Monday, 31 December 2012

Happy Birthday and Prize Draw!

Here's your chance to win a free miniature painted by some bloke in Sweden!

Today my humble blog is one year old – happy birthday to A Conflict of Interests! My, how time flies. To celebrate this joyous event I have decided to have a prize draw were one lucky winner will be sent the miniature pictured below.

The miniature is a Gripping Beast Anglo-Saxon warrior from one the command packs, painted by yours truly. You could use it as a starting point for a new warband in Saga or perhaps as a Champion in your Dux Viking Age games, or maybe to throw at your opponent when he or she can't stop bickering about some detail in the rules; the choice is yours.

The rules for the prize draw are very simple, just the way I like it:
  1. To enter you must be a follower of this blog (just use the Google gadget somewhere on the right if you're not already hooked up).
  2. You must post a comment below.
  3. And that's it!
I will then randomly draw a winner and let you know who it is in a new post on the blog.

The deadline for participating is a week from now: Monday January 7th 2013 at 12:00 am GMT

Good luck everyone!

Saturday, 29 December 2012

2012 in Retrospect

In just a couple of days, 2012 will be over and it's time to look back and try to sum the year up, hobby-wise. It's now almost exactly one year since I started this blog. My aim was to use it as a log for my different projects with the ulterior motive that posting about them on the Internet would force me to finish what I started. To this end I also made a list of projects that I wanted to finish during the year. Looking over the list I'm quite happy that I managed to accomplish most of what I set out to do. The only exception being the Wars of the Roses project for Basic Impetus in 6 mm (let's not talk about that one ... or the "bonus projects"), but on the other hand I did paint a lot of other stuff I didn't put on the list so it's all right I guess.

In total I managed to paint 171 28 mm miniatures this year, 8 of which where cavalry. I know there are some very fast and producive painters out there, but for me, 171 miniatures in one year is a lot! Unfortunately I bought more miniatures than I painted, so in the end the dreaded lead pile did grow rather than shrink.

As I said, my thinking behind this blog was primarily to force myself to finish projects as during 2011 I accomplished very little (though I think becoming a father for the first time is a valid excuse for this). In retrospect I do think that the blog worked out as planned but in the end there were probably three other factors that had a more profound impact on my productivity.

The first of these factors was my paternity leave, especially after the summer when my boy and I got into a good rythm of me getting some hobby time when he was napping most days. It's amazing how productive you can get with one or two hours regular painting time each day. Alas, all good things must come to an end and as I will be getting back to work in the beginning of January, my productivity will drop considerably. However, I'm determined to get at least some hobby time each day – be it just 15 or 20 minutes – just to keep the momentum up.

The second factor was the simple fact that I finally found a way to achieve a "table top standard" I'm satisfied with and which don't take too much time. I've always been a slow painter, and so last year I started experimenting with the Army Painter dip to try to speed things up. While the results were generally OK to my eyes, the process was a little too messy and fiddly for my taste. After some more experimenting I finally settled on the tried and tested "basecoats, washes, highlights with basecoats"-technique. I'm really happy with this way of painting, as it produces "good-enough" looking miniatures with a minimal of hassle. I've yet to try the technique with anything other than Dark Ages miniatures though, and perhaps I will have to adjust my approach slightly for other periods (then again, maybe not!).

The third and probaby most important factor, was me getting in contact with a gaming club and getting a regular opponent. By the summer I was actually on the verge of quitting the hobby altogether, as I couldn't see the point in spending money and time on something I'd play once or twice and then never use again. I decided a change was demanded or I would put my miniatures and paints away – for a while at least. More on a whim than anything else I shot off an e-mail to Dalauppror as I knew he was also living in Stockholm, was also into Dark Ages stuff at the moment, seemed like a really nice guy and was a member of an active club. Well, not only did it turn out that he was even nicer in real life than on his blog, I also started to hang out at his club regulary and played some really great games, such as the Dux Viking Age campaign, Saga, Hail Caesar and Dux Suecia.

Getting some regular gaming really did boost my painting morale, not at least because I got some strict deadlines due to booked games. A tight deadline apparently works wonders – who would have thought?

It's a funny (or sad, depending on how you look at it) fact that since late August I actually have played more games than since I took up the hobby again in 2008. Every year, my goal was to have at least a game a month, but it always fell apart after a couple of months. This year I have played 16 games in total (15 of those since late August). Next year I'm aiming for another 10, for 26 in total (or one game every two weeks, or twice a month) which shouldn't be too hard. But we will see!

Speaking of goals for 2013, I've been thinking about the blog for a while: I think A Conflict of Interests, its purpose and topics, is working as it is so no need to change any of those for the next year. My ambition during 2012 was to update the blog at least once a week, which I most definately did not manage during the first 7-8 months, but since after the summer I think I pretty much nailed it. An update once a week shouldn't been too hard, and thus the goal will stay for the next year.

