Saturday, June 15, 2019

Gendarmes/reactivation of old project.

I had put my Italian wars project more or less in the ground. Did not expect to restart it but here I am.
I did buy some Eurkeka Gendarmes I think two years ago or a year ago? And they had just been in their box, or so I thought as I noticed I was missing 2 of them when I was starting to put the unit together, apparently I had primed two of them over a year ago. So I found them and got my full 8 figure unit done. Because of the detailes, I decided to paint just 1 and 1 of them. So it took a looong time to finish.

They are a lot of work, but I like the metal work, a recipe I got of facebook.

I need to pay attention to my geography, as I accidentally made first a Scottish one, then a greek one.

The flag is just a quick homemade one, to be replaced later.

One problem is that the Eureka figures are tiny, next to the perry and steel fist stuff. So I doubt I'll use more Eureka except maybe doing the Archers for them.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Review Kingdom Come Deliverance.

The world is gorgeous, based on real places in modern Czechia.   

So I actually planned on doing a review of this game back when it was quite new, which is now over a year ago.

But the game was a bit buggy and I had kinda ruined the game for myself.
This game is a true RPG, that means it lets you exploit the game. I spent the first few hours poaching deer, selling the meat. and this let me buy the best equipment without much effort. I also learned a type of attack and that meant I could one-shot enemies very fast with almost any weapon.
So I started over some weeks back and decided to not make it super easy for my self.

The lighting in the firsts is beautiful. 

Anyway, Kingdome Come is a historic medieval RPG set in early 15th century Bohemia. The backdrop is the conflict between Sigusmund and Wenceslaus over both the kingship of Bohemia and the HRE. You start the game as Henry the son of a blacksmith, bored with the quiet country life. You want to go on an adventure, your blacksmith father who had done just that doesn't want you to.
Just as your father finishes a sword for his and your lord Sir Radzig, the village gets attacked by a large army of Sigismund.

The castle and gets besieged and you escape and get wounded ending up in the castle Talmburg under the lord Sir Divish. During the night, you see that Sir Radzig and the survivors of the village has escaped. Radzig is heading for the fortified town of Rattay.

After a few hours the game opens up, you've lost Sir Radzig's sword, and you end up as a soldier in his service.

Ï won't spoil more, but you end up looking for the guys that stole your lord's sword, while also getting involved in the larger politics of things.

The castle of Talmberg, important parts of the game will be happening around it. 

What makes this game different?
Well if you haven't already heard about the game, what sets it apart is the realism, the world is realistic. From the castles, town, forests and arms and armour. You have a four-layer armour system. Letting you use mail and gambeson under plate. You'll have a padded coif and mail coif under your helmet, that is if you want to go for the fully armoured man at arms look. You can keep to just padded armour and try and go for agility techniques, or even go with just clothing.
You have all kinds of armour from basic mail or brigandine to gilded plate. Maybe just some slight plate reinforcement of your gambeson. The armour isn't just a default defence rating. Mail armour gives little defence against blunt, gambeson is better. But if you get attacked with a sword mail is better. and of course, mail over gambeson is better still. Your armour also effects how people perceive you. If you walk up in expensive plate armour, people will be more impressed with you then if you walk up in a dirty gambeson and a rusty helmet. There is even a skill that gives you a bonus to dialogue if you're in clean plate armour when there is sun, because the sun will reflect off your armour. Because yes, armour and clothing does get dirty. And you need to get it cleaned.
Talmberg from a different angle, the castle belongs to Sir Divish.

The are other things that affect your dialogue options, as you level up in speech, more skills can be used, and if the character already likes you from previous encounters, it's easier to get them to help you.

As mentioned some armour is better at some things than others. But some weapons are also better at some armour than others. If you are in full plate, with mail and gambeson under. then you can take a serious beating from swords. You can be harmed if they batter you long enough, but you have a lot of safety margin. However some enemies will be armed with war axes or even worse, warhammers/maces they will do quite a bit of damage to you if they get in a few good hits, especially if they hit you in the head.

The combat itself is based on a 5 point direction type thing with stab as the 6th attack. There are many things you can do, you can faint, start from one direction then change it, you can chain attacks to do special combos that do special attacks. Swords have by far the most number of fancy attacks, while axe, mace/warhammer have only a few. But this is true, swords have far more fancy ways of attacks than the other weapons. But even with the higher numbers of attacks, if you meet a guy in full plate, the mace will be far more effective.

