Tuesday, March 21, 2023

A Kindness From a Friend I've Yet to Meet

A small parcel arrived in the post late last week, sent entirely out of kindness by one of those beloved wargamer friends that we haven’t yet met.  

In this case, the friend is Dai, one of the regular readers of this blog,  Dai is a fellow blogger, who does interesting and lovely projects in WW2, among other stuff.   We’ve exchanged emails and messages for years and encouraged one another in our lives’ ups and downs, but I’ve never met him, and I earnestly hope to do so if I can make it to California some day.

Dai knows that I am fond of Tolkien and have quite a few of the GW figures for my LOTR gaming, with an especial fondness for the Rohirrim, so he sent me these figures from his stash, thinking I could make better use of them then he can

Well, I hope he’s right.  These are lovely figures, and while I can break the GW horses off their bases just by looking at them the wrong way, they have great potential for painting and I can’t wait to get at them.

Thank you Dai!   You are too kind, and a fine example of what young Conrad Kinch likes to call “The Freemasonry of the Hobby”.

Speaking of Rohirim, recently I got one of those “You may like these …” from Kickstarte, and my eye was caught by a project called Riders of the Plains,  a set of STL files for figures that looked suspiciously like these, only slightly different.   I suppose a lawyer might have said they were just generic Gothic dark ages cavalry, but what appears to have killed the project was that the creators called themselves The Hobbit Hole.  That was too much for Warner Bros, which now apparently owns the Tolkien IP universe, and they killed the project faster than a Nazgul can screech something fell in it’s fell voice.    Had the project called itself something else, like “Small Cute Things Living Below Ground”,  they might have gotten away with it.  Anyway, my backing evaporated along with the project, but at least I have these fellows (and, to be honest, many more like them) to paint.

Cheers and blessings to your brushes,


Saturday, March 18, 2023

The Canadian Wargamer Podcast Ep 22 Is Live: Featuring Marc Rodrigue, Designer of GMT's Bayonets and Tomahawks


In this episode, we detour from miniatures to chat to Marc Rodrigue, Montreal-based designer of the award-winning French and Indian Wars boardgame, Bayonets and Tomahawks, published by GMT Games. We talk about Marc's abiding interest in the French and Indian War, and the design process that led to his game. Marc's also a FIW reenactor, and has some interesting insights to the period from portraying a soldier of the Franche de la marine. Marc's current projects include an interesting looking WW2 armour game, reflecting his love of tanks, and some other fascinating projects. 

 After we said au revoir to Marc, James and I chatted about the ups and downs (and legalities) of 3D printing, getting ready for Hot Lead in less than two week's time, playing Napoleon in a tactical game, James' initial thoughts on Osprey's new SF rules, Xenos Rampant, and an early look at Sam Mustafa's Nimitz, along with some opinions as to why destroyers are cool. 

 Links to things we discussed: 

Our Guest Marc:

Bayonets and Tomahawks: https://www.gmtgames.com/p-978-bayonets-tomahawks-2nd-printing.aspx 

B&T on BGG: https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/206509/bayonets-tomahawks 

Academy Games: 1754 FIW game: https://www.academygames.com/pages/1754 

FIW reenactors in Montreal: https://atmmontreal.com/en/who-are-we/ 

Other Stuff: 

Nimitz by Sam Mustafa: https://sammustafa.com/nimitz 

Xenos Rampant by Osprey Publishing: https://ospreypublishing.com/ca/xenos-rampant-9781472852366/ 

Marc's Book Contributions to the CWP Virtual Library: 

 Peter McLeod, Backs to the Wall: the Battle of Sainte-Foy and the Conquest of Canada, https://www.amazon.ca/Backs-Wall-Battle-Sainte-Foy-Conquest-ebook/dp/B01LX5EN7P/ref=sr_1_1?crid=1PVU4K375ZT6A&keywords=backs+to+the+wall+the+siege+of+quebec&qid=1679105042&s=digital-text&sprefix=backs+to+the+wall+the+siege+of+quebec%2Cdigital-text%2C76&sr=1-1 

Peter MacLeod: Northern Armageddon: the Battle of the Plains of Abraham and the Making of the American Revolution ,https://www.amazon.ca/Northern-Armageddon-Peter-MacLeod-author/dp/1101973501 

Fred Anderson: Crucible of War: The Seven Years and the Fate of Empire in British North America, 1754-1766, https://www.amazon.ca/Crucible-War-British-America-1754-1766/dp/0375706364 

David Preston: Braddock's Defeat: The Battle of the Monongahela and the Road to Revolution, https://www.amazon.ca/Braddocks-Defeat-Battle-Monongahela-Revolution/dp/0190658517 

La petite guerre et la chute de la Nouvelle-France" by Laurent Nerich, a French military analyst. It blows away the myth of the French “forest Rambos” and describes very well the capabilities and limitations of “Canadien" light troops. 

"Montcalm, général américain” by Québécois historian Dave Noël. Like Preston’s book “Braddocks Defeat” book does for the British general, it gives a more proper portrayal of how that French general was adapted to the North American theater. 

Closing Music: Aupres de ma blonde, sung by Olivia Chaney, https://youtu.be/lY2izR3fN_U

Monday, March 13, 2023

With Boney In Spain: A Sharp Practice Playtest


Last week I had the chance to visit my friend Joe Saunders to playtest his Sharp Practice game for HotLead in two week’s time.   Joe of course is the proprietor of the Miniature Landscape Hobbies YouTube channel, and a friend of the Canadian Wargamer Podcast.   Here is the always friendly Joe beside one of his epic scratch built terrain boards, in this case depicting a village somewhere in Spain.    