Looking back at 2012 it was an excellent year hobby-wise and I'm very much looking forward to 2013. It promises to be another great year with a couple of really nice projects lined up (one of which I've already started), and possibly another one also on the horizon (time permitting of course).

I'd like to thank all you readers and followers, especially those of you who have commented on my posts, for your kind words and support during the past year, it really means a lot to me. Let me wish you all a Happy new year – I hope it's a good one, hobby- and otherwise!

Monday, 24 December 2012

God jul – Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas everyone – or as we say in Sweden "God jul"! I hope you have a happy holiday wherever you are, and however you celebrate it.

I will be back in a couple of days with some thoughts about the soon-to-be-over 2012.

Until then, take care and I hope Santa brings you lots of hobby-related goodies ...

Friday, 21 December 2012

Dark Ages Welsh 10

Well, here it is – the final batch of models to be finished for the Dark Ages Welsh project. These are eight Teulus/elites, the Welsh lord's or king's personal companions. To be honest, when painting the first unit I was lazy, leaving out some details to save time. However, this time I was willing to put in a little extra effort and have at least a couple of these new Teulus with tartan patterns. I think they turned out pretty good and so it was definitely worth the extra time it took to finish them. (Hm, maybe I will go back and add some patterns on the finished characters at least?)

On Tuesday, I fortunately received the order from Little Big Men Studios I put in last week, which meant I didn't have to wait until January to finish off the last details like flags. This in turn means this project is now completed – woho!

I really struggled with photographing these models, as I'm depending on natural light and there aren't much of that here in Sweden at the moment (it being the winter solstice and all). But eventually I managed to take some OK close-ups:

The miniatures are all from Gripping Beast, and the shield transfers as well as the flag are from Little Big Men Studios.

I'm very pleased to finally have such a big (for me anyway) project finished, and within my deadline of the end of the year too. Now I need to arrange to take some pictures of the whole assembled force, but this will have to wait until January when I'm back from my Christmas holiday.

Of course, I have already started on my next project but won't tell you what it is for a while yet, not until I have some miniatures to show. For now, the only clue I'll give you is that it's something like 1300 years between the Arthurian era and the era for this new project ...

Last of all I'd like to say a warm welcome to Phil and wish you all a great weekend!

Friday, 14 December 2012

Dark Ages Welsh 9

The penultimate unit in the Dark Ages Welsh project to be finished is the mounted Combrogi. Not much to say except that painting cavalry took more time than I expected (since you're really painting two miniatures at once). Also, as I wanted to make sure the riders didn't fall off their horses, I decided to pin them in place. But oh, how I hate pinning! I just can't seem to drill the holes straight and so the riders tilt in all directions making them look like quite drunk. Which is only appropriate for a bunch of Dark Ages warriors I guess ...

Anyway, here are some pictures of the finished cavalry:

I went with very dark horse colours to set the riders off and experimented a bit with different markings to not make the mounts too uniform. Overall I'm quite pleased with how they turned out.

As usual, the miniatures are all Gripping Beast and the shield transfers are from Little Big Men Studios.

As you can see the standard bearer is missing his flag. I thought I had some suitable transfers in my stash but obviously not. A mistake that's now been rectified by a new order from LBMS. As I probably won't get these transfers before Christmas, I will have to wait until January to finish off those last details on the project. I'm also in the process of making some custom movement trays to use in Dux Bellorum. These should be finished in the beginning of January as well.

It's pretty close now! Just eight more miniatures and this whole thing is done. (Well, except for the banners and the movement trays that is.)

Thanks for reading! Have a great weekend everyone.

Friday, 7 December 2012

Dark Ages Welsh 8

With the Vikings out of the way it is time to return to the last stage of the dark ages Welsh project. As usual I find it hard to keep my focus during the final parts of a largish project such as this, and inevitably start dabbling with my next one (or worse – start thinking up a whole new project!). But this time I'm determined to see it through to the end and not lose my focus.

To get going I decided to start with the final 8 archers. As I've already done the first 4 to use in my Anglo-Saxon force in the Dux Viking Age campaign, I kind of "knew" the miniatures and found them easier to paint.  The only hiccup occured during varnishing when I accidentally dropped one of the models. Of course his bow broke, and I had to attach a new one and then paint it and repaint the hand holding the bow. Still, it was a fairly quick repair job and it could have been worse I guess.

That's enough waffling for now, here is a picture of the finished models (as usual, click for a close-up).

The miniatures are all from Gripping Beast.

And with "the first of the last" finished it's on to the second – the cavalry.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, 4 December 2012


Here are the finished Vikings for Saga I began a while ago. Actually they've been finished for a week or so, but today I finally managed to get some shots of them. As my previous photos on this blog haven't been very good (to say the least) I've been experimenting a bit and hopefully found a way to take better pictures. The only downside is now you can see all the mistakes much easier. Oh well ...

First off we have the hirdmen:

They are all from Crusader Miniatures and the shields are LBMS transfers.

