Sunday, September 20, 2015

First 3mm Ogre Miniatures Game

Here are some pictures from my first 3mm Ogre Miniatures game. The conventional armor is all Oddzial Osmy and the Ogres are Plasmablast conversions. The scenario was a heavy Combine armor strike against an extended Paneuropean front. The Combine's goal was to destroy the city at mid-table on the Paneuro baseline. They almost made it.

I used my home-brewed drone and mine rules. They seemed to work fairly well. The mines in particular slowed the Combine down a turn and led directly to the Pansie victory.

 The table at start, as seen from above.

The Combine forces: Ogres Mama Spank and Nervous George (with a full compliment of drones) are accompanied by a heavy armor battalion and a GEV strike company.

The Pansies stand ready with an entire heavy armored battalion with an infantry battalion and a howitzer battery in support.

The Combine hooks right and the Paneuropeans scramble to meet them.

 Game over, man. The Ogres eventually grind to a halt in the Paneuropean minefields just in front of the city.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

3mm Ogre Miniatures Project Moves Along

I've mostly been concentrating on 2mm and 3mm Napoleonics this year, following the release of Blucher. That doesn't mean I haven't had time to paint up some Ogre Minis, however. Here's an overview of what's been done with the Paneuropeans so far...

Here's the better part of a Paneuropean armored battalion near a city. Tanks are all O8 except for a Plasmablast cybertank in the back left.

Here are the Ogre/GEV conventional unit types I have so far:

Going from right to left we have power armor, a light tank (actually a French AMX-90 with plasticard side skirts added on), a heavy tank, a GEV, a GEV-PC, a Missile Tank, a Mobile Howitzer and a Howitzer (kit-bashed from plasticard and the spare cannon barrel that comes with the mobile howitzer).

I still need L-GEVs and Superheavy Tanks.

A close-up of the light tank and the heavy tank. The heavy used to be my "lights", but I decided to change this after hearing Mathieu Moyen was going with British Scorpions as his Lights. The O8 "Aliens Universe" tank is too much like a Combine Heavy to want to use it for anything else. And that's when I realized that I have a bunch of AMX-90s going unused. I cut thin plasticard strips at 2mm x 8mm and glued them over the treads. Sure enough: they look acceptably sci-fi and their size is spot on.

Above , we see a howitzer battery and the command troop of the 1st Polish Lancers. In the back left, you can see a cybertank, made from a Plasmablast 6mm Marhaf Legion model. This is going to be a cybertank destroyer in my Ogre-inspired miniatures rules, Luftpanzer. 

A city, made out of Spartan Games discontinued "base" pieces for their space combat game. Also, some Monopoly City pieces. All gluesd down to a CD base.

 I can't recall if I posted these before. This shows how I converted a Plasmablast tank into an Ogre.

Well, that's it for now! Hopefully this project will be up and running by Christmas!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Taking my troops to show and tell: Black Powder, 3mm

I got roped into a "show us your hobbies" deal at the uni back in May.

"Do you really want to see what Ido with my free time?"

"Of course Professor Blanchette!" Then, perhaps remembering that I study sex work: "Er... what is it?"


"Oh! Like Warcraft?"


So anyhow, that's how I ended up taking my Black Powder set-up to NUPEM for an afternoon. I brought along a little bit of everything, including a selection of rules and Osprey bookc, my paint set, and - of course - the figures and terrain.

Wouldn't you knoiw, the kids figured it our right away? Turns outmany of them have already played computer games like Total War. They even know the lexicon! It was very easy to show them how things work!

We didn't have time to play a game, but I ran them through a few moves and combats. Several of them seemed to enjoy it quite a bit, including several young women! That was really cool, given that wargaming is still very much a male ghetto. One kid said he wanted to set up a Saga campaign with me, so there is hope for gaming in the future!

Anyhow, here are the pics...

 Overview of the 3 x 2 foot table.

The French move into the valley.

A regiment of Chasseurs a Cheval charges the Austrian Hussars...

Cavalry battle on the left flank.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Magister Militum's 18th Century 3mm figures

As many people now know, Magister Militum has launched a series of new 3mm lines:Ancients, Pike and Shot and early 18th century. They have massively expanded the options for 3mm gaming overnight and, curiously, haven't really bothered to publicize their new line.

I've been waiting for something like this for some time now, as I´ve always wanted to play Sam Mustafa's Maurice in 3mm. So when I heard about the new lines, I squeed more than a Japanese schoolgirl at a Cheap Trick concert. I ordered a bunch of 18 century stuff immediately.

