In the Civilizations Collide supplement (described on my last post) that I wrote for Feudal Patrol™, priests and shamans can be bought for points and deployed along with units. In the game, a warrior priest can both boost the fighting morale of your own troops as well as erode the morale of your defeated non-Spanish enemies. Plus, they can fight as heroes as well.
For my Aztec forces, I needed to paint up some more warrior priests. I already had one figure that I have painted from Wargames Foundry Heroes of Tenochtitlan (seen here). I also have six warrior priests for the Tlaxcalans (seen here), so this disparity needed to be fixed.
Originally to meet this figure deficit I purchased the Wargames Foundry blister pack AZ021 “Tloxtoxl and the Priests of the Great Temple” from Badger Games as I believed that this would get me six Warrior Priests. There is nothing historic about the name, but it sounds very Aztec! However, the pack was a bit different than I had expected. As you will see, two are definitely good as warrior priests, two are priests/priestesses who probably hung around the temple, and two are a command pair. No worries, as I can use all of these one way or another. The figures are metal, 28mm in size, and sculpted by Josef Ochmann. This group was in very good shape and was easy to prep for painting.
I did not take very many shots this go around – but my painting approach was similar to my previous posts which are catalogued below if you are new to this project. So without further ado…
First, the two warrior priests – I think these will be fine on the tabletop battlefield, though underarmed a bit:
AWP2 – this figure is armed only with an obsidian dagger, and no shield or armor.
AWP3 – this figure reminded me of IRO’s stuff! He is armed only with an obsidian dagger, and no shield or armor, but is slick with blood after a captive live sacrifice. The dark war paint on his face and body and the skull on his hip were painted according to an Osprey image I had. I tried not to overdo the blood, but I think he would be pretty bloody.
The next group includes a priestess and a priest that do not look overly worthy of battle, but I can always put them in if needed or use them in some other way. Besides, they could be an objective possibly. I thought I’d paint them anyways – and give them flowers on their bases.
AP1 – this Priestess is admiring some turquoise jewelry or some such thing. I would have her armed with only an obsidian dagger, and of course no shield or armor. I tried to give the dress a pattern, but this was not squarely in my wheelhouse. Maybe that’s why I gave her a tuft of flowers as compensation?
AP2 – this Priest was not my favorite, though I did like experimenting with his headdress and his garb patterns. He is also armed with only an obsidian dagger, and of course no shield or armor. He also was missing some fingers. Maybe that’s why I also gave him flowers!
The next two really are a command group pair, and I will use them together as a higher commander of a warband or better.
AZC1 – this leader is dressed as an Eagle Warrior. I painted 6 Eagle Warriors early in the project that you can see here. I really liked this figure. I will treat his weapon as a tepoztopilli, and give him credit for his shield, some cotton armor and his helmet. He of course will need his assistant with the conch shell and drum to send battle signals out.
AZC2 – the leader’s signaler with a conch shell as a horn and a drum. I really liked this figure, though getting the shell right was a conundrum. I am only giving him a hand axe and but he gets cotton armor but no shield. So, he’s a bit vulnerable.
Here’s a group shot:
Thanks for looking – and please let me know your thoughts and feedback in the comments section. Do have a favorite? I do hope you enjoyed this!
I have always wanted to be part of a putting together rules for a tabletop wargame. Now, I can officially say that I can check off that box on my life’s “To-Do” list – at least in a smallish way.
Feudal Patrol™– Buck Surdu’s rules for “Skirmish Miniature Gaming in the Ancient, Medieval, and Fantasy Periods” is now available commercially. In the US, it can be bought from On Military Matters website here. It is also being sold in the US by Noble Knight Games website here. In the UK, it is being sold by Sally 4th on their website here.
It is a fantastic skirmish system, similar to his Combat Patrol -WWII™and Albedo Combat Patrol™ systems. Unlike many other games, the Combat Patrol family has eliminated the clutter of multiple charts and markers with the use of specialized playing card decks. The decks in each game enable players to resolve movement, melee, missile fire, morale, cover protection, and more all from a single 50 card deck. Feudal Patrol™ is appropriate for periods when melee dominated warfare instead of firepower – so the 16th Century and earlier, as well as being adaptable for fantasy gaming. To be clear, I am not totally unbiased. I have been friends with Buck for nearly 40 years since our cadet days at West Point, and I did participate in several playtests of these rules and helped as I could.
