Thursday, January 6, 2022
I'd had Dark Alliance Steppe Warriors ready to go for quite some time but found myself stepped-out after working on the Khazar/Pecheneg army last year. So how could I make this as easy on myself as possible, while still bringing them up to a look that would fit into my (also lazily) painted existing elements?
By dry brushing all metals, that's how!
Mini review: these steppe warriors are a fantastic buy, as the various figures can be judiciously mixed into most if not all eastern European mounted sets, including Germanic and Scand/Rus-origin. They have very little flash/mold marks, and the plastic is easy to clean off with a sharp knife blade. Sculpts are excellent. There are no 'weird' or super-unlikely weapons such as elaborate flails with long chains, which are a bother with several 'historical' sets. There are even extra weapons and scabbarded bows to hang on mounts! The only minor negative is that the set of 12 is really two sets of six, meaning that (as a standalone set and not intermingled) it's hard to make them look individual enough.
Assembled, the set makes four 'heavy charging' four 'medium melee' and four 'distance' poses/fitouts, and mounts match these in terms of armor and saddle-hung weapons. I configure the two sets of six into three LH of 2 pieces each, and two Cv/Kn of 3 pieces each.
With a basecoat of solid burnt sienna building up color on mounts and riders is easy. The big decision I make is to skimp on detail for metal, because if I color them in too specific a way they won't go with Huns or Germanics or Slavs if I do want to use them there. So the end result doesn't quite match the previous Khazar/Pechenegs. That is a very minor point next to the bases - I ended up pouring far too much flock down compared to the lightly-flocked originals. Good enough for now!
After a full year of being in denial I finally admitted that the war wagons I had as WIP were not good enough, tore them down, and recreated them.
This conversion uses
- a one-inch cardboard tube for the canopy;
- polythene foam for the body;
- Napoleonic gun carriages for the undercarriage and wheels;
- card for the armored driver box and rear;
- and masking tape for the sidewall texture.
Glues are hot glue to hold the undercarriage together and PVA for most other joins.
The horses are Airfix Napoleonic RHA, and as they are larger than the original pairs I found (and the right scale for other elements in the army) they only just squeeze in on the 'long' DBA base. They are joined to the body by Airfix French Napoleonic Artillery (there's a blast from the past!) limbers.
The bases were already discolored by the abortive first effort so look darker than they ought, but overall, not bad. They look menacing and I look forward to using them for Pechenegs!
Wednesday, January 5, 2022
Medieval Irish IV/58 v Feudal English IV/23
This is a return match, featuring the same basic coastal table as last game. It features the following changes:
1. The castle becomes a square Normal keep. This is for aesthetic purposes only.
2. An additional stretch of woodland occupies the high ground near the shore, and plough is laid out slightly differently. Woodland must be fully occupied to claim the point, eg one side occupying one stretch will deny the point to the other side.
3. The 2d6 random table is dropped.
No changes are made to either side, since those are sound armies either way.
The Irish are the aggressors. English do not have the dismounted knights option to defend, so I place feudal levy (Hd) in the keep. They have a good basic +3 against foot and are hard to dislodge. The English left is a column of hobilars (Cv) and 2 x 3Bw. With enough PIPs they can dominate the height, just as the Irish did.
The center is held by the other levy (Hd) with all the remaining army grouped with it.
Over on the English right, a lead Ps ought to have been a trailing Ps as events showed. Poor planning on my part.
The Irish have landed (again I have not bothered laying down a fort) and have two Ps on their left, which will seek a path up to the ancient earthwork objective and possibly beyond.
The Irish center contains all the LH and a support Ps forlorn hope. The Irish right is heavy foot and support Ps, hoping to find a path up.
After Action Report
Most of the game was played in a power outage, the photos show how good modern smartphone cameras are, no flash, just residual light. Owing to lack of time and the power outage, I did not use any random table.
Saturday, January 1, 2022
This is a DBA3.0 battle with the following solo gaming changes
1. I laid out the board first for aesthetics, with the theme of "a defensible shore."
3. The board includes some objectives.
3. I utilized a 2d6 solo chance table (appended).
4. The riverine paltry/difficult going rules are applied to the heights above the beach.
The board is a polythene mat (the cheap kind) pinned onto a 3D understructure built from hard foam and card for the most part. On top of the mat I pin the medieval castle, woods, scrub, a path from beach to castle muster field, an ancient earthwork, and two croplands.
I add a beacon (a simple 25mm base, with a red pin by it) and make up some variant rules about scaling the beach cliff. These don't apply to the known track, which is passable in column.
I set three objectives that, for the aggressor, count the same as taking elements.
1. Take the castle: counts as game over.
2. Seize the ancient hill fort: counts as one. The theory is that locals have run to shelter in it, and they become potential hostages or slaves.
3. Capture the beacon before it can be lit: counts as one.
Mainly because of the castle, I decided to field sides from period IV and if possible, something Normal related. That means Feudal English, IV/23. Looking at my very few choices of regular opposition to them (French are very much a WIP, I have some levy and crossbows so far, that could be annexed to some Crusader elements to make an unconvincing army,) I am left with Medieval Irish, IV/58.
Both armies have quite a range of options.
The sides I've chosen:
English: KnGen, 3xKn, 1xCv, 4xBw, 2xHd, 1xPs
Irish: LHGen, 2xLH, 3xBd, 6xPs
The concept is that the Irish have seized an English castle and the English want it back! The Irish have the Castle as their base, and I decide there is no need to show the barge-camp on the beach, for the English.
Note that I have placed a Bd to defend the castle - no need to make storming it easy!
After Action Report:
A coupe of extra photos of the end of battle. Irish IV/58 beat English IV/23, 4-2.