I’ve just realised that there are no pictures of my Ottomans up here, only over on the Pinner Wargames website. So here they are, the result of some focused evening painting while on holiday in Wales. Apologies as usual for the quality of the photos.  I must find my tripod so I can take some photos where the depth of field is more than about 3 mil. I seem to remember seeing it somewhere in the garage about 6 months ago when I was looking for something else, although I can’t remember if I ignored it or hoiked it out on the grounds that it didn’t belong in the garage.

First up are the sipahis – the feudal landowner cavalry, normally armoured and armed with bows and a mix of lances and hand weapons. I’m experimenting with a fairly fast painting style at the moment with a base colour, some quick high-lighting and then a wash, in this case Devlan Mud from GW.

Ottoman sipahis
Ottoman sipahis

The other figures that I almost finished are the akinjis. I say almost finished because I am 4 riders short, which is irritating. I am hoping that when I split the packs with Lord Mather we just miscounted and I can scrounge the missing 4 figures off him. Akinjis are the rabble peasant light cavalry, unarmoured and bow armed and fighting for loot rather than duty.

Ottoman akinjis
Ottoman akinjis

I also managed to paint some voynuks, but there are no pictures as yet because I have run out of grass for their bases. Plus I can’t actually fit them into the army. Ho hum, I am sure they will come in handy in other eastern European mediaeval armies.

Still to come are the generals and the kapikullu – I have some figures but I need to replace the lances and I am looking for some more inspiring general figures.

The janissaries are done as well, they just need to be photographed.

Last is the azabs – I don’t even have the figures for them yet.

Marian Romans

A reasonably nice picture of my new Marian Romans. These are the Wargames Factory figures which have received a lot of bad press and I admit that I was initially quite disappointed when they arrived. The plastic was very shiny and the detailing of the chain mail was poor. Once sprayed with black primer however the detail became much more pronounced and the chain mail dry-brushed very well. They fit together well and make for a very good figure for the mass of an army. They are not going to win awards, but look fine with a basic wargaming paint job and are very cheap into the bargain.

Sizewise they are a perfect mix with my Gripping Beast republican Romans, which are at the smaller end of the modern scale. Not so great with modern Foundry figures, but the size of them is getting stupid (as is the cost).

Marian Roman legionaries
Marian Roman legionaries

A couple of minor irritations. Wargames Factory haven’t yet learnt GW’s trick of including lots of extra arm and weapon options on the sprue. As a result you can’t have all of them with swords or all of them with pila; there needs to be a mixture.

Part of this is also that they have missed a trick or kit flexibility. If they had added in heads with multi-feathered crests, these would have been perfect for earlier Roman principes. Add in a few arms with spears as well and you could have made Triarii as well. Then you could have combined these head and arm sprues with a different body sprue and you have Hastati as well – voila, most of the figures for a Polybian or Camillan Roman army with only a couple of extra items on the sprue, and you have increased potential sales by another 50%.

Flames of War

I was going to put up some pictures of my Ottomans, but there seems to be a monsoon outside and the figures are in the garage. Since my Panzer Lehr FoW figures are actually in the house, I will put up some pictures of them instead.

Platoon Command Sdkfz 251/10
Platoon Command Sdkfz 251/10

First up, a platoon commander 251/10 with a 37mm AT gun. Fairly useless against tanks at this stage of the war but very handy against enemy half tracks.

Grille H
Grille H

Second, some organic fire support, in the form of two Grille H. Basically a modified Pz II chassis with a 150mm heavy infantry gun mounted in an armoured box. Hopefully these will be useful for knocking dug-in enemy infantry out of their fox-holes, while still being able to keep up with the rest of the company.


And finally, some divisional support, in the shape of an attached platoon of Panzer IV(H). The last version of the Panzer IV and still fairly handy although seriously outclassed by the Panther. Perfectly capable of handling itself against the Sherman or T34, but showing its age against the Firefly or T34/85.

Task List

Right, the painting the lead mountain I already have rather than buying more policy is starting to bear fruit, although I am now getting the ‘just 4 more figure to finish the army’ urge.

