Wednesday 11 December 2019

The Roman Legion is complete - part 4

As of today I can report that the Imperial Roman legion under the command of Ericus Shedicus has now been fully assembled. These brave chaps will now be resting over the winter months before initiating their campaign in the province of Britannia in the early spring.

Its taken 3 months to put this lot together!

Part 3 Can be found HERE

Ericus Shedicus - The Legion Commander

Twenty five units complete and ready to fight.

Up first we have three units of Roman Auxilliary Cavalry (Victrix). These are all slightly different thanks to different shield designs and tunic colours (red, white, blue)

Supporting the horse march 5 units of Auxilliary infantry (Warlord Games). Again each unit is differentiated by tunic and shield colour (yellow, white, green, dark blue, light blue). Command stands have come from excess Praetorian sprues I had to hand.

The Auxilliary contingent is finally made up of five archer units (Warlord, Black Tree & Aventine) – the Eastern chaps have white coats, the western green.

Marching behind the irregulars are our first Romans, a cohort of Roman marines (warlord). Resplendent in their blue tunics and hexagonal shields (spares from the Victrix Horse)

Here comes the core force of the legion 10 cohorts of heavy infantry (warlord games).

The armoured chaps have artillery support with each cohort having its own scorpion

Finally the army has drawn upon resources from the emperor himself with a large cohort of Praetorian Guard (warlord Games)

All the commanders are sources from Victrix

Hail Caesar !!

More soon

Sunday 8 December 2019

Jaws - The Boardgame

So are you stuck for Christmas present ideas this year? Can I be so bold as to make a recommendation that is not going to break the bank?

If the answer is yes and you are of a generation that remembers the classic Jaws movie of the seventies then this little boardgame is perfect. Retailing at around £25 this is a perfect present.

Although the components of the game are nothing special what you do get in this small boxed game is a virtual recreation of the movie played out in two acts and it is fantastically good fun. With one player controlling the shark (I believe he was christened Bruce on the filmset) and up to three players playing the human heroes (Brody, Quint and Hooper) this game plays out in around an hour.

In the first act our fishy friend swims around Amity island eating the dumb swimmers who still want to go into the water. The more he eats the stronger he will be in the final act. Whilst moving around the island the hunters first have to try and find him and then get Quint to attach two barrels to the beast. Whilst they are doing this they can try and rescue swimmers. The Shark player determines his moves secretly and only reveals where he has ‘eaten’ and whether he may/may not have triggered off sensors. Brody, Hooper and Quint all have a variety of tools to aid their search (binoculars, fishfinders etc) but the Shark has a number of power plays he can use to avoid these or move from the area where they might think he is lurking. 

The tension is palpable, especially when Brody’s son ventures into the water (he’s worth two swimmers), and the shark strikes the opposite side of the island you are hunting. Once the shark has either had his fill of swimmers or has two barrels in him the game switches to part 2 on the Orca (the fishing boat).

Depending upon how many swimmers were eaten the human players receive x number of equipment cards and the Shark receives x number of attack cards.

The board is then flipped over to reveal a sea zone onto which tiles are placed to reflect the Orca. To begin with the boat is nice and intact but as the shark starts his attacks it starts to take damage and sink. This is reflected by turning over the tiles to illustrate a damaged part of the boat and then finally removed to show open water. If the Shark destroys the boat or kills all the crew he wins. Of course the crew win if they kill the shark. Each turn three resurface cards are placed out in the open. These are the zones where the shark might emerge. The Shark player secretly chooses one and awaits the crew’s move. Each of the crew can then move around the boat and target with their weapons where they think the shark might emerge. If they get it right they can hit the shark before it starts chomping. If they get it wrong the Shark still chomps. As you would expect the crews gear fits with the film – there are boathooks, hammers, machetes and rifles. There is even the canister. Hitting the Shark is straightforward – each weapon denotes the number of custom dice you roll and from the total you subtract the sharks evade score (as shown on the surface card). Typically the Shark gets more powerful attacks with a low evade or weaker attacks with a high evade. Every hit adds towards the kill total.

The Shark also has plenty of options, not only can he choose where he will attack but he can augment his attack with the power cards. Destroying the boat means the crew are more likely to end up in the water and then can targeted. As the various parts of the boat disappear the Shark gets more options where to attack and this is where the game gets quite tense. We have played this a few times now and  want more. Its fun, strategic (but not in a heavy sense), and it perfectly captures the thrills of the film.

Big recommendation

Friday 6 December 2019

Shed Wars Birthday - 8 years old today

Today is my blog’s 8th birthday and I think it is fair to say that it has not been particularly loved in the past 12 months. As the stats will show shortly the lack of posts have had a detrimental affect on both its growth and numbers. I can offer a plethora of excuses including work, lack of time, and other interests etc but in the end the real reason is probably one of motivation.

It has been interesting to observe that some other bloggers have also posted less frequently and maybe this form of hobby communication is starting to wane.

However, not only have I posted on the blog less often I have also significantly cut back on visiting other sites and commenting. It has been weeks since I visited the TMP and my trips to the Lead Adventure Forum are now very infrequent.

Does all this mean that I have lost interest in our great hobby? If the evidence was purely based on my online activity then the jury would find me guilty, but the truth of the matter is very different. I continue to host games in the shed and my figure painting count is certainly the highest it has been for years. As a reminder I finished my Dark Age forces off in Jan/Feb, and then threw myself into my Ancient British adventure. The Celtic army was finished in late summer and I have now almost finished my Imperial Roman legion.

