Battle Report! The Battle of Otumba – (Feudal Patrol) TotalCon 36, Chapter 4

This post covers the fourth and final game that I ran at TotalCon 36 in Marlboro, Massachusetts. The game is a scenario for The Battle of Otumba, which happened on July 7, 1520. I ran the game on the morning and early afternoon of Sunday, February 27th, 2022. As with my two previous Aztec games the rules that I used were Feudal Patrol with my Spanish Conquest rules supplement Civilizations Collide.

My flyer for the game.

I designed the scenario itself to be short but intense. I will share some of the historical background as well as the the key components of the scenario. Then, I’ll share some photos and a narrative of the game as it was actually played at TotalCon 36.

Background:  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 a 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.  This game will last 5 turns and can accommodate 4-12 players on a 6’ x 4’ tabletop.

The map:

My set up plan for the tabletop. Below you will see how this translated to the tabletop.
The map drawing brought to life. 2 Aztec Warbands (one Elite, one Regular, each made up of 3 Elements) are surrounding the Conquistadores’ defensive position on a rocky outcropping. The Aztecs are controlled by the High Priest of Tenochtitlan, the Cihuacoatl Matlatzincátzin, who has a small Retinue Element around him and his two signalers. The Spanish infantry are made up of 1 Warband of 4 reinforced Elements, commanded by Pedro de Alvarado. A cavalry Element, led by Cortes, will deploy on Turn 3 from a location that was previously chosen secretly by the Spanish. The potential deployment locations for the arrival of the cavalry are the numbered squares you see here, plus one to either side. All of the Spanish do start the game with one wound. The Aztecs are all fresh, and hoping to take out many Conquistadores.

There are a few special rules in place for this scenario:

Special:  The special rules for this scenario are based on the situation that both sides faced at the Battle of Otumba.  The Spanish were fighting to survive, and were all wounded in some way or another by this point in time.  The Aztecs were for once more concerned with the final annihilation of their enemy than with the prestige earned by taking them as prisoners.  If any Spanish were still alive to be dragged off afterwards – fine – but for this battle it was a true do-or-die for both sides.  The most important special rules for this scenario are:

  • Each Conquistador (humans and war dogs but not horses) starts the battle with one wound. Typically each figure is incapacitated after having been wounded 3 times, but some key leaders might need 4 to be taken out. War Dogs take 5 wounds.
  • The Spanish have taken up a “rectangular” infantry-type square defensive position on the rock outcropping as shown on the map.  They should have pikemen and halberdiers facing out on each side.  Their Warband Leader, Pedro de Alvarado, is in the center.
  • The Spanish infantry and cavalry know that there is nowhere to run, therefore they do not make any Morale Checks.  Also, the infantry may not leave the safety of the outcropping during the game to attack the Aztecs. 
  • If Alvarado becomes incapacitated all of the Spanish infantry would become “pinned”. That means they activate half as often as a non-pinned unit.
  • Cortes and the Conquistador Cavalry Element is off the map initially and deploys on Turn 3.  The Spanish player must secretly choose a Turn 3 entry point for his cavalry prior to the start of the game.  This point chosen will be one number – 1 through 6 as shown on the map above.  This allows the Spanish player to deploy his cavalry at the numbered point or to the point its immediate right or left.  As an example, if the player chooses point 5, he can enter the game at 4, 5, or 6 with his cavalry.  If the player chooses 1 or 6, he will be limited to 1 and 2 or 5 and 6 respectively.  The cavalry Element and Cortes will both arrive on the board on Turn 3. 
  • The cavalry led by Cortes must attempt to take out the High Priest of Tenochtitlan (the Aztec Battle Group Leader) and his retinue.  By doing this successfully (by either incapacitating or routing him), the Aztecs’ Elements, Warbands, and Warband Leaders all become pinned.
  • The Aztecs must try to take the rock outcropping and incapacitate as many Spanish as possible until Turn 4 begins – the turn after the Spanish cavalry arrives.  At that point, and no sooner, the Aztecs in Elements of Warband 1 and 2 may try to engage the cavalry.  The Retinue Element may engage the cavalry without similar restrictions.
  • The Aztec Battle Group Commander, the High Priest of Tenochtitlan, the Cihuacoatl Matlatzincátzin, has the same Morale capabilities as Montezuma has – that is to say that on his activation he can remove up to six morale pips from Elements within twenty-four inches of him.
  • The retinue of the High Priest of Tenochtitlan will start the game around his location – with all of their figures within 8” of his initial location.

The side with the most Victory Points wins. There are no prisoners taken in this scenario by either side.

  • The Spanish earn points by inflicting casualties:
    • Incapacitating the High Priest of Tenochtitlan is worth 100 points.
    • 10 points for incapacitating a Warband Leader.
    • 2 points for each enemy incapacitated.
    • 1 point for any enemy figure that runs off the tabletop.
  • The Aztecs earn points by inflicting casualties:
    • Incapacitating Cortes is worth 50 points.
    • Incapacitating Alvarado is worth 25 points.
    • The Aztecs earn 5 points for each enemy who is incapacitated, to include horses and war dogs.  Thus, a cavalry figure is worth 5 for the rider and 5 for the horse.

In a nutshell, the Aztecs need to overwhelm the wounded Spanish on the outcropping and load up on Victory Points. When the cavalry arrives – the Spanish need to kill Matlatzincátzin and thereby “pin” the Aztecs Elements and Warbands. The Aztecs of course do need to avoid the demise of their leader before the end of Turn 5 as that is the Victory point jackpot.

Let’s move on to the game! I was very happy to have my fullest table of the convention- 12 players! A little more than half (7) had at least half had played Feudal Patrol™ before (and most of those were previous players at my other two  Feudal Patrol™ games at TotalCon 36 so that was nice to have enticed repeat players). I briefed the game and ran through some examples of play for the newbies, and we were off. As Feudal Patrol™ is extremely easy to learn, all were playing smoothly in no time.

At the start – what a crowd of happy gamers!
The Aztecs advance. The players on that side were sufficiently aggressive given the game’s VP objectives. The Conquistadores gave as good as they got.

Among the Elite Aztec Elements, the Cuachiqueh (Shorn Ones) hit Conquistador Element C1 first, while the Jaguar Warriors hit the far end of Conquistador Element C3. Casualties on both sides were immediate.

The Jaguar Warriors (top left) and Shorn Ones (center) hit the wounded Spanish hard. The Conquistadores hold.
Veteran Aztec Elements hit C4 in the center of the hill (shown above on the right). Casualties ensue yet again.
Now another Aztec Veteran Element joins the fray on the right here. The Spanish continue to hit, and to be hit. The Jaguar Warriors launch a couple of atlatl’s at the Spanish on the left – but accidentally wound two of their own who were in harm’s way. Friendly fire…isn’t.

The first two turns saw a BUNCH of casualties. With the Aztecs getting 5 VP for each incapacitated Spaniard (versus 2 VP for the Spanish in reverse), the Aztecs were loading up on VP, swarming the outcropping, and beginning to break any semblance of the Spanish having a cohesive defense. One of the Aztec Veteran/novice Elements did lose heart in the melee and a few of their warriors took off for home, easing the pressure on one corner (between C2 and C3). This did not seem too important at the time, but this did limit the Aztecs a bit.

The cavalry arrived on Turn 3 – and between them and Matlatzincátzin was…absolutely NOTHING.

The cavalry arrives, and bears down on Matlatzincátzin (by the white die). Take a look at the faces (ok, masked faces) of the concerned Aztec players on the other side of the table for effect! The cavalry was not able to engage Matlatzincátzin on this activation, but they were close.

The Aztecs then were lucky to activate the Retinue Element in an attempt to save their leader. They decided to heroically use their Retinue Element to try and block the cavalry’s advance. The Retinue sprinted their novices and priests into position, hoping to block the advance of the Spanish cavalry – more or less as human speed bumps!

While the rules do not permit infantry to engage moving cavalry, in this tactic they succeeded a bit – as they denied most of the cavalry “impetus”. In the rules, cavalry gets impetus (and a much better attack strength) if it has a straight line of at least 4″ before it hits an enemy. Without impetus, cavalry can still attack, albeit less effectively. While the Retinue Element was activated, Matlatzincátzin and his signalers did not, and could not move.

The Aztec Retinue Element tries to block the Spanish cavalry.

Soon after, the Conquistador cavalry got a second activation. They made several attacks against members of the retinue (all devastating). However, all eyes were fixed as one cavalryman managed a non-impetus attack on Matlatzincátzin…and despite the odds MISSED HIM!

Matlatzincátzin and his retinue are attacked by the cavalry. Things looked dire.

In response, Matlatzincátzin thrust his tepoztopilli (thrusting spear) at the oncoming Spaniard. He hit his horse, killing it, and this unhorsed his attacker. The act of unhorsing the Conquistador injured the already hurt cavalryman… AND BY FALLING FROM HIS HORSE HE WAS KILLED BY THE IMPACT!!!

Insert loud Aztec player cheering because that indeed happened then!

Meanwhile, Cortes deployed onto the table as well. Seeing what happened to his comrades fighting Matlatzincátzin, and not wanting a similar fate, he took a simpler route, and hit the Elite Warband Leader from behind, and killed him (not overly brave, but effective). This “pinned” all Elements of the Elite Warband. Then he killed The Elite Warband Leader’s Warrior Priest for good measure with a well-placed lance to the back. Then Turn 4 ended.

