Battleshed Diaries

Tuesday 7 March 2017

The Indians are coming!

Iroquois warriors from Warlord Games

It may seem I've been a bit quiet since my escapades at Vapnartak in York. In reality, I've been as busy as ever on the gaming front over the last few weeks.  I've just kinda' had my head down getting on with various projects, chipping away at my painting queue and regularly losing on the tabletop. So everything, gaming-wise, is pretty much steady at the helm.

The brushes have been out in earnest, though. Which is probably why I’ve been neglecting the blogosphere a wee bit; I’ve been capitalising on my current wave of hobby productivity until ‘painting lassitude inevitably sets in sooner or later.

I’ve a whole plethora of units and individual figures in various states of acrylic undress. There are some additional Ucrian Harbingers for my growing Rogue Stars collection almost completed, with the greater proportion of miniatures in the painting queue taken up by various French Indian War units and officers being handed their kit for Sharp Practice. Indeed, the first irregular unit to report for duty is these six Iroquois Warriors from my Vapnartak haul.
Warlord Games: 28mm metal Iroquois
Warlord Games: 28mm metal Iroquois (£10)

I've never painted native Indians before and naively thought they’d be fairly straightforward to paint. I mean, a lot of flesh tones, a few basic garments and their done, right? Um. Not exactly. On closer inspection - under the big led mangiferin LED lamp for their initial pre-paint preparation - I had a mumbled bloody 'ell! moment. These lads are wearing all sorts of odd kit, decorations and outfits!

I was soon scouring the web, looking at sites on Iroquois history and traditional dress. All fascinating stuff. That’s what I love about our wargaming hobby. It can lead to researching all sorts of peoples, histories and places I may not have necessarily been drawn to before. My sloppy painting aside, I’ve at least grasped a basic understanding of the Iroquois Confederacy during the French Indian Wars. In the off chance the subject comes up in a pub quiz! I’ll still be next to useless actually playing Sharp Practic of course!

What else? Well, I’ve had a bit of a tidy-up in the Battleshed. I’ve rediscovered its worn green baize tabletop after months buried by old newspapers and hardboard whilst I ambitiously attempted way too many simultaneous modelling projects; the large chariot racing arena, various terrain kits and the long-delayed centrepiece for the IHMN campaign finale. All competing for space amid a pile of modelling paraphernalia and with the whole Battleshed covered by a fine layer of white plaster powder from my Hirst Art brick manufactory!

Something had to give. So I cleared the lot. Once my current painting surge starts to dissipate, (and it will!), I’ll select one of the modelling projects to continue work until completion, hopefully avoiding project overload! That’s the latest plan. Hmm.

In other news, season 3 of our Saga campaign – Dance of Power – has finally recommenced after many delays for one reason or another last year. No big surprise there to be fair considering the number of players. Seasons 1-2 saw eight competing Warlords. For season 3, two have dropped out (for now) - the Welsh Warlord, Rhisiart ap Ieuan and Viking Warlord, Torstein "Hammeren" Skjeggestad – whilst a new Viking pretender has arrived on the scene, Ivar Nomansson. The flexibility of the Age of the Wolf campaign system in action!

For this campaign, there are no restrictions on how many rivals a Warlord wishes to battle each season. So my Scots leader, Fearghas MacCoinnich, in his quest to acquire new Lands has recklessly challenged everyone this fighting season! It’s a risky strategy. He’s already limping from a permanent injury fighting the Normans. Although casualty replacement and recruitment in Age of the Wolf is usefully forgiving, the post-battle Fate rolls can be very unpredictable! It’ll be interesting to see if Warlord Fearghas actually has any men left to lead into battle come the next fighting season!

The opening battle of our Saga 'Dance of Power' campaign season 3: Fearghas MacCoinnich leads his Scots warband against Ubba's Anglo Danes, defending behind the walls of The Burh

The Battleshed back in fighting order has come at a convenient time for the regular Wednesday evening sessions, which have mostly been down the hill at Pate Manor the last few months. Sam is busy developing a new project which has temporarily taken over the Samshed, of which I’m sure he’ll tease you with over at Wee Blokes sooner or later.

Incidentally, I recently mentioned a new blogger, Ian Clark’s Tabletop Gaming Den, which has primarily focused on the Battlegroup rules system. Ian’s posts have piqued my interest, especially as I’ve trays of mostly unused FoW British looking for action. I’m hoping Ian and I can arrange a game in the near future. In the meantime, Ian has posted an excellent Battlegroup rules review.

Finally, tomorrow evening in the Battleshed (yay!), Valgen’s Dwarf lads will be let out on license for good behaviour. Let's see how long that lasts with a game of Advanced Songs of Blades and Heroes against Sam’s warband. Whatever they will be. I bet it's Elves. With Elementals…

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