Monday, March 31, 2014

Progress Report #2 + ConQuest Sacramento

Why "two posts for the cost of one"?  Well, there will be photos from the convention that relate to the progress report.

So, some work on the layout in the last month - and good work it was, too.  But most of you don't care about that.  I do!

On the French and Indian War front no real progress to report because I had extra work to do on the animals for the convention game.  After delivering the animals and seeing where progress was on the figures - worrisome - I volunteered to base and texture same for all the animals as well as paint up ten more beasts, a bull, cow, and calf, four more pigs, one attack dog, a pack horse, and a little burro.  In addition, I painted up some of my own figures in the large scale I'd bought for what was mooted as a club imagination game that fizzled.  It was eight figures and two chickens being fed by one of those figures - all civilians.  In total I painted 92 figures for the game plus I created the wee bit of sea where the sea wolves landed.

And, bye the bye, one of those longships was captured by the Saxon side (my side) and the other came very close to being set on fire.  As it were, a number of Viking contingents got left behind.  And my group, led by Osgard, got wiped out except for the hero himself who had a nice little mantra: "My father was a wood cutter, his father was a wood cutter, and his father before him back to the sixth generation were wood cutters.  Today, I cut down Vikings."  And he did, too.  He managed to take out a number of Vikings and then engaged in single combat with a Viking hero and managed to 'chop him down' with not so much as a scratch on him.  Of course, he hasn't any followers left - but he is now a legend in his little village, a legend that will live on through time.

This shot is from the pre-convention set up but is a nice shot of the flock of sheep I painted - before basing.
And here are the chickens.  Most of the livestock came from Mega Minis, a company that is no longer. Hopefully someone bought the molds and masters and will keep these available.
 And a herd of goats.  The herdsmen were painted by Mike. O.
Aaron saying something along the lines of, "What was I thinking to volunteer to run a game like this - and it is only a week away!  Somebody shoot me, please."  Okay, not really, but those puckered lips required a caption.
And, "Mike, what do you mean you're not done with everything yet?  Didn't I tell you about my heart condition?"  With a distraught Gary looking on.  Again the dress rehearsal.  And again, the quote is...?
Compare what you see here to later photos from the convention.
 A nice shot of the long ship landing I created for the game.  Hope Aaron repaints the edge to have a closer match to the grass mat (a 6' x 22' canvass used in the local club's Dust game last year.
And now we've arrived at the convention and here is Gary's Boxer Rebellion "55 Minutes at Peking" game based on the old Wargames Illustrated article by the same name.  And in 6 mm!
Left of center are the Japanese and French legations which I controlled during the game.  The other players had two legations a piece and the civilians rotated based on card activation.  All of the Boxers were under game umpire control.

 That is the Foo in the foreground where the civilians, or most of them, began the game.
 Just above the British flag you can see the well that was a critical point for all of the legations.  Seems the Hanlan library hasn't been burned yet.

An overall shot that also shows the areas used for holding figures.  Legations could have figures in hospital, in a food holding area, or in fire holding area.  Fun game.  And not just because those of us running the legations won the game.
 A few shots of a game using teddy bear fur that was air brushed and then dry brushed.  Very nice looking game.  I'm told it was based on the Band of Brothers cable show.
 A German gun, I believe.
 An overall shot.
This is the title card for the game - and I think this is the only game I took photos of that I didn't play in.  I brought along a very relaxed attitude to this convention.  Just playing in a few games.