Next up are the bondi:

These are all Artizan Designs models. I think maybe I should have glued the shields on a bit different for some of the miniatures, but I'm too lazy to go back and redo them.

Now all that remains is to get gaming with them.

Finally I'd like to say a big welcome to danmer. I hope you will like the blog!

Monday, 26 November 2012

Liebster Blog Award

My good gaming chum Dalauppror very kindly gave me the "Liebster Blog Award" for which I feel very honoured and humbled. This is his motivation:

"For having put up with all my different gaming project the last time, my quite newly found gaming friend Jonas need´s a puch for his excellent blog A Conflict of Interests, a blog with too? many inspirational pictures and posts."

Thanks mate for your kind words! It's certainly a pleasure "putting up" with all your projects. :)

I've seen the award on various blogs over the last week or so, and it's a very nice way to bring attention to the less known bloggers out there. The rules for the award are simple enough:
  • "Copy and paste" the award on your blog, and talk about it a bit.
  • Select for the award your five favourite blogs with less than 200 followers, leaving a comment on one of their post to notify them that they have won the award. You need also to list them in your own blog.
  • Enjoy the moment, knowing that you have just made someone's day. 
  • Of course, there is no obligation to pass the award, but it is a good deed really.
Now on to my five selected blogs. It was pretty hard to single out only five, but the ones I choose are great blogs, very inspirational and could to with some more followers. Here goes:

Dan Mersey, author of several books and games about the Age of Arthur/Dark Ages as well as other periods own blog. I really like Dux Bellorum and I'm looking forward to his new game, A Lion Rampant. Very interesting reading.

Nowhere to Lead Soldiers
Lovely painted models from Ni. Tchirititch from Canada. Check out those shields!

Metal Mountain
More lovely painted goodies. This time from Olddorg, based in England. I particulary like the Claymore Castings miniatures painted for the battle of Otterburn 1388.

The English Civil War in 6 mm
Pretty much does what it says on the tin. My own adventures in 6 mm have ground to a halt, but seeing all Lee's great looking units makes me want to pick up the tiny troopers once again.

Wargamer Blue
Lots of inspiring projects from Beccas "down under".

Now off you go and read – and follow! – the above blogs (if you aren't already that is).

For those of you still here, I'd like to take this opportunity to welcome my new followers: StugG, rousell68, sgt.steiner and Jehan. Thank you very much for joining me, and I hope you will enjoy the blog!

Sunday, 25 November 2012

Dux Viking Age AARs

As I'm sure many of you are aware, Dalauppror and I have been playing a mini campaign in the Viking Age using the excellent Dux Britanniarum from Too Fat Lardies. The original game pits the invading Saxons against the defending (Romano-)British, but in our campaign we just swapped them for Vikings, commanded by Dalauppror, and Anglo-Saxons, commanded by me, respectively.

Second game: The Vikings, set on plundering the Saxon village,
are repelled by the Saxon Lord and his elite thegns.
The changes to the rules were kept to a minimum – in fact we only changed one thing: In battles, but not in raids, the Vikings were allowed to form a shieldwall. Of course, we could have spent some time to develop new rules for berserkers and what not, and make period flavoured Fate cards etc, but I think the game worked fine more or less out of the box. Also, our relaxed approach allowed us to get gaming straight away, with minimal hassle, which is always a good thing in my book.

Third game: The Saxon archers keep watch in the old Roman fortress,
as the great fyrd is standing by ready to crush any Vikings who dare show themselves.
Anyway, I won't post any lengthy AARs here, as Michael has already done such a smashing job over on his blog. (Even though the reports are to be regarded as Viking propaganda!) Instead, I wanted to collect the direct links to all the different AARs in one place for easier reference for myself in the future:

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4

Fourth game: The brave greater fyrd make a um ... "retreat" back into the fortress
as the Viking horde tries in vain to capture any of the Saxon nobles.

Oh, and if I were you, I'd keep my eye out for the upcoming Too Fat Lardies' Christmas Special ...

Wednesday, 14 November 2012

Vikings WIP

These past weeks have been very busy with "real life" issues as the end of my paternity leave looms closer and I'm getting ready to go back to work (I still have all of December off as well though). As a result I haven't managed to take some pictures of the finished Wild West posses. What hobby time I've managed to scrape together have been spent painting some reinforcements for my Viking warband for Saga to bring the total points up to six. As I haven't had any luck with the tricky Anglo-Saxons in the league I'm playing in (four straight losses and a place firmly at the bottom of the list), for my last couple of matches I have decided to try the more straightforward Vikings.

Here are some WIP shots of the two new units: one unit of Hearthguards and one unit of Warriors. As usual – click for bigger pictures. A word of warning though: They are even more speed-painted than usual, and so look quite sloppy up close. 




The Hearthguards are Crusader Miniatures, and the Warriors are from Artizan Designs.

