John's Toy Soldiers (rule writer John Lambshead)

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Welcome to my strange alternative world of wargaming with toy soldiers: a game for boys from twelve years of age to one hundred and fifty and for that more intelligent sort of girl who likes boys' games and books (HG Wells, Little wars)John Lambshead
Updated: 7 min 19 sec ago

Warlord Games African Warriors

November 18, 2017 - 11:18
I needed some general-purpose, late nineteenth century African Warriors to test a scenario for the new Skirmish book  am currently writing for Pen & Sword so I bought one sprue each from Warlord Games' Natal, Zulu-married and Zulu-unmarried ranges to get a nice mix.

They sell these as one offs without bases at shows and on eBay for the princely sum of £2 a piece - which is a great deal by anyone's reckoning.

The photo above shows spear and shield armed warriors.

Another photo showing warriors with various firearms.

Wargamers for both artistic and entirely practical reasons do like any army/regiment to have a unified style that defines it as distinct from other armies/regiments on the table: GW are masters at this. But photos of African warriors from various armies in the field, as opposed to in dress regalia, suggest they were neither uniform nor necessarily particularly distinct so it is not entirely unrealistic to use a mixed appearance, general purpose force as a money-saving fudge.

Except for artistic and practical purposes of course.

Categories: General

Adeptus Mechanicus Galvanic Servohauler 2 - Mobile Crane

November 14, 2017 - 13:25
This is a a great model of a crane on a rotating platform attached to what looks like a railway wagon low loader. I chose to attach the claw to the end of the chain as being more 'Grimdark' but a standard hook is also supplied.

The Techpriest is there purely to show scale but the fire extinguisher and toolbox come with the kit.

I glued the fire extinguisher onto a corner of the bogie.

I can see this looking good in a Steampunk or Weird World War II setting.

This whole kit set is great value for £25.

Highly recommended.

Categories: General

Adeptus Mechanicus Tractors - err - Galvanic Servohaulers

November 11, 2017 - 13:36

Adeptus Mechanicus Tractors from the Galvanic Servohauler Box.

These are great kits with a limited degree of exchangeable bits, although I have to say they look best the way you are supposed to construct them according to the plan.

They are easy to put together and chunky and tough so very robust to play usage.

The back of the small tractor cries out for a rear platform and enginseer or servitor to be added as a controller.

The full boxed set is great value at about Twenty Five of our Brexit Pounds.

Categories: General

Dark Ages and Britain's Rivers

November 9, 2017 - 14:23
I have just had accepted a Dark Age Hail Caeser supplement by those delightful if somewhat crazed chaps at Warlord Games.

It struck me when I wrote the book how important the waterways were in Dark Age Britain. One is struck by how many battles took place near rivers, probably for reasons of logistics and navigation.

But it goes deeper; the kingdoms formed in river basins and of you ignore the rivers and draw imaginary lines between them from coast to coast then you start to see the shadowy outlines of the kingdoms themselves.

Categories: General

Infinity Engine's V(ictoria) 2 Secret Weapon

October 28, 2017 - 13:00
Infinity Engine were back at SELWG. Infinity is run by Richard Helliwell - the Richard Helliwell, who with Rick Priestley and Bryan Ansell created Warhammer! And You don't get a finer wargaming pedigree than that.

Their display always looks great with unusual brightly painted Wellsian and Fantasy miniatures.

I was taken with their new Steampunk missile launcher and bought the first one they have ever sold!

And here it is sitting in the low sun of a Martian summer - other wise known as my lounge carpet.

Production is decent with just a few rough bits to sand and air holes to fill. I strongly recommend cleaning thoroughly before painting. I didn't which gave me issues at the primer stage.

I modelled it with the rocket loose as if it's at the point of being fired with the arms swinging away - that way I can get the missile off during a game.

You can buy one here.

Categories: General

Hawk goes under, TTC is their White Knight.

October 25, 2017 - 13:48
The clearout amongst the small wargame manufacturers continues. The latest victim is Hawk who produced Drop Zone Commander.

Their Dropfleet Commander Kickstarter ran into serious trouble with many complaints about late and undelivered pledges.

Hawk follows the pattern set by Spartan of a retailer buying a manufacturer, in that the company has been acquired by Troll Trader down in St Columb Major. As an aside, being a Newquay boy, I used to go hurling in  St Columb.

Spartan Kickstarter backers lost their money when the company went under.  The situation at Hawk looks more hopeful...

This was just posted on Kickstarter:

'Hawk Wargames Creator about 3 hours ago
Hi everyone! Lewis here from TTC. I'm having a read through the comments and updates. I'm here to answer some questions. I don't have ALL the information at the moment (things are rather hectic here!), but as the dust settles I'll know more.
@OldNick: It's true!
@Nick (new Nick?): Hi! I'm communicating! We try to stay on top of things with our customers. Transparency is key, especially in a time like this. Hopefully once our production and distribution facilities get DZC and DFC up and running we'll all see an uptake of interest in the games, and stores can finally keep product in stock!
@Thierry: DZC 2.0 is getting pushed back a bit. The rules I think are all done and ready, but with all the upheaval we'd rather launch it properly, and get everyone's DFC stuff to them first before galloping ahead.
@Draccan: I think he'll have a personal note published soon.
@Andrew: Yep! And the credits will be usable on the TTCombat webstore once all the Hawk products are listed. You'll be able to use them on Hawk products or TTC products.
@Michael: Oh umm... yeah. What you said. :D'

I have a copy of Dropfleet Commander. It's a good Andy Chambers design so it works.

Here's hoping.
Categories: General

Death Guard, The Flyblown, Flylord

October 25, 2017 - 11:38
Meet the Flylord, leader of the Flyblown, my unit of Blightlord Terminators.

He has been well 'blessed' by Nurgle for his devotion to the cause of entropy.

A sword crackling with rust and the power of Nurgle.

Combi bolter.

Categories: General

New 40K Army: Adeptus Mechanicus

October 24, 2017 - 16:31
To celebrate the arrival of a playable version of 40K, I decided to paint a new army. My family gave me an Adeptus Mechanicus starter set for my birthday. As a STEM person, I have always had a hankering to the theocratic engineers.

The starter pack includes an HQ character, the Dominus. This is a great model which would appeal to steampunk gamers as well as 40K-ers.

The troop choice in the set is ten Skitari figures that can be built as Rangers or Vanguard. I liked the look of the Rangers. I tried to give them coherent weapons, fluff wise, rather than an optimum gamer mix, as you get quite a choice.

And finally the heavy support in the set, a Dune Crawler. Again there is a wide range of weaponry available but I decided on the AA version with a general purpose Icarus weapon system.

I bought an additional set of heavy battle servitors to act as a bodyguard for my Dominus, as per the fluff.

Again, I went for a weapon system that supported army coherence without worrying about optimum gaming strategy.

A view showing the engine mix. These are great models and the set is great value for money.

I've had this somewhat knackered metal Tech Priest for at least a decade. He was a stalwart of my Imperial Guard.

Four old metal servitors from the same era.

These are OOP 'Iron Brotherhood' figures that I bought years ago because I thought they looked cool. I believe MicroArts (?) made them. I have never used them but now they make a nice alternative servitor unit.

And finally, the whole army in all its glory: it makes up about 40 PPs so is fine for small games or as a detachment in big multiplayer ones.

Categories: General