Sunday, February 18, 2018

First Boxer Rebellion Games! Pic heavy!

At last! Today my good mate Cory from our regular gaming group came over after lunch we managed to get a couple of 55 Days at Peking games played out.

We had an absolute ball with both games, the first being a comfortable-ish relief for the legation defenders and the second a real nail-biter with just three German Seebatallion surviving when the relief arrived. We used The Natives are Restless Tonight colonial skirmish rules by Paul Ward a.k.a. Matakishi, freely available from his wonderful website and they worked a treat.

Action was fast, bloody and there was always something happening. In game one we broke or killed off 11 units of melee armed Boxers with several more on the table when relief arrived. In game two it was 13 units of Boxers, including several with firearms, before the relief arrived.

Here's a pile of photos I took with my phone. Not all the best quality but things were moving so quickly we didn't want to spend too much time on photography. Anyway, enjoy the images and at the end there's some conclusions and thoughts for future games.

The International Gun in action

Stout Japanese. They died to a man. Twice!

Big trouble in Little Britain. They're inside the walls!

Boxer artillery breaches the British legation compound wall! 

Kansu Braves preparing to chagre

Last ditch defence! German Seebatallion firing line defends the breach.

Russian reinforcements

"Pasha Tojo" in waiting. He earned his name with his second death...

Pasha Tojo assailed by hordes of Chinese fights to his last breath atop the stairs

Charlton Heston, going down fighting...

What a relief! The last of all the legation forces left alive in game two

Some thoughts...

The rules worked *really* well. They produce fast-paced games with a good balance of hordes of Boxers vs relatively few Imperial defenders concluded in around 90 minutes. With 50 Imperials and approximately twice that (at least) in Boxers that's a brilliant outcome.

Bigger games will produce some activation challenges. The most actions currently allowed for per turn is 3 for aces and 2 for court cards. This means in bigger games some units won't act very often if at all. Easy enough to fix by tinkering with the card activation to make some cards worth more activations or perhaps introduce a second deck.

Isolated legations don't last long. Historically these were abandoned and forces concentrated within a perimeter centred on the British Legation and this is how the game plays out too.

I'm not sure the Tartar Wall is necessary. It's fundamental to the history, being key to the defence but that was over a period of 55 days. I'm not sure how much value it would add for a 90 minute game and it will be a big build at even something like the right scale. Maybe smaller and still included is the answer?

Some plans...

I need to build another couple of legations but that will be it for buildings apart from the Palace of Prince Su (a small walled complex) and some other small bits and pieces, mostly set dressing. I have enough Boxers to support a game of that size and it will enable more players to participate. Some more Imperials will also be required.

I'll probably buy some sabot bases at some point to facilitate pitched battles outside Peking or at least large sizes skirmishes. That would also allow me to add some Imperial cavalry, and Chinese regular forces, and maybe a gunboat, and a railway, and... well you get the picture :-)

Anyway, that's enough for today. I was suffering a bit of project fatigue with all build / paint and no play. Now I've my enthusiasm back in spades!


Saturday, February 17, 2018

Empire Reiksgard Foot Knights

Just a quick post about my latest AHPCVIII entry...

This time its a unit of 24 Reiksgard Knights on foot. Happy to have these off the workbench as they've been hanging about, taunting me relentlessly with their half-finished state for some time now.

More pictures and some random musings on the Challenge blog.


Wednesday, February 14, 2018

AHPC VIII - Ev's Challenge, Day 57

Greetings friends and followers!

It's been a while since I've delivered a progress report on what has been a moderately productive Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge (at least by my admittedly leisurely standards), so here goes.

I had a bit of a rest following the Flight Theme Round, but resolved to get back into the game while on holidays from work.

First off the table was my entry in the Theme Round, 'BFG', 'Shooting the Messenger', an insight into how Ogres handle battlefield parleys.

A concerted push to get some more terrain into the mix saw the long-neglected contents of my garage get turned over in quest of something suitable, and I lighted on an old kit from GW, 'Dreadstone Blight', a ruined wizard's tower.

I'm very pleased with how it turned out, though the designers do love them some skullz...

I was also able to return to a previous subject, Chaos Dwarf Admiral Thadrak Krakenbane, seen here at the height of his powers. This Scibor sculpt was a delight to paint.

A Reaper Bones Ettin rounded out Day 41's entries. I decided to go with a yellowy skin tone, and the large expanses of flesh on the beastie rewarded the extra effort.

The 'Music' Theme Round was upon me shortly afterwards, and I was pleased to be able to submit some old skool minis in the form of these Goff Rockerz, an Ork rock band from the early WH40K universe. Extra bright goblin green skin and gaudy costumes, and the tribute to the days of Rogue Trader was complete!

Finally, I finished some more Scibor Dwarves, the Salvage Crew. The colour scheme is meant to recall blue denim overalls and convey a sense of no-nonsense workers and craftsmen.

A wealth of detail on these sculpts, especially given their small size, but they really repay the extra effort.

Another bonus theme awaits, 'Childhood', so I'd better get cracking.

Stay tuned...