I'm working on the shields right now, and then it's the usual last steps before the models are completely done: varnishing and some tufts etc for the bases. As I want to get back to painting the Welsh I'm quite keen to get these vikings finished as soon as possible .

Before I leave you this time, please let me welcome my new followers: Barks, Captain Richard's miniature Civil War and EinarOlafson.

Many thanks for joining up, and I hope you'll enjoy reading about my various projects.

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Wild West Posse 2 WIP

Here are a couple of WIP shots of the next posse for the Wild West project. Actually "WIP" is stretching it a bit as they are all but finished: they just need a quick "dusty" drybrush to dirty them down a bit, some varnishing and finally have a tuft or two added to their bases before they are done. 

As I wrote in the comments to the last post I didn't feel very motivated to paint these up. But thanks to your encouraging words, dear readers, I soldiered on and in the end they turned out quite nice I think. However, I couldn't be bothered to come up with paint schemes for them, and so I more or less copied the ones on the Foundy site. Also, there are some areas that I'm less than happy with and which I planned to go back and redo, but to be honest I will probably leave them as they are.

To the right are some close-ups of the models (click for bigger pictures). The more astute of you have of course noticed that the outlaws have been infiltrated by a sheriff!

All models are once again from Foundry, except the sheriff which is from Black Scorpion – he's a bit taller than the others, and slightly thinner, but I think he fits in quite OK.

I tried a new thing with these models which worked out pretty well: I always find it a bit boring to have the bases left to do after I've finished the models themselves. So instead of saving the bases to last, this time I started with them. It was actually a quite nice little trick to boost the painting morale, and I think I will use it in all my projects from now on.

When these are finished I will post some pictures of all the Wild West models in action. After that, it's back to the Dark Ages.

Thanks for looking!

Monday, 22 October 2012

Wild West Posse 1

First of all a warm welcome to my new followers: Anibal Invictus, DFlynSqrl, laughingferret, Philip Wright, The Angry Lurker and Ubique Matt. Don't hesitate to drop a question or comment or two!

On to today's business then: As some of you may remember I bought the big starter pack for Foundry's The Rules with No Name way back in January, with the intent to get som Legends of the Old West games going. I managed to finish the first of the two posses, apart from the bases and varnishing, sometime in March or April (can't remember exactly when). The plan was to paint up the other posse as well, before finishing off the bases and so on.

As it happened, I only got the second batch primed and the first layer of their skin painted before this whole dark ages business got in the way during the late spring. Since then they have been put aside, patiently awaiting my return. This whole time I've been determined to finish the project before the end of the year, even though I don't think I will get any games going in the immediate future as my interest in this period has dipped quite a bit to be honest.

Anyway, with the first stage of the Welsh project finished, it's now time to revisit these fellas. Finishing the first posse was easy: A couple of quick and sloppy drybrushes on the bases to make them look suitably dusty, some varnishing, some tufts and they were done. Nice and fast.

Here they are in all their righteous glory, ready to bring the outlaws to justice (i.e. the gallows). The miniatures are all Foundry – nice enough, with a lot of character for sure, but nothing that justifies their (still) exorbitant prices.

Now on to the second posse – the outlaws! I started them last week but time was short as I was away for the weekend. There's a bit more work left on this posse, and I won't get much painting done over this coming weekend either. However, hopefully they will be done before then.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Dark Ages Welsh 7

Well, today I finished the final miniatures for my Welsh starter force for Dux Britanniarum. My, that feels good! As usual it consists of: 3 units of 6 levies/pagenes, 2 units of 6 warriors/combrogi, one unit of 6 elites/teulus, one unit of 4 archers, 2 big men/lesser lords and a lord and his champion.

I couldn't resist mounting them on their movement trays and arrange them for a quick snap, although the archers are missing in the picture above. As usual, the image quality isn't the best (to say the least) but I'll try to get some better shots later. For now, here's a close-up of the lord and his champion (love that model by the way), flanked by the big men.

Actually I have a couple of more miniatures finished, and at the moment the standing for this "multi game project" is as follows (SAGA/Dux Brit/Dux Bell):

Teulu 4/6/18 – 10 done, 8 remaining
Combrogi 16/12/18 – 18 done
Combrogi, mounted 0/0/6 – 0 done, 6 remaining
Pagenes w bows 12/4/0 – 4 done, 8 remaining
Pagenes w spears 0/18/6 – 18 done

To sum it up, what remains to be painted are 8 teulus, 6 mounted combrogi and 8 archers. However, as I also want to be able to field the mounted combrogi in SAGA I will paint another 2 for a total of 8.

As I'm now getting a bit tired of the Welsh, and as a reward for myself, I will take a break from them for the rest of the month and paint some other bits and bobs I have laying around. I'll be sure to post some WIPs later.

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Anglo-Saxon Reinforcements

Last night I attended the second round of the SAGA league at Dalauppror's club. As my decision to participate came rather late last week, I found myself once again having to reprioritize the painting: From the last two Welsh miniatures in my Dux Britanniarum force to the final seven Anglo-Saxons that would bring my warband up to six points.

