Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Pondering the Christmas List

I know. No one wants to hear the dreaded "C" word yet. Unfortunately, it is racing towards us, and it has to be faced. On a positive note, however, Christmas means new toys! For the past year or two I've tended to be pretty frugal with my hobby spending, so I plan on getting some new toys from good ole Ma and Pa for Xmas.

Saladin's Ayyubid Egyptians for Impetus:

I'm sure everyone reading this is quite aware that I'm a HUGE Impetus fan. I am still on track to finish my 10mm Carthaginian army (working on it now) as well as my 15mm Free Company army before Christmas arrives. I love playing the game in any scale, but as a painter, it's the 15mm stuff that really spins my wheels.

You can imagine my excitement when I discovered Legio Heroica's 15mm Crusades range today. I've never even heard of this company before, and I have pondered doing some version of an Arab army for Impetus for some time. If I did, I think these models would be the way I would go.

Lots more photos of their beautiful minis can be found on their website. Anyway, I was thinking of asking for enough models to complete a 400-point army something like:

Average CS, Expert CIC, Fair General

Cavalry (lances)
Cavalry (lances and bows)

Syrian Cavalry
Bedouin Cavalry
Turkoman Cavalry

Kurdish Javelinmen
Al-shair Skirmishers (3 elite, 1 normal)


Furthermore, Extra Impetus #2 comes out this week and I'll likely have my copy by next week. This will include a host of new army lists which may very well lead me in an number of new directions. In any event, a second 15mm project means more fun painting, and an opponent for my Free Company should anyone wish to try the game without purchasing their own army.

More Old West:

Here's the thing. I've invested a lot of time and energy into old west gaming and it's reached a point where almost the entire group has jumped on the old west wagon with me. With that in mind, anything I acquire for this genre will definitely get used on the gaming table.

I realized that the one thing I am seriously lacking in my collection right now is mounted fighters. I think I may ask for one blister of Foundry riders, the ones that come with two personalities, each on foot and mounted. I've also only had the opportunity to paint one 28mm horse and would like to take a stab at some more. Lots more mounted gunfighters can be seen here.

Wargames Factory Plastics:

I love plastic models. Always have. Unfortunately, when Wargames Factory first released their Romans I was a little skeptical. The detail just wasn't there. Since then however , the company has really found their stride, and each set gets progressively better than the last. And who can argue with the prices?

Anyway, I don't really know what I would use the models for. I was thinking of using the Zulus for a Colonial version of Triumph & Tragedy, or perhaps using the Vikings for some Dark Age skirmish-gaming. Whatever the case, I have been resisting WF models ever since the Celts were released. Whether or not it happens this Christmas, it's almost inevitable that I will collapse and get something from their range at some point. We'll see.

Well, as usual, I reserve the right to change my mind entirely. If you have any suggestions I am interested in hearing them.

Thanks for reading,

Sunday, September 27, 2009

A Foreigner Saves Assumption

It was midday and many of the townsfolk were out working the fields or conducting business outside of town. The Assumption Vigilence Committee had become very confident in their ability to protect the town and its citizens from outlaws and criminals. Perhaps that was why their guard was down that day.

Whatever the reason, Mjr. Pileforth and his men moved stealthily into position on main street before most of the remaining tradesmen knew what was happening. The boys had torches ready. Moses Peachtree died by the noose and it was time for revenge. Assumption would burn!

Jeb and Gabe were just getting back from Marketrock when they sensed things weren't right. "Hold on here Gabe," said the trapper quietly. "I'll run back and tell Gunne and the rest to catch up!"

Bill Chafe was just about ready to settle down to a little fishing when he heard shots fired. There was trouble in town, and he was too far out to get there in time.

Zeb and the major were about to take some of the townsmen at gunpoint and set fire to the hayloft when a stranger appeared noiselessly from behind the livery stable.

"Lookie here boss," said Zeb, "It's some kinda Injun."

"Whatev'ah he is," responded the major, "he will ce'tainly find himself greatly inconvenienced on account of his lackin' a firearm."

With a seemless motion, the stranger pulled a small blade from a hidden fold and threw it accurately at the major's pistol-hand. Pileforth's hand jerked up as he yelped in pain and the pistol went off harmlessly into the sky above. Before a second had passed, another small blade flew straight towards Zeb and embedded deep within his leg.

