Thursday, March 22, 2018

Not Long to Go Now!

Just a couple of weeks until Crisis Point 2018.

Get your tape-measures greased and be sure your dice are rolling high.  The fate of Andreivia is in your hands!

Monday, March 19, 2018

A bit of a catch-up

I've been most remiss about posting here for the last few weeks. I just haven't felt that motivated to do so despite getting loads of painting done.

I'm within three figures of completing a second (Italian allied) legion for my To The Strongest Republican Romans.  I'd like to get them all done before I show pictures here.

Ive also nearly finished a second pack of Turkish infantry for Crisis Point. Again, pics when done.

So what can I show you?  Well, I have managed to create some more zero-cost plot points for Pulp Alley.

First up is this fire marker...

The base is a 0.02 Euro coin 'glooped' with tile grout.  the flames are made from Green Stuff. Whenever I have some left over I use it to make these wiggly shapes and when I have enough it goes onto a base like this.

Then we have a... well... one of these...

It's a mysterious alien artifact poking out of the desert sands, I guess. This is literally a found item; some bit of child's toy that I found lying in the street. Painted and given a couple of coats of progressively lighter dry-brushing (which don't show at all in the photo). As usual stuck to a coin with texture applied - in this case a two pence coin.

And finally, a cactus for the Mexican desert...

Obviously a coin and some basing gloop are involved but there's an Order of Andreivian Artists (Second Class) to anyone who can identify the freebie source of the cactus itself.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

First Mexicans

I've painted the first two new figures for my Maximillian Adventure forces for Sharp Practice:

The chap on the left is a Republican guerrilla leader.  He's represented by a Foundry Wild West bandit who's been sitting un my unpainted figures box for years.

The other figure is the first of my Imperialist contra-guerrillas. He's built from the Perry plastic zouaves box.  I've carved down the baggy zouave breeches at the top of the legs and built up them up as trousers at the lower end.  At least another seven of those to do before I have a unit!

I said "new" figures because I already had a few Mexican figures I'd bought with a view to using in my Pulp Alley campaign.  I reckon they'll do fine as Republican guerrillas:

Saturday, March 3, 2018


Postie has battled through the snow to deliver my latest purchase; a box of Perry Miniatures plastic Zouaves.

Before you ask, no I haven't suddenly discovered an interest in the American Civil War (it's still a period that's never floated my boat).  Instead I'm planning on using them to play Sharp Practice set in Mexico during the Maximillian Adventure.

I've not yet decided how to use them.  They may be French Zouaves:

Or I might use them, with a little conversion, as contra-guerrilla infantry as per the chap on the right here:

Given the baggy trousers on the Perry models, the French zouave route looks easier.

Then again, given that there are 40 rank and file (plus an officer and a drummer) in the box, I could probably do both!

Monday, February 26, 2018

Freebie Pulp Terrain

Inspired by Dave Phipps's Pulp Alley videos over on Youtube I've had a go at making some vaguely Pulp-y plot points and terrain pieces recently.  For one reason or another they've cost me nothing...

At Gauntlet last year I picked up a bag of bits of white metal on the bring-and-buy.  "Oh you can have them" said the owner.  They proved to include a number of vaguely useful bits.

First up is this recently dug grave:

Just the thing for many a Buffy the Vampire Slayer scenario!

Next in the bag of disregarded white metal was this:

Not sure when I'm going to need a dark-ages-head-impaled-on-a-stick-with-an-arrow-through-its-eye but you never know....

And then we have this generic fantasy shield.  It just cried out to be painted as an ancient relic, always good as a plot point...

The verdigris-bronze finish on the shield also came in handy for a Salute give-away figure from Warlord Games.  I've never been to Salute but my mate Simon Miller has and very kind me sent this one last Christmas:

I see this as absolutely ideal for use in some Andreivian town square one day soon.

Finally we have this piece of vaguely pulp-ish industrial machinery:

Made from assorted pieces of plastic pulled out of the "bits box", it took about five minutes to stick together using my hot glue gun and about as long again to paint in a gunmetal colour.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

A Village in Andreivia

Tom D came over on Saturday and I ran a small Arc of Fire scenario to introduce him to the rules in preparation for the Crisis Point game in April.