As for a good review of Feudal Patrol™ by a more neutral party, there is a fine one on the BoardGameGeek website by Scouter (Brian Ivers) that you can see here. You can see that this is a game worth checking out. Here’s a snippet from the review:
Overall an Excellent effort by Buck and his band of Tabletop warriors. The cards and rules were purchased by me under a pre order program through On Military Matters. The rules were produced by Sally4th, a wonderful company out of the UK. Noble Knight games are also a US conduit. The amount of support available for this product is excellent, this can be found on both Buck Surdus web site as well as Sally4th. And Google Groups IO page. Buck has produced an excellent You Tube video introduction to Feudal Patrol. https://youtu.be/SlpLbMdgVv8
Buck asked me if I was interested in writing a supplement for the rules. I was very interested and thought it would be a fine opportunity to check the box I wrote of above. I also wanted to develop a skirmish game for the Spanish Conquest as the period and the garb of the period was fascinating to me. So I agreed, and did a lot of research on the period, and developed my supplement to Feudal Patrol™ that I called “Civilizations Collide”. That supplement is a FREE download – and I hope all who read this will download it and please take a look (after all it’s free! – did I mention that?). Plus it has a lot of pics of the miniatures that I have painted up (and more will come in this blog of course!
Well, not exactly…more like into one of my storage boxes to await a future game…but now that I have your attention, welcome!
I just finished adding 18 Aztec Novice Warriors to my forces for games of Feudal Patrol™ – using the “Civilizations Collide” supplement that I have discussed previously on several posts (you can see list of these posts at the end of this post if you’d like to see what you’ve missed). I had needed to add some more novices to pair up with veterans for the game. Aztec veteran warriors would have novices attached to them for training and development in the tactics and techniques of Mesoamerican warfare. Aztecs preferred capturing their enemies versus killing them – after all, they wanted live captives for sacrifice.
Under veteran tutelage, novices would try to capture enemy warriors. Their success at this would allow them to gain rank as well as increased Aztec societal and cultural prestige (depending upon the number and quality of the captured enemy warriors). This increase in rank would also be shown by the warriors having the right to wear different and fancier uniforms. Of course the captured warriors would be most often sacrificed alive on the altar of Huitzilopochtli in the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan.
Returning to the gaming project, I now have figures for 30 novices and 27 veterans, which should put me in good stead game-wise. These figures came from Badger Games and were manufactured by Wargames Foundry. The 18 figures discussed here came from two blisters of AZ016 “Novice Warriors I” and one of AZ028 “Novice Warriors III”. All were sculpted by Josef Ochmann. I previously painted up 12 from AZ018 “Novice Warriors III” that I posted about here. These were similar to those models, and most of this group are armed with slings. Unfortunately, for the non-slingers, there were no other weapons in the AZ028 blister, just shields. Not a problem, as I had some Outpost Wargames Services extra weapons and some extra shields already painted up for any non-slingers (Badger also sells OWS). I am sure that Badger would have taken care of it if I let them know (they are great), but I had the situation under control.
I must say that the Foundry mold lines here on some of the models were a greater problem than those I have painted before from OWS. I tried my best to fix what I could without destroying the figures, but there’s only so much one can file away before the cure becomes worse than the disease. I am going to jump right into some pictures and then as usual some references for those interested in that sort of detail.
Because I had bought two 6-figure blisters of AZ016, I wanted to paint them differently enough so that they would be interesting on the tabletop. I will show the similar poses together, and then the single poses.
I have numbered my novices AN1 to AN30, with this project concerning AN13 to AN30.
AN13 and AN19 – armed with a tepoztopilli (obsidian-edged thrusting spear pronounced tay-pose-toe-pee-lee) and a shield, but no other armor.
AN14 and AN20 – armed with a cuauhololli (round-headed wooden club – pronounced kwa-ho-lolly) and a shield, but no other armor.
AN15 and AN21 – armed with a cuauhololli (round-headed wooden club) and a shield, and quilted cotton armor called ichcahuipilli (pronounced each-ca-we-pilli).
AN16 and AN22 – armed with slings, no shield, and no armor.
AN17 and AN23 – armed with slings, no shield, and no armor.
AN18 and AN24 – armed with slings, no shield, and no armor.
AN25 – armed with a sling, no shield, and no armor. This is the first figure from the AZ028 blister.
AN26 – armed with a sling, no shield, and no armor.
AN27 – armed with a sling, no shield, and no armor.
AN28 – armed with a macuahuitl (an obsidian-edged club/broadsword), a shield, and no armor.
AN29 – armed with a tepoztopilli and a shield, and quilted cotton armor (ichcahuipilli).
AN30 – armed with a bow, no shield, and no armor.
That’s a lot of troops – and this month (October 2020) I have painted 42 in total after adding these 18 – a record for me. And I still have 2 days left, but likely this is it for October. I am nearly through what I need to paint for the Aztecs – then I can move on to the Spanish.
And as for the video I promised, here it is below. A group in Baltimore built a macuahuitl. I found it interesting, even though they did not know the correct pronunciation of macuahuitl! There’s obviously an old gamer there as shown by the paints used. Enjoy!
That’s all for this post. I’d be interested in your thoughts on this post and the project in general. Let me know in the comments section, share this post if you’d like, and as always, thanks for looking!
