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Tuesday, 2 August 2011


Finally, I have found a bit of time recently to carry on work with my FPW project and have now painted up half a Baccus French FPW army with work ongoing at a reasonable rate- well, for me anyway!

I have been able to make time in my personal life for some wargames time which I havent been able to do for a while and I'm actually starting to enjoy painting and getting quicker and quicker with each unit I paint but it still takes me around 2-3 hours per 28 man unit! I know thats slow for most 6mm gamers but for me thats quick and whenever I have an evening free I strive to get one unit done. However, I'm on a rolling shift pattern with my job so having an evening free isnt as frequent as you might think! And I didnt get the lovely 9-5 office job that I had two interviews for last week even though I was the only short listed candidate at that time which sucks but never mind- these things happen for a reason so I have been reliably informed!

Anywho, there will be lots of pictures soon once I have finished the army and started to base it, so watch this space.


Tuesday, 14 June 2011

The Science And The Fiction...

Seeing as i vowed to post once a week, here is the next update. This update is to set the background to my sci-fi project and the fledgling conflict/world around which it is based. I received my order from GZG on Friday just two days after ordering- awesome! Thanks to GZG for their expediency as well as their fantastic figures and models which i am very happy with. Anyway, without further ado I give you the background story so far:

None now can remember what happened nearly 200 years ago, for none now are alive to recount the dark days of the breakup of the United Kingdom. A new dark age dawned and spread in this fair isle wreaking havoc, death and disease as it went. Anarchy reigned and with it all order completely collapsed and society as it was became extinct. At the time and since, very little information/history was recorded, for when a dark age dawns and anarchy reigns and people live on a day to day basis hoping to survive to see the next no one thinks to stop and write it all down. The breakup of the former United Kingdom and its causes are shrouded in mystery. However, folk tales of what may have happened to cause such a thing are now whispered round fires up and down the emergent states and three stories in particular are most commonly cited as the reasons for the dark days as they are known.

The first is that the last heir to the throne of the United Kingdom was assassinated causing a major constitutional rift and in this vacuum greedy, self serving men and women attempted to fill it causing civil unrest and an eventual breakdown of centralised government. The second story is that the growing poverty of the millions of working class, the extinction of the middle class through poor governance designed exactly to do that, and the wealth of the so called ruling elite became too much. The working classes rose in their millions and caused a total collapse of the economy aned local and centralised government as associated agencies lost control and fled such as the Police and then the army itself.

The third folk tale tells of widespread corruption within local and centralised government itself which resulted in poor governance which itself eventually led to the former United Kingdom becoming uncontrollably bankrupt and impotent. Unable to pay its workers such as the police and army, as well as millions others, mass unrest ensued to bring down the totally corrupt regime and its representative institutions.

The truth is that probably all three of these now folktales had their part to play in the total collapse of the former United Kingdom and somewhere each tale has a grain of truth running through it.

So in this power vacuum where anarchy reigned free and unchecked very little was recorded about these times. However, nearly 200 years on from this disaster, a number of states or factions if you prefer have arisenas regions slowly started to stabilise under these new fledgling states. These states have slowly become more and more powerful and are now hungry to further their control over the former United Kingdom. These new states all want to become the dominant contrlling power and once more unite this darkened isle. Each state have formed and evolved its own style of professional military force or at least a central military force. Otherwise these states would not have survived or grown in power.

Initially these emerging states formed fledgling forces of militias and home guard and defence forces. However, these soon evolved into offensive operations and then became semi permanent then permanent central military forces with their own distinct, individual units and forces.

As the states grew in size, power and stabilityeach state started to look to its neighbour for any potential weakness and examine how best to exploit any weaknesses found. The aim being to become more powerful than the next neighbour and so on.

Of around 100 of these fledgling states only 9 now exist and each very powerful in their own distinct way. It took 200 years of long, hard, bloody and costly fighting and now only 9 are left, each vying for total control and the extinction of its neighbours. Now each of the nine states are poised and ready for total war, a war to reunite the Disunited Kingdom. At the moment an uneasy peace exists but with units of all sorts poised at strategic border points up and down the landit is only a matter of time before the first steps are taken across the border and the first shots are fired. Units have their pre-planned cross border objectives and battle plans and remain on constant watch ready to defend or strike, whichever comes first in this torn and broken land.

The states are as follows:

New Fenland Republic (NFR)
MidGuard (MG)
United Scottish Kingdom (USK)
Kingdom of Wessex (KW)
Greater Cornwall (GC)
The Dragon Marches (TDM)
Northern Confederation (NC)
Tyranty of Northern Ireland (TNI)
Southern Irish League (SIL)

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Its Been A While....

