Steam Wars – Prepping For Our Next Game

Another couple of weeks without a post and the guilt is upon me again.  Best to do something about it before it gets to be too long and I forget what I have done.

The last few weeks have been surprisingly busy. Not on the blog front (obviously) but I have been almost too busy with completing hobby stuff to find time to write these words!  I have taken a few photos though, and played a couple of games in that time as well.  I have even painted a few neglected models, though I suspect that as I haven’t bought many recently, most of my collection is now likely to be classed as neglected.

We planned a warm up game of Steam Wars, so that we could remind ourselves of the rules (even the rules we write become forgotten when not played regularly) as a larger game was planned for later the same month.

My plan was to add in a few new units to the US Navy army so that they could be trialled in this smaller warm up game and then used with better results in what was planned to be a ‘big weekend’ of Steam Wars.

Also some of the other units that had been finished over the summer, but never deployed, would get their first outing in the warm up and either prove their worth or be reprofiled to play better in the bigger game. The joy of Steam Wars is the ability to profile up the units and vehicles as and how you want.

Want your Monowheel tank to be armed with Quad Ack Ack? – fine.  Want it to better its chances of hitting? – play it as being armed with two sets of ‘Twin Linked’ Ack Ack.

It also afforded me the excuse (not that I need one) of painting up the last of my Pulp Figures Rocketmen.  My last unit of these were SMG armed fly boys, and can deliver a good number of shots up close to any target.  These guys are pistol toting fly boys and are more close combat orientated.  We have found that a flying unit is difficult to destroy using traditional land based firearms. however, flying up to the aircraft and shooting the pilot in the head seems to do the trick quite well.

I will let you know how the actual game goes when I next get time to post something…

 

Steam Wars – Navy Ball Tank

Another easy to complete miniature is the Ball Tank for my US Navy Steam Wars army.

This is a West Wind Productions German War Wheel from their recent Kickstarter.

Obviously I will be using it for the Navy, so it has had their usual battleship grey paintjob.

Decals freshly applied and in need of a coat of varnish to blend them to the hull slightly.

Again, sand to the base, keeps it in line with the US Navy army theme.

Not a huge tank but a weighty piece of resin all the same.  I like it for its uniqueness and its 4 gun heavy weapon armament. A valuable antitank presence that I used to lack in the Navy army.

Steam Wars – New Navy Tank

The Steam Wars Navy have been well supplied with light HMG tanks and small bore anti tank guns.  Lately they have taken delivery of a new design of tank that will be able to do more damage against heavier targets.

This is a new West Wind Productions model that was in their recent Kickstarter.

Listed as a German War Wheel, this will be a US Navy Marine Corps tank on my table.

Quad anti tank guns might be hard to profile up for Steam Wars so I plan to go with a set of twin linked medium anti tank guns and see if this proves effective.

This should be easy to paint and get finished.

Another quick win if I need one next weekend…

Steam Wars – Navy Backlog And More

So, as I take a brief pause in Steam Wars painting, its time to look at what is left to be done.

Pretty much everything is undercoated, 2 Ironclad transports are the largest land based vehicles, a bit of artillery and some gun/ targeting drones should be quite quick to finish.  The second Gyrocopter wont be to hard either.

The Ironclad Submarine will likely be last on the list but also easy to finish.  More deck gunners are lurking at the back and a Gatling gun might be soon to be done.

HMLS Gladstone was purchased as the first item for the force and at this rate might be last painted as I just find it less appealing than a lot of other bits.  Only a couple of units of infantry are left with just a few heroes to add in as well.

Then I can get properly started on the Martians…  Six tripods await.

Along with a horde of low tech infantry and assorted cephalopod troopers and armoured suits.

Steam Wars And The Start Of A New Force

The Derby Game show afforded me the opportunity to pick out some new figures for a larger project that I had been thinking about for a few months now.  Coronasan has written a rather good set of rules (simple and very quick) for his steam wars figures to be used with.  He and I have tried these rules a couple of times now in the shed, and they have done very well.  I have used his Prussian Scrunts and played against his Meridian Empire forces.

It was about time I set myself the task of gathering my own steam wars force.  As the British and German (Prussian) forces have been taken, and as I wanted something a little different to play, I decided to take on a naval theme.

image

Derby was my first opportunity to look, first hand, at some of the miniatures that would do the job.  Lots of manufacturers are out there, but not many have naval figures in a late 19th/ early 20th century period.

Therefore easy head swaps, and a very loose approach to the theme, would be best to stop myself from getting too frustrated with lack of little naval men.

The main force comes from the lovely people at Black Pyramid Games (along with plenty of spare heads for any swaps I would need to make).  Their Tea wars range supplied most of what I needed as troops and big guns.

