Thursday, June 28, 2012

Breton Banner

Last night I fiddled about making a banner for my new Breton warband, and here's the result. It is supposed to evoke the Miracle of Nantes, one of the 'abilities' of Alain Barbetorte in Northern Fury. I just painted it freehand, basing it it on the depiction of Mary in the Book of Kells. The face is a bit rubbish, especially on the left side. I'm thinking this will give the flag the name of 'Our Slightly Man-ish Lady of the Perpetual Five O'Clock Shadow'. Above all, don't look too closely at the knotwork border. I made a complete pig's ear of it, but from a distance it looks ok.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Gunner's Giveaway

Dan over at Gunner's Wargaming has a brilliant competition going to celebrate his birthday. Check out the details here, but feel free not to enter, cos I want to win. If you do, you had better be quick: entries close in about 26 hours Sydney time!

WIP - Bretons and General SitRep

It's been carnage here in the Duchy. The Duchess has been stricken with plague for the last week, along with the Duxlet and Duxettes, and I've been hanging by a thread. Nobody has been sleeping properly, and every night has brought with it more changes to sleeping arrangements than a French farce. Fortunately we seem to be emerging from the full hellishness of it all, no doubt due to the incantations I've been chanting and the various sacrifices.

Many would assume of course that this means the Dux has been inactive, sluggish or indolent as far as his hobby is concerned, but no! Despite the wracking consumptive coughs and curiously vivid codeine dreams I've been chipping away, and thus maintaining some shreds of sanity. So I give you the next project: a four point Breton warband for SAGA. These are the figures I was fortunate enough to win at the Hall of Heroes Saga tournament a while back, kindly supplied by Ian at War and Peace Games.

The Gripping Beast figures are very 11th Century Norman in appearance, so I've 'Bretonned them up' a bit by adding lots of extra javelins made from broom bristles, and I'll be going for a more Celtic feel with the shield designs.

What else is on the horizon? Well, Hall of Heroes has another tournament on 21 July, and I'm looking forward to it immensely. If you live anywhere near Sydney I strongly recommend you come along for a great day of gaming in a brilliant venue.

I've also organised a SAGA tournament at school for the start of next term with Conan the Librarian, so have to do a bit of work preparing some terrain for that. It looks like we'll have about 10 boys with warbands so it should be fun. We also have a staff day coming up where I'm running a session on the value of historical simulation games, along with a participation game based on a hall burning scenario from an Icelandic Saga. There are about 12 teachers coming to the session, so I'm planning to use Song of Blades and Heroes where each person controls a miniature each. Not sure how this will go - if anyone has a better suggestion for a game with so many people, I'd love to hear it.

Having listened to the latest episode of Meeples and Miniatures I'm also struggling to resist the lure of Muskets and Tomahawks. I'll at least try to hold out until my birthday in September. Sounds like a great game.

Oh, and I've just finished reading Bernard Cornwell's series of novel set in the 9th century. Utterly utterly brilliant. If he doesn't play Saga he should do. I enjoy them even more than Sharpe, and now aspire to live my life according to the precept 'What Would Uhtred of Bebbanburg Do?'

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Blogger. What are you doing to me?

I'm sure someone can help me with this. Suddenly, whenever I visit someone's blog and want to follow it, the 'Follow' button has inexplicably vanished from the top of my page. Does anyone know how to fix this? Also, whenever I write a post now with photos, the images get inserted into the text weirdly so that fragments of sentences appear here and there (see my last couple of posts). Why???

Monday, June 18, 2012

Kenneth MacAlpin

Before moving on to other things, I spent last week adding two more points worth of figures to my Scots warband for Saga. These were made up of 12 bow-armed levies, and a hero of the dark ages to lead them - Kenneth MacAlpin. Kenneth has the great ability in the game of potentially messing with an enemy unit before the game even begins. This could mean that an enemy unit becomes enraged, and spends the game throwing itself fruitlessly against a wall of Scots spears, or it may even mean that a unit switches sides at the start of the battle. I really want to see this happen to an opponent! All the figures are from Westwind's Pictish range. I love the command figures, although I'm less enamoured with the levy. They're ok, but some detail is a bit soft and a couple of garments don't make any sense to me (those worn by the standing firing archers). I also wish the pack came with a greater variety of heads - all the included heads were bareheaded, instead of the really nice hooded heads Westwind do. Maybe they would respond to requests to put in a mix? Who can say? While we're on Saga, had a great game at the school club last Friday involving 6 points of Bretons vs a combined force of 4 points of Welsh and 4 of Scots, on a really big board. The Bretons were outnumbered, but gave us heaps of trouble riding around and avoiding contact. They scared my Welsh boyos quite a bit.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Daily life in the Danelaw

2012 is very much shaping up to be the Year of SAGA here at Homunculorum Towers. The 1/72 English Civil War homunculi look reproachfully at me whenever I catch their eye(s). Along with the love of Saga has come the desire to make nice terrain of early medieval villages etc, and they need to be populated. So I've started painting up some of the nice dark ages 'civilians' that are around. This lot is my first effort. Most of the figures are from Black Tree Design, with all the male adults from their feudal range. The young lady is a Gripping Beast Viking. Nice to paint something reasonably peaceful for a change, and certainly the first kids I've ever painted.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Scots Warband Finished

I've finished the four point Scots warband for Saga that I bought when the Northern Fury expansion came out. I spent a fair bit of time on the checked clothing and shields of these chaps, and I'm pretty pleased with the result. Good enough for the likes of me, anyway. So here are the warlords to lead them to glory (always handy to bring a spare warlord along as mine tend to die). And the final seven warriors... And here are the whole gang, ready for hijinks. Freeeeedddommm!!! (God I hated that movie). What next? Hmmm... Maybe another couple points of Scots? Or the Bretons I won? Or Huns? Choices, choices... No idea why the images are all over the place, by the way. Sorry about that.