I am continuing to build my Munchkin Brigade for Wars of Ozz games. In my last post, I shared OZZ-101 – Zoraster’s Guard Infantry Regiment (ZGIR). This time I have built and painted up a different Munchkin infantry unit – Colonel Tik-Tok’s Infantry Regiment (hereafter referred to here as CTTIR). I also painted up Zoraster (a Wizard) and a Munchkin Mayor as a lesser Wizard.
In the game, the CTTIR is slightly less capable than the ZGIR, but still better than a militia or Landwehr unit. Like the ZGIR, the regiment is composed of 20 figures plus a mounted regimental commander. It is similarly armed with muskets while sporting cool carabiner helmets. In the canon of the Wars of Ozz, Zoraster is “the Wizard Supreme”, and is the creator the Munchkin Army. The Munchkin Mayor figure came with the Kickstarter and confused me for a bit as you’ll see in the discussion below. The scale is 28mm and these 23 figures are metal.
There are 4 figures per 2″ square base, so five bases plus a commander make up a regiment. 16 of the based figures are of the same type, while the fifth base has four different figures – two standard bearers (with the Ozz flag and the regimental colors), a drummer, and another leader figure. This “command” stand fights like the others, but has an aesthetic effect on the tabletop of being nice to see. The regimental commander has his own base and can have special attributes, but its stand never engages in combat. It exists mainly for the attributes tab (on its MDF base) and also aesthetics. If the regiment dies, so does he. There is magic in the game – and Zoraster is a designated Wizard. There are also “unnamed Wizards”, so I will likely use the Munchkin Mayor as one – or maybe just an objective marker.
I pretty much followed the same procedure as to painting these figures as I did with the ZGIR. I prime in white, then wash with a dark shade, then paint and highlight. If I need more shade or highlight, I add it.
A major difference here for me was how to paint up the helmets and officer hats. While Wars of Ozz canon has this regiment in white, it also has all Munchkins as being very fond of blue. But after looking at images of Napoleonic era carabiner helmets (below) I decided that I wanted a similar metallic brass and chrome look.
I also decided to give the officers white hats. I did give the drummer a bit of blue on the drum and of course the standards have a lot of blue, so I think I’m safe. For the regimental commander’s pony I went with a slightly sallow pastel yellow. One cool aspect of the universe of the Wars of Ozz game is the use of a lot of color (hence the pastel ponies and more). The rules say that for CTTIR the facings, plumes and epaulettes are red – and that the coats and vests are white. Here I used a lot of Army Painter “Holy White” Speed Paint mixed with Citadel “Contrast Medium”. In fact, I still mix all of my Speed Paints with that medium. The combination of using the Citadel “Nuln Oil” wash post-priming and then the Holy White helped a lot with the less-detailed recesses on the figures. As usual, I list all the paints I used on these at the end of this post for those interested in that sort of information.
As I did previously, I’ll share some WIP shots, then some eye candy of the regiment.
I started on November 25th. Below, you see the figures are based for priming, primed, and then I added a Citadel “Nuln Oil” wash before moving on to painting them. I have not tried “slap chop”, but I do like this way of using contrast/speed paints as part of my technique.
I was confused (as my Kickstarter order was a while back) as to which figure was Zoraster. Eventually, I determined that the smaller one was a Munchkin mayor thrown into the Kickstarter and that I had mistakenly ordered 2 Zoraster figures! I’ll keep one unpainted for trade. The Munchkin figure looks like the Boston Celtics mascot.
During the next three days, I made decent progress. I ended up numbering the specimen bottle labels with mistakes and keeping a list so I could fix them – this helped a lot.
The figures were all painted less any varnish and flocking by December 2nd.
Then it was on to the varnishing the figures, adding the standards/colors, and thereafter flocking the bases. I noticed that when I cut out the standards from card stock that the edges stood out as white. So, to remedy this, I used a black Sharpie pen to color in the edges as the standards have a black edge as well.
As for flocking, this time I pre-flocked all of the regimental bases with one type of grass, then added the other two types after affixing two, then three, then the fourth figure to each base. It’s probably overkill but I do like how they have come out. For the two Wizards, I just went with the first two grasses and added Shadow’s Edge Miniatures blue forest tufts.
By December 4th, the CTTIR was done, plus the wizards as well. Now onto some eye candy…
Colonel Tik-Tok’s Infantry Regimental Commander
A look at 2 stands…
A look at the command stand…
A look at the whole regiment…
A look at Zoraster…
A look at the Munchkin Mayor (Lesser Wizard)…
I hope that this was interesting for you. I am hoping to take 7-10 days per regiment or battery until I get through the Kickstarter. This should take me into next year, but hopefully I can keep a good pace. I have plenty of space in the box for this in-progress brigade…
As you may want to check out the figures range – there are two places to get them (and I make no money from this btw). The game rules and figures are available from the following two places:
They are one of many factions in the Wars of Ozz game. The rules were written by my good friend Buck Surdu (who also wrote the rulesets of Combat Patrol™ and Feudal PatrolTM . I have been wanting to get going on my Wars of Ozz figures – but first wanted to finish the figures and terrain for my Civilizations Collide games involving the Aztec/Conquistadores/Tlaxcalans/Maya. As I shared in my last post, that has now happened, so onwards to Ozz!
The game rules and figures are available from the following two places:
Of course, there are now many new factions for Wars of Ozz. Currently, I have Munchkins and Winkies (think orc-like dudes) and some pretty cool allies – which I’ll eventually post about here. However, first I am going to finish a Munchkin brigade. It will consist of two infantry regiments, a light cavalry squadron (on pastel ponies), and an artillery battery. One cool aspect of the universe of the Wars of Ozz game is the use of a lot of color (hence the pastel ponies and more). I find, like I did in my Mesoamerican projects, that having a lot of color can be a lot of fun.
Here, the units in Ozz are made up of mass armies – this is not skirmish gaming. There are wizards and witches, so some magic, but the game is primarily black powder type warfare. The gaming engine of Ozz has also been used as the basis for WOOD (Wars of Orcs and Dwarves) for mass fantasy battles. But let’s get back to my first regiment…
It is OZZ-101 – Zoraster’s Guard Infantry Regiment (hereafter referred to by me as ZGIR). The scale is 28mm and these are metal.
Zoraster is “the Wizard Supreme”, and created the Munchkin Army. As for ZGIR, it’s a tough unit, as one would expect of a guard unit, with excellent marksmanship and melee values. It is armed with muskets. It also has great resolve and elan values which help it in combat. It’s also the most expensive Munchkin unit. Of course, I had to start with this one…
It, like all infantry regiments in Ozz, is composed of 20 figures plus a regimental commander. There are 4 figures per 2″ square base, so five bases plus a commander make up a regiment. 16 of the based figures are of the same type, while the fifth base has four different figures – two standard bearers (with the Ozz flag and the regimental colors), a drummer, and another leader figure. This “command” stand fights like the others, but has an aesthetic effect on the tabletop of being nice to see. The regimental commander has his own base and can have special attributes, but its stand never engages in combat. It exists mainly for the attributes tab (on its MDF base) and also aesthetics. If the regiment dies, so does he.
I’ll share some WIP shots, then some eye candy of the regiment.
I first cleaned up the regiment (filing, washing) then worked on drilling out a couple of holes on the two figures for the regimental commander to be able to be mounted onto his pony. I inserted a paper clip wire into the pony to match the hole under the commander. This also allowed me to mount the upper torso of the commander for painting on a screw on a specimen container.
