Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Hartley's Additional Regiment

Fresh off the painting desk is the next unit - Hartley's Additional Regiment of the Continental Army, or at least something to represent them. This is the earlier uniform, they later are reported to have switched to yellow facings. In view of this I gave them a totally speculative yellow flag.

I had fun converting the standard bearer from a minuteman figure.

Monday, 4 November 2013

Sherburne's Additional Regiment

Inspired by the WI spread on Bill Gaskin's AWI collection I thought I'd add a new unit to my armies.
I originally painted a version of this regiment way back when the Foundry range first came out but they later were converted into the 6th Maryland for my Camden game.

So, starting from scratch here is a brand new version. Like Bill's unit it has a mix of uniformed and hunting shirt figures (and some in civilian dress), and no lace on the hats. Figures are a mix of Perry and Foundry. The wooden box is from Ainsty. The bases are from Warbases (they do them with rounded corners now!). The pieces of fence are made from a barbecue skewer.

First is the traditional view of the front of the unit:

Then the general's view from the rear:

A close up of the command stand. The flag is hand-painted. The finial is from Front Rank
 A view of the firing line:
Hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, 2 October 2013

AWI Action, the battle rages

Just time on my tea break at work to report in. I fitted in about 25 minutes last night which was plenty of time to rattle through another couple of turns.

The Britsh Legion infantry paused to reform while the two companies they had detached to skirmish in the woods proved useful at hart adding the flank of the NH continentals. In the centre the 71st foot moved up to oppose the NY continentals who stepped back rather than risk becoming exposed by the retiring NH regiment. The 71st are continuing a steady advance and will charge when in position. To the north the firefight between the Vols of Ireland and the Maryland continentals is seeing both units whittled away. The Delawares attempted a charge against the jagers in the wood but stopped short and took losses from some effective rifle fire.

All in all the rules are speeding along nicely and working very well. I'm looking forward to concluding this small battle and trying something larger with militia and elites thrown in to the mix.

If you haven't yet bought the Wargaming Compendium then it is well worth a look and I certainly think these rules give others a run for their money.


Monday, 30 September 2013

AWI Action continues

Not much time after work, but I managed to push along another couple of turns and am enjoying the rules.
The two forces have engaged in a mass firefight. To try and get some "go forward" the British Legion infantry have charged the opposition, routing the riflemen in the woods but being brought up short by a volley from the New Hampshire continentals.

Some house flavour to the rules:
Regular infantry are open order so roll 2 dice to fire etc as per the rules BUT each base can take 6 hits rather than 4 before being lost to reflect the lower impact of musketry in the AWI when compared to contemporary Europe.

The stone & rail fences count as soft cover for testing morale but do not modify the shooters roll, rather they add a +1 bonus to save rolls from shooting or melee.

Lastly I think I need some AWI limbers on my Christmas list!


Sunday, 29 September 2013

AWI Action take 2

Sad to say, the NY continentals did not fare well in the fight against the legion's breakthrough charge. Despite only taking one hit, they failed the subsequent morel test badly enhough to disperse.
With that I called it a day and set up for a new battle.
This time, both armies entered in column and deployed from the march. As moved more than 24" from the enemy (I'm using a nominal 2" per base-width) this happened fairly fast so within about 3 turns we have the situation shown in the photos below.
I've also been playing with my new Fiji FinePix S4500 (not a new model but new to me) using wide aperture settings, a tripod and timer. Early days but things look promising.
N.B. These photos were taken at night in a garage lit just by a couple of 100W energy saving bulbs, so exposure time was about 9 seconds. In brighter light I'm sure the quality will improve!

Saturday, 28 September 2013

AWI Action, first moves

With a few turns played through, I am starting to clarify my understanding of Henry's Rules.

First up, double the bases of skirmishers in the OOB as I was counting mine as "half-bases" like in my own rules, but this isn't how they work.

I reclassified the artillery as light guns to allow for them to be manhandled at infantry speed.

The initial luck in the battle has definitely gone with the Crown forces:

1. Below, looking from the north, the Maryland continentals have been routed after some devastating shooting from the jagers, artillery and legion infantry. The Delawares are left holding the ground but have already accumulated some casualties. Washington's dragoons are moving up into support. In the distance the British Legion dragoons have split the NH regiment forcing it back along with its accompanying artillery, and proceeded to crash into the unfortunate column of NY continentals.

