Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Short Update

I have not posted in a while so I thought I would give a quick update. I have ordered a coach from http://www.scalecreep.com/catalog/ but it has not arrived yet. Since the SYW Convention I have not had time to paint anything except a few Anatolian Djellis skin tones. I have had a bit of free time to read over Biles and Pengel and Hurts volumes on the Reichsarmee a.k.a. Imperial Army a.k.a. Army of the Circles. Having chosen 15mm for my Cavenderians I have quite a few 10mm Infantry and Cavalry laying around I may paint these up as the Reichsarmee Upper and Lower Rhine Circles. After the way my Bavarians fled the battle field in my first Big Battalions game I also thought a Reichsarmee battalion or two might be my project for next years SYW convention. Finally, I have to get some painting done on my diplomat figures and get Jean-Louis Diplomat sent out, sorry have not been to the post office yet. Most of my time now is being spent on house improvement projects but I hope to get a few minis painted next week while holed up in a hotel room in Columbus.


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

SYW Convention, a roller-coaster of emotions

Well the Seven Year's War Convention is over and I have returned to Huntington after an exciting and excellent adventure. Let me start by saying I had a great time and enjoyed meeting all of my fellow gamers.

As the title denotes this trip truly was a roller-coaster of emotions. My wife and I finished packing things up on Thursday. We found a room rate on-line that saved us $20 so Huzzah. We left Friday morning and headed for South Bend. Around Kokomo, Indiana we ran into a detour that added an hour to our trip, Boo, but that is ok, the Duchess Scenario was scheduled for the evening game so I was pretty certain we would make it. We checked into the hotel at about 5:30 p.m. and were given free parking for signing up for Holiday Inn Rewards, Hurrah, I did a quick change grabbed my Duchess figure and headed for the hall. I was informed that the Duchess game had been moved and played earlier in the day, Boo.

I got to meet Randy Frye, Der Alte Fritz and Bill Protz Huzzah, and they told me it had been a fun game. The pictures to the left are of the Black Scorpion Miniature the Governor's daughter who was to be the duchess but will now fulfill her primary role as Cavenderian ambassador to Monte-Cristo. Jean-Louis email me your physical address and I will send her to you ASAP. I also hand-delivered our ambassador to Hesse-Seewald but forgot to take his picture prior to giving him to Der Alte Fritz. I did take one (1) picture of the ambassador during the bring your own battalion (BYOB) game but as you can see from the picture a British bayonet got in the way, Boo.

You can make out most of the Cavenderian diplomat to Hesse-Seewald he is in the gray coat and yellow small cloth, behind the nicely painted British.

I met some really nice guys from Iowa who were running a 15mm game with modified Napoleonic rules, I was the Prussian far right flank and demonstrated and attacked to draw the Russian defenses. Our commander's plan worked perfectly and we won the game, Hurrah. The picture to the left show my orderly final position.

This convention is quite different, the median age appears to be about 50 and alcohol was drank freely by the players, a gentlemanly atmosphere indeed, Huzzah. When I arrived I noted several gentlemen in coat and tie and so the following day I wore my Sunday's best.

I returned to my room and was greeted by my lovely wife and a couple cans of Fosters. The room was clean and neat but the temperature was a bit warm for our taste and the air conditioner could not overcome the warmth, Boo, however the view was nice, photo left.

Next morning I got dressed, tie and coat, collected my 28mm Bavarian battalion and headed down to the convention floor to play the BYOB game. I stopped by the vendors tables and saw a bag of 15mm Jacobite Scots and a book on the 1745 Rebellion and decided I would pick those up later after the game, I met some more folks and took some photos of the games.

Here is a photo of some beautifully painted 54mm Hussars included in a skirmish game ran by a fellow named Paul, I believe if wrong sorry. He told me they were using the Brother vs. Brother rules-set. I later found out he was a founding member of Venture Miniatures and is currently working on a set of rules with Brent Nosworthy author of Anatomy of Victory.

This is a picture of a gun emplacement in the 54mm game it was very inspiring to watch. I wish Paul and his group success and look forward to reading his rules.

