Monday, November 30, 2009

Dismounted Men-At-Arms (unit #3)

Impetus Unit Type: FP
Base Size: 8cm x 3cm
Manufacturer: Corvus Belli
For this unit I mixed dismounted knights and billmen models. My goal was to produce a base of men-at-arms almost exclusively armed with two-handed weapons. I found both of these model codes very quick to paint - even more so because of the small number of shields.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thursday, November 26, 2009

So, What's Next?

I’ve posted lots of photos of my medieval project lately, and although there are still units to photograph and post, I’m glad to announce that I’ve reached my painting goal – a fully-painted 400-point Free Company army for Impetus. In order to reach my self-imposed pre-Christmas painting deadline, I now need to finish painting six infantry models and a warjack for my Warmachine Cygnar army. I can see light at the end of the tunnel.

I figured that it was time to bring you all up to speed on my painting plans for 2010. Over the past year, I have admired many miniatures from afar. It’s been quite a year for the industry, with many great new games being released and affordable new miniatures becoming available. After much surfing and consideration, I’ve made some definite plans for the upcoming year.

Assumption, Oklahoma (continuing project)

Although we’ve taken a short hiatus, the escalating story of Assumption, Oklahoma is not over by a long shot. Sheriff Tom Gunne and his loyal lawmen will be facing new challenges throughout the year as the infamous Black Cole Elgin gang and southern outlaws of Major Eustace Pilesforth continue their illegal shenanigans.

I still have some citizen models and cattle in my collection to paint up for this period. I may try to create some new terrain elements as well. In addition to continuing our Legends of the Old West campaign, we will be trying out some multi-player Gutshot action with a whole new storyline and cast of characters.

Gothic Horror in Eastern Europe (new project)

Those of us who took part really enjoyed the Old West project. Furthermore, readers seemed to enjoy the narrative-style of the game reports, as well as the development of the characters.
Eager to try another skirmishing genre with a narrative edge, I’ve decided to start some Gothic Horror gaming using the awesome Chaos in Carpathia ruleset by Scott Pyle.

Like Legends of the Old West, the game requires very few models to start playing, and participants can choose from four different factions; European Monster Hunters, Human Treasure Hunters, Vampires, and Werewolves. I will be starting a Monster Hunter warband and Chris will be starting Vampires. I will be receiving some rural Russian buildings for Xmas, and as with the Assumption project, creating the environment will be as much a part of the project as painting the actual models. The storyline will develop as we play, and I’ll do my best to keep it creepy and moody.

Norse-Irish for Impetus (new project)

Ever since I discovered the Impetus rules a couple of years ago, the game has become one of my favourite pastimes. The game strikes just the right balance of depth and relaxed play for me. I also find the Impetus basing system very conducive to my style of painting. I can concentrate on one unit at a time, and enjoy the process of planning each base, treating each unit as a mini-diorama.

Since January 2009 I’ve painted three Impetus armies – 6mm Early Imperial Romans, 10mm Carthaginians, and 15mm Free Company. I will be adding a 15mm Norse-Irish to my collection in the coming months. I currently own enough Corvus Belli and Feudal Castings models to create between 200 and 300 points of Dark Age Irish forces. As the painting progresses, I will either expand with more Irish units, or possibly add an allied Norse contingent. I’ve had my eye on Viking models from Feudal Castings, Khurasan Miniatures, and Old Glory 15’s.

Chris and I have had such fun playing with our medieval armies that we decided to keep our second armies in a common period as well. To challenge my Irish, Chris will be painting Normans and we’ll do our best to “re-create” (i.e. butcher) the Norman Invasion of Norse-occupied Ireland. Ken has also mentioned that he will be ordering a 15mm medieval army for Xmas. He is a very skilled painter, and when it finally comes to pass, all of you historical guys will be drooling and prostrating yourselves in front of your monitors.

Alkemy (new project)

I spent almost a month before Xmas last year living in a hotel in Montreal . I was there for work, and one day I came up from the metro and saw Gamers World across the street. I went in to check their Warmachine stock (of which they had everything) and while in there, I stumbled upon the starter boxes for Alkemy. That Christmas, Ken, Marc, and I all mysteriously found Alkemy starter boxes under the Xmas tree.

Alkemy is another low model count skirmish game, and after having a couple of test games, we really enjoy it. There are currently only 10-15 models released for each faction, and the three of us now own just about everything available. I haven’t really done anything with them yet, but when I start in, I imagine that I’ll paint my entire collection (12 models) in record time.

Terrain, terrain, terrain...