Miscellaneous details and references for those interested in that sort of thing:
Posts on games, units, and other projects for my 16th Century Spanish Conquest supplement for Feudal Patrol™ – “Civilizations Collide”
18 Aztec Novice Warriors for Feudal Patrol Walk into a Bar (this post) – 18 Novice Warriors
Ral Partha had a historical line of 25mm figures that were cast and sold back in the 1980’s. One of them was the “1200 A.D” line, which included Aztec figures, and one of their blister packs was “Aztec Warrior Priests”. It had 6 figures with two poses. Also supplied were 3 different weapons, and shields for each figure.
On my previous post on Tlaxcalans, I mentioned that I needed to have some warrior priests for their army. Unfortunately, I could not find a suitable 28mm version for the Tlaxcalans. I do have some Wargames Foundry Aztec Warrior Priests in the painting queue but they were not going to be right as Tlaxcalans in my view.
I did have (among several other blisters from that era) a single blister pack of 6 figures of Ral Partha 42-302. Now these were Aztecs, not Tlaxcalans, and 25mm size, not 28mm. Generally 28mm figures are 1:61-1:68 range, and 25mm figures are 1:68-1:71 range in scale. So from a gaming distance, I think that they will work. I have already incorporated other 25mm figures such as the historical Eagle Warriors from Tin Soldier and the ahistorical Ral Partha Arrow Warriors into my Aztec forces for the upcoming launch of Buck Surdu’s Feudal PatrolTMskirmish tabletop war game. (as a side note – my Civilizations Collide supplement will cover this period, and will be a free download from the website).
Getting back to filling the Tlaxcalan ranks with some Warrior Priests – I chose to paint the 42-302 figures up in Tlaxcalan colors and war paint. It allowed me to make use of the figures – which have been waiting 32 years to be painted anyways – and to not add any more to my unpainted stuff. Sometimes you just have to find a way to liberate the unpainted hordes! When they get deployed in my supplement, Warrior Priests are add-on troops that get individually attached to units. They have the ability to help keep a unit they are attached to from breaking morale, and also can cause a defeated non-Spanish enemy to be more likely to want to flee the battlefield.
The six figures were more than enough to round out my Tlaxcalans. It’s always a challenge to go smaller than usual in painting, and these figures were no exception. One initial issue was the height, which I “leveled” by adding a 3/4″ x 1/8″ small washer on the 1″ washer base. This was to make the height disparity less noticeable. I also gave the somewhat pliable weapons a light coat of Gorilla Glue to stiffen them up a bit
A second challenge was capturing the delicate details on the figures. Here, I decided to steal an idea I have seen on Chris Palmer’s blog on the H.A.W.K.’s combined blog site – that is to prime figures white and use a dark wash over that to help with details. I think it helped – see the examples of WIP below.
Here is a second example:
The Tlaxcalans favored red loincloths and headbands – so those were easy to add. The war paint design mix that I used was similar to my previous group – a red-striped over white design or a black mask (or none at all). As for shield, I perused Steven’s Balagan and my Osprey books for inspiration (while modifying the colors a bit).
Three of the models had a lovely little (ok, tiny) engraved skull at their waists on a bone necklace. I was unaware of this engraved skull aspect of Mesoamerican “art”. You can see a modern interpretive example from Amazon here and shown below:
I tried out my new Army Painter drybrush (the smallest one) and was very happy how well it performed, especially on the skulls. The bristles are round and it is just the right stiffness. Here is the link and the photo below if you are interested:
Back to painting the models, my goal was to get a nice blending on the flesh before varnishing the figures. They do end up shiny from the Army Painter Flesh Wash, but with matte varnish the shine goes completely away.
Once I added the extra washer, you could see that the elevation on the base could pose a flocking issue – such that it would look “rounded” under the flocking. To deal with this, I glued some very small pieces of modeling talus on the washers to more or less camouflage the underlying round shapes. I would leave some of that exposed as well once flocked.
So let’s see the finished models! As usual, I gave each a number for future reference and creation of gaming aids:
TWP1 – armed with a tepoztopilli (obsidian-edged thrusting spear), and no war paint. Interestingly this pose of the two types in the blister was a lefty!
TWP2 – armed with a cuauhololli (round-headed club), with no war paint.
TWP3 – armed with a macuahuitl (obsidian-edged club/sword), again no war paint.
TWP4 – armed with a tepoztopilli (obsidian-edged thrusting spear), and the red-stripes-over-white war paint. This pose of the two types in the blister was right-handed!
TWP5 – armed with a cuauhololli (round-headed club), wearing the black mask war paint.
TWP6 – armed with a macuahuitl (obsidian-edged club/sword), and the red-stripes-over-white war paint.
I think that they can safely share the same gaming tabletop!
This project also allowed me to help with one of my favorite websites, the Lost Minis Wiki, which is a fantastic resource for OOP stuff, especially from the 1970’s and 1980’s. Here is the entry photo for this blister.
So, my Tlaxcalan forces are done – I have now 32 figures for their army. When added to the 71 Aztecs that I have done, that brings me to over 100!
Thanks for taking a look – below you’ll find my updated details list for the overall project and this particular one (paints, etc. used).