Henry ain't no blacksmith no more, Late in the game, I have fancy armour.
Here Henry Mercy kills a mortally wounded enemy. 

Now, this is still an RPG so you can beat someone to death with a sword even if they are in plate. This is most noticeable during "battles" the game doesn't have proper battles more like skirmishes, I think the biggest has about 100 men on both sides total. But even so, you'll easily just go behind the enemies and while they are busy with your allies you just hit them in the back and the back of the head.

Part of the world map, you can fast travel only once you've discovered a place. And you might get stopped by various happening while fast travelling. 

And combatwise those skirmishes are the weakest part, I wish they had some sort of scripting, so the ai soldiers on both sides kept a formed line, but the skirmishes do look a bit Hollywood mele. 
The aftermath of a skirmish. 

But the one on one or when you're fighting several enemies combat is very good, even fighting a single enemy who is a high level can take a long time. You can join a tournament and some of those single combat duels took me like 5 minutes.
Since this game is historical, you won't get magic super attacks, instead, you get more subtle skills, some of the strength skills you can get are basic, the mule and mule II skills gives you a decent boost in how much you can carry. But another strength skill gives you a higher chance of winning clinches when you lock weapons with the enemy. You also get skills that increase your damage if you draw blood. Or you get a % of knocking someone out with a blow to the head.

Here you see the 6 attack directions by hitting the directions in various combos, you'll do powerfull attacks.

The combat can be brutal, you might be fighting a good enemy, it looks like you're winning, but you forget to watch your stamina and that gives the enemy an opening, suddenly you get half a dozen hits in a few seconds, you get a broken rib and blood is pouring down into your eyes from a blow to the head. As mentioned this happens more often if you're fighting someone with a warhamer, or even worse someone with a poleweapon.

Look at all those fantastic armours.

While I'm on the poleweapon thing, the game has some rather obvious things missing, one is poleweapons, yes, they are in the game, but you don't have a skill three for them and you can't carry one for a long time as you can't store it, there is a mod that lets you store the poleweapons on your horse, and mods that unlock skill trees for them. This was supposed to be implemented but was never full, this is a shame as I'd love to be a badass with a poleaxe. But you do meet some enemies that use them. But maybe even more noticeable is the lack of crossbow.  Only bows are in the game, no crossbows in the game, which is rather strange, again, they planned on having them, but they never got there, I had hoped both poleweapns and crossbows would have been added during the year after it was released, but so far it hasn't happened yet.

The look of you're self and you're steed in the menu, you can buy several horses, but I'm always loyal to my steed and so I kept the first one I get through the main story, Pebbles, he is loyal and but by far the worst horse in the game. Here is is decked out in armour and caparison

But enough about violence, this game as so much more, as the son of a blacksmith you can't read, but you can learn in this game and will help you with so many quests. And like many RPGs, many of the skills you unlock are give and take, you do more damage but are less eloquent so you get lower speech, and another skill does the opposite. Or you get health tonics give more health but also get you drunker. 

But one of the best things about the game is the world, it feels like a real part of Bohemia, in the game, you'll interact with 4 Lords, Sir Radzig your lord, a good and kind Lord, Sir Divish a previously powerful lord who was jailed and now has only a small castle left, Lord Capon a minor and the hair to the walled market town Rattay, Sir Hanush the regent of Rattay and guardian of Lord Capon. From playing the game, the area you are in is a sort of backwater place in Bohemia, they are far from the powerful lords in Prague, None of these lords are very powerful, they have just a small routine, and except for Rattay the castles are small etc. This kinda gives you a view into small scale conflicts in the late medieval period. These lords don't have thousands under their banners, when they besiege a castle it's often small scale, which a lot of medieval warfare was for every big battle, there would be small scales skirmishes, and you often only needed a few dozen men to protect a well-situated castle.  I kinda like this thing, it's not something you often see in series or moves or other media, the nitty gritty small lords doing their things. There is no "great battle of our time".

