Saturday, May 18, 2024

A long time in the making ... semi-historical Chinese for HotT

Many years ago, a student of mine (a keen 'gamer, a very clever young man who ended up with a scholarship to Oxford, and a thoroughly decent human) returned from a trip home to China with a gift for me: a Chinese Dragon. He thought that this might be useful in some way shape or form for a HOtT army. I duly bought a box of Caesar  Q'in infantry with a plan to paint a 'reanimated' terracotta army. The idea was to make the painting really quick. 

I subsequently found another dragon (a 'frost dragon') to add to the army, thinking that the thing that would make this army different to my other HotT armies would be that it had two dragons. Now that is unlikely to be a tournament winning army, given the vagaries of dragons, but that's not why I construct armies. It's all about the narrative, the aesthetic, and the variety. I try to make each army different in composition in some way shape or form to any of the others.

The project has sat suspended for possibly 15 years. And then I played a Volley and Bayonet game with Adrian and Jon featuring Adrian's Boxer army. I was inspired by the colourful nature of the Boxers, and turned my mind back to the Q'in (yes a totally different historical period, but the painting inspiration was still real).


Having arrived at one of those decision points about what to paint next, I was 'grabbed' by the possibility for the semi historical Chinese army. Here are the first photos.. the first half of the basic 24 point army : two dragons, two blade, and two shooter bases.

Because I wanted the colours to be more vibrant, I used a white undercoat, something I have not tried before. The colours are block painted over the top, and then a wash is applied to bring out the depth. It worked well with the blade, but I was too heavy handed with the wash on the shooters. Oh well, lesson learned.

At the time I also bought a box of HaT Assyrian chariots, with the intent of using Chinese figures to create Chinese chariots (knights under the rules). However these are hugely problematic to assemble. The locating pin holes are in the wrong place, for example). I first tried to assemble them quite a few years ago, and gave up in disgust. It's time for another attempt - you may hear my screams around the other side of the globe.

Saturday, May 11, 2024

A new sub period using Volley and Bayonet

One of the  many strengths of Frank Chadwick's Volley and Bayonet rules is their capacity to accurately encompass the feel, the outcomes, of the sub periods of their 17th-19th century scope with minor teaks to the rules. Keeping core mechanisms the same is a fantastic thing as our ability to hold multiple rules sets in our heads diminishes (curse this aging thing).

Jon and Adrian have been covering a range of these sub-periods, and Jon's latest is the Sino-French war of the 1880-1885 period.


A week or so ago we trialled the rules tweaks with a small scenario. Here are a few photos of some of Jon's fabulous painting output as he builds the (relatively) small 15mm forces required for the theatre.


Adept spiders avoid a good squishing and squashing

 Big Battle HotT... an introduction for Jim, who has previously played several 24 point games, but not this larger version of the genre. We wanted to introduce Jim to the very different feel of Big Battle. Jim commanded the Spiders against Andy's rocks of 'Asag'. Just a few selected photos.. featuring the spider airboats that haven't previously seen much action on the tabletop.

Tuesday, May 7, 2024

Chuff Chuff Choo Choo: A WW1 Armoured Train in 6mm

 This latest piece is the last of the current WW1 project: an armoured train, from the 6mm range produced by Irregular Miniatures. I chose a camouflage scheme that I thought might not look amiss in either the Middle East, or on the Eastern Front, or even the Russo-Polish Way or the Russian Civil War. I did miscalculate the length of rail I bought, so. Irregular.. look out for another order. 

And for everyone else, look out for an AAR featuring.. an armoured train.

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Onto the Galician plains 1914/15

Jon and I thought we'd try to get a little Great War Spearhead mojo back, so I set up a 1914/15 eastern front game between Russians and Austro-Hungarians. 

The Russians approached with a Corps of two under strength divisions (only two brigades each), and only two regiments of 76mm field guns in support, fielded on table.

The Austro-Hungarians fielded a single division with all four regiments, one on-table regiment of 76mm field guns, and an off-table regiment of 104mm. They also had an independent regiment of cavalry. One of their regiments was already on-table occupying light entrenchments, and the remainder of the division was racing to reach them and support them before the full weight of the Russian attack could be brought to bear. As a scenario specific rule, the AH cavalry did not need to be within the command radius of the AH division, as it was deemed to be independent.

We managed 6 turns before time ran out, so the action was inconclusive, although we felt that the scenario design meant that the Russians would be hard pressed to defeat the AH's. In retrospect the Russians should have been able to field much more of their divisional and Corp artillery.

The advanced AH regiment, waiting for the relief forces to arrive

An overview of the action early on, the Russians on the left.

Russian advance

Initial fire opened on the advancing Russians, the 104mm regiment causing first casualties

Fire is returned on the Russians. One regiment of Russian guns is firing over open sights (direct) while the other is 'brigaded firing under control of a FAO

The AH cavalry reserve arrives as a flank march .. scheduled for turn 3, this is turn 6

Russian Cossacks on the Russian right have dismounted and will face off against the AH cavalry

Casualties begin to mount of the forward AH regiment

A shame we miscalculated our time, but it was good to get some of the 20mm armies out onto the table.

Saturday, April 6, 2024

An American Civil War game with Volley and Bayonet

We took the time last night to get the 15mm ACW armies out of their boxes for some Volley and Bayonet action. The game was loosely based on 1st Bull Run...  no AAR, but a few selected photos.

Sunday, March 24, 2024

A water lurker for HotT

I felt like doing something a little more creative, in the midst of a lot of 6mm WW1 painting. For some years I've had a crocodile 'figure' in one of those boxes that we all accumulate, and thought .. ah yes, a water lurker for the Pirates (or the 'Lost Worlds' army). The problem was that the figure was too large for the base size, so I  opted to cut it in half and pose it as if lunging out of the water. It's mouth isn't suitably opened, but all the same I thought this is a reasonable posing of the figure, and it fits on the correct base size.

Hopefully you can spot the 'joke' on the base too, although arguably that's not what you ought to see on the base of an element in a pirate army, rather on the base of an element fighting against a pirate army.

Water lurkers may well be a troop type that is 'broken' (as are 'sneakers').  Alan Saunders (veteran HotT player and guru) suggested these changes for lurkers, in a post back in 2012.

A long time in the making ... semi-historical Chinese for HotT

Many years ago, a student of mine (a keen 'gamer, a very clever young man who ended up with a scholarship to Oxford, and a thoroughly de...