Miscellaneous details and references for those interested:
Posts on games, units, and other projects for my 16th Century Spanish Conquest supplement for Feudal Patrol™ – “Civilizations Collide”
The Tlaxcalans were a Nahua people that were at a constant state of war with the Aztecs of the Triple Alliance for decades. The Aztecs never fully conquered the Tlaxcalans, as they found them to be a far more useful source of slave labor, sacrificial victims, and resources than as a vassal state. The Aztecs were able to take these captives and supplies by allowing the Tlaxcalans to merely exist – and by challenging them repeatedly to a series of “Flower Wars”. Flower Wars were basically ritualized arranged gang-like “throw downs” where usually the Aztecs would emerge victorious, as they were a larger and far more powerful empire based in Tenochtitlan. Certainly, with this level of abuse, there was no love lost between the Tlaxcalans and the Aztecs.
Into this theater of conflict came a new revolutionary factor in the early 16th century. Hernan Cortes and his Conquistadores arrived in Mesoamerica in February of 1519. In September of that year, he encountered the Tlaxcalans and briefly fought them – as the Tlaxcalans were unaware of who the Conquistadores were or from whence they came. Both sides came to peace terms relatively quickly after some tough fighting – during which mutual respect was gained for their respective courage and capabilities in battle. The Tlaxcalans informed Cortes of the vast riches (especially in terms of gold) of Tenochtitlan and their emperor, Montezuma II. The Tlaxcalans happily joined the Spanish on their march to Tenochtitlan and indeed were staunch allies for them. Indeed, without the Tlaxcalans who formed the bulk of Cortes’ forces, the Spanish would never have been able to defeat the Aztecs during their conquest of New Spain.
I have been working on building Aztec, Tlaxcalan, and Spanish forces for the upcoming launch of my rules supplement for Buck Surdu’s Feudal PatrolTMskirmish tabletop war game. My supplement will be a free download from the website and will be called Civilizations Collide. The supplement will cover many aspects of the Spanish Conquest to include the Aztecs, the Inca, the Maya, and more. Back in August, I began to work on the Tlaxcalans. I was working on my Tlaxcalan Archers, (which you can read about here), and quickly realized that the level of detail that I wanted to achieve on these figures could not be achieved if I was to work on too many at a time. Therefore, I broke up the project into two phases. The first phase was the completion of the 8 Tlaxcalan Archers. For the second phase – which this post concerns – I had 18 figures, all from Outpost Wargames Services via their US distributor, Badger Games. Eight were from TX2 “Tlaxcalan Novice Warriors in Padded Vest”; eight were from TX3b “Elite Warrior in Feather Costume”; and two were from TXC01 “Tlaxcalan Captain and Conch Blower. These are all 28mm in scale and metal. Still, this two-phase approach took me a lot longer than I had expected to take to finish these – primarily as there were (as you will see) multiple shields, weapons, and backbanners to paint and assemble. As source materials I used both multiple Osprey books and especially the two blog posts from Steven’s Balagan blog on Tlaxcalan painting and especiallyhis post on shield painting and design. These are fantastic resources and I recommend them highly for anyone interested in the period in addition to the Osprey books. I also recommend Badger Games as a source for these figures as well as those they sell from other manufacturers.
I will generally show some WIP stuff and discuss some of the aspects and challenges of the project and how I dealt with them. I’ll end with a recap of where the overall project progress is now, and what paints and stuff I used here. I did not take as many WIP shots as I normally do because while I have tackled more figures at a time previously, this project phase kept me very busy (and as this was during golf season, that took some hobby time too!). If WIP shots are not for you, just scroll down to the “Eye Candy” section to see how they all came out. With all of the photos – just click on them if you want a bigger view.
TX2 “Tlaxcalan Novice Warriors in Padded Vest” WIP Shots
I chose to try to paint all of the separate components (figures, shields, weapons) before assembly. I did find that I had a bit of difficulty getting certain the weapons to fit easily to some models so I ended up switching between issuing a macuahuitl (broadsword/club-type with obsidian edges) or a tepoztopilli (obsidian-edged thrusting spear) for a few. I should have tried to widen the figures’ hands a bit more than I did. Certainly, I think using Citadel “Apothecary White” contrast paint on the white ichcahuipilli (quilted cotton vest armor) was a big win.
TX3b “Elite Warrior in Feather Costume” WIP Shots
The Tlaxcalan Elites would be a bigger challenge – primarily because in addition to the figures, weapons, and shields, each had a huge (and relatively heavy model-wise) feather backbanner. I ended up using a wooden jig to hold them during the project in between painting colors. According to my research, there were other types of backbanners – and even this type (TX3b) was supposed to have the white egret backbanner as an option. All I had were 8 of the same type of backbanners- so I diverged a bit with color selections on the center section to aid with tabletop identification. I also decided to paint them a bit differently. I used Citadel “Nuln Oil” as a wash immediately after priming white. This allowed me to get better shading – especially with subsequent uses of contrast paints on the feathers. After I painted the backbanners, I applied a satin varnish to preserve the brighter colors as I used a final matte varnish at the end of the assembly. Clearly, between the costume and the feathered backbanner, these elites had a lot of “battle plumage”! Historically, fighting in melee with the backbanner on must have been tough. I do wish I had had one of the egret backbanners, but not enough to buy any more…yet.
