Saturday, November 29, 2008

Woo hoo Google search!

So a random post today... now, when you do a search for "25mm napoleonic russian" ... the House of War is your first return! And in a search for "25mm napoleonic french"... the House of War is number two!

For "15mm Confederate", the House of War is number three... "15mm Federal" results in the House of War at number 1!

Pretty cool, I think, for a dorky little blog!

Above picture courtesy of The Lordz "Napoleonic Total War 2."

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

New 15mm scenery - The Fields

Hello all!

Well, I hope everyone in the U.S. has had a lovely Thanksgiving! Personally I have now consumed northwards of 12 turkey sandwiches... and am about to tackle maybe 14 and 15. The trick is that cold mashed potatoes and cold stuffing can all be sliced to exactly the size of the bread! Then cover them in gravy, throw on some turkey, microwave for 40 seconds, and voila!

Anyway... in between downing sandwiches at the in-laws, I figured I would put up a new blog entry! This is a new piece of scenery, given to me by a friend as a generous house-warming gift! Sweetness, right? Forget the blender, get me some snake rail fencing!

So; it is a piece by Battlefield Terrain Concepts; the first such piece that I own. It is a hill with a few fields built in, and a bit of an empty slope on one side.

What is nice is that I currently use a few tubs of flock to blend my table, and the blending works very well on this piece to hide the seams with the table. I dropped a few piece of lichen on it that match the other ones I have on the table, and even ran a small hedgerow up to it, again to blend it into the table. Overall it is a cool ass piece; a few of them would look great, but unfortunately the expense is a bit much for me at the moment. Thank god for friends!

25mm Nap Russians - Infantry 2

Time for some more Napoleonics!

This is another unit of my Russian infantry for my 25mm Napoleonic armies. Like the majority of my army, these guys are wearing their greatcoats, prepared for the nasty Russian winter.

I have four of these units of infantry, each with 32 figures, and another of 32 Grenadiers. Honestly it is a fairly big number for a unit, but in games I can always break it into two decent sized units of 16. As before, I went with the drab brown color, even though some people insist their coats should be grey... I have seen brown for greatcoats before, and I just felt it was more drab and dirty looking, which fit the feeling of the army well.

I originally bought all of my Russians in one big go, as one of the Foundry army packs, with a few extra units (such as the cavalry) as add-ons. Flags, as always, courtesy of The Flag Dude.

New 15mm Scenery - Cornfields

Hey all,

Well, it is the Thanksgiving vacation, and I am up at the in-laws for the vacation... but that doesn't mean I won't give anyone looking for toy soldier pictures something to be thankful for!

So here you go; my new 15mm cornfields that I purchased down at Fall In!

They are courtesy of Battlefield Terrain Concepts... they aren't too fancy, being just clipped bits of a small artificial wreath, but to make them takes a while, so I figured a few bags couldn't hurt. They really add another important level to the battlefield... adding these, while already having the wheat fields, really helps the table achieve that layered 3-D effect that is important to a really beautiful wargames table.

In these shots I've surrounded the fields with some fences I built... they cover up the edges nicely and help pull it all together.

I have a few more half-finished posts that I'll put up in the next few days as well, so keep dropping by when you are in between turkey sandwiches!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Warhammer - Skaven Plague Monks

Hey all,

Well, it has been awhile since I posted... sorry, work is at the busy time... however, I am also getting my Warhammer Skaven army ready for sale, so I thought I would post one or two shots of them! Hope the historical folks don't mind!

Anyway... as noted, I have a decent sized Skaven army. This here is a unit of Plague Monks that I did. They are led by a Plague Lord. The standard is a crucified Averlander... this was made as a mocking of my best buddy's Averland army, as they would face eachother across the table... I think it is rather amusing.

BTW, just for reference; this unit has been hit with ArmyPainter Quickshade of the Hard variety. It worked pretty well at picking out the shadows.

Overall this is one of my favorite units... real nasty guys!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

A game a buddy and I are working on...

A bit off topic this time... in a way:)

My college roomie and I are working on a game at the moment. He wrote the engine, and I did the graphic
work. Right now it is a dungeon crawl through Middle Earth, in somewhat standard fantasty fare... if more interesting news comes up, I'll share... in fact, we might need a few playtesters, so if you have an interest...!

Now, this isn't my first game... I also helped make Napoleonic Total War for MTW and American Total War as well, and helped on Napoleonic Total War 2... but this is the first from-scratch game, so it is fun!

I have lost that +3 stiletto, unfortunately, but made up for it with a +1 studded gambeson. Sweetness!

EDIT: Here is my latest screen! Thanks to a bunch of fighting in close combat I've morphed into a warrior... also, I've upgraded my gear a bit! I've killed my first Cave Troll and a pair of Mordor Captains... the Troll was the toughest of the lot for sure, he did a LOT of damage... used up almost all my food then!

Anyway, back to toy soldiers soon!

15mm ACW - Federal Infantry 3

After a bunch of posts of the whole mess, I thought I would finally get back to a unit showcase!

