Friday, 28 December 2012

Millions of them...

Getting ready to prime the first wave. Doing these guys up as umCijo Regiment. That's an all black shield with white stitches. A somewhat junior impi, but hey, somebody has to lead the charge...


Listening to: Hobbit Soundtrack. Love that Howard Shore.
Drinking: really stiff Oolong. Whoa...

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Music Saturday: Maginot Line-Geoff Berner

Geoff is too much fun and I recommend an evening with him if you dig politically charged punk accordion klezmer tunes. Which I grant to some, may be an acquired taste.

Today, I'm sorting out some figs to eBay and sell and found some WW2 French to market. So 'natch my crusty ol' brain thinks of this song.  It's really a good sing-a-long.

To coffee and untold wealth from eBay!

Remember to point your guns the right way.


Friday, 30 November 2012

G.A.S.L.I.G.H.T. : Duel on the Delta

Duel! Wily El Halloum and Stalwart Jemadar Singh at point blank range.

Mystic carvings, oooh.

In this gripping episode, the Brave Sikhs of the 23rd Cuminpore Rifles under the command of Jemadar Garam 'Masala' Singh race across the shifting sands Egypt. Their destination, the Lost Obelisk of Bast-Ket-Baal, resting place of the Ancient, Magical, Arcane and Quite Valuable Jewel of Denial.

But lo, from the treacherous lands of the Nile Delta comes the Pirate Sheik, El Halloum and his bloodthirsty crew of scaliwags. Leaving their hideouts in Cairo (no longer wishing to be The Pirates of the Cairo-Being) they race across the dunes, the lust for treasure in their eyes.

Who will claim this treasure?! Readers, prepare yourself for exciting thrills and thrilling excitement in:


The Scenario: A quick attempt to revisit G.A.S.L.I.G.H.T.  Which I hadn't played since Dr. General Professor Yu defeated the Hideous Lizardmen of the Tien Shan.  the Pre-teen Visigoth who had only skimmed the rules, took his beloved Sikh Rifles and I dug out some 'Arab' figs I've had for a while and we threw a bunch of stuff on the DBA boards and went at it (which is how it should be). The Arab figures as many of your will recognize as the venerable ESCI/Italeri 'Muslim Warriors' which I am told is now out of print. Bummer. While a nonsensical buffet of miscellaneous 19th-20th century warriors from different lands (Sudan, Afghanistan and other places I'm not quite sure...) they are great for pulpy fun.

We decided a 'capture the flag' (or the gem) game objective would be an easy go. As it was a learning experience for the P-T.V. we agreed simple was best. He had a serious advantage fielding a modern (in 19thC terms) unit of rifle vs a mixed bag of swordsmen and jezzial shooters. I was OK with that as I was still a little slow in remembering the game.   Both forces entered opposite sides and converged upon the goal with the intention of grabbing the jewel (a hunk of mystic quart I picked up at the now defunct hippy store in the mall) and moving it off to their edge or running off the enemy force.

The pictures are off my iPhone, so not super duper quality. On the dodgier ones I crapped up with sepia effects in order to make the look all period-y. So grab some tea and read on, I'll give the AAR in more detail at the end, though the pictures are pretty self explanatory.

'A scorpion in his desert lair, Johnnie Sikh do beware!
"Have at you villainous thugs! I discharge my revolver at you!
Above, portraits of our leaders;  the Treacherous River Reaver El Halloum and the Fearless Jemadar Garam Singh. Again, a note on names. El Halloum earns his name from our favourite Middle Eastern Cheese. We are so lucky that within walking distance is a hopping little Middle Eastern grocery store that supplies all our cheese pies, hummus makings, goat feta, olives and of course the all wonderful Halloumi cheese. We usually barbeque the stuff. Gorgeous.

OK, back on narrative, the name we figured was 'The Cheese', the 'Big Cheese' as befits a gangster and pirate. Strangely hungry right now, but I'll continue...

'So it comes down to this at last, you and I fighting for the Jewel of Denial'.