I did paint the elite figures a bit differently as well. I find that dry brushing over contrast paints leads to too much abrasion and wear on the contrast-painted areas. These Tlaxcalan elites have a nice feathered costume, and I wanted to bring that aspect out. So, I painted the figures’ flesh first, then similarly applied Citadel “Nuln Oil” as a wash. Then I dry brushed the costume with Citadel “Hexos Palesun”, followed by an wash-like application of Citadel “Iyanden Yellow” contrast paint thinned with Citadel “Contrast Medium”. My only change going forward would be to paint the flesh base after as of course I had to cover up some errant dry brushing.
TXC01 – “Tlaxcalan Captain with Conch Blower”
Finally, I wanted to add some leadership for the group. For painting, I followed a similar path as described above for the elites and the novices.
Notes on Painting Shields, Assembly, and Basing
As discussed, this project took a lot of time on details. Each figure had its own distinctive shield design. After free-handing these, I used a satin varnish similar what I did on the backbanners.
The shields were affixed with a “sandwich” of E6000 epoxy and Gorilla Glue. The weapons were attached with Gorilla Glue. Assembling the backbanners was trickier. They weighed a lot, and I wanted to make sure that they would be set up for both tabletop survival and looking good. I used Gorilla Glue on them, and then finished off the mount with green stuff. This necessitated yet another wait for curing. I primed the green stuff black and left it black as I liked it better than the brown I originally planned. Better yet, it is solid, and will support the figure as it is picked up!
As for basing, I probably do too much, but I think bases are so important. This time I did the bases before affixing any weapons, shields, or backbanners. I used Army Painter Brown Battlefields with PVA (Elmer’s) glue. I then add two kinds of Vallejo pigments with Vallejo airbrush thinner. Once that is dry (again a wait) I drybrush the base with four different shades of tan. After varnish, the last step is to add some static grass with PVA, and gently vacuum that mix (once a bit tacky) so that the grass gets a little frilly.
The absolute last thing I do after final matte varnish is added and static grass is to highlight the obsidian-edged weapons with some Vallejo Model Color “Glossy Black”.
For shots here, I got a new background from previous posts – and added some cacti that I had flocked and washed. Hope it adds to the shots!
TXN1 – has the red-striped-over-white war paint and is armed with a macuahuitl.
TXN2 – has the red-striped-over-white war paint and is armed with a tepoztopilli. Also has the “thick-lipped” shield.
TXN3 – has the black mask war paint and is armed with a macuahuitl.
TXN4 – has the black mask war paint and is armed with a macuahuitl.
TXN5 – has the red-striped-over-white war paint and a different head cover, and is armed with a macuahuitl.
TXN6 – has the red-striped-over-white war paint and a different head cover, and is armed with a tepoztopilli.
TXN7 – has the black mask war paint and is armed with a macuahuitl.
TXN8 – has no war paint and is armed with a tepoztopilli.
Tlaxcalan Elite Warriors
TXE1 – has no war paint and is armed with a macuahuitl. The center of his backbanner is tan.
TXE2 – has no war paint and is armed with a macuahuitl. The center of his backbanner is yellowish-tan.
TXE3 – has the red-striped-over-white war paint and is armed with a macuahuitl. The center of his backbanner is yellowish-tan.
TXE4 – has the black mask war paint and is armed with a tepoztopilli. The center of his backbanner is light green.
TXE5 – has the red-striped-over-white war paint and is armed with a tepoztopilli. The center of his backbanner is tan.
TXE6 – has the black mask war paint and is armed with a macuahuitl. The center of his backbanner is bright white.
TXE7 – has the red-striped-over-white war paint and is armed with a tepoztopilli. The center of his backbanner is bright white.
TXE8 – has no war paint and is armed with a macuahuitl. The center of his backbanner is light green.
Tlaxcalan Command Group
TXC1 – Tlaxcalan Captain, with no war paint, armed with a tepoztopilli. His backbanner has a serpent on it.
TXC2 – Conch Blower, with no war paint, armed with a tepoztopilli.
Next up I need to add some warrior priests for the Tlaxcalans – and I have some old Ral Partha ones that will do the trick – I hope – stay tuned!
Miscellaneous details and references for those interested:
Posts on Games and Units for my 16th Century Spanish Conquest Supplement for Feudal Patrol™ – “Civilizations Collide”
Last Saturday, we ran a playtest of the Wars of Orcs and Dwarves (WOOD) using Zoom. Chris Abbey from Sally 4th in the UK ran the game at his home – and his blog post on the game link is below. WOOD is an in-progress adaptation of the Wars of Ozz rules for fantasy battles.
