Monday, September 11, 2017

General Update - Pirates, Napoleonics, Mini Convention and More!

Hello all,

Apologies once again --- this summer has been full of family trips/visits, work and general craziness as I cleaned out several spots and reorganized my lead pile (long overdue).  My work trips have been the most disruptive --- but the good news is that as of right now I don't have a single trip I have to do in the foreseeable future - horay!

That being said, progress has been made on several fronts.

Blood and Plunder

First and foremost is Blood and Plunder - still VERY excited to get this on the tabletop.  To be honest I was struggling with the best way to do the "water" table sections.  I think I've finally decided on how to do it ... for better or worse.  I watched what feels like 5,000 videos on YouTube of people pouring water tables and features in different ways ...

I'm going to build 3 sections, each 2' x 4' (to give me a 4' x 6' table).  All three sections will be poured water using the same lacquer that is used for bar tops.  I plan to pour about 1/2 inch thick on each section.  I believe this will be the most durable way to accomplish this.  I'm also building a 4th 2' x 3' section which will be coastal with enough area for a landing and resulting land battle (buildings, forts, whatever).

In other good news --- Artmaster Studio is full at it painting up the entire miniature range that is available today (all four factions with additional characters).  Hoping to have all those miniatures back and ready for gaming at the end of September or so depending on shipping.

Napoleonic (Empires At War)

I've completed a minor update to the rules:  Empires At War v2.5

A few changes to make things "better" ...

  • I combined the "Charge Home Test" with the Charge order so that you don't have to take two tests and resolve it as part of issuing the Charge order.
  • I fixed several issues with the "Terrain Table" and made some clarifications.
  • I updated shooting saving throws.  Basic saving throw for shooting is now 5+ - or 4+ if in cover.  Units in fortifications can reroll failed saves.
  • I made minor adjustments to the shooting dice modifiers - primarily large units get +3D6 (adjusted for melee as well).
  • Base number of shooting dice and melee dice for several formations have been updated.
  • Updated "Cavalry Charging Infantry" - essentially now the cavalry can choose to simply threaten the infantry to force it to form square.
  • I made some minor updates to the unit special rules - I still have more work I would like to do here but these are working for now.

I also have a PDF for army lists that I'm just about finished with - covers British, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Austrians, Bavarians, Prussians and Russians.

Another large chunk of miniatures that are staring at me mockingly - lots of French Napoleonic infantry that I need to base - as well as new Austrian infantry units.  I'll be focused on and getting these guys based as I start to work toward bringing my Apsern-Essling scenario to life on the tabletop.  I addition to sorting out my Austrians and increasing the line infantry unit size to 48 figures, I've also increased my French infantry unit sizes to 36 figures.  All that really matters for the rules we play (Empires At War) is the number of bases used for a unit.  The real reason for increasing the unit size is the visual look and feel I've achieved with my ACW wargames --- and tried but just couldn't let go of the desire to see the same "dense" formations for my Napoleonic collection.

"Oh, why are we not based?"

New Austrian unit size > 48 figures

I've ordered more flags for my French and Austrians from GMB ... can get those on and wrap up the units when those arrive.

Finally sorting out my Austrians - 2 unit down,
about 10 more to go!

As I mentioned in my previous post - I have the talented David Skibicki working on my fur mats for Aspern-Essling.  The image below shows a little bit more ... for example what I want the farmed fields to look like.  I also added two additional items to the key.

Obviously for this scenario it would not be complete without a 28mm Essling Granary building.  Problem is that while there are plenty of models for this building in 20mm, 15mm, 10mm, and 6mm there are none I could find in 28mm.  Not a big deal as the building is large.  As a result I'm going to have to scratch build my own granary and reduce the size a little so it is more "playable" in the area I have available on the tabletop.

An excellent 20mm (1/72) kit for the granary ... if only
if came in 28mm!

I really like what these chaps have done - the town
isn't overwhelming in size and contains just enough
buildings to make it playable --- mind you this
is 15mm and not 28mm ... but nonetheless I'm
going to take a similar approach.

Mini Convention

(Edited - forgot to include the mini convention stuff in original posting).

On the long weekend in September the boys (Roy Scaife, Dan Kerrick, Adrian Turner, John Lantz, Matt Hilzendrager and myself) all got together for CabinCon - essentially we all rented a cabin down near Santa Cruz and games from Friday > Sunday.  We played a little Blood Bowl, and lot of SAGA, and board games.  I didn't take a ton of pictures ... just a few here and there with my phone.  Pics below.

John's Dwarves battling it out with my Chaos Dwarves.

Matt's Vikings taking on Adrian's Steppe Tribes.

Saturday morning - kicking off a day of SAGA.

Colosseum - I forgot how much fun this game is!

The weekend was a lot of fun in a very low pressure environment --- nobody bugging us to clean up/get off the table ... no scheduling nonsense ... just like-minded friends gaming all weekend.

ACW - This Hallowed Ground

I've also updated the ACW rules to v2.4:  This Hallowed Ground v2.4

These changes just reflect the updates I made to the Napoleonic rules.

My next ACW scenario to get on the tabletop is Casey's Redoubt which is a part of Seven Pines.  I had already posted the scenario for this ... map below for reference.  I have all the siege guns and crews now ... and they are included in a final group of figures I'm sending over to Steve Dake to get painted.  This last batch of ACW includes more casualties, camp sets, wagon crews (horses and riders), and the gun crews.

Seven Pines - Casey's Redoubt

Once David finishes with my Aspern-Essling fur mats I'll be sending this along to get done.  I do need to scratch build the two buildings for this table as well ... but otherwise I have everything I need to run this scenario.

I'll stop there for now ... there are always little things happening here and there ... I'm planning a game for later this month ... September 23rd or 24th ... either WW2 Bolt Action or modern Bolt Action ... still deciding.


  1. Great stuff! Always amazed at how much you have going on at the same time, lol! And I didn't even see anything about Helm's Deep or the 3D printer - your plate has to be so full I don't know how you keep things straight :)

    1. Lol ... I don't know how I keep track of it all either ;-) I'm also in the process of printing a European farm :-) At a crossroads with Helm's Deep ... finish build or have it made as a 3D model ... hummm.

  2. Saga boards looked great. I've got a mini Saga tournament happening at my place this coming Saturday. I'll make sure to post about it, just don't count on my boards looking as realistic looking as yours. This read felt like I was reading a magazine, great stuff!


    1. Hey Kevin ... that sounds great. SAGA is a great game! Thanks! Looking forward to seeing pics from your games.