Sunday, 14 August 2016

Road Trip

Martin and I traveled to the big city from our wooded hideaway homes to participate in a club game put on by a new club. The club is run by two brothers who are prolific collectors and painters. They always collect opposing forces and always sit opposite each other at the gaming table. We had seven players in total and 2 new players.

The Scenario was home made and a 'what if". Prussia had joined the 1809 campaign and sent 2 Corp to join the Austrians in Italy. The map was taken from the Napoleons Battles Scenario book for Marengo. Instead of fighting along the length of the table we set up along the length and battled for the middle. There were no specific objectives beyond break the enemy and send them running.

The rule set was Napoleon's Battles. As I had arrived late, I was assigned the Allied right flank and given flank and attack orders.

2 pictures of my deployment

I had good troops including a division of Heavy Cavalry and another of Grenadiers. I also had the advantage in Cavalry quantity. On the other hand my Italian opponent had a similar number of troops and had set up a grand battery in front of his position.

I had 2 Corp and assigned the first to pin the Italians frontally and assigned the second to work around the open flank of the enemy position.

Note the open flank in the foreground

Also visible in the photo is the Italian grand battery deployed in front of his position of 2 batteries of 12 pounders and 4 of 6 pounders.

Also visible in the photo are the two large wooded areas in my deployment area.

In the end I was able to advance up to the Italian position without overwhelming losses and start to cause problems. The Italians committed 2 Divisions to protect his flank forming at a right angle to his front line.

Having read many accounts of Napoleon's tactic of forcing his opponent into just such a position and then attacking the hinge of the "L", I decided to give it a try. I had pretty good success but in the end did not have the reinforcement's needed to exploit my success. So on my flank it came to a bit of a draw.

At this point I received a courier advising me to withdraw. The French had crushed the Prussian Centre right and broken through.

Big Table, Many Figures

French force set up in the centre

Napoleon's Battles is and excellent rule set but this battle may have been a little large to manage with the number of players. Also, it took about 7-8 hours to reach a conclusion.

I met a couple of new gentlemen gamers and was able to familiarize them with the rules. Looking forward to the next club date with rumors of a WW2 game.

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

For God and King

I have come to some conclusions about my next project. After pondering various rules options, I have selected Victory Without Quarter (VWQ) as the rules for which to rebase my ECW collection. The new bases will also work  for the new Impetus based rules for the period, Baroque. The math works out to 10 pike and shotte units, 8 cavalry, 4 guns and 2 dragoon/commanded shot units. That makes 24 elements. This is enough for two sides to have a medium sized battle. I have played the rules a couple of times in the past. They are good fun but require some "house rules" to flesh them out. . I am keen to get rebasing done so play testing can start. ECW lends itself well to campaigns. I have read about other solo players randomizing a strategy for the battle for each side and trying it out. Orders could include all out attack, refuse the flank, envelopment, hold the line etc.

I have inventoried my collection:
152 Shotte
80 Pike and Command
40 Horse
10 Mounted Dragoons
10 Cuirassiers
32 Clubman
20 Gunners
4  Cannon
4  Captains
1 King Charles II

Getting ready to strip the bases

That's 65 Horse 270 Foote and 4 Guns. Wow! That is a lot of nicely painted lead sitting idle. I have a few figs left over but should not need to paint much to get the project going. So far I think all I need is a Horse officer and 2 Foote escorts to fill the role of Parliamentary Major General.

Another shot before rebasing

I sourced some 3mm MDF board in 2x2' sheets. I cut this up using my jigsaw. The bases are only roughly square but fit together into units well enough. Foote go on 60mmx60mm. Cavalry go on 90mmx60mm. I sanded the edges of the bases.

Bases good to go

Step One - Soak all the bases. They army was originally based on picture framing card stock and topped with plastic wood and flock.

Soaking in water

Step Two - Seperate from the bases and organize into units

Step Three - Clean off the glue from the figure bases and and make sure they stand up straight.

Step Four - Slather the base with spackle, mount the figures and then sprinkle with sand

Rebased with grit, wash and highlight

Step Five - Dry 24 hours and paint the base with a brown wash.

Step Six - Dry for 24 hours and dry brush light brown.

Step Seven - Flock and spray with matt lacquer


Step Eight Game on!

This was a bigger job than I anticipated. Good thing it was  long weekend. I had a session every morning and night for three days and finished on the 4th night. I still need to flag up the new units and buy another base for the Parliamentarian general.

I have not used this basing method with 28mm before. The spackle has a more difficult time holding the heavier figures. I have had to super glue about 20% of them after they were mounted. I am liking the new look and will get a game on the table ASAP.