Sunday, September 18, 2016

Old age and guile


 . . . will win over youth and enthusiasm.  At least, that's how it worked out the other weekend when the Cub and I set out to play some 40k.  I fielded Warboss Binky and his usual crowd of malcontents and stooges, while Cub went with a toy-heavy Marine list.  He took his Redeemer, three characters, a Raptor, and assorted other goodies (I think there was a kitchen sink in there) at 1000 points, which in retrospect, may have cost him the list resilience he needed.

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Binky takes charge.


This was one of those games where I got an early jump on things, and Cub never really got a chance to catch up.

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Right flank


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Left flank


Cub, for some reason, decided to deploy his Raptor on table at the start of the game, despite the odds that I'd have first turn (he had a chance to steal it, but the odds were in my favour).  Now, being the cunning fellow he is, he's tricked the thing out as an ork-murdering machine, with twin heavy bolters, twin-linked autocannon, and a special rule that means he hits ground targets on a 2+.  This is generally sufficient to tear the guts out of a mob in a turn, so I tend to treat it as a high-priority target.

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Gaping hole where the Raptor used to be.


Needless to say, concentrated fire from half my army left a smoking crater where a Raptor used to be, and between scoring a VP for a "kill a unit" objective, one for seizing a located objective, and one for first blood, I ended turn one with a comfy 3-point lead.

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But the Redeemer rolls up in lieu


Next up on the "to kill" list is generally his redeemer.  This thing requires either a ton of Rokkits, or a motivated Binky with Klaw to deal with, as it has ridiculous armour, and can fire twin flamer templates that are even worse than the raptor.  Cub's usual approach is to drive the thing into the middle of my army, and set orks on fire until I manage to kill it.  Meanwhile, the rest of his army gets a free ride.

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This is going to hurt


True to form, he closed in, and started spraying auto-hitting, wound-re-rolling, armor-piercing promethium all over the place, with predictably killy results.  To add insult to injury, he also had it poop out a marine squad to screen the damn thing from assaults.  Kid's learning.

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A lot.

Of course, dropping a tac squad into the middle of an ork army, even with Redeemer back up, posed its own problems.

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Especially with Binky in view of his favorite S10 Power Klaw target . . .

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Binky urges da boyz forward


Cub brought up a Librarian and Chaplain in support, and they did pretty solid service - he likes pyromancy, and his librarian got to unload with yet another flame template into my increasingly crispy boys.

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Starting to bleed some boyz.


I think I got lucky with a rokkit at this point.  I'd been shooting the land raider pretty consistently for several turns, and finally made the 4th hull point stick.  I sent the rest of the shoota boys over to engage the tacticals and characters, while my tankbustas went right.

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There's Devastators in them there woods.


Binky and the Librarian squared off in a challenge.

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The Wrath of Binky.

Predictably, Binky Klawed the libby to death, da boyz did for the tacticals in combat (the Chaplain dying to the Nob), and the tankbustas and the rump of the deffkoptas put a hurt on the devastators that had spent the night lurking in the woods.

It was a pretty convincing win for the orks, but in fairness, Cub never really got his feet under him.  He got his revenge back this weekend, by completely spanking me in a game of X-wing.  I'm hoping to pick up the new, "official" rules for Kill team, so we might tinker with that in a few weeks.  In the meantime, I'm continuing to plug away at the Khorne stuff for Armies on Parade in October.

FMB


Sunday, September 11, 2016

Blood for the Blood God

Hi all,

Got out to the G-Dub yesterday for a1500 point Age of Sigmar tournament.  I took my growing Khorne Bloodbound force, which I'm painting up for the Armies on Parade event in mid October.  I had myself a fun day, with a 1-1-1 record, a couple of good games, and one that was a complete blast.  I ran the following list:

Allegiance:  Chaos
Bloodmarked Warband 

                General
L1:  Khavos, Lord of Khorne on Juggernaught 
-          Crown of Conquest

The Sacred Eight

L2:  Bloodsecrator 
L3:  Bloodstoker
L4:  Slaughterpriest 
L5:  Slaughterpriest w. Hackblade and Wrath-hammer 
BL1: 8 Blood Warriors, Icon Of Blood
BL2:  8 Blood Reavers 
BL3: 16 Blood Reavers, Icon of Gore, Horn of Hate 
O1:  8 Khorne Chaos Knights, Carmine Banner, Glaives, Horn 


            O2:  Khorgoroth 

I spent a chunk of the day scrambling to keep track of the various conditional / special abilities the army brings to the table.  The Bloodbound are all about mutually reinforcing synergies, and there's a ton of "if/then" abilities to remember.  That's compounded by our use of allegiences in the tournament, which added even more (to the point that I actually overlooked a couple that might have made a difference in one game).  The bookeeping element will sort out over time, but what it translates to is an army that, if well-managed, hits like a truck, and if not, dies in piecemeal bits.