A few days of frantic painting saw me finishing the miniatures a couple of hours before the games would start. All in all I'm quite happy with these, but as I was in a hurry they are a bit sloppy as there were some misstakes I didn't go back and correct. Not that you could tell because of the bad photo ... The miniatures are all Gripping Beast and the excellent flags are from Little Big Men Studios.

My first game in the league (and my second game of SAGA ever) was against Ulf and his Vikings. Some crappy tactics, further worsened by abysmal dice-rolls, saw me thoroughly thrashed. In the end, after six rounds, all that remained of my force was four levies – the rest, including the Warlord, had been wiped out. The final score was something like 26-12. Ouch.

I'm still learning the game, and also find the Anglo-Saxons a bit tricky to use. But then maybe my force composition is not the best. Last night i used 2x4 hearthguards, 2x12 warriors and 1x12 levies with spears. Next time I think I will field the hearthguards as one unit of eight instead, to make them less brittle, and later on maybe swap them both for warriors and/or (missile) levies. Or maybe not! The league allows you to change faction for each game if you wish (and have the miniatures of course), and I'm close to having six points of Welsh which is rather tempting to use. Also, I have four points of Vikings, and it should be an easy thing to paint up another two units.

In next week's round I will probably face Björn and his dreaded Jomsvikings. I watched one of his games last night, and it looks like I'm in for another thrashing. Well, better to have it over with I guess!

Oh, and about the Welsh: As I said there are only two miniatures left in the Dux Britanniarum starter force, the Lord and his Champion, and they are nearly finished. All that remains are varnishing and finishing off their bases with tufts etc. I didn't make my deadline of October 8th, but they should be done by tomorrow evening which is OK by me.

Saturday, 29 September 2012

Dark Ages Welsh 6

As predicted, I didn't get much work done this week because of various obligations. On top of that I have caught a cold which has further hampered my work. Despite all this I nearly managed to finish the Pagenes. What remains are highlighting their flesh, painting and attaching the shields and drybrushing the bases before varnishing.  Sorry about the more-than-usually bad picture.

I still haven't decided wether to do a simple highlight on the clothes as well, as I usually do. They now look rather grubby with just the wash (which is appropriate for a bunch of farmers I guess), and stand out against the other, more "clean looking" troops.

The plan is to have them finished by Monday night, including the bases of all the miniatures finished thus far (yes, also the Combrogi and Teulus) and then it's just the Lord and his Champion left before I tackle the Anglo-Saxon's reinforcements for SAGA. The Welsh should definitely be done by my self imposed deadline of Monday the 8th, but I'm not so sure about the Saxons ...

Join me in a week to see if I'm on my way to make that deadline or not. Have a nice weekend and thanks for reading!

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Dark Ages Welsh 5

Welcome to another update for my Dark Ages Welsh project, a little later than I said but here it is. I had hoped to have the Teulus well finished by this time and started on the Pagenes. Well due to unforseen circumstances I didn't get as much painting done last week as I had planned. Nevertheless, as you can see in the picture above pretty much all that remains on the Teulus is finishing off the flag (I managed to glue it on slightly askew and will have to trim the "fringes" a bit, as well as paint the ugly white edges of course) and their bases (together with the Combrogi). Flag and shield transfers are from the excellent LBMS.

With nine Teulus finished it will leave me a couple of extras to use as Nobles in Dux Brit, and saving me from having to paint up more miniatures for now!

The levies could do with a Noble
to make them rank up properly!
I have also started on the Pagenes. They took some time to prepare – cleaning was straightforward enough, but I decided to drill out their shieldhands to attach extra javelins (and subsequently removed the small pins on their hands for attaching the shields) which was a little fiddly. What wasn't a little fiddly, but rather a lot, was the heads! Maybe it's because I'm getting a little stressed for time but this Separate Head System thing caused me a fair amount of headache. After a lot of cutting, swearing, cutting, fitting, swearing, cutting, filing, cutting (and some more swearing) I had finally attched all the heads. The miniatures have now had their javelins attached, bases sanded and are all undercoated. Today, after this photo was taken, I started painting their skin.

But wait, what lurks behind the amassed Welsh levy? Is it ... Yes, some reinforcements for my Anglo-Saxon SAGA warband.

As I have been invited to join the SAGA league down at Dalauppror's club, I need to paint another unit to bring the total points of my Anglo-Saxons up from five to the required six. I had these two warrior command packs lurking in the leadpile and decided to add them to the force. They will be split amongst the two already finished units of warriors, making it possible to field either two units of twelve or three units of eight. Actually, I have already finished one of the miniatures – the charming little tubby Champion for my Dux Brit force. One less miniature to paint then ...

Looking ahead, I honestly don't think I will make the deadline of October 1st for the Dux Brit force even though I plan to speedpaint the Pagenes (possibly even using Army Painter Quickshade). This and the next weekend will be taken up by various obligations, leaving me with not enough time for painting. Thus I have decided to push the deadline back a week, to October 8th. Good thing I haven't booked any games with them yet!

