Monday, 24 October 2016

War of 1812 set up

While it is everyday that I do something wargame-ish, I do such diverse activities with all my different "projects" whether I want to, or not, few things ever get done to record.  Thus nothing new to report. Sigh.
However to fill the large table, if only for the fun of viewing, I set up a scenario version of the Battle of Long Island of the AWI.  I may not get to it, but fun to view the large number of regiments I have done --- and still more to do!!

Inside the American fortifications
The British flanking move
The 49th Foot in greatcoats they wore during the Battle of Crysler's Field in 1813.  I gave the Old Glory British infantry a "coating" of green-stuff.
The War of 1812 offers fun variations on the usual British regiment such as the West India Regiments (left) and the Swiss "deWattville" (right)

.....and the 13th Foot in white shakos from their stint in the West Indies. Did not indeed wear them long in Canada but that small detail doesn't make the 'cool!' factor.  Sister unit, the 64th in garrison at Halifax, Nova Scotia, did however, but they did not engage in combat.
Plus I have collected lots of the 'usual' line troops.  Canadian militia in the rear reinforce the advance.

Saturday, 8 October 2016

new Ashigaru

I try, I do really try, but sometimes I can't stick to just one "project".  Everything wargaming and military history is interesting to me and thus just reading a new article, seeing an old collection or happening upon a group of miniatures will set me off on a new direction.
But I am trying to stick to this "Katana Rampant" theme.  Thusly the only thing I am painting
[ among all the other stuff :-) ] are the Kingsford Japanese of the 16th C..  I really like the sculpting so it is easy to continue to concentrate upon.

Just finished the second ashigaru unit which now gives my 'Takeda Katsuyori Clan" 18 points which, if anyone else wants a game, will give me enough for a small engagement.  Ultimately planning for 30 points for each of my two (eventual) clans.
Teppo. These arquebusiers form the Takeda Katsuyoui skirmish unit.  The archers behind are part of the new ashigaru mixed-weapon unit behind
The viewer may notice that I use various sizes and shapes of the bases within each unit.  This is to prevent any "rank upon rank" formations. Rampant rules are skirmish-y in nature and in the Kurosawa films formations are not rigid so this is the look I want.  Hard to make evenly ranked units with big circles, ovals and small rounds!
I have various multiple grouping and singles so any number of casualties can always be removed.

Purchased a 4Ground Japanese cottage MDF building and now half way to completing the structure.  Interesting to do the jigsaw puzzle (grin!). Nicely done however,  Being an old wargamer and remembering when such luxuries as such pre-cut, pre-painted buildings were not around, I still have the urge to make my own out of much cheaper materials. However does the cost outweigh the poorer quality self construction modelling and painting?  In this case I think I shall continue to purchase these building if only for consistency of form if nothing else.  (it's important to me)

Thursday, 29 September 2016

Perry loveliness

While watching one of those silly rom-coms, I asked my wife, "Do you believe in love at first sight?"
Not even taking her eyes off the screen, she replied: "Has the Perry's put out a new range?"

Well, since you did mention it.....

from the Perry new Cape Wars range

Wednesday, 21 September 2016

Still got it

The annual date has arrived which leads me to the usual introspection.  Among the routines, I have a look at all my collections and see the years of painting.  The many, many hours of ....

Anyway, I used to paint eyes on certain figures whose sculpting is deserving of such detail.   These days, even with the very nice ones, washes or ignoring of such small items, is the normal with me.
However,  I rummaged into the boxes to look at my old French AWI collection of Front Rank miniatures and sought to give it a reorganization and complete it, having sat forlornly half-completed.  Most were painted many years ago and some only slightly more recently.  While close in style, I saw the difference and wanted some 'continuity' for this collection.  With this in mind, I needed to paint eyes once again to added to some of these units.

I must admit that I got the thrill of acknowledging that I have not quite lost the painting ability...and steady hand...needed.  Yeah, OK, not quite the standards of the best. Not even close.  But I am OK with the effort. Actually I am stoked that after a period of 23 years(!) I could still get that detail. A good birthday gift to myself.

The new ones are on the different bases (you can still see the white glue!).  I have yet to decide on a terrain scheme.  Probably the usual.....

French Martinique Colonial Regiment of c 1780
French 'Dillon' Regiment of the AWI period.

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

"Katana Rampant"

Here I am starting yet another collection/project/army(ies).
In my defence,  I had this one purchased a long time ago.   But it was sadly left in dark boxes until, yet again, the rules "Lion Rampant" come to the rescue to save yet another of my collections from neglect.

