30 May 2019

Outremer: Encounter at al-Hindar

Keen to use my new Outremer figs and terrain, this week we played Scenario 3: Capture the Flag.

My newly finished Mud brick house was the key terrain of the hamlet of al-Hindar, with my Templar Warband facing off against Saracens under Alan’s command.

Our forces entered from opposite directions with the Templars rushing towards the cover that the ramshackle house offered from Saracen arrows. Brother Michael provided covering fire with his crossbow, dropping one of the Arab bowmen, but was taken  down in turn by an enemy archer.  However, he had bought enough time for the Templars, weighed down as they were by their arms and armour, to get to the structure and take cover.  

The Saracen swordsmen approached from the other side and the combat got up close and personal. 

The first to cross blades with the enemy was Brother d'Avesnes, storming around to engage the closest enemy.  The enemy Arif ran to join the fray and Brother d'Avesnes was sorely pressed to Defend himself against both attackers. Some enemy strikes cut through his guard but he was armoured with the True faith and his protection held strong.

With the sun glinting brightly from his menacing two handed Sword, Serjeant Albrecht rushed to join the fray but was intercepted by a Saracen en route (actually the Serjeant failed the faith test for the charge and was then intercepted). They clashed blades briefly before the Albrecht struck him down and then moved to attack the Arif, the large blade slicing through the enemy commander’s armour to wound him.  Taking advantage of this distraction, Brother d'Avesnes rallied, striking down his opponent and then turning to finish off the Arif with righteous fury.  The remaining Saracen archer scuttled away rather than continue to face the wrath of the Templars.

(Those wondering what part Templar Commander Wulfred van Gistel played in the battle, will be bemused to know that he failed 3 faith tests in a row (despite his the Loner rerolls) and spend the entire battle either observing his team or fleeing as Saracens arrows pinged off his armour without penetrating)

In the aftermath of the battle, Serjeant Michael was found dead with a Saracen shaft sunk deep in his chest - another martyr in the cause of keeping the Holy Land safe for pilgrims (he rolled a 1 on a d20 for effects of being Taken Down!) It was a sorrowful conclusion to what had otherwise been a strong Templar victory, and his remains were recovered for a proper Christian burial on sanctified ground.

Game notes: 

·         Shield bash as a second attack – second roll made at the same time? If conducted as a second attack with opposed die rolls, then the defender has another chance to hit in return. We played that the Attacker rolls the two attack die at the same time, to the defender’s single defence dice.

·         Multiple Combats: a 2 v 1 matchup is well documented in the rules, but what happens when a reinforcement joins to make it a 2 v 2 combat? We just split the engagement into two separate 1 v1 melee actions.

28 May 2019

Templar Warband for Outremer: Faith and Blood

I've now finished painting my first warband for Outremer: Faith and Blood. I have gone with Templars and enjoyed putting them together. Overall they form a small, heavily armed and armoured group.

Figs are Crusader metals, an old (1996) Reaper Mini, and the crossbowman is from the Frostgrave line.

Groundwork is sand, base coated Sail Colour (Mr Hobby No 85), Army Painter Soft Tone Wash, brushbrushed Vallejo Dark Sand.
During their first encounter against the Saracens, Wulfred took down an enemy, while the Sergeant Michael was taken down by a mounted Saracen before he could loose a single bolt. Brother Albrecht and Sergeant Gervaise also took down an enemy each, but then Wulfred had his horse shot from beneath him by enemy archers.  After counting their booty and paying for their upkeep, they have a purse of 98 Livre.

Stats wise for the game, my force has the following lineup after expanding the retinue with another Sergeant to boost their numbers. God Willed It.

Wulfred van Gistel – Templar Knight of Flemish heritage
Heavy Armour, Large Shield, Great Helm
Skills: Fast Leaner, Loner Sunder shield
XP:48 (Turcopolier Level 1)

Brother Henri d'Avesnes
Heavy Armour, Large Shield, Helm
Skills: Take Cover, Sneaky
XP:8 (Knight Brother 1)

Gervaise, Templar Sergeant 
Heavy Armour, Short Shield, Great Helm
Sword, Mace
Skills: Huge Build
XP:11 (Sergeant Recruit 2)

Albrecht, Templar Sergeant 
Heavy Armour, Helm, Great Sword, Sword
Skills: Nil
XP:0 (Sergeant Recruit 1)

Michael, Templar Sergeant
Skills: Nil
XP:6 (Sergeant Recruit 1)

25 May 2019

Building a Mud Hut

After some tutoring from club mate Marty, I thought it time to give the airbrush a go in earnest on a 28mm plastic Renedra Mud Brick House to start my Crusades era terrain. So this is definitely not a Tutorial or "How To" post, rather a review of "What I did".
 First up, this kit was a challenging to put together. Beautifully detailed, it feels like the kit was designed and then the rendering added afterwards.
As a result, nothing fits together well and lots of green stuff was required to fill the gaps - luckily it is ramshackle in nature so it didn't detract badly.  I built it including additions from the optional extras pack that Renedra sells separately.

After construction, I went with a black basecoat and based it on mdf with ground work textured from a combination of wall putty and sand.

I then splodged (I think that is the technical term) white over most raised areas to help dapple the next layers.

I then iteratively went through layers of colour though I was too heavy handed with the airbrush, so all I really did was cover the whole thing over and over again. But it was fun and felt like progress nonetheless!

After all those layers it looked annoyingly uniform in colour!
In the end the whole thing looked broadly (and frustratingly) uniform anyway, so a bit of a wash was needed to bring out some detail (Army Painter Strong Tone on the ground, Soft Tone on the building)

At this stage I decided some more traditional drybrushing was needed - using a sandy colour for the base and a beige/white colour for the walls. This nicely brought out the detail of the kit.

I also picked out some detail of the exposed mud bricks to make them more prominent
Finally, it is starting to look like we are getting somewhere!

An awning (from the extras pack) helped bring the building to life, with some striping adding a splash of colour. Then some dried tufts and desert bushes, plus a few odds and ends to make it feel lived in:

So thats the start of my 28mm desert terrain and the beginnings of my airbrush adventures. Definitely very useful for larger works like terrain or base coating a large stack of miniatures.  Looking forward to developing my skills further.
I really like how the airbrush has goven a dusty layer to the bottom of the building, like the bottom of the door.
Ready for action!

20 May 2019

Hamburger Hill - 50 years on

Today is the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Hamburger Hill, 20 May 1969.

Over 10 days men of the 101st Airborne assaulted the heavily fortified Hill 937, Dong Ap Bia, The Mountain of the Crouching Beast.  The NVA fiercely resisted, with the attacking paratrooper companies sustaining 50-75% casualties, including 72 KIA and 370 WIA, before they took the hill on 20th May.  This casualty rate earned the Hill its nickname, echoing Pork Chop Hill from the Korean War.

The action was made particularly controversial because the US quickly abandoned the position after the engagement, generating public outcry in America of what was seen to be a senseless battle in an increasingly unpopular conflict.