Then, I needed to find a way to mount the other figures. The figures’ bases are less than 3/8″, and as mentioned will eventually be mounted on 2″ square bases. For the individual figures, I decided to use 1/2″ x 1/2″ square steel bases – both the 2″ and 1/2″ square bases are from Wargames Accessories.
I decided to use Citadel Contrast and Army Painter speed paints as much as possible. As these are mass units, I thought this would be fine. I want to get them into games!
The figures themselves are nice, but not differentiated much. The faces are all mustachioed, and all have a “puppy dog” look with an open mouth and tongue sticking out. Still, they have a certain character.
As it’s Mo’vember, I chose to vary the mustache colors. After priming, I gave them all a wash with Citadel “Nuln Oil” and then dry brushed them in white before adding any colors. As is my habit, I do list all the paints I used on these at the end of this post for those interested.
I started working on these on 11/14 – by 11/22 I had made good progress. I found highlighting with Citadel “Doomfire Magenta” over its “Baal Red” was effective. The regiment has a somewhat British redcoat look to it.
Then I assembled the Regimental commander’s MDF base.
While the base set, I matte varnished the figures in preparation for mounting on the 2″ square steel bases.
The ZGIR post-varnish needed its standards attached and also basing completion – to include flocking. The flags are available on the Wars of Ozz Facebook page as downloads. I cut out the flags after printing them out on cardstock. I glued them together on with PVA and bent them to get a wind-blown look. As for mounting the figures, I drew a pair of lines with a sharpie on the steel bases corner-to-corner. Then I took a blank 1/2″ x 1/2″ square steel base and aligned it in the center of the 2″ base, using the lines to align the 4 corners of the 1/2″ base. Then I traced over the little base in pencil, such that I could going forward use the corner of the little traced square and the sharpie lines to orient the bases. I believed that flocking with the figures all affixed to the 2″ square bases would be too difficult. Therefore, I glued on two figures, flocked, then the third, then flocked, then the fourth. All this time I flocked the spaces where the figures would not be. This way I was able to apply the flocking effectively to give some depth of grass. In this case – I used three different flocking products from Army Painter sequentially with PVA to give this depth to the otherwise bland steel bases.
Now on to some eye candy with a new background!
Zoraster’s Guard Infantry Regimental Commander
A look at 2 stands…
A look at the command stand…
A look at the whole regiment…
I managed to finish the regiment on 11/22 – so 8 days. This post had to wait for Thanksgiving (and for me to overcome a bad cold). I enjoyed painting these and am moving on to the rest of my Munchkin brigade.
Thanks for looking, and always please let me know what you think of this new project in the comments section.
Miscellaneous details and references for those interested in that sort of thing:
For all of my previous posts on Wars of Ozz games, figures, units, and other related projects – please see this page.
PAINTS, INKS, GLAZES, SHADES, WASHES, PIGMENTS, FLOCKING, GLUES AND MORE THAT I USED ON THIS MUNCHKIN REGIMENT:
Paper clip wire pieces
1/2″ x 1/2″ square steel bases from Wargames Accessories (#16)
Vallejo Premium Primer “White”
Vallejo “Flow Improver”
Vallejo “Airbrush Thinner”
Citadel “Nuln Oil” (wash)
Vallejo Model Color “White”
Citadel “Contrast Paint – Bad Moon Yellow”
Citadel “Contrast Paint – Contrast Medium”
Citadel “Contrast Paint – Volupus Pink”
Army Painter “Speed Paint – Crusader Skin”
Army Painter “Speed Paint – Grim Black”
Citadel “Contrast Paint – Ironjawz Yellow”
Citadel “Contrast Paint – Magmadroth Flame”
Citadel “Contrast Paint – Gore Grunta Fur”
Citadel “Contrast Paint – Baal Red”
Army Painter “Speed Paint – Holy White”
Citadel “Contrast Paint – Karandras Green”
Citadel “Contrast Paint – Aggaros Dunes”
Army Painter “Speed Paint – Hardened Leather”
Army Painter “Speed Paint – Dark Wood”
Vallejo Model Air “Armour Brown”
Vallejo Model Air “Steel”
Vallejo Model Air “Gun Metal”
Martha Stewart Crafts “Pale Bronze”
Citadel “Contrast Paint – Snakebite Leather”
Army Painter “Speed Paint – Pallid Bone”
Citadel “Nuln Oil GLOSS” (wash/shade)
Citadel “Warpfiend Grey”
Vallejo Mecha Color “Olive Green”
Citadel “Contrast Paint – Doomfire Magenta”
Vallejo Mecha Varnish “Matte Varnish”
Elmer’s PVA Glue
Regimental MDF base from Old Glory
Army Painter “Battlefields Grass Green” (flocking)
Army Painter “Battlefield Field Grass” (flocking)
Army Painter “Battlefields Field Grass” (flocking)
Pardon the pun, but this post marks the completion (for now) of all of my figures for my Spanish Conquest/Mesoamerican games. Many of you have been following my progress in this blog on my various Aztec, Tlaxcalan, and Conquistador figure projects over the last few years. To all of you, thank you so much for joining me on this long journey!
My first post was back on April 25th, 2020. Since then I have researched the period and written the period supplement for the Feudal PatrolTM rules by Buck Surdu. That supplement is called Civilizations Collide. It is free to download at that link. I have built multiple scenarios for gaming the period and eventually hope to have that available as a supplement as well. Until then, I have been running these games at multiple conventions, gaming events, and club meetings.
Just this year, I have run 18Feudal PatrolTM games for this period at various of these opportunities. Most of these have been documented in this blog. I have posted on this blog no less than 58 different times on my Civilizations Collide projects and the games I have run (this post will be #59). All of those posts are catalogued here.
The last piece of the puzzle that I wanted to fill in figure-wise was the Maya. To that end, last December I sourced 34 figures from Gringo 40’s in the UK to assemble a good-sized force for gaming. After the spring conventions, I honestly thought I would be onto getting these done quickly. As the title of this blogs is “Life, Golf, Miniatures, & Other Distractions”, well, that did not happen.
As it turned out, the weather this year was superb for golf – and I really got in a lot of rounds – close to 80+ rounds of golf since April. I still wanted to get the Maya done. So, in the summer, I decided to start. My goal was to try to get them done quickly and move on to other projects such as Buck’s Wars of Ozz rules and figures. To that end, I thought I’d use Citadel Contrast Paints and Army Painter Speed Paints that I had just received in conjunction with mass airbrushing to knock out the 34.
Not so fast as it turned out…
A couple of our blog buddies Azazel at Azazel’s Bitz Box and maenoferren22 at Bogenwald Random Painting and Terrain Making had discovered and shared on their respective blogs unsettling reports that Army Painter Speed paints had a reactivation problem – that is they bled out under other colors when exposed to wetness – such as another paint applied on the model. This news put a slowdown on my adoption of the Speed Paints – and for certain my Maya progress. The last thing that I wanted to deal with was a problem that would potentially ruin paint jobs.
Later Azazel did share this video with me that showed adding Citadel Contrast Medium to the Speed Paints negated the problem. I can say for sure that at least for me – this worked perfectly. Thanks Az! Also, there are a ton of YouTube videos on Speed Paint – many suggesting to treat them like you would use oils. But I digress.
