Forty figures to paint by Friday and what do I do? I know, I’ll make a baggage element for my medieval French army! I need infantry and cannon but Mr. Potter decides to show the French hanging their Saint, in front of her children!
What makes for the best wargaming set of rules? Do you want a simulation of actual combat or a fun “ game” of toy soldiers. Do you see defeating yourself opponent as the goal or else would you wish to embark on an anecdote rich free for all? Most importantly, can you wargame without dice or tape measures?
I was fielding my beloved Ottomans. I love the colour and character of the his late medieval juggernaut. Out front are the Akinji “ raiders” , fast bow armed light cavalry. Two “ madmen” delis light horse units have javelins. Three sipahi “ boys” units add to the firepower, plus finally the sultan’s guard Qapukula horse with lance and bow. The foot naturally contained the elite Jannisaries or “ new troops”, taken from their Christian homes to serve the despots. Those sneaky Hungarians had been selling their wares again to the highest bidder, a massive bombard was the centrepiece of the army. Two units of Arab “ batchelors” skulked uneasily around the camp. A Swiss army type army; manouverable and lots of shooting but how would it do against the barbarian Tartars of the Golden Horde?
The Tartars were all about mounted firepower of course. Six elite light horse units and four noble cavalry units, all with bow and four ammo chits( another welcome game innovation). Their Black Sea possessions also provided a unit of Fryazei Italian mercenary crossbow and a raw unit of raw levy bow. The taciturn Alans also joined the ravening horde; three units of light horse bow.
From start to finish, the game had played smoothly and without too much referring to even the QRS. It is a quality set of rules, well suited I would say to multi- player games. We played the standard 130 point game and were finished in about two hours. Our one reservation about the perhaps unsightly cards disappeared when the battle is joined and you start throwing down cards like a Las Vegas card shark. Steve did suggest smaller cards or alternatively I also have chits from Simon Miller’s web store that we could try. Truly a great game and most importantly great fun!!!!
The fine lady in the image is a “ knocker” ( singular!). She was employed by the fair denizens of Victorian England to wake up those having difficulty rising in the morning with the shooting of peas at the bedroom windows. The unbearable heat of Wales in Summertime may necessitate the employ of such a professional..
My regular reader will notice that my paint table is strangely tidy, by my standards at least! I’ve developed a new system; parcel of minis arrives , hopefully unnoticed, and figures are cleaned up. Here is the genius bit!!!!!! I then take the minis , and you know there are a lot of them, out to the garage to be undercoated! I know it doesn’t “ sound” revolutionary but I can now at least see the carpet in the front bedroom!
During the Winter I had extolled the virtues of pottering, if you have only twenty minutes , try and do some task. Get the menial out of the way and you’d be surprised how the progress mounts up. This is different, this is Summer industrial scale preparation.
“ Another parcel for you! “ my current wife sneered. Oh dear! Eight days to finish a medieval army, could it be done? Would my new system cope with the pressure?
Hope you too are enjoying yourself
Ragnarok was a prophecy of what was to come at some unspecified and unknown time in the future, but it had profound ramifications in Norse mythology. It was the end of times but also a new beginning for what comes next. The chaos and destruction of Ragnarok has been likened to the arcane rituals of teaching a new player how to play SAGA with the Cardiff Dice Studz…
Firstly, John is not that new! He was wargaming at school and in the intervening forty years he has had a few “ issues”! Firstly he is somewhat “ careful” with his money but knows almost every gaming product available. Secondly he tires easily when there are heavy minis to paint or model trees to pack away. At this point , he will enter a Zen like trance until the requirement for physical effort has passed. To be fair, he has now committed to SAGA and bought figures. Could we convince him that here at last was all he could ever need in a wargame, the most fun two men legally in Cardiff on a Tuesday evening?
When a player is new to a system, how do you introduce them to the rudiments? Do you go easy on them? Do you smash them into the ground to show your innate superiority at handling little metal men? Neither option was to happen this evening, John had been watching SAGA Thursday all through lockdown and he was ready!
If have a John in your club then please share their details so that we might never invite them to Cardiff Dice Studz ever again!!!!!!! only joking, it was a great game and John is on his way to becoming a fully fledged member, just as soon as he gets his own set of figures!
The album above had been bought as a present from my father to my mum when they had been courting! What a generation! You take a lady to see a war film and leave her with an album of American Civil War music! But, to me, just the cover was enthralling and the subjects of many attempts to copy the battle scene. Not quite as many drawings as those of John Wayne’s other classic “ the Alamo”, but close. Well I no longer have a record player but I do have a love of this period!