I won’t go into detail right now, but I really want to expand my terrain collection during the coming year. As part of the Gothic Horror project I’ll be making some new landscape features and personality pieces. I’d also like to make some 15mm terrain to help improve the aesthetic of our Impetus games. Don’t hold me to it, but I may actually try my hand at making some terrain boards this year.

And There It Is...

Sorry for the length of the post, but it feel as if it’s been too long since I actually posted a real hobby update. 2009 was a very productive year for me geek-wise. I managed to finish Assumption, three Impetus armies, most of my Cygnar collection, and a variety of terrain elements. Here’s hoping that 2010 is just as productive.

Thanks for reading,

Friday, November 20, 2009

Artillery & Crew (unit #1)

Impetus Unit Type: Art A
Base Size: 8cm x 4cm
Special: Artillery A
Manufacturer: Corvus Belli
Another beautiful set by Corvus Belli, and so suitable for Impetus big bases. The gent covering his ears in anticipation is my favourite model in the set. I had originally painted two archers to add to this base, but I decided at the last minute not to add them. I didn't want to clutter the base with filler.

I really appreciate how Impetus basing is so free-form and has completely broken free of the "pack on as many as you can fit" paradigm. Makes me wonder if I ever really liked that esthetic or was I "convinced" by certain companies that I was supposed to like it.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Impetus Battle Report - A Close Call for Stockwood

Both Chris and I have been trying to make the extra effort to get our medieval armies up to 400 points by Xmas at the latest. When we played this weekend past, we had the opportunity to throw some of the newly-painted units on the table. We had time to play two games, which was quite a treat. I've presented both games as if they comprised one longer battle.

The Battlefield:

The Italians were flanked by a forest and a field. I was planning on moving the longbowmen into a field and using my other units for support. I placed my camp on the table for eye candy only, as Chris doesn't yet have a camp element finished.

The Armies:

The Italians were deployed at 232 points. Chris fielded an expert general leading CP-Condottieri x 3, S-crossbowmen x 2, S-Handgunners x 2, and FP-Militia Foot x 2.

I deployed the Free Company at 230 points. I fielded an expert general (Sir James Stockwood) leading FP-English Men-At-Arms x 1, CP-French/Italian Men-At_Arms x 2, T-Longbowmen x 3, S-Crossbowmen x 2, and S-Javelinmen x 1

The Battle:

As the armies closed on the field, the impetuous Rodger of Lynn led his men charging across the field, against the expressed wishes of his uncle, Sir James.

Meanwhile, Sir James tried to keep the rest of the army in tight formation and ordered the archers to fire down on the Italians.

His nephew's antics took their toll as Stockwood exerted himself to keep the rest of the right flank from following Rodger's example. I actually rolled snake eyes on an initiative roll which dropped Stockwood from Expert to Fair. Very fitting I thought.

Rodger and his knights were driven from the field by the Italian horse.

Sir Etienne de Garde led his knights into the Italian line and engaged the enemy in a fierce melee. It's no secret to most of the men that de Garde should have been Stockwood's second-in-command. Even in mercenary armies, blood can be stronger than merit.

In spite of de Garde's best efforts, another unit of Condottieri broke through and smashed into the archers. They were quickly decimated and ran from the field.

The Italians seized the initiative and slammed into Stockwood's personal guard. I took a photo of the actual dice from Chris's charge. Needless to say, it was a rollover for the Milanese.

In spite of suffering losses, Stockwood quickly rallied his men and reformed the lines. The Italians were quick to regroup as well.

This time, Stockwood had words with his newphew, and Rodger vowed to wait until the charge order was given.

While the mercenary line stood waiting, skirmishing broke on on both flanks. The mercenaries dominated in both cases and began encircling the Italians.

This time, Etienne led the charge and rode down the Italian crossbowmen and Milanese militia.

Rodger had been ordered to follow up and to engage the knights to Etienne's left.

In a reckless move, Rodger led his knights diagonally across the field, hoping to gloriously engage the Italian general. Sadly, his less than direct route gave the general's vanguard plenty of opportunity to react, and to once again break the Lynn knights and send them fleeing.

Meanwhile, the Bretons annihilated the rest of the Italian militia.

During the cavalry battle on the right flank, the mercenary line was not idle. Stockwood capitalized on the disorder caused by the mercenary skirmishers. By the time the Milanese knights got close enough to charge, the longbowmen had so greatly reduced their numbers that the Italians turned and fled.


Both games were very tense and satisfying, and despite my over-dramatic storytelling, both were very close in the end. We each won a game, and more importantly, had a barrel of fun in the process.