Game 1 was against a formation out of the new Beastclaw Raiders (i.e. Ogres) book.  He had a couple of Mammoth riders, and two units of Ogre cavalry - so, about as points concentrated / elite (and smashy) as you can get.  We played a scenario with two objective points, and I promptly used my larger number of deployments to refuse a flank.  I figured if I could hit him from the side, I could try to concentrate my army on a portion of his at a time, and even the odds.

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Plan was to use terrain to limit how many of his units could hit mine, while funneling the knights into a target of my choice.


In the end, the game was a bloodbath.  By the end we were down to a handful of models apiece, and when the dust settled, he'd taken 1120 points of my army, and I had 1100 of his.  Highlight of the game for me was the knight unit charging one of his mammoth guys and nuking it in a single round of combat.  The Beastclaw formation is all-around solid, and it's only real weakness is the small unit count, so it'd struggle in some multi-objective scenarios.  I imaging it's fun as monkeys to play, and at least with another smashy list like mine, was also fun to play against.

It was at this point that my camera (which I'd checked that morning, and which showed a full charge), decided to die.  Not sure if it's on it's last legs, needs a new battery, or what, but it was deeply frustrating.  All pics in this post are, thus, from the first game alone.  Despite the setback, I carried on, and played my second game against a Free Guild (i.e., Empire) force.

He brought a gun to a knife fight.  Lots of handgunners and artillery, a lord on a griffen, a Hurricanum (shooty, plus it supports shooty - kind of an uber warmachine), plus a big unit of surprisingly resilient swordsmen.

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The hole is where one of his mammoths used to be.  Knights hit like a truck.


This time, the scenario had 3 objectives, and instead of being straight control, we got victory points for every turn we controlled an objective - and the longer you had controlled it, the more points per turn you got.  I knew I'd have to close with him quickly, so again used my large number of deployments to refuse a flank, protect some units from shooting, and try to swing round and hit his shooters, rather than the protecting screen of swordsment and the griffen lord.

The plan worked fairly well.  I managed to take out the griffen over a couple turns, weathered the worst of the shooting, and held up his big mob of swordsmen with my own JuggerLord long enough to get hitty units into his shooty ones - with fairly predictable results.  The fact that I was taking the fight to him also meant I managed to seize two of the objectives early on, and ended up winning by scenario points - although he ground through a fair bit of my army in the doing.

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Of course, so do Mournfang cavalry.


Game three was against Stormcast, and was something of a learning experience.  The Stormcast (aka Sigmarines) have a character that, once per game, can teleport any of their units anywhere on the board.  A standard trick, of which I was aware, but which I'd not seen (having not bought the model for Cub, not being an idiot), is to teleport a big unit of elite beaters into the opponent's deployment zone.  In my case, this involved a unit that rival my knights for hitting power, with the added bonus of four models that automatically do d3 mortal wounds (just skip the whole hitting, wounding, and armour save thing, and go straight to damage).

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Sorry, so do Mournfang cavalry times two, and a second mammoth.


In practical terms, this meant that I lost my key force multipliers - my JuggerLord and Bloodsecrator, before my first turn, which kind of put me on my back foot.  I ended up almost being tabled, but learned a fair bit - notably, not to leave any space around my core units for these kind of shenanigans.

As it turned out, I had overlooked a couple of things that would have helped me in precisely this situation, notably command abilities (one of which can debuff enemy attacks for one turn), and a second magic item (for which I qualified due to taking a battalion warscroll), with a similar effect.  The combo would have made the teleporting unit -2 to hit on the first turn, which would have radically boosted my survival.

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Turns out though, most of my stuff is pretty resilient.  Well, not the Blood Reavers, but the rest is pretty good.


In all, I had a really fun day.  I'm enjoying the Bloodbound, who while fairly direct in how they play (take axe, apply to face), do have some depth in how units reinforce each other.  AoS at this point reminds me a little of the early days of Warmachine, where people were still figuring out the kinds of over-the-top silliness one could pull off, and were actively looking for ways to entertainingly break the game.

The impetus from the games has me back at the table, working to get the Bloodbound ready for Armies on Parade.  I also got in a game with the Cub a week back, so between getting some WiP shots and that game, I should have a post ready fairly soon.  Until then, enjoy your hobby.