As the major and his men pulled back, Tom Gunne and his men ran across the bridge towards the scene of the fight. The Assumption men spewed lead down the street in unison.

"Fall back," the major cried and with that , the southern boys tore down the road and out of town.

Before Tom or Sam had time to address the foreigner, shots rang out from near the river. The lawmen ran for the bridge. As they were about to cross, Tom slowed down and came to a stop.

"Hold up boys," he said. "There ain't no townfolk left out in the fields, so who's shootin' at what? There's some skullduggery in this. Back to the town... now!"

Sure enough, the shots were fired by one of the southern boys as decoy to get Gunne and his men out of town. The major and his men had already skulked back into town ready to make a second attempt at arson.

This time, the element of surprise was lost. The Assumption boys moved up through the corral and got the drop on the Major and his men.

The southerners realized that the advantage was lost. However, the major was hell-bent on makin' amends. He shouted with authority, "Swarm'em men. Use cover. Lay down a volley."

However, the past year of dealing with rustlers and outlaws had made the Sheriff and his men hardened fighters. They kept their cool and moved straight into the firelane. Each man found his mark and the southern boys started going down like flies.

The major, despite his rage, realized that the day was lost and initiated a full retreat. The remnants of the 17th Virginia Cavalry headed for the hills and Assumption was saved from destruction.

Tom, Sam and Jeb turned towards the foreigner and approached. The sheriff held out his hand and addressed him.

"Well sir," he said, "It seems we're in yer debt. Your bravery saved the town from a burnin. What's yer name? Where ya from?"

The stranger replied quietly. "Came from California. Can't go back. Call me Xiao Loo."

"Well, if it's all the same to you, we'll just call ya Lou." Tom replied with a chuckle. "I don't know what drove ye from yer home, but I can tell yer a brave and honest man, and yer certainly welcome here in our town."

The stranger bowed and walked back towards the hotel. Sam Blake said to no one in particular,

"Well, he might be a brave feller, but he sure's a strange one."

The Watchers:

During the fighting in the town and the fields, five men stayed still and silent in the woods across the river watching. When the action was over, one made a imitation bird call and the motley group disappeared into the forest. (Stu has started painting his mountain men-JET)

When Stu finishes his posse, we'll likely restart the campaign so that we're all on an even footing. However, we'll use the same names and attempt to keep the story moving as seemlessly as possible.

Thanks for reading,

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Arrival of a Foreigner

It was a warm afternoon in September when the foreigner entered Assumption. He approached from the west on foot, carrying his meagre belongings over his shoulder. Those who witnessed his arrival couldn't help but stare. Most of them had never seen anything like it. Jim Cutler was fixing the fence at the livery when he looked up. He called up to the loft:

"Bert... ye'gotta come down and see this feller. He got long injun hair and is wearin his per-jammers in the middle of the day?"

At the other end of town, Sheriff Gunne strolled out of the office and called the stranger over. The man approached without any expression or response, and although Gunne wouldn't have admitted it, the stranger's silence unnerved him.

"What brings ya to town stranger?" the sheriff asked.

"Look for room. Place to sleep and work." With that, the stranger turned and walked towards the Assumption Hotel.

After the foreigner disappeared inside the hotel, Bill Chafe walked out of the Dry Goods Store and found Tom Gunne, Cutler, and some of the stablehands talking about the odd arrival. Bill chuckled as he lit a cigarette and spoke.

"Any've you fellers been out west, California way? I tell you what.. that stranger thar is a chinermen. Comes from over the water."

"Over Engerland way?" Cutler questioned.

"Not that water!" Bill responded. "The water off a'California way. Anyways... I gotta map at the store, I'll show ya sometime." He rolled his eyes and turned to the sheriff as he continued.

"Anyways Tom, these Chinermens are quiet, hard-workin folk. I reckon he'll stick around, work a little, and move hisself on again."

"I'm sure yer right Bill," Tom replied. "I"m sure yer right."

Thanks for reading,

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Geek Day Diary Entry #5: "Death in the Streets of Assumption"

Dear Diary;

We had decided as a group to take a Geek Day break in August. The summers are short here in Newfoundland, and it can be quite a shame to waste one of our rare, hot Saturdays stuck inside a building. Needless to say, by the time today rolled around, we were all chomping at the bit and ready to get down to some serious geeking.

