Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Back to the Brush

I am slowly returning to the painting table after a fairly long break. Last weekend I painted up a ship but that was so I could experiment with rigging it. Since then I have pulled out some fantasy figures and started painting them. It is more challenging to paint individual models rather then massed units. I have to think about each color rather than painting uniforms. I find that I limited myself to a small palette of colors to work with so that each batch of models is somewhat themed. Some of these are treasures found at Huzzah from the Bring and Buy. The big spider and the gnolls are from the AD&D line that recently came out. These are fun models but the casting lacks detail.

Not sure what this one is. He will make a fine musician for a unit of sado-masochist warriors

Phase Spider
 Dark Elf Princess
 Lanky Troll
Gnoll Brothers


I also purchased a digital copy of Fighting Sail from Osprey Games. I had a quick read through it last night. There are some interesting mechanics but I was disappointed that it was an IGOUGO game for movement and fire. I will give it a test drive before passing any judgment. I joined an active Facebook group for the rules and saw some interesting house rules. I pulled out my collection of card ships from the old Pirates game by Wizards of the Coast. I have plenty to use for a tester game.

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Friggin' in the Riggin'

I have spent the weekend painting and rigging the GHQ 1/1200 ship La Superbe. I am standing on the knowledgeable shoulders of the following blogger:

GHQ website photo

This guy rigs with thread and does an amazing job. I found another blogger who used paint brush strands to make the rigging. This looks much less fiddly and gave a nice result. Unfortunately, I cannot find this blog to give him/her credit.

First up was to paint up the model. I experimented with an art felt ($5) to put the black trim on the sails. This worked pretty well but when I painted the rest of the sail, the ink ran and as a result my sails are pretty dark.

I inherited a lovely piece of kit for this project. It is a magnifier with a light. I painted without it for the most part but it came in handy putting on the hull stripes.

Next, too the rigging. I cut a few strands of black brush and put it in a jar. I followed Rory's rigging guide for thread but replaced the thread with the paint brush strands and viola...

 This is the standing rigging. The model did not come with any rat lines but I plan to purchase some fancy brass ones from Langton. At this point the rat lines would go on but will move on to the running rigging which will be done with the gold colored brush strands. The pictures do not show the black rigging well. Next time, white background!

2 hours later the running lines have been added...

Monday, 10 July 2017

Battle of Friedland 1807

I had the pleasure of sorting out the French and Russian troops for the Battle of Friedland. Sorting and labeling French and Russian 15mm troops for the battle can often take as long as the game itself but it gives me a chance to play with my toys and speeds up the game set up and play on game day.

A view of the table from the first time we played in January 2015

The battle takes place in East Prussia June 14 1807. After the indecisive battle of Eylau earlier in the year, the French pursued the elusive Russian army until it turned at bay at the confluence of the Muhlenfluss and Alle rivers. Both armies started out with a screening force that was gradually reinforced throughout the day. Napoleon got there “firstest with the mostest” and concluded a brilliant campaign with a victory resulting in the Treaty of Tilsit.

Our battle was refought using the Commit the Garde rules. These are meant for large scale battles 1”=125 yards and a stand =4-500 men. It is played on hexes and tends to be very decisive.

Brent and I commanded the French and Martin commanded the Russians. The rivers divided the battle field which meant that the cavalry would battle in North and a French Grenadier Division faced Russian infantry and cavalry.

The cavalry battle in the north was ferocious resulting in many casualties. The French held the field and pressed toward the bridge to Friedland and bottling up reinforcements in difficult terrain.

The French Grenadiers in the south competed for defensive terrain with the Russians and were punished by effective combined arms attacks from the Russians.

Both sides struggled to get reinforcements on the board but eventually, the French were able to bring in a decisive number of troops to reinforce a depleted initial force. The Russians saw the desperation of the situation and summoned the Guard Grenadiers to try and turn the tide but it was too little too late.

