Monday, August 25, 2014

54mm Napoleonic Project Still Goin' Strong! ATKM French Infantry

Just finished some All the King's Men 54mm French Napoleonic infantry.  Great figures from Ken Cliffe.  Fun to paint. A definite challenge to get a balance to all the whites on the uniform.  Thanks Ken for yet more fun figs to paint!  Got to order more!!!
Poor Photos. Taken at night on my painting table with
my painting light as light source.

Poor Photo #2. These were fun to paint and hopefully will be
fun to play as well!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Westfalians March Out and Shoulda' Marched Back on the Shelf!

Greg Horner and I played a great Napoleon at War game on Sunday, 17 August.  Greg played my Brits. I proudly marched out my new VIII Corps.  Greg kicked my butt soundly!  Great game Greg!  I played the VIII Corps as "conscripts".  That was a lesson well learned.  Quality has a quantity all it's own. Greg brought the Brunswickers. I made a huge error and played timid. Don't know why. Usually it's pedal to the metal, get across the field and see how the dice tumble.  Greg took great advantage of my weirdness and subsequently gave the "Eaters of Ham" a British boot in the arse! 
What did I learn from this game?  Greg's damn good at Napoleon at War.  I'd better play more and see if I can catch up.  It's pretty cool to have both sides ready so folks can just pop in and play without having to deal with painting, dice, rulers, terrain and all those things that modern gamers whine about. (Rant button off now).

Here's a gallery of the definitely was fun. I need to play more Napoleon at War. I've moved somewhat to the bad habit of "game of the week". It showed in my lack of tactics in this game.  There's always next time right?
Order Mixte looks pretty...

Left Flank Brigade with Heavy Cavalry

British Right Flank Brigade

British Cavalry Arrive!

Napoleon at War British Horse Artillery

Some of my Brits

Brunswicker Arty (New Line Miniatures)

Brunswick Infantry (New Line infantry)

Heavy artillery in central position

Order Mixte...almost...LOL

Heavy and Light Cavalry Bdes.
(Napoleon at War Heavies, New Line Lights-they mix just fine!)

Carabiners and Cuirassiers prepare for their Death Ride!

Cavalry is prepared. Combined arms time...yeah right! HA

Light Cavalry order Mince

Napoleon at War Cuirassiers stop before leaving the field without
taking a casualty....wussies!

Napoleon at War Brits navigate the Crack in the World!

British column...

No one's goin' to Mass today!

Pre-Game at the Rat Palace Redux. 

Three Rat Palace Redux "guards"

Napoleon at War Scots Greys

Scots Greys slicing Ham...eaters! 

Lots of Ham Eaters!

Order Mixte is pretty...but can they fight?  Jury's still out!

The Thin Red Line bows but does not break

Westfalian Chevau Leger Lanciers
(New Line Miniatures)

Heavy guns in central position

Sunday, July 27, 2014

54mm French Cuirassiers

I just finished a unit of 54mm French Cuirassiers.  They're from All the King's Men Miniatures  Fun to paint and will look GREAT on the table!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Black Powder Pike and Shotte Last Gasp of Summer Break Game

It's back to school for me. Our break from students started May 28. It ends tomorrow, July 21. I needed this break a little more this time than others. I'm just getting older I guess and the "bounce back" is taking longer than usual.  We played a Black Powder Pike and Shotte game.  I've got two full orders of battle-infantry, artillery and cavalry. One for each side.  We did what I call a "normal sized game".  Here's a little bit of an AAR. The photos tell the story much better than I.  

Bird's eye view of the center and a bit of the right
We played 6 units of infantry in two battalias, 6 regiments of horse on the wings, 2 arty batteries per battalia.  I wanted to see how some of the cooler stuff played so I brought in F'Lorn Hopes for each side (commanded shotte), clubmen (for the Royalists), a sharpshooter, and Firelock artillery guard elements for both sides.  That pretty much sums up my ECW collection.  12 regiments of foote, 12 regiments of horse, 2 Dragoons, 8 pieces of ordnance, clubmen, and associated cool stuff like the sheep and surgeon from Warlord.

The game went south for the Parliamentary side from the beginning.  My left wing of horse decided to not show up and retreated off table in a "blunder result.  That's fitting and rather fun.  One of the things I like about this game system.  My esteemed opponent took that opportunity to gain the high ground and waited for my Commander of the Horse to quit drinking and get to work.

The left flank horse eventually passed command test to come back on table.  My opponent launched his horse and stopped my advance around Smith's Mill.

The center was a hard fought area throughout the battle with clubmen actually able to stand to pike and shotte units for a bit.  I will need to paint some updated clubmen figures. My units are old Minifigs, Hinchcliffe and Old Glory figures I scrappled together from the "gonna' paint someday box.  I'm sure modern figures are probably cooler but there's just something about a load of older figures in mass.

The right flank was a bit easier for my right flank commander.  He picked up the rules quickly. Black Powder Pike and Shotte lends itself to this due to its flat learning curve and some basic gaming concepts that go "way back" and are common to most games.  The Royalist horse and foote were pushed back by a hard charging Scott Clinton.  I'm thinking he enjoyed the game. He sure did enjoy smacking down the Royalists!

Who 'dat?

I lost my flank in error because I didn't read the rules about "hedgehog" and fought it straight up against Royalist horse instead of doubling the dice. Dumbass move of the day! I just played on and my flank crumbled quickly as the rest of the infantry battalia melted away.

The center dissolved into a slugfest with the Parliamentary forces getting the worst of melee. Some days you win.  Some days you lose.   Most days, it's just best to drink MORE Guinness!

