Tuesday, December 31, 2013

R.A., KGL, and RHA batteries complete

The divisional artillery for Alton's Division that arrived at Quatre Bras, and the RHA batteries that arrived as well are completed today.  Whew, made it under the wire  for the year. Each battery has two gun models with four crew per model.

Here's the proof: first Lloyd's and Cleeves' batteries.  The Perry nine pounder RA crews, in full uniform and in shirtsleeves are the figures.   The paints are again craft paints for the most part, with the metals (steel and brass) by Vallejo.

 Cleeve's battery  K.G.L.

 Lloyd's Royal Artillery

Next up, the RHA batteries of Mercer and Bull.  I do not know which two batteries were with the guards on the west side of the field, but these two represent the nines and the howitzers present.
 Bull's was the troop equipped with the howitzers.

 Mercer's were armed with nine pounders.

Final shot to see they are not parading around to fluff up the count.
Great figures, easy to paint a lot of detail, these and the other batteries, from Picton's Division made up the British artillery at Quatre Bras.  With the Dutch Belgian and Brunswick batteries, there was a overall Anglo Allied piece count higher than the French.  I have the artillery commanders' pack, they will come later as they get painted.

End of the year, 2013

I've just come from several blogs featuring and end of the year wrap up, so here is one more.

The Figures
For the year in painting Napoleonics, I did manage nine Hanoverian battalions, one Highland Infantry battalion, two Royal Artillery, two RHA batteries, one Hanoverian battery, one KGL battery and one Prussian battery.  Each battery of two guns and eight crew, so roughly fifty figures and 14 'tubes.'  The infantry are in the 18 man configurations, and so count out at 180 infantry figures. Oh, and the six or so Dutch-Begian militia, and the one cavalry unit this year, the Scots' Greys.  I suppose, if I only paint one cavalry unit, it's a good one to pick.

I've dabbled in a little Pulp and Cthullu based figures, about twenty or so in all.

In regard to the 20mm World War Two items, I've done a quick paint up of some five tanks and other vehicles, ranging from 1/87th to 1/72 in scale. 

Finally rounding out the year were the rest of the Aquarian fleet, some dozen or so ships. The color schemes are rather bright, but they are exactly what I wanted.

Games and rulesets.

As for gaming itself, the year started out with some WW2 and SCW  Bolt Action, followed by some Snappy Nappy and a few small games of PK Les Grognard for our play by mail campaign.  I did not attend any conventions and the gaming dropped off considerably in the second half of the year, a couple of space-ship games and the start up of the Barbarossa campaign followed into November.  Early in December I played in a Great War scenario, using my Sihks to assault  some Turkish trenches.

I am happy with Bolt Action as a set of easily played WW2 rules; with some TLC you could port back to late WW1 and the Interwar years.  They will lend themselves  to a tournament if that's your bent, but have good potential for friendly, scenario driven games as well.

The Snappy Nappy rules did exactly what they set out to accomplish, a major campaign in a day....providing you have the physical space and a large number of players.  They are of course a trade off in the tactical battles, I think Roger and I played out most every likely situation in our 'private battle' which was a real hammer and tongs fight on just one of the map sectors.

As for Napoleonics, I think the year was the first in a long time that I did not play Field of Battle, mostly due to not attending the warm up games for Historicon.  Instead, I enjoyed a couple very asymmetrical games using Les Grognards.  Le Grogs is still my ruleset of choice for the era.

Late in the summer one new game was tried out, the Mansions of Madness boardgame,( it's okay, you play it with miniatures)  that proved a lot of fun as well as rather deadly to the players who are the investigators.

The new rules for the faction called the Aquarians in the Monday Knights rules for space (Galactic Knights) were interesting, the fleet will be a difficult opponent for the other fleets, when I learn how to use it properly.
 The system itself is fun, I recommend it to anyone needing a ship to ship space game.

As for the other, task force sized battles in our Barbarossa campaign, the Command Decision:Test f Battle set is definitely going to be used again and again. The older editions were alike enough to have us feel familiar with the mechanics, the changes in the rules make the game much smoother in play than any of the older editions.

