Sunday, January 30, 2011

A good deal, just not a super deal!

As you may or may not know Crusader make a tiny 28mm Napoleonic Line, really it's just a few French Line Infantry but they are nicely done and can make a nice addition and add some variety to your existing army.

Well over at NorthStar they have a "Super Value deal" running until midnight on Tuesday 3 * 24 Man units plus 3 flags for GBP45.00 plus pp. They claim the normal price is GBP89.20 but forget that it's just marketing speak (that's the price if you decided to buy it all as individual packs and no one in their right mind would want to do that) come Tuesday night the pricing will revert to its normal price of GBP55.00 so it's about 20% off. Still 72 quality 28mm figures plus flags for GBP45.00 is a good deal in my books.

Worth taking a look at.

This range has been around for years and there is no sign of it going any further so just view this as "padding" for your main vendor don't expect to be able to ever add to it.

Victrix Update

Victrix issued a short update, their first of the new year!

28th January - Old Guard Colonels on sale and other news

We appologise for being a bit slow with news updates so far in 2011, this does not mean we have not been busy However!
The Old Guard Colonels and pioneers pack has been added to the shopping cart. This 4 figure and 2 horse pack retails for £10. These are great sculpts made for us by Paul Hicks. We should have some painted versions to show very soon.

Last year we had a disaster with the Marine heads pack we were making. The heads were ruined beyond repair in the moulding process. It was very disheartening to see Pauls work and our money turn into shrunken peas! However Paul has started on a new pack for us which he reckons will be ready in a couple of weeks. There will be 30 heads and an officer, drummer and sergeant figure in the pack.

Also Paul is working on Russian Chasseurs/ jaegers and Russian Cuirassiers in metal at present, we will keep you posted as and when we receive them.

Not much to add here, we have seen the Guard Colonels a few months back when they first announced them, very nicely sculpted by Hicks. Though I would say that if I want Colonels, then I want Colonels not Pioneers or other figures however nice they are but then again I am more a gamer than a collector so I am thinking of unit building, you may feel differently.

The Marines would be interesting and I might pick these up but they tend to be expensive if the Hanoverian and the Light's heads are anything to go by. I did pick up the "Light's" heads previously they were OK but some people commented they were a bit small, it is a neat idea to add a variant but as I said I think pricing is the issue unless there is no other alternative (like Perry for the Hanoverians).

Nice to hear they are progressing with the Russians though I don't personally have an interest in early Russians. They did say previously to expect the Austrians in 'early 11' but their is currently no news of them and as ever no sign that we will ever see a horse team for the British Limber they released last May, will we hit the one year anniversary of their release and still be in this state.

Anyway I daren't criticise Victrix too heavily, they need to do whatever they need to do to survive because as we have seen with the recent and on going troubles at Wargames Factory "plastics" are not necessarily an easy way to make money. That said, IMHO the problem with Wargames Factory was the product was very poor quality in the first place, something Victrix has nothing to worry about, with Victrix I think it's an issue that they seem to have spread themselves very thin and without a clear message as to what they are covering and the depth of that coverage. Gamers tend to prefer to buy a range that has depth or where that depth is scheduled to appear "real soon" otherwise they risk having an army with no Cavalry or no Artillery

Command & Colors:Napoleonics - First Impressions

Yesterday I had opportunity to play C&C:Napoleonics Richard Borg's latest offering from GMT Games with my friend Andrezj. I hadn't had a chance to read through the rules in advance but I was already very familiar with C&C:Ancients and had read a one page summary of the differences provided by another friend, so I wasn't too concerned and assumed it would be easy to pick up, and so it turned out.

We played four scenarios Corunna, Talevera, Coa and Bussaco, I played the British in each scenario. After winning Corunna I lost the remaining 3 games though the final battle of Bussaco came down to a nail biting finish where a 50/50 throw of the dice could have won it for me but it was not to be.

So what do I think of it?
Productions value are up to the usual standard for C&C games and as I have said if you know one of the variants you will have no problem in picking this game up. As a game it was thoroughly enjoyable, of the four scenarios I played all but Coa were reasonable well balanced. I would recommend this boardgame to anyone and plan myself to get a copy at a later date, an easy game, lots of fun, what more can you ask for?

But what of it as a 'Napoleonic' game as opposed to yet another C&C variant?
Well here my feelings are mixed, first compared to lot of tactical Napoleonic games it didn't feel like I was playing PanzerBlitz which is a major plus but at the same time I didn't really find it had a strong 'Napoleonic' feel to it either.

