Wednesday, 2 March 2016

Thursday's Minion

So it's Thursday again, the sun is shining and it's a balmy 29C in the harbour city. What's not to like? We might just get some thunder this arvo. We get lots of them this time of year. It's the sound of Australia...

This week we have a debutante for the year in RossM, along with offerings from Barks and EvanH just to start. Hopefully we'll see some others pop up as well. Stay tuned!


From KeithS: War Plan Black, or, Ich Bin ein Idiot (160 points)

Wherein I both educate and entertain...

When I decided to try out this challenge, the first thing that caught my eye was the nautical bonus theme.  Brilliant, I thought!  This was up my alley (retired US Navy and all).  Further, two threads had sort of come together.  Number one, my very first "summer painting project" I'd taken on in my painting renaissance a few years ago was to make a set of miniatures for the old Avalon Hill game Jutland.  I'd bought a digital copy of the game from them and ended up making it all from scratch, though with minis instead of boring cardboard counters.  They turned out great and I was happy.  Number two, I'd been on a World War One reading kick for some time, and had read a book called War Plans of the Great Powers (by Paul Kennedy).  From it, I learned that the U.S. Navy's War Plan Black (of the famous colored series of plans) for war with Germany had the U.S. Atlantic Fleet gathering near the island of Culebra off Puerto Rico.  Ironically, the German war plan for war with America had the High Seas Fleet congregating at the same point.  This was too interesting to pass up, so I decided another version of Jutland with that potential fight was a must.  So that is what I made.

And so I did it -- and forgot to post it this weekend by the deadline, hence the idiot.

Oh well, I finished it too early and lost the bubble (as we submariners say).  So, here it is, better late than never.  The scenario I've worked out is that, after yet another Balkan crisis in the Summer of 1914, where Germany (and Austria-Hungary) have backed down in yet another humiliation, the Kaiser has decided he needs to do...something.  He does not want war in Europe, and he desperately desires colonies.  The most logical place?  The Western Hemisphere.  The Brits, not wanting a fight with Germany, are only too happy to let their two chief naval rivals slug it out (no matter the result, they are relatively stronger in the end).  And so on.  The orders of battle are based on actual ones from late summer 1914 (having friends with PhDs in WW1 naval history is most helpful here!).

First up, the German High Seas Fleet.  The left column are all dreadnought style battleships; second are the pre-dreadnoughts and their four available battlecruisers.  The third column are light cruisers, three armored cruisers, and transports (more on this in moment); fourth up are destroyer/torpedo boat flotillas.  All ships are stated and marked identical to those from the game Jutland by Avalon Hill.  There are a few missing (not built yet) and I added the Braunshcweig class of pre-dreadnoughts to the mix.

The American Atlantic Fleet is smaller and less advanced than the Germans.  It was not until the real war had been raging for a few years that the U.S. actually made a strong press to build "a navy second to none."  Left are the dreadnought battleships; second are older battleships; third are armored cruisers and scout cruisers; and fourth are destroyer flotillas.

 The American main battle line.

The Germans from another angle.

More Germans.

The original game Jutland is a rather straightforward pounding match between a superior British and smaller German fleets.  For my War Plan Black scenario, the Americans are at a big disadvantage.  However, the scenario I have planned is a grab for colonies for Germany, and that means soldiers, which means transports.  So, the game (when finished) will have the Germans trying to slip transports into Central and/or South America to land troops (I have much of this worked out but it is not miniature related, so I am glossing over it).  Anyway, the UK guy who sold me the minis (Mick Yarrow) included a model of the Mauretania, which I have pressed into service as the SS Vaterland, the largest and fastest transport in the world in 1914, property of the US-Hamburg line.  It is now the main transport for the Germans, along with a few other smaller conversions.

Now, I am all about storage.  This is my original Jutland storage set-up, which is going to become the one for War Plan Black (I bought a slightly larger case my Jutland stuff is going into presently, as there are more ships in that scenario).  The case:

Inside, there is storage for rules, cards, tons of misc supplies, and all the play aids (range finders, maneuver aids, etc):

The ships all go on trays, one for each side.  As you can see, my Jutland ships overflowed slightly into a cigarillo case (they are all magnet-based).  These will just fit the War Plan Black fleets, once I can move the Jutland ones to their new case.  The trays fit snugly in the leather case and the whole set up is perfect for travel (I'm bringing Jutland to Gary Con in Lake Geneva, WI this week!)

So, I am an idiot for forgetting to post this, but I am quite pleased with the results nonetheless.  I have two games of Jutland scheduled this weekend.  When I get back I am going to run my War Plan Black Scenario and see how that goes -- it'll probably take some play testing to get right.  The U.S. is at a big disadvantage, so I'm hoping the transports will balance things a bit!  Still, I'd rather get it right historically, game balance be damned!

p.s.  I have my "risk takers" challenge finished, too.  Hopefully I learned my lesson and won't forget that!!