The photo on the left is a skirmish game using Game's Workshop's Old West Rules. I have used their Lord of the Rings rules for skirmish and if you have played any GW skirmish rules you can understand the flavor. This was my favorite story line for a game all weekend. Seth and Chad from the Chicago area told me the story of Von Hanky, a funny little general figure that they had purchased a few years ago at the convention. While riding the elevator up to the 14th floor Chad had dropped Von Hanky and he plummeted 25,000 feet (to scale) down the elevator shaft, Boo, however they bought another Von Hanky figure and he has been showing up all of the globe in different scenarios ever since, Huzzah. Is he immortal or does one Von Hanky pass his name to the next sans, the Dread Pirate Roberts. This scenario had Von Hanky arriving to take command of the British army in North America and his carriage is being attacked by native Americans who fear the mystic warrior.

Photo of a naval battle fought using the Warfare in the Age of Reason second supplement naval rules. I picked up a copy myself. Very nice display of ships in line here.

Lovely siege game. Did not get much info on it. However, I have learned from reviewing these pictures that I need a tripod.

Another good looking skirmish game. Finally it was time for the BYOB game. Bill Protz had me set up my Bavarian battalion on the far left of the French lines with a Austrian battalion provided by Mike of Seattle, Washington (fantastic guy, very outgoing and excellent gamer) and a battalion of French. I requested that my Bavarians be rated as Green not Veteran as I had never played before and Bill granted me the rating of "Trained" This would prove to be an excellent rating as I have played linear warfare for a while with some training but definitely learned a lesson at this game. People stopped by before the battle and gave me compliments on the Bavarians, much appreciated. Finally it was time to begin. My wing commander, Seth, suggested I wheel my Bavarians right to allow the Austrians to move into line beside them before advancing on the British position. I obliged very carefully aligning my newly painted troops into a perfect line. My battalion gunners loaded some round shot and fired.

The picture to the left shows my Bavarian and Mike's Austrians moving into position. What pageantry what fun, Huzzah.

Then the beginning of turn 2.

A thunderous noise and a cloud of dust and, "behold the dreaded black Hussars". The Hussars smashed into the Bavarian battalion gun killing the crew and overturning the gun and then rolled up the Bavarian flank hacking and slashing, Boo. Bill had me roll for my officer's command ability, I rolled a "6" Hurray!!! Colonel Franz Richard Gatterman would be exceptional. I rolled for moral and it was over. The picture to the left is the last thing the Bavarians saw that day as they fled and were ridden down by the Black Hussars, Whimper. Another glorious page in the Black Hussar history an ostentatious beginning for IR-Kurprinz. I am already plotting to raise Taxis Cuirassiers to protect my Bavarians next year. After the routing someone should me how to refuse the flank, Huzzah! The remaining two (2) battalions would spend the rest of the afternoon fighting with the British. The British player was a great guy and I am ashamed that I do not remember his name.

Left, a picture of the British occupied town.

As I had not eaten all day and my battalions were not in a crucial position for the scenario we ducked out a little early for dinner and went to a great Irish pub for Shepard's pie, Huzzah. Before we left though I stopped by the main room to pick up the Jacobites and the 1745 book and the vendor had left, Boo. Almost forgot I got to meet Travlos in person from the Morea blog. Really nice guy and I look forward to doing battle with him in the future. Final thoughts, the convention is a really unique and fun experience and I would highly recommend any of you that can attend try to do so next year. Back to painting 15mm Ottomans for now.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Off to South Bend