So, On August 23rd, I set out to get started on the Maya. I did get held up time -wise by golf as I wrote, plus my Woodstock rehab project called to me. On top of that I had an issue with Facebook where some of my own posts on pages that I am the administrator got marked as spam! While this is no longer happening anymore now (knock on wood), it did at the time also make me less motivated to paint. Why? well this is because I do share my posts on Facebook on appropriate hobby pages as well as on my own, and if I could not share them well I was less motivated to work on them until the situation got fixed. Lastly, I started painting with the Maya novices – who are – well – anatomically correct and totally naked as you’ll see at the end of this blog. Painting naked dudes did not get me motivated at all. The rest of these were sporting loincloths, so in the end, I got through all of these figures as you will see.
A Little History
I will have a few scenarios for the Maya. Their history is long and quite convoluted. They did NOT refer to themselves as “Maya”. They additionally had no unifying identity or government. They existed before the Aztecs – and indeed struggled against multiple invaders well after the Aztecs were long gone. Th0ugh the last Mayan city (Nojpetén) fell in 1697, there were revolts against multiple central governments by Maya descendants up and through the 19th century.
Also, the correct use of the term “Maya” versus “Mayan” can cause confusion. Here is a link that helps. Basically – use Maya!
The Maya were located more in the Yucatan peninsula area, Southern Mexico, Honduras, and Belize. They did not really interact with the Aztecs – though if the Spanish had not shown up that probably would have been their next conflict. Cortes first ran into the Maya when he arrived and fought them at the Battle of Centla. The Maya settled with him and told him of the wealth of the Aztecs – and that took the Maya were off the Conquistadores’ radar – for a while. After the fall of the Aztecs, Cortes sent expeditions into Maya territory. Some of these never were heard from again.
Let’s move on to discussing the Maya figures…
They all came from Gringo 40’s in the UK. I wanted some elites, some veterans, and some green troops. I also wanted some warrior priests and leaders. The available 28mm metal figures available from Gringo 40’s is excellent. The figures are very nice sculpts as well.
Here is the breakdown of the 34 that I bought.
Figure M1 – “Mayan Charging with Dual-edged Obsidian Club”. Got 4 figures to use as veterans ( designated in my system as MV01-MV04).
Figure M2 – “Atlatl Thrower”. Got 4 figures to use as elites (designated in my system as ME01-MV04).
Figure M3 – “Mayan Archer”. Got 3 figures to use as veterans (designated in my system as MV05-MV07).
Figure M4 – “Mayan with Stone-Headed Mace”. Got 3 figures to use as novices (as they are naked – designated in my system as MN01-MN03).
Figure M5 – “Mayan Warrior in Headdress Advancing”. Got 3 figures to use as elites ( designated in my system as ME05-ME07).
Figure M7 – “Mayan War Chief”. Got 3 figures to use as leaders/captains (designated in my system as MWC01-MWC03).
Figure M8 – “Mayan Priest in Mask”. Got 3 figures to use as warrior priests (designated in my system as MWP01-MWP03).
Figure M9 – “Atlatl Thrower (a)”. Got 4 figures with longer hair than M2 to use as elites (designated in my system as ME08-MV11).
Figure M11 – “Mayan with Club Advancing (b)”. Got 2 figures to use as novices (as they are naked with longer hair than M4- designated in my system as MN05-MN06).
Figure M12 – “Mayan with Club Advancing (c)”. Got 3 non-naked figures similar to the novices to use as veterans (designated in my system as MV08-MV10).
Figure M15 – “Mayan Carrying Spears”. Got 1 figure to use as a novice (not naked – designated in my system as MN15).
Figure M16 – “Mayan Chief”. Got 1 figures to use as Tabscoob, a Mayan War Chief (designated in my system as TABSCOOB).
Most of these came with shields. A challenge with this project was that the figures did not really allow for much moving of their poses. Therefore, as you will see below, except for the M7’s (which had pose variability), I had to rely on different painting schemes, especially with regards to colors, and differently painted and shaped shields. I also flocked them slightly differently.
Still, tabletop differentiation and playability are important concerns to deal with when designing an army. To this end I replaced a few of the Gringo 40’s shields with Aztec extras that I had lying around from previous projects. I mixed up the shield shapes across the figures as you will see below.
Process of Assembling, Painting, Etc.
I assembled the M7’s – placing their arms in different positions. The atlatl’s provided for the M2 and M9 figures were too soft and bendy – as were the spears for the M5’s. I replaced all of these with wire spears cut to size. The M3’s needed their quivers to be attached, as did the spear bundle for M15. The latter two were addressed by drilling out holes with a pin vise, inserting paper clip wire, and affixing with Gorilla glue. I experimented with the flesh tones a lot (all of the paints and materials that I used are at the end of this post for those interested in that sort of information). After priming, I airbrushed a base coat, then worked on common colors across the range of figures. As the vast majority of the 34 figures were basically waiting for me to get them to the final varnishing and flocking stage, I did not have many blog posts to share with my readers – but hopefully this post will be a good explanation of why.
As for the shields, I did them separately – having googled some images that I thought would be appropriate. Unlike the Aztec’s shields, sources are far more limited. To a degree, I used artistic license here.
Then I just proceeded to paint the figures, then affix the shields, then flock and varnish them. This only took me from August to November!
I will now showcase the figures – with some details as appropriate. I am going from the highest ranking to the lowest ranking figures, not in the order that I completed them.
Tabscoob was the Maya ruler that fought Cortes at The Battle of Centla. I loved painting this figure! The name of the Mexican state of Tabasco, and hence the hot sauce are derived from his name. This is figure M16.
Maya Warrior Chiefs
There were three of these M7 figures. They will act as Warband Leaders in the games. Note the three different color schemes and arm positions.
ALL MAYA WARRIOR CHIEFS
Maya Warrior Priests
I envision these as having the same role as the Aztec Warrior Priests in the games. They can help with Morale, and can fight as well. I’ve share only the back of MWP01 as the others are similar. I really like the masks. These are all figure M8.
ALL MAYA WARRIOR PRIESTS
Maya Elite Warriors
For the Elite figures, I had M2, M5, and M9 figures. The M2 figures (ME01-ME04) are armed with atlatls and have slightly shorter hair. The M5’s (ME05-ME07) have headdresses and are armed with tepoztopilli (thrusting spears). The M9’s (ME08-ME11) are armed with atlatls and have longer hair. Where the backsides are similar I only share one photo.
First, the four elite M2’s armed with atlatls.
ALL M2 FIGURES WITH ATLATLS
The next group of elites are the 3 M5 figures – armed with tepoztopilli (thrusting spears). I gave them different headdresses and shield designs, and was able to slightly alter the angle of each tepoztopilli.
ALL M5 FIGURES WITH TEPOZTOPILLI
The last group of elites contains the 4 M9’s armed with atlatls. They have slightly longer hair than the similar M2’s.
ALL M9 FIGURES WITH ATLATLS
Maya Veteran Warriors
My Maya veterans came in three types – 3 M1’s with macuahuitls, 3 M3’s with bows, and 3 M12’s with cuauhololli. On the bows, I attempted to make the quivers look as they had been made out of three different kinds of animal hides: ocelot, jaguar, and capybara.
First, here are the 4 M1 figures.
ALL M1 FIGURES WITH MACUAHUITLS
Next up are the 3 bow-armed M3 figures.
ALL M3 FIGURES WITH BOWS
The last group of veteran Maya is the 3 M12 figures armed with cuauhololli (basically clubs). These figures are very similar to the Warrior Priests, other than the masks.
