Friday, December 31, 2021

Last game, probably last post of the year.

 Despite not having the Friday regulars for two weeks, I did get to play a 'not solo' game this week. The family rallied for a game of Mansions of Madness on the last Wednesday of the year.  After playing for over three hours, we saved the game to finish at a later date. 

Our in the game host, Thomas Carvey, felt threatened enough to call for the investigators help. All we had to do was question guests at a dinner party and isolate the most likely threat, who was likely to try to kill Carvey.

 Things got out of hand, Carvey ended up dead.

The map board at the end of chapter:

At this point in play, our youngest player  made an accusation to  character of Leland for the murder of Carvey. Evidently Leland was not the guilty party.

What happened was not expected.....Carvey's spirit, incensed that the wrong character was accused,  appeared immediately....and killed Leland anyway

...and then, to make matters worse....

Supernatural happenings afoot?  We have to finish the game, as soon as we can schedule, was the unanimous decision.

And so ends 2021, with a scary portent for the future.

Yeah, more Chosen Men, Pumpkin & Mushroom hordes crossing over genres, a Cold War era Micro game, more AD1666 on the horizon.  Here's to clean brushes and good die rolling.

Happy New Years, everyone!

Tuesday, December 28, 2021

Four more finished AD1666

 Off the   painting table:

The Courtesan:

Milady De Winter:

Gypsy Lady:

El Baretero (Spanish factIon):

Monday, December 27, 2021

Tiny tanks reinforced.

 In the mail, Shilka's, FDC's, SA-9 launchers, Brdm's with AT-5's, R.E. tracks and FV432's

 Coming closer to having (as opposed to having painted) all the models for the North German Plains scenario.

 And for those of you 'No photo, did it happen?' readers.....



Friday, December 24, 2021

Wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

 To all of you who have visited the blog , Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year. 

I appreciate all the comments over the year, both the helpful and hilarious.  

Since I have been told "It's all about the photos " say hello to my in-process groups on the painting table of procrastination.  These are from AD1666 game.

Milady, Spanish faction hero, gypsy

The Watch

The 1st KGL Lights, WIP.

More of same WIP

Now I must wrap some presents.

Saturday, December 18, 2021

End of year, at least for the Friday games

 We finished the year's scheduled events with two simultaneous games of AD1666.  Murder in the Tavern introduced Thomas, our recent addition to the Friday group.  Thomas did well, the game called on account of time with 5 turns to go , he was ahead in points 3 to 1.


Roger and Greg played a close run game using the Order of the Broken Cross versus the King's Musketeers in the  Viennagate scenario.  The Musketeers won the fight there, 2 points to 1!

Planning for next year has started. Some Pikeman's Lament , some naval games, some Chosen Men.  To cater to my rules sets not to be covered, I will attempt to play some solo games this year, especially in the cold weather. The Greater Pumpkins may rise yet!

Sadly teaching/playing the Murder in the Tavern got so intense that (Esmarelda and her knives rock!) that I once again forgot to take photos of either game.

Monday, December 13, 2021

Micro interlude- the battlezone

 Well, I got one photo of the second micro armor learning exercise. Roger had been busy crafting and surprised us with the layout in GHQ hex terrain!

Map from Scenario, North German Plain


Table layout Dec 10 rules run through 

We utilized the farm hexes I made prior to the game. White squares denote FRG and BAOR forces. The Russians are just off the camera view, bottom of the sketch.

We set up and played he first two or three turns. More mechanics were walked through. Perhaps in January we can have a proper game of it. 

OoPs, just noticed this was the 300th post on the blog. I had deleted a few earlier, but this is #300 that stuck.

Sunday, December 12, 2021

Dec 5th Quatre Bras game final report

Well all good things must come to an end, as did the game. 


 The French push back the rest of the 27th Jagers, the stream giving the lights a reprieve.


Bachelu, played by Greg from the store team, and the Brunswickers under Dan S. close in for the fight.

Foy's third Brigade and Dragoons from the cavalry division swar across the stream.

Crashing into Netherlands militia, approaching the Brunswick newly arrived batteries.

On the Bois d' Bossu sector, the Brunswick Avante Garde advance to take some of Jerome's troops under fire.

Dan S. energetically rolling  dice ( or making gestures...we provide the film, you decide.) to keep Bachelu at bay. He also brought the Brunswickers into contact, making room for the brigades of Halkett,, Kempf, and Pack. These units would rise the Allied units to 31 battalions, 4 cavalry regiments and seven artillery bases.