This is a traditional unit of blue-clad Federal infantry. I have a bunch of these guys, all the same blue and wearing the standard issue kepi (for the most
part.) Most of my ACW troops are interchangeable among units, with a single exception on the Confederate side and three or four exceptions on the Federal side (two units of Black Hats and two units of Zouaves...) You can actually see one of the aforementioned Zouaves, albeit dead, on one of the stands of this regiment... I thought that would tie them all together nicely!

Figures courtesy of Battle Honors.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The table gets a bit full...

Well... some more of my Confederates have hit the table, and... well, with two boxes of troops to go, I clearly have too many!

It is funny now to look back on my old school troops and realize I painted a LOT of these guys! They've been sitting at a friends house for maybe 10 or 12 years at least, and only just came back to me (thanks to Fall In and that same friend packing them all up for me!) And holy cow...

So... I clearly will need to take some off the table.

Also, I have a bit of work to do on them, really, if I am smart... I should really replace the flags of the units that have the old-school Stone Mountain lead flags. I am not sure
I will NEED to, though... I think I might just take a bunch of the guys off the table, as it is so full now that it looks a touch ridiculous.

Anyway... here are two shots of the forces; one of the Confederate attack, and one of the Federal defense. I am sorry I couldn't get higher-res pictures so you could really see each unit, but I think you can get the idea!

I also took a pair of shots of troops advancing to the fight!

So... next up will be, I think, taking a few troops OFF the table and trying to "craft a narrative" to the set-up... at the moment, the narrative is "get as many troops on the table as possible!" which makes for full set-ups, but not necessarily nice looking, natural ones.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The Confederates start to enter the field...

Just the latest in the new 15mm ACW set-up... I'll get the rest of the southern troops on the field this weekend! Just FYI, they are all, so far, my "old school" troops.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

New War-room decoration; Confederate Kepi

I was recently given a "donation" of sorts as a new decoration for the war room!

This very nice Confederate kepi is completely hand-stitched, with the tarring all done by hand. It fits me rather nicely, actually, and adds a wonderful ACW feel to the room.

To ensure it hangs well and without damage, I cut out a rounded piece of pink insulation foam that fits inside it perfect, and then put a nail into THAT in order for the hat to hang.

Next up... hopefully FINALLY getting my original pack hanging, although this seems to be a VERY difficult proposition:(

15mm Federals hit the table...

I've started getting some Federal troops on the table!

Like at Fall In, I am mixing my current collection with my "kid" collection, which I painted when I was in late elementary school and high school. In this particular set-up the newer troops will be on the Federal left flank, and the old school troops on the Federal right. I'll get some photos up later (as I get more troops on the table) of the older troops.

The photo on the left shows some Federal Zouaves advancing towards a field, well-supported by some infantry from New Jersey.

The photo on the right shows some 1st US Sharpshooters skirmishing at the edge of a wood held by Union troops, as a unit of Federal troops advances down the road. Sorry there are two photos of Zouaves; they just look so nice!:)

Tomorrow the Confederates will arrive!

New 15mm ACW set-up

Hey all, Well, I've finally (after a MONTH) got the figures back on the table. I am working on a new 15mm ACW set-up... they take a while to "mature," but this is what I have so far... I'll put up more photos soon, along with a new display piece for the wargames room!

The current set-up was originally supposed
to be just a touch inspired by Gettysburg (thanks, Fall In!) with the Round Tops on the one flank and Culps Hill on the other. You can see the vaguely Devils Den-ish area in front of the Round Tops and the Wheatfield just beyond the woods next to it. However, once I reached that point, I just went as the scenery allowed. The flock really helps; I still have another big jar of it that I could use, but I think for now it is fine. I actually use the flock both to cover edges and also to help accentuate low areas and high areas... I tend not to flock the higher areas so they look a bit lighter. I think it works, visually.

I'll put up more photos as I work more on the table, and of course when the troops actually arrive... it takes a while before it looks its best!

Victrix British, or Perry?

Hey all,

Well, I am stuck.
I have decided to take the plunge and send a Napoleonic British army off to Fernando for paint. However, I don't know what to do!

Do I wait for the beautiful Perry British, who are maybe six months out, so that they match my current forces nicely? Or do I just go for it now, and do a Victrix army?

Pros and cons:
Perry Pros: The figures will be BEAUTIFUL; they will match my Perry French army; they will be well supported with metal.

Perry Cons: Won't see them, painted and done, for a solid eight or nine months; all different formations which is not like my other armies which are all marching.

Victrix Pros: Available NOW; can be positioned more like they are marching (I think?)
Victrix Cons: No supporting metals from Victrix; maybe not quite as realistic as Perry.

So what does everyone think? Vote in the poll to the left to share your opinion and help a fellow wargamer out!

Fall In 2008; My game

Hey all!

Thought I would share a few photos of the game I put on on Friday night at 9:00 PM. For some reason none of the games my buddy and I host ever get onto any website about Fall In... I suppose the later night Friday games just don't get photographed. Anyway... this time they'll make THIS website, darnit!

