Tom who first introduced me to CoC some years ago.

Anyway some photos to follow. There was a couple of other TFL games, one a Sharp Practice game set in the Napoleonic War by my friend Mike and another CoC game by Dick Bryant set during Normandy. Unfortunately no photos were taken.

Great Northern War with Sharp Practice 

The Bolt Action League of Maine had an absolutely fantastic group of 28mm tables set up for scheduled and pickup games. Not my cup of tea, but it is no wonder BA is so popular here.

An ACW game using Fire and Fury
Another ACW game using The Devil to Pay ruleset

Some Test of Honour tables. I probably would have liked to give this a try if there were openings
Operation Squad WWI game in greyscale, really amazing terrain and figures
An great looking Age of Sigmar game
Chain of Command: When Trumpets Fade, I wish I had taken more photos but I was pretty engrossed in the game

08 May 2018

For Sale: Litko Plywood, Flex Steel and Flex Magnet Bases


More clean out, really getting the spring cleaning done. Have no use for these anymore.

From Litko:

175 count 40x40mm 1.5 mm thick plywood-cost $29.99 per 100 count
150 count 40x20mm 1.5 mm thick plywood-$18.99 per 100 count
040 count 40x50mm 1.5 mm thick plywood-$34.99 per 100 count
165 count 40x40mm HD Magnets-cost $19.99 per 100 count
220 count 40x20mm Flex Steel-cost $11.99 per 100 count

Cost to replace $150

So $35, Free Shipping per USPS PP, Paypal only.

Leave email in comments.

27 April 2018

SAGA: Death in a Tight Place

Another great game of SAGA2 yesterday at the Hobby Bunker. Adam played the Irish and I played the Germanic Peoples with rules from the Age of Vikings source book. We played a scenario of Adam's design and I have to say it was very well done. The inspiration for the scenario is that of a heroic defence at the battles of Stamford Bridge or Thermopylae.

Scenario: Death in a Tight Place
Attacker: 6 point war band comprised of a warlord, warriors and levy with auxiliaries. No heroes or hearthguard
Defender: 6 point warband comprised of a warlord and hearthguards. Heroes and auxiliaries allowed.
3x4' Terrain with the attack along the short axis of the table
Two large pieces of dangerous terrain are set up in the middle of the table no more then L apart.
Follow the deployment rules as laid out in the SAGA2 Rulebook; a minimum of 3 further pieces of terrain are placed.
The Defender sets up first within M of a line drawn through the centre of the table.
The Attacker sets up no closer than L of the line drawn through the centre of the table. 
The Attacker moves first.
No troops in the dangerous terrain at start.
Special Rules:
Endless Warbands for the Attacker as set out in the original Crescent and Cross rulebook.
Victory Conditions:
10 turns.
Slaughtering Points as laid out in the SAGA2 rulebook with the following change. The Attacker does not gain extra points for eliminating complete units. 
Retreating units double their slaughtering point value.

Leonidas at Thermopylae  Jacques-Louis David
4 points of Hearthguard
Auxiliary unit of Vagrant Warriors

Germanic Peoples:
5 points of Warriors
Auxiliary unit of Scouts

So the game started, as usual I do not remember all the details so will not write a formal report (I will post a link to Adam's blog when this is available as he does a much better job of this). It was a great game which went to all 10 turns taking a little under 3 hours. I found the Curaidh almost impossible to kill and probably could have managed my Endless Warbands a little better but was able to eke out a victory of I believe 3 points. Adam did not have a whole lot of luck with his SAGA dice as the game progressed. I likewise had some problems with scoring hits on my Attack dice as the game progressed, I lent my lucky black dice to Adam for the game.......always a mistake!

Anyway Adam did a great job with the scenario and has written several others as can be found on his blog. I will look forward to playing more of them.
Germanic Peoples on the right. The Scouts were a great addition for this scenario.
Irish Warriors
Irish Hearthguard 
Germanic Warriors
Germanic Scouts leading the Warriors through a swamp with the Warlord looking on
The relentless Germanic attack
The Irish Last Stand......Shoulder to Shoulder
Battle of Stamford Bridge  Peter Nicolai Arbo

19 April 2018

Warbands under the Crescent Banner for SAGA

In anticipation of imminent release of the 2nd SAGA source book: Age of the Crusades (which I have just received an email that it has been dispatched), I have been finalising my Moorish warbands. I wanted to have a combination of figures so that I could field any of the 3 eastern warbands. I do understand that the number of warbands detailed will be 12!

I felt I was a little weak on infantry armed with spears/javelins so I recently painted up a unit of 8 infantry. These are the Daylami Mercenaries (or Auxiliaries as they are now called) from Gripping Beast. They were nice figures to paint and as has been my approach, been painted so they are similarly dressed.

I recently also made a terrain mat from an old piece of mat for SAGA, I tried to terrain it in such a way that it would work for Europe or the Middle East. We have found it a bit of a struggle to lay out a 3x4' terrain as required for most SAGA Scenarios. I was quite pleased how it came out, so I took the opportunity to pull out my moorish figures and photographed them.

An overview
The latest addition
A Generic Warlord.
Camel mounted Hearthguard
Foot Hearthguard
Horse mounted Hearthguard
More Spear/Javelin Infantry

These Warriors are my favourite

Bow-armed Infantry
Horse mounted Warriors
Bow mounted Warriors (Turcomen Auxiliaries)
A Hero........maybe Saladin

And finally some organised Warbands
Mutatawii'a Warband (6 points: 2 units of Mounted Elite, 1 unit of Foot Elite, 2 units of Javelin armed Foot Warriors and 1 unit of Bow Armed Foot warriors)
Moorish Warband (5 points: 1 unit of Mounted Elite, 1 unit of Mounted Warriors with Javelins, 1 unit of Foot Warriors with Spears, 1 unit of Levy with bowes and 1 unit of Levy with Javelins)
Saracen Warband (6 points: 1 unit of Mounted Elite with Javelins, 1 unit of Mounted Warriors with Javelins, 1 unit  of Mounted Warriors with Bows, 2 units of Foot Warriors with Javelins and 1 unit of Levy with Bows)