I will break here to say how nice it was to see virtually every game have a sufficient number of players to be run.  Most I observed looked like they were full.  I know the coordinators for the event tried to balance out number of games to achieve this and it seemed to work.  Though I know at least one person got turned away from a game for lack of space in the game.  So, maybe one or two (or three) extra games might have been an improvement.  Hard balance to get right, I guess.
And, now we get to the local club's game with the items I painted for it.  Nothing to win contests but yeoman work that was ready in time for the game, even if some of it wasn't finished until the morning before the game, the day the convention actually started.   Above is the flock of sheep and the pigs, two varieties, in the fields further back.
 This is the village the Vikings were about to raid.  Those light blue 'chiclets' are loot tokens representing the contents of the buildings.
 Here are the goats in the foreground and the cattle to the rear.  I didn't do the carts or their draft animals, I believe Mike did all of those.  More chiclets in the cart.
The sea wolves howling there arrival!  And take a careful look at the longship in comparison to the photos above - Gary took these under his wing and did a very nice job with the interior detailing of the ships.  Trying to identify who made them - several have asked or been asked and no one knows as yet.
 And just beyond the field are the chickens I painted plus the civilian woman with her baby feeding chickens.  Nice watch tower with some archers stationed in it.  Archers were astonishingly strong.
 A general overview, but note the closest field and the roads.  Just plain felt that Mike modified with some aerosol paint cans with spray control tips.
 The game about to begin.
 The man on the right is Mr. Google Glass - and, yes, he was courteous about asking before hand about using the device to take images.  Of course, if he took any of me he owes me $500.00 US each image!
And back to back game masters.  Aaron is in the green and that is Dave sitting down.  He will be running the Napoleonic game shown below.
Another shot of the cattle.  Note those trees and their bases.  The green cutout is my own design but painted up by Mike.  The brown based trees on top are magnetic based and sabot style.  I'm trying to talk Mike into giving the base a good dry brushing of greens to make them blend in better.  They look okay in person but I think they really stand out in photographs.
 My hero advances forward with his unarmored retainers - and first blood to me, those are two of my men rendered hors'de'combat!  Bloody archers.
 An engagement between Saxons and Vikings.  The Vikings had the sandy colored bases, the Saxons the grass tufts.  Closest on the road is an 'overladen henchman' and to his right is a pack horse; I painted both of those.
 Here the group nearest the church was an attempt by a local priest to convert the Vikings from their pagan ways.  Seems Odin was in the ascendant on this day.
 Another battle.
 Many of the civilians can be seen here.  And at the top of the field on the right is one of the two stands of ravens.  It was pretty funny when one of the players tried to take them as loot and they did what birds do.  They flew away!  Again, my painting on the birds.
 Cattle in the midst of melee.
 Some action at the far end of the table.
 Very early in the game the Vikings captured a cart and managed to load it on their ship!
 Vikings with loot.
 More Vikings seeking loot.
And here is my command, armored shield wall protecting the sheep, my hero, the remnants of his unarmored command after coming under the devastating attention of the unit of Viking archers, and my mounted contingent before receiving similar treatment.
 Looks like Vikings with captives heading for the ship - or is that a retreat I see?
Down the far end and the Saxons are under the command of a tacticition - a real major in the army, or at least the reserves.  Looking to wear a bird of his own one day, or at least a different colored cluster.
 Oh, sure, you are just taking loot back to ship.  No, no - you are running away in fear from my mighty ax!
Dave about to attempt to burn the other Viking ship.  Seems Vikings drop a lot of litter, just look at all the white stuff on the ocean's inlet.
 Far end of the table from my command so I'm not sure what was happening here.
 Here is the last of my command taking on the the last of a Viking unit.
 And then it is down to hero against hero.  That is me on the left, or Osgard my hero anyway.  I've bloodied a Viking hero.
TIMBER!  He's dead.  That'll teach Vikings to mess with wood cutters, no doubt.
And here are a couple shots of Dave's Napoleonic game,  I had the Italian portion of the French army on the left, closest corner of the table.
And that is our Massena with the folded arms who rode off the table and abandoned his forces (actually, he'd taken so many losses he just didn't want to play any more - or maybe had to leave, not sure).  Maybe he didn't like the system.  We used Rank and File from Crusader Publishing, which you can see on the table.  Very fast playing rules.  We had eight players, none of who had played the rules before (well, I did for only two turns - and I had read them, own them) and we managed to complete 12 full turns in five hours of play time with 68 units on the table.  Sure, there are a few quibbles that can be addressed with a tinker or two.  But the rules were so easy to use that with just the quick reference charts all of the players were able to handle just about everything on their own with only minimal guidance needed from the game master - Dave center rear.  Great fun Dave, even if my side got thoroughly walloped in the end.
Made it in the game but I guess I didn't get a shot - love that little dog's pose, top left of the picture.
And top right here is the cat which I tried to paint up to look like a bobcat so it can be a house cat that has the coloring or a wild cat for some future event.

Now I can get back to work on my French and Indian War collection.  And the honey dew list.  That is a long list!

And a minor correction, I did make a tiny bit of progress on the French and Indian War.  I've acquired two bags of Woodland Scenics' deciduous trees, 3" to 5" size, to help expand my forest.  I plan to use the lighter colored foam for 'light' woods and the darker colored foam for - wait for it - 'heavy' woods.  And the medium colored foam foliage?  Maybe 'medium' woods?  However, since the medium color can seem to be lighter or darker according to which of the other two it's near, I think I will also do something a bit different in how I texture the tree bases (3 trees to a base is my plan).  I'll use a lighter colored texturing under the lighter trees and darker under the darker trees but try for a distinctly noticeable 'blotch' mix under the medium colored trees to make them more readily recognizable.  My goal is 36 bases of 3 trees each, 12 bases in each color scheme.  That should be enough to give a good size table good coverage.  Especially since I also plan to add treeless bases of brush and taller grasses and other obstructions - like rock piles.  In general, I like a crowded terrain on the table for most games but it is a requirement in my mind to do a proper French and Indian War game.

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