I had difficulty in making effective use of the 95th Rifles, in one game they were attacked by cavalry forced into square and destroyed over the next two turns, in another they occupied a town and a couple of rounds from an artillery battery destroyed them as an effective fighting unit. I have a hard time imagining my getting into that position in a 'miniatures' game.

The British get a +1 die when firing, the French get a +1 for melee but that was it and I didn't find that did much to add any flavor, though it did 'mix things up' a bit, you didn't really get much feel of the French coming on in columns to be met by the volley and bayonet charge of the British. The reverse slope tactic seems to be non existent, if the British occupied the first hill hex then they would take hits from the French artillery, if they occupied the next hex back the French could approach without taking fire and when they did attack there melee advantage had the Britsh just retreating and the only way to stop the rot was to go on a general offensive and engage in a melee in which the British had no advantage and simply relied on being able to concentrate numbers in the right place at the right time. You can argue all that has been abstracted and then factored in to the dice throws, that is the usual answer to any criticism of a Borg game but for me it left the game with little real Napoleonicness.

Add to that I felt far too many times my batteries were charged (successfully) by cavalry, I would say frontally as well but there is no 'front' as such  in C&C games. If it had been Mercer at Waterloo he would have been ridden down on the first cavalry attack without having got off a single round.

Now on the subject of Cavalry, when they attack all they need to do is to force the unit they are attacking to retreat and then they can advance into the hex and attack any adjacent unit, again to put this in a Waterloo context the Scots Grey charge the French who turn and run at the sight of them and then the Grey's instead of continuing on and plowing through them they stop on a dime, turn over 90 degrees to their right and roll up the line, don't expect to ever see your Union brigade way over the other side of the ridge way beyond control, sabering the Grand Battery.

The game "work's" as a game, in fact exceedingly so, it "work's" in replicating a battle, it work's as a beer and pretzel game for none Napoleonic grognards but I just didn't feel much flavor was there for a true Napoleonic fan, my metals and Lasalle or BP can rest easy they are not threatened by this game.

One caveat, this was the first sitting and Borg games are notorious for taking several sittings before you begin to appreciate them and realize the mistakes you were making, so I am hesitant to suggest that it would improve with some rule changes, even if I think it would!

So in conclusion, at this point I would say, great game, worth buying, you will have fun with it but not really that "Napoleonic" in feel.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

A few more Prussians from WG

A little bit 'old news' now but Warlord Games have added a few more metal Prussian packs to their site, first up WGN-PRU-25 a pike/musket combination, then WGN-PRU-24 an 'at trail' set..

Prussian Landwehr with Pike / Musket

From their site:
We have sculpted some metal Landwehr with pike and with musket so that you can give yet more variety to your brave Prussian battalions. A good few thousand pikes were issued in the early days of their existence when muskets were short, and units certainly drilled and marched with them. It’s unlikely that many units got to use their archaic weapon in anger, which is probably just as well.
The front ranks only were issued with the pikes, the remaining two would have been musket armed.
Note that these models come with separate heads and allows for a lot of variety and conversion opportunities.
This set contains 10 metal bodies, 10 metal heads, 5 with pikes and 5 with muskets. Models supplied unpainted.  
This pack is priced at GBP12.00 plus pp.

Prussian Landwehr at Trail

All Prussian infantry were well-trained and drilled, and the Landwehr were no exception, if time allowed infantry could advance in a manner of ways, but advancing “at the trail” seems to have been the favoured mode, allowing a quick pace, whilst keeping the temptation of stopping to fire away from a nervous soldier under fire.
These models come with separate weapon arms allowing plenty of diversity and positioning within your regiment.

This set contains 10 metal models. Models supplied unpainted. 
This pack is priced at GBP12.00 plus pp.

Pretty nice sculpts, maybe bordering a little bit on the 'cartoony' side but doesn't stray over the limit like they have done on some of these metals recently. I particularly like the 'at trail' poses, these will make a nice addition. 
Personally I don't like the pikes, I am disappointed they made the set half pike/half musket, I would have preferred to pay a little bit more and have enough to make either 12 pike or 12 musket, mainly so I could then just forget the pikes. Yes I know they did exist, but I don't believe it was of any significance for tabletop action's even if we are recreating very early 1813 and certainly it ceased to exist by May. However with only 5 muskets in a 10 figure set it makes this set a bit of a waste of money for me so I will give it a miss for now which is a shame as the figures themselves are a good match pose wise for the plastic Landwehr they released in October last year.