I am preparing to depart for the SYW Convention this weekend in South Bend, Indiana. Putting the final touches on my Bring Your Own Battalion (BYOB) regiment. Having seen the scenario for the battle (English vs. French) I suppose the Bavarians will end up on the side of the French. Although my battalion IR-Kurprinz 1/2 was in the Austrian Axillary Army contingents of Bavaria fought in the Reichs Army that supported the French vs. Hanoverian in the SYW so would make sense. I am also finishing the Duchess figure for the mysterious lady scenario DAF is running Friday night. She is the black scorpion miniature (the governor's daughter) and after the convention will be shipped to Jean-Louis as my Cavenderian diplomat to Monte-Cristo. She is wearing a fairly bright pinkish-violet dress which is out of character for the duchess in her highwayman's garb, however the scenario takes place in the middle of the night and I am assuming this will be her night time attire. I will also have some Cavenderian diplomats with me to hand out to various imagination rulers. The wife is going with me and will be visiting friends in the area so it should be a nice time for both of us. I finished submitting photographs to Dadi @ Piambo and my article should be published sometime after May in their spring edition, I am interested in seeing my article translated into Italian. Mark from Scale Creep called and said that my Hallmark chariot miniature has not arrived yet so may still be a couple of weeks before it will arrive and I can run my first official Cavenderia scenario. Scale Creep is in Cincinnati, Ohio and we are going to be travelling through there on our return trip so I may stop by the store. I am taking my camera and planning on posting many pictures of the convention when I return. I will not have a lap top with me on the trip so the earliest pictures will be next Tuesday. I only hope that my Bavarians maintain a modicum of bravery in their initial outing. Finally here is a picture of me during the Hurricane Katrina response, if you see this guy at the convention please introduce yourself.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Loose lips sink ships..

Captain Greco placed his hands on the sturdy ship railing of the Sagittario and took in a deep breath. The slight breeze presented smells of jasmine and oil. The night was cool and the ship gently ebbed in the Bizerrcan harbor. Captain Greco studied the scorched walls of the Presidio, The imperial ships sure shot this place to hell, sneaky bastards.

The captain heard voices and turned from the ruined building to see some of his crew returning to the ship, his boson, Amilcare Campari, had a body slung over his shoulder, this was not in itself an unusual site aboard the Sagirratario, sailors who drank too much were often carried back to the ship by their mates, however the captain did not recognize the man en tow, which made him very pleased.

Boson Campari steadied himself holding onto a rope and ascended the gang plank , upon reaching the deck he dumped the body at the captains feet.

“Is this a present for me?” the captain said in a playful voice.

Captain Greco could smell rum on his boson’s breath as he spoke, “Aye, cap, is a man what not knows when to shut his trap.”

Greco took a closer look at the young sailor, blue vest and pants with a yellow sash, “Get him below decks so we can finish this task” the captain barked. The sailor was again hoisted on shoulder and taken to the officers' mess.

“Wake him up”, a bucket of cold water was liberally applied to the sailor’s head, who gasped and looked about disoriented.

The sailor jostled in his seat, bound by ropes and questioned, “Where am I? Campari is this a joke?” “

I will ask the questions, lad” the captain leaned into the lamp light. “What is your name and why are you here?”

“My name is Iephthae, I am a carpenter on the ship Maria-Louisa, what is this about?”

“Just answer my questions and everything will be over soon enough.” said the captain. “What do you know of the Buccaneer Ducas?”

Iepthae glanced about nervously ,”he is a pirate, captured by the Dey, he was released to my captain two days ago, the people of Bizerrca hate him and his release caused a riot in the market,!”

The captain took a drink from his cup,“Very good, when will your ship depart?”

Iepthae’s eyes grew wider, “I do not know, I am just a carpenter! Please let me go!”

Captain Greco threw the rum into Iepthae’s face, “You had best think hard, your life hangs in the balance!”

Iepthae’s eyes burnt and he could feel cold steel against his throat, “wait, wait!! I think I heard the first mate say that the Maria-Louisa would depart after the Archbishop presents his gifts to the Dey!!” Tears began to stream down the poor carpenter’s face.

“Where are they keeping Ducas?”

Iepthae surveyed the situation, perhaps he could barter for his life, “If I tell you will you let me live and be a part of your crew?”

An eternity passed then Captain Greco let loose of Iepthae’s hair and tossed the dagger to Campari. “Enterprising, I like that in a crewman, what can you tell me?”

“Ducas is being held in the aft hold of the ship, being watched by a Janissary guard, but that is not all. Morea has ships in Taranto, the Maria-Louisa will set out to meet them before heading home.”

