Thursday, 30 January 2014

Burgundian fantasy...

Scary how time kinda just moves along.

Looking through my boxes, I again came across my "Burgundian" army but this time I stopped and took the time to pull it out for a "review".   I have never played with this army,  sigh,  but do remember painting it over the Christmas holidays back in...umm... that would be at the new rental apartment, so 1994.  WHAT?! That is nigh 20 years ago!

Toys-R-Us, of all places, was having a massive sell-off of the Hasbro 'BattleMasters' game, which had good vs evil fantasy with these 28mm pieces (GW size) which could be placed on large slotta bases on a thin plastic sheet, hexed and printed with landscape and roads. I was told the figures were designed by the Perrys under contract.  Don't know if that is true but they are nice, a little 'stocky' by todays standards however they were designed for kids but still very compatible for today's 28mm scale.

The fantasy elements were sold off or traded, and while not entirely historical, the 'good' side is a blend of late medieval and renaissance which I made into a "Burgundian" force and based for Armati using 12cm wide stands for the heavy infantry and cavalry.

The paint job is a very simple base and heavy highlight technique over which is heavily glossed for that very 'old school' look.  But sometimes simple is good and the army glows on the tabletop.

The original game was slotta based.  I removed the slots and used super glue to mount these plastic figures onto wood hardboard bases giving each baseWoodland Scenics flocking (a bit more green than the photos would suggest).  I have been tempted to remove and rebase but nothing or new rules has come along to excite me enough to do that.  It would be simple enough as soaking the wood bases in water would loosen the hold and I would think the figures would come
                                                                   off quite easily.
All the army is plastic and so very transportable. Only the large cannon is metal and as you can see very compatible.
                                                8 cavalry elements, 8 heavy infantry, 4 bow elements, 5 cannon, and 2 Generals make up this force

But like I have mentioned they have been sitting around for years without use.  Other than the emotional side - that wargamer thing - it might be time to trade it or sell it.

Monday, 27 January 2014

American militia commanders

I finally got around to paint Knuckleduster mounted officers I will use as militia commanders for my ever growing War of 1812 collection.
I particularly like this pose.  It suggests the officer is saying something like: "Oh, this is going to be a long day...."

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

More pics of the game

Close up of a new building complex made from Pireme Publishing's "La Haie Sainte" card building set which I cut down to make a smaller footprint to keep more in scale with the element size.
A view from the Austrian/Bavarian left rear.  Their left wing as you can see from this photo, is refused knowing the Prussians would be attacking off-table from the flank, but they eventually advanced only then to have the Prussians come on the table behind them. Very similar situation to the actual 1866 battle! [albeit on their other flank]
Ziethen's Corps which had to do the initial attacks until Pirch's reserve corps arrived on the battlefield.
Whole limber teams would be out of scale with our game, so we use wagon wheel markers to denote

in Seth's Austrian army- from top to bottom - Old Glory, Victrix, Perry - all playing well together
Love the angle as it makes only 10 figures look to have more mass.
the '200 foot high General' view
the Prussian Landwehr (militia) make up almost half their army!
Part of Seth's "white avalanche" of Austrians
Showing the different element sizing--all done, not scientifically but rather but good looks alone!  However the 120mm frontage of the infantry and cavalry does align with some other major rule sets suggested basing sizing.

Monday, 20 January 2014

Fictional battle of "Konigsgratz" 1816

 Fictional battle of "Konigsgratz"of 1816 (not 1866 mind you)

The year is 1816. With Napoleon finally gone, the Allies could not settle their affairs and so Austria and Prussia marched against each other.  Near the small village of Konigsgratz, the two armies clashed for the first time.
The initial deployments with Prussians to the left

I traveled across the border and made the trip to Seattle to the 'Drumbeat' day-long meet to introduce my newly painted Prussians in this scenario against Seth's Austrians. There is an old wargaming axiom that newly painted units quite often perform poorly their first game on the table.  Would a whole army do the same?

As we set up the game, it became apparent that the room had more games than needed players, and thus only four guys were available for the game. For the game we were envisioning, not that many. However we plowed on.
the Austro-Bavarian commanders

I am of mixed mind about the game, event and results of the game and so will not make comment one way or the other.   While one of the players had issues with the rules but as I think he plays only one other set of rules too much - one could say exclusively - as to cloud any perspective, the other players seemed to understand the concept and play within it.  Poor "Thielemann" commanding the Prussian left flank against half the Austro-Bavarian army doubted my compliments, demonstrating that he had lost half his command and the remainder was weak. "Yes", I said,"but by doing so you have kept the Austrian reserves on this side of the table and are allowing the Prussians on the other wing to dominate."  [ or will have, had we not packed in early to make the table available ]
My newly made paper buildings with Austrian defenders

But this is my point of this style of war game, it is not the tactics, but the troop management and use of reserves.  Too bad the game was so short as not to allow this to become apparent. 