I bought MM's musketeers, cavalry and artillery in tricornes, because I wanted to do some rather generic 18th century imaginations. Also available are pikes in tricornes and 17th century cavalry, which can still work as early 18th century heavy cavalry. Like many people who are probably reading this, I wanted to see the figures first hand before buying a lot of them. In particular, I wanted to see how they compared to Oddzial Osmy's every-expanding and excellent lines of 3mm miniatures. So I bought three packs of infantry, two of cavalry and one of artillery.

Luckily, the ever-gentlemanly Time Porter was on his way down to Rio de Janeiro on business and agreed to carry the figs for me. This is the second time Tim has done this and I really owe him something cool, because he's had to deal with the Brazilian postal system twice now. Thank you very, very much Tim! This has been a great present!


The good, the bad and the ugly

The good news is that the figures are perfectly acceptable. This worried me, as 3mm is a tricky scale to do. Marcin at O8 gets around most of the problems by casting in a hard zinc and aluminium alloy, which holds detail like no one's business. Unfortunately, it also has very little give and will break rather than bend.

MM has decided to cast in good ´ol lead alloy. They've gotten around the problems this presents by making their figures noticeably more chunky than O8´s. This is not necessarily a bad thing, especially because the soft metal means they can be easily modified – something one can´t say for O8´s miniatures. The pikes, of course, are ridiculously thick, but if you are playing in micro- and picoscales, you already know that some sacrifices must be made. If you´re really anal-retentive, you can hack off MM´s pikes quite easily and substitute piano wire. Sure, it'd be a hassle to do a whole pike block or phalanx like this, but it could be done!

The bad news is that MM's figures are uneven in quality. The infantry is quite good, if chunky: 8 figures on a 20mm frontage, with no space between the figures versus O8's 10 figures on the same frontage, with, if anything, too much space between the figures. I originally didn´t like the cavalry much, but they´ve grown on me as I´ve painted them. The one problem is that their heads seem far too big. Perhaps this is due to the (understandable) desire to cast them with identifiable tricornes, but the best adjective for the cavalry is still “bobbleheaded”.

The artillery, however, is a crying shame. The cannon has no carriage, only a gun tube with two wheels attached to it. In fact, the whole thing looks like some sort of pornographic parody of a cannon, or perhaps a toy cannon. In any case, it is unacceptable. I don´t know why MM decided to go with this cast as it's not like it's difficult to model cannons at this scale. Furthermore, O8´s cannon won´t look good with MM's gunners, who also suffer from the same bobbleheadedness as the cavalry. Fortunately, one doesn´t need many artillery pieces for a game of Maurice and, because of MM's decision to go with a soft alloy, the artillery is easily modified. I sliced the wheels off of mine, stuck in some square plastic rod bits where the wheels used to be, then sliced off two thin sections of plastic tubing for new wheels. The result is perfectly acceptable on the tabletop and even looks OK close-up.

Be advised, however, that if you buy MM's artillery, you'll get this.

It looks even worse in real life than it does in this picture. All the doubts you have about that figure? They are all perfectly true. So if you don't want to mod your own cannons and don't want semi-pornographic artillery, you might want to wait until O8 releases 18
th century figures or until MM recasts its crap artillery.

Artillery aside, these figures paint up a treat. As the infantry is strip-mounted, you won´t be able to cut it apart, as you can do with O8's stuff, in order to vary your formations. I originally was going to put down three strips per base, but it looked far too clunky with Maurice's 4 stand infantry units. I've thus gone 2 strips per base and I am pleased with the result. The flags are, of course, mounted on telephone poles and far too thick. They are easily clipped off and replaced with paper flags, as you see here. My flags are hand painted, but I might replace them with some laser-printed flags at some point in the future.

One problem the infantry has (or maybe it's not a problem: YMMV): the figures are jammed together, but there's a millimeter of space on each end of the strip. If you put these on 20mm wide bases, there will be gaps between each infantry stand. You can, of course, file the base ends down flush with the soldiers and base on 18mm squares. This would be no problem for Maurice,  which measures everything in base-widths, but other rules might suffer.

As you can see in the photos, I didn't file my bases down, so there are gaps between the stands.

Compatability with O8

There's good news and bad news here as well. The bad news is that because of the figure style, it will be somewhat jarring for you to place O8 heavy infantry or cavalry on the same bases or in the same units as MM's stuff. However, they look perfectly fine when based separately, especially if one uses O8's stuff for irregular or light troops.

MM says they will have hussars and grenadiers along presently. I don't think O8's stuff would make good grenadier substitutes, but several of their figures do just fine for light troops.