The scenario was built around Napoleon’s one visit to Spain in 1808.  The Emperor is travelling cross country by coach wit a small elite escort but the details of his trip are leaked and Spanish partisans are lying in ambush.  French and British troops are hastening to the site.   The Emperor wins by getting from one side of the table to the other.

Close up of Napoleon (front rank on the right) with his elite escort Chasseurs of the Guard.  All figures painted by Joe.  The Napoleon casting is I believe a Warlord sculpt, and Joe’s tutorial on painting him is here.  Napoleon is rated as a Level 4 commander, the best in there can be in the rules, so he has a ton of clout on the battlefield.  The downside is that from turn on, he is in long range of Spanish guerrillas, so he needs to be careful.

When I learned that I got to play Napoleon in a tactical game,  I absolutely HAD to play the French!

The game unfolded with a full run of cards allowing all units from both sides to deploy.  The British had a light and a heavy cavalry unit on their side of the table, directly facing Napoleon.   It was only a matter of time before they decided to charge, and while I did my best to block them with a unit of dragoons, I had deployed my other unit of cavalry, cuirassiers, on the far side of the table where they weren’t able to protect L’Empereur, which proved to be a fatal mistake.

In retrospect, Joe and I decided that both sides should only have light cavalry, as heavy impact cavalry in Sharp Practice is murderous.  Otherwise, the British player will do their best to ride down Napoleon as quickly as possible and end the game.

As an example of what impact cavalry can do, here are my cuirassiers charging into a hapless formation of Highlanders.  The cards allowed me to hit them while the Jocks had their muskets unloaded, so they got bundled off the table with heavy losses. It was one of those rare moments in Sharp Practice where you get perfect card draws: I  moved into charge range with the last card of one turn, and got to charge with the first card of the next turn.  Fun when it happens, especially given how rare such moments are.

It’s always fun to help a friend think through the balance and structure of a war-game scenario.   I wish I’d taken some more photos of Joe’s lovely terrain and of his wonderful collection of 28mm Naps.   Hopefully I’ll get some more for you at Hot Lead in two weeks time.

Cheers and blessings to your die rolls,


Thursday, March 9, 2023

Victorian British and Canadian Brigade on Parade

After my last post here, I thought it would be fun to take all my completed Victorian  British and Canadian troops and put them on the table for a group shot.  I was pleasantly surprised.

Perry figures in the foreground, British regulars and behind them a regiment of Canadian militia.

Perry Canadian militia cavalry in the centre.

Perry command figures in the centre.

Two Perry Armstrong Whitworth cannon and crew.

Most recently completed Warlord regiment, British regulars, in the foreground, and a second regiment of Canadian militia behind them.

Flags by Adolfo Ramos.

I found this an encouraging exercise to see the fruits of two years’ work on the table.   Now to dig out my US American Civil War figures and put them to the test.

Cheers and thanks for looking, MP+

Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Warlord Victorian British Infantry

I recently finished this unit of 28mm Victorian British infantry for my alt-ACW project.  These are metal Warlord sculpts, I think by Paul Hicks, for their Crimean War range.   I am fairly sure that these figures are which are OOP as I couldn’t find them on the Warlord website.  I bough them practically for a song from a very generous friend at last year’s Hot Lead convention.

The figures are painted using Foundry paints and the flag is from Adolfo Ramos.    There was only one banner bearer in the unit, so I opted for the regimental flag rather than the national flag, just because I liked the look.

These figures, added to my existing Perry British Infantry Force figures, give me a small brigade, which I’ll try to get some pics of the next time we have some sunlight.  Hopefully they’ll see some action in defence of Upper Canada soon.

Cheers and thanks for looking.   Blessings to your brushes!


Sunday, January 15, 2023

Things I Did in 2022: Early Imperial Roman Cavalry

Parish work has been rewarding this last week but has left me with precious little time to paint or to post here.   With a slight respite this afternoon, here’s a return to some of the projects I completed last year.

Following on the heels of a surprise turn to Ancients Gaming, I decided to paint some Roman cavalry as adversaries for my Germanic warriors.   I have only a vague idea of how the Romans used cavalry in Germania, probably more as scouts and line of communications troops than on the battlefield, but I’m sure they had their share of skirmishes and patrols.  I showed this figures to my friend, Consul Homo Lepus, who knows more about Romans than I do, and he was impressed that the Victrix figures come with quivers (right word??) for their javelins, as well as blankets, canteens and other useful kit.

These are 28mm plastic Victrix figures, with shield transfers by Little Big Men Studios.  The horses are painted using Foundry tri-colour paints from their “Horse” paints set.   I’m still figuring these paints out but in general I’m pleased with them and would use them again.

Command figures:

I have quite a few more ancients to paint, including Roman auxiliary infantry and archers, and more lead Germans thanks to the Wargames Foundry Diamond Jubilee sale last year where my finger slipped and I bought rather a few.As I may have posted here earlier, I acquired the Germans last year when the local gaming group was playing a lot of skirmish games using Clash of Spears rules, and I may stick with them or perhaps look at Too Fat Lardies’ Infamy rules.   I also have a set of rules from Helion, Three Ages of Rome by Philip Garton, which I confess I’ve barely looked at since it arrived.  

So ancients are not a back burner project, exactly, more of an interesting diversion which I’ll pursue this year.

Blessings to your brushes,


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