Saturday, 3 October 2015

Gettysburg Gate

my scratch built "Gettysburg Gate" a representation of the famous cemetery gatehouse of the American Civil War battle.  General George Pickett of the CSA is shown here looking back at his destroyed division, one could assume.  (28mm Old Glory figure). 
Made of foam core and card with an old wood Monopoly playing piece as the top decoration!

Of course,  the really funny thing about all this, is that I have very few painted 28mm collection is now only 15mm.   The gate was built for a re-creation of the historical battle with a gaming group that I no longer attend. (  I guess I should sell it )

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Sheep herding

For good or bad, I have been culling my old wargame magazine collection.  While I had indexed all the articles - yeah, yeah, anal ain't it? - I thought much of the paper/contents and thus storage space is of adverts for companies and products long since gone or articles I have no interest in (few as those may be) I had magazines subscriptions that are some 40 years old!

One of the kept articles was this rather humorous one of rules for sheep herding by Derek Henderson and Rob Le Vesconte.  Inspired by the rules - quite good and simple - I just had to, had to did I, to make the required pen, paint up the sheep and dog (with his previous location marker of a gloss brown lump on the ground) and the shepherd (an ECW artilleryman with added bend wire crook)

How can one not resist the lure as suggested in the introduction:
"If you find you are the wargamer given the flank to guard and no-one attacks there, or you simply find yourself up against an opponent who takes twice as long to move his troops as you do, then this game is for you.  Simply grab yourself a shepherd figure, a flock of sheep, fours fences to make a pen, and a dog and indulge in a little rural pursuit in some quiet corner of the table"

Note: I wish I had this set up during some of those extremely boring convention mega-games in which I suffered through in the past and now which I try to avoid!

my little rural pursuit newly made

Highlight of the rules are: "Sheep drift":  "If a sheep's move is halted by an immovable object (wall, house, French Grenadiers etc) then move....."

Unfortunately in my sometimes manic ripping up of the magazines and cutting of the UK A4 paper size to the North American sizing, I failed to keep in which issue I kept this article.......

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

"Improbable Invasion Halted" Lion Rampant game

Never heard of the  Chinese invasion of the Country Essex during the mid-14th Century and their defeat at the Battle of River Baldmore in 1348?  It was because of this victory of the English longbow that you have not!

Having three full but same liveried 24 point retinues(!) ...but no other medieval forces; and Andrew with no available forces himself, we shrugged off history and he brought his Chinese (refitted after an unfortunate box dropping incident) to have another go at the Lion Rampant rules.

Both of us having the rule book in hand, we helped each other through.  The rules are simple and effective and with good friends not worried about the "half inch extra", it makes for a fun game.  Had us both talking of making new retinues (armies).

His retinue in this battle had seven units including 2 bidowers (read: small unit of skirmishers) who actually did stellar work on my larger units of expert archers.  My good rolling of 'courage' saved me from losing them.

I used one of my retinues consisting of a dismounted MAA unit (tough lads these) a unit of foot sergeants, and two units of expert archers (these hit 17% better!)

The highlight of the battle - well for me at least - was the attack of my dismounted men-at-arms (and dutifully counter-attacked by his mounted boys) but with ALL my dice gaining hits and taking off 4 of his contingent including, with Andrews incredulous roll of double ones, his General! Unfortunately for the Chinese, their battle went downhill from then.

a few pictures of the action

The key clash of the battle.  
One of the Chinese bidower units coming out of the woods to take a good shot at my archers

part of Andrew's retinue
the battle mid-game
the archers a few casualites down 

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Summertime Romans

I like the summer heat as we don't often get all that warm, with a few days exception, and certainly do not want to waste the opportunity to get outside while still doing some hobby stuff.  Usually that entails working on terrain items or prepping of the miniatures for the winter.  Think squirrel.
However, this year, once again the premier task was the dual Roman DBA armies. (see:previous post)

 With the outside in mind, I do not do my usual painting method but white primer and splash on the colours without too much concern with total neatness knowing the wash will (hopefully) cover any indiscretions.  Crouched over a folding table and chair, speed of application was the goal.  With the  time needed to complete their basing terrain included, it took me about 9 minutes per figure from "raw lead to ready-to-game"

The miniatures are mostly Old Glory Caesarian Romans with some other unknown types used for the auxiliary troops that were gained from trades.  The DBA rules armies are wonderfully small and so only a few Old Glory packs are needed -  these being found in the bargain bin at the local hobby store!