It was a fun game and I (in Massachusetts) played on the Orcs and Goblins side with Greg Priebe in Maryland and Jim in North Carolina. We were fighting Dwarves led by Buck Surdu (in Florida) and Chris Palmer in Maryland. We purchased our troops unbeknownst to each other, and chose our deployment area first as we bought fewer points worth of troops. This also gave us a recon advantage. I was on the open end of the battlefield and Greg/Jim were on the wooded area. I threw my forces headlong (and somewhat piecemeal and unsupported) at Buck’s forces with the goal of tying him down – and allowing my allies to close to the road. While I took heavy casualties, the strategy worked well enough to gain a minor victory and for our orcs, great orcs, ogres, and goblins to feast on dwarves! As my wolves had routed, there was more for them anyways!
I think the rules system (Wars of Ozz) is quite good, and the new WOOD adaptation will allow me to use many of my old fantasy figures on the tabletop again. Plus I am really looking forward to playing Wars of Ozz! Below are a couple of Chris’ photos – his blog has more.
Here is Chris Abbey’s blog post link worth a look – check it out and let me know what you think!
The time had come for me to get some opponents painted up to oppose the Aztecs of the Triple Alliance from Tenochtitlan (now Mexico City). In this case, these opponents are the Tlaxcalans, a Nahua ethnic group that never was conquered by the Aztecs. They did briefly fight Hernan Cortez and his conquistadors before allying with them against their longtime-hated enemy, the Aztecs. They were noted as being a major part of Cortes’ forces, and for having excellent archers. In my Tlaxcalan figures, have a group of veteran archers, a group of novices, a small command group, and a group of elite warriors for games of FeudalPatrol™ using my supplement called Civilizations Collide. All will eventually be shared here. They all are 28mm scale metal models from Outpost Wargames Services acquired from Badger Games in the US.
I chose to start with these archers as they had no shields to paint (time saver) – but also because the Tlaxcalans had a couple of very interesting types of war paint on their faces. From the Osprey plate in one of my books, one style resembled a black “superhero mask” around the eyes. The other one was a series of fine red stripes on a white background. Not all Tlaxcalans had war painted faces, so I could mix in some regular tanned skin as well. Given that some of the 8 figures were similar, this would aid in tabletop differentiation as well. Lastly, painting this unit would allow me some good practice on the faces with war paints as well as the common color themes of the Tlaxcalans according to the Osprey plates (which themselves were based on the various historical codices of the period). I chose to paint 4 figures with the black mask war paint, 2 with the white and red-striped painted war paint, and 2 with no war paint at all.
It would be appropriate for me to make a few more points on paints here. While I do list all the paints that I used at the end of this post for those interested (and for me when I forget and want to know I ended up using when I have another similar future project!), I want to share a few key items.
First, I tried a new tanned flesh paint that I really liked – Army Painter “Tanned Flesh”- and it worked well. I thinned it appropriately as a base coat and used other lighter paints, contrast paints, and washes over it as shades and highlights. Second, I also want to give credit to Faust at Double Down Dice as I had not tried Citadel “Gore-Grunta Fur” for wood – as I did here for bows. I had seen his work on his blog here and was impressed enough to give it a shot. Third, I used Citadel “Averland Sunset” and Vallejo Model Air “Black” to recreate a slightly different color pattern on the quivers to represent them being made from jaguar hides. And lastly, I gave the steel washers a different color – Citadel “Caliban Green” – than the tan undercoat that I had given the washers under my Aztecs. It only shows on the rim of the bases, but I think will help with tabletop differentiation. Many of the poses are similar, and a few are the same (6 poses and 8 figures).
Overall, I loved the figures, but painting them was a bit more challenging than I had thought. The main difficulties were around getting the flesh to where I was happy (again working with a new flesh tone), and the bright reds, black hair, and dark flesh next to bright whites – especially on the headbands. You can judge my efforts, though I did not do as many WIP shots here. You can click on all the images here for a better view.
So let’s get a look at the completed models!
I hope that you found this post enjoyable. Let me know – and stay safe out there!
Miscellaneous details and references for those interested:
Posts on Games and Units for my 16th Century Spanish Conquest Supplement for Feudal Patrol™ – “Civilizations Collide”
I decided that I needed a short break from building and painting Aztecs – for at least long enough to paint one miniature anyways. This one is called “Folder Bot 3000” from Armorcast Terraform Terrain Ltd.’s “Robot Townies” collection. There are a number of unusual robots and Futurama-inspired lookalikes there. I bought this Folder Bot 3000 on a lark when I got some other terrain stuff from Armorcast a few years back. I do like robots and I do like Futurama and Bender, so I got this one.
The figure stayed on my painting desk in its baggie as I worked on many other projects. This is definitely not my usual practice as I really had no place to properly categorize and put him away for a future game. It was finally Bender’s time…
The figure differs from Bender a bit – his chest “door” hinges are on the right, while the cartoon version’s are on the left, but otherwise it’s similar enough.
