Thursday, September 18, 2014

Man Flu Alert!

I'm dying!

I'm manfully trying to survive a terrible affliction, but in a family where I am the only one with the XY chromosome combination, I can tell you it's not easy!

Forget ebola, cancer or any of those other headline-grabbing disesases which the WHO, CDC, CSIRO and all those other alphabet soups are throwing money at. What about that real and present danger to mankind (and yes, I mean MAN-kind)? It's real; there's even a website for gorrsake!

The problem with having sick days is that it's wasted being sick! I don't have the ability to concentrate on painting and I'm only barely able to sit here typing. Shortly, I'll have exhausted myself and have to crawl back to bed and moan about how I'm dying to a cruel, heartless, indifferent world.

I have done a bit of painting over the last week, so with my last dying breath I'll upload some photos of my Württembergers. It may very well be the last you'll hear from me..... Koff, sniff, splutter...HAAA-Choooooooo!!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Against all Flags! - Pirates in September 2014 Event

HMS Brangelina in her maiden voyage
HMS Frolic had her maiden voyage (although renamed for the day...more on that later) at the club's mega-pirate event, Against All Flags! The brainchild of Fly, of the dice-whisperer fame, this was the pirate event to end all pirate events: with 4 tables 16' long and 4' wide, with 5 garrisoned ports and 13 ships, this was a massive undertaking. All players had an objective to fulfill and could form alliances if needed, otherwise, it was every man for himself and the devil take the hindmost! Into the mix were thrown chance events, like a Maelstrom, Ghost-ship or Kraken (which, due to an oversight, unfortunately didn't make it to the club!) and chance cards, which could be help or hindrance to the players.

Some suitably stirring piratical music!

My ship started in the French port (no, I couldn't understand that, either!) and drew the objective of locating and capturing the missionary and taking him to the Spanish port for religious re-education. Again, why the British Royal navy should be doing foreigners' dirty work was irrelevant.

I quickly ascertained that my objective was on the furthest table from where I started, ensuring that my game was going to be an eventful one! However, disaster struck before I'd even left my table; I was within range of the dastardly pirates on Fly-tuga island, commanded by James (of the Lead Capes blog) whose shore battery had their eye in from the beginning, scoring punishing damage at long range. Too long a range for me to respond in kind, unfortunately.

Then a series of random events occurred which you wouldn't read about that sealed my fate: namely, a chance card which stated that I'd run aground and then a random event determined by the umpires causing the Ghost Ship to appear in the same turn after I'd freed myself from the reef. It caused more damage after ramming me, then disappeared to Davy Jones' locker as mysteriously as it appeared! All the while I was under fire from Fly-tuga. Unsurprisingly, HMS Brangelina was a wreck and sank beneath the briny waves shortly after.

Fear not, dear reader! This wasn't the end of Capt. Bertie Bugler, R.N., and his valiant crew! It proved only a temporary setback, as ship and crew 're-spawned' at the nearest port, which ironically turned out to be Fly-tuga! Not only was I back in the game, I was one table closer to my objective, so there was a strategic benefit in dying so early in the game.

From then on, it was steady as she goes. I spent most of the rest of the game battling against the wind and moving very slowly, exchanging shots with other scurvy dogs as I passed, but doing no damage and receiving none in reply. I had just reached the table with my objective, changed course to head towards the island with the missionary, when the game was drawn to a close! Not even the help of quadruple movement brought about by umpires' decision for double movement in the last 2 rounds, plus the drawing of a double movement chance card could get me to my objective in time. So near, yet so far!

Oh, well; there's always next year!

The wide open sea! My ship is in the bottom left f the picture. My objective is just in front of Fly (the bloke in the funny hat in the background!)

The French port, commanded by Darren. I also shared it with Richard G. who sailed roughly the same path as me, though a lot more uneventfully!

The Spanish port, commanded by Mal  - My ultimate destination

Paul's ship the Yellow Peril! He also had a ton of misfortune early, sinknig a turn before I did.

The fiendish Ghost Ship!

A detail of the spectral vessel! Paul did a wonderful job with this

Pete's 3-masted ship. One of the biggest afloat, I'd say.

Sean's saucy cutter. He had some dastardly luck, too, though I don't think it involved sinking!

Richard's ship in the French port.

Jon B.'s ship of saucy pirate ladies. He ended up putting the English port's garrison to the sword and even kidnapping the Governor, though I don't think it was his ultimate objective. Still, it was nicely done!

HMS Brangelina leaves port on her maiden voyage! God belss the ship and all who sail in her! Huzzah! (cue the stirring chords of the Onedin Line)

Thank you...