The Anglo-Saxons will be a little less prioritized but I really hope to have them finished by October 8th too. Fingers crossed ...

Well that's all for now. Welcome back next week for another update on the project. Thanks for reading!

Sunday, 16 September 2012

AAR Vikings vs Anglo-Saxons

Just a short update to say that Dalauppror has posted a very nice AAR of the first game of our little "Viking Age campaign" using Dux Britanniarum. I'm fielding my Anglo-Saxons as the British and Dalauppror is using his impressive Vikings as the Saxons.

The first scenario was the sea raid scenario from the Too Fat Lardies "Summer Special 2012" giving us an excuse to use Dalauppror's very cool Viking ships. The game ended in a narrow victory for the Anglo-Saxons, as their fierce resistance sent the Vikings packing. In the picture above you can see the battlefield at the end of the game – more, and better photos are available at Dalauppror's blog.

And now the dreaded Norsemen are back! Tomorrow night we will play the second game in the campaign, another Viking raid from the sea. Will the brave Saxons fight off the brutal invaders once again? We can only hope!

PS: I know I should have posted an update on the Welsh projects, but the weekend has been quite hectic. However, I've started with the post and it should be up in a day or two. Sorry to keep you waiting.

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Dark Ages Welsh 4

First I'd like to say a warm welcome to the new followers: Maxamillian Walker, Vladdd309, Whisperin' Al, Jacob T S, mallymoocow, Bill T and Northern Wargaming.

Thank you all very much! I hope you like the blog and find it inspiring.

As I wrote in last week's update, I had hoped to finish the Combrogi and have started on the Teulu by now but things didn't exactly go as planned. Instead I got lured by Dalauppror into playing a mini-campaign in Dux Britanniarum with the British and Saxons substituted for Anglo-Saxons and Vikings respectively (not that I needed much convincing!). After a quick check of my Anglo-Saxons for SAGA I found out I was missing six levies, four archers and a champion for a full starter force.

So while Dalauppror very kindly offered to lend me the levies, four of the Welsh archers promptly got bumped up to the front of the painting que along with an Anglo-Saxon champion from a command pack I never got round to painting. I thought it would be nice to have the six movement trays needed as well, but wasn't sure I could finish them on time as it was only four days until the first game. If I managed them it would be bonus, but no big deal if I didn't.

Well, as usual I seem to work best when having a strict deadline (ie a game booked) and a couple of hours before the game, I put the matt varnish on the last of the models and on the movement trays. Phew!

Notice the size difference. That's a short champion!
As an added bonus, both the archers and the movement trays are part of my Welsh project – and I had originally planned to tackle these last – so two birds with one stone and all that. Here you can see the Welsh archers and the Anglo-Saxon champion Ealdwulf, along with the movement trays. Sorry for the bad/dark photos.

Movement trays by Warbases. I might go back
and add some static grass as they do look a bit bare.
After the frenzied painting over the weekend and on Monday, work continued on the Combrogi in a more leisurely pace this week. As you can see on the picture below they are now nearly finished. I had just applied the matt varnish before this picture was taken (hence the models are a bit shiny) and all that remains are adding some tufts, static grass and/or foliage. However, I might go back later and spiff up the shields as they look a bit plain at the moment. These are after all professional warriors and not some common levies!

The 18 Combrogi very nearly finished.
I have set myself a deadline for October 1st for the Dux Brit part of the project. This leaves me with three weeks for finishing a minimum of six Teulu, 18 Pagenes and four characters (Lord, Champion and two Nobles). It's certainly doable but it's going to be tough due to that big chunk of Pagenes. As a result, I'm thinking about how to save painting time, what corners to cut, without reducing the quality (or at least without reducing it too much ...).

Anyway, thanks for reading! I will post a new update next week.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Dark Ages Welsh 3

Another week, another short update on the Welsh project.

Since last week I have managed to blockpaint all of the 18 Combrogi, add a little detail such as trimmings, tartan patterns etc and slap on some washes and start to highlight them. Hopefully I can finish them off this week and then start painting the Teulu. I think I will split these into two groups of eight men each, as batchpainting large groups is rather boring to say the least. Besides, you only need six Teulus for Dux Brit (which is what I'm primarily painting for at the moment) so I can save the other half for later.

Join me for another update in a week!

Saturday, 25 August 2012

West Wind Welsh

Gripping Beast, West Wind, WW, WW, WW, GB.

As promised, here are some pictures of the West Wind's Welsh spearmen. They are quite nice, on par with Gripping Beast I'd say, but unfortunately there are only four poses in total. Of course, the eight separate heads do make them a bit more varied. As I will use these as levies/Pagenes I will not spend too much time on them, but if you wanted to you could use other West Wind heads (eg Irish or Picts and/or file away the beards) to make even more variants.

