Sunday, 21 January 2018

The 'BFG' Theme is Now Up for Viewing! (and Curt's 'Landsknecht Gun & Crew')

Hello Everyone!

The second Theme Round of Challenge VIII is now up for your viewing pleasure!

This fortnight's theme is 'BFG' and we have 41 participants who have submitted entries for your enjoyment. In the theme gallery you will see every assortment of gun, cannon artillery piece imaginable (along with one or two reimagining of the theme to keep us entertained). 

Please click here, or on the 'Bonus Theme' link in the navigation bar above to take in the efforts of the participants. Again, once you're there, please use the links on the right sidebar to navigate through the entries. As I mentioned before, there is a persistent glitch in Blogger in how it displays multiple entries over several pages on a single day, so use the links in the sidebar so you are sure to see everyone's entries.

Finally, remember to take time to vote for your favourite submissions. You can vote for as many as you like. The top three in votes will get additional points added on to their total for the round.

For my entry to the theme, I've returned to my Italian Wars project to add some artillery support to the collection.

This is a German-crewed culverin (or bombard) mounted on a adjustable split-tail carriage. In modern terms this is not a particularly large gun, but to those living in the 16th century this would have been quite an impressive piece of artillery. (With it being near as much a danger to its crew as it would be to their intended targets.)

The figures are from Redoubt Enterprises and while they are a bit ill-formed and perhaps a tad lumpish, I find they have a certain charm and posses a wonderful dynamism, especially in how their various poses convey a sense of movement. These fellows really convey the idea of them frantically trying to realign their gun while in the midst of combat.

I tried to match the groundwork to the rest of my bases, which are all autumnal, so a wide assortment of brown foliage, late blooms and a generous carpet of fallen leaves are in appearance. If it weren't for the big freakin' gun and its boorish crew of beer-swilling Landsknechts, perhaps it would be a nice place for a quiet repast with a bottle of Chianti, a loaf of fresh bread and a plate of prosciutto. Ah, bellissimo!

Now, please visit the theme gallery and enjoy the wonderful entries for 'BFG' and remember to vote for your favourite submissions (voting closes next Saturday at 11:45pm).


Song: Closer to the Heart (1977)

Artist: Rush

From JasperO: By the Skin of My Teeth - Caesarian Roman Centurion (5 Points)

I blame jet lag. I had a Roman catapult & crew almost completely ready for the BFG round (I'll explain why I think it would've qualified when I post the completed model), but flying back from the States last Thu left me with what I like to call 'scramble brain': the physical part of me, that handles the brushes, was back in NL, but the directive part was still somewhere over the Atlantic. So that didn't work out...

Since today is also the cut-off, I'll have to take the expedient of offering up the crew's commanding officer. He's a Foundry Caesarian Roman. His underlings and artillery piece will follow next week. Please don't kick me out before then!

Embarrassing to admit for the editor of Ancient Warfare, this is also my first ever completed Roman.

1 Wargames Foundry 28mm figure.


Under the wire, but in such style! Welcome back to the Challenge Jasper.

Lovely work, sir. You've done a beautiful job on his musculature, facial features and armour. Now, get over your jet lag and finish the rest of the crew and their catapult - we want to see more from you soon. 

5 points to prime the pan...

From JimI: Mid 13th Century European Longbows (85 Points)

(From Curt: As a preamble to our Theme announcement, a few of our rearguard brushjockeys will be joining us. Here Jim arrives with this beautiful entry to kick off his Challenge run.)

This is somewhat of a diversion for me, having been up to now, better recognised for my work in the black powder era. 

Some years ago, on a whim, I purchased a box of Fireforge Games Foot Sergeants. I was extremely impressed with them. Enough so that I assembled and painted a handful.

This year, amongst other things, I am putting together a fantasy army. Having previously seen these wonderful minis from Fireforge I was left in little doubt as to what figures I would be using for the project.

Unfortunately, much of the army was assembled and painted before this year's challenge opened.
I've still got lots to do though, and I'm looking forward to posting many more pictures from this excellent range of 28mm figures.

Here we see seventeen longbowmen painted in fairly generic livery but with blue a predominant theme.

All the best for now and good luck to everybody taking part in the Challenge.