We took all of my scenery and my troops for this game, which included all of my old school 15mm ACW collection... this almost tripled the number of troops available! You'll notice the old school guys on the far flank, and the modern collection on the near flank. One passing gent made an interesting point, saying that the older guys felt more traditional, and the newer guys (who have been featured on this blog before) are more like the Games Workshop-ian version of wargaming figures. Sounds fine to me!

Here is a shot of the game near the beginning. The Federals were attacking on the near side across some fields, where they hoped they could overwhelm a smaller Confederate force (stone walls notwithstanding.) On the far flank another Federal attack was being launched, supported by some artillery in a field with a good line of sight. The objective: a hill held by some southern troops, which was easy to pick out thanks to the church on its crest.
Here is a shot of the Federal attack hitting the fields; the Confederate troops are rushing forward, hoping to hold the stone wall, but they are being held up by all the walls and fences in the way! Note the Sharpshooters skirmishing in front of the Federal columns.
The Federal attack on the far flank begins to deploy and advance up the hill; this will be a tough, tough fight.
Another shot of the Federal attack, with the supporting artillery visible in the nearby field.
The Federal attack on the town pushes forward, as the Confederates form on the stone wall and open fire.
A few of the same attack from the Confederate lines.
The attack on the far flank stalls a bit, as the uphill climb, coupled with the vicious Confederate fire coming from the units behind the fences, slows the Federal attack.
In the relatively quiet center, a regiment of North Carolinians hold a fence, waiting for some Federal troops to emerge from the woods.
A shot of the Southern troops holding the near flank.
The Maryland Guard Zouaves hold a fenceline. The corn is a new addition, thanks to Battlefield Terrain Concepts.
A final shot of the fight in the center of town. Unfortunately time and booze required us to pack up the game at this point, but it was fun to have all the boys out!

Next year I will be GMing a game for a larger number of people, so keep your eyes open for it!

BTW, here are a few shots of our game from last year; a 25mm ACW game featuring my buddies collection... there are more shots on his website.
The Federal hospital.
The Federals, prepared for battle!
Some Federal troops advancing past a house.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Fall In 2008 Photos and Thoughts!

Hey all!

Whelp, Fall In 2008 has come and gone, and despite a cold that is building, it was a grand time! As usual we stayed down at the Eisenhower from Thursday through Sunday, with the typical Thursday night dinner at the Dobbin House, and the cheap drinks at the hotel bar every other night:) The weather was PERFECT, so we got to walk around the battlefield a bunch, including a stop over at Culps Hill, and at the only Whitworth guns on the field.

The convention seemed a bit smaller than usual, but still a good time. There were, unfortunately, no good painted armies for sale, so I managed to not spend too much cash this time at the vendors... I did pick up a few pieces at Battlefield Terrain Concepts for my 15mm ACW (my first pieces by them,) a nice brush, two houses from Miniature Building Authority for my 25mm Napoleonics, and a few assorted other items. I also had the pleasure to meet Scott Mingus, who was a fine chap and was even kind enough to give me a copy of one of his fantastic books of Human Interest Stories... a real great collection of first-hand accounts.

But... what about the games? I'll do this in two posts; I'll start with the general games I took photos of, and then another post of the game I ran on Friday night.
Here is a pretty WWII game that was being put on. The table was VERY long; this is only about half of it. A nice use of simple, ripped tree flock to represent the forests, which didn't look AMAZING up close but really looked fantastic when taken as a whole from wargaming distance.

A massive 15mm Napoleonic game... can a game have TOO many miniatures?

A WWI trench game, with VERY nice in-ground trenches. This was much nicer than the above ground trench games I've seen, and fit the theme for the year!

A pretty 15mm Samurai game, fought over nicely modeled rice paddies.

A 25mm Lord of the Rings game, fought over some nice terrain, which also saw some Rev War action and some SYW action and some Starship Troopers also!

The traditional big WWI bash that seems to happen every year at Fall In; this year, however, it lost its spot in the little side room.

A clean 15mm ACW game. Flock your bases, folks!! You can tell the difference... check out this game, vs some of the other 15mm ACW games with unflocked bases... grrrrr.

Rick "The Flag Dude" O'Brien's Colonial game. I was very happy to finally meet Rick and his lovely wife at Fall In after so many emails and so many flags... this table was impressive as heck, and of course featured many Flag Dude flags. Can't wait to send in my next order... and I hope he can post some more photos of his own collection on his website soon!:)

A F&I War skirmish game.

A neat 15mm WWII game, complete with incoming paratroopers!

A very out-of-focus 25mm Napoleonic skirmish game... it was awful pretty, with nice scenery and troops.

Just a fraction of the troops being used in a massive 25mm Crimean game on Saturday night in IKE1.

The armies being deployed... note, that with such a huge table they played DOWN the table, rather than across, which looked fab.

Some French troops, ready for battle.

A British division, far advanced of the rest of the army, prepares to meet the enemy.

And finally, a very out-of-focus shot of some of the attacking cavalry... notice some more in the background.

So overall... a great Fall In! Can't wait until next year!