I've added some Gripping Beast miniatures for comparison (to the left and right). As you can see the West Wind miniatures are slightly bulkier, and the heads just a tad bigger, but on the table I don't think you'd notice any difference.

All in all they are great value for money, costing just under £1 each if you buy the warband pack of 20.

Here are some more close-ups (click on the pictures to see eh ... close-ups of the close-ups).

Gripping Beast, West Wind, West Wind.

West Wind, WW, WW, Gripping Beast.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Dark Ages Welsh 2

This past week saw continued work on my 3-in-1 Dark Ages Welsh project – you can read the first post for the project here, with a summary of the plan.

I have now glued sand to the bases, attached the weapons and undercoated all the models. The riders were left off their horses as I thought it would be easier to paint them, but I haven't found a good way to "hold" the miniatures (glueing them to screws didn't work out as planned). So the riders will probably be glued to the horses when it's time to paint them.

Not much to see at the moment, just a bunch of undercoated miniatures/black blobs, so no pictures this time I'm afraid.

I'm still waiting for the West Wind levys/pagenses with javelins I ordered from Caliver Books about four weeks ago, but I already have enough models prepared to keep me painting for a good while. I also placed an order with Gripping Beast for some character models to use as Nobles and a Champion in Dux Britanniarum, along with some other bits and pieces.

Yesteday evening I finally started the actual painting with the flesh on the combrogi. I still haven't decided in what order to paint the units, but I will probably concentrate on getting the miniatures for Dux Brit finished first, as most of them will also be used in the SAGA warband. Next update in a week!

Update: Added a picture to please Dalauppror. ;)

Monday, 20 August 2012

Testing out the Duxes

On Saturday I had the great pleasure of being invited by Michael (aka Dalauppror) to try out not only Dux Bellorum, but also Dux Britanniarum. As I'm usually the host for my regular gaming opponent(s), it was a rare luxury indeed to just show up at Michael's club without having to bother with any painting or even setting up.

The brave Saxon warriors desperately trying
to hold back the British cavalry.
In the first game, Dux Bellorum, I took command of the defending Saxons against the raiding Romano-British. A misunderstanding on my part saw me deploying all my best troops, including the leader, on the "wrong" side of the battlefield inside a village. This consequently led to them having very little impact on the overall battle apart from killing three skirmish units. Not very glorious!

Instead it was my regular, but mighty brave, warriors who took the brunt of the British onslaught. The three units managed to tie up the enemy's four cavalry units in some heavy fighting for the better part of the game. In the end though, as the Saxon lord and his nobles struggled to reach the main battle in the centre of the board, they couldn't hold up against the British might and were run down. This led to me hitting the 50% of the starting units lost cap, which forces each unit to take a Morale test to see if they rout. With my usual luck I managed to fail two tests, and so 75% of my starting units were lost and not just these two units routed, but the whole army decided enough was enough and ran for the hills.

Despite this defeat it was a very fun game, and I will definitely play Dux Bellorum again. As with any new game it takes a bit of getting used to, despite the core mechanics being pretty easy to understad. It took some reading and reasoning before we got a grip on combats between groups for example (which is usually the most complex part in any rules set I guess, so nothing against Dux Bellorum there). When we've had a few games I expect this will flow very naturally however. Also, I think we will use Leadership Points to interrupt the movement order to better effect than in the first game. There were some points in the battle were this would have given me a slight edge I could have exploited.

Michael has posted a short review of the rules on his blog, and it pretty much sums up my feelings about the game too.

On to Dux Britanniarum then. This time I got to play the Romano-British, and Michael took command of the raiding Saxons. We started by rolling up our Lords, which is very fun RPG-like method to personalize your campaign. (You're supposed to roll for your two Nobles as well but to save some time we skipped this.) After this we rolled to see which scenario to play and got a raid on a village. We set up the table according to the rules, with a river dividing the battlefield in half. We rolled to decide the depth of the river and the result was ... "Impassable". The only way to cross it was at a single ford. We then rolled to see were the village would be placed and to my luck, it was placed on the opposite side of the river seen from the table edge were the Saxons entered. Finally we rolled to see how many rounds headstart the Saxons would have (three), deployed the Saxons accordingly and then the actual game began.

The Saxons are out to raid the village to the left
but get stuck at the ford.
In the picture to the right is the table after the first "real" round, were the British appeared. As you can see the Saxons are pretty much stuck in a jam at the ford, but one group has managed to reach the village. The British forces are preparing to cross the enclosed fields just outside the village.

The jam at the ford would continue for the remainder of the battle, with only two other Saxon groups reaching the village. The first group entered a house but only got to take one Loot test, before my Lord and his comanipulares stormed in and cut them down. Meanwhile, the second Saxon group arrived, only to get attacked by the two groups of milites. Heavy fighting ensued, until the Saxons, having suffered heavy losses, routed.

