Sunday, July 1, 2012

July is Prussian Month

With so many open projects, either barely started or almost complete I thought it might be fun to focus on two for the month and try to finish one, my Prussian Fleet for Dystopian Wars as well as getting a new one underway, my Prussian Army for Napoleon at War.

Dystopian Wars 101
DW is a Victorian era steampunk game (specifically in 1870) by Spartan Games. In their timeline the Industrial Revolution happened decades before our own so there is a wide variety of very advanced technologies as well as a lot of recognisable ones. There are two major aspects to the game in so far as you can play a land based or sea based game (or a combination of the two). We chose to get in to the sea game, largely because if we wanted to push tanks around we have Flames Of War...

Dystopian War 1.1 Rulebook
The game mechanics are pretty straight forward and quite fun. Basically you need a good number of D6, 6's are good and let you roll more dice. Don't let this comment fool you, it is not just a dice game as careful use of your resources are required - you don't waste a Battleship hunting down Destroyers. The rules also received a tidy up recently and so 1.1 of the Master Rulebook is now available, there is also an expansion coming out right about now.

Victor, Sean, Mike and I each bought a starter fleet, I of course found myself enticed by a number of extra models that were released early for the Prussian Fleet. The models are wonderful... they have been digitally designed and then rapid prototyped. This has left horizontal lines that are quite faint on the ships from the printing process. I choose to see those as just another part of the model rather than going insane trying to clean them off. Plus once the models are painted and on the table you will not notice them. For once I managed to get a bit of a headstart on the rest of the guys and got some ships finished off, however this lead me to being rather over confident and more ships were purchased. Now I find myself with a fairly large Prussian Fleet (as well as some great islands and buildings) that now need painting - hopefully over the course of this month...

Prussian vessels ready for undercoating

Napoleon at War 101
Napoleon at War is basically what it says on the book - a Napoleonic Game (think early 1800s and lots of guys with muskets and colourful uniforms, by a Spanish company called Man at War. I've read through the rules once and will be having a game against Wayne and Mike in the next couple of weeks. Based on that one read through I am very excited, so much so I went out and bought and entire 15/18mm Prussian army from AB Figures from Nic over at Eureka

Napoleon at War Rulebook
The rules are very Flames Of War-esque in that they are fun, don't spend too much time dealing with the minutia and look as though they will produce a fun result in a couple of hours. All of which are big wins as far as I am concerned. Each foot unit has 6 bases with 4 figures, the bases are about the same size as a FOW small base. Cavalry and guns each go on larger bases, and in the case of cav are 3 to a base. They even follow their own version of 3+/4+/5+ for motivation and and skill - called valeur and discipline.

They are let down a little by the fact that the Spanish to English translation can be a little tough to follow at times, but you take the good, you take the bad and there you have, a Napoleonic set of rules that looks fun...

In terms of the number of figures you need to paint it is the same as pretty much any Nappies set of rules. My estimate is approx 250-300 infantry and 50 cav, plus some guns. Basically a similar number of figures to a Soviet army for FOW, but with much more interesting uniforms. 

I have sucessfully painted up one (yes that is right... one!) test figure to get my colours sorted out. The version pictured below is not quite right - I have since changed the jacket colour to be a much darker blue and painted the mess tin on his back silver (thanks Wayne!). It looks a little rough in the photo but for a 15/18mm figure I am exceptionally happy with how it turned out. Now I just need to paint 23 more to have my first unit done!

Prussian Musketeer Test Figure (front)
Prussian Musketeer Test Figure (back)

Zee Plan!
So, what is the plan for Prussian Month. Not entirely sure if I am being perfectly honest... but I am going to set myself a "reach goal" whereby I set an impossibly hard target and when I fall short I will have hopefully achieved more than if I set myself an easy one.

Dystopian Wars: Finish everything that is in the photo (above) plus another 3 ships not pictured, and finish off all of the islands I have (which I also need to find as I am not sure where I put them after my last tidy up). I will not worry about painting the buildings as I have a plan for them which requires me to buy two more islands.

Napoleon at War: Paint one entire Infantry Regiment. That is 3x 24 figures (two Muskeeter Batalions and 1 Fusilier Batalion), plus another 3x 4 figures (for the skirmishers).

Sounds hard.... maybe I should go and start work on them rather than playing World of Tanks... I'll update my progress next week.

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