Kingsford Miniatures is a local wargamer who produces a very nice range of 28mm Samurai of the popular 1550-1615 period.  I did not appreciate the nice sculpting and quality casting - lack of heavy mold lines or flash - until I started painting them..... I am trying to find my old form to give them credit.  Unfortunately I am up to 3.0 Readers now.

I guess my interest in the period is due to early watchings of 'Ran' and 'Shogun'.  Originally I thought to use DBA but no one around here games with these rules, so I bought enough for both sides.  At the time "Mr. Kingsford" had me paint up some cavalry so he could photo them for his website.  When returned they sat in the box and every few months I would think to do the rest of the army, but.....

With my enthusiasm for LR, I re-examined my collection, and discovered that I had enough to do two "retinues".  Excellent!!   Not only could I form two "armies" , but my original purchasing is pleasantly perfect for the LR organization.  For example,  I bought both the ashigaru 'at ease' and 'fighting, and some 'fighting' samurai.  I can throw in a couple of the extra samurai into the ashigaru unit to bulk up the numbers and to add yet more diversity and enough for one retinue. For the other, the 'at ease' boys were a bit static - not much wrong with that with such a position of course - but rather bland for a skirmishy game.  However, LR does have the "mixed-arm" classification which allows for both missile and combat types in the same unit, which allows me to add some archers to diversify the look to a large degree and, perhaps, is even better historically in terms of tactical deployment. Thus I have two rather different but even dispositions.   And just enough poses for all.  Very convenient.  Do you get as spiritual when things come together this well?

My clan/retinue so far.  I will probably switch to white sashimono (the small flags) for the other units.
The archers let loose while the spearmen wait.
The lone archer denotes the leader - should I need him - but also gives me the option of giving these mounted samurai bow fire should I want to.  

Sunday, 4 September 2016


Will Murat ride again?  One of my tabletop figures is modelled after the famous Napoleonic commander which I created out of miscellaneous plastics and green stuff and which I am fairly proud.  However, as my wife loves to point out, he stays in a box much of the time.
 Then why the effort?  Indeed.

 I have too many interests and too many to do and already have too many miniatures to play with.  So why more?

Well, just as I finish typing these musings, she comes to me with the story of finding an old cook book, a treasure she once desired, by collecting cereal box tops!  She sighs as she states that she has never used any of the recipes and hasn't looked at it for years. It is stored along with the many others, mostly unused.  Enlightenment?  Nah. Probably totally unrelated.

My Murat at the height of his game.

The Story of it's creation at:link

Saturday, 27 August 2016

Battle of Hanau edition two

Four years in.....

For our annual Summer game, Seth kindly brought his Austrians and Bavarians to have another go at the historical battle of Hanau of 1813 during the conclusion of Napoleon’s Autumn Campaign.

 We wanted to do this one again as it was an anniversary of a sort;  the first official crack at our rules was done on the 200th year of this battle. Now that we are happy with the rules, we were curious to see if the game would be different from the first going.

We are amazed that it has only been some four years from discussing about the original idea to now Organizing the boxes to find those units required for the game, I laid all I have out on the table. Almost 2200 figures…. eep. Along with Seth and all the others who have painted and based units for these rules, we have almost all the units required to do any of the big Napoleonic affairs!

The Hanau scenario is an interesting one.  You have the French army in retreat, disorganized, strangling home with only a few viable combat units; the Guard being the most potent.  Opposing them is a large but weak Bavarian force, very poorly deployed with supporting Austrians on the wrong side of a river.  Now to be honest, the extremely poor deployment was caused by uncertainty on which road Napoleon would travel but it certainly did not help the A-B effort.  But we like doing historical battles so it is up to the players to make things happen.  As it were, Seth and his Bavarians would almost do the impossible and stop the Guard! Almost.

The following are a few pictures of the game with any notes done in the captions.

The arial view of the battlefield with the French emerging from the forest (left) and the Bavarian infantry in two lines with the Austrians on the far bank of the river.  Seth's Hanau on the table edge (right) Photo by Seth.

The boys in cornflower blue
The French left of Sebastiani's and Hansouty's horse. I went with the historical deployment with both the line and Guard formations mixed up to a large degree rather than the simpler groupings. This, of course, had an adverse effect on command and movement and so took the French much longer to make their force made.
The French Imperial Guard Infantry and Artillery of the 'centre' 
The French left of "Macdonald's " (a combined formation of many smaller French commands. All were very small and, as an indication,  most battalions were well under 100 men in strength!)
The Allied army awaits Napoleon's onslaught.

