Tuesday, April 30, 2019

So How's GW Doing With Adeptus Titianicus?

Photo visualization of GW's rollout plan to support the new Adeptus Titanicus.
So, I've been painting quite a lot of 19th century/Franco-Prussian War stuff for a while - and loving it - but it's fun to take a break.  I thought it might be fun to look again at my Adeptus Titanicus collection, and work on some improvements...that would start with some new weapons for the Titans, or maybe a couple of the new Cerastus Knights...this pointless rant is the product instead...

Many fans of the Horus Heresy, 30k and Epic were very excited to see Games Worksop's re-launch of Adeptus Titanicus last year.  Certainly I was. Anxious, yes. But on the whole, good stuff.  The new models are really striking, great kits.  The rules are excellent, a reminder that GW can really put excellent rules out there.  The game looks cool, and is great fun.

But there was also a lot of trepidation for many fans - there certainly was for me. The new scale, the eye-watering prices, all limiting the audience of the game.  And GW itself seemed to be half-assing it when it came to getting the game out there in the first place. The combo of models and weapons in the original box was a let-down (only one weapon load-out for the Warlords, etc). The game itself seemed to take forever to get to market. GW only seemed to be releasing this game because some unseen power was forcing them too, and doing the bare minimum needed to support it.

But hey, once it got out there, if would be out there!GW would surely get behind the game, muster its formidable marketing and product release engine, and get things moving, right? Right?

Let's see how that has been going...

Late last year, there was the fiasco where they tried to force you to purchase an entirely new Warlord Titan just to get some of the new weapons for the Warlord Titan kits.  This episode inspired one of their most tone-deaf responses to fan furor I have seen from them - and with GW's standards in this regard, that is saying something.

Wow - that spin will make you dizzy...
But hey, give them some credit, right? They did listen (after getting ventilated online, but still), and pledge to make the new weapon sprues available separately.  It did happen - a month or more later than promised - but it did happen, so you wouldn't have to purchase an entirely new Warlord Titan just to get a broader weapon load-out for the new models in your collection.  Great, right? Except...

If only I could some new weapons for my Warlord Titans...
Hope you got em' while you could!

Hey - maybe I can try those new Cerastus Knights while I'm waiting for new weapons for my Titans? That seems like fun! I just need those command terminals to run them in the game...oh...too bad this has been the case for two months or so now:

Only the temporary lasts...
Well, at least Forge World is releasing more weapons! That has to be good news, right? I mean, the exchange rate conversions are pirate-level, and I dislike working with resin, and the quality control at Forge World is bonky at times, but they are nice guys and will certainly stock the new weapons for my Warlord Titans, right?  I can't wait to work on these while the other stuff gets stocked up...

Oh rats...maybe I can get that other one...?

For f*ck sakes, GW - are you guys serious about this or not?

It's not like there are no models out there or anything. The original Warlord (and the "new" one) are out there, so are the Reavers and Warhounds. And you can fill you boots with terrain (at least for now).  But the funny word "Titanicus" is in the title of the game for a reason - the game is built around the Titans.  Nobody is running around wishing they would release Adeptus Terrainicus. The different weapon load-outs of the Titans are an integral part of the enjoyment of the game.  Somehow it's been almost a year and you still can't get a full suite of weapons yet...I'll paint the buildings and stuff at some point, but I want to work on the Titans...stop trying to make me buy more super-expensive Titan models just to get more weapons. 

I'm sure there are a lot of good people trying to do the best they can. It's just a hobby. These are first-world problems. And in business, stuff happens, right? But maybe you could divert 5% of the energy used to issue new deamonic whackadoodle stuff and actually get your act together on Adeptus Titanicus?

And so, back to the 19th Century for now!

Monday, April 22, 2019

Franco-Prussian War - 10mm Turcos & Friends

10mm Franco-Prussian War castings from Pendraken.
The blogging pace has slowed in the past few weeks - work has been rather busy, and abysmal "spring" weather has finally relented somewhat, allowing glimpses of a bright, glowing orb in the sky that appears to generate sufficient heat even to melt snow! I have been trying to get outside to maximize my enjoyment of this wondrous development...

But I have still been painting a bit. The period and setting will be a familiar one - the Franco-Prussian War of 1870, but I have switched scales for a bit, adding a few more 10mm figures. These castings are all from Pendraken. They add to some "test" figures I painted last year, and to some more I painted during the recent Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge.

