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4 full days and nights of Saga, and what a great run it was! We had two fellows from Australia, three from the UK, and Alex Buchel from France.  It was great to see old friends and make new ones.

I finished on the top table in Joe's Age of Arthur event, killing Arthur but dying in a mutual warlord eradication exchange.  In the Age of Crusades, I finished on the top table against my buddy Stephen H where my Moors lost to the Pagan Peoples.  In the Age of Vikings, I finished 3rd overall.  On my way home, I thrilled my wife and daughter with countless stories of battles won and lost, and plans for next year!

First up are pics of the doubles warbands.  Then the Doubles itself.  It's such a great event!





































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4 days and 12 hours till I travel to Chicago for Adepticon and the US SAGA Grand Melee.  This year, I'm in 3 events and co-running a 4th. Thursday is a Legends of Camelot narrative organized and hosted by Joe Rogers of Saga Thorsday fame! Friday I'm co-running the Age of Vikings doubles. Saturday is the Age of Crusades and Sunday we finish with Age of Vikings.  Sooooo excited!  We have a bunch of regulars who turn out every year.  This is my one opportunity to catch up and game with Sagamites from all over the US and abroad too.

The author of SAGA, Alex Buchel, will be attending this year! Each night, I'll be down in the Great Hall for Night Saga. Night Saga includes libations, chill games and loads of laughs.

Here's my Welsh warband on a new display board. It's a bit simple because I'm using it for 3 events and warbands.  I'll use it for Bolt Action too. If you're attending Adepticon this year, pop into the Saga Great Hall and say hello!







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Today's post is a quick bit of fun that turned out nicely! These are Gripping Beast's "Penda the Pagan" and his second.  I based them up separately to run them as Hengist and Horsa for my early Saxons. The fellow with the spear was a bit boring until I dug up my "Murder of Crows" from Zombicide. Now I've got the "Raven Whisperer." The Viking Runestones are from Fenris Games. The Odin Berserker is an Isle of Mann chesspiece from Etsy with an eye carved out. All in all, a nice bit of color.



I got my Mutatawwi'a on the table against Scott DeRung's lovely Milites Christi!  It was a chess match early on as neither wanted to overcommit. Turn 3, down came the hammer.  By games end, I had 3 figures left.  My highlight was killing 6 mounted knights with a unit of camels. Ouch and fun!






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This project started with 48 Footsore Arabs in my painting queue. I was looking for a way to put them on the table and looking through Saga's Age of Crusades book, I saw the Mutatawwi'a got a much-improved battleboard. I painted the warriors using the Andrea Color Black Set of 6 dropper bottles starting with black and 5 progressively brighter highlights. You don't have to use all 5 highlights.  I used a black base and 2-3 highlights and highly recommend this set.
The 48 warriors in the center are all Footsore. I asked them for a specific mix of shield types in my order which they sorted at no cost. The shields are shield transfers by Little Big Man Studio. I originally painted the spears in a dark red but the monochromatic effect was bland.  I repainted them with a bright red to give the army some pop. I had a bit of trouble photographing this bunch due to all the black. Take a look at how different they look under different lighting.

The 8 slightly large Hearthguard fellows in the front rank are Gripping Beast (GB) Mutatawwi'a.  The warlord on foot is Footsore and the mounted warlord is Perry.
These 24 archers can be used as warrior archers or as 2 levy archer units for my Moors.  They're a mix of GB Mutatawwi'a metals and their plastic Arabs. I greenstuffed face coverings to the metals here and elsewhere to keep a consistent, fanatical look.

GB Mutatawwi'a camel riders. In keeping with "taking the black," I did the saddle/pillow rugs in black.  I do love the look of camels so after painting these, I bought some more. 
Warlord Games Roman Imperial camel riders modified for the Crusader era. I dremeled away the Scutums and added appropriate Crusader-era shields.



12 hearthguard on camels plus a warlord too makes for a unique look for these Mutts. And I already got them on the table! Here at the finish line, I'm burned out on painting black and looking forward to my next project, Komnenian Byzantines.





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Early this year, I sold off a chunk of my Soviet Bolt Action army. I didn't play the game often and when I did, I didn't play it well. Then Jason Meyers (of the Der Feldmarschall blog) started running quarterly Bolt Action events. His superb events and the great players who turn up for them have lit a fire.  I recently finished a Trenchworx T-28, White Scout car, and a twin turreted T-26.  Every one was a superb model so bravo, Trenchworx! Bonus, I'm finally getting the hang of my Badger airbrush. I also painted up Warlord Games Scouts and Engineers because...why not?





My Soviets have been in heavy rotation since summer.  I've used them in What a Tanker, 2 Chain of Command campaigns and 3 Bolt Action tournaments.  In the tournaments, I landed Best Overall General, Best Painted, and Best Allied General. Enough bragging.  I'll finish with a few pictures from my Bolt Action games.

*Apologies! My blog was targeted by a persistent spammer last month and I turned on "Moderate Comments." I turned it back off today.  Hopefully my spammer has moved on.  How weird that in this big wide world, someone would care enough to come back daily and hammer this site.







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After finishing the Chain of Command campaign "Storming the Citadel" (Kursk) my buddy asked if I was interested in the Part 2 campaign continuation. CoC is a great game and their campaigns make the game shine more brilliantly.  There was the time my Soviet flamethrower popped an ambush on a Tiger tank to break Grossdeutschland's platoon force morale and save the day. Or the prolonged duel between my dug in ZiS-3 and another Tiger tank. So many Tigers at Kursk and yes, some were burning.  So, of course, I said yes to part 2, "Citadel, the Breakthrough."