Two posts in a day Keith , grand stuff.  Oh my - battlefleets in a box. Its a cracking entry Keith. Looking at them i think these are 1/3000th  so i classed the capital elements as 2 points and more generic at 1 - for a grand total of 160 - so that might make up for missing your bonus round points! Your target has been upped to 1500 hurrah!!

Wednesday crew - what a grand job you have done today - over 1000 points added to tallies you deserve to  take a short holiday.....

right did you enjoy that - now get the brushes twirling... well I did say "deserve" 

Right then over to Millsy Minion... and the Downunderbirds who will have some comments about the weather being slightly warm , and being too busy chucking prawns on the barbie...

From AaronH - 20 28mm Orcs from GW (105 points)

This entry is twenty spear Orcs. These are 28mm models from Games Workshop.

These are the classic plastics from 6th edition. They will be used for Kings of War but I still think a unit needs full command, even if they don't have a use in game.

There are some good and bad things about these models. I absolutely love the faces on them; full of character and menace. Their proportions are definitely cartoonish though and the join between the body and the legs can be pretty rough.

They are big and full of menace. They tower completely over mass a Lord of the Rings model.

The banner is a variation of the symbol on the shields. The difference being what an orc would paint on some random cloth and what a dwarf slave would craft for them.

My lighting was bad by the time I got home (after dark) but these models really have a lot of nice detail while not being over the top.

The highlighting on the faces doesn't show up in these pictures, which is a shame because it is my favorite part of the paint job.

So Aaron is back for a second bite of Orc goodnes (that just sounds wrong) today , with a further century worth of troublemakers - cracking Orcs....the details do look good. I am going to top that up to 105 for the whole effect as well.

From MartinC - Operation Warm Puppy ( Points Bomb - 549 points)

Watch out you lot "INCOMING!!!

In the 1980's I played a computer game about modern war in Europe and the code for full nuclear war was Operation Warm Puppy. I hope this counts as a suitable points bomb.
I have finished my Republican Romans, I do love that feeling when you have completed an army. There were 4 units to complete

Hastai - Aventine

Principes - 1st Corps

Principes - 1st Corps

Triari - 1st Corps

So this is my competed army, 2 units of velites and 1 unit of Triari were completed during the last challenge but the rest are all this one. 4 units each of Hastai and Principes, 2 Triari, 1 unit Equites, 2 units Velites, 1 unit of allied Volosci and 3 Generals. All the figs are Aventine, Crusader or 1st Corps

I also completed this unit of 12 Gallic Noble Cavalry all mounted on greys - seemed like a good idea at the time - by Wargames Factory. I really hated painting these and it has taken weeks to do them.

And finally 8 Gaul slingers, again Wargames Factory. Washed in Windsor and Newton peat brown ink, which works very well but leaves them a little shiny but varnishing will cure that.

Now for the maths bit

72 foot, 12 cavalry , and hand painted shelds 

I need rum, a lot of rum. Also a new target - 3.2K as I have a very busy few weeks at work. Also my 19 year old car passed it's MOT today (annual government safety check) - which was nice

Martin lays down his marker for the run the finish...3200 it is then - its seems you have recovered from your birthday festivies with a bang alright - have you been sleeping at all.... It is wonderfully colourful force Martin .... but an army is never really finished is it!

From KeithS: Tavern folk (20 points)

A quick entry.  In between working on my (non) nautical challenge and another larger project, I did these four tavern type people.  They're from Reaper's first Bones kickstarter a few years back.  Unlike most of Reapers stuff, these four scale well to 28mm.  I thought they could be useful as civilians for use with my Viking and Saxon armies in a Saga scenario.

Here's the group, all pretty straightforward.  There's the barkeep, a serving wench, a cleaning lady, and one other young lady who's role is possibly other than the rest.

 'From the reverse.  These were quite easy to paint, though I do not like Reaper's white just doesn't seem right somehow.  Also, my primer is super tacky on it.

The young lasses up close.

A little side project, but one that should prove useful in a game of Saga I have in mind.  I have a lot of other Bones from the kickstarter to paint, and might knock a few out before the challenge ends.

Always good to see civilians being added in  - some fine and somewhat scary ladies which I dont think will stand any nonsense. Oh and I see you nudging into the top 10 -well with another post lurking for today you will be in it - and your over target - you need to re challenge yourself with a stretch goal ... 1350-1400? more perhaps

From JeremyM - Vikings (18 points)

I have a small addition to the challenge this week my Jomsviking warlord for Saga. Its composed of a mix of figures from gripping beast including their warlord figure and a couple casualties. I also stuck a plast wargames factory viking on there to be his flag bearer. I stuck with the winter theme for these chaps to tie him in with the rest of his unit. I also used him to give some scale to my viking ship entry for the ships theme. He was also recently blooded twice alongside some of heir campbell's stock vikings who I might add faired much worse in both of their encounters. We are running a saga campaign that I'll hopefully be able to piece together some battle reports for, but I'm a bit delayed working on a masters project. And honestly until I'm done that this will likely be my last piece for the challenge.