These 10mm figures are being based with the game "1870" in mind.  In the basic version of this game, one base equals one battalion of infantry, two squadrons or cavalry or a battery of guns. This scale allows for some of the very large engagements from the Franco-Prussian War to be played out on a gaming table of a somewhat reasonable size in a somewhat reasonable time. 

There are a few different elements in this post - up first is a regiment of Tirailleurs Algerian, the feared "Turcos", colonial troops from Algeria in French service.  The Turcos were fine soldiers and performed bravely during the war.  The three bases together would comprise the whole regiment.
The Turcos are ready to march in defence of the Second Empire!

Incredible detail and quality on such small figures - Pendraken sculpts are incredible, and really do justice to these iconic troops!
These same sculpts can be used to represent Zouaves...I'll paint some of those up soon.
Up next is some cavalry - French Dragoons.  These two bases together would comprise an entire regiment of Dragoons.

French Dragoon regiment in line.

French Dragoon regiment in column.
Then we move on to artillery - there are three batteries of French "4-pounders".  These were rifled muzzle-loading pieces and two batteries of these guns were attached to each division in the Imperial army.

These 4-lb artillery pieces were the main components of a French divsion's artillery strength.
Then we have that exotic French weapon from 1870, the Mitrailleuse. Generally speaking, each French division in the Imperial army had one battery available.

The mysterious mitrailleuse.

One battery of these exotic weapons per division...
Finally some small stands to represent command - there is a French base and a Prussian one. 

French divisional command base.

Prussian divisional command base.
How dumb is it to paint one setting in multiple scales? Certainly this causes a diffusion of overall progress toward goals...and this is true - when you spread your efforts out, you make a smaller percentage of progress towards a larger number of goals...no doubt this approach helps fill my basement with unpainted stuff, right? But there are many other positive things I find from collecting and painting a period or setting in different scales.  

First, there are some big battles from this setting I would like to game with the guys - but that won't happen in 28mm.  I love and enjoy my 28mm collection, and will continue to add to it, but this will almost always be used to play smaller components of larger battles.  Most of the main engagements in the Franco-Prussian War featured at least one Corps-level formation per side. At a battalion level, a French division alone would have 13 battalions of infantry.  With 24-figure battalions, that's 312 figures just for the one division...a French Corps would have had three divisions, plus a cavalry division, and then the attached artillery...and that doesn't even count the Prussians!

My 10mm Franco-Prussian war collection to date...not very big, but as the gaps on the shelf fill in, we'll get towards a game...still you can already see how the smaller scale can offer a big "sweeping"  view for the period... for rules like "1870" this small collection still represents a total of 21 battalions of infantry, 12 squadrons of cavalry and 10 batteries of artillery...
And even if I could somehow summon the time and skill to paint all of those figures in 28mm (hey, that would be cool, if miraculous), I'm not sure I could find a table or the space to represent, say, the battle of Spicheren or Mars-La-Tour...those would have to be enormous tables, so far beyond my skills to create, or the size of my house to hold!

A Prussian division in 10mm for "1870" - two brigades of infantry (each of two regiments), a regiment of Dragoons (cut off on the left of the photo). The divisional artillery at the back. Command stands are at the front, along with a battalion of Jagers (cut off at the front left of the photo). 
So diving into smaller scales is the answer.  But there is a further benefit...I find it refreshes my interest and motivation (oddly), to paint a period/setting in different scales.  While I'm painting my 28mm figures, I'm saying to myself "oh man, this takes time, it would be so cool to just get a whole regiment painted in a few hours".  So I crack out the 10mm figures, and boom! But then, while painting the 10mm figures, I'm saying to myself "oh man, these uniforms are SO awesome, I would love to see them in 28mm", so when I finished a stretch of 28mm, well, boom! I'm fired up for the larger figures again!

An Imperial French division taking shape...one brigade of infantry is now complete, along with artillery and the attached Chasseurs a Pied battalion (they are at the front, lower left).  Needs five more infantry battalions to complete the second infantry brigade. The cavalry, meanwhile, is the start of its own division...needs some lancers and Hussars to round out...always more, right?
And while I'm blown away by the quality of the 10mm castings from Pendraken, I'm also experimenting with castings in the other small scales - some 6mm from Baccus and 15mm from Old Glory.  Hopefully I'll have more to share here on the Blog at some point.  Again, each scale offers a different set of trade-offs in terms of look vs. table size vs. game scale...and dabbling in each figure scale feels different enough that my interest and overall motivation remains pretty strong...you know, until I decide I need a new Titan or some more Space Marines :)

Thanks for visiting!