I used a 1″ steel washer to mount the figure in lieu of the plastic base. After I assembled the figure, I saw that there were gaps under the arms and they were not fully affixed. There were also some pitting on the figure’s head and back, necessitating my using green stuff as a remedy. In retrospect, I should have just used green stuff to assemble him.
I also saw that the figure just had an empty slit for the “eyes”, and a tiny flat space for the “mouth”. Anyone familiar with Bender knows that he has very expressive “eyes” and a wavy three-lined electronic “mouth”. One of my goals in painting him was to make him as “cartoony” and 2-D as possible. There was no way that I was going to be able to paint the eyes in the slit effectively or to freehand paint the wavy mouth as the figure was then.
I decided to try to sculpt the eyes and the mouth with green stuff. I admire people like Roger at Rantings From Under the Wargame Table who are much better at sculpting with green stuff than I am (as shown by his efforts here). Undaunted, and inspired by Roger (but a little worried), I used green stuff to fill the slit, make eye holes, and to try to sculpt the “waves” on the mouth. The result I achieved is shown below.
I was not happy with the “eye holes” and did not think that I could paint them as “expressive” like in the cartoon. I also did not think that the handle on his chest was big enough – so I used a pin vise to drill out all three. I then carefully cut and filed pieces of paper clip and glued them into the eye holes. This seemed better to me visually – and would be far easier to paint.
As I mentioned, I wanted a cartoon-like miniature. This meant that I would by necessity be limiting any highlighting or excessive shading. Therefore, I also decided that this would be a good opportunity to try to use the Vallejo “Metal Medium” that I had bought to try over two years ago to mix with paints to create a metallic finish that would be in line with the cartoon. This would hopefully prevent me from needing to use any actual metal paints. he would have some shiny aspects, but hopefully not excessive.
I was now ready to prime and paint old Bender.
In line with my painting approach, I decided to wash the primed figure with “Nuln Oil” to give myself a better idea of where to apply the paint/metal medium mixtures. The wash really showed the casting misalignments on the legs and arms, and where some of the errant E6000 had gone. No worries, as I knew that I could both remove the more egregious excess epoxy and hide the casting errors as I painted. I used three different shades of gray, adding the Vallejo “Metal Medium” in a 50/50 mix (all the paints used are listed at the end of the post for those interested).
The painting was fairly straightforward. I used the darker colors on the limbs to hide the misalignments. The mouth was just OK, given how I had to sculpt it. I used some “Nuln Oil GLOSS” on the limbs to accentuate their ring-like construction.
To finish him up, I used a Citadel texture paint (“Astrogranite debris”) on the base and the added a a few colors by dry brushing similar to what I did with my Retrovian platoon. Lastly, I added a satin varnish as I wanted his paint job protected but not too matte.
This guy is not my best work, but not my worst. At tabletop distance he looks fine, and hopefully will put a smile on some gamer’s face. I just needed a change for a bit and the work on this little guy provided that for sure. I’ll probably use him in a retro sci-fi game of Combat PatrolTM at some point. I could have sculpted a cigar or a beer battle or two for old Bender, but I decided that was a bit too much for me.
Last Saturday morning I had the chance to GM and play…(wait for it)…a real tabletop wargame!!! We were able to play a game of Feudal Patrol™ via Zoom. This game is a member of the Combat Patrol™ WWII family of games, and will be available soon from On Military Matters in the US and Sally 4th in the UK. The players were all alone at home and included myself (in Massachusetts), Buck Surdu (in Florida), Dave Wood (in Maryland), Greg Priebe (also in Maryland), and Chris Abbey (in the UK). Buck hosted the Zoom meeting, and I ran the game with some of my Aztec figures in my cellar that followers of this blog have seen completed such as my last one here.
The scenario is called “Raid to Satisfy Huitzilopochtli”. Huitzilopochtli was a major deity in the Aztec religion, and was particularly noted as a god of war and sacrifice. The scenario uses the supplement I wrote for FeudalPatrol™ called Civilizations Collide. It takes 60 points of attackers against 26 points of defense. However, this being an Aztec attack on another Mexica town, the focus is on capturing incapacitated warriors and dragging them back for sacrifice on the altar of Huitzilopochtli. Of course, the defenders would be trying to take captives to satisfy their particular deity as well. My rules focus on this, and other aspects of Mesoamerican warfare – to try to create an authentic feel – and a different wargaming experience. Even the difficult-to-pronounce names of the weapons (macuahuitl, tepoztopilli, cuauhololli, atlatl, sling (well not that one)) add to the feel. I aimed to create a scenario that is similar to a “Flower War” – where both sides deployed for a ritualized pre-arranged showdown.
The defenders would get more victory points for the same achievements – such as taking captives or incapacitating an enemy figure. One interesting aspect of the Aztec supplement rules is that as you take out an enemy you must take troops away from the battle to drag the incapacitated figure back to a prearranged spot for your side. Which means that as you achieve success on the battlefield, you lose troops for “captive duty” as it were.