 2. A closer view of the follow-up charge by Tarleton and his Legion dragoons:
 3. Meanwhile, the Crown forces redeploy their infantry:
 4. Including the experienced infantry of the British Legion:
 5. Can the New Yorkers hold?

The next die rolls could be critical!

AWI Action: set-up

Well, I have finally tidied up the garage and removed the detritus from constructing the hill fort and put away the old terrain I was using to playtest my WW2 rules. This means I have been able to set out some of my 28mm AWI terrain and figures to try out Henry Hyde's "Shot, Steel and Stone" rules from the Wargaming Compendium.
I have created a scenario based on the game described in the "Action" chapter of Charles Grant's "The Wargame". The forces available are described below, using my embryonic understanding of Henry's rules (so apologies if I get the terminology wrong):
Crown Forces:
CinC: Colonel Grenville Huffington-Post (Average)
British Legion Cavalry:  3 stands of B class open order light cavalry
British Legion Infantry:  5 stands of B class open order infantry with muskets
Volunteers of Ireland :    5 stands of B class open order infantry sketswith muskets
71st Foot:                        3 stands of B class open order infantry with muskets
Jagers:                             2 stands of A class skirmishers with rifles
Artillery:                         1 stand of B class medium artillery
Rebel Forces
CinC: Colonel Ebenezer Goode (Average)
Washington's Dragoons:  3 stands of B class open order light cavalry
Delaware Continentals:   3 stands of A class open order infantry with muskets
Maryland Continentals:   3 stands of B class open order infantry with muskets
NH Continentals:             3 stands of B class open order infantry with muskets
NY Continentals:             3 stands of B class open order infantry with muskets
Riflemen:                         3 stands of B class skirmish infantry with rifles
Artillery:                          1 stand of B class medium artillery
This gives broadly equal forces, which seems best for now before I start mixing in poor quality militia and high quality British regulars.
The photos below show the armies at set-up:
1. Looking across from the eastern edge at the Crown forces:

2. Another view of the Crown forces, from the northern flank
3. Standing at the western end, looking across the Rebel forces towards the Crown positions
4. A further view of the Rebel troops as a column of NH and NY continentals makes their way toward to front line while riflemen move into the southern woods.
5. Close-up of the Delaware and Maryland regiments
6. Close view of the Crown infantry
7. Another look at the continental column

I have added some mounted officers to each side. These don't work as sub-commanders like in the rules but rather act to extend the CinCs' command radii.

Now I'm off to re-read the rules and get ready to play a few turns...

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Actions at Twin Farms

As a test of my WW2 house rules I set up a scenario based on the "Action at Twin Farms" from Charles Grant's Battle!: Practical Wargaming.

As defenders I had my 1939 Poles with three rifle groups an officer, two HMGs and an ATR team. Opposing them were the men of a German platoon who had six rifle teams, two LMG teams and a light mortar as well as an officer and two NCOs. These were all mounted in trucks

On the first play-through the Germans got shot up quite badly my some accurate HMG fire and lost both LMG teams almost immediately. After this it was hard going despite the best efforts of the mortar. The attackers made it half way up the table but a lucky round of Polish shooting saw half of them routing to the baseline.

This seemed about right as I don't think the attackers should do well in this scenario.

For the second play-through I added an armoured car and a Panzer II to the German force and a 37mm AT gun to the Poles. Overall the result was similar but I think this is the basis of an interesting scenario. I think swapping the Polish HMGs for LMGs instead could be pretty significant.

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Reserve demolition

Another battle from "Scenarios for Wargames". This time the Poles have to mount a rearguard action then blow a bridge and escape with as many men as they can. Again I used a hybrid of lots of WW2 rules.

The Poles defended with two squads, one HMG, one ATR, one AT gun and two armoured cars.

The Germans attacked with four squads, two HMGs, one SdKfz 222 and two Pz38. Arrival was diced for and the armour would arrive from the east on turn 1 while all of the infantry would arrive from the west on turn 3 with the HMGs arriving on turn 6.