FMB



Sunday, September 4, 2016

Work / In Progress

Hi all,

So, the Cub and I did get out to the G-Dub on the weekend for a game of Age of Sigmar, but being the complete muppet I am, I forgot the camera (despite having charged it and put it out in plain view, of course).  That said, pics would have been iffy anyways, since mine were mostly black primer (more on that in a minute), and the Cub's stuff is bare plastic.

We did, however, have ourselves a fun game.  We used a scenario out of the new General's Handbook, which seems to be variously interpreted across the internet as either GW's plan for Age of Sigmar since the beginning, or a desperate bid to salvage the game in face of a tidal wave of nerd rage, depending on who you read.  I suspect it's somewhere in the middle, with them anticipating the need for this somewhere down the road, but not deciding on exactly what until the game shook out a little.



The compendium is basically a resource kit for multiple styles of play.  Wanna play "throw everything on the table and bash it together"?  It's got stuff for that.  Want to play organized games with a points-balancing mechanism?  They've got stuff for that.  Want magic items?  Narrative play?  Multiple styles of campaigns?  It's in there too.  Plus a pile of scenarios, one of which we used in our game, which turns AoS from a model-bash into a proper wargame (imho).  It's also (unlike the Battletomes) pretty cheap (as are the "big book" warscroll compendiums they're releasing for the broad game factions), at around $40 Canadian, the price of a bottle of booze.

A new fave, discovered by my esteemed brother-in-law


In our game, which used one of the simplest scenarios in the book (2 objectives, control both by turn 5 to win), having something to fight over turned the game from a slugfest into something that involved a little thought.  As I've noted before, movement, model placement, and order of combat activation really matter in this version of the game.  When you're doing those things for a goal-oriented reason, it adds a whole new level of complexity to the game.  I ended up playing rather aggressively (shocking, I know), while Cub mostly played defense, and the in-game fights generally involved me trying to break units free in order to try and seize the objective on his side of the table, while he looked to tie me up, defend his side, and generally wear me down.  Both of us kept reserve forces for a reason, and made different decisions about committing them.  I ended up winning on points, as I'd destroyed more of his units, but it was kind of a jammy win, as he'd actually taken out more of my force - it was just that the damage was spread around, rather than concentrated.

The game, plus our signing up for Armies on Parade in October, has had me ploughing through the Khorne starter set.  I'm assembly lining it a little, and finished up the last of the bare skin last night, at least for the starter box stuff, other than the Khorgorath (aka big gribbly).  I picked up a Khorne Lord on Juggernaught (which is evidently one of the few things still in finecast, yikes!) and some chaos knights, and will try to get them all done in time for the deadline.  I'm doing these at what I'd think of as decent table top, and if I get through them, will likely go back and pick them out a bit more.

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I've also taken the plunge on rebasing my Brets.  To be honest, I've been a tad salty about them since AoS came out, as their fate remains undetermined, and the prospect of Squatting remains real.  I'm hoping they'll eventually get a treatment like the Dwarves and Elves have gotten, but who knows.  Vanilla humans as a whole remain mostly unaddressed in the game so far, and there's hope that a Free People's book might leave room for an AoS reinterpreted Bret force.  I figure given the general direction of the game, it'll be less King Arthur, and more pegasus-riding cosmic defenders of freedom, but fingers crossed.

In the meantime, I've picked up a pile of washers, and ordered some ovals mdf bases from Sarissa for my knights.  I like AoS, the Cub seems at least moderately enthused, and rebasing them should spur me to get in more games.

That which is dead can never die.

I also had a bunch of bases come in from minibits (my usual go-to for basing stuff), and am now restocked for both the 6mm projects (SYW / Nap Russians).  I'll likely do a unit of either when I need a break from the big boys in the next month or so.

Fall term is starting up, and work looms busier than ever.  On top of all the research stuff I've been working on, I now have classes and a pile of admin to deal with.  On the plus side, I seem to have swung back to the "painting as stress reliever" stage of my geek cycle, which means I tend to be a happier camper, and get more stuff done to post here.  I'm hoping to get a game of something in with the Cub this weekend, before he heads back to his mom's for school, and will try not to forget pictures this time.

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Dachenhausen

Hi,

Just back from most of two weeks doing field work in Cape Breton (gorgeous place, lovely people, highly recommended), and managed to finish up the basing on the Hanoverian cavalry I didn't quite manage to finish before I left.

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These are the Hanoverian dragoons, Dachenhausen, or as I keep catching myself calling them, the Dachshunds.  They seem to have been commonly brigaded with their line cousins, who have a rather nifty mint green colour scheme (and will likely be my next unit of Hanoverian horse).