James' pirate shore battery calculates the range and fires!

...hitting my ship and scoring 4 points of damage to my hull! Ouch!
Each ship starts with 12 hull points 

Richard follows in my wake, but I seem to be the favoured target (that'll teach me to have such a large ship!)

Paul's luck deserts him as his big ship becomes target of not only the smaller players' ships but the Ghost Ship on its first appearance on the board D'oh!

The first round of chance cards gave me this.

I rolled for damage to the hull and this was the result! I now had 2 points left!

Richard cleverly used me as cover, puting me between him and Fly-tuga. He kindly refrained from firing on me and I didn't provoke him in turn, not that it did me any good!

Paul in all sorts of bother, just before receiving the mortal blow which sent him to Davy Jones' Locker.

I'd just freed myself from the sandbank when the Ghost Ship appeared off my port bow! It collided, inflicting another hull point of damage!

It promptly vanished to reappear just beyond our ships, crashing into the nearby island.

With another hit from James' battery, all that is left of my proud ship is a few bubbles and floating debris!

The view from the English Port towards the native island where the missionary is located and the the Spanish Port in the background. Jon B.'s ship approaches port to deal with an outbreak of Yellow Fever from his chance card, though the English aren't in a very receptive mood!

Paul's ship is 're-spawned' on Fly-tuga island.

As is mine, on the opposite shore of the island.

Sean in all sorts of bother: he has the Ghost Ship AND Maelstrom to deal with!

The Spanish Port

The Spanish Governor and welcoming committee. Mal wasn't taking any chances: he was firing on any ship in range, even the Spanish ones!

I cross onto the 3rd board! But then the wind changed and I was forced to beat into an oncoming wind, slowing my progress considerably. 

Richard was still tootling along, keeping pace with me, despite my leap-frogging ahead after 're-spawning'

"Pirates of Umbar off the port bow, Cap'n!"

Mal's shore guns misfire in the most spectacular way! KA-BOOOOMMMM!!! Never leave your slow-match near the loose gunpowder, kids!

The missionary on the native island. He never knew he was a marked man!

Jon B.'s lovely ladies making short work of the English garrison with well aimed small arms fire.

Neil G.'s Pirates of Umbar try a shot on my port quarter, but can't penetrate my hull!

The English Governor and his quill-pusher. He was shortly captured by the Girl-Power crew and spirited away from his command.

A less succesful pirate.

The rest of the English Port seemed un-fazed by the carry-on at the docks.

Meanwhile, at the French Port, things were quiet enough for the garrison commander to fraternise with some of the local working-girls.

The Pirates of Umbar try a raking shot on me, but again cannot land a punch!

With special assistance I arrive within sight of my objective. Too late, though!

I promised to inform you of the reason behind my ship's renaming, so here it is:

My oldest daughter informs me that the practise of contracting and combining celebrity couples' name is called 'shipping', from the root word 'relationship'. What better 'ship' to name my vessel after than one of Tinseltown's oldest and most stable pairing of Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie? Hence, the name HMS Brangleina!

However, results have proved that theory somewhat fallacious, I'm sure you will agree! Sunk in the first few rounds of the game, I think HMS Tomkat would have been more appropriate!

Big thanks to Fly for organising and umpiring this event, to Garry for sharing the umpiring and to everyone else in organising and playing in the game.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Armee des Königreichs Württemberg

While I've got my Peninsular British forces under control, and my Royal Navy project is still in its infancy, and will take a long time to develop, I need another project to get my teeth into.

I had toyed with the idea of expanding my Spanish forces or even starting a Neapolitan army (yes, Neapolitan!), but decided that I have enough bad luck on the table-top without courting disaster! As I have the lovely Franznap Neapolitan Velites of the Guard generously provided by Francesco as a freebie with a previous purchase, I still have plans to eventually paint an 1815 Neapolitan army based on the OB from the Battle of Tolentino, Murat's last hurrah.

What I have settled on, though, is my long delayed Württemberg project! They are a nice self contained small contingent of effective troops which are able to hold their own on the battlefield. I have had the requisite figures for an all-arms brigade for quite a while, but other projects have always taken precedent. Now is the time to set the ball rolling for the Württembergers, including infantry, rifles, artillery and cavalry.

The figures (as always!) will be 1/72nd scale HaT figures from the 3 sets infantry, artillery and cavalry:

Clicking on the pictures will take you to PSR reviews of each set

 At this stage, I'm thinking of creating a force based in part on the 1809 order of battle

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