Sunday, December 29, 2013

Napoleon at War 4000 points per side French vs Allies

Table at the Rat Palace Redux
We played a 4K per side Napoleon at War game on Saturday, December 28.  The game was fast and quite "bloody" for both sides.  The Allies (British and Austrian) faced off against French.

Here's a quick synopsis of the game rather than bloviating about this and that:
Objective: Take and hold the crossroads
Points Played: 4K per side
Game Turn Limitation: 6 game turns
Rules: Napoleon at War
Overview: Meeting engagement at crossroads at the village of Fugpee.  Both armies need the crossroads to ensure quick movement of reinforcements and supplies to fast moving armies to the south.  The French arrived at the village first; occupying several buildings and denying cover to the advancing Allied forces.  The British on the right engaged the French in a serious battle for the town; pushing the French conscript forces back upon their waiting light cavalry in the reserve area. 

On the left, the plodding Austrian general (me) moved to deny the concentrated French forces the sunken road and more open left (right if you're a Frenchman) flank.  French forces destroyed the Austrian 1st Brigade by game turn 5, leaving the remnants of the Austrian forces to move toward the now retreating British.  Austrian Kurassiers screened the retrograde movement as the Austrians left the field.  The French took the field as their heavy cavalry reserves arrived to sweep the field if needed.

The game took about 3 hours to set up, play and complete. This is why Napoleon at War is the best set of rules for 15/18mm miniatures players. The game is easy to learn but difficult to master.  A great day was had by all.
We do things a bit differently at the DFW Irregulars' Rat Palace.  We go to breakfast at 1000 and begin our game at 1200.  We play until we're either done or hungry again.  The Rat Palace Redux has an adjacent wet bar and fridge. That means no one goes thirsty.  Here's a gallery of the game and some of our 15/18mm collections played.  
We play for "big prizes" in Tejas! A chance for $48 Million!
Optimistic Austrian Commander moves forward

Austrian Kurassiers keep the infantry moving forward

Clay's Outstanding French Heavy Artillery-Painted by
John Stonecipher-a painting legend in the DFW area

Napoleon at War French Chasseurs painted by John Stonecipher

Clay's response to Scott's attack on the village of Fugpee

Steve's cunning use of Austrian Hussars to slow the French advance.
Worked for a couple of turns...LOL 
"Went down to the crossroads, tried to catch a ride".

Deep in thought, Scott ponders what the hell he is
going to do now.  Steve and Clay photobomb!

Austrian General Staff's master plan uh...didn't work out so good.

Austrians clear out a path for French Heavy Cavalry
to "mop up"

Higher level shot of the battle of Fugpee

Hung over General Miller

Scott moves the British Hussars to sweep the road. Did it work?

From the French point of view

AB Austrian Kurassiers painted when I had cataracts in both eyes.

Austrian Kurassiers

Austrian Artillery Supported by Kurassiers. THAT didn't
work either.  :)

Napoleon at War is a serious wargame for us.  Seriously fun!

Three shots a minute stems the assault of the conscripts
upon the thin red lines

Britsh lines secure the flank (for a while)

Clay's French smack down Austrian Artillery
after the Austrian general couldn't get them out of the "%*t

Classic Austrians vs Men at War French.
Note: Austrians in retreat to the right 
Austrian Kurassiers move to fill the gap in the lines

Disaster strikes as the 1st Austrian Brigade leaves the field
to the French and the smaller 2nd Brigade

French Light Cavalry and Horse Arty finally

Scott's unbased Brits. Get 'em based bucko! This
is an oogly picture!

Austrian mimic the French by forming "Order Mixte"
It didn't work out for them too well....heh heh heh

Austrians crest the small rise and "OH CRAP,
there's a lot of Frogs out there!!"

Steve's personal morale is broken. Time for a beer break!

The remnants of the Austrian forces begin to whine
like the Austrian general.

It's  French Curiassier time y'all!

Big hole in the lines. I have nothing to offer
to the Austrian forces but my best regards.

Austrian Kurassiers really want to meet French
Cuirassiers.  Really?

French bring on their light cavalry to "seal the deal"

Austrian 'dead pile' 

Game over. Definitely time for a beer!

Last stand of the 2nd Brigade.
 If you've not played Napoleon at War, you should. Contrary to the whining and pontification that abounds, the rules are easy to learn, easy to play but consistently are challenging game to game. Try'll like it!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

54mm French Artillery-All the King's Men

Just finished up a 54mm French Napoleonic Line Artillery battery set from Ken Cliffe's All the King's Men line.  The artillery sets come with 6 figures AND a Del Prado artillery model. The Del Prado model is sweetness and sold me on the set.

These figures are classic with loose arms and heads to enable the painter to semi-customize the unit.

The figures came virtually flash free with minimum mold lines to clean.  I did have to add a bit of Elmer's Glue before using a gap-filling Super Glue to clean up some gaps between the torsos and arms. That's minimal compared to some of the clean up I've had to do with other manufacturers lately (see Westphalia Rises Again post).

Anyhoo, here they are. I'm rapidly becoming a 54mm addict. It's a chore to paint smaller sized figures.  Each of these figures is a mini-project within the larger scope.  I took the photos outside in the spa room since it's a beautiful Tejas day.  The highlights turned out a little heavier than I liked in brighter lights. I painted under a fluorescent lamp. I probably should change light sources but won't for now.   Nah....I've got more to paint during the Christmas break!

Closer up shot. I need to "weather" the artillery piece.

Great figures to paint. The unit turned out quite well.
Your 54mm collection should have these artillery batteries.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Fear The Ham Eaters! Westfalia Will Rise Again!

The vaunted and much feared Westfalian Corps is beginning to take shape around the Red Oak Spa and Pool Club during the holiday season.
Westfalian Army Rations
The Corps is being constructed from Napoleon at War and New Line miniatures to be played with Napoleon at War rules.

Here is a brief review of Men at War French Westfalian "posers".  The figures themselves are not bad.  I was quite put off by the amount of flash on the figures however since they are expensive in comparison with other manufacturers' offerings.  Hopefully Men at War folks might take a look at the figures and re-do the molds. The figures were not miscast; just messy. It takes longer to clean them than it does to paint them.

I'm stuck with these guys since they're a sight larger than all 15mm and almost non-compatible with any other manufacturer. I have found that New Line Miniatures 20mm Napoleonics are the only figures that work with Men at War. Yeah, I'm whining but with the investment in this Corps nearly hitting the $300.00 mark (for unpainted stuff), I'm committed.
Eaters of Ham in l' Order Mixte

Chunky little no neck figures

Brigade Complete

Clay and Kevin were right.  They WOULD look better
if I had taken more time to paint them.  

Are you shaking in fear yet?

Four deadly ham eating battalions

Have a Happy Festivus Maximus from The Rat Palace Redux in Red Oak, Texas.