ALL M12 FIGURES WITH CUAUHOLOLLI
Maya Novice Warriors
And lastly, we come to the novices. I painted 6 up for my Maya forces. 3 M4’s armed with cuauhololli, 1 M15 with throwing spears, and 2 M11 with cuauhololli and longer hair. Only the M15 has a loincloth…so let’s just show 2 group shots…
ALL NOVICE FIGURES
All Maya Figures
These 34 bring me to a grand total of…
300 Figures for the Spanish Conquest/Mesoamerican Conflicts!
A nice round number!
Now Azazel or Buck Surdu (or many of you) could paint that many in a far shorter time – but 300 is a lot to for me be sure and I’m pretty happy that I finally have them done and ready to game. That total of 300 includes:
I am not counting brigantines or war canoes in that total by the way. I have them all in five 11-liter Really Useful Boxes – and there is a specific numbered individual spot for each and every figure. This allows me to quickly set up and take down games where the forces might change – especially at conventions. The boxes are lines with magnetic sheets and the figure bases all have steel underneath for safe transport.
Once again, thanks to you all for sharing this ride with me. It’s not completely over as I will be running many games going forward plus finishing the scenario booklet. One thing I’ve found is that my games are not the usual fare – which is great – it’s nice to bring something totally different to the tabletop.
Now I’ll get to start painting my Wars of Ozz figures. Thanks for taking a look and as always sharing your thoughts on this post in the comments section.
Miscellaneous details and references for those interested in that sort of thing:
For all of my previous posts on games, units, and other projects for my 16th Century Spanish Conquest supplement for Feudal Patrol™ – “Civilizations Collide” – please see this page.
PAINTS, INKS, GLAZES, SHADES, WASHES, PIGMENTS, FLOCKING, GLUES AND MORE THAT I USED ON THESE MAYA FIGURES:
There were close to 400 games – or more too many to count – at the convention. The event was amazing and very well-run for sure. I played in two games, and ran 4 of my own. As this situation begs for visual inputs, I will have A LOT of photos and a couple of video links to share.
Click on the photos for a better view.
Thanks to Chris Palmer for some of these photos below as well. I hope that you find these enjoyable.
Thursday Night, Marines versus Japanese, a Combat Patrol™ Game
After I set up my first game on Thursday night (for Friday morning), Eric Schlegel of the H.A.W.K.’s ran a pick up Combat Patrol™ game Thursday night. It involved US Marines storming a Japanese island. I played on the Japanese side and the USMC overwhelmed the defenders and won. It was a fun quick game. Here’s a couple of photos:
Friday Morning, “Raid to Satisfy Huitzilopochtli”, a Feudal Patrol™ Game
After a good night’s sleep, I arrived early to set up my Feudal Patrol™ game of “Raid to Satisfy Huitzilopochtli”. It’s a pre-Spanish Conquest fight between the Aztecs and their neighbors the Tlaxcalans. The Aztecs attempt to conduct a raid of a Tlaxcalan village to gain captives for slavery and blood sacrifice, and the Tlaxcalans fight back!
The game went very well – as you will see below. The Aztecs made a valiant assault across open terrain into a hail of Tlaxcalan arrows – and went into melee. The Tlaxcalans were ready and gave as good as they got. In the end, they Aztecs eked out a minor victory 34-27. The casualties were separated only by 3 figures out of 18 total on both sides. Both sides were totally excited about their prospects and the battle. Here’s a gallery of photos from that game:
Near the end of the game, an official of the convention briefly interrupted the game – and to my surprise awarded me a PELA award (my first ever) for the time slot. PELA stands for “Pour Encourager Les Autres” which in English translates to “For Encouraging the Others”. These awards are defined by HMGS as going:
“to the games that best embody the positive traits of miniatures gaming, such as well-painted figures, great looking terrain, interesting scenarios, enjoyable rules, good sportsmanship, and an enjoyable time – events that do the most to “encourage others”.”
I was really shocked and honored – and as a cherry on the sundae I got a rousing applause from the players too. There were about 30 games in my time slot – so not a lay up to be chosen by any means. The award was a lovely Samurai figure on a plinth and a voucher for the vendor hall.
After picking up the morning game, I and Greg Priebe walked around the event before preparing for our evening game that we had collaborated on. Here is a gallery of just some of what was there- some truly amazing stuff.
I mentioned Dave Wood above – my West Point roommate – always good to see my good friend, my brother from another mother…
Greg and I then set up our game, Vikings vs. Aztecs!!!
Friday Evening, “Vikings vs. Aztecs!!!”, a Feudal Patrol™ Game
Greg Priebe and I had worked out this scenario over the phone and Zoom.
Obviously this is not a historical recreation, but a “what if”. Greg had brought the Viking figures and I of course brought the Aztecs – and we co-GM’ed the game.
The game went well. The Aztecs, led by Acamapichtli, needed to prevent the Vikings, led by Carl the Jarl and Brunhilde the Shieldmaiden, from raiding and looting various structures – and of course casualties counted as well for both sides. In the end, the Aztecs majorly triumphed – partly due to the Vikings having probably the WORST luck of the draw in any wargame that I have seen in 20 years. That’s not to detract from the Aztec play – which focused on defense and won the day. However, I did not tally a score. Here’s a gallery:
It was a fun game nonetheless and the players on both sides displayed excellent camaraderie. Greg also gave me a bunch of Viking sprues so that I could have my own Vikings too. I do have some old school metal ones, but I will (someday), assemble and paint these up to run this game again. I just need to help out the Vikings!
We then cleaned up and I then set up most of my next day’s afternoon and evening games – as I planned on playing in Chris Palmer’s Ozz game on Saturday morning.
Saturday Morning, “Wars of Ozz: Attack on the Emerald City”, a Wars of Ozz Game
When I had visited Florida and Buck Surdu (as described here) I played a Wars of Ozz game at Recon. Buck’s Wars of Ozz rules and figures are available from Sally4th in the UK here, and in the US at a dedicated Old Glory Ozz site here.
As I have factions (Munchkins, Winkies, Greater and Lesser Pumpkinheads), I wanted to play another game to make sure that I understood the rules since it had been a while. Chris Palmer ran his outstanding scenario of “Attack on the Emerald City“. This involved Nomes (yes, Nomes), burrowing underneath the walls of the Emerald City and undermining its defenses/taking out a wall section. Meanwhile, Winkies, Giant Bears, and Skeletons are assisting the Nomes by attacking from outside the walls. Quadlings and Tin Men inside attempt to defend, while Munchkins defend outside.
In the game I was outside the walls with a medium battery of Munchkin artillery, two infantry regiments (Tik-Tok and Landwehr), and a small Munchkin cavalry regiment. I sent the cavalry to disrupt the Nomes coming after my teammates rears (that sounds wrong but you get it), and succeeded so that they could face the oncoming Winkies and skeletons and not get hit on two sides. This was successful but the cavalry was badly weakened and did not reform until the last turn of the game. My artillery ended up in a counter-battery duel with a couple of Winkie batteries – and was wiped out. Meanwhile, my two infantry regiments held their respective grounds and heavily damaged two attacking Winkie regiments AND wiped out a regiment of Giant Bears. Then, my cavalry reformed and drove off the Nomes on my side. So, victory! Here’s a couple of galleries:
This was an EXCELLENT game and motivates me to hurry up and get to my Ozz figures. Of key note, Chris Palmer deservedly won a PELA for this game the day before! Congrats Chris!
