maandag 22 mei 2017

Wargames Soldiers & Strategy issue 90

Past weekend I picked up this magazine because I wanted to have something to read in the first place, but I wanted to grab "a" wargame magazine for... the adverts!

Now you might boggle at this, but bear with me...

I just returned to the hobby, and while I could scour the internet and forums and the likes, I preferred to buy one of those glossy magazines (still) out there, and see at adverts to get a feel which companies still exist, what they do these days... that sort of things.

Now, there are 3 mainstreet publications out there currently with Wargames Illustrated, Wargames Soldiers & Strategy and Miniature Wargames (4 if you count White Dwarf even, and I saw a fantasy / sci-fo wargame boardgame and figures magazine as well but the name escapes me), and after reading on some blogs I follow, WSS seemed to be the best around at the moment.

So even while the main theme of the month, being World War 1, didn`t intrest me in the least (I tend to say I love gaming the period between the two civil wars: from ECW to ACW), I read through the issue with great intrest and looks for eye candy.

Now personally, the article I enjoyed the most are the "columns" to be precise the one talking about Line infantry (period of intrest) and the one about running a club.

The smoke marker article was lovely, but I`m restoring armies at the moment, scenery and whotnot's shall have to wait quite a while still, and the 2mm article was intresting as just recently I saw those in Napoleonics over at TSA.  To small for me though, I`ll draw the line at 6mm.

But the issue did serve it's purpose, as many a manufacturer has been bookmarked by now to gradually "pay a visit" ;-)

zondag 21 mei 2017

Glory, Hallelujah! - Black Powder supplement

While Black Powder allows for gaming the American Civil War (ACW for short), this nearly 200 page expansion adds far more detail into it.

With the ACW always having been my main "historical gaming intrest", this was a tome I just needed to have for the collection.

The book, in high glossy quality and with a lot of figure driven pictures in it, is nicely made and a true eye candy book.  It follows the more or less standard build up for a wargame setting / scenario book, starting with a brief oversight of the war, both in the Western and Eastern theatre's.

Next we get the section with the era specific special rules.  Things like the "Rebel yell" or the "Seen the elephant" (survived long enough to throw away their lives now) are included and can be bought for the units in the points lists.

Which is in one go the next section of the book.  Generic army lists to cover both sides for each year of the war, and the selections being influenced by both the command ability (got better in the Union over the years as the war progressed) and motivation of the troops (which lessened as the Confederacy was slowly pushed back), an army from 1861 will differ greatly in quality from one drawn for 1864 scenarios.

There is a section of famous generals (yes, and the Confederates get the high end on those), as well as for special units of great reknown, like the Iron Brigade or the Irish Brigade.

The final section details 10 scenarios, some historical, some "generic" with a fictious title and generals.  Some of them have a sort of battle report with them (the Union doesn`t seem able to win even one of them oddly enough) and come with scenario and terrain specifics and maps.

It`s a nice rules expansion for sure, and one I might one day have a go at if my Corps has been restored for sure!

SAGA Irish Warlord and Fianna

I had some time this weekend to get a few painting hours "logged in", and I continued working on the starter set for my Irish in SAGA.

The box is now about halfway done, as I painted up the Warlord, as well as the first of two units of Fianna so far.

The warlord is a sort of "free unit" in the game as you don`t pay any points to field him, but at the same time he is the most important model in the force, as he basically represents "you".  The figure came with a larger base to distinguish him from the regular troops, and I went for a free hand design on his shield.

The Fianna, or Hearthguard, are the elite troops of the Irish warbands, and they come in units of 4 models for a point.

Compared to regular warriors, they tend to have better armour (read: at least some) and the figures depict this nicely with the odd coat of mail, a helmet left or right, and the models usually wearing tunics compared to just a pants and sometimes a cloak for the Bonnachts instead.

I added some javelins in the mix instead of just hand weapons, and the shields once more had some hand painted designs on them.  My regular troops will just have plain, tan variation shields, something the poorer warriors had anyways. 

Now, also on the contrary to popular believes, Irish troops in the Dark Ages weren`t all "greened out" in their colours, that came actually later as the "national" colour.  Predominant where earthen tones, with the occasional blue as that dye was unusual but not uber rare to get.  Red was reserved for the real rich warlords, so I`m avoiding that colour so far in the warband.