In the past I would have taken great pleasure updating this blog with progress of these projects and yet now I find it a chore to photo and comment on these as they develop. I ask myself the question why and struggle for an answer. If I find it you will all be first to know.

So as before a summary of the stats - 

Page Views

Now 2019 has been a very memorable year for wargaming and in no particular these are some of my highlights...

The early part of the year saw the shed feature the momentous battles of 1066, starting with Fulford, onto Stamford Bridge and culminating in Hastings.

Links below

Battle of Fulford
Battle of Stamford Bridge
Battle of Hastings

Hastings 2019

Perhaps one of my favourite photos on the blog....the Norman Army

The second big highlight was of course attending the Great Game up in Glasgow back in the summer. I was fortunate to be selected as an Umpire. It was a fantastic event and I met some very interesting people.

The Great Game

Whilst at the Great Game I was asked by Wargames Illustrated to be their roving reporter. An article soon followed.

and talking about Wargames Illustrated back in June they featured the Shed in glorious technicolour

June Posting

Look closely bottom right...

Moving on,  October saw another hosting of Blam in my local pub. Although a little smaller than previous years some great games were played and fun had by all.

For my sins I decided top host a game of Robin Hood.

The late summer quite possible saw the largest battle in terms of figure count fought in the shed when Mark and I managed to complete our respective Celtic armies and throw them against each other one evening. More can be found here

Chuck in as few battles on the South African Veldt (battle of Khambula) ,some pike and shotte games, a Star Wars saga and some other bits and pieces its been quite a busy year

Mos Eisley - Star Wars

Lets see what 2020 brings....thanks for following

Eric the Shed

Wednesday 4 December 2019

Imperial Roman army update part 3

Another quick update on the Roman Army build. Over the last few weeks I have been able to make a serious dent in the painting of my Imperial Roman Army.

Part 2 can be found here

In no particular order I have now built, constructed and painted every figure with the exception of the command stands. These figures have now all been glued to their bases. The bases themselves have received their sand covering and top coat of brown paint.

Just need to finish off the commanders and then I can start tarting up the bases ;-)

The Roman Legion - consisting of

10 cohorts of heavy infantry
3 units of cavalry
5 units of archers
5 units of auxiliary infantry
1 unit of marines
1 unit of Praetorian Guard
10 Scorpions (each will be attached to a cohort)

The picture below shows the Roman Marines - Shields to be attached after basing is finished

Praetorian Guard (large Unit) - again shields to be added

Archer units - 2 eastern style and three western units

Artillery support - 10 scorpions

I want to offer my thanks to one of my readers, he is called Nick.

Nick was able to reach me through Big Red Bat (another blogger who has found fame with his To the Strongest Rule set). Nick wanted to send me a parcel, which he accompanied with a great letter. In this correspondence he thanked me for my blog and wanted to contribute towards my Roman force. His gift was most generous. It was a Warlord box of Scorpion ballistas. Suffice to say these were quickly pressed into the grand battery. Thank you Nick

Lots of heavy infantry....

At the top of the picture can be seen the auxilliary infantry

One of the three horse units (above) - Riders still need to be glued into their saddles. I'll do this once basing complete.

I really do believe that this force could take to the field by Christmas.

Thanks for following 

Thursday 7 November 2019

Imperial Roman Army Assembles part 2

For Part 1 head HERE

Since I left you last I have been steadily building and painting my Imperial Roman Legion. The good news is that several units are now beginning to take shape and a big push over the next couple of months should see the bulk of this army completed.

As a reminder my legion will consist of the following

10 cohorts of heavy armoured Imperial Roman infantry. With Warlord figures readily available at a cheap price on eBay these have been my go to range. For the best discounts check out the big army boxes. There will be some of you out there that will wax lyrical about the Victrix models and I can testify that they are beautiful but when building these big armies sometimes quality has to be sacrificed for cost.

Each cohort will consist of 20 figures with four to a base. The bases (warbases) are 5cm x 5cm giving the overall frontage of each unit 25cm. This is consistent with the basing used for the Britons. I understand from some simple research that the first cohort was numerically twice the size of the others so it will be double ranked with 10 stands (same facing). This means I need a total of 220 legionaries…..and guess what, the good news from the Shed is that aside from command, standards and musicians they are all painted. 

The bases still need painting and grass added

I also discovered that a typical legion would have 60 scorpions (light artillery) so it seems entirely reasonable to put one scorpion with each cohort as a separate base. I have 8 warlord scorpions available and two from black tree. These are yet to be assembled etc.

This infantry core is going to need some support so in the plans I have set out the following

Three units of Imperial Roman Cavalry (these are sourced from Victrix). Each pack delivers sixteen horse and riders and with my units 10 figures strong I can field the three units and have two riders spare for command stands. The figures have all been assembled and painted. Just waiting on their horses.

Five units of Auxiliary infantry  (Warlord Plastics) – to cater for the lack of command stands I will press into service some spares I have from the standard legionary boxes. These are all now painted and dipped. Just need to be based and shields added

Three units of archers, these are mix of warlord and black tree metals. There will be two western style and one eastern style unit. No progress on these yet

Finally there are a couple of extra units to be thrown into the mix

One unit of Praetorians (warlord) – a large cohort (40 figures/10 bases) has been assembled and primed. I appreciate the Praetorians rarely saw campaign action but they look nice and pretty. Status – assembled and painted - to be based and shields added

One unit of Marines (warlord) – this is a standard unit of 20 warlord legionnaires that will be given blue tunics and the spare hexagonal shield that came with the Roman cavalry. Status - assembled and Primed.

part 3 here

Finally there will of course be the usual rag tag of commanders and officers

More soon