On Turn 5 (the last scheduled turn of the game), Matlatzincátzin activated first, and decided to head for the hill and some of his warriors there for safety. His Retinue Element (or what was left of it) had managed to take out another cavalryman and horse, but not before accumulating a boatload of Morale pips. The Spanish cavalry was still coming…

The aftermath of the “human speed bump maneuver”, with Matlatzincátzin (at the tip of the 12 Retinue Element red Morale pips) trying to get to the hill. Note the black dice on all the Elite Aztec Elements because of Cortes’ (by the red 2 die on the left) having just dispatched the Elite Warband Leader. This loss would limit these Elite Elements in trying to help Matlatzincátzin. The Retinue Element – if activated, would need to clear 12 Morale pips before they could help. Not likely!

Matlatzincátzin and his two signalers would just make it safely to the hill on Turn 5. However, a brave and very wounded Conquistador Sword and Buckler man (the leader of C4) leapt into action and attacked Matlatzincátzin, giving him 3 wounds (he could take 4). The Aztec High Priest struck back and wounded the Spaniard, but not fatally, and that combat ended.

Then, the Aztec infantry killed Pedro de Alvarado, pinning the Spanish infantry on the hill. This accomplishment was big, and gained 25 VP, but was a bit too late – as had it happened just a bit earlier Matlatzincátzin might not have been able to be attacked by the infantryman.

Next, the cavalry activated, and two of them bore down mercilessly on Matlatzincátzin, quickly taking him out – and that earned the Spanish 100 VP -and that pinned ALL of the Aztecs.

At this point, the convention was wrapping up and we called the game for scoring – the Spanish won 160-130 with their last minute taking down of the High Priest of Tenochtitlan. In the end, the game played out similar to how history played out.

Aztecs: 130 points

  • Incapacitating Alvarado: 25 points
  • Incapacitating enemy Conquistadores/war dogs/horses at 5 points each: There were 21 (out of 38 possible!), yielding 105 points

Spanish: 160 points

  • Incapacitating the High Priest of Tenochtitlan (Matlatzincátzin): 100 points
  • Incapacitating a War Band Leader (the Elite one): 10 points
  • Incapacitating enemy Aztecs at 2 points each: There were 23 (out of 65 possible), yielding 46 points
  • Aztecs who ran away: 4 at 1 point apiece

It was an exciting game and there were a lot of smiles all around afterwards – on both sides. It was an engaging game for all and I look forward to running it again at future conventions and club dates. Much thanks to ALL of the players, and much thanks to the TotalCon 36 staff for a great convention. I hope that I captured a bit of the game’s drama for you and that I made it interesting to read about.

I know that four posts are a lot from one con – but these four games were all a blast to run, and worth their own posts.

Thanks again for looking.

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.

Battle Report! Cortes Causeway Escape Attempt – (Feudal Patrol) TotalCon 36, Chapter 3

This post covers the third game that I ran at TotalCon 36 in Marlboro, Massachusetts. It ran on the morning of Saturday, February 26th, 2022, with a snowstorm having dropped a good amount of snow on the night before.

The scenario has Hernan Cortes and his besieged Conquistadores trying to escape Tenochtitlan as the flyer describes below.

The rules used were Feudal Patrol. These games for the Spanish Conquest in Mesoamerica (Aztecs vs. Conquistadores) are run using my supplement Civilizations Collide.

I did run this game before at Historicon. However, since then I have added even more – and I believe better – terrain. So much so that setting this bad boy up is a major effort. Thanks so much again to Bryan Clauss for his help in setting this up with me on Friday night.

Most of this post will be photos of the game. Thanks to Joerg, Mike, and Mal for letting me use some of their shots – it’s tough to GM and photograph a game at the same time! With the previous night’s snowstorm turnout was mixed and this game can easily handle a dozen players. I had to downsize it a bit to accommodate fewer Saturday morning players. Still, I got some walk on players, and in the end had 5-6 players for most of the game. It worked. One of the players, Mark, had seen the game at Historicon back in November and came from Maine just to play in it at TotalCon 36- what an honor and a compliment!

All set up and ready to go – my set up. There are battles on each of the causeways on the far side where the Tlaxcalans are trying to break through to help their trapped Spanish allies. On the near side, the Spanish and their war wagons are trying to get to a causeway and escape Tenochtitlan.
Here you see the game set up at a closer angle. Members of two Aztec Warbands
are on and around my new Temple of Yopico pyramid, facing off against two Spanish Warbands with a couple of war wagons. The war wagons provide cover for a crossbowman and an arquebusier apiece, and are being pushed by Sword and Buckler men. They are prone to breaking down as well.
In the game, the Spanish decided to move towards the nearest causeway seen here on the right.
The Spanish make their move and try to cow (and incapacitate) the enraged Aztecs with arquebusier and crossbow fire. The Aztecs (Mark) would try to flank the Spanish on the right by moving around the small temple.
The players picked up Feudal Patrol very easily and were gaming away in no time. Here I help adjudicate a scrum from the flanking Aztec charge previously noted.

Down on the other end of the tabletop, there were three Elite Aztec Elements (one Elite Warband) attempting to hold off three Tlaxcalan Elements (one Regular Warband) on three different causeways.

This Tlaxcalan Element was loaded with bows, and very deadly. They faced Elite Aztec Arrow Knights (think atlatl’s with two really big spears/darts, similar to Roman pila). Steven moved up his Aztecs to launch a volley, but the Tlaxcalans activated first, and loosed their bows.

The ensuing volley wounded almost every Aztec. The Aztecs returned fire in a massive single volley – unfortunately one poor Tlaxcalan was hit multiple times instead of several (I’m sure his buddies appreciated that!).

Here you see the wounded Aztecs facing the Tlaxcalans. They have moved up a Warrior Priest to remove Morale pips and spur them on in the fight.

On another causeway, the Aztecs sent an Elite Jaguar Warrior Element against an Elite Tlaxcalan Warrior Element (the other two Tlaxcalan Elements were Regular).

The two Elite Elements face off.
Here is a wider shot of the action – showing a few fights: the scrum between the Tlaxcalans and the Arrow Knights is on the causeway on the right; the one between the Tlaxcalan Elites and the Jaguar Warriors is on the far side; the Spanish fight the Aztecs on the left of the photo.

The Jaguar Warriors successfully went berserk and charged the Tlaxcalans. The fight became a draw, with the Aztecs taking some prisoners, losing some warriors, and accumulating a boatload of Morale pips. In the game, going berserk is a way to fight better and avoid being stunned in combat, but Morale pips accumulate. Once a berserker kills another figure, he is stunned, and once a berserking leader is no longer berserking, Morale checks start.

Brutal fighting with the Jaguar Warriors holds up the Tlaxcalans – one of whom is being dragged away for sacrifice here.

The Spanish kept pushing their wagons forward, but one of them broke a wheel and became immobilized. Still, the Spanish made good progress towards the causeway.

Close up shot of the Spanish moving towards the causeway.

The other causeway fight was between an Element of Aztec Eagle Warriors and a mixed Tlaxcalan Veteran/novice Element. The Eagle Warriors also successfully berserked into melee. Fighting here was also heavy, and the Aztecs and the Tlaxcalans took prisoners.

This fight pitted the Eagle Warriors against the Tlaxcalans. No quarter was given.
The view from the three causeway battle side. Leif on the far end (in the hat) has taken command of all the Spanish and is fighting Mark (in the green). One of the Spanish players left, leaving Leif in charge of his troops. He was an RPG player whose game had cancelled and who had to leave for another game – and who had not played miniatures before. I asked him what he thought of the game, and his answer was along the lines of, “it’s ok, just too much of a simulation for me”. That response gave all the wargamers at the table a huge chuckle, and I took it as a great compliment!

At the end of the game, the Spanish had nearly made it to the causeway. The Tlaxcalans and the Elite Aztecs were in heavy back-and-forth fighting on the other end. I added the score up – and it was Spanish/Tlaxcalans 22, Aztecs 20! One figure lost either way would have made a difference – so obviously it was a fair fight. The gamers were very happy, and the tabletop got a LOT of folks coming by to take photos, which was nice to see. As you might well imagine, this tabletop is the best I have ever done IMO.

Thanks again to Leif for all his help, and to the other gamers who were outstanding too.

I will be running this again for sure at HAVOC and HUZZAH!

Lastly, on a personal note, as I mentioned, I had to downsize the game a bit – removing some Elements so that the game could flow. One of the Elements I left off were my cuachicque Elite warriors – known as the “Shorn Ones”. They were the Aztecs toughest. I decided to enter them in the painting contest that was running coincident with the game as a unit – and they won! The post link has better pictures than below – it’s tough to photograph them in a case.

Winners (and they did not even have to fight).

I have one more TotalCon 36 post remaining to share, the Battle of Otumba. You definitely want to see my post on that epic fight!

Thanks very much for looking.

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.

Stonehouse Miniatures Aztec Terrain for my Tenochtitlan Cityscape

When I was at Historicon in November 2021, I ran my “Cortes’ Causeway Escape Attempt” scenario for a Feudal Patrol game for the Spanish Conquest in Mesoamerica (Aztecs vs. Conquistadores) using my supplement Civilizations Collide. One of the issues with my terrain with which I was not fully pleased was the Temple of Yopico model I was using. As readers of this blog may recall (the relevant post is here), I was using a relatively small pyramid that had been given to me that I had converted for the cityscape. Unfortunately, you could not put figures on it for gaming, and I had a template made for gaming with it – certainly this was not an ideal solution for a model of the Temple of Yopico.

My converted temple from last year.

As fortune would have it, in very early February, I discovered that Stonehouse Miniatures sells a pretty good looking Aztec Pyramid made out of foam and resin pieces that looked to me like it would work for 28mm. They also had several other cool items like a skull wall temple courtyard and a moon goddess plaque in resin. I have usually found that most commercially Aztec terrain is made to look like ruins – more suitable for an Indiana Jones scenario or Ghost Archipelago than for Tenochtitlan in 1520. Happily, these new finds were not models of ruins! Yay! I ordered them and they arrived on Valentine’s Day. As 10 days later TotalCon 36 would begin, I needed to get moving forthwith!

