Welcome to "Adventures in Lead", a blog dedicated to the hobby of miniature wargaming. The figures and terrain on this site are mainly for a campaign set in exotic "Indostan", a distant land bearing remarkable similarities to 18th century India during the Seven Years War. Bits and pieces from other projects may pop up here as well from time to time, including colonials, gladiators, pirates, dinosaur-hunting and even some RPG'ing.
The actual campaign journal and after action reports for the Indostan campaign can be found on their own blog - "Indostan: The Jewel in the Crown", the link to which is found by clicking the small image below-left.
If you do find anything remotely interesting on this blog please leave a comment, it's what keeps these sites going and their authors motivated - Thanks for looking.

Sunday, July 3, 2022

Building a 28mm Gladiator Arena (part II) and Shire Con

 So in a mad rush I did manage to finish the arena build in time for Shire Con. There is still a lot to do including filling the bleachers and editor's box with spectators and hanging some banners and laurels etc, but it is at a stage where you can comfortably play a match on it. Not bad for a week and a half's work.

The doors arrived with only 2 days to go, cut by a friend on his laser printer, and it took me some time to figure out how I could make them function. In the end I simply glued a kebab stick at the hinge end of the door at then anchored the stick between the floor of the editor's box and the arena sand, without gluing of course.

 The rest of the build went really smoothly after the doors. I affixed all the railings and posts in place and after a lick of paint to the arena proper, started planning the portico of the editor's box. The pantile roof construction was done using plastic fridge liner, that I have already detailed here.


Shire Con was pretty small compared to MOAB and appeared mostly to be a large Warhammer tournament. There were little to no traders and the Bring & Buy was a bit ordinary. Regardless I had a very successful day playing Blood on the Sands and had the help of Victor who has been play testing the rules consistently since I brought them out of deep freeze.
We played a total of about 8 games and had 4 players, including myself and Victor. Two of the players, Martin and Craig, had never played before but both picked the concepts up very easily and by the end of the day were a couple of pros. Both Craig and Victor won all of their matches. We also had a punter, Andrew, who came along and watched us for twenty minutes or so and was interested in playing a match. Again, it only took him a round or two before he was in full swing, developing tactics and spending dice like Maximus Decimus Meridius. 

All in all it was a really great day. I received a lot of positive feedback and some good suggestions about Blood on the Sands. Mostly it has reinforced that the game is simple to learn, albeit with some deep levels of strategy.

Victor demoing to Martin and Andrew.

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Building a 28mm Gladiator Arena (part I) for Blood on the Sands

 There is a small local gaming convention being run on the 2nd July called Shire Con, an adhoc mini MOAB of sorts, put on to compensate the fact that the last two MOABs have been cancelled due to COVID.It will be mostly Warhammer competitions no doubt but the opportunity presented itself for me run a participation game - so I thought it would be a good time to let Blood on the Sands into the wild again.Victor, one of the very active and invaluable play testers will be helping me out.

So for just under a week I have been attempting to get a proper gladiator amphitheater ready for Shire Con, something fit enough to display BotS on. There is nothing wrong with playing on a simple hex-grid, this is how BotS was designed to be played, but if you want to put on a spectacle it has to look the part. The arena would represent a small provincial amphitheater, something very far removed from the Colosseum. 

I have spoken about this before but enclosing an arena you intend on playing a game in is a very BAD idea. You quickly grow tired of reaching over the walls and down to the arena sands, especially playing a dynamic game like BotS where there is a lot of moving around. Thus, I opted for an open half-arena, for playability. I'm waiting on a pair of mdf doors and I have accepted the fact that the spectators I have had 3D printed by a mate will not be here in time. Still it would be nice to be able to play on this on Saturday regardless. The image below is where the build stands with 3 days until the con. Wish me luck...

I'll show some images of the process that got me here. Firstly transcribing a grid to the foam board. Not as tedious as it would seem and then lightly adding sand, grit and grout powder.

A good solid base for the arena walls and bleachers out of proper blue XPS foam. The green stuff is the horrid crap that our local hardware chain, Bunnings, is passing off as XPS. The Editor's box is made of foamcore and will house the doors.

The bleachers are made out of white packing foam as they will not be played on and will likely be covered in as many spectators as I can manage. Stairs were cut into the bleachers to make the arena as realistic as possible. The arena wall itself was covered in thick card not only to help hide all the sins but to give a nice smooth finish.

The walls of the arena will be edged with wooden railings, kindly laser cut by a friend from mdf. The cut-off ends of the arena have been finished as if to show the interior structure of the arena and in the Editor's box I used a modelling clay with a texture roller to make a stone patterned floor.

Sunday, June 5, 2022

Babel Expanded and Second Game of Ruthless

Six of us got together for a second game of Ruthless, riding off the success of our smaller first game.