Blogging & photos
My blog count was down this year over last, but I hope the trip through the Hanoverian units was worth the electrons for you. I also was happy to get together the old and new information on the Swede's in the Napoleonic era together to share resources. The addition of the keywords to older posts and the deletion of the occasional 'hello' post are for your ease in looking up stuff on uniforms I may have gotten correct, at least that's my hope.

Oh, I did not post the recent paintings of the artillery units just done.  Well either the first post of the New Year or the last of the old will show you how they look. . 

Coming up?

Real life sent us a couple of "interesting" problems in 2013 and quite frankly I hope for a more boring year. 

I will be finishing up a very few figures left for the Quatre Bras project, probably in intervals between other much smaller projects. 

I do have some ideas for the Q-B scenarios, I'll explore them as we go into next year.

There should be some 'Very American 1930's War' games, a take off on the VBCW theme popular now.

There will also be more SCW games, probably with Bolt Action, especially if I can get a local gamer interested in painting his Spanish buildings soon.

Very related to the era and using many of the same figures, I plan on a couple of Pulp games as well.  I like the chance to mix up the conditions for objectives and challenge the players.

We'll no doubt get in a few more Barbarossa campaign moves in, as soon as my opponent completes a set of 'real world' chores and has more game time. ( This real world stuff interferes greatly in getting games played, wouldn't you agree?)

Add in some space ship games and hopefully a couple of TYW or Eastern Europe 17th Century games and the year could look good.  Dare I hope for a game or two set in Darkest Africa?

So many ideas, so little idle time.........

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Aquarian vs Carnivore first encounter thoughts

Let's do a space scenario!  That was the choice made a couple weeks ago for the 'battle of the week.'  So dutifully setting out the star map cloth, counters and a small Aquarian fleet I awaited Roger's Carnivores to make an appearance.

We have been playing Monday Knights rules "Galactic Knights" for about a year, and the most recent expansion came out, the fourth race in the back story.  These are the Aquarians, subject of several painting posts but not actually played as their own style of fighting.  Naturally I had picked the fleet without the rules availability to do first, but that was now rectified!

Armed with the anti-gunnery missiles and 'paint peeling' technology of the space faring fishy fleet, I set out two cruisers, a destroyer and a patrol class ship against a squadron of Carnivores.  The Carnivores had one less ship, but the match was pretty equal in 'points' as they are rated by the ship templates supplied by the rules.

One furry destroyer and two Carnivore  cruisers (is there an overload of alliteration in this post?)  approached the Aquarian task force methodically.  The commander, Roger the Fang, had met Federation ships and triumphed easily, he felt sure to do the same with these minnows.

 The fearless fish approach at bottom of the photo, most still steathily entering from beyond sensor range. The hairy, toothed Carnivores are 'way up yonder' both fleets well out of range...but that can change quickly in this game.  The Aquarians are from the "Screamin' Yellow Zonkers' squadron which has been patrolling the sector for some time now.

 The situation after two turns, one of which has some long range sniping.  The Aquarians are equipped with missiles that degrade the ability of the enemy to hit target ships.  A clever way to simulate cloaking through sensor deprivation.  The Carnivore fleet at this point is actually coming out behind in gunnery, despite a larger number of guns bearing.  You can see the problem causing missiles near the Carnivore ships.  The counters on the map represent 'drift' a clever use of physics to remind the players this is not a surface ship warfare game. Go too fast, you'll fly right by an enemy and have to turn around!

 The Aquarian fleet moves into mid range, stripping off most of the armor of one of the Carnivore cruiser's.  Then disaster strikes.  A series of hits from the combined firepower of the three enemy ships reaches deep into the Aquarian leftmost cruiser, exposing a shocking Achilles' heel design flaw.  A rack of short range plasma torpedoes is hit, destroying the ships and its crew.  You can see the expanding plasma cloud in the photo.
The remnants of the Aquarian fleet, mindful that its remaining cruiser is of the same ship class, hits their infinity drives and live to report the contact.  The Carnivore ships are all safe, although one of the cruisers will be in repair for some time to come. Good bye, Commander Pike and company!

The game went fast and once the decision to come into middle range was made (as the Aquarian, I thought to get the cruiser that was almost completely out of starboard armor severely damaged) the action became furious.  The Aquarian missiles caused problems for the Carnivore ships, the Carnivore anti shield missiles caused the shields on the one cruiser to go down, and the Aquarian armor is thin in most cases. 