This is the second time we have played the scenario and the Russian player learned from the last battle to deploy his cavalry Corp in the open to avoid getting penned in and destroyed piecemeal. This let the Russians put up a good fight but the French had better quality troopers and were able to get more actions than their poorer led counterparts.

The battle technically ended early on when the Russians failed an army moral roll. We all agreed to play on as we did not want a single die roll to determine the game and end a planned afternoon of gaming.

Deployment view from the Russian rear

French on the left. Swirling cavalry fight in the North

Same spot a few turns later. Depleted units and French gained ground

This line of hills were the key to the South and hotly contested

Saxon Cuirassier and French Hussars prepare to capture Russian pontoon bridges

End game with the French crossing the river into the Russian rear from the North

Endgame in the South. French reinforcements arrive to maintain the pressure

Not sure what is coming next. Hopefully, I will find some motivation to pick up a brush and finish my 1/1200 74 gunner and try out my rigging plan using paint brush bristles instead of thread. An idea stolen from another blog.

Saturday, 1 July 2017

The Root of All Evil $$$

I have earned a play money by selling off my old 2nd Edition 40k figures. I have been happily mulling over how to plow these funds back into the hobby. I reviewed an older post where I had a wish list put together for ideas. At the same time I saw that Black Tree Design was having a %50 off sale on many of their Feudal and Dark Age figures. I strongly considered this but in the end discarded it because the cavalry were still full price and it would make for too big a project, cutting into gaming time.

Now I am considering getting a fleet of 1/1200 ships for Age of Sail. After some research, I have chosen Langton Miniatures. The quality is high and the price is reasonable. I also found a US distributor that has free shipping for larger purchases. I have a friend with Sails of Glory. This is a fun game and uses 1/1000 scale ships and the models are nice and pre painted. It would make sense to collect this game but my gut tells me otherwise and it is unwise to ignore ones gut!

I want to be able to paint, base and rig the ships myself. I had a small collection of about 5 ships back in the day but gave them away. I still have an unbuilt 74 gunner in my lead pile that I will put together to see if I want to do 30+ more.

This is the completed La Supreme from the GHQ website

Here is mine dug out from the lead pile. I have done some research on how to do other rigging. I need to get some smaller drills and the right thread before tackling this project. The results can be spectacular. I hope to get the hang of it and produce a worthy fleet.

Here is my copy of WS&IM from Avalon Hill. Same guy that co authored Napoleon's Battles, another favorite rule set of mine, Craig S. Taylor. I will likely add to my rule collection as the fleet grows as this one is a little tedious.

I am preparing for a Napoleonics game next weekend. We are doing the Battle of Freidland scenario for Commit the Garde. To that end, I am building some terrain. The scale of this rule set is 1”= 125 yards and I am using 15mm figures. This is a big disparity between game scale and figure scale and as such will cause some compromises when building terrain. A single building represents a small town, a tree represents a stretch of forest and my inch wide river is an 100 yard wide impassable body of water. The scenario calls for two bridges and 3 pontoon bridges. I have bridges that are way too big for the scale and am scratch building replacements. The pontoon bridges are also scratch built for the job. I used my river to judge the length of the bridge and made it wide enough to accommodate my figures to cross in march column. I did some internet research to try and come up with design ideas and the bridges are coming along as shown.

Bridges constructed with framing card, balsa wood and DAS clay. I used a strip of river to make sure it would fit.

Pontoon bridges completed using tiny dowling, framing card and foam core.

Here are the bridges with figures added. the scale problems remain but they will do the job as long as troops are not on them.

I have dusted off my airbrush. I watched a Youtube video or two recently and have been inspired to use it more often. I build a lazy susan so I can paint and spin the model. I am on holidays this week and plan to make a mess with this over the next few days!