I learned another couple of tricks for playing my army. Obviously, it's best to keep the main line in check for as long as possible while the longbows do their work (with the help of the skirmishers). I think that the second battle went in my favour because I kept my knights out of the way and let the missile troops do their job.

Anyway, there's lots more to learn to be sure, and I'm enjoying every second of it. In the meantime, I am busy working on more English men-at-arms and a unit of artillery, while I believe Chris is working on more knights and more crossbow. Stay tuned.

Thanks for reading,

Friday, November 13, 2009

Free Company Camp

Impetus Unit Type: Camp/Baggage
Base Size: 12cm x 8cm
Manufacturer: Corvus Belli, Tents by Baeuda
This piece was quite a fun project, and in fact, was the first camp element I'd ever painted. The Baeuda tents were a real joy to paint and I can't recommend them enthusiastically enough. Those who have kept up with the developing army will notice that the tent colours match the liveries of my two generals; Sir James Stockwood (black & white) and his nephew, Rodger of Lynn (yellow & red).

When I started painting this element, I knew that I would have two tents and some guards standing around. However, I also wanted something a little extra - something indicative of the Free Company army. When I thought about painting guardsmen in both livery colours, I got the idea of longbowmen sharpening their skills through a friendly archery competition. The arrows are straight pins cut and glued, while the fletches are made from tiny pieces of a cereal box carefully (and mind-numbingly) glued in place.

Stockwood's advisors William Boar (L) and Benito Tucci (R)

Guess where carelessness on the practice field gets you... guard duty.

"Not a bad shot... for a Lynn man!"

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Mercenary Crossbowmen (units #1 & 2)

Impetus Unit Type: S
Base Size: 8cm x 2cm
Special: Crossbow B
Manufacturer: Corvus Belli
These crossbowmen models, combined with the Corvus Belli range of mounted knights, are all the justification I would need to start a Medieval French army. I'm already too far down the road I'm on now to consider that possiblity, however, I just had to have some of these in my Free Company army, for the visual appeal if nothing else.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Shifting Into High Gear with my Medieval Impetus Army

I was planning on finishing my 400-point Free Company for Impetus by Xmas. As it turns out, certain events have transpired which have motivated me to move up the deadline considerably. I am aiming to have the 400-point army, including the camp, completely painted before the end of November. Insanity, but there it is. I'm trying to find the very fine line that leads to divorce, and then to back off a step or two. ;)

I'm very anal-retentive about storage in my geek room,
but I prefer to work in comfortable disorder.

I've done some planning, and here's where we are at the moment:

Units Painted:
Longbowmen x 3, English Dismounted Men-at-arms x 2, Mounted Men-at-arms x 2, Breton Javelinmen x 2.

To Be Painted:
Longbowmen x 1, English Dismounted Men-at-arms x 1, Mounted Men-at-arms x 1, Breton Javelinmen x 1, Skirmishing Crossbowmen x 3, Bombard & Crew x 1, Camp x 1

The finished units standing expectantly amongst
unpopulated bases; waiting for a miracle perhaps?

Now, it may seem that I'm only halfway along, but that is rather misleading. Five of the remaining nine bases will contain a low density of figures - three are skirmishers (a total of 12 models for all three units), one is an artillery piece with some crew members (maybe six actual models), and the camp... well... I'm still pondering what to do with the actual camp.

I would also love to build and paint some simple buildings using the same method that I did for my Old West town. That may be biting off a little more than I can chew, but time will tell. I will try to keep you all updated as I forge onwards.

Thanks for reading,

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Breton Javelinmen (units #1 & 2)

Impetus Unit Type: S
Base Size: 8cm x 2cm
Special: Javelin
Manufacturer: Feudal Castings (dog by Corvus Belli)
Some of these models appeared in a previous post, but as I finished painting the second unit, I decided to re-base them. I had originally decided to base my skirmishing units on 8x3 cm bases. However, I've realized that 2cm depth is optimal at this scale. In short, a skirmishing unit based three centimetres deep cannot interpenetrate a cavalry unit in one move. Considering that the javelinmen will spend most of their time supporting my knights, I figured it was better to change the basing before I got too far into the project.

I've kept the entry of the original unit where it is (for those who wish to compare the base depths)

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Mounted Men-At-Arms (unit #2; with attached general)

Impetus Unit Type: CP
Base Size: 8cm x 6cm
Special: Impetuous
Manufacturer: Corvus Belli
My second unit of heavy cavalry also includes my subordinate general, Rodger of Lynn. I had a lot of fun painting this unit, and was particularly pleased with how the yellow turned out. This was also the first time that I painted white or grey horses at this scale.