Captain Greco turned to his bosun, “Campari, introduce Mr. Iephthae to our most important crew member.” With a lightning fast movement Campari buried the dagger hilt-deep into the Morean sailor’s chest.

“Have the cook clean up this mess, we need to get word to Captain Sanuto in Susah!"
Captain Greco turned and looked at the dead carpenter, "don't you worry much Mr. Iaphthae you're mates will be joining you soon enough!"

Monday, March 9, 2009

Cavenderian Colors and update

As Cavenderia has developed there have been a few changes to the uniforms and history of the imagi-nation. Conceptually Cavenderia was located in Northern Europe, very catholic and very European i.e. (Hapsburg). However, through correspondence with other imagi-nation rulers, Cavenderia's ultimate location was decided to be located along the Adriatic on the Dalmatian coast. This location has lent itself to my re-evaluating Cavenderian military attire and army composition, adding more elements of "exotic" troops, Hungarian infantry, hussars, grenzer and pandours. The other inhabitants of the Adriatic have provided us with great fiction and campaign ideas, (Morea, Venicia and the Deylicate) and allowed me to paint even more varied troops, Bashi -bazouks, sekhans and my newly arrived Dejllis. I would like to take a moment to thank the other imagi-nation rulers for their input and creativity, this includes those who have contributed uniform, fictional and crafting help as well as inspiration and general friendship. All that being said the Cavenderia's Leib standard needs a change. I am still using the iconography however I am making a color scheme change.

The original Cavenderian Leib standard, the blue and yellow checkered pattern was a tribute to Bavaria, the original nation I was going to mimic with Cavenderia.

Now that Cavenderia is in Croatia, I took a look at the Croatian flag and Huzzah there is a checkered pattern in their flag as well.

So I have made a color change to the Leib standard as a nod to the region that the fictional Cavenderia would be found in, Croatia. I think I even like the red better than the previous Cavenderian blue. This change will only be reflected in the Leib standard and will not effect the uniforms, mainly because I do not paint red that well and have already established units with the blue coats. I am still toying with the idea of replacing the yellow ribbon with a light blue coloring.

In painting news, I spent Sunday painting all of the eyes and flesh on my 28mm Bavarians and worked on the Mysterious lady for the SYW Convention game. I also base-coated the Anatolian Sekhans and Anatolian Dejllis so some Bizerrcan elements will be pictured soon.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

March in like a lion (Ladik Hussars 15mm)

Presenting my first Ladik Hussar squadron. (15mm Old Glory) Not my best work, but I don't paint yellow and red that often. I now understand why people say Hussars are difficult to paint, the detail on the jackets is difficult to paint cleanly. The final unit is not as bright as the original uniform template, again my red painting ability, but I believe they convey the feel of a wild bunch.

The musician is dressed in reverse colors. During the painting process the end of his bugle fell off and I lost it, so it might look more like a duck calling device but at 15mm not that bit of a deal.

I also painted the musician's horse white, I believe I read somewhere that in some cavalries the musicians were given white horses. I will need to make a standard for the unit. I will need to research what type of flags hussars carried.

View from the side. I like the animation in the horses. After looking at these I will probably go back and touch up the harnesses and horse furniture. The shabraque is in Cavenderian blue to help tie in the unit with the remainder of the army.
Colonel Jalsevich is a leading a march for March. This is the almost completed Prinz's escort for his upcoming trip to Twinj. I only need to complete IR-1/1 to complete the body guard for a scenario planned around the first of April.
Front view of the Prinz's escort.

New angle for my picture taking overhead of the escort demonstrating the various colors of Cavenderia, "royal" white Hungarian regiments, "Cavenderian" blue regular German infantry and colorful hussars. Starting to look exotic but still cohesive.

A Front Rank Figurine colonel for my BYOB Bavarian battalion for the Seven Years War Convention later this month.

Finally a picture of my 28mm Crusader Bavarian Battalion with all of the troops base-coated and mounted on 1" x 1" metal bases. Several of the figs are nearing completion (dark photo). I am gearing up for the final push to complete by the convention. I will also have the Duchess completed for the Capture the Wicked Lady scenario and am working on a Crooked Kobold sign for the Inn model.