Seth's Bavarian infantry are 28mm HaT figures.  A bit smaller than others, but look good altogether on the tabletop. You can sense Seth is determined to get a good effort out of them!
The horse about to clash.
The French Grenadiers-A-Cheval on their black horses about to ride down Austrian jaegers as the Austrian horse move to support.  Photo by Seth - as you can tell as it is from HIS side of the table......

The Guard was largely immobile in the early phases of this battle. The need for artillery fire and later poor command rolls. I am a bad General when it comes to dice rolls!
Seth did a good job whittling away at McDonald's French (top) who must maneuver slowly out of the woods
To represent the large line of stragglers and such which constituted much of the French army, we placed down some miscellaneous wagons which could be "captured' which would give the Allies some victory points and which the French needed to protect. As it were the French finally punched through and away to France but the Allies effort was better than the original battle.

Wednesday, 17 August 2016

Tersey Campaign - Battle of Manor Field

during the English Civil War a very small campaign raged in a corner of the shattered country:

“He willst doth return and here we shall make our stand.  Emplace the artillery and ready the troops!”  On this Lord Brooke would decide the fate of the shire

the 'large' gun

The small cannon which Rockforth brought along fired to “open the dance” (remarkably I rolled a successful activation for both this piece and the heavy gun of Lord Brooke’s during the same turn)
Rockforth's army in array
Lord Brooke's infantry stand in Manor Field 
Rockforth had placed dragoons between Urry’s and Hasting’s horse to enable these units to receive the enemy horse charges with the dragoons carbines and their own pistols to break up the attacks, but - having set up the battle lines a few days before - forgot the plan, and immediately sent them on a headlong charge against Wingate’s Horse and Brooke’s shotte unit
Wingate's Horse. Note the extra figure in the unit (the cornet) For 1 point, he increases the unit size thus it's ability to sustain more casualties.The small marker is fallen pistol holder which represents the one-shot pistols available. These offer a one dice addition to the attack rolls.

Curry's horse crash into Wingate's troopers in the first attack of the battle
The result was Brooke’s purple clad musketeers were forces literally with their backs to the fence but making the appropriate tests, held for a long time until they succumbed to Hastings’ cuirassiers.

shows the western part of battlefield early in the engagement.  I did not follow the 3" space rule obviously. While I had a bigger area set up. the battle area itself was only 4' by 3' with 28mm.
Meanwhile initially defeated, Wingate’s troopers on the far left wing of Brooke’s army came back to defeat Urry’s experienced horsemen but these were countered by Hastings men

In the centre, all the pike units had formed pike hedges (schiltrons) and awaited developments as unwilling to attack at the poorer odds.

Under constant barrage - yes, only two shots but these rules are bloody - Hampden's shotte had enough and fled.  This second shot was an activation “freebee” I had rolled for all those units I wanted activated and so could afford to loose Brooke’s turn should the roll fail.  And it is probable that it might, as it is 9+ (on 2d6).  Now of course I roll double 1’s.  Does that mean they over charged it, or some such problem and it blows up?  I rolled again and rolled a 9 which is their activation number so I guess not…..

After forcing away Wingate’s horse, Hasting’s cuirassiers turned to the new threat of Blare’s horse which had charged diagonally across the field of battle
Blare's horse starting the battle behind Ballards' shotte unit (seen on the right after moving up) now start a diagonal charge across the field.
Robart’s shotte unit faced only some musket fire and promptly failed its courage and two subsequent rally test to retire off the field.  Rockforth’s army is disintegrating despite having the points advantage 42 to 36.

Robart’s pike, now alone on this part of the battlefield, rather to be shot by musket or cannon, decides on attack to force Ballard’s shotte away.  While winning the combat, Ballard’s musketeers courage held and sensing the inevitable outcome, followed it shotte unit and fled - kinda a rationalization on it’s roll of 3 on the courage test, eh?  
WRobart's pike last gasp at victory but Ballard's musketeers do not collapse.  Painted 26+ years ago. while my painting style has changed, these Foundry's, while a little "stumpy" still look good. Perry sculpts.
And speaking of rationalization, the last of Rockforth’s units - poor Hampden’s pike, rolled but a ‘2’ for its activation and with that I decided it would surrender standing in the middle of the bloody Manor Field.

