Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Addicted to Saga?

Yesterday I wrote briefly about how much I like Saga. So last night I decided to quantify that a bit and look at the figures I have painted up and grouped into units for Saga. And the first step is admitting I have a problem!

Mind you, not all of this is painted, and in some cases point counts are estimates, but this should give you an idea.

Most of the Saxons
Anglo-Saxons: 10 points worth. That's four units of hearthguard, five units of warriors, and a unit of archers. Consider I have two more hearthguard units with Danish axes, and an Anglo-Dane force could be even larger.

Vikings: This one surprised me a bit. Again not all of this is painted, but most of it is. I'd call it about nine points, including four hearthguard, four warrior and one archer unit. I also have some berserkers, some painted, some not.

Scots: Or Picts. Whatever. I'll call it about six points for now. Two hearthguard (only one painted, the other is on the table), two warrior, one javelin and one archer. This is a faction I definitely want to try sooner rather than later.

Normans: The most recent faction I have started painting, after having them sit in a box for a few years. So far I have the one unit of mounted knights and one of foot warriors done, with one of foot knights nearly complete, along with my warlord. Next up will likely be a unit of crossbowmen, giving me four points, enough to start playing with them. But in the stash I have at least one more unit of mounted knights, and I think maybe two of foot knights. I'd like to get some archers and mounted warriors to call this one good.

Irish: Digging through the stash, sometimes you find things you forgot you even had! Looks like enough to do a four point force in there. I'm not so much of a purist that I might bolster that with some of the Scots noted above.

Era of the Princes: Yeah, this one doesn't fit in with the British Isles theme of the five above, but I like them. I have the four point starter pack, and the black hoods to add to it. Not a one is painted, but someday!

So, yeah, that's a lot. Six factions! That's ore than I thought. And like any good gamer, I'd like more. Skraelings, anyone?

Many of these were actually painted more years ago than I care to admit, long before Saga came out. I was waiting for Saga, apparently, I just didn't know it. While I've consistently used my Saxons in Saga games up to this point, look for that to change!

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Normans on Foot? Without Armor?!

I really like Saga. A lot. I mean, there is a lot to like about it. A warband creation system that is easy to grasp, right-size units that won't break the bank or the painting queue and, of course, the differentiation between factions using the battleboards.

For all that, there are still a few puzzling bits. For example, I've always wondered about the lack of rules addressing attacking uphill. Seems that should get at least a fatigue or something. But that's not the point here. Another puzzling bit has been the total eschewing of Norman foot troops.

Now, don't get me wrong. The sight of a line of Norman knights mounted on their hardy warhorses is surely something to stir the heart and the imagination. It's a great basis for the factional character in the game. But what about the chaps on foot? Those who couldn't afford a horse? Or, perhaps, had to leave it behind in Normandy? Surely the Norman army had a large contingent of good old fashioned poor bloody infantry.

So that's where I'm going with my Norman force. This is my first painted unit of foot troops, some unarmored warriors. They don't count for much on the Norman battleboard, but that's what house rules are for, right? I'm sure I'll think of something. After all, I have quite a few more of these fellows to paint. I also have about three units of dismounted knights awaiting the brush as well.

These particular minis come from Black Tree Design. They were very easy to paint, using the usual mix of Vallejo and Testors. One downside is there are only four poses spread amongst the eight, so there is some repetition. But then again, who's looking at them? Everyone is watching the knights on their mighty steeds!

Watch this space for more Normans!

Monday, February 19, 2018

Soviet Armor for the Motherland!

It's a long way from the masses of armor the Soviets would have put in the field, but at least now I have two tanks completed!

These are both resin kits from Warlord Games and went together rather well. Both were given an overspray of Testors medium green, followed by a wash of Citadel camouflage green ink, then duly drybrushed, tracks dirtied up, etc.

The T-26 is slated for duty in Finland. If you remember, I participated in the Baker Company Kickstarter and had hoped to get some Soviet tanks that way, but I think that is pretty much a lost cause. And lost money, unfortunately. But this little tank will do nicely.

I'm not as sure what I will use the BT-7 for yet. Someday I hope to expand my Soviet forces to include Barbarossa actions, but that is still a ways down the road. In the meantime, I feel good to get these two in the "complete" pile.

But have no worries, there are plenty of Soviet soldiers and a couple of T-34s in the stash, just waiting for the right moment.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Adding to the Fyrd

As any Anglo-Saxon warlord in Saga will tell you, size matters. A lot. As such, one can never have too many warriors in one's fyrd.

So here are an additional 10 for mine. These are from Renegade Miniatures, and lovely minis they are. They were a joy to paint, and look great finished with the usual Vallejo and Testors paints. I did use Little Big Man Studio transfers for the shields, and I think they turned out rather well.