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Muskets and Bayonets

It has been a while since my last post but I have been thinking about what to write on a regular basis. There is nothing like a big game to send me to the keyboard. Yesterday, we had 6 players for a 1st Bull Run scenario,American Civil War. The first major engagement of this conflict. We used the hex based Battle Cry rules and my 15mm ACW. The venue was the Kentville Recreation Centre run by the Kentville board game club. They meet quarterly and we have been putting miniature games on for the past 5 meetings or so. It is a good way to recruit and meet new players.

I chose this game because it was easy to put on The group was hoping for a big Napoleonic affair but I did not have time to put that together. The Confederates lost the race to the central ridge but were able to put in a punishing counter attack for the win. Stuart's cavalry were able to outmaneuver their Federal opposites. I have the first edition of these rules and we played the rules as written. It worked well but I think there have been some subtle changes in later editions that improve the random flavor of the game. For example, the All Out Attack card lets one order every unit on the board. There is only one of these in the deck and if  your side gets it, you will likely win. I think this is removed or toned down in later editions.

Thanks to all the players for a fun game!

Tick of a 6x6 game, Next, Chain of Command WWII solo game and July 9th Commit the Garde Nappy's.

Rebs on the left of the deployment and my attempt to edit a period like pic

Union left

Same deployment but without my attempt at period photography

This table looks way better but requires lots of time and does not travel well

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Edgehill Redux

Having only played two turns of the scenario on a small table, I decided to reset and play on my larger table. I played the game solo. Baroque set manages solo play well. I rolled randomly for which command got ordered first unless it was an obvious choice. If there was any doubt about whether to react or not, or which reaction to make, random dice solved the decision making. The scenario gives Parliament a strong center but weak flanks and the opposite was true for the Royalists.

Turn one saw the Parliament center advance and the Royalist wings advanced. The Dragoons faced off in the hedgerows and battled for supremacy. 

Royalist Gallopers charge early and drive off a unit of Reiters

Desultory fire in the center on turn 1

Turn 2 - Rupert rolls boxcars on his command roll and upgrades to Charismatic. This happened to all the Royalist commanders and one of the Parliament generals. No snake eyes were rolled. The Royalists advanced on their left with the horse but lost the duel in the hedgerows. The Parliament Dragoons would be a thorn in the side of this flank for the King. 

On the other flank. The Parliament troops were faring better. They advanced and fired with their Reiters and then charged the weakened Gallopers with thier Cuirassier unit and drove them back. The slow Cuirassier failed to followup. The Royalist Dragoons kept their opposites at bay amongst the hedge rows, preventing a serious collapse on the Royalist left.

The Parliament infantry advanced in the center hoping to come to grips with the less experienced Royalist foot. Long range shots were exchanged and a few units were disordered. The Royalist foot advanced on the right to support their victorious horse.

View from Parliament center

View from Parliament left - Rupert's Gallopers on the verge of breaking through

Turn 3 - The Parliament foot are forced to turn their flank to prevent being rolled up by the Royalist horse. The same is true on the other flank for the Royalists as the send reinforcements to prevent the Cuirassier from exploiting their success. Both flanks are showing wear with units routing and withdrawing on both sides. The Parliament foot's hopes of engaging the center are stalled as they start to take damage and roll crap to rally.
Cuirassier press ahead

Another charge for the Cuirassier
 Cuirassier rout another horse unit

Parliament foot stalled in the centre
 Elite horse flank a pike and shot unit
 Highwater mark for Parliament on the right
Turn 4 - Things were looking dicey for the Parliamentarians. They elite Royalist Gallopers were able to press ahead and take out a second infantry unit with the help of a supporting foot unit. The Cuirassier were devastated by a volley from the Dragoons and had to fall back. The Reiters avenged them by blasting a pike and shot unit, routing them. With the retreat now cut off by Royalist horse and mounting casualties, Parliament troops withdrew from the field.
Gallopers rout an battered pike and shot unit
 Press of pike in the center

 Cuirassier fall back
 The battered flank of Parliament

It was a good game with a quick result. The game can be very decisive if you flub your morale rolls. Even one hit can cause a rout. I still find myself flipping through the rules a lot but should do better next time.