The unsupported armour found it tough going as it encountered woods defended by the ATR and HMG. Unable to manoeuvre past these a firefight ensued. The tanks put in enough fire to keep the Poles pinned for most of the battle and the flank remained fairly static until a Polish breakout in the last two turns. Despite abandoning the HMG the infantry were unable to cross the bridge before it blew! One of the Panzers was immobilised when it got overconfident and drove into the LOS of the Polish AT gun.

On the eastern flank the German infantry arrived and debussed within sight of the Poles but only suffering a few pins. 

As the battle developed these squads leapfrogged each other making use of smoke and the supporting armoured car. The Polish resistance was effective, especially the two LMG teams in South Farm, but the need to blow the bridge meant they had to pull back. Running the gauntlet of German shooting they made it safely to west wood, then the river house and finally over the bridge to the northern bank. 

The Polish armoured cars formed a rearguard but one was lost to the 20mm gun of the SdKfz222. The German infantry ground forward, storming the orchard where the AT gun was emplaced and getting a clear and point-blank view of the bridge just as it blew... the dust settled it was revealed that the bridge had only partially blown. One German squad attempted to storm across but was cut down by Polish infantry in the River House. Before another plan could be implemented there was a sound of groaning masonry and the remains of the bridge collapsed into the river. 

The remaining Poles south of the river (eight riflemen and the ATR operator surrendered. Polish survivors were a rifle team, both LMG teams, one armoured car and all three of their commanders. Losses had been heavy and this could be no more than an honourable draw.

This is a good scenario and the rules felt about right. Polish attempts to fall back were constantly frustrated by the pinning effects of all that German firepower. German casualties were quite light but this was because the Poles had no time to stand and fight, but from turn 4 or so they needed to concentrate on getting away and over the bridge.

Holding action

To compare rule ideas I set up a little scenario and played it twice over the weekend. First I used PBI straight from the book, more or less. Second time I fiddled with lots of variations.

The scenario was based on Holding Action (1), scenario 3 in "Scenarios for Wargames" by C.S. Grant.

The defenders were early war Poles who had four squads of infantry, each with a light machine gun and one squad having an ATR. The infantry were supported by an HMG, light mortar, MG armed armoured car and a single 7-TP tank. 
The German attackers also had four squads of infantry. Their support included  a platoon of 3 HMGs, a light mortar, two PzI, three Pz38 and an SdKfz 222 armoured car.

The Germans clearly had the edge in armour but the poles had decent terrain with fairly open ground. This was deliberate as I wanted this to be tough for the attackers. Set up is shown below:

In the first playing, using PBI it was a bit of a walkover for the Germans although their infantry took a pasting late on. The Poles gained a little from the terrain but the German tanks seemed to pick off the AT guns with ease and the guns failed to hit the tanks before they were eliminated. Some of this was down to poor dice rolls but I don't want a game where chance rules to that extent.

Second time round I tried out the following:
1. Sequence based on "Force on Force" with an initiative side dictating the action but the opponent able to react with defensive shooting. The latter is also similar to ASL.
2. Infantry shooting based on my old ideas for moderns gaming. Firepower dice are similar to PBI assuming 2AP per base but hitting on 5+ if stationary or 6 if moving. Results are then determined by a morale check on the target, modified by hits scored/cover/leaders/etc. the degree of any failure dictates the outcome: pinned/retreat/base-loss.
3. Modified to-hit for tank and AT guns, similar to Bolt Action. Single die roll: 1 is a miss, 6 is a critical hit. Die roll modified by movement, cover, pinned, subsequent shots after the first and so on. A critical hit adds one die to the shooters firepower. I kept the PBI system for penetration/defence but then used the Bolt Action table to resolve the effect of any unsaved hits.
4. German infantry had smoke grenades and could pop smoke into an adjacent square by spending one AP and passing a task-check (morale test with no penalty).
5. the system of motivation/APs was kept from PBI which worked but I think needs tweaking for vehicles.
6. Pinned units needed to pass a task check to fire and then used half of their normal number of dice.
7. Pinned units were given two pin markers. One was removed at the end of each turn. Pins could also be removed by passing a task check at the cost of one AP for infantry or half of the diced-for APs for vehicles and guns; success removing any and all pins on the unit.
8. Woods count as cover with a +2 modifier to morale but -2 against mortars (air bursts)