Anyway. my Ottoman Turks got the treatment on holiday, so there will be some pictures of them up soon when I have taken some OK ones.

Also on the list are:

Marian Romans in 25mm – using the Wargames Factory figures which have had a bad se of reviews but which I have felt paint up quite nicely. Nine elements done, seven more required for the minima of 16 in the Marian list (and who takes more than 16 Bd(O) in a Marian list?).

25mm HOTT armies. The Undead Egyptians are progressing nicely but the Dwarves have all stepped backwards as their basing is rubbish so that needs to be redone.

15mm FoW – a Gepanzertepanzergrenadier Kompanie for the Panzer Lehr division. I think I only need to buy another 4 Sdkfz251/1’s and I have all the figures for 2000 points, and the vast majority of them are painted as well, so the end is in sight here.

15mm Later Achaemenid Persians are still stalled while Xyston get round to producing some Massagetae, but I need to paint the rest of what I have got and sort out an army list for them.

Further down the line:

Remodel the Lizardmen and get some more Stegadons – we hates you GW, we hates you

Finish off the Necrons (maybe they will get a decent codex one day?)

Finish off the High Elves – but for which system?

Rebase the pyschodelic Dark Elves for HOTT

Kofun Japanese – at least paint what I have while waiting to be able to afford a bunch of figures from the US.

Another burst of activity

Actually this is something I painted a while ago now, but I am putting a picture up here now to see if I can put pictures up, and then if I can, I will put up some pictures of the Ottomans that I painted while I was on holiday.

Anyway this is a GW Sisters of Battle Rhino in my new black and flames paint scheme…

Sisters of Battle Rhino
Sisters of Battle Rhino

The colour balance is pretty poor as its taken on a phone camera rather than a proper camera.

Here is one taken on a proper camera, admitted under a horrible combination of daylight and incandescent light, so it errs the other way and is over-warm. Suits it though. Need a post-apocalyptic bit of terrain to photograph it on now.

SoB Rhino
SoB Rhino

WAB Armour

I quite like the Warhammer Ancient Battles rules for doing small scale skirmish battles, although I think they don’t give a good feel of a larger scale battle very well at all. This is a problem with some of the army lists, like the later Byzantines, where you want a unit of really nice looking kataphractoi but can’t really justify having an imperial guard regiment in an army of 80 men, which would really have just been the garrison of a frontier fort.

There are a couple of things that I would like to change though, to give it a better feel.

The first is purely nomenclatural. The names of generals are always too important. My 80 man byzantine force (its not an army) will be let by a Turmarch or similar, not by the emperor. Its easy to change this though.

The second is a spin-on from WFB. If the unit width to qualify for ranks were upped to 5 it would give the battle-lines a thinner, more realistic feel, rather than the deep company columns you often seem to get at the moment.

The third is the big one. It dates from the very first days of Warhammer, back in the ’80s. At that point there was a fundamental misapprehension. Being on a horse does not give you extra protection if you and the horse are a single entity. It makes you more vulnerable. Because of this mistake, everything thereafter has to compensate in WAB to make up. Ideally the situation should be:

Missile fire should have a +1 to hit cavalry, as they are a larger target. In hand to hand the larger target is outweighed by the extra height the cavalry-man has.

Saving throws should be:

None as a base for everyone.

+1 for a shield.

+2 for a large shield for infantry (-1 move).

+1 for light armour for infantry.

+1 for heavy armour for cavalry.

+1 for light armour and cloth trapper for cavalry.

+2 for heavy armour for infantry (-1 move).

+2 for heavy armour and barding for cavalry (-1 move).

+4 for cataphract armour and barding for cavalry or mediaeval full plate and plate barding (no extra bonus for shields, -2 move).

So the saving throws would be:

None – anyone

6+ – infantry with shields or light armour, cavalry with heavy armour, cavalry with shields, cavalry with light armour and light barding.

5+ – infantry with large shields, infantry with light armour and shields, infantry with heavy armour, cavalry with heavy armour and barding, cavalry with light armour and light barding and shields.