However, things have progressed (slightly) and I would like to update you all as I know you don't have anything better do than read my more or less erratic and useless blog. I am all excited and I shall divulge for to why now shall I. I have decided to re-focus my efforts on this blog (no seriously) and post at least once a week which will be much more manageable and you should see definite progress (don't laugh!). I am also going to branch out to do other things aside from 6mm historical wargames, and therein lies a clue as to the reason for my excitement this evening.

I have always wanted to do Sci-Fi wargaming and like everyone else here (I hope) I have dabbled with Games Workshop and the new Finecast is lovely but with yet another price hike on top of this new Finecast range I have turned my back on GW and decided to scale down a little as well. So as a result I have been doing some research over the months since my last post (I know, I know, its been ages, stop moaning. God wargamers are worse than fish wives and I live in the fens- I know about these things!)

Get on with it I hear you fish wives nag, so I was originally looking at doing some Future Wars Commander with 6mm stuff from Dark Realm Miniatures and Brigade but couldnt quite find the stuff or the feel I wanted. Also, I really liked the detail on GW stuff and didnt want to lose that too much as you would with 6mm. So I started to look into 15mm Sci-Fi stuff. The reason 6mm didn't cut it is because of detail loss but also I wanted and have done for ages (like, at least the last few days) to do a Sci-Fi air cavalry unit. During my research I came across this This is a fantastic blog about all things sci-fi and the guy is developing a set of 15mm sci-fi rules backed by the major manufacturers with rules for all their products- great, thats the rules sorted. Well, once they are released that is as they are still in development currently.

Anyway, its all about the air cavalry so lets worry about the important stuff later, like rules, background, scenario's, history, bla bla bla which will actually allow me to play a damn game! I have ideas about all this anyway and will be pubishing them in this blog as well which may hopefully help to give other people some ideas and maybe inspire them to take on their first sci-fi project like me (GW doesn't count so shut up you fish wives!). So, the air cavalry (yes alright, alright already, gees...) I came across Ground Zero Games, which I'm dure the less ignorant (like me) have already heard of, do a fantastic 15mm sci-fi range and they had exactly what I was looking for without me knowing what I was looking for!

These models are perfect for my sci-fi air cavalry unit. So I have placed and order with GZG today and I will now patiently (yeah right) awairt my delivery. My order was for x4 of the troop transporter versions with x3 units of NAC riflemen plus a unit of NAC AT soldiers. On top of this I ordered a command vehicle and x2 of the gunship version. This will be the first bare bones squadron of what will hopefully become an air cavalry regiment. I will start to reveal backgrounds and histories for the various factions and units blog by blog as this will hopefully be part of a rather larger 15mm sci-fi project.

I have already decided on an overall unit colour scheme which will be a sky blue colour both for the vehicles and the troops uniforms etc as camouflage is not a necessity in this dark new world. Each different faction and strategic unit will have its own colour schemes. Much like the individual Space Marine Chapters do but without the hundreds of pounds required (well I say that- my initial order wasnt exactly a small one but hey ho- you know what I mean).

I have also revamped my wargames station ready to receive the order and got it reasonably organised in the spare bedroom.

So, first post in a while, but with like photos and everything, so a deviation from the meagre norm of my blogs. Lots to look forward to. In all honesty there have been personal reasons for not posting for a while but now those personal things are more or less sorted in a roundabout way so I can (thankfully) concentrate on wargames a bit more. So all to the good then.

I will post again once my order from GZG arrives and we'll take a look at the goodies together shall we.

So in the words of my friends 'The Chavs'- laters innit.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Baccus FPW Infantry Review. Part Deux.

So the photo of the infantry in the first part is pretty useless as you cant seem to enlarge it- no idea why- Blogger seems to do some strange things to me sometimes! Nevermind and do not despair for I have more photos. These are of Prussian line infantry after an undercoat so you should be able to see them in much more detail! Here we go...

Baccus FPW Infantry Review

Well, what can I say, the Baccus FPW infantry for both sides are beautifully crafted miniatures with high levels of detail that make them both a joy and easy to paint. Having just gone cold turkey on a 20-a-day smoking habit, Im finding that painting these infantry is very therapeutic and helps keep my mind off those little cancer death sticks!