All of this worked very well. The AT guns in the woods wee able to engage the tanks with success and proved tricky to winkle out; but weren't invulnerable. The small arms rules worked well and the Poles scored a notable success when they routed one German squad back into a copse where another squad was in reserve and then hit both with some accurate mortar fire, sending both squads tumbling back to the baseline, destroying a rifle group and an MG42 group in the process.
The PzI tanks proved to be useful support to the German infantry although one was immobised by AT fire. Even the Polish armoured car was useful as a mobile pill-box. 
Eventually all three Pz38s were knocked out on the right flank but not before taking out an AT gun and immobilising the TP-7.
This version of the game was at least as quick as the PBI playing and was less stilted as each side was involved right through each turn.
All in all I was pleased by the result of mixing up all of these bits poached from different rules!

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Little game

I played a quick solo game based on the article by Rich Clarke in the latest MW.

The scenario is a platoon attack supported by a light mortar, against a couple of squads defending a house and some woods.

I transferred the action to 1939 using Poles as the attackers and Germans as the defenders. Below is the battlefield as the action commences with the Polish platoon advancing towards the ridge north of the German position.

Here is a close-up of the Germans. The trees are from Minibits, bases on some old GW slottabases. The house is a 10mm model from Hovels. The defenders in the woods have the benefit of some foxholes I put together when basing the trees. The Germans have two squads each of 2 rifle groups and 1 LMG group. They have one junior officer. The rules were PBI. Under these rules the German LMGs outclass those of their opponents.

Below are the attackers. 3 squads each of one LMG group and two rifle groups. There is also a light mortar group, a junior officer and a platoon sergeant. 

With action underway the Polish mortar began putting down a smokescreen to protect the flanking attack by two squads while the third occupied the ridge to protect the mortar and draw enemy fire.

Towards the end, both sides have taken losses. The flank attack was halted by some devestating German MG fire but the Poles have also done damage and brought their 3rd squad down from the ridge to push into the woods.

The Germans were soon down to their last rifle group and a replacement leader and retreated before they were cut off.

Fun game and the PBI rules works well.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Late war German infantry

A couple of shots of my first PSC German squad. Some uniforms and helmet covers are in my attempt at water camouflage.

US Company

Here is my 15mm US company. The infantry are PSC and Peter Pig. Vehicles are a mix of Battlefront, Peter Pig and Command Decision. The tanks are due a repaint and decals are on order for these and the transports. Germans next....

Sunday, 16 June 2013


OK, so here are some initial ideas I have tried out for amending PBI.

1. Infantry who fire pay 1AP for the first shot, 2 for the second and 3 for the third so really heavy volleys are rare.

2. The infantry firing has been adjusted as follows:
A) roll to hit, number of dice as per PBI but hit on 6s if moved or 5+ if stationary. Semi-Automatic weapons who move count two 5s as a hit, automatic weapons are not penalised for moving.
B) roll for effect, reroll successes from above needin 3+ vs targets moving in the open, 4+ vs stationary targets in the open, 5+ vs targets behind obstacles and 6 vs targets in buildings.
C) roll to save, 2+ in hard/stone cover, 3+ in soft/wooden cover, 4+ in the open

This makes stone buildings very valuable in a fire fight.

Squares gain a pin marker for every 3 saves they have to make and for every infantry base killed.

Everything else is pretty straight PBI.

To fire defensive artillery the player must roll 5+ to get radio contact or 4+ to maintain it. Artillery is pretty effective and as my games are longer than usual PBI ones it needs to be reined in a little. As attacking artillery only happens on turns 1&2 we'll assume it is coordinated with the attack but maybe allow it later in the game with the same radio restrictions as the defender.

More ideas as they develop.

Polish troops 1939 in 15mm

I spent the weekend refreshing my polish early war troops. Rules wise I am using PBI but incorporating bits from ASL. I suppose this makes it "Poor Bloody Squad Leader"?