I just completed the main quest this morning, I had just over 30 hours in that save, but I had mostly done the main quest with just a few side quests done. There is easily 100+ hours of quest and other things to do in the game. As I mentioned I restarted, my original save was 45 hours and I had done about half the main quest. In this 30 hours playthrough, I almost didn't do any side quest. And I only did a fraction of the side quests the first time.  And many quests have several ways of doing them. Based on what you're good at, you might complete quests in a sneaky way, stealing info or evidence, or you might be a gifted speaker. Or you just hit people over the head. If you can't read you need to find someone who can read etc etc.

More sunlight.

It's a very down to earth story, you'll investigate fake coins, the attack on a stud farm. In sidequests, you'll get a horse for a fine lady or find the head of a devil holding up the building of a monetary.

The game has gotten some flak for the save system, you can only save if you have "saviour snaps" this is a tonic you can buy or make yourself at the alchemy table.  The game also lets you save if you quit and after doing important quest the game auto saves and it also saves if you sleep in your bed.
It is a bit annoying with the saviour snaps. As the tonic cost quite a bit of money from sellers, and it takes quite some time to make them your self. After you level up enough in alchemy you get auto make them. also as you level up, you'll make more than one tonic at a time. But it does take you about two minutes to make one at the start if you do everything correctly, and it does get boring.
Had they only made the recipe for the snaps easier and faster there wouldn't be so much trouble. If it was just boil these two things once it would have been fine, but the recipe requires grinding of herbs, several boilings of herds etc.

So be wary of that, there are again moods that give you unlimited free saves.
The back of the young Lord Sir Hans Capon, as you're both riding on a beautiful day.

Also, the story does not end with the game, it was always planned to be two games, luckily the game sold well and so we are almost guaranteed to get the second game.
All in all, it's a fantastic game, I was part of the Kickstarter and got my collectors edition, I choose a tier that was high enough so I have already paid for the second game. and just have to wait for it to be done. Most of the bugs when the game was new are done, some still linger but hell, Skyrim is 8 years old now and ported to everything from Nintendo Wii to Sumerian stone tablets. And it still has plenty of bugs. If you're interested in real RPG grounded in a real historical setting and you're interested in the medieval period this is a must buy. There are no other games like this.

Thursday, May 16, 2019

My best figure ever?

I think so.
I don't normally do extreme close-ups, as I generally don't feel my painting holds up to the scrutiny.

But I went all out with this guy and spent the better part of a day on just him and a buddy.

While not perfect, I think I can say he is the single best miniature I've painted, in any period.

I'm very happy with the skin tone, I've been using Foundry Expert flesh, but never been happy with the result. But I happen to come over a "how to" and it said simply putting a bit of grey in the flesh tones gives a more natural look, and I agree.

So expert flesh A and B gets a mid-grey colour and the other 4 gets a lighter grey. In this case, I skipped Expert Flesh D, as there simply isn't that much face to paint.

For the coat I used Reaper paints ultramarine blue, as the triad has quite extreme differences, I had to mix them in various amounts so those 3 base colours ended up being 6 different hues.

The big letdown is the Shield, I do think I'll give him a new shield with a shield transfer, as I simply can't freehand paint. 
The shield is inspired by John the blind's coat of arms, but I didn't even try and do the lion. And in the end, the number of blue/white stripes didn't end up correct either.

The Miniature is Claymore French man at arms, I love these figures.

 This guy has an asymmetrical armour, his weapon arm, has more plate on it, he has plate from shoulder to elbow.
Besides the shield, my major complaint is the leather, didn't turn out as well as I wanted.

Monday, May 6, 2019

TYW Cavalry

Well, I managed to get a unit done within a month of last blog post, I know the blog is slow, but I'm still struggling with the output. I have worked on other stuff, so I have more half done units.

Anyway, the unit I made was a Thirty Years War cavalry unit, a mix of Cuirassiers and Harqebusers.
They will be split into their own units when Avanpost makes a standard bearer.
The figures are as you guessed Avanpost, beautiful figures, but, quite delicate, and kinda stiff and little character, my main problem is the mono poses, you can add a little variation by how you glue on the horsetails and the vizors.  So I decided to add a lot of variations, both to the horses and riders.
The only theme is read, they all got red saddlecloth, and some got a little more red here and there. 

I've also used 3 different types of buff leather, a quite yellow one, a mid yellow and a more tan/beige.
There are also dark brown leather, black leather and red leather for the various leather equipment, and horse tackle. 