New UK Napoleonic Comic Strip

If you have followed this blog last year you will recall a couple of post's I made about Spanish Napoleonic comic's, Spanish Napoleonic Comic's and la Guerra de la Independencia en los tebeos, sadly there is no equivalent in the UK (or anywhere else on the planet outside Spain as far as I can see), well I was very surprised to hear that there is to be a Napoleonic comic strip to be launched in the UK in 2011!!

The strip is to be published in a magazine, called appropriately "Strip Magazine" by Print Media Productions, but they will also be publishing it as a graphic album which I think will be of more interest to us gamers. Could make for some great skirmish scenario's, maybe next a xmas stocking filler (remember I am the first to mention xmas) !

The strip is called Lawless and tells the incredible story of Jack Lawless and the Irish Legion, a band of renegades and outcasts who fought against against the British in the tumultuous era of the Napoleonic wars.

Written by Ferg Handley (Commando, GI Joe, Spider-Man) and drawn by Kev Hopgood (co-creator of Marvel's War Machine, artist on Games Workshop's Darkblade), Lawless is a creator-owned tale bringing historical action adventure back to British mainstream comics with a vengeance.

Lawless creator Kev Hopgood says of the tale: "I’ve been a huge enthusiast for the Napoleonic period since I can remember, but have never had the chance to tell a story with that setting before. Now is the time!"

"When Kev approached me with the concept, I bit his hand off," added Ferg. "I’ve always been fascinated by the Napoleonic era, and the Irish Legion angle made me think 'hmm, The Pogues in uniform…'"

Ferg Handley's first professional comic was Commando 3102 published in December 1997. Since then, he has written over 250 Commando titles and carved a name for himself largely as a popular comics writer for UK comics such as Spectacular Spider-Man, Marvel Heroes and GI Joe.

Kev Hopgood has a long a varied career in comic books and children’s illustration. Starting out with such strips as Zoids, Action Force and Night Zero for UK publishers he went on to went onto a three year run on Iron Man for Marvel Comics. During this time he co-created the character War Machine. Following a stint in the computer games industry he went to work on the Darkblade strip for Games Workshop.

Nowadays he splits his time between comic strip work for publishers Panini UK and Eaglemoss and children’s illustration for companies such as Oxford University Press, Barrington Stoke and Franklin Watts.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Offensive Miniatures new 28mm Napoleonic's

This one almost passed me by, I didn't see this anywhere until I was browsing their site today.

Offensive Miniatures make a small range of 28mm Napoleonic's under the title of 'Follow the Drum', the range is focused on the Peninsular War with British, French and Polish Infantry as well as Polish Cavalry included in the range. The Riflemen pack is particularly outstanding well worth buying. These are 'Perry Compatible' and all very nicely sculpted, though the cavalry are I think rather poorly posed.

Well not much has happened on this range for a very long time, to be honest nothing since the range was first announced I think but a couple of weeks ago they released a British Peninsular Casualties pack comprising of 9 figures, from their site:

"Give your unit some variety with this pack or just use them as casualty markers. Contains 9 figures, 4 lying dead and injured on the ground, 5 falling or sat on the ground, comprising of a mix of drummer boys and young soldiers to provide a variation to your unit. Also included are two muskets to position as you want and a pile of equipment (drum,backpacks etc)."

Priced at GBP12.00 plus pp for 9 figures, postage varies between GBP1.20 and GBP1.80 depending on location.

I think they look nice and would make a nice addition to any collection, the wounded drummer is particularly good! Oddly some of the poses remind me of the recent WG Prussian casualties pack.

Perry Prussian Artillery Greens

OK first its been a very, very long time since my last post, moving house at the start of December, work, xmas, and an illness all combined to stop me from posting for the last 7 weeks, anyway did you really miss me LOL, but now I am back and their will be a lot to blog about this year!!

So first up, Perry Miniatures have posted pics on their site of greens of their forthcoming 28mm Prussian Artillery. If you recall this is the range we first heard about last September which will be a mix of plastic and metal and will complement releases from Warlord Games.

The usual fare from the Perry's LOL. Nicely sculptured, love the running up poses particularly, somehow Prussian's should always be rushing around, hardworking and active don't you think!!

The guns look nicely executed as well and as this is Perry and not a certain other company, I have no doubt that the limbers will be along fairly shortly.

When will the plastic's appear? Hopefully it's not too far away, they did say last September that maybe the metals might be released first but I suspect they are going to be released at the same time now.

As ever I look forward to these and lots more in the Prussian range this year, these in particular are a must have.

I have no doubt this is going to be a fantastic year for Napoleonic's.