Sunday 28 April 2019

Red or Dead

This weeks painting has had a rather red theme about it as I have been working on the Tartana and some English Militia. Having decided to make up some red sails I thought it only fitting that the hull should be red as well, and that has turned out rather nicely over the week.

Now I've got the hull sorted out I can get to work on the masts, sails and cannons to complete the ship. That will probably be another weeks work but with the next Bank Holiday weekend only seven days away I should have the time to complete her.

My other painting job this week has been the English Militia to go in the Buccaneer force. These guys are the cheap filler in the Buccaneer army and would seem to be better in melee than at shooting.

During a quick bit of research I discovered that a fore-runner of the Glorious Glosters was stationed in Newfoundland at around the correct time so that was a flimsy enough excuse to use yellow trim and assume some had gone south for a warmer time.

These are another set of excellent models with plenty of character, my favorite is the chap huffing his cheeks out to blow on his match.

I was also lucky enough to get a KoW game in with Mick after a few weeks break. Once again we played using the scenario cards. These gave Mick the invade scenario whilst I had a combination of loot and capture. This gave me the chance to break out the jungle terrain and check it held together for a game.

In the end the game was pretty quickly decided by the central clash of forces which saw my Herd wipe out the majority of the Basilean army.

Despite some late heroics by Gnaeus who managed to wipe out my Centuar Longmanes with one charge and then a good nerve roll (I'd manage to leave them outside of Inspiring range) Mick didn't have enough forces left by the end of turn 4 to continue.

Next up for the Blood & Plunder painting will be the Spanish Militia / Hostigadores, these are the cheapest unit in the army and whilst poorly equipped do have the Skirmisher rule which helps them keep out of trouble.

Monday 22 April 2019

Native Militia

First off the bank holiday blocks are the Milicianos Indios who I started last week. The sculpts are really nice with the models looking good even after my painting efforts.

Each B&P pack comes with four sculpts so you do get duplicates in the units but they are far from mono-pose. For the bases you have a choice of either painting them brown and making the most of the wood effect they are cast with or putting some ground cover on them. As I think we will be playing more land battles than sea I went with the same easy basing material I have been using on the terrain.

My plan is to alternate working on a Spanish unit then an English one, so up next will be the English Militia.

I also completed a longboat which is a nice little model (when compared to the other ships) and can be used a cheap way to get your men about in a naval or amphibious battle. You can also buy the canoa which is the widely used native version so I may well end up getting one of those as well at some point.

Ships (and buildings) work out their capacity by base size, simply you can fit as many models in as you can get without the bases overlapping. I was thinking of adding a larger MDF base onto the models as the metal ones are prone to bending but as this would stop me from fitting the full amount of models onto a ship I gave that idea up.

I also took delivery of the straws for mounting the spars and with a dab of superglue now have a simple and effect method for keeping the spars in place whilst being able to quickly swap the sails out.

This will allow the use of the Bark for both B&P and any other game I can fit it into. The blue setup will be perfect for Vanguard Basileans for instance.

The last thing completed this week are some quick barricades made out of the spare palm tree models I got to make the forests.

These have been attached to the base with a Polyfila & paint mix and then finished off with more of the basing mix.

Cover looks to be very important in B&P as without it you don't get your full ranged save throw so could easily be shot off the table.

Sunday 21 April 2019

A Tale of Two Forts: Dominate

Friday saw the continuation of our mixed Vanguard and KoW campaign with Stuart visiting to play out our second big battle. We played Dominate which rewards points for units within 12" of the center point at the end of the game.

With the aim of being in large numbers at the end of six ( or possibly seven ) turns both sides opted for different strategies. The Salamanders put their biggest hitters in the center and hoped to rupture my lines whilst I aimed to hold the center and then try to work in from the flanks.

The early moved saw my Herd get stuck in on the flanks and try to hold off getting over committed in the center. The Salamanders hadn't brought as much shooting as I had feared with only my right flank really coming under massed ranged attacks. As I had both my flying units on that flank it meant that I was able to close the range quickly and try to take the shooting out.

On my left I was able to use the speed advantage and lack of opposing chaff to get off a double charge on the Inspiring Ancients, it's always worth getting rid of the opponents Inspiring as it gives you a chance to get a lucky rout on the enemy. My Nightstalkers got stuck in another grind against a poor melee opponent which saw them stuck in place for the rest of the game.

Once the chaff was cleared in the middle the Salamanders got a couple of heavy charges in but crucially never managed to get two big units against any of my holding forces.

This lead to a couple of turns of reasonable inconclusive grind in the middle whilst my flanking forces made further progress. Having three healers really helps with prolonging the grind as I could keep chipping away at the wounds taken.

By the time I had finished off the flanking forces the wounds in the center had really built up and Stuart was kind enough to double 1 my Spirit Walkers Horde (on an Inspired re-roll) which meant they held out longer than expected.

They did however die on the next turn but by then I was closing in from the flanks and starting to remove enough scoring units from the Salamanders to give my a comfortable advantage.

In the end we didn't play out my final turn (I was moving second) as I already had enough victory points to win before making my attacks.

This means that I have a 2-0 advantage in the big games and needing one more victory to secure the attackers spot in the big siege at the end.

Next up is a Vanguard game where each side will seek to take control of a Dragon's Egg.

Sunday 14 April 2019

Raise the Flag

After the productivity highs of last week I've dived to the unproductive lows of this week. This was mostly caused by starting on-call duties at work which involved a 15 hour stint starting just after midnight on Saturday which wiped out what is normally my most productive day.
I did manage to complete a couple of bits starting with a flag pole to hang my spare Blood & Plunder flags on and some dice holders also for B&P.

As is common with many modern games B&P uses a number of status markers for units, two of which are numeric stats, fatigue & reload markers. In order to keep these tidy I bought a pack of dice holders from Warbases, stuck them on bases and then used the same ready mix basing as the rest of the terrain. The Flag pole is an old paint brush which I stuck into some off-cut pieces of blue foam.

I'm still waiting on the cheap dice from eBay to arrive to complete the setup.

Another part of the B&P force I started this week is a longboat, very handy for getting about with a small force and also capable of mounted a little gun up front, I hadn't noticed that the gun wasn't included in the box even though the pictures show one.

I also took delivery of the second ship needed to stage a naval fight, the rather nifty Tartana which sports a lateen rig (that's triangular sails for us land lubbers). She's a little larger than the Bark with a couple more of the anti-crew swivel guns but should be an even match.

I need to work out how to do separate sails again with this need rig setup as the straw method (still waiting on the correct size straws for the bark) won't work on this ship.

Example from the manufacturer

I have a feeling that red sails are going to look really rather nice on this ship but also want to be able to use a more traditional color as well.

Last onto the blocks are the first of the infantry for the Spanish Militia faction. These are the locally recruited Milicianos Indios.

These chaps come with several special rules that make them hard to shoot once in cover and also able to skirmish through rough terrain very well, so should be hard to catch.

B&P uses separate stats for ranged and melee attacks & saves with the first number being the number needed (on a d10) to hit and the second to save when hit.

So we can see these guys are pretty even at shooting and saving when being shot but much happier dishing out the hits than taking them in melee. Resolve is a test of the units morale so again they would seem to be sitting in the middle of the pack when it comes to hanging around.