To accommodate six players I had to increase the table size from 4' by 3', to a 6' by 3', which also meant adding quite a few more buildings.

The six factions were: Lawmen, Bounty Hunters, Pinkertons, the Durham Gang, Duke's Gang and Banditos. These were then roughly divided into sides, the "Good" guys (Lawmen, Bounty Hunters and Pinkertons) and the "Bad" guys (Durham Gang, Duke's Gang and Banditos). Alliances were pretty loose, especially amongst the "Bad" guys.

Each faction had their own goals and ways to achieve victory. The basic premise of the story is that the two outlaw gangs are robbing Babel's bank. They have a loose agreement concerning sharing the loot. The Pinkertons have arrived on a stagecoach in town to escort some passengers and their wealth, along with collecting some more cash from the bank. The Banditos know that the Pinkertons are carrying a small fortune on the coach and plan to rob them. Meanwhile, the Bounty Hunters have descended on Babel knowing there is a smorgasbord of bounties to be collected and the Lawmen are of course trying to prevent all of this chaos.

The game was fast and furious with a lot of blood being shed. The Durham Gang and the Banditos took the brunt of the early game casualties, allowing the Lawmen, Bounty Hunters and the Pinkertons to descend on Main Street and the Bank. The Durham Gang (played by me) were brutally gunned down (mainly by VERY unlucky dice rolling) while simultaneously trying to rescue the youngest Durham from the Jail and bravely (stupidly?) making escape out the front door of the Bank. The Mexicans faced a similar fate when two of them started shooting at the Pinkertons guarding the coach. With assistance from the Bounty Hunters the attempt was quickly thwarted and the Banditos hunted down.

This left the Lawmen to freely pursue Duke's Gang, who with hostages in tow and a good haul of loot were heading for their horses. Duke's Gang escaped out a Bank window and then into other buildings to avoid the hell, that was Main Street. A climatic battle took place in the graveyard which thwarted the gang's escape but also cost the Marshall his life.

Some of the highlights (more like lowlights) were; a mounted Bandito running down the Bounty Hunter boss; the Marshall taking on Duke's Gang in fisticuffs (because he couldn't shoot at them until shot at); a Bounty Hunter taking a hostage just before he was shot at and the poor hostage was killed instead; the deadly accuracy of the Pinkertons; the Durhams turning on Duke's Gang over loot; and last but not least the Bounty Hunters trying to claim the Durham as a bounty while he was already locked up in jail.

In the end the Pinkertons and Bounty Hunters came tied 1st Place and each of the other factions achieved only a single victory point each. A great game with a great group of guys. Can't wait to do it again.

Here are some random pictures of the game:



These are some of the cards that I made, including the faction "mission cards", character sheets and Bounty cards.

Sunday, May 1, 2022

First Game in "Babel" playing Ruthless

Our group has been trying to arrange a war gaming weekend since just before the first Covid lockdown (March 2020), but since then just about everything has stood in our way and prevented us from achieving it.  Finally, yesterday the stars aligned and a good friend who used to live locally drove down for the weekend. Even though there were only three of us, instead of the intended four, and the heavens threatened to open up on us, we finally managed to play a game!  

This was the inaugural game for my wild west town of Babel. A table I have been working on for the last two years. It was intended for a 6'x4' and a lot more buildings didn't get to the table because we ended up opting for a 4'x3'. Most of the buildings are Sarissa Precision but there are a couple from Warbases sprinkled throughout.

My intention was to play test the new Too Fat Lardies game, What a Cowboy!, but for our first big game in well over two years the group opted to go with the original plan and use Ruthless, a free set of rules from Mark Fastoso. Besides I had already prepared a home made scenario that I had put a bit of effort into. Ruthless was streamlined enough and played very well. It required a bit of house ruling and we had a few issues with the timing of playing some of the special cards but apart from that it achieved what it claimed to be "The Fastest Rules in the West". In saying that the body count although was much less than we had expected and we had quite a few cowboys harboring a whole array of wounds having been literally shot to pieces.

All in all we had an excellent time and it was just so good to roll some dice again with good friends. The scenario involved the lawmen getting a captured outlaw to the Sheriff's office to face a proper trial. The outlaw's older brothers showed up and had to try and get him back. While this played out a low down gang of banditos who had been driven out of Babel a few days before decided it was time for their revenge and tore into Babel guns a blazing, not caring who they shot at. It turned out to be a pretty intense game and fairly well balanced. There was a fourth bounty hunter faction that did not get used. In the end the lawmen did get the outlaw to the Sheriff's office, winning the game, but for some time it looked like the outlaws were about to make the rescue, until they failed their Skedaddle test and called it a day. The Mexicans, played by me, generally caused havoc to both sides, not caring who they targeted. We have promised to get back to Babel again soon.