'Charge! Our valiant Chieftain fights the foreign dogs unaided!'
'Their rifles will be no match for our fearsome tulwars of death!...'Oh snap.'
'Say, I have a date in Cairo. Later guys!' Ali-Sin-Badly skulkers off.
The Battle as Fought:  I'm pretty sure from the pix you gathered that the Pirates of De-Nile had it handed to them...  and indeed they did. El Halloum was generated with a with super-scuffle rating, so I figured the best option for Team Tulwar was to get in close and mess up the Sikhs. What happened instead was an epic fight between heroes at the base of the Mystic Lost Obelisk of Bast-Ket-Baal .

The detachments slowly made it to the field, the Sikhs being the quicker of the two and arriving at better position.

Alas, El Halloum failed his 5th or so save and  fell before the doughty Jemadar Singh,  vanquished by a solid right cross.  The Pirate horde arrived in place though, in place right in front of the 23rd's sights just in time to receive a volley that devastated their ranks. Only Ali-Sin-Badly, Halloum's Number 2 survived and promptly fled from the field, pleading a pressing engagement.

The Pre-Teen Visigoth was thrilled with his victory. He deployed carefully and with forethought, getting there firstest with the mostest. His was the victory, for now...

Now, El Halloum has been captured and the Jewel of Denial is firmly in the hands of Her Majesty's Empire. Amused? We were. Ali-Sin-Badly however has escaped to warn the Godfather of the Nile Pirates of the outcome of the engagement.

This Godfather, rich, powerful and ruthless from his control of the exotic cardamon, cinnamon and fennel markets. Indeed he is known by his moniker- Pasha Spice.

Stay tuned for Part II: 
The Guns of Ali-Sin-Badly
Pasha Spice World

Saturday, 3 November 2012

Minifig Strip Egyptians: WIP

I made a trade a few years back (hi Paul!) and scored these sweet little vintage Minifigs. They were 'strip' era and required a wee bit of file and knife action to get rolling.

The simplicity and dignity of these guys are totally brilliant.

Egyptian Archers: Old School Minifigs

They will compose a DBA I/2b Early Egyptian army. The post-Hyksos list. Most of the figs I'm using are New Kingdom (19th-20th Dynasty) so I've obscured the pertinent details with the most useful tool in the miniaturists power: the paintbrush. The rest of the details I'm not sweating.

View from the back.

I painted headcloth thingy as hair, which was more the fashion of the period.  I'm all over lying awake at night worrying if my minis have the wrong funny hat. No more.


Drinking: Big Rock Black Amber Ale. It's fall baby and my beer is black like my soul.
Listening to: Viv Albertine's new solo project. Punk Nana is angry, bitter and gorgeous.

Friday, 26 October 2012

Wu Man, DBA and rants.

It's been a while since a music post. So here's my latest music-crush. 

Wu Man on the pipa. 


Have a go, listen. 
Close your eyes. It's like speed metal. But dreamier.

Need context? Go paint some Warring States sorts or contemplate Rugged Manly Adventure in Asia Mostly Involving Nazi Punching.

In Villa Visigoth things are pretty busy. I've finished up getting the Garamantes to market. Have you seen them yet? Did you want the chance to play one of the coolest looking North African Tribes of Antiquity? Did you want a chance to play the most funky DBA army ever?

A big commission was finished. Lots of painting for a very sweet and patient dude.
Bloody hell.  Vikings...

Now, getting all sorts of wacky love for Early Pre-Dynastic Sumeria and Shang China.
So to curb that off I have some wee Egyptians I'm working on.  Gorgeous little 'strip' era Minfigs courtesy of Paul Hannah.  The little menfat bastards are primed and ready to go. Get ready to kick some Hyksos tail.

Make sense? 

What else is up my craw...

Yeah, the state of DBA. Pissing me off. Stupid 3.0, 2.2 and what the hell you have.
I was ready to write the game off until FallCon and then I had the chance to play some solid games with really awesome guys. And DBA delivered. Short, decisive, dramatic and FUN games.  I realized why I love this system I've been playing since 1992 so much. 