Tiger Miniatures helped to increase the number of support weapons with their recoilless gun and machinegunners.

image

Black Pyramid’s resin range has a lovely towed gun set that fits in well, and when painted, will be a nice big piece on the table.

image

Some varied ‘Pulp’ style seamen are useful for crewmen and command figures.

image

The Lead Adventure range supplied a steam robot or two which are armed with what looks like old ships cannons.

image

West Wind brought this out just days after Derby.  Its from their empire of the dead range and with Naval heads where the westwind ones should have gone looks like it will fit in well.

I wanted a naval force because I wanted to get away from steam tanks and have some land ships and boat like vehicles on the board when we play.  I have yet to find many that do the job but that’s half the fun of a project like this.

image

The west wind ship was £25 but was smaller than I expected…  At this size a squad of them would look good but at that price I am unlikely to get more than the one.

image

One happy accident was that the guys at west wind miss picked the contents of my ship.  A rogue turret appeared in my pack instead of a set of wheels.  Quickly and easily remedied, with a new set of wheels being sent out by West Wind, it did leave me with an extra turret (designed for the ships next release later this year).

image

Said turret, with some of the Black Pyramid Ether Weapons stuck on, looks like it was made for my old Brass Coffin by Ramshackle Games.  This rather large vehicle has been sat in the shed for over a year with no clear purpose. It is a large, unarmed, vehicle that doesn’t serve as a tank or a transport so has no clear place in a game.  Now it will be a heavy support vehicle for my new naval force.

I wonder how long it will take me to get these on to the painting table…

More Laser Cut Goodness, And Some Odds And Sods Of Resin.

image

First up, 28mm hand carts…  These are from an eBay seller who went out of his way to sort out just what I wanted even though I missed out on one of his auctions. These are due to be used on my Victorian Gothic table and any Mid East Bazaar I manage to set up in future. Seller s_j_day is the guy to go to for a wide range of items in all scales and with some novel ideas to. School room sets anyone? (Complete with a blackboard and an upright piano).

image

image

image

Hurlbat Games makes this little beauty. They call it their footbridge and it’s from their expanding Sci-Fi Cityscape MDF Scenery Accessories Range. I see this little footbridge featuring in a number of settings, as its wrought iron look fits in very well with my Victorian stuff and even my Deadzone stuff. It’s a great size for street level skirmish games, with bases fitting perfectly onto the steps. This range also includes some simple barriers to block off roads and now even features a lovely little statue plinth complete with carved effigies on the sides. The plinth is new to the range since I picked up my bridge and will be in my shopping basket very soon. Shipping is free for these items and at only £2.50-£3 an item even my, post Disney, pocket can cope with that.

image

image

image

I appear to be back in a wagon period as well, as these bits are all awaiting a finish. The first is an ox cart for my Saga games. The second is from those lovely Warbases chaps and was sat, flat packed, on my bench for months after Salute where I picked it up… Can’t find a horse to fit this yet as my blitz box is currently bereft of anything equine at this time.

Thankfully the chaps at Westwind do supply theirs with draft horses. The last is a Black Mariah (Victorian police van) that, one day, will be finished off to join the peelers crew I have for Empire of the Dead.  Then I will need to read the extra rules for wagons from their Requiem Kickstarter.

imageP1070595P1070594
The last little lot is from various places and finally got started (and in the case of the crates, finished) recently. I have to admit, table scatter like planters and pots appeal to me as a nice way to get usable blocking/ cover terrain on the table, and do keep things looking natural. How often in real life is a tyre barricade found to be in just the right place when you want to take a pot shot at some villains? Never… Planters, pots and wheelie bins however, now these are all over the place…
Reminder to self: I must find some 28mm wheelie bins.

Never a copper about when you need one…

Early March 2013. A friend emailed me to let me know about a new Kickstarter campaign that was being run by West Wind Productions. What is it with friends justifying their own purchases by getting someone else to buy in too?

Empire of the Dead was getting a new lease of life and would include lots of new factions and new rules. Of course I was not able to resist. I was however a little new to the whole Kickstarter thing and didn’t know what to expect. I bought in at a reasonable level and sat back to wait for the campaign to close and to get my product. The wait lasted until November of the same year. I learned later that this is a swift turn about for a Kickstarter, as another game I bought into, Heroes of Normandie, took a whole year to come through in the end.