In all, as the Aquarian, my tactics were too hasty to close, another turn or two at long range may have caused enough gunnery damage to destroy the Carnivore cruiser, or at least draw the gunnery numbers into my favor. I am going to rework the standard ship design in both the cruiser and battlecruiser to replace the deathtrap plasma torpedoes with either a different weapon, or even just a cargo bay!

The game was better balanced than previous outings where when using the Federation ships I have yet to fall into tactics to defeat the heavy armor and large numbers of gunnery factors of the Carnivore ships.  Go scaly space farers!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Best's Brigade ---Done!

Yep, my last brigade for the allied side of the battle of  Quatre Bras.  The Luneberg battalion completes the brigade.  I will have Col. Best appear in the uniform of a British Light Infantry colonel soon.

The battalion was yet another of the Landwehr battalions that sported facings of blue.  I used Opaque blue for the facings, Cardinal Red for the coats, tube acrylics for the yellow (sashes) and white (belts).  I tried something a little different, I mixed up some watered down brown ink with the future wax concoction for a sort of 'dip' effect, but applied it only to the coat and sashes.

I'll let you judge whether it was effective!

A photo of the Luneberg battalion...honest, it's not the Munden Battalion from last week!

A photo of the entire brigade. Best and Kielmansegge, the brigade commanders for the Hanoverians, are 'in process'  and should be ready for table appearance about the time I have a scenario set up.

 At least for the time being, I am providing some conjectural colors for the Landwehr flags.  Photo copied B&W from an old Osprey book on the Hanoverians, and hand colored with pencil shade by yours truly.  Two battalions now have at least one color!

With the main Allied forces at Quatre Bras now completed, I can vary my projects a little more (big deal....the next units in my queue are RA and RHA batteries for the 1815 campaign...not much branching out there) as far as army and period.

Also, I'm going to cover my adventures in 'space' and WW2 a bit more often.  But there will be posts on Quatre Bras as I try to nail down the scenario for the table top.  'Til next post.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Hanoverian Militia, 1815

Well, coming to the end of a project is always interesting.  The painting has really slowed this last six weeks, as have the blog entries.  Only three games in the last two months, all WW2 Eastern front in 20mm, and none of these in the last two weeks.

Finally got back some painting mojo, so here is one of the last  two Hanoverian Landwehr battalions in Best's Brigade , the  Munden (there should be an umlaut over the 'u' in Munden, come to think about it, probably in Luneberg as well!)

Both units had blue facings, and I opted for the drum bodies to be in the facing color. The units saw a lot of action at Quatre Bras, fighting near the East-West road at first and later advancing toward the French in the mix with British and Brunswick units.

I cannot find anything on standards for the specific  Hanoverian Landwehr battalions, so I am contemplating putting out with cased colors for now.

And now the photo.  This time, all the Hanoverians in a group.
The militia are to the front.  Just behind the artillery.  Just the Luneberg Landwehr battalion to go, and Bet's Brigade will be done.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

First and second turns in Barbarossa 25 redux

We tried it almost 20 years ago, with only T-34's and plastic Russians for the most part. Slowly after that the lead starting coming into the collections.  Anti-tank and artillery, odd tanks and supporting weapons.

The Eastfront claimed our attention for nearly three years, with a game once or twice a month during the time. Despite good intentions, we made it only through three campaign turns before we stopped.

That was then, this is now.  With many more of the correct tanks and wepons, we are trying again.  We are limiting ourselves to the Northern German effort to take Leningrad, stalwartly resisted by two Soviet 'Fronts' which are defending until the reinforcements can come in behind to save the day.  So far the Germans are advancing on a broad but shallow front, leading with the infantry battalions of  German regiment. Bialystock and Sialiau have been lost, Kaunus and Grodno are also reported ablaze. Riga and Wilno are bracing for attacks.  Four rifle brigades and a tank brigade have been involved on the Soviet side, with three or four battalions of German infantry accounted for so far.

Here are a few photos to show you how dogged the fighting is, ripped from the correspondent's film records early in the second camapign turn as the fight for Lithuania rages on.

