Sunday, March 29, 2015

Painting Update

Above are the aforementioned soccer players mentioned in my previous post.  It's telling that I didn't bother to take more than one photo of them, so you're stuck with this dreadfully focused picture.  Still, overall I'm pleased with them, and even more pleased that I'm finished painting them.  In this picture they've been given an overcoat of Army Painter Strong Tone.  All that's left is to spray some matte varnish over them and they're ready for the field (I'm not going to texture and/or flock the bases).

The figures I really wanted to work on are my dismounted dragoons from Warlord Games' Pike and Shotte range.  Last Summer I painted up the mounted dragoons from the same boxed set, but used some of my musketeers for their dismounts when I ran my ECW game last December.  Now that the other half of the set are painted my musketeers can return to their original regiment.

The dismounts are metal figures, so no tedious assembling of plastic miniatures required.  As far as I can tell all eight figures are different poses, so that's nice.

In this photo they've been given my basic tabletop treatment, namely basic block painting of each individual "part" of the figure (to me a part is everything that is the same color, such as skin, hair, coat, pants, shoe, etc...).

 Here I've brushed on some Strong Tone.  This is how I paint miniatures and I'm very pleased with the results I get.  There are others who paint better than this, but the talent and effort required are beyond me.  Basic block painting and then a "dip" (I don't dip them but brush it on as I said) suits me fine.  Once this dries (48 hours or so)  I'll spray some matte varnish on them and then base them.  Stay tuned...

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Not Wanting to Paint is a Great Motivation

Specifically, not wanting to paint one particular kind of figure because you're eager to paint something else is a great way to get some painting done.

Sometimes I will start to paint a group of figures and then halfway through lose my desire and set them aside and move on to something else.  I think this is a terrible habit for several reasons, not least of which is my basement gets more and more unorganized with half-painted miniatures setting around.

Lately I hadn't been very motivated to paint anything.  Between work and domestic commitments my concentration levels were just shot.  Also, I think I needed a new project to work on.  After listening to the audio book Rebellion by Peter Ackroyd I plunged back into my English Civil War obsession, wanting to flesh out my 28mm figure collection.  Specifically, I want to build up my forces to the point that I can field the armies that fought at First Newbury (see my last post).

But, on my painting table were 22 soccer players, half of which were painted in Liverpool's colors, the others with only their flesh colors complete.  Also, there were five gladiators that I had cleaned but hadn't undercoated that I wanted to add to my Spartacus board game.

At first I was really only motivated to paint the gladiators.  There were only five of them and once complete I could take them up to the local game store and get some use out of them since everyone I play board games with is generally up for a game of Spartacus.

So a couple of nights ago I went downstairs at around 11pm, with my only intention to paint the armored parts of the gladiators.  The soccer players were sitting there on their craft sticks, staring at me accusingly.  I had abandoned them.  I wasn't all that into painting the gladiators; the soccer players, who I doubt I will use anytime in the near future if at all, were on the verge of being trundled into a bin, where they might have remained forever, or until I needed room in the bin and threw them away.

Realizing how ridiculous I was being, not to mention wasteful, I decided there and then that the other players were going to be Everton.  Before I knew it, all 22 players were completely painted.  Granted, it was a real rush job, very unlike the session I had tonight painting ECW dragoons.  But they don't look that bad, and more importantly, they're done.  And now that they're done, I'm actually motivated to use them in a game.

Whether that's a soccer minis game or a hooligan skirmish game remains to be seen...

Sunday, March 22, 2015

The First Battle of Newbury, English Civil War (part one)

This series of posts will serve almost as a thought exercise as I prepare a wargame based on the First Battle of Newbury using the Carnage and Glory 2 computer moderated rules system.

So why First Newbury?  No particular reason, other than I was looking for an early First English Civil War battle that was relatively large.  The prior games I've run were smaller, and one was hypothetical, so now I want to tackle something bigger and historical.

The above map is from the British Civil Wars, Commonwealth and Protectorate 1638-1660 website, which seems like a pretty good resource.  First thought I had when I looked at it was, this doesn't look so bad!  Less than a dozen regiments per side!

Well...  Upon further reading each of the units denoted on the map are brigades, each consisting of roughly three or four regiments per brigade.  That's fairly big.  So, time to downsize.

There are several ways to go about this.  I could just make up the order of battle with each unit being a brigade instead of a regiment.  This could be problematic since the Carnage and Glory software isn't designed that way.  It organizes the regiments into brigades which I believe effects how well soldiers from one brigade respond to officers of different brigades as opposed to their own.  Also, the ground scale would no longer be accurate, though that might not be apparent in the game.

Biggest reason I wouldn't want to "upscale" the scenario that way is I would lose much of the detail.

Another way to go is to do the entire order of battle for First Newbury, but only run a scenario for a portion of the battle.  This is much better to me since I wouldn't be "cheating" the system, and I can actually run several games featuring different parts of the battle.

To start I think I'm going to do the mostly cavalry action on the southern half of the battlefield.  For one thing depicting the northern half will require me to model the disruptive terrain of hedges and narrow lanes, while the southern part was relatively open.

With that decided, the next issue is whether I actually have enough figures to do one half or even one third of the battle.