Thursday, October 6, 2016

Character Figures and Settlers for the FIW

Conquest Miniatures put out a nice little blister of the main characters from the Last of the Mohicans, also released by Warlord Games. I had fun painting these up as characters to join in my Sharp Practice games.

The figures are a bit variable in quality. The women aren't very good in my opinion, suggesting the sculptor should get out more. Uncas and Chingachgook are fine, but Hawkeye and Magua are just lovely.

Magua is also available in a more warlike pose in a separate blister.

Magua notices a grey hair in the mirror...

Also from Conquest, here's a bunch of armed colonists. I really need to build a couple of farm houses for them...

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

4-Ground's Blockhouse for the French & Indian Wars

This is a nice piece of kit.

We are very taken here at Homunculorum Towers with playing the FIW with Sharp Practice 2, and that means terrain. Most of all trees, although we will also need a few log cabins. And to defend all those trees, what better than a lovely blockhouse from 4-Ground?

This was a great model to put together, with stacks of detail like opening doors and detachable (and loseable as it turns out) locking bars for the doors. The simple planky appearance of the real thing lends itself well to drybrushing, so I tarted up the model with fifty shades of grey and a bit of brown, textured the base and behold.

Those gunports were crying out for some firepower, so I picked up a blister pack from Crusader's pirates range from the friendly elves at War and Peace Games. They are intended to represent a French naval gun crew, but clearly military discipline is a bit lax in this bit of the wilderness.

The blockhouse gets a couple of enthusiastic thumbs up from me, and would be great to chuck on your table for AWI and FIW games.

Friday, August 26, 2016


The final part of my French wilderness force for Sharp Practice 2 is of course a couple of units of Huron allies. I'm really looking forward to using these in SP2 - the rules for moveable deployment zones should give their opponents something to think about.

These were lovely figures to paint, although very time consuming due to the individual details. Most of the figures are from the Woodland Indians box set put out by Warlord (which are actually Conquest Miniatures figures), with six figures from Northstar. Here's a stack of photos - I hope you enjoy them.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Coureurs des Bois and a Canoe

French forces in Sharp Practice 2 are allowed a single unit of Coureurs des Bois, rugged irregular scouts. As it happens, buying a box each of the Northstar French Wilderness Force figures and the Warlord Compagnie Franche de la Marine to make a core force leaves six figures left over, perfect to add some 'Runners of the Woods' to them.

What's a French and Indian Wars battle without canoes? Fortunately, Conquest Miniatures make some lovely canoes with different crews, so here's one from the Compagnie Franche de la Marines.

I'm not sure what function this will have in a game of Sharp Practice, but I might be able to use it as a Deployment Point marker or something like that.

Next up: Hurons!

Monday, August 22, 2016

Milice Canadienne for Sharp Practice 2

Along with the Compagnie Franche de la Marine, no French raiding force in 1759 would be complete without a couple of units of Canadian Militia. These are just Northstar and Conquest Marine figures, given a slightly less uniform paintjob, but under the command of an officer of the les Marins.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Putting Together a French Wildnerness Force of Sharp Practice 2

Sharp Practice 2 includes some army lists for the French Indian Wars. I decided to put together a French wilderness force, made up of a mix of Native American allies and Canadian militia around a core of Compagnie Franches de la Marine. This is an interesting and colourful force to put together, and can be assembled from three readily-available box sets.

The basic core force consists of two units of eight Compagnie Franches de la Marine, under a senior officer, two units of six Canadian militia, with an officer and two units of 12 native Americans, with a leader. Northstar produce a very nice French Wilderness force box set for Muskets and Tomahawks, which combined with a box each of Compagnie Franches de la Marine and Woodland Indians from Warlord Games (actually Conquest Miniatures) gives you exactly what you need, with six figures left over to serve as a unit of Coureur de Bois and an additional sergeant. There is a slight size difference between Northstar and Warlord, but they mix together perfectly well, in my view.

This post features the two units of Compagnie Franches de la Marine. The movement based are from , and I have gone for a woodlands theme with the basing. The tree trunks are a compromise - I wanted to evoke woods without having to move whole forests around the table like Birnam Wood, but hopefully they don't look too much like Ypres. What do you reckon?