What did we learn from this game?
  1. Bring more Stout!
  2. Expand the table from 8x6 to 12x6 
  3. Reduce the amount of crowded terrain to facilitate play.  Sure, I could have reduced the amount of toys on the table but who the hell ever does THAT? 
  4. RTFM. We spent way too much time reading the rules for little things we should have remembered. Just need to play more.
  5. Black Powder Pike and Shotte is definitely unpredictable due to its die-ness.  That's a good thing for us.  Predictable outcomes are not what we want in a game. If we wanted that, we'd be at work.
  6. Time for the campaign! Everything's in place. 
Here's a small gallery:
Warlord Ordnance

Artillery Guard Firelocks

Right Flank horse
Royalist horse smacked down the Rebel Horse


The real reason this battle was fought....

Old Glory ECW Commander I painted several years ago
Notice the center has advanced toward Rusty. What happened to the left flank?

Horse finally get to the battle

Why I don't like bases for artillery!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

28mm Napoleonic Battle at Chateau Mouton

We finally dusted off some of our 28mm Napoleonic collections today.  Had a great game! We used Clay Smith's homeconstructed rules called "Le Baton". (available on his website).  The rules are short, sweet and pretty much devoid of ancillary bs.  They follow a "step by step" system much like Died For Glory.  I like these rules because they're easy to learn, easy to play and very difficult to master.

We decided on playing French vs. Russians. Why? I guess because my Russians were in the display case and Clay didn't bring his Austrians.  That's how our group rolls.  We don't take much seriously.

The objective was the farm of Chateau Mouton.
It is the larger building on the bottom of the photo.  It was an older farm with outbuildings you can see on the top of this photo.  The French were on the attack.  The Russians on the counterattack and/or holding their position in true Russian fashion.

The French began the battle with an artillery bombardment of the Russian heavy batteries sited in the walled yard of Chateau Mouton.  This game thrives upon historical tactics. One must reduce unit efficiency and/or put gun batteries out of commission to even think of a successful assault.  Combined arms attacks are definitely encouraged as well as aggressive play.  The first phase of the battle revolved around the French assault of the Chateau. and the tough body blows given by both sides in "the farmyard".  The assault chewed through multiple French and Russian units and did not succeed until the latter stages of the game.
The Russian commander continued local counter attacks across the battlefield in an effort to stem the French advance.  The Russian flank commander succeeded in not only stopping the French but pushing their forces nearly to their initial deployment zone.  The Russians did not get to dice on their Heavy Cavalry Kurassier Brigade as their dice rolls were "run of the mill" (per Jack Young-old DFW Irregular gamer).
The right flank (from French perspective) was turned and swept by a Light Cavalry Brigade and associated Horse Artillery.  These figures are from the Limited Edition Dave Alsop box sets from Old Glory.

We ended the game as "generals" needed to depart. The Russians left the field in good order to the French.

This is just one of the many periods and collections owned by team members in our group.  If you would like be a part, drop me a line by clicking pilum40@sbcglobalnet

Here's a gallery of today's game.  You will see many manufacturers and some old friends such as Hinchcliffe, Foundry, Old Glory, Minifig and Front Rank.  You will also see some minitures painted by the late, great Peter Guilder.  This is our favorite period as a group. 28mm just rocks for scenic appeal, eye candy and pure "sex appeal".  Come join us and let's throw some dice!

French Heavy Battery in action

French Chasseurs ride through Russian Arty. The Arty did manage to get away
by rolling a 4+ on "The Heroic Action Card"

Hinchcliffe French Officer painted by either Peter Guilder
or Ed Phillips 

Dave Alsop Limited Edition French Light Cavalry Brigade 

Limited Edition Dave Alsop French Light Cavalry 2

Hard action at Chateau Mouton Grenadiers are vintage
Hinchcliffe painted by Peter Guilder or Ed Phillips

Heavy action in the farmyard

Classic Hinchcliffe French Lanciers riding to their doom up the road

French Brigade advancing on the Chateau Mouton farmyard

Russians stop the French cold at the old chapel

Second shot of French Lanciers. I really LIKE these miniatures!
Exquisitely painted and sculpted way back in the late 1970s-early 1980s

French Brigade wearing out some shoe leather 

French Artillery in action

Steve's Light Cavalry Brigade finally gets onto the table. Must
have been the Blue Moon!!!

Second definitely was the Blue Moon! My gaming
priorities are in the RIGHT place!

Clay, Justo, Rusty "into the fight"

Preston and Justo organize the French

Classic Hinchcliffe French Line Infantry-late 1970s-early 80s

pre-game 1

pre-game 2

pre game table for Battle of Chateau Mouton

My table doesn't use felt nor wedding cake hills. No doubts
where the crests of hills are or are not 

Steve's Russian Dragoon Brigade

Steve's Kurassier and "Crabs" Hussar Brigade...ok sue me...that
didn't come out right did it?

In this game, all are engaged. No waiting around for anyone
any time!

Russian Heavy Battery at Chateau Mouton

Grenadier Brigade, Light infantry, Heavy Gun
Steve's Russians

More Russians...they still keep on coming forward!

Maybe I should cut a base to make it easier to make a "square"
Nah...I'm a triangular player

Russians spread out to minimize effects of pass through fire.
You can't clump up in this game. Do it at your own peril!

Hero Russian unit smacked down the French at the windmill

Heavy action in the farmyard

Moutons! Why we fight!

Steve's Russian (I think Tsarina's) "Crabs" Hussars Old Glory figures

Russian Infantry.  Can't believe I was painting all these guys
with two cataracts.....guess they'd look better if I took more time right?

Overview of Russian initial position at Chateau Mouton