As I had set up my afternoon game, after lunch it was time for:
Saturday Afternoon, “The Battle of Lake Texcoco”, a Feudal Patrol™ Game
I planned to run two of this scenario back-to-back. I had FULL tables for each iteration – and I’ll share each in turn. Greg Priebe was a BIG help at both games – thanks Greg!
The scenario is best summarized below:
In the first game, the Conquistadores sailed towards the Aztec war canoe fleet. The Conquistadores needed to fire their falconets and lombards into Tenochtitlan for Victory Points, while the Aztecs got their big points by boarding the brigantines. VP’s were also awarded to both sides for inflicting casualties. Some of the brigantines raised full sails – notably El Dólar (The Buck after Buck Surdu) & El Gregorio (The Greg after Greg Priebe). The other three brigantines are named El Perro de Guerra (The War Dog), & El Conquistador (The Conquistador of course), and El Marcos (named after, well, me). All made it towards Tenochtitlan but the Aztecs were able to board them all and disrupt them sufficiently. El Dólar ended up hitting an underwater obstacle at full speed and settled to the mud bottom, allowing the Aztecs to swarm over it. It’s cannon was unable to bear on the city, and no other ship managed a shot into the city. The Aztecs won a minor victory as no shot hit the capital – but killed a LOT of Aztecs. But the game ended with a score of 226-207 in favor of the Aztecs. Here’s a gallery of that game:
The game was a success, and I reset it for:
Saturday Evening, “The Battle of Lake Texcoco”, a Feudal Patrol™ Game
After resetting from the afternoon, the play recommenced with a different yet FULL slate of gamers. In this game the Spanish were more cautious, and that let the Aztecs close on them sooner. Unlike the first game, the Conquistadors did get one shot off at Tenochtitlan from El Gregorio – but it missed! The final score was 290-172 in favor of the Aztecs. It did not help the Spanish that an arquebus misfired/exploded and killed that arquebusier, another arquebusier, and Alvarado (a key leader). It was nice to have several HAWKS in the game – especially Greg and Chris and Geoff. Here’s a gallery of round 2:
Both games were well-received and I really appreciate the help in cleaning up from Chris Palmer, Greg Priebe, and Dave Wood as it was after midnight!
Videos links showing Fall In! 2022 and some of these games
There have been two videos on YouTube that I think are worth seeing if you want more shots of the Fall In! 2022 convention.
The second is from Little Wars TV, called “Fall In” 2022 Show Recap”. It is very well done and you can see a few seconds of me and my Lake Texcoco game at 10:50. Click here to see that video.
Thanks so much to the folks that ran the convention – it was outstanding. Special thanks again to the H.A.W.K.’s for bringing me in and making me feel welcome and a part of the group. Of course, to all who played in my games, please know how much I appreciated sharing my game with you.
Lastly, and as a side note, you may remember that I won a PELA. As part of that award, in addition to the miniature I got this:
So, I took my $12 voucher for my PELA and on Sunday morning after packing up hit the vendor hall. I decided to get some dice etc., and then saw a steel conquistador’s helmet. It called to me. Now it’s mine!
After a long drive home – I showed my wife. Somehow she was not very pleased! Oh well, sorry honey…still love ya…
Thanks for looking and to my regular followers I hope to post more figures soon as golf season has basically wound down.
I will be running 4 Feudal Patrol™ games at the HMGS Fall In® gaming convention next week in Lancaster, PA. In 2022, I have been running Aztec/Mesoamerica/Spanish Conquest themed games at multiple gaming conventions – and they all have been well-received. I am really looking forward to running these games at Fall In® in the H.A.W.K.’s room – and I hope to see some of you there.
So, you ask, what are you running Mark, and when? Well, I aim to please – so let me answer that!
Friday, November 4th from 9 AM to 1 PM, Paradise Room
I will be running my “Raid to Satisfy Huitzilopochtli”. It’s a pre-Spanish Conquest fight between the Aztecs and their neighbors the Tlaxcalans. The Aztecs attempt to conduct a raid of a Tlaxcalan village to gain captives for slavery and blood sacrifice, and the Tlaxcalans will fight back!
Friday, November 4th from 7 PM to 11 PM, Paradise Room
Later that day, I will be teaming up with Greg Priebe of the H.A.W.K.’s to run a “what if” scenario. Let’s say a Viking raiding party got lost and while trying to get to Greenland and wound up in Tenochtitlan. Never to pass up the opportunity for looting and pillaging, they decide to make the best of it, but the Aztecs have other plans. I think this will be a LOT of fun. Greg wrote the rules for the Feudal Patrol™Vikings supplement – and we will use my Aztec supplement rules as well (Civilizations Collide). featuring a 1200’s Viking raid on the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan!
Saturday, November 5th from 2 PM to 6 PM, Paradise Room
Saturday, November 5th from 7 PM to 11 PM, Paradise Room
On Saturday, I will be running a Feudal Patrol™ naval game – this time the epic Battle of Lake Texcoco.
TWICE! Once in the afternoon and once in the evening. After I ran this at HUZZAH! in Maine – I knew it was a hit.
The history is this – back in the summer of 1521 Cortes had a problem. To seize control of the Aztec island capital of Tenochtitlan, he realized that he needed to control the surrounding waters of Lake Texcoco (where Mexico City is now – the lake is long-gone). This meant building a fleet. Cortes had his troops build small brigantines in sections. These prefabricated pieces were then carried by his Tlaxcalan allies to the shore of Lake Texcoco, where they were assembled, and made ready for combat on the lake. While simultaneously he sent land-based conquistadores to attack Tenochtitlan’s causeways, Cortes launched his brigantines to attack Tenochtitlan.
In his way were hundreds of Aztecs canoes waiting to swarm over the Spanish. This is the basis of this game.
So, you will have two chances to jump in on this game!
To my regular readers – YES I have been neglecting this blog – more a case of a lot hitting my schedule (mostly golf) – and I will be catching up with some of the miniatures that I have painted up and some games that I have run going forward. In the meantime, I am looking forward to reconnecting with you al soon – and I appreciate those who kindly checked in on me to see if I had assumed room temperature yet.
Two totally unrelated things conspired to make me jump off my Spanish Conquest/Mesoamerican hobby path for just a short August detour. The first was my desire to participate in Dave Stone’s Season of Scenery challenge. I did get in that last year with my cityscape build for Tenochtitlan, the Aztec capital. My challenge this year was that I really did not need any more scenery for those games. The second thing – and we are talking about scenery here – was right in my back yard.
Yes, that Woodstock from the late Charles Schulz’s Peanuts. Or rather the resin yard sculpture of Woodstock that we have had in the back yard for so many years that I don’t remember when we got it. Plus, I grew up reading the strip and still do in the reruns in the daily newspaper (which, yes, I still get daily). I think Peanuts still holds up.
Woodstock looks somewhat like a cockatiel (but Schulz never would specify exactly what kind of bird he intended him to be).
In any case, as Caesar was part of our family, we naturally have had several bird-themed decorations inside and outside of the house. One of these is the aforementioned resin yard sculpture/ornament of Woodstock wearing sunglasses while lounging on a chaise lounge for many years. The New England sun, snow, heat and rain have taken their collective toll on the dude. But, back to my original point, he’s part of the scenery! And he is a fond reminder of Caesar. So, as such, I decided to rehab Woodstock for my backyard and for Dave Stone’s Season of Scenery.