lyrics by Corb Lund, music by Stan Rogers / Corb Lund
I wanna be in the cavalry if they send me off to war
I wanna good steed under me like my forefathers before
I wanna good mount when the bugle sounds and I hear the cannons' roar
I wanna be in the cavalry if they send me off to war
I wanna horse in the volunteer force that's riding forth at dawn
Please save for me some gallantry that will echo when I'm gone
I beg of you sarge let me lead the charge when the battle lines are drawn
Lemme at least leave a good hoof beat they'll remember loud and long
I'd not a good foot soldier make, I'd be sour and slow at march
And I'd be sick on a navy ship, and the sea would leave me parched
But I'll be first in line if they'll let me ride, by god, you'll see my starch
Lope back o'er the heath with the laurel wreath underneath that vict?ry arch
Let me earn my spurs in the battle's blur where the day is lost or won
I'll wield my lance as the ponies dance and the blackguards fire their guns
A sabre keen, and a saddle carbine and an army Remington
Where the hot lead screams with the cold, cold steel let me be a cav?lryman
Let 'em play their flutes and stirrup my boots and place them back to front
For I won?t be back on the rider-less black (jack) and I'm finished in my hunt
I wanna be in the cavalry if I must go off to war
I wanna be in the cavalry, but I won't ride home no more
The figures are Lancashire Games 18mm. They are massive minis and I love them. I used contrast paints so they were dead quick. The heavy detail just loves washes of colour, so a lot of shading wasn’t needed. I was going to use Commands and Colors scenarios so I only needed three brigades of horse, but I thought I’d go dismounted too. The Northern infantry were ordered weeks ago but as Buford also found, the time keeping of sloggers can’t be relied upon. Hope you like them!
Tradition with a capital “T” is of course all important for all true Dice Studz. Dave Lowrie has scoured the ancient Vendic texts for enlightenment and the revered text disappointed him. Rather than the Aryan supermen of old , he decided upon Ghaznavids from three thousand years later. May my brave charioteer Krishna, have mercy upon his soul , ever to return to Earth. I would stick with the Ancient lore and bring Vendic Indians …
Thanks for reading!
But when Biorn came out over the sea, he went south to Engerland, and then south further to the beach at Bournemouth and in those days was Sven Timjiin captain of the Jomsburg Vikings. Foul Baldwin the Norman entered into covenant with them, and was called an ally and friend. When Sven Timjiin demanded tribute from Baldwin, money and succour came there none. The Norman claimed that he had but three times already paid for said land. Sven would retrieve what was owed by point of sword and did battle ensue…….And while Sven was alive he was deemed the best of men and the bravest in all deeds that try a man.
The Saga of Sven Timjiin
Friday : Lord of the Steppes To the Strongest
It’s been a very long time since some of these veteran gamers had convened at Cardiff’s Firestorm Games but it was the first Friday on the month and that means Kali Yuga night! Named after the fourth and worst period of the Hindu Yugas, the evening brings the more openly competitive 28mm L’art de la Guerre players to our local game store / temple. It’s not for the faint hearted as these players are masters of their arcane tabletop arts, one mistake and your beautifully painted minis will forever be consigned to wargaming history as an anecdote of their brilliance and your foolishness! It is indeed the Age of Iron !
On the second table, Colin and Eddie joined in battle. Colin brought his Spanish juggernaut in the first round against Mark but ever the follower of fashion, he too brought early Arabs against Eddie. Don’t be deceived, Colin may have the looks of an Adonis but his manner leaves a lot to be desired from a gentleman player (below)
It was a Late Roman civil war on table three. As Andrew and I placed our commands, it was almost as though we had brought the same two formations; two strong legion corps and one heavy horse corps but the devil was in the detail.
Boots on the Ground is Cardiff Dice Studz mass battle game night. For myself and Dave it was a welcome return to L’art de la Guerre Wargames Rules. One of the new army lists is Taifa states and Mr. Lowrie appears to have spent the whole of Lock-down painting gaily robed Moslems.
It had been a great game. We will be returning to L’art de la Guerre in 28mm in the first meeting in July, hopefully with Don, Andrew and Eddie. Remember if you are coming a booking system is operated in Firestorm and you still have to wear a horrible face nappy!!!!! First views of version four though are very favourable!
Have a great weekend!
Forty years and not a miniature figure ready for the tabletop. “Pull yourself together man!” I said. “ You could be ready in a week!”The challenge was set! Could a very average gamer like myself get four SAGA points of figures ready in just seven days? Sunday evening and the miniatures were ordered and they arrived from Wargames Foundry Tuesday afternoon. The clock was ticking….
Wednesday night was my weekly visit to my mother’s house but that didn’t mean that I couldn’t do some glueing of the characteristic Norman shields. I’ve come to use Gorrilla glue for all my minis but I really don’t enjoy this stage. Now attaching the minis to their temporary bases is different and that means Bostik. In true Adrian Mole style I love the smell of Bostik. I didn’t end the session with a model aeroplane stuck on my nose but I was reminded of the 1980s Caerphilly glue- sniffing association of my youth.
Here some strategy was needed! How could I keep painting and going back and fire to the garage without raising the suspicions of a higher authority? A joint project was the answer, whilst the boys made a plane, I painted Normans.
The rule of three is truly transformational!!!! Before embarking on a new project, you must use the minis at least three times! It’s my new mantra; use the mins you have before the new “ shinny” fever! It had taken ten days but the force was completed! One family trip to the beach to secretly collect basing material and it was done.
What started out a challenge was quite envigorating! The four SAGA points was complete and I was fired up to play. Has you know who started yet? We shall see! I hope you like the finished minis below. Try the rule of three and see if you too are so inspired!
Have a good week and get painting!!!