Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Rules update

I have put an updated version of the Napoleonic grand tactical rules on the paintingshed yahoogroup. These ar the rules used in the Wagram demonstration and now seem pretty close to being the finished article - or as finished as a set of home-grown rules can be.


Sunday, 29 March 2009

Salute 2009 - Game Report

Well, that was an enjoyable day in the end, if a bit tiring. I set off at 5am and got down to Excel in about 2 hours. Unloading went smoothly once a trolley was available and the rest of our small crew arrived.

The game was set-up quite quickly, the terrin boards looking good overall. The first photos show the initial deployment, at approximately 4pm on the first day of Wagram:

1. The view from the South-East2. The view from the South, with Aspern to the left and Essling to the right. Lobau island is on the bottom right of the picture
3. A closer view of Lobau and the bridges
4. A view of the Danube and the Geminde Au close to Aspern
5. A view of the battlefield from the North-West. The Austrian reserve are in the foreground, coming off the high-ground to tackle the advancing French:
6. The view from the North East is shown below.

During the day, we played a few turns of the game, but spent most our time talking to interested show-goers about the game, the battle and the joys of 6mm napoleonic gaming. The photos below show the position of the armies going in to day 2 of the battle, which will continue at Partizan.
7. View from the South East. The font-lines are engaged along the Russbach, Oudinot has taken losses in the centre following a rather rash attempt to storm the Austrians by wading across the stream. The french cavalry reserve have positioned themselves in the centre of the battlefield with Marmont's Army of Dalmatia (XI Corps) coming up in column.

8. On the French right, Davout has not yet made a significant move with his infantry, but his light cavalry and Grouchy's dragoons have outflanked the Austrians by forcing the bridges over the Russbach:

9. Looking northwards from the Danube, the battlelines can be seen curving round from the bottom-left (Where austrian VI Korps is advancing on Aspern) right through to Davout in the top-left:

10. West of Wagram, the Austrian reserve heavy cavalry observe the French advance between Wagram (L) and Aderklaa (R). They are supported by the reserve light cavalry.

11. The troops of the Army of Italy advance on Aderklaa:
12. The Saxons of Bernadotte's IX Corps swing westwards to engage the Austrians:
13. Massena's IV corps spreads out to guard Napoleon's left flank:
14. A view along the Russbach from west to east. Oudinot in the foreground with Davout further east:
15. The view from the Wagram heights overlooking Oudinot's advance in the centre. Autrian II Korps is ready for the onslaught and has already dished out punishment to the reckless French:
16. Part of Davout's veteran III corps begins to form up ready to attack in force. A column of Bavarians is moving up behind them:
17. The French reserve cavalry await orders:
18. The Bavarians advance ready to support Oudinot's right wing and advance up the heights to engage II Korps:
19. Meanwhile, Oudinot's right wing prepares to go in again:
20. Another view of the link between Oudinot (L) and Davout (R) with the Bavarians in support:
21. A closer view of Oudinot preparing his troops to storm the bridge and stream:
22. The Austrians observe, confident in their defensive position:
23. Here comes Marmont! The Army of Dalmatia is only the size of one of Davout's divisions, but it might be a critical reserve force:
24. Speaking of Davout's veterans:
25. The Austrian I Korps overlook Deutsch-Wagram:
26. Another view along the front line at about 4am on day 2:
27. ..and the corresponding view down the west flank towards the Danube. The Austrian counterattack is coming in from the right, forcing some hasty re-deployment by the French and Saxons:
28. A final shot of the entire battlefield, from the North East
All in all, a great day. Thans to everyone who made kind comments and showed interest in the game. I'll shortly be putting the latest version of the rules and a copy of the flyer on the paintingshed yahoo group.

Friday, 27 March 2009

Countdown to Salute 2009 - Friday Part II

One last post before the big day. Here are the finished command bases + markers. I opted to use "sticky fixers" as this was easier than messing about with double-sided tape (and much cheaper!)

This does mean that the commanders "hover" a little, but this does make them easier to pick up

Here is a shot of all of the commanders (including some "spare" French divisional commanders)

A close up of Bellegarde (a bit blurred but never mind)

and lastly, the grand fromage himself, the corsican ogre - Napoleon

These are now all boxed up. Might see you tomorrow?

Countdown to Salute - Friday

I re-did the commander markers last night.

Each commander is absed on a base, like the troops but 30mm square. For markers I have produced 45mm squares with the commander's name, formation and necessary stats printed so that they are visible around the edge when the commander's base is placed in the middle. These have been laminated for strength and the corners clipped to prevent them catching excessively on the terrain.

I just need to nip out at lunchtime for some double-side tape so I can attach the command bases to their markers and then get everything packed away in the car when I get in from work, ready for Saturday morning.

Must remeber the essentials, such as my digital camera and spare batteries too!

See you on GK04 tomorrow!


Thursday, 26 March 2009

Countdown to Salute - Thursday

Most of the printed material is now done.