We set up the room with three main play areas. Tables were set-up to play Impetus, Legends of the Old West, and Warmachine. Ken also brought along his newly-acquired copy of Space Hulk. As there were six of us present, we assumed that such a variety would keep everyone playing something they enjoyed for the day.

As it turns out, I found myself playing on the Legends of the Old West table for the entire day, and that's what I've chosen to focus on primarily. It gave me the opportunity to take the Assumption Defenders out against the Black Cole Elgin Gang, as well as the 17th Virginia Cavalry.

The Starting Posses:

Even though the photos didn't turn out the greatest, here are the posses as they were brought to the table this morning.

The 17th Virginia Cavalry (L to R): Deuteronomy McRae, Mjr. Eustace Pileforth,
Cpl. Phineas McEkkert, Willy Scoggins, Enos Cartwright, Abraham Stubbs.

The Assumption Defenders (L to R): Jebediah Hunter, Deputy Sam Blake,
Deputy Bill Chafe, Sheriff Tom Gunne, Jake Hackett, Archie Mills, The Man With No Name.

The Black Cole Elgin Gang (L to R): Black Cole, "Two-Penny" Elgin,
Merle Gibbs, The Philadelphia Kid, Julio Swarez, Cesar Acosta.

Game Action:

I played four games in all; three against Chris (the Virginia boys) and one against Marc's outlaws. I had two wins and two losses, and luckily, my gang suffered no serious losses or wounds (or at least none that the Doc couldn't fix). Here are some action shots in no particular order.

Assumption and environs.

Brave citizens advanced under the leadership of Deputy Blake.

Bill Chafe and Archie Mills advanced into rifle position.

The Assumption Defenders closed with the 17th Cavalry.

Before long, it came to blows and the Virginia boys were driven off.

Mjr. Pileforth and his men were out for blood (after the recent hanging of
Moses Peachtree) and returned in attacking force almost immediately.

Although battle-weary, the Assumption boys refused to give ground.

This time the southerners advanced more carefully, using the JP's house for cover.

Sam Blake found himself in band-to-hand combat with the Major.

Pileforth is no dunce with a knife, and luckily for the boys, Chris's posse
headed for the hills before the Major had the chance to gut the works of them.

My game against the Black Cole Elgin Gang was fast and furious; so much so
that I never had the chance to take many photos. Both posses were damaged,
but I voluntarily headed for the hills. Better to live and fight another day!

Funny story: Sheriff Gunne caused a leg wound on Julio Swarez. When
Marc "visited the Doc," he rolled a 1. This led to yet another roll on the
serious injury table, and the unfortunate Mexican died. Outlaws just
don't have the best medical insurance plans I guess. ;)

The Rest of the Day:

I had hoped to play a game of Impetus against Stu at some point during the day, or perhaps to try a game of Space Hulk (which I've never played before), but it wasn't to be. In the end I had fun, so it didn't really matter. Even though I was engrossed in my own games, I did take a few shots around the room throughout the day.

Stu advances the Parthian cavalry towards Chris's Palmyrans.

The evil, moustache-twisting brains behind the Black Cole Elgin Gang up to no good.

A passing whale nibbles on Ken's head as he patiently waits for a human opponent.

Ken and Marc duke it out in
Space Hulk.

The Parthians and the Palmyrans engaged.

So there it is. Another successful Geek Day. All in all, I think everyone had a good time. Notably, Chris E. finally got his posse membership up to seven strong, a feat he's been trying to accomplish for six months. Also, Stu finally attended his first Geek Day and had two games of his beloved Impetus. At the very least, I think the day may have inspired all of us to shake off our summer laziness and get back into our productive painting grooves.

Thanks for reading,

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Corporal Moses Peachtree Meets His Maker

Sheriff Tom Gunne and his men were not feeling their most charitable near the end of Summer. After rescuing Miss Sue Ellen from the clutches of the Philadelphia Kid and the rest of the Black Cole Elgin Gang, the Preacher encountered the Kid and some of the Elgin boys on the road outside of town. The Rev'd Hargreaves, ever hopeful of saving any soul in turmoil, tried to reason with the drunken outlaw. Before the others could stop him, the Philadelpia Kid pulled his hogleg and stowed lead right between the preacher's eyes.

The day after the humble man of God was buried, Major Eustace Pilesforth and his Southern bandits entered the town in obnoxious spirits with weapons drawn.