Barely did all these British units make it onto the table, our time to game ran out, as night actually came to our location.  The store hours dictated the conclusion, happily at the French high water mark of 5pm game time.

I want to thank Tabletop Games for providing the venue, providing a wonderful table, great terrain and over 25 French and 6 units units. Greg H. and Dan S. were great team mates, both holding off and then attacking on the flanks. The players for the French were wonderful, both aggressive and good natured at the same time---Ron M.,Ian, Haldan, and Greg from the store.

Finally a big thank you to Heather, who ran the Twitch stream of the game for 6 hours  with interviews of players, running commentary and action reports without a net, or for that matter, much of a script!

Friday, December 10, 2021

Dec 5 Quatre Bras prt 4 continuing down the line

The post will be most of the photos I took from set up through turn 4.  I just thought to throw in one of the maps from the book on the Dutch Belgian experience, for place name reference.

Useful if you flip 90 degrees anticlockwse and 'embiggen' in another window.  :-)


 Left flank of Allied line....skirmishing Jagers. Backs to the stream.

 All guns in 1st Division firing. Against 8 French batteries.

More of Foy's (Ron M.) initial deployments, French 33 battalions, 8 batteries.  Allies 10 battalions, 2 batteries.

Bachelu (French Greg) deploys along the end of the Balcan heights, poised to take Piramont.

Brunswickers appear, now French 33 battalions and 8 batteries, Allies 19 battalions, 4 batteries.

French near Piramont and Materne pond, Allied left flank in danger!

Dec 5 Quatre Bras part 3

Often I read a battle report, the background  about choosing the table set up is often given short shrift, or even absent  altogether. I'd like to address the choosing of terrain elements as the scenario does work smoother if you can dress the table adequately to the ground fought over.

The store and the staff involved in the game put in a lot of thought and care in crafting the elements for the table. Greg H. from our Friday group and myself loaned some elements for the table as well.  You can watch the entire game here: 

The west end of the battlefield.  Greg H. masterfully deployed and led the little lead Nassauers of the 2nd Brigade, Netherlands Army against Jerome's Division ( led by Ian) for the entire game.  The Nassau units are skirmishing North (closer) of the cut, Jerome's troops are in line, attack column and skirmish order

This mirrored actual battle deployments.

The Nassau troops along the rest of the Blois de Busso eastern side.  The artillery set up to logically hold the western side. The stream starts at wood's edge and continues East over three tables, feeding Materne pond and turning North near Thyle. Ian (left) is shown trying to pull a rabbit out of his coat.

Greg H. commander of Siedlidz's (Nassau) Brigade, later commanding the brigades of Pack, Best, and Halkett. I've known Greg nearly 25 years, great opponent, and he  has amazing runs on his dice rolls. Just what the allies need today on this flank!

Rare shot  from French point of view., guns lining Balcan Ridge.

A portion of Bijlandt's brigade struggle to hold; there are opportunity fires from the artillery battery, the 5th National Militia is holding the farmhouse walled garden against at least three French battalions from Foy's Corps and did so for three turns! The Jagers (far side of the stream, near the two dice)  are half of the battalion, the other half are on the eat side of the Gemonicourt Farm.  The 7th (Belgian) Line is protecting the artillery"s flank. Just off camera to the right of the battery is another National Militia battalion.  These were my command. Can I hold for the three hours until 4th turn?

Finished this at 'bout midnight, I just reviewed, made some changes, gonna post now and get some breakfast.

Thursday, December 9, 2021

Dec 5th Quatre Bras part 2- resources

The battle is my favorite. Not as grand as Wagram, Waterloo, Borodino or even Ligny , it is the quintessential meeting engagement which pits a sliding numerical superiority first against the Anglo-Dutch force and later against the French. The terrain is deceptive, being tough to defend or maneuver in control.

Add in some units performing heroically on both sides, some blunders made by commanders on the field (and I don't mean D'Erlon's Corp) get a real hammer and tongs game situation if you get enough factors correct.

Resources are abundant. I like and drew from these secondary works in making suggestions to the store staff on how hey could model the game:


There are a lot of Germans in the army arrayed against the French. Some came from Duchies such as Nassau and Brunswick to fight under their own leaders. Some came from the newly reformed Kingdom of Hanover.  Hofschrorer's book details some of the contributions made by these units present.