Nice to have another entry Jeremy. Suitably heroic I think. Now that is what I call a flag! Hope your studies go well and you get time to write up those battle reports. I have added a few minion bonus points again for the whole composion of the piece.

From JohnSe: Fireforge Medieval Mounted Knights (72 points)

When I started the Analogue Painting Challenge, I had written off some Fireforge Mounted knights stashed towards the bottom of my lead pile. I vacillated on which heraldry to use and was intimidated by trying to hand paint teeny tiny crosses and birds in 28mm. I figured they'd be too tough to deal with during the speed painting of the competition. After painting up my medieval foot though, I was hooked. I took the "challenge" portion of the painting contest to heart and decided to tackle some medieval knights.

When looking for a period to run Lion Rampant I settled on the reign of Edward I. He was mixed up in internal strife with the 2nd Baron's War, a brief stint on crusade and clashes in Wales and Scotland, providing lots of variety from which to pull scenarios. I collected heraldry from knights in his service, cross referenced them against the number of conflicts they engaged in and picked half a dozen knights and earls who appeared in multiple battles so I could paint a figure once and use it in scenarios throughout the later half of the 13th century.

Then I realized nobody I play against will care, so just got started on painting and didn't sweat the details. So here are my guys!

Antony Bek, Bishop of Durham

First up is Antony Bek, the Bishop of Durham. I know it's pretty common among medieval fantasy games (hence the bludgeoning weapon I gave Tony), but I'm fascinated by the idea of a holy man going to war. Antony served Edward on crusade and in his Scottish wars. I gave Antony an attendant with simple cross heraldry (painting that curley cross with ermine pattern was enough the one time).

Thomas de Berkely and his son Maurice

Next up is Thomas de Berkeley, a grizzled veteran of numerous battles. He fought at Evesham, Falkirk, the siege of Caerlaverock, and Bannockburn. His son Maurice (indicated with the extra blue label on his shield) also served in the Scottish wars, and later served Edward II. Those teeny tiny crosses? Such a pain.

Robert de Neville and retainer

Finally it's Robert de Neville and a member of his retinue. Robert de Neville was involved in the 2nd Baron's War and also has a really simple heraldic device. I love you Robert de Neville.

Six mounted knights completed. Painting (and repainting) the heraldry took longer than expected, but I'm happy with how they turned out and I'm looking forward to finishing up the next six mounted figures from the boxed set. I'm still getting my bearing with the period, so if you have any tips or info to help correct any mistakes (either painting or history) I'd be happy for the advice!

A lovely job on these John, I can hear the thunder of hooves. Good to hear you challenged yourself too - and you got a grand result - i have topped you up with extra minion bonus points for the hard work , and the overall effects. That takes you nicely over your challenge target of 400 - with time left for "more please"...

From AaronH - 20 28mm Orcs from Games Workshop (135 points)

This entry is twenty Warhammer Orcs from Games Workshop. These were some of the first models I bought. In fact the archers were in the starter set which was the very first model set I got. They are finally painted.

Four Orc heroes.
These are finally on the painting table because Rhys and I are planning on playing some Kings of War later in the year. The mechanics look simpler than Warhammer, which is dead anyway.

These four are two mounted and two foot Bosses. The one on the left is the plastic hero kit. The detail leaves a lot to be desired, especially next to the three metal models.

Boar boys
Next up is six Boar Boys. The one with his spear pointing way up is plastic, the rest are metal. The metal ones are smaller than the plastics but have a ton of character.

These are plastic boars, but very fun to paint.
The boars are all plastic but are fun to paint and take a dry brush really well.

Rear shot showing ropes and chains.

The third unit is ten archers. These are from the 6th edition starter set and are horrible to try to rank up.

For starter set plastics these have good detail. There's enough there to keep them interesting without being too much.

I love the faces on these models.
Arrer Boys are not really true to the ethos of an Orc army. I always felt like they should have goblins do their shooting. In KoW Orcs and gobbos are two different armies though.

Boar Boys with shields
Finally, here are the Boar Boys with their shields. They obscure a lot of the models, hence the before shots above.

They boss has joined the boys.
Close up.
I enjoyed painting these, which is a good thing since I have another five or six thousand points of them.

I read that as 5-6000 figures to paint... but even in points it sounds a lot. They certainly look the business  - the heores are particularly good i think - and i see you have more stacked up today - looks like a good day for the Orcs..

Wednesday's Minion

Well after a bit of a tumbleweed day last week the Wednesday crew have upped their game and have stuff stacked up for your entertainment today

This weeks in flight entertainment comes courtesy of a 1960's classic movie, but by somewhat of a circuitous route. My search for Wednesday song titles led me to Wednesdays Child from the Quillier Memorandum by Matt Monro - but I thought nah... there can only be one true song from the singing bus driver..

On Days Like These - from the "The Italian Job" - the original , not the worthless remake! Sip your hot beverage of choice and enjoy a pleasant few moments driving the Alps...

So remember you lot as you begin to ramp up over the next few weeks dropping point bombs

"You're only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!"