Here are some ACW Zouaves serving as generic Balkans or Turk-style light troops:

Here are busby-equipped chasseurs a cheval, doing excellent work as 18th century hussars. You can compare them with the bobbleheaded MM cavalry behind them. Not an outrageous difference:


Finally, here are ACW confederate skirmishers, painted as German-style jaegers or Freikorps:

MM's bases are much thicker than O8's, so I found it necessary to slip in a piece of card under the latter's figures in order to bring their heads' level with the former's. As you can see, O8's stuff is much more delicate than MM's. The cavalry, in particular, is riding horses that are noticeably smaller. This is fine, however, if you want to model light cavalry. Not so good if you were hoping to use O8's stuff for other types of heavy cavalry.

The bottom line

If, like me, you want to play 18th century warfare right now in 3mm and don't mind doing a bit of hacking at the artillery, then place an order with Magister Militum. If you prefer Oddzial Osmy's delicate style (sometimes far too delicate – half of the Zouaves popped off their bases while I was clipping them) and very fine detail, or if the thought of modifying artillery pieces turns your stomach, then you might want to wait until Marcin's crew bring out their own 18th century stuff.

I myself am perfectly happy with my purchase and will be buying MM's grenadiers and other offerings as soon as they come out.

Eye candy...

The initial regiments of my two imaginations: Saxe-Tübbio and Biche-Pliese.

The infantry of Landgravine Elza Pappen, of Biche-Pliese

 The red-coated cavalry of Herzogin Heiline D´Taxis, of Saxe-Tübbio.

Two of Herzogin Heiline's regiments. Note that the stands are slightly less than 20mm wide. This means you'll have to cut your bases to 18-19mm if you want an unbroken line of infantry.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Worst prep job, ever.

1800 mm scale T34-85, from some knock-off, Russian manufacture, apparently using very old molds (just look at those mold lines!)

This is just a piss-poor job of basing and prepping. Whoever did this should be ashamed! They didn't even give it a once over with a file, for fuck's sake!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

2mm French Imperial Guard for Blucher

I am heading off to a conference, so I can't get up many more photos for awhile. But here some pictures of the1813 French Imperial Guard for Blucher. As always, once I got the photos up, I saw the errors: for some reason, one of the Young Guard artillery units is Polish. I need to do some relabeling on the Guard infantry, too. Sigh.

Note thst some errors, like the two Flanquer brigades and red plumes for all the Guards. I did these just for esthetic purposes: more color is always good in the picoscales.

Other than that, though I think these are pretty good.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

The Teeny, Tiny Grande Armée

Here´s my 2mm rebasing project for Sam Mustapha's new Blucher. Each 3cm x 2cm base is a brigade and what we have here is a fictional French Army for late 1813. Basically "not Leipzig".

There is something close to 1200 points of troops: enough for three big armies.

I'm pushed for time now, so I won't do a in-depth analysis for a few weeks. Suffice it to say that I bought these miniatures painted, second hand, in 2004 and based them for Volley & Bayonet. When Blucher came out, I wanted to play with figures ASAP, but my 3mm project is already geared to the battalion level. These guys here have been haunting a cigar box since 2010, so I pulled them out and got to work.

The 3cm x 2cm bases means I can play huge battles on my living room table. I've also already made cards for these guys, which I shall post at some point in the future.

These figures were my first pico-scale project, more than a decade ago. I have learned alot about painting picoscale since then, so the stuff here is not up to my current standards. But for quick, massive battles of Blucher, they will do just fine.

Note that I have the base labels set up seperately. They are glued to the bases with white glue and can be easily detatched if I want to make scenario specific labels.



Sunday, March 22, 2015

5Core Brigade Commander: The Red Army

 And here's my Red Army (Krasnynorad -- once again, based on Avalon Hill's old Blitzkrieg) for 5Core.

Friday, March 20, 2015

5core Brigade Commander: The Blue Army

Inspired by the new fast-play 5core Brigade Commander rules, I've rebased my old 3mm imaginations armies for the game. Here's the blue army, based on Avalon Hill's old board game, Blitzkrieg.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Three Different Pico-Scale Versions of the First Polish Lancers

Here are three different versions of the same regiment: the famous First Polish Lancers, all in pico-scales!

First up are two squadrons of the lancers based for Black Powder. Figures are from Oddizal Osmy's 1/600 Napoleonics line:

Then we have the entire regiment based for Sam Mustafa's new Blücher. These are 1/900 scale figures from Irregular Miniature's Horse & Musket range:

Last, we have a squadron of First Polish Lancer GEVs painted up for my 3mm Ogre Miniatures set-up. These are heavily modified Oddizial Osmy Centaurus hovercraft.