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I tried something a little different with these guys, clipping the cast-on banners, and replacing them with wire and printed ones.  As with my infantry, the flags are clearly oversize / out of scale, and as with the infantry, I don't give a fig.  The Hanoverian units have some pretty interesting flags, and having them big enough to distinguish on the table is an effect I rather like.

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With this lot done, there's a few things in the queue.  I've had an itch to do some more 15mm / 18mm, there's some Skorne primed up, I'd like to knock out another unit of Brit / Hanoverian infantry, and Cub and I just signed up at the G-dub for their October "Armies on Parade" event, which I'm hoping will spur me to paint up the Khorne guys from the AoS starter box (finally).  Work is shifting from summer research frenzy into the usual routine of Fall, and with a little luck, I should be able to get into some kind of painting rhythm.

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I'm hoping to get in a game of something with the Cub this weekend, so hopefully will have some pics from that, and then back to painting.

On an unrelated note, "Big Lee", of the BLMG blog, is having a give-away to mark 2 million (well deserved) page views.  If you've not come across his blog yet, it's worth a look - he does a nice job of combining posts about minis and games with pics from his ramblings out to a wide range of historical museums.  Highly recommended.


Sunday, August 14, 2016

Turning Worm

Hi all,

Figured I should get a post in before dropping off radar for a week or two (work related).  Behold, the majesty of the Razorworm:

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It's a Skorne light warbeast, notable less for being particularly killy, and more for being a) manoeuvrable, and b) having excellent synergy with my boy Hexeris.  Hexy, in both his Primal and epic form, is able to run beasts as spell channellers (things that dramatically extend the range of his spells).  The Razorworm, in addition to it's mobility, can channel spells at double the usual range, and can see through clouds, and other line-of-sight blocking effects.  That makes it one of the most effective channelers in the game, and I'm a little puzzled why I didn't paint one up earlier.

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As it turned out, we got a chance to try him in a game.  YYZ, one of the Toronto gang, was in town visting family, and we managed to get down to Monster Comic Lounge, a FLGS, for a game.  Cub came too ;)  He and I played his Khador, and YYZ took my Skorne.  We also played our first game of MK3, as the cards we'd ordered were there waiting for us on arrival.

Being a muppet, I forgot to bring my camera, but the game was pretty fun, given that Cub and I had no idea how things worked in the new edition, and YYZ has pretty much equally unfamiliar with the force he was commanding.  The Razorworm, ironically, didn't get much of a chance to shine, as I know exactly what it can do, and Cub and I made wrecking it an early priority.   YYZ had us on the ropes at one point, with all three of his combat warbeasts getting an alpha strike, taking out one of our juggernaughts, and banging up the other, but our destroyer evened the odds when it took out his Gladiator, and the game was swinging our way when YYZ had to leave.

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While my experience is obviously limited, Mk3 seems pretty solid. As with the transition to Mk2, they've cleaned out and tightened up the rules, which have always been a strength of the game.  The tweaks they've made to points and abilities also have me reassessing my force. The Krea, for example, has gone from being a default-include defensive piece to something primarily suited to protecting against blast damage.  As something to protect high DEF, low ARM, costly troops, it'd shine, but as a general include, I dunno.

The Gladiator continues to shine, despite a mild nerf.   I'm coming to recognize how much of a lynch-pin he is, at least in the force I'm running.  As long as the gladiator is on the table, I'm in the game.  If he gets taken out, I'm in trouble.  Case in point was the game with YYZ, where he had us on the ropes until we killed his Gladiator, at which point you could physically feel the game swing out way.

Given how important he is, I'm giving serious thought to working another Gladiator, or at least another Titan, into the list.  A second gladiator would give me an excuse to pick up the new and improved Skorne starter box (all the new starter boxes, by the way, are ridiculous value for money), but as I have a Cannoneer (which look very cool in the new edition) and a Sentry (one of my favorite models in the game), I'll likely behave myself, and stick to painting what I have.

There's been some other changes too.  Venator Rievers have gained a bit of price cut, which is much appreciated.  They remain basic ranged infantry with a few bells and whistles, but I learned a long time ago to respect the power of the Combined Range Attack rule, and these guys will be staying in.  Cyclops savages remain dirt cheap, quick, melee light warbeasts, and I'd be hard pressed not to fit one in if I can.  The Rhinodon remains the red-headed stepchild of Skorne, having been slightly nerfed despite being the weakest heavy warbeast in the faction.  I love the guy though, as he IS my favorite model in the faction, and I can't seem to quit him.