I have to state here that both have been well worth the wait…

image

To bide my time as I awaited the fulfilment of the campaign, a campaign that provided more extras than I could ever have expected, I picked up a few London bobbies and a town mob deal that provided me with more civilians than I would ever need. My trusty matt varnish again deposited a slightly frosty tone on the test models, to my dismay… I am still trying to find out what causes this on the odd few figures…

image

I had chosen to invest in the West Wind Kickstarter for the chance to get my hands on a new Peeler faction known as, Supernatural Branch, including the boys from, Hell Division. These were a police force that sported all kinds of toys to deal with supernatural troublemakers. Net guns, Gatling guns and mechanical guard dogs being the best bits!

image

image

By the time all the bits came through we had found a new passion in place of Empire of the Dead. These guys were, however, special enough to be painted up forthwith and a special game laid on in the cramped city in their honour.

image

That cramped city was growing thanks to the VBCW range by Warbases. Post office, shop and pub were added along with their Flemish house. All work well with each other and I think that they fit the style I was searching for from the start. Posters add to the flavour and a few more items, to add to the imagery, would be seen on the table in time.

image

Some of these guys friends have been seen recently on my painting table as not all were painted up first time round.

Next up, we discover Bolt Action!

A hunting we will go…

The Zendarians allowed me to get into the game swiftly and provided a good starting force. I had thought about starting a second faction but fancied a different style of play for my next force. I was also in a phase of painting again, with the troopers for the Zendarians coming out so well that I was confident that I could run up a new force in no time.

Where to start then? I knew I wanted a force that did not rely so heavily on its ranged combat this time. Our scenery was becoming more cramped and line of sight was not so easy to gain as our games progressed. A normal gentleman’s club was to similar to the Zendarians and vampires are not altogether my thing. It came down to a choice between Werewolves and Wulfen Jaeger (Werewolf hunters). My sensible head won over with my choice being made with versatility in mind. Werewolves can only be used as Werewolves but a small force of hunters could be used in a number of other games with just a little imagination.

image

Hunting dogs feature strongly in the Wulfen Jaeger so were a must for me. A strong set of heroes and a small number of close range blunderbuss wielding troopers would soon follow.

image

I actually enjoyed painting these more than any figures I can recall in the last few years. The sculpting is clean and the detail is clear enough for even my unsubtle, block painting, style. It did, however, leave me feeling that you can never have enough brown tones in any paint collection you own.

image

After a game of two I needed to add in an new dog and it’s handler. West Wind only have two sculpts for hunting dogs so I decided on another chap and his faithful companion. Not quite in the same style as before. All went well until my matt varnish again dried to a dusty frosted look. As the figure in question is an older fellow, this was not a total disaster as the dusty look just made him look even more characterful.

image

Our scenery was again progressing well with the newest buildings being a couple of large blocks from the weird world war II game, Dust Tactics. We had played about with this particular game in the year before the shed was built, and as the newest expansion of the game would allow me to use these buildings in this, and a number of other games, they were a must have for me. Dust Tactics (and soon afterwards, Dust Warfare) would make a reappearance on the gaming table in the next year but that is a story for later…

image

With all the buildings available to us, the gaming table gave us the cramped alley strewn look I wanted, but the differing building styles were not quite how I wanted the look to go! It would be time to invest in a look that would see me through the next phase of this game and on to the next game too.

Another faction beckoned but it would come from a new source, and this one would take longer to mature than even I expected. The age of the Kickstarter was about to begin.

To be continued…

Anything For The Empire…

After all that historical stuff we were craving something a little out of the normal. One of my friends has a habit of leading us astray by buying stuff for me to read and thus influencing our gaming habits (sometimes not to subtly).

This time he simply went out and bought 3 copies of Empire of the Dead by West Wind Productions. Its a great, simple and small scale game which we could proxy figures into to start with (my Malifaux crew have been on more EotD missions than anything else).

image

Empire of the Dead is set in an alternate, gothic Victorian era where a steampunk style of imagery has clearly influenced the world view. A great twist on a game world and one that lends itself well to the stories many gamers would have read as youngsters. A world where vampires and werewolves can be seen side by side with Sherlock Holmes and Jack the Ripper. All on a backdrop of high tech steam power and mechanical servants.

image

A few reinforcements were needed as this is designed to be a campaign game. As members of a gang die or new members are recruited I would find that my Malifaux range would need to be complemented with figures that didn’t look too out of place.

image

Starting with a Zendarian gentleman’s club I had my leaders and heroes already. I needed basic troopers to represent their footmen and personal guards…  West Wind do a range of Victorian Gothic types and they fit well with the Malifaux range too.

image

To play this game the way it deserves, a new terrain setting was again needed. Some of my buildings would work well but the cramped smokey cities I wanted would need something more. I think my modelling bug truly started here… The table deserved all types of extra touches like the lamp posts and gardens pictured.

image

image

This was an endeavour that would go on for some time as one gentleman’s club is never enough for some of us…

To be continued…