And it’s been quite hot this summer – and we are in a drought so my grass (not the artificial putting green) are pretty burnt. You can see below that Woodstock has long since been separated from his chair. My granddaughter Tabitha does likes to hold him. As he’s no longer affixed, I thought I’d rehab Woodstock and keep him removable but also make him more secure on his chaise lounge as well. Therefore, as fate would have it, I could do that and use him for Dave’s annual scenery challenge!
I decided to use a combination of paints and varnishes – craft paints, old primers that are no longer good to airbrush with (i.e. too prone to clot and jam up an airbrush), and some rattlecan varnishes and lacquers left over from my pre-airbrush days. Add to that some other paints (which I list at the end of this post for those interested).
First, I washed and scrubbed the piece – it had a good amount of grime on it and I wanted the primers to really adhere. A few ants had taken up residence in it as well and kept wandering out at random times despite the cleaning.
The chaise lounge also had a good-sized crack that I repaired with green stuff.
The next challenge was how to paint the two pieces without handling them. For the chaise lounge, I just did each side and allowed for drying. For Woodstock, I needed a support jig – so I built one. The drilling also allowed for magnet insertion later with a bigger hole centered on the smaller one (not shown immediately below but later on in this post).
As for the jig itself, I reused a blot of wood that had a few holes that I had used to support 15mm tank turrets on previous projects. I had a longer bolt for the support that I drilled from the bottom side, and added several washers so that the bolt head would not touch the ground when flipped over and supporting Woodstock. I secured all the washers and the bolt with wood glue.
For Woodstock, I scribed over his mouth and eyes with an awl before priming him. I then secured Woodstock and brush primed with some older primer that was no longer suitable for the airbrush but was still good enough for the brush.
From here, it was onto the chaise lounge base. It needed to be primed both on top and on the bottom as there were some rock-like and bush-like structures underneath that were not well-defined. These I painted and then added a glossy wash for depth. Over the repair, I had previously etched the wood grain of the chaise lounge.
I still wanted more definition in the wood grain. I tried a wash but the result was highly unsatisfactory – it came out horribly blotchy. So I repainted the base chair and decided to dry brush it instead- which worked much better. After all, it should retain a “cartoony” look right? I used an airbrush yellow paint with a brush on Woodstock and painted his eyes, mouth, and sunglasses.
Before I was to varnish, I needed to install Woodstock’s magnet and a washer into the base. Originally I planned to put in a magnet into the base too – but upon drilling it I discovered that the base was more hollow than I knew (hence the ants too). So, I chose to insert a 3/4″ zinc-coated washer and secured the gap with E6000 epoxy.
All that remained was to apply varnish and lacquer. Luckily, I still had some old rattlecans from my pre-airbrush days – and I gave each a couple coats of good coverage.
So how does he look in the yard?
Most importantly, Tabitha approves!
Thanks for looking at this little diversion from my normal pace – hope you found it as fun as I did! Or Tabitha!
PAINTS, INKS, GLAZES, SHADES, WASHES, PIGMENTS, FLOCKING, GLUES AND MORE THAT I USED TO REHAB WOODSTOCK AND HIS CHAISE LOUNGE:
The first figures that I got to paint came from a triad of companies – Ral Partha, Minifig, and Grenadier – back in the 1980’s. There were others too – but Ral Partha was my favorite company, as I was mainly into buying, painting (and casting) 25mm fantasy figures in those days. I left the hobby in the late 1980’s, and subsequently came out of my hobby time machine in early 2015 with the Nightmare Legion. To my surprise, I found that Ral Partha – and many others – were gone or subsumed into other entities. For example the Ral Partha lines now can be found at now Iron Wind Metals. Also, for many manufacturers, metal figures were being replaced by – dare I say it – PLASTIC. Oh, the horror.
Anyways, I discovered that there were still a good many metal options available and I have stayed mostly with metal figures. One of the lots that I bought on eBay around 2016 was a bunch of unopened and opened Ral Partha Aztec figure blisters. I sorted them and put them away. Then in 2019 Buck Surdu asked for collaboration on supplements for his new rules set called Feudal PatrolTM . I jumped in, and now most of you know it resulted in my writing my supplement called Civilizations Collide in late 2019/early 2020. It’s free to download at that link (and you should!).
I then started painting figures and terrain for the period in April of 2020. Now, after two years, having painted and assembled 254 figures (109 Aztecs, 113 Conquistadores, 32 Tlaxcalans), 21 war canoes, 5 brigantines, a TON of terrain, and written 55+ blog posts (you can see the list of posts here), I felt I was ready to move on to my 34 Maya figures and finish up. After a whirlwind of preparation for gaming at HAVOC! 2022 and HUZZAH! 2022, I thought that I was prepared to move on to my 34 Maya figures…
Or was I…
I had painted or given away all of my original eBay lot score – all except 12 remaining Aztec Eagle Warriors. They were metal (of course) Ral Partha figures – so 25mm not 28mm, in two blisters (one opened and one not). The SKU designation for them is #42-303 “Aztec Eagle Knights”, circa 1986, sculpted by R. Kerr. From their storage location I heard them desperately cry out – “don’t leave us behind – it’s already been 36 years since we were cast! You need us to join your Aztecs!”. Funny, they cried out in English and not Nahuatl…
So, being somewhat of a completionist (insert sarcastic comment here), I decided to finish the LAST of my Aztecs. Besides, this would bring me to an even 300 figures of all types for the period (once the 34 remaining Maya were done) and that seemed to me to be an auspicious number to round out the project.
Aztec Eagle Warriors were, along with the Jaguar Warriors and the Shorn Ones, at the apex of the Aztec warrior classes. They would be armed with melee weapons, in particular the macuahuitl obsidian-edged club/sword, the tepoztopilli (obsidian-bladed thrusting spears)and the cuauhololli (round-headed club). To be a member of any of these classes required that one had captured many quality enemies for sacrifice on the Altar of Huitzilopochtli. Indeed, while they battled almost incessantly, the status and rewards were great for them. Here is a good summary of the history of the Eagle Warriors.
Painting and Assembly Plan
I had previously assembled and painted 6 Eagle Warriors from Tin Soldier UK (documented in this post). I numbered those EA01-EA06. These will be EA07-18. As I have 17 Jaguar Warriors that seems good. Similar to the previous Eagle Warrior project, I found that the#42-303 Ral Partha Eagle Knight tepoztopilli were way too soft and bendy. While the macuahuitl were small and bendable, I found that both five of those and three of the cuauhololli that would work.
I replaced four of the shafts of the tepoztopilli with leftover North Star shafts I had cut for my Conquistador pikemen. I drilled out the ends and used green stuff to bind them together. The other challenge were the limited poses. In each blister of 6 there are just TWO poses – one with a left arm forward and one with a right arm forward. (FYI these two are still available from Iron Wind Metals less any shields or weapons here). At least mine have weapons and shields!
As before, my plan was to reorient each of their arms into different poses, and to give each one a different weapon that was also oriented slightly differently. I would also give them a variety of colors for their suits (tlahuiztli), using red, light green, dark green, and light brown. Add to that I would use different shield patterns and different feather colors for authenticity and ease of tabletop play.
And yes, I had a painting plan matrix in writing!
Assembly, Modifications, and Painting
My first task was to redo the tepoztopilli (thrusting spears).