The third Saxon unit to clear the ford and reach the village was no other than one of the gedridhts, accompanied by a Noble. They now clashed with the Romano-British Lord and his elite comanipulares. The fierce Saxons inflicted heavy casualties on the British, nearly taking down their Lord, but the Champion stepped in instead and saved his Lord. The British fought well however, and in the end both sides had lost too many men to keep fighting and routed.

As we were running out of time, and both sides were in pretty bad shape, the Saxons performed an unchallenged withdrawal and the battle was over. Rules wise the British counted as the winners, but morally I think it was a draw.

We spent some time afterwards chatting about the games and both agreed that while both Dux Bellorum and Dux Britanniarum are great games, the latter were a bit more fun. The only downside to Dux Brit is the fact that some very important things are not spelled out in the rules! I would recommend everyone interested in the game to check out the players notes on Too Fat Lardies' blog.

Michael will post more detailed AARs on his blog in a day or so, with more and better pictures. There you can also find pictures of the splendid forcces used for these games.

Hopefully we will be able to get some more gaming going in the future, and I'm very much looking forward to fielding my Welsh in both games.

Thanks for reading!

Update: Michael has posted an AAR for the Dux Bellorum fight on his blog.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Dark Ages Welsh 1

As I said in an earlier post I've devised a cunning plan to get a force to use in three Dark Ages games: SAGA, Dux Bellorum and Dux Britanniarum. The idea was to use a Welsh 4 points starter warband for SAGA as the core, and then add the required troops for the two Duxes. For Dux Bellorum I'm using the Welsh 32 points starter army from the author's blog post here.

Each regular unit in both Duxes will be 6 miniatures, individually based and mounted on 2x3 25 mm movement trays from Warbases. The cavalry will be 3 miniatures on similar sized movement trays, but since they will be based on rectangular 25x50 mm bases, I will make the trays myself.

Now, it turned out the plan wasn't that clever after all, since the overlap between the troops used in each game wasn't exactly optimal. Anyway, here are the different miniatures needed, with amounts for each game (SAGA/Dux Brit/Dux Bell):

Teulu 4/6/18
Combrogi 16/12/18
Combrogi, mounted 0/0/6
Pagenes w bows 12/4/0
Pagenes w spears 0/18/6

In the picture above you can see the result of this weeks work: The miniatures have been cleaned and glued to their bases. All miniatures are from Gripping Beast. The only thing missing are the pagenes with spears/javelins – I have ordered some Welsh West Wind spearmen for these, as they are all barefoot (as far as I can make out anyway) and somewhat "poor looking" – and perhaps some suitable Nobles/characters.

I'm hoping to have all the weapons attached (shields will as usual be glued on when the miniatures are painted), sand glued to the bases, and all the miniatures above undercoated by the end of the coming week. Well, we'll see about that in a week won't we?

Dux Britanniarum – A Quick Look

Earlier this week I got the package from Too Fat Lardies containing the pre order deal for the hard copy of Dux Britanniarum. In addition to the rulebook itself, the preorder deal contained cards (with a nice plastic card holder), a cool A3 sized map of Britain of the time and a limited edition Arthur model. Great stuff all 'round!

The actual rules are simple enough, a little bit more involved than say SAGA: as they concern themselves with formations (massed and shieldwall), manoveuring, evading and flanks are more important. Also, you start by generating backgrounds for all your Nobles (characters/leaders) with the chance to get some personality traits that will be useful on the battlefield. If you've played anything by the Lardies you will probably know the general philosophy and thinking behind their rules, and feel quite at home.

I think the most interesting part of the book is the much talked about campaign system. It's a slick system that lets you tell your own narrative of raiding Saxons and the defending (Romano) British. The different kingdoms presented vary in size, which makes it easy to tailor the length of the campaign (however, it still seems you will have to fight a fair number of scenarios to get the most out of the system).

This is all really well thought out, and have some really clever ideas. I can easily see the system being hacked for/ported to a number of different eras.

All in all, it's a very nice set of rules and very inspiring – I can't wait to try them out! Now of course, I only need a new army ...

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Too Fat Lardies Summer Special 2012

Too Fat Lardies Summer Special for 2012 is now available from their webstore. I bought the pdf this afternoon, and as usual it's packed with articles and scenarios for the Lardies' games. Of special interest to me this time were of course the ones for the newly published Dux Britanniarum:

  • Migrating Dux – Ideas for using the game in other settings. The example is Franks raiding the Romano-Belgae in Gallia Belgica. Gave me a couple of ideas for possible future projects (like I need more of those!).
  • On a Saxon Shore – A bonus raid scenario, with the Saxons raiding from the sea.
  • Meaty Dux – More details for the campaign system, particulary resources for kingdoms.

I've just had time for a quick read, but they all look very good; the Lardies' Specials always being worth to purchase (at least if you're interested in their rules).

On a related note I received my pre-order pdf of Dux Brit on Tuesday, but still haven't managed to finish reading it. I will post some thoughts when I do.