Pirch coming in from reserve aims his troops to the town
 Prussian Landwehr

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Bulow's Corps

Finally finished the big push to get the other half of my Prussian army completed.  It was 'over-the-holidays' project that, because of the flu, and well, the holidays, I could not complete.  Actually I intended only to have enough to replay the Battle of Ligny, but as I was completing ALL the Landwehr (more anon) I went on and did the additional 4 elements of Bulow's Corps (which did not participate at Ligny) to do the whole lot.

In all I have done 160 Landwehr and then the 40 regulars of Bulow's, in addition to all the command figures for the army.  The Landwehr are plastic Warlord which have a metal command of three with 9 sprues of 3 figures.  For good or bad, the plastic figures have nothing to glue and are complete. Thus not much variation.  Doing my usual "do-it-like-HenryFord" production technique and work in mass, I arranged the Landwehr in the three groups, each of about 45 in the same pose. Yes, a bit boring but much quicker.  The more diverse command which included their pack of casualties which I bent to be more upright some of which became flag-bearers, I did as the final group.

The same pose Landwehr I completed mostly in the same color scheme but perhaps a third I did variation such as a different colored grey roll or canteen cover.  Just enough to fool the eye to suggest greater variety for the poorly equipped militia.

  Once all basically painted, I distributed the poses for each unit/element.  That done, I could then paint the individual unit distinctions as the Landwehr had a different color of collar, cap band and sometimes the cuff for each province. The seniority was indicated by the shoulder strap. 

Bulow's Corps.  One of the four corps of the Waterloo campaign. This was the last of the four which I have painted in the last six months or so.
Bulow's corps of about 31,000 did not participate in the 100 Days Campaign's earlier battles and so went into Waterloo/laBelleAlliance relatively fresh.  With the ratios I am employing,the two elements on the left - the 10th IR with the red flag and the 1st Neumark - make up Hake's Brigade (a Prussian Division), with Ryssel's, Losthin's, and Hiller's Brigades (l-r)  the infantry portion of the corps.  The 6th Hussars and 2nd Pom. Ldw cavalry make up Pz.Wilhelm's command and the artillery finish off the corps.  The internal organization is available for campaign purposes should a player wish to detach troops but for the usual game, all 14 elements will be commanded by one player. 

Some of the different units of Bulow's Corps:

1st Neumark Landwehr
10th IR
4th Silesian Landwehr (the flag bearer having a slightly odd pose as I made him more upright than his being shot would suggest!)
3rd Silesian  (a rather more gruesome element as I put together all the obvious casualty figures including a dying Old Glory mounted officer on a wounded horse and a metal figure which was broken at the ankle)
The 18th IR (pretty in pink!)

1st Silesian ( the flag is from the Warlord box )
the 15th IR
While the Perry's have a large and very nice selection of French Generals and Marshals, and a great Russian command pack, and the required British/Allies commanders, they have only produced one (!) pack of Prussian Generals!

The local game store had another of its big sales awhile back and I found on sale a pack of Old Glory Prussian officers and another of Generals. But I debated. OG horses are basically horrible.  And the sculpts are, at times, questionable.  However, I bit the bullet knowing I had some spare horses which I could use.

The results are:
Bulow's command stand.  It seems he is ignoring the messenger with orders.  He and Gneisenau (the Prussian Chief-of-Staff)  did not like each other and this contributed to Bulow being late for the Battle of Ligny.
Bluecher.   I had to have some separation between him and the other figure on the base as this Perry figure is larger than the OG even on a Front Rank horse. I had a French flag which was ruined but which I kept for some strange reason (not strange - I keep everything!) and so could lay trampled in the dirt. Bluecher is content with that sight smoking on his famous pipe.  "I will shoot any man with pity in his eye"

Pirch   The other two figures in the Perry pack.
My Ziethen.  Old Glory with Front Rank horses.  Is he is wondering where to put the last of his reserves into the battle at Ligny?
my Thielemann.  Again, Old Glory with Front Rank horses.
Whew.  Finally finished the Prussians.  It was not, as I feared, an endless sea of dark blue and black.  While not flashy, which I like, they were good to paint.

Of course, now I have the Allied army to paint.  Oh gawd, not more British red and lace to do......!