Sunday, 20 August 2017

A Fistful of Lead Reloaded with a W40K setting

The release of Armageddon the Shadow War by Games Workshop got me thinking about doing some skirmish level wargaming with my 40K models. I knew I had no desire for an overly detailed set of rules and so started to look out for some alternatives.

So when a few weeks back when Wargame Vault had a sale I took the opportunity and purchased the wild west ruleset A Fistful of Lead Reloaded for less than $10. They sounded like a fun set of rules and from some of the reviews I have had read, and a couple of game reports had them adapted and used them in a sci-fi setting.

Playing on a 4 foot by 3 foot area.

To begin with I stuck with most of the rules, the only major amendments were with the to wound table, where I subtract 1 or 2 from the dice roll depending upon a figure's armour. For example, -1 for space marine armour and -2 for terminator armour. Then adding to the to wound dice roll if the weapon is a power weapon such as a plasma rifle.

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In the four games played I have found the rules are quick to play and enjoyable. I now need to come up with a mini campaign for a few games during the week.

Rebel troops prepare to engage terminators

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

19th century - 6x6 challenge game 5

While I do some reading and planning for a mini-campaign using my recently completed French Indian war armies. It was time to get back and complete my 19th Century Imagi-Nations campaign which is one part of my 6x6 challenge.

It feels like it has been a while since I last played a game. So I had to dig around in past posts and campaign notes (scribbles) to find out where I had left off the campaign. The featured post on the right has details the campaign which is won by the side with the best public opinion after 6 games.

Public opinion going into this game stands at:

  • Ustoria 30%
  • Greater Novia 40%

The last major engagement was won by the Ustorians, and after each major engagement there has to be a rear guard action. For the games themselves I use the setup rules from Wargaming 19th Century by Neil Thomas.

Having rolled for the number of terrain pieces and randomly laid them out based upon dice throws. Having a gridded table helps with this process. The forces were selected from tables in Neil Thomas' book and delivered the following:

Ustorian Advance Units

  • 6 x infantry
  • 1 x skirmishers
  • 1 x cavalry
  • 2 x artillery 

Greater Novian Rear Guard

  • 1 x artillery
  • 2 x infantry
  • 1 x dragoons*
  • 1 x cavalry
* Whenever 2 cavalry are selects the side has the option of changing one of the units fro dragoons.

All is set for the game...

The Greater Novian rear guard prepare to delay the attacking Ustorian forces
As a delaying tactic Novian dragoons and cavalry treated the first few advancing units
The delaying tactics are over and the dragoons and cavalry start to retire to the next line of defence
More of the Ustorian advance guard move down the road towards the waiting defence line
Initial attacks begin on the flanks
The Ustorian attack starts to build with artillery in place to support the attacks
The Novian right flank is exposed and their defence line is at risk
On the same turn a cavalry charge takes out the supporting artillery. The Greater Novian defence line is in trouble
The Novian forces rally to their next line of defence between the woods, building, and hill
Ustorian forces regroup for the final assault
Ustorian forces are grinding down the Novian defenders, but are taking heavy casualties
Breaking the final line was very costly in Ustorian units
The last Novian unit retires. An Ustorian victory, but only just, another lost unit would have handed the victory to the Greater Novian rear guard.
This turned out to be a good close game. How did public opinion move with the press reporting of this latest engagement?


  • 5 units lost = minus 25%
  • Past Glories with the successful cavalry charge = plus 5%
  • Glorious action with the taking of the final defence = plus 5%
  • All up they lost 15% public option and now sit at 15%. Even with the recent victories the public at home get war weary.
Greater Novian:
  • 4 units lost = minus 20%
  • Defeat with the lost more than 50% of their units and allowed 5 enemy unit to leave the field = minus 5%
  • A total loss of 25% moved their public opinion to 15%. The earlier victories have been quickly forgotten by the press and their readers.
Down to the wire with one game to go in the campaign.

Monday, 14 August 2017

This weekend I continued to paint more Napoleonic units, all old plastic Spencer Smith miniatures. I am painting these in the same style as my 19th century Imagi-Nations armies, a very straight forward approach minimising the detail. I have in my mind the old Britains toy soldiers I used to play with as a young child.

If you are interested in the steps to painting very toy soldier looking miniatures, without too much effort. Here are the steps.

The paints I use are all from the Games Workshop range. Partly because I have a good selection of them and they are nice and flexible. Very useful with soft plastic models.

The miniatures are cleaned up with a sharp knife and stuck to card for painting
They are then covered with a liberal application of PVC glue in preparation for applying the paint
The miniatures are painted allover in the uniform colour
Facings are painted next. I will touch up with the base colour if my painting is really sloppy
Hats, rifles and bayonets painted
Backpacks, ammunition pouch, and leggings
Final touches shoulder belts and epaulettes
Once painted a final coat of PVA glue and the stand is painted green
All done
A slightly closer photo

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Starting next project with another project in sight

My current project, which I have just started, is to begin painting up some of the Spencer Smith Napoleonic plastic miniatures I gained as part of a swap earlier in the year. Looking at pictures on the Spencer Smith website the miniatures appear to be a combination of French, Austrian and Russian troops. The good news is if I am short of any miniatures I will be able to buy additional metal ones.