The next set of figures I`ll be painting for the warband will be the Bonnachts, see you then!

Haul Report 82: mostly about books

Welcome to another Haul Report, and what a week it has been as my library pile was extended by no less then 28 new additions.

But that isn`t everything I obtained, so bear with me...

The main haul this week came of course from the Boekenfestijn event past friday, a huge fair where you can grab new books for a fraction of the price.  These are books from, well, end of lines, failed sales, or just plain overstocks, and my purchases averaged less then 3 euro per book.

You can see more about those particular books in this YouTube video I made for it:

But those weren`t the only books I obtained, as my second part of my AwesomeBooks order arrived past monday, with three more novels for the reading stack...

Of course, reading requires a certain style, and my parents already gave me my birthday present 1.5 months early.  A new vaper, in the form of a pipe, to vape in class now :-)

The final haul where miniatures, a Kickstarter pledge by Lancer Miniatures.  A small campaign to "pre-launch" there new ECW range, I take a more detailed look in the unboxing video below.

So a lovely week for sure, and now I`m off to go and have a read ;-)

zaterdag 20 mei 2017

I won: BrickGeekz Collectable Cards

A little luck yesterday night, as I won a raffle from BrickGeekz.

The price?  A set of the UK trading cards from Sainsbury, so not available here in Belgium.

All you had to do was the "like, share, tag someone" routine from Facebook, and tadaaa, after three years of knowing Phil and often hopping by on his streams (unfortunatly, time hasn`t been gentle to do that the past months) I came out on top at last.

Patience is a virtue indeed...

vrijdag 19 mei 2017

Agents of SHIELD season 4

Central in this fourth season of the ABC series is the Darkhold, a magical book that contains secrets to great for the human mind to comprehend.

But the story is told in a rather original way.  This season was cut in three parts, and all had a different sub-theme, connected to the bigger picture.

And two well known Marvel superheroes and one villain made an entrance...

The first of course is the Ghost Rider, teased long before the series aired.  This version, Robby reyes, rides a Dodge Charger instead of a bike, but he is all spirit of vengeance and soon the team learns there are others out there who aren`t just Inhumans, but something far more sinister.

In the second storyline, the LMD`s, Live Model Decoys, make their grant entrance, and the new (on paper) director of SHIELD, Jeffrey Mace (yes, the Patriot indeed) plays more of a front role then in the first arc.  These decoys, developped by Fitz and Dr Ratcliffe, can provide stand in support for living humans, but the prototype, AIDA, wants more and creates The Framework, a virtual reality world based upon her stored knowledge of the Darkhold book.

The third arc has our heroes tied into the Framework, with Daisy and Gemma trying to free them from AIDA, or Madame Hydra.  This leads to encounters with people long gone (really, Ward, again...) but also some very different personalities for others, like Fitz, the evil doctor who does everything Hydra wants.

It was in my opinion the strongest series of Agents so far, with some really "wow" moments (again, Ghost Rider) and the third arc being really intresting in my opinion.

donderdag 18 mei 2017

Who let the dogs out?

The painting effort continues, and today I finished my first unit for SAGA, the Irish warhounds from the starter set.

Okay, admitted, they where the simplest to paint of the box... drybrushing dogs goes swift.

Now, apart from that, I always found Dark Ages models, and especially those from more "rural" armies like Picts, Scots or Irish, to paint fast.  Most of the time they just wear a tunic and a cloak after all, and not to much little details or bombastic gear as they where generally poor people.

The unit, which counts as a Warrior group in the rules (with a unit size of 8), is one of the novelty units of the force, and part of what makes them unique.  Though limited to a single entry, it is just one of those things you "need" to have in a Dark Ages Irish force for sheer visual appeal.

After assembling and undercoating the models, the first base layer was put on the beasts and the handler.

Next it was time to do some drybrushing on the furs, while a second layer was added to the handler for the highlights.

All that remained to be done then was to sand and paint the bases, and add a coat of matt varnish to complete the first unit of my SAGA warband as such.

Hope you like them!