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Xenophon's Ghost covers military history and wargaming from the ancient period to modern times.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Warmachine Base Failure

Upgrading Bases

I found a blog post concerning Warmachine model base improvements; the modeler created a wooden floor design using clay.  Believing that Sculpey polymer would do the trick, I created rock piles for the Protectorate of Menoth figure bases in our starter box.

Melting Point

Unfortunately, I learned that the 275 F baking temperature exceeded the melting point for the bases, ruining them.  I guess the other modeler used an air dry clay or other base material.

Fortunately, I didn't try this with the Warcaster figure that is already glued to the base!  I did salvage the baked rocks, which will be applied to unmelted bases or a terrain feature.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Warmachine - Painting Convergence of Cyriss

We took the plunge into Warmachine, buying the introductory battle box to complement Ryan's Convergence of Cyriss battlegroup.  This will give us three factions for small scale battles.  The models are great in terms of quality and detail.  This project is a nice diversion from historicals.

Painting Convergence of Cyriss - Round 1

Using my available paints, which were selected for historicals, we worked up an initial, layer based paint job of two Conversion miniatures.  The Convergence of Cyriss is the newest faction in the Warmachine game.  We used gray primer and Folk Art brand craft paints, painting as a team.  Ryan's paint skills are improving.

Base color - (25/75) Gun Metal and Light Gray
Second Layer - (50/50) - Gun Metal and Light Gray
Gears - Gun Metal or Bronze
Light Shading - (50/50) - Silver and Light Gray
Inset areas - Gun Metal
Cortex and weapons highlights - Ultramarine Blue, Sky Blue, and White

While the Bots look okay, the models were much darker than the box illustrations and lacked a certain flash.  My paints work great for 15mm gun barrels and swords; Steampunk calls for a more metallic look.

Round 2 - Tamiya Paints

A trip to the I-Park mall's Tamiya Hobby store solved the problem.  I picked up three acrylic jars - flat aluminum, gold leaf, and chrome silver.  The gold and chrome will be used for the Khador and Protectorate of Menoth factions.   I hit key sections of the models with the aluminum, creating more contrast.  We are pretty pleased with the results.

This was my first time using Tamiya acrylics, which appear to be mixed for airbrush use.  The paint quality was excellent.  The paints dry quickly on the palette, but a brush full of water every so often worked fine. 

Ryan is making progress on his Khador models, and I'll be painting the Protectorate force. Unfortunately, one Khador Warjack arrived with two left legs, so we are awaiting a replacement part.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Warmachine Diversion

My son dog-watched for a friend who went to the States on vacation. They gave him a battlegroup set for the Warmachine "Convergence of Cyriss" faction.

He is pretty pumped about trying a fantasy game for a change, so it looks like we will buy an opposing army. I am finally ordering some minis for Bolt Action this week, and I plan on purchasing the 2-player battle box. It looks like a good value.

Reviewing the rules, web reviews, and Warmachine fan sites, the game mechanics look solid. It also appears to support a decent game without too much investment. Welcome feedback if anyone has tried this game before.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Armies of Imperial Japan

My hotel wifi is unreliable, so I will be disciplined and brief in this review. Interestingly, I am writing this post from a joint US-Japanese base near Tokyo.


The Imperial Japanese Army supplement for Bolt Action captures the essence of the Pacific War in its equipment, unit, and theatre selector lists.


The supplement captures the spirit of the Japanese well in its National Characteristics, and I think the key infantry formations were covered effectively. The equipment list is quite comprehensive. If you want strong tanks, the IJA is not for you.

The progression of theatres from the Japanese thrust into China, SE Asia, and finally the Pacific Isles captures the state of the Japanese forces well. Likewise, the defensive campaign, to include home island defensive plans, hits the key battles effectively.


If the theatres were expanded, I would have appreciated more coverage of China, Early fights with Russia, and New Guinea. I also think the bicycle rule should be limited to theaters were bikes were used.

There were a few typos for transliterated Japanese.

As you can see, the strengths clearly outweighed the weaknesses.  I will be buying figs soon to get started on a Guadalcanal-focused set of armies.

Starter List

Here's a 500 point list based on that critical island fight.

(R)egular 2d Lt + 2 riflemen   70 points
R 1st IJA squad (NCO, 6 riflemen, 2 man LMG team)    90
R 2nd IJA squad (NCO, 6 riflemen, 1 ATG rifleman)    82
R IJA Grenadier Squad (NCO, 5 rifles, 2 2-man knee mortar teams) 150
R Sniper team   50
(I)nexperienced Type 92 70mm Infantry Gun.   32
(I)nexperienced Light Truck (for Tow).  25

Total 499 points


Monday, August 5, 2013

Bolt Action Army Supplements

I recently received the British and Imperial Japanese Army supplements for Bolt Action. I like both for very different reasons.

The Commonwealth

As a Yank, I am fairly ignorant of Commonwealth force structure and accomplishments beyond the well known campaigns- North Africa, Normandy, etc. I haven't read much on the Burma campaign, but my reading on the Pacific and visit to the excellent Australian War Museum in Canberra had broadened my knowledge of the Aussies' efforts in Papua New Guinea.

I bought the British supplement on a bit of a whim, thanks to Amazon marketing, hoping it would cover the Pacific more than the American supplement. I was disappointed on that point, but pleased with the rules on other points.


US kit is rather standardized and boring.   I never knew the Brits had so much variety in vehicles. This point alone makes the army an appealing topic. I appreciate the fact that Warlord did not obviously design the list around their planned model releases. I doubt they will produce this many vehicles given market realities, leaving room for scratch building and kitbashing.

National Characteristics

The Commonwealth fielded a diverse force. I appreciate how BA provides a range of options for the Army specific capabilities. As a minor gripe, I do think a matrix that matched the characteristics to each commonwealth force would be great. I know such a matrix would generate a lot of debate, but I suspect the Aussies, Canadians, Kiwis, and other nationalities would all appreciate highlighting their individual strengths.


The list for Brit commando raids into Europe is inspiring. I suspect that many tourney players will avoid it, but I am a sucker for light infantry and special ops tactics. This list almost pulled me off my Pacific game plan,

Pacific Woes

I will not belabor the point that the Pacific War theatre selectors remain limited. Also, the Burma list appears to give the Chindits too much heavy support. Nonetheless, we are free to build out Aussie and other forces using the units identified in the supplement.

Will post my two cents on the Japanese supplement soon. My connection or Blogger is acting flaky right now.