Using pliers, I carefully and slowly reoriented the arms as best as I could to turn 2 poses into 12 – or close enough to it. Then, I repaired any flattened spots by stippling with an Exacto knife point.
Then it was on to priming and applying a dark wash.
Then I base coated the figures – using several contrast paints.
Then I dry brushed and washed each painted figure to achieve the color variations. Additionally, I painted (well, inked) the feathers on each helmet differently so no two are alike. Then I added gloss varnish to the feathers so that later when matted down the colors will “pop” a bit more. It also helps protect the inks I used here.
Then it was on to adding the initial flocking before returning to work on the shields.
The shields here are quite difficult to paint up with patterns. The surfaces are not smooth, and of course they are tiny. Below are the patterns I gave them under a gloss varnish – again to protect the colors.
Then it was time to mount them to the figures, add a matte varnish, and then add some grass.
As promised…eye candy – note the color variations here and different poses.
I hope that you enjoyed this post and the photos – I tried playing around with my new iPhone and lighting – I’m not 100% sure I’ve got it down yet. I painted these in between a LOT of golf, so I’m happy that they are done. If you have any feedback, I’d love to read it in the comments section.
My Aztec figures now count up at 121:
As a second FYI, these Ral Partha figures are still available from IWM – here is the link. (Only again now they come without shields or weapons). I am sure that the lead content is no longer there too.
The Aztecs are DONE! On to the MAYA!
Miscellaneous details and references for those interested in that sort of thing:
For all of my previous posts on games, units, and other projects for my 16th Century Spanish Conquest supplement for Feudal Patrol™ – “Civilizations Collide” – please see this page.
PAINTS, INKS, GLAZES, SHADES, WASHES, PIGMENTS, FLOCKING, GLUES AND MORE THAT I USED ON THESE EAGLE KNIGHT FIGURES:
The Wars of Orcs and Dwarves (WOOD) mass fantasy battle game system is similar to the Wars of Ozz – except that now you can now dust off those fantasy minis you have from ANY manufacturer and have a great tabletop game.
The rules were written by my good friend Buck Surdu with a good amount of help from another great friend and West Point roommate Dave Wood. I have played in a few of the playtests as well as at RECON in Florida in April (described, among other things, here).
I had a blast – and I think most of you would as well.
The gaming possibilities are endless!
Here are a few pics from that game in Florida – it was a halfling raid on an Orc village – but any scenario is conceivable.
There is a Kickstarter from the publisher, Sally 4th that you can access here.
Here is a description of the game:
Written by John T ‘Buck’ Surdu and the team who brought you ‘Wars of Ozz’
Manufacturer / Range / Scale Neutral – Use what ever fantasy miniatures you have collected to fight epic massed battles.
Wars of Orcs and Dwarves will work with any scale of miniatures from 6mm – 32mm and beyond, from any manufacturer and from any genre. If you have an existing Warhammer or Lord of the Rings Army or maybe some historical Ancients, Dark Age or Medieval figures, you can use those to play Wars of Orcs and Dwarves.
Wars of Orcs and Dwarves is:
Mass fantasy tabletop gaming
Designed for solo, 2 player & team play
Features a balanced Magic System
Rulebook contains, army lists, scenarios and campaigns
Fun to play, streamlined, intuitive & based around reactive game play that keeps both sides continually involved
Game length 2-3 hours
Just to be clear, I have no financial interest in this – and I have backed the Kickstarter so that I can get the rules book and a PDF. I plan on working this into my gaming collection as I have a lot of fantasy stuff that needs a good game.
Again, there is a Kickstarter from the publisher, Sally 4th that you can access here.
Thanks for looking and checking out the Kickstarter!
HUZZAH! 2022 was held in South Portland Maine from Thursday May 12th to Sunday May 15th. This would mark the first time that this great convention ran since the beginning of the pandemic.
I had previously attended HUZZAH! as only a gamer in 2019 and blogged about it here. I was impressed with the games there and as well with the Maine Historical Wargamers Association (MHWA) that runs it. I was determined that I would run some games there in 2020….
That became 2021…
And that became 2022 – which was the return of HUZZAH! By this time I had a LOT of games that I had build for Mesoamerica and the Spanish Conquest. There were 8 four-hour game slots available at the convention – one on Thursday evening, three on Friday and Saturday, and one on Sunday morning. Of course – I had just ran 4 four-hour games at HAVOC in Massachusetts in April. So, I thought, why not push myself and run 6 Feudal PatrolTM games in four days? Hell, it would be fun my using my supplement for Civilizations Collide for so many games to a brand new audience.
That’s 6 out of the 8 available four-hour slots! That’s 24 hours of GM’ing in about 60 hours…not counting set up and take down. Well, I gave it a shot, and while as I write this it’s late June, I thought I’d share some pics with you folks as it was a BLAST! I’ll take each game in turn.
Besides, you all DID ask for game pics – buckle up, there’s a bunch here!
The first game scenario that I ran was “Cortes’ Causeway Escape Attempt”. This involves the Spanish trying to escape Tenochtitlan on June 28, 1520. For those who have not seen my HAVOC posts on the scenario – here is the game briefing:
While Cortes was away confronting Narvaez at the Battle of Cempoala, some of his troops under the command of Pedro de Alvarado had remained in Tenochtitlan. Cortes had previously bloodlessly seized Montezuma as his prisoner/puppet, so he felt relatively secure to make the trek to Cempoala. This was not the case with Alvarado. He feared that the Aztecs were planning to surprise his troops and massacre them; thus, he decided to strike first. At the Feast of Toxcatl (an annual Aztec religious festival), hundreds of the political and military elite of the Aztec Empire were participating in the “Serpent Dance” – and were unarmed. Alvarado took the chance and attacked all of those celebrating with no quarter. Most were murdered and some were captured. The warriors killed by Alvarado and his men were among the best in the Aztec Empire. Still, the Spanish and their Tlaxcalan allies were far outnumbered in Tenochtitlan, and they now faced an entire city that was rising up against them. Cortes returned from the Battle of Cempoala. His forces were reinforced by the men and equipment of Narvaez who had defected to Cortes’ banner. He was able to enter Tenochtitlan with his men, and soon learned of the general uprising. As a goodwill gesture, yet a strategic mistake, he released Montezuma’s brother, Cuitlahuac – who had been captured by Alvarado at the massacre. Cuitlahuac almost immediately became the leader of the Aztecs, effectively becoming the new Emperor – and Montezuma’s replacement. The siege of the Spanish began in earnest. The Spanish had occupied the Palace of Axayacatl, were without water, and were coming under increasing attack. The Aztecs even tried to burn the palace down around the Spanish, but were stopped with artillery, crossbow, and arquebusier fire. Cortes tried to use Montezuma one last time – to see if the Aztecs surrounding them would stand down. Montezuma was brought out at the Palace of Axayacatl try to get the attackers to stop their assault. Montezuma’s exhortations not only failed to sway the crowd of enraged Aztecs, but he was hit in the head by a rock from an Aztec sling. That wound would incapacitate him. Shortly afterwards, he died. The cause of his death was the slung stone or perhaps he was murdered later by the Spanish as he lay unconscious – the truth is forever lost to history. In the end, Cortes realized that he had no safe escape route to the causeways. In any such attempt, his troops would be vulnerable to a massive volume of missile fire. Cortes ordered his men to tear out any lumber available from the palace to build a number of war wagons. These would serve as similar devices to the Hussite war wagons of the 15th Century, but would be moved by humans, not horses. Cortes hoped that they would hopefully provide cover for his own missile troops from withering Aztec missile fire – and therefore help his forces make it to the causeways. With these war wagons, Cortes launched an escape attempt that he hoped would be able to punch through the Aztecs and escape to the causeways – and then onto the safety of the mainland and the his Tlaxcalan allies.
