Skull & Crown Store

7/8/16

IRC Palindrome: the unit so far






I haven't had much time to paint  in the last month, but when I do I'm having fun working on these fellows.  I'm doing them in tandem, and inspired by my good pal the Saxon Dog, who is working on a unit of his own, which you can see by clicking on his name.

I painted the brown on the bases to match the dogs, but needed some reference, so added this.

Looking forward to getting these lads done, so I can finish up my frostgrave band.

Cheers!

6/26/16

54mm Imaginations: Regiment Palindrome WIP

                                                            "Have you got a flag...?" 
                                                                             ~ Eddie Izzard

 IRC Palindrome

 Colonel Rodney "Rod" D'Or's Palindrome Regiment
Note the scroll on the units base, for the regiment name
that's a new thing I'm now doing.
The first stand of my IRC Palindrome, adding to the ImagiNations "famous regiments" roster for an article I'm writing.

 This unit was totally inspired by an other historical unit that my pal Saxon Dog has been painting and posting on his blog   which you can see by clicking the link. I'd thought I'd mimic him, and see if I could catch up with him. This is one of the pics he posted.
The inspiration!
Evolution of a flag 

The Dog used the famous Flag of War flags made by Iain Duncan. Iain is sending me some scaled up versions of his cool flags, but in the mean time, I need at least one. Here is the process in which I made my flag for the Palindrome regiment.  The ram is indicative of the duchy of Fossburg from whence the unit comes. Fossburg's two major resources are fine gun stocks and prized sheep.

blue pencil sketch
Here the flag is outlined with a sharpy
painted version before cutting. Note I changed the shield pattern.

I've also been working on a design of a new medal of order: The Moldy Fleece.
More on this later, but here's the line art.



 Cheers, and thanks for taking a gander!


6/19/16

They Splinter horses, don't they?


Deader horse casualty marker

During the last play test of my ImagiNations troops, one of my mates made a snide remark of, " what no dead horses?" after his cavalry was cut down and we were using humans for casualty markers.

Challenge accepted! I'm leaving one on his desk at work, ala the  Godfather.
While I was at it, I made a WSS period style saddle.

Cheers!


6/13/16

Wooden Wars Naval Action!



 "Put your backs into it!'
~ pretty much every naval Lieutenant, ever...

Gun boats row towards the shore supported by the HMS Smeagol

The Capture of  Fort Mouton

This Kublacon I ran my first ever Wooden Wars naval action, wherein the HMS Smeagol had orders to transport and support British troops in taking a French coastal fort on Pont du Mouton, a heavily gunned, yet lightly garrisoned shore fort that defends the harbor of the Port city of Qu'est -ce que le Troupeau. 

The battlefield is 9 x 12 feet.
The battle was held in the grand foyer of the convention, which means right across from registration and one of the first things folks see as they come into the convention. A real plum spot! 
 Many thanks to the staff of Kublacon who really supported my games and in general are just really nice folks! 

   In this scenario, the rowboats had to row for at least 4 turns before making it to the beach, all the time being fired upon by the fort of 8 guns. In our 3 home play tests, the boats never made it and the HMS Smeagol was sunk once, so I was keen on seeing how this was going to go!

Gun Boats Away! 

Salts, young and old brave the waves and gun fire as they close on the fort.
The British had 6 gun boats, each filled with Marines and an officer, plus a bow gun and a gun crew. They could move each turn and fire the bow guns, but were very susceptible to the forts guns. 
Gunboat and crew ready for action! 

Movement is done with "marshal's batons"
One of the players getting ready to fire. His socks are not regulation.

  Fort Mouton

 Typical of all my Wooden Wars games, the terrain needs to be destructible to the onslaught of rubber balls. Instead of using kids wooden "ABC" blocks as they looked out of place with the rest of the game, I had a couple of 2x2's cut into blocks, then did a grey wash upon them. Over all the area has a simple yet definable feeling to it, and the blocks worked quite well.

The fort had 8 mighty guns, plus a small milita in the garrison keep. The walls were quite sound and proved to be more than a match as ball after ball bounced off of them.

Fort Mouton and it's sheep. Note the garrison troops
The garrison soldiers. Typical of such troops,
enthusiastic, but maybe not the best of shots.

one of the 8 guns of the fort takes aim at the HMS Smeagol
The Gunships get closer- and take out a fort gun and the main door
Using the rocks as cover, three gunboats made it to shore, one with only half crew
At the beginning of the battle , the rowboats came in, and the barrage of the fort's guns aimed too high, flying over all the rowboats but striking true on the HMS Smeagol, taking off a sail  and knocking out  a gun and several crew. 
HMS Smeagol is struck by two of the fort's guns!
As the gunboats closed in, three were sunk by the fort
The militia come out to repel the attack. The youngest
officer was not too happy about their prospects.
 The gunboats got closer and the fort dialed in on them, taking out 3 boats, and half the crew of a 4th. It didn't look like the British were going to have a chance. At this point the militia braved up and came out, only to be fiercely savaged by the HMS Smeagol's broadside. At this point it was also reported that a sheep had been struck "hors du combat". 