Who could say no to that tummy?  Needs a good rub.


We played at 50 points, roughly equivalent to 35 at the old points level, which I have almost completely painted.  The new "competitive standard" points level seems to be 75, which gives me 30ish points to play with when planning the painting queue.  A Titan of some kind, and some more infantry are likely on the slate, with Arcuarii (elite, flexible, killy, but expensive) and Bloodrunners (fast, moderate price, ninjas) as possibilities.  I'm also thinking about painting up either eHexeris or pMorghul as a second caster.

In the meantime, my First unit of Hanoverian Horse are almost finished, and I seem to be getting back at least a bit of my painting mojo.  Life's no less busy *and I'm no less tired ;), but the big slump from last winter seems to be receding.  Matybe the sun is finally having its effect?



Thursday, August 4, 2016

Wangenstolzenburgheim

Hi all,

So, as mentioned, I finished up the first of the Hanoverian units the other day.  This bunch initially presented me with a bit of a quandary.  My experience with the Baccus6mm SYW range to date has been exclusively French, who generally come with one flag bearer per command strip, i.e., per unit.  The Brits (who also serve as Hanoverians, as the uniforms used an extremely similar cut), come with two.

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Wangenhiem R, Stolzenbur L.  The latter have black cuffs and lapels, the former white cuffs.


Upon inquiry with the sages, i.e., the internet, the general consensus was that the Brits carried both a regimental and "King's" flag.  Now, so did the French (which is why my French units have two flags, one per stand), but evidently, the French only carried double flags on the first battalion, and a single flag for the rest.  Also, while French regiments often had multiple battalions in the field, it was far more common for the Brits to have one.  All of this boiled down to an excuse to jam more flags into the unit, with the excuse that for the Brits and Hanoverians, each unit of two bases comprised (roughly) two battalions, from different regiments.  As such, I present the combined Wangenheim and Stolzenburg unit.

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Picking out those tails was a pain in mine.  Do kind of like the flags, though.


I'm reasonably pleased with how this lot turned out.  The Brit figs are a little more fiddly than the French - more detail, more bunched together. For example, there's a clearly defined buckle on the chest strap.  This is rather cool, given the scale, but also presents something of a challenge for painting - how to a) pick out the detail in a way that makes it distinguishable, but b) doesn't leave the figure looking overly busy?  No doubt, I'll improve / resolve the issue with practice.

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Cumberland's lads.


I've got some dragoons I'm working on next, and a Skorne Razorworm that just needs some varnish and flock.  They'll likely be the next few posts.  We're also waiting for the new cards for Warmahordes Mk III, which are on order at our FLGS, so hopefully will have a few AARs in the not too distant future.  Until then, enjoy what's left of the summer.

FMB

Monday, August 1, 2016

Return of the son of Warmachine

Hi all,

For several years now, I've been lugging around moderate-sized lead piles for Warmachine - Khador and Cryx specifically.  The main motivation (if pressed) was that some day, one of the kids might show an interest.  Guess what came up in conversation about a week ago, just before the Cub went to visit his mom?  Yep - he'd come across the MK. II rule book, and wanted to try a game.

Now with more "Mah".


We tried a test game yesterday, and his assessment was, "that was awesome!".  I gave him the choice of Khador and Cryx, and while I think the latter tempted him, the sheer smashy-ness of Khador seems to have won out.

For the Motherland.

His timing is perfect, as Privateer Press is just in the process of launching the third edition of the game. I'm looking into ordering the new faction cards for Khador, and my Skorne,  A basic .pdf of the new rules is available on the PP website, so we're reading up on the rules while we wait.

In the meantime, I've dug out my Skorne, and am finishing up some work on the Venators I left half-finished some time ago.  I've also pulled out some Skorne to fit into the painting queue.  I also realized, looking back, that I never posted pics of the completed Rhinodon, so here you go:

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The Rhinodon appears to be something of a forlorn hope for Skorne - I've never read or heard anyone speak well of it's utility.  It's a pity, as it's one of my favorite models.  It's evidently had a revamp in the new edition, with a new animus (the spell the creature brings for your warlock to use), and a bit of a price discount.  I love the guy, and will be keeping him.

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I am, if it hasn't come across, pretty stoked about all this.  I'm a huge Warmachine fan, but my work schedule consistently interferes with my ability to get out and play.  If the Cub is showing interest, it's not only another chance to spend time together, it's the chance to spend time together on something I really enjoy.

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Not to fear, I'm still jazzed about historicals, especially my 6mm loot bag. I finished up the first of the Hanoverians the other day, and they'll likely be the next post.  Good times!

FMB