Life is good, and bitching that your favourite ancient miniatures is currently wallowing in an 'Intermediate Period' with a decided lack of cohesion is trivial. But we are humans and should be excited about trivialities. It's what makes our species strong viable. 

As far as DBA goes, I found my 1.1 rules. Much like how I rant about the first Specials album as being the apotheosis of ska awesomeness or how much I like drink that begin with 'Cabernet'... I think 1.1 is the best DBA rule-set ever.  Sure, some loser armies were skipped, (hahaha Bithynia) but it DELIVERED and terrain was placed by gentlemen according to wit and wisdom.

(Go on Grandpa, tell more, it's helping us sleep...)

Alright, here's picture from last weekend when my Iberians Freedom Fighters face down Mark S's Carthiginian Oligarchic Capitalist Army.  Game ended when a feint turned into a killfest resulting in  a 4-2 bloodbath. The Spanish massacring the Gaulic mercenaries.  Could have gone either way.

'Come on you Numidian dorks'

 Happy Games,


Sunday, 7 October 2012

DBA at FallCon: Alberta Open 2012

Clan Toho, Post Mongol Samurai, photo by Mark Wall

 Oh sure, I'll cut to the chase... I won the Alberta Open. 

 Yep. Me and my trusty Post-Mongol Samurai army ('a' list if you care) went three rounds with some of canniest and trickiest DBA practitioners in Alberta. And I managed to thump 'em.

Ahhhh. I will bask for a while. OK, all done now.   

C'mon, it's not that often really I get to gloat and roll around on my bed full of prize money and DBA groupies.  

I painted Clan Toho up four years ago for the first Samurai Night Fever game.  It's organized thus: 1 x Cv General and another cavalry unit. 6 x Samurai Blades, 1 x Bow, 3 x Ashigaru Auxilia.  Initially built as a 'b' list with spears, I built a bow and a blade unit to morph it. The blades I made out of warrior monk figures, and it has been the paper tiger of the army. Cory mocks them as 'lousy drunk monks'.  Which for those of us who know about the historical sohei, this  is more likely than not. We'll follow their fortunes throughout this recount.

Why 'Clan Toho'? The banners are painted with the Japanese kanji logo you see at the beginning of all your favourite monster movies. Toho studios, we love you and salute you.

Decided against taking the Medieval Irish. I was in an non-subtle ass-kicking mood and not so much being crafty in woods. Ironically that would be game 3. 
I usually enter Open games with a challenging army, rather than a balanced one. Not today. I wanted blood. 

I had three wonderful games. First round was with Marco and his Sudanese.  This was the trickiest game. Marco is pretty sly with light troops. Initially he tried to rush my camp with his psiloi in the first round blitz. Only my single stand of sohei blades stood to repulse their attack. 

Rumble in the jungle. Marco's Sudanese psiloi rush the lone element of warrior monks.
Relief column tries to save the ashigaru assault force.
Marco left his flank open and his camp unsecured. I took the bait and rushed it with my auxilia.  It went promising at first, but when his light horse pinched off their escape, they were overwhelmed by the psiloi and wiped out.  Only a heated exchange in the center and the sudden defeat of his general secured me the win.  Not really saying it should have been Marco's game, but yeah, it should have been. Fortuna favours the foolish.

MONK REPORT: Beaten and harrassed by psiloi. Driven out of the woods and into the camp.

Game the Second: I faced down the wrath of Mark Stadel's Later Carthaginians. I wasn't too worried. I had superiority in heavy foot and light troops. Mark is not an easy guy to score a win against.  His deployment was...a little suboptimal shall we say. I kept him wedged between bad going and he wasn't able to spread his line out. His warband kept me busy, but I was able to take his flank with my ashigaru. Not a finesse win, more of a rope-a-dope. But I'll take those sorts of wins as well.

MONK REPORT: Steam-rolled by Gallic Warband. Splat.

