The Battle of Five Armies

A couple years ago, just after the last film of Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit trilogy was released, I decided to reread the book. It had been several years since my last reading, and there were so many things in the film that I didn’t remember from the book. It turned out they were more or less all there — through portrayal and emphasis, though, they felt somehow unfamiliar.

But, I digress…

Around the same time, I found out about Games Workshop’s The Battle of Five Armies box set. Having picked up and throughly enjoyed The Mines of Moria box set sometime before, I decided I had to have The Battle of Five Armies. They’re, of course, very different games – the former being based on the 10mm Warmaster ruleset while the latter is a part of the 28mm Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game system. Regardless, they both do a great job evoking Middle-earth. I mean just take a look at the BoFA box art.

As so often is the case, the BoFA box sat more or less undisturbed on a shelf in my bedroom closet for the better part of the past two years. After painting a good deal of 15 and 28mm this year, I recently decided that I needed a change of pace. So, I tried my hand at my first 10mm stands. The results can be seen below.

A change of pace is exactly what I got. I was in fine detail mode for everything but the cloaks on the backside of the stands. I had to lift the visor often to check the results at table distance. Otherwise, I would have driven myself mad.

I still don’t know if I’m fulling committed to painting up this entire set anytime soon, but I do think I’ll work on some more stands for this year’s Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge.

I’ll post more as I progess.

French Regular Infantry

I recently completed my first French Regular Infantry figure for Muskets & Tomahawks. My complete force will consist of Canadian Militia and Huron Indians as well.

The French Regular Infantry figures are produced by Conquest Miniatures and sold in a box set by Warlord Games. I picked mine up off the shelf at the Brooklyn Strategist. However, if I had a chance to do it again (or buy more – which is more probable), I’d buy directly from Conquest Games as the box set has a drummer and a couple of standard bearers that I don’t need.

French Regular Infantry from Conquest Miniatures
This is the first time I painted a figure with a uniform of this nature. In the past, my uniformed figures have been Confederates or World War II U.S. Airborne – or, to put it another way, butternut and olive drab.

To help get things right, I referred to Osprey Publishing’s British Redcoat vs French Fusilier: North America 1755-63. There’s an excellent spread on pages tk-tk that shows both the front and back view of a French Fusilier along with a legend describing his gear.

Here’s a bit more context from Osprey:

Providing a unique glimpse into the experiences of regular British and French infantry during the French and Indian War, Stuart Reid reveals what it was like to fight in three battles at the height of the struggle for Canada: La Belle-Famille, the Plains of Abraham and Sainte-Foy. In 1755, Britain and France both decided to escalate a low intensity frontier war that had started the previous year by dispatching regular troops to their respective colonies in North America. Far from home, both sides’ equipment and tactics were initially more suited to the European theatre. As the war ground on, however, combat doctrine evolved as both armies learned lessons that would be utilized by succeeding generations of soldiers. Packed with first-hand accounts, dramatic illustrations and a technical analysis of the changing nature of warfare on the American continent, this book puts readers in the shoes of the combatants who played a pivotal role in shaping the future of North America.

I haven’t had a chance to read much of the book. But, I do have a lot of French Regulars to paint, so I’m sure I’ll read the whole thing before it’s over.

The Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge

I paint miniatures a lot these days. It’s become one of my favorite ways to wind down from the stress of raising a family and running a small business. Most nights, after the kids have gone to bed and my wife is off doing her thing, I listen to a podcast or a book from Audible and paint.

So, when Mike Davey from Metropolitan Wargamers asked if anyone else from the club was going to participate this time around, I decided to throw my hat in the ring.

Now, it’s just a matter of deciding what to paint. Do I finish the French Wilderness Force for Muskets & Tomahawks that I’ve been chipping away at for months? Do I paint up the Tau Empire Strike Team from the Warhammer 40K: Kill Team box set so that I can take on the aforementioned Mike’s Sisters of Battle? Do I scale the 10mm Matterhorn that is Games Workshop’s Battle of Five Armies. So many choices… and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

The truth is that it’ll probably be some combination of the above. Whatever I choose to do, I’m looking forward to the challenge.

Muskets & Tomahawks

I played my first game of Muskets & Tomahawks today. As many of you already know, it was a blast.

There were three players on each side running two units each as well as an officer. I commanded a unit of colonial militia, a crack unit of rangers, and a British officer.

British Regulars face off with Compagnie Franche De la Marine

Creating a Frostgrave Warband

This was originally posted over at the Frostgrave: Fantasy Wargames in the Frozen City Meetup group…

One of the great things about Frostgrave is how easy and affordable it is to put together a warband. Nick Eyre’s Northstar Military Figures produces official miniatures which are very reasonably priced. That said, you can use any 25/28mm figures that you’d like. This is made even easier by the lack of any particular basing rules. Best of all, the figure count is low — a wizard, and apprentice and eight or so soldiers.

Have some Warhammer Fantasy figures that have been collecting dust since the Age of Sigmar began? Use those!

Have yet another box of minis from yet another Reaper Bones Kickstarter? Use those!

If you prefer the official figures, I recommend ordering from Brigade Games in New Jersey.

If this is your first foray into miniature wargaming, the Army Painter Hobby Set from Neal at The War Store out on Long Island gets you most everything you need to build and paint your warband in one handy box.

Finally, there are a few great resources out there for building your warband. The first is the Frostrgrave Roster from Battle Tortoise. The second is BattleScribe. Finally, If you’re anything like us and find yourself building more warbands than you know what to do with, then both these will prove useful.

Frostgrave: State of Play and Contest!

Joseph McCullough, creator of Frostgrave, published a state of play post over at his blog the Renaissance Troll earlier this week. You can check it out here.

The gist of it is that, as a result of strong sales, critical acclaim and, most importantly, community support, there’s lots of Frostgrave material to come. He’s even been commissioned by Osprey Games to write a “Frostgrave related product”. Good news all around!

Joe’s giving away two Frostgrave Gift Packs. So head over and follow Joe or comment on his post for a chance to win.

Frostgrave Gnickstarter Into the Breeding Pits

The third Frostgrave Nickstarter launches today, complete with a clever alternate spelling — Gnickstarter as in gnolls. It’s a great way to get into the game and preorder the newest rules supplement Into the Breeding Pits as well as all the new figures. Check it out at Brigade Games here.

New Frostgrave Meetup Group

I love Frostgrave but just don’t get to play it enough. We tried to get a big campaign going at Metropolitan Wargamers, but it fizzled out after a few weeks.

As a result, I’ve started the Frostgrave: Fantasy Wargames in the Frozen City Meetup group. If you’re anywhere near Brooklyn, NY and would like to get together and play some Frostgrave, you should join up.

I’ve had success with Meetup in the past when trying to get people together to play Cubicle 7’s excellent The One Ring Roleplaying Game. Hopefully, the same will hold with Frostgrave.