Anyway, over the weekend I started painting them and finished two units. My painting approach is the same as my 19th century imagi-nations armies, quick and simple painting with a shinny finish to hide many of my painting flaws, and give them a toy soldier look.

French infantry 
Russian infantry
A possible distraction I have to this project began when I popped into my local arts and crafts shop to get some more brushes. They often stock a small range of Airfix model kits, and there on the self were two boxes of Airfix WW2 Japanese, which I have not seen for a very long time.

I have always had in the back of my mind the idea to get some miniatures for a small WW2 Burma game. I have a copy of Crossfire rules which require a lot of cover for a good game, and they would seem to be quite suited for a WW2 Burma game.

Taking this opportunity I bought them both and was able to get some more WW2 kits from other model shops. I am now in the position where I have two projects on the go at one time. This is something I generally try to avoid as I like to for the most part focus on one project and get it finished and on the table for a game.

Recent purchases 

Saturday, 5 August 2017

French Indian War rules updated

This week has been very much focussed on the French Indian War period. Firstly, I was able to play a game which included my scratch built fort (see earlier posts of how to make this cheap and easy terrain piece).

Secondly, I have updated my French-Indian War rules with all the scribbled amendments accumulated over the last month of so (see a link to them above). There were quite a few notes and have taken up quite a bit of my time - so this is a rather brief post.

The assault begins
Skirmisher units outside the fort are proving a distraction to the attackers
Matchsticks represent wall destroyed by artillery. This was the furthest the British got before the French regulars sallied out of the fort and successfully counter attacked.

Thirdly, and finally, two books are hopefully winging they way to me:
  • Charlie Wesencraft's Seven Steps to Freedom Wargaming the French and Indian War and the American War of Independence
  • The French-Indian War 1754-1760 from Osprey

Monday, 31 July 2017

A quick update on the 6x6 challenge progress

With my focus in July being to finish off my French Indian War project, there was little progress on the 6x6 gaming challenge. I did manage to play the two final games of my WW2 naval campaign. My total games for the year stand at:
  • One Hour Wargames (Tank-on-Tank) SciFi Variant - 6 games completed in February
  • Dark Ages with Dux Bellorum (Osprey) - 6 games completed in January using paper armies
  • WW2 Naval (Pz8 rules) - 6 games now completed with the last 2 played in July.
  • 19th Century European Imagi-Nations OHW - 3 games played in June.
  • Galleys and Galleons (Ganesha Games) - 2 games were played in April.
  • Hundred Years War using Lion Rampant (Osprey) - 6 games completed as part of a series of campaign games.
A battleship and escorts
This month I may well get distracted playing a few French Indian War games.

The new fort is set up ready for a game
A wider view of the fort setting

Saturday, 29 July 2017

Books and games that have influenced my wargaming

My wargaming hobby (by which I mean collecting, modelling, painting and gaming) has three distinct periods in my life. Each one influenced by a particular book or game. While other books have contributed, these items have been the catalyst for me.

The first item of influence is the book "Introduction to Battle Gaming" by Terrance Wise. My Mother bought this for me in the early 1970's for my birthday. It was her attempt to get me to read (something I had stubbornly refused to do with any enthusiasm) and it worked. This book introduced me to wargaming and all the opportunities of scratch building and converting my Airfix figures. Over the next few years I tried to emulate many of the armies shown in this book. I was hooked.

The second item is the starter set "Battle for Macragge" for the 4th edition of Warhammer 40,000. Purchased mid-2000's with my son as the "let us do this together". Up to this point my wargaming has ceased for many years with moving countries, marriage, career and kids. Everything was boxed up and unfortunately all my old Airfix armies thrown away (moving countries causes many unused items to be shed).

Wargaming in the 40,0000 universe meant I had a shared interest with my son and a conversation with him. As he was soon to move into the adolescent stage were a grunt is a form of communication. I really enjoyed to building of models and painting aspects of wargaming. As Warhammer 40,000 allows, and encourages, this creative aspect of the hobby. I kept up with the rules at the beginning, even going in to a competition, admittedly to keep my son company. Overtime I gave up on the rules due to the tedious need to constantly check the rulebook to see which rules applied.

The third item was purchased out of curiosity around 2015. The book "One-Hour Wargames" by Neil Thomas has been the trigger for me getting out my old metal miniatures (which I did manage to keep) out of their boxes and back on to the tabletop. I liked the simplicity of the rules, the thinking behind them, and how you can quite easily add to them to create home written rulesets to a level of complexity to suit one's tastes.

I am now enjoying my historical wargaming as much as I did back when I started wargaming as a hobby. This last period of my wargaming hobby I have been merrily bogging about.

This is a bit of a filler post as I have been messing around with my WW2 rules while I decide how best to approach my Napoleonic project. The good news for me is I will be starting the project next week having identified a free set of rules I can tailor to a square grid. The rules are from the blog Numbers, Wargames and Arsing About by Jay (Old Trousers) who has a number of free games and rulesets. Some are influenced by other rulesets which have been reworked and reimagined for different periods and use a grid-based approach with hexes.

I plan to convert the game Waterloo a la Carte to a square grid for my tabletop.

A WW2 game from earlier in the week