In the game. the Spanish broke through the Aztecs, though at significant cost. The Aztec commander was taken out by the Tlaxcalans (Conquistador allies). This was effective at reducing the Aztecs command and control, allowing Cortes to live for another day…again. Below are some game pics with a few descriptions.
Friday Morning, “Surprise Aztec Raid on the Spanish Outpost”
On Friday Morning, I had a full table for my “Surprise Aztec Raid on the Spanish Outpost” scenario. I also ran this game at HAVOC and at TOTALCON 2022. Here is the game briefing:
Near harvest time, a Tlaxcalan village is being raided by the Aztecs, seeking to take wealth, food, and prisoners. The Aztecs know the majority of the Tlaxcalan troops are with the Conquistadores elsewhere, and expect an easy task. Unbeknownst to the Aztecs, there are some Spanish troops at this town who will help to defend it. This is a generic scenario based on Aztecs launching a surprise raid Veracruz or a Tlaxcalan Village serving as a supply base for Cortes.
It was a lot of fun and I was honored that the game won the Best in Time slot award which was nice. It was a pretty exciting game with a few twists and turns. In the end, it was an overwhelming Spanish victory (64-6) as the Conquistadores and their Tlaxcalan allies held off the raiding Aztecs.
Friday Night, “La Noche Triste – Bloodbath on the Tacuba Causeway”.
This game was on Friday night, and is one of my favorites. It has war canoes, cavalry, and desperation! I had another full table for the game of “La Noche Triste – Bloodbath on the Tacuba Causeway”. I also ran this game at HAVOC. Here is the game briefing:
The struggle for the high ground of Temple of Yopico had been a fleeting success for Cortes. Importantly, the Spanish had not succeeded in the most important task at hand – allowing Cortes and his troops to escape Tenochtitlan and reach the safety of Tlaxcalan allies on the mainland . While the Spanish did temporarily seize the high ground of the temple, their war wagons were now destroyed, their supplies of food and water were gone, and they found themselves again trapped in the Palace of Axayacatl surrounded by thousands of angry Aztecs. Times were even more desperate. For those trapped in the city, one last try would either succeed or fail. Either way, a Spanish failure meant either death on the battlefield or on the Altar of Huitzilopochtli. Success might still mean death on the battlefield. Cortes knew that the Aztecs had removed multiple spans over the canals on the causeways, which effectively meant that he would have to bridge those gaps to get to the mainland. Cortes’ men stripped beams from the palace, and had constructed pieces to make temporary haulable bridge pieces. No matter which causeway the Spanish took – they faced a dire situation. Cortes decided to try to make a night escape attempt with all of his forces – and head for the Tacuba Causeway – which was the shortest way out of the city. He left at midnight, and under the cover of darkness, made headway undetected – for a while. The Aztecs finally detected the Spanish movements, and raised an alarm. War canoes, manned by Aztec warriors, surrounded Cortes’ troops on both sides of the Tacuba Causeway, and he faced enemies to his front and his rear. Cortes’ men and his Tlaxcalan allies had taken with them as much looted treasure as possible, as well as prisoners (sons and daughters of the now-late Montezuma). The Aztecs are hell-bent on stopping their escape. A Tlaxcalan warband will try to help clear the way to the Spanish from the mainland.
The Spanish fought valiantly but this time Cortes was not successful. The Spanish managed to bridge the causeway gap but the Aztecs would not yield and their war canoes were effective.
Here are some battle shots:
Saturday Morning, “The Battle of Otumba”
On Saturday morning I ran “The Battle of Otumba” scenario, where the conquistadores held out on a rocky hill against a massive Aztec onslaught while hoping that Cortes would arrive in time with the cavalry to save the day. The cavalry arrived, but were ineffective (just damn unlucky) and the Aztecs won an overwhelming victory with the casualties that they inflicted. I also ran this previously at TOTALCON and HAVOC, but with very different results (which I believe speaks to a balanced scenario).
Here is the game briefing:
For almost two weeks, the troops under Cortes retreated across central Mexico – hoping to reach the safety of Tlaxcalan territory. All of the Spanish were wounded to some degree – many died each day from the wounds suffered during La Noche Triste and the subsequent skirmishes that occurred as the Aztecs, under Cuitlahuac, pursued them mercilessly. The Conquistadores found themselves on a small rocky outcropping – and according to Diaz nearly surrounded on two sides. They were just short of the mountain pass that would bring them to safety of Tlaxcala. They took up an infantry square position bristling with pikes and halberds upon on the rocky outcropping overlooking plains. The Aztecs rained missile fire upon the Spanish, and subjected them to numerous human wave attacks. The brutal end was near when Cortes noticed that the attacks were being coordinated by the cihuacoatl, the High Priest of Tenochtitlan, the Cihuacoatl Matlatzincátzin. He was the one who was acting as the Aztec General. This High Priest was using signalers and bannermen to coordinate the attacks. Cortes personally rounded up what remained of his cavalry and with great personal courage led a mounted charge towards the High Priest and his retinue. The Aztecs had never before faced a massed cavalry attack. While the hooves of the Spanish cavalry were previously unable to make such a charge on the smooth pavements of Tenochtitlan – at Otumba, they were able to make a classic cavalry attack. The charge succeeded in killing the High Priest and many of his officers. It was reported that Cortes himself dispatched the High Priest with his lance. With the death of their leader and disruption of his communications system, the Aztec attack faltered. It quickly fell apart without the command and control that the signals had provided. Cortes and what was left of his troops were able to escape to fight another day, and eventually conquer the Aztec Empire – but this battle could have changed the course of history.
Here are pics of the game:
Saturday Night, “The Battle of Lake Texcoco”
As followers of this blog know, I built a fleet of brigantines (well 5) for this game, “The Battle of Lake Texcoco”, which you can read about here and here. I was REALLY excited to roll this out -and I needed a BIG table -which MWHA did accommodate.
Here is the game briefing:
To seize control of the Aztec island capital of Tenochtitlan, Cortes realized that he needed to control the surrounding waters of Lake Texcoco. This meant building a fleet. To accomplish this, Cortes used scavenged lumber from his previously-scuttled seafaring vessels to build brigantines in pieces in Tlaxcala. These prefabricated pieces were then man-portaged by his Tlaxcalan allies to the shore of Lake Texcoco. Here they were assembled, and made ready for combat on the lake. While simultaneously he sent land-based conquistadores to attack Tenochtitlan’s causeways, Cortes launched his brigantines to attack Tenochtitlan. In his way were hundreds of Aztecs canoes waiting to swarm over the Spanish.
I was really thrilled at the response. What fun it was – an Aztec vs. Conquistadores naval game! It was total mayhem! How? Collisions, ramming of canoes, brigantines getting boarded, canoes getting sunk by arquebuses, ship cannons firing and wiping out whole canoe crews, Aztecs avenging their comrades by wiping out the same cannon crew, and the overall Aztec commander personally boarding a conquistador brigantine to make an assault that cost him his life and the game.
And I was honored to receive my second Best in Time Slot award of the convention! Not bad for a naval game scenario designed by a West Pointer !