The Stonehouse stuff that I ordered.

The temple was painted black, and the other resin was totally unpainted of course (as one would expect). My cityscape is more of an oxidized-limestone hue – so I had my work cut out for me. The three main pieces of the temple that were made of foam – not a material with which I had a lot of experience (but not zero). The rest were made of resin. However, with TotalCon 36 coming up rapidly February 24-27, I was a bit under the gun to get them done, along with some other stuff I made for my France 1940 What a Tanker game (about which I’ll share in details in a future post).

The new building on my tiles. Definitely, the pyramid color needs adjustment!

Given the timing constraints that I was under, I first proceeded to work on the temple, then on how to safely transport it, and finally onto finishing the other resin pieces – so I’ll describe that process here. With this approach, I could at least get the pyramid done, and if I could get to the other pieces before the convention, that would be great.

Let’s start with the pyramid. The model kit is designated BRA-105, “Aztec Pyramid Complete”, and includes 1 single-piece foam Aztec pyramid, 2 foam base expansion pieces, 4 sets of resin stairs, a resin temple (top piece), a resin sacrificial altar, and 4 resin braziers.

BRA-105, “Aztec Pyramid Complete” kit.

First, the issue of priming came up. While using my airbrush would not melt the foam if I primed it – as opposed to a rattlecan – I decided to consider the manufacturer’s black color as the prime. The braziers, the altar, and the other pieces that I got in my order (discussed later in this post) were all unpainted resin. I washed all of them first, scrubbed them, and let them dry while I worked on the pyramid.

Wash that resin!

I had decided that a series of dry brushing applications would be my best bet to achieve the color I wanted – with details added afterwards. On the pyramid’s stairs, there were a few places that had exposed resin surfaces (where the black paint had not adhered). I would deal with those by spot-painting with black primer before I did further work on it. As for the painting process, lots of widespread dry bushing would ensue as the next steps. For the foam pieces, they were quite nice as tabletop wargaming terrain pieces go. The pieces had enough detail that even the small molding defects could be made to look like they were a result of weathering. This was especially the case around the bricks. I was concerned with the friability of the foam, so I proceeded with due caution and planning to deal with that vulnerability.

This is after the first dry brushing color was applied to the one on the left – with the untouched other half for comparison. The first two colors in sequence were Citadel “Tallarn Sand”, then Citadel “Karak Stone”.
The left piece has the second dry brushing color on it – the one on right is for comparison and just has the first color.
The first two dry brush applications on the pyramid are complete here.

The last color to be dry brushed was a craft paint – FolkArt “Yellow Ochre”. I liked the way it worked on the pyramid.

After the yellow oche was added.

From then on I worked on the stairs (dealing with any remaining exposed resin as well) and added colors to the pyramid’s details. The underlying manufacturer’s black served well to define the deeper details, but washes were needed too.

Here you see the painted colors on the pyramid after the dry brushing applications but before the final wash and varnishing.

I then applied Army Painter “Light Tone” with a brush and let that dry, as well as Citadel “Carroburg Crimson” on the red stairs. Finally, I brush-applied a 50% thinned coat of Vallejo Mecha Color “Matt Varnish” to seal the porous foam and to help protect the paint on all of the pieces. These foam pieces were too big for my spray booth and in any case I thought that the foam would blow around too much from an airbrush.

Drying after washing and varnishing.

By February 18th, I could say that the pyramid was done, minus the braziers.

Pyramid done – angled view.
Pyramid done – side view.

I was pretty pleased with the final result, but I still needed to try to get the braziers done and a storage/transport solution built for it.

As being able to transport it and the other accouterments was imperative, I modified a 32-liter Really Useful box with hot glue and posterboard. This also allowed me to create a storage/transport solution for my hills that I use for the Battle of Otumba (of which more will be shared soon when I post about the game but you can see one of the hills in the background of my last post).

Let’s get back to the box. I measured the space that each piece would need in it and marked the box’s interior accordingly with a Sharpie. I lined the bottom of the box with thin sheets of foam from Michaels for cushioning. Then I cut the posterboard into sheets and hot glued those into the box. I left enough room at the top to build a storage box for the smaller pieces.

The storage/transport box’s main compartment as viewed from above. The two hills are shown here with the pyramid sections. The small resin temple is in the foam sheet roll as seen on the left as due to its size and heft (solid resin) it needed protection. On top of this would go the thinner storage box.

As discussed, I did have the pyramid’s braziers to do as well as the other smaller resin pieces – so I actually built the storage box for all of them before I painted them. This way at least I could get the pyramid to the convention.

For the top storage box, I cut the bottom piece of posterboard out and made the sides with posterboard and hot glue. I used wooden toothpicks as pins to secure the posterboard while the hot glue set. This was a new technique for me that I had as an idea and one that worked great – I just broke the toothpicks in half and drove them into the posterboard with an unsharpened pencil immediately after the hot glue was applied. The toothpicks disappeared into the posterboard nicely.

Lastly, I made a posterboard top for the box and put it over the previously shown main compartment.

At this point it was February 19th and now I could attempt to finish the resin pieces. In addition to the braziers that came with the pyramid, I had UTW-301 “Skull Wall Temple Courtyard” and BRA-125 “Moon Goddess Plaque”. The UTW-301 contained 2 more braziers, a skull gate, 6 taller skull walls, 4 smaller skull walls, 6 corner skull wall pieces, a stellae, and yet another sacrificial altar. This kit appears to be no longer be offered on Stonehouse Miniatures website, but most of the components are there under other SKU’s. The BRA-125 was just the plaque. I decided that I could indeed try to finish these as well.

I needed to find a mounting solution for painting these – so used the same combination that I had previously used for tank turrets for the braziers and the corners. I just handled the walls and plaque carefully as I went along. After drilling the braziers, wall corners, stella, and altar out and mounting them on screws and magnets and then into wooden blocks, I moved on to painting all of these on February 22nd.

I brush-primed them with Vallejo Surface Primer “German Dark Yellow”, followed by a generous wash of Secret Weapon Washes now-discontinued) “Sewer Water”. As is my custom, I will list all the paints I used at the end of this post for those interested.

Despite my scrubbing and cleaning, I found some of the resin pieces quite resistant to painting. Still, with a second application of paint or by adding a bit of primer or wash, I was able to get them done.

Smaller remaining resin pieces mounted, primed, and washed.
Close up of the walls from above.

As the braziers were higher on the priority list (with 4 being part of the pyramid), I worked on them first. By the end of February 22nd, they were all done and drying.

Braziers – done!

Then it was onto the other resin. The skull walls had some bubbles (that one would expect from any resin piece), but not many. In any case, I thought they should be dull and sallow-yellowish, reflecting the idea that these skulls had been on the racks for a long time. This also allowed me to camouflage any of the resin bubbles with dry brushing and washes. Besides, these skulls are so small that on the tabletop they would be background around my temples and buildings anyways.

I followed a similar dry brushing pattern as I used for the temple pyramid for the walls, with adaptations for the skulls themselves. By the end of the 22nd, all the resin was painted, varnished, and drying.

Walls and Moon Goddess Plaque done.

I played around with them on the next day (23rd) to see what configuration to use.

One possible configuration. I ended up deciding that all the skulls should face outward.

As it was the 23rd (and I would be packing my car that very day for travel the next morning for TotalCon 36), I partially mocked up the cityscape to see how all of the new pieces would look on my cellar floor. I decided to add the walls as a courtyard next to the pyramid and as eye candy on the side of another building.

Mock up on the floor – but it was time to pack!

I was successful (barely!) at getting all this done for TotalCon 36. At that convention, I ran 4 games – one each Thursday to Sunday, and each game is worth its own blog post. Therefore, I will be sharing more posts and pics of those in the coming days. I also want to catch up on others’ blog posts too, and do a catch up post on my garage+ building project (which has been taking up time too along with grandfather duties). Basically, for my blog followers, that’s why I went silent in February!

As a sneak peek, here below is what the temple looked like in action at the convention.

A preview of the action!

Thanks for taking a look and I hope this was fun for you. As stated, I’ve got more posts for you in the queue! I’ll try not to have you drink all these from a firehose – especially Roger!

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 TERRAIN PIECES:

On The Pyramid Structure:

  1. Citadel “Tallarn Sand”
  2. Citadel “Karak Stone”
  3. FolkArt “Yellow Ochre”
  4. Vallejo Model Color “Black”
  5. Armory “Dark Blue”
  6. Vallejo Model Color “White”
  7. Vallejo Game Color “Scarlet Red”
  8. Americana “Kelly Green”
  9. Americana “Cadmium Yellow”
  10. Citadel “Flash Glitz Yellow”
  11. Army Painter “Light Tone” (shade/wash)
  12. Citadel “Carroburg Crimson” (wash)
  13. Vallejo “Airbrush Thinner”
  14. Vallejo Mecha Varnish “Matt Varnish”

On The Smaller Resin Pieces:

  1. Vallejo Surface Primer “German Dark Yellow”
  2. Secret Weapon Washes “Sewer Water” (wash)
  3. Citadel “Tallarn Sand”
  4. Citadel “Karak Stone”
  5. FolkArt “Yellow Ochre”
  6. Vallejo Model Color “Black”
  7. Citadel “Skrag Brown”
  8. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Dark Angels Green”
  9. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Dark Oath Flesh”
  10. Citadel “Evil Sunz Scarlet”
  11. Citadel “Fire Dragon Bright”
  12. P3 “Blazing Ink” (ink)
  13. Citadel “Morghast Bone”
  14. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Skeleton Horde”
  15. Army Painter “Light Tone” (shade/wash)
  16. Vallejo “Airbrush Thinner”
  17. Vallejo Mecha Varnish “Matt Varnish”

On the Storage/Transport Box:

  1. 32-liter Really Useful Box
  2. Posterboard
  3. Hot Glue
  4. Toothpicks
  5. Foam sheets

Conquistador Halberdiers and Pikemen – plus Pedro de Alvarado – for the Battle of Otumba

On July 20, 1520, Hernan Cortes and his Conquistadores found themselves at a significant historical juncture. They had been fighting the Aztecs in retrograde for weeks as they attempted to reach the safety of the lands of their Tlaxcalan allies. Every single one of the Spanish was wounded in some way or another – and they were exhausted from being pursued incessantly by the enraged Aztecs. Cortes and his men had been lucky to narrowly escape from the Aztec capital of Tenochtitlan during La Noche Triste. The safety of the lands of their Tlaxcalan allies lay past a nearby mountain pass, just beyond reach.