For "Citadel, the Breakthrough," I needed 4 tanks! I ordered a Warlord Games T-34/76 platoon as it was my cheapest option.  I hustled them through my painting queue along with a Warlord Games resin KV-2. At the finish line, not bad! I can't wait to run 4 T-34s in a 28mm game. I'm sure getting the right command dice will be a struggle but still...

In October, I've got a Bolt Action 1,250 point event.  It's just the excuse I need to put my newly painted KV-2 out on the table!









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Thanks to a persistent bout of bursitis, my hours at the painting table are way down this year.  Lemons to lemonade, this is a good thing as I now pay attention to how long I sit and avoid it as much as possible.  I've got a standing desk at work and another to replace my painting table. Being an "iron ass" and sitting for 6-8 hours in a stretch is not good for me, no matter how much I enjoy painting.

This project is a bit of a lark.  When I saw the new Anglo-Saxon battle board for Saga, I realized an all levy warband could work.  I went to Footsore and picked out 48 shield & spear levy along with 24 archers.  Along with great sculpts, Footsore offers a massive variety of poses and figures. You can pick through this rabble and only occasionally find doubles.  It's another reason why Footsore is my fav!  

Most of these lads were painted with inks and washes over zenithal priming. I added a white drybrush over the zenithal to make my highlights pop.  It is a speedy but nice effect and finished with the standard Foundry flesh 5A, B and C highlights.  I mixed custom washes and inks to get more variety in this band.  

The King is by Crusader Miniatures and from their El Cid line.  I've had him for years and realized it might be clever to have a King leading an army made up of only farmers.  All in all, I'm happy to now have a 2nd Age of Viking warband and they're quite fun to play!  











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Today I want to share my two favorite Saga shows. Whether you're just starting out or you've been playing SAGA for years, you'll learn loads from both of these.

Joe Rogers produces and hosts Saga Thorsday, a weekly Youtube show of all things Saga.  Joe has a great wit and a deep love & knowledge of the game.  He brings in a new guest each week to talk about the boards and game. You'll learn quite a lot by listening to how other people play the game.  Check it out and subscribe!  Shameless plug, I'm the guest for this week's show about the Welsh.

SAGA THORSDAY - Welsh Tactics with Monty! - YouTube



Joe, Jim and Chris produce the superb Northern Tempest podcast.  You can access the shows via their FaceBook page here or the archives here.  These lads are passionate about the game and very active in UK Saga community.  I keep these queued up for my painting sessions and car trips. While listening to their show on my long drive back from the US Grand Melee, they persuaded me to paint and play Vikings for a time. Well done!



Both Northern Tempest and Saga Thorsday are great inspiration for planning and painting your warbands.  And playing the game too.  Check them out!

To wrap up, here's my current Saga project. 72 Anglo Saxon levy in the zenithal highlight phase.  Now to put some paint on them.


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Great Escape Games keeps DMH fresh with a steady stream of new figures, gangs and color items. First up is the Tong Gang.  If you're a fan of the HBO series Deadwood, you'll recognize the fellow with the meat cleaver as Wu. Sometimes after a bad day at work, I too shake my fist and meat cleaver at the heavens. I had a bit of fun mixing up my blacks with green, blue and grey tints.


More Zombie denizens for the Curse of Dead Man's Hand.  A bit gruesome and colorful!

The Count and his motley gang.  Here's hoping they're as fun to play as they were to paint. 


Lastly, a hodgepodge of color items for the game. Rest easy, I sourced the snake colorings (other than the anaconda) to the American West. Today's post shows why painting for Dead Man's Hand remains one of my favorite subjects 3 years on. Where else do you get to paint snakes, zombies, horses, zombie cattle, Dracula and Wu too?



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Fellow blogger Jason Meyers aka Der Feldmarschal is running a sharp looking Bolt Action event this weekend.  This set a fire under me to finish my Rubicon T-34/76. I had trouble with my airbrush splattering on my last highlight.  To cover it up, I had to go over everything a 2nd time and wiped out my panel highlights.  Ah well.

I put my 1000 point Soviet force out on my battle board for pictures. Now I need to read the rules a time or two and I'll be set for the big game day.





In other East Front action, my friend Hugh and I fired up a Chain of Command Citadel campaign. We finished the 1st campaign representing Gross Deutschland's attack at Kursk with his German's nudging out a minor victory over my Soviets.  The scenarios featured the early German attempts at a breakout. The Germans fielded a Tiger tank in 3 of the games and it was a monster!  In one, I stopped it only by popping an ambush with a flamethrower at short range.  The Tiger panicked and withdrew.  In another, my ZiS-3 and the Tiger traded shot after shot. The Tiger wised up and moved out of sight behind a building.  My crew manhandled the gun forward until they could take a shot at the beast.  And brewed it up. Epic! I was too engrossed in our games to get many pics but here is the showdown between the ZiS-3 and the Tiger.


We're going to start Part 2 of the campaign. After fighting Round 1 with no tanks, I'll be painting 3 T-34s for a scenario where I can field up to 4 of them.  Should be great fun and I hope to report back "The Tigers are Burning!"

Campaigns are the best.  I love the color, narrative, and story they bring. TooFatLardies always does a great job with their supplements.  I had only one platoon to see me through my first 5 engagements. I had to play conservatively to keep my force intact and that after all is the whole point of a campaign.  Bonus, this gave me the impetus to paint up a platoon of Black Tree Design Soviets to replace my Warlord plastics.
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