Wednesday, June 2, 2021

Khazar Heavy Cavalry and Moslem Infantry

Although these were started in May, I didn't complete them until now.

First, a unit of Khazar heavy cavalry (Essex Miniatures, Asiatic Hordes, #HA6a) have joined the Byzantine forces as foederati.  They are armed with lances, swords, and bows, giving them a multi-level means of attack and defense.

The Khazar unit of 12 heavy heavy cavalry

Close-up of a stand depicting the hand-painted "S" design on the shield.

And now the first of five units of Moslem infantry.  This particular unit has four 15mm Miniature Figurines figures (rectangular bases) and eight others from an unknown manufacturer.  These can be used as warriors, medium infantry, or auxiliaries.

The MiniFigs are rather "static" sculpts while the others are more animated.
But they both seem to work well together.

The command stand showing the leader brandishing his sword and another view of the flag from the Warflag web site .  Although dating from the Victorian colonial era (1880s), it works OK for me back in the circa 1000 era.

Next up are four Khorasanian mounted archers to complete a unit to 8 figures, followed by two more units of Moslem infantry.

Sunday, May 30, 2021

Introduction to "Company of Heroes" Boardgame

At our regular "5th Saturday" game on May 29th, we gathered at Bryan's house in his "man cave" building for an introduction to the "Company of Heroes" board game that he helped develop.

This is a two-level game with tactical-level play happening on the game board as the players pit their infantry squads supported by various other types of combat commands against each other and on the 'strategic' level as you decide what new units to build using the resources that you gain through the tactical play.  This 'strategic' level is displayed on an individual player's control board which tracks the manpower, munitions, and fuel resources you have as well as your combat experience points and victory points.  You start with three levels of "builds."  The basic command has three 'units' that are available to you.  Then you can progress through two more powerful levels as you gain resources and can unlock them.

All of the game pieces are 15mm sized, from the individual soldier figures through the supporting guns and tanks to the buildings, including a beautiful multi-piece cathedral.

For the first game, Ed and Phil each played Germans while Bryan had Americans and I had British.  Bryan and I 'won' that round.  In the second game, Ed and Phil continued with Germans; I switched to Russians; and Bryan switched to OKW Germans (Yes, we had Germans fighting Germans in this game.).  Again Bryan and I prevailed as 'darkness' fell (getting late and the three of us had long drives back home).

Here are some pictures I took with the camera on my new phone of scenes from the second game, which was played on the Stalingrad terrain boards.  The river was iced over and infantry could cross anywhere.  Vehicles could only cross at the railroad bridge or where the ice was thick enough (denoted by the tracks on the ice).  Please click on the images for a larger picture.

My Russian T-70 light tank and an infantry squad get ready to engage Ed's German SdKfz 222 and German infantry squad.
The blue flags indicate that I have possession of a munitions resource point (tank's location) and a victory objective (infantry's location).
In the background you can see Ed's and Phil's player control boards with the white cubes marking the resources each has accumulated.

Further to my left, one of my infantry squads is attacking Ed's German kubelwagon.  The three yellow cubes on my infantry squad base indicate that I have moved them three hexes, the maximum move for an infantry squad.  Behind the kubelwagon is a manpower resource point that Ed controls.
The background shows more of Ed' control board.

On Bryan's side, one of his panzergrenadier squads (near red-flagged fuel resource point is attacked by Phil's German SdKfz 222 while Bryan's rocket-equipped SdKfz 250 series half-track gets ready to bombard some of Phil's Germans.
In the background, Phil is lifting a new build combat vehicle out of the tray that contains the forces available to him.

As you can see from the pictures, the figures and vehicles are very well cast.  They come in basic colors but you can easily paint them.

All in all it was an enjoyable game that entailed a lot of 'strategic' thinking about what to build at the end of each turn.  I think this is definitely a game I'll enjoy playing again.

As the link (above) indicates, the version 1.0 has been sold out but they are working on a version 1.5 release.

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Inventory of Wargaming Figures

As I have entered my 7th decade, I've begun to contemplate what I still have to complete in my many wargaming periods.  So for the past week I've been inventorying and counting what I have painted and based and what still needs to be painted and based.  I knew that I had a bunch of figures, but not quite this many -- about 21,880 with about 60% painted and based (13,140) and 40% still to do (8,740).  These totals and sub-totals are probably accurate to within no more than 5% error.