There were rumors during the game from the onlookers that not unlike the Falklands, this battle was over "strategic sheep purposes".  Whom am I to judge...

The Fort is Taken! 

 Two and half gunboats worth of Marines and sailors made it to the beach, only to lose 3 men straight off by the Smeagol's guns!  The rest stormed the fort, were repulsed on the far left, stormed again, taking the left half of the fort.  On the right, the sailors made quick work of the militia, captured two sheep, and stormed the left of the fort- easily overcoming the poor gun crews. After that a quick march and the flag- and Fort were captured! 
British forces storm the fort, are repelled and storm again!
Blurry in action shot of the butcher's bill
and the final move to capture the flag
The fort is taken!

About Wooden Wars

Wooden Wars (tm) is a miniatures game which hearkens back to the days of H.G. Wells. Players command armies of sturdy wooden soldiers, cavalry and artillery (and now ships!) against each other on an expansive floor battlefield. Victory is achieved by knocking over all the opposing side's army by firing(tossing a small rubber balls)and melee(moving into contact), or by capturing key objectives like a star fort or the enemy's flag. This is a very visual and visceral game, where tactics, positioning, excellent hand-eye coordination and good old fashioned luck will win the field! 

This is a great game for children age 8+ and families, and as you can see by my convention photos, attracts people of all ages. One of my favorite things about wooden wars is that it is an equal opportunity game, and I am happy to say that many of the girls and young ladies (and moms) that play usually out maneuver and out gun the boys.


Cheers, thanks for taking a gander, and as always I love your questions and feedback!




6/5/16

The Battle of Woodenstadt Pt II: Wherein a splintery culmination causes consternation.


“I have fought your Magesty’s enemies, now I leave you in the midst of my own”
                               ~ Marshal Claude Louis Hector de Villars



A solider's eye view of the Forthweg brigade towards the center 

The Battle Continues:

When we last left off the combined forces of Hypzig and Fosswald were making a general advance upon the invading duchies of Gryphonsburg and their Forthweg allies.  As Bruenhoffs battery of guns tore into the Gryphonsburg line with astonishing accuracy, the famed “whites” charged into the enemy’s grenadiers, and after a bit of a dust up, soundly routed them, but not after also losing over half the battalion.  

Regrouping with the advancing line, the grenadiers continued to support the right flank as it advanced.
Famed Forthweg Regiments advance
Pretty Fortweg units, painted by Stanley Stinnett
On the left flank, hot cavalry on cavalry action found the Gryphonsburg cuirassiers gaining the upper hand, only to be turned and cut down a turn later. This left a gap or General Edmund von FossWald to advance and exploit with his brigade.  At this time the Forthweg brigades that had not moved all battle (six turns of blowing their command rolls!!!) decided the time was right. Without firing a shot (it was later learned they had no powder due to a delivery mix up- but did have prodigious amounts of instant coaco…) they lowered their bayonets and drove right through the Fosswald troops, taking capturing 2 standards and slaying General von FossWald in the process. 

A great shot of the general clamor of battle. Look at all those dice!

The Dead cart continues to fill. I blame this bit on David Imrie
who's games are always filled with awesome vignettes!

Butcher’s Bill

Sadly, the valor of the Frothweggians came too late as the Gryphonsburg center and left collapsed against the fervent attacks of the defenders.  After losing half of his army, the Arch duke of Gryphonsburg capitulated.  At the end of the battle the attackers had lost 7 units including all their cavalry, with two other units under half strength. The defenders had lost 4 units, with two others badly mauled.  Both sides lost 3 officers.
The battle started around 10:00 am and was decided by 2pm.  Medals and honors were presented to those who fought bravely and to one young captain who had captured 3 of the enemy’s standards.


Another view of the Hypzig advance.
Arch Duke Von Gryhonsburg (in blue) surrenders his sword to Baron Fossmeisterhaus

The Rules of the Game

For this battle I used, and heavily abused the Warmaster rules system. For those of you unfamiliar with this eloquent set of rules, designed by Rick Priestly, the basic gist is that command and control play prominently, missile fire soften things up, but melee (in this case the bayonet charge) is the key to winning.  
Unit types and stats
 In order to get the flair of the period, and deal with both the scale of the miniatures and the convention atmosphere (I.E, lots of first time players) I simplified the movement systems, and got rid of measuring tapes in lieu of my marshal’s batons.  I made batons of 30cm length marked out in 10cm increments. 

