About Me

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I'm a bit of a born-again wargamer! I played many of the Games Workshop games when I was in my teens and early twenties, but left the hobby behind when I went to University. Over the last few years I have gradually got back into it and am literally having a ball! I'll play pretty much anything now, ranging from ancient historical to the far future! I think that I get more out of the painting side of things than actually playing, but that might just be because I get more opportunity. Hence the title...this blog is all about the colour of war!!

Friday, 29 July 2011

Santiago Ortega

First of all, I hate varnishing figures! Once again I applied just a smidge too much matt varnish (I use Humbrol spray varnish) and I got a bit of frosting on this figure. It doesn't look too bad in real life, but the photo really picks it up. As for the figure...I think I'm pretty happy with the end result, but it was just one of those figures that you sometimes struggle with. Various parts were painted and then repainted until I got to a point I was happy. Some figures I just seem to paint almost without thinking and they come out exactly as I envisioned, but others just seem like real hard work for some reason! Anyway...onto the pictures!

Thursday, 28 July 2011

A bit of Flames of War and some musings

Played Flames of War for the first time in about a year on Tuesday and I had forgotten just how much fun it is! It gets such a bad reputation and it's a shame, because it really is a good system. It's core is simple and reasonably easy to remember, but all the wee bolt-on rules give it a lot of depth and character. My opponent, George, hadn't played before and he seemed to rather enjoy himself and I can see us playing more in the future. As it was his first game I thought I'd keep things manageable and built 1000 point armies from my American Rifle Company and my brother's Motorised SS Panzergrenadiers. We didn't have any scenario worked out so I just took plenty of grunts, a few tanks and some air cover for the US to let him get a feel for different aspects of the game. When we got there I set up a table that looked good to me and then we decided on sides and scenario. George took the Americans and ended up attacking in a Breakthrough game. With the forces he had, and against SS fanatics, that was always going to be a tough task!! And so it proved.

The battle starts!
I set up with my two platoons nicely dug in with reasonable fields of fire and attached an MG42 HMG to each to beef them up even more. The rest of the HMGs were placed on the objective which was designated the top of a hill. I had 3 Panzer IVs which were held of as reserves, too. George deployed in similar fashion with his LMGs attached from the weapons platoon and the mortars in the rear. He had 4 Shermans on the flank march that would bring them on behind the objective. He started his attack towards my leftmost platoon immediately, but very soon came under very fierce MG fire and sustained about 30% to 40% casualties. He retreated behind some walls which saved his troops from rapid destruction with the bulletproof cover rule. He just couldn't scratch the Germans in front, though, as they were also in bulletproof cover. So it devolved into a shooting match which the Americans just couldn't win, so George decided to bring up the mortars. However, I seized the opportunity to move 3 teams up to assault his remaining troops which resulted in the Rifle platoon breaking and taking the company commander with it.

The USAAF does it's bit while the PBI advances. The SS in the houses enjoy some good cover.

After softening the up the Germans do what the Germans do best! Counterattack!
Meantime, on the other flank, the second American platoon cautiously occupied a farmhouse and probed the German defenses there, but I think the bloody nose the first platoon had just received made him pause and they never really moved any further. By then my reserves had arrived and I decided to move them to intercept the Shermans as the infantry didn't need the support. Thus began the final showdown! I had moved a couple of the Panzers to start long range fire support against the Americans in the farmhouse and when the Shermans turned up they managed to get some rear shots and destroyed one and bailed another. But the German experience showed and they mounted and returned fire which destroyed one and bailed the rest! Once the Panzershrecks turned up and brewed up a second tank it was pretty much over and we called it. I really need to take more pictures next time!

I admit that the lists weren't perfect and the Americans could have done with more artillery support, but it was a good game still and I think George learnt a good deal about the rules and how you definitely need combined arms to shift dug in infantry. Small arms fire just ain't going to do it!

We also talked a lot about the direction our gaming has been taking. I'd been musing about this for a while and I think we are both in the same mind that the sheer number of projects that we've been attempting is just too much. Part of the problem is the number of new shiny rules coming out and the number of different game systems being played at the club. So we have decided to try and concentrate on a few systems that we can learn well and get some momentum up with. I think that for WW2 it will be Flames of War and Arc of Fire, plus Check Your 6! in the air. For ancients I think we're going to concentrate on Warhammer Ancient Battles which really appeals to me as I have many Fantasy Battle games under my belt from my teens and we're going to concentrate on the Dark Ages for now, which is a period that is new to me and so is quite exciting. In fact, after the really rough year I've had so far I think that a new period is just the thing to refresh my hobby and inject some enthusiasm again, which was waning a little I must admit!

Oh, and Malifaux! I've finished Santiago and will post pics as soon as he has some matt varnish on! :)

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

First Malifaux figure - Francisco Ortega

Had a very nice and relaxing holiday in Cornwall for two weeks and now I'm back to painting again! Having finished the Fallschirmjager for the Crete games (photos will be posted when we re-play the Crete game) I am finally at a point where there is no real pressure to paint loads of figures for a game, so I thought I'd start on the Malifaux figures I have. I picked up the books and a couple of the starter boxes ages ago, but never got round to painting them. I've read the books and I think the game system looks really innovative and fresh, so I'm quite looking forward to giving it a try. Also, as there are only a few figures needed it's possible to spend a bit more time painting them, especially as they are all so individual. So here's Francisco Ortega, a Guild gunslinger!

Had quite a bit of fun painting this figure. In particular, it was my first use of Foundry paints, which was Buff Leather for the duster. I'm quite pleased with the end result and it really seemed to suit my style of painting. I didn't find that they needed that much thinning and over a black undercoat the shade tone needed a couple of coats, but once on the mid-tone and highlight went on fine. The colour is really nice and makes the duster look the part.

The base needed a bit of dressing too, so I got the greenstuff out (actually I needed it to fill the join in the arm of the next figure, Santiago, anyway). I thought that a skull with a bullet hole in the forehead would be a fitting decoration so went with that. Now, I've toyed with making faces with spare GS before but never quite got it right, so this was going to be a challenge, but I think it turned out alright. I'm starting to get more of a feel for the putty and I think I might be ready to start trying out a sculpt or two! :) Here's another shot of the base from a different angle.

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