The Aztecs, with vastly superior numbers, had managed to nearly surround the Spanish and deny them their route to safety. The Conquistadores now were desperately defending a rocky outcropping with pikemen, halberdiers, crossbowmen, and sword and buckler men. The Aztecs wanted nothing less than finishing off the hated Spanish – either by killing them outright or by taking them as captives for ritual sacrifice to their god of war, Huitzilopochtli.

Here, both sides would fight the Battle of Otumba, and the fates of both the Spanish Crown and the Aztec Empire were in the balance.

The Battle of Otumba

You can click on the links I shared above and learn more about the Battle of Otumba. It was a near-run battle – and Cortes and his men were truly in danger of being sent off to oblivion at the hands of the Aztecs. The short version is that Cortes recognized that the Aztec attacks on his position were being coordinated by banners and signalers – all led by the High Priest of Tenochtitlan, Matlatzincatl. Cortes left the infantry on the outcropping to gather together what little cavalry he still had left. Cortes then personally led a cavalry charge to take out Matlatzincatl – and succeeded. Supposedly, it was Cortes himself who was able to dispatch Matlatzincatl with his lance.

At this point, the Aztecs had never before seen nor fought against a cavalry charge. It was indeed one of epic shock and awe. After the death of Matlatzincatl and his signalers, the Aztec attack broke up for wont of command and control, and Cortes and his men were able to make it to safety. This would allow them to regroup, get reinforced, and eventually destroy the Aztec Empire. Therefore, this was probably one of the Aztec’s last and best chance to annihilate the Spanish. By failing to do so – though many more battles would be fought – the seeds of the ultimate demise of the Aztec Empire were irrevocably sown.

As one of my scenarios for my games of Feudal PatrolTM  using my supplement for Civilizations Collide, I have designed a gaming scenario for the Battle of Otumba. It is a skirmish-type scenario but one that will hopefully evoke the spirit of the battle. For the Conquistadores, I already have adequate cavalry figures for Cortes’ charge. As discussed, from my research it appears that the Spanish took up their defensive position on the rocky hillock using pikemen and halberdiers almost in an infantry square. As I only had one pikemen figure that had come from Eureka Miniatures as a war dog handler, that would be insufficient to say the least.

My digging around websites yielded me three sources that I drew upon to remedy this shortfall: Eureka Miniatures USA (4 halberdiers from #100CON03); Wargames Foundry via Badger Games in the US (2 halberdiers from two #SBO16 that were part of a couple of artillery gun crews); Gringo 40’s (UK) (8 pikemen from #CONQ4 and a Pedro de Alvarado figure.) All of these figures were 28mm scale and metal. This group would get me to where I wanted to be.

A side note about Pedro de Alvarado. He was a key lieutenant of Cortes and a prominent player in the Spanish Conquest. He was a redhead, which was a novelty to the Aztecs. He is remembered both for his skills as a soldier and especially for his cruelty and acts of mass murder on native peoples – both Aztec and Maya. However, he played a big role at many battles, including the Battle of Otumba, and as Gringo 40’s had his figure, I got him as well. As I always say, in the Spanish Conquest, there were few “good guys” on either side. History must be understood in the context of the period – and it was a brutal one.

Pedro de Alvarado

These figures arrived in December, and were definitely in my sights as submissions for  Dave Stone’s “Paint What You Got” painting challenge in addition to my war canoes and Aztec Serpent Statues.

I filed and washed the 15 figures in preparation for mounting for painting and priming. However, let me share a few notes. I liked all of the figures as far as the sculpts go. However, the Gringo 40’s pikemen were only available in one pose – which I ordered nonetheless as I figured that I could deal with via a painting plan (so they would look different enough from each other). These also had a pike included – but it was a soft metal pike that would not have survived a gaming session.

I replaced them with ones from North Star Military Figures cut to the same size as the originals. I have used these spears on other projects – notably my beloved Rooman Pikemen – and they are nice but VERY sharp (I recommend filing down the tips a bit or you and your players will have a hypodermic battlefield with real blood).

The Gringo 40’s also came with nice swords that I liked. Both the pikemen and the halberdiers needed a good deal of pin vise drilling to accommodate their weaponry. Alvarado came in two pieces but is a great sculpt. The Wargames Foundry figs were also two of the same – so more challenge for me to make their appearance dissimilar. The Eureka halberdiers were nice too.

After a nice scrubbing, all 15 ready to go forward to mounting for painting.
Mounted and primed.

One of the challenges I found was airbrush priming of the pikes, halberds, swords, and Alvarado’s sword (and hands). This was difficult due to their being easily moved by the air pressure. I broke out my holder rack to use – and it helped – though I did need to deal with subsequently painting the parts under the clips.

Holder rack.

After priming in white, I washed them all with a 50% thinned application of Citadel “Nuln Oil” as shown below.

I worked on the base coats by using an Excel sheet paint plan as I needed a lot of paints to make this work – especially for the pikemen. I did make use of several contrast paints here as well – but I used them in combination with other products to shade and highlight. When you are trying to give 8 different pikemen different beards/hair, tunics, leggings, etc., you do end up with a good number of permutations! As usual, I list of all the paints, inks, washes, etc. that I used at the end of this post if that sort of thing interests you.

Finally all of the figures here are painted, shaded, and highlighted – they still needed flocking and varnishing as you see.
I flocked the bases first with PVA glue and Army Painter “Brown Battlefields”.
Then I added pigments to the bases and fixed with thinner, and let them dry.
Once dry, I dry brushed them with three brown/tan tones, then applied matte varnish via airbrushing. This is the recipe I used for most of my figures for the Spanish Conquest.

After the varnish dried, I added Army Painter “Grass Green” and 12mm jungle tufts from Shadow’s Edge Miniatures. I did add the tufts as they will help the bases blend with my rocky outcropping/hill I have for the battle – and I have found them to be the best tufts on the market.

I numbered my halberdiers CHB 1-6 and my pikemen are CPM 2-9. Alvarado is Alvarado! So, here they are as completed – first Pedro de Alvarado from Gringo 40’s:

Pedro de Alvarado

Next, the halberdiers. CHB1-4 are from Eureka, and CHB5 and 6 are the same figure from Wargames Foundry.

CHB1
CHB2
CHB3
CHB4
CHB5
CHB6
Group Halberdier Shot
Halberdiers completed and ready for action.

Lastly, here are the pikemen, CPM2-9. All are from Gringo 40’s and are the same sculpt – but hopefully I have varied them enough in color and appearance.

CPM2
CPM3
CPM4
CPM5
CPM6
CPM7
CPM8
CPM9
Pikemen Group Shot
All 15 of these Conquistadores
You can almost here them yell their rallying cry, “¡Santiago!”

I am looking forward to their upcoming game at TotalCon36 in Marlborough, Massachusetts on February 27th. I am also running two other Spanish Conquest games there on Thursday, February 24 (Surprise Raid on the Aztec Outpost) and Saturday February 26 (Cortes’ Causeway Escape Attempt), as well as a What a Tanker game (France 1940) on Friday. Slots for all are still available – come on down!

I now have painted 92 Conquistador, 32 Tlaxcalan, and 109 Aztec figures since I started this project. I still have more to go – specifically brigantines and cannons with crews, and a good-sized group of Maya. I hope that you found this rather lengthy post interesting. Yes or no, let me know and thanks for checking in.

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 CONQUISTADOR FIGURES:

  1. Gorilla Glue
  2. 1/8″ x 1″ Everbilt Fender Washers
  3. Gorilla Glue Gel
  4. Poster tack
  5. North Star Military Figures 100mm wire spears
  6. Vallejo Mecha Primer “White”
  7. Vallejo “Flow Improver”
  8. Vallejo “Airbrush Thinner”
  9. Citadel “Nuln Oil” (wash)
  10. Vallejo Mecha Color “Off-white”
  11. Battlefront “Black”
  12. Vallejo “Thinner Medium”
  13. Army Painter “Tanned Flesh”
  14. Vallejo Model Color “English Uniform”
  15. Vallejo Model Color “Black Grey”
  16. Citadel “Troll Slayer Orange”
  17. Citadel “The Fang”
  18. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Volupus Pink”
  19. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Basilicanum Grey”
  20. Vallejo Model Color “Brown Rose”
  21. Citadel “Runefang Steel”
  22. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Wyldwood”
  23. Citadel “Skrag Brown”
  24. Vallejo Model Color “Vermilion”
  25. Citadel “Caliban Green”
  26. Vallejo Game Air “Sun Yellow”
  27. Citadel “Steel Legion Drab”
  28. Vallejo Model Air “Brown”
  29. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Gore-Grunta Fur”
  30. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Talassar Blue”
  31. Vallejo Mecha Color “Sky Blue”
  32. Vallejo Mecha Color “Grey Green”
  33. Vallejo Game Ink “Black Green”
  34. Secret Weapon Washes “Blue” (ink)
  35. Vallejo Game Air “Wolf Grey”
  36. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Apothecary White”
  37. Vallejo Model Air “Dark Blue”
  38. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Aethermatic Blue”
  39. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Shyish Purple”
  40. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Contrast Medium”
  41. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Magos Purple”
  42. Vallejo Game Ink “Violet”
  43. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Blood Angels Red”
  44. Vallejo Mecha Color “Turquoise”
  45. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Space Wolves Grey”
  46. Hataka “Gris Blue Clair”
  47. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Ultramarines Blue”
  48. Vallejo “Glaze Medium”
  49. Citadel “Castellan Green”
  50. Battlefront “German Camo Orange Ochre”
  51. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Snakebite Leather”
  52. Vallejo Mecha Color “Light Steel”
  53. Vallejo Model Air “Gun Metal”
  54. Vallejo Model Air “Bright Brass”
  55. Vallejo Model Air “Black – Metallic”
  56. Citadel “Waystone Green” (Technical)
  57. Citadel “Nuln Oil GLOSS” (wash)
  58. Vallejo Game Color “Bronze Fleshtone”
  59. Vallejo Model Color “Sunny Skin Tone”
  60. Army Painter “Flesh Wash” (wash)
  61. Army Painter “Red Tone” (shade)
  62. Citadel “XV-88”
  63. Army Painter “Green Tone” (shade)
  64. Citadel “Agrax Earthshade GLOSS” (shade)
  65. Citadel “Drakenhof Nightshade” (wash)
  66. Citadel “Seraphim Sepia” (wash)
  67. Vallejo Game Ink “Green”
  68. P3 “Red” (ink)
  69. Vallejo Game Ink “Yellow”
  70. Citadel “Lamenters Yellow” (glaze)
  71. Battlefront “Flat Earth”
  72. Vallejo “Satin Varnish”
  73. Elmer’s PVA Glue
  74. Army Painter “Brown Battlefields” (flocking)
  75. Vallejo “Dark Yellow Ochre” (pigment)
  76. Vallejo “Burnt Umber” (pigment)
  77. Citadel “Tallarn Sand”
  78. Citadel “Karak Stone”
  79. Vallejo Mecha Varnish “Matt Varnish”
  80. Army Painter “Grass Green” (flocking)
  81. Shadow’s Edge Miniatures 12mm “Jungle Tufts”

Aztec Serpent Statues

When it comes to building Aztec scenery in a city – I have found symmetry to be a very important consideration both in regards to your design scheme and placement of terrain pieces. Over the last couple of years, I also have found it difficult to find appropriate pieces that fit what I am attempting to build and are not either ruins or priced way too high to consider buying.

In December, I was speaking with Dave Stone of Wargames Sculptors Blog on Zoom (he is in the UK). I had wanted to have a chat with him and we set up something. I knew he had a hobby business, but really I thought he was interesting and someone I’d like to chat with over Zoom. We had a nice talk.

Over the time we spoke, the subject of war canoes came up – and Dave did have an African hollowed out canoe for purchase on his website. After we spoke, he was kind enough to cast one for me to see if it would work, and sadly it was too small. But, in his terrain pieces he did have “Aztec Style Serpent Statues” that looked pretty cool – so I ordered 4 – and Dave cast them up and kindly threw in the canoe (which you can see in my last post here).

The statues went for £6 each. They are resin, and scaled for 28mm gaming. I got the four in December, just in time for (ironically) Dave Stone’s “Paint What You Got” painting challenge (which you should join if interested). Why four – well, yes, this was for that symmetry I mentioned! I also got some LITKO 60mm bases for them as well as I thought they needed them – both for aesthetics and to reduce the chances that they’d get knocked over on the tabletop as they are pretty massive for resin pieces. I washed them and scrubbed them to prepare the statues for priming. They were excellent casts, with a few areas that needed some green stuff in a few bubble holes, but certainly much less than one might expect to find. One was a little lighter color than the other three, but that didn’t matter at all.

I decided that I needed to walk a fine line with these as they are supposed to be statues, and not giant monsters. They had bands on them that could be made of gold, as well as a “skull collection nook” on top that was very Aztec. So I tried to paint them such that they would have an Aztec color flair, but look like they’d fit in Tenochtitlan. I wanted to base them such that they would be centered and strongly affixed to their 60mm bases/plinths. Thus, I decided to make a template and drill out the bottoms for 4 screws.

The template, the model base, and the underside of the model. I used a 7/64″ drill bit and four #4 x 3/4″ screws in each base.

Then it was time to prime them. I went with an brushed application of Vallejo “German Green Brown” primer, then I followed that with an airbrushed layer of Vallejo “Dark Yellow”. After that, a good washing with Secret Weapon Washes “Sewer Water”. As usual, you can see the list of all the paints I used at the end of this post if that interests you.

Doubly primed, looking too much like somebody didn’t clean up after the dog!
After priming, a deep series of washes to get into the recesses.

Then it was time to get base colors onto the models. I went with a yellow theme and a red theme.

After heavy dry brushing. I liked the yellow but the red seemed too dark, so I used a lighter shade on a subsequent drybrush application.
A comparison of the lighter color on the right.

I proceeded to paint all the other aspects of the models – but I wanted to use inks to bring out the features on the serpents’ faces. For that, I use an off white and then add ink in layers.

Before the inks added.

I decided to do a test of possible inks for the heat sensors on the serpents’ heads.

Which green to pick? I chose the Secret Weapon Washes Green ink as it looked almost turquoise. The eyes would have reversed colors (red and yellow) as you see here.
Models all painted here – all I needed to do was add texture to the bases, dry brush that, and varnish!
Top view showing the “skull collection nook”.
View from the back.

I thought it would be useful to show the Aztec Serpent Models with some of the other tabletop figures and terrain I may use.

The four with an Aztec warrior to show scale.
With the Aztec Temple High Throne – my only wish is that the heads could have been mirrored for better symmetry…
…of course I could always do this with 4.
Two by the Sacrificial Altar
…or 4.

Lastly, I needed a way to store them for transport – and I had some extra space in my 32-liter Really Useful Box that I have my buildings in – so I modded up some poster board with hot glue and made a little cubby for them.

I’m pretty happy about these and I will be having them in my cityscape! Do you prefer the yellow or the red – let me know!

Thanks for checking these out.

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 AZTEC SERPENT STATUE FIGURES:

  1. LITKO 60mm bases
  2. Vallejo Surface Primer “German Green Brown”
  3. #4 x 3/4″ screws
  4. Gorilla Glue
  5. Green stuff (kneadatite)
  6. Vallejo Surface Primer “Dark Yellow”
  7. Vallejo “Flow Improver”
  8. Vallejo “Airbrush Thinner”
  9. Secret Weapon Washes “Sewer Water” (wash)
  10. P3 “Sulfuric Yellow”
  11. Americana “Primary Red”
  12. Army Painter “Light Tone” (wash)
  13. Citadel “Astorath Red”
  14. Army Painter “Red Tone” (wash)
  15. Vallejo Mecha Color “Off-White”
  16. Citadel “Morghast Bone”
  17. Citadel “Waaagh! Flesh”
  18. P3 “Red Ink” (ink)
  19. Vallejo Game Ink “Yellow” (ink)
  20. Secret Weapon Washes “Green” (ink)
  21. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Ork Flesh”
  22. Citadel “Contrast Medium”
  23. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Skeleton Horde”
  24. Citadel “Armageddon Dust” (texture)
  25. Vallejo Model Air “Gold”
  26. Secret Weapon Washes “Golden Brown” (wash)
  27. Citadel “Nuln Oil GLOSS” (wash)
  28. Vallejo “Satin Varnish”
  29. Citadel “Tallarn Sand”
  30. Citadel “Karak Stone”
  31. Vallejo Mecha Varnish “Matt Varnish”

Aztec War Canoes for the Spanish Conquest

During the 16th Century Spanish Conquest of Mesoamerica, much of the combat occurred on and around the capital city of Tenochtitlan. That city was built on an island in the middle of Lake Texcoco – effectively making it a fortress city connected to the mainland by multiple causeways. Those causeways had removable bridge sections to hinder any enemy from using the causeways to take the city.

The Aztecs built roads around the lake for trading and military purposes. But also the surrounding lake provided a great opportunity to use war canoes as means to deploy their warriors either on the lake or onto the shoreline. This allowed the Aztecs to dominate Lake Texcoco and its environs for centuries.

In researching possible scenarios to game the period, I found that the need for war canoes (and other aspects) kept coming up. So first, I needed rules for their use – so I wrote them! And now you can have your own free copy of the new and updated 2nd Edition of the Civilizations Collide supplement for games of Feudal PatrolTM  just by clicking here and going to the Sally4th website. Again THIS IS FREE!!

I have identified at least 4 scenarios where war canoes would be needed:

  • July 1, 1520 – La Noche Triste – Bloodbath on the Tacuba Causeway (the final breakout attempt by the Spanish continues on the Tacuba causeway out of Tenochtitlan as he is harried on all sides to include by war canoes).
  • Early 1521 – Aztec Raid on the Conquistadores’ Brigantines (The Aztecs attempt to burn Cortes’ assembling fleet before it can set sail on Lake Texcoco).
  • May 22, 1521 – The Battle of Tlacopan (The Aztecs counterattack an attempt by Olid and Alvarado to seize and destroy the aqueduct at Chapultepec which supplies much of Tenochtitlan’s water.  The battle takes place on a causeway with the Aztecs able to use war canoes on both sides of the Spanish and the Spanish have brigantines).
  • June 1, 1521 – The Battle of Lake Texcoco (Cortes leads his brigantines and allied war canoes against the massed Aztec war canoe fleet to seize naval control of Lake Texcoco and begin the siege of Tenochtitlan).

There easily could be other scenarios involving war canoes.