Example of movement baton. Next game they will be painted.
 for drive backs and falling back from melee, which is probably the fiddliest part of Warmaster, I created a template with a “chart” upon it. Instead of players rolling dice for drive backs and going that particular distance, they would consult the chart and fall back that many model stands/bases . The template was made the same size, so was easy to wield.  For cavalry, they used the longer edge of the template. 

Drive back quick use chart. Note infantry and cav sides
To keep the table tidy, I painted the backs of the templates green, and added a flag.
This worked out better than I had hoped and streamlined the process of the game to a point where, after the first example of its usage, never got asked again during the game! 

One thing I am adjusting for the next battle is a more strict command structure, and getting officers into the fray and danger a lot more. I’ve got the ruled penned, just need to play test them a bit more.
Knowing me, I’ll probably keep fiddling with rules and end up coming out with my own set up, ideally about 4 pages long. Okay, I know I will as I’ve already started jotting down notes.
Next time, a battle report on the other game I ran at Kublacon- the HMS Smeagol captures a shore fort, Wooden Wars style! 


Cheers! Thanks for tuning in and as always, I love your comments. If there is something you’d like to see, or for me to extrapolate upon, lemme know

Until then, I remain your most Obd’t  and devoted toy maker




5/31/16

The battle of Woodenstadt: Opening Maneuvers


A map of the Fundedburg campaign.

 Backstory: Eve of Battle

The Duchies of Gryhonsburg and Forthwegg united in a pact to capture key cities, baronies and dutchies of Fundedburg, sharing the spoils and enbiggening their lands.  Their first foray into the lands of Empress Persephone, ruler of Fundedburg was to be an attack upon the city of  Woodenstadt, where they hoped, once captured to make it their base of operations for the campaign. Woodenstadt, a small but well walled city on the edge of the great Klemp forest, is known for it's manufacturing expertise of  musket stocks, and prize winning sheep.

Luckily for the Empress Envoys from Picklemarr had warned her of the armies on the march. She quickly took action, sending pigeons and riders to summon her generals, who were in fact busily  gathering forces to march on the Duchy of  Forthwegg. The brave and ever so splendidly dressed and be-wigged Baron Fossmeisterhaus was given command of the defending army, which consisted troops from the Baronies of Hypzig and Fosswald.

The battle lines: Hyzig on the left and Gryphonsburg stage right.
With a forced march, Fossmeisterhaus was able to deploy his troops ahead of Woodenstadt and meet up with the invading forces at the edge of the forest. due to the nature of the march however, non of the Barons heavy cavalry and half of his artillery made it to the field. He was out numbered and against superior cavalry.

Gryphonsburg cannon fire but fall short.. way short
The forces lined up across each other in a meadow just out of cannon range, and at the decent hour of 10 am, after tea was finished, the thunderous report of Gryhonsburg cannon, with a reply from the Hypzig guns, began the dance.
Hypzig guns fire with good effect, while the infantry look on.

 The Advance: Wherein cavalry clash and grenadiers twirl their mustaches

Even though having the advantage of rested troops the Gryphonsburg army chose not to advance (read as: blew most of their command rolls). Seeing that the enemy was so soon to appear timid, Fossmeisterhaus gave orders for the right flank to advance.
The Guildhardt trotters advance
Colonel Guildhardt put spurs to his two regiments of line cavalry and caught the enemy cuirassiers eating their croissants, as they say. Not only did they bowl over the first rank, but managed to outflank them as well. The Cuirassiers, being crack troops, held their own, and there was much splintering on both sides, but in the end, were cut down to match wood.
Cuirassiers are flanked as sheep look on.
A soldiers eye view of the FossWald forces flying the flaming crowned golden boar banners.

Fosswald brigades advance
A view of the  advance from the Gryphonsburg Center.
As the cavalry battled, The entire line of  Hypzig advanced, with the  crack grenadiers, Lord Spiffington's Whites"  dashing ahead and charging home into enemy grenadiers
A general advance with the "Spiffington Whites" already engaged! 

Terrified sheep look on at the battle.

End, Part 1.  Editor's notes

The Battle of Woodenstadt was one of two large games I ran at Kublacon this year. This was kind of my "on Broadway" premier of the full current range of my 54mm wooden soldier ImagiNations models, which will soon be up for sale on my store.  for rules, I used warmaster, with my own tweaks and changes to simplify the system to work better both with the scale of my minis, but also as a convention game.  More on the rules, and the conclusion of the Battle of Woodenstadt next time! 

Cheers!