Sunday, January 28, 2018

CANCON 2018... The Good, the Odd and the Wanker

So I'm back from CANCON, having survived another annual pilgrimage to our nation's capital. As usual there's plenty to report and discuss, so here we go with the obligatory wrap-up post...

We managed a reduced Aussie Bloggers Meet-up this year with just the three of us fronting up. Barks from Wargaming with Barks was up to his neck in the Bloodbowl comp but still had time to have a yarn and get this pic, so thanks for that mate. Alan (Kaptain Kobold) from The Stronghold Rebuilt was also in attendance in a rather fetching frock, making my "official" treasured CANCON camo cargoes look a lot less impressive than might have otherwise been the case!

Kaptain Kobold, Millsy and Barks living the dream in 2018

In the evening we headed to the Duck's Nuts pub for the traditional dinner and cleansing bevvies. Much hilarity, opinionated and entertaining conversation later and we'd all enjoyed what has become the single best bit of the trip IMHO.

Second hand loot...
The second hand stall was a bit rubbish this year for the most part, despite being in a much better location and with a decent amount of space between tables. It seems I wasn't the only one to notice that a far bit of the stuff on show was still marked up with MOAB 2017 stickers where it clearly hadn't sold for various reasons.

Having said that, I did manage to luck out big time and pick up a couple of items to add to the ever growing Warhammer collection. First up a bag of plastic Empire wizards, a bargain at $20 for the lot.

The piece of resistance however, is THIS...


$110 for three box sets of Warhammer scenario packs from the mid 80s. Blood on the Streets and Terror of the Lichemaster are both in MINT condition with not an item missing, nor even creased, let alone cut out or otherwise used. Blood Bath at Orc's Drift is in close to the same condition with a few card buildings missing but otherwise intact and unsullied. My Oldhammer nerdometer is still riding high off the scale at 11. I'm pinching myself and will be for some time to come I suspect! Over time I'll photocopy the buildings and assemble them just for fun, adding some detail and 3D elements to personalise them along the way.

New loot...
Not much in this department to be honest, partly because the trade stands were pretty ordinary (more on that below). I did manage to score a 15mm Russian AT gun I've been after for Flames of War for ages but just never got round to. When I tried to buy one direct on special order they sent me an Italian AA gun instead. Random, but thankfully sorted at last.

Woohoo! At last! It's the little things after all

A mate also picked up the following for me at a local bookstore closing down sale and which I was able to collect when we caught up. Very much looking forward to giving this some time over the next few weeks...

Trade stalls...
Not sure what the traders were thinking this year?!? Many had big holes in their catalogue of core or popular stuff and the consequence is I came home with a fair bit of cash unspent. Their loss unfortunately! The board game guys in particular need to lift their game. Several of us got the sense they were treating CANCON as an opportunity to try and shift stuff they couldn't sell by any other means but not much else. Prices were close to and often higher than RRP. Weird.

And finally, the Wanker...
I sometimes wonder at how selfish and disconnected some people are. I was at the second hand stall and a chap next to me picked up someone else's item for sale (a fragile assembled plastic kit). Having checked it out he decided he had no interest in it and threw it back onto the table (from a considerable height) without a thought about damage or how he would feel if it was his stuff. I was so gobsmacked that he was gone before I had an opportunity to say anything. So if you're reading this by some amazing chance... YOU SIR ARE A WANKER. Go and have a long hard look at yourself in the mirror for your own sake if nobody else's. Anyway, rant over.

So that's it till next year. Time for a nap on the couch and then a bit of a play with the loot :-)


Wednesday, January 10, 2018

AHPC VIII - Ev's Challenge, Day 22

The story so far;

I've gone into this year's Challenge with a target of 500 points, and have proceeded at my usual sedate (some might say 'sedated') pace.

First up was this chap, a strapping Orc Chieftain from Scibor's Monstrous Miniatures. Certainly in keeping with the 'monstrous' theme of the Challenge!

It's a terrifically dynamic figure, and as usual, Scibor's bases are little masterpieces in their own right. I loved painting that fallen statue head!

Next up was a terrain entry. This is the first year for terrain entries outside of a bonus theme round, so I thought I'd paint up a couple of Pictish Standing Stones by Scotia Grendel. I'd had these in the to-do pile for a while, so they were overdue for an outing.

These two lovely resin sculpts were not quite enough to get the entry across the line quantity-wise, so I rustled up a quick Celtic Oratory Chapel, scratch-built from a block of polystyrene coated in filler and carved to resemble rough stone. The door was made from some bamboo skewers with a loop of fuse wire for the handle.

Returning to the Challenge theme, I went with a monster for my next entry; the Reaper Bones Giant Worm, painted up as that old D&D favourite, the Purple Worm.

Very pleased with the final result on this one, suitably repulsive!

Last but far from least is the Goblin Doom Diver, 'Da Rite Stuf', my entry for the Themed Bonus Round, 'Flight'. I really like the goofiness of this model, and I hope I've done it justice.

So, 22 days in and I'm just under 25% of the way to my target; let's see if we can't get a few more points on the board before too long!

What's next? Stay tuned...

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