The scenario was a simple one.  It's 1918 and a small Turkish force (four-man HQ, 15-man rifle section, LMG team, and five-man "bomber" team) have to capture an Andreivian village.  The village is held by a small Andreivian army team and, unbeknown to the Turks, a temporarily immobilised Renault FT light tank.

The above pic shows the table from the southern (Turkish) edge. A brick-built warehouse dominates this side of the village but it has only two windows on the south side so it's not readily defensible.  Tom elected to advance to the right of the road, across the recently harvested wheat field and either side of the small copse of trees.

Pretty soon the Turks came under ineffective rifle fire from the back of the warehouse.  The Turks returned fire and were sure they'd achieved some solid hits.  In fact the first fusillade wounded the Andreivian forces commander, effectively ending his involvement in the fight.  The second round of firing from the Turks killed his second in command outright and the Andreivian HQ unit ceased to exist as a fighting unit!

As the Turks closed in on the village I knew that I'd have to move the only remaining Andreivian infantry unit (a six-man rifle section) from the graveyard to the central square if I was to buy time for the tank driver to repair the engine.

The tank driver was reasonably lucky with his TAC rolls.  As the Turks approached the village square they heard an internal combustion engine splutter into life (I was going to say roar into life but come on guys, this is only a Renault FT) and heard the grinding of caterpillar tracks.

The FT managed to get off a shot from its 37mm Puteau cannon.  37mm HE is not very powerful and the commander (the FT has a two-man crew) was firing while the tank was moving.  Even with a densely packed infantry target the shot was ineffective.  It would prove to be the tank's only shot of the game!

As the tank commander tried desperately to reload, a firefight developed across the village square.  The Andreivian infantry scrambled to take what cover they could but they were severely out-numbered and once the Turkish LMG came around onto their flank, their days were numbered.

It came down to race to see if the Andreivian tank could extricate itself from this unsuitable tactical situation before the Turkish bomber team could get close enough to use their grenades against it.

In the end a single Turkish bomber launched two heroic close assaults on the tank but he was unable to prevent it wheezing and clanking its was off along the northern road towards safety.

So that was Tom's first AoF game. The Turks had seized the village to a win for them.  The Andreivians had also met their aim of extracting the tank to safety but the loss of both commander and sergeant in the first few moments of the action took the shine off this achievement.

A fun game. We got done in a leisurely couple of hours and AoF again showed that new players can pick it up within a very short time.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Graveyard on Denley Moor

Jamie came over at the weekend (it was my birthday) and as well as going out for a meal we managed to get in a game of Pulp Alley on Saturday evening.

It’s been a while since we played an episode in my very slow PA campaign “The Quest for Faulkner’s Balls”. Over a year in fact! I knocked up a simple game using my new graveyard terrain module and the standard “Trail of Clues” scenario from the rule book.

Jamie played the Friends of the Reverend Featherstonehaugh and I looked after those vicious London criminals The Muswell Hill mob.

I wanted to have a go at using the vehicle rules from Gadgets, Guns and Vehicles. I gave the Rev’s Friends a Rolls Royce.  There was also a chap from the GPO working on the telegraph line that runs over the moor.  His van was a possible source of vehicular mayhem.

The main objective was to gain control of Captain Faulkner, the shell-shocked veteran of the trenches now often found wandering the moors with his dog Sergeant.

We each placed one minor Plot Point at the start of the game. Jamie placed a large earthenware pot beside the road and I put a wooden crate at the corner of the old graveyard.

Notter of the Muswell Hill Mob reached the crate and managed quickly to prize it open. Looking up from the contents he saw a Raven perched on the graveyard wall. “C’Mon Sergeant” it squawked!  (That was the next Plot Point that I placed).

Miller and Notter interrogate the raven
In the meantime the earthenware pot was proving harder to understand (I played a Peril) on Jamie’s character. As a result it took him longer to go for his second Plot Point (a hand drawn map).

A gun battle then developed between Notter on the Mob's side and The Count and PC Newthwaite on the other.

Miller, meanwhile, managed to get over the graveyard wall and persuade Faulkner of the wisdom of accompanying a man with a strategically placed automatic pistol.

One of Jamie's reward cards allowed him to extend the game to seven turns but it wasn't enough to prevent the Muswell Hill Mob making off with Faulkner and, presumably, his ancestor's mysterious journal too!

Look out for the next episode of the Quest for Faulkner's Balls - coming to a theatre near you soon! Well, eventually anyway.