The battle remarkably concluded the Tersey campaign of 1642 as Rockforth was found dead near the battle with a bullet wound.

Thursday, 28 July 2016

Calway's return...a Tersey campaign game

... another battle in the fictional Tersey Campaign set during the English Civil War c. 1642

Lord Brooke had taken the news of the defeat and certainly the demise of his regiment poorly.  A   rich and influential man, one of some education of the martial ways (at least by book) he would redeem this slight and, perhaps, gain political advancement at the same time. It was thus that he took the partial trained town militia of Somerborough, provided them with his unique purple tunics, give them instruction himself (by reading an instruction manual) and formed them, and Ballard’s regiment together with Wingate’s Horse and a ‘forlorn hope’ (lead by a dynamic young officer as it turns out) and marched toward his glory.

Utterly defeating Calway’s army and indeed capturing the Lord, and now having entered into rather prolonged negotiations for his release/ransom, Rockforth was surprised by this force marching toward him….

Rockforth had kept the unfortunate Calway in Cross Manor where he was gathering his army for the renewed fight.  This included a large gun, Urry’s Horse, Hastings Cuirassiers and some dragoons.

A lone and quite comely milk maiden leading her cow, attracted Rockforth’s attention. She had recently passed by the advancing enemy army and while fending off Rockforth’s unwanted advances, gave him warning.  A popular ballad of the era had the line:

And the Earl begat the maiden whom told him thus ~ I whilst not get the hard thrust …butst thou.

Lord Brooke's army: Wingate's horse (top), Ballard's shot and pike (left) and
Brooke's Own on the hill (right).
The Earl, dumfounded by this statement and the attack [[obviously as he missed his first four initiative rolls !! ]  finally had the gunners ready to fire doing some damage to Brooke’s shotte unit. But the leading ‘Forlorn Hope’ skirmishers had managed to make the stone enclosure of the Manor and give excellent fire and virtually eliminating the artillery crew.The remainder failed their courage.
The Forlorn Hope behind the stone wall about to put fire upon the artillery crew. Note Calway's coach still parked in front of the manor.  The milk maid still in conversation with the befuddled Rockforth; while Hastings cuirassiers do nothing due to failed initiative rolls.

 At this point, the white handkerchief and screams of Calway were noticed and the unit rescued Calway.  (bonus effort as having rolled a initiative of 12!)

Rockforth had now had his prisoner being carted away on one hand and a wall of pike approaching him with shot in support on the other.  His other flank held by the dragoons had now collapsed as the shot from Ballard’s unit had done great harm despite them protected by a stone wall (the dragoons’s armor rating goes up by one ) Yet he hesitates [ My initiative rolls for the Rockforth side were really poor this game —- it was not their day ]

Finally both Urry’s cavalry and Hasting’s armored troopers moved to action.  Hastings had moved to threaten Brooke’s shotte who, wisely moved out of the way to allow Wingate’s charge. Hastings, using the doctrine of the continental horse, choose to stand and fire his pistols at the on coming cavalry.  While it created a empty saddle and gave them the victory, both sides became battered.
Wingate's and Hasting's horsemen clash while Brooke's shotte purdently get out of the way.

It is at this point of the battle that Brooke made a poor decision to advance his pike block.  However by doing so, the poorly trained pikemen could not form a “pike-hedge” ( LR = schiltron )
an abandoned carbine marks the unit as 'battered'
Now active Urry’s horse charged into Ballard’s grey clad pikemen with purpose ( and good dice! ) leaving many grey clad laying in the field.  However this was to really no purpose as the rest of their army was gone and the numerous shotte of the enemy would eventually blast them away.

Saturday, 16 July 2016

Crecy ...LR style

The following blog post contains images of unpainted miniatures on the tabletop which sensitive wargamers may find offensive.  Viewer discretion is advised.

The historic Battle of Crecy with Lion Rampant

My current medieval collection is based on the English of the mid-14th Century.  Thusly I am thinking that I should do the French to oppose my rather large contingent of mostly longbow and to do so with a group of early version of GW “Bretonnian” mounted knights that I have at the ready.  But how would games play with only these MAA types - not withstanding the rule that only half your contingent can be of one troop type?   As one of the famous battles of the era , The Battle of Crecy in northern France comes to mind, as it is well documented as any of the period and is noted for its wild charges by masses of mounted knights.