Wow, absolutely gorgeous brushwork Jim! I love your fleshtones, the battered shield of the sergeant and the subtle shading on their leather and helmets. I also really like how you've staged and photographed your entry - it looks like a still frame from a movie!

If any viewers are readers of 'Wargames, Soldiers & Strategy' you will have seen Jim's figures featured  in that fine publication - his work really is a treat. This past autumn I had the pleasure to game with Jim, AdeD and PhilH at Jim's home nestled in the picturesque Worcestershire district

Jim, Ade, me and Phil at Jim's home having some games of Sharp Practice (I think the reason Phil is looking so smug in this photo is that he was thrashing me in the scenario we were playing...)

It was a great day out with lots of beautiful toy soldiers to enjoy and excellent company to be had (and I think they even let me win for one of the games!). Such gentlemen. :)

Welcome to the Challenge Jim!

From MilesR: Week 4 Stats Round Up: "4 in the Bin and 9 to Come In"

Prepare yourselves indeed, because there are Stats inbound and they will shower you with their righteous math-a-magical precision and leave you slack jawed in awe.  That's right, baby, I'm about to lay some heavy stats on you.

You're welcome.

With 4 weeks in the books, we're on pace for a sizzling Challenge 8.  At press time, the point total was just under 20K, with 67 of our fellow Challenge-a-nistas submitting something.  That's a participation rate of 84%.  From a subjective viewpoint, I do think the quality this year is really top notch.

This reporting period includes the first "bonus round" category of flight and we had 45 submissions which I think is an all time record.

Ok, enough blabbering about past performance - what is the Point-O-Projector saying about the predicted outcome?  Do you want to know (wait for positive audience response....)

crickets, chirping...

Well, dammit, I'm going to tell you anyway.  The P-O-P (version 8.0) has estimated a total point level of 71K points.  The forecast at this point tends to be pretty accurate with a  variance of +/- 4K points.  The only wild card is the 13 (now 9 as of post time) lost souls who have yet to submit an entry.  I've deeply discounted any future points from them which hurts me.  Lets us all hope and pray they follow the light of St. Vallejo and find the way to their collective painting happy places wherever that may be.  Amen

The culling is coming and it will go down on your permanent record.

Weeks Completed24681113
Weeks Remaining1197520
Participants w/ a Submission5267
Total Submissions118238
Total Points7,18418,716
Participation Rate65%84%
Average per Submitter138279
Avg per Submission6179
Submitter % of Target Completed15%41%
Projected Points
Remaining Bouns Rounds7,5009,000
Non Submitters (Discounted)6,7691,090
Projected Total Points60,96570,917
Figures Painted
Cav / Art47128
Cav / Art1625
Cav / Art2252
Score Distribution
Bonus Round "Bonus Points"0%12%
Other Scales15%10%

Now lets compare week 4 of VIII to the same time period from VII:

Weeks Completed44
Weeks Remaining99
Participants w/ a Submission6781-17.28%
Total Submissions238239-0.42%
Total Points18,71621,906-14.56%
Participation Rate84%81%
Average per Submitter2792703.29%
Avg per Submission7992-14.20%
Submitter % of Target Completed41%32%9%
Projected Points
Remaining Bouns Rounds9,0006,7872,213
Non Submitters @ 50%1,0901,657-566
Projected Total Points70,91778,394-7,476
Figures Painted
Cav / Art128155-17.42%
Cav / Art25178-85.96%
Cav / Art5218188.89%
Score Distribution
Bonus Round "Bonus Points"12%11%
Other Scales10%9%

A few things stand out to me - while this year's challenge is a bit smaller in terms of participants, the activity level per participant is higher - you might say "more pigment per person".  The other big variance is the decline in 15MM and 28mm figures painted to date.

The new terrain category has had some impact as it accounts for 4% of week 4 points but seems to not be upsetting the natural order.  It will be interesting to see how 15mm fares for the rest of the challenge as it does illustrate the some trends in the bobby away from "big battles" towards skirmish games which tend to be mostly 28mm.  Because I'm a data geek, I'm going to try and look at submissions by battle type (big battle, skirmish, naval etc) and see if any trends emerge for the challenge data.  Yes, I am that boring.  If only there was someone involved with a wargaming magazine participating in this years challenge - if only....

Sorry for the delay in getting this post out - work has been a bit busy.  I'll try to do better next time.

See ya'