Monday, April 8, 2019

Franco-Prussian War - French Chasseurs a Pied in 28mm

French Chasseurs a Pied from 1870 - 28mm figures from Wargames Foundry.
 Curt's most recent Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge has concluded.  The annual paint-a-thon is always a great time, and the last few weeks are often a bit hectic, so after wraps up, there is often a little break for me before I get painting again.  But just a small one! A few days off, and then I was back at the brushes, continuing with a familiar project - the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 in 28mm.  Here is a unit of French Chasseurs a Pied.  The figures are all from Wargames Foundry.

Chassepot rifles ready to defend France...
The Chasseur battalions fulfilled a similar role to the Prussian Jagers...these were light infantry, meant to support the larger formations to which they might be attached.  There was, generally, about one battalion of Chasseurs attached to each French division.

I love the NCO sculpt - he's bellowing something at the skirmish line.  All NCO sculpts should be yelling...
The uniform of a Chasseur varied slightly from their line infantry counterparts - they still had the kepis, but wore blue pants that matches their tunics. The epaulettes were green, and they had yellow piping on the uniform. 
The chef-de-battalion's uniform is pure guesswork - and possibly/probably totally wrong...but at leas he fits in well...
I am running low on French officer castings, so there was a bid of bodging in this unit.  The chef-de-battalion marching in the front row is painted all in dark blue to match his colleagues, but this is pure fabrication on my part...you'll also see the drummer is lacking epaulettes, as that casting is, strictly speaking, meant for the later Republican units.  The officer packs from Foundry are a total smorg, so you sort of need to make the best of what you get...and besides, the French mobilization in 1870 was pretty chaotic regardless, so there could have been all sorts of exceptions found among the troops, right?

Drummer is missing his epaulettes...of well...
You'll see I have done a casualty base for this unit as well - that is something new for me.  I used to find casualty markers to be a bit of an extravagance - nice to have, but not worth diverting painting time from the actual gaming figures in order to create them. 

Fallen Chasseur on the handy casualty base...those empty spaces will hold small D'6s.
 Curt and Byron have helped to change my mind on this - Byron in particular has some lovely and simple casualty figures for his excellent Greek collection, and this really helps keep things organized in a nice way when it comes to tracking hits etc. on a unit.  I liked to simply put dice behind the unit...but then I would always pick those dice up! Not a easy way to keep track of things at all!

Byron used his excellent 3D printer skillz to create a bunch of little tandem trays that will hold very small D6's.  I attached these to a base next to a wounded figure, and boom, there is a good visual aid for the gaming table, with a mount for dice that even a clod like me will remember not to touch! I now have a little pile of casualty figures to paint up...watch for more on those...

Completed unit - and casualty base for when the Prussians get close...
The 28mm FPW collection is starting to build a nice critical mass - this is my fifth infantry unit for the French, and 11th infantry unit overall for the entire collection.  These reliable, sharp-shooting light infantry will give the French commanders some extra options on the gaming table the next time we visit this period.

Thanks for visiting!

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Imperial Militia

I decided to post all my completed units thus far for my Imperial Militia army, The Inferaltii Hussars. They served the Emperor during the Unification Wars, Great Crusade and Horus Heresy. I've used infantry from Anvil Industry and vehicles from GW. I've also scavenged vehicles from other sources which are offered at a slightly better price point! Some of these units were completed during Curt's 9th Painting Challenge. I had hoped to add a few more units during the challenge but work and illness dashed those plans right at the tail end.

Here's the stuff from the challenge:
These represent Imperial Armada troops who will be brought in by the Hussars to operate the artillery. From Anvil Industry

Quad-multilasers and Laser Destroyer from Kromlech

Imperial Militia can be given special Provenances of war which allow units to have Rhino's

Grenadier unit with Laslocks

Reconnaissance unit with sniper rifles
For heavy support I painted a squadron of Leman Russ Battle Tanks and for transport an Arvus Lighter. The Forgeworld model for the lighter is far too expensive for what it is and looks like a Star Trek shuttle craft. I wasn't interested in it, so I picked up a much cooler model from Mantic Games to represent the Arvus. My only complaint with the Mantic model is they went with the tiltrotor for propulsion. I guess it doesn't fly through space.

Leamn Russ tanks with battlecannon and twin -lascannon

The Hornet from Mantic Games. It will be used as an Arvus Lighter.

The troop compartment opens, but I was lazy and didn't bother with painting it.