'WHY WON"T YOU DIE!!!' Mark's Carthaginian general is sorely vexed by the intransigent Samurai battle line. 

Game Three: Byzantine bashing.  Feeling all hepped up on goofballs and two wins I faced down Cory and his Kommnenan Byzantines. 8 units of horse vs my two. Furthermore, without psiloi support (the Achilles heel of the P-M Samurai in tourney) facing down his collection with my blades alone was a dim prospect.

I was lucky enough to lay a cluttered board. I deployed most of my blades in the rough and the woods, creating a funnel for Cory to approach me. I hoped that I would be able to pick off his horse as he approached. Of course Cory would never do that. It's quite nice when you've played a guy before. So I left my back door open. I garrisoned my camp with my singular Bow unit. Cory had three light horse units and I knew he'd go for a camp-rush.

He did.  My archers sallied and with a reserve unit of blades pinning the Pecheneg raiders, I dropped all three units. In the centre Cory had advanced, wiping out my picket unit, but not yet taking the full bait. On the right flank, my auxilia had engaged his psiloi and the Varangian blades (below) with some success.

In the end I pinched off one of psiloi units to take the win.  Quite surprising. 
and gratifying. A battle plan that actually worked. Worked against Cory as well. 
I expect all sort of accolades for this win. 

MONK REPORT: Instrumental in pinning the light horse and driving them off the map. Reputation vindicated!

Cory's Byzantine psiloi and Varangians cunningly lurk in the forest, ready for ambush action.

Last Stand of Liamicus. Sub-Roman British fall before Sudanese onslaught.

I'd like to thank Don and Mark for running the gig. I'd also like to salute my fellow DBA gamers. You are a funny, fun and clever bunch. There was no acrimony, endless debates and other buzz kill activities. I'll sit across the board with any of you anytime. 

Thank-you for reading while I went the Full Rimmer.


Friday, 5 October 2012

DBA at FallCon: Tupi or not Tupi.

Best in Show. Mike's Burgundians clash with Medieval French captained by Mark S.

Friday Knights at FallCon 2012 was played September 28th 2012. 10 participants strove over the Field of Honour and Glory, crossing pike with lance and enduring endless arrows of misfortune.

Have a view at the following tapestries kind pilgrim and attest to valour and the pageantry. 

More French vs Burgundian grudge settling. This is how medieval killfests should look.

-Anglo-Normans captained by Don Ray
-Burgundian Ordonnance generaled by Mike J.
-Kommenan Byzantines lead by Strategos Chen-Song Qin.
-Medieval Portuguese of Don Marco
-War of the Roses lead by Eric 'Mr York' Parker (Jr. Winner)
-Sicilians captained by Stephane the-not-quite-Hohenstaufen (Biggest Loss)
-Cilician Armenians championed by Liam the Martyr (Jr. Biggest Loss)
-Late Swiss generaled by David von Parker
-Medieval French avec Markquise Stadel
-Tupi lead by chief Mark W. (Tourney Winner)

It was gratifying that I only needed to lend out two armies, the Sicilian and Cilicians. Do you see a pattern? I had painted up a brae Scots Common army using old Essex figs I've had since Year 0 but for some reason a feisty high aggression army predominated by pikes seemed like a lame choice for a tourney. Geez people...

I also had whipped off a couple light horse to morph my ol' Norse Irish into brand new Medieval Irish. They weren't picked either, but I did get a game in with them. More talk later...look at pix.

Mobile and perfidious, Marco's Medieval Portuguese rally against David's trenchant Later Swiss pike blocks.
Portuguese horse array for a charge.

Chen-Song's sweet blue Byzantines.
More Byzantines in action.
Liam commands his Cilician Armenians to hold against the Stephan's Sicilain onslaught
I enjoyed organizing and reffing this night. Thank you so much to all the participants. Everyone got into the ye ol' courtly theme of bloodlust and played some tense matches. What more can a event runner ask for?