This gives me 36 Anglo-Saxon warriors, or four points. That gives me quite a bit of flexibility in unit makeup. I would probably go for three units of 12, but who knows. I also have 16 hearthguard, or four more points. Although to be fair, four of those have the big two-handed axes and are probably more suited for an Anglo-Dane force. (I also have four more of those to paint...) But I am not such a purist that I would not use these warriors in an Anglo-Dane force.

What with my start on a Norman faction, before long we'll be doing Hastings!

Friday, February 9, 2018

Here Come the Cossacks!

Here we go, another distraction in the life of a wargamer. Cossacks!

Cossacks of the 17th century, to be more precise. Perhaps for some eastern Renaissance gaming. Did I hear Pikeman's Lament? I have these rules, and they look very nice. This will do as one unit of musket-armed troops.

Figures are from The Assault Group, and they are indeed very nice. They painted up well, and I must say it was nice to open up the color palette a bit! Paints are the usual mix of Vallejo and Testors.

The impetus for this project was our involvement with the girl from Ukraine who visited us a couple years ago. Since then I have become increasingly interested in the history there, and this was a natural manifestation of that. At least that's the excuse I am going with.

Unfortunately I only have enough to do about one more unit as well as some command, so I'll have to get my hands on some more. I'm looking at a bag of Old Glory, simply for economic reasons. But we'll see. Anyway, this is a start.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

FlintCon 2018 - More Photos

That was a lot of photos for one post. So let's continue in a second one, shall we?

Some lovely Napoleonic terrain. Not sure the rules.

The starting grid

The race into turn 2 really established the tone.

This is where things started to go bad. Had to use some wear to get through this mess.

Seemed like a good position. Didn't work out.

First spin....

.... second spin

Sato didn't make it!

Large-scale WWII Pacific

Getting set up for third session. I didn't stay.

FlintCon 2018

Having missed out on SpartaCon this year for a few different reasons, not the least of which is the current employment status, there was no way I was going to miss FlintCon. And it did not disappoint. Great games, great times. Kudos to all involved putting on this exceptionally well-run con!

I pretty much knew going in what games I wanted to play, and I was able to get in both of them.

Game one was, as in previous years, a trip to the Peninsula with Wellington in a game of Black Powder. At first I was going to take some rifles and Portuguese cacadores since I did so well with them in last year's game, but eventually I ended up with two regiments of Highlanders. Now don't get me wrong, I'm a big fan of Highlanders, what with my ancestors coming from there and all. It's just I never have much luck with them in a game. And this was no exception.

Having seen the kilted heroes run like scared rabbits in a previous game without firing a shot, this time I was determined to get them into the fray as quickly as possible. You know, before they could run away again. So it was a quick advance across the ford in the river, a rapid deployment, and a charge. Oh, it should be mentioned that one of my orders resulted in a fubar, or whatever it is called in Black Powder, which should have been an omen of things to come. But, incredibly, the ensuing die roll had the unit wind up more or less where I wanted it anyway, so things are looking good at this point.

Then the charge. Oh, they got there all right. But after one round of basically slapping at each other with the backs of their hands with minimal effect, in the following turn, they ran. Yup. Again. And the other regiment was more or less just stand and fire the rest of the game. At least they didn't run. As a whole, the British did well enough on the right in attempting to take the town, but the darn French cavalry crushed our left. With no British cavalry to counter, it was a disaster in the making.

On to game two. Championship Formula Racing! I'd been looking forward to this for months. Having been a big fan of Speed Circuit back in the day, I really wanted to see how this worked. In short, it's great.

I think we had about nine drivers playing. The game featured 1/64 Indy cars on a homemade map of the Belle Isle course in Detroit. I started fourth and finished fifth, so not bad. I more or less held my own. As the race developed, the top three managed to pull away a bit. I was usually at or near the front of the second group, and while we would pull a little closer, in the end I took too many gambles, and without enough wear, I spun out twice in the final few corners. I chose Pippa Mann's car because my daughters are big fans.

I also managed to sell a few items, and got some great deals on a couple other GMT board games. Perhaps for another post. Without further ado, the photos...
Congo. This was one I really wanted to try. Someday.

The brave Congo explorers.

Never know what you'll find in the Congo.

Beautiful Crusades game.

The Crusaders.

The castle being fought over.

Persians, not sure the rules.

The Greeks

Arrayed for battle!

Flames of War, I think?

Our objective in the Peninsula.

Some of the French defenders of the town.

The British left. Things did not go well here...

The 95th!

The Highlanders advance!

Brandywine, Regimental Fire & Fury I think

All Quiet on the Martian Front. This looks fun!

Age of Sygmar.

Zombie game of some sort.

Computer aided WWII naval.

Flames of War?


54mm pirates!

Meanwhile, back in the Congo...

The doomed charge of the Highlanders.

This is where things get ugly.

Forming square just delayed the inevitable.

Meanwhile, in the Holy Land....

Probably the coolest terrain of the day. That fort!