However, finding and sourcing reasonably-priced war canoes was problematic. As readers of this blog know – I was lucky to be able to trade 19 painted Viking figures to my friend Greg Priebe in Maryland for 19 3D-printed canoes. I also got a Blood and Plunder one from Firelock Games at their Historicon booth (for $20 – yikes), as well as a single scratch-built balsa wood one (for $3) from a table at Wally’s Basement at Historicon. Lastly, I got a canoe from Dave Stone of Wargames Terrain Workshop (priced at 2 pounds). That made 23 canoes for me to paint up of four different types.

Luckily, Dave Stone is also running a “Paint What You Got” painting challenge over on his page – for stuff you had unpainted from December 26th to the end of January. So these (and some other cool stuff from Dave I’ll hopefully put in a future post coming shortly). But back to the canoes and how I completed them all.

Greg’s stuff arrived safely just before Christmas, as did the one from Dave. I sized up Greg’s – and it looks like they will fit 4 figures well – but 5 was too many as you see below on the left. I gave the Greg canoes a good washing and tried to get as many of the little strings off as I could.

Next, I looked at the other three types. The Blood and Plunder resin one can handle 5 or 6 figures, while the scratch-built balsa wood one would need some seat removal to handle 4 figures. The resin one from Wargames Terrain Workshop is really nice – but was too small to accommodate my 1″-based figures. I can use it as additional nice eye candy on the tabletop, so I put it into the painting queue.

In mocking up the possible transport capabilities of each war canoe model, it became clear that they needed magnets inserted to hold the figures in place during game movement. Otherwise I would risk having figures get damaged or just not be aesthetically pleasing.

I worked out a template plan and drilled out 9/64″ inch holes for 1/8″ neodymium magnets as you see below. Note that I mark the top of the magnets with a red sharpie so that all of the magnets have the same direction of polarization. I also used a similarly-oriented stack of magnets on the underside of the war canoes to properly seat each one on the drilled side in its Gorilla Glue-imbued hole. Otherwise it is VERY easy to have magnets go onto other unwanted ones in other holes. Generally, I stacked two magnets in each of four holes in the war canoes.

Checking to see how the figures would be held in the canoe by the magnets underneath – concept did work!

The next step was to do the same with the other types.

Checking the hold on the balsa wood model – also worked.

Then it was on to priming. In order to really protect the models and to fill in as much of the 3D printed lines, I double-primed these. First, with a brushed on MSP “Black”, then after that dried with an airbrushed application of Vallejo “German Green Brown”. As is my custom, I listed all of the paints that I used at the end of this post for those interested.

The 23 ready for priming.
After the black priming but before adding the brown green primer.

I wanted to make a nice wooden appearance to these – so I decided to serially airbrush a somewhat zenithal series of applications of sequentially-lighter colors on the canoes. Then I would add a sepia wash and see if I needed a darker one inside the canoes (I did).

I went left to right with these colors – followed by a wash. It was a bit tedious as I had two sides to do – and I had to allow enough drying time before reversing the models in order to paint the other sides.

I think I achieved my goal with regards to the wood tones. The balsa wood and B&P models ended up a but darker, but I think that is fine as complete uniformity would not be great. With that said, let’s see how they look on the tabletop with some Aztec Warriors as passengers!

Eye Candy

Flotilla from the starboard side
Close up looking at the bows
Top view, port side
The Blood and Plunder war canoe version with a commander and some warrior priests inside.
The balsa wood war canoe will serve as a command canoe in most scenarios I run, as will the B&P model.
Here they come!
Close up of the front of one of the 3D models.
Aztecs on the move
Jaguar Warriors in a war canoe.
Cuachicque (“Shorn Ones”) and a warrior priest in a war canoe. Normally I will have a designated paddler, likely a novice warrior, in the back of each canoe.
A view of the side of the Jaguar Warriors’ canoe – this shows the wood tone nicely – not too streaky, but naturally not uniform. It also shows that the magnets are holding the figures well.
I was able to fit all 23 of them in a 3-liter Really Useful box with some room to spare. You can see the little Wargames Terrain Workshop canoe nestled in the larger Blood and Plunder model.

I hope that you enjoyed this post. Let me know your thoughts and feedback – always appreciated. And more is to come for sure.

Hint: more Wargames Terrain Workshop terrain coming very shortly!

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 WAR CANOE FIGURES:

  1. Gorilla Glue
  2. 1/8″ x 1″ Everbilt Fender Washers
  3. Neodymium magnets
  4. MSP “Black Primer”
  5. Vallejo Surface Primer “German Green Brown”
  6. Vallejo “Flow Improver”
  7. Vallejo “Airbrush Thinner”
  8. Vallejo Model Air “Berman Green Brown”
  9. Vallejo Model Air “Desert Yellow”
  10. Vallejo Model Air “Light”
  11. Vallejo Model Air “Sand/Ivory”
  12. Vallejo Model Air “Ivory”
  13. Vallejo Mecha Color “Sand Yellow”
  14. Citadel “Seraphim Sepia” (wash)
  15. Citadel “Agrax Earthshade” (wash)
  16. Vallejo Mecha Varnish “Matt Varnish”

Historicon 2021 — War Across the Ages, and other dark horrors

Below is a blog post from borderguy190 that some of you may not have seen – I am reblogging it with his permission. I (Mark) met him (Harry) at Historicon and he was a player in my Aztec/Conquistador game. I think he did a nice player review of my game as well as a superb review of the convention. His blog site is here – and I highly recommend you take a look! Now, here is his Historicon post:

One of the biggest joys of my year is getting to attend Fall In!, or as in the case this year, Historicon. Last year was a complete bust for conventions, and here in Michigan, the small local cons got called off for C19 earlier this year. Fall In! was my last hope. At some point […]

Historicon 2021 — War Across the Ages, and other dark horrors

Historicon 2021, Christoricon, and Axis & Allies

This post will cover my wargaming over the extended Veteran’s Day weekend – hopefully you will enjoy the discussion and the photos of the games here. Hell, grab a beer or a wine or whatever! Some cool pics and links to be sure.

I had been planning to attend the last Historicon – but it got moved (I think there was a pandemic or something, I (try) to forget). The event was then rescheduled for November. As Historicon and the other HMGS events have been on my bucket list, I wanted to go as a GM anyways and player too.

Also, as followers of this blog know – I have been deep into building out a series of games for the Spanish Conquest over the last year-and-a-half. This has involved many aspects – writing a rules supplement, painting figures, and building a series of games and battlefields much more for the for Feudal Patrol games for the period of the Spanish Conquest in Mesoamerica 500 years ago. I also recently rewrote my supplement Civilizations Collide – which will be a free download (as will a scenario booklet with multiple historic scenarios that I am working on now). So, I was very much looking forward to Historicon 2021.

Therefore, I signed up to run two games – both of which are scenarios on my in-progress booklet. I planned on running both my “Surprise Aztec Raid on the Spanish Outpost” and “Cortes’ Causeway Escape Attempt” games on Thursday night and Saturday morning respectively.

The Maryland-based H.A.W.K.’s were kind enough to admit me as a game master and share their room. I have been long-time friends with two members, Dave Wood (my old West Point roommate) and Buck Surdu (who also has been a friend since our West Point days which are now going back aways). Buck is also the author of many games, to include  Feudal Patrol and Wars of Ozz© (see a nice review of Ozz here).

My friend Craig Hogan, myself, and Dave Wood back at USMA – probably Ring Weekend in the Fall of 1983. Craig sadly was killed a few years ago now in a private plan crash.
Thanksgiving 1987 in Hagenbach, Rhineland-Pfalz, West Germany, Buck, myself, and my daughter Ellen (who is 34 now). We got together for gaming and the holiday. Buck came up from Vicenza, Italy where he was stationed to my place with a buddy, and we gamed and we had fun.

Through Dave and Buck, I have been lucky to make new friends with others of the H.A.W.K.’s, like Greg Priebe, Chris Palmer, and Duncan Adams (and many more too – like Zeb, Don, Eric and others – please don’t feel left out if I did not mention you). Due to my ongoing garage+ build (of which there are a number of updates that are listed here), I missed BARRAGE in September. So, I was pretty stoked about the opportunity to get together with friends (and make new ones) and push lead around the tabletop.

However, as fate would have it, some folks would not be able to attend Historicon due to personal reasons. As seeing and gaming with friends are as much a draw for me as the convention itself, I needed to make a change in plans. We had a Zoom call, and collectively arrived at a new plan. I would drive down from Massachusetts and meet Dave in Maryland for a gaming afternoon on the 11th at my hotel room. Then on Friday morning I would run my “Surprise Aztec Raid on the Spanish Outpost” game in Chris Palmer’s gaming room in Maryland, and then play in an Ozz game afterwards until I needed to leave for Historicon (about 90 minutes away). Friday night I would drive up to Valley Forge, Pennsylvania to set up my “Cortes’ Causeway Escape Attempt” game for Saturday morning play.

So, on a 28-degree morning in Massachusetts, I defrosted my loaded car (12 boxes of terrain, plus 2 mats, a wagon, plus a suitcase) and headed to Maryland – arriving around mid-day – where it was 4o degrees warmer. Ah, New England!

Frosty morning departure.

Axis & Allies

Dave and I have now gamed since 1982 – so coming up on 40 years. We have played Avalon Hill’s “Victory in the Pacific” (as well as other titles) dozens of times over the years. On Thursday, after I arrived, we decided to be different and try Milton Bradley’s “Axis & Allies” this time – a board game with plastic miniatures that we have discussed many times but never played before. I got this game back in the mid-80’s. At one point there was an on-line version but we never got around to playing that either. For this game, we picked sides at random, and Dave played the Axis, and I the Allies. It was Veteran’s Day, and as we are obviously both vets, it was a nice add.

The game went back and forth. A lot. I managed to keep Russia in the game – and built an industrial complex in India for the British. This allowed me to build 3 units per turn there in an attempt to keep the Japanese off the Russian’s back.