 A T-60 crewed by heroes is succumbing to the invaders artillery fire. The sacrifice of the valiant crew preserved an entire company of Soviet infantry to fight another day.
 The despicable Teutonic invaders did not even grass all their stands...they shall not get any Soviet legumes easily!
 The Hitlerites are afraid to get wet in the waters of Mother Russia (oops, this is still in Lithuania, technically...still,a Soviet for at least a couple years now!))
 Another view of the German infantry advance.  The black foam marks where the German barrages are landing.
 One can just make out the Tank battalion, which after destroying a German unit falls back for more ammo. That's our story, we're sticking to it. Other Soviets can be seen behind and to the right of the village in hte woods.

So far the invaders have made slow progress; the worst effects of the first turn Axis air attack and the attendant command confusion are behind the Soviets.  The July I turn has two more battles scheduled for the Northern zone where the Baltic and Western fronts are attempting to slow the German advance.  The big worry is the lack of intelligence on the whereabouts of the German panzers.

More as it comes in......

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Luneberg Battalion, last of Kielmansegge's brigade

Coming down to the the last few units of the Quatre Bras Anglo-Dutch forces.  The final of the five units in Kielmansegge's Brigade is the Luneberg field battalion. 

Great little unit, again the Perry's did a marvelous job in covering some variation in the uniform, albeit mostly the headgear.  I chose to be closer to 1815 than 1813 in the sash colors...if you prefer the earlier version use red instead of gold on the officers.

 Unit details include a variety of head wear, the officer's lace/braid and continued use of the blue pants from the origination as a light unit.

 Here is a  photos of the assembled brigade...although I still need a commander figure to represent Kielmansegge himself.

 I don't know what he (Kielmansegge) wore at Q-B, someone on the Miniatures page suggested the mounted rifle brigade officer from a Perry command pack.  I think I will use the figure, it has a lot of character.

BH63 Mounted Light Infantry colonels.

A few stands added to increase the units' size

Since it appears that locally eighteen has become  the new twelve, I have painted a few extra figures for a unit of Dutch Belgian militia and some Hanoverian Verden Militia Battalion.  And you all thought I'd stopped painting!  It's been busier on the yard, social obligation and work calendars lately but it's mostly been basing and photographing that's fallen behind.

Anyway, here is a couple shots of some newly painted castings:

These Dutch Belgian Militia are to fill in units to recreate of the brigades in Chasse's Division.  Although not at Quatre Bras, it is this division that sent troops to help throw back the attack of the French guard at Waterloo.  But mainly I got a deal on some Dutch line unit castings, the brigade involved could be made by the line units and some judicious juggling of figures I already had in my Q-B project.

The Hanoverians are simply to increase a unit I finished earlier this year at a strength of 12 castings.  The extras brings the unit in line with the rest of the units that will be in Best's Brigade on the table. Here's the entire unit, ready to go!

This leaves the Luneberg field battalion, two more Hanoverian militia battalions, and some artillery to complete the Anglo-Dutch forces, prior to the British Guard Brigade showing up, at Quatre Bras.  Of course, I could do those units as well. So many toys, so little time.

Friday, September 6, 2013

WW2, and a return to an old friend

My long time gaming friend wanted to revisit the venerable Bathtub Barbarossa campaign we played back in the nineties.  We got the booklet out...it's out of print but you can usually find a copy on ebay. Or so I am told.   We thought it would be neat to try the 'new' Command Decision Test of Battle out in the framework of the campaign.

We had tackled the project in the late 1990's and played WW2 in HO/20mm scale just about once a week for a couple years, actually getting through three of the strategic turns over the entire theater before we ran out of steam.  We decided after some reminiscing that we'd try  a scaled down version this time, working the attacks north from near the Baltic sea to the Pripyet marshes. 

I am taking the part of the Soviet, Roger the Germans and their allied forces.   We finished the fourth game generated from the map move.  Here are some game photos.