I set up this battle for Lion Rampant, my current rules-de-jour.   I was going to bore myself with a turn by turn account to document the affair the effect of the rules to the historical account.  However in the herky-jerky motion that is Lion Rampant’s initiative play and my failure to make most of those due to my poor die rolling I decided just to give an overall of account. [ed note: I had 3 turns of both sides missing their initiative rolls which, in LR, means nothing happens. Lots of my 1s rolled. Yes, three turns of the boys just staring at each other... On the other hand the turns are quick to do -grin- ]

So if the short version is wanted:
The French mounted knights finally charged but were repelled and were slaughtered by the bowman. The famous Genoese crossbowmen gave poor account of themselves per history.  The new weapon of the cannon (apparently making its debut on the battlefield at this time)  fired twice (!) and the pits (anti-horse defence) was rather effective and the men-at-arms did their job. And yes, the arrow-storms were lethal.
In general the game account went quite well according to historical play with the French beaten off with over 3x the casualties sustained by the English.

While I still do not understand the strict gap requirement (and it certainly does not make for good photographic shots)  but in keeping with the rules the deployments for the English units were a minimum of 3 inches away from each other. The French will have two moves to meet the English line ( 20 inches ) and with the width equal to that of the English line could also have three units of mounted knight across and a reserve unit having the king one move to the rear.  This is unlike the actual battle which had three successive lines of knights however with the initiative rolls as they are in LR, this would allow at least some degree of charging and perhaps not allow the concentration of bow fire upon only one unit at a time.
The English 'line' of 2 archer units with the dismounted MAA in the centre.  Cannon holding right flank along the River Maye.  A mere 3 inches looks much larger when viewing a photo does it not? 

Oh, yeah, the Genoese crossbow were allocated a position in the front, per history, but I modified their stats to reflect their actions during that day in 1346:

Attack : ---      Attack Value : ---
Move : 6+ Defence Value: 5+
Shoot : 7+ Shoot Value/ Range : 4+ / 12”
Courage 6 Max move: 6”
Armour: 2 Special: no attacks allowed

The crossbowmen were without their shielding pavises (in the luggage) and already aware of the effect of the longbow from previous engagements during the campaign and with their
weapons affected by the rainstorms, they were reluctant to force the issue.  Thus the low courage, armour and shoot effects with no attacks allowed.
In keeping with the original rules and its mandates, I gave each side only 24 points (rather a small version of the battle!) but did allow the addition of two units of the crossbow and as they are certainly downgraded…and historically run over!….they were at 3 points apiece providing the historically more numerical French an additional 6 points.

Keeping with the historical affair, I had the English with two weird types of ‘units’.  The cannon which might have been first used in a major battle at Crecy; and the use of pits dug by the archers in front of their positions.  For rules the pits had an attack value of 6 (12 dice) with the hits added to any which the archers could add in combat.  This reflects the disruptive factor they effect.  One might just make it 6 dice for hits.  This minimizes the effect a bit more but continue to add any hits thus made onto the total from the archers in combat.
French knights fall prey to the pits in front of the archers and the arrows. In the background, the two remaining knights of the right group try to gain the courage for another charge at the English MAA. They will, unfortunately be shot down by arrows fired by the archers to their right. The banner bearer to indicate the unit is made of 'expert' archers to represent the skilled longbowmen.

The other interesting weapon was the cannon.  I copied other wargamer’s thoughts on the matter allowing an automatic fire of the cannon but requiring a 10+ to have loaded (and thus fire again).  Attack value is 6 and the range is limitless.  The special rule is “Boom” which has the target unit test for courage regardless of hits.
The effect of the cannon during the game was to take out one knight but it's unit passed the courage.  After all the English units had passed initiative during a turn later in the game, I could again roll for loading initiative ( no turn to ‘lose’ at it were) and indeed rolled a 10.  So it could fire again. (no effect this time)  However this rule does a wonderful job at simulating in fun way, the slow firing and perhaps little effect of this weapon.
The six figure crew of the cannon. The stand of spears I made so that it may be assumed by any opponent that they do have arms and may indeed for for the gun if charged! (I hope....)

Now, do I use these unhistorical Bretonnian leviathans?  Big horses, big men, big silly helmet crests.  And with the want to only have mounted knights in my retinue and now the knowledge that in a set piece battle they well might lose each time, do I paint them?  Hmm.

Nevertheless the Battle of Crecy was a successful try and went quick. Very much a ‘bathtubbing’ affair.
Dice to match my livery colours! Together with 'battered' markers