Roman Civil War!  I painted both armies at the same time.

The "General" stand for one of the armies

close up of the Old Glory models

All DBA armies consist of 12 elements. I varied the composition for these Roman armies by having one with its General mounted as cavalry. 
The one Roman army with the General as a cavalry element.  The bodies are of unknown origin with their Celtic heads chopped off to be replaced with OG Roman ones attached by 'green stuff' painted red to represent neckcloths.  I left the vexillum and indeed all the shields unmarked should some of the superb transfers available want to be employed

I say two armies and painted at the same time but how do I distinguish them?  From the photo, can you tell?
This picture shows a clearer contrast in the color of the edge of the bases.  One army in brown the other in black. Obvious if told and so useful in a head-to-head game but not so contrasting if wanting to double size the force. 

I have yet to game with this army nor indeed the previous "summertime armies" I have done.  Truth be told they may suffer the fate of several of my collections to be ever in a box -grin- 
For many fun in the sun is on a beach.  My version is painting armies and enjoying my hobby.

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Historical Battle of Eutaw Springs

I stumbled across an old magazine article describing the the Battle of Eutaw Springs in the southern campaign of the American RevolutionaryWar and thought it suitable for use with my War of 1812 collection - same muskets, not much cavalry.
The large 3rd Foot.  Some 400 strong at the start of the battle so at 16 stands, 64 figures.  In the rear the sheep and stone walls are new additions to my terrain  
With my collection as it is, I settled on a 1 stand = 25 men ratio or about 1:6.  While this taxed the collection to match certain troop types ( I am low on horse as the War of 1812 had very few in any of those battles) I still had half my whole collection still sitting in boxes but this historical deployment still had 29 units on the table!  By far this was the largest battle I have conducted with these, and as I only have 25 disorder markers, I can't go any larger!
The centre deployments by both armies with the British defending their camp.  

The battle started much as the historical battle did with the artillery trading fire and taking out each other, and Lee's units attacking the British left flank.  While historically the American militia traded shots and then awaited the Continental regulars to continue the advance, the game had the militia disordered so the Continentals moved through them only to the also heavily shot up by the stationary British line.  Now it was the Continentals turn to fallback through the militia in the centre which had not reformed and thus collapsed rapidly.
One American unit re-deploying -read "routing" - though another.  In this case my militia in civilian dress and those of Kentucky frontiersmen.  

On the American left the small militia units did not make any impression on the British flank elites under Majorbank and permanently retreated and the other units on the American left felt it prudent to  not advance with an open flank and against the large 3rd Foot regiment facing them.

On the American right flank, Lee's troops were now disordered and falling back had the militia units of Marion and Malmedy's Carolinians wary of any advances and in some confusion. The 64th Foot gaining an easy victory led a general advance of the British units against the many heavily disordered American units milling about in confusion.  At this point I ended the affair as the Americans would not be able to do anything but run.  The battle thus did not match the historical result and was an easy victory for the red coats.
The Kentucky-men representing Lee's Legion meeting the British "64th" foot holding the British left flank.
The Loyalist held firm

Obviously with small battles numbers and certainly morale are the biggest influences in the result.  In this scenario, I took most of the units morale assessing militia characteristics by rote and had militia quality to militia units and regulars to regulars but as historically the British line collapsed fairly rapidly and the American militia seemed to preform well (as did the Loyalists) so it will be important to assess them carefully.
Greene's army, while having "militia" units, these were no doubt filled with ex-veterans and the British regulars were in low-ebb so need some downgrading to re-create the outcome of the historical engagement.

Nevertheless,  it was fun to see the boys on the table.