Don's Anglo-Normans advance, glam battle wagon in tow. Swiss seem unimpressed.
Gorgeous armies no? I love the painters that live here in Magna Calgaria (CCF) and in Edmontograd (EDBAG). From Chen-song's subtle rhapsody in the limited palette Kommie Byzantines to Don Ray's flashy day-glo Anglo-Normans we had all approaches to the spectrum.  Made for some good pix.

The pageantry of Mark and Mike's respective French and Burgundians (mmmmm Burgundy...) made my Sicilians feel dowdy in comparison. Well done all.

'We go now to Brother James, currently held aloft by an unconfirmed number of Angels for the eye in sky report... Yes, the Anglo-Normans have cleared the rough and are headed to the Swiss lines, back to you Abelard'
The games were quite brilliant, some gripping contests that only DBA can supply when knights and pikes and blades occupy the table-top.  Brother Markus our scribe has the final tally of the who-won- what-against-whom. And will be reported when Brother Markus makes his report.

Scoring-wise I used a classic rehash of Neldoreth's Visigothic Romance scoring and my own formulations for Samurai Night Fever. Kill the general, take the camp, be a hero and don't die and you will win. It's all designed to encourage a bit of role-playing in the tourney rather than the grimmer math of standard scoring. I added a little funny by penalizing the general who is killed by foot troops rather than in glorious combat with fellow mounted sorts.  Killed by peasants...silly king.

It's the sort of scoring that if you concentrate on standard DBA tactics (find, isolate and kill 4 stands) the winning of the match may not win you the tourney.

Liam the Armenian proved that as he lost his impetuous Knight general in every match, despite making reasonable headway with his truculent spear troops.

Eric of York landed on his feet with only a few previous games of DBA under his belt at took the War of the Roses English to pretty stellar heights. His bravery and chivalry with the WotR clankers have inspired me and Liam (the pre-Teen Visigoth) to make matched sets.   

Stephane captained the Sicilians with a verve and style that lead to some pretty outlandish tactics. (see below)

Audacity: Landing double ranked knights against defending archers. Recoil is a bitch.

Will the Saracen guardsmen cut their way through the Tupi warbands in time to succor the Knights? Yeah, not so much...
So Mark Wall won the tourney with the Tupi. The combined might of Feudal Europe failed against a painted horde of warband and bows. Mark faced valiant foes and was able to use his limited troops to their maximum. Is that not a true portrait of a DBA player?

OK, now I know some of you are gnawing and gnashing about the thematic catastrophe that is a Mesoamerican Army winning an event called Friday Knights. And I sort of agree with you...but it was a Book IV tourney, loosely themed on Ye Olde Merry Plaguey-Wagey Europe. Given that he faced top quality mixed-arms lists and still triumphed gives him his due. I gave him a nice tower camp. And a stern admonishment to buy some plate mail.  

Tupi gone wild. Well done Mark!
I did get a game in whilst reffing and coaching the junior players (well done Eric and Liam!) After Mark dispatched another opponent I fielded my newly morphed Medieval Irish (light horse option) and showed Mr Tupi pants how we roll in Donegal. OK, yeah I sliced up a warband and bow army with Auxilia and Light Horse. What a champ eh? With a record like mine, you need all the wins you can get.

I'll follow up with pix and thoughts of the Alberta Open, FallCon and tourneys as such.

Check out Mark W's bloggo for another look at the games.


Saturday, 4 August 2012

G.A.S.L.I.G.H.T. detachment: 1/72 Sikh Rifles

Assembled for action, the 23rd Cuminpore Rifles.

A little break from Sword and Sandals slaughterage. I painted these lads up a while ago on a whim and tucked them away forgetting about them. I finally rediscovered them when the Pre-Teen Visigoth and I started considering playing some G.A.S.L.I.G.H.T. 

I rank G.A.S.L.I.G.H.T. as one of my three top miniature games. In fact after DBA I really don't bother playing anything else. Your Victorian Sci-Fi May Vary, but if you dig Colonial and Steam-funk this ruleset delivers the goods. And it's short, simple and utterly lacking in pretense.