So here is the breakdown.  First the actual figures (plus some pack animals), by period and size:

Please click on image to enlarge it for readability.

And the ancillary planes, ships, and vehicles:

Please click on image to enlarge it for readability.

Now to decide what I can realistically finish and use and what I'll never finish or use and put that up for disposal to another wargamer.

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Rebasing the Normans - Part 1

I spent a couple of days over the weekend beginning to rebase my Norman troops, starting with the mounted figures.  My Normans are a mix of vintage Miniature Figurines and Table Top Games castings from the "good old" lead figures days.  I painted all of the MiniFigs and a few of the TTG figures.  The rest of the TTG figures were purchased already painted.

Please click on each image to get a larger picture.

The Norman command groups.
Front center is the senior leader with his two main subordinate leaders to either side.
Across the back are four junior leader.
I use circular bases to distinguish my leaders from the combat troops, who are mounted on 'standard' 40mm x 30mm steel bases.

Norman mounted knights -- The Green Knights
These, as well as all the others, are mounted on 85mm x 65mm foamcore movement bases that have magnetic material on top and a piece of flex steel on the bottom.  The thickness of the foamcore makes it easy to pick up the whole base.

Norman mounted knights -- The Blue Knights

Norman mounted knights -- The Red Knights

Norman allied heavy cavalry, unit 1

Norman allied heavy cavalry, unit 2

Norman medium (unarmored) cavalry, unit 1

Norman medium (unarmored) cavalry, unit 2 

And I'm also taking this opportunity to show my 'jury-rigged' photo set-up.

It is made from three pieces of foamcore covered with a sheet of light blue poster board.  The small light on the left is an Ott Light while the one on the right is a standard clamp-on desk task light.  Between the two there is enough light cast for taking most pictures without having to use a flash.  I store the "booth" and the tripod (front center) atop my storage cabinet in another corner of the room.  

Just above the task light is a framed picture of three Franco-Prussian War soldiers, a bequest from the late Larry Brom, author of "The Sword and the Flame" and "Chassepot and Needlegun" rules, and a good friend.

Still working on painting more troops -- a unit of Khazar heavy bow cavalry is next in line followed by five units of Arab medium/warrior infantry.

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

A Third Byzantine Heavy Cavalry Unit

I just added a third Byzantine heavy cavalry (cataphract) unit to my Medieval forces.  This unit joins two others that I had painted many years ago.  The figures are from Alternative Armies Dark Ages Isarus range, numbers BYC-1 and BYC-2.  Please click on the picture to get a larger image.

Their primary color is "terra cotta" (or orange).  Their compatriots are in red or blue.  These three units will form a core of veteran cataphracts for my Byzantine forces.  They will eventually be joined by a unit of Khazar mercenary heavy cavalry using some Essex figures I have on hand and on order.

Work continues on my Medieval forces -- remounting Norman heavy and medium cavalry.

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

And More Arab Medium Cavalry

My first unit for May's painting is another unit of Arab medium cavalry.  This time they are Alternative Armies' Dark Age Isarus (old Table Top Games) Arabs line -- 11 ARC-1 Arab medium cavalry with the standard bearer from the ARC-13 Arab mounted command pack.  They should see their first action soon.

The 3-figure command stand was painting many years ago while the other nine were added just recently.

This unit can be used in a variety of armies from allies of either the Byzantines or Sassanids to riding to spread Islam throughout the Middle East and North Africa to fighting the Crusaders in the Levant.

Next in the queue is another Byzantine heavy cavalry unit.

Sunday, May 2, 2021

Arab Allied Medium Cavalry

Both the Byzantines and the Sassanid Persians used allied Arab cavalry in many of their campaigns in the Middle East.  This unit was put together from various vintage Miniature Figurines castings.  They represent an amalgamation of different, but related, Arab tribal forces.

This unit shares a standard color scheme for the shields.

And here is how they look in an extended battle line.  You can really see all the different figures I used for this unit.

Another Arab medium cavalry unit and a Byzantine heavy cavalry unit are in the works for the near future.