Back to the blog

I've not posted an update here since last October so it's probably time to catch up and maybe resume some sort of schedule for getting my thoughts down. Last year wasn't the greatest and 2023 has promise as yet unfulfilled, so the distraction of wargaming and writing about wargaming is probably something I should make more time for!

Over the winter I've not been inactive. While my 20mm WW2 stuff sort of sat mid-way through a game for months the arrival of Xenos Rampant saw a flurry of activity as I renovated some old Warhammer 40K Imperial Guard and added in some new Horus Heresy space marines and some other stuff from Wargames Atlantic. This gives me two playable forces and on the plastics pile I do have some MkIII space marines and a few more of the old plastic Cadians to add as well as a box of Wargames Atlantic Harvester aliens to give the start of a new force. I've only played one game so far but the point of the exercise was really more about getting some old figures back into a useable state and enjoying some painting unconstrained by any need to get them "right". I even experimented with painting techniques for things like power swords which really helped push my mojo along. Some photos below:

Space Marines in MkVI "Beaky" armour - these were a nostalgia project as way back in the early 90's I did have a box of the original plastic Space Marines purchased from the Virgin Megastore in Nottingham.

These ladies are Eisenkorn Panzerjager from Wargames Atlantic. I thought the streamlined armour was a good match to the MkVI marines and they could be used as auxiliary allies.

The panzerjager don't have "command" figures so I used some spares from the space marine kit to bash these together to give a comms officer, commander and standard bearer

Another manufacturer (Mantic) was used to provide some heavy support with a similar aesthetic to the MkVI marines and the panzerjager. This is a Strider model that I modified by adding a pair of plastic GW lascannons from a Cadian heavy support kit.

Here we have some Cadian shock troopers defending an outpost on a desert world. I bought most of these figures when then were newly released and they've sat in a box with a poor paintjob more or less since then - until this winter!

Cadian Kasrkin metal figures also resurrected and debussing from a Archon Studios Wolverine tank

Some Sentinel walkers of the same vintage as the Cadians to provide mobile heavy support. I'm pleased with the plasma glow I've achieved across all of these units.

Castellan Creed and his command squad oversee the defence

Anti-tank team

Heavy bolter team

Another look at the Wolverine. I added a GW tank commander figure to the turret and poked a GW heavy bolter out of the front hatch. These add something to the model and help to tie it in to the Cadian units.

View from the rear. I think the hazard stripes came out OK. For thise who think the Wolverine is a vastly silly vehicle with no credible space for an engine...I agree, but this is not for serious gaming, just fun.

These figures were a gift from my chum Gary a long time ago (in a galaxy far, far away?) and I think were from Hasslefree and long since discontinued. I don't usually combine my obsession with Dr Who with the wargaming hobby, but this seemed the time to finally get some paint on them.

This figure was the sole survivor of an Eldar army I painted in 2002 and sold on. I added a few Eisenkorn bits to harmonise it better to the existing collection and it now adds some firepower to the command team.

Lastly for the sci-fi stuff here is a second squad of panzerjager

I have found that I can keep up the enthisiasm with the sci-fi painting for long enough to put together enough matching figures to give two squads and a command team but I then want to move on to something different. I have more shock troopers half-painted but getting that third squad done just isn't happening right now!

Aside from this I have been getting games played and begun to get back to some historical stuff.

Courtesy of chum Ed I have been able to try my hand at O-Group and Strength & Honour, both of which are excellent and it's good to play games without the pressure of building forces myself. 

That said, I do plan to put on my own games at the local games cafe's monthly "Wargames and modelling Wednesdays" as well as a participation game at Partizan in May. Both will be AWI affairs using my own Bloodybacks! rules as available here on the blog. To revive my little grey cells I did play a game against another friend, Richard, a couple of weeks ago.

This was based on the classic Charles Grant "Sawmill Village" scenario, transported to the 1777 Saratoga campaign. The crown fielded part of General Fraser's advance guard - a battalion of light infantry in two wings, the 24th Foot and a small unit of picked-men armed with rifles supported by a Royal Artillery section of 6-pounders. The rebel force consisted of a three-regiment brigade of New Hampshire Continentals, Morgan's riflemen in two wings and a section of 6-pounders. The crown were universally quality 4, the rebels mostly quality 3 but Morgan's veterans being quality 5. This gave two balanced by assymetric forces that seemed to work out well. Some pictures of the game below (taken in the gloom of the garage, so be kind):

Sawmill Village. The crown will enter from top right of this picture and the rebels from bottom left. 

New Hampshire Continentals

British Light Infantry

British picked men

The fight around the village

The game was a nail-biter right to the end, with the crown edging things to win a narrow victory. The rules played well, however I need to formalise passage of lines/interpenetration so expect to see that added imminently. The scenario also showed that for a 6x4 foot table I really need some slightly smaller buildings if a village is to look a little more appropriate without taking over the space. Two buildings as a village doesn't look right to me, I'd rather have four smaller ones.

To start progressing this I have spent some time this week scratch building an alternative tavern model from foamcore, card, paper and cork:

Depending on basing this can accommodate from 8-12 figures, possibly 16 if on close order bases, but for game purposes only 6 figures can fire from any one face and I'll probably limit the number who can engage in defending hand-to-hand. The aim is not for villages to become fortified strongpoints.

The upcoming Wargames Wednesday will be at the LetsXcape Together cafe in Newark (Notts, UK) from around 7pm on the 19th April. If you are in the area why not pop in for coffee, cake, company and to push some figure and roll some dice? The cafe also runs weekly board and miniatures gaming nights on Thursdays.

Partizan will be on Sunday 21st May, at the Newark Showground. I'll be somewhere in the Participation Zone, which will make a bit of change from my normal demonstration gaming. 

I think I now have some more scratch-building to do...


  1. Nice to see you back Steve. As the years go by I take some extended breaks from my blog, but come back. Really like that scratch build btw.


  2. Glad you have found time to blog. Some great sci-fi figures which gets me thinking but I do prefer your AWI always such an inspiration 👍

  3. Thanks for your thoughtful and thorough content


Post a Comment