Friday, August 19, 2016

French and Indian Wars for Sharp Practice 2

So Sharp Practice 2 looks good. I still haven't played a game, but the size of the forces involved help to make it appealing. Like many of you, I'm drawn to finite painting projects, where I can indulge, say, an itch to paint some Napoleonic French without committing to the next decade to paint the entire Grande Armee. The rules look good, and have been getting great reviews. Even more importantly, a few of us at our gaming club are keen to try them out for the French and Indian Wars, with French, British Regulars and a Ranger force all in various states of painting.

I've finished my French wilderness force, with the picture above just being a bit of a teaser. Over the next few days I'll put up images of the different units in the force, as well as some terrain I'm working on. The plan is to play our first game on 3 September, so if you are interested in following this little project, stay tuned.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Wars of the Roses for Lion Rampant

What an absolute pleasure it was painting a retinue of Perry Miniatures WOTR figures for Lion Rampant!

I may have got little carried away and painted more than I'm ever likely to use in a single game. But here they all are in their finery, a retinue of mounted and foot men at arms, billmen, archers, bidowers and scurrers.

They bear the banner and livery of Lord Scrope of Bolton, a Yorkist Lord who was wounded at Townton, fought at Bosworth and finally died in 1498.

The banner is hand painted on foil from a nice bottle of Cotes du Rhone.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Carpet Bombing with Dragon Rampant

Our gaming group has been loving playing Lion Rampant and Dragon Rampant of late. Dan Mersey has written a cracker of a rules system. I have often been using my Saracens for Lion Rampant - some of which even appear in the rule book - and love the way that a few little subtle rules allow them to fight in a very different way to, say, a western feudal army. For example, the rules for horse archers work very well, often allowing them to avoid contact with the enemy, but suffering badly when they get caught.Indeed, I like Lion Rampant so much that I even broke my usual rule of avoiding fantasy games to play Dragon Rampant with the fine fellows from the club. After one game, I found myself researching which dwarf miniatures I like the most and looking at big dragon models.

I also bought a handful of figures to turn my Saracens into a fantasy force, with six flying carpet riders from Black Tree Design and a beautiful Djinn mini from Otherworld. They were loads of fun to paint up, and I quite enjoyed hand painting the carpets while listening to the audiobook of 'Look Who's Back'.

Paul, John and I had a very enjoyable game with my new army, facing off against John's lovely Saracen Orks from Chronopia Miniatures. The flying carpets were lots of fun to use, effectively acting like helicopter gunships as they popped up from behind terrain and showered the Orks with arrows. The Djinn completely failed to cast any spells, but proved his mettle in hand to hand combat. Despite John deploying the Fez of Intimidation I managed a victory and, against all precedent and tradition - failed to lose a single one of my newly painted figures.

If you haven't given them a go, Lion and Dragon Rampant are great fun games, and I'm eagerly looking forward to The Pikeman's Lament, Dan Mersey's next variant on his solid games engine.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Victory Without Quarter with Millsy and Paul

Had a great gaming day today thanks to Millsy, who invited Man Cave Paul and I to his lair for a game of Victory Without Quarter. I've been wanting to have a go at these (free!) ECW rules from Clarence Harrison from Quindia Studios for about three years, and it was a real pleasure to try them out with Millsy's beautifully painted figures.

Millsy had come up with a great scenario - the Battle of Curmudgeon Moor. As the Parliamentarian commander, my task was to break through a Royalist defensive position to gain control of an important road and get some of my forces off the table. This was the terrifying sight facing my men.

The commanded shot occupying the churchyard facing my right flank caused me a lot of problems in the battle, proving to be a tough nut to crack. The artillery also caused me headaches, routing my best unit of horse.

On my left flank, I managed to get a unit of dragoons into a great position, and there they stayed through the remainder of the battle thanks to the stalwart defence of a rabble of Clubmen.

Towards the end of the fight things started looking up, particularly when I managed to rout a regiment of Scots foot and tear a gap in the Royalist line. Paul took this with his customary dignified reserve.

Sadly, this was not enough. As night came on, the forces of Parliament were in a winning position, but hadn't managed to break through the Royalist lines in the time they had available to them, the Royalist artillery, Clubmen and Commanded Foot defending the church thwarting my plans.

I really enjoyed Victory Without Quarter - a simple set of rules that certainly evoked the feel of C17th warfare. More importantly, a great day with some lovely chaps. Thanks Millsy!