 Scene 1  I am looking at the German approach, with Soviet troops dug in left and right of the road near the road crater.  The objective for the Germans, the town of Kaunus, is in the distance.
 More of the German right flank. Roger ignored the possibly easier side of the board to bull his way down the road..thereby neutralizing one of my 'clever' traps.
 Scene 2  Just north of the road in the previous photos, a Soviet recon SMG force and portions of a rifle battalion can be seen deployed in the heavy woods.
 Scene 2, just south of the approach road.  Another rifle battalion dug in to stop the invader!
 Scene 3,  the northern battalion retreating out of the woods, the delay they were assigned  being completed.  Okay, I pulled them out rather than get cutoff.
This last photo shows the antitank battalion in the rifle brigade tactically withdrawing across the bridge to pass through Kaunus.

Despite a spirited defense, the 10th Rifle Brigade will probably retreat as the road out of Kaunus to the North has been compromised by an earlier battle.

Don't worry about the Napoleonics, I'll have some new units up shortly.

Friday, August 16, 2013

August seems like a bad month for sanity

Last year my thoughts turned to Pulp, which for me includes horror if it's set inthe 1920-1940 era.   This year I started to paint some figures for the Mansions of Madness boardgame I acquired back in the fall!    So far there's been one attempt at a game, bit of a learning curve when no one playing has 'done it' before.

But the mini's are cool.  Here are a few, the ones that I have gotten done.  

 A fellow who matches wits against the dark forces.

 A rather stylish heroine who relies on firepower and grace.

 A rather rough character to whom all solutions involve a Thompson singing.

A woman who relates to research and lore before firearms.

They all go into houses that most of us avoid walking past.  Why do they do it?  Do they hear things we don't?  Would you want to see things that they see or hear things that they hear?   Really?  

There are people who you might not want to meet on a dark staircase....can you say witch?  Especially when they are hummming "I 've got you under my spell."

Of course there are also scarier things than witches that go 'bump in the night.' 
Cthullu stuff is so inspiring. So cuddly, so much to squirm with....

I won't win any awards for these, but they paint up fast and are a nice change from lace and cords and all that stuff!  I'll clean up the bases when I finish the other figures in the set.

The game promises to play rather more quickly than our first attempt, and is a cross between role play and a board game.  Of course anything with miniatures this cool.....uh, I already said that didn't I? Losing it already, am I?

Saturday, August 10, 2013

If they will not accept a parking ticket call the precinct office for help!

I have been busy with not painting this last week, but I did squeeze in these 'Officers of the Law' as reinforcements for my boys on the beat. I hope to get in a smallish pulp game soon, with the Police attempting to thwart some bad guys.   Or maybe I'll try to game out the attempt to seize the New Orleans Post Office in the 1930's.

Compared to the recent work on the Hanoverian infantry,  it feels like cheating to get 4 figures done in under two hours!  Thanks to Bob Murch of Pulp Figures for such nice figures to paint! 

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

ACW Infantry units, second act

The last two regiments of the original project were the 6th and 7th CT Volunteers.  They look remarkably the same, as they are outfitted in the blue coat/blue pants with kepi that was the predominate uniform in the US forces. I did attempt some 'terrain-ing' of the stands, adding very local rocks (CT red sandstone) and some worm fencing (of which I am inordinately proud of how they came out) to the stands.

 Some of the sandstone and an errant rail in view near the 6th CT.

6th CT command stand.

7th CT command stand with rail fence.  HO size timbers, washed with black ink & water made nice weathered fence rails.  The fence style is the 'worm' variety which is simply laying rails interleaved on the ends. This takes a lot of wood, but since you needed to cut the trees to till the fields, it served two purposes. Click on the photo for a closer look.

ACW Infantry units

The infantry were the core of our ACW project. We chose Johnny Reb as the rule set, we wanted something tactical in nature.  We chose to do a brigade of infantry per side as we had usually a 7pm to 10:30 pm weeknight window for gaming.  We got a good number of games played with the amount of units we made.  We painted the side we were most interested in playing, so everything about this era was covered!

Here are two of the ACW infantry units painted, eh, awhile ago, again, all the figures here Dixon.  The first unit was the 54th Mass(achusettes).

The 54th Mass., yes, from the Glory movie.

 Close up of the color stand.
Detail on one of the bases.

 Other end of the line.
 The 76th Pennsylvania, the Keystone Zouaves.
Color stand of the Keystones.

I just looked on the bottom of the stands....these units are 20+ years old!  That's the good part about historical  games.  The figures don't go out of vogue based on a change in ruleset!