After the first turn, I had consolidated a nice position in Mother Russia to try to thwart Dave. And yes, the shirt says what I am impressed with – Dave has run dozens of marathons and many runs up to 50 miles and maybe more in distance.
We had a back and forth fight over the Karelia territory that had a factory I did not want to lose. Eventually, I did.

Meanwhile, my Indian gambit attracted a lot of Japanese attention – maybe too much. Dave hammered away at it and while the Japanese were unsuccessful he did attrite my forces and that prevented me from exploiting my force buildup.

Dave made multiple attacks on India supported by carrier-based fighters and land-based bombers. I had sent the American-supported Chinese infantry in to help defend. Meanwhile, Russia fell.

Dave kept hammering away at India, and eventually had his Germans violate Afghan neutrality – hitting India for the decisive blow. Yes, the Germans took India by blitzing panzers through Afghanistan…

I built India up and flew in American air support, but the next turn it fell.

I did desperately roll for Weapon’s Development for both the Americans and the British – with only the British succeeding in getting 3 – Rockets, Super Subs, and Strategic Bombers. My rocket and strategic bomber attacks slowed the German’s production, but it was too late…congrats to Dave!

Christoricon – Surprise Aztec Raid on the Spanish Outpost

Originally I was supposed to run my one of my games at Historicon on Thursday night – that being a rural one where Aztecs are making a surprise raid on a Tlaxcalan village (acting as a Conquistador supply depot) – only to see that there were indeed some Spanish there. Instead, we went to Chris Palmer’s house and I ran the game on early Friday morning. We joked and called it “Christoricon”. I hosted and there were 5 players – Buck, Duncan Adams, and Dave for the Aztecs, and Chris and Greg Priebe for the Spanish/Tlaxcalans. The defending Spanish/Tlaxcalans had one Warband of three Elements – 23 figures worth 41 points. The attacking Aztecs had two Warbands of 3 Elements each – 53 figures worth 78.25 points. Buck has already written a great post about this game and the others that day on his blog here – and his write-up and pics are great. I took some photos that you see below, but for me, simultaneously being a GM and a photographer is not easy – so I do recommend you take a look. Meanwhile, here are my pics.

The game is ready to begin. Chris and Greg elected to place the Conquistador Element armed with arquebuses further away from their leader in their secret deployment in lieu of their Element of Sword & Buckler men. This meant that they were “pinned” with their black powder weapons only activating at best on half of the turns. They could have “unpinned” but as luck would have it the dice did not let that happen. Note also that Franco the unlucky Conquistador made the trip!

Chris chose to send out his war dogs towards Dave’s Aztecs as a screen, and they promptly took atlatl damage. Dave, Duncan and Buck moved up quickly, while Greg took up a position in the maize field with his dangerous Tlaxcalan bowmen.

Dave moves up his “twinned” Elements of veteran/novice warriors towards a wounded war dog.

The Spanish then had their Catholic Priest take possession of the gold (possession of the gold was one of the game objectives) and drag it to a more secure location while they contested the Noble House (another objective) – (insert joke here).

Battle starting at the Noble House – the war dogs are already going down here. Their priest has already dragged away the gold to a safer location.

Buck’s advancing Elite Cuahchicque (“Shorn Ones”) took the full volley of arquebus fire from the less-activating pinned Spanish. Despite these Elite Aztecs taking a lot of damage and having a ton of Morale checks to overcome, Buck was able to rally his troops successfully against the odds twice. Meanwhile Duncan moved his Jaguar and Eagle Warriors against Greg’s Tlaxcalan bowmen in the cornfield – hoping to best them in melee.

Dave and Buck confer while surveying Duncan’s advance – and their chances at victory – with concern. This shows the second volley that Buck’s Elite Shorn Ones took and the blue beads are Morale checks he needed to pass. He did. Twice.

Slowly, the tide of battle started turning in the Aztecs’ favor. Dave’s attack on the Aztec right was making headway, and they were gaining control of the objectives.

Priest still dragging the gold away here.
Lots of carnage on the tabletop.

Eventually, the Spanish and Tlaxcalans were overwhelmed.

The game ended as a resounding Aztec win, as they had control of three objectives, as well as dragging off 9 pour souls for sacrifice, killing 2 more, and making one run away. The Spanish had only the gold, but did dispatch 15 Aztecs and capture one more. The final score was 86-40 as you see below. I think the players had a good game. Congrats to Dave, Buck, and Duncan!

Christoricon – Ozz

After the Aztec/Spanish game, Chris Palmer ran a Wars of Ozz© game that I played in briefly – again, Buck’s blog post has an excellent account as I left after having stymied Dave’s advance a bit (though I was pretty well smashed force-wise in that effort). I commanded a force of Winkies with allies (Greater and Lesser Pumpkinhead Warriors). My sacrifice was not in vain, and it allowed Chris and Greg to smash the Munchkin center.

I love the Ozz figures!

I then drove to Historicon, and set up for Saturday morning’s game.

Historicon – Cortes’ Causeway Escape Attempt

The drive up to Valley Forge Resort Casino was uneventful – though finding the H.A.W.K.’s room was a challenge. The gaming was not located in one location at the resort. Unfortunately, it was also a Friday night at a casino and all the close parking was gone. Luckily, I have a little collapsible wagon and was able to get into the room with my stuff in a few trips and set up the terrain and the troops for Saturday morning’s game, Cortes’ Causeway Escape Attempt.

My game flyer

You can see a short Instagram video of the set up here.

It’s a BIG battle. The Spanish/Tlaxcalans have three Warbands of three Elements (2 Spanish, 1 Tlaxcalan) plus support – 77 figures (including the 4 war wagons) worth 161.75 points. The Aztecs have five Warbands of 2-3 Elements each – 109 figures worth 154.25 points. 186 figures in total. This battle is Cortes’ second attempt to escape. He would do a second on the following day, and three days later a third – La Noche Triste. Originally, on the Historicon listings, the game was supposed to be La Noche Triste – which again happened three days later (and of which I will have that scenario written soon) – but I needed war canoes for that one. Those I don’t have yet, and will be mentioned here in a bit.

Back to the game set up. As I was setting up, I had a number of people come by to remark positively on the game visuals – terrain and figures. They had seen my posts on different forums (or fora both are ok!). To all of you, thank you so much for your kind words and interest.

Besides all of the cityscape – and it’s a lot I know – but with everything predeployed I just needed to put players on their troops and let them know what they needed to do on their part of the battlefield.

As I mentioned before, I had previously needed to cancel my Thursday game – and I got a comment from one of our blog community – Harry (aka borderguy190)- that he was disappointed as he had signed up for the game. I apologized, as I wish I could have ran that too at Historicon as well. But the good news was that he would be playing in this game!

He joined 7 other players. They seemed to grasp the concepts of the game quickly – and I did get some help from Greg Priebe and Buck Surdu in the early turns before they had to help run an Ozz game.

The game set up.
Troops deployed and dashboards out. My undermagnets and game markers really have proven their worth – especially in big melee scrums.

In this game, the Conquistadores are surrounded, and need to fight their way out from the Palace of Axayacatl where they were holed up with their hostage/puppet Montezuma II. They have war wagons, and while these are helpful in providing cover against missile weapons, they are also rickety and slow – and prone to breaking. In fact, all of them broke during the game and were unable to move afterwards. The Aztecs are trying to get to the Conquistadores and avenge the massacre that the Spanish perpetrated at the Festival of Toxcatl. Their Tlaxcalan allies are mostly on the other end of the tabletop and trying to break into Tenochtitlan to help their Spanish allies escape.

There were ups and downs for both sides all over the table. The Conquistadores breakout went slowly, but they did take out a lot of Aztecs. On the other end where the Tlaxcalans were trying to help, the two sides traded missile fire and got into a scrum but were unable to change the status quo.

Lots of action! Harry (in red) ponders his next move.
Aztecs swarm the war wagons and wound the crossbowmen and arquebusiers inside.
Thinks get more contested in Tenochtitlan.

One of the aspects of the game is the importance of The Banner of Cortes. It provides inspiration to the Conquistadores and helps them to reduce negative Morale effects. However, I also made its capture (as well as incapacitating Cortes and dragging him off for sacrifice) game objectives. The Aztecs took some heavy losses BUT were able to take out the bannerman and seize the banner. This lead to the Spanish having to try to satisfy Honor and retake the banner. However, this did not happen before the game’s end. As it was worth 50 points (see below), it was decisive.

The Banner of Cortes is taken!
Aztecs won 78-35. The 50 points for the capture of The Banner of Cortes made all the difference!

Thanks so much to all who played! I did not win any awards for the game – though many said I should have. Anyways, the best reward is happy gamers afterwards – and I got that in abundance!!

The gamers! Very cool group – thanks to all!

After the game, I got a lot of positive feedback, and learned of some areas to help make the play easier. Those suggestions have already have already been acted upon when I got home (mainly on the dashboards such as linking the undermagnet colors to the dashboards).

After the game, I then went with Greg and Buck to the vendors and the Flea Market. It was nice to go to the Badger Games booth and actually be remembered! Also, I was looking for canoes to use as war canoes, but only found one from Firelock Games that was $20. That is way too expensive when you need as many as do. I also found one in the Flea Market – a balsa wood scratch-built one from an estate sale- for $3. I am going to use both for gaming and as ideas on how to make my own. Of importance, Greg is a big lover of his 3D printer – and in exchange for me painting up some Viking figures for him, he will make me a good number of canoes! Win-win! So, my next job will be to paint those up.

I look forward to returning to the gaming and convention scene as a GM and a gamer. I hope you found this interesting – thanks for looking.

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.