The proportions and detail mean that even my amateurish painting techniques can make these infantry look half decent on a 60x30 base and there is nothing better than painting up some figures and feeling satisfied that you have achieved what you set out to. Obviously there is nothing more frustrating or off putting for a new project than if the opposite occurs and the likelihood of completion of said project is negligible if this occurs. Anywho without further ado's, behold some more pictures (Rhysius, with these photos you are really spoiling us, no (to be said in a German/Swiss accent)). Above is a picture of uncoated Prussian infantry.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

The Not Yet Demoralised French Are Here

So without further ado, I give you the first French battalion painted and basted lol!
Now, I have the rest of both initial armies to crack on with, then making/scratch building a load of terrain, then another couple of armies to get painted up and based then scratch building a load of terrain and gaming board, then a couple more armies to paint and base up, then... Well you get the idea. This is a solo project as my club is 28mm WAB dominated and has been for a number of years now and it all looks like the same old few puny miniatures huddling round 1 or 2 bits of terrain on an over sized gaming board that still doesnt look adequate for the 28's! Most frustrating.
However, no longer will this be the norm once I have enough stuff for my Gravelotte St. Privat table top re-enactment. This is a battle where either side could have easily won at any point by using that cunning thing otherwise known as tactics.
Gravelotte St. Privat 18th August 1870 & the end of the second French Empire
On the 18th August 1870 a massive Prussian allied force advanced on a much smaller dug in French Army with the intent of striking a decisive blow against the second empire. In this the Prussians succeeded. However, Prussian casualties were high and the French put up a stalwart and determined defence against a blundering and overly aggressive Prussian allied advance.
Only numbers really won it on the Prussian side coupled with French in action and a failure to commit the reserve artillery and even the French Guard from whom a determined counter attack could so easily have turned the tide of battle and won the French an important and morale boosting victory having already received several initial defeats in the opening of the Franco-Prussian war. A victory here would have given the French the breathing space they so desperately needed to regroup, re-organise and re-think the campaign. However, due to a lacklustre approach by French high command and no overall strategy or war objectives in place, French high command significantly failed its often determined and courageous troops who so outclassed the Prussians in terms of infantry firepower with the French Chassepot rifle. The Chassepot far outclassed the Dreyse 'needle' rifle in terms of range and reliability which the Prussians further compounded by advancing in close order ranks across French fields of fire from dug in and well prepared positions.
However, by the same token, the Prussian artillery, primarily equipped with the 4pdr breech loading Krupp artillery piece far outclassed the French artillery, the majority of which were muzzle loading 4pdr's (not actually 4pdr's- the shell itself weighed over 8lb's!). The Prussian artillery were aggressive in doctrine and deployed in close support despite devastating Chassepot fire. The Prussian artillery was also re-supplied where it stood on the field whereas the French had to limber and withdraw back to their supply depot to re-arm. The Prussian artillery also had a greater rate of fire and was also more numerous and accurate, using impact detonation fuses whereas the French suffered from unreliable distance fuses which left most French artillery shot acting as solid shot rather than explosive, accurate artillery fire. French artillery doctrine was closer to that of the age of smoothbores and more closely associated with military doctrine of the 1st Empire.
However, the French had another card up their sleeve- the Reffye Mitrailleuse. This was basically an early 13mm machine gun. Unfortunately, due to these machine guns and their development being kept a secret even from most French high command and officials, when 144 or so were rushed to the front in 1870, the French didn't really know how to use them effectively as they hadn't had a chance to consider or develop an effective role and deployment of these early machine guns. Therefore, they were deployed in 6 gun batteries (one battery per division) and unfortunately commonly deployed as artillery rather than being deployed as close infantry support weapons and so initially had little impact where their impact should have been significant. Also, no sooner was their rattle heard on the battlefield than local Prussian Krupp artillery would concentrate their fire on these machine guns until the battery was quieted.
In a nutshell, the Prussians continued all day, on the 18th August 1870, to bumble into strong French defensive positions, get shot up, retire, decide it would be a good idea to let the artillery arrive to give fire support, bumble into French positions again, repeat, then the French sit there and do nothing whilst being blasted by accurate, destructive artillery fire. The Prussians then make a forlorn hope style charge having rallied after taking 50% casualties and the French are by now too mutilated and dismembered by artillery to put up much of a fight and allow the Prussians to finally sweep the position.
This is only my brief initial overview, and is only designed to give you a very rough idea of what happened with what weapons and why its gonna be fun to re-create because both sides had a fighting chance!

Monday, 14 March 2011

At Last- Pictures

So here are the pictures that I promised. This is my first Prussian line infantry battalion painted and based. Now starting work on a French battalion. It took a bit longer than expected to do the first unit but hopefully the French battalion wont! Fingers crossed. Once I have done a unit of each I will do a more comprehensive blog.