The officer is fantastic! And there is so much detail on the figures, I can't do them proper justice.

These will most likely be Bavarian once I get the flags.

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

14th Light dragoons.

A very long time no see, it's only 7 days shy of 2 months since the last time I made a post.
I have been doing stuff, I have several half done units, which is my style. I can give spoilers that I'm working on 2 Prussian SYW units a French SYW/WAS unit, British peninsula unit and probably more I've forgotten.

But today I'll show off some Perry plastic light dragoons.

 I love these figures, by far the best plastic cavalry I've painted, the horses in particular suits my painting style.
 The light dragoons in their early uniforms are of course super sexy, and the French fell in love with them.
 But sadly they had to ruin them and give them boring jackets and a boring shako.
 They are just another piece of evidence in my theory that uniforms for all nations got more boring and sucky the further into the war you go.
Style does count for something, and it's hard to beat these in style points. 

I would have liked the orange facings to pop more, but I have no good oranges, and I have to mix and it's never as good as I'd like. 
The jacket is Foundry Union blue triad with coat d'arms fester blue as a highlight, which is still my go to blue mix for dark blue uniforms.
All the white is reaper off white triad.
I really like the grey horse for the trumpeter, I've never really managed grey before. but this one is quite good. 
I was also happy that they used brown tackle, I find it very boring to always having to paint the tackle black.

So yeah I'm very happy with them, not so much with the British plastic infantry I'm working on, they are very fiddly to paint and I feel it gets a little messy. I'm considering abandoning them, and start again by buying some metal. 

Sunday, February 17, 2019

The 12th Foot.

I finished my 12 foot.
The figures are Crann Tara and so modeled for War of Austrian Succession and 45 rebellion.
But for me, they will also gun down thousands of French cavalry at Minden. 

They are very nice figures, VERY nice. I did them in the platoon fire position with flanks ready to give fire. 

 The coats are 4 layers of various reds, mostly citadel.
 Flags are Maverick Model.

I now have 72 infantry for my Anglo-Hanoverian army. I got 48 more unpainted, a Hessian grenadier battalion and some Highlanders. 
I hope to finish some French cavalry and infantry soon.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Time Travel +500 years

Well I had to compromise my vision.

 My plan was to do 18 "skirmishers" and 24 MAAs. But my project had ground to a halt, and I felt I had to just finish the units, or I might not continue with the project. So, in the end, my skirmishes ended up with 12 and my MAAs ended up with 18.

The skirmishes worked out quite well when I put stuff on the base, but my MAAs should have had at least 4 more figures. They are to spaced out.

With my previously finished unit, my french "army" his a whopping 3 units.
 But I know from experience, that it's always harder to get a project going than continuing it. 4 finished units look so much better than 3, and 5 looks amazing next to 4. It's an exponential curve. I find it much easier to do more units for my GNW project which is now closing on 500 figures, then finishing my first TYW unit.

 Anyway, all figures are Claymore, the skirmish base, is a mix of crossbowmen and pavisers. (I started this base before Claymore released their paviser/crossbow teams)

 The MAAs base is well Claymore MAAs. the flags are temporary, simply printed out and fitted to removable tops, so I can change the loyalty of the unit. The flags should probably have been space out more in the back, and not been so close. Depending on what rules I use, and what the rules allow, the MAAs and "infantry" can either be separate units. Or combined into a "large" unit with the MAAs in front and the infantry at the back. In the end, my vision was compromised, but my hail mary did work and seeing 3 finished units, makes me want to do more.

Claymore has released several packs of infantry now(my infantry are pavisers with random handweapons.) I do hope Claymore will release some cavalry soon, as I've found no cavalry what fit with claymore(either in armor style or quality of casting)

The skirmishing base, worked out fine with logs and bushes.  
 While the basing did help the MAAs, they are still a bit too far spaced.

How a large unit would look like, with the MAAs at the front and infantry at the back. 
The ginormous French armada of 54 figures.
While 54 isn't a lot, this still means my HYW project is the 4th biggest I'm doing.
The first one by several country miles is GNW with somewhere between 450 and 500 figures.
Second is my SYW project with slightly less than 300.  
Closely followed by Napoleonics with some 200-250. 
And so my HYW project at 54 comes in at 4th.