I have printed up markers for the commanders (10 Austrian and 9 French) on business cards and laminated them. They are a bit big, but my plan is to lie them flat on the table with the command figure stand placed on top. It isn't an ideal solution, but I don't want to overthink the problem and the cards I have produced look very nice.

If, on the day, they really look wrong, I can always trim them down with scissors!

Other than that, things seem to be going to plan. One more night to get minor things adjusted and then it all goes into the car on Friday night after work ready for an early start on Saturday.


Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Countdown to Salute - Wednesday

With all of the figures packed away I have now finalised some of the paperwork to support the demonstration game at Salute.

The flyers have been finished and printed

Tonight I will print out colour versions of the flyer to be put in display stands for passers by to read and some A4 posters to go in the remaining stands. I can also print out the player aid charts onto thin card and the rosters for each sides' breakpoints.

I still need to finalise the markers for the on-table commanders. I want these to be clear but unobtrusive, which is a tricky thing to achieve!

I have decided NOT to label the villages etc, for the same reason I don't use unit labels - they create uneccessary clutter without adding to the game. I want the table to be as uncluttered as possible to allow people to enjoy the troops and scenery. Going along this theme I might simply make the commander markers a name only and keep the small number of stats on the rosters.


Monday, 23 March 2009

Countdown to Salute 2009 - Monday

Here are some quick terrain shots. First is the northern part of the battlefield, showing the Wagram hill with the Russbach stream running around it and off to the east.Below is a close up of the overgrown Russbach stream.
On the day there will be buildings, trees, etc; but this should give some idea of how the terrain will look.

I have finished painting the base edges on both armies and gluing on bushes to indicate each bases' quality rating. All the bases have been put in labelled boxes ready for the trip to London.

I didn't expect to be quite so far ahead!

Tomorrow I'll finish off the flyer and playing-aids ready for printing.


Thursday, 19 March 2009

Touching distance

Only 24 artillery crew left to finish the painting on!

Then just some basing and terrain titivation

...and display materials etc...


Sunday, 15 March 2009

Final few days

With Salute 2009 less than 2 weeks away, how are things going?

I have block painted and GW washed the figures for the last 2 bases of infantry to complete the French army of Italy.

I have assembled the remaining French artillery pieces and stuck the crews to their lolly sticks ready for a mass artillery undercoat spray tomorrow.

So the plan is:
Inkwash the sand on 2 infantry bases
Undercoat the artillery
Paint the highlights on the last infantry

Drybrush and finish the penultimate 2 infantry bases
Finish highlighting the last infantry
Block-paint & wash the artillery pieces

Base up the last infantry
Highlight the artillery pieces
Block paint & wash the artillery crews

Inkwash the last infantry bases
Highlight the artillery crews

Finish the last infantry bases
Base up the artillery + crews

Finish the basework on the artillery
Add clump foliage etc to the Russbach stream terrain

Following week (Mon-Fri)
Tidy up the base edges and pack each formation for travel to London
Finish off the playsheets for the rules
Print out the flyers and display materials

(Sat) SALUTE! , See you there

Thursday, 5 March 2009

3 weeks to go

Blimey, only three weeks and a day until Salute, and I am away this weekend!

I have figures for two units of veteran French infantry block painted and washed with GW Badab Black. I should be able to finish these by Tuesday night, leaving just four more bases of infantry to complete the army of Italy and 7 artillery batteries. It will be tight, but I think it is still all manageable.

I have drafted a flyer so hopefully I'll have a chance to get some printed, along with some display material to accompany the game. I don;t think there will be time to get any more buildings painted, but I think I can manage with what I have.

Hey ho

Sunday, 1 March 2009

Getting there!

Wow, into March already and still lots to do to get the Wagram demo finished.

Over the last week I have painted up 3 more bases of French Legere and now all I have left to complete are 8 bases of French infantry and 6 bases of French artillery. I also re-based the advanced guard of Austria's III Korps as I didn't like the first attempt.

I have begun the task of smartening up the bases on all the troops. The Austrains all have the base edges finished in GW Snakebite leather, while the French will have FolkArt 923 - Clover. I haven;t decided on the French Allies yet, but some kind of blue for Bavaria seems right, alogn with grey for the Saxons. I'm sticking to quite "earthy colours".

I'm using shrubbery to denote troop quality (this saves on rosters or marking the base edges). Shrubs (Woodland scenics clump foliage) are glued to the corners of the base. Raw troops have one, Trained/Line troops have 2 (or none, for economy), Veterans 3, Elite 4 and Guards have all 4 plus some extra adornment.

I have glued together some H&R pontoon bridge sections to begin to make some trestle bridges. Some chopped up matchsticks should finish the job.

All in all, progress is OK. I have undercoated the final French infantry in blue and the first 2 bases-worth have had the basic colours blocked in and a wash of GW Devlan Mud applied.

Finally, I have uploaded the latest working version of my rules to the paintingshed yahoo group.