David Bickley's Wargames Blog

The occasional ramblings of an average gamer, journeyman painter, indifferent modeller, games designer, sometime writer for Wargames Illustrated and host of games in GHQ.

Saturday 30 May 2020

Some of my favourite games

I’ve been feeling increasingly nostalgic as the days of this tedious Coronavirus lockdown malarkey have dragged on. I don’t have any inclination for solo gaming, as I’ve said before, but I do enjoy looking at past games we’ve played in GHQ. With that in mind I’ve assembled a few of my favourite images which I hope you will enjoy as much as I have ~
Howard ville, USA 1920's gangster mayhem.
FRW from Wargames Illustrated photo shoot day.

Victoriana, the experimental undersea boat, Sea Dragon, on her secret trials!
Adventures in 1920's Rhanzlistan, again featured in Wargames Illustrated.

Indian Mutiny with my own The Devil's Wind ruleset.

Zulus! Quite a lot of them!

Chief Bykelezi m'Tubbi, never victorious, yet!
VBCW, again featured in Wargames Illustrated.
The War of 1812-15, featured in WI Bitesize #3 and destined for the hard copy when it re-emerges.
The Sudan War using both A Good Dusting and Black Powder.
The ECW, from the cover photoshoot for A Crowning Mercy.
Somewhere in Normandy, 1944...
The early Italian Wars, from another Wargames Illustrated photoshoot.
The ACW, my favourite wargames setting down the years!
Hovels resin buildings, still going strong and great value for money.
A Rhanzlistan photoshoot day for Wargames Illustrated.
The Rebs step off, once more, under Jubal E Bykleigh!
Still somewhere in Normandy 1944, but the good guys as William calls them!
The SYW, probably the most colourful period to game in.
Late Roman internecine wars, Pompus Maximus and Baldinus tussle for the Imperial purple.
Ol' US Bykleigh takes command once more. On to Glory, or not...!

Wednesday 27 May 2020

More ephemera

More from the vaults of time on the theme of table dressing and ephemera which I enjoyed adding to some of my collections over the years.

The headquarters of the Army of Northern Virginia. Figures by Dixon Miniatures of course.
Strike up the band, though best not play Dixie!
Headquarters of the Army of the Potomac. Figures by Dixon Miniatures again, tented hut from Redoubt Enterprises, table and other stuff from Irregular Miniatures. 
Two contrasting SYW vignettes composed from figures in the Casting Rooms Miniatures and Foundry SYW ranges. The roast is by Irregular Miniatures.
An AWI camp scene using Foundry figured and bits with Architectural Heritage tents.
Interior of the Aces High saloon in New Paddock City.
The lawyer's office interior. Figures by Dixon Miniatures and furnishings by Frontline.
Arkwright's General Goods Store. Again Dixon Miniatures figures and Frontline fittings. All three buildings from Battleflag's range.

Sunday 24 May 2020

Table dressing...

Sometimes, when my motivation to paint multiple figures for a unit flags, I’ve found it refreshing to embark on small projects within a game genre of a non combat variety. These have multiple purposes within a game from mere table dressing, through markers, to victory objectives in a scenario. While I plough on painting my Republican Romans here are a some of the ephemera I’ve added over the years ~

This coronavirus malarkey has certainly made me reflect on what is important in my hobby life and it's no surprise that it's my friends above everything else. Keeping in touch as a deaf person precludes the phone, on screen chats and tech-aided remote games, so I get by with text conversations mostly. In the meantime, I look forward to entertaining my chums in GHQ sooner rather than later! In the big wide world out there, keep well and safe all of you!