4+ – infantry with light armour and large shields, infantry with heavy armour and shields, cavalry with heavy armour and barding and shields.

3+ – infantry with heavy armour and large shields, cataphract cavalry with full armour and full barding.

No-one would have 2+ or 1+ saving throws.

Eldar Vyper weapon efficiency

The big question with the Eldar list is what weapons to mount on your various vehicles. This is a pretty complex question, and varies depending on the vehicle and your opponents, but here are some initial thoughts for the Vyper.

The common factor is that its always fired at BS3 on a Vyper.

Firstly against common infantry types:

Kills per turn: Imperial Guardsmen Tau Space Marines
Shuriken Cannon 1.25 0.63 0.41
Scatter Laser 1.11 0.83 0.56
Star Cannon 0.83 0.83 0.83

So far, so unexpected. Shuriken Cannon is best against Imperial Guardsmen, Star Cannon is best against Space Marines and Scatter Laser is best all-rounder. Now we need to consider the costs of the weapons. Originally I looked at it as the marginal extra cost of the weapon, but for a Vyper where the weapon-load is all there is, I want to look at it as the total efficiency of the vehicle in three different configurations. I have added Spirit Stones to the vehicle as well.

Configuration Price Imperial Guard Tau Space Marines Average
Shuriken-Shuriken 70 3.57 1.79 1.19 2.18
Shuriken-Scatter 80 2.95 1.82 1.22 2.00
Shuriken-Star 90 2.31 1.62 1.39 1.77

The average column here is a bit of a delusion, as it assumes that each of these three will crop up with equal chance. If we assume that Space Marines (and Necrons who have basically the same profile), crop up twice as often as Tau who crop up twice as often as Imperial Guard, then the overall efficiency changes, but not by much. Shuriken-Shuriken becomes 1.70, Shuriken-Scatter becomes 1.64 and Shuriken-Star becomes 1.59. The efficiency has decreased in each case because Space Marines are harder to kill but the relatively minor changes in Space Marine killing efficiency are still outweighed by the massive differences in Imperial Guard killing efficiency.


The overall conclusion is the one that I went into the exercise with as a gut-feeling – for 5 pts its hard to beat a Shuriken Cannon. The interesting thing is how similar in killing efficiency the three different payloads are against Space Marines.

I think that at the moment though, I might go for compromise and equip my Vyper with a Scatter Laser and Shuriken Cannon, if only because I have a spare Scatter Laser from a Falcon that I converted to a Wave Serpent, which allows me to use the Shuriken Cannon that came with the Vyper to upgrade the on-board Shuriken Catapults to a Shuriken Cannon. Why GW never designed their Eldar vehicle sprues to actually have the various options that are possible on the vehicle I will never know – but that’s a whole topic on its own.

Current Projects

My current wargaming projects are (and I need to remind myself of this to stop myself starting new ones):

28mm –

WAB – saxon and viking armies (painted 11 saxons and 8 vikings, to-do 12 vikings and 28 saxons)

DBM – Polybian Romans

WFB – High Elves (need finishing), Tomb Kings (need a couple of figures and a re-vamp), Dwarves (only just started)

W40K – Sisters of Battle (finishing touches), Eldar (new codex, complete change?)


DBM – Later Achaemenid Persian (about a quarter done, lovely Xyston figures), Minoan (last few chariots, replace all spears with xyston wire spears)


Warmaster Ancients – Sassanid Persians (about a quarter done)

As wargamers go, I suspect that that is a pretty small painting pile, but then I am omitting the most hopeless cases.

Tau colour scheme #1

I’m thinking of starting a very themed non-Tau Tau army – lots of drones and ‘suits and allied races.

The big question is the Tau colour scheme. I want to avoid the standard brown one, although I like it and I want it to be different from the other ones at the club. Attempt #1 is a red-blue colour scheme – which hasn’t turned out as bad as I thought:

Gubbins – Regal Blue highlighted with Shadow Grey

Surfaces – Bestial Brown u/c, Scab Red topcoat, highlighted with a mix of Bleached Bone and Scab Red.