Of course without the French, there would be no campaign, no battle. The French in Rielle's Corp and Pire's Cavalry Division came off the strung out positions occupied the night before, formed up and attacked an unknown foe, fought valiantly, fell back , only to advance the day after to appear at Waterloo on the 18th. Rich in details of the orders given, the plans and ultimately the frustrations of the day.


The battle was fought in the Belgian border area of the dual kingdom of the Netherlands, a construct of the peace treaty written up mainly by the victors of the 1814 campaign.  Great detail about the command staff and leaders, units and special situations of the Dutch-Belgian forces.
The Osprey title gives good detail, some details about the British (and Scottish) units and some excellent maps. A good feeling for the muddle for the reinforcements on the roads from Brussels and Mons/Nivelle and others.

Wednesday, December 8, 2021

Dec 5th Quatre Bras battle- part one

 I will have to split up the AAR because of the scope of the game. But now, a few photos.

The table representing the battle, all 20 feet long by 6 wide. Ron M., one of the Tabletop Games managers involved is shown setting up & for scale. This view from west of the large wooded area on the battlefield,Quatre Bras itself is shown on the left side of the table.  Piramont & Thyle are at the far end of the table.

The view South of the woods, looking to the Northwest edge of the field.

Boxes of French Line and Leger, some of the 22 battalions assembled and painted by the  store based players From September to game day!  View is south of the Gemienecourt Farm (center)and Quatre Bras (farther on road.)

Much, much more to come!

Saturday, December 4, 2021

Micro interlude

 FINALLY got to try out the new set of GHQ's modern  warfare, scaled to use micro armor. Four players new to the game, we tried the scenario pitting a FRG and BAOR battalion sized teams against two motorized rifle regiments. 

Roger did yeoman service providing the Russians, British, and some of the scenery. Also, having actually played a game and researched youtube for tutorials, he provided the needed knowledge of the mechanics. Greg provided the FRG force, some cool looking terrain and his on table skills.

Our newest player,Thomas, played one of two Russian commands, bringing just what was needed, good die rolling!  I fleshed out the Russian command, provided some OOB sheets and the table dressing.

The game went smoothly, the speed typical of using a new rule set. Movement, command control, firing direct & indirect , air attack and anti aircraft mechanics were used. We actually got to resolution of the scenario when the FRG reached retreat level and the BRITISH followed  suit. 

No photos from the game, next game will be pictorially documented.  

Thursday, December 2, 2021

Gihgny as Tripp, Eloise roll off painting Queue

 Using the Gighny figure as Merlen.

  Later I may repaint the horse.

Finished Eloise, my wife's character for AD1666.

 Still deciding on color for base rim.

And then I hit butterfly mode on the paint table.  Next three days are game devoted, so not actually a loss.

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

December Already?

 Despite several recent food based diversions I am down to one horse to finish painting and flock before the Quatre Bras game.  The rider will represent the Belgian Cavalry General Merlen.  (The figure is actually of General Gihgny, from the Perry line.)

 The French forces are moving to be painted on time, and done nicely to boot! I visited the store on Sunday the twenty-eighth where five players were literally assembly lining the forces of the Empire. Assembly, painting and basing were all swiftly being accomplished at two banquet tables.

 The game turn schedule and arrivals were decided upon, a few details about the table top layout were finalized. I was heartened to see that my supply of roads, trees and streams was securely stored in anticipation of deployment on the four  6x4 gaming tables planned out. 

BTW,  the game will be on Twitch, starting roughly at 11 am East Coast US standard time. It should run approximately 4 to 5 hours playing time.  If you go to the Tabletop Games website the link to watch will be under the events section. I will put it in a post if it is available before the game. Hopefully I will remember to take some photos of the game. 

I hope to have index cards with the various commands completed for the game. Mostly at this point, the French forces are in need of this little piece of admin. 

Greg will most likely command Halkett,Pack and Kempf's brigades. Which means he is Picton for the day.  A player to be determined game day will lead the Hanoverian brigades of Best and Kielmansegge. The Dutch Belgian brigades will be run by yours truly, the Brunswickers by a player lacking a command as the units approach, and the British Guard brigades run by their owner Dan S.

I will post the details of the French units command in the AAR, unless I can get it sooner.

Phew, this was a much longer post than intended. 

Anyway, on with December!