More Game Aids and Markers for Spanish Conquest Feudal Patrol Games

Back in March of 2021, I shared a post on gaming aids – specifically for my games of Feudal Patrol games using my supplement Civilizations Collide. This post expands on that list with a few more additions. It’s basically a process post.

As I wrote back then in March (quoting myself) – and it’s still true:

…I want to emphasize that I did not need to do any of these projects to play Feudal Patrol™. Period. I did because they suited my personal needs and – well – I get thoughts of stuff in my head that need realization.

Buck’s Feudal Patrol rules have more than adequate tools and game aids. They are fantastic. My goals here were for myself so that I can make my games easier for me mainly.

Now, as time has gone on I have realized that I wanted a few more things to ease play for me as a GM – specifically to adapt to the period. I am sharing those here and my processes as they may prove useful for some, and just interesting for others.

First, as far as steep-stepped structures (such as temples that one might expect to see in the Aztec or Mayan Empires), they pose a challenge gaming-wise. I have updated my rules for melee combat on these steps (but they are not yet published – but I use them). Most commercially available steep-stepped structures are either ruins (not ideal for depicting them in their heyday) or lacking adequate space on the steps to place figures during a game. Most of my figures are on 1″ bases, and getting them on the steps of my structures was not happening. I did not want them to be just big eye-candy on the tabletop. So what to do?

Make templates!

Below, I will share what I did and how – with the assumption that all my figures are 1″ based and that there would actually be sufficient depth in real life for them to stand on the steep steps in single rows.

The main need was for the small temple that I am using as The Temple of Yopico in Tenochtitlan. I figured out the size of the sides and the top, and adjusted for 1″ steel washer bases. You can see that each side should allow for 14 figures plus one on the top. After drawing these, I then I cut out the graph paper templates.
Ready for backing

Clearly these needed some heft – and my other main hobby, golf, allowed for some good cardboard backings with a glue stick application. I pressed them down with a book and a 25 pound dumbbell.

For phase 2, I traced the templates onto card stock, and in pencil drew in the lines. Next, cut out the card stock. Then I used red and black Sharpie pens to outline the steps and edges and color in. Add the glue stick, and press again under the weight.

I am pretty happy with the results and look forward to using them.

Final templates
A mock up of the templates with them full of Aztecs facing off against some Conquistadores. In games, I will have these templates setup off of the table for resolving combat but am showing it next to the temple for comparison.

I then did the same for the Temple High Throne and the Temple Sacrificial Altar structures that I have, just in case that they are needed.

The next marker project was a continuation of my previous one that I mentioed above with some additions. In a game, Elite troops such as Jaguar or Eagle Warriors (and more) can go “berserk” – basically making a fanatical charge until either they kill an enemy or are killed. There are advantages and disadvantages to trying this as a player. I found that if Aztecs went into “berserk” mode on the battlefield, I needed to differentiate that on the tabletop, as some figures would, while others might not – plus they tended to charge far afield on the tabletop. To remedy this, and for better availability, I wanted more of the same magnetic markers. I did the same as you saw previously – using cheap magnets and craft paints and printing off labels that I cut out. As I use steel bases, magnets are a good help.

Lastly, I printed off some new 2-sided 5″ x 8″ cards with all the special Morale rule differences for my game versus other eras/theaters. Mine are meant to evoke the nature of the Spanish Conquest.

Morale Cards – and yes I see the typo!

Now, I as I write this I am getting ready to hit the road for a fun weekend of gaming with some old friends. Well, we are all getting older at this point I guess…beats the alternative!

I am hoping to share a good post on all the games when I return. Also I need to do a follow up on the garage+ project as a LOT is happening. If you are unfamiliar with my garage+ project, you can catch up on all of them here.

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.

Catholic Priests for the Conquistadores for Feudal Patrol Games

Clearly, 500 years ago, the Catholic Faith of the Spanish Conquistadores was a huge part of their culture. One only need look at The Banner of Cortes to see that. As such, they were accompanied by priests that said Mass for them and worked – and did fight – alongside them in Mesoamerica 500 years ago. Remember, for them, in 1518-1521 it had only been a little over 20 years since they had successfully had the Reconquista and reclaimed the Iberian Peninsula from the Moors after 700 years of occupation. More recently, the Conquistadors had seen success in the Italian Wars. Much of that success was attributed to Providence to be sure.

For my Civilizations Collide scenarios for games of Feudal PatrolTM , I have updated my rules for priests on both sides. The updated supplement is soon to be made available for download, as is a planned 16-scenario booklet. In these games, the beneficial effect of Catholic Priests is that they can help reduce the number of Morale Checks that the Spanish might need to take as a result of combat and casualties, as they motivate them to fight on. They can also defend themselves, albeit understandably less effectively than a traditional Sword and Buckler Man.

While I have many Sword and Buckler Men figures, no appropriate figures to use as priests were in my unpainted mountain. After a good search I did find a few at Badger Games from Gripping Beast/Saga and Conquest Games. These looked quite medieval, but to my knowledge I would not think that religious garb or holy garments really changed much over the centuries back then. These were probably designed for the era of Viking raids. Plus, the two that I got that were from Conquest games were monks. And yes, as a practicing Catholic, I am familiar with the differences! Still, these looked the part as best as I could tell, so I bought them. They are 28mm and metal. As for painting research, I used the only plate I found in John Pohl’s Aztecs and Conquistadores (page 168) showing a priest as a guide for painting. Clearly, a monkish look – in black – was going to be fine for the tabletop.

With Historicon and some upcoming gaming looming as early as three days from today, I painted the three up quickly right after I finished Hernan Cortes. I’m fairly happy with them for gaming the period.

The two Conquest Game figures were both monks, the Gripping Beast/Saga one was called a priest:

  1. Catholic Priest/monk figure from Conquest Games Ecclesiastics/Monks Line via Badger Games (#CG CGMM121f Monk in Cowl) – designated CCP2 by me
  2. Catholic Priest/monk figure from Conquest Games Ecclesiastics/Monks Line via Badger Games (#CG CGMM121g Monk with Holy Cross) – designated CCP1 by me
  3. Catholic Priest figure from Gripping Beast/SAGA Priests Line via Badger Games (#SPR06 Christian Priest 2) – designated CCP3 by me
The three as received
I removed the slotted bases from the two Conquest Games figures and based them all on good old steel washers. You can see a glaze on the steel washers – that’s Gorilla Glue, which I use to improve later paint adhesion on them (especially the rims).

As I was hurrying to get these done, I took few WIP shots, but here you go below:

Primed up
Painted (base coat) and ready for some final touches

I want to mention a few areas of, well, let’s say minor challenges in painting these. First – and as someone without this condition I want to be sensitive. Two of them have shaven and/or bald pates. Painting shaved heads/bald heads was a new one for me and took a bit of experimentation to get acceptable results. After all, I would expect that these men of the cloth would have tanned up a bit facially. Still, the head and face on CCP3 (the Gripping Beast/SAGA figure) was not that easy to get right. Secondly, for all three you can imagine that their cloaks would have been less than pristine. I used some pigments for that. Lastly, highlighting black robes with gray was something I did want to play with here.

CCP1, 2, and 3. My three Priests. CCP3 actually has a sword in addition to his staff.

I like CCP 1 the best and CCP3 the least – mainly because of the face being a bit mushy. CCP2 is quite mysterious.

Well, now they have joined the ranks of the Conquistadores. Off to gaming with ye!

I hopefully have one more pre-Historicon post to share with you later today on gaming aids – if I can get it done before I have to pack. Then I’ll be silent for a bit and hopefully get a good post-weekend post on the gaming.

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 CATHOLIC PRIEST FIGURES:

  1. Gorilla Glue
  2. 1/8″ x 1″ Everbilt Fender Washers
  3. Poster tack
  4. Vallejo Mecha Primer “White”
  5. Vallejo “Flow Improver”
  6. Vallejo “Airbrush Thinner”
  7. MSP “Brown Liner”
  8. Vallejo Mecha Color “Off-White”
  9. Vallejo Model Color “Black”
  10. Citadel “Skrag Brown”
  11. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Cygor Brown”
  12. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Snakebite Leather”
  13. Vallejo Mecha Color “Dark Steel”
  14. Vallejo Model Air “Bright Brass”
  15. Army Painter “Tanned Flesh”
  16. Battlefront “Dark Leather”
  17. Vallejo Model Air “Silver”
  18. Vallejo Model Color “Black Grey”
  19. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Black Templar”
  20. Citadel “Contrast Medium”
  21. Vallejo Model Color “German Grey”
  22. Vallejo Mecha Color “Brown”
  23. Citadel “Longbeard Grey”
  24. P3 “Brown Ink”
  25. Citadel “Contrast Paint – Apothecary White”
  26. P3 “Ruby” (wash)
  27. Vallejo Game Color “Bronze Fleshtone”
  28. Vallejo Model Color “Sunny Skin Tone”
  29. Vallejo Model Color “Brown Rose”
  30. Army Painter “Flesh Wash” (wash)
  31. Citadel “Nuln Oil” (wash)
  32. Battlefront “Flat Earth”
  33. Elmer’s PVA Glue
  34. Army Painter “Brown Battlefields” (flocking)
  35. Vallejo “Dark Yellow Ochre” (pigment)
  36. Vallejo “Burnt Umber” (pigment)
  37. Vallejo “Pigment Binder”
  38. Citadel “Steel Legion Drab”
  39. Citadel “Tallarn Sand”
  40. Citadel “Karak Stone”
  41. Vallejo Mecha Varnish “Matt Varnish”
  42. Army Painter “Grass Green” (flocking)

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Writer/Game Designer

The Lost and the Damned

Fantasy, sci-fi and historical miniature gaming

sho3box

Toy soldier wargaming stuff.

L'ANSPESSADE

L"histoire militaire à lire, à voir, à jouer et à réinventer