For the game, your detachments operate in 10 guy (more or less) squads. Guns, vehicles, giant robots and angry dinosaurs are deployed singularly.  The rules work just dandy when if you are playing straight-up Colonial wars type stuff and flexibly port the oddball things in when you want to take a detour into Verne-ish Sci-fi or the current Steam-Punk (I grow tired of that phrase) genre and esthetic. 

One of G.A.S.L.I.G.H.T.'s more appealing features gives your leaders and heroes an almost RPG-ish detail and latitude of action. The troops are left characterless, consigned to a Red Shirt existence of short, brutal but potentially heroic lives.

The Pre-Teen Visigoth was taken with Sikhs and claimed them for his own. He's organized them into a snappy little squad. Here they are, ready to take on any threat. I'll post their G.A.S.L.I.G.H.T. stats when I find them.

The Doughty Leader, Jemadar Garam 'Masala' Singh.
The figures are HaT's more recent production of Colonial Indian Infantry. A nice set, well thought out and most useful. Only one duff pose in the box and no big deal, as well all need head swaps. Speaking of head swaps, the softer plastic now used by HaT is superior for conversions and painting. Not sure why there is so much whinging about it. Each to his own.

The paint job was a quick and splotchy Teenage Visigoth style followed with The Dip and the All Powerful Dullcote. I think I will lighten up the skin tones a bit next go  'round for contrast with khaki uniforms.

His trusty NCO Havildar Josh Rogan
Together with a ranker for the 'Charlie's Angles' shot.
By now, the clever among you have suspected that the Pre-Teen Visigoth has a fixation with the cuisine of the Indian sub-continent.  You'd be right.  So please, consider his punny Indian take out names given with great respect. He's an aspiring chef and for him, it's a mark of honour.

It's a funny thing, naming for pseudo-historical games. We here at Chateau Visigoth have no delusions that we are recreating history.  As such, we are somewhat loose and silly about naming our heroes and villains. Food related names have a long and sketchy history, both is wargaming and the real thing. Unimaginative or lazy? I'm undecided. I'm going to address the topic in a rant later-on.

We have two battle reports to follow, in which our band of bold Sikhs will encounter the nefarious Ali Sin Bad and the Pirates of the Nile 

Gripping Tales of Adventure for the Daring Son or Daughter of the Empire to read about! *


*You know it's got be some Badass 19th Century Action in the works as the writer has started using Creeping Capitalization.

Saturday, 14 July 2012

FallCon 2012 Friday Knights

Once again, into the breach dear friends. I will be hosting DBA at FallCon 25 on September 28th here in Calgary.

Let's celebrate that high point of European history, the High Middle Ages!

With violence and calamitous battles!

With the help of DBA 2.2 and the armies of Book IV (1100 to 14 something or other) we take you to that glorious time of pointless feuds, religious massacres, sketchy cuisine, tin pants and of course THE PLAGUE. 

Relive the time when smashing some ingrate peasant with your mace was just one of the many things you did before breakfast. The Crusades, War of the Roses, Hundreds Year War, Hussite Wars, Mongol Invasions, and Braveheart are all tragedies that should inspire you.

In the proud traditions of FallCon and the Calgary Camp Followers, the Friday Night DBA game is one of easygoing, friendly wit replete with guile, bloody endings and treachery.  
Families and children are welcome.

It's easy, just register and show up. Loaner armies will be provided to villeins, serfs and others without worldly goods. Otherwise, bring your DBA V2.2 or 3.0 Book IV army and slug it out! . Whilst the focus is on the bloodshed of Feudal Europe, you can bring an army from another part of the world...Aztecs? Sure, but we'll laugh at you behind your back. Let's try to keep in the theme shall we? That way you'll be eligible for the Best Army prize. Prizes to the winner (scoring to be made up the night before) and the prize for the biggest single loss/debacle of the evening will be rewarded with beheading or burning at the stake (winners choice). Prizes for the best newbie and junior player as well. Time to GET MEDIEVAL.