Dave, Buck and I were on the attack – and Buck and Chris defended. At first, the defenders were a bit concerned with the seemingly overwhelming odds facing them. But they had the advantage of choosing to deploy after the attackers, as well as the chance to use the defensive terrain around the fields.
Logistically, I had two cameras logged in for the game – one from my iPad and one from my iPhone. I had acquired a nice inexpensive tripod from Xenvo via Amazon called a “Lobsterpod” that worked really well. I moved the figures based on the gamers commands and the game moved along fairly well on the Zoom platform, though not as fast as if the players were all in the same room. Of course, the option to actually see my figures in all their “glory” was compromised (I’m pretty proud of them) – but hey – they are on my previous blog posts for all my readers to see so no problem, right? I only used Aztec figures, but later I will be able to augment the defenders with Tlaxcalans (when I get them painted). I planned here and for the future to allow the gamers to pick their figures beforehand from a menu of available ones, and organize their forces prior to a game.
I set up the tabletop as shown below – some of my 15mm Normandy hedgerows served well as protection around the fields. The walled section of the village is pretty basic here as it does not come into the game except as a collection point for captives.
The attackers tried to flank the enemy on both sides of the board while simultaneously making a frontal assaults to tie the defenders down at the wall. The attackers got a bit unlucky (to say the least) as a veteran/novice “twinned” unit (Dave) moved slowly (even at a sprint). Buck took a unit of Jaguar Warriors straight at Chris’ Arrow Warriors (yes I know they may not have been historical – think of them as elite atlatl troops with limited ammunition), and got mauled – losing two Jaguars Warriors to the defenders as potential sacrifices. On the other flank, I faced off against Greg, and despite his having a terrible early morale result that dispersed his troops, he was able to inflict good damage on my greater numbers. In the end, the defenders were able to do enough damage and take enough prisoners on the attackers for a pretty convincing victory. All agreed that the scenario was well-balanced, and all seemed to have a good time.
Buck took some screen shots that I will share below (click on them for a better view) – and he also wrote a blog post on the battle that you can read here.
I used color-coded and numbered magnets to try to keep the forces straight, and it worked. But magnets in melee do attract…so next time I will use poster tack and small hole punched card of different colors. A gaming challenge is to make sure that the Aztecs and other forces are identifiable for the player, either in remote mode or live. The card solution should be an easy fix.
Here are some shots that I took after the game:
Lastly, here are the gamers:
My thanks to all who participated. It was a nice test of my scenario and the special rules I wrote for Civilizations Collide, which will be a free download from the game’s website when it goes live in September. I must say it was a gratifying experience, and one that I hope to repeat.
I intend to buy Zoom if there is enough interest and host some more games – at least until we are clear of the COVID-19 virus. I could see my running more FeudalPatrol™ games, and even What a Tanker games. If you would be up to a remote game, let me know in the comments section – maybe we can make it happen!
Check out the links for FeudalPatrol™ – its a great and easy card-based system that is really a great step forward.
An army needs a leader! My Aztecs troops will be used in skirmish warfare games of Feudal Patrol™ (check out these two links on the game here and here).
Feudal Patrol™ will launch very soon (very exciting!).
In the game, the basic unit is an Element of 5 figures, including a front-line leader. Up to four Elements will constitute a Warband, and up to four Warbands will make up a Battle Group. Similarly, up to four Battle Groups will constitute an Army. Most games will never be composed of an Army as the system is designed for skirmish level war gaming. Still, it could be used for big battles effectively.
At the highest level of course was the “huey tlatoani” or “Great Speaker” – the emperor of the Aztecs. Under him as the head of the War Council and the supreme field commander was the Cihuacoatl, also called the Snake Woman”. This was not a woman – but always a man – despite the name. Cihuacoatl was also a goddess of fertility and childbirth in Aztec mythology. Yes, it’s a bit confusing, and I’ll leave that right there.
The model was fairly straightforward, though I needed to make a rig of clothespins, poster tack, and specimen bottles (seen below) to paint the back ornament and the banner. Mold lines were easy to deal with on these, and the details were nice.
The challenges here necessitated using slightly larger washers as bases – and 1.25″ washers along with some smaller ones and some plastic card were needed (a list of materials is at the end of this post for those who are interested). As far as painting, care had to be taken with the components so as to not damage them during the build as well as to protect their paint jobs. A little varnish along the way helped here. The other major challenge was on the generals face painting. The details (such as the white markings on the lower blackened part of the face) here were the smallest I have ever attempted on 28mm figures.
I hope that you found this interesting. I am moving on to working on other troops – and A GAME (remotely run) next week with players in 3 US states and the UK – more to follow soon!
Until next time – take care and stay safe all!
Miscellaneous details and references for those interested:
Posts on Units for my 16th Century Spanish Conquest Supplement for Feudal Patrol™ – “Civilizations Collide”
Aztec Snake Woman and Drummer (this post) – 1 Aztec General and 1 drummer