Friday 22 May 2020

A Republican Roman commander

I wanted to paint a test figure for the small unit of Republican Roman Cavalry in my start-up force and so I chose to paint one of the three mounted officers I’d added to the starter set offer. He will lead my cavalry force as it expands beyond the one unit of three bases, or nine figures if you prefer. Initial observations when assembling all the Mounted figures were that the horses were correctly on the small side. The figures themselves fit on the horses well, which is not always the case with some manufacturers I’ve found! While I quite like the inclusion of separate heads I’m less keen on the two part bodies, but fortunately this figure was a one part body. My painting technique now is a simpler process, usually base coat and highlight from the Foundry paint triads. However, as there’s a good deal of exposed flesh on the arms and legs of these figures I opted for the same method I’d used on my Late Roman armies. The flesh is blocked in using the Foundry Flesh midtone and then, when it’s thoroughly dry, I wash the flesh with a 50:50 wash of water and the old Games Workshop Flesh Wash. {There’s a bit of a backstory to this, as I bought three jars in a hobby shop located in the small South Australian town of Moonta. Subsequently I carried these round half of Australia and home via Singapore. So they are well travelled!} Anyway, no more waffle, see what you think of the end product ~

I’ve started now on the Legion figures, two Hastati first. The shield transfers haven’t arrived yet, so I’ll wait until I’ve finished a whole base now before showing any more of this project, probably towards the end of next week I’d imagine.

Wednesday 20 May 2020

What's in a name?

We wargamers are fond of giving our generals names, often verging on the silly, but more commonly amusing I find. I am no exception to this trend, as various iterations of my name on this blog can testify. When it came to giving a name to my Republican Roman general it was clear this approach wouldn't serve. With much of our hobby, not to mention real life, on hold there seemed to me only one option. He will be known as Coronus Cunctator, or Coronus the Delayer, giving a nod to both current events and classical history!
The figure painting is underway and I have completed two bases of allied levy skirmishers, eight figures in total ~

I should  say here that in GHQ Phil, Jon and I play our occasional Ancients game using our in-house version of Neil Thomas' Ancient and Medieval Rules. For this a single base can represent a unit enabling games to be played once the two parts of the collection reach eight bases of figures. The bases are from Warbases and are 80x50mm, with each of the three elements of the legion also having an officer, standard and musician on a 40x50mm base. In addition, the legion has its own command base mounted on a 40mm round.

Monday 18 May 2020

Coronavirus or Shinyitus?

Well, the 'Lead Pimple of Everlasting Fame' has been steadily declining in size these last few months (as I've finished 260 figures since the turn of the year) despite having received two orders from Dixon Miniatures! Bearing in mind that on my 6' X 6'6" tabletop battlefield here in GHQ there is a limit to how many ACW regiments, or indeed any other period's regiments, can be sensibly deployed for a game using 28mm figures the constant desire of the Wargamer for something different to paint and game with clashes obviously with the physical reality! So, even as I've reduced said Lead Pimple to less than one 4L RUB under my painting desk I've been thinking on what I might turn to next...
While I hadn't fully ruled out an expansion to my 1066 Normans, I just didn't feel like going in that direction just now. Nor did I feel it even remotely sensible to expand any of my Black Powder Era collections, though the SYW could always do with added cavalry! So, I've been filling the odd hour with trawling images of folks' collections on the internet for ideas and inspiration...
In the end I came to the conclusion that despite my many well aired reservations I'd start a completely new project! Mad idea, isn't it? I turn 70 on the last day of the month(DV) and have more toys than GHQ can handle in a game! Yet here I am looking at the prospect of painting two new 28mm armies! Shinyitus, more deadly to the wargamer perhaps than even coronavirus? Well, of course not, but certainly dangerous to the bank account! As an added dimension I determined after much searching to source figures from a company (or companies) new to me. Following due deliberation I decided on building two small armies for the Punic Wars, initially using Aventine Miniatures, and here are the first figures I've received eventually curtesy of the Post Office’s somewhat slower service, Republican Romans ~

I've subsequently put in a second order for a few extra figures to flesh out unit bases, but mainly for the shield transfers. I also bought an Osprey for ideas on painting up the figures, being pleased to get two by Terry Wise in one hard back copy ~

I'd hope to paint these first figures in about two months, enabling me to order their Carthaginian opponents sometime in late July. When the core of the two armies are completed then I shall look to expand both over the winter I hope, bringing a new game to the tabletop here in GHQ for 2021, and beyond hopefully. In the meantime, it’s been on with more bits and bobs remaining in the Lead Pimple! Stay safe and well all of you!