Within minutes, the drunken fools were firing off pistols and endangering the lives of citizens.

With the melancholy mood handing over the town, the Sheriff ordered his men swiftly into action with the orders, "shoot to kill."

Sam Blake and Jake Hackett led a group across the street to where the bandits were held up.

The Major was spotted making a swift flanking manouvre around the JP's house. Bill Chafe stood back with his repeating rifle at the ready.

Meanwhile, Sam and his men drove the entrenched outlaws back with a viscious assault.

The Corporal was trading blows with the enraged Sheriff when he noticed that his men were going down and being driven to the woods. The Corporal had no desire to take up residence in the Assumption County Jail and fled as fast as the faithful Traveller would carry him.

When the smoke cleared, Sam and Jake had rounded up two wounded outlaws - Pt. Luke Tate, and more impressively, the infamous outlaw Cpl. Moses Peachtree, Major Eustace Pilesforth's right-hand man. Reportedly, Sheriff Gunne approached Peachtree and kicked him hard in the face before leaning down on one knee. He looked him in the eye as he spoke in an austere tone.

"The JP's gone north on business hill-billy. That means I'm actin' in his place... judge, jury, and exer'cutioner. Yer Moses Peachtree... thievin', rustlin', killin' men. Y'ev kept yerself busy Peachtree."

"What's it to ya...BOY!" His reply was less than respectful. Jake Hackett tensed, expecting Sheriff Gunne to beat the outlaw senseless then and there. Instead, the Sheriff turned and walked away. As he parted, his words shocked all those present.

"Lock'em up Sam. They hang in the morning." The southern men lost their cool at that moment and begged for their lives.

* * * * *

The Sheriff was as good as his word. At sun-up, the charges were formally written-up and read aloud to all present by Deputy Sam Blake:

"Pt. Luke Tate and Cpl. Moses Peachtree. You have both been found guilty of thieving, cattle rustling, and willfull murder. The Assumption Vigilence Committee, under the authority of Sheriff Thomas Hayden Gunne finds you guilty on all counts and orders you hung by the neck until dead."

The stools were kicked out from under the prisoners, and within seconds, the ordeal was over. Tom Gunne walked away from the gallows saying, "cut em down Sam and get'em outta my sight. Now let's see what this Pilesforth has to offer."

Thanks for reading,

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Damsel in Distress

After the massacre at Green Ridge, the Assumption Defenders were still left with the unresolved issue of Miss Sue Ellen's abduction. With a couple of hired killers from the East in tow, Sheriff Gunne and his men headed into the Oklahoma backwoods in search of the Black Cole Elgin Gang hideout. Just when they were about to give up hope, an exhausted Rev'd Hargraves appeared out of the forest before them. He had successfully escaped the outlaws' clutches and was ready and willing to lead the lawmen to their shack.

An unassuming shack in the woods.

Black Cole Elgin and a couple of outlaws guarded Miss Sue Ellen's makeshift prison while the rest of the gang were headed into town.

The Assumption Defenders stormed the shack, taking advantage of the outlaws' reduced numbers.

One of the easterners, the Man with No Name (a.ka. "Stranger"), shot Caesar Accosta and put the Mexican down.

The rest of the lawmen moved up with guns blazing. The remaining outlaws ran behind the shack for cover.

The other hired killer covered the shack with his rifle.

Preacher ran to the shack and kicked the door in as the remaining outlaws were heard coming up the pass.

The Preacher and Jake Hackett urged Miss Sue Ellen on, trying to get her across the river and to safety before her unlawful husband, the Philadelphia Kid had time to react.

A vicious gunfight ensued. The lawmen tried to keep the outlaws pinned down while Miss Sue Ellen was ushered to safety.

Sam Blake and the Preacher even found themselves grappling with the infamous gang leader, Black Cole himself.

In the end, both sides backed off under under fire, dragging their wounded with them. The Sheriff and his men succeeded in rescuing the kidnapped lady from the clutches of the godless outlaws.

After their safe return to Assumption, the Preacher and the Sheriff went to interview Miss Sue Ellen. As it turned out, the bride took vows under duress, the wedding license was a forgery, and the marriage was not consummated. Under the circumstances, the good Preacher declared the marriage null and void in the eyes of God.

In the meantime, Deputy Sam Blake was seen tacking the following poster around town the next morning:

Thanks for reading,